Creative Literary Criticism
Disclaimer: Joss, not me.
Summary: Victorian (some Romantic) poetry and spanking. Because smart is sexy.
There was a truly magnificent Los Angeles sunset blinding Lilah as she dialed a familiar number for the first time from her new office. She reminded herself Linwood’s office needed blinds yesterday, and wrote it down on the list as Wesley kindly but firmly informed her he wasn’t interested in tonight’s evil scheme, which meant she had a better-than-average shot of getting him to play tonight.
“You’re not…afraid, are you?” Lilah purred into the phone, twisting the cord around her fingernails. “Scared that the Wolfram and Hart miasma might pollute your noble soul?”
Wesley snorted. “I’m simply curious why you want to celebrate your Byzantine triumph at Wolfram and Hart,” he said, lying through his teeth. Lilah laughed, leaning back in the buttery leather chair she’d had delivered from Italy (compliments of Ilona, who had sent kisses, the chair, and wine for ridding Wolfram and Hart of that womanish coward Linwood), because she’d heard Wesley’s line before.
“Maybe because this is the site of my diabolical triumph?” Lilah asked sarcastically. “Or maybe…just maybe…it’s because I’ve been wallowing in my triumphs and I need you to remind me of the error of my ways.”
Pause. Lilah could almost hear him swallow at what she was offering by omission. “Damn you,” he growled.
“Already done, lover,” Lilah said. “Don’t worry. I’ll make sure nobody ever sees the brave and shining Wesley Wyndam-Pryce entering the sin den.”
True to her word, fifteen minutes later, a tousled deliveryman was admitted to Ms. Morgan’s impressive new office, carrying a dozen roses and looking disgusted. “From your secret admirer, Miss Morgan,” he said disgustedly.
“Is there a card?” Lilah asked, smiling as if she had no idea who this random deliveryman was, even as she ran her fingers over her neck and accidentally kept licking her lip. At his curt nod, she pouted. “Read it for me, or I warn you, your tip…”
With an annoyed grunt, the deliveryman cleared his throat, and opened the card. “Congratulations on your new position — you’ve earned it. Love, you know who,” he said, and then paused. “That’s all?”
Lilah smiled again, all innocence. “We do have decency laws in this town,” she said, standing up and leaning over to admire the roses, inhaling deeply. “They’re beautiful, aren’t they?”
Wesley, his eyes rather more focused on a different view, very deliberately walked around the desk so that his body pressed full-length against hers.
“They have a certain showy loveliness,” he said, his fingers biting into her wrists. “Though I’m always reminded of the Blake poem when I see a red rose in full bloom.”
“O Rose, thou art sick!” Lilah said, arching her body so that she was half bent over the desk. “And then some nonsense about worms and sex being evil and deadly.”
Wesley’s mouth was suddenly hot against her ear, forcing her closer to the desk. “I didn’t know Wolfram and Hart paid its minions to be literary critics,” he said mildly, twisting one of her arms behind her back.
“Consider it an amateur pursuit,” Lilah murmured, wriggling against his erection as she tried to find leverage in her position.
“And what are we pursuing?” Wesley asked, releasing her wrists and stroking his way down the curve of her spine, over her ass, and then back up again.
“Crimson joy,” Lilah said defiantly. “Fruits sweeter than honey from the rock, stronger than man-rejoicing wine, clearer than water…”
Wesley smiled, and it was a fond smile. “A goblin market,” he said, the first blow falling sharply. Lilah made the faintest sound that wasn’t quite a whimper, or a moan, but somewhere between. “Though at least no one need ever name you false about yourself.”
“Sweet to the tongue and sound to the eye,” Lilah replied tartly, ass in air and legs parted just far enough to be obscene. Wesley chuckled.
“And modest, too,” he said, the next smack sounding almost muffled except for Lilah’s squeal from the impact. “Of course, it all rather reminds me of Browning.”
Lilah, who was clearly better read that Wesley had imagined, shivered but didn’t let go of the desk, arching into the slow, deliberate spanking he was giving her, eyes heavy-lidded and half-closed, the only noise the occasional choked moan when Wesley continued the slow harshness of the game.
The skirt, lifted. The hose, pulled free, and the slow caress of reddened skin. The sound of his belt, clicking as he undid it and pulled it free, drawing the leather up the back of her thighs. And Wesley was aching now, wanting her so badly, hating that she could be so perfectly obedient. That his entire body was tensed with anticipation for the moment when he could simply…
“That moment,” he said, stroking her neck, “She was mine, mine, fair, perfectly pure and good.”
Lilah shuddered. “Find a thing to do,” she ordered, knuckles white against the polished wood of the desk as she dug in, willing, waiting, and oh-so-warm.
Wesley groaned, thrust, and earned a passionate siren’s wail for his sins. Thrust deeper. His, his, and so beautiful, that long white neck, those throaty frantic cries. If only they weren’t both damned, if only he could care enough about the immortal soul buried and mourned, but one wicked word, the right smile, and he found himself deeper in and uncaring if she burnt for eternity.
She shrieked before letting go of the desk and shuddering, relaxing under him, and Wesley had to hold her to finish. He was quite sure she felt no pain; a truth confirmed by the whiskey-velvet growl of laughter Lilah gave when she sat herself in the chair, hair wantonly hanging in her face, blouse wrinkled.
“Glad to have your utmost will, Wes?” she asked, eyes cast up wickedly.
“You’ll never know what that is,” Wesley said, suddenly disgusted. “You and your goblin market could never know.”
“And yet the juice never turns to wormwood, does it, Wes?” Lilah asked, rising to her feet and brushing one arm across his chest slowly enough that he was tempted to break it. “No matter how many sweet sister Lizzies offer to give you the right fruit to suck clean. Porphyria worships *you*…and instead of looking the other way, your heart swells.”
Wesley angrily took her into his arms, very close. “Do you think you’ve won?” he asked, no longer amused.
“I don’t think we’re playing, lover,” Lilah said coolly. Regally, reminding him that no matter what else Lilah was, she remained the mistress of Wolfram and Hart. “I think I’m stating a fact.”
“You don’t know what I want,” Wes said, aware that his body was disagreeing with him, aware that it would be dawn before he crawled back to his apartment with a new array of scratches, bites, and a very sore back and jaw. Worse yet, the idea was more attractive than not, starting with ridding Lilah of the rest of her clothing. He wished, rather belatedly, that he hadn’t thought of the word mistress, at least not so early in the evening, as well.
“Probably not,” Lilah said, warm and willing — far too willing — in his arms. “But I’m the one who wants to.”