DISCLAIMER: The characters are Joss’, of course. The chapter title comes from The Doors’ song, “Break on Through.”
PREVIOUSLY ON BUFFY: Kevin’s told Spike about seeing Buffy, and Holland Manners showed up at Lindsey’s work…
The story begins here
His skin crawled. As Lindsey deliberately turned his back on Buffy to face Holland, eyes unseen watched him, measuring him, he was sure. Finding him lacking. He’d grown addicted to the adulation that came from audiences who held no higher expectation than to be entertained. The contrast left him sick to his stomach.
“Perhaps we should take this someplace more…private,” Holland said.
The easy tone of his voice was a ploy. Lindsey had heard it used on more than one subordinate during his tenure at Wolfram and Hart.
Without a word, Lindsey brushed past him and led the way back to his dressing room. He smiled automatically at those who he passed, but it was just as much of a sham as Holland’s grace. They had both been trained well.
Neither spoke as Lindsey held the door open, nor did they speak as Holland inspected the cozy interior. The room was an indulgence to dreams long shelved---music magazines scattered on the table by the worn overstuffed couch, guitars hiding in the corners. There were even photos of Lindsey with various celebrities mounted on the wall.
But it was a row of photos stuck to the edge of the dressing table mirror that Holland seemed most interested in. It was one of those that came from any of the myriad of booths along the Strip, black and white memories where the subjects mugged horrendously for the camera. These were of him and Buffy. They were the only ones he’d ever been able to talk her into.
“Pretty girl,” Holland commented. When he picked up the photos, Lindsey had to fold his arms across his chest in order not to leap forward and snatch them out of his hand. “Prettier in person, though.”
“I haven’t been able to confirm yet whether or not it’s her,” Lindsey said. “She calls herself Anne---.”
The shake of Holland’s head conveyed more disappointment than the sorrowful shine in his eyes. “Don’t make excuses. We’ve both seen the footage. There’s no doubt that this is Buffy Summers.” He slid the pictures into his coat pocket, drawing Lindsey’s gaze to the way his hand stayed there. Hidden. “The Senior Partners have been anxiously awaiting your reports. You can’t imagine their chagrin when I told them last week that we’d yet to hear from you. You’ve been here…what? Two months?”
“Five and a half weeks.”
“And yet, this is the first anyone from the firm has spoken with you. I find that a little alarming, don’t you?”
“There hasn’t been anything to report,” Lindsey asserted. “I made contact with Anne---.”
“Anne.” He had to stick with the pretense of not being sure it was the Slayer. Any sign of weakness, and the Senior Partners would be all over him. “It took me a little while to get her to trust me. Wasn’t that the whole point of this? Get her to open up so that we could find out what she did with the ring?”
Holland’s smile was chilling. “I thought you weren’t sure this was the Slayer.”
“I just meant I don’t have definitive proof. She won’t even let me know where she lives. She keeps making excuses about her place being too messy for visitors.”
“And where were you planning on going with her now?”
Lindsey sighed. “We usually go back to my place.”
“Usually?” The smile lingered. “You’ve had an ongoing physical relationship with Ms. Summers, and you still don’t know anything about Jutta’s Ring? That sounds like sloppy work to me.” He took a step closer. “What is it about this girl that makes all my best employees turn into bumbling idiots? I must admit, it fascinates me. First Lilah, now you.” Another step. Lindsey didn’t move. “You showed so much promise, too. Crippling Angel. Neutralizing Kate Lockley. The Senior Partners have been pleased with your professional progress.” The smile disappeared. “Until now.”
A muscle in Lindsey’s jaw twitched. The last thing he wanted was to face the same disciplinary action Lilah had.
“The only ring I’ve seen is the one Anne wears on a chain around her neck,” he said. “I’ve never seen her without it. But I don’t think---.”
“That’s been your problem with this entire assignment, Lindsey. You haven’t been thinking at all.” With a last cursory glance around the dressing room, Holland shook his head in disgust and began heading for the door. “The Senior Partners demand progress. You have twenty-four hours to bring me the ring Ms. Summers wears. Even if it proves not to be the one we want, it should be precious enough to her to merit bartering for.”
He dared the question, even though his better sense told him to keep his mouth shut. “And if I can’t get it?”
Holland paused in the doorway. “Your past accomplishments will mean absolutely nothing at the hearing. Give Ms. Summers my warmest regards.”
Lindsey was left staring at the gaping hole of the exit, his blood roaring in his ears.
Though the city was choking on the ripe aromas of its denizens, Buffy’s called to Spike as clearly as if she’d been standing in front of him. Without thought, he followed it out of the alley, onto the street, across the concrete with little regard to the cars that honked at his intrusion. When it led him to the parking structure yards down the sidewalk, however, he paused, wondering if his pursuit was merely wishful thinking. Buffy didn’t drive. She’d have no purpose to park a car.
He followed it anyway. It was all he had, the first glimmer he’d found since arriving in this godforsaken place. He wasn’t ready to throw it away until it was dead and dry as the Sahara.
He heard her first, the sound of jingling keys echoing against the concrete balustrades. Then, when he saw her leaning against a weathered pick-up truck, all the puffed up bragging he’d done about what he’d do to Buffy when he finally found her dissipated as the hot air it was. He could only stop and stare, drinking her in and wondering why in hell he’d ever let her get away in the first place.
She’d cut her hair so that it now fell in soft waves just below her shoulders. The color was warmer, too, richer, honeyed with time and a new shade of Clairol, but when she looked up and her gaze met his, Spike could see that her eyes were exactly the same.
He hooked a thumb through a belt loop and ignored the singing in his skin at her nearness. “Looks like you need a ride again, pet,” he said casually.
She didn’t move from her perch against the truck, but the hastening of her heart told him all he needed to know about how she felt about his newfound presence. “Spike…what the hell are you doing here?”
“And here I was hopin’ for one of those Hallmark reunions.” He clicked his tongue in reproof, taking a languorous step closer to her. Secretly, he was pleased when she didn’t flinch. Maybe those months together hadn’t been a complete waste. “What? No jumpin’ into my arms? I’m hurt, luv.”
Buffy wasn’t rising to the bait. “How did you find me?”
“Who said I was lookin’?”
“You’re here. I’m here. Even I can do that kind of math.”
“Maybe it’s just lucky happenstance.” A few more lazy steps and he was standing right in front of her. His cock had jumped as soon as he’d seen Buffy, but this close, with her arousal thick and pungent in the air, he was hard enough to make him forget everything but getting inside her. It was impossible not to reach out and touch, to snake a palm along her arm, feel the muscles ready to spring at the slightest provocation.
She shivered. Spike was transfixed by the sinew of her throat as she swallowed hard.
“There’s nothing lucky about you, Spike,” Buffy said, her voice betraying none of her body’s whims. She even lifted her chin to stare him more directly in the eye. “What happened? Get bored? Piss somebody off and need me to save your ass again? Or maybe it’s all of the above. Maybe you---.”
Her sharp words of defiance became a wrenched gurgle as Spike slid his hand down the flat of her stomach and beneath the waistband of her pants. He found her clit and pinched, grinning when her hands flew up to claw at his shoulders, holding him there instead of pushing away. It was his pleasure to obey her unspoken orders, slipping two long fingers deep inside her soaking pussy.
“There’s my Buffy,” he whispered when she started to grind against his buried hand. “Feels like you missed me, luv. This wet. This ready. Fuck, but you smell good…”
He leaned in to taste the dewy sweat from her upper lip, but after the first swipe, Spike froze. She wasn’t fighting him---hell, her cunt was practically sucking his hand inside---but there was more on her mouth than just her. Someone else. Someone male.
White-hot fury seared through Spike’s veins, and he used his leverage between her legs to drive her hips back against the truck. “Who is he?” he growled. The hand that had been on her shoulder curled into her hair and jerked her head back, exposing her jugular so finely that he had to fight not to vamp out. “Pick yourself up a boytoy? Someone to scratch those little itches you used to need me for?”
The button on her trousers popped from the force of Buffy pushing him back, his hand ripping free from her pussy so roughly that the smell of fresh blood assaulted his senses as his nails scraped along her inner flesh. “Fuck you,” she spat.
And here she was, breath heavy, nipples hard where they poked through the thin cotton of her top, skin glowing as her eyes flashed fire at him. He had to ball his hands into fists to stop from leaping forward again and finishing what he’d started.
“In case you hadn’t noticed,” Buffy continued, “you’re not a part of my life any more. So who I see and what I do with him is absolutely none of your business.” Her hand came up to try and straighten her shirt. That’s when he saw it.
“Still wearin’ your little lifeline, I see,” he sneered. She blocked his hand when it shot out to try and grab the chain, and Spike had to dance back as she curled her fingers protectively around the onyx ring. “You don’t need those kind of training wheels, luv. You never did.”
“And you still don’t get it, Spike. You never will.”
The memory of their fights came bubbling back, fresh and bitter and making him wonder why in hell he was so eager to have them a part of his life again. “You’re right,” he said, starting to pace back and forth in front of her. “I don’t get it. I don’t get why you’d want to hang onto that git’s bauble when you know full well what he did to you. You’re stronger than that. You don’t need to keep punishing yourself with it.”
“Who said I’m punishing myself?”
Stopping, Spike spread his arms wide, to take in the panorama that surrounded them. “You think you deserve this?” he demanded. “Suckin’ up to tourists for a few extra bob? Fuckin’ some lounge lizard, hopin’ he can make you feel half as good as I did?”
“His name is Lindsey.”
He snorted. “Definitely not gettin’ satisfied if he’s got a nancyboy name like that.”
Buffy’s eyes glittered. “At least he doesn’t feel the need to overcompensate with over the top, macho nicknames.”
With a leer, Spike grabbed his crotch, his erection still more than evident through the tight denim. “We both know there’s no need for me to overcompensate, pet.”
“And you wonder why I left.”
Before she could move out of his way, Spike was back in her face, pressing her back into the truck. “Yeah, actually, I do,” he said, his voice husky. In spite of the anger rippling through both of them, she shivered at his touch. “Never asked you to be anything but who you are, Buffy. Can you tell me what you’ve got here is worth pretending to be something you’re not?”
She actually had the balls to look him in the eye when she lied to him.
He growled in the back of his throat, but kissed her anyway, bruising her with lips, tongue, teeth, body. Her nails raked along his arms when he pulled away, but Spike ignored the silent plea and stepped away from the truck.
“Be seein’ you around, pet,” he said, sauntering back in the direction he’d approached. “Tell your little boytoy he can thank me later for warming you up.”
He didn’t look back. He’d see enough later when Buffy and her boy left the parking structure for wherever they were going.
Though he was somber when he reached the truck, Lindsey’s thoughts were scattered by the desperate clutch of Buffy’s hands in his shirt, the sharp pull as she yanked his mouth to hers, the sweet slide of her tongue thrusting past his lips. He responded instantly, the way he always seemed to do when she touched him, falling against her into the front seat of his truck. It took even less time to get hard, and when she reached between their bodies to grab his cock and squeeze, Lindsey forgot all about Holland’s ultimatum in favor of the heat of the moment.
Her pants came off before he’d closed the door. Somehow, they ended up behind the steering wheel, Buffy riding him in the narrow space, Lindsey holding her hips to try and keep the pace slow enough so that he didn’t come too quickly.
And she never said a word until her orgasm ripped the cry from her throat.
She slid off after he shot inside her, fumbling for her clothes by the gear stick. The fluorescent glow of the lights caught the sheen of sweat along her thighs, and if it wasn’t for his sensitive cock, Lindsey would’ve held her down and taken her from behind. She had an amazing ass; he could watch it all day if she’d let him. But when she came back up, hidden away from his sight again, her face was closed, eyes dark, and the momentary bliss he’d gotten from her body was gone as Holland’s order came slamming back.
“Sorry,” she apologized. Her cheeks were pink, strands of hair clinging to them from their exertions. She offered him a small smile, but it didn’t reach her eyes. “I guess I missed you more than I thought.”
“You need to miss me like that more often,” he teased. He wondered if she could sense his distance as easily as he could tell hers.
“What did your uncle want?”
Maybe it was the wary way she asked the question, but he immediately grew tense. “Nothing important,” he said with a shrug. He busied himself with retrieving the keys from where Buffy’d dropped them, getting the truck started, taking too much care to pull out of his spot. “But I don’t want to talk about him. What’re you in the mood for, baby? Are you hungry? We could go get something to eat.”
When he glanced at her out of the corner of his eye, he was surprised to see her curled up into a ball on her seat, knees tucked up beneath her chin while she regarded him with large, wet eyes. He frowned. Was she crying? He reached across to brush a knuckle across her cheek.
“Can we go back to your place?” she asked, her voice tiny.
“You don’t want to eat?”
“No. I just…but if you don’t want to---.”
“No, no, my place is fine.” He stayed quiet until he pulled up to the attendant’s booth, waiting for the gate to lift. “Unless you want to go home. I don’t mind---.”
“No.” The sharpness of her tone made him look at her again, but now, she had her attention trained on the street in front of them, eyes darting around as if in search of something. “It’s---.”
“---a mess. I know.”
As he pulled into traffic, Lindsey couldn’t help but think that their whole situation was fucked up. Buffy didn’t touch him again the entire ride to his place.
To be continued in Chapter 4: Like the Spider on the Wall…