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A Willow In Wolf's Clothing

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Summary: Willow transfers to Washington University at St. Louis to get away from things that go bump in the night. Too bad for her that things go bump in the night in St. Louis too. Willow/Richard

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anita Blake > Willow-Centered > Pairing: RichardCarolFR153138,754103599,3713 Jan 0328 Jan 03Yes

And Back Again

Chapter 19


The day of their departure finally arrived. Willow was busily

packing up her stuff and double-checking her cabin to make sure that

she had not left anything behind. Her perusal of her surroundings

was interrupted by a knocking at her door.


Willow walked up to the door and opened it. Marianne stood there

waiting for an invitation to come in. Willow smiled at seeing

Marianne.


"I was hoping that I wouldn't miss your leaving. I wanted to

say my goodbyes too." Marianne stepped by Willow into the cabin.


Willow shut the door. "Nope, still with the last minute packing.

I was expecting the guys to be pounding down my door demanding to

get the show on the road."


"I'm sure that they will be along very soon. They are

already packing the car." Marianne said this as she sat down on

the bed. She motioned for Willow to join her.


"Willow, I just want you to know that I believe you are capable

of handling all your acquired capabilities. You proved this to me

at the lupanar when you bested Lucy. You are well on your way to

incorporating all aspects of yourself."


Willow gave a little shrug in reply. "I'm trying my best. I

sense a `but' coming."


Marianne gave a sly grin. "Yes, there is a but coming in this

conversation. You can't continue to dabble in witchcraft on your

own. You need the support of a coven. You need others to help you

keep from over-tasking your abilities. Bad consequences result in

lone dabbling."


"Don't I know that? Many of my spells go wonky on me. I

didn't really have a teacher instructing me in the ways of the

craft."


Marianne put an arm around her. "That is why it is so impressive

with what you managed to accomplish on your own. I want us to stay

in contact. If you have any problems at all, I want you to call me

up."


Willow could feel tears beginning to well up in her eyes. She would

miss Marianne. It felt safe being near her. She reminded her of

the coven in England. She missed having a mentor.


"Well, we better get you to the car. Don't want to miss your

ride?" Marianne then embraced Willow in a hug. Willow gave a

tearful smile and hugged back. She hoped she would be able to come

back and visit really soon.


Marianne waited for Willow at the door. Willow gathered up her

luggage and followed Marianne outside to the waiting vehicle. It

was time for a long car ride sitting next to a drop dead gorgeous

male. How ever would she survive?


Shang-Da gave a curt nod to Marianne and took Willow's bag. He

placed with the rest of the luggage in the back. Marianne then gave

a final hug and climbed back into her truck. Willow and Shang-Da

stood watching her drive off into the distance.


Willow finally turned to Shang-Da. "Where is everybody else

at?"


Shang-Da shrugged his elegant shoulders. "They're around. I

expect they will be along in a moment."


Willow sighed. They sat down on the tailgate of the SUV. They

didn't have long to wait. Richard's cabin door swung open.

Jamil came out first followed by Richard and Verne. They were

deeply in a conversation. Willow had a feeling that it might

involve her. The pack had been deeply impressed. Willow had even

gotten propositioned by one of Verne's wolves. She turned him

down flat. She couldn't help but be flattered though. She

wasn't used to that much male attention.


Willow's suspicions about Verne and Richard's conversation

were completely accurate. Verne had a long discussion with Richard

about the need for pack stability. Richard was throwing his pack

into upheaval by not having a lupa. He needed to replace Anita with

a worthy candidate.


Verne continued with his peace as they walked towards the

car. "There are probably good candidates already in your

pack." He glanced at Willow as he said this little tidbit.

"You just need to give them a try."


Richard grudgingly agreed with Verne. They shook hands and parted

ways. Verne walked up to Willow. "So, sugar, are you going to

give this old man a hug?"


Willow gave a little squeal and jumped up. "Of course, you know

how I feel about older men." She wiggled her eyebrows at Verne.

She was sure she felt some of her ribs were probably cracked from

Verne's embrace.


"Willow, if you ever get tired of these city werewolves, just

give me a call. We have plenty of room in our pack for you. You

are going to make a great alpha."


Willow blushed in response. She nodded her head. "Well, I need

to finish my degree but I'll keep y'all in mind."


Willow climbed into the backseat and was soon joined by Richard.

Jamil climbed behind the wheel and Shang-Da sat next to him. Jamil

started up the car and they were off. Back to her life in St.

Louis. She pondered what her pack would say about her adventures in

Myerton.


Richard's thoughts were running along similar lines as

Willow's. He leaned on the car door and gave Willow sideways

glances. He had a lot to think about.
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