Chapter 3: Infatuating
Buffy's odour still remained on the fluffy pink jumper Spike held to his nose. It smelt of sweat, washing powder and the fruity deodorant that she always like to wear. There was a slight hint of shampoo too.
The vampire nuzzled the fabric against his nose, going dizzy with the scent.
It was a rare opportunity to have the house to himself so he decided to use it wisely, and began to search for more of Buffy's things. Perhaps there would be a top or a pair of jeans, screwed up at the back of a draw of the bottom of a cupboard which wouldn't be missed.
Adjacent to the door was a chest of drawers which he began to rummage through. Lacy underwear ran of Spike's fingers and he smiled, imagining Buffy wearing it, or even better, not wearing it.
Then his hands slid over something wooden and curious, Spike pulled it out to reveal a small box.
Should I open it? he wondered. It would be an invasion of Buffy's privacy.
He looked around at what he was doing, shrugged, and opened the lid.
Inside were a couple of photos of Buffy and her friends, of a younger buffy holding a new-born Dawn, a necklace made of pasta and a pair of tickets to her prom at Hemery.
But they weren't what Spike noticed.
The only thing he saw was the shining skull ring which used to belong on his own finger. He hadn't seen it in almost a year, when he gave it to Buffy as her engagement ring.
God, how he had hated Willow for messing up that spell at the time? Now he was grateful for just the memory of Buffy's lips on his, of her hands on his body. He was grateful for just one night when she loved him.
Spike took out the ring and examined it.
It didn't look as though it had been touched since it had been placed in there. But the fact that it was even there meant the world to Spike. He always assumed that it ended up on a garbage dump somewhere.
Instead, it was in a box with what appeared to be Buffy's most treasured possessions.
Before he had time to ponder it further, Spike heard clumsy footsteps coming up the stairs.
He shoved the box into the draw, hurriedly replacing all the underwear on top and slammed shut the draw.
Riley burst into the room to see Spike holding Buffy's pink fluffy jumper. "What are you doing in here?"
"Errr…I was just…ummm," Spike struggled. "What are you doing in here?"
"Looking for the girl who's going to rip your arms off when she find out you were in her room," Riley snapped back without missing a beat.
"Oh yeah? Well, me too," Spike lied. If fact, he had been hoping for the opposite, praying that Buffy didn't find him there.
Riley studied him. "Were you…were you just smelling her sweater?"
Spike looked down at the clothing in his hands.
He began to deny it but soon realised there was no point. "Yeah, alright, I did. It's a predator thing, nothing wrong with it. Know your enemy's scent. Whet the appetite for the hunt," he explained.
Aggressively, Spike sniffed the sweater again, snarling as he did.
"Yeah, that's the stuff. Slayer musk. Bitter and aggravating and…"
"Out," Riley ordered.
It wasn't until he was being escorted down the stairs that Spike realised he was still clutching the ring in his hands.
As Riley pushed Spike towards the door, Spike growled at him but slipped the ring back onto his finger, into its rightful place.