The Grundy Affair Chapter 3

This entry is part 3 of 13 in the series The Grundy Affair
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Buffy and Spike are recruited to protect an important gift and discover there is more at stake.
Drama and Humor

Chapter 3, Rated PG.   Story starts here

Chapter 3

The most favored coat of the Grundy is the sable accompanied by light beige stomach scales. Other coats include white with peach scales and black with grey scales. The rarest of all coats is considered to be the variegated russet with pink scales.

– The Complete Manual of Domestic Demon Care
2001 Edition
Chapter 3- The Grundy

 

The ringing phone abruptly roused Giles from an oddly troubling dream in which the sorcerer’s apprentice and his infamous brooms attempted to clean up the Magic Box, but the Grundy voraciously attacked and chewed them into splinters each time they crossed the threshold.

The open book on medieval sorcery lying across his lap slipped to the floor while he fumbled around on the coffee table, finally locating the portable phone under a pile of papers. Thankfully banishing the strange dream to the deeper recesses of his brain, Giles cleared his throat. “Hello?”

“Hi Giles, is Anya there?”

The Watcher tried to wrap his exhausted brain around the question. “Xander? No, Anya’s not here.” Waking fully, he recognized obvious worry in the young man’s voice. Blinking in the bright light of his reading lamp, he focused on the wall clock. It read 9:00. He must have fallen asleep in his chair immediately after dinner.

“I haven’t seen her since I left at six o’clock. She was planning to stay about another half hour. Did you call the Magic Box?”

“No one answers; the phone just rings.”

Giles straightened. “That’s odd; Anya always puts the answering machine on when she stays late. I’ll meet you there in fifteen minutes.”

Xander was already pacing in front of the shop when Giles arrived. It only took a moment to ascertain that although the lights were on, the front door was locked. Giles unlocked the door and Xander gasped.

Pushing past the older man, Xander ran to his girlfriend, lying next to the counter. Dropping to the floor he touched her tenderly. “Ahn?”

Anya moaned and opened her eyes. Squinting against the bright overhead light she said, “Xander? What happened? My head hurts.” She touched the back of her head gingerly. “Ow.”

“Let’s get her off the floor. I’ll call the paramedics.”

“No paramedics. I’ll be fine.” Struggling to sit up, Xander reached out to steady her. “There was a stranger in here. Just as I noticed him, he knocked me out.”

The two men helped her into a chair and she tried for a smile. “Thanks. I’m already starting to feel better. So what did he steal?”

“It’s very odd. The money’s still here in the register and the display cases are undamaged. It appears that nothing of obvious value has been taken.”

Xander looked confused. “Then why was he even here?”

“Perhaps he was after the Grundy.”

Anya nodded emphatically and winced, clutching her head. “That has to be it.”

Her boyfriend looked even more confused. “What’s a Grundy?”

“Xander, I think you should take Anya home. She can explain on the way. Be vigilant, it’s possible someone may be watching us. Anya, you should stay home tomorrow and rest. I’m going to lock up and go home myself. I’ll call Buffy’s house later this evening and let her know what’s happened. From now on, none of us should have any personal contact with either Buffy or Spike.”

“What does Captain Peroxide have to do with any of this?”

“Come on Xander, help me up. I’ll explain everything in the car.”

****

Spike sat down on the corner stool in front of the scarred bar. “’Lo Willy. Can I have a glass of Jack?”

Willy, the ferret faced proprietor of Spike’s favorite demon bar, shook his head. “Sorry Spike. I told you already, no more booze until you pay your tab. It’s so big that I’m gonna hire a sherpa to help me carry it.”

Reaching in his duster, Spike pulled out some bills. “Not a problem.” He dropped them on the counter in front of the bartender. “Here you go, mate.”

Willy quickly scooped the money up and jammed it in the register. Handing Spike a cloudy glass of amber liquid, he lowered his voice. “Morty’s in the supply room conducting business. If you’re smart, you’ll drink up and leave.”

Completely ignoring the warning, Spike surveyed the crowded bar. “Have you seen Clem tonight?”

“Booth in the back corner.” Willy watched the vampire grab his glass and stand up. “Take my advice, Spike. I don’t want any trouble in my bar.”

“Don’t worry Willy. I never cause trouble.”

“Uh huh. And my bar’s gonna be host to Paris Hilton and her entourage later tonight. I’m going to put up a red velvet rope so the paparazzi can’t bother her.”

“Get an autographed picture for your wall.”

Wading through the Friday night crowd, Spike spied his friend and slid into the booth across from him. “’Lo Clem.”

The big demon looked around so frantically Spike could hear his ears flop against his head. “Spike, what are you doing here? Morty came in awhile ago and I know he’s around somewhere.” He cast a worried eye on his friend and hissed, “Are you trying to get yourself dusted?”

“No worries, I’ve got Morty’s money.”

All of it?” Clem looked skeptically at the cocky vamp leaning back in the seat.

“Every bloody cent, I swear.” Spike placed his hand over his nonbeating heart and grinned. “Even the vig.”

Surprised, the demon asked, “Where’d you get that kind of money?”

“Picked up a job out of town for the next week and got paid in advance.” Swallowing the last of his drink, the vampire rose. “I’ll let you know when I’m back.”

Spike walked cautiously down Willy’s back hall toward the supply room. It wasn’t unusual for the short tempered loan shark to have several of his clan stationed around the perimeter and he didn’t want to get in a fight with a bunch of demons before he even got through the door. Especially since I’ve got his damn money.

“Well, well, look who’s here everybody. It’s Spike.” The loan shark, wearing a cheap, very shiny suit, held court behind a scarred desk at the back of the supply room.

“Morty. The Hellmouth’s answer to Tony Soprano.

Several members of his clan surrounded the loan shark. Waving them off, the demon gestured for Spike to move closer.  “I heard you’d walked in. I was just about to send Vinny out to invite you for a little visit.”

Closing the distance between them, Spike held out some bills. “I came to pay you back; I’ve got your money.”

The loan shark smiled, displaying several rows of serrated teeth. “Good. I was beginning to think I’d have to look you up and I hate wasting time like that.” He reached out and took the money from the vamp and counted it. “Very good. Now that we’re even again, I wonder if you’d be interested in a job?”

Spike hedged, feigning a slight interest for the shark’s benefit. “Depends, what is it?”

“There’s an out of town group visiting the Hellmouth, looking for a certain item and willing to pay a large finder’s fee. If you locate it for them, it would be worth your while.” Morty flashed his teeth again. “And mine too, of course.”

“What kind of item?”

“I can’t divulge that information until I know you’re in, now can I?” The loan shark adopted a hearty tone. “Well, what do you say?”

“Unfortunately, I’m already employed for the next few days and I’ll be leavin’ town for the job.” Spike raised an eyebrow. “But if you’re still lookin’ when I get back…”

“I’m sure they’ll find it pretty quick. This is something that can’t be hidden too easily and the gentlemen in question can be very persuasive, especially since they’re working with a tight deadline.”

Standing next to the loan shark, the aforementioned Vinny started to chuckle. “Very persuasive,” he echoed. “Just ask the lady that breeds-Ow” he clutched his head where another clan member had clocked him while snarling, “Shut up you moron.”

Spike ignored them. Back in the day he’d known what it was like to be surrounded by idiots, too. “I’ll see you around, Morty.”

“If you ever find yourself short again Spike, look me up. I’m always available to help out a friend in need.”

Spike nodded and turned to go. Never again, Mate. I’ll become a blood donor myself first.

Turning over the information in his mind that the loan shark and his moronic employee had divulged, Spike headed back to Restfield and the Slayer.

Once the loan shark was certain the vampire was far enough away that he couldn’t be heard, he turned to Vinny. “Take a couple of the boys and check out Spike’s crypt later tonight. I’m curious about his job and new found wealth.”  


Chapter 4 here

Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/240773.html

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