The head of the new Council of Watchers smiled as he breathed in the sweet heady scent of the rose. He knew it was childish to be so giddily happy over his secret admirer, but he couldn’t help himself. It wasn’t that he was without company—far from it, Buffy, Spike and Dawn were regular visitors, the other children would stop by whenever business brought them to London, even Angel and his unusual associates had dropped in on occasion—that didn’t mean that there weren’t times when he was lonely.
He whistled happily to himself as he turned the key and opened the door. Scattered petals adorned the stairs and his breath caught as a dizzying wave of déjà vu encompassed him. He swallowed hard, fighting back the nausea and steeling himself as he prepared to climb the stairs to the master bedroom.
He paused, his trembling hand poised above the doorknob. Rough fingers slid across his lips and he was pulled back hard against a strong chest.
“I knew you’d like my little gift, Rupert. I knew that you would appreciate the artistry.”
He struggled, his heart pounding as he fought fruitlessly against his captor. He was slammed against the door, pushing it open. His bed was strewn with more rose petals, their exquisite scent hung heavily in the air.
“Beautiful, isn’t it? I think Buffy will appreciate it. I’m sure she was surprised by your invitation. Morning tea, just the two of you, so thoughtful!”
He was spun roughly around to come face to face with his tormentor. His mouth was freed as the hand shifted to the side of his head. He gulped a desperate lungful of air, his chin lifting defiantly before his world went black with a quick twist and a sharp stab of pain.