Warnings: Strong sexual language and M/M sexual situations.
Disclaimer: The Bee freely admits she owns none of the characters in this story
and makes no profit. I simply borrow them, then hose them down before returning
them to the shelf for others to use.
Summary: AU. This story is a follow-up to Carnivale Mystique.
At the ending of Carnivale, Willow vowed to spend her life looking for her lost
friend and that is just what she has done. Now, after nearly 40 years, she and
the carnival cross paths again. Can she finally get the answers she needs and
protect her granddaughter from falling victim to the special allure of the carnival?
During the telling of this story will be flashback chapters that tell how Spike
and Xander adjusted to their roles of master and pet.
Note: If you haven't read Carnivale Mystique or have forgotten the story,
there is a prologue that contains a brief summary of the story. Use the tags
at the top of the page to find your way there.
Thanks and credit to silk_labyrinth for betaing the spelling, punctuation and
finding wandering boo boos.
As always, thanks to the wonderful Petxnd for her friendship and her banners that
put the perfect visual to my words.
After making a clean getaway, Xani hurried quickly down the street and around
the corner. She had made her way to the carnival walking the whole two miles
in the cold and the dusk of early evening. She carried her suitcase in her hand
and her heart on her sleeve as she practiced several conversations in her head
to pass the time.
He would ask what she was doing there and she would reply where else would
she be? He would weakly try to convince her to go back home and she would
firmly stand her ground. He would be stunned by her determination and swept
away with gratitude and love for her. He would draw her into his arms and place
a gentle kiss on her lips.
After that, Xani's imagination was fearful and hesitant to go the next step and picture
the actual s-e-x. She was certain, though, that when the time came, everything
would fall into place perfectly. It just had to. They were madly in love. Xani
wondered if Alex was also a virgin and they would have to discover the mysteries
of romance together. That thought made her sigh happily.
By the time she reached the parking lot, the sun was fully set and the twinkling lights
and music of the carnival floated enticingly on the night air, bidding all to come and
join the excitement of the Carnivale Mystique. Xani took a moment to look at it
all, and the thought that this would soon be her home did not fill her with the warm,
cozy feelings that she had hoped it would.
'Maybe it will grow on me,' she thought. 'Besides, a wife has to go where her
husband is, and wherever Alex is will be home.'
She squared her shoulders and lifted her head. This was it. Once she crossed
through that garish clown's mouth, there was no turning back. She placed one foot
in front of the other and with her eyes locked on the colored lights, she moved
steadily forward, blocking all negative thoughts from her mind and only concentrating
on the moment she would rush into his arms. Nothing mattered but that. It was her
goal and destiny.
Without pausing and allowing herself clear thought, Xani entered the grounds of
the carnival carrying her suitcase tightly in her hand. She headed to the left by the
merchant buildings where Alex had first approached her, but despite the large number
of young men, there was no sign of him. She shifted the weight of the bag to her
other hand and, for a moment, began to ponder the wisdom of her decision to
'NO!' she reprimanded herself. 'No doubts or second thoughts.'
Looking around, she decided to try by the food vendors where the crowds were
thinner and it would be easier to spot his glorious blue aura without the interference
of all the others blending and clouding her sight. When it was determined that he
was also not there, Xani stopped, realizing that it would do no good to wander
aimlessly, searching all the faces as they passed in the search for her boyfriend.
She was not a man. She would ask directions.
Trying to ignore the fear that swam in her stomach, Xani put on her big-girl face and
she approached a carny who was half-heartedly picking up trash and stuffing it in a
canvas bag. He was a pock-faced, short man who showed a row of black rotted
teeth as he leered at her. His aura matched his mouth.
"Ex...excuse me. Um, I'm looking for someone who works here. His name is Alex
and he is tall. He has dark hair and dark eyes. Do you know where I can find him?"
Phil, the carny, leaned on the end of his steel pointed pole and he sniffed as his eyes
slithered up her body and down again, pausing dramatically at her crotch and chest
before answering. He read her story by the suitcase in her hand and the innocence in
"Dark hair and eyes, huh? Ooo. Sounds yummy. Tell you what, if you can't find him
why don't you come back here and I'll bet I can show you something that will make
you forget all about him."
Phil's hand roamed down his body and he caressed himself in a manner Xani could
only describe as smarmy. Although he scared the hell out of her, she refused to give
him the satisfaction of showing it.
"Now look here! You tell me where Alex is right now or I will tell him what you said
to me and I know he will be mad."
Phil roared with laughter. It was obvious that the threat carried little weight as his
hand continued to rub his growing bulge obscenely, and he promised himself that
given half a chance he would eat this one later.
"Yeah, I know who you mean. The big prick is probably over at the game booths
with the fucking asshole boss. So why don't you tend to your business with him
and then hurry back here. We can sneak off and do the dirty together. In fact,
why don't you let me play a little stink finger before you go? A little something to
remember you by?"
Phil ran his greasy finger under his nose and snuffled noisily and Xani fought the
urge to gag as she took a safe step backward. The Xani of last week would have
turned and ran home. The Xani of tonight gave him the same eyeballing and ended
by looking him dead in the face.
"Fuck you. From where I stand, you are already as stinky as you can be. Why
don't you run along and do the dirty with one of the cows in the stable? No, I
guess that wouldn't be fair to the cow."
With that, she spun on her heels to conceal the huge grin on her face and she marched
off in the direction of the game booths, mentally patting herself on the back. Once
she moved in she would stop all that. She would insist that the people they hired
were clean and respectable and she would not permit them to speak disrespectfully
to the cash customers.
Within minutes, she had arrived at the end of the lot and the long line of game booths.
It was every bit as creepy as she remembered it. She stopped and chewed her
bottom lip nervously as her eyes strained to see. It was dim, dingy, dark and
very nearly deserted. It was like walking the last mile to the gas chamber.
She again shifted her case from her left hand to her right and she eased forward,
staying as far from the front of the booths as possible. She refused to look at the
carnies as she passed despite their low whistles, cat calls and suggestive offers,
knowing that the sight of their oily, slimy auras would only fuel her fear and send
her skittering like a mouse.
When she was finally nearing the last booth, she saw him and relief flooded her
body. Alex! Her love and her promise. Just the sight of him brought her joy and
happiness. He was standing facing a smaller blond man who was sitting on the
ledge of his booth. Xani chuckled as she watched Alex seem to reprimand the
carny. Obviously, her future husband was a man of importance in the carnival.
She tipped her head and again wondered about the blond man. He was one of
the ones at the carnival who seemed to have no aura and she wondered why. Her
interest, however, was short-lived as she was again dazzled by the blue glow that
surrounded the man of her dreams.
She crept a few steps forward, hesitant to interrupt the scolding her lover was
serving up, but she soon frowned and stopped as the scene seemed to change.
She watched the shorter man slide down and as he approached Alex, the most
astounding and confusing thing happened.
Alex's aura extended. It grew and expanded with ghostly fingertips that reached
out to touch and surround the blond, drawing him in. The pulsing blue shimmer
that Alex always wore now encompassed them both. It sparked and ballooned
as it embraced the other carny and they became like one person.
Xani blinked. She had never seen anything like that before. It was so intimate
and sexual that it made her blush hotly. Then, when she thought it could not get
any more intense, she watched them close the gap between them and kiss.
Electricity skittered over her skin and her hair lifted with static residue. Her blood
warmed and shamefully she realized that her panties were damp. She wanted to
turn away but her feet refused to move. When she saw Alex pull his hand from the
man's pants and reach around to touch his butt, Xani dropped her suitcase and
the air in her lungs whooshed out in one singular word.