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Chapter 32

Spike automatically checked his pockets as he strode angrily across the lawn. Nothing spoiled a dramatic exit like having to go back for your keys. Once in the garage, he leaned heavily back against the door. The bottle he’d forgotten he carried thunked against the wood. With his eyes closed, Spike took a deep, steadying breath, let it out, then raised the bottle to his lips. He took a long swallow of the smooth alcohol and turned over the situation in his mind. He knew Xander would probably beat himself up over his actions in the morning. That is, if he remembered them.

Spike took a second swallow. More than a hundred years of taking what he wanted didn’t make the situation easier. Some habits are hard to break. Upstairs, he’d been so close to letting Xander take him, or taking Xander, whatever came about. It had been so long since anyone had cared about him; held him or desired him. He now knew the long years with Drusilla had been special. They had always been there for each other. She would greet him with that naughty grin and a grope after he’d been out fighting. They would slaughter a family, then fuck for hours in the congealing blood.

He drained the bottle, and again wanted to slam it into a wall to hear it break. He stared at the fancy glass and cursed. He didn’t live in a crypt where he could leave broken glass around when he wanted. People lived here, people he cared about, and sometimes a tongue lashing from the red-head hellion Willow could become just wasn’t worth it. He settled for crossing to the recycling bens and slamming it into the one neatly marked “clear glass.” A weaker pickle jar exploded with a satisfying crash.

He opened the tiny boot of his sports car and double checked the presence of  what he called his “grab and run” kit. He climbed in, called up his heavy punk mix CD on the changer, cranked the volume and peeled out of the driveway.

Spike pushed aside what caused his dilemma and focused on the real problem: fight or fuck first.

After an hour of playing hogs of the road in his horrorshow sports car, Spike turned down the volume and called one of his favorite hotels on his cell phone. It was close enough to the bad part of town that he didn’t have to drive far, was nice enough to not put someone off from visiting him, and yet still had twenty four hour room service and flat rate cable porn access. Best of all, it had rooms that faced the indoor balconies and had no outside windows. His reservation made, Spike cranked the volume again and headed to the hotel.

Half an hour later, he checked in and exchanged a few words with the clerk who recognized him. He had overheard two maids talking once and knew his reputation as an eccentric, yet well behaved good tipper. Fine with him.

Spike quickly went to the room and scattered his belongings as if he’d been there for more than a few minutes. It was late in the night, and he had things he wanted to do.

Dawn had accused Spike of being stuck in the 1980’s as far as music was concerned, so she made him CD’s of what she was listening to. He put in the latest and made his way to one street where the newbies always seemed to wind up. It took another half an hour, but he found what he wanted. A young man with a letterman’s jacket came out of an alley, wiping his mouth and spitting. He was tall and olive skinned, his hair just brushed his collar and was in need of combing. Spike watched as he checked his pocket then resignedly took up a post by a street lamp, pulling the jacket tighter.

Spike pulled up beside him and rolled the passenger window down. “Oi, mate.” He’d found that his accent was very popular.

The boy put on his best casual air and leaned over to look in. “Hello,” he said, his accent was mid western.

“I’m in town on business and I hate to eat alone. Would you like to join me for dinner?” He stank of other men’s seed and sweat, so Spike new he wasn’t a police officer. Still, it was best to play the game. As recently as ten years ago, he would have been in that alley and taken the boy and his customer. Spike bit down the urge to do it anyway and smiled.

“I donno, man,” he looked up and down the almost empty street, his dark eyes cautious. “We talking waffles or steak?”

“I was thinking a nice thick cut of steak, actually. With any sides you’d want. Fries, baked potato, salad, beer.” Spike heard the boy’s stomach growl and knew he had him. His old ways still worked. Drusilla once told him he could charm the very stars from the skies, but please don’t cause they’d burn so.

“There’s nowhere around here open this late serves that.” He started to straighten.

“My hotel, the Piedmont does. They have damn fine chocolate cake, too. Please, I hate to eat alone.”

The boy leaned over again and stepped closer. “My roommate will worry if I don’t get back soon.”

Spike picked up his cell phone and held it out. “Call him. Tell him you’re having dinner with Mr. William Blooden at the Piedmont. Come on.” The boy bit his lip. “You can shower while you’re there, then I can drive you home. Please.” Spike put on his best blue-eyed sweet routine.

The boy caved. “Okay. Let me call Freddy.” Spike handed over the phone and watched him step away. He listened in easily, tapping his fingers along to a song he wasn’t really hearing, as his soon-to-be-company dialed time and told the mechanical female voice where he’d be. A pretty runaway. Time was, Spike would charm him off to a hole somewhere and play for days. Damn this soul, that would sooth his aches so well.

The boy climbed in, handed Spike his cell phone back, and buckled up. They made small talk about the car and the music as Spike drove carefully back to the hotel.

Spike made a point of stopping at the desk to ask after messages to put the boy more at ease, having been seen in his company. Once in the room, Spike tossed aside his coat and handed the boy the room service menu. “Order whatever you want, my treat. I recommend the fillet steak and seasoned potatoes. Oh, and of course the cake.”

Once they’d ordered, Spike persuaded the boy to shower and dress in one of the provided robes. As the boy showered, Spike stepped into the bathroom. He heard the boy’s heart rate accelerate as he tried to figure at this stranger’s game. “I have to have some laundry done, one of my bags didn’t make it. I may as well get yours, too,” he called over the sound of  the water. “It should be done right as we finish up dinner.” He didn’t wait for an answer, but scooped up the stinking clothes and closed the door behind him. He waited for three minutes to see if the boy would storm out wet and angry, but, as Spike predicted, he did not. The newbies never did. Funny how they would strip in a heartbeat for some dosh, but wouldn’t run out in a hotel hallway naked to save their lives.

Spike emptied out the jeans pockets, carefully piling the contents on the table. A couple of wrinkled twenties joined a pair of condoms, a small pocket knife, a key, and a thin wallet. Quickly, he thumbed through the wallet. His name was Jerry Scott Whitner from Ohio and his eighteenth birthday was three months away.  Spike frowned at the picture of a young lady shyly cradling her rounded belly. He doubted that was his sister.

He stuffed the clothes into the bag provided for laundry service along with some of his own, and placed a call to room service. He pulled on a robe and settled on the bed to watch television. After half an hour, the boy came out with a white robe tightly belted around him, and his long hair dripping.

“Feel better?” Spike asked, not looking at him as the boy inventoried his property in a panic.

“Um, yeah.”

“They’ll pick up the clothes when they bring up the food. It shouldn’t be long now.”

He watched the boy shoot a look at the laundry bag where it rested by the door. It was clear he still wasn’t sure at all about this seeming kind, handsome stranger. Spike pointed at the other bed. “Get comfy. There’s a good Clint Eastwood movie on. Unless you’d rather watch one of the ‘Star Wars’ movies? Say, what’s your name, anyway?”

“Je… Scott.”

“Well, Scott. I must say this is a lot better than staring at a TV by myself. I always have jet lag when I come over from London.”

Dinner shortly arrived, and Spike managed to relax the boy over light conversation and good food. True to his word, the clothes arrived cleaned and the jacket dry cleaned. It was an hour until dawn.

Spike sorted out his clothes from Scott’s and laid them on the table. “Well, that’s it.” Spike yawned hugely. “I guess I can get dressed and take you home.” He yawned again.

Scott yawned, too. “Yeah, I guess that would be best.”

“Unless, well...” Spike hesitated.


“There are two beds. We could catch some shut eye, you could get some breakfast or lunch, then I  could take you home. I mean, it’s all warm here and I’m sleepy now.” Spike knew from the smell of the boy he’d been in a flop house at best.

“Um… Okay.”

“Do you want to call your roommate again?”

“Huh? Oh, no. He’ll be… off to work by now.”

“Good, it’s settled.” Spike tossed back the covers on his bed and dropped his robe. He stretched, letting Scott see his lean, healthy body, then climbed into bed. “Turn the light off, would you, Pet?”

He allowed Scott to turn off the light before crossing the dark room and dropping his own robe. He sighed at the sight of the boy’s cleanly muscled body and glimpse of his fine cock as he climbed into bed. He wasn’t Xander. He wasn’t even close to Xander’s hard-won muscles, but he would do. Spike waited half on hour, tossing and turning, before calling out to the boy he could hear was almost asleep. “Hey, Scott?"

“Mmmm? Huh?”

“I know this is forward of me, but… can I sleep with you? I miss my partner.”

Scott hesitated before answering. “Um… just sleep?”

Spike sighed loudly. “I… I know what you are. I… I’ve never hired anyone before and wasn’t planning on… I’ll give you… fifty dollars to let me sleep with you.”

He heard the boy’s soft intake of breath. “Uh, I guess that would be okay.”

“Thank you,” Spike said and quickly moved from his bed to the other. “I have some circulation problems, so I always feel a little cool. I thought I’d warn you cause it freaks some people out.”

“Oh. Okay.”

Spike lay some distance from the tense boy and put his hands behind his head. “Say, Scott,” he said softly after a while.


“What… How much… Never mind.” Spike rolled away and curled up with his back to the boy.

“Did you change your mind?” Scott asked after a minute. “I don’t mind. Cause… you’re the nicest person I’ve met in this town.”

“You find this place hostile, too? If I didn’t have to come here for business, I never would.”

“I’m sorry I’m here, too,” Scott said too softly for human ears.

“How much? God! I can’t believe I’m asking,” Spike almost sobbed. “I… I had a fight with my partner before I left. Now he won’t answer his phone. Last time this happened, he… he hired someone.”

“I’m sorry,” Scott said and put his hand on Spike’s shoulder. He named off some rates that Spike knew to be high  for a beginner.

Spike rolled over and softly touched the boy’s face. “I tell you what; I have five hundred dollars. You tell me when I’ve used it up, okay?”

“Five…” Scott gasped.

“I can show you. It’s cash.”


“Yes, let me.” Spike jumped out of bed and flipped on the light. He dug out his travel wallet from the bag on the floor and fanned out ten fifties. “There. It’s real.” Spike barked a laugh, then threw it in the air, letting the bills flutter down around Scott where he knelt on the bed. “It’s his money anyway! I’m working for him!”

Scott gaped at the crazy, beautiful, naked man before him. He didn’t know for a minute if he should grab his clothes and run or stay and earn the money. Spike sat heavily on the bed beside him and buried his face in his hands. Scott hesitated, then moved closer and put an arm around the shaking shoulders. “It’s cool, man. Think of it this way, if you don’t tell him, he’ll never know.”

Spike sniffled and pulled himself together. “Yeah. Yeah! You’re right.” Spike turned to him. “I deserve a pretty young man like you in my bed. It’s not like I’m married.”

“I thought that was legal in England.”

“Not so much anywhere, really.” Spike gave his most charming, shy grin and picked up a bill. “Help me clean this up, then we’ll get all comfortable again.”

Together, they accounted for the money and stacked it on the table. Spike turned on the bathroom light and left the door open enough to act as a night light before climbing in beside Scott. He lay on his back and held out an arm. “Come ‘ere, Luv.” Scott lay with is head on Spike’s shoulder and allowed the smaller man to pull him close.

“Wow, you are cool.”

“The coolest,” Spike murmured, gently kissing the top of Scott’s head. “Rub your hand over my chest, then let it wander, and play with what you find.”

“Yes, sir,” Scott answered, moving his hand.

“Call me Spike.” 

On to Chapter 33

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