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When he woke, Angel lay in a tangle of limbs, covered in blood and cum. His first rational thought (after this one of blood and sperm) was that Spike now had his wish. His need for Spike’s body was so intense that he felt physically sick from the ache. He rolled Spike over and took him again, thrusting into the sleeping body.
Spike woke with a hiss of delight and rose onto his hands and knees, rocking to the motion of Angel’s prick in his body.
Angel couldn’t hold back his orgasm, and he shuddered more sperm into Spike, watching with fascination as it ran back out. He amazed himself how he had managed to fuck Spike all night without once admitting what he now was.
He rolled off with a grunt and lay on his back, an arm flung over his face.
His depression of spirits was in stark contrast to his physical satisfaction, and he mulled this over as he listened to Spike going back to sleep.
They appeared to be on the floor in the living room. The day had come along with them, for they were bathed in sunlight.
He was lying alongside Spike, who he had now taken, and it was sunny. He couldn’t understand why he was depressed. He would have asked Spike, but Spike had not seemed interested in talking. He’d laughed and played and fucked like a pro, but he’d not issued a coherent word. Angel had begun by murmuring a few endearments, but he’d only been laughed at so had stopped.
He was not about to assign his depression to this—he didn’t need Spike’s… affection… after all.
Spike was right: it was just fucking.
Angel was hard again.
He dragged Spike over onto his back, wanting to take him bent double, legs high in the air, vulnerable and….
‘Step away from him, Angel.’
Angel almost—almost—screamed. He made a choked, unmanly sound, which he regretted. Fortunately, the sheet was close to hand, and he dragged it over his swollen, discoloured erection, which stood so hot and proud from his pale, flawless body.
‘What the fuck...?’
Wesley ignored his outrage and levelled the crossbow he was holding on Spike. ‘Step away from Angel.’
Spike rose with a lazy grin, seemingly not at all worried about his erection. He even stroked it lazily as he moved a few feet away.
Angel climbed to his feet, more embarrassed than he ever remember being. ‘What the…?’
‘Do you want to tell him? Or should I?’ Wesley did not take his eyes off Spike.
Spike pursed his lips, a glint of amusement in his eyes. ‘He won’t believe me.’
Wesley looked down at the place where he had found them curled together. ‘Clever, Ingram. Clever.’
‘Ingram?’ Angel turned slowly to Spike.
Wesley adjusted his hold on the crossbow. ‘He didn’t want to give us information about Illyria. He wanted to do what she did. He’s taken Spike’s body as effectively as….’
‘NO!’ Angel lunged forward and seized Spike by the arms, staring into his eyes as if trying to drill down into his soul. He felt himself losing control, so dragged himself back from the precipice of destruction that would have been for them all. ‘I’d have known…. I couldn’t have… last night and not have…. You’re wrong, Wesley. Spike?’ The last word was said so plaintively that it seemed to undo Wesley. The crossbow sagged, and he leant against the couch.
‘God help me. I would not have you go through this, too.’
Angel whispered, ‘Spike?’ again and shook his child slightly.
Spike tipped his head to one side and it was that, more than Wesley’s declaration, which unhinged Angel. He pushed the slim body away from him with a howl. ‘You…!’ He tore the weapon from Wesley’s hands and aimed it at Spike.
Spike stood his ground, then he grinned when no shot came. ‘Told you…. Obsessed about me…. You’ll do anything it takes to protect me now.’
Angel still held the crossbow high. ‘Where’s Spike?’
Angel felt an unwelcome surge of emotion rise in his throat, but he lowered the weapon.
Wesley straightened. ‘I listened to the recording, Angel. I’m sorry. I had to know…. I didn’t get it the first time… distracted, I think by…. Anyway. I listened again then I ran it through some programmes. All the time he was talking—did you get that? It seemed so odd. Spike so silent, Ingram talking all the time. It was an incantation—split up and hidden among more innocuous words. He has somehow entered Spike’s body, and by destroying his own, sparked this… change.’
Wesley came close. ‘I’m so sorry, Angel.’
‘I don’t believe any of this. Tell us how to reverse it.’
Spike’s face smiled broadly. ‘I am so hungry? What did he eat? Jeez, yeah, blood…. Okay, I can handle….’ The punch dislocated one of Angel’s fingers, but it was worth it. Ingram hit the wall behind him, dented the plaster and slumped unconscious to the floor.
‘Have him taken to the cells. Have him restrained.’
Without turning around, Angel went to the bedroom and shut the door very carefully behind him.
It seemed God still reserved his best punishments for sodomites.
Angel confronted Spike, Ingram—he couldn’t call him one or think of him as the other, so kept a neutral no name thought in his head—the following evening. He’d been too busy before. It was amazing just how busy he could keep himself when he wanted.
He’d listened to the translated tape with Wesley. He’d set the entire resources of the research department onto finding a cure for whatever Ingram had done, but he could tell from Wesley’s expression that the man had heard the despair, heard the helplessness in his voice. They both felt they’d gone through this with Fred. They were here again but no closer to a solution.
Spike was lying on the bunk in the cell with his feet on the bars, humming.
Angel stood outside the bars for a moment then turned and left.
He’d actually seem himself entering the cell, yanking the pants off the tight backside and fucking it against the bars.
His cock strained to be free, distorting the front of his pants. He wondered for a moment if Ingram had extended the spell to him as well: some magical attraction that kept him straining and yearning for that body. He knew somewhere though, in whatever rational part of his brain he had left, that it wasn’t magical. It was passion set free after a hundred years of suppression. It was passion given a name at last. He’d come out with an extinction level event bang. You don’t recover from that in one night.
Suddenly deciding to ignore his erection—after all, Spike… Ingram (he would have to decide which to think of him)… Spike had kinda seen it all already. He’d sucked it, licked it, tightened his ass around it and drained it dry. Or Ingram had.
He stood again at the bars. ‘Get up.’
‘I am up.’ Ingram brushed his hand over his jeans. ‘Wanna see?’
‘Stand up. Get on your feet.’
Ingram swung his legs off the bed and stood up. ‘So, what now? Have you vented your anger, listened to the spell, set your best brains on it…?’
‘Two out of three. Tell me why you’ve done this.’
‘Why?’ Ingram frowned. ‘You’re a fine one to ask me that! You’ve taken this body twice. You craved him when he was alive, and you craved him all this time since! And you ask me why I wanted this body!’
‘You had a pretty good one….’
‘I had one that was dying. My lifestyle wasn’t conducive to a long life, Angel.’
‘You were sick?’
‘I had AIDS.’
‘Is that supposed to make me feel—what? Sympathy for you? Understanding that you’ve done this?’
‘I don’t give a fuck whether you understand or not. It’s done. It can’t be undone. I’ve got a body I can fuck my way to eternity and back with—totally invulnerable to any disease. Shit, I enjoyed bare-backing this body. Now I’m gonna do that with it instead.’
Angel’s arm snaked through the bars so quickly Ingram didn’t see it coming. He grasped his T-shirt and pulled him to the bars. ‘You have made a fatal mistake, Ingram. You’ve stolen something that belongs to me. I will have it back.’
Ingram shrugged. ‘And you’ve made such progress dislodging Illyria.’
Angel suddenly let him go. He spun around and went swiftly up to the lab.
Illyria was turning slowing in the streaks of light, as if trying to count dust motes.
‘You sensed him inside Spike, didn’t you?’
She came up close and held his gaze unnervingly. ‘I sense Spike within you now. Passion. It is abhorrent to me.’
‘That’s because you’re a cold-hearted bitch. Now, tell me. What he’s done is not related to you at all, is it? That’s what the whole double bluff has been about—telling us he had information about you. It was to make us link what he’s done with what you’ve done. But it’s not. He’s not you. You were a fucking God (he mumbled something else here, and her eyes widened, half-hearing the insult), but he was just a man. I want to know what he’s done.’
‘Why do you think I will inconvenience myself with such trivial things as your infatuation? I, who walked the earth….’
‘Blah. I’ve heard it before. I’ll tell you why, because somewhere in that cold heart of yours beats the faint memories of another whose heart was wider than your ego: Fred. Fred loved Spike. She was willing to give her life for Spike, and she would want to help him now. She’s inside you somewhere: her love, her memories.
Illyria nodded thoughtfully. ‘Yes. I do feel this thing you call love for the soft one.’
‘The… soft one…?’
She eyed him coolly. ‘His heart was soft. For you.’
Angel’s breath hitched in, so he decided to stop breathing. ‘Help me. Please.’
She looked surprised. ‘You solicit help for him and then for yourself. Are they equivalent?’
‘Yes. They are.’
‘Then I am sorry for you. There is no help.’ She turned away. ‘I am uninterested in this conversation now.’
He grabbed her arm.
It was hard to hear her reply and fly backward through the air, but he reckoned he carried it off with aplomb. ‘Spike is gone. Fred is gone. Now, half breed, take your wriggling passions away from me.’
His head ringing from the contact with the wall, Angel rose to his feet. He swallowed and left, and if he’d had a tail, he’d have had it well tucked.
As Angel travelled back up in the elevator, a call came through on his cell phone. He literally staggered, the sound catapulting him back to the last time he had heard it ring—as he had sat and listened to Spike despairing and needing him.
It did not put him in a receptive mood to hear the pronouncement from Spec Ops. ‘We’ve found the coat, Sir.’
Angel had them bring it to his office. If he was hoping the trappings of power would bolster him, it worked only while they were there. Left alone with the last tangible evidence of Spike’s existence, Angel did not hold together so well. For the first time, he accepted that Spike was gone. He knew that in his heart he had accepted Fred’s loss, and it now ended there: a friend missed. Yet he understood already that the missing of Spike would be endless. For the first time, he saw how much he had taken Spike for granted—not as his chidle, not for their shared history and memories. He had taken for granted the strong, intelligent, resourceful man who had emerged from that fuck-up childe.
For the first time in a very long time, Angel had no idea what to do—no idea what he was going to do about Spike, or Ingram. He laughed a small bitter laugh, and Wesley, entering the office, said softly, ‘I’m glad you can still do that, Angel.’
‘I was just thinking: Spingram? or Ingike.’
Wesley winced. ‘Please, neither.’
‘I don’t know what I’m going to do.’
‘I think your options are limited—as were mine.’
Angel looked up sharply. ‘Fred?’
Wesley nodded. ‘I could have destroyed the thing that took her. I could have abandoned it—I chose to study it.’
‘So you can learn how to bring her back….’
Wesley gave a small, sad smile and shook his head. ‘No. I know that’s not possible. I’ve always known it really. I like the pretence, I think. It’s comforting. Spike knew there was no way. He was more of a realist like that.’
Angel turned to stare out of the window to keep his expression private. Hearing Spike’s name, so casually used in the past tense was… distressing. Angel wasn’t ready to give in to tears just yet. ‘You’re wrong. He did this thing with Ingram because he believed it could work.’
‘Oh, Angel, are you really that stupid?’ Angel turned, angry, and Wesley came closer with a small gesture of contrition. ‘He did it because you believed it. He wanted to keep your hope alive.’
Angel mastered his feelings as he always did. ‘What do I do with him now? I can’t let him… go.’
Angel frowned. It was so obvious he was surprised he had to spell it out to Wesley. By the time he’d opened his mouth to reply, the clarity had left him. Why not indeed…?
‘I can’t let Ingram have Spike’s body.’
‘I’m not sure you have any choice now.’
Wesley laid a hand on Angel’s arm. ‘Whatever you do, I’ll be here, Angel. I’m sorry we argued. I mean….’
Angel covered Wesley’s hand. ‘Will you keep working on Ingram for me? If there is a way….’ Angel turned back to the view, this time to keep Wesley’s expression private. He didn’t want to be humoured.
When he was ready, he went back to the holding cells and released Ingram. All the way he’d thought the name quite easily. As soon as he saw the slim blond figure rise from the bed, it was Spike again, and he oscillated between the names in his mind as he was speaking. ‘I can’t hold you indefinitely.’
‘Well, okay then.’ He stretched and slid elegantly out of the open door. ‘What now?’
Angel hadn’t worked this out. He shrugged. ‘I’m not going to put you in a glass room and study you, if that’s what you’re thinking.’
Angel seized his arm. ‘You don’t have his memories!’
Ingram snatched his arm away. ‘Am I free to go?’
Angel turned his back and walked away without replying. He couldn’t keep Ingram, but he wasn’t about to admit that he would ever be free.
To his distinct unease, Ingram followed him up to the apartment and flung himself on the couch. He pouted. ‘This body has its own way of moving. It’s like I’m just on it for the ride… so to—hey!’
Angel dragged him up by the front of his T-shirt. ‘Never—never speak so lightly of what you’ve done.’
Ingram slid his hands onto Angel’s arms, rubbing his thumbs gently over the cotton of his shirt. ‘Let’s fuck.’
Angel pulled away as if Spike’s flesh burnt him.
Ingram laughed. ‘Don’t give me that look.’
Angel backhanded him into the couch then dragged him up again. ‘I won’t make the same mistake twice: mistaking you for Spike. You are a parasite inside….’
‘You didn’t even make it once, Angel.’ He banged his hands off and poked him in the chest. ‘You knew! That’s why you’re beating yourself up today. Last night—you knew it was me. You heard me under his voice. And do you know what?’ He poked Angel triumphantly. ‘You were glad! You were actually glad that he was gone and you could have this body at last without the irritating person that usually inhabited it. See, I know you, Angel. You’re top dog. You can never be less than that—never show weakness or need, never cry in front of anyone, never sweat or pant or do anything that takes you off the pedestal of superiority you wanted to be on in his eyes. You thought good and fucked his body while he was out.’
It wasn’t true—Angel’s head told him quite happily that none of it was true, but his heart, always ready to betray him with guilt, told him something quite other. He listened to his heart and believed the lie.
Ingram nodded, seeing the capitulation. ‘We’ll fuck because you still crave this body and what it can do for you. You’ll hold me, and in your mind I’ll be the perfect Spike: silent, absent and worshiping you by default.’
Angel hit him, which was a mistake, for it swiftly led to other things—things that gave him as much guilt as anything he’d done since getting his soul back.
Afterwards, they lay on the bed, sated, Ingram’s head on Angel’s belly. It was blond, rumpled and sticky with cum, and it was so easy to pretend it was Spike Angel left it there.
‘What are you thinking?’
Angel hesitated then replied, ‘That one day I might just up and kill you for not being him.’
‘Perhaps I’ll become more like him the longer I stay in this incredible body—the more you come in this incredible body.’
Angel rose and pushed him off. ‘Get dressed and fuck off somewhere else.’
Ingram rose more leisurely, watching Angel as he stripped the bed angrily. ‘Guess I’ll go make sure all my money’s gotten transferred as I requested. You’re going to have a rich relative, Angel. Mind if I shower first?’
Angel only twitched up his eyebrow, and Ingram laughed. They both knew what had been the first thought that had stabbed into Angel’s mind.
Angry with himself for thinking of Spike’s body under the water, glistening and hot, Angel grabbed his clothes and went into the living room to dress. He was still hard, despite the number of times he’d entered Spike’s body, despite the number of times he’d ejaculated into the willing channel—willing because its owner was absent.
He heard the sound of something breaking and turned quickly back to the bedroom.
His fist covered in blood, Ingram was staring at the remains of the mirror in the bathroom, splinters of glass littering the sink. Angel swore, ‘What the…?’
‘It’s not possible.’
‘What’s not fucking possible? Look at this damn mess!’ If the thought flickered through his mind that Ingram had already begun to be more like Spike, he suppressed it.
‘It’s not possible that we don’t show up in mirrors.’
‘Well, I’m glad you did your research thoroughly. Information, power, and all that jazz.’
‘I knew it. I didn’t believe it. It’s not possible. I have form and substance, atoms and molecules. I exist. A mirror is purely a reflection; it has no conscious choice what it shows and what it doesn’t. This is against the laws of nature, and I refuse to accept it. He broke some more pieces off angrily, as if with this abuse they would obey his command.
Angel stared at him, his whole body rigid with the need to control the huge rush of hope that had swamped him. He tried to say in his normal angry voice, ‘Have this lot cleaned up when I get back.’
‘What makes you think I’ll still be here when you get back? I’ve got a new life to start living and….’
Angel had never put more into a performance. He came up behind Ingram and slipped his arms around his waist, staring into the remaining pieces of mirror. ‘Because you know what you want as much as I do. You want my body….’
‘And you want his.’
Angel flicked up an eyebrow in what he hoped was an expression of resignation. ‘Then we have something in common.’
Ingram smiled. Angel’s heart broke a little more, but he turned nonchalantly and went out of sight to the elevator.
He was running by the time he entered the lab.
Wesley looked up from his computer, startled. ‘Science, Wes. We need to find out what he was doing when he was sacked from Fred’s school.’
‘I’m not with you, Angel.’
‘He got out of bed and looked at himself in the mirror. He couldn’t accept it—don’t you see? He said it was against the laws of nature! What? So—taking Spike’s body wasn’t! So maybe it wasn’t! Maybe it was just done through science, and the fucking mumbling incantation was another bluff: smoke and mirrors to deflect us!’
Wesley was looking at him curiously, and Angel flinched. ‘What?’
‘Bed? I don’t think it’s a good idea that you get so… close to him….’
Angel actually blushed, as much as his preternatural paleness would allow, and he picked up a pen that suddenly needed close examination. ‘He’s very like Spike—physically.’
Wesley nodded as if the observation actually deserved that much. ‘Rather a given as it is Spike’s body. You resisted Spike quite happily for over a century. Do you not think you could try a little restraint now?’
Angel narrowed his eyes. ‘Illyria wants you.’
It was Wesley’s turn to blush. ‘Perhaps I’m showing more restraint with these creatures we know nothing about.’
Angel pouted. ‘Anyway. Ingram’s research. I want to know what it was.’
Wesley opened his mouth to protest, but his phone buzzed, and he pressed the speaker button. ‘Wyndham-Price.’
He blushed and picked the handset up, turning away slightly. ‘Yes.’
Angel put a hand on the phone. ‘Who is it?’
Wesley hesitated then put the man back on speaker. ‘It’s Special Ops. I asked them to keep on eye on Ingram if he tried to leave the building.’
Angel suppressed his anger and said calmly, ‘Let’s hear what they have to say then.’
Wesley said, ‘Yes,’ once more, and the disembodied voice replied, ‘We have Spike in our sights now. He’s heading west on foot.’
Wesley looked up at Angel. ‘Do you want this done?’
Angel cursed but nodded, and Wesley said, ‘Don’t lose him. I want to know where he goes and what he does.’
He put the phone down. ‘I’m sorry, Angel, but Illyria is not Fred, and Ingram is not Spike. It’s the reason I’ve kept the distance between us—so I don’t forget that fact.’
Angel nodded petulantly.
‘Do you know where he’s going?’
‘He said something about money.’
‘Ah. Well, I guess I’ll make a visit to the University research department once more.’ For a moment they were both still, remembering Fred: her excitement at being chosen to present her paper, the horror that had followed. Angel nodded, seemingly strengthened. ‘I need to concentrate on getting Gunn back. This has… distracted me.’
Wesley nodded. ‘Good.’ He glanced to the floor below. ‘I actually think she misses him.’
‘Spike. They seemed to enjoy the sparring sessions. She misses him.’ He looked up but Angel had gone. He reflected on degrees of missing as he drove sadly over to Fred’s old haunts.
Angel got the call about an hour later. Unable to raise Wesley, the commander of the Special Ops team called him. ‘He’s hunting, Sir.’
Angel felt an icy trickle down his spine. This, he had not reckoned on. It was an unwelcome reminder just how far Spike had come on his journey to be a better man: Angel no longer associated Spike with his demonic desires. ‘Only intervene if there is no other option. I’m on my way.’
The team were sitting in a discrete van in a quiet side street, looking distinctly uncomfortable. Angel beckoned to the commander, and the young man climbed out, gesturing with some evident distaste toward a club. ‘He’s in there.’
Angel gritted his teeth as he saw what the club was. ‘I don’t think he’s… hunting.’
The man shrugged. ‘I’m thinking he could bite someone in there, and they wouldn’t even object.’
Angel crossed the street and entered the dance club. As with the club Spike had taken him to before, this one was packed with young men, gyrating to the music.
He took up a position over the floor, leaning on the rail of the deck and tried to spot Spike. It didn’t take long. The light caught on his hair, making it glow, bright even in this world of bright young things.
He was dancing, Ingram clearly at home in this environment, and now enjoying a body younger and less exhaustible than his own. The Spec Ops commander had been right: it was hard to tell this activity from hunting. Ingram seemed to have cut a young man off from the crowd; he had him cornered by the wall, mesmerising him apparently with the swaying of his body. After a while, he entwined their fingers and pulled him into the dark under the deck.
Angel jogged down the steps and followed. The place reminded him of opium dens he’d visited in another life, except here the occupants were always in pairs. He felt drugged: entwining bodies, sounds of pleasure and pain, and seemingly quite at home, Spike’s lithe beauty drawing him on.
Ingram was bucking against the young man. Angel wanted to leave, didn’t want to see this, didn’t want to hear it. Yet something made him stay. Something wasn’t quite right.
He tore Ingram away, and the blond figure snarled at him, in full game face, blood dripping from his fangs. It turned Angel on as much as it revolted him, and before he could let the wrong emotion overtake him, he punched into the demonic face. Ingram crumpled into his victim. Angel picked him up, settled him over his shoulder and pushing through the dancing figures, carried Spike out to the van.
He deposited him on the floor and said brusquely. ‘Put him in the cells again.’
Wesley winced when Angel slammed the door so hard a couple of his books fell off a shelf. ‘Spike?’
Angel didn’t bother to even confirm this. ‘What did you find out?’
‘I found out that people didn’t like Ingram.’
‘Well, colour me surprised.’ Angel flung himself down onto the couch. ‘He’s back in the cells.’
‘He bit someone.’
Wesley made a face, and Angel immediately bristled. ‘What?’
‘Well…. No, I’m not even going to try and say it.’
Angel rose. ‘What? Tell me.’
Wesley went back to his research with a murmured, ‘And that tone encourages confidences.’
Angel perched on the edge of the desk next to him and, after a moment, reached over and placed one finger lightly on Wesley’s cheek. ‘I’m sorry. I’ve had a pissy few centuries, Wesley. It catches up on you, ya know?’
Wesley blinked ruefully. ‘I was going to say that maybe you should treat him more like Spike in other ways than you are….’
Angel pouted, not liking the way this was going so far.
‘I mean…. All right, put it this way: what would you do if that had been Spike tonight?’
Angel tipped his head to one side, regarding him. ‘I’d—. I’d point out the error of his ways.’
‘At last. I think it’s time you showed Spike more discipline and less….’
‘Oh, yes, sorry. I was trying to think of sometime that begins with D to describe what you are currently doing… alliteration? Only one came to mind—and that’s not a word I particularly want to use with you when you are only inches away and thinking about disciplining Spike.’
Angel rose, coughed slightly and adjusted his jacket. Wesley slid his chair further under the desk. ‘Quite. Where are you going?’
‘To play a little game called sire and childe.’
Ingram was lying on Spike’s back, working Spike’s cock. It was such an outrage, an insult, that Angel hardly had to open the cell door: he almost melted the bars with his rage.
Ingram cursed when he was dragged from the bed and slammed into the wall. ‘This is the second time tonight you’ve stopped me getting off, Angel. What’s with you?’
‘With me? I’ll tell you what’s with me….’ Ingram flew backward into the bars on the opposite side of the cell and slid down in a heap to the floor. Angel heaved him up again. ‘You have some lessons to learn about being a vampire that you couldn’t get from those books of yours.’
‘There’s nothing you can…. Oofff.’ He doubled up with pain as Angel’s fist sank into his abs.
Angel hauled him up again. ‘You’re wrong, Ingram. I can teach you about pain. You’ve still got a human sensibility inside that invulnerable body. You have no idea what real pain feels like.’ He proceeded to demonstrate the feeling to Ingram for a while longer.
By the time Ingram was once more face to the wall, he was bleeding copiously into it, and was, Angel noticed, far less vocal in his outrage.
He leant against the smaller body. ‘Have you learnt your lesson, Bodythief?’
Ingram took a breath then said softly, ‘I’ve learnt that causing pain gives you the biggest freaking hard on I’ve seen on anyone, and that feeling the pain’s done the same for me.’
Angel grunted and leant harder on the slim body. He shoved his hand down the back of the jeans and slid it over the cool cheeks, parting them, seeking a slightly warmer indentation. Ingram cried out in triumph and pleasure as Angel’s finger circled him. Angel smiled and brushed the elegant neck with his lips. ‘Like that?’
Ingram nodded and arched slightly, panting, ‘Yeah.’
‘Hmm. Good, isn’t it? Pleasure and pain. See… I give both, and I take both away.’ He bit savagely into Ingram’s neck, deliberately ripping into the skin carelessly, slicing with his fangs until the tough outer layer gave and the blood spurted onto his tongue. He sucked viciously, and for every long pull of blood, he rammed his finger into the dry hole. The body began to sag in his arms, and he swung them around and lay on Ingram face down on the bed, still taking him: fangs and finger, hard, remorseless and with absolutely no emotion whatsoever.
Angel grunted and withdrew his mouth long enough to say, ‘You took the body; you take the role.’
Angel snatched his mouth off, and it hung open as his mind processed the sound. Very cautiously, his heart almost beating once more, he croaked, ‘Spike?’
Spike licked his lips as if they were dry and he was puzzled as to why this was. ‘What happened?’
Angel cried out and flung him over onto his back, pulling his hand free of the jeans and clamping the other one over the spurting wound. ‘Spike?’
‘Bloody hell, Angel, what the fuck is happening?’
‘Duh! Will you stop sodding saying that!’
‘Angel!’ Spike tried to sit up, but he groaned and held his head. ‘Fucking hell, what did that bastard give me?’
Spike narrowed his eyes, then reared up and head-butted Angel on the nose. ‘Yes. It’s me.’
Angel held his nose. ‘He was glad of the pain and something to do with his hands. He was afraid he was going to kiss Spike.’
He lowered his hands. ‘What do you remember? I mean—.’
‘Hey, some fucker took my coat! Angel! Some wino took my bloody….’
‘It’s upstairs. It’s okay….’ And was he really discussing a piece of leather when…? ‘Spike…?’
Spike suddenly smiled and lay back on the bed with a rueful squint. ‘Are you lying on me?’ Before Angel could reply, Spike suddenly turned his head and said in outrage, ‘Hey, this is a fucking cell!’ His eyes widened and then he looked intensely suspicious. ‘Are you making a freaking porn movie with my unconscious body?’ He dislodged Angel’s hand and felt the wound himself. ‘You bit me! Ouch!’
Angel began to laugh, and that seemed to freak Spike out even more than waking up to find Angel lying on him and biting him in a cell. He tried to sit up again but collapsed back onto the bed. He put a hand to his temple. ‘What’s happening to me?’
‘You were with…. Spike?’ Angel took his shoulders and shook him, trying to bring back the focus in his eyes. Spike’s head lolled, and he murmured, ‘He’s too strong. I’m… sorry….’ Angel cried out and slapped him.
‘No! Spike! You’re stronger than him. You’re the strongest person I know. You’re way stronger than me! Spike! Please!’
Blue eyes focused on him again, and a weak voice said, ‘You bastard, you sucked me until I passed out!’
Angel climbed off and went to the bars, peering out nonchalantly as if he’d not just had a conversation with his childe. ‘Learn your lesson, Ingram.’
Ingram didn’t reply, but he sat up slowly. ‘What now?’
Angel laughed. ‘You know what? I’m suddenly not so keen to have you running around damaging that body. You stay here.’
‘What! You can’t….’
Angel swung the door shut and walked away.
‘You want me! You can’t have me if I’m in here! Angel! Come the fuck back! You want me!’
As Angel walked away as calmly as he could, he had never felt more keenly the contrast between what he really wanted from that blond body and what was being offered now.
Go to Chapter 6
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