04: A Dance Before Bedtime

Double or Nothing

Chapter 4: A Dance Before Bedtime

Later in the week, Angelus grabbed his favorite jacket heading out of the mansion before his overzealous double could interrogate him about his plans for the evening. So what if it was also Angel’s favorite jacket. He’d just have to get used to the idea and buy another one. Having set up his own suite of rooms on a separate floor, Angelus had not been pleased with Angel’s possessive attitude to items that clearly belonged to him.

Finally, they had come to an agreement, but only after the argument nearly caused them to come to blows. The only thing they had not settled on was the Plymouth. Its fate was still up in the air, but since Angel had the keys hidden there was no chance of stealing it unless he hotwired the car. He’d never do that— might damage something accidentally.

Making his way to the Bronze, Angelus decided he needed a little fun. The demon bars were hopping, but there was only so much gaming and gossiping he could handle without wanting to kill someone. Besides, it was about time he got lucky. Being shrouded with a soul for decades, Angelus felt as if he’d been missing something. It had been too damn long since he had been free to choose whom to bed and how he wanted to take her. Not counting Buffy’s innocent little games or her recent pheromone-driven bouts of tongue-wrestling, Angelus hadn’t had any in over a year.

Except for the Fates, Angelus grinned at the memory. He was certain that higher beings didn’t count. They made the demand as a way to seal the deal. Not his choice. Besides, it wasn’t exactly his thing. Way too much frolicking.

He perused the crowd checking out the possibilities. His vampire senses were thrumming as the heat, sweat, scent and beating hearts surrounded him. What he wouldn’t do just to bite and drain the lot of them. Angel had him on a diet of O-pos and pig’s blood in an effort to wean him off the real thing. It was swill. Yet another constraint the Fates had placed upon him. No killing humans.

“Not like most of them would be missed,” Angelus muttered to himself as he walked over to the bar.

He heard a familiar laugh and turned to see Cordelia Chase standing with several of her usual hangers-on. She was in Queen C form tonight, dressed in a hot red dress that clung to every curve. Definitely an attention-grabber. One or two of her groupies caught his eye as well. Well, he supposed Cordelia was a magnet for attracting beautiful people into her life even if they were brainless nitwits who hoped to gain something from her popularity.

Stalking through the crowd, Angelus ran a hand over Cordelia’s lush ass, giving one cheek a firm squeeze. The fire in her eyes as she whipped around to face him only spurred him on. Her deathglare went unseen by the Cordettes who started to giggle flirtatiously as they looked him over. This would be too easy, Angelus realized as the girls preened and batted their eyelashes in his direction.

“Hello, ladies,” Angelus smiled sensually. His gaze passed over each of them until it settled back on Cordelia.

Whereas the others had been giving him engaging looks, Cordelia flashed irritation at the interruption. “Why are you here?”

“Don’t be so rude, Cor,” Aura pleaded hoping that he wouldn’t leave. “Introduce us.”

“I already know who you are— Aura,” Angelus told her. Lurking provided information that could always be used to one’s advantage. She looked rather pleased at the fact that he knew her name.

Cordelia’s blond friend nearly jumped into his personal space. “I’m Harmony.”

As she giggled, Angelus put a hand on her shoulder running his thumb across her bare collar bone. “I know that too.”

“You’re— Angel?” Aura confirmed since Cordelia was glowering at them all. “Buffy Summers’ boyfriend.”

“No,” the vampire shook his head. “I’m his evil twin.”

“Riiiight!” The other girls were giggling like they didn’t believe him.

Angelus’ eyes were sparkling with mirth as he silently dared Cordelia to tell them the truth. He added for their benefit, “Call me Angelus.”

Harmony giggled at Aura nudging her with an elbow. “Evil twin! Tee hee! Imagine if there were really two of him.”

“I’m here to dance, ladies,” Angelus revealed with a grin that left them all panting. “Who wants this body tonight?”

Cordelia rolled her eyes. Ugh. Could he get any cornier?

There was a brief struggle as the small group of six girls jockeyed for position in order to claim a dance. It was all highly amusing, especially as the more her friends cooed for his attention, the angrier Cordelia got.

Her voice dripped with sarcasm as she asked, “You dance?”

Winking, he otherwise ignored the question. “Shall I take you all on?” Angelus flirted outrageously.

Pissed that he was toying with her friends, Cordelia finally decided to put an end to this foolishness. “Not before you take on me.”

The Cordettes suddenly fell silent. Cordelia always won. She said a few words to the group and they scattered quickly. Once they were alone, Cordelia turned to demand, “Leave them alone, you bastard.”

“What happened to taking you on, baby?” he purred wickedly. The look in his eyes suggested he wasn’t just talking about dancing.

“Don’t call me that. I’m not your baby. I’m not anything remotely yours.”

Angelus’ gaze dropped down to her body’s obvious arousal. “So why is your body responding to mine? All that flushed golden skin. That telltale perky reaction. Your heart beating faster when I’m near.”

“That’s fear,” Cordelia snapped.

His white teeth flashed as he grinned back. “Don’t fool yourself, cheerleader. Surely you know the difference between fear and arousal.”

“Shut up!” Cordelia pushed on his chest so that he moved onto the dance floor. “If you are here to dance, then you’ll dance with me. I don’t want you corrupting my friends with your evil vamp paws.”

The vampire yanked her up against him. “We’ll dance, Cordelia. If that’s what you want. Keep in mind that I don’t plan to leave the Bronze alone. Someone here tonight is going to end up in a horizontal position in my bed at the end of the evening. More than one position, come to think of it.”

With a gasp, Cordelia automatically tried to push herself out of his arms. To her surprise, he actually let her go without argument. Angelus gave her a meaningful stare. “Leave me and your friends are fair game.”

The vamp was actually attempting to blackmail her into sleeping with him. “I didn’t think the great Angelus would have to resort to threats to get girls to fall into bed.”

“I don’t. I’m just giving you one last chance to be the first to try out this brand new body of mine,” he leered.

“Pfft! You are such a perv, Angelus.” Cordelia told him. “My friends may fall for your act, but I know you.”

Angelus felt her anger whip through him. He loved that fire in her eyes. No matter how she tried to hide it, he knew he turned her on. “Come back to the mansion with me. By morning you’ll know me a lot better.”

“Pfft!” Taking a defiant stance, hands on her hips, Cordelia didn’t bother responding with more than a slightly disgusted huff of air.

“Don’t deny that you’re curious,” Angelus brushed the back of his fingers across the outer curve of her breast. A tiny gasp betrayed her, but that wasn’t the only thing as his voice dropped even lower. “You’re shivering and creaming in your panties. Is that fear or desire? Maybe it’s both.”

Cordelia slapped his hand away. “You can’t hurt anyone. If my friends choose to be seduced by you that is their problem, but you don’t stand a chance of seducing me.”

Leaving him standing on the edge of the dance floor, Cordelia walked swiftly toward the exit. Angelus watched her stride away on those stiletto heels and found himself thinking she looked just as good going as she did coming. Licentiously adding, She’ll be coming beneath me soon enough.

Despite her denial, he knew that she was aroused by his presence. It might be residual effects from the old days when she had the hots for Angel who was too righteous to take advantage of the fact that the cheerleader had a crush on him. That irritated him, actually. Cordelia’s attention belonged to him.

Even her fear. She seemed determined to use her fear as a barrier. As if she refused to believe anything else was possible. While part of that— fear itself— delighted his demon nature, another part was determined to make her eat her words, to make her want him. Someday soon, he promised himself, Cordelia would be begging him for it.

Tonight he just needed to get laid.

Catching sight of Harmony as she waved at him from the bar area, Angelus crooked a finger in her direction waggling it so that she practically jumped up and down in delight that he had noticed her. Perky, idiotic little cheerleader. She’ll do.

Cordelia paused at the exit door trying not to look over her shoulder at the vampire who irritated her as much as he scared her. She couldn’t resist the urge and found that Angelus was still on the dance floor, but was now wrapped up in Harmony’s arms. A hot flash of anger burst from her solar plexus as she saw him pull her close.

“Figures,” she muttered as her insides knotted in reaction, “he would choose a blonde.”

At school the next day, Harmony was all too eager to tell her friends about her encounter with ‘Angel’. She continually gushed and blushed her way through the story. “He makes the football players look like little boys.”

By lunchtime rumors had already spread to Buffy Summers that her handsome boyfriend was cheating on her. Several people saw him dancing at the Bronze and he reportedly left with Harmony. Deciding that she had to talk to the other blonde, Buffy confronted her in the afternoon between classes. Cordelia was standing there as an unwilling witness at the time, trying to get the books for her next class out of her locker.

“That wasn’t Angel,” informed Buffy determined to make Harmony understand.

Giggling at the fact that Buffy Summers was trying to pretend it didn’t happen, Harmony told her details about the tattoo on Angel’s back. Only the fact that she wasn’t certain that Angelus would have a duplicate tattoo made her worry. It was stupid to think that Angel was cheating when he went through all of this to be with her.

“Angel wasn’t at the Bronze last night, you bimbo,” Buffy scoffed. “He was with me. If you slept with someone, it was only his evil jokester of a— twin.”

Harmony glanced at Cordelia questioningly. “Angel really does have an evil twin?”

With a long sigh, Cordelia closed her locker before telling her friend, “Angelus is not to be trusted. I know him, Harmony. That’s why I didn’t want you dancing with him last night.”

“You left fast enough,” Harmony pointed out giving Buffy the new information that the vampire had also interacted with Cordelia at the Bronze.

“He— made me mad.”

“Well don’t expect me to lay off just because you don’t like him,” warned Harmony. “He makes my toes curl just by looking at him. Oh, Cor! Remind me never to go out with a high school boy again. These college guys really know what they’re doing.”

Buffy felt like punching the blond cheerleader. Even if it was the evil Angelus they were talking about, he still looked like her Angel. Watching her leave, Buffy placed a hand on Cordelia’s arm to hold her back. “I never liked that girl.”

“Harmony is ditzy slut,” admitted Cordelia, “but she’s still my friend. It sounds like Angelus didn’t hurt her. I was worried about that.”

“You knew Angelus had plans to sleep with Harmony?”

Cordelia shrugged. “What was I supposed to do? Tell Harmony that Angelus was an evil vampire and she should stay away? I’d sound like a crazy person.”

“I see the point,” Buffy agreed with a frown as she recalled why she had stormed up to confront the blonde. Just as the class bell rang, Buffy added, “Giles has a Scooby meeting set up for six o’clock tonight.”

“I have practice tonight, so I may be a little late.” Cordelia hardly noticed Buffy leaving as she thought about what Harmony had said.

Angelus made her toes curl.

Was that how she looked to Angelus last night when her body literally perked up to take noticed of the fact that he was there? The thought of it had her quivering, but it didn’t exactly feel like fear. He was a vampire. Angelus had no business making anyone’s toes curl in pleasure just by looking at him, especially if the toes belonged to her.


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