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 17. Playing with Fire

Chapter Notes: First of all, thank you so very much to all of you who took the time to review, knowing you’re enjoying the story (even with Angel looming on the horizon) makes me very happy. I know I’ve been stringing you with the idea of him returning, but the thing is that this story took a life of its own and has changed so much from the original idea, that I haven’t been able to bring him into the story in a plausible way. Soon, though, just have to take care of a few details first. ;) Also, I answered all reviews for chapter 16, finally, and I’ll be getting to the ones from before as soon as I can.
Second, this chapter is dedicated to my awesome sister and beta extraordinaire, Tina, because she said she was in the mood for… hmm, what’s coming in the chapter. I was at a crossroad, and she twisted my arm to go the way I finally did and well, I can’t say no to her, now can I? ;)
And last but not least, thank you to Vara, Carrie and Beth, all who in one way or the other helped me with this chapter. Love you, girls!


The fire which enlightens is the same fire which consumes. ~ Henri Frederic Amiel


“What do you mean we’re stranded here?” Wes inquired.

“Exactly that, sir,” the coachman replied. “The rim is broken and by the time I get to the nearest town to fetch the local wheelwright and come back, it’ll be too dark to fix it. That is if I even find one in that poor excuse of a town we passed by about two miles ago.”

Wes cast a shaky hand over his face as he tried to rein in his growing fear and desperation. If he’d been alone, he could have cared less over this happening. Well, not as much at least. But the fact remained that he wasn’t, and it was anyone’s guess as to what or who they might encounter if they stayed here much longer.

“The way I see it, we have two options,” Fred stated matter-of-factly. “We could take one of the horses and ride back to the small town we just went past, hire a carriage and return to London, or stay the night at the inn I saw there.”

“Win—Lady Winifred,” he amended, remembering they weren’t alone at the last moment. “There’s a slight problem with those suggestions of yours.”

“Oh, really?” She raised an eyebrow at him, crossing her arms beneath her breasts. “And what might the problem be, Mr. Wyndham-Pryce?”

“First of all, neither of the horses is saddled, nor are you dressed in appropriate clothes to go riding and even if you were, there’s no telling if we’d find a carriage for hire there. Plus, it’s almost dusk and we’d never make it back to London before it is completely dark. That’s without taking into account that we might find footpads or highway men along the way and I’m not about to expose you to any danger,” he replied.

“First of all,” she half-mocked his words. “I’m perfectly aware of how I’m dressed so I wasn’t suggesting I ride one of the horses, not that I couldn’t if it’s absolutely necessary, but rather that you rode us both on one horse back to the inn. And if it’s not possible to return to London tonight, I’m quite sure we can stay at the inn and return home early tomorrow morning.”

His eyes glazed and he felt his manhood stir in his breeches at the thought of having her in his arms, her back pressed to his front even if only for the two miles or so until they reached the damned inn and had to mentally slap himself to continue. “That’s out of the question. The inn you saw probably doesn’t even qualify as one and it most assuredly is not an appropriate place for a lady of your social status, not to mention you’re un-chaperoned.”

“Oh, please. Enough.” She rolled her eyes at him. “And stop with the appropriateness of it all. I’m perfectly aware of how inappropriate it is without you reminding me, but I don’t see you offering any solutions or am I mistaken?”

The worst part of it all was that she was right; there were no other viable alternatives to their plight, at least none that came to mind. Returning to London this late on a moonless night and not knowing the roads well was madness. Spike would have his head and probably something else he valued just as much if he risked his sister in such a way; not that he thought staying with her at the inn would be that much better for him in the end, but at least they’d be relatively safe.

Knowing he was defeated, Wes heaved a long, suffering sigh, nodding before extending his right hand towards the front of the carriage with a flourish. “Alright, milady, shall we go then?”

“Thought you’d never ask,” Fred responded with a beaming smile, walking with him towards one of the horses that the coachman had already unhitched from the vehicle.

Wesley mounted the equine, and with a little help from the coachman and the footman, they managed to lift Lady Winifred onto the animal’s back without ruining her dress. They set off en route to the inn with the footman following them on the other horse which kept a bit of distance from the pair while the coachman stayed behind with the broken carriage.

*~*~*~*~*~*

In the meantime, in Buffy's garden...

Her eyes misted while she nodded her acquiescence to his proposal and he slipped the ring onto her finger. She smiled through her tears, throwing her arms around him and kissing his face repeatedly, a whispered, “Yes, yes, of course I will,” all she managed to say before he captured her mouth in a searing kiss.

Buffy’s words echoed inside Spike’s head as he plundered her mouth with his tongue, swallowing her capitulation, her acceptance, anything and everything she was willing to give him.

Needing to feel all of her against him, he wrapped his arms around her tiny waist and without breaking the kiss, raised them both to a standing position, slowly leading them towards a nearby oak tree against which he pressed her, molding his hard body to her soft curves.

She was thankful for the support William and the tree trunk at her back provided her, otherwise she probably would’ve crumpled to the ground by now. The sensations coursing through her body were heightened by the knowledge that he loved her. And not only that, but loved her enough to tell her the truth of their engagement, going as far as to offer freeing her from a betrothal that at one time she’d seen as nothing less than hell on earth. To give her the opportunity to decide for herself what she wanted for her future. To tell her he would step aside and abide to her decision, no matter how much it would affect him.

One of his hands came up to cup her cheek and jaw, tilting her head back a little, while the other raked into her hair. Meticulously, he pulled off each pin that held it up and threw them down carelessly, moaning into her mouth as her golden mane tumbled down her back and he could finally relish in the silky feel of it as it caressed his fingertips.

Her arms twined around his shoulders, hanging on to him for dear life as she surrendered to the sinful promise of his mouth as it traveled down her neck, worshiping her flesh with moist kisses and little nips that turned her knees to jelly while she panted, biting her bottom lip trying to repress the mewls that came unbidden.

The small noises that she made, however muffled, were driving him crazy and he doubled his attentions to her jugular, making her shiver and arch into him when he grazed it with his teeth. He lavished it with his tongue, biting it lightly and was promptly rewarded by a low moan.

“Tell me again,” he demanded, his lips skimming up to kiss behind her ear, his fingers coasting down her throat slowly, reveling in the way her pulse thumped wildly against them. He then lowered his hand to play with the satiny border of her dress, dipping slightly beneath the fabric, the satin feeling rough to the touch in contrast to the silky smoothness of her skin.

“T-tell you w-what?” she asked breathlessly, unsure of what he wanted her to say.

“That you’ll marry me; that you… care for me, even if only a little bit.” He pulled a little away from her, cocking his head to the side in the way that she loved as he waited for her answer.

“I will, I do,” she replied in a resolute tone as she gazed adoringly into his bluer than blue eyes which held hers in awe. Marrying someone else was completely out of the question for her. She didn’t know why or cared how, but he had taken residence inside her heart, her soul, every inch of her. Her feelings for him grew with each second that passed, with each kiss they shared, with every little bit more of himself that he allowed her to see. She didn’t just care for him, but at the same time was afraid to put a label on it right now. She was still trying to come to terms with the realization that whatever she felt for William was a thousand, no, at least a million times more powerful than anything she’d ever felt for Angel.

He half-expected her to skirt around the issue, to deny her words from earlier and was pleasantly surprised when she didn’t. She’d told him she cared for him, perhaps not in as many words, but she had. The way her emerald green depths softened when she looked at him, how she responded to him, so passionately, so sweetly gave him hope that one day she might reciprocate his feelings and for now, that was all he wanted, all he needed.

Irresistibly drawn to her, he kissed her again and again, devouring her mouth with his, tasting her, savoring her, committing this moment to memory so he could remember it until the last of his days.

*~*~*~*~*~*

This was torture. Plain and simple torture; there was no doubt in Wes’ mind about it. And why would there be when the object of his affections was currently nestled between his thighs, half-turned towards him. His arms were wrapped around her torso to hold the bridle, brushing them against the underside of her breasts every once in a while, no matter how much he attempted not to.

He tried his best to keep his eyes from straying down to the impressive view of her décolletage that he had in his position. Tried and failed miserably as they treacherously wandered to assess her… attributes time and time again.

Fred reveled in the wondrous sensation of being surrounded by Wesley’s masculine scent, by his strong arms. It didn’t matter that she had to somewhat force the situation, not if this was the end result. Or that they weren’t truly alone, or even that knowing him, he wouldn’t take advantage of the situation.

Or perhaps with a little encouragement he just might, she thought when she felt his hardened length pushing against her derriere. It was obvious that her nearness affected him on a physical level, so perhaps she could focus on that. Focus on driving him up the proverbial wall, on making his control shatter and break into a million pieces.

He made an effort to concentrate on anything but the woman in his arms. On anything that would prevent him from making a fool of himself. But everything went to hellfire when Winifred twisted her upper body slightly towards his, burrowing further against his body as she fell into slumber. That wasn’t too bad, it even felt… nice that she trusted him enough to fall asleep in his arms.

The truly torturous part began when he felt her fingers ghosting up and down his chest. He’d braved a look at her face, sure she was awake and privy of what she was doing to him only to find her lashes covering those gorgeous brown eyes of hers, her face devoid of any expression, her breaths even and steady and he simply couldn’t bring himself to wake her, to put a stop to her actions.

He wished the trip to the inn would last longer and at the same time, he wanted it to be over with. The beautiful woman in his arms, the sweet torment of having her warm, luscious body pressed against his in a way he’d only dreamt about until then, and the small hand on his chest unconsciously driving him insane with lust were wreaking havoc on his control. He had to struggle to remind himself the reasons why he couldn’t just take what, or rather who, he wanted.

*~*~*~*~*~*

Spike’s fingers continued teasing the edge of her bodice, his lips once again straying away from hers and down the slender column of her throat to taste the other delights her body had to offer him.

He was drunk off her ardent responses to his caress, in how her tiny hands tunneled inside his hair as she pressed herself against him. Her moans no longer hushed as she allowed him to sweep her away in a whirlwind of love and desire, and it only inflamed him further, making him forget about everything that wasn’t her.

His touch set her ablaze, every nerve in her body sensitized, thrumming with her need for him as she tried to get closer. Buffy fell into the spell he was weaving around her, forgetting about propriety, about decorum as his fingers grazed the underside of her breast at the same time he peppered moist kisses on her collarbone.

He yanked her dress down to reveal more of her creamy mounds to his eyes, his mouth watering at the sight of her rosy buds temptingly peeking beneath her chemise. Unable to help himself, he lowered his lips to capture a tender nipple between them, groaning at his first taste of her scrumptious breast, suckling and nibbling on it, his shaft hardening inside his pants as she squirmed and arched towards him.

The emotions he was eliciting in her were like nothing she’d ever experienced before. She could feel every tug, every pull of his mouth all the way to her womb, converging, tightening, coiling deep inside her and making her want for something she couldn’t quite understand, but wanting it all the same.

He dared to look at her face and a shiver of pure, undiluted yearning ran through him at the sight of her heavy-lidded eyes fixed on him, her cheeks flushed with her passion, her lips bee-stung by his kisses, her hair in wild disarray framing her pixie features.

“William,” she murmured breathily, her voice husky with her need and he kissed his way upwards to savor his name on her mouth, losing himself in the moment.

He bent his knees slightly, one of his hands teasing her nipple into an impudent little spike while lowering the other to the hem of her dress, the under-dress and petticoats to slowly, sensuously drag them up. The feel of her silk stockings beneath his fingertips as he moved them up and down her calf—bringing it up to wrap around his thigh— was almost enough to make him come.

“You’re so beautiful,” he whispered against her lips. “So warm, so… mine.”

“Oh God.” Yes, she was his. Was there any doubt when she could barely remember her own name whenever he kissed her? When everything ceased to exist except the two of them?

He stopped kissing her, his forehead resting against hers as he gazed deeply into her eyes. “Tell me, Buffy, tell me you’re mine.” He wanted, needed to hear the words tumbling from her lips.

*~*~*~*~*~*

Wes was quite thankful when they finally arrived at their destiny. There was only so much he could endure without his tightly-reined control snapping, after all. As it was, he felt he was on the verge of doing something that could be considered monumentally stupid, like kissing Winifred. Not that he thought his advances would be welcome, but he was getting to a point where he didn’t care as much over a tiny detail like that one.

Perhaps he should take a page off Spike’s book and just take what he wanted without caring about the possible consequences.

Fred was having a hard time keeping her breathing even, the feel of his hard muscles flexing beneath her fingertips, his heart beating wildly inside his chest, his manhood pressing against her were all making her feel dizzy with need. She was well aware she was playing with fire, but for once, she wanted nothing more than to be burned.

He stopped the horse in front of the inn and looked down at her slumbering face. He didn’t want to wake her, but it wasn’t as if he could do anything about it. It was providential when he saw her eyelashes flutter and then open, her eyes slowly focusing on him while she yawned then blushed prettily as she noticed her surroundings.

“Oh, I’m so sorry, Wesley. I didn’t mean to fall asleep on you. What must you think of me now?”

“Er, n-nothing. I don’t think anything, i-it just happened. I-I… truly didn’t mind, Winifred. I swear.” Of course he didn’t mind. If anything he just wished it’d lasted longer, even if the ride had turned somewhat painful with as hard as he was currently.

She smiled sweetly at him. “If you’re sure, I’ll have to thank you then. You have a pair of very comfortable arms,” she batted her lashes at him. A little flirting wouldn’t hurt her case, not with him being so flustered.

“Th-thank me?” He blinked, a thousand ways in which he’d love her to thank him came unbidden to his mind, further arousing his lust. So much so, he knew he had to get inside the damned establishment before he did something he might regret later.

Then she did something that he didn’t expect… “Yes,” she leant forward, placing a kiss on his cheek, a kiss so light that he almost thought he’d imagined it.

“Now, are you going to ask the inn-keeper for rooms or are we going to spend the night here?” she added teasingly, ecstatic at the slightly glazed look in his eyes. Promising, very promising.

“O-of course,” he shook his head to clear it, dismounting from the horse before extending his hands towards Winifred, who immediately slid into them, placing her hands on his shoulders for leverage and making him grab her by the waist. The momentum brought their bodies flush and he had to restrain himself not to kiss her breathless as he peered into her upturned face. It would be so easy.

However, Spike would have his balls if he tried to do anything to sully his sister’s reputation, wouldn’t he? He thought back to the conversation they’d had earlier that afternoon and while the duke had encouraged him to act upon his feelings for Winifred, he had the feeling he hadn’t meant for him to do it in the way he was wishing he could.

He took a step backwards, away from the temptation of her mouth, clearing his throat. “Right then, shall we then?”

“We shall, kind sir,” she beamed at him, taking his arm as they stepped inside the inn.

*~*~*~*~*~*

Buffy was drowning in the deep blue depths, in the myriad of feelings she saw swirling amidst them. She felt as if she were on the edge of a precipice, his mouth and hands bringing her closer and closer to the border of something momentous. What? She wasn’t certain, but it scared her at the same time that it made her long, yearn, crave for whatever it was.

“I-I… yes, yes, yours,” she avowed, shaking like a leaf. Her blood rushed like molten lava inside her veins as he claimed her mouth once again and she was lost, adrift in an ocean of never-ending passion.

His hand skimmed higher along her leg, grazing the naked flesh of her thigh where the silk stocking ended, moaning huskily as he began rocking his hips against her.

She was too far gone to protest when his hand brushed against her soft folds. Her body clamored for something only he could give her as she clung to his biceps, digging her fingernails in his coat.

Unhurriedly at first, he trailed his fingers up and down her slit, rubbing her clit softly then gradually picked up his pace, faster, harder, gauging her reactions to his ministrations, relishing in every shudder and quiver that wracked her tiny frame, every pant, moan and gasp that escaped from her mouth as he awoke her body to pleasure.

Spike was well aware he shouldn’t be doing this, but he couldn’t stop, not now. She was so wet, so hot, felt so good, her essence dripping onto his digits, scorching him as he strived to bring them both to completion.

His index finger circled her opening, entering her cautiously, ever mindful of her innocence. In and out; feeling her heavenly walls spasm around it as his thumb pressed against her engorged nubbin, his mouth slanting over hers, drinking in every mewl, every sigh. He was close, so bloody close, his balls tightening as he tried to stave his climax off.

She lost herself in him, in the sinful things William was doing to her. She felt as if she couldn’t catch her breath, as if her whole body was on fire. She couldn’t think, didn’t care if this was right or wrong as long as he didn’t stop. Oh please, please, don’t let him stop.

Every nerve in her body, every muscle, every single cell was attuned to him, her every thought focused on his kisses, on his caresses, in the way he groaned when she writhed against his hand.

Her snug channel constricted, her tight, velvety walls fluttering and contracting around his finger, drenching his hand with her honey as she arched, crying his name out and that was enough to make him lose any and all semblance of control as he ground his shaft against her one last time before following her into sweet oblivion.

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