There's no postponing this any longer. I have to drive to Westbury. The coven there is the only one powerful enough, and experienced enough to comb through my aura for any possible shenanigans. I prefer to think of hexes put on me by the all mighty Wolfram and Hart as shenanigans, rather than deep, dark, disturbing curses.
I should also make a phone call to "our man in Los Angeles". I need more on Ms. Lilah Morgan than the dry and sketchy information in her file. The LA branch of the New Watchers' Council is filled with new comers. They're all new comers apart from me, aren't they?
Not all. There are always the Wyndham-Pryces. Father and son. Father's a power hungry bastard. Son was a failure as a Watcher and than he shacked up with a vampire, so my confidence in him isn't high. But he'd be in the position to get Lilah's file. I'm sure that a Wolfram and Hart file is a lot more thorough than the sort we have.
I can't call Wesley. Maybe I shall if it turns out that she did put a hex on me – which would so conveniently explain my intense attraction to her.
I leave the car in front of the old mansion that serves as main residence for the coven. I'm a friendly figure, but I have to display myself clearly, so that they can assess my lack of hostile intentions. One of the witches will take my car into the garage, after a perfunctory inspection no doubt.
It takes them fifteen minutes to tell me there is something wrong. It takes them the better part of the weekend to find what the problem is. I'm snarling all the drive back to London. Memory alteration. A magical fucking mind wipe!!
I made several calls to my Californian family. In a few well crafted questions, I ascertain that their own memories have been altered.
The witches gave me the name of the only warlock in the whole of America powerful enough to do such a thorough job. Cyvus Vail. Bastard demon is listed in the Forbes Five Hundred! I'm seething. Someone's fucked with my mind! I'm determined to use every resource at my disposal to get to the bottom of this. Bloody Americans with their bloody cover ups!
For the next few weeks, I tap every contact I've ever had, collect on every favor I've ever been owed. Nothing! Not a damn thing surfaces.
If subtlety doesn't work, then I'll apply pressure. As careful as I was to make sure I didn't stir the waters in my frantic investigations, I'm that loud now. I make sure step on every toe. I even called up Buffy and Willow and told them that someone's messed with all our minds. I worry that I may have put them in danger, but it's nothing they're not used to.
In a matter of days since I tagged my girls, I start seeing results. The Council headquarters are breached. I find a note on my desk.
I feel a manic grin on my face. Don't? Really? How very scary.
There's one connection I didn't use. I grab my leather jacket and head for 'the pub'. I bet she's there.