Soulbound – Book 2: Chapter 19
A time of truth approaches for our Champion and his Seer, though it is wrapped in darkness, desire and the siren call of eternal life.
“Where is he, Dennis?” Cordelia paced back and forth across her living room carpet. “I paged him like ten minutes ago! Wesley can be so slow. He’s a slug.”
The door bell rang and Dennis opened the door to admit Wesley Wyndam-Price who was gasping for air as if he had been running a great distance. Doyle’s old place was not that far away and Wesley was still living there until he found a better place of his own. The text message Cordelia had sent him was simple and to the point: My apt. Angelus. Come now.
Entering the apartment with a large cross in one hand and a stake in the other, he gazed left and right, but saw nothing out of the ordinary to indicate the evil Angelus was in the apartment. Cordelia had stopped pacing to watch Wesley go from room to room.
“What are you doing?”
“Looking for Angelus,” that seemed obvious. “Did he leave?”
Rolling her eyes at the former Watcher, Cordelia told him. “He isn’t here. Would I stop to send you a text message if Angelus was after me?”
“Oh.” Wesley hadn’t thought of that. “Then why am I here?”
“I think I may have done a bad, bad thing.” Cordelia nibbled nervously on her lower lip. “Terrible. I went shopping with Rebecca.”
Rebecca Lowell was the Hollywood actress whom Angel had saved from potential murder. She kept getting death threats from an unknown party. Cordy had been thrilled to meet her and even handed out one of their Angel Investigations business cards never thinking that the woman would contact them with a request for on-going assistance.
Angel had accepted the job at Cordelia’ pleading despite the fact that he felt the actress could afford a real investigator. Not a vampire who pretended to be one while helping the helpless after dark.
“The shopping was terrible?”
“Huh? No, that was fantastic. Do you know they close stores for her?”
“Cordelia,” Wesley interrupted just as she started in on describing her divine lunch at Mirabelle’s.
“Sorry.” Cordelia explained that over lunch Rebecca kept asking her questions about Angel.
“Oh, you know, where does Angel hail from, what’s his favorite color, what kind of after-shave he wears, the exact specific details on how someone could make themselves into a vampire.”
Wesley gasped, remembering Rebecca’s accidental discovery of Angel’s true nature. “You don’t think she would try to—”
Cordelia cut in, “What? That she’d try to maneuver Angel into an exchange of bodily fluids to make herself eternally young and beautiful, thus saving her failing career? Gee, now that you mention it.”
After a pause, Wesley pointed out, “Angel wouldn’t— I mean he feels— that is to say you are—.”
“Angel might not, but I don’t trust that skanky no-good ho any farther than I can throw her.”
“I thought you liked her.”
“Oh, I did,” Cordelia assured him. Then glowered, “Until she started trying to get her hooks into Angel. She’s gonna try something and I don’t want bliss of any kind being had.”
Wesley wondered aloud, “Are you afraid Angelus will escape or that it will happen when Angel is with her?”
“Shut up, Wesley! I called you so that you could bring your motorcycle. I don’t want to take the bus. Too slow.”
Meanwhile, Rebecca was at her most charming having curled herself up on the sofa next to Angel. The vampire was looking a little nervous. This had gone beyond the bounds of a quiet celebration for which the actress had brought a bottle of champagne. She was in seductress mode and while she was certainly beautiful, Angel didn’t want that. Couldn’t have that, even if he did.
He covered his confusion by drinking all of the champagne in his glass, not even noticing the slight aftertaste. Soon he was feeling just fine. Never complained when Rebecca’s hand crept under his shirt to move along the contours of his chest. Barely thought twice when she snuggled closer and told him he deserved some happiness.
“That’s probably not a good idea,” Angel cautioned her even while something in the back of his mind shouted in glee. “Hmm— you smell so good.”
Feeling her hand on his flesh, “So warm.”
“Do you miss that?” Rebecca asked. “You don’t have to. You can have what you’ve been craving all these long, lonely years. We both can. Forever.”
“What? Whoa. What are you saying?” Angel’s head was spinning as he watched the raven-haired human expose her throat to him.
“You know what I’m saying.”
Angel struggled to stay focused. He could feel himself starting to lose control. “This isn’t a game, Rebecca. You think you want eternity? I think you need a taste of what you’re really asking for.”
He dragged her physically over to the refrigerator, forcing her against the edge of the counter while he opened a bag of blood and sprayed it down her throat. It covered her throat and dripped down to the top of her dress. She tried not to gag on it, but Rebecca was already looking scared.
“What did you do to me?” Angel demanded.
Angel looked back at the champagne glasses. “You put something in my drink.”
Rebecca confessed, “I just wanted you to relax a little, Angel. Lower the defenses a bit.”
Grabbing her, now barely controlling his anger, he shook her roughly. “What was it?”
“Just a little happy pill.” She said as Angel dropped his head to her shoulder, panting. “Oh, God. I’m so sorry.”
“Everybody is so sorry,” Angel said against her flesh.
Pleading for understanding, the woman told him, “I just wanted us both to be happy.”
“Oh, but I am happy,” Angel replied with a smile against her shoulder.
“Yes.” Rebecca screamed as the vampire’s teeth crunched down into the fleshy part of her shoulder. He released her an instant later just so he could see her face.
Rebecca watched in horror as she realized the warning Cordelia had provided was more than just a sign of jealousy. There really was an evil side to Angel. What was it she had called him— Angelus?
“Free,” he answered with a laugh.
Then Angelus proceeded to toy with the woman. Let her run, and then pull her closer for a better view of his fangs. This was so much fun. Hadn’t had any since Sunnydale. He wanted to draw this out— make it last. Make her beg for mercy before he killed her.
Rebecca somehow made into the elevator. She didn’t know what buttons to push and so the elevator actually went too far. Opening the outer doors, she tried to shimmy out between the narrow gap. When a hand gripped her ankle, trying to pull her out, Rebecca screamed.
“Ms. Lowell,” Wesley called out. “It’s okay.”
“Thank god! You have to help me! He’s trying to kill me.” On her feet again, Rebecca saw that Cordelia was also present. The look on the younger woman’s face showed that she knew exactly what the actress had planned.
Cordelia took one look at the actress’ clothes and the bite on her shoulder before calling her exactly what she felt, “You slut!”
Standing close, Cordelia’s eyes sparked a dangerous fire. “You did it with him, didn’t you?”
Before Cordy could continue her ranting, Wesley managed to get the truth out of the woman. “Doximal?!”
“What’s that?” Cordelia wanted to know what the bitch had done.
“It’s a powerful tranquilizer,” Wesley revealed. “It induces— bliss.”
Cordelia slowly realized that Angel had not slept with Rebecca. He’d been drugged. Then Wesley told her, “He hasn’t really turned, Cordy. It’s an illusion— not real.”
“So its Angel, not Angelus?”
“Not really. Though he might not know the difference for a few hours until the drug wears off.” Wesley suggested that they get out of the building until it was safe to come back.
Rebecca took that suggestion, immediately running for the door, and was out into the front of the street just before the office lights went out.
“Looks like somebody didn’t pay the power bill.” Angel strolled into the office wearing his human face. “Cordelia? I’d lay odds that the phone’s dead too. What happens if there is an emergency?”
Wesley saw that the vampire’s attention was immediately fixated upon Cordelia. That could not be good. Angel without any control over his instincts looking at a luscious prize like Cordelia Chase? No. Definitely not good, especially considering that there was already a dangerous level of near-intimacy between them.
“This is just an illusion, Angel.” He tried to explain about the drug. “It’s just chemical suggestion— simulated.”
“Names Angelus,” he pointed out. “Simulated? Might have to get me more of this stuff. That explains why I’m able to get out for a little fun. The blasted soul connection has kept me under for a while.”
The vampire continued to approach Cordelia who was standing her ground near the office water cooler. Wesley didn’t want any harm to come to her. “I don’t want to resort to drastic measures, but unless you listen, I warn you—”
Laughing, Angelus couldn’t believe the English wimp was actually taking a stand. “You suddenly grow a pair, Wes?”
With a move that gave Wesley no time to act, Angelus lifted him up tossing him into a corner- knocking him out.
“Wesley!” Turning back to Angelus, Cordelia found him standing directly in front of her. There was no place to go. No where to run.
“Hello, kitten,” Angelus said. “Been a long time.”
“Oh, that’s right. Got a little amnesia.”
Cordelia lifted a hand to her throat. “Was that you?”
“Well it certainly wasn’t a barbecue fork.” Angelus reached out to push her hand away so he could look at the place his mark used to be.
Trying to remind herself that this was really Angel and not Angelus, Cordelia made herself remain as calm as possible. Upsetting the vampire would not be good. Still, she had to ask, “What are you going to do? Kill me?”
Angel’s mouth quirked into a one-sided leer. “That would be a waste. Besides, there are far too many things I have to do to that body before we talk about killing you, my sweet succulent Cordy. Even then, it wouldn’t be forever. I’d have you by my side for eternity.”
Gasping, she saw amber flash in his eyes. A sign she had come to know meant arousal, whether that be in lust or anger. She felt herself respond, staring up at him with a heated look. All it took was thinking about him, much less having him near.
But Angel wasn’t Angel.
As his thumb caressed her throat, the vampire knew what had to be done. He would take her, mark her, make her his. This time there would be no forgetting about it. This time she would remember who put that mark on her throat.
Angelus leaned in, claiming her mouth. He kissed differently when he was like this, Cordelia realized, feeling herself giving in to his needs. Angelus was not patient in any way, the tenderness was gone from his kiss. All that was left was demand and desire.
She was pressed up against the wall with her knuckles grazing the paint as Angelus held her wrists over her head with one hand. His other moved to open her shirt so that her bra-covered breasts lay exposed to his touch.
Opening the front clasp with a flip, Angelus let out a low rumble as he cupped her bare flesh in his hand. “Mine. You’re so beautiful, soft and silky, taut and tight everywhere. My very own prime piece of ass.”
The touching felt far better than it should under the circumstances. Despite his strength, he wasn’t being rough. “Don’t do this,” Cordelia pleaded softly. “I-I don’t want my first time to be like this, Angel.”
Releasing her wrists, he moved down to palm her face with both hands. A chuckle emerged, one that scared her a little. “Cordy, Cordy, Cordy. I have to say that you are very persistent.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
Angelus stepped back letting his gaze travel from her long chestnut hair down to her toes. He paused along the way back up, checking out her magnificent breasts. Then he saw it resting along her cleavage. Something that had been hidden by her shirt.
A necklace made of a corded chain held the memory crystal. “Where did you get that?”
Following his gaze, Cordelia told him. “Your desk. You said it belonged to me. I had it made into a necklace when I went shopping with Rebecca. It’s beautiful, Angel.”
The irony forced another laugh to emerge. Lifting a finger, Angelus waggled it and issued a command. “Come here, Cordy.”
“No,” Cordelia shook her head. That was a bad idea. “Comfy here.”
“It’s going to happen,” Angelus told her. “You’re mine. I want you.”
“I-I want you too,” Cordelia admitted. “I love you, Angel. I don’t want you to feel bad about this when the drug wears off.”
“Won’t matter, baby,” he grinned evilly. “Because I’ll have everything I want.”
Cordelia yelled at him. “What about what I want?”
“We’ll get to that. Me first.” Angelus moved over to the desk, thrusting everything on it save the computer to the floor. Some of the paperwork fell on the unconscious body of Wesley Wyndam-Price. “Desk. Now.”
Incensed, Cordelia was agape at the idea. “I am not letting you take my virginity on that desk, you crazy vamp.”
“Is that better than the hood of your car?”
Walking toward her again, Angelus asked her, “How many times do I have to take your precious virginity for you to remember that you no longer have it?”
Cordelia didn’t even manage a squeak that time. The vampire was making no kind of sense to her.
Coming within arm’s distance, Angelus curled his lips showing his perfect teeth. “Well, you know what they say. Third time’s the charm.”
Holding up a finger, Cordelia warned him off. “Don’t you touch me, Angel. You’ll regret it.”
“Maybe at first, but then it’ll be all my pleasure from there.”
He was standing so close, staring down at her with those lust-filled eyes. Cordelia wanted to give in, let him take what he wanted. But Angel wasn’t the only one who would regret that. Why did he have to be under the influence the first time she told him she loved him? It wasn’t fair.
Angelus didn’t even act surprised at her declaration. He just seemed to know it, moving right on with the I-want-you-on-the-desk routine.
“I can smell your heat from here,” the vampire took a deep indrawn breath. “I can taste it already.”
“Eew! So not wanting to hear that right now. I don’t want you.”
“Liar! Baby, when I’m though here, you’ll be begging for my touch.” Angelus promised as he trailed a finger down her throat. “You keep pretending that it’s the Soul that keeps you here despite your fear. Well, the Soul pulled a bigger mind fuck on you than I ever did to your body.”
Confused, Cordelia could only whisper a protest that even she didn’t understand.
“Let’s do it now,” Angelus decided, forgetting about the desk. “I’m gonna take your virginity all over again, and I won’t even have to remove your clothes. All it takes is— this.”
As his finger reached the curve of her cleavage, Angelus wrapped his fist around the crystal necklace preparing to crush it.
Then suddenly Wesley charged over with a scream, pushing at the vampire. Angelus released his hold on the necklace, but its thin ties broke sending it crashing to the floor. The vampire tumbled into the open elevator shaft, leaving Wesley dangling dangerously near the opening.
Clutching at her shirt, Cordelia hurried over to check on Wesley and her vampire. Angel was out cold at the bottom of the shaft. Wesley appeared to be fine despite the fact that the vampire had knocked him out for a time. Though he had overhead some of the last of the conversation with Cordelia; Wes wondered whether Angelus was trying to scare her or if it actually meant something.
When consciousness returned, Angel found himself chained to his bed. Twice as many chains as they used when Penn was around and they thought Angelus had started killing again. Glancing up, he saw Cordelia and Wesley sitting on chairs at the bottom of the bed, watching him.
“Are you still evil?” Cordy asked him, her arms folded across her chest and a not-so pleasant look in her eye.
Wesley turned to her with a reminder, “He wasn’t really—.”
Cordy held up a hand commanding silence. “Yeah. Not really Angelus. Just thought he was. Put on a pretty good act if you ask me.”
Angel looked remorseful. “I need to apologize to you both.”
Waving that off, Wes told him, “There’s no need.”
“Hello! Victim here.” Cordelia stood up, now glaring at Wesley who strategically made an exit from the bedroom. It would be safe enough with Angel chained up for a while if they needed to talk things out.
Waiting until Wesley wandered out into the kitchen, Cordelia closed the door. This was just between her and Angel. Didn’t need him listening in— accidentally or otherwise. She went back to the bed, sitting on the edge and putting her hand on the part of his arm not covered in chains.
But he didn’t let her speak. Angel rushed in to ask, “Do you remember?”
“Of course I remember, dumbass!” Cordelia told him. “It was only like half an hour ago. Not stuff that’s easy to forget, even if I don’t know why you said it.”
Then Angel realized that he had not crushed the crystal before Wesley attacked. “The necklace, Cordy. Can I see it?”
“Uh— yeah.” Why it mattered was another mystery, but Cordelia pulled it out of her pocket holding it up for his view. “You yanked on it and it fell to the floor. I thought it might have been ruined, but see— there’s only a teensy tiny flaw.”
Angel saw a miniscule black line down one side of the spell crystal. Apparently, Cordy’s memories were still intact. Letting out a moan, he let his head fall back against the pillow. How much more of this could he take?
Noting the vampire’s silence, Cordelia decided that he might actually let her get a word in. “Angel, I— some of the things you said. They scared me. You acted as if we were already lovers, except that it was Angelus not you. Taunting me about being a virgin—
Or not being one?”
“Don’t be afraid.”
“I’m not afraid, Angel. I’m mad.” Cordelia said. “There’s something you are keeping from me. Something to do with Angelus biting me that I can’t remember. Even Spike knew about it, hinting at things that made no sense.”
Realizing that he kept digging himself into a deeper hole, Angel reached for the only option left by begging her to let it go. “Cordy, please don’t ask.”
She was about to let the bubbling volcano blow when he added, “If I promise to tell you when I’m ready, will you let it go for a while?”
After a thoughtful pause, Cordelia leaned over to brush a kiss across his mouth. “You’re a lucky vamp, Angel. The fact that I love you goes a long way.”
Grinning, he tried to reach her mouth for another kiss, but she moved off of the bed out of reach. “Love you too.”
“I know that,” Cordelia told him with an impish grin, heading for the door.
Opening the door first, she turned to look over her shoulder. “Yes?”
“You’re not going to untie me?”
“After the things you said to me?” Cordelia looked at him with an evil expression that might rival Angelus himself. “Pfft!”
SOULBOUND – BOOK TWO – THE NEXT CONNECTION: CHAPTER LINKS