Personal Attention by Jaesha

ReviewsRating: NC-17

Summary: After Spike Giles' wife leaves him for another man he falls into despair. Will Buffy be able to save him before he destroys himself?

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Chapter 26: Control and Release

Chapter Notes: Been a while...I know. It's hard to believe there once was a time when I updated on a daily basis. I'm sure I've lost some readers from my lack of updates, but it is my honest intention to finish all of my WIPs and begin some new ones. If you have a moment, a review is always welcome, good, bad or indifferent. Luv, Jae


Long after the water had cooled, Buffy continued to sit in the large copper tub, reflecting heavily on the recent turn of events. Her world had been thrown upside down despite her desperate attempts to stay on that familiar path. Of course, it was now that she was finally realizing that the familiar path would have taken her to Purgatory and she would have become lost in the gray ether indefinitely.

In some ways, she still wished for it. But that was really just the fear talking.

It threw her off kilter; these new, powerful waves of emotion. Happiness, sadness, fear, passion, all hitting her at once. It made her heart race and adrenaline rush through her once-frozen veins, stabbing at the core of her like a thousand knives.

A bubble of laughter burst out of her and echoed in the spacious bathroom. Just before she had left to go on the tour, she remembered Dawn saying something about parts not working from lack of use. And that's what this was. The pain in her chest was from her heart learning to beat again, to live and thrive...to love.

Love.

She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. It was going to take as much work to let herself love as it was to let herself be loved, but she wanted---no, she needed to try. The idea of letting someone in, though, felt like a free fall out of a plane with no parachute and she shivered from the race of fear up her spine.

It didn't matter that Spike was dependable or trustworthy. As far as Buffy was concerned, all bets were off when it came to having a relationship with her. Her track record for keeping people around was rotten to the core. Even when she had tried to make it work, she always ended up driving them away.

Tilting her head, she listened to the muted sounds of a guitar and smiled when she heard the familiar timber of Spike's voice.

They were so night and day, and Buffy often wondered what he saw in her. He was a poet at heart, words coming so easily to him, letting him speak his deepest thoughts to the world. The singing and musical talent were just added bonuses to the package. Then there was her. Plain, boring Buffy, who was as far from artistic as one could possibly be. They didn't make much sense together on paper, but she could not deny the spark between them.

And he loved her.

It occurred to her that it was strange that she wasn't questioning the sincerity of Spike's declaration of love. After all, she had trusted Parker when he'd told her he loved her and that turned out to be a big, fat lie. In the end, though, Buffy knew Spike's feelings for her were real. She could feel it, in the way he looked at her, in his soft touches.

Looking down, she realized she was turning a very unnatural shade of blue, though she really hadn't noticed the cold. Too lost in thought, probably. Pulling the stopper, she stood up and grabbed the towel Spike had left on the stool, wrapping it around her body and tucking one corner in to keep it fastened.

The floor was surprisingly warm for tile as she made her way to the door. She peered out into the front room, expecting to see Spike sitting on the couch, but he was nowhere to be seen. The soothing sound of his voice alerted her to the fact that he hadn't left and she quickly set off to find him.

Through an ornate archway, she found the master bedroom. The door was slightly ajar, letting a soft glow of light filter around the hard edges. She gently pushed the door open enough to peek inside and she gasped at what she saw.

The room was spacious with a high ceiling and tall windows and in the center of it was an enormous cherry wood four-poster bed with coppery-toned bedding. The flickering light from the fireplace threw shadows against the room and across Spike's relaxed form.

He was cross-legged in the middle of the bed, a black acoustic guitar in his lap, his eyes closed as he plucked heavy notes from the thick strings. Faded blue jeans that had seen better days encased his legs and slim hips, but the rest of his lean body was bare. His skin glowed golden in the firelight, giving her a glimpse of what could be if he chose to play under the sun a bit more.

"You gonna stand there all night an' stare at me, luv?"

Buffy squeaked in surprise. "Maybe."

He glanced at her through his eyelashes, his head still angled towards the guitar. "Well, if it's a show you want..."

"I believe you promised me one," she replied, remembering the very suggestive remark he had made earlier that day.

"I'm not one t' disappoint," he told her with a wicked smirk. "Now, get in here, you're makin' me nervous hoverin' at the door like that."

Making him nervous? What about her? Sitting on a bed that looked like it was made with nothing but sin in mind looking like sin himself... That was enough to get her knees shaking and her heart pounding. She was pretty sure she had the market of nervousness cornered.

There was a rich, rust-colored chaise in the corner and Buffy padded across the plush carpeting to it, sitting down carefully so as not to dislodge the towel wrapped around her small frame. She was in a precarious situation, being half naked in Spike's bedroom, and she wasn't sure she trusted herself enough to sit on the bed with him. Oh, she wanted to, but the temptation to give into her desires was overwhelming.

He grinned at her. "What's the matter, luv? Afraid I might take advantage o' you?"

A familiar protest rose in her throat, but she quickly swallowed it back. She kept having to remind herself that she wasn't trying to push him away anymore, that the whole point of this was to embrace how she felt and open up. It had sounded so easy in her head, but the reality was that she had spent years building up those defense walls and they weren't going to come tumbling down in one effort.

"I'm not afraid, but maybe you should be," she replied dryly.

Spike's smile fell, his gaze turning quizzical. "What's this about now?"

"I just realized that what a ho-bag I've been."

"A what?"

Buffy sighed. "Every time we've ever done anything physical, I was the one who initiated it. If anyone would be taking advantage it would be me."

He held his breath as he regarded her statement, his eyes darting off towards the ceiling as if the heavy wooden beams above held some sort of looking glass into the past. "Uh-uh," he said, shaking his head. "I seem t' recall bein' the aggressor at least twice. Besides, I like it when you take advantage o' me. Let's me know that you still want me."

Her eyebrows shot up. "Still want you? Jesus, Spike, I haven't wanted anyone as much as I want you. The things you make me feel... Why do you think I'm sitting over here? I can't control myself around you."



******







Squeezing his eyes shut, Spike silently willed for the strength to keep from jumping off the bed and showing her just how much what she had said affected him.

"Is that a bad thing?" His voice was a bit too shaky for his liking, but thankfully, Buffy didn't seem to notice.

"Yes... No..."

He couldn't stop the annoyed glare that he shot at her from across the room. Why did she always have to talk in circles? That was their problem from the start. She would say one thing and mean another or she wouldn't commit to an answer at all, either way, Spike was thoroughly confused most of the time when it came to their conversations. And this one was no exception.

Obviously seeing his frustration, Buffy threw up her hands and expelled a heavy sigh. "You want me to give you a straight answer all the time, Spike, but it's not that simple."

"Then explain it t' me! I can't read your mind, pet."

She stared at him for a long minute before the wall finally came down again. "It takes so much energy to stay in control all of the time. God, I get tired just thinking about it. But when I'm around you and I just lose it... It's like a weight being lifted off my chest and I can finally breathe again."

"I'm sensin' a 'but' there."

"The 'but' is that eventually the world comes crashing back down on me and I get scared. The bad part about losing my control around you is that in the end, I always hurt you. So, yeah. Yes and no," she told him.

The idea of control was foreign to him. From the day he was born he had been ruled by emotion and he had as much control over that as he had over the Earth circling the sun. It was all about how he felt and never about how he should have felt, all about how he reacted and never about how he should have reacted. He never said what he supposed to, at least, according to the scores of publicists and record executives that had come and gone through the course of his musical career.

That might be why when Buffy spoke of this unfaltering control, he just didn't get it.

"Why does the world have t' come crashin' down at all? Why can't you jus' let it go, Buffy?"

He could tell by the expression on her face that she was feeling a bit defensive. So, it wasn't any surprise what she said next.

"Because the world doesn't revolve around my stupid fantasies or yours."

"Fantasies, huh?" He chuckled, finding this new insight into her positively delicious.

Buffy rolled her eyes. "It's not funny."

"No? Have you listened t' yourself lately, pet? Life isn't bloody Mission: Impossible, you shouldn't take it so seriously."

"Not take it seriously? It's my life, Spike. That's pretty serious," she retorted, folding her arms over her towel-covered breasts.

"An' what? Your life is so soddin' serious that you have t' live inside a box? 'Cause that's what you're doin'." Frustrated, he ran a hand through his hair and slapped it back down on his thigh. "I got news for you, luv, that's not a life. That's not livin' at all."

Tears began welling in her brilliant green eyes. "What am I supposed to do then, huh? Just stop worrying? Stop caring that I have bills to pay and mouths to feed and work to do? I can't just stop doing that, Spike."

"You can stop makin' that stuff your whole bloody life though!"

"I don't!"

He sucked his tongue to the roof of his mouth, making the muscles in his cheeks tense up and his chin jut out, and he shook his head. "You're not happy. Whatever you're doin', it's not makin' you happy. An' without happiness, what the hell do you have?"

"Oh, like you're so freaking happy, Spike," she replied sarcastically.

An angry response was dancing on the tip of his tongue, but he swallowed it back down. He was well aware of what Buffy was doing, whether she realized it or not, and he wasn't going to play into it. Not this time.

Shrugging, he adjusted the guitar in his lap and began thumbing a simple tune out of the instrument.

It was very obvious to Spike that she did not appreciate his brush off. She wanted an argument, that was Buffy's MO from the get-go, and if this were a month ago, he probably would have fell into her trap, but he had gotten a bit wiser to her little mind game over the past few weeks and he refused to be her excuse anymore.

"You're miserable, why don't you do something about it?" She jabbed again, that spiteful glare flushing over her normally-beautiful face once again.

Was he miserable? Maybe he had been. He would be the first to admit that Dru's leaving had throw him into a pit of hell that he had wallowed in for quite some time and he would be lying if he said he had escaped pain's clutches all together, but how he felt now nowhere compared with how he had felt then.

Miserable? Not hardly. Thoroughly frustrated, yes. Slightly mad, abso-fucking-lutely!

Instead of responding, he just arched an eyebrow and turned his attention back to the random ditty he was plucking out.

"So what? You're just going to ignore me now?"

His Pacific-blue eyes glanced up at her. "'M not ignorin' you, luv. Jus' choosin' my battles carefully an' this one you're tryin' t' start with me isn't one I'm gonna win."

"What are we? At war?"

"You tell me. You're the one goading me into fightin' with you, pet," he said flatly.

Shock washed the anger away and her face softened immediately. "No, I'm not. I'm just trying to point out that you're being a little hypocritical here. You keep talking about being happy, but you aren't happy, so why should I be?"

"I'm makin' the bloody effort."

She snorted in response.

"What do you want me t' say, Buffy? What can I say t' make you stop arguing with me?"

"I..." Her mouth snapped shut when she realized she had no retort.

It felt like they were miles apart though only a few feet separated them and suddenly, Spike couldn't take it anymore. He pushed himself off the bed and in a couple short strides, found himself standing in front of her. Intense hazel-green eyes stared up at him and for a second, he almost convinced himself to walk away. But in the end, his need won over and he swept her up into his arms.

She didn't protest as he carried her to the bed and set her down on the soft mattress. Climbing onto the high bed, he settled himself across from her so that they were facing each other.

"Fightin' with you isn't nearly as fun as it used t' be," he said absently.

Her eyebrows quirked up. "When was fighting ever fun?"

"You're bloody kiddin' me, right?" He gave her an incredulous look. "Don't tell me you never got hot when we used t' argue."

"Um, no. Not really."

Now that was a lie if he had ever heard one. There was little doubt in his mind that she got just as turned on as he did when they had bantered back and forth. "I wish I could believe that, pet."

Rolling her eyes, she shook her head at him. "Just because you got off on-"

"Oh, you better believe I got off on it. All the soddin' time. Had t' go give myself a good wank on many occasions from that sharp lil' tongue o' yours," he told her with a leer.

At first, it looked like she was going to laugh, but she must have realized that he was entirely serious about the matter because her jaw dropped open and she gaped at him. "Really?"

"Not much about you that doesn't turn me on, luv."

******





This was veering into dangerous territory again.

"Spike..." It was a warning that came out sounding more like a breathless sigh and she watched helplessly as his eyes darkened with lust.

"I've wanted you since that day I came t' your house."

"You did?" She asked, taken aback by his admission. If it were true, he had hidden it pretty well. Sure, she had some idea that there was some attraction there, but never to that extent and certainly not that early on.

He laughed nervously. "Oh, yeah. Not that I could do anythin' about it."

"What do you mean?"

"I can see that goin' well. 'Hey, I wanna offer you a job, would you mind strippin' so I can shag you into the next century?' You would've slugged me for that," he replied with a lopsided grin.

He probably had a point there.

"Then once you said yes, I couldn't very well get involved with someone who worked for me, could I?"

She grinned. "What's so different now? I still work for you."

Swallowing, he glanced away, his brow wrinkling slightly. "Yeah, about that..."

Her smile faded quickly. Where was he going with this? Was he thinking about firing her?

"Look, Buffy, I've been thinkin'... Maybe it's not such a good idea for you t' be on my payroll."

"What? Why?"

Surprise colored his face. "You're my girlfriend," he said as if it explained everything.

Buffy squeezed her eyes shut. God, she couldn't deal with this. "I don't understand, Spike. What's the problem? People in... relationships work together all of the time."

"I'm not tellin' you t' stop helpin' me. I jus' think you don't have t' be my 'assistant' in order t' do it."

Her eyes popped open and she stared at him like he had grown an extra head. "So, what? I'm supposed to do my work for free? Is that it?"

Spike put his hands up in defense. "Wait a-"

"Oh! I know! You're gonna pay me in sexual favors, right?" She clapped her hands together in mock-excitement, then her expression turned sour and she jumped off the bed, spinning around to face him. "I can't believe you!"

He opened his mouth to say something, but Buffy had had enough. She was tired and half-naked and she just didn't want to deal with it anymore. Turning on her heel, she swept out of the room and slammed the door behind her.

Running out into the living area, she quickly searched for her bag so she could get dressed. It wasn't seconds after she had reached down to grab her duffel bag that she heard Spike tear out of the bedroom and make his way down the hall.

She felt herself being yanked backward and then pushed against the wall. There was no pain, but the loud sound the action made startled her. Her breathing was heavy as she looked up into his tumultuous blue eyes.

“That’s not what I bloody meant,” he rumbled, his hands caressing her smooth shoulders. “You don’t have t’ do anythin’, pet. I’ll take care o’ you.”

“I don’t want you to take care of me, Spike. I am an adult. I don’t need someone taking care of me when I’m well enough to take care of myself,” she told him.

He searched her eyes. “Why can’t you let me take the reins? You won’t have t’ worry about anythin’. I’ll pay for your lil’ sis’s college; you won’t have t’ work.”

“No! I don’t want that,” she replied, shaking her head furiously. “If you don’t want me to work for you anymore, that’s fine, Spike, but I’m not going to be beholden to you. I’ll get another-”

“Beholden? Is that why you think I’m offerin’ t’ take care o’ you? So that I’ll have some sort o’ bloody leverage over you?” He stared at her for a long time before letting out an exasperated growl and slamming his fist against the wall. “Goddammit, Buffy! I fuckin’ love you! The only motive I have is t’ make you soddin’ happy an’ nothin’ else.”

Something inside her snapped. She wasn’t sure what caused it, but it felt like the world had suddenly dropped out from under her. Her arms flew out to grasp at the first solid thing she could find and she felt her fingers dig into the lean-muscled flesh of Spike’s shoulders.

“Buffy, are you alright? What’s wrong?” The anger in his voice had completely been replaced by concern and if anything, the ground dropped even further away.

Her eyes widened as she stared up at him. There was a reason she wasn’t supposed to kiss him, she knew there was, but at the moment she couldn’t think of it. She glanced at his lips and moistened her own before leaning in to capture his mouth.

He moaned into her mouth and wrapped his arms around her waist, hauling her up his body and holding her against the wall. Instinctively, she locked her legs around his hips, feeling the rigid column of his erection settle against her bare womanhood, making her throb with want.

Their tongues dueled as Spike pressed his body into hers, his hips rolling, making her cry out as a flash of desire went through her. His hand snuck between them and grasped one firm breast, massaging it while his thumb flicked against the rapidly hardening nipple. Her back arched from the pleasure he was creating, forcing her to break their kiss.

“Buffy... God, I want you, kitten,” he moaned as his lips skimmed over her neck, his tongue snaking out to taste her sweet skin.

She knew there was a reason why she shouldn’t be giving into her desire, but her mind was too fuzzy to work properly. All that made sense was how much she wanted him and since she couldn’t think of the reason why it was such a bad idea...

Swinging back, she pushed against the wall and sent the both of them tumbling to the hardwood floor with a smack. If Spike was hurt, he didn’t mention it, just continued to kiss and lick at the tender skin behind her ear.

Her thumbs brushed over his flat nipples, making his hips jerk beneath her and she repeated the motion. One hand slowly made its way down his chest until it finally reached its destination. Her fingers pushed the button through its hole then moved to the strained zipped and slid the little metal tab downward until she felt his cock spring out. She grasped his hardness and pumped her hand over him once.

Spike groaned loudly as he threw his head back against the floor. Using their separation, Buffy grabbed at the waistband of his jeans and yanked them down as far as her position would allow. Shifting her body, she sat up, straddling his hips so that his newly-released cock pressed up against her wet heat.

Just as she reached down to position the head of his cock at her entrance, he reached up and grasped her hips, stilling her movements. She looked down at him, a lustful haze creating a halo around his angelically-angled face.

“Buffy? Are you sure you want-”

She didn’t allow him to finish as she suddenly sank down over his erection, a moan escaping her throat as he filled her to capacity. Stealing a glance at him, Buffy could see the shock and awe on his face, his eyes wide and his mouth gaping open as if he was still stuck in that one perfect moment when their bodies joined.

Her movements began slowly, a deliberate rock of her hips against him as she worked to find her rhythm. It was a dance to music only they could hear, with its steady beat and sensual tones. The need for more friction drove her lift her hips up and then slide back down, making her throw back her head as shards of pleasure sliced through her.

The disapproving voice in her head became a distant trickle and for the first time in far too long, she just let herself go, to feel. Her hands glided up the solid muscles of his stomach and stopped to rest just below his ribs, allowing her to feel every breath, every shudder that went through him. And she reveled in his reactions, knowing that she was the cause.

Spike grabbed her hips and silently urged her to move faster. "Oh, baby...feels so...yes..."

She barely heard him, too consumed in her own pleasure to process anything beyond how he was making her feel. His hand drifted to the apex of her thighs, dipping down to rub at the needy bundle of nerves peeking out of her soft pink folds, begging to be touched. Her body jerked at the sudden jolt of ecstasy and her back arched, causing his cock to press harder against her G-spot.

"Spike!" she cried out, her thrusting becoming erratic as he pushed her closer and closer to the edge.

"That's it, luv." His voice was rough and choppy, like a violent sea, as he strained to bring her to completion. He added more pressure to his ministrations against her clit, working her nerves into a frenzy. "Jus' let it...go..."

And she did. The force of her orgasm bursting through her, sending her into a hazy euphoria that sparkled behind her closed eyes. Her body shook and twitched, making her scream his name from the sheer intensity of her physical reaction.

It was his own cry of release that finally brought her back to some semblance of reality. "Oh, Buffy. I love you. Baby, love you so much," Spike rumbled sweetly as he kissed the inside of her wrist.

Oh, God...

And the world came crashing back down.







A/N: Uh-oh... *winks*

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