Love Will Find A Way
Pattyanne 's Fic
Kings of Mercia
LoobyLoos' Fic
Jen's Fic

(Warning:   There are some homophobic

comments made by a couple of less than

savory (and very drunk) characters. They

in no way reflect the opinions or feelings

of the authors)



Chapter 14


As Spike drove up Revello Drive, he said, “I’ll just see you to the door, I won’t come in. I know you’re tired. Besides, you’ve got another heavy schedule tomorrow”



She felt a little disappointed at this, but, it was her that said she wanted to take things slowly after all, and if he came in tonight…well she didn’t know if she’d trust herself!


As good as his word, Spike stood on the doorstep while Buffy opened her front door, she turned to him and said, “Night then.”


“Night love. Sleep well.”


He gave her a kiss and a hug, and then Buffy said, “Thanks for tonight.” Spike winked at her and he went to move away, but she didn’t let go of his hand. He smiled and quirked a brow at her questioningly. She slid her arms around his neck and kissed him properly, until Spike broke the kiss and nuzzled her neck.


“Wow, steady on there pet!” He gave her a soft, gentle kiss and then said, “I’ll pick you up, nine be ok?" (Buffy nodded) "I'd better go, love..”  


God knows he didn’t want to go, but he didn’t want to do anything she might regret and totally spoil things. He would play it her way. Buffy nodded reluctantly, waved him off from the hallway and then she locked up.






“Well, look at you cup-cake!” Lorne put down his ‘Sea Breeze’ cocktail and gently hugged Drusilla.


He was shocked; there was nothing of her! Waif-like, but one thing hadn’t changed, she’d still got those eyes, Lorne thought. You know the ones, you can’t work out if she’s scared, or annoyed, slightly wild, staring. She clutched onto the big guy and asked, “Is Daddy mad with me?”


Lorne tried to soothe her down. “Mad, with his Princess? – don’t be silly!” She smiled and looked, still clutching his arm with her bony fingers.


“Lorne…LORNE!” Sweet called from inside the room.


“Coming, Daddy…got a little someone with me too!” Dru stood fixed, she looked scared, Lorne had his arm around her and gently coaxed, “I’m with you sugar-plum…come and see Daddy, he’s really missed you.”


With a child-like manner, Dru suddenly dashed forward into the room, calling, “Daddy! It’s your Princess!” Lorne hesitated in the doorway, he could see Dru hugging Sweet, who’d raised his arm and hugged her to him.


“Princess…my little Princess…come on, come to Daddy” He patted his lap, and dutifully, with an almost too-bright laugh, Dru sat on his lap.


“Did you bring my other little girl – hmm?” Sweet asked, taking in how tiny she’d become.


“Oh yes…Ceccy said we can play games later… Can we Daddy – Please – can we play like the old days?”


There was urgency in her voice, a need, a want of everything to be all right. She needed to know that nothing had changed, she was still her Daddy’s little Princess…


“Of course we can…and Daddy’s got a present for his Princess – later, when everyone has gone home, and you and me and Ceccy can play just like the olden days, ok my precious?”


Dru clapped her hands, and Sweet hugged her to him, and then Cecily came into the room, sniffing and pinching her nose. Smiling, she slipped onto his other knee, and they sat there giggling and talking.



Outside on the dance floor, things were heating up. People were dancing, drinking, getting high – or higher in some cases.


Harmony was hot. Hot and tired, and the teeniest bit smashed on two ‘Sundowner’ cocktails, plus the champagne she’d had. “Pookie…take me home?”


Xander smiled and said he’d be glad to, as the truth was, like Spike he didn’t enjoy these virtually ‘compulsory attendance’ parties. He didn’t drink much, and he couldn’t really dance, the music was never really to his taste and the smoky atmosphere always gave him a sore throat. And drugs? – Forget it he never took anything more insidious than aspirin.


“Okay, Harm. Look at me…can I just…there..” he tucked a stray lock of hair behind her ear. “Just in case there are paparazzi outside, you still want to look your best. Got your purse?”


“Yes…Pookie…will you hold my hand?”


“Sure. Come on, let’s get you home.” They were just about to leave, when very drunk, and very stoned Trick and Rack blocked their exit.


“Hey…Harm…you know you’re like, TOTALLY safe with Alexander here, don’t ya luv!” Trick had put his arm ‘chummily’ around Xander’s shoulders. Rack swayed and giggled; he was swigging out of a bottle of champagne.


“Go away, you, you pervert! Leave Xander alone!” Harmony frowned and pulled Xander away from Trick.


“Me? Me? – S’him that’s the pervert…bats for the other side, love…he has butt-buddies! Ask him…he’s, he’s one o’ them shirt-lifters, every time I see him, he’s hanging about with…um, thingie, and oo’s it? What’s them two poofs called now?”


Trick turned unsteadily towards Rack, but he shrugged and slurred, “I dunno…fuckin’ fairy one and fairy two, I call em…bloody queers (hic) couple o’ fuckin’ poofs…anyway, ner’ mind all tha’, wha’s this (hic) fuckin’ racket were lis-nin’ to …doin’ my fuckin’ ‘ead in, I know tha………(hic) much” He was leaning heavily against a table and tried to stand up straight, swig from the bottle and look basically coherent of what was going on.


The DJ put one of Harmony’s bouncy pop tunes on, and this upset Rack even more.


“Fer fuck’s sake man, we ain’t bastard fuckin’ five year olds! Put summat decent on…er, ‘ear, Tricky-boy, what’s that band – OOOOWWWFFF!”


Rack had turned to ask Trick the name of a certain band, only to catch him full force flying backwards. They both went sprawling and demolished a tableful of glasses.


Xander stood there, boiling angry and heaving for breath. He desperately wanted to cradle his knuckles as they hurt like a bitch now, from the contact with Trick’s thick skull, but he didn’t want to ‘spoil’ the effect. The two bigots were so wasted; they couldn’t even sit up, let alone stand, and they lay there groaning amongst the shattered glass and broken table.


“Sorry to disappoint you, ‘man’, but I’m NOT gay. But I’ll tell you this, I’d MUCH rather be gay than be like you two ignorant bigoted wastes of space – keep away from Harmony, and keep away from me, else you know what’ll happen. Ready love?”


Xander looked up and held out his ‘good’ hand to Harmony, who was SO impressed and dumbfounded, she was mouth-open shocked. Seeing his hand, she smiled, reached for it, delicately stepped over Trick and some broken glass, and said, “Oh Pookie! You were magnificent!” Two huge bouncers entered the room through the swing doors, Xander and Harmony left.


“Ow, ow, ow...bloody hell!” Standing in the corridor, Xander grimaced and winced and looked at his swollen knuckles, trying to flex his fingers checking to see if anything was broken.


“Oh, my poor, poor little Pookie…come back to mine…I’ll make it all better for you…” They walked outside and Xander whistled up his limo and driver.






“What’s going on out there, as if I didn’t know!” Sweet said agitatedly.


“I’ll find out.” Lorne left the room.


“Can we go home, Daddy?” Dru asked, her head leaning against Sweet’s.


“In a little while. Daddy’s got a new toy!” Sweet said to Dru, his hand massaging her knee as he nuzzled her neck.


“What have you got daddy? – Tell me!”


“Daddy’s got a boat, all shiny and pretty…and only my very special friends get to play on it!”


“Me, Daddy, me!” Dru jiggled up and down.


“Yes, Princess, you can come and play…and my other little girl…she can come and play too…we’ll play ‘special’ games there.”


“It’s as I thought, Rack and Trick, brawling by the looks of it,” Lorne said coming back into the room.  He picked up his drink and leant against the table.


“We’re going…go call the car round,” Sweet said, and Lorne finished his drink and complied with his master’s wishes.




Spike was on the dot to pick Buffy up. She went straight to rehearsals and then they shot a video of her singing her song against the bluescreen again. At eleven thirty she had another interview.   Lunchtime saw her choosing an outfit to do an outside video shoot.


Spike caught up with her in make-up.


The makeup lady was just putting lipstick on her, and Buffy saw Spike through the mirror.


“Hi Mandy… you don’t have to do much do you? She’s already beautiful enough, isn’t she?” Spike said, grinning.


The makeup lady beamed at him. She could almost feel the chemistry between the couple, and she was over the moon – for them both.


“Pretty as a picture, Spike! Pretty as a picture!”


“Stop! You’re making me blush!” Buffy was pink with embarrassment, but smiling.


As she was ready, Buffy took the makeup cape off and left it on the chair, and went through to wardrobe. When she was dressed, she came up to Spike, and had a quick look-see to check nobody was watching, and then she kissed Spike, who grinned. “Have I got lipstick all over me now?”


“Nope, miracles they can perform these days, kiss-proof lipstick being one of them!”


“In that case, c’mere you!” Spike pulled her close and gave her a deep, passionate kiss, leaving her breathless.


“Anyway, pet, do you know what’s happening?” He had to move away from her a little as somebody had come into wardrobe.


“Yes, Ford said that we’re going to video-shoot me singing my song at the Army Base, and then I’m to do a meet and greet, with some of the families who have their loved ones away at the moment, then I’m gong to sign a few autographs and copies of the CD. – It should take until five o’clock, all going well.”


“Good. Listen babe, I can’t come with you, I have a hundred and one things to do here – I’ve just learned that after we left the party last night, Xander laid out Trick AND Rack – and I’ve got to read them the riot act, threaten to end Noiz’s contract – boss’s instructions.”


Buffy grinned and covered her mouth, and then she said, “Oh my god, Xander did? – I don’t believe it!”


“Neither did I until I saw the state of his knuckles – oh...”


“Flowers for Buffy Summers.”


A messenger handed Buffy a cellophane wrapped bouquet of yellow chrysanthemums and daisy’s. She smiled up at Spike, thinking they were possibly from Sweet as she’d already had flowers from him, and took the card out that was in a plastic holder nestling inside the blooms, she read out, “Congratulations on your number one, (she grinned and hunched up her shoulders once) I saw you last night at the Radio Awards, but couldn’t catch your eye. Please r-ring me, love – oh – love, um… Angel...” She could feel the heat creeping up her neck. She didn’t even dare to look Spike in the eye. Obviously it wasn’t her fault Angel had sent them, but it didn’t stop her feeling guilty all the same. She walked to the door and called out, “Erm, hold on, where’s er…Man-Mandy, Mandy…”


The make-up lady put her head around the door. “Someone call?”


“Here, for the make-up room…brighten it up, I can’t bear Chrysanths, or the sender, you go!” She thrust the blooms at the delighted makeup lady, and threw the card in the bin, then she turned to Spike.


“You needn’t have done that, love, it’s not your fault.”


Buffy looked up at him big-eyed, and put her finger to his lips. “Shush…I know. But what I said was true, I don’t like them. My gran used to grow them, and I hated the smell of them…plus, well... hey, they’re from Angel, so...” she shrugged.


She went to remove her finger from his mouth, when Spike gave a playful snarl and captured her finger gently between his lips, Buffy shrieked and giggled,  “Sorry, you made me jump!”


She removed her finger from his mouth, and Spike kissed her nose and looked at his watch. “I gotta scram, babe. Fancy staying a bit later tonight, then we could go eat?”




“Good, so after the army base, come back here with Ford. Ring me if there’s any problems.”


“Will do.”


“And Buffy....?”




“Whatever you do pet, don’t enlist, will you?”


“I won’t!”


He winked and blew her a kiss.


The makeup lady had seen all this through the mirror, and smiled. She was pleased, she liked Spike, always had.  He was always polite, please and thank you, the boy had been bought up right. She’d seen what had happened with him and Dru, and her heart had nearly broken for him. A few times he’d drifted down to pour his heart out to her and she’d listened and they’d have a mug of hot chocolate. But this time she could see that there was much more to it with this young blonde than he just being her manager.  She wouldn’t say anything, she’d keep things to herself. But this she did know...given half a chance, they could have something really special, she could feel it in her bones.





“You okay?” Ford frowned at Buffy.


“Yeah…yeah, just got to me a bit, all those people banging on the car when we were trying to drive in.”


Buffy leant against the wall, taking deep breaths. Ford nodded and said, “Yeah, it can be a bit daunting, ‘specially when you’re not used to it. I don’t think the bigwigs were expecting quite so many to come down here. Security wise, it’s been a bloody nightmare. I think they thought our VidCam man was a terrorist!”


Ford idly tapped the wall with the toe of his boot, waiting for them to be called so they could start making the video. He hated waiting around.


Buffy had spent the last hour signing autographs and shaking hands.


“Come on…come on…we’re already an hour and a half late….” Ford was getting impatient.  “Okay, I’ve had a bloody ‘nough o’ this, shall we see if they’re ready for us now?” Ford went to open the door, but a soldier wearing desert fatigues came through.


“Ma’am, sir, we’re ready for you now.”


Ford breathed an ‘at last’, and led the way through the door. Buffy followed him out onto the makeshift stage that had been set up. A huge roar went up from the gathered crowd, and Buffy smiled and waved. Ford had already done a sound check, and he checked with his VT operator that everything was ready to roll. The PA Buzzed and gave a little feedback, but it was fine. Buffy picked up the microphone and shouted, “Hello everybody!”


They shouted "hello" back.


“Thanks for coming…having fun - Want to hear my song?”


The crowd roared, and Ford started the tape. Buffy sang, and to her amazement, quite a few of the audience joined in.


After she had sung ‘Will Love Find A Way’, she sang the other song on the CD, ‘Missing You,’ and it too got a great reception from the crowd.


Afterwards the Colonel thanked her for taking the time to come and see them.


Because of the crowds and their busy schedule, the army had arranged for them to be taken off the base by helicopter, it would be Buffy’s first trip in one.


“Come on, follow me.” Ford said grinning.


“But the car is-“


“Going to be brought to us. We’re going home in style!”


When the door opened out onto a runway, and Buffy saw the helicopter waiting, rotors spinning, ready for take off her eyes bugged. “We’re going back in – OH WOW!” She was helped into the chopper by a soldier who, after seeing that she was all strapped in, jumped down and slid the door into place. It was incredibly noisy, and she had to shout at Ford, even though he was sitting opposite her. “Never been in one before!”


She couldn’t stop grinning, and then they felt the slight lurch upwards of take off. The pilot banked steeply and Buffy looked out and down to where she’d just been on stage, and she was shocked by the sheer numbers of people down there, and a field full of parked cars.


“You’ll get used to it!” Ford hollered back. Her hair blew wildly around but she didn’t care, this was something she could get used to!


They came to land on the Helipad roof at Aphrodite Records. Because they’d had to get permission to land, to get the ‘all clear’ from Cordelia via computer, she’d tipped Spike off, who was waiting for them.


When they landed, he ran over and opened the door.


“Well! What have we here!” Spike held her around the waist and lifted her out. Buffy had wrapped her arms around his neck giving him a big hug, she couldn’t stop grinning.


“That was SO wow! – Me! In a helicopter!”


“Come on, babe, we’ve got to move! He’s got to take off again!” They ran to the door with their arms around each other.


“So…getting a taste for the high-life are we?” Spike teased.


“It took us AGES to get onto the base, there were hundreds of people!”


“Thousands more like, I know…you’ve already been on the local news,” Spike said, smiling at the wondrous look on her face.


“Local girl stops traffic, Jefferson Army Base besieged by crowds all wanting to hear and see the new singing sensation, Buffy!” Buffy giggled.


“Come on, let’s get a drink, shall we?” Buffy eagerly nodded and they went to the café. The café itself was closed for food, but you could get drinks via help-yourself machines.


“Here she is!” Xander said grinning at her. As Buffy and Spike walked in.


Harmony put her magazine down and came over and hugged her.“You were fantastic! It looked like you’d been doing it for years, didn’t it Pookie? We saw you on the local news – can’t wait to see the video – did you see loads of hunky soldiers?”


“A few…not my type though!” She flashed Spike a look; and he just smiled.


Buffy noticed that Xander had a light gauze bandage over the knuckles of his right hand.


“God, I was SO nervous when we first got to the base, all these people were banging on the sides and roof of the car, but once I got out, I was fine – and the helicopter home – I mean, can I just say WOW again!”


“Oh, I left the Party in the Park concert in London last year in a helicopter! Boy, is it noisy!” Harmony said. They all sat down and Spike brought over the juice Buffy had asked for.


Buffy took a long drink. “Thanks! Hoo! I needed that!" She patted her chest, and then grinned at Xander, and nodded towards his hand. “And what’s this I’ve been hearing about you, Xander ‘Bonecrusher’ Harris?”


Xander looked a little sheepish, but everybody else was grinning. “Had to teach somebody some manners…”


“And brought them down a peg or two!” Harmony leaned over and gave his arm a gentle squeeze.


“Anyway, you two look nice, going out?”


“Yeah, have you heard of the writer-cum-director, Tara MaClay?” Harmony asked.


“Yes, actually, she was one of the judges when I won the show!" Buffy said.


“Well, she’s a friend from my school days. We’re going to the Premier of her film, ‘Fates’."


“That’s nice. Oooh, excuse me!” Buffy’s stomach rumbled. “I’ve had nothing since a banana at 11.30 this morning!”


“Didn’t the army base put anything on for you?”


“I was too busy, signing autographs, meeting and greeting to eat anything.”


“Well, we must be going…are you ready Harm?” They all said their goodbyes and Xander and Harmony left.


“So, babe…what do you want to do, restaurant, take-away, me cook?” Spike asked, at last being able to give her a proper cuddle.


“Hmm…it’s a shame Luigi doesn’t do take out…I just LOVE their Lasagne Al Forno… oh and that Tiramisu!”


Spike smiled, flipped open his mobile and said, “I don’t think it’s beyond the range of possibilities.”




Dru looked around the room. It had changed since she’d last been there. For starters, there was a huge picture window now that overlooked the swimming pool and gardens. There was wood panelled flooring, and all the heavy old furniture had been replaced with modern stuff. Two lots of leather sofas faced each other with coffee tables in between, and against one wall was a large built-in plasma TV screen.


“Dru………Dru, come on, what are you doing?” Cecily called from the bedroom. “Think I’ll have to go get her.” Cecily got up off the bed, while Sweet prepared three lines of coke. “Dru, come on love, we’re going to play games!”


Dru was running the fingers along the shelf above a big open fireplace, staring at herself in the mirror above it.


Cecily came right up to her and held her arm. “Dru?”


“All different, now.”


“Yes, it’s all different, it looks much nicer now, don’t you think? Do you like the window – see the gardens and the fountains are still there…remember when Daddy had the parties and we used to play in the fountains?”


Dru frowned. “Fountains. – And the lions! There can’t be any more war Ceccy!”


**What the fuck is she on about now?** Cecily looked puzzled. Dru was ‘off on one’, and she tried to gently pull her towards the bedroom. “Lions? There were never any lions, love. And the war won’t hurt us, not here; we’re quite safe here. Come on.”


Dru gave Cecily a ‘look’. “Not here! There ARE lions in Trafalgar Square. With the fountains. And war is bad!”


“Oh, yeah, those fountains and lions…yeah well, never mind. Come on pet, Daddy’s waiting for us, don’t want to keep him waiting and make him cross, do we?” Dru allowed herself to be led into the bedroom, where she played ‘copy-cat’ and snorted the coke like the others.




“Not Thursday’s show then, so when?” Glory asked irritably.


Cordelia knew better than to book something for Buffy without prior consent from Spike. “I don’t know Miss Benson, she really does have a very busy schedule.”


“But my studios are less than half an hour away. Next Tuesday, then?”


“Let me see…” Cordelia tapped away on her keyboard. “No, sorry, she’ll be in New York for ‘Holden’s Weekly’. Look, I’ll do my best to...“


“Just get Spike to ring me!” Glory snapped, and threw the phone down with disgust.


“And thank you and goodbye to you too, bitch!” Cordelia muttered to the tone beeping in her ear.


“And I thought you told ME that talking to myself was the first sign of madness!” Xander said grinning.


Cordelia grinned, did a ‘double take’ look at Xander. “Blimey, as if I didn’t know…who dressed you this morning?”


“Why? – What’s wrong with it – Harmony said-“


“Ah-ha – thought so!” Cordelia stalked over to him, and Xander looked a little confused. “What are you trying to hide, hmm?” Xander leaned away from her, but she kept coming towards him, forcing him to back away. “Come here!”


“No! N-o-o-o-o-o, no, get off! Ow! Mind my bad – Ouch. No! No! Cordy!”


She grabbed the neck of his top and pulled so it gaped open, revealing a hickey.


“Ha! I knew it!”


“No, Cordy, shush, be nice, look please…don’t tell anybody, we haven’t, you know…done…not yet, we were just kissing!”


“Just kissing – right!” Cordy gave him her patented, ‘I believe you...NOT!...look'.


“Please, Cordy.” Xander looked pained and her demeanour softened.


“Oh, okay…but...well, hey – nobody can say that’s self inflicted, can they!”


“We’re trying to keep it a secret, me and Harm – we...well, just want to see what happens!”


Cordy quirked an eyebrow and as she was leaving she said, “Harmony keep a secret? – You’ll be telling me you believe in the Easter Bunny next…and the Tooth Fairy, and Santa Claus………”






“That good, baby?”


“Oh god – Yes! Yes…”


“Want more, kitten?”




“Ready…open a little wider…”


“Oh yes…ooh, there, there, yes! The extra chocolaty bit – ooh, hmmm!” Buffy now had her eyes closed in rapture, and her mouth closed around a spoonful of tiramisu.


“You’re turn…open wide…there…oh. All gone!” She put the empty container onto the coffee table.


“Good thing. too! You CAN have too much of a good thing, you know!” Spike said. Buffy snuggled back into Spike’s chest as they curled up on her sofa.






“You know next week?”




“Will you be able to come to New York with me?”


“I’ll see what I can do, pet…I can’t promise. I’ve got to sort tour-dates for Gunn, and we’ve just signed this country singer, Caleb, we’ve poached him from Midnight...much to Quentin Travers annoyance... anyway, I think Sweet wants me to sort things out with him too, although I’ll try and get Xander to do it.”


“Who does Xander manage?”


“Harmony. Well, he does now. Anyanka...although she pretty much does it all for him. – S’cuse me,” Spike yawned.


“Do you think that they’ve got something going together?”


“Who, Harmony and Xander? – Dunno pet.”


“I think they make a nice couple!” Buffy yawned and stretched.


“Think that’s my cue to go isn’t it? I’m tired, you’re tired..”


“Oh, must you?”


“Well, I don’t WANT to, but I think it best...don’t you?”


“No. Definitely not best. I’m all snuggly and warm now.”


Buffy shimmied her shoulders a little. Spike kissed the top of her head. He loved her soft blonde hair, with its faint smell of fruity shampoo. Spike chuckled and closed his eyes, he was SO glad she'd said that, coz he didn’t want to go at all.




Sweet had taken a Viagra, and while they were waiting for it to work he suggested to the girls that they ‘put on a little show’ for him. Cecily was more than happy to comply with her Daddy’s wishes, and she began to kiss Dru.


Lorne was sitting in the lounge with his dressing gown on, waiting for the others to arrive...fellow ‘stable-mates’ of Cecily’s from Sweet’s adult movie empire...Kendra, Forrest and Amy.




Spike woke with a crick in his neck; he focused on the little sleeping blonde in his arms, and leant his head down, kissed her cheek softly and whispered, “Hey, beautiful………baby…wake up, sweetheart.”


Buffy stirred with a swift intake of breath, and her eyes fluttered open. “Oh, hi...” She stretched as she sat up; Spike felt her warmth leave him.


“It’s twenty past three. I really should go, pet.”


Buffy mewled and took his hand.  “We can just cuddle…it's silly, you going home now…” she said, leading him upstairs.






“She’s booked for 'Holden’s Weekly' on Tuesday, 'Chart Express' wants her for one of their ‘quickie’ five minute interviews, which we could do at the airport...'Hot!' Magazine wants to do a spread on her...and Glory Benson wants her, ASAP! I wouldn’t book until you gave me the nod,” Cordelia reeled off, looking expectantly at Spike.


“Okay. Have you booked the flight to New York?”


“Monday lunchtime, non-stop from LAX to JFK."


“What hotel?”


“The Sheraton – as usual.”


“ can book another ticket and room, tell 'Hot!' Magazine they can come to the hotel to do the interview – Tuesday…AM, tell them ring me at the Sheraton to confirm, and...oh, where is it now………ah, here we are… there was something about her doing a signing at The Mega Music store in Albany?  Check the date of that for me will you, please? 'Chart Express' at the airport – um…yeah – that’s quite a regular thing for them, isn’t it – airport interviews? Can I leave you to check the Albany thing?”


Cordelia nodded. “Will do. What about Glory?  Can I leave that ignorant bitch to you? I’ll swear at her if I have to speak to that cow again!"




“This room at the Sheraton…shall I just book a double?”


Without looking up from checking a phone-number he wanted, Spike said, “No, two singles…I’m taking a little vacation time, god alone knows I’m entitled…I haven’t had a holiday in, what………must be four years now!”


“Yeah, I know, Just checking!” Cordelia was grinning when she left the office.


Spike picked up the phone and dialed.


“Glory Benson please…Spike Carling, Aphrodite…okay, yes, I’ll hold…thanks…”




“Glory – What’s this about wanting Buffy ASAP? Where’s the fire?”


“I want to strike while the iron’s hot, darling…after all, who knows, she could be yesterday’s news next week…a one-hit wonder.”


“That won’t happen. She’s a very talented young lady.”


“Hmmm…I’ll bet you’d know all about her ‘talents’, after your little display of affection at the party the other night.”


“What’s the matter Glory, jealous?”


“Me? Jealous? Of what darling?” Her tone was incredulous.


“Of the fact that you’re not as young, not as beautiful, not as talented?”


Glory gasped, but quickly tried to recover and she just spluttered, as Spike continued. “She’ll come on the show if and when I say – and don’t try getting onto ‘Daddy’ about it – he doesn’t like to be bothered about the day-to-day stuff…and you wouldn’t want to screw up your main supply of publicity now, would you?”


Spike put the phone down as Xander came into the office carrying the morning newspapers.


“Seen this?” He threw a copy of the LA Times on Spike’s desk.


Spike picked up the copy of the newspaper and unfolded it.




“What’s new?” Spike asked, shrugging.


“Read on.”


Spike read on that, apparently incensed that Trick, 31, real name Ron Ward, had been caught coming out of a nightclub called the Barracuda Reef with someone other than his regular girlfriend, he’d smacked the photographer, who had unfortunately fell badly and hit his head hard, rendering him unconscious since, and he’d had to undergo an operation to remove a blood-clot from his brain. It was touch-and-go if the guy would live.


Spike threw the newspaper down with annoyance. “Give me strength! Do they listen? Huh? Do they EVER fuckin’ listen to a word that’s said to them? After the other night, I said ‘Keep a low profile’...Sweet won’t stand much more of you – any of you. Rack’s always so bloody high I don’t think he EVER comes down to earth, and that bloody drummer, what’s-his-face?”


“Animal” Xander said, helpfully.


“That’s him, he’s STILL awaiting sentencing for possession of heroin! The European tour has been canceled, Texas, Boston and Seattle don’t want them…and as for their latest album – it’s a joke. It should have been released on June the 4th – it still isn’t halfway done and we’re over half way through bloody August!”


“Bad boys though, crowd pullers where they CAN go…Philly…Detroit…Cleveland," Xander said, leaning against his desk.


“Well, we’ll see if Sweet still thinks so after this…three gigs isn’t enough to cover the cost of the drugs they use, let alone anything else, and if this bloke, this photographer chappy dies, Trick could be looking at a murder charge."


“Yup, he could,” Xander nodded.


Spike’s phone rang. Still annoyed, he snatched up the receiver. “What now?” he practically barked.


“Spike?” Buffy jumped slightly.


“Oh! Sorry, baby…hello."  His tone softened. "You caught me at a bad moment.”


“It’s okay. Have you got some time to spare between now and lunch?”


“Let me see.."  He flicked through his desk diary. "Um…yeah, actually – give me ten, and I’m all yours!”


“Good. I want to come and help me pick five other songs for my album, there’s three definite, and eight others to choose from.”


“Okay, babe.”


Xander went to start work, when Spike saw the name ‘Caleb’ on the sheet in front of him.


“Xander…this new signing of ours, Caleb? I want you to be his manager.”


Xander perked up immediately. “Really? – Wow!”


“Well, it shouldn’t be too hard, he’s already an established artist, got a big fan-base. You need to get him working on an album and get him on tour…here’s the number of his fan club – his wife runs it for him. Talk to her to find out things. She’ll tell you all about the country music venues and that.” Spike handed Xander the info-sheet.


“Right! Great, I’m right on it – Caleb – Good ‘ole country boy at heart. Yee Haw!” Xander said, grinning, miming twirling a lasso.


Spike’s brow rose up, and Cordelia blinked at him as she walked into the office.


“Did I hear…did he just ‘Yee Haw? – I’m going to have to slap the enthusiasm outta that guy!” Cordelia said, smiling.


“Be my guest! Yee Haw, indeed…oh fuck, I‘ve only just got him out of Hawaiian shirts…you don’t think he’ll go all cowboy on us now, do you?” Spike asked, smiling.


Cordelia rolled her eyes, and said, “Don’t worry…I’ll get Harmony to sort him out. Now sign this please………and this………that one, there………and that………thank you!” Spike did as he was asked and scribbled his signature on various slips and documents.


“Okay, ready for this? -Tickets are booked, as is the hotel, - and Hot! Magazine said great, they’ll confirm with you Tuesday. I’m waiting on the Mega Music thing, and Chart Express said they’d see her in the VIP lounge at LAX pre-flight.”


“Great, right...I’m disappearing for an hour, important business, just take a message if there’s anything, okay?   I’ll be back around late lunchtime.”


Spike stood and left the office with Cordelia, chatting with her while waiting for the lift.


“So, you reckon he and Harmony have a ‘thing’, do you?”


“Uh-huh…why do you think he’s wearing a roll-neck sweater…hickey-ville! Although he swears they were just kissing!  Oh, and listen...they want to keep things ‘secret’ – so don’t go saying anything, will you?”


“Me?” Spike smiled, then continued, “Do you think for one second Harmony would be able to?”


“That’s what I said!”


“Still…good luck to ‘em – I think she’ll be good for him!”


They both smiled and Spike went down to the recording suites.



More please...