She’d spent hours coaxing the story out of that girl. It was going to be an epic wish: maximum gore. Then a mage marked by Eyghon walked in. Absently, she said, “Wish granted,” resolving nothing but Julie-Susan-whoever’s regrets over ordering the light beer.
Sauntering over to where he was ordering whiskey, Anyanka purred, “Hey, there,” and gave her hair a coquettish toss.
He grinned, looking her up and down. “Hey, yourself.” Leaning a little closer, he asked, “So what’s a beautiful vengeance demon like you doing in a Hellmouth like this?”
She preened. Tonight was going to be deliciously chaotic.
Ripper had never been so grateful for Martine’s vicious tutelage. He knew, now, to make his partners come first and often and how to read the secret flush of pleasure from their skin.
Because this was not just some bird down the pub. Anyanka had probably forgotten more about sex than he could hope to learn in his lifetime. If he could be interesting enough … dangerous enough. Could please her enough. Maybe she’d stay with him. And to think: he’d always believed himself too cynical for love at first sight.
Ah, yes. Those were the noises he’d been listening for.
Vengeance gigs aside, Anyanka hadn’t bothered with non-demons for decades. But Ripper smiled like sin, put incubus kisses to shame, and had an uncanny knack for touching all the right spots to make her scream. Even fully clothed in a cramped bathroom stall.
Then he invited her out to feed babies to Lurconis. Or at least that’s what she’d understood. Instead, he displayed his fighting prowess – doubly impressive for a human, even if that bratty slayer kept getting in the way of his kills. So she licked the ichor off his neck and suggested they go back to his place.
She could strip the flesh from his bones as quickly and easily as someone more human might undress him, and that knowledge made his skin fizz – like swimming in champagne. Not to mention her stories! Ripper imagined himself sitting at her feet, listening, for the rest of his life, never wanting for anything more.
Well. Very little more. No need to get completely carried away.
But he didn’t become awestruck until they set off for his apartment and she threaded her fingers through his. Forget the fighting and the danger, just holding Anyanka’s hand made him feel ten feet tall.
Normally, the rollicking anarchy of Sunnydale minus any functioning adults would be more addictive than catnip to Anyanka. But instead of leaping into the thick of the mayhem, she was escaping it through secluded suburban backstreets. Heading towards a completely different kind of action.
She had always been the listener. The egger-on. It was her passion and her raison d’etre. Now, suddenly she had this young-old man riveted, hanging on her every word and following her lead. She was sure that if she could only wrap herself up in his laughter, it would protect her from the coldest of winters.
The saving grace of the older, more boring, Rupert Giles was definitely his drinks cabinet. Panting, Ripper and Anyanka lay on his living room floor, unashamedly debauched, while he poured another mouthful of Lagavulin into the hollow of her hip and sipped it from her skin.
With what he already recognised as a dangerous twinkle in her eye, Anyanka pushed herself up onto her elbows to reclaim the bottle. Sensually aware of his eyes devouring the single drop of whiskey trailing from lips to throat and down between her breasts, she asked, “You ready to start with the sex magic?”
Their languid whiskey mellowness burned away with the first incantation. Every touch crackled and buzzed, generating enough electricity to power the complex for a week.
As they ploughed through his spellbooks, Ripper’s erection never flagged no matter how hard he came. Anyanka’s canary-eating grin only got wider, urging him harder, faster, more, until she was so over-sensitised she couldn’t draw breath between orgasms.
Finally spent, they called down a deluge of soft, warm rain that reached all the way out to the desert. It brought flowers, then fruit, to bloom everywhere it landed, while they danced naked in the garden.
When dawn broke weakly through the rain, Giles hefted her in a bridal carry across his threshold, happier than he ever remembered. The candy wore off hours ago, but he couldn’t give a toss. To think: he’d believed he was too old for love at first sight.
“Can’t you feel it coming?” Anyanka shivered in anticipation, eyes sparking with manic glee. “Fifi-Orlene’s gonna look like a minor squall.”
Her wet skin slipped precariously through his hands until she stuttered to a stand on the puddled floor.
“Darling, we made a hurricane!”
Anyanka kissed him and Giles froze, unable to reciprocate.
She watched Ripper’s light die, his kisses becoming brotherly – no, worse. Fatherly. Increasingly desperate caresses changed nothing, even though he leaned into them like a touch-starved child.
She couldn’t work out what had gone wrong. Ever since she was Aud, she’d been building an impenetrable wall around her heart so no one could hurt her again. But somehow, this ordinary mortal man had slipped past all her defences.
Tears pricking at her eyes, Anyanka pressed her hands against the closed door of his apartment, wishing – oh, irony of ironies – that love at first sight wasn’t just a lie for children.
The click of the latch resounded, deafeningly (defeatingly) final.
If she was right about the coming hurricane…. A sick twist formed in his gut that absolutely wasn’t whiskey. With so many deaths weighing on an already too-heavy conscience, he couldn’t bear more. And yet only Anyanka’s arms could ease the ache.
It wasn’t her Rupert Giles who shut the door, but a Watcher. A Watcher who scrubbed her from his flat, then his skin, until there were no traces left of the man’s mistake.
Yesterday, he’d fretted that Ethan might compromise him. Today all he wanted was to be compromised.