Angel gives Cordelia what she wants on her birthday.
- CONTENTS: C/A in AtS
- CATEGORY: Fluff
- LENGTH: Short Story / 1,500 words
- STATUS: Completed
- PREQUEL: Scorch’s fic ‘Birthday Surprises’
- FIC NOTES: Written for Scorch on her birthday as a sequel to her ficlet
- FICPIC CREDIT: Lysa
Cordelia’s head buzzed pleasantly as she stared at Angel’s profile. He was driving her home from the party in an open-topped convertible. Since when did he own a car? The wind whipping through her hair felt invigorating against her skin and she’d had just enough of that champagne to giggle at the random thoughts popping into her head.
Angel’s dark masculine appeal hadn’t changed a bit since their days in Sunnydale. Except that he didn’t seem to have a blonde hanging on his arm tonight. Big surprise there.
Hearing her indelicate snort, Angel glanced in Cordelia’s direction only to find her staring at him with a slightly glazed expression. “You okay? You’re not going to be sick are you? I could pull over.”
“I’m more than okay,” she purred with a slow smile. His eyebrows quirked up at the sultry tone until it darkened into a suspicious query. “Are you scared that I’m gonna mess up your precious car?”
Tonight she’d been determined to have a good time even if the Hollywood party was just another excuse to meet and greet talent agents. This birthday had been a lot different than those of her Sunnydale days when she was Queen C and worshipped by all.
There was a severe lack of presents. So a little over-indulging of the bubbly stuff could not possibly be a bad thing. Angel turning up was a huge surprise and suddenly she couldn’t seem to think of anything except how good it was to see him again.
Forget the fact that he seemed to be just as worried about his classic car as he was her condition.
Answering honestly, Angel looked nervous, “Yes.”
Cordelia started to giggle again, this time holding her stomach because it hurt to laugh. “Geez, Angel, you’re just like a guy.”
“I am a guy!” Now he sounded offended, a growl rumbling low in his throat. Turning his attention back to the road, he steered the car toward Cordelia’s apartment.
“Vampire guy,” Cordelia rolled her eyes. “Just male. Sheesh! It’s not like I compared you to Jude Law and found you didn’t measure up.”
Another grumble followed, “Bet I would.”
“Bet you would, too,” the pleasant little thought popped up and just wouldn’t go away. Cordelia felt her cheeks flush at the direction of her thought as her wandering eyes trailed down every inch of Angel’s solid frame, inwardly complaining that too much of it was hidden by his leather jacket.
Angel’s mouth twitched into a smirk as he realized Cordelia had no idea that she’d spoken aloud. Now stopped at a traffic light, he had a moment to look at her without the hindrance of steering the car. The months that had passed since their last meeting had only made her more beautiful and the impish light dancing in her deep hazel eyes left him aching to see more.
Such thoughts were dangerous. Still, he responded to her forward comment anyway, “Think so?”
“It’s my birthday,” she gave explained. Besides, there were no Slayers around to call dibs on the vamp’s attention tonight. “I can think anything I want.”
Grinning at her, Angel suddenly wondered if he could even remember the last time he had smiled or laughed so much in the course of one evening. The remainder of the car ride to Cordelia’s apartment went too swiftly to Angel’s liking. He’d been enjoying the feminine sound of her voice as she filled him in on her budding career as a Hollywood starlet.
“That’s twice you’ve missed the turn-off,” Cordelia watched the exit fade behind them. “How did you get to be Scourge of Europe if you never listen to directions?”
Taking the next exit, Angel pointed out, “They didn’t have freeways back then, Cordelia. Besides, Darla usually gave the directions.”
Rolling her eyes again, “Shoulda known,” Cordelia snorted.
Finally reaching her neighborhood they pulled up alongside the curb in front of the three-story apartment building. Angel didn’t look overly impressed with the appearance or safety of the surroundings. He insisted on walking her to her door.
“Thank you for tonight,” he said as they stood in the hall outside.
Cordelia turned her back to the door, resting against it and nibbling softly on her lower lip as she thought about what he’d said. “You gave me the ride home. Why thank me?”
“Just seeing you again reminded me of what it’s like not to be…,” his voice faded out.
“Alone?” Cordelia reached out to press her hand against his chest, her eyes searching his and wondering.
He went quiet and still for long seconds before answering. “I used to love the solitude. It was more difficult to find my place in a crowd unless it was in the shadows.”
“Or on the library steps,” she suggested with a little frown.
“Somehow, it’s different since Sunnydale,” Angel told her. “I’m used to being around people again. Sometimes I miss familiar faces.”
Cordelia reminded him with a slow smile, “I’m a familiar face,” as his fingers waltzed across the curve of her jaw.
“A beautiful one,” he murmured just as the temptation too kiss her became too much to ignore.
Breathing her name on a whisper across her mouth, Angel touched his lips to hers in the gentlest of caresses. Just a taste, a hint of champagne. Cordelia sighed softly and opened up to him as the first kiss blended into the one that followed. Pressing his palms firmly against the door, Angel leaned in, not trusting himself to let his hands explore the lush curves displayed beneath the burgundy silk dress.
Cordelia wasn’t quite so hesitant to touch. Her hands burned a trail of fire as they roamed across his shirtfront. Fingernails curled to trace the ladder of his ribs, her arms finally looping around his neck. Angel wanted nothing more than to pull her against him, to press her close to the throbbing source of his need. But thinking about it reminded him that he shouldn’t be acting so selfishly.
Breaking their kiss, it ended on a mutual moan. Aroused and confused, Cordelia opened her eyes to see find Angel looking down with an expression of guilt and want written upon his handsome face. “Happy Birthday, Cordy.”
Just as he made a move to straighten up, Cordelia’s hand curled into the material of his leather jacket. “That was the first of my birthday wishes,” she confided with a sudden grin that lit up her whole face.
“Kissing me?” Angel’s surprise sounded clear.
“That one’s been on the list for a while,” she dared to admit. “I’m glad you found me tonight.”
Nodding, Angel’s right hand dropped to her shoulder, his thumb making lazy circles against her collarbone. “So am I.” Knowing he should go, Angel found he couldn’t bear to leave. “If wishes were kisses, how many wishes do you get to make tonight?”
Telling him the old Chase tradition, “One for each year,” she suddenly wished she was twenty-five instead of only nineteen.
Despite the buzz still lingering, Cordelia’s brain worked furiously as thoughts of stopping at nineteen kisses only compared to depriving her of this season’s collection of designer shoes. “When is your birthday, Angel?”
Distracted on his way toward stealing another kiss, he answered, “Honestly, I don’t even remember the exact date. It’s been too long, but I’m 200 and some change.”
Angel watched as Cordelia’s lips curled into a satisfied grin, “Then you can share mine. Let’s see. Hmmm. If you get one wish for every—”
Seeing where she was going, Angel instantly corrected himself, “I’m 246. And if you count that 100 years in the hell dimension, I’m a lot older than that.”
“Who says some things don’t get better with age,” Cordelia let out a pfft and turned the lock on her apartment door. “Now about those wishes…”