[chapter fifteen]

Disclaimer: If you've heard of them, I don't own them. Everything else is mine, so no stealing, pretty please. ;-)


"Hi Chad." Vrai said as she stepped into Jimmie's family room and lowered her bag to the floor where Chad was sprawled, surrounded by notes, binders and papers.

"Hey Willow. Where's Buffy?" Chad asked with a teasing smile.

Vrai laughed as she leaned over and kissed the top of Chad's head in a sisterly manner. "Slaying, of course. How are you?"

"Busy." Chad answered honestly, gesturing around him. "What are you doing here?"

"I'm here to kidnap our favorite warlock for a couple of hours. Is he allowed to go out on a school night?" Vrai teased lightly. "We have a sea spell we're working on. Not to mention, I'm ravenous and want him to buy me dinner." Vrai laughed.

Over the last several months, as Jimmie became more secure in his powers, he had begun telling his closest friends about his special gift, as well as slowly introducing Vrai to the world as a driver's girlfriend. At first she was nervous about people knowing of their powers, and of her intimate involvement in Jimmie's life, but after a few months, it had slowly become de rigueur. She had been accepted by Jimmie's friends as a friend, as by the media and fans as a fixture in his life, and for both, she was eternally grateful.

"Just don't keep him out past curfew." Chad laughed.

Vrai straightened suddenly, her head cocking towards the stairs. "I'll be back in a minute." She said shortly as she hurried to the stairs. She had felt a sudden call from Jimmie, a simple request.

Come here.

Vrai cautiously opened the door to find Jimmie seated in the center of the floor, surrounded only by candlelight. Vrai's eyes narrowed as she saw what Jimmie was doing. "Casting the runes?" She questioned quietly as she closed the door behind her.

Jimmie nodded, looking over his shoulder at her. "I know what I see. What do you see?" He asked simply. Vrai glided across the floor silently before sinking down and settling herself in his lap, looking down at what he had cast.

The symbols and their order were quite clear.

Man. Love. Woman. Comfort.

Each rune meant something different, and in different combinations could foretell a variety of outcomes. But even to Vrai, this particular casting was fairly straightforward. "You've been practicing." She observed softly and could feel Jimmie's head nod against her own.

"Pretty good sign, huh?" Jimmie murmured against her hair, lit to the colour of flame in the candlelight.

"Depends on how you act on it." Vrai said plainly. She stifled a smile as she felt Jimmie's arms wind around her waist and tug her closer to him. "Chad is downstairs." She said softly, turning in Jimmie's lap to better face him.

"So?" Jimmie said with a teasing grin. "Cast a protective spell so he's none the wiser."

"Need, emotion and knowledge." Vrai chided gently.

"Oh trust me, honey…" Jimmie said against her ear. "I've definitely got need and emotion covered. As for knowledge…well…"

Vrai chuckled as she raised her power hand and pulled a veil of privacy down around them.