chapter of Pieces of Me. My son and I are in the process of moving to a
larger apartment, so if postings become spotty, you'll know why.
Hope you enjoy the unfolding tale.
Spike’s temper finally broke once they were alone in the crypt. “You bitch! You came to me practically gagging for it. And I gave you what you asked for. We made love, for a change. We didn’t fuck, we didn’t rut like animals. We took things slow, and gentle-like – no blood, no pain. How can you look me in the face a handful of hours later and believe I would stoop to kidnapping the little bitlet?”
“You’re a vampire, Spike,” Buffy said because, really, that explained it all. “You have no moral compass.”
“I know right from wrong,” he yelled. “I just don’t usually give a shit. But you claim to know me so well – tell me why you’re so sure I’ve turned into a nefarious child peddler.”
Buffy took a deep breath. She needed to think but her thoughts were zig-zagging back and forth between what she suspected and what she knew from experience.
“It’s not like I don’t have reason!” she exclaimed. “That lame story you were telling Dawn – about the child in the coal bin. The one you claim lived happily ever after you fished her out. I call bullshit there, Spike. We both know how that story really ended. And… during Halloween, when everyone turned into their costumes and the kids were all mini-demons. You were happily roaming the streets with them, before trying to kill me.”
“You know what I am and what I’ve done,” he began. “That can’t be changed. But-”
She cut him off. And you wonder why I would ever question your intentions towards a child?”
“More pertinent is what I haven’t done ever since Captain Cardboard and his crew defanged me.” Spike rolled his eyes. “And you know how I feel about your kid sis. We were thick as thieves when you were… gone. You had asked me to protect her and I said I would, until the end of the wolrd. That’s me. This child-trafficking monster you’ve made me out to be doesn’t exist.”
“I-I…” the words were stuck in Buffy’s throat. Spike pled his case sincerely. He wasn’t acting cagey. And she knew what a crap liar he was.
“Look, Spike,” she tried. “None of this makes sense. If you found the kid in the cemetery, why didn’t you take him to the police?” Buffy knew the words were foolish as soon as they’d left her mouth. ID-less Spike and the police were not mixy things. They’d take one look at him with a strange child and Spike’d most likely end up in jail under suspicion.
She just deflated, no longer able to give any real credence to the accusations. Spike might not be ‘good’ in any sense of the word, but he was an ‘honorable bad.’ He also wore his heart on his sleeve. If he felt something, you knew it by sight – and right now, the look on his face was one of offended outrage.
“O-okay. Say I believe you,” she offered, sitting down on the sarcophagus – the site of their recent assignation. “I don’t believe you’re The Doctor. You don’t usually act as someone else’s middleman.”
“As for the little boy, he looked healthy enough,” she said, holding out a tentative olive branch.
“Outside of being frightened by all the shouting, the little nipper was probably dirty and hungry,” Spike allowed. “Not exactly set up here for child-rearing. He was scared and alone, Slayer. I swear by all that’s unholy that I had planned to bring him to you, but as usual, you buggered my plans by showing up.”
Buffy raised a manicured eyebrow at that.
“Not that I wasn’t thrilled that you came to me… That you wanted me,” he said, quickly. “At least I thought you wanted me. Wanna tell me what that was really about?”
Buffy blushed, but felt she owed him an explanation, after the false accusations. “Riley blindsided me at work,” she admitted. “He came in, all full of swagger and the promise of new adventure – followed by a wife! And a missing son. Less than six months after he broke up with me…”
“Git didn’t know what he had, love. That’s on him, not you.”
“I wanted… I needed… I-”
“You came to me ‘cause you knew I loved you. ‘Cause you knew I’d make you feel beautiful – wanted,” Spike seemed to realize.
“I-I’m sorry,” she murmured. Using people to make herself feel good wasn’t her style. It was ugly and, well, just ugly, and beneath her.
“Stop it, love,” Spike murmured. “Don’t apologize for comin’ to me. I’ve told you before that you can count on me; I’m here for you.”
“Even when I’m not here for you?” she asked, looking at him with watery eyes.
“So,” she said, swallowing her incipient tears, “what are we going to do about Riley?”
Riley sat in his hotel room, watching as Sam fussed and cooed over Daniel. The baby been bathed, changed and fed, and was now ready for bed.
Sam cuddled the sleepy boy in her arms, and it was all Riley could do to hold back his disgust watching her dote on a half-breed.
Not that Daniel evinced any outward sign that he was anything other than a normal child. In fact, it was hard to credit that he was the spawn of that degenerate demon, Hostile 17… Spike. Even harder to accept that Daniel was Buffy’s child as well.
When Riley first found out the Initiative was dabbling in genetics, he was appalled. Who were they to play God? And why the hell – if they had to play – were the playing using that piece of shit’s seed?
But when they actually succeeded in creating the half-human embryo, Riley realized it was a golden opportunity; a chance to make Spike pay for busting up his relationship with Buffy.
It had been easy to secure the child after it was born. He’d wooed and married Sam, leading her to believe that his love was deep and abiding, that she had mended his broken heart. He made her feel wanted, and she was putty in his hands.
He talked up his Iowa upbringing and family values; brought up his desire to have a family as soon as possible. Then. Hinted at how cruel it was to leave the baby in the hands of uncaring scientists; waxed lyrical about the best interests of the child and the benefits of being raised by loving parents.
Sam fell for it hook, line and sinker and agreed to adopt it. With their credentials and seniority, the Initiative had no qualms about handing over the kid. Daniel Aaron Finn – named after both their fathers – became theirs.
The Suvolte’s escape had been easy enough to engineer. Then a little bit of bribery had greased the tracks for some eggs to be planted in the hostile’s crypt, and for rumors of Spike’s trafficking to be spread far and wide. HSTs, like all simple creatures, lived for gossip.
Where the planted eggs were now was anybody’s guess. Riley only hoped that whoever had them knew enough to keep them refrigerated, or there would be hell to pay when they hatched. True, they weren’t the carnivorous Suvolte’s eggs. They were actually Grosnaks – similar in appearance, but far less dangerous – but they would still be destructive if they hatched hungry.
Riley shrugged. There was nothing he could do about it now. Eventually the eggs would either hatch, or be destroyed. Either way, they were no longer his problem.
As for Daniel, when he’d left the boy in Restfield and hidden behind an adjacent crypt, Riley had assumed that, one way or another, he’d never see the boy alive again. There was the distinct possibility that a ransom demon would attack the child – Sunnydale was like that – and, if so, Riley had plans in place to lay the blame for it on Spike.
But, as luck would have it, Daniel’s cries were the perfect bait for Riley’s intended target. Timing was everything, and this time the trap snapped shut as planned.
He was somewhat surprised to see the care and concern the hostile had shown the boy as he quieted his cries, but in the end, Riley was sure his true nature would reveal itself, and Daniel would end up as a midnight snack.
After all, the behavior modification chip was only a prototype, and its expiration date had long since passed.
Luck had been on his side. It was fortuitous really that Buffy was there when he busted in on the vampire, unannounced – saved him the bother of relaying the story of Spike’s dastardly deeds.
Although, on the downside, he had to work hard to keep his cool at the sight of his ex-girlfriend lying naked next to that thing, their actions obvious in their aftermath. He didn’t want her back; the thought of going after a demon’s sloppy seconds made him nauseous, but it still pricked at his pride that she would rather fuck a demon than work out the relationship he’d once craved beyond everything else – even his health.
Anyway, he had Sam. And Sam was sweet – pretty in a wholesome way, and totally in love with him. That made her easy to manipulate, unlike Buffy – whose pig-headedness tended to shut him out.
“Come to bed, Ri,” Sam called from the bedroom of their suite. “Our little boy is safely settled down in his crib for the night and it’s time to celebrate his return.”
With a suppressed shudder, Riley stood and slowly walked towards his wife. He didn’t know (or particularly care) if his relationship to Sam would survive his scheming. He wasn’t quite done with the vampire yet. If Buffy didn’t take him out this time, he’d have to push his plans further. Something had to shake the stars out of her eyes regarding Hostile 17 but, at this point, he was damned if he knew what that was.
He was a soldier – he could do his duty – even while his skin crawled with the need for vengeance.
He headed for the bedroom.