Xander hangs above him in the gloom of the shuttered hotel room.  To the demon's eyes he practically glows - pale-tan skin a buttery gold, his hair like a cowl of softly curling silk.  And his eyes - the jackal-gods eyes - green-glowing flame. 

Spike is seeing Dru's glamour on the boy, from time to time.  Usually only at this moment - the moment when Xander is arching, writhing, clenching his body around Spike's cock and making this noise, like a cat or a small lion.  A wonderful breathy mewl that makes the hair stand up on Spike's arms and makes his stomach clench in anticipatory delight.

Xander shudders all over, fucking himself down and back in a sudden, rhythmless frenzy and his body is so tight and his neck is arching, a creamy bow of perfect flesh and Spike clamps his hand down hard, feeling the surging pulse of Xander's cock under his fingertips.

"Oh fuck, fuck, Spike, don't - let me, for fucks sake -"

"Not yet, not more time," Spike murmurs, and Xander is trembling over him, his thighs so weak he can't lift himself anymore and Spike uses his other hand to stroke the heaving belly and trace the ribs that come and go with each panting breath.  Smoothes the strands of hair that have grown long, down over his collar-bones.  His own orgasm fiercely held back, because he never gets enough of this, and because he can, and because the lust and need pouring off the boy are like a shot of fucking heroin straight to his veins. 

He moves, rolling them, lifting the long, muscled legs and inhaling sweat and musk and blood-scent.  Xander's nails have cut his thigh - have cut Spike's shoulder - and the thick, old-iron smell tingles through him.

He laps at the dark circles of the nipples - lays his tongue flat to them and sucks and the staccato flutter of blood and come pulsing under his fingers has eased now, and he slowly lets go.  Xander heaves a shuddering sigh and pulls Spike's head up to him, fingers digging into the hair that's been raked to a nest of knots and soft, white thorns.  But good boy that he is, he doesn't touch himself and Spike begins again, the slow withdrawal and slow thrust, twisting a little, and Xander's mouth on his is hot and wet and greedy, sucking him in.

The kiss is so good, so sweet - and the demon hates that - that Spike just pushes in as close as he can, groin to Xander's ass, tight and hard, and kisses - breathes in the boy and breathes him out again until Xander is whimpering, mewling, twitching beneath him.  His hands are moving over Spike's body in a desperate, sharp-nailed plea for movement, for something and Spike finally lets go of his mouth and starts to move, hard and fast this time, watching.

He watches for the glamour and for the wide-open eyes to close in utter bliss.  He watches for the hands to clench into fists and twist, tearing the bleach-white sheets.  He watches and waits.

"Spike, let it be now, let it be now, now, fuck, please, now, fucking now, now - Spike, Spike, Spike -"   Half-choked whisper, ragged and raw, his name like a prayer on lips bitten and swollen and god, it's too fucking good, it's too perfect.  Spike pounds, Xander's calves hot and heavy on his shoulders, and Xander is keening a high, breathless wail and then that convulsion, that long, twisting arch and clutch that is like nothing, nothing he's ever felt.

The sea-salt-and-blood scent of come sharpens and Spike feels the jet of hot fluid spattering on his chest - on his belly - and he lets go himself, shooting his own seed up into the clenching heat and it's so fucking good.

Xander is whispering his name again - is stroking a hand over and over Spike's cheek and jaw and Spike eases the boy's legs down - leans in for a leisurely kiss as his body slowly pulls out and Xander groans.

"Empty, fuck, feels -"

"I know, pet," Spike whispers, and he slips down a little, to lick at the cooling liquid on Xander's ribs - sinks his fangs into the top of Xander's thigh and takes a slow mouthful of blood and Xander moans, his belly fluttering as his body tries to come again, but can't.  Spike knows it still feels good, though.  He licks the blood away from the wound - rubs his cheek along the curve of Xander's hip-bone.

"We'll get you a nice toy, pet.  Something long and thick you can wear all the time..."  Spike pushes a finger inside Xander, stroking softly, and Xander's breath hitches.  "You think?  So you won't ever feel empty.  So you can pretend it's me in you, all day, every minute..."

"Fuck you're twisted," Xander gasps, but Spike can hear his heart, still tripping along, and can see his eyes, half-shut and dreaming, and he laughs.  He slithers up the bed and coils himself around the hot, sweat-slick flesh, and Xander is trembling, and Spike knows he'll be so sore, but he knows he loves it.     Xander's hands have crept up to his and are twining there, stroking his knuckles and rubbing callused fingers over and over his palms, and it's soothing, and Spike drifts and dozes and finally sleeps.


They go into Central Park at night - they ghost along the bridle paths and trails - climb the rocks and lean over the bridges, looking down into still, dark water.  They chase whatever prey happens to be out there with them, and Xander doesn't mind this hunting.  He crouches in the bushes and watches this pack and that of young boys - sweating, eager, hard as horses and deadly as snakes - stalk each other through the whispering trees.  Watches Spike dive into the midst of them and take his one or two or three.  When the prey is something else - some street-dweller, some foolish late-night jogger, some woman walking her yippy dog - Xander dives in as well, finding the terrified human and reassuring them with his big smile.  Leading them to safety and out of sight of Spike, demon's face to the fore and bloody around the lips.

Being a hero, sort of - being a White Knight.  Afterwards, they get Chinese or steaks or a greasy diner breakfast and talk about nothing - about everything.  Talk about the city and the rest of the world.  It's snowing on and off - or raining - a cold, cold November and Xander buys himself a big wool coat and Spike steals him a scarf, striped red and gold.

"Why red and gold stripes?" Xander asks, staring down at it, and Spike grins at him.

"'Cause you're Gryffindor, aren't you?" he says, and Xander looks at him in utter bewilderment.

"I'm what?" 

Spike rolls his eyes - starts explaining Hogwarts and the Houses - Dawn was a huge fan and she needed somebody to talk to, didn't she? - and Xander just laughs. 

But when Spike steals him a copy of the first book he blushes, and then when Spike wakes up the next evening Xander is lying there on his stomach, the book propped open in front of him and the scarf wrapped around his throat.  A small, wondering smile on his face.  Spike calls him Harry sometimes, and Xander points toothpicks at him and whispers spells, grinning.  It's like he never played, before, and Spike likes that he's doing it now.  With him.

Of course, they don't always get it right, and the second time they lose the prey - although Spike supposes others might think of them as victims - Xander is silent and distracted the whole way back to the hotel.   When he's on his back under Spike - serious and panting, his body trembling under Spike's hands and fluttering around his cock - he fixes his eyes on Spike's and doesn't look away.

"I changed my mind," he says, and Spike looks at him in utter shock.

"You don't want me to fuck you?"

"No, you freak.  About the beast.  About - having it.   I want it - want it back."   Spike just looks at him - leans down and kisses him breathless and then fucks him into a daze.  When the edges of the window are glowing with sun-rise and Spike is drifting off, Xander pokes him.

"I want it back," he whispers.

"No you don't, pet," Spike whispers back, curling close around him.  Xander stiffens and then sags against him, sighing.

"Yes I do.  If I had the - the beast...    If you turned me, then we wouldn’t - there's no way we'd lose anybody.  The two of us, we could -"

"You wouldn't care about that anymore, pet.  And I wouldn't either, if you were a vampire.  You'd make a lovely vampire..."   Spike drifts for a moment, picturing it, then focuses on the here and now again.  "But you wouldn't want to save the weak ones - you'd want to cull them, just like I do."

"But you don't kill them - why would I?"

Spike sighs.  "I don't kill them ' don't want me to, pet."  There is a long silence, and Xander turns in his arms - faces him, and Spike knows there's enough light that Xander can see his face.  Can see he's serious.

"Why am I here, Spike?" Xander asks, so soft, and Spike leans up and kisses his mouth - his cheek.

"'Cause you deserve a life, pet.  'Cause you're better than they ever thought you were.  'Cause I like to see you happy...."   *'Cause I need you now.  Need you.*

"'Cause you were bored," Xander says, smiling, his fingers tracing patterns on Spike's chest, and Spike grins at him.

"'Cause I was bloody bored.  You don't need the beast, pet - you're fine."  Xander watches him for a moment, his eyes searching Spike's face for - something.  For truth, he guesses.  Finally the boy leans in again, and kisses him so sweetly.  Sighs and snuggles down, holding on.

"I love you," he says, and Spike has to breathe - has to take a hard, shaky breath and just wait, for a moment.

"What was that for, then?" he says finally, when he can.

"'Cause you're pretty," Xander murmurs, sighing into sleep, and Spike smiles.


But he hasn't forgotten it, not by a long shot, and he starts to ask questions.  Why does Spike care?  Why does he stop himself?  Why doesn't Spike just kill him and go back to Dru? until Spike is starting to wonder why, himself.  He doesn't really know - he's just following what his heart says: want, take, have.  And he's savvy enough to know that having, with Xander, means certain things.  It means...following a rule - just one - and after 140-plus years he figures he can deal with one rule.  But the questions are annoying.

"I don't know, Xander!  Fuck's sake!" Spike snaps, sitting upright at the bar, flinging back a shot of JD.  "Listen - when Dru was bent on havin' the Judge prowling around and I got him all assembled for her, he almost killed us.  Said we had too much humanity in us."  He utterly ignores the looks he's getting, and so does Xander who's watching him, wide-eyed, the tasseled ends of his scarf tangled in his fingers.   

"So maybe Angel's not so special, huh?  Maybe we still have our souls, or maybe - our demons just like life too much."  Spike signals for another shot and the person next to him edges slightly away.

"You really think you have a soul?" Xander breathes, and Spike shakes his head, lighting a cigarette.

"I dunno, pet.  Never gave it much thought.  I know Dru made me and she was - special.  I know I loved her like I loved...someone...before I met her."  The shot comes and Spike downs it, stiff-wristed bolt that he learned from Angelus.

"I wonder if we could find out," Xander muses, taking a gulp of his beer, and Spike shakes his head again, taking a long pull from his cigarette.  The smoke puffs out with his words and he's a little drunk now, 'cause he finds that amusing.

"No fuckin' mojo, pet.  Not fer me and not fer you.  Not after what Dru did.  Who fuckin' knows what'll happen if we cross her spell?"  Xander nods - smiles at him, his fingers smoothing and smoothing the scarf, and Spike has to lean forward and kiss him.  A nice long kiss, tasting beer and lime and tequila, tasting salt and apple-sweet.

"Taste so good, pet," he murmurs, his hand high on Xander's thigh, and Xander grins at him.

"Fuckin' perverts -" somebody growls, and Spike feels a hand fumbling at his shoulder.  "Get outta here, fucker," the guy says, and Spike turns slowly, glaring at the drunk who's daring to paw him.

"Piss off, fuckin' gobshite," Spike hisses, and the man scowls and lunges.  Spike kicks him in the knee and hears a satisfying crack and the man is down and writhing, bellowing in agony.  "Can't a man enjoy a fuckin' drink in peace?" he complains to the air, and Xander is slipping off the stool and edging away and when the fight starts for real he's in a safe corner near the end of the bar. 

They get back to the hotel just before dawn and Spike unloads seven wallets and two Rolex watches from his duster pockets.  Xander takes out all the cash, wipes the wallets down and puts them in a grocery bag.  He'll drop them somewhere - in the front seat of a patrol car, most likely - the next day.  The watches Spike shoves away again, because it's always good to have something to pawn.

"You think if you turned me I'd be like you or like...Angelus?"  Xander asks, scrubbing his hair under the shower spray and Spike leans against the tiles and watches him.

"Dunno.  Angelus wasn't so bad the first time around.  All that soul business fucked him up good an' proper."

"He said once that - he was a lot like his human self, after he was turned."  Xander blinks water out of his eyes, and pours more gel into his hand - motions to Spike who turns and braces against the wall, tipping his head back.  Xander's strong, callused fingers start to massage in the shampoo and Spike makes a small, groaning sound of contentment.

"He did?  Well...  I didn't know him.  When he was human, I mean.  According to some he was a drunken lout of an eldest son, good for nothing.  'Course, when Darla said that she was usually pissed..."  Spike hisses in pleasure at the leisurely scratch of nails over his scalp and Xander pulls him not-too-gently under the spray by fistfuls of soapy hair and starts rinsing.

"So, are you like you were?" Xander asks, and Spike doesn't know what to say. 

*Only in a few things.  Only in the things that really matter.  Love, loyalty, hurt.*  But he isn't sure he can say that, so he doesn't say anything, and Xander rinses his hair - pushes him hard into the wall, grinding his cock into Spike's ass.

"Promise me something," he says, and the scent of lemon verbena and eucalyptus is thick in the air.  "Promise me," he whispers, the blunt head of his cock probing and pushing, sliding in, hitching glide, and Spike lowers his head between his shoulders and pushes back, arching his spine, spreading his legs.  So fucking good, so fucking incredible. 

"Promise, pet," he says, sucking in mouthfuls of steam - of sweat scent and his own arousal, and Xander's.

"Promise if I get hurt - if something happens - and I'm too fucked up to live, you'll turn me."  Xander is pulling back, slow as he can, his fingers hurtfully tight on Spike's hips and Spike turns his head enough to see him - to see the look of intense lust, the look of utter conviction on his face.

"Said I wouldn't, though.  Promised you I wouldn't," Spike murmurs, and Xander pauses for a moment, the head of his cock the only thing inside, sweet burn and stretch that makes Spike shiver.

"I didn't know, then.  That doesn’t count anymore.  So promise."

"I promise, pet," he says.  Xander slams back in, his eyes wide, and Spike wants to bend right over - take him so deep he can taste him.

"And if I'm lucky and nothing happens to me - you'll turn me in ten years, no matter what."  Xander's voice wobbles as he thrusts again and again, hard as he can, and Spike groans and drops his head - pushes back and feels the shift - wishes they were face to face so he could bite the succulent, living skin.

"Fuck, Xander - yeah.  Promise," he gasps, and Xander's thrusts somehow get harder and one hand from Spike's hip slips around to his cock - the other slides up his back and Xander's forearm is in his face.

"Love you," he says, pushing against the fangs, squeezing and tugging on Spike's cock and Spike bites deep and hard - arches like a bow, his orgasm swift and exquisite, and Xander's come is hot inside him, if only for a moment.

Later, in bed, Spike asks him if he meant it, and Xander grins at him.

"'Course I did.  Love you."

"No, you git.  You really want me to turn you?"

"Yeah.  I think - what you start with counts more than what you get.  I think I'd be okay," Xander says, and Spike just laughs, and pulls him close.  He thinks Xander would probably be okay too.  He wonders if they make holy armor for an undead Knight.



Part Four - West