Xander looked up as a woman walked up to where he was sitting, smiling wanly at her. "Hey, Maddy."
"Dear, what's wrong?"
He sighed and looked at her. "You've heard about the problems, right? All that stuff?" She nodded. "And I'm sure most of the locals at least know why." She gave him a look and nodded again. "Well, it's getting worse. He's spreading it to get back at me for not coming back when he asked." He sipped his coffee. "I'm going to kill him soon. He's one of the reasons I was taken for three months. He's one of the reasons I'm not getting peace now. I'm about to change my name and move."
She stroked his hand. "I understand, Xander. I truly do. Many of us have taken that step after finding ourselves. You've already disassociated from your old life. You can easily go by another part of your name, like going by Alex instead." He perked up at that. "But for right now, you've got more important things to worry about. You have a protector and that's wonderful," she assured him. "But he can't make you happy like you should be. You said many times your protector is very straight. What happens if he gets into a serious relationship?"
"See, that's one of my worries too," he admitted. "And it's not like I've got another GHS officer to talk to, or even a keeper that I'm aware of."
"Actually, there are two, a mated couple," she admitted quietly, glancing around. "They didn't make it to the last convention but I can have them invited up." He perked up at that. "They could easily meet with your Don and you, help you over some of the rougher obstacles."
"Okay, that might help. I can talk to Don about that in a few. There's another problem. I'm bored," he said, looking at her. She gave him an understanding look. "It's not like I want to clean. I do because Don works a lot more hours than I do but I hated to work."
"Then find yourself a hobby, Xander. I have one. I make ornaments for craft shows." He perked up at that. "Make Don take you to a craft store and see what interests you. You do have the time to do that. Though, I would not go back to cooking classes. You'll sweat too often and with your level of pheromones it could be quite dangerous." He nodded, remembering that from the last time. "So find some cookbooks and experiment. That's how most people learned how to cook if their mother never showed them. I was lucky enough to marry rich the first time and had a housekeeper who could show me." He nodded, straightening up some. "Now, what other things bother you?"
He shifted closer. "Sorry about my coffee breath." She smiled at that. "There's a thought that if I name a keeper, someone I trust but don't necessarily go for *that* way it'll help," he said quietly. She shook her head. "No?"
"No. It would deter the less serious but the more seriously would gauge how serious you were together and would know, dear." She stroked over his wrist again. "The best thing you can do for yourself is to find a way to wear out those problematic hormones of yours. I know Adam's talked to you about them at least once." He nodded, grinning a bit. "Are you on an upward swing?"
"No, and I don't know what's going on," he said, glancing around. "It's been like this all day long, Maddy. I did it myself this morning twice already. It's only ten."
She nodded. "There is still a difference between you doing it and someone else doing it. Even if you have to pay for it." Xander slumped at that. "I know, it would make Don respect you less. If I talked with him would it help?"
"I think it might freak him out," he admitted. "I'm doing the best I can."
"I know, dear. Let me talk with Don. Perhaps there's a choice that can be made so you come to an agreement or perhaps one of his friends would sub in now and then. Something has to be done, you're affecting me and Todd wore me out before he went to argue this morning." He blushed at that. "I'll contact the ones I know. Would you spot them airfare?"
"And a room if they want."
"That's fine then." She stroked his cheek. "I'll let them know. For now, head right home." He let out a small whining noise. "I know but it is safer."
"Yeah, but it sucks," he said bitterly. "I like getting out of the house."
"Yes, but it's much too dangerous today, Xander. You could easily be taken today." She patted him on the hand. "Come, I'll walk you to your car." He nodded, putting down a tip for the waitress and walking her out to their cars. She kissed him on the cheek. "Go home and try it some more."
"Don worries when I rut."
"I worry when you don't. You may need it. Most GHS of your level have more than one lover, dear. Now shoo. I'll talk with Don." He nodded, getting in and driving away. She pursed her lips and went to drive to where Don was working. She smiled at the man at the front desk. "Is Detective Flack in? I'd like to talk to him if I may."
"He's somewhere in the labs, ma'am, I can have him paged."
"Please, but it's not vitally important." He nodded, putting that into the page. Don came out a few minutes later with a folder. "Don, may we speak?" she asked quietly. He looked at her. "I'm Maddy."
"Oh, yeah, he's mentioned you. Sure, I can take a break." He walked her outside and out to his car. "This way it's more private. This place is like a gossip factory. Half the guys think Xander's dating most of the lab."
She snorted and shook her head. "No, probably not, but it would be better for him if he did." He groaned. "He must wear it out more often, Don. It was high enough that it affected me today." She laid a hand on his arm. "Most GHS above a level eight have more than one lover, most of the level tens are kept in a harem. They need it or their hormones go very high without warning. His was worrisome earlier because he was affecting the seats nearest ours without trying to and while trying to actually suppress it." He shuddered. "You must find him at least one lover, Don. You must do it soon. Though, I did have a suggestion. There is a mated set of keeper and GHS, a level five or six if I remember right, who I might be able to talk into coming up." She glanced behind him. "I believe he's been up here before," she admitted.
She pursed her lips. "They're out of Miami," she said quietly. "We do not divulge other members for their own safety."
"The... the redhead?" he whispered. She nodded. "Tell me he's a keeper." She shook her head. "You're kidding."
"Beyond him it's usually a very big chore to try to work. Most of us above a level seven never find more than amusing hobbies, which your boy could use, but this would give you more ideas of what could be done with Xander and how to help him best. Because he definitely has needs that you're not going to be able to meet unless you plan on fully taking the position open to you. It would help him if you would," she said honestly. "Not totally but it would be of help to his unique condition. Xander needs to have more interaction. Also, he's not the maid."
Don groaned. "I know. Helga retired and I haven't found one that I trust not to take him."
"I understand that. It's a hard thing to do that. I've had two butlers who tried even before I knew what I am. For right now, Xander needs to rut, preferably with someone else. He needs the touch of another being."
"I let him cuddle."
"You do admirably well for a straight man," she agreed. He slumped and nodded. "For right now, he needs to wear some people out. You must be careful because he might kill someone with how bad he is at the moment, but he needs it. He needs to take the edge off. I almost suggested he hire someone."
Don shook his head. "Not acceptable with what I do here."
"I understand. At least you don't work Vice." He cracked a smile at that. "Should I ask them if they'd take a weekend up here?" He nodded. "That's fine. Xander said they could even have a room in your home while they were up here."
"That's fine and tell them I'll gladly keep all the lab outta the house for a few days too."
"I shall. For right now, plan on taking Xander out tonight and getting him laid. A sex club, wherever."
"I'm still not really comfy with that idea. I mean, that's really close to hiring him an escort."
"Point." She put a hand on his arm. "Are your friends that straight?"
"Danny's not. I could ask him." She smiled at that. "Thank you." He kissed her on the cheek. "You're a big help."
"You're welcome, Don. I know you're new to all this. Remember, there are places for keepers to talk to each other as well. The city-wide meetings let the keepers have a break and gather as well." She headed for her hummer, heading home to call them and then tell her husband what she was meddling in.
Don headed back inside, going to talk to Danny. "Got a few?"
"Just like ten?"
Danny looked at him. "Xander missing?"
"No, he went to talk to one of the older GHS members in the city. She's been one now for years."
"Okay. And?" He turned to look at him. "That bad?"
"He's affecting people a few tables over while he's tryin' ta hold it down, Danny," he said quietly.
"Okay, so we go let him wear it out." Don gave him a look and Danny snorted. "I'll take him out tonight, Don." Don grinned and headed off. He shook his head. "He'll get over it," he muttered, going back to work. He did have to call Aiden and tell her he was taking Xander out to get laid that night, but it only made her giggle and promise to bring her.
Danny walked up to where Xander was napping, poking him in the side. "Get up, put on hot clothes, we're going out."
"Huh?" he asked, sitting up and rubbing his eyes. "Eww. Rubbed... Never mind."
"Been there, done that. Did it with femme juices too. Go shower and change. We're going out so you can wear some of this out."
"Don won't like it."
"Don asked me ta take ya." Xander looked at him. "Really. Go shower and change." Xander got up and hugged him then he went to shower. Danny grinned and looked in the closet, finding something cute and hot, but that would be easily removed enough in the bathroom. Xander came out and he looked him over. "Plugged?" Xander nodded. "Good. Put these on." Xander slid into the jeans and the button-up shirt then the dress shoes. They were easily gotten out of it if it was a moment of fully stripping. He looked at Xander. "How bad are you right now?" Xander moaned. "If I lined up ten guys in front of you...."
"They'd be begging by now," he moaned. He gave him a pitiful look. "I'm sorry."
"No, s'okay. We let you get this bad. Come on. I know the better place." He walked him out and down. "Anything we should know about?"
"Latex allergy." He ran back up to get his own condoms, coming back with them in his pockets. Danny smiled. "I quit breathing."
"That's a good thing to remember." He drove him up the road, looking around. He found the door he was looking for and parked, walking the kid up to it. He knocked and the door opened. "Messer and Harris."
"Harris?" he asked, looking at him. "He's not a member."
"He's applying." That got a nod and the bouncer took them into a quiet, private room that looked like a study. "Sit." Xander sat while Danny stared out the window. An older man finally joined them. "Sir."
"Daniel." He shook his hand. "Are you nominating him?"
"This is Xander. He's a level ten GHS. A single one with a straight protector."
"Oh, dear." He looked at him. "How long has it been since you were pleasured?"
"I had a spa treatment yesterday. Since anyone's physically pleasured me or since I did myself?" he asked at the odd look he got.
"Someone other than yourself?" He sat across from him. "I do know of your reputation, though I also know you are not the first to have found yourself that way."
"It's been six weeks since anyone's had me." Danny moaned at that. "I pleasured myself all day and I do orally pleasure my protector now and then," he admitted quietly. "He lets me cuddle."
The older man nodded. "Is there anything we should be aware of?"
"I'm allergic to latex but I brought some of my own."
"We'll put them into that bowl," he said happily. "We will also admit you as a temporary member. Is there anything you will not do sexually?"
"I'm not a big fan of bondage but I know I'm in a desperate situation at the moment."
"Agreed. Have you hurt someone?"
Xander looked down at himself. "I was frustrated," he said finally, looking up at him again. "One had a heart attack a few hours later. He was older though. I've put two in traction because they said they wanted me to be energetic. I've had another one I'm not sure if he survived or not," he said, his voice breaking a bit. "No one would tell me."
That got a nod. "I understand how these things happen. When you were working, how many did you see a day?"
"Anywhere between ten and nineteen on an average night."
"Interesting. We'll take our time with you tonight. You will undergo medical bloodwork and testing?" Xander nodded, rolling up his sleeve. "To the best of your knowledge you are clean?"
"I am. I got tested the other day and it was a demonic brothel. The only thing I picked up there was like some funky athlete's foot thing on my lower back. It's been cleared up now since the week I got it."
"I know of such things. Here we are all human."
"Okay. I like that. Demons tend to try to steal me." The older man smiled and rang a bell, bringing a male in a female fantasy nurse costume. Xander looked away as he was stuck but let him do that and a cheek swab as well. Then they were led out. Danny made Xander empty his pockets into a bowl and put a blue band around his wrist. "For the allergy?"
"Yup. Always pick one up." Xander nodded and followed them to the main room. The old man was talking with two men and a woman. They looked at them and Danny pointed. "Him, not me. I'm protecting him tonight." That got a few smiles. "He's not real great with the women things. The ones in his former life screwed him greatly." She nodded, smiling at that. "But otherwise, he needs it, a lot." They took him off.
Xander found himself tied down on his back, not uncomfortably or anything - just his arms were bound, but he knew he would hurt someone if he wasn't. They started off slowly. "I'm plugged," he moaned. "I expected Danny to take me to a dance club and turn me loose."
"We can see that," the female offered. "Give us a few minutes to get there, Xander." He nodded, closing his eyes and letting them do whatever they wanted. "You were not taught to appreciate the length of time it can take?" Xander shook his head. "Pity but you will learn it tonight." They went back to arousing him slowly, working their way up to where Xander was needing and begging. A touch here, a stroke there, a slow caress over his abdomen. He knew what they were doing, he had done the same thing before. "Relax," she reminded him. "There is no time constraint tonight." He nodded, relaxing and letting them go back to it, not second-guessing them anymore. One of them broke his concentration by nipping him hard on the arm, making him flinch and hiss. "Good."
Danny watched, making sure Xander wasn't too uncomfortable, but it seemed like he was in some sort of zone and it was all good to him. He nudged the female in the lead. "His former girlfriends weren't real generous with the attention or the cuddling. He's a natural cuddler."
She smiled. "I can add some of that. We do see a few GHS members here." She jumped back in.
Danny grinned. Xander was going to be lax, limp, and sated tomorrow. It was a good night. Even if he did hear a voice he knew outside yelling NYPD. He slid out of the room and stopped him. "Don't. I've got a GHS member out of control in there." The Vice cops gave him an amused look. He opened the door and two of the guys in the back swooned. "He's emanating. Badly. He nearly drove a coffee shop to rut earlier."
"Because he's boyfriend-less," he said bitterly. "It's Flack's protectee," he hissed. "Flack's not takin' care of that for him, just watching his ass."
"Danny?" Xander called.
"Don't worry, heard someone I know," he called. "Relax, you're good."
Danny closed the door and looked at them. "Please, guys. We don't wanna have to explain why your guys are on their knees following behind him," he said quietly.
That got a nod. "Fine. We'll leave him alone. How often does he come here?"
"More often now," he said bitterly. "He's a level ten." They all moaned at that. "You guys deal with a lot of them, huh?"
"In the strangest places," the lead guy agreed. "Brothels, on the street, having sex in a chocolate shop a few weeks ago. One of the ADA's too."
"Yeah, know her through Xander." He grinned. "Thanks, guys."
"Welcome. Can it be turned down?"
"No, it can be worn out. He's in a high spot and without at least one lover," he said, finishing with a shrug.
"I heard Flack was takin' care of that," one of the two who swooned said.
"No, Flack is watching his back," Danny told them. "Flack's his protector. He's straight, guys. Xander's bi and Flack's straight." That got a few grins. "So yeah. It's not like *Mac* would know this place." That got some laughs. "We good?"
"We're fine. We're looking for a few in particular." He held up pictures and Danny tapped one and nodded. "Then we'll come back for him. Thank you, Messer."
"Just keep it quiet, guys. Or else he could lose it and surge. Then we're all in deep shit and goin' for it." That got some nods and they hurried on. One gave the door an interested look. "You gotta have Flack's permission ta date him."
"I'll ask," he said happily, going on, ignoring the looks from his teammates.
Danny went back in there, finding Xander on his side. He closed and locked the door. "Sorry, Vice guys."
"Did I...." Danny shook his head quickly. "You're sure?"
"Very." He gave him a hug around the shoulders. "It's all right. Go back to it." They smiled and got Xander back in the mood. "I promise you didn't affect them. One of them might see if you'd like to go out with him." That got a small giggle. "Now be a good boy and let it all go, Xander," Danny ordered gently, stroking through his hair. They sped up, making Xander go limp and smile again. For Danny, it was a happy thing to watch.
Danny walked Xander back into the house, letting Aiden take him and bring him up to his room. "We came within inches of having Vice bust us," he said, looking at Don, who groaned. "But apparently they know more about GHS than anyone in our group but Adam." That got another groan. "I talked 'em out of busting him. He's too badly off." He flopped down. "What time is it?"
"Three," he said grimly. "It took you six hours?"
"It took us seven people," Danny countered. "He's so worn out if he can get a morning hard-on I'd be shocked." Don grinned a bit at that. "I will admit that three of them did end up backing out of it when they started to feel chest pains," he offered. Don shook his head. "He's a good boy but we've got to at least get him a boyfriend, Don. One of us has gotta take him now and then. It got way too bad this time."
Don nodded. "You...."
Danny shrugged. "I'm dating at the moment. That might have ended since I haven't heard from her today, but...." He smiled as Aiden came back down. "He down?"
"He's snuggled up in Don's bed. He wouldn't let me put him in his." Don shrugged at that. "He's curled around your blanket, Don. He's warm and pliable."
"We've gotta start getting him more sex, Aiden."
She gave him a hug around the neck. "Then I'd bend him over and take him a few times soon, Danny. You're the only one of you two that's bi." He groaned at that. "I doubt he'd do much with me. He sees me like a big sister." She kissed him on the cheek. "Off my couch."
Danny smirked and pulled her over, letting her curl up next to him. "Sure, in a few."
"Danny, go ahead and take Xander's bed," Flack offered. "I should go cuddle him. He'll start having nightmares again." He headed up to bed, considering it. Having Xander blow him wasn't any different than having a girl do it. Better than anyone he had dated, but no different for him. He'd had a few girlfriends that insisted on only having anal sex so he knew the mechanics. He just wasn't sure he could do it with Xander. He was cute, but he was so young and under his care. He was responsible for him. It wasn't good for a bodyguard to protect someone they were sleeping with. You got all sorts of conflicts. Then again, he wasn't truly a bodyguard. He worked way too many hours as a cop for that. He'd have to see what the morning brought.
Danny and Aiden cuddled for a bit longer then he left her there to sleep. She hated the guest rooms for some reason and always slept on that same couch when she stayed over. He liked Xander's bed. It was comfortable and if you pulled the curtains it was dark enough and it smelled nice in there. The kid compulsively fabric sprayed it to cover his natural pheromones. It made it smell very fresh in there. There was still the darker undertones of lust but he could live with that. Not like he was going to get loud if he indulged himself and Xander never minded as long as he didn't make the bed messy.
Don woke up to one of his favorite sensations, Xander warm mouth covering him. He moaned and let a hand drift into Xander's hair to stroke over the long, thick mass. "S'nice," he murmured. "Not too sore?"
Xander pulled off. "I'm not really a screamer. I'm more a moaner so my throat's not sore," he said, snuggling into his side. Don continued to pet him. "Can we go to a hobby shop tonight when you get home? If it's not too late?"
"Because Maddy suggested I should get a hobby to do when I'm seriously bored and some beginner cookbooks so I could start learning that way." Don smiled at that and gave him a gentle squeeze. "Really?"
"Yeah, as long as it's not too late and I'm not too exhausted." He flipped onto his side. Xander snuggled in. "We were talking last night when you and Danny got home." Xander moaned. "No, nothin' bad," he promised gently, making the boy look at him. "You need a boyfriend. Even just one for causal sex stuff, but you gotta have a boyfriend, Xander. It'll help."
"How would I date? It's dangerous for me to go out alone."
"It is, but you could start with a personal's site or something," he suggested. "Chat a few times before you go out with them." He stroked over his cheek. "You need it a lot more often than we can give it to you. Even once a week would help you more than I am." Xander shook his head. "Yeah, kiddo, it will. Not that I'd mind. I don't. As long as you need cuddles, I'm here." Xander nodded, relaxing again. "We'll work it out but you've got to have a boyfriend. Someone who can flip you onto that massive bed of yours and make you moan." Xander nodded, hiding his face against Don's shoulder. "Good boy, Xander. Anything else?" Xander shook his head. "Then, can you maybe, finish?" Xander beamed and went back to it, fast and dirty, something that made his head swim. He came and Xander lapped him clean before cuddling again. "Now I know why you got me up ten minutes early."
"That was so I could get cuddles," he assured him, snuggling in again. He smacked the alarm when it went off, making Don chuckle and grip him tighter. Don hit it again then Xander looked at him. "Would I have to run it past you if I do find someone?" Don nodded, giving him a look. "Then I guess it'd be okay. Just a casual thing." He burrowed back in and got comfortable.
Don smiled, liking his Xander cuddles. They were very comforting. Plus, Xander wasn't making him hard this morning. Yesterday he had gotten hard right after Xander had gotten done with him. This time he was having that wonderful 'it's a good day' feeling again. It would all work out all right. It was all the way up until he got to work. Then one of the officers glared at him. "What?" he asked patiently.
"No *toy* today?" he sneered.
"I don't play with toys. Thanks for asking though," he said sarcastically. "Maybe you've got me confused with someone, like the image in the mirror?"
"Oh, please! We all saw the little fluffy thing when he came in," he said, adding a glare too. "We *all* know that you're doing him."
Don gave him a light shove into a wall and followed. "No, you don't know shit. Xander isn't really fluffy. Xander's actually a lot tougher than he looks."
"Is that why he raped that girl?"
Don snorted and shook his head. "No, he didn't. Her mother got hysterical because he wasn't there to pull her out of that frat house. He was in town when she was hurt, and she's back out by LA. No way for him to have been there. Really. If I were you, I'd get some facts straight *really* quickly before you start making enemies here. As for Xander being gay, technically he's bi. He just has crappy taste in girlfriends." The man went back to sneering. "If you're wondering if I'm doing him? Nope. I'm his bodyguard, with perks. I keep others from taking him. I've been successful all but once out of about thirty times now. That's why I get free rent and you just wanna fall to your knees and beg him to beat you and then have you. Anything else you wanna know, you can ask more politely."
"We have problems?" the desk sergeant asked.
Don looked at him and shook his head. "No, he was inquiring about Xander." The sergeant rolled his eyes. "That's why he's got me to protect him, guys. Because people like to take him."
"He's a little fairy."
"Really? I haven't seen wings yet," he snapped. The patrol officer ducked and ran. "Good idea!" He looked at the desk sergeant. "You got a problem with Xander too?"
"No, if you're gay and you're happy, I'm all for letting you guys go to hell. More room in heaven for the rest of us," he said with a casual shrug.
"I'm not gay. I haven't been gay. I'm not the one flipping Xander over and fucking him. Actually, he needs a boyfriend. So if you and denial boy out there wanna offer, you've gotta go through his approval committee: Messer, me, and Burns." The sergeant shuddered at that. "Understood? Xander's very cuddly. I get cuddles. I get backrubs. I get free rent, and I get to watch the kid find himself. He's like my little brother. Just a really cuddly one." He smirked. "Any other questions about Xander's gayness, ask him."
"Sure. Not like I care. Though it's kinda obvious with the way you acted when he was gone."
"They broke into the house and stole him, tying me up too. Of course I was upset. The kid's nineteen!" The man flinched. "Any thinking being would be upset that the kid had been taken out of the country from our house." The man backed off. "Anything else?" The man shook his head. "You sure? I was in a better mood ten minutes ago." The sergeant shook his head. "Good." He headed upstairs, finding an officer waiting on him. "What? You gonna accuse me of sleeping with Xander too?" he demanded dryly.
"No, I was wondering if you knew how to break it off the two guys who're panting, sweating, and coveting him after a run-in with his hormones lat night," he admitted.
"I have no idea. It hasn't come up yet." He sat down and pulled out his cellphone, calling Adam. "Let me talk to an experienced one. Adam, I know it's early for you. Sorry, man. No, apparently a few of the Vice cops who were busting where Xander was having *fun* at last night, yes, necessary fun, Adam. Because he was so bad he was affecting a coffeeshop. You should ask Maddy. She came to me and told me it had ta be fixed. Well... how far away from him were they?"
"Ten feet down a hallway outside a mostly closed door. Messer opened it slightly to let some of them out. How long did it take him anyway?"
"Six hours." He listened to Adam. "No, they're on their knees and making kidnaping plans. Sure, their boss is here. I'm thinking from the way he looks that he's run into a few GHS members before."
"All the time," he admitted. He took the phone. "Yes, sir. No, sir, this is the Captain over the Vice department here in Manhattan. We catch you guys all the time. Chocolate shops having sex. Wearing it out in brothels. All sorts of places." He smirked. "Yeah. We're kinda used to you guys. I mostly feel sorry for anyone that can't control their bodies due to problems like this, sir. Oh, you're the National Head. Thanks, Flack."
"Not an issue. He found Xander." He waved a hand. "Let me know just in case." His boss looked out of her office. "What? Oh, I had ta talk to two of the patrol guys."
"I've already heard. No one's bleeding, it was amiable. He did what?"
"He was on a hormone high yesterday. He was affecting most of a coffeehouse when he went to meet with an older member to talk to them."
"Oh, damn. Is he home?"
"Yeah, I let Messer take him out to have some fun and wear it down again."
"Oh, good," she sighed. He grinned at that. "After the last time he charmed me, my husband ended up sore." She shrugged and went back to her desk. "I need paperwork, Flack."
"I need my system fixed. Get it for me and I'll gladly print it so I don't have ta worry."
"He'll be back at ten," she called a few minutes later.
The Vice captain finished making notes and nodded. "Thank you, sir. Of course. Does the website have your contact information? And how long of a turnaround are we looking at on email? No, this isn't the first time people have been affected. This is the first time I've had one guy go to his knees in my office and start crying about it however. Of course, sir. Thanks." He hung up and handed the phone back. "Get him a boyfriend," he said quietly.
"I'm trying. He's going through personals sites today," he said with a small shrug. "He used ta have this causal thing with a local guy but they've decided they're better sparring partners. I told him this morning that he needed to start working on that again. If not, we'll figure out how to let him wear it out more often. It'd been a good month since he'd had any yesterday."
"Obviously. I'm surprised he wasn't in pain."
"Bored. He had rutted all day too." He shrugged. "I'm doin' the best I can. This is all new ta me."
"Point. Just remember to keep him unbored, happy, and sated. Those are the three main rules as far as we've been able to see. If any of those aren't being met, they have to fix it or drive themselves and everyone else insane. Too long without it and they could actually start getting sick from what I've heard around. You're doing okay though. Really good for having a level ten with you and not *having* him. Shit, the other one in the city's got two lovers, two call boys on speed dial and an escort service she occasionally works with. She's barely in control most days. Xander's doing really good so far. Keep it up, just find him at least one lover."
"Got it. How do you solve the guys begging for it?"
"Desensitization and having them wear it out of their system," he said dryly. "Clear the scent with the one they're supposed to be hooked on." He headed back to talk to his guys about this and make sure the others were more normal. And if those two were single, they'd find them someone by lunch, even if they had to take up an offering and buy them someone to take care of it. You didn't leave your fellow officers in that sort of lurch.
Don leaned back and looked around the room, focusing on the one guy he *knew* was gay. "Xander's thinking about starting to date," he mouthed. The guy raised an eyebrow. "Soon."
"And you wanted me to do what?"
"You seem to know a bunch of guys who like guys," he noted quietly, getting up and walking over there. "We'd have to approve of the guy, but he could use a date and probably more now and then."
The guy nodded slowly. "I know a few who'd love to date the little queen in training, Flack. Should they talk to you or him?"
"I told him to log onto a personal's site today. Let me get the address tonight and give it over? That way they can see the pictures and all that stuff."
"Okay. I can agree to that. It's probably safer too with how bad your princess is."
Don snorted. "No, he's much worse. His hormones spike if he doesn't have any regularly. It had been nearly a month and he brought other members of GHS off with it." That got a small moan. "So, he's thinking casual. I'm thinking it's up to him as long as they're nice guys who don't try to hurt him or take him."
"Sure. Email me the address of his profile when you get it. I'll pass it around. He seems like a nice guy. What does he do for a hobby?"
"We're working on that tonight. He wanted ta go to a hobby shop." He shrugged. "I don't know. He's creative. We're back to teaching him how to cook."
"Sure. That's a skill boyfriends like. He looking for a boy or a girl?"
"He's had some problems with his ex-girlfriends. One's basically in vengeance as a career. One's a smart-ass, snarky, bitchy ex-cheerleader who works for a PI while trying to get discovered. A few tried ta kill him. Ya know, the little things." That got a moan. "Plus that situation with his female friends."
"What was that?" he asked.
"He wasn't there to pull her out of the frat party according to her mother. That made him responsible according to her. Of course, her daughter was one of the ones who told him not to come home, that he was worthless and they didn't want him there anymore." That got a harsh look. "I'd like to ta kick their ass. It's worse because the mother was like one for him now and then," he offered quietly. "They knew he hadn't, they had ta follow-up."
"I've seen other parents do it, man. I feel sorry for the kid. Is he okay now?"
"Still depressed about them. One of them was his best friend from the first day of school. The other he risked his neck saving in the past. Great friends, huh?"
"I'll try to set him up with nice guys who're a bit naughty. He seems like the fun sex sort." Don shrugged. He grinned. "Never talked about it?"
"I get cuddles. Xander is very big on tactile stuff. Cuddles, petting him, brushing his hair, that stuff. Soaks it up like a sponge."
"So, do you let him...."
"Not going there," he said dryly, cutting that thought off. He got a smirk. "He did offer."
"I'm sure he did. For a guy like him, safety's gotta be everything."
The boss came out. "Just because your computer doesn't work doesn't mean that you can bug the others, Flack," she said patiently.
"I'm not. Xander's thinking about dating again." She blinked at that. "I figured he knew some nice guys who might like Xander."
"I have a little brother-in-law who'd worship at his feet and beg to do anything he wanted. How serious is he?"
Don shrugged. "I'm leaving it up to him as long as the person doesn't try at hurt or steal him. He needs at least sex though."
"I'll talk to him. He going through a personal site?"
"Today. He said he'd set up the profile so I could look it over tonight. I'll give him and you the address once I've checked it over for anything too bad."
"Sure." She smiled. "How picky is he?"
"He dated an ex-cheerleader who can only be described as bitchy. One girl who's career path lies in vengeance. A few who tried ta kill him, boss. How picky do you think he is?"
"Then they might get along. I don't think he wants anything more than casual, even if he says he does. We'll see though." She smirked at him. "Thanks, he's been annoying the man of the house with his whining about not getting any. Try ta work on something?"
"My system's locked by the last guy who tried ta fix it." He shrugged. "I can't get on it. It's either sit here and read or go bug the lab."
"Go bug the lab."
Don grinned. "Always happy ta help." He jogged off.
She rolled her eyes. "Those poor techs." She looked at the officer. "You know gay men?" He nodded. "I never would've guessed."
"Really? With the rumors going around about me and my boyfriend?" She looked stunned. "We just celebrated our tenth anniversary, boss. I'm surprised you didn't know. That's why Flack came to me." She just nodded at that. "I might be able to pass your little brother's name and piccie on too. Have him set up somewhere and I'll gladly pass on that address too."
"Sure." She went to write an email to him about both those.
Don looked over the profile Xander had written and sighed, looking at him. "You don't wanna mention half of this, Xander. Nothing past the GHS. Not level or anything." Xander nodded, sitting down next to him while he edited out a lot of the stuff. He also made it flow better and took a few new pictures of him with his hair down and one with his hair up. The more pictures the better. He even uploaded some of the ones that were on the computer to the site, giving them a broader range. He looked over the profile then nodded once and let him see it. Xander read it over and grinned. "There, it makes you sound happy and normal. Not slutty and needy. By the way, I talked to the gay detective in my squad. He's just had his tenth anniversary with his boyfriend. I told him I'd pass on your ID to him so he could show it to his friends. He's the nice guy you tease now and then." Xander smiled and nodded at that, relaxing some. "And my boss heard. Her husband's brother is gay and needing to meet someone nice so he'll probably look you over too. Okay?"
"Sure. If he's nice."
"They've gotta be. I'm making sure of it." Xander nodded at that and gave him a hug. "Remember, even if you're dating, I'll still be here if you need me ta cuddle or whatever."
"Thanks, Don." He gave him a squeeze and pulled back. "Can we go to the hobby shop now?"
"Sure. Did you figure out where you wanted to go?"
"Well, there's a small one inside FAO." Don shuddered at the very thought of all the toys Xander would be bringing home. "Or there's a small one about fifty blocks away that's open late tonight and it's more than D&D miniatures, model planes, and that stuff."
"Sure. Grab your wallet and jacket." Xander went to do that, changing shirts too. Don looked at himself, still in work clothes. He put back on his shoes and grabbed his jacket, letting Xander lead the way out. "Keys?" Xander handed over his set for Don's car, earning a smile. "Thanks for not making me drive yours. I'd clash today." Xander grinned at that. "Where?" Xander handed over the ad he had cut out of the phone book. "What was on the other side?"
"Tracing services. I thought it was probably another name for PI's, unless it was for tracing images?"
"Not a clue," he admitted. "But we probably won't use it."
"It's got a coupon too," Xander pointed out. "Ten percent off."
"Which is good." He glanced at the address and headed off. "Does your wallet have money or did you empty it out like I told you to?" Xander looked then blushed. "We'll hit your ATM." Xander nodded. Don drove through one and then went on, making Xander a happy boy. "Get a few things to start with," he offered before they went inside. He nodded at the older woman behind the counter. "He's creative and bored. He's got some eye for color and fashion. He's nimble with his hands. Got any ideas where to start?"
"Aisle twelve. It's got latchhooking, yarns for knitting and crocheting, books on them, and the next one over has the beads for jewelry making and ornaments. Aisle nine's got paint- by-numbers stuff." Xander smiled at that and she looked him over. "Try there, also try some of the woodworking stuff in aisle four." He nodded, leading Xander back there. She shook her head. "That poor thing," she sighed. "Bored stupid at his age."
Xander looked over the things, picking up instruction books to look through first. "What would I do with knitting?"
"Make sweaters and blankets."
"Oh. Like throws and doilies and stuff?" Don nodded. "Okay." He put that back and moved down, looking at the latchhook kits. "Are these hard?"
"I haven't done one since I was at summer camp."
"Was it fun?"
"No but it's time consuming and you can do it while you think. You'll be knotting strings around a mesh pattern with a little tool." He held up the tool that you could buy separately. Xander blinked at it. "I know, it's odd but it's good to do while you're thinking."
Xander picked up a small kit and one of the tools, then moved onto the other stuff she had suggested. A few of the beading projects got picked up. One of the painting ones. Then he looked at the woodworking stuff. He liked to work with wood. He picked up a few model kits and then some sandpaper and paint.
"Remember, it doesn't have to look authentic at first unless you wanna do research. For right now, you're only pleasing yourself," Don reminded gently. Xander nodded, putting all those into a basket and going to look at the other things the store carried. He picked up a candle making kit and a kit to make die-cast cars. He went back to the wood working kits and found something else and a carving tools kit too. Then he went back to the fabric kits, finding one to make cross-stitch stuff. He put one of them into the basket too. He came around and looked at the lady, giving her a slightly insane grin. "Anywhere else I should go?"
"Bookstore?" she suggested. "Reading is a good cure for boredom."
"Need to do that anyway for cookbooks," he admitted sheepishly.
"Once you get really good, there's all sorts of crafts you can do with that, including gingerbread houses," she offered. "Special cakes and decorating them. All sorts of stuff." She took the basket and looked at it, then at him. "Are you *really* bored?"
"Unsure what I wanna do," he admitted. "It's dangerous for me to go out of the house most days. People try to kidnap me." Don nodded at that. "I can only write so much smut."
She smiled and nodded. "I understand." She rang him up and looked at his coupon. "That's last year's, dear." He pouted and she sighed, giving it to him anyway. She also handed him the new coupons. "For the next time you come in, when you narrow down your range some." He nodded and bounced out with his bags, making the older man with him shake his head. "Little brother getting a check?"
"No, he's got money but people try to take him," he said blandly. "Crappy ex problems." He walked out, finding Xander already in the car and looking over his carving tools. "Are we going to the bookstore tonight?" Xander gave his arm a hug. "Just cookbooks? We'll only have an hour."
Don nodded and started the car, heading back to their usual bookstore. Xander headed for the cooking section while Don went to get a few new novels for around the house and bedtime reading. He heard the squeal and went to where Xander was, finding him in the DVD's. "They make cooking shows on DVD?"
"This one is very good for beginners, he's very scientifically based," the associate told him. "I learn a lot off him. Also, I found him two more cookbooks for beginners off the food channel. They're very good with their supplies as well. A few of them have come out with some great sets of pots and pans." Don just nodded at that. "As long as he's got the necessities at home it should be all right." She pinched Xander on the cheek. "Though he should probably get a cute apron. It'll go with how cute he'll be in the kitchen." She walked them off. "Now, what else can I get for you gorgeous young men today?"
"I could use a few fantasy novels." He bounced that way, clutching the books and DVD's to his chest. He plopped down in the middle of the aisle, earning a few tolerant and pleased looks, and one not so pleased look, but the rest were avid readers. Another one plopped down with him, pulling down books to read the first two pages quickly. Her lap was very full within minutes. Xander found one and nudged her, handing it over with a grin. "I liked that one last year."
She smiled and looked it over. "I've read something else by her but I didn't like it. But I'll try it. Thank you." He nodded, blushing a bit and going back to it.
Don watched, smiling at the first blush of geek love Xander was showing. "Xander, how many books are you getting this time? The shelves are nearly full."
"I won't go near the mythology section," he promised with an impish grin. He ducked his head and glanced at the girl, getting a smile. "I need new stuff to read." She looked and found one, handing it over. He grinned and read the back cover, putting it into the stack in his lap.
"Xander, we're already bordering on having to use your cards," Don warned. "Besides, they're going to close soon." Xander pouted. "Xander."
"They'll stay open for an extra ten minutes to clear us all out," she offered, smiling at him. She found two more and read the first few pages, putting them back. Then she got up and went to the graphic novels.
Xander looked and grinned at Don. "She seems nice," he said quietly, going over there to pick up his normal ones. They ended up wanting the same last one and he waved a hand. "Ladies first."
"I'm all into men's empowerment," she offered.
"Yeah, but my former female friends would kill me if they found me taking it when you wanted it."
She raised an eyebrow. "Former?"
"Former. They decided I shouldn't go home."
"So are they. Their lives are going to hell."
"Pity. Too bad they wasted it. Go ahead, I can get it and the next one when it comes in."
She nodded. "My former boyfriend who comes over to snatch them on me will only pout." He handed it over. "You're sure?"
"A pouting boy is a terrible thing on the world," he said shyly, then grinned and bounced off, letting Don help him check out. He smiled at the salesclerk. "I'm being a good boy." He pouted and looked at his stack. "Cookbooks?"
Don went back to look with a sigh, finding her with them. "Thanks. He's a bit scatterbrained today."
"A pretty and smart girl will do that now and then. So, are you and he...." Don shook his head quickly. "Guardian?"
"Protector. He's like my little brother." He handed over one of Xander's cards. "That's him." He grinned. "He's a good guy. Very sweet and gentle. Single too." He walked back there, finding Xander bouncing around. "Quit, you're like a ball you get out of one of those machines at the grocery store." Xander squealed and took them, making Don roll his eyes. Xander finished his stack and handed over his credit card, getting a smile from the woman running it. Until it declined. "Again?" Don sighed, looking at Xander. "Did we forget to pay some bills, Xander?" Xander blushed and nodded. "Tonight, Xander." He rolled his eyes. "ATM card. You can run a debit, right?" She nodded and Xander handed that one over, getting a smile and it went through. "Find me all the bills tonight so we can go over them."
"Yes, Don." He blushed at the girl. "I forgot to pay bills," he sighed. He shrugged. "Don forgot to remind me." He took his bags and gave her another sheepish look. "Maybe I'll see you next trip." He headed out, letting Don buy his own books.
Don looked at her once Xander was outside. "Like I said, occasionally he's scatterbrained but he's a nice guy." He handed over his card and it declined too. "I know I paid mine off."
"We've had problems with the machine today with Visa, sir."
"Pity." He handed over his ATM card and it went through. "Thanks." He took his smaller bag and headed out. "Come on, Xander."
"She is and I gave her your number." Xander went bright red at that. "I told her you were a nice guy, just a bit scatterbrained today." Xander went brighter red. "It happens to the best of us. She said a pretty and smart woman would do that to a real man. Now, get in the car and let's hit the grocery store." He nodded, getting in to do that, blushing the whole way. He gave the girl a small wave, getting a smile before she sat down at the bus stop. "She's sweet and if she wants to, she'll call, Xander."
"Hopefully. She's the sort of girl I could get to like."
"Good. You could use a good friend or ten beyond us."
Xander slunk down some. "I'm sorry I'm such a pain."
"Did I say you were?"
"No." He looked at him. "Sorry."
Don pulled over and parked, turning off the engine. Then he looked at Xander. And laid a good slap across his face. "No more low self esteem, Xander. I mean it." Xander gave him a hurt look. "You're not with them. You're worth more than ten of each of them combined. Sorry, but you had to be snapped out of it. Before you went into a bad mental place and got stuck again." Xander slunk down more. "Sit up." Xander sat up and gave him a sideways glare. He pulled him closer to hug. "You know we're still buddies, Xander. You, me, Danny, Aiden, Stella, Mac if you can put up with him." He let him go and made the boy look at him.
"This low self esteem has got ta go. Permanently. You're more than worth ten of each of them combined. No matter what they are, they fucked with your head in a very bad way. Even Connor noticed it, which says something since he's not thinking about that stuff. Even Ray noticed it." Xander shrugged at that. "You're not in Sunnydale. You're in New York and you've got a lot more in your future than they ever will. You more than deserve a sweet girl like that one in the bookstore. You more than deserve to have a great guy who'll make you scream every now and then. What's making them shy away is this low self esteem of yours. You're more than a hot body and hormones. I know you're smart. You were reading stuff in Latin the other day. No D-average student does that. Even if you couldn't try before," he said at the opening mouth. "Your father should've been shot for how they treated you."
"It was more her," he said quietly.
"Then she's an evil bitch for putting you down so often. You're a great guy and you've got brains. I'll even prove it to you. When we get home, I'm going to plug you into the PD's online learning system. I can prove you're smart. I know you're smart. Aiden said you're brilliant." Xander blushed at that and looked down. Don made him look at him again. "You are. Because your SAT results are phenomenal. I know that. You know that. Your parents were holding you back. Those girls were holding you back, and hunting definitely held you back. Now, I slapped you because you were back into that bad mental place. Next time, I'll just bop you. This time, your low self esteem was getting on everyone's nerves. Aiden nearly popped you the other day for it. Danny nearly got you yesterday. Mac nearly got you. That says something." Xander blushed again and nodded, looking down. He tipped his face back up. "Quit doing that." Xander shrugged. "We good?" Xander shook his head. "Why not?"
"You hit me."
"So pop me back next time we're in practice, Xander. Part of being your protector is still protecting you from yourself. In this case, your low self esteem is endangering your happiness and your life. It makes people underestimate you but it also causes other problems. It'll keep you from finding a really great person to date and be with."
"What's the use?" he demanded, shifting to look at them. "So I'll get ten years if I'm lucky!!"
"Ten years is better than nothing. You could stretch that."
"Don, I died at nineteen. I can't get beyond twenty-five before I have to start over. Probably back at sixteen to get anything going on. I wasn't one of the hippest before. I doubt I will be the next time I have to go to high school."
"So you just give up?" he demanded. "Why not just walk out and let someone have you?"
"It's not like that!"
"It is!" Don glared at him. "You need to think about this, Xander. It's not going to be like that. I swear it's not."
"It is, Don. You've got maybe a thirty year range. I've got ten if I go back to being a teenager. Oz has to switch every five years. How do you deal with someone like a lover?"
"Easy. If they know, and they would have to in your case probably, they'll go with you." Xander looked stunned. "No one said you had to hide from everyone, Xander. Danny said he's told a few of them. You need to talk to someone about this. These small worries are keeping you from settling into your new life as Xander in New York, much less Xander the sword guy." Xander looked down again. "I know it's hard. I had some of the same worries. I talked to Danny and maybe you should too."
"I talked to Oz."
"Oz is great, but he's only one viewpoint. Ask the other ones we know. I know Connor's told some of them. I have the feeling Heather knew since he talked about her so much." Xander nodded at that. "Listen, go talk to Danny about these things. These are things that we all worry about according to him. It's a teacher's job to help you settle those so you can move on without as many worries."
"Fine. It still doesn't get you out of hitting me!"
Don shrugged. "I could've slugged you," he offered. Xander glared. "I'm sorry. I thought you needed it. I'm sorry I slapped you, it won't happen again."
"You're right, it won't."
"Okay. Like I said, if you want to you can hit me back during our next practice together."
Xander glared at him. "Is that supposed to make me feel better?"
"That's obviously something you got off one of those girls," Don noted dryly, making him glare worse. "It sounded like something off one of the talk shows."
"Which I do spend some time watching."
"Yeah, because they infected you." He grabbed Xander's head, making him stare into his eyes. "I don't care how gay you are, I doubt you're going to be a drag queen. If you wanna try it, I'm all for it, but I doubt it'd suit you. For the moment, I'm sorry I slapped you. You were going wrong mentally and it was going to get worse. I've seen you go down these spirals before and you end up in a funk that leaves you unable to do anything but think bad thoughts about yourself. The last time you had to bring yourself out by figuring out you're good at finding sales. A real man, which you are, knows himself and all his skills and flaws, and he likes himself. You're getting there but now and then you still drop."
Don let him go. "Sure. You still need to finish finding a firm footing for yourself and your personality. It'll help you solve those bad surges too probably." Xander opened his mouth. "You do get worse right after you have them. You go down while you're in them but you also get careless and lax in your training. If I'm gonna know you next to forever, you've gotta solve these for your own safety and mine." Xander swallowed and nodded. "Now, I'm still sorry I hit you, even though I thought you needed it. Are we good again?" Xander shrugged. "That's fine. You can tell me tomorrow before I go to work. Do you still wanna hit the grocery store or just go home?"
"Home," he said quietly.
"You'll talk to Danny?" He nodded. "Thank you." He headed for the house, watching as Xander got out and headed inside. He followed after taking a deep breath. That had been a bad mistake. He grabbed the rest of the bags and put Xander's in his room, then headed down to watch tv. Tomorrow he might spend it looking for a new place to live, but Xander had needed to get that solved and to hear that from him. No one else was going to be that honest and the kid knew he wasn't going to really hurt him. He wasn't like that. The phone rang and he groaned, grabbing it. "Flack." He listened. "Yeah, he could, but ... well. Xander, phone from Miami." He came out to grab it and went back to his room. Don tipped his head back and went to the office, going to look at the classifieds. Not like he couldn't move and Danny would probably move in to protect him. If not, Aiden would. Xander walked in and put a stack of envelopes in front of him. "The bills?" That got a silent nod and the kid sat down across from him, sorting them into what he could pay online and what he couldn't. "Can you set any of them on autopay?"
"I have them that way, all I have to do is type in the amount," he said quietly. "They can come up next weekend. I've got to get them plane tickets." He looked at him. "Why are you looking at the classifieds?"
"I thought it'd be a safe thing to do since you're so pissed at me," he said honestly, glancing at him. "I figure you could get Aiden or Danny to take my spot." Xander lunged over and smacked him hard. He blinked. "I guess I did deserve that."
"Yup. If I get it when I'm being stupid so do you."
"Sure." He grinned slightly, getting a frown. "Sorry." He grinned more. "Want the computer?"
"Only if you shut that shit off." Don shut that screen and got up, letting him change places with him. "Thank you." He logged onto the bank, sighing when he saw the message. "They're down for maintenance."
"Doesn't surprise me. Can you pay it with your debit?"
"I get a two buck fee each time I do."
"Check that credit card. She said their machine had problems."
Xander logged onto that, then groaned. "Nope, I hadn't paid it in over a month, they locked it." He settled in to pay that with his debit card. The rest got paid with another credit card. He went back to check that one and found it cleared up but his account still locked. He called them. "Hi." He tapped in his account numbers. "I hate automated systems that sound like people." Don grinned at that. He finally hit '0' and leaned on it. He got to a person. "Hi. I just paid my bill. I forgot last month. It's still locked?" He rolled his eyes. "I already did that. Yes, through that. Because I doubt it could answer my question. Good, yes, that's me. Thank you." He groaned when he got put on hold, then she came back. "When do I get it back?" He groaned. "I only missed the one payment and I just paid it off totally." He raised an eyebrow. "According to the site I did." He smirked. "That was me just now, yes." He tapped his fingers. Then he handed the phone over. "I'm going to kill her."
Don listened. "This is his financial manager. Yes, I am authorized. Flack, Donald Jr." He snorted. "Yeah, that's me. Now, I've been watching him make his payment. Since when? He did pay it off totally. Sure, because a guy with over seven mil in the bank is a bad credit risk," he said dryly. He tapped his fingers. "Lady, give me your supervisor. Now." He paused. "Right now," he ordered. "Yay, and I'm still a cop, and I'm going to turn you guys into the SEC. Now, give me your supervisor or else I'm going to let him sue you for emotional distress. After all, it was only his first missed payment. Oh, he paid late once. By how many days?" he asked dryly, looking at Xander, who held up four fingers. "He says four. Now. Yes. Because I'm going to. Yeah, and you just gave me your name. How hard would it be for me to do that?"
He smirked and the supervisor came on. "Hire more polite people first. Flack. Yes, that's me. No, he's across from me. He's enraged at the moment. Yes, he forgot to make one. Because it slipped his mind. He's had a busy time with moving recently." He scratched the back of his head. "Yay," he said flatly. "Yup. No, I'm a cop. I'll gladly help him sue you guys. Yes, because we were in the middle of the move." He looked at the envelope. "Really? What address do you have for him? Because it had to be forwarded and it says we only got it yesterday." He put it down. "And he just paid it clean. Of course. Of course I'm going to make sure he goes through a better card with more polite people and I'll make sure his personal banker knows as well. Pity about losing a multi-million dollar customer." He hung up. "Get a new one."
"We'll work on that. Pay the others off too." Xander sighed and rubbed his eyes. "What?"
"Do you remember the problems when I had to change banks and cards before?" Don nodded. "I'm having deja vu."
"I realize that but it'll be fine. We'll cut up the ones you're not keeping so no one gets confused ever again." Xander nodded, finding some scissors and checking the cards, then cutting that one up. "Anything that's in danger of being turned off?"
"Water but they don't open until eight and you can't pay online." He shrugged. "I'm sorry, Don."
"That's okay. We'll handle it, Xander. Is it a huge bill?" Xander held it up and he winced. "How?"
"Ah." He nodded and went over it. "Are you sure we can't pay it online? It's got a webpage." Xander typed in the address and let him see it. "Only if it's current?"
"Yup." He typed in their account number and it came up that they had to contact customer service. "Sorry if you have to shower at work tomorrow."
"I'll use the pool if I have to," he noted dryly. Xander grinned at that. "People did for centuries in ponds and lakes." He shrugged. "Not like you chlorine that thing heavily."
"It's got enough just from the city water."
"True." He grinned. "So, we're good?" Xander nodded. "Good. Then let's go put in one of the cooking DVD's and watch how he does it." He jogged out to get one and Don looked over the bill. That was still really high. He checked the shut-off date, it was the day after tomorrow so they'd be safe. He put that one with his stuff. "I'll be talking with them tomorrow, Xander. Just in case. I'll take one of your cards in to do it on my lunch." Xander nodded, snuggled into his side of the couch. Don flipped on the DVD player and made some popcorn for them, which tempted Xander closer after a few minutes. Xander ended up against his side like normal, making them both smile. "Okay, I like this guy. He's funny."
"He is." He stole another piece of popcorn. "He doesn't go into close-ups always though. It's interesting."
"It is." Someone pounded on the door. "What!"
"S'me!" Danny called.
"Use the key!" Danny walked in. Don looked at him. "Why didn't you up front?"
"Xander said you two were fighting." He looked at the tv. "I like him. He's good at the science stuff." He curled up against Xander's side. "So, we've worked it out?"
"I've still got issues," Xander admitted quietly, looking at him. Then at Don. "Um, Don, plane tickets?"
"Miami International to here?" Xander nodded. "Any day?"
"Friday morning to Sunday night."
"Sure." He got up with a groan to do that. "Cards?"
"In there." Don nodded, going that way. He looked at Danny, flipping onto his back to cuddle him. "Danny, how will I deal with only having five years and having to switch boyfriends or keepers that often?" he asked quietly.
Danny looked at him. "You don't ask the easy ones tonight." He considered it. "There's two good choices. One is date one of us because we'd be there. The other is tell someone. You've got to be careful with that, but it's one option." Xander shrugged at that. "You'll have to change but probably not for a good thirty years." He gave him a cuddle, getting a smile and a squeeze. "I know it's hard since you're so young. Oz bitches and whines about being eighteen forever. A lot." That got a small grin. "You won't have ta go through high school every life if you don't want to. You can probably make it to about twenty-eight. Maybe thirty with the plastic surgery excuse." He stroked over the dark hair. "You'll need ta bleach a few lines now and then. You can be unlined but you'll need to bleach a stripe."
"Can I do that anyway and look older?"
"Sure, as you age this time we'll manage it. We'll see how long you can go without someone wondering." He put his head down. "Anything else on your mind?"
"Don and I got into it over my self-esteem. I was blushing when some girl I thought was nice and I flirted. He slapped me."
Danny looked at him. "I was gonna pop you one," he offered dryly. "Every time you get into one of those funks you don't practice as well. Some day you'll get challenged during one and it'll be the last time we see you. We don't want that for you, Xander. It'll help you if you solve them. Was what Don said after he slapped you right?"
"Uh-huh." He nuzzled him and Xander relaxed again. "No maybe about it." He grinned. "You've got a lot to look forward to, Xander. Just think of all the stuff you can learn and see if you keep going. You can visit some of the most ancient places. You can go travel the world if you have the money then. You can learn from whoever you want and wherever you want."
"You start that and I'm spanking you," he said firmly. "You're not stupid. You were unsupported back there. You're definitely not stupid." He looked up as Don walked past them. "Is he stupid?"
"No, occasionally dumb but that's the low self esteem stuff again. Any guy who can read Latin isn't dumb. Anyone who can get a really good SAT score, higher than mine I might add, is not dumb. Oh, you missed it. He met this really sweet looking girl earlier who blushed when they exchanged fantasy novels and graphic novels. He blushed back a lot. I gave her his card." Danny grinned at that and Xander blushed. "That look. Then we had the fight." He kept going. "I've got the tickets and put them in the names on the note you were writing out. I had them sent to them down there."
"Welcome." He came back and leaned on the back of the couch. "I think it's cute how you blushed and showed off your geeky side." He patted him on the head. "I vowed to get him onto the PD's learning center."
"You do that they're gonna think you're doing it." He looked at Xander. "For right now, we've got to start making you do things you might not wanna do. Things that'll let you keep going no matter how much money you spend."
"I haven't spent that much except for the house and I made a profit off that."
"Which is good," Danny agreed happily. "How much do you have in the bank?" Xander whispered and he blinked. "Interesting. Is it able to be moved?"
"The stuff in the demon bank might be the hardest. They don't like working with immies. Apparently some of them can feel us."
"More than a few actually," Danny admitted, sitting up and pulling Xander into his lap. "Okay, for now, we're going to find you a boyfriend. Otherwise I've got to take my day off and screw you myself. Because rumors have it that you tweaked two of the guys last night." Don nodded at that. "Are they okay now?"
"Should be. I put the guy in charge of it in touch with Adam."
"That's what I usually do." Xander looked so embarrassed so he gave him a cuddle. "It's all right. It's not your fault. It was where you hadn't had sex in a while." He stroked over his back. "For now, we've got to work on getting you some control. That'll come with a boyfriend or two. Or possibly four or five," he admitted, making Xander shiver. "Friends with each other of course." He grinned at him. "Then we'll work on finding out what you're good at so you can look over some stuff, start studying now for your next life. That way you can hop into it."
"Next time, why doesn't he start at the college level?" Don suggested. "That'll give him a few years of figuring things out."
"It could," he agreed. "He'll probably end up there every few lives anyway. Dying this young does suck. I'm betting every few years he'll end up back in high school unless he starts to look a bit older now and then."
Xander cleared his throat. "What about illusions?"
Danny blinked, then looked at him. "Not a bad idea," he admitted. "But living in one isn't a wonderful thing."
"Then I have it be me, but with a few wrinkles. That way I have a more normal life cycle, like Don can have or you have."
"Point. We'll see when we get to that point, Xander." Xander nodded and snuggled into his chest. "Good boy." He went back to patting him. "For right now, let's work on getting you under control and getting you settled into your new life. In the last four months you've had some really big changes and it's something you'll have to adjust to. Even Don still needs some adjustment in this thinking because *someone* went into a thing today without his vest." Don blushed at that, nodding and looking down. "Really dumb, Don. If you had gotten shot there, you would've been changing careers tomorrow."
"Can I do college next time? Maybe become a CSI?"
"Life after next. Too much chance of running into someone you worked with before." Don shrugged and nodded. "So maybe next time you and Xander can open a club. He'll do some college classes and have sex in the back room. You'll do the club's stuff." Don grinned. "Then you'll start taking classes and working on the journals, those things. Right about now, I wish like hell we could count on the Watchers to shield us but they won't."
"The slayer ones might."
"No, they like to use us as lab rats," he admitted. He gave him a squeeze. "Also, keep all your present CD's. Someday soon, they'll be collector's items." Xander grinned at that. "A lot of us are in antiques because we know what they're supposed to look like since we were there when they were around the first time." He stroked Xander's back. "Also, got some news from Oz you won't like," he said quietly.
"Which one died?" Xander asked, lifting his head.
"Giles is an immie."
"So I'll get nagged for centuries?"
"Yup." He shrugged a bit. "There's not a whole lot of a chance of running into him but he was thinking about asking Connor to work with him since he can fence but not behead." He went back to stroking him to calm him back down. "Do you two wanna hop with me when I've got to change in a few years?" They both looked at him. "I'm starting to get looks for looking so good for being thirty-five."
"You can probably go another five," Don said quietly. "Which would age Xander out of his and me nearly out of mine."
"I was thinking about a few white streaks, make it look like gray hairs," Xander said quietly.
"That could help. A guy doesn't usually line up for a few years after women do. Unless it's laugh lines."
"Those we can get, but they're laugh created, not age created," Danny offered, looking at Xander. "You need ta laugh more. That'll mean no havin' ta go back to high school."
"Yay," he said with a small bit of enthusiasm. "I might end up with another girl like Cordy if I did."
"Eww," Don noted. He patted Xander on the head. "Okay. Now what do we do?" The phone rang and he answered it. "Flack." He grinned. "I did and I sent 'em to the address he wrote down in the names he wrote down. Was that okay? Early Friday morning, going back late Sunday night, nine PM getting in so you've still got time to hit the bed." He smirked. "That's fine. Thank you. No, he's cuddled up. We're going over some low self- esteem stuff again. Sure." He handed the phone over and leaned on Danny's shoulder. "College for you?"
"College for me," he sighed. "College for you too." Don nodded. "Start thinking about changing careers to something less demanding."
"It'll be nice not to work twelve hour days."
"On my side too," Xander agreed, smiling at the voices on the other end. "They agree." He laughed. "No, but Maddy suggested I get a hobby. Don and Danny are both prompting me to find something I can do for when the funds run out." He straightened up. "Isn't that a bad thing?" He nodded. "True. Of course. Thank you, guys. Sure, see you then and I'll make sure that the guys from the lab don't come over that weekend. Sure. Happy to have you guys and I'll get you a block at my spa. Of course. Have a good time until you come up. You too. Bye." He hung up and dialed his spa's number from memory, getting their answering machine. "Hi, this is Xander Harris. I need to reserve time for myself and two others not this weekend but next weekend for a massage and some general spoiling. Call me tomorrow, my number's in my file. Thank you." He hung up and looked at Don. "We need to put better sheets on the bed."
"You can do that." He stroked over his cheek. "If you learn how to cook really well maybe we'll go with the club or a restaurant idea." He shrugged and stood up. "We'll deal with that when we have to. For now, we just need to get you under control again and make you quit having those funks of yours. Then we'll work on the rest." Xander nodded, giving him a trusting look. "Good boy. Cuddle with Danny and talk. I'm going to bed." Xander nodded again so he headed that way.
Danny looked at him once they were alone. "Are you really mad at him?" he asked quietly. "Or are you just angry that he had ta slap you to get you out of it?"
"I don't know."
"It's something to think about. It's hard to cuddle someone that you're that mad at." Xander nodded at that wisdom. "So, when are we going back?"
"I got a letter from them saying I needed to pay membership dues." He got up and got it, showing it to him. "Does that sound right?"
"Yup, that's what I pay," he admitted, handing it back. Xander gaped. "You learn to save over two hundred years, Xander. You usually need to." He stroked his cheek. "Now, are you okay today? I noticed you're starting to go back up again since I'm so hard I'm going blind." Xander blushed at that. "I know. It's nothing you can control." He saw the look toward the bedroom. "Hey, Don, you mind if I borrow Xander? His hormones are starting to creep again."
"Already?" He came back down wearing only his boxer shorts. He sniffed Xander's throat, making him moan. "I think this is just the normal end of the day horniness."
"Maybe but it's definitely stronger in contact with him. So, you mind?"
"It's up to him. He's not my bitch that way. It's a comfortable thing between us." He patted Xander on the back. "If that's what you wanna do tonight, then go for it, Xander. I'm not gonna get jealous if you make Danny scream a few times. Just don't keep me up. I had a grumpy day today."
"Are you sure?"
Don smirked. "I'm realistic and we're not really dating. I'm like your teddy bear. I realize that some day you'll find a keeper and I'm not going to get the cuddles I do now or the perks I do that come with the cuddles. I'm okay with that as long as they treat you nice. If they don't, I'll get to kick their asses, but I'm sure they will. I don't mind you and Danny or you and Aiden, or even you and Stella playing. Though I do wanna see you spoil Mac a bit."
Xander blushed. "Look at him tomorrow."
"He's got tomorrow off." Xander gave him a 'get real' look. "Yeah, I know, he'll be in anyway by noon. I mean, if you want, I don't mind. I'm not gonna turn it down. What I saw last night was very hot." Xander blushed at that and gave him a sheepish look. "Didn't tell him, huh?" Xander shook his head. "Three of them had to excuse themselves when the hormones got too heavy in there. Come on," he ordered, standing up. Xander looked at him and swallowed. "That's a good start. We can do that." Don blushed and headed off. "Sorry."
"Yeah, I'm sure."
Xander gave him a worried look. "I'm not pushy," Danny said gently. "All up ta you."
"I..." He swallowed. "Please?"
"Sure. Lead on." Xander led him up to his room, showing him the benefits of such a big, old bed.
Danny wandered in the next morning and went for the coffeemaker immediately. Stella gave him an odd look. "Stayed on the boys' couch."
"Uh-huh. I thought that was Xander's shirt." She patted him on the back with a grin. "So, how was it?" Danny looked at her and smirked. "Oh, come on, share!" she demanded.
Danny leaned closer and whispered in her ear, making her blush. "That was just round one, Stella. He's a happy boy this morning and I'll be fine with some coffee. Oh, when is Mac coming in?"
"About two, why?"
"We've gotta tell the delivery driver." He texted that to Xander, who sent it to the company. He grinned at her, then smirked evilly since they were alone. "Take pictures for me if I'm not here, okay?" He walked off happier now.
She looked at his back then cackled, bringing a scared-looking Sheldon into the break room. "Xander had to expend some spoiling energy."
"Sure. He usually does. Who's getting what today?"
"We'll see later." He nodded at that and backed away slowly. Then he ran. Stella got her own drink and went back to her work. That way she could take a longer lunch and see Mac's face when he got in.
Mac looked up from his paperwork, glancing at the clock, then at the receptionist. "What's this?"
"Delivery for you, Mac." She put it down and smiled. "It's good that you're dating again." She bounced out.
Mac noticed Stella and Danny were paying some attention and so was Lindsey. He groaned and opened the card. "Because you need it, you're a grumpy person too often. Xander," he moaned. But he did open the box. That way he'd know what to complain about. He paused when he saw what was inside. A bunch of health food snacks. At least it was something he could use, not expensive bath products. Which were being walked in by a new delivery person who made him sign a clipboard. "Who are these from?"
"I don't know, sir. There's a card inside. I do know I was told to tell you to enjoy them because you obviously needed some relaxation." He took his tip and left.
Mac got up to look at it, opening the cellophane to get at the card. It said about the same thing, but it said a good bubble bath was what the doctor ordered for the premature stress wrinkles on his body. Because if he died too soon, Stella would have to be in charge and could he imagine the lab then. It was a thought that made him shudder. He sat back down and groaned when a third one came in, this time with dinner. "Why me?" The delivery guy smiled and handed him the bag then left. He looked inside. "Good food at least." One last delivery person came in and he vowed to call Xander. Especially when he saw what was in it. He heard Stella laugh. "Stella!" He signed for it and the delivery guy slunk off. "Stella, Danny! Get in here!"
"No," Danny called. "He said he was gonna spoil you, Mac. Now you know how Don feels." He slipped off, going to cackle in private with the pictures he had taken of Mac's face after figuring out what each delivery was.
Stella came in and took Mac's desk phone out, then grabbed his cell when he pulled it out. She walked off humming a naughty song all the way down to the locker room, where Flack was hiding and laughing. "You saw?"
"I helped him order them this morning with Danny," he chuckled. "He like the fifth one?" She looked stunned and headed back up there, finding Mac looking helplessly at the wildflowers now adorning his office. She snickered and took a picture of that for Danny too. Then she went to hide again.
Lindsey leaned in. "Mac, are you and Xander dating? I thought he was with Flack."
"They're not together that way and no I'm not," he said calmly. "Xander's being a bit naughty and wanted to spoil someone. Since Don won't let him spoil him, I got it instead this time. Though I believe a certain pair of CSI were in on it." He got up to sniff the flowers. "At least they're not red roses."
"No, they're not. They're what kids would gather for their parents." She skipped off after having seen the massage oil kit. Maybe Mac did need to spoil himself. Xander could be right.
Danny looked then broke out in giggles. "I think he got it right, Mac," he said from the doorway. "You do need ta relax and a good bubble bath and massage might help." He disappeared before Mac could retaliate.
"You're taking the next dumpster case," Mac called after him. Stella giggled at that. "You're with him on it!"
"Yes, dear." She grinned at him as she came in to sniff the flowers. "They're lovely."
"They are. I still don't need flowers or bubble bath."
"A good bubble bath makes even the most cranky men calm down," she said wisely. He gave her a hurt look. "You could use the night of pampering and relaxation, Mac. You know you could." She looked at the massage oils. "Hmm, not as naughty as it could've been." She skipped out before he could open his mouth.
"I want my phones back," he called.
"Sure, Mac. But today's your day off." She smirked at him. "You can have them back when you come in tomorrow." He growled and she disappeared into the labs so he couldn't find her and make her give them back.
Mac stomped off with his gifts, going home. He did stop on the way home to drop the flowers off at an elderly care facility he knew about, then he went to eat his dinner and enjoy his snacks while avoiding the other two gifts. He didn't need a bubble bath. He wasn't the bubble bath sort. He was a Marine, they didn't take bubble baths. It wasn't taught in Basic Training. He looked at it again. It was even his favorite scent, though how any of them had known that he wasn't sure. He sniffed it again. It reminded him of his former wife Claire. He sighed and went to use the shower gel. It was nice and manly. The bubbles he could complain about in the morning, along with the massage oils.
Xander was led in to where Mac was waiting for him, grinning. "Well, you used some of it. You needed to use the rest so you had a night of peace and calmness. That way you wouldn't be too grumpy, your stress levels would go down, and you wouldn't die of it too soon and leave Stella in charge."
Mac gave him a dirty look. "I'm not that stressed."
Xander snorted and came over to work on his shoulders, pulling a small tube out of his pocket to do so. "And I believe that if you do, Mac. Really." Mac tensed so he swatted him. "Behave. You're being mean to Danny because he enjoyed you getting gifts again. What would she say?" he asked quietly, getting back to work.
"That he deserved it."
"Really? Should I ask Stella?" Mac moaned at that. "She and your former wife probably knew each other. See, I think she'd want you to live a long and fruitful life, Mac, doing what you love and what you're driven to do," he said more quietly. "I doubt she wants to watch you slowly drive yourself into joining her within the next year and a half. Because you're more stressed than I am after I got back." Mac stopped him and squeezed his hands. "You need it, you're only doing paperwork, and I'm bored again. It's shocking but you're the only one I know around here and Don said I can't do it to him again. Even though the computer tech can't fix his compy." He got back to work, making Mac untense his shoulders by force. He finally got them relaxed and leaned on him. "Now, doesn't that feel better?"
"Yes, but there's going to be rumors."
"There's already rumors, Mac. Ignore them, like Stella does." He grinned and patted him on the back of the head. "Now, I do have a request. I'm having guests in next weekend and none of you here can come up. Not even Danny. They're fellow members and we protect their identity so they can't be taken too."
"That's fine, Xander. Thank you."
"Welcome. Why was someone carving Aztec symbols into the body?" Mac looked back at him and he pointed. "That's a bad example of it, but that's Aztec and the one next to it is Mayan. I saw it in the museum." He got out from behind him and grinned, capping the little tube and putting it into his pocket, but rubbing the rest of the lotion in. "There, how do you feel?"
"Much better. Thank you," he said graciously, even though he wanted to blush. "The bubble bath was a bit much."
"Everyone has a hedonistic side, Mac. Even you." That did get a blush. "So, did Stella get the flowers?"
"No, I dropped them off at an elderly care facility I've worked a few cases at so they could brighten a few people's days." He looked at the young man. "You could do that."
"I'm scared of old people. Terrified really. They're strange."
"They're not," he said patiently.
"They are. They all are, all the ones I've seen are. Sorry, like my former phobia of clowns, not really going there."
"So you didn't like the circus?" Don asked from behind him.
Xander grinned at him. "No, I did, I just clutched your arm really hard during the clowns. I guess I thought I was more over it than that."
"Why are you afraid of clowns?" Mac asked.
"Sixth birthday party and one scaring the hell out of me. The same as the only old people I knew did." He shrugged. "Do you need more work on your shoulders?"
"No, I think you've made some rumor mongers incredibly happy today." Xander beamed at that. "Behave."
"Why?" He hugged Don. "I left you lunch since you won't let me work on your shoulders too."
"The last time the other guys picked on me forever about that," he complained.
Xander sighed and drug him off, taking him back to his desk. "You guys, Flack's computer ate reports and he's going to be here all night retyping them from his notes. Are you guys gonna pick on him if I bring him dinner and a shoulder rub again?" They all shook their heads. "Promise me?" They all smiled and dug into the brownies he had left on their desks. "Good." He sat Don down and got him out of his jacket, going into his shoulders over his shirt, making him moan and relax.
"That's it, we're buying into a spa," he complained, rolling one shoulder. Xander took the silent hint and did that one for him, making him totally relaxed and smiling.
"Gun!" someone shouted.
Xander turned and glared at the person until he whimpered. "On your knees and beg!" he snapped. The man fell and nodded, looking down. "Bad dog!" He hit him with a folder off Don's desk. "Put it on the floor. Now!" The gun was carefully put in front of him. "Thank you. You should know better than that!"
"He defiled my sister!" he shouted, pointing at one of the guys.
Xander smacked him too. "Better? Because unless it was rape, she probably agreed. Since he's an officer, I'm guessing there's less than average chance of it being rape. Most of the guys here seem very nice." The man pouted. "Tough! If she's knocked up, make him marry her." He went back to Don's shoulders, weathering the looks Don gave him. "What?"
"A lot less than average chance."
"I know that."
"As long as you do." He put his elbows on his desk and leaned forward some, letting Xander have more of his back, making him a happy boy. "We are finding you a spa to buy into, Xander."
"Yes, Don. Think I could take lessons?"
"I think it'd be a good thing." He waved listlessly at his boss. "He heard about my computer."
"Cute. Really. I heard he got Taylor's ball of stress too."
"Yup." He finished up with Don's back then grinned at him and put down two gift certificates. "Also, I made brownies. The rest of the pan is in your desk. Guys, were the brownies okay? They're my first try." Everyone nodded at that. He beamed. "Cool." He hugged Don. "I'll see if any of them are looking for partners through the GHS network. Come home whenever you can, I told Mac about the guests." He bounced off.
"Who was that?" the suspect complained.
"Flack's protectee," one of the guys said with a smirk. "A hyper little ball of lust."
"Hmm." Don took out a brownie. "They're good?"
"A bit too chocolatey for my tastes," one guy offered, "but still very good."
Don bit into his first one and moaned. "There went my diet for the week but I deserve it." He pulled out a napkin and put it beside him. "I still don't have a working computer, but I guess I can do it by hand, guys." They all stared at him. "It's a perk of protecting him. I get spoiled. Hell, he spoiled Taylor yesterday."
"I heard about the flowers and candies," his boss said with a smirk.
"Wildflowers, natural fruit snacks, things like yogurt raisins and stuff, massage oils as a hint that he could use the relaxation, dinner, plus some bath stuff like bubble bath." That got a grin from her. "He just got done nagging him about needing to relax and doing his shoulders too."
"Let me get Taylor's tech up here. Maybe they can figure out what you did."
"Please. I'd like not to have to stay until tomorrow ta do those reports." Danny strolled in and got himself a brownie, nibbling the first bit. "A bit rich."
"Yeah, but good. Can Stella have one? She's got the three dreaded letters and she's about to go head-ta-head with a wife beater who went a bit too far." Don handed him a napkin and another one. "Thanks." He strolled off, handing Stella hers. "Xander made 'em. They're good, but really chocolatey."
She nibbled and smiled. "Thank you, Danny."
"Ehh, knew it was going to be stressful on you. Figured you could use the chemical sex cure."
She hugged him one armed. "I love you." She finished it while she watched her suspect wiggle in frustration while he waited. She knew he was going to come out with a line like 'they don't let women into the lab, surely that would contaminate something' but she was calmer now. Mac looked at her suspect when she came over. "Making him wait on a woman. Probably the first time." She finished her brownie and licked her fingers, then wiped her mouth off with the napkin before handing it to Mac and going in there with her file. "Good afternoon."
"Where did we get the brownies?" Lindsey asked, watching Stella destroy the guy's life since he decided he didn't have to talk to a mere woman.
"Flack's desk. Xander made them," Danny offered, coming back to hand Mac something. "DNA results on our case. Not good." He strolled off again, going to hide while he read it.
"I did what?" he complained.
"Shed, Mac. That hair stuff."
"Damn it." He went to check on that. He knew he hadn't contaminated the scene by shedding hairs. He was more careful than that!
Lindsey snuck up to the detective's area, giving Flack a happy smile. "Can I have one?"
"Only two left, you made good time." He let her have one. "The other goes to Hawkes because he's having a bitch of a case."
"I'll tell him." She bounced off with her tiny brownie. She found him in the lab. "Sheldon, Don saved you one of Xander's brownies."
"Thanks." He finished what he was doing and went to get it, smiling at Don. "He made brownies?"
"He made diet destroying, diabetic shock inducing brownies."
"Oooh, I need that." It was handed over. "Thanks, Don." He walked off nibbling. It had been a long week for him, he deserves the rare treat. Don smirked and got back to what work he could do. Namely hunting down a suspect so he could not write another report.
Xander looked up from his cooking when he felt the magic start, turning off everything and backing away from the stove, but he did grab a knife. Someone was going to pay this time!
To part 10: