Soulbound – Book 1: Chapter 5


The Connections Trilogy_Soulbound_1


The First Connection

Chapter 5

Lower being, the trial of past and future only begins with the Day of Judgment. Now the Slayer and the soulless Warrior are at odds. The forces of darkness stir and thrive as they always do under such circumstances. Our future Seer is caught between the forces of Order and Chaos in the form of the Chosen One and the vampire. Battles are not always fought and won with weapons of steel, but sometimes with the most basic of instincts.

Willow Rosenberg glanced around the empty library looking for Giles. He wasn’t in his office. Finally! Did the man sleep here? Well— yes he did on occasion, but that was not the point. If he knew what she was up to he might banish her from the place altogether and that would not be good.

Creeping into the librarian’s office, Willow rummaged through his desk to locate the extra key to the cage where Giles kept all of Buffy’s sparring equipment and the weapons, but more importantly it was where he kept the spell books. He told her she wasn’t ready for the magic in those books, but Willow figured she could trust her own judgment. There was a particular volume she had spotted before, one that Giles said was off-limits, but he had mentioned enough about its contents to suggest it was exactly what she needed.

A muffled sound coming from another part of the library suddenly caught her attention. Giles? Oh, no! Hurriedly, she grabbed the book. Darting out of the cage, she locked it behind her as quietly as possible. Placing the key in her skirt pocket, she knew that Giles would not miss it until she could return the book. There was only one other reference that she might need for this spell. It was in the history and cultures section on the upper level of the library.

The sound came again. “Mmm!” Someone was up there already. “Ah, ooh!” That definitely did not sound like Giles. Whatever was going on up there, it was coming from the back row, the same area where she had found Xander and Cordelia together. There were plenty of reasons—one in particular—that told her it would not be her best friend or childhood nemesis renewing the not-so-funny business she found them doing before.

Still, she had to know. Willow’s approach was so light on the stairs that they made no creaking noises to alert anyone up there to her presence. Sounded like they were too busy to notice anyway. Who could it be? Naughty fun was being had up there. “Yesssss! Ooh!” Anyone might have come along to find them. Lucky for them that she didn’t want to get caught, either.

There were a few possibilities tumbling through her head. Girls or guys that were known for risky behavior. Not that the library was a popular spot for that kind of thing as far as Willow knew. Just a guess, of course, since she spent a lot of time there without incident. Random vampire attacks seemed more frequent than finding students loitering in the library when they were not required to be there.

Willow was positive that it wasn’t Xander and Cordy up there now that the cheerleader was completely smitten with Angelus. Her spell had wiped out any fears Cordelia normally had about vampires, made her fall for Angel— now soulless and evil again— in a hard way, eagerly complying with every whim or desire. It was not the revenge Willow had planned, but the magic had been easier to invoke than it was to reverse. She needed practice, info, the 411 on how to make Angel a good guy again and remember that he was in love with Buffy, not obsessed with Cordelia.

Poor Xander! She actually felt kinda sorry for him now. Dumped for an evil vampire. Not of the good. Should she tell him that she was the responsible one? Maybe after she fixed things. That was why she needed the books.

Having heard from Buffy about Cordelia’s ‘ordeal’, Xander had vowed to dust Angelus if the Slayer wasn’t up for the task. It was probably a good thing the past few nights had been Angelus-free. The vampire and his kin were nowhere to be found. Cordelia had tried to talk him out of going on patrol. “Angelus is my boyfriend now.” Claiming that she did not want his hero tactics, or his attempts at comforting her. “Don’t touch me. Angelus won’t like it, and neither do I.”

Normally, Cordelia only talked about herself, but now it was all about him. Oh, the plans she had for that vampire! It was not exactly the kind of thing Buffy wanted to listen to, but had no choice since Cordy had been staying at her house since that first night because her parents were still out of town. Mrs. Summers insisted making it sound like an endless pajama party.

Denial, thy name is Joyce Summers!

Willow was there as often as she could providing Buffy with some support. Things were tense at the dinner table, but Cordelia seemed to have a way of ingratiating herself into the family. Joyce enjoyed her company, even if she did admit that Cordelia’s view of the world was a bit self-centered. Concern for her outweighed that annoying fact. Even Willow had to admit that it was not bad unless she was talking about Angel, or Angelus, or the fantastic sex, or the way he made her feel, or his plans to keep her by his side.

A low, feminine moan sounded just around the corner. Familiar, too, even if Willow had never heard it quite that way before. Cordelia! “Oh, God, yes! Angelus, please, right there, please, please, lick me there. Sooooo, good. So—ahhhhhh!”

Willow froze on the spot, a gasp escaping at the sound of Cordelia’s climax echoing across the library. Going now! Turning around, she bumped into a book cart positioned at the end of a row knocking it against the bookcase. It clanged just loud enough to disturb the pair in the next row.

The low, angry growl signaled it was time to run, but it was already too late. “Willow, Willow, Willow,” Angelus enjoyed the look of panic on her face as he stepped out behind the bookcase smirking at her.

One hand on the railing and the other holding her borrowed spell book, Willow gave a fleeting glance at the bottom of the steps. Still intending to run for it, she turned away too fast tripping over her own feet. Willow felt herself falling. Before she had a chance to scream, Angelus moved past her with supernatural speed, stopping her fall. Tossing her over his shoulder, he headed back up the stairs.

Having managed to hold onto the book, she used it as a weapon, hitting it against Angelus’s leather clad butt as he walked toward the back row. He chuckled as if it felt good, or her efforts amused him. “Do you like a good spanking, Willow? I’ll keep that in mind.”

Willow pulled the book back sharply. “No, n-no.”

When reaching the top Angelus deposited her on her feet to stand between him and Cordelia Chase who shot her an annoyed look. “Spying on me? You make a habit of that.”

“This is a library. You’re doing things that shouldn’t be done here. Things you shouldn’t be doing at all—with him!”

Cordelia rolled her eyes and apologized to Angelus. “Willow can be judge-y. Ignore her. We’re wasting time. I haven’t seen you in two days.”

Only two? That meant they had been together at least once since the first time.

With his hand around Willow’s thin arm, Angelus reached over to pull the cheerleader closer. “Thinking about you has been a distraction. I can’t get a damn thing done because I want you.”

Maybe it was a good thing, Willow considered. He had no time for plotting evil deeds because he was too busy fantasizing about Cordelia. That might make her feel a smidge better about the result of her spell. Contemplating the matter came to a sudden halt when Angelus kissed Cordelia about as passionately as she had ever seen anyone kiss anybody. Up close and very personal, she unintentionally brushed up against them wishing she was anywhere else.

Reeling away from the intensity of that kiss, even though she was just a spectator, Willow felt kind of jittery and breathless. “Maybe I should go.”

“Not so fast, Red,” Angelus’ attention was back on her again. One too many interruptions, she supposed, because this time he did not sound amused. A dark tone layered his words, his gaze flicking down to the book in her arms, as if he knew her plans. “You’re up to something.”

Quickly shaking her head, Willow denied it. “Just looking for some books.”

Cordelia shooed her toward the steps again. “She does that sort of thing.” It was hard to tell if the move was designed to protect her or just get rid of her so they could be alone.

He snarled a little as he saw through her as clear as crystal. “Lying to me is going to get you the kind of attention you’re not going to like, little witch. Is that what you’re doing?”

Willow gulped. “Nope.” Technically, it was the truth. Books were totally her purpose for being there. What she planned to do with them would definitely not be to his liking. “It’s a book. I suppose one is enough.”

Pointing it out was a mistake. Angelus seemed to recognize it. He snatched the book from her hands. “One from the book cage, a rare translation of the Mortivaricus Incantations. Not exactly light reading.”

“Oh? Looked interesting.”

“Does the watcher know you have this?” It was a tome of rare magics, many of them dark spells.

“I borrowed it,” Willow emphasized promising him that she planned to put it back. Realizing suddenly that she was defending herself to an evil soulless creature with no say at all in what she did demanded he, “Give it back!”

“So fiesty! Now I know you’re up to no good.” Sounding like he approved, Angelus held out the book teasing her with it while she made a couple of grabs at it.

Standing cross-armed and still irritated about the interrupted sex, Cordelia simply rolled her eyes at the pair. She whined slightly, “Stop playing games with Willow! We could be kissing, or something. I have class again in a few minutes.”

Despite her standing there, Angelus told Cordelia that the kisses were just a warmup. “You’ll be late. Take your panties off again,” he ordered softly. “Be ready for me when I’m finished here.”

“Giles will be back,” Willow warned them and saw that Cordy was actually complying with his wishes by shimmying out of her underwear. That didn’t seem like her except that being under the influence of the spell might make her do just about anything that Angelus wanted.

Angelus smirked as he bopped her perky nose with a finger. “Dear old Giles is off on a wild goose chase. He’ll be distracted for another hour or two.”

“You should go,” Cordelia gave her a sharp look even as she twirled her lacy little panties around like a flag to get Angelus’ attention. “I’m ready.”

Wide-eyed and turning red, Willow inched back. “I—I’ll just be going now.”

“You’re not going anywhere,” Angelus practically growled. “Good girls don’t spy on their friends when they’re getting laid. Are you really that curious?”

Willow’s mouth tightened up, not really wanting to answer the question. He dragged her up against the nearest wall, which drew a concerned gasp from Cordelia. Cautioning her rather than Angelus to behave seemed like all kinds of wrong, but that’s what happened. “Don’t provoke him, Willow. He promised not to kill you, but he can still make you sorry about disobeying him.”

Trying to escape his iron grip was impossible as he pressed her wrist to the wall. “I haven’t done anything wrong,” Willow whined her defense. “I just heard a noise. You were being noisy when you. . .when you, um, y’know.”

“That’s too bad for you, little witch, unless you found it exciting. Did you enjoy listening to Cordelia come knowing what I was doing to her? Don’t lie to me.”

Angelus expected an answer even though Willow really did not want to say anything at all. She didn’t want to admit that it made her more curious, or that the technicalities of licking and being licked down there had taken a little roundabout trip in her head. Discovering that it was Cordelia had not made it any less hot.

Heart hammering at the forced confession, she said, “Yes, kind of—I don’t know.”

“Maybe you’re just enough of a bad girl to enjoy this.”

Willow cringed thinking Angelus planned to do something to her, he leaned close to her ear. Whispering, “You get to watch us,” as if he was giving her a special treat.

A shudder rattled her small frame as he loomed close. A tiny part of her still thought that was a sexy thought, but it was wrong. She didn’t want to watch Angelus get it on with Cordelia. If it wasn’t for her burning curiosity Willow knew she would probably tell him he was being gross and that she had no interest whatsoever in playing voyeur, but she would be lying about that, too. The details Cor shared with them that night at the Summers’ house stuck in her head, and she wondered if the reality fit the images floating around ever since.

It was probably not a good thing to imagine Buffy’s Angel without clothes on, but this wasn’t exactly Angel anymore. Did that make it better or worse if she wanted to find out if Cordelia had been exaggerating about his size or his skills? Willow knew that it fell into the none-of-her-business category, but—she gulped hard—her body did not seem to know that as it fluttered into an excited state.

The wicked smirk on Angelus’ face told her that he noticed everything. She usually only got this turned on when thinking about kissing Xander, or on the rare occasion that she experimented with touching herself. He could see and sense every erogenous response, and was taunting her with it.

Risking it, she told him, “I-I don’t want to watch.”

“Then keep those eyes shut tight. You’re not going anywhere.”

Cordelia sounded less than thrilled. “Oh, let her go. I don’t want her here oogling us.”

“Think about it. Do you believe she can keep her mouth shut long enough for us to finish? Unless you’re willing to settle for a quickie.”

Willow chimed in, “I can keep a secret.” She mimed zipping her mouth.

“Liar,” Angelus quipped.

Letting out a soft huff, Cordelia totally got the picture. “You’ll run straight to Buffy and Xander. Even Miss Calendar would do in a pinch since Giles isn’t around.”

Willow’s jaw tightened as she stared back, not denying it.

“Angelus is here to be with me. Busybodies like you and the rest of the gang aren’t invited.”

This was not the clandestine love-fest Cordelia made it sound like. Angelus seemed anxious, too. Guessing they liked the sex, Willow figured that might make them willing to take a few risks. The vampire had come to the school in broad daylight by whatever sneaky means he used to get here. He knew that he might get caught with the Slayer on the premises. For him, maybe the danger was part of the appeal.

Cutting class just to get laid was not the cheerleader’s style. A little kissing on the side with other people’s best friends—totally her. A flash of jealous anger rose up only to be stifled again as Willow remembered what those feelings had wrought. “Y-you don’t like vampires, Cordelia.”

“Hate them. Love Angelus.”

Was it really so simple an adjustment in Cordelia’s mind? Willow hoped she could fix this. Put things back the way they belonged. Assuming she could get out of the room in one piece.

Angelus mused, “I could pluck out her eyeballs. She won’t see a thing, and she’d still be alive.” He grabbed her little chin and turned her face up so he could decide which one to do first. “I promised not to kill you, but there are so many other options.”

Waving off his threat as if that wasn’t even a concern, Cordelia urged him, “Forget about Willow. I’m getting bored.”

Cordelia was within kissing distance again, and couldn’t seem to keep her hands off Angelus. He certainly wasn’t complaining about it, but took a moment to tell Willow, “Stay put. I want you where I can see you. Don’t run. Don’t scream. As soon as we finish, you can go back to class.”

Panicking a little because she knew this wasn’t going to be like accidentally finding a naughty website on the computer, her chin wobbled as she asked, “You plan t-to do stuff to Cordy with me here?”

Angelus’ hands were already on the cheerleader’s curvy body exploring the curve of her trim waist. He didn’t bother answering the obvious. He looked as evil as he obviously was. “Scared, little witch?”

Willow thought she nodded, but couldn’t be certain. She was too busy staring at Cordelia who was pressing herself against the vampire with a surprising urgency almost as if Cordy had forgotten her presence. Her hands were all over the handsome vamp moving from his chest, down past belt of his black leather pants, grabbing and fondling him through the tight material.

There was a lot to grab. Willow’s eyes nearly popped out of her head. “Um, Cordy?”

“Mmm?”

“I’m still here,” she reminded meekly.

Flashing her an annoyed glare, Cordelia issued a quick command, “Shut your eyes, or at least your mouth. Rude, much? You’re interrupting.”

Willow’s mouth snapped shut into a tight little line, but there was no way she could close her eyes. They were superglued open to watch every little touch. Not that she wanted to see them practically devour each other with kisses, each one hotter than the last, or playfully grope things that might feel deliciously soft or firm or stiff in their palms. Zippers were being unzipped, buttons undone, making those places easily accessible—and all too visible.

Her heart pounded so fast she could feel it thumping, but its rhythm could not block the sound of their sexy talk. Willow wanted to cover her ears, but couldn’t. She was still gripping the Mortivaricus Incantations tightly to her chest, partly because it was one solid thing in a world that suddenly seemed to be spinning out of control, but also because it reminded her that she still had a plan, no matter what happened here.

“On your knees, kitten. Show Willow how much you love me.” Angelus said it with a noxious twist as if he cared nothing about the feelings involved as long as he got what he wanted. Lust was the only thing that mattered. That and the triumph of possessing her, while daring Cordelia to prove how far she would go to earn his approval.

For a second, Willow thought she was about to tell Angelus where to shove his request—probably in a painful place—as a little glint appeared in those brown eyes. Angelus jerked stiffly as her grip tightened around his erection. Her pink tongue flicked across the bow of her upper lip teasing him with a prelude of what was to come. Tilting her head up for one more kiss, Cordy gave him a naughty smirk, sank slowly to her knees, and said challengingly, “Bet I can make you come faster than last time.”

How fast was fast for a vampire? Willow had to wonder. That did not bode well for her being stuck here to witness their fun. Cordelia had already told them about Angelus’ preternatural stamina sharing far more details than anyone wanted to hear—mainly Buffy. She had to admit to being curious, but this was not how she planned to learn more. Extensive reading with a few juicy footnotes was more her style.

Turning around to face the wall or staring at the ceiling instead of them came to her as vague suggestions from that little voice in her head that told her it was bad to watch. Neither happened. Glued to the spot, she watched as Cordelia enthusiastically gave him head. Angelus was big and thick in her hand where her fingers gripped and moved along the lower half of his shaft. It was pale, stiff, and distended with shadowy veins making it appear even more intimidating.

Willow licked at her suddenly dry lips as she watched Cordelia’s wet ones slide back and forth, sucking him, flicking at him with her tongue, teasing him with every little move. Angelus collapsed back against the wall staring down at her with half-lidded eyes, the pleasure she created and the torture of holding back his release painted across his face. He touched Cordelia so gently, with his fingers running through her silky hair, or caressing her face as she focused on getting him off.

“You learn quickly.” He praised her for remembering how he liked it, barely able to growl out the words. “Still, you’ve already lost your bet.”

Cordelia somehow managed an, “Mmm-hmm,” without stopping. Being a virgin until only recently—thanks to Angelus—certainly had not stopped her from enthusiastically learning how to please him with the sexy games. He was losing it with every passing second. Those gentle touches altered into desperate clutches as he got closer. His hand closed around the nape of her neck, holding on while still giving Cordelia the freedom to move, while his hips rocked forward just a little faster.

For someone who was so stoic when he had a soul, Angelus seemed to talk a lot. Maybe it was just that he was totally losing control, but grunts, praise, sexy little sounds, and naughty commands spattered out. Willow startled a little when he called Cordelia his hot bitch, but that might not be that far off the mark, she supposed. It was what he said as he came that rubbed her the wrong way. “You’re mine,” he growled possessively through a lustful haze as she swallowed him down. “Mine forever.”

Jittery with arousal, revulsion, and anger, Willow snapped, “No, she’s not! Cordelia never loved you. My spell did this. I’m going to undo it.”

All Willow did was shuffle her feet, but Angelus snapped, “I told you not to move.” Maybe it was clear that she planned run for it while Angelus’ pants were still down around his ankles. Going all fang-faced, he looked like he was about to explode, only not in a good way this time.

“Angelus is my guy. Obvious much?” Kinda, yeah! Nothing subtle about it. Although the blowjob was over, Cordelia still held him in her hand slowly stroking him back to a hardened state. Round three coming up.

Feeling overwhelmed with guilt, Willow blurted out, “It’s not your fault. I’m so sorry, Cordy. Really, I am.”

Angelus extracted himself from Cordelia’s grasp, and tucked himself away as he yanked up his leather pants. “What spell?” Practically vibrating with anger as he towered over her, he moved even closer. One quick brush of his hand and she slammed into the wall knocking her head against it. The book she had held onto so tightly fell to the floor with a thunk.

Quivering with fear made her voice shaky as she tried to explain. “Jealousy is a bad thing. Cordelia took Xander away from me—sort of. I wanted her to have a broken heart, too.”

“Cordelia is over that little whelp. He never deserved her.”

Willow dared to point out, “Neither do you.” Her mouth drew into a tight little circle of defiance. “I made her want Angel. He would never want her. Not like . . . not like you do.”

The dark laughter that followed made her shudder. Willow did not find it funny.

“She’s mine,”Angelus leaned close pinching at her chin to keep her eyes on him. She slapped at his hand, but he only jerked her head into a sharp tilt. “Nothing you do will ever change that.”

“My feelings have nothing to do with your stupid magic,” Cordelia defended her love for the vampire. Rightly furious, she made an ugly comment about Willow’s lack of a love life that made her crumple up faster than having an evil vampire within chomping distance.

Willow rubbed at her sore head when Angelus released her turning back to Cordelia. He looked at her up and down, curvy parts still exposed, pink lips swollen and bare of lip gloss. Running his thumb across her mouth, as if he wondered whether their oral pleasures were truly of her own free will.

“Betrayal requires an equal form of punishment.” There was a sudden calm to his voice, although his features remained that of the vampire. Slowly, he stroked Cordelia’s hair, enjoying the sensation of the soft strands slipping between his fingers even as he contemplated a violent course of action.

For a moment, Willow saw Cordelia’s expression mirroring his. Calm and contemplative, as if she too were considering options for some payback. “Her silly spell doesn’t matter. We’re together now.”

“We will be soon,” Angelus promised. “You’re safe at Slayer’s home for now. Soon, you won’t need to worry about her or this interfering little witch ever again.”

Willow sneered at his dismissive tone. One day soon, she would show him. Assuming she got out of the library alive. Until now, Cordelia had protected her from his temper, but now she had sparked her anger, too. Getting out of this was not going to be easy. “How about a big thank you instead? No need to punish me when you both like the outcome.”

The sarcasm amused Angelus. “Why not do both?”

Eyes popping wide, she stuttered, “N-no need. Can’t I just say I’m sorry?”

Cordelia let out a little ‘pfft’ as if telling her that a mere apology would not be enough. Crossing her arms propped her nearly bare breasts in a curvy way that drew Willow’s attention. Staring was wrong, but the distracting display was not her fault. “What kind of punishment?”

Wait! What kind of question was that? Cordelia could not actually think it would be okay to do something bad to her.

Smirking, Angelus leaned close to Cordelia whispering something into her ear that made her flush and draw in an excited little breath. A smile tugged at the corners of her lips. “Okay.”

Willow gulped hard at that little word. That definitely did not sound okay to her.

“Maybe you’ll think twice before interfering with my love life—again,” said Cordelia taking a step back.

Before Willow could say anything to defend herself, Angelus circled her arm in an iron grip dragging her down to the floor with him. Panic set in. Trying to think of a spell that might help was impossible. Too scared to focus, she let out a little whine before the tears started to well in her eyes. “Please!”

Willow flopped down across his lap as Angelus arranged her to his liking. “You’re going to spank me?” she gasped just before his open hand came down hard on her bottom. “Ow! Cordy, please stop this. I’m really sorry.”

He did it again and even through the layers of her skirt, tights, and panties it hurt. Not enough, apparently. A moment later Angelus pushed her skirt aside and tugged hard on the tights and panties simultaneously ripping them asunder. He tossed the tattered fabric in front of her so she could see it just before his hand connected with her bare skin.

It stung! It hurt! Each swat landed in a slightly different spot. After a few hard slaps, her whole bottom felt like it was on fire. Whenever he paused, his hand felt like a cool cloth against her burning skin as he rubbed her reddened ass. Willow let out a little whimper because it actually felt really good after the harsh stings. Until he repeated his actions.

“Try your magics on me and mine again, and a spanking is the least of your worries,” Angelus vowed spanking hard enough to make her cry out each time. “Letting you live is an annoyance. Punishing you again will be much more permanent.”

Cordelia dropped to her knees within inches of them to watch every little reaction. Teeth tugging on her bottom lip, she almost looked a little jealous. “I think this turns you on.”

At first Willow thought she was talking to Angelus, who was definitely still aroused. Having seen with her very own eyes what could never be unseen it was all too easy to determine the nature of the rigid bar digging into the soft flesh of her belly as she lay draped across him. Lifting her gaze, Willow saw that Cordelia was looking straight at her.

“Who, me? N-no. Ow, ow! You think I like this?” Crazy thinking, that’s what it was. On the third round of slaps and rubs, Willow was no longer so sure. Something was going on that made her moan aloud instead of cry out. A few oohs escaped. The soothing pauses started to feel more like a massage she eagerly anticipated to take away the sting. Tingling everywhere now, not just her abused bottom, Willow squirmed against Angelus’ lap.

“Are you ready for your real punishment?” he asked causing her to startle and freeze on the spot.

Asking, “This isn’t it?” Panicking, Willow looked again to Cordelia who seemed just as confused.

“I agreed to a spanking.”

“That was for me. This is for you.”

Cordelia frowned seemingly torn between wanting to agree to whatever he had in mind and feelings that contradicted that instinctual urge. “I can take care of my own revenge, thanks.”

“Oh, but we’re already here.”

Angelus had not stopped the spanking continuing to enjoy the hand-shaped red hue that accompanied each sharp little sting. Worried about what came next, Willow felt his fingers trace the crease of her ass down to the tender flesh between her thighs moving in easy exploration because she was surprisingly wet down there. “Getting spanked definitely turns her on,” he revealed wickedly swirling his fingertips around her special place.

Willow jerked sharply as he touched her, not expecting pleasure. “Ooooh!” She couldn’t help it. That felt so good after the painful stings.

Peeved about what Angelus was doing, Cordelia demanded he stop. “How is this for me?”

Willow’s eyes shuddered closed as he picked up the pace. “Mmm, oooh!”

“Red claims that she made you want me. Isn’t that right, Willow?” He gave her ass another harsh slap before diddling her again.

Trembling at the mix of sensations, no longer certain if she cared whether it was a bad thing, she found it hard to speak. Complying, Willow gave them the answer he was looking for. “It’s my fault you gave him your virginity.”

“It was mine to give. You had nothing to do with it.”

“H-he took it,” Willow corrected only to grind herself against the delicious pressure of those talented fingers. “You didn’t have a choice.”

Angelus suddenly speared his long fingers inside her causing Willow to cry out at the sharp pain of that initial intrusion. “Neither do you, witch.”

“Hey!”

“By rights, I should fuck her raw and rip out her throat for her claims.”

Cordelia grabbed his wrist. “You’ve already punished her.”

“I want her to remember this,” he growled at her attempted restraint. His strength kept his fingers moving until it felt fantastic again.

“Please, ooh, please, Cordy!”

Insidiously, Angelus asked, “Does she want you to make me stop, or is she just begging for more?”

Willow panted with each long sweep of his fingers, secretly hoping that they had no idea just how good it felt. There had been pain, sharp and sudden, a twinge next to the burn still lingering across her bottom. Everything down there felt like it was on fire, and only the rhythmic pumping of his fingers made it better.

“Oooh, oh!” That felt different, fuller. Did that make two or three, now? She grabbed Cordelia’s hand holding on tight, as Angelus gave her ass cheek a squeeze. “You’re a tight little thing. Think Harris could do this for you?”

If Xander’s name was supposed to rile her up, or make her feel bad, Willow decided to skip the guilt trip. “No.” It was a tiny whisper, but the admission freed her just enough to let herself get lost in the electric sensations pulsing inside her.

“Do I stop now?” Angelus asked Cordelia who was staring down at Willow’s ecstatic expression. “Should we leave her frustrated, and wanting more?”

Bucking against his hand, Willow desperately wanted something. She knew what that was, theoretically, but there was doubt in her own mind that she had actually ever had a real climax before. There seemed to be a difference in the places those bigger evil vampire fingers could reach compared to her own. “Don’t stop!” she gasped. “Please, please, don’t stop.”

“Begging it is,” chuckled Angelus. “How do you want it, Cordelia? Leave her crying over the fact that her virginity is gone without anyone caring enough to fuck her, much less get her off?”

Willow whimpered at his words already feeling the tears stinging again. The pain of it made her heart ache even as Angelus’ rough fingering caused jolts of pleasure.

“Make her feel good. She’ll owe me.”

She already owed Cordelia so much. Was this truly a way of extracting some form of payback? An orgasm did not seem the kind of thing that Cordelia or Angelus handed out to their frenemies or enemies. Really, though, who was she to complain? It was bad, but so, so, so, so good.

Daring her to join him, Angelus held out his free hand to Cordelia. She took it, of course, scooting even closer. “Touch her if you want to play nice.”

Cordelia Chase spontaneously being nice was as likely as finding a shiny pot of gold sitting on a bed of four-leaf clovers. The whole owing her thing was definitely going to come back to bite her. Hopefully not literally considering she seemed to have Angelus as obsessed with her as she was with him.

Gosh, her hands felt so nice stroking along her spine even through the layer separating their skin, almost comforting. Willow wished her clothes would just disappear. Those good feelings would be even better against her bare back. “Ooh, mmm, Cordy! Would you. . . ah. . .ah . . .yesssss, Anglelus . . .do it again . . . spank me like he did?”

Thunderstruck, Cordelia’s hand stopped with the nice touching. It took a moment for her to recover. “Spank you? I thought you wanted to feel good.”

“Do it, babe. Fun for you, hot for her, plus I get to watch.”

Cordelia muttered, “You’ve got to be kidding me,” just before her open palm came down with a little smack on Willow’s ass. It wasn’t as painful as those Angelus had dealt out, but somehow even hotter, especially with his fingers inside her.

“She’s a deviant little thing, our Willow.”

“Loves to get spanked. Who knew! If it’s so hot maybe we should try it.”

Angelus let out a low grunt as his cock hardened even more at the suggestion. “You do have a perfect ass.” Rounded, taut, and made for his attention, just like the rest of her.

“I was thinking the same thing about you,” teased Cordelia even as her hand came down with a sharp little slap.

Just like that they were back to talking about themselves. Promising things that put Willow’s imaginative mind into overdrive. The combined sound of their suggestive words and the reality of their touch sent her over the edge. Her orgasm rippled through her like a wild wave that came again and again. Wanting to scream out her pleasure, all she could manage was a tiny little squeak as the intensity of it stole her breath away.

“Oh, Willow.” Cordelia’s hand moved up to cradle her head, smoothing out the hair that had become tangled. Almost tenderly, she touched her, as if she was soothing a pet cat. “You even come like a squeaky mouse.” Unless, of course, Cordelia was the cat toying with the pet mouse, Willow mused dazedly.

Too much thinking, Willow decided it was a bad thing to think too much when she was draped across the laps of an aroused evil vampire and his magically bound playmate.

Angelus pulled his fingers out holding them out for both of them to see. They glistened with gooey fluid and a tinge of blood. “Revenge is sweet, especially when it tastes of strawberry snatch.”

Opening his mouth, he sucked the fingers inside moving his tongue around them until he had consumed every drop. Willow wasn’t sure if that was one of the most shockingly gross things she had ever seen, or one of the hottest. It only made her think about him using his tongue on her the same way he had on Cordelia when she found them, something she wished she had seen instead of just getting the sound effects.

Voyeuristic ideas aside, Willow figured it was not a good idea to make any wishes. Magic sometimes twisted wishes into things no one would actually want to happen. The naughty thoughts just needed to go away, but they weren’t going to as long as she was still here in the library.

“Can I leave now?”

“Does it feel like we’re done here?” His rhetorical question caused Willow’s lips to press tightly closed. Nope! No need to point out the obvious bulge in his pants. Although he had indulged himself with a kinky form of revenge, Angelus was still ragingly aroused. He had come here for one reason, and he was all about making it happen. “Cordelia needs me.”

Willow didn’t bother to complain when Angelus pushed her off his lap as careless as if she was a rag doll flopping on the floor beside him. He easily returned to his feet in a fluid movement, gave her one last dismissive smirk, and turned his full attention to Cordelia. Terrifying in his fanged form, he still seemed intimidating after the bones and skin shifted back to his human features.

Admittedly, he was gorgeous, and so compelling in an alpha male way that it made Willow believe people might mistake his interest as something more than a temporary amusement. There was something different in his gaze when he looked at Cordelia, a hunger that went beyond lust. Maybe it was just that he was a vampire, she guessed, worrying about where it might lead. Something else to add to her guilt trips.

“You’ve kept me waiting long enough,” Cordelia admonished him. With a crook of her finger she beckoned him forward.

Anyone else, Willow thought, would end up regretting trying to order him around. He was on her in an instant, a low growl rumbling like thunder in his throat. Not to punish her, but because he was just as eager to have her. Their searing kiss was enough to cause her soreness to ache in a whole new way, and making her squeeze her legs together. He flicked the open panel of Cordelia’s blouse aside to curl a hand around the roundness of one breast teasing her through her silky bra with the stroke of his thumb.

Nibbling at her neck with his blunt teeth, Angelus paused just long enough to offer an explanation. “Willow intended to cause you pain and heartache. Ending her insignificant little life would have been preferable, but I could not let her go without some form of punishment.”

“Defending me?” A little snort of disbelief sounded. “So heroic. That’s more Angel’s style.”

“That’s because you have a knack for getting into trouble. I have every right to protect what’s mine,” Angelus reminded vehemently. “Just as I choose to indulge you with pleasure, if you are to experience pain I will be the one to deliver it.”

Cordelia looked confused about that statement for an instant, as if she knew it was wrong, but could not contradict him. “You’ll do what’s right for us.”

Even Angelus seemed hesitant to simply accept her response. Expecting her to resist the idea. He liked the fight in her. “Don’t just take it meekly. That’s not what I want from you. If you have something to say to me, say it. Resist me all you want.”

Testing the waters, Cordelia snapped, “You gave Willow an orgasm. That is so not the torture I thought you used on your enemies.”

“You chose pleasure over pain. Letting her come was your idea.”

“Maybe, but you’re the one who decided to use your fingers.”

“That was nothing. It’s not like I actually fucked her.”

Kinda felt that way. Willow gasped at the images that caused, but the tiny sound did not distract them from their snippy little argument. Neither did it stop Angelus from opening his fly to push those leather pants out of the way, or Cordelia from reaching forward to grasp his shaft the moment it was released. It looked just as big as before, not that Willow knew much except that size wasn’t supposed to matter. Whoever said that was totally wrong because that thing would probably feel like a redwood.

“You won’t—ever.”

Angelus grabbed the back of Cordelia’s head pulling her forward so that she was within biting range, although he had yet to show his fangs again. Being just as intimidating without them, Willow figured he was about to lay down the law. There was a difference between being feisty and telling a vampire that his lustful instincts had to be controlled. Instead, he planted a kiss on her stubborn pout. “Never,” Angelus agreed smoothly. Reaching down with his free hand, he cupped her between her thighs. “This is all I’ll ever need.”

If it was a lie, it sounded depravedly sweet. His fingers worked their special brand of magic sliding across Cordelia’s already aroused flesh. “Show me,” she said pulling him closer. “Take me any way you want.”

As shocking as Cordelia’s offer might be, it was simple enough to justify it. Angry revenge magic was powerful stuff. Wanting him was the only thing that mattered. Satisfying that desperate need to be his. Angel would never have taken advantage of Cordelia’s renewed interests, or hopeless desires. He belonged to Buffy—unlike Angelus who was just an evil bastard eager to avenge himself by flaunting his claim.

How was it that two bodies grabbing, groping, humping and bumping could make her quiver every time they kissed or moaned? They weren’t even fully naked, just conveniently bare enough to provide hot little glimpses. Oh, the raw, incoherent sounds they made, and the accompanying rhythmic slap of their bodies merging again and again.

So relaxed that she felt boneless, it was impossible to do more than cradle her head on top of the stolen book conveniently lying beside her. Willow struggled to stay awake wanting to watch them. She knew this was a bad thing, Angelus and Cordelia being together, but it was exciting to see them like this even if it was wrong. Pleasure kept pricking at her senses making her want to touch herself, but she couldn’t move.

Made me come so hard. Bad vamp!

Willow’s eyes drifted closed soon after Cordelia reached a noisy climax. She awoke later to the gentle shaking of her shoulder. Blinking, she saw that it was Cordelia, already buttoned up and tidy again. Angelus was nowhere in sight, so it figured that he must have left the scene. Either he wasn’t one for pillow talk or enough time had passed that it was too much of a risk to stay longer.

“Giles will be coming back soon,” warned Cordelia as she helped Willow to her feet. “Your clothes are not as bad as I thought. A few more wrinkles, but who could tell? The tights will have to go.”

Bare legs? The tights were in shreds. So were her panties. “I can’t go around half naked.”

“No one will notice. Just sit like a lady so you don’t flash anyone.”

“People will know.”

Cordelia’s eyebrow curved up sharply. “Only if you blab. We need to freshen up before we go back to class.”

“We’ll have to come up with a reason for being tardy.”

“No we don’t. Just walk in and sit down.”

Come to think of it, the teachers never questioned Cordelia or her Cordettes when they breezed in a few minutes late. “Nice for you, but I think I’ll have a Plan B.”

“Whatever!” Cordelia rolled her eyes. “Hurry it up.”

Willow grabbed her tattered belongings planning to hide them in her locker along with the Mortivaricus Incantations. “Just a second.” After all that happened, she wasn’t going to forget about what she came up here for in the first place. “I need another book.”

“If you actually had a life you wouldn’t need to read old historical stuff. It’s boring! We get enough of that doing research for Giles.”

Not bothering with an explanation, Willow kept browsing through the rows where she suspected the book would be located. She was pretty certain that Cordelia’s idea of reading included fashion magazines and Hollywood bios, which was fine, but wasn’t likely to help with her plot to turn Angel back into himself again and release Cordy from the spell that bound them together.

“Since we’re talking,” Cordelia continued her one-sided conversation, “you better start minding your own business. Angelus let you off easy this time.”

With her hand on the book about Romany history, Willow’s face tightened up. “Technically, he forced himself on me.”

Hard-wired to defend him, Cordelia shrugged nonchalantly. “Never said he wasn’t evil. Give a guy a break. He made you like it, got you off. Pretty sure you begged him not to stop.”

Willow wanted to forget that part, but could not deny it. “He’s good at that kind of thing.”

“Definitely. Don’t think it will happen again, though,” she warned seriously. “That was just a lesson. Payback for doing whatever you did to me. Angelus is mine.”

Cordelia obviously thought she needed to tell her to back off. “Got it. I won’t ask for seconds. Pretty sure I can remember that.”

“Good. Are you done here yet?”

“Yup!”

As they walked down the steps to the main section of the Library, Cordelia asked, “Did you really use magic on me?”

“Oh, um, yeah, I’m really sorry.”

“You said it made me fall for Angelus. That’s stupid. Magic can’t do that.”

Answering everything in succession, Willow dived in. “Magic’s not stupid. It can do anything.” She sucked in a deep breath and let it out slowly before saying, “You don’t really love him, Cordy. C’mon, not only is he evil, but he’s an evil vampire.”

Cordelia stared at her as if she was trying to work out why it was wrong to feel the way she did. “Everyone’s a critic. Sheesh! He’s out there trying to make the world a better place.”

“For himself, maybe.”

“For me. He says he’s planning something so we can be together for real.”

Startled, Willow hesitantly asked, “Like what?” Angelus having any kind of plans sounded like a bad thing, especially if they involved Cordelia.

“Does that matter?”

Willow opted for a subtle shrug, already thinking that she probably needed to tell Buffy about Angelus having plans. She would just have to figure out how to tell them she got the information without revealing everything that happened here.

“What if he wants to turn you into a vampire?” she worriedly asked.

Cordelia stopped in her tracks, a look a horror on her face. “Angelus would never do that.”

“Are you sure?”

There was that confused look again, full of self-doubt where contradicting thoughts and feelings warred with each other. Something inside Cordelia recognized the risks, but could not push past them. “How would you know what Angelus wants from me? My life is none of your business, Willow. I think you’ve already interfered enough.”

“This is all my fault,” Willow confessed with a scrunched brow and pouting lips.

“Pfft!” Cordelia waved a hand in the air. “As if you could stop Angelus from doing it to you. Hello, vampire strength!”

“N-not that, Cordy.”

“So— you’re not sorry that Angelus, um, and I, spanked you?”

Beet red, Willow couldn’t answer that question. “It is my fault that you want him like you do. I cast a spell to make you lust after Angel, to want him like I want Xander.”

“What?! You want Xander? So the green-eyed monster was at work when you found us here in the library?”

“Exactly here, actually,” Willow reminded. “This seems to be your favorite spot.”

“With Xander, it was actually the broom closet,” Cordelia grinned widely. “But we never got past the kissing and groping stage.”

“Eew!” TMI again, noted the redhead.

“What do you mean? Obviously you’ve thought about kissing and groping him too, else you wouldn’t be so jealous. Besides, I highly recommend it. Xander is a dork, but he has great hands.”

“And the kissing part?”

“Let’s just say that you will benefit from the results of my tutelage,” Cordy winked. “He can’t compare to Angelus’ kisses, but Xander— he kisses with his whole heart. Really puts a lot into it.”

Willow was fascinated at the thought, but realized that the other girl had somehow gotten her away from her confession of guilt. “If you liked Xander so much, Cordy, why are you suddenly in lust with a vampire?”

“I—,” Cordelia faltered when trying to bridge that gap.

When Buffy outed Angel back at the Bronze that night she was determined to forget all about her feelings for him. They were just a mistake. Attraction to a vampire was all kinds of wrong, especially when he was pursuing Buffy. He had lied to her by omission. That pissed her off enough to pretend she did not care, but it was impossible to ignore her visceral response on the rare occasions they were in close quarters.

Those feelings were the only thing that mattered now. Angelus was not the type to hold a grudge because she had an issue with vampires. Truly, there was no reason for any hesitancy on her part because she felt so good about giving him anything he wanted. He was into her in a way none of her other boyfriends had seemed. His bedroom skills were off the charts, even when there was no bed around. All Cordelia knew was that Angelus wanted her, claimed her, and that she wanted him with just as much intensity.

Loving him was vital to her happiness. ‘I just am.”

Willow hoped she was getting through. There could not be any real feelings between Cordy and Angelus. She knew for a fact that Angel had no feelings for the cheerleader. He was Buffy’s Angel, and therefore it was just Cordelia’s crush playing a role as it mixed with the spell.

So wrong.

She swore to make things right again. Buffy needed Angel. If Ms Calendar managed to be successful with finding the soul restoration spell, Angelus would regain his soul. Then Angel would return. All would be great again with the Slayer and her vampire.

All was not so right in Xander’s corner of the world, she knew. He was distraught over Cordelia. Though not really in love with Cordy, he had been slowly turning his feelings into a strong bond of friendship, which was a complete turn-around from his days as the I Hate Cordelia Chase Club treasurer. Finding his girlfriend’s silk shawl and torn panties on his front lawn had driven him a little mad, especially after being told that Angelus deserved the credit for it.

Xander was Willow’s lifelong friend. She loved him more than anyone. If Xander needed Cordy in order to be happy, then that was what needed to happen.

As for Cordelia— well, Cordy really didn’t need anybody. It was just this wacky love spell that kept her dependent upon a vampire for her happiness. She would heal Xander making things right with him again. Willow figured that the cheerleader discarded men as easily and frequently as she did last year’s shoes, but if Cordelia eventually rejected him at least Xander would know that it was for another man, not a vampire with or without a soul.

Resolved in her course, Willow mentioned that she needed to stop at her locker. The hallway was empty since everyone else was already in class. She managed to dial through her locker combination one handed. The books were heavy, but she did not want to risk letting Cordelia take a closer look.

Once again, she underestimated Cordelia’s ability to sniff out deception. As she shoved her textbooks aside to place the Mortivaricus Incantations into the locker, Willow recognized the curious vibe to her question. “Why was Angelus so worried about this book?”

“No reason,” Willow lied and felt a flush heating her cheeks.

One unpredictable variable in an ironclad plan. Jealousy. A human emotion that rages in defiance of all logic. A spell cast, changing the course of the predictable. Altering the scheme set out by the Powers for the Chosen One, the Warrior and the Seer-to-be. The future depends on fruition of the plan, but one variable frequently leads to yet another and another and another.

Cordelia pressed the ‘lock’ button on her car keychain. After the confirming beep and flash of lights indicating that the Corvette was secure, she made her way up to the front porch of the Summer’s house. Now her unofficial, if temporary, home away from home, she had a key of her own. Mrs S was working late at the gallery tonight. The automatic porch lights were on, but the rest of the house remained dark indicating that Buffy was probably still out on patrol, an activity that held less appeal than ever for Cordelia now that her lover was a vampire.

Another one of their dangerous liaisons left her feeling elated, but also a bit achy in all kinds of places. No one had discovered them this time like in the library. Lucky thing considering her failure to stay silent. The way Angelus made her feel overshadowed any sense of propriety or control as she lost it completely. Sex with him was a total revelation.

All she needed now was to soak in a piping hot bubble bath. Too bad he won’t be in it. Cordelia grinned at the thought wishing she could invite him in. He would probably like that. Having full access to the Slayer’s home anytime he wanted would just be asking for trouble. Was that actually what he wanted? Considering whether Angelus had another strategy when he placed her in Buffy’s house for her protection gave her a start. Naturally, he wouldn’t want to do anything to cause trouble for her, but Cordelia was not blind about his hatred for Buffy.

What would happen if Angelus asked her to let him in? Cordelia wondered if she would be able to say no. Denying him anything was never good, and she usually wanted to keep him happy. He had agreed not to kill any of her friends, but whether or not that agreement actually included Buffy was kind of questionable.

As she reached for the doorknob, a Cockney accent sounded from the dark shadows at the corner of the house. “Look at what we have here, luv, a ripe, juicy plum ready for picking. One of the Slayer’s friends, maybe a sister?”

That voice! She knew it. “Spike?”

“Got it in one. Let’s have a proper introduction.”

A feminine trill sounded behind him as a pale woman with long dark hair laughed amusedly. They took the porch steps together side by side, a stark contrast of shading and styles between them. They might not recognize her, but Cordelia knew them both from the time Angel had been captured.

“Maybe another time,” she called out over her shoulder as she fumbled with the keyring. Trying to focus, finding the right key, centering it, and to shove it into the lock proved too difficult. There were too many steps. Not enough time.

A hand grabbed her arm, spun her around, and shoved her against the front door before she could insert the key causing her nerveless fingers to drop the keyring. It clinked onto the wooden porch, a last little reminder that she had seriously screwed up by losing her only chance at escape.

These were the two nut jobs that led Angelus to place her at the Summers’ house to begin with. Their return to Sunnydale signaled trouble, and he wanted to deal with them first. Whatever that meant it had obviously not included dusting their bony asses. Getting them on board with his plans to do whatever evil thing he was scheming seemed more likely.

“I’m Cordelia Chase,” she announced hoping that the name would give her a free pass. “Maybe you’ve heard about me from Angelus?”

Both of them were so close their bodies brushed against her. Wearing their human faces they both looked attractive, but no less intimidating than in vampire form. Breaching her personal bubble was their way of scaring her, and it was working making her feel jittery. Cordelia was determined not to let them see it, but they had other powers of deduction.

Drusilla touched a finger to the dip in her throat trailing it down the tight knit top of her cheerleader uniform to the edge of her short, pleated skirt. “Someone has been very naughty. She smells like my Angel.” The vampire inhaled deeply, an ecstatic little smile creeping onto her gaunt face.

Spike wasn’t so subtle about confirming it. He rammed two fingers between her thighs pressing against her panties and finding them damp. Ignoring her protests, he spoke directly to Dru. “Could be it’s from bouncing around like cheerleaders do.” Testing the theory out, he slid beneath them causing her to draw in a sharp gasp. “Just a quick little dip for now.”

She pushed hard on his forearm trying to drag his hand away. “You’ll regret that.”

Glistening under the golden porch light, his fingertips were sticky with the evidence he sought. Just as he suspected, the girl was drenched in the scent of their sire because she was dripping with his come. She didn’t look broken or beaten or terrorized. Defiant was more like it.

Drusilla reached out to wrap her hand around Spike’s holding it steady as she gave his fingers a long lick before sucking them into her mouth. “My Angel tastes divine on you.”

The ‘eew’ and ‘duh’ sounded simultaneously in her head. Yet another little reminder that Angelus both creeped her out and turned her on in equal measures. The latter won out every time.

Instantly distracted, Cordelia asked, “You call him Angel?” He was anything but angelic. Still, it was interesting to her that he went by both. Angelus was her favorite subject, and so she had to ask, “Only after he was cursed with a soul, or just because he finds it ironic?”

“You do know him well,” murmured Drusilla with a sense of wonder. “Do you cry at the loss of his soul, or celebrate as we do?”

The question should have been easy, but it wasn’t. Part of her wanted to say she loved Angelus exactly the way he was—free of the chains of guilt he had been carrying for a hundred years. In the here and now, she could find no fault with him, even when she thought she should, but she could remember what he was like before. Heroic, completely sexy in that dark, brooding way of his, and how he always made her feel safe.

One thought held true despite her floundering feelings on the subject of his soul. “I love him.”

“My sweet Miss Edith would like you. She loves him, too.”

A jealous jolt wrenched at her insides. “Who’s Edith?” The old fashioned name suggested she could be another vampire, one Cordelia had not read about before in the Watchers Council diaries about Angelus’ long existence.

Drusilla tittered again. “Never you mind. Angel has been a very bad Daddy. Neglecting us. Disappearing. Playing naughty games without us. Forcing us to discover the truth.”

“Mind your own business! He’ll tell you what you need to know when he’s ready.”

“Too late,” Dru quipped looking her over. She combed her fingers through the long strands of Cordelia’s hair, grasped her shoulders to closely inspect her face and body. “You’re the secret he keeps.”

Telling her to take the hint, Cordelia bristled at the way she stared. “Guess that should tell you something.”

“Hands off? Never did like to do as I was told,” Spike sneered. Reaching out both hands faster than she could blink, he gave her curvy breasts a little test squeeze only to laugh as she resisted. Letting her go, he clucked, “Nice rack. No bra?”

Name calling and telling him where to shove his question got her nowhere. He only seemed turned on by it. “I lost it,” she finally admitted just to shut him up.

As soon as the sun set, Angelus had arrived at the school. Football practice for tomorrow night’s game was over, but the area was still milling about with the players and her squad members. Despite the danger of being seen, he led her to a secluded spot behind the bleachers. Barely more than a hello had passed before they were frantically stripping off their clothes. Eager for Angelus’ touch, she had flung her bra somewhere and had not been able to find later it when she was getting dressed.

Not that Cordelia cared. Everything that had happened only made her want more. He was insatiable, demanding, and made her feel things in ways that seemed impossible to wrap her head around. So she let it happen. Anything he wanted, she gave willingly and with the kind of enthusiasm that rocked his world. Skipping all the preliminaries, Angelus first took her in a wild, hard rhythm more for his pleasure than her own. She came anyway.

“Waiting for you like this is getting to be annoying,” Angelus had explained his urgency. He bit her again, but did not drink much. Only a few tasty sips. Enough to take the edge off as he turned his attention to her. Cordy had lost track of her orgasms.

Spike took hold of her chin raising it up to force her to meet his gaze. “How long you been shagging Angelus? Can’t be long. You’re alive, still human.”

Maybe he might be able to tell she had been with Angelus, but he obviously did not know anything. “Of course I’m alive! I’m his girlfriend.”

The two vampires shared an amused look, as if they knew something Cordy did not. “No such thing, pet. You’re beautiful—got to give you that. He must be into you or you’d already be dead.”

“He loves me.”

Now they were laughing. “There is no love in his heart,” Drusilla reached out to stroke her hair. “Poor kitten.” The use of Angelus’ pet name for her gave Cordelia a little start. “You are not the first to burn for him. Lust can temper, but will never alter his nature. You live only because he cares how you die.”

Spidery nerves wriggled up her spine. Despite the laughter, they were not joking. “Angelus likes me the way I am.”

“Human?” Spike guffawed again as if there were few redeeming qualities in her living state. His blue eyes raked across her curves. “S’pose I can see the appeal. Might need that taste test now.”

Cordelia leaned into the hard barrier of the door as if a few millimeters of space might help her escape. They were too close blocking off the only way off the porch. Physically, there was no way she could deter them. They were stronger and faster than her. “Touch me and Angelus will make you pay. He will break you. He’ll rip out your fangs. Crush your balls. Make you sorry.”

Her fiery speech was meant to instill fear, but Spike only looked excited by it. “Now I see it. Angelus likes a spirited ride. Don’t normally go for sloppy seconds. Might make you an exception.”

“Never!” Cordelia yelled simultaneously aiming her knee at his crotch.

Spike had been daydreaming about his plans for a little payback. Their sire had often fucked Drusilla whenever the mood struck despite knowing that Spike hated him touching her. It was a power play. Angelus’ way to remind him that Dru would bend to his will every time he crooked his little finger in her direction. If Angelus liked this chit he could use her to send that bastard a message.

“Aargh!” Spike grabbed at his groin cradling his painfully throbbing balls. Staggering back, he nearly fell down the porch steps stopped only by a last second balancing act.

Cordelia tried to run taking advantage of the momentary distraction, but Drusilla barely had to move to catch her. Holding her wrist, she tugged her closer. Despite her fragile appearance, her grip was solid and impossible to break. She looked at Cordelia one way and then another as if trying to see beyond what lay on the surface. It was creepy, and Cordy did not like the way she stared, but it was better than letting Spike get that close, especially if he intended go through with his plans.

“Naughty girl, you don’t get to play with my boy unless I say so.”

Negotiating, Cordelia said, “Go away and I won’t do it again.”

Drusilla wrapped a hand around her throat and pulled her back against her. She pressed her lips close to Cordelia’s ear to tell her, “Behave and you’ll get a nice treat. Spike thinks you’re pretty. He wants to play with you.”

A wave of nausea hit because when she realized what that meant. “I’ll scream.”

The warning caused Dru to titter. “How fun!”

What were the odds that Buffy would cut short patrol? She had Xander and Willow with her. Those three were probably planning a stop at the Bronze afterward. A few screams would never draw the neighbors out of the safety of their homes at night. They would simply turn up the volume on their TVs and pretend they heard nothing.

“You’d actually let your boyfriend touch me? What kind of perv are you?”

For vampires, intimacy was just one benefit of sex. More often it was just for fun, mainly theirs. Flashes of Angelus and Willow back at the library popped into her head. The revenge spanking and the rough fingering that gave Willow her first real orgasm happened with her say so, and she had played along.

Cordelia knew that had been wrong, but she had done it anyway. Angelus thought nothing of it. He got off on doling out pain and pleasure, especially when it involved one of the Slayer’s closest friends. She was not blind to it, nor ignorant of the way it had turned her on.

Dru answered her question by sliding her hand beneath the knit top along the bare skin beneath. “I think you’re pretty, too.” She pressed a little kiss against Cordelia’s cheek. “You smell so good. I want to eat up every bit of love Angelus left inside you.”

Gasping, Cordelia realized that Dru wanted to play, too. Her hand was cool, like Angelus’, but softly feminine. If she wasn’t so terrified, the way she was drawing patterns across her skin might actually feel nice. Sensing Drusilla was being quite literal with her words, Cordelia’s lip curled with disgust at the image of Dru licking between her thighs. “Eew! Don’t you dare.”

Where were those keys? If they were distracted enough she might be able to grab them and get inside.

“Don’t knock it, chit. Dru’s tongue works miracles.”

“Looks like you could use one,” Cordelia suggested as Spike limped toward her. “Does something hurt?”

“Got this ache in my pants someone needs to fix. Put that pretty mouth of yours to work. Bet you’re brilliant. He wouldn’t settle for anything less.”

Angry that she had no control over this, she didn’t deny it. “Better! Not that you’ll ever find out.”

“Tell me, pet, where else do you let him put that big cock? Lemme guess.”

Dru cooed lustfully, “Anywhere he wants.”

They weren’t guessing, Cordelia realized. Those preternatural senses had revealed far more than she thought, and that was already way too much.

“Only fair you give us a taste.”

Things had gone further than expected tonight on that blanket under the bleachers. When Angelus’ salacious games led in a direction she had never considered, Cordelia was already so high on sex it never occurred to her she might have some reservations. Easing her into it, his fingers stretching, stroking into her tight hole in long sweeps as he took her again from behind. He had played with her there before with teasing little touches, shockingly taboo.

Coming intensely, Cordelia muttered, “You really know what you’re doing. Anything you do feels awesome. Do whatever you want. I trust you.”

“You have an incredible body.” Angelus rubbed a palm across one asscheek as he pulled out of her cunt replacing his fingers with his slick cock. Just the tip of him felt huge as he stretched her open causing her to moan his name with just a hint of uncertainty. “Everything you have is mine, even this hot little ass anytime I want it.”

Even after what had just happened, Cordelia experienced a jolt of surprise, a moment when she questioned if that was something she wanted, too. Angelus obviously did, which made it easy to respond. “Yesssss!” Hissing the word because it was the last coherent thing she could say, she felt him pressing deeper slowly working his full length inside.

It was a strange feeling at first, but her mind was already spinning trying to sort out exactly what it was she felt other than the obvious. Far too much all at once he stroked smoothly inside her, slowly at first, and with her growing enthusiasm gave it to her harder. It felt different, edging on painful, but so close to something awesome that she gave into it completely.

Cordelia figured that she might like it a little rough because he did. Bucking back toward him as he fucked her intensified each thrust. Angelus’ fingers were busy again, this time sliding around her labia and circling her clitoris, rubbing in just the right way. “Come for me, kitten,” he growled through his thrusts, and as if he had said the magic words, she did.

Getting it this way was hot, Cordy decided, confirming an earlier realization that she was not cut out for a missionary style love life. While that definitely got a gold star in her book, Angelus obviously enjoyed variety, and she felt confident that he knew just about everything on the subject of sex. Maybe that should bother her, but it didn’t.

Afterwards, Angelus had been so gentle, pleased by her compliance, sipping at her lips as they shared lazy kisses on that blanket beneath the bleachers. “Say it, Cordy. Tell me you belong to me.”

Without a moment’s hesitation, she reached up for a confirmatory smooch. “I’m yours.” He was a dumbass for needing to hear her say it, but Cordelia thought it sounded nice, too. “Even better,” she had added with a satisfied little sigh, “You’re mine.”

Angelus’ expression turned contemplative as he stared down at her face. He traced the curve of her lips with his thumb. “Say you love me.”

Normally, Angelus didn’t care that Cordelia had feelings for him as long as she recognized that she was his. Certain of it, her answer was swift. “I love you so much.” It made her wonder if it was possible for him to feel it, too.

“Thought so,” he responded almost gruffly. “That complicates things.”

Alarmed, Cordelia had asked, “You’re not thinking of dumping me?” Fear speared through her like an icy arrow straight to the heart.

“Never. You’re mine, Cordelia Chase. Forever.”

“Oh, well, good. Don’t scare me like that.”

Angelus had distracted her with more fabulous kisses until he decided they were done for the night. He had things to do. Cordelia had not liked being dismissed so easily, but she was sore in places she had never been before. “Will I see you tomorrow?”

Sounding harassed, he snapped, “Haven’t you had enough tonight?”

“I want to be with you.”

“You’ll see me when I want to be with you,” he countered letting her know it was his decision.

“So—tomorrow?”

Cordelia almost thought he would answer no just to spite her, but the pause only made his response more intense. “Tomorrow, and the night after that, and every night,” he said growling out a promise. “Wanting you this way is annoying. It’s a distraction. You’ve got a lot to learn. Don’t get me wrong, the sex is already fantastic, but it will be even better when we’re together.”

“Why wait?”

“Patience,” he counseled in the face of her confusion. “There’s a right time for everything. Perfection is worth the wait. We’re going to be together for a long time. It drives me crazy thinking about delaying a few weeks much less months or years. There is so much to show you.”

“Years?”

“Even my patience has limits.”

Parts of his confession confused Cordelia, but she focused on the rest. Sure, she still had a lot to learn about sex with a vampire, but he obviously liked what he was getting. Whatever he wanted to show her, whether it was sexy stuff or world travel, she figured she’d be up for it. Angelus wanted her, and had no plans to end their relationship. That was all that was important.

Thinking about his possessive rant, Cordelia knew he would never let his creepy progeny get away with playing their rapacious vampire games, not with her anyway. “Hands off! You’ll be sorry for this when Angelus finds out.”

“We’re family, chit. He doesn’t mind if we have a taste.” Spike licked his lips as he leered at her in her cheerleader uniform. “You’ve already been bitten tonight. More than once. Couldn’t have taken much. Still got color in your cheeks. You’re far too fiesty.” He waggled his eyebrows as if he planned to put her excess energy to good use.

Cordelia pressed both hands to his chest and pushed hard trying to move him away. “If Angelus bites me, that’s for me to know.”

“We’ll find out anyway,” Spike sounded like he might enjoy exploring. “So many tasty places to nibble.”

Threading their fingers together, Drusilla led her to the swing at the far end of the porch and settled her at its center. A wicked smile curled her red lips. “I know where to look.” She sank to her knees, the long sheath of her cream colored gown pooling around her.

Drusilla’s hands felt cool on the skin of her thighs as she slid them beneath the pleated skirt to tug at Cordelia’s panties. Removing them slowly gave her an opportunity to resist, which was exactly what the vampire wanted, getting a thrill from pressing her thighs open wide, holding her down, and exposing her to their lustful gazes.

“What a pretty little pussy,” Drusilla complimented while roving her fingertips across the neatly trimmed fur there. “All pink and puffy and shiny with come. Did our Angel lick you here tonight?”

Cordelia tried not to tremble so much but the reaction was involuntary. A vampire other than Angelus was about to go down on her, and she was just laying there letting it happen. She should be kicking and screaming by now. Why not? Maybe she was a teensy bit curious about how different it would feel. It wasn’t the sense of betrayal swirling around inside her knowing that she belonged only to him—survival was the key.

Playing along was the only way she stood a chance of getting out of this alive. Invoking Angelus’ name had only incited them to risk his wrath. Despite being pushy, and using their strength and speed to prevent her escape, they had not been brutal. Cordelia wanted to keep it that way having no doubt that their mood could easily turn nasty. Angelus was not the only one whose actions were documented in those Watchers’ Council diaries.

“Think you can do better?” Cordelia let out a little pfft of doubt. “Angelus knows what I like.”

“‘Course he does, pet,” Spike smirked. “Just surprising that he gives it to you. He can be a selfish prick unless there’s something in it for him.”

He dropped two fingers onto her thigh hooking her skirt up even higher to expose the bite marks near the top. Somehow, having his eyes on that spot was more intimate than him staring at her exposed privates. “Stop staring.”

“Not the first time you’ve been bitten there.”

His favorite spots remained pretty raw, but the bites were never ragged or too deep. For some reason they seemed to heal faster than normal scrapes from cheerleading activities.

Drusilla licked at the wound murmuring her delight. “You taste of my Angel there, too.” Centering herself between Cordelia’s open thighs, she massaged her outer labia, and then gently exposed the delicate inner flesh dipping her tongue inside.

Biting at her bottom lip, Cordelia struggled to stay silent. She didn’t want them to know how good it felt as Dru’s tongue danced circles around her clitoris. Little sounds escaped, her breathing came in pants forcing her to let go of that lip. Her eyes scrunched closed as her body arched toward each little flick, and then a stream of jumbled words and moans burst out uncontrollably.

“That hot little honey pot must be tasty.” Spike’s crude comment forced her eyes open, glaring icy darts at him even as she automatically reached out to hold Dru in place. Not that she was going anywhere delving in deeper with that facile tongue and licking up the combined flavors gathered there.

He unbuttoned his jeans, holding her gaze as he reached in to pull out his cock, pushing the denim down over his hips to expose his balls. Cordelia’s mouth tightened up, not only in anger, but because she knew what Spike wanted. He was erect, long and lean, and unfortunately impressive enough that she could not cut him down with a well-timed barb.

Just as well, since she was trying to avoid having her throat ripped out, that Drusilla distracted her by reaching between her taut cheeks to rim her. One finger circling where it was still a little sore, and far too sensitive. Cordelia gasped and stared down at the woman waggling her tongue as deep as she could reach.

How could something be so wrong, yet feel so incredible at the same time? She writhed and arched and shuddered through a long orgasm feeling both elated and regretful at the same time. Maybe she hadn’t wanted to come for someone else, or cheat on Angelus even unwillingly, but it felt like betrayal. Especially because it hadn’t sated her in the least. If he wasn’t there it just wasn’t enough.

“Go on then. You know what to do.”

Releasing her tight grip on Drusilla’s hair, Cordelia reached up to wrap her hand around the base noting the differences as she slid along his length. He propped his hands on his hips and watched through half-lidded eyes as she coasted her fingers up and down. The icy sensation against her palm faded quickly with every stroke of her hand.

Cordelia figured she had one small chance to avoid giving Spike what he so obviously wanted. Make this so good he would explode before he made her use her mouth. She knew how to get a guy off with her hands, and her time with Angelus had only improved those skills.

Through the incoherent rumbles and grunts of pleasure, Spike encouraged her to step it up a notch. “Give it a squeeze.” She did. Probably tighter than necessary, but it only made his eyes roll back.

Using her other hand to close over the tip she made him curse and grab her by the neck yanking her just a little closer reminding her he had something else in mind. “The jocks on the football team might go for this, cheerleader. If I wanted a good wank I’d do it myself.”

“Play nice!” Drusilla hissed at them trying to look stern despite the lipstick smeared around her mouth.

“No!”

“Be a good little pet. Daddy would want you to love us, too.”

Curling her lip, Cordelia snapped, “Not like this!”

Drusilla licked at the last smear of cream on her lips before rising to her feet again. “How would you know? Prissy little kittens are just for fun.”

“Fun today, gone tomorrow,” Spike snorted as he rearranged her position on the swing. “Open that pretty mouth, Cordelia. Show me what you do for Angelus that makes you worthy of living.”

Tracing her upper lip with her tongue in a deliberately provocative way, she hoped that would be enough to set him off. He moaned in anticipation, fully expecting her compliance. Stubbornly, Cordelia reminded him, “Angelus is my boyfriend.” She raked her nails down the length of him, hard enough to raise the skin without breaking it. “He’ll rip you out by the root if you hurt me.”

Spike growled in pain, but his response was one of excitement. The threat was a turn-on no matter how real it might be. “That’s the way, little tease. Suck it better.”

Sinking down beside her on the swing, Dru gave her an encouraging little nudge. “Go ahead.”

Cordelia felt sick. She didn’t want any part of this. True, they had not hurt her, so far, but that might change if she did not cooperate. Giving Spike the kind of attention he wanted had zero appeal. Maybe if Angelus was there, too, and this was all some sort of game, her mind tried to twist it in a way that went along with Dru’s statement about loving them, too. No. No way. That was not what he would want, either.

Licking her lips to moisten their suddenly parched state, Cordelia figured she would have to give Spike the blowjob of his life—or hers at least—in order to have a life when this was over. He was getting impatient. Hot and bothered, erect in her hand, a little growl sounding low as he waited. It was too much for him, and as he reached forward to grab her chin to drag her closer, Cordelia held up her own hand as a barrier between them.

“Let me do it myself.”

“Get on w—,” Spike broke off suddenly completely sidetracked.

Grabbing her wrist, he held it up looking closer at the inner surface where two little pinprick scars showed up on the line of a vein. They were completely healed and white with age, but the faint impression and the exact distance between them told him precisely who had bitten her there. “The Soul did this,” he realized that it would have been made before Angelus was freed from the soul.

Cordelia released her hold on his shaft in order to try to free his tightening grasp on her wrist. “So?”

“Captain Buzzkill doesn’t go around marking up pretty girls just for the hell of it, pet.”

“My Angel bit you?” Drusilla seemed surprised, too. Gently rubbing at the scars, she oohed at the site. They were barely noticeable, yet obviously the tiny white marks told them something. “Were you his special pet then, too? The control it takes to bite so gently—mmm, our Angel knows how to turn pain to pleasure.”

Yes, he did. Cordelia had to silently agree with that one, although she didn’t care for the idea that Drusilla had reason to understand the fact. “He’s not our Angel. He’s mine.”

“Fuck all,” Spike swore as he realized there was a reason Cordelia kept on insisting that Angelus would react badly to this. He hauled her up from the swing to her feet in order to get a good look at her throat. “This can’t be.”

“That’s none of your business!” Cordelia snapped trying to cover it up with her hand. He only dragged it away again to stare down at the bite as if he had never seen one before. The mark was all too clear against her sun-kissed skin, Angelus’ bite. A carefully tended scar developed from multiple penetrations. Healed and bitten and sealed with his scent again and again. Not the torn flesh of a random tramp who was good for a quick taste. It was a bloody work of art as detailed as any tattoo that read ‘Belongs to Angelus’.

Spike let go and took a step back staring at Cordelia as if she was his worst nightmare. “Nothing happened here, chit. Just a friendly family visit.” He quickly tucked his flagging cock back in his worn jeans and zipped up while never taking his eyes off her.

“Maybe you should go,” Cordelia suggested realizing that something had changed to her advantage even if she did not understand the reasons.

“Not yet,” protested Dru with a clipped tone. Rising from the swing to stand beside them, she no longer looked quite so mischievous. Her dark eyes were almost completely black as she stared back into the depths of Cordelia’s. “I am his. Corrupted heart and mind and soul. Made vampire. The sweet song of the night is mine; it will be yours, sister.”

The all too serious vibe was making Cordelia jittery again. “No. Nope. No singing necessary.”

“Deny it all you want, pet,” Spike warned her. “Angelus will turn you when the right whim hits.”

Cordelia shook her head. It was impossible to believe. Angelus would never hurt her, much less kill her in order to make her a vampire. One thought in her head resonated complete confidence that she was safe. A niggling worry teased at the furthest corners of her mind. Angelus was evil. A vampire. He had no soul. He continued to kill and behave in ways she disapproved, but seemed willing to let him get away with because everything he did seemed right.

Why was that? For the first time, Cordelia actually asked herself why such behavior was acceptable. It reminded her of Willow’s comments back at the library. She hated vampires; she loved Angelus. The contradiction suddenly seemed important.

“Bet you’ll be a bloody brilliant vampire,” Spike offered up his unwanted opinion on the matter.

Drusilla concurred, “Beautiful and deadly. Vicious and sadistic like our sire. A killer.”

Angelus wasn’t that way, Cordelia tried to deny it. Yet, she knew he was evil.

Angelus would never think about turning her. Yet, she knew he had plans.

There was that part of her that wanted what he wanted. Anything that he wanted. Even that. She knew it was wrong. It scared her, the thought of dying, of becoming something else that fed off humans.

Deep down, Cordelia knew she would never want to be a vampire. Never. Yet, she knew that she loved him.

Feeling like her heart was about to explode, Cordelia was overcome by a wave of energy rippling through her. “Get away from me! Go away! I won’t let him do that. I won’t be a vampire.”

“Angelus won’t give you an option. You’re already his. Just a matter o’ time, luv. Sooner rather than later, I’m guessing.”

“Much sooner,” nodded Dru. “Angel prefers the company of equals. Little pet kittens need to grow up.”

Cordelia remembered Angelus saying something about waiting months or years for the right moment. Right for what? Being together, he had said. It was all true, she realized with a dawning sense of horror. Angelus planned to drain her blood, feed her his, and turn her into a soulless creature of the night, just like these two.

Blood drained from her face leaving her pale and a little dizzy. Her head felt like it was dancing a jig. Spike’s voice came from a distance. He jangled her keys in front of her fact. “Go on then, Sexy Bits. Inside, you go, all safe and sound.”

Reaching up, Cordelia numbly took the keys.

“She’s had a shock,” tittered Dru.

“Can’t be that much of a shock. She knows Angelus. Maybe it’s the soul she loves. He bit her first. He would never turn the chit. Angelus sure as hell will.”

The sound of their voices seemed to echo. Cordelia found it hard to do anything, but pointed herself in the direction of the front door. Every step was a struggle, as if she was walking in a fog, not actually feeling her movements. Spike and Drusilla did not stop her as she opened the door and stepped across the threshold to safety.

“See you again soon, little sister,” Drusilla waggled her fingers as if they had simply had a social call.

“We can pick up where we left off,” smirked Spike, “if Angelus lets us have a little fun together. You’ll be much more obliging in future, I’ll bet.”

They were about to turn toward the steps. Cordelia stopped them. “No. No, I won’t oblige you with anything, Spike, and Dru—I’ll never be your sister. I’ll never be a vampire. You can tell Angelus I’m not going to let it happen.”

Spike and Dru turned to each other with matching stares realizing that she was about to do something that would make Angelus very, very angry. That would be a very bad thing for her, for them, and everyone in general.

“Gonna stop you right there, pet. Best to tell him yourself.”

Angelus might want her, but he intended to keep her, too. “So he can just kill me right then and get it over with? Pfft! I—I’m breaking up with him. It’s over. We’re done.”

“Too late for that. You bear his mark, carry his scent. You’re his. Angelus is a greedy, possessive bastard,” Spike continued with a sad shake of his blond head feeling a bit sorry for the chit. “If he still wants you, you’ll be back in his bed before you can blink. If he wants you dead, you’re as good as gone.”

“Tell him that I love him too much to let him kill me.” Cordelia pleaded for them to give Angelus the news of their breakup.

As the door closed between them, the two vampires heard Cordelia sobbing on the other side. “Don’t worry, Spiky. I see them in the stars.”

“Angelus is gonna go on a rampage.” This was one message he loathed to deliver. Spike knew what would happen. His grandsire would take all of his anger out on himself and Dru. It didn’t matter if the cheerleader was the one sending the message. They’d be the first in line for the fucking torture session to follow. Or was that the torturous fucking session? With Angelus, you never could tell.

If the chit thought it would be that simple to get rid of Angelus, she was a clueless twit. If she even imagined that the vampire would leave her alone, reality was about to hit. Whether the girl wanted it or not, she had been claimed. This little message would likely ensure that she would become a member of their vampire family a helluva lot sooner than Angelus might have planned.

Spike and Drusilla did not return to the mansion until close to dawn the next morning. No sense giving their sire the message too soon. They needed to feed well and store up on blood if they were going to survive the dark vampire’s wrath. Besides, the chit might as well be granted one more day of life. He felt certain it would be her last.

“Don’t kill the messenger,” Spike held up his hands submissively when his grandsire grabbed him by his shirtfront.

Angelus threw the smaller vampire across the room before turning to his childe. “Get over here, Drusilla.”

“Yes, my Angel.”

He fingered a strand of her dark hair. Moving his nose along her cheek, he took in her scent. “You both smell like Cordelia. What did you do to frighten her? What did you do to make her reject my claim?”

Spike decided that he had made a mistake. Not in telling his grandsire the chit’s message, but in waiting until it was too late for Angelus to head over to the Summer’s place. Now he had all day to conduct his interrogation and to torture them for their part in her decision.

Angelus waited until sunset. He gave himself a little time to cool off because he realized that he might end up breaking Cordelia’s neck rather than keeping her alive long enough to turn her. The little bitch was going to explain herself and then she was going to pay for what she had done. To reject him was cause enough for death, but to do so in front of his childer. Well, that was— he did not really care.

“She’s mine!”

He appeared at the Slayer’s house, driving his black convertible and screeching to a halt. Jumping out, he sprinted up the walkway to pound his closed fist against the door. After a moment, the door opened and Angelus found himself face to face with Joyce Summers. As recognition settled on her attractive features, she appeared as a mother lioness.

“You’re not welcome here, Angel,” she told him firmly.

Angelus figured he didn’t need another invitation and tried to push his way in finding an invisible barrier. Somehow the Slayer had found a way to uninvite him. “What did Buffy tell you about us?”

“Look, Angel. You’re a college student and too old to be meddling with the feelings of high school girls.” Joyce acknowledged the fact that the young man was handsome, but he had to be able to find girls of his own age. “Buffy told me she wants you to leave her alone. After tutoring her in history, you took advantage of the situation. When that did not work out, you started in on Cordelia.”

“That’s why I’m here, Mrs. Summers,” Angelus explained while wishing the woman would step onto the porch. “I need to see Cordy.”

“She doesn’t want to see you,” Joyce stressed and started to close the door in his face. “Just go away. Leave her alone.”

“I-I can’t. I can’t do that.”

The past eight hours had been distressing for Joyce as she returned home to find Cordelia crying on the living room couch. Buffy was there, pacing the floor and telling the girl to shut up. Joyce was not so thick that she did not notice the girls rarely spoke to each other, despite the fact that Cordelia had been living with them for a few weeks. Then it all came pouring out from the girls. Buffy had fallen for Angel. Slept with him. This man had taken her daughter’s virginity only to cruelly reject her. He immediately seemed to become someone she did not know. Then he turned his affections to Cordelia who also seemed to be frightened.

“You’re scaring her.”

“You have to help me. Joyce— I need, I need to be with her. Y-you can convince her. You have to convince her.”

Visibly angry now, Joyce gripped the doorknob tighter. “Look I’m telling you to leave her alone.”

“I know Cordy is in there.” Angelus was helpless against the barrier, but knew they had to come out sometime. “You have to talk to her for me, Joyce. Tell her I need her.”

Angelus was starting to lose his temper. “You don’t understand, Joyce. I’ll die without Cordelia. She’ll die without me.”

The tone of his voice was dark and dangerous. Joyce took a step back, still holding onto the doorknob. “Are you threatening her?”

“Tell Cordelia Chase to put her ass in gear and come speak to me,” Angelus demanded. “I got a message from her earlier and I deserve a little face-to-face time.”

“Don’t talk to my mother that way, Angel.” Buffy suddenly appeared at the top of the stairs. As she descended, he saw that Cordelia was right behind her.

Finally, Angelus would get some answers.

“I’m calling the police now,” Joyce told Buffy only to have her daughter hold up a hand to stop her.

“Not yet, Mom. Angel will behave if he knows what’s good for him.” Buffy asked that her mother let them have some time alone with him. Things needed to be said.

“I don’t want him in the house,” Joyce glared at the young man.

Cordelia’s mouth curled into a slow smile. “Don’t worry Joyce. I can guarantee he won’t be invited in anytime soon.”

Still concerned, Joyce reluctantly left the room. “Call out if you need me.”

“Sure, Mom.”

“What do you want, Angelus?” Buffy crossed her arms.

“Just what’s mine.”

Cordelia stood behind the Slayer looking a little scared. It was the first time she had shown any fear in his presence. About time! Angelus ignored Buffy and focused on the woman he had come for.

“I don’t take betrayal lightly, Cordelia,” he told her. “Your messengers are going to be under the weather for a while.”

“Spike and Dru?” She looked at him curiously. “What did you do to them?”

“Provided them a little lesson in not touching what belongs to me.” Angelus had been serious about making them pay for their participation in his lover’s decision.

Buffy was torn between defending Cordy and wanting to scratch her eyes out. This evil version of the vampire she loved was obsessed with the cheerleader. What Cordelia had described to her in the wee hours of the morning, long after Joyce Summers had gone to bed, made her weep along side the brunette. The girl was obviously just as obsessed with the vampire as he was with her.

Still, Cordelia Chase had decided that enough was enough. Willow’s involvement was still a fuzzy side-note that Buffy needed to figure out. Something about being punished with a spanking.

“I don’t belong to you, Angelus,” countered Cordelia. “You bit me. Marked me. It’s only a scar. A little plastic surgery and— poof! As long as I am human the only person I will ever belong to is me.”

A growl sounded from deep in the vampire’s chest. Angelus wanted to tell her she would not be human much longer if he had anything to say about it. “You want me, Cordelia Chase. You still want what we have together.”

“Maybe I do,” she agreed reluctantly, “but I choose to ignore it. And I will succeed.”

He practically growled his answer, “You won’t.”

“Will too!”

Buffy was getting dizzy from the verbal ping-pong. “Angelus, just accept the fact that she doesn’t want you.”

His gaze turned golden. “Is that what you’ve done, Buffy?”

Struck silent, Buffy realized the personal impact of her words.

“Have you forgotten what it was like, lover?” Angelus sneered. “How you moaned and came in my arms? How you gave it up to a vampire— your mortal enemy? You haven’t forgotten any more than I can forget her. I won’t just accept that Cordelia has suddenly changed her mind.”

“It was a spell, Angelus,” explained Cordelia as she tried not to burst into tears again. “I don’t love you. I don’t! It’s just magic.”

“Bullshit! I don’t believe that.”

Buffy promised him, “It’s true.”

A dawning light came on in Angelus’ head. “That little bitch! She actually did it. I knew she was tripping on the power. Playing with spells she shouldn’t.”

A little worried now that the vampire had made a connection to Willow, the two girls were glad that the Rosenberg residence was already protected by an uninvite spell. It was highly likely that the girl could become a target. Angelus’ next words confirmed their fears.

“Do you realize what you’re doing, Cordelia?” Angelus’ lips curled into a sneer. “You have released me from my promise not to harm your friends.”

The evil glint in his eyes was all the proof they needed. Buffy reminded him, “Those are my friends you’re talking about. Do not threaten them, because you’ve already got a ticked off Slayer to deal with. You don’t wanna make me really, really mad.”

“Step out of the house if you mean that, Slayer,” Angelus’ full game face appeared. “I can deal. Let’s get it on.”

With a sigh, Buffy realized that she was still not ready to kill him. Tonight had been so emotionally draining that she just couldn’t face the idea. “Go home, Angel.”

Seeing that the Slayer did not want to play, Angelus turned to Cordelia. “This isn’t over Cordy. Not by a long shot. I’ll be at the mansion if you change your mind. Either of you.”

Lower being, our Warrior finds himself in a dark place. Rage blooms within him at the whim of Chaos. Interference and betrayal have awakened a driving force that exists in you all. Passion. Unwanted and unbidden it stirs within. Without his soul to guide him, Angelus is ruled by that passion as it opens its jaws and howls. Passion. It leads the way and our Warrior obeys.

Jenny Calendar looked up from the computer at her desk. It was broad daylight outside, though the blinds were shut. There was a vampire standing in the middle of her empty classroom. “Angel— How did you get in here?”

“I was invited.” Angelus moved a little closer as he explained. “The sign in front of the school— ‘Formatia trans sicere educatorum.’”

She understood his meaning. Quoting, “Enter all ye who seek knowledge.”

“What can I say? I’m a knowledge seeker.”

Shuffling through some of the papers at her desk, Jenny tried to be calm. “Angel, I-I-I’ve got good news.”

“I heard. You went shopping at the local boogedy-boogedy store.” The discovery was a surprise to Angelus who had been blaming Willow for casting spells. It looked like there was another witch associated with the Scooby Gang. “Been buying items that sound like they have to do with me.”

“Well, yes,” Jenny started to explain only to be cut off by the vampire’s oration.

“The Orb of Thesulah,” Angelus spotted it on the desk and carefully lifted it. “If memory serves, this is supposed to summon a person’s soul from the ether— store it until it can be transferred.”

Licking her lips, Jenny Calendar wondered what else the vampire knew. She supposed he might have studied the transference rituals in order to learn more about the curse.

“You know what I hate most about these things?” Angelus gripped the orb in his hand. “They’re so damn fragile.”

As the glass orb burst, Jenny jolted in fear. The vampire was now leaning against her desk. “Must be that shoddy gypsy craftsmanship, huh?”

Angelus had her cornered behind the desk. Jenny wanted to convince him that she was trying to help, but it seemed obvious that he looked on it as a threat. “So you are more than you pretend to be, Janna of the Kalderash people.”

Flashing a look of panic, Jenny realized that Angel knew the truth. The only way he could have done that was to get to her Uncle Enyos, an elder of their clan who was in town keeping a watchful eye on her progress. What had he been forced to reveal?

“I never cease to be amazed how much the world has changed in just two and a half centuries. It’s a miracle to me. You, you put the secrets to restoring my soul in here—”

Angelus shoved the computer onto the floor watching with satisfaction as it broke into pieces. The monitor shattered, sending out sparks and started to burn. Walking to the computer printer, Angelus ripped off the printout.

“—and it comes out here.”

Reading, “The Ritual of Restoration. Wow! This brings back memories.”

Even in the midst of her distress, Jenny tried to stop him from destroying the paper in his hand. “Wait. That’s your—”

“My cure?” Angelus scoffed, “No, thanks. Been there, done that, and deja vu just isn’t what it used to be. My— isn’t this my lucky day. The computer— and the pages. Looks like I get to kill two birds with one stone. And teacher makes three.”

“No!” Jenny cried out and took the only opportunity to run she had found.

“Oh, good. I need to work up an appetite first.” Instantly, Angelus moved with vampiric speed to grab his victim. “Sorry, Jenny, this is where you get off.”

Snapping her neck, Angelus felt a wave of satisfaction roll from his chest to his groin. “Ah— I never get tired of doing that.”

It was the first death amongst the Chosen One’s crowd. Not the one Angelus thought he would start with, but his fortunate discovery made rearrangement of his plans necessary. If he could not get to Cordelia, he would pick off the Slayer’s other friends one by one until Buffy was the only one left protecting her.

As Angelus lifted the dead body of Jenny Calendar into his arms, a dark grin spreading across his face, he spoke to her still form. “Now then, gypsy girl, it’s Valentine’s Day. Let’s get you home to your man.”

Buffy clung to Giles as they walked away from the gravesite. He was immersed in grief and heartbreak. “In my years as— Watcher— I’ve buried too many people, but Jenny was the first I’ve loved.”

Tears dripped onto her curved cheeks as Buffy’s own feelings about Angel and Angelus finally came to a head. She felt responsible for Jenny Calendar’s death by refusing to fight the vampire.

“I’m sorry!” Buffy pleaded her case. “I’m sorry I couldn’t kill him for you— for her—when I had the chance. I wasn’t ready. But I think I finally am. I can’t hold on to the past anymore. Angel has gone. Nothing’s ever gonna bring him back.”

Patrols brought no sign of Angelus. Buffy wondered if he was waiting for Spike and Dru to recover from whatever torture he had unleashed upon them for delivering Cordelia’s message. He was biding his time. Planning. Plotting. After what Angelus had done to Giles, displaying Jenny’s broken body on the Watcher’s bed and spreading a romantic trail of roses from the front door to the bedroom, she believed him capable of anything.

Willow had been asked to take over Jenny Calendar’s computer class until a suitable replacement could be found. The girl found herself feeling guilty at the pleasure it gave her to lead the class and being recognized for her skill. After a week, she was no longer having any problem and took delight in adapting Jenny’s lesson plans with her own sense of style.

Now Buffy was sitting next to her at the desk after pleading for help with her homework. As her pencil rolled onto the floor, the blonde noticed a computer disc lodged between the desk and the adjacent two-drawer file cabinet. Picking it up, she gave it to Willow. “I think you dropped this.”

Taking it, Willow examined the disc. “Not mine. It might be something belonging to Ms. Calendar.”

“This feels kinda morbid,” Buffy admitted as her friend popped the unlabeled disc into the computer.

Willow had moved past that. With a series of mouse clicks, she had the program open and running. Pointing out, “I’ve gone through most of her files already.”

Questioning the girl, “Does that make it less morbid to you or really morbid?”

Sighing, Willow reminded her, “I had to teach her class.”

“Relax, Will. I was making with the funny.” Buffy glances over at the screen then caught the title. “Does that say ‘restoration’?”

Willow nodded silently as she read over the text. “It’s one of her spells, Ms. Calendar was not a practicing witch, but she did dabble—”

As the redhead’s voice trailed off, Buffy grew anxious. “Willow?”

This was an enormous find. Willow glanced over at her friend and spontaneously gave her a hug. This was the answer to her prayers for Buffy and Angel. Excitedly rocking her back and forth, Willow chanted, “Oh, boy. Oh, boy. Oh, boy.”

Sometimes, these divergent paths veer back to the center. Realign with the ultimate plan. Sometimes not. A twist of fate led to discovery. Creating opportunity. Creating a chance for redemption.

Willow’s glee was boundless at the discovery of the soul restoration spell. Ms Calendar had come through for the gang even after death. With the Mortivaricus Incantations, Jenny’s spell and the demonology book on vampires, Willow felt confident that she could restore Angel’s soul. However, her weeks of misery and a little soul-searching of her own had brought her to a decision.

Buffy’s Angel was cursed by the gypsies to ensure his suffering. Only perfect bliss in Buffy’s arms could counteract the curse and bring Angelus back to the world. If Willow could restore the vampire’s soul, but somehow make his soulmate the link that kept him stable— then Buffy and Angel could be together again. All she needed to do was tweak the spell. Not that she was adept at tweaking, but Willow reasoned that it was worth a try.

“What are you saying?” Giles stared at Willow and Buffy trying to make sense of it.

Buffy held up a paper printout. “We thought that the information on Angel’s curse was destroyed along with Ms Calendar’s computer. “We were wrong. This is it.”

Not quite, Willow thought as Buffy held out the tweaked version of the restoration spell to the Watcher. “Looks like Ms. Calendar finished her translation of the original curse. To restore Angel’s soul again.”

This was the first Giles had heard of its completion, but there was a chance Jenny had it finished on the day of her death. Valentines Day, when she told him that she had to work just a little later than planned. Staring at the printout, Giles reminded them of her original response to Cordelia’s request that the gypsy restore Angel’s soul. “She said it couldn’t be done.”

“No. Ms Calendar said she couldn’t cast the spell, not that it couldn’t be done,” Willow sounded optimistic.

Xander was sitting at the table next to Willow. “What a prince! Angelus killed her before she could tell anyone about the spell.”

“This is good, right?” Cordelia ventured. She had so many mixed feelings about this idea. “I mean, we can curse him again.”

Buffy paced like a caged tiger across the library floor, thinking.

“Um, well, this, um— certainly points the way,” Giles started to advise the girl against getting her hopes up, “but— the ritual itself requires a greater knowledge of the black arts than I-I-I can claim.”

Willow realized that this was the time to fess up. “Well, I’ve been going through her files and— and researching the black arts for fun or educational fun and I may be able to work this spell.”

Turning swiftly, Giles stared at the redhead with deep concern. “W-Willow— I, I, you can’t just— channeling such potent magics through yourself, it could open a door that you may not be able to close.”

Though Buffy had been heartened by the news that Angel might be saved by this spell, she admitted, “I don’t want you putting yourself in any danger, Will.”

Willow agreed. “And I don’t want danger. Big ‘no’ to danger, but I may be the best person to do this.”

Xander couldn’t believe this discussion. It was only last week that Buffy had sworn to do away with the evil vampire despite the love they had once shared. After all, Angelus had seduced Cordelia away from him and killed Jenny Calendar. “Hi! For those of you who have just tuned in, everyone here is a crazy person.”

Rising from his chair, Xander walked to the end of the table. “So this spell might restore Angel’s humanity? Well, here’s an interesting angle— who cares?” he added harshly.

“I care.” Buffy looked at him sadly.

Cordelia added her two cents. “So do I.”

Xander found that he was not surprised. Sourly, he looked at the two girls. “Is that right.”

“Let’s not lose our perspective here, Xander.” Giles tried to keep them focused.

Even Willow seemed unwilling to see his side, Xander realized, and she still had a cast on her arm thanks to the vampire’s super-strength.

Standing his ground, Xander pointed to himself. “I am Perspective Guy. Angel’s a killer.”

Willow cautioned, “Xander—”

“It’s not that simple,” Buffy told him.

Disgusted, Xander yelled, “What? All is forgiven? I can’t believe you people!”

Cordelia stood next to him as she thought about what they were planning. If it worked, this spell would save Angel. If it didn’t Buffy wouldn’t stop until one of them was dust or dead. If it worked, Angel would return to his souled existence and regret every moment that he had spent in Cordelia’s arms. After all, even Angelus himself had admitted that it was the soul that loved Buffy. With it restored to the vampire, the soul would once again consign Buffy’s love in that empty place in his heart.

Selfishly, Cordelia did not know if she could live with that. Her feelings for Angelus had not gone away simply because she chose to stop seeing him. “Xander has a point.”

His former girlfriend had remained distant during the weeks since their break up. Xander automatically raised his voice to snap at her. “You know just once I wish you’d support me— and I realize right now that you were— and I’m embarrassed, so I’m gonna get back to the point— which is that Angel needs to die.”

Giles shook his head. “Curing Angel seems to have been Jenny’s last wish.”

Xander pointed out harshly, “Yeah? Well, Jenny’s dead.”

Approaching Xander angrily, Giles glared down at the boy. “Don’t you ever speak of her in that tone again!”

Yelling back, Xander had thought the Watcher would be on his side. “Can’t you hear what I’m saying?”

They began to argue heatedly. Buffy rushed over and put herself between them as a small physical barrier. “Stop it! Stop it!”

Silence permeated the room as Xander and Giles separated to distant corners. Buffy saw them glaring at each other. Turning away, Buffy went back to Willow looking as though the tears were getting closer. Giles started pacing, also very upset while Cordelia stood in silent misery with her arms hugged around herself.

Willow quietly asked her friend, “What do you wanna do?”

Sighing, Buffy responded in the same tone. “I-I don’t know. What happened to Angel wasn’t his fault.”

Overhearing, Xander said, “Yeah, but what happened to Ms. Calendar is.”

Buffy and Willow stared at him in disbelief. He wasn’t seeing the point, but then again Xander Harris never liked Angel to begin with.

“You can paint this any way you want,” Xander’s voice sounded cold, “but the way I see it is that you wanna forget all about Ms. Calendar’s murder so you can get your boyfriend back.”

Meanwhile, Angelus and his growing band of vampires acquired a little piece of history from the Sunnydale Museum. It was now sitting in front of the fireplace at the vampire’s recently acquired mansion— the one he had moved Spike and Dru into in preparation of the enlargement of their clan. In the adjoining suite next to his expansive set of rooms everything lay prepared for Cordelia Chase— an arrival the girl swore would never come.

So be it. If he couldn’t have what he wanted, neither would anyone else.

“It’s a big rock,” Spike assessed the object. “I can’t wait to tell my friends. They don’t have a rock this big in their living room.”

Angelus rolled his eyes. “Spike, boy, you never did learn your history.”

“Let’s have a lesson, then.” Lounging back on the couch, Spike propped his muddy boots atop the coffee table. Angelus wasn’t into pet rocks or robbing museums, so this had to be something of interest.

His grandsire’s voice took on a mysterious tone, as if he was wallowing gloriously in the idea that he had found this artifact just when he wanted it. “Acathla the demon came forth to swallow the world.”

Oh! Spike realized this could get interesting indeed.

Strolling over to the obelisk, Angelus explained. “He was killed by a virtuous knight who pierced the demon’s heart before he could draw a breath to perform the act.”

Spike saw a plan forming on his grandsire’s face. “Acathla turned to stone, as demons sometimes do, and was buried where neither man nor demon would want to look.”

“Unless of course they’re putting up low-rent housing.” Spike quipped.

With a smirk, Angelus ordered two of his fledglings into action. “Boys—”

The vampires reached up with crowbars attempting to pry open the tomb. The lid crashed to the floor, stirring up dust. Inside was a tall stockily-built horned stone demon with a sword protruding from the right side of its chest.

Drusilla closed her eyes as she caught sight of it. Raising her hands to the sides of her head, she began to sway it back and forth. “He fills my head. I can’t hear anything else.”

Sitting up, Spike met Angelus’ gaze. “Let me guess. Someone pulls out the sword—”

“Someone worthy—”

Spike nodded his head at the plan. “Mm. The demon wakes up, and wackiness ensues.”

Drusilla opened her eyes, lowering her arms to her side. Her voice was full of portent. “He will swallow the world.”

Angelus walked up to Acathla for a closer look as he responded to his childe’s words. The perfect vengeance. “And every creature on this planet will go to Hell.”

Trying to maintain a poker face, Spike realized that his grandsire had gone over the edge. This went far beyond Drusilla’s little stint with reassembling the Judge, which Spike had supported at the time. Angelus’ plan was different. This wasn’t about causing a little carnage here or there. This was about not getting what he wanted— Cordelia Chase. This was all about vengeance and death, even his own.

Facing the other vampires in the room, an evil smile appeared across Angelus’ face. “My friends, we’re about to make history— end.”

We come to a crossroads. A landmark in the footnotes of this history. A point at which enemies and friends exchange roles. Where one demon fights to destroy the world while his kindred seeks to save it. And the Chosen One must destroy that which she has held most dear to her heart. Our Warrior will be lost to the confines of hell. Our Seer-to-be consigned to a future without him.


SOULBOUND – BOOK ONE – THE FIRST CONNECTION: CHAPTER LINKS

Book One Chapter 4                         Book One Home                    Book One Chapter 6


 

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