Forget and Smile – Chapter Fourteen

This entry is part 14 of 16 in the series Forget and Smile
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Almost done. Another chapter and a couple of epilogues to go.

Forget and Smile

Chapter Fourteen

“Spike, what the hell is that? Because it had better not be what I think it is.” Buffy stared out across the same cornfields they had staked out two nights earlier. Silhouetted against the star-spangled evening sky was a very silly-looking creature. It was standing quite still and looking in her direction. She couldn’t see its expression, but she was sure it was a stupid one.

Spike was standing just behind her. “Well, you know how I said we should use a tethered goat to attract the Sasquatch away from that old barn where it could ambush us?”

“That isn’t a goat, Spike. And it’s not tethered.”

“No, because you said that plan could be pretty hard on the goat, so I found something better. Asked a friend of mine to drop her off here.”

“Spike, it’s a llama. You got it because you are obsessed with llama jokes.”

“I did not!” He almost managed to keep the laughter out of his voice. “I got it because it’s a guard llama.”

“A what?” She turned to face him.

“A guard llama.”

“Spike, there is no such thing!”

“Is too!”

The conversation having degenerated as far as it could go without their actually sticking their tongues out at each other, Buffy took a deep breath, trying to think of a way to get past the fact that he’d brought that animal along on a slaying expedition.

“Tell you what, Miss America, you believe me when I say there are guard llamas, and I promise never to mention llamas in jest ever again.”

“Spike, that’s the stupidest deal I’ve ever heard. I’ll take it.”

“Done.” He walked around to the back of his car and opened the trunk.

Buffy had weighed the use of various metal weapons before she had to admit that Spike’s first and most obvious suggestion was the best. In addition to the llama, he had acquired two hunting rifles and plenty of ammunition, the better to insert as much metal as possible into the Sasquatch from as safe a distance as possible.

He stood with one of the rifles in his hands. “Are you sure you know how to use this? It’s pretty powerful.”

She smirked. “Well, I had this sweet little rocket-launcher once–”

He threw a hand up in a gesture of surrender and passed over the weapon. Buffy checked it over carefully. She had learned how to use firearms, but rarely chose them. “Okay,” she said. “We take up positions with a clear view of the llama. If old Sassy shows up, we wait to see if it moves out into the open before we open fire so we can get a clear shot. If things get too dangerous, we get out of here and come back with reinforcements. Taking the llama with us, if possible.”

It was a simple, direct plan, but a good one. At least, if she ignored the damn you-know-what.


For a simple plan, it had gotten complicated really fast. Buffy ran across the field, stopping for a bare second to pull her rifle up to her shoulder and take a shot at the Sasquatch, and then she was running again.

She wondered just how much metal was needed to kill the thing. It wasn’t exactly impervious to bullets, but they were slowing it down without stopping it. She knew she’d hit her target several times, and so had Spike. But that had just made the hairy mountain roar in anger and distract if from its pursuit of its llama lunch. It had taken off after one of its attackers a lot faster than she had ever thought it could move. No wonder none of the tabloids ever got clear pictures of the damn things.

She’d been surprised by how quickly the llama had spotted the Sasquatch and evaded it, uttering a weird high-pitched, scratchy wail the whole time. But now she was more concerned for Spike’s safety than a screaming llama. He was standing about 100 feet from the road, with a swath of field and a wide drainage ditch between him and the car. She’d been stationed off to one side, with the idea of catching the Sasquatch in the crossfire.

They’d done that, but the plan had fallen down when the Sasquatch refused to do so. It was staggering a bit, but still making good time as it headed for Spike. He’d kept firing longer than he should have, several seconds after Buffy had started screaming at him to run.

She tore across the field, trying to catch the Sasquatch that was trying to catch Spike, the llama’s weird cry echoing in her ears as she wondered if she should just beat the damn thing to death with her rifle instead of trying to shoot it. I knew I should have brought an axe.

Spike looked over his shoulder, glanced in her direction, and seemed to come to the same conclusion she did — that he wasn’t going to be able to cross the drainage ditch and reach the car before the Sasquatch caught him. He dropped to one knee and started shooting.

The Sasquatch faltered, buying Buffy another half-second to reach him. It wasn’t going to be enough. The monster caught itself, moved forward and was about to grab Spike when he dropped the rifle and rolled to one side, just as something else struck the Sasquatch at high speed, ululating as it got in a firm kick and a shove with its chest before moving on.

Buffy was unable to believe what she’d just seen, and the Sasquatch seemed equally bewildered, because it abandoned Spike to turn and stare at the llama, which appeared to be circling around for another attack.

Buffy knew an opportunity when she saw one. She kicked the Sasquatch between the legs, hoping that one bit of its anatomy was in the usual place, and it fell to its knees, opening a mouth full of teeth and lunging forward to bite her. She shoved the barrel of her rifle down its throat and fired. The Sasquatch fell back, its legs twisted at what seemed like an unnatural angle, but who could tell with that thing.

Another rifle barked and the head, which she now saw was mostly nose and floppy ears, bounced on the ground with the force of the blow. She fired a few more times for good measure, but at last she was sure it was dead and she dropped her weapon.

Spike lowered his as well. He ran a hand through his hair and blinked at her, then turned to watch the llama.

“My God, Spike, that thing saved you!” Buffy also stared at the llama, which stared back. It had calmed shortly after the Sasquatch stopped breathing and now it was standing a few feet away, watching them with what seemed like curiosity.

“I told you.” Spike was smirking. “It’s a guard llama. My friend says he hasn’t lost a goat to predators since he introduced her to the flock.”

“You — you weren’t depending on that walking ball of wool, were you?”

He shook his head. “No, I’m not daft. I really thought the shots would take it down right away. When they didn’t, I started wondering if I’d ever cash in my 401k. On the positive side, I can probably get a paper out of this. Unexpected resilience of a rare breed of Sasquatch to when attacked by standard firearms.” He pulled out his cell phone. “I should let Jim know his llama’s okay. I had to do some fast talking and pull in a favor to get him to loan her to me.”

“You–” That did it. She tackled him.

“Hey!” was all he got out before she started kissing him, her hands on his shoulders.

He doesn’t taste of ashes was her first thought as he responded. They rolled over, the rough stubble of corn stalks grabbing at her hair and clothes, threatening to scratch her legs right through the denim of her jeans. Her hair was probably encrusted with black Iowa dirt by now. She didn’t care.

He was moving against her, his hands exploring at first tentatively and then with more assurance as her hips bucked up, encouraging him.

He raised his head. “You don’t look like Miss America now. You look like a wild thing.”

“Do you like wild things?” she asked, but the only response she got was another long kiss.

Then everything descended into a confused and very lustful haze, with Buffy’s brain moving into Want mode as her hands got very busy Taking. She heard him gasp, “Buffy, wait — ” once, but she only replied, “I’ve waited forever.”

Someone was driving along the road and for a second they were caught in the glare of high beams as a truck made its way around a curve.

Spike rolled over onto his knees and she pulled herself up to kneel next to him, her hands still reaching for the zipper on his jeans and her mouth pressed towards his.

“Buffy — ”

She realized he had grabbed her hands and was trying to push her away. She stared at him in confusion. It took a few seconds before she let go, and he stood up hurriedly, straightening his clothes before he turned his back to her.

What just happened? What did I do?

“I’m sorry, Spike — ” She started miserably, only to stop, bewildered, as the headlights of the truck hit her full on.

The truck, which Buffy now saw was hauling a trailer, pulled to a stop next to Spike’s car and a stocky man jumped out. “Got your text,” he said to Spike, “and I thought I’d come bring Mildred home. She always gets anxious when she’s away from her flock too long. How’d my girl do?”

Buffy turned away as Spike went to talk to the farmer and the llama came jogging up to join them.

Chapter Fifteen


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