Archive for July 26, 2015

The Necklace. 73-75   1 comment

Chapter Seventy-three

“There,” Cordelia pointed.

Angel looked at the rolling meadow. In the middle of the grass sat a very old Indian.

Without moving, they were suddenly before him.

“Healer, thank you.” The Wise One nodded his head to the young woman.

“Is it going to be a poof thing or do you want me to just give it to him?”

“Which would you prefer?”

Cordelia shrugged. “I guess I would like to give it to him, I want to make sure he realizes what he is getting into. You would probably just zap him and expect him to just know it.”

The old Indian chuckled. “So be it, when you are ready give it to him. And you are a Healer.” He reassured her before he disappeared.

“Cordy?” Angel asked.

“The necklace. It really does belong to John. I just got it, so that we or rather you could kill Bathym. A really long, convoluted, unnecessary part of the story. The Power’s could have made it a lot simpler if they had just hit me with a vision. But for some reason, they wanted to do it this way.”

“Seer,” voices called from the clearing.

“Now, we may or may not find out the whys,” Cordelia turned to the Oracles that appeared before them.

“Seer,” they called.

“I’m here, paying attention, get on with it.” She grumbled.

Angel glanced at Cordelia and then at the Oracles. She was unfazed and unimpressed. Granted, he had begun to feel that way too, but Cordelia hadn’t ever been in their condescending presence or at least that he knew of. But then again, he guessed the visions that she experienced gave her the right to the ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ rule.

“You have fulfilled the destiny of the necklace. But, we don’t appreciate your divergence from the path.”

“Get over yourselves, will you. You never gave me a path. And anyway, even if you had I would have healed Angel’s soul, anyway. You are just going to have to find something else to use as your stick rather than Angelus. Got it.”

“Wait?” Angel said confused. He felt like he was dropped in the middle of a movie.

“Warrior,” the male oracle said patronizingly. “Your seer took it upon herself to heal your soul. I told you she was unreliable. Humans weren’t meant for the role,” he shot to his sister.

“Well, up yours,” Cordelia shouted. She really didn’t like the male oracle. He was rude.

The female ignored her brother and Cordelia. Her attention was focused on Angel. “The seer has enabled you to enter this spirit world. She has given you your soul. But we can still take it way.”

“What?” Cordelia yelled angrily.

“Silence,” The oracle commanded, her voice resounding throughout out the air.

“But, we will allow you to keep it. But only on one condition. Think before you agree Warrior.”

“What is the condition?”

“Hold on, this is not fair,” yelled Cordelia. “Angelus is gone. Angel’s soul is permanent. I did it.”

“Cordelia,” Angel called. “Be quiet.”

Cordelia shut up, but her body showed the rage that she was feeling.

“The condition is that your soul is bound to the lower being,” the male interrupted, pointing to Cordelia. “Think warrior, she may be a seer, but she really is nothing but a lower being.”

Cordelia, Mocha, the black wolf all growled. Tweety tried but it didn’t work, but her wings beat at a furious pace, keeping in time with the other low guttural sounds.

Angel stood silent for a moment then spoke. “You always told me I was a lower being, so I’m not really seeing the dilemma.”

“You are a warrior. It has been foretold that your destiny was that with another warrior. You have fought for that right. Would you be willing to give it up?”

Cordelia’s anger left her. She slumped to the ground. Even the Oracles wanted Buffy with Angel. Who did she think she was? It didn’t matter what she did or suffered. It would always be Buffy and Angel forever. It seemed to be the refrain from above.

Cordelia ignored the three animals that circled around her, trying to offer her comfort and hope.

Angel glanced at the young woman crumpled on the ground and the three animals circling her protecting her. The large black wolf nudging at her begging for a response.

“Give up? If it was really foretold then it was a bad prophecy. Because the bond between warriors doesn’t have the staying power, the acceptance, the forgiveness or the love that the bond that a warrior has with his seer. I suggest if you want to make it worth everyone’s while then you find Buffy Summers her own seer or at least someone that can give her the unconditional love and understanding that my seer gives me. Give up? There was nothing to give up on, only something to grab and hold close. I accept your condition without reservation and happily. Cordelia already holds my heart and soul. I have no problem with making it official.”

“Fool,” the male oracle grumbled. “She is not worthy.”

“Shut up,” his sister retorted. “So be it. Good luck,” she smiled briefly before they disappeared.

Angel went over to Cordelia. The animals parted giving him room to settle close to the young woman. “I love you, only you,’ he whispered.


Chapter Seventy-four

Cordelia opened her eyes. That was nerve wracking she thought, rubbing at her red eyes. She glanced over to the sleeping vampire next to her. She smiled. He chose her. The Oracles gave him a choice and he chose her. She was tempted to pounce on him right then and there. But she had something to do first.

Cordelia crawled out of the bed, trying not to wake Angel. She rifled through Angel’s closet. She grabbed the black silk robe that matched the pajamas that she and Angel been wearing earlier. She tied the belt tight around her slim waist.

She was going to have to ask Angel about it. She had given him the pajama set ages ago; he had said he liked it. But, if he liked it, then why did she have to search in the depths of his closest to find it. Cordelia had spent a lot of money on the silk stuff.

Cordelia moved silently through the hallway of the hotel. She knocked at the door of the guestroom. After getting no answer, she walked in.

“John,” she whispered. “John,” she said louder after getting no response.

“Wha..,” John struggled up. “Cordelia?” His eyes widened at the sight of the young woman wrapped in black silk. Her hair was mussed and her eyes glowed. She was beautiful. “Cordelia?” he gasped again.

“Hi, I had a dream. Here.” Cordelia reached behind her neck and easily unclasped the necklace. She reverently held out the turquoise and silver piece of jewelry to John.

“It’s yours. But, please be careful. Even though the Big Ugly is dead, there are probably more like him out there. So, be careful, cause this thing has an awful back kick. Not everything that causes pain is physical. It gives life, but it also can suck the life out of you. But it is worth it.” She smiled, urging the Indian to take the necklace.

“Cordelia, it belongs to you. The Powers…”

“Those obnoxious beings, as well as the Wise One want me to give it to its proper owner. Take it, it’s yours; protect your people. Do it for your father.” She smiled again.

John took the necklace from her, holding her hands for a brief moment. “Thank You.”

“Your welcome.” Cordelia got off the bed. “You know, I kind of like turquoise now, it will never take the place of diamonds or rubies, but all and all not a bad stone,” She grinned, heading for the door.

She stopped as she came face to face with Angel.

“Professor,” Angel acknowledged the Indian.

“Angel,” the Indian said, trying to hide his nervousness. He had seen Angel’s possessiveness over Cordelia. He didn’t like to think what Angel might do after seeing the young woman leaving his bed.

“Good night,” was all Angel said as he held out his hand to Cordelia.


Chapter Seventy-five

“Will you be wandering away from me anymore tonight,” Angel asked Cordelia as they entered back into their bedroom.

“I had a dream,” Cordelia tried to explain. Angel didn’t seem all grry, but Cordelia knew from her most recent experiences with the vampire, he could be quite possessive and stupidly jealous. She scrunched up her face.

“I know, so did I. I like your dream place. And Mocha and Tweety seem quite nice.”

“You really were there?” Cordelia exclaimed.

“Yes, and if you ask me, I think the stuffy male oracle is just jealous.” Angel commented as he untied the black silk robe that covered Cordelia.

“Angel, he is an Oracle,” she said shocked.

“He still a guy, I guess,” Angel shrugged, tracing his finger along Cordelia’s throat, to the exposed cleavage peeking out from the black pajama top. “And you are exquisite.”

Angel smiled as Cordelia turned bright red at the compliment. He tugged at the top button of the shirt, trying to reach the hidden flesh. “Where did these come from,” he grumbled as the button got stuck. He started to rip the button off.

“Stop, this is real silk,” Cordelia cried. “I gave you these, the first Christmas, You said you liked them.”

Well that answered that question, Angel thought. He again gently tried to unbutton the top.

“You don’t like them, you lied to me.” She started to pout.

“No, I do like them. On you. But now, I want it off,” he growled frustrated at the stubborn buttons.

“Stop,” she clutched at his hands at they were about to rip the shirt in two. She quickly brought the shirt over her head. “Jeez, see how easy. And I don’t think you have ever worn them. You don’t like them.”

“I sleep in the nude. And now so do you. But, if you want I will let you wear all the silk you want for all of the two minutes necessary for me to appreciate it then take it off.” Angel propelled the young woman back towards the bed.

“Angel,” she protested.

“Cordelia,” he growled.

“You still wearing the bottoms. That’s highly not fair.”

“Not for long, now shut up.” He said as he pushed Cordelia onto the bed. He leaned up grabbing at waistband of his pajama bottoms.

“Silk, Angel, silk,” Cordelia cried out.

Angel glared at the young woman as she scooted back on the bed smiling. Her thighs separated, her arms outstretched waiting for him.

With a low growl, Angel ripped the pants from his lean hips and lunged onto Cordelia. “You can buy more next Christmas,” he growled, burying his body into her welcoming one.

“Not if you are just going to destroy it,” she giggled.

“Shut up and make love to me.”

“It’s really over isn’t,” Cordelia murmured, clutching Angel to her body.

Angel nodded as he kissed and sucked at her breast. He lifted his dark head. “And thank god, for happy endings,” he nuzzled into her flesh.

“Happy ending, is there really any other type ending,” Cordelia snuggled closer to Angel.

“Not for us,” Angel stressed pressing his body further into Cordelia’s. “Now, sh, and make love to me.”

“Okay,” she giggled happily, her kisses, hands and body giving safe haven and pleasure to the vampire.

The End

OnlyAnne

Posted July 26, 2015 by califi in Complete

The Necklace. 68-72   1 comment

Chapter Sixty-eight

Angel paused as they got closer to the opening at the end of the tunnel. He grabbed Cordelia by the forearms and brought her to his chest, roughly and passionately capturing and devouring her lips.

He held on to her tasting and feeling her against him until the last moment. Angel had to feel Cordelia against her before the act began. He needed to know that she was his and alive. As soon as he sensed Cordelia’s involuntarily struggle for breath, he relented, slowly lifting his head. “Are you ready?” his eyes searching all over her countenance for any signs of reluctance.

Cordelia nodded her head. “The sooner we get this over with, the sooner we can go home,” she said wistfully, hugging Angel tightly.

Angel smiled and placed a quick kiss on her forehead. “Then it’s time for you to play the damsel in distress.”

“Cool, they always get the hero in the end.” She giggled as Angel picked her up a slung body over his shoulder.

Cordelia thought her stomach would lurch up through her throat as she felt Angel drop from the opening to the floor below. She clenched her eyes tighter, trying to tame her breathing and relax her muscles. Bathym had to think she was unconscious.

“Well done, vampire,” a booming voice echoed through the empty chamber. “Though, the girl is still alive. I’d hoped that you would already have your fun and just bring me the necklace.”

“Yes, well, the goody two shoes patrol, led by the ball-less wonder interrupted my complete enjoyment.” Angel said wickedly, perfectly matching Angelus tone. “Didn’t even have time for a proper taste,” he laughed, yanking Cordelia’s limp head to show the small puncture wounds. “So, do you have a room, that I can borrow for a few.” He smirked.

Cordelia forced herself not to tense at the vampire’s words. With her eyes closed all she could hear was Angelus smooth, mocking voice. A sudden irrational fear overcame her body. It sounded so much like the vampire that had taunted her in Angel’s bedroom. Cordelia’s fingers involuntarily clutched at Angel’s back.

Angel turned effortlessly, blocking her actions from the demon’s sight, squeezing her assuredly. Cordelia slowly unclenched her fists, relaxing her fingers along Angel’s back. This was Angel and he would make sure she was safe, her heart and mind screamed at her body. Cordelia gave a quick nuzzle along Angel’s coat before she made her head resume its previous lax position against the vampire’s back.

“The room, anytime now.” Angel urged the demon.

“Can’t you just kill her and get it over with. I want the necklace.”

“Yes, but where’s the fun in that?” Angel asked smirking. “You’ll get your necklace, but not until I get what I want. And I’m not even close to being done with this little prize.” He leered.

“Fine, but skip the foreplay. I think you have already done enough,” Bathym ordered, motioning to Cordelia’s neck. “Just get it over with.”

“You’re a real charmer with the ladies aren’t you.” Angel deadpanned.

Bathym grunted and moved through one of the open archways. Angel hesitated.

“What are you waiting for,” Bathym shot back.

“Sorry, just reexamining my catch,” he laughed sliding a hand over Cordelia’s ass which was facing towards the ceiling, her hips draped over Angel’s shoulder.

Bathym grunted again in disgust at the vampire’s focus on such mundane matters.

Angel started to move after the demon as soon as he heard scrambling in the tunnel above. Angel had been right. The demon was too preoccupied with the imminent possession of the necklace to bother with listening for anything but Angel and Cordelia. Angel nudged Cordelia in the ribs and adjusted his grip to allow her feet to hang closer to the ground.

Cordelia’s hand delved discreetly into her shirt and grasped the handle of the small, very sharp hatchet buried there. She waited for Angel’s next signal. The plan was, if possible, to attack Bathym in one of the smaller passageways rather than one of the larger rooms. One for the surprise effect and the other to limit the demon’s whip-like tail the room to whip.


Chapter Sixty-nine

As soon as Angel sensed Wesley and the others dropping into the large chamber he let loose Cordelia. Simultaneously pushing her to the side and pulling his sword. Before Bathym had time to turn, the vampire was whacking at his thick-skinned backside. Bathym turned in a howl of rage. Angel was able to get another stab into the demon’s tail, before he was forced back from Bathym’s enraged lunge.

Cordelia scrambled up against the side of the wall, the hatchet high in the air. She looked frantically around for a weak spot on the demon. But Angel and the demon were circling and lunging at each other so quickly that she couldn’t see an opening in their battle.

The Cordelia was forced up against the wall, almost taking perch on the indentations in the side. She scrunched up her legs as Angel came flying into the wall beside her. Bathym soon followed. Cordelia swung the hatchet with all of her might, cutting into the demon’s shoulder. She couldn’t see that she did much damage, but the demon’s howl of pain was satisfactory.

Bathym stood his tail trying to whip out to capture Cordelia. But Angel’s earlier blows had injured the tail. Cordelia was easily able to move out of its way, taking another whack at it with her small deadly weapon.

“John,” Wesley yelled pointing at Cordelia.

Gunn rushed passed the former watcher and with his axe started swinging at Bathym.

John ran towards Cordelia pressed up against the wall. He grabbed at her and pulled her out of the small hall. Once Wesley saw that Cordelia was safely out of the way, he ran head long into the fight. He had done what he promised. Now to the fight, he yelled inwardly.

Cordelia fought against John, trying to get back to Angel.

John held her fast. “In the way? Distraction? Whichever, you are a hindrance to Angel right now. Stay.” The Indian ordered. “Gunn and Wesley are there.”

Cordelia stamped her foot and with a frightful curse acknowledged John’s censure.

Cordelia winced as she heard signs of the battle. Metal striking into hard flesh, howls of pain and the thumps of bodies being thrown up against the walls. Fear overwhelmed her body. Angel would win, he had to, she ranted to herself.

Wesley and Gunn would be okay, she added to her anxious vow and prayer.


Chapter Seventy

Finally a dead silence filled the air. Cordelia strained against John. Her mind and ears trying to sense any clue as to who was alive or dead. The silence lasted an instant and forever.

Cordelia blinked away her tears as Gunn, then Wesley limped out of the hall, each holding the other up. Her smile landed on them only for a moment, before her frantic gaze searched behind them.

Angel couldn’t be dead. She would have felt it. There was no way that she wouldn’t. Her life, her love, her heart and soul were intertwined with the vampire’s. If he ceased to exist so would she.

Cordelia’s heart resumed it’s normal beating as Angel staggered from the hall. She quickly brushed away the tears that were blurring her vision. Without any conscious thought but to feel Angel’s body against hers, she ran.

Angel swayed as Cordelia’s body landed against his. His broken and damaged arm rose to tentatively to hold Cordelia.

Cordelia gently pushed back as she heard his gasp of pain. “Oh, god, I’m sorry,” her gazed swept over the injured vampire. Her mind automatically took in the broken bones and bruises, calculating how much blood and bandages she would need to make the vampire well.

In the mist of her reckoning, she laughed happily. She rushed back to the vampire, placing her hands against his chest. Cordelia closed her eyes.

“Cordelia, no.”

“Shut up, Angel,” she said sternly, never opening her eyes. She focused all of her love into the energy that the necklace gave her. The white light glowed around Angel’s wounded body, healing as it pulsated. A calmness and wellness centered in Angel’s being, slowly his bones mended and his injures disappeared. Cordelia choked falling to the ground.

Immediately, Angel dropped down after her. He held her gently as the same white light vibrated around her.

Cordelia slowly lifted her head. “I’m fine,” she said confidently. Cordelia got up and ran to Wesley and Gunn. The men were still leaning against each other. Both men tried to stand straighter too hide the more obvious wounds.

“Don’t be silly,” she chided. “It doesn’t hurt, promise.” She happily placed one hand on Wesley’s chest and the other on Gunn’s. With a different, but just as powerful love Cordelia willed the necklace to do its magic.


Chapter Seventy-one

It was late when they all returned to the hotel. Without discussion, Wesley, Gunn and John decided to stay for the rest of the night.

Cordelia came back downstairs after showing John a guestroom. She gave him towels and pilfered toiletries from Angel.

“You two don’t need for me to play hostess do you,” she asked Wesley and Gunn as she yawned.

“Go to bed,” Angel ordered.

“We’re fine,” Wesley called. “Good night, and thank you,” he added.

“Yeah, Barbie,” Gunn said using his old nickname for Cordelia. “Thanks.”

Cordelia smiled at the care and love she felt from all three men. “Good, then, I’m out.”

“So,” Wesley asked the room in general.

“It’s over,” Gunn cut in.

“Well, no. The necklace is still there around Cordelia’s neck. Angel,” Wesley turned to the vampire. “We just may have to accept it.”

Angel growled and sighed at the same time. “Good night.”

***

Angel climbed the stairs. He was fine. Hell, he was more than fine. His soul was permanent, Cordelia loved him, Bathym was dead, so why didn’t he feel fine. He knew why. The necklace. Granted, the piece of jewelry itself was not evil, but still, it caused pain to Cordelia.

No matter, how she brushed it off later, Angel knew that she hurt. It was like the visions. Cordelia seemed to accept that the pain was the price required of her to help the helpless. He wondered if that was why she was so easily able to love him and accept him. Because for some insane reason, she thought it was her due.

Pain for pleasure. Pain for goodness. Pain for redemption. The short distance to his bedroom, where he knew she was waiting for him, took a lifetime. Angel wished that he were strong enough to force Cordelia away from him. Force her to realize that she was worth so much more than the pain that the Power’s offered her.

But, he wasn’t. He needed her too much, to let her go. But he had to try. Cordelia deserved it.

Cordelia’s beautiful eyes met his as soon as he walked into the door, the love and happiness apparent in her eyes and smile. Cordelia was sitting on his bed, in a black silk pajama top that he didn’t even know that he had. He couldn’t, Angel’s heart cried out. He had to his mind shouted.

“Cordelia,” he struggled.

Cordelia watched as Angel tried to find the words to end their relationship. Because she knew that was what he was trying to do. It wasn’t that much of a surprise really. Cordelia sighed. Less than twelve hours, hell more like half that time, she would have let him do it, believing that he was doing it because he didn’t love her. But now, she knew better.

Sitting up in his room, waiting for the others to settle down for the night. She had time to think. To remember, to feel everything that had passed between her and Angel. Not just in the last few days, but in the last two years.

Not just the healing or the lovemaking, but every quip, every look, every slip of past that was shared, every weird overprotective act on both of their parts, she saw and she knew. She loved him and he loved her. And she was not about to let some misguided chivalry break them apart. Cordelia thought about using sex to convince him, but decided against it.

Talk, honest, heartfelt talk was the way to go, and just maybe, maybe, the vampire would listen and realize what she already knew. Then sex.

“Angel,” Cordelia broke into his thoughts. “Angel, don’t even try, okay. I’m tired and I don’t want to fight with you. I want to sleep with you wrapped around me. I want to feel you against me as I sleep. Yes, maybe it would be better that I wasn’t in love with a creature of the night. But I am. And please give me enough credit and respect to allow me to feel what I feel. Telling me that we can’t be won’t make me not love you. It will just make us both miserable. So, don’t okay. Let’s just ignore the next Chapter of angst and misunderstanding and go straight for the sex. It’s enviable you know.” She stared at him, her gaze sure and unblinking.

Every thought that Angel had been fretting about flew out of his mind. She loved him and there was nothing he could do about it to change that miracle.

“All I was going to say was do you want the shower first,” Angel lied.

Cordelia broke out laughing. “You are one smart ‘grr’ guy. I’ve already taken mine, it’s all yours.” She giggled curling up into the covers.

Angel stumbled backwards, his eyes refusing to leave the shaking huddled form on his bed. “Umph,” he grunted as his back hit up against the bathroom door.

“Hurry,” she called, her voice still tinged with laughter, but also containing the promise of pleasure.

Angel was proud of himself. He knew that he had just completed the quickest shower in history. He took another pass under the water just to make sure that there was not a scent of Bathym on him.

He scrambled out of the bathroom, a towel clutched around his waist. He stopped. Cordelia was no longer up or laughing. She was sleeping.

With a flash of major disappointment, he grabbed at the bottoms of the still unrecognizable pajamas and crawled into bed next to Cordelia.

What did she say? She wanted to feel him wrapped around her as she slept. Well he could do that. And he smiled as he pulled her closer spooning his body around her, his disappointment fading. This was happiness.

Cordelia stirred against him. “Now why did you do that?” she scolded gently, dragging his hand under her top.

“Uh,” Angel gulped as his hand felt her silky skin.

“The pants,” she mumbled. “Why? Now it will just be more work. I’m tired.” she moved his hand up to her breast as she pulled his other hand to her thigh.

“You were asleep. You’re tired” Angel gulped again.

“Hence, the reason, the pants are a bother,” she mumbled into the pillow, pressing on his captured hands, pushing them into her flesh. “But, if you are tired,” she sighed, lifting her hands.

Angel decided right then and there, that Cordelia Chase was a tease. He thought back to ever gesture, every outfit, every everything. She was a tease. But she was his tease and she only teased him. For that he was grateful, he would hate to have to go kill every male with in a 100 yards of her. His hands started to fondle and caress the areas that she had directed, slowly moving around taking in as much skin as his hands could reach.

Cordelia arched into his touch. Her hips riding into his groin. Angel growled, his hand reaching between her thighs. The area was bare, not a stitch of material covering its promise. Angel cupped her center with gratitude. The hot moisture he discovered burnt his hands, his lips and teeth scraped at her shoulder. Cordelia wiggled more positioning his hand in deeper contact with her center. She nuzzled and kissed at the arm that surrounded her. Cordelia moaned as his hand left her breast.

“Sh,”’ Angel whispered licking and kissing her shoulder blade. Angel quickly pulled at his bottoms. Stupid pants. He didn’t know where they came from in the first place. Angel’s hand returned to Cordelia in an instant, fondling and caressing her breast and torso, while his lips trailed down her back. Cordelia moaned kissing all along Angel’s arms that embraced her.

Angel’s fingers gently spread Cordelia’s thighs, as his hard shaft begged entry. Cordelia bit down on Angel’s forearm as he filled her body. Slowly, with only the movements of his hips Angel thrust back and forth. With each action, Cordelia sighed positioning her backside further into Angel’s thrusting hips. Her grip on his forearms became tighter as the tingling in her nerves reached a higher and higher plateau.

Angel’s teeth that had been merely scraping at Cordelia’s delicate skin elongated as both of their pleasure peaked. For a moment Angel thought about asking Cordelia’s permission, but he didn’t want his demon to intrude on the erotic silence. With a painful burst of will and strength, he pushed his mouth to the side, changing his bite to a kiss.

“Angel,” Cordelia moaned, pushing her hips and shoulder hard against the vampire. Her shoulder blade knocked against his mouth. He moved his head away. Cordelia’s shoulder followed, pressing against his fangs. Her warm body pushed up against his, her shoulder rubbing against his lips. A feeling indescribable came over Angel, as he felt Cordelia move.

She wanted this for him, for her. She wanted all of him. Without a word, Angel took Cordelia’s obvious permission and gently sunk his teeth into her flesh. With a sigh of relief and pleasure Cordelia molded her body against Angel’s. Her actions pushing Angel closer to his climax.

Angel trailed his hand from her chest pressing her hips tighter against his last and final thrust. Cordelia whimpered and gasped as the tingling in her nerves cascaded down filling her whole body.

Angel nudged and licked at Cordelia’s shoulder, cleaning up his mark. Cordelia clutched at his arms bringing them tighter around her body. Not once had they disturbed the spoon configuration that Angel had created when he first came to bed.

“I love you,” Cordelia whispered as sleep overtook her.

Angel nuzzled his face into the crook of her neck. “I love you,” he answered as he felt for the first time complete and utter contentment.


Chapter Seventy-two

Cordelia blinked her eyes. Not again, she grumbled. Spread out before her was a forest. She waited. Soon, Mocha and Tweety came up towards her.

“Hi,” Cordelia called.

Tweety buzzed happily around her head for a moment then flew off.

“Okay, so where is she going?” Cordelia called the wolf. The canine cocked her head at Cordelia. The young woman studied her spirit guide, the wolf looked happy. Which was weird, because how did you know that a wolf was happy. But Mocha was.

Soon, Tweety came back. She would fly a few yards, then dart back into the woods. Finally, she stopped, or rather flew in circles in the air between Cordelia and the trees. Slowly, a large huge black wolf emerged from the greenery.

Cordelia stumbled closer, her eyes never leaving the large wolf. “Angel?”

She looked around expecting to see the vampire to appear. But no one appeared. She glanced again at the wolf. The great canine had moved until it was directly in front of Cordelia. She knelt down and stared into his deep brown eyes. “Angel? Angel has a spirit guide? You?” She asked brushing her hand against his coal black fur. The wolf nuzzled into her touch. His teeth very gently nipping at her wrist as his tongue licked at her pulse point. Cordelia laughed and got up. “Mocha, watch out for him. He likes to bite,” she giggled to her power animal.

Mocha barked happily running up to the dark wolf. The male wolf sat as the young female wolf rubbed and nicked at him. Then with a small growl and bark, he stared at the female. Mocha cocked her head, then barked. She walked up to him, playing no more games, she caressed her head against the dark wolf, the male responded by cupping his large head over hers. Tweety flew happily, not stopping above anyone.

“Well, Mocha, if you’re sure, but I don’t know?“ Cordelia laughed. She looked down to the black wolf. “ If you were a really good spirit guide then Angel would be here. I know it’s my vision quest and all, but that never stopped everyone else from showing up.”

“Cordy,” Angel called from the woods.

“Angel,” Cordelia ran to him. “You’re here,” she laughed hugging him tightly. She leaned back and looked at his puzzled expression. “Yeah, I was a little wigged out the first time, too. But at least we’re together,” she beamed at Angel.

“Why?”

“Who knows? But, Bathym is dead and history, so we don’t have to worry about him. I bet it’s just the ‘Wise One’ or even the annoying twin set that felt the need to clear up in questions we may have left. They will tell us where to go.” She pointed to the animals. “Hey, Mocha, pay attention, stop that.” She yelled trying to get the wolf’s attention. The brown wolf was playing with the bigger black wolf in the grass field. “Angel, stop him. He is distracting her.”

“I don’t know? I think it’s the other way around if you ask me. She’s all over him.”

Cordelia glared at Angel. “Listen here, ‘grr’ guy, this is my vision quest, you behave and make him behave,” she ordered pointing at the wolves frolicking in the field.

“I don’t know, it looks like they’re having fun.”

“Angel, until we know why were here, were here, so unless you want to stay here.” She gestured to the wolves.

“But, it’s daylight,” Angel looked to the sky.

Cordelia sighed. “Yes, but it’s also not real, not really. I mean the love is,” she pointed to the wolves. “But we can’t stay here,” she gestured to Angel and her. “Not forever, not even for awhile, if I know the Powers like I do. Angel, I wish I could give you sunlight, really I do, but I can’t. Can’t you be happy with what we do have?”

Angel transferred his gaze from the bright sun-filled sky to Cordelia’s anxious expression. “Now, who’s doubting,” he smiled grabbing her hand. “Okay, so do I whistle, say here boy, or what? I never had a pet or at least one that I didn’t eat,”

“Eww, there is such a thing as too much information.” She scrunched up her nose.

“Cordelia, my family had livestock. At the celebration of my first Communion, my father slaughtered Fluffy, my pet lamb, for dinner.”

“Fluffy? Eww, no wonder you ate father. I say he deserved It.”

“Cordelia,” Angel said shocked.

“What? I love you, I can’t help it if I have less than charitable feelings for you dad.”

Angel laughed and shrugged at the same time. He finally believed what Cordelia had been trying to tell him along. She loved him and would never judge him or his past. “Whistle or call?” He asked smiling.

“Oh, nevermind, they’re coming. We have more stamina than that don’t we?”

“I’m not sure, you were asleep the last time.”

“I was not.”

“I don’t know,” Angel shrugged, deciding to follow the big black wolf into the forest. He wanted to get out of Cordelia’s hitting range.

“Did you hear him?” Cordelia grumbled at her spirit guides. Mocha and Tweety brushed up against her quickly then ran and flew to catch up with Angel and the black wolf. “Fickle”, Cordelia shouted after them, running to catch up.

She reached Angel, ready to start complaining. But she stopped, when he grabbed her hand and pulled her close. Cordelia smiled and walked beside him.

They walked for awhile, when Cordelia paused. “Angel, the Wise One usually shows up that way,” she pointed off into the distance. “Why don’t you go. You can scout the terrain and make sure everything is safe.” She smiled encouragingly. Cordelia didn’t want Angel to see the wall of souls. He would either get all guilty or angry with what her visions really entailed.

“Cordelia,” Angel questioned.

Cordelia ignored him as the sounds of wailing filtered through the forest.

“Cordelia?” he asked this time more urgently.

“Just go, I’ll only be moment, please just go,” she whispered the tears already starting to form in her eyes. Mocha and Tweety were suddenly beside Cordelia, embracing her and protecting her.

The large black wolf growled, moving with Angel closer to the young woman.

“No, STAY,” Cordelia cried running into the direction of the increasing screams.

Angel stumbled back at the force of Cordelia’s cry and the volume of the wails.

The humming bird hesitated from following Cordelia and Mocha. She flew up to Angel than down to the wolf. The wolf took off. Angel followed his spirit guide and Cordelia closer to the agonized cries.

Angel only paused for a moment when he saw Cordelia up against the wall of souls. Her brow pressed against the solid clear wall. The swirls of sorrowful faces flowing and pounding up next to her. Angel ran up to her, not moving her but embracing her as she reached into the wall.

“I help them,” Her tears falling.

“Yes,” Angel reassured, pressing her close, willing his love, comfort and protection on to her shaking form.

“Sometimes, it really hurts,” she said in a weak, little girl voice.

Angel held her tighter. He couldn’t fix this. This was the visions. He knew it. He wasn’t sure when, but at some point his sorrow at losing Doyle turned into anger at the half-demon. Doyle left Cordelia with this. A gift? It was a horror.

Cordelia pushed away at Angel. “No,” she said simply, negating his thoughts. “This is a gift. And Doyle knew it. He said he had to atone, I never thought I had anything to atone for, but obviously I did. But there is a point when it is no longer penance but a need and a gift. Doyle knew that. He helped them, now I do. You help them. It is a gift,” she reassured Angel.

“It’s just a little difficult at times, but never doubt that it’s not worth it.” Cordelia clutched Angel’s face in her small hands. “Never doubt. You have the inclination to get all doubty, but don’t, okay. Promise, me.”

Angel stared at her earnest beautiful eyes. Cordelia really believed it. She didn’t want not to help. She wanted Angel to feel the same. And most of the time he did, but sometimes, Angel had doubted. But that was before that he knew that he could accomplish something, before he knew that it was the small things everyday that counted, before he knew that Cordelia loved him and believed in him, enough for the both of them.

So much she carried on her beautiful, frail, human shoulders. Angel couldn’t let her do it alone, not any longer.

“Yes,” He grabbed at Cordelia’s hand and together they both penetrated the wall. “We will both help.” The wails slowly decreased until silence descended over the forest and the wall disappeared.

Cordelia wiped her tears and laughed softly. “If it was really so simple, but it’s a start, right?” She smiled at Angel.

Angel nodded, keeping a hold on her hand. “Now where?” His own eyes from weeping.

“Follow them.” Cordelia said, pointing to the animals that already started to move.

Chapter 73

Posted July 26, 2015 by califi in Complete

The Necklace. 62-67   1 comment

Chapter Sixty-two

Angel was lost in the intense sensations running through his body at the feel of Cordelia’s warmth against him.

He thought nothing of his guilt over what Angelus had done, or his fear for Cordelia. All he could think or experience was that somehow, someway his beautiful, caring seer was responding with equal fervor to his own need and love.

His hands stroked up to the swell of Cordelia’s breast. He had thought only a few days before that she would fit perfectly in each of his palms. Angel needed to test out his earlier theory. His hands cupped and palmed Cordelia’s breast. Perfect, Angel growled. His fingers stroked and flicked at her hardened nipples.

Cordelia moaned into his embrace, her hands tugging at the fabric of Angel’s shirt. She squealed in triumphant as her hands found Angel’s bare skin.

The heat of her touch inflamed his body. Angel scooped Cordelia’s willing body up into his arms and carried her to the bed. Angel tossed Cordelia onto the mattress, his body following immediately after. He covered her with his weight, his lips tasting every crevice of her mouth. Cordelia squirmed underneath him, her caresses never leaving his broad back. Her clutches held him closer, while divesting him of his shirt.

Angel tore at her blouse, popping the buttons. He reached in with his lips, encasing a hard nipple. Never moving his weight, he tugged at Cordelia’s jeans, tearing them off her body.

Just as frantically, Cordelia pulled at Angel’s pants. Soon, there was no material separating the two.

Angel growled in pleasure as the length of his body covered Cordelia’s hot skin. Their hands and lips reaching everywhere each touch increasing their desire. Their passion flourishing into a frenzied longing for completion.

“Angel”, moaned Cordelia in both an insistent and pleading tone. Angel answered with a growl and thrust into Cordelia’s welcoming center. Angel stilled relishing the heat the surrounded him. Angel began to move slowly, then faster as Cordelia moans and whimpers urged him on.

The warmth in Cordelia’s center grew and formed into a seemingly solid form, building in size and pressure. Her desire threatening to explode into a thousand pieces, promising exquisite pleasure. Cordelia moved frantically beneath Angel’s powerful thrusts, begging for the vampire to give her that release.

The fire that encased Angel consumed his body. All of his senses were wired, amplifying Cordelia’s scent and feel. He continued to thrust into Cordelia, spurred on by Cordelia’s passionate responses. Angel dreaded and strived for their mutual release. His desire to maintain their connection was overwhelming, but his need for completion, like Cordelia’s was becoming unbearable.

The fragrance of Cordelia’s heated blood circled around him, coating him with its aroma. The spicy, sweet scent triggered a primal lust and longing with in the vampire. He needed to possess all of the beautiful woman, not only her body but also her blood. His demon had to taste her, to mark her as his. Blinded by lust and need, Angel bit into Cordelia’s neck, savoring the hot life giving fluid.

Cordelia instinctively jerked away. The pleasure in her body at Angel’s actions became almost painful in its intensity. Angel followed her movement never breaking contact. Cordelia’s breath caught in her throat as her body tensed on the edge. With a strangled gasp, she felt her nerves fracture apart, a universe of stars exploded behind her eyelids.

Cordelia clutched at Angel has he growled shuddering his release into her trembling body. Angel sipped and licked at the small wounds in Cordelia’s neck, as the cloud of lust swept away from his mind. Cordelia signed at the ministration, hugging the vampire closely. Suddenly, Angel stopped and jerked out of her embrace. His brown eyes widened in horror as he stared at the drops of blood on Cordelia’s delicate neck. Angel gagged at the tantalizing taste on his tongue.

“Angel?” Cordelia worried, her arms still out stretched.

“Oh god,” Angel backed off the bed, his eyes never leaving the puncture wounds. Self-disgust overtook his mind. He had let his beast touch Cordelia. With guilt and loathing, he grabbed up his clothing and ran out of the room.

“Angel?” Cordelia whispered.


Chapter Sixty-three

Cordelia sat in the bed, the covers wrapped around her. The fears and doubts that had reappeared in her mind at Angel’s hasty departure transformed into pure anger.

How dare he, she thought. Cordelia jumped up and grabbed at her clothes. She looked in disgust at her useless blouse. She rifled through Angel’s closet, picking out a black sweater. Once clothed, she tore down the steps.

“Angel,” she yelled. “Where is he,” she demanded to the three dazed men.

“Angel, um, he…..He went down there,” Wesley pointed to the basement stairs. “He seemed a bit upset.” Wesley suggested.

Cordelia narrowed her eyes and headed for the stairs.

“Um, Cordelia, that was Angel, right?” John asked.

“Of course it was, he didn’t try to kill anyone did he,” scoffed Cordelia, opening the door.

“Um, Cordelia, I don’t think you should follow him, …..I mean are you okay?” asked Wesley.

“I’m fine and the next person that asks me that is going to die.” She stormed through the exit, slamming the door on the way.

“Should we go after them?” asked Gunn.

“I’m suggesting no.” Wesley again was stuck in the position of not knowing what was going on with his two friends. But, his gut yelled at him to let Angel and Cordelia to handle whatever this was on their own.

“We have some more researching to do.”

***

Cordelia hated the sewers. They were smelly, dirty, and god only knew what gross things were hiddened under the muck that flowed on the ground. And of course, Angel was no where in sight. Cordelia stared at the dark tunnels that branched out before her. She had no clue as to where Angel ran off to.

Cordelia slumped down on a broken stone column. What was she doing? It was obvious why Angel ran out on her. He regretted what had happened between them. The stupid vampire probably thought it was some sort of betrayal of Buffy of high. Cordelia shoulder’s slumped down further. Buffy, Buffy, Buffy, she grumbled, then signed.

She really had no one to be mad at except herself. It wasn’t has if she hadn’t known that Angel loved Buffy. She had just begun to hope that Angel had gotten over the blonde slayer. And that maybe, just maybe, Angel had started to really care about her, Cordelia Chase. Silly, stupid thought.

Cordelia started at a weird sound coming from one of the darkened tunnels. Just great, she grumbled. Cordelia got up and looked to back from where she came. She hadn’t realized that she had gotten so far from the hotel. She jumped again as the noise got closer.

Okay, enough of this. Cordelia took a deep breath. “Angel,” she screamed. “Get your dead butt back here. God only knows what unholy gross creepy crawlers are down here. Angel,” she yelled.

“Stop shouting or you will call every creepy crawler here.” Angel materialized through the darkness.

Angel and Cordelia stared at each other.

“You shouldn’t be down here,” Angel finally said, not moving closer.

“Duh, but neither should you.” She retorted.

“Cordelia, I….”

“Oh, god get over it will you. It was just a mistake that’s all. It meant nothing, okay.” Cordelia fought against the tears welling up in her eyes.

“It meant everything, but it was a mistake, a horrible, unforgivable mistake. I…”

“Angel, it just happened okay.” Cordelia couldn’t believe that she was forced into the position of minimizing the most spectacular and important moment of her life.

“Unforgivable, no, especially if you don’t tell her. I mean why would you. Let’s just call it a wacky side effect of glowing, healing thing and go figure out how to kill Bathym. Buffy never needs to know, okay?”

“Buffy?” Angel asked perplexed. “What does Buffy have to do with it?”

“That’s right, she has nothing to do with it. That’s why you don’t have to get all broody and angsty. There is no reason to let this one mistake get you all guilt filled and confessiony. It meant nothing. You can still go running back to Buffy, but first can we please kill the big old ugly and get out of this gross place?”

Angel contemplated the young woman. In an instant he was in front of her, his large hands cupping her face, forcing her moist eyes to meet his. “What does Buffy have to do with any of this?” he repeated searching her eyes.

Cordelia tried to break away, but his firm tender embrace kept her close. “Buffy, the love of your un-dead life. The one that Angelus said that you wanted to be with. That’s why you ran out, right? Because, you got all guilty about…. well, the mistake…But Angel, there is no reason. It just happened, your soul is permanent, it won’t happen again….So no harm, no foul.” Cordelia claimed.

Angel’s hand drifted from her earnest face to caress the small holes on her neck. “Cordy, I bit you.”

“Yeah…well…. it didn’t hurt,” Cordelia reassured the vampire. “Really,” she emphasized at the vampire’s questioning expression. “It was…well, it didn’t hurt,” she repeated. Cordelia wasn’t at all willingly to tell the vampire that the sensation of his drinking her blood was one of the most erotic sensual experiences of her life.

That and having Angel’s body over and in her had for the first time made her feel truly alive, loved and complete.

“Cordelia, I’m a vampire.”

Now it was Cordelia’s turn to be perplexed. “Duh, what’s that got to do with anything, with Buffy? Though, I guess being a vampire is a little off putting to a vampire slayer. But she loves you and now that you have your soul- no more Angelus.”

Angel was completely confused. “Cordelia, what exactly do you think the ‘mistake’ was?”

“You know,” she stuttered embarrassed, waving her hands between the two of them. “I know you didn’t want it to happen.”

“How did you come to that conclusion?” Angel asked.

“Angel, we are talking about BUFFY, miss slayer, the ‘One’, the love of your….”

“Un-dead life, right. How else?”

“Well…Angelus,” Cordelia glared at his incomprehension to the obvious.

“I see. Because the evil, sadistic, psychotic side of my demon, told you that I still loved and wanted Buffy, you believed it and decided that I thought that making love to you was a mistake.”

“He tells the truth,” argued Cordelia.

Angel nodded as if agreeing. “So, Cordy, when he claimed that you were his, that he wanted you, desired you, wanted to touch and feel your heat, Angelus was telling the truth?” Angel asked lowly.

“Um, well…” Cordelia started to fidget nervously. “Well, then he may have been just trying to get under my skin.”

“Yes,” Angel agreed. “He wanted to get under your skin and all over it. That was not the lie. The lie was that I still wanted Buffy. The truth, or the whole truth is that Angelus wanted you, desired you AND so do I, oh and, I love you too.” Angel smiled.

“What,” Cordelia yelled pushing against Angel. “You do not.” She argued.

“I don’t?” asked Angel

“No, if you loved me you wouldn’t have left me, you would have stayed. But, it’s okay, I understand.”

“No, Cordelia you don’t.” Angel was amazed. His seer, the woman he loved, truly believed that he had left her because of Buffy. Cordelia had no thoughts or fears about his biting her.

“Cordelia I drank your blood,” he claimed.

“Eww, you make it sound so Bela Lugosi. I told you it didn’t hurt. Wait, I’m not going to go all ‘grry’ or anything am I?”

“No.”

“Whew, I wouldn’t have liked that.”

“Cordelia, I lost control of my beast.”

“Beast, what beast? There was no beast. Just you and me. Jeez, what are you talking about? You aren’t making any sense.”

“Cordelia, I…”

“If you are going to say that you bit me one more time, I’m going to hit you. So what? You’re a vampire, you drink blood. Actually, you shouldn’t just go around sucking everyone’s blood that wouldn’t be good. But just now, that wasn’t a bad thing was it?”

“Yes”

“Oh, it didn’t seem bad. Not, that I want just any ‘grr’ guy to drink my blood. Gross. But, with you it didn’t seem bad. It was…” Cordelia paused. “It didn’t hurt or anything.”

“It didn’t scare you, make you hate me?”

“Okay, I’m clueless here. Why should I hate you, well except for you dashing off after…well, you know. Is there another reason? Oh, and I don’t hate you. I told you I understood about Buffy and all.”

Angel felt his undead heart spin in circles. Cordelia was not in the least bit fazed by his lack of control over his demon. All, she seemed to be concerned with was Buffy, still.

“Cordelia, once and for all, I don’t love Buffy. I did, very much at one time. But it was never meant to be. But, her love allowed me to believe that I can love, can hope. And I do love, YOU.”

“But,”

“And,” Angel interrupted, so the never-ending circular conversation would stop. “I left you, because I did bite you. Because, even without the fear of Angelus, I lost control. My demon wanted to taste you, to own you, to mark you. And I wanted it, because I am my demon.”

“You love me, but left me feeling rejected, stupid and scared, because you suddenly realized that you were a vampire.” She raised her brows.

“Yes, I love you and of course I know that I’m vampire. But, Cordelia, I bit…..”

Cordelia smacked her hand hard against his head. “I warned you, stupid,” she grumbled and turned away leaving a stunned Angel.

“Cordy,” Angel ran up to her. “Wait.”

“No, we have a demon to kill.”

“But….”

“Angel,” Cordelia swung around to face him. “I love you. You are a vampire. Believe me, I know this. But do I care? Yes. But does it change the fact that I love you? No.” Cordelia took a deep breath, her tone softening.

“I love you. Making love to you, bite and all, was the most exciting, loving and safe experience that I ever had. I love you,” she whispered reaching up to caress his still face. She grunted in irritation at the still confused look on Angel’s face.


Chapter Sixty-four

Angel watched the beautiful young woman stomp away from him. Did Cordelia just say that she loved him, demon and all? That’s what it sounded like. But he had to be sure.

“Cordelia, wait…” Angel called, running up to the young woman.

Cordelia huffed to a stop. She scrunched up her brow and waited.

“You love me?”

Cordelia raised her brows even further. She shook her head and left the vampire, grumbling as she moved.

“What?” she mumbled as Angel reached out holding her still.

“I asked….”

“Clueless, dense, broody, ‘grr’ guy,” she hissed, lunging for his lips. Cordelia grabbed at Angel, seizing his mouth. She pressed a hard, loving kiss onto the vampire. Angel’s surprise turned quickly to passion has Cordelia’s lips traveled over his. Angel’s hands clutched at Cordelia’s body, holding it tight.

After awhile, the couple parted. Cordelia licked at her swollen lips. “Understand, now,” She claimed.

Angel slowly nodded, a smile growing large on his face.

“Good,” Cordelia sighed. “Now lets go kill Bathym.”

***

“So, any luck,” Cordelia asked Wesley, Gunn and John as the surrounded a book laden table.

Wesley stumbled to his feet. “Um, Cordelia.” Wesley looked around for Angel. His eyes and brows shot up as he saw the vampire and the very goofy grin on his usually somber face.

“Um, yes, Angel, Cordelia. It seems that Bathym is vulnerable to the usual way of killing. Just more. The toughness of his skin makes the standard slice and dice more difficult, but not impossible. But the more difficult part will be get close to the demon.”

“The zapping and moving thing, ummph,” added Cordelia.

“Yes,”

The room became silent. Wesley looked up towards Angel. He expected the vampire to be angry and tense but Angel still wore that goofy expression. His gaze never leaving Cordelia.

“Angelus,” Cordelia called out.

The room jumped. “What?” Angel called out.

Cordelia ran to the vampire. “The big ugly thinks that you don’t have your soul. He expects Angelus to bring me back dead, necklace in hand. Let’s give it to him. Not the dead part, obviously. But, you know. You take me back as Angelus, then when we get close. Wham Bam, evil dead.” She nodded pleased with her idea.

“I..”

“Angel, you can do it. Get in touch with the sarcastic, icky side. It’ll work.”

“Um, Angel, she may have a point. Bathym expects Angelus. Give it to him, then …..”

“Wham Bam,” finished Cordelia.

“Quite.” Nodded Wesley.


Chapter Sixty-five

“I don’t like it. You should stay here,” argued Angel. “I can just go back as Angelus and tell Bathym that I couldn’t find you. I don’t want you anywhere near the demon.”

Cordelia rolled her eyes. “You need me, I’m back up. Wesley and the others won’t be able to follow right behind.”

Angel gaped at the young woman. “Back up? You’re a distraction.”

Cordelia’s stubborn expression turned beautiful as slight smile centered on her lovely face and she giggled. “I guess that’s better than saying that I would just be in the way, uh.”

Angel’s frown turned goofy, as the vampire fought against the smile threatening to overtake his stern expression. He couldn’t help it, Cordelia’s sparkling eyes and smile begged for a similar response from him.

Wesley and Gunn stood stunned. Angel and Cordelia’s usual battle over whether she went or stayed behind during a fight was absent. Instead, Angel and Cordelia just stood there, staring and smiling at each other. It was bizarre.

Gunn’s eyebrows shot up as he turned to Wesley. “I think the vamp just giggled,” he whispered in disbelief.

“No, but he will if we don’t put a stop to this nonsense,” Wesley grumbled. Obviously, whatever had been going between his friends was settled, favorably so, Wesley thought.

“Angel, Angel,” he repeated trying to get the vampire’s attention. “Cordelia’s right. It would be better to have her and the necklace with you. We don’t want Bathym to be suspicious for any reason,” Wesley continued once Angel acknowledged the former watcher’s presence.

Cordelia smirked and stuck her tongue out at the vampire. The ‘I told you so’ clearly written on her face.

Angel goofy smile disappeared. He growled. “Wesley, Gunn get the weapons together. You,” Angel clutched at Cordelia’s arm. “Are coming with me.” He commanded firmly.

“Hey,” she called as Angel dragged her upstairs.

Gunn looked at Wesley. Wesley shrugged. “Don’t ask. Let’s just gather every sharp, heavy weapon we can. John are you still with us?” Wesley asked the Indian.

John nodded.

***

“I want you to stay here.” Angel growled as soon as they were in the bedroom.

Cordelia scowled at him. “Just because we’ve actually said the words ‘I love you’ doesn’t mean you can order me around. I’m going. You need me there.”

“Cordelia, I don’t want you to be near the demon.”

“I know. But, we don’t really have a choice. You need me so Bathym doesn’t get suspicious. And what if the big ugly tries that soul corruption thingy again. Just because Angelus is gone for good, doesn’t mean you’re immune to Bathym’s regular bad vibes, or what if he goes after Wesley, Gunn or John. You need me and the necklace.” Cordelia claimed.

Angel glared at the young woman, knowing she was right. “Fine, but Cordelia don’t ever stick out your tongue at me again, unless you are prepared to use it.”

Cordelia cocked her head and smiled. She ran towards the vampire. Angel caught her and kissed her. She giggled as she used her tongue quite effectively against Angel’s.

Angel broke away. He shook his head in regret, pushing down his growing desire. Angel shook his head at the flushed young woman. “We better go.”


Chapter Sixty-six

“That was weird,” Gunn whispered to Wesley.

“Yes,” his friend agreed.

The group had just arrived at the underground warehouse. The car ride had been silent. That wasn’t what was weird or odd. Nor was it that Angel was back to his grim mode.

Gone was the silly smiling vampire; the goofy grinning vampire had actually been pretty weird. But now, Angel was back to his usual broody, determined mindset. No. What was odd now was that Cordelia seemed content almost happy at the overprotective, sullen glances that the vampire kept shooting towards her.

And why was Cordelia riding shotgun, Wesley grumbled. That was his usual seat. He always sat there so he could give Angel last minute instructions from his books.

Wesley sighed in sudden insight. Angel and Cordelia must have finally acknowledged their feelings for each other. Thank goodness, Wesley thought. No more, pouting, insecure, angry Cordelia and no more unsure, anxious and tense vampire.

It was worth giving up his front seat privileges. Now, there would be peace at last. Or there will be once Bathym was defeated.

“Everything is fine,” Wesley assured Gunn.

Gunn looked at him questioningly. Wesley responded by shooting his eyes upwards and wiggling a finger discreetly at Cordelia and Angel in the front seats.

Gunn’s eyes widened in sudden comprehension. “It’s about damn time.”

“What’s is?” Cordelia asked, catching Gunn’s comment.

Gunn coughed.

“That we got here,” Wesley quickly covered.

“It didn’t take too long,” she disagreed.

“Yeah, it was way too long, if you ask me,” Gunn stated quietly.

Wesley shot Gunn a sharp look. This was not the time or place to make observations about the change in Angel and Cordelia’s relationship.

“Cordelia, I really don’t think……” Angel was ignorant of the by-play in the back seat.

“Angel,” she interrupted rolling her eyes,

With a disgruntled sigh of defeat, Angel got out of the car. “Wesley, give us a fifteen minute head start. Bathym will be too busy by then to notice that you all are coming.”

“Right, of course,” Wesley nodded, helping Gunn unpack the trunk.

“And Wesley,” Angel got close to the former watcher. “When you get there your first priority is getting Cordelia out of there. Understood.”

“Of course.” Wesley slammed the truck closed, and gave Angel his sword.

“No matter what,” the vampire emphasized. “Understand.”

“Yes, Angel.” Wesley nodded sharply, trying to give the vampire the assurance that he needed.

“Angel, come on.” Cordelia called from near the entrance.


Chapter Sixty-seven

“I was thinking,” Cordelia commented. Angel looked warily at the young girl.

So far, he hadn’t been real pleased with any of her ideas about how to get close to Bathym. In fact, they were starting to make him very angry. They all seemed to star Cordelia in some sort of dangerous scenario. Angel began to have some serious regrets about listening to her or to Wesley. His original plan could have worked. And Cordelia would still be safely in the hotel.

“I know you don’t like it, but I think you should hit me,” she suggested again.

“For the last time, I’m not hitting you,” Angel growled.

“Angel, its going to look mighty peculiar for me too show up without any signs of injury. Bathym thinks that Angelus can really hurt me. So, I think you should hit me or something.”

Angel took a deep breath, trying to calm down. “For the sake of argument, even if I agreed, which I don’t. I can’t hurt you. The necklace. The same reason Angelus or Bathym couldn’t permanently injury you.”

“Oh yeah, well at least you could chain me up. I have to look like Angelus’s prisoner.” Cordelia started to move over the steel grate that Angel had tore off on his first trip to the underground rooms.

“Cordelia, I’m not chaining you up. You need to be free to move. You’re supposed to be an actress, pretend to be unconscious.” Angel called after her.

“Oh, all right,” she sighed. “I can do that. At least, my bite marks still show. Maybe that will convince the big ugly that Angelus sucked me dry. But,” Cordelia touched the marks that had been hidden by Angel’s sweater. “They’re awful small. Hey, maybe you could bite me again.” Cordelia stopped to look at the vampire. “Hey, stop that, you’re going to break your sword.”

Angel had ceased to move at her words. His fierce grip was straining at the steel of the sword. The intense pressure that he was exerting seemed to be bending the metal. “Cordelia, come here,” he growled, afraid to move. Angel was afraid that the rage that was building in his body would erupt in some violent fashion.

Cordelia tensed. Angel was mad. But she hadn’t done anything. She went over to him. The vampire didn’t seem to be in the mood for any argument from her.

Angel said nothing as he pushed at the neckline of the sweater. Two small puncture wounds glared at him. Angel stared back. Shock and rage swirled through his body. And he disgustingly acknowledged a sense of satisfaction.

Those abominations were supposed to have disappeared. Angel wanted them to disappear. He wanted all evidence of his demon’s actions to be erased. Didn’t he, Angel question, as the sense of satisfaction and lust rose up within him fighting against his feelings of anger.

Undeniably a part of him was pleased that the marks of his taking Cordelia were still present for the world to see. In fact, that part of him agreed with Cordelia. The marks were too small. Forcibly, Angel pushed down his demon’s possessive glee and observations.

“Why aren’t these gone? The necklace it is suppose to heal. Angelus’s marks, they disappeared.” He struggled to finish. Angel paused; bile rising to his throat at the memory at what his evil self had done to Cordelia. There was no satisfaction in that memory. Angelus’ marks weren’t his.

“Yeah, weird uh. But, I figure it had to do all with the context. Angelus was trying to drain me, the big ugly and his scrawny human side kick tried to stab me and saw off my throat…can I just say ewww.”

Angel staggered back. “STAB- SAW?

“Oh, right you hadn’t shown up yet. Yeah, they were testing the necklace. Human-lackey started to hack away at my neck, but the necklace kept healing. It hurt,” she understated. Cordelia glanced questioning at the paler than usual vampire. “Angel are you all right?”

“Cordelia,” Angel croaked out. Every emotion in Angel’s body stalled. Angel desperately tried to come to grips with the picture of Renfield slicing at Cordelia’s delicate neck.

“Angel?” she questioned gently. The vampire didn’t seem at all well. “Anyway,” she continued, taking concerned glances at Angel. “Angelus, Bathym and the other guy were trying to kill me. And well, it did hurt. So, the necklace healed. But, you didn’t hurt me, not at all. So, it did nothing, I guess.”

Angel closed his eyes willing down the red cloud of rage that threatened to take over his whole being. “You are going back to the hotel.” He said calmly and coldly, his tone offering no room to argue.

“Angel, “ Cordelia started tentatively, recognizing his tone. “Angel, what’s wrong. If it’s about these,” Cordelia hand brushed the puncture wounds. “They’re fine. No need to make them bigger. It was just a thought.”

Angel’s face if anything became darker. Cordelia’s eyes widened.

“I will not let you near Bathym,” he growled. “And those, will never happen again.”

Cordelia took a deep breath, than another. “Angel, you have to take me with you. It’s the plan. And,” she raised up her small hand to Angel’s clenched jaw. “As for the other, it will happen again. Because, we will make love again and again and again. Unless you really want to see me pissed off.” Her eyes bored into Angel’s blazing eyes.

“No.”

“Yes. Am I going to have to hit you again?” she whispered, bringing her body closer to Angel’s tense one.

“I can’t hurt you. I can’t let you be hurt.” Angel struggled. His anger gone, replaced by sadness and determination.

“First,” Cordelia said gently moving until her taunt body was pressed against Angel’s. “You won’t hurt me, you don’t hurt me. Second,” she cupped his strong face in her small hands.

“You won’t let Bathym hurt me. I believe this. I know this. You will kill the demon and you will save me like you have always done before, always Angel. But this time, I will be able to truly thank you as I have wanted to for so long.” She placed a gentle kiss on the vampire’s lips.

“You mean it, don’t you?” Angel whispered, feeling the love flowing from the young woman.

Cordelia’s sweet smile beckoned to the vampire. “Never doubt me or my love.”

“It’s not you….”

“No, it’s you. Angel, don’t doubt yourself either. I don’t. I love you. Please, finally will you get that through your dense vamp skull.”

“I…”

“Angel, I love you, but a good ten minutes have been wasted. We have to go.” She gently urged.

Angel took a deep breath and nodded. Cordelia smiled in return. Angel’s hand shot out to grab her as she took off for the tunnel. “Cordy, I love you.” His tone was a mixture of love, awe, and possessiveness.

Cordelia’s smile widened even more to light up the dark tunnel. Hand in hand the two ventured further into the underground passage.

Chapter 68

Posted July 26, 2015 by califi in Complete

The Necklace. 57-61   1 comment

Chapter Fifty-seven

“I don’t think this is a good idea,” Wesley looked around. The huge hotel would be next to impossible to defend against an obsessed, psychotic vampire with free reign to come and go.

“Wesley, we went over this all ready.” Cordelia blasted. “We’re staying.”

“It’s just…. this could get unpleasant,” he understated. Wesley knew that the idea of Angelus and facing the evil vampire with the face of his good friend unnerved him. He could only imagine what it did to Cordelia.

And Angelus knew everything that Angel did about the young woman, her fears and insecurities. And what he didn’t know, he had the eerie ability to guess at. Angelus may not be able to kill Cordelia, but he could destroy her.

“Wesley,” Cordelia softened her tone at her friend’s worries. “I’ll be fine. Angel is in there. I’ll be fine.”

“I hope so,” he sighed.

***

Cordelia curled up on Angel’s bed, gathering the ends of his shirt that she had put on around her. She wished that this were all over with. Cordelia burrowed herself down into the mattress, trying to recapture the feelings of contentment and security that she had found there before she went running out of the hotel.

God, she thought, that was ages ago.

“Cordelia?” John stood at the bedroom doorway.

Cordelia took a deep sigh and beckoned the Indian closer. “Your father, I tried to get to him, really I did. But the demon zapped me to who knows where before I could reach him. I am really sorry.” Cordelia stared sorrowfully at the Indian.

“I know.” And John did know. Cordelia’s eyes hid nothing. Her sadness, her guilt was apparent in those lovely eyes. He smiled softly, giving her the forgiveness that she didn’t need, but asked for anyway.

Cordelia gratefully gave a small smile in return. She turned back into her pillow.

John remained in the doorway. “How?”

Cordelia lifted her head and raised a questioning eyebrow. “How, did he die?”

“No, that does not matter. My father died trying to protect his people; that is all I need to know. No, my question is how can you stand it. I saw, I felt the wall of souls.” John shook his head in sadness and amazement at the memory. “You….”

Cordelia turned away. Her empathy and need to help those souls wasn’t something she wanted to explain. Or even something, she could explain. It just was.

“Cordelia?” John asked again. He didn’t want to upset the young woman, but he had to understand what he saw. It was too amazing to disregard.

“Jeez,” she huffed. Why wouldn’t he leave her alone? Cordelia wanted to be alone, she wanted Angel. “It’s not important, okay. I’m a seer, Angel’s seer. He helps the helpless and I help him that’s all.”

“It’s more than that. I heard and felt the suffering of those souls. It was unbearable. I wanted to run, but your spirit guides were there protecting, comforting those lost souls. How?”

“High tolerance,” she quipped.

“Cordelia”

“I help them, too. Okay?” she sighed in resignation. John obviously wasn’t going to leave anytime soon.

“You truly are a healer. The necklace does belong to you.” He said stunned. The young woman, a girl really, had the capacity to comfort and help all lost souls in the world, not just the Hopi.

“No, I don’t think it does.” Cordelia scooted up on the bed. “I’ve had some time to think, not much mind you with all the kidnapping, stabbing, biting and all, but I have given all of this some thought. Tell me, if your father had received the necklace, Bathym would still be a threat, right? I mean, the big ugly couldn’t kill him, but he could still be a danger to the rest of the Hopi, right?”

John nodded, puzzled at Cordelia’s twitch in mood.

“Yeah, thought so. I’ve gotten pretty good at deciphering the vague mystic ramblings of the PTB,” she grumbled. “This way, I get the necklace and Angel gets sucked into to fighting Bathym.”

“The PTB?”

“The Powers to Be, in the extremely ridiculous guise of two golden sheet wearing blue tattooed egotistical brother and sister twin set. They borrowed the Wise One’s spirit plane, didn’t even have power animals, said they didn’t need them, they were the Powers.” Her fingers raised making quotation marks in the air.

“Conceited, towel wearers, Ooh, they makes me so mad.. Everything is for the higher good. My mind numbing vision flashes, Angel’s eternal guilt. They don’t give a rat’s ass about him. Their warrior, ummph, they could have given him his soul for good, anytime, but no…it was too much of a bother….”

“Cordelia,” John interrupted Cordelia’s irate ramblings. “Are you saying that these Higher Power’s gave you the necklace.”

“More like threw.” She griped. “Why they couldn’t just give me a flash pain o gram of the big tailed ugly, I don’t know. We would have found and killed him. Angel is great at the warrior stuff; he always wins, well almost always. Really they didn’t need to get all-clever. Now, Angelus is out, probably doing horrible stuff that will just make Angel even more broody. ‘

Ooh, he was so close. He was playing drinking games, burping, getting drunk, acting like a moronic teenager, it was great, he laughed,” she punched the pillow. “Then this happened,” she yanked at the necklace.

“Next thing you know, he gets all pigheaded and ‘grry’, and now he will just be all the more broody,” she cried in disgust. “Stupid, Stupid PTB.” She glared at the Professor. “Oh, just leave me alone, I need to rest.” Cordelia pounded the pillow again, throwing herself against the bed.

“Cordelia.” John was still trying to process through the young woman’s incensed ranting. “Angel can be saved.”

“Of course, he can, now leave me alone,” she mumbled into the pillow.


Chapter Fifty-eight

Angelus glared at the opened doorway of the Professor’s house. Cordelia wasn’t there. Had he given Wes less too much credit for having some brains? He growled and headed towards his stolen car.

Back to the hotel. It had been far too long since he tasted the intoxication of Cordelia.

***

Cordelia knew that she could save Angel. She knew that deep in heart, even if she didn’t receive the big ‘that away’ sign from the Powers. Screw the Powers, she grumbled.

She had a plan and it would work. Cordelia got up from the bed and pulled Angel’s shirt tighter around her body. Firm in her determination she headed for the roof.

***

Angelus stared at the hotel. Cordelia was in there. Her unique and delicious scent filtered through the air. All of his senses were going crazy. He resisted the urge to rush in and claim what was his.

She wasn’t alone. Wesley, Gunn and the doctor were also there. Angelus growled at the inclusion of the Indian. He didn’t belong there. It was a trap, Angelus realized.

No matter, he grinned wickedly. Angelus knew the hotel better than anyone did. He bypassed the sewers and the hidden entrance to the basement. That was the most obvious choice. Angelus scaled up the side of building.

His human family never seemed to remember that he was a vampire, and what that enabled him to do. Angelus slid over the side of the roof. Now, all he had to do was descend through the elevator shaft.

He stopped. Angelus senses reacted in overload. Cordelia was there. He turned to the edge of the building. He peered through the darkness. Angelus stared at the huddled form leaning over the wall of the roof. He melded into the night watching and waiting.

The fates were really smiling, he thought to himself. Cordelia’s supple form was shaking as tears fell down her cheeks, oblivious to the vampire’s presence. He couldn’t wait any longer. In one smooth, stealthy move Angelus was behind her. Angelus reached out and grabbed at her shoulders. “Gotcha, now you’re mine.”

Cordelia swung around at his touch, shooting a tranquilizer dart into his stomach. “Angelus always did seem to underestimate me.” She clutched at the vampire’s form as the drug took effect.

Cordelia fell to the ground, Angelus weight dragging her down. With one hand she cradled the vampire to her chest as she pulled out her cell phone. “Hurry,” she yelled into the receiver. Cordelia threw the phone down and hugged Angelus to her. “I love you, Angel,” she whispered into his chest.

Oh god, she really did love the vampire. She didn’t know when she had fallen in love with Angel. She just knew he was the most important person in her life. Cordelia had thought that was because of their mission, her visions, her duty, their friendship, but it was more than that.

At some point the stubborn; broody, sexy vampire had become everything to her. Cordelia knew that there was a time that Angel wasn’t her life, she just couldn’t remember when. Cordelia held the vampire closer, real tears falling onto his shirt.

Wesley and Gunn burst onto the roof. Wesley stared at the unconscious vampire and the young woman that clung desperately to his still form. He hoped this worked. Dr. Red Bear was right; Angel and Cordelia shared a deep and unbreakable bond.

If this didn’t work, Angelus would be free for an eternity or dust. And Wesley knew if that came to pass, then Cordelia would be irreparably harmed. This had to work.


Chapter Fifty-nine

Cordelia crouched on the edge of the bed. Her red eyes never leaving Angelus’ face. “Leave,” she called.

“Cordelia, I don’t know.” Wesley didn’t want to leave the young woman alone with Angelus. He would wake up soon and even chained to the bed, the vampire was dangerous.

“Wesley, he can’t possibly move or get loose. These chains have held Angelus before. I’ll be fine,” Cordelia assured. What she had to do was just between her and the vampire. Angel wouldn’t want Wesley and Gunn to see Angelus’ very probable nasty reaction to the healing.

Angel was going to be broody enough already about his stint as Angelus. She didn’t want to add any more to it by allowing Wesley and Gunn to be targets for Angelus’ particular verbal venom.

Wesley stalled, the indecision apparent in his expression. Finally, with a slow nod he left the room, beckoning the other’s to follow.

Cordelia didn’t acknowledge the door closing; her attention was focused on Angelus. She leaned forward caressing Angelus’ face. Such a beautiful face, yet so deceptive. Cordelia gently brushed her lips against the vampire’s appealing one’s. “Angel,” she murmured.

Angelus’ eyes snapped open. “Sorry, this isn’t a fairytale. No sleeping beauty here or prince turning toad. But, if you want to try again feel free,” he leered, pushing against the tight chains.

Cordelia jerked up, her eyes locked on to Angelus’ mocking ones. She settled back onto her knees and said nothing.

“What did you expect, this isn’t like last time, darlin’ this time it’s for real as for in always. I’m…back,” he smiled wickedly.

Cordelia hadn’t expected anything, though it would have been nice if it had been so easy. One kiss; and poof Angel’s back. Cordelia shook her head at the vampire.

Angelus laughed at the lovely brunette’s denial. “Yes, get use to it. I’ll be around for a long, long time. And you will be mine, completely, totally and loving every minute of it. Come, darlin, why do you want the soulless wuss back? He never appreciated you or wanted you. You were nothing but his seer, he used you.”

“No. Angel is my friend, my best friend,” She argued. A warning bell went off in her head. Cordelia shouldn’t waste time listening to Angelus’s sadistic mind games. She knew that Angel cared about her. She should just do what she had to.

But even as sure as she was that Angel cared, Angelus’ words triggered a deeply buried insecurity. What if Angel didn’t really care for her, the way she believed he did. Cordelia had been wrong before; her parents, Xander had said they cared and she believed-wrong.

And Angel never did actually say he cared. Sure, he was there for her, but he was there for everyone. And sometimes, he was especially nice, but that was usually after Cordelia was almost killed or something equally as bad.

When had Angel just on a normal non-vision non-killing day said, hey, Cordelia thanks, I appreciate you.

“Friends,” Angelus scoffed. “Angel was never your friend. He thought you were nothing but a pain in the ass. The best days in his life were when he fired you. The wuss almost showed some promise, then. But, no, then he wimped out- disgusting. Sorry, digressed- back to you. Angel never thought of you as anything more than an annoying, loud mouth spoiled little girl that he had to put up with for the sake of the Powers.”

“That’s not true.” Oh, god, she thought, she did complain a lot. Yeah, Angel got annoyed sometimes, but…Cordelia stopped her panic thoughts. She glared at the vampire. He was trying to make her doubt herself and Angel. Cordelia knew that Angel cared about her, she would just have to keep remembering that and ignore Angelus’ words.

“Come now, my dark beauty, I always tell the truth. Just because it hurts your itty-bitty little feelings to hear it doesn’t make it a lie. He never cared about you, not really. All, he cared about was using you to reach his Shansu, so he could go running back to the blonde slayette chick.

Buffy is whom he cares about, who he loves whom he dreams of when he goes to sleep. It’s her tight little body that he caresses during those fantasy-filled hours. Doing all the things that you wish he would do to you- to her. It’s true, it’s time you accept it.”

“So what,” She yelled. She shook her head, tears welling up in her eyes. Cordelia couldn’t help it. Buffy was the one thing that Angel would never talk about with her. The one part of himself that he locked away from his seer. Angel had told her about his past, both as Liam and Angelus, even finally told her about Darla.

But never would he talk about Buffy. And she never pressed the issue because; she didn’t want to know. Buffy always seemed to be the One, that everyone loved best and more. Xander loved her and Angel did. Cordelia would always be second to the slayer. She knew it. Cordelia didn’t need to hear it from Angel and definitely not from Angelus.

“So what? So why waste your time or obvious charms on the wuss. He dreams of the forgotten day, you know, the groiny day that the wuss and the slayer did the ‘deed’ all day and in every way. Wishing for it to happen again. Reliving the moment that he pounded into her tight wet embrace on the kitchen table.”

Angelus grinned as Cordelia slung back as if hit by a powerful blow. “What, you didn’t know about the table. Sure, they grabbed and groped on every surface of that kitchen. Angel pounding, the slayer screaming in ecstasy. Kind of puts a new spin on those early morning breakfasts that Angel would cook for you doesn’t it. If it wasn’t so sickening, it be erotic as hell. Though, I have to say, boring and whiny she may be, the little miss slayette did have the tastiest c…”

“Shut up,” Cordelia swore.

Angelus growled in satisfaction as the tears fell down Cordelia’s cheeks. “Those smiles that Angel gives you when you come bopping into his room to wake him. Is nothing more than his attempt not to rip your throat out for disturbing him from those dreams. He hates you for trying to take the whiney blonde’s place in his heart.” Angelus continued unrelenting.

“I said SHUT UP,” she yelled jumping off the bed.

“Just thought you should know. Don’t be sad, darlin’ you are so much more than he deserves.” Angelus shrugged against the chains testing their resiliency. “But,” the vampire seductively whispered. “I want you, I appreciate you, darlin’, not some boring whiny blonde.”

Cordelia shot around. “Since when. Can you say….DARLA, the oldest, best boring whiny blonde, there is.”

“Forget, Darla, I already have. No, my Cordy it’s you I want. You are mine. Come here,” he beguiled. “Let me touch you, like you were meant to be touched. Imagine it, Cordelia. Imagine my hands stroking your body, my lips tasting your skin, my tongue teasing at your heat, inflaming your blood. Feel my caresses…Have something that the Slayer never had, my desire, my appreciation, and my lust, for once be first.”

“Feel your bite, more like it, no thanks.” She retorted remaining motionless, fighting the image of Buffy and Angel together.

Angelus smiled. “Was it really that bad? Your body didn’t shiver with want as my arms held you, as my mouth sucked and licked at your throat, as you gave in to me? You’re shivering now, and I’m only talking. Just think, if I touched you. Think about my hands on your breast fondling, teasing at the hardened nipple. Come here,” he beckoned. The vampire’s tone was seductive almost hypnotizing.

Cordelia stared at the seductive chained vampire, her feet moving slowly towards the bed. If she tried really hard, she could imagine that it was Angel that called to her.

“That’s right, closer, let me show you how it should be, let me make you forget Angel ever existed.” He quietly urged. “Let me show you how it really feels to be wanted.”

Cordelia sat on the bed, her tongue wetting her dry lips. She stared, her gaze not wavering.

“Kiss me,” Angelus softly ordered.

Cordelia leaned in pressing her lips against the vampire’s. Her mouth moving against Angelus lips, molding to their shape. Angelus growled opening his lips, his tongue teasing at Cordelia’s mouth. Cordelia gasped slightly as his tongue found its way. Cordelia pressed in harder, her own tongue exploring and teasing. Slowly, she leaned back up, her hands holding her up against his bound chest.

She blinked at Angelus. “You can’t make me forget Angel, because you are Angel. And that bit about Buffy, whatever. I’m over the high school angst and jealousy. If Buffy is who you want, then Buffy you can have, but first you have to come back,” She vowed. Cordelia would not let Angelus divert her from her purpose. Determined, Cordelia spread her fingers under the chains into his chest.

Angelus howled out in rage and pain as the white light penetrated his flesh. He struggled fighting against the restraining metal.

Cordelia ignored his growls and movements and leaned in further. She managed to erase the pictures of Buffy and Angel from her mind. It didn’t matter. Nothing mattered but bringing Angel back. The healing energy swirled and built in her heart, mind and soul, it’s white light flew from her fingertips until it dug into Angel’s compromised soul.

The darkness fought back, it’s malignancy reaching up towards Cordelia. The young woman gasped out as she felt its power to bestow pain and suffering. It was worse than when she had previously reached into Angel’s soul. Then all she felt was the trauma of Angel’s guilt. Now, she felt everything, the guilt and the evil. Cordelia’s cry of agony strangled in her throat. She pressed in harder, willing the healing influence to combat the darkness.

Angelus fought against encroaching light. He howled in rage as he felt the tentacles of energy spread through out his body. “NO,” he growled pushing up against the chains. The metal snapped at the pressure. Angelus hands gripped at Cordelia to push her way.

“No, no,” Cordelia prayed resisting Angelus’s actions.

Angelus arms fell back as he felt the beams of light summon Angel forth.

“Angel,” Cordelia whispered, her eyes red with unshed tears. The tears began to fall in torrents, as Angel’s internal battle became more violent.

She willed all of her love and strength to Angel, providing him with the resolve to conquer Angelus once and for all. With a final gasp, Cordelia fell unconscious against the vampire’s chest.

Tentatively, Angel’s free arm reached out to surround Cordelia’s limp body. He closed his eyes and crushed her form to his chest. “Cordelia, Cordy,” he whispered. He tightened his hug, trying to sense her beating heart against his chest. Nothing.

Angel tugged at the remaining chains that trapped his body. With a fierce yank the broken metal clanked to the floor. Angel gently cradled Cordelia in his arms, placing her on the bed. His fingers found her pulse point as his head went to Cordelia’s chest. Angel let loose a heartfelt sigh as he sensed Cordelia’s slow beating heart.

His head rested on her chest as his fingers began to caress her cheek. Angel closed his eyes taking comfort in the increasing strength of the thumping in Cordelia’s chest. Once, Angel was assured that Cordelia had settled into a gentle sleep, he got off the bed. With one last caress on her cheek, he left the room.


Chapter Sixty

Angel paused at the landing of the steps. His dark form blended into the darkness of the stairwell. He stood and watched the men below.

The professor was pacing agitatedly back and forth. Wesley and Gunn were stationed at the bottom of the stairs, their cross bows in hand.

“Wes,” he called, giving warning of his presence.

The men in the lobby stilled, looking anxiously at the stairs.

“Angel?” Wesley called back, hopefully.

“Yes,” Angel descended the stairs.

“Whoa, stop their fang guy,” Gunn ordered, holding his crossbow high. “Where’s Cordy.”

“Sleeping, she…she…It worked. Angelus is gone for good. She’s resting,” Angel turned his back to Gunn and looked up the stairs.

Wesley pressed down Gunn’s weapon and shook his head.

“Angel, is she alright?”

“I don’t know, Wes. She seems to be.” The worry and concern was apparent in Angel’s voice. He turned to Wesley.

“Have you figured out how to kill Bathym,” his tone hardening. “The demon’s skin is almost impenetrable and he uses his tail as a very effective weapon. And that transport trick of his will make it difficult to get close to him.”

“Um, well, no. We have been a little preoccupied.” Wesley gestured to the vampire and the stairs.

“Do it, now. Bathym must die. As long as the demon lives, Cordelia will be in danger from him. He wants the necklace.”

“Yes, well we did figure that out. But Bathym can’t kill her, um, that’s why he tried to bring out…well, Angelus.”

“He did more than try,” Angel said in disgust. “And he can hurt her, Bathym must die.” Rage and guilt warred with in Angel. Rage at what Bathym had done to Cordelia and guilt for what he, Angel, in the guise of Angelus had done to her.

“Yes, of course.” Wesley adamantly nodded. “John, maybe you can help. Gunn,” Wesley motioned for the men to follow him to his books.

***

Angel watched as his friends and John left the room. The rage and guilt inside of him merged and developed into fear. Angel was not afraid that they wouldn’t be able to find a way to kill Bathym. Angel knew with every fiber of his un-dead being that the demon would die.

The demon had to die; there was no other acceptable solution. He would die by Angel’s hands, of that the vampire had no doubt.

But what of Cordelia? How would she ever be able to forgive Angel? It was no excuse that it was Angelus’ dominance of his soul that caused Angel to do the things that he did. The beast that had become Angelus was still inside him.

It may never be able to show itself as Angelus again, but that didn’t change the fact that it existed. Angel was still a demon capable of great harm to Cordelia. How would she ever be able to look at him again? She knew what he was.

Angel signed in painful acceptance of the way things would be. He went up the stairs to check on Cordelia. She may not want to see him, but he had to see her and make sure she was okay.


Chapter Sixty-one

Cordelia stretched and groaned as she opened her eyes. She glanced around, her gaze stopping on the seated vampire. Angel was sitting immobile in the armchair by the bed. A wide smile lit up her face. The happy expression turned to a frown as she saw Angel’s solemn posture.

Her eyes shifted away, concentrating on the stitching on the comforter. “Angel, how long was I out,” she asked never raising her eyes.

“An hour,” Angel said softly.

“Cool that’s not so bad, told you that the 12-hour sleepfest was just because I was tired.” She quipped. “So, what’s the plan.” Cordelia looked around everywhere, but at the vampire.

If Angel had a beating heart, it would’ve stopped. He knew that Cordelia wouldn’t be able to stand his presence; he had just hoped that she would. But, no, his seer couldn’t even look him in the eye. Angel guessed that he should be grateful that she was talking to him and not running screaming out of the room.

“To kill Bathym.” Angel said simply.

“Good plan. Any idea how?” Cordelia fought the longing to throw herself into Angel’s arms. She knew that if she looked into his deep brown eyes she would do just that. That was if Angel gave her even the slightest encouragement.

But Angel was giving off the ‘aloof, don’t touch me’ vibes. The insecurities that Angelus had brought up began to worry at her. Cordelia couldn’t forget Angelus’ words. She didn’t believe them, but she couldn’t ignore the tingling of doubt that his words created. What if Angel didn’t care about her, what if it was Buffy he really wanted to be with.

It wasn’t impossible. Cordelia was there for Buffy and Angel’s drama, angst, tragic love epic of the century. Just because Angel hadn’t mentioned Buffy in over a year or no longer blanched paler than pale whenever her name was brought up, didn’t mean that he didn’t still long for her.

Buffy was the love of Angel’s life. It was more than just possible that he did still dream of her, especially now that he knew that the scroll prophesized his humanity. Cordelia tried to ignore the ache in her heart as she stared at an interesting spot above Angel’s head.

“Wesley is looking into it,” Angel responded neutrally. Angel wanted to rush to the young girl and force her into his arms, to look at him, to forgive him.

“That’s as good of a plan as any.” The tension in the room became uncomfortable.

“I should go check on him,” responded Angel. He leaned up, the weight of his undead heart dragging his body down. Slowly, he struggled to a standing position and moved woodenly towards the door.

Cordelia watched Angel leave the room. “Angel,” she called, jumping up. Cordelia couldn’t let him just leave, no matter her fears about Buffy or Angel’s coldness.

Angel paused and turned. His arms automatically raised to catch the flying young body that came towards him. Angel’s chin rested on Cordelia’s head as she burrowed her face into his chest. He could feel the dampness of her tears through his shirt. Angel hugged her closer.

“Angel,” she mumbled against the fabric. “Angel, you can be happy now,” she sniffled.

Angel pulled away from his crying seer; hope burgeoning up through his body, touching his un-beating heart. His eyes bore into hers. As impossible as it seemed, Cordelia’s thoughts hadn’t been on Angelus or even Bathym, but on him and his well being. He should have known. His newly acknowledged love for his seer took over his being filling his soul and igniting a warmth in his loins. Angel’s eyes slid from Cordelia’s moist ones, down to her lips. He lowered his head.

Tentatively, their lips met, moving slowly against each other. Angel pressed in as he savored Cordelia’s taste. Cordelia whimpered at the increased pressure. She opened her lips, her tongue and teeth gently urging for more of the kiss. Angel’s body tightened at her insistence, his kiss responding eagerly. Their mouth’s merged, becoming one as they explored each other.

With a touch, Cordelia pushed away, not to reject the vampire but to gasp for much needed air. Angel arms loosened but did not release the young woman.

“Cordy,” Angel whispered, desire and questions filled his eyes. His hope had burst full-blown with in his chest.

Cordelia smiled slightly, biting her bottom lip. Cordelia’s action spurned Angel into movement. He captured Cordelia’s mouth, once again devouring her lips and nudging them open. Cordelia responded enthusiastically, no thoughts in her mind except the deliciousness of the kiss.

Chapter 62

Posted July 26, 2015 by califi in Complete

The Necklace. 53-56   1 comment

Chapter Fifty-three

“There,” Gunn pointed to a solid steel door.

“Yes,” Wesley winced as he heard the sounds of gasps and whimpering through the door.

“Gentleman,” he looked to Gunn and John.

They both nodded and readied.

Wesley stalled and looked around. He quickly pointed to a large pipe that was lying on the ground. He nodded.

Gunn rushed over and picked it up. Wesley, Gunn and John took a hold of the pipe and aimed it at the lock. With quick three nods, the iron pipe pounded on the door.

A sigh of relief flew from Wesley as the door broke open. The three men went tumbling into the room.

“Angel, Cordy,” the shouts hit the air as Gunn and Wesley saw the tableau before them.

Without thinking much, Wesley shot an arrow from his crossbow into the vampire’s stomach.

Angelus lurched away, Cordelia’s blood dripping from his mouth.

“Gunn, Cordelia, get her out of here.” Wesley shouted.

Gunn already had the girl in his arms. He stalled for a moment. “Angel, you shot Angel?”

“Go, get the hell out of here, just go,” Wesley yelled.

Gunn nodded and carried his burden away from the room.

Angelus grappled up, looking at the arrow stuck in his stomach. He lurched forward attacking Wesley.

“John, go,” the former watcher shouted.

John looked back only once as he was running out of the room.

“Ouch, ball-less wonder. Did you think this was enough,” Angelus nodded to the arrow. “Or did you just not have the guts to kill me.” He heckled.

“Damn you, Angelus, but then again how many times have you already been damned. Call me a fool if you will,” Wesley answered as he shot Angelus with another crossbow into the stomach.

“But, never question, if we can’t save you, you’ll be dust” Wesley took one last look at the slumped over vampire before he ran as fast as his feet could carry him.


Chapter Fifty-four

“Where? Where’s the girl?” Bathym bellowed. The demon’s large frame encompassed the broken doorway.

Angelus dragged himself up against the wall. He winced as he ripped the crossbow arrows from his stomach. “A visit from Cordy’s Heroes,” he grunted. “Your transportation trick didn’t do much transporting, now did it? What’d you do just toss the human do-gooders into the next room? Next time, I would suggest somewhere a little farther, preferably hell.” Angelus said sarcastically.

“ERRGH,” Bathym howled rushing the vampire.

Angelus quickly brought up a bloody bolt and shoved at the charging demon’s chest. The force of the blow shattered the thin arrow as it barely penetrated the demon’s thick skin.

Bathym laughed. “Ineffective.”

“I don’t know, it stopped you didn’t it?” Angelus dropped the splintered bolt to the floor.

“I am invincible.”

“Of course you are,” Angelus deadpanned. His fingers probed the tears in his shirt, examining the extent of his wounds. Angelus grimaced as he pulled back his bloody hand. The borrowed blood was flowing freely. He was loosing it by the cupful.

“Get her back or you die,” Bathym yelled.

“That’s not very polite,” Angelus retorted, not at all cowed by the demon’s threat. The loud demon was getting on Angelus’ nerves.

“Master! What’s happened?” Renfield rushed into the room. His eyes widen to the size of saucers has he took in the wounded vampire and the slight cut on Bathym’s hide, in the otherwise empty room. “The lower demon, he has attacked you. Do I kill him, Oh Majestic One?” Renfield wheezed, bobbing his thin head at Angelus.

Angelus disregarded the human’s words, but rather stared contemplatively at his rapid pulse beating through the pale skin of his scrawny neck. The loss of blood was making him dizzy; he needed to replenish soon.

Bathym ignored his servant’s whine. “You will get her back. I need her and the necklace,” Bathym ordered Angelus.

“Yeah, well that makes two of us.” Angelus growled. Angelus could care less about the piece of jewelry, but he did need Cordelia back. He could still taste her tantalizing flavor on his tongue. Her blood was an elixir to him.

The compulsion to have the young woman was all consuming. It was beyond the mere obsession to acquire someone that Angel loved. Angelus didn’t want Cordelia to destroy, but to possess.

“You will bring her back dead and with the necklace,” Bathym yelled trying to regain the vampire’s attention.

“Or you will hop, skip, and jump- and then kill me, I get it.” Bathym was truly getting annoying. Angelus straightened his injured body, swaying in the attempt. “I need to feed.”

“Fine,” Bathym signed in contempt at the vampire’s seemingly vulnerability. In an instant, Bathym’s long serpent’s tail whipped out capturing Renfield in its strong coil. “Here.” The demon swung the wide-eyed human towards Angelus.

“Master?” Renfield managed to squeak out before he was thrown into Angelus’ waiting fangs. The vampire tore into the skinny human’s throat, drinking him dry. Renfield’s empty body fell to the ground. Angelus closed his eyes as he felt the stolen blood revitalize his hurt body.

Bathym stared down at Renfield’s crumpled form. “He was really a good servant, you know. Had the right balance of fear and obsequiousness. Not that easy to find now a days. Now get the girl.” He added, no longer concerned with his dead menial.

“Bandages?” Angelus looked down at the open gashes on his stomach. The bleeding at finally stopped but the wounds were still exposed.

“Here,” Bathym snorted. He bent down a tore off Renfield’s jacket. “Make do.”

“Your little helper did have his uses, didn’t he?” Angelus shredded the material and wrapped the makeshift dressing on to his injuries.

“Ready, now?” Bathym asked impatiently.

Angelus ignored the demon as he pushed past him.

“Vampire,” Bathym called.

“Keep your tail curled. You’ll get your necklace,” Angelus said still stalking away. “Maybe, and only after I will get what’s mine,” he added growling low.


Chapter Fifty-five

“How is Cordelia,” Wesley cried, jumping behind the wheel of Angel’s car. He glanced up in the rearview mirror catching sight of Gunn nestling her unconscious form onto his lap.

“Breathing,” Gunn answered. “Wes…Why?…….How? I mean why would Angel do this…”

“Not Angel, Angelus,” Wesley corrected.

“What? The badass evil dude, I thought he came out only when Angel had the ‘big happy’? You don’t think he and Cordy….Nah,” Gunn shook his head in answer to his own question. “Not enough time, and definitely not the right atmosphere to get down in.”

“That was Angel,” John interrupted. “He bit Cordelia,” John stared in concern and shock at the young woman.

“No, not Angel. But, the evil demon he was before Angel received his soul. Somehow, Angel has lost his soul and somehow we’ve got to figure out a way to return it. But first, we need to get Cordelia to a safe place.”

“Why would the bad ass evil dude be helping Bathym? I thought he was only into those homicidal un-dead bitches,” puzzled Gunn.

“Yes, Darla and Drusilla. If he remains on the loose long enough, I imagine he will go to them. But, I’m afraid that won’t be his immediate goal.” Wesley glanced back up in the mirror to catch sight of Cordelia.

“I don’t understand? The necklace would be of no use to a vampire,” asked John.

“Not, the necklace, its possessor.” Wesley corrected. “In past appearances, Angelus has always seemed to focus his particular psychotic brand of torment on those that Angel cares the most about. And, like you said, Angel has very strong feelings for Cordelia.”

“Shit, the psycho vamp will be jonesin’ hard for Cordy.” Gunn exclaimed, pulling the young woman further into his embrace.

“Quite,” Wesley concurred. “Bathym and Angelus,” he shook his head. “Cordy is in grave danger.”

“You should’ve dusted the bastard,” reprimanded Gunn.

“No, not until we know for sure whether Angel’s soul can be returned or not.”

“And if he causes a shit load of damage before then? If he gets to Cordy.” Countered Gunn.

“Then, he is dust.”

“Wesley, we should get her to the hospital,” urged the Professor.

“No, a hospital is a public place. Angelus could enter anytime. No, I’ve a recipe for a potion that can help quicken Cordelia’s own natural ability to rebuild her blood supply. Damn.” Wesley banged on the wheel.

“What’s up, English?”

“Gunn, we’re going to have to drop you off at the Hyperion. The necessary ingredient is there. Get them, quickly, then get out. We can’t be sure how long Angelus’ injuries will slow him down.”

“Where are you going?”

“To John’s,” he explained, without asking for the Professors permission. “Angel has never been invited in. We need time to make a plan.”

“Wesley, Gunn,” John interrupted. “Look, the bite marks.” He called in amazement.

Wesley swerved the car to the side of the road. “What is it?”

The small puncture wounds on Cordelia’s neck glowed with a white light. Cordelia gasped and blinked her eyes. Her hand flew to the lesions as they healed. Cordelia struggled away from Gunn as she tried to sit up. “Wesley…”

“Cordy, are you all right,” asked a concerned Wesley.

“Your kidding, right?” she weakly retorted.

“Cordy lie down, you’ve lost a lot of blood.” Gunn pulled her back down.

“No, I’m fine,” she said in contrast to her earlier statement. “The necklace has worked its mojo. Hey, what’s the Native American kidnapper doing here.” Cordelia glared at the Professor.

“I’m sorry, but I…we needed the necklace. It belongs to….”

“The Hopi, the old guy…I got that much. The old guy, in my dream, not the Wise One, the other one?”

“My father,” John said quietly.

“I’m sorry, but did you ever think that if you told us, gee, I don’t know the truth, gave us some warning, this all may never have happened. Angel wouldn’t be running around reinventing his grand old evil days.” She grunted in exasperation. “Eww,” she sighed, tears welling up in her eyes. Cordelia took a deep breath. “Wesley, start the car. We’ve got to the Hyperion.”

“No. Not hotel. Professor’s.” Wesley argued disjointedly.

“No,” Cordelia demanded. “We have to go to the hotel. Angel will go there and we need to capture him. Wesley, he still has his soul.”

“Cordelia, that was Angelus. He can’t have a soul.”

“Sure, he acted like Angelus, he thinks he’s Angelus, but he isn’t not really, not completely. He can’t be, Angel still has his soul.” She repeated, trying to explain what she had seen and felt. “Wesley, I was there, I saw, I heard. The big tailed ugly may think that Angel doesn’t have a soul, but he is wrong.”

“Impossible. Cordelia, I’m not saying we won’t try to retrieve Angel’s soul. Maybe, Willow’s spell or…I don’t know, but we’ll try, it could take some time.”

“Yeah, like maybe forever” Gunn grumbled.

“No, no,” Cordelia shook her head. “We don’t need to do all that. I can heal Angel.”

“Cordelia, his soul is not injured, it’s gone. He is Angelus.” disputed Wesley.

“Wesley, listen to me. Bathym went on about how he couldn’t kill or take the necklace, and he said those that he influences couldn’t either, whatever that means. Then, Angel came. The big ugly touched him, and then poof Angelus. And now, Bathym thinks Angelus can kill me. Bathym babbled about how Angelus didn’t have a soul therefore wasn’t really one of his followers. But he is wrong. Wesley, I tried to heal Angel, I almost did it. His soul is still there, its just…its just dark and evil,” she shuddered, trying to explain.

“Legend says that Bathym and those that he corrupts can’t harm the possessor of the necklace,” John pondered out loud.

“Harm? Oh, he can harm, just not permanently,” Cordelia retorted.

“Wesley, if Cordelia is right…”

“I am.”

John smiled at the insistent young woman. “Bathym has the ability to reach into a beings soul and amplify the evil that resides within. That evil grows in strength, until it becomes paramount, there by contaminating the soul.”

Cordelia nodded vigorously. “And Angelus is the evil in Angel’s soul. Bathym just made him stronger that’s all. But, he isn’t real. Angel is still there, just lost in all of the darkness.”

“The necklace can cure Bathym’s corruption, that is purpose for which is was designed. Cordelia can with the necklace, heal Angel’s soul.” John finished anxiously. Bathym was wrong. John couldn’t believe it; he had grown up hearing of the almost god-like abilities. But the demon was fallible and that meant he could be destroyed.

“Angelus is real and he did hurt you.” Wesley stated.

“Yeah, but I’m better. If Angel was really the soulless ‘grr’ guy that Bathym thinks he is, that you think he is, I wouldn’t be, I’d be drained dry. “We have to go. So, go,” she ordered Wesley.

“We still need a plan,” countered Wesley, still not sure that he believe Cordelia.

“We have a plan- tag, bag and heal, ump. Now, come on,” she argued.


Chapter Fifty-six

Angelus grumbled as he stood out on the near empty street. Well, he hadn’t really expected Angel’s car to be waiting, but it would have been advantageous. Now, he would have to waste precious time finding an alternative form of transportation.

The fates were smiling, either that or falling mightily down on their job, Angelus chuckled as a car turned onto the dark street. It all depended on your perspective, he thought. They were definitely smiling in his mind.

The car only had one occupant, a woman. Angelus thought that the woman might have a different perspective once he got through with her, though.

Angelus waved the car down. The woman was young, pretty and blonde. Angelus inwardly grimaced. Blonde, he was tired of blondes, they tended to get boringly whining after awhile. Buffy, Kate, human Darla, hell, even vamp Darla had her moments. B

oring and…dumb, Angelus thought as the car slowed to a stop. Those jokes seemed to be true. Only an idiot would stop for a strange man in the middle of the night. Angelus knew he shouldn’t hate her, after all woman like this kept him fed most of his undead life.

She was only providing a necessary service. It wasn’t her fault she was stupid and uninteresting.

“Um, hi…can I help,” the young woman rolled down her window.

“Yes, my car broke down,” Angelus pointed in a far away direction. “Would you happen to have a phone?” The vampire smiled.

“Um,” the young woman gaped at Angelus devastatingly handsome smile. “Um, yes…But I…do you need a ride somewhere?”

“That would be nice,” Angelus shot the woman another smile, this time seductive as he moved to the passenger side.

“Great…I mean ok, then.” The woman couldn’t wait to tell the women at her dinner club about the walking hunk. They would of course lecture her about picking up a stranger at 1am, but whoa what a stranger.

Guys like him only came around once in a lifetime and she wasn’t going to miss it. He was just too hot to ignore. Boy, would she have stories to tell.

***

Angelus kicked the woman’s depleted body to the curb as he started the car. Between the scrawny Reinfold and the dim blonde’s blood, Angelus felt most of his strength returning. He pulled off the makeshift bandages. Yep, almost as good as new. Angelus really enjoyed being a vampire.

Angelus fingers strummed on the steering wheel as he drove. Where would Wes less take Cordelia? Angelus growled as he thought about the former rogue demon hunter. For a balless wonder, Wyndem-Price did seem to have an uncanny knack for frustrating Angelus’ plans.

The first time had been a fluke; Angelus had been too distracted watching Cordelia trying to bluff him. He pictured her holding that harmless water bottle babbling about some priest or another blessing the drinking water. Angelus growled.

Cordelia was definitely not boring; she was heat and flames. He had to have her. Angel was a gutless, wimpy ass fool for not taking advantage of the beauty that had been under his nose all that time. Well, Angelus would not be so neglectful of Cordelia. But first he had to find her.

Wesless wouldn’t have gone back to the Hyperion. What the former rogue demon hunter lacked in balls, he made up for in brains. No, they wouldn’t go to anywhere that Angel had an open invite. So, that knocked out Cordelia’s or Wesley’s. That only left every other private residence in LA. Angelus growled, thinking.

His growl deepened as he realized the answer. The Professor’s. That’s where they would go. Angelus didn’t agree with much of what Angel thought or felt. But Angel’s thoughts about killing the Indian were valid ones. Not only had the Indian have the gall to kidnap Cordelia, she thought he was gorgeous. Yes, Dr. Red Bear just made the top of Angelus’s kill wish list. With Wes less coming in a close second.

Actually, Angelus reconsidered; maybe he should keep the Wesley alive for awhile. The man did know his books. He just might be able to give Angelus the know how to destroy Bathym. And the demon definitely had to go. Angelus wasn’t at all comfortable with allowing the arrogant demon to live, not when Bathym could in a hop, skip and jump threaten the vampire and be a danger to Cordelia.

No, he would move Bathym up from the third spot on his list. Then Wesley, Gunn, Wolfram & Hart. Not that Wolfram & Hart was all that bad; it just annoyed Angelus that the law firm thought it could control him.

Then what? Angelus guessed he could go to Sunnydale, but nothing there really excited him anymore. Buffy could live or die for all he cared. But, maybe Cordelia would like to cause some havoc in her old hometown. Now, that could be fun. Angelus trembled at the thought of Cordelia by his side, in his bed, under his control.

She was his and soon she would feel his dominance. Angelus’s foot pressed harder on the accelerator.

Chapter 57

Posted July 26, 2015 by califi in Complete

The Necklace. 47-52   1 comment

Chapter Forty-seven

“Angel, Angel what is it?” yelled Wesley, running down the basement stairs.

“Angel,” he called again. Wesley jerked to a stop at the sight of the vampire, his demon face firm, and his gold eyes flashing in some on known horror, crying the word no, over and over again.

“Angel,” Wesley called hesitantly.

The gold eyes connected with the nervous and concerned eyes of Wesley. They closed. When they opened, they were the normal deep brown of the man.

“I can’t wait around here any longer.” Angel strode to the trap door to the sewers, pausing only to gather his sword. He couldn’t tell Wesley about his dream. It didn’t mean anything, it couldn’t.

Wesley jumped out of the way. “Call, if you find anything,” he reminded the retreating vampire.

Angel marched through the dank sewers trying to push aside the terrors of his dream. It was just a dream, a dream manufactured by Bathym; he tried to convince himself. Angel had a soul. A soul that would never harm Cordelia. He could never harm her.

He loved her. Angel stumbled back at his desperate acknowledgement. Angel did love Cordelia. Truly and overwhelmingly. A sense of relief swelled through out Angel. He did love her. That proved the dream false, he thought, trying to push aside his earlier doubts.

Yet, even though he loved Cordelia, he had still hurt her, more than once since he promised to always protect her. Maybe he should have told Wesley about the dream. No, it was just a dream. But, he couldn’t shake the fear that no matter what his feelings for his seer were; he was still a demon, a vampire, and a killer. His uncertainty grew stronger.

Angel growled, forcing his self-doubts down. He could concentrate on only one goal and that was to find Cordelia.


Chapter Forty-eight

“Master?” Reinfold asked as the demon suddenly materialized before him.

“It was easier than even I had imagined. The vampire will do it. Have you done what I ordered.” The demon demanded.

“Of course, all Oppressive one, but master…I have a question,” the human timidly asked.

“Yes, what is it,” the demon rolled his eyes.

“Um, well, how can the demon help us if you corrupt his soul?”

“Corrupt? I’m not influencing the demon’s soul. I’m only showing him that he has no real choice. I am only helping him realize his true self. His soul will be lost, not corrupted. And I can’t very well influence a soul, if it doesn’t exist anymore now can I?”

“Of course, oh High One, superior plan.” Reinfold said profusely to the demon. He wasn’t at all sure what the demon meant, but he did know that it was the appropriate time to bow and scrap.

“Now, have you done what I have commanded.”

“Yes, Oh Omnipresent One, every demon in the surrounding area now know where the girl is located.”

“Excellent.” The demon cackled.

***

“Wesley, Gunn,” Angel ordered storming back into the hotel. He had a most informative two hours, not to mention bloody. “Underground warehouse, 5th and Center.” Angel roared, not stopping until he reached the weapon’s cabinet.

“You located Cordelia,” questioned Wesley urgently.

Angel nodded, stuffing every sharp instrument in the cabinet on his body. He picked up a large deadly axe and turned his friend. “Now,” he ordered going towards the door.

“Of course,” Wesley nodded hurriedly. “Gunn.” He threw an axe at the black man who was now standing behind Wesley.

“Right,” Gunn nodded catching the weapon. “Are you coming,” he called to John.

The Indian nodded, still surprised by Angel’s sudden appearance.

“Good,” Wesley answered, tossing the Doctor another axe. “Angel will obviously take the lead, but use this to cause as much or any damage to the demon that you can,” directed Wesley.

John nodded and followed Gunn and Wesley out the door. Angel was waiting impatiently in the car.


Chapter Forty-nine

Angel drove in silence to 5th and Center. He pulled sharply up into the curb. “The entrance is over there,” he finally spoke.

The others nodded in unison and got out. The group went to the covered entry.

Angel ripped the steel plated door from its hinges. “Down.”

The others followed stealthy.

***

The group emerged into a dark, damp tunnel. Angel moved ahead with ease, the blackness not preventing him from seeing his way. Wesley switched on his flashlight.

The men traveled for a while, the silence was not reassuring, but deafening in its stillness. Finally, they came upon another doorway. With the same ease as earlier, Angel tore off the barrier. The entrance opened into an underground chamber.

Angel effortlessly dropped to the floor, his sword in hand as he stood up from his leap. Wesley and the others scrambled down, using their hands and feet to descend.

“Which way,” whispered Wesley as he reached the ground. The room had several tunnel openings attached along its sides.

“I’m afraid it’s this way,” boomed Bathym. He loud voice expanded through the empty space.

The group tensed and moved fluidly, arranging themselves back to back, their weapons poised and ready.

“Impressive, but meaningless,” the demon called, his huge body entering the chamber. With a raise of his hands and a flash of light, Wesley, Gunn and John disappeared.

“So, vampire, it’s just you and me.” Bathym called, inching closer to Angel. Angel stood tense, ready for battle.

“Love the hostility. We’re alike you and I. I’m more powerful, of course, but the core of evil is the same. Come join me,” the demon beckoned, in a burst of light they were transported from the large chamber to a small cell.

“See, anything you like,” taunted the demon.

“Angel,” a small voice called from the darkness.

“Cordelia,” Angel rushed to the sound of the weak sound. He fell down his hands grasping at the frail body. His eyes blinked back the fear and rage he felt as she studied her. There were no signs of physical injuries, but the form in his arms felt weak and fragile.

Her once dark, luscious hair was limp and dull. Cordelia’s eyes reflected the numerous terrors and pains she had experienced over the last couple of days.

“Cordy,” he whispered drawing her gently into his strong protecting arms.

“I knew you would come, I did,” she cried burrowing her head into his broad chest.

“Sweet, but not real,” Bathym commented. “Come demon, you must realize it, this is a dream of a dream. A dream of what you can never have. You are a demon.” He taunted, extending his powerful arm out to reach for the vampire.

Bathym jerked the vampire from Cordelia’s embrace holding him up in the air by the cuff of his neck.

“Resistance, is futile,” the demon chuckled. He slowly brought his other hand against the struggling vampire’s chest. “Feel your power,” he beckoned. “Embrace it.”

Angel tensed as the demon’s touch drew out and strengthened the evil in his soul. The darkness expanded, encroaching over all the goodness that rested there. Angel winced as the battle for his soul began.

Cordelia braced herself against the wall, pushing herself to her feet. “Angel,” she whispered as watched his demon face flicker on and off.

“What are you doing to him?” she demanded of the demon.

“Nothing, just re-introducing the demon to his real self, that’s all,” Bathym chuckled.

“No, you can’t, he has his soul, you can’t take it away. What you are doing is in no way the big joyful experience.”

“Joy,” Bathym puzzled. “What’s joy got to do with it? It what’s he is.”

“Angel can’t lose his soul, not without the big happy” she demanded, looking worriedly at the struggling vampire.

“Lose? To lose surmises that he has something to mislay or something he failed to maintain. He never had a soul not really, just a dream, a hope. A hope that I’m showing him doesn’t exist.”

“I don’t know what you are talking about and I don’t care. Angel,” she called running towards him. “Angel, fight it, whatever is happening, fight.”

Angel could hear Cordelia’s plea. He wanted to yell to her everything would be okay, that he would save her, but his voice wouldn’t answer. The darkness was filling his soul, the evil growing upon itself. Angel tried to concentrate on Cordelia.

He tried to picture the dream of their power animals playing together in a loving game, on the peace that imagine granted him, the strength it gave him to believe. But a sardonic laugh pounded through his skull. It was Angelus.

‘Hope,’ Angelus laughed. ‘Remember the rest, remember me,’ the evil smirked. Suddenly, Angel saw his spirit animal attacking, mutilating Cordelia’s spirit guides. ‘This is you, me…this is what we are,” Angelus raved. ‘Feel the glory of the kill, taste the blood, accept who we are.”

Angel’s scream of no, strangled into a scream of pain. Bathym laughed in triumphant, tossing the vampire to the side.

“What have you done,” Cordelia screamed rushing to Angel. Her hands reaching to clutch at his chest. With a sudden burst of thought and love, she willed the healing energy into the still vampire.

Tears ran down her face as she felt the evil and darkness swarming and taking over Angel’s soul. She pressed in harder. She visualized the white light forcing back the darkness. Her tears fell harder as agony filled her being at the onslaught.

Cordelia fought the pain willingly, as the white light started to conquer the damage that Bathym had invoked.

Without warning, Cordelia gasped in pain, as her wrists were forced backwards. Angelus pushed harder on the joints, as his eyes shot open.

“Sorry, little girl, not enough juice,” he smirked pulling Cordelia towards his body by her strained wrists. “God, you’re beautiful. The pain, the fear on your lovely, lovely face is intoxicating.”

“No,” whimpered Cordelia, struggling against the vampire’s hold. “Angel,” she cried.

“Sorry. Gone, gone and nevermore.” Angelus shot to his feet never letting go of Cordelia.

Angelus contemplated the other demon. “Why?”

“Why not?” chortled Bathym. “I can’t kill her, but you can.”

“Why should I? I don’t follow you. You may have been able to release me, but I’m not yours.”

“No, and I don’t want you.” Acknowledged the larger demon. “But, just as easy as I brought you forth, I can destroy you.”

“I doubt it.”

“Vampire, in the grand scheme of evil, you are nothing. A speck, but a useful speck. I have a bargain for you. You want to remain loose, I want the necklace. You can get that for me and I can let you exist.”

Angelus growled at the demon’s arrogant words. No one threatened him. Angelus tossed Cordelia to the ground and charged at the demon. Bathym deflected his blows easily.

Cordelia concentrated on the pain in her wrists, trying to ignore the battle around her. She tested their movement. Once she was able to move them with only an intense, but bearable pain, she crawled to the open doorway. She stalled at the entrance, glancing to the empty hallway beyond and back at the fighting demons.

Angelus was taking the worst of the beatings, but the vampire was still standing, attacking the demon viscously. Escape, her mind screamed. Stay, her heart begged. She had to try to reach Angelus; she knew that she could restore Angel’s soul. She just had to touch him and maintain that touch. She couldn’t leave him.

“Enough,” Bathym roared. He unsuccessfully tried to hide that the pain that the vampire had caused to his body.

“Not likely, I’m having a grand time,” retorted Angelus limping towards the demon.

“I said enough,” the demon bellowed. His tail shot out behind him capturing Cordelia and swinging her body in front of his.

“Vampire, you do have power, I’ll give you that, but I have her,” Bathym called. His tail tightening around Cordelia’s body, squeezing the breath from her body. “A trade that’s all I want. I’ll give you her, your so-called whatever soul seemed to cherish this girl…all I want in return is the necklace around her neck. Once the exchange is made, I won’t bother you and you won’t bother me. This town, these humans will be yours to play with. I have mine own.”

Angelus growled, staring at the limp girl in the other demon’s grip. Cordelia Chase, Angel’s love. Angelus did want her, what fun he could have with her. Doing all things that Angel denied himself from doing, and more. “The necklace can’t be removed,” he stated his eyes never leaving Cordelia’s form.

“No, not while the girl is alive, but you can kill her. You have no allegiance to me. Take your time, enjoy yourself, but when it’s done the necklace is mine.”

“And what if I don’t want to give you the necklace.”

“There is no reason for you to keep it. It will do you no good.”

“I don’t know a quick healing tool could come in handy,” Angel smirked.

“The power of the necklace will never work for you. It won’t work for me either, but I can destroy it, once she now longer has it. Deal?”


Chapter Fifty

Angelus stood back and contemplated the larger demon. Deal? Angelus first reaction was to charge at the demon, again. Resume the battle that had already been started.

But? Could he win? Angelus thought so, but he wasn’t sure. Bathym was powerful, very powerful. And it hadn’t escaped Angelus’ notice that the demon had the ability to move people around in a poof.

So, what were his options? Fight the demon and maybe lose, thereby never having a chance to play with Angel’s love. Refuse the deal and fight. Who knew, maybe the other demon was telling the truth? But did it matter?

Angelus’ philosophy was to live and live for the moment. And the moment and acceptance of the deal gave him Cordelia and a chance in the future to kill the demon. Now? And he could possibly lose. Or later and still possibly lose, but in the middle he could play. “Deal.”

“Good, a wise decision. Then I’ll let you alone with your toy of choice,” Bathym laughed and uncurled his tail. Cordelia went spinning, smacking against the concrete wall. “Oh, and demon,” he started.

“The name is Angelus,” the vampire corrected.

“Catchy. But, Angelus, stay here until the transaction is complete. Will you? Because if you don’t, I will have to exert some energy to find you. And we don’t want that. Because I’ll find you. See I have been in your dreams. Once there, I’m only a hop, skip and jump away. So, don’t take the prize and run. There’s no point in it. Trust me.”

Angelus raised his brows. “Like hell.”

“Point taken, but realistically speaking, I don’t want what you want. You want the girl and the humans around her. I only want the necklace and my humans. So, there is no need to kill each other.” Bathym acknowledged.

Angelus slowly nodded. Whatever, the vampire thought. Angelus looked around the dark cell. He could get out of there when and if it became necessary. He would take the easy way out for now.


Chapter Fifty-one

Wesley groaned as he lifted his body off the ground. “Gunn, John,” he called weakly.

“Here,” answered a groggy John.

A moan raised from the corner.

“Gunn?’ Wesley cried in concern. He rushed to the sound. “Gunn,” he called again, gently shaking the body he found crumpled to the side.

‘Ow, whoa, yeah,” Gunn struggled to get up, grabbing at Wesley’s hands. “English, I’m okay. What happened?” Gunn scooted up to a seated position.

“Bathym has the ability to transport beings. We were transported,” explained John.

“Yes, the demon has the ability to transport men from one place to another,” confirmed Wesley. “He must have done that to us.” Wesley looked around, studying their surroundings. “But, we are still underground. And I’d wager not far from where we originally were. Either he can’t control it, or he wasn’t concentrating, or he didn’t think we were much of a threat. I’d like to think it was the first.” Wesley added.

“So now what?” asked Gunn.

“We start moving back,” Wesley replied. “I think it was that way. I think I recognize that stain on the wall.”

“Is that blood?” Gunn asked.

“Could be, but it isn’t ours, so?” Wesley responded.

“Nothing, just trying to get a grip on my surroundings. Lead the way, Bugs, we have family to rescue,” answered Gunn.

Wesley nodded. “John, you still with us? I think the exit is that way.” Wesley pointed to the opposite direction that he and Gunn were heading.

“I’m with you,” John stated simply.

All three men nodded and headed onward into the dark tunnel.

***

“Master, should we leave them alone together,” questioned Reinfold, fidgeting all over, waiting for the demon’s reply.

“No harm,” the demon affirmed. “The girl is almost dead or soon will be and the vampire, Angelus, well, if he leaves without giving me the necklace, he will die.”

“Well, if you are sure.” The human bowed and scraped.


Chapter Fifty-two

Angelus moved around gazing at the crumpled body of the girl. He let out a disappointed sigh. It was no fun if she was unconscious, he growled.

The vampire leaned down next to Cordelia gently cradling her body in his arms. He slowly caressed her cheek, whispering words of encouragement into her hair.

Cordelia start to stir. Angel, her mind cried out. She could feel his touch and gentle words. Her eyes flickered opened expecting to see her vampire’s warm brown eyes. “Angel,” she gasped, clutching his strong body closer.

“Shh,’ Angelus whispered. “It’s okay, darlin’”

Cordelia’s eyes shot open. “You, oh god no,” Cordelia struggled against the vampire’s hold.

“Oh, darlin’ it’s me,” he grinned winningly. Angelus pulled and pushed her body up against the wall. He licked his lips as he stared Cordelia up and down. “Oh, the soul-boy was an idiot,” Angelus declared, running his hands across her body.

Cordelia flinched. She closed her eyes. She could do this, she proclaimed. She waited, ordering her body to stay still as Angelus got closer, pressing his body and hands along hers. She took obvious breaths and pants as she allowed him to caress her. Angelus hands reached into her torn and dirty blouse.

“Oh, little girl, did poor clueless Angel know how you wanted me,” the vampire taunted.

“MMmm,” Cordelia whimpered, reaching her sprained hands to the vampire’s chest. “Please,” she whimpered, wiggling her hips under Angelus’. The vampire groaned and moved closer. Cordelia sighed, and thrust her hands directly against his chest, willing, wishing, and loving as much as her heart could stand. The energy flowed quickly into the vampire’s chest. But not quick enough. Angelus grabbed at her wrist and threw her back against the wall.

“Try that again and I’ll snap your wrist in two. For what I want from you I don’t need your hands,” Angelus growled.

“Angel,” she started.

The vampire swung a forceful backhand to her mouth. “The souled wimp is gone, get the picture,” Angelus growled.

“No,” Cordelia cried as blood dripped from her lip.

“Yes,” Angelus said as he swooped down and captured the red drops as they fell.

Angelus suckled and bit at Cordelia’s lip, drawing more blood. He jerked his head up forcing himself away from the inciting fluid. Angelus showed his fangs.

“I’ll will admit that I’m in a slight dilemma. Do I suck you dry or do I fuck you first. It’s a hard decision.” His yellow eyes pierced Cordelia.

“What?” Angelus grabbed at the struggling young woman. “Come now, isn’t this what you wanted. Oh, that’s right, you wanted the wuss, but darlin’” Angelus bent down and placed a gentle kiss on Cordelia’s forehead. “Angel, Angelus, we are the same. Want one, want us both. And now, glory be, you have me” he laughed, plunging his lips over Cordelia’s. His tongue raping her mouth, his teeth piercing her delicate flesh.

Cordelia struggled even harder, her legs and arms striking out at the overpowering vampire. She didn’t want this; she never wanted this. She wanted Angel and only Angel. Yeah, so he was a vampire, somewhere down the line she had gotten over that bad aspect. But Angelus, no…. she never wanted that evil demon.

Knowing that Angel had it in him was enough. She accepted that but was she able to put up with it. No.

Angelus felt all of Cordelia’s desires and emotions. The girl was lost and more importantly she was hot. Angelus figured he should just kill her, but… She was so hot and her blood so intoxicating. Angelus wanted not only to taste her until she breathed her last breath, but also he wanted her. And if he just partook from her rich thick offerings she would be dead in the absolute sense of the word.

But there was something about the young girl. Her courage, when in this particular instance was foolish, he grunted. But still, Cordelia whined, yelled, and was dangerous, powerful even, in her resistance. But in this once instance he would agree with Angel.

Cordelia was pure fire. Angelus began to think that Angel had the right idea. Not the lovely, dovey.,, mushy stuff, but the other stuff. Cordelia was unique, passionate, loyal, and beautiful. All and all, excellent vampire material, an excellent mate.

“You are mine,” he stated, his decision made.

“What? No,” Cordelia let out the loudest scream of her life as Angelus’s fangs traveled towards her neck.

***

“Sounds like the vampire is having some fun,” yawned Bathym.

***

“Which way?” asked John. The dark corridors all looked the same to him.

“This way,” Wesley cried urgently as the sound of Cordelia’s scream filtered through the space.

Chapter 53

Posted July 26, 2015 by califi in Complete

The Necklace. 43-46   1 comment

Chapter Forty-three

“Where’s Cordelia,” Angel growled. His temper was being held together by a fragile thread. Every instinct, every desire in his undead body cried out for violence.

It was only the knowledge that the professor was Angel’s only link to finding Cordelia that kept the man alive.

“I don’t know,” John said truthfully and sorrowfully.

Angel advanced towards the Indian. Forgotten was the host’s proclamation of the ‘goodness’ of the Indian. If the doctor could not help then he would die, but not before Angel made sure, painfully sure that the Indian knew nothing of value.

“Um, Professor, you must have an idea,” Wesley jumped in, standing between Angel and the doctor.

“Yea, and talk quick like, Angel is impatient.” Chimed in Gunn.

John watched in apprehension and awe as Angel’s brown eye’s glowed gold. Angel was really the beast, he thought in wonder. “You are a vampire,” he said. John needed confirmation of what he already knew to be true.

“I’m your death, if you don’t start talking,” growled Angel.

“A bit high on the melodrama scale, but effective I’d say,” Gunn whispered to Wesley as John’s face paled.

“Be quiet,” shushed Wesley. “Doctor, it would be advisable if you start explaining,” cautioned Wesley, turning from Gunn to the Indian.

Dragging his eyes away from the enraged vampire, John faced Wesley. “I don’t know where Cordelia is. But, I’m sure that it was Bathym that killed my father and took her.”

“Bathym?” questioned Wesley, urgently. “That’s the demon?”

“You know of him?”

“No, but…” Wesley headed quickly out of the small shack. “I’ve got to get my books,” he called.

A smidgen of hope arose in Wesley’s chest as he ran to the car. He just might have brought the right book. Wesley hadn’t found any texts on specific Hopi legends or demons, but he did bring the ancient encyclopedia of all things demon.

The ancient manuscript listed thousands of different demons. This Baythm had to be included, he hoped.

A tense silence descended over the room at the former watcher’s departure. Angel waited his impatience and rage threatening to overflow. His cold stare never left the Indian. Angel waited for Wesley to come back or for the doctor to give him an excuse, any excuse to rip his throat out or to at least break all the bones in the doctor’s legs.

Wesley hurried back. “Tell us, what do you know about the demon,” he demanded, flipping through the heavy leather bound book.

“Bathym is an ancient evil. He has existed since the beginning of the Hopi, he takes his pleasure taunting and destroying our people. The necklace was first conceived to be a charm against his evil.”

Wesley nodded, listening as he quickly scanned the pages of his text. “Aha, here it is…Bathym, a rare demon, one of the masters of the infernal regions of hell. He is pure evil, practically invincible. With the appearance of a robust man but his body ends in a serpent’s tail. He is well versed in the virtues of herbs and precious stones. He is able to transport men from one place to another.” Wesley paraphrased.

John nodded. “He also has the ability to enter one’s spirit planes. That’s the most common way he uses to corrupt our people. He touches and invades their spirits, tainting and engulfing their souls with evil. Unchecked, he will damn my people for eternity.”

“What’s Cordy got to do with your pet evil swayer.” Interrupted Gunn.

“That’s is unclear. It’s all so unclear. I’ll I know is that the Necklace was devised by the ‘Wise One’ to counteract the poison of Bathym. While, the Hopi and their Shaman had the necklace, his evil influence was stalled.”

“How did your people lose possession? Don’t tell me you all sent it out to be exhibited in the museum.” Wesley asked in disbelief.

“No, of course not. The necklace along with the Shaman that held it disappeared centuries ago. The reason was unknown. Their whereabouts unknown. But it was known that the necklace still existed. If it had been destroyed, then Bathym would rule supreme.” John explained. “When the necklace reappeared, my father, the Shaman of the tribe, ordered the necklace liberated.”

“Heist it, you mean,” Gunn translated.

John nodded. “But the night we were to attempt the taking, you,” he pointed to Wesley. “Were in the Museum.” John paused. “Cordelia was there too, wasn’t she? You all were. Why? Why did she take the necklace? How can she utilize its power? Angel’s Investigations, what type of detective agency are you?”

“What we are and what we do is irrelevant. What’s relevant is why did you take Cordelia,” Angel growled. “And why would Bathym take her from you and most relevant where is she now.”

John gulped. The discussion of Bathym had made him forget momentarily about the demon before him. “My father’s life goal was the return of the necklace to his people. He died for it,” The pain evident in the doctor’s voice.

“Cordelia,” Angel growled, oblivious to the man’s pain.

John glared at the vampire. His own feelings of lost overrode his fear of the demon. “My father was a great man, a good man.”

“Yes, I’m sure he was and we are sorry for your lost, but please…” Wesley begged, trying to relief the tension that had sprung up again in the room.

“We needed the necklace and we needed to know why the ‘Wise One’ chose her to wear it.”

“Did you think about asking,” growled Angel. “Your limited and self-centered view of the world has put Cordelia in danger.”

Wesley and Gunn raised their eyebrows in concert. That was calling the kettle black. Angel could be the most arrogant and self-centered being when his wants were thwarted.

And in this particular instant, as it had been for awhile, his wants were wrapped up in the safety of his seer.

“Angel,” Wesley lectured. “The necklace, it called to Cordelia, she was given the gift by the Wise One and the Oracles. We were brought together with the Professor to defeat Bathym, that must be the reason.”

“I’ll defeat Bathym,” Angel’s voice was coated in violence. “But, first we must now where he is,”

“I don’t know.” John claimed again. “All I know is that my spirit animal led me to Cordelia’s spirit guides and then to you,” his hand shot in a wide gesture at the three men. “The tiger, the rabbit and the black beast.” John stalled as he glanced at the vampire, “…the black wolf,” he corrected.

“Okay, I’m lost,” cut Gunn.

“My power animal led me to your power animal’s and the Wise One directed that you are my people’s hope. Each spirit that enters their dream plane has an animal guide. The guide represents the person’s attributes and strengths. Admittedly, it is unusual for the animals to be present without their human counterparts. But Cordelia’s were there, just as those that could only belong too you three.”

Gunn studied the Indian for a moment. “Okay, who is the rabbit and who is the tiger. I’m guessing the uh black…uh, beast, no I mean wolf is sort of self explanatory.” Gunn echoed John’s hesitation about identifying the wolf.

Wesley looked at the Indian for a response.

John examined the two men. He studied Wesley’s thin body, it was still, but John could imagine it fidgeting and twitching in impatience and knowledge. He turned to the young black man. Gunn stood shifting his weight from one foot to another. The strength apparent in his being. “Gunn has the tiger, Wesley, the rabbit.”

“Bugs, man,” Gunn turned grinning to the scowling former watcher.

“The rabbit is a powerful…”John started to answer Gunn’s gibe.

“STOP,” growled Angel loudly. “Cordelia,” he demanded. “We need to find her.”

The three men jumped at the yell.

“Right, of course,” Wesley stuttered. “Now, that we know the demon, I suggest we go back to LA. I can do a more conclusive research on Bathym there.”

“Wait,” John called. He had to know. “What is Cordelia?”

The three men from Angel Investigation turned and stared at the doctor. “Cordelia is a young, innocent girl,” Wesley finally spoke.

“Innocent, yes that I know. But what is she? Her power animal’s, two, which is unheard of, were guarding and giving comfort to a wall of souls. Souls that were screaming in agony. Their suffering was unbearable. What is she?”

John watched in amazement as the anger in Angel’s being transformed into sorrow and guilt.

Wesley glanced at the vampire, then back at John. “Cordelia has the ability to see and experience the helpless in the world. It’s her destiny. She takes it very seriously.” Wesley said the last part directly at Angel.

“Let’s go,” ordered Angel.


Chapter Forty-four

“Reinfold,” the demon bellowed as he reappeared in the dark underground complex. Bathym’s side trip into John Red Bear’s vision quest had been interesting. The demon had been tempted to show himself and kill the young man as he had killed the young man’s father, but the information in the dream had been telling. So, Bathym had remained silent and watched.

“Master,” the weasel man came running. “Success?”

“The Wise One seems to have found some champions,” he laughed in disdain. “One being a lesser demon, a weak demon, a vampire with a soul. Come,” Bathym ordered.

“Wake her,” Bathym pointed to the unconscious body of Cordelia.

Reinfold eagerly shook and slapped at the young girl.

“Stop,” Cordelia cried, pushing away from the small man.

Bathym stalked over to Cordelia, his massive form enclosing around her.

“Now what,” she struggled attempting to mask her fear.

“Answers,” he hissed in a low menacing tone.

“Or what?” Cordelia said with false bravado. “You can’t kill me.” She retorted.

“No, but I can cause pain.” His large hand encircled her delicate throat squeezing and pressing the life out of her.

Cordelia gasped as the air fled her body. The pain was so intense, but then she felt the healing energy surge through her body, fighting the oppressive, deadly action.

“You can’t kill me,” she claimed again, choking on her words.

“No, but I can do this all night or maybe I’ll switch back to the knife.” He warned.

Cordelia hated pain, she really did. Sure, she accepted it from the visions; she didn’t have a choice. But, she didn’t like it. Cordelia cringed as she remembered the sound and feel of the sharp blade slicing through her flesh. Cordelia didn’t even know what the demon wanted maybe the answers he wanted weren’t suffer worthy.

“What?” she coughed angrily.

“The vampire, the one that you seem to be so close too?”

Cordelia stared. Okay, this may be getting into suffer worthy territory. . She didn’t like to give out answers about Angel. Everybody always seemed to want to kill him.

And she would be damned if she would ever help in the accomplishment of that particular goal. She remained obstinately silent.

Bathym traced the knife across Cordelia’s cheek. “Are you sure,” he questioned. “All I want to know is how the demon got his soul, that’s all. It’s an interesting concept, a demon with a soul. How did it happen? How secure is it?” He laughed as Cordelia involuntarily tensed at this last question.

“Oh, not that secure is it?” He nodded and threw Cordelia across the room. “Thank you.” He laughed, his evil cackle vibrated off the wall of the small room.

Cordelia stayed on the floor. And for the first time since all of the weirdness started she felt her body tremble with unbridled fear. Angel, her mind cried.

Evil type beings that knew about Angel’s tentative hold on his soul were not a good thing. Not a good thing at all.


Chapter Forty-five

“Angel, glaring at me won’t exactly help me find the answer any quicker,” Wesley shot to the pacing vampire.

The group had returned to LA a couple hours earlier. On the ride back, Angel had remained silent in the back seat, constantly shooting glares at Wesley and Dr. Red Bear in the front seat.

They had been dissecting the vision quest and its every possible meaning. They hadn’t come up with anything of use. Just that Angel, Wesley and Gunn were some how suppose to help John. And that Cordelia as the holder of the necklace couldn’t die at the demon’s hands, or at least that is what the legends predicted.

Couldn’t die, Angel growled, so what. She could still feel terror, feel pain. All the things that Angel never wanted Cordelia to experience. The things that he had promised to protect her from, the things that he couldn’t protect her from.

Angel growled in rage, the lack of useful information or a plan frustrated the hell out of Angel. It wasn’t that he always needed a plan per se, not as long as he knew who, what or where had to fight. Then he could just barge in a fight. But in this case, he couldn’t, he didn’t even have the necessary information to do that. How would he save Cordelia?

Now, Wesley was buried over several bound texts, trying to ascertain any possible locations of the demon or any weaknesses they could use to exploit and kill it. Wesley was not having much luck. Consequently, Angel was back at glaring at everyone.

Gunn was sitting on a desk quizzing John Red Bear about each of their spirit guides. Gunn had decided that avoidance and a slight change of the subject was the best way to handle the major vibes of anger oozing off the vampire.

“So, English has a little bunny rabbit,” Gunn chuckled loud enough for the former watcher to hear. “While, I’m a tiger. Big, strong and brave sounds about right, don’t it Bugs.”

Wesley rolled his eyes, slamming a book shut. Gunn had been teasing his friend mercilessly. The tough black man thought it was hysterical that Wesley had a rabbit for spirit animal.

“Tiger, umph, nothing more than a poster cartoon for a child’s cereal.” Wesley grumbled.

Angel growled in annoyance and dropped his body onto a chair. Useless, irrelevant talk, Angel thought. What does any of it have to do with finding Cordelia?

“Actually, Gunn, the rabbit is a powerful guide. The physical strength of a particular animal is not representative of the guides’ attributes or of the person’s abilities. The wisdom of the rabbit includes guile, living by one’s wits, quick thinking and the ability to receive hidden teaching and intuitive messages.”

“Basically, I’m clever, very clever,” preened Wesley.

“And humility,” added John.

Gunn started to laugh.

“Actually, the Tiger and rabbit are very compatible. The tiger has power and strength, but acts without analysis, whereas the rabbit is intuitive, quick witted, a thinker.”

“My brawn, your brains, hey English,” Gunn slapped up his hand. Wesley high fived him back. “We be the dream team.”

Angel growled. “This is a waste of time.” He started to pace again. He had to get out of here. It would be dark soon, and then he could go out into the streets and pummel any leads out of the various demon snitches in the area.

But, until then he needed to get rid of this pent up frustration and rage. He started for the basement stairs.

“The wolf seems all growly,” Gunn chimed in lowly.

“Indeed,” commented Wesley. “John, you said Cordelia’s spirit animal was a wolf, too. Is that unusual? I mean for Angel and Cordelia to have the same animal.”

“Yeah, and what’s with Cordy having two?”

“Two is unusual. One is usually sufficient. But, then again from what I gather, Cordelia is not usual.”

“Sure enough,” agreed Gunn.

John smiled weakly. He had never meant for his actions to expose the young woman to Bathym. John had wanted to protect her from the demon. John stared up to the ceiling and let out a soft sigh.

“The humming bird represents love, joy, endurance, happiness and possesses healing attributes.”

Angel paused. He had a sudden interest to hear the rest of what the Professor would say. Love, joy and happiness, how Angel wished he could give those things to Cordelia. Angel slid back on to the sofa.

Wesley and Gunn both stared, their gaze turning inward. Each pictured the different faces of Cordelia. Angry, pouting, vain, happy, and then the face they all hated. The one that showed the suffering she had to endure, as her mind filled with the pain of the helpless. . But regardless of her pain, no matter her mood or complaints, she possessed a joy in living and a love for her family, them. She was their heart.

The three friends’ eyes met suddenly. “We have to find her,” growled Angel, jumping back up. Wesley and Gunn nodded in vigorous agreement as Angel stormed back towards the basement.

John studied the vampire as he rushed down the stairs.

“You asked if it was typical for two people to have the same power guide.” He commented still staring at the now empty doorway. “That’s not unusual. Each animal, whether it be the same brings unique wisdom to their human spirit. There are as different as each soul is different. What is truly unusual is that a demon has a guide at all.”

“Angel has a soul,” defended Wesley.

“I imagine that his why he has a guide, then.” John said somewhat doubtfully. He was still undecided about the conflicting nature of the vampire’s soul, which he had sensed with in Angel when John first met the vampire. But John couldn’t deny that Angel did have a soul or what he had seen on his vision quest. “The wolf guides his soul. And binds him to Cordelia.”

Wesley took of his glasses and rubbed his face. “Binds?”

John nodded. “All of you are bound in some nature, loyalty, true friendship.” His gesture included Wesley and Gunn. “But Cordelia’s and Angel’s guides, well,” He paused remembering the dark beast’s reverent look towards the beautiful female, his noble head gentle caressing her fur, the patience and regard he focused on the antics of the humming bird and the control and influence that Cordelia’s guides had over the beast. “They are bound by something more, than just the strong familial attributes of the wolf. They are mated.”

“Mated,” Gunn squeaked. “Hell, they don’t even have a clue that they are into each other.”

“Really?” John asked. “Well, the vampire and the woman may not know, but their spirit guides sure do. Love, gentlemen, pure and simple.”

“Unfortunately, Doctor love between Angel and Cordelia is definitely not a simple matter,” signed Wesley. “Damn’t,” he cried, slamming another book shut. “Nothing, I can’t find any references to where Bathym may be hiding.” Wesley changed the subject. “You’ve said that Bathym has the ability to enter your dream plane.”

“Yes, that is how he corrupts.”

“But, he is a corporeal demon,” Wesley pointing to the information he had discerned from his books. “Therefore, he must be somewhere in this reality. Not just present in the spirit world.”

“Hey, why don’t we join the spirit safari and confront him there,” asked Wesley.

“Possibly,” pondered John. “No, he is too powerful there,” concluded John. “He can manipulate the spirit world better than we.”

“The professor, is most likely right,” sighed Wesley. “No, the vision quests are merely a clue, a guide to what we have to do. But what is that.” Frustrated Wesley began to pace. “We will have to wait until Angel is able to question his contacts. If a new demon is in town they will know, I hope,” he added in a lower tone.


Chapter Forty-six

Angel sat on the bench staring at the punching bag he had hit across the room. It hadn’t helped not really. The anger and tension in his body threatened to consume his ever-conscious thought. He had thought he had started to come to grips with his anger.

But, no, as soon as the Doctor embarked on the description of Cordelia’s spirit guide, he had felt the rage rebuild. A humming bird, love, joy, happiness, endurance, Angel shook his head. So very appropriate, a small, fragile animal in constant motion. Irritating even, but loving, joyful and a breath of fresh air. That was what Cordelia was to him. She was life, in its most potent beautiful form. He had to save her. Without her, there was nothing but darkness. Angel leaned back on the wall, closing his eyes. He had to calm down.

Exhaustion started to creep over his body, edging out the rage with in his body. Angel fought the tiredness; he had to stay awake. He had to find Cordelia.

***

Angel stood on a cliff overlooking a large green meadow.

“Demon.” An ancient Indian appeared. “You don’t belong here, not in this manner.”

Angel studied the Indian. Briefly, Angel wondered why the Indian had no spirit guide. Obviously, someway Angel had entered into the dream plane. “Manner?” Angel’s hand went up to touch the prominent ridges that rippled on his face. His tongue ran over the sharpened incisors that grew in his mouth.

“You do not have your soul. It’s there,” the Indian pointed to the green basin below.

Angel looked out over the cliff. A black wolf was frolicking in the bright grass. A smaller brown wolf was barking happily at the black wolf’s display. They rushed together rolling and snapping playfully at each other. All the while a humming bird flew circles overhead, always over both animals. “That’s your so-called soul’s dream, but it’s just a dream. This is the real you.” The Indian gestured back to the vampire. “Why fight it? You know this. That is nothing more than a fantasy.”

“No,” struggled Angel, trying to rid himself of his demon visage.

“Yes and even that thing that you believe to be your soul realizes it. Watch.” The Indian pointed again to the plateau.

Transfixed Angel watched as the black wolf started to back away from the brown wolf. His hunches raised in a threatening manner. His eyes were glowing deep gold.

The beautiful wolf cocked her head questioningly, moving closer. The black beast growled. The other wolf ignored his snarl and yapped, still moving closer.

“She really does trust you. Its shame that a beast can never be trusted, isn’t it?” The Indian watched the unraveling story. A small smile formed on his wrinkled face.

Angel growled in horror as the beast below growled in rage. The black wolf lunged at the other unsuspecting wolf, his fangs bared. With a howl, he clamped his strong jaws around the weaker female, ripping at her throat. The humming bird dove down pecking frantically against the beasts skull. The great wolf leaned up from other canine’s throat and snapped at the bird. His strong teeth pierced the bird in two. The black wolf spit out the lifeless body from his mouth and ignoring the whimpers of the dying brown wolf, plunged his fangs again into her flesh; he bit and chewed until the wolf no longer breathed.

“Really, it’s a shame. She was such a lovely being, ” signed the Indian.

Angel’s howl of sorrow matched the beast’s howl of completion.

“See, that is who you are. You are a beast, a demon”

“NO,” growled Angel lunging towards the Indian.

The old man laughed, changing and transforming into a large solid human form, his serpent tail whipping wildly around his robust body. Bathym stepped quickly aside from the vampire’s charge.

“You can’t defeat me here and really, do you want to, after all we are the same. Evil, in all of it’s magnificent power. You will soon accept it.” With a burst of light the demon disappeared.

Angel struggled up from the ground. He crawled over to the edge of the cliff. The beast was still howling in satisfaction at the dead bodies of the bird and female wolf.

“NO,” Angel shouted, despair and fear vibrating through his voice.

Chapter 47

Posted July 26, 2015 by califi in Complete

The Necklace. 37-42   1 comment

Chapter Thirty-seven

The sudden flash of light and burst of flame shocked John out of his drugged induced trance. His eyes stung, reddened from the effects of the smoke in the cabin. John cautiously blinked, trying to generate moisture to his irritated eyes.

Finally, he was able to focus.

John surveyed the cabin. He closed his eyes again, trying to convince himself that he was still in the Peyote stupor. His hands snaked out feeling the ground next to him; their search became frenzied, as John felt nothing but dirt. Cordelia was no longer beside him. What he had seen was real.

John rested his eyes on the still, lifeless form of his father. A bellow of sorrow and fury rose from his throat as his mind and heart processed the sight. He scrambled over to the crumpled body of the man that meant everything to him.

The strong, courageous man that had raised him alone after the death of the gentle caring woman that was his mother. The patient, strong man who had taught John what it meant to be a shaman, to be honorable, brave, and to live or die for his people.

John cradled his father’s head in his lap, the tears following freely down his cheeks. John’s pained eyes searched the cabin. Cordelia was gone. His father was dead. All hope for his people, for himself was gone.

Bathym, John’s mind cried out in rage. John knew deep in his soul that the demon was responsible for the tragedy of this day. His heart cried out for the innocent girl who had been trapped in Bathym’s evilness. His heart broke for his father.

John hugged his father’s body closer to his. He tried to concentrate. His father would not want him to give up. John would find away to protect his people from Bathym, to save them. John had to, because now he was the spiritual leader of his people. How? He doubted. How could he take his father’s place?

John gently placed his father on the dirt. With a gentle kiss on the old man’s forehead, John got up.

He could do this. He had to. But where to start, his mind cried. John would call his cousins; they would take and prepare his father for the honorable burial he deserved. John would stay in the cabin searching through his dreams on his own vision quest. The answers would be there.

***

John prepared himself for his journey into the spirit world. His deep breaths became longer and labored as the walls of the cabin shimmered and slowly faded.


Chapter Thirty-eight

Angel stood in front of Caritas. He leaned heavily on the buzzer. He waited 2 seconds before losing patience and kicking the door in.

“Whoa, tall, dark and gorgeous, ever heard that patience was the virtue of angels? But what’s in a name, umm, Big Guy?” The host came from the back room. His green body was brightly wrapped in a canary yellow silk robe with fire red polka dots splattered all over the dressing gown. The sight momentarily blinded Angel.

“Well, don’t just stand there like an undead pretty blowfish.” The host blew his green cheeks in and out, pursing his lips. His hands moved in dramatic waves motioning Angel to take a seat.

“So what’s with the 911 emergency barge in.” The host nodded to his broken door. “It wouldn’t be that you have misplaced your ‘crumptious Cordelia, would it? You know, AngleCakes, you better learn to keep better care of your sizzlin’ seer, or the PTB may just take her back and give her to a more appreciative warrior.”

The green demon flipped his hands at Angel’s growl, brushing it away as if it was a tangible object. “Just jokin’, jeez, jokin’…well may be not, but that’s an red alarm flash for another day, if you don’t watch it.”

“Cordelia, where is she?”

“Don’t know. Only know where Cordydoll isn’t? Seems the PTB, haven’t seen fit to clue me in to the whole whopping tamale. But I do know that she’s no longer with the brawny brave; he lost her. There seems to be another bad ass player, as in demon, on the good vs. evil playing field.”

“Who?” Angel growled.

“Haven’t clue, just know he is one of the demon bad guys and that the bodacious brave is one of the good guys. A regular white hatted Tonto-type.”

“Good? He took Cordelia from me and he is not bodacious, whatever that means.” Angel snarled.

“Sorry Angelcakes, the brave is good, just lacking your resources, namely me,” the host grinned. “And I do think you know what bodacious means, but just in case it, means he’s a hottie. Right up Cordydoll’s alley.” The host sighed and gazed up to the ceiling. “Ah, what a sumptuous couple they would make. Eek,”

The host exaggeratedly swung up his hand to ward off Angel’s growl. “Curb, your fanged green-eyed issues, I was just jokin’, well sort of, but again a topic that should wait until another day. AngelCakes, you need the brave. So, halt with the mad vamp rage routine. I like a little force just like the next guy, but the brawny brave needs to remain intact, comprende.”

“If I knew where the doctor was I wouldn’t be here listening to your nonsense.”

“Ouch a shot to the heart. But you do know, no dim bulbs in English’s pretty head. Big Guy, you better get speedy, the suns a rising,” the host’s tone became less flippant, “Your seer needs you.”

Angel growled and rushed out.

“Have fun stormin’ the teepee,” the host called, after the retreating vampire.

Angel made it back to the Hyperion, before the first rays of sun reached the sky.


Chapter Thirty-nine

Angel shoved at Wesley.

“Err, wha..t,” Wesley blinked and rubbed at his tired eyes. His hands flapped around on the coffee table, searching for his glasses.

Angel ignored him and started to push at Gunn. The black man jumped up from the chair he had been sleeping in. He automatically grabbed for his stake. “What’s up?” Gunn’s yelped, his eyes barely open.

“The cabin. We have to go,” Angel ordered.

“The host, what did he say? Is Cordelia there?” Wesley asked urgently, pressing down at his clothes. He paused as he looked down. He hadn’t been asleep long enough for the slightest crease to mar his clothes.

“No, the doctor doesn’t have her anymore.” Angel spit. Angel swore that when he found Cordelia and he would find her, Cordelia would never leave the Hyperion again. The hotel had plenty of room. Angel would make sure she had everything she needed.

Well, that may be a tad bit unreasonable, Angel thought. He would let her leave, he thought magnanimously, just not alone, never alone and never with anyone but the vampire. Angel just couldn’t trust anyone else to keep his seer safe. Everybody else just lost her.

“Did she escape? Is she alright,” exclaimed Wesley.

Angel growled. “She has been kidnapped, again.” Compressed rage rippled through his body. Angel was going to kill somebody.

“Uh,” “What” both Gunn and Wesley shot Angel a puzzled look.

“Angel, if the Professor doesn’t have Cordelia, why are we going to the cabin…Who has her?”

“More like a what. Move it, I’ll explain what I can in…” Angel’s voice trailed off into small growls. Damn, drama demon. Angel didn’t understand why the PTB and their lounge lizard link couldn’t have been clearer. Didn’t they realize that Cordelia’s life was at stake? Angel took several deep unneeded breaths. He had to calm down. But he really wanted something, someone, some anything to destroy. Angel took another breath.

He couldn’t very well pummel Gunn and Wesley and for some obscure reason it seemed that he wouldn’t be able to kill the doctor. Angel growled. What exactly did ‘intact’ mean? Did the Professor really need the use of his legs? Wouldn’t leaving him with the ability to talk be sufficient? Angel would have to think about that. Nevertheless, the new player was fair game. A slow growl vibrated in his chest, growing in depth and volume as it reached his throat. Angel could wait.

Gunn moved further away from the vampire and closer to Wesley. “Um, Wes, I think Angel is having a moment,” he whispered to his friend.

Wesley slowly nodded. He would have to agree with Gunn. The only sounds coming from the vampire were short snarls, his demon visage flicked involuntarily across his face. Then the vampire emitted a deep growl, and a wicked grin appeared on his demon face. Wesley didn’t know what Angel’s was thinking about, but it was causing a definite moment, a particularly vicious moment. Wesley didn’t want to know.

“Um, Angel,” Wesley interrupted cautiously.

Angel’s gold stare shot towards Wesley.

“You were saying,” Wesley prodded.

Angel shook his head, ridding his mind of the imagines of his hands tearing off limbs, breaking bones and ripping flesh off the still warm body of an unknown demon. “We don’t have time, I’ll explain in the car,” he ordered, his now dark brown eyes glaring at his friends. “Gunn, go make sure that the windows are dark enough. Wesley, go get any research materials on any demons related to the Hopi. I’ll gather the weapons.”

“Angel, I don’t think I have….” Wesley started.

“Improvise, now hurry.” Angel strode over to the weapon’s cabinet.

“Improvise,” Wesley grumbled to himself. In order to improvise, one must have the basic knowledge and material to contrive the improvisation.

If one had nothing, one got nothing. Angel had no clue as to the intricacies involved researching. Wesley sighed and went to his library.

There were centuries upon centuries of knowledge bound in those texts. At least one of them must have some relevant information. Wesley just hoped he chose the right one.


Chapter Forty

John stood in the middle of a barren desert. He could feel the hot sun penetrating his skin. He waited.

Soon, a cougar appeared over dune. His lean sinewy body leaped and ran forward. The wild cat did not stop until he reached the Indian. John acknowledged his power animal with a nod.

The animal purred his welcome and moved on. John followed his guide across the scorching sand. After awhile, John started to notice bright green life sprouting up through the desert. John stared; the blades of plant life were not usual for his spirit domain. The greenery became plusher as they traveled on.

The cougar ran ahead, finally pausing on the outskirts of a forest. As soon as, John caught up with him, the cat entered the band of trees. John followed the cougar through a path in the forestry. John felt like he had been walking for hours.

John stopped as he heard screams of acute suffering filtering through the trees. The sounds pierced through his skull, causing his head to pound and his stomach to turn. The wild cat turned to the outcries. John paused; he didn’t want to go any nearer. He wanted to run as far as he could away from the yells of pain.

The wild cat waited patiently urging the Indian on. John forced his feet to move.

Johns pace slowed even more as they came to a dense opaque wall. Faces of the suffering swirled and banged against the barrier. John stumbled back, preparing to run. The cougar circled his body, pushing him to the front. John stared at the wall; he looked down and noticed a wolf lying against the boundary.

A small bird rested upon the wolf’s rich brown fur. He gasped as the wolf gazed up; her eyes were warm brown with gold and green specks. They were so sad. The wolf considered John as if to weigh his measure, to judge him. Her beautiful head turned back to the wall. A sense of unexplainable dread overwhelmed the Indian. She had judged him and found him wanting.

The bird began to flutter her small wings; she beat them faster rising her body in the air. The humming bird swooped down and around the wolf’s head urging her to look up. The bird dodged the canine’s haphazard snap. The cougar approached the wolf, lay down on his belly and softly mewed.

The humming bird flew, buzzing down at the wolf. With a dejected incline of her head, she acknowledged the cat’s inquiry. The canine labored to her feet, moving closer to the wall of souls. Her muzzle penetrated the barrier; the bird swooped in closer, her wings fluttered through the energy field.

The wails lessened. Suddenly, the wolf turned and leapt on to the path, responding to the cougar’s request. The humming bird swooped down and around the wolf’s head, in constant movement.

“Those are Cordelia’s spirit animals?” John asked in awe. Who was Cordelia that her spirit animals could not only withstand the suffering cries, but could ease the souls’ pain?

The cougar’s wise eye’s confirmed the Indian’s question. “Where is she?” John looked around searching for the young woman. John had never heard of power animals being present in a dream place with out their human counterparts.

The cat mewed and bounded after the wolf and bird.

John didn’t understand, but he followed.

The wolf slowed and started to bark. The humming bird shot off towards the trees. In seconds, she was back flying in circles around the wolf.

John stared as a tiger peered through the greenery. The great cat lumbered on to the path, snarling. The bird buzzed down, pecking the cat, then soaring up in the air. The tiger growled up at the bird, as she dove again, the bird swerved and pecked again. John could swear that the bird was laughing. He glanced at the wolf; she was sitting on her back legs, her jaws opened in a wide toothy grin.

From behind the tiger hopped a rabbit. The rabbit wrinkled his nose at the big cat. The tiger moved his much larger body to let the rabbit pass. The humming bird swooshed down, brushing her rapidly beating wings against the animal’s fur. The rabbit twitched his ears, flicking the small bird away. The bird ignored the movement and continued to caress at the fur.

John couldn’t decide if either one of their actions were done in affection or annoyance. With a nose wrinkle, the rabbit took long leap away from the bird, landing in front of the beautiful wolf. The rabbit waited, wiggling his whiskers. With a gentle yap, the wolf got to her feet and moved ahead. The humming bird returned in a flash to her hovering position over the wolf’s head. The rabbit hopped quickly along, the tiger moved in behind the rabbit.

The cougar ushered John along the path, behind the small group of animals.

The wolf’s pace slowed to standstill and she whimpered softly. The humming bird fluttered and buzzed furiously, heading in and out of the trees. The wolf’s soft sighs and the beating of the humming bird’s frantic wings were the only sounds present in the forest. The rabbit and the tiger sat and waited.

John attempted to step onward, he was curious as to what had caught the animal’s attention. The cat moved closer to the Indian, his sturdy body blocking John’s movement.

John started to tense as the soft noises magnified the utter stillness of the others. He didn’t know what he became aware of first the twin glowing orbs piercing out of the darkness or the rumble of a harsh growl filling the air.

Slowly, a huge, coal- black male wolf glided out of the trees. The male canine wasn’t as large as the tiger, but almost. The wolf was huge, the biggest that John had ever seen. There was absolute no color to the animal, other than the black fur that covered his powerful body. Except gold, the wolf’s eyes burned deep gold.

The female wolf gave a joyful bark. The dark beast turned his noble head, giving the other wolf a reverent look. The humming bird soared into the sky, only to shoot back down directly towards the black wolf. The beast’s eyes tuned into the rapidly descending bird. John moved forward, afraid that the wolf’s great jaws would snap the little bird into two.

The cougar’s body pressed harder against the Indian preventing his movement. The tiger and rabbit glared at John. John’s eyes widened he never thought that a rabbit could be considered dangerous, but the hare’s gaze was definitely one of warning.

The humming bird swept back up, then dove again, circling and buzzing around and under the wolf’s muscled legs, then flying up to flutter only inches from the beast’s jaws. The dark wolf stood absolutely still, not endangering the little bird in anyway. The humming bird took off and again made fast spirals around the wolf’s large head, finally she landed on his muzzle. The tiny bird and the wolf stared at each other intently.

With a quick flutter and brush of her wings the humming bird took flight, swirling her way back to the chocolate colored wolf, taking her place again above the female wolf’s head. The beast’s golden gaze never left the little bird until it reached the other wolf. Piercing gold eyes met warm brown ones. John did a double take, he could have sworn that giant canine had smiled. But that was impossible.

Suddenly, the black beast flashed his gaze to the Indian. A dangerous snarl rolled from his throat. With grace and strength, the wolf menacingly stalked towards the man. Just as suddenly, the rabbit hopped in from of the advancing wolf. The rabbit wrinkled his nose and flicked his ears at the great animal. The wolf scowled at the smaller animal.

In amazement, John watched the rabbit stand, extending his body to all of 1 ½ feet, twitching and moving any an all parts of his body that would wiggle. With each low snarl the wolf made, the rabbit’s fidgeting became more pronounced in an almost lecturing manner. The wolf listened for a moment, then glared at the hare. The dark animal moved past the smaller animal, careful not to hurt the rabbit.

Without warning, the humming bird buzzed wildly up in the air and swerved to take a kamikaze dive towards the wolf, then she veered up at the last moment. The tiny bird took another dive, skimming the wolf’s body. The female wolf barked loudly and nudged her muzzle in a disapproving manner at larger male. With what could only be described as a frustrated growl, the large beast turned away from John.

The female playfully bumped into the male, barking happily. The black wolf gave a disgruntled snort and led the way up the path. The female ran up behind him teasing and nipping at his heels. The humming bird buzzed rapidly between the wolves never staying above one for long. The male strode forward, ignoring the two’s antics. The female continued to bark, finally after getting no response from the male, she sat and started to groom herself. The humming bird stayed with the female buzzing in one place. The male wolf hesitated and barked once. The female ignored him, finding great interest in licking and smoothing out her rich fur.

The rabbit and tiger, who had been slowly following, stopped. The rabbit stood impatiently patting his foot on the ground. The tiger shifted his great bulk uncomfortably from side to side.

The male let out a long-suffering grunt and slowly turned back to the female. He strode over to her and sat on his hunches. He barked softly, reaching out his noble head and stroked it along side of the other wolf.

With a pleased yelp, the beautiful wolf stood on all fours and bounded ahead. The humming bird once again began to buzz back and forth from wolf to wolf. The male quickly overtook the female.

The rabbit and tiger looked at each other. The rabbit twitched his whiskers to the tiger and the cat responded by rolling his head and getting to his paws.

John looked questioningly at his spirit guide for some explanation to the scene he had witnessed. The cougar merely started to follow the other animals. Confused, John took after them.

Soon, the group emerged from the forest into a rolling meadow.

“Son,” the wise one called.

“Wise One,” John fell to his knees.

The ancient Shaman shook his head. “There is no need and no time.” He motioned to the brown wolf and the humming bird to come to him.

The black beast growled, threatening the ancient Indian. The tiny bird circled the dark wolf twice before going to the Shaman. The female barked and rubbed her head against the growling animal. With a quick nudge, she ran after the bird to join the sleek jaguar at the Shaman’s side.

The black wolf snarled and bared his fangs, but did not move.

The shaman studied the beast, then turned to John. “Look to them, now. They are our hope. They will come.” He pointed to the fierce coal-black wolf, the rabbit and the tiger.

The scenery around John began to dissolve. Wooden walls flickered, at first weakly, then solidifying. John struggled to awake. John tried to concentrate and adjust to the merging physical world. But it was difficult, his mind felt disoriented, his jaw ached and his whole body shook violently.

John slowly opened his eyes. A face stared back at him. John gasped as his body shook again, the force of the motion hurting his whole being, threatening to pull him apart.

The face that had been staring intently at him winced and turned.

“Angel, stop,” Wesley pleaded. “He’s waking up. We need him alive remember.”

With a growl, the force that had been damaging his body stopped. John turned and stared into deep fierce brown eyes.

“Professor,” a voice called.

John turned back to the first face.

“Mr. Wyndham-Price?” John asked.

“Um, yes, Professor, we need you to wake up.” Wesley answered.

“Yeah, man, you better or Angel will take a go at it again.”

John searched for the new voice. He eyes widened as he recognized Gunn.

John scooted back away from the men in the cabin. He stared at them processing their appearance. Wesley was standing next to Gunn, each of them looking at him and then to Angel. Angel stood off to the side watching, the inner violence apparent in his motionless body.

John had found the rabbit, tiger and the dangerous beast. Now, John just had to get them to help him.


Chapter Forty-one

Cordelia struggled in and out of consciousness. Cordelia groaned trying to focus. But it was hard. Her mind hurt, her body hurt her toes even hurt. What was wrong with this scenario? Cordelia tried to think.

Okay, Angel, he was the last thing she really remembered. He was ordering her out of the hotel. Being all bossy and unreasonable…. and a little scary. Where was he? She needed him. Cordelia slowly opened one eye; she winced as the small movement aggravated the banging of her brain up against her skull.

Fine, she acknowledged with a grumble, Angel wasn’t around. Okay, what else? Cordelia scrunched both of her eyes tighter, willing the pounding in her head to cease. Cordelia gulped a deep breath of air. Not only was her head pounding, but also her stomach was woozy and wheeling, she was going to be sick, majorly.

What was wrong with her? Why was she so ill?

John, she thought. He had taken her to a diner, fed her coffee…and her world then became even freakier than just Angel being all mean. John had drugged her. And then, the old Indian had drugged her again. And the old guy had the bad taste of showing up in her dream.

Then the old guy got himself killed by a very tough and nasty acting demon.

Oh boy, was that real or was that a dream. Cordelia wasn’t sure. She suppressed the aches in her head and body. Okay, she sighed. Cordelia opened one eye, again and looked about. She quickly closed it. She wasn’t in the diner, or the weird smoked filled room that the old Indian had been in, and she wasn’t in her dream place.

Cordelia took a deep breath and opened both eyes. She was in a small dark room with concrete walls and floor. There were no windows or any sign of light. This was even more bizarre and freaky than everything else she had experienced or had she just imagined it.

Damn, Cordelia needed somebody to tell her if this was a dream or real. Her head was still so fuzzy. Well, she thought, a scream always got attention before. So, she yelled.

The door flew open. A thin bald man stood in the doorway.

“Good, you are awake.”

“Who….What?”

“Still under the influence,” The man turned to go out the door.

“No, wait,” Cordelia struggled up to a seated position. “Where am I?’

The man stared at her and said proudly, “You are with Bathym.’”

“Huh, who”

“Bathym, the great, the all powerful, the…”

“Cut the laying it on thick,” Cordelia retorted. She shimmed up the wall, her hands grasping at her head. “Just stick to Who, What, and Where? I’ll even forgo the How for now. Answer one or all, but answer,” she glared at the man.

“I think you are sufficiently awake” The man left.

“Well, duh,” she screamed lunging at the closing door. Cordelia rammed up against the solid barrier. Her body fell crumpling to the ground.

She held her head as she pushed herself off the floor. Okay, she was awake; this was real, she thought as she patted at her aching limbs. So, she was somewhere unknown, being held captive by someone unknown. Cordelia fell back on her backside, crunching up her legs.

How was she supposed to be saved if no one knew where she was? How was Angel supposed to find her? She didn’t know where she was, how could Angel?

Okay, Cordelia Chase, she thought, maybe it was time too save yourself, without the help of Angel. Damn it, she pounded on the ground. She was really mad at the vampire, but she would give real money, a lot of real money, if he barged through that door right now. Cordelia looked up expectantly at the door.

She grumbled, no barging, no any damage, the vampire wasn’t there. Okay, if she couldn’t have Angel, then she would at least like to know why she was trapped in a dark, dank cell. And why a boney, skinny dweep of a human had the key.


Chapter Forty-two

“Little girl, you are awake, good,” bellowed Bathym. The large human shaped demon entered the room. Cordelia’s eyes widened as she recognized the demon that had killed the old Indian in her dream place.

“What’s your definition of good?” Cordelia retorted. “Nevermind, who are you? What do you want? Eww,” she screeched involuntarily as she witnessed the demon’s long spindly tail whip out from behind his body.

Bathym ignored the girl’s outburst and leaned in to look at the necklace around Cordelia’s throat. “I’ve been waiting for this moment. This necklace is mine.”

“Uh, no. The necklace is mine.” Argued Cordelia, scooting further away from the demon.

“You aren’t a descendent of the Wise One, the necklace is not yours.” He claimed, snaking his long serpent tail around Cordelia’s waist dragging her closer. He grabbed at the piece of jewelry, pulling roughly at the necklace.

“Eww, and like you are,” she retorted, glancing at his long wiry tail. Owww, stop,” Cordelia cried, clutching at the demon’s arms, wiggling her body against his tail’s tightening coiling hold.

Bathym dropped his grasp. Cordelia fell to the ground her hands rubbing at her throat. The necklace still firm around her.

The demon hissed and reached again for the necklace. He tugged and pulled with all of his strength. Cordelia’s body moved with each of his yanks. She choked and yelled at each pull. The necklace wouldn’t budge.

“Inconceivable,” the demon raged, his tail snapping in the air.

“Obviously, wrongo. It won’t come off so stop your manhandling,” gasped Cordelia.

Bathym leaned in reciting some obscure words. A flash of blue light hit the necklace instantly a white light reflected it back. The demon grunted as the flare burst in his eyes. Bathym blinked. The young girl had been thrown up against the wall, but she still wore the necklace.

Cordelia gasped and choked, bringing her body up again against the wall.

“No,” the demon raged. “Inconceivable.” Bathym struck out, a knife suddenly appearing in his hand. The knife penetrated Cordelia’s chest. She screamed as the sharp blade sliced into her body.

Cordelia stood slumped against the wall. She watched in shock as the blade entered and exited her chest. . Amazement replaced the shock as a glowing white light pierced through the wound, slowly the wound began to heal it’s self.

“Who are you,” the demon screamed.

“Why is every one messing with me, then asking that? “ Cordelia gasped, falling again to the ground.

The demon spit at the young woman then snapped his fingers. Instantaneously, the skinny human appeared. “Yes, Master,” the man said timidly.

“Reinfold, she is a descendant of the Wise One.” He yelled.

“She is?” the man said in disbelief. “Um, I don’t think so. I checked,” the skinny human defended. “The old Shaman only had one son, John Red Bear. He’s the only direct descendent of the Wise One, now that you have, well killed his father.”

“She has to be. I can’t take the necklace or kill her.” the demon demanded.

Reinfold shrugged. “I do not understand, Oh, imperious one.

Master, let me try,” begged the human. “I could cut her head from her shoulders, then the necklace would have to come off.”

The demon considered the suggestion. “I don’t know, if she is protected then you can’t kill her either. As one of my followers you couldn’t harm her. But…Try it, what can it hurt.”

“Hey, Whoa, it could hurt a lot,” Cordelia yelled. Cordelia glanced at the now healed wound on her chest. How would that work if her head were off her neck? Would her head pop back on and start to reattach itself? “No way,” she yelled scrambling back further up against the wall.

“Do it,” ordered Bathym.

The human strode over to Cordelia. He grabbed a handful of hair and yanked, pulling the young girl up to her feet. With a quick flick of his wrist, he drew the knife across Cordelia’s skin. As each cut dug deeper, the white light healed.

Cordelia struggled wildly against his grip, tears falling at each slice. The blade cut through her neck like a carving knife through a piece of holiday meat. The sounds of her flesh being ripped echoed in her ears. Cordelia choked in pain as each gash appeared and disappeared.

“Enough,” Bathym yelled angrily. “Some how she is protected, she cannot be killed by my power. Leave her,” he stormed out the door. The human tossed Cordelia to the floor, locking the door as he followed his master out.

Cordelia curled in a small ball, her body convulsing in agony. Her hands reached up to touch the torn flesh. Her fingers tingled as the lacerations continued to repair themselves. Cordelia rapidly swallowed then gagged as rising waves of nausea flowed through her body. Cordelia crouched on all fours her body jerking harshly as she threw up blood and bile. Her stomach finally empty, she curled up in the fetal position, her arms clutched tightly around her body, trying to contain the violent shaking that racked her aching body.

Cordelia sobbed as her body and mind, overwhelmed by the trauma shut down.

#
Bathym angrily paced back and forth. “Inconceivable,” he grumbled.

“Master, you keep using that word, I don’t think it means what you think it means.” Reinfold turned purple at the demon’s glare. “Um Master,” he tried again, “possibly we could hire someone to kill her. Someone that has not the wisdom to follow your powerful being.” He bowed effusively.

The demon stopped his pacing and studied Reinfold. “Possibly,” he nodded. “Though, such attempts have failed before on those that possessed the necklace. No,” he pondered. “No, the charm protects its wearer from my powers and influence. But, there must be a way to retrieve the necklace.”

“Accidental death, random killing…Maybe we could leave her out in the red light district or in demon town. Someone or something would probably kill her.” The human suggested helpfully.

“Too uncontrollable,” Bathym negated. “We have to be sure of the girl’s death and the retrieval of the necklace.

“Master, how did the previous shaman’s die? I mean, if you weren’t able to kill them?”

“Natural causes. The wear and tear on their puny human bodies as they used the power to heal.”

The gaunt human nodded. “How about if I just keep wounding her over and over again, until she well, dies.”

“It would take too long.”

“But, Master you have waited so long, what’s a while longer,” the puny human reasoned.

“No,” he roared. “The necklace is mine. I’ll not wait. There must be a way. The son,” Bathym’s voice trailed, his eyes glazing over. “The son is attempting contact the Wise One.”

In a cloud of smoke the demon disappeared.

Chapter 43

Posted July 26, 2015 by califi in Complete

The Necklace. 33-36   1 comment

Chapter Thirty-three

Angel stood outside Dr. Red Bear’s house. The front door lay shattered on the porch from the force of Angel’s kick. . Angel glared through the doorway, the internal rage that was boiling inside threatening to explode.

The opening teased at him, taunting him, prohibiting him to enter. Angel picked up stone planter and threw it into the entrance with all of his strength. The resounding crash only slightly relieved some of his frustration and fury.

Angel had only thought about finding Cordelia. He hadn’t thought beyond reaching Dr. Red Bear’s. He hadn’t thought about what would happen if she weren’t there, that he wouldn’t be able to enter the premises.

Angel raised the mate of the stone planter, pulverizing the decorative pot with the pressure of his hands. With a low growl, he slumped to the steps, the dust and pieces of stone falling at his side.

He was lost. Angel wanted to race from the house, but he just didn’t know where to race to. Cordelia wasn’t there; she had never been there. The spicy sweet scent of his seer was absent from the air. Angel’s shoulders hunched further into his body. He wanted to kill, he wanted to cry, but mostly he wanted to find Cordelia.

Angel’s head jerked up as he caught the sound of an engine. For a brief moment he thought or rather hoped that it was the doctor with Cordelia. Then he would be able to accomplish two of his desires, to kill and to get Cordelia back.

With a dejected snarl he got up, it wasn’t Cordelia. He recognized the sound of Gunn’s truck as it traveled closer and she wasn’t with them. Her scent was still painfully missing.

“Um, Wes,” Gunn said staring at the forlorn and angry vampire pacing back and forth in front of the house. “We forgot about the invite thing.”

“Quite.” Wesley hurriedly got out of the truck and ran towards Angel. “Angel…” Wesley stopped. It was apparent that Cordelia wasn’t there.

Angel glared his friend. Wesley’s silence confirmed that they had not found out where Cordelia was. “Search the place,” Angel ordered.

Wesley nodded. Stepping over the broken debris on the porch, he entered the house. Gunn quickly followed.

***

The house was not large, but gave off the appearance of being spacious. Expansive bare windows lined the back wall. The outside and the inside seemed to blend into one. The few decorative pieces were Native American in origin. Red, yellow and black colored basketry hung on one of the walls. Several pieces of pottery adorned the table and shelves.

A grouping of photographs on the wall captured Wesley’s attention. They all depicted the same two individuals in the photo that Wesley had snatched from the office. The age of the boy in the pictures ranged from very young to the teen years.

All were taken at the same location. Wesley took down a photo that had a more descriptive view of the surrounding area. The cabin was small, located by the water. Again, impulsively Wesley pocketed the photograph.

“Anything?” he asked Gunn.

“Naw,” The black man said in frustration. “This place is neat and useless,” he grumbled.

Wesley looked back to the doorway. He could barely see Angel. His dark clothing blended into the night. But Wesley didn’t need to see Angel to know that the vampire was impatient.

“Come on,” he said with resignation.

Gunn nodded. Wesley stopped at the table by the entranceway. He looked at the stack of mail. He quickly flipped through it. He wasn’t sure what he would find. Gunn may have been joking, but Wesley had hoped that maybe something, anything would jump out at him and point loudly and vividly ‘this is where Cordelia is’. But there was nothing-just bills and more correspondence from the Hopi Tribal Government.

Wesley and Gunn faced Angel. Wesley shook his head, not wanting to say the words of failure.

With a low growl, Angel turned away and headed for his car. “Hotel,” he snarled.

Wesley and Gunn just looked at each other. “Maybe, Cordelia’ back there, Maybe we are just getting all wiggy for nothing,” Gunn piped up.

Angel paused and turned back to the black man. It was the first time since they discovered that Cordelia was not in the diner that Angel had actually looked at Gunn. Gunn stumbled back at the fierceness of the vampire’s glare. Shit, the young man thought, Angel blamed him for losing Cordelia. That was not a real safe place to be.

“I…” Gunn started. Gunn really did feel responsible; he knew he screwed up. But, he hoped that maybe everything would be okay and not because he was scared of the vamp’s reaction if it wasn’t, but because he didn’t want Cordelia to be in danger. He had come to care a lot for the young girl.

“Don’t,” Angel said lowly. Angel knew that both Wesley and Gunn cared for Cordelia and would do anything to protect her.

And Gunn’s lapse was unintentional and understandable. Angel knew this objectively. It wasn’t Gunn’s fault, it was his. But Angel still wanted to kill someone. And if Gunn didn’t shut up, Angel feared that the young black man would be his target.

Wesley pulled at Gunn’s arm. “Come on, let’s go. Angel, we’ll meet you back at the hotel.”

***

Wesley and Gunn were silent on the drive back.

“He’s just worried,” Wesley explained, finally breaking the quiet.

“He’s dangerous.”

Wesley couldn’t contradict that statement. “It’s the unknowing that’s causing it. Once we figure out where Cordelia is, Angel will be fine.”

Find Cordelia? How? Gunn thought dejectedly. “Wes, the doc doesn’t seem the regular bad ass evil type. I mean, Cordy will be okay, won’t she?”

“God, I hope so,” Wesley whispered.


Chapter Thirty-four

Cordelia was drifting back and through consciousness. She could sense the movement around her. She was in a car, traveling.

But where? She tried to concentrate, to move her body, to wake up, but it seemed the harder she tried, the harder it became. Soon the she slipped back into unconsciousness.

“Your father is already at the cabin.” The driver of the car called back to John.

John nodded, his hands stroking at Cordelia’s hair. His soft gaze embraced the young sleeping woman. She was truly an innocent. He didn’t want to cause her any fear or upset, but he had to do this, too much was at stake.

“Hurry,” he ordered.

***

Wesley and Gunn watched in concern as Angel paced up and down the lobby. At least, the vampire had stopped breaking things, they both thought.

“Angel, you have to calm down.” Wesley called.

They had reached the hotel, shortly after the vampire. They entered the hotel just in time to see Angel destroy several pieces of furniture.

“I don’t get it,” Gunn whispered. “I mean, I get that the vamp is worried, man, we’re all worried, but Cordy has been well snatched before. Why is this time so, well ….” He pointed to the damaged furniture.

Wesley shrugged. “The necklace, it’s unknown power, the fact that Cordelia wouldn’t have been outside if something hadn’t happened between the two of them earlier, maybe he finally realized that he is in love with her….I don’t know and it’s not relevant, what’s important is to find Cordelia.” Wesley whispered back.

“Angel,” the former watcher said louder. “We need to discover more about Dr. Red Bear. I think maybe it’s time to try out that thing,” Pointing to the computer.

“We need information to put in the computer before it can tell us anything.” Snorted Angel.

“Yes, well, we do have some.” Wesley turned on the computer and waited for it to go online. He punched in a search for the University. As soon as the website appeared. Wesley clicked on faculty. “Okay, it seems the Professor is a member of the Hopi tribe.”

“So,” Gunn questioned.

“I’m not sure but there were a lot of letters from the Hopi Tribal Government in his belongings. So, that would mean, I imagine, that he was still very active with his tribe.” Wesley thought a moment and changed the search to Hopi.

The men read the information in the site.

“That doesn’t really help.” Grunted Gunn.

“No…but…if we assume that the Necklace has some major spiritual significance to the Hopi and that is why he took Cordelia, then presumably he would take her to some place with spiritual significance, maybe somewhere in the reservation.”

“I Imagine, but, assume, if…We need answers, not guesses.” Angel demanded.

“Ah, Wes, the reservation is in Arizona,” Gunn pointed out. “Over 600 miles away.”

Wesley shoulders slumped. That was so far away. They couldn’t afford to go there and be wrong.

“Still,” Wesley couldn’t get over the feeling that John Red Bear’s connection with his tribe was important. His professional life and his home seemed to be concentrated on his culture and his people.

Wesley pulled out the photographs he had taken. John Red Bear had possessed numerous photos of this one place. “The cabin. It’s important to him.”

Angel grabbed at the photo’s breaking the frames; He pulled out the pictures studying the back and front. “Nothing,” he grimaced. He couldn’t see anything unique about them. Nothing to indicated where the cabin was located.

“That ain’t Arizona,” Gunn claimed, pointing out the trees and body of water.

“No it’s not.” Wesley thought some more. He punched a new search. This time concentrating on California.

“Um, I might have found something,” he said not trying to get too hopeful.

“What?” Angel growled.

“The Colorado River Reservation- it’s comprised of the Mohave, Chemehuevi, Hopi and Navajo Indians. It’s located along the Colorado River. It’s in both California and Arizona, about 200 miles from Los Angeles.” He stared at the pictures again focusing on the body of water depicted in them.

“That’s a big leap,” doubted Gunn.

“Yes, but…okay, but…we have nothing else.” Wesley shrugged. “There is nothing here about the necklace…. It’s the only thing that makes any possible sense.”

Angel stood silent. 200 miles. It was still too far, if they were wrong. But…did they have a choice. Angel looked towards the darkened windows of the hotel. It would be dawn soon. “Wes, Gunn go. See if you can find the cabin. I’ll stay here and go to Caritas and talk to the host.”

“Obviously, we’ll go, but first we all,” Wesley emphasized, “should get some sleep…just for a couple of hours,” he added at Angel’s glare.

Sleep? Angel knew that it would be impossible for him to rest. Wesley was right, he needed to calm down, but lying down alone and thinking about Cordelia wouldn’t accomplish that. More than just his nightmares would keep him awake.

He couldn’t stop and let his fear for Cordelia take over.

“You and Gunn sleep.” Angel partially conceded. The humans had been awake for hours without any real rest since before the fight on the pier. “I’ll go to the host now.”


Chapter Thirty-five

“She’s so young,” The old shaman’s wrinkled hand gently caressed the turquoise stones resting on Cordelia’s skin.

John merely nodded. They had reached the cabin only a few minutes ago. His father had gingerly approached the young woman John had placed on the couch. Like John before him, the shaman had attempted to take the necklace off Cordelia. And like before the necklace wouldn’t budge.

“The necklace has chosen her. Bring her.” The shaman led the way through the back of the cabin to a lone wooden structure. It was shaped like a box and had no windows.

The one entrance to the outside room was trimmed with bright Native American symbols. The interior of the room was bare except for a lone bench and a large stone fire pit in the middle of the floor.

Ceremonial bowls filled with herbs and powders lined the bench, along with a simple long smoking pipe.

The Shaman struggled with removing his shirt all while leaning on his walking stick. Then he measured out some of the powder and placed it in the pipe.

“John,” he ordered.

John placed Cordelia gently on the dirt floor, taking off his shirt and shoes as he got up. He went over to one of the bowls, handing it to his father and taking the pipe. The shaman placed his fingers in the bowl mixing the ingredients. He brushed the powder onto the once firm skin of his chest. He drew intricate designs on his flesh. Once done he repeated the process on his son.

Father and son went back to sit around the pit. John gathered Cordelia up against his body, resting her head on his shoulder.

The Shaman glanced at his son. The old man sensed John’s concern for the young woman. “It has to be done. I must see her dreams. I must know.”

“I know, father.”

The old man nodded satisfied that John would do what he had to do. The shaman dusted some more powder over the rocks and wood shavings that filled the stone pit, chanting lowly. Soon, smoke occupied the room as the rocks glowed red and the chips burned.

Cordelia stirred against John’s chest. She tried to speak, but the words wouldn’t form. A burning heat surrounded her skin, sweat pooled dripping down her body. Cordelia forced her eyes opened. She jerked away from the old Indian staring intently at her. “Who…where….Angel…..so hot,” her confused words rambled.

“John,” the shaman ordered.

John pulled Cordelia back to his chest, holding her face still. “Sh, Cordelia everything will be fine.”

The shaman took a long drag off the peyote pipe. He waited as the drug flowed through his lungs, then took another one. This time he didn’t breathe in the smoke, but held it in his mouth. He leaned into Cordelia’s face. Cordelia’s eyes widened in confusion and fear as the old man grabbed at her jaw forcing her mouth opened. The Shaman covered her mouth with his own releasing the powerful drug. He then quickly clamped his hand over her mouth, and pinched her nose shut.

Cordelia struggled against his grip, trying to breathe. Involuntarily, her lungs filled with the smoke that had been trapped in her mouth. Cordelia gulped at the air as soon as she was released. Again, the Shaman repeated the process, filling Cordelia’s lungs once again with the drug.

The room expanded around Cordelia. She stared at the old Indian, her eyes large brown circles. She tried to concentrate as the old Indian moved and flickered in and out of her sight. The walls of the room began to melt around her. Cordelia loss all sense of reality as her world faded and changed.


Chapter Thirty-six

Cordelia stood on the outskirts of the forest. She was in her dream place. She waited for Tweety and…she really needed to think of a name for her pretty wolf, she couldn’t just go around calling her wolf. As on cue, the animals appeared.

“Hi,” Cordelia called. “What’s wrong,” she asked, puzzled at the animals less than friendly welcome. Usually, Tweety and…she studied the dark fur of the wolf…Mocha, she thought. Good she had found a name. Cordelia shook her head; she couldn’t keep a straight thought in her head. What had she been thinking about? She stared again at her spirit guides. They hadn’t moved. The humming bird frantically beat its wings in one place not leaving the wolf.

“Guys, why won’t you come here?” She stepped closer to the animals. Mocha growled in response. She stopped. “Why?” Cordelia moved again. Mocha barked out a warning. Cordelia stopped again; her guides didn’t want her to go near the forest. They wanted her to leave.

“I don’t know how to,” she complained. Cordelia tried to concentrate on waking up. If they thought it was a good idea for not to be there, she would leave, but first someone better tell her how to. She wasn’t waking up. Cordelia pinched sharply at her arm. Nope.

“Young one.” An old Indian appeared out of the trees, he had a type of wildcat by his side. Cordelia stared at the animal. The cat wasn’t that large. It had long powerful legs; a short bobbed tail and tufts of fur surrounded its pointed ears. A lynx, Cordelia realized in recognition. Of course, identifying the cat did nothing to explain who or what the Indian wanted, she thought in irritation.

“Who are you?” She called. Mocha and Tweety were instantly by her side. Blocking her path towards the old Indian.

“Um, nevermind. Tweety and Mocha don’t seem to think it’s a good idea for me to talk to you. So go away, this is my dream place.”

The Shaman looked at her spirit guides. “It’s true you do have two power animals,” he looked in concentration.

“Yeah, so what? I don’t think they like you. Is he a bad type guy?” Cordelia asked the animals by her side. “Tweety, stop buzzing around my face, just answer the question,” she gently chided. Cordelia could have sworn she saw both of the animals’ shrug. Neither committing to an opinion. “You don’ t know, so I can talk to him.” The wolf barked and nudged Cordelia away from the Indian.

“Look,” Cordelia said to the Indian. “You might not necessarily be a bad guy, but they don’t think I should be here. So, leave me alone. I need to wake up.” She pinched at her arm again. “Any helpful clues on how that’s suppose to be accomplished?”

“I’m afraid that you won’t be waking up, not for awhile. Not until you lead me to the ‘Wise One’.”

“Uh.”

“You have been given large dose of Peyote. You will remain in the dream state until it wears off, after I see the answers I need.”

“You drugged me,” she cried out in disbelief. “I’m tripping? Geez, who are you?” Cordelia tried to remember what had happened prior to her entering the dream state. She had been running from the hotel.

Damn, that vampire. He had no right to growl at her like that. All she wanted was to help him. God, she wished Angel was here.

Mocha’s muzzle poked at her side. “Oh, I’m getting sidetracked again, aren’t I,” she whispered to the wolf. Cordelia tried to grasp her original train of thought. John had taken her to get coffee. And then what? She remembered drifting in and out of consciousness, riding in a car, feeling disjointed and hot.

“John kidnapped me.” She waited for confirmation.

“It was necessary. The necklace belongs to my people. We must have it back.”

“Tough. I don’t know ‘who’ your people are, but the necklace isn’t yours. It’s mine. The ‘wise old shaman guy’ gave it to me and the Powers said it was part of my destiny. It’s my gift to help the helpless. You can’t have it. Anyway, the thing won’t come off.”

“The necklace has been in the Hopi tribe since it’s beginning. It belongs to us.”

“Well, you seem to have lost it somewhere down the road. And it found me,” she retorted. Why did everyone think that the necklace wasn’t meant to be hers? Why wouldn’t anyone believe her?

“Look we will settle this once and for all. If the ‘wise old guy tells you its mine will you leave me alone”

“You can lead me to the “Wise One”?”

Cordelia shrugged. “Mocha and Tweety took me to him last time. I don’t see why they couldn’t do it again.”

“We will talk to the ‘Wise One.’ He will explain.”

Cordelia nodded. “Okay, lead on,” she beckoned to her animals.

The animals didn’t move. “Come on.”

Mocha growled, trying to urge Cordelia away from the woods with her sharp muzzle. Tweety frantically flew around Cordelia’s head begging her to listen to the wolf.

“Look we need to find the old guy. I’m going to go with you or without you,” she ordered. Cordelia didn’t really feel comfortable ignoring her spirit guides warnings. But they weren’t being real clear and they didn’t say the Indian was bad. Anyway, she needed to get this over with. So, she could wake up and get back to Angel.

With a stern look at her animals, she moved towards the woods.

The wolf growled, but followed with Tweety buzzing close by.

The shaman waited. The lynx by his side nudged at him, growling softly. The old Indian looked at his spirit guide and those of the young girl. None of them wanted to go into the forest. They were uneasy about the humans’ choices.

Normally, the Shaman would follow without thought his power animal’s warnings or censure, but not this time. He had to see the ‘Wise One’.

The group entered into the forest and followed the path. The Shaman paused as he heard a low pitch wail growing in volume and plurality. The cries were full of pain, suffering and sadness.

The young girl stopped changing direction. The Shaman stood back as she walked up to a wall of energy. Faces screaming in agony pushed out through the wall, trying to reach Cordelia. He watched in amazement as the young woman approach them, her hand extending through thick barrier.

Tears fell in a torrent down Cordelia’s face. The imagines in the wall focused on her hand, swirling down and around it. The wails lessened as Cordelia’s tears fell harder.

The wolf brushed up around her leg, rubbing her body against Cordelia’s. Cordelia clutched the soft fur. She slowly withdrew from the wall, wiping the tears from her face. “They will always be there, won’t they.” She crumbled to the ground hugging the wolf close to her chest. Mocha licked and pushed at the girl, allowing Cordelia’s tight embrace. Tweety buzzed around, trying to stay still along enough to brush up against Cordelia’s face.

The Shaman’s lynx left the Indian’s side and sat close to the crying young woman giving her his support.

Cordelia took a deep breath and with one last hug and kiss to the wolf, she stood. “Geez, you would think I would get use to it by now, uh,” she tried to joke, but the sadness was apparent in her low tone.

“Who are you,” the Shaman asked stunned at what he had witnessed.

“Cordelia Chase, ump. Don’t you even know who you kidnapped and drugged.”

“What are you?” the old man asked again in exasperation.

She shrugged. “A seer and according to the Wise one, now a healer.” She moved forward not looking at the old man or the wall of souls.

They walked the rest of the way through the forest in silence. Finally, the reached the open meadow.

“This is where the old guy showed up before,” Cordelia commented. She looked around expectantly. “There he is.” She pointed to the very old shaman seated cross- legged, the sleek black jaguar rested on its hunches close by.

“Healer,” the Wise one acknowledged Cordelia. “You shouldn’t be here.”

“I didn’t really have a choice in the matter, like I ever do,” she grumbled. “But this guy,” she pointed to the Indian by her side. “Wanted to take my necklace. I told him you gave it to me, so now he wants to talk to you. He didn’t believe me.”

The wise one turned to the Shaman. “Son, you do not belong in the Healer’s spirit world. You have brought evil here.”

“No.” the shaman argued.

“Yes. Bathym knows your dreams and now he knows her. You have shown him the way. He is coming. You have endangered your only hope.”

“Whose Bathym?” Cordelia interrupted.

“Talk about a cue,” a wicked laugh penetrated the atmosphere. A massive dark cloud swirled creating a vortex in the air. All of the power animal’s bristled at the disturbance. Mocha and the humming bird hovered close by, their bodies standing between the emerging being and Cordelia.

A huge robust demon appeared through the dark hole. “Why thank you. I have been searching long and hard for the necklace.” The demon turned towards the seated shaman. “So Wise one,” Bathym said in disdain. “It looks like I win, your children will be mine.”

“It’s not over.” The wise one warned, vanishing.

“Well, he may be able to escape into the other realm. But you can’t” Bathym laughed facing Cordelia and the shaman.

“No,” gasped John’s father. “What have I done?”

“Good, freakin’ question what have you done? Who is the big and ugly? And what’s he doing in my dream?” glared Cordelia.

The shaman ignored the young woman’s angry comment and concentrated on Bathym. He held out his hands chanting furiously.

“It’s too late,” crackled the demon. “I’m too strong. I think it’s time for you to join your ancestors.” Bathym reached out his arm, it’s length stretching and extending until his fist was clasped around the old Indian’s throat. The lynx growled and lunged at the demon. The demon’s other hand shot out striking the lynx. With a whimper the cat fell to the ground.

“No,” Cordelia yelled running towards the demon. With another quick movement of his hand he tossed Cordelia through the air. Mocha and Tweety rushed to her side.

“Nice knowing you and thanks for the necklace,” Bathym crowed as his grip squeezed the breath out of the old Indian. “Now die,” he commanded, breaking the shaman’s neck.

Cordelia struggled to get up. She glanced at the Shaman’s fallen body. “No,” she whispered running towards him, falling along his side. She reached out to touch the Indian’s chest.

“I don’t think so,” Bathym commanded. “It’s time we left this place.” In a flash of bright light, both the demon and Cordelia disappeared from the spirit plane.

Chapter 37

Posted July 26, 2015 by califi in Complete

The Necklace. 27-32   1 comment

Chapter Twenty-seven

John sat in his car, fidgeting with the strings of a small leather pouch. The bag was filled with a strong sleeping potion. Just a pinch and a person would be rendered unconsciousness almost instantaneously.

Now the question was how to administer to Cordelia. He had been waiting outside the hotel for hours, trying to figure out that particular equation. Burglary, kidnapping, he sighed. He was turning into a regular criminal type. Though thinking back to the Museum break in or rather his aborted attempted break- in, he wasn’t a very successful type.

But his father was correct; they needed to get Cordelia. They needed her knowledge, her dreams, and the necklace. And John rationalized, if she was with them, they could protect her from Bathym.

He stared again at the hotel. Now, how was he going to get her? John could wait until the morning and ask her innocently to breakfast. What’s a lie, when he was contemplating a major felony?

John started as he saw Cordelia come stumbling out of the old building. The young girl was running blindly along the street.

John turned on his ignition, slowly moving his car in her direction. He looked in concern. Cordelia was obviously upset. His first reaction was to go to her and comfort her; his second was that this could be the opportunity he was looking for. As soon as, his car came abreast of Cordelia, he stopped.

“Cordelia,” he called, getting out.

Cordelia bolted upright at the sound. “John?” she gulped.

“Are you alright?”

“Uh, yeah,” she said, puzzled at the Professors sudden appearance.

“Are you sure, you seem upset,” John asked. The concern in his voice was real, no matter what his objective of the night was. The young girl shouldn’t be alone, crying at this time of night.

“I’m…just going home,” she brushed at her eyes.

“On foot, alone, in the middle of night?” .

Cordelia looked up the dark street, back at the hotel, then back at the doctor. It did seem pretty stupid. Actually, it was really pretty stupid. She looked back at the hotel. No, she wasn’t going back. She couldn’t be near Angel right now.

“Uh, maybe, maybe you could drive me home. It’s not that far,” Cordelia smiled and shrugged.

“Of course,” he nodded. “Come on.” John smiled.

Cordelia nodded and got in. “Thanks.”

***

“English. That was the doc.”

“I know.”

“I got a real bad feeling. This just ain’t cool. What’s the doc doing hanging around?”

Wesley nodded in agreement. There was no innocent logical reason that Wesley could think of that would explain why Dr. Red Bear just happened to be driving very slowly outside the hotel at 3:00 in the morning. “Let’s go.” He said, turning quickly towards Gunn’s truck.

“Angel?” Gunn nodded back at the hotel, following Wesley.

Wesley stopped. “Um, why don’t you go tell him. I will follow them. We don’t want to loose them.”

“No, my keys, my ride.” Gunn tossed the keys up the air, jumping into the vehicle in question. “I’ll call.”

Wesley rolled his eyes and headed back to the hotel. Wesley really didn’t want to do this.


Chapter Twenty-eight

Wesley stood outside Angel’s bedroom door.

“What is it?” Angel lifted his head, his eyes emotionless.

Wesley counted to ten. He had no clue what had gone on between Cordelia and Angel or why she went tearing out of the hotel. Or why Angel was obviously also upset. And this was not going to make the vampire any happier. Wesley started on ten through twenty of his silent counting.

“Wesley,” Angel asked again, roughly. Angel wanted Wesley gone; he wanted to be alone. He didn’t need or want any of Wesley’s oh so sage advice right now about how to deal with Cordelia. Angel needed to dwell alone on his horrendous actions and his despair.

“Yes, well, it’s Cordelia.” He paused.

Angel could smell the trepidation oozing out of his friend’s pores. Wesley wasn’t there to lecture. Angel eyes narrowed, waiting for Wesley to continue.

“Yes,” Wesley repeated. “It seems that Dr. Red Bear was outside the hotel. And that he just picked up Cordelia,” Wesley paused,” as she was running, crying down the street.” His last words taking on a reproaching tone. Wesley couldn’t help it, he just knew that Angel had somehow had a part in Cordelia’s hysterical flight.

Angel’s body became even more still as he processed Wesley’s words. He shot of the bed in a sudden swift movement. The compressed tension and growing rage in his body urged him upwards. “Gunn?” Angel.

Wesley leaned forward to catch the vampire’s low snarl. “Following. He said he would call.” Wesley answered as he made out the vampire’s words and meaning.

Angel strode out of the room, shoving Wesley to the side.

“Angel?”

“I’m not waiting.”

“Right,” Wesley nodded hurrying to catch up with Angel.

***

“Hey,” Cordelia looked out the window. “This isn’t the way to my apartment. I said take a left at the last light.”

“I know, but it looked like you could use a cup of coffee and a shoulder to lean on.”

“I’m okay,” Cordelia protested.

“You were very upset.”

“I…Coffee would okay, I guess,” she shrugged.

Cordelia didn’t really want to be alone in her apartment. All that would do was give her time to relive the horrible scene in Angel’s bedroom. God, how had it gotten so awful. She knew that Angel didn’t want her to use her power, but…she shivered.

Angel had been more than just mad; he had be ‘grr’ enraged. It was just so unfair; all she wanted to do was help Angel. Why couldn’t he see that? No, her mind cried, she didn’t want to think about it anymore. She smiled weakly at John. “Coffee would be good.”

John smiled.

***

“Gunn, where are they?” Wesley asked into his cell phone, all the while shooting discreet looks at the vampire.

Angel hadn’t said a word, since he got in the car. He wouldn’t answer Wesley’s questions about what had gotten Cordelia so agitated. Angel just looked ahead, his hands clenched around the wheel. Wesley looked nervously at the Angel’s clenched knuckles. Wesley just hoped that they would reach Cordelia before the steering wheel splintered apart.

“Don’t let them out of your sight, we are almost there.” Wesley hung up the phone. “It may not be anything,” Wesley reassured the vampire. “They’ve stopped at the coffee shop on Main St.” He paused.

“Yes, that’s it. Dr. Red Bear just happened to be driving by, saw Cordelia and offered to take her for some coffee, that’s all. Nothing dangerous. No, I’m sure they are just sitting and talking, that’s all.” Wesley commented with forced optimism.

Angel did not respond in anyway to Wesley’s comments, except to drive faster.


Chapter Twenty-nine

“Who were you talking to?” Cordelia pointed to the phone John put in his pocket.

“My father. He’s staying with me. He expected me home awhile ago. I’m a grown man, but he still worries.”

“Parents that worry, that’s nice,” Cordelia sighed.

“Your parents?”

She shrugged. “They haven’t worried about me in…. well a long time.”

“I’m sorry.” John could see that the subject of parents was an uncomfortable one for Cordelia. It was part of the pain that he had sensed earlier in her eyes.

“Why?” she shrugged, brushing off his sympathy. “How was it that you just happened to be outside the hotel?” she asked, changing the subject.

“Coincidence, it just happened to be the quickest way home from a friend’s house. A lucky coincidence for both of us.” John lied.

“A friend, a woman?” Cordelia’s natural need to know surfacing through the mire of her own depressing thoughts.

“No, a boring old stodgy scholarly type,” he smiled, reminding Cordelia of her first description of John.

Cordelia gave a small laugh. She nodded as the waitress placed a cup of coffee in front of her. “I probably shouldn’t be indulging,” she smiled softly at John. “I haven’t been sleeping that well.”

“The dreams. Is that what upset you?”

“Em, no,” Cordelia shook her head, evading the question. Cordelia dropped her head, sipping at her coffee. “Ouch,” Cordelia’s face scrunched up. “That’s hot,” she commented waving her hand in front of her face.

“Here let me.” John smoothly passed his hands over her steaming cup. Then picking it up, he blew gently over the mug.

“Thanks,” Cordelia gave a sweet smile taking the coffee from his hands. She sipped at the liquid.

“Better?”

Cordelia laughed. “Nay, now it’s frigid.” She took another larger sip.

John watched as Cordelia’s eyes got heavy finally closing. His hand shot out and propped up Cordelia’s shoulders as they began to slump towards the table. He swiftly moved around to her booth, pulling her body into his arms.

“I’m…wha…..” Cordelia mumbled against his chest.

“Sh, I’ve got you,” John whispered leading her out the back door to a waiting car in the alley. John held the young woman in his arms, wishing there were another way.

But what he was doing was for the best, the best for his people and the best for the girl.

“Ang..” She gasped.

***

Angel jumped out of his car and rushed towards the diner, bypassing Gunn, who was just getting out of his truck.

“Hey, man, Cordy and the doc haven’t left,” Gunn called after Angel. “I’ve been watching, they went in, but never came out,” Gunn told Wesley as the former watcher joined him. “That’s the doc’s little red sport’s car.”

“Thank goodness,” Wesley sighed in relief.

Wesley and Gunn followed the vampire into the diner. Wesley glanced quickly around searching for Cordelia and the doctor. A sick feeling descended over his body as he saw Angel storm through the near empty restaurant out the back.

“So where is Cordelia?” Wesley asked.

Gunn’s eyes widened. There was no sign of the lovely brunette or the Indian. “Aw, shit,” he grunted.

“Aw, shit is right,” Wesley grumbled.


Chapter Thirty

The old customer sitting on the corner stool leaned in to the counter pulling his body inwards as much as possible, trying to make himself invisible to the dark man stalking the diner.

Maggie, the waitress pressed back against the grill, her hand searching for anything that could be used as a weapon, the strange man was scaring her. The dark man stood in the middle of the restaurant his face pointed upwards, his brow rippling into a grotesque shape, his nostrils flaring and his mouth snarling.

Maggie was reminded of a National Geography documentary on wolves, she had seen months ago. . The show explored the intense, almost personal relationship of the canines.

The researchers had tracked a male wolf and his mate for over a month. It seemed that wolves mated for life, she hadn’t known that. Maggie paused in her channel surfing to watch the male and female wolf frolicking around.

She was enthralled by their play and obvious affection for each other; it was endearing, romantic even. Then the show was edited to show the female wolf alone trapped in a poacher’s deadly snare. The documentary switched to the frantic behavior of the male at the loss of his mate. Maggie had been riveted to the TV screen.

The image of the fierce male wolf snarling and sniffing in the air had been so intense, so desperate. The wild animal’s body had remained motionless, the only movement that the camera had captured was that of the beast’s ears, nose, and mouth, twitching and flaring. But Maggie could see the concentrated violence that rippled under his fur.

The wild animal’s sole attention was on the various scents floating through the air. In an instant the wolf let out a howl and bounded towards where his mate was trapped. It was the same behavior that she saw in the man before her. The same desperation and violence bundled up in human form. Maggie didn’t want any part of it. The man was dangerous.

Maggie gulped in relief as the man stormed out the front of the restaurant, her hand releasing the knife clutched in her fingers. Okay, so the man hadn’t howled, but that was definitely a growl she heard emitting from his mouth.

The waitress nodded, not listening or caring about the babbled explanation that the man in glasses was trying to give her. Her body relaxed in gratitude as that fellow and the bald headed black guy finally left.

Angel ran towards the red convertible parked along the street. He stopped at the passenger door, gripping the handle with a fierce pull. The door went flying through the air.

Wesley and Gunn split in different directions, dodging the flying metal.

“Was that right? The top was down, man,” Gunn whispered, practically whining to Wesley. Gun had admired the Professor’s antique MG ever since he started to follow it.

Wesley shot a reproving look at his friend, telling him silently to shut up. “They went in, but haven’t come out,” Wesley retorted to Gunn.

“I…” Gunn paused. Wesley shot him another look.

Gunn shut up. Damn, he hadn’t thought that the Indian was a real danger to Cordelia. Gunn hadn’t thought it necessary to properly scope out the diner. Sure, he had his suspicious that something was not right. But, the Professor seemed okay, or at least not demon-type bad.

He had forgotten, stupidly, that demons and vampire’s were not the only bad guys in LA.


Chapter Thirty-one

Wesley hesitantly walked up to the vampire. He ducked as a small piece of debris flew over his head. Angel had torn the glove box loose from the vehicle. He was rummaging through the gaping hole in the dash. Finally, with a growl Angel stood upright with a card in his tight grip.

Wesley took notice of the small paper, suddenly realizing what it was. “You are most likely right, Angel. I’m sure that Dr. Red Bear wouldn’t take Cordelia back to his office. So, the registration, does it show his home address? We’ll go there now.”

“No,” Angel growled. “You and Gunn will go to the university just in case.”

Wesley hesitated again. He wasn’t sure if the vampire should be left alone, especially if he actually found the Indian. Angel was acting way to unsettled, for Wesley’s peace of mind.

“Wesley,” the vampire snarled.

“Right, of course. But, what’s the address? We’ll meet you there if we don’t find anything, okay.”

Angel slowly nodded, handing Wesley the card. Angel turned towards his car. He paused and then turned back. “Wesley,” Angel said lowly.

Wesley waited.

“If you find her and lose her again…” Angel’s brown expressionless eyes met Wesley’s concerned one’s. “Someone will die,” the vampire said coldly and concisely.

Wesley’s eyes blinked rapidly. “Cordelia won’t be lost. She’ll be found and she’ll be safe,” the former watcher promised.

Angel’s intense stare held Wesley’s eyes for long short moment before Angel nodded and moved away.

“Gunn,” Wesley shook his head in disbelief. “How could you lose Cordelia.”

“I…I didn’t know there was a back door. Okay, okay, I know everything as a back door, but I didn’t think…I just…”Gunn grunted, his eyes not leaving the road.

“Maybe, it was really just weird coincidence that the doc was outside the hotel.” Gunn said, contradicting his earlier suspicion about the presence of the doc. “Maybe, Cordy went with him willingly, I mean you saw her get into the car. Maybe, she is just back at his place, you know, getting comforted.”

Wesley actually growled at Gunn’s comment. Wesley shook his head. “You don’t really believe that.”

“No,” Gunn said, worried and angry with himself for not preventing Cordelia’s disappearance. “The vamp is really mad isn’t he.”

Wesley stared at his friend. “What part of that,” he said indicating the previous scene. “Did you not experience.”

Gunn’s eyes left the road meeting Wesley’s, Gunn’s grasp tightening on the steering wheel. “We have to find Cordy.”

“That would be for the best,” Wesley said dryly.


Chapter Thirty-two

Angel drove towards the address that he had seen on John Red Bear’s registration. His hand tensing against the wheel. Angel’s mind was frantic; his body set on one goal-to find Cordelia.

This was his fault. If Angel hadn’t struck out at Cordelia, commanding her to leave the hotel, she would still be with him, safe.

Maybe Cordelia wasn’t in danger, he tried to rationalize. Maybe for some legitimate, unlikely happenstance the doctor came upon Cordelia running outside crying…Angel’s thoughts trailed to a stop. Angel was the one who caused her to be so upset.

How could he have done that, his mind cried out. No, Angel was losing focus. Maybe, Angel tried again, maybe Cordelia went with the young professor, and after all she thought he was ‘gorgeous’. Maybe Angel would be barging on an intimate moment between the two of them.

Those thoughts abruptly stopped as Angel heard the steering wheel crack. The pressure of his hands had been too much for the solid plastic.

Angel looked at the piece of equipment, except for a large crack that ran through the wheel, it was still intact. Angel sighed in relief, he couldn’t be bothered with trying to fix or find another ride. Angel had to get to the Professor’s address, no matter what he would find. Angel had to know that Cordelia was safe.

***

“Find anything?” Gunn asked Wesley.

Wesley looked up from behind the desk. He and Gunn had gained entry into the Professor’s university office. Wesley had already searched through Dr. Red Bear’s books lined up against the wall. If there was a text on the necklace, he couldn’t find it. Wesley turned his attention to the large desk.

Wesley shook his head. “You?”

Gunn shrugged. “Naw, but then I’m not real clear on what I’m looking for.” The young man slammed the file cabinet drawer shut. “Cordy ain’t here.”

“Obviously, but there may be some clue or sign of where the doctor may have taken her.”

“What do you expect a big map saying ‘Cordelia’s here’”.

Wesley ignored Gunn and bent down neatly rifling through the contents of the next drawer. “Nothing.” Wesley yanked at the last drawer. He grunted and pulled at the drawer.

It was locked. Wesley picked up a silver letter opener and started to pry at the opening in the wood. He grunted again this time in satisfaction as the drawer came loose.

“Gunn,” Wesley called urgently. He pulled out a file folder.

“Okay, this is really not cool,” Gunn sorted through the pictures of the necklace and museum surveillance photos.

“No, it would definitely confirm that the good doctor did know more than he said about the necklace. But what and why does he have Cordelia? And where?”

He picked up a letter addressed to the Professor; it was from the Hopi Tribal Government. It was a letter of appreciation from the Chairman of the tribe to the doctor.

It seemed that the doctor had been a big help in lobbying the federal government for more money to support the new health center on the reservation. Then on a personal note, the Chairman had gone on to wish John and his father well and a hope that John’s father would return to the Reservation soon.

Wesley glanced at the Arizona mailing address. Disgruntled he placed the letter back in the stack. Nothing there, it just raised more questions as to why a respected Professor and obvious good citizen type would be interested in the necklace and engaged in kidnapping.

“We better go. Maybe Angel has had more success.” Wesley got up rearranging the items on the desk to their original position. His hand hovered over a framed snapshot. The young boy in the picture couldn’t have been more than ten years old. The older man standing close resembled a more mature John Red Bear. “Father and son?”

Gunn shrugged, ‘so what’ clearly etched on his expression.

Wesley studied the photo. The young boy had a fishing pole in his hands and a big smile. They were both standing on a pier along a body of water. There was a cabin and trees in the background. On an impulse, the former watcher pocketed the photo and picked up the file on the necklace.

“Yeah, let’s just hope he has found Cordelia and hasn’t left a trail of broken bodies and stuff. They’re a bitch to explain and to clean up.”

Wesley took one last look around the office satisfied that everything was in its proper place, except for those in his possession. “Come on.”

Chapter 33

Posted July 26, 2015 by califi in Complete