After skipping lunch, Buffy went straight to rehearsing the new songs
for her album, and then Spike said she could go at four o’clock, as she wanted to do some shopping. She wanted something
to wear for the party, and just to generally spoil herself with some luxury bath products, cosmetics and frivolities like
scented candles, stuff that she’d had to deny herself when money was tight. She sat in the food court with a coffee,
her myriad of shopping bags on two other seats. Buffy took out her cell phone, and called up her friend.
“Hi, Will... where are you?”
“Lecture hall three, well, tell a lie, outside lecture hall
three, I’m just on my way home.”
“Come and meet me! I’m in the Food Court
at the mall…I can tell you what’s been going on!”
“Oh great! Give me twenty minutes!”
It was just after six, and Spike closed down his computer, yawned and
stretched. There was a knock at his door, and a messenger entered with a two-inch thick parcel, handed it to him and left.
“Thank you.” Spike opened it, and smiled, it was 250 photos
of Buffy, taken from a ‘still’ when she was on Ethan Raine’s show. She looked beautiful, natural and happy.
Spike had been just going to go home, but thought that another half an hour wouldn’t hurt, and he got out the rubber-stamp
of Buffy’s signature they’d had made, and he began to stamp the corners of the photos. Normally this would have
been a secretary’s job he’d have had done tomorrow, but he thought that it would give him an excuse to drop by
Buffy’s house later. After all, he’d promised those young fans of hers some pictures………
“Have you got that, Warren?”
“Yes, yes, I know, treble security. It’ll be easier to get
into Fort Knox
than the back room, have no fear…I’ll want the ‘usual’ payment’ of course.”
“You will - we’ll supply the DJ, we don’t want
the music fiasco that happened last time – we’d have been better off with a karaoke.”
“Oh yes, and he wants six cases of Champagne. Dom Perignon, or Bollinger, not that Spanish Cava you pass off as bubbly, he’ll
“I’m just telling you for your own good Warren…we wouldn’t want anything to happen to you, now would we?”
“Meaning, Sweet has mucho influence, friends and interests in this
city… wouldn’t do to try and screw him.”
“I hear you’re the one doing that, literally, one of many!”
“Don’t get smart, that mouth of yours will get you into trouble
one of these days, Mr MEERS!”
Lorne put the phone down, and Warren looked horrified, how the HELL, did
Lorne know that his real name was Meers and not Walsh…
“SHIT! BASTARD!” Warren
kicked out at the office safe. He’d been SO careful to keep his real name covered as there was that outstanding warrant
in England for his arrest for murder.
He’d REALLY have to be careful now, and play things absolutely straight
with Sweet and company…a thought that made him sick.
Willy was a little worried. He’d heard Warren swearing, and he thought...as his boss had the takings books out on the desk...that
he’d been found out about his ‘fiddle’. He decided to brazen it out, and knocked on the office door.
“Can I have the floats for the cash registers?”
threw him the key to the safe. “Friday.”
“I want YOU to do the bar in the back room, it’s for Sweet’s
after-award party, and I want everything to be perfect. If they ask for champagne, then that’s what they’ll have,
no Cava shit, the real McCoy, and NO watering down the drinks...even if the punter is shit-faced and out of his tree –
do you hear me?”
Willy raised his brows – but thought it best to comply, in words
“Sure thing boss…can I go now? – got to fill up the
mixers and that.”
This surprising instruction set Willy thinking, wondering just what
Sweet and his cronies had on his boss………
Buffy luxuriated in the bubbly scented water. She popped a chocolate into
her mouth and relaxed, lying back, thinking ‘This is the life’.
Spike went home, grabbed a sandwich, had a shower and changed, and then
“………I like to keep my promises, and they’re
ready. See, I tried out the new rubber stamp of your signature on them – you can’t tell the difference, you’d
think they’d just been signed.”
“Great, there are a few kids hanging around outside actually, come
“See you in twenty minutes!”
They were both smiling when they put their phones down.
Buffy unfurled the towel turban on her head and rubbed briskly at her
hair. She slipped on her jeans and a crop-top, and put on a slick of lipgloss and a couple of coats of mascara. Bending over,
she dried her hair, to give it some volume. She’d just unplugged the hairdryer when she saw the flash of headlights
across her bedroom wall, and heard the low purr of the sports car’s engine.
She went down and opened the front door, and was surprised and delighted
to see not Spike at first, but a HUGE bouquet of mixed flowers.
“Oh, look, talking flowers – come in!” Buffy beamed
“These are for you. Congratulations on your first single.”
Spike handed over the flowers.
“I know…I can’t help it!” Spike fluttered his
lashes, making Buffy giggle.
“The flowers, silly…although, I suppose you could pass for
okay!” Buffy teased, and Spike grabbed her bare waist and tickled her, making Buffy squirm and scream out laughing.
“Give in! I give in!” The pair of them was now in the kitchen,
“Do you now, huh?!”
Buffy looked wondrously at the cut mixed blooms, roses, lilies, orchids,
their heady perfume was almost intoxicating. She carefully laid them on the island, opening the cupboard under the sink for
some vases. “They’re beautiful”
“Like you then,” Spike said, not taking his eyes off her.
She smiled, blushed, mumbled a ‘thank you’, and began to snip
off the ends of the stalks and strip leaves off the long stems so they wouldn’t rot in the water.
Spike sat himself down on one of the stools by the breakfast bar, and
watched while she arranged the flowers between the two vases. When she’d finished, she went over to him, stood between
his legs and gave him a soft gentle kiss.
They looked at each other for a second or two, and Spike homed in again,
and they began kissing with mounting passion. She was glad that she was holding him around the shoulders, when his tongue
swept into her mouth, her knees felt ready to give way.
She broke the kiss and Spike whispered breathlessly in her ear, “Oh
Buffy! I’ve been longing to do that!”
Buffy closed her eyes and held him to her, and then she rested her forehead
against his. “Me too. Spike…is this, well, is this how it is with all your other singers?”
“What do you mean, pet?”
“I mean...well, you’re with them practically 24/7 for the
first few weeks, and...“
“I can stop you right there, pet. I’ve never done before what
I’ve done with you. Usually I’m just the manager. I spend half an hour- say an hour a day tops with my singers.
I’ve never taken anyone to the studios, or the factory...it’s all done with what we call ‘minders’.”
“So why me?” Buffy asked.
“Because from the second I set eyes on you, I knew you were something
special. Not just the business side of things. I know...if it’s what you want...you have a great singing career in front
of you. I mean, well, I want to get to know you. If it’s not what you want, tell me now and I’ll sort out a minder
for you, and I won’t bother you again, except for business.”
“But what’s so special about me? – You must have hundreds
of women after you?”
“Not hundreds, pet…a few, maybe………nobody’s
ever taken my interest like you – I don’t want to put any pressure on you, if it’s not what you want, I
totally understand, and it won’t harm your career.”
“It is. What I want. I’d like there to be an us, but I want
to take things slowly, and I’d like to keep it just between ourselves…if too many people get to know – I’ve
seen it all before at work. When I was at the school, embryonic relationships ruined by gossip.”
“I totally agree…” Spike said nodding, he was happy
“Good.” Buffy still had her arms loosely around his neck,
when her stomach rumbled. She rolled her eyes, and Spike snatched a quick kiss and said, “Hungry, pet?”
“I had a sandwich at the food court, but yes, I am a bit. Are you?”
“I’m the same. Grabbed a sandwich earlier…got anything
in?” He nodded towards the fridge.
“Not much…” She went over to the fridge and pulled it
“Juice…eggs, pack of ham…some cheddar, a bag of ready
washed salad, few mushrooms…tomatoes…milk, and the pizza needs throwing – it’s from before the show!”
she took the box out and put it on the side.
“Like omelettes?” Spike asked.
“I love them. Don’t tell me...you cook?” she grinned
“Has been known! – Tell you what, you go out there, and distribute
some of these to your adoring fans, and I’ll whip you up an omelette faster than you can say ‘Your culinary expertise
absolutely astounds me!” Buffy giggled and took some of the photos to take outside. Spike washed his hands and set about
Jenny woke, stretched and luxuriated in the fact that she hadn’t
had to wake up to an alarm clock, for a change. When she felt a strong arm around her waist, she turned over and smiled.
Giles smiled, and then looked slightly worried. “I wasn’t,
you know, too much for you, was I?”
“Twice on the trot, and then again an hour later…nope, not
too much…you’re a right regular little tiger when roused, aren’t you!”
She made to get out of bed, but Giles stayed her with his arm.“Don’t
get up yet, please?”
“I just need the bathroom, honey, I’ll be back – promise.”
She lightly kissed his nose, and Giles let her go.
Although he couldn’t see, Jenny was grinning all the way into the
bathroom, ok, she’d been totally wrong about older men, and this man, well - he definitely knew what he was doing,
and he had stamina by the bucket-load!
Glory Benson stood on-set, checking her script. The make-up lady was powdering
her face, there were stagehands milling about, and the director and soundman were in deep discussion.
“Okay... everybody, at last, rolling in five” the director
“He’s here then – about bloody time…keeping me
waiting.” Glory threw the clipboard down on the sofa and allowed the make-up lady to re-new her trademark red lipstick.
“Clear the set, rolling in three minutes!”
Glory fixed in her earpiece in, and looked at the director, who said,“Opening
credits, your piece introducing what you’ve got on and then got to VT of Gunn’s new single, then introduce him.”
“Quiet on set everybody – rolling in one minute” There
was a slight commotion off-stage, and Glory shot one of her icy glares in that general direction.
“Can somebody get those people away from the stage…and QUIET-
TWENTY SECONDS – Places please – clear the set…ready-“ From the chaos, suddenly everything was ready,
with Glory standing and waiting to do her piece to camera.
“VT Rolling…and Five, four – cut to credits, music…and
one –“ The director pointed at Glory.
“Hi –Glory Benson with another edition of ‘Chart Countdown’.
On tonight’s show we have two more contenders for the Independent Radio Awards Best Song category, our usual run down
of the Indie and Billboard charts, and later I’ll be chatting to Mobo award contender, and the quiet man of rap, Gunn.”
Glory turned her head to the right and the camera panned to a screen,
showing a clip of Gunn’s new video, ‘Urban Decay’. A typical scene, the slick black man, head to toe in
designer gear and covered in ‘bling’, arms outstretched, gesticulating with his fingers, while scantily clad girls
gyrated around him as he walked along a row of boarded up and graffiti covered shops, rapping to a stilted beat.
The camera panned back to Glory. “Ladies and gentlemen, tonight’s
He came on-set, and sat down on the sofa. Glory seated herself opposite.
“They call you the quiet man of rap. Why?”
“I guess, because I’m quiet.” Gunn said, softly.
Glory fixed him with a look and knew she wanted to give this guy a rough
ride. He’d ‘dissed’ her by being late, so she wasn’t going to go easy on him, which she didn’t.
She grilled him on his lyrics, repeating the press’s view that they were typically misogynistic, and homophobic. When
she stated that she thought that him swanning around in a fur coat and enough bling valued high enough to take at least three
families out of the poverty he sang about, was hypercritical, Gunn had enough. He unclipped his microphone and stormed
off-set. Without turning a hair, Glory cut to the ‘break’ and the commercials were shown.
All hell broke loose backstage.
“Glory! Can’t you apologise?” the director pleaded.
“No! Jumped up, two-bit, over-rated talentless prat had it coming!”
Some of Gunn’s entourage were going crazy, making threats to her,
which made Glory even madder, and she flipped them a middle finger.
“Gonna get you, you Mother-fuckin’ bitch – when I do,
I’m gonna kick your lop-sided, skanky little ass!” one of them shouted.
“Yeah? Fuck off, you don’t frighten me…” Dropping
her voice to little above a mumble, she said, “Getting so tired of this.”
One of Gunn’s entourage broke free of security and ran on set, making
threats, but he was soon hauled off. The director was going frantic trying to get order.
“Back on air in five, four………one – Glory!”
Glory smiled to the camera and did her next piece, you could still hear
the commotion going on backstage, but Glory took it all in her stride. She was controversial, she didn’t care, or was
in the slightest bit worried. The poor director however, was sweating profusely, and almost having a heart attack.
The rest of the show passed without incident, and Glory stalked off set
into the greenroom.
“Gunn…darling.” Glory kissed him on the cheek, and perched
on his lap.
The director saw this and was almost incandescent with rage.
“All that, that – that was a put up!!?”
“Of course, darling…we’re from the same stable…All
Sweet’s idea…keeps us in the news!”
“Okay, but off my man, now!” Nikki Wood looked deadly serious,
and then she too laughed and hugged Glory.
“How are you, girl?”
“Oh, you know…earning a living…”
“You were a bit hard on my man!”
“Hey, he was late…!” They laughed and joked, and the
poor director began to think he was getting too old for this lark…
“Um, just checking, those guys, your entourage, they do know it
was all a put up, don’t they?” Glory asked Gunn.
“I assume so, I’ve never laid eyes on any of them before,
my homies are just that, at home!”
“Oh god…this has to be the best omelette I’ve ever tasted!”
Buffy pointed to the cheese, ham and mushroom concoction with her fork. He’d served it with a side salad, and as there
was nothing else stronger, they had juice to drink.
Spike grinned. “Thanks. So, how many photo’s did you give
“About a dozen, it’s getting dark so they tend to drift away.
I was thinking of giving some to the lady next door, she was the one that phoned the police. If she has some to give out,
the kids might go away and leave them in peace.”
“Good idea! Listen babe, it’s getting late, and I’ve
got a bit to do at home, so I’ll be off after I’ve finished this, and I’ll send a car for you in the morning,
so we don’t get the gossip-mongers started.” Buffy nodded.
They finished their meal, and Spike gave her a run-down of what she had
to do the following day; three interviews, another TV appearance and rehearsals.
“Night then, baby…see you in the morning.” Buffy saw
him to the door, and they had a nice kiss, nothing too passionate. She wanted things to go slowly and he wasn’t
about to blow it now…
Spike was in the office bright and early the following morning. He’d
caught up with his work and was just putting some papers in his filing cabinet when he spied out of the window both Xander
and Harmony getting out of the same car. Harmony was helping Xander like he was an invalid. Spike grinned.
Cordelia knocked and came in, bringing papers for him to sign. “And
how come you’re so cheerful this morning?”
“Its Xander…I think he’s cracked it!”
“Well, if things have gone according to plan…” Spike
went on to explain. They both heard the lift ‘ding’ outside, and Cordelia was hardly keeping the grin off her
face when she left Spike’s office.
Xander tiptoed in, walking in a very peculiar manner. A widely grinning
Spike met him at the door.
“My god…what has she done to you!” Spike pulled out
a chair, but Xander shook it and went to go to the bathroom.
“Blue-balls…I won’t be long…give me two minutes…”
Spike frowned. After about thirty seconds, Spike heard a loud gasp from
the restroom, and thirty seconds after that, Xander came through to the office...well, staggered would be nearer the mark.
“Oh, gods…I’ve had a terrible night!” Xander collapsed
in his chair.
Spike studied his friend, and said, “I’ve got a feeling I’m
going to regret asking this, but go on, what happened?”
“Well…it started off okay. I did as you said, and I went down
to the video editing room, and she was all over me…”
“Can we cut to the chase?”
“Okay, I’m getting there…so we get back to her place.
She suggested my place, but I panicked, so I said we couldn’t, because of my mother.”
“You told her you still live with...“ Spike began
“NO! Look, I told her my mom had flown in from Dallas and was staying with me, and she’d have jet-lag and be in a bad...“
“Jet-lag? From Dallas?”
“Yes, alright, I know it was stupid to say that now!
Do you want to hear this or not....?"
“Sorry, sorry, carry on!”
“So, we get to her place, order Chinese...do you know, she doesn’t
eat meat, but she eats chicken...well, she ate a chicken stir-fry but she says it’s not real meat, like Kentucky Fried
chicken meat, so it doesn’t count?”
“Xander, I’ve got a party to go to tomorrow night! GET ON
“Well, she’s on about changing her career, so I’m sitting
there, watching all her videos of her songs...“
“ALL of them?? Oh, god...you poor man!”
“Shush, do you want me to tell you?”
“Sorry, yes, please continue.”
“Well…after two hours, I’m sort of brain dead from...“
“TWO HOURS!! I’d have been climbing the walls after
two min – sorry, I’ll shush, sorry. Go on!”
“So, I grab her and kiss her...just to shut her up.”
Spike grinned. “Good. And?”
“And what? It all went down hill from there. So she’s lying
on top of me, kissing...“
“Oh god, you poor bloke! Don’t tell me...you couldn’t…you
know…get…” Spike raised his brows and nodded to Xander’s crotch.
“No! THAT was the problem...I could, I did...all bloody night I
had one, but I digress. I didn’t want to do it on the sofa, not when there’s a nice bed in the next room. But
she doesn’t seem to be wanting to make a move, so I push her shoulder and we sit up. I tell her my backs hurting.
Spike frowned and said, “And?”
“Well, she asks if I’ll have a word with Sweet about changing
her image, and she sort of got me all confused because of her boobs, and I say ‘yes, sure, course’ – so
I’ve spoiled my chances, she thinks she’s done enough…“
“I told you to make it sound like Sweet wouldn’t...“
“I KNOW! So, anyway, realising I’d made a mistake, I back-pedal
and say I’ll try my best. Well, she’s all over me again, and I couldn’t stand up, coz, well, you know, she’d
have seen me, well, my, well...I was aroused. I didn’t want her to slap my face. “ Xander
could see the look on Spike’s face, so he continued, “So then I had this brilliant idea...or so I thought... to
get into her bedroom.”
“To...um...to pretend my back had totally ‘gone’.”
Spike was more confused than ever. “How would that get you...?"
“I told her that I’d have to sleep on the sofa because my
mother was staying at my place...and...“
“But...well, how were you supposed to shag her rotten if you had
a bad back?”
“I KNOW that NOW!! She got me to bed, after stating she knew
she’d be ‘safe’ as I couldn’t do anything ‘naughty’ because of my back…so I had
to lie there, all night, staring at the ceiling, with a raging hard on. Every time I went to...you know…get some relief,
she’s stop snoring and I thought she was awake…she’d rub her leg against mine…or her boobs against
my arm…all bloody night I lay there…hard as a rock…all bloody night!!"
Spike snorted a laugh, stifled it by covering his mouth, but then he couldn’t
help but titter and then laugh.
“That’s it, go on, laugh – I’ve been in agony
“Oh, Xander…sorry but, well…it’s...you were lying
naked, in bed, with Harmony, with a fully functioning dick, and you STILL didn’t...” He started laughing again.
“It’s bloody hilarious is it? Okay then Einstein, what would
YOU have done?”
“Well…you said she was lying on top of you, kissing you, to
help persuade you to talk to Sweet, and you’d got a stiffy?”
“Yes, so, come on, I’m waiting!”
“Well, for starters, I wouldn’t have said I’d got a
bad back! I’d have made her aware of the fact that I was aroused!”
“But she might have slapped me!”
“Xander! It was her doing the kissing! Her giving you the hard-on!
She could hardly complain - you could have called her a cock-tease! I’d have pressed her to me, whispered something
like, ‘Oh baby, can you feel what you’re doing to me?' Balls in her court then. She can either jump up and
say, 'Yes...well, thanks but not interested, goodnight'...or lead you to the bedroom.”
Xander blinked at Spike. It could have been that simple, less than a dozen
words... He leaned forward and banged his head slowly and repeatedly on the desk.
He was still doing it when Cordelia walked in a few seconds later.
“What’s wrong with him?” She smiled when she could see
Spike was trying very hard not to laugh.
“DON’T YOU DARE!” Xander sat up and warned him.
Spike held his hands up, still grinning. Cordelia rolled her eyes, but
smiled, when Spike mouthed ‘tell you later’ to her, so she nodded, put some papers for him to sign on the desk
Still smiling, Spike began to tap away at his computer. His phone rang,
and when he answered it, Cordelia said, “I have an extremely annoyed Anyanka...who’s in Lausanne, Switzerland...on the phone for
Spike frowned and picked up. “Anya – what can I...”
“You, you, you – HOW COULD YOU?!”
Still puzzled, Spike said, “How could I what, love?”
“Bloody Tinkerbell – That’s what!” Spike was beginning
to think Anyanka had taken leave of her senses and found a stash of Sweet’s crazy-dust at the chalet, when she finally
said, “Sending that bloody teeny-bop Tinkerbell up to collect MY AWARD! I mean WHAT are you thinking!?”
Oh, that. Spike felt a little guilty at what he was about to do, but he
figured that Xander was already having a bad day, so this could hardly make it worse.
“Oh, well, sorry, but it was all Xander’s idea! He’s
got this notion to change Harmony’s image, so, I’ll just transfer you across to his desk…”
Spike pressed for Cordelia to transfer the call, which she dutifully did.
As soon as Xander’s phone began to ring, Spike high-tailed it out of the office.
When Buffy came up to the office from rehearsals, she found Spike and
Cordelia giggling like a couple of kids. She smiled. “Hi…so, good joke?”
Cordelia stood and said, “I must be off. I’ll get you a coffee-
is it? (Buffy nodded) – Spike will tell you!” Which he did.
“You rotten pair!” Buffy said, but she was giggling too.
“So then...I figured his day couldn’t get any worse..so when
Anya phones up in a blue funk over the fact that Harmony’s going to collect her award on her behalf while she’s
in Switzerland...I get Cordy to transfer the call across to Xander...because it was supposed to be his idea!”
“Oh, what a shame!” Buffy said, but they were still giggling!
“Ah ha!! THERE YOU ARE!! I've got a bone to pick with you!”
Buffy and Spike looked up to see Xander standing with his hands on his
hips, glaring at Spike.
They grinned at him.
“Um…aren’t you due to do that interview for CD USA about now?” Spike asked Buffy.
While Xander was distracted getting himself a coffee, Spike and Buffy
snuck out and took the back stairs down to the office, giggling.
“Thanks to you, I’ve had to promise - Spike? Where’d
he go? Spike!Spike...I’ll bloody kill him when I catch up with him!”
Cordelia entered the café and helped herself to coffee.
“First sign of going mad,Xander, talking to yourself!” she
said cheerfully, and went and sat down next to him.
NOTE: Just a short chapter this time, coz we’re wicked and wanted
to tease Jen & Patty! (Don't
think we won't get even with them!.....Patty and Jen)
“Right, let me just check this thing is working………one,
two, one two,” Jenny said into the hand-held microphone. She rewound and played back, and it was fine.
Buffy and Jenny Calendar were sitting in the 6th floor café
at Aphrodite Records; this was Buffy’s second interview that day.
“Okay then, Buffy, I’ll leave you in Jenny’s capable
hands. When you’ve finished, come down to the office and then we can go over to the West Lot
studios for the kids thing, okay?”
Buffy smiled and nodded, Spike winked at her and left.
“It’s all go for you at the moment, I bet!” Jenny said,
and Buffy said, "Yes."
“Call from Sweet, putting you through,” Cordelia said to Spike.
He heard the click, and then Sweet said, “Spike.”
“How’s Betty doing?”
“That would be Buffy, and she’s doing fine. Rehearsals are
well on schedule, she’s doing interviews as we speak, got the children’s show ‘Buzz’ to do this afternoon,
and her single comes out tomorrow...and she’ll be at the Indie Awards and after-show party tonight.”
“Good, good. You’ll bring her to meet me personally?”
Spike gave a small shudder. He disliked Sweet intensely, and didn’t
like the fact that Buffy would have to meet him. But he knew the meeting was inevitable, and he’d rather be there when
“Will do. Is there anything else?”
Sweet wondered whether to ask if he’d seen Dru yet, but Lorne appeared
in the doorway of his study with his ‘dealer’ so he just said, “No. See you tonight.”
The line went dead. No goodbye.
Spike put his receiver down muttering "ignorant wanker", then got on with
some work and made a few phone calls, one special one in particular. Roughly twenty minutes later, he heard Buffy’s
voice talking to Cordelia in her office, and he finished up what he was doing and closed down his computer. He’d just
stood up when Buffy knocked on his door. “Come in.”
“Hi, are you ready?”
He grinned at her and said, “Willing and able pet.”
“Um, can I bum a lift over to the studios? I need to get myself
a good pitch for tonight,” Jenny asked.
“No problem. Let's go.”
Xander stopped in his tracks, half way down the corridor, and turned to
see Harmony, her hair in rollers covered in a scarf.
“Harmony, what can I do for you?” He was finding it difficult
to look her in the eye, and scratched the back of his head, looking at his feet.
“Are we having a limo to take us tonight, or are we going in your
“I’m sorry? – Tonight, what’s-“
“The Indie Radio Awards, silly pumpkin! – You...you are coming
with me, aren’t you?”
“Oh that! Yes, course…I’ve ordered us a limo. Um…remember
what Spike said...I mean what I said? You have got something suitable to wear tonight?”
“Oh Pookie, it’s LOVELY! It’s very low cut, slashed
to the waist, backless, in fact, and it’s um, well, slashed to the waist from the bottom up too, and it’s long,
and all floaty, and sort of all held together with a diamante pin thing in the middle…”
Xander looked wide eyed. Didn’t sound much to it at all, backless
and all the slashes…he could feel himself start to harden at the thought of all that flesh on show...
“Pookie…I said how’s your back?”
“What? Sorry...oh, um, my back. Er, my back is…fine, it’s
fine now, thanks.”
“Good, maybe we can have a boogie at the party after!”
“Yes! I think we perhaps can…yes indeed…yes sir-ree…a
boogie, well....maybe.” Xander had that inane grin on his face.
“Well...I better go. What time will you come for me?”
“The awards start at 7.30pm, and we MUST be seen on the red-carpet
“6.30pm then. Will that do?”
“Yeah, bye…bye then.” Xander walked down the corridor,
wondering if he could get Cordelia to teach him how to dance in...five hours.
“Why not? – I’ll tell you why not Xander, I have work to do, THAT'S why
not!” Cordelia straightened some papers and stapled them together before slipping them into an envelope. She rolled
her eyes as he still stood by her desk, with pleading puppy-dog eyes.
“Why do you suddenly need to learn to dance now? Oh, look...it’s
easy! Just put some music on, and move your body in time to the beat – how hard can that be…or, you could still
pretend your backs bad!”
“Trouble is…I never know what to do with my arms…I either
end up looking like a demented windmill, or I try and keep them still and...hold on...what do you mean – bad back? How
do you know about that?”
Busted. “Um…well…I, well, I – I s-saw you
were walking in a, strange way yesterday morning, I asked Spike, he said you had a b-bad back.” Cordelia had her back
to Xander, and she bit her bottom lip, and had her eyes screwed up.
Xander stared at her, and decided to give her the benefit of the doubt.
“I know!” Cordelia suddenly slammed the filing cabinet draw
shut.Whirling around and dazzling him with a grin, she said brightly, “Go down to the choreographers – if they’re
busy, maybe you could borrow some of their tapes.”
Xander raised a brow…actually, that wasn’t a bad idea at all.
“Yeah…yeah, thanks Cordy…see you later.” He left her office, and Cordelia slumped in her chair, blowing
air up her face, she said to herself,
“Phew…nearly dropped yourself and Spike in it there, old gal!”
Cecily leaned against the door jamb while she brushed her teeth. She was
looking at Dru, who was lying on the bed, apparently asleep.
She’d made her an appointment to see a doctor, one that dealt with
the adult movie studio and wouldn’t ask too many questions, awkward or otherwise; the thing that Dru seemed to
dread most. She was just going to go back into the bathroom, when Dru shifted and lay on her back.
“Mummy said the angels are waiting…soon…she said there’s
a bad thing going to happen. Can you see the pretty angels………all the pretty angels?”
Cecily frowned, and came and sat on the bed by her friend.
“Angels?” She looked out of the window at the sky, to where
Dru seemed to be looking. “They’re not angels, pet…they’re clouds…look, just wispy white clouds.”
Dru said nothing else, but closed her eyes and turned over, and went back
“That’s it love, you rest.” Cecily was frowning as she
patted Dru’s shoulder and stood up and went to get dressed.
Warren was like a cat on hot bricks. He nervously flitted
around, checking and re-checking things to make sure they were spot on and Sweet would have nothing to complain about. There
were six cases of real Champagne chilling in the cooler, and now, much to Willy’s unease, he was behind the bar checking
the spirits were just that, neat spirits and not watered down grog.
“What’s this?” Warren held up an unmarked glass
bottle, and before Willy could stop him, he’d taken a swig – all the air left his lungs and he went very red I
the face as he tried to breathe and cough.
“Bloody –huh…oh…fuckin’ (cough, cough) for
gods…uh…(cough, cough) JESUS, WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT!?”
He’d nearly choked on its potency. His eyes were watering, his throat
burned and his tongue was numb.
Willy shifted uneasily from foot to foot. “Hooch…200 proof
Polish spirit. I use it for the cocktails…it’s very strong, and once a drinks all tarted up with various syrups
and half a garden full of fruit, well, punters can’t taste the difference.”
Warren coughed again, wiped his mouth on the back of his hand,
and scowled at the weaselly little sod.
“No doubt leaving it easy for YOU to drink the proper stuff when
my backs turned. Get rid of it!”
“But boss I swear, nobody has ever -“
“I DON’T CARE!! I told you I want everything spot on and legit,
so GET RID OF IT!” He thrust the bottle at Willy’s chest and stormed off.
Willy poured the liquid into an empty, labeled vodka bottle, and put it
at the back of the shelf. Nobody would be any the wiser and HE wasn’t about to change the habit of a lifetime, not for
Warren Walsh, not for anyone. He didn’t know what these people had over his boss to make him jump through hoops the
way he was doing, but he knew one thing, it definitely must be something big.
Warren was talking to an absolutely huge, bald black guy wearing
sunglasses; he must have been as wide as he was tall.
“So, if they’re not on the guest-list, they don’t get
in, understand? Even if it was the Prince of England
or whatever...and watch the tickets…here’s one, DON’T let that barman of mine see it. He sometimes tips
off the paparazzi, we don’t want any of THEM in, got it?”
“Yeah man, I got it.”
“Good. Tell the others” Warren
walked off; leaving the huge guy to contact his crew via the walkie-talkie he was carrying.
Spike slipped the jacket off the hanger and put it on. He checked the
time, it was nearly ten past six. Picking up his keys and cell-phone, he left the lamp on in the lounge and left.
Just as he closed the front door, he heard his telephone ringing. He stopped
for a second, hesitating whether to go back and answer it, but decided that 1). He didn’t have the time, as he wanted
to get to Buffy’s for 6.30, and 2). If it were important, anybody in the know would have his cell-phone number, and
3). The Ansaphone would pick it up, not that he hardly ever bothered to listen to the messages; mostly surveys and people
who wanted to sell him insurance. Spike heard the beep and his own voice, then he ran downstairs and out to his car.
‘I’m unable to take your call at the moment, but if you leave
your name and number after the tone, I’ll get back to you’………BEEP.
“Ah, um, hello, hello, um..is that you William? I think I recognize
the voice, it’s been a while since I spoke to you……... Sorry, I should have said, it’s Charles St
John, Lord Netherbourne here…I’m sorry to ask you this, I know you’ve done so much in the past, and I hate
to ask, but I’m in a bit of a fix. I’ve been left this letter, given to me by my housekeeper, and from what I
can make out, Drusilla’s in..."
BEEP.BEEP.BEEP. ‘Message tape ends, please rewind………’
Buffy trotted downstairs, fixing her earring. She opened the front
door and her eyes went huge. Spike stood there in a black Chanel suit, an air force blue shirt that really bought out the
color of his eyes, and a black silk tie.
She was a vision in ruched red satin. The dress was to the knee, and strapless
with just enough cleavage on show. She’d left her hair down and had tonged it into a mass of tumbling curls which she’d
taken up on one side with a diamante comb.
“WOW! – Look at you!” Spike said, entering the hallway,
leaving the front door ajar.
“I was thinking the same…I LOVE the suit!” They were
She sat down on the stairs and took her new diamante buckled, kitten heeled
mules out of the box, and put them on. She checked her purse for her keys, tissues and lipstick, and then smiled up at Spike.
“Will I do?”
“You look sensational, pet, ready?”
“Ready when you are!”