Spike wonders at himself sometimes. He really ought to know better by now. Wasn’t this, at least, what getting old gave you? Experience. Yet here he is in the same old trough.
Take this morning – Spike had known it was almost sun up, but he’d wanted to linger on the beach just a little longer while it was quiet and without eyes staring at his spooky moonlit skin. He’d wanted to enjoy being alone, to just be a regular guy, leave his boots in the car and kick around on the sand. And now he is bloody trapped till sundown.
Although he knows in his bones there are precisely thirteen minutes left till he could emerge safely, Spike, nevertheless, glances at the clock on the dash. He shrugs - must be why he’d woken up; not for a pee but for blood, and it wasn’t even worth wishing he still could. Spike often left it too long between feeds but he’d discovered that hunger gave him a real buzz these days, a new focus, a kind of celebration of his new ability to deny himself. Who was he kidding? Pig’s blood tasted like shit – hardly a great sacrifice doing without. But depriving himself of other needs, now you were talking, this brought real treasure, like fucking after a drought – that was smooth and satisfying.
At least he could smoke – blood he could give up – but not these; he sighs and slips the white end of a Marlboro between dry lips.
He can’t quite make out the numbers on the clock and shifts irritably for a better view, wincing as he wobbles upright. It strikes him as unfair somehow; while he was spared the aches and pains that went with a five mile sprint through the streets to escape some twat with a stake, a snooze in the in the back of the car for a couple of hours gave him a crick. He moves his head side to side.
He can make out a ticket under the windscreen wiper. Bugger. Just as well he’d slept through most of the day – and the way he slept, he guesses a tow-truck could have deposited him in the Pacific and he would have snored through it. Not that he gives a toss about the ticket, he thinks as he swings into the front seat and reaches through the window for it, what he doesn’t like is getting caught by stupid human rules. He wouldn’t have relished a scene with the meter maid - the growling part he’d have liked a lot – but not the flame-on if he’d wound down the UV safe window to show her his teeth. He thumbs his cig out.
Spike breaks free from the car as much to get away from his thoughts as to move his limbs. The sound of blues guitar on the pier makes him grin – he loves this old guy, saw him last night. He loved the steel guitar and tapping, crocodile shoe – Christ if he hadn’t been a master vampire, he’d have shaken the old fella’s hand. Now as Spike strides up the ramp to the entrance of the amusement park, he takes up the same position he had the night before – gave him a good view of all the strollers, nice spot by the rail so he can hear the waves behind him and the busker, the people surrounding him giving Spike the cover he needs.
He wonders whether he’d see the kid tonight, make a move maybe?
Little twat in his blue amusement park outfit – the shame of it. How desperate for money would you have to be to wear that? Surely stealing is a better option – but then the kid is a goody-two-shoes like his dad. Wanker. Funny how riled up he gets thinking about him. Why does everyone he fancy make him mad? Another bit of self-knowledge he can throw in the box then toss away the key. Bugger – he needs a drink – something to take away the taste of ashes. And the walk might help with the stiffness.
It was yet another textbook, beautiful Los Angeles evening Spike notes as he strolls under the arch, and the sniff of evening chill has the decidedly unhardy locals wrapping sweaters round their shoulders. Wusses. He makes no effort to weave through the crowds – he’d got into the habit of this years ago – people move out of his way. He has a ‘presence’ – well, he chuckles to himself, just very cool hair. If they didn’t move it meant they were drunk or stupid and there was dinner sorted. Place like this – what a happy hunting ground it would have been back in the day. Spike sighs and remembers how he’d have scanned the hoards, waiting for someone to break with a group or, failing that, enticed some poor sap away with a raised eyebrow and a killer leer. His cock stirs again at the thought. Spike is better with the whole guilt thing these days. Doesn’t waste too much time worrying if the old fantasy breaks through the shield of do-good that Angel has smothered him in. Who would know? God? Pfff.
The music distracts his mind from such unpleasantness – see some things don’t change and that is of the good. Blues – simple, familiar, repetitive and real dirty. You can keep your blips and technology – this is what it all comes back to, where it all came from, just a guy, his voice and a guitar. He can almost feel the bumps surge under his skin as he advances further into Pacific Park and away from the street-performer to be surrounded by the tinkle of coins in machines, the muzak, the infuriating 80s ballads and the squealing from the wankers on the rollercoaster. They want a thrill – he’ll give them one….
Pacific Park – Jesus, how the mighty have fallen – but it isn’t a smirk that plays on his lips – Spike has better things to do with his time than point the finger at the lowliness of people’s jobs – he needs a fix bad. Sugar. Soft, sweet, unabashed, Spike adjusts himself before he sets off towards the stall from where Connor’s scent called him mixed with kettle corn and fast-food grease. The line pleases him – gives him time to deep breathe and think of something smart to say,
“Buying this for a kid, Sir?”
Their eyes meet – blue on blue.
“No – just from one.”
There is the eyebrow. Bugger – he really should pull out a few different tricks, but there was that disadvantage of not being able to practice in front of the mirror like other villains. For a split second, Spike imagines himself with a moustache – he could have twirled that maybe – and finds himself immensely pleased that those days on the pier are long gone. The days of William – more bread roll than rock and roll.
His eyes rake Connor’s wrists as they deftly work the cotton candy round the drum. He notes the veins pronounced against skin which drank in less sun; it is like cleavage to a breast man, Spike thinks wonderingly, as ever totally flummoxed by the strange details that turn him on. He’d also developed a passion for shredding cheap nasty uniforms in Sunnydale. Poor Xander – how many excuses did he have to come up with – how many bosses had kicked his slightly sore arse out of the door because of one kinky vampire?
“You look high enough without all this sugar.” Connor stares directly at Spike as he hands over the cotton candy.
“When are you on a break?”
Connor’s head tilts back slightly so he can give Spike the full benefit of a smug face. The little shit likes to tease the old man apparently, and he turns to the next customer who barges into the vampire’s shoulder as Spike tries to get past and head back to the car.
Good thing it is dark – the state his cock is in, Spike would have been entitled to put a hat on the floor and take a collection. How he had fallen – from the blood of virgins to this, what the fuck was this stuff anyway? He tosses the cotton candy over the rails. It makes a satisfying plop as it hits the water. Time was that would have been a body he’d have hurled over the edge. Why is it that everything seemed to come back to the killing? When he feels good, Spike thinks about the warmth of blood spilling over his taste buds, and when he feels bad, he focuses on the kill, the moment he snapped their necks and a surge of joy always lifts his spirits until he comes crashing down, sees their eyes, all of them, all of them. Hmmm. Erection seems to have disappeared.
Yes, Connor does look a cheap picture in those clothes – and that hat – guess they make him wear it cos of the long hair. An image flashes across his mind’s eye of Connor’s half-closed eyes, veiled by a loose strand of hair, he loves that, loves how dishevelled that hair made him look when…no good – he’d have to go lurk by the car before he frightened the ladies.
He roots through the parking ticket collection in the glove compartment il - there it is, the little flask – not the same as the one he’d kept in the de Soto, but same style, a Victorian gentleman’s. He’d dumped the leather case, that wasn’t very cool and now he runs his finger over the engraving, C. A. A. – wonders who that was, who gave it to CAA and what happened to him – did he die in a hunting accident or was he fucked senseless by a horny vampire, drained of life and tossed out of a carriage?
Spike takes a swig of JD, lights a cigarette and smiles – this is the life, a carnival, noise, anonymity and always something to look at – you can’t beat a crowd – can you?
Bugger – he’d have to get into the car for a bit of privacy before he gets nicked for indecent exposure. Inside, Spike leans back and pulls his belt open, the ache in his groin suddenly seems too much – he thinks about Connor – thinks how he might press him up against the rails on the pier, hold him tight with his back to him, maybe gnaw at the boy’s neck, then he’d slip his fingers round Connor’s waist, the tip of his cock free and pressed against his arse, Connor’s hands tight around the top rail while Spike tugs Connor’s shirt up, high under his armpits like this, yes…God – how come this never got old? How many times had he pumped this cock but it still felt good, necessary? Connor’s nasty, blue pants drop round his knees – no underpants because he knows that drives Spike crazy – Connor loves knowing he could get to him anytime. How his arse gleams in the moonlight, and this dark spot, round the back of the aquarium no one can see them here, no one would see how deftly Spike slathers his hand in lube, slicking first the length of his cock, then Connor’s opening.
“Jesus, why you taking so long.” Connor strains to see the vampire over his shoulder.
“Stop whining, brat…fuck…” the last utterance a grunt as Spike sees himself easing in slowly, gripping the boy’s hips, lifting him onto his toes so he can get the right angle – is that him groaning now, or remembering or just the story in his head rolling along. Jesus who cares, who cares…?
The tapping sound can only be in the now. Bugger. Spike looks up at the window – he knows whoever it is wouldn’t be able to see in, yet he still fumbles with his buttons to cover up a very disappointed cock.
“Hey, Bud, got a smoke?” A familiar voice drifts through the glass and the tinted window steam up for a second.
“Brat.” Spike grins, leaning forward, pulls at the lever. “You got no respect for people’s privacy?”
Spike’s gaze lingers on the boy’s Adam’s apple as Connor removes his hat, shakes his hair. “You getting in?”
“With the Big bad Wolf? Is that wise?”
How Spike wishes Connor would stop with the fucking teasing. It is like he is in the eye of a storm and all goes quiet around them as he waits.
“I need something to take the taste of sugar out of my mouth.” Connor takes Spike’s hand, pulls the vampire’s thumb to his mouth and slides it into his warm, very human mouth. “Any suggestions?”