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