Against All Odds by Dusty273

ReviewsRating: NC-17

Summary: Buffy Summers is a vibrant, passionate young girl in love for the first time in her life with Angel O’Connor, to whom she’s secretly engaged. When he has to go back to his native Ireland to take care of his business, fate intervenes and she meets the very daring and impulsive Duke of Aurelius, Spike. From the moment he lays eyes upon her, he decides he wants her for himself and sets upon making it happen. Will Spike get what he wants, and if so, at what price? Written for the Spuffy_fantasy (LJ) Art-A-Thon. For the gorgeous banner made by drkdevin (Number 9).

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Chapter 11. All's Fair in Love and War

Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired. ~ Robert Frost

 

“Don’t think I didn’t notice what you and William did,” Wes said completely out of the blue, startling her out of her musings.

Fred furrowed her brow and tilted her head to the side as she regarded him, completely puzzled by his comment. “Huh? What on earth are you talking about, Wesley?”

“I’m talking about the two town carriages oh so conveniently waiting for us outside the hotel. I’m talking about you faking a migraine to leave Miss Summers and William alone.”

“Is that so, and what makes you so certain I’m faking a migraine, Mr. Wyndham-Pryce?” She raised a perfectly sculpted eyebrow at him in a manner so reminiscent of her brother it would’ve been scary if he hadn’t seen it before tonight.

“Well, you don’t look particularly—”

“Particularly what… ill?” she interrupted him. “I’ll have you know I’ve been suffering headaches for a long time and gotten quite proficient at not showing any discomfort. And about the two carriages? Not that I owe you an explanation, or anything for that matter, but William noticed I was feeling poorly during the intermission and was kind enough to send a footman to the house so they would have the other carriage waiting for me after supper, since I didn’t want to ruin our outing.”

She turned her head away from him without waiting for his answer, looking outside the carriage while sighing miserably, bringing her hands up to massage her temples which had begun to pound with a vengeance. However true—or not—his allegations were, the headache she’d claimed having was very real, and turning worse by the second.

Good Lord, why did Wes have to be such a difficult man? Couldn’t he be gallant enough to at least give her the benefit of the doubt before throwing his accusations to her face? It wasn’t like she’d ever given him motives for those.

She glanced at him out of the corner of her eye to gauge his reaction to her words and immediately wished she hadn’t. Aside from his obvious perplexity over her explanation, his face was devoid of any other emotion. And his lack of response to being alone in the carriage with her hurt her deeply; humiliation washing over her in brittle waves of disappointment.

Wes observed her intently, mulling over her reply, more than a little confused at her disenchanted expression as she looked outside the window of the carriage. Could it be that he’d been wrong all along? Most probably, it wasn’t like he hadn’t been mistaken several times just today. And it seemed that wasn’t all he’d been wrong about, he mused as he saw her rub her forehead, guilt consuming him at the thought of having worsen her condition. “Lady Winifred, I…”

“Please, Wesley. I don’t want to hear another word. I think you’ve said enough for tonight.” She gave thanks to whoever was listening when the carriage stopped in front of the Aurelius townhouse just as she was saying the last words and practically jumped out of the coach, hastily climbing towards the front door, which opened just as she reached the top step.

Wesley stayed inside the carriage for a few seconds, stunned by Lady Winifred’s words, by the pain he’d seen in her eyes—the pain he’d caused her, at least in part—just before she bolted. He had to apologize to her, make amends. Do whatever was needed to put a smile on her lovely face again, and the sooner he did that, the better.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

“See how good we can be, love? And it could be better, if you only give me the chance to win your heart.”

Buffy looked at William dazedly, blinking as her mind tried to wrap around his words. For a second as she lost herself in the intense sapphire depths of his irises, she almost said yes, that she’d give him anything he asked of her; before she remembered that she didn’t want to marry him, that he was forcing this on her.

She shook her head, opening her mouth to tell him exactly what he could do with his offer while trying to climb down from his lap—and how exactly had she gotten there?—when his arms banded around her torso, pinning her in place.

He wasn’t about to give her the chance to tell him no, to crush his hopes with her refusal. He… wanted her too much to allow that. Wanted her more than he’d ever wanted anyone else in his life. And was willing to do just about anything to convince her how perfect they were for each other, too. All’s fair in love and war, after all. And he would have her love at the end of this war; he was certain of it. She already responded so beautifully to his advances. He just had to make her see, make her realize…

Without giving himself time to think about it, he seized her mouth with his, swallowing her rejection, her every objection, his sole intention to turn them all into sweet surrender instead.

His fingers threaded through her silky hair, taking out the pins holding it up and throwing them haphazardly to the ground, her glorious mane tumbling into his waiting hands at the same time his tongue caressed her lips, once, twice, silently pleading her to part them for him, to let him in.

William did strange things to her, to her body; things which equally scared and thrilled her. Whenever he kissed her, touched her like he was doing right now, she felt her control slipping through her fingers. She’d never felt anything like this, never felt the need to give in to someone—to him—and do whatever he asked of her.

She could barely think when he was this close to her, the sensations coursing through her body too new, too all-encompassing. She tried to fight against it, against this, though. Tried to protest when he started to undo her hair, fight the shivers trailing up and down her spine when he slid his hands into it, pulling her closer to him, the tip of his tongue teasing the seam of her lips. She tried… and failed; her treacherous mouth opening under his with a tremulous sigh.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Fred was seething as she paced the length of the drawing room, her migraine only adding to her anger. Insufferable, unbearable man! She was going through all this just so they could be together. She knew he loved her, had known for years even if he’d never had the courage to tell her. And she’d all but told him she corresponded to his feelings. However, his pride ran deeper than his love for her and that wouldn’t do.

She wanted, needed, desired to be his in every way possible, but she also wanted to come first for him. To know that nothing else mattered to him. Not her social status, not her money, nothing at all.

Was that too much to ask for?

Wes observed her from the room’s entrance, completely enthralled by how beautiful she looked even as obviously enraged as she was right now. She was truly magnificent.

“What do you think you are doing here?”

“I-I…” he stammered, startled out of his reverie by her cutting words, before clearing his suddenly dry throat. “I j-just wanted to make sure you were all right.”

“I don’t need your pity, Mr. Wyndham-Pryce,” she said haughtily, her chocolate brown eyes sparkling with ire.

He was surprised by her tone, she’d never spoken to him like that before and he’d be damned if it didn’t smart more than he had thought it would, even if he was well aware he deserved her contempt.

“It’s not pity, Lady Winifred. It is concern,” he replied softly, taking a step towards her.

“You don’t need to be concerned about me.”

“I can’t stop worrying over your well being, I-I… care too much about you not to.” Her heart skipped a beat at his admission, hope flaring inside her chest, before his next words nipped it at the bud, “You and William are the only family I have.”

For a second she’d thought he would say something else, which, to be honest, was only wishful thinking on her part. He’d never given her any indication he thought differently of her, had he? No matter what William or she thought his real feelings were, he’d never admit to them.

And therein lay the problem.

She sighed disconsolately. Why did she think this plan of theirs would be a good idea? It was torture, plain and simple, and she couldn’t stay here with him any longer. She only wished William wasn’t having as much trouble with Miss Elizabeth as she was with Wesley.

“Where are you going?” he asked her when instead of answering him, she went around him and neared the door.

“Not that I have to answer that, Mr. Wyndham-Pryce, but if you really need to know, I’m heading upstairs to my chambers.” With a curt nod, she tried to leave the room, but he grabbed her arm before she could cross through the door.

“But… I thought we were talking.”

Knowing if she had to stay and listen to him telling her how much he cared for her because she was his ‘family’ one more time, she’d either end up yelling at him or crying her eyes out—and neither of those were an option she wanted to contemplate, let alone go through—she took a deep breath, freeing her arm from his grasp and glaring icily at him before replying, “And now we’re done. Good night, Mr. Wyndham-Pryce.”

And for the second time that night she left him hanging there, just watching her as she walked away from him. It hadn’t escaped his notice that she hadn’t called him by his given name, and that meant she was still angry with him.

As if her icy demeanor hadn’t clued him into that.

He’d done something to earn her wrath. What, he wasn’t sure of, but he would do anything to make things right with her again. Anything.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Spike groaned at the first tentative touch of her tongue against his, his manhood stirring inside his breeches as her soft hands coasted up his chest to circle his neck. He cupped her jaw then, tilting his head to plunder her mouth at another angle, deeper, more passionately, reveling in every little throaty moan, in every breathy sigh his actions elicited.

With difficulty and before he got too carried away, he pulled away from the temptation of her lips, both of his hands cradling her face and holding her just a hairsbreadth away from his mouth, his fingers caressing her cheeks as he gazed adoringly at her. He waited until she opened her emerald green eyes and focused them on his, before whispering fervently, “Say yes; say you’ll give me a chance, love.”

“I-I, oh God.” She closed her eyes, unable to hold his intense stare, swallowing past the lump in her throat as she tried to clear her head. How could he expect her to answer when he was so close to her, when she could barely remember what it was he’d asked of her?

“Say yes, my sweet Buffy,” William pressed, his lips brushing against hers softly.

“I… y-yes, yes,” she replied breathlessly, uncaring of what she was agreeing to as long as he kept on kissing her.

Her quivering answer resounded in his head, in his heart, in his whole body as he drank in her sweet acquiescence, getting drunk on it, in her taste. His kisses turned ravenous, his caresses more ardent as he lost himself in her.

Buffy’s heart fluttered erratically inside her chest, her blood burning a fiery path through her body, every place where he touched her tingling in the most delicious way.

A moan rasped her throat when his mouth began kissing a scorching path down her throat; the sound so foreign, so unlike anything she’d ever heard before coming from her, that it sobered her completely as the reality of what they were doing— what she’d allowed to happen—came crashing down on her.

This wasn’t right, no matter how good it felt. She had to stop it, them… now.

Pushing him away with all her might, she untangled herself from the strong grip he had on her, climbing down from his lap as if burned and putting some distance between them.

She brought her fingers up to touch her swollen mouth, still feeling the imprint of his there, branding her, smoldering her, making her long for something she’d never longed for before. Her eyes were wide with fear as she set them on his, all the while trying to make sense of the way she’d behaved, how this had happened, why she couldn’t say no to him.

William opened his mouth to speak, slowly standing up from the bench and she knew she couldn’t listen to him, nor stay there a second longer, if he touched or kissed her again, she might do something she’d regret later, something she’d surely regret later. She took a step back, then two, before turning around and running back to the house.

For a few seconds, Spike was too taken aback by her hasty escape to do anything but stay rooted to the spot while his eyes followed her until she disappeared into the house. His mind a jumbled mess of thoughts, the predominant one being that she said yes.

She said yes! True, he didn’t exactly give her a choice in the matter, but still… she agreed to give him a chance to win her and had returned his kisses sweetly, passionately. However badly this had started and yes, he knew that was his fault alone, now he had high hopes she would eventually come around and perhaps some day soon care about him as much as he cared for her.

He just had to be patient, or as patient as he could be when around her.

He’d seen the fear swirling in the emerald depths and was aware he had to take things slower than he had so far, which was easier said than done. Especially since fear had not been the only emotion present in her lovely eyes, there had been something else, something that ran deeper and made his blood boil in his veins.

Heat, desire.

It was there for him to see, to feel, to savor in her shy yet ardent responses to his passion. A small fire that grew with each caress, each kiss they shared. A fire he vowed to tend to, make it blaze into a raging inferno that would end up consuming them both in its flames.

Soon, very soon.

 

A/N: Yes, I’m very aware it was a very short chapter, sorry for that, I’ll try to make the next one longer. Try being the keyword here, since muse has been quite difficult lately.

As most of you know, my darling sister IBE is going through some rough times right now, so I beg you to keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers.

Hope you all have a lovely week!

Hugs,

Mari

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