- Ahoy, smut ahead! *coughs* Um, I mean…
Warning: The following contains sexually explicit material that may not be suitable for everyone. Chapter Twenty-Eight
A picture in the hall crashed to the floor as Buffy propelled Eric into the wall on the way to the bedroom. He doubted they’d actually make it there but couldn’t care less - he was far too involved in the feeling of her, soft and hot against him, to care about where they were. He grabbed her tightly and lifted, a groan ripping out of him against the base of her throat when the hottest part of her pressed against his bared lower stomach as her legs wrapped around him. Small hands slid under his open shirt, palms soothing and nails biting.
A gentleman would ask her if she was sure, carry her like a princess to the bedroom while whispering how beautiful she was, would be gentle because of her injury despite her telling him not to be.
Eric wasn’t a gentleman.
He spun, slamming her against the wall, one hand palming a breast roughly while the other went to the button on his pants. He barely had the zipper down before he was in her. A hoarse cry came from one of them - which, he wasn’t sure. His eyes clamped shut as he struggled to hang on to even an ounce of control. She was so tight and every stroke had her gripping him like a vice, barely allowing him to pull out before welcoming him back in.
He’d been with many women (many, many
women), but never had it been like this. Even in the throes of passion he’d always been able to keep his legendary control, reading his partner’s body like a book and elevating the encounter into unheard of depths, making sure to almost drive them mad with pleasure before finding his own release. For him, the stroking of his ego - knowing that after experiencing love making with him, no other would ever measure up - was just as fulfilling as the actual act. But this time it was different. Somehow his own pleasure had gotten tangled up with hers. Wild and unscripted, it was simultaneously exhilarating and unnerving.
Her hands gripped the collar of his shirt, pulling his mouth to hers. She nipped at him, tongue tracing his fangs, making him shudder and snatch at his slipping self-control.
“Don’t hold back,” she murmured against his mouth. “Let go. I can take it.”
If Eric were religious minded, he would’ve sworn a ray of light shown down when she said that - a reverent “ahhhhhh” of holy spirits accompanying her words. But he wasn’t, and what they were doing wasn’t likely to get any kind of holy blessing. Instead the only sound was the growl he gave as last of his restraint melted away.
His arms hooked under her legs, the backs of her knees pressing against the insides of his elbows while his fingers dug into the wall behind her. She cried out at the sudden brutal pace and deeper angle, but it was a sound of absolute ecstasy - animalistic and unbridled, it spurred him on. Pictures further down the wall crashed to the floor and the wall started to give way under the abuse. Deciding with the fraction of his mind that was still capable of higher function that it was time to move this elsewhere, he stepped back, his forearms underneath her thighs and hands gripping her hips as he took her with him. His thrusting reluctantly paused to allow him to aim them toward the bedroom, toeing off his shoes and stepping out of his pants as they went.
Not willing to let even a moment pass without debauching her in some fashion, his mouth went to her breast he carried her down the hall. His fangs brushed a nipple just hard enough to draw a drop of blood, causing the hands that had tangled in his hair to tighten to the point of pain as she breathed out, “No biting”. But despite her words, she still held his head close and he took advantage of the scratch, sucking hard and letting the scant amount of blood explode over his taste buds. She moaned and writhed against him, once again tightening in that maddening way that spoke of completely inhuman muscle control.
Luckily they’d made it to the bedroom by this time. The haze of lust that curled through him had him practically hurling them onto the bed. A sharp crack sounded and the bed tilted, one of the legs near the headboard breaking and leaving them at an angle. Neither cared.
Harsh curses blending with terms of endearment in six different languages flowed from him while she panted out encouragement and challenges. Her warm skin broke out in a sweet musky sweat as he slid against her, heating his own usually cool body and tempting his tongue to play over her skin again and again. They were both so close, he could feel the tension climbing to feverish pitch as words lost coherence and rhythm became ragged.
Faintly he recalled her words about no biting, but the two actions were so linked together in his mind and he was so far entrenched in feeling instead of thinking that he didn’t even pause when the pleasure reached its staggering peak.
His teeth sunk into soft flesh, hot fragrant blood filling his mouth as he filled her, the force of his orgasm so strong that his vision flickered in and out.
“Son of a-”
But her words were cried out with pleasure as she clenched around him, nails dug into his back as she cut off her own cry by sinking her teeth in this shoulder.
There was a faint warning going off in the back of his mind, but it was muted by the wild taste of her blood and dark energy it seemed to fill him with. His senses sharpened with each pull, a body tingling edge of raw power filling him as the spasms of pleasure went on and on.
That was the last thing he remembered. *******
Buffy woke on the dining room table. Or what used to be her dining room table. She blinked at the mess from her tilted position, viewing the scene horizontally and feeling remarkably unconcerned. She took a deep breath and stretched. Her muscles were slightly sore but in a pleasant, lethargic way. As she moved though, she realized that she wasn’t lying directly on that broken dining room table, something with a little more give and a softer texture than wood was between her and it. Raising up on an elbow, she blinked down at Eric’s still form beneath her.
Awareness slammed back into her, chasing away her lazy apathy like a bucket of cold water. Not because she’d slept with him, part of her had accepted that that was pretty much inevitable if they kept spending time with each other. And not because they were so incredibly late for their meeting. No, what had tendrils panic creeping up her throat was that Eric was disturbingly blood splattered and bruised. And completely unmoving.
She jerked upright like a jack-in-the-box, eyes wide as she grabbed his shoulders and shook him roughly. His head wobbled from side to side, but that was the only reaction. She shook him harder, choking out a hoarse, “Eric?”, but there was still no response. What the hell had happened? Her mind scrambled for details, but her focus was slippery, coming back to the large, limp, vampire sprawled out on the crushed table. Her hand reared back and landed across his face before she even fully gave it permission. Great, first she killed him, now she was beating up his dead body.
She didn’t even have time to lower her hand before a larger, cooler one grabbed her wrist, jerking her to her feet. After a moment of disorientation, she realized it was Eric who’d grabbed her hand, catapulting them both into standing position and looking a little wild - probably because she’d just smacked the hell out of him. Her relief outweighed her guilt at assaulting him though.
“Thank God!” She gushed, dropping her head to his chest. “I thought I’d killed you! You weren’t breathing and not moving and-”
“I never breath,” he said, giving her an amused smirk when she looked up at him. “I’m technically dead remember?”
“I know that! I was just a little disoriented,” she defended with a pout, her heart rate dropping away from cardiac arrest. “Speaking of…”
Her eyes skittered over their surroundings again as she took a step back from Eric, noting for the first time with a clear mind that her apartment looked like a tornado had ripped through it. Even the kitchen was destroyed from what she could see. Tiles cracked and raked up; refrigerator on its side, contents spilling out onto the floor; cabinet doors dangling by bent hinges. The dining room was equally trashed, and when she look over her shoulder toward the living room, it revealed broken and overturned couches, the television in pieces on the floor and the new coffee table once again crushed into oblivion.
“Um… do you have any idea how this happened?” She asked.
“None at all. I seem to lose a lot of time around you…” He said, making a face as he pulled a wicked looking splinter out of his ass. “What’s the last thing you remember?”
Her mind cast back to him showing up in the bathroom, the mind-blowing sex in the hall that had eventually made its way to the bedroom. Then…
“I don’t know… I- Hey! You bit me!” She yelled, pointing an accusing finger at him as she remembered the unbelievably sensual feeling of his fangs sliding into her. Still, she was the Slayer, it was a matter of principle to be outraged when a vampire nom-nom-nomed on her neck.
“You bit me right back,” he pointed out with a lazy smirk. “It was….”
Any other time, she would’ve taken the look on his face as perverted remembrance, but this time she knew better. She knew because she felt
that wave of comprehension followed by curiosity. Both of which were not her own.
“And I can feel your emotions even more now!” She said, throwing her hands up in the air. “Is this some kinda freaky side effect of spending too much time with vampires here?”
“You mean in this dimension?”
“Yeah-” Her words ground to a halt as both what she’d said and how he’d replied sunk in.
Her mouth opened and closed a few times, seeking a denial, an explanation, anything, but all she got out was, “You… remembered?”
He watched her for a moment, the serious look on his face at odds with the fact that he was completely naked. Finally, he shook his head.
“Your friend, Amelia, mentioned it to Pam last night,” he said, walking into the living room and surveying the damage.
“Mentioned it? She just mentioned
He gave a shrug as she stopped beside the upended couch. “She was quite enamored of your red-headed witch friend. Gushing about the amount of power it would have taken her to transport three people across dimensions as she did.”
Buffy closed her eyes and counted to ten. She wouldn’t kill Amelia. She wouldn’t kill Amelia. She wouldn’t kill-
“Here I thought you just took me to some other city, when really you transported us across dimensions. Very interesting…”
She opened her eyes, but didn’t look at him, she needed some time to decide how much she wanted him to know and what the possible consequences of him knowing would be. She rubbed her face roughly before looking up at him.
“Can we not do this now? I just- I don’t think I’m ready to talk to you about that yet,” she said. “Besides, we have more pressing issues. Like getting to that meeting and finding out what happened here. And why you’re such a mess.”
The look on his face told her that this wasn’t the end of their conversation on the dimension hop, but he still went along with dropping it for now, much to her relief.
“Hate to be the one to point this out,” Eric said, his tone saying that was a big fat lie. “But you’re looking a little rough around the edges yourself.”
Looking down at herself for the first time, she realized that Eric wasn’t the only one blood splattered and bruised. And naked. The part that made her really pause was that her bandage was gone - along with the wound and the stitches. She shrugged it off. It was about time her Slayer healing got the damn job done.
"Where'd all this blood come from," she wondered, making a face.
"It's ours," Eric said, not sounding at all concerned with the mystery.
Buffy rolled that disturbing piece of information around before shaking her head. She didn't have it in her to play detective at the moment.
“Ugh, I need a shower.”
Stepping over the debris, she headed back toward the bathroom, only to have Eric brush past her just before she could go in.
“No time,” he said, grabbing a washcloth and wetting it. “Besides, it's better if we show up smelling like each other, remember?”
Buffy paused, remembering his evasive answer the night before about how they were going to make the Queen think they were lovers.
“Please tell me that us having sex wasn’t your ‘idea’ for fooling Sophie-Anne,” she said flatly, her eyes meeting his in the mirror.
Eric gave a loud laugh at that as he wiped the mystery blood off of him, then shook his head as he rinsed off the cloth and handed it to her.
“No, that was more of a long term goal. I was just planning on rubbing myself all over you and seeing how much you’d put up with. It ended up being quite a lot.”
She snapped the wet cloth at him with blush and a scowl. He wasn’t bothered though, he just laughed again as he disappeared out into the hall. A rustle of clothing told her he was getting dressed. She concentrated on giving herself a quick wipe down, making a face at how disgusting this was. She was actually going to go into a building filled with super-sniffers, into Sophie-Anne’s office
, reeking of sex with Eric.
But what sex it was… Her wiping slowed as she went back over what she did
remember. And oh, was it worth going over again… She felt like maybe she should feel some regret or at least a dash of embarrassment over the things they’d done, the things she’d said, but all she could think was, “I want to do that again…”
Shaking her head before that thought took hold and they were even later to their meeting than they already were, Buffy left the bathroom and went into her bedroom. It was like a disaster area in there, too. She did vaguely remember the bed being at an unusual angle, but now it was completely on the floor, all the legs snapped off. The mattress was only halfway on the broken frame and random bits of fluff were coming out of it. The curtains were shredded and laying across the room from the window, next to her dresser that was now on its side. Shaking her head at the mess and not even attempting to figure it out right then, Buffy stepped over the wreckage and opened her closet. Luckily nothing had been damaged in there. If her shoes and clothes had gotten hurt… well, that would be a whole new ball game.
Minutes later she was dressed in jeans and a black sweater with her hair pulled up in a messy ponytail. Eric was already dressed and waiting on her in the entranceway. Well, mostly
dressed. The state of his shirt would’ve made her laugh if she hadn’t known they were going to be seeing Sophie-Anne. It would take a blind person to not know it had been ripped off in a fit of passion, and the queen was far from blind. Besides its rumpled texture, all of its buttons were gone, leaving lonely little trails of broken strings poking out along one side. Eric had tucked it in, maybe in an attempt to hold the two sides closer together, but the effect was a gaping “V” of smooth, pale flesh her eyes seemed particularly attached to.
Forcing her gaze upward, she scowled at him. “How am I supposed to concentrate on keeping our stories straight when you have all your man cleavage hanging out like that?”
“It’s your own fault,” he said with a sexy smirk, eyes darkening as he stepped closer. “You won’t hear me complaining though. Anytime you want to strip me down and have your wicked way with me, feel free. I can always buy more clothes.”
The small twinge of embarrassment she felt was overrun by a surge of heat. The memory of the way his skin felt against hers, the sensual roll of his tongue, the slide of his hands-
“Okay, time to go,” she said, her voice a little more breathy than usual.
She spun around toward the front door, feeling his amusement and arousal as if it were her own. *******
The trip to Sophie-Anne’s compound was short - made even shorter by Eric’s insane driving. Luckily, it was distracting enough to keep her attention away from leaning across the console and rubbing against him like a cat. Part of that was what she was getting from him - she could feel his attention even when his eyes were on the road, a low hum of energy, erotic and dangerous and completely focused on her. But it was far from one sided. Instead of taking the edge off her attraction to him, sleeping with him had only intensified it.
When they parked, she couldn’t get out of the car fast enough. Shutting the door, she leaned against it and closed her eyes, hoping the night air would cool her down. Eric had other ideas though. With only the barest hint of movement as a warning, he was suddenly pressed against her, lips crashing down on hers. One of her hands automatically went to that sliver of exposed chest, while the other grabbed a belt-loop and tugged him closer. Only to shove him away seconds later in a hard fought attempt at some control.
“Knock it off,” she said, feeling flustered and not liking it one bit. “Remember the personal bubble talk we had? You stay in your space, I’ll say in mine.”
He gave an incredulous laugh. “Don’t be coy. We both know ‘personal space’ is the last thing you want.”
That struck a chord somewhere in her. But she was concentrating too hard on keeping her hands to herself to pay it much attention. This was just ridiculous. She knew it had been a while since she’d gotten any, but that didn’t mean she had to turn into some kind of nympho as soon as the tide turned. Therefore, it was all his
fault. For being so damn good looking, and so, so
good in bed, and smelling so-
“Gah!” She yelled in frustration, finding her traitorous body had stepped closer to him and her hand was now molesting his chest. “You- you just stay away from me.”
She marched toward the entrance to the building, stuffing her hands in her pockets and ignoring his low laugh as he followed. The guards nodded at them as they passed, a few gave curious looks, others gave lewd grins that made Buffy’s face burn, knowing she reeked of Eric and vice versa.
She gave a sigh of relief when they reached the elevator, closed away from the prying looks. That relief didn’t last long. As soon as the doors slid closed and it was just the two of them, she started to feel twitchy again. Eric, of course, didn’t help matters. He purposely leaned forward from his position behind her to press the floor button and then, instead of pulling back when they started moving, he stepped in closer and whispered in her ear.
“Don’t worry, it’s not just you. It’s taking everything I have not to press the stop button and fuck you senseless right now.”
His tone was remarkably conversational, but the hard proof of how much he wanted her pressed against her back, telling her he wasn’t nearly as unaffected as he sounded. She gave a soft little moan completely against her will and she felt the want in him spike dangerously.
Then the elevator doors opened.
It was a second before she could move, and when she finally forced herself to leave the confines of the elevator her movements felt slow and clumsy, her mind still stuck on the image he’d planted there.
That was why it took her a minute to see Rasul.
The look on his face was more effective than a cold shower in the arctic. His usual dusky complexion had faded to almost white, nostrils flared and lips thinned to make his mouth into nothing more than a furious line.
This was so bad. She never wanted him to find out like this
… Could it be
Ask and you shall receive.
Eric walked by her still form, an arm wrapping around her waist and sweeping her along with him. Within a few strides they were in front of Rasul, who Eric clapped on the shoulder and brushed up against without slowing his stride.
“Good to see you again. Hope there’s no hard feelings,” Eric said, not pausing for an answer.
Buffy jerked out of Eric’s grasp and turned to her friend, hating the flash of confusion and pain she saw flicker across his features when he looked at her.
But he didn’t wait for an explanation (not that she really had one anyway), he turned stiffly and marched down the hall without a single word or look back. Disappearing around a corner in seconds.
She rounded on Eric, furious more at herself than at him, but needing a target anyway.
“You didn’t have to do that,” she hissed at him
“Oh, yes,” he said, an odd mix of deadly serious and smug. “I did.”
He left her standing there as he headed toward the door guarded by the two giant Berts. Buffy looked back down the hall where Rasul had disappeared, then sighed and followed Eric, feeling slightly sick. She’d just gotten her friendship with Rasul back on track, now this had to happen. Logically, she knew he didn’t really have the right to be mad - they weren’t in a relationship and he knew she had feelings for Eric, but she couldn’t help but feel she should’ve made the fact they’d never be more than friends more clear.
Feeling miserable, she ignored the Berts (they were still on her shit list for going through her stuff) and slinked into Sophie-Anne’s office like a dog that peed on the carpet - dejected at its inability to control itself and knowing it was in trouble.
Eric was already seated in front of her desk, Buffy took the other chair while giving Sophie-Anne an apologetic smile that was more of a grimace than anything.
“This show of ‘proof’ was wholly unnecessary,” Sophie-Anne said, her nose wrinkling as she looked back and forth between them. “Next time take the extra ten minutes to shower before meeting with me.”
Buffy’s chin dropped to her chest and she covered her eyes in embarrassment.
“Oh, we would’ve been much later than an extra ten minutes if a shower had been involved,” she heard Eric say, completely unrepentant.
Where was a Hellmouth when she really needed one? Having a tooth-y, tentacle-y maw trying to suck her into the depths of the underworld would be so much better than sitting here and being slowly roasted alive by the burn of embarrassment.
“I’d rather you kept such information to yourself,” Sophie-Anne went on dryly. “I’m not concerned with your personal exploits. What I am
concerned with is this attack on you, Buffy. The report I was given said you were gravely injured, but you seem well.”
Straightening in her chair and latching onto the topic change, Buffy nodded. “I’m much better, thanks. And thank you for sending the doctors and stuff.”
“Yes, the staff at the hospital had taken quite an interest in you. You’re healing abilities are quite impressive. Care to explain that phenomenon?”
Buffy shifted uneasily in her seat, mumbling, “Just lucky, I guess.”
Her secrets were slowly unraveling around her. Between Eric, Amelia and Sophie-Anne it wouldn’t be long before her paper-thin excuses and half-assed answers wouldn’t cut it any more.
But it seemed her reprieve would last a bit longer, because Sophie-Anne just gave her a flat look and said, “I’m sure there’s more to it than luck, but for now all I need to know is whether this was an attack on you as a person under my employ. Has someone tracked you to me?”
“We’re not sure,” Eric answered before she could. “She didn’t get a good look at her attackers and they ran when I arrived. I decided to get her help instead of pursuing. My apologies for not having more information for you.”
Buffy barely kept from rounding on Eric, torn between hitting him and gaping at the insulting fake story. The men could beat her up and stab her, but as soon as they saw the big, bad Eric Northman, they went running for the hills? And her stupid bleeding body kept him from catching any of them? Oh, he was so
going to get it.
They’d gone over what they’d tell Sophie-Anne of how they met, their secret meetings, but left the tale of the night she was injured intentionally vague, thinking too much detail would make it sound rehearsed. But here was Eric, changing the script last minute. And really, it probably would’ve worked - given Buffy’s claim to memory loss and Eric’s vampire skills, it was a falsity that rang true.
Except for one thing…
What Eric didn’t know was that Sophie-Anne had personally seen Buffy in action. Had seen her take down Andre in seconds. She wouldn’t believe for a second that anyone that could take her down would run from a confrontation with Eric. But he had no way of knowing that - see, keeping secrets got you in trouble.
Sophie-Anne spotted the discrepancy immediately of course. A slow scary smile pulling up the corners of her mouth and transforming her young face into something decidedly more sinister.
“Is that so,” she said, but her eyes weren’t on Eric, they were on Buffy. As if she could see the resignation of being caught in the lie on her face - and maybe she could. “Leave us, Northman.”
She could feel the spike of anxiety go through him even though there was no outward change in him that she could see from the corner of her eye. He’d realized he’d made some kind of misstep, but had no idea what it was so he wasn’t sure how to go about trying to fix it.
And knowing that’s what he was thinking was totally wigging her out…
“Is there-” He started, only to be interrupted by Sophie-Anne immediately.
“Now,” she said, her tone still polite, but a power leaking into the air made it clear he wasn’t to question her again.
Eric stood slowly, his hesitation palpable.
“If Rasul’s out there, please don’t antagonize him any more,” Buffy said, turning to him and trying to ease him into leaving. “I think you almost literally rubbing his nose in our relationship is enough, don’t you?”
He gave her an intense look and for a second, she thought he would make a scene. But finally he just gave her one of his patented carefree smirks.
“I make no promises.”
Buffy watched him leave with equal amounts of dread and relief. This was between her and Sophie-Anne, she didn’t want him involved. Yes, it was his change of the story that had gotten her caught, but if it weren’t for her, there wouldn’t have been a need for a story in the first place.
But now it was just her and the vampire queen of Louisiana.
“Well, we both know what Northman said was a lie, so why don’t you tell me what’s really going on, Buffy. And for once, your evasive answers won’t be tolerated.”
Lying any more was out of the question. And if she just told her a scant amount, she was inviting more probing questions. What she needed to do was give her something big enough to satisfy her, but would keep her from asking questions involving the where and how. So, taking a deep breath, Buffy took a chance.
“Have you ever heard of Wolfram and Hart?”
Sophie-Anne, not exactly a fidgeter in the first place, went stone still.
“What did you just say?”
Her voice was barely audible, her face granite, eyes cold and flat. Buffy had no doubt Sophie-Anne had heard her perfectly fine, maybe she was hoping she hadn’t heard what she knew she had, or maybe she was giving Buffy a chance to retract that statement. But Buffy wasn’t going to do that.
“The Wolf, the Ram and the Hart. You’ve heard of them,” she stated, not asked.
Sophie-Anne’s head jerked slightly, a tense approximation of a nod. “What business have you with them?”
“It’s personal,” Buffy said. “Nothing to do with anything I do for you. I stepped on their big fat demon toes and they got pissed about it.”
“You say it has nothing to do with what you do for me, but if the Wolf, Ram and Hart have a grievance against you then anyone near you could become collateral damage.”
“I’m not their main concern,” Buffy said, leaving out the ‘yet’, because as soon as she got something from Willow to go on, she’d become a huge thorn in their ass if it was the last thing she did. Which it might be… “I don’t register enough on their radar for them to waste time on coming after. I just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when I was attacked.”
Sophie-Anne eyed her, gaze sharp and judging the truth of her words.
“And how does Northman fit into this?”
“He doesn’t,” Buffy said with a shrug. “We were together when I got attacked, but he got knocked out and woke up and found me bleeding, took me to the hospital. That’s it. He has no idea what happened.”
“Then why lie about it?”
“You know Eric and his ego,” she said, really giving her pathetic ability to stretch the truth a workout. “He’d rather say he didn’t see or catch them because they ran off than admit they knocked him out and almost killed me.”
“I’d say he was rather lucky given the opposition.”
“He doesn’t know,” Buffy said, making Sophie-Anne raise an eyebrow. “He doesn’t know I know who attacked me, and I’d like to keep it that way.”
“Very well,” Sophie-Anne said after a beat, then cocked her head as she studied Buffy for a moment. “Since you need to recover before you’re any use to me, why don’t you go back to Shreveport with Eric. Maybe then I can actually get him to do his job instead of spending his time here.”
Buffy blinked at the odd suggestion, waiting for the other shoe to drop, but Sophie-Anne just blinked at her and made a shooing motion. She didn’t trust this apparent lack of interrogation over why she was involved with anything to do with Wolfram and Hart or her healing abilities, but she wasn’t one to look a gift horse in the mouth either. So she left feeling relieved that the arduous task of revealing her secrets had been left for another day. She was wasn’t getting fired and Eric wasn’t getting strung up by his toes and beaten with a cat-o-nine tails or whatever the hell happened as punishment around there. That was good enough for her.
But Buffy wouldn’t have been so relieved had she known that Sophie-Anne was watching her go with grave eyes, wondering if what she thought would be her greatest acquirement had in fact turned out to be her biggest mistake. If Buffy wasn’t telling the truth about her importance to the Wolf, the Ram and the Hart, then only her disobedient sheriff and his people would bear the brunt of their attack. If nothing happened, then she could bring her back and put her to use again.
She’d just have to keep an eye on her. Sophie-Anne didn’t become the Queen by suffering liabilities, and if that’s what Buffy turned out to be, then that was the only thing she needed to know. None of the other curiosities surrounding the girl mattered.