Willow's spell didn't work exactly the way she planned. Buffy wakes in a coffin occupied by one gorgeous French vampire - in St. Louis.Disclaimer:
Joss Whedon owns Buffy. The Anita Blake: Vampire Executioner books come from the wonderful mind of Laurell K. Hamilton.Pairings:
Post-Bargaining and right before Lunatic Café.
Willow, Tara, Anya and Xander sat around Buffy's headstone. Everyone except Willow held lit candles. The powerful Wicca sat with her eyes closed, softly chanting under her breath. Her eyes flew open as she threw her head back. The chanting grew louder as her eyes became as black as the night surrounding them. Goddess Hecate, hear my plea
Set the one taken from us free
It's her time Osiris, let her pass
Return her to her rightful place
Hecate, hear my plea
Set her free
Set her free
Willow's voice boomed in the quiet night. She started choking as something moved beneath her skin. The others watched in shock as it moved up her arm, to her neck and the choking worsened.
A large snake erupted from her mouth and quickly slithered across the ground toward the Urn of Osiris. It wrapped around the precious urn tighter and tighter, until it shattered into fine powder, which spread over Buffy's grave, before soaking into the ground. The snake followed the urn's remains, sliding straight as an arrow into the grave.
Willow screamed, rushing forward but Xander held her back.
"No, it isn't safe, look!"
Lightning struck the ground, splitting open the grave. The urn's dust spread over Buffy's decaying body. They watched in horror as the body turned into dust and a funnel cloud swept down to suck Buffy's remains away, in a swirling cyclone of power.
Willow collapsed to the ground as tears fell down her cheeks.
"No! It should have worked I did everything right. What happened?"
"I'd tell you, but you'd just tell me to shut up. So, I'm going to shut up before you tell me to." Anya's jaw snapped shut as her arms crossed over her chest.
"An, honey would you please tell us what you know?"
"Sure," she smiled, happy for someone to acknowledge her. "First, whenever you do something like this you risk tearing a hole in this reality."
"What!! Why didn't you tell me?”
Anya rolled her eyes at the redheaded witch’s outburst. It wasn’t her fault they never listened to her. How they had survived this long was beyond her.
"I did but as usual you ignored me. Now, as I was saying, that's one result but the others are far worse. Buffy could have returned as a golem. But, that isn't what happened here."
Anya paused for affect. She was rather enjoying their undivided attention.
”You just handed Buffy over to Hecate and Osiris."
She ignored Tara’s indrawn breath, while she watched Willow. Anya had seen the signs before, and decided she would convince Xander to leave Sunnydale. She did not intend to stay on the Hellmouth without Buffy around to protect them. Not to mention, she didn’t want to be here when Willow lost her magical nut.
"They will send her wherever she's needed the most. I hope she doesn't end up in the world without shrimp, or 'ooh' the one with bunnies everywhere. All those beady eyes and sharp teeth."
Anya shivered. Buffy and her weren’t close, but she wouldn’t wish that on anyone, well anyone Xander cared about.
"Uh, An, are you saying we just brought her back, but the whatsit Willow called on snatched her? That's crazy Anya, how would what we did cause that?"
"Because we shouldn't have done this," Tara answered in a soft voice. "We disturbed the balance, now Buffy has to pay for it. May the Goddess protect her.”
Caskets lined the darkened chamber. Suddenly, wind rushed into the windowless room. The largest casket shimmered with light as a fine layer of dust settled over it. The dust reappeared in the open area below, where a man slept the sleep of the dead. He was beautiful to look at, with long black hair, pale white skin, and a face sculpted by a master artist, with high cheekbones, an aristocratic nose and lips that women craved to taste.
Light illuminated the coffin's interior as the dust settled by the man's side. His eyes popped open, revealing their dark blue color. Jean-Claude, Master of the City of St. Louis, woke disoriented. He blinked several times but the light remained bright as daylight. Looking down to where it seemed more concentrated, he noticed wherever it touched him tingles rushed through his body. The dust started to swirl, obscuring his sight and when it settled, a young woman's dainty body lay beside him.
She had golden skin, long blonde hair; even with her eyes closed, she was beautiful, with high cheekbones that accented full pink lips and finely shaped oval face. Jean-Claude's eyes wandered appreciatively over her nude body. She had the most intriguing little upturn to her nose, which he thought charming. He had lived with perfect beauty, and it had left him wanting. Her torso led to a tiny waist, which gently flared into slender hips and long golden legs. Jean-Claude wondered if perhaps she was a dancer, possibly a ballerina. Trailing his eyes back up, they landed on her sex. A sensual smile curled his lips as he stared at the golden curls hiding the treasures of her womanhood. She lay still as death, breathing softly in the enclosed space.
He opened his coffin, getting out before turning to gather his strange gift. The small golden woman-child never stirred. Walking up the stairs, he called out for Jason to open the door.
A young man no older responded with surprise showing clearly on his face. He was short, barely over five feet. The way he moved and the play of muscles showing through a fishnet shirt, said he was more than he seemed. Jason was a werewolf who stripped at Jean-Claude's clubs. He also provided another service, as Jean-Claude's pomme de sang
or blood apple. Jason was the vampire's main source of blood, which suited him perfectly. He shook his blonde head as his blue eyes grew wide seeing the nude woman in the vampire's arms.
"Jean-Claude, where'd she come from, no one's entered the chamber? And how are you awake? It's only 3 o'clock.”
how can this be? I've never risen this early. I don't know how or why, but she appeared in my coffin. I need to lay her down; call Dr. Lillian tell her it's an emergency.”
Jason ran to the office as Jean-Claude walked toward his room.
Several of the Weres who lived at the Circus came to see what was happening. When they saw him up before the sunset, they stepped back in fear. Nathaniel, a wereleopard, felt a pull toward the woman in Jean-Claude's arms. Something about her made him want to touch her, so he quietly followed Jean-Claude to his room.
Jean-Claude laid Buffy on the bed, but she still didn't stir. He shook her lightly with no response. Touching her brow to smooth her hair back, his whole body stiffened. Her life flashed in his mind. It was over so quickly he almost thought he imagined it, but he couldn't quite convince himself. He cautiously touched her again, when nothing happened, with a sigh he sat on the bed and held her hand
Nathaniel crawled up to lay his head close beside her.
"Who is she?"
He sniffed the air then licked Buffy's hand.
"She's different; I haven't ever smelled someone like her before.”
"I don't know Nathaniel. When she awakens she will have to tell us.”
Jason rushed into the room. "Lillian's on her way; she said to give her about fifteen minutes. Still hasn't woken up yet, huh?"
I'm beginning to worry for mon petit dore l'un
.” He couldn't take his eyes from Buffy's face. "Please chére
; wake up so I'll at least know your name. Why were you sent to me?"
They sat in silence watching the quiet rise and fall of her chest. Dr. Lillian came into the room unannounced. She was a wererat and one of the only doctors available to most weres and vampires. Lillian was in her mid-fifties with short salt and pepper hair and dark brown eyes, which saw everything.
"What's the emergency, Jean-Claude?"
"Lillian, thank you for coming. She won't wake up."
He swept his hand toward the body on the bed.
"Who is she?' Lillian asked, as she moved closer to the bed.
"I don't know; I found her like this."
Jean-Claude sent Jason a look, which clearly told him no one else was to know the truth.
"Well, move out of the way if you want me to look at her."
Lillian took over Jean-Claude post beside the bed. She pulled the covers back, only to turn and glare at Jean-Claude.
"Why'd you remove her clothes?"
"I did not. It is how I found her. I only want to help her, Lillian. She's my responsibility, mine to protect."
Jason and Nathaniel started at the possessive note in his voice. The only other person he'd used that tone with was Anita. Anita was dating Richard, another werewolf, and refused any contact with Jean-Claude. Glancing at each other, they wondered if the tiny woman on the bed had replaced the famed Executioner.
Lillian listened to Buffy's heart and lungs. She rolled back the covers looking for any type of wound. The golden body mesmerized Jason and Nathaniel.
turn around," Jean-Claude ordered, unable to control his possessive feelings. Why do I feel so possessive? I don't even know who or hopeful to convince Anita to give me a chance. I still care for Anita, don't I? This is ridiculous of course, I do!
They heard a sigh from the bed and turned to see if their mystery guest was awake. Buffy's eyes fluttered for a moment before opening. She looked around the room and at the people but didn't recognize anything.
"Who are you, and where am I?"
"I am Jean-Claude, the Master of the City for St. Louis. You're at the Circus of the Damned, my home. This is Jason, Nathaniel and Dr. Lillian. Will you tell us your name and where you're from?”
"My name's Buffy Summers and I'm from...”
Her head tilted to the side and she wrinkled her nose.
"I don't know where I'm from. I only know my name and what you are. Why doesn't that frighten me?"
"What do you mean what we are?"
He watched her closely, waiting for her answer.
"I can feel you like a tingle down my spine. You're a vampire, he's a wolf, the one with the pretty hair is a big cat, a leopard and she's a...rat. What's going on? I don't understand."
Tears filled her large hazel eyes making them seem even more brilliant. Jean-Claude moved to sit beside her on the bed.
"Shush mon petit chateau
you're going to be all right. No one will hurt you, and we'll find the answers together.”
He wrapped an arm around her; Buffy moved into his arms willingly, laying her head on his chest. His heart lay barely beating since he hadn't fed. Her hand smoothed over the nearly silent organ. He felt his heart jump at her touch. It started to beat at a slow steady rhythm. Mon Dieu, what manner of creature is she?
Jason and Nathaniel heard his heartbeat change. Lillian moved to check on Buffy again. Jean-Claude shook his head, glancing toward the door. They left the room closing the door behind them.
Buffy looked up at Jean-Claude.
"Are you going to bite me?”
She felt the laugh all the way down her spine.
, at least not until you ask me to chére.
"What makes you think I'll ask? Maybe I'll find my clothes and just leave.”
Her chin went up as she told him in a no-nonsense tone. He leaned back to look at her.
"Buffy, someone sent you to me for a reason. I'll not let you go until I find out what it is.”
His hand cupped her cheek and the skin's softness amazed him. Buffy's lids fluttered shut at his touch. The feelings he caused equally frightened and thrilled her. Jean-Claude captured her lips in a soft kiss. He only meant to taste her for a moment, but when her lips opened, inviting him in, he was lost. He wrapped his hands around her back crushing her to him.
Buffy's hand moved of its violation around his neck, lying back and pulling him down with her. She buried her fingers in his long hair to anchor her hold on him. He couldn't resist the golden breasts crushed against his chest. Jean-Claude cupped one in his hand. His thumb moved slowly, sensuously over her soft skin, causing Buffy to arch her back.
She reluctantly pulled away from his mouth, his touch. Her breath came out in short gasps.
"Please, I can't think when you do that.”
Jean-Claude sighed, "You aren't alone in this, Buffy. You make me forget everything else and I don't know if I like that."
"I'm sorry," her voice a hushed whisper.
Buffy felt so out of place, so disoriented. The only thing that felt right, that felt real was this man.
"Non, mon petit cadeau
, you misunderstand. I don't understand the feelings you've awoken in me. They aren't bad. It just isn't what I expected. I had already settled on a course in my mind and then you arrived. Now, everything is, how you say, in the air again."
Buffy smiled up at him, snuggling closer as her hand automatically moved back to his heart.
"You have a good heart, Jean-Claude. I like the way it sounds under my ear. Here feel the way it beats along with mine.”
She put his hand between her breasts. It was true, her heart beat to the same rhythm as his, or was it the other way around, Jean-Claude wasn't sure anymore. He wasn't sure of many things anymore.
"What are you little one, to do this to me?"
"I don't know, just a girl, I guess. Maybe, no one ever accepted you for you. You just aren't used to feeling someone not being afraid of you. When I look at you, talk to you and touch you, I see a man who happens to be a vampire, not a vampire who is a man. I don't know why that is, it just is.”
Jean-Claude caught a tear from her cheek. Looked at it on his finger before putting it in his mouth, he could taste her sorrow and confusion. He tasted something else, something deep within her essence as well. Leaning forward, he gently kissed away her tears.
"What's happening to your scar?"
Buffy heard the cross-shaped scar pulse under the pale alabaster skin. He touched it feeling his heart race. When Buffy reached out to touch him, her hands began to glow a pale green, the color of new leaves. She shrieked looking up at Jean-Claude with eyes wide with fear.
Jason and Nathaniel ran into the room to watch Buffy's glowing hand touch Jean-Claude's chest. It moved of its volition, as if it knew what to do even if Buffy didn't. They rushed forward, but Jean-Claude raised his hand, halting them.
The two young weres watched her fingers smooth over the cross-shaped scar. The green luminosity intensified, until the others in the room had to shade their eyes. The light faded down, pulsed once, glowing green a moment longer before the scar shrank until nothing remained, except smooth alabaster skin.
what did you do?"
"I don't know. I looked at your scar and thought it was a shame you couldn't heal it. So, I wished I could heal it for you."
Nathaniel crawled forward sniffing the air. He moved slowly onto the bed as if he expected rejection. He curled up near Buffy, who hurriedly covered herself when she finally realized she was still nude.
When Nathaniel approached her, she simply held out a hand to him. Buffy rested her head on Jean-Claude's chest and closed her eyes. Nathaniel licked her hand, rubbing his head against it. She touched his face gently pulling his head onto her lap; he went willingly. Buffy scratched behind his ears, soothing his beast. His face held a look of pure bliss, while Jean-Claude looked on. Whatever she is, she isn't evil. I fear her being here is going to turn my world upside down.
If only he knew, how true his words were.
Jason watched as Buffy welcomed Nathaniel to her world. He saw the confusion on the Master vampire's beautiful face. I don't think Anita has to worry about choosing between two men. I hope she won't regret playing them against each other. Frankly, I think Buffy and Jean-Claude make a better couple.
Damian, Jean-Claude's second-in-command, entered the room; his face flushed having just come from feeding. He was a thousand old and his Nordic background showed in the sharp cheekbones, blood-red hair, pale green eyes and tall body. He noticed the Master of the City holding a small blonde woman in his arms, so he leaned against the wall closest to the door, waiting for his orders.
"Do you need anything, Jean-Claude?”
"You have eaten, oui
? Stay with Buffy while I do so."
He started to extract himself from her embrace. Buffy held on tightly looking into his face.
"Jean, please, don't leave me. You can eat here, I don't mind. If I stay here, I'll have to get used to it anyway, right."
are you sure? It may make you want to turn from me."
He couldn't stand the thought, and it showed in his voice.
"Why? What're you going to do? I mean you're not going to kill anyone, right. I'd have to stop you. I'm not sure how, but I'd find a way. Tell me what I'll see," Buffy rambled on then went silent, waiting for an answer.
"You said you could tell Jason was a wolf.” Buffy nodded. "He's also my pomme de sang
. I feed on his blood, but the bite heals quickly. It is our way, bien-aimé.
"Jason, right?” Buffy looked at the young blonde wolf. "Does it hurt, or you don't like it in anyway?" Her voice held a note of concern.
"No, it doesn't hurt. In fact, it's great. Jean-Claude can give pleasure with his bite."
She looked back at the dark-haired vampire, holding her. Buffy put her finger to his mouth silently asking for entrance. He opened his mouth, allowing her curious finger to explore his teeth. They ran lightly over his fangs, accidentally pricking her finger when she pulled away.
Damian stiffened when the scent of Buffy's blood hit the room. Jason fell to his knees, curling onto his back like a happy puppy waiting for someone to scratch his tummy. Nathaniel moved closer until he could rest his head on her chest.
Buffy's eyes darkened, staring at the blood on her finger. Blood it's always about blood.
The thought came as a whisper in her mind; someone said those words to her, but who. She looked at Jean-Claude who seemed hypnotized by her blood. She raised her hand to his mouth, offering him what he craved.
Jean-Claude sucked on her small finger like a babe searching for a tit. When her blood touched his tongue, his heart raced faster, causing his entire body to come alive, aching with want for her. He pulled away gasping for unneeded breath.
Neither realized they had closed the circle of another's design. Buffy's eyes turned a deep green, her lids half closed, giving her the look of a woman who had just made love.
Translations:mon petit doré l'un
- my small golden onemon petit cadeau
- my little giftma tendre aimée
- my dear loveSombre idiot
- you idiotmon sombre amour
- my dark loverMontre-moi ton amour
- show me your lovemon amore, jet atim ami
- My love, I love youMa petite dorée
- my little golden onebien-aimé
- Holy bluechére
- dearMon Dieu
- My God