When Clem dropped the reporter at a hotel after
interviewing Buffy in the car, Cordelia said, “Either I’m getting old, or these reporters are getting so much
younger these days! He barely looked 16!”
“He wasn’t, it’s for a youth
“Oh. So, what’s next on the agenda?”
Buffy read off her schedule. "...I'm on a chat show, ‘In Conversation With’”
“Oh, I’ve seen that. Wes was on
it week before last.”
“Wes?” Buffy asked, and Cordelia
blushed. Buffy smiled. “Come on, spill!”
“Okay, but you must…you know, we’re
trying to keep it hush-hush”
Buffy smiled and nodded, then gave a sideways
glance to Clem.
“Oh, don’t worry about Clem, his
middle name is discretion! It’s Wes Price”
Buffy’s eyes flashed big and she grinned.
“Oh, wow, Cordelia! How did you meet him then?”
“At a party. I was there with Sweet, and
Wes’ Personal Assistant came over and asked me some details. You see, Sweet wants to break out into mainstream films,
rather than just the porn stuff, and he wondered if Wesley would be interested in the lead role for a screenplay he’s
“And is he?”
“Well, he could be. It all depends if
this 'Bond' thing works out”
“Oh, gods, yes! I read about that, while
I was on the plane going to NY! Wow, Spike’s secretary dating James Bond! – Hey, if he gets the role, we’ll
have to start calling you Miss Moneypenny!”
“Don’t you dare! – Want to
know the best thing?”
“Well, at this party, Glory was there,
you know, Glory Benson – she made no bones about wanting him, and he didn’t want to know, you should have seen
her face when we left together!”
Both girls giggled and Clem smiled.
“I hate that Glory – she’s
a real bitch!” Buffy said.
Cordelia frowned. “You haven’t been
on her show yet, have you? – I know she kept phoning me about you.”
“Did she? I met her at the after-show
party at the Indie Radio Awards. She came over to where we were sitting. She kept getting my name wrong, calling me ‘Betty’,
and then when Spike introduced us, he said how she’s got two shows on cable, and she made some bitchy comment how I
wouldn’t know that coz I’d been out clogging the arteries of the general public.”
Cordelia frowned again and said, “What
did she mean by that?”
“She was referring to the fact that I
used to work at a burger bar, before I got the school councilors’ job.”
“Cow. She really is, I haven’t met
ONE person yet that likes her!”
“I got my own back though…I grabbed
Harmony and said, ‘Oh look, there’s somebody FAMOUS over there I’d like to speak to!”
Cordelia went round eyed and shrieked with laughter.
“You didn’t – oh my god, I wished I could have seen her face!”
“Yeah, well... in my book, if you can’t
take it, you shouldn’t dish it!” Buffy said.
“Very true. Well, this is my stop coming
up…Clem, can you drop me off on the Starbucks parking lot? I hope my cousin isn’t late meeting me.” Cordelia
unclipped her seat belt and picked up her purse.
“Will do.” Clem checked his mirror
and drew up onto the lot. Cordelia got out and took two bags out of the trunk, and then waved them off.
“You okay there, Buffy?” Clem asked.
“Fine thanks, Clem. Um...how long is it
until we're there?”
“Oh…in this traffic, I’d say
just under an hour.”
“Great, I’ll have time for a shower
before my first interview.”
“Hello, could I speak to Miss Glory Benson,
“I’m afraid she’s at
the recording studios doing her chart rundown show. Can I help? I’m her researcher, Cassie Newton.”
“Oh, perhaps you can. It's Riley Finn
“Right! Hello, how can I help you?”
“Well you see, I’ve just been contacted
by my wife, and she’s got leave and is coming home in four days time, she’s with the Peace Corps, and we didn’t
think she’d be home until nearer Christmas you see, but well, as Glory told me if I came on the reunion show I could
have luxury hotel accommodation for a few days, and have anything I liked, well, I know this sounds a bit cheeky but, well,
could I bring my wife – would that be allowed do you think?”
Cassie couldn’t stop smiling. Wife –
he had a wife!
“Your wife you say, right, um, hold on…um………”
Cassie held the receiver to her chest thinking quickly, then she said, “Um...tell me Mr Finn, is Glory aware that you
“No, no it didn’t come up in conversation.
Why, is there a problem?”
“Oh, no, no problem at all. Yes! Um, yes,
that will be fine, I’ll make arrangements for another flight for you…did she say the Excelsior or the Holiday
Inn do you know?”
“The Holiday Inn. Oh, wow, I can’t
wait. Sam will love this!”
“My wife. She deserves a treat…and
I wanted her to meet Buffy.”
“Right…um, would you do me a favor
Mr Finn, and not mention this to Glory?”
“Oh, um...all right. Will there
be a problem then – because if it-“
“NO! No, don’t worry…it’s
just that she forgets what she promises sometimes, you know, luxury this, and no expense spared that, then she starts to fret
about the budget, the less she knows, the um, the less she can worry about – you know how it is. Oh, that’s great
– I see it won’t cost us anymore as I see we’d booked you a suite at the hotel anyway, so it’s only
the cost of a flight, that’ll be absolutely no problem!” Cassie was crossing her fingers, hoping she sounded convincing.
“Really – great, so what about the
flight tickets, will you -?”
“Don’t you worry Mr Finn, I’ll
arrange it all, send you the flight tickets. I haven’t got to inform the hotel as you’ve got a suite already booked.”
“Well, thank you, Miss…Miss?”
“Newton, Cassie Newton. I’ll get right onto the travel
people right now, and I’ll send you the airplane tickets as soon as they come through, okay?”
“Sure there won’t be a problem –
because I don’t want to build my wife’s hopes up only to-“
“I assure you, Mr Finn, no problem, honestly,
consider it done. Goodbye.”
“Thank you, bye Miss Newton.”
Cassie ended the call, and she was grinning.
Glory only had herself to blame for this. After all, she did say that Riley could have anything he wanted if he came
to LA for the show…and the man wanted to bring his WIFE – that wasn’t unreasonable now, was it?!
Something Glory hadn’t even thought about,
Immediately Cassie went on-line and arranged
another flight from Iowa to LA.
“I bet she didn’t even think to
ask Riley if he was even in a relationship now!” Cassie said to herself, and smiled when the ‘Flight confirmed’
noticed flashed on the monitor and she booked another ticket.
She couldn’t wait to see Glory’s
face when this nasty little scheme of hers came crashing down around her ears…on LIVE TV too!
“Tell me honestly, do my eyes look like
piss-holes in the snow?”
Cecily stood still while Dru looked her in the
“Um.. well, they are a little reddish,
but they’ll soon clear. Open the car window and get some fresh air.”
“Yeah, okay. So, you gonna come with me?”
“What, to work with you?! – No way!”
“Oh, come on. You won’t be asked
to DO anything!”
“Sure? Coz I don’t want to
get there, and then this Tucker guy thinks he can use me as a flufferer or whatever it’s called...coz he can think again!”
“A what – oh, you mean a fluffer!
We don’t use ‘em – no need in this day and age, not with Viagra, the um, ‘interest’ doesn’t
flag anymore. These men don’t have trouble getting and keeping ‘wood’ now, they just pop a pill before hand,
and then make like the Energizer bunny all day – come on then if you’re coming, I said lunchtime, Tucker will
have a fit if he has to wait any longer”
Dru followed Cecily out, to be truthful, she
was more than a little curious…
Buffy tingled all over when Spike’s deep
sexy voice almost purred down the phone to her. “Hi, we’ve just got here. I’m checked in and I’m
going to have a shower.”
“You made good time then. How was the
radio interview in the car?”
“Fine. Golly, he was young – couldn’t
have been more than 16!”
“Really? – Oh, yes, it was for the
youth radio thing. It’s a project for kids with an interest in broadcasting. So, you’ve just got the one tonight,
haven’t you pet?”
“Yes, the ‘In Conversation With’.
Tomorrow’s the biggie with four!”
“Well, make sure you get enough rest,
won’t you, kitten?”
“I will, oh, someone’s at the door,
I better go.”
“’Kay, baby. Have fun.”
“Can I phone you later?”
“Course you can. If I’m unavailable,
leave a voice message, or a text, and I’ll get back to you if I’m not too late. Xander and me are going out doing
a bit of band talent spotting tonight. I’ll let you go then, kitten. Bye now.”
Buffy opened the door and there stood
a bellhop. “For miss Buffy Summers.” He handed her a single red rose all done up in pretty cellophane with red
trailing ribbons. Buffy looked surprised, and took the flower, thanking and tipping the lad as she closed the door. She flipped
the card open and read,
‘Will miss you tonight and the next
three. Good luck, lots of love, Spike XXX’
Buffy beamed and sniffed the heady perfume.
She felt all warm and happy inside. She’d miss him too, not just the great... well, fantastic...sex, but she’d
miss the closeness of him holding her and her waking up in his arms. Her favorite thing (well, almost favorite!)
“Better make it quick, the boss is already
on my back this morning. So what is it this time?” Willy asked Glory. She was dressed as last time, baseball cap pulled
well down over her eyes.
“I want this journalist mate of yours
to see if he can trace Buffy’s father.”
“Shouldn’t be too difficult. What’s
“Well, if I knew that, Einstein, I wouldn’t
need the help of this friend of yours, now would I?”
“I thought you had researchers for this
sort of thing!” Willy said, glaring up at her. This little bitch ought to start treating him with a bit more respect!
“I don’t want them knowing too much…stuff
gets out, and I want this to be a TOTAL surprise, okay?” Glory toed the cracks in the ground with her booted foot, not
looking at Willy.
He knew she was a devious bitch, he didn’t
know what she was planning, but it seemed really important to her, so, now was the time to put a price on the info she wanted.
“Okay…say I get him to trace daddy dearest for you. What’s in it for me?”
“Your Journalist mate will get the exclusive,
honestly – it’ll be a big scoop, I promise.”
Willy smirked, and shook his head saying, “No,
no, no, no, no, no, no. You didn’t hear me. I said, what’s in it for ME?”
Glory stopped making patterns in the dirt and
looked at him.
“You don’t think I’m doing
this just for a ‘drink’ do you?” Willy smirked again, folded his arms and leant against the fire-exit door.
Glory rolled her eyes. “How much?”
Willy pretended to look hurt. “Oh
now, don’t be like that…I thought that perhaps we could, you know…" He ran a grubby finger down her cheek.
"get better acquainted.”
“WHAT! Why you weaselly little –
GET OFF ME!” She pushed him and Willy went flying backwards straight through the fire doors.
“HELLO…WILLY, IS THAT YOU DOWN THERE?…WILLY?…WILLY!”
Warren called out over the stairwell railings. Daylight flooded
in through the exit doors and Warren wondered just what his
errant barman was up to this time.
Willy stood up and dusted himself down, and
squinted after the quickly retreating figure of Glory running down the alleyway.
“You can run, bitch…but you
won’t do that to me twice…” Willy muttered to himself.
“What the fuck are you doing now?”
Warren asked irritably, standing in the doorway.
“Thought I heard something boss…just
some punks messing about, that’s all” Willy came back inside, slamming the doors shut and making sure that the
release bars were set properly.
Warren didn’t believe him for a second,
he’d heard a female voice he was sure, but couldn’t be bothered to question him about it.
Willy took the stairs two at a time. He’d
get the info Glory wanted, but the price for it had just gone up, two-fold.
The show went like clockwork for Buffy and after
having a quick soda and chat with the other two guests in the green room, she left for the hotel. She said goodnight to Clem,
who was in the room next door, and went in her own room. She threw off her lace shawl, kicked off her shoes and sat on the
bed. She took out her cell-phone and called Spike. She got his message desk, and realized that he either must be either still
out band spotting with Xander, or driving. She left him a little goodnight message and said she’d contact him sometime
tomorrow between interviews.
Xander slapped his thigh laughing, Spike was
“Oh god, did you SEE that guy?! What an
IDIOT – ‘What did you think of my impersonation of Slash’ he said – I don’t know how I didn’t
laugh in his face!” Xander said, giggling.
Spike grinned too. “Well, you get them
like that. They stand in front of the wardrobe mirror at home, playing ‘air guitar’ to Jon Bon Jovi or what have
you, and they think they can be super-stars. "
“But... I mean, he only knew three chords!”
“Well, that never stopped Status Quo.
It was the beer-belly over the hipster jeans that made ME laugh – he actually told me he read somewhere the girls say
they love it – I had to break it to him, that it was a six-pack the girls love, not to look like he DRANK a six-pack
This set them of laughing again.
Spike’s mobile phone beeped and he smiled
as he shifted gear. “Ah, good…I bet that’s my baby all safely tucked up in bed now, well I hope it is!”
Xander smiled. “She’s a lovely girl,
“I know, mate!” Spike flashed him
a grin and turned off the highway to take Xander home. “So, how’s things going with you and Harm –
you ‘fessed up about still living at home with your parents yet?”
“Things are great – really well
actually. But the other thing? - Well, no, I’ve not exactly come clean. I told her I’m having the place
re-decorated all through, so I need to find somewhere quick, and get it decorated. Where are we, anyway?”
“Merryvale, right by Sweet’s porno
film studios,” Spike said.
Xander ducked his head and squinted out of the
window across to the low building. “Oh yeah.”
Spike slowed the car as they came to some traffic
lights, and then stopped as they were on red. From off the studio parking lot a taxi cab slid into the traffic, coming along
side Spike’s car. Xander casually looked out of the passenger window, and got a shock. He blinked, looked straight ahead,
and then back through the side window into the taxicab. He grabbed Spike’s leg, just as the cab turned left as the lights
changed, and Spike had indicated to turn right.
“Ow! Xander, what the fuck - bloody
hell! Why did you do – ow – what was THAT for!”
Spike glared angrily at his passenger, steered
the car one-handed and rubbed his thigh with the other.
Xander looked...well, shocked.
“Oh my god. Oh my GOD, you’ll NEVER guess who I’ve just seen?”
Spike frowned, shifted gears and accelerated.
“Don’t tell me, Burt Reynolds. Well, it isn’t him, it’s just a guy that works there that has this
big mustache and...."
“No! Spike no, listen to me!”
“....besides which, Burt Reynolds is too
old now to...“
“Will you shut the fuck up about Burt
bloody Reynolds! I SWEAR to god, I just saw....I saw... Drusilla.”
“What? Don’t be a dick. Of course
you didn’t!” Spike frowned, and turned right into Park Lane.
“I swear! She looks thinner in the face,
but I’d know those eyes anywhere!”
Xander wasn’t smiling now, he looked deadly
serious. Spike shook his head and dismissed what Xander said. “No. Trick of the light – you saw the girl
in that cab for what, a couple of seconds, max? Dru’s in England, has been for the last two years, since she, well,
you know, that roof business.”
“Hello! There are such things as planes
you know! They fly regularly back and forth over the Atlantic!”
Spike pulled up outside Xander’s house.
Every light blazed and there was a bedroom window wide open, with several items of clothing lying on the grass. There was
still a shirt dangling from the sill. Even in the car, he could hear the argument that was raging inside the house.
Xander’s shoulders fell, he closed his
eyes and rubbed his face. “Oh fuck. I forgot, Welfare benefit day, they’ll both be pissed out of their skulls.”
He turned to look at Spike, who winced in sympathy.
“Well, how are you supposed to sleep through
“I put the headphones on, and turn up
whatever I’m listening to really loud. It drowns out everything. I didn’t even know the police had arrived last
time, until the officer came into my room and took them off my head, told me they were taking my dad down to the cells to
“The police – fuckin’ hell
Xand, how can you live like this?”
Xander shrugged. “You get used to
“Come on, get back in.”
“You can’t go in there. It sounds
and looks like a bloody war-zone!” Spike’s statement of truth was verified when suddenly there was a loud
bang and the sound of broken glass as one of the front windows smashed. Whatever had been thrown through rolled over the lawn,
and the shouting could be heard even louder now.
“Get in, come on – hell, listen.”
Spike pushed the passenger door open from the inside, and Xander got in. They could hear the police car siren getting louder
as Spike pulled away.
“But where are we going?”
“You can stay at mine tonight –
and then priority tomorrow, you are going flat hunting!”
When they got to Spike’s place, he got
out a spare quilt from the airing cupboard and pulled out the sofa into a bed.
Nothing more was said about Xander’s ‘sighting’
of Dru, but when Spike got into bed, and after he’d listened to Buffy’s message and text’ her back, he lay
down and started thinking. He hadn’t thought about Dru in a long time, and definitely not since he’d clapped eyes
No, Xander must have been mistaken. Trick of
the light, or rather lack of it would be more accurate. Spike closed his eyes and settled down.
He went to turn over onto his side, and suddenly
a thought struck him, and he remembered something Sweet had said to him at the last monthly meeting, when he’d been
ticking him off just before he left...
**“I know how things are, it must be a
little hard for you at the moment, it came as a shock to me when I saw her,” ** Sweet had said. At the time, Spike
thought Sweet had finally flipped, the drugs too much for his addled brain… “Oh fuck, what if he WAS talking about
Dru – shit! Well, she just better stay well away from me” Spike mumbled to himself. He turned over, pulling up