Thirteen Passed Quiet

It's always really late when I get home now. Usually I stay at the studio until two in the morning. Being it's so late, when I get there it's really quiet. In the past, I might have preferred the quiet, seeing as how I myself am normally a quiet and withdrawn person, but things change.

One night I came home on a night like that, quiet, all the lights turned out, the only thing allowing me to see, my intensified senses. Tossing the keys on the table that sits by the door, I listened closely to the sound it made as the various keys clinked deliciately together, and the hard metal scraping loudly against the polish of the expensive wood of the table.

Since the quiet, my ears have trained themselves to hear every little movement. I suppose if it weren't for the fact that I'm a werewolf, I wouldn't be able to pick up the sound of the flimsy cloth of our curtains whooshing in a gentle breeze. And the sound of the crashing ocean wouldn't attack me like a distant roar. Or the low moan of our newly built beach house settling into the earth wouldn't sound like the awakening of a long dormant demon.

Moving through the heavy shroud of darkness into the spacious living room, I pondered just how morbid I become when the quiet hits me. Maneuvering around the perfectly placed pieces of furniture, I stopped just in front of the open window, letting the cool ocean breeze hit my heated face. Pressing my face against the screen, I looked up at the endless sky, noting that the there was a perfect half moon shining down into my eyes. ‘Just about another two weeks now,' I thought before pushing shut the window to block out most of the outside noises that like to attack my ears.

Bending to the side, I flipped on the light, keeping my eyes trained on the reflection that suddenly appeared on the window pane. From what I could see in the reflextion, everything behind me seemed to be in order. Inhaling a deep breath, I turned slowly and surveyed the perfectly furnished living room. My eyes focused on the long sofa and noted that Devon was not passed out on it in a drunken stupor....or worse.

Letting out my held in breath, I walked back to the entryway, waiting a moment, I prepared myself for the dark journey to the bedroom. Still the thought that perhaps Devon could have stumbled his way up the stairs to pass out in our king sized bed during one of his drunken benders urged me forth.

My breathing became uneasy as I stepped out of the illuminated living room into the shadowy foyer, waiting almost patiently for something to jump out of the darkness at me. Reaching the first stair, I balled my fists at my sides, my muscles tensed as my knuckles pressed into the hardness of the cross in my pants pocket. Slowly and smoothly I made my way up the stairs, comfortable enough in performing my nightly routine to not hesitate, but paranoid enough to be careful about my ascent.

Once I stood at the top of our curved staircase, I stared straight ahead of me, down the dark corridor. Once I was convinced that nothing stood waiting for me in the darkness ahead, I moved to the first door on the right. I unclenched my fist just long enough to grasp the door handle and push the door to my bedroom open.

With a deep dread of what the light might bring, scared that I might find a bloody mess of my ripped up lover, laying listlessly on our blood soaked sheets, his eyes wide and vacant, I let my hand creep into the room. My palm pressed against the bumpy surface of the wall as I searched for the light switch. After finding it, I quickly flicked it on, and the bright light of our overhead his my sensitive eyes.

All my muscles untensed and my fingers relaxed when I looked at the large, empty bed that took up a good portion of our room. There was no blood and guts to be seen. In fact, there was no Devon. That was not at all surprising to me, though I must say I was a bit disappointed not to find him curled up and drooling on my pillow. Of course, I know what to expect from Devon. He probably went to all-nighter, downing bottles of tequila and screwing groupies with the rest of the band.

Perfectly comfortable in my homestead now, I moved carelessly through the room, picking up the discarded clothes that Devon had left on the bedroom floor and tossing them into the hamper. He's a bit of a handful, Devon, but I'm used to his ornery ways. He drinks, smokes, and swears too much. Plus, he messes around with other people, but I'm comfortable in my relationship with him because I always know what to expect from him. The familiarity is comforting.

After straightening up a bit, I moved into the adjoining bathroom and used the facilities without shutting the door. Afterwards, I splashed some water onto my face. The mirror before me reflected a man who looked to be in his late twenties, though I'm actually in my early thirties. He needed a shave, and his hair was wildly mussed. A lot of my "friends" tell me I have a bit of a Peter Pan complex since I haven't really changed much from my high school days. I just explain to them that I've never had any urge to conform to the image of what society thinks a major music producer should look or act like. So, I'm not very professional and I'm not impeccably dressed, but my ability to have musicians relate with me has helped me become very successful in what I do.

Leaving the light on, I wandered out of the bathroom, pulling my shirt off and tossing it into the hamper. Easily, I left the bedroom, flipping lights on as I moved through the house. It's funny that the dark only scares me until I have the living room and bedroom checked for chaos. Descending the stairs, I entered my small library, flicking on a light and falling back in a plush recliner.

Most people wouldn't think I was the type of guy who'd have a library in his home. Mostly they're right, since I don't have all that many books, though my collection isn't too skimpy. What really takes up most of the room's space is the large entertainment center, complete with big-screen TV., DVD player, and stereo, large speakers, flanking the sides. Then there's my computer set up to the right of it, the plush swivel chair sitting before it.

With all of that stuff in the room, still what I mostly do while I'm in here is just sit. I kick back in my recliner, sometimes reading, but most times not. Directly next to my chair, is a table upon which only a phone and a framed picture sit.

Picking the picture up and propping it up in my lap, I stared down at the faces that dimly looked passed the plate of glass. Like every night in the passed thirteen years, I skimmed my eyes over the faces of my long gone friends, first letting my eyes light on the tall and often times awkward form of Giles, a small smile lighting my lips. I realize that four years is too long to have been out of touch and I promise myself that I'll call him sometime soon, but I never do. Why is that, I wonder.

Then my eyes fall on Willow's smiling face and gently I run my finger over the plate of glass above her, remembering fondly what we once had. I don't focus as much on the others, but every time I look at this picture I train my eye to one particular feature on them. Like the beauty of Cordelia's high cheekbones and the gentle curl of Xander's long eyelashes. And I miss them. I even glance at myself, standing closely to Willow, and each time I can't help but think of the funny yellow color my hair was at the time the picture was taken. What was I thinking?

Finally, my eyes rest on the object of my paranoia. A small slip of a girl, standing proudly in the middle of her friends, a cutesy smile curving her glossy lips. Flashes of memories of her, attack my senses. Her, standing in the center of a chaotic room, hair mussed and falling in her face, wiping disgustedly at the trail of demon blood that's smeared across her cheek. I hear the last witty remark she throws the corpses of her fallen enemy before she steps carefully over their limbs. And I wonder, where did she go? What happened to Buffy?

She was the integral part of our freakish group, the glue that held us outcasts together. One day she was with us, teasing Giles flippantly about a foe that she believed would be taken down easily. The next, she was no where to be found. We all have our own opinions of what might have happened that night. Perhaps she's dead, or perhaps her failure caused her to flee from us never to be seen again. The latter seems a little too unlikely to me, and that's what scares me.

Knowing, that Buffy was in the world, keeping the forces of darkness from ending it all, was what helped me sleep at night. After she was gone, everyone lost their hope. With Buffy no longer there to hold us to one another, we all split away from each other. Cordelia, was the first to leave, but that was long before Buffy ever disappeared. After a falling out with Willow, Xander was the next to go, claiming the defense that without her, there was nothing left for him in Sunnydale. Willow was the next. The only thing really keeping her there had been Buffy and with her gone, Willow was then free to pursue a better education and career than she could get in our little suburb town.

Not long after that, Devon finally talked me into moving to LA where we could pursue our career in the band. I was left to managing the group and after I finally got us signed to a label, quit the band and hired a new and better guitar player. Since then, I've started up my own production agency, which Dingoes is now signed to.

But neither my success in my career or the foundation of a long term relationship has been able to exorcise the nagging fear that some times overtakes me. Everyone knew that Buffy was the best of her kind, but with her gone, who knows when the world might end, or the closest people in my life are destroyed by the random act of evil that used to be so easily slayed by Our Slayer. So, now I'm forever waiting for the horror that once (and still does on the night's of the full moon) gripped my life to assault me again.