Watchers Council – Coven Room– Moments Later
Jeff took a few steps closer. “You’re going to help me bring back my mom?” he asked skeptically.
Dawn simply nodded.
“Why the change of heart?”
“Because, like you said,” Dawn began. “I can’t stop you. But just know, whatever happens falls on your shoulders alone.”
“Nothing’s going to happen,” he assured her. “I’ve researched this spell, backwards and forw –”
“Magic always has a price, Jeff. It might not be seen immediately, but fate will step in to adjust the balance. The rule of three, remember? You bring a life back but at the cost of three. Can you honestly say there are three people you wish were dead?”
“I don’t wish anyone dead. Just one person alive,” he whispered.
“It’s not that simple. Willow and the Scoobies did the spell that brought back Buffy. I love my sister…but now Tara’s dead. Anya’s dead. And truth be told, Willow died too, on so many levels that year. Even Xander lost his eye. Sure, one life was restored, but at the cost of many other people’s pain and heartbreak. But maybe it was just coincidence? That’s the way Xander sees it. He doesn’t think magic is the reason for all the other tragedy. But I tend to agree with Willow, because the fact remains the same – the people who did the spell are not the same or not here anymore. So the question is…are you prepared for all that? If Willow is right, are you ready to kill her or Andrew or me to return your mom?”
Jeff looked at the picture of his mother. “You’re not making this easy,” he answered softly.
“We’re talking about life and death. And that’s never easy, no matter how you slice it, Mister.”
“So, is the Key imparting her glowing wisdom upon me then?” he lashed out, in a sarcastically pompous tone.
Dawn ignored the jibe and said, “No wisdom. Just my painful experience. And since I don’t want to baby-sit you for the rest of our natural lives, I either help you do this and get it over with or I tell you what I know and hope you give it up.”
“I know you tried to bring back your own mother,” Jeff countered.
“Yeah, and that was three years ago. I didn’t fully understand everything that magic entailed, but, even then, when it came right down to it, I realized what could return might not be my mom. I didn’t want my family and friends put in the position of having to clean up my mess if something darker, something evil, came back. Plus, I loved my mom too much to be the one responsible for making her something wicked. I realized, without a second to spare, that my mother’s life had been a good one, but it was over. I had to have faith that Buffy and I would go on without her.”
“That’s the thing,” Jeff said with tears in his eyes. “I don’t think I can.”
“You can,” Dawn assured him, taking a step closer. “You feel totally alone right now and you think you’ve got the power to change it, without consequences. But are you truly, a hundred percent sure? Honestly?” When Jeff looked away and didn’t answer, Dawn continued. “Deep down I don’t think you’re sure, because you’re smarter than that. You’ve been listening to what Willow’s been telling you and even if you don’t agree with her, she’s been there, done that and you trust her opinion. Now I could tell you this over and over for hours and hours.” Dawn sighed playfully. “But, in the end, what I think isn’t what matters here. It’s what you decide.”
Jeff licked his lips and wiped bushed tears from his eyes. “You lied. You did come here to stop me.”
“Does that mean you’ve had a change of heart?” Dawn asked, echoing the comment he used on her moments before.
Jeff didn’t answer the question and cleared his throat. “Willow said it gets better someday.”
“That’s true,” Dawn told him as she ran a hand up his arm, firmly grasping it at the shoulder. “It does, but it takes time, Jeff – not magic.”
“I just don’t know what I’m going to do without her,” he said.
“First, you need to realize that this,” she said, pointing around the Coven Room, “isn’t the answer. After that, think about what your mom would want you to do. I might be the pot calling the kettle here, because I started skipping school, ignoring my work…stealing. It was rough, but at some point I knew my mom would want me to finish school and do what I could to help Buffy, and the rest of the gang too. So, I cleaned up my act. But you know what always helps me?” Dawn asked.
“What?” Jeff muttered.
Dawn straightened her shoulders and grinned. “Pizza!” she said.
Jeff looked up, taken aback. “What?”
“Pizza always helps me think. Whadda ya say? You and I go order a few rounds with extra cheese and anchovies? We can talk about where to go from here and you’ll realize you’re really not alone.”
“Okay, but, anchovies?” Jeff remarked, his face showing disapproval.
“Okay, anchovies on the side,” Dawn conceded. “I’ll even do my anchovies song for you.”
“You have a song?” Jeff asked, his lips slightly curled.
With that, Dawn broke into her anchovies song. As she finished, Jeff chuckled and applauded. “Pretty good, huh?” Dawn asked.
“That’s…actually rather sad,” he countered with a grin.
“Made you smile though,” Dawn retorted. “And you’ll see, there’re lots of things to smile about. So if you need somebody, come to me. I know it’s gonna be tough, and you’re gonna think about doing this again. I know you will, because I did. But you’ve got somewhere to turn first before you do anything, all right? No judgment. No lectures. I promise.”
Jeff gave her a small nod and looked guiltily at his feet. Picking up on his mood, Dawn gave him a chuck on the shoulder to ease his tension. “Come on. Pizzafest time!”
Jeff smiled again as Dawn took his hand and led him from the Coven Room.
Watchers Council – Giles’s Terrace – Same Time
“May I?” Giles asked, as he pulled the ring from the box and motioned for Becca’s hand.
With both of them shaking, Giles took her offered hand and slipped the ring on. Becca still said nothing and stared down at the ring. Nervously, Giles cleared his throat and stood up.
“I don’t expect an answer right now. I know it’s a big step and –”
“Are you kidding?” Becca asked, finally finding her voice. Giles froze, holding his breath at the outburst. “Yes, of course I’ll marry you!”
Becca practically tackled Giles in a hug, making him gasp with relief.
“You scared me for a moment,” he admitted.
Becca pulled back and kissed him passionately. Then she pulled her face away again, but remained locked in his arms.
“I’m sorry. I know I’m not often at a loss for words,” she joked. “However, you succeeded in making me speechless tonight, Sweetie. Oh God, I didn’t expect this,” she added breathlessly, looking at the ring again.
“If it’s too soon, Becca…” Giles offered.
“Rupert,” she began. “I’m forty-five years old. Time is not on our side here.”
“Funny, that’s what Robin said, too,” Giles added with a grin.
“Oh, um.. yes. We talked about it when I was…well, working up the courage to ask you.”
Becca looked a bit apprehensive. “I know how I feel, but are you sure you’re ready?” she asked him.
“I am,” he nodded firmly. “I realize how chaotic my life can be at times, but…you bring my life purpose and joy, a kind I haven’t felt before. I don’t want to lose that, ever,” he told her sincerely.
Becca chuckled and sniffed as she batted his chest. “You’re gonna make me cry if you keep this up, Rupert.”
“No tears for us,” Giles ordered as he leaned down and kissed her softly. “Only happiness.”
“Promise?” Becca asked as she returned the kiss.
Boston Restaurant – Later that Night
As the cab pulled away, Faith walked up behind her sister and father, who stood at the darkened entrance.
“Sure this place is open?” she asked. “Looks kinda vacant.”
“Yeah,” her father told her. “Best kept secret in Boston. Let’s go inside.”
He opened the door for Hope and Faith.
Boston Restaurant – Moments Later
Faith looked around at the checkered tablecloths and vacant tables. “I think we’re a little too late,” Faith told them.
“You’re just in time,” another man said as he entered from the far side of the room. “Right this way,” he motioned them.
Faith began to look suspicious and glanced around the room.
“What’s wrong?” Hope asked nervously.
“You guys stay behind me,” she told them without turning around. “Something’s up.”
“I’d say,” John remarked casually.
Faith turned back briefly to look at him and caught his spiteful grin. Distracted by the sound of the front door, she looked past John and watched as five demons entered, locking the door behind them.
Faith’s head shot back to the other side of the room and she saw five more demons file in from the other side. The waiter shifted to vampire form as he neared. Slowly, she positioned her back to the wall so she had a clear view of everyone and no one was behind her.
Faith fixed her father and sister with a calm, yet icy stare. “You two don’t seem too shocked. What’s goin’ on?” she asked.
“Hope told you,” John began. “I’m sick and dying. But I’ve got the chance at eternal life if I deliver the slayer to someone who’s quite interested in you.”
“Lemme guess,” Faith sighed. “Their name starts with ‘P,’ right?”
“So, you’ve met the Presidium before. I figured as much,” he told her.
Faith shook her head and looked at Hope. “Everybody’s just full of surprises…Ya know I’d expect something like this from him,” she said, pitching a thumb at her father. “But not you. So what’s your deal?”
“Faithy, ya still talk way too much,” John criticized.
“Oh no.” Faith waved her finger. “If I’m gonna die. I want answers. So what’s in it for you, Hope?”
Hope hesitated, glancing at her father, then her sister.
“Talk!” Faith shouted.
Hope darted out of arm’s reach, away from John, as she spoke quickly. “He made me do it, Faith! I tried to get him to call it off, but –”
“Enough!” John yelled.
Faith looked at Hope a moment more, sizing up her story, before her eyes shot back to John and the approaching demons closing in on her.
Faith shook her head again. “You folks certainly put the fun in dysfunctional, I’ll give you that.”
“Get her!” John shouted. Without delay, the demons rushed forward.
Faith picked up a wooden chair from one of the nearby tables and sent it crashing into the closest two demons, before hopping on one of the tables and jumping from tabletop to tabletop, avoiding their attempted blows.
Jeep on Boston Street – Same Time
Willow sat with a map on her lap as Kennedy steered the Jeep down the street. “Turn right!” the witch yelled.
“Where?” Kennedy asked.
“Right here,” Willow pointed out across the windshield.
“Hang on,” Kennedy said as she abruptly turned the steering wheel, moving across two lanes and turning the corner at full speed. Willow clutched the roof handle. “Now where?” she asked. The horns of the nearby cars indicated their drivers’ displeasure.
“Two streets up. Turn left, but slower please.” Willow looked over at her. “You drive like a slayer,” she muttered as she went to her map again.
“Sorry, I need to make up for that hour we spent in the city going four blocks. According to you, someone’s out to kill my best friend, and I’d like to get there tonight,” Kennedy snapped back.
“Yeah, but getting us killed before we find her won’t do her any good, now will it?” Willow shot back.
Robin seemed oblivious to the conversation and lost in thought. Andrew raised his hand from the backseat next to him. “Uh, Ladies?”
“Shut up,” Kennedy said, turning to him for just a second before facing Willow again. “Would you like to drive?” she challenged the redhead.
“I have to navigate, or I would,” Willow said, rustling the map.
“Kennedy?” Andrew tried again.
“Oh God, what, Andrew?” Kennedy asked, clearly at the end of her temper.
“We, uh, we missed the turn,” he said meekly.
“Where?” she asked, looking in her rearview mirror.
“Back there,” Andrew pointed behind him.
“See what you made me do?” Kennedy told Willow. She slammed on the brakes, letting the Jeep’s tailspin turn them in the opposite direction.
“Me? You’re the one who had to argue!” Willow shouted. Kennedy then stomped on the gas and threw Willow’s body back against the seat, making the witch scowl even more.
“Fine, Your Worship. Whatever,” Kennedy said as she made a screeching right turn. “Just tell me where to go.”
Willow just looked over and glared. “I’ll tell you where to go,” she said under her breath.
“You know what I mean,” Kennedy added loudly.
“Both of you, knock it off,” Robin said angrily, roused from his worry about Faith by the much nearer danger of Kennedy’s driving.
Kennedy and Willow gave each other a mutual apologetic look. Both of them muttered, “Sorry.”
Boston Restaurant – Same Time
John looked over to see Hope trying to hide in the corner booth. He motioned the vampire toward him. Meanwhile, Faith continued to battle the demons trying to knock her from the tables.
Hope saw them approach and tried to move further back and under the table, but John grabbed her by the hair and pulled her out, screaming. Faith heard the noise and looked over to see John push Hope toward the vampire.
“Don’t you know yet not to disobey me?” John taunted.
“Faith!” Hope screamed.
“She’s busy right now,” John told her. “And you should have stood by me.” He looked past Hope to the vampire now holding her. “I’ve got no use for her. She’s all yours,” he said.
Hope screamed again, this time getting her sister’s attention.
Thinking quickly, Faith jumped down to the floor and picked up a piece of chair debris in her hand. She somersaulted over a demon that tried to close in on her and dodged the massive swing of the one behind him as she dashed to the other side of the room.
As the vampire began to sink his teeth into Hope’s neck, Faith staked him in the back, but she didn’t bother to wait for the dusting to finish. With the demons closing in, Faith heard, rather than saw, the vampire explode, and continued to race to the back of the building. She burst through the kitchen doors and looked around frantically for a weapon.
“So you hid the knives. Smart move,” Faith muttered quickly to herself.
Finding a wooden spoon, she looked up to see a host of bottles above her. One in particular caught her eye, and she grabbed it and then began to pour the liquid over the spoon.
As the monsters gave chase she lit the grill and put the spoon inside, setting it on fire. At this, the demons began to heckle her.
“Ooh a flamey stick,” one of them taunted.
Faith ran toward the demon with the torch in hand and took a big swig of the liquid in the bottle, then raised the spoon to her face. As she spit the liquid into his face, a stream of fire followed and he started to howl in pain. She quickly tossed the rest of the bottle on him, making more of a fire trail, before smashing the end of the bottle and driving its pointed, broken neck into the jugular of the demon behind him.
With two demons down, she slid across the island and kicked the two closest ones to the ground, before grabbing a pot that hung above the island. Spinning on her backside and flailing her arm, she knocked the others to the ground. She moved to the closest demon, where she came to a stop and hopped from the island, breaking his neck with a twist. As the two demons closest to him tried to rise, she kicked them both to the ground again and raced back out to the lobby, pan in hand.
She watched as John pulled a gun from his pocket, but before he could pull the trigger, Faith sent the pot flying into his face, knocking him and the gun to the ground. She pushed Hope back into a booth seat and picked up the gun, as the demons piled inside to follow her. As they closed in, she took aim on each one, firing into their foreheads. Six fell, but one remained when the gunshots turned to clicks, indicating an empty chamber. She threw the gun at him in desperation, but he closed the gap between them at the last second and picked her up by the throat.
A chair suddenly crashed into his back and he lost his hold on Faith, dropping her to the ground. He turned around and grabbed Hope by her shirt, but before he could raise a hand against her, Faith reached up and snapped his neck from behind. The demon wobbled a moment before falling face first to the ground, dead.
Suddenly the door behind her burst open and Faith automatically moved into a defensive stance.
“Are we late?” Robin asked breathlessly.
Kennedy and Willow followed inside and noted the restaurant in shambles and the dead demons at Faith’s feet.
“We’re late,” the younger slayer said dryly.
“What are you all doing here?” Faith asked, confused.
“Long story,” Willow answered.
“She went astral-walking and saw your family plotting,” Kennedy added.
“Okay, not that long, obviously,” Willow amended.
Other slayers began to enter, along with Andrew, and Faith gave them a genuine smile. “So you brought in the cavalry, I see? Not to mention heavily armed,” Faith said, pointing to Kennedy.
The younger slayer glanced at her heavy halberd-flail and shrugged. “I killed that Larry thing fair and square for this,” she frowned mildly. “We weren’t sure what we were facing here.”
Robin shrugged, a bit embarrassed. “Yeah, but you seem to have everything under control now.”
“Not everything,” Faith replied.
She turned back to see Hope kneeling by their father, who was now beginning to come around, widening his eyes, trying to focus again. “You set me up…both of you,” she said softly.
“It was his idea,” Hope said quickly. “I just –”
“Went along for the ride,” Faith said, taking a few steps closer.
Hope looked away guiltily and cowered slightly. “Don’t kill me,” she whispered.
“Give me one reason why I shouldn’t,” Faith said quietly.
Kennedy looked like she was going to rush forward, but Willow and Robin both put a hand on her arm and shook their heads. Kennedy stopped, but still appeared ready to jump in at any moment.
“We’re family,” Hope told her.
“No, they’re family,” Faith said motioning toward the group standing by the door. “They came hundreds of miles to save my ass, while you plotted to burn it. So I gotta wonder, why should I keep you alive?”
“Fine,” Hope said. “Just do it and get it over with, then.” She raised her head defiantly and closed her eyes.
Faith squatted and began to reach out, making Hope flinch. But instead of taking Hope’s neck, Faith took her by the chin. Slowly, Hope opened her eyes.
“You’re not worth it, and neither is he,” Faith said, motioning to her father, who now sat up on his elbows.
Faith stood up and pulled the cigarette from her jeans pocket and looked at it.
“Boy, did I pick the wrong week to quit smokin’.”
She glanced down at them again, then back at the cigarette. Instead of putting it in her mouth, she crumbled it in her hand and tossed it to the ground.
“I’ve got people who depend on me now, care about me. I’m not gonna piss that all way on the likes of you two. You need to realize something, Sis. Families are made, so you better go make your own, like I did.” Faith turned around and walked to the door. She slipped her arm around Robin’s waist. “Let’s go home, Ace,” she suggested.
“You got it, Babe,” he said, kissing her on the top of the head.
Kennedy directed the slayers and Andrew out, but Willow held up a finger to her and walked over to Faith’s family.
“My name is Willow Rosenberg,” she told them. “I am the most powerful witch in the Western Hemisphere, and perhaps the world. Hurt Faith again, and I promise, death will be the least of your concerns. In fact, you might even pray for its release. Understand?”
Hope nodded quickly and Willow patted her knee. “You two enjoy what’s left of your life.”
Willow turned around and met Kennedy at the door before they walked out together. A silence fell over the restaurant. Hope looked at the wooden stake at her feet and then at the empty doorway.
“I’m sorry, Hope.” John broke the silence, making her glance backward. “I messed up again.”
Hope clenched her jaw briefly. “So, how long before you try to barter my life away for yours?” she asked.
“Look, Honey, what happened earlier…” John’s eyes went wide as Hope lunged at him, driving the wood stake into his chest. Blood began to pour from the wound. He looked down in shock before he fell back to the floor, lifeless.
“It won’t happen again,” Hope finished quietly. She pulled the stake out and moved to her feet.
Smoke began to pour into the restaurant from the kitchen as she stood up and walked to the exit. She paused by the door and looked at the destruction around her. Then she stuffed the stake in her pocket and walked out the door.
Boston Hotel – Later that Night
Andrew and the slayers walked down the hall quickly, noisily chatting with their arms loaded with drinks and snacks from the vending machine. In the back, Kennedy and Willow walked empty handed at a leisurely pace.
“I’m sorry about earlier,” Kennedy said softly.
“Sorry?” Willow asked, confused.
“The argument in the car.”
Willow waved her off. “Just forget about it. I was under stress. You were under stress. Just a big stress-o-rama. But we succeeded in the end. We got Faith back safe and sound.”
Kennedy paused a few beats as they continued to walk. “I heard what you said to her sister. Did you mean it?”
Willow shrugged. “I want to give them the incentive not to go after her again. I love Faith, all the slayers. Like she said, we’re family.”
“Even me?” Kennedy asked.
“Especially you,” Willow answered honestly as she stopped at her door. “Back in Sunnydale, I lived in a house full of people, but I felt so alone until you came around and…” Willow trailed off with a nostalgic grin. “So yeah, I love you, too. I always will, and if I had to, I’d protect you, too. But you seem to be doing a pretty good job of taking care of yourself lately. You don’t need me.”
“We all need you,” Kennedy said with great certainty. “And damn it, even she needs you, although it might not seem like it. She just did a real stupid thing.”
“I’m not so sure about that,” Willow replied softly, as she played with her key card.
“She threw away what I’d die for – believe me, she’s stupid. But I also know you love her. God knows why,” Kennedy said, throwing her hands in the air. “But the point is, you do, and I just want you to be happy. I mean, isn’t that what loving someone is about? Wanting them to be happy, even if the thought makes you grit your teeth?”
“Speaking of love,” Willow said playfully, changing the subject. “How goes it with Mia?”
“Well, I promised her I’d do something special that she’d enjoy.”
“Oh really? What?”
“I haven’t the faintest idea.” Kennedy started to grin. “I just…I have such a hard time getting a handle on her. I know some of the stuff she likes, but I haven’t quite figured out what makes her tick yet, ya know?”
“Yeah, I do,” Willow nodded.
Kennedy gave a half-chuckle. “Don’t say it. Me, right?”
Willow gave a small laugh. “Not saying a word.”
“Nah, she’s a great gal and she dotes on me constantly. I mean, what’s not to love?”
“Right. Something’s missing though, isn’t it?”
“Okay, you know exactly what I mean,” Kennedy said with an embarrassed grin. “But I don’t want to break up with her. I want to explore things more.”
“Take a few months a-and see what happens. No one says love has to be instant. Give it some time.”
Kennedy pursed her lips and nodded. “Sounds like a plan,” Kennedy said as she started to walk backward toward her room. “Eight a.m. tomorrow?”
“I’ll be ready,” the witch nodded.
Boston Hotel Room – Same Time
Faith sat on the edge of the bed, watching the thunderstorm outside light up the night sky.
“I wish we could have left tonight,” she said, continuing to look at the landscape. “I really wanted to get out of this city. I’m just so pissed off at myself.”
“And why is that?” Robin asked as he sat down beside her.
“Why do you think? I was an idiot.”
“For hoping to make amends? I don’t think that’s stupid.”
“You’re not the one who feels like a schmuck right now,” she countered as her fingers intertwined with his. “I thought maybe he’d changed, that he finally cared about something other than himself, but when it came right down to it, nothing changed at all. Yeah, trying to kill me, bad, no doubt, but…” She shook her head.
“What?” Robin asked.
“What hurts worse is, he never loved me. He never will. I know I said it didn’t matter; that I had a family now. And I do, but…he’s still my dad.” The last sentence came out as a sob and Faith buried her face in her hands and began to cry. Robin ran his hand over the back of her head. After a few moments, she bolted up and wiped her cheeks. “This is stupid, I know, but I can’t stop thinking if maybe he realized something I never did. Maybe he could see I was a bad seed. Maybe that’s why he never cared.”
“Or maybe he was so self-centered that he never took the time to appreciate all the potential you had and nurture it?” Robin offered. “I lost my mother when I was young and I never knew my birth father. I still don’t. But I was lucky because my mom’s watcher was a good man. We clashed and fought and argued, but in the end I always felt like I was loved. You didn’t have that growing up, Faith, but you have that now. You said it yourself, you’ve got people who depend on you and love you.” He paused and gave a short laugh, causing Faith to turn to him. “You should have seen how frantic Willow was when she came to us,” he told her, “Or how organized and fast Kennedy was in putting the team together. Hell, Giles had the helicopter on the Council roof before I even made it downstairs again with my overnight bag. I don’t think they’d do that for just anyone.”
“They did all that, huh?”
“Yes, they did, because they realize what I realize. We love you. The world needs you, Faith, and if the roles were reversed, they all know you’d be doing the same thing for them. So what if your dad doesn’t see that? Screw him. It’s really his loss and not yours. But I know…he’s still your dad and that’s supposed to mean something.”
“Yeah,” she said softly.
“But the truth is, you’ve got a father in Giles, if you ever need him. You’ve got sisters to cast spells or patrol with each night. And you’ve got a man who thinks you could take on the world and win…you do have a family that loves you, Faith.”
“I guess I am pretty lucky, huh, Ace?” she remarked. She reached around and stroked his face.
“No, not luck, Babe. You’ve earned it, trust me.”
Faith grinned and pulled him closer until their lips met.
Watchers Council – Rowena’s Room – Later that Night
Hearing a knock at her door, Rowena rose from the sofa and put her book down. She made her way to the door and opened it.
“Hi Sweetie,” Becca greeted.
“Hey, come in,” Rowena said, opening her door wider. “Any news from Boston?”
“Willow just called Rupert. Everything’s fine, but a thunderstorm is keeping them grounded tonight. Needless to say, I didn’t get a chance to speak to her.”
“Okay, that’s fine.”
“Well, not really. I’m going home now, because I have to finish packing to go to a book buying expo in Austin, but –” Becca stopped when Rowena grabbed her left hand and began to examine it with a smile. “Oh, I got engaged tonight, too,” she chuckled.
“Congratulations!” Rowena told her. “This is a nice surprise.”
“I didn’t see it coming. but happily accepted nonetheless. Rupert wanted me to stay tonight, of course, but he forgot about the expo tomorrow. So, as soon as I get back, I promise, I’ll talk to her for you.”
“Thanks Becca. I appreciate it.”
Becca examined Rowena for a moment. “She loves you, Sweetie. If you decide to tell her first –.”
“No,” Rowena answered. “I really want you to tell her.”
“Then I will,” Becca promised, not pushing her point further. “Until then, maybe you should call her?”
“But I don’t have the number where she’s –”
Becca held up a piece of paper from her pocket with two fingers, then handed it over. “You do now. Night, Sweetheart.”
Becca walked to the door as Rowena looked at the slip. “You’re an evil woman,” Rowena teased.
“You can thank me later,” Becca replied, as she opened the door with a wink. “See you next week.”
“Have a safe flight,” Rowena answered.
With a nod, Becca left Rowena alone with the hotel phone number. The watcher walked to her bedroom and took a seat on the edge of her bed. She picked up the phone and hesitated a moment before she dialed.
“Room 207 please,” she said politely.
After two rings, Willow’s voice came through on the other side. Rowena opened her mouth, then was moving the receiver as if to hang up when she heard Willow say “hello” again. Quickly she put the phone back to her ear instead.
“Hey,” Rowena said softly. “It’s me. Rowena,” she added. She rolled her eyes at how ridiculous she must sound.
“Hey, is everything okay back home?”
“Just fine. Um, actually, Becca stopped by to show off her engagement ring.”
“To Giles?” Willow squealed.
Rowena chuckled. “No, Sam the Butcher down the street. Yes, Giles.”
“Wow. I had no idea.”
“You either?” Rowena asked.
“No, this is news.”
When Willow didn’t say anything more, Rowena began to play nervously with a fray in her bedspread. “Well, I just called to…to see how Faith’s doing. Becca said everything’s okay, but I thought I’d give a call just to double check and see if you need anything.”
“No, we’re good, but thanks,” Willow told her. “Oh! How’d the meeting go?”
“We won,” Rowena replied, then smiled when she heard the “Woohoo!” on the other end. “Got to meet a few of Palmer’s associates too, but we can talk about it when you get back. You’re probably in bed right now.”
“No, that’s okay,” Willow assured her. “Were they greaseballs like Palmer? I bet they were greaseballs, weren’t they?”
“I’m not sure if I’d say grease exactly, but the one guy came across as quite slick and slippery.”
“Oh, do tell,” Willow’s chipper voice floated to Rowena’s ear.
The blonde watcher smiled and settled back against her headboard. “Well…” she began, as she started to recount the evening’s events, with her smile growing the more she spoke.
Fade to Black
End of New Again
On the next episode of Watchers…
When Willow and Rowena find themselves trapped inside a magically-enhanced game of chess it threatens to reveal each woman’s darkest secrets.
Click here to read “Check Mate” now!