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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: RichardCarolFR153138,7541035100,4203 Jan 0328 Jan 03Yes

Going to the Circus

Chapter 20

Willow was enjoying spending some down time with her aunt. It was

the day after Christmas. They casually lounged around the house

doing nothing in particular. Willow was glad for the respite.

She was still trying to come to terms with what had happened in

Myerton. She had shown some aggressive tendencies that she thought

that she hadn't been capable of. She remembered when she went

all uber-witch on the Scoobies but this was different. The fight

with Lucy had tapped into something primal for Willow. She had

really embraced her beast in that fight. Maybe she was at the

acceptance stage over her loss of humanity. She thought she might


Her day of inactivity was interrupted by a call from her favorite

British vampire. He rang her up soon after the sun had set and

evening had fallen. She was surprised to be hearing from him. She

had expected that he wouldn't call until after the New Year. He

had been in town for a while just getting settled in to his new

digs. He had driven from California to Missouri. He couldn't

leave behind his precious De Soto.

She hurriedly showered and dressed up a little nicer. Spike was

coming by to bring her to the Circus of the Damned where he was un-

living. Willow thought that was a very strange name for a circus.

Who knows why it was called that? It must be that peculiar sense of

humor that vampires acquire as they age.

Willow's thoughts were derailed by a knocking at the front door.

Willow rushed down the stairs at the speed of sound. She had missed

her Spike. She threw open the front door and jumped into Spike's

arms. He managed to catch her even though he stumbled a bit from

the impact.

"I see that you missed your favorite creature of the night."

Spike smiled and then his smile turned into a smirk. "Completely

understandable. I am a handsome devil. If I say so, myself."

Willow gave a groan at that. "Put me down creature of the night.

You need to come inside and meet Auntie. I think that she will just

love you."

"Uh Oh, this is serious. I don't have to ask for permission

for your hand, do I?"

Willow shook her head as she led him into the house. "Auntie

just likes to meet my friends even if they are supernatural in

nature. She's taking an interest. It's nice for a change

having someone take an interest in my life."

Spike put an arm around her shoulder. "Ah Pet, you know that me

and Angel will always take an interest. You are so biteable that we

can't help ourselves."

Willow gave a huff at that. "I knew you were just interested in

my O positive."

Spike wiggled his eyebrows in response.

Willow called out to her aunt. "Auntie I want you to meet the

notorious Spike."

Auntie turned around from the stove where she had been cooking. She

gave a wide smile at seeing her niece. "Ah, Spike the vampire

friend from L.A. Nice to meet you." She held out her hand to

shake his.

Spike placed a chaste kiss on her knuckles. "Yes, the very same.

It is so nice to see that Willow isn't the only biteable member

of her family." He gave a playful leer at Willow's aunt.

Auntie blushed a little at his tone. She gave a girlish giggle in

response. "Such a dashing ne'er-do-well. You can come by

anytime you like." She then asked, "Don't you two have

somewhere you have to be?"

Spike looked at Willow, "Yes, the night is wasting and I have so

much corrupting of the innocent to do."

Willow rolled her eyes at Spike. "There will be no corrupting.

I'll be back late. Don't wait up, Auntie." And with

that they traipsed out to his waiting car.

Willow waited until they were way away from her house to begin her

interrogation. "So, Spike why the rush to show me your new


Spike spared her a nervous glance. "Well, the Master of the city

wants to meet you. He knows that you're the reason I'm here

and not in L.A. He just has to make the acquaintance of the one who

ensnared the affections of two master vampires."

Willow scoffed at that. "Yeah, right. I'm so with the

beguiling temptress. Luring the undead to their doom."

Spike chuckled. "Well, there was that spell to make me kiss the

slayer if I remember right."

Willow pouted. "Hey, I've paid for that crime. I've

baked many cookies to atone for my sin. You can't keep bringing

that up."

Spike gave her a serious look. "I don't like him taking an

interest in you. He is dangerous."

"Don't worry about me, Spike. I can handle him. I'm not

just witchy me. I'm the new and improved furry, witchy me."

Willow shot a reassuring smile at Spike. "So, what are you doing

for this dangerous Master of the city?"

Spike mumbled something and stared hard out the windshield. Willow

shook her head. "I didn't quite catch what you said, Spike.

What was that?"

Spike gave a little groan. "I'm going to be stripping at one

of his clubs."

Willow got a devious gleam to her eyes. "Like that movie, Full


Spike had annoyed look on his face. "I will not be stripping all

the way, Luv. I just knew you were going to be this way. Giving me

nothing but grief. And I'll have you know that I'm much more

attractive than those blokes."

Willow laughed at his hurt tone. "Cheer up Spike! You know,

you're my favorite piece of undead beefcake. I can't wait to

see your routine." Willow got a glazed look in her eyes. Spike

stripping on a stage in front of a legion of screaming women. She

hoped she wasn't drooling.

It was Spike's turn to give a huff. "Just be that way. We

have arrived. Welcome to the Circus of the Damned."

Willow looked out the window and saw a large warehouse. A neon sign

above had dancing clowns. Willow squinted harder at the sign. The

clowns had fangs. Willow had misgivings about going knowingly into

a vampire's lair.

Spike gallantly took her arm and escorted her into the lower bowels

of the building. Willow was nervous about being underground. It

made sense that someone with serious sun allergies would want to

have their home underground. The thought didn't make her feel

any better though.

Willow felt completely turned around as they continued to walk down

another hallway. This place was a literal maze. Willow thoughts

were arrested by the sight of a yummy looking blonde who had a

familiar look to him.

Spike broke out into a grin. "Hey Jason, is the Master busy?"

Jason chuckled. "You know, that he wants to be referred as Jean-

Claude not Master. He's waiting for you."

"I can't help myself. Used to the old ways, you know. He

doesn't call me, Spike. Always calling me by William. Can't

help but call him Master." Spike grin widened. "Have you

had the honor of meeting my Red?"

Willow felt that Jason was mentally undressing her. She gave a

growl at that. How rude!

"No, I haven't had the pleasure." Jason drawled that

last bit. He continued to eye Willow like she was a seven-course

meal and he was a refugee from Weight-Watchers.

Willow decided that she needed to put this pervert in his place. No

wonder Spike seemed to like this guy. Birds of a feather and

such. "I'm Willow. You seem familiar for a letch. Have I

seen you before?" She smiled a little to take the sting out.

Jason graced Willow with a dazzling smile. "Probably at the

lupanar. You were too busy joining the Richard appreciation society

to notice little ole me."

Willow blushed. She didn't think that she had been that obvious

in her observation of all that was Richard goodness. Guess she was


Jason was still grinning. "I heard an interesting rumor about


Willow frowned at him. What had she done now? "What about?"

"Oh, just about your adventures in Myerton. Gave quite the

showing. Heard you really impressed them. Next lupanar should be

the experience. Paris won't be happy with more competition. She

is going to be gunning for you." Jason seemed to sing out that

last bit.

Willow came to the conclusion that Jason reveled in others

misfortunes. He must be a troublemaker. Willow would be nonchalant

about what had happened. No reason to fan the flames of rumor.

"It was nothing. You probably heard wrong."

Jason grinned. "We'll see. I hope I remember to bring

popcorn. I just love a good catfight." He gave a wave to them

both and sauntered off.

Willow rolled her eyes. What else was going to happen? She

didn't need this grief. She just wanted to be happily anonymous

in the pack. Guess that wasn't going to be.

Willow followed Spike to a nondescript door. He straightened up and

gave a firm knock. They heard a `come in' from within.

Willow swallowed nervously. Here goes nothing.

Willow was in awe of the room. It was obviously an office but it

had style. It was done in black and white with silver accents. An

oil painting graced the wall above the couch. She didn't get a

chance to take in the paintings details. She felt the presence of

more than one vampire.

Her gaze was drawn to the man, no vampire, regally reclining behind

a massive desk. His pale long fingers were folded elegantly in

front of him. He had gorgeous curling black hair that she wanted to

run her hands through. He was magnificent but worrying. Something

about him called out to her beast. She stifled the urge to climb up

into his lap. That would probably make a bad impression.

Spike came to her side. "May I present Willow Rosenberg. This

is the master of St. Louis."

The master stood up and walked around the desk. Willow was frozen

to the spot. She wouldn't be able to move even if the room was

on fire. She was mesmerized by his presence.

He took one of her hands and placed a delicate kiss upon it.

"How enchanting. You may call me Jean-Claude my little wolf."

Willow gave a shudder of delight. His voice was absolute

decadence. It caressed her in very naughty places. She wasn't

sure if she liked that. She managed to stutter out a "Pleased to

meet you."

Jean-Claude released her hand. She felt a pang of loss. He turned

and gestured to the vampire that had been lurking in the

shadows. "Mon Ami, introduce yourself to this delicate


Willow felt like she had died and gone to heaven. Was there a

requirement to being drop dead gorgeous to become a vampire? She

stifled a giggle at the thought of drop dead literally. The lurker

in the shadows had hair that gleamed like gold. It was long and

lovely and covered half his face. She wanted to run her fingers

through his hair too. She managed to not give into the impulse.

She quickly glanced away from his eyes. His eyes were probably his

best feature after his hair. They were a pale blue like a husky.

The blonde vampire repeated the gesture of hand kissing. Willow may

never wash her hand again after this night.

"I am Asher, delicate one. It is a pleasure to meet you. I

would hope that you will come here often."

Willow could only nod. She didn't trust her voice to not come

out like a squeak.

Jean-Claude interrupted Willow's lust fest by saying,

"William you must bring Willow to the New Year's Eve party at

Danse Macabre. I'm sure that she would have an interesting


Willow looked at Spike with a questioning look. He shook his head.

This would be discussed later. Jean-Claude walked back to his desk

and picked up the book he had been glancing at. This was clearly a

dismissal. Spike took Willow's arm and led her out of the office.

Willow halted just a few feet from the office. "What was that

about?" She demanded.

Spike gave a shrug. "I told you. Jean-Claude is interested in

you. He likes to know every little thing that goes on in the city.

We will have to get you kitted out for the fancy shindig. It is

just in a few days."

Willow gave a look of horror. "You don't mean shopping do


Spike regained his playful demeanor. "Yes, Pet! We're going

to go shopping. You need a new look for the new you."

Willow couldn't help but give a shudder. Shopping with Spike was

going to be a nightmare. She just knew it.
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