This warning applies to the fic as a whole:
Explicit M/M sex, first time, oral, anal, foursome.
Possiable character death, murder, attempted murder
Sentinel Spikeman stepped into the room and took a deep breath through his nose.
"Guide," he whispered as he made eye contact with Xander. Spike stepped to the side and placed the pillow on the kitchenette counter then he walked back and opened the folding closet doors. After scanning the area he walked past Xander and into the bathroom to check for anything that might be dangerous to his guide. He came back carrying a towel, which he laid out on the counter top. Spike opened all the drawers and took out all the knives, flatware and utensils; he wrapped them in the towel and placed the bundle, along with his gun, in the guest's safe in the closet.
Spike turned to Jim. "It's clear," he said. "You can go now."
Jim nodded to his fellow sentinel. "Come on, Chief," he said to Blair, "let’s give them some privacy."
Jim and Blair stepped onto the elevator and began the ride down in silence when Jim suddenly pressed the stop button. “All right Chief, out with it?”
“He looked so vulnerable, standing there hugging that big red bed pillow. I’ve never seen a sentinel look like that.”
“He needs his guide.”
“Yeah, but Jim, I had felt sorry for Xander and then I saw him. I thought he’d come in all authoritative and”…Blair dropped his voice to a deep baritone, “ ‘Me sentinel, you guide, I take.’ ‘Tarzan to the rescue.’ I’ve never seen a sentinel like that.”
“Damn impressive,” Jim said.
“Are you being sarcastic?” Blair asked.
“Not at all, Chief, ‘Tarzan to the rescue’ is easy. Any sentinel can do it. But control that’s hard and control when you’re hurting for your guide…”
“I didn’t think of it that way.”
“And I’ll tell you something else Chief, Spikeman’s no school teacher, he’s a predator. The way he moved, you don’t learn that at the academy.”
“He a sentinel, you all move like predators.”
“All I can say is I never want to be on opposite ends of a fight with him.” Jim started the elevator moving again.
“It’s hard for me to reconcile the vulnerable guy clutching a bed pillow and someone you would never want to fight,” Blair said as the elevator doors opened to the lobby.
“That vulnerable guy clutching a pillow was a sentinel holding off a bonding thrall by sheer will. Like I said, damn impressive.”
When the pair left Spike slid the night lock into place then he walked over to the kitchen table and turned one of the chairs around. He straddled the chair and sat down so that he was facing his guide and the back of the chair and the table was between them. The action was not lost on Xander. The sentinel was putting up a symbolic barrier between them. He was telling Xander to relax he would keep his distance. Spike handed the safe key to Xander. "Here," Spike said. "You say when I get my gun back."
Xander didn't take the key or answer he just stood staring at the most beautiful man he had ever seen in his life. The blond hair was wavy and unkempt and longer than the short cut that most sentinels wore. His cheekbones were high and sharp and his jaw line was as square as any he had ever seen. But the most outstanding feature was his eyes. They were blue, very blue, without a hint of gray that most blue eyes had, and they were framed by thick dark lashes. Beautiful was the only word Xander could think of.
When his guide didn't answer Spike shrugged and dropped the key on the table. "Sit down. Pet, we need to talk this out."
Xander startled. "I'm not your pet," he said letting his anger at the term show. "I'm not an animal, I'm a human being."
"It was meant as a term of endearment," Spike said softly. "Please, sit down."
"Why bother?" Xander asked. "Why don't you just force me to bond now and get it over with?"
"Don't want to force you," Spike said.
"Then you may as well leave now," Xander said, "because I'm not going to change my mind."
"You know that's not going to happen."
"Why not? If you leave now the drive to bond with me will fade. Scent, sound and sight, that's only three senses. You're not locked in yet with all five, you could go." Spike pulled a small wad of hair out of his pocket and showed it to Xander, "Touch, he said, "From the hairbrush in your apartment."
"Still not locked," Xander said. "You haven't tasted me yet."
"Wrong again guide."
"What did you do?" Xander asked, "taste my spoon from the wedding?"
"Toothbrush from your apartment…and the pillow," Spike admitted.
"You tasted my pillow?"
"Just the pillow case," Spike said. "I was in pain, I had to do something."
"You ass! Do you know what you've done?"
"I've found my one true guide."
"No, you haven't," Xander said. "I'm unfit. I can't bond with you. You're going to try because you're locked into it now. But I can't give you what you want."
"Then give me what I need," Spike said.
Xander shook his head; he sat down in the kitchen chair and buried his face in his hands. Then he looked up at Spike. "You don't know what they did to me."
"No, the records are sealed. I'm trying to get them unsealed. There is a reference that your high telepathic ability for hazard detection may be related to your history of abuse."
"Do you know how I was tested for telepathic hazard detection?"
"How ever it was done, it couldn't have been safe."
"Electric shock," Xander said and watched as Spike eyes turned from lapis blue to dark sapphire.
"Those bloody bastards! They're not going to get away with it." Spike growled as he got up from the chair and walked to Xander. "No one hurts my guide and gets away with it."
Spike pulled Xander out of the chair. He ran his finger over Xander's face and through his hair. "You're mine, Spike whispered. "My one and only." Spike began licking Xander's neck, searching for the nickel size gland that sent out guide pheromones. He needed to lick it, to suck it, to drink from it; he needed to forever lock himself to his one true guide.
Xander stood quietly letting Spike lick him and touch him. He knew the sentinel was lost in a bonding thrall. It wouldn't do any good to resist; the best thing to do was to let the sentinel take what he needed. Spike nuzzled into Xander's neck and found the spot, the guide spot, the bonding spot.
Spike began licking, soft little kitten licks at first but each getting harder and sending the sentinel more of the precious pheromones he craved.
Xander stood passively accepting the sentinel's attention. It was pleasant he hadn't expected that. As the laving grew firmer nerve endings began to spark and the pleasure spread down his arms and across his chest. Xander moaned.
Spike heard the sound he had been trying to elicit from his emotionally wounded and reluctant guide. He stopped licking and led his guide to the bed. He unbuttoned Xander's shirt and slid it off of him and then he undid Xander's pants and let them fall to the floor.
Xander was already barefoot so Spike laid him down on the bed and removed his own clothes. Then he climbed into the bed beside him. Spike touched his naked guide. He ran his fingers through Xander's hair and traced the contours of his muscled chest.
Xander felt confused. It felt so good the way the sentinel touched him. It wasn't the demanding ravaging he had expected this was a giving thing like Xander had never before experienced. He craved the touch; the empath in him hungered for it. A tear rolled from Xander's eye and Spike pulled Xander to him and licked it away. "It's okay, Love, cry as much as you need to."
Xander moved back and looked into the dark sapphire blue eyes of a sentinel in bonding thrall.
"Sentinel?" he asked in a quivering voice.
"Guide," was the breathy answer as Spike nuzzled Xander's neck, found the bonding spot and began to suckle.
Serotonin flooded Xander's brain and his carefully constructed emotional barriers came down… and then Spike was there, Spike wanting to give him comfort, Spike wanting to protect him, Spike wanting to belong to him.
Xander panicked. Adrenaline surged through his body, his heart pounded and he gasped for air. He pushed away from Spike and cried out, "No. I can't."
Spike pulled his guide to him and rocked him back and forth as if he were rocking a distraught child. "Shhhh, love, It's okay. I'm here, I'm here."
"No!" Xander fought against the sentinel but Spike held him tight. Sobs shook Xander's body. "No. Please, let me go. Please. Oh God, I can't do this. You want to belong to me. I can't. I'm not good enough for you." Xander stopped fighting and collapsed into Spike's arms. "I'm not good enough for you," he whispered.
Spike lifted Xander's face and looked into his pain filled brown eyes, "Wrong again, Guide. You're the only one good enough for me."
Spike held Xander, skin to skin, rocking him and stroking him. Xander would calm, shiver with fear and calm again when Spike licked the guide spot and whispered unintelligible sounds of comfort.
Xander liked the holding, stroking and rocking. The human contact felt good. He had ached for it for so long. He had cried himself to sleep for lack of it, more than once. And this man needed him, he could sense it. It scared him. Then the sentinel would lick his neck, stroke his body and whisper those things to him. Not words exactly, but sounds, vibrations, that went straight to his soul. Xander liked the mewling whispers the most.
Everything was carried on those sounds of comfort. “It’s okay, you’re not alone, we belong together.” And each sound came with a touch, a stroke of the arm, a kiss on the cheek, a foot stroking his leg.
And then the fear would return and the whispering sounds would come again to send it away. “I’m sorry you hurt, let me help, be with me.”
Xander knew he should lift his arms and cling to this sentinel. He knew the sentinel longed for it, ached for it. But he couldn’t. What if the sentinel wanted more? He knew it would come sooner or later the sentinel would claim him, penetrate him.
And then the sounds would come again. “I won’t abandon you, I won’t hurt you. We’ll go slow. You’re not alone anymore.”
Xander finally fell asleep and Spike let himself drift off. The wedding of yesterday evening seemed a lifetime ago and a world away.
It was 8:30 when Spike awoke with his new guide and felt Xander try to wiggle out from under his arm.
"What is it, Pet?" Spike asked.
"Pee," Xander said as he lifted Spike's arm, got out of bed, and
headed for the bathroom.
Spike tried to stay in the bed but lost the fight with himself and
followed Xander into the bathroom.
"I can pee by my self," Xander said. 'What's with him,' Xander
thought, 'there's no window in the damn bathroom.’
‘Don't spook him, let him know this is normal behavior for a sentinel.' "Did you know," Spike said as he took tiny steps closer to his guide. “that many sentinel's hold their guide's genitalia while they pee for up to 3 months after bonding?"
'Oh God, he wants to hold my dick while I piss.' "Really," Xander
said. "Must be tough if they're bonded to a female."
Spike shook his head and laughed. 'A joke, he's okay then. Thank you
God, but he wants me to leave, doesn't he know I can't?' "Good try,
Guide, but I'm not leaving."
'How am I supposed to piss with him staring at me?' "Well, can you at
least turn your back, I've always had a shy bladder."
'You can do this Spike, you can turn your back this one time.' "Okay,
this time," Spike said, "but don't flush." ‘I hope he gets I’m making a compromise.’
Xander rolled his eyes, 'They didn't tell us this in guide school.'
Spike dialed up his hearing and his sense of smell. 'What's going on
he's not peeing,
Oh there it is, it sounds like a good stream but it smells too strong.
Don't turn around!
Don't panic; look at the color when he's done. He's stopped.' Spike
went over to the toilet looked in and sniffed.
'Sentinels are wacky,’ Xander thought shaking his head. That's the only explanation. Oh, God, if he tastes it I don’t want to know about it.' "Have fun," Xander said and turned to the sink to wash his hands.
'It's too dark; it should be the color of lemonade. Don't panic!
You're not going to do your guide any good if you panic. Just go over
and check his skin. All you have to do is poke him. If his skin pops
back and doesn't leave a dent he's okay. Just needs a drink is all.'
Spike flushed the toilet and walked over to Xander and poked him in
the fleshy part of his arm.
"Hey," Xander asked, "What’s with the poking?"
"What was your fluid intake yesterday?" Spike suddenly asked as he
squinted at Xander and looked him up and down. 'Color is good, muscle
tone looks good, morning breath but that’s normal.'
"What are you talking about?” Xander asked feeling trapped between a nutty sentinel and the bathroom sink. “Fluid intake?"
"How much water did you drink yesterday? Spike asked.
"How am I supposed to know?" 'Like I keep track'
"You're suffering from mild dehydration," Spike said and he pulled
Xander over to the refrigerator and took out a bottle of water."
"Don't open that water," Xander said. "The inn charges three fifty a bottle. I feel fine." 'Is he angry, I so don't want to deal with an angry sentinel?'
"I don't care if it's three hundred fifty a bottle, Guide, you need
Spike opened the water took a sniff and then took a swig. He swirled
it around in his mouth before deciding it was good enough for his
guide and swallowing.
‘Why spend all that money for water?’
"This place has all the modern connivances," Xander said. "Including
water on tap."
"You're not drinking that stuff, it's full of chemicals!" Spike growled ‘how can he even suggest tap water.’ He handed the bottle to Xander, "Drink."
'Now I did it; he's pissed at me. Best just to drink it down as fast
as possible before he grabs me and pours it down my throat.' Xander
took the bottle and began to chug down the cold water.
'I smell fear, what's he afraid of? He's drinking it too fast.' After the fifth swallow Spike grabbed it away. "What do you think you’re doing?"
'That's defiantly anger. I'm in for it now.' "Ahh, you ahh told me to
drink," Xander said wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.
‘I smell fear again, man he’s touchy.’ “Not like that," Spike said. "That water is cold, you'll give yourself a bellyache." He put down the bottle of water and began rubbing Xander's naked stomach.
'He's angry because I might give myself a bellyache. He's rubbing my
belly. Is he for real?
"Does it hurt?" Spike asked as he watched Xander's muscles for signs
'This can't be real; he's faking. I'll ask, if he's faking I'll know.'
"You care if I get a bellyache?"
Spike looked up into soft brown eyes and his heart melted. "Oh, Pet,
of course I care. I'm sorry if I came on too strong. It's a sentinel
thing. It's like…it feels like you're the air that I breathe and
taking care of you is like breathing; I have to breathe. Can you
understand that, Pet."
"He's not lying. If he were I could sense it. What does he want from
me?' "Kind of," Xander said. "It's just overwhelming, that's all, and
I'm not used to it."
'Your guide needs space, Spike, don't over crowd him.' "You do know
you can tell me when you're overwhelmed?"
'He's telling me he'll back off. Well, let's put it to the test.’
"Well, I'm overwhelmed right now," Xander said. "I'm standing here, in the nude, having a life changing conversation with a guy I didn't know existed twenty-four hours ago."
'He's testing me; he doesn't believe I'll back off. Testing is good.
He'll never learn to trust me unless I pass the test. Let him shower
by himself, you can do that. Just adjust the water, no, too much. Let
him adjust his own water. But what if…No! No what ifs just do it for
the good of your guide. "We'll get showered and dressed," Spike said,
"and then we'll talk about what we need to do."
‘Well I should be patting myself on the back. I did it. I'm letting him shower by himself. Of course I’m chewing a hole in his pillowcase. No! don’t even think about that. I have to stop pacing. He’ll be out of the shower in a minute.
‘He is so tense, doesn’t he know I can feel that. Hey, empath here. This isn’t working, I’m supposed to be his guide. Look what I’m doing to him. He’s trying; I know he is. I have to do better. I’m an empath, I can do this, calm my sentinel. Hey, I just called him my sentinel. It happened the bond it happened!
Spike felt his guide’s deluge of emotion. 'Oh God what’s that!' He dropped the pillow, ran into the bathroom and pulled back the shower curtain.
Xander looked at him with a big soppy smile on his face.
Spike stood dumbfounded for a moment before he could speak. “What happened?”
“You’re my sentinel.”
“Does that mean I can come in the shower with you…please?”
It was 8am and Ethan Rayne was eating breakfast when his butler came into the solarium.
“It’s Director Booker sir,” the butler said as he handed his employer the phone with a bow.
Ethan took the phone. “Rayne here.”
“There’s been an Intent to Bond Certificate filed on the boy.”
“What!” Ethan Rayne said sitting forward in his chair. “How did that happen?” he asked as he threw his linen napkin onto the table.
“I don’t know; it was filed yesterday evening by a Detective Sentinel William Spikeman. He works for the Lake View Police. Apparently the boy ran because there was also an APB filed and a request for all Guide School Records.”
“Don’t let him have the school records,” Rayne said. “We have to find the boy before the sentinel does. What do you know about Spikeman?”
“He’s already found the boy. Sentinel Detective James Ellison out of Cascade pulled the APB last night. And Spikeman has some school records. He’s requested the sealed records as well.”
“Delete any records he doesn’t already have,” Rayne said through a clenched jaw. “Make sure it looks like a computer glitch. By now they’re bonded. But maybe we can make this work for us. We’ll break the bond that should give us the trauma we need to push the brat over the edge.”
“You can’t break the bond with a level 9 empath, the only way would be to kill the sentinel,” Booker said hoping desperately to make Ethan Rayne see reason for once.
“We’ll give them three days together,” Ethan said. “That should be enough. I’ll take care of the arrangements.”
A shiver went through Booker at the sound of Rayne’s voice. “You can’t kill a sentinel, they’ll swarm down on us so fast…”
Ethan Rayne hung up the phone. “Stupid man,” he muttered, “Sentinel’s die all the time in the line of duty.”
In a booth in a restaurant in Cascade:
“You should be eating some protein,” Spike said as he looked across that table at Xander's bowl of Coco Crisps.
“You’re overwhelming me again,” Xander said as he shoveled another spoonful of the low nutrition high sugar cereal into his mouth.
“Cereal is a part of a nutritious breakfast,” Spike said as he finished his western omelet. “It even says so on the TV adds.”
“Yeah, yeah and breakfast is the most important meal of the day blah, blah, blah.”
“That was disrespectful, Pet.”
Xander hung his head and looked up at his sentinel with doe eyes, “I’m sorry, I just want to enjoy my junk food breakfast in peace.”
“Do you know you melt my heart when you look at me like that?”
“Sauce for the goose,” Xander said with a smile as he shoveled another spoonful of cereal into his mouth.
“Really,” Spike said tilting his head and looking at Xander. When did I melt your heart?”
“The first time was when I saw you standing outside the door holding my pillow. You looked so vulnerable and cute with the sleep mussed hair and all.”
“You didn’t show it.”
“Well… it was kind of scary, I didn’t expect …” Xander’s voice trailed off.
“What, Pet? It’s okay you can tell me.”
Xander put his spoon down, “No, I can’t,” he said looking down at the table. “Can we go now? I don’t want to eat any more.”
“I know I’m not what you expected.” Spike said. “I’m an inch shorter and a bit slimmer than most sentinels.”
Xander moaned he could feel Spike’s sadness. “Now what did you have to go and say that for. You think I’m disappointed? I’m not. I expected an enraged gorilla to come through the door. Instead you melted my heart, and it scares the hell out of me.” Tears rolled down Xander’s face. “You’re gorgeous, okay, I’ve said it.”
Spike got up and slid into the booth next to Xander. He took Xander’s face in his hands and began licking the tears away. Xander waited, still unable to open his arms and hold his sentinel.
“Xan,” Spike said quietly, “I need the card that the guide gave you.”
Xander reached into his pocket and handed the card to Spike. “I’m okay, I don’t need to talk to him.”
“I need to talk to Ellison, I’m swearing out charges against Rayne.”
“Why, he’s not director of the school anymore?”
“He hurt you, Pet, he’s not going to get away with it.”
“It’s because I’m unfit, isn’t it?”
Sentinel eyes looked at Xander. “Never again refer to your self as unfit. Do you understand me Guide?”
Xander startled at the anger he heard in Spike’s voice. “Yes, Sentinel.” he said softly.
Spike eyes softened. “Oh, Pet, Don’t you know, no one gets through life unscathed, some of us more than others. All we can do is the best we can with what we have. You’re doing that, Pet, you’re doing the best you can and struggling to make your best even better. I can’t ask more of you than that. No one can. But I need to do this. I need to let you know you can trust me. I need you to know I won’t abandon you.”
The Bullpen Cascade Police Department:
“Hello Sentinel Ellison’s desk, Guide Sandburg speaking, how may I help you?”
“Guide Sandburg, this is Sentinel Spikeman.”
“Is there a problem Sentinel?” Blair asked, his concern clearly showing in his voice.
“This is just a courtesy call, is Sentinel Ellison available?”
“He’s not available at the moment he should be back shortly. Can I take a message or have him call you back?”
“I’m coming in later today to press charges against Ethan Rayne. I just wanted to give him a heads up.”
“Thanks Sentinel Spikeman, that’s very thoughtful of you.” Blair said relieved that Xander was okay.
“Please, call me Spike, and there’s one more thing. We’re planning on staying in Cascade for a few days. Can you recommend a decent sentinel/guide friendly motel? The inn is a bit too pricey for my wallet.”
“Why don’t you stay with Jim and me?” Blair offered. “We have a spare room. It’s got a bed and the price is right.”
“I don’t want to put you out, Guide Sandburg.”
“Please, we’re going to be roomies, call me Blair.”
“You did what?” Jim asked.
“I told them they could stay with us for a few days. What’s the problem?”
“They are a newly bonded Sentinel and Guide. That’s the problem.”
“I thought you liked the guy. You said he was impressive.”
“That doesn’t mean I want him anywhere near you.”
“Jim, I don’t understand, he’s a fellow sentinel in need. I thought you’d be glad to help him out.”
“Ordinarily I would,” Jim said, “But these are special circumstances.”
“What special circumstances?” Blair asked truly confused.
“You waited six months to report his guide was being abused.”
“Xander forgave me for that, and you don’t think I was to blame either. Why would he?”
“Sentinel’s aren’t always reasonable when it comes to their guides,” annoyed with Blare for not thinking of his own safety.
“I doubt if it will come up. Besides he would be an idiot to try anything with you around. So don’t worry, Big Guy. They’re going to stop at a barber for a shave and they need to pick up some things, a change of clothes and stuff. They’ll meet us here before the end of shift.”
"I'm going to see what I can find on Ethan Rayne,” Jim said. "Then maybe there won't be any reason for Spikeman to stay."
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