He remembered hanging there in that inhumanly strong grip. His blood freezing in his veins as he was forced still, waiting for one of them to stop the posturing and make a move. Alpha male to alpha male they squared off, sniffing and growling to determine their ranking, with himself as the prize.
The beast within him whined at the wait, making his body thrum at the thought of either male laying claim. It hadn’t always been like this, he remembered realizing. Or maybe it had? It was so hard to tell, through the terror that was making him sweat and pant. All he did know was that when he had been grabbed and forced to show his neck in submission, something had changed. The feeling of closeness, of belonging had been ripped away. He was pack-less.
Another whine, this time more frantic as the feeling of being alone grew along side the man’s terror. The beast was not frightened of death—that was a part of life, and unavoidable. But this? The beast knew itself to be no pack-leader. It was hunt-brother, pack-guard, secondary to whichever alpha claimed him. If the new pack-leader laid claim, the beast was fine. If the old pack-leader took it back, that was also fine. But to be claimed by neither? Alone. . .
He remembered shivering so hard his teeth chattered and the skin of his cheeks wobbled and shook as he was held down. Remembered wanting one of them to just pick. He didn’t even care who. Just pick him. Someone please pick him.
And then—there is was. The new alpha moved closer, reaching towards the proffered prize in acceptance. The old alpha pushed him forward slightly, and instantly all fear evaporated. There was still the danger of death, of course, but the beast was content with that. It had been chosen as pack by this new male, and as pack-leader this male had the right of life or death over its pack. He felt the new pack-leader lean close and his body hummed in anticipation of the claiming.
Suddenly he was being flung away, landing hard against a wall. The alpha’s began fighting for dominance again, but the beast inside the other howled its disappointment and rage. It had been cast out from the old pack, accepted to a new pack, but not claimed in truth. Not claimed as hunt-brother—but still accepted as pack. It had a pack.
As the impending-death fear lessened, the beast felt its control weakening. It struggled briefly, but subsided without too much trouble as the human boy again returned. Patience had been a lesson learned early behind chocolate brown eyes.
He remembered the lingering feeling of anticipation tingle through his skin, even as he levered himself to his feet and ran. Remembered forcing that feeling away with the thoughts and emotions of a man, giving thanks instead of feeling regret. Remembered swearing that it would never happen, no matter how much the beast wanted it. The beast did not control him. He was a man, and men were not like that.
He remembered the hysterical laughing he heard every time he repeated that in his head.
Perfect. There was really no other word for it. This was just perfect. Anya had been complaining nearly non-stop since they had left Giles’. And him—he had just been smirking at Xander’s increasing annoyance with his girlfriend.
“Trouble in paradise then, mate?”
“Says the man dumped for a chaos demon.” Xander fought a wince as he said that. He wondered if the others knew how hard it was for him to constantly berate and belittle the bleached vampire. More, he wondered how long before Spike noticed how hard it was. Giles, I love you man, but did you have to send him home with me?
“Xander! Are you listening to me?”
Huh? “Yes, Anya, of course I am. I don’t want this any more than you do, really.” Much, much less than you. Well, part of him felt that way. Xander resolutely ignored the joyous howling from the back of his mind. If I don’t believe it exists, it’ll go away, right? Good. You don’t exist. You were banished three years ago. Stay banished.
“Then why are you putting him in the comfortable chair? I thought that was my chair. Put him in the barcalounger. The springs poke through the vinyl; they will make the experience very uncomfortable for him.”
Xander nodded, pushing Spike away from the recently-purchased-from-the-salvation-army recliner and into the red monstrosity he was fairly certain he’d been conceived in. Which is why he never sat there. Spike began bitching—again—and Xander tried very hard to ignore him, too. The howling in his head grew louder.
“Xander!” He whirled around, fists up and ready to pound—Anya. Who was standing next to him, looking concerned and now a little wary.
“Sorry, Ahn, little tense. What did you say?”
“I said, do you want to leave him here and come back to my place?”
I would love to. And why does that sound like I’m lying to myself? “I wish I could,” he said instead, “but G-man doesn’t want him left alone yet. So, I am Xander, the baby-sitter man.”
“Oi! Not a baby! An’ I can’t hurt you, you bloody morons. You think if I could, I’d let myself be tied to this piece of crap?”
Both humans ignored the vampire. “You look sick, Xander. Call Giles and tell him you’re ill and cannot take care of a cranky vampire.”
“Not a sodding baby!”
“I’m not sick, Ahn, just tired. Look, you don’t have to share my little sojourn to hell. You go home and we’ll get together tomorrow.” He held up a hand, forestalling Anya’s obvious request. “Tomorrow, Anya, I promise, okay? But I’m beat.”
“All right.” A perfunctory kiss on the cheek and a withering glare at Spike. “Don’t you bother him,” she admonished as she gathered up her purse. “I want many orgasms tomorrow. And I have no problems killing a helpless vampire.”
Spike sneered at her, but Xander was pretty certain it was half-hearted. Of all of them, Anya was the one mostly likely to actually stake him—the only thing holding her back was Xander’s disapproval. Hopefully she thinks that’s my pesky human conscious talking. Not a—argh. No, I am a man. A perfectly normal, human man.
He tried hard to ignore the howling as it turned to that screeching laughter.
“Well, well, alone at last, whelp.”
“Shut up, Spike. I have work in the morning.” He went about his nightly ritual as unhurriedly as possible. I thought vampires didn’t have to breathe? So why can I hear him breathing, quietly inhaling and exhaling. . . gah! He turned on the radio, rummaging around in his tiny refrigerator for something easily digestible. His stomach was roiling, being so close to—
To the thing I lived in hope and terror of through junior year. To the thing I have dreams about and I wish I could say they were nightmares. Not when waking up from one of those dreams meant a hardon that used to take an hour in the bathroom to rid himself of. Now it meant an hour of brutally pounding into Anya while she writhed below him.
And I’ve got a whole week with him chained up in my basement. With me. Alone.
He wondered what the hyena would do if he tried to stake the vampire.
“Oi! Whelp!” Xander paused to glare at Spike. “’m hungry. Demon-girl put some blood in the freezer. Fetch me a mug.” Rolling his eyes, Xander was half-way to the microwave before he realized he’d done just that. He stared at the mug of cold blood in his hands, trying not to let his nervousness show.
I didn’t want to do that! Not that he wouldn’t have fed Spike, but—I obeyed him! Oh, crap, I don’t even remember opening the bag! How much control did the hyena have? His dreams were one thing, but actually commanding his body. . .
“You gonna stand there all night, or put it in the microwave, already?” He absently did as Spike requested, watching as the mug turned round and round. He didn’t notice Spike’s confused expression, or the speculation that bloomed in bright blue eyes. “You got any marshmallows? Little ones?” Xander nodded, still watching the mug turn and trying hard not to think in circles. “Put ’em in the blood for me. Wanna see if they turn pink or red.”
“Okay.” The microwave beeped, and again Xander was halfway through his task before his mind caught up. A dozen white marshmallows were slowly turning pink in the now-warm blood.
Okay, that’s it. You wanna play it that way, you caged furball? Fine. We play it that way. Handing Spike the mug, he resolutely finished his nightly routine, ignoring anything that came out of Spike’s mouth. He caught himself twice trying to obey the vampire’s commands, but stopped himself before actually doing whatever it was Spike wanted.
Tumbling into the bed, Xander buried his head under his pillow. He knew the dreams would come, because they always did. Dreams of being claimed, of needle-sharp teeth slicing into his neck and draining just enough blood that it felt so good. . . dreams of belonging, of feeling safe inside the warmth of a pack. . . dreams of obedience and submission. . . dreams of being owned by the pack, and the pack-leader.
“Thank god it’s Saturday!”
Spike thought so, although probably not for the same reasons as the whelp. Come to think of it, why was Xander so very happy? No work meant he couldn’t zoom out of the basement the way he did every morning. No demon-bint for two days—not sure what was up with that, didn’t really care—so no distractions through sex. Giles was still pretending he was nineteen and holed away with that lovely bit of fluff that’d come over from England. Slayer and Red had been bitching non-stop about their homework, so unless there was some demon problem—Xander was all alone.
Poor, helpless little boy. Spike wasn’t sure what was going on, but he knew he could use it. For the past week, he’d been carefully observing and testing Xander, trying to figure out why the boy would suddenly zone out—and do anything Spike told him to. Granted, he’d been keeping his commands simple and pretty conventional, but why else would the boy have gone out and bought a Sex Pistol’s record? Not that he ever played the thing. Just stared at it before carefully putting it back in the bag, to be returned.
More intriguing was that every time Xander realized what he’d done, there would come a blast of fear—and then arousal. Pheromones would pour off the boy, and he’d sport an impressive bulge until he could find the time to sneak off with the demon-girl. His resistance was always greater after that. It was weakest right after the boy woke up.
“All tired from baggin’ other people’s groceries.”
“Shut up, Spike. I’m exhausted. It’s seven o’clock on a Friday night and there’s nothing on. I’m sleeping. You will not wake me, get it?”
“Hey, Die Hard is on at ten. I wanna watch that!” Thank god for the telly, he’d have gone nutters if not for that. While watching Oprah expound the virtues of her latest diet, Spike had come to the realization that leaving was probably not an option—he couldn’t hunt for himself, nor defend himself against other predators. Here, at least, he had a ready supply of blood—pig’s blood, disgusting—and an intriguing human to play with. “Untie me, an’ I won’t turn it up too loud.”
Xander rolled over to glare fuzzily at the vampire. The boy really was quite attractive, Spike noted again. The first time had been at two in the morning with nothing to do but watch the boy sleep for hours, but. . . Chocolate brown hair and eyes, golden skin and long, lean muscles from running away from demons and bullies and—an’ everyone else. Boy practically screams ‘hurt me’, worse than a bleeding cocker spaniel. And the way he moves sometimes, ’s like he’s waiting for some Big Bad to come in an’ tell ’im what to do.
Spike had no problem being that Big Bad, because the simple fact was—Spike was horny. Nearly two weeks since he’d had any from that dozy bint, Harmony, and here was this perfectly delectable human, sending out waves of pheromones all week.
“Fine,” Xander said tiredly. “Watch tv at ten. I am sleeping until then.” He flopped onto his back, still fully clothed.
“Least you can do is untie me, first. I’m not gonna leave, just wanna be more comfortable, like.” Spike hid a smirk as a half-awake Xander rolled onto his feet, untied Spike, and collapsed back into the bed.
Spike moved onto the bed, careful to make sure his weight didn’t disturb the boy. “Take off your clothes, pet, you’ll be more comfortable.” Muttering, Xander again complied. “All of ’em, pet. It’s hot out, innit? So hot tonight.”
“Hot,” Xander agreed as he stripped off his undershirt and boxers. The boy’s eyes were completely closed as he moved, his breathing and heart-rate telling Spike he was mostly asleep. Spike hummed under his breath, some old lullaby he used to sing to Dru to keep her calm. He didn’t know what was causing it, but he recognized trance-like behavior—and a century of caring for and watching Dru had taught him how to manipulate humans in that state.
Spike felt himself harden at the sight of the naked, spread-eagled body before him. Tan skin glistened as the boy remembered that it was supposed to be hot and began to sweat. Spike inhaled deeply, trying to understand what happened next. One minute, all he was smelling was clean, human sweat. Then the boy began to dream—his eyes twitched in deep rem sleep—and his scent altered. He grew half-hard as he slept, pheromones pumping out of him, and there was something else, something that humans just didn’t do anymore—not with scent.
It was. . . submission, for lack of a better term. Directed solely towards Spike, although whether that was because Spike was there, or because it was really for him, he had no idea. Whichever, Xander’s body was communicating on a very primitive level that it belong to Spike. An’ there goes the posture change. Still on his back, Xander rolled his head so that his neck was exposed—directly to Spike. It didn’t matter what position Xander had been in, or where Spike was in the basement, the boy’s neck was always bent to him.
So, the boy wants t’ be mine. Least, his subconscious does. Right, then, never look a gift horse in the mouth an' all that rot. I’m horny. He’s willing—sort of. Works for me, Spike thought gleefully.
Keeping his voice low and soothing, Spike began to whisper to the slumbering boy. “You’re a good boy, aren’t you, Xander? A very good boy. Good boys want to make others happy. You know how to make others happy, pet? Good boys are obedient boys. Very obedient little boys. . .”
Continuing to croon at him, Spike ran one hand up the boy’s golden flank toward the now fully hard erection. Apparently Xander’s subconscious liked what Spike was saying. Spike carded through the dark curls and began fondling the boy’s heavy sac. Got a nice piece to him, he does. This is gonna be fun. Dragging his fingers back up, he began to stroke the boy with a light, gentle rhythm. This wasn’t about bringing him off, this was about reinforcing his words.
“You want to do anything I tell you, precious. You want to be my good boy, my obedient boy. Yes, you’ll be very good to me. You’ll do anything for me, to be a good boy. Do anything I say. Tell me you’re a good boy, Xander. Tell me.”
“’m’a go’ boy,” Xander slurred, arching up into Spike’s hand.
“A good boy.”
They went on like that for a while, Xander beginning to thrust his hips up in time to his chant. “You’ll do anything I say, won’t you, precious?”
Spike applied more pressure at the word, rewarding the boy. “My boy, my good boy.”
“Good, good, ob—yours!” With the final cry Xander came. Spike grabbed a few tissues to clean the boy up, deciding to let him sleep for another twenty minutes or so. Then the fun would begin.