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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: RichardCarolFR153138,754103599,3693 Jan 0328 Jan 03Yes

Didn't I see this on an episode of Blind Date?

Chapter 24


Willow frantically searched for the perfect pair of shoes to match

her outfit. Her nerves were completely frazzled. Her date was

going to be knocking on the front door in just twenty minutes. She

hadn't been on a date in such a long time. She hadn't had a

serious relationship since Tara. Could she do this? Too late to

back out now.


Willow looked up from where she was on the floor when she heard her

aunt clearing her throat. Willow had been searching under the bed

for any fugitive shoes that may have escaped her notice. Her aunt

was grinning and holding a pair of strappy new heels.


Willow gave a little squeal. "These are perfect, Auntie. Thank

you so much."


Auntie just shook her head. "I'll be downstairs if you need

me."


Willow heard the phone ringing. Her aunt called out that she would

get it. Willow was glad. She hadn't had enough time to stress

about her upcoming date. She couldn't believe that he of all

people would call her up. Mousey little Willow was going on a date

with the absolutely dreamy Richard.


He had called her up the next day after the lupanar. He was

wondering if she had been serious in what she had said. Willow was

serious. She did want to date Richard. She just couldn't

believe that she had acted like she had or said what she said that

night at the lupanar. She expected ridicule from Richard when she

answered in a tiny voice, `yes.' She was again pleasantly

surprised. He asked her out on a date.


So, now she sat wringing her hands with worry. Thousands of

scenarios ran through her head on how this date could go wrong. She

didn't have the best track record relationship-wise. Not that

she had a lot of relationships. Just the two unless you count

Moloch.


Her train of thought derailed with her aunt calling out that the

phone was for her. Oh, no was Richard calling off? Had he come to

his senses? Was she doomed to not have any Richard smoochies?


She shook off her negative thoughts. If Richard was calling off,

then it was his loss. There were plenty of fish in the sea and any

other empty cliché that she could come up with. She straightened

her spine and marched downstairs to face her doom.


She picked up the phone and gave a tentative, "Hello?"


"Hello Red. It's your favorite creature of the night."


Willow breathed a sigh of relief. It was Spike. Her worries

hadn't come to pass. But why would Spike be calling tonight?

Wasn't this his night off? Maybe something bad had happened?

Maybe she needed to bail his sorry ass out of jail, again.


"Um, Spike? What's up? Something wrong? Do you need bail

money?"


Spike gave a chuckle. "Nothing's wrong, Red. Just calling

you up to see what you are up to."


Willow gave another sigh. "Well, I'm kinda busy right now.

I'm going out for the evening."


"Change of plans, Luv. Come visit me at the Circus. We can

catch the show. I'm sure your scientific curiosity would be

tickled. They have a Lamia."


Willow was sidetracked. "Really, a Lamia?" She shook her

head. "I can't Spike. I've got a date."


She was sure she could hear the sulk in his voice. "Break the

date. I want to spend time with you." The last part came out as

a whine. If he had been in the living room, she was sure he would

have tried the sad puppy dog eyes routine.


She steeled her nerves. "I can't Spike. I'm going out

on a date with Richard."


"Richard, bet he's not as charming as me. He some human

bloke you have your eye on?"


Willow shook her head then realized that he wouldn't be able to

see that. "No, he's a werewolf like me. He's the

Ulfric."


"Ulfric? Sounds important. Moving up in the world are ya?"

Spike queried.


Willow was annoyed. She knew that Richard should be at that door

any minute. At least she hoped he would show up. She didn't

want to be stood up. She needed to get off the phone.


"Spike, I really need to go. Why couldn't you have called

earlier? I can come by the Circus some other time. Richard asked me

first."


Spike persisted. "Pet, please come to the Circus. For me."


That brought Willow up short. Spike hardly ever said please. He

teased. He threatened. He cajoled. He never liked to beg. Willow

knew immediately that something was up.


"Spike, why are you being such a pain about this? Are you in

trouble or something?"


Spike hurriedly said, "no."


Willow wasn't buying it. "Spike, tell me what is wrong. Why

this sudden interest in getting me to the Circus? It's

Jean-Claude, isn't it?"


With Spike's silence, Willow knew that she was right. "Why

does Jean-Claude want me at the Circus tonight of all nights?"


"I don't know pet. He didn't say but you could tell that

it was a royal decree of sorts." Spike's voice had taken on a

softer quality. Like he was afraid the walls had ears.


Willow didn't have time for this. She was unsure what to do.

Stupid pushy vampires.


"Are you going to get into trouble if I don't show up?"


Spike was quiet for a moment. "I don't think so, pet. And

if I did. Well, it's nothing I hadn't been through before.

Don't worry about me pet. It is probably for the best that you

don't come. I don't like him taking an interest in you."


Willow was frozen with indecision. She didn't want Spike to get

hurt because of her. She would just have to break the date. Even

though she didn't want to. The point will probably be moot

anyway. Richard probably forgot.


Willow sighed. "I'll come, Spike. Can't have you

getting into trouble because of me. I know that you like to earn

your punishments."


"Ah, pet. I appreciate this. Maybe you can make another date.

I don't understand why it had to be tonight. His mind works in

mysterious ways. Maybe it's nothing and he was just bored. I

will keep you safe."


Willow gave a little shrug. "You might be right. It probably

wouldn't have worked out with Richard anyway. You know my track

record. I'll be there soon. I just have to break my date. Bye

Spike."


"I'll be waiting for you, Red."


Willow slowly placed the phone back on the desk. Should have known

this would happen. She was doomed.


Her pity party was interrupted by a knocking at the door. Time to

face the music. Willow walked slowly to the door. She didn't

want to do this. Couldn't be helped. Mind games suck.


Willow opened the door to a smiling Richard. He saw the look on her

face and immediately frowned. "What's wrong, Willow?"


Willow tiredly leaned on the door. "I'm sorry. I'm

going to have to break our date. It seems I'm desperately needed

at the Circus this evening."


Willow saw a flash of something in Richard's eyes. Richard's

posture became stiff.


"Is it Spike?" His voice had taken on a sharp tone. Could he

be jealous? Willow pondered.


Willow nodded. "He'll get in trouble if I don't show. I

can't have that on my conscience."


Richard growled, "Jean-Claude." His eyes lit up with some

inner fire. "Come on Willow. We're going to the Circus."


Richard then angrily grabbed her arm and led her out to the car.

Willow said nothing. She could tell that Richard was beyond angry.

She could feel the cold rage rolling off of him in waves. What had

she done now? This was going to end badly. She could tell.


Silence reigned in the car during the entire trip over to the

Circus. Willow saw Richard's knuckles whiten against the

steering wheel. Willow couldn't help but be a little frightened.

Richard was scary when he was angry.


He parked the car and went to the other side to open her door. She

gave him a tentative smile. He gave a weak smile in return. He had

a determined set to his jaw. He was going to let someone have the

full force of his fury. Willow guessed that it was going to be Jean-

Claude. She was glad it wasn't her.


The crowd magically parted before Richard. He cut an angry swath.

People instinctively jumped away from the perceived danger. When

the ticket takers saw who it was causing the fracas, they

instinctively took submissive stances. No one wanted to get in

front of a pissed off alpha werewolf. It's bad for your health.


Willow trailed after offering apologetic smiles to those they

passed. She was sure she caught sympathetic glances from the

vampiric ticket takers. You knew it was bad when you got sympathy

from strange vampires. Willow didn't want to be here for this.


Richard marched onwards towards Jean-Claude's office. No one

wanted to stop him. Willow was sure that Jean-Claude had already

been informed of his esteemed guest. Willow hoped for his sake that

he had found elsewhere to be.


Richard threw open the door to Jean-Claude's office. It banged

against the wall. Jean-Claude was calmly sitting at his desk.

Asher and Damian stood at attendance.


Jean-Claude's demeanor betrayed nothing. "Monsier Zeeman,

what do I owe the pleasure of your company? And with the lovely

Willow in attendance."


Richard growled. "What gives you the right to order around my

wolves?"


Jean-Claude arched an elegant eyebrow. "Wolves are my creature

to call."


Richard angrily strolled forward. He placed both of his hands on

Jean-Claude's desk. "That may be true but only through

me."


Willow could see the tension in the room. She hated witnessing

confrontations. She didn't want to be a bystander to this. She

was just going to leave. They didn't need her for their pissing

contest.


"Um, sorry to intrude on your manly testosterone-laden contest

but I think I'll just be leaving now." Willow backed slowly

towards the door. "Nice seeing you again. Hope it doesn't

happen again."


Jean-Claude stood up. "No need for you to leave us."


Richard turned his head. Willow could see the amber in his eyes.

He ground out the order of "Stay."


Willow shook her head. They could find another pawn. She was so

out of there. "No, I'll be leaving now. You can tell me

later who has the biggest." And with that Willow beat a hasty

retreat out of there. She was sure she could get Spike or Jason to

drive her home. She just wanted to go and hide in her room.
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