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 18. Sweet Surrender

Chapter Notes: Sorry for the having taken so long to update again. Life in Casa de Mari hasn't been all that idyllic lately, what with my mother and my daughters taking turns to get sickly. Thankfully, they're on the mend by now and I finally managed to finish this chapter.

That said, I want to thank everyone that reviewed the latest chapter, I'm ecstatic you didn't mind the smutty interlude and that you're enjoying the Wes/Fred pairing almost as much as Spike/Buffy. This chapter is focused on Wes and Fred for the most part, but there's a bit of Spuffy thrown in for good measure. Hope you like it!

A million thanks to Tina for editing this chapter for me, for letting me bounce my ideas with you, for being there for me while I write or whenever I need an encouraging word. Love you, sweetie! To Vara, for taking the time to read and make wonderful suggestions so I can keep this story within realistic historic bounds. And to Beth and Carrie, who read part of the chapter when I started writing it, for your helpful advice and for being your lovely selves. This chapter is for Beth, who wanted more AAO and who is so awesome, I just can't say no to her. Love you, cariño!


“Love conquers all; let us surrender to Love.” ~ Virgil

The warm feeling that had settled inside Fred after their ride changed quickly into trepidation when they went through the inn’s front door. It was a far cry from the kind of places she was used to, but at least it seemed fairly clean. The only problem being that there was only one available bedroom and Wesley would either have to sleep in the common room or in the barn, and with the establishment’s obviously drunk patrons throwing lascivious looks her way, the thought was less than comforting. As it was, returning to the carriage and spending the night there or braving the dark roads to go back to London seemed much more appealing to her than staying in this dreadful place.

She got closer to Wesley, hiding behind him when one of the men neared her, clinging tightly to his arm and thankfully the brunet man sensed her apprehension and placed his arm protectively around her, before addressing the inn-keeper, “My wife will take the room, Mr. Sheppard. I trust there is someone who could stay the night with her?”

“Sure there is. Lynette here,” he motioned to the blonde girl standing behind the counter, “is otherwise…ahem, engaged for the night,” he said with a conspiratorial wink at Wes, his meaning obvious even to her, “but my wife,” he pointed to a woman slightly hidden in the dark, “can stay with her and aid her in anything she might need.”

Fred blanched when the woman stepped into the light, revealing a very bad skin condition and her less than clean aspect. She was no bigot but surely Wesley wasn’t thinking of leaving her alone with that woman? Just the thought of her helping her out of her clothes, of being in the same room with her…she shuddered in disgust.

Wes was having similar thoughts when he took notice of the woman’s pitiful looks and nearly gagged himself. There was absolutely no way a delicate, sophisticated lady like Winifred would allow the inn-keeper’s wife near her and he really couldn’t blame her. Lynette was only marginally better but the duties she clearly performed along with being a barmaid, made her just about as bad a choice. In addition, he’d seen the way the men in the room were eyeing his lady and he knew there was absolutely no way he could leave her alone there. It didn’t matter if he had to sleep on the floor or if he was digging his own grave with his assumptions.

“There’s no need for that, I’ve decided to spend the night with my wife,” he declared and felt Fred sag with what he hoped was relief by his side.

“Alright then, suit yourselves.” Mr. Sheppard shrugged, nonplused by the situation. He didn’t care what they did as long as they paid him what he requested. “Lynette, take the gentleman and his wife to the free room in the second floor. For an additional fee, she could set up for you a truckle bed there if you wanted.”

“That’d be perfect. Thank you,” Wesley replied with a curt nod, only moderately relieved to be provided with a bed instead of the floor, before nudging his ladylove and following the plump blonde woman upstairs.

*~*~*~*~*~*

Slowly, the lustful haze which pervaded during their encounter lifted. When Buffy finally realized how wantonly she’d responded to William, it left her feeling overwhelmed by what she just experienced and very ashamed of her behavior. She brought her hands up to her cheeks, her skin burning under her fingers as her eyes filled with tears. Oh God, what must he think of her now?

Spike came back to his senses when he heard Buffy sniffling. Afraid he’d hurt her in some way, he pulled his hand out from under her skirt, wincing when she whimpered pitifully.

Fighting the urge to lick her spendings off his fingers, he cleaned them on his breeches—after all, they were all but ruined now—and sighed before placing a finger under her chin, his heart plummeting to the floor when he noticed how hard she was crying.

“What’s wrong, love? Please tell me I didn’t hurt you,” he pleaded, cupping her face between his hands while he kissed her tears away. “`M a fool. A bad, rude man. I don’ deserve you. `M sorry, sweetheart, I shouldn’ have…” He paused when she looked back at him with a frown marring her lovely face. “What?”

“Y-you’re not m-mad at m-me?”

“Mad at you?” He cocked his head to the right. “Mad for you, most assuredly, but at you? Whatever for?”

“For this, I shouldn’t have be-behaved like this. A-a lady doesn’t act like this.”

“I don’ care about how other ladies behave, but you have absolutely nothin’ to be ashamed of.” He looked deeply into her eyes and continued, “I love that you respond so fervently whenever I kiss you, I love knowin’ that you can lose yourself in me as I lose myself in you. I don’ want a wife who is merely an adornment in my house, Buffy, I want a wife who can be my equal, with whom I can talk about everythin’ and anythin’ or just sit in companionable silence, someone I can love and who perhaps someday will love me back, someone who understands me, someone who can be as passionate as you are over everythin’ you do, over everythin’ you care about. So no, I don’ mind that you behave like you do with me, I want you to want me as I want you, unfettered and uninhibitedly.”

She blinked, her mind trying to wrap around all that William said, one thing standing out the most. “Y-you still want to marry me?” she dared to ask, fragile hope flitting through her eyes. After her shocking behavior she’d been afraid he would retire his wedding offer, but his next words belied that notion.

“Oh, sweetheart,” he chuckled at her naïveté. As if he’d be fool enough not to marry her now that he’d confirmed just how perfect she was for him, how perfect they could be together. “Of course I still want to marry you and even more after this. In fact, if I thought I could get away with it, I’d whisk you away and marry you at Gretna Green before dawn. However, you deserve more than that, you deserve a wedding at St. Paul’s Cathedral with our families and friends as witnesses, so `m willin’ to wait these two weeks we still have left before you’re truly mine, even if the waiting will probably be the death of me.”

She sagged on her feet, instinctively hanging onto his strong biceps for support, as relief coursed through her. He wanted to marry her! Even after what just happened, he still wanted her to become his bride. Wanted her in ways she’d always wished she’d be desired. Impulsively, daringly, recklessly, completely. Her world spun madly off its axis as she gravitated towards him. There was nothing else, no one else but him and suddenly all that mattered was telling him that, to give him something after he’d given her so much. Leaning forward, their lips just a hairsbreadth apart, she said softly, yet firmly, “I can hardly wait either.”

*~*~*~*~*~*

Fred sighed miserably as she observed the shadows play on the opposite wall to the bed. The small candle Lynette left for them was the only source of illumination in the room and it barely provided enough light for her to make out Wesley's form laying on a truckle bed nearby.

That had to be uncomfortable, she thought, watching him all curled up in the small bed. She had offered to share her bed with him but, as she had predicted, he said it wouldn't be proper since they weren't married. His response was not surprising; far from it. Wesley Wyndham-Pryce was nothing if not the perfect gentleman; too damned proper to be anything but that, no matter how much she wished he weren't.

Not that she was all that comfortable herself. The bed wasn't too bad, a bit lumpy but tolerable; having to sleep in her clothes was hell on earth, though. She tossed on the bed for what had to be the hundredth time that night as she tried to find a position where her corset would allow her to, at the very least, breathe. She’d thought of asking Wesley for help to take it off, but after the way he reacted to her previous offer she’d decided that it simply wasn’t worth it and resolved to sleep fully dressed. Of course, she’d forgotten how impossible that might prove to be since the damned contraption must have been invented by someone who hated women with a passion and no matter how slowly or carefully she turned around it got embedded on her ribs making it impossible to even think about sleeping.

Wes was trying his best to keep his thoughts from straying towards the brunette goddess who was in the room with him to no avail. Just knowing she was so close was wreaking havoc on his self-control.

The day had been surreal and he kept replaying it over and over in his head. His conversation with Spike, the realization that his feelings weren't as well hidden as he surmised and the knowledge that his friend favored a match between his sister and him were more than enough to rattle him to the bone. Spending time with Lady Winifred away from everything and being back in her good graces was more than he'd expected after the last couple of days. And now here they were, alone in the middle of nowhere, so close and yet so far away...heaven and hell all rolled up in one delightful little package.

He listened to Winifred move restlessly on the bed, pained sighs and muttered words that he suspected might be curses escaping from her lips every few seconds. Something was bothering her, but he wasn’t certain if he should ask her about it or just ignore it. When he heard a muffled sniffle, though, the decision was taken out of his hands. There was no way he could remain aloof if she was crying. He had to do something, anything so she would smile again.

He got up from his cot and neared her, his heart breaking when he saw her with her face hidden in the pillow to muffle the sounds she was making. He hesitated for just an instant before putting his hand on her shoulder, retrieving it promptly when he felt her tense underneath his fingertips and then called her name softly, “Winifred? Is something wrong?”

“N-nothing,” she responded without turning towards him.

He sighed, raising his eyes heavenwards while pleading for patience, before pressing her, “You’re crying, that’s hardly nothing. Tell me…please?”

“I-I…you’ll laugh.”

She threw him a sideways glance and his breath hitched in his throat at how beautiful she looked even with her lashes wet with her tears and her nose slightly red from her crying.

“I doubt I will when it’s something causing you distress.”

“Mayhap you won’t think the same when I tell you what the problem is.”

“Of course I will.”

She straightened with some difficulty and sat on the bed, her cheeks tingeing crimson and he wondered what it could be that she was having so much trouble telling him. Whatever he thought, though, it definitely wasn’t what she said next.

“M-my…corset, I can’t sleep on it. It hurts no matter which position I’m in.”

It was his turn to blush then, scratching the back of his head as he thought of how to solve this dilemma of hers. “Oh, right, of course. Perhaps you can…take it off?”

“I can’t,” she pouted and he had to restrain himself not to kiss her pout away. If only he had the right to do it.

He cleared his throat. “Erm, excuse me for asking, but why not?”

“The stays are on my back and I can’t reach them.”

“I c-could call the maid back to help you?” he provided solicitously.

“And let the inn-keeper and his…guests realize you’re not really my husband? No, thank you very much. I prefer to spend a sleepless night to that.” She shuddered visibly and he felt like a sodding git for even suggesting it.

“Maybe I can help you then?”

“You?” Her brown eyes widened in what he supposed was surprise by his offer.

“Well, it’s either that or neither of us will be getting any sleep tonight,” he teased her, trying to make light of the situation they were in. She seemed so vulnerable at the moment that it tugged at his heartstrings and he needed to make it better for her, no matter what. If it meant helping her out of her corset, then so be it, propriety be damned…even if only for tonight.

She looked at him as if he'd suddenly sprouted a second head and he couldn't help blushing again under the weight of her stare, sure it wouldn't be long now until she slapped him for daring to suggest something as outrageous as that to her. He was completely baffled when instead she answered, “I think you're right, Wesley. It would make no sense at all not to accept such a generous offer.”

Then again, she'd always been a sensible woman and she had to know he hadn't meant to disrespect her with his suggestion, only to help her.

“Right then, how should we…uhm, go about this?” he asked her, truly at a loss over how to proceed.

She stood up from the bed and presented her back to him, watching him from over her shoulder with a small, nervous smile. “You could start by unbuttoning the top of my dress.”

“Uh, yes, I suppose I could.” He swallowed hard, standing up behind her, the movement making him press his chest to her back. He inhaled deeply, her scent filling his nostrils and making him slightly dizzy with need, his hands clenching and unclenching as he fought the desire to turn Winifred around and kiss her senseless, a muscle in his jaw ticking as he tried to curb his body's very unwarranted reaction to her nearness.

His hands were shaking as he started to unbutton the row of tiny pearls, his fingers grazing the soft skin of her back as he uncovered it to his eyes. Her sharp intake of breath was music to his ears and the tiny goose bumps that erupted on her flesh were a balsam to his soul. The knowledge that his actions seemingly affected her just as much as they affected him, emboldened him, his movements turning more confident with each passing second.

Fred felt slightly lightheaded from the sensations his light touch provoked inside her, from the faint whiff of his cologne, from knowing it was him who was here with her and not just a figment of her overactive imagination. She never dared believe Wesley would be so bold as to suggest something like this—no matter how hard she wanted to believe that someday he would give in to the feelings she was certain he had for her—or that his hesitant touches would make her weak with longing and desire.

Little shivers ran up and down her spine as his fingers danced softly, tentatively over the bare flesh of her back, then her chemise and corset as he worked on the buttons of her dress. She felt his breath caress her overheated skin as he leaned forward, and she closed her eyes, sighing in yearning when he slid the short sleeves of her dress down her arms.

He was beyond caring how appropriate or inappropriate this might be as her gown slipped down her body and fell to the floor, leaving her clad in just her undergarments. Beyond caring about anything that wasn't them when she sighed as he trailed his hands down to span her diminutive waist, pulling her flush to him and the evidence of his desire. Her soft pants, the way she leaned against him, her arm worming upwards and curling around his neck when he hid his face in her hair, nuzzling it as his fingers worked on her corset stays, just about did him in. He'd wanted her for so long, too long, and having her like this, so pliant and warm and there…Oh dear Lord!

She turned around in his arms, needing to see him, make certain this wasn't a dream, that this was indeed happening and almost fainted at what she found. This was a different Wesley than the one she was used to, his hair was mussed, his glasses askew, his eyes wild and his skin flushed. He was looking at her with undiluted lust, his body tense with unrestrained desire. He wasn't reserved any longer, the mask had fallen from his face leaving a man yearning for a woman, yearning for her instead.

His lips came crashing down upon hers, unwilling to lose any more time, unwilling to lose Winifred because of his damned pride and reservations. It was high time he showed her how he felt about her, how much he loved and wanted her. Her, not her money or her titles. Her, the woman who'd stolen his heart from the first time he saw her. Her, the woman who was responding oh so passionately to his kisses, stopping only to take his eyeglasses off and throw them to the side carelessly, before twining her arms around his throat and opening her mouth under his as his hands made quick work of the rest of the stays of her corset, practically tearing it off her body when the laces tangled and refused to give in.

Twin murmurs of approval left their mouths as his fingers charted over the flimsy cotton fabric of her chemise, pulling her impossibly closer, before twisting them around and lowering her slowly to the bed.

She never imagined she could feel so much from just a kiss. Although she doubted anyone would consider this just a simple kiss. He was devouring her, claiming her, her blood turned to molten lava and her toes curled as pleasure like she'd never experienced before coursed through her.

He drew back for a second, panting, his blue eyes almost black with lust as they settled on hers, searching and finding what they were looking for as he dove in for her neck, licking and nipping a moist path down to her collarbone, down, down to the edge of her chemise, lowering it with his hands and his chin, revealing her creamy white mounds to him for the first time.

“You're so beautiful, so sweet,” he babbled between kisses; so mine, he added to himself in his mind. And she was, if only for tonight, she was his.

She bit back a moan when his stubble rasped the tender skin of her breasts, the sensation so foreign and yet so amazing making her arch her back to press her chest closer to his mouth. When she teased him before they got to the inn she never imagined it would lead to this, or that something so simple as helping her out of her corset would make his self-restraint snap, but she wasn't sorry for it, not when it was giving her this wonderful moment with the man she loved. The only man she'd ever loved. The man who was making her body sing as it came alive to desire for the first time in her life. During her thankfully very brief marriage, it had been nothing else but a duty, one she hated and had to endure until her husband died. This, however, was like nothing she'd ever experienced, like it was her first time all over again, the culmination of all her dreams and hopes, the culmination of her love.

Wes thought he'd died and gone to heaven as he feasted on the succulent rosebuds that tipped her perfect mounds, the way they hardened and puckered into delicious little pebbles as he tongued, suckled or fingered them; the small sounds that rasped her throat as he settled between her thighs, his hard manhood thrusting against her center; the sensation of her silk stockings as one of his hands wandered underneath her petticoats, coasting over her calf, up, up, until his fingers caressed the inside of her thigh. It was more than he could've ever imagined, more than he could've ever dreamed. He could care less about the repercussions this might bring upon them, she was all he could think about and the way she felt in his arms, how sweetly she'd surrendered to his passion. Her pleasure was his ultimate goal, his only goal.

“Oh, God,” she whimpered, lost in a haze of lust as his fingertips whispered caresses over her leg in slow concentric circles, climbing agonizingly slow towards her Venus mound while she dug her nails in his shoulders when his digits dove into her soft curls, clinging tightly to him as his index finger slipped between her slick folds. White hot desire converged on her womb, tightening, coiling, furling as Wes played her body expertly. “Wesley, don't stop. Wanted this, you, for so long,” she confessed.

His mouth returned to hers to savor his name on her lips, savor the sweetness of her admission, savor and swallow her every moan, mewl and ragged breath while her essence coated and drenched his fingers, burning him with her moist heat as he delved them in and out of her tight passage, his thumb circling and pressing on her clit. He hadn’t planned on letting this go as far as it had… Hell! He hadn’t planned on any of this happening, but now that it was he couldn’t bring himself to stop. Perhaps if she had responded in another way, if her luscious body didn’t arch into his as if seeking more of his warmth, if her hands rested idly on her side instead of threading into his hair or trailing up and down his back and arms as she pressed herself to him, if her walls didn’t flutter and quiver around his digits the closer she was to her climax, he might have been able to stop. As it was, it was a bloody miracle he’d kept enough of his control not to tear what was left of her garments and had his way with her, but he couldn't, not yet, not until he yielded all he had in his heart to her.

“I've loved you for so long, forever, from the first time I saw you. It's always been you, it'll always be you, Winifred,” he said in earnest, looking deeply into her chocolate brown eyes. “I know I'm beneath you, that I'm not what you deserve,” he paused, closing his eyes to stave off the wave of pain that the knowledge of not being enough for her caused him, opening them swiftly when he felt her tiny hand caress his cheek.

“You're not beneath me. You're the only man I've ever loved, the only one I want by my side.” She inched forward and kissed his cheeks, his mouth, murmuring, “Please, Wes, I need you, I ache for you, make love to me, please,” over and over and over again as she tugged on his cravat, unbuttoning his waistcoat and pulling his shirt out of his trousers and pushing both down his arms, making him relinquish his hold on her while he divested of his clothes quickly.

For as fast as he removed his clothes, barely giving her a glimpse of him in all his naked glory, he took his sweet time taking hers off. First he took one dainty foot in his hands, bringing it to his shoulder and depositing small kisses on its arch, then her calf and thigh as he skimmed his fingers along them, before rolling her silk stocking slowly down and off her leg, throwing it to the floor over his clothes and putting her leg down over the bed and repeating the same action with her other leg. By the time he'd taken them off, she was squirming, craving his touch, needing him to just take her, right there, right then.

“Wes, please…”

“Please what, sweetheart?”

She scowled at him when she saw the smirk teasing his lips, but promptly forgot about it when he put one knee on the bed and pulled on her petticoats, dragging them down her legs and leaving her dressed only in her chemise, and then joining her on the bed, laying by her side. Still too far away.

It was killing him to take things this slowly, but he wanted her to be as desperate for him as he was for her. But when she said ‘please’ again, her voice laced with longing and her gaze smoldering with passion, he couldn't contain himself any longer. His mouth came crashing down upon hers, their breath mingling as their tongues danced, his hands everywhere at once as he hauled her chemise down her body, committing every inch of her to his tactile memory.

She threw her head backwards, panting harshly as his fingers trailed over her slick entrance. Bringing her hand down, she grabbed his wrist and stopped his movements. “Please, I need you. I want to be yours completely.”

He wanted to weep, to kneel and thank the heavens for this miracle, but instead he nodded, winking at her. “Whatever my lady wants.”

Holding himself on one arm so he wouldn't crush her, Wes positioned his cock with the other against her slit, moving it along her folds to coat it with her juices, then slid the crown past her vaginal lips, hissing as her wet heat enveloped him inch by agonizing inch until he was seated as deeply inside her as possible. She was so tight, so wet, so perfect for him in every way. Sweat beads formed on his forehead and over his upper lip as he gave her time to adjust to having him inside her, gave himself time to control his urge to move, to come.

Fred brought her legs up to wrap them high around his waist, her hands cradling the sides of his face as they exchanged heated kisses, tipping her pelvis upwards as her feet pushed him down until he began thrusting in and out of her pussy, faster, harder, her walls quivering and squeezing his hardened length, imprisoning and releasing him time and time again.

He pistoned his hips at a different angle each time, grounding against her sensitized nubbin with the base of his cock every time out, smiling proudly against her mouth when she cried his name hoarsely as he found that elusive spot deep within her. Knowing he wouldn't last much longer and wanting her there with him, he brought his hand down to rub her clit then pinched it softly until she fell apart around him. Her essence baptized him, burned him, rendered him hers as he pierced into her passage once, twice before coming right behind her, toppling over the precipice and following her into oblivion.

tbc

 

A/N: I would love to know what you thought of the newest developments, if you're inclined to let me know. *bats eyelashes*

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