Pet, Con't

By Melissa

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Part 5

"You will submit to me," was growled out through clenched teeth. The words echoed through the chamber, pulling in the others who watched the unfolding drama. Then right before his lips claimed hers for a third time, he whispered for her alone, "Need me."

His demand this time was clear. He sought entrance to her mouth, and bewildered and confused, she opened her lips to his questing tongue.

She was drowning. There was no other way to explain the maelstrom of thoughts and feelings that threatened to pull her under as Spike tightened his hold on her and deepened the kiss.

Feeling the waves closing over her head she reached out for something to save herself. Then over the roaring in her ears she heard the sharp rattle of chains. Buffy! Buffy, became the anchor she latched onto. Her mind had something to focus on now. This was for Buffy. Everything she'd done, everything she'd endured had been to rescue the Slayer and her Watcher. Holding tight to that thought, she found the strength to tear her lips away from Spike's.

Forcing her eyes open, she looked over Spike's shoulder into Buffy's horror-filled eyes. Willow had no idea what Buffy saw in reflected her face but whatever it was, it the sent the bound Slayer surging against her chains. A muted scream of hate rising behind her gag, Buffy twisted in her bonds, the chains swinging together and groaning with the stress of containing a Slayer's unleashed fury.

Seeing the burly vampire guards heading towards her friends, Willow knew she had to do something. They wouldn't kill them, but they would hurt them, especially if Buffy kept fighting them. Willow couldn't stand the thought of her friends being hurt because they were reacting to what Spike was doing to her. What she'd very deliberately, and with malice aforethought, had invited Spike to do to her.

So she did the only thing she could think to do. As she felt Spike's sharp teeth at her throat, she lashed out and kicked him hard in the shins.

He never flinched. Feeling a scream of frustration rise up in her, she finally gave vent to her fear. The scream seemed to release something in her and she came alive in his arms like a wild thing, struggling, screaming and clawing at him, as she fought to free herself.

As she struck in out in her panic, Spike finally pulled back from her and released his hold on her arms so that she dropped to the floor. The unexpected release didn't give her enough time to shift her weight and she came down hard on her twisted ankle. The sudden pain stilled her fight. Silent tears running down her face she caught Spike's eyes, just inches from her own. Surprisingly enough, she thought she saw the man looking out at her through those demon yellow gaze.

Flicking her eyes back over his shoulder at the screaming Buffy, she mouthed "Please."

The word seemed to tip the balance of some internal battle he was waging and he swung her around so that she stood pined against his side, facing the crowded room.

Avoiding the corner where a nearly unconscious Buffy now hung in her chains, Willow dropped down to her knees as Spike released his hold on her.

"Enough!" he roared. Even though this was not his band, the note of command in his voice stilling everyone in the room.

The silence hung for a moment, broken only by Buffy's harsh breathing and Giles' moans of pain. Stalking over to where the Slayer hung, Spike brought up one finger to run through the trail of bright blood trickling down her arm from where the metal cuffs had bit into her wrists during her struggles. Bringing his blood covered finger to his mouth, he made a show of savoring the taste, sucking on his index finger in a way that made Willow's insides clench in sudden tension.

"Hhmm, exquisite. There is nothing quite like the taste of Slayer's blood. Unless, of course, it is the taste of magic in a witch's blood."

Reaching out, he caught another drop as it slid down Buffy's arm and tasted it, ignoring the warning growls from the two guards standing beside him. Turning, he found Blake seated calmly at the table, as if the little drama that had just played out before him had been a performance just for his amusement.

"Blake, I don't think I'll be going out with you this evening. It seems I have new plans."

Willow felt his heated gaze come back to rest on her crouched form.

"It seems," Spike added with a low chuckle that brought to mind the darkest pits of hell, "that someone is in need of some remedial training. And really, what kind of Master would I be if I let this kind of disobedience slide?"

Blake laughed and rising from his seat, clapped a hand against Spike's shoulder. "Have . . . fun."

"Oh, it'll be a bloody good time, " Spike answered, "At least for one of us."

As Blake called his riled up clan around him for the night's hunt, Spike turned and headed back down the hallway to their room. A clipped command of 'Come', and Willow crawled after him, her face burning bright red at this added humiliation. Clenching her teeth, she dared not look at Buffy or Giles for fear that the guilt at adding to their pain would overwhelm her. The crawl back down the hallway was the longest thrity feet of her life.


His long stride put him at the room long before Willow finished her painful crawl. Spike used those few extra minutes to get firm command of himself once again. He almost had his anger under control when she finally appeared in the doorway. Pulling herself the last few feet, Willow collapsed just within the door.

The sight of her sprawled, shaking at his feet, undid in an instant his careful control. Stepping over her, he slammed the door closed, fixing the deadbolt with a ringing snap.

She raised her head as the door closed behind her. He suddenly wanted to rage at her as she turned those proud green eyes on him. But even more than the rage, he wanted to make her scream. He wanted to hear her scream in pain and he wanted to hear her scream in ecstasy, and he didn't know which one he wanted more.

Take her. Rend her. Ravish her. Destroy her.

He had to get out.

As if Willow sensed his struggle, she stayed quiet on the floor. She made no comments, never moved from her position as he went about ripping the wooden planks from their window. Only when he was about to crawl through did he hear her call to him.


He didn't answer, merely turned a fierce scowl in her direction. She didn't flinch back but met his eyes with steady resolve. She opened her mouth to say something but seemed to think better of it. Raising her hand, she ran her fingers across her forehead and down her nose.

It was the only with her gesture that he realized that he'd never resumed his human face. Shifting his features back to human, he gave her one last look before climbing out the window.

Willow sighed softly as she watched him climb out the window. Only when he was gone did she let herself slump. She was exhausted, hurt, confused and angry. She didn't know who she was anymore. Staring out after Spike's retreating form, she realized she wasn't the only one. It was alarming to learn that even demons could have their own inner conflicts to contend with. Surprisingly enough, the one person she needed to help her explain what was going on, was the person who'd put her in the position to begin with. Damn him.

She stared out the window for a long time until movement out in the hall shook her free of her gaze. She had a charade to maintain, for both of their sakes and for the lives of Buffy and Giles. Now was not the time to fall apart. Pushing herself off the floor, she limped heavily over to the door. Satisfied that the door was securely locked, she picked up their one chair. Holding it above her head she swung it with all her might against the wall. Then right on the heels of that splintering crash, she

In that long, drawn out wail she forced all the terror, anger and hurt that she'd been keeping bottled up within her. The wail trailed off painfully, catching on a sob that she refused to release. She waited. One heart beat, two, then she screamed again. This time the cry was different, lower pitched, but still as echoing as she gave vent to all the conflicting feelings and thoughts that Spike inspired in her.

Part 6

She stared out the window for a long time until movement out in the hall shook her free of her daze. She had a charade to maintain, for both of their sakes and for the lives of Buffy and Giles. Now was not the time to fall apart. Pushing herself off the floor, she limped heavily over to the door. Satisfied that the door was securely locked, she picked up their one chair. Holding it above her head she swung it with all her might against the wall. Then right on the heels of that splintering crash, she

With that piercing cry Willow gave vent to the emotional tangle that Spike had stirred up in her, but like a floodgate opening, once released she couldn't stop it. For the first time in her life, Willow let go. Grabbing one of the broken pieces of the chair, she swung it repeatedly against the door and walls, her cries rising and falling around her with each strike until she screamed herself hoarse and only
broken sticks of splintered wood remained in her hands. The turmoil, however, still raged within her. Sinking to her knees, she continued to beat them against the floor in time to the pain still pulsing within her, a flood of emotion that once started, refused to be controlled until it had finished running its course.

When her voice finally fell silent, the tears began. Finally releasing the wood in her hands, she collapsed with the wracking sobs of someone at the end of their strength. Willow cried for herself and the girl she'd been a few short weeks ago. She cried for Buffy and Giles, who probably thought that Spike was raping and torturing her, possibly even killing her. She cried for the loneliness and all the pain and fear she'd had to endure. And in the end, she even cried for Spike, for forcing him into this and for whatever the sadness was that she sometimes caught in his eyes.

Eventually, even her tears ran out and she lay exhausted on the cold floor. As she lay there, eyes closed, she realized she felt the most extraordinary thing. She felt . . . better. She was still hurt, her life and Buffy and Giles and even Spike's still hung in the balance. She still had all her problems, but the ball of tension that had sat in the pit of her stomach for days was gone, released in the flood of misery.

With a soft giggle, she realized that for the first time in her life, she understood the attraction of primal scream therapy. Unfortunately, finding that newfound calm brought the pain in her ankle back to center stage in her thoughts, no longer hidden behind the larger pains in her heart and soul.

Wearily she pushed herself up from the floor. She had to find out how much damage had been done to her foot. From the lightening sharp stabs of pain, she was expecting the worst. Hobbling back to the bed, she proceeded to pull the boot from her foot amid swearing that would have met with Spike's approval.

Getting her first good look at her ankle, the only word she could think to cover the situation was, "Ow."

Her foot, propped up on the bed, had already started to turn several different colors, a mottled purple dominating the color scheme with blue running a close second. The skin beneath her fingers felt tight and hot and she could feel her heartbeat pounding deep in her ankle. It was definitely sprained, possibly fractured.

Probing gently at her foot, she added a mental addendum to her list of things never to do again. Deliberately pissing off a vampire was going to be number-one with a star.

Propping herself back against the pillows, she wondered what she was going to do now. She needed ice for her foot but she was stuck in the room. She'd long ago adopted vampire sleeping habits, and with sundown just upon them she should have been wide awake, but between her fight with Spike and the emotional and physical exhaustion brought on by her outburst, she could feel sleep tugging at her. Her mind and body telling her to rest, she slipped into a fitful doze broken by hazy dreams of running and an elusive safety that seemed always to be just beyond her fingertips.

It was her dreams that finally woke her.

"Spike!" she gasped, spread fingers clawing at his side of the bed, seeking comfort . . .protection . . . something.

The pain in her ankle brought her back to reality, that and the aches in the rest of her body as muscles that had stiffened in sleep protested every little movement.

Willow groaned softly and felt tears she'd thought exhausted earlier prickle beneath her lids. But just as quickly, she clamped down on the urge to cry. She'd needed those tears earlier but she couldn't afford them now. Now she had to be strong again. When this was all over and they'd won, then she would sit down and have another good cry but not until then. A few deep calming breaths later, her mental armor was back in place.

Glancing at the clock beside the bed she noted the time. Its steady crimson glow showed the time as almost midnight. She been asleep for almost four hours. Knowing that Spike had a lot to do before he'd be back, she settled down to wait.

She studied her spellbook for an hour before her concentration finally disintegrated beneath her restlessness. For her next distraction, she turned to her computer. After sending Oz an e-mail informing him and Xander that she and Spike were okay, she found herself unable to concentrate on the screen in front of her as her eyes kept being drawn back to the glowing numerals on the clock and then to the open window.

Heaving a sigh of disgust, she snapped the laptop closed. "Fine, I give up. If all I'm going to do is sit here and wait like a ninny, then I guess that’s what I'll have to do."

She discovered that waiting, however, was easier said than done. Waiting left her mind free to wander down dark and twisting paths. Paths that always seemed to begin and end with one person; Spike.

Spike. Because of the need for his help, she'd performed the gypsy magic again. She blackmailed a vampire without even a twinge of conscience, knowing that if she died, he'd receive his soul.

Chewing on a hangnail she glanced at the clock again. 2:15 am. It was still early by vampire standards. There was no reason to start worrying yet.

Spike. He'd chopped off her hair, dressed her black jeans and boots and skimpy tops that showed off the bruises and bites and the collar that he'd locked around her neck.

Running her fingers through her hair, she tugged at the shortened locks in exasperation before looking again at the clock.

2:30. Who would ever have thought that fifteen minutes could pass so slowly.

Once again Willow wished that he hadn't hacked off her hair that first night. She still felt exposed without that familiar curtain to hide behind and she could no longer tuck that one strand behind her ear when she thought.

Another glance at the clock. 2:45 stared back her with mocking steadiness. She glanced at the window and tried to ignore the small niggle of worry that curled in her stomach.

Spike. He'd taken her to stay with several vampire 'families' in and around Sunnydale in their search for Buffy and Giles. He'd given her a glimpse into the vampires' world that Giles' books had never mentioned.

Checking the clock again, she hissed in a mixture of rising fear and annoyance, "Three o'clock. Where are you, Spike?" not sure if she should be worried about him or mad at him for being gone so long.

Spike. He'd expected her to fail, to cry at the first bruise, to crumble the first time he yanked her into a roomful of grinning vampires who saw her as nothing more than amusement and a meal. She should have failed. She should have cried and crumbled and curled into a ball. Instead, she'd become strong in defiance of his expectations and the scorn she'd seen in his eyes. Now, she realized, she'd remain strong so that scorn didn't come back.

The clock showed 3:33. She fought the urge to grab it up and hurl it against the far wall.

Spike. She'd struck Spike. More importantly, she'd struck Spike and lived to tell about it. She was probably one of the few people who could say that. She didn't blame him for his reaction to that slap, even though her ankle still throbbed and already new bruises, aches, and pains were making their presence known. She'd known when she'd made the decision to hit him that she was playing with fire. Taunt a demon, run from it, and you have to be ready to pay the consequences. She'd expected violence, she'd even feared that he might lose his control and kill her.

The clock again. The anger was fading, the worry growing stronger with each advancing flash of minutes. She went back to biting at her ragged nails.

Spike. He hadn't killed her. He'd kissed her, *that* she hadn't expected. But even more than the kiss, she hadn't expected her reaction to it.

Ignoring the clock this time, she surged up off the bed and made her way across the room to the bathroom to get a glass of water. Concentrating on the pain in her foot, she let its sharp sting wash out the memories of his kiss. She wasn't ready to think about that yet; wasn't ready to think about the reaction she'd had to him, his demand for her submission, his plea for her to need him. She wasn't ready to think about the fact that she'd been ready to give both to him, so she locked those memories away. Where they'd be safe. Where she'd be safe.

A sudden noise from the hall interrupted her progress back to the bed. Glancing worriedly back at the window and the clock, she cursed Spike under her breath. The stragglers of the evening were returning and seeking their own rooms up and down the hallway. It was time to put on another show. Drinking down the last of her water, she hefted the glass in her hand, and paused to consider, and then reconsider.

"Oh what the hell. I've always wanted to do this." Rearing back, she threw the glass at the door, a satisfied smile on her face as it shattered in a tinkling shower of glass shards. Then, for her vampire audience, she let out a few whimpers and a low moan that cut off abruptly. That seemed to satisfy whoever had paused at the door and as the hall once again grew quiet she turned back to the bed . . . and to the ever-present thoughts of Spike.

The clock now read 4:10.

It wasn't hard to imagine any number of things that could have happened to him. Vampires routinely fought and killed each other. Any young fledgling thinking to make a name and reputation could have ambushed Spike. Zombies and ghouls that fed on the dead considered vampires a rare delicacy. Demons, warlocks, witches, even those rare human hunters who knew of the existence of the demon inhabitants of the world could have captured him, hurt him, or even killed him.

And it didn't even have to be foul play. Spike could have left her. He didn't want this fight, didn't want to save Buffy. So he got his soul back, big deal. Spike had not been a good man, even as a mortal. Even now, he could be screaming down the highway, leaving her to her fate. Leaving her.

She was almost afraid to look over at the clock this time but forced herself to once again check the time. 5:02 am. Dawn would be a little after six o’clock. Worry officially became panic.

The fear and frustration were becoming overwhelming now. Fear that Spike was dead somewhere. Frustration in the fact that she couldn't give vent to her fear. With her ankle, she couldn't pace; her throat still hurt from the screaming she'd done earlier, and she was afraid that if she gave into the tears again, this time she wouldn't be able to stop.

In her desperation she pulled Spike's pillow into her chest, burying her face into the cloth, her eyes shut tight against the ugly little room, the broken chair and shattered glass, and against the clock and its relentless march of time. Cocooned in the darkness behind her closed eyes, surrounded by Spike's smell, she did the only thing she could think of left to do. Willow prayed. She prayed to the God of her parents, she prayed to her Goddess, she prayed to whoever and whatever chose and gave Slayers their powers. She prayed to anyone or anything that would listen, and hoped that if the forces of good where indeed listening that they didn't laugh when they heard her pray for the safety of a soulless vampire.

A scraping noise that shouldn't have been there brought her head up, her body tensed to either flee or fight. Heart pounding she scanned the room, and then she saw a pale hand catch at the window sill.

"Spike!" she cried in relief as the vampire finally climbed in through the window. Tossing the pillow aside, she hurried as fast as she could across the room, her joy at his return causing her to throw her arms around him. Burying her face against his shoulder, she held on tightly until embarrassment caused her to release him.

Taking a stumbling step backwards, she felt her relief turned quickly to dismay as she caught her first good look at him. Spike had been in a fight. His clothes were dirt streaked, one sleeve torn. A long gash started on the back of his left hand and wound further up out of sight beneath his sleeve. She didn't need to see it to know how far up his arm it went. The blood from the wound stained the shirt almost to the elbow.

As he stumbled over the sill she rushed to help him, her own injuries forgotten. Helping him to the bed, she fussed over him, ignoring his low growls of warning at her attentions.

Spike suffered her ministrations less than graciously, but finally allowed her to help him when his growls didn't deter her.

She hissed in sympathy as she helped pull his shirt over his head. "Goddess, Spike, what happened?"

"Remember the second group we stayed with when we started this bloody rescue mission of yours?" he asked, then snapped out, "Stop that!" as he kicked out at her hands that had been pulling off his boots. "I'm not a bloody invalid. I got into a fight with that piss-ant Gregory. Thought he and two of his goons could take me down . . . take more than three of those wankers to get me . . . stupid pricks."

Willow was really only half listening as she checked him over to make sure that he wasn't seriously injured. But finally his mutterings sank in and she turned wide eyes up to him. "You could have been killed!"

"What do you care, Witch?" Spike fairly growled at her.

She recoiled from the emotions swirling in his eyes and then firmly reminded herself that he was hurt, angry, and probably still wound tightly from the fight. At this moment, he was very much like a wounded animal, prickly, snarling, and not to be messed with. Sighing, Willow backed away from him, telling herself that his injuries were minor and he'd be healed by morning. He was alive. He'd come back to her. That was the important thing.

Catching blue eyes that flickered with streaks of amber, she soothed him as best she could. "I'm sorry, Spike. I was worried about you. I . . ." she almost said 'need you' but something held her tongue. Instead, she stuttered "I -I was afraid s-something had happened. B-but, you're okay . . . so, I'll leave you alone."

Turning away she limped away from him towards the window.

Spike watched her painful progress over to the window to check the boards he'd pulled back into place, making sure that the drapes were shut tight against the coming dawn. Watching her perform her nightly ritual of checking the room calmed him. The routineness of her actions was finally letting him release the tension he'd held since the fight earlier.

Watching her now he felt a stab of remorse hit him. He'd hurt her. He truly hadn't wanted to hurt her but the sight of her running before him, the thrill of the chase, the bloodlust rising as she fought against him, had been more than he could stand. Seeing her now though with the limp and the fresh bruises and scrapes decorating her pale skin, he realized he'd hurt her more than he'd realized. The little witch had proved herself to be made of iron, but that core of strength was housed in such a fragile package. A fraction of his strength and her skin wore the imprint of his fingers. She was lucky she wasn't dead.

Spike knew he'd crossed a line earlier and now he didn't know how to make amends to Willow. He had always known how to apologize to his Princess. Whenever in his anger or impatience he had hurt Drusilla's fragile feelings, he'd always offered her the comfort of his body, letting his passion and love for her express his sorrow at causing her pain. But Willow wasn't Drusilla and he didn't know how to tell her what he needed to say. So in the end, he simply remained silent.

Finally, he snapped out a terse, "I'm going to take a shower," and left to seek solitude under the pounding jets of water in the shower.

He emerged thirty minutes later to find Willow already in the bed, the covers pulled up tight around her. Flicking out the light, he crawled wearily into bed beside her.

A few minutes later Willow spoke, her voice soft and hesitant as she fumbled for her words. "I'm . . . I'm sorry, Spike. For hitting you, you know. And for running and . . . and making you have to . . . to do . . . what you did. I know you didn't like it. But I - I don't hate you. You only did what I made . . . well, forced you to do. And, I'd do it again, Spike. All of it. You didn't do *anything* I didn't want you to do." The last was finished in a rush as if her courage in getting the words said was running out on her.

Beside her, he lay silently, wondering if she really had any idea of what he could have done to her that afternoon and how very close he'd come to actually doing it.

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