Imaginary Images

Chapter Sixteen

"Címon, Xan. Hurry up." Dawn pushed Xander along the alleyway. "Itís only two buildings over, or so Illyria said."

"Iím coming, Iím coming. I still donít understand why it had to be just you and me." Xander had to jog to keep up with Dawn. It was noon, the sun was shining and he was enjoying being outside. They didnít often move around in the daytime since they all seemed to operate on vampire schedules.

"It doesnít, you dope. I just wanted to talk to you alone. Illyria said there might be something in this one building that Spike would like. I think sheís trying to make up with him, but doesnít want to actually look like she cares. So, anyway, I figured it would be a good time to talk with you."

"Well, Iím surprised Spike let you out with just me."

Dawn stopped and turned to face Xander. "You really are a dope, arenít you? Also, itís noon, not like he could come along, unless he wanted to hop from shady spot to shady spot. Di and Illyria went to check out that department store we saw yesterday. Charly is still at home nursing her ankle. So, itís just us."

Looking a little hurt, Xander complained. "Look, I know Iím not that bright, so please explain it to me slowly, so I can understand."

"Xander! I didnít mean youíre stupid, and Spike certainly doesnít think youíre stupid. He thinks a lot of you. I just meant that sometimes youíre just kind of oblivious." Dawn stood there with her hands on her hips. In that instant she looked so much like Buffy that Xander felt an actual pain in his chest. He missed Buffy and Willow a lot. Probably be a long time, if ever, before I see the girls again.

Xander tried to focus on what Dawn was saying. "So you agree about the Ďstick up my assí thing. You two have been talking havenít you? What else does Spike think about me? Or, do I really want to know?"

"Of course he talks to me, silly." Grabbing his hand, she pulled him along again. "I think he really likes you. I know heís damn impressed with how you fight now. He trusts you." Dawn started to imitate Spike with a very bad English accent. "Tell me, Bit. Harris is an alright sort of bloke, donít ya think?" She laughed again. "God, he talks about you all the time."

Xander blushed as he walked along beside Dawn obediently. "You think so? I mean, I know we used to really hate each other, but I realize that neither of us is the same person we used to be. Weíve both changed a lot. Iím kinda confused about it. When did I start liking guys? Sure, I can admit when one is good looking or whatever, and boy is he good looking, and I canít believe Iím gossiping about guys with youÖ" Xanderís voice trailed off in embarrassment.

In a comment wiser than her years, Dawn added, "Maybe itís not guys. Maybe itís just Spike."

They reached the building Illyria had mentioned, and jimmied open the back door. They walked straight into a storeroom.

"Oh, wow." Xanderís face lit up at what he saw.

Dawn agreed. "Yeah, cool, huh? Spikeís gonna love this."


A little while later the two were headed back into their building still discussing Spike. "Yes, I like Spike, a lot. Happy now? Iím so embarrassed." I am such a girl, and I have a huge crush on the vampire.

Dawn grinned. "Glad you could finally admit it, you dope. Youíve been walking around with a silly grin on your face for the past several weeks. It was damn obvious to the rest of us."

Xander looked at Dawn as they approached the main room and whispered desperately. "Well, keep quiet about it, would you? Iím not sure how this is going to play out. Iíd rather not ruin it because youíre trying to play matchÖ" His voice trailed off as he turned to look into the main room. His present for Spike fell to the floor, forgotten.

Charly was on Spikeís lap. Her hands were on his shoulders, and her thumbs intimately caressed each side of his neck. Spike's hands were on her wrists. Their faces were only inches away from each other while they stared intently into each otherís eyes, oblivious to anyone else around them.

Chapter Seventeen

Dawn gasped in shock at the sight before her as Xander, with a heartbroken look on his face, whispered. "Spike?"

Spike looked up at Xander in surprise, but spoke to Charly. "Iíve already told you, you silly bint. Get off!" He pulled her wrists away from him and shoved as hard as his injured ribs would allow. She fell back off his lap and landed steady on both feet, her limp completely gone.

Xander repeated himself. "Spike?" He sounded very hurt and confused.

Dawn recovered first. "Spike? Charly? Whatís going on?"

Charly ran up to Dawn and Xander, enraged. "He tried to put the moves on me! Grabbed me. Fucking perv! Now heís trying to act all innocent. I should dust his sorry ass."

"Oi, you stupid bint. What the hell are you going on about? You jumped me!"

Charly tried to appeal to Dawn and Xander. "Why would you believe him, a vampire? I know heís just a selfish horn dog, out for himself. He was trying to take advantage of me." She put her hands on her hips in an evil parody of Ďpissed off Dawn.í

Dawn looked thoughtful. "Not really what it looked like from here, Charly. Besides, what happened to your hurt ankle?"

Spike ignored everyone else and pleaded with Xander. "Harris, look at me. Have I made any moves towards this bitch since weíve been here? Any at all?"

"I sípose not." Xander stared at the floor, unable to look Spike in the eye.

Charly said, "Fine, donít believe me, youíre all against me anyway. I donít need you. You two are just creepy anyway. Fucking fags."

Dawn again gasped in shock, this time at the derogatory statement.

Xander tried to make sense of what heíd seen. "Charly, whatís going on here? Did you think that since you couldnít get ahead with me, youíd try to see what you could get out of the handicapped vamp? Did you just wait for the first time you had the chance to be alone with him?"

"Thanks, Pet. I knew youíd see reason." Spike responded with a smug smile.

Xander got pissed. "Spike. Just. Shut. Up. IÖI donít know what the hell is going on here, but youíd better just put a cork in it." He walked past the couch to go stare at the wall. Seems to work for Illyria. Maybe itíll help me. If nothing else, maybe theyíll all just go away.

Spike stood up slowly. His hands shook with rage, his back to everyone. "Everybody out."

Dawn went to Spike, a worried and pinched look on her face.

"Itís ok, Bit. Xander and I just need to talk." Reassured, she gave a small nod and walked out.

Charly wasnít quite ready to let it drop and started to walk towards Xander. "He hit on me. He was trying to take advantage of me!"

Spike turned and stepped closer to Charly as his vampire visage dropped into place. "Iíll not repeat myself. Get the bloody hell out!"

Xander kept his back to her. "Charly, go."

Charly stormed out, and the door to the other room slammed a few seconds later.

Spike finally turned to Xander with a small shake of his head, as his face reverted to its human form. "Harris, look at me."

"Spike, I canít do this right now. I realize Iím just convenient. You need me to make this vision thing work, but thatís all it is, isnít it? Again, I say, am I a total girl, or what?"

"Speaking of girlish tendencies, have I pressured you to do anything? Iíve been trying to bloody respect you. I donít have a lot of experience at this blokes lovin' blokes thing either, ya know." Spike gestured towards the door. "That bint is outta her head, and you damn well know it. Sheíd screw the soddiní lamppost if she thought it would benefit her." Spike stopped and sighed. "What did you see?"

Xander continued to stare at the wall as he mumbled. "You were about to kiss."

"We were, eh? Tell me what you saw, exactly."

"Her, straddling you."

"Youíre a smart lad, work it out."

Xander sat down on his mattress, dejected. "Christ, Spike. I know. Iím just so damn confused."

Spike dropped down beside him. "Whatís to be confused about? I like you, and it seems that you like me. I think itís a damn amazing thing, considering how much we hated one another in the past."

"Sheís hot, willing and a bit like Buffy. I wouldnít be surprised if you went after her."

"If I bloody wanted Buffy, Iíd be following Buffy around Italy as we speak. ĎSides, sheís not the only hot thing around."

With a blush Xander responded, "But why havenít you tried anything since the theater?"

"Could ask the same of you, mate."

Xander finally turned to face Spike with a sheepish grin. "Chicken?"

Spike laughed. "Bingo. You got it right with that bint, too. Not sure what her game is, but she was trying to come between us. I think that going after you obviously wasnít working, so she thought sheíd try a different tack. Didnít work." Spike walked over and sat next to Xander "I wanted to go slow. Didnít want to scare you off."

Xander put his arm around Spike. "Youíre not scary, Spike."

Spike pointed his thumb at his own chest in emphasis. "Oi, I am too scary. The Big Bad here."

"Nope, not scary. Oh, Fuck it. Címere." Xander drew Spike in and kissed him soundly. Spike started at the contact, but then closed his eyes and enjoyed the ride. The kiss deepened before Xander suddenly pulled away and breathed deeply.

"Oi, what now?" Spike sounded miffed.

"I almost forgot that I got you a present, what with seeing some girl trying out The Amazing Spike Ride. Wait here." Xander ran to the doorway. He picked up the bundle heíd dropped and put it behind his back before Spike could get a good look at it. "Look. I know you miss your duster. I see you wrap your arms around yourself sometimes like youíre cold, or like youíre missing some part of yourself." Xander paused, looking at the floor. "Well, this was sort of Illyriaís idea, in that she pointed me in the right direction."

Curious, Spike stood up and asked, "Harris, what ya got there?"

"Well, I know itís not exactly same, but maybe you could make it work, like your new hair, which I really like, by the way." Xander slowly handed over a leather coat. It was shorter than the duster, maybe thigh length. It had a large mantle around the shoulders, plenty of pockets and was made of the softest black leather Xander had ever felt. It wasnít quite as large and billowy as the infamous duster, but it looked like it would still help give Spike an imposing presence.

Spike stood there with the coat in his hands, staring down at it.

Xander turned to walk out, dejected. "You hate it. Iím sorry. It was stupid. I just wanted to giveÖI dunno, a piece of you back, I guess. Never mind. It was dumb."

"Xander, wait. Címere." Spike held out his hand and waited. Slowly, Xander walked back over to Spike and took his hand. "Thanks, mate. This means so much. Nobody has given me anything nice in a long, long time, not even Buffy. I donít really know what to say."

Getting nervous, Xander started to babble. "I know itís not the same, itís shorter and well, itís not your duster, but I picked out one that I thought you would like. Please tell me if you hate it. We can go get another, or just throw it away. There was an entire room of stuffÖ" Spike stopped the babbling with a kiss.

When Xander once again pulled away, this time for air, Spike figured he needed to make sure Xander really understood about the duster. "Actually, Harris. The real duster got destroyed in Italy last year. Iíve been wearing a bloody duplicate ever since. Just wasnít the same. Itís high time to retire it and what it meant, what it stood for. Youíre right. Itís time for something new. Thank You. Ďnough talking now, more snogging." Spike leaned in and kissed Xander again.

The kiss went on and on, and things quickly heated up. Xander pushed Spike down on the mattress until he was lying on top of the vampire, bringing them groin to groin. With his hands clasped behind Xanderís neck, Spike wrapped his legs around Xanderís waist. Both men moaned softly at the sensations Xanderís gentle thrusting motion caused. The coat was once again lying forgotten on the floor. Their lips were still locked, but both let out a loud groan when Dawn burst into the room.

"Charlyís gone! She said she didnít need us and that sheíd get even somehow. Illyria and Di had come back and Di was trying to calm Charly down, but Charly punched her. Then she just ran out. Sheís gone!"

Chapter Eighteen

Finally, some more involved Spike/Xander smoochies! A little R rated sex action here (My version of R anyway. Naked boy parts).

Within only a few days it was as though Charly had never been there. She had never been very friendly with the other slayers or Dawn, she preferred her own company or Xanderís. Lately she had been an irritant, with her snarky comments about Spike. Without her attempted manipulation the group easily fell into an almost pleasant routine.

Xander padded back to their room from the bathroom. Heíd made a decision while brushing his teeth. Screw it. Iím horny, dammit! Heíd thought about it ever since Charly had skipped out. Theyíd looked for her for days, but she just didnít want to be found. The whole while Xander could only keep thinking about how he wanted to touch Spike everywhere, wanted to know him inside and out. He and Spike had been tip toeing around each other for too long now. There had been a few more make-out sessions, but nothing more than that, yet. Time to step things up. If Iím gay, Iím gay. Big whoop. He's a vamp, big deal. I've had scarier. Quit worrying about it, already.

Theyíd become friends, something Xander still marveled at. Xander had even come to terms with the realization that heíd always thought Spike was gorgeous. So much so, that Xander was sure that he must have been doing some extreme overcompensating back in their "I hate you," days.

Wearing just a pair of boxers, he climbed under the covers where Spike already lounged, one hand behind his head. Taking the initiative, Xander pounced. He slithered up Spikeís body, trying to kiss and touch everywhere. Startled, Spike, pushed him back. "Whoa, pet. Not that Iím not enjoying the attention, but whatís goiní on?

Spike had also thought about this for what felt like way too long. He wanted to taste the boy, crawl inside his warmth and soak up his smell. Anything to be a part of him. Knowing how intensely they had once disliked each other made Spike want to find out just how passionate they could be with the opposite feelings. He hadnít pressured though. He could wait as long as he had to for this. Waiting wasnít natural for Spike, but he wanted this to be right. This boy is driving me mad, though!

Xander continued to try and crawl on top of Spike, and dropped kisses any place he could reach; Spikeís chin, neck and shoulders. "Spike, I wantÖ" He finally paused, a little embarrassed. "Um, I know weíve been going slow and I thank you for that, butÖum...IÖwantÖmore." Xander once again dived in.

Spike laughed out loud and pushed Xander back for a second time. "I can see that, but are you sure, pet?"

A mumbled response came from where Xander had his head down, trying to latch onto one of Spikeís nipples with his teeth. "Donít know what Iím doing, but yes, Iím damn sure."

Spike groaned as Xanderís warm breath fluttered against his skin, but also smiled. "Alright then." He pulled Xander back up so they could kiss properly. As the kiss intensified, Spike positioned them so they lay face to face, on their sides. They caressed each otherís chests, shoulders, and arms in a mutual show of tenderness. The only light came from a lantern sitting on the far side of the room. The large couch cast their entire corner in shadow, which created a soft, comfortable bubble of almost dark. The lanternís intermittent flicker, much like candlelight, provided a romantic backdrop to their rising passion.

Eventually, two sets of hands shook with anticipation as they pushed down two sets of boxers, leaving Spike and Xander skin to skin for the first time. With a groan, Xander pulled Spike to him so their cocks rubbed side by side. He started a nice, slow undulation. Spike thrust back to meet Xander each time. His eyes were half closed as he breathed heavily, his cool breath ghosted along Xanderís face. Xander stared at Spikeís face and was mesmerized by Spike taking so much pleasure from such a simple act. Spike saw Xander looking at him and smirked evilly before reaching for Xanderís hand. "Not totally sure how to do this either, but letís try this. Shall we, pet?" Spike guided the boyís hand down and wrapped both their hands around their cocks. He started to stroke both of them off, his left hand over Xanderís right. Xander arched into the contact and started to stroke as well. They both groaned at the feeling.

With his free hand, Spike reached up and reverently caressed his thumb around Xanderís damaged eye socket. Xander reached up and duplicated the motion over the scar in Spikeís eyebrow, acknowledging the beauty in that battle scar as well. Too quickly the sensations overwhelmed them. They had both wanted this so badly for days that they couldnít hold out for long. With loud, satisfied groans they messily came all over each otherís hands and stomachs.

While their foreheads touched, Xander tried to catch his breath while Spikeís calmed down to nothing. Spike finally broke the silence. "Well now, that beats a wank in the shower by a long shot."

Xander snorted and replied. "You ainít kidding."

Spike laughed softly. "You too, eh?" Xander simply nodded in response. "With all the wanking thatís probably been going on in there, Iím surprised the birds will even go in there."

Xanderís face flushed as he pleaded, "God, Spike. Donít ever tell them that!"

Spike gave him a quick kiss. "Hey, pet. I may be crude, but I do have some standards. Not going to be bragging anytime soon about how long I wasnít getting any. Which, for the record, besides a little almost tryst with Harmony Ė and donít even ask Ė itís been almost two years."

Xander burst out laughing. "You claim you have standards, but mention Harmony in the same breath? Boy, you must have really been hard up, huh?"

"Not funny, you git. Convenience had a little somethiní to do with it. Iíd just become corporeal again, and she was very handy, and willing. Luckily she went Ďround the bend and tried to rip my eyes out before we got very far."

"Spike. Seriously though, itís been a long time for me too, since before Sunnydale went down. Thereís been no one since Anya. I, um, want to tell you how nice this was for me. Hard to believe my first sexual encounter with a vampire was the sweetest sex Iíve ever had, but it was." Xander looked embarrassed at sharing that. "You probably thought it sucked, though, huh? Did you hate it? Oh, God. You hated it." Xander looked across the room and started to nervously chew on his lower lip.

Spike put both of his hands up to cup Xanderís face and forced the boy to look at him. "Pet. Xander. This was unbelievable. No one has ever been that sweet with me, either. Loved it, I did."

Still unsure, Xander didnít sound convinced. "Are you sure? I can do better, more, next time. I mean, if there is a next time?"

"Bloody hell, yes. Of course I want a next time!" To put a stop to that discussion Spike reached down and started to rub their spent passion into the skin on Xanderís stomach, legs and groin.

"Uh, what are you doing?" Xander looked down curiously.

"I like our smell on you. Makes you mine." Spike said, serious. His eyes flashed yellow for a moment, almost too quick to notice.

"Nice thought, I guess. I think I like being yours, but thatís still just kinda gross, what youíre doing there, Spike." Although he objected, Xander looked pleased.

"Fine. Damn human sensibilities." Spike mumbled as he grabbed a dirty t-shirt from the floor and wiped them both off. If Xander felt just how gentle Spike was being or if he noticed that Spike rubbed more into Xanderís skin than off, he wisely chose not to comment.

Bet you all thought I fell off the planet. RL kicked me in the gut, literally. Some major ovarian type surgery later and I'm trying to get caught back up with RL as well as the fun stuff. I'm still very much behind on everything. Which brings us to Chapter 19. I can't remember who, if anyone, has beta'd the next several bits. I THINK my beta's all saw these next parts in some form or another, but I certainly can't remember if I listened to any of their advice! I can't emphasize enough that all mistakes are mine as I can barely remember what's going on!

Chapter Nineteen

The next day, Spike lounged on the couch with Xander sitting between his legs, his back against Spikeís chest. Di and Dawn sat on the other couch, pretending to play cards as they actually surreptitiously watched Xander stroke one of Spikeís hands, and Spike tickle the back of Xanderís neck and all the other cuddly things the boys did to each other. They hadn't discussed their new found closeness yet and Spike kept expecting Xander to freak over the "gay thing," but so far it hadn't happened.

Their domestic scene was interrupted when Illyria returned, after a twenty four hour absence. She strode into the room, hair in disarray, to stand in front of Xander and Spike. She looked down at them both. "It is done. We are to meet with Tydok tomorrow evening. He has guaranteed non-violence for the meeting."

Spike sat up, shifting Xander to sit beside him. "What do you mean, we?"

"All of us are to meet with him. He has announced that the hotel will be a safe zone for the duration of the talks."

Spike looked concerned and stood up to face Illyria. "I repeat, what do you mean, all of us? Niblet and Harris are not going."

Both Xander and Dawn yelled, "Hey!"

"Tydokís conditions were absolute. He wants to meet everyone he is interested in allying himself with. Heís heard of you, William the half-breed, so wants to meet you. Iíve told him of Xander and Dawnís tactical planning experience, and, of course, he wants to meet the slayer, Di."

"Tactical experience?" Dawn asked.

"Yes, you two are good with strategies and analysis. I told him about some of your experiences during your time in Sunnydale in order to persuade him to ignore that you are both mere humans. Although, I think he was more interested in keeping track of our human pets."

Xander frowned, but ignored Illyriaís pet comment. "Spike? Why wouldnít you want me along? I thought I was doing ok, fighting-wise."

"You are, Harris. Donít get your knickers in a twist. I need you to watch out for Dawn."

Illyria tilted her head. "It does not matter what you want or need. This will not be spoiled by your stubbornness. Tydok insisted that everyone attend. He has sworn to give everyone safe passage to and from the meeting. He is also bringing in representatives from the other factions to meet with us to discuss Angelus."

"Sounds like a bloody setup, to me," Spike insisted.

"Do not question me." Illyria gave Spike an intense stare.

"Illyria, can you explain why you believe this Tydok? Then maybe we can understand." Xander scooted to the edge of the couch and looked up at Illyria, acknowledging her leadership. "If we understand, weíll know what weíre supposed to do and how weíre supposed to act at this meeting."

Illyria gave Xander a terse nod. "I have met with him on two occasions. I have also fought his followers repeatedly in a bid to earn his respect. Iíve spent some time watching this group without its knowledge. I believe Tydok is sincere."

Xander raised an eyebrow at that. "I wonít even ask how you managed to spy on him."

"I used the Fred Burkle persona. With her face I was able to mix in with his minions unnoticed. It was most distasteful. I should not have to hide. They should just bow before my will."

Dawn piped up, putting a halt to Illyriaís pending rant, "You can do that, change faces? Cool. What does she look like? Can you do it now?"

"Blue, donít you dare." Spike was incensed at the idea of Illyria switching forms just for fun.

"I will respect your wishes vampire, if you will stop challenging me and follow orders tomorrow."

"Fine. I still think we need to keep an eye out, though. Something feels off Ďbout all this." Spike looked so worried that Xander took his hand and pulled him back down onto the couch and into his lap.

"Spike, Iím sure itíll be fine. Between you, Illyria and Di, Iím sure all Dawn and I will need to do is stay out of the way."

"You damn well better keep your heads down."


The next evening, the entire group set out for the meeting. After a half hour of walking within Tydokís territory, they had still not encountered anyone else. Spike was on guard the entire time, and his agitation steadily increased.

"Somethiní ainít right," Spike repeated for about the tenth time.

"Easy, Spike. Youíre just being paranoid. Illyria told us that we were being given safe passage. That we would be allowed to come and go with no problem." Xander took Spikeís hand to try and reassure him.

"Ok, but when it goes to hell, and it will go to hell, I want you and the Bit out of the bloody way. Promise me that." Spike stopped and turned to face Xander, taking hold of both of Xanderís hands.

Xander leaned in close to Spike and responded so softly that no one else could hear, "Yes, Master."

"Oi, donít get cheeky with me. Now, Címere." Spike gave Xander a small kiss and dragged him along to catch up with everyone else.

They approached the hotel unchallenged. Before they went in, Illyria tried to prepare them. "Tydok gave his word that we could all meet in peace, but stay on guard at all times. As pets, the humans need to be silent and not speak."

They entered the building and headed for the lobby, since from the main door they could see Tydok. He was standing in the middle of the room, with his back to them, as if he was waiting for them. As they approached, Spike got a strange look on his face, then tilted his head back and gave air a wary sniff. He tensed, but knew he was too late. Tydokís body was suddenly yanked towards the ceiling by a strong rope. The crack of his neck could plainly be heard. It was followed by a loud laugh, which echoed around the cavernous hotel lobby.

Taken by surprise, everyone froze. No one was prepared to see Angelus leap over the second floor railing and swing down on the other end of the same rope heíd just hung Tydok with. The action yanked Tydokís body even farther up towards the ceiling. Angelus hit the floor at a run as he let go of the rope.

Everyone scattered to avoid the falling body. Xander did his best to grab Dawn and draw her away, but as they tried to scramble to safety, the room filled up Angelusí minions, who boxed them in. At first, Xander thought Angelus was heading straight for Dawn and tried to place himself in front of the girl. He quickly realized his mistake when Angelus grabbed him by the throat and bellowed, "Thatís right, boy. I want you, not her. Everybody else, freeze!"

Spike, who had ended up on the opposite side of the lobby when he dodged Tydokís body, tried to rush to Xanderís aid. Angelusí voice stopped him in his tracks. "Spike, donít even try it or Iíll snap your little White Knightís neck."

Spike hesitated, not sure what to do. Dawn quickly ran behind Spike.

"Spike, Spike, Spike. How ya doiní anyway, William? I heard you had been playing sit-n-spin again. I see youíre feeling better already, though. Once again, Iíve got something of yours. Itís funny how easily I can take away anything you possess."

"You bloody bastard." Spike spat out. He tried to inch towards Angelus, but Angelus simply gave Xander a hard shake and Spike stopped. Xanderís fingers scrambled at Angelusí hands, trying to loosen the vampireís grip, as he gasped for air.

"Now, Spike. Whatever shall I do with him?" Angelus leaned over and licked up the side of Xanderís face before turning a lecherous grin towards Spike.

Xander squirmed and fought. "Ugh, you gross, undead guy! Get off!" Angelus squeezed a little tighter, and Xander stilled. He continued to gasp for breath through his constricted throat.

After he ripped the patch off Xanderís head, emphasizing the young manís handicap, Angelus put his thumb just below Xanderís good eye. "Behave or Iíll make you the one that sees nothing, boy." Xander went very still, his lone eye wide with panic.

Looking at Xander, Spike tried to calm the boy down. "Itís ok, pet. Weíll figure this out, just stay calm." Spike turned and focused his rage on Illyria. "This is all your bloody fault. You set us up!"

Angelus laughed. "Ah, Spike. Youíre mistaken, as usual. Oh, donít get me wrong, youíve been set up, just not by her. I just let her help me out, by letting her do what she was already doing. She had no idea she was helping me." Angelus looked proud and cocky. "Oh and Illyria, I wouldnít try anything if I were you."

Before Illyria could even twitch, several of Angelusí bigger minions simultaneously hit her with tazers and stun guns as they also threw a large net over her. Illyria hit the ground, dazed. The largest minion placed his boot on her throat and pressed hard. A soft, green light emanated from the strands of the net. It was obviously magicked. They were taking no chances with her.

"As I was saying, I let her do my dirty work for me. Got her to setup all the factions so I could get rid of them all at once. That leaves nothing between me, this hotel and the rest of the city. Now, Illyria, are you going to tell me where you hid those books? I know Fred hid some stuff. I think itís only safe to assume they are here, or you wouldnít have been trying so hard to ally yourself with that loser Tydok. Now tell me, or little Xander here, gets a new orifice." He pressed a little harder under Xanderís good eye to stress just how serious he was.

Spike started to move towards Angelus again. This time though, Dawn and Di grabbed his arms and tried to stop him.

Angelus gave Dawn a creepy smile. "Thatís right, Dawnie. Thanks for the help. I know he listens to you."

"Weíre not helping you!" Dawn was almost in tears.

"Ok, folks, while this is fun and all, I do have another appointment. So, letís get on with this shall we?" Angelusí voice dropped an octave and he enunciated each word carefully. "I wonít repeat myself again. Where are the books?" Once again, he shook Xander, who started to look pale and a little sick from having a hand locked around his throat.

"Very well. I will tell you where Fred Burkle hid her books." Illyria croaked out from her pinned position on the floor.

"Terrific. I knew you would see things my way, Illyria. I bet Fred is just squirming away in there, wanting you to save the boy." Angelus looked smug.

"There is a secret cupboard in the attic." Illyriaís voiced was subdued while the gang just stared at her. Xander tried to shake his head at her, but Angelus held him tight.

Angelus sent several of his minions to retrieve the books. As they scampered off, Angelus turned to another minion and said, "Now, kill the slayer."

Illyria actually managed to yell around the boot trying to crush her windpipe. "Wait!"

Looking completely full of himself, Angelus held up a hand to stop the minion heíd just given the order to and looked down at her. "Thatís what I figured. Tell me where the rest are, and Iíll let your slayer and your boy live."

Spike looked torn, ready to give up the world to save Xander, but loath to let Angelus get away with anything. Bloody hell, if he hurts Xander, Iíll fuckiní dust him. Donít give a shit about saving Angelís sorry arse. I just found Xander.

A look of complete defeat on her face, Illyria mumbled, "The rest are located in a box at the bottom of the elevator shaft."

Xander looked at her sadly from within Angelusí grip as he whispered. "I know you thought you were helping. Itís ok."

"What?" Illyria struggled to get up, but the minion with the boot on her neck didnít let up.

Angelus looked at Xander, proud. "You know whatís what, donít you, boy?"

Xander nodded then looked in Spikeís direction and whispered, "Goodbye, Spike. Goodbye Dawnie."

Dawn burst into tears and Spike looked stricken as Angelus dragged Xander out by his hair, his minions in tow. Angelusí last order could be heard as they hit the street. "If anybody comes out in the next ten minutes, kill them." As the last of the minions trailed out, the gang was left in stunned silence.

Dawn and Di ran to Illyriaís aid and worked to get the netting off of her. Spike stood still, silent. His hands were fisted in impotent rage as he stared at the door that Xander had just disappeared through.

Di and Dawn stood off to the side as Illyria got free of the net and stood up. By this time, Spike was breathing heavily. He looked like he was about to run after Angelus despite the warning. Instead, he launched himself at Illyria, who simply batted him aside. Spike slid across twenty feet of bare floor and landed with a solid thump against a marble column.

Illyria stomped over to Spikeís prone form. She placed her knee on his chest and pinned him to the ground. "Listen to me, vampire."

Spike put his hands on her leg and struggled. "You bloody bitch! Get off! You let Angelus walk out of here with Xander! Do you know what that bloody bastard will do to him? You gave him everything, and he still took Xander!"

Illyria leaned harder, until Spike stilled, his energy spent. "Three things, half-breed; Weíre not going to give him the chance to hurt your pet, I know where heís taking him and I did not give Angelus all of the books."

Chapter Twenty

Extra Warning: Sorry folks, we're going to get into some Xander hurt and anguish here. Just warning you. Some rather graphic physical, mental and sexual torture. We all know what happens in the Spander world after Xander gets hurt though, right? So, you have to trust me! It's short, and painful, but seemed to want to break where it does.

Not about to drag Xander the entire way back to his lair, Angelus simply cold-cocked him and had one of his minions carry the man. Sometime later, Xander woke to some serious pain. Strung up by his hands against the wall, his shoulders throbbed. His neck and face hurt from Angelusí previous treatment as well. Despite the pain, he realized he could hear people talking right in front of him. Xander blearily opened his eye to see just what kind of mess heíd gotten himself into.

Taking a quick peek around the room from under his lashes, Xander saw that he was in a very fancy bedroom. He also quickly noticed that the electricity was on. The room was lit by the soft glow of several wall sconces. Iím paying attention to the lights when Iíve been strung up by frigginí Angelus. Xanman, you need to focus! Finally, Xanderís eye fell on Angelus, who had his arms around someone. Xander couldnít tell who it was because Angelusí bulk blocked his view. The couple whispered to one another. The vampire turned when he noticed that Xander was awake. Xander was shocked to see Charly in Angelusí arms.

"Charly? What are you doing here?" His throat was raw from Angelusí earlier abuse at the hotel, so Xanderís words came out in a painful croak.

"Hi, Xander. Surprised to see me?" Charly batted her eyelashes at Xander and snuggled tighter into Angelusí embrace. Angelus, who stood behind her, slowly moved his hand from her waist up to stroke her breast through the thin silk of her blouse, tweaking one of her nipples. "I decided I needed to hang out with someone who knew how to take care of things."

"Ok, Charly, letís stop taunting the prisoner. Go on. Get out of here. Iíll catch up to you in a little while, and you better be naked when I get there."

"But, I thought we were going to scare him, teach him a lesson. Canít I help?" She pleaded.

"Woman, I wonít tell you again. Thatís exactly what Iím going to do, teach Xan here, a little lesson. Now, go before I get pissed off!" Angelus bellowed.

Charly hesitated and seemed unsure for a moment, but then she turned to leave. As she walked away, Angelus gave her a sharp slap on the ass.

Xander tried to talk to her as she left, but she never looked back. "Charly, whatever he told you, itís all lies!"

As soon as the door closed behind Charly, Angelus slapped Xander in the face hard enough to rock his head back against the wall with an audible crack.

"Now that I have your attention, hear this. You will not talk to her. You will not look at her. She is not your concern. Iím more than enough for you to worry about. I know sheís not all that bright, but sheís fucking amazing in bed. Good enough to be worth putting up with her stupidity, anyway."

Xander couldnít resist tempting fate. "Yeah, I know."

The second slap was harder than the first, dazing Xander.

When his head cleared a little, Xander realized two very important things; Angelus was cutting off his clothes with a very large knife and that he was in big trouble. Make that, WORLDS of trouble. Spike, Illyria, somebody; please find me.

The knife nicked Xander in several places, drawing blood as Angelus slowly cut Xanderís clothes off. Angelus stopped to nuzzle, taste or nip as he pulled each piece of cloth away. The contrast of the deadly knife mixed with the gentle touches confused Xander. He found himself getting aroused in spite of his fear, or perhaps because of it. Oh God, Harris, youíre one sick puppy. Címon, snap out of it! Angelus simply continued to cut with a knowing grin.

As Angelus slowly peeled the remains of Xanderís jeans away to reveal the young manís arousal, Angelus spoke to Xander in a self-satisfied tone. "There, thatís better. Donít you feel better now?" As he talked, he nuzzled Xanderís neck. Xander wisely decided he might be better off if he kept his mouth shut. Ok, Xander, just ignore the vampire with the grabby hands. Think about anything else. Hell, think about grouting tile or even linoleum. Oh wait, that wonít work! I am so very screwed.

Angelus softly stroked Xanderís erect penis. Xander groaned at the sensation before he could stop himself. Angelusí softly ran his fingers down Xanderís cheek, as he nuzzled at his neck. "You smell of Spike. Iíll have to fix that. He may think he got to have something that I havenít had first, but weíll just see about that."

"Oh great. Again with the smelly stuff." Xander croaked out before he could stop himself.

"Boy, you might want to keep that trap shut, or Iíll stuff it with something to keep it shut." In punishment, Angelus grabbed Xanderís penis and squeezed hard enough to make the young man scream. He followed that move with a squeeze and a sharp tug on Xanderís balls that would have taken Xander to his knees if he werenít chained to the wall. As it was, Xanderís vision blurred as tears ran down his cheek. The entire time, Angelus kept a thumb pressed firmly under Xanderís good eye, the threat enough to keep Xander from struggling. Xanderís continued suffering just fed Angelusí sadistic side. He tugged sharply on Xanderís penis twice more before he let go and walked out of the room.

Just before Xander passed out, he thought about his current situation in comparison to his entire Scooby history. Well, Deadboy, if you think youíve got anything on my list of living nightmares, youíve got another thing coming. Iíve willingly eaten a live pig and frigginí bugs, a giant troll broke my arm because I wouldnít choose between my girlfriend or best friend, and a psycho priest nut job gouged out my fucking eyeball. Iíll get through this, you stupid fucker.

The next time Xander woke, his resolve was quickly put to the test as Angelus once again stood in front of him. This time the vampire was alone and the bright overhead lights glared painfully. Xander realized that the vampire was jerking off, with his pants around his hips. As Xanderís heart rate jumped in fear, Angelus looked at him, pleased. "Awake, I see. Good. I wanted to be sure you knew exactly what was going on! Need to get rid of Spike once and for all. I love bringing that boy to his knees."

With all pretense of gentleness gone, Angelus yanked on Xanderís penis with his free hand. Like the last time, the strokes were meant to painful. He changed his pattern every now and then to give Xanderí balls a hard squeeze or tug, which caused even more excruciating pain. Xander moaned in pain and tried to pull away.

"Ah, ah, boy. None of that now. Youíd do well to remember the eye." Angel smacked Xander in the face again. Xander tried to stay still after that, despite the even harder tugs and squeezes that followed. The fear of losing his sight was all it took for Xander to try and stay still.

Angelus leaned in close, and nuzzled Xanderís neck. Despite the pain in his penis being almost unbearable, Xander became aroused. When the vampire finally came all over Xanderís stomach, he also bit into Xanderís neck and drank deeply. The violence of the action pushed Xander over the edge and he came too. Xanderís orgasm was so sudden it was painful, and spots appeared around the edges of his vision.

"What a well behaved boy. So very responsive." Angelus roughly rubbed their combined juices into the skin on Xanderís stomach, legs and genitals. "Weíll get Spikeís smell off of you in no time. Heíll see there is nothing he can possess that I cannot simply make my own."

At irregular intervals Angelus came back to torture Xander. He usually started with gentle caresses, working Xander into an aroused state before moving on to the pain. He would work them both to orgasm while also nipping and biting at Xander or pulling savagely at Xanderís cock. Without fail, Angelus was able to bring Xander to orgasm regardless of how much pain he caused. What the Hell is wrong with me? I donít deserve to have anyone rescue me.


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