Melissa Sheriden was sitting behind her desk in an office. It was her second day on work experience and it was going pretty well so far. Everyone had been more or less polite to her and she had learned a lot the day before. She leaned forward to get her cup and that was when she felt a hand on her ass. Before she knew what she was doing she turned round and pushed the man - a guy called John Turner she had only met once the day before - against the wall. Suddenly she was very aware of the silence in the office as everyone stared at her - a sixteen year old girl holding a grown man against the wall, his legs dangling in the air.
Sophie Hall was in hell. Every day since she had started at her new school she had been teased by a group of guys. They pulled her hair, stole her lunch money and generally pushed her around until she felt like crying and running home to hide in her room. And today was no different, until one of the boys came too close. A moment later he was flat on his back, holding his nose, while the rest of the ran away in shock. She looked around, and smiled to herself. From now on things would be different.
Janie Smith looked at the bat in her hand, then at the pitcher. He was smirking again. She had totally missed all three balls at her previous turn at bat and she fully expected to miss all three of these. But as the pitcher pulled his arm back she felt a flow of power through her arms, and a warm feeling in her stomach. The ball flew out of his hand and towards her and suddenly she felt that time had slowed down. She moved the bat to the perfect position, and swung the bat. The crack as the ball hit the bat echoed through the park and everyone gasped as the ball flew in a perfect arc across the diamond, over the out field and in to the woods beyond the edge of the park. Janie smiled and slowly walked around the four bases on the diamond, smirking at the pitcher all the way. Her team cheered her home and she knew life had changed forever.
Valarie Maloney was walking home when she heard the guy behind her. Silently she cursed herself - it was not the best place to be walking alone but she thought she would take the chance - waiting for a taxi would have taken forever. She quickened her pace only to hear the guy do the same. A moment later she felt his arm on hers, and she turned. He had a knife. She turned to run but he grabbed her and held her. "This is it" she thought, then she felt a flash of anger. Why should she let him do this to her? She pushed him backwards and then froze as he went flying across the alley. He got back up and rushed towards her, but she batted him aside with a single punch - still not sure what was happening. The guy got back up, looked at her, then turned and ran. Valarie smiled, then continued her walk home.
Rupert Giles leaned back in his chair and held out the file in his hand. The man opposite him - Charles Willinghorn - paused for a moment then took it. He read through it then looked back at his long time friend and former student.
"As you can see - the reports are growing" Giles said, sighing.
"If you had consulted me about this I could have told you the problems you faced" There was a mild note of disappointment in the old mans voice. "However you went ahead blindly...."
"I did not see that we had much of a choice" Giles replied hotly "The First would have destroyed The Slayer line if we had not intervened"
"And now we have a situation where there are dozens, maybe hundreds of Slayers running around the world. All untrained and unwatched"
"You make it sound like a bad thing" Giles looked at him.
"At the moment they are just learning to use their skills and powers. You only created them a month ago". Willinghorn sighed, then looked at Giles intently "But soon enough they will learn what they can do - and the forces of evil that still exist will know who they are. We have to take care of them and we have to protect them Giles - otherwise it might be the end of the Slayer line after all"
"Dawn?" Xander yelled upstairs "You gotta get your stuff"
"Do I have to?" A voice came back.
"Its your first day at school sweetie. You don't wanna be late"
"I know" Dawn came down the stairs looking a big depressed. "But........"
"But what?" Kennedy asked, wandering in from the dining room. Willow followed her with a bowl of cereal in her hand.
"Buffy isn't here yet" Dawn sighed "She promised she would be here for my first day". She leaned back and sat on the sofa. Willow went over to her and sat down next to her.
"I know sweetie - I thought she would be back too" She tousled Dawn's hair.
"I suppose I should go" Dawn got up and schlomped over to the door, picking up her bag on the way. Then she followed Andrew out of the door. Kennedy watched as they left, then turned back to the group assembled in the lounge.
"She does have a point you know"
"I know" Willow nodded "Buffy should have been back a week ago"
"Maybe she's having fun" Xander started pacing up and down "The fight against the first took a lot out of her you know"
"Maybe she is still in mourning for Spike" Kennedy added.
"You don't think she would have called?" Willow asked "Its not like her to be out of touch this long"
"Don't you think you are worrying too much?" Sophie asked. Everyone turned to look at her. "I know I am new to the group and I don't know you all that well but... from what you have told me she can take care of herself"
"But she is The Slayer" Xander said.
"No she isn't" Sophie replied, causing everyone to stop and stare at her again. She stood up "She isn't The Slayer any more"
"Can I just say.... huh?" Xander asked.
"There is Faith. Me. All the potentials that Willow's spell called before their time. They - we are all Slayers now"
"She's right" Kennedy said "I am a Slayer too"
"But why does that matter?" Willow asked.
"It means that Buffy is no longer the only Slayer" Kennedy replied "That she is not as at risk from the forces of darkness as she used to be because there are now many, many more targets on the range"
"But Buffy is the most well known" Xander said, turning to face Kennedy "All the demons, vampires and spirits...."
"Oh my" Willow added with a smile, then looked slightly ashamed when everyone stared at her. "Never mind"
"All of them" Xander continued "will know who she is. And did the forces of darkness get the memo from the Powers telling them about all of you?"
"So you think we should start looking for her, even though she might have just extended her vacation?" Sophie said. When no one replied everyone turned and looked at Willow questioningly. She took a step back.
"When did I get put in charge?"
"You are the most powerful person in the group" Xander replied "And excluding Buffy and Faith I would say the most powerful person in the world. I figure that puts you at number one in the list"
"But I don't wanna be in charge. Xander - you have always been the heart and soul of the group. What about you?"
"Me? In charge?" He paused, thinking about it for a moment "Couldn't we do it by committee or something?"
"Oh my goddess - what is it with you two?" Sophie almost exploded at them "Can you not survive without Buffy or Giles?"
"GILES!!!" Xanders exclamation startled everyone and they all turned and started at him.
"Sorry?" Willow said.
"We can contact Giles. He will know what to do. And how to find Buffy if she needs finding"
"But isn't Mr Giles in England?" Kennedy asked "Getting The Council up and running again after it was all blown up"
"They have phones across there" Sophie smirked "And I am sure he is wondering about you - how you are doing without him watching you every minute of the day....." She trailed off as she noticed everyone staring at her "You know that Buffy and Giles were the leaders of this group - even after Faith tried to take over". Kennedy nodded at this, while Willow and Xander exchanged looks.
"Do you think you two are ready to take over?" Kennedy asked "Or are you worried?"
"Worried?" Xander and Willow said together.
"Well - from the way you tell it Buffy has always been the leader. She and Giles always made the decisions"
"We had a say" Willow said with an indignant smile.
"But it wasn't your decision - not in the end. It was always down to The Slayer and her Watcher. But now that they are both gone you two are going to have to decide who is going to run the remainder of The Scoobies"
"The Scoobies?" Sophie looked bewildered.
"She means the Slayer's friends - me, Willow, Xander, Buffy, Faith and Giles"
"And Andrew" Willow added.
"Really?" Xander asked.
"You don't think so?"
"He killed Jonathan. He tried to kill us a few times. He was part of the trio that killed Tara... " He noticed Willow was staring at her hands and decided to change the topic quickly ".... all in all an annoying nerd"
"So was I" Willow said. Xander smiled, then nodded his agreement. There was a pause, then Sophie spoke up.
Andrew dropped Dawn off at school, then stayed a moment to talk to her.
"So be careful" He said.
"This school isn't built on a Hellmouth you know"
"But its still a school. And you are the new kid"
"Thanks - I had almost forgotten"
"Sorry. I just want you to have fun" He paused "I have to start a new job today"
"Good luck then" She pulled her bag on to her shoulder and started towards the school. She turned back and looked at him "I mean it - good luck"
"Thanks. You too" He turned and went back to the car, but then looked round. For just a moment he saw her staring at him. He returned the look, then turned back to the car and got in "What's that about?" He thought.
"What's that about?" Dawn thought, then dismissed the thought as she looked round at the school. It was nothing like Sunnydale High - it looked huge, imposing and very scary. She gulped then walked forward in to the building.
Giles walked back in to the library and sat down. Charles Willinghorn was still there waiting for him.
"So we are agreed?" Willinghorn asked. Giles nodded.
"I think it is for the best. Buffy and Faith were not much for listening to The Council I know, but I can see that we are needed now"
"Well - not to speak ill of my former associates but some elements of The Council were a little too attached to tradition. The Cruciamentum for example"
"A time honoured tradition"
"An insane attempt for The Council to re-assert its failing authority over Slayers who fought and died for their agenda while they sat on their..." Giles paused "I never did understand why - when The Slayer manages to survive to the age of eighteen - the Council would chose that point to try to kill her"
"I understand your point fo view, but Council Lore was very clear - the test had been in place for centuries"
"And for centuries before that Christians were thrown to the lions for sport. Things change Charles - traditions change. The New Council must understand that"
"Which is exactly why you should be in the founding group. That you should be part of The New Council" Giles stared at him for a moment.
"I am Buffy's watcher"
"She does not need a Watcher Mr Giles. Your reports were pretty clear on that". Giles glared at him, then stood up and started pacing backwards and forwards.
"Would I have free reign? Would you be willing to set the rules aside and let me design The Council for a modern era?"
"Yes" He looked up and caught Giles doubtful look "You and the other founders will be in complete charge. No veto from the rest of the older members" He paused as a phone rang in another room. "So - what do you think?". Before Giles could answer a young man in a suit came in from another room.
"Mr Giles?" He said.
"There is a phone call for you"
"Thank you" Giles turned back to Willinghorn "Will you excuse me a moment?"
"Of course" Giles turned and left, leaving Willinghorn leafing through the file. Two minutes later Giles came back in looking a little flustered. "Mr Giles?"
"I have to leave for California at once. Buffy is missing"
Willow hung up the phone and smiled. Giles had sounded kind of excited about coming back to America, even if it wasn't Sunnydale any more. She turned to see Xander coming in to the room behind her.
"He's coming back then?"
"Yeah. Says he should be here tomorrow or the day after"
"Do you think he will be able to help?"
"Doesn't he always?" She paused "He sounded a little excited"
"I don't think he is happy about being back in England. That he wants to be back where the action is"
"You don't think he's told Buffy to go in to hiding for a while, just so he would have a reason to come back?"
They stared at each other for a moment, then they shook their heads together.
"I think he would say that is a tad unethical" Xander continued
"So what do you think has happened to her?" Willow asked.
"Maybe nothing" Xander said. They walked back in to the dining room and sat down "She could be just fine and extending her holiday. She could've met a cute guy and taking her time in coming back"
"Or she could be being held captive somewhere. Or she could be....."
"Could be what?" Andrew asked. He had walked in behind them "What did I miss?"
"Why are you here?" Xander asked, turning "And how did you get in?"
"You left the front door unlocked. And I am on a break for lunch"
"Okay" Willow said "We were just talking about Buffy"
"You think she's in trouble? That we should go look for her?"
"Hold on there Andy - we don't know anything yet. Giles is on his way back from England and should be here in a day or so. We are hoping he will be able to help us"
"So you two are still waiting for Mr Giles?" He sounded scornful, but in a polite way.
"Not wait... we are just going to see what he knows before we act"
"I thought you two would have taken this chance to take over the group" Andrew looked back and forth between them.
"Take over?" Willow asked.
"You two have been here since the start - the understudies waiting in the wings for the prima-donna to take ill. But you are not going to do it?" Xander and Willow stood and stared at him for a moment, then both walked out shaking their heads. "What did I say?"
Dawn picked up her tray and looked around. She had hated the dining hall in Sunnydale Junior High - or she thought she had. And now in her new school she knew no one. She edged her way past a table full of people and sat down on her own in the corner. She looked around feeling lonely and started eating slowly. A moment later someone sat down next to her. She looked up and saw a boy looking at her.
"Excuse me? What do you think you are doing?"
"My name is Tony Pearson" The boy replied with a slight smile "I thought you looked lonely"
"Then you should get your eyes tested. Go away"
"Are you sure? I know a lot of the kids in this school. I could get you in with them"
"What if I don't want to be in with them?"
"Then you can be in with me" He was still smiling "Like I said - I know a lot of kids in this school" Dawn started to glare at him, but it only caused him to smile more "Or maybe you want to spend the rest of the year sat here. Alone" He stood up and walked away, then turned to see her staring at him, but more speculatively than before.
"I am so sorry. I didn't know"
Sophie was sat on Kennedy's bed, talking to the young Slayer. After she had asked about Tara, Kennedy had taken her aside and told her to meet her in Kennedy and Willow's room. Five minutes later Kennedy had come in to the room and sat down on the bed opposite her, then for half an hour had told her about Willow's past.
"No big. You should probably learn what goes on around here anyway. Since its your home town an'all I figure you'll be staying around for a while"
"So Tara was Willow's first girlfriend?"
"Yeah" Kennedy smiled "First being the word. Before that she dated a guy named Oz"
"So she wasn't always...."
"Gay?" Sophie nodded and Kennedy continued "No. I think she had a crush on Xander at one point as well"
"I can get that" Sophie smiled slightly, then smirked as Kennedy's eyebrows went up "I am not saying I have a crush on him but... he is so...."
"Handsome in a cool, understated kind of way" Willow asked. She had arrived a moment before and caught Kennedy talking about Xander and decided to listen. Then she walked in to the room leaving the two girls staring at her in surprise "Hi honey - I'm home"
"How much did you hear....." Kennedy looked up at her then stopped as Willow smirked at her again.
"Just the part about Xander. Andrew was downstairs accusing us of being wusses so I came up to see if you would like to come for a walk with me" She turned and smiled at Sophie "But if you two have better things to do then...."
"I am all yours honey" Kennedy said, then stood up and walked over to her girlfriend and took her hand. Sophie stayed on the bed, then smiled as she watched them leave.
"So - you were talking about me?" Willow asked.
"Sophie is new here sweetie. I remember what it was like when I arrived - I didn't know anybody or how you came to be friends with Buffy and so on. And I Kept hearing about Tara....." She paused as Willow's face darkened for a moment "Are you okay?" Willow paused before answering, then turned to face Kennedy.
"I forgot the anniversary of her death. With all the stuff going on I did not go to her grave"
"And now her grave is buried in the crater we left behind" Kennedy paused, then smiled "We could do a ritual"
"I know I am not really a witch of any kind - most of my magic is the Slayer type - but can we not summon her spirit?"
"So that you can say your goodbyes. So I can meet your first love" As Willow held her hand up to protest Kennedy continued "Your first female love. Although I'd like to meet Oz as well - Xander makes him sound like a nice guy"
"He is - but again I ask.... why?"
"Normal curiosity? Aren't you curious about my past?" Willow stopped and looked at her.
"There is a past now?"
"See" Kennedy smirked then said "So?"
"I'll think about it" They started walking down the stairs again "I am not sure I am ready to see her again"
"I understand" They reached the bottom of the stairs and as they walked out of the front door Kennedy slipped her arm around Willow's waist, causing her girlfriend to smile.
"So - did you enjoy your first day?"
Dawn turned to see Tony Pearson standing behind her. He was smiling the same smile she had seen before, and she realised he was kind of cute.
"Can't you get a clue?"
"Oh - the you don't want to talk to me thing?" He smiled again "I think that's just a cover"
"A cover?" She sounded sceptical.
"I think you are really in love with me but you don't want to come on too strong"
"Oh yes - of course" Dawn replied in a perfectly deadpan voice "I am panting for you. Take me. Take me now" She smirked "You really have a big opinion of yourself, don't you?"
"Its not just me. Ask around" He turned and walked away from her leaving her staring at her back. She did that for a moment then heard footsteps behind her. She turned to see Andrew walking towards her.
"Hey Dawnie-Dawn. How was your first day at school?"
"Oh the usual. Lonely, long. Dull. What about you?"
"No one spoke to me at all. And I went home for lunch. Mr Giles is coming back tomorrow or Thursday"
"Giles? He is coming back? Why is he coming back?"
"Oh - don't worry about it"
"Is it about Buffy?" When Andrew didn't answer she asked again "Tell me"
"Willow and Xander think she should've come back by now, so they phoned Mr Giles to ask for some help"
"Oh god" Dawn put her head in her hands. Andrew put his hand out to touch her back, but drew it back before he made contact. Instead he spoke up again.
"We don't know anything bad has happened yet Dawnie - Willow knows what she is doing" Dawn lifted her head out of her hands and looked at him.
"Can you take me home?"
"Okay" She pulled her bag up her shoulder and then paused as Andrew put his arm around her. She decided not to shrug it off and as they walked towards his car she realised it felt quite nice. She didn't see Tony behind her staring at them as they left, but it probably wouldn't have made any difference to her if she had.
The four of them sat in the dining room looking at each other. Two of them were digesting the idea that the other two had floated, and wondering what it could mean. Finally - after about five minutes of silence, Xander turned to Kennedy.
"You really think you can do this?"
"I don't see why not" She replied.
"You want to bring a ghost in to this house?" Sophie asked.
"A friendly ghost" Willow said with a smile "Totally Casper like"
"But...." Xander started, then paused as if considering his words.
"But what? You think Tara would want to hurt us?"
"No. But remember you conversation with Cassie?"
"Cassie?" Kennedy and Sophie said together.
"Someone we met last year - before you arrived sweetie" Willow frowned slightly "We tried to stop her dying after Buffy talked to her, but then she came back" She paused, remembering the late night conversation with the person she thought was Cassie. "It wasn't her. It was The First trying to get me to kill myself"
"Wow" Sophie said.
"And we kicked that ass already" Kennedy added with a smile.
"Still" Kennedy said "ghosts are not generally things we want in the house"
"But the other thing is we can find out about Buffy" Willow said, unaware that Andrew and Dawn had come in behind her "I mean - if Buffy is.... if she is dead then Tara would know" There was a gasp from behind her. They all turned to see Dawn staring at her.
"So its true" Dawn said "You think she's dead?"
Willow put her hand up to her mouth.
"Well?" The young girl glared at everyone in the room, daring them to answer her.
"We don't know" Willow sighed "That's why we are trying to find out. Giles is coming back...."
"I know" Dawn said firmly "Andrew told me" Xander stopped and turned to Andrew.
"It just slipped out" He said "Besides - you shouldn't be keeping secrets from each other"
"Giles is coming back" Willow said, trying to stop an argument "And we were just talking about...."
"About contacting Tara to see if Buffy is there or not" Dawn said "I heard"
"That's what Willow *wants* to do" Xander said "I am less sure"
"But its Tara" Willow said, sounding a little whiny "She wouldn't hurt me"
"But what if its not Tara" Andrew said "What if it's some big bad?"
"That's my point" Xander said, then he shook his head when he realised he was siding with Andrew.
"But I could set up some protection. I could set up some wards around her and then if its not Tara we can banish it back to where it came from" Willow sounded desperate and she knew it. She wasn't sure why this was so important to her - if it was finding out about Buffy once and for all, or if it was the chance to talk to Tara again. "I know I can do this"
"Are you sure it will be safe?" Sophie asked. Willow nodded.
"I can do this" She looked beseeching at Xander, then at Dawn "It may be our best hope of finding something out"
"Okay" Xander said, then added "At least wait until Giles comes back so he can help". He watched Willow as she thought about it, then nodded.
"I hate moving around. My first day sucked and I didn't make any friends. Well - that's not true. One boy kept talking to me but he was a pest. I think he might have a crush on me" Dawn stopped writing for a moment, then continued "I think Andrew might too. And - as bad as this sounds - I think I might have one on him as well. He is nice - fun. He treats me like someone other than Buffy's kid sister. I know he has been evil in the past, but Willow tried to destroy the world and we are still friends with her" She looked up at the wall and smiled to herself "And it would drive Buffy and the others CRAZY".
She put the diary down and laid back on her bed. Just as she closed her eyes there was a knock at the door.
"Come in" Her eyes widened as Andrew came in. She checked behind her to see the diary was closed, then turned back to her guest.
"What you up to?" He asked.
"Just writing in my diary... my journal. Its been a long day"
"So you didn't have fun at school then?" He looked so sympathetic she could not help smiling.
"New kid. I did meet one boy though - he was kind of cute"
"Really? Was he the one you were talking to when I arrived?"
"Jealous?" Dawn said with a smile.
"No" He paused "Do you like him?"
"He was kind of annoying actually" Dawn replied with a soft smile "He wouldn't go away. So - do you know if they are going to summon Tara?"
"I think they are going to wait for Mr Giles to come back first"
"They don't think they can do it themselves?" She sounded surprised.
"I think they are scared" Andrew said serenely.
"Scared? Willow and Xander?" Dawn smirked "Really?"
"They don't want to be the grown-ups in this game" Andrew started pacing back and forward "They want Buffy to take all the responsibility and Mr Giles to take all the blame while they just play in the sandpit" He realised Dawn was staring at him "What?"
"Sometimes you are not who you pretend to be" She saw Andrew smile "So - you wanna play a game?"
"Do you think we should wait?" Willow asked. She was sat next to Kennedy on the sofa.
"Wait?" Kennedy turned to look at her "Oh - you mean about Tara?"
"I can protect the house. I don't know what everyone is worried about"
"What if you are wrong? Or what if....." She paused, not certain of how to continue.
"What if what sweetie?" Willow took her lover's hand "Talk to me"
"Tara has been gone for a while. That's a long time even in our terms. What if she...."
"You think she will be angry?" Willow asked "About us?"
"Jealousy can be strong"
"But she loves.... she loved me. Tara wouldn't hurt me"
"Okay" Willow stared at her "Can you call her now?"
"You mean it?" Kennedy nodded "I could do with some help. The wards have to be pretty darn strong"
"Ask Andrew" She smirked at Willow's raised eyebrow "He is good with the magic stuff, or so you tell me"
"Okay then" Willow stood up and headed towards the door. She stopped at the sound of Kennedy's voice.
"Is there anything I can do?"
"Yes actually. There is a notebook in the drawer upstairs. It will tell you how to set the ritual up" She turned back and walked upstairs. She walked up to Dawn's door and knocked on it smartly. When there was no answer she knocked again. "Dawn?" She heard a muffled "eeep" from inside and pushed the door open and rushed inside, then stopped dead.
Kennedy reached in to Willow's drawer and pulled out the notebook Willow had mentioned. She flipped through it and found the ritual she was looking for. She took a deep breath and started reading.
Meanwhile Willow paced back and forth between Andrew and Dawn. They were both sat on Dawn's bed and looked somewhat shameful if a little happy.
"What were you thinking? Kissing Andrew? He is evil"
"No he isn't" Dawn said "You aren't evil, are you?"
"No" Andrew said "I fight with the forces of good"
"Oh shut up" Willow snapped, then turned back to Dawn "He's older than you"
"Anya was older than Xander. Angel and Spike were both older than Buffy. Oz was older than you" Dawn sounded petulant and she knew it, but she didn't care.
"That's different" Willow replied.
"It always is"
"Can I say something?" Andrew asked.
"No" Willow snapped at him again. She turned back to Dawn "He didn't put a spell on you did he?"
"No!!" Dawn and Andrew both yelled at once, then turned to each other and smiled. Andrew continued.
"I like her" He said, smiling at Dawn. She smiled back then turned to Willow.
"He's nice. He treats me like an adult. Not like I am Buffy's little sister"
"But he's.... Andrew" Willow sighed, then noticed Kennedy coming in to the room behind her.
"The room is ready honey. Is Andrew going to help?" She asked.
"I haven't asked him yet" Willow said, turning back to the pair sat in front of her "I came in to find them making out"
"WHAT?" Xander's voice came from behind them as he stormed in to the room.
"Really?" Kennedy said.
"What do you think we should do with her?" Willow asked them.
"Sorry?" Dawn said "Do with me?"
"Buffy left us in charge" Willow said "We are taking care of you until she comes back. You can't be doing this with him" She turned to Xander "I am right, aren't I?"
"We could ground her" Xander said. Willow nodded, but then frowned when she saw Dawn smirk at Andrew.
"I am not sure the grounding is the best plan. But we could watch her" Xander gave her a confused look "While Dawn is at school Andrew will be at work. While they are here we can keep them apart" They stopped to think about this, then Andrew suddenly spoke up.
"The summoning spell for Tara" Kennedy said, the noticed Willow shaking her head.
"You were going to do that now?" Xander asked "What about waiting for Giles?"
"What about Dawn and Andrew?" Willow asked insistently.
"We can take care of ourselves" Dawn snapped "We are grown ups"
"You were going to summon Tara without telling us?" Xander turned on Willow "And you were going to ask him" he pointed at Andrew "to help you?"
"She needs a second to guard against evil spirits" Kennedy said loyally.
"You wanted me for a second?" Andrew asked curiously.
"You are the only other magic person here. But now I know you are running around with Dawn behind our backs I am not sure you should be living here any more, let alone helping me with magic. I mean - what would Giles say?"
"I think he would say 'What exactly is going on here and why are you all yelling at each other'" Everyone turned to see Giles stood at the door looking at all of them with a look of amused curiosity on his face.
(To be continued.............)