Chained to You



pairing: Spike/Willow
rating: Adults only
time frame: Human AU
summary: Supermodel Spike meets his match.

01 : 02 : 03 : 04 : 05 : 06 : 07 : 08 : 09 : 10



Part I: Spike

Chapter 1: The High Life

Tuesday, March 30 ~ 8:00 am ~ 2376 Central Park East Apt. 14A (Spike's apartment) - NYC


"Sod off." Spike buried his head further under the pillows.


"Ugh." He sat up. He gave the phone a two-fingered salute.


Picked it up, growled into the receiver, "This better be Wes."

"Spike, baby, where were you last night?"

Shit. Buffy.

He looked over at the slender back of smooth skin topped by long black silky hair that was still asleep beside him.


He turned and put his feet on the floor. Ran a hand over his face and through his hair, trying to wake up.

"Sorry, Buffy. I, uh," he fingered one of the red silk cords hooked to the headboard, "Got tied up last night. Forgive me?" The little boy pout in his voice did it every time.

"Of course, baby. You really have to tell Wes that he has to ease up on you." She sounded indignant on his behalf.

That's sweet.

"Yeah, I'll do that." He picked up his pack of Marlboros. Lit one. "How 'bout next week? Oh wait! No good, gonna be in a Uraguay or someplace. How 'bout I call ya?"

"Sure, baby, of course." Her voice got husky, "I can't wait."


He hung up, already forgetting about her. Coffee was his priority right now.

He threw on a pair of black cotton chinos, padded across the wood floor to the bathroom and flipped the light switch.

Bright! Way too fuckin' bright!

Turned off the light. Turned on the water and grabbed a cloth, threw it in the sink. His hands automatically lifted and opened the three bottles; the same routine for over six years had made it all so ingrained, he didn't even think about it anymore.

Cold water to wake up. Hot water to open the pores. Cleanser. Rinse with warm. Dry. Moisturise. Sunblock. The lids were replaced on the bottles, waiting patiently until they were needed again tonight. He picked up his toothbrush, reached for the toothpaste…

"Bloody hell, where's the toothpaste?" He looked around. "C'mon, toothpaste just doesn't get up and walk off on its own." It was nowhere in sight. "Bollocks!"

Oh, wait…

He walked out of the bathroom and across the expanse of his navy and grey bedroom to the closet. Walked in, passed the rows of shirts, slacks, suits, turned down the back aisle, passed the shoes and jackets, turned again and opened a smaller closet inside of the larger clothes closet. The jewellery closet. There it was, on the second shelf of silver rings.

Nothing better for cleaning silver. Have to remember to tell Wes to fire the git that's supposed to be cleaning it.

When he walked back into the bedroom - on his way to the bathroom - Dru was awake, stretching languidly beneath the navy satin sheets.

"Dru, luv," he said over his shoulder as he walked by, "Gotta get up. Time to go. Wes'll be here in a bit. You know how he gets if I've got a bare bird in here."

He heard her grumble a bit as he brushed his teeth and but it sounded like she was getting up.

Good. Hate when they won't leave. Poor Wes, man has no idea how shamelessly I use his name.

By the time he'd showered and moved into the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee from the pot that was set to automatically start every morning, all traces of Dru were gone and his mind had moved on, dismissing her completely.

He was on his fourth cup and watching CNN when Wes arrived, bringing the morning paper with him.

"Have fun last night? How's Buffy?" he asked.

"Don't know," Spike said absently, watching another report on the declining Dow. So glad I got mostly out of the market. Have to remember to send Dawn some flowers. Don't know how I'd manage my money without that girl.

He hit the button, turning off the tv. "So, what's up today, oh great lord and master," he asked Wes, grinning broadly.

"You're in a good mood. Great. Buffy seems to be good for you." He thought it was about time Spike settled down.

"Not Buffy," Spike informed him with a highly suggestive raise of his eyebrows. At Wes's questioning look he said, "Drusilla." BIG smile.

"Oh, shit," Wes whined. "No Spike, not again, you can't keep doing this to yourself." When Spike only ignored him and picked up the paper, he gave in, "Well at least she didn't leave you handcuffed to the bed again." Wes paused, then had to ask, "What in the world would possess you to see the woman after she left you handcuffed to the bed for two days the last time she was in town?"

Spike looked at him like he was a fool. "Because she handcuffed me to the bed for two days, ya git! When was the last time a woman handcuffed you to the bed?"

He was leering now because he already knew the answer. "Fine," Wes conceded, "I will hold off on asking that question again until after I've been handcuffed to a bed for a first time. Perhaps I'll have a different perspective then."

"Damn right you will!" shouted Charles Gunn as he walked into the bright white kitchen of Spike's penthouse.

"Charlie!" Spike rose and greeted his best friend. "When'd ya get back?"

"Last night."

"Get everything settled then?" Spike asked.

"Almost, one or two loose ends to clear up."

"Still the Moorestown murder case?," Spike asked. Charles Gunn was a private detective and had been hired by the defending attorneys to break the testimony of a star witness.

Charlie helped himself to a cup of coffee then answered, "Yup, should be finished today though. You up for some par-tay-in' tonight, Spike?"

"Don't know," he turned to his manager. "Am I up for some par-tay-in' tonight, Wes?"

"Sorry - "

"I knew it," Charles sighed. "Why do you keep askin' him, Spike? He always says no."

Wes continued as if he hadn't been interrupted, "Spike's due at the Cindy Gorman Agency at eleven. Then he has to meet Manuel, his new photographer for the GQ shoot for lunch at two. At six fifteen, he flies out to Chicago for a four am call tomorrow." He addressed this all to Charles.

Spike waved his hand in front of Wes' face. "I am in the room. You sods don't 'ave to talk about me like I'm a bloody two year old."

"Spike, man, you never know where you're 'sposed to be or what you're 'sposed to be doin'." Charlie said. "Even when Wes tells you" he added as an afterthought.

Spike turned to look at Wes.

Wes's only comment was to point at Charles and say, "What he said."

"Fine, fine. I know when I'm not wanted." He got up to leave, he had to pack a bag if he was flying out tonight.

"Spike, man, don't be like that," Charles called after him. In an effort to lighten the mood, he called out, "How was Drusilla, man? I saw her gettin' on the elevator!"

Spike stuck his head out of the doorway, batted his eyes and curled his tongue behind his teeth. "Wouldn't you like ta know."

"Damn straight!"

2:48 pm - Spago's - NYC

The meeting went well, Spike's look was just what they wanted. Lunch went semi-well, Spike eyeing the plate of barbequed spare ribs in front of the photographer as he ate his own egg-white omelette.

I haven't eaten in six soddin' years! I need ta get another job! One where they make you eat! Like… hm, professional bowler maybe?

He finished his omelette.

5:31 pm - LaGuardia Airport - NY

They arrived early at LaGuardia for the flight, so he and Wes bought the New York Times and sat down to wait. As always, Spike took the financial section and handed the sports page to Wes.

"Why do you bother?" Wes asked when he was done reading the latest basketball scores. "I know Dawn's telling you where to invest your money, so its not like you need to keep up on that."

"Yeah, well, its embarrassing to be shown up by m' little sister, all right? Last time she told me to invest in some company and I'd never heard of it, she went on and on about how they just went public and how it was all over the news and what was I doin' with my time that I didn't even read the financial section when I have all this money."

Wes knew how Spike's little sister could be.

"I see your point. How are Dawn and your Mum?"

"S'okay, I suppose. The little bit'd tell me if there was somethin' I should know. Bit's goin' to university soon, really should get home for a visit." Wes pulled out his Day-Timer. "If you're serious, I'll see what I can do about opening up some time."

Spike rocked his head back and forth, undecided on what to do. He loved his mum and sis, but Stumbershire was so bloody boring in the spring. Stumbershire was bloody boring all the time!

"Don't know. I'll get back to ya." After a thought, "But definitely by autumn, remind me."

Wes dutifully wrote a memo to himself in his organizer.

Spike looked up at the clock and saw they still had about twenty minutes until the plane would start boarding. A scream broke the stillness of the airport terminal and Wes, out of instinct, grabbed the sleeve of Spike's leather duster and pulled him in the other direction. By the time they had passed the coffee bar and turned the corner, sixteen women were all screaming, "Spike, I love you!"

Having done this countless times before, they headed to their usual hiding place, a utility closet behind Gate 36.

"Why we don't just come here first, I'll never know," Spike said in an exasperated breath as the two friends settled on the floor, lifted their fists and broke into their usual activity while hiding in a closet.

"Rock beats scissors," Wes said, "I win."

Wednesday, March 31 - Chicago, Illinois

Photo shoot for Valentino, then Darla!

Thursday, April 1 - Chicago, Illinois

Photo shoot for Versace, then Harmony!

Friday, April 2 - New York City

Fitting for Mizrahi show, then Tara!

Saturday, April 3 - West Chester, NY

Photo shoot for Gucci, then Buffy!

Sunday, April 4 - Brooklyn, NY

Reshoot for Tommy Hilfiger, then Amy!

Monday, April 5 - Manhattan, NY

Meetings with Bill Stafford from the Regent Agency; Bill Gillian of GQ magazine; Bill Holmstead from Playgirl magazine (he said no); Bill Williams, CEO of Golden Incorporated and Billie Smithers, producer for Discovery Kids channel; then some skanky Goth 'ho he picked up in a trendy bar!

Tuesday, April 6 - Milan, Italy

Fitting for Genovesse show, then Winifred!

Wednesday, April 7 - Milan, Italy

Photo shoot for Ralph Lauren at 5 am; Genovasse runway show at 2 pm, then Lilah!

Friday, April 9 2:26 am - Milan, Italy

A bottle of Jack Daniels after a nineteen hour photo shoot! then fly back to New York.

Friday, April 9 6:15 pm - Spike's apartment

"You look like the living dead."

"Thanks, Charlie, you're a right handsome bloke yourself."

"Get up, Spike, we gotta be at the game in an hour."

"Game's not til tonight!"

Charles held out his new Rolex, a gift from the defending attorney. "It is tonight, Deadboy, now get that lily white ass up or I'm gonna throw a bucket of ice on ya!"

Spike, knowing his best friend didn't make empty threats, got up as ordered.

"Man, you need to cut back on your assignments. I'm not kidding, bro, you look like death!" Charles went to Spike's closet and after his usual grumble about how one man shouldn't be allowed to own this many clothes and still call himself a man, pulled out a pair of very worn Levis and a NJ Nets t-shirt.

"It's not the work that's got me lookin' like this, Charlie m'boy," Spike told him with a snide grin as he pulled on the Levis.

"Then you need to cut back on that too," Charles said before coming to his senses. "Sorry," he apologised, "What the hell was I thinkin' with that?"

"Don't know, Charlie, your priorities are obviously screwed all out of whack." Spike picked up his cigarettes and sneakers and they headed out the door.

Saturday, April 10 2:18 am - Spike's apartment

"No, Charlie, really. I gotta get some sleep. Maybe tomorrow, k?"

Spike waved goodbye and closed the door. Inside his apartment, Spike headed straight for the bedroom. He had to get some sleep. He had no idea what he had to do tomorrow, but he was sure it was going to be another long day.

"I'm not gonna last like this. Spike, m'boy, you need a vacation. Yeah, that's a sign of sanity - talkin' to yourself."

He peeled the jeans down his legs, sat on the bed and then pulled off his sneakers and socks. The jeans stayed where they fell when he lifted his legs. He started to lay down, realised he was still wearing the t-shirt, sat up and pulled it off and over his head. Dropped it on top of the jeans. Lay back, pulled the sheet up and settled in for a well-deserved sleep.

Ri-i-i-i-ng "Bollocks!" Yanked the phone off the stand, "This had better be WES!"

"No, big brother, its not Wes. Why do you always say that?"

Spike smiled and relaxed back into his pillow, "Bit! It's so good to hear your voice!"

"Well, if you'd come visit me, you'd hear it more often," she chided.

"Yeah, well," he paused, trying to come up with a way to avoid the question.

"I know, I know, this place is for shite. Don't you think I know that? I still live here."

"Okay, I did talk to Wes about it - coming home for a visit, I mean."

"And then you told him to put it off. I know how your mind works, William!"

"Hey! Shh, someone might hear you!," he teased.

"Oh, sorry. Forgot about Wes and his big image thing. That's a pisser, ya know? Why can't you just be plain old William Robbins?"

He didn't answer. This was a frequent discussion. Instead he reached for his cigarettes and lit one.

"Yeah, yeah, I know," Dawn said finally. She pitched her voice low like Wes' " 'Image is all in this business, Dawnie. People want to hire Spike because of the image he brings - blah, blah, blahbidy blah.' " In her own voice she laughed and said, "Back to me and the reason I called."

Spike chuckled. "I knew you'd get to it sooner or later."

"Willow's in town!"

Spike sat waiting for the puchline.

"Willow!" Dawn explained, rolling her eyes. Her brother really was unbelievably dense sometimes. "Little Willow Rosenburg, from over at Smythefield. Your bestest bud until you guys were ten, then she moved to America?"

Spike remembered, "Oh, that Willow."

"Yes, that Willow! Like you know more than one! Aren't you excited? I'm so excited!"

"Bit, I haven't seen her in -" he mentally subtracted ten from twenty-seven, "seventeen years. And she left when you were in nappies."

"Yeah, but she comes back to visit! A lot! Not that you're ever here when she does," she accused. "Her parents died ten years ago and now all she's got's her grandmum." William remembered batty old Mrs. Grenlin. Hopefully poor Willow didn't inherit her maternal grandmother's looks. He cast his mind back, trying to remember what Willow had looked like as a little girl, but the best he could do was skinny with plaits.

"Why do you care anyway, Bit? And why should I? It's been a lifetime ago." He hoped this wasn't another attempt at matchmaking.

"Because she's really nice - and she remembers you!"

Great - not.

"Mention me, did she?" Another reason he hated going home; every nut he ever said hello to as a kid was suddenly his best mate.

"Well, no," Dawn admitted, "But when I said I was your sister, she - well, she didn't remember you then either, but after I prodded her memory - with Mum's help, of course, she finally did manage to bring up a memory or two." Dawn sounded so pleased.

William waited for the big finish. "And?"

"And what?" Dawn asked, pretending confusion.

"And what does she think of 'Spike' the model?" he asked, figuring he knew where this was leading. Another person wanting a pic or an autograph.

"Don't know," Dawn said honestly, "He never came up. But I don't think she's ever heard of him. I had a Vanity Fair and she thought it was an antique collector's magazine. She doesn't follow fashion at all."


"Oh what?" Dawn didn't like the way he'd said that.

"Oh, as in 'oh'. No reason."


"Fine. Oh - as in most of the birds who don't follow fashion are either lumberjacks or chairs."

"She is not a dyke, William! And she's not ugly either! She's beautiful actually. Much prettier than you!"

He laughed, "That right?"

She laughed with him, "Yes, that's so very right! She could be a supermodel in a second. Hey! You should introduce her to -"

"L'il Bit!"

"Okay, okay. So no introducing. She has a great job anyway." Dawn countered, defending her friend.

"Yeah? What's she do?"

Dawn was hopeful, "You interested?"

"Not really, other than I'd like to know about the people you're hanging out with. So, what's she do?"

"You are interested!"

"Look, Bit, I've been keeping busy. Remember that picture of the blonde that I sent you?"

"Oh no, Will! That hag, Buffy? Please tell me you're not doing her!"

"Well, I meant the other blonde, but okay. Yeah, so, what's wrong with her?"

"Will, if I have to tell you, you're in worse shape than I thought. What about these others?"

"Which others?" He tried to send her pictures of all the girls he'd dated, but he wasn't sure how up to date he'd been.

"Hold on, let me grab 'em. Okay. Um, Harmony?"

"Who else ya got?"

"Did you do her, William?"

"Who else ya got?"

"Um, there's Dru - yuck, too dominatrixy. Tara - too pasty. Darla - where's her whip, she looks like she could be a lion tamer."

Spike laughed at that, Dawn was a good judge of character, even from a photo.

"Amy - too Valley girl. Lilah - too mean. Winifred - do I even have to say it? Her name's Winifred, Will."

"She prefers 'Fred'."

"Even worse. There's a Cordelia - she's pretty, but she looks kinda cranky. Anya - why is she holding money? Jenny - she looks like a school teacher, so not your type, Spike." She emphasised the name of his bad boy persona.

After a pause she asked, "Will, did you fuck all of these women?"

"Dawn Holly Robbins! Watch your mouth! Do you kiss your mum with that mouth?" He laughed.

"I could ask you the same thing after looking at all these women, William!"


"There's also a hunky guy named Angel."

"I sent you a picture of Angel?"

'I must have been drunk that day. Or tired.' He yawned.

"Yeah, no shirt, on the beach - yum! Hey, you didn't fu-"

"Don't finish that question, Bit!"

"Bastard, you never could lie. Its all right, Will. It's a new millennium, I can deal."

"You yeah, Mum never."

"Okay, I won't ask. But - "


"Is he big?"


"Okay, okay. So, should I be giving up on women and trying to find you a nice fella then?"

"No, Bit. I was really high that night. Was just for the hell of it."

"Okay. Night, Will."

"Night, Luv."

"Come home, k?"

"Soon, Pet, I promise."

Chapter 2: Perchance to Dream

Swirling lights, jumbled sounds, Spike was standing in a grocery store. He was completely still, the rest of the patrons going by at light speed.

Then it stopped.

Same grocery store, no patrons, absolute quiet.

Spike started walking the aisles, grabbing what he needed. Pita bread, skim milk, cheese, yogurt, lettuce, potato chips, brownies, corndogs…

Wait a minute, this isn't right. I can't eat this stuff.

The grocery store melted away and he was standing in a field of wildflowers, and he could hear music. Some kind of techno pop that didn't fit at all with the wildflowers.

'Shouldn't there be some Mozart or Burt Bacharach in a field of flowers?'

Dawn ran toward him, waving hello. He was so glad to see her, it had been so long. They hugged and then sat and talked. He relaxed and lay down in the flowers, listening to his sister tell him about her life, life in the real world, the one outside of thousand dollar suits and flying around the world twice a week. He sometimes forgot that such a world existed, but he had Dawn to keep him grounded. Every time he started thinking he was all that, Dawn would call him 'William' and remind him who he really was, who he would be again as soon as he got too old or too ugly or too tired to do this anymore. He didn't make bad money for a classical literature scholar from one of the smallest villages in her Majesty's realm.

Dawn's voice was fading and he looked to see where she had gone, but all that surrounded him was darkness. A thick inky blackness that stole the oxygen from the air. He gasped and the blackness was gone. It was still dark, but now with the calm stillness of night time and he saw the stars overhead, bright and beautiful like he remembered from home when he was a kid. One of the only things he hated about Manhattan was the lack of stars.

'No wonder everyone here is so self-important; you couldn't look up and be reminded of how insignificant you really are.'

He almost heard a voice, something just on the edges of his senses…

…feel the magic all around you…

Somewhere, not outside of himself, but not really internally either, he could see a pair of eyes watching him. Wide green eyes filled with innocence and wonder. He turned, trying to find the person watching him, trying to find the source of the voice inside his head.

…its bringin' me to my knees…

He was in bed with a naked woman; she was soft and warm and strong. Moving and touching, it was incredible and intense. He was inside her and she came around him and he could feel her inside of him as well.

…gotta be chained to you…

Spike sat up, awake.

Sunday April 11 3:15 pm - Spike's apartment

"Charlie, wanna go ta - Where we goin', Wes?"


"Prague?" he questioned, disbelieving.

"Yes, Prague. They have some beautiful old buildings that - "

"Fine. Okay. Ya wanna go ta Prague, Charlie?"


"When we leavin', Wes?"

"I'll get an extra ticket, seven-thirty sound okay?"

"Okay, I'll be ready."

"Great. Me too. I'll go pack." He turned to Charles. "Meet back here at five?"

"I'm on it."

Spike went to the bedroom and Charles turned to go, then turned back. "Still doin' rock/paper/scissors or are we back to Cat's Cradle? I could bring an extra string."

Wes smiled back. "No, he's not bored with rock/paper/scissors yet."

Monday April 12 - Prague, Stredocesky, Czech Republic

Charles loved the sights and sounds of the old European city and didn't understand how Spike could be so blasé about it all.

"Seen one old relic, ya seen 'em all."

So Charles went sightseeing when he got tired of watching people do Spike's hair and put on more makeup, trying to make him look 'natural'. He couldn't sit that still for that long. That was the reason, he figured, why models made so much money. You'd have to pay him an awful lot to balance himself for three hours, sitting on the edge of a wall that looked like it could collapse at any second. And after the third or fourth time the photographer said, 'Give it to me, Spike. Put it out there for me.', Charles would have stood and clubbed the guy. C'est la vie. That's why Spike makes the big bucks. He's got the patience of a saint.

Charles, while sightseeing, also asked around about the most promising clubs; he knew his friend and knew he'd have a lot of unwinding to do after a day of smiling for the camera. Hell, Charles needed to unwind and he'd only been watching.

They met back at the hotel around eight and then went out for a dinner of something neither Charles nor Spike could pronounce, but Wes seemed to know what it was and it had tasted good and that was all that counted. After dinner, Wes said his good nights and headed back to the hotel, Spike and Charles heading for the clubs that Charles had scouted.

The first club was a dive and Spike loved it, but Charles said it reminded him too much of the places he had to hang out for work, so they headed to a more upscale looking place across town. This one was more to his taste, lots of bright lights, lots of loud music, a big dance floor, women outnumbered men about three to one.

They found a table and offered to buy a lonely looking guy drinks all night if he sat at it while they were on the dance floor. The guy jumped at the chance, as did most when they used this trick; two good-looking guys like that drew the attention of women and getting a shag from a bypassed groupie was better than no shag at all. Plus free beer.

They danced all night, never once being turned down by anyone they asked and by the end of the night, the lonely guy had his pick of women; Spike and Charles didn't offer any of them anything except a dance. When Charles was ready to call it a night, Spike hailed a waitress and suggested 'one more for the road'. Three 'one more for the road's later, they were back on the dance floor and Charles was glad he had made friends with Spike. This guy's life was always a party.

They were heading back to their table after escorting their dancing partners back to theirs, when a bright flash of red caught Spike's eye and pulled him back toward the dance floor. He had to wind his way through the throng of people, but he made it, eyes always on the flaming red hair of the girl dancing in the back.

She was excellent, much better than her partner who was smart enough to know it and stepped back to let her go. Through twists and turns, her body moved with grace; flowing from one step into the next, always following the beat, never losing her pace. She was beautiful, graceful, a flawless dancer. When the music stopped, so did she and she seemed surprised by everyone watching her. He heard her laugh quietly; he moved to see her face - she had stopped facing away from him; she did a cute little curtsy when everyone applauded. He couldn't get around the crowd. She moved toward the back and Spike followed, he had to ask her to dance. He got bumped and turned to say 'excuse me'. When he turned back, she was gone. No one knew where she had vanished to.

After searching in vain, he made his way back to his table.

"Spike, dude, you disappeared on me." He smiled, "Tell me she was beautiful. You ditch me like that, she had better have been at least a 12."

"She was -" he couldn't think of the words. "Beautiful, perfect, graceful - everything. Charlie, you'd have been in awe."

"Yeah? Details, bro - give me some details!"

"Red hair, dancer's body - " Spike thought for a second. That's strange. He couldn't remember… He must have seen… No, he was now sure that he hadn't…

"I never saw her face. She was dancing, her hair was flowing and moving around her. Huh? Isn't that strange?"

Charles laughed. "For you, Spike, I've learned a new definition for 'strange'. Only you could call a woman 'beautiful' and never have seen her face. C'mon, let's get back. You got more pouting pretty for the camera to do tomorrow."

Spike punched him companionably in the arm and they left.

Chapter 3: Out of My Mind

Wednesday April 14 3:03 pm - Liberty Park, NJ

"Dawnie, did you get the flowers?"

"Yes, Wes, thanks for calling. Where's Wil -" she giggled. "I mean Spike."

"He's posing. Same thing he's always doing. I couldn't do it myself - too bloody boring. He asked me to call you, make sure you got the flowers. He said they went next door last time."

"Yeah, Mrs. Henderson was so thrilled to get flowers. She never even looked at the card. I didn't have the heart to take them away from her."

"You've got a heart of gold, Dawn. So, what's new with you?"

Dawn smiled. "That bored, Wes? Poor boy. But remember, it was your choice to follow William to America. He said he needed you and you went running."

"Well, he was my best mate, what could I do? I'd never have made it into Oxford without him."

"True," she said and then laughed again. "Aw, c'mon, Wes, you don't give yourself enough credit. You know you're much smarter than my brother."

"Maybe, but - well, its all beside the point now. So yes, I admit I'm bored. Tell me what's going on in England, I'm homesick."

"Then get my brother to bring you guys over here for a vacation!"

"I'm working on it."

"Good. Oh, do you remember Willow?"

"Willow Rosenburg?" he smiled. "Lord, yes, she was the bravest one of us. Always picking on poor Will and I."

"Yup," Dawn laughed, "That's her. But more with the brave and less with the bully these days. She's back. She's visiting her grandmum."

"Oh my, old Mrs. Grenlin! Poor Willow. I hope you're being kind to her to make up for it."

"Yeah, but then she's kind in return so it's a two-way kind kind-of-thing. She's just awesome, Wes."

"Dawnie, you sound positively smitten. Sure there isn't something you want to tell me?" he teased.

"Don't worry, Wes, I'll always be your girl. At least until you realize that I'm just a dumb old kid and find a real girlfriend, that is." This was an old joke. Wes and Dawn had always gotten along so well that William, at the age of fifteen, decided his best friend and his sister should get married. Until he realized all that being married would entail. Then he said that Dawn, then eight, would never marry, never date, and die an old maid even if he had to lock her in her room. That promise didn't last, thank goodness, and William was the first one Dawn told when she lost her virginity at eighteen. To a boy from her church, who promptly broke up with her. But the long-ago 'engagement' was still brought up from time to time, usually whenever it would most embarrass Spike.

The two old friends talked until Spike was done with the shoot. Spike was so tired he almost didn't make it to the taxi.

"Take me home, Wes. I'm beat."

"That's the last day. You're done with Armani. You've got three days to sleep."

"Three, huh?" Spike laughed. "Three whole days off. You're too good to me, Wes."

They said goodbye at the door and Spike barely made it to the couch before he fell asleep.

Spike was at a restaurant. Every table laden with food. Every time he took a step toward a table, the table would be one step further away. Another table, same thing. He ran, the tables moved away faster.

The restaurant fell away and he was flying through the sky. He could feel the wind beneath him, holding him airborne, just like a bird. He flew over New York, west across the country, over Chicago, southwest, over Vegas. Past Los Angeles and out over the vast Pacific Ocean.

When he hit Japan, he was feeling tired, so he landed on a busy street in downtown Tokyo. This was wonderful! A great way to travel, why hadn't he ever done it before? He could go wherever he wanted, whenever he wanted.

He walked down the street, enjoying the sights and smells of the city. He loved Tokyo, it was unlike anywhere else. You couldn't be here and mistake it for somewhere else.

He caught a glimpse of red.

There she was!
She's here! The girl from the club. He followed her, trying to get closer, but like the food in the restaurant, with every step he took, she got a step further away. He followed her down an alley and ended up in the hallway of his apartment building.

How'd I get here?

He remembered telling Wes that he needed to get some sleep so he let himself into the apartment and started for the bedroom but stopped when he saw himself asleep on the couch. He began to wonder how that was possible when he heard a noise from the bedroom.

He stopped just inside the door. On his bed was a naked woman, back arched, hands gliding over her body. He watched as she skimmed her breasts, hands sliding over her flat stomach to the apex of her thighs.

…feel the magic all around you…

Just as her fingers started to go through her soft auburn curls, he was suddenly there, on the bed with her, lying comfortably on his stomach between her thighs. Her pussy was lying open for him like a banquet.

He lowered his head and took her in his mouth, absorbing her passionate moan when she felt his tongue reach out to taste her. His eyes almost rolled back in his head; she tasted like heaven. Sweet and spicy, everything a woman was supposed to taste like but unfortunately most didn't. She was perfect.

…its bringing me to my knees…

He explored her folds, his tongue caressing every crevice. He learned what she liked most; what made her squirm; what made her moan; what made her shake and what made her quiver. Her moans and her breathy sighs let him know that he was bringing her pleasure.

He wanted her to come so badly he couldn't stand it, so he made his tongue into a point and rolled it around and around her clit, the way he had discovered that she liked. He stopped to suck the nub into his mouth for a few seconds and then went back to rolling around and around the edges. She came in his mouth and he swallowed it down until she stilled slightly, then moved to press his tongue deep inside of her soft cunt, making another orgasm roll through her body.

…chained to you…

He lapped up her release. As soon as he had the thought that he wanted to be inside of her, he was.

She was riding him, rocking back and forth, her inner walls grabbing him like a vice. He wanted to kiss her and the thought should have made it so. He was disappointed when it didn't. He couldn't reach her mouth, he couldn't even see her face. Her head was thrown back as she sat on him, using her arms and thighs to get the balance she needed to ride him so hard.

He kept reaching for her, trying to wrap his arms around her, to pull her down to him so that he could kiss her and tell her how much she meant to him. How much he loved being with her in his dreams, both now and the time before, but what she was doing to him was so exquisite that his body betrayed him and he was screaming out his release and pouring himself inside her womb.

He stilled and reached for her.

…I gotta be chained to you…

She was gone.

Spike woke up.

Thursday April 15 2:14 pm - 185 Madison Ave, NYC

"Cordy, luv, it's Spike."

Cordelia Chase sat up a little straighter at her desk at Cosmo. When her assistant walked in to deliver a message from a colleague, Cordy gave her the evil glare of death, which let her know right away who was on the other end of that phone line.

"Spi-i-ke, how are you? I haven't heard from you in -" her assistant shook head in a vigorous 'no'. "Well, it seems like just yesterday, I've been so busy." The assistant smiled.

"Yeah, that's nice, Cordy. Look, you free for dinner tonight?"

"Dinner?" Cordy panicked and looked to her assistant for help, "Tonight?" The assistant held up one finger. "Um, hold on a sec', Spike, let me check."

Cordy put her hand over the mouthpiece of her phone and counted to fifteen. "Yeah, I think I can make it tonight, Spike. I'll just switch around a couple of things."

"Great. Pick you up at eight thirty?"

When Cordy said 'okay', Spike had already hung up.

2:55 pm - Spike's apartment

"Charlie, can you scrounge up a date for dinner tonight?"

"Sure, Spike, I think so. What's up?"

"I don't know, I'm just feelin' kinda restless."

"The usual Spike hyperdrive mode then." Charles laughed.

"No." Spike thought for a second, trying to figure out how to describe what he was feeling. "It's just - I don't know. I'm not sleepin'. Well, I'm sleepin', but I'm dreamin'."

"Yeah, so, that's what you're supposed to do when you sleep."

"No, its - it's the same dream, sorta. Always food, then always the girl."

"Oh! One of those dreams!" Charles laughed and Spike punched him in the arm.

"No, you sod - " then reconsidered and smiled, "Well, yeah, actually, but - It's the same woman, every night."

"Poor Spike. This is why men should never marry. Being faced with the same woman every night would be a nightmare."

"Not this woman, Charlie. Wars are fought for women like this. Its just -"

"Who is she?"

"That's the problem. I have no idea. And its driving me crazy! Aaah!" he cried out in frustration. "I gotta get outta here. I gotta do something. We'll go out, I'll dance til I drop, I'll screw Cordy, then I'll be too tired to dream."

"Spike, bro, when Cordelia gets done with you, you'll be too tired to breathe!" he joked.

"That's kinda what I'm hoping for," he admitted, smiling.

10:11 pm, Merdini's club, NYC

"Get us a table, Spike. I'll get the first round."

"Got it, Charlie. Ladies? This way - follow the Spike." Spike led them around to where a bouncer was saving them a table and handed the guy a fifty dollar bill.

He held the chairs for Sophie and then Cordelia. Dinner had been wonderful; Spike had enjoyed nibbling on his meal while he smelled and looked at the food around him. Sophie was a darling, very sweet - so different from Charlie's usual type. Cordy had even managed to avoid saying something that would embarrass the shy Sophie. The first round of drinks went down with the quartet talking and enjoying each other's company; the debate from dinner was still going strong: Spike said that in a fight between cavemen and astronauts, the cavemen would win. Charles disagreed. The argument was amiable for the most part.

After a second round of drinks, the couples took to the dance floor; Spike enthusiastically giving himself over to the music, trying to push his energy to the limit so that when he slept he would be too tired to dream.

She's here! It can't be! It can't not be!

Spike suddenly grabbed his stomach and doubled over.

"Spike, honey, are you all right?" Cordy asked, concern evident.

"Don't - uh, don't feel well. Get Charlie to take you home," he walked over to his friend, still clutching his stomach, said, "Charlie, not feeling so good. See Cordy home, will ya?" The he leaned in and whispered, "She's here, Charlie! The girl from Prague - the 12! Get Cordy outta here, ok?"

"Sure thing, man. Hope you feel better. Ladies? Why don't we get going?" Like the loyal friend he was, he led their dates out of the club to escort them home, leaving Spike free to track down his mystery lady.

11:57 pm

He circled around, trying to get a look at her, but she was surrounded by people and kept turning to talk to someone new, always, it seemed, when he was just about to get a glimpse of her face.

A song by Pink started and a good-looking dark haired guy Spike recognized took her hand and led her to the dance floor. Lindsey could dance well and he soon had them surrounded by a crowd of cheering onlookers. He kept her moving and spinning, making it hard for Spike to get a good look at her. He tried to get to the front of the crowd, but everyone wanted to see the beautiful couple who could dance so well, making it impossible to pry his way through.

The end of the song broke up the crowd and Spike beat a hasty path to where he had seen her sitting earlier, but she remained on the dance floor with Lindsey, dancing slowly in his arms to the love song that now played. For some inexplicable reason, Spike wanted to break both of Lindsey's legs. Or arms. Arms would work too.

He ordered a drink from a passing waitress and settled himself at the table where they had been sitting; many mutual acquaintances were there, making the situation easier. Not that it would have been a problem, Spike never found any difficulty joining a group of new people, invariably someone would recognize him and an invitation would be issued on the spot.

Spike waited through another song, he was determined to cut in if they stayed on the dance floor any longer than that. When the song ended, he looked up to see if they had decided to dance again or rejoin their group but they were gone. He jumped up and ran for the exit but no luck, John the bouncer said they had taken separate taxis and headed out.

The separate taxis made Spike feel better for some reason.

If they were going to the same place - his apartment, for instance - they would have shared a taxi, right? Right. Yes, they would have. Okay. Good.

That meant that she hadn't gone home with Lindsey.

So where did she go?

Friday April 16 1:46 am - Spike's apartment

Spike heard the phone ring as he turned the key in the lock, so he opened the door quickly and ran for the phone. They was only one person who would be calling him at two am eastern standard time.

"This better be Wes, " he joked before he quickly added, "Hi, Nibblet."

"See, I told you you always say that. How did you know it was me?"

"Who else would be calling at this bloody hour?"

"It's eight am, Will. A perfectly civilized hour."

"Where you are its eight am - and that's not a civilized hour to anyone but schoolchildren and businessmen."


"Sorry, Nib. Forget I said it. What's up?"

"What's a Brazilian?"

"Someone who lives in Brazil."

She laughed. "No, duh, big brother. Geez! No, I mean, what else is it?"

"Haven't a clue what you're talking about, pet. Give me the context."

"Okay. Willow went to London today and she won't be back until Tuesday. She said she needed to go shopping and get a Brazilian."

"Oh, that kind of Brazilian!"

"Oh, good, you know what it is! What is it? Is it something dirty? Please say its something dirty!" she squealed.

He laughed. "No, its, uh, when a lady gets her nether regions all waxed."


He laughed again, "Probably!"

"Why would she do that? Why would anyone do that?! Ew, it hurts just thinking about it!"

"I've heard tell there are benefits," he kidded.

"Like what? Redness and itching?" she sounded like she was in pain.

He fell off the couch he was laughing so hard.

"Will! Will? WILLIAM!"

"Yeah," he gasped then said again, "Yeah," he took a deep breath, "Ok, I'm here." He was still giggling under his breath.

"It's not funny, Will! Tell me!"

He took a breath, cleared his throat, took another breath…

"Will, you tell me this minute or I'll show Mum the pic of Angel!"

That did it.

"You wouldn't dare!" He wasn't laughing now.

"Of course I wouldn't, eejit. You know me better than that! Now tell me why Willow would do that to herself!"

"You are twenty, right, L'il Bit? I mean, don't you already know this stuff?" He was decidedly uncomfortable now.

"You mean it's a sex thing?"

"Um, well, yeah. When you and uh, um, -"


"I know his name, I just didn't want to think about it enough to picture a face! Anyway, when you and he - "


"Had sex!! When you guys had sex - did he um - " he just couldn't say this to his little sister, no matter how close they were.

"Did he what, Will? Did he take off his pants? Did he come? Did he wear a condom? WHAT?"

"Did he - " he took a breath, steeled himself, "Didhegodownonyou?" He was going to hell, he knew he was, for saying that to his sister.

"Did he what? Go down? Go down where?"

"I'll take that as a no." Thank God.

"Will, tell me!"

"Bloody hell, Nib! Okay," he closed his eyes and ran a hand through his hair. "You know what oral sex is, right?"

"OH!" she said, comprehension dawning. He was so happy he wouldn't have to discuss this anymore.

"And Willow got a wax down there for that?"

"Most likely." Spike speculated. He'd much rather think about some anonymous woman he didn't know having oral sex than - nope, not going there again.

"But- but - but, she doesn't even have a boyfriend!"

"Does she have a girlfriend?" Now there's a nice thought… shame he didn't remember what she looked like.

"Nope. Hmm, I wonder why else she would do that?"

"No idea and I don't care. Let's talk about something else."

"Willow's going to stay in England; she's not going back. She sold her house in Cape Cod and everything."

Spike sighed. "Can we talk about something other than what's-'er-bloody-name? How are you, luv? What's new with you?"

"Willow gave me a haircut."

"Right, fine, okay. And when will you two be sending out the wedding invitations?" he teased.

"I know, Will, its just - she's really wonderful, ya know? So different than my other friends; she talks about her job and what's going on in the world - and OH! She invests in the stock market!" Dawn enthused, happy to have a friend who understood money as well as she did. "It's not always 'Did you see what Sarah Beckham wore to church?!' or 'I'm positive that Bradley is going to ask Debbie out to meet his mum.' They're all so boring, Will! It's nice having a friend who's you know - adult."

"Yeah, Dawnie, I get it. So-" he settled himself in bed, warming up to the idea of his sister becoming best friends with this woman he didn't even know. "Why didn't you go with her to the shops?"

"She said she needed some down time. Just wanted to kick back and relax, she has something important she has to think over, but she wouldn't say what it was."

"She's not in any trouble or anything, is she? Dawn, I don't want you getting involved with her if -"

"No, geez, get a grip, Will. I think she just got out of a relationship in the states or something. She seems preoccupied sometimes and I'm pretty sure she's thinking about a guy."

"How can you tell if she won't say?"

"It's a woman thing; you're just gonna have to trust me."

"Always have, luv, always have."

When Spike finally got off the phone, it was after four. He was so tired and relaxed that he completely forgot about wanting to be tired and relaxed when he went to bed so that he wouldn't have the erotic dreams about the dream lover who haunted his nights.

She kissed her way down his stomach, licking into his bellybutton briefly, continuing almost immediately down his abs, moaning as she snuggled her face into the soft brown curls at the base of his sex. Her mouth was warm and wet as she enveloped him. As he gasped in pleasure, she moved to position her dripping wet pussy over his lips. His mouth opened instinctively and the feel of her smooth skin against his tongue made him buck his hips against her face.

He briefly made note of how wonderful her bobbing head felt on his cock before he threw himself into the task of tasting every inch of her fevered cunt. He remembered what she liked and he circled her clit with his tongue, wanting to bring her releasee as fast as possible. He couldn't get enough of her; he ached for a drop of her sweet juices while he was awake. Now that he could have as much as he wanted, he wasn't going to waste time; he wanted her throbbing and dripping, feeding the craving he had for her.

The lack of hair did everything it was supposed to, it fast-tracked every sweep of his tongue and lips to the endorphin centres of her brain. Her nerves were on red alert, super-stimulated by his actions. He pushed a finger inside of her, rubbing every interior erogenous zone. Another finger and he was curling them and pushing up against her soft g-spot.

"Come for me, love, please," he begged as another finger was added, pumping furiously as he sucked then bit down on her clit.

…its bringin' me to my knees…

She screamed her release, sitting almost straight up, coming in a tidal wave of liquid.

He was in heaven. He couldn't believe how responsive she was to him. Everything he did, everything he said or thought, it was all for this woman. As he swallowed her juices, he was amazed to find that this simple act had brought on his orgasm as well. She had taken her mouth off of him when she started to come. The only thing left was her taste. It and it alone had taken him over the top.

Her orgasm slowed as his began and she responded in kind by wrapping her lips around the spasming head and sucking. Another shot exploded from him and she moaned again as she swallowed him down. She was responding as well, the soft tissues above his mouth generating heat and a drop of her liquid fell on his lips.

He opened and started another assault on her pussy, hoping this trend of one orgasm bringing on the others would continue indefinitely.

When, after several turns, both of them panted and calmed, he rubbed his hands over her back, wanting to feel her skin against him as many ways as he could while he had her in his arms. Within his dream, they fell asleep with her curled on his stomach, her head still snuggled against his groin.

…chained to you…

Chapter 4: And Then She Kissed Me

Friday, April 9 8:35 am - Spike's apartment

Spike wiped the sweat from his face and bent over, stretching his back and thigh muscles. He was sweaty but relaxed from his run. He used his key on the string around his neck to get into his apartment and headed into the kitchen for some water.

He heard her singing in her rich alto, "Hike up your skirt a little more, and show your world to me."

He smiled. Have to appreciate her taste in music. He walked into the bedroom, pulling off his t-shirt. She was changing the sheets.

"Hi, Faith. How ya doin'?"

"Five by five, boss man. What's up wit' you?"

"Same ol', same ol'." He walked into the bathroom, then thought better of it and stuck his head out again. "You do in here yet?"

"Nope. Go to it. Get it as nasty as you want. Besides, you're rank, you need that shower - bad!" She smiled sweetly then stuck her tongue out him.

"One of these days, girl, I'm gonna make you put that tongue to some real use," he kidded.

"Get in line, Blondie. You want me, you gotta make an appointment. I think I may have a night in August 2012 open."

He laughed. He never knew if she was kidding or not. He watched her ass as she bent over and picked up the dirty sheets. Probably not.

When he was finished with the shower, he walked into the kitchen again, towel slung low on his hips.

"So why aren't you sleepin'?"

He jumped, she was behind him, arms crossed across her chest.


"You - sleeping - not. This is the second week I've come here and your bed is a mess - and not in a good way. Which means two things. One, that you're sleeping alone and I've been cleaning this place for four and a half years. I didn't think you knew how to sleep alone. And two, that whatever's keeping you up at night, it ain't making you happy or you wouldn't be tossing and turning like that."

He sighed. Guzzled half the bottle of Evian.

"You wouldn't understand. Hell, I don't even understand it."

She sat on the couch and patted the spot next to her. "Come try me."

He rolled his eyes, there was no way to get out of this. Once Faith got her mind on something she was like a dog with a bone. He sat and turned to face her, bending one knee and pulling his leg up onto the cushion. If she had looked down, she would have got a nice eyeful. She didn't look down.

"It's a couple of things really. First is Dawn."

Faith smiled, "How is the Bit?"

"She's good," Spike admitted. "It's just - Well, she's spending an awful lot of time with this new girl. Used to live there when we were kids, moved away, now she's back."

"What's wrong with that?"

"Nothing I guess. I don't know. It just feels wrong somehow. Every time the Bit says this Willow's name I get this funny feeling in my stomach. There's something there, I just don't know what."

"Aw, is big brother jealous?" She laughed. "I don't know, I never met your sis, but from what you say, she's got a good head on her shoulders. She's not gonna let some flake come in and be talkin' 'er into joining a cult or somethin'. If Dawn says she's a good egg, she probably is."

"So then what's this feeling in my gut?"


He laughed, "I'd have to eat to get indigestion."

"You back on the egg whites, boy? I told you to eat some real food!"

"I can't. I gained seven pounds!" She was rolling with laughter. "Yeah, you laugh. You won't loose your job if you don't fit in the clothes!"

"Sorry," she was still giggling. "No, really," she took a breath and calmed down, "I know, I know. Then lay off the beer, playboy. Hops is not a dietary supplement! Drink water when you party - it'll do ya good."

"I don't know. Robbie says he got some stuff, not addictive -"

She grabbed both his hands with both of hers and squeezed them - hard. "You touch that shit, Blondie and I'll put a stake through your heart! You do not want to go down that road! It's bad news, all around."

He sighed. "I know. Its just - okay, I'll cut down on the Guiness."

"So what else is on your mind? I know you, this sleeplessness is more than just lack of food and sis's new playmate."

"It's not sleeplessness," he said, standing and reaching for his cigarettes. He lit one and handed it to Faith, then lit another for himself. "I'm sleeping, all right, I'm -"

He stopped, not sure how much to say.

She knew him so well. "Oh! I get it! Blondie Bear's having wet dreams!" She was chuckling again.

He sat down again with a weary plop. "You could say that, yeah."

"What'sa matter, ain't gettin' enough in real life?"

He laughed. "I'm gettin' just fine, thanks. It's - I don't know. It's the same woman. Every night I dream about the same exact woman. Thing is, I don't know how I know it's the same woman because I can't see her face, its like its not there."

"You're doin' a headless chick in your dreams? You need more help than I can give ya, Spike." She saw the tension in his body and her attitude softened. "Look, you're prob'ly just workin' too hard. Or too much - is it technically hard work if all you're doin' is sittin' on your tush?" She laughed and he smiled. "I know, I know, there's more to it than that. You work your ass off. Take some time off. Go home, visit your kid sis. Eat real food, get real sleep, curl up on mom's lap and let her tell embarrassing stories about when you were five. You'll feel better, trust me."

He sat back, visibly relaxed and said, "You're right, you're right. I'll ask Wes to clear us some time."

She stood and wiped her hands on the front of her jeans. "Look, much as I love sittin' and shooting the shit, my boss is a slave driver and I gotta get back to work before he fires my ass."

His eyes were still closed, head leaning back, "Not gonna happen."

"That mean I can take the rest of the day off with pay?"

"Not gonna happen."

She laughed. "Go get dressed, Blondie. Your skinny bod don't do nothin' for me. I like some meat on my boy toys."

He laughed, but got up and went in to dress.

Saturday April 17 - Monday April 19 - Danbury, CT

Tuesday April 20 - Wednesday April 21 - Rouen, France

Thursday April 22 - Friday April 23 - Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy

The next week was a whirlwind of activity with shoots lasting from ten to eighteen hours a day. He missed Charlie, he missed his conversations with Dawn, his missed his runs in Central Park and watching CNN and Scooby Doo.

During one of the only breaks he had, he was interviewed by People magazine.

"Tell the truth. Your life is all glamour and partying, isn't it?"

Spike flashed the killer smile. "No, luv, really, it isn't. Long days, hot lights, too little sleep and getting up at four am, that's my life."

It was the standard answer. They were all standard answers. He and Wes had sat down four years ago before his first interview and decided what the best answers to all the questions should be and he'd been answering accordingly ever since.

"Is the accent real?"

'No, ya bloody bint, you have an accent. I sound perfectly normal to me.'


"Do you still live in England?"

"I moved to New York City five years ago."


"That's where the work is."

"Is it true that you've got a master's degree?"

"Yes, that's true. Classical literature." 'You think I wanna smile for my supper for the rest of my life?'

"Classical literature?"

Spike laughed. "Yeah, boring innit?"

"No, it sounds interesting." She had to almost visibly stifle a yawn.

"Interesting? Yeah, that is was. Very interesting. Homer and Sir Thomas Moore; very interesting fellows."

'Somebody give this bint a brain!' The smile never left his face.

"Who's your favourite designer? Who's clothes do you buy?"

"Levi Strauss." He laughed. He didn't want to insult the designers who paid him good money to model their clothes and he wasn't going to offend any potential clients by picking one over another. Plus, it happened to be the truth. Most interviewers saw it as a tactful evasion. Let 'em think whatever they want.

"What's the secret to your success?"

"Well, I'm a right handsome bloke, aren't I?" He laughed. 'Wes get me the fuck outta here!'

"That you are."

"No, I'm kidding. The secret to my success isn't a secret at all. It's Wes. Wesley Wyndam-Price. W-Y-N-D-A-M hyphen P-R-I-C-E. He's my manager. Best mates since we were kids. I'd be lost and broke without 'im."

Not the standard answer but it was true and it was about time Wes got the credit he deserved.

"Last question. Is there a special lady in your life?"

Spike smirked. "There are two actually."

"Two?" The interviewer looked like she was just handed a juicy scandalous bone. Obviously she hadn't read any of his other interviews.

"Yeah, my mum and my kid sis."

"That's sweet." She didn't sound like she thought he was sweet. She sounded like she thought he'd just started to hand her a steak and then pulled it away at the last minute and gave her a hot dog instead.

"It's the truth. Talk to my sis every two or three days, she's the real world, not all the airplanes and the clothes. She's the best."

"What's her name?"

"Ah, luv, now that'd be tellin'. Gotta keep some secrets."

He smiled at her like only he could and all was forgiven.

After the interview, she stayed to chat and hinted that she wouldn't mind spending some more time with Spike in a more "intimate" setting, but Wes was good at his job and came in just in time to drag Spike away, pleading previous commitments.

"'Bout time you showed up! I thought she was gonna take a bite outta me."

"And we wouldn't want that to happen now would we?" Wes replied, sarcasm dripping.

Friday April 23 8:34 pm - Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy

After a dinner of cold pizza and mineral water, Spike and Wes were watching the telly - an E! News special on the life of Shakespeare. Nicholas Cage was doing a musical adaption of Henry V and the bard was apparently news again.

Wes was snoring softly, Spike was wondering how long before 'Coming Attractions' came on when -


Wes shot up like a rocket. "WHAT?" He shook himself awake. "Will? What's wrong, what -"

Spike was pointing at the television.

"There she is! That was her! The girl, Wes! The girl, she's on the telly!"

Wes looked but they were inside a chapel, talking about Shakespeare's early years in school. The reporter was a man.

"What girl? There's no girl there."

"She was there! A second ago! Right there! They were outside of Harrod's and she walked by!"

"She was in the crowd?" Wes wasn't real clear what was so exciting.

"No, she was just walking up, walked in the door at Harrod's. I saw her! It was her!"

"You saw her face finally?"

"Well, no." Spike admitted. "But it was her, Wes, I know it."

Wes walked into the bedroom and fell back to sleep without saying anything.

Monday April 26 11:56 am - 3100 William Street, NYC

When they returned to New York, Spike called in to see Lindsey McDonald at the Wolfram & Hart, his contract lawyers.

"Hey, Spike, what's up?" Lindsey was going through some contracts and really didn't have time for this, but seeing as how much money Spike brought into the firm, he couldn't turn him away, even if he didn't have an appointment.

"Not much, thought I'd see if you were free for lunch."

Lindsey knew something was up. "Spike, you don't eat lunch. And since when do you treat me to lunch? You don't even like me. The only reason you don't fire me is because I saved your ass on that Hilfiger deal."

Spike sat, decided to try a new approach. "Okay, yeah, true. It's just -"

How to address this without sounding like a bleedin' git?

"Saw you the other week at Merdeni's."

"Nice place; I go there a lot. You?"

"No, but the girl I was with likes it, so -" he cut himself off. He was getting away from the point. "Saw you dancin'. Not bad."

"You want dancing lessons, Spike?" Lindsey was really confused.

"No! No. Just - " he took a breath, "Had a good partner that night. Girlfriend?"

"Who was I with?"

"Don't know. Um, redhead, so high," he held his hand up to neck height, "Nice lookin'."

Lindsey finally understood why Spike was here.

"Sorry, Spike. I don't know her. I just met her that night; Giles introduced us. I don't think I even got her name."


"Rupert Giles, I think you know him, he's with Giles & Raine."

"No, don't think I do."

"Nice guy, you'd like him. Look Spike, if that's all, I really have to finish this."

Spike didn't move.


Spike finally took the hint. "Right. Going. Thanks."

Wednesday April 28 10:22 pm - Madrid, Spain

Two nights later, Spike was in Madrid. He and Wes were just leaving the restaurant that Wes had eaten dinner at - Spike had just pushed the food around on his plate, it was all carbs and fat - when Spike spotted a redhead going into the club across the street.

"Wes, gotta go -"

"Yes, I saw her too. It's not her though, Spike, it can't be. Don't you think you're getting a little obsessive about this?"

Spike gave him a pitying look and ran for the club.

It took him forty five minutes to track her down. Not that the club was all that large, it was just that every time he got close to her, she just seemed to disappear.

He was walking across the dance floor, peering at all the tables and absently singing the song that was playing.

"I'm living in a material world -" when he bumped into someone dancing. He turned to apologise and it was her. She turned and he saw her for the first time. Wide green eyes full of innocence and wonder.

"Excuse me, I -" they both said at the same time.

He forgot what he was going to say. She was even more beautiful than he had thought she would be. His brain searched, screamed, for something to say but he couldn't get his mind away from her face, her eyes. He felt like he knew those eyes, like he had seen them before.

He thought she was going to say something and he was relieved; he wouldn't have to think of something.

Instead, she leaned in and kissed him.

Fire and electric shocks went through his body. He thought that this was what it must feel like to be hit by lightening. It was magical - and kind of hurt.

His arms went around her, pulled her close to him, intensifying the kiss. He could feel her warmth, her soft tongue, her kindness, the ridges on the roof of her mouth, her familiarity, the salt from her marguerita.

She pulled away suddenly and gasped. Her dance partner pulled her in and twirled her around to the other side of the dance floor.

He kept his eyes on her, following her through the dance. When the song was over, he chased her down and almost caught up with her at the front door.

"Wait!" He ran after her, but she was gone.

11:55 pm


Charles Gunn yawned into the phone.


"Yeah, Charlie, its me."

"You still in Spain?"

"Yeah, look, you workin'?"

"Not right now, why? You bored and need a club buddy?"

"No, Charlie, this is important! Listen. I need to hire you."

The urgency in Spike's voice finally made it though to Charles. "What's wrong, Spike?"

"The girl, Charlie. The redhead. I saw her, she's here. She's in Madrid. She - she kissed me."

"You go, dog!"

"No, Charlie, it wasn't like that! Look, I want you to find her. Look her up - do whatever it is that you do - just find her for me."

"Sure, Spike. What's her name?"

"Don't know."

"Where's she live?"

"Don't know."

What's she do?

"Don't know.

He laughed, "Is there anything you do know?"

"I think I love 'er, Charlie."

Charles laughed. "Only you, Spike. You don't even know this girl. How can you love her?"

"I don't know. I just know that when she kissed me, I - I knew her. I don't know how, I don't know why. I just - Charlie, just do this for me, okay? I'll pay whatever it takes."

"I give discounts for my boys, Spike. Don't worry about it. I'll get started in the morning all right? I'll talk to that Lindsey guy you said you saw her with."

"I already talked to 'im. He said he didn't know her. Said some bloke named Rupert Giles introduced 'em."

"Hey, it's a place to start. When you gonna be back?"

"Saturday, I think."

"See ya then, Spike."

"See ya, Charlie. And thanks."

"That's what friends are for."

Part II: Willow

Chapter 5: From the Top: The Flipside

Tuesday, March 30 8:00am - Willow's car - Providence, Rhode Island


Willow took her cell phone out of her purse and said, "Sod off."

Laughter greeted her on the other end. "You stuck in traffic again, Will?"

"Yes, Alexander LaVelle Harris, I am. And if you don't stop teasing me, I'll tell everyone at the office what your middle name is."

"All right, all right. I give. You on your way?"

"Yes. Tell me again why I didn't ride in with you this morning?"

"Because you have to do girly stuff this afternoon. The last time I went with you when you got waxed, I got thrown out for making quote inappropriate comments unquote. So I can't go anymore. How 'bout I have fettuccine alfredo waiting when you get home?"

"I can't. I'm on a diet again, remember?"

"Willow, you are not fat! So they didn't have the dress you wanted in your size, buy another one!"

"But this cocktail party is important for my career, Xan, you know that. This dress is the perfect blend of business and elegance. I have to have this dress!"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Heard it all before, I'm still not buying it. I think you're the perfect sado-masochist - you like to inflict pain on yourself."

Willow laughed and dropped the phone. "Hold on, Xan, I dropped ya" she yelled in the general direction of the floor. She turned into the parking garage for her office building while feeling around on the floor for the phone. As she turned, the phone slid right into her hand. "You still there, Xan?"

"Yeah, I'm still here. What would a conversation with you be if I wasn't sliding around at your feet. My favourite place to be."

Willow laughed. "Now why don't you put some of that charm towards finding yourself a real girlfriend?"

Xander gasped and pretended to be offended. "But - but Will! You promised you'd marry me."

Willow giggled, "We were seven years old and the next day you stole my Barbie! I still maintain that the only reason you wanted to marry me was so that you could have joint custody of the Dream House."

"Yeah, well, I had big dreams back then."

Willow was now on the elevator. "I'm coming up on lift 35."

"Will, you've spent too much time in merry old England. Nobody talks like there here, I keep telling you that. You sound snooty."

"Snooty?" The elevator doors opened and Xander was there, phone in one hand and coffee cup in his outstretched other hand. Willow clicked her phone shut and took the offered coffee.

"Yes, snooty - snotty - whatever. You know what I mean."

After a sip, she moaned, "You're a life saver, Xan, I don't care what they're saying about you."

Xander panicked, "What are they saying about me? And who's saying it?"

Willow laughed, "You fall for that every time! Nobody's talking about you, Xander." She reconsidered, "Well, except for the recurring rumour that I hired my lover as an assistant."

"I love that one. Don't you dare ever deny it. Brings my rank up."

"Hey, I have to deny it. Snyder has brought it up several times. He keeps wanting me to fire you to squelch the rumour mill."

"And you told him… ?"

"That you were my best friend, always have been, always will be and you do three times the job for me that anyone else would do. He couldn't argue with me so you're still gainfully employed."

"What would I do without you?"

"You'd have your own restaurant. And you will - soon. If I get this promotion, I'm investing my bonus in you. Then you're out the door, Xander. And you'll have to cook for me every night."

"You mean as opposed to me cooking dinner for you every night like I do now?"

"Yes. You'll be cooking for me in your very own restaurant."

"Deal." They had reached Willow's office and Xander stopped at his desk to pick up his day planner. "You've got Snyder at 9:30, Warren at 10:45, Newsweek at 11:15, lunch with yours truly at 12:30 - we're meeting Jonathan and Andrew at the Troika Café, Lorne at 2:15 at his office - 1311 Hyperion Court, and Maggie Walsh wants you to stop by anytime this afternoon, she says she has the pictures you wanted for the behaviour modification article you wrote last week. Then you're free to get maimed and tortured at the salon at three."

2:48 pm - Willow's car - Providence, Rhode Island

"Willow, I just called and cancelled your waxing. Snyder just called - he wants you in his office, pronto."

Willow gasped into her cell phone, "You think its about the promotion?"

"He seemed very chipper. Well, chipper for Snyder anyway. I think maybe yeah."

"I'll be there in eight minutes."

5:31 pm - O'Halloran's Pub - Providence, Rhode Island

"Say it again. I'm not sure I understood you the first hundred and four times. Did you say you quit?"

Her tears were slowing and she was trying to calm her breathing. "Yes," hiccup "I quit. I told Snyder to take his job and shove it!"

"But there'll be other promotions, Will." He signalled the bartender and ordered two Jacks on the rocks.

"No," hiccup "there won't. He gave" hiccup "the promotion to" hic- "Forrest" -cup "because he's a guy! And I'm" hiccup "not a guy! I'll never be a guy! So no promotion for me -" She gulped down her drink. Then her eyes got wide and she started coughing. Xander hit her on the back, handed her his glass and ordered two more.

"So, what do we do now?" Xander asked.

"Don't know. I've got some money saved. And you've got the standing offer from your Uncle Rory to work with him."

"I don't wanna be a truck driver, Willow."

"I know that, Xan, but it's a job anyway. If you want to keep up with the office work, I'll give you a glowing recommendation, you know that."

"Nah, I was never a desk job kind of a guy. I only did it because it was you. Well, that and it paid 55 thou a year."

Willow looked wistful and sighed. "Yeah, no more great paying job."

"Will, you're one of the best journalists out there. Somebody else will snatch you right up."

"Yeah, I guess. I don't know. Maybe I want to do something else for a while. Stop and smell the roses, visit Oma."

"How is your grandmum? I haven't talked to her in… days."

Willow smiled. "I know, she likes you more than she does me. She says its because she talks to you more."

"Why don't you take some time and go visit her? I know you've got the money, and now you've got the time."

"Yeah, maybe." She took a sip of her whiskey. "Yeah, I think I will."

Wednesday, March 31 - 2318 Seagull Lane, Cape Cod

Willow packed some of her belongings into boxes, some personal items and some gifts she'd gotten for her grandmother, and Mrs. Robbins, and Dawn. Then she put cloths over the furniture and called a real estate agent to rent out the house for the summer.

Thursday, April 1 - Wolfram & Hart, Providence, Rhode Island branch

Willow told Holland Manners, her lawyer, of the recent changes in her career status and her plans to visit the UK for an extended stay. She asked that he draw up a current will, leaving everything except for a few items to Alexander LaVelle Harris and Lena Grenlin, her grandmother. The other items would go to Amy Madison, Wesley Wyndam-Price and William Robbins. The new provision was that a large sum would be set aside to be used by Mr. Harris to start and maintain a working restaurant. Holland would be the trustee for the account. If Xander pre-deceased her or failed to start a restaurant, the money would be donated to the Children's Defense Fund.

Friday, April 2 - 34B Rochester Street, Providence, Rhode Island (Xander's apartment)

The two friends discussed Willow's plans in detail, Xander's plan to truck around the country with his Uncle Rory for a couple of months, Willow told him the details of her will and Xander refused to take the money but thanked her for her generosity. Willow smacked him in the back of his head and told him to get off his ass and start a restaurant so that she'd have someplace decent to eat when she got back from England.

Saturday, April 3 - 34D Rochester Street, Providence, Rhode Island (Willow's apartment)

Willow booked tickets to Heatherow, leaving the return date open. She cleaned her apartment and called her landlord to tell him that she'd be out of town for a while but that she would send him the rent if she hadn't returned before May 1, or June 1.

Sunday, April 4 - United Science and Medical News office - Providence, Rhode Island

Willow and Xander said hello to Lenny the security guard and went up to the seventeenth floor to pack up their belongings. As they loaded the last box, they both realised that they really wouldn't miss this place; it had lost its appeal when Mr. Flutie, the old editor, had retired. Snyder had never been able to recreate the camaraderie and team spirit that the old editor had brought to the job.

Monday, April 5 - The Bank of New England - Providence, Rhode Island

Willow went to the post office and put in a 'forward mail' card, indicating that all of her mail should be sent to her grandmum's address in Stumbershire, at Smythefield Cottage. Then she put all of her important papers into her safety deposit box then got $5000. in American Express travellers checks. She went home and paid all of her bills, bringing all of her finances up to date.

Tuesday, April 6 - Willow's apartment

Willow packed her clothing, shoes, essentials and gifts into two suitcases and put her computer into her padded backpack. At 5:15, Xander drove her to the airport.

Chapter 6: The Mother Country
Wednesday, April 7 - Heathrow airport



They two friends rushed toward each other, and hugged. Then Dawn grabbed Willow's carry-on bag from her shoulder and the two women headed toward the baggage claim area. After retrieving Willow's two suitcases, the girls headed back to Stumbershire in Dawn's car.

"I can't wait to tell Will you're here!"

"Will's here? In Stumbershire! I thought you said he moved -"

"Oh yeah, he did. He's even Wes got over there now, but I'm so glad you're here, I have to tell him."

Willow smiled, very happy that she had at least one good friend in this humble burg.

"Tell me about you, how are you doing?" Willow asked. It had been over a year since she'd been here and she wanted to catch up. They had emailed back and forth of course but it wasn't the same as just sitting and talking, reading body language and hearing her voice.

"Oh, I'm great, really. I mean, yes, bored silly, but great. How long are you staying?"

Willow explained about quitting her job and why (Dawn's indignation on Willow's behalf made Willow very happy that she and Dawn had become friends) and about Xander quitting with her.

They talked about mutual friends and gossiped about mutual enemies and Dawn invited Willow over for dinner the next night so that Willow could visit with her mom.

Friday, April 9

Dinner was wonderful. Warm and cozy, just like the Robbins house always had been. As they talked, Willow remembered making forts with Wes and Will under the table when they were kids. She remembered the food fight with spaghetti that had had made Wes laugh so hard while he was drinking a glass of milk that he had shot milk out his nose. She remembered being told, countless times, to wipe their feet as they came in the kitchen door.

Mrs. Robbins told stories about Dawn and her friends and about how smart Willow had been as a child, how her parents had always been so proud of her.

"Tell me about you and Wes and Will as kids," Dawn prodded during pudding.

"Who?" Willow asked, feigning ignorance.

"Your two best friends since you were two months old - that Wes and Will," Mrs. Robbins offered, laughing.

"Oh - them," Willow laughed. "I've forgotten all about them." Willow lied. She had missed them every day since she had been forced to leave England. They had written for many years, still telling each other everything, but once they became adults and moved away from home, there hadn't been one letter sent, by any of them. Life was just like that sometimes.

"Xander and Dawn are my best friends now," Willow said, a small crack in her voice. "Xander's great, still hasn't had the money to open his own restaurant yet, but he's close. I keep offering, but he keeps telling me no, he wants to do it on his own."

They talked for a while longer before moving into the parlour with their tea. Willow finally conceded to knowing Wesley and William and for a while they talked about all of the trouble the trio used to get into as children. When Willow finally said her goodnights to Dawn, at around 9:30 the next morning, so she said good morning instead, Dawn said she was going to call William right away and tell him that Willow had returned.

Saturday, April 10

Willow went home and apologised to her grandmother for staying out all night. Oma smiled and said that Dawn's mother called last night and said not to expect her home; that Dawn and Willow would probably be talking til daybreak.

Willow went upstairs and, after washing up and changing into a soft cotton nightgown, fell right to sleep.

She was in a small restaurant with warm wood paneled walls and soft lighting. She wandered around until she entered the kitchen and smiled when she found Xander cooking and throwing orders around, keeping the place running like a fine-tuned… kitchen.

She walked out the back door and suddenly she was in a meadow, she saw Dawn sitting and talking to the most beautiful man she had ever seen in her life. A lean, tall hottie with a muscular build, bleached blond hair and startlingly blue eyes. Where had she seen blue like that before? Somewhere, she knew…

Suddenly Dawn was gone and it was completely black. No light coming from anywhere and yet she could still see the man. She saw him look up and found that stars had appeared over their heads. It was beautiful; a clear inky sky with thousands of stars overhead. She had missed this in Massachusetts. You just didn't get stars like this there.

The sky fell away and she found a heavy weight had collapsed on her chest. No, wait, it was the man - the beautiful man, only he hadn't collapsed. He was with her, in her and it was the most incredible sex she had ever had. It felt like they were one being, moving and clinging to each other and when her orgasm came, she could feel his as well, like she was inside of him.

Willow sat up, awake.

Sunday, April 11

"Willow, dear, this is my friend Ethan Raine." Mrs. Robbins introduced her when she walked in the door to visit Dawn.


"Good afternoon, Willow. Joyce tells me you're looking for a job."

Willow shot daggers out of her eyes and aimed them at Joyce. Well, she wished she could. "Um, yes, that's right."

"And that you're a journalist - science and medicine," Ethan continued.

"Um, yes."

"Well, I was just speaking to my friend Bob Cummings over at Reuters the other day and he tells me they're looking for someone to cover science and technology for their London branch. Someone to cover Europe and eastern Asia, he asked if I knew anyone -" he broke off because Willow's excited face and brilliant smile made him smile as well.

"Oh, oh, that's - that's - well… wow! Do you think you could, I mean, I know you don't know me, but I could give you references, show you my stuff-"

Ethan held up a hand. "That won't be necessary. Joyce's word that you're exceptional is good enough for me. Would you like me to call him?"

"Oh my god! Would you? I can't tell you how much I'd-"

Willow was almost speechless. Reuters. That was just - wow. Ethan had pulled out a cell phone and was holding a disjointed conversation with someone. She was looking around for Dawn, someone to share her joy with, when Ethan asked, "Can you be in Prague tomorrow?"

"Who me?" Willow asked. "Sure, no problem." She was very happy that she sounded much more confident than she felt.

Ethan went back to his conversation as Willow bounced up and down on the balls of her feet.

"Bob's going to be in Prague for a conference," Ethan said as he snapped the phone shut. He wants you to meet him at seven thirty tomorrow night at this address." He grabbed a notepad from out of his jacket pocket and wrote it down. "Good luck, even though I'm sure you won't need it. Bob says he's heard of you. Seemed quite excited about meeting you in fact."

Willow was thrilled beyond measure. A job! Working for Reuters! And it was here in England. The more time she spent here, the more she hated the states. She could see Oma. She could see Dawn. She'd miss Xander, and maybe Jonathan and Andrew a little, but that was okay, she could always fly over and visit.

Monday, April 12

Willow's flight got in early and she spent the day trying to relax for her interview. She went sightseeing and kept seeing the same man at various places she went. He was very tall, very handsome, very bald and had very nice shoulders. He was the same color as a Hershey bar and Willow couldn't help but think about how much, if she had looser morals, she'd really like to eat him all up. When that thought kept popping into her head, she would blush every time she saw him. She figured he must be sightseeing as well. While walking back to her hotel to get ready for her interview, she saw him across the street, talking to a guy washing the glass doors on a club. It looked like fun. Maybe after her interview, if all went well, she'd head over there. If her luck held out, he'd be there tonight as well, and maybe they'd get to dance - or talk - or… She shook her head at her own brazen thoughts and decided to concentrate all her energy into her upcoming job interview.

The interview went spectacularly - even better than spectacularly. Bob had indeed heard of her, loved her style, he even said he had discussed her with his boss for this job but didn't know she wanted to leave United or know that she had family in England. He welcomed her aboard, told her to report to the London office on Thursday morning and went to meet his wife for dinner.

Willow was too excited to eat. She went to her hotel and changed into a bright red dress to reflect her mood. She went for a walk around Prague, enjoying the architecture at night. She ended up in front of the club she had seen that afternoon. She went inside, letting her good mood talk her into relaxing and thinking that maybe tonight, just for this once, she'd loosen her morals just a little.

She didn't find the Hershey bar, but she did find a group of Americans from New York City who were here for the same journalism conference as Bob. She hung with them, talking and drinking and laughing. She danced several times, mostly with men who weren't very good but once with a man who was a good match, dance-wise, for her and once with a woman who was much better. She was getting really drunk but her mood wouldn't let her call a halt to her night when Graham, a very hunky All-American type, asked her to dance. Since the Hershey bar was nowhere to be found, she had been considering loosening her morals for Graham's white chocolatey goodness; she couldn't pass up a dance.

When they got on the dance floor, Graham kept complimenting her dancing. Willow's ego was at an all-time high anyway and this new praise lifted her up even higher. She couldn't resist showing off just a little. She got carried away in the music and didn't even notice when Graham stepped back and just watched her move. When the song ended, Willow was startled to hear applause and looked up to see what everyone was clapping about. Turns out it was her. She was embarrassed to the depth of her soul, but she took a small bow anyway, trying to gracefully accept their praise.

Graham took her hand to lead her back to their table when she saw him. The guy from her dream. The gloriously beautiful man that she had had sex with in her dreams. He was real and he was here! She grabbed her stomach, ran for the lavatory and threw up in the first toilet she saw.

Chapter 7: Dream State
Wednesday, April 14 3:03 am - The Robbins' home

"And I start tomorrow!"

"Willow, that's great!" Dawn exclaimed, pulling her into a jubilant hug. "This means you'll be staying in England!"

"Yeah," Willow sighed. "Xander's going to hate me."

"No he won't." Dawn told her confidently. "From what you've said, he sounds wonderful and he'll be thrilled beyond belief that you've got your dream job."

Willow smiled, relieved. Dawn was right. Xan would be happy for her. And it wasn't like they'd never see each other again, they were only a plane ride apart. While she was contemplating, the phone rang and Dawn picked it up.


Willow only heard Dawn's end of the conversation.

"Hi, Wes!"

Willow wasn't ready to confront her childhood ghosts right now and she knew that Dawn would pull her into this conversation with one of her first friends if she stayed, so she picked up her purse and waved a smiling goodbye to Dawn before making a hasty retreat.

She looked around, slightly confused. Where is this place?

Some people approached her and asked her a question in a foreign language.

She answered in the same language.

They asked for directions.

She thought, then said told them, in Japanese, how to get to the place they were looking for.

Well, that answered one question. She was in Tokyo.

She should have known, there was no place else on earth like Tokyo. But she was so confused about everything for some reason. She started walking, hoping to find somewhere she could go, some one who could explain how she got here and why her brain was so foggy.

She turned down an alley and her world swirled into a blur.

Suddenly she was in a big warm bed. Candles were glowing against the dark walls. Silk sheets slithered over her skin. She felt hands,
his hands, she realised, touching her, inflaming her. The touches were little more than ghost touches and she helped him along with her own hands. Every time she touched herself, she felt his hands, instead of her own, even though he was nowhere in sight.

She was aching for him and all of the sudden he was there on the bed with her. She hadn't heard him come in or walk over or even feel him lay on the bed. He was just suddenly there, between her legs. She felt his warm breath on her abdomen and she thought her heart would explode out of her chest.

When his tongue lapped at her, the moan she made traveled both outward and inward.

She didn't want to know how he learned to be so good at cunnilingus. It didn't matter, she told herself, so long as he was using that expertise on
her. He seemed to know all the perfect things, not just the right things, but the perfect things; the motions and timing that turned her instantaneously into a quivering mass of goo.

…its bringing me to my knees… The way he was enjoying her - and that was what it seemed like he was doing: enjoying her, savoring her - it was making him moan even more than she was. She felt beautiful and special, like he wanted only her, no other would do.

It was that feeling, even more than the way his tongue was - Oh my fucking god - circling her clit that made her come so strongly.

And he wasn't stopping like every other guy had. He was drinking her, swallowing her cum and moaning and writhing on the bed as he did it. Even as that amazing orgasm ended, he was still down there, kissing her thighs and breathing in her scent. Just as she took her first calm breath, he spread her open with his thumbs and - Oh, OH, OOOOHH - he was fucking her with his tongue! That wonderful, talented - and oh so very LONG tongue - was inside her, up inside where only fingers or vibrator or cock had ever been before.

The act itself was too erotic; she barely had time to register how spectacular it felt before she was coming again, even more explosive than before. She heard him gulp as he took her cum down his throat and she screamed, an intensely passionate scream that barely made a sound as it escaped her overused body. She simply had no air left to fuel it.

…chained to you…

She wanted him inside of her so badly. In less than a blink they were reversed, she on top of him now. She felt him filling her; that wonderful completeness that she'd only felt once before; the other time she'd been with him in her dreams.

If this was only a dream, she was going to take full advantage of it and drop those pesky inhibitions that had always held her back with Oz, her college fuck buddy. She sat up straight and leaned back a little, stretching and bowing her back and supporting herself by propping her hands on his thighs. She experimentally lifted her hips; he gasped at the friction she caused and she did it again. OH YEAH!

She went to town, riding him with abandon, rocking a little for maximum enjoyment for both of them. He had made her feel so exquisite with his tongue that she wanted to pay him back by making him have an orgasm even half as strong as hers had been.

She'd never had unprotected sex before and she never wanted to not have it again. In real life it wasn't practical, she knew; but here with her dream lover, anything and everything was possible. He would fulfil her every desire, every fantasy and she would do whatever he asked her.

Not that they had ever spoken, it wasn't necessary. She just had to think of something and she had it. She would have made the connection that since he seemed to be the star of her dreams lately, she must be constantly thinking of him, but he was panting and thrusting up into her and his hold on her hips was painful and primal and wonderful.

They came together, screaming out loving nonsense as another means of release.

She was boneless and he was reaching for her. He was going to kiss her at last - and she'd have to face him, really look into the eyes of this beautiful man after the way she'd acted like such a slut…

She needed to escape.

Willow woke up.

Chapter 8: Just A Kiss
Thursday, April 15 10:15 am Reuter's London offices

"Dawnie, I can't believe it! I have my own office!"

Dawn smiled into the phone. "That's so great, Will! I knew they'd appreciate you better than that mean old Snyder guy ever did." She sounded so confidant that Willow giggled.

"Ever my champion!" She quieted her voice somewhat when someone walked by outside her door. "I just wanted to call to let you know I probably won't be coming back to Stumbershire tonight. There's some stuff I've been neglecting and I feel so good I feel like I can handle it today. I think I'll stay in town tonight, I'll be whipped after I'm done."

"Oh, shopping, huh?" Dawn asked.

"Well, that and I have to see a lady about a Brazilian."

Dawn's eyebrows creased. "A who?"

Willow's computer popped up a memo that her boss wanted to see her. "Dawn, I gotta go, Lilah wants to see me. Bye."

She hung up and ran down the hall to her boss's corner office.

"Lilah, you wanted to see me?"

Lilah Morgan smiled. "Willow, settling in all right?"

"Just peachy. Everyone's been wonderful."

"Well, I'm going to be the first non-wonderful thing then, sorry. I need you to fly to New York to cover the UN Medical Relief meeting tomorrow afternoon. I know," she said before Willow could protest, "New York isn't your beat but Parker's being a shit again. He took off for Who-Knows-Where and as soon as I can find someone who can write as well as he can, I'm going to get rid of him. The problem is, he's good - really good. He has a way with words unlike anyone I've ever met. And the little fucker knows it, which is why he does as he pleases about twice a year and leaves me hanging. Do you mind too much?" She pouted very prettily and bat her eyelashes.

Willow giggled. "Of course not, Lilah. I only had some personal stuff I was going to do later. It can wait, I promise."

"How 'bout I throw in a trip to Elizabeth Arden? I'll get you a ticket on the Concorde and you can spend what's left of today at my favourite spa and you'll be rested and relaxed for tomorrow?"

"Really Lilah, that's not…"

"I take care of my people, Willow. You do for me, I do for you, deal?"

Willow smiled, "Of course."

Lilah looked a little sad for a moment, "I wish I could go. I've got a… sort of a friend," she smiled then laughed "More of a sex toy really, in New York. He's GORGEOUS. You wouldn't believe it."

"So why aren't you going?"

"Editor's meeting bright and early tomorrow." She sighed. "Oh, well. He's in Europe often, travels a lot for his job. I'll get over it. You have anyone you can visit with tonight?"

"Well, I really should go and thank Ethan for getting me this job."

Lilah smiled, "You be careful of Ethan. He may look like a teddy bear, but that man is ruthless. His partner is even worse." At Willow's confused look, Lilah explained, "Ethan's been partners forever with a smart, cultured man by the name of Rupert Giles. Sounds boring and harmless, doesn't it? Behind his back, people call him 'Ripper'. Don't let that impeccable demeanour fool you. He's a barracuda."

Willow smiled, now eager to meet this infamous partner of Ethan's. "Don't worry, Lilah, I'm pretty smart myself."

"That's why I hired you." Lilah told her as Willow headed out the door to catch a plane to New York.

2:55 pm

With the time difference, Willow had arrived in New York an hour before she left London. The first thing she did was call Xander and leave a message on his cell phone. Then she called Ethan and asked his secretary if he had time to see her this afternoon. Since Lilah had called Ethan and told him that Willow was on her way, the secretary told her to come right over. She met them as they were leaving for lunch with Rupert Giles' lawyer, a very handsome man with wavy brown hair who introduced himself simply as Lindsey and then flirted with her all throughout lunch. As they were leaving the restaurant, Lindsey invited her out dancing this evening and with a huge smile, she accepted. Ethan put her in a taxi as Rupert grabbed Lindsey's arm, warning him that the girl was a friend of a dear friend of Ethan's and if Lindsey's hand so much as strayed too low while they were dancing, said hand would no longer be attached in the morning. Lindsey gulped, then nodded.

It was now almost three and Willow was at the red door of Elizabeth Arden, steeling her self for the pain of her waxing by remembering that she wouldn't have to shave for a month after this was completed. As always, it worked.

10:11 pm, Merdini's club

Willow was having an unbelievably awesome time with Lindsey. He was the perfect gentleman, he was even making sure she didn't drink too much. She was enjoying the company of his co-workers as well; she didn't know that he'd invited them at the last minute to keep himself from being alone with the gorgeous redhead he'd been warned about.

It was nearing midnight and Willow was near exhausted. She'd just finished a fast jive with Lindsey and she needed sleep. She was about to call it a night when she spotted him - that hunk from the club in Prague - and star of her most erotic dreams lately. She grabbed her purse, telling Lindsey she was about to drop from jet lag and let Lindsey escort her to the door.

Tuesday April 20

Willow got off work at three andd headed to Harrod's to pick up some new clothes for work and a new travel case for her lingerie. All this travelling was beginning to wear on her vintage luggage. She saw the television crew on the street in front of the world famous store and reminded herself to call Dawnie to see if she ended up on the evening news.

Wednesday April 28 7:30 pm - Madrid, Spain

Willow had been here for three days already and was tired of looking at her computer screen. She was determined to spend at least one night outside of her hotel room. Tomorrow's session didn't start until after lunch so tonight she'd go out. She hadn't been a regular at nightclubs in Boston but her travels recently had renewed her passion for dancing. She asked the concierge where a good restaurant that had American food was, determined to eat some comfort food and then go dancing.

The waiters at Red, White and Blue were mostly American and told her about a club just down the street where most of them went after work. The music was hot and the beer was cheap. Some of them were headed there after their shift ended in half an hour and asked Willow to join them. She spent about an hour walking around the plaza and gazing in the shop windows before she headed over. Gina and Rosa introduced her to their boyfriends before heading out but Paul and Ben, her waiter and his boyfriend from the restaurant introduced her to their crowd. The music was indeed hot and continuous and Willow spent the better part of an hour being led through one dance after another. She'd never felt so exhilarated.

The music and the alcohol and the heat were making her high. She couldn't stop smiling; she turned and bumped into someone, offering an apology offhandedly while looking for Ben. "Excuse me, I -" they both said at the same time.

Blue eyes, blond hair, shoulders that went on for days.

Oh. My.

She was desperately trying to think of something to say but all she could think of were the dreams. Before she stopped to think about it, she stood on her tip toes and wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him down for a kiss.

It was going to be a quick little dream kiss. Until shocks rocked her body and his arms went around her waist and suddenly he was kissing her back. Opening her mouth with a gentle sweep of his tongue and she wanted to crawl inside him and never come out.

And that was bad.

She heard Ben's voice behind her and pulled quickly away, turning and grabbing onto Ben's outstretched hand and letting him pull her onto the dance floor.

"Willow, hermosa, do you not know who that was?"

"He… I… but… no, who was that?"

"Nina dulce, that was Spike."


Ben laughed. "Only you would not know who Spike is! He's a model; a world famous super model. And he was kissing you like he wanted to devour you!"

"Spike! Spike? Spike as in William?"

"What?" Ben asked, but it was too late. She was gone, running as if the bulls were at her heels.

Part III

Chapter 9


Willow, just running in the back door, answered the phone.



"No, I'm sorry, Dawn's busy, can I take a message?"

"Who is this?" Spike asked. The voice was too young to be his mum's and vaguely American. "Is this Willow?"

"Yes, who - oh! Will?" Willow's face flamed but Spike couldn't tell that on the phone - thank heavens.

"Yeah," he said, smiling. "Nice to finally speak to you. I've heard so much about you." He couldn't help teasing, in retaliation for having to explain what a Brazilian wax was to his sister, "Even heard about your personal hygiene, Luv, and let me tell you, that left me with some right nice daydreams it did."

"What?" she was confused for a moment but he - thankfully - moved on.

"So is my sis too busy celebrating her birthday or can I speak to 'er?"

"She's busy. Talk to me instead."

She sounded… playful. Very few women were ever comfortable enough with him to be that carefree. But then, most of them - hell, all of them - wanted something from him in return, whether it was his attention, his money, or the few moments they got to stand in the fast lane while they were on his arm. They were all a bit pathetic now he thought about it.

But this was just Willow, his friend from childhood.

"Heard you got a nifty new job over there."

"Oh yeah, its kind of nifty, yes. Lets me travel a lot and see the world. Something I've always wanted to do. And I'm closer to Oma now, and she's the only family I have anymore."

She sounded wistful and Spike wanted to break her out of that mood.

"From what I hear from Dawnie, she'll be proposing marriage any time now and then you'll have lots more family. We've got them all over Yorkshire and Devon with a few batty Scots thrown in there somehow. I think they'll like you."

Willow couldn't help but blush and smile. He thought she was likable - that was a good start. Wait until he found out she was the girl that had kissed him in that club. Liars, even by omission, are not generally likeable people.

But he'd been a friend, was still, in a way, even if they'd not seen each other in many years. Lying was not a good way to renew the friendship.

"I'm the girl that kissed you, but I didn't know it was you," she blurted. "Will or Spike, or whoever you are, I don't know."

She thought he'd either be oblivious to what she meant - didn't he have a million girls a day stealing kisses? Or he'd be furious about the liberty she took with a man who, as far as he knew at the time, she'd never met.

Instead, she heard some screaming too loud and indistinct to really understand what he was saying. Then his voice calmed again.

Into the phone he ordered, "Hang up the phone, then don't move. I'll be on the next plane."

With a click, he was gone.

Willow hung up the phone with a wary expression. This did not bode well, in her opinion.

Chapter 10

He had to wait three hours for the next plane to Heatherow. This gave him time to think and pace the airport, making the other passengers a little afraid of this crazy-eyed man who may be a terrorist, might be on drugs - all kinds of possibilities crossed their minds.

It also gave him time to call Wes and Charlie. Charlie wasn't home but he left a message saying he'd found the girl himself and Charlie would never believe who it was. He promised to fill in the details when he got back.

Wes was so thrilled to get a chance to go home for a bit that he didn't even pay attention to Spike's reason for going, he just told him to buy another ticket and he'd be on his way to the airport in three minutes.

Spike filled him in on the plane. Wes was, to say the least, skeptical. Not that Willow Rosenberg had been the one to kiss Will, what he remembered of her told him she was a very honest person.

No, it was the rest of Spike's plan that had him skeptical. The part where she fell into his arms and they lived happily ever after. Dawn had said nothing about Willow being in a relationship, but that didn't mean she wasn't in one.

And that was only Obstacle Number One. There were sure to be others.

The plane landed on a star-filled night with a bright full moon shining down on them. They had to wake up the bloke at the car rental stall but it took no time at all to get on the road in a shining black convertible. Wes wondered about the practicality of convertibles in London, notorious for its damp weather, but he didn't say anything. Spike wouldn't have heard him anyway.

He was so intent on getting to Willow that he'd gone into what Wes called his "Small Child Mode"; the mood where he wanted what he wanted when he wanted it and there was no stopping him or reasoning with him until he got it. So he remained silent in the passenger seat, holding on for his life as Spike raced through the streets of London, then out into the countryside.

He dropped Wes off at his parents house and then roared out of sight, on down the road to his mum's house. His family was surprised but happily awoken at four in the morning by Will's pounding on the door. It took them a bit to discover the reason for this impromptu visit, but finally Dawn got it and sent Will over to Willow's grandmother's house before she went back to sleep.

He didn't pound on the door there. Rather, he climbed up the trellis of summer roses like he'd done a thousand times as a child, to creep into Willow's room. He was deciding on the best way to wake her as he climbed over the sill, but her voice made the decision unnecessary.

"I've been waiting for you." She sat up and switched on the lamp by her bed, basking the room in a soft pink glow. It reminded Will of one of the dreams he'd had about her.

He reached for the bottom of his shirt, about to pull it over his head, when he stopped.

"I have to make love to you," he explained. "Right now, right this very instant. I've been having these dreams, you see…"

Willow pulled the blankets back and scooted over to make room for him.

"I've been having those dreams myself." He was smiling, but not undressing. "Now hurry up before I have to come over there and smack you."

"Promise?" Will asked as he sat on the bed and removed his sneakers and socks.

It wasn't like the dream. In the dreams, everything was ethereal and done with just a thought, but this - this was so much better. Flesh and sweat and sighs and the incredible warmth of being inside made the memories of the dreams float away.

This was real, incredible. Kisses like candy and skin like velvet. Her legs - real, non-dream legs, wrapped around his waist were the most spiritual experience of Will's life.

They made love all morning and then talked about everything. Nothing had really changed, in spite of the ups and downs of their lives, they were still the same two people that had been best friends all those years ago. They tried to pretend that this was just a one night stand, but by noon they'd even given up that pretext. This was destined, anyone could see that. They figured the dreams were just their subconscious mind telling them to get a move on.

Eventually they came out from under the drugging passion and they went downstairs to greet Oma and run back to Will's house to explain things to his family as well.


The interviewer was full of all the usual questions. Yes, yes, no, blahdy blah blah.

Then he came out with a new one.

"Rumour is you're getting married. Care to comment?"

"There is no truth to that rumour at all." He looked toward Willow and beckoned her to him, taking her hand and showing the interviewer the diamond wedding ring on her finger. "Got married last month; you blokes are slowing up."

The photographer signaled Spike for the next session.

"I'll leave you in Willow's capable hands. Anything you need to know, she can answer. She knows me better than I do. She's the best thing about me."

The End