The Grundy Affair Chapter 7

This entry is part 7 of 13 in the series The Grundy Affair
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Buffy and Spike are recruited to protect an important gift for a high ranking official and discover that there is more at stake.
13 chapters, complete, rated PG,  Drama and humor. Story begins here.

Chapter 7

The Grundy acquires a full set of seventy two serrated upper and lower teeth on average within the first two weeks after birth. Once a full set has been acquired, it is necessary to provide preventative dental care on a regular basis. An array of steel files are widely available throughout the marketplace specifically for this purpose. For ease of filing and other activities, the immature Grundy should be taught to unhinge the jaw with a one word command.

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

 

Willow finished her class and walked into the university library where it was quiet and the internet access fast. She dropped her books on the floor at the end of an empty table and booted up her laptop. Accessing one of the myriad of supernatural websites she’d frequented through the years, Willow punched in the topic of her search. Several results quickly popped up. Chewing on a pencil, she settled in to read everything she could find on the Grundy.

*****

Giles, having finished breakfast and a long hot shower, finally felt ready to face the day. His headache banished, he poured a cup of herbal tea and picked up the telephone. After dialing a transatlantic call, he dropped a slice of lemon in the cup while he waited for someone to pick up at the other end. “Quentin Travers, Please. Rupert Giles calling.”

“One moment, please.” The secretary clicked off, leaving Giles stuck listening to a banal rendition of Respect sung by someone not Aretha. As the vocalist proved she could barely spell the word, the secretary returned to the line.

“I’m sorry Mr. Giles, but Mr. Travers is on an important conference call.” The young secretary’s nasal voice was full of manufactured regret.

“When do you expect him to be available?” He pressed harder. “It’s imperative that I speak with him as soon as possible.”

Thrown by the unexpected pushiness of the caller, she stammered slightly. “Uh, I’m not really sure, but possibly not until very, very late.” Her voice smoothed out. “I would be glad to take a message.”

So that’s how it is. “No thank you.” He rung off and leaned back in the chair, his brow furrowed. Quentin was obviously ducking his call. Why?

He was still sitting there ten minutes later when the doorbell rang. Anya breezed through followed closely by Xander. “Good morning Giles.”

“Anya. How’s your head?”

“Better than our bottom line if we don’t get this broken merchandise squared away. Travers needs to pay for every single piece and refinishing the floor.”

Giles raised a hand to stop his partner before she blew into port under full sail. “I just tried to reach Quentin and I couldn’t get past his secretary. He won’t take my call.” He watched his partner’s sail rapidly deflate.

“He blew you off? Isn’t that against some Watcher code?”

Xander interrupted what was about to become a conversation he didn’t want to listen to on a very happy full stomach. “Have you read this morning’s paper?”

“Actually, Xander, with all that’s been going on, I haven’t actually had the chance.” He pointed to the still folded paper lying next to the chair. “Help yourself.” He seemed to really notice the man for the first time. “Why aren’t you at work?”

Standing behind Anya, Xander made the ‘cut’ gesture across his throat, shaking his head rapidly. “I have the day off.” Unrolling the newspaper, he handed the front page to the Watcher. “I’ve already read it, but I want to show you something.”

Confused, Anya asked, “What are you talking about?” as she leaned over Giles’ shoulder to look.

After rapidly scanning the article, Giles met Xander’s eyes. “So the breeder was killed and then her facility set on fire.”

Xander nodded. “They killed her and all the breeding stock, too.”

Wrapping her arms around herself, Anya shivered. “That’s disgusting. Those poor things. Why would they kill all those Grundies?”

Xander placed his hand on her arm and tugged her close. “It’s too late to worry about them, they’re already dead. We need to concentrate on the one we’ve still got. Speaking of which, where’s Buffy and Captain Peroxide? I thought they’d be circling the wagons over here or are they still at Spike’s crypt?”

“Actually there have been a couple of developments since last night. It seems our strangers have joined forces with some local demons. They went looking for Spike and the Grundy last night at the crypt. Buffy and Spike had to leave in the Desoto. Which reminds me, I have to wire some money to them and then meet Willow at the Magic Box. Buffy ask her to do some research for us.”

“I’m going with you.” Anya turned to Xander. “Don’t think I don’t know what you’re doing, Xander.” She touched his face. “And I do think it’s sweet. But if you want to play bodyguard, then you’ll have to go where I want. That’s the way it works. The guarder follows the guarded around.”

Anya moved toward the door, back in full sail. “Let’s go send Buffy some money so she and Spike can waste it and then we’ll meet Willow. I, for one, would love to learn more about a Grundy. Economically speaking, they’re incredible. Very little outlay and a huge return when sold. Not to mention that entire adorableness factor.”She opened the door and stepped outside.

Giles looked at Xander, a small smile playing across his lips. “Very well.”

Xander shrugged. “Who’s driving? You or me?”

*****

After telling his new secretary that he didn’t wish to speak with Mr. Giles at all today, Quentin Travers hung up the telephone in the conference room. Pasting a smile on his face, he turned back to the group assembled around the table.

“In conclusion, everything is going along as planned and we will continue our discussion in two hours. I’ll see everyone back here after the dinner break.” Preparing to leave, he turned to a dark skinned man rising to his feet. “Ambassador, this has been a most pleasant surprise. I wasn’t aware that you were in London.”

The unctuous gentleman looked down his aquiline nose. “I felt this was much too important to leave solely in the hands of the Council. The aftershock may very well affect the outcome of the mediation and I expect you to keep me apprised of any new developments immediately.”

“Absolutely,” replied Quentin smoothly before gesturing toward the door. “Now, please allow me to buy you dinner.” He stepped aside to allow the man to pass. “After you, Sir.”

As the Ambassador passed through the doorway, Quentin glanced at the other people standing around the table gathering their possessions and chatting. Catching the eye of one person in particular, he nodded imperceptivity before following his guest into the hall.

The other seven men and one woman left the room. Walking down the hall, the blonde woman broke from the group. Flashing an apologetic smile, she walked toward the Ladies’ room. Waiting until the group dispersed so she wouldn’t be observed, she used the side stairs and slipped from the building. Sheltered in a bus kiosk a few blocks away, she dialed a number on her cell phone. Nervously twisting a strand of short blonde hair, she listened to the phone ring. After twelve rings, she reluctantly hung up. Pushing her glasses higher on her nose, Lydia made the decision to try again after dinner. She had to reach Rupert Giles.

*****

“Bah, there is nothing here.” Disgusted, the soldier threw the newspaper down, adding it to the scattered pile of debris littering the floor. “There is no indication at all that the beast has ever been here.”

The Lieutenant walked out of the bedroom. “I agree. I don’t believe the woman would have brought it here from the shop.” He stared thoughtfully at the trashed apartment. “Someone we aren’t aware of must have the beast.”  He motioned for the other two soldiers to accompany him. “I think we should speak with that demon from the bar again. Perhaps he has discovered something new since yesterday.”

*****

Willow closed the laptop and glanced at her watch. She had about an hour before she had to meet Giles at the Magic Box. Listening to her stomach growl, she made the decision to grab a hamburger in the school’s cafeteria instead of waiting until after she’d finished talking to the Watcher.

Yum, a hamburger and maybe fries, too.

Slipping her book bag over her shoulder, she headed out into the bright sunshine. Walking across the expansive quad toward the campus cafeteria, she thought about all of the interesting things that she’d learned during her research.

Willow completely understood the urge to own a Grundy. It seemed the little demon was quite a rare and unusual pet and she couldn’t wait to tell everyone all the interesting things that she had learned. In fact, Willow wished she could keep one herself. They were certainly more unique than fish and a lot less boring. Opening the door to the cafeteria, she idly thought of ways she could hide its more obvious demon aspects from her usually clueless parents.

Chapter 8 here

Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/241730.html

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