House Guest


AUTHOR: SCORCH (aka JUDI)
SUMMARY: Every home needs a woman’s touch, or a woman to touch!
RATING: R/NC17
POSTED: 19 Oct 2003
CATEGORY: ROMANCE / HUMOR / SMUT
CONTENT/PAIRING: C/A
WARNINGS: Explicit Sexual Content
FICPIC CREDIT: CALIFI
AUTHOR NOTES: I can’t help it okay? If I don’t write something, I’ll go insane. Cal’s new challenge to me!!
STATUS:


ficpic_califi_House20Guest


Part 1: Moving In
Hot steam swirled around him, the sound of Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ soothed him and the boiling water warmed him. There wasn’t much better than a nice, relaxing hot shower to while away the stress of another day. Bracing large hands against the shower wall, Angel let his head drop forward to enjoy the jetting spray roll down his tense neck and shoulder muscles.

An impatient rapping disturbed his peaceful shower causing Angel to glance angrily at his bathroom door, wondering who on Earth it could be at this time of night. Immediately, his thoughts went to Doyle and visions; the vampire scuttled out from under the steaming hot shower carefully minding the slippery floor tiles as he wrapped a towel around his firm waist.

Water drip-dropped from his naked, powerful body onto his carpet as Angel finally cranked open his door. He didn’t have time to speak as his secretary breezed stormily past him and into his apartment without so much as a ‘Hello.’

“Oh god, Angel! It’s so terrible! Oh, my gosh” a distraught Cordelia turned to look at Angel, raising her hands to hide her face from his bemused gaze. “Don’t even look at me, I am such a mess. I am the lowest of the low” seemingly blind to his state of undress, the brunette pointed back out into the hall where the rest of her luggage lay waiting to brought inside. “You’re going to want to get my other suitcase out there in the hall”

His hands that were previously holding his towel in place were now filled with two suitcases that she had flung into his arms. Angel attempted to balance the cases with holding his towel in securely in place and found himself in a very awkward hunched position.

Angel glanced quickly over his shoulder in the direction she was pointing before turning back to face her, still trying not to drop either the cases or her towel. “What happened?” was all he managed to say before he found his words were quickly cut off with the start of another rant. Hopefully, Cordelia would tell him what exactly was wrong and why she was here, at his apartment, in the middle of the night by herself.

“My apartment” Cordelia replied with the biggest pout her had ever seen on a girl. “It’s like the barrio… Or the projects or whatever, and I live there! I am a girl from the projects!”

The still confused vampire almost dropped the cases as he tried to follow her rapid-fire speech. “What? I don’t know about that” he replied, what were the projects?

Spinning her back to him, Cordelia continued to tell him about her plight as though he hadn’t spoken. “Get this. I tried to call Doyle, I have sunk that low. But there was no answer” she shrugged helplessly, and began twisting her shoulders back and forth with a tiny, sweet smile. “So, here I am. Not that you’re the last resort” she quickly put in before continuing. “It’s just that I have nowhere else left to go”

Cordelia flopped down on the arm of his chair while Angel managed to put down one of the cases he was holding. “Roaches,” her hands went up in the air expressively “Live one, dead ones” more expressive hand movements “All skinny feet and creepy antlers.”

“Antlers?”

As though just realizing something, Cordelia suddenly sported a look of sheer horrified terror as she snapped her gaze to her cases. “Oh, my god! I wonder how many stowed away in that bag?”

Angel warily looked down at the last case he was still holding.

The brunette continued seemingly without needing to breathe “Also the water is all brown and spurty, and not hot! I am dying for a shower”

Angel was finally able to rid himself of her case and latched onto his towel with both hands. Didn’t she know he was naked here? Couldn’t she see that? What did he have to do to get her to notice that fact? Drop his towel?

“I” a look of disgust marred her features “Actually smell! Smell me” Cordelia got off the chair arm and stalked over to the vampire, sticking her wrist right under his nose. He couldn’t help but inhale her scent, angrily flowing blood pulsed beneath the flimsy skin. A light but intoxicating cocktail of citrus fruits blended with her unique bodily scent; soft, feminine and warm. The combination floated all around him in an invisible attack on his senses.

His tongue itched to lick her skin, just to see if she tasted as good as she smelled, Angel turned his face slightly towards the blue pulse, intending to inhale deeper and longer but she pulled away as quickly as she had stuck it there.

“I never smell” Cordelia defended needlessly as she took to pacing in front of him unaware of the deep effect the small scent of her had on him. Angel thanked every God he’d heard of that his hands hand been covering his groin. “I didn’t know I could. I’m just going to have to stay here until I can find a decent place, however long that takes, and when I do you are completely invited over” her words came at seemingly a million miles an hour.

Angel could see her lips moving, he could words vocalized but they were just a blur to him. While Cordelia was pacing lightly in front of him, he had been left reeling from that small sample of her body.

“Hey, you can just dump my stuff on the couch” he wasn’t so lost that he missed her expectant look or the point she wanted to make. “Or let me have the bed. What ever you feel good about. Also, my suitcase is still out in the hall” Cordelia told him expectantly as she nudged her head in the direction of the hallway. Picking up her discarded shoulder bag, she peered up at him questioningly. “Your shower is in here, right? You have mousse?” then followed through by answering the question. “Of course you do.”

He couldn’t do anything but watch as she strolled into his bathroom, leaving him scratching his head wondering what the hell just happened.

*~*~*~*~*

It was a while before Cordelia exited the shower, the reason being she had forced herself not think about how he had looked when she walked in. His black hair gleaming with crystal-like water droplets, his pale skin had seemed flushed with the heat from the shower and his hard body had sparkled all over.

Tiny drops of water had trailed over the sharp lines of his torso, making her want to lick those drops off with her tongue. “Could I be anymore perverted?” Cordelia muttered, stopping more naughty thoughts and fantasies from invading her brain. She had more important things to worry about than what Angel might have been doing in the shower.

“That certainly answers that question” she snarked to her evil inner self, God help the world if her evil self and Angelus ever met up. She would be ruined for all eternity! To take her mind off certain vampires and certain vampires doing certain activities, Cordelia plopped down on the bed running a comb through her wet hair gently to work through the tangles.

The mattress was soft but firm, his top sheet was like a form of velvet but smoother and dark colors made up the cover. It reminded her of Angel, darker colors mixing with lighter shades as the swirled patterns mingled together. Her hand drifted down from her hair to touch the pillows resting just above the edge of the sheets, the casing was made of a downy material also in a dark burgundy color. She wondered if his pillows were a synthetic hypo-allergenic filling or goose feathers.

Cordelia squeezed the edge of the pillows, feeling a smile work its way across her face as she felt the absence of goose feathers. “Good thing too, I hate waking up to find pieces of bird in my hair”

Angel watched her silently and unseen from around a corner, watching as she softly ran her hand across his bed, imprinting her scent with a sweet touch. He immediately noticed how she smelled so different than before, gone was the overlying scent of citrus fruits and now she smelled like fresh rain. While Cordelia had been in the shower, Angel had argued, debated and lost his will to let her sleep in his bed alone. He just wanted to be close to her, to lay down next to her to be able to breathe her in all night.

Taking a deep, unneeded but highly wanted breath Angel walked over to her as he loosened the knot on his robe ready for discarding it. “Ready for bed?”

“Oh hey” came her belated greeting to him, “Not yet, my hair’s still wet and I don’t want to wake up in the morning with flyaway strands that bug me. I will be soon though but don’t let me stop you from going to sleep. Thanks for letting me have your bed by the way” like she hadn’t expected him to do that anyway.

“I’m not sleeping on the couch, Cordelia” Angel dropped on her, gauging her reaction which was sure to be a nice array of fireworks when he told her she would be sleeping with him.

Cordelia quickly recovered from her minor shock by pasting a smile on her face, hoping she could talk him out of making her sleep on the couch. “Angel, I know you are a gentleman and I know you wouldn’t want me to suffer anymore stress on this terrible day… I’m not sleeping on the couch!”

“No, you’re not” he confirmed and got a winning smile, “But neither am I” the winning smile faded into a frown of confusion that rapidly cleared to an expression that stated…

“No way am I sleeping with you” Cordelia denied point blank, she couldn’t handle being that close to him and most definitely couldn’t take sleeping with him. That way only led to badness and trouble she so didn’t want to deal with.

“Why not?” Angel asked in confusion as he scratched his head looking at her.

“Because” she stressed with an exaggerated hand movement.

“That isn’t an answer” he countered back easily, this had to work he had to get into bed with her if only for tonight. Just one night with her and he’d be okay, he’d be cured of this irrational thing with her scent he’d suddenly developed. Silently, he wondered if someone would stake him now and put him out of his misery; it wouldn’t be just for the one night and he knew it. Sometimes, it was all too easy to get addicted to things or people and Angel knew that a little too well.

“I don’t want to sleep with you” Cordelia rephrased strongly as she turned her begging eyes up at his, asking for a show of mercy.

“Thanks” Angel responded dryly as he crossed his arms over his robe-covered chest and looked down at her.

“As long as we got that sorted out, I won’t make any noise so you can get some sleep. God knows you’ve had a hard day sitting in your office reading all day, I can see how stressful that would be”

“I didn’t think you wanted me in that way” he sighed and went for the closing statement he knew would win the debate. “I guess sleeping with me would be too much for you huh? It’s okay Cordelia, I fully understa…”

“Excuse me? Like you in what way exactly?” Cordelia demanded hotly, standing up from the bed to face him intently. Panicking inwardly, her brain worked overtime trying to figure out how he knew about her little crush. Little as in tiny, almost none-existent, snow-flake sized little.

“Romantically” Angel replied “I guess I should sleep on the couch if you don’t feel as though you can keep your hands to yourself…”

A gasped in breath made her lips part and form her trademark “Aurgh!” Cordelia gaped at his egotistical assumptions. So what if he was right that was beside the point. Her finger jabbed into his chest, making Angel take a step back.

“Alright mister-every-girl-wants-me I don’t want to sleep with you because there would be no room for me and your ego in the bed. There’s barely enough room in your apartment for me, your ego is taking up all the room! The oxygen I need to breathe is being fast replaced by your testosterone. Tell me Angel, do you think I would be romantically interested in you, hmm?”

He missed half of the things she’d yelled at him, but Angel wasn’t going to lose this battle easily. He wanted to sleep with her and he was going to sleep with her, whether she wanted to or not! “If you don’t find me romantically attractive then sleeping with me won’t be a problem for you will it?” and that, ladies and gents, was his argument winning words!

Cordelia was stunned that her little speech hadn’t made him cave if only to shut her up, instead Angel had worked it round so if she said no it would look like she did want him. If she said yes, then it would be hell on her but if she said no then he’d get all stupid and manly about it. She felt like whining, stomping her foot and taking a tantrum complete with bratty body shaking movements.

“Sleeping with me wouldn’t be that bad would it?” Angel enquired, years of perfecting the puppy-dog look finally paid off and he was rewarded by his first ever win against Cordelia Chase. He felt like calling Doyle up and bragging about it, hell he felt like calling Xander up to brag about it. If he did that then he could also accidentally-on-purpose let it slip he was sleeping with her too!

“Fine” she relented with a growl and closed eyes, “Your hands touch any part of me or you stray over to my side of the bed, you’ll wake up in severe pain” she warned honestly.

Angel had fought demons, vampires and a whole lot of other things but he had never had to fight as hard as he had too right then to keep the victorious smile off his face. “Left or right?” he asked as innocently as a conniving vampire could.

“Left” the word was dripping with suspicion as she moved around the Angel when it became clear he had no intentions of moving.

*~*~*~*~*

2:15 the backlight of her watch showed her the time, silently groaning Cordelia made a motion to strangle herself for getting convinced to sleep with him and she full well knew he had walked all over her. A knee slid into the back of hers, making her leg curl up toward her stomach as Angel rolled over onto his side and into the back of her.

“Oh he didn’t” the brunette mouthed at the chest of drawers she was now facing while Angel’s body slowly cradled her back to his chest.

This is okay she thought it’s a harmless sleeping position, nothing more. Just close your sleepy, little peepers Cordy and go to sleep like a good girl. Try counting sheep. Cordelia closed her eyes and took deep, even breaths in a pathetic effort to relax into him.

The vampire was fully aware she was awake, the telltale thump-thumping of her heartbeat gave it away but he couldn’t seem to let go. She was just so nice, warm and good to hug, touch and sweet to smell. Angel lay perfectly still behind her, his cool body absorbing the warmth from hers; his chest lay still against the slight pressure of her back, nothing to say he was wide awake.

After a few moments, Cordelia couldn’t help but allow her body to melt into his as she began to drift off into well-needed slumber. Heart evened out, breathing became shallower, lighter and even while her grip on the pillow beneath her head loosened.

Opening his eyes, Angel ran his gaze down the back of her mahogany hair covered neck, slowly he curled his hand around her delicate cotton encased ass instantly waking her up.

Cordelia forced herself not to freeze at his touch, he had to be asleep, he couldn’t realize he was touching her like that. Her mouth parted a little more when she felt his hand smooth over the curve of her hip and down her inner thigh before resting lightly mere inches from her groin.

Sneaking another peek at her watch, she pressed the button to make the back light glow revealing the time, 2:45 am it was now and she still hadn’t gotten any sleep. Minutes, or hours, ticked by since Angel had moved closer to her or grabbed anything else belonging to her and Cordelia felt the pull of exhaustion finally and deliciously pull her under.

Angel heard her fall totally asleep and shook off the guilty feeling that he was doing something wrong. He had a right to touch her like this, she came to him and therefore she now belonged to him; she’d given herself of her own free will so he had nothing to be guilty for!

Rolling her supple, limp body over the vampire curled himself completely around Cordelia. His head leaned in the valley of her cleavage, one hand cupped her left breast with his fingers grazing the hardening tip of the pebble beneath her pajama top. His other hand now lay in the crook at the top of her inner thigh and his powerful thigh was wrapped over her waist.

Just before he fell asleep himself, Angel offhandedly wondered how she’d handle this when she woke up.


Part 2: Wakey, Wakey, Rise and Shine!
It was morning when Cordelia woke up next, eyes fluttering open and she yawned sleepily, when she tried to stretch she found herself weighed down by a large, heavy and very male body laying practically on top of her. Glancing down at her chest, she saw Angel with his head resting comfortably on her breasts, one hand cupping her left with his fingers grazing the hardening pebble through her pajama top.

One powerful thigh was curled over her waist making him half on top of her and half on the mattress. His other hand that had been at a not-so-safe distance from her groin last night was now laying limply right in the corner of her inner thigh.

The brunette tried to move him without sending either hand further onto parts of her body he shouldn’t be touching. Angel growled at the movement and settled her a little more under him with a quick tug on her body.

“Mmm” came the purred satisfaction that the warmth hadn’t gone away.

What the hell did he think he was doing? More to the point, who the hell did he think he was doing it to? She was so not impressed.

“Angel get up” Cordelia hissed, trying to move him again, “Angel please get up” the hiss turning to begging now. He was heavy and it was a heaviness you didn’t want when you needed the bathroom. “Angel please wake up or move. I need bathroom now!”

The only response she got was his fingers brushing over her nipple and his palm cupping her breast fully in a gentle squeeze. She gasped in a breath and held for a few seconds, not knowing what the hell to do now. Angel hummed happily, nudging her head to one side, nuzzled her neck and pressed his hips further into her ass.

“Oh no. Ohnononono!” Cordelia whined in horror when she felt a certain male body part respond to his movement and she increased her struggle to get out from under him before her certain body part started a reaction of its own! She shoved hard on his shoulders fruitlessly, he was too heavy for her to move. “Angel you pervert! Wake the hell up before I remove something valuable” the words were yelled directly into his ear very loudly and had the desired effect.

The vampire’s eyes snapped open and he woke to feel a shrill ringing in his ears, “What?” Angel bolted up, eyes wildly looking around his bedroom. “What is it?”

“Oh thank you God!” Cordelia sprung off the bed and ran hurriedly into the bathroom, “Don’t think you’re off the hook, when I get out of here you’re gonna…!”

Angel tuned out her threats, his panic subsiding when he realized the shrill ringing had been caused by his secretary. Rubbing a hand over his face tiredly, he climbed out of bed and stretched his arms wide, relishing the way his muscles popped. His hands were warm from touching her while his body was hot and hard from being so intimately close to her.

“What?” Angel asked distractedly as he sat down on the side of the bed Cordelia had slept, one hand reached out to grasp the pillow she had used. The soft cushion, also still warm, held her scent strongly and the blankets held a scent that was much more intimate. Traces of female reaction lit the air and set the scene for him, painting a picture for him. He’d been touching her, wrapping his hands around her breasts and curling his body around her youthful, lithe one. Cordelia had reacted to his contact leaving traceable waves of arousal in his bed.

He was hard and had been ever since he’d seen her crawl into bed last night, cock throbbing deliciously in his boxers had been noticed when she had woke up feeling it against her. Angel knew that, he could feel the withheld nervousness coming off her but he wasn’t sorry, he couldn’t and wouldn’t be sorry for wanting her. He wanted to do so many things to her, wanted to feel her legs around his waist, wanted to take her from behind and he wanted her blood.

Without thinking, Angel went to use his hand to relieve some of the building pressure in his balls, wishing it was her hand gloving his cock.

“I said” Cordelia yelled back breaking through his arousing fantasy and halting his movement. “I warned you about invading my bubble before we went to bed but did you listen? You probably listened about as much as you’re listening now”

“I am listening” he replied holding her pillow up, inhaling deeply his unnatural breath released in a quiet moan. Angel’s eyes flashed for a second when his sense of smell tuned into the intimate scent on the sheets. He knew he was perverted but he had a perfectly good excuse, he was a vampire and vampires were perverted by nature!

“Why are you holding my pillow?” she asked questioningly as she emerged from the bathroom a few minutes later. Cordelia had come out just as Angel had picked up the pillow she used last night. “Are you sniffing my pillow?”

Brought out of his thoughts, Angel turned his head to look at the suspicious brunette glaring at him. “No, I was fluffing it so I could make the bed” he replied, giving the pillow a few healthy squeezes for good show. “See?”

“Riiight” her word dripped with disbelief, “And you were really asleep when you decided ‘Girl in bed, must grope’ like I really believe that”

“I was asleep” he defended with a lie, “I’m sorry for touching you the way I did” like hell he was, he couldn’t wait to touch her again like that tonight.

“I’m sure you are, tonight you can sleep on the couch and touching problem solved easy peesey” Cordelia retaliated and moved to get some clothes from her cases. “Oh, is it okay if I do some laundry today? Of course it is, you don’t want me in dirty clothes now do you?”

No way was either he or her sleeping on the couch, “I didn’t realize an innocent touch would bother you this much” Angel spoke up, keeping his victorious tone hidden for now.

“Of course it bothers me having your hands on my things, it’s not the fact that I have a thing for you or anything because I so don’t” Cordelia replied evenly. “It’s the fact that I need my space and you invaded it”

“Okay, you can sleep on the couch” he inwardly sniggered at the forced calmness on her face.

“Need I remind you that you are supposed to be a gentleman and gentlemen are supposed to take the couch”

“Need I remind you” Angel retaliated smoothly, “That this is my apartment and you came to me”

“Just because I came to you for a place to stay does not give you the right to get all grab-happy in the middle of the night” Cordelia pointed out just as smoothly as she studied her nails intently. She didn’t want to look at him in case he knew what his so-called accidental touching had caused in her.

“It won’t happen again” he told her so very seriously, “Now shouldn’t you be getting ready for work? Your boss might get a little annoyed you’re late”

Gracing him with a sarcastic sneer, Cordelia spun on her heel and moved to get dressed for the day, she continued to mutter about the male race and one-track minds.

Angel watched as she angrily picked up her suitcase, slammed it down on his bed and started rifling through her clothes. Satisfied he had shut her up for now, the vampire made a move in getting himself ready for the upcoming day.

*~*~*

Doyle flinched a little when Cordelia closed her drawer with a little bang, “What did the drawer do?” he asked as he relaxed back on the small chaise lounge sofa in the front of the office.

“It’s a drawer” Cordelia looked at him as though he was stupid, “How can a drawer do anything wrong? I suppose it could get stuck but then that would be Angel’s fault for giving me a desk made with shoddy craftsmanship and woodworm”

The corners of his mouth flickered up slightly as he held back a laugh, “Wouldn’t that make it the workman’s fault?” he enquired, wondering how the blame of a sticking drawer could fall to Angel.

“Yeah but it’s Angel fault for buying it” the brunette pointed out emphatically, getting up out of her seat she walked round to perch on the edge of the desk. Cordelia shot fiery glances towards the shut door of the vampire’s office, raising her voice just a little so her every word would be heard. “Angel has this built in mechanism that makes him go ahead with not-so-good ideas. Like molesting certain young and unaware teenage girls, thus leading to trouble that could cause him to lose his soul”

Doyle’s eyes flickered once towards the office where, for some reason unknown to him, a loud crash sounded through the shut door. “I don’t think mentioning that Slayer is a particularly good idea Princess”

“Slayer schmayer” Cordelia sighed dramatically, swinging her legs back and forth; “Hell if it hadn’t been the Almighty One then it could have been someone like… Faith for instance, crazy psycho Slayer. He played the part of Mister-Evil-Vamp-Leather-Pants too well if you ask me”

Another, louder crash sounded from the office before Angel appeared at the door with a look of forced calmness on his face. “Cordelia, can I talk to you for a second please?” he made it quite clear that it wasn’t a question.

“Sorry Boss” she replied apologetically, “I’m a little busy right now. Doyle was about to take me out for lunch”

The half demon in question had a good right to look bewildered at her words, “I was…?” deciding an opportunity to be alone with the girl who currently held his rather raunchy fantasies wasn’t something he was going to miss out on. After all, who knew who was going to be in his raunchy fantasies next week?! Doyle quickly countered his shock with sudden nodding, “I was”

It didn’t take a genius to figure out his secretary was lying through her teeth and getting his seer to go along with it. Angel tightened his mouth into a thin line, putting off having a nice talk with her later. “Fine, but I want to talk to you later tonight. You can stay back and I’ll take you home”

“Didn’t I mention I had a date tonight?” Cordelia asked innocently

“Cordelia” was that a growl?

“Seriously, I have a date and…”

“Cordelia” Angel barked.

Holding up her hands defensively, Cordelia rolled her eyes in exasperation. “Alright alright” she snapped back at him “No need to get snippy”

“So we goin for lunch or not?” Doyle asked as he glanced between the vampire and girl in confusion.

*~*~*

Cordelia left the bathroom after outting on her most unnatractive flannel pajamas. A dark blue matching set she had bought ages ago, they were old but so very comfortable and warm. Placing the pillows in a line down the center of the bed she climbed onto the left side, sighing with satisfaction. “This should stop grabby hands from grabbing”

Cordelia wiggled down the bed until the only thing of visible was her head, “Godnight Angel” she called out sweetly. “Don’t let me stop you from sleeping on the couch” after not getting much sleep the night before, the brunette almost instantly fell asleep.

Angel crept silently towards her side and looked down at the sleeping girl in his bed, frowing when he saw the pillows clearly marking her territory. “Night sweetheart” he murmured as he sat on the edge and simply studied her.

Sun swept skin dewy and supple with sleep, bare lips were parted with even breaths that made her chest rise and fall rhythmically below the sheets and her hair tied up in a ponytail to prevent morning tangles. He couldn’t stop himself from leaning down to press his lips against hers softly so as not to wake her up. Angel kept his moan silent as he held his mouth gently down on hers, cool lips absorbing the warmth of hers. Cordelia had used balm to soften her mouth, making it pliant, supple and she tasted of blackberries.

A second or two passed before he pulled away from her, intent shining in the dark amber gaze as he left her side. Angel ran his tongue over his lips slowly, capturng her taste and warmth, “Not sleeping on the couch” he murmured before stripping off. “And those pillows are going”

Pulling the sheets back and moving the pillows to the floor, Angel crawled into the bed and instantly snuggled up beside her, arms curled around her waist and back to his chest. The vampire smirked happily to himself as he slipped his hand down to move up under her flannel shirt to graze her stomach. “See you in the morning.”


Part 3: Encounters of the Close Kind
The first thing she noticed when she woke up was the large, powerful hand curled around her breast firmly. The second thing she noticed was a heavy leg once again wrapped over her thigh and the third thing she noticed was his other hand dipping down her pyjama bottoms to cup her ass.

Angel was so close to her that Cordelia swore she could hear the phantom beating of his still heart through his naked chest. His lips were placed softly in the crook of her neck, his hands were holding things he shouldn’t be holding and his hips were cradling hers. She didn’t dare move a muscle just in case she woke him up or things started responding again.

Biting her lower lip, the brunette took a chance and tried to slide out of his full body grasp. Cordelia attempted to roll herself to the side, hoping his leg would simply fall off her body. Gaining an inch away from the vampire, she suddenly lay still as the temptation to stay warm and protected ran through her. Turning back to face him, she relaxed a little and settled back down.

Just for a moment she thought contentedly, just for a moment.

*~*~*

About half an hour later Cordelia woke back up to find herself laying in an empty bed and the sheets tucked tightly round her. Hazel eyes blinked as she sat up, pushing the blankets off her and got out of bed. “Angel?” she called out, following the delectable scent of cooking food to the kitchen.

He heard her getting up and the pitter-patter of her feet sounding on the floor, heard her heart quickening and her breathing deepen. Sighing, Angel turned around to face the flushed brunette and held up a utensil. “Eggs” he explained “Scrambled eggs with toast. I was, um, gonna make you breakfast in bed”

“Like that would get you off the hook?” Cordelia deadpanned, folding her arms derisively across her chest. “You got grabby again”

“Did I?” Angel asked distractedly as he turned back to his cooking, since his back was facing her she didn’t see the dreamy smile floating across his face. He’d felt pretty darn pleased with himself when he woke up seeing Cordelia snug in his arms and sleeping soundly, he’d literally had to tear himself away to make her breakfast. If he hadn’t gotten out of bed, then he figured he’d be up for another and much more heated discussion than yesterday. “I was asleep so I can’t apologise for an innocent move”

“I also noticed my dividing equator was missing in action” she commented lightly and inspected her nails. She really needed a manicure before her nails got totally ruined.

“I think we should keep this between ourselves” Angel remarked, ignoring her comment about the missing pillows that were meant to keep them apart during the night.

“Keep what to ourselves? Your pervy midnight gropage or your removing my barrier?!” Cordelia asked pointedly as she thought more about her nails and much needed manicure.

“The pillows were uncomfortable for me, I have a bigger body than you and need more space” came his words. “And I meant the fact that we’re sleeping together”

“First off, you would have more space if either you slept on the couch or you let me sleep on the couch. Second of all, we’re not sleeping together in that sense, we’re just sharing a bed until I get my own place and why do you want to keep it a secret if it’s innocent?” sometimes she prided herself on being able to turn his words back on him.

“I meant that Doyle likes you Cordelia” Angel countered and finally turned to look at her, “It would hurt him to know that you’re with me” and she was with him whether she wanted to admit it or not. She responded to every single touch he made last night, she’d arched into his hands as he caressed her breasts and she kissed him back. Her legs had parted, allowing him to lay between them and she’d held him in return. She was his.

“Doyle only likes me because no other female has caught his eye yet” Cordelia countered knowingly “And he knows that our flirting is just that. Flirting. Another thing, I’m not with you Angel” who was she trying to convince? She wasn’t so naïve that she didn’t know her own body’s reaction and she knew that she’d melted into him last night. Wanting and having were very different things and she couldn’t have him because he wasn’t hers to have, that was without having the curse to worry about.

But you are with me Angel wanted to yell at her but he decided to wait a little longer before making her believe that, right now it was still too soon and she wasn’t all that comfortable around him yet. That would change and Cordelia wouldn’t want to be away from him and he couldn’t wait to have so completely. Lord he wanted her!

“I know we’re not ‘together’ together” he said instead, “But I still don’t want Doyle thinking that I’ve, you know, gone after who he wants”

“If you did that, you’d be chasing anything in a skirt and heels!” Cordelia remarked with a wry grin at the Irishman’s womanising ways. “Now that I mention it, remind me to wear pants will ya?”

Angel cracked an equally wry smile, his lips curling up slightly at one corner with the truth in her words. As a man, he knew what Doyle was like with the female species and he just put it down to the Irish blood in the half demon. “I don’t think skirts have anything to do with it, I think as long as the woman has a firm pair of breasts then nothing else matters”

“Well, you’d know about the firmness of my breasts” Oh. My. God. Please tell me I didn’t just say that! “Um” Cordelia murmured with wide eyed horror at her own words. “What I mean is…”

“I know what you mean. About your breasts that is” Angel’s eyes landed on her blue flannel covered chest, heaving with embarrassed breaths. Plump, full and still pert with her nineteen years, she was warm and alive in every way. When he’d awoke to see her fitted fully against him, he’d felt something so much more than sexual response, he’d been honoured that she felt safe enough to leave herself in such a vulnerable way around him. A vampire with a horrendous past and countless victims to his names, she’d slept almost loving by his side.

Just for a while, he’d held her in total rapture with every part of his being captured by the innocence of his girl. The demon within had purred, content to have his latest obsession so close, the soul had healed some and the man had his heart captured in an instant.

“Can we not talk about my breasts please? I haven’t even had breakfast yet and don’t feel like I can cope with man talk” Cordelia asked hopefully. “I still haven’t forgiven you for taking advantage of me buster and you have some making up to do”

“I’ve already said I can’t apologise for an innocent touch I made while I was asleep” Angel repeated his earlier words again. A burning smell lit the air causing the vampire to gasp in shock and turn quickly to the now ruined scrambled eggs. “Fuck!” he swore under his breath, he really wanted the first breakfast he made her to come out right and he’d screwed it up.

“Did you just swear?” Cordelia asked in shock, she’d never really heard him curse like that before and it was sort of good that he wasn’t the total gentleman he made himself out to be. “Cool!” she exclaimed with a grin and bounded over to take a seat at the kitchen table. “But innocent touch or not, you’re still making it up to me Angel”

“What do you want me to do?” came his automatic answer as he scraped the semi-burnt eggs onto a plate for her. “They’re kind of burnt”

“Still be better than what I could do. Gimme!” Cordelia replied with a happy smile and waited for her yummy breakfast to be served. “I need something and you could use that as a way to get me to forgive your, I quote, innocent touch, unquote”

“What do you need?” Angel placed the plate of scrambled eggs down in front of her and sat opposite her. If she needed something she should know that she shouldn’t have to ask, he’d give it to her.

“A manicure!”

*~*~*

Later that afternoon, Doyle sat watching as Cordelia hummed to herself and typed away in complete exaggeration. A quirky grin flickered at the corners of his mouth as he continued to watch her and his eyebrows began to rise when the brunette started to make a show of pushing her hair behind her ears. Was he supposed to be… Ah! The nails.

“Nice colour Princess” the half demon complimented with a nudge of his head, “Just get em done?” Pretending to have forgotten all about her delicious new manicure, Cordelia beamed and admired her French manicured nails. “Yeah, about three hours ago. I so needed it, I thought I was gonna need a scratching post when I woke up this morning”

“Nah, all ya need is a good back claw!” Doyle commented with a cheeky smile and wiggled his eyebrows suggestively. Sprawling on the couch closest to her desk, the Irishman peered through the open blinds of Angel’s office and noticed the vampire sitting with a tiny but knowing smile. “What’s up with the big guy this morning?”

“Who Angel?” she asked, purposely distracting herself “Who knows, he’s probably got some unsuspecting blonde on his brain” or was it a brunette? She wasn’t naïve, she knew male interest when she saw it and she’d seen enough of it in the last two days from the vampire directed towards her.

“Uh-huh. You’re humming, he’s smiling. Don’t tell me the vamp with the over hangin forehead’s stole your heart” Doyle commented dryly and knowingly. He wasn’t stupid, he knew when something was up and he guessed it was Angel! He couldn’t blame the vampire, Cordelia was single and was one hell of a female, if he was seriously interested in her then he’d be in there telling Angel to back off. As it was, Doyle had a suspicion that he didn’t have clue about women and this woman in particular. He had his work cut out for him here.

“Pfft!” Cordelia waved his correct assumptions away with a flick of her slender wrist, keeping her eyes focused on the computer screen while she clicked on the online shoe shopping button. “Please, Angel and I have a professional relationship and a professional relationship alone”

A loud cough came from the office, disturbing both Doyle and Cordelia.

“The boss-secretary thing could be kinky” he commented.

Was that a loud purr coming from the office? As if on cue, Angel appeared at the doorway to his office with an unreadable look on his handsome face. His eyes immediately went from Doyle to Cordelia where he proceeded to undress her in a second before turning his gaze back to his seer.

“You are such a pervert you know that?” Cordelia stated rather than asked. She graced the vampire with a smug look and smirked slightly. So what if he gave her the best manicure and arm massage she’d ever had, he still needed to pay for groping her during her beauty sleep. “You wanna go get some lunch? I’m hungry”

“I could do lunch, I take it I’m buyin?” it was Doyle’s turn to make a statement in form of question. Dragging himself up off the couch, he stretched and wondered why she was suddenly being overly nice to him. Refraining from asking, he put two and two together coming up with four, he sent a sad look towards his buddy. Angel was really in the doghouse for something that much was obvious, but what he was in the doghouse for had Doyle’s brain ticking over.

“I thought you had invoices to go over” Angel spoke gruffly, stopping Cordelia’s moving towards the door. She was his, what did Doyle think he was doing? Didn’t he know what pissed off vampires were capable of when their girls were escorted to lunch by perfectly nice half demons?!

“I can do them when I get back, I do need a food break you know” Cordelia responded, pleased that her effort to make him jealous was working like a charm. “I can’t work on an empty stomach Angel and besides, it’s against the rules for you to be a slave driver”

“Who’s rules?”

“Mine!” Cordelia simply blew him a cheeky kiss, grabbed Doyle by his arm and all but dragged him out the door.

*~*~*

“Okay” she mouthed at her reflection “You can do this. Just go out there, say you’re sleeping on the couch and stick to your guns Cor. He’s not that persuasive, you could have slept on the couch for the last two nights but you were weak. Remember what happened the last time you got weak over a guy?”

“That’s right” she told herself, “Xander Harris happened, look where that got you and he wasn‘t even a vampire with a rebellious past. No-one else’s guy equals bad. Someone else’s guy equals bad and bodily harm if she ever finds out”

Tugging her pyjamas into place, Cordelia wiped the remnants of eye make-up remover away with a cotton wool pad before discarding it. Her mind completely made up about sleeping on the couch, she left the bathroom with a firm and unchanging mind. The brunette breezed through the bathroom and straight to the couch, determined to lie about not being tired and fall asleep on the couch.

“Are you coming to bed?” Angel asked, shamelessly walking around in nothing but boxer shorts that clung to the tops of his solid thighs and a muscle shirt that practically stuck to the expansive brick wall-like chest. The vampire sat next to her on the couch, frowning when she inched away from him and putting distance between them. His demon growled in anger, his soul hurt and the man was just confused.

“Not yet, I’m pretty wide awake actually which is unusual for me” she replied, bending her arm she tucked her head into the curve of her elbow and brought her knees up to her chest, hoping he’d just leave her alone and go find someone else to want in his bed. She could lie to him, she could lie to Doyle and everyone else, but she could not lie to herself. That was something she’d never ever do, it just wasn’t her style.

She didn’t want him to go find anybody else to have in his bed, she wanted to be in his bed but she couldn’t take the risk of him hurting her or her ending up with another rebar through her stomach. Unconsciously, Cordelia let her free hand drop down to where her scar marred the left side of her stomach and felt the haunting pain from her injury.

“You want me to make you some hot chocolate?” Angel asked with a deepening frown as he watched a wave of saddened thought dull the brightness in the melted caramel eyes he loved so much. Talk to me Cordy, don’t keep me out.

“No thanks, if you’re tired Angel go to bed” she told him with a forced smile, it was true she was wide awake. If she fell asleep then she’d lose more of herself into him and she was afraid she wouldn’t be able to help herself if that happened.

“I’m not tired either” he replied, refusing to go too bed while she was in a place that made her sad. He wouldn’t leave her like this, he wouldn’t leave her at all. “I know what you need, come here”

Cordelia looked at him sceptically, “Why?”

“Don’t argue” Angel told her with a roll of his eyes, “Just come here” lifting his arm invitingly he watched as a momentary flash of self fear wash through her eyes before trust in him made her move towards him. The demon sighed, the soul felt and the man smirked!

Closing the distance she’d put between them, Cordelia shifted into his protection and just let herself be held. How could she think that Angel would ever hurt her? Guilt passed through her but it was a fear she couldn’t help. Though she’d had countless boyfriends only one of them had been serious and he’d managed to get her impaled, so yes she couldn’t help but be afraid. Not of Angel but of the thought of being close to someone in that way.

Looking down at the girl now in his arms, Angel watched as her eyes fluttered as she battled sudden tiredness and forced herself not to relax into his embrace. “Close your eyes Cordy, you’re tired sweetheart” his arm curled around her side hugging her tightly. Fingers stroked the visible skin of her inner wrist gently before he moved his hand down to rest on the outside of her hip still stroking calmly.

“That’s the first time you’ve called me Cordy” she pointed out, “I like it”

“Cordelia… Cordy… Cor” he tested her name in all forms and relished the way her name rolled off his tongue and how it sounded coming from his voice. He liked it too. “Sweetheart… Baby… Cupcake… Darling…!”

“Don’t even think about it” she warned seriously before yawning, she snuggled down against him a little more and totally relaxed. Her body became softer, her muscles became lax and her breathing gradually evened out. Angel tilted her head to a better angle and pressed his lips against hers so softly, eliciting an agreeing moan from her.

“Bedtime” he whispered as he gathered her up and cradling her to his chest to carry her to his bed, careful not to wake her up. Angel laid her down on his side for a change, though he’d already turned the blankets down on her side he wanted her scent to be all over his bed and his pillows. After he’d settled Cordelia, he took off his shirt and lay down next to her, preparing to just watch her sleeping.

“Angel” the whispered and dreamy sigh that was his name brought a grin to his face, turning fully into her as he had done the last two nights Angel went to curl around her when she did it this time. Her hands smoothed up his chest and over his shoulders, a long slender leg wrapped round his waist and she brought him close.

“Lets see what you make of your innocent touching baby cakes!” he commented around a mouthful of chestnut hair!


Part 4: Just an Innocent Touch
A dark flush coated the dewy skin on her cheeks when she woke early the next morning, okay so she’d had what was probably the best night’s sleep of her existence but that didn’t excuse the fact her body was once again surrounded by the vampire. Blinking her eyes fully open, Cordelia realised it was more truthful to say the vampire was surrounded by her for a change.

Her hands were locked tightly around his back, his legs were between hers and his hands were resting on the sides of her breasts which were crushed against his chest. Angel was practically laying fully on top of her, between her legs and this really had to stop before things went any further!

Seeing how she was the one wrapped around him this time, Cordelia found it easy to slide out of the grasp and out of bed without disturbing him. Quickly scuttling into the safety of the bathroom, she bolted the lock securely behind her and took a few deep breaths to regain her equilibrium.

A hot shower was sorely needed to get her head straight.

“It was just an innocent touch” she said to her flushed reflection. “It didn’t mean anything” but it did mean something and that was the problem. To her, it meant everything and to him, it could mean nothing.

*~*~*

Having managed to avoid Angel while she took a shower, Cordelia peeked out from around the door before exiting the bathroom with a relieved sigh. Heading over towards the small kitchen with the intention of making herself a sandwich before getting ready.

“Hmm, lets see…” she peered through the cupboards to see what Angel had gotten from the store for her. “A-ha! Peanut butter sandwich. Sounds good to me” she set about completing her task of making a peanut butter sandwich which didn’t take long.

Taking the plate through to Angel’s bedroom where her comb lay waiting for use on the bedside table, Cordelia popped the plate down on the top sheet and sat down next to it. She heard the shower water turn off and sucked in a breath of courage before she faced Angel and the inevitable teasing she’d no doubt have to endure.

“You’re eating in bed?” came his slightly sleep roughened voice. Rubbing the towel through his hair, Angel went to stand in front of her with a severely unimpressed look on his face.

“No, I’m eating on the bed not in it” Cordelia replied after she swallowed a bite. “There’s a difference” he looked just like he did when she first arrived at his place. Marble skin wet with tiny droplets of water trickling down to his stomach, teasing her with an erotic sight that left her longing to see more. Boxers clung to the tops of his dampened thighs, black and tight the material hugged him like a second skin. Dark hair messily ruffled and shiny with water, short strands flopping into his equally dark eyes as he leaned towards her.

“The only difference is instead of crumbs being just in the bed, there’ll be crumbs around the bed” Angel slightly snapped at her, to irritated to see the expression of want on her heart-shaped face. He dropped the towel onto the floor and snatched the sandwich out of her hand. “If you’re hungry, go eat in the kitchen because that’s what it’s there for!”

“Aurgh! You are so anal Angel, it’s just a sandwich and I promise I won’t get any crumbs in the bed” she snatched her sandwich back and purposely took a big bite out of it. “Mmmm!”

“Hey!” his annoyed voice cracked as it went to a high-pitched whine, “Stop that!” Angel grabbed the sandwich out of her hand and childishly held it away from her. “You are not eating on or in my bed sweetheart”

Swallowing, she graced him with a tight sarcastic smile “Too late for that, I already did. What ya gonna do about it?” she challenged, wrenching her arm out to take her sandwich back and glared when he moved it further away from her. “That’s mine, give it back”

“No!” he stood his ground, there was no way he was letting her eat on or in the bed. It was disgusting! The crumbs would itch and get into places no crumb should ever get into. Not to mention the peanuts, the thought alone of what they could do made him shudder.

“I was eating that!” Cordelia rose up on her knees and planted her hands on her hips, glaring him right in his eyes without flinching from a stone cold glare that had sent grown men running. Hazel eyes flashed with an indignant disposition as she refused to let him tell her where she could and couldn’t eat! “I can eat in bed if I want too”

“I thought you were eating on the bed not in it” Angel responded smugly, holding the sandwich over her head and just out of her reach. Kneeling on the bed in front of the brunette, the vampire dangled her half eaten sandwich above her head. “If you want it that bad, take it”

“Give it to me” she demanded though she made no move to take it from him.

His voice lowered to a rich, husky whisper and he inclined closer to her so his lips were mere inches from her parting one. Angel licked his lips and his body began to throb deeply with the sudden close proximity to her. Hot human breath fresh from the toothpaste she used, her mouth was soft and fruity from the lip balm she’d applied and hair slightly wet it looked like passionate perspiration. Chestnut waves grazing the tanned skin on her shoulders and her clothes pulled tight around the hidden delicacy that was her body.

“Take what you want” he challenged back, his male reaction to her was sudden and shocking with the fact he was no longer talking about the sandwich. The physical throbbing increased in strength and the sensations aroused him, making him tight all over. Feeling his flesh tighten as his cock became metal hard, Angel’s eyes darkened as that tight feeling blazed right through his entire body. Scenting the natural effect his silent response had on Cordelia, pure female perfume clouded the surrounding air teased man and demon alike.

Liquid honey, sweet and thick, melted between her thighs making her legs tremble; Cordelia instinctively parted her legs and her breathing quickened, hitching in her throat. Never one to back away from a challenge, even with the knowledge it could make her into a loser, she stretched her arm up and curled her hand around his strong wrist. “Give me” her voice was just melodic with provocation yet velvety.

His wrist was pulled down quickly causing the sandwich to skid across the sheets, leaving a small trail of peanut butter on the top sheet. A fracas followed, Cordelia took hold of both wrists trying to keep him from getting his hands on her.

The vampire easily got his hands free of her soft grasp on his wrists, “Uh-uh!” he murmured as he was managed to get one of her hands behind her back. Cordelia slapped her hand onto his chest, trying to prevent him from winning while he fought back. Sheets tangled around them as they battled for dominance, causing Angel to lose his balance and fall on top of her. Her body landed on the soft mattress below with him covering her completely.

His hand slipped off her thigh and under her skirt while the water on his chest caused her hand to slide down his chest to his stomach before stilling.

The slowly simmering heat in his charcoal eyes immediately flared into an inferno when Angel felt the burn of her intimate flesh on his hand. “Oh God…” he swallowed, not removing his hand from that place. Her hot and timid hold around his excitement made him grow harder to her touch.

“Angel” Cordelia whimpered in shock, his hand was holding her entirely and her hand was curled around his shaft. She knew from his expression he could feel the arousal causing her panties to become slightly wet, he knew from the liquidated caramel gaze she could feel his reaction.

A breath of unneeded air was expelled harshly through his clenched jaw as Angel looked down into the golden irises. His fingers moved in a slow circle over her, seeking the place that would make her thaw. Her hips involuntarily reacted to his daring caress, raising up slightly and his fingertips brushed over her clitoris. “Uhm”

Cordelia experimentally grazed her hand along his shaft, nails trailing softly down to where his balls were held securely in place by his underwear. Angel purred out a short groan when the tight feeling in body spread to where she was touching, allowing her to feel the arousal instantly lure his balls up close to the base of his shaft.

Time stood still, the world stopped turning and the room began to spin in dizzying circles as dark eyes bore wickedly into caramel orbs. Lightly stroking her, Angel traced the outline of her labia through the flimsy cotton intent on getting her wetter. Cordelia eased her timid hold down further until her palm was cupping his balls softly with her manicured nails gently tickling the soft skin.

They were too shocked to move, say or do anything other than stare at each other wondering if what they were doing was actually happening. Physical responses were real, the scent of sex was real and the rapidly pounding of her heart was real. His intense maleness was real, the thrill shining in the depths of his charcoal orbs was real and the way he was shaking was real.

“Angel man”

The sound of Doyle’s voice bounced down the stairs, breaking through the shock and slicing the tension like a sharp knife.

Cordelia yanked her hand away from his shaft like she’d been burned and pushed Angel off of her. Sitting up, she turned her back on the vampire, desperately trying to get her breathing and heart rate back to semblance of normality. Her thighs were aching and shaking, the apex hot and wet from liquid metal.

Though Angel had no heart to calm, he had the difficult task of willing his body to relax before his seer arrived in his apartment to see him and Cordelia like this. Not that he didn’t want to be seen with her like this because he did, it would drive the message that she was his firmly across.

“Angel?” Doyle called out again.

“You better put some sheets on the couch” Cordelia spoke first, her voice a tiny whisper with lingering arousal. “We agreed to keep this between ourselves remember?”

“We did” he choked out, his fingers clenching the sheets below with a white-knuckle grip that was slowly getting as tight as his body. “Cordy”

“Not know okay? Not” she gulped loudly, “Now”

Years of tuning out of his feelings, Angel focused his attention on what he had to do. “Yeah Doyle” he called out, whipping the top sheet off the bed to throw it on the couch “I’m down here”

The dark haired half demon strolled into the vampire’s apartment and came to stand at the kitchen table. A movement caught his blue eyes and he turned to see Cordelia waltzing out of Angel’s bedroom, running a comb through her slightly damp hair and carrying Angel‘s wet towel. He watched in confusion, wondering why she was coming out of the vampire’s bedroom.

Sighing, she sung the wet towel on the leather chair and her comb on the table “Hey Doyle” she greeted with another sigh. “You ever get that feeling that you just can’t shower enough? Like something’s happened and you’re never going to get clean?”

“What?” Doyle half demanded as he looked at her with an accusing expression.

“I don’t even know how I look, the guy doesn’t even own a mirror” Cordelia complained giving him a stare full of disbelief. “Like it would kill him to not see himself!”

Since it was the demon’s will that gave vampires erections, Angel had a very difficult time calming down enough to go and face Doyle. Walking slightly stiffly out to greet the Irishman and plastering an look as possible on his face, he held up his hand pointedly in Cordelia’s direction. “You got peanut butter on the sheets”

A silent agreement to continue the charade, Cordelia looked at him in surprise. “Really? I don‘t think so” Angel help up his hand pointedly for her to see. Holding her hands up in surrender, she got out of her seat, “I’ll look”

“Nononono! Angel man, how could ya?” Doyle asked in a pained voice with an equally pained expression.

“How could I what?” Angel asked, trying to make his innocent look convincing.

“Man, you know I was crazy about her,” okay so that was a little bit of an exaggeration but that never hurt anyone did it?! “And I was wearing her down, too. But no, handsome, brooding vampire guy has to swoop in, all sensitive mouth and overhanging forehead”

Self consciously, Angel felt his forehead with a frown while Doyle continued to chastise him for stealing his woman! “How about leaving some scraps for the homely looking fellas who don’t turn evil when they get some?”

Indulging the jealous half demon, Angel kept up the pretence he and Cordelia had agreed upon. “Cordelia stayed over because something’s wrong with her place. I was on the sofa” he pointed to where the top sheet lay haphazardly on the couch.

“Oh” Doyle nodded, “That’s okay I suppose”

Raising an eyebrow, the vampire went to ask what gave Doyle the impression he could dictate what was okay for him to do with his girl. Before he could, Cordelia sauntered back into the bedroom in a new outfit. “Angel, at some point in the recent history you got peanut butter on your bed, and it’s gross. I think you’re gonna have to change the sheets”

“I don’t eat” he was not going to get into this with her, she was the one who’d been eating in and on the bed and she was the one who put it there though technically he was the one who dropped the sandwich but that was besides the point!

“Well then, I don’t even want to know how it got there” Cordelia told him with a grossed out expression crinkling her face up slightly.

*~*~*

Angel had been watching Cordelia’s interraction with Doyle in simmering rage, all day she had flirted, bantered and openly displayed affection towards the half demon. He knew she was doing it on purpose, for what reason he didn’t know. He could only gather she was trying to make him jealous and that was what he didn’t quite get.

She should know from this morning’s encounter that he wanted her, so why was she trying to make him jealous? Was she attempting to prove something to him or to herself? He didn’t know, all Angel knew was that it was pissing him off.

Cordelia kept slapping Doyle’s shoulder, laughing with him and smiling flirtatiously all day and he’d had to think of his most violent crime to take his mind off her little game. Angel had closed the door to his office and pulled the blinds down, desperately attempting to block out the sounds of her exaggerated but musical laughter and his seer’s response.

Although he knew Doyle wasn’t into Cordelia seriously, he was still getting turned on by her behavior and it was driving him insane. His demon was going nuts, the constant internal battle harder then normal while his soul just hurt over her lack of faith in his obvious want of her.

Did she think he thought that little of her? Did she honestly think he’d hurt her the way other people had? Again, Angel didn’t know but he intended to figure out what she thought she was playing at.

*~*~*

The day had passed just as quickly as the others had that week and before she knew it, she was staring at the bed with a nervous look on her face. Cordelia took a deep breath and reminded herself not to give in this time and stick to her guns about sleeping apart from him. Her whole body and soul screamed out in protest at being denied the safety, security and touch of the vampire while her brain agreed entirely with her decision.

Today had gone past the line of closeness, progressing into the danger zone and that was precisely the reason why she wanted to sleep apart from him tonight. “Tomorrow” she whispered thickly, “Tomorrow I’m gonna look for my own place”

Carefully approaching her, Angel coughed softly to garner her attention “You ready to go to sleep sweetheart?” he asked softly.

“Don’t call me that” her voice had also dropped an octave, the words had meant to come out firm but instead had come out on a wave of heated liquid. There was something about the way he called her by that pet name that made her sizzle. Cordelia visibly swallowed the lump of yearning in her throat and Angel’s eyes warmed up with the sudden rise in temperature in the room.

“I like calling you that sweetheart” his flesh seemed to burn with ice cold heated contradictions he was getting from her. One minute she was too hot for him and the next she was so cold he feared he’d freeze. Brushing up against her as he walked past, Angel turned the sheets on the bed down while keeping his gaze pinned on hers.

Cordelia’s skin rose up in goosepimples from the sensation of being undressed by his piercing gaze. Brown eyes melting her, slowly dissolving the icy barricade she’d worked so hard to build up around her heart. “I don’t, it’s too personal”

“And us sleeping together isn’t?” Angel asked, his voice growing rough when the same physical throbs from earlier came rushing back. Tilting. “It was just an innocent touch sweetheart” his rough voice dropped to a raspy whisper. “Just an innocent touch”

How could an innocent touch be so intimate? It couldn’t and they both knew it was only Cordelia frantically denying the closing intimacy between them.

“Come to bed Cordy, I won’t hurt you” they both knew he didn’t just mean physically, but it was the truth. While he was with her, she’d never have to fear anything ever again, least of all getting hurt and he’d never do anything to ruin this. “Let me hold you tonight”

“I can’t Angel” Cordelia denied with a shake of her head, “If you won’t sleep on the couch then I will” with those words the brunette turned to walk towards the couch and away from temptation.

Something inside him snapped, Angel caught up with her and spun her round to make her look at him. Deep set fury gleamed in the gun metal black orbs as he all but snarled down at her, seething with the fact she dare deny she was his. “You won’t sleep on the couch” he growled at her, the muscles in his taut jaw twitched with control. The vampire hauled her over his shoulder and slung her onto the bed, crawling over her body only to look at her.

Cordelia couldn’t breathe, her eyes were so wide they looked like they would swallow her face, her lips were open and unnoticeable pants of air escaped without her knowledge. Her heart was slamming in a bruising staccato against her ribcage and her body reacted with vicious arousal that sent stinging shockwaves straight to her core.

“You won’t sleep anywhere but my bed sweetheart,” Angel growled deeply, “And my bed only.”


Part 5: Innocent Kiss
You won’t sleep anywhere but my bed sweetheart” Angel growled deeply, “And my bed only”

One moment she had been heading towards the couch and the next she was on the bed with him blanketing her body with his. Her hands were placed firmly at either side of her head, pinned down securely in his unrelenting hold, their fingers loosely entwining and lips barely millimetres away. Cordelia’s startled toffee eyes locked onto Angel’s blazing gaze, searching for answers to his sudden burst of possessiveness.

A foreshock of made her tense body quiver as the sheer intensity of what was happening crashed down. If she had any doubts about who he wanted, they were long gone now. The physical sign of his craving was evidently pressing against her stomach and it was clearly obvious he wasn’t thinking about Buffy.

The quick, panting breaths made her mouth dry, rapid heartbeat thumped wildly in her chest and the furious speed of her blood flow had her pulse hammering with the velocity. Pupils dilated, black orbs swallowing the toffee irises in a wave of desire, her fingers flexed in his hands and made him respond in kind.

Blackened eyes tinted with molten lava turned the hypnotic gaze into untamed tigers eyes as Angel reacted to her. Large, cool hands gripped the small delicate feminine ones in a hardening grip with a silent promise to never let go. Naturally tinted lips brushed her rose pink pliant mouth, inhaling her soft and warm breath, taking the oxygen from her and making it a part of him. Like a gentle wind, the vampire’s mouth breezed over hers barely touching except to bestow the most innocent caress on her lower pouting lip.

One transparent moan floated out on an expelled cloud of warm air, Cordelia tilted her face up slightly bringing her lips closer to his. Tongue darting out of her mouth to moisten her drying lips in unconscious preparation for a drugging kiss. His upper lip was captured between hers and her bottom pout was a welcome prisoner between his. Massaging caresses prevented spoken words, locked gazes prevented lying and denial, raw male power and female luring prevented escape.

Angel increased the pressure of his wispy touch, enabling him to feel the tiny pulse in her lips beating against his. His hands seized hers in a more firm grasp, making Cordelia return the gesture timidly but eagerly. Warm pretty lips opened up to him, allowing his tongue to explore the inside of the hot cavern of her mouth and giving him a taste that he instantly became addicted too. Absorbing her human heat, he curled his tongue along the sensitive underside of hers and flicked up over the tip of her tongue softly.
Gasping deeply, Cordelia nudged her mouth up harder against silently asking for a deeper touch from him; dipping into the coolness she swirled her tongue all around his searching for what made him groan and repeating the move again. Angel let his hold on one of her hands go, slipping his own to cradle the back of her head and raising her up to meet him.

“Cordelia” her name came for no other reason than the fact he wanted to hear it roll off his tongue as he made her his and he delighted in how it made her react. Just that one word told her just who he was thinking of and it made her feel more than wanted by him.

The soft, tender innocent kiss was forgotten about as the vampire covered her entire mouth with his and drove his tongue deeply into her. Cordelia’s fingertips ran through his clean hair, nails gently sliding along his scalp until she reached the nape of his neck where she pulled him further into the sensational French kiss.

Pouring every bit of his personality into it; darkness, hunger, rage, love, sexuality and loneliness Angel let her feel all of who and what he was without fearing judgement. Like him, she gave every bit of who she was to him; light, love, innocence, fear, heart and a loneliness to rival his own. Just this once, Cordelia let herself melt, let herself become lost in what he gave her and asked it all over again.

He was hard and she was hot, he craved and she gave, she needed and he was there, she wanted and he offered.

He felt her need for air, reluctantly and gradually pulling away from her mouth Angel watched in fascination as Cordelia’s breasts heaved with gulped in oxygen he had stolen. “Oh my God!”

“It was just an innocent kiss” Angel whispered against her panting mouth before sliding his body off the top of her to lay contentedly next to his shaken and stirred girl. “A very nice and innocent kiss.” Turning her easily onto her side, he ran his fingertips along the curve of her flushed cheek and swept the pad of his thumb across her swollen lips, soothing the fiery burning there.

She was severely tempted to ask for another innocent kiss but she managed to restrain herself somehow, knowing they couldn’t go any further and they would if they kissed again. Reaching out to Angel, Cordelia pressed her palms on his chest and felt him flex the pectoral muscles in a classic sign of showing off. He was her friend, she trusted him and knew he wouldn’t hurt her, she hoped he wouldn’t hurt her anyway.

Could she be with him though they couldn’t make love? His kiss alone could sate her for the rest of her life and after his response, she didn’t doubt his desire or developing feelings for her. Maybe, just maybe, they could have something. Taking a deep breath, Cordelia took a chance on Angel.

Watching with trepidation, the vampire saw and heard the silent debate going on in her head, hoping she would give him a chance to love her like she deserved. He made the mistake of giving up on love once, he wouldn’t make the same mistake with her, the thought alone of either her or him leaving was enough to make him sick.

“Did you just flex?” Cordelia asked with a shy smile he’d never seen directed at him before, her eyes battered sleepily and flirtatiously while she stifled a yawn.

At her words, Angel felt a spark of hope stir within him and a smile threatened to break across his face. “No” he denied when he dared speak, thankful the words in his head didn’t come out of his mouth.

“Um-hmm” she gave him a disbelieving look and curled up into a half foetal ball closer to him, “I know you’re a vampire with ungodly sleeping habits and all so if you stay up, don’t you dare wake me because I’m tired”

“I’m pretty tired too, I think I’ll stay here with you under the covers” Angel declined leaving her, if he did that then there’d be no more innocent kisses or innocent touches. Toying lazily with loose strands of chestnut satin, he bit his lip a little nervously as he broached the subject of his curse, sex and Doyle. “I’m sorry I can’t give you anything more” he doubted he’d ever said a more sincere apology in his existence.

“Trust me Angel, I can live without that” Cordelia told him in complete honesty with a secret telling smile that told him why she could live without sex. Her fluttering eyes slowly drifted closed as sleep began to take her over.

Returning her secret smile with an acknowledging one, Angel got to the next point not realising she‘d fell asleep. “What about Doyle? A-are you sure he doesn’t like you… Cordelia? Cordy? Sweetheart?” taking in the even breaths, the slowing heart rate and her muscles relaxing, he rolled his eyes. “So much for the guy falling asleep” he muttered.

*~*~*

Whistling a cheery tune, Doyle strolled into the office at his usual time and announced his presence in the usual way. “Angel man, you here?!”

Granting him with a sarcastic glare, “Good morning to you too Cordy!” Cordelia greeted herself in a pathetic and shameful Irish accent. “Morning Doyle, how are you today? Fine thanks for asking Cordy, and how might you be this morning? I’m fine and dandy Doyle, it’s so good to know you care!” she set her newspaper aside to fix him with an expectant stare.

“How is my Princess this morning?” the half demon indulged her with a smile as he flopped down on the chaise lounge near her desk.

Scowling when he heard how the seer greeted his girl, Angel carefully opened the door to his office and crossed his arms over his chest. His own little demon demanded he remove Doyle’s tongue through his nose for expressing his greeting in such an affectionate manner. Brown eyes latched onto the Irishman’s blue eyes and gave a silent warning for him to back off. “Morning” he said nicely, “Cordy, is there any coffee?”

“Can I not read my paper in peace anymore?” Cordelia demanded in exasperation, “You know where the coffee pot is Angel, I maybe your secretary but I’m not your slave or housewife!”

“I don’t know, you’d pretty fetching in one of them French Maid outfits” Doyle commented with a cheeky wink at the vampire. He knew there was something going on with those two, he could smell it and from the jealousy in his friend’s eyes he figured the vampire had finally opened his blinkers. He couldn’t wait to get the details off him over a scotch or three.

“Hello!” the brunette waved, getting the attention back to her “Still in the room here, do you think you could talk about me behind my back when I’m not here to hear you? So not wanting to listen to you two perverts go on and on about a teenage girl playing maid, particularly when that teenage girl is me!”

Angel had the decency to look slightly guilty at the thoughts put into his brain by Doyle, “I wasn’t…” he tried to worm his way out of being caught.

Cordelia just gave him a pointed stare that told him she didn’t believe a word coming out of his mouth at all. “Oh yeah, Angel I need to pop out for a while today while I go see about an apartment. I was thinking Doyle could come with me so you wouldn’t have to worry”

Watching the vampire’s reaction so carefully, Doyle saw every single emotion cross the normally stoic expression. Confusion came first closely followed by surprise with anger and hurt taking third and fourth places. This was more exciting than the horses on a Saturday afternoon!

“An apartment” Angel stated blankly, “You can stay with me for as long as you need, there’s no hurry” she couldn’t leave, he wouldn’t let her leave, why did she want to leave? Wasn’t she happy with him? Did she think he was a mistake? No, he couldn’t and wouldn’t believe that, there had to be another reason for her wanting to leave.

“I know” she replied, “But after having my own place for so long, I kinda got used to having my independence and I liked being able to stand on my own two feet not to mention living by my own rules. Like eating on or in the bed for instance”

“You could have independence here” the vampire pointed out with restrained anger that seemed to be increasing by the second.

Giving him a stare, Cordelia got out from behind her desk and walked up to the sullen vampire in the doorway. Her hand curled around the physically powerful bicep and made him follow her into his office. Angel flicked the door shut, causing Doyle to stick his ear to the glass before the vampire hit it from the inside.

“Ow!” came the pained yelp.

“Why do you want to leave?” Angel got straight to the problem, an angered hurt-filled expression crossed his features, creating little worry lines around the corners of his eyes and mouth. The cocoa gaze whirled with confusion and misunderstanding, “Aren’t you happy?”

Her heart literally melted into a puddle of mush at his kicked puppy dog face, Cordelia shook her head and explained why she wanted her own place. “Of course I’m happy with you and have been for the last 13 hours or so. Technically, we’re not even going out or anything but even if we are it’s still too soon for me to stay with you. I want my own apartment Angel, a place that’s mine you know”

Her toffee eyes lit up as she spoke from her soul, “If I could just have that it would be like I could be me again” she expressed her point with hand gestures that made patterns in the air. “Punishment over, like welcome back to your life”

Confusion over reigned the hurt and anger as the dominant emotion, “Punishment?” Angel enquired with a slight frown, “For what?”

Shrugging, Cordelia cast her eyes downwards in a show of genuine remorse for days gone by, “I dunno, for how I was in high school” toffee eyes raised up to look at him unsurely, as though she might see judgement there. “For everything I said just because I could get away with it. See? It’s just like you”

Understanding dawned on him, curling one finger under her chin Angel tilted her face back so he could look into those expressive eyes. “Working for redemption” he said softly, even a girl who had done nothing but be a normal teenager felt she had to work to put right what she didn’t do.

“I meant because you used to have that mansion” she wasn’t going to openly admit she was sorry for behaving as spoilt brat in school, she wasn’t ready to admit she had that many faults to him just yet!

Not believing her superficial answer at all, Angel glanced over his shoulder at the closed door to make sure Doyle wasn’t peeking and listened for a moment to make sure Doyle wasn’t listening either. When he was sure the coast was clear, he inclined towards her and stole a simple kiss, using both hands to cup her face. “I’ll help you find an apartment sweetheart, okay? You don’t need to ask Doyle for help” another chaste kiss was stolen from her lips.

Cordelia glowed with happiness at finally getting back her independence after three days of living with him. Not that she didn’t like it, she did but she couldn’t stay with him all the time could she?

“Now about that coffee?” Angel asked, returning his voice to normal level and cleared his throat slightly. Seeing the smile his kindness was rewarded with made him almost guilty about the plan he was cooking up to stop her moving out.


Part 6: House Hunting
Placing his hand on the small of her back, Angel guided Cordelia up the stairs following the landlord of an apartment he’d found for her. The stairs were grubby, littered with pieces of rubbish and the banister was insecure. She held a fake smile on her face at the state of the hallway they were being taken down.

“It’s an okay place” the landlord sniffled, wiping his nose on the back of his hand before unlocking the door to the apartment. Popping his gum, the man gave a simple shrug as Cordelia surveyed the apartment with a horrified smile. This place was worse than her last one, the bed was a single mattress that looked lumpy and rather dirty, the carpet didn’t look like a carpet and there was no curtains.

The room was dark due to the lack of a working light, the air was stale and stuffy while the furniture was old and looked like it had been eaten alive by starving moths. She didn’t even want to think about what the bathroom and kitchen would look like.

Angel fought hard to keep the victorious smile off his face when the brunette turned to him in defeat. “You know what I smell in here?” he asked, keeping the sarcasm hidden “Potential!”

“We’ll get back to you” Cordelia stated sweetly to the landlord and dragged the vampire away.

“Make sure you do” the landlord called after them.

“The next one will be better” she stated positively to Angel.

*~*~*

Angel wrapped his arm around her shoulders and smiled back at the young man in front of them. He seemed okay, a little weird but then who was he to judge people about being weird? “And we can see it now?” he asked in fake enthusiasm.

“Of course, if you just follow me I’ll show you to the room” the pleasant young man replied, making a kind gesture with his hand. “This way”

Cordelia smiled happily up at the vampire and snuggled into his secure hold on, “He seems okay and the place looks pretty clean so far” she exclaimed hopefully.

Once again smiling pleasantly at her, the young man went on to explain why the place was kept nice and clean. “It’s like a community you know? We all share the upkeep chores” he told the vampire and young woman.

The clean looking young man pulled the only décor in the bare room open, a light blue transparent sheet covered a toilet and sink. “Oh, my urination just hasn’t been public enough lately” she responded in as polite a manner as she could possibly manage.

“Oh we don’t believe in barriers” the young man explained with a serene smile, “It’s the first rule of the Great Leader. You can come to the meetings if you want, every morning at 5:00”

Resisting the urge to smack herself hard over her head, Cordelia shook her head and ignored the aching in her jaw caused by the fake smile plastered across her face. “Okay that’s just a tad to early for me” she declined politely.

“You’ll be up. The chanting starts at 4:00”

“Thanks but I think we’ll pass” Angel told him practically dragging an unresisting Cordelia back up the concrete steps quickly.

*~*~*

The apartment was clean, beautifully decorated and the lock on the door worked properly; there were no signs of cockroaches, rats or blue sheets. Air conditioning, nice furniture, visible carpet and curtains. The only problem was the landlord.

He was big, plump man in his early forties with what looked to be a sweating disorder and balding. He smirked down at her, ignoring the growing irritation on her companion’s face “So” he spoke down to her in a voice that belonged on a cheesy seventies porn video. “You a single gal? Going to be living here all by yourself? Because I’m right across the hall and you can sleep easy knowing that I’m the only other soul in the world with a key to that door”

Angel’s fingers dug hard into his biceps as he watched the soon-to-be dead man crack onto his girl. His head tilted to one side in amusement, all the nice violent and bloody thoughts running through his mind filled him with a warm joy most people enjoyed at Christmas.

“You just think about that while you look okay?” the landlord told her, smoothing his hands over his stomach in slow circles.

“Cordy sweetheart, take a look around while I talk to the nice man okay?” Angel told her with a soft smile directed totally at her.

“But…” she went to say in a distressed voice, she couldn’t believe he was thinking about letting her stay here. She had two words for that plan No and Way.

Leaving Cordelia in the doorway to the apartment, Angel took the landlord down the hallway and around a corner where he proceeded to slam the bigger man up against the wall hard, unleashing a crushing grip on the man’s windpipe. “If you smile, look or even think about her anymore you’ll find yourself buried alive am I clear?”

The man didn’t get a chance to reply as a solid direct hit to his face cut off his ability to speak.

*~*~*

A disappointed Cordelia and secretly happy Angel exited the elevator below the office, he knew he could have gotten her a much better apartment than the ones he’d purposely found for her but then that would go against his plan. After the last apartment they visited, she had turned to him and asked if he would mind her staying a little longer which he was only to happy to tell her he didn’t mind in the slightest.

“Those places were awful” Cordelia muttered dejectedly as she flopped down onto the couch, allowing her shoulder bag to drop to the floor carelessly. Her head drooped to rest on the back of the couch and she stared up at the ceiling.

“There’s plenty more sweetheart, don’t give up yet” Angel told her with a firm nod as he landed in the space next to her, raising her feet into his lap and taking her shoes off. “I’ve already said you can stay here for as long you want and need”

“Thanks Angel, I may need to be here longer but I won’t get in the way of what you normally do or don’t do as the case maybe” she replied tiredly and yawned. Rubbing her eyes with the back of her hand, she peeked at the vampire next to her with a sudden feeling of dread. “What did you talk to that creepy guy about?”

“Nothing, just asking about rental costs and stuff, that’s all” he replied easily, flexing his damage causing hand softly, feeling the air squeezing out of the man’s body and no amount of guilt was present at all. The man deserved what he got and a whole lot more, in fact he’d gone pretty easy on him actually and only giving him a broken jaw.

“Hmm” Cordelia said disbelievingly through another yawn, “Well as much fun as today hasn’t been, I’m going to bed now. Are you coming?”

Nodding, Angel removed her feet from his lap and stood, holding his hand out to her to help her off the couch. He noticed the bags under her eyes, lashes fluttering as she tried to stay awake long enough to reach the bedroom, he got a little worried. “Are you okay?” he asked softly, stroking her cheek with a soft touch.

Looking up at him through half closed eyes, “I’m fine really, just seriously whacked that’s all. I so can’t wait to slip into the land of Nod tonight, I wonder if Keanu’s gonna gimme another massage”

Figuring this Keanu person was a male celebrity she admired, Angel rolled his eyes at her hopeful fantasy when a thought popped into his head. “Um, would I do?” he offered.

“Would you do what?” she didn’t quite catch on.

“Give you a massage” he explained with a shy shrug, he could use that to make her see that this was where she needed to stay. “But only if you want to” he added, giving her an option.

Cordelia smiled up at him as though he’d just given her the keys to heaven, “Angel have I ever told you that you are the best vampire in very large radius?”

“Not today” he replied, “Is that a yes to the fact you want a massage?”

“Mmm, I’m thinking a nice foot massage cus these shoes were made for torture… You didn’t happen to invent them did you?!” off his pained look, Cordelia held up her hands and gave him a cheeky smile. “About that foot massage…”

Picking her up, Angel pressed his lips in a gentle kiss on the tip of her nose and carried her over to his bed, handling her as though she were made of glass. Feeling shy and uncertain, this would be the first time she undressed in front of him and in front of a man full stop. Cordelia paused her fingers at the top button on her blouse, biting her lip she looked to him and silently asked if this was something he minded her doing.

Inching up the bed, Angel sat beside her and replaced her fingers with his and undid the button with a delicate ease that made her raise an eyebrow elegantly. “I’ve been alive for a long time” was the only explanation he would give her. As each button was teasingly opened, a landscape of exquisite female beauty was revealed to his warming gaze.

“And I’m sure you have a lack of button opening experience” Cordelia deadpanned, the light joking banter between them made her relax as he undressed her with the care and attention a man in love would do. The apples of her cheeks flushed with a fresh, pink hue that made him smile slightly at her uncomfortable posture.

“Just relax sweetheart, I’ll take care of you” Angel told her in a rich and deep throaty purr, his fingers reached the last button and he stilled. The blouse was the only barrier standing between him and a paradise he didn’t think he’d ever get to see. Though he was relaxed, his body was pounding with intense throbs as he slid the cotton material off her shoulders and down her arms.

Her breathing quickened into a shallow pants, her body felt heavy and unmoveable while he trailed his fingertips back up her slender, tanned arms. Angel noticed how every inch of her skin was flawless, golden and smooth with years of care. Her shoulders were gently curved, soft lines leading the way to her neck where her pulse was beating wildly just below the surface of the fragile skin.

Dark, loving eyes followed the path down past her collarbone and resting on the swell of her decollete, breasts pert with youth but still full and shapely were encased in a shimmering baby blue bra. The trim of the cups led to the valley of her cleavage where a little bow sat cutely between her breasts. Angel saw the total effect he was having on her when her skin became raised with the appearance of goose pimples. “Cold?” he whispered.

Cordelia shook her head, silently answering because there was no way she could trust herself to speak. She felt and saw his eyes running over her partially exposed body, taking her in and memorising the sight she knew he would have. It was one thing to believe you were beautiful, it was another thing to be told you were beautiful but it was something entirely different to be made to feel beautiful.

The way Angel was looking at her right now, she felt stunning even though she had a feeling that she looked way beyond tired and not beautiful. Swallowing back her nervousness, Cordelia reached for the buttons to his shirt and copied his movements until she was the one pushing the material off his broad shoulders and admiring the marble stature of his physique.

He was so much more masculine than most of the men she had known in her life, his body was always rock solid to touch. His arms heavily decorated with muscles that showed whenever he moved, under the satin smooth surface of his skin his muscles rippled like placid waves on a lake. Hard curving contours defined the edges of his shoulders, back and neck with well-rounded pectoral muscles set off by darkened male nipples.

Not one to feel self conscious about the way he looked, Angel felt a little humbled by the open caress of her gaze, watching as she mapped his visible torso and took him in. “Lay down sweetheart”

A smile of gratitude broke out over her face and Cordelia did as she was told, laying back on the mattress with a sigh of contentment she let her mind dissolve into some much needed sleep.

He hadn’t even started her foot massage and she was already out for the count, shaking his head Angel wondered if he should sell himself as a sleep disorder cure. “I hope she doesn’t find me that boring” he muttered and continued to remove her denim skirt before she got too comfortable.

*~*~*

After another amazing night’s sleep, Cordelia had woken up feeling as fresh as a daisy and was bouncing around Angel’s apartment looking for what she needed. Opening a drawer, the brunette cast her eyes on the utensils in there before spying something she could use. Lifting the very sharp knife out of the drawer with a triumphant “A-ha!” she turned and padded towards the living area, offhandedly wondering where Angel was.

Angel was staring blankly at his previously white shirts which were now subsequently pink. He held a pink shirt in each hand while he looked at the pile of pink shirts laid out on his bed with a red thong laying in a neat, little pile by itself next to his pink shirts. His chest was rising and falling with controlled, calming breaths and his hands clenched tightly around the pink material he held.

Every single white workout shirt he owned was pink, his white boxers were pink and some of his white socks were pink. Turning, in silent rage, towards where he knew that woman was and stalked, calmly, to her. Angel found the woman he was looking for on her knees with her back facing, her shoulders gave the impression she was hard at work on the floor.

Intrigue overrode his anger for a split second while he peered over her shoulder to see what she was doing. At first, Angel thought she may have been cleaning a spill up or something but he was wrong, she was just cutting up his floor.

Blinking rapidly, it sunk into his head that Cordelia was cutting up his floor with what looked to be a bread knife. The vampire literally saw red, after finding his socks, shirts and boxers pink then finding her cutting his floor up he’d reached his limit. Though feeling a tremendous amount of anger, Angel remained calm.

“Good morning sweetheart” his sarcasm was lost on her as he graced her with a pretty smile.

Looking at him over her shoulder, Cordelia gave him a beaming smile right back and waiting for the right time to explain about his shirts. That had been a complete accident, she had put the wrong pair of underwear in with his shirts and now he had more colour than Elton John. “Morning, sleep well?” she asked lightly before going back to what she was doing and hopping to put off telling him about his clothes.

“Very” Angel replied, struggling greatly with his control, “What, uh, what are you doing?”

“Oh I was just checking to see if you had hardwood flooring under here, cus I might be here a while. Do you have any linoleum glue in case it starts curling up all over” she asked with a puff of air. As her back was facing him, she didn’t see the strangling motion he made towards her neck.

“I’m sure I have some hanging around. I see you did some laundry this morning” he commented casually.

Scrunching her face up into a tight cringe, Cordelia ceased her relentless cutting and swirled around on her knees to face the irate vampire. Her expression was that of a pleading apology, large and innocent hazel eyes stared unblinking up at him as she silently begged for forgiveness. “I swear I didn’t mean for that to happen I promise” she babbled out, “I totally intended to fix it before you noticed!”

Holding back a manic giggle, Angel knelt down to face her with a steady gaze that pinned her in place. “When exactly were you planning on ‘fixing it?’ Before or after you cut up my floor?” His enthralling brown eyes held a sort humour that made her get a little nervous.

“After as it happens” Cordelia replied and nibbled nervously on her lower lip, shuffling away from him on her knees to a safer distance.

“Were you planning to ‘fix’ my floor after you ‘fixed’ my clothes?” Angel humorously enquired, she had no idea what he was going to do too her. For once, man and demon were in full agreement of her punishment, though it wasn’t something he’d ever admit.

Nodding, a nervous Cordelia pushed up from her knees and got ready to run like hell to the bathroom where she could be safe behind the lockable door until he calmed down. “It was a total accident, I didn’t mean for your clothes to turn pink Angel, cross my heart hope not to die. I stress the words not die”

Her movement didn’t go unnoticed by him and Angel flexed his thigh muscles fully prepared to give chase. “I know it was” he told her in mock seriousness, “But my floor wasn’t an accident”

“It’s important to know these things” she defended weakly, knowing no matter what she said she wouldn’t be able to talk her way out of this situation. “I gotta go!” jumping up to her feet, Cordelia dashed straight for the bathroom, not being able to help her giggles when she saw his pink shirts laying on the bed.

When her giggled “Heeheehee’s” sounded, Angel lost what was left of his restraint and raced after her in a burst of supernatural speed. His arms latched around her waist, quietly sniggering himself when her giggles became shrieks of surprise. Spinning her round, he hauled her off to the bed and placed her over his knee. “I think I should do some fixing myself!” he warned her in a playful voice and smoothed his hands over her ass.

“Angel!” Cordelia laughed outright, trying desperately to wriggle out of his grasp however due to her insane and riotous laughter, she only succeeded in making herself breathless. “Lemme go you bully” she squealed, still wriggling.

“Not a chance, you need to be punished sweetheart and I’m just the vampire to do it” Angel pushed her pants down, twanged the elastic of her panties once or twice, making her shriek, giggle and wriggle even more. The palm of his hand came down in a light slap making her gasp in shock and sweet delight at his sudden playful manner. He repeated the movement again while he bit on his lip to keep from laughing at the whole situation.

She had tears trickling down her cheeks as she tried to gasp in desperate breath lost to hysterical laughter and kicked her legs wildly trying to throw him off. “Arrgghh!” she squealed loudly when his hand connected with her ass again. “S-stop!” she tried to plead with him, “Can’t breathe”

Giving in, Angel lost it and fell onto his back with his body shaking. He couldn’t believe he had just given his secretary a spanking for dying his shirts and cutting up his floor. His laughter was silent but the vibrations of his pleasure ran through Cordelia who was covering her tear-streaked face.

“Tell me I did not just bare witness to that” a rather not-so-amused voice disturbed the silent hilarity in the apartment.


Part 7: Caught with Pants Down
“Tell me I did not just bare witness to that” a rather not-so-amused voice disturbed the silent hilarity in the apartment.

Turning her face to the left, Cordelia peeked through one hazel eye to see both Doyle and Buffy standing in the entrance to the bedroom area. From the look on the blonde’s face, she was most definitely less than impressed with what she had walked in on. Doyle, on the other hand, seemed to have a glazed look in his eyes as he tilted his head just a little more to the right.

Slowly sitting up, Angel’s humorous gaze landed on his ex-girlfriend and seer, Buffy was stood with her arms crossed defensively and obviously waiting for an expected explanation as to what he was doing while Doyle was enjoying something. Catching on, the vampire pulled Cordelia’s pants back up to cover her exposed ass and bit his lip not to start cracking up again. It felt like he’d just been caught by his parents. He could feel the girl over his lap shaking lightly and barely noticeable snorts of laughter hitching her breath in her throat.

“Having fun?” Doyle asked with a little smirk decorating his face as he scratched his nose and nudged his head slightly, silently damning Angel for ruining his viewing pleasure.

Cordelia pushed up on her hands and got off the lap she had been thrown over, “We were just…” she tried to explain with a tight, restrained smile.

“I was just showing her how not to defend herself” Angel spoke up, cutting her off with a blatant lie. Clearing his throat and swallowing back the sniggers of laughter, he stood up and rubbed his hands together as if to psyche himself up for something. “Buffy good to see you, Doyle can you take her up to the office and we’ll be up in a minute”

“Why? Much more fun down here” Doyle pointed out, loving every minute of this scenario.

“I agree” Buffy stated evenly, “Who knows what might happen if we leave. The how not to defend yourself lesson might get rough”

Covering her mouth with a closed fist, Cordelia bit on her knuckles as her eyes glazed over with the struggle to not laugh hysterically. Angel sucked on his tongue for a second before answering, “Just go up to the office with Doyle while Cor and I finish up in here. There’s still one more thing we have to go over before the lesson’s finished”

“What would that be?” Buffy asked in a deceptively calm and light manner, “Role playing? Cordelia as Lois Lane and you as Superman? S&M? Whips and chains?” her eyebrows rose with the questioning.

“Good Cop punishes Bad Girl” the words were out before he could stop them, Cordelia’s face flamed even as a smothered cackle of giggles got coughed away. Angel pursed his lips, placing his hands behind his back and waited for Buffy to leave his bedroom with Doyle.

Buffy’s blue eyes locked with twinkling brown ones, hers showing defiance and his showing something unreadable to her. The blue orbs simmering with growing fury drifted over to the silently cackling brunette sitting on the bed just behind her Angel. “What did the Bad Girl do that required you to show her how not to defend herself?”

The judgmental expression and the accusing tone in her voice was starting to really get on his nerves. “She did the laundry” Angel replied abruptly, his good mood rapidly leaving. So what if he was playing with his girl, she was his so he had a right to do whatever he pleased with her. This was his home, his bedroom and she was the one who just walked in without knocking. “Did anybody think of knocking?” he asked, suddenly changing the subject away from his spanking of his girl.

“I told her you’d be up when you were ready” Doyle provided honestly while peering at Cordelia’s ass as much as he could. Looking up at Angel seeing the warning flicker through the chocolate stare, the Irishman shrugged and grinned sheepishly, “Sorry man didn’t know she was off the track!”

“She has a name” Cordelia snapped at both Angel and Doyle. It didn’t take a genius to figure out this situation was only going to go down hill from here on out. Deciding to try to take some kind of charge, she pushed back her sniggers and went into ex-girlfriend territory. “So. You’re here. In L.A. Not that I’m not happy to see you but why are you here?” she asked with a blush and smile. Standing up, she placed her hands on the small of her back and elbowed Angel lightly.

Ignoring the question posed to her by the brunette, the blonde Slayer gave her a haughty glance which told her exactly what she thought of her olive branch. “I want to talk to Angel” Buffy stated, glancing at Cordelia and Doyle, expecting them to just simply leave.

Copying her defensive stance, Angel crossed his arms over his chest and stared at the blonde slayer who had just walked in on something very private. “So you just walked into my bedroom without knocking just to talk to me?” he asked, cutting off whatever his Seer or secretary were about to say.

“Am I not welcome?” Buffy asked, raising her furious glare back to the vampire.

“You walked into my bedroom Buffy, either me or Cor could have been naked” the vampire pointed out truthfully, he didn’t want her seeing either him or Cordelia naked. He didn’t particularly like the idea of Doyle seeing him naked for that matter.

“Doyle don’t even think it!” Cordelia warned knowingly when a smirk started to flicker at his lips. In reply, the Irishman gave her an all too innocent shrug with an equally all too innocent ‘Who? Me?’ look. “Yes you! And don’t give me that look, it doesn’t work I know you too well”

“So do I” Angel turned a hard stare to the half demon grinning helplessly at them both, he had this irresistible urge to drag Cordelia into a room by her hair yelling ‘Mine’ but he doubted he’d get away with messing her hair up. Maybe he could carry her…

Shaking off the images now invading his brain, Angel returned his gaze to the Slayer standing in quiet fury next to his seer and repeated his earlier words. “Go upstairs with Doyle, Cor and I will be up when we’re done with her lessons”

“Again I say I want to talk to Angel” Buffy responded, once again ignoring his request and giving both Doyle and Cordelia a pointed stare.

“You can talk to me upstairs in my office” Angel told her, his voice lilting with annoyance.

Her mouth parted just slightly, her blue eyes wide as she glanced up at his unwavering expression and her fingers dug into her arms. “I’d like to talk to you alone and not upstairs. You have a problem with that?”

“I have a problem with that,” Cordelia spoke up seeing what this situation could easily turn into.

Blue eyes traveled from the vampire to brunette as Buffy flourished a hand in an inviting gesture, “Let’s hear what your ‘problem’ is”

“You came into Angel’s place, without knocking and uninvited I might add, and you’re acting as though you have every right to do that” Cordelia had always spoke her thoughts and she would never change. She believed in total honesty, lying only led to more hurtful deception and in turn, that led to bitterness and anger.

“That’s because I do have every right” the Slayer bit out, “You’re the one in here being… Being spanked by Angel! You have a problem with my wanting to talk with him well I have a problem with the game you’re playing. You think that I actually believe the lie about him giving you lessons? I’m not stupid; my name is not Cordelia Chase”

A large, powerful hand covered Cordelia’s mouth as soon as she opened it to reply, Angel glared long and hard at Buffy before speaking to her. “Fine” he growled, “If you won’t wait upstairs for Cordy and I, then we’ll come with you” he caught the raised elegantly raised eyebrow on the heart-shaped face of his girl and removed his hand before she could bite him.

*~*~*

Standing opposite the relaxed vampire in his office, Buffy waited with dissipating patience for Angel to tell her what the hell was going on. He would have noticed what she wanted if he’d bothered to look at her and not at the brunette outside laughing with the other man who worked for him. Melting cocoa orbs were solely focused on the window to her left, a tiny smile making the corners of his mouth flicker up and his fingers made unconscious slow circles on the back of his hand.

Turning her gaze to see what was so interesting about seeing Cordelia flirt with the man outside, Buffy saw nothing special about her at all. In her eyes, the other girl would always be stereotypical cheerleader whose only goal in life was to flirt, date, bitch and be popular. She was the one with the normal life, she was the one with the life she used to have and the life she wanted back. It made her sick sometimes, seeing people who took the life they had for granted while people like her weren’t able to do that.

“Are you going to tell what you were doing with her?” Buffy asked crossing her arms over her chest and giving him a questioning stare. Though she was speaking, he didn’t look at her, only kept his gaze on the window and the brunette outside.

Raising an eyebrow the vampire finally tore his gaze from Cordelia to the angry Slayer in front of him. Returning her stare and question with one of his own. “Why are you in Los Angeles?” Angel asked.

She couldn’t remember the last time he’d been so direct with her, recovering from her slight surprise Buffy answered him. “I’m visiting my father for a couple of days and thought I’d stop by. If only I’d known I wasn’t welcome” sarcasm dripped from her tongue and sizzled in the air.

“You are welcome to come say hi Buffy but you aren’t welcome to walk into my bedroom without knocking” Angel told her honestly, if there was one thing he had always hated and that was people disrespecting his privacy, it was just annoying.

“I didn’t think I would have to knock because I didn’t think there’d be anything to walk in on” she bit at him. “You were spanking her Angel, how do you think I felt seeing you doing that?”

“I don’t know but what I do know is you don’t have any right to walk into our bedroom the way you did” the vampire responded, entwining his fingers and waited for her to speak.

Buffy’s jaw dropped a little, “Our bedroom? Don’t tell me you and her are…are…” she couldn’t even finish the sentence.

“Living together?” Angel supplied, his eyes drifting back towards the window and Cordelia giving Doyle what looked to be a shocked glance. “Yeah, but it’s only been for a few days now, it’s perfectly… Innocent” his voice lowered and sounded like sandpaper scraping across smooth wood.

“Innocent” she repeated with a nod of her head, “Right. So innocent you feel like you can spank her! I can see how that would be innocent” more sarcasm dripped from her every word and fell like acid, making him bristle.

Regarding Buffy, Angel pursed his lips thoughtfully and sat back in his chair. “I don’t understand what I do in the privacy of my apartment has to do with you or why you’re so upset by this. Am I not allowed to move on? Do I have to spend all my life pining over you?”

Before the blonde could reply, the window to the office was smashed inwards and a demon hurled itself into the room, bellowing out in rage. Wasting no time, Angel jumped up and moved to kill it. The demon dodged a powerful blow by the vampire, ducked and brought its fist crashing into Angel’s face and sent him stumbling back a little.

Instincts took over Buffy; she pulled her stake out of her belt she yelled to the vampire fighting with her. “Angel, how do I kill it?” blonde hair flying in all directions as she launched an assault on the demon. Her stake got thrown to one side, leaving her punching the crap out of it. The demon escaped from Buffy’s hold and went to attack the vampire again.

“I don’t know, I’ve never seen it before” Angel yelled back and dodged another blow to his face. He picked up the nearest weapon to him, a letter opener, and sliced deeply into the demon’s arm, making the blood rush down his hand.

Cordelia and Doyle weren’t far behind the violent fray, both running into the office and diving in. The brunette squealed when the demon turned on her, ducking behind Doyle and making Angel choke back a laugh at her movement. Buffy was the first to run after the demon, dodging the half demon and cowering girl, the Slayer pelted out of the office growling in annoyance at missing it.

Angel watched as the demon ran off into the daylight where he couldn’t follow, a frown formed on his face as he looked down at his hand where he had also gotten cut from the letter opener. The demon’s blood felt funny but he couldn’t describe it, just that he felt a little weird.

Peeking over Doyle’s shoulder, Cordelia looked at Angel and bit her lip sheepishly; “Are you okay?” she asked, her hazel eyes blinking.

“I’m fine Princess” the seer responded sarcastically, “No thanks to you using me as a human shield!”

“I wasn’t talking to you dumbass” she snapped and scooted over to where the vampire was still examining his hand. She took Angel’s injured hand in hers, turning it over and studying the small scratch critically. “You okay?” her fingers lightly stroked the already healing wound.

Smiling softly at her, Angel stroked the stray wisps of hair away from her cheek and ran his thumb over her pouting lower lip. “I am now, you?”

Rolling his eyes and shrugging helplessly, Doyle coughed loudly and gained their attention to him being in the room. “She used me as a human shield and you’re asking her if she’s okay. Nice to know you love me!” though his sarcasm was exceptional, his typical humor shone through the words.

Standing just outside of the little group, Buffy crossed her arms and watched Angel slide his arm around Cordelia, using his hand to push her head onto his chest. “I’m okay too” there was no underlying humor in her words, only caustic acid. “It got away, since its daylight I’ll go after it”

“No you won’t” Angel countered easily, “Its on my turf, it attacked me and I want a shot at killing it”

“In case you hadn’t noticed, the sun’s up so how are you going to go after it?”

Ignoring the attack on his being, the vampire simply smiled sweetly at the blonde. “We’ll take the tunnels. No sunlight which means Angel kill” he replied.

*~*~*

Buffy walked alongside Angel, years of practice had her easily ignoring the disgusting squelching noise of her shoes stepping in God knows what. She had her stake ready and aimed, her blue eyes traveling over every inch of the tunnels they were walking through and all her instincts tuned into listening out for anything that screamed demonic. Anything except Angel that is.

Scratching his hand for the umpteenth time since the attack in his office, Angel frowned also for the umpteenth time. “Why did you bring that?” he nudged his head towards her poised stake.

“Because I know how to use it” Buffy replied abruptly, not wanting to talk to him at all unless it revolved around them without the mention of a certain brunette. She wished long and hard that the certain brunette was a demon, it would give her a good excuse to smack her hard in the face for stealing her vampire.

“Don’t” Angel growled lightly, it didn’t take someone supernatural to feel the waves of scorn flowing off the girl beside him. He could see them bouncing off the tunnel walls and he figured who was the cause of Buffy’s scorn. “Don’t blame her because we did nothing wrong”

“Of course not” the blonde supplied, she was not going to get into it with him just yet. He had to come to his senses first and then they’d talk about it. Well, she’d talk and he’d listen and they’d be just like how they were before. Shaking her head, Buffy ignored the voice in her head that told her what they’d been like before. Forbidden touches, disallowed glances and stolen kisses in the dead of night. None of that mattered, all that mattered was that they were meant to be together and one day they would be together. She knew that and though she moved on, those boys never compared to her Angel.

Letting that topic of conversation go for now, there was more important matters to sort out before he told her not to expect him to give up love just to make her happy. His frown deepened and he stopped walking, “I feel funny” Angel said quietly.

At last Buffy thought. “I know what you mean” she stopped and turned to face him, “Being here with me and fighting together like we used to, its making me feel funny too. I understand about Cordelia, I really do” she insisted to him, not giving him a chance to respond. “Its sex, I get that and no perfect happiness. I know you didn’t want to hurt her feelings by not saying that to me in front of her but…”

“There isn’t sex between Cor and I, I am in love with her but that wasn’t what I meant Buffy” Angel said quietly and looking at her with an apologetic expression. “I was talking about the demon blood. It’s making me feel funny, like weird kind of funny”

“Don’t I just feel stupid?” her question came out on a sea of more sarcastic words, “Why don’t you call your crack staff and have them look up the demon?”

“I’m getting the feeling you don’t like Doyle and Cordy too much” he growled at her, his temperament suddenly switching from attack mode to angry-at-ex-girlfriend mode in an instant. “Cordelia, yes I can understand the resentment because of what you walked in on but you don’t have any reason to insult my seer”

Shaking her head at him, Buffy pursed her lips before replying; so what if he was right in what he said but that wasn’t the point at all. “You don’t understand at all, you don’t know what it was like for me seeing you like that with her”

“Maybe I don’t but I won’t let you insult my girlfriend or my seer just like you wouldn’t let me insult Xander or Willow” Angel countered. Stopping the conversation again, he started walking but after a few feet he came to a dead end where the only way out was up a ladder. Looking upward helplessly, he thought of any possible way he could go after the demon who attacked him in his office but couldn’t come up with anything.

“I’ll go” Buffy told him and walked past him to go up the ladder, “I’ll come back after its done”

Nodding, Angel told her a few places where an injured demon would go to heal and watched as the blonde climbed up and into the daylight. He dreaded the conversation that would come when she got back to the office, it was a conversation that was long overdue. Turning back the way he came, the vampire only managed to walk a few steps before collapsing to the ground gasping for breath he shouldn’t need.


Part 8: A Human Touch
Pacing outside of Angel’s office, Cordelia nibbled on her thumb nail and glanced at the phone for the millionth time. Angel said he’d call to let Doyle and her know he was alright but he’d left hours ago and there’d been no phone calls or anything. What if he was off somewhere rekindling the flames of love with Buffy?

Shaking her head, the brunette dismissed that thought as quickly as it came; she knew Angel better than that and she knew that he wouldn’t have been with her if he had still felt something for someone else. Angel wasn’t Xander and he wouldn’t do that to her, of that she was more than sure. What if Buffy had dusted him?

That thought stayed a lot longer than her previous thought, cringing again when the image of Buffy walking in on her and Angel popped into her head. A red hue spread up her cheeks, making her face resemble what her ass probably looked like. Cordelia took a deep, calming breath and banished all bad thoughts from her head before she turned into a basket case.

“So you an Angel huh?” Doyle asked with a cheeky smirk that brought out tiny dimples at the corners of his mouth.

Before Cordelia had a chance to reply, Angel walked through the front door with his leather jacket slung over his shoulder and in direct sunlight. The door shut with a click and he turned to face his girlfriend and seer with a bemused grin.

“You… You’re…” the brunette stuttered a few times before reality set in. Eyes widening, lips parting and a pink flush spread across her face as rage exploded! Marching the few feet to Angel, Cordelia grabbed the collar of his sweatshirt and shook him repeatedly, trying to knock some sense into him. “What the hell do you think you’re playing at?” she bellowed into a shocked Angel’s ear. “You’re a vampire or is that a teeny tiny fact you seem to have forgotten?” she screamed in rage and still shaking him.

“Princess!” Doyle rushed to help his friend by dragging Cordelia away from him forcefully, “I don’t think the vampire thing is a problem for the broody one right now” he told her loudly trying to break through the wall of rage surrounding her.

“I don’t care! One, he never called. Two, he’s walking around in the sunlight like he’s not a… Oh. My. God. Vampire!”

Straightening his sweatshirt out, Angel glared at her once before grinning at them both. “Not quite Cor” he answered, “Not vampire. I’m all man”

“Damn straight you’re all man” Cordelia snapped viciously, “You never called to let me know what the hell was going on! Five minutes of being ‘all man’ and he has the behavior down. What’s next? Forgetting birthdays and anniversaries?!”

Letting her continue on her tirade, Angel slowly took her hands and began walking backwards towards the door he’d just walked in, leading her forwards. Catching Doyle’s eyes over the ranting brunette’s shoulder, he grinned brightly and nudged his head to the girl in front of him. The Irishman hung back for a while to let his friend enjoy a few special minutes alone with Cordelia in the sunlight.

Letting go of her hand, Angel reached behind him and opened the door, dragging a still barking mad Cordelia out with him. She hadn’t realized what that he hadn’t been paying any attention to her whatsoever and had no idea what he was doing. “Angel are you even listening to me?”

“To every word!” he solemnly replied with a very serious nod. He watched as the sun caught the chestnut strands of her hair, catching the natural highlights and making the dark bronze glimmer. The hazel of her eyes shone brightly with spun gold, the sun swept skin on her face lit up and dusted the apples of her cheeks with toffee, lip gloss caught the sun and sparkled like liquid crystal.

It was only when she stopped ranting to take a breath that Cordelia realized she was outside with Angel. Blinking against the brightness, she looked around at the few people that passed them before looking up at him to see him smiling serenely down at her. She didn’t have time to say anything, the feel of his warm lips pressing softly on hers prevented words from being spoken.

He felt so different, he was warm everywhere she touched; the pulse in his jugular thumped against her fingertips and his heartbeat sounded through her chest. His tongue sliced past her lips to melt hers with the warmth in his kiss, lips sensuously massaging the softer ones touching his. Angel cupped both sides of her face in his hands, tilting her head up a little and deepened the kiss.

Standing on her tiptoes, Cordelia curled both her arms right around his neck and brought him closer. Her tongue teasing the hot male one sweeping through her mouth, his breath tasted like salty sea air making her guess where he’d been before coming to the office. He was pure male fire to her, hot to touch and hard to feel, everything a man should be. Her moan was lost in the depths of the warm cavern of his mouth; Cordelia melted fully into his hold and brought him closer still.

Responding to her soft little moan the only way a man could, Angel slid his hands from her face down to the small of her back and held her closer to his hardening body, rocking against her lightly. The most amazing thing happened to him.

Grinning against her mouth, he pulled back gasping for breath and laughed a little, “I’m out of breath!” he commented with a wry smile raising one of his hands to touch his tingling lips. Turning away from him, Cordelia looked over her shoulder at Doyle who was watching with a knowing smile on his cheeky face that earned him a shy smile in return.

Angel looked at her, still marveling over the fact he was outside in the sweet sunshine with his girlfriend and marveling over the fact that his girlfriend was Cordelia Chase. She looked stunning in the bright light, cheeks flushed with a pretty pink hue caused by his little kiss and her lips, glistening, were plump with the desire to be kissed again. He knew he was seeing a whole other side to her right now; shy, unsure and radiantly glowing with something he couldn’t place.

Hazel beams caught him looking at her and Angel held her gaze, waiting for her to turn a smile on him. He saw her lips part slightly; the material of her top curled around hardening peaks on her full breasts and her pink tongue darted out to wet her lower lip unconsciously. The soft cotton around his groin tightened around him and he flexed his hands into grips to keep from reaching out and touching her. He wanted to look at her a little longer.

Cordelia’s breathing quickened slightly when she caught a brilliant gaze pouring down on her. Rich and warm, the darkened amber had her blood running hot through her veins and her skin raise up in goose bumps as she returned his wondrous stare with one of her own. The voices of other people, the sounds from passing cars and Doyle all faded into the background as she became lost in oceans of chocolate.

Angel’s jaw twitched tensely and a dull throb of craving rushed through him; she hadn’t walked away, why he thought she might he would never know but she hadn’t. Seeing the response to his glance alone, his own lips parted involuntarily as he imagined what it would be like to taste her mouth, her breasts and her private heat. He wanted to see what it would feel like to dip his tongue in and out of her body slowly, licking every drop of feminine arousal that fell from her.

“Guess I’ll be going then!” Doyle’s words brought their attention to the fact he was still there. Both humans turned to look at the cheeky half demon with identical annoyed expressions scrunching up their faces.

“Wait!” Cordelia piped up suddenly and looked to Angel with large hazel eyes, “You were a part of this as much as I was if not more so you can’t go. We have to have some fun and that doesn’t include a sports bar!” giving a pointed look which promptly caused the half demon to close his mouth immediately.

Nodding in agreement, “Cor’s right” Angel looked at his seer, or ex-seer as the case maybe now. “We should do something together, like go to the beach o-or for lunch at an outdoor café”

“Nah, I can’t” Doyle replied with a devilishly charming grin at the brunette, “I heard through the grapevine my wife’s in town, meeting up for some lunch. Besides, I doubt hanging ten down in Malibu is what Angel wants to do!”

Her mouth dropped a little, “All this time you were flirting with me and you have a wife?” Cordelia screeched with wider hazel eyes. Her hand connected sharply with his shoulder, “You little sneak!”

“You can talk, you’ve been bunking down with overhanging forehead broody vamp all this time and none of ya told me. That’s what you call sneaky Princess” Doyle shot back quickly.

“Guys!” Angel got out before either could start what would be another verbal war with enough ammunition to rival that used in WW2! “Are you sure you don’t want to come with us?” he asked his seer hopefully, it wouldn’t be right if he spent his first day as a human without his friend there.

“You get to have something you want and you’re gonna waste it on lunch at an outdoor café?” Doyle asked incredulously and shook his head. “Man, you’re not worthy of being a red blooded male, that stuff’s wasted on ya!”

“He’s right” Cordelia looked from the seer to Angel, “What have you always wanted to do but couldn’t?” she questioned herself as much as him.

*~*~*

“This is what you’ve always wanted to do?” she deadpanned after half an hour’s walk to the beach. “Walk on the beach?” she looked around at the few hundred people mulling around and doing nothing but enjoying the blissful rays of the heating sunbeams.

Angel looked down at her with a telling expression, “I’ve never been able to do this at all Cordy, not even before I was turned” he explained and she listened. “I-in Ireland, there wasn’t much of a beach and sunbathing wasn’t the current trend. I want to feel the sand when it’s hot, I want to feel the water when it’s warm and not burst into flames doing it”

Feeling a little bad for taking those things as granted, Cordelia slipped her feminine hand into his and tugged him in the direction of the shoreline. The sunlight reflected off the crystal blue water, waves the crashed out against the horizon curled in to lap shore lazily. White sand turned dark when the salty water washed over it, small pebbles deposited along the edge and the tiny grains sparkled like diamonds in the light.

“In that case, you’re gonna do this the right way” she stated firmly and came to a halt, reluctantly letting go of his hand she bent over to take her shoes off and signalled him to copy. “If you wanna feel then you have to follow the rules starting with the removal of your shoes”

Copying her, Angel sat down in the sand watching as the grains slid through his parted fingers and fell quickly down. It tickled the palms of his hands, gently scratching as it fell from his hold and leaving a tiny damp residue between his fingers. Rolling up his trouser legs, he began the task of unlacing his boots ready for his first walk on sun warmed sand.

Cordelia watched as he frowned, wiggling his toes into the sand and letting it cover the top of his feet. A smile worked across her lips as she looked at his hairy legs, the dark hair stood out in direct contrast to the pale colour of his skin. Dropping down beside him, she curled both her arms around one of his and leaned her head softly on his shoulder. “You’re hairy” she stated suddenly, reaching down to pull the hairs on his legs hard.

“Ow! Hey, what did you do that for?” Angel asked, rubbing away the stinging pain on his shin bone, “That hurt”

“That’s why I did it” she replied airily and did it again.

Scowling deeply at her, he slapped her hand away and rubbed the stinging pain away once again. He looked out at the glistening water that shone with a golden hue and got an idea for payback. Uncurling her arms from his, Angel helped her stand up with no explanation of what he wanted to do, though no longer a vampire, he still managed to hurl her over his shoulder with ease.

“ANGEL YOU ASS PUT ME DOWN!” Cordelia screamed, kicking her legs wildly and hitting his back as hard as she could. She could feel a hundred eyes on her as his antics brought attention to her horrifying plight and all watched knowingly what he was going to do to her.

Turning quickly, Angel bolted off into the shallow water until he was thigh deep, not caring his trousers were soaking wet and not stopping to enjoy the feeling of the warm wet sand beneath his feet. “This is payback Sugar Cakes!” splashes of water went everywhere as he threw her down, laughing himself silly all the while.

“WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOI… ARRRGGGHHH!” shock and outrage poured from her as she found herself thrown into the water. Coughing and spluttering, Cordelia emerged from the water with a furious glare and a raging bright pink flush to her cheeks. “You!” she snarled and stood unsteadily in the rushing water.

Angel looked down at his accomplishment with great pride and self respect; it was a move that would have made Doyle proud! Unfortunately, he now had to deal with the backlash of his little game but that wouldn’t be problem. Before she had a chance to turn on him, he picked her up and swung her round instantly switching her outrage to delight.

The sound of her laughter was light and musical as he held her tightly, almost squeezing the air out of her body. Her clothes and the constant splashing around had him almost as wet as she was. Putting her down, Angel pushed the damp strands of hair away from her heart-shaped face, looking down at her with a brilliant smile curling his lips up. “What about me?” he asked when all she did was gaze up at him in adoring silence.

“I love you” Cordelia told him with a smile of her own, at her little words he kissed the back of both her smaller hands and held them to his damp chest. The look on his face spoke the words for him and he blushed a little. “C’mon lets get back on dry land so you can feel the sand when it sticks to your wet feet. Awful but strangely nice!” tugging on his hand, she let him take over and guide her back to where their shoes lay.

Angel tried to shake off the sand from his feet, “It won’t come off!” he growled, or attempted to growl anyway. He balanced on one foot precariously and shook his other rapidly, drawing more attention to them. Wet sand was more itchy than dry sand and it didn’t tickle in that nice way either. It squished between his toes and felt like someone was dragging a pumice stone over his skin slowly.

“Angel, there are showers around that you use to get the evil sand off” she told him gently and used her hand to scrape the excess grains from her own feet. Sitting down, she watched him make a spectacle of himself in trying to remove the sand from his feet unsuccessfully wishing she had a camera.

“It’s sticking to me!” every time he got it off one foot, the other was covered in it again. After a few more moments of failed shaking, Angel sat down with a pout and cupped his chin in the palm of his hand, looking like a sullen little boy before the look on Cordelia’s face made him snort back his laughter. “Thank you Cordelia”

“For what?”

“You know, for sharing this, today, with me. It means something to me and I’ll never forget it”

“No neither will I and I’ve loved it all even if it is only a little walk along the beach” she replied, snuggling into his offered arm and sighing with contentment. They just sat there, looking out at the waves and watched as the tide slowly came in with the slow descent of the sun. Everything changed colour and the crowd thinned until only a few were left and the beach was almost deserted.

The blue of the sky turned to a hazy gold with pale streaks of red, orange and purple highlighting at the distant horizon. Reflecting the colour of the sky, the water glinted with sheer luminescent gold and sparkled like the precious metal. Only the sound of the stormier evening waves could be heard rining out against the silence.

Angel moved for the first time in two hours, tracing his finger in the sand and making Cordelia peek over his body to see what he was drawing in the sand. “What are you drawning?” she asked in a lazy voice that made her sound like she’d been asleep.

“You’ll see” he replied and continued to draw for a few moments before being able to look at the finished product in pride. Moving his arm out of the way, Angel leaned back a little to give her the room she needed to see what he’d done in the sand. Hazel eyes landed on a big heart shape with Angel 4 Cordy right in the middle of it with an arrow piercing both edges.

Gazing up at him in open adoration, Cordelia felt so shy almost like she was on her first date. “You are so sweet!” she said with a little smile.

“I know” Angel replied easily with a mock roll of his brown eyes, “You like it?”

“No, I love it” biting her lip nervously, Cordelia’s expression changed from adoring to uncertainty as she inwardly debated with herself. She knew what she wanted but wasn’t sure if he would want that too and so she felt a little strange about being the one to bring it up. As always, she went with her first thought.

“Take me home, Angel”

“Take me home Angel” Cordelia spoke shyly, looking at him with eyes that sparked with the hidden implication of her words.

He didn’t miss the underlying meaning behind her soft spoken words, he didn’t miss the shy tone that made her voice small and he didn’t miss the uncertainty shining in her eyes. In his existence, Angel had many women offering themselves to him in all kinds of ways but none of them women had shown as much trust, love or friendship to him as Cordelia had.

When he had been human years ago, friendship and love may not have mattered to him but those things mattered now and he had those things in the palm of his hand. Why, he didn’t know because he didn’t deserve to have those things but he was selfish enough to take them anyway. Palming the apples of her cheeks, Angel turned her face fully towards him laying his lips down on hers like a soft blanket.

Her lips parted slightly allowing his male tongue to sweep through her mouth, taunting her with a teasing, hot and wet caress. Dipping her tongue boldly into the warmed cave of his mouth, she tasted the strong salted wind on his lips. His mouth was harder than hers but still soft as he gently manipulated her softer, more pliant mouth to fit his. Angel pulled Cordelia down with him into the sand, resting on his elbow and covered her waist with a powerful thigh.

He could feel sweat making his clothes cling to his body as the effects of human male arousal captured him for the first time in two centuries and it was bliss. To feel warm blood flowing through his veins, to taste the air the way it was meant to be tasted. Everything made him feel like a man.

Cordelia slid her arms around his neck, bringing him down to cover her completely never once losing contact with his mouth. Her hands graced the sides of his seemingly unbreakable body until her fingers fisted around the hem of his sweatshirt, moving to lift it off.

“I thought you wanted me to take you home?” Angel asked through gasped breaths when he parted from her mouth. Raising up a little to help her take his sweatshirt off, he slung it to one side before moving his hands back to touch her.

“Maybe we could, you know, here. On the beach” she softly replied, her lips bruised, swollen and silently begging for a more thorough exploration. A light wave of embarrassment washed over her cheeks as she divulged one of her fantasies to him. “I’ve always wanted my first time to be on a beach”

He couldn’t imagine anything being more perfect than making this their special place. Angel didn’t grin, he took a timid hand in a tender hold and brought it to his lips, pressing down on the delicate skin on the back of her hand. “Then we’ll make love on the beach” he agreed, his voice thick and raspy with arousal. Letting her hand go, he helped her sit up; grinning slightly when he watched the sand trickle down her clothed back.

Letting all her shyness go, Cordelia took hold of the bottom of her top and took it off with a graceful move, leaving her chest exposed to his gaze. Biting her lip with remaining timidity, she watched as Angel took her in. Black eyes ran lazily over her stomach, flat and toned, up over a very female landscape of bronzed and flawless skin until his eyes came to rest on her chest.

Encased in a satin brassier white in colour, the cups curved around the prominent hard peeks giving him a small glimpse of the arousal building up. The valley of her cleavage was softly rounded by a perfect cupid’s bow that created shadows in the centre of her chest. Angel swallowed a little, sweeping fingertips up both her arms to remove the straps of the satin barrier. The straps fell off her shoulders allowing him the pleasure of pushing the cups away from her breasts, revealing her to him completely.

As soon as the oceanic night’s breeze hit her, Cordelia shivered deliciously and the dusky pink pebbles tightened visibly. The moonlight shone over her, bathing her bronzed body in a wash of silver snow. “You’re turn” she whispered, unhooking the brassier and letting it fall to the sand.

Soon, it was Angel bathed in the moonlit silver light; his broad shoulders brought to life by rigid lines trailing from his neck down to the biceps in his arms. His smooth chest was expansive and as muscular as the rest of his body, pectorals rippled below the skin and his stomach, lined with a treasure trail of dark hair, flexed. Tiny beads of sweat glistened in the moonlight as the liquid ran softly down his torso, making Cordelia reach out and follow the droplets with her fingertip.

He took hold of her hand, pressing her palm flat against abdomen Angel brought her up to feel where his hear lay strangely beating inside. The thump-thump-thumping there pounded through her palm and made her smile magnificently at him. “I love you” he told her sincerely. He laid her back down in the sand, making sure he didn’t mess up the heart he had carved, and hooked his fingers into the waistband of her pants. “If you’re not sure then tell me now, I won’t be able to stop”

“I’m sure I don’t want you to stop” Cordelia quipped with a cheeky little grin that made him give her a half smile in return. Raising her hips off the ticklish sand, she let him take her pants and panties off at the same time, when she gave him a questioning look he simply shrugged innocently back.

Angel smoothed his hands up her naked, slender legs until his large palms held her thighs flat to the sand and kept her legs parted so he could look at her. Ignoring the painful erection, he grazed his fingertips over her intimacy; the liquid arousal sparkled on both his fingers and her private place. “My turn” his pants came next and joined the untidy pile of clothing on the sand next to them.

Cordelia let her toffee gaze wander over his physique, every inch of him solid with tensed muscles. No wonder she had turned into miss grabby hands she thought naughtily with a silent girlish giggle. Her thoughts were immediately pushed aside when Angel moved so he could lay down next to her, trailing a fingertip softly over her stomach and up to trace circles around the tightened nipples.

She sucked in a breath when a shot of heat went straight to her core, causing heat to simmer between her thighs. Angel’s own breathing grew a little harsher when the sound of her arousal hit the air, making his body react with intensifying throbs in his erection. He cupped her breast fully, kneading the tender sensitive flesh with firm touches and casually stimulating the areola with light brushes of his fingers.

Arching up into his hand, Cordelia reached for him bringing his lips and body down to hers, slicing her tongue into his inviting mouth. Her breasts were crushed up against his chest and her legs parted more allowing him to lay directly over her, protecting her from the ocean breeze. Angel snapped his eyes tight shut when his shaft slid against the hot wetness of her sex, a feral moan shooting out into the silence. He felt his skin sizzle with the high temperature of humanity coming from both Cordelia and himself, it was positively drugging.

Hard male lips travelled over the delicate flesh at her throat, a hot tongue flicking out to taste the salty liquid covering her entire body. Angel rocked his solid intimacy into the scolding warmth hidden between her thighs, a groan slipped from his mouth when the tip of his erection crushed desperately at the entrance to what he would describe as heaven.

The back of Cordelia’s head hit the sand and her body arched up into his much more powerful one, her breasts scraping over the expansive male chest and the apex of her thighs trying to envelope him inside. Her pliant lips parted as she gasped in breaths of oxygen, all she felt was the fire her body was on. Angel slid his hand down her wet torso, dipping into the hot petals of her sex to find the pearl-hard clitoris.

Gently squeezing the small pearl, Angel heard her hiss with pleasure and buck her hips against his hand. “Oh you like that?” he whispered against the shell of her ear, twirling the tip of his finger round and round until he had her moaning constantly. He felt the rush of blood make the pink bud throb under his touch and pressed more hard fingers against her sexuality.

Cordelia raised her legs, bending at her knees and locking her ankles around the top of his heavy thighs, bucking up into his touch. A shower of liquid female arousal washed from her core, coating his hand in molten velvet. Choking back a soft cry, she squeezed her eyes shut against the bliss from the most simple of caresses he was giving. Her muscles felt lax, her body felt boneless and her mouth was dry from the rapid intake of oxygen.

Looking down at her, Angel watched as the risen moon shone an ethereal glow on her face, highlighting the pleasured expression in a soft creamy sheen. Shadows of her long, dark eyelashes fluttered under her tightly closed eyes, keeping him from seeing the heat within the hazel orbs he knew so well. “Open your eyes Cordelia”

Fluttering her eyes open at his request, Cordelia blushed a little when the sight of his full arousal bore down from the blackened whirlpools of his gaze. She swore she could see herself in his eyes, swore she could see just who he was by that one glance. Unlocking her ankles, she let her slender legs fall weightlessly down by his side and parted her thighs to give him a silent invitation to touch her more. “I want you” she told him throatily and surely.

He kept her gaze locked on his as he traced the hot skin of her petals to find the entrance to her body. Angel watched in fascination as her eyes went from hazel to melted toffee at the intimate feel of his finger inching slowly inside her. Slick with liquid sex, hot with sweat and arousal, he found no resistance to his penetration and explored the inner cavern with an innocent touch. Velour soft and silky smooth, he moved knuckle deep with slow circles of his thumb over the exposed clitoris.

Cordelia moaned his name loudly, wrapping her hand around his thick wrist urging him to penetrate her body with a faster, harder touch. “Angel please” she pressed her hips much harder against him, covering the whole of his hand with hers showing him what she liked. He instantly responded, working another finger inside her body easily locating the G-spot hidden within her.

Swiftly moving her hand from his, Cordelia flexed her grip around his shaft experimentally, moving up him slowly. Angel’s hips jolted in a violently stimulated way and she moved her hand faster, touching every hard inch of his erection and delighting in his reaction. Shaking his head down at her, he used his free hand to still her movements before he lost it there and then.

“No, I wanna come in you” he told her answering her quizzical and disappointed look, “Tell me you want my cock here” he pushed his fingers in deeply, curling them inside and placing intense pressure on her sweet spot. Her inner muscles contracted tightly around his touch as a fresh wave of arousal showered down on his hand. Was this what it felt like? Was this what a human man felt when he made a woman climax? Angel looked down at his hand moving fast amid her feminine thighs, seeing his skin gleam with moisture.

Lightly whimpered moans fell from her parted lips as he continued to pierce her with his caress, bringing up her hips harshly to him, Cordelia’s body arched high as sharp stings of fire blazed through her. Her mouth open in a silent orgasmic scream as Angel repeatedly hit the place that made her weak and mewl in pleasure.

He felt tremble run through him as her orgasm hit, the throb in his erection grew unbearable as a pre-climatic shock made him harder. Angel removed his hand reluctantly to take a firm hold of his cock, placing himself at the entrance to her core. The sensitive tip pressed against her and with an oh so controlled pace, he inched slowly inside her body and bit back a male groan when the burn of her flesh connected intimately.

Cordelia pressed down and fisted handfuls of sand in her fingers as she felt him open her up, “Angel” she hissed, placing her hands onto his broad shoulders and digging her nails in slightly. He pushed in deeper feeling each and every one of her muscles fist around his penetration, hugging him in a velvet glove.

His back was slick with sweat as her hands glided down to press the heels of her palms into the small of his spine, urging him to go deeper. With a loud moan, Angel slid in as deep as she could take, he held her still while he took her over completely and made her his.

*~*~*

Laying calmly in the sand, Cordelia raised her head from his shoulder to look at his peaceful face when she got distracted by a light coming down the beach. Thinking nothing of it, she replaced her head on his shoulder and snuggled down. “Mmm” she moaned in a sleepy whisper, “I love yooooOH SHIT!”

At her panicked yelp, Angel’s eyes immediately opened and he sat up looking around, “What?” he asked, panting in shock and still looking wildly around.

“People Angel. People are coming” she yelped, fumbling around in the near darkness for their discarded clothing frantically. “God damned sand!” she hissed in extreme annoyance.

Still in the land of post-coital bliss, Angel didn’t quite get what she meant by people were coming. “People?” he asked with a confused frown and watched as Cordelia tried to get her pants on in the dark.

Pointing over his shoulder in the direction of the approaching light, “There dumbass! People and we’re naked. They cannot see me naked, you neither” Cordelia panicked, jumping up and stumbling slightly before falling onto her ass much to his enjoyment.

“Oh people. Right” Angel nodded and copied her clothes-applying at a more leisurely pace. It wouldn’t do his body any good to be hurrying around like that, he might do himself an injury and she wouldn’t like that!

Glaring at him from her place in the sand, Cordelia stuck her hands on her hips and did just that. Glared warningly and desperately, “Why aren’t you hurrying?”

“Because I don’t wanna” he drawled lazily and licked his lips looking her over more than once. Angel felt his body harden again but decided it wouldn’t be good for his health if he pounced on her just yet. “Alright. Alright” he sighed, giving in and getting his clothes on.

Forgoing her brassier and panties, she scooped her top over her head and tugged her pants into place, trying to look as innocent as possible for when the people got there. Cordelia watched as Angel lazed back on his elbows, looking entirely too innocent for his own good she envied his ability at looking, well, angelic. Giving him a sarcastic sneer, she huffed and crossed her arms over her chest and continued to glare at him in silence.

“What? We weren’t doing anything” Angel told her easily, “It was just… An innocent touch right?” he smirked when his repeated words had the desired effect and made a slow grin appear across her face. Giving in, Cordelia giggled behind her hand and scooted over to where he was sprawled happily. “I love you Honey Pot!” he planted a kiss on her head, shifting his arm so she was snuggling into his side a little more.

“Love you more” she replied airily.

“Angel man!” Doyle’s voice was instantly recognized, “That you and Princess?” he bellowed when his torch landed on them.

“Yes it’s us, what are you doing out so late?” Cordelia asked, squinting up at Doyle when he breathlessly reached their spot on the beach. Ignoring how she knew she must look to him, she gave him a big and bright smile that was in no way innocent. That smile faltered when she saw Buffy walk next to the seer’s side.

“I tracked him down when Angel didn’t get back to the office” the Slayer responded in a small, disappointed voice. “I was worried because I couldn’t find the demon and I thought it may have gotten to Angel”

“As you can see, I’m fine” Angel drawled the words out so they rolled off his tongue in a purr.

Looking his friends over, Doyle shook his head and couldn’t help the comment spill from his mouth. “Better be careful with all that sand Princess, you’ll be chaffing it out for weeks. It gets in places no sand should ever get”

His commented garnered Buffy’s attention, making her really look at the state of both Angel and Cordelia. Their clothes were caked in sand, her hair was all matted with it and her clothes were on inside out. “You had sex” she deadpanned; hurt and betrayal filled her voice as she looked down at Angel. “With her”

“No” he denied, “I made love to my girlfriend on the beach” he didn’t want to hide it, he hadn’t done anything wrong. Except public nudity but that wasn’t the point.

The blonde’s mind worked overtime, the only thing she could think of was he was with Cordelia because he didn’t love her so he could have sex therefore he wouldn’t lose his soul. “I understand, really I do. But couldn’t you have picked someone other than her?”

“Do you think you could stick to calling me behind my back behind my back?” Cordelia asked with an angered frown at the agitated Slayer in front of her. “Unlike someone I care to mention, my back actually looks different to my front!” she couldn’t help it, Buffy brought out the worst in her.

Doyle had an instant desire to see a catfight, a smirk crossed his face as devilish fantasies featuring Buffy and Cordelia now took up home in his head and they weren’t getting evicted anytime soon! Angel coughed when he saw exactly what his seer was thinking and okay he didn’t mind him fantasizing about Buffy, but Cordelia was officially his girlfriend and therefore his.

“So you had sex with her” Buffy blatantly ignored the remark about her breast size and continued to look down at who she considered as still her boyfriend even though they broke up last year. “That’s okay, we all have needs Angel” pushing away the hurt as she prepared to forgive his cheating on her.

“Yeah and you need to get a life” Cordelia snarked, she knew what the other girl was thinking. It was called wanting something you couldn’t have and yes she felt sorry for the other girl but she was not going to let her ruin her first time with Angel.

“No its you that needs to get a life” the blonde snapped back, “You let yourself be used for sex, there’s names for girls like you. What’s worse is he pays you for playing Girl Friday and there’s names for girls that too”

“Hey” Angel stood up the second that insult left his ex-girlfriend’s mouth, “I won’t let you talk about her like that and I won’t let you make her sound like a slut just because she works for me. I won’t let you turn what I have with her into something sordid Buffy” he told her firmly and angrily. “Anger and bitterness doesn’t suit you”

After his little tirade, Angel found himself breathless and felt his heart literally pounding through his chest. The forming smile at his first human confrontation began to fade when he saw Buffy realise he was different.

“You’re breathing”


Part 9: The Trouble with Exes
“You’re breathing”

Blue eyes wide with shock, her cheeks lost all colour and her hands dropped limply to her sides. Buffy’s mouth formed a tight, thin line as she tried to get things straight in her head what this meant for both her and Angel. “Why” she swallowed and tried to keep her sanity from disappearing “Why are you breathing?”

Straightening his shoulders, Angel looked at Buffy for a small second before turning his brown eyes to Cordelia. “Remember how that demon’s blood made me feel funny?” his words were directed at the Slayer but he didn’t turn his warming gaze from the brunette for a single second fearing if he did then he would wake up and find out this was a dream.

“Yes” Buffy replied, her voice aloof and distant with the knowledge he was most likely not listening to her no matter what she said. Her hands flexed into small fists as she crossed them defensively over her chest and simply looked at him. On normal circumstances, she would be enjoying the night’s ocean breeze and watching the water turn black as the sky reflected off it. But not when she was faced with Angel and his new girlfriend.

“During the attack at my office, when I cut the demon with the letter opener I cut myself too” Angel explained, subconsciously scratching the same place on his hand. “The demon’s blood mixed with mine and it made me human” he watched as her face closed off to all emotions except for betrayal and accusations.

Nodding, the Slayer tried to let his words sink in somehow. “Human” Buffy stated quietly, “That’s why you felt funny. You were turning human” and he’d gone to Cordelia when they could have had something.

Angel nodded, “And you went to her”

“Her has a name” Cordelia spoke up, insulted by both the way Buffy was insisting on describing her and the not-so-nice looks she was being assaulted too.

“I’m sorry if I don’t you call you a name, there are too many for me to choose from” Buffy snapped at her, taking her frustration out on the girl who had stolen Angel from her.

“And I’m so glad blonde isn’t one of those names” Cordelia retorted caustically before Angel clamped his hand over her mouth before she could say what he knew was about to spill off her lips. He kept his hand firmly planted on her mouth, muffling the catty comments now directed towards him. Tugging his arm backwards, he brought the brunette closer to his before she could attempt an escape and start a catfight between her and Buffy.

“I’ve told you once Buffy” he looked down at the petite blonde girl with an unreadable expression in his brown eyes. “I won’t let you demean what Cor and I have so please just accept the fact I’ve moved on”

Doyle’s eyes floated back and forth between the Slayer and Angel, waiting to see who would be the first to break their staring competition. From the look on her face, Cordelia was waiting for them to finish it too. “You look cold Princess” the Irishman commented, bringing Angel’s attention away from the Slayer and directing it to the brunette in his arms. “I would off ya my jacket but I’m pretty cold myself and I doubt your Boss would like it very much”

A scowl from Angel to his seer told him his assumption was correct, he looked down and realised he never brought his leather duster to the beach with him and he couldn’t give it to her to keep her warm. “Thanks Doyle” Cordelia’s voice dripped with sarcasm when her mouth was finally free. “It’s nice to know you’re such a gentleman. But I’d much rather go home than be seen in your jacket. People might mistake me for one of your sports bar women”

“There’d be no mistake” Buffy spat out, insulting the brunette once again.

“I’d rather be mistaken for a sports bar woman than a jealous crazy ex-girlfriend” Cordelia shot back easily and once again found her mouth covered by Angel’s hand, only this time he really didn’t have any intentions to let go.

“Right” Angel barked out and stopped the slowly increasing catfight before it got any worse. “Doyle’s right…”

“Iffn’t fat a furfft?” came the muffled insult from behind his hand.

Ignoring his girlfriend for the time being, he got back to his suggestion “Cordelia stop biting” a smile flickered across Buffy’s lips. “Buffy, stop being childish and petty” her smile disappeared, “Its cold so I say we go back to the office where it’s warm”

*~*~*

The warm water cascaded down her back, rinsing the remaining sand off her body and leaving her feeling squeaky clean again. Cordelia squeezed the excess water out of her hair before turning the water off and stepping out of the shower with a contented sigh. “I hate exes” she growled lowly as she stared at her flushed reflection in the steamed up mirror, using her hand to rub away some of the condensation.

She was just about to spray some of her sunflower leave-in conditioner before combing it through when there was a knock on the bathroom door. “I’m not done yet, I still have to condition my hair. I’ll be out soon-ish” it could be the President and she still wouldn’t leave before her regime was finished properly.

“Cor, it’s me. Angel” Angel said through the wooden door, if Buffy and Doyle weren’t there then he’d just walk in but he didn’t want to cause anymore upset than necessary.

Rolling her eyes, she put the bottle of leave-in on the sink top and went to stand just behind the door. “I figured it’d be you but I’m not done in here” she replied impatiently, she wanted to treat her hair before it tangled.

“The sand is making me itch really badly now and I need a shower” he countered with equal impatience. “Can you at least let me in there so I can take off my clothes?” he asked, his voice sounding as though he were in dire straits. “There’s no door on the bedroom area”

“As tempting as it is to have you naked in here, I wanna sort my hair out before it tangles and the natural curls frizz. Besides, I don’t think little miss likes to fight would like it if I let you in here when I’m without clothes too” Cordelia replied, her sarcasm not lost on him.

Resisting the urge to just barge into his bathroom, Angel sighed then took a moment to enjoy that sigh before sighing again. “I don’t want to cause anymore trouble” he told her honestly, “I didn’t want to hurt anybody, can’t you understand that?”

“Of course I can understand that” she supplied and decided to resume rescuing her hair whiles conversing through the door. “But why are you worrying about upsetting her so much? If you’re still hung up on her then go be with her” she sprayed the deliciously scented conditioner all over the wet chestnut strands and lifted the back of her hair up to reach the underneath.

“I love you Cor, you know that. I thought I proved that to you tonight on the beach” he leaned his shoulder against the door, crossing his arms over his chest and watching how his chest rose and fell with inhaling and exhaling. It was strange to need oxygen, strange to feel his heart beating and it was strange to feel cold like this. “In addition to the itchy sand, I’m also cold”

Carefully combing her detangling comb through her hair, Cordelia let out a puff of air and went to open the door, suddenly not caring what either Buffy or Doyle were thinking when she let him into the bathroom. “Come in” she stated in slight annoyance at her girly routine being disrupted by a man. Men weren’t allowed to interrupt alone time like this, to her self-pampering time was a sacred and religious act that must be followed three times a week without fail!

“Sorry if my physical irritation means I have to interrupt you” Angel replied dryly, pushing the door shut behind him and immediately went to work in removing his sandy clothes. She would have marvelled at his physical attributes if he wasn’t squirming like a maniac. Cordelia watched as he began to scratch his chest, stomach and legs vigorously; Angel tried to scratch his back but he couldn’t reach the place where he was itchy the most. “Cor, can you?” he pleaded hopefully as he turned his back to her slightly, “Please scratch my back”

Blowing out another puff of air, Cordelia shook her head at him and leaned over to turn the water back on. “Get in Angel” she yanked on his arm and tugged him until he was fully immersed under the running water. “This is what’s called a loofah or a body brush if you’re prissy” she unhooked a piece of wood that had bristles attached to the end and looked like a dangerous brush from the shower rail, holding it up for his inspection. “It’s used for the removal of dead skin cells, otherwise known as exfoliation” she explained as though she were teaching a class. “Or in our case sand removal. Turn around”

Frowning at the dangerous looking brush, Angel slowly and cautiously turned his back to her, trusting she would scrape off his skin. The hot water was already soothing his irritated skin, washing away the horrible sand and leaving him feel all nice again. He vowed the next time he took Cordelia to the beach; he was taking an extra set of clothes and a few very large towels. He jumped a little when he felt something a little rough start moving in slow, ticklish circles on his back. “Cordy, that is you right?” without his extra senses, he couldn’t tell for sure and that scared him a little.

“Yes Angel, its Cordelia” she assured him as she continued to brush the sand off his back while trying not to get her hair wet again, the conditioner hadn’t had a chance to work yet. She increased the pressure of the naturally bristled brush when she reached his shoulders, curling the brush over a place she knew he would find ticklish. An impish smile appeared on Cordelia’s face when Angel scrunched his shoulder up into his neck. “Not too hard?” she asked innocently.

Turning round to face her, Angel grabbed the loofah out of her hands and threw it to one side. “My back’s done now” the grin he gave told her just how effective that little tickling manoeuvre had been, “But that doesn’t mean you’re finished with me”

“Did I miss a spot?” Cordelia pretended not to know what he was talking about and played hard to get. She ran her eyes sparingly over his naked form, making sure not to let her irises linger on any part of him for too long. “No, I don’t think I did” she told him. Keeping her hazel orbs from locking with his darkening ones, she concentrated on a tile on the fourth row down and second one along.

He’d purposely ignored her nakedness until all the sand had gone which had been harder than he thought without having his vampire side to numb his desire with sweet whispers of erotic horror. Angel felt a smirk cross his face as he looked down at Cordelia, her cheeks were dusted with a telling pink hue, her eyes glazed over as she looked him up and down constantly. This was the first time he could see her body perfectly, the light caused her to hide no secrets from him at all.

The rosy pink skin of her areolas tightened up, setting off her pert breasts with a tantalising show if feminine arousal. Her chest rose and fell with deep breathing that enhanced the shape of her breasts with every inhalation.

“Don’t make a noise” was all he said right before he pounced!

*~*~*

Doyle tilted his head in the direction of the bathroom after hearing what sounded like a muffled moan. With a hidden grimace, he turned his attention to the blonde sitting opposite him at the kitchen table. If looks could melt doors, the wooden bathroom one would be a pile of ash right now. Buffy had definitely reached the limit for how much she could take in one day.

Before she had a chance to speak, another and more male moan floated from the bathroom followed by a definitely female giggle. Doyle repressed the urge to grin knowingly, but didn’t think it’d be good for his health if he did. The Slayer’s hands gripped the table hard enough to create splinters in the surface as her eyes stared harshly in the direction the noises were coming from.

Being half demon, the Irishman knew exactly what was going on in the bathroom between the Princess and Angel. He didn’t doubt for a second that anything was hidden from Buffy’s extra abilities either. Her face told him she knew exactly what Angel was doing with Cordelia in the shower.

“Did you…” Doyle began but from her warning glare, he shut his mouth and simply shrugged, leaving her to wallow in her angered jealous rage. He inwardly grimaced again when a masculine and slightly too loud groan permeated the air and the table cracked in response.

“That’s it sweetheart” Doyle’s eyes showed the struggle he was in to maintain his composure while Buffy’s posture stiffened visibly.

“Angel!” the seer figured Cordelia was reprimanding Angel for being so loud and he risked another look at the blonde opposite him. Everything went quite again, except for the occasional muffled noises coming from the bathroom.

*~*~*

A short time later, Angel exited the bathroom with a self-satisfied smile on his face and wrapped in his robe. Whistling tunelessly, he sauntered past Doyle whacked him on the shoulder and carried on to the bedroom area. Buffy’s narrowed blue eyes followed his every move, annoyance at yet again being annoyed shone through the blue orbs.

A wicked grin crossed Doyle’s devilish face as he immediately got up to follow the other man, scooting fast to join Angel standing at his drawers. “Have a good shower I take it?” the Irishman asked casually.

“You’re not getting details Doyle” Angel replied abruptly as he pulled out clean boxer shorts, socks and a spare pair of shorts for Cordelia. Though she told him he could go into her stuff, he still felt like he’d be invading her privacy by doing that so he just got something of his. “What’s she been saying?”

Shrugging, the seer gave him the edited version of the pretty Slayer’s words. “Well she ain’t happy put it that way” he told his friend, “She thinks that you betrayed her, betrayed your cosmically imbalanced love affair. And she heard yours and Princess’s little passionate vows”

Angel gave him a grimace, “Ooops! Exes” he muttered on a deep sigh, “I’ll just go give these to Cor and put my clothes on then I’ll talk to her, get it out of the way” he said in a voice that spoke of the dread at the upcoming conversation. Doyle nodded in agreement, staying quiet for a few minutes before speaking again.

“Princess still in the shower?” he asked with another cheeky smile.

Leaning towards his seer, Angel bit back a smirk at the hopeful look on his face “Hellcat” was all he said before waltzing back off to the bathroom, whistling merrily and leaving Doyle to deal with his imagination.

Buffy watched as Angel sauntered back into the bathroom and once again closed the door behind him. The sounds from not so long ago rang through her head like loud bells, she knew what they’d been doing; it didn’t take a genius to figure that one out. It made her feel sick inside and all she wanted to do was get out of there and go home. But she came here to see Angel and that was exactly what she was going to do. Cordelia or no Cordelia, she was going to get her boyfriend back.

This time, both Angel and Cordelia came out of the bathroom, the first thing Buffy noticed was the fact he was holding her hand and his other arm was draped around her shoulders. That brought her attention to the love bite on the brunette’s neck and she instinctively stiffened.

“You’ve finally come up for air” she said sarcastically as she narrowed her eyes before looking away from them, not wanting to see the way Angel wasn’t looking at her.

“Yes actually, and the sand is all gone” Cordelia replied evenly, “That stuff can get into some weird places can’t it?” Angel squeezed her hand, silently telling her to behave.

Raising her eyebrow at her, Buffy looked at them as Angel pulled a chair out for Cordelia and pushed it back towards the table in a gentlemanly manner. He’d never done that for her and she felt another flare of jealousy well up inside her. “I wouldn’t know, I’ve never been one for flaunting my body in public for everyone to see”

“You’re missing out” the brunette replied, smiling at Angel as he sat next to her, clearing his throat as a subtle way for them to stop bitching at one another. “Where’d Doyle go?” she asked, looking around for the Irishman.

“Right here Princess” he spoke up from his comfortable position on the couch, “Just watching today’s race and having me a single malt. I haven’t left ya!”

“Excuse me, I came here to talk to Angel” Buffy finally got down to it, “I haven’t had a chance to do that and I want to do that now. So if you don’t mind can you give us a moment alone?”

“Actually Buffy” Angel replied, cutting off whatever was going to come out of his girlfriend’s mouth. “We did talk in my office this morning and I said all I needed to say” he told her, he’d come to the decision that a clean break would be best all round. It would allow him to fully explore his new relationship with Cordelia without having an ex shaped cloud hanging over him and it would give Buffy the incentive to move on.

Shaking her head rapidly, Buffy denied that they had talked at all. “No Angel” she said, “You couldn’t be serious about this, about her. You’re finally human, something I’ve wished forever and now you have that chance, we have a chance. Don’t you see?”

“Just cus he’s not a vampire anymore, doesn’t mean he’s a different person on the inside” Cordelia took offence to the Slayer’s words, seeing them in a different light to what she probably meant. But hearing her talk that way about a part of Angel didn’t seem right with her. Yeah, so being a vampire wasn’t every man’s dream but that was the Angel she’d come to know and love.

“Was I talking to you?” Buffy hissed out, angry at the interruption “Angel, can we talk?” she asked again. “Without interruptions” she sent an expectant glare at the brunette opposite her.

“Anything you have to say to me Buffy, can be said in front of Cordelia” he countered easily, “I won’t have any secrets from her”

“And he’ll just tell me later!” Cordelia muttered under her breath as she turned her eyes to the ceiling innocently.

Angel watched as an internal debate flashed across Buffy’s face, making her expressions alternate between disbelief, disgust, anger, resentment and jealousy. “Alright” she agreed with a simple nod, “What I think you’re doing with her is a big mistake” she began, “Cordelia can’t, and won’t, make you happy. Not like I can and somewhere inside you know that’s the truth. You lost your soul because of me, not her”

Nodding in agreement with her words, he couldn’t deny that he had experienced a moment of happiness with her. “That was in the past Buffy” Angel said softly, no shadow of deception reigned in his eyes, only the blunt and hurtful truth of what he was saying shone there. “I loved you with everything I was” he squeezed Cordelia’s hand tighter in reassurance and felt her squeeze him back. “But you were right or, and someone hit me, Spike was right. We were never friends and we never could be. I have both love, acceptance and friendship with Cordelia. I can’t and won’t give that up”

“You’re making a mistake Angel” Buffy repeated, trying to get him to see sense “You’ll see that soon and when you do, I hope you know I won’t be around waiting for you”

“I’m not making a mistake Buffy and I’d appreciate it if you would stop saying that I am” he told her, getting a little annoyed at her words. “I find its disrespectful of me and my girlfriend. I wouldn’t disrespect you like that, so why would you do that to me?” he asked softly, hurt by the way she was speaking like he didn’t know what was good for him.

“Whatever” Buffy replied, ignoring his question “I’m done trying to get you to see what we could have now that you’re human. I hope you’re both very happy together, you deserve her”

That last comment got on Cordelia’s last nerve. “How dare you?” she asked, raising her eyes to lock with blue raging ones, “Just cus I’m not an air quote Chosen One like you or Faith, are you saying I don’t what? Deserve someone good?” she ignored Angel’s attempt to shut her up. “I deserve the same as you do and so does Angel. I will not let you come into his home and put him down like that. And I thought you once loved him” sarcasm dripped off her tongue as she continued to ignore the man tugging on her arm, trying to get her to sit back down.

“Pfft!” Cordelia waved that last statement away with a wave of her hand, “From the sounds of things, you don’t love him”

“That’s where you’re wrong” Buffy stood up, her defensive posture matching the brunette’s. “I love him more than you ever could”

“Like hell you do, if you did then you would want him to be happy. Do you think putting him down, making him feel like he can’t make his own choices is making him happy? I think not” Cordelia snapped back. “Instead of arguing and bitching at me Buffy, why don’t you ask Angel how he feels? He’s in the room look! He’s sitting right there!”

Angel cringed when Buffy’s raging blue eyes shot straight down to him, though he was glad Cordelia had brought up his presence, a part of him wished he’d just let her carry on. “Go ahead Buffy” she invited, “Ask him if he’s happy here with me”

“Are you happy with her Angel?” Buffy asked, a feeling of dread circled in the pit of her stomach when she saw the way his eyes lit up, the dark brown irises slowly turning into whirlpools of melted hot chocolate at the mention of being happy with her. A smile flickered up at the corners of his mouth and his face tilted to one side as he stole a glance at Cordelia who was too busy trying not to look hopeful to notice the way he was looking at her.

Turning apologetic hot eyes to his ex-girlfriend, Angel went to apologise but she stopped him before he could start. “Don’t Angel” she told him softly, “Just don’t okay? I have my answer”

*~*~*

Silence fell upon the bedroom when Angel turned out the remaining light, he rolled over onto his side and had to fumble around in the near darkness to find Cordelia when he would normally be able to see her. “Hey” he whispered through a yawn, “You sleepy yet?” he snuggled into her body and grinned at being able to warm her for a change. He wrapped his arms around her waist and placed her head on his chest where his heart lay oddly beating.

Cordelia literally curled up into a ball, snuggling as close to him as possible, enjoying his warmth. It was strange but a good kind of strange, he was getting warm and slowly turning into a human hot water bottle. He smelled clean and fresh from their shower and he just felt like a big teddy bear to her right then. “Mmmm. I’m glad you’re happy with me” she murmured, “Sorry if I undermined you when she was talking but the way she said you deserved me really got to me”

Stroking her silky soft hair, Angel pressed a small kiss to her head before resting his cheek in that spot. He’d never had this kind of closeness with anyone before, not just sleeping with someone but having pillow talk. It felt kind of nice. “You don’t have to apologise sweetheart” he told her, “I felt honoured actually, even if I was saved by a girl half my age and size. Did you mean what you said about me still being the same person inside?”

“Of course I did, why wouldn’t you be?” she asked in confusion, “Okay so maybe you don’t have vampire genes anymore but you still have the same likes and dislikes right? You would still enjoy those musty, smelly old books of yours and you would still listen to that weird wiggy music right?” she pointed out. Well, that was the way she saw him anyway. “Besides, you were a good man when you were a vampire and you’re a good man now”

“I guess so. Thanks” he told her softly, “I love you sweetheart, it’s been a long day and you need your sleep. I need my sleep” he said more to the point. He felt rather than heard as Cordelia soon drifted off into a deep sleep, leaving him awake thinking about her words. There was something he wasn’t sure of and that was how he was going to carry on fighting the evil in Doyle’s visions without supernatural strength.

That was something he’d look into first thing in the morning.


Part 10:
It wasn’t long after he had the vision that Doyle found himself jogging down the stairs to Angel’s apartment with news of a vision. The Irishman had figured his visions would go away or he would be assigned to another champion of the almighty owners of his private cinema screen. Flicking his wrist out, his rapped his knuckles on the edge of the wall to announce his presence. “Knock knock” he called out, “Angel?”

Stirring from his light sleep, Angel blinked against the difference in brightness and slowly uncurled his body from around the still sleeping Cordelia, careful not to wake her. “Shush” he called back as loud as he dared, “She’s still sleeping” climbing softly out of the bed, he picked up his robe from the floor and tugged it on.

Turning his back, Doyle gave his friend some privacy while he waited in the living room area. Footsteps behind him a few minutes later told him it was okay for him to turn around now, “Hey man” glancing over Angel’s shoulder to look at the peaceful brunette still in bed “Someone had a good night” he commented before giving him the news.

“And a good morning” Angel divulged as he threaded his belt through the loops to secure his pants in place. Leading Doyle away from the bedroom area, though he was human his coffee-pot homing signal was working perfectly. The Irishman blinked a few times and the delicious smell of freshly brewing coffee drifted through the air, making his mouth water with anticipation of having his first cup of steaming Brazilian.

Turning back to his seer when the dripping started, Angel regarded the half demon for a second seeing the slight nervousness tensing up his body. “What is it?”

“I thought with your vampire self gone, I wouldn’t be getting anymore free trips to MGM” Doyle told him, crossing his arms and looking at his friend in concern.

“You had a vision” the ex-vampire surmised easily, “What about?”

“The demon that Slayer didn’t get to kill” Doyle replied uneasily, “Not to be patronising, but how you are you gonna kill it without your vampy extras?”

Shaking his head, Angel gave him an uncertain answer as he continued setting the mugs up, “I don’t even know if this is permanent” he confessed. Whenever something good happened to him, it always ended and he doubted this would be any different.

“You mean you’ve been having your way with the Princess and you don’t know if you’re still gonna be ‘all man’ permanently?” the incredulity caused the Irishman’s voice to go into unprecedented heights. Doyle’s blue eyes stared long and hard at the silent man in front of him. He couldn’t blame Angel for taking the opportunity of being able to love it was something that he, as a vampire, hadn’t been able to do with the woman of his choice.

“I couldn’t just let this go Doyle” Angel told him, his voice quiet with selfishness and guilt that he hadn’t taken how Cordelia might feel if he were to turn back into a vampire, he’d only thought of himself. As selfish as he was, he didn’t feel guilty for taking the chance because if he didn’t then he might not ever get another one. “I love her”

Seeing the pained expression on the other man’s face, Doyle fought an internal battle with himself as he strode to keep them a secret. Angel watched as mixed emotions crossed his seer’s face in what looked to be an attempt to keep his mouth shut. “If you know something…” he wasn’t forcing the half demon to tell anything, merely pushing him in the right direction.

Doyle wasn’t stupid, he knew enough about Angel to know just how similar they were when it came to things of high value. Knowing the older man would likely put him into hospital if he held something that could provide knowledge about his humanity, he gave up the secret he had pledged to keep. With a defeated sigh, he started talking.

“I know a guy” he began when he got cut off.

“Skip your guy and get to the point” Angel stated firmly, knowing from personal experience just how many ‘guys’ Doyle knew.

With a roll of his eyes, he carried on with explaining. “You could go to the Oracles, ask them about your ‘all man no vamp’ status” there, he’d given up one the best kept secrets of the good guys and now he was going to hell.

“What are the Oracles?” Angel asked abruptly.

“They’re…” Doyle waved his hands in exaggeration, “You know, mystical, all-seeing-all-powerful people. Never met em myself but I know a gu…”

“Where are these Oracles?”

*~*~*~*

Holding up the piece of paper and reading the words loudly, Angel sprinkled the dust in the air while offhandedly wondering about the address of these Oracles. Underneath the Post Office of all places, he could just hear Cordelia saying if they were that powerful they’d have a penthouse suite at the Ritz. With the thought of his girlfriend, he continued with what he was here to do.

“I come before thee Oracles” Angel said, wincing inwardly at how his voice sounded when he said them. “For guidance and direction. I beseech access to the know…AAAHHH!”

Before he knew it, Angel found himself inside a white marble room, blue symbols written in a script he didn’t understand. There was a waterless fountain style monument in the middle of the room. Opposite him, there was a male and female; the male had short blonde hair and piercing eyes. The female had black hair curled into tight ringlets held back by a gold hair band Angel knew Cordelia would have commented on.

Both beings were dressed in black, velvet togas; their skin as golden as the sun he had seen and the markings inscribed on their arms were as blue as the ocean he had swam in.

“What have you brought us?” the woman spoke first, her Godly voice echoed throughout the mystical chamber.

Doyle didn’t mention anything about gifts.

Improvising, Angel removed his watch and the second he did the object sailed directly into the waiting hands of the woman who began to speak once more.

With an ironic chuckle, she exchanged a knowing look with her male counterpart. “Time” her voice once again echoed all around the room, “So much and so little of it”

“He has come for answers” the male spoke for the first time, giving Angel a looked which dared him to deny his assumption.

“That’s right” Angel agreed as he cautiously peered around the room, “The demon that attacked Buffy and I. The blood, it made me human” he explained unnecessarily.

“That which we already know” the male spoke, his knowing tone causing the ex-vampire to get agitated. “Has come to pass”

“What do you mean? Come to pass? Was this, my humanity, meant to happen?” Angel asked, rounding the dry fountain in between him and the Higher Beings.

“That what is preordained and that which occurs may differ from your path” the woman answered. “You have something you wish for”

“Yes, I’m human and I have the woman I love. Is this permanent?”
“You are human but for how long relies upon what is now destined to happen” it was the male’s turn to answer his question.

“What do you mean?” Angel asked in confusion as his eyes darted back and forth between the male and female. “What is destined to happen? An apocalypse?”

“So many want to destroy all that has been born” the female spoke with a deep, unhidden sadness in her voice that resounded through him. He had been one of those many and he would never forget. “There is no one true apocalypse”

“I’m not stupid” he stated after a short pause of contemplation “I know I can’t fight as a mortal, I’ve seen too much to not be able to fight and if there is an apocalypse then I’m needed”

“If you are mortal, Lower Being, then in what way would you be ‘needed’ for our cause?” the male asked with an arrogant sneer.

“What would happen to my friends if I were to remain human?” Angel questioned, not sure if he wanted to hear what the answer would be.

“They each have their own destinies” the female responded, “Some will live out until their path has ended, others will not. Some destinies have folded and other destinies shall be revealed in that which you call time”

“So you’re saying if I remain human then Cordelia might not live?” that thought made him sick with fear, so much so he began to shake slightly. Swallowing the lump in his throat, Angel clenched his fists at his side and regained some portion of control. “What about Doyle? Buffy?”

“A seer and a slayer, as forces for your world, will be replaced when their time has come. Some sooner than the other” she looked at him, her expression giving nothing away except for knowledge she wasn’t intending on sharing.

“Then undo it” he couldn’t allow anyone die because he got something he wanted, “Take my humanity”

“And you would accept what you were before? A demon with a soul?” the woman spoke up, this time there was an expression on her face; shock.

“If it will save the lives of my friends and my girlfriend then yes” Angel confirmed, ignoring his heart cracking wide open.

“The Lower Being comes before us on a whim of love” the male’s voice boomed in disrespect of the shallow reason their champion had come to them.

“You are wrong” the woman defended, “He is not a Lower Being”

“Thanks” Angel responded dryly, at least Cordelia had loved before he had been human he knew that if he went back to having vampire genes, she’d still love him. In her words, he was still the same inside; a good man and if she believed he was a good man then he wasn’t going to let her down.

“We will undo that which has come to pass but one destiny shall remain intact” the male spoke, making Angel wonder how and when they had agreed to take him up on his offer.

“One more thing” the female stated, “Only you shall carry the burden, no other soul shall remember”

Maybe that would be for the best, Angel didn’t know if he could handle seeing the heartbreak in Cordelia’s eyes when he told her they couldn’t make love anymore. “Fine. Just get it done”

*~*~*~*

“He’s done it again” Cordelia fumed as she once again paced the office furiously for the second time in two days. “No calls, no messages and no God damn cute, little love note on my pillow. God, he is such a man!” she blew a strand of hair away from her mouth as she continued to rant about the wrongness that was males in general.

Spinning to face Doyle, she shoved a finger so close to his face he had to lean back to keep his eyes in his head. “Your species has a lot to answer for and you could make a start right now” Cordelia got closer to him, he backed away. “Why do you never notice when a girl gets a new haircut, huh? Why do you never remember to call when you go out before your, air quote girlfriend wakes up?”

“Take it easy Princess” Doyle yelped out, jumping away from the insane brunette in front of him. Was that sweat on his forehead? “Angel will get back when he gets back” he didn’t want to explain anything more to her at all.

Once those I-know-something-you-don’t-know words were out of his mouth, he instantly knew he’d made a mistake in opening his mouth. Hazel eyes narrowed to dangerous slits, her full glossed lips tightened into a thin line and her face tilted to the side as she glared at him suspiciously. “You know something” her words were drawn out in a long, smooth drawl.

He shook his head rapidly, praying Angel would get back before she hurt him, “No, I really don’t”

“Doy-yle” she was too observant to believe that, “If you know something then you better tell me now”

“I swear Princess, I don’t know anything” this girl could show the Kray twins a few things, she could make the mafia boss crack. Already, his hands were clammy and his mouth was dry and she hadn’t even started yet.

Gaining on him, Cordelia swiftly blocked the front door and effectively prevented him from escaping. “You little liar, I know you’re lying because I can smell it. Don’t make me get angry” she warned seriously.

“He doesn’t know anything” almost fainting from relief at the sound of Angel’s voice, Doyle flashed him a grin before waving Bye-Bye and running off for the cover of the office.

Twirling round, Cordelia found herself concealed in a bear hug from Angel; “Wow, what’s this for?” she asked, relaxing into him and forgetting her anger now he was back.

“Nothing” there was something in his voice that grabbed her attention, he found himself staring into accusing hazel eyes.

“When you say nothing… You mean…”

“Nothing” Angel confirmed, his eyes searching her face and locking the elation into his memory. “I just…” should he tell her what was about to happen? Looking at the clock, he had one minute left like this. One minute to feel happiness and one minute to share it with her. He didn’t want that memory haunted by tears so he lied.

“I just love you, nothing more” he swore then and there that would be the only time he would ever lie to her. Reaching up with his fingertips, he traced the shape of her defined, naturally dewy cheek and brushing the back of his knuckles along the curve of her throat. Ignoring her intrigue, Angel simply smiled down her and waited.

“I love you too, Angel” she sighed, turned her face into his warm palm, “I don’t care if you’re a big old fangy vamp or a no-calling, anniversary forgetting horrible male”

*~*~*

Blinking rapidly, he looked around for Cordelia and realised he was in his office, with Buffy stood in front of him looking angry, hurt and betrayed. His brown eyes drifted towards the window of his office to see the brunette swatting Doyle’s hand away from her donut. Angel vaguely heard something being said to him about what he had been doing but he didn’t hear.

All his thoughts were focused on two things, the first and foremost doing as the Oracles instructed and crushing the jewel on the Mohra demon’s head. The second and very close thing on his thoughts was the brunette outside and what her destiny would now be. If it would be with him or if it wouldn’t.

“Are you going to tell what you were doing with her?” Buffy asked crossing her arms over her chest and giving him a questioning stare. Though she was speaking, he didn’t look at her, only kept his gaze on the window and the brunette outside.

Raising an eyebrow the vampire finally tore his gaze from Cordelia to the angry Slayer in front of him. Returning her stare and question with one of his own. “Why are you in Los Angeles?” Angel asked.

She couldn’t remember the last time he’d been so direct with her, recovering from her slight surprise Buffy answered him. “I’m visiting my father for a couple of days and thought I’d stop by. If only I’d known I wasn’t welcome” sarcasm dripped from her tongue and sizzled in the air.

“You are welcome to come say hi Buffy but you aren’t welcome to walk into my bedroom without knocking” Angel told her honestly, if there was one thing he had always hated and that was people disrespecting his privacy, it was just annoying.

“I didn’t think I would have to knock because I didn’t think there’d be anything to walk in on” she bit at him. “You were spanking her Angel, how do you think I felt seeing you doing that?”

“I don’t know but what I do know is you don’t have any right to walk into our bedroom the way you did” the vampire responded, entwining his fingers and waited for her to speak.

Buffy’s jaw dropped a little, “Our bedroom? Don’t tell me you and her are…are…” she couldn’t even finish the sentence.

“Living together?” Angel supplied, his eyes drifting back towards the window and Cordelia giving Doyle what looked to be a shocked glance. “Yeah, but it’s only been for a few days now, it’s perfectly… Innocent” his voice lowered and sounded like sandpaper scraping across smooth wood.

“Innocent” she repeated with a nod of her head, “Right. So innocent you feel like you can spank her! I can see how that would be innocent” more sarcasm dripped from her every word and fell like acid, making him bristle.

Regarding Buffy, Angel pursed his lips thoughtfully and sat back in his chair. “I don’t understand what I do in the privacy of my apartment has to do with you or why you’re so upset by this. Am I not allowed to move on? Do I have to spend all my life pining over you?”

Before the blonde could reply, the window to the office was smashed inwards and a demon hurled itself into the room, bellowing out in rage. Wasting no time, Angel jumped up and moved to kill it. The demon dodged a powerful blow by the vampire, ducked and brought its fist crashing into Angel’s face and sent him stumbling back a little.

Instincts took over Buffy; she pulled her stake out of her belt she yelled to the vampire fighting with her. “Angel, how do I kill it?” blonde hair flying in all directions as she launched an assault on the demon. Her stake got thrown to one side, leaving her punching the crap out of it. The demon escaped from Buffy’s hold and went to attack the vampire again.

“I don’t know, I’ve never seen it before” Angel yelled back and dodged another blow to his face. This was the demon who had caused him to have something he could never get back, this was the demon who had taken everything he ever wanted away from him and this was the demon who had effectively changed his relationship with Cordelia.

Not wasting another second, Angel easily crashed his fist directly into the red jewel between the Mohra demon’s eyes and watched, unfeelingly, as it died right there in his office.

Panting a little, Buffy stepped away from the vampire fighting at her side and away from the violence he was severely exuding. “Friend of yours?” she questioned, nudging her head down towards the dead demon.

“No, just had some time to catch up on my reading” Angel retorted, his words must have come out harsh as the blonde flinched at the way he spoke to her. She didn’t have his memories, she didn’t know what and how she would make him feel and she didn’t know how much she would demean what he had with Cordelia.

“I guess spending time with an airhead…” Buffy went to spit out, still reeling from last night’s little show and tell.

Growling at her, Angel lost his temper much easier than what he had done the first time he did this. “You finish that sentence Buffy and I will never look at you as the mature, decent person you really are. I will look at you as nothing more than a jealous, little girl who can’t accept it’s over. You have no idea what I have that woman out there and you never will”

Without giving her a chance to defend herself, he carried on. “Now go back to where you belong, Buffy and don’t ever let me hear you disrespect Cordelia, Doyle or myself again”

All her words were swept out of her at the finality in his voice, pursing her lips inwards Buffy gave him a nod that told him she far from accepted his words. “You’re making a big mistake Angel” she told him as smoothly as she could while turning away from him, “When you realize that…”

“You won’t be waiting, I get that and I don’t want to you to wait for my mistake to happen because I’m not making one” Angel responded as he walked past the Slayer and out into the office where he paused beside Cordelia who was wide eyed and stunned by the quick demise of the demon.

“You’re feeling feisty” the brunette commented with blinking eyes, peering into the office through the open door Cordelia shuddered at the sight of the demon laying haphazardly on the floor, it’s face contorted with pain. “There’s not enough yuck in the world” her tongue popped out of her mouth and made funny shapes as she shuddered once more.

Remembering Angel’s warning and the seriousness in his eyes, Buffy bit back her comment as she concentrated on the brunette. “I would say its nice to see you again Cordelia, but I’d be lying” her words came out in forced indifference, “Angel, Doyle” she gave each one, bar the other girl, a parting nod before leaving.

Buffy walked out of L.A and out of Angel’s life, leaving them to get on with their semi-normal routine.

*~*~*

Later that afternoon, Cordelia smiled softly to herself as she remembered sharing the afternoon with Doyle and Angel, her best friend and love of her life. Though Angel had seemed a little quiet at times, but she put that down to him continuing to help her find an apartment even if he didn’t like the idea.

Walking along the aisles at the local chemist, the brunette pottered about with the make-up on display, the little body sprays and the little perfume testers. A thought struck her suddenly and she turned direction sharply, “Another week and Angel will be dealing with Corzilla” Cordelia commented, pleased no-one was around to hear her lame joke. Making a mental note of the things she would need, she hauled herself to the feminine section to get the usual supplies of premenstrual cramp relievers and Tampax.

“Boy, won’t Angel like the way his bathroom’s gonna look for seven days!” Cordelia snorted, completely unaware of how her destiny would reveal itself in the thing she called time.


…THE END…


 

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