“What brings you to Seacouver?” Joe Dawson poured Faith a second beer as he passed her a dinner of meat loaf and potatoes across the bar.
“Business, I guess.” Faith took a swig of beer. She looked over at Richie, who was nursing a beer of his own. Faith was still puzzling why she had the odd feeling that Richie wasn't completely human. She studied his face closely. He didn't feel like Oz, who occasionally traveled with her. Werewolves had a distinct smell, at least to her slayer nose. Richie smelled human. But that odd silken feeling, she'd felt it before.
Richie caught her staring. “What?”
Faith looked embarrassed. “I'm sorry.” Faith turned her head away, and had a quick flash of memory. Two men fighting with swords in a darkened alley in San Francisco. She had run to help – or something only to hear a whispered, “There can be only one.” Only one what? Then the lightning had started and the surviving man had begun screaming.
“You're one of those lighting demons.” Faith told him. Richie looked at her oddly. Joe laughed and attempted to cover it with a cough. But Faith was surprised to hear a girlish giggle behind her.
“Lightning demon? That's the first time I've been called that.” Faith turned her head to see a tall dark-haired woman glide into the bar with a dancer's grace. She could have been a slayer, only she wasn't. “Amanda Darieux.” The woman held out a slender hand to Faith. “And who are you, little witch?”
“Faith Giles.” Faith cocked her head. Amanda made her teeth ache, kind of like the blond man from San Francisco.
“Bonjour, Faith Giles. Any relation to Rupert Giles of Bath?”
“Not exactly.” Faith eyed her suspiciously. “Are you going to kill Richie? I'm afraid I can't let you do that.”
“Cute.” Amanda laughed. pinching Faith's cheek. Faith slapped her hand away. “Joe, isn't she adorable?” Joe gave Amanda a “be quiet” look, which Amanda ignored. Amanda turned serious eyes to the slayer. “You know, the rules forbid interference.”
“I never was one to follow rules.” Faith smirked at her. “They never really applied to me.”
“Richie's too cute to kill.” Amanda answered teasingly, ruffling Richie's hair. Richie turned to Amanda, annoyed. “But why do you care?”
“My bike's in his shop. I want to pick it up before you two kill each other.”
Amanda laughed again, this time batting her eyes at Joe. “Joe knows I wouldn't kill Richie.”
Joe rolled his eyes, “I'll vouch for her. Your bike's safe, tonight. From Amanda at least.” He gave Amanda a pointed look.
“I'm not going to steal her bike!” Amanda protested.
Faith took Richie by the arm. “Let's go get my bike. Do you prefer cash or check?” She dragged Richie out of the bar.
Adam slid into the bar past the exiting pair. Faith groaned and rubbed her head. “Another stupid lightning demon. You guys give me a headache.” Adam watched Faith and Richie head down the street before heading to the bar and grabbing the beer waiting for him. He nodded and smiled at Amanda. “So tell me, Amanda, what's the Slayer doing in Seacouver?”