Archive for July 19, 2015

Betrayal. Book Two. 30-31   1 comment

Part 30

Many days later, but not too many

Cordelia sat at her desk sparing a glance around the office. It finally felt all right. Wesley and Gunn were arguing about the best method for cleaning weapons. Cordelia scrunched up her nose. It was a strange argument but a familiar one. She still didn’t understand the big deal.

She shrugged just glad that whatever unease Wesley had felt about Gunn and Fred’s relationship seemed to have evolved into acceptance and the friends earlier friendship seemed to have returned.

Cordelia turned to study Fred, puzzled by the fierce concentration on the other woman’s face as she stared at her computer. Fred had been sitting at the computer for hours.

Cordelia didn’t know what she could be researching, Cordelia hadn’t had a vision and the pending cases were pretty simple. Sure, Wesley had been searching for any signs or prophecies on any up-coming apocalypse but Cordelia didn’t think that Wesley found anything that needed Fred and her computer.

“What’s so interesting?” Cordelia wandered over to Fred’s desk.

The young woman looked up nudging at her glasses a scowl on her pretty face. “I got a B.”

“Uh.”

“Look.” She swung around her laptop showing Cordelia the Acme Detective School web page and an instant message flashing a big B. “They gave me a B.” Fred said in disgust.

“Oh.” Cordelia patted Fred on her shoulder. “It was only the first test, maybe on the next one you’ll get an A.”

“You don’t understand- a B. I’ve never gotten a B, never.” Fred glared at the screen. “And they didn’t even tell me why my answer was wrong- just flashed error, error. I don’t think I was even wrong. I studied and studied. I don’t get Bs ever.”

“Maybe you should e-mail them ask them to send you more detailed explanation.” Cordelia shrugged.

“I did. The instructor responded that my analysis of DNA identification wasn’t the answer they were looking for.” Fred swung her chair around to face Cordelia. “How is showing someone a picture more effective for purposes of identification than DNA tests?”

“What was the question?”

Fred clicked on her mouse, pointing to the test and the question that popped up on the screen. “Looking for a missing person and identifying that person. If you were missing, a DNA match would definitely be more accurate than some person identifying a picture of you.” Fred commented.

Cordelia frowned as she read the question and Fred’s answer. “Wouldn’t you have to find me before you did the DNA thingy.” pointing to Fred’s long detailed scientific summary of DNA and it’s usefulness in identification.

Fred shook her head. “Not necessarily. Not if you had a clue with viable blood, salvia or hair.”

Cordelia looked at the question again, “Fred, honey, I think maybe the instructors didn’t want you to think so much in your answer or read so much into the question. I think you just blew them away with all that scientific stuff. “

Fred studied the question. “What, you think the answer should’ve been handing out fliers and showing pictures around to potential witnesses.” Fred pushed at her glasses. “But that’s so simple and I said that.” Fred pointed to her answer.

“Yeah. In a sentence, then you spent the rest of the,” Cordelia scrolled down the pages, “10 pages on DNA. Overkill.”

Fred bit at her lip. “You think so.”

“Yeah.”

“Hmmph. Well, they could have just said that AND I did answer the question right. I shouldn’t be penalized because I added a little bit extra. I’m going to write them.” Fred tapped on the mouse, getting back to her e-mail.

“Good idea.” Cordelia smiled at the determined expression on Fred’s face.

“Hey, Mario, and Jr. Mario, how’d the drivin’ go, no broken bones or other damage to report.”

Cordelia looked up to the door at Gunn’s call. Angel and Connor were just coming into the hotel lobby. She scrunched up her face at Angel’s expression. The vampire looked paler than he should- practically terrified even. Cordelia looked at the teenager. Connor seemed fine. Cordelia blinked, Connor looked better than fine, the boy was actually smiling.

Cordelia moved closer to hear Angel and Connor’s answers.

“I drove.” Connor said proudly.

Cordelia glanced back to Angel. He didn’t look proud- he looked sick.

“Angel let you drive his car? I thought you’ll were still in the observing stage.” Wesley questioned.

“Man, I was just kidding. How’s the car?” Gunn winced up at Angel.

“I didn’t hit anything.” Connor said defensively. “Well, except the curb, but that wasn’t my fault, he did it when he grabbed the steering wheel.” Connor pointed to his father.

“Angel, what happened?” Cordelia wanted to hear Angel’s interpretation of the event and find out why the vampire looked pale and sick.

“The car is fine. I’m not, though.” Angel turned to his son. “Connor, I explained that the yellow lines are on the roads for a reason, you must stay in them at all times otherwise the cars coming towards you will hit you.”

“But it didn’t hit us and you didn’t have to grab the wheel, I could’ve avoided it, you almost caused an accident the way you jerked the car around. ”

“Connor, I saved both of our lives, that car was a semi and you weren’t paying attention. Eyes must remain on the road at all times, not watching hoo….women on street corners.”

“But, they kept calling out and waving to us.”

“Angel, where exactly did take your son.” Cordelia raised her brows.

“I didn’t ‘take’ him anywhere.” Angel defended. “It was just that being on the freeway was a really bad idea, so I told him to get off at the soonest exit he would actually slow down for.”

“You took him on the freeway? Are you nuts?” Gunn said.

“No, I’m not nuts. It’s just that I didn’t realize my son had trouble with left and right.”

“I know my left from my right.” Connor protested.

“Then why did you take a left onto the freeway, when I specifically said right.”

“That was your fault, you were still yelling about the stupid light and you weren’t real clear.”

“What stupid light?” Fred had joined the others in listening to Angel and Connor’s adventures.

“It was no big deal, I didn’t hit that car wasn’t even close to it.”

“Connor,” Angel said with forced calm. “Red lights mean STOP.”

“It was yellow.”

“First of all it was RED, it had turned RED. Yellow means caution, look out for traffic, slow down and prepare to stop, it does NOT mean speed up.”

“He does it,” Connor pointed to Gunn.

“Whoa, kid. Hey, Angel man, I never told him to speed up on yellow, never man.” Gunn held up his hands at Angel’s glare.

Angel gave a stiff smile to the black man. “Yes, well, later I would like to have a word with you about what else you have and haven’t been telling my son.”

Gunn shot a look to Connor. “What’d I say?”

Connor grunted, rolling his eyes. “He’s still mad that you were talking about him having sex with Cordelia.”

Cordelia gaped at Connor than at Gunn, who by that time had fallen off the desk. Fred just hurried to get Wesley a glass of water, since he seemed to be choking.

Gunn scrambled to his feet, looking back and forth from Cordelia and Angel. “I didn’t…never said anything about…….no way. Kid, why are you trying to get me killed, I thought we were cool.” He called to Connor.

“I’m not,” Connor looked puzzled. “All I did was ask him why he would want to jump Cordelia’s bones if he still had his soul and what bumping and grinding meant. You said it was a conversation I needed to have with him. So, did you.” He pointed to Wesley.

Fred got back up and ran to get some more water as Wesley started to choke again.

“Whoa, hey,” Gunn held up his hands. “All I said was jumping bones and bumping and grinding were a Dad/Son conversation. He’s the one that brought Cordy into it,” Gunn pointed accusingly at Wesley. “All worried that you two couldn’t be alone together without….anyway, I was defending you.”

Fred looked at the water in her hand and put in on the counter and decided that slapping the back of the blue-faced choking Wesley would be more effective. “Come on, Wesley, you just need to breathe.”

“I..I..” Wesley coughed and took a deep breath, his blue face turning red. “I was being vague in my worry in front of Connor, you were the one that brought the simple thought down to the gutter, with your jumping bones and bumping and grinding in front of the boy.” He glared at Gunn, who just glared back.

Connor shrugged. “I don’t know why everyone is getting so upset. What’s the big deal about Dad and Cordelia having sex now that his soul is anchored?”

“Man, if you knew what it meant why’d you have to bring it up.” Gunn whined.

“Well, I didn’t until he started to get all stammery and flustered then mad.” Connor pointed to Angel. “It was obvious then.”

Angel turned from his son to watch Cordelia get up from her chair shaking her head. “Cordy? Where are you going?”

Cordelia blinked. “I’m not sure but away from this whole conversation and those imbeciles,” she blinked again at Wesley and Gunn. “If I stay I might have to kill them.” She said her head still shaking.

“Cordy,” Wesley started to reach out.

“Don’t, Wesley, saying anything else right now probably wouldn’t at all be in your best interest.” Cordelia moved past him towards the stairs.

“Right, Well.” Wesley cleared his throat and studied his shoes.

“Angel, man.”

“Gunn, what Cordelia said goes for you too.”

“Sure, Gottcha.” Gunn settled back down on the desk.

Connor shrugged. “So, when do I get to drive again?”

Angel studied his son. “Never.”

“Hey, it’s not my fault that Cordelia got mad. It’s theirs.”

“Can’t we just gag that kid.” Gunn whispered over to Wesley.

“I wish.” The other man sighed.

“Yes, but it is your fault that we almost got killed numerous times tonight.”

Connor glared. “You are melodramatic; those cars weren’t even close.”

“Who called me melodramatic?”

“Please, god, no, please…don’t let him say me.” Gunn whispered again. Wesley closed his eyes praying the same.

“I heard Cordelia call you that – a melodramatic dork.”

Gunn and Wesley let out a sigh of relief. “Thank god.” Wesley nodded in agreement.

“And they all agreed.”

“I hate that kid.” Gunn whispered. Again Wesley nodded.

Fred rolled her eyes at her boyfriend and Wesley. “Angel, sometimes you can be a bit melodramatic.”

“Girl.” Gunn warned, trying to wave Fred’s statement away.

“I am NOT melodramatic.” Angel glared. “And Connor, until you can tell me exactly everything you did wrong tonight and why it was wrong, there will be no more driving lessons.” Angel shook his head and went up stairs.

“See, melodramatic,” Connor looked to the others for agreement.

“Whoa, kid, I’m not saying anything in front of you, you little tattletale.”

“Uh.”

“Connor, there are times that conversations heard are best not to be repeated.”

“If it was wrong to say them, why’d you say them?”

“Very good question, unfortunately not one that Wesley or Charles can seem to answer right now, if ever. Why don’t we order some pizza and you tell us exactly what you did tonight while driving and maybe we can help you figure what you did wrong.” Fred said reasonably.

Connor nodded and then lifted his head in a question. “What kind of work do woman on street corners do? Dad said those women that were waving at us, were working. What kinda work? They weren’t wearing very many clothes.”

“I’m not answering that, no way.” Gunn shook his head. “Sticking to the driving stuff, only.”

“Yes, Charles is correct.” Wesley nodded vigorously.

“Oh, sex can be a job?”

“What?” both Wesley and Gunn exclaimed.

“It has to be something about sex or you wouldn’t be getting so nervous.”

“I’m going to go order the pizza,” Gunn decided to just ignore the teenager.

“Charles, I believe you will need my input.” Wesley followed the black man to the phone.

Connor looked at Fred.

“Yes, it can, one that can be unpleasant and unsafe for the women and men that are forced by circumstances to make their living selling sex. Sexual intercourse is an act that should preferably be done between two emotionally mature and loving people that respect each other, not for profit or other senseless reasons. It’s not a job that most are eager to have. It is not so much embarrassing but sad.”

Connor smiled. “Thanks.”

“Your welcome. Now, tell me about the driving and then I’ll show you the material I studied when I had to retake my driver’s test when I got back from Plyea. Will get you ready for your next lesson.”


Part 31

Angel paused in the doorway of his suite bracing himself enter. It was both heaven and hell in there. Cordelia had slowly resumed her habit of just going into his bedroom to talk to him. Angel remembered the hope that had sprung up when he first saw that she was sitting on his bed waiting for him.

The hope transformed into another type when Angel quickly realized she wasn’t there because she wanted to make love.

Angel had been disappointed but he had also been grateful. Cordelia wasn’t shutting him out. It was almost like it was before- before the kidnapping or forced underwater imprisonment, before any declarations of love-just friendship and talking, usually about Connor but never about the two of them. It was almost comfortable.

Who was he kidding, it was wonderful, but it was also damn painful and frustrating to have to sit in the chair away from Cordelia, when all he wanted to do was be on the bed with her, in her, touching her.

There were times that Angel could sense Cordelia wanting the same, but she never gave any indication or made a move towards him and Angel wouldn’t. Angel believed without a doubt if he in anyway took advantage of her desire she would never forgive him. Angel wondered if she was testing him. If she was- he wouldn’t fail it.

So, Angel just sat and forced his instincts and desires down concentrating on her voice and words immersing himself in the enjoyment and comfort of talking to his best friend.

Angel took a deep breath and opened the door. He stopped. Cordelia’s face was buried in her hands, her shoulders shaking. Was she crying? “Cordelia?”

Cordelia looked up, wiping at her tears, small choking sounds came from her throat, vibrating her body and shoulders. Angel sat down on the chair, his worry gone. She was laughing or rather she was trying to stop laughing.

“What part of all of that do you find so amusing?”

“All of it, you should have seen your face. You were scared.”

Angel growled. “That was not funny and you would’ve been scared too, he can’t drive. Rules of the road don’t exist for Connor, he just does what he wants the faster the better. He’s dangerous. I’m not letting him drive again. He doesn’t listen to me. He listens and repeats any other stupidity that he hears but he won’t listen to me tell him to stop at red lights and stop signs or stay in the white and yellow lines, that spend limits must be adhered to even if it seems too slow. Connor’s a menace. We could’ve died or killed somebody. Rules are made for a reason. They must be followed. My car could’ve been hurt.”

Cordelia started to laugh all over again.

“It’s not funny.”

“Oh, my poor baby, afraid of his son that doesn’t like to follow rules,” Cordelia slid off the bed.

“Rules of the road…..Cordy, what are you doing?” Angel’s rant changed immediately to a startled question as her warm body settled in his lap and her hand snaked up around his neck.

“I think I’m about to jump your bones, if I understand Gunn’s meaning correctly.”

Angel started to speak but no words came out, he just froze as he felt gentle moist lips grace his. Cordelia leaned back up at Angel’s unresponsiveness. “Did I get it wrong? I could’ve sworn that it meant make love.”

“Cordy,” Angel squeaked finally finding his voice. “You wouldn’t….”

“Tease you?” Cordelia smiled. “Not now, maybe later.” She leaned back in.

Angel brought up his hands pushing her back. “You forgive me? You want to make love? You love me?” Angel gripped at Cordelia’s shoulders, searching her gaze.

“Duh.”

“Cordy.” Angel shook her slightly needing to hear a better answer.

Cordelia brought up a delicate hand cupping his jaw. “I love you and I’m tired of wondering how long I’m supposed to be mad. Day by day has to stop some day and since you are so damn cute when you become frantic daddy dork, I’ve decided today is as good of a day as any.”

Cordelia scrunched up her face at the still motionless vampire. “Angel, you’re being slow on the up take here.”

“Slow.” Angel blinked finally understanding. “Can’t be slow, later,” he growled pushing up from the chair, Cordelia’s body tight in his grip until she was dumped on the bed.

“You have two seconds to take your clothes off or they will be in shreds.” Angel growled removing his own quickly and efficiently.

“Not fair, you’re always faster than I am.” Cordelia mumbled through the material of her shirt as she tried to kick off her shoes.

“Wear less.” Angel growled yanking down at her jeans breaking her zipper and pulling the denim off as he threw Cordelia’s shoes across the room.

“Hey,” Cordelia cried out. “Okay, Geez.” She quickly reached around freeing her breasts as Angel tossed the little ripped material from her hips. Once Angel had Cordelia’s nude body safely trapped under his, he calmed his earlier urgency. Angel leaned slightly up not quite willing for his chest to leave the softness of the breasts that pillowed him, but he needed to have a better view of Cordelia’s face. Angel’s hand came up to caress the smooth cheek, his thumb tracing the full bottom lip. “I love you,” he said forcefully and earnestly into the happy hazel eyes.

“Me, too.” She grinned, wrapping her hands up around his neck urging him closer. Angel dove to capture the beautiful grin. Pent up frustration was released in a deep growl as Angel savored the lips, his mouth and tongue moving to relearn every taste and flavor that had been denied to him for too long.

Cordelia whimpered at the force of the kiss, her body arching in need as Angel’s hand palmed her breast, his thumb rubbing her nipple, his other hand entangled in her hair keeping her lips locked to his. Cordelia squirmed jerking her hips closer, gasping as Angel’s firm caress left her breast traveling down her side to embed itself between her thighs. With the heel of his palm he pressed into soft curls of her center spreading the concentrated moisture with wide strong strokes, causing Cordelia to gasp out her breath as she tried to open her thighs wider.

Angel growled shifting, bringing his hips in line with Cordelia’s, stopping her movement with a strong hand, lifting and pressing his penis to the hidden entrance. Thrusting with a hard push he embeded himself in the heat, catching Cordelia’s gasp with his lips. Angel felt whole as he pressed harder into the warmth, every dead nerve cell became alive with the pleasure and power of his thrust, every brain cell and every corner of his soul filled with love as his body and instincts screamed out for possession. A low growl of need vibrated deep in the vampire’s chest, emerging from his throat in one harsh word. “Mine.”

Angel lifted his head as his brain and soul panicked, his body stilling under the knowledge of what he just said and the burgeoning fear at the beautiful woman’s reaction underneath him. Would she reject this instinct within the vampire, regardless of her love? Tell Angel again that she hadn’t consented to his mark, that she refused to be possessed.

Cordelia reached up to cradle Angel’s face, smiling softly. “Yours.”

With one word, Angel’s fear left leaving nothing but love and instinct. “Mine,” he growled, plunging to capture her smile again as his hands and hips moved with vigor to take claim to Cordelia’s entire body.

Cordelia closed her eyes feeling the barely restrained danger of the vampire as he moved over her controlling her body with his strength. This was not like any prior acts of love between Cordelia and the vampire. It was surely not soft or sweet by any means. Neither was it the mutual aggressiveness and playfulness of the so-called unbridled lust variety nor the manipulative teasing of faux Angelus’ versions of sex.

It was power and controlled violence, leaving Cordelia with nothing to do but hold on. She began to wonder whether it mattered to the vampire who she was or was she just a body to be used. Cordelia hoped to god she was wrong, she opened her eyes straight into Angel’s intense gaze. <br
Tears started to form blurring her visions as the intensity overwhelmed her. It wasn’t blind lust, but everything that Angel was, she saw love, desire, pain, strength, need, want, hope all contained in the dark stare, all directed towards her begging for acceptance.

Cordelia moved slightly to hold on tighter, bringing her lips up to Angel’s ear, rubbing her cheek against his, “I love you.” She whispered, then closed her eyes abandoning all thoughts and worries for the purely physical sensations of being owned because, in that dark gaze, Cordelia realized that while Angel took relentlessly from her body, he was offering her something precious in return- his entire being.

Cordelia cried out as Angel shifted her hips changing the position of their joining. Tension that had been caused by thoughts and worries now changed to the tension of pounding excited nerves. Angel’s low growl of release and the twitching of his expelling cock triggered small explosions under Cordelia’s skin. She cried out again as Angel withdrew. He moved quickly descending kisses down her breast as his hand and fingers claimed the just abandoned warmth. Angel’s touch was gentle and precise building the pressure back up in Cordelia’s belly. Angel’s lips settled on her stomach covering the newly healed wound. Angel glanced up searching for Cordelia’s gaze. Cordelia rolled her eyes, gripping the vampire’s hair forcing his lips back to her skin and his hand back on her center not wanting to deal with words or the dichotomy of the insecure powerful vampire at that moment. Cordelia smiled as Angel took her direction as consent.

This time she watched as Angel transformed, his fangs piercing the skin as his fingers distracted her from the initial pain with pleasure. Cordelia’s eyes widened at the eroticism of the feel and sight, she gasped as the pressure in her belly erupted into an intense orgasm and Angel in human form sucked and licked at the small puncture wounds. With one last gentle kiss, Angel rose bringing his body back over Cordelia, again searching her gaze. Cordelia wanted to smack him for still being unsure, but then he smiled, one of those beautiful smiles that made her heart ache.

“I love you,” he whispered, nuzzling his face into her neck.

Cordelia pulled up at Angel’s face. “Mine.” She said clearly with a small grin. Wow. Cordelia had thought the first smile was beautiful. “Yours.” Angel agreed, returning to the crook of her neck and shifting their bodies, tucking Cordelia’s into his side, with his arms and legs bringing her in closer.

Part 32

Posted July 19, 2015 by califi in Complete

Betrayal. Book Two. 28-29   1 comment

Part 28

Cordelia bypassed the questioning looks of her friends and headed up the stairs.

“Angel, I need some answers and they better not be as stupid as the Powers.”

Angel stared as the young woman strode over to sit across from him on the bed. Angel wasn’t surprised that she was still angry but he didn’t understand her reference to the Powers. “The Powers?”

Cordelia waved away his question. “I’ll get to them in a minute. I’ve some questions that you need to answer truthfully.”

Angel sat back in his chair. “I explained. I wasn’t lying.”

Again Cordelia waved away his words. “I know. My questions aren’t about why you chose to do such a destructive and insane thing.”

“Then what?”

Cordelia took a deep breath. “You marked me as yours. How serious is that to you.”

Angel felt his stomach drop. He knew he should’ve lied about that. “Very.”

“That’s pretty vague. Does it mean my choices are gone- just how possessive do vampire’s get over what they consider theirs, does the so- called possession have any say in it? Are you going to kill any guy I decide to date?”

“You’re going to date? Who?” Angel was too shocked to even growl at that information.

“Why, so you can kill him?” Cordelia snapped.

Angel narrowed his eyes, studying the young woman. She wasn’t here to tell him she was starting to date again, but she was asking a serious question. “Vampire’s are very possessive demons, they don’t share, Cordelia. But, I wouldn’t ‘kill’ anybody you decided to ‘date’, I wouldn’t have to.” Angel said pointedly.

Cordelia stared at the vampire for a long moment. Cordelia shook her head blowing out a burst of air. She got up and started to pace. “The Powers want me to forgive you so as to not risk any more ‘beigey’ behavior on your part or some nonsense like that and you tell me that if I don’t you will beat up or at least scare to death anybody I date. What if I don’t want to forgive you or can’t. What if I don’t want to be your possession? What if I don’t love you anymore.”

Angel’s fingers tightened around the armrest, threatening to shatter the wood. Angel pushed down his growl and urge to just take Cordelia, forcing her to realize that she didn’t have a choice in the matter- she was his.

Cordelia stared at the vampire sensing the violence in the still form. “Would you make me?” She asked in a soft voice.

Angel tensed even more, scenting the fear that was growing in the young woman standing before him, the one he wanted to just grab and take. Angel gulped, hating the brief hesitation before his honest assurance. “I can’t make you love me if you don’t, Cordelia.” He said lowly.

“But, you could take me and lock me in a room, what did you say, keep me for yourself- BE Angelus,” she stood before the vampire.

Angel’s eyes locked on the hazel gaze that was searching his- for what he didn’t know. But Angel could see and feel Cordelia’s body radiating in tension and fear. A stake would be welcomed about now or a soulless state. Since, it looked liked he would get neither Angel took a deep breath and answered. “I could.”

Cordelia leaned a bit back, her frame slightly relaxing. “But you wouldn’t.”

Angel shifted puzzled by the change in the young woman’s demeanor. “No.”

“Why not, you could.”

Angel not only shifted again, he blinked not at all sure what he was scenting now from the young woman. It was a very welcomed and recognizable fragrance but not one expected or understood at this moment.

Angel shook his head trying to focus on the woman’s question not her scent. “I love you, Cordelia, forcing you wouldn’t get me what I need.”

Cordelia moved to sit cross-legged on the bed, her chin on her fist, studying the vampire. “But you want to.”

Angel stared at the young woman, taking a deep breath and then cursing as he did. The vampire was definitely getting whiffs of arousal from Cordelia. It was confusing and he needed to think. “Yes.”

“But you won’t.”

Angel grabbed onto the arms of the chair. This time he did hear the crack of the wood. He gulped rather than breathed. Angel wasn’t at all sure he would stay in the chair if he took in the air floating around the young woman.

The fear was losing the battle with arousal, leaving Angel very frustrated, confused and wondering about his sanity. “Cordelia, what’s going on? Do you want me to? I smell fear and a lot of desire. Since when did fear turn you on?”

“What?” Cordelia scooted back. “You can smell that?”

Angel shrugged lifting his finger to his nose. “Vampire”

“You were just talking about shampoo, lotion and such, not THAT. EWW. THAT’S an invasion of privacy or something, stop IT.”

Angel took a breath, thanking god for Cordelia’s unique rants they could always distract him. He was almost thinking logically again, almost, he didn’t want to get carried away in believing that he knew what the hell was going on with the young woman. “’THAT” is definitely not ‘EWW’ or something I can stop when it comes from you. You haven’t answered my question.”

“Hmmph. It’s not fear.” Cordelia scooted back on the bed cupping a pillow close.

“I …..”

“Oh, give me a break with you super vamp nose, would ya’.” Cordelia rolled her eyes. “It’s not fear, stupid. It’s…You’re a vampire…No not that…. that’s actually kind of creepy. But the vamp instincts- strength, power, danger, violence that you could use to harm- you use to help and save- not even mentioning the over the top not average sexy vibe that comes with it- is kind of attractive.”

Cordelia slightly shivered, unconsciously licking at her lips. “It’s not just the leather coat and good looks that make all the damsels saved swoon, buster.”

“You still think I’m creepy.”

Cordelia blinked and shook her head at the hurt expression on the vampire’s face. Her shakes turned into sudden movement and wide eyes as Angel’s expression changed. Cordelia gulped scooting further back, her hand held out in front of her as the vampire and his gleeful sexy dangerous grin stalked onto the bed. “STOP” Cordelia yelled. “Don’t.”

Angel paused, the knowing grin still on his face. “Creepy, maybe, but you want me.” He reached out gripping a graceful firm denim-clad calf.

Cordelia stilled. “No, you wouldn’t use force, you wouldn’t have to. But, Angel, be warned, you use my weaknesses and feelings for you against me, without respecting my right to be angry or to say NO beforehand, I will be mad afterwards, no matter how pleasurable the act.”

Angel’s hand trailed off the leg to the bed. “How mad?”

Cordelia drew her legs away from the vampire up against her chest, her arms hugging at her knees. “Permanent unforgivable-type mad,” she vowed into the dark eyes.

Angel leaned further away from the young woman. “What do I need to do?”

“I don’t know, Angel.” Cordelia signed. “You did the unimaginable, but when you fired us, that was unimaginable….what are you going to do next to top yourself. Without a soul you wanted to take fun and blood to greater heights, outdoing yourself with each terror and kill, with a soul, will you do the same trying to break the trust more spectacularlly all in the name of good or for the sake of the one’s you love. How do I trust you?”

Angel clenched his fist tight to his side. “I…Cordelia, I want to be what you believe I can be, I will try, day by day to prove that, but I am what I am.”

“Angel, being a vampire doesn’t excuse or even really explain what you did. It wasn’t some ‘dark’ instinct you couldn’t control, you thought, planned and did it.” Cordelia gulped and brushed at the tears that were starting to fall.

“I really don’t know, Angel, I do want to know.” Cordelia looked at the vampire, her eyes closed involuntarily at the pain she saw reflected in his strong body suddenly so weak at her words. “Angel, please.” Cordelia knew then she was a goner and she hated it, but she had to reach out to him, he was fading away in front of her.

“Angel,” she grabbed his hand. “Know this, please. I do love you. But, I’m scared. But, no matter, it will be all right. I don’t hate you. I can be your friend… I do love you. …” Cordelia pulled away going back to her position against the backboard. She took a deep breath, wiping away her tears.

“Angel, I do need to tell you that I went to the Conduits.”

Cordelia waited until the vampire looked up at her before she continued. “I wanted to find out why I didn’t understand my visions-the one before I was kidnapped and the one of Angelus.” Cordelia brushed back her hair.“ Like you said, not really batting a thousand with the vision stuff lately and I was fairly certain that it didn’t have any thing to do whether I was ‘fucking’ or not, so I went.”

Angel winced at Cordelia’s use of his own harsh words. “And…”

Cordelia shrugged waving away his look of guilt. “Angel, the Angelus-words I’m not worried about, it’s the reason that they were said and who said them that’s the problem. Anyway, somehow I was supposed to figure out that my vision of me saying I loved you was a warning not to love you or at least not tell you.”

“The Powers warned you about loving me? They don’t want you to love me.” Angel felt as if he just got suckered punched after already being gutted. He blinked clinging to an earlier statement made. “You said they wanted you to forgive me.”

Cordelia shrugged. “I think it goes back to something Skip originally told me- the Powers aren’t real up on emotions and stuff, not much use for them and they think that emotions, love, gets in the way of the purpose of the mission. So, no love. But, then I guess they figured it was too late, so the vision of Angelus- only it wasn’t a warning of Angelus appearing but that you and Angelus were one in the same. Skip said it was to prepare me for the consequences of my choice. You know, sleep in the bed you had sex in and all that crap. The Powers and their whole ‘free-choice’ line is bullshit. They want me now to forgive you. Otherwise they say that I’ll be a whoa major-weakness, possibly push you to make decisions that would effect your role in the up coming apocalypse- for the worse.”

Angel stared trying to gather his thoughts, pushing aside the selfish thought of using the Powers wishes to convince Cordelia to love him.. “I…. Cordelia, I don’t want…I don’t want you to forgive me just because the Powers say too. I need you to mean it.”

Cordelia gave a soft smile. “I wouldn’t. And the Powers are wrong, you don’t need me to make the right choices, you have it in you- remember you do have the best heart of anyone I know.” Cordelia sighed and got off the bed. “Day by day, uh.”

Angel gulped, again at the change in Cordelia’s demeanor. “Yeah,” Angel watched the young woman go to the door, small tendrils of hope rekindled in his being. Angel scowled as he thought more about what Cordelia had said. “Up coming apocalypse?”

Cordelia rolled her eyes. “Like they gave me any more useful information. Hmmph. Just know one’s coming, but hey, what’s new about that?”

Angel nodded. “You’re leaving?”

“I’m tired, haven’t slept yet. Good night, afternoon whatever. I’ll see you tomorrow. You should eat and get some sleep too.”

“I will.” Angel said rooting himself to the bed refusing to say anything more. He didn’t want to take the chance of ruining the soft smile on Cordelia’s face.

Cordelia nodded again, closing the door as she left.

Angel stared at the door. Cordelia still loved him, she was his friend, she said so and she was still worried about his well-being. Oh lord, Angel’s hope was jerking into tentative happiness. Tomorrow, first thing, Wesley needed to do the spell, just in case the real thing came as unexpected as the beginning.


Part 29

Cordelia stretched, yawning as she got up. New day, new what? Cordelia rubbed her face heading for the shower. Her mind wasn’t necessarily more settled but she did know there were a couple things she had to do before she could concentrate on putting everything back to normal.

No. Shaking her head. Putting them back – better than normal. With determination, Cordelia got dressed and headed for the Hyperion.

***

“Hey,” Gunn sipped on his coffee as Cordelia came in.

“Hey.” Cordelia looked around. “Where’s Fred?”

“Still upstairs, this day was a big sleep in for everyone.” Gunn nodded to the clock showing the afternoon hour.

“Yeah, is she asleep…”

“Nay, just slow moving. Why?”

Cordelia shrugged. “Girl stuff,” she smiled.

“Oh,” Gunn shivered a little before going back to his coffee.

***

Fred opened the door. “Cordy? Do you want to use my shower? Is something wrong with the one in your apartment?”

Cordelia smiled. “No. I wanted to talk to you for a minute.”

Fred puzzled and opened the door wider allowing Cordelia to enter.

Cordelia sat in the chair twisting her fingers together. Fred sat on the bed watching Cordy’s nervous actions with interest. “Cordy?”

Cordelia chewed at her lip, glancing up at the other woman. “I meant it when I said that you’ve been a good friend.”

Fred scrunched up her brow. “I know.”

“I lied to you. I’m sorry.”

Fred scooted back on the bed leaning her back against the wall, taking a deep breath. She had been prepared to forget that small fact to keep the peace in the family, but she was actually very relieved that Cordelia brought it up. It kind of made her happy, even though the lie had upset her.

“I trusted you, both of you,” Fred blurted out. “Defended you to Wesley even.”

“I know, thank you.” Cordelia sighed. “I…” Cordelia brushed at her hair. “We thought we found a way. It was ours and Wesley would’ve…” Cordelia rubbed more at her forehead.

“He would’ve been right.” Fred said more calmly. Cordy had come to her and apologized. Fred would’ve let it go, but Cordy hadn’t. It kind of made Fred real happy.

Cordelia laughed softly. “Yeah. I am sorry, Fred. We’re friends and I lied, betrayed your trust in me by ignoring the potential dangers of what I was doing and I hope that you can accept my apology and forgive me.”

Fred smiled. “I can do that.” She jumped off the bed and hugged Cordelia.

“Fred,” surprised by the other woman’s easy acceptance.

“Pooh, Cordy, had you told me, I would’ve been on your side not Wesley’s. Anita’s checked out through the computer and Lorne.” Fred shrugged. “I would’ve been wrong too. Though, I wish you could’ve trusted me.”

Cordelia smiled. “I do and did. It was just that…” Cordelia leaned back a twinkle in her eyes. “It…well, it was kind of fun, sneaking around.” Cordelia scrunched up her nose as she jerked a shrug.

Fred smiled with a responding twinkle and shrug. “I can understand that.”

***

Angel left his room heading straight for Fred’s. He stepped back as Fred opened the door. “Angel, hi.”

“Hi,” Angel looked around the young woman into her room searching for the scent that had overcame him when woke up. He frowned and looked back down the hall, slowly moving towards the lobby.

“Cordy left, she wanted to go talk to Wesley.” Fred called after the vampire. Wow. She was getting good at this. Fred wondered though was it that she knew that the vampire was smelling or was it just that lost little boy look whenever he wanted Cordelia and she wasn’t around.

Fred studied the vampire. Hmm. She need to fine-tune her observations of human/demon behavior, reading beings was an essential talent for good detectives.

Angel turned. “Why?”

Fred shrugged. “Probably to apologize.”

“What?”

Fred tsked at the vampire. “She apologized to me and then Charles, now she’s going to Wesley’s.”

“Why? She didn’t…..”

Fred stared at the vampire. “Cordy understands that your sneaking around could’ve been very dangerous to ALL of us, she’s apologizing for lying.”

“Oh,”

Fred shook her head, gratified that the vampire had the decency to at least look a little guilty.

“I….we….”

“Don’t bother, Angel. Cordelia explained that it was fun for you both to sneak around.”

“Right,” Angel said slowly and started to move to the stairs.

“Angel.”

The vampire turned.

“Did you smell Cordelia in my room, or did you just want her to be in my room.”

“Uh.” Angel gulped.

“Reading people is important in the detective business. Now, I say you smelled Cordelia when you woke up, even though she left like an hour ago at least. But see, also, you do kind of look upset that she’s not her because you expected it, but then again you look like you want her to just pop around the corner, like a big nice surprise, so which is it, smell or expectation or want or anticipation. “

Angel turned looking at the eager cute brunette. “Which do you think?”

Fred shifted, tugging at her t-shirt. “I can’t decide, if it was multiple choice I’d say all of the above, but that’s…”

“Then you would be right.” Angel interrupted giving a slight smile as he headed down the stairs.

Fred bumped against the door. Wow. She had been right and not only that she had a 30 second super meaningful conversation with Angel about his love for Cordelia. Wow. Fred went back into her room to finish getting dressed.

***

“Hi, can I talk to you.”

“Of course.” Wesley opened the door wider for Cordelia.

“I’ll be quick. No more secrets.”

“Cordy…”

The young woman shook her head. “I’m not bitching. I know we were wrong, potentially VERY dangerously wrong, but no more secrets. Angel and I needed to know that you were working on a spell, it would’ve avoided a lot. By the way, great job on that.”

“Cordy, nothing ….”

“Wesley, a lot did happen. Angel realized that even without sex he could lose his soul, so he concocted a dim-witted plan to break us up. It almost worked, but he can be pretty stupid at times and I figured it out. But, if you had told us then it wouldn’t have happened. “ Cordelia held up her hand.

“And if we had told you about Anita’s you would’ve disapproved, yelled and worked even harder to find a solution. I know we were wrong too and I’m sorry.”

Wesley cocked his brow at the woman. “Are you okay? What did he do?” Gunn had been right, there had been something wrong with the vampire.

“I will be.” Cordelia gave a wide smile. “Do the spell quick would you. I don’t want to ever have to worry about Angelus without a soul again.” Cordelia leaned up to peck a kiss on her friend’s cheek. “Bye. I do love you and am very glad you’re back where you belong,” Cordelia trailed a soft caress over his jaw.

Wesley watched the young woman leave wondering about her use of the name Angelus. He shook his head; his hand going to the path on his cheek that Cordelia had left. Wesley smiled. He had been working back at Angel Investigation for awhile and it had been good but it hadn’t quite felt like home, until now.

Cordelia accepted him back totally which meant he was home for good.

“So, no more secrets….does that mean I’ll be invited to the next family dinner.” Lilah leaned up against the bedroom door.

“No, that means that this whatever it is – is REALLY over.” Wesley turned.

“Right.” Lilah swayed towards him.

Wesley grabbed at her out stretched hands. He quickly pulled her hand to his lips, placing a harsh kiss on her palm. “Yes.” He pushed her back. “No more. You are the embodiment of Wolfram & Hart; my family’s worst enemy….I will not betray them anymore. I…Lilah, you are amazing, but you also choose to have no conscience and I really don’t want that. Goodbye.”

“I don’t believe you, you’ll come back.”

“No. I won’t. Lilah, ours is not a relationship that is possible now if it ever really was. I’m not even sure what you want, if it’s sex- go to more bars or walk your fingers through the yellow pages. If you want a puppy dog to jump when you command, then get a puppy, if it’s unconditional love you want- then just get any pet- warm blooded would be the best for growth, if you want a real relationship get a conscience. Goodbye.“

Lilah straightened staring into his unwavering blue eyes. “You’re serious.”

“Yes.”

Part 30

Posted July 19, 2015 by califi in Complete

Betrayal. Book Two. 26-27   1 comment

Part 26

Fred wandered around the empty hotel. She probably should just go upstairs to bed and try to catch a few more hours of sleep before the dawn turned into late morning.

The problem was she wasn’t really tired but rather kind of anxious. Fred frowned, she shouldn’t be anxious. Everything was turning out all right; in fact, things were better than they had been in forever. Angel was back, soul soon to be secure permanently, Cordelia was back, they were in love -and could be happy, Wesley was back, Lorne was back, Connor was sort of back, hanging around and watching, but at least not trying to dump his father in a deep hole or ocean anymore.

Things were on the way up.

Fred paced in wide circles, her frown still pronounced. All should be good, except Cordelia hadn’t been happy. Fred was more than a little surprised that when Cordy asked her to take her home the other woman meant her apartment rather than the hotel.

Shoot, Cordy had been spending most nights at the hotel with Angel when he didn’t have an anchored soul, now that he did, or would as soon as Wesley did the spell, she didn’t want to. It didn’t make any sense and Fred didn’t like it when things weren’t logical. Even the most supernatural and weird things had some sort of logic to them, but Cordy being so sad now wasn’t logical.

Fred blew out a deep burst of air. Well, she wouldn’t have been able to sleep anyway until she knew that the guys were safe. Fred flopped down at her computer. If she couldn’t decipher Cordelia’s long sad silence, then Fred would focus on something productive rather than the confusing and worrisome.

Determined Fred sat at her computer and re-registered for detective classes, though this time she would stick with the on-line course. She didn’t want to be kicked out again for missing too many classes. Fred grimaced. She hated that. Fred never-ever-ever had skipped classes before. Fred sighed. Of course, she hadn’t had demons to investigate or zombies to trap when she was in high school or at the university.

Fred looked up as Wesley and Gunn entered the hotel. Her eyes widen when she saw Connor follow then her brows scrunched. “Where’s Angel. Shouldn’t he be running in- or did he go the sewers, but I didn’t see him come in. Where’s Angel?”

Wesley put down his bag of weapons. “He’s not here?”

“No one’s here. Cordelia wanted to go her apartment, which I don’t understand and Lorne’s not here either- I guess, he wanted to stay with the Furies,” Fred shrugged. “Which I don’t understand, either.”

“I do and so not the picture I needed,” Gunn grumbled from the weapon’s cabinet. “Told you, Wes, Angel took the sewer-cut to Cordy’s.”

Wesley rubbed at his forehead. “I just commented that I didn’t think he would as the spell hasn’t been performed yet.”

“Man, I wasn’t saying he was jumping her bones and bumping and grinding.”

“Charles,” Fred cocked her head towards Connor’s narrowed stare. “Connor, are you hungry, we’ll could go get breakfast, or Charles, maybe you could go get some breakfast burritos. Connor, you’ll like them, they’re delicious.” Fred finished quickly, hoping to divert the teenager’s attention from Gunn and his comment.

“I was hoping to get some sleep, girl. Oh, all right,” Gunn shrugged at Fred’s stare, perching on the corner of her desk.

Connor tugged on Gunn’s sleeve. “Why would Angel jump Cordelia’s bones, you said he didn’t lose his soul. What do you mean? What’s bumping and grinding?”

“He didn’t- that-,” Gunn cleared his throat. “Look, kid, I’ll teach you how to drive, but the ‘jumping bones and bumping and grinding’ that’s daddy talk.”

“Charles, really,” Wesley shook his head. “Connor, what Charles meant was….that…..that,” Wesley started to stutter, “that is a topic that should be explained by your father.”

“That’s what I said.” Gunn gestured in the air.

“Charles, weren’t you on your way out to get breakfast,” Fred cut in shaking her head.

“Sure, probably won’t see Angel or Cordelia until tonight.”

“No,” Wesley shook his head. “The spell must be done if they….”

“Wesley, Geez, calm down. Why are you always so paranoid.” Fred chastised.

“I’m not, it’s that….”

“Wes, they aren’t going too risk anything now.”

“I would feel more secure if….”

“Angel’s here.”

“Right, I would feel…. OH,” Wesley turned to where Fred was pointing. “Angel, you’re here.”

Angel ignored Wesley and stared at his son. “Connor,…..you…are you staying, are you hungry? How are you?”

Connor pulled back at the direct questions.

“Of course, he’s hungry, Charles was about to go out and get us all some breakfast.”

“Oh, okay, good.” Angel nodded. He moved towards the stairs, pausing before he went up. “If you’re tired after you can stay.”

“Angel, when do you want to do the spell, it isn’t something that should be put off too long.”

Angel paused again. “Later.”

“Angel…”

“Not now, Wesley. I’m not in a happy mood, so don’t worry.” Angel said sharply continuing his ascent up to his room.

Gunn smacked at Wesley’s arm. “Dawg, told you that something was wrong with him.”

Wesley’s puzzled gaze followed the somber vampire. “Probably still just a little overwhelmed about the concept and mad at Wolfram & Hart.”

“Right, keep on telling yourself that.” Gunn said. “Hey, kid, you want to go with me to pick up the grub, I’ll go over the basics of driving my baby on the way.”

“You’ll let me drive?” Connor tore his eyes from the retreating back of his father.

“I didn’t say that, I said I’d go over the basics.”

“Oh, alright.”

***

Angel turned away from the sight below. His son was home- well, at least going to stay and eat breakfast with his family. His son was slowly accepting them, and maybe also Angel. The vampire should be happy. But, all he could think about was Cordelia.

The brief flicker of hope that descended over him when Cordelia couldn’t hide her worry about him going out in the sun disappeared as he wandered the sewers back to the hotel. Like he thought before not wishing him dead wasn’t the same as forgiving him and still loving him.

The heavy curtains blocked out all light, sinking the room into darkness. Angel stared at the wall of his bedroom remembering and reliving each action and each word that he used as a weapon against Cordelia too make her fear real.

Was it possible she could understand why he did it? Angel thought back to the sight of the hurt and angry young woman, first terrified chained to the bed, and then watching him with untouchable pain and coldness at his attempt to explain. Angel winced his eyes closed at the imagines. Cordelia in pain was never a sight he could stand and to know that he was the one to cause that look of betrayal on her beautiful face had him wishing for the sun’s blaze.

Angel’s fingers clenched into tight fists, truthfully though he didn’t have much doubt that Cordelia could understood why he did it. What he was truly afraid of was that it wouldn’t be enough for her to forgive or to accept. Angel swore when he was allowed into Cordy’s apartment that he would tell the truth, no evasions, and no excuses.

But god, Angel wished he hadn’t explained about his mark and its implication. How was Cordelia ever going to accept that? Angel should’ve just let it remain as a meaningless act done under the guise of Angelus.

Angel’s intense gaze centered on the clock, Cordy said he would see her tomorrow. It was tomorrow now, so when did she mean? Angel leaned back in his chair. He had to be patient.


Part 27

Cordelia pushed at the brick wall, kicking at the solid barrier when nothing happened. She read the slip of paper again. Scrunching up her brow, Cordelia scanned the red bricks closer; taking another look at the paper she placed her fingertips on the obscure marks and pushed reciting the words written.

Cordelia fell forward meeting no more resistance as she tumbled downward.

“Ow,” Cordelia pulled herself up to her feet, brushing off her pants as she looked around. It looked exactly the same as when Skip showed her Angel pleading to the Conduits. Well, actually, when he called her weak and not a hero. Cordelia scrunched up her face…Angel called her a rich girl from Sunnydale. Hmmph.

It was that show and tell which convinced her to take the Powers offer of her life as it should’ve been in an angry hurt huff. Cordelia rolled her eyes. She should’ve known that Angel hadn’t meant it like she heard. She wondered why Skip even brought her there to only show a misleading portion of Angel’s conversation. Geez, had the Powers not wanted her to choose Angel.

Cordelia’s head spun around and her body twirled as words floated on a sudden brisk breeze.

“It does not belong here, we did not call it. Leave.” The chanting repeated.

Cordelia pushed against the wind that pressed her towards the wall. “Hey, stop it. I’m not going anywhere until I get some answers and I’m not an ‘it’.” She shouted.

“Answers can not be told but must be realized. Choices must be made as choices have been made. We can not help it.”

“ Choices, what kind of choices. I’ve made choices. I chose demon DNA. I chose the visions. I chose the mission. I think I deserve some answers and stop calling me IT.”

“ Its value to the mission has been compromised. Its strength has been compromised.”

Cordelia narrowed her eyes, picking a spot in the empty chamber to glare at. “Compromised? What are you talking about? And stop shouting in the wind, you’re making me dizzy.”

“Cordelia.” Skip emerged from the wall, the wind and voices stopping at his appearance.

The young woman blinked backing up. “Oh, no you don’t. I’m not falling for that one again. How do I know you’re real and not some other Disney version of cute evilness?”

The large bronze demon rolled his eyes. “Cordelia, you are in the presence of the Conduits, the good guys.”

“Hmmph. Right. And Wolfram & Hart abducted me with major glowiness and floating. I’m not reassured.”

“Cordelia, would Wolfram & Hart know that my favorite movie is Matrix with Trinity all dodging and kicking and that Gladiator was overrated,” Repeating parts of his and Cordelia’s conversation when he was guiding her in the construct of the Mall, during her birthday coma.

“Maybe, how can I know for sure?”

Skip let out a deep breath. “How about this… Small town girl/In the big time world- kuh-kuh-kuh- Cordy/kuh-kuh-kuh-Cordy/Design’ fashion is her life’s passion Kuh-kuh-kuh-Cordy/kuh-kuh-kuh-Cordy/Forget Gucci, Prada and Versace…..,” singing the words to opening of Cordy, the TV show that had made Cordelia famous in her alternate life.

Cordelia covered her ears. “Eww, you suck, you’re worse than Angel in the singing department.”

“Hey,” Skip huffed offended.

“Skip, why are you here?”

“You were getting dizzy, so, here I am.”

“Look, all I want to know is what did my visions mean, the one of me and the one of Angelus.”

“What do you think they meant?”

“If I knew, I wouldn’t be here.” Cordelia rolled her eyes.

“Cordelia, I can’t tell you, the Conduits can’t.”

“Won’t you mean.” Cordelia kicked at the ground.

“Whatever,” Skip shrugged.

Cordelia starting pacing and shaking her head, “ the vision of me- how could that possibly be interpreted as a warning about Wolfram & Hart. How? It was just me saying I love Angel.”

“Who says Wolfram & Hart was the threat?”

“Ah Duh, little evil Pollyanna, torture for a month. Definitely a threat that should’ve been avoided.”

“Really Cordelia, have warnings about Wolfram & Hart’s plans been the norm?”

Cordelia scrunched up her face trying to remember one time she had a vision of an actual plan of the law firms, one where she ended up as the victim. She couldn’t remember getting the big old warning when Vocah or that big-headed-freak messed with her brain. “If it wasn’t that…why would I be warned about loving Angel? Was the vision telling me that I don’t, reverse psychologically crap- but that’s stupid, I do love Angel. That doesn’t make any sense.” Cordelia looked to the big demon for answers.

Skip shook his head, shrugging.

“Damn you.” Cordelia grumbled. “Why would I be warned about loving Angel or that he was Angelus? Sure, I could understand getting a vision of Angelus to warn us not to go to Anita’s if that was what happened, but it’s not. Angelus didn’t make an appearance.”

“You didn’t heed either of them.”

“I know, but the first made no sense as a vision and the second, well, I just….was wrong in that I thought it was a nightmare. I was having a lot of them at the time….anyway, that’s beside the point, the question is why have a vision warning me of a non-existent danger.”

“Was it non-existent, Angelus did appear.”

“No, that was Angel pretending to be Angelus, he never lost his soul.”

“Pretending?”

“He didn’t lose his soul.”

“But was he pretending to be Angelus?”

“He…” Cordelia started to repeat her statement, but huffed instead at Skip’s meaning behind his question. “No. He was and is Angelus. Fine, I get that. But, Angelus or Angel or THAT vampire- if you really want to be simple-, isn’t a danger to me or the mission, if THAT vampire has a soul and Angel did, does, and will for good now.”

“Really?”

“What’s with all the questions? Angel has his soul, he wouldn’t….” Cordelia took a deep breath and studied Skip. “I wish I could believe that last question of doubt was a warning that Wesley’s spell wasn’t any good but it wasn’t was it. The Powers were warning me about Angel- short and simple. They want me to doubt him- even with his permanent soul, they want me to doubt him.” Cordelia shook her head. “ Wow. Little evil Pollyanna wasn’t so far off in her impersonation of the Powers. Why do the Powers want me to doubt Angel? They chose him as their champion- nobody could argue he begged for the job.”

Skip shook his head. “Not to doubt, Cordelia, but to prepare you and to give you the chance to choose NOT to set certain unpredictable wheels in motion, to choose NOT to love the champion. It has been foretold that the vampire with a soul will play a major role in the upcoming Apocalypse, but his exact role has not been defined. It will be defined by the choices he makes and now by the choices you will make.”

Cordelia blinked, wondering if she was the only sane person in the world. “The Powers wanted me NOT to love Angel- that’s what the first vision was about? Uh? A lot late and NOT effective in getting the point across.”

“Had you understood, you could’ve chosen not to tell him.”

“Whose fault was that…the vision wasn’t actually clear or scary rather it was pretty damn encouraging and bringing to light what I had been denying for god knows how long. Maybe they should’ve sent the ‘Angelus’ vision first. At least that would’ve been scary.” Cordelia rubbed her face. “But even if they had it wouldn’t have really changed anything. I would still have loved Angel.”

“Yes, unfortunately. Loving the champion has complicated and compromised the mission. The Power’s feel that a wrong choice on your part now could affect the vampire’s future choices possibly detrimentally.”

“Hold on- The Powers didn’t WANT me to love Angel, but now that I do- they’re emotionally blackmailing me to forgive him so as not to upset any future decisions on Angel’s part regarding the mission, that’s what your saying isn’t it? Geez, I thought you couldn’t tell me what my visions meant, I wish you had kept to that story.”

Skip shrugged. “You love the vampire with a soul- the Power’s champion, you told him, he now needs you in a way that was not expected or acceptable, yet, it has been done. In your decision to love the champion, you have allowed yourself to become his greatest weakness. You must be prepared to live with the consequences of your choices. You must not upset the balance of matters anymore than you already have.”

“I’m so outta of here, you can toss me through the walls anytime now.” Cordelia waved angrily into the air.
“Cordelia.” Skip cautioned in a loud stern tone.

“Skip, you were right the first time, the Powers have no comprehension about love. Angel won’t accept a forced forgiveness from me.”

“I thought you understood the warrior’s need for you. He did tell you did he not. It is your rejection that must be feared -that is what could upset the balance of things as they are.”

“Get me outta here. It was a mistake to come.”

“Cordelia, your choice….”

“Is my choice, free will and all that if it screws up fate or destiny, tough. You’ll know my decision when I make it.”

“Cordelia.” Skip warned.

“I’ve heard and now I’m ignoring.”

“Cordelia.” The big demon repeated.

“Skip. I’m not listening.”

“Fine.”

In a flash Cordelia was back in her apartment.

Cordelia stomped around, mumbling and kicking the sofa. Stupid Powers. Cordelia flopped on the cushions. She wasn’t going to be forced into anything, not by the Powers or by Angel.

Part 28

Posted July 19, 2015 by califi in Complete

Betrayal. Book Two. 25   1 comment

Part 25

Cordelia smacked the pillow again. She didn’t know why she was bothering. Sleep was impossible. In a very real way, she wished it had been Angelus that had chained her to the bed.

Granted, she could’ve very well ended up a ‘helluva’ vampire- whatever that meant, but at least it wouldn’t have been Angel that had terrified her. Cordelia pushed the pillow, swinging her legs dropping them with a thud onto the mattress.

Okay, that was a stupid wish. Why couldn’t Wesley have told them sooner about the spell? Angel wouldn’t have done such a horrible and stupid thing, if they knew that there was solution right around the corner. Cordelia beat her legs again, in frustration.

Why couldn’t Angel be sane? Why couldn’t she not care? God, how she wished for the Groo time back, so easy, Groo loved her so simply. It would’ve never occurred to the Plyean warrior to destroy her for the sake of love. And better yet, the Plyean warrior wouldn’t have had the ability to rip Cordelia’s heart in shreds.

Where was the old Cordy that knew how not to forgive, the one that could shut herself off so completely. Gone, gone as soon as the stupid broody sexy loving good fucked up dangerous vampire became her priority. How and when did that happen and why did it so overwhelm her and make her crazy.

It completely boggled Cordelia’s mind how Angel thought terrifying her into believing he was Angelus was a better solution than the truth. Even if Wesley hadn’t had the spell, they could’ve have dealt with it together. Cordelia’s fingers brushed at the bandage on her stomach-then again maybe not.

Angel seemed fairly certain that in time he would’ve broken any promises they made to keep their distance from each other. But, to summarily destroy their relationship without even trying was galling and unforgivable. The question was how unforgivable. Never, ever type or some day way in the future type or now type. Cordelia scrunched up her face, she wasn’t quite ready for the now type, but maybe the some day in the future type.

How long was that exactly?

Cordelia clutched harder at the pillow. She had been able to forgive Angel before because he had proven himself day by day that he wanted to fight for the mission and that he did care about her. It had worked. They had gotten even closer than before. But how was Angel going to prove himself to her now.

It’s not like Angel had to prove that he loves her. Cordelia got that in all of its somewhat scary, somewhat obsessive glory. How was Angel going to show her that he wouldn’t be so destructively idiotic in the future, betray her love in the name of that love? Cordelia punched the pillow; she didn’t see how he could.

Cordelia looked down again at the gauze. What exactly did ‘inherent to his demon’ mean? It reeked of ownership and uncontrolled instincts. Cordelia didn’t like it. The concept sucked at free will and choice on her part. If she couldn’t forgive him did that mean Angel would ignore her wishes and pursue her. It sounded like he would if he believed that she loved him still.

Cordelia scrunched up her brow. Of course, she could always make Angel believe that she didn’t – except she didn’t have a psychotic convenient alternate personality to do the job. Hmmph. Cordelius to the rescue. Ha. Cordelia sighed.

She could go with the tested and true method of dating again. Cordelia shook her head. That wouldn’t work. One, she didn’t want to date anyone and two, she wasn’t at all confident that Angel was exaggerating when he said he kill another ‘Groo’ type boyfriend and three, she was still in love with the dangerous idiot. Cordelia had a sneaky suspicion that ‘inherent to his demon’ meant that no matter what she said or did Angel would know that.

Well, Cordy had admitted to herself that she was attracted to the danger of Angel; she just hadn’t quite grasped the idea of exactly how dangerous the vampire still was – even with his soul- to her.

Cordelia buried her face in her hands. She wasn’t getting anywhere. All she knew was that she still loved Angel; she was hurt and angry at what he had done, and more than a little bit nervous about the exact nature of his love for her. Just how possessive was it? Oh. Cordelia hated feeling like this- lost, mad and damn confused.

Cordelia shook away her rambling thoughts too focus on her other problem. Cordelia blew out a huff of frustrated air. What in the hell did her vision of Angelus mean or was it even a vision? Had it been a nightmare like she first thought.

It was getting truly frustrating- the vision of her talking to Skip, she totally misinterpreted as a heart to heart with herself. Then again the vision hadn’t shown her any danger- just that she loved Angel, though considering the events that could be considered a danger to her heart. But, there was no danger or warning about Wolfram & Hart.

And the other one? Angelus didn’t appear, isn’t going to now that Wesley found the alternate curse. So, it must have been a dream. Except….what she saw did happen and her recall ability was indicative to a vision not a dream. Cordelia had been chained to an iron bed, definitely taunted by Angelus’ smirking face, but it wasn’t Angelus. Cordelia thought back to the vision, reliving it in her mind as it first appeared – Angel and Angelus alternating in their abuse and love, Angel doing the violence, then Angelus doing the love and back and forth and vice versa. Cordelia shook her head.

Why would the Powers want her to know that Angel was just pretending to be Angelus? Or was she wrong again? Cordelia pictured Angel sitting on her couch confirming with a single statement, ‘I am Angelus’. Cordelia struck her head on the headboard. Why the fuck would the Powers want her to know that.

She was vision girl- she wasn’t supposed to NOT understand her visions. Geez. Cordelia swung her legs off the bed.

Well, the Powers weren’t coming to her, so she would just have to go to them. Cordelia pushed though the items in her desk drawer pulling out a slip of paper -the Power’s local home address.

Cordelia had copied it from the paper that Lorne had given Angel, after she found out how Angel was able to talk to the Conduits when she was in her birthday coma. Cordelia figured that Angel shouldn’t be the only one to know -not that she had planned on using it before -getting up close and personal with the Powers wasn’t her idea of fun. But this was getting serious.

Two visions, she had either misunderstood or misinterpreted, granted that wasn’t a lot considering the tons she got right but still, Cordelia didn’t like the idea that in those particular visions she or Angel had been the subject. And more importantly, going to the Conduits gave Cordelia something to do other than think about what was really scrambling her thoughts and feelings.

Hell, it wasn’t like she could sleep.

Part 26

Posted July 19, 2015 by califi in Complete

Betrayal. Book Two. 24   1 comment

Part 24

“Dennis,” Angel repeated, but the door remained locked. Angel studied the doorknob he couldn’t wait for Cordelia to harden and build up her walls. He squeezed at the knob crushing it. He slammed the door open as the ghost pushed back.

“I’m coming in Dennis,” Angel shoved again and was forced to a stop. It took a moment to recognize the force that held him. He pushed and his fist hit a solid invisible barrier.

Angel stumbled back staring at the inside of Cordelia’s apartment a home that had never been barred to him since he first knocked on her door with a small cactus in his hand and a tentative smile. He searched on the mantle to find that small cactus, only now it was big and strong, growing it seemed at the same rate of their friendship and love.

Angel blinked keeping his eyes on the plant half expecting it to wilt and die before him.

He sighed gaining inexplicit courage as it remained true. “Cordelia, please.” He called out into the empty living room. “Cordy,” his voice ringing through the apartment. “I’m not leaving until you talk to me. I’m not,” he repeated lowly, his back slumping down against the invincible wall.

Cordelia sat huddled on the bathroom floor.

Angel sat in the hallway, never moving a muscle. An hour he waited, jerking to his feet when he heard soft footsteps and a rapidly beating heart.

“Please, Cordelia,” he called to the still woman staring at him.

“Please,” he repeated at the shake of her head. “You have to understand.”

Cordelia continued to shake her head not relenting but not leaving.

“Please.”

Cordelia narrowed her eyes at the vampire. The tears and the numbness dwindled away as the anger took hold. “Go away, Angel.”

“I can’t, not until I explain.”

“Explain, you can’t explain it- there is no explanation.”

“Cordelia, there’s always explanations, they just might not be right or valid or good or realized. But there are reasons. Just, please listen, then I’ll go.” Begging wasn’t beneath him at this point, but studying Cordelia, Angel wasn’t confident that would do anything but make her colder to him.

Cordelia didn’t want to listen him or even see his face. But his expression kept her rooted to the spot and not slamming the door on his pleas. She couldn’t detect any expectation from the vampire that she would accept what he had to say neither did he offer a desperate apology as he was prone to do in the past.

It was as if he knew that he was beyond apologies. He crossed the line and he knew it as she did. Angel just wanted her to know why. Damn her, Cordelia did want to know why.

It made no sense that she could think of- every possibility fizzled into disbelief and pain, remembering the love she felt with Angel. He did love her. She wasn’t that blind-was she? For her own sanity she had to know. If it were all a lie, then she would be free to hate.

But she didn’t want to hear his voice, slamming her hands over her ears turning her back to the now silent vampire. Could Cordelia even trust him to tell her the truth? Was there even a truth to tell? She was going insane.

Cordelia swirled around dropping her hands, her gaze fierce. “Why? Can you not fall in love without Angelus making appearance; you couldn’t lose your soul so you had to make him up. Are you that twisted? Or was there ever even an Angelus, was it always just you. You have this identity you create when your “darker instincts” get to much for you to handle, so you call yourself Angelus and ruin lives, then pop back into ‘Angel’ the souled guy and go- oh, Sorry- forgive me- it wasn’t me, it was the evil guy. What are you some undead walking and talking homicidal Multiple Personality Disorder? Just how fucked up are you?” She demanded.

“Very.”

The simplistic and painful honesty of that one word answer caused Cordelia to blink rapidly, stumble back, and, god forbid, causes her heart to break all over again.

“Can I come in, please? I won’t hurt you.”

Cordelia scoffed, tears choking in her throat,” liar.”

“Yes. Please.”

Cordelia turned again, waving her hand wildly in the air.

“You have to say it, Cordelia.”

The woman turned sharply, “You’re invited in. But, don’t…” She turned again, her warning that he stay away from her not needed. Angel had already gone to stand in the darkest corner of her living room, half hidden by the lamp’s shadow.

Cordelia strode forward. “No, if you’re going to explain then you can’t hide. In the light.” She slammed her body in the chair, ignoring the wince of her wound “Over there,” she pointed to the furthest part of the couch.

Angel hesitated for a second and moved silently to the couch. He glanced at her, taking in the hazel eyes redden with new tears, the stubborn set of the mouth, the paleness of the face and the way she favored her stomach. He shot off the couch going to her kitchen.

Cordelia jumped at the sudden movement watching the vampire disappear. If he dared come back with a mug of blood, she would stake him.

Angel came back into the living room moments later carrying a plate and glass. Cordelia scooted back in her chair as he moved close placing the items on the coffee table in front of her. “You need to eat, my mark was enlarged causing you to lose more blood than you should have.”

Cordelia stared in horror at the sliced peanut butter sandwich with the crust neatly cut off, the way she liked it, and glass of orange juice and then up to the vampire that sat back down at the far end of the couch. She blinked the vampire’s voice hadn’t been riddled with guilt. It was just matter of fact.

“Eat, Cordelia you lost to much blood.”

“Whose fault is that?” she snapped.

“Yours, actually.”

“WHAT?”

“I wasn’t draining you. My intended mark would have already closed by now if you had not jerked away. The puncture wounds tore because of it. Therefore you lost more blood than you should of and you need to eat.”

Cordelia shoved aside the plate. “This isn’t the damn Red Cross and I don’t need a cracker. I wasn’t a friggin Donor.” She yelled, her emotional outburst in direct contrast to Angel’s calm manner. “And it was too your fault.”

Angel studied the woman’s glare and shook his head. “I became Angelus the night Darla turned me and remained so until I was cursed. I was everything depicted and told. I was evil, a vampire and enjoyed all which that entailed. The instincts that cried for killing, lust, fear and blood I not only embraced but also went out of my way to take them to greater heights. And I was damn good at it.”

Cordelia snapped her jaw shut. This wasn’t one of Angel’s past stories, always told with a twinge of guilt and hesitation, always told in a far away voice as a storyteller might tell of a long ago tale or horror story. This was real. This was Angel saying who he was straightforwardly without shame or pleasure, and it almost seemed a hint of pride. Cordelia started to listen.

Angel continued to stare at the young woman. “When I was cursed, all those instincts remained, guilt and conscious were just added. At first, I attempted to ignore the soul be what I had been before. But, I couldn’t. So, I hid in the shadows, not knowing where I belonged, not knowing that I could belong anywhere. To act on my instincts caused guilt and pain of conscience, to not act on them caused one very fucked-up vampire, one who had no idea about the clause in the gypsy curse. I lost my soul and with it all guilt or conscience.” Angel paused and looked away.

“What” Cordelia whispered not wanting to interrupt but the vampire was taking to long to continue.

Angel looked back. “I was Angelus,” He paused again.

Cordelia swore she was going to yell.

“I….I thought I was same as before, different clothes, different hair, but the same…but I wasn’t…not entirely.”

Cordelia leaned back not at all understanding. Her experience of Angelus in Sunnydale pretty much jibed with everything she had heard about the vampire.

Angel shook his head at her expression. “I was a tad on the obsessive side…” He shot a look at Cordelia raised brow. “Drusilla is probably the closest thing that could’ve have been called an obsession, but it wasn’t really, I just took a lot of time with her because I wanted to drive her crazy. She had the sight, she was so lovely and innocent alive, I just wanted to see how crazy and evil I could make her. I thought it would be fun and it was.”

Cordelia couldn’t help the widening of her eyes at his correction. “Oh,” she silently said.

Angel nodded at Cordelia’s perceived understanding. “But when I lost my soul in Sunnydale, I was a bit obsessed with hurting Buffy…. Alright, fine,” he admitted at Cordelia double raised brows and the Pfft of air from her lips. “I was obsessed. But it wasn’t motivated by fun, but by hate. That was the first time really as a vampire, with or with out a soul, well except for my human family, I acted out of hate. With my family, it was because I wanted to destroy all past connections to humanity. With Buffy, it was because she made me feel almost human and with my soul I finally realized that I wanted that, but without it, I hated that feeling. It wasn’t just that I loved her. Can you understand?” Angel looked at Cordelia.

Cordelia held Angel’s gaze, her voice clipped and sure. “Buffy touched the humanity in your soul, you recognized it because of your love, you wanted it, but didn’t have a clue what to do with it, Angelus- or rather without your soul, you- because vampires are inherently killers some more flashy and psychotic then others-hated that you had been subjected to that humanity and like with your family you set out to destroy Buffy. Because she was the slayer, it was a tad more difficult to kill her. So, you attacked her through her friends and played vicious mind games hoping to break her.”

Angel a little stunned by her accurate summation. “Right.”

“Duh, Angel, I was there, bitchy doesn’t mean unobservant or stupid.” Cordelia got up pacing. “You still haven’t explained anything. Fucked up, I knew. Without a soul- sadistic bastard that hated any type of humanity, you must’ve really hated your human life to continue to despise humanity so much, with a weird sense of humor, I knew- Dru, okay I didn’t know all that- but still, you haven’t explained anything.”

“I didn’t despise…”

“You say fun, I say hatred….I grew up in Sunnydale, seen a lot of vampires, most just would think of me as food, sure, they would kill, didn’t give a shit about human life, but they didn’t all go striving for ways to suck the world and humanity into hell or schemes for elaborate torture or even killed their immediate family, they just killed who was ever available. But you did for whatever reason. Fun, hate whatever….I really don’t care anymore. You’re right, I did think I knew you but I don’t. Not at all, I was just lying to myself. I don’t know you.”

“You do, mostly,” Angel sighed. “But….”

“Shut up, I don’t want to know anymore, everyone makes mistakes. The problem with you is yours always seem to be done to create the most elaborate harm. I’ve only asked two things from you. That you believe in the mission- which you betrayed before and that you love me- that you betrayed now. How am I supposed to forgive you or trust you ever again? Why should I care? Why, did you do it?” Cordelia threw her hands over her face, the final question choking in her throat.

Angel dropped his head to floor. Taking a deep breath he tried to answer. “Cordelia, I drink blood- pig out of necessity because I want human. I still want to just take what I want for my pleasure, I want to kill when the mood strikes, I want to pick a victim and systemically terrorize them until their blood is drenched in fear, then I want to kill them. That’s what I still want, the soul hasn’t changed that. And who I was as a human is irrelevant, and you are probably right, but it’s irrelevant.”

Cordelia looked up at the vampire in disbelief. “That’s your explanation? When’s the last time you picked out a victim and tortured them to death.” Cordelia asked, standing her hands on her hips. “When’s the last time you killed someone just for the hell of it.”

“That’s not the point.”

“Answer me. You started this, whatever this is.”

“I…in Sunnydale.”

Cordelia waved her hand. “Let me clarify- with a soul?”

“When I first got my soul, I killed scum for food. And ….Robbie and Laurie,” Angel pointed as if he gave Cordelia the right answer.

Cordelia shook her head. “Forgetting about the scum of over a hundred years ago- you’re trying to tell me you wanted to kill Robbie and Laurie.”

“I enjoyed it.” Angel snapped at her patronizing tone.

“That’s not what I asked. Did you want to?”

“I needed them.”

“Angel, answer me, did you want…..”

Angel shot up beginning his own pacing. “I didn’t even think about wanting it. I just did it. I was so hungry and weak, Robbie came opening the box, I smelt food and I just took. Laurie, I knew what I was doing, but I needed more. So, I killed her.”

Cordelia stilled, refusing to be diverted by early memories or the anguish of her dreams of Angel imprisoned in the bottom of the sea or the made up dead faces of the two innocents. “Was it a matter of want or need, Angel?”

Angel blinked, stopping. “Need.”

Cordelia nodded. “Torture?”

“I was mean to Merle.”

“You were mean to everyone then.” Cordelia snapped. “Did you break his fingers, poke out his eyes, cut out body parts.”

“Cordy.” Angel grimaced.

“Did you?”

“I hung him upside down and left him. I dunked him too.”

“Terrifying.”

“Cordelia….”

“No, you listen. You are a vampire with vampire instincts- killing, etc. You obviously were a piece of work when you were human and with Darla’s influence you skyrocketed to being one of the most vicious, nastiest vampires of your day- all in the name of fun or whatever. But that’s not who you are now, even with those instincts your so adamant about, because you have a soul and you use those instincts as well as strength to help people not kill them, and you fight those instincts when they could hurt some one, generally speaking anyway.”

Angel just stared shaking his head.

“What? I’m wrong.” She paced waving her hands, swaying slightly.

“Please sit down and eat something.”

“Don’t start caring about my well-being now,” she glared.

“I’ll never stop,” Angel sighed sitting back down on the couch. “At least sit down, please.”

Cordelia glared but sat.

“Cordelia, generally speaking you are right. But you still don’t understand.”

“Angel, I get….”

“No, Cordelia, you don’t.” Angel closed his eyes leaning his head back briefly, then settling an intense gaze on the woman. “Why do you think that I marked you?”

“I don’t know why you bit me, I don’t why you did any of it, you still haven’t explained.”

“Not bit, but marked.”

“What’s the difference? You know what I don’t care. I don’t care about any of this. Just go, you aren’t explaining anything.”

“I told you about Angelus so you would understand, not just what you’ve read or even saw in Sunnydale. So, you would understand how much danger you in particular would be in if I ever lost my soul.”

“I get I would be killed, just like Connor, Wesley and the others. I know the drill the closest to the soul are the first to go, then Sunnydale.”

“No, then Wolfram & Hart, starting with Lilah. And Connor, Wesley, Fred and Gunn, I probably would kill, but it would depend on you.”

“What?”

“Cordelia, listen to me, and hear me, I am Angelus, I just have a soul. When I was first turned my ‘priorities’ as it were- were dictated to some extent by Darla, and whatever struck me as fun at the time. Sunnydale, by what Buffy made me feel. Here now- only by you and that’s true whether I have a soul or not. You are mine. That’s the difference between a bite and a mark. That’s the instinct you need to be concerned with and understand.

With a soul, I need you and love you, I care that you love me, without, I just want and need you, maybe even love, I don’t know, Spike, James said they loved, I never had that experience not as a human and not without a soul, but regardless, it wouldn’t matter to me whether you loved me or not. I would just take what I want from you and turn you and then let you decide on what to do about the others. I have feeling you would want them with you as vampires.

I wouldn’t waste the time going after them or playing with them to destroy you, because I wouldn’t want you destroyed or crazy, I would want you just like you are just without the burden of a soul. And you Cordelia Chase have the potential to be very dangerous vampire without a soul. And that’s why I did what I did, to protect us and our family from that possibility. I couldn’t take the chance that I would ever lose my soul and you lose yours as a consequence.”

Cordelia slumped back in the chair letting Angel’s words suck the breath out of her. She blinked trying not to think of herself as an evil demon or what exactly about her was there that would make Angel or Angelus or whoever think she would be a ‘dangerous’ vampire.

What did that mean? Cordelia tried to think in the present and recent past not the possible future that Angel described. “Angel, we weren’t….we were at Anita’s it was safe….you did what you did before even knowing that Wolfram & Hart knew- and how was intentionally destroying my trust, hurting me, making me believe that you had lost your soul going to – nevermind, I wouldn’t sleep with you if I hated you. But…you soul wasn’t at risk.”

“Yes, it was….I learned something interesting about the curse loving you, like I said its not an exact science, having you love me, accept me, I could lose my soul without making love to you.”

“You……didn’t.”

“No, but, twice in the sewers, I didn’t recognize it at first, but when you accepted the deaths of Robbie and Laurie when you cried for me, when you said you loved and needed me, I did feel it, something dangerous tugging at my being. And this last time when you said you loved me- whatever I was, before I made my decision, I felt it again, only that time I recognized it for what it was; contentment and joy breaking away my soul.”

“You became broody, you should have told me.”

“Why, so we could agree to not love each other. Become another tragic farce. Anyway, it wouldn’t have worked. Loving you, but not knowing that you loved me, I could let you go with Groo, I could want you to be happy without me, I could resist the urge to kill him and just lock you in room for just me. Which was good, you’ve not only not loved me but hated me and I would’ve ended up staked.” Angel shrugged.

“But knowing that you do love me and knowing that I could make you want me with a touch and knowing how much you are willing to do to make me not brood, eventually, best intentions aside, I would’ve used that knowledge after justify and rationalizing and we would be back to where we started, I wouldn’t have had to use force-that wouldn’t of worked, but a good combination of conflict, broodiness, seduction and the puppy dog face would. I may not always understand you, but I do know your weaknesses. And if another ‘Groo’ showed, he’d be dead.

“I….” Cordelia stopped more than a little stunned at the rough honesty of Angel’s voice. “You wouldn’t risk….”

“Cordelia, that’s where the instinct comes in that you have to be concerned with. Wanting you affects my ability to care about the consequences. It’s gone beyond love and need, my feelings for you have become inherent to my demon. I can’t let you go, not anymore, not when I know you love me.”

“I would of remembered. I wouldn’t….”

“I wouldn’t have to get you to agree to make love, only to stay with me let me hold you and have you say you loved me, then the risk would exist. But, I couldn’t leave you or Connor and I couldn’t ask you to leave, you wouldn’t want to go, you’d fight to stay for me and the mission. So………”

“So, you planned on making me hate you… couldn’t you have just said ‘Sorry, Cor, I made a mistake, its blondes I really love’- sorry again.”

“Would’ve you have believed me? Or would you’ve thought I was just doing a ‘have to protect the woman I love,’ speech.”

Cordelia thought about it, a year ago, even six months ago, she would’ve, but now, knowing, remembering the love in Angel’s eyes. “I don’t……no.” Cordelia would’ve fought him on it.

“That’s what I was afraid of… and honestly, I don’t think I could’ve maintained that lie for very long if you did, not if you were here. I need you too much.”

“Enough to make me hate you and why are you telling me now- OH- the permanency spell, you want to hop right back into bed.”

Angel leaned back into the couch. “Yes. But that’s not why – I didn’t mean for you to know. The plan was for you to escape go running back to the hotel, get Wesley and the disc and restore my soul.”

“Restore the soul you already had…. brilliant…. Angel, that stupid plan could’ve got you staked, if not by me, then Gunn, definitely Connor if he caught up with you thinking you were Angelus. And ultimately, you weren’t even a good Angelus. You caved and got sweet.”

“It was harder than I thought.” Angel looked down at his shoes. “You kept crying.” He mumbled to the floor.
“Gee, wow, what a surprise, I thought my lover turned into a soulless killer that would terrorize every one that I loved, gee, sorry, crying seemed appropriate.” Cordelia rolled her eyes. “Though, I guess it’s nice to know it effected you- hated to think that you would’ve actually TURNED ME, to make your stupid plan work.”

“I….” Angel shook his head not even bothering to comment on Cordy’s last particular outburst and caught air in his lungs, willing the act to calm and give him some sense of what he was trying to tell the young woman. “ I was willing to take the chance. You and Wesley would’ve tried the capture and spell route first, Gunn would’ve followed and I hoped that Connor never found out.”

“You’re so sure that I wouldn’t have done it right away, I promised didn’t I? And I was damn tempted even when I knew it was you.”

Angel shrugged off the last part of Cordelia’s statement with more confidence and some censure. “You evaded, which doesn’t really make me happy, but since it will soon no longer be an issue, I won’t argue about it, no, you and Wesley would do what you did before chain me up-“

“We knew that was temporary, that’s the only reason.” Cordelia immediately interrupted.

“And Wesley has the spell now, because of that incident, and since I wasn’t really soulless I wouldn’t be going around killing people so no rush to stake me to save anybody.”

“You are a very stupid, you know that right?” Cordelia eyed the vampire.

“I have moments of realization of that, yes. Usually the major lapses occur because of you, I love you and don’t always think the best around you.” Angel shrugged and acknowledged honestly.

Cordelia dropped her head taking a deep breath and then rose to look Angel straight in the eye. “Angel, what then….”

“You wouldn’t hate me, because it wasn’t me, it was Angelus, but you would be on guard and wary…and you would’ve distanced yourself and in time, maybe if I was lucky, you’d be willing to be alone with me and we would be friends again. I would just love you that’s all.”

“I did mention that you were stupid, right?”

“Yes.”

“Just checking.” Cordelia shoved her face in her hands, grumbling and making to Angel’s ears very strange sounds.

She lifted her head. “So, now, that the curse is no longer an issue I’m supposed to forget what you did, what you said?”

“No.”

Cordelia narrowed her eyes. “You don’t want me to?”

“I am a vampire, Cordelia, an inherently violent demon, not necessarily trustworthy. I just have a soul. You need to remember that and a lot of what I said was true.”

“So, even though you love me, you hate me, want to snap my neck.”

Angel slumped. “I….No, Cordelia, I get angry and I for an instant I wish I was free to do what I want, that I didn’t have a soul, then I realize that isn’t what I REALLY want, just what my instincts cry out for. Before, I got angry and fired you because I didn’t what to be reminded about the mission about what was right. I wanted my revenge. I realized then that acting on the instincts was….” Angel sighed and sadly chuckled.

“I was going to say, one of my biggest mistakes, but I’ve seemed to stacked up a few others since then. Damn. “ Angel rubbed his hand roughly through his hair, taking another breath of air and continued.

“ I got angry when you reminded me that I couldn’t kill every lawyer even though they tortured you for a month. I got angry when you refused to ignore the consequences of making love and left me alone. Cordy, you are right in that I can’t let you be my conscience and I have gotten to a point where I do believe in the mission and get some real gratification from helping others, but honestly, without you, I could backslide pretty quickly. It’s the knowing that YOU see more than a fucked up vampire but see me as some one with the biggest heart, that you see me as comforting, if not a little creepy, that you see me as a man whose son will love him. You see a future for me that I never dreamed of and I want it and I want you in it. So, no I don’t hate you.”

“You say that as if you meant it, but what about this? Why did you have to do this?” she pointed to her stomach. “You said you hated it because it was Xander’s mark. It’s not a mark; it’s a scar from a fucking pole going through me. You bit me.”

“A mark” Angel nodded at her glare,” a scar -then -that you got because you loved that moron, a scar that says basically he was there first. In your heart and in your body. So, yes, I hate it.”

“You said it……..”

“Cordelia, it’s not ugly, it is a sign of you having lived and suffered, it is part of who you are and you are a beautiful person. That’s was all true, I still hate it though.”

“I never slept with Xander.”

“Still hate it.”

“So you had to make it uglier.” She whined. “And it hurt. And you were a bastard for lying to me and you had no right….It was wrong.”

“Loving you is wrong, Cordelia. The whole thing was wrong. And it wasn’t supposed to hurt you like it did. I didn’t want that, I just wanted…. it doesn’t really matter, it was wrong; I should’ve never bit you. “ Angel laid his head back against the couch. “I not even sure why I did it.”

“You’re lying.”

Angel shot his head up. “Yea,” he admitted after a moment. “I would never had done it, but Angelus could. So, I did it because I wanted to, I wanted to completely possess you and know that when you looked at my mark no matter how the plan turned out that you would you know that you were mine.”

“Leave now, Angel.” Cordelia stood up.

“Cordy,”

“Just go, I’ll see you at the office tomorrow. I don’t know about anything else right now.”

“Will you eat?”

“Yes, I’ll eat if you leave.”

Angel nodded turning back from the door. “Put a chair or something against the door, I broke it again.”

“Great, thank you.”

“Knocking didn’t work.”

“Good bye, Angel.”

“Cordy,” Angel hovered at the doorway, not quite willing to take the step across.

“What?”

“Are you going to do the revocation spell after I’m gone?”

“Are you going to come back and lurk in a corner and watch me?”

“If I say no, will you?”

“If you mean it, no.”

Angel stared at the young woman. This was going to be a test. He could pass it. There were plenty of times he didn’t sneak in to watch over Cordelia. “I mean it.” He jerked his head in affirmation.

Cordelia scrunched up her brow at his easy compliance. “Angel, the hallway, outside my window, the street, rooftop, all counts too.”

Angel was glad he could nod again. “Daylight should ensure those.”

Cordelia snapped her head to her window. The sun’s early morning rays were shining through the thick curtains. “Angel….” Cordelia struggled at the sight of the bright lethal light ascending.

Angel stilled at worry in her tone. He wouldn’t get too hopeful. Just because she didn’t want to see him burst into flames didn’t mean she would forgive him. Though, Angel was tempted, so tempted to play that card. Angel groaned. He was already starting the manipulations. “Sewers. I didn’t drive.” He forced the words out.

“Right.” Cordelia nodded. Of course- she knew about the sewers- he would be safe. Oh god, why did she still care about the dead, insecure, stupid, stupid, stupid, brave, stupid, stupid, loving, stupid, good, stupid, just stupid vampire. “Good.” Cordelia continued to nod.

Part 25

Posted July 19, 2015 by califi in Complete

Betrayal. Book Two. 22-23   1 comment

Part 22

“It doesn’t look like he’s wanting any help,” Gunn stood by the black Plymouth, his large stake dangling at his side.

“No.” Wesley placed his cross bow on the hood of the car. Wesley turned nudging at Gunn. The man looked to see Connor walking slowly towards them, his feet moving in their direction but his eyes on his father disseminating a large group of vampires, with unleashed power and force.

“You’re not helping.” Connor asked.

“Just be in the way,” Gunn shook his head at the violent tableau. “He’s…” Gunn shook his head again. “Wes, why is he in vamp rage, shouldn’t he be all whistly and hummy. He and Cordy….I mean what’s up with him. He hasn’t said a word, and just…..” Gunn pointed at the vampire moving and kicking in fast motion, leaving dust in his wake.

“Probably, just having a hard time dealing with the concept and I’m sure he’s angry about Wolfram & Hart’s plan for Angelus to kill Cordelia, and the sun will be rising soon. He’s motivated.”

“What plan? Those people that kept me prisoner wanted Angelus to kill Cordelia?” Connor asked staring hard at the two men. “Did he….”

Wesley quickly shook his head. “No, Connor, the plan failed. Angel never lost his soul and Cordelia is fine. In fact, we found the spell that will anchor his soul. Once done, there will never be any danger from Angelus.”

Connor blinked. “Angelus is gone.”

“Will be. Cordelia had a vision before we could do it. But, I imagine, Angel will want it done as soon as possible.” Wesley looked back to the fight. “Which should be about now.”

“That was the quickest I’ve seen in awhile.” Gunn said in admiration as Angel staked the last vampire.

“Of course, he was in a hurry,” Wesley said.

Angel pocketed his stakes and walked back over to the car. He said nothing, reaching back into his coat tossing his keys to Connor. “If you want.” He turned away.

“Angel, aren’t you going back to the hotel. We should do the spell as soon as possible. Don’t you want to? The immediate danger is over; well the sun is actually becoming an immediate danger. Angel.” Wesley called to the retreating vampire.

“Maybe he thinks it’s quicker to go on foot- you know, vamp speed.” Gunn suggested. “Though, why he doesn’t want the security of the top, tinted windows and blanket…. Wes, talk to me.”

Wesley raised a brow. “He can’t do the spell by himself. We’re here.”

“Maybe Cordy’s.”

“Without doing the spell?”

“All right, I give up.” Gunn threw up his hands. “Don’t see you having a clue as why the vampire just went strolling into the rising sun. Damn.” Gunn went running, as the sun broke over the horizon.

Wesley followed, Connor taking off past both into the alley Angel disappeared in. “Sewer.” He pointed to the tilted manhole cover.

Gunn bobbed his head, trying to get his heavy breathing under control. “Told you, the vamp knew a speedy shortcut.” Gunn shook his head. “Hey, kid, give me those,” Gunn grabbed the keys Connor still had in his hand.

“He said I could drive.”

“No, he didn’t, he just threw them.”

“He said if I want.”

“Well, he’s not the one that will be killed if you drive.” Gunn got in the car. “Are you coming.”?

“Connor.” Wesley questioned.

“I don’t see why I can’t drive, he gave the keys to me.” Connor slid into the backseat.

“Cuz, you can’t drive.” Gunn started the Plymouth and headed back to the hotel.


Part 23

“Thank you, Dennis,” Cordelia said softly, taking the gauze in the air. Once secure on her body a blanket came up to float around her. “No, thanks.” Cordelia slumped down on the couch. She wished she could cry. But all her tears had fled, along with the anger, leaving nothing but an aching shock.

Her mind and body were too numb to even grasp the concept of what happened. Cordelia knew she should be mad, should be hurting. Isn’t it supposed to hurt when your heart has been broken? She didn’t know anymore, she just felt nothing. Dull hazel eyes, still red, gazed at the dim dawn light she saw rising from the shade of the heavy curtain and then at front door.

Cordelia got slowly up going to her hall closet. Her searching became more frantic trying to find potion she all but forgot about through the years. With a grunt, she pulled three years of living down from the top shelf, her hand reaching to the back. She closed her eyes as she felt the small container.

With a low sigh, she took it down, mumbling barely remembered words as she sprinkled the contents across the entrance to her home.

She stumbled back memorized by the settling ingredients floating to the floor. With the last strangled word, the nausea built back up with the pain, forcing her to her knees in front of the toilet, throwing up her heart. Cordelia gazed at the water swirling at the flush, wondering if she would ever get it back.

Slumped against the porcelain tub, she found her tears again.

***

Angel’s slow walk through the darkness of the tunnels became a run, turning swiftly at each bend and corner, just running. Angel pounded on the muddy, slushy surface, he didn’t know where he was going or if he was running away or towards something- he just ran hoping that some coherent thought would break through his mind’s haze that some instinct would guide him.

He stopped, his shoes cemented to the ground as he looked up to the obscure ladder. Angel may not have known but his feet did. Angel braced his back on the rungs of the ladder. To go up would be to enter Cordelia’s apartment complex. Angel slumped trying to find his thoughts.

With a single decision, he had destroyed everything. Angel wanted to damn Wesley for not telling them about the spell sooner. But, Angel knew that he was the one to be damned. He should have…. Angel didn’t know what he should’ve done, but what he did do he knew was wrong in so many different ways.

Angel looked again up at the access way, he had to make another decision now. Chances were it would be wrong too. The easy thing would be just to go, carry on with the hell he made for himself. It really wouldn’t be that difficult to go back to being that shadow demon he was before Cordelia. It may even be comforting to dwell once more in darkness, not apart of life, just there.

The pain could be his companion. It was a familiar one. Angel thought hard trying to feel beyond the moment.

Angel knew by Cordelia’s actions that she wouldn’t leave. She couldn’t either more than he could. But, before, he knew with surety that he could see her, hear her, feel her presence and stay away because of if the plan had worked like was supposed to- she would have kept her distance from him, her love fading at what Angelus had done.

It would’ve worked because it was the love that he found irresistible and would have reminded him daily of what could’ve happened. Except now his biggest fear couldn’t happen. Angel groaned his head banging on the metal rungs.

Angel had to be honest with himself now- the subject too great to deny or not feel through. Would he be able to resist, knowing now that there was a way that Cordelia could love him without danger to him or herself or would Angel just start that way keeping his distance, slowly crowding Cordelia, becoming increasingly obsessed with her, trying to seduce, manipulate or just beg her to love him again.

Without the fear of Angelus would he rationalize his need would he act on it? Would he even cause more harm to the young woman that he loved.

Time, love, need and instinct need would be his enemy on that course of action. Leaving would be the best option. But it was the only option he knew he couldn’t do. Angel couldn’t leave her, even if she hated him, he had to stay and make sure she was protected, he couldn’t leave Connor, and he didn’t want to leave his family or the mission. God, would his souled life always be one fuck up after another.

Angel stood. He had only one chance and he was many things but not a coward. Who was he kidding? He was the biggest coward on the planet when it came to Cordelia. Still. Angel climbed; he had to talk to her. If she understood, then maybe one day she may forgive.

Part 24

Posted July 19, 2015 by califi in Complete

Betrayal. Book Two. 21   1 comment

Part 21

Cordelia fell forward as the bright light diminished.

The vampire sat on the bed, holding her shoulders down. “Definitely need a refund. Soul gone, non-consenting stuff, cuz I sure didn’t consent to that. Though, it might be fun.” He crawled closer over Cordelia’s squirming body.

“I told you, I didn’t do what I did because of hate or anger, but out of pleasure and pain, don’t you ever listen to me, obviously not and look where you are now.” The vampire rolled on his back landing on Cordelia’s stomach. “Rage and anger are the soul’s doing. Boring, but true. Don’t care, no anger, no rage. So easy without a soul, so damn easy to take what you want.”

The vampire trailed a slow stroke down Cordelia’s side, turning to face her. “You think you know me so well, but you don’t understand the freedom of not caring, the thrill of taking what you want. I was wrong, I have learned to hate again. I hate the soul that prohibited the freedom to take the pain and pleasure without restraint, just like I hate those that made me adhere to it. You being the biggest offender of all- worse than the slayer, even. Always believing that I could do it making me want to do it making me believe for that brief moment that it could be done.

But you failed to understand and what the soul tried to ignore, is that I am my demon the soul didn’t change that. And half the time, I didn’t want to be that good person, with the best heart that you claimed I was. Do you know how many times I wanted to snap your neck because you wouldn’t just let me do what I wanted or just fuck you until you bled, but you wouldn’t have like that, and the soul would’ve gotten all miserable and god forbid stuttery. ” He swiftly plopped on her chest, face to face. “Nothing to say.”

Cordelia gulped back her tears. “Why aren’t I dead?”

The vampire gazed her into her eyes and down along her body. “Because you don’t fear death. I learned watching you suffer for two years from the visions. Not saying a word. You accept pain and death, like you deserve it or something. So, I’m stuck trying to find out exactly what you fear the most.”

“You.”

“No, I’m not even sure that’s true, though you should.” The vampire studied the young woman. “Wesley, “ he eyes lightened. “Gunn” he laughed. “Fred. Ooh, getting closer, at what point will you break, Connor?” Angel leaned up. “Connor? You don’t even really like him right now, you blame him…. yet, you do still fear for him, don’t you, left over mommy feelings, what? You can tell me, I’ll keep your secret.”

Cordelia flinched at his beckoning tone. “Don’t underestimate Connor. He did manage to put Angel in a box.” Cordelia struggled trying to pull up her power again.

“He put ME in the box, Cordelia, I wasn’t absent for that. But, that was then, this is now, NOW I won’t be whining and trying to ‘reason’ with him. No, I’ll just be ripping the little bastards head off. But then again, maybe I’ll be creative; after all Holtz already talked me up big, can’t just rest on my laurels.”

“What do you want from me?” Cordelia tried to jerk away.

“You got me thinking, maybe I do need an new eternal crazy evil pet.”

Cordelia gulped then glared. “Go find Justine, then.”

“Did I tell you how magnificent you were, but no, ‘eww’, I did tell you that.”

Cordelia blinked at the expression on his face.

The vampire laughed. “Sweet Fred might be fun, but really no challenge it wouldn’t take much to get her running back to her cave and babbling. But she is darling.”

“Don’t, please.”

“Then she’ll probably want to turn her boyfriend or maybe she’ll just want to play with him awhile. I’ll encourage either. Wesley, though, and that kid are dead.” The vampire pondered out loud, washing over Cordelia’s plea.

“You haven’t mentioned my place in this grand scheme of yours yet.” Cordelia tugged again in at the manacles.

The vampire leaned in, whispering, “Take everything I ever wanted from you of course. The question is then what. You’ve been the bane of my existence for so long, but you would also make a helluva vampire, beautiful, loyal, strong, a great fuck, and without the soul, I wouldn’t even hate you. But, I don’t know, do I want to reward you for making me so goddamn miserable and happy. Tough call. What do you think? You did promise to be with me for always.”

“Not you, never you.”

“You say tomato, I say tamahto.”

“I don’t care what you do to me.” Cordelia jerked again.

“I know, which is why I’m not in a real hurry to torture you. Exactly, how many times have you been tortured?” The vampire rolled on his back, using her chest as a cushion, holding up his fingers counting,” the eyes’ auction, nah, I’m not counting that one, no real damage, and I’m not counting the demon spawn babies, either, you asked for that, so what, Vocah, I’ll give you that one, and I’ll give you the major head fuck by Wolfram & Hart’s bigheaded freak, but not the Skilosh’s little skull hurting spawn, that only lasted an instant. Actually,” Angel leaned up, “What’s with you and demon babies, had I had any balls with a soul, you might’ve been Connor’s mommy. Oh well.” Angel sighed lying back. “You haven’t been tortured by any real pros, so maybe I should. What exactly did that little girl bitch do to you again?”

“I doubt you could even beat the Plyean Priests.”

The vampire narrowed his eyes. “What Plyean Priest?”

“The ones that suck hot irons in my head.”

“You were just complaining, you said it wasn’t bad- nothing about hot irons.”

“I lied, but if you want torture- torture away. I wish you would and STOP talking.” Cordelia tried to kick out.

The vampire turned searching her face, “Of course you lied. Should’ve known. When haven’t you lied about the pain- tell me Cordelia, will you lie about this pain?” The vampire sat up and laughed. “You will, just like you want me to hurt you. You want me to hurt you, that way you can keep saying over and over- it’s Angelus, it’s Angelus – not Angel- and block it out like you block every other painful thing in your life. This hurts you more doesn’t it?” Knowing that I am him. Which do you fear more, me, touching you softly, ” gently padding his fingers along her neck,

“or ripping into your skin?”? The vampire smiled. ” I know the answer, loving you- would destroy you, making you gasp and squirm at my touch.” He moved down, his hand released to curve over her breast, gentling teasing, hardening the nipple. “That was pretty easy. How about this,” the vampire trailed his hand down, cupping her center with a caress. “So hot.” He murmured.

Cordelia flinched trying to jerk her hips away.

The vampire rested his chin on her belly, staring up. Cordelia had squeezed her eyes closed, but that didn’t stop the tears from streaming.

The vampire closed his eyes at the sight, “Shh, baby, it will be alright,” he whispered. His lips moving with gentle kisses to embrace the center.

Cordelia’s eyes shot open. It was Angel’s touch, Angel’s voice, his lips that was touching. She winced, knowing that if she closed her eyes again she would believe it. Cordy forced herself to remember the smirk, the sardonic laughter, and the cold eyes that made his lack of soul apparent and dangerous. Angelus was mocking her love for Angel and she hated him for it. She yelled, jerking her hips harder. This was real, she reminded herself.

It was her vision. Imagines flashed again, pictures of the sneering handsome face juxtaposed on the loving one. Angel vs. Angelus- Angelus vs. Angel-the same face of both flashed through her head. They were the same. This was madness, this was….Cordelia gulped looking at the dark head between her thighs touching gently, trying to give her pleasure, a sickness engulfed her as her body responded and her mind came to an impossible conclusion.

“Told you,” The vampire leaned up, his face void of all expression.

Cordelia gulped swallowing shallow breaths as her muscles tried to calm. She narrowed her eyes. “You don’t seem that happy in that ‘I told you so’. Why? Maybe it wasn’t you, maybe I was just not through with getting laid, good fuck that I am and all.” She moved dragging her legs away from the vampire. “You are good too, you know, must be all those years of practice. Practice makes perfect, I guess mines just talent.”

“Look at you trying so hard, you’ve got you’re brave cocky Cordy face on – the ‘no one can touch me face,” The vampire leaned up studying the young woman, the tears were gone, the heat was still at the tips of his fingers, on the taste of his tongue, but she was cold to look at.

“You can’t…” she slowly shook her head, her eyes momentarily shifting from the vampire’s mocking gaze. “You can’t touch me not anymore, not now.” Cordelia jerked her head to face the vampire head on. “ So, did you want to do more or are we done,”

The vampire narrowed his eyes. “You have no idea what I can do to you.” He leaned caressing Cordelia’s clenched jaw. “My Cordy, so untouchable, but touchable to me, always to me. I found your worse fear,” the vampire leaned back over Cordelia’s body, his hand now resting on the scar on her stomach. “Now you can’t hide. I told you that I liked this, I lied.” He pressed at the old wound. “The moron’s mark, made because you loved him, hate it want it gone.” The vampire moved his fangs sinking around the marred flesh, piercing, and sucking making the scar his own.

Cordelia yelled, clenched her eyes closed, tensing her body as hands settled her hips to the bed. Through the fire in her brain she could hear the slurping of lips on flesh, drinking possessing her to the fullest. Her hands grasped around the iron bars, not moving just waiting for it to be over. S

he….Cordelia groaned as the pain was magically transformed into ease, the sucking hadn’t stopped but the force was gone, now it was gentle, the strength still held her but it was soft, beckoning and tempting. That’s when rage filled her and hate sprang to mind, she jerked again forcing the fangs that had become gentle to rip into her skin, causing a jagged tear and forced a scream from her throat.

“Damn’t, Cordelia, don’t.” The vampire jerked up, slamming his hands down on her, making her body still, his lips this time coating the ripped flesh, kissing and tonguing, stopping the flow of blood that Cordelia’s move generated.

Cordelia leaned up on the bed, the tenderness of his actions causing her tears to start falling again. “Just stop…just stop. Please just stop” Her voice broken.

The vampire leaned up licking his lips. “I take it you don’t love me anymore.”

Cordelia refused to answer her eyes squeezing tighter, her head shaking, anger expounding at the vampires words and a hurt indescribable.

“Whatever I am? You can’t handle it. You’re too cocky for your own good, should’ve realized it early on you can’t love a vampire – they’ll always bite you in the end.” The vampire swung to the side of the bed, his shoulders slumped.

Cordelia opened her eyes to stare at the naked broad back, signs of earlier lovemaking still apparent of the pale flesh. She clenched her jaw, never in her twenty some years and multiple of experiences had she wanted to kill a being so. The power surged through her body, pulsating, not needing a guide.

The manacles melted as the bars did. She jerked kicking at the broad back, pushing the vampire to the floor. She rolled searching, grabbing at the leather coat on the floor, yanking at the stakes she knew would be there. She lunged landing on the fallen vampire the wooden point pressed at the exact spot needed on his naked chest.

“What, no struggle, where’s that self preservation of Angelus I’ve heard so much about,” Cordelia glared at the hands that held her by the shoulders, not pushing just holding and the brown eyes that stared at her. The vampire waited. “Come on, Angelus, its Angel that tries to commit yearly suicide or has bouts with self-destructing, not you.”

Cordelia bore the stake further breaking the skin. “Damn’t do something, say something, just how far are you willing to take this…. WHY?” She leaned up as she heard familiar voices call out her name and Angel’s.

She got up flinging the stake wide grabbing at a sheet, huddling an end at the blood that had started to flow again on her stomach, hiding it, wrapping the excess sheet around like a toga with the corners draped around her reddened wrists. Cordelia swirled to the vampire now leaning up against the wall.

“You will get up, get dressed and shut up. Do it, Angel, now.” She ordered, brushing the tears off her face with a corner of the sheet and faced the door as Wesley barged in.

Angel slid up the wall, his eyes never leaving Cordelia. Her words her actions were all in slow motion as he watched her wave her hands, chastising their friend for kicking in the door. She poo ha the weapons that they were holding. Throwing up her hands as she yelled more. Angel watched as Wesley and Gunn stepped back lowering their weapons at the scowl of the woman. He saw Wesley hold out a pouch in a conciliatory motion. Angel focused in finally listening to the conversation.

“Cordelia, we weren’t following you, though we should’ve been. Right, whatever, but Cordy, Wolfram & Hart knew…”

“What?” Cordelia stepped forward her dramatic display quieted.

Wesley stepped eagerly forward at the calm. “Yes and they had devised a spell to break the enchantment of this room,” Wesley waved about. “Hoping for Angelus and you dead.”

“Uh?” Cordelia shook her head. “Angelus? That’s Angel, been Angel, no soul lossage.” she pointed to the vampire still in the background but now listening.

Angel slunk back. Deep down he had known but he had gone too far, so he had just continued hoping that he was mistaken. Cordelia had asked him how far he had been willing too take it, too far, but obviously not far enough and now Angel was damned in her eyes.

Still, Angel stood straighter against the wall, it wasn’t his plan for her to hate him like that, but it would accomplish what he needed. But god it hurt. Angel looked back at the young woman who was telling their friends the truth but ball faced lying at the same time. Why was she lying? God, he wished he could really understand that woman.

“Yes, good. Didn’t think it would be once the Furies verified that the spell only effected the ‘no violence’ portion and Anita here explained the exact nature of the enchantment.”

The brothel owner poked her head in. “No broken furniture.”

“You didn’t give us any,” Cordelia huffed.

“What did you do to the bed?” Pointing to the melted iron.

“I kinda of glow at certain times.” Cordelia shrugged.

“You two are going to bankrupt me.” She tisked.

“Bill us,” Cordelia glared. “Wesley, if you knew the spell didn’t work…”

“I didn’t until very recently, so-“ He shrugged up his dart gun. “They’re re-doing the ‘no’ violence portion as we speak.” Wesley shrugged again. “Though, violence really wasn’t a concern not if the enchantment itself wasn’t broken. It was just you and Angel.”

“Of course, just me and Angel, safe as two peas in a pod,” Cordelia laughed softly. “So what’s in the pouch your swinging around like an idiot?”

“Oh, the best part…”

“There’s a good part to all this.”

“Cordelia, this was not a secret you should’ve kept. Wolfram & Hart’s goal…”

“Wesley, the bag, lecture me later.”

“Oh, I found the alternate spell….”

“Uh?”

“The gypsies had two, the one they used and this one.”

“I’m lost.”

“It’s wonderful,” Fred chimed in.

“Yes, well,” Wesley coughed. “I can make Angel’s soul permanent, so no fear of any more of Wolfram & Hart’s games on that front,” he waved the bag.

Cordelia’s eyes as well as Angel’s were centered on that small pouch.

Cordelia blinked. “That will work?”

“Yes, I’ve been working on it for the last few days and finally found the right spell.”

Cordelia staggered forward. “You’ve been what? For how long?”

“I didn’t want to tell you until I was sure, no false hopes and all.”

Cordelia swayed and gulped.

Angel moved, not knowing whether he wanted to kill the oh so helpfully good willed closed mouthed Wesley first or hold Cordelia. His decision was made on both counts when Cordelia jerked away and leaned into Wesley’s suddenly outstretched arms. “Cordy, are you alright, you look pale.”

“Nerves and annoyance, only.” She clutched at Wesley’s arms straightening only to stagger again.

“Cordy,”

Angel moved even closer. His thoughts and instincts completely centered on the young woman in the other man’s arms.

Cordelia stepped back her balance steady. “Can you believe it, vision. Vampires, um, waiting in the park to snack. You better go and quick, it will be dawn soon, but you can get there in time if you hurry, Fred you can take me home, right?”

“Of course, “ Fred ran up worried at the paleness of Cordelia’s face.

“Cordelia,” Angel stepped forward saying the only words he said since Cordelia got loose.

“Go, Angel, be a champion, work for your soul, you need it – Or don’t if it makes you too angry, do what you want.”

“Cordy,” Fred said, holding out her arm as the other woman swayed again.

“Fred, get them out, I need to get dressed,” she said softly. “Please.”

“Angel, too?”

“Please, Fred.”

Fred nodded puzzled, but shooed everyone, even grabbing Angel by the shirt and tugging him to the door. “Go fight the vision, go, Cordy said you had to hurry. Make sure you have the blankets. ” She waved them all off.

Once out of sight she turned to Cordelia. “Cordy,” Fred started to re-enter.

“Just a minute Fred, I’ll be out quick, okay.”

Fred bit her lips and nodded. She glanced at the closed door. She could get that Cordelia was angry that they all barged in on her and Angel, but what she didn’t understand is the sadness of the vampire that left and the woman remaining in the room.

Did neither of them hear that Wesley had the cure for Angel’s happy curse?

Cordelia slowly unwrapped the sheet, staring at the blood soaked portions as they fell to the floor. She tore at a clean part, shoving it next to the wound and hunted for her clothes, feeling dead inside.

Part 22

Posted July 19, 2015 by califi in Complete

Betrayal. Book Two. 18-20   1 comment

Part 18

Angel slowly got to his feet. He went silently through the darkness of the hotel until he reached the sewer entrance.

***

Angel stood in the darkest corner of Cordy’s room staring at the beautiful woman her arms curled in the pillow and her legs sprawled wide and loose on the bed. Angel would give his soul to be able to just crawl in between and rest forever. But he couldn’t.

He moved sitting on the edge of the bed, his hand reaching for the smooth shoulder laid bare to his touch. “Cordy.”

“Angel?” Cordy squinted and moved to sit up.

“I couldn’t sleep.” He brushed the tendrils that covered her sleepy face.

“Oh. Nightmares, still.”

“You weren’t there.”

“Come here,” she scooted patting at the bed.

“No. Anita’s now, please.” His fingers teasing up the length of her arm. “Please. I need you, now.”

“Angel, I…okay.” she smiled, caressing his solemn face. “If it will get that brood look off your face.”

“Hurry.”

***

Wesley sat at the table studying the spell Wolfram & Hart used to possibly break the enchantment. From its content it seemed of Lilliad in origin. But, if that were true it would only affect any ‘no’ violence portion of the enchantment. ‘No’ violence couldn’t be what protects Angel’s soul that would only protect Cordelia if he did lose it.

Wesley didn’t understand, the Enchanted Room maximizes pleasure, not at all a safe thing for Angel to experience with Cordelia. Yet, obviously, the enchantment worked. Wesley needed to get a copy of the exact spell. Wesley glared at the phone, he wanted to rush out to Anita’s now and force the brothel owner to give him the information she wouldn’t give him over the phone. Wesley pondered the material again and then looked at his watch for umpteenth time.


Part 19

“How much time do we have,” Cordy asked.

“As long as we need.” Angel held her hand pulling her into the enchanted room.

“That could be for a very long while,” Cordelia smiled and then frowned as she looked around. “Hey, Anita took away all the furniture except the bed. Hey, is that a new bed?”

“I guess unbridled lust was getting expensive.” Angel grabbed her arm, drawing her attention back to him.

“Hmmph.” Cordelia turned back into Angel’s chest. “So now what? There goes all your fantasies. You’ll have to think of more.”

“I’ve plenty.” Angel smiled, drawing his hands up to the crown of her head, slowly caressing down parting the strains of her hair with his fingers, breathing in deeply catching every ounce of flavor that was the woman before him.

Tenderly with great care, he caressed down her shoulders along her arms, taking time, the pads of his fingers pressing into the flesh to ensure that what he sensed was real.

“Angel?”

“Shh, #1, slow-just loving you,” his hands kept traveling feeling along underneath her arms as he lifted in the air; with palm and fingertips Angel tugged at the material of her shirt, pulling it up over her head.

Angel’s callous thumbs padded the softness underneath lace, while his dark stare captured the hidden breasts.

“Back.”

“Shh, Cordy, I can figure it out, just let me undress you, let me love you, now shush.” He whispered.

“I….” Cordy shifted slightly, feeling ridiculously nervous as his eyes caressed and the softness of his voice surrounded her.

“Shh.” Angel’s hands traveled back up to her shoulders, sliding the material off the shoulders, planting small kisses at the smoothness bared.

The lace fell on the floor between their bodies. Wide thumbs came back to the breast pushing small circles around the tips, pressing them into hard points. A cool tongue joined the thumbs, causing Cordelia gasp and jerk.

A palm went immediately went to the sun and steadied Cordelia’s stance. Cordelia closed her eyes losing herself in the sensations, palms, finger, blunt nails, lips, teeth and tongue were all bombarding her skin, swirling, pressing, igniting. Goosebumps appeared as cool air hit her lower body and embers burnt within, her hands went to broad strong shoulders as each leg was lifted and uncovered. The hands remained clutched as the sensation moved lower.

Angel took his time, living in the moments of each piece of skin he touched and tasted. He needed every flavor, scent, smoothness, beauty, gasp imprinted forever in his senses. With care and love he made Cordelia’s essence his own.

Angel knelt, smooth hands in the dip of her waist his face nuzzled in her belly rubbing marking her body with his scent and taste and that’s how he carried her, Cordelia’s legs tight around his torso, his mouth tasting her skin.

Angel lifted up from the bed, divesting his own clothes with much less care and a lot more speed, his eyes never leaving the beautiful woman on the bed. He moved slower as he slid up along her pliant body, his weight pushing Cordelia further into the mattress, his larger frame covering the smaller more supple one. With gentle sure movement he widened the access and entered the warmth, still slow and gentle.

Cordelia whimpered at each long thrust. Angel’s pelvic and base of his penis struck and stroked her with every smooth push. The rhythm was steady, not hard, not soft just steady hitting its goal every time. It was the tick of a clock, the chiming of a bell, the blows of a hammer in a master craftsman’s hands, a drip from a faucet, never deviating never pausing just sparking contact continuously at the same incessant pace. It was driving her crazy. Cordelia tried to claw at his back to force him to move quicker, harder, his hands thrust her flaying hands overhead locking them to the bed.

She tried to buck her hips but his stronger ones kept her in place. She tried to kiss up at his face, but Angel moved slightly, never allowing contact. Her blurry hazel eyes pleaded with her voice to the unyielding gaze of deep brown. The wave building inside her advanced at the same relentless pace, never jarring but slow and sweet and unbearable as it grew spreading and pushing up at her skin. Cordelia needed it to end unless she burst at every nerve. Her gasps became whimpers of need. She gulped her tears in relief as the brown stare lowered leaning down to taste her tears with his lips, whispering words to soothe.

“Shh, honey, follow it through, you can go higher, don’t fight it, just feel it,” hands as calming as the kisses and words caressed tense skin. Relaxing the body as the inner pleasure pulsated with each rapid heart beat, drawing out the pleasure bringing it to a high-prolonged peak.

“Angel, please,” Cordelia choked.

“Shh, baby, you can take just a little bit further,”

Cordelia’s head writhed on the bed, tears falling. Angel leaned in again, capturing her mouth, his tongue thrusting in the same rhythm. Cordelia whimpered into his mouth, her nails creating small blood spots on the hard shoulders, urging him to end it to let her crash to the ground.

Angel’s palm smoothed down the tightening flesh reaching their joining, his knowing finger joined his thrusts, not in accompaniment but in contradiction. The conflicting pressure brought a scream to Cordelia’s lips, the scream turned to a choke as the both pressures went away suddenly and her inner contractions of relief halted, the spiraling crash wavered in ache. Cordelia clawed cool skin as the pressure rebuilt soaring this time, as Angel’s nicked and teased at the hot extended bud between her folds. Angel kissed at the swollen red lips of her center, not stopping until he felt the jerk of the contractions begin again.

Cordelia let out a gasp of breath at the emptiness. Angel was up and back in her before she could whimper at the loss of contact. “Angel” crying, her nails like spikes in his back.

“Now, together, Cordelia,” Angel groaned bucking and thrusting in no rhythm just moving to finding purchase. Cordelia held tighter lifting her hips frantically, squeezing and pumping, deferring her own need for release to push Angel closer. What was once silent lovemaking became vigorous, sounds of slapping sweaty flesh driving towards mutual gratification vibrated in the room. The measured pleasure that had built up in Cordelia that had see sawed with such unbearable bliss plummeted into a choked cry as Angel jammed into her once again, setting off his own shout of completion. Cordelia fell into the mattress her body spent and limp, Angel fell harder his shuddering weight digging her in deeper.

Cordelia hands still lay around the solid back, no longer clawing but caressing her moist face rubbing ragged breaths up into Angel’s chest.

Angel shifted, moving slightly keeping her close.

“Angel,” Hazel eyes fluttered at the dark heavy stare.

“Shh, rest for now, we’ve plenty of time,” he whispered. “I love you.”

“Me, too,” she huddled, her body still tingling, half on him and half on the mattress.

Angel closed his eyes and waited. Hearing her gentle smooth breaths, he got up and went to stand up against the wall, arms across his chest.

He waited for what seemed like an eternity and went back to the bed. He sat, caressing, urging Cordelia to awake. He couldn’t help but smile at the Cheshire cat grin Cordelia gave him as she fluttered her eyes open. “Hi.”

“Hi,” he leaned in to kiss her nose, her eyes and finally her lips. She kept smiling accepting every ministration.

“I like #1, how many does that leave.”

“Too many for you little girl,” the vampire laughed.


Part 20

Wesley sat down in relief, he was finally able to kick Lilah out. He looked at the book, rifling through the pages. He should go back to his office, getting up preparing to close the book. Wesley sat down and read the chapter that caught his eye.

An hour later Wesley leaned back, then lurching forward as he saw the clock. He grabbed the book and ran. He really did need to get back to the office.

***

“Ow,” Cordelia complained.

“Sorry, baby,” The vampire leaned into plant a cool kiss over the nipple he had tweaked too hard.

“Sweet and now Mr. Roughhouse,” Cordelia cocked a teasing brow.

“Do you want me to stop,” He perched up on her chest, his fingers stopping the exploration of her inner folds.

“Dork, you know, I don’t.” She giggled clamping down on the two fingers teasing her.

“Yes, I do, you have the wettest cunt. It’s really quite an ego-booster, don’t even have to work at it, put a finger anywhere and next you’re an inferno, and God, I love a good fire,” he winked pushing up to grab her lips.

Cordelia jerked back at his smirk. “Angel.”

“Yes, darling,…” She blinked and gasped as the vampire’s fingers did an amazing flick to her sensitized center causing her nerves to vibrate.

“You were saying, Cordelia, or does a vampire have your tongue, or rather your clit.” He tweaked again.

“Ahh.” Cordelia gasped out in pain as her body shuddered in another orgasm.

He leaned up. “It’s always amazing how at the moment of pleasure, pain always seems to find a place.”

“Angel,” Cordy sat up her legs still trembling, her heart beating rabidly.

“Yes, Cordy dear,” The vampire stroked both her arms, lifting them.

“You….” She started to stammer.

“Cordy, I don’t have your clit anymore, no reason to choke on your words. You so like your words don’t you,” He jerked her arms up, thrusting them to the bed rails.

Cordelia didn’t have time to resist before she heard the click of the manacles. She tugged at the restraints that now locked her to the bed.

“New fantasy.” The vampire sat up, tracing a finger down her chest to her stomach. “Actually, very old one. Got it right around the time, I saw you in so much pain, fighting off those hidden horrors, so helpless, so sad. A good fuck would’ve been about perfect then. What do you think? Would you have liked it?”

“NO.” She squeezed her eyes shut at the laughing vampire beside her, her arms tugging at the bed.

“New- iron. I might’ve even had trouble with this one. Probably the point,” He leaned down, “You don’t have a hope. Unless.” He shot up. “Do the glowy thing. Can you, come on. Try it.”

“What?” Cordelia jerked her head to the rails she was locked to. “No, no, no, no,” she whimpered pulling her knees to her chest in attempt to get in the fetal position. “It wasn’t a dream,” she mumbled into the pillow, which she stuck her face, pressing harder, and harder trying not to breath.

The naked vampire shot of the bed, “What wasn’t a dream?” He stared at Cordelia trying to suffocate herself in feathers.

“What wasn’t a dream?” He yanked her head up.

Cordelia jerked her head away. The vampire brought it back to his face. “The dream you had of Angelus….of me wasn’t a dream?”

“Let me go,” she cried, trying to bring her body closer into a ball.

“Talk to me,” the vampire pulled at her hair.

Hazel eyes marred with heavy red lines glared. “Vision, dumb ass.”

The vampire grabbed at his pants shoving them on. “Vision.” He leaned up against the wall searching the room. He took a depth breath and moved back towards the chained woman. “Not batting a thousand on those things are you. Skip- a good guy, here a safe place- uh, no. Maybe the Powers are trying to get rid of you, you know kidnapped by Wolfram & Hart, here with me. All visions that you screwed up biiiiig time, maybe they did it on purpose, or maybe sex addles your brain. You were fucking Groozilla on the first one, and hey now your fucking me.”

“Not you, never you.”

“Hate to break it to you, darlin,” The vampire settled in next to Cordelia’s curled body, “but those last couple of out of the world experiences were me. Thank you very much and the other’s they were me too.”

“NO.”

“Ahhh. Yes. Oh, all right, I did have the soul for most of them, but the last couple of screaming wails were from yours truly, once that slow joyful soul releasing crap was taken care of. What? All vampires gray in the dark? I bet you swore that you could tell the difference, didn’t you? Miss perfect fucking Cordelia knew the souled vamp so well, that she could tell in a blink when the soul was gone. Honey, you didn’t. I had to tell, if I hadn’t we’d still be fucking.”

The vampire slumped back. “Not necessarily the smartest decision I’ve made. I could do with some more home cookin’, you are tasty, but then again, it was getting tiring pretending. Now, I can do what I want. What do you think about that?” He plucked at Cordelia’s chin.

Cordelia glared, her tears dried.

“Talk to me or this could get really unpleasant. Just say a word.”

Cordelia gulped. “Why would I want to talk to you, Angelus?”

“That was more than a word, very good, for a minute there I thought you lost your spunk.” He pecked her on the cheek, laughing as Cordelia flinched away. “First, you can call me Angel that’s how all my friends and loved ones know me now. And souled I pretty much killed any friend or lover I had way back when, wait, I didn’t have any friends. How, lonely, I’ll just have to reacquaint myself with the ones I have now.”

“You aren’t Angel.”

The vampire cocked his head. “Yes, I am. I could say I’m Angelus, but that connotes an 18th century vampire that was hung up in Darla’s skirts. Now, I like to think I’ve grown- it’s the 21st century, goddamn it. If my souled self could change the name, I can- we are the same.”

“NO.”

“That from the girl who thought she knew all my dark secrets, wrongo, babe. What’s in me has always been in me- a demon. The soul just made the demon pitiful, dorky and VERY angry. So, back to my friends….oh and my son.”

Cordelia jerked kicking her feet at the vampire, the vampire grabbed at the swinging legs crushing them on his lap. “So, you don’t think they’ll like me….not even sweet Fred, she seemed so positive that I wasn’t a beast.”

“God damn you,” Cordelia flinched; she twisted and fought to get loose. Suddenly she stilled, she closed her eyes, the power was starting to churn and boil within. Focus on strength not the fear, the power; she thrust her hand up against the metal bars.

The vampire jumped back as Cordelia’s hand and bars began to glow.

“Okay, stop that.” He slapped her, knocking the glowing hand loose from the bars.

***

Wesley ran straight to his office. Damn, he stared at the computer. He looked at the clock; it wasn’t the time to wake Fred. He wasn’t deficient. He clicked the mouse grateful that Jenny Calendar’s disc was still on the screen.

He praised Fred for not turning the computer off. He scanned, scrolling for the part he needed. He turned flipping the pages of the book Lilah got him. He was right. The there were two tribes involved and two curses.

The young girl that Angelus killed had parents from both. Unusual and Wesley was sure that love story was a tale, but it made sense. He read again. The maternal side, Jenny Calendar’s ancestors, planned the curse that was inflicted on Angelus. The other though would’ve given the vampire a permanent soul. He read more.

Malochav’s tribe, the paternal side believed that either Angelus should be hunted and killed or cursed with a permanent soul, if that was the route the combined council directed. The existence of a tentative soul with a curse may bring more suffering but it also brought the threat of Angelus emerging again. They would not stand for that possibility. Death or soul permanency and the guilt that went with it was their vote.

Wesley signed, thinking of all the people and heartache that could’ve been saved if the combined gypsy council had chosen Malochav’s spell. Wesley flipped through some more pages very gratified to see the spell hidden between herb potions, healing elixirs and other magic of the girl’s paternal parent’s tribe.

Wesley leaned back. “Eureka,” he whispered, calming his voice. He had to tell Angel now. Wesley looked at the clock. Screw it, Angel was a vampire. Wesley ran up the stairs. He looked, blinked, and yelled.

Fred, Gunn and Lorne all ran at the sound vibrating along the hall walls.

“Wesley.” Fred ran up first, looking into Angel’s room. “Where’s Angel?”

Wesley turned to Fred gripping her forearms. “Call Cordy now, keep calling until she answers.”

“Wesley?”

“NOW.”

“Hey,” Gunn stepped.

Wesley brushed away the intimidation. “Gunn, go get all of the tranquilizer guns and darts ready now. GO.”

Gunn stared at Wesley then looked at Angel’s empty room. “Gone.” He ran.

“Muffin,” Lorne said, “You’re….”

“Screw the analysis, take this spell to the Furies.” Wesley shoved the spell manufactured by Wolfram & Hart. “ Make them tell you if its valid, if it is make them stop it.”

Lorne looked at the paper. “The girls like their beauty sleep. 2000 years old they need it.”

“It’s a spell that counteracts the effects of The Enchanted Room at Anita’s, the place where Angel and Cordy have been having I imagine happy sex for the last few weeks, Wolfram & Hart have already done it. It’s my understanding that the Furies had a part in devising the enchantment, I….”

Lorne ripped the spell out of Wesley’s hand. “No need to hear more- I’m gone like the wind, off like a prom dress, I’ll make like a banana and split,” Lorne recited hurrying back to his room, “Won’t even take the time to coordinate.”

“Fred.”

The young woman held the cell phone up coming back in the hall, “No one’s answering.” She shrugged.

“Damn. Come with me.” Wesley grabbed her arm pulling her back to his office.

***

“Man, Wes,” Gunn placed all the weapons on the desk.

“Wesley, I’ve got the ingredients, but…why…”

Wesley yanked off his glasses, rubbing his forehead. “Angel and Cordelia have been meeting secretly at a brothel, having intercourse in an enchanted room.” He held up his hand. “It’s been verified, and it has also been safe up until now. Wolfram & Hart found out and have interfered with the spell. The spell that they are using is untested, but if it works it will make the room powerless. Both Angel and Cordelia are unaware of this. I’ve given the spell to Lorne; he’s gone to the Furies, with the hope that if it is indeed effective, they can restore the original spell. This,” he held up the bag that Fred had given him,” are the ingredients to a spell that will restore Angel’s soul permanently. Those and these,” Wesley threw stakes and crossbows on to the dart guns, “are if we are too late and Angelus makes an appearance.”

“But….”

“Fred, Angel’s not here, Cordy’s not at home. We can’t trust them on this. We can’t. If it happens, Cordelia is dead, and then so many more, including us.”

“Mount up,” Gunn said without any more hesitation, lugging the bag of weapons on his shoulders.

Part 21

Posted July 19, 2015 by califi in Complete

Betrayal. Book Two. 15-17   1 comment

Part 15

Cordelia popped up from the counter, the spoon hanging in her hand when the lobby door opened. “Angel, guys.” She went running to the door, Fred two feet behind her.

“Get to the couch all of you.” Cordelia ordered as she ran to get the first aid kit. “Who needs to go first?”

“Me,” Angel raised his hand high in the air.

“Don’t be a baby,” Cordelia shook her head. “Gunn, Wesley?”

“Girl, I’m okay, I just….” He winced as Fred gently pulled the material from his wound.

“That doesn’t look good Charles,” Fred blinked.

“Fred, here, start wiping and disaffecting,” handing the other woman some gloves and gauze.

“Wesley, lift up,” Cordelia ordered.

“Really, I’m alright, Cordy,” Wesley protested.

“You said you were bleeding all over my car,” Angel called out.

“I got better.” Wesley shoved at his glasses.

“Better my foot.” Cordy studied the two slashes on Wesley’s chest. “No stitches, though.” Cordy patted at the blood. “Wesley, you know, you really do have a nice chest, Fred….”

Fred looked over. “Uhuh,” she shoved at her glasses. “Maybe you should go take a shower.”

“WHAT?” Wesley said in shock, Gunn and Angel in surprised anger.

“Calm down, I was just observing.” Cordelia shot a look to Angel, while Fred just giggled.

“Well, stop, and hurry up, I’m really hurt.” Angel whined.

Wesley grabbed at his shirt, clutching it to his bare chest. “I can finish from here.”

“Okay.” Cordelia slipped off her gloves and walked over to Angel. “Let me see.”

“No.”

“Angel, stop being a baby. You said you were really hurt.”

“Why didn’t you come to me first,” he said lowly. “And why were you looking at Wesley’s chest.”

“First, you are a vampire therefore less likely to die from blood loss, infection or go into shock and second, that was where his injuries were. As long as you’re talking and acting like a baby, I don’t get freaked. Now, let me see.”

Angel begrudgingly lifted his shirt. “I still hurt.”

Cordy traced the area of skin around Angel’s chest wound. Angel looked up at her silence. He grabbed her hand, “I’m okay.”

“You’ll live, or whatever,” she shrugged. “But, a nice warm glass of blood and bed, for all of you.” She ordered to the other men.

“I ain’t doing no blood.”

“Tea will be fine for me.”

“Idiots. Go upstairs, Angel, I’ll get you your blood and finish there.”

Wesley looked up as Angel went to the stairs and Cordelia to the kitchen.

Fred leaned down. “Don’t say a word.”

“I wasn’t.” Wesley said.


Part 16

“Here you go,” Cordelia handed Angel his blood.

“Cordy, its only 12:30.” Angel quirked a hopeful smile.

“No, Angel.” She looked at the gash again, turning to pick up gauze and ointment. “So were you able to talk to Connor or did he just stab and leave.”

“You saw that?” Angel’s smile gone and staring.

“Yeah, it was good right?”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Because not only can you be a chauvinistic jerk, you can be a tad over protective.” She leaned down to kiss his hair. “I didn’t want you distracted. I didn’t see him getting hurt or anything like that.” Cordelia scrunched up her nose. “Though, I didn’t see any of you getting hurt either. He didn’t get hurt did he?” She asked in sudden concern.

“No and I sort of talked to him. He wanted to drive my car. I said no, should I have said yes?”

“He asked to drive your car?” Cordelia leaned down in front of Angel with a happy grin. “That’s wonderful.”

“It is?”

“Sure, every teenager asks that of his parents and they always say no at first. This is really good. He didn’t want to come back?”

“No.”

“Oh.” Cordy slumped.

“I did offer to teach him to drive using Gunn’s truck.” Angel said again with a different kind of hope.

“How’d Gunn take that?”

“He was all for it.”

“Right.” Cordelia laughed. “Now stay still,” she pushed at his roaming hands on her waist.

“I’m okay.”

“No, you’re not, you won’t be until tomorrow. Tonight was a bust for us and you know it, so don’t try any puppy dogface or growling. I’m not wasting our money just to have you fall asleep.

Angel bit down his growl. “You’re staying,” using his puppy dogface.

“Of course,” leaning down to give the vampire another kiss. His tongue licked at her lips. “Chocolate Mint?”

“I needed comfort.”

“Where you going.”

“To steal some sweats and a t-shirt,” going to his dresser.

“Oh.” Angel bent down to take his shoes off, he winced a little standing to take off his pants.

“I’m alright,” he said as Cordelia turned around sharply at the sound.

“Do you need more blood?”

“I’m fine, Cordy, I’ve had worse, much.”

“That’s not really comforting,” she mumbled, changing quickly.

“I wish you’d do that slower.” Angel stood staring trying to catch glimpses of as much skin as he could.

Cordelia turned pulling the t-shirt down, “That’s because I’m changing for bed, not doing a striptease, buster.”

“53”

“Uh.”

“Fantasy 53 is you doing a striptease for me.” He grinned.

“53? There’s a 1-52?”

“Oh, at least up to 100, then you have the sub variations of each, and the sub variations of those, you would need Fred to get the exact number.”

Cordy blinked. “Then how come, all we get to is breaking furniture, does that have a number?”

“A lot of numbers. Unbridled lust ends even the sweet ones.”

“Oh,” Cordelia scrunched up her face and crawled in the bed, Angel moved in beside her pulling her and the covers in between their bodies.

“Angel,”

“Hmm,”

“Maybe next time, we can make a concentrated effort to start with something other than unbridled lust.”

“You don’t like unbridled lust?”

“No. I like, definitely like, but…” thinking,” does you being manacled to the bed have a number.”

Angel lifted his head. “Maybe, but that we only did as precautionary measure,” he squirmed a little not wanting to go into that particular fantasy any further.

“Oh, well, I was just wondering what say 53 would be like if we added tickling and whatever number that one was.”

Angel gulped. “Unbridled lust, broken furniture and the completion of sub variation of fantasy number 67.”

Cordelia peeked over her shoulder. “You really do spend too much time up here alone don’t you?”

“I’ve have had them downstairs. There is the few with you on your desk, not even counting the ones in Wesley’s office, which you remember once was mine.” Angel grinned as Cordelia lightly smacked him.

“You really are bad aren’t you, not sweet at all.”

Angel pulled positioning her over his chest, lifting finger to trace down her profile. “I’m whatever you want me to be, Cordelia,” he said lowly.

“No, Angel, you’re who I want, whatever that may be. I love you. ”

Angel gentle caress changed his palm brushing her face, moving down to her neck forcing her lips to his. He devoured everything she offered, ignoring the twinge of something volatile under his skin. His kisses became rough, soft- his hands following the same madding pattern all over Cordelia’s skin.

He could lose himself so easily right now. She loved him with total acceptance; it wanted to make him shout for joy, it scared the hell out of him, finally recognizing the flicking of danger within his being.

Angel shot up, pushing Cordelia away.

“Angel?”

“Cold Shower?” He grimaced, trying to smile.

“Oh.” Cordelia bit her lip. “Sorry.”

“Never apologize for making me love you or want you okay,” Angel leaned back down on the bed with a semblance of sanity, lifting her chin with a finger. “I just need a shower.” He kissed her quickly and went into the bathroom.

Angel twisted the knobs, forcing the pressure at the highest level. It wasn’t a cold or hot shower he needed just time to think rationally.

He stripped sinking to the bottom of the tiles, letting the water’s pressure beat at his body. He didn’t know whether to scream or just be in awe. Cordelia Chase, the woman he loved, could take his soul with out even trying. No sex needed, that was a new one. Angel slammed his head against the wall.

Why couldn’t the damn thing come with do and don’ts? Christ, he had been worrying about a physical slippery slope, fighting his instincts to just take what he needed, who knew that he’d have to worry about Cordelia loving him with such overwhelming power.

Angel slumped further down under the pounding spray. At that moment, he truly hated his soul -he wanted so much to damn the consequences and go to her, forcing, seducing her into onto his body, make her accept him in her, feel the heat the joy. Except, she wouldn’t forget the consequences for either of them- that is the only she thing wouldn’t do for him. Angel lumbered to his feet, hesitant to leave the safety of the shower, hoping that she would be gone.

Cordelia was dressed back in her street clothes. “I should go home.”

Angel nodded slowly, now wishing she would stay.

Cordelia frowned. “Are you alright?”

“I’m fine, Cordy.”

She bit her lip walking towards the vampire, her hand reaching out to caress the wound on his stomach. “Are you sure? Seem kind of broody all of a sudden,” she softly questioned.

Angel forced himself to smile bringing her fingers to his lips. “You make me broody.”

Cordelia scrunched up her brow. “I don’t want to make you broody.”

“You can’t help it right now,” placing a gentle kiss on her brow.

“Oh.” lifting her eyes to his face, a twinkle in her eye. “Tomorrow, if you rest, I’ll make you happy.”

Angel chuckled. “You already do, Cordelia, so much that it hurts.”

Cordelia stepped back, her eyes puzzled at his sad chuckle. “Uh, I guess I should….do you need me to get you some more blood. I can just…”

“I’m fine, Cordy. I’ll see you tomorrow.” kissing lightly again.

“Angel, you shouldn’t brood. Connor helped tonight. That’s good. And we’ll go to Anita’s tomorrow, right?” Going to the door.

“You know me Mr. Broody ‘grr’ guy, can’t help myself.”

Cordelia shook her head.

“Cordelia.” Angel called out.

She turned and waited.

“I do love you.”

A great bright smile transformed Cordy’s face. “Me, too.”

***

Cordelia took one last look at Angel’s closed door. Something was definitely wrong with him, but for the life of her she couldn’t figure it out. It was more than normal frustration that never made him broody, just frantic or angry. What in the hell happened in that shower?

“Cordy.” Wesley came out of his office.

Cordelia started. “Wesley, what are you doing still here? I thought I told you to rest.” She scrutinized his torn shirt.

“I will, just wanted to finish up something.”

“Boring research can wait until tomorrow.”

“I thought you were staying.”

“Now you want me to?” Her hands on her hips.

“I…just…goodnight, Cordelia.”

“Sleep, Wesley. It’s good for you.” She shook her head and left.

Wesley stared after the young woman. Maybe he should have told her how close he was to discovering a counter spell for the curse. No. He wanted to be sure first. He jumped as his pocket rang.

“Hello.”

“I need to see you.”

“No, Lilah, you don’t.”

“Yes, Wesley, I do- and if you care about your little family then you need to see me. 30 minutes, your apartment. Don’t worry this isn’t a seduction, unless, of course…”

“Goodbye, Lilah.”


Part 17

Wesley stepped out of car, heading up the walk to his apartment. Lilah stepped in beside him. “Aren’t you scared that you might be seen?”

“Only Cordelia and Angel’s bedrooms were bugged or at least attempted to be bugged, ” She shrugged. “But you’re bedroom’s clear, so if you want…”

“Lilah, why are you here.”

Lilah shook her head, getting to the point in her own infallible way. “For a drink and some advice.”

“Quit Wolfram & Hart, get a conscience, give to the United Way, and wear red more.”

“Not the advice I was looking for.” Lilah raised an elegant brow.

“Lilah.” unlocking his door.

She glided past him, looking around the living room. “Where’s the bottle?” looking at the empty table.

“It seems that I’m no longer in need of alcohol formed goggles.”

“Cute. Here,” pulling out a file from her briefcase, now getting straight to the point.

“What’s this?”

“I really need a drink.”

Wesley sighed and went to his cabinet and put a bottle and glass on the table.

Lilah filled her glass. “That is Wolfram & Hart’s latest project.”

“This is…” Wesley quickly leafed through the papers a feeling of dread crept up from his toes to squeeze his bowels.

“The return of Angelus.” Lilah cocked her glass.

Wesley slammed the file shut. “Why are you giving me this?”

“I’m not going to stop it, I can’t my job- my life depends on it, in fact I just signed the paper work to push it into the critical stage, but it if fails, then oh well.” She cheered again.

“You can’t be serious.”

“About my job- my life, yeah, damn serious.”

“Lilah, have you gone insane, has Wolfram & Hart? Angelus is nobody’s friend or ally.”

“I got that- I got that from you, Angel, even Cordelia told me that I hadn’t actually seen the ‘real’ bad side of Angel, all while she gave a fashion discourse on my shoes. She knows her shoes and I imagine her vampire.” Lilah conceded.

Wesley looked back through the papers. “Those self-denying fools.” Looking at the pictures of Angel and Cordelia running into Anita’s Brothel.

“Actually, they were pretty smart, really pure luck that we found out. I picked the most worthless informant that seems also to be a horny bastard, in more ways than one, and just happens to get his rocks off there on a nightly basis. Now, I see why he’s so worthless, he’s spending no time on the streets just in between the sheets, so to speak. But, from all reports the Enchanted Room, while maximizing pleasure, won’t do a thing to Angel’s soul. Gets his love and his joy.”

Wesley stared up at her. “If there is no danger.”

“Read on. You haven’t gotten to the really good part.”

Wesley scanned the rest. “Will it work,” he asked finding immediately what Lilah was talking about.

“In theory. That little spell cost a lot of money and magical staff hours. But, we won’t know until Angel and Cordy’s next love session, which if they hold true to the week to week sessions, should be this weekend.”

“What can Wolfram & Hart hope to gain, Angelus won’t work with them.”

“They don’t want him to…they just want him to kill Cordelia.”

“What? Why?”

“Well, once he kills Cordelia, which everybody seems to think he will do first off, then he will be captured, and his soul restored, viva the gypsy curse, which we have – tab E’” Lilah pointed with her pinky, her hand still around the glass of whiskey. “Angel will be useless as a champion after that, easily controlled, I believe is the goal.”

The tightness in his bowels threatened to erupt. The plan could work. Wesley smashed his face rubbing it harshly trying to think. He needed to get back and tell Angel. Once Angel knew there would be no going to Anita’s. Christ, he needed to make sure that Angel was still at the hotel. Wesley knew both of his friends well enough that strict schedules may not be possible for either one of them.

Lilah poured another drink watching Wesley as he pulled at his cell phone. “Answer, Answer,” he mumbled repeated.

“Hello.”

“Fred, where’s Angel.”

“Asleep, like we’ll should be,” she yawned. “Is something wrong.”

“Please get him for me.”

“Wesley.”

“Fred, please.”

“Oh, alright.”

Wesley looked at the ceiling as he heard murmured conversation, Gunn’s deep tones obvious in the room. He couldn’t think about that.

“Wesley, he wouldn’t take the phone. He’s….something’s wrong with him.”

“Wrong, what do you mean?”

“Wesley, what’s happening?”

“What do you mean- wrong?”

“I mean he’s just sitting in his chair staring at the wall in the dark. Like he did when Connor and Cordy were gone. Did something happen to Connor? Y’all just saw him.”

“No, Fred. But Angel’s there?”

“I just said he was. Wesley, Wesley.”

Wesley hung up the cell phone on Fred’s voice.

***

Gunn leaned up on his elbow. “What’s up?”

Fred shrugged and went back to bed. “I don’t know. Things are getting odd, one minute Angel’s whistling the next he’s all…broody, and Wesley’s paranoid.”

“You’re just figuring that out. Let’s go to sleep,” Gunn pulled her back in his arms.

***

“That’s your plan, make sure Angel’s not getting horizontal with his seer.” Lilah shrugged.

Wesley glared. “Why are you telling me all this?”

“Like I said, I think it’s a bad idea. To a meager extent Angel is controllable, but Angelus- I just refreshed. Capturing him may not be as easy as we think and if he gets out in to the wild world every one is free game. Me- I’m worried about. Angel assured me that Angel’s enemies aren’t Angelus’ friends.”

“Wow, you’re a genius.” Wesley rolled his eyes. “I need you to get me Malochav’s book from Wolfram & Hart’s library.”

“I brought you the file.”

“I need the book. If this is Wolfram & Hart’s goal, then they will try a different tactic once this fails- the book has the information I need to make up a spell to restore Angel’s soul.”

“The gypsy spell is in the file.”

“Not that one- one that will make it permanent.”

“We have that information? How come I don’t know that?”

“Minimal use of your library card?”

“I don’t know if I can get you that book. I don’t know if I WANT to get you that book.”

“Lilah, you’re already dead,” he held up the file.

“I’ve plausible deniability on that.”

“I need that book.” Wesley demanded.

Lilah rolled her eyes. “Fine. I’ll call you in an hour.”

“Lilah, thank you.”

“I didn’t do it for you but for me.”

“I know, but regardless thank you anyway.”

“Does that mean you’ve missed me, been thinking about us.”

“No, it just means thank you.”

“Right, red, uh, I knew you liked that teddy number, I guess I’ll be buying a new one since you ripped the other one to shreds, ” Lilah smiled and left.

Part 18

Posted July 19, 2015 by califi in Complete

Betrayal. Book Two. 13-14   1 comment

Part 13

Lilah looked at the report in her hand and the shredder. Wow. She was scared and she almost considered it. She leafed through the pages and pictures again. Who would’ve thought that useless demon snitch would hit pay dirt.

“Interesting reading, wouldn’t you say?” Garfield Manny stood at her door with the identical file in his hand.

Lilah glanced, her smile as perfect as ever. “I see Loocus sent you a copy too.” Lilah hid both her relief that she resisted the impulse to shred the documents and her fear at what they contained.

“It seems the couple of the Armageddon think they found a loop hole to the curse.”

“The Brothel is protected by a no violence spell and the room is enchanted. No Angelus.”

“Spells, enchantments. Lilah, we have the largest staff of witches, shamans, sorcerers in the world. I’m sure that something can be done. Good work putting Loocus on the case. I was wary of your choice at first, his record of giving valuable information is sketchy at best.”

Lilah’s false smile got wider. “Gut feeling.”

“You have good instincts, Lilah, keep me informed.”

Lilah nodded. She swung around in her chair gazing out over the city. She did have good instincts for self-preservation and they were screaming that this was a really bad idea.

But, then so is going against the firm’s goals. She had to find a happy medium that kept her alive.

***

“Wesley, I think we should tell Angel and Cordy,” Fred said pushing her glasses up as she peered at the computer screen.

“I don’t want to raise their hopes.” He responded his eyes still reading the pages.

“I think their hopes need to be raised.” Fred said. “You said this could work.”

“I won’t know that until I get the book.”

“Well, get the book.”

“It’s very rare, not easily gotten.”

“Do you even know where a copy is?”

“I know where the original is.” Wesley leaned back in his chair.

“Where,” Fred jumped excitedly.

“Wolfram & Hart”

“Oh…” Fred glanced back up. “They have the alternate curse, do they know?”

“Doubtful. The reference I found in Angel’s file was obscure; I only saw it because the gypsies name wasn’t included in the Watcher Diaries’ of the event. The book of Malochav’s life was cataloged in a separate and unrelated field of study. Damn,” Wesley rubbed at his forehead. “I should have taken it while I was there.”

“You did take a lot.” Fred said encouragingly.

“Useless information for the most part, but that….”

“Then we definitely need to tell Angel, if we’re going to steal it.”

Wesley blinked. “Break in Wolfram & Hart to steal a book.”

“Why not, their security kind of sucks. I mean, how many times has Angel been able to get in- alot and that’s only since I’ve been here.”

“True.” Wesley nodded.

“Or maybe you can ask your old skanky bitch of girlfriend.”

Wesley shot up at the disgust in Fred’s tone.

“She wasn’t my girlfriend.”

“Whatever,” Fred concentrated back on her computer screen.

***

Cordelia forced herself to finish going through the file cabinet. She glanced around the office trying not to stare at the clock. Tick Tock Tick Tock, why couldn’t the damn hands move any faster.

At 8:00 she could legitimately go home, no matter what Wesley was doing. What was he doing? She stared at the closed door; he and Fred had been locked up in there for almost the whole day. Oh well, it least it kept him off her back.

She wanted to go down to the basement and train with Angel, but Gunn was down there cleaning weapons. There was something weird about Gunn and cleaning solutions. Oh well, it was probably for the best, once down there, she would want Angel to help there, then touch her, then kiss her, then…Why didn’t that damn clock move any faster.

She only wasted a minute whining to herself.

Cordelia went back to the file cabinet. 8:00 she would go home, 10:00 Angel would retreat to his room. 10:05 he would be at her apartment. By 10:20 they would be naked in each other’s arm. She could wait.

Cordelia threw down the file in her hand as her whole evening just got screwed.

She strode to Wesley’s office door, banging. “Vision.” she yelled, proceeding to the stairs, grumbling. In a really bizarre way she missed the pain, the pain guaranteed that Angel would be up and running and holding her. “Vision.” she yelled down the steps.

Cordelia barely got to the middle of the lobby, when Angel’s arms came around her, stroking her, studying her face with concern.

“No pain, remember.” She smiled, leaning a little closer.

“Habit, I guess,” Angel pulled her in tighter.

“Ahem.” Wesley said from the doorway.

“I’m going to hit him,” Cordelia whispered as she pulled away.

“Not before I kill him.” Angel whispered back.

“Our evening is screwed.”

“It won’t take long,” he whispered letting her go. “I’ll be quick.”

Cordelia shook her head and turned to everyone that is gathered. “Very mean, very deadly, very ugly with a spiked tail, razor claws and teeth, body armor and yearning to eat every person on the pier.”

Wesley ran to his books at hearing the description, flipping to a page. “This?”

“That be it.” Cordelia shook her head again.

“Oh, Tas-Klars can be very difficult to kill.” Wesley commented.

“Tonight, it will be easy,” Angel grabbed for the book. “It’s got a head, it will come off quickly.” He strode to the weapon’s cabinet and took out his largest broad sword.

Gunn studied the picture. “This bad boy calls for big Bertha, good thing I just cleaned her.” He patted his large two bladed axe affectionately.

Cordelia leaned over to Fred. “Doesn’t that worry you just a little.” She urged to the handsome black man fondling his shiny weapon.

Fred shrugged. “It’s harmless and it makes him happy. You should see how he gets grout out of the shower, sparkling.”

“Handy.” Cordy shook her head.

“Well, shall we go.” Wesley said bared down with his own large axe.

“Okay,” Both Fred and Cordy went to the weapons cabinet.

“You’re not going,” all three men said at once.

Both women swirled and faced the men. “We aren’t?”

The three men backed up at the glares shooting their way.

Angel took a tentative step forward. “Cordy, I know you can fight, I do. You fight very well and can get all glowly which is impressive as well as helpful. But, see, if you’re there I might get worried, because I admit I can be a chauvinistic jerk and well, if I’m worried then it just may take me longer than I want to rip this thing’s head off.”

“That’s so sweet.” Cordy smiled running up to kiss the vampire, yanking at his ear. “And so full of crap, but it is sweet,” she whispered.

Gunn immediately stepped up. “Girl, you are one smart hot mama, gadgets and sharp things galore, very impressive as well as helpful. But, see, if …”

Fred ran up slapping Gunn upside the head. “Shut up, go and be careful.” rolling her eyes.

Gunn stumbled back. “How come it worked for you?” He shot over to the grinning vampire.

“It’s in the delivery and I’m sweet.” Angel whistled towards the door.

Wesley shot a look at the vampire. “Why are you whistling?”

“Because, off too work I go. Shall we?”

Wesley stared at the vampire. “Since when did you get a sense of humor?”

“Since, you lost yours.” Angel walked out.

Wesley turned to stare suspiciously at Cordelia.

“What? You’re blaming his bad jokes on me?”

“Angelus had a sense of humor.”

“He also killed people not big ugly demons. No dead people.” Cordelia huffed.

Wesley considered then left.

“Will he ever give it up?” Cordy yelled to the now empty room except for Fred.

“He is a little anal about the subject, but it will get better,” Fred assured. “Promise.” Fred wanted to tell Cordelia then what Wesley had been working so hard on. But it was Wesley’s work and she wanted him to be the one to tell Angel and Cordy.

Maybe then they would see that Wesley really wasn’t just being a prig but was really trying to help them.

“Sure, is there ice cream? Do you feel like comfort?” Cordelia asked.

“No, but I can always eat ice cream.” Fred nodded.

“Two spoons and a carton, let’s go.” Cordelia headed for the kitchen. She might as well as eat herself into a comfort coma. No matter what Angel hoped, she was pretty confident that their evening plans were screwed.

But, if what she saw in her vision was right, it would be worth it. Still, she needed ice cream.


Part 14

“Damn,” Angel growled as he ducked and dodged the charging demon. This wasn’t going to be as quick as he hoped. The beast’s armor was almost impenetrable.

Every swing of his sword bounced off with barely a mark. Wesley and Gunn’s axes weren’t doing much better. Both men were also ducking and trying to find a weakness. Angel reared back to charge the large demon hoping to take it to the ground.

He winced and flew from the force of the demon’s back swing. Angel slowly crawled up against the wall. Both Wesley and Gunn were also struggling to their feet; Angel could smell their blood flowing before he saw their torn shirts. Angel winced again his own wound.

Okay, he was really pissed. There no way Cordelia would agree to go with him to Anita’s not with this gaping wound or Wesley and Gunn being injured. She would want to baby him, them. He was going to be stuck in the hotel tonight.

The only bright side was he was pretty sure she would ignore any disapproval from Wesley and stay with him. Still, he was more than just pissed at the evil interfering demon. She’d probably make him wait two days at least. Angel growled his frustration and growing rage released his demon, he ran to the other demon, leaping in the air twisting his body to lay a solid double kick straight at the demon’s head.

Angel rolled and twisted jumping back on his feet, hurtling his body again into the demon, plummeting with strong blows causing the demon to teeter unsteadily. Both Wesley and Gun crept closer with their weapons raised. In the same motion, both swung their axes towards the beast. Wesley’s landing slicing the chest and Gunn’s gouging the back. The demon howled at the combined attack. Angel pushed in again with his blade wounding the beast in its stomach, only to be slashed in the back by the demon’s long tail. The lethal tail continued on its path striking Wesley and Gunn leveling them to the ground with its spikes.

The demon stalked towards Angel it’s claws flashing and tail snapping. Angel scrambled to reach for his sword to parry the oncoming blows.

Suddenly the demon lurched back, howling again. Angel limped to his feet, seeing his son land square on the demon’s back Connor’s knife shoved to the hilt in its neck. The demon twirled in circles its claws and tail trying to reach the burden on its back.

“JUMP, CONNOR, NOW,” Angel yelled, his sword out.

Connor shot a look to his father, but did as he said, rolling and swiftly getting to his feet.

Before the Demon had a chance to get its bearings, Angel swung a perfect forceful stroke through the demon’s neck.

Wesley and Gunn scrambled on the ground, their hands on their injuries, to make way for the crashing body.
Angel watched in satisfaction as the head went flying landing in a dumpster.

“Hole in one, man, not bad.” Gunn stumbled to his feet, coughing as he spoke.

Angel called to his son who had started to retreat back into the blackness of the night.

“Connor, you helped kill it, you can help dispose of it.” Angel walked over to the demon and started to hack.

Gunn wobbled over. “Hey, at least the head’s already in the dumpster, that’s the really gross part.” He swung his axe at a limb.

“I truly dislike this part,” Wesley stumbled up to join the rest.

Connor watched it all for about minute. “All I have is my knife.”

“Then carry.” Gunn shoved an arm over to the boy and pointed to the dumpster.

“Why do we have to clean it up,” picking up the arm and tossing it away.

“This world doesn’t do well with dead demons lining the street,” Wesley shoved another limb at the boy.

Angel picked up a leg and swung, his aim sure. “It’s the unglamorous part of being a champion.”

“There’s a glamorous part,” Gunn said picking up the last piece. “Having you been holding out on us?”

Angel looked to Gunn and Wesley, “Are you all right?”

“Dandy,” Wesley winced, holding his wounded torso.

“I’ll live to see another one of the big uglies I’m sure,” Gunn coughed, leaning his arms on his knees.

“Connor, Wesley,” Angel went to help Gunn to the car.

Once Wesley and Gunn were settled in the back seat. Connor looked at Angel. “You’re hurt too.”

Angel wondered at the boy’s tone, he almost sounded concerned, but maybe he was Connor did pretty much save them all. “I’m alright.”

“Because if you’re hurt, I can drive, I’ve been watching people drive. I can do it.”

“Whoa, man, no, whoa,” Gunn leaned up on the back seat. “Super kid, okay, but he can’t drive.”

“I’d have to agree,” Wesley added. “He doesn’t have a license, think of your car Angel.”

“Hell, that, think of us poor injured folk in the back.”

Wesley hit Gunn. “The car has more clout.”

“Right, think of the car, you just got her washed AND waxed.”

Angel stuck his hand in his pocket jingling the keys. Connor had made an effort and Angel really wanted to reach out to him. But his car? “Connor, driving isn’t as easy as beheading a demon or jumping from roof top to roof top, or staking a vampire, it takes a tremendous amount of skill, skill that one must learn under the watchful eye of a teacher and you must start small, with a less complicated automobile. So, no. But, it you really want to learn we can practice using Gunn’s truck.”

“Whoa, did he just call my baby dumb?” Gunn shot a look over to Wesley.

“I believe so. Really, Charles, it isn’t like your truck hasn’t seen better days.”

“I’ll have you know that every dent is a memory and badge of valor. I sold my soul for my baby.”

Wesley jerked towards the black man. “You’re serious.”

“Hey it was a long time ago, I was young and…..”

“And stupid. For a car?”

“Truck.”

“I won it back, double or nothing.” Angel added helpfully.

“The truck.”

“No my soul and actually lost, Mr. I know how to gamble cuz I’m really old’- a three, I still can’t believe it.” Gunn shook his head.

“You got your soul didn’t you.” Angel huffed.

“Angel, you gambled your soul.” Wesley asked shocked.

Angel waved away the question. “Jenoff is dead isn’t he?”

“Because of Cordy and her stake and an angry mob.”

“She was pretty great wasn’t she? But it was my plan, she just knew what I was thinking, she can do that you know, amazing and it was my idea for the mob.”

“Not one of his better plans.” Gunn shrugged.

“I’m glad I missed it.”

“No you aren’t.”

Wesley shrugged, the wistfulness in his eyes not completely hidden. ““Can we please go now, I believe I’m starting to bleed on your complicated leather, Angel.”

“What?” Angel quickly got into car. “Connor, in the trunk a blanket. Give it to him.”

Connor was still just staring at the vampire that was his father, Angelus, a hated demon and killer that had over the course of a several minutes seemed neither demon-like nor champion-like. He was more like…. that word that he heard Cordelia use- a dork.

Now he thought he knew what she meant. His father looked odd, definitely not like he just beheaded a demon. He wasn’t even sure what they were talking about, and he really didn’t think that they should be smiling about the possibility of losing souls, but they were. He didn’t really understand but did what he was told.

Connor stood at the side of the car after handing the blanket to Wesley.

“Do you what to come home…. for at least a minute. I think there’s left over pizza, if you’re hungry.” Angel said.

Connor puzzled for another moment and shook his head, turning and running back into the alley.

“Damn. Should of let him drive.” Angel hit the steering wheel.

“No, you did the right thing.” Gunn nodded. “Can’t make up if we’re all wrapped around a telephone pole.”

“Angel, Connor broke just from watching to help, like he did the other night. It’s slow but working, I think. Now, can we go home, I believe my blood is soaking through the blanket.”

“What?” Angel peered into the rearview mirror searching for ruined backseat.

Gunn looked over at Wesley and the clean blanket. “What?”

Wesley rolled his eyes and pointed to the back of Angel’s still stretched neck.

“Right, hey, Angel, I think I’m bleeding on this fine leather, too.”
“No, stop it, use the blanket.” Angel quickly started the car.

Part 15

Posted July 19, 2015 by califi in Complete