“William!” Hank Summers greeted his employee as he entered the banquet hall. Spike resisted the urge to cringe at the use of his proper name. “There’s my top lawyer. Well, this week anyway,” he joked noticing Angel at Spike’s side. “Stay close. I want to introduce you to my family when they arrive.” Hank gave him one last pat on the back before he was off to mingle with his top clients.
Spike laughed and placed his attention back on his date. “Want something to drink?”
“In a moment,” Drusilla answered looking around the party. “Just think, William. All this fuss made for you.”
“Yeah, who would’ve thought?” Angel joked. Although he was happy for his friend, he was also a little jealous. Angel had been working for Hank three years longer than Spike, and had never done a job to earn this kind of praise.
“Thanks, mate,” Spike muttered under his breath for only his friend to hear, as he was bombarded with clients and fellow lawyers congratulating him on the gigantic win.
"William," Spike looked up from the crowd that had gathered in front of him to see his boss hurrying towards him with two women; the older a red head and the younger a tall, skinny brunette. He noticed the teenager staring at him with wide eyes, as if she knew him, but he quickly brushed her off. She was too young to be one of his conquests. "I’d like you to meet my family."
Spike flashed the two Summers women a dazzling smile. "Ah, Hank’s daughters. Nice to meet you finally."
Hank cleared his throat, putting his arm around the red head. "Actually, William. This is my wife Karen." Hank pointed to the brunette teenager. "This is my daughter Dawn."
Spike’s face heated up, but he was able to keep the blushing to a light pink. “I knew that.” He laughed, as if he had been joking the whole time.
“Ah, it must have been the accent that confused us,” Dawn said sarcastically knowing all too well how young her new stepmother was.
Spike chose to ignore the teenager, although he wondered why she was still staring at him. “I thought you had two daughters, Mr. Summers.”
“It’s Hank, and I do. My older daughter should be here any minute.”
Buffy had barely stepped foot inside the crowded hall before her father greeted her. He hugged her before he noticed she had someone clinging to her hand. “Sitter never showed,” she explained when she saw his look. “Don’t worry, she won’t get in the way of your big party.”
Hank shook his head. “Of course she won’t.” He bent down to kiss his granddaughter. “Now, there’s someone I want you to meet.”
Buffy sighed. “Dad, how many times do I have to tell you I don’t want to be set up with anyone. If I wanted a boyfriend I could easily get one on my own.” Buffy rolled her eyes. “And I especially don’t want any scum of the earth lawyer for a boyfriend. No offense.” Been there, done that, Buffy thought to herself bitterly.
“I’m not setting you up with William. I just thought you would want to meet the guest of honor.” Before she could object Hank was pushing her through the crowd towards the middle of the room. Buffy spotted Dawn and her teenage stepmother standing with someone she couldn’t quite see as they approached. “William, this is my other daughter, Buffy.”
Spike felt all the air rush out of his body as he came face to face with Hank’s oldest daughter. She looked older and thinner, but he could tell right away that she was the same girl he’d met five years earlier. Spike couldn’t find his voice as he watched the women in front of him grow pale with realization. “...Sarah.” was all he heard Hank saying.
“Wh-what was that?”
Hank gave him a strange look, not noticing the look on Buffy’s face. “I said, and this is my granddaughter, Sarah.”
For the first time since she'd appeared before him, Spike took his eyes off of Buffy’s face and looked beside her. A miniature version of Buffy stood holding onto her mother’s hand tightly. A million thoughts ran through his head. Unfortunately he couldn’t think of a single thing to say to the woman who’d left him so many years earlier. He couldn’t stop thinking about the first night he’d met her.
"Angel, could you make a call to the New York office and..."
Spike tuned out the sound of his boss’s voice. Hank Summers was a nice enough guy, but he barely let Spike do any real work around the office. Hank left all the important tasks to Angel who was three years older than Spike and almost finished with law school. Spike snapped back to reality when he heard his name being called. "William, why don’t you go and get us takeout for lunch?"
"Will do, Mr. Summers," Spike replied eager to get out of the office. Spike hated being called William, but he really didn’t expect his boss to call him by his nickname.
Spike looked up from his desk as Angel approached him with a huge grin. "Pack your bags buddy."
"What the bloody hell are you talking about?"
"Mr. Summers didn’t tell you?" Angel asked sitting down across from Spike at the large oval table. "He gave us a long weekend off. He’s going to Europe with his second wife."
Spike genuinely smiled for the first time that day. It wasn’t that he didn’t enjoy learning from the lawyers at this firm, but he was still human and enjoyed a weekend off every now and then. "That’s great, Peaches, but where are we going?"
"To visit our good friend Charlie and his new girlfriend in Sunnydale," Angel told him standing up. "Hurry up and finish that. I want to be on the road by four."
"Finally! We’re free!" Xander cried humorously as he approached Buffy and Willow standing at their lockers. His exclamation earned him a glare from Principal Snyder who walked by the trio at that very moment.
"Smooth, Xand," Buffy teased.
Xander gave her a sheepish grin before causally draping an arm around her shoulders. "We Bronzing it tonight?"
Buffy rolled her eyes and stepped out of the embrace. "Of course, what else would we be doing?"
A dreamy smile swept over Xander’s face, and Buffy thought the smile was for her. She began to frown and say something before Xander called out, "Hey Cordelia. You gonna be at the Bronze tonight?"
Cordelia, the other object of Xander’s affection, shot him a venomous glare. "Actually, yes, but don’t even think about coming near me. I reserve the right to only dance with cute college boys."
Buffy couldn’t hide her smile at her friend’s rejection. "I guess you’re stuck with us," she told him as she and Willow began walking away from the upset boy.
"Wow, Buffy. That outfit’s awesome!" Willow complimented her friend as she entered Buffy’s bedroom.
Buffy turned around at the redhead’s entrance. She was practically radiating heat with her outfit. She wore a blood red halter-top that revealed much cleavage, skintight black pants that flared a little at the bottom and black leather boots. Her long, wavy hair bounced over her shoulders and down her back. Completing the outfit was her signature cross necklace, simple silver hoops, red lip-gloss and dark eye makeup. "Thanks, Wils. You don’t look so bad yourself." She noticed her usually conservative friend was wearing a mini skirt and a dangerously low tank top.
"Is it too much?" Willow asked nervously fingering the hem of her skirt.
Buffy shook her head furiously. "It’s perfect." She smiled knowingly. "Are we wearing a sexy outfit for anyone in particular?"
Willow pretended to have no idea what her friend was talking about. "Nope, just in case."
"Buffy! Willow!" Xander’s here
Buffy’s smile deepened at her mother’s perfect timing. "K, Mom! We’ll be right down."
"Hey, boys," Charles Gunn greeted his two friends. Gunn and Angel had met in college at UCLA and once he’d been introduced to Spike, they’d hit it off instantly.
"Hiya, Charlie," Spike called knowing Gunn hated it when anyone used his first name.
"Good evening, William," Gunn teased back.
"Fair enough," Spike said with a laugh dropping his duffel bag to shake Gunn’s hand.
For the first time both Angel and Spike noticed a small brunette standing by the front door of Gunn’s house. Gunn noticed them staring and smacked himself for forgetting to introduce his girlfriend. "Guys, this is Fred." He motioned for her to join them in the driveway.
Fred flashed them a smile.
"Nice to meet you," Angel said with a friendly wave.
"Yeah, so what do you and Gunn have planned for us tonight?" Spike asked.
"Well, we thought we could take you two out to dinner and then go to the Bronze."
"The Bronze?" Angel asked.
"It’s the local club in Sunnydale. Really
the only cool place in town," Gunn told them. He noticed the skeptical looks on their faces. "It’s nothing like the clubs in L.A. But everyone there is legal," he lied, knowing his friends wouldn’t want to go to the local high school hangout.
"Sounds like a plan," Spike agreed. He held up the duffel bag in front of him. "Now where can I drop this?"
"I love this song!" Buffy shouted over the blaring music at the Bronze as she danced with Willow and Xander. After what felt to Buffy like the millionth song in a row, she needed a nice, cold beverage. She caught her friends’ attention and pointed to the bar. "You guys want?"
Xander shook his head and Willow mimicked him quickly after. Buffy smiled to herself as she made her way to the bar. It was embarrassingly obvious to everyone except Xander that Willow had a gigantic crush on him. As she ordered a Diet Coke, she noticed a handsome guy with white blonde hair. He was talking and laughing with two guys and two girls.
Buffy, still staring at the handsome stranger, made her way to a nearby table that allowed her the perfect view. She was so intent on her staring that she was completely oblivious as her friend took a seat next to her. "Wil!" Buffy exclaimed, startled as Willow’s arm brushed against hers.
"Sorry," Willow apologized. "What are you
staring at?" She followed Buffy’s gaze, but couldn’t tell who Buffy was looking at.
"Nothing!" Buffy turned back to her friend. "What are you doing here when Xander’s out there?"
Willow made a face. "He’s trying to get Cordelia to dance with him."
Buffy rolled her eyes. "When is he going to learn?"
"Not soon enough," Willow muttered under her breath. Buffy raised an eyebrow at her usually mellow friend’s harsh tone. "I’m going to the bathroom."
Buffy watched Willow walk away and once again found her eyes searching for him. She found him standing in the same spot he’d been occupying since she’d first seen him. Buffy couldn’t help but notice his striking features and the way his face scrunched up when he laughed.
Spike threw back his head and laughed along with his friends at another one of Angel’s amusing stories. Fred had invited her friend Darla, and she and Angel had immediately hit it off. Now Angel was telling the group embarrassing, but humorous stories of life in L.A. Many of them focused around Spike running for coffee or some other tedious errand for their employer.
"I remember one time back in college when we first started hanging out," Gunn started. "That Theta Beta Gamma party? When Spike got hammered and fell off the balcony?" Gunn continued the story, and by the end all five were hysterically laughing.
"Hey, we’ve all done some pretty stupid things, mate," Spike reminded him. "Don’t make me tell Fred about all the things you did back in the day." Spike’s brow furrowed as he felt eyes boring into the back of his head. He turned around to see a petite blonde staring at him from a nearby table. Her gaze shifted to something on the wall behind him, and he wondered if maybe she hadn’t been looking at him at all.
Buffy blushed furiously as he turned to look at her. She quickly averted her eyes to stare at something, anything, behind him. It worked, and he turned his attention back to his friends. Buffy couldn’t help but steal a glance at him again, but this time she found herself staring into deep blue eyes. Once again she averted her eyes, but she was too late. She closed her eyes tight, praying the floor would open up beneath her and suck her in.
Spike smiled to himself when he saw the young blonde squeeze her eyes shut. Putting his beer down on the bar behind him, he excused himself to the bathroom. Spike headed in the direction of her table just as a slow song came from the band on stage.
"Would you like to dance?"
Buffy forced herself to open her eyes and look up into the same blue eyes she’d found herself staring into moments before. "Wh-what?" she stammered.
Spike grinned at her discomfort. "I asked you if you’d like to dance with me."
Author's Chapter Notes:
I had to post the prologue and chapter one together due to the 1000 word rule. Please review and let me know what you think!