Warnings: AU, Fantasy, M/M sex, some humour, mild violence, swearing, angst, OOC, varying chapter lengths, animal deaths. UNBETA'D. Original Writing,
Rating: NC17 overall, various chapters PG-NC17
Pairing: 100% S/X
Comments: Comment if you want to, though it would be nice to know someone is reading it.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, everything belongs to someone who is not me. I write for fun not profit.
AN 1: Although Sunnydale character names have been used they are NOT necessarily in their Sunnydale persona's. William = A version of Spike NOT human William as in BTVS.
Note 1: This is AU/Fantasy and the concept of 'Vampire' expressed here may not be what you expect.
Note 2: My heartfelt thanks go out to my dear friend Bmblbee, for holding my hand through the writing process. *Hugs*
Note 3: This is a plot driven story. What sex there is happens in the natural course of the plot and as part of Spike and Xander's relationship.
Written in 8 chapters. 1-4 will be posted throughout today (1/12/09) and 5-8 throughout tomorrow. (2/12/09)
Summary: Lord William is handsome, vain, proud, arrogant and foolish but not intrinsically wicked, cruel or unkind. When he turns an old beggar woman away from his castle, he sets in motion a chain of events which see him transformed into a beast, a Vampire. Can he find one person in all the world who will look without fear on the face of the beast and declare their true love and break the spell.
Rating: NC17 Overall
Rating: NC17 Overall
"Every move you make
Every step you take,
I'll be watching you."
Everyone complimented the handsome, young Lord on the splendid magnificence of the party. William handed a glass of champagne to his beautiful companion and thought not for the first time, how her dark hair and beauty complimented his own mid blond hair and stunning good looks, perfectly. All was as it should be, even the crash of distant thunder and the threat of the imminent storm couldn't dampen his spirits.
The old beggar woman limped along the road. Her clothes, bonnet and thin shawl soaked through and dripping. Lightning split the sky and thunder boomed overhead. She limped on through the puddles and curtain of rain coming to a stop at the gatehouse of the castle, firmly she knocked. There was the rattle of bolts being drawn and the gate keeper stuck his head round the door. "Yes, what is it you want?" He asked curtly.
"Good evening Sir," she said politely. "as you see I am a wretched beggar woman with grandchildren to feed, I beg of you Sir to ask the Lord who owns this fine castle if I might call at the kitchen and take a few scraps to feed the children." The gatekeeper looked her up and down and opened the gate wider. "Come into the gatehouse old mother out of the storm and I will ask," he said kindly. She entered and was soon seated in the gatehouse by a small fire. The gatekeeper bid her stay and went up to the main doors of the castle and knocked.
Josef the butler opened one of the great, creaky doors and sniffed. "What is it Thomas, can't you see his Lordship is entertaining?" Thomas nodded. "Begging your pardon Mr Josef, but there's an old beggar woman come to the gate, she's very wretched but seems a goodly old dame. She has grandchildren to feed and asks leave to go round to the kitchen and take a few scraps." Josef sighed. "And you want me to disturb Lord William in the middle of one of his parties and ask such a thing?" Thomas nodded. "If you'd be so kind." Josef snorted. "Alright, but his Lordship won't like it."
Josef skirted round the dancers and weaved through the servants laden with silver trays of food and drew near his master, he coughed to attract his attention. William looked at him. "Yes Josef?"
"Forgive me M'Lord, Thomas is at the main doors, it seems an old, beggar woman has come to the castle to beg scraps from the kitchen for her grandchildren," he spoke discreetly. William frowned. He was not an unkind man at heart and was of a mind to grant the request. Cecily tugged at his arm. "I beg of you William you must not! If you allow it every beggar in the land will be at your door." William nodded, he saw the wisdom of Cecily's words. "Tell the old woman to be off, if I give charity to her then I will have to give it to all," he said haughtily.
"But M' Lord...." Josef started to protest. William raised an eyebrow, hastily Josef bowed. "As you command M' Lord."
Josef passed the message to Thomas and he made his way back to the gatehouse. "I'm sorry old mother," he said to her. "Lord William says that if he gives charity to you, then he must give it to all." She frowned. "But he is wealthy, what are a few scraps to him?" Thomas shrugged. "I beg you, let me speak to him myself, I'm sure if he sees me and hears my words he will change his mind," the old woman persisted.
Thomas took some persuading, but at length he took her to the main doors of the castle, she looked around at the splendid carriages drawn up and waited as Josef once more opened the great door. Josef was at first horrified by her request but surprisingly changed his mind and led her to the doors of the ballroom. He bid her wait while he asked his Lordship if he could spare a moment to speak to her, but as soon as the ballroom door was opened she darted passed the startled servant.
Immediately she entered the room fell into silence, the music stopped, dancing and chatter ceased, ladies clutched their breasts in horror and men muttered darkly. William looked round to see what was amiss and spying the ragged woman stalked angrily toward her. He pushed Josef aside. "How dare you enter my home uninvited and startle my guests?" He hissed. She curtsied. "I beg your forgiveness My Lord, but as you see I am old and wretched, I have grandchildren at home starving. I thought if you saw me and heard my words you would change your mind and allow me to take scraps from your kitchen that they might eat." William's eyes skittered around the room all his friends were watching and listening. He squared his shoulders. "You were told of my decision, now be off with you before I order my servants to loose the dogs on you!" He growled. There were murmurs of approval. "I beg you M'Lord to change your mind for your own sake." She said cooly. "No!" William snapped. At once the old woman cast off her shawl and everything and everyone in the room was frozen except William, he spun round. "What trickery is this?" He turned back but the old woman was gone and in her place stood a beautiful woman, with dark hair, pale skin and flashing green eyes, dressed in an exquisite gown of rose, pink silk.
William gasped. She gazed at him sadly and shook her head. "William, William you are an arrogant, selfish and foolish man." He opened his mouth to protest, but found he had no voice. "It would have cost you nothing to show charity to someone in need and my blessings on you would have been many, instead you allowed the opinions of your friends to mean more to you than an act of kindness. Although you may not believe it, it gives me no pleasure to pass judgement on you." William clutched at his throat and tried to speak, to beg forgiveness, but he couldn't speak.
"From the end of this night," she pronounced. You will become a creature of darkness, because you value the opinion of others so highly I will rob you of the society of human kind, they will shun and fear you. Because you are vain and proud, I rob you of both your handsome face and the ability to see your reflection. Because you would not share your food you will know a gnawing hunger worse than you can imagine, no matter what fine foods you eat or wines you drink only the blood of the innocent will slake your hunger and thirst." William fell to his knees, still she continued. "Because you would not have me enter your home uninvited I do the same to you, because you do not deserve to know the light and warmth of the sun, I take them from you. Henceforth if you venture into sunlight your skin will sear and melt from your body Yet because I do not judge you truly evil or unkind at heart I temper my judgement with mercy." William looked up, tears streaming down his face.
"I give to you the means for your survival. Fangs that you may kill, speed, strength, keen eyesight, smell and hearing to aid the hunt. I leave you your soul so that you may choose to hunt human or animal kind, but in doing so you will also come to know the evil wretchedness of your condition. I leave you this castle, frozen in time and always supplied with food and drink that you may extend charity to any who come this way. Around the castle will spring up a great forest full of animals, under the canopy of it's leaves and branches you will be able to move around even during the hours of sunlight. This judgement is eternal, you will not grow old or sicken therefore you will not die." William groaned. "But there is a way to end your torment. If a wooden stake is plunged into your heart, you will die. The judgement can be ended only in one way, if you can find one woman or man who can look unafraid upon the face of the beast, see what is truly in your heart and declare their own true love for you, the judgement will end and you will regain your mortal life. The type of the beast you shall become is 'Vampire' and his name shall be 'Spike'." William sobbed. "This is my sad judgement, do you understand what I have said?" She finished. William nodded. "It is done." With a shimmer she was gone.
In that instant the party resumed as if she had never been. Cecily looked down at William. "Why My Lord what are you doing down there? What has you so distressed?" William struggled to his feet. "Didn't you see her, the woman?" Cecily looked about. "William there are a great many women here, of which lady do you speak?"
"The beggar woman."
"William, that was an hour ago, you had Josef send her away."
"She came into the ballroom and turned into a beautiful lady," William explained. Cecily laughed. "By my honor she did not."
William frowned and shook his head. Cecily took his arm. "I think my dear, you've had a little too much champagne." He looked about, all was as it should be, had he imagined it? Certainly he felt no different apart from a little lightheadedness which was most likely due to the champagne he had consumed. Was Cecily right? Had he been momentarily overcome and imagined it all? As the night wore on into the small hours of the morning, Lord William became more convinced it was so.
At length the last guest left and the last carriage departed. Worn out from the night's events William made his way to his comfortable bedchamber and was soon asleep in the vast four poster.
During what was left of the night, every person within the castle felt the compulsion to pack and leave, so that by early morning Lord William was alone.
The young Lord awoke surprisingly clear headed and saw by the mantle clock that it was well past the time Josef should have awakened him with his breakfast. He reached for the silken bell pull and gave it a tug. He'd have words with the butler about his inefficiency, the bell went unheeded. When it was obvious no-one was coming William vaulted out of bed in his night shift and crossed to the window and yanked back the heavy drapes. He recoiled, a searing pain in his hand and arm, he watched in horror as the skin began to smoke and melt, exposing bone. The woman's words came back to him and he yanked the drapes closed. At once the pain ceased and he watched as in a few seconds the flesh repaired itself without a scar and appeared as if nothing had happened. He ran to his dresser and looked in the mirror and saw ........... Nothing, only the empty bedchamber, his reflection was gone. Panic stricken he raced from his room and through the castle, dodging the stray sun beams that squirreled their way in through gaps in the drapes, all was deserted and he realized that he was alone.
He passed through the great hall and glanced up at his portrait above the fireplace and let out a cry of horror. The portrait hung in a heavy, wooden frame. The young man wore a black jacket and breeches, a white shirt with lace cuffs open to the waist, showing a muscled chest; his honey blond hair was streaked through with a paler color and parted in the middle it fell in loose waves and curls to the base of his collar. his left hand rested on the hilt of his sword, his right loosely on his thigh. Where there had once been a handsome face with high, sharp, cheek bones, vivid pale blue eyes, a straight nose and pink sensuous mouth, there now was the face of a monster. The slitted eyes were yellow, the brow low and heavy with bony ridges, the bridge of the nose creased. William clutched at his face and realized with increasing dismay that this was how he now looked. With a choked cry he sank to his knees and curled up sobbing on the floor.
He hadn't imagined it, it was all true. And so his torment began.