Watchers Council – Library – Morning
Willow stopped at the library door when she saw Rowena sitting at a table, draped in sunlight. The noise from the entryway made the blonde watcher look up.
“I stopped by here last night, but you were gone,” Rowena remarked.
Willow looked down the hallway, as if searching for some distraction or way to escape. “I thought I’d get to bed early. I wanted to see Faith off today,” she finally answered.
“Well, I think I might have found something,” Rowena offered.
“A spell?” Willow asked.
“Nope. Good old fashioned democracy,” Rowena said, holding up a printout. Curiosity lit the witch’s eyes and she walked over to take the paper. “I picked up where you left off,” Rowena went on. “I traced exactly how Palmer got the approval.”
“City Hall voted and it was unanimous,” Willow answered, reading.
“True, so I did some checking to see if the city has the power to just make policy without public input. They can, but there’s a catch.”
Willow looked up. “Being?”
“They must inform the public of the vote, so that anyone wishing to express opposition to the proposal can do so. I’ve traced the newspapers, radio spots and television archives. The city gave no notice to anyone about Palmer Corp’s plans and the vote. That means the decision could be reversed if enough people complain at the next city hall meeting.”
“Which is?” Willow asked, her face brightening at the news.
“Not a lot of time,” Willow remarked, deflating.
“No, it’s not. We, as the Council, can complain, since their expansion here on the lake isn’t far from us. But we’re only one business. We’d have to recruit other businesses around us. I’m thinking of a girl scout campaign – send our younger slayers out to the businesses all doe-eyed, asking that they all help save the environment by coming to the meeting tonight. And if need be, we can bribe them with cookies.”
Willow giggled, then caught herself and tried to look humorless again.
“Hey,” Rowena continued with a grin. “I’m serious about the cookie thing. I have Andrew baking right now. I thought maybe you could pull Marsha out of class to organize the troops and give the other girls a half day so they can get to the businesses before five tonight.”
“What time is the meeting?”
“Seven. Jeff is good with graphic design, so I asked him if he’d do a flyer and get them finished by noon.” She paused. “I…didn’t find out about Lily until Andrew mentioned it. Jeff agreed to do it, no problem, but I wouldn’t have asked if I’d known.”
“That’s okay,” Willow told her. “Besides, something to keep him busy might be a good thing right now.” Willow took a deep breath. “So…we’ve got a plan of attack, then?”
“I think this might be our only shot. Palmer Corp won’t like us very much, but Necksa will be pleased, I hope.”
“I’ll take my chances with Palmer any day,” Willow retorted. “I hate to ask, but can you oversee all this? I’ve got a meeting with Giles and Robin today.”
“Sure, I’ll let you know how it goes,” Rowena told her. Willow nodded, and she had started toward the door when the blonde watcher called out. “Willow?” The high priestess turned around and waited for Rowena to go on. Rowena looked nervous, swallowing hard before she spoke. “I really am sorry. I…I really hope we can start over again.”
Willow looked at the floor. “I appreciate your help on this, I do, but…” The witch finally looked up again. “I think maybe we should just stick with this…the research gig. I’m not sure I trust you for anything more than that.”
Rowena took a deep breath and nodded, but said nothing. Silently, Willow left the room. After a few moments, Rowena picked up the phone and dialed.
“Hey Becca, it’s Rowena…yeah I have. Willow will be here tonight, but I have to go to a City Hall meeting. Could you come over around seven? Oh, well I don’t want to upset your plans with Giles…Are you sure? Okay, great. I know I’ve said it already, but, thank you, sincerely…you too. Bye.”
Watchers Council – Jet Cabin – Same Time
“Now this is style,” Hope casually remarked as she opened the doors to the Council jet’s mini-bar. She pulled out two soda cans and turned back to Faith. “Catch,” she said, a second before she threw it.
The slayer caught it with ease and placed it in the cup holder beside her.
“All that’s missing is a butler,” Hope teased.
“Yeah, well, Andrew couldn’t come. He had to play Betty Crocker,” Faith said dryly.
Hope grinned and took her seat across from Faith again. “You’ve really made somethin’ outta yourself. I mean, look at this – your own private jet and everything.”
“As if there was any doubt,” Faith answered sarcastically. “And no, this isn’t mine. It belongs to the Council. Giles is just lettin’ me use it.”
“You’ve got a pretty cool boss then.”
“He’s had his share of hell raisin’, but yeah, he’s a good man.”
Hope examined her sister as Faith looked out the window. “I’m glad you decided to come,” she remarked. “I know you didn’t have to, and, like I said, I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t. It’s just good to know you’re trying…he’s different now too, ya know?”
“No longer a cynical, conniving, abusive bastard?”
“He still gets cynical now and then, but I think it’s genetic,” Hope teased with a grin.
Faith’s lips curled slightly. “So, since we’re all chit-chatty, Sis, tell me what you’ve been up to.”
“I just finished high school this year. Dad thinks I should go to community college next, but I don’t know. We’ve been living on government checks, but with all the red tape his treatments involve, I think it might be better to just find a job and help pitch in. Something full-time, ya know?”
Faith opened the can of pop slightly, releasing some of the air before turning the tab all the way back. When she didn’t respond to the rhetorical question, Hope went on.
“So what about you? Care to tell me how you cheated death?” she asked.
“Not really. Let’s just say the Council gave me a hand again.”
“So now you’re, like, free? No going back to jail?”
“Can’t say that I’m free exactly. I know what I am, what I’m capable of, and it’s always there. I might not be behind bars, but I can’t say I’m free.”
“But you’re like a superhero,” Hope argued.
“I’m still a murderer,” Faith answered. “I took lives I had no right taking.”
“Okay, but, you’re a slayer now. I see it,” Hope answered. “Even if I thought you were crazy when we were both living with Mom,” she muttered guiltily.
“You don’t say? The guys who came with the straitjacket were my big tip-off.”
“Dad was worried about ya,” Hope argued.
“Dad wanted one less child support payment,” Faith shot back. “If the state owned me, he wouldn’t have to deal. If you believe he did it out of the kindness of his heart, you’re the one who’s crazy.”
“I’m not gonna argue why he did it, but all the talk about vampires and demons and evil things was strange…and then that weird old lady ya used to hang out with…”
“She had a name. Rosa.”
“Fine, Rosa,” Hope said, rolling her eyes. “You gotta admit, it was all pretty strange back then.”
“And who turned out to be right?” The remark was said more as a statement than a question. Faith took a long drink of her soda.
“I never had the chance to find out if you were right. Dad dropped the case and I went to live with him…ya stopped talking to me after that.”
“Since you were the one rushing back to tell him I was a nutcase, I didn’t really see the point.”
“I was trying to save my sister, who I thought was wacko,” Hope argued.
“No, you were trying to one-up me with Dad which, by the way, makes no sense, since the old man did nothing except cause you grief! Still have that cigarette burn scar on your shoulder?”
“Oh, like mom was some prize,” Hope shot back. “I remember when she nearly drowned you in the bathtub for complaining the water was too cold.”
Faith took a deep breath and rubbed her temples. “Can we just not talk about this anymore?”
“Whatever,” Hope sighed.
“Fine,” Faith said.
“God! I can’t believe you still do that!”
“Do what?” Hope asked.
“Gotta have the last word,” the slayer answered.
“I do not,” Hope argued again.
Faith just threw her hands up in the air, then made a zipper motion over her mouth and reached again for her soda.
Hope looked around the cabin for a long beat before finally speaking again. “This really is a nice jet.”
Faith rolled her eyes and looked at her watch impatiently. “God, I need a cigarette,” she muttered softly.
Watchers Council – Jeff’s Apartment – Later that morning
Jeff opened his door to find Dawn waiting in the hallway once again. “You weren’t at breakfast again. Can I come in?” she asked.
“I’m kinda busy,” he said nervously. His arm rested on the frame, blocking her entry. “Rowena needs a flyer made and printed by noon.”
Dawn glanced past him to the coffee table, where a small stack of books sat. One book in particular caught her attention. “Doing some reading I see,” she remarked casually.
As Jeff turned around to look, Dawn ducked under his arm and headed straight for the table.
“Hey, get away from that,” he said, chasing after her in vain.
Dawn picked up the book and waved it. “I recognize this one. I tried it myself.”
Jeff rubbed the back of his neck guiltily. “Didn’t work, I take it?” he mumbled.
Dawn set the book back down. “None of these do. Oh, it might bring back something that looks like your mom, but it’s really not. And I know it’s tough – the letting go,” she told him. “Just remember, magic doesn’t solve everything. Jeff. Sometimes it makes things worse.”
“You sound like Willow,” he answered.
“Maybe that’s because we’ve both been there and know what we’re talking about,” she replied.
“Look, don’t tell her about this, okay? She’ll freak,” he answered.
Dawn looked at him for a moment. “Sure, but you gotta promise to give me all those books and let me search the apartment for more.”
“Who are you now? The Feds?” he complained.
“Fine. I’ve been told I whine with the best,” she answered. She marched toward the door and yelled, “Willow!”
“Hey! Knock it off,” he told her.
“Changing your mind?” she asked with a knowing grin.
He looked at her for a moment, as if deciding what to do, when Dawn took an exaggerated breath like she was going to yell again. “Fine,” he answered, throwing his arms in the air.
“Knew you’d see it my way,” she told him with a triumphant smile.
Watchers Council – Slayer Gym – Later that Day
Kennedy walked in front of the line of girls doing sit-ups while she counted off. “Ninety-eight, ninety-nine, one hundred. Okay, good job girls. Go hit the showers before your next class. Double time! Move it out!”
The class of younger slayers jumped to their feet and ran toward the locker area. Kennedy picked up the last rubber ball from a prior dodge ball game when she heard a voice behind her.
“When do we get to hit the showers?”
Kennedy turned around to see Mia walking toward her.
“Hey,” she greeted with a grin and tossed the ball in her hand toward Mia. “I thought you were busy all day, secret agent gal training and such.”
Mia caught it easily and then shot it over Kennedy’s head to land neatly in the bin behind her. “Nothin’ but net,” she boasted as she finished her journey. She grabbed Kennedy by the drawstring of her sweats and pulled her closer. “I got a new assignment.”
“Oh really? Tell me all the tawdry details,” Kennedy asked, resting her forehead on Mia’s.
“I could, but then I’d have to kill ya, and I plan to keep you around a while longer…nah, Rowena needs help in some grassroots effort to save the environment or something like that. I’m gonna lend Marsha a hand later.”
Although she didn’t say anything, Kennedy’s face registered displeasure at the mention of Rowena’s name.
“Oh, come on now,” Mia teased. “No sour pusses here. You knew she’d be around again someday.”
“I can’t help it. First, she steals my girlfriend, then she breaks her heart.”
“Ex-girlfriend,” Mia corrected. “And from what you said, she didn’t steal Willow. She was just conveniently there.”
“I wish she’d stay conveniently gone,” Kennedy added.
“And why is that, exactly?” Mia asked, a bit apprehensively.
“What do you mean?” Kennedy replied, looking confused.
Mia looked reluctant to speak at first. “I…I really love being with you. Sometimes though, it’s like, it seems like you’re not here – especially with the girlfriend comments. She’s not your girlfriend, Kennedy. I mean, sure we haven’t made any undying declarations here, but…”
“I don’t know. I feel like second place in a turkey shoot,” she replied with a nervous giggle. “I can’t shake the feeling that you’re waiting for Willow to change her mind and as soon as that happens…Point is, I have to wonder if you’d like Rowena gone so you can have another shot.”
“Whoa, talk about zero to sixty,” Kennedy answered. “I thought we were having a casual conversation, but now we’re plotting out the rest of our lives.”
“I’m not picking out china patterns here,” Mia snapped. “I just want to know, is there a you and me, or am I just a…a bed warmer?”
“No, I wouldn’t treat you that way. Is that really what you think?”
“I don’t know what to think,” Mia answered. “I love patrolling with you and sparring with you and…and watching reruns of Futurama on Adult Swim when we’re off shift. There’s lots of little things we do that mean a lot to me, but I’m not sure you feel the same.”
“I do,” Kennedy insisted. “Rowena just rubs me the wrong way is all. She always has. She’s ‘Miss Perfect, Know-It-All, I’m Better Than You’ Watcher.”
“Well, she’s always treated me decent, and if I’ve asked her stuff she’s been pretty friendly about it.” Mia shrugged.
“Beautiful, another woman I’ve slept with has joined the We Love Ro Fan Club,” Kennedy sighed.
“Sorry to disappoint, but I belong to the I Think Kennedy’s Wonderful Fan Club. I just wish I knew how Kennedy felt about me,” Mia replied, as she reached up and stroked Kennedy’s cheek.
In response, Kennedy leaned in and kissed Mia softly on the lips. “Tell you what? Let me plan something for us and I’ll show you. How’s that sound?”
“What have you got in mind?”
“It’s a secret,” Kennedy told her with a mischievous grin. “But I promise you’ll love it, and maybe you’ll see that I really love you for you…I’m not waiting around for Willow, Mia. I swear.”
Slowly, a grin came to Mia’s face. She began to nod.
Watchers Council – Library – Later that Day
Xander peeked inside to see Rowena speaking with Jeff.
“Oh no, this is beautiful,” she insisted as she held one of the flyers.
“Two hundred copies of this one then?” he asked.
“Yeah, that would be great, Jeff.”
“Okay, I’ll put them in here after I’m done printing,” he said as he looked up and noticed Xander. “I better get started to make the deadline.”
“Thanks sweetie,” she told him. “And Jeff, like I said…”
“I know Ro. Thanks for the condolences,” he said. “I’ll be back in a few.”
Jeff nodded as he walked past Xander, who nodded in return.
“So,” Xander said, walking into the library. “I see Watcher Lady’s back in the swing of things.”
“I’m trying. How have you been, Xander?”
He shrugged. “Been better. Spent the summer watching my best friend be all stiff upper lippy while dying on the inside. Yourself?”
Rowena locked eyes with Xander. “I did a bit of dying too,” she answered coldly. “Is that what you wanted to hear?”
“No, I wanna know why. Why you left, why you didn’t call her, and why I had to spend my nights listening to her sobbing in her bedroom. She didn’t think I could hear, and I didn’t push, but I still kept an eye on her. After all, I made a promise to you before the big battle, remember? The one where you begged me to look after her, because you were so scared at maybe losing her? So now…all I want is answers.”
“Look Xander, I personally feel this is none of your business and –”
“No,” he said firmly, cutting her off. “It’s beyond personal. When someone hurts Will, it becomes my business.”
“You wouldn’t understand,” Rowena told him.
“Try me. I can be a pretty understanding guy when I wanna be.”
“Yes, but right now, you don’t want to listen. You want my head on a platter, and I’m not discussing this with you.”
“She thinks it’s her, you know, like she did something wrong?”
“Yes, and I told her it wasn’t,” Rowena argued.
“You’re damn right it’s not her, because Willow truly is one of the greatest humans ever. You’re the one with her head up her ass.”
Rowena looked away and nodded, then turned back and met his eyes again. “Any more zingers you’d like to throw at me?”
“You’re not even going to argue?”
“I can’t,” Rowena replied. “You’re absolutely right. I handled things so, so terribly, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to make up for it. That’s all I can give you, Xander. So if you’ve got any more insults lined up, get them out of your system now.”
“Wait a second. You can’t do this!”
“Do what?” Rowena asked.
“Agree with me. You have to say ‘No, it’s my life’ or ‘Mind your own business’.”
“I did try the second one,” Rowena countered.
“Okay, true, but still, you’re not putting up much of a fight.”
“It’s hard to fight when you don’t have a leg to stand on. I realize what I did, Xander. I know I blew the chance of a lifetime. I’m just praying now that a second chance will come along.”
Xander studied Rowena for a moment. “Do you love her?”
Rowena’s voice had no pause. “She means more than the world to me and I’m not sure if love is a strong enough word to describe how I feel. Deep down, that’s all you really wanted to know, isn’t it?”
Xander released a heavy sigh. “I really want to be mad at you here.”
“And you have every right to be. If you were the one who hurt her, I’d feel the same way, regardless of the reason.”
“If you love her like you say, you have to tell her,” Xander insisted.
“And I will,” Rowena promised. “But like I just told you, not until she wants to listen. She’d hear the words, but she won’t believe them. So when I say it, I need to know that she’ll trust me as much as I trust her.” Xander watched as Rowena’s eyes began to tear up. “So, is there anything else?” she added, trying to sound casual.
Xander shook off his momentary surprise. “Uh, no, I’ll let you get back to what you were doing.”
Rowena just nodded and sat back down to the papers in front of her and picked up a pen. Xander lingered a few seconds longer before he slowly slipped from the room.
City Street – Later that Day
“I got three more sign-ups!” Marsha bounced up next to Vi as she handed out a flyer to a passer-by. “How about you?”
“One, and he was iffy,” Vi answered. Marsha started to chuckle, but the older slayer ignored it. “Come on. Let’s go up the other block to see how the teams are doing.”
“Guess that means I’m three times the slayer you are, huh?” Marsha pressed.
“Watch it, Shrimp,” Vi threatened. “The only reason you’re winning is because you can do that sad Shrek Puss-in-Boots face. It doesn’t look so convincing from a seventeen-year-old as a fourteen-year-old. Age is on your side.”
“You mean this one?” Marsha asked. She stuck out her bottom lip and let it tremble just slightly. “Would you be kind enough to help us, Mister?” Marsha said in a mock-begging voice.
“Hey, if the package works, Kiddo, keep on selling it,” Vi told her.
They both laughed as they continued up the sidewalk.
Watchers Council – Conference Room – Same Time
“I’m late. I’m late,” Willow said as she rushed into the room. “One of the Coven students decided to see if she was ready to test a new element. Needless to say, it didn’t work, but on the bright side, the fire is now out and the sprinklers are off…anyway, sorry, what did I miss?”
“Nothing yet,” Giles said with a grin. “Would you like to catch your breath first?”
Willow looked at her watch. “I don’t have time to breathe. We still need to speak to Bonnie and I have a class on identifying spell ingredients filled with thirty-five watchers. So let’s cut to the chase, if that’s okay. Oh!” Willow said, turning to Robin and leaving Giles with his mouth open and nothing coming out. “Did Faith call in yet?”
“Yeah, they landed with no problem,” Robin answered.
“Okay, that’s good. Sorry, go ahead Giles.”
“Willow, dear,” he began, trying to get her full attention. “Calm down. Take a few deep breaths and regroup. If you’re a few minutes late to class, so be it. The world will not end, I promise you.”
“Well, it might if Bonnie doesn’t start coughing up some serious Presidium information. And did you know –?”
Giles reached over and put a finger over her lips. “I said, breathe.”
Willow slumped her shoulders and grinned softly, then took a deep breath and blew it out.
“Happy?” she asked.
“Much,” Giles replied. “Now, as I was going to tell you, Robin and I have been discussing Jeffrey’s future. He’s seventeen years old and still a minor, but no one from the state has arrived since Lily’s death. We need to be prepared should they come, so we’ve had an idea.”
“Which is?” Willow asked.
“Enter him into the Watcher Training Program,” Robin answered. “We don’t want Jeff to leave. He’s too powerful and unstable at the moment. By entering him into the program we’re doing two things, really – monitoring him, so you don’t have to do all the work trying to keep tabs on him, and allowing him to stay for the rest of the year until he graduates.”
“Correct,” Giles added. “We can say his tuition has been paid for the rest of the year and see about having him emancipated. I don’t feel it will be a major legality. Lily’s insurance plan named him as her beneficiary. In fact, he’s quite wealthy now, so I don’t think the court would have a problem with him staying here under supervision for the next year, if he so chooses.”
“I know we’ve started to accept watchers based on skill instead of just a calling alone,” Willow began, “but I’m not sure, Giles. Jeff’s already got so much on his shoulders – finishing up his high school degree, the Coven, his mother’s death. I’m not sure if adding watcher-in-training to the list will help matters right now.”
“Our thought was, instead of having someone watch him constantly, we’ll keep him occupied and give him the option of a career,” Giles pointed out.
“Have you asked him about this?” Willow asked, still unsure.
“We wanted to discuss it with you first,” Giles told her. “This really is more of a personal matter than a Council matter at this stage. As his mentor and advisor, we wanted your opinion. We can’t force Jeff to do it, but we want to give him the option, with your permission, of course. With his magic knowledge and skills, we feel he could be an excellent asset to the Council.”
“Or he could use his power and new knowledge to destroy the universe,” Willow countered as she rubbed her temple. “Look, I’m not going to say yes or no. Let me talk to him and see what he wants to do. Can we agree to that?”
“If that’s what you wish,” Giles answered.
“Okay, but not now,” Willow said as she stood up. Her face took on a grim expression. “Let’s go pay a visit to our friendly, neighborhood real estate agent to see if she remembers anything more today.”
Watchers Council – Dining Room – Moments Later
Bonnie looked up from the book she was reading to see Giles, Willow and Robin walking toward her. “It’s the three musketeers. Come for your daily grilling?”
When they were within a few feet of the table, Giles spoke. “We could always put you back in a cell. Your freedom within the Council is a privilege, not a right.”
“Point taken,” Bonnie said without argument. “What can I do you for?”
“You said you knew of some Hellmouth locations,” Robin reminded her. “We want to know more.”
“Such as?” the agent asked.
“Where exactly,” Willow added. “We know that we’re on top of Cleveland’s Hellmouth, but what other cities are out there?”
“L.A., Paris, London, New York –” she answered.
“But where, precisely?” Giles asked. “All those areas are quite large.”
“I don’t know where they all are exactly. Well, New York’s I do, but you’ll have to guess,” Bonnie smirked.
“We haven’t the time for games,” Giles told her.
“Oh come on,” Bonnie prodded. “It’ll be fun. Think big, and lots of people.”
“The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island,” Willow tossed out quickly.
“Ohhh, good guess, but wrong,” Bonnie answered.
“Times Square?” Giles muttered, obviously annoyed. Bonnie shook her head. “This is preposterous,” he complained under his breath.
“Grand Central Station,” Robin answered, with a fair amount of certainty.
Bonnie smiled again and nodded. “I figured you would get it. After all, it’s your hometown, isn’t it?” Robin looked surprised. “Oh, I did my research well on everyone here. Including you, Mr. Wood. And see? This is more entertaining than you imagined.”
“What other areas do you know of?” Giles asked, disregarding her last remark.
“Look, I don’t know them all, but I do know the Presidium used Hellmouths like wormholes to enter other dimensions,” Bonnie explained. “The Presidium are big-time magic users, and sometimes you gotta fight fire with fire. And at the risk of Ms. Rosenberg’s head swelling any more, one of the biggest guns in your arsenal is right here and you’re not even using her.”
“But what am I supposed to do?” Willow posed.
“They used magic to find a way inside. If you want to meet them at the gate upon arrival, so to speak, I’d suggest you do the same.”
Boston City Street – Day
“End of the line, ladies,” a cabbie told Faith and Hope as he stopped his cab.
Faith pulled out a few bills and handed them over. “Wait here for about ten minutes,” she instructed.
“This is a dangerous neighborhood lady. If you think –”
Faith handed him a hundred dollar bill and looked at his ID on the dashboard. “Cab #435 better be here when I get back.”
The cabbie’s eyes widened. “Okay, you convinced me. Besides, it’s safer here in the day.”
“Good boy,” Faith smirked.
“Where is it?” she asked Hope as they got out of the cab.
Hope pointed. “Down there. The cabs don’t like to leave the main street. But it’s only a block away.”
Faith and Hope walked down the street, side by side, through the slum until they came to a house with a battered chain link fence. Hope walked through the gate first and Faith followed after her. After turning three different key locks, Hope finally opened the front door of the small house.
“Dad?” she called into the dark living room. “I’m home.”
Not getting an answer, Hope motioned Faith toward the kitchen.
The sisters entered the house to see a man sitting at a table, who appeared older than his actual years. He had a spoon perched at his lips but rested it back in the bowl upon seeing the two young women standing there.
“You came,” he said with a small grin.
Faith looked surprised at how old he appeared, just for a split second, then brushed it off with a roll of her shoulders. She finally nodded after a short silence. “I’m here.”
His smile grew larger. “I’m glad, Faithy. I know I messed up before.”
“Oh really?” Faith began sarcastically, but stopped herself and quickly held her hands up. “Look, John, I don’t want to argue. That’s not why I came here.”
“Then why did ya?” her father asked.
Faith shifted uncomfortably. “I’m not sure. Hope said you were in rough shape and ya wanted to see me. So here I am.”
“I know I can’t make up for years lost,” he began. “But I want ya to know, I realize I handled things bad. And I owe you an apology. I don’t know if you’ll take it, and if it makes ya feel better not to, then that’s fine. I’m not saying it for my benefit, but for yours. So, I’m sorry, Faith. I don’t have time to ‘start over,’ but I think it’s important that ya know, if I could do it all over again, I’d do things a helluva lot different.”
Faith considered that for a moment, then nodded. “Um, look, I’ve gotta check into my hotel, but I’ll come back tonight. Hope wanted to get home to check on you first, so…”
“Thank you, Faith,” her father said sincerely. He reached his hand out to Hope and she walked over and took it. “And thank you for bringing her back home,” he told Hope.
“It was easier than I thought it would be,” she said, grinning at Faith.
“Yeah, well, I gotta run now, but I’ll be back later,” Faith said, pointing to the door.
Hope and her father both nodded and Faith walked toward the front door and left the house.
Hope followed, making sure to lock it after Faith left. After a few moments in silence, she turned around to see her father resting against the entryway of the living room and kitchen.
“Ya did it. Ya really got her here.” He smiled.
Hope’s face showed concern and indecision. “I’m not so sure about this.”
“We need her,” John said as he walked over to his younger daughter at a slow pace. “I don’t have much time left, so it has to be now.” Hope said nothing and tried to avoid her father’s eyes. “You’re not going to back out,” he warned her.
“She has a good life now, Dad,” Hope explained.
“That’s great, but it doesn’t concern us,” he told her coldly. “By tomorrow night, she’ll be dead.”
End of Act Two