Part twenty five...
That's what they say when we're together
And watch how you play
They don't understand,
And so we're..."
"You sound pretty sure about all this," Willow
Anya nodded. "I've been thinking about it for a long
time," she said. "It seems right that it should be
"Are you scared?"
"A little bit. But I'm more scared of losing Xander," Anya
said, her voice quiet. "Guys have needs....you know. I
don't want him to go and get them satisfied somewhere
"He wouldn't!" Willow said firmly.
Buffy was the first one to ask the obvious
question. "Well....where are you going to go?"
Anya opened her evening bag and pulled out a
small piece of paper. "I made a reservation at the
hotel down the road, The Chandler Arms."
"Oh! William and I went there!" Buffy said without
Both the other girls looked at her with their mouths
"For dinner!" Buffy added quickly. "There's a really nice
restaurant in the lobby, and...and he took me to dinner
there. That's all. Really!"
Wanting very much to change the subject, she glanced
into the purse Anya was holding. "What....what are those?"
she stammered, although she knew perfectly well what she
Her friend giggled and blushed, extracting a small package
from her bag. "Condoms," she whispered.
Willow gasped loudly. "Where did you get them?" she
squeaked. "Did you...you went into a store and BOUGHT
"What do you mean 'ewww'?" Anya asked. "How else can
you get them? Geez, Willow."
"Well, it's just...just that.." Willow stammered, her
cheeks turning as red as her hair. "I always thought
that...you know...that the boy would get those
things," she added in a whisper.
Anya just shrugged. "Hey, it's a modern world," she
said, snapping her bag closed. "And a girl should be
ready to share the responsibility for having safe sex."
"Uh-huh," Buffy said doubtfully. "So where did you buy
Now it was Anya's turn to blush. "I didn't," she finally
confessed. "I found them in my mother's dresser."
"Ewwwww!" both Buffy AND Willow exclaimed, horrified at
the notion of anyone's mother having a need for contra-
"Your mother?" Willow asked, making a face.
Anya nodded and rolled her eyes. "Don't remind me."
"But what if....what if she...you know...needs them?"
Buffy queried. "What if she asks you where they went?"
"That won't happen," Anya said. "It's been a year
since my dad left and the men aren't exactly beating
down the door."
"A year?" Willow whispered. "What if they've...ex-
"Condoms don't expire," Anya stated, taking on the air of
someone who knew all there was to know about a subject,
then losing it instantly. "Do they?" she asked, turning to
"How would I know?" Buffy asked. "I've never even....really
"Check the label," Willow advised.
Before Anya could open her purse again, the door to the
lounge swung open and three girls walked in. "Hey, Anya,"
one of them said brightly, "Xander wanted me to ask you if
you'd fallen in or something."
Anya sighed and made a face. "Sweet," she muttered. "I
may just change my mind about my....plans."
After she'd left, Buffy and Willow exchanged glances.
"So," Willow began hesitantly, blushing again, "you and
William....you aren't....I mean, you haven't....you know.."
Her voice sank to a bare whisper. "...done it?"
"No," Buffy whispered back, shaking her head for em-
phasis. "Have you and Oz?"
"Uh-uh. I mean...we've done some things...but not that."
"Us, too." Buffy took in a deep breath. "Do you think she's
right about this being....a good night for it?"
Willow shrugged. "I don't know. I guess it depends."
After a short silence, an unspoken agreement to drop the
whole subject made itself known and they left the bathroom
to return to their dates.
"Running just as fast as we can
Holding onto one another's hand
Trying to get away into the night
And then you put your arms around me
And we tumble to the ground and you say..."
"Are you all right?"
Buffy looked at William and smiled. "Sure. Why do you
His face was concerned. "You look a little flushed," he
said. "Is it too warm in here for you?"
She swallowed hard, trying to control her blush. "Maybe
"Do you want to go outside? Get some fresh air?"
Did she? At this point, she wasn't quite sure WHAT she
wanted. Everything she'd thought herself so certain of
seemed to be peeling away, layer by layer, leaving her
confused and a little scared.
Anya's announcement of her intentions had stirred
up all the deeply buried longings that Buffy had been
dealing with since meeting William, longings that she'd
THOUGHT were being satisfied....for her, anyway.
But what about for him? Was he REALLY satisfied with
the 'pretend' lovemaking they'd been indulging in?
He'd always seemed to be and never pressured her to
do anything more, something she'd been grateful for.
**Guys have needs...**
Anya's words kept echoing in her head.
**I don't want him to go and get them satisfied
William would never do that. She was as certain of it
as she was of her own name.
**Boys reach their sexual peaks at 17...**
She wondered if that was really true. And, if it was,
when did girls reach theirs? Personally, she felt like
she was going to explode from the pressure of her
need for William, felt it on a daily basis in fact.
His hand was cool on her skin, his thumb stroking
the curve of her cheek.
"I'm all right," she said quickly, smiling for him.
"You sure? Do you want something to drink?
"Okay. Yes, that...that's a good idea."
His own smile widened as his eyes searched hers
for the answer to her jittery demeanor, but he said
nothing more about it and took her back to their
"Be right back," he promised.
"I'll be here."
She could see Oz and Willow out on the dance
floor. The music was slow and soft, and they swayed
gently to its beat. Xander and Anya were nowhere
to be seen, and she wondered if they had already
ducked out and were on their way to the hotel.
A quick glance at the wall clock showed that it was
only a little past nine. The dance was officially over
at midnight, and the limousine was then going to take
them back to Revello Drive, where they'd all decided to
have a moonlight swim and then go out for breakfast.
The girls had made arrangements to spend the night
at Buffy's house, while the boys would stay in the
Now, she wondered if Anya and Xander would be
back before it was time to leave, or if she'd have to
try and explain Anya's absence to her mother in the
The thought of trying to come up with a believable
story for her mother, who was no slouch when it came
to ferreting out a fib, was beginning to give her a headache,
and she suddenly wished that Anya had chosen another
night to lose her virginity, a night where she, herself, wasn't
going to be indirectly involved in the cover up.
"I think we're alone now
There doesn't seem to be anyone around
I think we're alone now
The beating of our hearts is the only sound..."
She was so deeply immersed in her thoughts that
she didn't at first realize that William had returned,
jumping slightly when he touched her shoulder.
"Oh! Thank you," she said, a little breathlessly, as
she accepted the glass of punch he'd brought her and
took a sip. "That's good."
"Buffy...what's bothering you, love?" He was beginning
to look seriously worried as he sat down beside her. "Aren't
you having a good time?"
"Of course I am," she said without hesitation. "It's
wonderful. You're wonderful." Looking into his eyes, so
filled with love and caring, knowing it was all there for
her, made her heart thud faster in her chest. Impulsively,
she slipped her hand behind his neck and tugged him
down. "Kiss me."
His body turned and he scooted his chair closer to hers,
his lips dropping a soft kiss on hers that lengthened and
deepened. By the time he pulled back, they were both
feeling the effects.
"Tell me something," he whispered, his breath stirring
a strand of her hair.
"I love you."
He smiled. "I love you, too...but that's not what I
"Oh," she giggled. "Sorry. What did you mean?"
He hesitated for just a moment, then looked into her
eyes with serious intent. "Tell me what's on your mind.
Is it because Angel and Cordelia are only a few tables
away? Is it making you uncomfortable?"
"No." Her answer was truthful. She hadn't even noticed
them until he'd brought them up.
"Because if it's bothering you...."
"No," she said again, shaking her head. "I don't care a
bit about them."
"But something's bothering you?"
She hesitated a fraction too long. "Not really."
"It's nothing to do with us. I swear." She held up her
right hand, 'witness stand' style.
His eyes searched her face, seeking and finding re-
assurance. But it wasn't enough. "Let's go outside for
a few minutes," he said, pushing his chair back and
standing up, then tugging her to her feet.
He didn't give her a chance to agree to or decline his
proposal, pulling her out through the double doors and
towards the front exit.
"Look at the way
We gotta hide what we're doing
'Cause what would they say
If they ever knew, and so we're
Running just as fast as we can
Holding onto one another's hand..."
Buffy followed along after him, holding up the
front of her dress with her free hand to avoid
tripping over it.
William led her out the main doors, then steered her
towards a small garden area at the outer edge of the
building. There were several outdoor patio tables set
up for the afternoon lunch crowd, and the entire area
was circled with a fragrant display of rose bushes in
a rainbow of different colors.
Guiding her to the farthest edge of the garden, he made
her sit down on a glider swing.
Buffy waited for him to start questioning her more
pointedly, but he didn't say a word; merely sat down
beside her and placed his arm around her shoulders,
pulling her up against him.
She was the one to break the silence. "Why did we come
"I just wanted to be alone with you for a while," he replied,
dropping a soft kiss on top of her head.
"Oh," she smiled, snuggling closer. "That's a good reason."
Oddly enough, now that they WERE completely alone,
she began wanting him to try and coax answers out of
her. "About the way I was...inside," she began.
William said nothing, just continued looking at her.
"Don't you want to know why?"
"Yes. If you want to tell me."
All of a sudden, she wanted to do just that. Wanted
to unload the huge and heavy secret she was struggling
with and have him help her sort it out.
Unfortunately, it wasn't her secret to tell.
But the urge was too strong to be denied. There were
things she needed to know, and telling him that secret
would open up a dialogue.
Trying to wriggle around it without giving anything
away, she turned on the swing, meeting the deep blue
gaze that always saw through her to her soul.
"Do you ever think about....about sex?" she asked.
"Constantly," he said, grinning widely.
The comment brought a bit of lightness with it, making
her laugh and push at his chest. "Come on...I'm
"Yeah, me too."
"Well, you'll have to be a little more specific," he
said. "What part of sex are you referring to?"
"The...the having of it."
"Is this really what you were thinking about?" he
"Partly," she admitted.
Tilting his head, he gave her a speculative look. "The
'having of sex'. With you?"
"My answer still stands."
"Trying to get away into the night
And then you put your arms around me
And we tumble to the ground and you say..."
There was only one way she could think of to get
the answers she needed without embarrassing
herself. "I have this friend...."
Unlike most people who used this particular dodge,
her claim was legitimate.
The corner of his mouth turned up, but all he said
"And she's...she's planning to...she's planning
the...the having of sex."
The slight smile he'd been wearing disappeared. "She
"Yeah," she nodded. "It's the first time for her and
"When?" he cut in, suddenly looking quite serious.
The question caught her off guard. "Well...um...tonight,
William swallowed hard. "So...so your 'friend' thinks
she's ready for that?"
"Yes. See, they've been together for a while now,
and she thinks...she's afraid that she might lose him
if they don't start doing it soon. She says that...that a
boy has needs...and she doesn't want him to go some-
where else to...to get rid of the needs. But I don't
think he would do that. And...and is that really a good
reason for her to have sex, even if it's just part of the
"She loves him a lot, and he loves her, so...so it's not
JUST because she's afraid of losing him. She said that
she really wants to, since they've been going together for
like...two years now, and she made a reservation at the
hotel...and I think they already left to go there."
"So...he has needs, and she has them, too." Now that
she'd gotten going, she couldn't seem to stop. "What do
YOU think?" she asked. "Does it sound like she's doing
the right thing for the right reasons?"
William was struck dumb for just a moment.
"Before I answer that," he said quietly, "is there any
chance in the world that you're actually talking about
Buffy's brow furrowed. "No."
"But sort of."
"Not about going to the hotel and having...it. Just...it
made me think...what about YOUR needs? You're a
boy...and you're seventeen. Are you peaking?"
"Am I doing WHAT?"
"Peaking. She said that boys have their sexual peaking
when they turn seventeen."
"All right," he said quickly, holding up one hand to
stop any further flow of nervous words. "I think I've got
it. I don't know whether or not it's right for your friend. I
guess that's something everyone needs to decide for
Buffy nodded, hanging on his words.
"But as far as MY needs go, then yes...I have them.
'Course I do." He reached up and tucked a strand of her
hair back in place. "After all....I'm madly in love with a
very beautiful girl. I want to make love to her all the time.
And," he added, pulling her closer, "she satisfies all my
"Yes. I can wait until OUR time is right." He kissed her
lightly. "And I promise not to peak before you do."
"I think we're alone now
There doesn't seem to be anyone around..."
All the little tiny doubts that had been stabbing at her
drifted away, and she could have kicked herself for ever
having them in the first place.
She should have known better than to compare William
with other boys. He was completely different from the
rest of the immature bunch who only thought about one
"So...." He kissed her again, a bit longer this time. "Now
that we've cleared the air...do you want to go somewhere
and satisfy a few of our needs?"
Well....maybe not COMPLETELY different!
"I think we're alone now
The beating of our hearts is the only sound..."
Part twenty six.....
"I love how your eyes close
Whenever you kiss me
And when I'm away from you
I love how you miss me..."
All of a sudden, she was feeling much lighter
of heart. The tension and worry that she'd been
dealing with ever sine Anya had dropped her bomb-
shell was fading away into nothing, and she now
remembered what this evening was really all about.
A certain sense of mischief began directing her actions,
and she pulled out of William's arms and rose to her
feet, giving the glider a hard push that caused him to
topple backwards into the cushions.
His look of surprise made her giggle. "We should get
back inside," she told him, struggling for a straight face.
She turned and headed back towards the entry doors,
hearing a quietly muttered "Bloody HELL, we should"
coming from behind her.
Before she made it another five feet, a strong arm slid
around her waist as William pulled her close, turning her
to face him. Lapis blue eyes gazed into hers with a
tender amusement and warmth that made her heart beat
When his mouth came down on hers, she met it with
open and innocent passion, and all the love she felt.
Her pulse skipped one beat after another, and the only
clear thought she could retain was, **Yes. This is how it's
supposed to feel when the boy is right, when you're kissing
the one person you were meant to be with, when no one else
can make you feel quite the same way..**
William's hands tightened on her waist, then slipped up
behind her until she could feel their heat on the bare
skin of her back. They pulled apart only to take a breath
before coming back together.
"I love you," he whispered, his lips brushing fleetingly
across her cheek.
Buffy dropped her head back, giving him access to
more of her face and throat.
Through the wild rush of her blood pounding in her ears,
she heard the music coming from inside, soft and slow,
and deeply romantic. She clung to his arms as his
mouth found her's again.
It was a delicious free fall, with their bodies pressed
intimately close in a heightened state of sensual
William suddenly pulled out of their kiss. He took her
hands and placed them on his shoulders, then returned
his own arms to their resting place about her waist.
"Dance with me?"
"I love the way you always treat me tenderly
But, darling, most of all
I love how you love me..."
The moonlight, the scent of the roses, the music...Buffy
couldn't imagine a scene more perfect.
Until he asked her to dance with him.
William always asked. Their first night at the Bronze,
on the patio during her birthday party, earlier this
evening when they'd first walked through the doors.
He never assumed, never took it for granted, even though
he was more than entitled to do so, given their feelings
for each other.
His hands held her lightly, every touch a caress that
made her skin tingle as he moved her along the pathway
through the garden. The music was clear, carried along
on the soft spring air.
Even though she had left childhood and childlike things
behind, she still retained enough of a sense of it to feel
that this was magic, pure and simple.
Every romantic fairytale she'd ever read in a book, or
watched on a movie screen, contributed to her appreciation
of the moment.
Moving closer, she pressed her cheek against his jacket
front, directly over the steady drum beat of his heart.
"I love you."
"I love you, too, William."
He skimmed a kiss across the top of her head.
"Can I ask you something?"
Buffy nodded, her eyes drifting shut. "Yes."
"Do you think about the future very often?"
She did....frequently constructing elaborate flights
of fancy as she inked the words 'Mr and Mrs. William
Darlington' on the inside cover of every book she owned,
surrounding the words with clumsily shaped hearts and
'Sometimes," she confessed.
William tightened his arms around her. "When you do...am
I a part of it?"
There was nothing tentative or uncertain about his question,
he merely wanted to hear her say it.
So she pulled back just a bit, and looked up into those
amazingly blue eyes. "Yes. You're in every part of it."
Smiling, he drew her close again. "And....will you marry
"I love how your heart beats
Whenever I hold you
I love how you think of me
Without being told to..."
Of all the things in the world she might have expected
to hear him say, that was the most surprising, the one
she'd never have imagined.
Picturing this moment, dreaming about it, planning for
it, even doodling in her notebook about it....was nothing
compared to the reality of it.
He stepped back from her, holding her hands in a light
clasp. "Say something."
Buffy felt as though she'd stepped into a puddle of
glue. Her feet refused to move, no matter how strongly
she ordered them to.
There was only one thing TO say.
His smile became broader. "You promise?"
With a loud "YES" , he bent over and scooped her up
in his arms, then spun her around in a circle several times
until she asked him to stop.
Placing her back on her feet, he kept a tight grip around
her waist. She was a little shaky, but it was a delightful
sensation that she didn't particularly want to lose.
"So...what sort of a ring would you like?" William asked,
as casually as if he were offering her a choice between
tea and coffee. "Someday, I mean."
"Um....I don't know. I never really thought about it."
That much was true. As often as she'd imagined herself
happily married to this boy, she'd never considered
the small details involved.
"Well, you might want to start thinking about it," he
But all Buffy could think about at the moment was
how beautiful he was, especially when he smiled the
way he was smiling now.
"Are you thinking about it?" he asked after a moment.
"The sort of engagement ring you want. If you place
your order now, I'll throw in a matching wedding band."
"Oh. No, I was thinking....it's just that...did you know
that you're kind of beautiful? For a boy, I mean."
The question surprised him, she could tell.
"I can't say I've ever thought about it."
She believed it. He wasn't the type to dwell on
a subject like that. "Haven't you ever looked in a
"Sure. Almost every day, at some point."
"And what do you see in it?" she asked.
He hesitated for a long moment, then shrugged. "The
usual. Two eyes, a nose and a mouth, pretty much
where they should be."
Buffy shook her head. "Boy, remind me never to look in
that mirror," she said, shaking her head. "Not if that's
what it does to YOU!"
"I love the way your touch is always heavenly
But, darlin', most of all
I love how you love me...."
William's hands moved up her sides, stopping at
the swell of her breasts and pulling her closer.
Immediately, her sensitivity there...her desire to
have him touch her properly...nearly overwhelmed
She pushed herself against him and his hands
tightened, pressing inwards as their mouths searched
for and found each other.
Starting off slow, the kiss rapidly built in intensity,
bringing heat and pressure into their love play.
Buffy parted her lips when she felt his tongue
probing. He slipped into her mouth with practiced
ease, touching her in all the ways she liked best.
Tongues entwined, breathing ragged, they strained
together with softly whimpered sounds of pleasure
in their throats.
William moved his hands behind her back, rubbing
her in slow circles, then gliding down to hold her
hips firmly against his.
Their lips met and parted, then met again.
Buffy opened her eyes and was surprised to see
that his were open as well, that he was looking at
her, studying her face.
She couldn't control her smile. "You're peeking,"
she said against his mouth.
"Well, I AM seventeen after all," he said without
missing a beat.
"Not THAT kind of peaking!" she laughed, giving his
shoulder a light push.
Diving back into the kiss, he wrapped his arms around
her and lifted her right off her feet, then walked over to
a darkened niche in the building, hiding them from anyone
who might venture outside for "fresh air".
He placed her back on her feet, leaning his body
against hers. "So, tell me something."
"This 'friend' of yours...the one who's ready for the
having of sex?"
"What about her?"
"Anyone I know?"
She looked at him in pretend shock. "Nosy!"
"Come on....tell me."
"Why do you want to know?" she evaded.
"I don't know...I just do."
"When did you become a gossip?"
"The minute you let that cat out of its bag."
He rolled his eyes. "Fine. I'll get it out of you,
The unspoken part of that sentence gave her a
"I love how you hug me
Love how you squeeze me, tease me, please me
Love how you love me..."
"I thought only girls gossiped."
"Well, now you know better."
Leaning into him, she said, "Torture me however you
want. I'm still not talking."
William released a deep sigh, then bent his head
and nipped at her ear. "Tell," he insisted.
He tilted her head up and kissed her throat. "Tell."
His lips traveled over her cheek, breath hot on her
It felt so good that she almost gave in.
"Nnnnnnno. I don't think so."
"If you love me, you'll tell me," he said, giving her
bottom a firm squeeze that forced her tightly against
Pulling back, he gave her an intent look. "I'll kiss
it out of you," he warned.
"Take your best shot," she replied smartly.
At that point, the whole silly encounter came to
an abrupt end.
From around the side of the building, they heard
loud voices, voices they both recognized.
"Get away from me, Xander!" Anya was shouting. "I
mean it! I don't want to EVER see you again."
"Anya....come on....wait up!"
"Go to hell!"
Buffy and William moved along the wall, peeking
around the side in time to see Anya shove Xander
away from her so hard that he skidded in the damp
grass and landed on his rear.
"Anya!," he called plaintively, struggling back up to
his feet. "I'm sorry! Can't we just...you know...go
back and try again?"
Whirling around on one heel, Anya stomped off,
Xander trailing after her and pleading for her to
The quarrelers disappeared back into the country
club. William stared after them, then shook his
head. "Umm...never mind."
"Boy that cat wasn't LET out of its bag," Buffy added
with a sigh. "It was DRAGGED out."
"I love how you love me..."