Joss Whedon owns "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and related characters; Patricia Briggs owns "The Mercedes Thompson Series" and related characters; I own nothing.~*~*~
Sitting outside of a small cafe a few blocks from the garage where I had left my car, I absently played with the empty cup in front of me. Seeing Samuel again after all these years had been a surprise. Not a nice, Christmas-y surprise, but more like roundhouse kick to the face surprise. Not of the good.
A shadow crossed my table, causing me to look up. Oh look. Speak of the devil. Samuel stood there, hands shoved into his pockets, looking at me with a studied blank face.
“Any particular reason you decided to make with the stalking?” I asked, voicing the most polite thing that ran through my mind. “I’m pretty sure I left all your Celine Dion CDs in Texas.” Not my most clever of lines, but give me a break. It’s not like I was expecting to see him out here. Last I heard, he was in Montana with the Marrok, hence the reason I avoided that area like the plague.
“I forgot how... unique your sense of humor was,” Samuel replied, his voice pleasant on the surface but frosty underneath. Somewhere, so deep down inside that I had almost forgotten it existed, a part of my heart twinged with sadness at his tone.
“What can I say? With people like you around, I think of it as a public service,” I shot back, getting to my feet. Even though I was shorter than he was, it let him know that I wasn’t about to give into his stupid dominance games. “Why are you here?” I asked, resisting the urge to cross my arms. That would make me look like I was trying to protect myself, and I didn’t want to look weak. Not in front of him.
“I think the real question is, Slayer, why are you here?” he asked, stepping closer to me and trying to use his height to intimidate me. I didn’t miss the fact that in both of our conversations so far, he hadn’t used my name. “I wasn’t aware that there was anything here that would require your special talents.”
“I’m just enjoying the wonderful weather.” It was a lie. I was trying to get to a place on the Peninsula to look into rogue vampires and do some Slay-age if necessary. “I was thinking of maybe going to tour a winery while I was in the area, just to try something new.”
“Why don’t I believe you?” I could hear the challenge in his voice, as well as something else. It took me a minute to identify it--betrayal. Any regret I had went flying out the window.
“I wasn’t the only one keeping secrets back in Texas,” I reminded him, my tone almost glacial. I felt his eyes boring into mine and noticed that they were becoming paler. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go find a hotel.” I grabbed the bags that held my clothes and weapons and was about to walk away when his hand snaked out to grip my arm.
“Let go,” I warned him, my voice dropping.”Now.”
“You do anything to hurt Mercy, there is nothing stopping me from ripping you to shreds,” he threatened, his voice almost a growl. His eyes were practically Arctic again, and his voice was of the sub-zero levels.
“Now you’re just being offensive.” I had suspected there was something a little more than human about Mercy Thompson, and Samuel’s warning had just confirmed it. “Let go of my arm before I have to dislocate it.” He waited for a moment in some stupid show of his before releasing his fingers.
“I wish I could say it was a pleasure, but it wasn’t,” I said, adjusting my grip on my bags. “Good-bye, Samuel.” I walked away towards the curb to hail a cab.
I was about to get in when I heard him whisper behind me, “Good-bye, Buffy.”