Ch. 46 – Kiss Me While I Sleep
Songs belong to artist noted
Buffy struggled to breathe as she felt her heart splinter. Her head was swimming with dizziness as her body went numb. Her stomach turned over violently as she developed a bitter taste in her mouth.
“I had sex with you,” Riley stressed. “I made love to you.”
“But that wasn’t me,” she cried. “That was just my body, it wasn’t my heart or my soul.”
She got up from the bed, suddenly overcome by a feeling of betrayal. She crossed over to the window and stared out as thick gray clouds began to stitch together in the sky.
“You should have realized what was going on before you let it get that far,” she said softly. “I thought after everything I shared with you, all the times we spent talking, that you really knew me. I thought we had a connection.”
“We do have a connection.”
She shut her eyes, hoping to stamp out the rising pain swarming in her heart. It pained her to look at him so she shifted her eyes back to the window.
“Then you should have felt something was wrong,” she said. “You should have felt a void in connection because with Faith - she doesn’t get close to people, she just uses them, she doesn’t feel….”
“I really thought it was you,” Riley replied sincerely. “I looked in your eyes and I saw you.”
Riley sighed apologetically. A long, tense silence fell between them until Riley rose from his chair and walked toward her.
“I’m sorry Buffy. I really am and I guess I’ll be saying that a lot until you forgive me.”
She was drunk with hurt and anger over the damage Faith had caused in yet another one of her relationships. She bit down on her quivering lips as her heart sunk with a mixture of emotions.
“Every relationship has stumbling blocks and hurdles but you can get over them – we can work through them as long as both people are willing.”
Riley paused and drew a deep breath.
“I’m willing to work this out because I love you,” he confessed.
Buffy briefly lifted out of her turmoil upon hearing this until the present reality made his confession sting even more. Her eyes dampened as she sniffed back the tears that begged to pour out. She had believed in Riley and had started to have faith she would break her pattern of bad relationships. She had given him her heart but just like all the rest of the guys in her past– he had sorely disappointed her.
“The question now is – do you want to work through this?”
She felt his hand gently clap over her shoulder. She looked up at him before shifting her eyes back to the window.
“I need some time,” she said softly.
“Okay,” he said.
Riley pivoted back toward his chair.
“If I ever get my hands on Faith – in a non-sex way I mean….”
“She won’t be back.”
“Well, she sure got her kicks.”
“Yeah, kicks,” she said very softly.
She heard Riley sigh as she continued to stare blankly out the window.
“She really had me fooled,” Riley lamented.
Riley sat up as a thought struck him.
“She had everyone fooled though.”
“I should go,” she said abruptly.
Riley glanced out the window as she padded toward the door. Before he could say goodbye, she had walked out the door.
Buffy bit down on her quivering lips as she quickened her pace down the sidewalk. She hugged herself with her arms as a biting chill swept through her. The setting sun was masked by black clouds looming low in the horizon. A clap of thunder rumbled in the distance as a strong wind howled. Her feet moved almost mechanically through town as she her mind failed to form a solid thought. Her body was numb with misery and deep seated disappointment as she shuffled through town in a daze.
Buffy drew in a deep breath as she felt her composure rapidly chipping away. Her eyes thickened with tears as she heaved another sigh and let a few roll down her cheeks. She blinked in surprise when she realized she was standing at the edge of the downtown district. She swept her eyes around and paused on the Rise and Shine Motel. The Impala was not in the parking lot. She wiped her eyes when her heart saddened at the thought of Dean’s unannounced departure.
She was about to turn back around and head home when her eyes caught sight of something. She spotted the Impala a few blocks down the road. She sniffed and ambled along the street, clutching her coat to her body as the temperature dropped significantly. In a quick minute, she reached the curb of a parking lot outside a shabby bar. She passed the Impala and eyed a small line at the front door. A beefy bouncer was checking IDs of the patrons waiting to get inside.
Buffy bypassed the front door and walked around the small building to a side entrance. She noticed a guy in an apron enjoying a smoke break. The guy got up, flicked his cigarette into the alley and opened the side door. Buffy quickly edged her way along the wall and slipped through the door as it closed. She ambled down a short corridor and spilled out into the bar, flooded with an assortment of adults of various ages. She shifted her eyes around the place and paused when she saw Dean seated at the main bar. A woman in her early thirties sat in the stool next to him, shamelessly flirting with him. After a few minutes, she slipped off the stool and disappeared in a crowd. Another couple of minutes passed before Buffy noticed another slender, older female in her mid-forties had wandered over to the bar. The woman flagged down a bartender and waited before she started a conversation with Dean. She drew a hand to one of the bruises on his face and gave a sympathetic smile.
Buffy rolled her eyes when within the span of ten minutes, a turnstile of older, attractive, women flocked over to the bar to flirt with Dean. Even the barmaid, who had at least fifteen years on him, showed her interest as she dropped an empty tray at the counter and waited to fill her drink orders. She took note that every time a new woman sat down on the stool next to Dean, he took exactly three seconds to make his move.
Buffy shook her head when her sullen mood brightened with a wacky idea. She watched and waited for yet another woman to leave before she pushed off and weaved through the crowd. When she reached the bar, she snuck over and slipped on the stool. She turned her head away from Dean and shook out her hair to cover her face.
“Three…two…one,” she said under her breath.
Sure enough, she heard the low lilt of his voice as he took notice.
“Hey there beautiful, where….”
Buffy swallowed her amusement as she swung around on the stool.
“…are you from?“
Buffy set her eyes on Dean as his flirtatious smile shifted into an annoyed frown.
“What the hell are you doing here?”
Buffy mocked a sad pouty face. “What, no pick up line love for me? I’m hurt.”
Dean took a long pull off his beer as his eyes shifted over the women in the bar. He read their faces and scowled.
“Get out of the hot seat Summers, you’re driving the chicks away,” he said.
Buffy slipped off the stool and swept her eyes around the room. She noticed a banner promoting “Ladies Night” hanging over the door.
“But it’s Ladies Night and quite a turnout.” she said. “You can’t be losing out on much.”
“I’ve only gotten through a third of the room,” he replied. “And it’s still early so make yourself scarce, okay?”
When she spotted a young and busty brunette making her way to the bar, Buffy frowned and slipped back on the stool. She glanced at Dean as his face knitted with disapproval.
“Hey, what are you doing?! I told you that was the hot seat for hot chicks looking for hot….”
He paused and let the last word die away. He pulled off his beer as he watched the busty brunette making a detour to the other end of the bar. He shook his head.
“You are putting a huge dent in my plans tonight,” he groaned. “So let me say in the politest way – go away…”
He gave a nod to the bartender as he sank the last of his drink.
“How many of those have you had?”
He clapped the empty bottle on the counter.
“Three, four….ten, I don’t know. I really wasn’t counting.”
The bartender dropped off another beer as a thought struck in his mind.
“How the hell did you get in here anyway? Did Xander make you a fake ID?”
“I snuck in the back way,” she said.
“You weren’t at the motel and then I saw your car in the parking lot, thought I’d see if I could find you in here.”
“Well, you found me,” he replied.
She noticed his eyes had shifted to a strawberry blonde on the other side of the bar. Buffy observed Dean as he dialed up his charming smile but the girl was obviously put off by his ‘date’ seated next to him. She frowned and walked off.
“Damn,” he grumbled.
Dean set his eyes back on Buffy. He took a quick pull of his beer and glared at her with deep annoyance.
“You really need to skip out of here before all the chicks in this place start to get the wrong idea about you.”
She noticed his eyes growing glassy.
“Maybe you should call it a night,” she said.
“I will when I find some company. Why don’t you go home or crawl into GI Joe’s bed? You just can’t stay here – at least not next to me.”
She drifted back into her blue mood at the mention of Riley. Her mind flashed on a graphic image of Faith and Riley in bed.
“I – I can’t…..”
Her eyes sunk to the floor as he noticed her sullen expression.
“What – you and the boyfriend have a fight?”
“So what – you came looking for me to do what – kick his ass or….buy you some ice cream?”
She managed a small smile.
“To be honest, I’m a little too buzzed to do either efficiently.”
“What’s prompted this little bender of yours?”
“I’ll give you one guess,” he replied.
“Faith,” she said.
“Wrong – the correct answer is psycho bitch.”
She looked at the dark purple bruises and various cuts on his face.
“Are you sure you should be drinking so much?”
He shrugged. “Aspirin didn’t kill the pain, so I thought I’d start drinking until it doesn’t hurt anymore.”
“You’re not really supposed to mix those,” she said.
“Well, the enormous sting in my head didn’t think about reading the warning label,” he replied sardonically.
After a minute, he noticed the sorrow in her eyes.
“I know why I’m pissed, what’s got you?”
“One guess,” she said.
“Psycho bitch,” he answered. “Yeah, she’s a speeding train of destruction. Any word on her?”
She shook her head.
“If I ever run into her, she’ll be one dead bitch,” he replied sharply.
“What did she do to you – at the Bronze – when she in my body?”
“I really don’t want to talk about it,” he grumbled.
His mind swam back to the encounter at the Bronze.
“Thanks a lot. I’ve spent the last hour trying to get that out of my head and now you got me dwelling on it again. I was having a good night until you showed up here.”
He turned on his seat, facing his back to her.
“Dean please, I really need to know,” she said.
He twisted around and glared at her.
“What the hell for?”
She couldn’t hold back her emotions anymore. Her eyes welled with tears as her lips trembled.
“Because I’m asking you as my friend,” she pleaded. “Did she fool you into messing around with her or something?”
When she saw his face go green, she let out a long breath.
“God, she did….”
After a long minute, he saw a flicker of agony in her eyes that made the ice in his veins warm over.
“She thought she did,” he replied.
“So she hit on you….”
“Then what – exactly did she do?”
He took a long sip from his glass as an enormously rotund guy wandered over to the bar. He glared at Dean and raised a beefy, overly hairy hand.
“Hey punk, did you hit on that girl over there?”
Dean turned in his seat and glanced at a young dark haired girl in the corner of the bar wearing a tight black dress that highlighted her curves. His eyes raked over her as he took a sip from his beer.
“Probably,” he answered.
The beefy handed man got in Dean’s face. A thick patch of curly jet black hair peeked out from the collar of his tee shirt and snaked over his neck.
“She says you touched her ass,” the beefy man growled.
Dean shifted his eyes back on the girl in the corner.
“Well, she’s got a nice one so she’s probably not wrong.”
Buffy eyed Dean and noticed the slur in the last few words of his response. Her gut tightened as she feared this confrontation was not going to bode well.
“That’s my fiancée,” the man barked.
Dean leaned back against the bar counter, completely undaunted by the beefy man’s glare.
“Don’t know what to tell you King Kong. She never mentioned she had a fiancé….or a pet monkey.”
Dean glanced at the hairy man and chuckled hysterically.
The beefy man slammed his fist toward Dean’s face and growled. Buffy impulsively shot her hand out and caught beefy man’s fist in her small hand. The beefy man looked down and briefly blinked in surprise before he settled into an amused grin.
“You got a little blonde bodyguard?” beefy man asked sarcastically.
He glared at Buffy.
“Take a walk Barbie!”
“Hey, I’m the only one allowed to her call that, Ape Boy!”
Beefy Man glanced over at Dean who had wound up his arm. Dean clocked him hard in the face. Beefy Man jerked back slightly and howled in anger. He charged toward Dean with hairy fists flying. Buffy jumped in front of Beefy Man and snatched his wrist to stop him. Dean barreled into him like an angry bull and took Beefy Man down to the ground.
“Go back to your cage, Bubbles,” he snapped.
Beefy Man lunged at Dean and threw him back into the bar. Buffy jumped in and a short brawl broke out between the three. The bouncer outside rushed in when he heard the ruckus and intervened. He threw the guys apart and held Buffy back with a muscular arm. A few minutes later, the bouncer wrangled Buffy and Dean and threw them out of the bar.
“Great, just fucking great,” Dean grumbled as he stumbled down the sidewalk. “I’m really sick and tired of getting hit in the face.”
Thunder roared loudly as the black sky opened up and bombarded the streets with thick sheets of rain. Dean groaned as raindrops pounded his face. He burrowed into his jacket as a frosty wind blew through him, chilling him to the bone.
“Fan-fucking-tastic,” he moaned.
His eyes drifted to Buffy who fell into step next to him.
“You ruined my night Summers,” he grumbled. “All I wanted was to drink my pain away and then crawl into bed with a nice, warm body. But now I’m alone, I’m cold, I’m still in pain and I haven’t hit Drunkville yet…..”
He deepened his glare at her.
“Why’d you have to come looking for me? It’s not like you’re going to make up for this night.”
She scoffed, “Excuse me for needing a friend.”
“You could have gone to Willow, she’s your friend,” he replied.
Buffy noticed his slurred speech had painted nearly every word. He also weaved from left to right as he ambled down the sidewalk. She saw a small smile break through his scowl.
“Willow the Carpet Bagger.”
He chuckled softly as he shook his head in amusement.
“I should have called that,” he replied. “No wonder she and Sammy got along so well.”
Buffy regarded him with wide eyed wonder as he continued to laugh to himself.
“What are you talking about?”
He shifted his eyes back to her as his smile faded. “Are you still here?”
She frowned with hurt. “So this is what you’re like when you’re drunk? Hitting on everything that walks and starting fights in bars?”
“Hey, Cousin Itt’s chick hit on me,” he replied sharply.
“And you couldn’t help yourself but grab her ass?”
He shrugged as he zigzagged down the walk.
“It was a nice ass,” he replied casually.
He paused on the curb as the thunderstorm raged on.
“Go home your highness,” he grumbled.
“I’ll walk you home,” she offered. “Make sure you get back safe.”
“Oh, now you’re interested in taking me home huh?”
She saw the deep hunger swimming in his glassy eyes.
“Well, that’s fine by me,” he replied with a wicked sexy smile.
She rolled her eyes. “Oh shush. You can’t walk a straight line plus you’re heading in the wrong direction.”
He shifted his eyes down the block and blinked.
“Huh…..okay….take me home…”
He pivoted and wandered into a liquor store.
“Hey!” Buffy protested. “Don’t you think you’ve had enough?”
But Dean had already staggered through the door. A short time later, he walked out carrying a brown bag. Buffy shivered as the rain plastered her hair to her face. Dean cracked open the liquor bottle and discarded the bag. He took a long sip as Buffy shined him an irritated frown.
“Can we go now? I’m freezing my ass off!”
She steered Dean toward the curb as she felt the weight of his stare. She noticed his eyes looking behind her.
“What a shame it would be to lose such a great ass like yours,” he replied.
“Well hello Drunk and Lusty Dean,” she said, rolling her eyes.
After a long minute, she checked on him and gasped when she noticed he was still looking at her backside.
“Hey! Keep your eyes forward.”
She drew her hand to his chin and gently pushed his sight to the street ahead. A few minutes later, Buffy eyed the row of rooms lining the motel parking lot.
“What’s your room number?”
Dean paused in the middle of sipping from his drink and scratched his head.
“Where’s your room key?”
“It’s somewhere in my pants, feel free to explore,” he quipped.
Buffy groaned when she saw the wide grin on his face.
“Will you quit it? We’re getting soaked out here.”
He let out a breath as he rummaged through his pockets and found his room key. She guided him to the room door and unlocked it. She urged Dean inside, closed the door and snapped on the main light. She let out a gasp when she saw the destruction in the room. She bit down on the fury raging in her system when she recalled Faith’s reign of terror. She glanced down at the puddle of water on the carpet and sighed.
“Do you have a hairdryer I could borrow?”
He flashed an amused smile. “Do I look like a chick?”
She shuffled into the bathroom and gasped again when she saw the shattered mirror and drops of blood on the sink. She drew a hand to her mouth as tears sprung in her eyes. She forced air into her lungs and took a few deep breaths before she yanked the towels off the rack.
When she came out of the bathroom, she saw Dean sitting on the end of the bed, sipping from the liquor bottle he had bought on the way back. She took one of the towels and draped it around him. As she looked at the souvenirs Faith had left on his face, she felt an immense guilt pooling through her body. She impulsively started to pat the towel over his hair, trying to soak up the water. She saw him shivering underneath his rain soaked clothes and searched the room for a heater. She crossed to the heater and flipped the dial. She frowned when nothing happened.
“I busted it – with my head….”
She turned back to the bed and broke into an amused smile when she saw the towel still hanging over his head. She yanked the towel off and started pat drying her own hair. She eyed the raindrops dripping from her jacket. She peeled off her jacket and found her sweater had fallen victim to the rain as well.
“You should get those clothes off,” she said.
“Skipping the foreplay,” he replied playfully. “Okay, I’m all for getting naked.”
She unexpectedly snickered at the flirtatious smile on his face as he slowly peeled out of his jacket.
“I meant, this room is like an ice box and with no heater you might catch cold.”
Her amusement faded when he winced with pain after taking his shoes and wet socks off.
“Yeah well….guess I’m going to have to catch a cold then,” he said. “Tell you what, you’re going to have undress me.”
When he met her probing eyes, he gave a humbled expression.
“That wasn’t a come on – not entirely….it’s just….any movement beyond this –“
He raised his arm until it was level with his shoulder.
“And I’m in serious pain so….if I have to get naked, you’re gonna have to help me.”
He pulled up his shirt high enough to show her a glimpse of the binding he had made earlier. She rushed over to him and lifted his shirt back up to see a large purplish bruise peeking out of the binding.
“Oh my god!” she gasped.
“It’s not as bad as it looks…doesn’t even hurt.”
She frowned with skepticism and gingerly pressed a finger against the bruised flesh. His eyes widened as he grimaced.
“Owwwwwwww!” he squeaked softly. “Don’t…do…that.”
He looked at her face knitted with doubt.
“Okay, so it hurts when….I breathe.”
Her frown shifted into a deeply concerned expression.
“We should get you to the hospital. You could have internal bleeding.”
He slowly shook his head. “It’s just a bruised rib. It’ll heal in a couple of days as long as I don’t aggravate it.”
“So you chose to not aggravate it by getting in bar fights and hunting down Faith with me? My God Dean, what were you thinking?”
“I was thinking, ‘I want to kill that bitch’ – I didn’t care about the pain.”
She pulled down his shirt and shot him a disapproving frown.
“Why didn’t you tell me you were injured? I thought she just messed up your face. If I had known how much pain you were in…”
“You would have stopped me,” he finished. “That’s why I didn’t tell you. I wasn’t going to miss out on the chance to beat the crap out of psycho chick.”
She shook her head as her face painted with aggravation. “You are one stubborn…..bonehead you know that?”
After a long minute, she let out a breath and started to peel off his wet shirts. She noticed a small crimson spot had bled through the bandage on his cheek. She gently pulled it off and stared at the material.
“What is this?’
“Ever hear of a band-aid?”
She shook her head as she searched the room for a first aid kit. She found a small kit in the damaged bathroom cabinet and shuffled back to the bed. She cleaned off the fresh blood and picked out a small band-aid from the kit. She pressed the band-aid over the cut and examined the rest of his face.
“Well, I guess this night wasn’t a total loss after all. I still got a hot chick to take me home and play nurse on me.
Although that outfit could use some work. It’s not nearly naughty enough.”
He cracked a playful smile that lifted her out of her blue funk. He started to peel off his long sleeve shirt until he grimaced. Buffy reached behind him and tugged the sleeves off. She helped him out of his tee shirt and then hung both pieces of clothing over a chair.
Her eyes fixated on his bruised rib. She sunk her face in her hands before meeting his eyes.
“I’m going to beat the crap out of Faith for doing this to you,” she growled. “I swear she’s going to pay.”
“Am I the only one getting naked or is there co-ed participation?”
“I’m okay like this,” she said.
“Yeah right, my teeth aren’t chattering.”
“I’ll get dry after I treat these last couple of cuts,” she replied. “Just lie back and relax.”
“You want to be on top? I like that idea – you do all the work and I reap the benefits.”
His eyes sparked with excitement as he slowly leaned back on the mattress. She sat beside him and began to meticulously clean another deep cut on his face. As he looked up and watched her, the deep glow of his eyes made her body tingle.
“Are you ever going to get in this bed with me or am I going to have work my charm on you?”
She gave a bashful smile, “Dean…you know that I….”
“Look, you’ve been shivering ever since you got here and with no heater you’re probably right about that catching cold thing. So….you and I just have to get warm the old fashioned way – with body heat.”
He hooked her with a disarming smile.
“Okay, that has to be a come on,” she said.
“Would that be so bad?”
She averted her eyes. “Um, I’m just not used to you dialing up the charm on me.”
“Well, it was only a matter of time and…..a whole lot of alcohol…”
She finished treating the last cut and put the kit aside. She shifted on the bed as he gazed at her expectantly. As she stood up, she felt the fabric of her jeans clinging to her. She frowned when she realized he was right. She was freezing and the drenched state of her clothes only exacerbated the chills swarming through her body. She started to unbutton her sweater when she saw the spark in his eyes.
“Uh, I’ll be right back,” she said.
“Oh come on Summers, no need to be shy, it’s not like I’m some stranger you took home from a bar. It’s just me.”
“Yeah – and that may be just as bad.”
She shuffled over to the bedside lamp and snapped it off, leaving the fain exterior street light beaming through the curtains as the only source of illumination. She hid in a dark corner and worked off her damp jeans and sweater, leaving her with just a shelf tank and a lacy pair of underwear. She stretched and tugged the shelf tank over her panties before she climbed under the sheets.
“Keep your hands to yourself Winchester,” she warned lightly.
“Hey, they roam on their own when the hot chick radar goes off. I am not responsible for the things they may grope.”
She felt the mattress rumble from his laughter.
“So why were you drinking so much?”
She watched him take in a few long breaths before he answered.
“I was trying to wash away a bad taste in my mouth.”
She blinked with acknowledgment. “Faith kissed you?”
She heard him emit a low groan as he swiped the liquor bottle from the bedside table. After a very long sip, he clenched the bottle beside him.
“Did she do anything else?
He snapped his eyes to her and sulked. “Could we not talk about this?”
“You slept with her too?”
“Uuuugh,” he groaned. “Thanks for putting that damn image in my head.”
He knocked back another long sip.
“Wait, what do you mean too?”
Buffy bit her lip before she sighed and finally revealed the conversation she had with Riley.
“So that’s why you had a fight and took off?”
“Am I overreacting? I mean, I guess it’s not like he was physically with another woman, it was my body….”
“But it wasn’t you and you think he should have felt that connection when he was….with you.”
“Well, yeah….I mean, Riley and I never got to….we kept getting interrupted and then when we actually got to…..it wasn’t me….”
She rolled onto her side and propped her elbow up. She rested her head in her hand and began to sink into her blue mood.
“Maybe I’m making a big deal and I’m being hard on him…..but I can’t help feeling – disappointed and hurt that he didn’t know it wasn’t me…..”
“Well, you haven’t been together that long – and if you two never did the deal – I guess it was an honest mistake….”
“An honest mistake? Faith seduced him in my body – he looked into her eyes and thought he saw my heart and my soul. He had one glimmer of doubt but he didn’t question it for too long. I just….I thought he knew me better….I trusted him – I believed in him and then….he couldn’t figure it out….maybe it’s selfish but it doesn’t make it hurt any less…she fooled him and she fooled you…and I hate her.”
“She didn’t fool me,” he clarified.
“But you said you slept with her.”
“First of all – EWW and second – she just kissed me and….groped me a little but that was it. I figured out something was going on with you before it went any further.”
“How? How did you know it wasn’t me?”
She watched him take a couple of long sips as he shifted his eyes away from her.
“You know you can always talk to me and I won’t judge you,” she replied.
“That’s crap, you always judge me,” he said.
“Dean, please – just tell me,” she pleaded softly.
He drew a deep sigh. “Little things added up that set my alarm off….”
“Like…..whenever you smile, or laugh or get that sparkle in your eyes when you get excited about some stupid chick crap – there’s just this feeling I get – and then….you didn’t say to hi me with that little crook in your smile…..you didn’t even notice or ask about the work I got done on my face….I started to get suspicious so I hugged you….her….and then when she kissed me….it felt – horrible, not like “Oh god I feel like I’m kissing my sister horrible” but something else….something cold and dark and empty…..and I never get that feeling when I’m around you….it didn’t overwhelm me with warmth the way I get whenever you hug me or touch me….and that’s when I knew something was really wrong but I played along just so I could confirm my suspicions.”
She gasped softly in astonishment.
“So you knew because of those little things?”
“And the fact that you kissed me like that, you’d never do that with me.”
She saw the hurt flare into his eyes and felt her heart sink. He finished the bottle of liquor and put the empty container on the bedside table. She stared at him, completely blown away by his candid confession. She had never truly realized just how deep their connection went. She was astounded by how with just the simplest of actions – a twinkle in her eye or a friendly hug – set off his instincts about her.
“No one knows me the way you do,” she said.
Feeling overwhelmed by the depth of his attentiveness, she felt her eyes well up with tears. As she reflected upon her dreadful romantic history, her heart soared with the realization that there was only one guy in her entire life who had never disappointed her. One guy who had always stood by her and watched over her as she made one bad decision after the other. One guy who disagreed vehemently with her choices but never stood in her way.
“Well – not intimately but I’m working on it. Give me ten minutes, maybe less.”
The stream of tears flowing down her cheeks stopped when she heard him. She hitched her head back and laughed.
“Not gonna happen,” she teased.
“Want to bet? I just got you to climb into my bed with most of your clothes off …. I got you right where I want you.”
He chuckled for a long moment before she started to giggle.
“But we can’t, it’d ruin our friendship.”
“Ever hear of the term friends with benefits? Well, considering how long we’ve been friends, I think the benefits are long overdue. It’s time to collect – so pay up.”
He clutched his bruised rib and slowly started to roll onto his left side. Buffy glanced at him with concern.
“Woah, what are you doing? Easy…”
She drew closer and helped him settle onto his left. She stuffed a pillow under his head and pulled the covers over him.
“I want to get a better look at you.”
“Oh I don’t think you really want to you, I sort of resemble a soggy rat and it’s kind of horrific.”
She watched his eyes roll over her.
“Well, you’re one cute soggy rat,” he said.
She snickered as she rested her head on the pillow beside him. “I kind of like drunk Dean – he’s so flirty and talkative. I feel like I can get you to admit anything.”
She was startled when he reached out and pulled her closer to his body. He caught her in an intense gaze as he locked his arms around her waist.
“Mmm, I’m much warmer now,” he said.
She closed her eyes when a sudden burst of heat coursed through her veins. She found herself snuggling within his hold.
“We need to do this more often,” he replied teasingly.
“Do what? Get in a bar fight and walk home in the pouring rain?”
“Hey whatever gets you naked and snuggling up to me,” he answered.
He gazed at her intently for a long moment. She gulped when she saw the desire flickering in his eyes. She twisted around and flipped on the radio. A Bryan Adams song played on the radio. She glanced at him when she settled back down on to the mattress."Look into my eyes - you will see,
What you mean to me."
She gulped when the desire thickened in his eyes. He pulled her back into his arms as she tried to break the awkward lull in conversation.“Search your heart - search your soul,
And when you find me there, you'll search no more."
“Uh….I take it you weren’t listening to the soft rock station earlier?’
“I haven’t done much since I’ve gotten here except for getting kicked in the face and trashing the room,” he said.
She graced a finger gingerly across one of the band-aids on his face.
“I’m sorry,” she said sincerely. “It seems like every time you come here you’re getting knocked around by a demon or a crazy rogue Slayer….”
He watched the sadness flood her eyes as her face knitted with guilt.
“I’ll understand if you don’t want to visit anymore,” she said softly. “I don’t know how you can stand it – I mean trouble and danger just seems to latch onto me and my friends.””Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for."
He reached a hand out from under the covers and pushed a lock of hair from her face.
“It’s a hard knocks life for us,” he chimed. “But you deal with it.”
“But what if hanging around me gets you killed? Your dad would kill me. God, I would kill me.”"You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for."
He shrugged. “We’re all gonna die someday,” he replied. “It may as well be something worth fighting for.””You know it's true,
Everything I do - I do it for you."
Buffy jumped a little when she felt his hand snaking around her waist to explore her abdomen. She should have frowned with offense but instead, caught a breath in her throat as his hand traveled along her thigh until he was cupping her ass.
“Jesus, you have one tight little body,” he lauded softly. “I really want to feel the rest of you.”“Look into your heart - you will find,
There's nothin' there to hide.
Take me as I am - take my life,
I would give it all - I would sacrifice."
She caught another gasp in her throat as the heat of his touch made her lower body ache with longing. "Don't tell me it's not worth fightin' for.
I can't help it - there's nothin' I want more."
She should have pushed him away but her mind was paralyzed with euphoria and her body stung with an intense attraction.
“Oh but if I let you do that, what do I get to do in return?”
“Whatever you want,” he replied.
Her heart began to hammer rapidly when he flashed a sexy smile at her. She picked his hand off her leg and entwined her fingers through his. She felt an intense warmth soar through her as she held his hand under the sheets. “Ya know it's true,
Everything I do - I do it for you."
When she was dumbstruck by the intense flicker in his eyes, he pulled her even closer to his body.
“You’re such a beautiful girl,” he said softly. “I always thought you were.”
He dipped his mouth onto hers and gave her a long, passionate kiss. “There's no love - like your love.
And no other - could give more love."
Buffy let out a soft moan when he kissed her. He raked his hand through her hair as the kiss lingered on for a long minute. She pushed her tongue into his mouth and explored him as he hiked her leg over his waist. He traced soft circles across her leg with his fingers as she gingerly caressed his face. “There's nowhere - unless you're there.
All the time - all the way."
She let out a breath as a wave of pleasure flooded through her body. She felt his hand tugging at the seam of her underwear. “Oh - you can't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.
I can't help it - there's nothin' I want more"
Buffy pulled away from his mouth as she felt his fingers dipping under the lace fabric of her panties. He paused and looked at her with those glowing eyes.
“You want to me to stop?”
She caught her breath as her body was bombarded with a tingling sensation.
“……..No…….” she answered softly.
“Then why’d you stop me? You think it’s wrong? It’s not like this is some dirty affair. I know you – you know me…..and I’ve done a hell of a lot for you over the years…..””Yeah, I would fight for you - I'd lie for you.
Walk the wire for you - yeah, I'd die for you.”
Her brows furrowed with light irritation.
“And this is what, how you want me to repay you?”
“No, that’s not what this is about…..I hoped you already figured it out by now…..I thought that was why you were here with me – like this.”
Her irritation faded when she saw the intense flicker in his eyes again.
“Yeah, I – was – not at first but then when you……..”
Her mind was spinning with an abundance of thoughts. She couldn’t pick out the right ones to express her overwhelming gratitude so she took a deep breath and listened to her heart.
“You….you’ve always stood by me – through everything – good and bad – I can always count on you for whatever I need. You’re the only guy in my life who has never failed to disappoint me, never…..”
Her lips began to quiver as tears sprung in her eyes.
“And I’m completely amazed that you knew it wasn’t me that kissed you at the Bronze. You trusted me when I was in Faith’s body – even after she tried to kill you – you were right there by my side – ready to help and you didn’t have to….you never have to help me but you do….and I used to think it was because your dad wanted you to but now……now I see how much you care about me….and I just want you know how much I appreciate you and everything you do for me…”
He studied her for a long minute. “Is this the part where I wake up and realize I was dreaming? Because I really hate that dream.”
“No, you’re not dreaming,” she said. “You can pinch me if you want.”
His shocked expression shifted into a wide grin. “Really? Where? Normally I wouldn’t bother setting guidelines but since I’m already sidelined with an injury I don’t think I can take much more pain from you hitting me.….”
She sniffed back the flow of tears and drew a small smile. She nestled her body deeper within his arms and hitched her head up to meet his eyes. She cracked an amused smile when his hands began to wander over her body.
“Are you going to remember any of this tomorrow?”
“Uh…it’s doubtful…who are you again?”
He chuckled as his hand began to peel down the straps of her top. She gently caught his hand and stopped him.
“You’re killing me your highness,” he groaned. “I want you so damn bad right now and you’re denying me – an injured man on his death bed.”
She giggled softly. “Oh you’re not dying. You’re just feeding me a really cheesy line to get in my pants.”
“No, it’s a cheesy line to get in your panties – I already got your pants off awhile ago….”
He began plastering the nape of her neck with lustful kisses. She bit back a moan rising in her throat. She struggled with capping her self-control the longer he attacked her neck with kisses.
“Surrender to me Summers,” he joked. “You can’t resist me forever.”
She hated that he was right. She summoned all of her self-control and snatched his wandering hands from her body. She entwined her fingers through his and gave him a long, tender kiss before breaking away.
“I want to be with you – I do,” she confessed. “But not like this – not if this is just a fuzzy memory for you tomorrow…you deserve better than just a drunken night with me….”
After a minute, he shrugged.
“I’m okay with it,” he said.
He inched toward her mouth to kiss her. She ducked her head away from him.
“Well I’m not,” she said. “Tomorrow, when you’re sober….I want to show you how much I care about you…..”
She nestled her head in the crook of his neck and snuggled her body against him. After a long silence, she feared her rejection had stung him. She looked up and saw that he had drifted off to sleep. She pressed a gentle kiss on the corner of his mouth. He stirred slightly as he shifted under the covers. He draped his arm around her and pulled her against the line of his body.
“I love you,” he muttered softly.
She gasped in awe before she leaned in and planted a loving kiss on his forehead.
TO BE CONTINUED. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO LEAVE FEEDBACK AND COMMENTS ON INDIVIDUAL CHAPTERS IF YOU LIKE. THIS IS JUST THE START – THERE IS MUCH MORE LOVEFEST TO COME! STAY TUNED.