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Summary: Glory's reappearance brings Ash and his warriors to Sunnydale starting off a chain of events which no one could ever imagine.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Literature > Dark Hunter SeriesshellcFR15961,81995417,6391 Jun 0918 Jan 13No

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Chapter Eight - Here's To The Night

TITLE: Chapter Eight – Here’s To the Night
RATING: FR21
DISCLAIMER: Buffy is the property of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy while everything Hunter belongs to Sherilynn Kenyon
SUMMARY: While Buffy is trying to explain her relationship with Zarek to everyone another suddenly changes and not necessarily for the better.





“What the hell are you doing here?”

It was Vane who snarled out the question but everyone in the room who was acquainted with the dark haired man standing in the doorway seemed to be pondering the same thing.

What the hell was Zarek of Moesia doing in Sunnydale?

He was supposed to be freezing his balls off back in Alaska where he had been since his little spot of ‘mischief’ in New Orleans.

Then again, as much as it was a surprise for them seeing him outside Buffy’s door – it wasn’t. The only thing you could expect from the Greek was that you could never expect anything from him. Just when you thought he would zig he would sneak up with a zag and while he would never admit it, it was something that Talon admired about the freak.

Up until his recent visit, he had actually felt a grudging sympathy for the black sheep of the ‘family’. He wasn’t nor did he ever want to be best buddies with him but unlike a good majority of the other Hunters, he could tolerate him in small doses. He had been of the theory that being stuck on your lonesome up in Freeze Ville would send anyone loony never mind a psycho who already had a few crumbs missing. The minute he had turned on Sunshine though everything changed. His girl had tried all she could to be civil to him but he spat it back in her face with what he did. It didn’t matter what T-Rex told him, when this was over, the Greek was gonna be acquainted with his fist. The way he was pawing Buffy just was another reason added to the list as far as he was concerned.

Ash was thinking along the same lines. Here was just another example of how ungrateful he truly was. He had used every bargaining tool he could to try and persuade Artie to allow his transfer to New Orleans to help against the daimons. Like the fuck wit he was, he had stupidly hoped that bringing him to the city would do some good but pretty much right away he realized how much of a balls up it was gonna be. The minute he faced off against Valerius, the countdown began. It wasn’t IF he was gonna blow. It was gonna be who would he take with him when it happened?

And that was exactly what he did. He took the easy way out and betrayed them. To his credit, he did come through in the end when he helped them against the others but it was because it was what he wanted to do rather than because it was the right thing in everyone’s eyes.

Even so he still argued the case with Artemis…literally sweating blood and tears by the time she was finished with him. The goddess had wanted him dead before he even left New Orleans but it wasn’t something he could live with and even knowing it would mean nothing – he had lobbied and won his right to survive another night.

He wasn’t naive enough to think Zarek would give a fuck. Even with what he had shown him, it was obvious it hadn’t gotten through. He wouldn’t change now even if he wanted to.

So why the hell did he always go to bat for him?

The reason for this was actually pretty simple. He felt sorry for the Greek. He always had done. He knew what had put him on the road to becoming the sociopath that he was today. The boy had had it hard from birth and it only got worse when he approached adulthood. To be accused and slaughtered over something you never perpetrated would screw you up whoever you were.

That didn’t matter right now as something more pressing was on his mind. Firstly why was he in Sunnydale to begin with and more importantly why the hell was Buffy all over him like a teenager watching the Backstreet Boys?

He knew just how charming Zarek could be. He had been told more than once the Greek had been hot even for a Hunter and add to that the bad boy image that he exuded and it would seem women would be over him like an addict over crack.

He didn’t keep it secret that he drank from the humans and it was well known that a Slayer’s blood was up there with ambrosia. It wouldn’t have taken him long to figure this out so more than likely he seduced her in the hope that he could get some of her nectar. As bitchy as Buffy had been to him the last few days she didn’t deserve to be treated like a blood bank or be subjected to the tornado of terror that he brought with him.
His actions like they always did would destroy everything and everyone around him. The best case scenario would end up with her hooked up to a machine in the ICU and at worst, lying cold in a slab in the hospital thanks to his carelessness. Something, he suddenly realized he didn’t want to see come to pass.

As soon as the unbidden apparition appeared in his head – Buffy lying cold on a slab -he swore he would do all he could to prevent it.
It had crept up slowly but now he could finally admit it. When all this mess with Glory was over with and they left town he would miss her. Unlike most of the females he had encountered over the centuries, she treated him as if he was nothing special. It was his throat she seemed to want to rip out rather than his dick and when she pouted at him it was because he had done something that pissed her off rather than get her panties wet.
That settled it – it didn’t matter why they knew each other. He was going to make sure the connection would be severed quickly and painlessly and he would use any method he could to achieve it. She wouldn’t be happy but it didn’t really matter. In the end she would realize he was right and as long as it kept her safe she didn’t care.

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Keeping a hold of Buffy who still had her arms wrapped around him, Zarek moved into the living area and seized the nearest seat to him which happened to be the couch, taking care to make sure she stayed molded to him as he did. As much as he was glad to see her, this wasn’t a totally honest act on his part. He wasn’t stupid. As soon as he clapped eyes on who else was in the room he figured he was in the shit. He was supposed to inform the boss if he wanted to relocate from his prison but he had been in too much of a rush to get to Buffy that it hadn’t even entered his head. Not that he gave a fuck either way. He was already top of the shit list so this wasn’t exactly gonna tilt it either way.

He was already screwed anyway over his behaviour in New Orleans. Even though he had changed sides in the end, he had still stabbed them in the back so he figured it would be a long time coming if ever that they chose to look at him with anything but seething hatred. Even Sunshine was looking at him as if he was the shit on her shoe. Not that he gave a crap but there was no way in hell that he was gonna spend the next few days being talked down to by these overgrown hall monitors.

As soon as he has saw the matching scowls on both the wolf and ex Hunter’s features, he knew the clock had already started ticking. Then he saw Ash.

He was used to the Atlantean threatening to castrate him yet he had never seen this particular expression before…it kinda looked like…nah, there was no way that was possible, he must’ve been seeing things which actually might have been possible considering the amount of alcohol he had drunk in the last twenty four hours.

Ignoring the humans who weren’t important enough to earn his consideration as well as the group he knew, he turned his attention to the only one in the room that he deemed worthy – the small blonde nestled in his arms.

“You seem a bit better Tiger?” he sat back, using the nickname he had gifted her long ago, confident that even if they attacked he would have her on side, learning long ago just what a pissed off Slayer was capable of. Then again, it would be worth shit stirring just to see her in action again. It had been a while.

She shrugged, finally getting off his lap to take a seat next to him, leaning her head on his shoulder. “I’m still glad you came.”

“I said I would.” He patted her knee, once again sending everyone into the Twilight Zone.

The group who knew Zarek were stunned for another reason entirely. He was willingly touching and also letting someone touch him. Stranger still, there seemed to be no signs of the violent reprisals they would have expected. In fact, his face actually seemed to soften whenever his eyes found her. This of course changed when he met anyone else’s eyes. Then the steel returned to them and without words he promised a bloody outcome if they so much as uttered a word.

As it turned out Ash and Talon weren’t the only ones uneasy about this…relationship that the two seemed to share.

As far as Vane was concerned Zarek would know pain like he had never experienced if he as much as looked at Buffy the wrong way. It didn’t matter that they had only just met, she was like family to him now and no one, human, hunter, demon or anything else in between would harm her.

“So, you gonna do the introductions pet?”

It had surprised her how long he had held out. She knew the others would leave their questions until it was just the gang sitting but she had been sure Spike would have jumped straight in as soon as he could.

She hesitated before speaking, knowing what was coming. She would have to tell them the truth about how she met Zarek which meant she would have to be honest about her time in LA, something she wasn’t too keen on right at the minute. She knew D day was fast approaching but she still hadn’t worked out the best way to do the reveal with the least amount of damage.

“This is Zarek,” she answered him. “Zarek this is Spike aka William the Bloody.” She introduced the two men then one by one the others as well, beginning with Willow and finishing with her mother.

“We met when I was in LA,” she continued. “I found a nest and walked in to see Rambo over there letting his fists do the talking.”

As the pair of them reminisced, everyone but Ash seemed to hold on to their every word. He was more interested in the fact that she had her arm wrapped around his bicep. Although he wasn’t touching her, he wasn’t shrugging her off either. It shouldn’t have bothered him but for some fucked up reason, every single glance; every touch that they shared upped the temp of his blood until he was sure he could feel it boiling in his veins.

Then the bombshell was dropped.

In the last thirty years Zarek had only left Alaska twice and that was only because it was life or death time. That had been New Orleans a few weeks previously and a month long trip to Los Angeles in 1997. She had clearly stated that he told her what he was to save her from putting a chunk of wood into him.

So she already knew what Hunters were long before he and the others arrived in Sunnydale. That along with the secret she kept about Artemis had torn him. Here she was reaming them out for keeping things hidden when it looked as if she had a vault full of them. This needed to be sorted now.

He bid his time but eventually he would corner her and there was no way he would let her go until he was satisfied. Miss Summer had a lot of explaining to do.

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“So you’ve finally surfaced then?”

Buffy just stopped herself from leaping out of her seat. She had been so preoccupied with her thoughts that she hadn’t heard Sunshine enter the kitchen. It wouldn’t do her reputation any good to let it be known that a normal human had managed to surprise the Slayer.

“Was hungry,” she finally answered after swallowing the muesli that she had just shoveled in before her step mother’s appearance. “My appetite seems to have come back with a vengeance.”

The older woman laughably shook her head as she took a cup from the sink and poured herself a coffee before taking a seat opposite at the table. “You sound just like your father.”

Buffy smiled taking a sip of her orange juice. It should have been weird how easily she had come to terms with what had happened the last few days. Truthfully she should have been screaming to the skies over the shit that had been thrown on her plate the last few days but she didn’t see it like that. She had already decided that Talon and by extension Sunshine were of the good long before she found out about her true lineage.

From the moment their paths crossed, the pair of them had easily formed a connection which she knew would outlast their tenure in Sunnydale. She would miss them all when they left, Ash and Vane included but it would be Talon that she wished could stay. Yeah, it had been a surprise when she found out the truth but you point out anyone who said they didn’t care and she would show you someone with their pants on fire.

“…You in there Buffy?”

Sunshine’s hand waving in front of her brought her out of her self-imposed bubble. “Huh?”

“It doesn’t matter,” she sighed taking a sip of her coffee.

“Where is everyone anyway?” Buffy changed the subject. Usually the kitchen was packed in the morning with everyone jostling to get a seat at the table but she had been pleasantly surprised to find it empty this morning when she came down.

“Well considering it’s passed eleven, I’m guessing that they are either at work or still sleeping.”

“Huh?” Buffy dropped the spoon in the haste to check her watch.

“You were late in bed last night,” she answered. “Your dad got up about four and he said you were still up then.”

“Yeah, I was catching up with Zarek,” she nodded, once again noticing the near grimace when his name was mentioned. She knew he wasn’t a saint but she was honestly of the shocked to see how unwelcome his appearance seemed to be.

Sunshine nodded but said nothing more. She was of the theory that if you had nothing nice to say they you remained silent.

Catching on to this, Buffy got up to place her bowl in the sink before sitting back down. “Okay, out with it.”
“Excuse me?”
“Whatever it is that has you all look like there has been major sucking of the lemons? I noticed it last night whenever he said anything or his name was mentioned. Let’s just say if looks could kill then we would all be wearing black right now.”

She hesitated on whether she should say something or not. She was sure Zarek wouldn’t be happy that she was tattling on him but then again Buffy was family and she didn’t want the girl getting hurt because of his proven recklessness.

“”The thing is…well…”

There was a pause before Buffy answered. “I see…you know I totally get why you didn’t want to tell me now. It’s quite a story isn’t it?”

The sarcasm filled reply was enough to have her rolling her eyes. Yes, she truly was her father’s daughter. “Buffy I know you think he’s your friend…”

“I don’t think anything,” all humor left her face. “I know you’re worried about me Sunshine but you shouldn’t be. I know who Zarek is, believe me. I know he can’t always be trusted just as much as I know he is nuttier than a granola bar but you know what? I really don’t give a shit. He might be a bastard but he’s my bastard.”

“I know you think…” she started to repeat.

“I don’t think. I KNOW!” she talked right over her. “A lot happened in LA Sunshine. I went slaying every night hoping that a vamp would have his one good day and you know what? One nearly did. The only thing that stopped him was the walking fruitcake that you all have decided is the devil incarnate. I was laying there, two slashes away from being a lattice and rather than feed from me like most of you figure he would, he stopped the blood and wrapped me up.”

“I didn’t know that.” She sat back on her seat once again feeling uncomfortable. She had been the one to tell Talon to give Zarek a chance back in New Orleans yet turned on him the minute she could. Yes he had done wrong but in the end he willingly risked his own safety to help her. It did count for something, no matter how small.

“Maybe if you had asked rather than decided it was time to don the judge robes and play with the gavel?” she sighed. “I’m not gonna tell you what happened because it has nothing to do with anybody but us but all I will say is without him, I would never have found the strength to come back.”

“Tonight on Springer…I don’t care if you think he sucks, I’m keeping my man!”

Both women turned to see a shirtless Zarek leaning against the doorway obviously having been there for a while.

Buffy glared at him. “Don’t you know it’s rude to listen to other people’s conversations Nosy Norman?”

“You shouldn’t have been talking so loud then,” he shrugged, scratching his stomach as he walked over to the coffee pot.

“Not my fault that you can hear everything Dumbo.” She shot back earning a smirk as he poured himself a cup. He doubted it would be any good but still.

Uncomfortable with the familiarity between the couple Sunshine quickly made her excuses as she stood up. “I think I’ll go and use the shower now while it’s free.” Without even waiting on an answer she jumped up and walked out of the room.

“Am I being paranoid or doesn’t she like me?” he walked over and took her vacant chair at the table stretching as he did, obviously feeling at home.

“Ya think?” the sarcasm rolled off her tongue. “God knows why though since it’s obvious you are the innocent party. I mean it was her back that hurt your knife…the bitch!"

Unsurprisingly the first chance he got last night, her dad had made a beeline in her direction keen to tell her of every wrongdoing he had committed.

Then after hearing this, Giles and the others had been quick to get involved asking if she was sure she knew what she was doing. In no uncertain terms she had told them to back the hell off.

The only ones who hadn’t said anything was her mother Spike and Ash. It was obvious her mom was still trying to make up for her little bombshell so she thankfully kept out of it. Spike did the same but this was only because he would wait to get her on her own but she knew even so that she had his backing.

The only one she wasn’t sure about was Ash. He had kept surprisingly quiet last night when everyone else took a step forward and had walked out when the crapola had started.

“I saved her in the end!” he argued.

“Wow, you’re my hero,” she clasped her hands together earning a growl. “Seriously though, you were an ass.”

He shrugged. There were only a few people in existence that could talk to him that way and the blonde sitting opposite him was one of them.

He snorted into his cup earning a glare. “Speaking of being an ass, how is daddy taking all this then? Should I be looking over my shoulder?”

“You wouldn’t see with that gigantic chip on it,” she shook her head affectionately before continuing. “To be honest I’m not really sure. We haven’t had the chance to talk since last night.”

“Why didn’t you tell them about me?”

“It’s not that I kept it a secret deliberately,” she answered honestly standing and moving over to the fridge, her voice muffled when she bent to get the jug of orange juice. “I figure that Spike doesn’t know every vampire walking about so ditto with you lot. There’s that many of you that it just isn’t possible.”

“It is Tiger. The gigantic voodoo doll currently in the basement is proof of that,” he answered watching her sit back down. “After we cross over and the bitch has washed her hands with us, it’s his turn with the lectures and sermons.”

“Wow, your very own Yoda minus the green.” She filled the glass again before taking a drink. “Teach you, he has.”

He shook his head in disgust before answering. “I’m pretty sure he has gone the green route at one point. It’s been every other fucking colour so my money’s on it.”

“Technically your wrong there Z, I’ve never had it Ecru.” Ash answered walking into the room, minus his shades. They were in his shirt pocket but there was no point wearing them in the house since the only other people downstairs knew about his ‘condition’.

“I thought that was a bird?” Buffy looked over in confusion.

“I think you me…” he started to speak.

“Are you thinking about an Emu bimbo?” Zarek spoke over Ash, earning a glare from him and a now pissed off looking Slayer.

“Actually right at this moment I’m thinking vivisection and guess who the lucky winner’s gonna be?” she shot back.

“I’ve told you before baby, if you want your hands on my body then all you gotta do is ask.” He smirked running his tongue across his lips.

“And I told you, I grew out my Wolverine wannabe stage a long time ago,” she answered standing up. “And on that note, I’m gonna get changed. Anya roped me into helping out for a couple of hours this afternoon so try and not get into too much trouble.” She nodded her goodbyes and left leaving the two Hunters and an increasingly uncomfortable silence behind her.

“Okay, out with it?” Zarek sighed when it was obvious Ash wasn’t gonna say anything first.

“What is it you want me to say? You shouldn’t have done it? Why didn’t you say you knew a Slayer? Where exactly should I start Zarek?” he mentally counted to twenty before looking at the other man. “More importantly why should I bother? We both know you ain’t gonna listen to anything I say.”

“She needed me. I came. End of story.” His tone told Ash that he had no intention of adding any more to the conversation.

“Why though? You don’t give a fuck about anyone but yourself so why the big deal with Buffy. I’m pretty sure that no one is that good a lay?” he regretted it as soon as the words left his lips but he really needed to know what the hell was going on and if it meant pissing him off to admit it then so be it.

Zarek said nothing as he took a sip of his coffee refusing to show any weakness but it took every single bit of restraint that he had learned over the years not to reach over and snap the Atlantean’s head off.

He could understand the Celt’s behaviour as now he knew that he was her pop but he couldn’t for the life of him understand why Ash was so pissed.

Now though it made sense. He had noticed the dark looks that the taller man was sending his way last night especially when Buffy offered to share her room with him. He had politely declined but not before witnessing Ash’s face darken with something he couldn’t quite figure out.

Now he understood perfectly – he was jealous. He might not even realize it but whenever she touched not only him but any of the other men he turned green. Even knowing that the Watcher was like a father to her and that Spike and Xander were seen as brothers, he still steamed up whenever she touched them. He looked as if he wanted to rip every bone from their bodies.

There wasn’t much to go on just now but he would have to keep an eye on things. Head Hunter or not, if he as much as hurt a hair on the Slayers head, he would pay. He wasn’t stupid he knew going against the taller man would be suicide but it would be worth it to make sure Buffy was safe.

Don’t get him wrong. He knew she was capable of looking after herself but as far as he was concerned, she was under his protection which meant until the day she died, if she needed him then he would be there for her.

It wasn’t just Buffy who had needed help in Los Angeles. Unknowingly he had been desperate for a reason to keep on surviving too. He had found it in the small woman child upstairs currently in the shower. He was glad he hadn’t done what he was gonna to begin. He had thought of her as a quick lay and nothing more figuring she would be willing to part her legs after him saving her but sometime during the night everything changed. Like her, he wouldn’t ever divulge what had happened between them to another soul but now that Buffy was in his life he would kill absolutely anyone to keep her in it.

“That’s filled under ‘it has fuck all to do with you’ ,” he finally answered. “I told you last night and I’m gonna tell you again. This thing with Buffy and me is about the two of us and nobody else. The girl needed me. It was that simple,” he took another swig before continuing. “A piece of advice though. You ever talk about her like that again and boss or not we will find out who has the biggest stones. No one and I do mean no one ever treats her like that and gets away with it.”

He nodded knowing himself that he had overstepped the mark but it wasn’t an apology. “Ditto,” he answered. “You’d do well to take your own advice Greek. She isn’t some bimbo from the street. She’s…”

“Got nothing to do with you,” the other man once again interrupted. “Unless they got it wrong and you’re her dad? No? It’s still Talon well then, I reiterate. This is between Buffy and me so you and the rest of them can keep the fuck out of it.” Without another word he scraped back the chair, stood and walked out leaving a fuming Ash behind.

It had taken every piece of self-control that he had earned in the last millennium to stop him from reaching over and ripping the little fucker’s heart out of his chest. How dare he talk to him like that? If it had been anywhere but here he would have done it but he had a feeling he would have been put on the top of Joyce’s shit list if he as much as misplaced a coaster and while he would never admit it, he had a feeling that Buffy got her balls from her mother.

At least his earlier theory had been proven right though. Zarek was lying to her so now he had to figure out a way to show her that he wasn’t who he claimed to be. When she knew the real man there was no frigging way that she would want anything to do with the deranged fruitcake. As far as he was concerned, he had used up his last lifeline by cheating Buffy. There was no way he would stand back while Zarek took the piss out of her just to get her into his bed. He would kill him first.

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A few hours later Buffy was half way through her nightly patrol and she still didn’t know why her companion was with her.

She had just been about to walk out the front door en route to the Magic Box when he stopped her and asked if she wanted any company for patrol that night. Although she would have preferred a root canal, she didn’t actually have a reason to say no so all she could do was nod.

Unfortunately, she knew exactly why he had asked to tag along. She had seen the looks he and her dad had been sending Zarek last night then she had caught some of the conversation between the pair of them in the kitchen earlier on. She knew Ash was just looking out for her but just because it said blonde on the box it didn’t mean she had bimbo written underneath. Yeah it was kinda sweet in a way that he was looking out for his friends daughter but she wasn’t some wet behind the ears school girl.

She knew exactly who Zarek of Moesia was and that was why she was so pissed at them. Yeah he wasn’t perfect but then neither was anyone else so what gave them the right to say stay away?

From the corner of her eye, she could see him watching her once again.

“Okay out with it?” she stopped where she was standing and crossing her arms over her chest. Biting back a yawn she lent back and waited on the fireworks which she knew were about to arrive.

“With what?” his eyes widened, telling her she he hadn’t been giving her his full attention.

Any other time she would have said something but right now she wanted this out of the way. “Whatever it is that’s stuck up your ass.”

Okay maybe that had been the wrong thing to say. Who knew someone could go red so quickly.

If you were being technical then yeah, she was the one in the wrong. She had known about Hunters long before Ash and the others arrived and still, she kept it hidden. Worse still, knowing this, she still reamed him out about lying to her. No doubt about it she was guilty.

She should be big girl Buffy and suck it up.

He continued to stare at her, not saying anything and it was freakier than if he was screaming murder at her. Maybe it was time to change tactics to a tried and tested formula.

“I’m sorry.” The pout came into play. “I know I should have told you but like I said to…”

“Nope,” that isn’t gonna work with me,” he shook his head, walking over to the mausoleum to lean on it; “I’m not Spike sweetheart. The pout or the puppy eyes do nothing for me.” Okay it was a little lie but she didn’t need to know that. “Now, please ‘cause I would really like to know. When did you decide I came up the Nile in a banana boat?”

“Huh?

“Why didn’t you tell us you knew about Hunters at the beginning? Fuck Buffy, why didn’t you say after. You know every time I think I’m getting somewhere with you, you pull the frigging rug out from under me.”

“Technically you didn’t ask.” She sighed. It looked as if she was actually going to have to do this.

“Technically I shouldn’t have had to!” he shot back. “It’s simple really. ‘Oh you’re a Hunter. I know a Hunter too.’ You see how easy it is?”

“So you go around telling people everyone you know?” she shot back just as quickly, a frown appearing on her features. Yeah, she would allow him certain exceptions because she had been in the wrong but even so. “Anyway,” she continued. “From what I heard Zarek is enemy number one among all you so if I told you that I did know him then I would have to be looking for the knife before you got me.”

“Is that right?” he laughed humorously. “I figured you would be a little old to still listen to fairy tales Buffy. You actually believed the whole ‘It’s everyone’s fault but mine’ crap that he’s been pulling that last century.”

Rather than do what she wanted which was to rearrange his too pretty to be real features, she took the high road and walked away, not without flipping him off first.

“Surprise surprise, the going gets tough and Buffy bottles it. You ever actually managed to get through an argument without running?” he knew he was being harsh but it was pissing him off that she had the audacity to stand there and try and talk her way out of it. This was the problem. She had been allowed to get her own way for so long that she figured it was a given that everyone would bow to her every word. Well, it was time to fix that theory.

She stopped in her tracks, slowly turning around. “You wanna repeat that?”

“I’m pretty sure you heard me!” he shrugged.

“You might be able to talk to all your ‘soldiers ’any way you want and I’m sure they hang on to every ‘so exciting’ word but unlike those simpletons it takes more than a pretty boy smile or flash of flesh to fall for your crap and think your interesting.”

“Is that so?” he stepped away from the mausoleum.

“Yeah it is. I know what’s really wrong but save your breath. I don’t care if you tell me that he burned an orphanage to the ground. All I care about is the fact that Zarek has always been there for me. He has never asked for anything in return unlike some.”

“You really don’t know him then!” his raised voice sounded even louder in the stillness of the cemetery.

“It’s you I don’t know, not him. I actually thought you were okay but after getting to know you I’m thinking I was wrong. You’re only interested in being nice if it benefits you so believe me when I saw hell WILL freeze over before I make that mistake again. Zarek might be a psycho but he ain’t a backstabbing piece of crap like you.”

“You finished?” his eyes never left hers as he deliberately took his time taking his shades off and placing them in his pocket before moving over to her, the look in his eye a promise of vengeance as she finally realized what it must feel like to be deer ready to be pounced on by a lion.

“Not even?” she answered, mocking him as her hands came to her hips, not wanting to show any weakness in front of him. Outwardly it was the Slayer who was facing him but inside she was all with the trembling. He was freaking scary when he was pissed off guy.

“This is my town Acheron. As long as he is in it, Zarek is under my protection and Hunter or not, if you even try hurting him then you will see what a Slayer really is. If you’re not happy with that then you know where the door is…I didn’t ask for your help and I sure as hell don’t need it. I have people that I actually trust for that so how about you go somewhere you are actually wanted for once.”

As soon as the words left her lips, she was sorry but she wasn’t backing down. Who the fuck was this guy to think he could tell her what to do?
He growled in retaliation. He truly couldn’t remember ever losing it so quickly before. Not over something so trivial. It wasn’t the first time he had been sassed and to be honest what she had said was a drop in the ocean compared to what he had to face from his troops when they were pissed.
For some reason though, this tiny girl in front of him had an unrivaled knack of getting to him…deep down where no one else could. He didn’t like it.

He was always in control…he needed to be in control and whenever something or someone came alone to try and change that, he dealt with it the best way he could.

What he really wanted to do was turn the arrogant little bitch over his knee and give her the whooping that she obviously had never had from her parents. He wouldn’t stop until she was begging him too. A little extreme maybe but it would show her just who was in charge.

“One of these days, that mouth is gonna get you in shit little girl!” he snarled taking a step towards her.

“And what exactly are you gonna do?” she smirked. “Put me over your knee and spank me like the bad Slayer I am?”

Later on she would realize it was the smirk was a step too far but right now she was blissfully unaware what was about to happen.

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Without warning, his eyes bled from the typical silver into a more terrifying red as his mouth curled up to reveal his fangs.

Realizing the danger she was in, she went into a defensive position but he was too fast for her. With one stride, he reached over and took a grip of her shoulders, holding her so hard that he actually lifted her off the ground as he held her.

“You are going to learn princess. It’s up to you if you choose the hard or easy way but at the end of the day, you WILL listen to me Buffy.” He promised her.

“Bite me!” she growled bringing a leg up to kick him in the balls.

With a snarl he threw her to the ground, following her by dropping to his knees, trapping her legs within his much larger trunks as she continued to struggle.

“I swear to god, I am gonna end you even if it’s the last….” The rest of the sentence was cut off when he swooped down and captured her lips in his.
It wasn’t what he was going to do but the minute she started struggling growling out what she was going to do to him, he immediately hardened. He had never wanted anyone so much in all his life and if this was the only chance he had then he was gonna take it.

To begin with she did nothing but her hesitance lasted seconds. For some reason she had gone from wanting to kick his ass back to the Bayou to wanting to do nothing more than wrap her legs around him and give him the ride of both their lives.

The minute she felt his tongue trace alone her lips, begging for entrance, she gave in, not caring that they were lying in a cemetery. All she cared about was leveling the playing field by bringing her own tongue into the mix moaning her acceptance as they fought for dominance using their lips, tongues and teeth, tasting every part of each other.

When he was finally satisfied that she wouldn’t run he lent back so she could bring her arms up to wrap around him.

Her hands went to his neck but at the last minute they stopped at his shoulders as if for some reason she knew he wouldn’t like being touched there.

It didn’t matter though as her legs came up and locked around his waist, moaning in delight when she felt the much larger than average lump grinding into her jean covered pussy.

“Fuck!” he groaned when she broke away for air.

Instead of answering she nodded and without any warning, her hands went to the collar of his t-shirt and she split it down the middle to reveal the sexiest six pack…actually make that more like eight pack she had ever seen. Even the scars on his chest and neck wasn’t enough to take the hotness away from him.

“You like?” he raised an eyebrow desperately hoping she did. Sure he knew he was hot but he still liked to hear the words. What man didn’t like hearing that he was sex on legs?

Without warning, she tightened her legs around his waist and flipped them over so she was now on top and without missing a beat; she bent down and captured one of his nipples into her mouth, snagging it with her teeth earning a pleasure filled growl as her hair tickled his chest with every flick of her tongue. Her hand tended to its partner while she licked and sucked her way up to his throat, once again bringing her teeth into play.

He wasn’t idle either taking the opportunity to slip her tank top over her head, glad she didn’t feel the need to wear a bra, his much larger hands enclosing around her pert mounds, giving each a flick with his thumb before releasing them so he could grab her by the nape and pull her down for another kiss.

“I….I need…” she sighed as his hand dropped down to her jeans, slipping inside to find she had no underwear on and also that she was completely bare, something that he loved. Continuing the kiss, her hands went to his belt, undoing it as he traced her lips, feeling her wetness.

“I swear I’ll make it so good for you sweetheart!” he promised, his voice changing into a more melodic lilt as he entered a finger into her now soaking hole, continuing to thrust it in and out as he reached up, his tongue coming out to flick her nipples whenever she moved.

Her only answer was to moan louder as she lowered the zip just enough to reach in and grab his cock, biting back another sigh when she felt how big he was. She knew he had been blessed thanks to the pants he wore but there was no way she would be expecting that. She was just about to pull him out when a noise from the side caught both their attentions.

They looked up to see a vampire staring back at them, a leer over his features. “You got room for one more there Slayer?”

Within seconds the walking corpse exploded into a shower of dust.

As if coming out of a trance, Buffy looked where the pile of dust was now littering the ground and Ash as everything started to become clear.
“Oh god!” she shook her head as if it would stop reverse everything. What the hell had he just done….never mind that. What had she done?”
“Buffy….” Ash tried to gain her attention, knowing he had fucked up from the look of despair on her face.

“Don’t!”” she lurched off him, grabbing her discarded top needing to really get away from both him and the situation.

With every step she took, he willed her to turn back to him but when she broke into a run, he knew that was it. He had screwed everything up.

“Fuck!” he cursed and with a sigh, he picked up his torn shirt and got up intent at first on following her but realizing it was probably a bad idea he about turned and made his way back to the house.

He knew as bad ideas went this was up there but there was no use denying it anymore – he wanted her. He probably had from the beginning if he was being honest and as wrong as it was, now he had tasted a slice, he wanted every last piece of her. No one had managed to get him hard as quickly as she could…not even Artie.

She might not be as classically pretty as the goddess but she was beautiful and he had no doubt that if they had managed to finish tonight she would have rocked his world. This one encounter had teased him with what it could really be like and it brought up the true mockery that was his relationship with Artie. Never once had she reacted to him the way that Buffy had with every touch burning him even more than the last. She teased him because she knew it would turn him on not because she wanted to prove her hold over him.

Sighing in discomfort, he tried to adjust his crotch but it was no use. He knew from experience that the only way to get rid of it would be to take care of it himself . He knew he wouldn’t have any trouble finding someone to help him out but there was only one pair of legs he wanted to be between and it looked as if they would be closed for business from now on if her reaction was anything to go by. Doing the only thing he could, he made his way to an empty crypt, making sure the door was jammed shut before he unbuckled his belt and slid down his zip, taking himself into his hand and shutting his eyes as an image came into his head of her completely naked spread legged leaning against the wall as he knelt between her legs tasting her while his other hand came up to his face, placing the fingers into his mouth so he could taste the still fresh smell of her.
He knew it wouldn’t take long as he changed the fantasy to him taking her from behind one hand holding onto her waist while the other grabbed her hair as he drilled into her, listening to her begging for more.

A few minutes later he was biting back a roar as he erupted. He wasn’t happy but he was satisfied for the night and after cleaning and tucking himself back in, he made his way towards the pub ready to drink himself into oblivion…knowing as he did that it was unlikely.

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“What are you doing…Buffy?” Anya’s voice softened when she saw the state of her disheveled friend. “Are you okay?” she opened the door so Buffy could walk in.

“I needed to talk to someone. Xander’s not here is he?” she walked into the living room taking a seat with Anya following her after shutting the door.
She shook her head. “He’s at the Bronze with Spike but never mind that. What the hell happened to you?”

Buffy took a minute to answer. She really needed to talk this over. Usually it would be Spike she went to but she really needed another woman’s opinion. As much as she loved Willow, the girl was still kind of Prude-some when it came to sex. She knew she could talk openly with Anya without the other woman trying not to show her disappointment in her. She could really do without another Parker the Poop head incident where she openly supported her but the disappointment had still been obvious in Will’s eyes.

“Wow!” she answered after Buffy had explained everything. “I was waiting on this coming.”

“What?” Buffy did a double take.

“After the way he acted last night when you were with Zarek, it became obvious that he had a thing for you,” she answered honestly. “Anytime he touched you, Ash went green…not literally obviously but yes he was very jealous. Funnily enough we were talking about it tonight before they left.”

“Who was?”

“Seriously Buffy where’s your head at sweetie?” she shook her head as if talking to a small child. “I was talking about Spike, Xander and myself. Spike came to pick him up. It was the first chance that we got to talk without anyone hearing that shouldn’t. As I say, I wasn’t so surprised about Acheron but I have to say I was shocked about you. You never showed any interest in him.”

“That’s the thing,” she answered honestly. “Up until he jumped on me in the cemetery I didn’t think I had.” She answered her head going into her hands. “God, I’ve screwed it all up again. I said some really shitty things to him An’. It was as if I was someone had taken over me…like I was standing there watching…do you know what I mean?.”

The ex-demon nodded and urged her to continued knowing this needed to be done or it would just fester.

“I know I should have said something at the start but…hell I don’t know why I didn’t. And now he’ll…scratch that. They will all leave now.”

“That all depends,” Anya finally answered as she sat back. “He explained that all Hunters have different powers right? You’re dad said the same so in all likely hood that’s all it was. Maybe because he‘s the oldest one he has a few upgrades that the others don‘t.” She shrugged not really caring apart from the fact that Buffy was bothered about it.

“You’ve changed your tune?” she narrowed her eyes at her friend. “The other night you were all for having him hanged at the stake and now you wanna be part of his gang?”

She shrugged again. “He’s helped us Buffy. You can’t deny it. That night Glory got a hold of you…you were bad,” she looked away for a minute as the image of a thoroughly beaten Buffy came to her. “I’m not gonna lie to you. If it hadn’t been for him you would have died in Spike’s arms. You might not remember it but I sure will.”

“So your saying I should…what? Give him a chance?”

“I’m not telling you to date him,” she shook her head. “You got into a fight and the adrenaline started. We both know how excited we can get when that happens right?”

Buffy nodded. “The two H‘s - Hungry and Horny.”

“Exactly,” she replied. “It could have just been that you needed your itch scratched and that was it. If your saying that you’ve never thought of him like that before then more than likely that was the case but either way, I do think you owe him an apology and need to be honest with him. You have to decide what you want to do with things. Was this a one off? Do you want to continue and or does Ash? Either way don’t feel bad about it Buffy. You’re an adult and this is what adults do.”

“What about the others though? Won’t they say something when they find out?”

“Not necessarily,” she scooted over and patted her on the back. “Go upstairs and have a shower. I’ll leave some clothes for you and at least that way no one else will know apart from you, me and Ash. You can just tell them you got into a set to with a demon. It won’t exactly be a full lie.”
“Thank you An,” she smiled for the first time that night. “Xander doesn’t know how lucky he is.”

“Is he?” she actually looked confused.

“Yes he is and he better not forget it,” she nodded, reaching over for a quick hug before standing up.

“One thing though,” she asked following her out of the room. “How big is he?”

Buffy’s answer was to throw her head back and laugh.

After freshening up and thanking Anya once again, she made her way home. All the way she thought about what Anya had told her. Was this a one off with Ash? Did he like her? Would he still care now after what she had done to him?

As she reached the house, she was surprised to see it was in darkness. A quick look around showed a note on the island in the kitchen informing her of everyone’s whereabouts. Dawn was staying with Janice and Sunshine was helping her mother at the gallery while all the men had gone to the Alibi Room to get pissed….Spike’s words not hers.

She had a quick sandwich before deciding to have another shower just to be on the safe side.

After she had dried her hair and moisturized herself, she chucked on a t-shirt before slipping between the sheets and un-wrapping the package to reveal the book that Anya had just reminded to hand her on the way out the door.

Starting at the first page, she read it cover to cover, not missing a sentence until she reached the end, the frown on her face getting bigger with every paragraph until she slammed it shut, biting back the growl she had wanted to let out as all feelings of embarrassment were shoved aside to make room for the red hot anger she felt shooting through her now.

“I am gonna rip you to pieces you lying son of a bitch!”
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