"Whatís the use of having all those books if they donít tell him anything," Buffy muttered as she turned onto the sidewalk leading to Lowell House. Her visit to Giles had resulted in nothing. He did not seem to think she was experiencing anything out of the ordinary. He did not understand that she did not normally fall asleep in class and have dreams. Or that she had made a fool of herself in front of the one professor who actually seemed to respect Buffy.
She spotted a couple of the commando guys on her way home. She should have followed them but she looked wicked conspicuous dressed in a white miniskirt and hot pink top. So she decided to hold off her clandestine adventures for now. Too bad, she really wanted to find out what was going on so that Spike could go on his merry way and quit bothering them.
//Her gown was a royal blue silk with black piping throughout the skirt. Her dark brown hair was piled atop her head in a mass of uncontrollable curls. She twirled in front of her grand floor length mirror when the seamstress was not looking. She had been raised not to be vain but she could not help but appreciate how flattering the gown was to both her coloring and her figure.
"You look lovely, dear."
"Thank you, Mother," she said formally. Her voice carried a hint of a southern drawl. "It will be perfect for our dinner party at the Grantís next week. Donít you agree?"
Caroline was more excited than she let on for the dinner party she spoke of. Surely his family had extended the invitation because Daniel was finally ready to ask her father for her hand. There could be no other reason for such an invitation so soon after the Taylor barbeque.\\
"Huh?" She stood in the middle of the sidewalk coming out of it suddenly, turning in the direction of the voice. There was no way she had fallen asleep while walking, but it was the same woman she had been dreaming about lately. There was something way weird going on. She did not need Gilesí books to tell her that. The faint smell of lemons was there again and Buffy took a deep breath, finding the scent calming. She could feel the smooth, cool silk as it caressed and hugged the curves of her body.
"Oh no, thereís nothing wrong with me at all, Giles. Iím just having hallucinations while Iím walking," she muttered under her breath. "Xander? What are you doing here?"
"Oh I just, you know, came by to see how my girls were."
"Just a little."
"Was Willow not in our room?"
"No sign of her, unless she was hiding in that shoebox they call a closet."
Buffy laughed. "I donít think so. I was about to go see a friend," she nibbled on her lower lip and glanced at Lowell House. "I really do need to see him tonight."
"Oh sure, hey, no sweat. Iíll catch up with you guys tomorrow."
"Okay, Xan, Iím sorry, another time I promise."
"Is this potential dateage?"
"Potentially potential, yes."
"Well, then, nothing to be sorry about. Go get 'em, Tiger."
"Thanks, Xander," she said not sure he was sincere. She knew he was feeling like the odd man out right now. Buffy was a little, too. Willow and Oz seemed to adjust to college life so much easier than she had.
"Night," she said with a wave as she continued on toward Lowell House. She thought of inviting Xander to come with her, but she did not want to talk about this stuff in front of Xander. He was liable to say something he should not about who she was and then she would have some explaining to do.
She walked up the stairs to Rileyís room and was about to knock when she saw one of his friends. She did not know his name, but he was nice looking and had been nice to her the couple times before this she had seen him. He looked a little disheveled tonight and had some fresh bruises on his face. "Hi," she said with a smile. He did not seem to think there was anything odd about his appearance, so she did not bring it up. There were times she had wicked looking bruises and she preferred not to be asked where they came from.
"Hi, itís Buffy, right?"
"Yeah," she said, surprised he knew her name. That must mean Riley talked about her. Hopefully, he said good things about her. "I donít know your name."
"Graham," he said. "He was expecting you, so you can probably just go right on in. See yaí," he said and walked in the direction of the showers. He had a dry towel slung over his shoulder and was carrying a shower caddy so she assumed that was where he was going.
"Bye," she said cheerily, surprised at his friendliness.
She paused at Rileyís door. Graham said she could just walk in, but she felt a little weird doing that. She hardly knew Riley. She liked to think he was a friend, but would she want Riley walking into her room without knocking? Then again, guys were different about things like that. With that in mind, she opened the door and walked in.
His room seemed bigger than hers, probably because there was only one bed. "Riley," she said. A desk lamp was on, a text book open with a pen in the center, and she could hear music playing softly but she did not see Riley sitting at the desk.
"What are you doing in my bedroom?" It was not the question that caught Buffy off guard but rather the way Riley sounded when he asked it. She knew he was from the Midwest somewhere, but had not noticed an accent before now.
"I should have knocked," she whispered. "I saw Graham in the hallway, he told me to come right in."
"Itís too early yet," he said. "The servants will talk, Caroline."
"This is not possible," Buffy whispered as she observed Riley on his bed. He was an attractive man, built without being Mister Universe. He was tall, dark, and handsome without the broodiness that she had grown accustomed to with Angel. Thoughts of Angel brought to mind last Christmas when they starred in one anotherís dreams. So she knew it was, contrary to what she had just said, in fact possible.
She was tempted to call him Daniel and see what would happen from there, but decided against it. She had no idea what powers might be at work here. "Riley?" She walked to the bed and placed a hand on his forearm. He was warm to the touch. Angel had not been. The only time he had ever been was when the poison was eating away at him, killing him.
His eyes opened wide suddenly and he stared at Buffy for a moment, confusion etched on his face. "Buffy?"
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com