Paring: Primarily S/X with a very minor S/OCs.
Rating: NC17 Adult Reading
Disclaimer: The Bee has no claim on any of the characters or
products named in this story and receives no profit from anything.
Warnings: Adult language, Prostitution, Violence, strong sexual
content. NOTE: All the boys working in Hope House are over
the age of 18. The Bee does not do underage!
Summary: Long after the final battle of Sunnydale, Xander is
alone, his life in shambles. Is there anywhere he can go and anyone
who can give him hope? There just might be.
As always, kudos to Petxnd for the wonderful banner.
With the reliability of Big Ben, the internal time piece in Spike's brain chimed
4 pm and his eyes popped open. When he did, he was, at once, comforted
with the knowledge that his old friend was still there.
Still warm. Still sleeping. Still wrapped in Spike's strong arms. Both Spike's
soul and his demon were overwhelmed with the wonderful feeling of family,
of pack, and he wanted nothing more than to stay where he was all day. Sadly,
Spike knew that was not possible. He had things to see to and arrangements
to make before Xander woke.
Quietly, he eased himself back and slipped from the bed. He stepped silently
from the room and secured the door behind him. Xander never stirred.
As he passed through the lobby area, he noted that most of the boys were already
up and happily playing the games and watching the telly. He acknowledged them
and moved on to the kitchen.
Mrs. Gessel continued to clean up from lunch as he entered. She was dying to ask
him what was going on but she knew questioning the Master was not a good idea.
"Mornin' Mum. How about heating up a couple of those blood bags you have
tucked in the freezer."
Hustling over, she did as she was ask, amazed at the almost giddy mood of the
deadly vampire. Finally she couldn't stand it any longer. She was certain whatever
was happening centered on the newcomer.
"So, is our patient better? Does he need me to look in on him?"
Spike settled in and shook out the newspaper in an attempt to make the day
appear as common place as possible. The sparkle in his eye and the bounce
as he moved proved just the opposite.
"No. I will be looking after him m'self. In fact he will be staying in my rooms
for the time being. He is sleeping right now, but I am going to sit with him
for a while. I'll need you to get the boys off to work this evening and then
bring us a light dinner."
Mrs. Gessel couldn't stand it any longer. She slammed the warm mug down in
front of him and watched as he gulped it down.
"All right. Give, Buddy. Who is he and what the hell is going on. If he was just
another boy for the stroll, you would patch him up and send him out. What the
hell is so special about this one?"
Spike couldn't even get mad at the disrespect of being interrogated. Instead, he
"He's an old friend. Someone I knew from before coming to LA."
"But he was working. Is he here to work for you?"
Suddenly Spike's good mood was gone and he rose from the table with an
expression that told Judy Gessel that she had just stepped over the line. She wisely
closed her mouth and tipped down her head. Spike considered the conversation
over and he dismissed her from his mind. He had other considerations more pressing
than a housekeeper that refused to remember her place.
He was anxious to return before Xander woke, but he had one more thing to do.
Something that couldn't wait.
Pushing open the kitchen door, Spike bellowed.
"JACK! Get you arse in here."
Jack scrambled to comply. He entered the kitchen, head down and lips sealed.
Spike snorted in disgust. He wanted nothing more than to rip the head cleanly
off this trouble maker but the vampire's soul was hesitant and the vampire's demon
reasoned that Jack was being allowed to live because boy was a money maker and
Spike was a business man above all else.
Slipping in to game face, Spike grabbed him as soon as he stepped in and wrapped
a clawed hand around Jack's throat. He then leaned in and stared him in the
eye. He could smell the terror as it rolled off the boy and he licked his lips hungrily.
He leaned in till his cold breath, still smelling of blood, puffed in Jack's nostrils.
"I know what you did to that boy. I know you beat him and stole his money.
I'm warning you, Jack, if you ever look at him again or lay a hand on any of the
other boy's you will think your last punishment was a walk in the fucking park.
Do you hear me?"
Jack's eyes bugged and his head nodded.
Spike unexpectedly let go, dropping the boy to the floor on his tender rump.
"Get dressed. You are going back out tonight and if you come home with less
than $500. I'll break every finger on your left hand."
Jack fumbled to get to his feet.
"What? That's not fair, my ass still hurts from that fucking Wendeego. I
can't work. I..."
Spike roared as he backhanded the smart mouth that now clamped shut.
He moved across the kitchen in a blink of the eye and loomed over the
whining lad as he pointed down at him.
Spike then turned and marched out. He stormed through a media room that was
now silent as all the boys had heard the ruckus and froze in fear, hoping the
Master would not notice them. Without comment he moved through, entered
the hallway and went directly back to his suite.
The moment he entered his room, his mood changed. He was again surrounded
by the smell, the sounds, the overwhelming presence of Xander. His demon
relaxed. It circled it's fireplace rug three times and it curled up and laid down,
purring happily. The soul snuggled alongside the demon.
Xander woke with a start and was instantly concerned when he found himself alone.
"I'm here, Pet."
Spike hurried to the bed where he crouched down and looked into the puffy, gaunt
face. He stared into the dark eyes that had always sparkled with hope and humor,
even in the worst of times. Now they were dull, cloudy and lifeless and Spike wanted
to know why.
He wanted the whole fucking story and he wanted it now, but Spike knew this was one
of those times that required finesse. He also didn't want to hurt Xander anymore than
he already had been. Whatever had led him to this point had very nearly broken the
boy's spirit, and Spike could bear the though of adding to that misery.
Xander stared at the vampire and wondered what was going through his mind.
He wondered if Spike knew how he had been living or if he simply thought he had
been mugged. He prayed that was the case. He knew it would disgust Spike to know
that Xander was selling himself on the street like a common whore, trading his ass and
mouth for a hamburger and a cup of coffee.
Xander cringed. He didn't know why, but it was suddenly very important to him that
Spike not hate him and reject him.
"Spike, I, um..."
"Tut, tut, Pet. Not now. You are still recovering and we need to get you healthy
again. First, we are going to give you a long, hot shower. Then we are going to see
to your injuries. After that, Mrs. Gessel has orders to bring you a nice lunch. I intend
to fatten you up, Love. After all that, we can go out to the main room and relax.
Maybe have a bit of a chat."
Xander sat up quickly.
"No. Spike, I don't want the other boys that live here to see me like this. I mean, I
know Beanie and Andre are nice but I don't know the others and...."
"No worry. Won't be anyone here but us. They will all be out."
Xander looked confused.
"Out? Out where?"
Spike waved his hand dismissively.
"Just out. This isn't a prison, Pet. The boys are free to go out in the evening if
Xander relaxed and thought about how nice that hot shower was going to feel. He
wondered if he acted as though he were still weak, if Spike would help him in and
out of the water. He liked the thought of that.
"Oh, yeah, sure. That makes sense."