Willow swung between heart wrenching despair and white hot anger.
How could Richard do this to her? Was she really doomed to have no
one? It was beginning to look that way.
Her beloved aunt had attempted to cheer her up. Nothing she said
could make a dint in Willow’s sadness. Finally she left Willow
to her misery. She gave her the space needed to cry out all the
tears she had held back.
Now she had no tears left to shed. All that was left was puffy eyes
and a reddened nose. She looked awful. She was glad in a bitter
way. She looked how she felt. Absolutely terrible.
Willow looked up from the floor she had been sitting on. Spike was
gently rapping on the door jamb to her bedroom. He was devoid of
his perpetual smirk. His eyes were full of concern for her. Who
would have thought that they would become such good friends where he
cared how she felt?
Spike knelt down beside the saddened redhead. He held out his arms
and she leapt up into the comforting embrace. She inhaled deeply
the scent of leather and tobacco. That always reminded her of
Spike. Her wonderfully perverted friend.
Spike pulled slightly away from the hug to look into her eyes.
“I’m sorry, Pet. He is a fool if he didn’t find you
Willow was dumbfounded for a moment then it hit her. He thought
that Richard had turned down her seduction. She shook her
head. “No, he found me sexy. I spent the night.”
It was Spike’s turn to be confused. “Why the tears, Luv?”
Willow cast her eyes down to stare at the carpet. “I’m just
a pawn in someone’s game.”
Spike lifted up her chin. “What do you mean?”
Willow felt her bottom lip tremble. “Richard was just using me
to annoy Jean-Claude and Anita. Stupid triumvirate mind games. Why
did he do that to me?” The last part came out as a wail.
She felt the sobs come back with a vengeance. She sadly realized
that she wasn’t completely dried up of the tears. Spike gathered
her back into his arms. He gently rocked her as she wept for what
might have been.
Finally her sobs quieted until they were nothing but sniffles.
Spike again lifted her chin. He wiped away the tears. His voice
was gruff. “I’d offer to break his legs for you but I have a
feeling that you wouldn’t let me. So, I’m going to do
something to cheer you up.”
Willow gazed into his eyes. What did he mean? She asked.
Spike stood up taking her with him. He got her to stand on her own
two feet. He graced her with a tiny smirk. “I’m taking you
out for some ice cream. I’ve heard that chocolate makes
everything better. Let’s go find out.”
Willow gave a trembling smile. He shooed her out of her bedroom and
into the bathroom. She washed away all the evidence to her misery.
The best revenge was living well. She would get over that almighty
Ulfric just to spite him.
Willow contemplated the unfairness of life in general. The next day
dawned clear and bright. Not a cloud in the blue sunny sky.
Nothing to reflect her dark mood. Where was a thunderstorm when you
Willow gathered up her will and steeled herself for her Monday
morning classes at the University. Had to go to class. Had to
attempt to listen to her teachers drone on. Had to take long
copious amounts of notes when she didn’t feel up to the task.
She went about her appointed tasks like an unthinking automaton.
Maybe if she had been more aware of her surroundings she could have
avoided him. But her bad luck was holding. She ran straight into
the last werewolf that she wanted to run into. Richard blocked her
path to her next class.
She angrily looked up at his apologetic face. Couldn’t he leave
well enough alone? Did he really have to twist the knife just a
little deeper? The emotional wounds that had been inflicted from
the previous day hadn’t had enough time to scab over. Willow
wondered if any amount of time would dull the ache she found in her
She placed her hands upon her hips. There went her plan to avoid
him. How could she avoid him if he sought her out? It was against
the rules or something. And why did he have to look like a kicked
puppy? She couldn’t really enjoy her righteous anger if he
actually seemed sorry for the pain.
Richard took a step forward and went to place a hand on her
shoulder. She stepped quickly away effectively preventing him from
touching her. He sighed at her reaction.
“Willow, what is wrong? Was it the argument I had with Anita in
front of you?”
Willow snorted. Men, absolutely clueless. “You could say that.
Were you just using me to aggravate your precious triumvirate? Did
I mean so little to you? Because Mister that is what it feels like
to me.” She shushed him from interrupting her. She had a full
head of steam built up and she was ready to vent.
“I can’t do this Richard. I want you really want you. But I
won’t accept the pain. I’ve had enough pain to last a
lifetime. I don’t want to be a pawn. If you truly care for me,
then you will leave me be.”
Richard seemed to withdraw into himself. He shook his head
sadly. “Willow, I’m not using you. I didn’t know Anita
was going to come for the visit.”
Willow glared at him. “You conveniently forgot to keep your
shields up so Anita could be an unwitting partner to our bedroom
Richard again shook his head. “You don’t know what you do to
me. That night and the morning after were wonderful. You made me
feel again. You are so exciting. You overwhelmed the shields that
I use to keep out Jean-Claude and Anita. I didn’t do it on
Willow felt flattered and then caught herself. She wasn’t going
to let him sidetrack her now. “Well, that may be the case.”
She shook her head and then stared at the grass underneath her
feet. “I can’t be a part of your harem either. I care for
you and I’m dreading that I might be in love with you. I
don’t want to be one among the many. I want someone that wants
only me. If you can’t give me that then we are through.”
She quickly walked around him. She was late for that class and she
needed to find a nice quiet place to cry. Life was so cruel.
Richard stood absolutely still. He was pondering all that she
said. Then he caught upon the fact that she may love him. His
heart gave a leap. He knew what he had to do. He would make things
right again or at least give the attempt. It was worth it. She was