The meeting ended and people left in even more of a hurry than usual, eyes averted, voices raised in a nervous babble. Spike left with them but waited only a moment before turning back.
Wesley had been stuffing papers into a briefcase as the others left, using it as an excuse to keep his head ducked down. Now he was sitting, head in hands, staring blindly down at the tabletop. Spike came through the door quietly and locked it.
Wesley’s head jerked up and the look he gave Spike was far from pleasant. “Do you mind?”
“Mind you coming this close to making Fred cry? Or mind you pissing Angel off so much he took back the car he was letting me use? Yeah, I do as it happens. Mind you hurting even more though.”
“I’m not – oh, what’s the use? Spike, as you obviously weren’t paying attention, I just had to tell people how two members of my team died last night. Died because of me.”
“You knew those losers were going to mess up the ritual and raise the demon a full half hour early? Guess it was your fault then.”
Wes gave him a goaded, exasperated glare. “Don’t try and make me feel better! I was in charge. Once I got there, saw what had happened –”
“You went through the door, the demon took the heads off the first two it grabbed and you ripped it to bits with bullets before it had even swallowed. Yeah. Lot of chance to regroup, call for back up...and you didn’t need it did you?”
“I should have been first through the door.”
“Then it would’ve killed you – which would have pissed Angel off so much I’d have left the country never mind the building – and because none of them were you, they’d have all died and the demon would be out there eating eyeballs all night. Give it up, Wes. It’s getting boring.”
Wesley walked over to him, trembling with anger. “I’m sorry I’m so tedious, Spike. I mean; what are a few bodies to you? A paltry few lives lost? I suppose if you’d gone out and only killed two people, you’d have called it a slow –”
Spike shook his head. “I was feeling sorry for you.”
“Bad mistake,” Wesley said. “Save it for someone who deserves it.”
“Oh, I got over it about two remarks back,” Spike said. “Now I’m just annoyed with you.”
Wesley shrugged. “I think there’s a club of like minded people in this place. They meet in the cafeteria on Tuesdays and stick pins in an effigy of me.”
Spike grinned, “Think they’ve moved it to Fridays, pet, but good to see the sense of humour returning.”
“I wasn’t being funny.”
“Oh, for the love of –” Spike broke off mid-curse and gave Wesley a speculative look. “Fine. I tell you there’s nothing to feel guilty about and you won’t accept that.”
Wesley sighed. “I know you’re right, I do. I’m just – I can’t help feeling responsible.”
“You are, that’s why. Your team, your men...you were responsible. But Angel’s not going to fire you, or cut your wages...he’s not going to do anything to punish you, is he?”
Wesley blinked. “Of course not.”
Spike moved closer and said softly, “Did you know these conference rooms are sound proofed?”
Wesley found his breath quickening. “Yes, I –”
“Kind of makes you wonder what used to go on in here, doesn’t it?”
“I’d rather not.”
“Door’s locked, Wes.”
Wesley swallowed. “Spike is there a point to all this?”
Spike smiled. “Just thought it’d help you to relax knowing no one can walk in and you can yell as loud as you like.”
Wesley ran a hand over his hair, wondering just when the conversation had stopped making sense. “In point of fact, it’s having quite the opposite effect. Spike, what’s going on?”
“Going to give you what you want, Wes. What Angel knows you want and won’t let you have because he’s a total bastard and thinks you messed up. Not much, but he’s got high standards where you’re concerned.”
That got shoved away to think about later. Wesley couldn’t possibly break that down into bite-sized pieces in a hurry.
“And just what is it that I want?”
Spike’s hands were on him, spinning him around, pushing him down on the table so that the edge dug into the top of his thighs. “That’s clue one.” Keeping one hand in the small of Wesley’s back, though Wesley wasn’t even trying to struggle, Spike reached around and unfastened Wesley’s trousers, tugging them and his shorts down and off, taking his shoe with them. “That’s two...getting warm? Don’t worry. Time I’m done, you’ll be red hot.”
Wesley closed his eyes and let the humiliation seep into him, into every pore, until he was saturated with it, scarlet and shamed. He heard his voice whisper Spike’s name and then the first smack landed and he gasped in pain. His cock was hardening, responding to the situation in a way that added to his guilt and it was trapped between his stomach and the table. Spike paused, put his hands on Wesley’s hips and pulled him back a little.
“Better?” he asked, his voice surprisingly gentle.
Tears stung Wesley’s eyes and he nodded.
The next slap was harder, as though Spike wanted to make up for that small kindness and Wesley prepared to endure whatever Spike thought he deserved. His hands slid against the highly polished table until the friction dampened them and gave him a grip of sorts. He panted, mouth open on a silent scream, not because of the pain, though his arse was stinging and bruised, but because he was seeing the blood, hearing the panicked cries...
“Now this won’t do, Wes. Stop fighting it. Don’t want you being brave.” Spike reached under and grabbed Wesley’s cock, hard and wet-tipped, giving it a squeeze. “Want you yelling, want you begging. Going do that?”
“I –can’t –” Wesley never let go. You did that and you fell and it was a long way down.
Spike sighed and Wesley flinched as the hand went and Spike bent down to tug Wesley’s belt free of the loops that held it in place.
The belt lay against the heated skin, taut and tender and Wesley wondered what Spike meant, exactly, but it didn’t matter. “Yes.”
The belt hurt more, lines of pain, intense and deep, but Wesley missed the touch of Spike’s hand and somehow the hurt just drove his guilt in deeper, making it fester.
Spike cursed, let the belt drop and stood in silence for a moment. “Not making this easy, Wesley.”
Wesley was crying now, tears falling, but not where anyone could see them. The room was empty of anything but the table that supported him and Spike’s hand on his hip, anchoring him and he was so sorry, so very, very sorry...
Then Spike was pulling him up and kissing him, holding his face between his hands, one palm warm still, and Wesley shook his head, because that was right, that wasn’t what he deserved at all and Spike growled, eyes flashing yellow in warning.
“Should be punished –”
“Yeah. And you have been, Wes. You won’t be sitting comfortably for a day or two. But you want to know something?”
Wesley couldn’t speak, because if he did the tears would spill out and he’d have lost the guilt and he needed it.
“I lied. Didn’t spank you to make you feel better, Wes.” Spike shook his head. “Did it because I was here last night when the message came through that your team had been wiped out. By the time Angel got here, we knew you were safe, but me, I spent fifteen minutes thinking you were dead. Fifteen minutes hurting. That’s how long you just had, you bloody selfish, thoughtless bastard.”
Wesley stared speechless as Spike’s anger rose. Then Spike growled and punched him on the arm and Wesley began to laugh, rubbing the bruised spot and letting all the tension leave him.
“I’m – oh, I’m sorry,” he gasped as Spike stood, arms folded now, anger fading to tolerant amusement. “Just...all that and then you punch like a girl...”
“You cheeky sod.”
Wesley took a deep breath and tried to control himself. He gave Spike a shy look. “If you really wanted to punish me further –”
“Not mad at you any more, pet.”
“ – you could pass me my trousers and I could get dressed.”
Spike frowned. “How would that punish you?”
Wesley sighed and glanced down pointedly. Spike grinned. “I got it. Just wanted to see you wriggle.”
“Sorry to disappoint you.”
Spike took Wesley’s hand and pulled him towards the long leather couch. “Conference room’s booked to us for another twenty minutes. Can have you wriggling in five.”
“Really?” Wesley looked interested.
Spike shoved him so that he fell back on the couch and knelt between his legs. “Or less.” He ran his tongue along Wesley’s cock and watched Wesley grind his sore arse against the cool leather. “Oh, you’re too easy...”
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