Damned If I Don't, Damned If I Do
Part Three of The Damned Series


PART TWO: 31st December 2003

Chapter Four: Competition

"That is so funny, I mean who could say that wasn't funny, because I couldn't, that's for sure." Buffy was fully aware that she was laughing a little to loudly over a joke that she hadn't really been listening to, but the guy she was standing with just smiled broadly, lapping it up.

"Yeah I know, well then I told the coach he could stick it. I mean I don't get paid enough to deal with goats, y'know." He was chuckling himself.

He looked really cute when he laughed. He was no Troy though. Buffy's gaze cut quickly across the room to where Faith and the Adonis were sitting on chairs, animatedly discussing something. Something obviously more interesting than...hang on, goats? He was talking about goats? She must have really got lost somewhere in that conversation.

She looked back up at the guest she was fast seducing. "Totally. You should definitely get more money for, uh, goats." Maybe he was talking about ghosts, because that would make more sense to her.

"Well I'm in software now. No goats to be seen."

"Uh huh." He had nice light brown eyes that lit up when she smiled at him. Lots of what her mom called 'laughter lines' too, which had to be a good sign. Maybe she should ask his name again.

"So, your glass is empty, can I get you a refill?" He reached out a hand.

Out of the corner of her eye Buffy saw Faith glance over. Laughing heartily she slipped her hand under his elbow. "That's a great idea. I'll go with you."

He smiled uncertainly. "Okay, sure."

Great now she was freaking him out. "Cool." Her smile probably dazzled him, so she turned abruptly and dragged him by the arm to the kitchen.

She didn't fail to notice Faith watching them, but pretended to.

Once out of sight, her enthusiasm slumped slightly and she let go of the guys arm to go to the fridge. "So what can I get you?"

"A beer would be good." He was standing close to her side still and rested his elbow on the fridge door when she opened it. "So would you like to go out one night next week? Van Helsing is showing at Tower City."

Handing him his beer, Buffy laughed again and went to pour herself some more wine. "Now that was a good one." She told him, still giggling.

He leaned his butt against the table and snagged a piece of pie from a plate. "I don't get it?" He was still smiling at her sweetly.

"Oh. You mean that wasn't a joke? You really want to see the movie?" Oh well, it takes all sorts, she thought.

"Yeah why not? Looks fun. All those scary monsters all over the place." He grinned a little. "But if you're scared we can always see something else."

"Scared? Yeah that's little old me. Brrrr." She mocked a shiver of fear. Or, she thought, maybe it was real. The thought of having to sit through another bad vampire movie was enough to scare her. And one where the slayer was a guy? Like that would work.

He left the table to walk closer to where she was standing, drinking her wine and thinking about how she could so kick Van Helsing's ass. "So did you want to see another film instead?" He smiled down at her; he didn't have dimples. "I don't mean to seem pushy, but your friend Xander said you were single and, well, a pretty woman like you probably won't stay that way for very long, and I don't want to miss the opportunity."

"Okay." He was a nice guy, you couldn't deny that. Or at least he seemed like a nice guy and she wasn't getting any bad vibes off of him. And he was clean and good-looking and polite and she'd basically be a fool if she turned him down. So she repeated: "Okay."

His smile got even bigger. "Thursday?" She nodded. "Okay, can I ask you one last thing?"


"I have to go in a minute. My sister got a late flight in from Florida so she could spend New Year with the family and I have to pick her up." Buffy listened to this without really knowing what it had to do with her. "So I was wondering if I might be able to kiss you now. Y'know, as a happy new year." His bit his lip a little. It was cute.

"Well if it's for new year." She smiled.

He brushed a strand of hair from her face and leaned down to kiss her. She responded automatically, her lips moving with his in an almost robotic manner. She lifted her hands and rested them on his shoulders and tilted her head back, offering him more.

Instead of deepening the kiss he pulled back. "Are you okay?"

"Uh huh, totally. Why wouldn't I be?"

She felt his shoulders move under her hands as he shrugged and kissed her again. Almost at once she opened her mouth to him and his tongue went between her lips, and...


Alarmed she jumped back. "What? What did I do?"

Luckily the guy was laughing. The guy? She couldn't call him that on their date. What was his name? There was no way she was going to admit arranging to go out with him and kissing him without even knowing his name.

"You bit my tongue." He explained, still chuckling.

"Shit, sorry. I don't normally do that, but you put it in my mouth." She was only too aware of how majorly weird that sounded.

"I thought you wanted me to."

"I did, but..." She took a breath and moved back into him. "Let's try again and I promise, no biting this time."

Grinning he kissed her for a third time. She tried to let herself get carried away, without damaging him. When he was slow to initiate a full kiss himself this time, she went ahead and entered his mouth first, rubbing her tongue over his - almost inviting him to bite her back, but he didn't. She laced her hands around the back of his neck and pulled herself up on tiptoe as she leaned into him, deepening the kiss further.

She had no idea how long they stood there kissing before she finally admitted defeat.

She stepped back abruptly, making him almost fall forward in surprise. "It's not working."

"What's not?"

"The kissing. I'm sorry, but it's not working."

He went red and she felt terrible. "That's, um, weird. It was working fine for me." He was way too casually holding his hands in front of him now and she would not laugh. This was all her fault after all. She would not rub salt in his face, or whatever.

"I really am sorry. I'm sure you are a great guy that I'm probably going to regret not getting to know better, but right now, I probably shouldn't. I am sorry."

"Hey, it's okay. You tried, can't do more than that." He headed back to the living room door. "I'd better get my coat and go get my sister." He hesitated. "Um, I don't want to sound like a jerk here, but it wasn't my kissing, was it? I mean I didn't put you off with lethal bad breath or something? Only you seemed interested until we kissed."

Smiling sadly, she shook her head. "Not you at all. The kiss wasn't bad, don't worry. There was just no sparkage." Big sigh. "I think I've been spoiled for life. I'll probably never enjoy another kiss again." Realising how that sounded, she quickly added. "Not because you did anything wrong. Just...because."

Nodding, he left quickly.

Chapter Five

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