saw Eternity the other night
Like a great Ring of pure and endless light,
All calm, as it was bright,
And round beneath it, Time in hours, days, years
Driv’n by the spheres
Like a vast shadow mov’d, in which the world
And all her train were hurl’d;
O fools (said I,) thus to prefer dark night
Before true light … and hate the day
Because it shews the way,
The way which from this dead and dark abode
Leads up to God,
A way where you might tread the Sun, and be
More bright than he.
Vaughan “The World”
If he had not accepted the invitation to the party, he would not have
seen the flyer. If he’d not seen the flyer, everything would have been
different. He could not say for better or for worse, for the thread of
reality where he didn’t go didn’t happen. The other one had.
He didn’t do parties. He still didn’t do parties, even after ten
years of being human. Being human hadn’t given him personality traits
he’d been missing before: gregariousness, affability. It seemed to have
amplified those he had cultivated as a vampire. He knew, though, that
this wasn’t actually what had happened. He’d gotten smaller, less
able to contain that powerful personality, so what he had been as a vampire
was now exaggerated in his human form. Reserved, aloof, taciturn, unfriendly,
inhospitable—he’d heard them all applied to him over the last ten years.
He didn’t care. He’d brought other things over to his human state, too—less
attractive vampire traits. He still longed for the kick blood had given
him. He coveted power over people. He enjoyed pain. Being a little unfriendly,
therefore, wasn’t something he was going to worry about. As a vampire
he’d relished these desires. As a vampire with a soul trying to be a good
man he’d quashed them. As a man who had discovered that no one really
cared if he was good or not, they sometimes overwhelmed him. Inhospitable
was best when you occasionally fantasised about torturing your guests.
For a while, in the early days of a heartbeat, he’d thought his life would
be normal—whatever that was. There had been Nina and sunshine and finding
a life. Then there had been Maria, then Emma and then Heather, until he’d
realised that he was sleeping with a succession of women whose names ended
with the same soft sigh as his inadequate orgasms. It had obsessed him
for a while, so he’d lived with someone called Rosie. Then he could hardly
recall her face. Now he didn’t live alone; he lived on his own. He saw
a subtle but important distinction between these two.
Once solitary living had begun, the desires had grown—perhaps those soft,
grunted orgasms had quelled unnatural desire with their banal normality.
The effect of these passions wasn’t all bad. Like many creative people,
he used them to fuel his fantasies, and these fantasies he captured on
paper: terrifying yet beautiful works of art.
Looking at Angel’s paintings is like reading Milton whilst being given
This was his favourite review, and he kept it in a book of other, similar
reviews, which he’d clipped from newspapers. He was famous, despite being
reserved, aloof, taciturn, unfriendly, and inhospitable. Sometimes he
wondered if people wanted him to be that way—if they didn’t expect
it from a famous artist who could produce such horrifying beauty.
His agent threw the party to celebrate his latest collection. He’d called
it Gifts, and each picture had depicted an appalling gift, but one presented
with such delicacy that you were tempted to accept it, despite the consequences
to health or sanity. He’d been tempted, when finishing the series, to
end with one of a prophecy, but he wasn’t given to morbid self-pity. He’d
wanted to be human and now he was. Although he did toy with the idea of
one day doing a series called No Point Crying Over Spilt Milk.
So, slightly curious to see the effect this latest collection would have
on the culture vultures that bought his art, he accepted the invitation
and went to the party.
There was one other characteristic he’d carried forward from being eternal,
like some ironic ledger of life: his beauty. If anything, with warm, tanned
skin, he was even more beautiful than he’d been dead. But he was ten years
older. And not getting any younger. It always made him smile when that
inane saying drifted into his head. Not getting any younger. He’d been
over three hundred years old. Was he now thirty-six, or had those ten
years just been added on to that already large tally? It seemed to him
that in many ways he gotten a lot younger over the last ten years.
As a celebrity, as a beautiful, reclusive celebrity, he never really had
to make an effort—even at parties. People wanted to stand with him, talk
to him, laugh at anything he said and put a hand on his arm as if they
could carry a faint trace of his fame or his beauty with them into their
lives, which were not enriched. He never wanted to maim and torture more,
and when he returned to his apartment after such events, his desires spilled
from him either in his art or in violent, self-release, which sometimes
left him almost paralysed with exhaustion.
For a break, just to get some air, he went to the lobby of the gallery,
and there he’d seen the flyer for the book signing—a book about the life and premature death of a nineteenth century
English poet called George Summers. He picked up the single yellow sheet,
his heart speeding up slightly as it did when he tightened a silk scarf
around his neck and pounded his hard flesh to orgasm. The book had caused
something of storm in the literary world—or so the flyer claimed—told
as it was in the form of an interview with the dead man: his testimony
from beyond the grave, so to speak. The author, Henry Benwell, a bespectacled
young man with a shadowed face, who had already published a number of
similarly astounding accounts, claimed to be a medium. According to him,
this time streams of poems had arrived first. They had then been followed
by the startling, rich and evocative details of Summers’s life, which
had so rocked the literary world with their veracity.
Neither Henry Benwell nor his best-selling books interested Angel at all.
George Summers did—but then Angel had killed him,
so he guessed he had some right to be interested in what this man might
say from beyond the grave.
* * * * * * *
Angel wasn’t fooled by Henry Benwell’s fakeries—until he bought a copy of the book and read it one night, eyes flickering
rapidly over the words. If Henry Benwell was a fake then he was a very
good one. Angel couldn’t fault the accuracy of the tale, the way it evoked
the world of nineteenth century London. He stopped a few pages from the
end, made himself some coffee but returned like an addict. Summers had
met a man at a poetry reading who had purported to like his work—intended
to buy some for a small Irish literary publication he ran. Angel recognised
the lie. It was his, after all. One of his best, it had slid off Angelus’s
tongue like sweet wine against waiting lips.
Summers did not claim to have been killed by a vampire. He wasn’t that
explicit or foolish. His decline was swathed in unrequited desire; his
creative life’s blood spilled for naught. But Angel read between the lines.
He remembered another draining, another desire kindled and extinguished
for his own pleasure. Summers didn’t accuse him. Angel accused himself,
and he began a series of paintings, which he was to call Accusations from
Beyond the Grave.
Two nights later he dressed and went out to the book signing.
* * * * * * * * *
Angel was never sure if people recognised him or if the glances and murmured
comments were a reaction to his physical presence. One day, he swore,
he’d leave off the leather and silk, wear corduroy, wool and flat hair
and test his fame. Perhaps he should not have made his first series of
paintings obsessive self-portraits, which he had entitled Portrait of
the Artist as a Human. His brooding, sultry, dangerous image was now forever
caught in canvas and allied to his name.
There was actually a line snaking around the bookstore, and he had to
wait. He listened to the desultory conversation and quickly got that he
was possibly the only one interested in an obscure poet. People wanted
to see the medium, Benwell, touch him, have him touch them or their loved
ones who were now so far beyond their touch.
Suddenly, Angel sensed that he was being watched with more than the usual
admiring interest. It was dark, and his eyesight was quite normal now,
despite sometimes seeing the world bathed in the crimson of blood. A
young woman caught his eye and quickly looked away. He smiled inwardly
and noted her interest for future reference. An older man was studying
him with a slight frown that could only mean recognition. He seemed about
to come forward—autograph? Praise?—then changed his mind as the line shifted
forward. Who was it then? Angel’s eyes raked the line in front then he
turned to lean on the wall and checked behind him. A young man had been
studying his back. Angel squinted, trying to look without looking. He
lost sight of him behind two tall men arguing over a copy of the book.
Then a hand caught his arm.
‘Fancy seeing you here, Mate. Fancy seeing you at all....’
Angel’s mouth dried, and whatever cool he’d perfected over the last ten
years—sexy, reclusive, dangerous artist—left him entirely. ‘Spike!’
Spike smirked. ‘Long time no see.’
Does he mean I look old?
Angel quickly repressed the thought, angry with the vanity it implied
and something else he wasn’t going to examine. ‘Spike. Jesus. What the
hell are you…?’ What’s he done to his hair? His clothes? Is this really
Spike held up a book. ‘Can you believe the stuff he’s got in here?’ He
opened a page to a section marked with a creased page and underlined with
bright red ink blood? and read, disgusted, ‘“Part of the danger
in those days, being unpublished, was to stop other, lesser poets stealing
my work. There was one in particular: a dreadful little Englishman called
William, an acquaintance of my Irish colleague. I complained of him to
my friend, and his interest ceased forthwith.” Bloody bastard! As if I’d
want any of his crap.’
Spike grinned and slapped the book against Angel’s chest. ‘I told you
not to leave all those papers and journals after we’d finished with him.
Should ‘ave burned them like I said. But, oh no, the great Angelus never
listened to anyone. Bloody Benwell must have had a field day when ‘e found
‘em. Anyhows. All’s well that ends well—flushed you out of your hidey
hole after ten years.’
‘I’ve not been hiding.’
‘So, how’s life treating you?’ He laughed. ‘So to speak.’
Angel pushed away from the line and began walking back toward his apartment.
‘Hey!’ Spike jogged to his side. ‘Where you going?’
‘Well, that’s nice, I must say! We meet after ten long years apart, me
pining for your….’
‘Shut up, Spike.’ Suddenly Angel stopped and said less bitterly, ‘How
have you been?’
Spike wobbled his hand. ‘Dead. You know. Oh, sorry, I forgot, you don’t
‘Don’t start this with me again, Spike. We’ve done this.’
‘We’ve done it? You’ve done it, you mean. You stole my Shanshu and….’
Suddenly, he stopped, grinning. ‘Nah, I can’t make it believable anymore.’
He nudged Angel in a familiar way and continued walking; now forcing Angel
to stride out and catch him. ‘I’m fine. Last ten have been the best so
‘Never got time to enjoy the soul with all that Wolfram and Hart business.’
He was silent for a moment, and Angel knew beyond a doubt that the names
of old, dead friends were flicking in Spike’s mind as they were in his.
Spike shrugged softly and continued, ‘But now it’s just peachy. Got the
world at my feet; feel good about myself, and I’m enjoying… life. Tryin’
a few new things. You?’
Angel nodded too quickly. ‘Yes. Enjoying life. Of course.’
‘You have a good memory. She’s… long gone.’
‘Jesus. Sorry, Pet. How’d she die?’
‘Not dead, you moron… we split up.’
‘Oh. Bummer. I liked her.’
Angel gave him a sideward glance, and Spike had the grace to blush faintly.
He held up his hands in mock surrender. ‘Never was very good at lying.
So, you married? Kiddies?’
Angel felt absurdly unhappy about this line of questioning. He felt he
ought to be able to say no to this as easily as he would to someone asking
him if he’d started smoking. Fortunately, Spike heard his denial in the
silence and changed the subject by saying, ‘You never got it together
with Buffy then?’
Angel preferred the marriage and kids question. He shook his head. ‘Did
Spike looked horrified. ‘Get it on with the Slayer again?’
‘No! Christ, Spike. No! Have you seen her?’
‘And why wouldn’t I get it on with her?’ Slight edge to his voice.
Angel said between gritted teeth, ‘Why the horrified thought when I asked
Spike laughed and punched his arm. ‘Touché. Not senile then, despite the
‘Huh?’ Angel put his hand to his hair and said angrily, ‘It’s not grey.
Spike stopped. ‘Jeez. Raw nerve there. I’ll file that away to pick at
and use later.’
‘Fuck off, Spike.’
‘Yeah, read my mind.’ He gestured across the street. ‘It was nice meeting
up with you again, anyway, Pet.’ He stuck out his hand in a clear gesture
‘What?’ Angel couldn’t process what he was hearing. ‘You can’t leave.’
He heard something he didn’t like in his voice and clarified, ‘Ten years,
Spike. We’ve some catching up to do….’
Spike held his fingers up and began counting off points. ‘You’ve had lots
of girlfriends. I haven’t. You’ve got a life and a job. I haven’t. You’ve
got a home. I haven’t.’ He paused theatrically. ‘Anything else?’ Small
shake of his head. ‘Nope, that’s about it. See ya, Angel. In another ten
years maybe.’ He strode off toward the street.
Angel couldn’t believe what he saw.
Spike looked to the right.
He got to the edge of the sidewalk and looked right. An Englishman abroad
finally betrayed by habit.
A car hit him. He was caught in the lights for a moment before being tossed
into the dark. Hitting the road with a sickening thump, he was run over
by another car desperately trying to swerve to avoid him.
Angel ran to the fallen figure, leaping over the hood of the second car,
which was a mistake borne of the same habits of several lifetimes that
had made Spike look right. He wasn’t superhuman now and landed with a
painful wrench to his ankle, which he felt for about a second before he
knelt to the sprawled figure. Without his duster and artificially blond
hair, Spike looked even more vulnerable than he might have done bleeding
and broken in the street. A few people were beginning to gather.
Angel picked him up and mumbled something, pushing past the on-lookers
to the sidewalk.
His apartment was two blocks away, and Spike was incredibly heavy. No.
He was weak. He was just a man with human muscle in his arms and
back. Two blocks. It seemed to take longer than the ten years had.
Irritatingly, Spike began to revive just as Angel struggled with the keys
to his apartment. He’d shifted him over his shoulder to carry him the
last mile and now he sat slumped against the large, sliding door. Angel
slid the door; Spike tipped over then said groggily, ‘Shit.’
Angel helped him to his feet and led him into the vast living space. Easing
him onto the couch, he crouched down in front of him. ‘You okay?’
‘Oh, yeah. Peachy. What hit…? Oh. Car.’ He eased his shirt out of his
trousers and peered at his belly, which had taken the main impact of the
first car. Angel hissed at the bruising but then an irrational surge of
envy erupted from his own belly. He rose, wincing now at the pain in his
ankle, which wasn’t going to heal in a few hours. He didn’t heal anymore.
Why should he waste time feeling sorry for Spike?
He did though. It was irrational, but he could almost feel the pain of
the broken bones and it didn’t help to know that they would heal.
He strode over the fridge and pulled out a couple of beers. When he turned,
Spike was no longer on the couch. His shirt was, but he was standing bare-chested
in front of the first of the Accusations canvases. Slowly, he turned in
place, taking in the high ceilings, the acres of floor space, the studio
windows that would flood the place with daylight in a few hours, the minimal
furniture. The loneliness?
Angel took the opportunity to do his own study. No wonder he’d taken a
while to recognise his.... What is Spike to me now? Perhaps he’d
not recognised him fully until he’d spoken—the accent still familiar.
The rest wasn’t. Gone was the trademark hair, replaced by shorn, downy
stubble of an indeterminate brown. Gone were the trademark don’t fuck
with me, I’m hard clothes. He looked now like someone you avoided
at railway stations: someone who’d either suck you or knife you for five
dollars, depending on your inclinations. Someone who should be out on
a ranch, forced to learn the value of the American dream. Someone for
whom that dream was too late. ‘What’s with the fifteen-year-old-hustler
Spike turned abruptly, then winced and held his ribs. When the pain subsided,
he hitched up the low-slung combat pants with the strategic rips. ‘Duh.
It’s urban grunge, Angel. Where you bin the last ten years? Oh, silly
me—here. What the fuck did this place cost?’
‘A lot. Beer?’
Spike nodded then seemed to regret the sharp movement. With a laugh at
his own foolishness, holding his head, he made his way very slowly to
the couch and sat back down. He picked up his shirt. ‘Bugger. It’s ruined.’
‘It was ruined before the car hit you.’
‘Ah, but that ruination cost a lot of money to achieve. Now it’s just….’
He tossed it down and took a swig of beer. ‘So, ten years.’
Angel sat down at the other end of the couch and nodded. ‘How have you
‘Okay. The same.’
Do I look the same? Angel could not tell from Spike’s expression
the answer to this question he did not dare ask.
‘What’s with the big ugly painting thing?’
Spike turned stiffly and looked at the preliminary work on the painting.
Angel frowned. ‘It’s not… ugly.’
‘Actually, it is.’ Spike got up and went to stand in front of it. ‘It
looks like someone’s being tortured.’
‘What do you want, Spike?’
‘Want? I don’t want anything. You brought me here.’
‘Jesus, Spike. We saved the world together; we’ve not seen each other
for ten years, and you were about to walk off into the freaking night!’
‘What do you want from me, Angel? Do you want me to validate all
this for you?’
‘No. I—.’ Angel folded his arms over his chest. ‘It’s good to see you.
Spike came back to the couch and stood eyeing Angel thoughtfully. ‘That’s
Angel smiled ruefully. He couldn’t deny this. He almost said you’re
no threat now, but realised just in time that it was he who had lost
Suddenly, watching something in Angel’s expression, Spike said gently,
‘I’ve missed y—the old life with Wesley and Fred… and you had it a lot
longer than I did. Do you? Miss it?’
Angel hesitated then nodded quickly.
Spike pursed his lips looking thoughtful. ‘Can I have a shirt?’
‘Huh?’ Angel shook his head, catching up. ‘Sure. But—.’ He fiddled with
the clasp on his watch. ‘You’re not going?’
‘Have to, Luv. Things to do. Big scary vampire things.’
Angel looked up, saw an irresistible twinkle in the blue eyes and responded
in kind, throwing Spike’s torn shirt at him. ‘Moron.’
He went over to his bedroom space and pulled a T-shirt out of a drawer.
Without turning around, he said, ‘We haven’t caught up properly. Another
When Spike spoke, Angel jumped. He was hardly a foot away, leaning into
his ear. ‘I’m counting on it.’ With that, the T-shirt was taken from him,
and Spike was gone faster than Angel’s now sluggish senses could follow.
* * * * * * *
Spike jogged down the stairs, tucking the T-shirt into his pants.
He scanned the street, grinned and ran up to the figure waiting for him
in the lea of a doorway. ‘Hi.’
Spike draped his arm over the young man’s shoulders, and they began to
walk slowly along. ‘I wouldn’t have known him—’cept for the hair, the
face and the clothes, course.’
Henry Benwell poked him in the ribs. ‘So, you’ve decided?’ His voice didn’t
match the lightness of the gesture.
Spike shook his head. ‘Nah. Those were just the outside things.’
‘Ah. You’re still not sure about the… inside?’
Spike pouted. ‘Well, we didn’t have time for much chit chat—didn’t want to appear too obvious.’
‘How did you get him to invite you up there?’
Spike grinned. ‘Painfully.’ He turned and hugged the man tighter. ‘So,
how did my book signing go?’
Henry sighed. ‘It made me feel like a fraud—as it always does.’
‘Hey, Luv, you type them up for me. You deserve that credit.’
‘Bastard. They all think I’m almost holy, Spike. I don’t like fooling
Spike said slowly, with just the right hint of amusement, ‘But you do
commune with the dead. You commune very nicely, Pet—trust me.’
Once more, he got poked for his trouble, which seemed to be the effect
he wanted anyway. ‘So….’ They turned into an expensive apartment block,
nodded at the doorman and went into the elevator together. Spike leant
his arms either side of Henry’s head. ‘….speaking of communing.’
Henry laughed and extricated himself. ‘You’ve got to be kidding! I’m in
L.A., Spike. I don’t have to sleep with the dead for a little fun.’
Spike caught at his T-shirt and pulled him close. ‘You cheeky bastard.’
They kissed for a while until the doors eased apart. Spike pulled out
some keys, and they let themselves into an elegant apartment.
Spike gave the young man a pat on his backside. ‘Go out then. I’ve got
stuff to do anyway.’
‘Scary vampire—?’ Spike kissed him hard and cut off his mocking question.
Henry gave him a look then said more sadly, ‘You’re going to brood, aren’t
‘I’m going to think. There’s a difference.’
‘You should have just told him. Let him help you decide.’
‘NO!’ Spike’s eyes flashed with real anger, but the man wasn’t fazed and
stood his ground. Contritely, Spike added, ‘We’ve bin through this—he’s
got ‘nough on his plate. He don’t need my problems.’
‘You mean he wouldn’t choose what you’d want him to choose.’
‘Go find a little fuck-toy, Henry, and leave me be tonight.’
‘Yeah. Thought so.’ With that deadpan observation, the younger man disappeared
into a bedroom and left Spike on his own.
Spike went and stood in front of a large canvas he had purchased earlier
that week, now propped against a wall, as if waiting to be hung. It was
called Her Birthday Gift. Spike wondered if anyone else looking at the
delicately wrapped box with a hint of pink staining would guess what lay
within. He knew, of course. He’d been there when Angelus had cut it out
of a still living body. He looked at the second canvas, then the third.
He’d become something of an avid collector these days. But then, there
wasn’t much about Angel’s life over the last ten years that he didn’t
That was part of the problem.
Spike heard them come in sometime in the night but ignored it and curled
back into the dream he’d been enjoying.
Later, he heard familiar, easy to distinguish noises but ignored those,
Only when the bed depressed and a sing-song voice announced, ‘I’ve brought
you a present,’ did he open one eye. Henry was looking dishevelled and
inordinately pleased with himself. Another young man—bloody hell, shouldn’t
you be doin’ ‘omework?— was staring wide-eyed at him from across the
room. Spike nodded in a friendly way. ‘Morning.’
The boy nodded back. His pupils were unnaturally dilated, and when Spike
turned to Henry, his were in a similar state. Henry laughed at the scrutiny
and straddled him. ‘Hypocrite. What did you take tonight to get high?
Spike huffed. ‘In my dreams maybe. It was pig. It was cold, and who is
‘He’s called Todd.’
The boy came a step closer. ‘Tom.’
Henry grinned sheepishly at Spike. ‘It was noisy.’
Spike shifted back so he was sitting against the headboard and eyed the
boy. ‘How old are you?’
‘Twenty. How old are you?’
Henry laughed. ‘You wouldn’t want to know. So, Spike, do you like my present?’
‘I don’t know. What does it do?’ He held out his hand, and the boy came
closer still. ‘I won’t bite.’
Henry tipped off, laughing (the hysteria more chemically induced than
from Spike’s sense of humour).
Spike ignored him. ‘Innit a bit dangerous, Pet? Even if you are the grand
age of twenty—coming up to a place you don’t know with Christ knows who?
I did it once, and it got me in really bad trouble. Still in that
trouble, you might say….’
‘I can take care of myself. Are we going to get something on here, or
am I wasting my time?’
Henry had recovered from his fit of giggles and was kneeling, unbuttoning
his shirt. ‘You’ll have to forgive Spike, here; he’s a bit new to all
this—despite his age.’
Spike shot him a glance, which wasn’t all friendly. Henry chose to ignore
it and reached for the boy’s shirt. ‘Let’s help him decide.’ He pulled
the boy closer and began to kiss him as he unbuttoned the shirt, his hands
then sliding lower and snapping the belt open.
Spike drew up his knees and watched. This was becoming something of a
routine in new cities, and he was wondering if he was beginning to get
bored of it. Things seemed to bore him more quickly now, as if the passage
of the years was catching up on him. Sometimes, he had the frightening
thought that he might end up one day flicking from frame to frame, more
like an animation than real life, each frame boring him more quickly until
his life became nothing more than a blur.
Which is how he had met Henry. How he had started this thing with Henry,
which was certainly not something he’d ever thought to want or enjoy.
He wasn’t off women entirely. He wasn’t off their soft bodies and their
conveniently well-matched holes, but he’d got bored. Like smoking: he’d
given cigarettes up for a while, too. Smoking bored him now, but
next year it might seem fun again. Like women. Possibly. For now, he was
enjoying men. A lot.
They were on the bed now, naked, Henry underneath the slim boy, but watching
Spike almost challengingly. Spike grinned and shifted until he knelt behind
the boy, rubbing his thumbs speculatively over his rounded ass cheeks.
Then he eased them apart and knelt closer.
The boy whirled around. ‘Hey! Condom?’
Spike and Henry exchanged glances, and Henry said patiently, ‘I told you,
Todd—Terry—Tom? I explained all this, remember? You don’t need one with—.’
‘Fuck you!’ The boy scrambled off the bed. ‘You’ve gotta be out of your
minds! That was just a line! You wear a fucking bag, or I’m outta here.’
Spike tumbled onto his back, not needing this. He wasn’t that bored.
Henry tried soothing the furious boy, and their voices faded into the
other room. Spike spread himself on the bed and wondered, for some reason,
what Angel was doing.
No one had ever lived in that vast apartment with him; that Spike had
sussed within the first minutes (despite playing the injured vampire).
Actually, he had been injured. He sat up and examined one or two
breaks and bruises. They only made him think of his dilemma though. How
was he supposed to make this damn decision? It was too much for anyone.
He mulled over Henry’s suggestion that he just tell Angel, but that
wasn’t going to happen. He could almost hear Angel’s response now. He
needed to make his choice unencumbered by Angel’s views on the matter.
Henry nodded glumly. ‘I even told him you were a vampire so didn’t carry
diseases. Didn’t help.’
‘Uh huh. You thought tellin’ ‘im I was dead and a demon would encourage
him to let me fuck him without a condom. Good plan.’
‘Maybe you should just wear one!’
Spike waved his hand imperiously. ‘One of the few privileges, and I’m
not about to give it up. Come here.’
Henry grinned and climbed on beside him. ‘Maybe I won’t do it without
Spike laughed. ‘Yeah. Turn over.’
‘You are so romantic, Spike.’
‘You’re the one who woke me up from a perfectly nice dream and expected
me to perform for your entertainment. You owe me.’
‘Am I paying nicely?’
Spike was engrossed in the sensation of sliding into the hot, tight body,
so only nodded.
Henry grunted with pleasure and pushed back against him, until he was
sitting in Spike’s lap, deeply filled. Spike nuzzled at his neck, the
warmth and thin vulnerability of the skin tempting him, hardening him.
Henry whispered, ‘Do it,’ so Spike changed and sliced delicately into
the welcoming flesh. As Henry’s blood flowed into his mouth, he released
inside him—no preliminaries, no movement, just spontaneous release that
flooded the young man’s body. They sighed, and Spike withdrew his mouth.
Henry grinned. ‘Now we can do it properly.’
Spike pushed him over onto his hands and knees and, riding on his own
lubrication, began to work his almost constant hardness into the yielding
flesh. Come squished out between his pale cock and the boy’s dark, spread
hole. It was intensely fascinating to Spike, and he hoped it would stay
so for a while longer before ennui with this overcame him, too. He suspected
he had a few more years left to go yet…. He licked his teeth as he plunged
in and out, enjoying a faint aftertaste of human blood. The bruise on
Henry’s neck was vivid, the epitome of a love bite. What could be more
loving than allowing someone to drink from you?
Spike grinned and ran his hands down the curved spine. He was fond of
this human—very fond, and he knew they made
a good pair. Which took all his thoughts right back to Angel. He’d never
thought about Angel whilst fucking before, and that was novel. But they’d
made a good pair, too—in their own way. Especially in that last, great
battle. Maybe it had been Wesley’s death, but Angel had relied on him
more, deferred to him more, needed him more. And he’d risen to
the challenge. They’d faced death together and triumphed and then… parted.
It still left a bitter taste in Spike’s mouth, ruining his enjoyment of
the blood, when he thought about Angel’s reward. The bastards had even
given it to him in the middle of a sunny day, so Angel had metaphorically
as well as physically stepped away from him into sunlight. He’d been left
in the dark, seething.
For about a year.
He was over it now. Well over it. And hence his current dilemma.
‘I am down here, by the way.’
Spike grunted an apology and gave his attention back to the matter in
hand. ‘So, how did you like L.A. at night, Pet?’
‘Are we going to stay here for a while?’
Spike smiled. Henry had liked it—he could tell by the wistful longing
in his companion’s tone. It couldn’t be easy living with a dead man. ‘While
I decide, yeah.’
They never discussed what would happen after that decision had been made—to
them. There wasn’t any point. Spike would not let this thing with the
human affect his choice, so there was little point discussing the maybes
He felt flattering tremors in the man’s deepest recesses, evidence that
he was very close. Too soon. Always too soon for him. He tried to will
his orgasm forward so they could come together. Henry began to cry out.
Spike slowed down and made his thrusts into slides, long and slow, in
rhythm to the man’s spills, pumping them out of the tight body. When it
was over, Henry’s arms gave way, and he lay panting on the damp bedclothes.
Spike eased out of him, replacing his cock with the tip of his thumb,
just swirling it around the spread walls while he worked his thickness
as hard as it needed to be worked.
Behind closed lids, he toyed with erotic images to fuel his orgasm, stoking
the fires of need deep in his gut. Before he could stop it, he saw a canvas
covered in violent images; a man tainted with paint, like blood; cool
flesh spread beneath his, gradually warming to his friction. The smell
of coppery blood filled his senses. He gasped and held his spurting cock
to the hot anus, cooling it with his streams of come.
With a grunt of finality, he reinserted into the twitching hole and spread
himself over the warm human, entwining their fingers.
Henry stretched luxuriously under the weight. ‘Tom doesn’t know what he
Spike had been thinking about Angel so only grunted in reply.
‘What’s on the agenda for tomorrow?’
Spike kissed his back. ‘You’ve got interviews.’ Henry groaned. ‘I’m thinking
of the subject for our next book, by the way.’
Henry turned his head, his interest piqued. Spike began to trail his tongue
over the sweaty skin. ‘I think a certain gentleman in black is gonna start
talking to you from the grave, Pet.’
‘Go on… who?’
‘Bloke was a Nazi. I used to meet him at certain select parties. He’s
gonna start tellin’ you ‘bout sex and the SS.’
‘Great title. It’ll probably sell better than one about an obscure English
Spike chuckled softly. ‘He’s only obscure cus we ate ‘im.’
‘That’s not funny.’
Spike sighed and rolled off. He was still hard, and it had been warm and
comforting in the soft body. ‘Bloody PC world these days.’
‘I’m not sure eating people was ever funny.’
‘I’m paying you to type not be smart.’
Henry wriggled closer and snuggled around the hard, angular body. ‘You’re
not paying me at all, in case you haven’t noticed.’
‘Go to sleep. You don’t want to look…. Actually, you’re supposed to be
a medium. You should look shabby and hung over and suffering from lack
of sleep. Get up and make me a snack.’
Henry didn’t move; Spike hadn’t expected him to. He hugged him closer
as he slept and went back to thinking about Angel.
Angel had been expecting Spike from the moment he opened his eyes. It
was just like him to turn up unexpectedly, inconsiderate and in the way.
He didn’t go out, though, just in case….
Tension began to build in his body, although he could not assign it a
cause. His canvas called to him, willing him to come and release upon
it. When the sun began to angle directly in through the panels of glass
in the roof, he needed it so much his fingers were shaking as he undressed.
He painted naked.
At first it had been a serious attempt to keep his clothes safe. Then
he’d begun to enjoy the freedom. Then the release he found from painting
became more… tangible. He sometimes wondered if the pretty young things
who found his work so sensual had any idea what actually went into making
He began to work in some detail on the broad outline he’d completed the
other day, but soon realised this was not what he needed. Strokes became
bolder as he developed the original idea in strong colours. The sun warmed
his skin. Warm skin made him stiffen. He let the knob of his heavy cock
brush the canvas as he worked, enjoying the feel of slight rasping on
its sensitive tip. Sweat began to trickle down his back and chest, and
he used the excuse of rubbing it off to touch himself, running his fingers
through tight hair and around the root of his power. Thin trickles of
crystal fluid then watered the paint where they bubbled, and his knob
took on the hues of the paint. The apartment was hot. He was hot. His
blood felt alive, as if it wanted to climb out of his body and take up
independent life. He needed something more than this. He threw his brush
down and tipped his head up to the sun.
Why isn’t he here?
Suddenly, Angel opened his eyes, feeling the intense light on his retinas.
He’d actually forgotten. He’d forgotten that Spike couldn’t come out in
the day—not to a place like this where there was nowhere for him to hide.
The sun was just for him. It separated him: what he had been; what
he now was. There was no way for Spike, without the monies and magics
of Wolfram and Hart, to overcome that. This confirmation of what he had
strived so hard to win should have made him feel good. He dressed in some
old sweats and went to the gym to work his body to exhaustion, neither
asking nor answering the question of whether good came into the equation
The gym was one of his favourite places—he hated the place. It punished
him physically as well as mentally, pandering to his essentially masochistic
nature. He refused to do Lycra. He refused to sip from bottles of Evian
water. He refused to study his body in the overwhelming number of mirrors.
Perversely, he was self-aware enough to know that he didn’t need to do
any of those things to look better than the other men there. He saw their
envious glances and used them like darts to prick his bubble of self-doubt,
should that threaten to overwhelm him. He worked out, sweating heavily,
his mind a swirling mass of confusing thoughts. But the session achieved
what he had intended it to: his erection subsided, he stopped trying to
climb out of his skin, and he could face the rest of the sunny day without
needing to kill someone.
* * * * * *
Spike arrived just after Angel had given up expecting him, which perversely
made him smile with the familiarity; so, he was smiling as he slid open
the heavy door.
His eyebrows shot up. ‘Armani?’
‘Nope, just me.’
‘I know what you meant, Poof. Gonna invite me in?’
Angel stood to one side and watched the flawless, beautiful suit slide
past him. He’d never seen Spike in a suit. Not once. He swallowed something
that seemed stuck in his throat and murmured, ‘You look different.’
Spike shrugged. ‘Gotta keep ‘em guessing.’
Keep who guessing? At Angel’s blank look, Spike made a small gesture
with his hands. ‘We’re going out, yeah? For that catch-up drink?’
Absurdly pleased, which immediately annoyed him, Angel nodded. ‘Okay.
Give me five?’
Spike laughed. ‘When have you ever got ready in five minutes? He plonked
down onto the couch, making Angel wince at the thought of creases in such
perfect fabric, and waved his hand imperiously. ‘Take as long as you like.’
The apartment being open plan, Angel could watch Spike from most of the
other living spaces. Even in the bathroom, shaving, he could see the couch
in the mirror. He glanced once then found the lack of Spike’s reflection
depressing. ‘Ponce.’ Angel jumped and cut himself then cursed and swung
round on the smirking vampire. Spike held up his hands apologetically.
‘Want any help?’
Dabbing at his face with a towel, Angel scowled. ‘I’ve had ten years to
learn, Spike. I think I can manage.’
Spike’s eyes roamed over Angel’s body, resting on the towel-covered hips
for a moment. ‘You’re too thin.’
Angel could have kissed him, but he restrained and replied nonchalantly,
‘Never got into the habit of eating. Too….’ He left the rest unspoken
and went back to his reflection in the mirror. ‘I’m guessing you aren’t
living in sewers—if that suit is anything to go by.’
Spike shrugged but didn’t allow his topic of conversation to be
hi-jacked. ‘Looks like you work out, too.’
Once more very pleased but damned if he was going to show it, Angel grunted.
‘So, this human thing is really working out for you?’
Angel heard this as words, but he heard something much more intense and
silent beneath them. Once, he would have read Spike’s sub-text as easily
as he read all his other mannerisms. Not now though. He heard it, but
he didn’t know what it meant, so replied with another grunt. He couldn’t
see Spike’s reaction to this, as he was concentrating on the razor and
his own reflection in the mirror, but he sensed anger disappointment?
and knew this suspicion was confirmed when Spike nagged tetchily, ‘Come
on, will you? Pubs are gonna close at this rate.’
* * * * * *
Angel dressed in the new suit he’d bought for the party. Hugo Boss. He
smiled to himself for no apparent reason.
Spike eyed him as they waited for the elevator and gave a small snort
of amusement, which he also didn’t explain. He thrust his hands in his
pockets and asked instead, ‘Any suggestions?’
Angel suddenly said, ‘You’re not smoking.’
Spike rolled his eyes. ‘He just notices.’
‘Why not? I mean—.’
‘Things change. I got bored.’ He paused then laughed at some private joke.
‘I got bored with lots of things.’
‘Was it hard?’
Spike looked confused for a second then seemed to recover. ‘Yeah, very.
That’s the fun of it.’
Not sure they were talking about the same thing, Angel turned the conversation
back to suggestions for places to go, and they settled on a bar that he
knew some blocks away.
It was a warm, pleasant night, and they both relaxed into the old familiarity
of strolling along side by side. Everything else had changed so much that
this seemed even more familiar—as if they were clinging to things that
they could find in common.
In that spirit, Angel asked, ‘So, who have you kept in contact with?’
‘I see Buffy and Giles every so often. Giles is looking kinda frail.’
‘He’s only—what?—fifty?’ He hated the panic he couldn’t shake whenever
anyone mentioned aging.
Spike nodded. ‘He got cancer last year. Didn’t you hear?’
Angel turned, his eyes wide. ‘Cancer? Where?’
Angel wanted to hit him. ‘It isn’t funny, Spike! Not for… us.’
‘I don’t find it funny either, Angel. I misunderstood you. It’s skin cancer,
but he’s doing okay. Just a bit frail.’
‘I see Dawn quite a bit.’
‘Gunn is still here.’
‘Let me guess: running a shelter for homeless kids and fundraising for…
Angel turned. ‘You’ve seen him?’
Spike grinned. ‘It was just a guess. A good one by the sounds of it.’
‘Has Illyria been in touch?’
Spike shook his head. ‘Dawn’s got two kiddies now. One’s called William.’
Angel wasn’t sure whether he was becoming more in tune with Spike, even
over this short re-acquaintance, or whether Spike was losing his ability
to dissemble, but he read that clearly as diversionary tactics. Spike
did not want to talk about Illyria for some reason. He probed. ‘She called
me last year.’
‘Well, I think she always fancied you a bit.’
‘Me? She never saw me when Wesley was in the room.’
‘Wesley? Nah. If she liked any watchers, it was Giles. But father-figure
‘Spike, what are you talking about?’
‘What you’re talking about! Dawn fancying you!’
‘Not Dawn! Illyria. And not…. I said Illyria had been in touch.’
‘Oh. Is that the place you meant?’ Spike turned into the bar and was ordering
the first drinks before Angel could pursue his subject. He brought them
over to the table Angel had chosen. ‘Bit bloody pricey in ‘ere.’
‘You don’t change, Angel; you really don’t.’
Angel was fairly sure this wasn’t a compliment so ignored it. ‘Where are
Spike turned his head, watching the people in the room. ‘Here and there.’
‘Here and there where?’
‘You know. Here. And—.’
Spike grinned. ‘Why no girlfriend then?’ He turned back and raked Angel
with his gaze.
Angel blushed. ‘You seem very eager to probe my life but give nothing
away about your own.’
Spike looked wounded. ‘What do you want to know, Pet? Go on, ask me anything.’
‘Where are you living? I already asked.’
Spike sighed. ‘In a rented apartment right now.’
‘Are you… alone?’
‘Oh.’ There was a very long pause and deep, thoughtful drinking before
Angel added, ‘Is she… human?’
‘Would I be able to live with fellow vampires?’
‘No, I guess not.’ He toyed with a small spill on the table. ‘How long
have you known her?’
‘So, I ask you about a girlfriend, and we end up talking about me.’
‘I’ve had plenty of girlfriends! Just not right now….’
‘Why not? That’s what I want to know. Is something… wrong?’
‘Wrong? What the fuck do you mean by that?’
‘I don’t know! You tell me! Are you unable to find something to talk about;
do you miss being inexhaustible; are you too old to get it up?! What?’
Angel rose, angrily. ‘You bastard.’
‘Sit down. People are looking at us.’
Angel sat quickly, then realised just how easily Spike still managed to
manipulate him. He ran his fingers through his hair and said between gritted
teeth, ‘I have nothing to offer, Spike. They get bored with me.’
‘Nothing to offer…. Nothing to offer. Rich, beautiful, clever, talented….
Nothing to offer. Oh, right, I get that.’
Angel took a hasty drink then said more slowly, ‘If I didn’t know better,
I’d think you were hitting on me.’
If he was expecting Spike to bite, he was disappointed. Spike merely leant
back in his seat and said, amused, ‘I’ve gotta do something now I’m not
smoking—and wanking’s kinda messy in a public place.’
Angel blushed again, well aware that Spike would not only be able to see
this evidence of his embarrassment and confusion but smell the rising
blood, too. He lifted his eyes to make a rejoinder when he frowned, staring
at someone at the bar. ‘Where do I know him from?’
Spike turned and glanced over his shoulder then turned back. ‘Dunno. Drink
up—let’s go on a tour of the nightlife round here.’
‘No. I know him. Where from? He isn’t wearing glasses… I know him with
glasses. And wearing something yellow…. Hey, no! That’s the guy from the
flyer. The book signing. That’s the freaking medium who claimed George
Summers was talking to him!’ He made to rise, but Spike caught at his
‘What are you going to do? Go over there and embarrass him like a fan?
Jesus, Angel, have more street-cred, yeah?’
‘Spike! We—.’ He lowered his voice and sat back down, keeping a wary eye
on Henry. ‘We killed George Summers.’
‘Well, duh. I know that. All the more reason not to go over and talk to
someone who’s talking to him!’
Angel sat back. ‘You agreed that he was a fake. That he was using journals
‘Well, yeah. But he may think he’s actually talking to him. You
know how weird all these I-believe-in-the-dead people are. Leave it alone.’
Angel ignored him and stood up, going over to the table where Henry was
now sitting with another man. He sat down and put his hand out. ‘Hi. I
read your book. It was very interesting.’
A number of expressions flickered across Henry’s face—alarm and annoyance
not the least of them—until he saw Spike. Then it was just amusement.
Spike sat down next to Angel and said with an edge to his voice, ‘I’m
Spike and this is Angel. He liked your book—on the poet.’
Henry leant back, studying Angel. ‘Well, well. Someone’s been a
little… disingenuous. You’re not what I expected at all.’ He gave Spike
a slightly bitter look. Spike set his features to angelic innocence, which
then made Henry quirk a small, intimate smile. Angel frowned. ‘What do
Henry recovered quickly and clarified, ‘You’re that artist guy. I recognise
Angel nodded briefly, not unused to this, and was about to ask another
question when Henry added politely, ‘This is John, by the way.’ He looked
pointedly at Spike and licked his lips suggestively.
The man leant forward and said in a bored voice, ‘Jonah.’
Spike laughed. ‘It is quite noisy in here.’
Angel nodded at the man politely then pursued his line of questioning.
‘You were reticent about Summers’s death. If the man really is talking
to you that kinda surprises me. Shouldn’t that have been the real punch-line
of the whole tale?’
‘Do you mind if we don’t talk shop? I’m off-duty, so to speak.’
Angel leant forward and put his hand over Henry’s wrist. ‘You claim to
be speaking with the dead, Sonny. I think that’s not something you stop
and start on a freaking whim.’
‘I do talk to the dead.’ He looked at Spike with a fond twinkle in his
eyes. ‘I get a lot of crap back from them—but some of it’s worth hearing.’
His amusement was short lived when Angel began to tighten his grip. ‘Hey!
To Angel’s amazement and intense anger, Spike removed his fingers from
Henry’s wrist. There was a moment of silent embarrassment around the table
until Jonah, staring at Spike’s deceptively slim fingers, whistled, ‘Wow,
you’re strong, man. You don’t look it.’
Spike stood up. ‘Let’s go.’
Angel was too angry to stay—either with these humans or with Spike. He
stood up then leant down into Henry’s face. ‘You’re a fake, and I intend
to make sure people know it.’
Furious, and very possibly bolstered by Spike’s clear support earlier,
Henry spat back, ‘I know exactly how George died, Angel.’ He added in
a melodramatic voice as if trying to live up to his reputation, ‘Or should
I call you Angelus?’
Angel reared back. Spike caught his arm and dragged him from the bar.
Outside once more, he turned and said calmly, ‘We—.’
Angel punched him. ‘Don’t you dare! Don’t you dare ever tell me what to
Spike rubbed his jaw, wondering whether he should fake more pain than
he actually felt. He wasn’t in the mood and corrected curtly, ‘I made
you do it, Angel, not told you.’ Angel swung again; Spike deflected
it. ‘I’m thinking you don’t want to get into this with me now.’
Angel was furious, but he wasn’t stupid. But he couldn’t lose face either—so
he hit him again. It was a more successful punch: it actually made Spike
stagger slightly. He righted himself and pushed his hands deep into his
pockets as if to remove the temptation to retaliate. ‘We’ve done enough
catching up, Angel.’ He spun on his heel and began to walk away.
Angel caught him up. ‘Don’t. Don’t do this, Spike.’
‘Me? What about you?’
‘I—. Aren’t you in the least bit concerned that he’s—?’
‘This isn’t about Henry Benwell, Angel. This is about us. It’s always
Angel stepped back. ‘What do you mean?’
Spike half-laughed, half-shrugged. ‘We couldn’t stand to be in each other’s
company for more than two minutes, but couldn’t stay apart for more than
‘Oh, come on, Angel. Don’t give me that stuttering incomprehension. I
understand things better now. I see what was there for what it was.’ Suddenly,
he hung his head, studying his shoes. ‘Why am I dragging all this up now?
This isn’t what I came here for.’
‘Came here for?’
Spike said seamlessly, covering, ‘The drink? To catch up?’
‘Oh.’ Angel frowned, feeling that he was missing something. Finally, trying
to be gracious, he said, ‘I’m sorry. I’m kinda… keyed up. I shouldn’t
have hit you.’
They both knew that this was truer than he meant, but neither wanted to
explore the reasons for that.
* * * * * *
Equilibrium re-established, they began to walk toward another bar Angel
knew. It was getting late, and he wasn’t sure what time it closed—if at
all—and took a shortcut. Spike glanced around the alley and suddenly laughed.
‘Now who’s obsessing about old times?’
Angel laughed, too, wryly. ‘This is one thing about being a vampire that
I don’t miss.’
‘So… there are things? That you miss?’
Angel stopped and toed the ground for a moment. ‘Sure. But everyone one
of them comes which such a heavy penalty, that I don’t miss them
at the same time.’
‘Well… the invincibility. Sure, I healed then, but I was dead.
I was stronger, but I was dead.’
‘And what’s so bad about being dead?’ He looked up swiftly and added,
‘I’m not picking a fight, Pet. I mean it. Is it that bad?’
‘Why talk about it, Spike? I made my choice.’ A note of anger was coming
into his voice, so he began to walk again. He was so engrossed in his
thoughts he missed the warning cry from Spike. Something hit him hard,
and he went down onto his knees.
On instinct, he raised his arm, and something that would have hit his
head, hit his elbow instead. He screamed in pain and, cradling it, staggered
to his feet.
Five vampires were surrounding him. Well, four vampires and Spike, who
was edging closer, apparently wired with excitement and anticipation.
Angel could see this quite clearly in his expression. His feelings were
more complex. He had known it would happen one day: this confrontation
with something he had once been—something he had once been the best of,
the most feared. Angelus.
Now he was just a man in a silly suit who dabbled with paint. And if Spike
were not with him, he would be dead. Drained. Who knows, even turned?
Low-life vampire scum once more, condemned to do it all again….
What are we waiting for? Just as Angel asked himself the
question, there was a blur of movement. Spike took two of their attackers
out in a blink of an eye, but the third put up more of a fight. Which
gave the forth time to come and play with him. Angel wasn’t quite sure
what the vampire had expected, but he clearly didn’t find it. Not only
was Angel very fit, he’d spend three hundred years being one of them and
knew every move. And he wasn’t scared, which any other human would have
been. They were almost evenly matched. Almost… but not quite. Eventually,
Angel was knocked off his feet. A boot slammed into his face, a second
into his belly, and then, winded, he was helpless when teeth sank into
It was the longest of all times then. Memories of another such taking
swam up in the red fluid leaving his body. Power and the lusts of the
vampire broke the surface first, and then memories of Buffy emerged not
far behind, bright, like little fireworks in the dark. Wolfram and Hart
gurgled up like stench in a pool, bubbles popping and filling his mind
with regret and shame. And then he started to harden. He knew somewhere
in his fading mind that this was a physiological reaction to blood loss,
but it coincided with memories of that last, great battle: fighting the
dragons of his life. And Spike. Alongside him. Then all went white.
Was it the sunshine he had fought so hard to win or was he dead? Air suddenly
rushed past him as if he were being sucked up… no… something flying past
him, and then silence, just echoes of his thoughts and a voice he’d missed
more than he could say….
* * * * * * *
‘Bloody hell! You okay?’ Spike fell to his knees alongside the pale, death-like
figure. He seemed almost paralysed by fear, his hands moving aimlessly
in jerky movements over Angel’s body.
Angel mumbled, ‘I’m okay! Jesus.’ He tired to stand, but he couldn’t.
Covered in blood from a split cheek and the tear in his neck, Angel sank
back to the ground and, mercifully, passed out.
* * * * * * *
Spike grimaced in wry irony at carrying Angel in his arms back to the
apartment and propping him against the door. He fumbled in Angel’s pockets,
found the key and let them both in, depositing Angel on the couch, just
as he had been the previous night.
He knelt and put a hand to the broad brow. Angel was still concussed and
suffering from blood loss, his eyelids fluttering as he tried to hold
onto consciousness and drag himself to the surface. The damage to Angel’s
cheek was almost obscene on his smooth beauty. Spike hesitated only for
a moment, bit his tongue then leant down and licked under the loose flap
of skin, cleaning with his magical, healing blood. It was as intimate
as a kiss, so he turned it into one before he pulled away. Angel’s bathroom
had the usual supply of human medicinal requirements. He chose some tape
and scissors and put delicate butterfly sutures across the newly sterile
flap. Angel would heal and without a scar, and Spike didn’t question why
this gave him such a sense of pleasure.
The neck wound was more serious; the vampire’s teeth had torn deep muscle.
It wouldn’t respond so well to his cleaning, but Spike wasn’t about to
let logic put him off what he wanted to do. He unbuttoned Angel’s shirt,
spreading it out, exposing the wound and the perfect, hairless skin of
Spike had been telling the truth in that explosive confrontation outside
the bar: he did see their relationship in the past a lot more clearly
now—his motives if not Angel’s. Which is why he really shouldn’t run his
hands over Angel’s warm, human skin. And particularly why he shouldn’t
examine the dark bud of one nipple to see if it hardened to a scrape of
his nail. He hadn’t come for this at all. This was only going to complicate
what was already intensely complicated. So, kissing Angel’s nipple was
probably a bad idea, too…. Nibbling it was just disastrous….
‘What are you doing?’
Spike lifted his face from Angel’s chest and stared into confused brown
eyes. ‘You’re hurt.’
‘Not there, I’m not.’
Very slowly, keeping his eyes fixed on Angel’s darker ones, Spike lowered
toward his mouth. Angel watched him to the last minute, his frown deepening,
then he heaved in a breath over damaged ribs and shoved weakly at him.
‘Get off! What the fuck is this?’
Spike pursed his lips and sat back on his heels. ‘You never been tempted?’
‘Tempted? Tempted? Tempted by what? Kissing you?’
‘Yeah. Well, no, not me in particular. Anyone. Any… man.’
‘Fucking hell, Spike.’ He tried to sit up but gave up the attempt. Suddenly,
as if it was a question on a completely different subject, he asked casually,
‘Ten years is a long time.’
‘And that’s an answer?’
‘Work it out for yourself.’ He rose and went to fetch Angel some water
and a drink for himself.
Angel twisted his head around and watched him. ‘I don’t believe you.’
Spike laughed. ‘Maybe if you’d let me kiss you I’d have convinced you.’
‘You’re sick.’ He sat up and rubbed his head.
‘No! I’m not okay; I’ve just discovered you’re—.’
‘I’m a dead man, Angel. I’m just a dead man. I can’t be defined any other
‘Bullshit. Don’t give me that bullshit. Not me. What? You think I’m gonna
be impressed with that? Well, it’s bullshit. I’ve been dead, and I’ve
been alive, and believe me, there’s not much dif—.’
Spike handed him the water and sat next to him. ‘Not much difference between
Angel flinched slightly. ‘I wasn’t going to say that.’
‘Yeah. You were.’
‘Look. I’m kinda beat. Can we do this another night?’
‘Stop it. I’m not playing this game with you, Spike. I say something,
and you twist it to mean something else. You’ve thrown me a curve and
I… need some time to think about it.’
‘Why does it matter to you even one tiny bit what I do with my body?’
Angel turned and looked squarely at him. ‘It wasn’t your body you were
about to get off on.’
‘Oh.’ Spike grinned his infectious grin. ‘You were supposed to say something
Angel suddenly relaxed back against the couch. ‘Ten years of peace and
quiet and then one night of you, and I’m battered, bitten, bruised black
and blue, confused and depressed.’
Spike nudged him. ‘I’m gonna well up in a minute; you really did miss
Angel closed his eyes. ‘If I keep them closed, will you go away?’
‘Nah. I like it here.’
‘You won’t in the morning.’
When silence greeted this, Angel snapped open his eyes, hearing the sub-text
for the first time. ‘I mean the glass. It’s very sunny in here during
the day… for the painting. I didn’t mean you could stay the night!’
‘Calm down, Luv. But, just out of interest before I go, would you have
offered your couch before I told you that I’d… expanded my interests?’
‘Is that what you call it? Expanding your interests?’
‘Well, I sometimes call it reaming ass.’
‘Christ!’ Angel rose stiffly from the couch and went toward the
bathroom. ‘Just go, please.’
‘You didn’t answer my question.’
Without turning around, Angel said coldly, ‘Because I don’t know the answer.
You did tell me and that… changes everything.’
Spike stood up, feeling doubly angry with himself, firstly for letting
Angel’s body seduce him momentarily and secondly for being dumb enough
to get caught showing that interest. His agenda was blown now. This wasn’t
going to get him the answers he sought, and he still wanted those answers
desperately. He went toward the door, well aware that Angel listened to
every footfall. ‘There are still things to say, Pet. Can we meet again?’
‘I think we’ve said all we have to. Done all the catching up we need to.’
‘I—.’ Spike stared at the tense, resistant back. ‘Are you happy?’
The confusion on Angel’s face when he turned to reply gave Spike all the
answer he needed. Spike sighed. ‘That wasn’t the right response. I came
here needing to find you happy and—I don’t know—maybe married? With little
kiddies…. With a good life.’
Spike nodded. ‘What am I going to do, Angel? How am I going to bloody
decide?’ Not waiting for answers to questions that had not really been
directed at Angel, he left.
Henry was pacing the apartment when he got back. ‘What the fuck was that
Spike shrugged. ‘Of all the bars in all the world, you had to walk into
‘I thought you’d set that up.’
‘Jeez. You have so much confidence in me.’
‘You are a manipulative vampire.’
Spike smirked. ‘Compliments will get you anywhere.’
Henry’s shoulders sagged. ‘I’m sorry. Did he… suspect anything?’
‘Not till I snogged him, no.’ He sat gloomily on the couch.
‘Almost. I was this far from doing it.’ He illustrated with his fingers
then sighed. ‘I’m gonna take up smoking again.’
‘Not if you’re living with me you won’t.’
‘I’m not living. How did the interviews go, anyway?’
‘I’m the next best thing to Jesus Christ, apparently.’
‘You’ll be walking on water in no time.’
‘I don’t want to do this anymore, Spike.’
Spike held out his hand, and Henry flopped onto the couch next to him.
‘How was Jonah?’
‘Hot, and don’t change the subject.’
‘We’ll be leaving soon. Wanna go back to England?’
‘You’ve decided?’ His voice was deceptively casual.
‘And that means… you’re not going to do it, are you?’
‘You’ve asked me that before. How do I know? I’m not a vampire. It’s not
fair to ask.’
‘No. I wouldn’t. There. Does that mean anything? Does that make you happy?’
Spike took the obvious cue and pulled him in for a kiss. ‘You make me
They kissed and played around on the couch for a while until Henry eased
himself away. ‘You’re really pissed about that almost-kiss with Angel
tonight, aren’t you?’
‘I’m something about it, yeah.’
‘Did you really expect him to kiss you back? Just like that?’
‘No. Course not.’
‘You’ve always told me that the last time he saw you, you were at each
‘Well, that’s not the whole truth. We were really close at the end, too.
I can’t explain it. We almost didn’t need to speak. We just knew what
the other was thinking.’
‘But you weren’t either of you thinking about sex! You were fighting the
third damn world war.’
‘Sex isn’t just physical.’
‘It’s best when it is.’
Spike rubbed his hands over his stubbled hair. ‘I need a drink.’ Henry
laughed and knelt up. Spike groaned. ‘Not that kind.’
* * * * * * *
Angel couldn’t sleep. He couldn’t settle to anything. His head hurt; he
felt sick and dizzy; his cheek stung; and his elbow was so swollen he
couldn’t paint. But he knew these were only the physical, surface reasons
why everything seemed wrong.
Had he dreamt that conversation with Spike? Had he really woken to find
him… sucking on his nipple? Even now, that memory… sent tingles into his
balls—he couldn’t deny it. Which is not the
reaction he wanted at all! He wanted to keep up the anger and disgust
and hurt that had assailed him to start with. It was hurtful to find that
Spike had this whole other life that he’d known nothing about. Had Spike
thought these things when they were together? Had looks or touch from
him been misinterpreted?
Had he led Spike on? Jesus. What was he thinking? Ten years. Things
changed so much. Who had changed more? He wouldn’t have said it was Spike—the
unchanging one. But perhaps it was. What had he done with this decade? Why
didn’t he have those very things Spike had seemed to want to find:
wife, children, home… happy life? Had he let the confusion of the overwhelming
shock of becoming human obscure everything else for ten years? Was this
his wake-up call to find something more in his life?
A temptation wormed its way into his conscious mind, but he shoved it
down ruthlessly. Not now! But it wouldn’t be repressed, and by
the evening of the next day he was hopeless in its power.
* * * * * * * * *
The club struck him as ever with its surface normality. Many times he’d
been here now, and each time it was like walking into a Hollywood set
where the designer’s notes were annotated “Standard bar in LA”. He was
recognised and offered a drink, which he accepted greedily. He needed
to be drunk for this: he always did.
Before too long, just as alcohol had stoked the ache and brought it to
a raging conflagration, a woman he vaguely recognised came over to him.
‘Glad you’re here. It’s been quiet.’
Angel didn’t want to talk. He wanted what he’d come here for, and then
he wanted to leave. She seemed to sense this and took his arm with a small
smile. ‘Shall we go and play?’
Hating her, hating himself more, he walked by her side to a door, which
led downstairs—to a dungeon. He had to resist
the memories—Lindsay, Gunn, offers made for redemption—but the sounds
of pain and pleasure in the dark were so familiar, so comforting Angel
was hard before they reached the bottom step.
The woman was peeling off her blouse, under which she wore a leather bra.
‘I’ve been very naughty today.’ She turned and began to select
various instruments with which Angel could punish her, but before she’d
made her choice, he selected a lash and pushed her roughly against a wall.
She moaned with pleasure and begged, ‘Punish me, Handsome.’
Angel never spoke when he came to this place. But then he wasn’t
playing. He didn’t need to make up fantasies about punishment and pain;
he had memory to draw upon: three hundred years of it. He only wanted
to purge his system of the heady build-up of need, like venting from a
vast steam boiler, so he could begin again and be a good man. If he hurt
her now, he would be released from the need to hurt for many months. The
temptation to bite and rip and fuck was almost overwhelming, so he curbed
it by laying the whip to her back and hearing her sharp intake of breath.
He ripped her bra so he could see nothing but skin, and she clasped her
breasts, kneading them viciously. He spun her around and bit one nipple.
She arched against him, her leather skirt riding up. He wasn’t here for
sex—not yet anyway. The need for pain was still there. So he hit her, a
blow to her shoulder where she wouldn’t mark. She sucked in the pain and
moaned, her hand creeping under her skirt. He flung her around and punished
her for that by putting three clear stripes of red down her back. He thought
he’d gone too far, but she turned back and hooked him with one knee, rubbing
herself, like some obscene dog, on his leg.
She grabbed his hand and tried to push it where she needed to be touched,
but he drew back, holding her off. Who was he kidding? This wasn’t about
memory of pain. This wasn’t even about Spike’s confession or his shocking,
erotic touch. It was about that other touch. In the bar. Spike had removed
his hand as easily as an adult might do a child’s. Seething resentment
for what he had become, for what Spike still was, for their redefined
positions in the pecking order, swelled in Angel’s gut. There wasn’t enough
hurt in the world to give him relief for these feelings. There wasn’t
enough sexual potency to overcome his worthless impotence in the face
of his childe.
Then Angel’s head swivelled slowly…
… to the enticing sounds of male pain….
He felt a new surge of blood to his cock at that hum of pure, sexual potency.
His head almost swam with need.
It was not entirely a new thought—to play with a man—but this was
the first time he’d acted upon it. He pushed the woman away from him,
ignoring her outrage, following the trails of pain. Then he watched from
the shadows. This was primal; it called to him in places that her soft
pain never could. His balls tingled then hardened; spasms made them clench
and rise. His cock was so hard he could not find a place for it to lie
comfortably, and his foreskin caught and rubbed on the inside of his leather
He went closer to the men, one strapped upon a bench, one standing behind
him, lashing him. Angel could hear the unspoken communion between them.
He had shared this once with victims and missed it intensely.
The top turned to Angel as he approached and eyed him speculatively from
the toes of his boots up his distorted leather pants to his face. He groaned
softly and rubbed himself through the leather chaps he wore over dirty
jeans. He held out the handle of the whip and stood to one side, running
his free hand over the sweat and pain on his victim’s back. Angel took
the whip and caressed it, running it through his fingers. He trickled
it over the taut skin, the groan this elicited making him sweat with desire.
Instead of following through the tease, he stepped up behind the man and
began to rub his leather clad erection against the jeans-clad backside.
Sex was not obligatory in this place; they came for the pain and pleasure,
but sex nearly always followed. Only, up until now, that, for him, had
always been a joining with soft female tissues. It had always been enough—until
So why this now? Why this man spread and vulnerable in front of him? Did
he really want to pull the torn jeans down around those strong thighs
and examine the spread more intimately? Is this what Spike now did? Spike
had knowledge and experience he did not? Once more, resentment flared
in Angel. Spike took his pleasures where he wanted with no thought to
consequence or shame. Spike did not have to curb his inclinations. Spike
Spike was more alive than he was.
Angel ripped the man’s pants down, and pressed his swollen leather into
skin. The top groaned at the sight and walked around to the victim’s front.
Keeping eye contact with Angel, he released his fat cock, letting it stand
red and angry from the leather chaps. With little ado, he inserted it
into a willing, welcoming mouth then bent to tweak painful-looking clamps
on the victim’s nipples.
Angel crunched slightly at the waist, excitement almost overcoming him.
He closed his eyes and regained some control, until in the dark, behind
closed lids, he saw Spike’s lips descending toward him once more. This
time, he made them finish the journey. In his mind, he kissed Spike as
he rubbed against this anonymous bare skin. In his mind, he replaced Spike’s
mouth to his nipple, moaning as he pinched one for real through his shirt.
The man being sucked off was saying something to him, urging him to do
something, but Angel wasn’t ready for that. He opened his eyes and watched
what was happening at the front end instead. The beefy man was ejaculating,
shuddering, his eyes closed, a look of intense pain on his features. He
held the prone man’s head and grunted formulaic encouragement to him as
he filled his mouth.
Revolted, excited, scared, Angel staggered away from the couple. But his
eyes went involuntarily downward to the pink rawness twitching in expectation
of penetration. His breath hitched with shock or need—he was too far gone
to tell which. His own orgasm hit him at the sight of the open hole: painful,
totally unsatisfactory and trapped in tight leather. He fell to his hands
and knees, panting, tears in his eyes at a deep sense of loss.
There was a hand on his shoulder, but he wrenched away and ran back toward
the exit; the sounds of the dungeon now mocking him.
* * * * * * * * *
Angel did not remember the journey back to his apartment. He remembered
standing in the kitchen, drinking pint after pint of water, trying to
assuage some thirst he could not name.
Then reality began to come apart at the seams. Wesley was with him, sitting
on his bed, his calm calming him… for a moment, until something in his
fevered brain registered that Wesley was dead; he was always dead; still
dead, and no magic that he could conjure would bring him back. Then Buffy,
tantalising, just out of sight, and he thought that he came in the sheets—they
were damp enough. His body was wracked with pain, and Holtz was the cause
of it, pushing something hot and sharp into his most private of places,
humiliating him with his body’s responses to this intrusion. He fought
him, but he was surprisingly strong, holding him down onto the bed and
whispering for him to be still. Whispering? And not Holtz. English though.
Angel’s eyes flew open, and he saw Spike and a man standing over him,
instruments of torture in their hands, and Spike was holding him down.
Was he punishing him for stealing his Shanshu? Was he angry because he
had spilled and wasted his sperm? What did Spike want from him? What did
he really want from Spike? Could Spike give him what he had just sought
from another man’s pain? He reared up in his heat and confusion and captured
his pale torturer. He forced their lips together, grinding them until
his hurt—just a minor pain on his pain-wracked body. He was almost there,
at some elusive place where all need was calmed, when the human stuck
something in his arm. He released Spike’s lips like a drowning man releasing
the spar that was saving his life. Sweet oblivion took him, and when he
woke again, he felt reborn—physically anyway. Nothing hurt, and his whole
body lay in a state of pleasant, drained numbness.
‘Well, well, he returns to the land of the living’
Spike sat on the edge of the bed and put the back of his hand to Angel’s
forehead. ‘You never do anything by halves, do you?’
Spike’s hand shifted to Angel’s neck, and Angel felt a stab of residual
pain. ‘That bloody bite became infected. You’ve had blood poisoning—what
blood you had left to poison. Doc said you’d be fine though.’
‘Hmm. I called one when I found you… ranting.’
Angel closed his eyes. ‘I was dreaming.’ A trickle of worry suddenly wormed
down his spine. Did I kiss Spike in that dream or for real?
‘W—What did I say?’
‘Oh, bunch of stuff. Nonsense.’ Spike rested his hands in his lap, his
head tilted to one side. ‘Do you want anything? A drink of water?’
‘Why did you come back?’
‘I told you: we have unfinished business.’
Angel sank against the pillows and closed his eyes. He heard Spike moving
toward the kitchen, listening to the sounds he made. Someone else in his
living space. Someone else in his… life. For the first time, Angel realised
how starkly alone he was.
Spike returned with a couple of pills and some water. Angel saw the slight
hesitation before he held them out, knowing that Spike had been about
to put them directly onto his tongue, wondering why he had not. He swallowed
them and lay back. Drowsiness stole upon him almost at once.
He felt the hand return to his forehead and caught at Spike’s wrist. Neither
of them said anything. Angel’s lips were burning, but he told himself
it was just the fever. The moment stretched on. Spike moved his thumb—just
a light stroke over Angel’s forehead. When Angel dragged opened his eyes,
Spike’s expression was troubled. He veiled his thoughts though and removed
his hand. ‘Go to sleep.’
Angel’s eyes began to close then they snapped open. ‘I’m—. Where are my—?
Who undressed me?’ He blushed deeply, remembering what may have been on
Spike glanced away. ‘I did.’ He pouted. ‘Seein’ as you mentioned it, they
had blood on them: human—and not yours.’
Knowing that Spike must have seen the come stains as well, Angel replied
faintly, ‘I—. There was an accident.’
Spike nodded as if accepting that this was the most likely explanation,
his eyes saying he knew it wasn’t true.
This dissembling angered Angel. Despite the almost overwhelming desire
to sleep, he suddenly lashed out, catching Spike on his jaw. Spike’s face
crumpled into uncertainty, disappointment and confusion, and he rubbed
the spot where Angel had hurt him. Without lifting his head, he said simply,
‘I’ve been given the chance to be human. If I want it. That’s why I came
here—to help me decide.’ He looked up and caught Angel’s gaze. ‘I wanted
to see how you were enjoying it.’
Angel tipped into drug-induced unconsciousness with a scream of denial
ricocheting around in his brain.
Angel woke to muted light, which confused him for a moment until he blinked
and saw dark material draped over all his windows, tiny pinpricks of sunlight
streaming through them like projections in a movie theatre. His first
coherent thought was how easy it was to incorporate Spike into his life.
Then he woke fully and remembered.
Spike’s head appeared over the back of the couch. ‘You’re awake then.’
Angel sat up and rubbed his neck, then ran fingers through his hair. ‘You’re
going to be human?’
Spike made a face as if he had hoped that Angel might have forgotten this.
Then he nodded and came over to the bed, perching on the end of it. Suddenly,
he said, ‘I need a drink. Why don’t you get dressed?’ Hastily, he went
to the kitchen area, his back to Angel. Angel closed his eyes with embarrassment.
His erection was huge, more than tenting the sheet—pyramiding it. Then
he flushed with something else when he realised that Spike’s reaction
probably wasn’t embarrassment.
With as much haste as Spike, he went into the bathroom to shower. Under
the water, he relieved the pressure, stroking and cradling his balls until
his powerful cock spasmed and sent globules of thick fluid into the thinner
water cascading over him. Even then he didn’t subside fully. It was enough
to pass though, so he pulled on some loose cotton pants and went slowly
over to the couch, easing himself down like the old man he feared soon
With a grimace and laying his head on the back, he said firmly, ‘Now.
Spike sat down next to him, twisting around to face Angel’s profile. ‘Illyria
and I knocked around together for a few months.’
That got Angel’s attention. Tiredness and stiffness forgotten, he twisted
around, too. ‘Illyria. And you.’
Spike nodded. ‘What the hell was she supposed to do? Where did you think
‘’Xactly, you never thought about it.’ He added quickly and more gently,
‘You had ‘nough to cope with. This human business threw you a huge curve
to start with. I know that.’
‘You know? I mean… you make hell of an assumption there.’
Spike blushed faintly. ‘I’ve sorta been keeping tabs on you.’
‘Is that so…. So… seeing me at the book signing wasn’t a coincidence?’
He stared at Spike then dropped his head onto his chest, groaning. ‘It
wasn’t really a book signing, was it?’
‘Well, not the real author, no.’
Connections clicked in Angel’s brain, and he flushed a dark red and asked
more hesitantly, ‘So you know him? Henry Benwell?’
‘That in the biblical sense, Luv?’ He held Angel’s gaze, and Angel had
the answer he wanted—and desperately didn’t. He looked down at his lap.
‘Do you… love him?’
Angel looked up, frowning, and Spike shrugged. ‘We’re getting off the
important things a bit, aren’t we?’
Angel was tempted to reply that it was important to him but couldn’t actually
hear himself saying it. Instead, he prompted grimly, ‘Illyria.’
‘Yeah. So, we had some time together. Got friendly. Very….’ Once again,
he held Angel’s gaze.
‘Jesus! It’s only been ten years. What else have you done?’
Spike ignored the outburst and continued. ‘She contacted me a few weeks
ago cus she’s… going back. Into the hole.’
‘Illyria’s going… what? To die?’
‘Not in any definition we can understand of that, no. I didn’t get it
either, but she said this wasn’t her time, and that she’d decided to take
Wesley’s advice: sleep until the humans are gone. I told ‘er she might
‘ave to wait a tad—like maybe another ten millennia. She just gave me
one of those looks of hers and spouted on about worms and stars. So I
let ‘er be.’
‘She’s willingly going back into her sarcophagus? I don’t believe it.
She said there was no way for her to leave the shell… her body. Fred’s
Spike had no real answer to Angel’s scepticism, so he suggested hopefully,
Angel nodded and followed him distractedly into the kitchen. Spike pulled
two beers out of the fridge then hopped up onto the counter. Angel leant
next to him. ‘So…?’
‘So, she’s going release energy into this world. Some of the power she
brought to it—less the stuff you stripped out of her, course. An’ that
energy can be used. And she’s offered it to me. To make me human again.’
‘And you accepted.’
‘Was that a statement or a question?’
‘Are you making the assumption that I’d just leap at the chance?’
‘Yes! Shit, Spike, isn’t this what we fought about? Isn’t this why you
went off and left me when I got my Shanshu?’
‘You think I went and left you?’
‘I don’t think; I know! I was there! I turned around, and you’d just gone!’
‘I was standing in the fucking shadows, Angel! If you’d have looked for
me, you’d have found me! You were blinded by the light!’
‘And you couldn’t give me a few minutes to adjust, could you? I was in
shock! I’d signed it away, Spike. I’d given up everything I’d ever wanted
with the stroke of my blood. But there I was, despite the Black Thorn:
human. And there you were: everything we were to each other just blown
away because you couldn’t stand the thought of me having what you’d always
‘And just exactly what were we to each other, Angel? Can you enlighten
me, cus I never really got it, ya know?’
‘You’re getting it now though, aren’t you! Do you like what Henry fucking
Benwell gives you?’
Spike jerked back. Angel’s eyes widened with the shock of realising he’d
given away too much. Spike jumped off the counter and strode to the door,
wrenching it open. Angel caught him up and grabbed his arm. Spike swung,
and Angel was flung back across the room. Spike cried out, distressed,
and went to him, but Angel kicked out at him then rose and punched him
and slapped him and pushed him back against the wall, totally out of control,
impotent fury driving him, not one of the hits even registering in the
blue eyes until Spike held his arms and said gently, ‘That’s enough, Luv.
That’s enough.’ Exhausted, still fragile, Angel sagged in his arms.
Spike swore and took him back to the bed. Angel pushed him away, glaring.
‘You’re the father of lies, Spike. You lie and you manipulate. Why are
you hesitating to accept her offer?’
‘Because I’m not sure there’s anything for me if I take it.’
‘And you came here to find me to see— what? If I could offer you something?’
‘No! To see if—. Jesus, Angel, who can I learn from if not from you? You
taught me to be a vampire. You’re my sire! I needed to see what it had
been like for you.’
‘And you’re hesitating?’ Angel stood up. ‘You’re implying this isn’t working
for me! Fuck you, Spike. You have no right to come here and judge my life.’
‘Oh, why, cus going to bloody S and M clubs is the sort of lifestyle I
Angel paled. ‘How dare you.’
Spike stepped up close. Very close. ‘Have you forgotten so quickly what
it’s like? I can smell that you want to hit me right now. I can
smell that you’re aroused by this. I can bloody smell that you
wanked in the shower and—.’
Angel hit him—much harder than he’d hit him before. Caught unawares, Spike
stepped back. His feet tangled in the discarded sheet, and he fell onto
his backside, hard. He made a theatrical wince and began to stand, but
Angel dropped onto him, straddling him and, double-fisted, punched him
again. Spike’s head rocked back onto the floor, and he grunted. Angel
made to swing again, but Spike caught his fist and held it tight. Angel
tried to pull free, but Spike jerked him back. Supported only on his bad
arm, Angel collapsed and fell onto him.
They froze for a moment. Then a single droplet of sweat fell from Angel’s
brow to Spike’s lips. Instinctively, Spike’s tongue darted out, a tiny
pink tip retrieving the potent fluid. Before either knew or cared what
was happening, their lips were furiously grinding together, their bodies
rubbing for maximum pleasure. There was no sense that one had initiated
this, or that one was more experienced or another needier. They were just
themselves as they had been for centuries. Spike opened his mouth wide,
and Angel moaned, pushing his tongue in expertly. Then they eased back
enough to stare down to see the effect of saliva on lips and hot tongues.
They liked it; a tiny smile of complicity graced both their mouths, and
they went back to the deep kiss, mashing and grinding their lips, sucking
on tongue and licking teeth.
Angel was the first to pull off. He wiped his mouth with the back of his
hand, staring down at the swollen lips he had been enjoying. There was
one moment when he could have fled from what they had done, but Spike
cupped his injured cheek with one hand and said gently, ‘This can mean
everything and nothing to me, Angel. You make it mean what you
Angel heard his voice as if Spike were standing at the end of a long tunnel.
He tried to reply, but his mouth would not co-operate with his head. Slowly,
with frightening unavoidability, he slid unconscious to Spike’s chest.
* * * * * * *
Spike cradled Angel’s head for a while on his chest as he pondered life.
He wasn’t including the universe and everything in his musing, but it
felt like it. Something that had hovered outside of their vision for so
many decades had finally materialised. They’d tasted it on their tongues;
they’d felt it in fingertips and balls.
For the first time, he regretted what he’d begun with Henry. It was like
tasting something before it was properly baked. He wanted to clear his
emotional palette with something astringent, so he was new and pure to
experience this with Angel. With Angel. It was hardly credible.
He’d come here to find out how human life was treating his sire, not to
revive unresolved issues with him. Or had he? He’d kept tabs on Angel
for the last ten years. He’d bought his paintings; he’d sometimes gone
to openings, keeping to the shadows and not letting Angel see him. So,
why did he pretend now to need to find out more about Angel’s life?
Wasn’t this exactly what he’d wanted?
Spike smiled wryly and lifted his head to kiss into Angel’s hair. Then
very carefully he sat up and carried him to bed.
He gave it no thought whatsoever, but tucked Angel carefully under the
covers, took off his own shirt and boots and crawled into bed next to
him, pulling the solid body into a tight spoon.
He didn’t do introspection—tomorrow could take care of itself.
Didn’t all great romances use that excuse not to face the issues?
* * * * * * *
He couldn’t sleep, that critical question still oscillating in his mind:
what did he really want from Angel? To learn about his life or something
more? That he was lying in Angel’s bed cuddling him kinda pointed to the
something more. But he’d wanted to make his decision free of Angel’s influence
(because he couldn’t deny that Angel did influence him; he always had;
even trying so hard not be under Angel’s influence directed his
course: whether to follow or deny, it always came back to Angel).
He’d known very well that Angel would try to persuade him to accept Illyria’s
offer. Of course he would. Angel was a man who had striven all his life
to be allowed to read a certain page of a certain book because he believed
that the knowledge it contained would inform his life: purify it, improve
it, validate it. Make it enjoyable. Of course he wasn’t going to admit
that the book now bored him, or that he could have read the same thing
written more succinctly elsewhere, or that he couldn’t read it at all
because he’d never learnt the language. No, the book was all. The page
of his life was perfect and everyone else must convert to its teachings.
Spike wasn’t interested in purifying or improving or validating. And he
enjoyed things just fine now. He was very well aware that what Angel liked
about being human, he might not. Angel relished the simplicity of it.
Spike never saw the complexity of being a vampire. Angel loved the opportunities
he saw opened up to him. Spike reckoned the world was pretty much at his
feet now. Angel had hated the evil inside him. Spike never really had
all that much anyway. Now, though, Angel knew. Now, he would not be free
to weigh Angel’s new life in the balance and make the decision for himself.
For, despite what he had told Henry, he was nowhere near deciding. He
wondered idly why he often asked Henry what he would do were their situations
reversed but had never asked him what he wanted him to decide.
It was probably because he knew what the man would reply. Henry like him
just as he was: hard, inexhaustible, inventive, not bothered over-much
with scruples and, of course, the bareback king of Britain.
This was not good. He could not afford to let Henry affect his decision,
too. Within a blink of his eye, Henry would be old and grey, and then
what? It would be too late for Angel, too, he’d be….
See? This is why he’d not wanted to start anything with Angel.
It was already affecting his thought processes. What he could or could
not, would or would not, have with Angel was nothing to do with this.
This was for him alone. Not him as Angel’s other half. Better half. Significant
other. Longtime companion… in the human definition of long, of course….
But Angel hadn’t even hinted that this is what he wanted either. One (long)
confused kiss after some rough stuff hardly equated to a proposal. Perhaps
he was worrying over nothing. Angel would wake up, be free of the heavy
drugs the Doc had given him and be shocked and disgusted by the memory
of their kiss.
Why was his life always being complicated by things he had no control
over? It had been simple enough: an ex-Old One teleported from the Hole
in the World, now in Fred’s body, had offered a hundred and fifty year
old vampire with a soul the chance to soak up her excess life force when
she returned to the grave to enable him to become human again. Simple!
But now it was all buggered up by a kiss. And what a kiss. Spike
tasted his lips gently, smirking. He’d kissed Angel. He’d done
a lot more with other men, but other men weren’t Angel. Angel for
fuck’s sake! He’d kissed him.
Very glad he wasn’t given to introspection, therefore, Spike finally fell
asleep sometime toward morning, having decided nothing about Illyria’s
offer and even less about this curve thrown him by Angel’s kiss.
Spike wasn’t used to waking alone these days. Waking with strange young
men in the bed, waking with sperm all over him, waking once wearing a
dress and stockings—these he was getting used to. An empty bed was oddly
He sat up.
Angel was painting.
Angel was painting naked.
Spike’s eyebrow rose. Was he supposed to look away?
He drew his knees up, rested his chin on them and took a good, long look.
Angel’s buttocks were magnificent. Spike’s cock thought so, too. It twitched,
keen to probe and explore what lay between them. Spike knew that taking
Angel would be so extraordinary emotionally that the physical act would
surpass anything he had experienced with a man before. Each cheek dimpled
as Angel moved angrily around his canvas. Spike moaned softly, licked
his lips and pictured making them dimple for other reasons.
Silently, he left the bed and padded barefoot over to where Angel stood.
He must have been up for hours. The new picture was bold and strangely
disturbing. It was of a male figure—this much Spike had seen from the bed. Something wasn’t quite
right with it, though. As he got closer, he saw where the confusion lay.
When looked at in detail, key parts of the man—his eyes, hair, nipples, genitals—had all
been created from smaller figures. And these figures were female: a curled,
foetal woman formed each eye; women entwining were the man’s root, their
hair entangled to make his; his cock was an upheld arm and fist, the cockhead’s
blush formed from painted nails.
Spike reeled back. ‘Bloody hell!’
Angel spun around, seemingly careless of his nakedness. His eyes were
red. It was surprising he could paint through the tears. Spike felt such
a huge stab of pity and love for this lost person that he wanted to take
him in his arms and tell him that their kisses had been nothing more than
a dream or that they were true and good and real—whatever…anything Angel
wanted to hear. Instead he picked up Angel’s pants from the floor and
held them out.
Angel looked down, slightly bemused then seemed to come back from the
place where he’d been whilst painting. He took the pants and pulled them
on, but didn’t immediately fasten them. He laid down his brushes, his
back to the disturbing imagery. ‘You were asleep.’
Quite what this had to do with anything, Spike didn’t know. Hesitantly,
he went closer and closed his fingers over Angel’s wrist, giving it a
tiny shake. ‘I meant what I said, Pet. Anything you want this to
‘I want you to decide about Illyria’s offer.’
This seemed much more relevant to Spike than Angel’s first comment. He
wanted to decide this, too. Everything seemed to hinge upon the outcome
of that decision.
Suddenly, Angel turned and closed his fingers over the fingers upon him.
‘Stay here while you decide. See what my life is really like and then
decide to become human.’
‘That’s not fair, Angel. You’re trying to manipulate me!’
‘Duh! You’re a demon! You’re dead! You could be human!’
Spike wrenched his hand away. ‘I knew this would happen! That’s
just your perception! I’ve never hated being a vampire.’
‘Yes. You have, Spike. You hated it when Buffy wouldn’t love you. You
hated it when I wouldn’t… when I became human.’
‘When you wouldn’t love me?’
‘I didn’t say that.’
Spike hung his head and rubbed his hand over his face. Slowly, he lifted
it to Angel. ‘If you could go back ten years and say no, would you?’
‘Don’t be dumb. Of course not.’
‘You’re lying. I’m not sure you know that you’re lying, but you are. Don’t
tell me that if you and I could be standing here right now, just like
this with that bloody amazing kiss heavy between us, but you were still
Angel, you wouldn’t want it!’
Angel turned away and said icily, ‘I am still Angel.’
‘Oh, you’re as good at avoiding questions as I am, Mate.’
Angel turned back angrily. ‘How do you expect me to answer that? Okay,
what if I’d stayed as a vampire—what then? We’d have gone on arguing and
Spike kissed him.
He just lunged forward and clamped him hard into a kiss. He rubbed Angel
with one raised knee, inserted his tongue into the hot mouth and stroked
the back of his neck.
Then he pulled off.
‘Sorry. You were saying?’
Angel’s mouth hung theatrically open. A tiny trail of Spike’s saliva glistened
on his bottom lip. Spike shrugged and returned to suck it off.
Angel’s hand fastened onto the small of Spike’s back. Spike hesitated
over the sucking, drawing it out. Angel moaned and pressed him back against
the edge of the table. Spike opened his thighs, and Angel came to stand
between them as if he’d always been there, as if it were his rightful
place. They kissed slowly now, enjoying the individual pleasures rather
than the rough whole. Inevitably, their minds drifted lower to the need
sparking from their groins. Both dressed only in thin pants, the rigidity
of erections could clearly be felt between them. They rubbed together
as they kissed, hands straying from necks to swell these lower delights.
Spike had just formulated an entire plan to seduce Angel, which took into
account Angel’s relative inexperience and his own fairly extensive knowledge,
when Angel eased off and whispered, ‘Accept her offer, Spike.’
Spike jerked his head back, away from Angel’s seductive, lying mouth.
He pushed him off. Angel staggered back and hit the couch, sitting heavily.
‘You bastard! Have you ever had one honest emotion in your entire sorry
Angel wiped his hand over his mouth. ‘I didn’t mean it like that.’
‘Yes. You did. You thought if I wanted something enough, I’d just do it—without
thinking. I’m love’s bitch, remember? Done some crazy things for love
in my life already.’
Angel licked his lips. ‘Love?’
Spike immediately shrugged off his slip and went to the bed to fetch his
shirt. ‘I’ll decide in my own way. I should never have come to see you.’
This time, he was the one caught off guard by Angel’s stealthy approach.
Standing just behind him, arms folded over his chest, Angel said in a
low, serious tone, ‘Don’t go. I’m sorry. I wasn’t trying to trick you.
I just needed to ask you then. It came to me then. Because of what we
were… doing.’ He caught Spike’s arm. ‘Please. Don’t go. Stay here like
I said, and we can work through this thing together.’
‘No. You’ll try to—.’
‘I promise, Spike. I won’t try to do anything you don’t want to do. But
I want to show you something of life. It’s not fair of you to judge on
what you’ve seen so far. From me.’
‘How can I say here? You don’t have a spare room; you don’t have—.’
‘We managed okay last night….’
Spike laughed, disbelievingly. ‘What? You think we’re going to chastely
share a bed?’
Angel blushed. ‘The couch is comfortable.’
Spike’s shoulders sagged, and Angel capitalised on the capitulation. ‘Just
for week. It’s a huge decision—a decision for eternity. One week, Spike.
Seven days—give it that much.’
Spike pouted. ‘I have to go back to my place first. There are some… loose
ends I need to tie up.’
‘Benwell.’ It was stated not asked, and in a flat voice that could not
hide the emotion behind it.
Spike held his gaze. ‘Yes.’
Angel turned away. ‘I guess I’ll see you later then.’
Spike wasn’t sure enough about his own motives or emotions to even attempt
to help Angel sort his. He just nodded, pulled on his T-shirt and left.
* * * * * *
Henry was still asleep when Spike got home. As they’d never kept normal
hours, this wasn’t unusual. Spike stood and watched him for some time
before he crossed to the bed and slid in alongside him.
The human stirred, pulled him into his arms, grunted something rude and
went back to sleep—or appeared to. Just as Spike was sliding into sleep
himself, a quiet voice asked, ‘You’re leaving me, aren’t you?’
Spike’s eyes blinked open. ‘Huh?’
Henry sat up, disentangling his arms from Spike’s slim body. ‘Three years,
Spike looked down at the sheet. ‘Don’t do this, Luv.’
‘Don’t do what, Spike? Don’t tell you that you’re a bastard and—.’
‘You know how it’s been between us! This is how you wanted it! Jesus,
Henry, I’ve never fucked anyone else without you since I met you. You’re
the one who brings home a different guy every—.’
‘And why do you think that is, Spike?’ Henry stared at him, challengingly.
Spike had never really thought about it. Other than the obvious. So he
suggested this, for wont of something more perceptive to say. ‘Because
you like fucking around?’
Henry began to laugh bitterly, and he climbed out of the bed, hugging
himself. Spike pulled his knees up to his chin and watched him silently.
Henry stood still for a moment, his head hanging down. ‘I was trying to
stop you getting bored with me, Spike. Guess I shouldn’t have bothered.
You have anyway.’
‘This has nothing to do with you!’ Spike realised as soon as he’d said
it that this was probably the worse thing he could say. He shot out of
bed and tried to embrace the resistant form, but Henry pulled away.
‘Just go. If you’re going, I’d rather you just got it over with and went.’
Suddenly, he lifted his face and stared at Spike. ‘I don’t envy him at
all. You’ll get bored of him, and he’s too fragile to survive that.’
‘Don’t, Henry. Don’t do this.’
Henry began to cry, tears running unchecked down his face. Spike came
forward slowly and kissed one trail, pulling him in tightly. ‘You’ve always
known we’d have to part, Pet. Sooner or… later. I can’t give you what
‘You’ve given me my entire life, Spike.’
In a low voice, Spike then asked, ‘What about me? I need things, too.’
Henry held his gaze for a long time then with his face creasing up in
misery, he nodded. ‘I’m sorry. I’m acting the queen bitch, aren’t I?’
Spike wrinkled his nose. ‘We’re getting kinda gay here, Luv. Scary vampire,
Henry tried to laugh. Spike hugged him again.
‘Have you decided?’
Spike shook his head. ‘I’m giving myself another week. With him. Maybe
something about his life will convince me it’s worth it.’
‘What about the book—the next one…?’
‘Do you still want to work with me?’
Henry nodded ruefully. ‘I’m a mercenary queen bitch.’
Spike suddenly kissed him. ‘I’m missing you already.’
The kiss deepened. Spike tried to say that it wasn’t right—that it wasn’t
what they both needed right then, but the human was conveniently deaf.
He backed Spike to the bed and fell on him. They kissed and rolled, the
awareness that it might be their last time, spicing the passion that always
flared between them. Nuzzling into Spike’s ear, Henry whispered, ‘Let
me take you for the first time.’
Spike jerked his head away and laughed. ‘Yeah. Like, not.’
‘Yes.’ He straddled him and lifted Spike’s arms over his head, biting
into his armpit. ‘Please….’
Spike frowned, the temptation surprisingly strong. Then he let his eyes
travel slowly up the man’s neck to his hair. It was the wrong shade. He
rolled out from under him and sat hunched on the edge of the bed. ‘I’m
Henry watched the bent back for a moment. ‘You’ve got it bad for him,
Spike twisted around. Henry kissed him swiftly on the forehead. ‘Go have
your life, Baby.’ He climbed off the bed and went out of sight to the
* * * * * *
Spike felt oddly chastened when he arrived back at Angel’s with a few
clothes in a bag. He seemed to be hurting everyone when all he wanted
was to unravel this dilemma. He was tempted to call Illyria and tell her
that the whole thing was off—that he’d just stay as he was and the devil
take him, but something held him off making that histrionic move.
Angel also seemed ill at ease, as if his impetuous decision to invite
Spike to stay had been revised during his absence. He fidgeted for a few
minutes then said with false cheerfulness, ‘I’ll cook tonight. I’ll go
to the store. Help yourself to….’ Grabbing his jacket and wallet, he left.
Spike helped himself to the phone. He threw himself onto the couch and
dialled his own number.
After a time, it was answered. ‘What?’
Spike pouted. ‘I’m sorry.’
‘Yeah, well, sorry doesn’t alter the price of fish.’
‘It’s an expression.’
‘No it’s bloody not.’
‘Oh, fuck off.’ Spike did not miss the tone of deep affection in the man’s
voice. He shifted the phone to his other ear. After a pause, both seemingly
waiting for the other to break the ice, Benwell asked, ‘Why don’t we just
go home, Spike? My Mum’ll cook us one of her famous roast lunches, and
we can chill out in the English rain.’
Spike sighed. ‘Yeah. I promised ‘er we’d be back in a few weeks.’
‘Well, you are her favourite person.’
‘I think she kinda sensed I have this thing about mothers.’
‘What if this thing you want with Angel makes you decide to take up the
Smurf’s offer, but when you do… things with him change?’
‘Look, when I met Angel the other night, he didn’t strike me as someone
who was going to give you what you want.’
Spike laughed. ‘If you’ve worked out what I want, let me know, yeah?’
‘I know you’re never going to let someone take you. You’re one of life’s
natural tops. But… so is Angel.’
There was a pause, and then Spike asked with slight annoyance in his voice,
‘What do you mean?’
‘You know what I mean. You’re gonna fall in love, cus that’s what you
do, and you’re going to give up what you have for some romantic illusion
that you can be human with Angel and grow old together, raising cats.
He’s the wrong one for you. He’d be more at home in a sweat-stained wife-beater,
punching around some thin blonde on a Saturday night.’
Spike pouted, studying his fingernails. ‘You should have been the writer.’
‘I’m in love with one; that’s enough for me. You need someone to love,
Spike. Someone… less than you. You need someone who has a hole in their
life that’s your shape.’ There was a pause and then a faint snort of amusement.
‘Or one that’s willing to stretch to take you.’
Spike perked up, the conversation going more to his liking. ‘So… what
are you doing now?’
‘Don’t.’ Henry laughed incredulously. ‘Don’t tell me you’re even suggesting
we have phone sex! You are, aren’t you?’
‘I was only askin’….’
Henry chuckled. ‘Will you be there all week?’
‘That’s the plan.’
‘What if you… need something he won’t give you?’
‘You offerin’ to stand in?’
‘You know I am.’
‘I know where you live, Ree. This isn’t the end unless you want it to
‘You know what I want.’
‘I can’t give you that. You knew that when we started.’
‘I guess I thought I could change you.’
‘I’m not even sure all of the Smurf’s power can do that.’
‘Jesus. Just take care, okay? You’re not the big badass vampire you think
Spike laughed. Then he heard someone fumbling with the door. He snapped
off the phone but didn’t quite get it back to its cradle before Angel
came in, balancing two large grocery bags.
He stared at Spike and the phone and slammed the door unnecessarily hard.
Spike gave him one of his innocent looks. ‘That’s a lot of food for one
anorexic and one dead man.’
The implied flattery did its job; Angel seemed to relax. He almost smiled.
‘I’ve asked some friends over.’
Spike didn’t comment. This was so obviously an attempt to prove something
about the quality of his life that he felt only a surge of affection for
Angel put the bags down and glanced obliquely at him. ‘I’ve told them
that you’re my cousin from England.’
‘One out of two ain’t bad. Angel…?’
‘Hmm?’ Angel was unpacking the groceries, reading labels.
Angel flushed and began to open some cans. ‘I’m not going to do this with
you now. I need time to… shit!’ He held still, staring in wonder at a
bright pulse of red that splattered from his finger. ‘It slipped.’ The
can-opener lay discarded on the counter, the can with its vicious, twisted
lid fell from his hand.
Spike hissed and came forward, grabbing the dishcloth. ‘Press this on
‘It’s dirty. Get something from the….’ Spike took the finger.
He stared at it in wonder. Suddenly, tears sprang into his eyes, and he
said softly, sadly, ‘Human blood.’ He looked up. ‘I didn’t get it. Even
after all these years; you’re… so far away from me now.’ Very slowly,
almost in a daze, Angel pulled his bleeding finger from Spike’s hold but
then brushed it over Spike’s lower lip. Spike shook his head; the movement
disturbing one incipient tear, making it roll down his cheek. He whispered,
Angel ignored him and pushed the finger through the wet opening.
For one moment, Spike tasted Angel’s ten years of life in the welling,
crimson fluid: pain, sunshine, loneliness, sex, success, longing. Then
the taste of the rich, warm human blood overcame him. He almost swooned
with pleasure against Angel. Angel caught him around the back of his neck,
and from his expression, Spike knew that Angel was deliberately giving
him this pleasure—knew that ten years hadn’t dulled Angel’s memory of
the longing for human blood. But this was more than just blood. After
Spike suckled for a moment, Angel eased his finger back. When disappointment
creased the sharp features, he pushed it back in, and then began to systematically
finger-fuck Spike’s mouth, smearing his lips with the tacky red liquid,
making him moan.
Spike’s hands began to roam desperately over Angel’s body. One slid inside
his shirt onto the flat belly, one went lower and cupped him. Angel bent
over slightly at the waist and moaned as distinctly as Spike. Spike felt
the thick column beneath Angel’s pants harden and rise, pushing toward
him, so he freed it, making Angel hiss and arch into him. Angel glanced
down, a deep flush suffusing his face, then with urgent need he began
to dry thrust into Spike’s fist, his rosy-blushed cockhead peeping out
then disappearing into the paleness of Spike’s hand. Spike’s tongue lapped
at the healing wound in his mouth and let the silk-wrapped column of steel
run through his fingers, totally content.
Suddenly, Angel shivered and stood still.
He hung his head then shook it.
He pulled his shirt out, covering the evidence of his need.
He turned his back to Spike and leant on the kitchen counter.
Spike stood uncertain what to do, the taste of Angel strong on his tongue
and in his heart. Finally, he just put a hand to the small of Angel’s
back and rubbed him gently through the soft shirt. Angel stayed for a
moment to enjoy the comfort then held up his finger as an excuse and went
to the bathroom.
* * * * * *
Angel was sombre at his own dinner party, and Spike wasn’t sure whether
to assign this mood to the sore, bandaged finger, possible confusion over
the almost sex in the kitchen or to the hideousness of Angel’s so-called
friends. If Angel was trying to convince him that life was precious and
much to be desired from this collection of sorry specimens, then he was
They had not spoken about what had happened. As soon as he was showered
and dressed, Angel had asked Spike to go out and buy some drink and would
not catch his eye as he made the request. When he’d returned from his
errand, Angel was cooking with great concentration and wouldn’t speak
Then they’d started arriving: odd people Spike thought would be the last
kind of humans Angel would count as friends.
He’d watched Angel making a half-hearted attempt to re-bandage his finger
until a slim, blonde woman with haughty shoes had stepped in to help.
Very willingly, Spike noted. He watched the interaction between them.
She was keen (he could smell this), but Angel’s responses were more difficult
to read. Then he’d been dragged away by a greying man with a goatee to
discuss Angel’s work. Angel, Spike noted, had turned his latest creation
of the woman in man to the wall and pushed a chair up against it to deny
the curious. Spike wasn’t surprised; he still wasn’t sure what Angel was
trying to say in that freaky conception. He didn’t much like any of the
possibilities. Goatee wanted to discuss less then he wanted to talk. He
talked a lot—some about Angel, but mostly about himself. Spike wasn’t surprised
to hear that he painted, too. He would have blown the man off, but occasionally
he said something interesting about Angel, so he let him ramble. He could
still see Angel and the woman (not that he was looking), even though he
could not hear what they discussed.
Spike heard the raised inflection of a question and turned to a young
woman with serious glasses who had joined them. ‘Huh?’
‘Whereabouts do you live in England?’
‘Er… I move around a lot.’
‘What do you do?’
‘What do you do?’
She blushed and frowned, but goatee began talking again, so she was saved
from responding to Spike’s rudeness.
He turned back to look for Angel once more and swore when he could not
Walking abruptly away from the man, who continued to talk to himself,
Spike went over to the bedroom area. There were voices in the bathroom,
and he felt an absurd stab of annoyance poke his gut (which could have
been jealousy, if he were the jealous type, which obliviously he wasn’t).
They came out together. She looked flushed. Angel was inspecting a neatly
bandaged finger. Spike relaxed; they smelt of antiseptic ointment and
nothing more incriminating.
Angel gave him a bitter look that clearly told him to stop scenting him
and mind his own business. Spike sent back a look that he hoped said just
as clearly that Angel was his business.
Angel gathered people around the large table at the far end of the apartment.
With the lights lowered and candles lit, Spike could see the pride in
Angel’s face at his achievements as these cultured rich people took seats
around his table. He wondered idly if Angel remembered the parties Dru
would throw for them: the wild games, the fun, the richly laden tables
of food eaten by those who were soon to be eaten by them. Did he miss
those days? Spike watched him closely and concluded that he did. The act
was good. It was almost flawless, but no one in the world knew Angel as
well as he did, and he saw desperation hidden behind this mask of cosmopolitan
urbaneness. The fact that Angel was still refusing to look at him
pretty much bore out this suspicion. If he was so confident about this
new life of his, why was he afraid to face the things that were challenging
‘…. Los Angeles?’
Once more, Spike had to ask lamely, ‘Huh?’
The young man seated on his right repeated, ‘What brings you to Los Angeles?’
‘I came to visit Angel.’ This one was slightly more interesting than the
others, and Spike felt a familiar stir that made him smile with its inappropriateness.
The man smiled back as if he got the joke.
‘Did you catch his latest exhibition: Gifts?’
Yeah. I bought most of it. ‘Mmm. Impressive.’
‘I bought For the Child’s Room. It was so weird. It looks like
toys scattered around a kid’s room, but when you look closely, they aren’t
toys at all. They’re demons, and they’re all advancing on this little
kid who’s trying to show them to his father. You can see the father just
sees toys. It’s scary. Where does he come up with these ideas?’
The man laughed, and when Spike looked puzzled, he clarified, slightly
embarrassed, ‘You can hear that more than one way.’
Spike played it in his mind then rolled his eyes fractionally. Then the
thought of Angel beating him made him lift his eyes to the figure at the
head of the table. Angel’s eyes were drilling into him. Spike looked away
quickly then back. But Angel was now talking to the blonde.
But he was watching me. A spark of pleasure kindled by anticipation
fired Spike’s belly. He knew beyond doubt that Angel was thinking about
what they had done in the kitchen. Perhaps his finger was throbbing, reminding
him of it. Perhaps something else was throbbing, drawing his mind inexorably
back to that moment when he’d allowed another man to take out his cock
and play with him.
Spike risked another glance at Angel, but the brown eyes were now fixed
on the female ones opposite him with an almost glassy stare of concentration.
Spike pushed his plate away, annoyed. ‘Not for food, no.’
A knee pressed against his. ‘Perhaps you have… English tastes?’
Spike leant back in his chair and allowed the knee to press pleasurably
against him. He turned his head lazily and dragged his eyes slowly up
to the man’s face. ‘What was your name again?’
Spike tipped his head back and chuckled. ‘Oh, there’s nothing that suits
an Englishman’s tastes more than being soaked in sweet rain.’
Suddenly, his plate flew from the place in front of him, almost catching
him on the head. The knee was snatched back, and Angel leant over to clear
the unused cutlery. ‘My food not to your taste, Spike?’
Spike pouted but had the sense not to reply. Angel couldn’t carry all
the plates so when he left to take those he had, Spike picked up one and
brought it to the kitchen, too. Angel kept his back turned to him as he
stacked them. ‘Enjoying yourself? I hear he’s real easy; hardly worth
you getting excited about.’
‘Maybe I should have stayed blond and made doe eyes at you instead.’ Angel
turned around and glared. Spike said gently, apologetically, ‘How’s the
Angel’s shoulders sagged. ‘This party was a mistake. And it hurts. Thanks
Spike pushed off the counter and leant gently against him. ‘Poor baby.
Does it… throb?’
Angel flicked his eyes warily to the guests at the other end of the room,
but an unmistakable glimmer of a smile lit his face.
Spike came as close to batting his eyes as he ever went and whispered,
‘What say we blow this party and go do something more interesting?’
Angel closed his eyes. ‘You’re not really getting with the programme,
Spike sighed. ‘Well, I’ll stay and do the nice, but you have to promise
that tomorrow we’ll do something I want.’
‘You’re not here to do things you want. You’re here to….’
‘Make my mind up. Yeah, I know. But that means I have to explore my options.
‘I didn’t have that privilege.’
Was Angel admitting that if he’d had a chance to try it out for a while
he wouldn’t have accepted being human? Spike was about to ask when Angel
clarified, ‘Sometimes having no choice is better, Spike. The best thing
is chosen for you.’
Spike toed the tiles on the floor for a moment, mulling this over. ‘You
chose eternal life for me.’
‘Stop glamorising death! You aren’t a girl in overdone eyeliner, sitting
alone in her room because she has no friends, thinking vampires are cool.
You are a demon inhabiting the corpse of a man long dead! And, no, I didn’t
give you any choice. We aren’t meant to choose about things like this.
Take her offer and live your life again, William. As you were meant to
Spike lifted his eyes slowly. ‘I wasn’t meant to like cock. I’d have been
strung up for that preference once. Times change. People change. I’ve
changed. I’m not sure I want to live the life I was meant to….’
Angel took his shoulders. ‘Not literally. You can make a new life for
yourself and be anything you want to be. I’ll help you. I have money,
Spike chuckled. ‘I’m not short of a bob or two.’
Angel shook him gently. ‘Accept her offer. Tonight. Please….’
Spike blinked slowly and smiled. ‘You come out with me tomorrow, and I’ll
think about it.’
Angel shoved him off. So sure he’d won, he wasn’t used to his persuasive
tactics failing—didn’t like what it implied about the weakness of his
current status. Was a time, Spike would have been entirely in his thrall.
Was a time, he made the decisions for Spike.
He picked up the dessert bowls and brushed past him. Spike held his arm.
Angel hesitated then nodded, but he added, ‘But you behave nicely tonight.’
At Spike’s nod of agreement, he began to walk back to the table. He stopped,
his eyes on Rain. ‘But not too nice.’
Spike laughed, and as he passed Angel, he trailed his hand over the taut
backside. If anyone at the table noticed this odd behaviour between cousins,
they didn’t mention it.
* * * * * * *
Spike watched incredulously as Angel fetched a pillow and some blankets
and laid them on the couch. Angel didn’t catch his eye. ‘Sleep well.’
This was not how Spike had anticipated the end of the evening at all.
He had played nice, but not too nice, just as Angel had requested. So
why was he being relegated to the couch? Tetchily, he replied, ‘I would
if I had a nice comfy bed.’
Angel’s gaze almost reached his chin. ‘I don’t think that’s a good idea.’
‘Why? You protecting your virgin ass?’
Angel thought for a moment then shrugged. ‘Maybe.’ He began to walk away
then he stopped. ‘Would you accept Illyria’s offer if I said I’d—?’
Spike felt something very akin to horror creep down his spine. He replied
with an edge to his voice, ‘Have you just offered to prostitute yourself
to encourage me to become human?’
Angel wrapped his arms tightly around his body. ‘Fuck you.’ He went into
the bathroom, and the sound of a slammed shower door punctuated this invective.
Spike sat heavily on the couch and pulled the pillow onto his lap. Things
were worse than he thought. He could not believe that the Angel he knew
had sunk so low as to offer what he had just offered. Had pride been stripped
from him with his immortality? Why was he so keen to have Spike join him
Suddenly, Spike got why. Exactly that: to join him. Misery needs
companionship. Angel needed him to be human so there would be someone
else as miserable in this world as he was. More miserable. He’d
done it before, after all: it was why he’d turned him. Spike bunched the
pillow angrily, taking his ire out on its soft disinterest. Oh, Angelus
hadn’t been miserable. Far from it. But he’d wanted companionship, someone
he could debase. He’d wanted someone else to be as damned as he was. More
damned. It’s why he’d picked him: the one who would suffer the most.
Well, Angelus had been wrong. He hadn’t suffered. He’d risen to every
challenge thrown at him. He’d surpassed his sire. He liked being a vampire!
Spike stood up and threw the pillow at the bed. ‘Fuck you, Angel!’ He
slammed the main door on his way out, harder than Angel had been able
to slam the shower.
Spike let himself into his rented apartment and was met by a sea of seething
male flesh, which, when he’d taken stock for a moment, turned into just
Henry and three other men on the couch. But they were seething.
He could almost hear the clash of tongue-studs from where he stood.
He rolled his eyes and went to the bedroom, sitting on the bed and gloomily
putting his chin into his hand.
He looked up. ‘Yeah.’
Henry came and perched next to him, Spike’s despondency not helped now
by the erection that winked at him, wavering like some horny cobra from
the nest of dark hair in the man’s lap. ‘Didn’t make even one night then.’
Spike shook his head. ‘He’s hard work.’
‘You’re not easy either, Spike. Don’t blame it all on him.’
‘Hey! Whose side are you on?’
Henry grinned and began to stroke the snake. ‘Mine, of course. Wanna come
‘Jesus. I’m not sure I could get vomit up let alone my cock.’
Henry slid a hand into his lap. ‘Is that so?’
Spike smiled wryly and addressed the prominent bulge. ‘Traitor.’
A voice called from the other room, and Henry stood up. ‘Come on.’
‘Maybe. I’ll take a shower first.’
Instead, when Henry disappeared into the other room, Spike rose and shut
the connecting door then lay back on the bed, thinking. The unpleasant
thought had occurred to him on the way over that Angel wanted him to join
him not because he was miserable but because he was insanely happy with
his new life. Sure, from his perspective it didn’t seem that this
was the case, but that was the problem: he wasn’t the best one to decide.
He almost felt like hiring a third person to come in and judge between
them. He’d lay out all the pros and cons on both sides and let this theoretical
person decide. On his side the advantages would be invincibility,
eternal life, preternatural strength, getting to outlive wankers, being
cool, and fucking strangers without a condom. He felt there should be
more, but he didn’t want to appear too pushy. On the down side, there
would be… no sunlight, (this was harder), getting bored very quickly,
and… outliving everyone you loved. There were probably more on this side,
too, but he didn’t see why he should have to be the one to point
them out; altruism had never been his middle name. Angel’s advantages
would be—. The phone alongside the bed rang. He jumped. Only Henry knew
this number. Suspiciously, he picked it up. There was silence at the other
end then a hesitant, ‘Spike?’ Spike sighed. ‘How did you get my number?’
‘You dialled him from here!’
‘Oh. What do you want?’
After a pause, Angel said oddly neutrally, ‘I was thinking of saying you
then. How weird is that?’
Something fluttered in Spike’s belly. ‘You wanted me well enough once.’
‘I wanted your blood.’
‘I remember it differently.’
Angel had no reply for this. Spike knew he was staring at a perfectly
manicured nail. He smiled affectionately, picturing the scene.
‘I’m sorry. Come back? You promised you’d stay for the week.’
‘I thought I was going to be made more welcome.’
‘In my bed? That’s not going to happen, Spike. But I thought tomorrow
we could maybe buy another…. It’s a big place.’
‘Tad twee innit?’
‘I have no idea what you just said.’
Spike laughed. ‘I said yes.’ He heard a sigh of relief.
‘Come back tonight?’ There was a loud cry of orgasm from the other room,
which Spike knew Angel had heard. ‘Unless you’re…. Unless you’ve found
‘I’ll come back because I want to, yeah? Because it’s what I want most
He heard Angel smile. The image was as vivid as that.
* * * * * * *
This time, the couch almost looked welcoming. Angel had pushed it to the
far end of the large living space, creating a more intimate area for Spike.
He’d arranged a quilt and blankets for him, and pulled a table up and
put a drink and a book on it.
Spike felt absurdly grateful, and knew he didn’t deserve this. He added
to the list he was compiling of Angel’s pros: being a nice guy. Angel
had always had the potential to be nice, only the demon inside had held
him back. Being souled hadn’t been enough: the demon was still there.
Now he was pure. Being human made him pure. Spike could not deny
that this was a major attraction of becoming human again. Damn, he’d finished
his list, and he wasn’t about to go adding dumb bits in pencil to the
bottom. Besides, he’d miss his demon if he kicked it out. It had been
his companion for well over a hundred years, and they mucked along together
quite happily most of the time.
‘Do you want to watch a movie or something?’ Spike dragged himself back
to the present and was just about to reply in the affirmative when they
both realised at the same time that the couch was now some forty feet
from the TV. Suddenly, they began to laugh. It felt weird, laughing together,
yet right, too. Then they sobered. Something about laughing suddenly seemed
more highly charged than… other activities. Ice, once broken, couldn’t
be reformed exactly the same, and in the thaw other things lost their
hard edges, and all things seemed possible….
Spike nodded slowly as if agreeing to something he was telling himself
in his head. ‘I think maybe I’ll turn in.’
Angel almost looked relieved. He glanced at Spike’s temporary hangings
over the windows. ‘You gonna be okay in the morning?’
‘If you see fire, come put me out, yeah?’
‘That’s not funny, Spike.’
He was about to add something when Spike said icily, ‘You don’t need to
Angel pouted and looked at his bare feet. Slowly, reluctantly perhaps,
he turned away to his own side of the room.
* * * * * * *
What had seemed like the most practical solution when he’d thought of
it—pushing Spike’s couch to the far end of the space—seemed no more effective
than spitting into the leading edge of a conflagration when Angel lay
that night in bed. If he’d thought that putting those forty feet between
them would do anything to lessen his confusing physical reactions to Spike,
he was wrong. He became increasingly hard and ached more acutely as the
minutes ticked by. Of course, he had not had sex for a long time (except
with his hand, which didn’t count). He was just missing it, and his body
was responding to the…. But he couldn’t keep up the pretence; he wasn’t
that dumb. He knew exactly what he was doing. He was getting hard to glimpsed
pleasures possible from Spike’s body: his hands roaming over that invulnerable
flesh, his lips grinding on lips that did not split and bleed against
his stubble, a body that could quell his terrible desires.
Spike could offer him what he had sought in the dark underbelly of LA’s
nightlife. Spike could be his release.
He turned onto his side and curled up his knees, desperate to take his
cock in his hand and pump the astounding pressure out into the sheets.
But he knew that Spike would hear him… would smell him. Spike wasn’t asleep.
Angel could hear rustling and restlessness from the other end of the room.
It began to irritate him. He hadn’t shared his sleeping space with anyone
for too long. Irritation did nothing to quell his own prickliness; he
wanted to climb out of his skin again, slough it off onto the bed and
rub his raw insides until they bled him some relief.
The rustling got more noticeable. ‘What! For fuck’s sake, Spike, what?’
There was a pause then a cough. ‘I’m just checking.’
‘To see if they really go blue. Always been curious.’
Angel sat up. Spike’s face appeared over the back of the couch, a pale
shadow in the shadows. He grinned. That much—the familiar smirk—Angel
could see despite the gloom of the apartment. ‘You bastard.’
‘Oh, my heart bleeds, Mate. You feeling your virginity threatened all
that way over there?’
Angel swung his legs out of bed then marched determinedly over to the
smiling vampire. He spread his hands on the back of the couch and leant
down, close to Spike’s grin. ‘I don’t know what kind of manipulative games
you’re—whoa!’ Weighing well over one hundred and eighty pounds, Angel
wasn’t used to being heaved through the air. Spike just grunted as if
he were lifting a bag from the floor, then grunted some more when all
those pounds landed on him.
‘Sorry, Mate—you were saying?’ Suspiciously not bothered about hearing
what this was at all, he lifted his face and kissed Angel, hard and relentless
on his open, startled mouth. To Angel it had all happened too quickly
to prevent: happened in the time it had taken him not to say playing,
which is what he would have said if Spike’s tongue hadn’t been exploring
along the top surface of his teeth and his smile easing its way into his
heart. As Angel kissed back, therefore, the thought playing echoed
around in his head, seeking a way out. When it didn’t find one it battered
at him—playing, playing, playing—and before he could stop himself,
he lifted his hand and punched it into the side of Spike’s head. He almost
burst with pleasure at the feel of flesh under his fist.
Spike winced and pushed Angel back, further down his body, holding the
side of his head. Before he could complain or retaliate, Angel rose up
onto his hands and knees and drove his thigh hard into the hardness between
Spike’s legs. Spike went pale, then an odd shade of yellow and curled
into a ball—the movement dislodging Angel to the floor. He scrambled to
his feet and waited, fists curled. Spike looked up at him through screwed
up eyes. ‘It still hurts, Pet. I’m dead—not disputing that—but it still
hurts. Seem to remember you getting your knackers crushed once or twice
and not liking it.’
‘Not by a puny human.’
Spike had to concede that and slowly uncurled keeping a wary eye on Angel.
He shook out his shoulders. ‘Nothing puny ‘bout you—human or demon.’
Angel felt an absurd—given the circumstances—stab of gratitude to Spike
for the dignity he was willing to give him… dignity he rarely gave himself
these days. He took a step closer. Spike stood up. ‘How’s this gonna play…ugh.’
He straightened from the punch. ‘Uh huh—like that then. Do I get to play,
too?’ He swung; it was a feint; when Angel dodged, Spike caught him around
the waist playfully and heaved him close.
Back to Spike’s cool chest, Angel sucked his breath in with wonder. He
was crushed against a baseball bat, uncurling against his buttocks. Spike
whispered, ‘Like the feel of that, hmm? Is that what this is about? Let’s…
see….’ He slid his hand very slowly down Angel’s naked belly and under
the top of his loose cotton pants. ‘Is he going to resist me? Or welcome
me?’ He wormed a finger under the elastic, and Angel elbowed him, double
fisted, in the ribs. Spike dropped him and doubled up, laughing. ‘Good
one. He resists.’ He looked up at Angel through dangerously lowered lids—Angel
knew that look only too well, and a shiver of intense anticipation coursed
through him. ‘I didn’t know you could be so much fun.’ He darted forward
and rugby-tackled Angel, arms tight around his waist, but instead of running
him back into the wall, he hoisted him onto his shoulder and then dumped
him on the couch once more. This time though, he was on top, straddling
the human before he had time to fight the unexpected tactic. Angel tried
to hit up at him, but it was an awkward angle, and Spike caught his flailing
wrists, holding them and then stretching them over Angel’s head, lowering
as he did to brush Angel’s lips with his own. ‘I’m sitting on something
rather uncomfortable. What could that be, Luv?’ He wriggled with a perplexed
look on his face. ‘Hmm. Weird. Feels like….’ He wriggled some more. ‘Could
it be…’ he whispered ‘an erection?’ The final word unfurled in deep into
Angel’s mouth as Spike kissed him, running his tongue up inside the warm
Angel bucked his hips up and twisted, and Spike tipped off onto the floor.
Angel fell, too, and used his weight to maximum advantage, pinning him
down. If the thought crossed Angel’s mind that it was too easy—that Spike
had let go his wrists, that the vampire had been too easy to dislodge,
that he was pretending any of the hurt and all of the weakness—then he
suppressed it. He straddled Spike, panting, glee on his face. Spike cocked
up his eyebrow then let his gaze graze down the bare chest to Angel’s
lap. ‘Huh, I was right.’ He slid his hands up the cotton-clad thighs until
his thumbs reached the impossibly hard root of the erection that tented
obscenely from Angel’s pants. Angel shifted slightly and with all his
power and muscle, backhanded Spike so his head rocked and a tiny trail
of spittle flew out and hit the couch. The erection reacted in much the
same way: a spit of dampness appearing on the thin cotton. Spike put a
finger to his bleeding mouth and wiped deliberately at the trail of blood.
Slowly, he turned his head back and lifted his finger to Angel’s mouth.
‘I’ve seen grown men piss themselves when I’ve done this.’
Angel flicked his eyes down to the blood. ‘Huh?’
Spike tipped his head to one side. ‘They didn’t know I was clean… blood
is the new vampire, Angel: the new nightmare they conjure in every waking
dream. Blood will tempt them, suck them down into hell…oh….’ Angel dipped
his head and caught Spike’s finger in his mouth, sucking the familiar
taste onto his tongue. Spike felt his own cock shift and lengthen under
Angel’s hard backside. Ten years, and he had just found something that
wasn’t boring at all. He urged the finger deeper, twisting it around the
eager mouth, letting Angel get the full flavour of his blood. He watched
the dark eyes dilate then slowly close with the delight. Very low into
the darkened room he whispered, ‘You’ll be in my thrall.’
Angel let the finger drop, a trail of saliva hanging between them, and
replied just as quietly, ‘Since when was I not?’ As if answering his own
question, he stretched Spike’s arms high over his head, nodded at the
effect then bent to one soft hollow and bit deeply. Spike gasped and writhed
beneath him. Angel held on, his teeth holding actual flesh in his mouth
until it bled. It was a dream not dreamt in the clubs he’d frequented.
Played at, sure. But not this—this feel of tearing and consuming, blood
and hair and sweat all playing around his mouth and nose. Like Spike,
he knew only too well the fear of blood these days. He feared it as much
as it still called to him, and now he could enjoy it once more. He lifted
his bloodied mouth from the armpit and pressed it to Spike’s, leading
the savage kiss this time, pressing the flavours back to their owner.
When he felt Spike had been given enough pleasure, Angel sat up straight,
shifting his weight back. Spike showed the first hint of genuine worry
that night. ‘Careful, Pet—‘less you want your game to end too soon.’ Angel
couldn’t help a quirk of a smile at the thought of bringing Spike off
just by sitting on him and deliberately, blatantly, ground down on the
throb beneath. Spike arched, which didn’t help, and his hands flew to
Angel’s thighs, urging and constraining in one contradictory squeeze.
His thumbs dug once more into the centre of Angel’s lap and his eyes flew
open. ‘Christ. You’re… like a bloody tree stump.’ He pressed some more.
Angel’s eyes rolled up in his head, and he began to pant rapidly.
Very carefully, Spike eased the waistband of Angel’s pants down an inch.
He shuddered with pleasure then tucked the elastic under the flared, shiny
cockhead. ‘Oh, not a stump at all; you… blossom.’ He ran a thumb over
the perfectly shaped tip, sliding delightfully on the natural lubrication
dripping like tears from the rose-pink slit.
‘Don’t.’ Angel caught his wrist and held it away. ‘You don’t have permission
to touch me.’
Spike let him hold him thus: it was all part of the game; he got that.
‘What would I have to do to be given permission?’
Angel slapped him again, a direct and accurate open-palmed slap across
his cheek. The finger marks flared red on the pale skin almost immediately,
like an artificial blush of shame or pleasure. Spike closed his eyes,
and his face creased with pain for a moment, but the way he eased his
hips explained the reaction. Angel grinned and slid his hands back to
the rock-hardness and squeezed. Spike’s eyes flew open, and he shouted,
‘No!’ but it was too late; Angel felt heavy wetness under his fingers.
Bone-deep shudders wracked Spike’s body, their power transmitting up through
to the human riding him. Before he could stop it, Angel’s cock began to
spurt. Trapped upright and held by the waistband, the first gob launched
vertically and hit him under the chin. He jerked his head back, and the
second arced, raining down on Spike’s bare chest like hot spits from a
kettle. The next few were just bubbles, spilling over and running down
to soak the elastic restraining him. By the time Angel had finished, Spike’s
wetness under his hand was like a pool. The vampire’s shudders were still
sending aftershocks through them both.
He hung his head onto his chest, his heart beating wildly.
A cool hand gently pressed over it.
Spike groaned, and it had more pleasure in the sound than the noise he
had made ejaculating. Angel opened his eyes and watched pale fingers caressing
his chest. Anyone else might have targeted his nipple. Not this one though;
this one only wanted to feel what lay beneath. He tipped his head back
and felt absurdly grateful that he could give something back to Spike
for all he had been given that night. His knuckles hurt; his palm stung;
his balls ached as if they’d been squeezed dry, and yet he hadn’t felt
so euphoric since….
He climbed off and almost ran to the privacy of the shower, leaving Spike
to watch him with puzzled, hurt eyes.
But ten years was a long time not to know happiness.
Angel knew that Spike was watching him. Although too late to worry about
being naked, he nevertheless kept his back to the glass door of the shower,
and was glad he’d flicked a towel over the top earlier. Suitably wrapped,
he emerged from the steam and went up to the silent, watchful figure.
Casually, as if inspecting a car for damage, he checked Spike’s face and
then his bitten armpit. Spike followed the inspection with his eyes then
stared back at Angel. ‘It was good for me, too, Luv.’
Angel blushed and turned to stare at himself in the mirror. He didn’t
seem to like what he saw, for he blushed some more and began to brush
his teeth vigorously. Around the brush, making a foaming mess of toothpaste,
he spat out, ‘Just because something is good doesn’t make it right.’
‘I think it does between consenting adults.’
‘Don’t be obscure.’
Spike frowned a little, out of sight behind Angel’s back, then with a
tiny smile asked, ‘Do you mean obtuse?’
‘Missing the point?’
‘No, I’m not.’
Spike sighed and gave him the benefit of the doubt that it was nearly
dawn and they’d had no sleep. ‘Anyway….’ Angel cast him a look over his
shoulder to see if he was listening, and Spike gave him one of his innocent,
intelligent looks. Angel narrowed his eyes slightly but continued, ‘Anyway,
you know damn well that what just happened between us only confused the
whole freaking issue.’
‘Oh… I don’t know. I can see really some attractions of being human now….’
He could see that Angel didn’t want to ask. He watched Angel brush even
more furiously, rinse and spit then wipe his mouth slowly with the back
of his hand. Finally, he weakened and asked. ‘What?’
Spike smirked inwardly. ‘You get to see in the mirror how pretty you are
after a good shag.’ He laughed and dodged out of the bathroom, and by
the time Angel emerged, he was just a lump under the blankets on the couch.
* * * * * *
It did not escape Angel’s notice that Spike had not showered. He lay
there, sleeping, with his come drying on his chest…. Angel wasn’t
sure whether the thought disgusted or aroused him and groaned when his
body began to make up its own mind. It was too late to return to bed,
too early to be up. He went over to the large canvas, turned to the wall
for the party, and turned it round. Removing the window coverings on his
side of the apartment, he began to work.
* * * * * * *
He was blocked.
All his passion and desperate need had dissipated—had been quelled by
Spike’s cool body. Which wasn’t bad—far from it; he had not felt so calm for weeks. But he had nothing
to put into the strokes of paint for he had stroked already over the planes
and contours of Spike’s body.
Cautiously, Angel walked the length of the room and peered over the back
of the couch. Spike was deeply asleep, as only a vampire during sunlight
hours could be. Angel remembered the almost visionary state: the sense
of being far from the body, looking back from a place of darkness and
blood and pain. His sleep was two-dimensional now, and this filled him
with intense longing and sadness. Before he knew what he did, he was sitting
on the low table alongside the couch with a sketch book in his hand.
No grand, demented image. No commercial sale for this one. This one was
just for him. Silently sketching was as close as Angel had come to his
pre-human life for ten years. That it should be Spike—the one great constant
of his life—that he now drew seemed beyond coincidence. Something still
held them—dead or alive—bound together. For good or bad, Angel could not
Spike’s arm dangled off the couch, his hand curled loose and vulnerable
on the tiles. Long eyelashes fanned the sharp bones delineating his cheeks.
Angel focused on the hair for a while, picturing the rough blond locks
falling, wondering where they had been swept—which country now held those
evocative fragments of his life. His fingertips ached to touch
for real what his pencil created on the paper.
He was not unaware of time’s uncanny ability to play tricks, deceive and
toy with its victims. He had exploited that trait more than once in his
old, magical life: bending time and reality to his desires. Sometimes,
he felt that time’s inconsistencies intruded on his human life, too. Ten
years seemed like ten days, but one bad day could sometimes last for years.
And he felt its influence now: time’s spiteful game. Had he sat here all
his life, studying that sleeping face, or was this tiny moment of time
no more than a fleeting delusion, a tiny ghost of memory?
He looked down at the sketch he had hardly been aware of creating. It
was as perfect as the original. It would last for eternity as the original.
But both would one day pass beyond his Mayfly days and into that great
ring of pure and endless light.
Unless he could change Spike’s mind…! After all that had happened
between them, Spike had come to him. He had ventured into the vast
shadow of his life to taste its darkness. Angel sensed that Spike’s
hold upon his eternity was now precarious. One tug at his heart-strings,
and he would fall. To him.
He rose almost feverish with desire for this fall, and as he looked at
the image confined within the span of his hands, he felt the overwhelming
conviction that this was the last representation that would ever be captured
of the vampire, William the Bloody.
‘You have to trust me!’
‘You have to be joking.’
‘You trusted me once….’
‘I’ve known you nearly a hundred and fifty years; once is not much to
‘You’re doing that obtuse thing you do so well. You know very well that
you trusted me with your life in the final battle—with their lives, Angel:
the people you loved.’
‘Maybe. But I’m not trusting you with that! No! Stop it!’
Spike stood back from the scowling face. ‘I can’t do it anyway if you
‘You promised, Angel.’
‘I promised we’d go out! I never said anything about goddamned….’ Angel
stood up and cast a surly glance at the slim pencil in Spike’s hand.
‘If you don’t like it, you can take it off!’
‘I don’t want to know if I like it!’
Spike suddenly grinned. ‘Ah… now we’re gettin’ closer to the truth.’
Angel closed his eyes and hung his head. ‘If I let you, will you stop
Spike nodded, even though this enthusiastic gesture couldn’t be seen.
Angel sank back onto the edge of the bed and lifted his face. Spike came
close, approaching cautiously as he might a wild animal. Angel gave him
an almost amused look. ‘Stop being theatrical and just get on with it.
The sooner you do it, the sooner it comes off.’
Spike pushed softly in between Angel’s thighs and cupped his chin gently
with one hand. ‘Close your eyes.’
‘Jesus!’ But Angel did as Spike asked.
Carefully, with great concentration, Spike drew a line of black Kohl along
each of Angel’s eyelids. ‘Look up.’ Ignoring Angel’s glare, his tongue
protruding with concentration, he did a similar line along the lower lids.
Quickly, before Angel could move or protest, he ran his thumb along it
all, smudging. ‘There.’ He stood back. Suddenly, his smile of amused triumph
Angel looked worried. ‘What?’ He pushed past Spike and went into the bathroom.
Spike came and stood alongside him. Angel was blinking slowly. Spike wasn’t
sure if his eyes were irritated by the eyeliner or whether he was trying
to catch the look unexpectedly to gauge its effects. To him, it was intensely
beautiful, so unexpectedly so that he’d been momentarily silenced. Angel
looked like the fantasy version of what he had once been. He was seduction
made manifest. Spike backed out and fetched the clothes he’d laid out
on the bed. Wordlessly, Angel took them.
A few moments later, he emerged from the bathroom, dressed in black leather
pants and a skin-tight, sleeveless, metallic T-shirt. ‘I’m not going to
like where we’re going, am I?’
Spike just shook his head dumbly, staring. Suddenly, he added with a grin,
‘They’ll like you though.’
* * * * * *
and the cab driver were consulting over a tiny scrap of paper. The driver
had never heard of the address; Spike was deciphering a map.
Angel felt so self-conscious he stayed in the cab, arms wrapped tightly
across the jacket he had insisted wearing over the outlandish outfit.
He knew he was being dragged to a gay dance club. Why else would Spike
have dressed him like this? He wasn’t sure which of those two descriptions
he was most anxious about.
Direction apparently sorted, Spike jumped back in, and they set off again.
He was grinning out into the night, wired, on something.
He’d reverted to his hustler look, and Angel tried to keep his eyes straying
from the strategically placed rips in the faded blue denim. One even showed
a wisp of hair, so was particularly hard to ignore.
* * * * * * *
‘This is it.’
‘Huh?’ Angel jumped then glanced warily up at the apparently abandoned
office block. He paid the cabbie and climbed out, too. There was the faintest
thump, thump of a base somewhere, but other than that, they were standing
on a run-down street of tenements and office blocks.
Angel tipped his head back, letting his eyes travel slowly up the empty
floors. ‘You’re kidding. Where’s the club?’
‘You’re bringing me out to a gay dance club…?’
Spike looked taken aback. ‘Why would I want to do that?’
‘I don’t know! Because…. Because you think my life is boring; you don’t
like my friends, and you’re going to show me what I’m missing?’
Spike tipped his head to one side thoughtfully. ‘This isn’t about gay
or straight, Pet. I don’t need to be human or demon to be one or the other.
Neither do you. Why would I want to show you just another facet of human
life—one you could find quite easily for yourself?’ He left just the right pause. ‘’Specially if you wear that outfit
more often.’ On that cue, he put his hands to the edges of Angel’s jacket
and slipped it off his shoulders.
Angel was about to argue but a number of people were approaching.
No… not people.
He hissed. ‘They’re demons….’
Spike placed a hand on his bare arm. ‘And so are you—for tonight. Follow
me.’ Without waiting, he tagged onto the group. Angel looked around at
the deserted street, swore loudly and followed.
He expected them to go up into the building. Instead, the group headed
into the underground carpark. Long abandoned, there was no lighting, and
it was an intensely eerie place, smelling of stale urine and decay. The
beat of the music grew.
They walked down four or five levels, Angel trying to fade into the shadows,
aware that he was only one who saw the place shadowed, trying to remember
how it would have looked through his better eyes.
At a door, a large demon stood with his arms folded. As they approached,
he picked up a tiny instrument from his desk and, one-by-one, pricked
a small blood sample out of those seeking entry. Each time, a beep sounded
and a barrier clicked, allowing them to pass into the place beyond.
When it came to Spike’s turn, he leant on the desk, playfully keeping
his finger out of reach. ‘Bit of a boring job they’ve sticked you with,
The demon shrugged. ‘You wanna go in or not?’
‘Oh, yeah.’ He held out his finger. A sample was taken, and the barrier
clicked. Spike tried to pass through, but, apparently, it wouldn’t open.
He grunted and lifted his eyebrows at the demon. With a curse, he put
down the instrument and gave the barrier a shake. At the same time, under
cover of this distraction, Spike stepped back. Angel thought he saw his
hand approach the scanner, but then the barrier flew open, and Spike laughed
wryly and went through. ‘Must be the bloody soul.’
The demon, uninterested, picked up the scanner and pricked Angel’s finger.
There was a long pause then the barrier clicked. The machine did not beep.
Spike pulled Angel through. ‘You need to get that bloody thing fixed,
Pet!’ The doorman nodded, shaking it.
Spike heaved on Angel’s arm, and then they were standing in the dark,
the music deafening. Angel shouted, waiting for his eyes to adjust, ‘You
fucked with that scanner thing.’
Spike nodded and brought his mouth to Angel’s ear. ‘I used to have to
do it for Henry—to get him into these things.’
‘Just what the hell is this…?’ Angel’s eyes had become accustomed to the
dark. His belly fluttered, and he could not tell, these ten years on,
whether it was through fear, disgust or sheer, genuine excitement. The
large underground space was filled with demons. Different tribes, groups,
families, allegiances… a truly homogenous group of demonic life all… having
fun. The music was loud; the activities were noisy, ugly, brutal… and
breathtakingly exciting. He felt Spike’s lips brush his ear once more
and, highly strung on some other emotion, he felt his cock rise at the
Spike shouted, ‘After the war, we all had to go underground—literally.
Only the few who look human—like me—can live openly now. There are places
like this all over the world.’
Angel turned to him. ‘How did you find this one?’
‘Duh. They have a website.’
‘No humans allowed, Pet. Hence the scanner thingy. You’re my honoured
guest. Only….’ Angel looked at him expectantly. Spike grinned wryly and
finished, ‘Don’t mention our part in the war, yeah? Come on, let’s get
‘I’m not sure I want any fluid that’s in here in my belly.’
Spike turned back, his heavily kohl’d eyes widening with amusement. ‘That
so? Damn. That buggers up my plans for us later then.’ He flicked up his
eyebrows and turned to push his way to the bar. Angel waited for a slave
and his master to pass then tried to slide inconspicuously after him,
trying to block out any images that might have occurred from that last
Spike was chatting up the barman, trying to get reduced-price drinks,
so Angel had the opportunity to lean back on his elbows, back to the bar
and watch the entertainment.
He felt something unfolding.
It was as if the great, dark wings of his memory had finally found room
to stretch. They creaked and complained from disuse but then unfurled
in all their fearful glory. He closed his eyes, tensed all the muscles
in his arms, a lean, hard figure of black and gunmetal grey. When he opened
his eyes, Spike was staring at him then quickly looked away. He steadied
himself and looked back. ‘You’re cheating.’ Passing him his drink, Spike
moved away to a group of demons he appeared to know.
Angel, flushed from embarrassment and pleasure in equal measure, closed
his eyes and lost himself in the luxury of memory for a little longer.
He opened his eyes with a frown. Two small Gorthan demons next to him,
waiting for drinks, were whispering what sounded like, ‘The Godfather
is here.’ He was about to question them when they sidled off. Grabbing
his drink, he followed but lost them in a crowd of tall Narsecs. They,
too, were talking about the Godfather. Slightly wary, Angel picked one
of the harmless slaves who had been left tethered to a pillar. He offered
the creature his drink, which was refused, then asked neutrally, ‘Who’s
The slave tittered: a little malicious sound of glee. ‘You shouldn’t be
here. Nosy smells human rotten—something even lower than slavey.’
‘Who’s the Godfather?’
‘No need to be snippy. Human man’s ears working very well not. Not the
Godfather—the God-fighter. The God-fighter is here.’
‘The God-fighter? What’s the God-fighter when it’s at home?’
‘Not home! Oh, no! Comes from place far away—conquers all.’
‘Oh, boy.’ Angel moved off in disgust at the fawning misinformation and
elbowed his way back to the bar to ask Spike.
Spike was nowhere to be seen.
Suddenly, lights on a high gantry flooded a central area of the large
space, turning a raised platform into an arena that drew all eyes.
Angel felt a trickle of memory alarm him. Demons were pushing hungrily
to the edges of the stage, bets being taken, boasts shouted and derided.
Angel felt a hand on his arm and turned to find Spike. His sense of relief
was palpable, and Spike grinned. ‘Big scary demons frightening you, Baby?’
‘What the hell is this place?’
‘It’s a fight club. ‘Bout fifteen years ago, ‘parantly, there was a famous
one here in L.A. that was run by humans—making demons fight. Now we’ve
bought the rights, so to speak. They’re in every major city now—great
one in Glasgow for some reason.’
‘Jesus, Spike, I was there! I was in that first one!’
‘Well, ain’t life full of funny little ironies? You’re here again now.’
A bout began on the raised dais. Angel felt like a voyeur.
And wasn’t that the point? The realisation hit him with the force of one
of the punches being thrown on the stage that the vicarious enjoyment
of someone else’s pain could assuage his own.
The crowd of demons pressed against them. Angel felt one with the pack
again: hard and invincible. But this wasn’t what he wanted at all! He
wanted to bring Spike to the bright light of humanity, not leave him in
the dark with demons… having such a great time…. They began to cheer,
and before he knew it, he was cheering, too, as the smaller of the two
combatants on the stage began to defeat his fearsome opponent. Bets were
being slapped on palms around them; all was noise and movement and hot,
spicy scents, the memories of which Angel had subjugated under turpentine
A cry went up, and hot liquid sprayed across his face. He wiped it with
wonder, and his palm came away red. He lifted his eyes to the illumination,
hated what he felt but did not deny it.
A tremor went through the crowd. The God-fighter, The God-fighter.
He turned to ask Spike the question he’d meant to ask him in that other
lifetime—the one before the spray of demon
blood on his face had clenched his balls—to find the space beside him
empty. The announcer screeched into the microphone, fighting to raise
his amplified voice above the hysteria of the crowd. ‘You’re in for a
treat tonight, folks! You heard the rumours! Well, here he is, for one
night only! The God-fighter!’ The crowd went wild. Angel was knocked
on his arse and trampled on for a while until he fought back to his feet,
the feel of flesh and bone knocked and pummelled beneath his hands causing
more than a clench. ‘He took on a God and beat her down, folks! He
trampled her into the dust and ate her bones! He’s the undefeated champion
of the world!’ An elbow slammed into Angel’s eye, but he clawed his
way to a space and saw him: tiny, head bowed, slim, vulnerable. His
childe. Spike lifted his face with a tiny, seductive grin, and
although the crowd took it as its own and unleashed its furious passions
upon it, Angel knew it was just for him. Spike was admitting the debt:
I’m your childe, Angelus; admire your creation.
A huge gladiator demon stepped up to take the challenge, grunting with
the effort to see Spike though piggish eyes weeping thick, oily mucus.
Angel’s spine tingled with fear, and he tried to shout to Spike, but he
didn’t know what words actually emerged. He feared they were the same
as those all around him: vicious, inciting the bloodshed that was sure
to follow. The demon hefted a large axe and swung it toward Spike. One
slice would cut him through. Then a weighty hush descended upon the spectators.
As one, they were holding breath—those that could—and limbs were held
as if the weapon came toward them, not the seemingly frail figure facing
Angel did not believe what he saw.
Spike danced like a flicker of reflected light high into the air and spun
to his own laws of nature. No gravity, no linear time constrained him.
He floated gracefully toward the demon now unable to tip his fat-beefed
neck back far enough to see the danger approaching him from above. Then
there was an explosion of muscle and power, and something splattered onto
the demon in front of Angel, something rank and hot, which sizzled, and
all he heard was a thump onto the dais floor before the whole room erupted
with hysterical shouting. Above the deafening sound, the announcer shouted
for another fighter, and there were no shortages of those willing to be
the one to finally defeat the God-fighter.
Not all Spike’s bouts were as easy as his first. His reputation had clearly
preceded him. Some demons seemed to have worked out ways to affect his
apparent ability to bend time and defy the impossible—making it possible
just for him. He took some heavy damage, each blow and cut and break bringing
Angel helplessly closer to the stage. Every fibre in his being screamed
to stand at Spike’s side. His guts ached from suppressing the need to
jump into the ring: Angelus returned. All he could do, though, was watch
as Spike took the poundings demon after demon inflicted upon him. The
mood of the crowd changed. They sensed a defeat of this foreign champion,
this annoyance who looked so like the creatures they despised, the vampire
who was one of them but could pass for the enemy.
The bets began to change, rapid recalculation of the odds against Spike.
Angel watched, dismayed, as Spike struggled to his feet, his face bloodied,
his body ripped and bleeding onto the sweat-slicked floor.
Then a vast, terrifying cheer went up: the local champion took up the
challenge. He leapt confident and fresh to the stage. He was well over
seven feet and dwarfed Spike. He was pumped with the excitement and the
opportunity to face this infamous champion. He could defeat the God-fighter
in front of his own home crowd. He almost drooled with the need to tear
They circled each other, Spike limping noticeably. Suddenly, he repeated
his time-bending trick, but the demon plucked him out of the air as easily
as if he’d been picking fruit from a tree. He held Spike aloft then with
a grunt, brought him down across his knee, slamming the thin body into
a hideously unnatural bend. Angel tried to get to the stage. He had no
coherent thought what he would do if he managed to reach it, but he wasn’t
put to the test. The excitement of seeing the God-fighter defeated brought
the whole throng pressing to the front. He was crushed by his chest against
the raised platform and feared he would be asphyxiated.
Suddenly, there was a thump in front of his face, and Spike’s body settled,
bouncing slightly on the stage. Only inches apart, Angel still couldn’t
see him all that clearly and forgot his need to breath as the more urgent
need to wipe his eyes overcame him. He ground the heels of his hands into
the tears then saw the blue eyes open.
Once more, the look was just for him. This time, he was the only
to see it.
The cheeky smirk spread just enough for Angel to get the message then
Spike was dragged off backwards by his feet.
Fear at being crushed returned, and Angel’s only recourse was to duck
beneath the stage. The peace and quiet after the crush and roar was almost
scary. He tried to steady his breathing, deep breaths causing some considerable
pain to his ribs. Suddenly, he ducked. Something landed hard on the stage
above him making it shudder. He was crouching but could still feel the
vibrations in his shoulders. The floor appeared to be some kind of mesh
and he could see the dark shapes of the two combatants. From this angle,
he could only tell which was which by the amount of shuddering that occurred
when they hit the deck. There was a heavy one, then a number of lighter
ones and then a pause, until very light ones rained down. He was confused
and disorientated. Blood began to ooze through the mesh in a number of
places. Still crouching, feeling sick, he pushed his way back out into
the crowd. They were stilled now, an awed hush through their ranks as
they watched the stage. Angel turned.
The demon was still on the stage, only now he was in a number of pieces,
scattered and bleeding into the canvas floor. He appeared to have… exploded.
Dripping his adversary’s blood, Spike hopped off the stage and pushed
his way through the crowd to the gallery where the announcer sat with
his mouth hanging theatrically open. Seeing Spike approach, he sprang
up and began to babble, ‘There you have it, folks! We see why he’s called
the God-fighter! Undisputed champion of the known world and by the looks
of those tactics, a few unknown ones, too!’
Angel watched Spike disappear into an office next to the gallery and began
to fight his way through to follow him.
Before he got very far, Spike was at his side once more, leading him to
a side exit, which he punched through. He pulled him out into the dark,
relatively fresh air then whispered urgently, ‘Now, we kinda need to hurry,
‘W—.’ Angel couldn’t have summoned up spit let alone a coherent question,
so he stayed silent as Spike hailed a cab and bundled him into the backseat.
Spike watched the club anxiously out of the rear window for a few moments
then relaxed. With a sigh of satisfaction, he began to rummage in his
pocket. ‘Writing is prob’ly less painful, but it don’t pay as well.’ With
a flourish, he brought out a wad of notes, followed by a second from another
pocket. With what was clearly a practised eye, he flicked them, counting.
‘Suckers. They always take the bet. Over a hundred grand!’
‘What?’ Angel swallowed and repeated. ‘What the fuck has just happened
tonight, Spike?’ He could hardly articulate his anger. He got that Spike
had this big choice to make. He got that being human wasn’t all good—that
demon life still had something to offer. But what Spike had done tonight
went beyond reminding himself of demon fun. Spike was rubbing his
nose in it—making him feel dissatisfied and inadequate.
Spike gave him an angry look back. ‘Don’t tell me you didn’t enjoy that!’
‘Enjoy!’ He had, but his vicarious enjoyment of the deaths made him so
disgusted he was unable to admit it.
Spike helped him out. He grabbed Angel’s crotch. ‘Yeah. This hardness
is enjoyment, Angel! Do you remember what one of these is?’ He leant over
suddenly and licked hard up Angel’s stubble. ‘Bloodied and hard. Remember?’
Angel lashed out, as much from awareness of the presence of the cab driver
as from fury that his body betrayed his base desires. He caught Spike
a blow to his shoulder, and Spike winced. Badly. His eyes glowed with
some inner light Angel couldn’t interpret. ‘Is that what you want? Stop
When they came to a halt, he pushed Angel out of the door and followed
him, tossing a note imperiously onto the back seat. Accepting no refusal
from Angel, he pushed him away from the street and into an alley. At random,
he kicked in a door, and they found themselves in a large, mainly empty
Spike strode into the very centre where a shaft of light from a high window
bisected the room: shadows and dark, eerie light. ‘Come on, Angel. This
is what you’ve been wanting ever since you saw me in that book-signing
queue—the question you’ve been asking yourself: am I still better than
him.’ He began to circle, taunting Angel. ‘Now’s your chance to find out.
I’m broken and I’m bloodied. It’s the best chance you’re ever gonna have.’
Angel went for him and caught Spike a blow to his belly. Spike was too
slow to dodge, and he took the blow hard, falling to his knees. He struggled
to his feet, too slow again to avoid a kick to his head. But when Angel
came in again, he flicked out his legs and brought Angel down. Quickly,
he straddled him, blood dripping onto the fallen figure from the kick
to his cheek. Angel bucked, and Spike tipped forward, landing on one arm.
He cried out, and Angel capitalised by throwing him off completely and
springing to his feet. He felt blood pumping furiously around his body
until it reached his cock—where it stayed. All of it. All eight pints
lodged there in one impossible erection. It left none for his brain, which
was fortunate, as he didn’t want to ask himself, nor have the question
answered, why he was beating up on Spike. Conveniently, Spike replied
to the silent interrogative for him, a reply of punched words, circling
once more, staying in the shadows, a disembodied voice in the darkness.
‘Don’t like me being stronger than you. Don’t like me looking like this
still. Don’t like what you see in the mirror.’ Angel lunged at the sound
of the voice, and Spike was even slower to respond. He took the punch
and staggered back into the wall, where his knees went from under him,
and he slid down slowly. Angel bent over him and hoisted him up to standing,
pressing his face into the bloodied one, spitting on him as he hissed
vindictively, ‘You are demon scum, Spike. You always were and you always
will be. You ripped apart those creatures tonight. Do you think I want
anything to do with that? I’ve left that behind me!’
‘Yeah? That so?’ Spike crushed their mouths together, grinding his hips
forward into the impossibility in Angel’s jeans. Angel’s stubble tore
at his lips, grazed his chin, so he pushed his tongue deep into the resistant
mouth to end the opposition. Then it was all soft and wet and warm and
inside flesh tasting of desire. With hands no longer needed to hold Angel
into the kiss, he began to work on belt and zipper.
Angel’s cock was too swollen to pull through the opening, so Spike shoved
the pants down, exposing the tight, tanned backside. The kiss became more
attentive, thoughtful, as Spike began to relieve some of Angel’s tension.
Long, slow, tight-grip strokes up the hard, hot column made Angel’s tongue
inventive and receptive. They explored and danced their pleasure between
them as Spike worked. Gradually, Spike turned them so Angel’s back was
against the wall. With a last, long, lingering kiss he whispered, ‘Want
me to go down on you?’
Angel swallowed—some of his spit, some of Spike’s. No one had ever asked
him that before. Girls had either done it or not but had been entirely
unable or unwilling to articulate such a thing. Hearing the words from
Spike’s mouth made him tremble with anticipation, and in a similar spirit,
he said, ‘Yes,’ more clearly and more definitely than he had said yes
to anything for many years.
Spike dropped to his knees. Angel waited for the first touch of a male
tongue on his cock. Spike’s tongue. It began at the very base of
his root, just a pressing in of tongue and lips, but it was enough to
make his knees wobble.
Then Spike swallowed his sac.
Angel almost screamed, but he was too shocked and pleasured for anything
that articulate to emerge. It was just a long, incoherent noise of approbation
as his incredibly tight balls were teased over teeth, separated by an
educated tongue and mouthed until they roared with the need to release
their seed. He held desperately onto Spike’s head, no hair to push his
fingers into, nothing but soft, downy stubble under his calloused pads,
but he tried to ease him off and keep him on with the same, frantic signals:
I’ll come. Jesus, Spike. Don’t.
Spike murmured something appreciative and let the balls drop from his
lips—very slowly, sucking the whole of the release.
Angel took a swallow and a breath of relief, both of which were cut off
mid-gesture when his foreskin was sucked off his cock, stretched and invaded
by an eager tongue. Delving deep into the protective folds of skin, the
tip of Spike’s tongue reached the hot cockhead and flicked repeatedly
over the slit, causing flickers of delight like tiny sparks from an electrical
current. Angel’s balls responded in kind, beginning to tighten for release.
Once more, he tried to hold Spike off but found himself instead rubbing
his hands in ecstasy around the perfectly delineated skull and whispering
uncontrollably, ‘Yes, yes, yes.’
It was only the beginning. On the brink of an orgasm already, Angel jerked
forward in desperation when instead of sucking up, Spike pushed on: swallowing
a good third of his cock into his mouth. His foreskin now dragged down,
allowing his sensitive tip to rub on the roof of Spike’s mouth. He thrust
forward to repeat the sensation and found his cock sliding down the tightest,
hottest tube it had ever known. Spike swallowed reflexively, and this
time, Angel did scream—loud and long as the throat muscles tightened and
massaged his length. Spike was still only two thirds on. He shifted his
position slightly, clasped Angel’s naked backside with both hands and
pulled him closer.
Angel slid the rest of the way, a second Adam’s apple appearing on the
smooth front of Spike’s neck, one that rubbed against his soft, slippery
walls and filled his throat with sweet running fluid.
Gripping Angel’s cheeks, Spike began to slide his mouth slowly up and
down the great length of Angel’s shaft, his tongue dancing along like
a wayward child, enjoying its own pleasures away from the main event.
Angel began to pant. His balls were screaming for relief from the pleasure
that no human man could withstand.
When Spike began to give short, heady sucks and pulls to just the round
knob, his lips plopping deliciously on and off, Angel gave up the battle
to prolong the experience. He tried to warn Spike he was coming. He tried
to pull him away, but Spike resisted. He tipped his head back, fixed Angel’s
gaze, held the heavy pulsing cock over his extended tongue and caught
each arching shot. They came thick and fast: three heavy pulses in succession
then smaller ones while Angel’s face screwed up in pleasure-pain and his
hand milked the thick hose for more and more of its sticky essence. Finally
there were only the few last bubbles, not leaving the tip of Angel’s penis,
but emerging sluggishly to coat his livid, red cockhead. Spike’s throat
rumbled in pleasure. He swallowed his tongue load and began to lick and
clean gently around the sensitised tip.
Angel’s legs folded beneath him, and he slid down the wall, his cock now
lying on his thigh. He pulled his knees up to his chest and hugged them,
resting his forehead and hiding his face.
Spike sat back on his heels and regarded him silently, enjoying the aftertaste
of the come in his mouth.
At moments like this, he felt very little boredom at all.
* * * * * * *
In the darkness of his lap, Angel could see the faint outline of his cock,
soft and yielding like a hunk of used rope. He focused on the after-tremors
and light spasms of orgasm in his groin and not on his anger. He had little
right to be angry now; he had lost the moral high ground where he could
claim that what he had witnessed in the fight club had disgusted him.
Funny kind of disgust: that thick, shooting spill with which he had watered
But he was angry. He was intensely angry that Spike had hijacked
him in this way. He didn’t need to be reminded what he was missing. It
was like giving a blind man his sight for the night, a paraplegic his
legs. And was he really comparing his human life to a form of disablement?
Spike was the one disabled—he was the one unable to function in
life, to walk in the sunshine.
And Angel’s revenge came to him as easily as that. He didn’t call it revenge,
of course. He was trying to help Spike decide this impossible choice.
Of course he was. He lifted his face. ‘I need some space tonight, Spike.’
Spike’s reaction to this rejection was unreadable. He just sat there on
his heels, watching him. Angel added, ‘But come back tomorrow morning?
I still want to—. I—. We said a week.’
Spike half-nodded, half-shrugged.
In silence, Angel rose and adjusted his clothing. He knew he should say
something. His behaviour was appalling. Spike or not, man or not, things
needed to be said.
He adjusted his shoulders and stomped back toward the street, his body
still tingling from the relief Spike had given it.
Spike slid into bed alongside a sleeping Henry and pushed him down, waking
him to his urgent need.
Such treatment not unknown, Henry murmured something appreciative and
mouthed deep into the root of Spike’s erection but then pulled away and
sat up. ‘Bleeding hell, Spike. What happened to you? Oh, God! You went
to a fight!’
Spike pouted. ‘Seemed like a good idea at the time. Won lots of dosh….’
As Henry’s practised hands skimmed over the worst injuries, Spike could
not help but compare this human’s response to Angel’s. It had not seemed
to occur to Angel that the only reason he’d been able to lay a finger
on him tonight was because he was broken and bleeding: organs ruptured,
bones shattered. Neither had it occurred to Angel, apparently, to be concerned
about any of this. Sure, Angel knew he’d heal. But so did Henry, but it
didn’t stop this man fetching him things and babying him for a while.
Spike liked being babied occasionally, especially when he was feeling
guilty and sorry for himself. Which he was on both counts. He knew why
Angel was pissed with him. Why had he veered off from his original intent
to take him out drinking and dancing? Why had he gone to that dumb fight
club? To prove what? That he really was so superior to Angel now? Was
he really that petty? Had he waited ten years to exact that spiteful little
It certainly didn’t help him make his decision.
Or did it? Perhaps he’d just been reminding himself what he was giving
up. But he wasn’t tempted yet to accept anything being human had to offer;
so, why the need to do something like that?
Spike suddenly had the worrying thought that the sex with Angel in the
apartment had affected him more than he’d realised. Perhaps he was being
tempted more by an Angel-thing than by a human-thing. And as Henry had
so helpfully pointed out, if he took the decision based on wanting something
from Angel, what if that something eventually proved to be an illusion?
Spike felt angry now to add to his guilt and self-pity.
Spike blinked and tried to focus on the pretty eyes watching him. ‘Huh?’
Henry pouted and smiled at the same time. ‘Penny for them.’
Spike smiled around his painful cheek. ‘A hundred grand more like.’
Henry’s eyes widened. He grinned lasciviously. ‘My rates have just gone
up.’ He buried his face deep in Spike’s lap and breathed deeply. ‘A six-figure
Spike caught at his hair. ‘Yeah. For a hundred grand I get to fuck your
ass. Turn over.’
Henry refused and spread his arms on the bed. ‘He’s not improving your
‘That’s cus he has none. Bastard didn’t even….’ Deciding judiciously not
to discuss Angel’s lack of post-coital finesse with his current lover,
Spike flipped him over, despite the resistance. ‘Christ. I could dent
Henry hissed as Spike began to play with his hole, softening him up with
fingers and spit. ‘Have you done this with him yet?’
Not sure what the man wanted to hear, Spike opted for the truth. ‘No.’
‘Because he doesn’t want to?’
‘He don’t know his arse from his elbow, Luv. Thinks he’s one thing, wants
to be another, can’t be either.’
‘Well, now, who does he remind me of…?’
Spike lay over him, his mouth against the sleep-warm ear. ‘If you get
cheeky, I’ll have to punish you.’
Henry wriggled with excitement, and the movement beneath Spike reanimated
the testosterone he’d been pumping all night. He felt his cock stiffen
to a painful need, and with care, he brought it to the spread, waiting
hole. He paused then felt a sense of deep betrayal that he’d just pictured
those pink, glistening walls as someone else’s for a moment. To his knowledge,
he’d never taken a virgin ass before, never seen one quiver and open up
just for him. He had the startling thought, at this very inappropriate
time, that if Angel’s ever did blossom, opening just for him, it would
stay exclusively his. He didn’t mind sharing Henry—had never minded sharing
Henry. Henry was more fun shared around. But Angel was…. ‘You fucker.’
Henry rolled onto his back and slapped ineffectually at Spike. It was
first real rebellion in their three years together. He gave a spiteful
look at Spike’s slightly feigned astonishment. ‘You crawl back into my
bed because he’s kicked you out—.’
‘He did not kick me—.’
‘He kicked you out. You expect me to blow you without any preliminary
Hi, Henry, nice to see you, how’ve you been? Then you want to fuck
me, but you stare at my fucking ass thinking about his!’
‘I wasn’t thinking about—.’
‘You were thinking about his ass, Spike! I’m not dumb!’
‘Oh, and you’ve never thought about someone else when I’m doing you.’
‘Oh, lover, be sure that I have. You’ve done a damn good impression of
sometimes—in the dark, with my eyes closed, behind me!’
‘So! Why get all bloody—?’
‘Because that’s just a fantasy, Spike! You come from Angel’s body
but use mine as a substitute!’
‘I wasn’t using—.’
‘Yeah, you were.’
‘Will you stop bloody finishing my—?’
‘No! Because you don’t have anything much to say I want to hear anymore.’
It was said, and neither of them needed it translated.
It was finally over.
Disbelieving that he did it, Spike felt his jaw wobble. He pouted and
hung his head. They were the best things he could have done, although
they were not planned nor had any hidden agenda. Henry sighed and pulled
him into his arms. ‘How the hell do you survive as a demon, Spike? You
have a heart pumping with more human emotion than anyone I’ve ever known.’
‘I don’t want us to—.’
‘It’s time, Babe. You said it yourself. You can’t give me what I need.’
‘A good shafting?’
They smiled and kissed softly. ‘You’ve always given me that.’ Henry fell
back onto the bed, pulling Spike with him. ‘For old time’s sake.’ Very
deliberately, he lifted his legs and wrapped them around Spike’s back.
Spike was deep inside before they knew, moving and opening up the tight
coils of need.
Henry brushed his hand over Spike’s forehead as if the vampire had hair
to adjust. ‘It’s been great, Spike. Every moment.’
‘What will you…?’ Spike cleared his throat and tried again. ‘What will
you do?’ The man was so soft to ride, so tight around him, and he put
every brain cell he had into the effort not to wonder how Angel would
feel thus. He didn’t want to be that dishonest to a man who had been his
companion for this short blink of his eternity.
Henry arched and cried out at the pleasure. ‘I’ll – find – something.’
‘Someone?’ Spike breathed it close to the warm, human lips and then pushed
his tongue deep as if licking out a reply.
Henry smiled into the kiss and knew what answer this complex, loving demon
wanted. ‘Yes. I’ll find someone. I won’t be lonely, Baby.’
Spike brought them off together as the last endearment eased between them.
He felt his belly wetting with Henry’s release as he sent his high into
the man’s warm body. It would be there for some time, lodged deep in that
He did not stay to cuddle or exchange the rude banter they enjoyed so
much. It was too late for that, and the parting needed to be done. He
dressed and then crawled back across the bed to the still naked human.
Gently and insistently, he pushed the bundles of notes into his hands.
Henry frowned and was about to refuse them. Spike hushed him with a finger.
‘I owe you, Luv. Do this last thing for me and take it. Go live with your
old Mum and use it to keep yourself while you write that book you’ve always
been talking about. Give me a starring role, yeah?’
Henry smiled wanly, but nodded. With a last caress to his cheek, Spike
slipped out of the room and into the dark with no good idea of where to
go or what to do to ease the pain.
* * * * * *
Angel was home. Spike stood in the street below and watched the soft amber
light of the apartment through the large windows. He wasn’t going to go
in. The last person he needed to see was Angel. He wished now he’d taken
Illyria’s offer away to some quiet place to consider. Where there were
no distractions. If he’d done that, he’d probably be human now. It was
a startling thought, and the amount it worried him was an indication of
how far he was from making that decision yet.
He was too depressed to decide what to do, so he sat down into the doorway
across from Angel’s apartment and thought about taking up smoking again.
His choices recently had been too painful.
He wasn’t good at losing people.
Which was odd when you considered the practise he’d had.
A shadow moved in front of the light. Spike tensed, the outline very familiar.
He fancied he could almost make out the features on the strong, handsome
face. Angel looked naked, but that was probably wishful thinking.
He was such a crap demon.
He’d been such a crap man.
Maybe Illyria could offer him another alternative.
Maybe she could just take away the pain.
* * * * * *
Angel hated himself so much by the time he returned to his apartment that
he needed a sacrifice, a gesture to the Gods that would appease the guilt.
He pulled out the sketch he’d done of Spike and held it ready to rip in
two. But he couldn’t do it. And that only fuelled his self-loathing. He
took a shower, washing his cock and remembering the agile mouth upon it.
He hardened to the memory and thrust into his fist, picturing Spike’s
upturned face watching him. How had he allowed himself to become so entirely
lost? His responses to the fight club had been so unexpected, so confusing,
so extreme that he’d exploded into Spike’s mouth with no thought to consequence.
He felt dirty, tricked, used, manipulated, weak, small… human.
His erection wilted.
That had not happened since the last of the Ninas or Heathers: those soft
bodies that had almost disgusted him with their fatty, cloying needs.
He beat harder, desperate, frightened... spontaneous impotence… a lifetime
of dependence on Viagra.
Furious, he strode naked out of the shower and ripped open a drawer. The
silk flowed like sex over his hand, coiling like wisps of breath breathed
by a lover upon his skin. With slow deliberation, he wrapped one end of
the scarf around his neck. The other he fastened to the rail in his closet.
He stood alongside his clothes, which smelt faintly of the deliciousness
of leather and slowly lowered to his knees. The tightness kicked in before
he was halfway there… blood pounding in his ears… unable to take deep
breaths… panic flooding his body with adrenalin… and then the hardness,
the excitement, the tearing desperately at his cock to come before he
passed out… before he died… hard to the thought that he now needed
to breathe, that he was alive…. Or maybe hard to the not breathing
once more… hard to memories of what he had once been… the only
way to take himself back to that much missed state…. So hard, such
a force of sperm hitting the wall and sludging in slow rivulets to the
ground. His hand fell heavy from his cock. The pounding was more like
hammering on wood from deep underground. Was it memory or predestination?
He felt like the sperm now: slow, heavy, moving to the floor with thoughtless
obedience to gravity.
But something was wrong with this.
He needed to…
… with a last desperate lunge, Angel reached the rail that suspended him
and took the weight off his neck.
Blood rushed back, painful and dizzying.
His fingers slipped on the too tight knot. It would leave a welt.
It had been close this time.
But he was drained, empty; the self-loathing that had driven him to seek
relief in a vampire’s mouth had squirted from his body.
He walked naked through the apartment he had given up so much to have,
and poured a long drink. He did not want what he had seen tonight. He
had left all that violence and thoughtless bloodlust behind now. He had
a good life. He walked slowly the window and leant on it, staring
out into the dark street.
He wondered where Spike was and what he was doing. An eerie thought drifted
through his mind that Spike somehow knew what he had just done—was watching
him. He’d seen him bend time so this did not seem all that unlikely.
Something moved in the street below. A dog? Perhaps the detritus of city
He was living.
He pushed off the glass and went to bed, knowing he would not sleep. It
was one of those nights where he felt too small to risk that unknown territory
By the time Spike arrived at the apartment, under a blanket and still
smoking slightly, Angel was almost ready and packed. He didn’t cast Spike
so much as a look, only nodded toward the elevator. ‘You won’t need the
blanket—or the jacket.’
Spike toed the ground. ‘What’s this surprise then, Pet?’
‘I thought you wanted help to make your decision.’ Angel kept his voice
and face neutral but wasn’t sure whether he was hiding his guilt from
himself or from Spike.
‘I do. I guess.’ Spike followed Angel into the elevator and stood quietly.
For one moment, Spike thought that Angel was asking about his heart, which
was still broken and bleeding over Henry. When he didn’t get a reply,
Angel flicked his gaze over. ‘Healed?’ ‘Oh. Yeah. Sure.’ He’d spent the
rest of the night drinking in a bar and felt more like death than actually
being dead, but he didn’t bother to point this out.
They emerged into an underground garage, and Angel made his way toward
a car. Spike halted and frowned. ‘That looks familiar.’
‘You mean you stole it.’
‘Why’d ya want a sun-proof car, Poof?’
Angel coughed faintly as he slid in behind the wheel. ‘I stole it before
I… before the end.’
‘Bastard!’ Spike grinned and felt immensely cheered at the thought of
CEO-Angel filching things from Wolfram and Hart.
They pulled out into the sunshine, and Angel headed west. Neither of them
could think of anything much to say, so they stuck to listening to the
radio and not talking. Spike wanted to ask Angel about the mark on his
neck. Angel wanted to ask Spike why he stank of alcohol. The radio option
was so much easier.
Eventually, they arrived at the coast road, and Angel headed south for
an hour or so. Then he pulled sharply in to the right where a track led
down between some dunes to the beach. Carefully, he eased the car right
onto the sand and then killed the engine.
Spike lifted his eyebrows but didn’t ask.
Angel climbed out and fetched a bag from the back. He dropped it onto
the sand then hung in the open doorway, his face lowered. ‘I don’t know
why you took me there last night, Spike—don’t interrupt me. You know what
you have to decide. I hope this helps.’ With that, he slammed the door,
picked up the bag and strode a few feet away to a place that held a great
view of the deserted beach. Casually, he took a towel from the bag and
laid it on the already sun-baked sand. Then he peeled off his clothes.
All of them.
Spike watched the entire performance, sure this was a joke. He watched
Angel pouring lotion over his smooth, tanned skin, watched him rubbing
it in, swirling it around. Then he watched him lie down.
He watched that for some time before he tapped on the window. ‘Okay, I
get the point, Angel. Can we go now?’
Angel didn’t reply.
Spike got a little bit angry. Not a lot—not yet.
He banged again.
He looked around the car for a blanket… which Angel had said he wouldn’t
need. That did make him angry. A lot. He hammered on the window. ‘Hey!
Angel stretched and turned over in the sun.
Spike didn’t even bother to enjoy the sight of Angel’s cock, thick and
heavy over one thigh. That was how angry he was.
‘Angel!’ Angel reached for some shades from the bag and slipped them on.
Spike flung himself back into his seat and considered burning up just
to give himself the satisfaction of upsetting Angel. It would be spectacular:
he’d just reach the towel, his hair and skin burning, but Angel would
be unable to put him out….
Just his bloody luck and his mystical essence would be sucked into a sand
crab and come back, metamorphosed into something far less pretty than
he was now. He tried the radio, but it wouldn’t work without the engine.
Neither would the air con, and it was now very, very hot. He glanced at
the clock. Only ten. He wondered how long Angel intended to make his punnishment.
Because he got that punishment was what this was all about. Whether it
was punishment for taking him to the club and showing him up, or whether
it was for sucking him off, he wasn’t sure.
He rummaged in the pocket of his jeans, then the glove box, just to see
if there was anything interesting to do. Then he began to count grains
It was ten past ten.
The sun crested the sand bank next to him and hit directly into the car,
the safe glass giving no respite from the heat. He stripped off his T-shirt
and tried to do it slowly to pass a few more minutes.
Angel had turned over onto his belly and was reading.
As much as he hated himself for doing it, Spike began to watch Angel’s
It was pretty much perfect, which was only fuel to his growing anger.
He had a few choice things he’d like to do to that backside that wouldn’t
leave it so pretty.
Angel produced a bottle of water and arched his back to drink it, the
dimples in his ass-cheeks flexing as the deep muscles clenched and unclenched.
Something deep in Spike clenched too.
He groaned. Not only was he hot, he was now… hot. And hungry.
He added eating Angel to his list of painful things he wanted to do to
And it was only half ten.
* * * * * * *
Spike woke from a boredom-induced snooze to the sound of voices. Angel
had clearly heard them, too. He rummaged in the bag and produced a swimsuit,
which he pulled over his hard, darkening body. Spike kicked the dash in
frustration at the sight of him, so lean and tanned and fucking perfect.
In the sun.
Two girls came toward them, strolling along the beach, chatting. They
saw Angel and came closer. Spike could not hear the conversation, but
Angel handed them the sun lotion. They all laughed. Spike kicked the dash
again. One of girls turned to look at him in the car; Angel said something,
and they all laughed once more.
Spike turned his head and stared resolutely at the sea. He therefore missed
the girls sitting on the towel with Angel, missed the fun spreading on
of lotion and missed the subsequent activities that he could hear but
did not want to see.
His only consolation was that things came to a halt when no one on the
towel had a condom. The ubiquitous bag of goodies wasn’t that good.
He, of course, wouldn’t have needed one. He allowed himself a malicious
grin and wanted to point this out, but as he wasn’t taking any notice
of what was going on, he couldn’t.
Once the girls had moved on, Spike began to wonder if even Angel was getting
bored of his game, but had his reply to this unspoken question when Angel
stretched and jogged down to the water for a cool, refreshing swim.
Over one hundred and fifty degrees in the car now, Spike tried hard not
to envy him. To hate him.
To want him… water droplets glistened as Angel walked slowly back over
the hot sand. His muscles moved gracefully, taut engines beneath smooth
skin. How could anyone not want him? The swimsuit hid nothing.
Spike pulled his knees up and buried his face from the shame of wanting
him so much.
He had Ilyria’s number. He could call her tonight. Tell her he’d made
his choice. What he wanted. What Angel wanted, which would have
to be what he wanted.
Because what he wanted was on that blanket.
Only… he wanted it in here with him, in the dark.
Arms over his head, feeling as if he were sinking in an ocean of despair,
Spike began to cry. He wanted his sire back. He wanted things to be as
they were and not this confusing new world where he was so alone.
* * * * * *
Angel was not unaware of Spike’s keen interest in the activities on the
towel with the girls, even though he was pretending not to look.
He was even more aware of the scrutiny given to his body when he returned
from the swim.
But the slow peeling off of the tiny slip of red fabric and subsequent
re-oiling went unobserved. Which pissed him off. He’d watched Spike through
to the very end of his triumph: the God-fighter, so fucking invisible.
Well, he couldn’t fight this. He wasn’t invincible in the sun!
So why wasn’t he watching and suffering?
Angel went cautiously toward the car.
Spike appeared to be asleep, curled into a ball on his seat, head buried
deep under his pale, naked arms.
Angel’s cock betrayed him. It rose to the thought of how cool that skin
would be to touch now. How unpleasantly hot he was, scorching in the sun.
Spike’s tongue could cool him. Spike’s sperm would splatter upon him like
sweet Irish rain. He closed his eyes and almost swayed with the intense
pleasure of the thought of cool sheets and playing with Spike, cool, in
But he’d begun this, and he had to see it through now. He backed off to
the towel and plonked down, wishing he could get out of the sun. He put
his shirt on to protect his back and then his pants.
He’d meant to stay out until dark.
The thought occurred to him, however, that he’d do well to be far away
from Spike before dark….
With a curse, annoyed with himself for being so weak, he swept up his
things and stormed back to the car.
Shit, it’s hot in here. Spike didn’t look up as Angel climbed
in, only turned his face away.
Angel slammed into reverse and took them back to the track. He stopped,
elbow resting on the closed sill, letting the car idle and the air con
catch up. ‘I’m sorry.
Spike straightened. ‘Can I have some water? Please.’
Angel felt as small as the bottle he passed over. ‘I just wanted to show
you what you could have if you—.’ He stopped, the lie embarrassing them
More gently and more honestly, he added, ‘But you could, Spike. We could
come to the beach together… you’d feel the sun on your skin…. This could
be yours tomorrow! If you wanted it….’
Spike turned his face and held Angel’s gaze. With great deliberation,
he said, ‘And then I’d probably get skin cancer and die.’
Angel slammed his fist into the wheel (and immediately regretted it).
‘You don’t know that! Jesus, Spike, if you take no risks what will you
achieve in life?’
‘Why take risks when you don’t have to?’
‘You never had any real intention of considering her offer, did you? This
is all a sham for some nefarious purpose of your own. What? Did you want
to have the one-off pleasure of fucking me on the pretence that you were
going to stay with me?’
‘You think fucking you would be a pleasure?’
‘Don’t. Don’t play games with me, Spike. I know you too well.’
‘You don’t know me all that well, Luv, if you think this stunt today was
going to influence my decision.’
Between gritted teeth, Angel ground out, ‘It wasn’t meant to do that,
moron. Like your day, did you?’ His eyes flashed with malice, and he didn’t
need to say the words, I was punishing you.
Spike pouted and turned away. He’d lost Henry for this. Suddenly, he opened
his door and stepped out. He began to walk.
He heard a shout of terror but felt a sense of deep calm.
Felt something thrown over him. Rolling and sand in his mouth.
Hot sand and heat everywhere.
Then the heat was where hands touched him.
But he didn’t care, one way or the other.
* * * * * * *
Angel was shaking as slammed the door on Spike. He kicked the car, relishing
the pain in his bare foot. He went around to his side and climbed in.
He didn’t know whether to shout at Spike or hug him and tried to do both.
The shout, consequently, ended in a whimper, and then he was just hugging,
crooning softly, ‘You stupid bastard. You fucking moron. I hate you so
Spike curled into the embrace. He’d been so close to making his own decision:
not human, not demon. Just somewhere else.
It wasn’t to be.
He began to pull out of Angel’s arms, but as he did, his face lifted.
They were both burnt in their own individual ways. They were both sweating,
tear streaked and hot, and they came together as if something in this
joining could heal them both.
Angel had been right; Spike’s mouth was unbelievably cool, his saliva
balm for hot lips. Spike could taste the day on Angel: sun, salty ocean
and life pumping through his flushed skin. They kissed hard and urgent,
pulling off to study swell and curve of lip before returning to a new
position, a new place to explore with tongue or teeth. Hands joined in,
roaming over sore, burnt skin, seeking cool or heat or hair or muscle.
Seeking hardness and finding it.
There was a loud rap on the window. They flew apart. A man was leaning
against the glass angrily. ‘Want to maybe take that someplace else, guys?
I’ve got kids here.’
Angel didn’t acknowledge him. He shoved the car into first and took the
track too fast.
They hit the road.
‘Find a motel.’ Angel flicked his eyes over to his passenger. Spike
licked his lips, which seemed to help Angel decide.
As soon as he saw a motel, he pulled in.
He seemed more furious than aroused when he slammed the door and stomped
off to reception.
Under the cover of the walkway, Spike followed the angry figure to the
It was hideous.
But it had a bed, which is all they needed.
Clothes were torn in their haste to explore contrasting skin: hot, cold,
dark, pale. Their moans were loud and incriminating, but they didn’t hear
or care. Falling to the bed, it was only mouths and hands and the delicious
grind of cock to cock. Spike could hear Angel’s heart pounding. Angel
could sense Spike listening to it. It was a third vast red pumping organ
Before he knew what he did, Angel began manoeuvring his body as he would
with a girl: lying half over her, fumbling and pushing. It was only when
a cold grip like a steel band clamped around his wrist that he came back
to any awareness of where he was and what he did—who he did it
with. Spike held his wrist for a moment, staring up into the dark eyes.
Then, deliberately, not succumbing but inviting, he released his
Angel spread his hands over the flat chest and bowed his head in gratitude…
relief? He wasn’t thinking all that clearly. He just wanted to be inside
and rubbing off, sliding his cock into something more interesting than
The resistance was terrible, frightening, something so new and alien he
didn’t know if he could continue. But the friction of the tightly puckered
skin against his exposed cockhead was incredible. He pushed some more
against the dry skin, pressing his weight down onto the silent figure.
Spike winced and put his hand down, but Angel batted him away. He shifted
position and lifted Spike’s thigh. His cockhead rasped through. Spike
jerked back and grabbed the headboard, dislodging him. Angel swore and
tried to push against the hole once more, avidly watching its raw, red
contrast against the paleness of Spike’s thighs. He grabbed the back of
Spike’s neck and tried to pull as he pushed, to force him on. Spike shoved
him hard and rolled off the bed. ‘Fuck off!’
‘What the…!’ He lunged, but Spike sidestepped and rounded on him angrily.
‘Stop using me as your sexual punch bag!’
Angel didn’t know where to begin being outraged at that, so he went with
what occurred to him first, which was probably a mistake. ‘You’re a freaking
Spike took a step back, his hot rage turning icy in the time it took him
to process these words. He nodded as if they confirmed something he’d
always thought. ‘And that means I can be used and abused as you see fit,
‘I’m not using or abusing you. Get over yourself, Spike. You want this
as much as…. You want this. Don’t deny it.’
‘This?’ Spike wrapped his arms around his torso. ‘I wanted something,
yeah. But I didn’t want you heaving into me like some freaking testosterone
jockey.’ He pouted and seemed to be debating whether to say something
else. Finally, without looking directly at Angel, he added, with a small
self-deprecating laugh, ‘I’ve never done that before—it was my first time.’
He sat suddenly on the chair by the window and turned his face away from
the one watching him on the bed.
* * * * * * *
‘Neither have I.’
Angel’s quiet comment made Spike turn his head sharply. Angel refused
to catch his eye. He pulled up his knees and hugged his nakedness. ‘First
time in a motel. First time with a man. First time with you. And I’m sorry.’
Spike rested his elbows on his knees and ran his fingers over his stubbled
head. ‘Why did you stop me?’
Angel lifted his head, trying to process this in light of what they’d
just admitted. Then he got that Spike wasn’t talking about the aborted
sex at all. He glanced away. ‘I’m not going to let you just… burn up.’
‘Don’t be dumb, Spike. I’m not getting into some kind of pissing contest
with you—proving how much you mean to me or something.’
‘If I accepted her offer, if I became human, would you try to prove it
Angel had no real answer to this. He couldn’t see his own life playing
out let alone a life with someone else—with a man… with Spike.
Spike nodded at the reply spoken so loud in the silence. He began to dress
once more until Angel hopped off the bed and pulled him to his feet. ‘If
you don’t become human, then there is definitely nothing
for us. We’re incompatible like this, Spike. Isn’t that what we’ve proved?
Last night? Today?’
‘I thought we were trying to prove who had the biggest nads by pissing
the other off the most.’
Angel smirked and looked away, trying to hide his amusement.
Spike kissed the side of his smirk, and suddenly the kisses were the only
thing between them—no contests, no irreconcilable differences, just a
liking for the taste of the other.
Angel wrapped his arms around Spike’s bony shoulders and whispered, ‘Wanna
There was a tiny hesitation then Spike lifted one leg onto the chair.
Angel cried out in delight, and without thinking what he did, he dipped
his body and slid up inside Spike’s. They held together, shivering with
the extreme, novel sensations. Angel’s hands strayed down to Spike’s backside
and cupped him. It was exactly what was needed; he lifted him fractionally,
settling the stretched anus comfortably onto his fat erection.
Spike arched back; his shoulders connected with the wall. Angel leant
in and planted his hands firmly either side of the shorn head, staring
down in wonder to where they were so profoundly joined. He tested the
joining: two pumps of his hips. They both breathed out long sighs of astonished
pleasure, and then it was so easy. Angel did what he been doing for over
three hundred years—only never in such exquisite tightness. Spike stretched
his lean body over the wall and went along for the ride, enjoying discovering
what he’d given, up to now.
He opened his eyes and found Angel watching intently as he fucked. It
was incredibly erotic. Spike held the look, even as he was lifted and
thrust into and fucked, never losing eye contact.
Toward the end, Angel lifted Spike’s thighs, parting him wider, holding
him up as he thumped into him. His human legs were trembling; his forehead
and torso beaded with sweat, but the spread was incredible. With each
thrust he buried his tool to the hilt, right down to hair grinding into
the stretched ring. At each pull out, his cockhead appeared like a swollen
pink mushroom, the thump back in then becoming nine inches of pleasure
for the quivering rectum.
Spike was the first one to succumb to orgasm, digging his nails into Angel’s
shoulders and crying something incoherent only understood when a great
fountain of sperm shot up and hit Angel under the chin. The sight of the
pink hole emptying brought the final clench Angel’s balls needed to send
him over the edge. It was only a human orgasm—but it was the best he’d
had for ten years. It went on and on, redefining time. Shot after shot
of hot, live sperm coated the deep recesses in Spike’s body, leaking out
of him, making the joining slippery, sticky and potent.
Finally, it was done. So was Angel. His legs gave way; his arms were locked
and unable to release their burden, so they fell together in a tangle
of sperm, sweat and twitching to the stained carpet of the motel room.
Spike coughed, scratched and tried to close his legs. ‘So, not that incompatible
Angel flung an arm over his eyes, but he couldn’t hide his smile. He shook
Spike twisted around and slithered seductively over Angel’s collapsed
body, straddling him, leaking out over his chest. ‘Maybe I’ll just stay
dead but stay with you anyway. What do you reckon?’
Angel began to laugh with pleasure but then his face froze. Spike lifted
the arm. ‘What?’
‘I’ll be forty soon.’
‘So?’ He knew exactly what, but he’d be damned if he’d let Angel’s sudden
rationality deflect him from what he wanted.
‘So? Angel! So what?’
‘Get off.’ Angel heard the harshness of his words and softened them by
stroking Spike’s thighs. ‘Get off, Spike.’
Spike grabbed his wrists and pinned them down on the carpet, bending to
Angel’s mouth. ‘I’ll want you when you’re forty, fifty, sixty, seventy….’
Angel didn’t even try to argue. He just looked at him.
Spike banged the wrists up and down in frustration but then climbed off.
Before Angel could even attempt to stop him, Spike put his fist through
the connecting wall. It was a blow of such desperate ferocity that it
shocked Spike, too—brought them both back to the time and place. Suddenly,
what they had done replayed loudly—exceptionally loudly—in their minds.
With frowns, they dressed hastily and returned to the car.
Angel held the wheel, staring at nothing. In a quiet voice, he pleaded,
‘Please. Become human, Spike.’
Spike bit his lower lip and didn’t want to say the words. But they needed
saying, so he said them. ‘So I can be forty, fifty, sixty, seventy…?’
Angel had no answer for that. How could he? Aging was the most terrifying
thing he had ever faced. How could he wish that on Spike?
Very slowly, he nodded to the inevitability of Spike remaining as he was.
Spike felt a huge weight lift from his shoulders. The decision was made.
As the weight departed, though, another began to form within his heart—one
which he knew would never be lifted from him. Parting from Angel had been
hard enough ten years ago. Now he felt as if he were burning up once more—only
the pain was all inside.
As if reading his thoughts, Angel said softly, ‘Stay for… a while. A few
Spike turned his head away and stared out of the window at the motel rooms.
‘You give definition to pain.’
Suddenly, Angel put his hand over his eyes and began to cry. It was so
uncharacteristic it was painful to hear. With difficulty, he said against
the sobs, ‘I don’t want to be human anymore, Spike. Don’t leave me alone
Spike pulled him into a hug, running his fingers thoughtlessly through
his hair, over his neck, down his back—anywhere that would give comfort.
‘You need to move on, Luv. All these years, waiting for me to come back.’
Angel pulled away. His eyes were wide with tears, red rimmed. He blinked
to clear them. ‘Oh, God.’
Spike pulled him back, and they stayed that way until the car was thrown
into shadow and the temperature began to drop. Spike eased Angel upright.
‘I’d better go now.’
‘No!’ Angel began to cry again, but he had very little left inside—too
much sun, too much sweat, too much sperm—and his crying was dry and painful.
‘It’s for the—.’
‘What good would it do, Pet?’
Angel’s mouth opened, quivered for a moment with indecision, and then
he whispered, ‘I want you inside me, too.’
Spike felt a lurch of such unexpected desire deep in his body that it
was almost painful. He tried to shake his head, to deny this need, but
Angel knew capitulation when he saw it. He fired the car to life and pulled
away from the motel before Spike could articulate his useless denial.
Everything then took on the slow inevitability of death. Poignancy coated
everything they touched or did. Angel lit candles throughout the apartment
as if electric light was too harsh, as if something unwanted would be
exposed in that more telling light. They drank wine curled on the couch,
kissing and talking about times past—and of the ones they’d lost: Darla,
Dru, Cordelia, Fred, Wesley. Painful memories shared and eased, helped
by the expensive wine, which softened their bodies, too, and made them
ripe with need.
Finally, Spike stood and took Angel’s hand, leading him to the bed. The
profound sense of sadness he felt, that some other man would inherit the
need he was about to flare within Angel, almost overwhelmed him for a
He spread Angel face down and decorated the bed with the pretty body,
arranging limbs just as he wanted them. He was so smooth and hard and
muscled, rippling power and human perfection, that Spike wanted to wrap
him up and prevent time finding him and taking him to that place of age
and decay. But he couldn’t. All he could do for this one night was enjoy
what time allowed. Allow Angel to enjoy it, too.
With a murmur, he slid lower in the bed, between Angel’s spread thighs.
Like a sleek, pale, jungle cat he began to lap at the slightly salty,
warm skin, licking along the hint of a crease where buttock met top of
thigh, up one dense, curved cheek to the delicately hair-dusted indentation
of spine and back down the other buttock. Angel shivered under his tongue
and shifted on the bed to extend the invitation further.
Almost purring, Spike seized him and widened the shallow crease that held
the centre of all their pleasure that night. The laps became wetter and
more insistent, tonguing deep into the low valley, exploring its textures
and flavours. Angel began to whisper into the mattress, but they were
incoherent words not meant to be understood literally. Spike got their
meaning though and penetrated Angel for the fist time, worming his tongue
eagerly through the tiny folds of protection until smooth walls eased
his way. He explored for a moment then withdrew, staring in fascinated
delight at the wet, pink entrance. He dragged Angel higher and dove in
once more, eating him hungrily, noisily. Hearing the change in Angel’s
voice and feeling the tiny spasms beginning in the soft walls, he clamped
a hand firmly around the base of the thick shaft that was so close to
betraying them. Angel cried out in frustration but did not try to remove
Spike returned to the waiting hole, playing with fingers and tongue, seeing
how far he could stretch the opening, what dark pink secrets he could
reveal and taste, lick and touch. There was no desire now to hurt this
pretty backside, only longing to display it in all its glory: spread and
open, gaping like a hungry little pout of need for him—his tongue, his
fingers, his cock.
He was so ready he could feel tiny pulses of clear pre-ejaculate tickling
out of his slit. He wanted them to tickle along Angel’s hot walls: little
trails of coolness marking the passage of penetration. With his free hand,
he brought his offering to the glistening bowl of Angel’s need and milked
a few drops onto the heat. Angel hissed and arched, and his cock leapt
free of Spike’s hold. Spike grabbed it again and slowed things down, just
stroking Angel’s lower back and kissing one buttock.
With infinite care, he positioned himself against Angel once more, a perfect
alignment of pestle and mortar.
Rubbing the smooth cheeks hard, pulling and stretching, he began to ease
in. Angel arched, as Spike knew he would. ‘Okay?’
‘Shhhh. Push out. Yeah, that’s it. Oh… Christ.’ He slid in on Angel’s
push: vast, fat, wide, stretching and stroking as he went. He felt deep
spasms in the soft walls and waited, shivering with the delight of knowing
what he did. When they passed, he continued, until he could graze Angel’s
flesh with his short, wiry hair.
He pushed up on his powerful arms and began to dip his hips, in, out—each
stroke the definition of pleasure. Angel rocked with each thrust, meeting
it, pulling away then meeting it again. Spike released the throbbing cock
from the confines of his tight grip, and Angel began to curse, pouring
forth a string of meaningless invectives, pumping his too hard shaft to
Spike eased his cock out of Angel’s body and fell to the open hole, able
to push his whole mouth in. Angel began to almost sob with need, and he
twisted around onto his back, pulling Spike over his body so he could
have that mouth another way. As they kissed, he scrabbled frantically
at Spike’s cock, urging him to push back in, lifting his legs in supplication.
Spike slid back in and began to stroke his hardness where Angel needed
The kisses became careless: wide-mouthed and sloppy, full of moans and
meaningless sounds of pleasure.
Spike sped up, jack knifing his cock into the receptive hole, jerking
that last bit needed to feel grind of hair on stretched skin. Then he
circled hard, swirling his thickness to stretch the fragile walls before
pulling out and doing it all again. His hand found Angel’s balls, and
he played with them, connecting occasionally with Angel’s fingers on the
hot shaft that lay between their bellies.
Suddenly, Spike felt his hand seized. Angel held off from a kiss for a
moment and entwined their fingers. They peered down together. Hands clasped,
cock pistoning in and out of Angel’s body, they came together, and neither
could have said which had the strongest or more satisfying orgasm.
As he filled Angel, squirting hard and fast into the warm body, Spike
buried his face into the smooth hollow of Angel’s neck. He didn’t want
to see Angel’s expression or have it imprinted in his memory and taking
away the pleasure of all his lonely orgasms to come.
When they were done, clinging together as the shivers left their body,
it seemed to Angel that they had merged and become the average of their
individual states: one alive, one dead, they were now both dying. The
shock and pleasure of the sex and the knowledge that it would be the only
time forced him to fight tears, and he crushed Spike harder to him, using
him like a buoy so he would not drown in his own despair. Before he could
stop himself, he begged, ‘Don’t leave me.’
Spike turned his cheek to lie on Angel’s shoulder. ‘What binds us together
will get tighter, Angel, every day, every time we make love, every time
we laugh together, every time we share some casual thought, until the
parting would have to be so violent to force us apart that it would destroy
us both in the process.’
Angel’s voice was croaky with the effort to control tears. ‘Then we don’t
part. You stay with me until the… end.’
Spike lifted his face and trailed a finger over Angel’s broad brow. ‘I
think you’d end up staking me.’ Before Angel could deny this, Spike added
sadly, ‘And I think I’d probably let you.’
‘Please. Just for a while longer. You can’t know the future.’
Spike turned Angel’s face toward his. ‘I’m here now.’ The kiss was long,
passionate; it sent blood pouring back into cocks, stiffening them once
more. Spike rolled onto his back and pulled Angel to lie on him. As they
kissed and played with their tongues, Spike parted Angel’s thighs and
stroked his cock over the wet, sensitive flesh.
Angel grunted and sat up slightly, his hands splayed on Spike’s chest,
and the one thing they both would have thought impossible happened: Angel
began to ride Spike’s cock, head thrown back, as wanton as any lover Spike
had ever impaled in that almost debasing position.
Even lost in this exquisite, unplanned pleasure, Angel’s brain functioned
enough to realise that he was experiencing the best this would ever be.
His size and weight would defeat most men, leave them lying beneath him,
unable to assist. Not so Spike. He had all the strength and power needed
to lift him, support him, drive up into him. And he drove deep. The huge
implement Angel rode filled him entirely, warming his body from the inside
with its friction on his walls, stretching him to aching, the throb so
intense and pleasurable that he heard with disbelief the unbecoming moans
and cries driven from his body. But the best thing of all was not his
pleasure. It was Spike’s. From this position, he could watch every flicker
of pleasure cross that familiar face, every jolt of surprise—and those
pleased him the most. After all this time, as well as they knew each other,
he’d been able to surprise Spike. The thought hardened his cock, made
him desperate and wild upon Spike’s body, using it shamelessly for his
relief: thumping down, grinding around, lifting off to feel exquisite
evacuation—and then refilling. Thoughtlessly, his fingers brushed over
Spike’s nipples, and he pinched them. Spike’s reaction thrilled him. For
the first time he heard shock and pleasure that matched his own, and he
took them again between his strong fingers and kneaded and stretched them
as he rode the impossible hardness within his body.
Spike writhed beneath him, and Angel grinned, breathing heavily with suppressed
memories of domination and power. He tortured the reddening nipples, gripped
hard with his thighs, controlled the power of the fucking, and when he
caught Spike’s gaze, he saw almost no recognition in the dilated pools:
Spike was lost in world of unforeseen delights, taken and held there by
the power of his body. When he came, Angel’s hot sperm rained down
upon Spike’s chest and over his throbbing, twitching nipples.
Spike watched, enthralled, whispering his encouragement, as the cock,
unsupported, lifted and shot each arc of milky white fluid as if it were
alive, spitting its fury at its pale victim.
He wanted to come, too. Fear seized him that he would not. Then Angel,
still shuddering, scooped his thick, slurpy offering off Spike’s chest
and fed it to him with clumsy, shaking fingers, thrusting them into his
mouth, rubbing them around his face: marking him.
Spike cried out, a choked scream filling the huge apartment, grabbed Angel’s
waist, and jack knifed. Intense spasms released this second load into
Angel’s hot passages. He jerked for a long time—more like a man dying
in agony than one being brought to life with pleasure—and when it was
over, he fell death-like to the bed with the weight of Angel heavy upon
* * * * * * *
Angel lay with his cheek on Spike’s chest, one unnaturally red nipple
temptingly within reach of his tongue, concentrating on the novel sensation
of having a cock softening in his arse. He was throbbing too badly to
separate all the individual feelings, but he could detect the slow trickle
of come and the gradual shrinking of the vastness within. It amused him
that when he licked the nipple, the shrink… reversed.
‘Quit it.’ Spike swiped gently at him, his voice husky.
‘I thought you were asleep.’
Smiling at the coherence of Spike’s reply, Angel stretched and slid his
arms underneath the cool, relaxed figure. ‘Spike?’
‘That thing you did with time—when you were fighting….’
‘Can you do it now? Can you put a bubble around this bed and let us stay
this way forever?’
‘What would you do when you needed to pee?’
Angel shook him slightly for being so irreverent. ‘We’d stop changing.’
‘You’d stop. I don’t change now.’
Angel was silenced for a while until the subliminal thought of pissing
began to work upon his abused bladder. He gritted his teeth and tried
to ignore it.
* * * * * * *
‘Your ass. You’re clenching.’
‘And that’s a bad thing?’
‘No. Just thought I’d say.’
Angel admitted ruefully, ‘I need to piss.’
Spike flicked open one eye. ‘Not on me. Although….’
Angel chuckled and slowly began to pull off the semi-hard erection that
had now become such an essential part of his life. Stiffly, he crawled
off the bed, Spike hanging onto his fingers to the very last moment and
rolling over to watch him walk away.
‘Your bottom is very pretty.’
‘Can I come watch?’
‘You’re sick. Go fix us some drinks.’
When he came out of the bathroom, Spike was standing in front of the unfinished
picture, drinks in hand. Angel came over and stood behind him, wrapping
his arms around the smaller figure, fitting them together.
He studied his own picture. ‘It’s all wrong, isn’t it?’
Spike nodded. ‘I thought that when you did it, but you had to see it for
‘I’ve never felt so….’
Angel laughed and relieved Spike of one of the drinks. ‘Myself, sure.
Masculine? I guess. We double up the testosterone, not diminish it.’
‘First time I did it with a bloke, I thought I was gonna emerge wearing
a frock or something. Instead, I felt like a master of the universe. I
could ‘ave seeded the whole of the world.’
‘Why did you… the first time? Want to try it, I mean.’
‘Do you want the truth?’
Angel pouted, although he was aware Spike couldn’t see this. ‘That depends.
Tell me and I’ll let you know.’
‘Ponce. Cus he was American, and cus he was tall and dark, and cus he
reminded me of you.’
Spike shook his head. ‘Wish I was.’
‘Cus he was nothing like you really, and it was… frustrating.’
‘Christ. I’ve never consciously wanted anyone because they looked like
‘Smallish and blond you mean.’
Angel pouted again. ‘I need another drink.’
He went over to the fridge then turned and leant on the counter, watching
Spike. Spike turned his head at the sense of being watched, and they stared
at each other across the flickering space that separated them.
‘I have to go now; you know that. Be easier to go ‘fore it gets light.’
‘If I find a new or better way to beg you, will you stay?’
Spike closed his eyes and tipped his head back. ‘I’ll see other men behind
your back, Angel, cus one day you won’t be able to satisfy me. I’ll lie
then, and you’ll know I’ve been lying, and the lies will build like a
sludge of shit in your gut you won’t be able to expel. They’ll be there
every time I enter you, poisoning what we have. One day, my lovers will
pass for your grandchildren. Don’t beg me to stay, please. Let me do one
decent thing for you in all the time I’ve known you and leave you now.’
Angel turned away and braced his arms on the counter, his shoulders stiff
and resistant. Spike nodded and went into the bathroom for a shower.
* * * * * *
Angel stared at a spill of red wine on the smooth surface of the drainer.
It reminded him of something, but his head was so full of grief he couldn’t
extract the memory.
What was he supposed to do? This life which had seemed for the last ten
years as short as a Mayfly’s precarious wing-flick upon this earth now
stretched before him long, lonely and desolate. A place of no respite
from pain. He was swollen and fecund with need for Spike’s body, but he
would dry up and wither from the bitterness of losing him. He blinked,
and the wine was no longer wine—memory transformed it to blood. He lashed
out, swiping it away, knocking items off the counter.
The knife made the largest clatter as it hit the floor.
He watched it bounce in slow motion—time must have distorted as it fell,
for in that falling he had time to see himself cut open, dying, dead and
then… revived by Spike.
The plan hit him with the force of the orgasms driven through his body
by Spike’s cock. He bent and picked up the knife. Where? In the heart?
Across the wrists?
But a demon with no soul.
Would Spike do it—bring Angelus back to save him?
The telephone rang.
Angel jumped so badly the knife cut him, and not sure what he did, sucking
his bleeding finger, he picked up the receiver.
Angel pulled the instrument away from his ear and stared at it, then replaced
it. ‘No! It’s fucking not!’
‘Can you—? Angel, can I talk to Spike. Please!’
‘What the fuck is—?’
There was a grunt of pain from the other end, and the man cried urgently,
Spike came out of the bathroom, rubbing his hair on a towel and saw Angel
holding the phone. He frowned; his eyes flicked to the blood and then
to the knife. ‘What’s going on?’
Angel held out the phone silently.
Surprised, Spike strolled over and took it from him.
Angel went into the bathroom and threw up.
* * * * * * *
What a fool he’d been! What a dumb fuck. Spike had no intention of staying
with him. It was all bullshit: all the poignant, romantic crap. He was
still involved with Henry Benwell! They were still so together
that the man could phone here for Spike… Henry Benwell was the
one who was going to be allowed to pass into old age with Spike.
Spike strode into the bathroom, about to speak, and saw Angel leaning
over the sink, pale and sick. ‘What’s wrong?’
‘Just go, Spike.’
Spike swore and came to stand alongside him. ‘Some guys from the fight
club came for me and took him instead. They’ve got him, Angel. And they’re
gonna hurt him.’
The relief that swelled in Angel’s belly was so powerful he turned and
vomited again. Spike handed him a towel then said in a low voice, ‘I have
‘I’m coming with you.’
Angel pushed past him and began to dress.
Spike watched him with anxious eyes. He wanted to explain why he didn’t
want him there: that he was now just another liability, someone he would
have to take care of. But the thought of saying something so hurtful to
Angel hurt him with an unexpected intensity. He nodded and pulled
on his own clothes.
* * * * * * *
As they rode down in the elevator, Angel said calmly, ‘This is about the
money you fleeced them for, yeah?’
Spike nodded although he knew that it wasn’t. Demons coveted power. It
was all they really wanted, and he had it. He had it in spades, thanks
But he wasn’t about to give it up.
He wasn’t about to have Henry hurt, either.
He sighed at the added complexity of being in love with Angel, and Angel
added, missing the point of the small, weary sound, ‘You can just give
Spike nodded again.
He’d be buggered if he’d do that either.
Spike was tense as he sat next to Angel in the back of the cab. He was
pretty sure they wouldn’t hurt Henry until the man had served his purpose—getting
him there—but he wasn’t sure enough. Angel was quiet, staring thoughtfully
out of the window on his side.
Spike had just begun to wonder what he was thinking about when Angel’s
hand came to rest on his thigh. He gave a squeeze and then left it there,
stroking his thumb over the thin cotton.
Spike turned his head and regarded the beautiful profile.
He was very tired of missing Angel.
It seemed to him then that he had two choices: leave Angel as planned
tonight and go on missing him, or have him. The missing
would be worse afterwards, but it would be after: after however
little time life granted them together. They would just have to make that
short time their eternity.
Suddenly, Spike leant forward and gave a new address to the cabdriver.
Angel questioned him with his eyes, but Spike did not explain.
* * * * * * *
Spike led the way up into the apartment he was renting and shoved open
the door. Angel followed him in then stopped in wonder, staring at his
own paintings. ‘What the…?’ Spike ignored him and went to a trunk in
Angel turned to question Spike about the pictures but found a sword being
laid reverently in his hands. It was his: the one he had slain the dragon
with. Spike nodded. ‘You’re right: we can’t know the future. I may die
before you, staked in some dumb fight with a fledgling—who knows? But
I want you. I want what you gave me tonight, and I’ll want it tomorrow
and the day after that. I’ll want it when you’re forty and fifty. I don’t
care. And when you’re too old to bend or stretch, I’ll do that for
the both of us.’
Angel lifted the sword and held it vertically against his face, closing
his eyes. He stayed very still for a very long time then slowly drew Spike
into his embrace, the lethal metal cold between their faces. He whispered
simply, ‘Okay,’ the one casual word sealing their fates together. With
a strangely familiar purpose in his tone, he added, ‘Let’s go fight some
dragons.’ Spike stared at the closed eyelids, studied the immense strength
of the lowered brow and had the startling thought that already
there was less difference between this human and the all-powerful sire
he missed so desperately.
Angel’s authority seemed to unfold around them both. He led the way back
to the street and into the cab. The atmosphere was so tense between them
that Spike could hardly bear to risk a glance at Angel’s expression, but
when he did, he saw a familiar, dark, grim certainty on the handsome face.
Something more than just the weight of decision-making fell from Spike’s
He watched the passing nightlife, remembering their lovemaking, thinking
about the future and all the lovemaking yet to come, laughing inwardly
at memories of the past when the lovemaking had been only in his fervent
Angel leant over and pressed his lips to Spike’s ear. ‘Stop smirking.’
Spike choked back a reply then laughed out loud, admitting his joy. Even
his fear for Henry could not dampen this moment. Angel chuckled too and
tipped his head back on the seat.
Spike mirrored his position, and they rolled their heads lazily, regarding
Suddenly, Spike shivered and turned away, staring out of the window once
Angel’s hand returned to his thigh. ‘What?’
Spike shook his head and changed the subject. ‘We’ll be there soon.’
He watched Angel out of the corner of one eye, ostensibly still watching
the street. He could not explain the terrifying certainty that had just
washed over him: he was going to lose this man. But it wouldn’t be in
ten years or twenty or thirty; it would be tonight.
Effectively, they had already had their eternity.
* * * * *
Spike wanted to leave Angel in the cab—knock him out if he had to and
pay the driver to take him away somewhere safe. But he was too experienced
in life’s pissing games to think that this would keep Angel safe. When
it was your time to go, it was your time, and it didn’t matter whether
you were in the middle of a fight with hoards of demons, or unconscious
on the back seat of an L.A. cab, life would end.
Somewhere, in some tiny corner of his brain, Spike got the beautiful irony
that was playing out this night. They had come together in one great blaze
of passion and now, because of him, because of his problems, Angel
would never fade away. He would go as he had always been destined to:
a warrior and a champion.
‘Spike, what’s wrong?’
Spike paid the driver and climbed out. ‘Nothing, Luv.’
Angel eyed him thoughtfully. ‘I can’t read you anymore.’
Spike grinned and poked him playfully in the ribs. ‘You never could, or
we’d ‘ave been shagging a good century before this.’
Angel caught the finger and pulled him into a hug. ‘What will you tell
‘About us. When we’ve rescued him.’
Spike felt tears prick his eyes and pulled away. ‘Let’s go do it first,
and I’ll worry about that later.’
‘But you will….’
‘Yes, Angel. I’ll tell him.’ I’ll tell him about the champion I loved
who gave his life for him. I’ll try to tell him why I can’t love him anymore—why
I can never love anyone again. I’ll try to tell him just how many pieces
my heart lies broken in. He straightened his shoulders and walked
slowly into the underground garage.
* * * * * * *
It was exceptionally eerie without the thumping music from their last
Angel could not believe how natural it all felt: eeriness, Spike at his
side and a huge sword in his hand. If he concentrated, perhaps he could
will his heartbeat away, too.
Concentrating on stopping his heartbeat was easier than thinking about
the incredible thing that had happened that night. Spike had fucked him,
and Spike had agreed to stay with him. He knew he was grinning like a
fool so paced ahead of Spike to enjoy his idiocy in private. He suspected
he would not be grinning in ten, or twenty, or thirty years time; why
not enjoy it now? He wondered how long it would take for the rot in his
body to begin to show. What would come first? Grey hairs streaking his
dark locks? Crowfeet around his eyes? Liver spots on his hands? Would
he let it happen, or would he try to resist time’s demands by obsessive
buying of the new wonder cream, the new hair product—refusing
to go gentle into that goodnight. He had the sudden and frightening vision
of himself sitting in a deckchair watching his young lover as hair dye
dripped inexorably down his lined, grey face.
He glanced behind and found Spike watching him with a dark, enigmatic
look on his face. He stopped, and when Spike caught him up, he pushed
him against the wall and kissed him, feeling the sword like a metal shaft
of need between them. ‘Did I tell you that I love you?’
Spike swallowed and shook his head. A tremor passed over his face, but
he controlled it. ‘Tell me then.’
Angel grinned and breathed it deep into Spike’s mouth. ‘I love you.’
Spike nodded, but it seemed to Angel that it wasn’t with pleasure. It
seemed to him that Spike was admitting the inevitably of something—that
this declaration, such a long time coming, had decided something in Spike’s
mind. Spike pressed into him, lifting his leg and entwining them, pulling
him back for another kiss. They shared their mouths and tongues, exchanging
saliva and smiling into the exchange. Finally, kissing Angel’s lower lip
as he pulled away, Spike murmured, ‘Come be a champion for me one last
Angel heard in this only that Spike thought their future life together
would be a peaceful one where champions were not required. This suited
him just fine. He nodded, ran his hand once more down the sword just to
check its balance was true, then turned and went on, down into the dying
of the light.
* * * * * *
The scene that greeted them made Spike reel with its theatrical horror.
He staggered and felt Angel’s hand grip his arm, reassuring and solid.
The stage was illuminated by one powerful overhead spotlight that streaked
its beams down in a brilliant column of light to a pale figure.
Henry had been crucified, his blood pooling darkly around his feet, the
simple wooden cross an obscene taunt in this demonic place.
Spike’s knees gave way, and he sank to the ground. It was too much, coming
so close upon his premonition of Angel’s death tonight. It was more than
just his human lover up there, hung like a sacrifice to his selfishness.
Suddenly, the horror of losing Henry, losing Angel, losing everything
he ever loved overwhelmed him, and he surged to his feet, ready to run
to the stage. Angel’s hand tightened. ‘Stop. Wait. He’s just tied,
Spike. It’s not blood.’
Spike snapped his head up and forced his preternatural senses past the
fear for Angel that held his body in a knot of pain. It wasn’t blood.
It was dark shadow from the hanging body. And not hanging: standing. Not
nailed: strapped. Angel eased him into the shadows that coated the walls
like thick molasses and whispered, ‘He’s bait.’
Spike cursed softly. His senses should have told him all this, not Angel’s.
Angel was sparking, wired, as animated as he’d been when impaled and pleasuring
himself on Spike’s thick cock. He had the same sexual, animal energy,
and Spike drew closer, needing it, wanting it.
Thinking they’d been unobserved, it nevertheless didn’t surprise either
of them when after a slight crackle a voice came over the loud speaker.
‘Welcome. You honour us with your presence, God-fighter.’
Spike ignored the sarcasm evident in the tone and stepped into the light.
‘Come out where I can see you.’
A man stepped out the office next to the announcer’s gallery flanked by
a small army of vicious-looking demons. They were hideous and menacing,
but they paled into insignificance compared to what they held restrained
around their chunky, demonic wrists. Each demon held the leash of a dog—in
the loosest definition of canine. Larger than small ponies, jaws like
a sharks, these creatures strained and disturbed the air with low, vicious
growls—air that wavered in the heat the creatures exuded. For each dog
flickered with flame, spines of orange and yellow and blue. It looked
as if they’d been set on fire, but the flames came from within. These
creatures were formed from the flames of hell; pain was their rendering,
and pain induced their insane intensity.
Despite the prospect facing them, Spike could not help a tiny smile when
he heard Angel whisper, ‘Bring on the dragons.’
Henry had seen them, and he straightened, pulling on his restraints. Spike
tried not to look at him: he didn’t need the distraction. With a confidence
he didn’t feel, he marched up to the group and folded his arms. ‘I’m here
now. Let him go.’ The demons laughed. The dogs howled and strained to
be free. The man pursed his lips and seemed to be considering Spike’s
demand. Then he laughed, too. ‘Interesting suggestion, but… no. I want
what you have, Spike: your power. And I’m thinking if you came here voluntarily
for him, you’ll do a lot more than that when we start to take him apart—limb
by limb. I can make it last for such a long time, Vampire.’
Spike kept whatever he felt deep inside and said with a smirk, ‘Then you’d
kinda be defeating the whole point of this impressive little drama, Mate.’
The man narrowed his eyes. ‘How so?’
Spike leant forward conspiratorially, blowing a cheeky kiss to the dog
closest to him. ‘He is my power.’ He felt Angel’s eyes boring into
his back. He felt Henry’s swivel with confusion to him, but he only shrugged
his shoulders slightly and added to one mucus-dripping demon, ‘Don’t suppose
you’ve got a fag, Mate… the English kind, course.’
The man waved his arm to prevent the demon moving, as if he actually had
been about to rummage in his leathery hide to find a cigarette for Spike.
‘What do you mean?’
Spike looked bored and glanced for the first time at Henry as if the whole
subject wearied him intensely. ‘He’s not human. He’s a key, formed into
the shape of a human to hide it.’ It had sounded better coming from Giles—but
then Giles hadn’t been lying.
‘Yeah. A mystical key.’ It sounded convincing enough, though, so he ploughed
on. ‘He is my power—my key to the God’s power. Why do you think
I bring him to all my fights? And why do you think he never shows up on
the scanners as being human?’ He almost poked the man in the chest to
emphasise this brilliant point, but refrained at the last moment: lying
was best done with less obvious intent.
One of the brighter looking demons leant toward his boss and murmured,
‘Kid was with him in New York when he defeated Lord. They say he’s always
The man nodded thoughtfully. ‘Seems to me my original plan was fine all
along: we hack him up; his power’s released; I get it.’
tutted and shook his head. ‘Now, how you gonna do that? You can’t just
release mystical energy and suck it up like big cosmic Hoover. ‘Specially
as my freakily good senses tell me that you’re just a blood and bone regular
human—and how’s that working out for you: exploiting all us demons again…?’
Suddenly, the peaceful, slow negotiation went wrong. Spike sensed it before
he actually turned his head and saw it—saw Angel on the stage, sword raised
over Henry, releasing him, protecting him. In that one moment, under the
brilliant fall of light, Angel returned to Spike as he had once been:
pale death, all-powerful—his sire.
Then the demons released the dogs.
They flowed onto the stage, more fire than flesh.
Angel slashed Henry free then turned the sword upon the first of the hounds,
but when he hacked at it, it turned to pure fire, roaring up his arm as
if powered with a back draft from hell.
One by one, the fire-beasts enveloped Angel, but in the last glimpse that
Spike had of him, his grin was triumphant. Spike suddenly knew why he
had felt such a forceful premonition of death that night: it had come
Angel had found his eternity.
* * * * * * *
Spike howled as viciously as the dogs, but he could not reach the stage.
The demons overwhelmed him. Suddenly, he rose above them, time standing
still in his presence for an infinitesimal moment. But it was not enough.
Distraught, he could not sustain the illusion—for that is all it was,
all it had ever been: parlour-tricks taught to him by a bored God, as
they had lain sated from their own peculiar passions.
He fought like a man who was losing the one thing that sustained him.
He fought like a mother for her child; a soldier for his brother; a man
for his lover. But it was not enough. Not all his power and skill could
save the two humans who were now indistinguishable in the flames that
consumed the stage.
The club owner cowered against the window of his office, his image wavering
in reflected fire. Spike despatched the last of the demons that held him
back from the deaths being enacted in front of him.
He tried to leap upon the stage, but the flames beat him back.
He screamed Angel’s name. He choked on the heat as it seared his throat.
And then something moved.
Something small and insignificant yet filling vast space with its presence.
It emerged from the flames, streaming blue behind it like cold flame.
‘Is this what you screech so piteously for, Half-breed?’
Illyria, holding the scruff of Angel’s neck in one hand and Henry’s in
the other, stepped out of the flame.
She didn’t wait for Spike to reply but dumped them unceremoniously off
the stage. ‘I grow weary of waiting for your reply, Vampire.’
She jumped off and walked up to the man frozen against the glass, his
eyes following her progress as a minnow might a shark’s. ‘You’re the ancient
one…. He defeated you….’
She tipped her head to one side and fixed him with her speculative, blue
gaze. ‘Why do you still live?’
As if given a cue, the man scrabbled frantically at nothing and began
Spike fell to his knees at the humans’ side, but Henry began to scrabble
frantically away from him, shaking his head in rapid denial. He collided
with the hacked up body of a demon, its yellow puss-like blood gooey on
his hands. He cried out and tried to wipe them on his pants, frantic,
careless, sitting amongst severed body parts.
Spike bowed his head and whispered, ‘I’m so sorry. It shouldn’t have ended
Henry hesitated for a moment then staggered to his feet and ran blindly
in the direction he had seen the other human go. He could not have demonstrated
more forcibly that he agreed with Spike’s assessment: it was finally over.
Illyria watched him go with the same interested regard she gave to the
smallest, most insignificant amoeba. ‘His fear stinks more than the scum
your kind once fed upon.’
Spike felt a movement at his side, and Angel stood, dark and burnt and
bleeding, but his eyes full of cold intent. ‘How are you here, Illyria?
How did you know where we were? That we….’ He glanced at the stage, still
burning, but did not continue.
She glanced at him dismissively. ‘My power rose like fury into the air
and summoned me.’ She turned her gaze to Spike and fixed him with it as
effectively as a pin would fix a bug. ‘You misuse it, Vampire.’
Angel took a step toward her. ‘You fucked him and gave it to him!’
Her head snapped back to Angel. ‘The Half-breed lies like Hope and Love
did in my world! I allowed him to be my Pet and rub whining against my
Angel gritted his teeth. ‘Then how the power?’
To his amazement, Illyria looked away. ‘It appears I leak to those I favour.’
‘And you picked Spike to… leak with?’
‘I like his voice. He reminds me of—.’
His name did not need to be spoken between them, missed as he was by each
of them so very much.
Illyria shook her head as if sloughing off all unnecessary feeling and
reiterated, ‘Decide, Vampire. I am impatient to leave this place of such
mediocrity. If you do not want my power, it will dissipate into the universal
whole of which I was once so great a part. Decide.’
Spike didn’t turn to look back at Angel. ‘I have.’
She held his gaze for the longest of times. To Angel, it seemed that the
intensity of the look entirely belied her claim about the nature of their
relationship. Finally, she nodded. ‘I read your heart as if it were the
book of your life, Spike.’
She turned to look at herself in the reflection of the huge window, her
eyes travelling from Angel’s dark form, to Spike’s absence, to her own
brilliance, not dimmed despite deficiencies in the mirror. ‘This world
will not see my like again. I almost grieve.’
Suddenly, in a crack of vast energy, her image fragmented.
And in that instant of her departure, Spike regretted his decision. He
screamed, sending her name high into the empty building, begging her to
return. Anything—old age, decay, dying, death—would be better than being
parted from Angel as profoundly as he was now. But it was too late—she
was gone, and all her vast power with her.
He stared at the place she had last occupied as if he could absorb a vestige
of her power.
And it was only then that he saw that Angel had disappeared.
* * * * * * *
The glass was entirely empty, quavering slightly from the power of the
exit of a God.
Spike spun around on a half-choked scream… and there he was—Angel, on
the ground, blown down and bleeding.
But not in the mirror….
Refusing to listen to the traitor Hope that rose teasingly in his heart,
Spike fell to his knees, cradling the unconscious form. It was cooling.
It had no pulse.
Its heart had stopped.
It was dead.
* * * * * * *
His eyes flew open full of dark power.
Spike’s belly clenched with a morass of uncontrollable emotions. ‘Angel?
A blink greeted his timorous question.
A dark gaze travelled to emptiness in the glass.
The gentlest of voices murmured, ‘Thank you.’ When he heard this soft
gratitude, Spike knew that some great debt, owed since Fred’s painful
death, had finally been paid.
Angel rose from the bloodied floor, resonating all his power and glory,
stretching into his so-familiar body. ‘She has restored me. I am as I
was before—before I stepped out into that first sunshine.’
Spike stood, too, and they faced each other, their pale faces illuminated
by the dying flames. Spike feared his voice would betray him, but he forced
out, ‘She said she read my heart.’
Angel smiled gently. ‘And you knew mine.’
A stab of guilt for what he’d done made Spike’s face clench with worry.
‘But you always wanted to be human, Angel! You fought so hard for
Angel silenced him with a cool finger across his lips, pressing just too
hard and smiling just too seductively for the gesture to be entirely for
quieting. ‘I wanted to be free of the guilt. I wanted to be free of the
curse. And now I am.’ His eyes flashed with a mysterious light. ‘This
is my soul, Spike. As yours is: wanted and cherished.’
Suddenly, he grabbed Spike’s shoulders and spun him around wildly, almost
dancing over the corpses at their feet. ‘I want to live, Spike. I want
to live! Hell, I think I want to be here when she makes her next
appearance. What do you say? You and me? A thousand years together?’
Spike began to laugh, more from release of fear and tension than from
real amusement at this idea, but he didn’t ruin Angel’s moment by telling
Angel laughed, too, and began to edge him toward the wall. Spike read
his intent in the dilating pupils, smelt his desire in the pheromones
pouring off his demonic body. He flicked his gaze, repelled and surprised,
to the scene of death behind. It seemed wrong and out of character, somehow,
that Angel would want him after what had happened here tonight. Suddenly,
Spike dropped his chin onto his chest and chuckled. Angel was a demon
once more, and he was only reminding them both what that meant.
Angel read the emotions flickering across Spike’s expressive face with
an ease that belied his ten-year vacation from such perception. He nodded
with pleasure when he saw that Spike understood. Slyly, with an ability
to flirt honed over three centuries, he asked, ‘How many fucks could we
have in a thousand years?’
Spike smirked. ‘Maths was never my strong point.’
Angel kissed into his neck, biting hard. ‘Nor mine… I know what one and
one makes though.’
* * * * * * *
It was rough, hard fucking, bloodied and bold against the wall. They could
do finesse; they could do romance—they’d proved it. They just didn’t want
to do it—not this time. Not for this great, longed for reunion.
Angel felt the pain and anguish of the last ten years slough off him as
easily as the sweat from his brow. He felt the lies finally stop squirming
in his gut. His dead body didn’t even feel strange; it welcomed him like
a familiar. If felt strange to be inside Spike’s body in this body—that
he would admit. But strange was good. Strange was very, very good. Strange
was tight and dangerous and exciting and wrong and right and defined something
he couldn’t even begin to name.
He was flooded with the aphrodisiac of his own power and beauty. God-like
power perhaps. Perhaps it would wear off. Perhaps in a few days, riding
his cock high into Spike’s rectum wouldn’t make him feel colossus-like:
striding through a world he entirely mastered.
But it did now .
And maybe he was leaking some of this great power into Spike, for Spike
seemed, to Angel, illuminated from within: glowing and alive, hot and
sweet and fuckingly edible. He bit him, sucking noisily, and Spike laughed—a
long peel of sound. It was deep and melodious, ringing in this beginning,
this ending, until broken by sharp gasps of orgasm overtaking it.
As Angel released deep inside Spike’s body, he could not help but wonder
at the paradox that he had produced live seed when so profoundly dead
but dead seed now—when he sparked and pulsed with this magical, fascinating
He pulled out and put his fingers to Spike’s hole, playing in the slurpy
mess, easing it back inside with strong, insistent pushes. Spike moaned.
Angel possessed his lips with his own, and they were ready to go again.
Only then did Angel turn to the scene behind them and whisper, ‘I want
slow and sweet now. I want to make you shiver for me, Spike. I want you
whimpering and begging me for your release. I want you out of here.’
Spike stood still and unresisting as Angel dressed him. He watched the
pale fingers working his zipper and buttons, felt them on his face, cleaning
him, rubbing through his hair then said simply, ‘I’m not your childe.’
Angel went on working as if he’d not heard this—as if he didn’t know exactly
what Spike meant by it. Spike felt a tiny worm of mutinous fury wriggle
into his brain, and he added, ‘I’m not going back to being less than you.
I won’t whimper or beg for your cock. I’m top of the food chain,
Angel. Things have changed. I’ve changed.’
Angel smiled and finished buttoning Spike’s shirt. He patted him down,
pleased. ‘I guess I’ll have to make you beg for my asshole then. Now,
are you coming?’ He flicked up an eyebrow and strode out without a glance
at the mayhem he left behind.
Spike leant back against the wall and smiled, unable to keep his pleasure
inside. He looked down at his feet. ‘Sweet dreams, Blue.’
* * * * * * *
Angel was already in the street, waiting for him. As soon as Spike emerged,
Angel began to run. He was running for the sheer pleasure of being able
to. He flowed like mercury: spookily smooth and compact, the glint of
metal from his sword only adding to this illusion. He caught Spike’s arms
and danced him around then took off again into the night. Spike knew that
Angel wanted to hunt and feed—he did too—and it seemed for this one night
that the world and all that was contained within it was theirs to do with
as they pleased. Like an astronaut newly returned to earth, astounded
by the power of gravity, Angel would feel the irresistible pull of blood.
And then a shadow moved. Spike felt something lurch within his gut, as
if that deep, unseen part of his body sensed that some terrible moment
of decision had arrived.
The old homeless man mumbled and shifted again.
Angel slowed his flight and pooled, dark yet silvery, at his side.
He cupped the man’s face, staring at his drunken incomprehension, fascinated.
Spike wanted to intervene, to prevent what he knew was about to happen.
He would even turn time back and have Angel human once more, if he could
only prevent this inevitability. But he stayed where he was and observed.
Angel or Angelus, this dark creature would do as he pleased.
‘Ten years.’ Angel bent closer to the man and repeated, ‘Ten years.’
Spike bowed his head and begged silently in his head, ‘Don’t.’
Angel suddenly lurched up and grabbed Spike’s arms. ‘Ten years! I’ve helped
no one for ten years! They’ve been entirely alone.’ He turned and rummaged
in his pockets, only coming up with a few notes. He rummaged in Spike’s,
too, then knelt beside the man and pushed all the money he’d found deep
into a torn pocket. Spike blinked to clear his vision but still couldn’t
see too clearly. From feared demon to God-like saviour, his reactions
to Angel were veering dangerously out of control—he really needed to start
seeing him as the irritating ponce he'd always seen him.
Angel left the man and came to Spike’s side, sliding his arms around his
waist. Nudging Spike’s mouth to a good position, he began to kiss him,
open-mouthed and passionate. He sensed Spike smiling into the kiss and
couldn’t hide a tiny smirk himself. He whispered, ‘Ye of little faith,’
and took off again into the night.
They came to a park, grass and trees just formless dark shapes in the
night, the metal structures of play equipment eerily still. Angel leapt
onto a swing, then in one fluid movement jumped for the top bar and swung
onto it, crouching feral-like to survey his shadowy domain. Spike watched
shapes shifting nervously in the trees, predators of very different prey.
Henry had liked cruising parks at night—but Spike did not need any added
complications in his fragile emotional state, so repressed all thoughts
of the man he would not see again.
Angel materialised beside him, and Spike could swear that gravity altered
for Angel’s convenience, landing as he did with less impact than if a
cat had graced him with its presence. He walked to a small bank of grass
at the back of the play park and flung himself down, gesturing for Spike
to join him.
They lay side by side on the sweet-smelling grass in the centre of the
vast city, listening to the sounds of the night. Angel chuckled. ‘Look
at the stars.’
Spike frowned. ‘Huh? Too much light pollution.’
Angel shook his head. ‘Look harder.’ Spike turned his head instead to
watch Angel’s profile. Suddenly, he sat up. ‘What the fuck?’
Angel turned lazily to him. ‘What?’
Spike licked his lips. ‘Nothing.’ He lay back down. ‘Your eyes looked
blue—but it was just a reflection, I guess.’
Angel lifted an eyebrow. ‘Maybe of the stars.’
‘Yeah, the blue stars.’ He so needed to start smoking again.
‘I can hear the grass growing and the echoes of the children who were
Angel propped himself up on one elbow, looking down at Spike. ‘I can hear
‘You’re gonna get smacked in a minute, Mate.’
‘Echoes… perhaps memories of how strong and hot it once was.’ He placed
a hand over Spike’s heart then opened his shirt and slid it onto the cool
skin. He stroked his flat palm over Spike’s nipple, the delicate gentleness
of his touch in startling contrast to the power he’d been demonstrating
all night. One by one, he undid the buttons of Spike’s shirt until the
slim torso was a brilliant object of reflected moonlight in the otherwise
murky pool of shadows. He replaced his hand over Spike’s heart and nudged
his mouth against Spike’s ear. ‘Concentrate. Can you feel starlight upon
Spike was so wired by the feel of Angel upon his skin he hissed
and nodded faintly in response. Angel bent to the other nipple and kissed
it with the lightness of touch of an insect wing. Spike moaned and arched
for more. Keeping his gaze fixed on Spike’s, Angel slid his hand slowly
down the prominent ribs to the hollow of his concave belly. He swirled
a finger around the belly button, pressing harder now, eliciting stronger
moans. Stretching his hand to its considerable full extent, one finger
slipped beneath Spike’s waistband.
It was Angel’s turn to groan as his sensitive fingertips brushed the hidden
line of hair. He snatched his hand out and fumbled over Spike’s thighs,
murmuring with pleasure when he found a thick jungle creeper distorting
the smooth trunk of leg. He fell to it and mouthed into it, biting and
sucking through the material. Not a creeper then—a snake woken, rising
and throbbing under his lips. He pushed his hand back into the jeans and
spread his fingers, pushing down over Spike’s wiry hair, running his fingers
through it, spreading the undergrowth to find the snake in the grass.
He touched it, and it reared up. Spike cried out, fumbling, lifting his
hips, and it was free, rising milky and blind into the night, wavering
Angel grunted like a predator but fell like a supplicant to its root,
nuzzling in around the stretched tendons, grooming Spike with his tongue.
Slowly, he lifted his face up the swaying, pumped muscle, tracing with
his tongue one prominent, dark vein.
Spike whimpered when Angel reached the tip. It was still trapped within
its tight skin, hot and painful. He lifted a hand, but Angel rolled on
top of his legs, pinning his arms. With great concentration, Angel began
to free Spike’s cockhead—with his mouth. He slipped his tongue under the
tightness; he nudged it with his lips. He tested its stretch with strong
sucks, pulling it up then letting it sink back. When he sensed that Spike
could take no more, he opened his throat and took Spike there—no warning,
he just swallowed him. Somewhere on the journey to the back of Angel’s
throat, Spike’s cockhead popped out of his foreskin and only the spongy,
sensitive tip finally came to rest against the willing walls.
Just as swiftly, Angel pulled off and left Spike’s cock wet and hard in
the moonlight. He blew on the wetness, lying hard and heavy over the wriggling
body beneath. He watched thoughts and feelings flit across Spike’s mobile
face for a while then laughed at his own game and swallowed him once more.
Somewhere in the back of both their minds, they were aware that this was
the first time Angel had ever tasted another man’s cock. Those distinctions
didn’t seem to matter now. It was a night for firsts: for new and old
to merge and loose distinction. He blew Spike like a pro, tormenting him,
teasing him, making the slim body sing for him, every nerve in tune with
the agonising pleasure he was giving.
When it was finally time for the snake to spit its load, he eased it out
of his mouth and held it in a tight fist, working it against his tongue,
milking it. It jerked with life and began to splatter the walls of his
mouth and throat. Sperm pooled on his tongue. He lapped at the wide hole
and felt the strength of Spike’s release tickle as it shot past. He swallowed
then swallowed again, come over his tongue, come spilling over his lips,
come cool and salty on his palate.
With a moan of thwarted need, Spike rose up and seized Angel’s face between
strong hands. He kissed and licked then mouthed wide and wet into Angel’s
mouth, sucking the flavours from him. Their passion became noisy and out
of control. Prying eyes that may have overlooked the previous activity
could not mistake this. They rolled down the bank, a tangle of limbs,
trying to climb into each other’s mouths, and then Spike was on top; Angel
was pinned beneath, and Spike arched his face to the stars. Not a single
man watching mistook that look. Somehow, in the roll, Angel had been released
and Spike exposed, and he was impaling himself on the hard column that
jutted so thick and needy from the open pants.
Spike’s shirt tails covered their joining—when he was fully impaled. When
he rose, the solid meat pushing into him was entirely revealed. He leant
forward to find Angel’s mouth, and all was made known: pale stretch and
As they kissed, Angel whispered deep into Spike’s mouth, ‘Can you hear
them?’ Spike nodded and kissed Angel more wildly to the erotic sounds
of slap, slap upon human flesh and moans of incredulous delight.
Their demons rose to the occasion, subjugating more natural human discretion.
On a stage of grass and moonlight they fucked with the abandon of animals
but with the skill and emotions of men, until with a cry more of capture
than release, they came together, shuddering, mewing and spilling.
All around them, the night seemed to pant and moan in tune with them,
orchestrated by their passion.
Spike fell onto Angel and embraced him, resting his check against Angel’s
shoulder, uncaring that he was spread and exposed, enjoying the cool night
air on his wet hole. Gradually, as if reluctant to leave its new home,
Angel’s cock slipped out and plopped wetly onto his thigh. He wrapped
his arms tightly around Spike’s back and sighed. Spike chuckled. ‘I like
slow and sweet.’
Angel lifted up and peered at the top of Spike’s head. ‘We haven’t gotten
there yet. This was… what shall I call it? Interlude in the park.’ He
climbed to his feet, pulling Spike with him, adjusting their clothes.
‘Slow and sweet is for when we get home.’
Spike frowned and allowed Angel to dress him once more. Home? It had not
occurred to him that human Angel still existed—in Angel’s memory anyway.
Somehow, he had assumed that the ten years were over for Angel as effectively
as they were for him—wiped out by the power of Angel’s resurrection to
How was this going to work?
They began to walk toward the edge of the park, leaving their new worshipers
to their particular rites of devotion.
* * * * * * *
Still pumped and wired on Illyria’s power, Angel decided to take to the
rooftops. Spike followed him, leap for leap, studying the form he knew
so well. He had not thought beyond the restoration of his sire. A thousand
years? He’d be buggered if he was going to spend the next thousand years
in this damn city watching Angel paint.
They neared the apartment, and Angel came to a halt, holding up his hand.
‘Stars? Grass? Heart-fucking-beats?’
Angel ignored the sarcasm. ‘Sirens.’
Spike heard it, too.
‘Let’s go see.’
Spike smiled softly. ‘My champion….’
Angel swiped at him then stepped off the building. Spike peered over,
cursed, then followed. He didn’t land nearly as gracefully and hobbled
after Angel, muttering.
As they drew closer to the sound, Angel began to run, and it wasn’t until
they rounded the final corner that Spike got why.
Angel’s apartment block was on fire.
Flames leapt up to the sky just as viciously but inflicting more damage
than the ones that had tried to consume Angel that night.
Fire engines surrounded the building, and the place was chaotic stage
of blue and orange.
Incredulous, Spike lifted his face and watched the flames billow out of
the windows. ‘Do you think this was some kind of revenge attack?’ He thought,
“Fight-guy”; Angel thought, “Benwell!”
Angel pushed past a barrier and grabbed the arm of a fireman. ‘That’s
my apartment. What happened?’
The man stared contemptuously at Angel. ‘The damn place was filled with
Angel turned to Spike, his eyes widening. He mouthed, ‘The candles!’
‘It looked like a great place, too. Tough break, buddy—you’ve lost a lot
Angel watched the flames, their light flickering in his dark pupils like
some demonic inner light. Then he began to laugh. He stretched out his
arm and snagged Spike around his neck, pulling him close. ‘Only valuable
thing I have is here.’
They turned their backs to the burning building and began to stroll into
the dark that wrapped around them, embracing them. Too close to be anything
other than intimates, they nevertheless walked with too much easy confidence
to be anything other than equals.