A large part of her still melted whenever she saw him, but with his council related absences, she had started to guard herself against his comings and goings. Miranda's trial had been weighing on his mind, his previous relationship with Randi colouring his new arrangement with Abby. It was a confusing situation, but as she drifted through her house and went to watch the goings on around her car, her heart warmed to see Xander directing the gnomes on how to change the oil and check the coolant.
The distinct tingle of magic that she felt whenever she saw the Safety Warlock ran though her. "So, how is the car, will she make the trip?"
"Why do you call it a she?"
"Because her name is Bluebell." Abby walked up to stroke the fender and the hatch of her battered station wagon. The magic jumped into the car.
Xander looked at her accusingly. "Was that necessary?"
"If we want her to take us down south, yes."
"Well, the gnomes wouldn't fit in my car unless we put them in the trunk and I don't think that is an option, is it?"
"Wow. You are a smart fella." He stood and wiped his hands on a rag as he approached her. He swept her into an embrace as he leaned her back against Bluebell.
Physically, his interest in her had no relation to her being the Nexus, but emotionally, he was distant. She shrugged and pressed herself against him from chest to knees. "Is that a wrench in your pocket or are you happy to see me?"
"Harby has the wrench."
The kiss he laid on her was enough to heat her blood, it was also enough to start spontaneous repairs of Bluebell's leprous hide. The car was going to be able to fly if he didn't stop doing that thing with his hands around her waist. Being with him gave her the feeling of being delicate and dainty. Dainty was something she had never before achieved.
"How is it that the gnomes know more about your car than I do?"
"They read the Haynes Manual. I found it under my bed a few days ago. Since Harby still had my keys, it wasn't too much of an issue for me. I wasn't worried about them taking it apart since I obviously couldn't drive it."
He leaned back and scowled. "The keys that I used to get into the car so we could open the hood?"
"Yup. Those keys. Harby ate them the day of the car bomb." Her grin was evil and she knew it. "I haven't seen them since."
He groaned. "Can I give them to you now?" He reached into his pocket and pulled the keys out. He jerked his hand back as Angel immediately darted from underneath the car to snatch them. Small scratches marred his skin as he brought his hand to his chest.
"Apparently the little buggers don't trust me not to blow up." He scuttled away with the keys clutched to his chest but the gargoyle didn't eat them, for which she was thankful.
"They are protective of you, almost to a ridiculous degree, but I do warn you that the summit is going to be a somewhat challenging environment for them. You may want to try and confine them to your room for some of the larger events."
"Well, as the current Nexus, where I go, my creatures go." His distraction was making her insular and weird. She wanted something familiar with her at all times. "I am practicing that phrase because I get the feeling that I am going to need it."
For just a moment she saw the man that she had fallen head over heels for. The man who had been subdued since she mentioned that her power was evolving. She didn't know what was going through his head, but before too long, she was going to get tired of this dance, even if a dance was what had drawn them together to begin with. A sharp peck on his lips and she squirmed free. "I have to check on Seesee and the little ones. Who knows what they are going to consider evening wear?"
He barked out a short laugh.
She smiled as she went back inside. It was safer to be out of his vicinity, her home was already opening the door before she touched it. The extra energy was bleeding off into her house and it liked it. Number thirteen Oak Point Way was getting a life of its own.