Sorry folks, not a NEW chapter but FF.Net has this new policy about * author's notes * being posted as stand alone chapters. And since *removing* the last chapter will remove an entire story I'm needing to post this twice.

Again, sorry to those waiting for a *new* chapter


"La Petite Morte" or "a little death"

Chapter 4 (Buffy)

by ranlynn

Sky blue eyes, wide with shock, stare into mine and a gurgling-ghak sound tries to force its way past the hand I have wrapped tight around his throat.

"What the hell is going on?!?!"

Anita's voice lashes across us like a whip and I snatch my hand back like I had hold of a hot iron while he bends over slightly, coughing.

"oh god, oh god, oh god, breath, breath…uhm.. uh" ~ah jeeze what's his name again~ "Jason! Jason can you breath, oh pleeease be able to breath." ~Oh god, I hope I didn't permanently crush anything.~

"Would one of you mind telling me what happened? Jason did you do something?" Uh oh, Anita's not happy. She standing there with her arms crossed, flanked on either side by those non-demony vamps, Jean-Claude and Asher. Glaring at us.

Jason looks up at her through watery eyes, "no…cough…Anita I didn't… anything. I'm innocent."

She gives a snort of disbelief and turns to glare questioningly at me. ~Boy she's really good at that glaring stuff.~

"No, no….he really is," I hurry to tell her. "It's just…we were waiting for you guys to finish talking to Det. Zerbrowski and I leaned up against the limo and I…uh…guess I dozed off cause the next thing I know is hearing a noise and then something touched me…"

"Touched you?!?" She snaps, shooting a look at Jason.

Whoops! "No! He didn't touch anything he shouldn't have but like I said I think I dozed off because it startled me and I just sorta, kinda… you know…reacted." I turn and give Jason an apologetic look, "I am sooo sorry Jason, really."

Standing straight now and rubbing his throat but breathing easier, he waves off my apology. "It's ok, no permanent harm done."

"No, actually it's not OK. Someone as strong as I am has no business being careless. I get careless and people can get hurt," an image of the man Faith accidentally staked all those years ago flashes briefly across my mind, "maybe even die." I want to make this clear, that I don't just go around mangling every Tom, Dick or Harry I run into. I am going to need their help with Stryker. I mean I don't have the Scooby's to back me up this time.

Something inside me freezes up for a moment at that thought. ~ Will I ever see them again? Dawn? Giles? God I really wish they were here right now.~

"Oh we have got to introduce her to Richard." Jason grins at Anita, like being throttled is an everyday thing for him. Then again, maybe it is.

"Who's Richard?" I ask him.

"My ex boyfriend." Anita answers, somewhat reluctantly. "He tends to have an overdeveloped guilt response too."

~Too?~ "What do you mean, too?" I glare at her. "I don't have an overdeveloped anything. It's just that with my kind of strength I have to be careful around normal people."

Anita raises an eyebrow at that and trades glances Jason. "Fine Buffy, whatever you say." Then she gives me this smirk, like she knows something I don't.

"ma petite, Mademoiselle Summers. Please, it will be dawn in just over an hour and there is much to see to before then." Jean-Claude interjects, "We need to be going."

"Fine." I glare at Anita.

"Fine." She glares right back at me then turns to climb into the limo.

~Oh I can tell this is going to be such a fun sleep over. Not!~

"Miss Summers?"

Turning at the sound of my name I find myself face to face with Asher. Gulp! ~He's really got the most amazing eyes.~ The pale icy blue you see in Huskies. ~Not that he's a dog, nothing doggy about him. Nah uh, No sirry.~ And his hair. It's gold. I mean it's really gold. It's got to be a vamp thing cause I've never seen a color like that outside of…well…uhm…actually I've never seen anything with that hair color. And even with those scars he's a hottie. If I didn't already have a vampire of my own I'd almost want to hang around to till they finish healing up just to get a look at him.

~Hold on a second. Vampire of my own?? I don't have a vampire of my own anymore!~ I broke it off already, it's over. I mean besides the whole *me Slayer, you Vampire* mortal enemy thing, I couldn't just keep on using him like I was. Never mind that he was the only one that didn't expect me to be the same old Buffy after I came back. Or that he knows how good ice feels on the back of my neck when I have a headache. And that he's been practically the only one to get me to grin and really mean it lately. Or how hot he looks without…clothes…on….

~Grrrr!! Bad brain, bad, bad brain. There'll be no thoughts about naked…nope forget it. Not even gonna think his name.~

Asher's still standing in front of me waiting, head tilted slightly. Ok Buff, pull it together. "Uh, yeah?"~Uh, yeah?? Sheesh Buff could you be anymore lame.~

"I am going on ahead to The Circus to…get the ball rolling, I believe the phrase is. I just wanted to tell you it has been a…unique…pleasure to meet you. And that I hope we have an chance to meet again." Then he holds his hand out to me. ~Ookay, he wants to shake hands, guess it couldn't hurt.~  So I put my hand in his. But instead of shaking it he clasps it between both of his then raises it to his lips and places a feather soft kiss on the back. Double gulp!!

"Au revoir, Miss Summers." Then he's gone and I'm left standing, staring after him.

"Buffy! Time to go." I turn dazed eyes to Anita as she leans out of the limo door. She and the others had gotten in while I was talking to Asher.

"He flew" I can hear my voice going all squeaky "he flies?"

"Yup" Anita grins at me.

"You guys fly?" My voice rising I look past her to stare at Jean-Claude, even as I climb into the limo with them. "Why didn't somebody tell me these guys fly?!?!" ~Oh I am so not happy.~ I settle myself on a seat across from him as Jean-Claude leans back next to Anita and the driver close's the door.

"I take it your guys don't fly?" Anita asks me, looking just a bit smug.

I give a snort, "Not unless I throw them off a roof. Then it's a real short flight, not to mention the whole splat thing when they land. Gets kinda a messy."

"To answer your question Mademoiselle Summers." Jean-Claude begins.

Mademoiselle? "Just call me Buffy Ok?"

He smiles and gives a slight nod. "As you wish, Buffy. To answer your questions; yes Asher flies, I however do not."

"Huh, why not?"

Anita decides to take this one. "Both Jean-Claude and Asher are master vampires. Master vampires as they grow older can and will acquire a variety of powers. But they won't necessarily gain the same ones. So Asher flies and Jean-Claude doesn't."

"hmmm" I turn back to Jean-Claude. "So what do you do that he doesn't?"

He smiles at me. "Oh many things."

~Whoa!! What the hell was that?~ As he'd spoke I swear I could feel his voice, like a hand trailing down my spine. "What did you just do??"

"He can use his voice to *touch* you." Anita gives him a sideways exasperated glance.

"Yeah, well" I give him a sour look of my own "don't do that again. You just might find your ass staked to a wall."

Anita's head snaps back around to glare at me. ~Guess she doesn't like someone threatening one of her vampires.~

"Buffy, is something wrong with your hands?" Jean-Claude's voice interrupts our staring contest.

"Huh?" I'm just so witty this evening. Morning…evening?? God I need to get some sleep.

He lowers his eyes and nods his chin. Glancing down, I look at my hands. I didn't even realize that I had been rubbing them together.

"Oh it's nothing, the right one just feels kind of tingly." I mean it's not everyday that I have a vampire kiss my hand.

~Wait a second. It's my right hand that's tingling, but Asher kissed my left hand.~

Frowning I hold up my right hand and look at it, turning it this way and that. Then I look at Jason, who's been quiet this whole time, then back at my hand. Then back to Jason again.

"Ok, what are you?"

And he grins then tries to make with the wide-eyed, innocent *who me* look.

Nice try fella, but you've got nothing on Dawn. "Yeah you. What are you?"

"He's a were-wolf." Anita answers me.

"Oh, ok. Cool." So he's a were-wolf. Funny, Oz never made me tingle. Hmm, wonder if he ever made Wils tingle? ~Oh jeeze, Buffy don't even go there.~

Jason leans towards me slightly. "That doesn't bother you?"

I shrug my shoulder, "That you're all wolfy? Not unless you go around eating people." Then I frown, "you don't do you…go around eating people I mean?"

He grins at me. "No, not recently."

Not being sure if he's joking I give him my best squinty glare. Then I go and ruin it by yawning. Stifling another I scooch back into my corner of the limo.

"I hope nobody minds but I'm just going to close my eyes for a little while."

Jean-Claude nods and smile, "I'm sure Anita will wake you when you finally arrive at her house."

Wake me? "Oh I'm not planning on sleeping. I just want to rest my eyes for a minute."

"Of course not." Now why don't I think he believes me? Oh well, that's his problem.

Closing my eyes and snuggling into the seat cushions and wishing I had Mr Gordo, I really don't have any intentions of sleeping. Jean-Claude may be all soulful and non-demony but he is a vamp and a master vamp at that. Not exactly something to make a Slayer feel all safe and warm. But listening to the low murmurs of them talking and the gentle sway of the limo driving down the road must have put me out because the next thing I'm conscious of is hearing Anita and another voice I don't remember, discussing how to wake me up.

"Well we have to get her out of there somehow?"

Anita sounds like she's getting impatient.

"Why don't I just carry her inside?"

Him I don't know.

"Nathaniel, I told what she did to Jason."

Yep impatient, I had that one pegged right.

"Well we could just stand back and throw pebbles at her."

Now who's that? ~Hey! Throw pebbles at her?!?!~ I don't think so.

"nah, s'okay. 'um awake." Sort of anyway, can't guarantee for how long though.

I pry my eyes open and start to climb out of the limo. Looking out through sleep blurry eyes I see Anita and two other figures watching me.

"Do you need some help."

Help? "jus' make sure I don't run into any walls, ok?"

The next few minutes is a collage of scenes; stumbling up some porch steps and into a house. Hands on my shoulders carefully steering my around furniture and I think, some people. Finally a hallway and then I enter a dark room and something bumps into my knees. Reaching down I feel the springy softness of a bed. Collapsing onto it I feel someone remove my shoes and flip the bedspread over me. A voice says something about waking me but I'm asleep before they finish.

I don't know how much time has passed when something wakes me, a sound maybe. Sometime in between first falling on the bed and waking up I had managed to kick off my slacks and burrow under the covers. From that cozy nest I open my eyes and look through a tangle of hair. About four feet from the bed I see a young guy, looks around 18 maybe. ~ugh! When did 18 start sounding young to me? I mean I'm only 21 my self.~ He's laying something on a chair next to the nightstand. I don't make a sound but suddenly he goes still before slowly turning to look at me.

"Hi," soft and low, like he's trying not to startle me "did you sleep well?" I just blink at him.

"Jason is supposed to be bringing over some cloths for you, but he's not here yet." He motions to the chair, "So I brought you some clean sweats and a shirt of Anita's. She says Dolph will probably be calling soon so you might want to be awake for that." He raises a hand, pointing to a point behind me. "There's a bathroom through there if you want a shower."

I continue to study him, not saying anything and he sighs. "Are you hungry? I can fix you something to eat."

My stomach chooses that moment to growl. Loudly! That earns me a smile.

"Ok, food it is." And turns toward the door.

"coffee?" My question stops him with his hand on the knob.

"Coffee? We can do coffee." He nods to me.


"Mocha? Latte?" He frowns slightly and I nod.

He smiles again; he's got a nice smile, not to mention pretty eyes. Violet. "Anita pretty much likes plain old coffee with creamer but some of us like espresso so we can do lattes too."

He turns back around, "Come out when you're ready." Then he leaves, the door clicking softly behind him.