friends n neighbors_v9

EPILOGUE:   What’s Mine is Yours. . .Or is it?


Cordelia wandered down from the parking garage entrance through to the living room space they had converted to a training room. It had been her idea to open up the connecting door and turn their apartments into one larger shared space. It was not yet fully decorated, but she was working on it little by little.

As expected, Angel was going through his usual martial arts workout. Hanging back to watch was only partly due to the fact that seeing him flicked some switch inside her that immediately made her thoughts turn to sex. It still surprised her…that instant reaction. Maybe someday she could look at him wearing his white tank tucked into low-slung sweats and just see a sweaty guy instead of a sexy manpire, but not today.

Hanging back to watch his skin glistening as his muscles flexed with controlled movements, she just wanted to try out a few new naughty ideas. Too bad for her that sexy fun was not going likely to be had any time soon once she told Angel the news. This was not going to go well, she predicted with a little shudder.

Finishing his set, Angel crossed the room to greet her. He cupped her neck, his thumb stroking her jawline as if sensing her rising tension. “You’ve been gone all afternoon. I missed you.”

One of these days she would have to teach him that couples did things other than have wild, passionate sex in their bedroom, or the kitchen, or the office, or a number of other places that basically equated to spending time at home or work. It was not exactly his favorite subject, but Cordelia did have other things going on in her life that required some attention.

Honestly, she answered, “I missed you, too,” because it was difficult not to think about him when they were apart even for a few hours. The sentiment was nice, but it would not be enough to distract him from what she needed to say, so Cordelia decided to just charge forward. “A funny thing happened on the way to my audition, which I so would have knocked out of the park…if I had gotten there on time.”

The weekend play had been a personal triumph despite the reviews, and Cordelia had persevered when told the director would not pursue a longer run. Today, she had planned to jump back into the game by auditioning for a commercial.

Angel pulled back a couple of inches, crossing his arms as his eyes narrowed suspiciously. Warily asking, “You were late. What funny thing?”

Drawing in a deep breath, she released it slowly. “First, well—ah…I should probably tell you that I borrowed something of yours.”

He appeared to relax and pointed out this was hardly the first time Cordelia had confiscated his belongings for her own use, either temporarily or on a more permanent basis. Rattling off a list of items, he pointed out that his continued irritation at her tendency to take without asking verged on the inane. “Cordy, we’re living together,” he chuckled trying to see what she held behind her back, obviously imagining it to be some broken priceless treasure. “I don’t care if you borrow my stuff.”

Wow! Angel was taking this far better than expected.

Cordelia flung her arms around him planning to kiss him, but losing her hold on the key ring that jangled on its way to the floor. The sound was unmistakable causing Angel to pull away and stare at the damning evidence.

Angel’s head snapped back up, his question almost a whisper of terror. “You borrowed my car?”

“Uh, yeah. What happened to the whole what’s mine is yours to borrow speech?” It wasn’t like she was driving without a license. Sheesh! Talk about overkill. Still, this was the reaction she had been betting on.

“You took the Plymouth.” The statement made it sound like he owned more than one car.

Hooboy! Cordelia nodded, and pressed a soothing hand against his chest. Explaining in sound bites, she tried to make him see her point of view. “Audition. In a hurry. No time for public transportation.”

Obviously, there was more to it than that, but Angel had already leapt ahead to imagining worse case scenarios. He gulped deeply so that his Adam’s apple bobbed. “What funny thing?”

“Maybe that was a poor choice of words,” she admitted with a little cringe. “Fender-bender is probably much more accurate. Y’know, the Plymouth doesn’t exactly corner like my Corvette.”

“Cor-de-lia,” he growled out his frustration in monosyllabic tones. He snatched up the keys, pausing on his run toward the garage to warn her that there was more to come, “Don’t move.”

The itty-bitty dent in the silver bumper was tiny, miniscule. It barely registered to the human eye. Of course, Angel would claim that it looked like a gigantic crater. Sensing one of their frequent little spats coming on, where Angel usually tried to complain about the most ridiculous things, like her desperate need to leave work for a Manolo Blahnik shoe sale, Cordelia decided that she was not going to stand there and wait for Angel to come back and lecture her about what and what not to borrow without his express permission.

By the time Angel got back from the garage and his detailed inspection of his precious convertible, she would be showering away the frustrations of her flubbed audition. And if a certain vampire happened to stalk after her while she was in there, all naked and sudsy, Cordelia felt pretty good about the odds that they would not be arguing about the cost of car repair.



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