How would Miss Manners handle a kidnapping situation?
Life just sucks all round, Willow thought sulkily. She had no
control at all over this situation. Strangers have stepped in and
taken over. She wasn't being allowed to go home to her aunt.
They, those strangers again, said it was too dangerous for Willow.
Why would it be dangerous for Willow to be around her beloved aunt?
Because they thought she was going to be furry in just a couple of
days. God, she hoped not.
She huddled further down into the car's front seat with her arms
tightly wound around herself. Now, she was being taken to
Sylvie's house. Did she have a say in this at all? That would
be a resounding no. Sylvie seemed nice enough if just the teeniest
bit intimidating. Not that Willow was intimidated by being alone
with a werewolf she just met. It wasn't like she had any previous
negative experiences with werewolves. Nope, she was completely at
ease with all that was happening. She sighed, "Yeah right."
Sylvie glanced over at Willow. The redhead hadn't said much of
anything since she had been told that for her own safety and
others' safety that she would have to stay with pack until her
control was strengthened. No more chances to be taken. Not after
the screw-up with that other new wolf.
Michael wasn't her problem. He was his sponsor's headache
right now. No, Willow was to be Sylvie's new headache. Richard
wanted to make sure that there wasn't a repeat of previous
mistakes. That was why Sylvie was to be Willow's sponsor.
Sylvie gave out her own sigh. She had enough on her plate just
trying to keep Richard from running the pack into the ground. Yeah,
things had gotten better. Jacob was no longer a threat to
Richard's leadership. Paris, the little floozy, was just an
annoyance by comparison. But Richard wasn't dealing well.
Richard had broken up with his girlfriend, Anita. Now that was a
complicated mess. Anita had moved on with not one but two men. The
pack still liked their former lupa. Some members wanted Anita to
stay lupa while others like Paris wanted Richard to pick someone
new. Sylvie just wanted peace for the pack.
Sylvie and Willow rode through the semi-quiet residential streets of
St. Louis. It had to be near dawn by now. They both were tired and
cranky. Sylvie was cranky because she had been awakened in the
middle of night by the situation. Willow was cranky because of the
situation. Nothing was said in the car during the entire ride.
Sylvie wasn't sure what to say to Willow. Gwen would probably
know the right thing to say. After all, her lover is a psychologist.
Willow said nothing because she was angry and didn't want to talk
to her kidnapper.
Sylvie broke the silence, "We're here." Willow looked up
and saw a nice quaint little house. This was the kind of house that
should have a husband, wife, 2.3 kids, and a dog. It even had a
white picket fence. They pulled into the driveway and got out of
"Gwen said she would wait up. So, you get to meet another pack
member tonight or actually this morning." Sylvie said this while
she unlocked the front door.
"Gwen, I have someone here that I want you to meet," Sylvie
called out to a darkened house.
"I'm in the kitchen," a voice replied.
Willow guessed that this was the Gwen that Sylvie had mentioned.
She followed Sylvie to a bright and cheery kitchen. A woman in a
white terry bath robe sat at the island in the middle of the
kitchen. She had long flowing blonde hair pulled back into a pony
tail. She was drinking coffee and looking over a stack of files.
She looked up and gave warm smile to Sylvie and Willow as they
"Hi, I'm Gwen and you are?" the blonde asked. She held
out her hand.
Willow felt more at ease in this new person's presence. Gwen
just seemed to radiate calm. Willow stepped closer and shook
Gwen's hand. "I'm Willow, the newly infected,"
Willow said with a grimace. Gwen gave a gentle smile in return.
"And how does that make you feel?" Gwen asked with a twinkle
in her eye.
Sylvie interrupted the moment. "Gwen is a psychologist and
can't help herself sometimes." They shared a smile.
Willow could tell that these two were in a committed relationship.
She felt a pang of loss when she remembered what she once shared
with Tara. She shook her head. She had to get her bearings about
what had happened tonight. She couldn't get sidetracked thinking
about what once was. She had to stay in the present.
"I really don't know how I feel at the moment. I do know
that my aunt is probably feeling worried about me. I was supposed
to be home hours ago." Willow looked from Sylvie to Gwen trying
to gauge their reactions.
Gwen was the first to speak up. "Why don't you call your
aunt? I wouldn't mention the lycanthropy over the phone. That is
something that you should discuss in person. The phone is on the
wall by the refrigerator. We will leave you alone to make your
call. Come into the living room when you're done. You really
should talk to someone about all you've gone through. It will
help you process all that's happened."
Willow nodded and walked over to the phone. She stared at the phone
trying to figure out what to say to relieve her aunt of her
worries. She hoped her aunt hadn't called the police yet. She
couldn't outright lie to her aunt. She has been down that path
and it only leads to evil veiny Willow. So, she will tell the truth
but just omit certain facts until she could give her aunt the whole
story face to face. With that decided she took a deep breath and
let it out.
She dialed her aunt's number and waited with baited breath for
the phone to be picked up. She didn't have to wait long.
"Hello, Willow is that you?" her aunt's voice was
frantic. Willow felt bad when she heard her aunt's voice. She
should have called sooner. Well, time for damage control.
"Auntie it's me, Willow. I'm fine. I've had a
crappy night so far but it is good to hear your voice. I'm so
sorry that I made you worry. This is the first time I've been
able to get to a phone all night. Something not of the good
happened tonight and I need some time and understanding from you.
I'm going through something big here and I will need a few days
to sort it out. I'm at a friend's house. I'll introduce
you later. Don't worry too much. I'm not plotting to
destroy the world again. I just need some time if, that is okay
with you?" Willow finally took a breath.
"Are you sure you're okay? If that is what you want. Take
all the time you need. Please just call me to check in
occasionally. I can't help my worry. You are like my own
daughter of course I worry," Auntie paused in her own babble fest
and took a shuddering breath. "You need someone to worry about
you, Willow. I'm here to care about you. You don't need to
always be strong for everyone. You know, I love you."
Willow smiled a little smile. Her auntie always gave the best warm
fuzzies. If only, her mother was like that. "I promise to check
in often. I'll come home in a few days and give you the complete
tale then. I love you too, Auntie."
Willow spoke a few more minutes with Auntie. Auntie hadn't
called the police yet. She knew that they would say that it would
was just a college student probably out having too much fun to check
in with the parents. Willow assured her aunt that wasn't it and
promised again to tell the full story later. Willow hung up the
phone feeling a little better. There was just something about her
aunt that made Willow feel like she could tackle any problem.
With that renewed sense of hope, Willow went into the living room to
have a long and serious chat with Sylvie and Gwen about the dirty
little details of being a wolf and what it means to be in a pack.
They didn't go to bed until hours later with the sun up high in