Revenge For Love - (15) The End Of The Beginning

Tasha

Chapter Summary: Athena from the Coven of witches in England, informed the Scoobies about a great deal of what was happening to Buffy and Spike. We found out just who the real Xander really is. This chapter is written for 6 months after the last chapter. We catch up on what has been happening with the Scoobies and how everyone has adjusted or not adjusted to the changes.

Author's Note: I have had several people express interest and request a sequel to this story after Ch. 14 was sent out. The way I end this story, you can take it as an end or a set up for a sequel. {Smiles} There is a link to the sequel at the end of this chapter, as it is currently being released.

Disclaimer and Distribution notes are listed on the Index page of this story.

'Single' quote marks surround thoughts in this story. "Regular" quotes are around spoken words.


Buffy's voice penetrated the Summers' residence before the blonde daywalker stepped inside followed by Giles. "I don't work for them anymore. I refuse to babysit and train who could actually be here to kill Spike and I. If we let her that close, I don't know what affect it will have on the wards."

"Remember the wards are based on blood now, Buffy. It won't affect that. I've checked out the Council's story with a few of my trusted colleagues." Giles closed the door behind him, blocking out the mid-day sun. "The new Slayer is quite a rebel. She bawks their authority at every step. She's already gone through two Watchers."

"So why should I take this Faith off their hands?" Only six months passed by in their lives since the final battle with Angelus. Three months after Kendra returned home they received word from the Coven of the Slayer's death. Buffy tried to keep busy with her new life since then. She wasn't ready to face Kendra's replacement yet. "It sounds like her rebelling is actually helping our cause to keep the Council off balance."

Joyce Summers stepped into the living room from the direction of the kitchen. She heard the argument between her boyfriend and her daughter in full swing outside. So, she had a feeling Rupert would appreciated something to drink. She kissed Giles briefly and handed a glass of bourbon to him. "Rough day, dear?"

"Yes. Thank you, Joyce." Giles returned a short, but sweet kiss. After tentatively, then seriously, dating for 5 months Joyce and Giles decided he should move in with Joyce. Buffy and Spike had their own place to live, and Giles only rented his apartment. With both Giles and Joyce living alone it seemed reasonable for them to advance their relationship on many levels. The Summers' residence became Scooby Central. Although their lives were never quiet or sedate, Joyce and Giles were happy together.

"That bastard Travers called Giles today to tell us he was sending the new Slayer and her new Watcher to Sunnydale." Buffy hoped her mother sided with her in the argument. Joyce acted like a mother bear ever since she found out about Buffy's death and new calling. "Make Giles tell Travers to go to Hell."

"Language please, Buffy." Joyce rolled her eyes. Spike took excellent care of her daughter. She'd never seen Buffy happier, but his cursing was one thing Joyce wished Buffy hadn't followed in his footsteps with. "I'm sure Rupert has a good reason why he is willing to accept this." Her tone indicated that Giles better have a good reason for putting her daughter in danger.

Giles gulped the bourbon down in one swig. One thing he learned quickly while he dated Joyce was that Buffy's spirit, determination, and stubbornness were not Slayer traits. They were in the Summers' family genes. He admired Joyce's tenacity, but he didn't want to be on the wrong side of an argument with her. "I don't believe Faith is a plant. My sources actually believe the Council is sending Faith here with the hope that her reckless behavior will get her killed and maybe her Watcher too."

"How screwed up is that?" Buffy snorted in disgust. "I'm with Spike on his Council of Wankers analogy. It's sounding better and more true everyday."

"Be that as it may, I feel we should take this girl under our wing." Giles tried to reason with Buffy. "She was not discovered as a Potential until after she was already Chosen. She hasn't lived her whole life with Watcher training."

"Still not seeing why I should care." Buffy crossed her arms in front of her against her chest. Her attitude may seem harsh to someone that hadn't lived her life the last few months, but her resentment came from her concerns for her friend's and family's well being.

"She, like you, hasn't spent her whole life being poisoned by their teachings." Giles handed the empty glass to Joyce. "She hasn't spent enough time with her last two Watcher's to be influenced by their teachings either. From what I've heard she didn't listen to them much anyways."

Joyce accepted the glass back from Giles. With the way the conversation was going, she decided to refill it for him. She knew her daughter was as stubborn as she was when it came to protecting those she loved. Buffy wanted them all prepared and protected.

Joyce spent the better part of the last 6 months training with Giles, Spike, Buffy and the other Scoobies. She was rather proficient with crossbows. She procured an artistic looking cane that she kept at the gallery for further protection. The cane held a sword in it should she need it as well. She was able to wield it easily, and it was sturdy enough to get the job done.

"We have a chance to bring her across to our way of life. Like Kendra, she could accept and be willing to protect the truth about Slayers, vampires and other demons." Giles stepped closer to Buffy. He rested a hand on her shoulder. "I know you are worried, but we need to do this. The more people who share our way, the better off the supernatural world will be handled properly."

"But is it really worth the risk?" Buffy hated arguing with Giles. She loved him like a father, but she feared any contact with the Council again, even indirectly. Yes they needed more people on their side, but they couldn't afford to be wrong about anyone.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

The Council wasn't happy with the Coven's original demands, as the Scoobies expected, and for several weeks after the battle the Council tried to get around the Coven's spells. The Council had a few witches of their own that they relied on. They foolishly sent several Watchers and a dark ops unit to observe, infiltrate, capture and/or destroy Buffy and Spike.

The first attempt on Buffy's life merely annoyed the Coven's elders and Buffy. The protection wards and safety spells deflected the feeble attempts of the Council to test the Coven's seriousness and power. Buffy felt when anything challenged the magic surrounding her. It was a warning system to let her know something was going on. It allowed her to contact the Coven before any real damage was done to the wards.

The second attempt, two months later, was a more elaborate plan to bring down the wards and capture Buffy through indirect means. The dark ops team kidnapped Willow, Giles and Spike. They tranquilized Spike enough to keep him incoherent but conscious enough to keep the link open. They counted on Buffy's ability to track down her Mate to bring her to them.

What the Council overlooked was the determination and dedication of Joyce and Buffy to the men they loved, and the military edge to Xander's way of thinking that he cultivated more over time. At the time no one understood how the Council operatives were able to kidnap Willow, Giles and Spike in the first place. Later the Scoobies found out that three of the Coven members, three stationed in Sunnydale, took magically ill right before the kidnapping. Losing the magic of that many members at once, near Buffy, weakened the wards enough for the Council's team to sneak in close and grab them.

Buffy wanted to tear through every place in Sunnydale to find Spike once she realized her Mate was gone. Only the strength and patience of Xander and Joyce combined was able to stop the Slayer/Vampiress from raining down death and destruction in a raid of pure bloodshed. They used Buffy's connection with Spike to help pinpoint the area their friends and family were being held.

Xander worked up a plan for infiltration that included help from Joyce and Buffy. It would have been nice to have Oz's help, but he wasn't available to help the Scoobies. He wasn't even in Sunnydale anymore. His band got a U.S. touring opportunity that they couldn't afford to pass up about a month after the battle. He broke off his relationship with Willow because he said it wasn't fair to ask her to wait for him when he might never be back.

Willow was crushed, but she knew her place was with Buffy in Sunnydale. Giles made sure Oz had some tranquilizer darts and a list of names for others who could help him in certain cities on the full moon. Willow buried herself in her books, studying various aspects of witchcraft at the suggestion of the Coven members in Sunnydale. She visited them often to discuss specifics of certain spells.

Xander tried to ask Cordelia to help as well, but the ex-cheerleader no longer wanted to have anything to do with him or his "freakish" group of friends any longer. She refused to understand Xander's need to stick by and defend Buffy now that she was a vampire. She said their relationship wasn't worth having to deal with all the craziness that made up his life.

With the loss of Oz and Cordelia, and the strange loss of communication with the Coven, the remaining Scoobies felt deserted. So, it was a strange little trio of Scoobies who were forced to mount a rescue on their own. It was hard for each of them when several days passed by before they were ready to make a move. All of them were on edge by the time it came to move in.

Buffy figured they only had one shot at a rescue. If they failed, every one of them would be dead or a lab rat prisoner of the Council. Thankfully luck was on their side. The dark ops team never expected the three person rescue group to be so meticulous with their planning and execution.

The captors were taken completely by surprise in the middle of one of their taunting sessions of the captured Scoobies. In the midst of taunts and jeers that the former Slayer left them to die at their hands, the operatives were incapacitated with bolts and arrows through shoulders, knees, arms, and legs followed with punches, kicks and elbows at key pressure points to knock them unconscious.

Xander cradled an emotionally wrecked Willow in his arms after he released her from her bonds. Joyce wept in Giles arms. Both of them held each other up, comforting the other. When Buffy located her Mate in a separate room from the others, she growled. The guard barely had a moment to realize the Vampiress was in the room before his body hit the floor half drained.

Buffy lowered the bruised and bloodied body of her Sire to the floor. She pulled the still bleeding guard over to him. She lifted Spike's head to the guard's neck, and Spike awoke enough to finish the blood that remained in his tormentor.

All of the Scoobies' physical wounds healed in a few days, but the emotional and mental scars that were left on all of them took a lot longer to heal. The rest of the operatives were sent back to the Council magically bound with nightmares implanted in their brains that would keep them from even thinking about returning to Sunnydale again.

Dalton was furious when he returned to Sunnydale after his trip to England to visit the Coven. He apologized profusely for not being there when his Master and Mistress needed him. He informed them that he'd had the pleasure of tormenting Quentin Travers for a considerable amount of time in revenge and warning to leave them alone. He worried that they would be upset for him harming the human.

Spike and Buffy reassured their son that all was well. They held no anger towards Dalton. He did nothing wrong in their eyes. He protected his family, and he carried out the wishes of the Coven to show the seriousness of Travers' refusal to obey their directives. Being nearly drained by an enraged vampire was not something Travers was soon to forget. Quentin was allowed to live with the warning that should he ever cross them again he and his whole family would be wiped from the earth.

Athena visited Sunnydale after the kidnapping incident. She strengthened all of the wards and spells by linking them to Buffy's blood. Spike, Buffy and Dalton already shared a blood bond from feeding from each other and being linked through a familial claim. Joyce, being Buffy's mother, was also protected by her link to Buffy's blood automatically. Xander, Willow, and Giles agreed to share a familial blood link with Buffy to keep the protection spells more specific and unbreakable.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Buffy was pulled from her memories of the past few months by the sound of the front door being opened. Spike stood framed in the doorway by the sun. He pulled off his black leather duster and shook it outside. It was dusty from a mix of burnt herbs, dirt and sawdust. He slipped it back on once he was confidant that he wouldn't get Joyce's house dirty.

Joyce hugged Spike at the door. "I don't think I will ever tire of seeing you so handsome in the sunlight, Spike."

Although the vampire still wasn't accustomed to showing a lot of open affection around most humans, he loved Joyce as much as he did his own mother. He returned the hug with tenderness. "I'm not sure I'll ever get completely used to being able to walk in the sun again. Sometimes the minions forget I can go out during the day. They try to stop me from leaving and almost dust themselves." He shook his head back and forth.

Buffy ran over to her Mate eagerly. She wrapped her arms around him and kissed him passionately. Being apart from Spike for long periods of times was still hard for her to handle. Her only consolation was the link they shared. It grew stronger with each passing day. They'd spent the last week apart, except for brief times during the days when they met to talk out current plans or strategies.

Spike grinned at his beautiful Childe after they separated from their kiss. He rested his hands on Buffy's waist. Seeing her beauty in the clarity of the sunlight still made his unbeating heart flutter. Buffy was always gorgeous to him, but in the sunlight she was even more breathtaking. He'd never forget the first time he saw her in full sunlight.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

The morning after the battle, Spike awoke from a deep slumber by Buffy's screams. They'd forgotten to close the curtains amidst their frolicking earlier. The sun shone brightly through the window.

"Spike!" Buffy screamed. "Oh my gosh!" She jumped up to close the curtains. She stopped after she realized that Spike wasn't even smoking. "Spike?"

Spike opened his eyes groggily. "Oy, pet. Turn off the lights." He raised his hand to cover his eyes from the brightness.

Buffy tugged on Spike's arm. "It's not the lights, Spike." She pulled his hand away from his eyes. "It's the sun."

"Sun?" Spike jumped from the bed out of reflex. "You trying to dust me, Slayer?"

Buffy giggled. She imagined the worried look on his face mirrored the one she had when she woke up. "No, silly. You weren't smoking. Come back here and see."

Joyce, Giles, Willow, Xander and Dalton burst through Buffy's bedroom door. Dalton jumped back into the hall to avoid the sunlight. The other four stared at the naked pair of vampires, one of which who wasn't smoking and should have been.

"What is going on?" Joyce grabbed Buffy's robe from behind the door and tossed it to her. She threw Spike a towel from the hall closet. She was dealing with her daughter being intimate with another man, but that didn't mean she wanted to see it so openly. "Why were you screaming, Buffy?"

"I woke up, and the sun was beating down on Spike. I panicked. Shouldn't he be dusty?" Buffy started to explain and question.

Giles looked over at the half covered vampire. "Fascinating." He adjusted his glasses. Enough direct sunlight still hit Spike's body, and there was no sign of smoke or blistering.

Dalton peeked out from behind Giles' body. He was careful to avoid the sunlight by staying in Giles' shadow. "Master?" His worried voice questioned. His Master's and Mistress' panic hit him while he was in the middle of drinking a mug of blood downstairs.

"It's all right, son. I'm fine." Spike's comforting voice soothed Dalton's nerves. "Looks like that kiss from the witch really did mean something." He laughed heartily. "And here I thought she just found me too irresistible to pass up." He teased.

Buffy slapped Spike playfully on the arm. "You think this was the gift she meant?" Buffy asked.

"It's quite possible," Giles answered. "If Spike was unable to go with you during the day, you would be at more risk. The Coven has taken up the mantle of your well being. This could be another way to ensure you are safe."

Spike stepped back into the sun fully. He closed his eyes. He practically giggled like a small boy with delight at the warmth of the sun on his skin. His demon wanted to shrink back from the light, but Spike pushed forward until his body was covered completely in light.

"So beautiful, Sire." Buffy stared at her lover in awe. His alabaster skin appeared to glow in the brightness because it was so pale. It almost looked like he had a halo surrounding his whole body. "Like an angel."

Spike opened his eyes. With a feral growl he pounced on Buffy on the bed. "I'll show you that I'm nothing like an angel." He grinned like a predator at his Childe. "I'll always be a little devil."

Willow shrieked. "I think that is our cue to vacate." She rushed out of the room, pulling Xander with her.

"Yes, quite." Giles wrapped an arm around Joyce's waist. Dalton preceded them into the hallway, and they all headed back to the kitchen for their interrupted lunch.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Giles extended his hand for Spike to shake. "Everything finished at the house?" Any doubts Giles had of Spike continued to be eradicated with each day that passed. He couldn't deny the fact that Spike put Buffy's needs always before his own. He'd put up with the entire Scooby gang's quirks and protected them. At first it was because Buffy wanted him too. Now it seemed that he'd grown to care for each of them in his own. He was a part of their family, as was Dalton.

Buffy and Spike lived at the mansion since the battle, but Spike wanted a place that he and Buffy could call their own without the memories of the past. The two of them picked out a fixer upper house only a short distance away from Revello Drive. It was close enough for visiting but far enough away to give everyone his or her privacy.

"Yep." Spike accepted the extended hand and shook Giles' hand firmly. "I finished sanding the porch this morning, and the stain is curing on the deck right as we speak."

"I'm so excited." Buffy bounced up and down in Spike's embrace. "He hasn't let me back into the house for the last month. Once he let me pick things out and tell him what I'd like, he kicked me out. I've hardly seen him at all the last week." She pouted.

"Oooo ... look at that lip." Spike flicked his fingertips over Buffy's extended lower lip. "Gonna get it."

Buffy pulled out of Spike's arms. "Not until I get to see my house." She hid behind Joyce's back and stuck her tongue out at Spike on the side. "No more spiking for Spike until I'm in my new home."

Spike laughed. Joyce and Giles shared a knowing look. They loved to see how much joy Buffy got out of life now. Her calling was dangerous before. Now it was even more dangerous since her calling had been altered. Both were amazed that Buffy seemed more alive now that she was technically dead than when her heart beat.

Giles cleared his throat. "There is still the matter of Faith to discuss, Buffy."

"Is that the new Slayer bird?" Spike heard about the Council's call from Xander second hand. Xander showed a knack for carpentry and construction over the time Spike worked to fix the house up. The two shared a camaraderie while they worked. It strengthened a growing friendship between the two of them.

"Yes." Giles turned to Buffy. "I am certain that Quentin is going to send the girl and her Watcher no matter what we say."

"Why is that, Rupert?" During the last few months, Spike and Giles also found a common ground or means to base a friendship on. Spike was able to read, write and speak several languages, including a few demonic ones like Fyarl. He surprised Giles with his knowledge of history and literature as well. Things were not anywhere near as tense between the two now. The pair would often be caught sharing a drink and chatting or watching British football on the television.

"My sources indicate that Quentin already feels this new Slayer is a liability." Giles inhaled deeply. "She won't follow his orders, and she's already gone through two other Watchers. Her last Watcher was killed because of her refusal to follow orders. At least that is the story he's giving the rest of the Council."

"You think he's lying?" Joyce piped up. She felt nothing but loathing for the head of the Council. He'd done nothing but put her daughter into danger from the moment of her calling. She knew that most of that was due to Buffy's calling itself, but the Council wanted to take her little girl away from her family and friends. That was not something she was willing to tolerate.

"Richard Wadsworth, an old Watcher friend of mine, told me that the order would have obviously resulted in Faith's own death. Faith must have realized that, and she refused to follow the order." Giles removed his glasses. He pinched the bridge of his nose tightly. "Faith's Watcher, a Miss Gwendolyn Post, was found dead the next day. Richard indicated the cause of death being highly suspicious. We fear that she was eliminated because she couldn't control Faith."

"That's awful!" Joyce exclaimed.

"Bloody wankers!" Spike echoed Joyce's sentiment.

"A new Watcher has been assigned to Faith named Wesley Wyndham-Pryce. He's rather green, and his father is a bit of a prat, but Wesley's pretty harmless." Giles sighed. He knew how hard it was to follow in your father's footsteps. He was born into a family of Council serving Watchers and support staff. He fought what was expected of him for many years. He felt a draw to help the young man break free of the ties that bound him.

"So, it would be of no consequence to the Council if the new Watcher was killed along with the girl?" Spike questioned.

"Probably not. He's green, and his father seems a bit unhappy with his performance even though his marks are quite high." Giles drank down the second glass of bourbon that Joyce offered to him earlier. "If we could persuade both Faith and Wesley to our cause, it would go a long way to securing Buffy's safety from the Council."

"It won't be easy," Spike intoned. "A wet behind the ears Watcher is more likely to spout off the handbook and regulations than he will be to accept the direct opposite to what he'd been taught."

"Or he might be more willing to accept the proof that the Council isn't what he thought it was when he realizes they sent him to his death without a second thought." Giles countered.

"This is all irrelevant if I don't want them coming." Buffy growled low. Sometimes it frustrated her when Spike and Giles got going on different topics. The two talked almost as if no one else was in the room. It was both scary and comforting that the two got along so well now.

"That's what I'm trying to tell you, Buffy. Quentin is sending them here whether we like it or not." Giles put his glasses back on. "We either remove the possible threat as soon as they get here, or we give it time to see which way they are willing to go. I vote for giving them that chance."

"I'm willing to give it a try." Spike put in his two cents worth. "Either way we watch her and the Watcher carefully to be sure they are on the up and up. If they aren't, then we know what we have to do. Might as well give them a chance first."

Joyce nodded in agreement with Spike. She hugged Buffy who was now at her side instead of behind her. "They deserve a chance. What kind of people would we be if we didn't give them an opportunity to prove themselves?"

Buffy sighed. She saw that she was outnumbered even amongst the four of them. She wondered what the other three of their official family of Scoobies would vote for. "I'm not comfortable with it, but I'll back up whatever the majority wants."

"I'll call the others to come over to discuss it." Giles headed for the phone.

"I'm taking my girl home." Spike dove for Buffy. He lifted her into his arms easily. "Since we've already given our vote, we're not needed. Right, Watcher?"

"That's fine, Spike." Giles dialed Willow's number. It was more than likely that Xander would be at Willow's house since he wasn't at Spike's. Hopefully he'd reach two people at once. "We'll let you know what is decided."

"Thanks, Rupert." Spike juggled the squirming Slayer in his arms to open the door. He hooked his foot behind it to close it.

"Hello?" Giles spoke into the phone. "Yes, it's Giles. We need to have a meeting tonight. Can you be here by 4?" There was a pause as the person on the other end of the line answered. "Great. We'll see both of you then, Xander." He hung up, and he dialed Dalton's cell phone number.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

About a block from their home, Buffy squirmed right out of Spike's arms. She took off in a dead run towards the house. "Catch me if you can." She taunted back to Spike.

Spike growled playfully. "Oh, I'll catch you all right, missy. Then you'll be in trouble." He bolted down the street after her.

"Promises, promises."

Anyone who looked out their windows would have been surprised to see only a blur of color as the two supernatural beings ran with full strength and speed down the lazy Sunnydale street.

Buffy stopped dead in her tracks at the edge of the front yard. Her mouth gaped open. She stared at the house that only a few weeks ago looked about ready to be condemned. She'd been skeptical when Spike spoke of buying the house and fixing it up. They picked all the colors and styles out together, but she never imagined it would look so good. If the outside looked this great, she had a feeling the inside was going to blow her away.

Spike grabbed Buffy around the waist from behind. He twirled her around and tossed her up in the air. He caught her in his arms. With confident steps he strode up the recently stained deck to the front door. "Welcome home, pet."

Buffy leaned over in Spike's arms. She turned the doorknob. The door opened easily. The lock wasn't based on a physical key but a mystical one. It was based on blood ... their blood.

Spike carried Buffy over the threshold. Although they weren't considered married in the human world, they were mated which was considered stronger than being wed in the demon world.

"Such a romantic." Buffy kissed Spike's lips. "You big softie." She teased.

"Oh really?" Spike carried Buffy upstairs to their new bedroom. He turned the corner through the doorway into the lavishly decorated room. During the renovations, he knocked down the wall adjoined to what used to be a bedroom next door to make a huge Master suite. In the center of the room, along the outside wall, was a four poster cherry wood bed adorned with crimson silk sheets.

"Wow." Buffy slid from Spike's arms to the ground. "This is gorgeous. It's like I envisioned it could be and so much more." She leaned back against Spike's chest.

"Only the best for you, pet." Spike cradled Buffy in his arms, and he rocked her from side to side. He rested his chin on her shoulder, kissing her neck.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Giles followed the maitre' d with Joyce to a table at one of Sunnydale's more ritzy restaurants. The Scooby meeting completed, he whisked Joyce off for a night on the town. Each Scooby would send their vote in to Giles' phone once they thought about it overnight. For now Giles put his full concentration on Joyce. He had something special planned for her.

Joyce noticed Giles was fidgeting a bit more tonight. She hadn't seen him this nervous around her in quite some time. She wondered what he was up to. When the maitre' d directed them to a private room with candles gracing a table for two, she became even more suspicious. "What's going on Rupert?"

Giles smiled warmly. He waited for the gentleman to pour two glasses of champagne and walk out of the room before he pulled out Joyce's chair for her. "Something special, darling." Instead of pushing the chair back in, he lowered himself to one knee next to Joyce.

Joyce's eyes widened. Giles seemed in a hurry to get the Scooby meeting over with, but she had no idea that he was planning something like this. When he practically ran up their bedroom before they left for dinner, she figured he needed to get his wallet. Now she wondered just what he picked up.

Giles looked up longingly at the woman who stole his heart so quickly. After Jenny he thought he wouldn't find love again. He certainly didn't expect to fall in love again so quickly, but he knew without a doubt that Joyce was the woman for him. "Joyce," he began, "I know we've only been dating for a short time, but you are already firmly wrapped around my heart."

Joyce held her breath. Her hands trembled against her thighs where they twisted around each other.

"Your fire and devotion warm me to the center of my being. Your tenacity and love complete me." Giles foraged through his pants pocket for the tiny velvet box he bought at a jewelry story weeks ago. Using one of Joyce's rings from her jewelry box, he had it sized to fit her perfectly. "I can not imagine my life without you, and I want you to know how much you are cherished and loved."

Joyce gasped at the now opened velvet jewelry box. She stared at the heart shaped emerald nestled in a bed of tiny ruby and diamond chips around it. She looked up at Giles with love shining in her eyes. "Oh Rupert."

Giles breathed a little easier because Joyce wasn't laughing at him. He'd never asked someone to marry him before, and he was very nervous. He pulled the ring from its home. He cradled one of Joyce's hands in his while the other readied the ring at the ring finger of her right hand. "Joyce Summers, will you do me the honor of becoming my wife for the rest of our days on this earth and beyond."

"Yes!" Joyce hugged Giles tightly after he slipped the ring on her finger. They shared a passionate kiss followed by more hugging and tears of joy falling down their faces. "I never thought I'd let another man into my life like this, Rupert, but I love you so much."

"And I you, Joyce. All my heart is yours. I want to spend the rest of my lifetime showing how much you are loved." Giles kissed her again. They were interrupted by the knock of their waiter on the door outside. Giles stood up behind Joyce and scooted her chair in. He leaned down to whisper into her ear after he called the waiter in, "We'll celebrate properly later." He kissed her cheek softly.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Buffy turned in Spike's arms. She backed away from him towards the bed. She ran her fingers down the buttons on the front of her blouse. Starting at the bottom she slipped each pearlized button through its buttonhole.

Spike watched with fascination at the little seductive display Buffy gave him. He stepped closer to her. He ached to touch her. While he worked on finishing the house, Buffy stayed at the mansion. He wanted it to be a surprise for her. It had been too long since they'd touched and shared a bed.

Buffy stopped revealing the skin underneath her shirt when Spike moved. She shook her head at him. "Nuh uh," She spoke. "You teased me through our link with all those images as you stroked yourself the last few nights. My turn to tease."

"I wasn't doing it intentionally, luv." Spike stopped and whimpered. "You didn't exactly help with that little display of thoughts while you showered last night."

Buffy huffed. "I was entitled to a little pleasure after the VERY graphic dream you had yesterday morning." She left the last two buttons alone. Her breasts were barely covered with the mostly open shirt. She lowered her hands to the waist of her jeans. "All those delicious images of our bodies mingling and grinding against each other."

Spike shivered in remembrance of the dream. "I missed you, pet." He felt himself grow harder every minute. His demon wanted to rip the rest of Buffy's shirt open, throw her on the bed and ravish her breasts with his teeth and tongue. "I can't be held responsible for what I dream."

Buffy grinned. She felt how close to the surface Spike's demon was. The power radiated off of him in waves of sexual tension and desire. She bent over, unzipped her boots, and then kicked them off. Her breasts exposed themselves when she bent over. They hung downward in the absence of a bra. When she woke up that morning she decided to torment her lover to the point of taking her. She knew how knowing that she had no bra on would tease him.

Spike growled. His cock pressed against his jeans so fully that it hurt to even move. 'Two can play at this game,' He thought. He unzipped his jeans, and his cock sprung forth quite happy to be out of its prison. He wrapped his hand around the pale shaft at the base. He caressed it in a couple full strokes and licked his lips.

Buffy groaned. 'That's not fair.' She unbuttoned her jeans then lowered the zipper. She slowly lowered the denim to reveal every inch of her tanned body. Once Buffy found out that she could still walk in the sun, she worked on maintaining her California golden tan. She kicked the discarded jeans at Spike's face followed by her wet panties.

Spike snatched Buffy's panties from the air. With his free hand he buried the silk and lace into his nose. He inhaled deeply the scent that was his lover's essence. His growl deepened. 'I'll never get enough of that scent, beloved.'

'I hope not,' Buffy answered. Speech wasn't possible during times like this when their bodies were as tight as a coiled spring. It was at these times that their telepathic link came in very handy.

'I'll never get enough of you, Buffy. Eternity isn't long enough to spend with you.' Spike narrowed his eyes on Buffy's body, laid out on the bed and exposing herself to his gaze. Her glistening mound called to him, and he forced himself to remain still. He wanted to bury his face into the sweet honey of her pussy. He practically drooled at the thought of her taste on his tongue.

Buffy followed Spike's lust filled eyes. She teased her fingertips up her stomach. One hand disappeared beneath her shirt to tease and pinch taunt nipples that showed through the shirt. The other hand worked to release the last two buttons. The shirt fell completely open, and it was removed shortly thereafter.

Spike followed the trail of her fingers. His tongue longed to trace the path her fingers took. When Buffy's hand dipped back down her stomach to nestle in the trimmed curls surrounding her sex, his patience broke. Before Buffy's fingers pinched her clit in the tips, Spike pounced on his lover.

Buffy squeaked out her surprise. She wondered how long she would be able to tease Spike before he would be unable to keep from responding to her scent and their shared needs. She found herself ably pinned to the bed with both her hands caught in one of Spike's hands.

Spike's t-shirt was pulled off of him before he ever made it to the bed. He kicked his boots off a few seconds after his body hit the bed. He grabbed Buffy's hands in one of his. His tongue lashed out to tease at Buffy's nipples. He licked and suckled his way around each breast then nibbled each nipple with care.

Buffy arched into Spike's touch. Her body hummed in the anticipation of their joining. She moaned out loud when his fangs, now extended into his mouth, grazed over her nipple enough to draw blood. The smell of her blood in the air called forth her own demon, and she "vamped" out.

Spike felt his lover change into her demon form. He looked up at her through hooded eyes of passion. He bit down harder into Buffy's breast around her nipple. He shook his head back and forth a little to bury his fangs into her deeper.

Buffy responded eagerly to her Sire's bite. She tried to pull her hands from Spike's grasp. She stilled when he growled deeply. She whimpered in need. "Please, Spike. I need "

"I know what you need, baby." Spike lifted his head from Buffy's breast. He kissed a trail down her stomach. "This sweet little place needs my attention?" He teased with a lick up between her nether lips to her extended clit. He let go of her hands.

"Yes!" Buffy's hands shot down into Spike's hair. She arched her hips up and ground her pussy into Spike's lips.

Spike removed his jeans with one hand. He worked his pants down with one foot and then the other. His face never left the sweet haven of his lover's sex. He lapped up every bit of her sweet essence. He felt her tense beneath him. He knew she was near her climax by the way she panted and squirmed. He felt the need for her release through their link. He knew what would send her over the edge.

Buffy screamed out her release the moment Spike's fangs pierced either side of her clit. Her whole body quaked and quivered in a wave of bliss. Her hands tightened in his hair to hold him in place while her body bucked repeatedly against his face.

Spike grinned in male pride at being able to pleasure the woman he loved. He drank in the mixture of her blood and cream of satisfaction deeply. When he felt Buffy's body come down from its high, he leapt up her body. His cock plunged into her still twitching pussy in one solid thrust.

"SPIKE!" Buffy screamed out in surprise. Her lover never ceased to amaze her. Sex with him was never the same. He varied positions, pleasures, and taught her something new every time.

Spike's cock beat at the back of her channel into her cervix. It plunged deeply and poked at the entrance of her womb.

Buffy lifted her legs straight towards the ceiling. She wrapped her ankles around his neck. Her ass lifted from the bed, and the angle of Spike's penetration changed. Both lovers moaned in delight at the new angle.

Spike's thrusts picked up speed. 'Gonna fuck you into the mattress so hard you won't leave this bed for days.' He snarled from the force of the next thrust into Buffy's tight canal.

Buffy squeezed her inner muscles around Spike's cock. She knew what he liked, and she was more than happy to oblige. Her muscles fluttered around the rock hard shaft piercing her body.

Spike threw his head back with a roar of pleasure. He would never tire of those wonderful Slayer muscles. His thrusts quickened in their pace. His gaze locked with Buffy's. In a flash his struck, his fangs buried into Buffy's neck.

Buffy howled her release into bliss yet again. She came hard. Her muscles tightened like a vice on Spike's cock in pulses, and she buried her own fangs in Spike's neck.

Spike came hard. His cock burst forth with thick streams of his cold seed. He buried his cock in deeply, and his seed pulsed against Buffy's cervix to fill her.

Buffy careened over the edge again the moment Spike's seed touched her womb. She shivered and bucked against Spike's body.

They both held each other tightly. When both of them came back down to earth, they retracted their fangs from each other's necks.

"Mine, as I am yours," Spike spoke softly and reverently.

"Yours, as you are mine," Buffy answered lovingly.

Spike flipped them over to ease the weight of his body off of Buffy. His semi-hard cock remained inside of her.

Buffy collapsed on top of Spike. Both of them panted even though neither needed to breathe. She buried her face into the crook of his neck. The Slayer within lay contently satisfied from the raw need she was able to bring forth in her Sire and lover. The woman within felt warm and complete, surrounded by the love of her beloved. The only time her demon and human sides were satisfied was in Spike's presence.

Spike wrapped his arms loosely around his Mate. He was content on so many levels. His demon languished in the aftermath of their passion and blood sharing. The man inside him relished in the love and connection he felt to the woman he loved. In Buffy's arms and presence was the only time he felt completely satiated and at peace.

While Spike and Buffy slept peacefully, spent after their night of lovemaking and passionate sex, a text message came through the encrypted system to their phones. The Scoobies' vote was finished. By majority vote in the positive, Spike and Buffy would meet Faith and Wesley upon entering Sunnydale. It was time to seek out more allies.

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**The End**

(There is a sequel to this story called Living For Love. You can check it out from the Story Index or the link here.)

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