Buffy the Vampire Slayer belongs to Mutant Enemy and the fertile mind of Joss Whedon
So this was where evil mayors lived.
Faith stared at Mayor Wilkins' house. She hadn't known what to expect when she had found his invitation in her apartment's mailbox. An actual invitation on stiff white paper and that gold braid stuff around the edges. Never even got a cheap-ass Hallmark birthday card before. What she had imagined was some big mansion with a wrought-iron fence topped with spikes right out of the Addams Family. Guy had to be crazy rich, right? Only, the address turned out to be in a quiet neighborhood that looked to be one of the older ones in town. The house beyond the actual white picket fence and lawn was a--what do they call them?--Victorian like the other ones in these streets shaded by tall trees. Larger than that bitch Buffy's place, but not huge . Painted a warm green, Mayor Wilkins' was a collection of gables and round towers with a double-decker porch and second-floor balcony that ran around two sides of the house.
It even had a freaking porch swing.
Faith glanced around, nervous. The dress had been a mistake. Coming over in her usual leathers, denims, and boots hadn't seemed right. She had dug out an outfit from the girly clothes the Mayor had given her. The ones she had shoved in the back of her closet, instead of throwing them out. She had chosen a canary-yellow sundress that went down to her knees and flat sandals, with a tortoiseshell barrette holding her hair back in a ponytail. Weird wearing it--pants at least were more like armor. Any guy could yank up the hem on a skirt. No control. Still, he was the boss. Might get a thrill--not that kind of thrill--of her being all sweet and light. But out here in this respectable nabe, it was like anyone looking out would see some teenage pro coming to give the Mayor a game of Daddy Dearest. Faith added a little slayer speed to her walk up the brick-paved path. She didn't stray off it, even though the lawn made her want to curl her toes in the lush grass. The doorbell ding-donged with a cheery ring.
"Faith, so glad you could come!" Mayor Wilkins was casual--for him. Shirt sleeves rolled up and slacks instead of suit pants. Tie was still knotted at his collar. "And you look as pretty as a picture."
"Thought you'd like it, sir," she replied, shyly adjusting the straps of her dress.
"Golly, no need to be formal," Mayor Wilkins said, stepping aside in the way smart Sunnydalers invited people into their homes. "You're a guest now. Call me Rich."
"Yeah, the other way might be weird," Faith said.
"Kids these days. Always seeing the naughty in innocent words. Can't even say gay anymore." Mayor Wilkins' face clouded over. "Oh, darn. I'm sorry about this, Faith, but I need you to do an errand."
"What--" Faith accepted the crossbow he handed her. That kind of errand. She followed the finger he pointed to-- "You want me to grease a squirrel?"
"It is digging up my lawn." Mayor Wilkins pronounced the rodent's sentence as if he was ordering a crucifixion. Caught, the squirrel foraging for buried nuts cringed.
"You're the boss," Faith said with a shrug.
"Thank you." Wilkins fetched the late squirrel impaled on the quarrel. He brushed the grass he had stepped on back into smoothness. "The way a man cares for his lawn tells you everything about him. Somebody lazy enough to let pests and weeds take hold is lazy in other things."
"Want me to dump it in the garbage?" Faith asked.
"Squirrels are pretty good eating." The Mayor studied the late squirrel like it was a steak on special. "Back in my time, squirrels in the larder and a nice fat buck were all a family needed to get through a winter. I was a right devil with a slingshot."
"Guess they didn't have Mickey D's then." Yuck. Eating squirrels? Never saw the Mayor as a hick.
"Nasty stuff, full of grease and preservatives. Awful for the complexion." Wilkins tossed the squirrel back onto the lawn. "Besides, this one is a little too scrawny for a decent meal."
Faith gulped when the grass curled back and...absorbed the dead tree rat. She hoped the burp after was from her imagination.
Man did not fuck around when he posted those KEEP OFF THE GRASS signs.
"Wouldn't want to spoil your appetite." Wilkins clapped his hands together. "Now, who wants some iced tea and pie?"