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."
Decades passed, the century turned and Spike continued to live at the castle. The forest grew thicker, darker and more foreboding, few people ventured into it and fewer found their way to the castle. When a visitor arrived it was always the same, they would find the gates and doors open and wander in. They would gasp amazed at the splendor and opulence they found, there was never a speck of dust or item out of place. The house would seem to usher them to the great hall, where overcome with tiredness they would fall asleep in one of the huge, cushioned chairs and as they slept Spike would serve a splendid meal which they gratefully ate when they awoke. Then they would feel compelled to go upstairs and find a beautiful bedchamber which Spike always kept ready and fall into a deep and dreamless sleep.
Spike would creep in and gaze on his sleeping guest, he ached with a need to speak to them, to exchange a kind word with another human being and feel their touch but it was not to be. He kept to the shadows and ever let anyone hear his voice, see his monstrous face or feel his gentle touch. In the morning the traveler would find a bag packed with food and wine for their journey and go on their way. By the time they reached where they were going, the castle was but a vague memory.
In the early years Spike was consumed with a terrible loneliness until he thought he would go mad. More than once he thought about walking into the sun, would it kill him? He didn't know and then he thought of fashioning a sharp, wooden stake and throwing himself on it but he was afraid, not of dying, of what lay in wait for him beyond death. So a terrible resignation settled over him and a deep mourning for the companionship of human kind that was lost to him forever; for he believed himself truly a monster and not deserving of pity or love.
The buck ran swiftly through the forest, twisting, turning, leaping over rocks, logs and fallen branches, it's nostrils flared and it's heart pounded in it's chest and still the creature pursued it, growing ever nearer. With one last burst of speed the deer leapt over the stream and as it landed strong arms grasped it around it's neck and bellowing in terror it crashed to the earth. It thrashed on the ground, struggling and kicking as sharp fangs pierced it's neck and Spike bit down into the jugular vein. The racing heart pumped the warm, rich blood into his mouth and he swallowed greedily, in thirty seconds the animal ceased to move and a minute more and the heart slowed and then stuttered to a stop. Spike sucked at the wound until the animal was completely drained and then sat back. Blood ran down his chin and onto the pale skin of his chest. It had been a good hunt. He laid a hand affectionately on the shoulder of the buck, it was not a young animal it had seen several Summers and endured the hardship of long Winters. Spike did not feel any remorse at it's death, for such was life, it had died that he might live and it's meat would feed other hungry creatures in the forest.
At first he'd tried not to kill, to ignore the terrible gnawing hunger and thirst he felt. He ate and ate ridiculous amounts of food, drank himself silly on fine wines but the hunger and thirst remained and he grew weaker. Driven by desperate need, he ventured into the forest and killed a rabbit and drank it's blood and thus his course was set.
He knelt by the stream and washed the blood off his face, chest and hands. His sharp hearing caught the distant, happy laughter of children and he raised his head and smiled, revealing the pointed tips of his white fangs. He stood and made his way to the edge of the forest as he had done so many times before.
Even at it's edge the trees were thick and the canopy of leaves and branches kept the rays of the sun from touching the Vampire. He hid himself out of sight and watched a group of children run and laugh after a metal hoop, a little black terrier running yapping at their heels.
The village had sprung up over the last fifty years. Spike had watched it grow from a few stone cottages into a busy, happy, thriving community. At first he worried that they might burn down the forest but they all but ignored it, seemingly content with the lush meadows and fertile soil that lay on the other side of the village. No-one ventured into the forest save the huntsman and the woodcutter. In Summer children and young women would pick the wild strawberries that grew at the forest edge and in the Fall the ripe, round berries and succulent mushrooms but none ventured more than a step or two beyond the first line of trees.
So it was Spike came to know the people of the village. With his keen hearing he eavesdropped on their conversations and learned the village gossip. He rejoiced at every wedding, shared the joy of each new birth and the sorrow of every death. He knew everyone by name and their lives entwined with his own. It was in this way he learned that Rose Cottage had been bought by someone from outside the village.
Rose cottage was the very last, or the very first, cottage in the village and set quite some distance apart from the rest, near the forest edge. It had belonged to the village cobbler, his children had grown, married and had their own homes and his wife had passed away. As he grew old and his son took over the business he turned his hand to growing the roses which gave the cottage it's name. Spike would often sit for hours leaning against a tree watching the old man, conversations they might have had running through his head, until one day, the old man passed away. Spike grieved at the loss and watched sorrowfully as the cottage was emptied and the roses left neglected. Sometimes in the dead of night he would venture from the forest and do what he could to tend the roses in memory of his friend, but he was little skilled and when he heard there was to be a new owner, he grew curious.
It had been almost a week since Spike had visited the cottage and after watching the children play and the villagers go about their business he made his way along the forest edge toward the cottage. Long before he got there he smelt the smoke from the chimney and a new human scent and that of a dog. He drew close to his old spot and settled in to watch. Curtains had been hung at the windows and a young man of no more than eighteen or nineteen Summers was pottering in the garden.
He was tall and broad, with black rather shaggy hair. He was well, but not excessively well, dressed and with him the biggest dog Spike had ever seen. The animal was fawn and brindle, with darker drop ears, a black, masked face and long tail. It's shoulder reached to the man's hip, it's head to his waist. Spike knew from it's shape it was a hound of the type used to hunt boar, but much larger than any he had ever kept. The dog hung close to the man's side as he tended the roses. Now and again he would prick a finger and the scent of his blood would waft enticingly in Spike's direction, he would suck his finger and the dog would whine sympathetically. The young man picked his way uncertainly through the garden, often reaching out to touch the dog's head or hold it's collar. Spike watched with growing unease, there was something odd about the young man but he was unable to figure out what. At last the young man seemed tired and turned to face Spike. The Vampire's mouth dropped, he was the most handsome man Spike had ever seen.
Grasping the dog's collar he walked over to the small pump and put the wooden bucket under and pumped it full of water and then he straightened and pulled his shirt over his head. Spike all but whimpered as the expanse of the young man's chest was revealed and long, lean muscles rippled under his skin. He passed the shirt to the hound and it held it in it's jaws. He picked up the bucket and upended it sending water cascading over his head and running in rivulets down his chest, he laughed and shook his head so that water drops like a crystal shower, flew from his hair. Spike all but started to his feet. He took the shirt from between the great jaws and roughly used it to dry his chest.When he was done he draped the dirty garment over his shoulder and grasped the dog's collar and they turned and went into the cottage and he closed the door.
Spike sat as if mesmerized, rooted to the spot. It was not only the young man's stunning good looks that held him entranced, but everything about him. He knew instinctively that the young man was special, that he had a gentle soul and kind heart and that somehow their lives would touch. For the first time in over a century Spike felt hope.
He watched the cottage well passed dusk and saw the young man moving about inside and he waited for the lamps or candles to be lit. Dusk passed into darkness and Spike still watched by virtue of his keen eyesight and no lights were lit. At length he pieced together what he had seen, the young man's unsure movements, the constant reaching for the hound and grasping of the collar, the lack of lights. A great sorrow came over him.
The young man was blind.
Spike stirred from his sad thoughts. It was dangerous for him to stay so near the forest edge after darkness. Angelus the huntsman would soon be about to lay his cruel traps and snares and so close to the edge Spike was in danger of discovery. He stood and with one last look at the cottage he reluctantly made his way deep into the forest.
He had much to think about.