Pleasure Before Pain
by Miss Murchison

Rating: NC-17 for somewhat disturbing sex (well, it disturbs me to realize I wrote this!) and at least one really bad pun.

Disclaimer: Not only are these characters stolen from Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy, I didn’t even get the idea for this story by myself. I was trying to think of an adequate way to say “thank you” to Dr. Dawn and Sisabet for something, and Devil Piglet suggested a Spike/Lilah fic. I hope that after reading this, you don’t wish I’d just gone to Blue Mountain and found a card with dancing sheep and cacophonous music.

Notes: This is more or less in AtS canon, if you can ignore the fact that the two characters in the story never actually met. Remember when Spike hired that icky pedophile vampire to torture Angel in "In the Dark" during Season 1? (Don’t worry, the icky vamp doesn’t really come into this fic.) Just imagine that Spike had a meeting with the torturer in a hotel room when he arranged to hire him.

Lilah hesitated at the hotel room door. This assignment made her nervous. But it was not in her nature to turn down assignments. It was in her nature to claw her way to the top, as efficiently and as ruthlessly as possible. She had long since realized that achieving her ambitions would involve moments of gut-wrenching terror. An assignment that merely made her nervous would hardly have been worthy of a mention in her diary, had she been stupid enough to keep such a thing.

Her hand rapped authoritatively on the hotel room door. It was important to do things authoritatively. If you did, most people assumed you had the power to back up your attitude.

She was not afraid of what she would find inside. She had been careful to make sure the vampire was gone before approaching the door. She knew a lot about bloodsuckers and had no desire to encounter one alone.

The door opened, and she stared into dark blue eyes set over astonishingly beautiful sculpted cheekbones.

Lilah blinked. This man wasn’t dressed with the sophistication that she was used to in the clients of Wolfram and Hart. His leather duster was ancient and stained, the clothes beneath were old and casual, and his hair had been dyed platinum blond. But then, he wasn’t a client. He was a question mark, and she was here to find out the answer.

He wasn’t very tall; those astonishing eyes were level with hers and their expression was quizzical. “Sorry, pet,” he said. “I didn’t call for your kind of room service. You’ve got the wrong bloke.” The accent was English.

Lilah tapped her shoe and looked at him disapprovingly. “I am not a call girl.”

He was impenitent. “A loss to the profession, then.”

She didn’t respond to this, but glanced over his shoulder, edging her way just inside the door as she did so. Nothing special here: just a hotel room with a bed that had not been slept in, in spite of the lateness of the hour. This had obviously been chosen as a neutral meeting place.

“Not that I’m complaining,” said the blond man, leaning against the door. “But just who are you and why the bloody hell are you here?”

“Lilah,” she said. “And you are?” she asked.

He hesitated a moment before responding. “Spike,” he said, in a voice that indicated he was humoring her.

“I really do apologize for intruding,” she said, doing her best Jackie Onassis imitation while she tried to decide on the best means of interrogation. “But I couldn’t help noticing your previous visitor.”

“Then why aren’t you following him instead of chatting me up?”

Rude, thought Lilah. But I did intrude on him right after he was negotiating with a demon torturer. And the face and the body are very nice. She was very conscious of how close he was standing to her. He was a smoker; the acrid smell associated with that habit clung to him. But Lilah didn’t mind that odor; it reminded her of sulfur, and the fires of hell, and all the things she had sworn to uphold and protect when she had sold her soul to Wolfram and Hart.

She wouldn’t want to be seen with this man in public, of course; that punk look didn’t suit her image as an up-and-coming attorney. But in the privacy of a hotel room he was more than nice enough to make fucking him for information pleasure rather than pain. She chose her strategy.

She stepped closer to him. “I’m just an errand girl,” she explained softly. “I’m making sure someone isn’t going where we don’t want him to be. But as long as he’s not bothering one of our clients, his extracurricular activities don’t bother us. In fact,” she raised her eyes to him and gave him her best faux naïve look, “we’ll probably be willing to lend you a bit of an assist.”

His head tilted towards hers. Behind him, the door swung shut, and they were alone in the small, nondescript room. “And what sort of assist,” he asked, his voice deepening slightly, “do you imagine I might need?”

“You might,” she said, her lips moving very near his, “want some protection.”

He chuckled, his voice and posture radiating utter assurance. “Why would I need protection from that git?” he asked, moving his own lips so that they nearly brushed her mouth.

She pulled back just far enough to meet his eyes. “Because he’s a vampire,” she said, watching carefully for his reaction.

“Fancy that,” he said, and his yellow eyes stared into hers.

She tried to jump back, but his arms were around her, hard and strong and permitting no escape. He shook his head, and his fangs and furrowed forehead disappeared as quickly as he had revealed them. His blue eyes were smiling again, but this time she recognized that the capriciousness of a soulless killer was behind that humorous glance. She froze in his embrace, damning herself for allowing this to happen. It should have occurred to her that the vampire might have been meeting with another of his kind.

“My mistake,” she said hoarsely. “I see you can take care of yourself.”

“I’ve had a lot of practice,” he admitted, carefully tilting her head to one side and touching his lips to her neck. “More than you. Seems like a big bad is closer than you thought.”

“So,” she said, trying desperately to speak with assurance, even as she realized just how strong his apparently casual grip was, “why does one vampire need to hire another?”

“Special skills,” Spike murmured. “Not that I don’t have special skills of my own, but they aren’t exactly what I needed in this case.”

“That particular vampire is famous for his ability to inflict pain.” Lilah cursed herself again as she heard her voice squeak on the words.

“I like pleasure before pain,” said the thing that held her, his lips still moving against her throat. His skin was not as cold as she had always imagined a vampire’s would be; it was slightly cooler than a man’s, but still smoldered with the heat he stole from the blood of his victims. Spike’s lips were warm enough to have made her shiver with pleasure had she not already been quaking with terror.

Lilah wanted to survive. But she was inured to the realization that her life expectancy was not good. She, more than most people on the planet, faced the possibility of sudden death each day and night. She would work as hard as she could to avoid that fate, of course. And failing success in her efforts at survival, she would try to make sure her final moments were as pain-free as possible.

She lifted her head, stared into dark blue eyes, and thought, I might even arrange for them to be pleasurable.

Lilah had survived this long by her ability to assess a situation and to understand motivations. The thing before her was a soulless demon that had taken over a human’s body and borrowed some aspects of his personality. Why would a creature like this need to hire a torturer? She could think of only one reason.

She relaxed, leaning against Spike and kissing him deeply, tasting tobacco smoke and what she suspected was the lingering tang of blood from his last meal. She hoped that was what it was. If he had fed recently, he was less likely to be motivated by simple hunger.

He seemed to sense the sincerity of her response, and while it clearly surprised him, it excited him as well. With one blindingly fast movement, his hand raked down the length of her simple but hideously expensive dress, shredding the fabric and dropping it on the floor. The breath was forced out of Lilah’s lungs as Spike tossed her across the room and onto the bed.

She had not been wearing a bra, and now she was clad only in panties, stockings, and garter belt. Experience had taught her many things. One of them was to be prepared, and another was that men preferred women who came prepared in garter belts to those who wore pantyhose.

Spike was apparently no exception to that rule. He murmured his approval of her choice as he climbed onto the bed and ran his hands over her body. Supple fingers ran down her side and dropped to stroke the flesh of her thigh where it was exposed above the top of her stockings. He bent his head, and his lips moved over her breasts, first gently, then more insistently. She moaned with pleasure as his hands and mouth teased her nipples and exquisitely sensitive underside of her breast. Then human teeth bit gently at that soft flesh, making her whine soft sounds of encouragement. She stroked his hair, running her fingers through his blond curls and pressing him closer to her.

Suddenly, his visage changed. She could not see it, but she felt it, an alien and monstrous form pressing intimately against her. For a moment she was frozen in something that was not quite fear. Expectation, perhaps? He was still for a moment, his weight pressing down on her, and she had just long enough to reflect how strong he was and how hopeless any idea of escape would be, when his sharp fang sliced along the side of her breast.

She gasped with pain, and then with relief. The cut was shallow, the sting was only momentary, and the lips lapping up the thin line of blood dripping onto her belly were human again.

Her paralysis left her and she pulled his head down, dizzy with relief and perhaps something more as he drew her life’s force into himself. She moaned softly, her hands writhing in his hair, an involuntary cry of encouragement escaping her lips. He gave an answering growl of satisfaction. The hand resting against her inner thigh slid upwards, under the strap of her garter belt and then between her legs. She heard him chuckle as he encountered the silken fabric of her panties and realized how wet she was, how truly aroused. “So the lady likes bedding the tiger.” His voice was raspy and deep, but the tone was almost smug.

He knows I like this, and he’s getting off on that, Lilah realized. The more I enjoy this, the happier he’ll be. A nice congruence of interests. I want him to be a happy little vampire, too contented with a good fuck to think of his dinner.

Then his fingers found her clit, and expertly exerted pressure in precisely the right spot. She gasped and bit down on her own lip, drawing blood.

He must have smelled it, because he raised his head and kissed her hard against the wound, changing to game face, his fangs scraping her already injured lips. She gasped for breath, fearing for a moment that he would actually strangle her with a kiss. But instead, he pulled away and stood up, reaching down and methodically stripping her of her remaining scraps of clothing.

Fully naked and utterly conscious of her own vulnerability, she watched as he removed his own clothes, tossing shirt and jeans aside while his yellow eyes burned with what she hoped was all sexual passion.

Her eyes strayed to his erect cock, and she was as much distracted as reassured. Lilah had been curious enough about vampires to study what was known of their sexuality, and she knew that Spike’s extraordinary endowment was not standard among the breed. If you had to try out this experiment, girl, she thought, at least you’re doing it with a good specimen.

He climbed back on the bed but did not touch her. He sat watching her, his furrowed brow and amber eyes not allowing her the luxury of pretending she was with a man. She realized that he was waiting to see just how willing she was to fuck a monster.

Lilah sat up, tossing her hair back and smiling at Spike. Very deliberately, she kissed that vicious mouth, slipping her tongue over his sharp fangs and feeling a shiver down into her belly that was as much about excitement as fear. He uttered a low laugh of approval at her temerity and offered no resistance as she pushed him back on the mattress and ran her hands down along his chest and stomach.

As she took his cock in her mouth, Lilah was surprised to realize she was motivated only by curiosity and lust. Had she been doing this to appease him and perhaps buy her own life, her nature would have rebelled against the act. But she was enjoying this more than she could have imagined possible. People talk about grabbing a tiger by the tail as if that were about living dangerously. They should try this for a cheap thrill.

The body beneath hers was gorgeous, all lean strength and smooth muscles. Her own skin glistened with sweat, but he was not perspiring in spite of his obvious arousal. Touching him was like stroking a statue warmed by the sun.

However much he was enjoying her services, he had no need of them to achieve erection; his cock was hard against her mouth and tongue. She slipped a hand under his thigh, caressing the curve of his ass, admiring the perfection of his form. He was murmuring obscene encouragement, and she could tell from the change in the timbre of his voice that he had once again abandoned his game face. If she looked at him now, she would see a startlingly beautiful young man, lost in delight at her attentions.

Lilah raised her head at last when Spike growled suddenly. She looked up, dismayed again, unsure if he were registering satisfaction or annoyance. He flung her over onto her back, spreading her legs and burying his face in her crotch. She almost screamed with the suddenness of pleasure where she had expected pain. Her fingers writhed in his hair. When I imagined being eaten by a vampire, this was definitely not what I had in mind, she thought, and found herself laughing at her own foolish pun. Then she gave up thinking at all for a time. Spike was very good at this, and he made her come more than once, purring like a cat himself when she gasped and trembled.

She had no idea how long they played on the bed, but her body was shaking with fatigue as well as delight when suddenly Spike’s face changed again and he pushed her back on the mattress and spread her legs, entering her and thrusting hard until she cried out in shock.

He growled again and rolled over, taking her with him. She was atop him now, staring into blue eyes that radiated with passion and something that looked oddly like concern.

He’s holding himself back to avoid hurting me. She wondered if it were even a conscious motivation. Suddenly, she was alight with desire again. She rode him eagerly, her thighs squeezing together as her hips rose and fell, the violent enthusiasm of her movements encouraging him to slip back into game face. For a time, her fear was almost forgotten, only a small spark of it burning in the back of her mind, reminding her how close she was to destruction and how precious every vital, pleasurable second was. The longer she played out this exquisite delaying action, the longer she lived.

Lilah realized that the moment of climax could well be the moment of her death. But finally, unable to resist the last wave of pleasure that shot through her, she howled out her orgasm in a combination of exultation and agony.

She was exhausted, having been pushed beyond any level of passion she had ever achieved before. But Spike’s yellow eyes still glowed with insane desire, and his cock was still hard inside her.

She forced herself to remember the danger of her situation, making a mad effort to raise some last adrenaline rush. But she collapsed against his chest, spent. Her skin was slicked with sweat, her hair tangled and clinging to her neck. Every muscle ached; it took the last scrap of energy she still possessed just to draw breath.

Spike laughed and rolled over, pinning her to the mattress below him. His face was human again as he thrust deep inside her, finally taking his own pleasure, throwing his head back and growling with satisfaction.

He was still for a moment. Deathly still. A dead weight against my chest. Then he rolled off her and began scrounging around among the clothing strewn on the floor. He sat up, holding a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. If she hadn’t been completely focused on surviving the next few minutes, she would have laughed at the cliché.

He sat next to her on the bed, smoking his cigarette with his head tilted to one side and a twisted smile on his face. She lay there watching him, still panting slightly. “Well, pet,” he said at last. “How did you like your first vampire?”

“How do you know you’re the first?” she gasped, struggling for her usually assured tone. Her breathlessness gave her away.

He laughed. “You’re obviously used to being the one in the room with the most stamina.”

“Oh.” And you’re obviously used to being the baddest thing in the room—or thinking that you are. She realized she hadn’t answered his question. “It was pretty damn good.”

“Did I bruise you too much?” He crushed out his cigarette on the bedside table, ignoring the ashtray a few inches away. He was much more successful at sounding casual than she.

“Just a bit,” she said. Not nearly as much as you could have. But parts of me will be sore for a week. If I live long enough for Holland Manners to call me on the carpet about this assignment, for once I won’t bitch about it if the bastard doesn’t offer me a chair.

“Did you get what you came for? Figured out what I am and what I’m after yet?”

Lilah hesitated. She knew that her life depended on getting the next lines right. You’re a demon who had to hire someone to torture for you. You get pleasure in bed from watching your partner come. Clearly, you’re not as big a bad as you’d like to think. That response could get her killed. Spike might not glory in pain as much as he thought he did, but he was still a predatory animal whose nature was to feed on her kind. Her fate rested on his whim. If she aimed a blow at his self-image or uttered a remark he perceived as an insult, he would turn on her without hesitation.

“I know what you are,” she said. “And I fear it.”

True enough.

He stood up, pulling on his clothes. “Checkout’s at ten. Stay and rest up if you like. I need to be gone before dawn.”

“Th-thanks.” She was ready to collapse with relief, but forced herself to stay on guard until she was sure he had gone.

He picked up his ancient leather duster, pulling the disreputable thing around him. “I’ve had the pleasure,” he remarked with satisfaction. “Now, for the pain.” He tossed her an affectionate glance as he reached for the door.

It was the look, not the words, that shook her. Affection was not an expression she was used to seeing directed at herself. But, disconcerted as she was, she still could not refrain from asking. “Whose? Whose pain?”

“Bloody great poofter of a vampire named Angel,” he said. And the door shut behind him.

Lilah lay back on the pillows, smiling at the ceiling. She had just had the best and scariest sex of her life and found out the information Wolfram and Hart had sent her to get. That left her alive, sated, and employed. The only problem facing her in the immediate future was the minor one of finding something to replace the shredded dress on the floor to wear home. Damn, she thought sincerely, I really love my job.

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