The bleached stranger was sitting on the hood, smoking a cigarette. He was holding it with his middle finger and his thumb, switching to a more traditional grasp whenever he tapped ash onto the pavement. "Hello, Love!" he greeted cheerfully, giving her jeans and crop top a lewd once-over. "Did you have a nice shift?"
She zipped up her hot pink vinyl jacket halfway and flipped him the bird. "Fuck off or I'll call the cops." Not that she really expected Valenti and his flunkies to be of any help.
"Call the FBI, too, while you're at it." His eyebrows did an annoying dance and she finally placed who he reminded her of. . .Michael. "I'm sure Mulder an' Scully would love to get a load of you."
"They're fictional, and you're a lunatic." She gave him the Ice Queen glare that made most of Roswell High yelp and run away.
He just tapped his foot on the front bumper and shrugged, unaffected. "Maybe you should drive with me to the loony farm, Miss Isabel," he drawled softly, eyes narrowing. "Or are you waiting for Scotty to beam you up?"
She crossed her arms over her chest, wondering why the street was so deserted when there were usually people everywhere at this time of night. "You're mixing your t.v. shows, Bleach Boy." Okay, she could change her nail polish color and play cds with her finger. Could she blow up people with it, too? Was she going to have to find out?
"Spike," he corrected, flashing her a genuine smile. It made her knees quiver just like the first sound of his voice had. This guy had charisma in spades and wasn't afraid to use it. "I've had enough of insulting nicknames an' plenty of telly in my time. Consider me pop-culture compliant."
"Consider me bored." She tossed her head and turned on her heel. . . ready to walk up the sidewalk and away from the parked car that looked like it came out of a James Dean movie.
His voice followed her and she knew he was hopping off the hood, tossing away his cigarette and walking behind her. "You are that, aren't you? Bored by this little town? By havin' to live your life according to their petty human standards? By people underestimating you? By the small-minded sods who feel you up but don't have any idea wot they're touchin'?"
"Shut up!" she snapped, not looking back at him. But, God, he was right on target. . .
Then he said the one thing that made her stop. The one thing that made her turn around and face a breathlessly handsome psycho with a dumb name.
"There are others things that walk 'round with human faces besides you and your brother, you know."
The arteries in her neck were pulsing. It was like staring at a glass of the best Australian Shiraz in the light--the reds and purples playing just below the surface of her pale skin. Would it be like drinking fine wine after the shit poor beer of human blood? Or would it be poison? Would he die after just one sip? He'd never bitten an alien before, but the prospect was a challenge he couldn't resist.
Her foot tapped restlessly against the sidewalk. "What are you talking about?" She was almost a poster child for ennui. Almost. The spark of interest in her eyes was undeniable.
The street was deserted. There was no need to be coy. He shrugged, gave her a winsome grin, and went game-faced. The boredom was instantly gone, replaced by shock and more shock. "Vampires, Pet," he confided. "Count Dracula and the like and all the other lovely things that go bump in the night." He leaned forward, watching her face grow even more white as he shifted back again. "Little green men and women aren't all that special," he assured with a wink.
"I am not green!" she spat, tossing her head.
It took a few seconds for her to realize that she'd admitted exactly what she wasn't supposed to and the dawning horror made Spike lose any semblance of politeness. He had to steady himself against a shop window as he laughed his arse clean off. "Yes. . .oh, God. . .ha! I-k-knew I w-would--get it out of you."
Miss Isabel was not a happy little happy meal. "Oh, go to Hell!" she muttered.
He straightened up, gasping for air he didn't need. "My sire went there. Sent me a postcard." He dashed tears from his cheeks with his knuckles, glad for the amusement after months and months of non-stop flagellation.
She crossed her arms under her delicious breasts, leveling him with a look that probably froze weaker creatures. "Fine. You got me. I'm an alien." The last word was said with a sneer. "Now what are you going to do with the information?"
Spike closed the few feet of distance between them, watching her flinch but stand her ground, and he grasped her hand like he had inside the Crash Down. He raised it to his lips. "Absolutely nothing," he whispered as he kissed the inside of her wrist, feeling the blood rushing under his caress.
Her mouth was next.