Chapter 1: First Impressions are Everything
Chapter Notes: Sorry that I took a longer break than expected, but I made good use of the time by coming up with a better writing system for myself (which has allowed me to write like crazy over the last 3 months) so that I can post on a regular basis. My muse kicked and screamed for me to focus solely on a comedy/romance with mild angst. There will be times when you’ll hate Spike and/or Buffy and that’s okay, I intend for readers to take sides periodically and get riled up…. Hey, evil here, lol. I’m not going to pretend like I know exactly how the world of Sales works, I can only tell you that I once worked as an executive assistant to a Senior VP of Marketing & Sales for the same type of company this story mimics so that I could bring a sense of realism to it. I’ll also be making references to the TV series ‘Blood Ties’ several times throughout the story and yes, I’ve purposefully messed with the timeline of when it actually airs to serve a purpose within this fic. So for anyone who isn’t familiar with it, it’s about a vampire (good guy type hero, Henry Fitzroy… totally drool-worthy) who teams up with a female private investigator to solve paranormal cases.
There are plenty of laughs to be had in every chapter and I hope you all stick with me for the amusing and twisted ride my muse has created. Also, I haven’t forgotten about WDMC, I’m actually working on getting ahead with it so that when I do start posting again, you’ll get regular updates rather than sporadic. So for now, sit back, relax and I hope you enjoy Murphy’s Law. Thank you my darlings, Dusty273 and Sotia, for all your help, suggestions and beta sessions that without, this fic wouldn’t have gotten off the ground. I love you guys.
Late January, on a Friday evening………
They say don’t count your chickens before they hatch, but Buffy was too excited not to celebrate. Monday would bring the announcement of who would be taking over as VP of Sales at her place of employment, MDIG, Medical Doctors Internet Guide—where she worked selling space in their publications to pharmaceutical companies wanting to advertise their latest drugs and research—and there was no doubt in her mind she would be the one named.
She’d come to work there straight out of college and for the last eight years, climbed her way up to become their top sales agent. With the VP of her department now retired, she was positive she’d be given his position and the sizeable pay raise that came with it. So positive, in fact, that she moved out of her apartment yesterday and into a luxury high rise.
It was one of those too good to be true deals she simply couldn’t refuse. A fully furnished, spacious, two-bedroom apartment. Add in the Jacuzzi on the balcony and she was sold. Granted she didn’t need two bedrooms, but her plan was to convert the spare into a den. The previous occupant passed away from a sudden heart attack, his daughter skipped town without a word and the landlord was now desperate to get it rented. The price was higher than Buffy could afford, but she had the unbelievable luck of being offered a reduced rate on the first six months rent if she paid it up front. Figuring the extra income from her promotion would help her continue to pay for the posh place in the future, she didn’t hesitate to write the check in exchange for the keys the same day.
So here she sat at Willy’s for her ritual ‘after work’ Zinfandel in the best mood knowing Monday would see her with a new title and more money. Several minutes later, when there were only two sips left in her glass, her peripheral vision picked up on the dark figure to her right.
True, she didn’t bother with men or dating, content to focus on her career instead, but she wasn’t blind to a good looking man when she saw one either. While he was paying for his drink, she took in the bad-boy appearance and had to admit… humina-humina! Not the type she normally went for but the black clothes, leather duster and bleached hair seemed to scream a younger Kiefer Sutherland from ‘The Lost Boys’. Oh yeah, she sorta had a ‘thing’ for Hollywood’s vampires from Bela Lugosi to the current delicious salty goodness of Henry from Blood Ties. Mmmmm, every Friday night at nine was a no interruption zone in front of her TV and what was Vicki’s problem anyway? All she had to do was say the word and Hen-
“‘Lo there. The name’s Spike.”
Spike hadn’t been in the pub two minutes after ordering a drink when his attention was immediately drawn to the woman standing not fifteen yards to his left. She bent over to set her briefcase on the floor and he couldn’t help leaning back at the waist thirty degrees to appreciate the luscious curve of her bottom.
“Bloody hell,” he muttered to himself. “She’s gorgeous.”
Friends warned him that his obsession for bedding beautiful women would one day land him in trouble, but he scoffed at the notion. To him it was nothing more than a pastime, an indulgence. Granted it was habitual, but there were far worse things in this world to be addicted to than sex. His pursuits, er, choice of activity for leisure didn’t hurt anyone, plus he understood the concept of getting back what you put into something. And he always made sure his partners received more than their fair share of enjoyment in return for the time they invested with him.
To put it quite simply, he loved women… as many and as frequently as possible. And right now… he decided the woman who currently held his notice would be the next in a long line of lucky ladies.
With strawberry painted lips, large soulful eyes and the cutest upturned nose, she reminded him of a mythical sprite, complete with her delicately built frame. He hissed through his teeth as she pulled the clip from her up-do and shook her tresses free. He had a strong affinity for the long blonde hair she possessed which fell past her shoulders in feathery wisps, the kind he could spend an entire evening burying his nose and fingers in while finding his pleasure. When she sat and leaned her elbows on the counter, the hem of her filmy white top rose up an inch above her grey, pinstriped slacks to reveal a tantalizing glimpse of her slender waist. Her skin looked so smooth and silky to the touch it made his fingers twitch involuntarily with the desire to test that theory.
Anyone bothering to watch as he stared would swear he was already fucking her in every angle possible. And they wouldn’t be wrong. He’d mentally pictured taking her in six different positions already before deciding the real thing would be much more gratifying. Jet lag may have zapped most of his energy, especially since he’d only been in the country for some three hours, but he was absolutely sure after shagging her rotten, he’d sleep like a baby. Strategy was everything in a conquest, whether for business or pleasure, and his brain was busy formulating one complete with calculated moves of how to approach her as he picked his glass up and made his way towards her.
“‘Lo there. The name’s Spike.”
Jarred from her thoughts by the sound of a deep British voice, Buffy looked up to find the man she’d been admiring extending his hand in introduction.
“Nice to meet you, Spike.” Whoa!!! The milky shade of blue twinkling in his eyes was breathtaking. Much nicer than Kiefer’s. She quickly put up a façade of indifference in the event he was going to hit on her… however flattering it would be.
He was stunned by the beautiful green eyes with flecks of gold staring directly into his. “Wha’s your name, pet?”
“I can tell you it’s not pet,” she replied on the defensive for his choice of nickname. He seemed unfazed by her tone of voice however, his lips settling into a smirk so sexy she was sure it melted the socks off any woman he chose to use it on. He did have the most beautiful mouth she’d ever seen though, particularly the bottom lip with its oh-so-pouty fullness. “Buffy.” Putting her hand in his, she shook it quickly and withdrew it just as fast.
“Buffy?” She’s kiddin’, right? He noticed her handshake was strong for such a tiny thing. Strong and brief, like a man shaking another man’s hand when they sized each other up.
“That’s me.” He raised an inquisitive eyebrow at her.
“No seriously, wha’s your name?”
Okay, now the handsome, er, irritating stranger was starting to piss her off. She answered his eyebrow by raising one of her own. “Seriously. It’s Buffy. And this question is coming from a man who calls himself Spike?”
“Whatever your name really is doesn’ matter to me.” And it didn’t. Why would it when all he was after was a couple hours worth of naked fun? “If you want me to call you Buffy-” he lowered his voice seductively. “-then Buffy it is.”
God! Rude much?!?! “Okay… Spike.” The deviant smirk and the way his statement came off was a deciding factor to go into bitch mode. He’d made it perfectly clear what he wanted, and it wasn’t a stimulating conversation.
Oooops. Seems he’d said the wrong thing judging from her response. But he had his sights set on her, his mouth already watering at the mere thought of what she’d taste like, so he hoped to smooth things over, get back on her good graces. “`M sorry, pet, I didn’ mean anythin’ by that.” Tilting his head to the side with his best innocent face in place, he asked, “Can I buy you another drink, perhaps?”
Nice recovery if he hadn’t already set off the warning bell on her creep-o-meter. Turning her body away from him to stare straight ahead, she dismissed him, her words curt and cold. “No. Thank you… but no.”
He wasn’t about to give up, not even after her frosty answer. There wasn’t a woman out there he hadn’t been able to seduce and this one would be no different. He just had to change tactics according to the personality. Maybe he’d read her wrong, maybe she was the straight forward type. So perhaps she’d appreciate him cutting past the chase? “You ready to get outta here then, pet?”
Whipping her head in his direction, she couldn’t believe the audacity this man had to assume, to assume… “Stop calling me pet.” Handsome? Yes. Smart? Not enough to take a hint, obviously.
“What shall I call you then? Luv, sweetheart, hmmm,” he purred while focusing on that glorious hair. “How `bout… Goldilocks?”
“How about just plain Buffy.” And I officially feel violated now, especially with the way he was looking at her. Her claws were itching to come out and draw some blood if this jerk didn’t back off.
From behind the bar, Willy, the owner, was listening in to the exchange between his regular customer and the newcomer. This would make for an interesting show if the Brit pressed on like he was. No one, but no one who knew Buffy would dare be talking to her the way this man was if they knew her like he did. They may only have a bartender-patron type relationship, but over the years they’d developed an easy rapport about their daily lives and were fond of the other’s company. What the stranger didn’t realize about the petite package in front of him is that she was a true lioness in the ‘guise’ of a kitten… and had a knack for remaining at the top of the food chain.
“Alright, jus’ plain Buffy, you ready to get outta here?”
“And just where are you suggesting we go?” Let him walk right into her trap. With her talons bared and sharpened to Ginsu standards, the smell of humiliation hung in the air, red and embarrassing.
“Was thinkin’ The Ritz.” Tha’s it, come to Daddy.
Oh. My. God! At the mention of the hotel, she assumed he thought she was a hooker. Try as she might to ignore it, but Willy’s Place sometimes attracted the higher class escort women in here to do ‘business’ and their mode of dress was like any other woman.
“If you’re implying what I think you’re implying… I am not a working girl. If that’s what you’re looking for, go two blocks East from here and you’ll find them standing on the corner.” He actually laughed at this, infuriating her. That is, until, his next statement went beyond the egotistical, making her want to rip his head off.
“Take a good look at me and ask yourself… do you honestly think I-” he raised his voice for emphasis. “-need to pay for sex?”
“Judging from the lame pick up lines? I’m thinking yeah.”
He raised a challenging brow at her, undeterred. “Come on. I can feel it.” Leaning in dangerously close to her face, he whispered silkily, “You know you wanna dance.”
Willy stood back and crossed his arms, knowing things were about to go beyond interesting even though he hadn’t heard what the other man had said.
She had to hand it to him in the persistence department. But in this case, it wouldn’t pay. She gave him a sexy smile and leaned in a tad closer, ignoring his intoxicating scent and just how attractive she found him to be. Reminding herself that looks weren’t everything, she gave him a false sense of hope with the soft lilt in her voice as she spoke. “Say it’s true. Say I do want to.”
Now we’re gettin’ somewhere, he thought as he curled his tongue behind his teeth. He knew she was just one of those extra tough cookies. And now that he bitten through her tough exterior, he was going to savor every last one of her delicious crumbs.
She watched him run a confident hand down his torso to hook a thumb loosely through his belt, his fingertips grazing an obvious erection beneath the tight, black jeans. Dropping her tone to one of contempt, she told him flatly, “It wouldn’t be you.” The way his jaw went slack made her want to laugh. He definitely hadn’t anticipated rejection. Matter of fact, she was pretty sure he was used to always getting ‘what’, or ‘who’, he was after. And so for good measure, she decided to add a condescending, “You’re beneath me.”
Before he could manage another word, she jumped down from her chair and grabbed her things. “I wish I could say it was a pleasure meeting you but… well, you understand.”
Wow. Who would have thought American women couldn’t be as easily charmed as the birds back home in England? Think quick, think quick. “Leaving so soon, pet? Can’ even stay long enough to hear me out on what sort of entertainment I had in mind?”
The guy just didn’t know when to quit. “Sorry, but somehow, I don’t think your idea of fun would…” She paused to glance down at his crotch then back to his face to emphasize her meaning. “…measure up to mine.”
He watched her flounce away and had to admire her spunk. Oh well, her loss. Er, wait a bloody minute! It was his loss… as in his first. Ever! A flawless track record ruined in a span of less than three minutes… by one woman?!?! Not on his watch!
She’d almost made it to the door before remembering it was Friday and therefore time to pay Willy her weekly tab. Groaning, she turned around and made her way back, but as far from the bleached wonder as possible.
“I almost forgot your money, Willy. Sorry.”
“Not a problem.” He was grinning ear to ear as she took a few bills from her purse and laid them on the counter. “Bravo, by the way.” She shrugged and smiled at him.
“You know me.”
“That’s why I didn’t bother interfering. Your tongue is sharper than any knife I have back here.”
The instant she came walking back, Spike was determined to engage her one last time, particularly because he’d never been rejected. Drink in hand, he headed her way but when attempting to step around another patron who’d shoved their chair back to stand up, his foot caught on one of the legs, causing him to lurch forward, the contents of his beverage flying forward to land squarely on Buffy’s chest.
Everyone froze. Buffy hissed in shock from the cold, wet liquid that drenched her blouse. She never saw Spike coming towards her but as soon as she saw he was the guilty party, her eyes narrowed.
Bugger all! He’d gone and done it now. But for the life of him, he couldn’t take his eyes off her chest. Her thin shirt turned nearly transparent, hugging her pert breasts like a pair of hands and he swore he could almost see the pink hue of her hardened nipples through it. He was shaken from his ogling by her voice.
“And that is the cherry on the cake of my day. Thank you so much.” Fucking jerk!
Willy grabbed a towel, preparing to hand it to her but Spike had already grabbed a small stack of napkins and began wiping frantically at her shirt.
“Ah,” she gasped. “What the…” He was practically pawing at her breasts. She started slapping his hands. “Stop that!”
“Lemme help.” He kept dabbing at her blouse despite her efforts to bat him away.
Willy stood by and watched the situation escalate as the two blonds began smacking each other’s hands like a couple of school girls for a few seconds until Buffy won.
“Isn’t it bad enough you made me the booby prize in a wet t-shirt contest but now you’re groping me? God, you are unbelievable!” She was red in the face from both embarrassment and anger after stepping away from him.
“`M tryin’ to help, you daft bint.”
“I think you’ve done enough!”
“Well there’s gratitude for ya… stubborn chit.”
“You, you…” She couldn’t believe he was calling her names, whatever they meant, acting this way when it was his fault to begin with. “You know what?”
Uh-oh, Willy thought. He watched Buffy reach over and grab a drink right out of another customer’s hand then proceed to throw it right in the Englishman’s face.
Spike closed his eyes and stood stone still for a few seconds, trying to rein in his temper.
A satisfied smile graced her face as she watched the muscles in his jaw clench tightly, baring his teeth like an animal as he grit them together. “How do you like being soaked?” But oh God, was he the epitome of seduction when his lids opened slowly, a sinful gleam emanating from his eyes as his tongue came out to sensuously lick the alcohol that dribbled over his top lip.
“Got you wet though, pet… didn’ I?”
Erghhhh! “Well it certainly wasn’t from the power of your charm because clearly you could fuck up a wet dream.” She turned to leave, not wanting to cause anymore of a scene that had already attracted too much attention from several people seated in the immediate area.
Spike wasn’t one to let anybody win an argument but he was stunned by her words and the fact she was walking away… again. He blurted out the first thing that came to mind. “Well-well, you have stupid hair.” He rolled his eyes at his weak attempt at an insult. Bloody brilliant `f you there, mate. And of course she heard it because she flipped him the bird from over her shoulder.
Willy cleared his throat to get Spike’s attention.
“I’m hoping for your sake you’re just passing through and don’t plan on frequenting my bar, cuz you just messed with the wrong woman, buddy.”