Chapter 1: Sometimes You Wonder
Oz felt the lock on his motel room door hesitate then slip when he tried the door.
It was a slam lock. Willow and Buffy had one on their dorm room. A toggle in the lock hardware kept the door locked to the outside, but allowed it to be open from within – no keys necessary.
The door had been locked, but not against him. The warm sense of protection that had let Oz relax into sleep hours ago, riding in the rental car with Charles, rolled over him again. Oz pressed a hand over his chest and took a deep breath. It felt like the first clean breath after being stuck in a fetid hole. Traveling to music festivals on his own and with the Dingoes, he'd experienced his fair share of really grotty port-a-potties. That moment when you stepped out and away from one (and the equally rank lines of people waiting their turn) and took a deep breath of clean air was almost indescribable. Oz felt like that. Except he'd been in a fetid hole for months instead of minutes.
He took another breath and smiled. They were in the mountains of Montana. This probably was the first clean breath he'd had in months, maybe years.
A mean little voice in the back of his head, curiously husky and female, told him that it wouldn't last. He'd have to pay for killing Veruca.
Oz went the five steps forward it took to clear the little concrete sidewalk that circled the motel and sat down. He was going to leave that voice behind unless or until it was something he had to deal with. In the meantime...he was really, really naked. And locked out of his room.
Oz rested his forehead against one of his raised knees and laughed.
Charles cautiously stepped out of his rental SUV. In his experience normal humans seemed to have a fascination with testing their mortality against anything with four wheels and an axle. The University of California Sunnydale campus was no exception. They seemed to be bent on proving the rule, in fact, as Charles was swarmed with chattering, oblivious, college students halfway through opening the driver’s side door. A coed on a cell phone glared at him, annoyed to find his way suddenly blocked. Until he looked up, and up, into Charles’ stony face. The boy’s mouth kept moving but the words were mostly nonsensical as he quickly backed up and found another pair of cars to pass between.
Years ago, Charles had been in New York City on a business trip for his father. He and the New Amsterdam pack alpha, Nicolaas, and the man’s second had decided to walk from their offices in the West 30s down to Little Italy. The break had been more than welcome, and the leisurely walk through the surprisingly quiescent city had been good for all of them.
Nicolaas and his second had kept up a steady stream of conversation that was open to Charles but didn't require his participation, which he had appreciated. If not for the empty streets, he would have preferred less talking. Nicolaas hadn't been as old a wolf as most of the alphas with packs his size, but he had been – and still was – a thoughtful and insightful man.
Little Italy had been about as crowded with shops as Charles remembered from an earlier time in his life, cleaner though, but the people traffic was still unusually low. And, as always, he’d stuck out like a sore thumb.
“I don’t know if I would feel comfortable going in there, even if it wasn’t a private club.”
The high, lyrical words had pulled Charles from his thoughts. Waiting for a light to turn, the three wolves had been stopped behind a brown-skinned woman and a younger darker-skinned girl. They smelled like family. It was the girl who had spoken.
“If I only went places where I didn’t stick out, I wouldn’t go anywhere,” the woman had said, looking down at the girl. The girl had shrugged. The light changed. The woman had taken the girl’s hand, and they had gone their way while Charles and the New Amsterdam wolves went theirs, but the truth of the woman’s words had stuck.
Standing on the campus of UC Sunnydale, head and shoulders over most of the student body, and where he wasn’t taller he was broader, New York and the woman words came back to him as they often did.
If Charles only went places where he didn’t stick out, he wouldn’t go very far at all.
The words had never failed to make him smile.
Oz’s head shot up as he reflexively crossed his legs and arms against the very feminine voice headed his way.
The woman who approached him was tall and slender and, frankly, beautiful. Oz felt an uncharacteristic flush chase itself across his body. “Uh…”
She grinned. “I have that effect on people sometimes. You seem to be having a problem, darling.”
She laughed. “I didn’t think the effect was that strong. Maybe it’s the new perfume.”
“I’m…I’m usually…better? At this?”
“I do hope so,” she said, a solitary brow curving towards her sun-streaked brown hair. “Although you’re a cute little thing.”
Oz felt the blush racing along his skin again.
“I also hope you’re not in the habit of sitting on the side of the road in your birthday suit.”
Now Oz smiled a little. “Not usually, no. Locked myself out.”
“That’s okay, Ozzie. I have a key.” She jangled it for emphasis.
Oz frowned. “You know my name. Sort of.”
“Bran sent me.” At his apparent confusion, she added, “The Marrok, darling.”
“Oh.” Now that she said it, he remembered Charles introducing him that way.
“Come on. I’ve got some clothes for you, darling.”
Oz popped up to help her, noticing her bags for the first time, only to shy away when a stray wind reminded him that he was naked.
“Oh don’t you worry. Body consciousness goes right out the window when you live with wolves.”
“You…you know about werewolves?”
Smiling indulgently, she said, “Everyone in Aspen Creek knows about werewolves. You either are one or you’re kin to one.”
“So there’s a wolf in your family?” Oz asked as she stepped up to the door to lock it.
She looked at him over her shoulder. “I am the wolf in my family. Come on, let’s make you presentable.”
It was tempting to wait for the Slayer in her dorm room, but Charles thought that would be too confrontational. He was trying to get her attention, not start a war. Instead he’d made a point of passing by the windows of her class. Now he was waiting for her in the hall.
Charles wasn’t sure he’d ever lounged around a university campus before. He didn’t see the appeal.
He didn’t have to wait long, at least. Within minutes, rooms up and down the hall began spilling out students at some predetermined, but unknown to him, signal. Within moments, the Slayer was striding towards him.
Brother Wolf perked up within him. His Brother could sense the predator worthy of their notice amongst all the potential prey. Charles reminded him that they weren’t there to play either.
“I doubt you’d come all this way to tell me you didn’t play nice with Oz. Because if you did, that would be a bad idea and you didn’t really seem like a bad idea kinda guy.”
Charles’ lips quirked. “I’ve been known to make a few—“
The Slayer’s spine straightened and her stance widened.
“—but I don’t think this is one of them.”
She seemed to deflate. “Oh. Okay, then. Um…why are you stalking me at school?” she said as she turned to walk down the hall. Obviously he was meant to follow. His pride wanted him to stay. Brother Wolf found it amusing, and the Slayer intriguing. Charles fell into step just behind her.
“I thought showing up in your dorm room might be taken the wrong way,” he said, answering her question.
Half-turning to look at him over her shoulder she nodded. “And you’d be right. So what else brings you to my 11:45, other than a desire to lower your creepy guy factor.”
“The Marrok wants to find out who turned Veruca and your friend Oz. Rogues are not tolerated, especially not on a Hellmouth. No packs are allowed on a Hellmouth.”
The Slayer scoffed. “Can’t imagine why.”
“This rogue might be trying to create a pack for himself,” Charles went on, disregarding Buffy’s aside. “That can’t be allowed.”
“Uh, and what’ll you do with this rogue?”
Curiously, the Slayer’s shoulders had curled in. She’d lost much of the confident swagger she’d had only moments before.
“Kill him, probably. Rogues can’t usually be reasoned with or rehabilitated.”
“I was afraid you’d say that.”
“I’m Sage, by the way,” the female werewolf said as she placed the shopping bags on the bed.
“Um, Oz. But you already know that.”
“That I do,” she said with a smile. “Now you’ve got the look of a man too embarrassed to get dressed around a pretty lady—“
“A beautiful lady.”
Sage lit up with pure pleasure. “Oh I do hope we keep you.”
Oz’s answering smile dimmed a little. “Me, too.”
“Well if not Aspen Creek then maybe the Columbia Basin Pack,” Sage said as she made her way to the door.
“Columbia Basin Pack?”
“In Tri-Cities, Washington. Their alpha’s a good man.” Her eyes went soft when Oz didn’t respond. Instead, his eyes had drifted to the floor. “You get dressed and I’ll wait outside, alright darling? You’ve gotta meeting with the Marrok.”
Chapter 2: Avoid Left Turns
Charles and Buffy have more words.
They were sitting in the Student Lounge – the Slayer curled up in the corner of a sofa that had seen better days and Charles dwarfed by a great chair that could have only been made in Southern California. "Former art project installation," she'd said when he'd eyed it warily. "Rumor has it that half the football team crammed themselves into it while it was still in the quad. I personally saw the entire lacrosse team and four cheerleaders sit in it once. The term 'sit' being used loosely."
She was now eyeing him over her frothy coffee drink in its ubiquitous paper cup as he sipped at a green tea. "Good?"
Charles dipped his head. "Surprisingly."
"All my tea-friends have the same reaction. Not that you and me are friends or anything," she added conversationally. "But just to let you know that I make my suggestions on good authority."
She wrinkled her nose. "In your head you're not calling me 'Buffy' are you?"
His lips lifted in a vague smile. "I wouldn't dare call you anything but what you are."
"Perky college co-ed?"
Charles actually laughed. All the Slayers he had known were serious young women (one little more than a child), deeply aware of both their duty and mortality. This one was unlike any of them. The air of mortality hung around her, but he thought if he hadn't known it should be there, he wouldn't have.
"He smiles!" the Slayer said brightly.
"I've been known to."
"Uh huh." Her eyebrows were in her hairline as she hid behind the cup of her coffee drink.
"But I didn't come here for pleasantries."
The Slayer sighed heavily. "No one super ever does." She untucked her legs from under her body and scooted to the edge of the sofa. For the first time since their unexpected meeting several days ago, she was all business. "You said you -- well, the Marrok -- wants to know who turned Oz and Veruca."
"I have no idea who turned Veruca. From what I got from Oz, she'd been a were way longer than he was, at least a whole year. Oz has only been turned for a few months."
"But you know who turned him."
She shook her head. "No, I don't know the wolf who turned Oz."
Charles was convinced that if she wasn't lying, she was skimming the very edge of truth. Brother Wolf agreed. The question, of course, was why. Why would a Slayer not give up a rogue wolf who was turning teenagers into Hellmouth tainted wolves? He would have thought it went against everything she was. Unless she was halfway to being a rogue slayer. The only problem with that theory was that, based on everything he could find, Buffy was every inch the righteous Vampire Slayer, down to the reckless fascination with her own mortality.
Unfortunately, Charles wasn't as fond of the kinds of games his father and elder brother (and he suspected this Slayer) excelled at. "You're lying to me."
Her jaw dropped in outraged surprise. Then just as suddenly her expression was again all business. "I am."
"I'm curious to know why."
"Will you leave Sunnydale if I say it's none of the Marrok's business?"
"Figures." She looked genuinely unhappy by her lack of options.
And distressed, Brother Wolf supplied.
Which only raised the question of why again. Instead Charles said, "So you do know the wolf who turned Oz?"
"I do not know the wolf who turned Oz," she said again, and it still was and wasn't a lie.
"Look," she said breaking into his thoughts, "isn't it enough that I'm here? I'm the Slayer, right? And so far I'm the longest lived one in history. Sorta technically. If the Slayer says she's got it handled, can't that be enough for your Marrok?"
"Is the rogue one of your relatives? A father or brother? Son?"
The Slayer almost spilled her drink. "What?"
Charles' reflexes and longer reach saved her from making an unintentional mess. He wondered if this would turn into a metaphor for his interactions with her in the future.
The Slayer all but snatched the disposable cup from his hands. "Why do you think the rogue's a relate?"
It took him a moment to determine what she meant. When he did, he said, "In my experience it's always the family who fight hardest. Even when they know better."
"I'm not related to the wolf that turned Oz, and I don't know him, but I'm not giving him up either." The Slayer stood. "He's mine."
Only centuries of self-control restrained the territorial growl that threatened to spill from his throat. Brother Wolf howled and tried to split his skin.
"I will not give him up to the Marrok to destroy."
Charles rose from his seat, using, he knew, muscles than a normal human man should not possess to do so. Standing, he dwarfed her by a foot or more even with the space between them. She looked him squarely in the eye and refused to back down. Only the presence of so many people -- students, faculty, workers -- kept the encounter from escalating into a fight.
"You're willing to go to the war with the oldest and most powerful wolf in North America over a rogue, Slayer?"
"No. I'm not. Gnaw on that bone."
She shifted around the small table between them. Charles snagged her wrist as she moved past. "Why did you choose to do this here, Slayer?"
Spine stiff, she tilted her head to one side. "Let. Me. Go."
Charles slowly released her wrist.
She took a very deliberate step away without appearing to lose ground. "Go back to the Marrok. Tell him I've got the rogue handled. Do not come looking for him again."
Then she left.
Charles swore and pulled out his phone.
Chapter 3: Leave Room for Tomorrow
Trouble is brewing while Sage and Oz go to visit her hothouse flower.
Bran hung up with his son and frowned. He had assigned Sage the task of showing Oz around Aspen Creek. Their last stop would be his home which, if he had to guess, would mean he'd be seeing them by late morning. He could have called Sage in, have her bring the pup directly to the house, but Bran needed to work through this puzzle for a while before he confronted the boy.
A Slayer and a forcibly turned werewolf both lying about the rogue who attacked him. The rogue wasn't a relation to the Slayer. And although the Slayer was obviously protecting the rogue, she supposedly wasn't willing to go to war over him. But she was willing to use humans as a buffer between herself and the one sent to take care of the rogue. None of the information he had on this Slayer pointed to her having gone rogue herself. She seemed, at times, to be more upstanding than the Watcher's Council that had birthed her.
Then why this aberration in her character?
Bran wandered into his study and began pulling together what he would need to light a fire.
Behind the wheel of her car, Sage threw a glance over at Oz. "You don't mind if we make a pit-stop, do you Ozzie? I have a hothouse flower that needs some attending."
More or less over both Sage's beauty and her possibly genetic predilection for terms of endearment, Oz shrugged. Everything about Aspen Creek was deeply overwhelming. Oz found himself falling back to his default position of easy-going nonchalance. It helped that Sage talked enough for both of them. Willow could have been this person, could become this person, when she finally became comfor--
Oz slammed the door on those thoughts hard enough that even Sage looked over at him. "You alright there, sweetums?" Her concern and confusion were genuine.
Which prompted Oz to answer her honestly when he said, "Mostly. Just trying to make with the happy thoughts."
Sage hummed in agreement. "Lot of us here in the Marrok's pack have lost our happy place and don't know where to find it." Smiling, she added, "Some of us have even misplaced our marbles, and others are only playing pretend."
Sage glanced over at him again. "What for, sugar?
"Helping me find a happy place," he said, smiling.
"Oh dear..." Faint color stained her cheeks as she chuckled. Her right hand reached out and squeezed his left affectionately. "I do hope we get to keep you."
"Hello, hello!" Sage called as they entered the greenhouse.
The scent of so many hothouse flowers, especially the out-of-season roses, was nearly overpowering. Oz sneezed. Then sneezed again.
Sage, standing a little ahead of him, half-turned and laughed. "You alright there, sugar plum?"
"I am. My nose is still in recovery, though."
She laughed again. "First time always packs a whammy. You'll get used to it."
"Not if I say he won't," a melodious masculine voice said as it approached them. "What stray have you brought to my hothouse now, Sage?"
"I promise I've had all my shots," Oz said with a little smile as he watched for the owner of the voice.
The sense of him, or maybe that was the sense of his wolf?, preceded him so that Oz took an involuntary step backwards. Not entirely used to his new instincts, his eyes had fallen naturally to his feet. Now he found it difficult to even raise his head.
"Asil! Play nice!" Sage protested.
"I do not knowing the meaning of these words," Asil said, his musical accent thickening into something distinctly Spanish.
Sage huffed. "I bet you know the meaning in six languages, and half of them are dead."
"...Perhaps. That does not change the fact that I do not know this wolf who has invaded my territory." Oz felt his shoulders curling in on themselves at the touch of growl in Asil’s voice. It was…a little disconcerting.
"Well if you'd let me make introductions you would know that this is Oz, or Daniel Osbourne--"
"'Oz'? Like the make believe land from Baum?" Asil asked, voice laced with incredulity.
"Sometimes," Oz said, lips tilting into what might be a smile or a grimace.
Asil ignored him. "But why is he in my hothouse?"
Oz could hear Sage's smile when she said, "I brought him to make you jealous, of course. And I see it worked."
The pressure Oz felt to keep his head bent towards the ground immediately lessened. He doubted he could meet Asil's eyes directly, any more than he could have Charles’, or the Marrok when he was being scary (a strong, Sunnydale-honed, sense of self-preservation kept him from trying even when the Marrok felt like a fellow student), but at least now he could look up comfortably.
Asil, it turned out, was somewhat bigger than the Marrok but smaller than Charles. Then again, Oz didn't know many men who were as big, or bigger, than Charles. He was, however, as beautiful a man as Oz had ever seen in his musically-driven roamings across the country. It was like he'd been formed by the sun itself. Devon would have hated him.
"I feel really..." Brows wrinkled, Oz looked down at his new and still creased clothes, his pale skin and his feet encased in sneakers that could double as lightweight hiking boots. He looked up, eyes going back to Asil and then to Sage. "...really under-attractive. You've never tried to swallow the sun, have you?"
Asil snorted. "Fine. He may stay." He turned and quickly began to walk away. "But I make no promises for tomorrow."
"Am I still welcome?" Sage called out.
Asil made an inarticulate sound that still managed to convey that she was, indeed, welcome.
Throwing a quick glance at Sage, who was grinning, Oz called after the other man, "Thank you." He turned to Sage. "You were right. You do get used to scent."
Eyes closed, Oz took a deep breath and sighed.
Chapter 4: Lawbreaker
Buffy's pretty sure she's in over her head. Not that that's going to stop her or anything.
"Giles!" Buffy shouted as she rushed into her Watcher's little condo apartment. "We have a problem!"
The Watcher in question emerged from his library with a cup of tea in one hand and a stack of vinyl disks under his other arm. "Why hello, Buffy. I am doing well. How kind of you to ask," he said with the longsuffering of someone who, although accustomed to the rudeness his children (and yanks in general), still didn't appreciate it.
"Giles, I'm being serious," she said as she began to pace.
Carefully sitting on the sofa, he watched her. "Not something to do with Riley and the Initiative."
Buffy covered her face with her hands. "Don't say anything else! You might jinx us!" After a moment of silence from her Watcher, she sighed and looked up.
"What is it, Buffy?" Giles asked with true concern.
"I may have pissed off the Marrok's enforcer, and probably the Marrok, too."
Giles sat back. "Oh dear. That is rather serious. Dare I ask what has led to this...development."
Buffy dropped into the space next to him and cradled her head in her hands. Then she let her hands fall away and straightened. She took a short, sharp, cleansing breath, let it out, and seemed to gather herself. Settling her hands in her lap, she turned to look at Giles. "They want Jordy."
"Oz's little cousin."
"The one who bit him? A-and turned him into werewolf?"
Buffy popped out of her seat to pace again. "He's just a little boy, Giles."
"You don't need to explain yourself to me." The raised eyebrows Buffy half-turned to give him prompted a rueful smile on his part. "Not, at least, when your protective instincts are at play. If, however, we were discussing your taste in men..."
"Hardy-har-har." Turning to face Giles fully, she stood with her feet shoulder-width apart and her arms crossed. "So I figure it'll take Charles a few hours to report to the Marrok, get a decision and a plan together, and then, assuming the decision the Marrok makes is eviscerate-now-ask-questions-later, another day or two to find Jordy and his family."
"That long? I believe Willow's assessment of Charles Cornick was that he is, and I quote, 'scary efficient.'
"I know. I remember." Buffy sighed. "Okay, all of what I said before in twenty-four hours. Possibly less. Very possibly less."
Giles stood and took fortifying a sip of his, mostly cold, tea. "So, we get there first."
"We get there first!"
"Good. We'll take my car." Giles moved towards the kitchen.
"There's only one minor issue."
"What's that? Please tell me there isn't some advantage that Charles Cornick had that you've failed to mention."
"Uh, I kinda don't know where Oz's family lives? On the plus side, they don't know it was Jordy who turned Oz."
Sage stared out the window of her car and hummed to herself.
"That's not a good sound, in my experience," Oz said over the chatter of a radio commercial. "Especially not when parked in front of--" He stopped himself from saying Big Bad by a hair. "--somewhere, y'know, important."
Sage pointed beyond the windshield to the house itself. "See the smoke coming out of that chimney?"
"That's from the fireplace in Bran's study."
"How can you tell?" Oz asked mostly to be polite.
"Because he only lights it when there's trouble or there's about to be trouble." She looked at her young companion. "Makes it the kind of thing you learn real fast."
"Maybe Aunt Maureen is Oz's aunt on his mother's side?" Buffy said as she skimmed the phonebook without success. The urgency of their situation had her starting the research game without Willow. She was still in class and while Buffy might have tried calling or maybe even texting their info-finding guru, the science building had become notorious for its bad reception, even on the surrounding grounds. So Buffy was hitting the phonebook.
"It's always possible that they're not listed," Giles said snarkily from upstairs.
Buffy groaned. "Not helpful."
"Is it okay not to knock?" Oz asked as Sage turned the knob on the Marrok's front door.
She smiled down at him. "Wouldn't be open if it wasn't. Come on, honey. Bran's expecting us."
Though her good humor was undiminished, Oz noticed that Sage's energy was more subdued than it had been in the hothouse with Asil.
"Hello," she called as she crossed the threshold "Anyone home?" She grinned at Oz. When there was no answer, she made an elaborate pout. "And here I was hoping you'd get to meet Leah."
"My wife, and mate," the Marrok said, voice preceding him into the foyer where Oz and Sage stood. "I imagine you'll meet eventually."
Sage smiled broadly although, Oz noted, not directly at the Marrok. "Can I be there?" she asked eagerly.
She ducked her head, but didn't stop smiling. "I haven't said something wrong, have I?"
With a sigh that could easily be affectation or genuine longsuffering, Bran confirmed that she had not, in fact, said anything wrong. "But you are free to go. I'll call if I need you again."
"Yessir," she said with the same honeyed drawl that she'd used at the end of every conversation they'd had as she had shown Oz around Aspen Creek. Oz was thinking about this so hard, and whether the "sir" had been a sign of werewolf hierarchy or Sage's Southern politeness coming through, that she managed to kiss and hug him almost before he knew what was happening. Then she was walking out the door.
"I think she likes you," the Marrok said with quiet amusement. "Actually I'm sure of it."
Blushing though he was, Oz managed to say, "I hope she's not that friendly with people she didn't like," with a fair amount of equanimity.
"No, not our Sage."
There was a story there, and probably not a happy one if the subject was the giving and receiving of casual affection but Oz didn't ask for details. It was Sage's story to tell, if anyone's, when and to whom she wanted to tell it . He made a mental note to...not treat Sage with kid gloves, because obviously she didn't need it, but remember that she wasn't quite as put together as she looked.
The Marrok was looking at him curiously when Oz realized his silence might have gone on too long. "Kinda hard to believe I thought you were a college student," he said to the area around the Marrok's shoulder.
"Is that so? Something about my face?"
"What about it?"
"Knows too much." Oz's lips quirked. "And you aren't telling."
The Marrok laughed, a lovely sound that made Oz want to reach for his music. "Don't think I've ever heard it described quite that way.
"Come on back. We've got a lot to discuss."
"Ding, ding, ding!" Willow crowed, seated behind her laptop. "I think I've found a winner!"
Buffy grinned. "Woot to the hoot!"
"Yes, good job," Giles said, no less impressed if markedly less effusive than Buffy.
"Okay, Wills, where are they?"
"Not in Sunnydale, actually."
"Well, they're not far," Willow quickly reassured both Buffy and Giles. "They're just a few towns over in Scottsrose. You know, in the desert-y direction? "
Buffy's eyebrows went up. "There's a town called Scott's Rose? That sounds a little sexist."
"Maybe Scott just had some really awesome roses? Because, y'know, it's more like one word than two but, uh, basically?"
"Fine. Whatevs." Buffy looked at Giles. "We still taking your car?"
"Unless you've procured an alternative means of transport?"
"I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think you've been around the rest of us too long, Giles. We've totally rubbed of. Wills, you'll--"
Willow handed her a sheet of paper. "Looking for this?"
Buffy grinned as she saw the driving directions printed on one side and handy dandy map on the other. "You're the best!"
Blushing softly, Willow flapped a hand in Buffy and Giles' direction. "I know, I know. Now get out there and save the grade-schooler!"
Instead of leaving, however, Buffy went to where Willow was sitting and hugged her over the back of the chair. "Thank you. The difficulty factor on this one..."
"Complete ten," Willow agreed as she briefly hugged the arm across her chest. "But no matter what's between me and Oz, and-and it's lots, little Jordy shouldn't suffer just because, y'know, random boinkies and, and people-eating and eviscerations are between me and his cousin."
Buffy patted Willow's shoulder as she pulled out of the hug. "Girls' night in as soon Jordy is safe. Stat!"
Giles jiggled his car keys. "Ladies, if we're quite done here...?"
Luckily for Charles he hadn’t parked too far from the Watcher's house. It would be easy enough to catch up to him and his Slayer, especially with the old Citroen he drove.
Charles knew it was dangerous trailing a predator to her lair with the intent to steal her meat, but he was an old lobo. Far older than even this longest lived slayer. He'd figured he'd manage. Plus he'd had an alibi ready if she'd caught him hanging around. He really wouldn't have minded talking to her more if she had caught him. He had a feeling he could unravel the riddle of her relationship with the rogue with a little more time and attention on his part.
Following her and her Watcher would have to do. And if what his old ears had heard was true, his father would want to know.