All the Days and Nights to Follow


ATDNTF


Angel gets his soul back, but cannot forget the night Angelus spent with Cordelia Chase.

  • CONTENTS:   C/A in BtVS with C/Aus flashbacks
  • RATING:    NC-17
  • LENGTH:   Novella / 28,000 words
  • PREQUEL:   ‘A Night to Remember’
  • STATUS:   Complete
  • CHALLENGE CREDIT:    Scorch / Challenge#5 / AO’s ‘Lysa Says: Challenge Me’ thread
  • FICPIC CREDIT:   DamnSkippy
  • Warnings: Explicit Sexual Content

“Master vamp, master key.”

—Cordelia Chase / All the Days and Nights to Follow


ALL the DAYS and NIGHTS to FOLLOW

The Chase Residence: Cordelia’s Bedroom

“What do you mean it’s happening tonight?” Cordelia barked the question into the cell phone. “Right now?”

Jenny Calendar let out a short sigh on the other end of the line, her exasperation smothered by the crackling connection. The unruly weather outside seemed to be interfering with the call, but it was one that she felt obligated to make. Anyone whose life had been touched by Angelus was in some way her responsibility and there was no doubt that the vampire had made an impact on Cordelia Chase.

Judging by his constant demands to see her during the past month, which had gone ignored by Rupert, his slayer protégé and her friends, Cordelia had also made an impression on Angelus. During the past month, while Jenny had searched for a way to return the vampire’s soul, he remained a captive though he had been moved to Rupert’s townhouse apartment rather than leave him in the Chase mansion.

While Cordelia would have kept him there, Rupert found it ‘highly inappropriate’ for Angelus to remain. He made the excuse of not knowing when her parents might return from their current sojourn in Tuscany. “Finding a man chained to your bed might prove…rather shocking for them, especially when that man is a psychopathic vampire.”

He’d made the comment with his proper English nose stuck in the air, hands on the lapels of his tweed jacket and looking adorably stuffy. Jenny knew Rupert had been more than just a little surprised at the news when Cordelia called him that morning. Out of an almost fatherly concern, he’d asked her along to provide Cordelia with some emotional support. Instead, Jenny ended up trying to act as referee for the teenager who was all but attacked with questions by Buffy, Willow and Xander.

Not that Cordelia appeared to want or need a referee of any kind. She more than held onto her homefield advantage and never let it go. Never once did she make an excuse to them except to say that Angelus had been drinking. It wasn’t until later that Cordelia actually sorted out that her own drinks at the Bronze were spiked by one of the guys from the football team and related that to Jenny during one of their soon-to-be many confidential chats.

The rift between Cordelia and the others seemed impossible to bridge after that day and when Rupert denied her access to his house, and therefore to visiting rights to Angelus, the brunette was forced to step back. Down, but not out. Jenny had to admire the rather mature face Cordelia had put on during the past few weeks and had secretly been keeping her informed of the progress on the re-ensoulment spell and the vampire’s status.

“Things were crazy today,” Jenny explained the delayed call. “I discovered the last piece of information I needed, but we have to move on this tonight. If I am to do this right, it must be in the Kalderash way.”

Cordelia stared out her balcony doors where the rain pelted down furiously. “If that involves any of us dancing naked under the gypsy moon, I don’t suppose you could pick a night with better weather.”

“You’re a riot, Cor,” Jenny returned drolly and then glanced over her shoulder at the activity in the other room. “We’re about to begin. Looks like Willow and Rupert are all set and waiting for me to get started. Get here now or you’ll miss it. I’ll leave the door unlocked for you.”

Ending the call, Cordelia headed straight downstairs pausing only to grab her car keys off the small table in the foyer. She darted out into the storm, the sheeting rain soaking through her clothing within seconds. Cordelia climbed into her car turning on the engine before setting the windshield wipers to maximum speed and flipping on the low-beam headlights. As soon as the security gate opened, Cordelia pressed her foot onto the gas pedal and set her Corvette in the direction of Rupert Giles’ house.

“Talk about your last-minute calls,” Cordelia complained to herself. Although, being honest with herself, she was surprised that anyone managed to make the effort to include her in witnessing Angelus’ re-ensoulment. Maybe she’d been dropped off everyone’s Christmas card list, but that didn’t mean she had no interest in Angel’s wellbeing or had no right to be present at an event that might mean the difference in his continued existence and sweeping him up in a dustpan.

No way even Jenny would see to allowing Angelus to continue to live after what he’d done to her Uncle Enyos. Part and parcel of the danger the Kalderash tribe of gypsies faced in their observation of the cursed vampire, she accepted the risk her uncle had taken because it was one she took herself. But if the soul could not be returned, then Cordelia had no doubt that Jenny Calendar would condone putting Angelus down for good and if Buffy wouldn’t do it, Giles or Xander certainly would.

As if the sky was protesting the events to come, thunder growled across the sky as white lightning shot across the horizon. Cordelia maneuvered her car through the nearly empty streets of Sunnydale, rain pelting down hard on the slick blacktop.

Jenny was right. No matter the weather, this was one event she wasn’t going to miss. What was a freak storm in comparison to the greeting she was likely to get from the gang? Pfft! Nature had nothing on the blustery windiness of Hurricane Buffy.

While some part of her recognized the fact that she had slept with the evil version of Buffy Summer’s boyfriend possibly giving the blond slayer a legitimate reason to stay mad at her, there was nothing to be done to erase the memories of that long night of passion with Angelus.

Frankly, Cordelia didn’t want to forget a single second. Not that she could remember it all. There were parts of her memory still a little fuzzy from her apparently spiked virgin margaritas. What she did recall stayed constantly in her thoughts and invaded her dreams each night with images and sensations that left her body tingling.

By the time they’d reached her house that night, Cordelia had already nearly caused two wrecks. Drunken driving and Angelus’ wandering hands did not mix. The teasing touch of his mouth on her earlobe and the slide of his large hand across her breasts had her squirming in the driver’s seat. His fingers curled around one breast, giving it a firm squeeze and tweaking her budding nipple through the barriers that separated it from him.

Cordelia moaned, pressing herself into his hand, only he moved it away to toy with her hair. Reaching up, she grabbed his hand away dragging it back down to her other breast. Angelus chuckled in her ear, “Want my hands on you?”

“Yes,” she admitted with a nod. It seemed like a necessity. It was all she could do to concentrate on driving or else Cordelia figured she’d be trying to touch him too.

“How about my mouth?” Angelus practically purred the words into her ear resulting in another needful moan. “You’ll have to let me have a nibble there, sweet Cordelia. Bite those little nubs. Suck them hard. Tease them with my tongue.”

Lusty promises sounded in her ear all the way home. Those were the tame ones and still they left her hot, aching and her panties wet. Forget the fact that Cordelia was convinced to get her revenge against Xander by sleeping with Angelus, she just wanted him. Plain and simple. Right now nothing was stopping her from getting what she wanted and boy howdy she had an idea he could give it to her in spades.

Screeching to a halt in front of her house, awkwardly angled and practically parked on top of the first step, she shut off the engine and reached over to grab Angelus by the lapel of his leather jacket. Yanking him close and covering his firm male mouth with her plush lips, Cordelia thought she might devour him whole with her kiss just to ease some of the need coursing through her body. He’d built her up to a fever pitch and they were still in the car.

The sheer enthusiasm behind that kiss delighted Angelus. He knew the little vixen would do justice to his lustful imaginings. Not to be outdone, Angelus brought both hands up to palm her face, opening her mouth up to him and slowing the kiss down to a snail’s pace of teasing near-misses as he hovered over her. Then alternating soft butterfly tugs with his lips and the hard press of his mouth on hers. Little sounds of pleasure poured from her throat swallowed by Angelus as he let her eager tongue tangle with his.

Pushing at his immovable chest, Cordelia was the one knocked heavily into the car door, the handle now digging into her back as she sat gasping for air and focusing lustfully in Angelus’ direction. She felt tingly and aching everywhere: golden skin afire, cheeks red and flushed, lips now swollen and her breasts so sensitive that the nipples rasping softly against the silk of her bra with each breath seemed too much to bear. There was an ache deep in her belly Cordelia knew only he could sate.

Scrambling from the car, they stared at each other across the hood, both leaning against its warm surface. Through the haze of their inebriated state, only their lust for each other was more overpowering. His gaze dangerous and wicked raked down Cordelia’s throat and jutting breasts to the place where her hips pressed against the car. She could almost feel that stare touching her.

“Come over here,” the intimate croon softened Angelus’ demand.

No protests this time. Cordelia wanted her hands on him, needed to feel the hard frame of his body under her touch, to crush herself against him and get lost in his kiss. “Whatcha gonna do when I get there?” she reprised her question from their little chat outside the Bronze as she sauntered in his direction.

Angelus decided to show her instead. Trapping her body between his and the car, he clutched her silky thigh pulling it up around his waist. Then thrusting forward pressed his bulging erection into the cradle of her hips. With a gruff sound, Angelus claimed her mouth again and spent the next countless minutes giving Cordelia a hint of what was to come.

The hard frame of the car dug uncomfortably against her ass, but Cordelia hardly noticed. Their wild kisses distracted her. Not to mention the way he felt in her arms. Mmm, the vampire was all bulky, corded muscle under her roving fingertips. Hitching her leg just a little higher, Cordelia rotated her hips to meet the hard friction of his cloth-covered erection grinding against the thin silk of her panties so close to her throbbing center.

Those large hands held her, caressed her, and touched her in ways that drove her mad with wanting his skin on hers. When Angelus pulled back from her lips, a soft sound protest erupted from Cordelia’s throat. He held her steady, her breasts full, pebble-tipped and aching as they pressed into his hard chest. “Time to invite me in, baby.”

Geez, could anything be more frikkin’ obvious? Cordelia traced a hand along his jaw, asking in a throaty undertone, “You want in?”

“Unless you want to be fucked on the hood of your car,” Angelus insisted hotly as if he was considering that option right then.

Uncurling her leg from around him, Cordelia gave him a shove, and he obligingly took a step back. He watched the playful curl of her mouth as she told him, “Not the first time.”

While Angelus was caught up in thinking the suggestion was still on the menu, Cordelia moved past him to pick up her keys from where she’d dropped them as soon as he’d pulled her into his arms. She’d had much better things to do with her hands than to hold keys. Giggling at the naughty thoughts that followed, Cordelia walked up the stairs and after several attempts found it grabbed from her hand by Angelus.

“I’ll do it,” impatience sounded in his voice drawing more laughter from the tipsy brunette as she watched his hand wavering.

“Aim not so good, Big Bad Vamp?” Cordelia chuckled as he missed again. “That’s not a very good sign considering you can’t even put the lock in my key.”

Angelus paused long enough to grumble a correction, “Key in your lock.”

“You can’t do it.”

“Can too.” Then he leered, adding with a waggle of his eyebrows, “I have a very big key.”

Sucking in a gasp of air, Cordelia remembered the way he felt against her. “Mmm. Yes, you do.”

Snatching the keys back, she pushed it into the lock and then thrust open the door to step inside. Turning around, Cordelia let her gaze travel over the waiting vampire from the top of his dark head down to his black shoes, arousal apparent on every inch of him. Those dark eyes trained on her were filled with lust and expectancy as he waited for her to voice the words that would gain him admittance to her house.

“Angelus,” porch light glinted like stars in her hazel orbs as Cordelia suddenly told him, “goodnight,” slamming the door between them.

“What the fuck? Cordelia!” The vampire snarled her name and proceeded to pound on the thick door.

It opened after a few seconds to the sound of Cordelia’s amused laughter. Geez, that was funny. “Gotcha! Just kidding, dork. I invite you in already.”

Storming across the threshold, Angelus prowled around the foyer trying to decide if he wanted to spank her or reward her for that little bit of torture. For a second, he thought she’d lied to him, tricked him, teased him, led him on and aroused him only to play him for a fool on her doorstep. Damn, she twisted him up in knots without even trying hard.

Taking a handful of her silky hair in his fist, Angelus tugged just enough to force her to move closer. As he leaned down to brush his cheek along hers, the whispered words in Cordelia’s ear left her shuddering in wanton response. “Vixen, I hope you know what you’ve invited into your house because I’m about to let you have every inch of me.”

The memory alone nearly caused Cordelia to miss the turn into the complex where Giles’ townhouse apartment was located. Giving the wheel a sharp turn, she nearly ended up in the ditch, which was already flooding the street with water. Getting as close as she could, Cordelia pulled her car to a stop. The rain was still pelting down and with the windshield wipers off it covered the glass with a sheet of rain so thick that it made seeing beyond it impossible.

Weather like this was so rare in this part of California that Cordelia never carried an umbrella with her or kept one in her car. Darting out of the car, she made a run for it, but the distance between the parking area and Giles’ courtyard entryway left her soaked through by the time she reached the door.

 


Giles’ Townhouse Earlier That Night

“Just leave him alone, Buffy,” counseled Willow in between setting up the magical components necessary for the re-ensoulment spell. “Angelus will stop taunting you if you quit responding to his very mean, nasty comments.”

Directing her last few words at Angelus, she tightened her mouth into a harsh little circle and nodded her head one time as if to admonish the vampire for mistreatment of her friend. Sneering at her from his chained position, Angelus maliciously told the little redhead that he would enjoy eating the tongue she’d poked out at him when she thought he wasn’t looking. They’d bolted his chains to the brick surface of the fireplace, but with his escalating fury, Angelus kept pulling against his bonds.

The manacles that held him were mystically enhanced, but not the chains nor their connection to the fireplace. With enough effort, Angelus knew he could break free and then he’d start first with Willow, followed by that gypsy bitch Jenny Calendar, then Giles. The Slayer and her loyal pet Xander would wait until he dealt with the ones who possessed the skill to pull off this re-ensoulment.

Buffy grabbed the chains, using her slayer strength to give them some slack and yanking hard enough that Angelus’ shoulders pulled back to a painful point. “Don’t try that again.” Aggravation had long-since lighted the fuse to her temper and this was getting to her more than she ever wanted to admit.

He knew it too, the smug bastard. Buffy could read it in Angelus’ eyes. For a month she had hoped and prayed that Jenny Calendar’s research would be successful and that her Angel could be returned. This monster who had taken his place was pure evil and nothing like the man she loved. Not a day went by when he didn’t bring up her relationship with Angel, his words twisting and defiling it until Buffy was not certain that the memory of her love actually existed.

While Giles wanted to keep her away from Angelus as much as possible, it was still necessary for Buffy to be around him. To control him while they checked the integrity of the manacles and chains as well as during feeding time. It disgusted her having to be there as he sucked down the pig blood provided for him. She wouldn’t touch it, just held him locked in her grip while one of the others used a device that extended the mug and its straw from a safe distance.

Maybe pig blood was as disgusting to Angelus as it was to her, but he played it to the hilt pretending to enjoy every last drop and then making some comment about being eager to taste hers as he drained her. That didn’t bother Buffy as much as the rest. She’d see to it that he never got his fangs near her neck or that of one of her friends.

It was what he had to say about Cordelia Chase that really left her with a feeling of gut-wrenching agony. Even now, in the minutes before Jenny Calendar would invoke the Spell of Restoration, Angelus spoke only of Queen C. Ignoring Willow’s counsel, Buffy narrowed her green eyes and forced Angelus onto his knees. Dropping the chains, she stalked around to the front, balled her hand into a fist and threw a right hook that sent him crashing back against the brick.

Blood dripped from the corner of his mouth. Angelus only sneered at the slayer as he slowly struggled back to his feet. She let him straighten up before shoving him down onto the chair they had provided. “Shut up and stay put, Angelus. I’ve heard enough about what you two did together to give a play-by-play account. In a few minutes, it won’t matter anymore. Y’know why?”

“Go ahead and tell me,” Angelus slid his tongue along the cut in his lip.

Crossing her arms over her slender torso, Buffy defiantly pointed out, “Because you’ll be gone. Things will be back to normal when Angel returns.”

A savage laugh left his chest, deep and full of scorn, “It will never be the same, Buff. Y’know why?”

Swallowing down the fact that Angelus was making her eat her own words, she held her ground refusing to show how deeply every syllable cut into her heart. “Go ahead and tell me.”

“Because having a soul doesn’t make me stupid,” Angelus stated smoothly, that dark glint appearing in his eyes. He knew his barbs hit home. What made it all the better was the fact that she knew he meant it. “Cordelia is twice the woman you are or ever will be, slayer. It’s just not in you.”

Buffy felt the hot sting of tears welling in her eyes.

“There, there, Buffy, no tears,” Angelus mocked her as he stood shirtless and garbed only in that same pair of black sweatpants. “Everyone has their gift. Yours just does not seem to involve the ability to do anything except lay there and take it.”

This wouldn’t be the first time that Buffy had reminded him that she’d been a virgin when Angel made love to her. Nor even one of a dozen times she’d reminded him that Angel experienced bliss because of her and the love they shared. But Buffy was not about to put herself up to the same caustic responses that he’d given her before.

“Maybe I don’t care how much of a slut Cordelia is,” Buffy snapped back. “I know he loved me. I know it.”

Staring deep into her eyes, Angelus asked so softly that his words whispered across her skin, “Do you really believe that?”

Soft words were followed by that trademark smirk causing Buffy to let out a low growl of frustration. Holding out her hand, she showed Angelus the Claddagh ring on her finger. “This makes me believe it,” she answered obstinately.

Then just to prove her point in believing that the demon before her was nothing in her eyes in comparison to the one she loved, Buffy curled her fist again and hit him. Doubling over, Angelus let out a grunt of pain, but came up wearing that mocking grin.

“I just want things to be normal again,” Buffy swiped at the tears on her cheeks.

Angelus raised an eyebrow, “You’ll never have normal, slayer. If that’s what you’re looking for, it’s no wonder it took me so long to get into your pants.”

Her eyes snapped open. “YOU have never been anywhere near my pants.”

The soft sound of Giles clearing his throat behind them interrupted Angelus’ raucous comeback. “Must we have this argument again?”

“No,” Angelus answered. “Buff and I are having it. You can mind your own business, Rup.”

Suppressing his urge to take the bait and jump right into the argument, Giles instead informed them, “We are ready to begin. Buffy, if you’ll take hold of Angelus’ chains again, just in case. Xander and I will step over to the other side of the room and let Jenny and Willow take over from here.”

Angelus stopped playing verbal games with the slayer and turned his attention to Jenny Calendar. He tried to distract her with his threats and taunts, but the woman was focused on her Romani majicks. These were the ways of her ancestors and not those of a modern educator, but she was versed enough to recognize the details in the ancient curse, the amria, that would restore the vampire’s soul and bind it to him forever.

Holding out the Orb of Thesulah, Jenny invoked the spell just as Cordelia Chase burst into the room dripping wet and trailing water behind her. Before she could even call out his name, Angelus’ gaze transfixed her. Holding to the spot at the door, Cordelia felt the hot sweep of his eyes along her body only to meet them again and watch the dark light altered by the force of the spell.

The look of possessive lust glazed over to be replaced by confusion and something else Cordelia could not identify convincing her before anyone else could assess the outcome that the Spell of Restoration worked. Angelus’ soul had returned and with it all of the emotional baggage that Angel constantly carried. Pressing her lips together, Cordelia acknowledged her own mixed and contrary feelings.

This needed to happen, but Cordelia could already tell by the way Angel looked at her that nothing would ever be quite so uncomplicated between them as the night they spent in her bed. No inhibitions. No regrets. Not after the initial shock had worn off anyway. Especially considering the little reminder Angelus had left behind.

That thought caused Cordelia to smile, an unconsciously brilliant grin that brought color to her cheeks and a sparkle to her eyes. Angel stared in rapt wonder at the sight and through the initial haze of confusion felt drawn to that beautiful smile and the woman who bestowed it upon him. Through clouded memories, Angel recalled flashing images of holding her in his arms, exploring silky golden skin, palming her breasts while holding her from behind and his hard cock pressing against her firm, rounded ass.

Assaulted by a wave of lust, Angel suddenly realized that this was Cordelia Chase he was remembering and that they’d found ecstasy together more than once during one hot night of passion. A night that should never have happened. They’d been drunk. He’d been without a soul and Cordelia without her natural instinct for survival.

She was lucky to be alive, yet there she was, standing there smiling at him.

Instinct had him on his feet and moving toward her before Angel registered that he was still in chains. A sharp tug sent him tumbling toward the chair followed by Buffy’s voice, “Where do you think you’re going, Angelus?”

He could tell from Cordelia’s expression that Buffy was staring at her. So were the others. The sight of a dripping wet Cordelia made for a fascinating sight. Not that the others, with one or two possible exceptions, were thinking anything close to the same sexually-charged thoughts as him.

Her long hair was plastered to her head, raindrops clinging to her dewy golden skin, that luscious mouth moist and plump and kissable. The blouse she wore appeared sheer in its wet state topping a colored bra that hugged her breasts and highlighted her cleavage. Her pants clung to her like a second skin.

Damn, she looks good enough to eat.

Angel knew that he shouldn’t be thinking those things. Knew that in this early stage of ensoulment that his demon side warred with the emotional influx brought by the soul. Only something was different this time. Those demonic impulses didn’t seem to be fading into the background. He had to consciously make an effort to subdue what he was feeling.

“So is it Angel or Angelus?” asked Xander while still staring back and forth between the vampire and Cordelia.

Buffy jerked on the chains again even though Angel hadn’t moved. “It’s obviously still Angelus.”

“The spell was flawless,” Jenny cut in setting the Orb of Thesulah aside.

“She’s right. You’re yanking Angel’s chains,” Cordelia told Buffy and then muttered under her breath, “no doubt in more ways than one.”

“What are you doing here?” The question she’d been expecting finally emerged from Buffy’s mouth though it wasn’t quite as angry as Cordelia imagined it would be, just seemingly resolved that she was in the picture even if she didn’t want her here.

Cordelia didn’t bother with the details. In fact, she skipped answering the question altogether. “Hello, chained vampire. Aren’t you going to release him?”

Whether there was something in Cordelia’s eyes or simply that Buffy wanted to believe her, she moved around to the front, staring down at Angel with tearful eyes and tremulous lips. Then lunging forward, Buffy threw her arms around his broad shoulders and plastered a kiss across his mouth. In his shocked state, Angel merely sat there. Slowly, noting the lack of response, Buffy pulled away. “What is it, Angel?”

“That’s quite a difference from the punishment you’ve been doling out for the past few weeks,” he commented uneasily. Face to face with her everyday, he recalled their angry bouts with complete clarity.

Fiddling with a strand of her hair, Buffy explained, “I was just controlling the demon. It wasn’t you I was hitting, Angel.”

“Felt like it,” Angel flexed his jaw noting that it still hurt from that last upper-cut. “Buffy, you seem to think I wasn’t your captive this past month; that I wasn’t here at all. No matter how much the both of us would like to forget I’m a demon, that is what I am. That’s simply the way it is, Buffy.”

“No, you’re nothing like him,” Buffy shook her head so that her blond hair flew out around her shoulders. “Nothing. You’d never do the things he’s done.”

“Actually,” Giles held up a finger to make a point, “He’s is telling you the truth, Buffy. I would have argued it before, but with Angelus’ manners being so rude I figured that it would be better coming from him at a time when he could behave himself.”

Angel sent the watcher a pointed stare, “Thanks, Rup,” he spoke with purposeful irreverence.

“Oh, you’re quite welcome,” Giles returned with nary a blink. “When you’re feeling up to it…or even sooner than that…we’ll be having a little chat about one or two things.”

If those one or two things had names that were Buffy and Cordelia, Angel wondered if there was any way to get out of that lecture. He already felt guilty enough for his own actions without Rupert Giles adding his two cents.

“Any chance someone will let Angel out of those manacles?” Cordelia tried again. She was getting impatient and felt anxious to find out if he was as okay as he looked.

A few recent bruises aside, Angel appeared to be intact. Not that she’d expected Giles or the others to mistreat him. It was just that she hadn’t seen him in so long, Cordelia needed to convince herself that her concern wasn’t just an excuse to let her gaze wander all over him.

Willow stepped up rather cautiously, sending Cordelia a questioning look since she seemed to be convinced that this was Angel. Maybe it didn’t help that Cordelia got a little impatient promising, “He won’t bite…much.”

Hopping back away from the vampire, Willow noticed that Cordelia’s words brought a little smile to his lips. Angel smiling? “I-I don’t think the spell worked.”

“You saw the effects,” Jenny countered. “I’m certain that we succeeded. Angel’s soul is back and this time it’s permanent.”

“So no more Angelus?” Hope suffused Buffy’s voice.

Jenny could tell it would take a Mack truck to get through to the slayer on this subject, but she tried again. “Angelus is always with us, Buffy. The soul guides him, gives him a conscience that does not exist in his pure vampiric state. It allows him to access feelings his demon half normally suppresses.”

The slayer was almost breathless as she suggested, “Like love?”

From across the room, Angel felt Cordelia’s gaze on him and heard the steady beat of her heart skip and move at a faster rhythm. Surely she couldn’t feel anything akin to love. Not for him. Not after he’d done everything in his power to seduce her.

“Perhaps Angel would be the one to tell you that,” Jenny suggested feeling rather uncomfortable talking to Buffy about love when she’d just spent the past few weeks as Cordelia’s confidant. Their friendship had grown at a rate equal to the demise of her relationship to the Scooby Gang.

Even Rupert had remained remote and aloof trying to save Cordelia from any further association with the evil of the Hellmouth. As if he could. Jenny had tried to twist his arm into letting her visit hoping that it would calm the vampire down and give them a few moment’s peace, but he’d continued to refuse until finally she gave up on the idea.

Feeling the tension in the air, Jenny wondered if their problems hadn’t just taken on a whole new twist. Meeting Angel’s contemplative gaze, she listened with a sense of horror as he admitted to her, “It was lucky that I did not discover your link to Enyos. Knowing you were Kalderash Romani, I would have killed you.”

Gulping, Jenny nodded, “I know. That’s why I’m glad there won’t be any more accidents if you get happy now and then.”

The deleted clause in the spell was much more intricate than that, but it suited her to explain it that way. Simplicity was sometimes a blessing.

Turning his gaze to Willow, Angel asked to be released. “I won’t hurt you.”

“Maybe not, but you still owe me some fish,” she snapped back showing a little bite of her own. Walking over to Buffy’s side, Willow held her hands out above the manacles that shackled Angel. After speaking a phrase of magic, the lock binding his arms in place clicked open and the chains fell to the carpet with a heavy chinking of metal.

“I guess I do,” Angel nodded his understanding. Although he wasn’t foolish enough to think that buying a few fish would be all that it would take to win back her trust. Willow’s loyalty depended upon the emotional state of her two best friends and Angel knew he had a rocky road ahead of him where Buffy was concerned. Xander, as usual, was a lost cause, a battle he’d never bothered to fight.

Stretching so that his muscles bunched and lengthened releasing the tension in his bare shoulders, Angel was conscious of Buffy hovering at his side. If it wasn’t for the fact that he felt guilty about all of the things he’d said, or at least the way that he’d said them, Angel would have told her she was acting like a leech clinging to him so closely.

“Thanks for your ‘hospitality’, Rupert,” Angel gave the words a little sardonic twist that he might not normally have done, “but I think I’ll be leaving.”

“Going where?” Cordelia questioned sharply. If it wasn’t for the accompanying look of concern on her face, Angel might have thought she was hinting at something. Then she clarified, “Your evil self wasn’t the only one living at that Nightmare on Crawford Street.”

Angel realized she was right. Damn. All his good stuff was there. “Guess it’ll have to be my old apartment tonight.”

“You’re welcome to borrow the couch again,” Giles motioned to it as if he’d been a guest rather than a prisoner for the past month. “Considering the weather tonight, it may be best for you to stay.”

“Maybe I will,” Angel nodded his thanks even as he moved in the other direction, the one that took him toward Cordelia.

Xander suddenly stepped between them looking a little ornery at the fact that Angel was approaching his former girlfriend. Forget the fact that he’d joined in the Buffy Brigade when it came to cutting Cordelia out of their lives. He’d spent the first week trailing after her and begging for reconciliation and then turned away with his tail between his legs.

Now Xander had the gall to make a move that screamed of possession, as if he had any right to stop Angel from approaching Cordelia Chase. “Step away, boy,” Angel sounded out the words with a tight jaw.

“I’m not moving,” Xander returned with a defiant stare standing as tall and firmly in place as he could. “Stay away from Cordelia.”

“Take your own advice. Back off,” Angel said with such a cool demeanor that no one even suspected that in the next moment he would grab Xander by the arm moving him to one side.

By the time Xander got over his shock, Angel was already standing next to Cordelia whose attention was focused entirely on the vampire. With a pout of discontent, he walked over to the nearest chair and sat down to watch Buffy’s reactions to this little reunion.

The slayer looked tense and ready to pounce. She stood wide-eyed and watching so closely that any other movement in the room went ignored.

Sadness filled Angel’s handsome face as he looked into Cordelia’s waiting gaze. She was so beautiful; he cursed the longing that swirled heat around his chest and loins. Self-loathing crept up to fight the desire flaming inside him at her closeness. Swiping at his lips with the tip of his tongue, Angel struggled to say something to her that would equal the intensity of his feelings.

“Cordelia,” her name sounded as little more than a whisper.

Jumping in before he could say anything else, Cordelia commented, “It didn’t take long for that guilt trip to set in. Get over it.”

That sounded a little harsh. Angel stared at her watching the way the light played on the droplets of water clinging to her skin. He wanted to lick them off one by one. “Is it so easy to forget?”

“No,” Cordelia answered honestly. Her lips quirking up at the corners, “Besides, you did leave me a little reminder.”

He wasn’t smiling this time despite the hint of amusement flirting along the corners of her lush mouth. Angel’s memories were still hazy and whether that was the cause of the spell or simply that the Irish Whiskey he’d been drowning himself in that night had washed away the details, he could not immediately recall the circumstances leading to his marking her skin.

Especially there.

Biting Cordelia on the ass was not the best way to stay on her good side. Denial was futile, so why bother, “Guess I did. I’m sorry.”

“Don’t apologize,” Cordelia hurried to add before he could say anything specific. No one knew about that bite. Not even Jenny. “I told you we’re even.”

Angel visibly relaxed. “Good. We’ll start over from here.” The smile that broke out across her face made him realize he’d never need sunshine with Cordelia around. He was so tempted to touch her, to kiss those lips. He knew their taste, the feel of them under his.

“It’s a deal,” Cordelia held out her hand to shake his in true deal-making fashion and when he closed his hand over hers she leaned in close to whisper, “Just no biting this time.”

Dammit, Chase, you’re flirting with him. Cordelia realized she didn’t want to let go of his hand. To hell with it. I’m not going to pretend I don’t want him. I’m sure he can tell.

Reaching up with his free hand, Angel touched the back of his fingers to the line of her throat, pausing and then turning his hand to circle his thumb over her steadily thrumming pulse point. Murmuring the question, “Did we ever have a deal about that?”

Angel imagined his mouth there. More than that, he could picture himself sinking his fangs into that silken skin. Marking her. Making her his.

Snapping out of his thoughts, Angel dropped his hands away as if her skin scalded him. Angel stepped back and facing Giles again who appeared a little stunned by the sudden attention, asked if he could use the shower and if there were any clothes he could borrow. That set of sniggering from the direction of the couch where Xander shared his thought with the rest of them, “Angel in tweed.”

The only ones not laughing after that were Giles and Angel.

“I could use a change of clothes myself,” Cordelia finally commented rubbing her arms as she started to feel a chill.

“You could do with a hot shower too,” Angel pointed out completely innocently until his more lascivious thoughts suddenly put her in that shower right next to him.

Buffy overheard the comment and gritted her teeth saying, “We wouldn’t want you to get sick, Cor. Why don’t you go home.”

“I should,” Cordelia nodded in agreement without bothering to let the slayer’s tone get to her. “Giles, can I borrow an umbrella?”

“Certainly,” the Englishman answered as he popped out to the small foyer where he kept an umbrella stand. Not that he used them much, but Giles was prepared for any inclement weather. Handing one over to the drenched brunette, he went back to open up the door. “Goodnight, Cordelia.”

“Guess that’s my cue,” Cordelia laughed. Looking over her shoulder at Angel one last time and left him staring after her as she said, “Enjoy your shower. Maybe I’ll see you around.”

Almost the moment the door closed behind her the gang immediately started talking about Cordelia showing up. When Jenny Calendar admitted to calling her and stated that she thought Cordelia should be here too, they all stared at her in shock. Even Giles appeared surprised that she would do such a thing without consulting him. Then again, Jenny was a rather independent modern woman and the thought only left him wondering if he’d done the right thing in trying to shelter Cordelia by keeping her out of the picture.

Angel was already tired of the bickering. He escaped upstairs to the bathroom and turned the hot water on until it was steaming. After a month of captivity, he felt like he needed to scour his skin to get clean again.

He was still a little hazy in the memory department. The most recent memories were the clearest, those dealing with Buffy in her slayer mode on a daily basis. Being restrained and shackled had given him time to relive the more pleasant memories of the night he’d spent with Cordelia. He’d replayed that night through his head so many times, Angel wondered if it was possible Cordelia had been as responsive as he remembered her to be.

A twinge of guilt hit him at comparing Buffy and Cordelia, but he just couldn’t stop himself from doing so. Buffy had been untouchable despite their kisses, a golden girl whose bravery and determination were matched only by her innocence. He’d claimed that. Taken it from her. Lost himself inside her and forgot for just a single moment of time that he was a vampire.

Unlike his night with Cordelia when there was no pretending on either part that he wasn’t a vampire. Except for the no biting rule, which he had ignored for the most part, Angelus hadn’t bothered with too much gentility. Cordelia might not have been a virgin, but her inexperience was accompanied by a fiery enthusiasm that fed his lust.

They were both so different. Cordelia felt so good in his arms, like she fit there, like she belonged there. Maybe it was just a result of being there more recently than the Slayer. Unless you counted Buffy’s awkward kiss back in the living room or the fact that he’d slept with Buffy only a week before encountering Cordelia outside the Bronze.

Hmm. So much for that theory.

She tasted different, tantalizing and addictive. Spicy and sweet like cinnamon and sugar wrapped up in warm golden skin. The way her mouth tasted under his made Angel close his eyes at the memory of it, silently cursing at the missed opportunity to kiss her downstairs. Then just as quickly, he admonished himself for that thought. He had no business imagining himself kissing Cordelia Chase.

Hell, he couldn’t get the thought out of his head if he tried. That night, they’d kissed all the way up to her bedroom pausing every other step to lock lips in a way that made his head spin. Angel felt certain that had been her and not the effects of the whiskey since it was all he could do to match her kiss for kiss.

Taking advantage of the fact that he didn’t have to breathe, he’d left her breathless and panting for air while his mouth moved on to other fun locations. His hands were wandering all over Cordelia’s curvaceous frame, one tangled in her hair and the other dipping under her skirt to palm the cheek of her ass left bare by her thong.

Finally, he’d got tired of teasing them both. He wanted her hands on his skin instead of those irritating clothes. Now. Giving her one last heart-stopping kiss, Angelus had lifted his mouth just inches away as he held her gaze, “Undress me.”

Cordelia’s eyes held a wicked glint and a naughty grin appeared as her hands closed over the leather duster they’d been roving beneath. Pushing it off of his shoulders, she pulled it off the rest of the way and tossed it onto a nearby chair. She stood with the tip of her finger in her mouth, nibbling thoughtfully. Then just decided to start with his shirt and work her way down.

While her fingers fumbled with the buttons on his shirt, Angelus kept touching her, his hands moving across her back and shoulders in circles. After several buttons were opened, Cordelia ran a hand from his throat down to his navel following her path with a trail of warm kisses that brought a rumble to his chest. The sound caught her attention.

“Do that again,” she pressed her ear to his chest, momentarily distracted from her task.

Angelus wrapped an arm around her shoulders holding Cordelia close as he repeated the deep purr that vibrated against her ear. Her hand wandered over the surface of his chest delving beneath the shirt, her thumb brushing against his nipple. Looking up at him, she gave him another cheeky grin, “Mmm, I like that.”

“There’s a lot more of me to like,” Angelus chuckled without a shred of modesty. Just to speed things along, he yanked his shirt off uncaring that it fell to the floor rather than hitting the chair behind him.

“Hey, no fair,” Cordelia complained with a little frown even though it allowed her hands to roam free across the muscled angles of his chest. “I was doing that. Since you’re the do-it-yourself vamp, you can take of your boots next…and the socks. Just leave me the pants.”

Cordelia crossed her arms over her chest and waited for him to comply. The vampire was so amused by her little routine that he simply did as ordered. Let her have her way here, but later she’d learn who was in charge. His black boots hit the floor with two clunks followed quickly by the socks leaving him clad only in those tight leather pants that molded his body leaving very little to the imagination.

Nevertheless, Cordelia was doing her best to fill in the blanks, deciding that some hands-on exploration might be necessary to make sure she was seeing what she thought she was seeing. Eagerly divesting him of his belt, Cordelia was about to let her hand wander downward when Angelus’ hand closed over hers to move it directly to the bulge in the leather.

He forced her to tighten her grip, holding him hard. “That’s for you.”

“All mine?”

As long as he wanted her, Angelus thought, for longer than she might imagine that to be. He had every intention of keeping her for a while. Maybe even forever. Right now he just wanted to fuck her until dawn.

After unbuttoning his pants, the soft rasp of the zipper followed and Cordelia worked his tight pants down around his hips and over that bulging groin. Angelus didn’t help, instead letting her struggle her way to undressing him. Her pink tongue curled along her upper lip she concentrated on maneuvering his pants to the floor.

Angelus had his hand low on his abdomen, ready to grasp his cock as it bounded out of his pants erect and demanding attention. Letting the pants drop to the floor now that the hard work was done, Angelus kicked them off standing nude and fully aroused in front of Cordelia. His fingers curled along the thick shaft as Cordelia took a moment to stare.

Clutching his wrist, Cordelia moved his hand out of the way, cheekily reminding him, “Uh-uh-uh. Mine, remember?”

Tilting her face upward again, Angelus ravaged her mouth with his own as Cordelia slowly, teasingly pumped his cock. His tongue teased at her lips, dipping inside, thrusting deeper as her mouth opened under the force of his kiss. Hands caressed her from the gentle massage of her scalp to the tight squeeze of her ass as the kiss went on, as Angelus slowly bucked against her hand.

Then he moved his mouth to her ear, “Go down on me, Cordy. I want your mouth on me.”

It wasn’t his demand that surprised her. No, that wasn’t a shock at all. In fact, she wanted that too. To taste him. All of him. The soft sound of her name on Angelus’ lips came out as a diminutive endearment. No one had ever said it quite that way before and Cordelia felt stunned by its impact.

There she stood in her spiked high heels and her crimson red dress, Angelus naked in her arms. He said her name like she was his most precious possession demanding something purely sexual in the same breath. When he led her to the bed, tossing back the covers, Cordelia followed without hesitation.

Cordelia mumbled something about her designer dress, but forgot about it as soon as Angelus started kissing her again. They tumbled on the bed until he stopped with her astride him. Giving him a grin that promised him everything he wanted, Cordelia began to kiss her way down the length of his torso.

Now, just thinking back at having Cordelia’s hands and mouth on him was enough to push Angel beyond reason. Standing in the shower with the full force of the water at his back sluicing over his skin, he gave into his need. He’d had a month of thinking about her with no way to ease his arousal and right now he didn’t care who was downstairs within hearing distance.

 


Chase Residence that Same Night

She hadn’t imagined the desire in his eyes, but Cordelia knew it was overlaid with guilt. Telling Angel to get over it might have been wishful thinking, but she wanted no worries that she regretted any part of that night with him as Angelus.

Cordelia arrived home chilled to the bone despite turning up the heater in the car. She showered, climbed into a pair of her comfy pajamas, thoroughly dried her hair and got into bed. Staring blankly at the shadows on the ceiling, she thought about the fact that while she was relieved Angel’s soul had been restored, she would have liked to have been there before it happened. Just to see what the vampire would say to her without his conscience weighing down upon him.

Because she knew that Angelus wanted her. Would still want her. Just as she wanted him. Maybe it was crazy to lust after an evil vampire. Had she been in her right mind at the time, Cordelia felt certain that she would have never let him into her house. It might be just as easy to believe that her normal reaction would probably have led to her being Angelus’ victim rather than his lover.

All theories aside, Cordelia knew that Angelus would be different in ways that had nothing to do with his name. Angel had a soul. Angel had a conscience. Angel had a girlfriend, technically, though Cordelia felt certain that becoming a psychopathic killer and threatening said girlfriend’s life might count as an official breakup of their relationship.

One wild night of hot sex when neither one of them were in complete control of their behavior probably didn’t count for much in comparison to the forbidden fairytale love of a vampire and a slayer. Cordelia hated that thought. Despite the attention he’d given her today and the promise to start fresh, she figured it was all a gesture of friendship sparked by the major guilt trip he was on.

Settling for second best just wasn’t Cordelia’s way. It grated on her just thinking about it. She wanted Angel. Maybe some part of her had never stopped wanting him, but she was just as determined that she wasn’t going to chase after him like she’d done before. No throwing herself at him this time.

If Angel had the guts to own up to wanting her, then he already had an invitation. Until then, she was simply going to relax and wait to see what might happen.

“Am too,” Cordelia grumbled to the ceiling shadows.

The combined excitement of seeing Angel again and the tense drive through the rain sapped her energy. Cordelia quickly drifted to sleep finding her dreams filled with disjointed images of Angelus until one took root and expanded into a visual buffet. Every night she dreamt of him and each time the haze that had locked her memories away revealed more and more.

Right now she could see it all in her mind’s eye.

Cordelia’s dark chestnut hair trailed across Angelus’ pale skin as she kissed her way down his muscular frame. Just as he’d made each kiss unique, she tried to do the same alternating soft smooches, tender sucks and little nibbles with warm wet ones that had the vampire making that purring sound she adored. That contented noise changed to a rumble when her kisses moved along his hip and down to his corded thigh rather than heading straight to his cock.

Lifting his upper body, Angelus sat up on his elbows staring down at the cloud of silky hair covering the view. He’d been relaxing back on the bed, hands folded beneath his head expecting to get the blow-job he’d demanded. Until he realized that Cordelia was deliberately taking her time and teasing him with her kisses and the soft fall of her hair over his skin.

“Enough of that,” Angelus growled, his cock painfully erect and needing attention. He swept her hair to one side holding it so that he could see her face. Cordelia peeked up at him, a mischievous glint in her hazel eyes.

The hand resting on his thigh moved up over his balls to curl around the base of his shaft. Hard and pale like the rest of him, rooted in a bush of dark curls, his sex felt like velvet steel beneath her touch. Longer than two hands fisted together, so thick her fingers barely met enclosing around him.

Terrifying. All hers.

Angelus arched at the first touch of her open mouth on the tip of his cock. She held him steady and moved her head back and forth letting her bottom lip and the tip of her tongue tease the edge of his foreskin. Cordelia followed his suggestions and took wild guesses at what might feel good against the sensitive flesh of his cock.

Taking him deeper into her mouth, she pulled back to suck hard on the tip, her head moving in a constant pattern that seemed to draw deep growls of pleasure from his chest. The languid movements of her hand sped up causing Angelus to buck hard against her nearly causing her to gag in automatic response as he hit the back of her throat.

He sat up, pulling Cordelia up with him so that she sat across his thighs, his erection still standing tall between them. Tugging her hard against him, Angelus kissed her almost savagely then set her back, moving her arms over her head. “Don’t move.”

Then he peeled her dress from her body, pulling it over her head and her arms to let it fall to the floor. Taking in the sight of Cordelia’s nearly sheer black bra, Angelus let out a very male grunt of approval as his amber-tinted eyes washed over her lush breasts covered by that thin material. Her dusky nipples and areolas showed through the gauzy silk making his mouth water in anticipation of tasting her there. Normally, he’d bite without hesitation, not to mention the fact that he’d be pounding her into the mattress by now if he was thinking straight.

Instead, Angelus buried his face between her breasts, his hands moving up to cup both in his palms. He drew in her scent, muttering against her skin, “You’re so damn beautiful, Cordy. I want to look at you. I want to watch you ride me.”

Cordelia’s hands were between them again, this time just holding his hard cock against her belly and pressing it close to her skin. Imagining having him inside her.

Ripping away the matching thong, Angelus pressed his thumb through her curls going straight for her clit. He wasn’t trying for slow arousal; who the hell wanted to wait. She was lucky he wanted to see her face light up with pleasure instead of pain.

Angelus turned his hand, twisting his fingers along the soft folds guarding her sex moving them along the already slick skin. When she writhed against his fingers, her breath gasping and needy tones tumbling from her throat, he told her, “Go for it, kitten. Take me in. Do you know what to do?”

Nodding, Cordelia decided it wasn’t that hard to figure out. At least she thought that way until it came to joining them together. She started to laugh about their trouble at the door until a look of panic cross her face at the realization that maybe it wasn’t so funny after all. “Maybe the key’s too big.”

“I’ve got more than enough for you, Cordelia,” Angelus’ mouth quirked up into a sexy as hell smirk, “but I promise you we’ll fit. Open up to me. I’ll fill you up.”

Sloe-eyed and tingly with anticipation, she quipped, “Mmm. Master vamp, master key.”

His ribald chuckling vibrated against her breasts as he pulled her flush against his chest. Reaching between them, Angelus guided the broad tip of his cock inside her. Holding Cordelia tight, his hands against her hips, Angelus thrust hard delighting in the low sound that left her throat as her body squeezed around him.

Cordelia knew a moment of panic where she felt like a butterfly impaled upon a pin. There was no patient waiting. No time for adjustment, but Angelus moved his hips in a deep even rhythm maintaining tight control over his thrusts. All pain from his entry vanished quickly replaced by sparks of pleasure building up inside her.

Encouraging her to move with him, he slid his hands up and down her spine until her whole body seemed to know the rhythm. Straightening up, Cordelia began a slow-paced rise and fall, her inner muscles clenching and releasing, her thighs flexing and her breath sounding in shuddering waves as he speared her core.

“Angelus, Angelus,” she couldn’t seem to catch her breath to say more than his name, though her thoughts raced ahead along with her increasing rhythm.

Cordelia’s hands smoothed over his chest, pressing down as she worked her body closer to that distant peak she had to reach. Beneath her, Angelus’ lusty growls sounded in her ears. His hands wandered everywhere, finally settling back on her breasts and teasing her swollen nipples still confined in the gossamer silk of her bra.

He pulled her closer to lick those hard tips with his tongue, sucking them into his mouth along with the thin barrier one after the other.

When the bra suddenly disappeared through convenient dream magic or simply the use of his hands, Angelus filled his palms with her warm golden flesh and used his skillful mouth to drive her wild. Cordelia paused pressing her breasts forward to get closer, her eyes lustrous as she watched him. She felt so full of him, Angelus’ body stretching hers; holding him deep inside her hot, slick walls.

One of his hands left her breast to slide around her body, cupping the firm curve of her ass. Then bucking beneath her Angelus thrust his hips hard against her, a silent reminder to keep moving. After that, he was no longer silent, setting her back to let her ride him at a faster pace, his hands moving along her dewy skin as he watched her unfettered breasts bounce and her hair fly around her shoulders.

“That’s it, vixen. Ride me hard. Get yourself off,” Angelus crooned.

Rising up, Cordelia slammed down fast feeling his hard thighs against her bottom and his cock so big and deep. She wanted all of him inside her. Deep, harder, more of him. Now, again, faster. Pleasure crested and Cordelia cried out with the intensity of it. Angelus met her gaze and watched the fire light her eyes as she came.

In that moment, he needed his mouth on her, had to taste those rosy lips that were emitting such lusty little sounds. Angelus pulled her down and rolled them over in one smooth motion, finding her mouth and setting her legs around his hips all at the same time. She was still shuddering around him, sparks of pleasure shooting across her sex as Angelus set a relentless rhythm eking out every reaction.

Cordelia wound her arms around him, hands clutching the muscles that bunched and flexed beneath her fingertips as his back arched. She thought she might drown in his kisses or die from pure pleasure as it wracked her body. But his mouth didn’t remain on hers. It pressed hot kisses along the line of her jaw, sucked on the spot on her neck just below her earlobe pressing up against her pulse point.

Low vampiric sounds rumbled from Angelus’ chest as he fucked Cordelia with a pace designed to get him off. He pounded into her, his body arching, hips pivoting. It had to be harder and faster than anything her nubile young body had ever experienced, but the keening cries that filled his ears only spurred him on.

Damn, he wanted to bite her. Sink his fangs in that throat arched so unconsciously toward him. Angelus didn’t bother trying to hide the face of his demon. Hell, he was his demon and wanted to see how Cordelia would react. She only met his amber gaze with her own lust-filled eyes, the words from her lush mouth echoing his earlier demands.

Whether it was the sound of those earthy words on her pretty lips or the fact that Cordelia didn’t shriek in fear, he came hard shooting deep within her velvet heat. His fangs trailed along her throat as his head dipped low. It was all he could do to pull back as instinct and desire drove him to bite that unmarked skin.

Later, Angelus ordered himself to control that need. He wanted to wait. He needed more of this tight golden body with its lush curves and shining dark hair. Those eyes sparkled with lust and life. She was so warm. Just a little longer, he thought. Until the dawn came. Until he’d quenched this thirst that had risen up inside him.

Holding him tight against her body, Cordelia hugged Angelus with her arms and legs. His head was tucked along her shoulder and somewhere in the back of her head she knew that he’d made an effort not to bite her.

Feeling a tap on her shoulder, Cordelia opened her eyes glancing up to see an irate blonde standing at the end of her bed. Buffy glared down at their naked forms and stated simply, “That’s my boyfriend.”

Cordelia jerked into a sitting position, startled out of her sleep at the sight of Buffy Summers. Heart hammering in her chest, she quickly realized she was dreaming. “Geez! That was so not the way it happened. Not the Buffy part.”

Not until the next morning anyway. That’s when the boyfriend-stealing accusations came despite the fact that Buffy truly believed Angelus to be a totally separate entity apart from Angel. Settling down again, Cordelia recalled the rest of her dream. It was much more pleasant to think back on that. She squeezed her thighs together feeling the delicious ache in between.

 


Sunnydale High School Library

Angel entered the library unseen by the trio gathered at the table. Their heads close together in an effort of concentration, Buffy, Willow and Xander stared at the open tome from their varying points of view.

“How I’ve missed these little research parties,” Angel made his presence known as he strode toward them garbed in his traditional dark clothes and leather coat, the sarcasm in his voice churning a sour note.

All three lifted their heads simultaneously giving Angel the momentary impression of a three-headed beast looking for a fight. Obviously perturbed with him, they glared sharply and it was Xander who beat the others to the punch quipping, “Looky here. Soul Boy has returned to the fold.”

“You’re late,” Buffy stated as if she’d been watching the clock and ticking off each passing minute in her head. “Where have you been? I told you we were getting started at eight sharp.”

Angel got the feeling that Buffy felt she needed to keep tabs on him and wanted him under her sharp little gaze to assure herself that he wasn’t experiencing any random bouts of complete happiness without her. Despite the fact that she knew his soul was bound.

“I had a few issues to deal with at home,” Angel explained despite the fact that doing so grated across his nerves. What he did on his own was really none of her business, but he knew Buffy would continue to prod until she got some kind of answer. “Spike and Dru have decided… to take a vacation.”

They certainly wouldn’t be back in Sunnydale for a while. Not after the discusson they’d had a while ago.

Buffy’s jaw dropped a little just before she recovered stating, “You took care of those two nut cases on your own? Shoulda dusted them. Makes no diff though…you’re still late.”

Scanning the room, Angel noticed one conspicuous absence. “Looks like I’m not the only one.”

“Giles will be right back,” Willow explained quickly never noticing her blond friend’s shoulders stiffened in response to his comment. Buffy knew that he wasn’t referring to the Watcher. “He had to run home for one of his reference books and will be back in a jiffy.”

“I meant Cordelia,” clarified Angel catching the way that Xander’s glare turned a little hostile as he said her name.

Xander revealed, “Cor doesn’t come to the meetings anymore.”

“We don’t need her here,” Buffy explained. “Not like she did much anyway. She’d rather be at the Bronze.”

Angel’s jaw tightened almost imperceptibly. Sensing that this had nothing to do with her breakup with Xander Harris, he felt it had something to do with him. Though he was curious to know more, it wasn’t these three he wanted to give him answers. So that would have to wait.

“Then let’s get on with it,” Angel cut straight back to business. “What trouble has the Hellmouth stirred up tonight?”

A sigh of relief sounded on Buffy’s lips, one he detected, but pushed to the back of his mind. Being here right now suddenly seemed like the last place he wanted to be. Before, Angel had been content to simply be present. To do his share. To be here for her. For Buffy.

Now, minus the young woman who was constantly in his thoughts, Angel found his priorities suddenly divided. This was where he should be. With Buffy. Fighting the good fight. Living up to the words he’d spoken to her the night before her birthday when he’d given her the claddagh ring on her finger. The one still worn on her hand and pointing toward her heart symbolizing that she belonged to somebody.

That she belonged to him.

Was it possible for friendship and devotion to undergo such radical change in the course of a month? That love and loyalty could alter from a state of clarity to shades of grey?

Knowing that his actions hurt Buffy and that despite the return of his soul he wanted Cordelia no less now than he had that night, Angel figured he needed to focus on doing the right thing. Whatever that might be. Maybe that meant avoiding Cordelia. Cutting her out of his life just as this trio had done.

Angel would as soon cut off his arm. That simply wasn’t an option. Even if having her again was not an option…not right, seeing her was a must. Being in Cordelia’s sphere felt compulsory. He didn’t know why. Beyond the constant, rampant desire, Angel wanted to know her in ways beyond just the physical.

Cordelia had always been something of a mystery to him. Brass bitch on the outside and beautiful beyond measure, he knew she was far more than she seemed. He’d been curious, but not enough to find out what the brunette was all about, a fact that only added to the guilt already piling up and weighing him down.

He’d been too wrapped up in himself and Buffy to really take notice, to look deeper than that beautiful surface with its more obvious flaws in the form of her caustic wit, vanity and egocentric outlook. Cordelia had a brave streak he’d never credited her with. Time and again, she’d placed herself in danger as the bait in their demon trap.

What demon in his right mind, much less one drunk and without full control of his instincts, would not snap at the chance to go after her? As Angelus, he had certainly not bothered to fight his baser urges. He reveled in them finding Cordelia to be eager and energetic.

“Hello! Angel, you’ve zoned out,” Buffy waved a hand in front of his face. “You asked what we were up against.”

Angel slowly returned his attention back to Buffy and nodded, “Right.”

“Think fast, Dead Boy.” Xander tossed one of Giles’ precious tomes in the vampire’s direction causing Angel’s lightning reflexes to kick in catching the book with ease.

Buffy told him, “It isn’t human, hunts at night and drains the blood of its victims, but not like a vampire. We came across a survivor.”

“Not that he survived for long,” Willow pointed out with a squiggly move showing she was a little wigged out by the experience. “Just long enough to describe his killer.”

Between the three of them, they managed to convey a description of the demon in question. Angel took his spot on the steps and opened the book trying to focus on the words inscribed within to find details on a demon he already recognized just to provide them with something to look at.

It was impossible. Now he found himself thinking of the fact that Cordelia was out there alone with some demon on the loose. No matter that she might be one of a crowd, Cordelia Chase would stand out amongst the rest.

These three would easily have her between them and the demon waiting for it to show. Angel wasn’t proud of the fact that he’d witnessed that activity on patrol. More than once and yet he hadn’t stopped it. He’d let her stick her neck out a little further than was safe.

Mad at himself for his past behavior and madder still at the trio standing around the table of research materials for banishing Cordelia from their circle of friends, Angel growled out his anger. “I’m surprised you didn’t ask Cordelia back to play bait.”

Buffy glanced over her shoulder at him. “We don—”

“Don’t need her?” Angel finished for her stalking over from the steps to stand beside her. “That’s what you said before. You mean you don’t want her here.”

Swerving around, Buffy admitted, “No, I don’t. That bitch slept with my boyfriend, so that doesn’t exactly make me her best friend.”

Sharp as dagger’s, Xander’s glare cut across the distance separating them. “She had a thing for you from the first. Now that you’re here, it’s just as well that she’s not.”

“Are you going to add anything?” Angel found himself breathing hard with the force of his anger, now facing Willow.

The redhead shook her head. She’d been caught in the middle of the Buffy-Xander argument about Cordelia for the past month.

Without even waiting for a verbal response, Angel demanded, “Listen to me. I’m going to say this once.”

Taken aback, Buffy looked like she wanted to interrupt, but his dark gaze narrowed upon her until her pouty little mouth tightened up and stayed closed.

“What happened between Cordelia and me wasn’t her fault,” Angel shoved the book down on the table. “Instead of blaming her, you should think about the fact that if I hadn’t been stinking drunk Cordelia would most likely be dead. You’d have buried her in the ground instead of getting off on torturing me for a month.”

“You think I enjoyed seeing you like that?” Buffy gaped horrified that he would think she liked having to keep Angelus under control. “There were plenty of victims for Angelus to choose from. Why her? Why Cordelia?”

So many ways to answer that question, thought Angel. Cordelia was there. I wanted to fuck her raw, drain her blood and feed her mine.

The thought of it still caused his sex to stir, desire tightening his balls at the idea of claiming Cordelia. Turning her made his heart ache to even consider, but the notion of sinking his fangs into her flesh was entirely different. “I— Angelus thought it might piss you off to find he’d turned one of your friends. Guess Cordelia would actually have to be your friend for you to care.”

“Sleeping with my boyfriend kind of changes things,” Buffy pointed out. “Xander is right. She’s always been after you. Wanted you. This just let her taking advantage.”

Angel poked a finger at his own chest. “I’m the one who took advantage. Cordelia was being manhandled outside the Bronze that night. Some football player planned to drive her home & take every advantage he could.”

Suddenly, Xander looked a little pale. “H-he was going to rape her?”

Willow flinched at the word and the thoughts that came with it. “Eep!”

Trying to appear unmoved by it, Buffy found she could not joke about that situation. “Cordelia never mentioned it.”

Somehow, that didn’t surprise Angel at all. “I stepped in and dealt with the jerk and his friends.”

Jaw dropping, Xander sounded a little awed. “Angelus rescuing one of us? Maybe we should check for snow outside cos I think the Hellmouth just froze over.”

“Don’t think I saved her because it was the right thing to do,” Angel was quick to correct him. Admitting, “I wanted her for myself. Those plans may have ended with the thought of draining her, but they started with having her in my bed.”

Xander was sending him that death glare again.

Looking sad and confused, Buffy asked, “What happened, Angel?”

Hadn’t Angelus already given her a detailed play-by-play? He knew she wasn’t asking for that kind of information. When he was a captive, Angelus rammed all of the sexy tidbits down her throat. Buffy sensed there were feelings involved and didn’t see how one night could have such an impact on a soulless demon.

Frankly, Angel wondered about that himself. “That’s between me and Cordelia.”

“I’d say it’s my business,” Buffy commented defensively.

“Mine too,” Xander dared to say.

Willow admitted, “Not mine,” but she didn’t move an inch to avoid hearing something that might not be news she needed to hear.

With a grunt of acknowledgement, Angel shifted his gaze to the books on the table. He picked up Vortak’s Demonology Compendium, an alphabetized list of various demon species, turning to the one he knew they were after. “This is the demon you’re looking for. Child’s play if you know how to kill it. You won’t need me on this one, Buffy.”

Turning on his heel, Angel walked out of the library leaving the doors swinging closed behind him. He walked into the night knowing that he had to be anywhere but there right now. Although it wasn’t just anywhere he was headed.

Angel ended up at the Bronze. He couldn’t consciously admit to himself why he was there, not until he spotted Cordelia in the crowd. Watching her for a while, Angel stuck to the shadows. She had a group gathered around her listening in or simply gaping at her beautiful smile.

Someone pointed to him making Angel realize that he’d stepped closer while continuing to stare in Cordelia’s direction. She glanced over her shoulder looking a little surprised, but her smile never faded. Cordelia said something to the group which immediately dispersed into the crowd and then she turned to walk toward him.

“Hey there, Broody Boy,” she grinned at him. “How’s that guilt trip going?”

“It’s going,” Angel responded not quite knowing how to say that feeling guilty hadn’t done a damn thing to change the fact that he wanted her.

Cordelia laughed at his gloomy expression. He looked so out of place here at the club where people were here to have a good time. “I thought you’d be up to your fangs in research by now.”

“I left.”

That seemed strange. Guessing wildly, “Splinters in your ass from sitting on the stairs?”

“No, just— thinking about you,” Angel’s words made Cordelia catch her breath. Wanting to hear from her about her exclusion from the gang, he prompted, “Tell me why you’ve been avoiding me.”

“Avoiding you?” Cordelia let out that breath in a short huff. Then thinking it might not be the best idea to point fingers, she commented, “I was just giving you some space. I didn’t want to crowd you.”

Angel stepped impossibly close so their bodies were separated only by a thin layer of light. “Was it your decision, Cordy, or did they keep you away from me?”

Drawing in a sharp breath, Cordelia admitted that it was a mixture of both. “At first, Giles kept me out of his house. Told me he didn’t want to expose me to anything you might say.”

“Maybe that was a good idea,” he realized the watcher had only been trying to protect Cordelia from his soulless perverted nature. At the same time, the thought of Rupert Giles baring her from his presence pissed him off.

Nibbling at her lower lip, Cordelia further explained, “After a while, I stayed away on purpose. I decided it would be best for both of us.”

The idea stabbed at him like a hot poker. His response was automatic, coming in the form of a growl and a demand, “Don’t make decisions for us when I’m not involved.”

Gaping in surprise at his words, she lifted a hand to his chest, still gazing directly into his fathomless eyes searching for hidden meanings. “Is there an ‘us’?”

Part of him wanted to show her that there was definitely something between them. Whatever it was, even if it couldn’t be named, it did exist. Only Angel knew that he had no business making such declarations. So he confessed softly, “We had one incredible, unforgettable night and I can’t seem to get it or you out of my head.”

“Neither can I,” Cordelia answered as the club lights dimmed and the soft strains of a ballad began to play in the background.

Angel’s hand closed over hers as it rested on his chest, the urge to have her in his arms so powerful that he would overcome any obstacle to make it so. “Dance with me.”

They barely danced as the music played. Cordelia’s arms slipped around his broad shoulders pulling her body closer into his hard frame. Keeping his hands moving, Angel pressed his fingers along her back moving at a slow, sensuous pace up and down the length of her spine. Until one crept up to the nape of her neck, cupping her there and tracing the edge of her jaw with his thumb.

Cordelia knew her heart was beating a rickety tune and she kept forgetting how to breathe as she looked up at him, their eyes locked together as their bodies touched and moved with the rhythm of the music. She wanted his mouth on hers, to feel the weight of his kiss. For a moment, it appeared that she would get her way, but Angel came within a hair’s breadth of her lips and moved no closer.

He felt the whisper of Cordelia’s sweet breath upon his lips, causing Angel to realize what he was about to do. Slowly, reluctantly he pulled back.

A glint of anger appeared in her hazel orbs as Angel watched Cordelia’s reaction. She waited purposefully for him to make that last move despite wanting to crush her lips against him, but he obviously didn’t want to make it. Whether it was guilt over Buffy or over the night Angelus spent with her, Cordelia realized he wasn’t ready to make a choice.

“I think it’s time I went home,” Cordelia told him, unwrapping her arms and sliding her hands down to his chest signaling with a little pressure that she wanted to move.

Stifling his grumbled protest, Angel nodded his understanding and released her from his arms. Though one hand stayed at the small of her back as he suggested, “Walk you to your car?”

“Sure,” Cordelia grinned at that. “Ever the gentleman, Angel?”

Angel’s thoughts had nothing to do with being gentlemanly, but he was determined to ignore the primal urges that kept demanding he kiss her, taste her, take her and make her his forever. For now, he’d settle for keeping her where he could have her in his sight. “I’ll see you at the school library tomorrow. Scooby meeting. Usual time. Don’t be late.”

“The slayer’s got a thing about tardiness?” quipped Cordelia with a raised brow. Her eyes silently questioned whether it was a good idea to follow through with that idea.

“Actually, yes,” Angel’s mouth curled upward. Then more seriously, he commented, “You shouldn’t be excluded because of me.”

Rolling her eyes, Cordelia pretended that it hadn’t hurt. “Why should I care about being there when nobody wants me? I have far better thi—”

“I want you…there,” Angel tilted her chin up to study her face reading the myriad emotions glittering in her eyes. There was a challenge to his voice, one he expected she would take.

Cordelia agreed knowing that she’d rather face Buffy and Xander any day than go another one without seeing him. “Okay.”

They’d reached her car. Cordelia pressed the button to unlock the door finding Angel holding it open for her. Such a contrast to they way Angelus behaved when he’d tried to force her to dig under the car for her own keys and then demanded to drive her car. Not that he’d won either of those arguments, Cordelia thought with a little smile.

“Goodnight, Cordy,” her name sounded as a soft endearment on his lips.

Echoing his farewell, Cordelia grinned in response, “Goodnight, Angel.”

Neither one of them seemed to be moving apart. Angel traced her bottom lip with his thumb imagining his mouth there. “Pleasant dreams.”

A wicked glint suddenly appeared in Cordelia’s eyes, her voice warm and honeyed as she assured him, “Oh, they will be.”

Angel knew then that she dreamt about him the same way, reliving that night over and over again. Stepping back away from Cordelia and the car door, he kept his gaze on her. “Mine too.”

 


Chase Residence, Cordelia’s Bedroom

Brushing her dark chestnut tresses to a lustrous sheen, Cordelia closed her eyes feeling the sensuous tug of the soft bristles against her hair. Those steady strokes had an almost hypnotic effect as her mind turned inward, focusing elsewhere… on him. Just as it had in some form or fashion for the past month turned to thoughts of Angelus whenever bedtime neared.

What a surprise to see Angel at the Bronze. Looking for answers, he’d sought her out and taking her into his arms they’d danced in a slow circle. Not once had she joked at his limited dance moves because Cordelia realized he was just as desperate as she to simply hold on. Cordelia knew he meant to kiss her, but there was no planning involved only instinct accompanied by the harsh reality check that held him back.

Buffy.

Not even there in physical form, all it took was the thought of the blond slayer. Cordelia could read it in his eyes. Guilt rising up and taking hold. Maybe Angel’s soul had returned and with it feelings for Buffy, but it was clear he hadn’t forgotten her or their night together. He felt conflicted just as Cordelia knew he would be.

Strangely, Cordelia wasn’t angry that he held off even though she wanted nothing more than to feel his mouth on hers. Angelus had awakened her to passion, but there was more to it. Something that tugged at her heart in a way no one else ever had.

Whatever existed between them, she didn’t want it mired in guilt, confusion or doubt, but she wasn’t going to hide or shy away from it. If it took braving the Scooby Meeting tomorrow night, then she’d do it.

Maybe Angel was a vampire, but it had been weeks since Cordelia decided that she no longer cared. That she’d seen him at his worst and wanted him anyway. With his soul restored, Cordelia thought she knew the kind of person he tried to be. Someone good and selfless who fought against his own kind to make the world a better place. Fighting against the darkness of his past.

It couldn’t be easy.

Jenny Calendar taught Cordelia more about Angelus than she’d ever learned from Giles, Buffy or even the vampire himself. The stories should have frightened her off. It sickened her to know some of the things Angelus did in back in the day, but his life had changed so much since being cursed by the Kalderash Romani.

The soul made a difference, one that forced him to walk a fine line. When Angel backed away from that potential kiss, it was because he knew what loyalty meant, knew the meaning of love and would not break whatever promise existed between himself and Buffy Summers.

One night of drunken passion could not erase what Angel felt for Buffy. No matter that Cordelia wished it was that simple. Even though her body hummed with the thought of being with him, Cordelia knew he was trying to do the right thing. That just made him all the more appealing.

The more she thought about it, the more Cordelia admired him for trying. After all, resisting Cordelia Chase took more than mere effort. Besides, Angel was kind of a hottie considering he wasn’t even human. Okay. Sheesh! So maybe that was a huge understatement, hello! Every muscular inch of him made her insides melt.

Oh, the things that Angelus did to her that night. A spontaneous and dreamy smile lit her face. No wonder she’d been a little sore in the morning. Deliciously so.

Would it be the same, Cordelia wondered, now that Angel’s soul had been restored?

Her bed had become a playground for their passionate romp that night. Romp, romps, multiple romping. Angelus fucked like a demon. There was no love involved. It was passionate, forceful, demanding and playful. Always in control.

She knew he held back for her sake from the darker side of his nature. Not that she had considered it that night after striking her little deal with Angelus. No, Cordelia had simply lost herself the way he made her feel and held back nothing. Even when he played a little rough.

“Try it this way.” Angelus flipped her onto her hands and knees to thrust into her from behind. Both hands on the firm curves of her ass, he braced himself to piston his hips even faster going far deeper than before.

Cordelia cried out demanding that he keep going as his thick cock rubbed up against a sweet spot that made her convulse around him. “Oh!” She felt the sting of his palm on her bottom, not hard enough to really hurt, but leaving her skin hot and tingling beneath his cool palm.

Looking over her shoulder, Cordelia caught the focused passion on Angelus’ face and the deep amber tint of his eyes as he gazed down at their connected bodies. Feeling what he was seeing, she envied him that view. That hard shaft thrusting, thrusting, thrusting deep, rubbing against the swollen folds stretching around his sex while her creamy essence eased his way glistening around him. Inner muscles clamped down tight around him as he kept up his aggressive tempo.

Ardent rumbles welled deep in his chest as Cordelia’s keening moans joined his and the rhythmic slap of skin on skin in filling the room with the sound of their passion. All that mattered was being there with him and the way he could make her body writhe in ecstasy. Nothing existed then and there to confuse this with lovemaking, Cordelia realized in hindsight.

Not that she’d really cared at the time about making a differentiation. Cordelia Chase went after what she wanted and right then and there that was it. His every touch, word and utterance confirmed that his need and desire was all for her.

No matter that this was Angelus, an evil vampire, a soulless creature of the night. No matter his slayer connections. No matter the danger. No matter how playful his mood or that it could turn on a dime. No matter that the super-human strength and power he exuded came with a dominant streak.

He was still the man she wanted.

Those skillful hands caressed her skin, knowing just how to touch her. When they held her down, Cordelia’s protests only spurred him on, but the sensation of his overwhelming power gave her already buzzed system a thrill. He couldn’t stop her mouth while his was occupied elsewhere and snatching the opportunity to call out a few commands of her own made the experience even more exciting.

Even when Angelus vamped out again before taking her up on those suggestions and used his fangs to tease her skin, Cordelia reveled in it. His skilled mouth working her into a frenzy… just the memory of it left her wet and wanting.

So would it be the same now that the soul had been restored? Would Angel still fuck like a demon or was it all about tenderness and making love? Geez, was it so bad to want both and to hope she might get it? It wasn’t just his body she craved, Cordelia acknowledged the deep ache inside her.

She wanted everything Angel could possibly give her and knew if the chance came, she would show him just how much heart Cordelia Chase possessed.

 


Crawford Street Mansion

Back home, the mansion seemed huge and lonely to Angel. Being alone had never been quite so discomforting. He’d worn loneliness like a mantle for decades. It was a shroud that kept him from endangering others, from exposing himself to temptation. He hadn’t been completely isolated over the years, but close enough.

Coming to Sunnydale changed all that. For the most part. Watching over Buffy, being with Buffy, backing her up on patrol, it had all been about her and making him feel— just making him feel something other than guilt.

Well that feeling was back with a vengeance. Once again, it was all about her. This time, he certainly had a fresh load of it piled high.

Angel had never loved anyone in his two hundred plus years as a vampire. Nobody. Now it seemed he’d opened himself up to feeling less than he should for Buffy and more than he should for Cordelia. Way, way more than he should.

It was safe to say Angel thought he was headed straight to obsession. Assuming he wasn’t already there.

Glancing around the mansion, Angel realized why he felt so out of place and alone. Because he was alone and no one would darken the door of this building considering it’s current condition. Spike and Drusilla had left in a rush after their confrontation and the place was a mess.

It could also use a good dusting.

Better see to that if I ever expect guests to come over, the thought came and went. He tried to ignore the meaning behind it, but found it impossible. Guests? Who am I kidding here? I mean Cordelia.

Even drunk, she’d called him on it stating that the place was full of crazy vampires and dusty cobwebs. Well, he’d already taken care of the vampires. Except for the one who was really crazy, it seemed: himself.

Who was he to imagine bringing Cordelia here? Apparently, he was the seducer of inebriated young women, a vampire tied by a promise of devotion to someone else no matter the heartache and angry words that passed between Buffy and himself after losing his soul. That certainly hadn’t stopped him from going after Cordelia and seeking her out at the Bronze.

It had been so damned hard to stop from himself from kissing her tonight. Dancing with her and holding her in his arms made him feel like he was going up in flames. Then at the car, all Angel wanted to do was taste the honeyed nectar of her arousal as her body betrayed her reaction to him. She wanted it just as much as he did. Hell, he wanted to have her right there against the car.

Only he kept thinking of Buffy.

How could he not? The guilt ate at his soul. Buffy, who had made such an impact on his emotions, who showed strength and fought against the darkness with everything she had to give, was not to blame for any action of his.

Angel felt tied to her, but was it only out of guilt and a sense of obligation?

He’d given her a ring. A promise. He’d meant every syllable at the time and when he made love to her, he’d lost himself to his feelings and forgotten the darkness, forgotten anything but her.

Then his soul was gone and he felt like himself again…Angelus, a demon whose only worry was trying to purge the memory of sleeping with the enemy. Maybe he’d come close, but it wasn’t the Irish whiskey. Just Cordelia. One night of pure passion with a beautiful teenager whose woman’s body and sudden lack of fear or inhibitions were more than a match for his desire.

Now Angel couldn’t get her out of his thoughts; his body reacted just thinking of her. He barely knew Cordelia Chase, he realized the fact. That needed to change. He had purposefully tried to avoid her in the past. What he did know he had garnered from quiet observations.

Okay, so he had looked at her in the past too. Surreptitiously, of course. Easy on the eyes was only an understatement of her outward beauty. That long, silky hair; her gorgeous face and golden skin; those firm, full breasts with their pebbled mouth-watering nipples; her long legs with those supple thighs and that lush, rounded ass all called his attention to her physical form. He might be a vampire, but he was still male.

The mere thought of Cordelia stirred his lust. Angel growled at his body’s automatic reaction, but could not stop the rush of memories that followed.

His nights of excess were finally catching up with him. Angelus lay sprawled on the bed, his legs stretched out, one hand resting on his washboard stomach and the other curled around Cordelia’s shoulder as she contentedly snuggled into him.

A soft sigh sounded on her lips, her hazel eyes appearing bright from lack of sleep as she forced herself to keep them open. Afraid to close them and let sleep claim her because then the night would be over. Curling one long leg over his, Cordelia turned on her side to trail her fingers down that pale perfect flesh stretched over Angelus’ muscular chest.

Just that slight touch made him want her again. Lifting her face to his, Angelus leant forward to kiss. Starting out by claiming her lips, he branded himself across that silken mouth drawing her equally fiery response. Then his touch gentled as his hand trailed across her jaw and down the smooth line of her throat. His kisses started to wander eliciting delighted little moans as his cool lips touched her heated skin.

Cordelia caught him by surprise as his mouth opened to lick the pulse point at her throat, pushing his shoulders back down to the bed and swinging her leg back over his hips to straddle him. “Not so fast. There’s the no biting deal, remember?”

Honestly, Angelus couldn’t remember a damn thing about agreeing not to bite. That was the plan all along. His hands slid along the outer edge of her golden thighs, up the line of her body to cup her breasts in his palms stroking along their curves. “Just a little nibble,” his mouth quirked into that sexy smirk she loved.

“Nuh-uh,” Cordelia shouldn’t have found it funny that Angelus was back on the old subject of biting, but her inebriated brain suddenly decided differently.

A mischievous gleam appeared in her eyes as her tongue ran the gamut across the pink curves of her mouth. “Nibbles sound good…as long as I’m the one doing the nibbling.”

“Oh, yeah,” Angelus found the thought of her teeth on him distracting. “Bite me.”

Dawn remained an hour or two away as Cordelia began her playful mapping of his body with her hands and mouth. The use of her teeth brought a gruff rumble of pleasure to his throat and she could swear purring. Her nails trailed lightly over his skin until they reached a spot where Angelus let out a sharp yelp snatching her hand away.

“Not there.”

Peeking up at him, Cordelia realized she’d found a vulnerability in her vampire. He was ticklish. At least there. She pressed her mouth onto the spot on his abdomen, opening up to lathe a little circle around it while her fingers experimentally moved to the other side.

“Cordy!” The vampire tossed her back on the bed and half growled as they faced off across the length of the mattress. “No tickling.”

“So the poor vampire can’t take it, huh?” Cordelia grinned devilishly, moving so she was in a better position to pounce.

Angelus rose onto his knees, giving Cordelia an eyeful of the muscular angles and planes of his body. Momentarily distracted, she wasn’t expecting him to move so fast or that her own method of teasing torture would be used against her. They wrestled on the bed and Angelus sportingly allowed her to wriggle away from him only so that he could capture her again.

Squealing in delight and begging for him to stop, Cordelia determinedly made her escape. “No more. Stay over there,” she panted breathlessly. Geez, she could barely even keep her eyes open despite the fun. Nevertheless, Cordelia was calculating her next move.

“Not a chance,” Angelus smirked at her grabbing her wrist and giving her arm a little yank so that she fell forward on the bed landing on her stomach. He lost his balance, tumbling forward as the bed bounced in response.

As he found himself suddenly staring at the firm, full curves of Cordelia’s beautiful bottom, thoughts of claiming victory in their little tickle game drifted off. His large hands smoothed over those curves filling his palms with that warm flesh. There was no contemplative thought taking place, just seeing, touching… and tasting. Angelus bit down hard into that luscious ass sinking his fangs into her flesh.

Cordelia let out a yelp at the sharp sensation, but moaned at the cool tongue lapping at her skin. It felt… she drifted down into a state of unconsciousness as sleep finally claimed her. Her vampire lover was equally exhausted, the effects of several nights of drinking seriously affecting his usual stamina.

With his head pillowed against her bottom, Angelus fell asleep.

Now recalling the event, Angel knew that it had not been just a little love bite as he had explained the next morning when he awakened to find himself shackled to her bed. Then Cordelia bit him on the ass for revenge the next morning, which frankly had only turned him on. Until she sprinkled that garlic into the flesh-wound and then it had hurt like hell for days.

Damn, Cordy could be a vicious bitch when it came down to it. Angel found himself grinning at the prospect. Vaguely, he wondered if his bite left a permanent scar and the curiosity to see it burst inside him.

“Hey, Cordy,” he imagined himself saying. “Mind if I take a look?”

Nope. That would only get his ass kicked. He’d lost any opportunity he had by not demanding to see it that morning.

Angel spent the rest of the night trying not to think of kissing and nibbling his way across Cordelia’s golden skin. These were no longer memories he was dredging up, but pure fantasy bringing her here into his bed. Beneath him. With his hands and mouth on that satin flesh.

He felt a twinge of guilt for fantasizing about Cordelia instead of Buffy, but Angel honestly had never imagined the blonde in quite the same way. Pushing aside all thoughts of remorse in favor of getting back to the more pleasant mental pursuit of pleasuring Cordelia, Angel figured there was enough time for brooding tomorrow.

 


Sunnydale High School Library

Angel paced like a caged panther across the tile floor of the library his dark clothes and the sinewy graceful moves adding to the impression. To the counter one way, completing an efficient turn and stalking to the steps. Back and forth moving in a steady pace and not bothering to take notice of the eyes staring in his direction or the conversations going on because of it.

“It’s weird,” Buffy scowled as she watched Angel pacing. Normally, he was so still that they barely noticed his presence in the room. She sat on top of the table as they waited for Giles to start the meeting. Only her watcher appeared otherwise occupied as well.

Elbowing Willow, she nodded in the direction of the main desk where Giles and Jenny were standing supposedly talking, but really making goo-goo eyes at each other. The redhead muttered, “Angel’s not the only weird one.”

Buffy was still a little irritated with Jenny Calendar. She was torn between being very grateful that Ms Calendar had restored Angel’s soul, especially permanently, and the anger that still welled up whenever she realized the teacher had been in touch with Cordelia the whole time Angelus was their prisoner. Keeping the cheerleader in the loop when Buffy no longer thought she had a right to be there.

As the library doors swung open, Angel stopped pacing, but only to give Xander a silent nod of acknowledgement as he came through the door carrying two pizzas. “Never fear, the food is here,” Xander quipped as he entered sparing the vampire a lukewarm glance.

“What kind did you get?” Buffy queried holding out her hands for one of the boxes. It was never a good sign that Giles paid for pizza before patrol rather than afterward.

“Veggie Deluxe,” shuddering dramatically, he handed that one over, “and one with the works.”

Willow peeked in the second box. “No anchovies, right? Cos it’s just not right to kill little fishies.”

The little stab coming from Willow Rosenberg caught his attention. It was a sign of the underlying emotions of the whole group. They dealt with his dark side for the course of the last month. None of them had come out unscathed. Maybe it would have been different if Angelus had simply disappeared for a while and he showed up with his soul intact; all might be forgiven.

Nothing was that easy.

It didn’t work that way. They could deal with it and take everything he’d said as Angelus with a grain of salt or they could sit and stew over it. Not that he felt any of it should be glazed over and forgotten. Being physically restrained, his words had been his only weapon and they were sharp and cutting as any blade.

“Now that Xander has arrived,” Giles pulled his focus back onto the matter at hand trying to ignore the little smile that played around Jenny’s lips, “we’ll get started.”

Angel stared toward the doors before saying, “We should wait.”

“Why?” Xander already had his mouth full of pizza and chomped it visibly. “Not like we have to finish dinner first. Our moms aren’t watching to see if we talk with our mouths full.”

Buffy laughed at him, balling up a napkin and tossing it across the table. “Could you be any more gross, Xander?”

Nodding his dark head, Xander obliged her by opening his mouth really, really wide; still full of pizza, of course. The girls were laughing at his antics, while Giles simply let out a deep sigh thinking that the Watcher’s Council didn’t pay him enough for this. He received a sympathetic look from Jenny who had only recently started coming to these meetings, but was quite used to the antics of seventeen year-old boys.

Scowling darkly, Angel wondered what Cordelia had ever seen in Xander Harris that would make her date him in the first place. “Just wait a few more minutes, Rupert.”

Jenny’s gaze turned curious, catching the vampire’s eye and realizing the reason he sounded so impatient. Though Cordelia hadn’t said a word to her about coming to the meeting, it seemed clear who the vampire was expecting. Though she hated putting herself in the middle of this any more than she already was, Jenny figured she should suggest that he tell the gang to expect Cordelia Chase.

Her decision came too late as Cordelia pushed open the library door, standing just inside them to survey the room. Running behind schedule, Cordelia was still breathing fast from sprinting in from the parking lot, her heart beating fast in anticipation of being here and knowing what was likely to come the minute she stepped in the door.

At first glance, Cordelia noticed their varying expressions. Welcoming. Hostile. Surprised. Meeting Angel’s somewhat relieved gaze, she held it, automatically giving him a smile, but her attention was pulled away as she heard Xander react.

“Cordelia?” he gaped open-mouthed having finally swallowed the pizza.

“That’s my name,” Cordelia quipped stepping further into the room. “Being easily forgetful or are you hoping I’m just a figment of your imagination?”

Buffy dropped her pizza slice back on the top of the box looking like she wanted to reach for the nearest stake. “A good dose of amnesia where you’re concerned might be healthy for all of us, Cordelia.”

The slayer’s ultra-cool voice couldn’t hide the anger rising beneath it. Cordelia knew just what to say in return and the snarky response was forming on her tongue as both Giles and Jenny stepped forward to put a stop to what they saw as a potential battle of wills. Caught between defending Xander and backing up Buffy, Willow ended up gaping like a fish uncertain what to say.

Moving toward her, Angel stopped by Cordelia’s side as if his presence along might provide her with an aura of protection. Before she could snap back at Buffy, he told them, “I asked Cordelia to come.”

“She can go,” Buffy jumped down from the table, not coming closer, but standing with her hands crossed over her chest. “You know how I feel ab—”

“Cordelia stays,” his tone darkened defying further argument. Not that he expected it would stop there. Angel didn’t want them blaming her for showing up uninvited when it was his idea. “My decision. She belongs here. With me.”

As her retort died on her lips with Angel’s surprising statement, Cordelia felt a little startled by the twist her mind is putting on those words. She belonged with him. The notion sent a swarm of butterflies to swirl in her stomach.

Get it together, Chase, Cordelia admonished herself. That’s not what Angel means no matter how good it sounds.

Buffy was the one to ask, “What are you saying, Angel?”

“If you want me here, you’ll accept us both,” he told her frankly. “I’m not going to let one…”

“Mistake?” injected Buffy.

“One night wreck Cordelia’s life anymore than I want that for you,” Angel explained emphasizing he had no intention of calling his time with Cordelia a mistake.

Realizing that Angel was referring to the night he lost his soul and the confrontations with Angelus that followed, Buffy reluctantly saw how he might make a comparison. Not that it gave Cordelia any right to touch him in the first place.

Xander could no longer stand being silent. Pointing at Angel, he let his own anger for the vampire stir. “Let’s not forget you do get around. Who’s next on your seduction list…Willow?”

Blushing beet red at the idea, Willow looked a little frightened by Xander’s sarcastic suggestion considering something Angelus said to her the night he lost his soul.

Calling out their protest, Cordelia and Buffy snapped, “Shut up, Xander.”

Even Giles had to say, “That’s not necessary, Xander. Angel is neither drunk nor soulless, so I would assume he is in control of his faculties at the moment.”

“Angel’s soul is permanent,” Jenny assured the group. “There is no need to fear that Angelus will return.”

While he was gratified to hear them coming so unexpectedly to his defense, Angel had to say, “Harris is right.”

That floored Xander. “I am? Yeah. Okay, so what am I right about?”

“The blame lies with me,” Angel returned calmly. “Everything that has happened is all because of my actions in the past.”

Cordelia put her hand on his arm, turning to assure he understood, “I don’t blame you.”

Xander wasn’t so accommodating. “I do. Cor, you broke up with me because of him.”

Rolling her eyes, Cordelia huffed, “We broke up before anything happened between Angelus and me. It had nothing to do with him and you know it.”

Mumbling under his breath, Xander couldn’t come up with a response when she hit him in the face with the facts.

Repeating her words with emphasis, “You know it.”

He mumbled a little more glancing at her with a hurt expression as if admitting that to himself would mean he no longer had anyone to blame for their breakup except for Cordelia and himself. He’d gone to such lengths to win her back by having Amy cast that love spell, only the town went wacky instead.

“You’re a sweet, funny guy Xander,” she smiled at him softly drawing his pout into a wry line, “but when it comes to being your girl, I’ll know I’ll never come first. Cos you’ve already got two that take priority.”

Buffy and Willow stared at Xander for a moment, both thinking that they knew she was stating the truth. Xander would do anything for them and despite the crazy spell he had tried in order to win Cordelia back, they just had a special bond in which the cheerleader had no part. Under their scrutiny, Xander squirmed nervously, but he was not able to deny it either.

There was only one truth he could point out in response. “You slept with Angelus.”

“Yeah. I did,” Cordelia answered without hesitation. Hands on her hips, she took an aggressive stance next to Angel. “Get over it.”

“But we…,” Xander trailed off as his words got mired in a jealous muck that weighed them down.

Giles made an awkward sound as Xander brought up the subject of sex. Looking like he might have heart failure, the Englishman cleared his throat attempting to gain their attention.

Not even noticing, Cordelia picked up where the teenager had left off, “But we never did it. The closest sessions were hot, Xander, but maybe the fact that it never went further was a sign that it shouldn’t.”

Angel frowned as he listened to the conversation. Closet sessions? What the hell was that supposed to mean?

Conflicting emotions ran rampant through Angel and he tried to get them under control. Just the thought that Xander had his hands all over Cordelia made him furious, but being her boyfriend at the time gave him the right to do so. At the same time, Angel felt elated at the news he’d never fucked her. Maybe Cordelia hadn’t been a virgin, but the thought of Xander Harris being the one to initiate her brought his rage a little too close to the surface to completely contain.

If Xander thought there was still a chance he might bed Cordelia, then Angel would just have to correct that notion pretty damn fast. “Time to move on, Harris. Cordelia can be your friend, but she’s sure as hell not going to be anything else.”

The possessive tone surprised her, but Cordelia found herself equally amused by it. “Pfft! I’ll pick my own friends, thank you very much,” she said before turning back to Xander. “I’d like you to be one of them.”

Feeling the weight of Buffy’s stare, Xander told Cordelia, “Me too.” It still hurt to say that was all they could be, but there was too much truth in her words to deny he had no feelings for Buffy & Willow.

“Hey!” Buffy protested his response as if she had a right to complain about keeping Cordelia as a friend.

Willow suddenly felt tired of all the push and pull between her two best friends over the Cordelia and Angelus saga. She finally voiced the thoughts she’d been keeping to herself all this time, “Buffy, maybe it was all just a mistake. Th-they were drunk that night. Things happen. What would you do if Angelus came up to you that way?”

“Stake him,” her automatic answer left no room for reconsideration despite the fact that she had been reminded that Angelus and Angel were the same being.

Cordelia tapped her fingers on her hips. “I’m not the slayer here, Buffy. You weren’t exactly on speaking terms with Angelus. I wasn’t thinking of consequences. Things just happened. I don’t blame Angel for it and I don’t regret a second of that night.”

Stroking his hand down Cordelia’s back, Angel’s comforting move was not lost on Buffy, nor the tender look in his eyes as he stared at the brunette. Drawing up to her full height, Buffy fumed at him, “Will you just stop touching her!”

Having not even realized he was doing so, Angel started to drop his hand having and then changed his mind keeping it there. Sensing the tension in Cordelia’s back made him want to soothe it away and it took quite an effort to keep his hand still. Angel tried to redirect Buffy’s anger by bringing them back to the reason they were there in the first place. “We’re here to help with patrol.”

“Yes,” Giles jumped at the opportunity the vampire had opened up as he saw the storm brewing in Buffy’s green eyes. Thinking he could do with some tea to calm his nerves…or a stiff drink, Giles suggested, “Yes, let’s do talk about patrol. Buffy? Let’s begin our review of last night’s encounter with the Degarba beast.”

Buffy didn’t want to talk about the Degarba beast. Giving her watcher a petulant pout, she plopped down into her chair. “I’m listening.”

Letting out a long sigh, Jenny realized the slayer had resigned herself to Angel’s terms. If she wanted the vampire there, Cordelia would be there too. There was obviously more going on than Cordelia had revealed and while she was curious on her own, Jenny also knew that despite the permanent soul Angel would always be her business. By cursing Angelus, the Kalderash had also tied themselves to him for eternity.

Cordelia had to have met up with Angel since they parted at Rupert’s apartment, she guessed. Jenny had talked with Cordelia briefly at school, but the teenager didn’t say much more than to thank her for researching the curse so thoroughly and for telling her about the spell-casting.

Having heard Cordelia’s side of events and witnessed some of the things Angelus had revealed to Buffy and her friends, Jenny figured that Angel’s re-ensoulment was only going to add more conflict to the situation. Knowing that she was right was not at all satisfying.

“Have a seat, Cordelia,” Giles gestured toward the table. He was not opposed to her being here as long as it didn’t disrupt things. He hoped after a period of adjustment, Buffy would get used to having her around again. As for Angel, he wasn’t certain at all what might happen, but secretly wished that the vampire would leave his slayer alone.

Stepping up to the table, Angel held out a chair for Cordelia drawing a smile from her lips as she acknowledged his gentlemanly move. “First car doors and now chairs, what’s next, covering mud puddles with your coat?”

Angel instinctively clasped a protective hand to his leather jacket and after mirroring Cordelia’s teasing grin with a flash of pearly white teeth, pressed his mouth into an amused smirk. There was just something about her that made him want to protect and cherish her one moment and bring her to an earth-shattering orgasm the next.

Caught up in their own little world of magnetic eye-contact, Cordelia got the feeling that Angel wouldn’t be quite so polite in bed. Just the way he was looking at her made her want to jump him. Neither one of them noticed Buffy’s scowl as Angel headed over to his usual spot on the stairs where he could keep an eye on them both.

After Giles’ long lecture on Degarba beasts and the proper way to bring them down, the group headed out on patrol. Buffy had glanced at the information Angel had found in the watcher’s book yesterday and taken out the demon with her own unconventional fighting style rather than follow the recommended technique to the letter.

Giles seemed a little reluctant to let the gang go off on their own without his supervision. Considering the tension that continued to fill the room, he wasn’t at all certain it would dissipate if his watchful eye wasn’t on them. “Jenny, perhaps you should head home.”

“I’ll see you later then,” she agreed, her dark eyes twinkling.

Sliding a glance at the table of teenagers, Giles found them to be staring at him with that knowing look in their eyes. Recently, things had been developing quite rapidly between himself and Jenny Calendar. Though the last month of having Angelus in his house made it all but impossible to have her over, the vampire wasn’t there anymore and when it came to choosing between spending the rest of the evening with her and a routine patrol, Giles found it a difficult choice.

“We’ll handle patrol,” Angel told him, rising from his seat on the stairs.

He wasn’t concerned about what they might run into, but like Rupert Giles, he had a feeling the group dynamics needed a little airing out and exercise. That wouldn’t happen if the watcher tagged along all night.

Buffy stood up as well, not certain at all that she liked hearing Angel make decisions for her patrol that involved her watcher. Besides, having Giles along might help her to stay focused on patrol rather than the fact that Cordelia Chase was part of the group again.

“He should come,” Buffy spoke up. “I may have more questions about that Degarba beast.”

Though Angel wasn’t buying that excuse, he said nothing. Giles gave his slayer a small smile thinking that she was actually interested in hearing more about possible slaying techniques. In that case, his duty was clear.

 


Sunnydale Cemeteries: Out on Patrol

Buffy had outsmarted herself. Convincing Giles to come along meant that he spent the majority part of patrol monopolizing her time with slaying talk. That left Angel free to keep Cordelia company since Xander and Willow had their heads together debating about whether their school principle might actually be a demon.

Walking apart from the others, Angel and Cordelia talked about the Scooby Gang’s reactions to her arrival. “Nothing less than I expected,” Cordelia laughed wryly as she tugged her brown leather jacket closer around her.

“Do you want to be here?” he decided he had to ask. Last night, he really hadn’t given her a choice, just told her that she needed to come.

Cordelia lifted her gaze back to his, “You’re here. I want to be with you.”

Silence followed those starkly truthful words. They mirrored his own feelings to the extent that Angel recognized it instantly. Things weren’t quite so simple. There was Buffy. He owed it to her to try to work things out. “W-we can be friends, Cordelia.”

“Can we?” Even she sounded hopeful, though the doubt in her eyes grated across his flesh leaving him raw.

“We will,” Angel clasped her hand feeling her fingers thread through his. Touching her was a mistake, he discovered a moment later, as his body responded to that simple move. When his other hand came up to the nape of her neck, his thumb automatically swept across her jawline in a soothing motion, one touch educing the need for more.

Resolutely nodding, Cordelia repeated that vow of determination, “We will.”

Two cemeteries later, patrol had basically been uneventful with the exception of a single fledgling quickly staked by the slayer. Angel and Cordelia spent most of the time talking. It was something that Cordelia was comfortable with and the vampire found himself doing most of the listening as she chatted about an array of subjects that made his head spin just to think about.

It wasn’t what Cordelia said, but the way she said things that kept his rapt attention. Her openness in talking to him just like he was any other man and not the demon who backed the group up on patrol was something he’d never experienced before, except from Buffy who tried to ignore the fact that he was a vampire.

Cordelia knew him fangs and all, yet wanted to be with him. Not only to be in his physical sphere, but more than that, as lovers instead of just friends. There was no hiding that and she made no attempt to do so.

Angel wanted that too. He wanted it so badly, the need rattled inside him. More than one reason existed for it, he was beginning to realize, but he could not act upon them as long as he was still technically tied to the slayer. Tamping down his need, Angel suggested they catch up with the others. They were lagging behind and he could tell by glancing at Buffy that she was onto something.

Focusing, he could sense it himself. “Trouble.”

After a few more minutes of walking deeper into Restfield Cemetery, they discovered things were anything but restful there tonight. Buffy turned to the group, her bright eyes sharp and focused. “Enough chitty-chat,” she narrowed that gaze on Angel long enough to note he still had hold of Cordelia’s hand. “Time to get down to business. Vampire business.”

Several vampires were gathered outside of a large crypt. They were in the process of carrying furniture into the stone building, obviously setting up their nest. Positioned downwind, the gang had the added advantage of being hidden behind an iron fence with shrubbery lined along the borders. Buffy tallied up their adversaries and knew who was going to come out on top in this scenario…and it wasn’t the vamps.

Still, it would be better to draw them out into the open rather than take the chance of someone getting trapped in a corner of the crypt. Glancing over her shoulder, she gave Cordelia an expectant stare. “Time to do your thing, Cor.”

“Bait Girl at your service,” chirped Cordelia without hesitation. She knew what would happen on patrol. Other than keeping Xander company, this was her major role with the group and she didn’t shirk from it.

“Forget it,” growled Angel stepping between Cordelia and Buffy. “It’s too dangerous. We’re not talking one or two vampires, Buffy. She’ll have to get pretty damn close to get them all to follow her.”

Buffy wondered if she’d ever heard Angel talk more than he had tonight. Realizing that he had never protested Cordelia’s appointed task before now, she knew that it had everything to do with the fact that they’d slept together. He was all protective over her. Wanted her with him because it was where she ‘belonged’…and Buffy figured he wasn’t only saying that Cor had been part of the Scooby Gang. Not that Buffy had ever really counted her as one of them.

“Whoa, Big Guy,” Cordelia moved from behind him. “This is what I do. It may suck in comparison to being a Chosen One, but I’m great vampire bait.”

Angel had to agree with that assessment, but he still didn’t want her out there. “You stay here. Buffy and I will take the lead.”

“Nuh-uh! You asked me to be here, Angel. I’m doing my part,” Cordelia insisted with an irritated expression on her face. While the protective vibes gave her a soft, mushy feminine feeling, they also set off her independence radar. “Mister Macho Vamp and Little Miss Likes to Fight will have to wait their turns.”

Reprimanded, Angel flashed her a look that reminded her of a kicked puppy dog all cute and cuddly, in pain, but still loving the one who’d hurt it. The frown on her face vanished instantaneously into a quick smile. Angel figured he could have taken care of the vampires already if they hadn’t been standing around trying to decide on the plan. “Just be careful.”

Angel circled around, keeping to the shadows and seeking out a better position. He noted that the others were doing the same as Cordelia waited until they found a spot before heading toward the crypt. A knot of discontent tightened up in his gut as he watched her approach. When she called out to the vampires, making up a completely ridiculous excuse for being in the cemetery, they wasted no time in dropping what they were doing.

Cordelia was still talking at a hundred miles an hour when Angel noticed that a stray vampire was headed directly for her from a different angle. Though Xander was in a better position, the boy was too busy watching Cordelia to notice the other vamp, so Angel darted out from the shadows running at full speed to reach her just as Cordelia was grabbed from behind.

A scream sounded from Cordelia as she hit the ground right along with Angel and her attacker. Vamped out and growling, Angel yanked the other vampire off of her and proceeded to make him extremely sorry he ever laid a finger on Cordelia Chase. The other vampires moved to intervene, but Buffy and the gang jumped into the fray before they could reach them.

With her ultra-awareness skills, Buffy kept up with her own opponents, the position of her friends as they fought and from the periphery of her vision noted that Angel was pummeling Cordelia’s attacker into a bloody pulp. She had no time to say what was on her mind during the melee, but Buffy filed the thoughts away promising herself a little one-on-one time with Angel as soon as patrol came to an end.

After a flurry of punches, Angel swept his leg out to knock the vamp to the ground where he attempted to scramble away. Grabbing the young vampire with two hands fisted into the lapels of his denim jacket and yanking him to his feet again, Angel put his face within two inches of the broken nose and bruised jaw to snarl, “Going somewhere?”

Seeing only that he wasn’t about to be rescued by his brethren, the vampire tried to make a deal. “Hey, dude, I’m willing to share.”

“I’m not,” Angel returned as he wrapped a thickly muscled arm around the scrawny neck. Twisting it until the bones shattered, the vampire exploded into a cloud of dark dust.

Still in shock from the surprise attack and being knocked to the ground, Cordelia hadn’t moved except to hold a hand to her throat. Then Angel was on his knees next to her prying her hand away so he could see what damage had been done. “Cordy, let me see it. Did he bite you?”

Thinking about it for a second, Cordelia shook her head, “No, but he slimed me with his gross, evil tongue.”

Angel couldn’t help but laugh as he gathered her into his arms, tucking her head into his shoulder and hugging tight. After a few seconds, he reluctantly moved back to help her to her feet. “Sorry about the tackle. It was the only way to get him off you.”

“That’s okay. I wasn’t up for a second set of fang marks tonight,” Cordelia’s comment made him think of the ones she already possessed.

“My bite scarred?” he asked curiously. Actually, it was more that mere curiosity. It was just seeking confirmation of something he already suspected.

Cordelia felt the slid of his hand over the curve of her bottom and his touch seemed to burn through the surface of her pants. “Duh! Of course it did.”

A yelp sounded closer to the crypt where Xander and Willow were tag-teaming one of the vampires, but having a rough time. Having been distracted with watching Angel, the slayer hadn’t dusted her usual quota. She and Giles were occupied too far away to intervene. Realizing that he’d all but forgotten the rest of them because he was so caught up in ensuring that Cordelia was safe, Angel told her to stay put and ran to the rescue.

“That,” Giles told them after the fight was over, “was hardly a well-executed attack. Buffy, consider what went wrong here and we’ll discuss it tomorrow.”

“Yes,” Buffy sighed while tucking her stake back into her pocket. Her green eyes on Angel who was back at Cordelia’s side this time with Xander and Willow, she added, “Lots of stuff wrong stuff here tonight.”

Striding over to them, Buffy tugged at the elbow of Angel’s jacket to get his attention as he was still focused on the brunette. “Walk me home. Now.”

Buffy wasn’t taking no for an answer. She half expected him to protest saying that he needed to make sure Cordelia arrived home and was tucked safely into her bed before he did anything else. To her surprise, Angel readily agreed. “Okay, Buffy. I think Rupert can make sure Cordy gets back to her car. We can cut across the cemetery and take Greystone Avenue to get to Revello Drive.”

“Uh, good,” Buffy frowned at the fast response.

Then Angel turned back to Cordelia, “That okay with you?”

Seeing the expression on Buffy’s face, Cordelia figured she didn’t want to be within a hundred yards of the slayer when she said whatever was brewing behind that intense gaze. “Absolutely. Guess I’ll see you guys tomorrow.”

Xander took the opportunity to ask Cordelia, “You okay, Cor? I didn’t see that vamp coming. Good thing Angel got to you first.”

“Yeah,” she agreed trying not to peek over her shoulder to see what Buffy and Angel were doing.

“I thought you were a goner,” Willow sucked in a deep breath and let it all out. “Then we were fighting and I screamed and Angel came and then it was fine after that, so gosh am I glad that he was here tonight.”

Cordelia commented, “I’m sure Buffy would have saved you.”

“Sure,” agreed Xander in quick defense of the slayer. “We shouldn’t have let him lead us back toward the crypt like that.”

“That was just one of our mistakes,” Giles pointed out as they walked toward the edge of the cemetery. “Mine was in allowing Cordelia to put herself in danger before we established a better perimeter.”

“Live and learn,” quipped Cordelia. “I’m especially partial to the living part.”


The Summers Family Residence: 1630 Revello Drive

They’d walked in silence all the way back to Buffy’s house. Not anything unusual. A lot of their time together was spent without saying a word. It had been quiet and comforting just being in each other’s presence. Now it simply felt like the calm before the storm, a build-up of something that had been brewing over the past month.

Buffy stopped on the front lawn and swerving around abruptly demanded answers to her questions. The first of which was, “What the heck were you doing back there? It wasn’t necessary to tenderize that vamp like raw meat before dusting him.”

“He was attacking Cordy.” What other reason did he need except that? “Maybe I got a little angry.”

“A little?” Buffy barked at the understatement. “If I didn’t know better, I would have thought it was Angelus. You went all fang face and demony.”

Angel’s voice dipped low, “Just me. That’s who I am, Buffy. The soul doesn’t change the fact that I’m a vampire. Would you rather I have let the bastard bite Cordelia?”

Quiet for a moment as she digested that response, Buffy pointed out, “Xander was closer. He could have saved her.”

“Harris needed to move his ass a little faster or at least take his eyes off Cordelia to realize that the attack was coming,” he tried to swallow the growl that rose from his chest at the idea the boy had been staring a little too closely.

With her arms crossed over her chest, Buffy countered, “Like you could keep your eyes to yourself—or your hands, for that matter. I saw you groping Cordelia’s butt.”

Angel didn’t have an explanation to give her other than the obvious and it probably wouldn’t go over well to tell her that he’d marked Cordelia, especially considering the location. He could only apologize for letting her see that. “I’m sorry, Buffy. This isn’t anything I ever imagined happening, but Cordelia and I share a connection that isn’t going away.”

“A connection,” Buffy clenched her teeth. “Is that what you call it?”

“You don’t understand.”

The hard gleam in her eyes softened as tears welled up glistening in their unshed form. “So tell me. I need to hear it, Angel. I think I deserve that much.”

“Yes, you do,” he agreed softly still feeling the need to protect her even from his own words. Especially considering how much his words had hurt her in the recent past. “I can’t pretend that I don’t have feelings for Cordelia. Things have been conflicted the past couple of days. I don’t know where we stand anymore, Buffy. The things I said to you when the soul was gone and the way you reacted, I’m not sure if we can get back to where we were before.”

Surprising him with her equal candor Buffy admitted, “Neither am I. Angel, I’m not even sure that I want to.”

Her words shook him. Angel hadn’t been expecting Buffy to say that. He felt a flash of anger that she would even think about ending their relationship, his demon nature kicking in to hold onto anything remotely his own. Relief followed just as swiftly as he realized what it might allow if Buffy decided to release him from his promise to her.

Speechless, he tried to come up with something appropriate to say, but Buffy beat him to the punch. “If I really thought Angelus was someone else…a totally separate person from you, I don’t think it would matter. I could deal somehow. Pretend that everything you said and did was someone else.”

“The things I said I wish I could take back,” he told her.

“They weren’t lies,” Buffy realized. “The truth hurt more. I’d give anything to have it all go back to the way it was, but I can’t forget what happened. I can’t just brush it off.”

“You’ve never accepted the fact that I’m a vampire,” Angel told her. “Not really. I’m only sorry you had to deal with me at my worst.”

With a nod of agreement, Buffy said, “Me too.”

Staring at each other for a drawn-out moment, Angel finally got out a plea, “Buffy, one day I hope you’ll forgive me, but I need you to end this.”

“Angel, it’s already over,” Buffy’s tears finally started to fall. Feeling guilty, he moved to hug her, but the slayer held him off with a hand pressed against his chest. “Don’t. I can’t deal with it right now. Later. Tomorrow.”

“You still want me to come tomorrow?” Frankly, that surprised him. Reminding her, “I won’t be alone.”

Buffy nodded, “Oh, I remember the terms. You stay and so does Cordelia. I won’t pretend to like it, Angel, but I’m not stupid. You’re the best fighter I’ve got when you’re not distracted and despite everything I know you’re still on my side.”


Chase Residence: Cordelia’s Private Sitting Room

Wearing a pair of her comfy pajamas, Cordelia was curled up on the couch in her en-suite sitting room. With the exception of a kitchen, the second-story wing was nearly a self-sufficient living space. Randomly flipping through the television channels, she finally settled on a rerun on Nick at Night and tossed the remote onto the cushion next to her.

The program with its boisterous laugh track did nothing to grab her interest. Cordelia was too hyped up by the events during patrol. Thinking about Angel came as natural as breathing now and her thoughts all too easily turned to him. Her body tensed up, shivered and ached all at once, responding like he was there in front of her.

Then Cordelia realized the feeling wasn’t going away and the sudden urge to look over her shoulder creeped her out a little, but she followed her instincts looking toward the door. Finding Angel leaning against the doorframe should have shocked her, but it didn’t feel that way. She was actually a little relieved to find him standing there.

“I couldn’t stay away any longer,” Angel told her before she could say anything.

Nice to know that he wanted her, but Cordelia already knew that. “What about B—?”

“It’s over,” he answered simply as he straightened up and stepped further into the room.

Cordelia tucked her legs a little closer to her body. Reeling, her mind repeated that word like a broken record until it tripped from her lips, “Over? So you came here.”

“Yes.”

Over. What did that mean, exactly? Cordelia needed clarification. Like now. “Am I supposed to comfort you? Help you get over it? Just so you know up front, Cordelia Chase is nobody’s second best. I’m not the consolation prize.”

Rumbling in protest, Angel told her, “There’s nothing further from the truth. And you know it.”

“Do I?”

“What does your heart say, Cordy? I know your body has something to tell you because it speaks to mine.” Standing by the couch, Angel picked up the remote and pushed a button turning the television off. “I recall you left me an invitation.”

“So, you’re here.” Cordelia’s heart picked up speed as she realized that Angel would never lie to her about breaking up with Buffy. Nor was he exaggerating the fact that she ached for him. It was a feeling that had only grown stronger since the night his soul was returned and they came face to face again.

Angel felt his groin tighten at the anticipation brightening Cordelia’s face. “I’m here.”

“What happens next?” Cordelia had to ask. She wondered if this was just going to be a repeat of the night she spent with Angelus or if it meant something more. There were a thousand questions buzzing around in her head.

“We talk.”

Talking hadn’t really been on her list of expectations, Cordelia admitted to herself as he sat down next to her. Angel put his arm on the back of the couch; she instantly scooted to his side snuggling against him and tilting her face up to his. They shared a soft, slow kiss tender and full of emotion and when Cordelia moved to deepen it, Angel reluctantly pulled back.

“I don’t want there to be surprises between us, Cordy,” he said caressing the line of her collar bone peeking from her pajama tank top.

Not really certain where he was going with that, Cordelia assured him, “I kinda like surprises.”

“I’m a vampire,” he stressed. “There are things you need to know if this is going to go any further. Once I make love to you again, there’s no turning back.”

“Angel, I already know that want to be with you. I think that I…It’s more than just wanting you,” Cordelia admitted without fully understanding exactly what it was she was feeling. She was still stuck on the thought that Angel planned to make love to her.

Wondering what her reaction would be, Angel knew he needed to tell her there was a reason for it. “Cordelia that bite wasn’t just a nibble.”

“You said it was a love bite,” she remembered Angelus looking confused about it.

“It was,” he told her. “I claimed you as mine. Left my mark.”

Cordelia’s brow furrowed, “Oh.” This was supposed to upset her? Besides the leaving of a scar part, that is.

Continuing, Angel informed her of the conclusion he had come to over the last couple of days. “Normally, my tasting your blood in such a small way wouldn’t do anything, but you also bit me.”

“So?” Cordelia commented, “You so deserved that. We had a no biting deal.”

“You thought you had a deal,” Angel smirked at the memory then realized it wasn’t so funny.

Insisting, she huffed, “Did too.”

“Angelus would never make that deal,” he told her quite honestly. Then realizing he was talking about himself in the third person, corrected, “I wouldn’t.”

“What’s with the cryptic, Angel? You bit me, I bit you. Are you trying to tell me that means something more than the fact that I won’t be wearing a thong bikini any time soon?” Arching an eyebrow, she waited for his response.

Nodding, Angel explained, “We have a connection, Cordelia. The more time we spend together, the stronger it’s going to get. Every instinct I have tells me that you’re mine and I want it to stay that way.”

Cordelia sat back a little, staring at him with equal parts excitement, wonderment and fear. This was a little—or a lot—beyond what she was expecting. Dump the slayer and start dating her was more along the lines of her imagination. Honestly, she had not expected that much.

Once the initial shock was over, Cordelia confessed, “Me too. I want that too, Angel.”

“Be sure, Cordy,” he pleaded with a soft groan. “Understand that I’m not talking about one more night of pleasure. I want you at my side. Tonight, tomorrow and all the days and nights to follow.”

A sunny grin lit her face as Cordelia flung her arms around his shoulders. Then she laughed softly in his ear telling him, “That’s a little heavy considering this is only going to be our second time together.”

Angel felt her warmth seep into his skin wrapping him up and surrounding him in her scent. “Second? I thought I counted a few more times than that.”

Brushing her cheek along side his, Cordelia met his gaze confessing with a mischievous laugh, “I’m tired of talking, Angel. Show me what it’s like to be yours—again.”


EPILOGUE

Chase Residence: Cordelia’s Private Sitting Room

Together, Cordelia and Angel sighed as their lips parted again. Kissing just seemed addictive and with her body curled up on the couch pressed against his, Cordelia was amazed that this wasn’t just another dream. “I never thought you’d take me up on that invitation. No matter how much I wanted you to.”

Angel smoothed his thumb over the curve of her face, wondering how she could think he could ignore it. “How could I ever give you up? Not once I’d tasted you. Not after making you mine.”

A murmur of mad delight caught in her throat as Angel claimed her lips again. Lost in his kisses, she tangled her arms around his neck sliding around the broad shoulders. Her fingers spreading out over the bulky muscles that bunched up so invitingly for her touch as they slid over the material of his shirt.

“So we belong to each other?” she asked between kisses, her mouth taking turns on his top lip and then the lower.

Teasing her lips, his tongue darted across the surface causing Cordelia to open up to him. The hand on the nape of her neck held her close as he tasted her again and again drawling little mewls of pleasure from her throat as she shifted against him. Lifting away momentarily, Angel answered, “Yes, can’t you feel it?”

The exchange of their blood even in small increments sealed their fate. Ritual made it so, forming a connection, a link between them. A simple unseen manifestation of their feelings and the need they had for each other. A desire, no matter its hidden depths or close to the surface that instinct existed, to possess and be possessed.

Admitting truthfully, “I feel it. What I’ve always felt. Only more,” Cordelia yearned for him. If that was the result of this link, she was all for how he was responding to it.

“More.” Angel had to agree with that. He’d never stopped to assess his feelings for Cordelia Chase. After all, he’d never really admitted to having any other than the odd fantasy that popped into his head now and then. Not until he’d lost his soul and let go of any thoughts that held him back from taking what he wanted.

Knowing that he certainly wanted more, Angel considered the prospect of making love to Cordelia for the first time since the return of his soul. They’d been drunk before. As Angelus, he’d been demanding and dominating, but Cordelia had never given in. She’d eagerly played along and made a few demands of her own. Not once shying away from their passion.

“Come closer,” Angel pulled Cordelia into his lap without waiting for her to point out that was the only way closer could happen. Straddling his thighs, she squirmed in his lap until his hands come down to settle her where he wanted her the most, tucked up against his hardening cock.

The soft cotton of her pajama bottom remained a thin barrier. One that was easy to breach as Angel’s hand slipped beneath to cup her right buttock, the spot where his mark could be felt along the ripe curve.

Cordelia matched and opposed him in all the right ways. He needed that. He needed her. Wanted her. Though his feelings were new, they ran deep and held him with a grip that would never fade, but only grow with time. Because of the bond that had formed between them, unplanned or spontaneous as it might have been on her part, Angel knew her feelings were the same.

Kissing him like she could exist on kisses alone, Cordelia’s body crowded close like a second skin proving that she needed more. Her legs clamped tight to his thighs and hips, her own hips instinctively grinding down to press herself as close as possible to the bulging need rising beneath her. Angel moved his hips upward while both hands now clasped her bottom holding her in place.

They kissed and writhed against each other fanning the flames until it scorched the atmosphere between them. Tingly and hot, Cordelia felt strangled by all the clothes. Too much. She needed to feel his cool skin on hers. Wanted his hands on her body and to have hers on him.

Need spiraled higher. Their eyes met, heated gazes communicating desire. Cordelia pushed back against his chest enough to sit up straight, her weight centering upon him and causing Angel to moan and flex toward her. Yanking her pajama top over her head, Cordelia tossed it to the floor and grinned at the look on his face as Angel gazed down at her.

“You’re so beautiful, Cordy,” he whispered as his body stilled beneath her focusing only on the curves exposed to his view.

The hands on her hips traced up until his thumbs teased the soft skin beneath her breasts moving a little higher with each roving sweep. Cordelia clutched his broad shoulders, watching the way his rapt attention focused on her breasts in obvious admiration before he finally dragged his gaze back to hers.

“See something you like, Broody?” A teasing smile curled the corners of her mouth and a grin broke free.

He was all seriousness despite it. Angel captured her lips for another soul-stirring kiss, lingering there as if the taste of her mouth held him back from the brink of madness. Perhaps it did, for his kisses wandered after releasing her lips, traveling down the line of her throat and along the curve of her shoulder. Brushing his cheek against one breast, Angel moved his hands upward taking both in his palms to cup their soft weight.

Cordelia gazed down at the dark head pressed close against her breasts, felt the cool touch of his hands against her heated skin and then watched in fascination as Angel flicked his tongue over one turgid peak. A spark of pleasure shot deep inside her and a needy cry escaped her throat as Angel’s teasing mouth continued tirelessly.

Repetitive flicks preceded soft tugs, a nip of his teeth and a deep pull as Angel heard Cordelia’s soft breaths quicken to rapid pants. Her hips worked in a tight circle atop his lap as the friction built up between her thighs. Angel’s fingers never rested while stroking her other breast, stimulating it with soft caresses, tugs and rolls, ignoring its turgid tip in favor of stroking her curves and leaving it needy and begging for attention before switching sides and flicking it with his tongue.

Cordelia held onto his shoulders, her back arching and giving him easy access. Then, on a moan of desire, “I want you so much, Angel. Stop teasing me.”

Raising his head after a last touch of his mouth to one dusky peak, Angel regarded her with a smoldering gleam. “Impatient?”

“Yes,” Cordelia wasn’t denying it. Her eager hands reached out to undo the buttons of his shirt.

Halfway down, Cordelia found herself off the couch and in Angel’s arms as he swept her up. “I think it’s time we moved this into the bedroom.”

One arm around his neck, she had the other inside Angel’s shirt letting her hand wander across the hidden angles of his torso. “Mmm. Manly boob muscles.”

Angel laughed at that, grinning at the comment and awarding her next statement with another kiss as he carried her into the bedroom. “You’re so strong, Angel. Not just your arms. Not just the way you hold me. All of you.”

After that, he couldn’t seem to stop kissing her along the way, pressing his mouth to her throat and moaning softly at the sensation of her pulse against his lips. As he set her down beside the bed, again his hands strayed to her body’s curves as his mouth continued to tease the soft skin of her throat.

Pausing in her task of removing his shirt, Cordelia suddenly wondered aloud, “Will there be biting?”

Angel moved, facing her, sensing her racing heart. The thought apparently brought with it equal parts of fear, excitement and pure anticipation. The back of his fingers traced the line of her throat. “I won’t lie to you, Cordy. Vampires bite their mates, their lovers.”

“You didn’t bite Buffy,” she pointed out apparently comfortable with bringing up that name even here and now.

“No,” Angel admitted. The thought had never occurred to him. That need, that desire to do so had never existed between them. Completely unlike now; he accepted the fact because he understood that it was simply another level of his need for Cordelia. “Things are different between us, Cordelia. I won’t make promises I can’t keep when it comes to those instincts. Just know that I’d never hurt you.”

His answer seemed to please her because a Cheshire Cat smile appeared. Then she said, “Only curious. I just wanted to know. You better watch it, buddy. Cos I’ve been known to bite back.”

Now laughing at the memory of their morning-after interlude, they hugged each other close and kissed again until they were so lost in those kisses & each other’s arms that the subject was forgotten. Angel’s soft touches set off a thousand sparks across her exposed skin, all making her tingle with want. Her body throbbed deep inside, empty and aching to be filled.

Cordelia palmed Angel’s handsome face, kissing him back, and the familiar male taste of his mouth fanning her desire. The knowing touch of his hands making her wet as his fingers found the juncture of her thighs and dipped between them to slide back and forth across her cotton-covered sex.

Her hand found him through his pants, gripped him and then moved along the solid length of his cock until Angel broke away from her mouth with a feral sound on his lips. Starting heatedly at each other, they moved simultaneously to pull and tug at each other’s clothing until they both stood nude before each other.

Geez, he’s a hottie, Cordelia acknowledged as her hazel eyes swept down that hard torso to gaze at the rest of his body.

Bright with desire, her eyes sparkled as they met Angel’s again. Taking her in his arms, he lowered them both to the bed. Cordelia’s back barely hit the sheets before her hands started wandering. She wanted to touch him. Everywhere. Learning the hard angles of his body all over again.

The temptation of his hard masculinity was too much for Cordelia. She wrapped her hand around it as soon as Angel came down on the bed. Through heavy-lidded passion-filled eyes, he watched for a few seconds as Cordelia pumped up and down his stiff shaft. “I have to tell you,” he panted, “I have plans to make you come first.”

Cordelia felt his hand on her wrist gently pulling her away from the solid length of his erection. Capturing both hands, he pulled them over her head, his body crowding close, but his weight suspended upon his elbows. Once he was in place, Angel let her hands go. With his fingers combing through the soft threads of her silken hair, he pressed a soft kiss over her lush lips before telling her the details of his plan.

“I’m going to kiss you from head to toe,” Angel’s breath whispered against her ear as his voice dipped down into a lusty octave that made her skin rush with heat all the way down to her core. “Then I’m going to—”

Blood rushed like thunder in Cordelia’s ears as Angel told her precisely what he planned to do with her body and his tongue. She moaned at the way her body clenched and ached in anticipation of it. Angelus hadn’t done that before. No one had ever done that. Then as he began to touch her, Cordelia forgot about anything except the sensations created by his skillful mouth.

Angel worshipped every inch of golden skin, his hands and mouth moving across the taut planes of her body. Starting with her face, he placed butterfly kisses across her forehead, eyes and her cheeks. Their mouths meshed for one heated kiss before he nipped at her chin with his teeth and then placed the softest of kisses underneath her jaw.

His hands wandered the length of Cordelia’s body, letting her wrap her long legs around him as long as they did not prevent his slow descent down the lush length of her body. By the time Angel reached her navel, having lavished more attention to her neck and breasts along the way, Cordelia was practically writhing beneath him. Her hands kneaded the muscles in his shoulders, fingers sweeping along in a constant pattern as sounds of her pleasure filled the room with each new caress.

Finally, rolling her head off the bed long enough to stare down the length of her body to where Angel’s kisses were circumnavigating the soft triangle of curls as his mouth trailed toward her thigh. Her tongue swept across her lips, feeling parched and needy as she saw he was really going to do exactly as he said. While the thought of Angel sucking on her toes made them curl up in anticipation, that wasn’t where she wanted his mouth.

Curling her fingers into the short strands of his soft, spiky hair, Cordelia pushed his head back to where she wanted it. “Do it there. Oh God, Angel, please kiss me there.”

A rumble sounded in his chest, not a protest, but a response to her desire. His mouth and fingers worked their flesh magic expertly lavishing her with attention, evoking keening cries from her throat and eliciting a rush of hot liquid around his stroking fingers. Finding her sweet spot, Angel pressed his fingers against it with every sweep as his tongue dealt a tireless campaign upon the silky folds of her sex.

Going wild beneath him, Cordelia’s hips bucked up off the bed rising toward his mouth, her hands clutching at his broad shoulders and fisting in his hair. “Ohgodohgodohgod.”

Stars flashed behind her closed eyes as Cordelia lost herself to sensation; she might as well have been gazing toward heaven because Angel seemed to be taking her there will every knowing flick of his tongue against the hard nub that was at that moment the center of her universe.

“Right there,” Cordelia’s breath caught on a gasp. “Rightthererightthere. Omigod, Angel, yesyesyesssss.”

Instinctively, she closed her legs around his head trying to hold him in place keeping him right where it felt so damn good. Angel smiled against her in the midst of her passionate squirming. While breathing was not an issue, he needed the freedom to move. With a swift move, he pushed her thighs back toward her chest, fully exposing her swollen pink folds to his sinful gaze.

Pinning her hips on the bed, he growled more than intended, “Stay put.”

Cordelia opened her eyes noting his were amber-rimmed and full of lust. Then his dark head dipped back to her glistening sex to go down on her again lapping up her tangy fluid and wallowing in her scent and taste as he swallowed every droplet. Erotic sounds came from his throat. Her hands felt the vibration of his ardent rumbles all the way through to his back as they continued to hold him close.

She watched the hard shift of Angel’s hips move with a slow grind of his hard cock as it was trapped between his body and the mattress. “Angel…want…you…now. OhGodplease, please now!”

Angel only speared his tongue deep even as his fingers slid in and out with that constant rhythm, his verbal response coming across as an intense gravelly purr. Wanting him to be inside her, Cordelia tried to pull him higher, but he stubbornly stayed where he was. “Not so fast,” Angel told her between long licks that circled her engorged little nub. “I’m not finished.”

“Geez, what more can you possib— ohgeezohyeah!” Coherent thought crumbled into a million pieces as he sucked her clit into his mouth. Words were no longer possible as Cordelia felt her body crest to a peak and come apart.

His tongue rimmed her sex delving deep to gather every drop of Cordelia’s sweet nectar, the taste of her essence bursting on his tongue. Eating her out until she was convinced she couldn’t possibly come anymore, Angel finally lifted his mouth away, but only to turn it to the source of the roaring pulse in his ear. He nipped hard at the pulse point of her inner thigh leaving it red, but unbroken.

Rising above her, Angel held her hips and legs in place as his tumescent cock butted up against her swollen sex. He licked his lips, tasting her there as he slowly entered her, pushing his way into her tight body until he made it all the way home encased by her hot, intimate embrace. It felt like he belonged there. Inside her.

“I’ve been dreaming about this,” Angel’s words came forth on a guttural moan as she gripped him from within, her body holding on as he worked his hips back and forth. “With you tight…” he stroked inside her, “and hot…,” he pulled out until only the tip stretched her, “and wet around me,” and then sank deep.

“To have you inside me,” Cordelia echoed the thought. She’d certainly dreamt of that again and again. “Oh, Angel, please.”

Angel gazed down at the juncture of their bodies, his sex glistening with her milky nectar as he thrust inside her tight grip. Her body clasped his, hands reaching out for him, but he held his position straight as he pistoned back and forth, wanting to look at her first as he fucked her. Watching them merge, their hips coming together with increasing force, watching Cordelia’s bright eyes and her parted mouth and the way her hair spread out over her shoulders and the bed beneath her only made him want her more.

The slow, pounding pace, her heat and her living body pulsing around him kept him on the edge of control. Angel felt the urge to let loose, but he held onto that tentative edge, his head thrown back as a loud moan erupted from his throat. Even the touch of her fingertips on his arms seemed too much, sending electricity through his body.

“Closer,” Cordelia reached out for him. “I want you in my arms.”

“Soon,” he promised. Just not right this second. “Touch yourself, Cordy. Let me see you.”

The wicked gleam lighting her eyes was as hot as any caress and he stroked into her that much harder, his pelvis butting up against her mound, his cock rubbing her clit, and his balls rhythmically slapping against the curved flesh of her bottom. Cordelia struggled to find her voice as she only seemed to be able to form incoherent sounds.

A raspy query emerged as she asked him where he wanted her to touch herself. “Here?” Cordelia’s fingers trailed across her lips, her tongue sweeping out to wet them.

His eyes were intent, black as night and rimmed in amber as Angel watched her. “Or here?” Cordelia stroked slowly along the smooth cord of her neck leaving a moist trail behind.

That certainly had his attention, Cordelia noticed as she felt him pause for a fraction of a second before picking up that deep rhythm again. Cupping her breasts, she let her fingers mimic his earlier moves, “How about here?” Her own breathy moan came out to join his deeper sound of encouragement.

Cordelia played with her breasts, sliding her fingers over her own smooth flesh and teasing her rock hard nipples. She wanted his mouth there again. “Anywhere else?”

“Lower,” Angel instructed as he bent down long enough to suck one turgid nipple into his mouth leaving it wet and red as he lifted up to watch Cordelia’s fingers drift down the flat plane of her belly and thread through her dark curls.

“Mmm, Angel,” Cordelia rubbed the hard nub of her clit arching her back at the dual sensations. Her other hand dropped down to join the first, this one moving along her wet folds as he continued to fill and stretch her with every thrust. “Sogoodsogood.”

Angel fucked her that much harder. Moving down so that he could kiss her, no longer able to resist the temptation of her mouth, this time claiming those lush lips with heated passion. Her legs wrapped around his lower back the moment Angel shifted down, holding him to her, but not interfering as his hips pistoned faster. Angel thrust deep and hard and driving them both closer to that pinnacle.

“Tell me how it feels, Cordy,” he wanted to hear her voice, the passion she felt so apparent in every syllable.

“I’m so hot, you’re so hard inside me,” a low sound filled his ear as she moaned clasping his earlobe between her lips sucking on it. “You’re hard everywhere. So strong. God, I love it when you touch me. Hold me. Yes, yes. More. Give it to me.”

Vampiric rumble in his chest, his arms holding her tight, hips pistoning, his sex swelling into a rigid shaft even larger and harder than before, his demon rising closer to the surface. He’d give her everything, Angel acknowledged the thought. She was his. HIS. Nothing would ever change that.

Nudging her head to the side, kissing her throat as Angel listened to the siren song of her pulse. Cordelia looped her arms around his shoulders. “Want me?”

“Yes,” a moan left his mouth as he caressed the soft skin of her throat. Over and over, sucking it gently and stirring the blood to the surface. Her scent filled him with need. Sunshine and moonlight. Blood enriched with her arousal.

Angel wanted it all. Her kiss, her taste, her caress, her intimate hold, her sustaining blood and her soul merging with his as he made love to her.

“Take me,” Cordelia opened herself up to him, turning her head, exposing her throat. Trusting him. Needing him. Knowing that he needed her.

Instinct took over, Angel’s fangs sinking deep. The butter-soft flesh giving way to the sharp teeth, blood flowing into his mouth as it closed over Cordelia’s golden flesh, his tongue lapping at the wound. Angel reached between them to rub the hard nub of her clit, giving her pleasure even as the painful bite became yet another source of pleasure. The movements of his mouth like a warm French kiss upon her throat, the gentle sucking and the pounding of their lower bodies all combined to bring Cordelia to the point of ecstasy.

His name sounded again on her lips, her body clutching close, hips rocking as her orgasm exploded within her. Angel followed Cordelia, retracting his fangs and letting go pouring himself inside her, filling her up with his essence. Lapping at the wounds on her throat, sealing them up and purring in satisfaction realizing that this time he wouldn’t forget any of the details.

“Cordy,” Angel sounded out her name on a deep whisper. For a moment, he felt a flash of panic before remembering that his soul was safe and secure. Rolling them over so that her body stretched out on top of his, Angel smoothed his hands along Cordelia’s back.

Cordelia rested her head on his chest, damp tendrils of her chestnut hair falling around her. They simply held on, Angel’s body still adjoined to her own, as if they were reluctant to break the spell of the moment. Angel’s hands smoothed along her back, reaching low to cup the firm curves of her bottom.

Kissing the top of her head, he let the silence surround them like a warm blanket as he waited for her to speak. He wasn’t certain how she might react considering the fact that he had bitten her again.

“Mmm. That was wonderful,” Cordelia murmured contentedly instantly easing his fears.

Angel gulped down the last of them as he asked, “Even the bite?”

Crossing her arms over his chest, Cordelia rested her chin on her hands. Admitting, “That too. It stings, but it felt incredible.”

“There will be a scar, you know.”

“I know,” she made it sound like it was nothing. Visible scarring was certainly not nothing in Cordelia’s book considering her reaction to the first one, and that one being in a spot no one else should see.

A hint of a smile curved one corner of his mouth. “You’re not planning any trips to the kitchen to pick up the garlic salt again, are you?”

Laughing, Cordelia denied it. “No. I just didn’t understand the first time. I do now. Besides, this bite is yours. I’ve got proof that you want me whether you’re Angelus or Angel.”

Sitting them up, Angel felt his body stir within her again. More of that soon enough. Now he needed to kiss her again. Her mouth seemed addicting. He kissed her and kissed her and kissed her until Cordelia ran out of breath and then came back for more. Each time Angel started to say something, he was drawn back to her mouth and to his new mark.

Cordelia started to lift her hips, but Angel brought them down hard holding them steady, his cock like hot steel inside her. Finally, he said, “I want everything you have to give. Your kisses…,” Angel closed his mouth over hers for another passionate kiss, “the heat of your skin…,” and then trailed his large hands over her flesh, “and your sex…,” before running his thumb through her moist curls to circle her clit, “but I want your heart, Cordy. Can I have that too?”

“That depends,” Cordelia panted in response, palming his face, her lips whispering across his. “Only if your kisses are mine, and…oh don’t stop…the rest of you is mine, and…your heart is mine, and only, only if you let me move. I want to move.”

The hand holding her hips in place slid up to the nape of her neck pulling her into his kiss. Holding onto him, Cordelia began to move around him. She was so full of him and yet she needed more. Instinctively, she knew he would give it.

Being with Angel touched her heart and Cordelia knew that if she wanted anything in the all the days and nights he promised would follow, it was his love.

The End.


The Challenge by Scorch

Drunk!Cordy and Drunk!Angelus, Smutty Humor, BtVS Season 2.

Quote: “Oh, wow! Hey, you’re good at that…do it again, see if it feels the same.” 


 

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