Archive for October 2015

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Part 6

Day 36

It was amazing how pretty Sunnydale looked from the top of a hill. The twinkling lights and stars, trees looking almost black, and the grass was a little bit wet. If it wasn’t for the sound of eating, slurping, and wrapper rustling, it’d be nice and peaceful.

After yesterday’s adventure to the phone store, she hadn’t been surprised to find Angelus on her doorstep two hours ago, his hand holding up a set of keys and his mouth making a deal. She clued him in on the wonders of modern technology and he’d buy her whatever her little heart desired, which is why she was sat on the hood of his car, food and phone in hand, and he was next to her watching intently.

“Now press send, which is this button right here.” Cordelia instructed around a mouthful of cheeseburger.

Angelus did as told and pressed the send button, then waited for a few seconds until her phone signalled the arrival of his message. “Cool.”

“Isn’t it?” She asked with a grin, and took a sip of Coke to wash down her bite. “So what did ya send me?”

“Read and see.”

Okay. She picked up her phone, pressed the button to view, and laughed at the word Hi. “Back atcha.”

He grinned. “We’ve covered the basics. Calling, texting, Bluetooth, how to set my ring tone. I think that’s everything.”

“It’ll get you through for now. Don’t wanna overload your brain by delving into voice mail and net access. Bite?”

Angelus leaned away from the vile thing before it went up his nose. “I’m not one for fast food.”

“Unless they’re running for their lives?”

“Exactly.”

Cordelia’s smile was fully returned with an added flash of fang. “Now gimme. I’ll send you some stuff. A friend of mine makes their own tones so we don’t have to subscribe to companies that charge $3 a week for total crap.”

He handed her the phone and moved to lean against the wooden railing, crossing his legs at the ankles. She was perched on the hood of the Plymouth, her legs crossed and shoes off. He watched her fiddle with his new toy, pausing occasionally to take a sip and bite.

The skirt she wore ended at her knees, long enough to keep things to the imagination but short enough to let a man know what he was missing. Her shoes were heeled and studded with fake jewels while an ankle bracelet brought a shiny, eye catching twinkle to her skin.

She hadn’t bothered with her hair, choosing instead to let the waves ride loose, and it was only then he noticed just how long her hair really was. The chestnut shade looked black all bar the odd streak of honey, which was steadily growing on him. She didn’t have any perfume on and so he was able to fully smell her, and God, it was sweet.

“Pick a name,” she said, knocking him out of his intense study.

One came directly to mind. “Angel.” It may have been a tad more sentimental than he was used to, but women were suckers for that kinda stuff. Happy pictures of puppies and kittens, firemen holding said puppies and kittens.

Cordelia shook her head. “Can’t you be a bit more original?”

A wolfish smirk curled his lips up at the corners. “Evel Knievel?”

She rolled her eyes in response. “How about Sammy? Samsung? Geddit?” Lord, she killed herself sometimes.

He looked positively insulted. His phone would be called Sammy when Satan bought ice skates. “Sammy is a girl’s name.”

“And Angel isn’t?” He returned her sneer. “Where’s the excitement you’re infamous for, huh? Where’s the attention snaring, eye catching, nightmare giving ideas?”

“Impiety,” Cordelia suggested, shoving that home truth to the far reaches of her brain. She totally didn’t want or need to deal with that right now. “Impiety would be a good name for you and you get a cute nickname, too. What more could a man want?”

He was so not impressed. “Don’t even think it, Cordelia.” Her mouth opened, ready to let it fly. “I mean it.”

She closed her mouth, looking away to hide her mischievous smirk.

“Don’t you dare. Say that and I swear on all that’s holy, I’ll bite you.”

“Alright,” Cordelia bit her lower lip in an effort not to cackle in his face. “I promise I won’t call you imp.”

Angelus paused for a moment before pinning her with a look that wasn’t at all nice. “You’re sick.”

“You’re such a goofball,” she rolled her eyes and flicked a piece of bun at him, sniggering when it bounced off his ear. She didn’t get a response. “You shouldn’t feel ashamed for liking it. Imp is a cute nickname. Very you. So you in fact, I may put that under your number.”

“I don’t like it, it’s not cute, and it certainly isn’t me.” The vampire graced her with another glare. “And I will suck you dry if you call me that again.”

She sighed and shook her head. “If it makes you feel better, we’ll stick with Angel.” Of course he didn’t have to know she was gonna have Imp as his caller I.D.

Angelus arched an eyebrow. “Why does that sound like an insult?”

“It’s not so much an insult as it is boring. I mean, your name? I thought you were more adventurous and exciting than that.”

Angelus wondered where she got her ideas from. “So,” he said as he leaned against the wooden railing and crossed his legs at the ankles. “Exciting, fearsome, infamous, large and manly hands. You really do think about me a lot, dontcha?”

Apart from every thirty seconds of every day? “Not specifically, no.” God, the lie had to be loud and clear, didn’t it? With any luck, he’d let it go.

He chuckled. “Of course you don’t.”

Cordelia sighed. “You’ve made a pretty big impression in the years you’ve been here, so yeah I think about you.” She may have confessed to that, but no way in hell was she gonna confess to what her thoughts revolved around. Especially not when that damned fantasy wouldn’t leave her alone.

“Like what?”

She shrugged. “Some good, some bad.”

“Guess that’s to be expected considering what you’ve been taught about me.”

“Not only taught,” she reminded him in a quiet voice. “You’ve proven yourself to be a hands on psychopath.”

Angelus had to give her that point. “Never order anyone to something you’re not prepared to do yourself. Yeah, I can be a bastard when I wanna be. Comes with the vampiric territory. I’ve been pretty sweet to you, haven’t I?”

She took another bite of her burger, but the taste seemed strange now. “Yes,” she replied, “Yes you have, and it’s weird. Not bad weird, just confusing weird, Like I don’t know how long your boy scout behaviour will last before you turn on me.”

“What makes you so sure I will turn on you?” He shot her a sly smirk. “Then again, there’s nothing to assure you otherwise, except for the giving of my word.” It was pleasing to see her start to fiddle with the burger wrapper as she realised she was out in the middle of nowhere, with a vampire who had the keys to her only way of escape.

He chuckled again. “Relax, Cordelia. You’re in good hands.”

“Would you?”

“Turn on you? Don’t know, but arentcha excited to find out?” He was.

She rolled her eyes at his overly giddy tone. He could be such a kid. “Yeah, real excited.”

Angelus neither asked or said anything more in favour of standing there, quietly watching as she finished her food. He’d never saw any real fascination in humans eating, but most humans didn’t tend to eat in pattern. Two bites were taken and followed with a drink which lasted exactly five seconds. Five more seconds would pass and she’d repeat until it was all gone. It was incredibly amusing and oddly attractive.

It also made him hungry. “We should get you home.”

Cordelia frowned. “But it’s only… Wow, it’s almost midnight. I’m so glad my folks are gone else a grounding would come my way.” She hadn’t realised it was so late.

“Get in the car, Cordelia, and be quiet.”

For reasons unknown to her, she did as told and they spent the entire journey in an odd sort of companionable silence. Every so often, she’d glance across to see him tensing, until finally he pulled up in her drive.

“Okay,” she said with a sigh. “What’s eating you?”

There was a pause. “What would you do if I did turn on you?”

Cordelia pursed her lips as she thought about that. “Pray you have a change of heart? Really, I don’t know Angel. You’ve had plenty of opportunities to, um, hurt me. Why haven’t you?”

Angelus smiled, but said nothing. Good question. “Goodnight and sweet dreams. I’ll stop by later. You know, just to make sure you haven’t burnt the place down.” He got out of the car to open her door and walk her up to the house.

“Door to door service,” she commented with a little laugh. “Quaint.”

“I try.”

She stood there, thinking if he’d been any other guy this would be the time where she stated how good a time she had and waited for a kiss. As it happened, he wasn’t any other guy and she wasn’t waiting for a waiting for a kiss or two.

Angelus fought the chuckle threatening to erupt and cleared his throat, thoroughly enjoying her discomfort at the situation. “You should go inside before you catch your death.” Or before death caught her. He took it upon himself to fish for her keys and opened the door for her, giving her an encouraging little push. “Go.”

The word “Wait,” was out of her mouth before she could stop it.

He stopped and glanced over his shoulder questioningly.

“You can have a coffee if you want.” Her parents weren’t home, therefore no one she had to fear for except herself and she really didn’t think there was cause for that.

The vampire turned and walked back the way he came, never halting until he towered over her. He leaned down so his lips hovered dangerously close to hers, so close he felt the yelp of surprise more than he heard it. He watched her eyelids flutter half shut and her mouth part ever so slightly, and it was all he could do to keep it in his pants.

“Tea?” Cordelia whispered. “Earl Grey? Darjeeling even?” Was he ever gonna end the torment and kiss her?

He was seconds off doing what she begged when the first throb of arousal burst in his cock and he hissed out the pleasured pain. Damn it. Damn her. Damn fucking stupid bet. “Hungry. Need to feed.”

“Hungry?” Her nose touched his chin, hair tickled the lower part of his cheek, and he was inching forward for more. Just a little bit closer, a little higher, and her lips would be on his. The intensity, the midnight chill, his presence… All had her nipples hardening and a soft moan escaping. Please, for the love of God, would he just freaking kiss her already?

“Ravenous.”

Angelus leaned his hands on the barrier and bent down so his fangs brushed her throat, the hunger pushing him to the point where all it’d take was the closing of his jaw and she’d be all his. He needed blood and she had plenty of the stuff, surely it couldn’t be held against him if he took just one little sip, but would that be enough? He knew it wouldn’t.

He had to leave before he fed from her, had to leave before he did something stupid like fuck her right there in the front lawn.

“Angel.” Cordelia knew it was wrong to push higher so those fangs pricked her skin, but she couldn’t help it. They tickled and felt nice scraping against that sensitive little spot just above her jugular.

It wasn’t until warm little hands gripped his shirt that he realised just how close he’d come to breaking the rules. Anger brought on by growing hunger had him spitting fire at the cock tease. “Are you nuts?” He snarled, shoving himself away from her. “Don’t you know anything?”

“What?” The crash to Earth was dizzying and even shaking her head didn’t clear the fog.

When Angelus looked at her, his face showed nothing but sheer fury. “You really are as stupid as you look.”

“I don’t understand.”

“I mean really.” He sneered in an ugly way. “What kind of idiot offers their throat to a vampire?”

She was confused. “I didn’t…” Oh wait, yes she did. “I’m sorry.” Hadn’t he been into it as much as her? Obviously not if his attitude was anything to go by.

“What were you trying to do, huh? See how far you could push me before I snapped?” Angelus made a noise and slapped his forehead. “And look who I’m asking. The head cheerleader. You’re so fond of nicknames. Why dontcha go find out how you got yours.”

Cordelia frowned, the comment stinging more than it should. “Why are you being like this?”

“Being like a vampire?” He laughed a laugh that did little to ease her discomfort. “You didn’t seem to have much of a problem with it a minute ago. In fact, it got you all hot and bothered under that pretty skirt of yours. There you were, saying my name all whispery and sweet, hoping I’d give it to you.”

She stood there and let him go at her all the while feeling whatever she felt for him disappear in an instant.

“Jealous Buffy got there before you? After all, you were more than ready to open those legs. Just think if it had been you. I wonder about my soul. Probably still have it. Let’s talk Buffy. I mean wow. She was a real pro. Good enough to screw the soul right outta me.”

“Now you on the other hand,” this time when Angelus towered over her, it wasn’t to indulge in a little romance, it was to stare down at her through flashing golden eyes. “You couldn’t even keep a guy interested long enough for to him want…”

The slap shouldn’t have been a surprise considering his words and actions, but it did, and it surprised him enough into shutting up. Cordelia did it again when he opened his mouth. “Stay away from me,” was all she said before going into the safety of her house and softly closing the door behind her, leaving him unable to do anything but listen to the sound of a single sniffle before it all went quiet. She hadn’t even bothered to switch on the hallway light.

“Damn.” He kicked at the loose gravel and swore when it bounced off his car bumper. “Damn.”

Angelus ran both hands through his hair, pulling on the spiked strands when the frustration got too much to handle. He doubted she’d listen to him anymore tonight, but he had to try. He barely resisted the urge to use his stupid head to knock on the door. “Cordelia, open up. I just wanna talk to you.”

He got nothing. “I know you’re there.”

Not even a curtain twitch. “I’m not leaving until you talk to me.”

He got a response this time, only not a one he wanted. It was the faint sound of feet walking slowly up the stairs and when he heard it, he knew he wasn’t going to get anywhere with her tonight. Unfortunately for her, she wasn’t the only stubborn one.

It didn’t take long for him to be under her balcony, and it took less time for him to be outside her bedroom window. He was about to knock again, but a better idea came to mind. Angelus took out his phone and called her.

The mobile phone you are calling maybe switched off. Please try later.

He clicked end, then tried again and got the same message. “Damn.” Looked like it was back to manual labour. “Cordelia, I know you can hear me. I was out of line, but so were you. You offered yourself to me on a silver platter for God’s sake. Was I supposed to feed off you and sign myself up for a dusting?”

Angelus paused as his brain ticked over. “Unless that’s what you want. My untimely death on your conscience. I suppose you can’t be blamed. I have been a little naughty.” He sighed when he got less than nothing. “You’re pissed. I understand. I’m gonna go cosy up at home, give you time to cool off.”

He drew the shape of her bed on the window exactly where it would be inside and then rubbed his fingerprints away. “Goodnight, Cordelia.”
****

Sat on her bed with eyes full of unshed tears, she listened to every word he spoke and ignored them all. Cordelia had believed when he said he wouldn’t hurt her. She would not make that mistake again. The thought that made her laugh.

Angelus was right about her being an idiot. Yeah well, no more. He could kiss her ass for all she cared. Spike, too. Her parents were gone, therefore Spike had no-one or nothing to hold over her head and if her own life became the next target, then she’d simply pack up and jet off to take her father up on the offer to join them. All in all, she was home free.

A quick swipe of fingers under eyes was all that was needed to dry her eyes and she got off her bed, fully intending on peeking out the window just to make sure he got the message to go away. Thankfully there was no sign of the vampire on her balcony. Good. Great, in fact. It meant she could finally get some decent peace and quiet without worrying over late night visitors and unwanted phone calls.

Cordelia went into the bathroom to go through her nightly ritual consisting of face washing, teeth brushing, hair combing, and skin care. She took extra care tonight, just to make sure to clean every inch of her skin free of him and his own personal brand of friendship. Friendship? Ha. That was a laugh and a half.

How could she have let her guard down again and whatever happened to that old saying about once bitten, twice shy? God, she really was a fool. Well no more. From now on, Cordelia Chase was so not gonna let any man get to her, vampire or no.

She glanced down as she spat out the toothpaste and got the shock of her life when she looked up to see Angelus staring back at her in the mirror, one shoulder seemingly leaning against the door frame. She ignored the figment of her imagination.

“You really think you can ignore me?”

Yes, she certainly could and it wouldn’t be at all difficult.

He chuckled and shook his head. “Poor, poor Cordelia got her feelings hurt. I’m a bad, bad boy. You should punish me. Tell me off maybe, or slap my hand.”

She ran her fingers through her hair, raking out the few tangles ready for combing and putting up.

“It’s funny isn’t it?” He asked casually. “How you take the moral high ground when it comes to yourself, but in reality you’re doing something so much worse.”

A single tear fell, which made him laugh right in her face.

“It takes a few dull threats to get you near me, and then it takes a few dates arranged by Spike for you to fall for me,” he said in amusement.

Cordelia fixed the loose ponytail in the right place and continued to ignore him, even as his voice was now directly in her ear. He was wrong, she wasn’t falling for him at all.

“If you aren’t falling for me, then why do you hurt so much?”

She pushed past the imaginary vampire and began to remove systematically remove her clothes.

He gave a long, slow whistle of appreciation. “Mm-ummm. Man, you’re sweet. If it hadn’t been for this bet, I’d have had you screaming out your first orgasm by now. Such a pity.”

The sheets were pulled back, she climbed in, and they were pulled over her head. When there were no more comments, she figured sanity had returned and it was safe to pull them down.

Nope. He was still there, except he was now lying on her bed next to her and propping up his head with a hand. “I know, I know,” came the arrogant tone. “You could get used to this. Can’t say I blame you. I am a good bed partner, or so I’ve been told.”

Cordelia growled in annoyance and yanked the covers back over her head. She was rapidly approaching the end of her tether.

“Try all you want, it won’t make any difference.”

Great. Now he was actually under the covers.

“Humour me and ask me why.”

“If I ask, will you go away?”

“Cross my heart.”

She sighed. “Why won’t it work?”

His smile was almost sympathetic. “Because I’m in your head. Your Jiminy Cricket, so to speak. Spike threw you to the wolf and in your deceit, you grew to like him, but you can’t tell the truth because you know what will happen. Bye-bye me and bye-bye life. My, my. This is quite the pickle you’re in. Couldn’t do better if I tried.”

Determination overrode the sadness she felt. If this wouldn’t work, then she’d find a way that would.

He sighed in exasperation. “Cordy, Cordy, Cordy. When will you learn? I’m in here now and I’m not going anywhere.”

Part 7

Posted October 31, 2015 by califi in TBC

39.23.59.d   1 comment

Part 5

Day 37

For such a sleepless night, Spike had never had so much fun. He’d listened and sniggered as his grandsire restlessly pacing in his room, only stopping when exhaustion kicked in. The blonde rubbed his hands together in glee. He could see it now.

Angelus on his knees, tearfully begging for the bet to be forgotten about. Unfortunately, he had no mercy beccause, frankly, his grandsire brought it on himself.

He had to admit the chit had been a good sport, doing what she was told without too much of an argument. Though he’d had to threaten her into it, he still knew not to underestimate her. He’d seen her dodge vampires and demons alike when she’d been the honey pot, and her vebal defence was like whiplash. It was obvious there was more to Cordelia Chase than meets the eye.

It could either be a help or hindrance and if he knew his grandsire, which he did, he had to go with the former. However good the last few meetings had gone, Spike knew he had pull something a bit special out of the bag, but what?

Cordelia had been the damsel twice now and if he played that trick again, Angelus would get a tad suspicious about the why he’d become a one vampire rescue squad. Then there’d been the little show of pantie flashing and high kicks and the perfect timing of her rag. It’d definitely have to be spectacular if he wanted to top that.

A good smoke was what he needed. Make that a good smoke and a spot of tea.

He sat down, ignoring Dru, and helped himself to the tea she made for her dolls. God, they were rotten little things. Beady, glassy eyes always following his every move and chubby, porcelain little hands always reaching up. He shuddered, sure they were out to get him.

Ahh, the wonders of Marlboro. Did the lungs a world of good, they did. Spike tapped a black fingernail off the fancy table top and stared out into space, his thoughts centred around Angelus and Cordelia. He’d never had this much trouble when it came to cunning plans and wily schemes.

Since it was Saturday, his grandsire would be at the club and suffering blood from a whore, something he knew was detested. The great Angelus drinking from a whore? Unthinkable, but damn funny to watch.

Hm. Instead of throwing the bint into his grandsire’s path, he oughta throw his grandsire into her path. He managed it last night so it couldn’t be hard to do it again. Of course, it’d take some quick verbal footwork having to come up with the reason why Angelus should be in a specific place, at a specific time.

Cordelia seemed to be one for dancing. He’d seen her tear up the Bronze dancefloor once and he had to admit she had some yummy moves. A natural talent considering that body of hers. Angelus enjoyed her bouncing and flouncing last night, he’d probably enjoy it a whole lot more if she was decked out in something sweeter than a tight tee and mini skirt.

That was the plan sorted, now to figure out how to get his grandsire to skip the club and hit the dullest place in town.

Spike sat back in the horrid white chair and continued to be in deep thought. What could possibly tempt Angelus into going where the slayer hung out with her gal pals? This was a toughie. He supposed he could say Cordelia expressed an interest in Angelus whereabouts, that she offhandedly wondered if he was going to the Bronze.

Nah. It’d be much more fun if this happened at the club in full view of every Tom, Dick, and Drac in town. With the plan tweaked and the details forming, Spike got up and went about putting things into motion.

****

“Where did you get this?” Angelus asked, suspicious disbelief written across his face.

“Straight from the horse’s mouth.” Wasn’t like Spike was lying. When he filled the chit in on the night’s plans, she was more than happy to go along with it. Of course, that might have to do with the extra threats he bestowed on her.

“When did you see her to hear this?” He highly doubted she’d willingly want to be in his company.

“She popped by earlier when you were out. Mentioned being a welcome guest and all.” Again, it wasn’t an out and out lie. Cordelia had stopped by earlier, it just so happened earlier meant yesterday.

“She actually came?” The elder vampire laughed to himself. It seemed unrealistic, but he wouldn’t put it past her to show up when he was out.

Spike nodded and blew out a stream of smoke directly into his grandsire’s face. “Said something about treating you to a night on the tiles as thanks for being a knight with shiny fangs.” He made an effort to look as chary as possible. “You’re not getting some on the sly, are you? Can’t say as I blame you. She is a cutie.”

Angelus smirked. “If I was, you’d be the last person to know about it.” Spike would also be the last person to know how this fasting was beginning to get to him. Not a lot, but enough to make him ansty. He must’ve paced the length of North America last night. Her scent haunted him for hours after he’d left, and God, he wanted to test it out first hand, see if she was as tasty as she looked.

When Cordelia came to the window, he’d thought her pj’s were too short, but when she didn’t make an excuse for her poor nightwear, he gathered they were a type of thing she wore when she felt far from sexy. Her gown kept the pj top covered and he figured it was the same greyish purple colour as the bottoms. The male part of his mind naturally had no top under that gown, but hey.

Spike didn’t have to know that. Come to think of it, Spike didn’t have to know about the cold shower he had when he woke up this afternoon and nor did Spike have to know about the naughty, naughty thoughts he’d been having more of lately.

Thirty three days and he’d be able to do anything he wanted with that girl. If he played his game right, he’d have her signed and sealed and ready to be delivered by the end of this. Until then, he’d have to keep it in his pants and settle for being a boyfriend.

Huh. Boyfriend. Had quite a nice ring to it if he did say so himself. It’d been ages since he’d shown a woman a good time. Although it may take some convincing on his part, but that shouldn’t prove too much of a problem. He had plenty of tricks up his sleeve that would be handy to breaking her in.

Spike hated Angelus when he did this as there was no way to tell what his grandsire was thinking. A poker faced son of a bitch he was.

“Just so you know,” Angelus spoke with an easiness that didn’t sit well with Spike. “I haven’t done anything untoward with Cordelia or anyone else. In fact, celibacy isn’t all bad. It has it’s good points. Keeping ladies waiting keeps them keen. Makes them want it all the more.”

Not bloody likely, Spike thought and kept the smugness to himself.

Angelus cracked a few knuckles. “Guess I should return the favour.” It wouldn’t be polite to keep the lady waiting.

The blonde waited patiently for his grandsire to leave, giving enough time for Angelus to get at least halfway to Cordelia’s place before ringing her to give her the head’s up.

****

Cordelia was seething with rage, absolutely seething. Steam came out of her ears, her nostrils flared, and her teeth ground down so hard, she swore her jaw dislocated. She was shaking with it. God, she’d never been this angry in her life.

Spike, the stupid moronic vampire that he was, had given her ten freaking minutes notice that Angelus was on his way to pick her up. When she’d asked pick her for what, the reply had been to take her out. When she’d asked take her where, the reply had been to the club.

He had to be insaner than she’d originally figured. She couldn’t go into a vampire club, wouldn’t go into a vampire club, threats or no. If one vampire had known about her current status, then surely a whole bunch of them could, and she so didn’t want to be the talk of the place.

Besides, not five minutes ago she’d decided to pamper herself and had slapped on a very expensive, very blue face pack. Her skin was bluer than blue and it was all dry and wrinkly and not what any man should ever see. Which was why she was now in the bathroom, scrubbing her face furiously in the hope it would be gone by the time Angelus arrived.

Unfortunately, face packs didn’t have a time limit for nothing. The thing was practically impossible to remove and so she was trying the scraper from her hair removal cream packet.

“Oh man, oh man.” The words came out frantic and panicked. “This is so not happening. He can’t see me like this.” Didn’t matter if it was Angelus. She wouldn’t want anyone to see her looking like a frozen plum.

Cordelia rinsed once or thrice and intensely stared into the mirror. Most of it was off, so the towel would have to do the rest. She rubbed the rough flannel over and over her face, bringing a satisfying rosy hue to her slightly blue skin. Oh, thank God.

She nodded, somewhat pleased with what she saw staring back at her. She didn’t go back into her bedroom right away, instead she hid in the bathroom until the knocking on her balcony window got a tad impatient.

She hurried out, all the while recalling what Spike told her say word for word. The sight greeting had her bare feet screech to a halt.

The sunlight was gone, but there was enough light left for her to truly see him. His hair shone two shades lighter, his skin wasn’t as pale as she’d thought, and he looked damn good in dark brown leather and Cuban heeled boots. Then there were his eyes. On a night, they looked almost black, but now she saw shades of brown, hazel, and gold.

Then he smiled at her and she took a closer look. No, he wasn’t smiling. More like laughing. Why was he laughing at her? She’d washed her face free of blue gunk, so it couldn’t be that.

Paranoia had Cordelia hiding her face long enough to check her teeth for stray bits of food. Nope. Nothing there. Only one way to find out why his sides were practically splitting, and that was to ask. Something she figured would lead to utter humiliation.

Angelus rubbed a hand down his cheeks, smoothing his grinning lips into a straight, none amused line. “Hi,” he said. “You wanted me?”

“Huh?” She gave her head what she hoped was an inconspicuous shake. “Uh, yeah. I did. Want you that is. Not want, want, but want. I mean I wanted you to…” Talk about digging your own grave. All she needed were the deeds to a cute little plot in the black hills of Dakota and she’d be set.

The grin he tried to hide got wider and wider until she feared for his cheeks, but she gallantly continued. Damn Spike. She was so delivering that vampire to hell in a handbasket complete with an apple in his mouth. “You said that I was welcome and so I welcomed myself. And you said I was your guest so I thought I’d guest myself at the club.”

Off his look, “It’s that wine, ya know?” Trying to be cool when you’re making an ass of yourself was a whole lot harder than people thought. “Addictive.”

“You can thank Spike for that. He’s been working on it for just short of a century.”

“Spike made the wine?”

That amused Angelus more than he’d care to admit. “There’s more to us vampires than lowering the human population. We’re immortal, Cordelia. We have to make a living just like the rest of you lifers.”

“Lifers?”

“It’s what we call the ones with a heart beat and a pulse.”

“A heart beat and pulse?” The idiocy couldn’t be stopped, not when he was there looking all sunny and acting like Mr. Know It All. Why did she find that so attractive? Damn him.

Screw the bet. He had to touch her.

Angelus was prevented from reaching his target by a lack of invitation and the feel of that was a very poor substitute for what was inside her. He contented himself with drawing a heart around the exact spot where hers lay thumping. “A heart beat and pulse is what makes us remember what it was like to be human. That tub-thump, tub-thump, tub-thump? To think we once had that is fascinating.”

“How do you live without it?”

“How do you live with it?”

Cordelia felt herself grinning. “Touche.”

“So you wanted me?”

“I do.” She shook her head. “Did.” She shook her head again. “Does.” Damn it.

He couldn’t help himself. He just had to smile. “How about D, all of the above?”

“D will do. Anyway, I was wondering if it would be alright if I went to your club tonight.” Hell. She slipped up. She wasn’t supposed to know he owned it. Thankfully he didn’t appear to notice her slip of the tongue.

“I wouldn’t advise it. Not with you being the way you are.” He doubted even he could protect her when she was screaming eat me.

“Oh, okay.” Cordelia wondered if he was just saying that so he didn’t have to be around her. Uh? Why in the hell would she bothered about him not wanting to be around her? He was a vampire and not just any vampire. He was the same vampire who killed Jenny Calendar and nailed a puppy to Buffy’s porch.

“If being around me is so important to you, we could do something else. Watch a movie perhaps, or go out.”

Jenny Calendar, Jenny Calendar, Jenny Calendar. “You killed her.”

Angelus frowned in confusion. “Which one?” He’d killed a lot of hers over the years.

“Miss. Calendar. You killed her and she wasn’t just my favourite teacher, she was also a friend. Why did you do that? What did she ever do to you?”

“Apart from the attempt to return my soul? Nothing.”

“And the soul was a bad thing how? It would’ve made us safe from you.”

He laughed harder than he had in years. “There is that, I suppose. Lemme put it to you another way. With a soul, I couldn’t sleep with a woman. Emotionless sex yeah, but sleep and be with? Couldn’t have the pleasure of watching her sleep or wake up, couldn’t think anything about her except what she had under her skirt. It’s why I kept distant. Could you do that for eternity? Someone having you and you not having them?”

Have meaningless sex? “No,” Cordelia admitted grudgingly. “No I couldn’t.” Not that she’d had sex to make an informed decision, but never mind. He didn’t have to know that. “I don’t see why meaningless sex would bother you.” From what Spike said, it wasn’t bothering him.

“Because I’m a heartless, cruel, soulless demon? It doesn’t bother me at all, but there comes a time in a man’s life where he has to think about settling down, laying his roots so to speak. I couldn’t do that if I had a soul. The bliss would simply be too much.” The sarcasm came complete with a smirk she found exceptionally irritating.

“You don’t seem to be the settling type.”

“I can understand that since you’ve known me for all of two, maybe three years. I was with my sire for one hundred and fifty years, Cordelia. The only times I dabbled with other women was when she was there to enjoy the show.” Angelus smirk became one of total cheekiness. “Or if they had something I wanted.”

“You travelled,” she pointed out as she ignored the new piece of information. “You didn’t have a set home.”

“I do. It’s in Galway, Ireland. My home town. Travelling is well and good, but home is where the heart is.”

More new information to ignore. “You don’t sound Irish.” Okay, so maybe the ignoring thing wasn’t working quite so good.

He shrugged. “I lost it long ago. Still slip into it occasionally.”

Cordelia was so very tempted to ask him to say something, but didn’t. He seemed to read her mind. “Top of the morning to you, lassie!”

There was a pause as he waited for her response and it was one which made him laugh for the third time in less than fifteen minutes. “No offence Angel, but that was just weird.”

Angelus grinned and received one back. “Why don’t you finish making yourself all pretty for me while I think of a plan for our date.” When he grinned this time, she was treated to two rows of razor sharp shiny white fangs. “And if I were you, I’d wash your neck. It wouldn’t do much for your reputation to be seen with a white-blue neck.”

Oh hell no. She’d washed her face free of the gunk, but not her neck. She closed her eyes and wished for the Earth to open up and swallow her whole. The sound of him chuckling merrily accompanied her to the bathroom, where she slammed the door shut and sank against it.

Why her, Cordelia wanted to demand as her head banged off the door. How idiotic could one girl feel? And what was this date thingymajig? Didn’t Spike say Angelus couldn’t do anything involving sexual pleasure? She gasped in outrage.

Did that mean Angelus saw no sexual pleasure in dating her? He could damn well screw his date if that was the case. She was in half a mind to go out there and tell him that dating her was not only sexually pleasureable, but also lovely. She didn’t need him to tell her she was a lovely date, very charming and sophisticated and any man would be freaking lucky to snag a date with her.

She spun round, her hand ready to open the door when she stopped. She couldn’t very go out there and tell him what she thought as that’d mean confessing to something which would undoubtedly piss him off, and didn’t she say she had no plans to piss him off? She certainly had said that and she had no intention whatsoever of doing that very thing.

Then there was Spike to consider. As much as she wished she could defy him, she knew it’d only lead to tragic consequences, and though her parents weren’t perfect, she did love them and had no desire to see them dead or worse. God. It came to something when death wasn’t the worst thing to happen to someone.

Her thoughts instantly went to Angelus. He didn’t seem to mind being dead. If anything, he probably loved it. Cordelia’s face scrunched up with the realisation he suited death, which was strange cus hey. How could death look good on anyone? She genuinely couldn’t picture him as a human.

He said he was 245, and that meant he would have been alive in 1755 or there about. Did he have a girlfriend or was he engaged? Married even? What about his parents? What had they been like? She was dying to ask, but knew she never would.

Angel was never inclined for small talk and she figured Angelus was just the same. Then again, he had told her he was of Irish origin, so maybe he wouldn’t mind if she casually brought it up. Like earlier, there was only one way to find out and that was to ask.

Cordelia set about removing the rest of the face pack, got her outfit off the towel heater, and a soft moan escaped when her body absorbed the heat. There was nothing better than clean clothes right off the radiator. Ten minutes or so later and she found herself looking at Angelus, who’d made himself quite at home on her balcony.

His feet were propped up on the small table, his jacket draped over the back of the chair, and his hands cushioned his head. He appeared to be enjoying what remained of the daylight. Something which posed another question.

“Ask me.”

She jumped a little at the sound of his voice. “What?”

Angelus glanced around to shoot a smile in her direction. “I could hear the cogs ticking from here, Cordelia. Ask me. I won’t bite.”

“Except if I piss you off, right?” She felt her feet taking her out to join him and her butt sitting itself happily opposite him. “Okay. It’s still light. How are you…”

“Able to be here without firing up? That happens in direct sunlight. The sky maybe blue, but the sun has gone. It’s perfectly safe.” His smile turned sharp and edgy. “Worried about me, were you?”

“No,” Cordelia stated a bit to quickly. “Just curious. Do you miss it? The sunshine, I mean.”

Angelus head tilted to one side as he thought on that for a moment. “Sometimes,” he confessed. “But it can’t compare to moonlight. There’s more to see at night.”

“Pumpkin?”

She gasped at the sound of her father’s voice, her eyes going straight to the vampire. She never, ever wanted these two to meet under any circumstances. “Please, don’t do anything to him.” She whispered, her shaking hands gripped the table as she stood up to greet her dad. “Out here, daddy.”

Angelus lips cracked into an extremely large grin. She was so damn precious. He took in Cordelia’s father as he got up to greet him. It was plain to see where she got her looks. The man of the house had dark brown hair, brown eyes, and a shark like smile. He liked daddy instantly.

Her father looked the vampire over once or twice before turning suspicious eyes to his daughter. “You never said anything about company.”

Cordelia nervously laughed. “I didn’t know I was having company, either.”

“Shimmied up the trellis, did he?” Brown eyes went back to the vampire, who smiled oh so innocently. That thing had to go, as did her balcony. Come to think of it, maybe he oughta put her under lock and key and be done with boys sniffing around his daughter.

“Aren’t you going to introduce us, pumpkin?” Her father asked, never once removing his eyes from an increasingly impressed Angelus. There weren’t many humans who could meet and hold his gaze.

She grit her teeth together. Was it too much to ask for him not to use that God awful pet name? “Daddy, this is Angel. Angel, this is my dad, Will.”

“Good evening, sir.” Cordelia nigh on had a heart attack when the vampire extended his right hand and the feeling grew when the shake was accepted.

“A hand shake says a lot about a man,” her father said as he kept shaking, squeezing his fingers a little harder to get the message across.

Angelus grinned at the man who obviously didn’t like men climbing up to his daughter’s bedroom. “I understand. Can’t be too careful, especially with strange men climbing the rose trellis to be in her company.”

Her father’s eyes narrowed. “Got kids, Angel?”

“None.” He knew what would be next. “Your daughter is very beautiful, sir, and I’m sure you’ve had to mention the shotgun once or twice.”

Cordelia’s face exploded into twenty shades of red. Could this get any worse? “You and mom ready to go?” The faster she got her father out of Angelus way, the better and less humiliated she would be.

“I think Elizabeth can wait a few more minutes.” This boy was lucky it was he who caught him on his little girl’s balcony and not her mother, who was fourth dan in verbal judo and was lethal with a slap. Elizabeth would simply crush his balls into the size of peas.

Angelus could hardly keep his amusement at bay at the next question to come his way. “You work, Angel?”

“I own a club on the outskirts of town. Asylum. It’s doing very well.”

Her father nodded. “Heard of it. My colleague’s daughters go there. Darlene and Stacey Fless, you know them?”

“I do, as a matter of fact.” The vampire paused long enough to shake his head. “Had to bar them for disobeying the rules.”

The boy had his own business and kept it clean. So far, so good. “What are your intentions toward my daughter?”

“Daddy!” Cordelia hissed, her cheeks now an unattractive shade of purple. What next? How big would the wedding be and where would they live? This was not her idea of fun.

“No, it’s alright.” Angelus assured her. “I find myself enjoying her company, sir. I’d like to see where it goes.”

Her father nodded again. That answer was far better than the one he got from her last boyfriend, the Harris kid, who squeaked out the fact he was in love with her and then went on to put his daughter in hospital after cheating with Ira Rosenburg’s kid. That boy was lucky he didn’t feel the business end of a personal lawsuit. Wouldn’t hurt to mention that to this one just in case he got any ideas.

“I own a law firm,” her father stated in a tone that had Cordelia throwing her hands in the air and turning away in exasperation. He pulled out a business card and gave it to his daughter’s boyfriend. “Take this.”

“You’ve been introduced,” she said. “Great, wonderful. Now if you don’t mind…” She began to usher her father away from the vampire at a speed which would have Alonso eating dust. “Have a good time in Paris, tell mom to spend lots, and don’t forget to bring me something nicer than last year. Bye.” Never had she been so glad her parents were on their way to a second honeymoon.

She was almost at her bedroom door when her father escaped her vice like hold and gave Angelus a look that clearly meant no funny stuff was to happen in his absence. “I’m taking her mother away for a few weeks. I trust you’ll look after my daughter?” If not, Bessie could come out of her retirement display case for a round or two of target practice.

“You have my word,” and look after he certainly would. After all, it wasn’t right for a young woman to be alone in a town like Sunnydale. Anything could happen to her.

“And next time use the front door.” The warning was clear, concise, and made Angelus smile.

Cordelia felt like crying and almost did, but it was relief that kept the tears of humiliation at bay. Her father was now gone and she was left to do some serious damage control. She stood there, her hands on her bedroom door, and not daring to turn around to see the look which would surely be on the vampire’s face.

“He seems nice,” she heard the smirk accompanying the words. “If I had a baby girl, I wouldn’t be at all happy to find a strange man on her balcony. How rude of me to do that.”

“Can we not talk about this, please?” God, she hated begging, but desperate times called for desperate measures.

“Why not? I like the man.”

That got her facing Angelus and she did so with a scowl. “You like him. Fine. Lovely. That doesn’t mean we have to relive my torment. I’m asking you nicely, please can you let this go and pretend it never happened?”

He sighed long and hard, gracing her with a mock cringe. “I don’t know, Cordelia. See I told your dad I’d look after you and if I was to pretend that never happened, I’d be going back on my word. What would that say to him?”

“It’d say his daughter did not, under no circumstances, need to be looked after.”

“I think it’d tell your dad I have a big red dot on my forehead that screamed to be hit by a shotgun bullet.” He couldn’t remember ever getting interviewed by a lady’s father and it was simply too much to let go. Besides, one never knew when a good lawyer would come in handy. “I had an idea about our date.”

The swift change in subject threw her for a loop. “Date?”

“How’s about we sit here and do nothing? It is a nice night, it’d be a shame to waste it cooped up in a crowded theatre or watching a movie neither of us has any real interest in.” Angelus gave her a once over, just noticing the sweet little outfit she had on. Capri pants in the colour of navy blue and an old, stained paint shirt that did nothing to hide to curved figure underneath. Her feet were in slippers with leopards on the top.

He really should throw in the towel where the bet was concerned as the chances of him being around her lookinglike that and doing nothing about it were slim to none. Angelus knew then and there his interest had been truly captured. He hated her for looking so damn sweet.

He needed a distraction of some sort and the only thing he could think of was getting her away from her bedroom, and onto his turf. He’d feel more in control on his turf.

Cordelia glanced down at her clothes. No wonder he didn’t want to do anything. Who would want to do anything with a girl in a pizza stained shirt and four year old pants? “Sure,” she replied, her voice laced with involuntary disappointment. “Sure we can do nothing.”

Would she just stop that cutesy tone? “Or,” Angelus half purred as a large smile broke out on his face. “We could go for a drive in a really cool car.”

*~*~*~*~*

She didn’t know what she disbelieved more, the fact he’d done this or the fact she was sitting in the passenger seat of a jet black Ferrari F30. It had everything from a roaring engine and digital dash to miniscule trunk space, tinted windows and coffee holders. Christ almighty, she could feel the power vibrating on her ass and thighs, and the leather seat kinda stuck to her, but like she cared!

Who would care when blitzing around Sunnydale in a freaking Ferrari?

Cordelia managed to tear her gaze from the rapidly passing scenary to spare a look at Angelus, who was totally at home driving the super car. His eyes blazed with intensity as he stared out the windscreen and his hands kept a tight hold of the wheel. She had to smile.

If he couldn’t have sex, then he sure as hell could get off on a speedy toy. Men, she thought, they were all the same. Even though she really didn’t wanna know about the love life of her parents, she knew when her mom was out of action, her father made up for it by eating piles of steak. It was quite funny when she thought about it.

“Can I drive?”

The question threw him for a loop. “Pardon?” She did realise how powerful this car was, didn’t she?

She rolled her eyes, sure he clearly heard her. “Can I drive?”

Angelus coughed and shifted in the seat. Not only did he not want to relinquish the pleasure of being in control of the little stunner, but he really didn’t know how good a driver she was, and someone who wasn’t used to raw power behind the wheel could mean trouble. Very expensive trouble.

Her jaw dropped a tad as she stared at him. “I own a Corvette, remember? I can handle it. Come on Angel, please? I’ll go super slow and be extra careful.”

A Corvette had some decent torque, but it was a far cry from a Ferrari. “Going super slow can be just as dangerous as going super fast.”

“I’ll stick to the speed limit. Promise. Please Angel? Pleeeaaassseee?”

If there was one thing he hated more than a begging woman, it was a whiny, begging woman. He gamely tried to ignore the voice, but it was on the fourth please that he cracked. God, could she not use that pitch? “Alright!” Angelus half growled and eased up on the gas, expertly steering the car to the side of the road. “Just stop talking like that. You’ll burst the ear drums of bats.”

That pitch was her secret weapon. Cordelia shrieked and bounced up and down, her hands clapped once or twice in delight. “Thanks. You’re a doll. Ha!” She couldn’t believe she was about to drive a Ferrari. How cool was this? “I can’t wait for school on Monday,” she babbled happily. “Everyone is gonna be sooo jealous. Ooh! We have to go past Starbucks in town.”

He graced her with a sideways glance. “You’re such a show off, you know that?”

“Damn skippy. Now get out so I can get in.” Following her drill sergeant like order, she giggled like a kid at Christmas. “Hurry! My hands are itching.”

“You can drive stick?” He had to be sure he wasn’t letting himself in for turning into an instructor.

“Duh,” Cordelia scoffed, now leaning over him to open his door for him. Her eagerness left her ignorant to the slow licking of his lips as her perfume played hell on his senses. She smelled so good. Fruit and blood. How sweet could a lady be? “Corvette, and sometimes daddy lets me drive his Mercedes convertible.”

Angelus picked up on the half truth immediately. “Only when he’s not there to say no, right?”

“Exactly. Come on, move!”

He glared down at the brunette crawling into his lap. “If it was anyone else ordering me around, I’d snap their neck.” Satisfaction appeared when she froze. Unfortunately, that feeling didn’t last as his warning went in one ear and out the other.

“If I’m gonna die, then I’m dying happy. Move!”

He simply had to laugh. “A girl after my own heart.”

Cordelia jumped into his grave the second his right leg left the car. She set about adjusting the seat, the mirror, and making herself right at home. She took a moment to gather her thoughts before revving up, much to his annoyance.

An annoyance which was chased away by the overly large grin seemingly stuck to her face. “Ready?”

“How small are you?” Angelus grunted, using his feet to push the seat back. What was it about passenger seats that made every man miserable? Oh yeah, the woman driving. “Just drive, would you?”

“Okay!” She didn’t need telling twice and the car pretty much tore back down the road.

He gripped the door handle and swallowed a tiny piece of his stomach. “Why are we going this way?” Hadn’t they just come up this way?

“I want to get a better look at the boots in that shop we passed. I can do that now I’m on the right side.”

What? He giggled. “Boots?” She was in a Ferrari and she wanted to see boots?

“Yup,” Cordelia shot that grin his way. “You have your cars and I have Manolo’s. I swear I saw half off.”

What else could he do apart from let her get on with it?

Now that it was Angelus sitting back and doing the studying, he was able to relax a little. Well, except for the crazy ass, high speed corners she made. He had to admit she looked good behind the wheel of a Ferrari. She was certainly a girl after his own heart. Unless she was waving out the window, probably at someone she didn’t know.

“Check me out! I’m in a Ferrari!” She sang merrily with a rhythmic jiggle of her head. “This totally rocks.”

He didn’t get a chance to make a noise of any sort, not even an agreeing grunt. “Hey, how much money do you have on you?” The completely random question had his eyebrows rising.

“Sorry?”

“How much money do you have on you?” Did he use money, or did he kill the sales person and take what he wanted? “Can you get credit?” Credit would be better.

“Why?”

“I have an idea.” Cordelia turned off after she went past the boots. “Trust me. You’ll thank me for it later.”

Angelus had no choice but to go along with whatever was in her mind.<
****

A short time later found him staring down in sheer fascination at the numerous gadgets on display. There were the standard black and silver, but also red ones, pink ones, and ones with flowers on the front. He leaned in to get a closer look, the smile on his showing just how interesting he was finding the phones. They came with everything apparently. Games, internet, and something called Bluetooth.

“What’s Bluetooth?” Angelus asked as he moved to the next case.

“You can send stuff like ringtones and pictures for free.” Cordelia replied with a grin and followed him. “What about this one?” She pointed to a black flip phone, but thought twice when she saw it was pretty much pants.

“Oh.” He honestly had no clue about any of this. He glanced at the one she mentioned and was inclined to agree with her shaking head. The one beside it looked better. It was a matt silver, sliding mechanism, and bigger buttons. “I like this one.”

Critical hazel eyes checked it out. “Um…” She looked at the specs. “No. Not enough memory and the brand sucks. We should stick to Samsung. They have the corner of the market at the moment.”

“Yeah?”

“I have a Samsung. Great sound quality, excellent signal and memory. Plus, it’s loud so you can hear it if you’re someplace noisy.”

“I’d hear it anyway.” Off her look, “Vampire.”

“Oh. Right.” She forgot about that aspect of his persona. “Over here are the contract phones. C’mon.”

Angelus allowed, yes allowed, himself to be dragged to where phones weren’t in glass cases. His eyes lit up when he found a nice little black one that had neither a slide or a flip. “I like this,” he said and picked it up, turning it this way and that to get a view from all angles.

“No,” Cordelia took it off him before he got attached. “The problem with these styles is you can accidentally knock the key lock off and call Alaska without knowing it. See that button thing in the middle?” He nodded. “It’s not a button, it’s the navigator. You’ve got large fingers so it’d annoy you in the long run.”

He grinned. “Been noticing my anatomy, have you?”

She shook her head in exasperation. “It’s hard not to notice them when you can’t keep them off me.” She paused. “That didn’t come out right.”

“On the contrary, Cordelia. It came out just fine.” That grin of his didn’t seem to be leaving any time soon. “This one? It flips, it’s a Samsung, and it says it has eighty thousand kilobytes, whatever that means.”

“Lemme see.” She flipped it open and had a play around with it for a moment before putting it back down. “That’s a girl’s phone. It maybe blue, but it can tell when you’re gonna ovulate and tells you what fragrance suits your personality.”

The vampire raised his eyebrows. “Why don’t you get one?”

“Can you not mention that in public, please?”

“Why not? It isn’t like you’re the only woman who gets it. Nothing to be ashamed of.”

“My fertility cycle isn’t my idea of good gossip. We’ll not talk about that if it’s all the same.”

“Bad gossip for you, a delicacy for me, but it’ll be our little secret if it makes you happy.” Angelus whispered the last few words and made a show of zipping smirking lips.

“You’re an ass.” Cordelia didn’t get a chance to reply as she was moved onto to the next model.

“There’s this one,” the black model was held up. “Quite manly looking, dontcha think? Very me.”

She was so not going to boost his ego by answering that one. “No.”

His sigh was more of a growl as he nigh on slammed the phone back into the holder. “It slides, has good memory, and I’m assuming you can use it to make calls. So what’s wrong with it?”

“No Bluetooth and for that amount, you want Bluetooth.”

Angelus glanced down at the price. “No. For that price, I want a gold tooth.”

She couldn’t stop the grin if she tried. “Good point. Ooh, here’s one. Black, flip, and it’s got everything you need in a phone. Have a look.”

He took the shiny gadget out of her hand, turned it round, flipped it open and flipped it shut. “I like it. How does it look?” Angelus flipped it back open and struck a pose, then pretended to have a conversation much to her amusement. “I’d like to make an order for delivery, please. One honey with brown hair and hazel eyes, a portion of fries on the side and O-pos to drink.”

Cordelia took the phone off him before he got carried away. “Dork.”

“Excuse me, do you need any help?” Mr. Bryce approached the couple he’d been watching for a while.

Angelus bluntly replied, “No.”

She quickly amended that. “We’re looking to buy this one,” and handed the phone in question over to the sales man.

Bryce scrunched his face up. Despite the fact it was one of the best-sellers, he saw an opportunity to make a solid amount of commission if he played it right. “I wouldn’t recommend it.”

“Why not?” The vampire asked with a frown. Cordelia said it was a pretty decent piece.

“We’ve had many complaints about it.” It was so far from the truth, it was ridiculous, but these two didn’t need to know that. “Very unreliable.”

Angelus glanced at the brunette and saw her eyes narrowing. “Isn’t this a Samsung?”

Bryce nodded. “It is and usually they’re top notch, but there’s always exceptions to the rule. This is it.”

“We’ll take our chances, thanks.” Cordelia went to take the phone back, but the man put it to one side. “Hey, I want that.”

She was ignored, something which simply pissed the vampire off. “This is the D900,” and held up a model that may have been God’s gift, but was ugly to look at. “Top of the range. It’s got everything from a 3 mega-pixel camera, Bluetooth version 2, GPRS, video phoning, and has an excellent memory.” That was if you bought a memory card to go with it.

Angelus snorted. “Can you make calls on it?”

Bryce flashed an arrogant, toothy smirk at him. “Of course.”

Cordelia really didn’t like the tone. “You’ve been very helpful, but we’ll stick with our first choice. Thanks all the same.”

“Or there’s this one,” Angelus found himself staring at a shiny silver gadget no bigger than his fingernail. “Again, it’s top end…”

“I left my microscope at home.” This Bryce person was seriously starting to grate. His teeth were overly white and shiny, his hair was greased to the eyeballs, and he was frankly far too smarmy for his own good.

The man chuckled and put the phone back. “I can see you like a handful. I’m not one for fragile pieces either.” His eyes made the grave mistake of straying to Cordelia and his lips made a graver mistake of smirking. He definitely wouldn’t mind tapping that ass or getting a good handful. “How’s about this one? Sony Ericsson. Very popular with our male clientele.”

Angelus knew exactly what Bryce was thinking and it really didn’t go a long way in getting his good opinion. “Apologise to her.”

Cordelia’s face now sported a little embarrassed smile. “I’m sure it was a misunderstanding…”

He didn’t agree with that. “There’s no misunderstanding. He knows exactly what he said.” A set of flashing orbs never left the sales man. “Don’t you?”

“Ignore him, Angel. We’ll go to a different store.”

The vampire’s gaze landed on her. “You’re letting him talk to you like that?” She didn’t let him talk to her like that and it frankly irritated him she made allowances for an ugly suit with a pretty smile.

“I’m used to those comments. Been putting up with them since puberty.” Her voice went to a high pitched mimic, “Cordy’s got boobies, Cordy’s got boobies. It’s not a big deal…”

“Yeah, it is a big deal. I can rip his head off.” And he could, too.

“Oh God! Can you just not do this, please?” At least not in front of her. Visions of bloody hair and clothes raced through her mind as she scoured her brain for something to distract him before he literally ripped the guy’s head off.

“Do what? Stand up for you?” Angelus once more looked at the assistant. “I said apologise to her.”

Bryce sighed. Some people just didn’t have a sense of humour. “I’m sorry if you took my comment as more than was intended.”

It wasn’t quite what the vampire wanted. He wanted a nice, genuine apology, not one that sounded like it’d been squeezed out of a Barbie doll. Angelus feigned a sympathetic grimace “I’m not feeling the sincerity. Apologise again, and this time, make it nice.”

“Leave it.” She tried unsuccessfully to defuse the escalating situation by tugging on the vampire’s shirt sleeve. “I’m used to comments like that. Really Angel, he’s not worth the trouble. It’ll be more of an insult if we go someplace else. He won’t get the commission he desperately wants, his average will go down, we’ll complain and get a mark on his name or possibly fired. See? Much more fun.”

“My idea of fun involves me crushing…”

Oh hell of hells. She was really starting to panic now. Cordelia tugged harder on Angelus sleeve, but to no avail. She could see the store turning into a blood bath. “Red doesn’t become me,” she said with a plastic smile, hoping she’d get through to the vampire before he got them locked up for first degree homicide.

Angelus shrugged her off and got in Bryce’s face, letting the man know just how unhappy he was. “I said apologise.”

“Is there a problem?” Mrs. Clark, the manager, saw the beginnings of what would be a losing battle for Bryce and intervened.

“Yeah,” the vampire spoke up. Cordelia wanted fun? Then fun she’d get. “This dickwad made a comment directed at my wife’s chest.”

The word wife floored the cheerleader so much, she was rendered speechless. What in the hell did Angelus think he was playing at?

Mrs. Clark turned to the sales man. “Is this true?”

Bryce shifted uncomfortably. “I showed them the Samsung E500 and stated the customer liked a handful after he said it was too small.”

Angelus chuckled at the pathetic attempt he made to look innocent. “You missed the part where you looked at her.”

The manager blinked at Bryce, who defended himself. “I may have glanced at her.”

Mrs. Clark sighed, resigned to yet again cleaning up one of her employee’s mess. “I’ll deal with you later, Bryce,” she stated simply and smiled to the couple. “If you’re still interested in purchasing a phone…”

“Yes we are.” Cordelia poked her tongue out at the ex sales man, linked her arm through the vampire’s, and followed the nice woman who was so going to give them a great deal. “You’re still gonna hurt him, aren’t you?” She whispered when the manager was sorting out the paper work.

“Oh yes.”

Part 6

Posted October 31, 2015 by califi in TBC

39.23.59.c   1 comment

Part 4

Day 38…

She wondered if she was seeing correctly, so she closed her eyes for five, and then opened them to stare some more. Her beautiful beautiful Corvette was sitting in her drive looking for all the world like the Cindy Crawford of the car world. Admittedly, the red colour had been a little on the dull and dusty side, but it was a deep ruby shade which shone like a diamond in the rough.

A closer inspection showed new tyres, windshield wipers, spotless windows, and an interior so sweet, she wanted to cry. Gone were the standard seats and covers, gone was her pink haired troll, gone were the chip crumbs and chocolate wrappers and empty soda cans. The only thing still there was the stereo and it seemed to be relatively untouched.

Cordelia could hardly breathe as she tried to figure out how much a do-over like this was going to cost her. Sure she could afford it, but lately she’d been trying to curb her spending. She wasn’t going to live with her parents forever and she couldn’t sponge off of them forever, either. She’d been good about it, too, even going so far as to check out the job section in the local paper.

A shaky hand opened the door and she got in, ran her hand over the polished dash and then opened the glove compartment. “Hello Mr. Bill,” she murmured at the sight of a crisp cream envelope with her name neatly written on it. It wasn’t what she thought at all.

Cordelia,

The penmanship was excellent, lines were straight and not over flowing, and the paper was not cream but not white either. Apart from that, it was the wax seal on the envelope which drew her attention. She traced the outline softly so there was no transferance, and her head shaking at the feel of an embellished A. Where did he get this stuff?

I took the liberty of personally delivering your car. I hope it’s to your satisfaction. No thanks necessary.

A.

If he thought she was going to accept all this done to her car and not pay him back, he was sadly mistaken. She didn’t want to owe anybody anything, much less him. It wasn’t just that he’d done this, it was the fact Spike was going to find out one way or another, and that was the last thing she wanted to happen. Well, apart from getting caught in a vampire-on-vampire war.

The note was folded back along the creases and she wanted so very much to crumple it up so it became unrecognisable, and it was annoying she couldn’t. Cordelia rubbed her face, her sigh escaped through the fingers still holding on to the envelope. She supposed she had a visit to make.
****

Angelus had been enjoying himself immensely. Watching Spike play tea parties with Dru was undoubtedly the most entertaining of his hobbies. Unfortunately a vampire in his position had places to go and things to do. Namely getting out the way while those two went at it like bunnies.

He was sure Spike was purposely having hourly sex sessions just to rub his nose in it. He didn’t know what was worse. Bumping into Mz. Chase or not being able to do a damn thing about it. Couldn’t seduce, bite, touch… Nothing, not even one measly freaking kiss. How in the hell had it gotten to this point?

That thing which came before a fall. What was it again? Ah, that was it. Pride, and pride made him refuse to lose. Besides it was only forty days and since two days already passed, with no withdrawal, he had thirty eight left to go. Not a problem, really. Not when Sunnydale seemed to be filled with less than stimulating action these days.

If it hadn’t been for that Chase girl showing up at the oddest of moments, he felt pretty confident he was going to win hands down. He may even go another forty days, just to prove a point.

It was that exact thought which had him reaching for his jacket and car keys. A good drive was precisely what he needed. If he couldn’t sate one male appetite, he’d sate another.

Angelus didn’t see Cordelia until he heard her yelping at his feet, and he looked down to find her square on her ass.

“Do you ever watch where you’re going?” Damn but gravel could be painful when stuck to your skin. She rubbed her palms free of small, sharp stones and hissed when they scraped her flesh a bit more. “I got your message.”

He was about to reply when a groan sounded out from somewhere behind him. He watched pretty eyes widen and glance around him before darting up to look back at him. His silence was all she needed.

“Don’t tell me,” Cordelia shuddered. “Do not wanna know. I came to say thanks for returning my car…”

Angelus shut the door just as another groan, this time female, cut in. “And you decided to ignore what I said.” Why should he be surprised? She was a woman and a human one at that. A pulse obviously came complete with selective ignorance.

“I want to know what I owe you.”

“Nothing.”

“Seriously Angel, how much?”

His lips twitched. “Seriously Cordelia, nothing.”

“A respray, new tyres and trims, seat covers etc cost nothing?” Oh God, what if he’d eaten the mechanic?

Her rising panic must have showed as his shoulders started shaking with laughter. “She lives to tell the tale and no, not a penny. You asked for help and I gave it.”

“I didn’t ask for all that.”

“I know. Here.” Angelus held out his hand and she took it without hesitation, then pulled her off the ground as though she was lighter than a feather.

“Then why?” Cordelia brushed loose gravel off the back of her legs, craning her neck to see the damage and grimacing at the sight of angry red scratches. They were so gonna hurt later. “Are they off?”

He had no chance to reply before she spun round to show him her thighs. A flash of tanned skin was just what he needed right now. Not. How was he supposed to stand there, staring at a set of neck crushing thighs and nothing? Easy answer, really. He couldn’t.

After all, helping a damsel in distress couldn’t be classed as sexually touching her, could it? Of course not. What kind of vampire would he be if he just let her suffer?

“Come here…” His smirk went unseen as he bent down to brush off imaginary stones, taking the time to inhale her perfume and steal a quick feel of the back of her knee. Oh, that was nice. Nice and soft and delightfully fragrant. Shame her dress was long enough to cover her panties.

“All done,” Angelus said as he stood straight, careful to wipe the smile off his face before she saw it. “Those are some nasty scrapes. You should see to them.”

She was going to do just that. “Well, I’ve said my thanks. So, thanks again. I’m leaving now.”

His head slowly went to one side so he could get a better view of the firm ass hidden by a simple green shift dress, but when she looked back at him, his head was where it should be and so were his eyes. She frowned, almost certain he’d been staring at her.

Cordelia put it down to paranoia. Never mind. “Bye,” she muttered, all to eager to get out of the increasingly awkward situation.

“G’bye.”
****

It was pretty late by the time she got back from the Bronze and she was just about to crawl under beautifully clean sheets when her phone rang. Normally she didn’t answer anonymous calls, but instinct told her she had to.

“Yabba dabba doo?” Hopefully, the person on the other end of the line would get the fact she couldn’t be bothered to yammer on at quarter to twelve at night.

Word on the street is my old sire has a new lady love. Care to tell me how that came about?”

Cordelia didn’t know what was more shocking. Spike knowing her phone number, the fact he was calling her, or the question he asked. “How what came about?”

There was a sound of a hand hitting a forehead. “The fact he fixed up that sweet little number you got without an eyelash bat.”

Duh. “You made it break down where he accidentally found me, remember?” Ask a stupid question, she thought with a roll of her eyes.

Golden silence came from the other end of the phone and she hoped one of two things had happened. Either his phone died or he’d banged his head hard enough against a brick and decapitated himself. Unfortunately luck was not on her side.

Oh yeah. Forgot about that. Blame Dru, pet. She’s the one who screwed my brains out earlier.”

Cordelia held her phone at arm’s length and stared at it in utter disgust. She shook her head, replacing the silver gadget to her ear when Spike resumed his conversation.

That still don’t explain how your eau de insolence got on him. Explain.”

“I fell and he helped me up. It was all perfectly innocent.”

No such thing as innocent when it comes to your Angel.”

“He’s not my Angel and yes, it was innocent. He brushed some stones off me, which is only right since he knocked me down. Again.”

Spike chuckled and she knew he had a smirk plastered across his face. “Trust me on this, love. There’s bugger all innocent when it comes to him and touching. Bet the sly git got happy pants off that. Now, onto the next port of call.”

She heard him light up and just had to ask. “How many do you smoke?”

He snorted in response. The amount of times he’d heard that one. “Enough to keep a smile on my face. Notice your windows are wide open.”

Cordelia was pleased her curtains were closed so he couldn’t see her surprise. “He told you about that?” What else had Angelus told him?

Told me about what?”

She hated foot in mouth disease. “Nothing. You were commenting on my windows?”

This time it was Spike staring at the phone and it was in confusion. “Private conversations, eh? Going better than I planned. You should keep your windows locked, pet. Anything could get in.”

“Your concern is touching.” She mocked a sigh and patted her heart.

Just looking out for my interests is all.”

“Yeah, sure you are. Is there a point to this conversation? If so, get to it. I’m tired and I get cranky when I’m tired.”

You haven’t seen cranky till you’ve seen Angelus on a morning. Bear with a sore head, he is.”

“I can imagine,” and with any luck, she wouldn’t witness it.

He ate a sales rep the other week. Don’t blame him. Pesky little buggers they are.”

Cordelia had to smile at that. Sure killing was bad, but there were always exceptions to the rule. “I hear ya,” she muttered and then forced her smile off her face, pretending she did not think affectionately on the evil ways of Angelus. Her head seriously needed looking at.

Right, now for business. Tell uncle Spike all about the car ride home.”

“I can’t.”

That good it left you speechless, eh?”

“No, there’s nothing to tell.” There was silence and she didn’t like it. “Hello?”

Sorry about that, love. Took me by surprise is all. He kept his trap shut for once?”

“We talked, but nothing to leave a room stunned.”

So there is something to tell. Go on then, I’m not a man to keep waiting.”

“You’re not a man.”

Very true. Now tell me.”

God, he was like a dog with a bone. No in fact, he was worse than a dog with a bone. “Fine, fine,” she grunted out, feeling her tiredness waving bye bye. “He basically said I should learn how to fix a car so I don’t make myself an easy target. Satisfied?”

That it?”

The incredulity in his voice almost made her snort out a laugh or two. “Yes. What did you think we were gonna talk about? Human interest?” It was, after all, Angelus speciality. Great. Now she was quoting. Not that there was anything wrong with quoting or anything wrong with admitting to having a good time.

She hated both vampires. Damn them.

No discussing mutual mates or times gone by?”

“No.” They had talked about last year, but no way in hell was Cordelia going to tell Spike. It felt private or something, and if that wasn’t scary, she didn’t know what was.

Huh.”

“I don’t know what you expected to happen from a twenty minute car ride. Is there anything else, because I’d really like too go to bed…”

The plan for tomorrow is for you to…”

“No can do,” she said. “I have a game tomorrow night. It’s the playoffs and we’ve been working on a new routine since forever. I’m needed.”

A bunch of nubile young fillies bouncing around in tiny tee’s and belts for skirts? Yum. My old sire will have a right hard time with that one. You leave the details to me. Sweet dreams and all that.”

Spike hung up before Cordelia had a chance to reply. She closed the phone with a shake of her head, stilk unable to believe he’d just called her in the middle of the night. She rubbed her eyes and sighed. She was too busy worrying about what tomorrow would bring to bother with being tired. Sweet dreams indeed.

Her gaze landed on the drawer housing her favourite swimsuit. “Why not?” She asked the empty room and moved toward it.
****

The water was delightfully hot and bubbly, making her tingle from head to toe. She relaxed against the edge of the tub, allowing her hair to dangle over the side, stretching out her legs and feet, fully enjoying the sheer sweetness of luxurious relaxation. Hell, even the low hum of the tub was soothing.

She’d missed this. Coming out here at one am when the rest of the human world slept had always been a hobby for her. It gave her the chance to gather her thoughts without interruptions or someone wanting something or a ride someplace. It was quiet, and quiet was the most biggest understatement of the century. The only thing missing was a glass of that wine.

Cordelia let her eyes close.

“Shouldn’t sleep in water. You could drown.”

She sat up with a shriek, her hands naturally going to cover her breasts as though she was naked. Sitting opposite her was Angelus and he had a seriously irritating smirk on his face. “What the hell are you doing here?” She hissed, sinking under the water a bit so he saw as little of her as possible.

“Bet you didn’t think I’d hold up my end of the bargain. Drink?” He held out a beautifully crafted crystal glass filled with white wine. He chuckled when she made no move to take it. “It’s not poisoned if that’s what you’re thinking. I brought it special.”

Hazel irises followed thick fingers as they tapped on his own glass. “I like your suit,” he said then grimaced. “How complimentary of me. Oops. We’ll just call it a slip of the tongue.” As if to prove a point, Angelus licked his lips slowly. “Take the drink, Cordelia. These things get heavy after a while.”

She did as requested and his smirk widened. “Now say thank you, Angel.”

How was it she felt like a parrot? “Thank you, Angel.” Cordelia felt the intensity as he watched her take a long, long sip and swallowed. Just like the first time, the wine was deliciously refreshing so she took another. “Nice.”

“Isn’t it?”

She said nothing for a while, merely stared at the vampire as he made himself quite at home in her hot tub. She could see his arms and shoulders, while most of his chest and the rest of his body was distorted by the bubbles, making the part of him to be dry was his hair. It didn’t appear to be in the usual spiked style, unusual for him. His skin was pale, but not as pale as she thought he’d be. His nails were clean and neat, no ground in dirt or anything like that, and there were no callouses. Well, none that she could see anyway.

Obviously, he took care of himself, which was odd for a man. She respected him for it.

The silence dragged on until she couldn’t stand it no more. “How did you know I was going to be out here?”

Angelus grinned. “What can I say? I got lucky.”

“Are you wearing trunks?”

“That’s a question for you. I mean it is your fantasy.”
****

To say Cordelia was on edge was an understatement. Having to constantly look over one’s shoulder every ten seconds kind of did that to a person. Especially when that person was checking every dark corner, nook and cranny for vampires.

Looking for vampires was a job belonging to a slayer, not a cheerleader. God, this whole situation sucked ass. She felt like a damn puppet with an ever growing nose, wooden limbs, and strings. Worse still had been that stupid, pathetic fantasy of Angelus popping up in her tub from out of nowhere. Sleeplessness had followed that small trip into insanity.

She hadn’t liked the fantasy and she certainly hadn’t liked not being able to forget her woes by sinking deep into the strong arms of Mr. Reeves. Why couldn’t she have a hero, huh? Didn’t she deserve one after all she was putting up with? She really wished someone would open their eyes and see what was going on, see how she was being controlled by a poor imitation of Billy Idol, but no.

She wasn’t Buffy or Willow or Xander, and so any problems she may have just had to be superficial. A part of her wanted too go to Angelus and tell him everything, then run like the wind before he broke her neck, but that wouldn’t work. Knowing her luck, Spike would catch her first and then she’d be in it. Either that or he’d get to Angelus first and spin it so she was the bad guy.

Anyway she looked at her mess, there was only one way out of it, and that was to go along with it and hope for the best. At least graduation was in a few weeks and she’d be able to get out of Dodge before things got bloody.

Cordelia figured she could get at least a few miles out of town before either one caught her. The funny thing was the more she went over the mess in her head, the less dangerous it sounded, but the reality of it was so very different, and yes she was terrified.

“Cordy?”

“Jesus, Harmony!” She jumped six feet when a hand clamped round her arm.

“Sorry,” the blonde looked at Cordelia like she’d gone insane, which she probably had. “The game’s about to start.”

Game? Oh yeah, the football game. Excellent. “I’ve been doing this longer than you,” she snapped. “I think I know how to keep time.” Harmony hadn’t deserved that and she felt terrible for it, but it wasn’t like she could tear into the cause of her current anger issues.

“Sorreee. Geez Louise, what’s eating you?”

Nothing hopefully. Cordelia took a moment and a good, long deep breath and let it out slowly. “Nothing. Sorry I snapped. It’s one of those days.”

The blonde nodded in sympathetic understanding. “I got some Midol in my locker if you want it?”

Oh damn it all to hell. She forgot she was due, but unfortunately she couldn’t take Midol. It gave her headaches that made PMS a walk in the park. “No, but thanks. I’ll just walk it off.” Please don’t let Spike have anything stupid for her to do tonight, she really wouldn’t be up to it. The dormitory effect never ceased to amaze her.

“No problem.” Harmony gave the brunette a pat on the shoulder. “Ready?”

She wasn’t, but what the hell. Activities like split kicks and pyramid apexes while wanting to curl up and die came with the territory of being captain. It was like the Tampon commercials. They always showed leggy models roller skating around, but never a woman heaving grocery bags into car while looking like a train wreck. Well, it was sort of like that anyway.

The show had to go on as they said. Stupid phrase, really. Whoever invented it needed shooting. Maybe she could get Angel to find them and bite them dead.

“Cheer up Cor,” Harmony giggled at the joke. “Maybe you’ll get a date with Danny after the game. It’s been months since you got dumped by Xander, so I’m sure everyone’s forgotten about it by now.”

Cordelia’s glare went unnoticed. “Thanks for the pep talk, Harm.”

“Anytime. Let’s go.”

So the game was played and won by the skin of the Razorbacks teeth, and much to her surprise, there was no sign of either Angelus or Spike, something she was severely grateful for. Just as Harmony predicted, the tiredness and cramps increased to the point where Cordelia had grown pale and was seen walking to her car with one hand holding her poorly tummy.

She hurried up when she felt someone behind her and almost had her keys in the lock when a sickeningly familiar voice spoke her name. She turned to face Spike.

“Quite a show you fillies put on.”

He’d been there and she hadn’t been able to see him, and hell if that wasn’t a creepy thought. “There’s a word for cretins like you.”

He just grinned. “Here I was thinking all you did was shake a pom pom or two. Backflips and all sorts of spins and kicks. Impressive.”

“Glad you enjoyed it.”

“That I did, pet. So did Angelus.”

Cordelia blinked, involuntarily looking around for Angelus. “How come I didn’t see you?” The fact they’d both been there really did a number on her mental health.

A cloud of grey smoke escaped when he chuckled. “A magician never tells his secrets. This is a perfect opportunity for you to show off your talents.”

Show off her what? She really didn’t think so and went to say just that.

“Well? What you waiting for?”

“For you to take a hike.”

For the second time in three hours, Cordelia jumped out of her skin when Angelus voice interrupted them. She watched him approach the blonde and expected to see vampire-on-vampire action. The disappointment was almost too much.

Twinkling brown eyes landed her and she was a little wigged out to see a smile in them. He’d probably been up to no good in an alley or something. Hopefully, he’d eaten Principal Snyder or Mrs. Gomer the math teacher.

“How are you, Cordelia?”

“Fine,” she murmured, her voice as distant as the hot tub fantasy, which wasn’t that distant at all. “I’m fine. On my way home.” Take a hint, she wanted to say, but chickened out.

“You look pale. Hard day at the office, dear?” Pearly white fangs appeared for a moment. Angelus brushed past Spike and she nigh on smirked when his shoulder accidentally-on-purpose hit the blonde. “Allow me.”

Cordelia froze when his fingers touched hers as he took her car keys and she heard him inhale. Was he sniffing her? He must’ve seen the look on her face as his grin came close to splitting his face.

“I was born in the age where men took care of their women.” The sound of central locking kicked in and the locks on both doors clicked up. “Get in the other side. I’ll take you home.”

She didn’t know what was more embarrassing. Having Spike witness this, Angelus sniffing her, or the offer to take her home. “No thanks. I’m okay.”

He wasn’t going to take no for an answer. “Driving while tired can be dangerous, especially when you’re not a hundred percent.”

“I’m not tired and I am a hundred percent.” Cordelia didn’t dare look at Spike for fear of what she’d see. There was something so damned humiliating about being watched when arguing with Angelus over driving her own car.

He simply arched an brow, his eyes dropping down to where she was rubbing her stomach. “Just get in the car.”

“No.”

“I can either put you in myself or Wimple here can do it. Your call.” When he got nothing, he actually had the nerve to try getting a hold of her.

“No touchy with the hands.” Cordelia was barely able to duck away and only just managed to escape being thrown over a shoulder. “Alright, fine. You can drive. What is it with you and the macho caveman heroitude? God.”

Angelus merely grinned some more. “What is it with you and sixties feminism stubbornity?”

There was an amused snort from Spike, who appeared to have been forgotten about. “She’s human, mate. Can’t expect much else.”

He was ignored in favour of a stare out between the elder vampire and cheerleader. “Get in the car before you catch your death.”

“That’s women for you, Spike.” Spike spoke in a terrible American accent.

“If it’ll shut you up.” Cordelia all but stomped round the car, her irritation disipating with every step. She really couldn’t be bothered to be annoyed. She just wanted to go home, take a warm bath, and go straight to bed.

“Preaching to the choir on that one,” the blonde’s voice returned to it’s normal cockney.

“Actually, I wanna get away from his conversations with the voices in his head. It might be contagious.”

She paused long enough to shoot an involuntary, humoured smile across the car. “God forbid,” then she stopped. A couple of meetings arranged by a psychopath did not best friends make.

Angelus seemed to have suddenly developed a talent for ESP, or a microchip that allowed him to tap into her brain waves. “I get that. Shall we?”

It was strange how two very different people could have a main goal in common that they’d do anything to achieve and in this case that goal was leaving Spike to the crows.

The vampire in question had no choice but to stand and watch as his grandsire shut the door, wiggled his fingers, and drove off. His eyes never left the empty space for a while and his thoughts began to tick over, his ears still replaying the odd rendezvous between his grandsire and the chit. Obviously Angelus knew something he didn’t and that didn’t sit well with him.

Spike toyed with his lighter for a few seconds, breathing in the lingering scent of the cheerleader when it struck him what the poof meant about her not being a hundred percent. How could he have missed it?

His chuckle started off small and low, then escalated into out and out laughter. The pretty bit was on her rag. Talk about perfect timing. No way in hell was his grandsire going to pass this opportunity to get a piece of this. All he had to do was wait for the inevitable and he’d win hands down.
****

Angelus flipped the silver packet up and down a few times as he chose between knocking and calling her. He shouldn’t be on her balcony and doing this as it was technically against the stupid rules. Nothing sexually pleasurable in anyway whatsoever, but he couldn’t let the lady suffer like that, even if it was temptation he didn’t need. Besides, he had to get his kicks somehow.

He mocked Spike in a high pitched tone. “No wanking, touching, kissing, sly gropes in the corner.” His voice returned to normal. “What a prick.” A couple of minutes passed by and he made the decision to knock. There was no answer and so he knocked again, but a tad louder.

He heard ruffling sheets followed by shuffling feet and finally a pale face appeared around the balcony curtains. The door was heavier than normal for her to open and it took two attempts for her to be successful. It wasn’t until she stood in front of him that he really noticed just how ill she must be, and damn if he didn’t feel like a jackass for waking her up at the ass crack of dawn.

She had bags under her eyes, her hair was messy and overly shiny, a fact he put down to the hormones.

Angelus leaned his shoulder against the wall and smirked. “It’s times like this I’m glad to be a man.” Probably not the best thing he could say under the circumstances and definitely not the greatest apology for waking her, but as he said. He was a man.

“What do you want?” Cordelia asked, her voice soft and whispery with sleep.

“Back in the day, women used pebbles to count down to their visits. Since there was no pills, they would lace their tea with all sorts of herbs to help.”

“Excuse me?” He’d got her out of bed to talk about visits and pebbles and tea and herbs?

“You’re menstruating…” He paused to take in a breath. “Or close to it.”

That effectively knocked her for six and all she could do was stare at him in total shock.

“You shouldn’t use tampons all the time, and especially at night. Think about it. A month’s worth of blood is being kept inside your body. The way I see things is it can only mean trouble.”

Cordelia blinked, unsure if this was another, freakier fantasy or if she was simply dreaming. So she did the only thing she could and continued to stare.

“You keep water by your bed?” Angelus had to look into her room for the answer as she seemed to have a cat on her tongue. He saw a glass and nodded in approval. “These are for you. Go get a drink and come back.”

Numb feet took her to the drink, a numb hand picked it up, and those numb feet took her back where numb hands reached for the offered silver packet and blinking eyes stared at it like it was a little green man from Mars.

“Sit,” he was careful not to snag her dressing gown as he ushered her into a chair, and then patted her head. “There we go.”

She could think of one thing to say. “Why do you do that?”

“Do what?”

“Talk in the third person.”

“I honestly have no idea. Something I’ve always done. Does it bother you?”

“Would it matter if it did?”

Angelus paused. “I guess not. You know what they say about old habits dying hard. Probably harder after 245 years.”

“You’re 245?” Cordelia couldn’t quite come to terms with the fact the guy opposite her was two and a half centuries old, yet barely looked thirty. Amazing.

“Give or take a year.” His lips quirked up at the corners. “To think your grandparents weren’t a twinkle when I was a kid.”

She’d rather not think on that. “Yeah, weird.” A yawn broke out and brought tears to her already tired eyes.

“Take a pill, Cordelia. You’ll thank me for it.” Foggy irises glanced down to the glass and silver packet, then returned to witness him sigh in exasperation. “Women,” he grunted with a shake of his head. Too damn stubborn for their own good.

Angelus took the packet, popped one of the blisters, but paused before he gave her the small white pill. “You don’t have plans tomorrow morning, right?”

“No. Does it contain Hyoscine? If so, I can’t take it.” Not that she was going to take it anyway. That pill thing could be anything.

His smirk gave her reason enough to suspect poison. “It’s not your everyday painkiller. Here.” The tablet looked no bigger than a snowflake in his hand.

Cordelia stared at it like it was death personified. She hated, really hated taking pills. Just the sight of them seemed to make her throat close up and made her gag. “I don’t think I can.” She could already feel it dissolving on her tongue. It was like a smaller version of hell.

The vampire watched her expression go from one of distrust to mild disgust to abject terror. He said it once and he’d say it again. “Women.” It amazed him how something so small could wield so much power. Even he hadn’t managed to keep that mouth shut through fear. Drastic actions were called for, it seemed.

Angelus closed his hand and put it out of sight long enough to push the tablet to the tips of his fingers, then leaned over to the brunette, making a point to stare down where her gown was wrapped tight across full breasts. “That rack is something to write home about.”

The second he heard her prepare to let him have it was the second he literally threw the pill into her mouth. He wasted no time in snatching the glass from her and nigh on pouring it down her throat. “Bullseye. Swallow, there’s a good girl.”

Something she had no choice in. Cordelia covered her mouth when she felt her esophagus rebel, her eyes glazed as she gagged and turned away to cough up excess water. A large palm gently patting her back had her glaring at the moron next to her.

The slap was less than a bee sting to him and a whole lot nicer. Blood, a sweet looking woman dressed for bed, and a slap. He seriously didn’t need this kind of foreplay. “That wasn’t so bad now, was it?”

“Are you nuts? I could have choked!” She yelled, using the ties on her gown to wipe her eyes dry. “Asshole.”

Angelus was exceptionally proud of himself, and it showed in the smug grin plastered over his face. “I’m disappointed. I never expected you to be so wimpy.”

“That right there is the difference,” Cordelia half snarled. “Angel wouldn’t have done that.”

Blah blah blah. “If I’d had my soul, I would have coddled you. Let you have a little cry on my shoulder and gave you all the sympathy a guy can give. You really want a guy who’s more of a girl than you?”

“What girl doesn’t want a sensitive guy?”

“Sensitivity and being a big fairy are two very different things. I did it for your own good.”

She made a noise of disgust and looked away.

He took the time to study her while she was silent, taking in the soft detail of her features. Full, nicely shaped lips, high cheeks, long lashes and hair that fainty smelled of tea tree. Her legs were in pretty good shape, which wasn’t surprising considering her earlier display of fitness. She could probably crush a man’s neck with her thighs and he definitely didn’t need to be thinking along those lines. Well, not for a couple of weeks at least.

As he continued to stare, he watched the pale colour slowly come back and watched the pinched expression of pain drift into one of relief. She suited relief much better than she did a permanent frown.

Cordelia pursed her lips in and out, keeping her face away in determination not to give him the satisfaction of knowing his little present worked. Her fingernails tap-tapped against the chair arm, her foot began to bounce and toes wiggled. All to his extreme amusement.

“No, I don’t think you would.” Angelus stated with an easy smile.

“Think I would what?”

“Want a lady for a boyfriend. You’re a man’s girl.”

“I…” A man’s girl? “Say what?”

“Come on, Cordelia. Don’t play coy with me. You know exactly what I mean.”

“I like a man who knows how to treat a woman. So what?” She ended on a huff.

“So nothing. That’s a good thing. Except for the finding of such a man. From what I hear, they’re pretty elusive creatures. Look at your track record.” Angelus gave a grin which spelled trouble. “Xander Harris, who went behind your back with Willow. That had to be kicker. Being the one left behind in the shadow of another.”

“Thanks for reminding me.” She said, her tone sarcastic and acidic. “You’re a real good friend.”

“All I’m saying is maybe a man isn’t for you. Not enough and far too normal. A man would bore you death in a week.”

“And you wouldn’t?” Cordelia’s face cracked into a sly smirk.

Angelus had to admit it. “I walked into that one, and no. I wouldn’t bore you in a week.”

“No, it’d just take two.”

He waited for her to realise the pill had worked like a charm, and when she fell silent with the hand on her tummy relaxing, she turned to him with arched eyebrows and forming smile. “Impressive.”

“I try. Go to bed and get some rest.” Angelus rose from his own chair. “Don’t forget what I said about Tampons.”

“I’m not even gonna ask how or why you know these things.” Most guys she knew wouldn’t dream of discussing periods for fear they’d die of embarrassment or something. Then again, as she knew, he was no ordinary guy.

“It’s natural and makes you smell nice, all womanly so to speak.” As if to prove his words true, he took a long, deep breath and exhaled with a sigh which spelled yummy. “Ripe for the plucking.”

It was difficult to pretend he hadn’t done that, but she managed. Barely. “Goodnight, Angel.” Cordelia went to go back into her room, but paused. “Thanks for the pills. Can you get me more next month?”

There was no answer and when she glanced over her shoulder to see why, he wasn’t there. The only sign he’d been there were the pills in her hand and the glass on the table. She shook her head.

“Weird.”

Part 5

Posted October 31, 2015 by califi in TBC

39.23.59.b   1 comment

Part 3

Day 39…

The first thing she felt was softness and the next was a warmth only a luxurious bed could give. Shortly after that was a deep, throbbing pain beginning above her left eye, and she swore she heard her finger bones creak as she tried to move. An undisclosed amount of time passed before she attempted to open both eyes and she was so damn sorry she did.

What she saw was a brilliant white light that shot right through her brain, down her arms and into her stomach, making it churn sickeningly. God. She’d only ever felt like this once before and that had been the day she discovered the joys of her mother’s cherry brandy. Thankfully this time she hadn’t gone to sleep on a packet of half eaten chips.

One he’d said. One drink to honour her host. One and no more. One was what she’d agreed to, not…

How many had she drank?

Blurry eyes and a foggy brain vaguely recalled seeing six or seven glasses. Six or seven glasses definitely were not needed to honour her host. Six or seven glasses were only needed at boring occasions, like during a wedding toast or when your great aunt Betty started talking about the days when children were seen and not heard.

Her skin stretched far too tight for the yawn, bringing tears to her eyes, and she carefully eased onto her back. Slowly, the world around her came into some sort focus. The sheet under her was crisp cotton and that was nothing new, but it was the sheet covering her legs. It was silk, yet not the kind of silk she was used too. This silk was smooth and rough with pattern, and she could see out the corner of her painful little eye it was a gorgeous shade of burgundy.

It was safe to say she owned nothing like it. Was just a shame that thought didn’t stick long enough for her to question it.

Cordelia ran her hands up and down, ecstatic to feel the clothes on her body. One thing to be grateful for, she supposed. Her head came up off the softer than soft pillow and the rest of her soon followed.

A quite sound coming from her right startled her into moving her head far too quickly. “Oh God.” It was funny how someone with a hangover always held their head as though it would help. Steam came from a bone China cup and with it came the delicious scent of damn good coffee.

“You are alive. I was starting to wonder.”

Huh? “Spike?” She managed to tear her longing gaze from the magical potion on a nice nightstand. “What are you doing in my room?”

He chuckled. “You’re in the mansion.”

Oh. “What’s the mansion doing in my room?”

Again he chuckled and placed two tiny white pills beside the cup, then he grinned a grin that chilled her to the very core. Talk about a sight for sore eyes. “You went down a bloody storm last night,” he said. Even he’d been impressed with her little show.

She tried to blink away the remnants of her alcohol induced coma. “My life is complete.”

Spike rolled his blue eyes at her croaky, sarcastic tone. “Be a good girl and get those down. You’ve got company waiting.”

Cordelia’s face scrunched up as her location finally sank in, as did whose bed it was she’d slept in. She was in the mansion. In Angel’s bed. With a hangover and bed hair. Worse still, memory flashes were starting to creep on in there. There was the memory of that one drink leading to another and another, then she remembered laughing so hard, she cried. And, God, had she really dried her eyes on Angelus’ shirt?

She did the only thing she could and haphazardly ran a hand over her face. A little click was heard, then a light grey cloud floated past her eyes. A glare shot his way told him more than words ever would. “That’s disgusting.”

“Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.” He inhaled and exhaled through a widening smile. “You didn’t half put that place in a buzz. Life and soul of the bloody party, you were. Even managed to get Karl to crack a smile or two. Quite a feat, that. A miserable old git if ever there was one.”

She was confused. “Karl?”

His cigarette paused an inch from his mouth. “The barkeep whose wine you insulted. You were lucky Angelus was with you. Who knows what might have happened if you’d been by your lonesome. No more booze for you.”

Yeah. She’d be at home right now, in her own bed, drinking her own coffee from her own standard ceramic cup. She’d also be getting ready to get out of bed and go meet the girls for a fun day of mind numbing, wardrobe increasing shopping. It sounded like heaven at this moment in time.

Spike watched the many emotions and thoughts cross her face. It was irresistible. “Could be worse. This bet of mine might not exist. You oughta think on that.” It got the reaction he wanted.

Those pretty eyes turned saucer size as she stared at him. “Excuse me?”

“The bet, love. It’s what kept your dignity intact, and dare I say your virtue. Shame that. You’d make a sweet addition to our family gatherings.”

She really wasn’t hearing this. Before She could reply to his statement, he blew out yet another cloud of smoke. “Sorry to love and leave, outstayed the welcome and all that. You’ll be right as rain after that pill.” Spike went to turn around, but paused. “Word of advice, pet. Know how you call him Angel?”

“Yeah. So?”

“Keep it up. He seems to like it coming from your mouth.” The look he gave said everything. “Not surprising, really. Not with them cock suckers. Hurry on up. Best not to keep Slap Happy waiting.”

Cordelia watched him leave the room, relief coursed through her veins when he didn’t slam the door too loudly. A moment or two passed and the silence went a lot in calming her overworked brain. Unfortunately, it didn’t help the throbbing, but no matter how much her head ached, there was no way was she gonna touch those tablets. Hell only knew what it was.

She stared at the spot where Spike had stood until she felt brave enough to look around the room. Obviously the sunlight was kept out by thick heavy drapes and so the room was actually quite dark. Angelus probably didn’t need light, what with being a vampire and all. Aside from that, it was a normal bedroom with a closet and drawers, a lamp, and one or two things here and there. No chains, torture instruments, or anything to suggest it was the private space of a homicidal maniac.

A sane person would be relieved, but she had to admit to being a tad disappointed. After the portrayal from Buffy, she expected Angelus to live in a medieval dungeon or something, and to find out different? Well, it was like finding out pots of gold didn’t sit at the end of a rainbow.

The one thing in the room which gave away a bit of the owner’s personality was the bed. It was a large four poster, the sheets matched the drapes, and it was oh so comfortable. It was a nice scheme she decided, very Edwardian, which wasn’t surprising given his age. Offhandedly, she wondered what he thought of chrome.

****

Her shoes were in one hand while the other held the wall for balance. She couldn’t hear any noise coming from the bottom of the stairs and so it seemed safe enough to go all the way down. Each step was taken with care and made as quietly as possible. It wasn’t in her best interests to disturb the man of the house, would it?

Sure tiptoes on concrete hurt, but she doubted there was any such thing as being too careful when in House of Vampires. Oh, blessed be the door to safety. Only twenty feet or so and she be good to go.

“Good morning, Cordelia.”

The deep, husky voice was directly behind her and it knocked her off balance. Hazel eyes went wide as she felt her foot slipped, shoes were dropped in favour of preventing serious injury. Hands grappled with the wall, nails scraped painfully down it, and it was only when she didn’t move an inch did she realise there was a strong arm tight around her waist.

“Careful now. These are steep steps. Can’t have you falling.”

Blinking, she glanced over her shoulder until she met a set of amused brown eyes. Her breathing had grown so heavy, so rapid with shock, she’d gone light headed. Or maybe it was just the fact he’d just saved her from an agonising stay in Sunnydale General.

He smiled calmly. “Say thank you.”

“Thank you?”

His chuckle vibrated right through her body. “Say that again without the stunned surprise.”

Cordelia shook sense into her brain, or tried to rather. “Thank you.” Knight in Italian leather he was not.

That chuckle turned into a laugh. “Shall we?” He nudged her forward, his arm never moving until they reached the bottom, and then he stood between her and the precious door. His arms were across his chest, his face held a sugar smile, and his hair was messy. It appeared as though he’d just gotten up.

“Sorry if I woke you,” she said, fully intent on persuading him too go back to bed so she could leave with all her blood. She flashed a quick smile and walked around him, pointing her bare feet towards the door, but a hand on her arm stopped her short.

This was it. This was where she died and it’d all be Spike’s fault. She hoped he was happy.

“Don’t look so scared,” Angelus removed his hand. “I was simply showing you out.”

“That’s alright. I can see myself…”

“You’re my guest. It wouldn’t be polite to do otherwise.”

She couldn’t help snapping, “Aren’t you Mr. Courtesy.”

Angelus grinned. “Wrong side of the wrong bed can be hell on the manners of a man.”

Whatever. Cordelia rolled her eyes as she stepped past him, shrugging his arm off in the process, and made once more for the door. She was almost there when his voice echoed around the room.

“You might wanna try going the other way.”

“What?”

“That door leads to the basement. The way out is behind you.”

She didn’t have time to feel like a fool before he was yet again holding onto her arm and guiding her in the right direction. “You haven’t been here before, so it’s understandable. Pity. You’re good company.”

Was that a compliment or an insult? Not only had he saved her from a broken neck, but now he was helping her out. Literally. Cordelia purposely didn’t think about any of it until the door handle was in her hand and turning.

“There’s a car waiting for you at the end of the drive. Don’t be a stranger, Cordelia. You’re welcome here.” He paused. “More than welcome.”

“I’ll keep that in mind. Thanks for the car, and for not killing me. Let’s not do this again.”

Angelus barely had the time to dodge the yellow streaks as the door was opened and shut quicker than he could blink. He shook his head with an unneeded. It’d been a pleasant surprise to find her in his club last night, and more pleasant had been the consequences.

He was fairly sure she didn’t remember much more than going in and meeting him, but he did. He remembered half his club eating out of her hand while the other half wanted to eat that hand. They hadn’t, of course. Wouldn’t do to anger the owner by harming his personal guest. He also remembered her laughing hysterically at the mentioning of cookies and cream, then proceeded to dry her eyes on his shirt. Then there was the heart crossing, hoping to die promise she would go back soon.

The golden silence was shattered by the knowledge he wasn’t alone. “What do you want, wimple?”

“Tasty bit, that one.”

Angelus turned to face the blonde. “I was a good boy. Kept to the rules.” So good in fact he hadn’t even tickled a toe.

Spike licked his fangs in a manner that stated he didn’t believe a single word his grandsire said. “And what are the rules?”

“No sex for forty days.”

“And the rest.”

A dark eyebrow rose in question. “Rest of what?”

“Rest of the rules. Duh. No sex or anything sexual. No wanking, kissing, touching, sly little gropes in a darkened corner.”

“They weren’t part of the original agreement.”

“Change the rules, but not the goal. Keep em guessing. I learned that from you. Still think you can’t do it. Not with that piece of fluff hanging off your arm.”

Angelus remained unimpressed. “So you pay attention to the joys of life. Whaddya want? A gold star?” He didn’t wait for a reply, merely walked past Spike as though he was nothing. “And she wasn’t hanging off my arm.” Clinging on to save falling in those killer heels maybe, but not hanging off it.

A chortle sounded out. “Come off it, mate. The whole place was yapping about your bit. Most fun they’ve had all year, it was. Watching you play the gent. Amusing to say the least.”

“Amusing maybe, but I still kept to the rules. Didn’t even undress her.” Sure, he’d had a jolly good look at the sleeping beauty, but he hadn’t touched. That was a feat in itself.

He looked so smug, so pleased with his bit self it sickened Spike. “You wanted to.”

“No, I actually didn’t.”

The younger vampire stared at his grandsire like he’d gone insane. “Are you telling me your little winky didn’t get his hat on at all?”

Honestly? Yes, but where Spike was concerned? “Nope.” That one word was a prelude to Angelus leaving the blonde standing there staring after him with a mildly worried look on his face.

****

Cordelia had been having such a good day. First, she’d managed to successfully hide her hangover from her parents, then the shoes she ordered from Milan had arrived, and top it off, her father announced plans to build a Jacuzzi in the pool house. She just hoped he wasn’t going to do the actual building. Her mother would have a fit considering he’d been building a bookcase for the last two years.

The good day gone bad happened when she began to think about last night and how Angelus came across as a good humoured, well mannered, all American guy. He bought her drinks without expectations, made room for her at his table, had escorted her to the bathroom, and arranged a car for her. No matter what she did or which hot male model she forced into her brain, she couldn’t shake Angelus out.

Her day got worse approximately two or three hours after sunset and a knocking was heard coming from her balcony window. She knew who it was, so she made no effort to answer. She lay on her bed, MP3 player plugged in, and Bowie on loud enough to make her ears bleed.

“Not gonna get it. Not gonna get it.” She chanted, then forced her lips into a defiant smile invented by four year old brats.

The knocking became louder and louder, wordlessly stating if she continued to ignore it, the windows would be shattered.

“Alright! Alright!” MP3 player pulled out, feet shoved off the bed and stomped her way to the balcony, where a harsh yank had the curtain wide open and she greeted the little pissant with an annoyed glare. “What?”

Spike gestured for her to open the door, which she was so not doing. “Forget it, Blondie. I did what you wanted, it didn’t work. I’m home free.”

He didn’t agree. Instead of arguing through the barricade, he leaned against the window and lips pulled out a cigarette, his thumb continued to play with the silver petrol lighter long after he’d lit up.

Cordelia’s eyes followed the lid as it went back and forth, open and closed. She swallowed, brain seeing her home going up in flames and living in the dank squalors of Sunnydale motel until a new home could be found. She did what he had no need to ask and opened the door.

“We got a problem.”

“You mean you have a problem. There is no we in this.”

“That’s where you’re wrong, love. If you can’t get a vampire hard, then you got something to worry about.”

She blinked and wondered if she’d heard correctly. “I beg your pardon?” Why in the hell would she want to get a vampire hard? More to the point, why would she want to get Angelus hard? She didn’t want to be around him and she certainly didn’t want him.

Spike exhaled. “You heard me. If he don’t want to get your kit off, then it’s as much your problem as mine. First things first, we need to work on that attitude of yours.”

What the hell was wrong with her attitude? Cordelia raised an eyebrow, she’d had enough.. “So says the homicidal maniac darkening my door. Look, if you aren’t happy with me, then find somebody else. Burn down my house, kill my family and me if you want. I refuse to be your dog’s body.”

“Tell you what,” he stated in a calm manner. “How’s about I go to Angelus, tell him you were there last night doing recon for the slayer? Won’t be me to worry about. It’ll be him. You think you’ve seen him at his best?” He shook his head. “He won’t kill you, pet. He’ll destroy you piece by piece, take everything off you, make you beg for the mercy he don’t have. He’ll leave you alive just so he can watch you suffer.”

She knew what Angelus would do, had saw him do it to Buffy, and she’d been on the first wave of the clean up crew after what he’d done to Miss. Calendar. “I’m not whore Spike. Not yours and certainly not his. You want to win your bet? Do it yourself.”

“Didn’t say you were a whore, love. The likes of you couldn’t be a whore if you tried.”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” She could be a whore if she wanted, and a damn good one at that. Cordelia stopped those thoughts from escalating.

“Takes a Porsche and a platinum credit card to get into your good graces let alone your knickers. Too good for mere men.” His head went to one side, face expressing a million different musings. A vampire is what she needed, and one with balls enough to keep her in place. Something to think on, that was.

“Whatever,” she muttered and decided not waste any more time listening to his senseless babbling. She went to close the door, but the lighter clicking yet again sounded out. She growled.

“Easy tiger,” Spike smirked. “Now, here’s the plan. We’re gonna get them highlights out…”

Not her hair again. “No, we’re really not. I like them. They break up the monotone.”

“I put them in, I can take em out.”

Yeah well, he’d have to catch her first. “That you did and my saying no almost got my throat ripped out. If and when I decide to get rid of them, it’ll be done by a professional hairdresser.”

“You saying I didn’t do a good job? I’ll have you know my Dru never complains.”

That should tell him something. Cordelia didn’t say that of course, Spike had been in Sunnydale long enough for even her to know how protective he was over the brunette. “Great. Go play with her.”

And hand his woman to his grandsire on a platter? No thanks. “You’ve got your thoughts on my Dru, I’m sure. What are they?” The genuine curiosity in his voice was extremely disconcerting.

“Scarily crazy,” she said without a moment’s hesitation.

“You know her maker. Angel. The same vampire who wined and dined your pal. Drove her mad, he did. She has the sight, she knew what he was going to do to her and her sisters. She went to a convent to seek salvation and all that, so he followed her. She went to the Father, telling him she was seeing the devil. Begged to be saved, she did. The Father told her she couldn’t be saved, that the evil she saw was her own reflection. Everyday he said that. Whispered it to her at night.”

Spike paused to let his words sink in, and then continued. “Worked her over good and proper. Poor chit didn’t know if she was coming or going. Now imagine what Angel will do to you, someone he knows. Far more fun to play with someone who trusted you, who had a bit of a crush on you. A word from me and down you go. You think on that pet, let me know what you decide.”

He turned and was seconds from leaving when he heard her voice, as tiny and soft as it was. “What do you want me to do?”
****

“Twice in two days,” Angelus grinned as he approached the cherry red Corvette, his own car parked a few feet away. “Must’ve done something good in a past life to deserve the pleasure.”

The hazard lights had been the first thing to attract his attention, then the make and model of the car. He figured a quick meal and a new car couldn’t be that bad a deal, and so had slowed down to offer his personal assistance. Unfortunately for him, the owner had turned out to be female and as laid down by Spike, nothing sexually pleasurable could happen.

Shame really. He was in the mood for a good fuck and feed. Oh well, there was always next time. It took a second for him to realise just which female owned the sporty number.

Cordelia glared at the vampire. “Good is debateable.” Since Spike had told her all about Dru’s turning, she hadn’t been able to think of Angelus in the same way. She’d known since last Halloween he was a vampire, but never really understood what that meant, even after all the times she’d baited a trap for others of his kind.

Angelus stopped and stared at her in way that had her checking for holes in her soul. “Ah,” he said with a forming smile. “Spike mentioned he bumped into you earlier. I gather he told you a little bedtime story. Need daddy to rock you to sleep tonight?”

She made a disgusted noise which simply amused him. “You’re gross. Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to wait for someone with jumper cables.”

“What makes you think I don’t have jumper cables?”

“Your car has a break down, you’ll probably kill somebody and take theirs.”

He had the gall to look shocked. “And leave my baby alone? Any man worth his salt wouldn’t do a terrible thing like that. What else did Spike say?” He needed a good giggle to take away the urge to have her as a main course. It was all those dark waves floating around a creamy neck. Extremely edible, but she was the type of meal that had to be properly savoured, and that meant he’d lose in spectacular style.

Cordelia didn’t reply, she had no need as he chuckled and shook his head. “Lemme guess. I was going to do the same to you?”

“You know what they say about leopards and spots.”

Brown eyes twinkled with increasing amusement. “A good mind like yours would be a terrible thing to waste. Wimple’s favourite tale of woe is that. I’ve done other things too, you know. Enroled in the army, travelled the world a few times over, learned several languages, some demonic. More importantly, I can fix a car.”

Those confessions left her a little speechless for all of a split second. His achievements didn’t change who he was. “Yeah, you’re a real Superman.”

Women could be so infuriating at times. “Let’s take a look, shall we?” He was walking towards the hood of her car without waiting for her permission. It was popped, and what she saw was Angelus leaning away, swiping at a cloud of steam which threatened to burn his face off. She hoped it hurt some.

He peered round at her, an expression of hopelessness on his face. “I don’t think jumper cables will cut it.”

Cordelia figured she must be some sort of masochist as she just had to go see what Spike had done to her car. Not that she had a clue what she was looking for. She stood next to the vampire and sighed at the sight of steadily rising steam. “How come you know how to fix a car?”

Angelus shot her a sideways glance. “Knowing how to change a tyre can be a lifesaver.” There was another sideways glance, only this one spoke of common sense. “A young lady at the side of a quiet road begging for help is an easy target. You never know who might pull over.”

She pinned him with a pointed look. “Tell me about it.” Then they were seconds into sharing a smile when she realised just who she was sharing a smile with. Bonding with him was definitely not on her list of things to do before she died.

He rolled his eyes. “Human women can be so stubborn. You want help or do you want to stand around here, in the cold dark night, waiting for a white knight and fairy tale romance?”

She had little choice as the case maybe and so gave an answer she’d never give otherwise. Besides, it wasn’t like he could anything to her, right? It’d mean losing to Spike and she kind of guessed losing wasn’t in his repertoire. “Fine. Go ahead and help me.”

Angelus did nothing but smile in her direction. “No manners, Cordelia?”

Her teeth cracked under the pressure of increasing tension. “Please will you help me?” God, how much did that hurt?

“Happy too. You have a phone?”

Uh? “Yeah, why?”

“Can I borrow it? It’s not long distance, so don’t worry.” He caught the phone she threw at him, opened it and dialled. “It’s me. Corvette, red, license plate reads Queen C, belongs to a friend of mine… The works… A mile or so out of town, close to the junction. Great thanks… I owe you one.”

The phone wasn’t handed to her straight away. Angelus turned it this way and that as he admired it. “Must remember to get one of these.”

Cordelia blinked as she took it back. “That’s your help?”

“Calling for a tow truck is generally common sense.”

“Can’t have you straining something by fixing it yourself.”

“Your engine overheated and blew a gasket.”

She was going to kill Spike, and she meant really kill him. He was only supposed to leave her lights on long enough to eat the battery. She was so close to telling Angelus all about the plan to make him fail, but then remembered what she’d been told. If he knew she was in on it, then the chances of him getting angry at her were pretty high. Spike was so getting the bill for this.

“Right,” Cordelia had the decency to look a little sorry. “I knew that.”

Angelus nodded, and began the short walk to his car. “Sure you did. Coming?”

“Excuse me?”

“Your car is dead, either you’re staying here or you need a ride. Unless you plan on walking home.”

Didn’t take long for her choose. Stay where anyone or anything could get her, walk over a mile home, or hitch a ride with a known homicidal maniac who had a taste for blondes. “Ride please.”

She truly hated vampires and having one be her chauffeur was beyond despicable, especially since he already had the passenger door open for her. Click clacking heels accompanied her to his car, where she stood blinking down at the leather interior. It was just like his bedroom in the way it was spotlessly clean and free of junk. All in all, the vehicle was well maintained, almost obsessively so.

“Nice,” Cordelia muttered, jumping when a cool hand touched her upper arm.

Angelus smiled oh so innocently. “Just helping you in, nothing more.”

The will to thank him didn’t really exist, but she said it anyway. “Thanks.”

She entered the car in the proper way. Bend at the waist, sit gently, and then slide both legs in. She could be so damn prissy when she wanted to be. “Comfortable?”

“Yes, thank you.”

Seconds later he was sat to her right, gunning the engine, and offering the use of the stereo. Frankly, music and a rescue would be too much right about now. “I prefer silence when driving,” Cordelia replied, careful to keep her eyes well and truly off of him.

“You’re not driving. I am.”

“I still don’t like music in a car.”

“I do.”

“It’s your car, you can do whatever you want in it.”

“I’m trying to be a gentleman by considering your feelings.” Angelus stated with a perfectly straight face.

“Shame you didn’t consider my feelings when you tried to kill me.” The words were out of her mouth before she had a chance to stop them. A sharp breath stung her lungs as Cordelia prepared to feel whatever punishment he saw fit to give. All she got was a long, drawn out sigh.

“Are you still going on about that? A guy does something wrong and he’s doomed for all eternity.”

“Something wrong? You tried to kill me!” She half screeched, turning to him with a wide eyed stare of disbelief. “How can you be so… Heh about it.”

A large grin covered his face. “How can I be so heh? Tell me what heh means and I’ll do my best to answer.”

“You know,” her hands wafted around, almost hitting him in the process. “It’s like you split milk or let the cows out.”

Angelus laughed more than he’d laughed in a very long time. How many years had it been since he’d engaged in verbal foreplay? Too many it seemed, as riling her up was simply irristable. “Take it as a compliment.”

Her mouth fell open adorably. “A compliment? Actually, don’t answer that. Don’t think I wanna know, if it’s all the same to you.” Only him could say attempted murder was a compliment and laugh about it. “You bruised my ribs.”

“I keep forgetting how fragile you humans are. Guess I need to be more careful in future.”

“Try being nicer.”

“Should’ve come to me. I would have kissed them better.”

Okay, that was it. “Stop the car.” She wanted out and she wanted out right that very second.

“We’re nowhere near yet.”

“I don’t care if we’re on the moon. Stop the car. I’ll walk home.”

“Don’t be stupid, Cordelia…”

“Stupid? I’m stupid? Excuse me if I’m finding being in a car with the great and powerful Angelus just a little bit intimidating. So yeah, maybe I am stupid for getting in here in the first place.” By the time her little rant was done, the car was still moving, and he was quiet but still wore a smile.

“I frighten you?” He asked, his tone just as amused.

“Hell yes you frighten me.”

Brown eyes darted to meet hazel ones momentarily. “I haven’t been around to frighten you.”

It was amazing how one comment could make a woman feel like a total imbecile. “You don’t need to be around me. You’re the reason I keep my windows locked and don’t swim at night.”

Angelus was yet again laughing. “Been thinking about me a lot, huh? Now that is a compliment.” She was priceless, absolutely priceless.

He was impossible. Before Cordelia had time to retort, he spoke. “Tell you what, princess. You can open your windows and go swimming on a night, I won’t harm one hair on your head. Cross my heart and hope to die.”

“Forgive me if I don’t believe you. You might get the urge to stop by one night and pay me another compliment.”

The vampire scratched his head, then rubbed his palm down his face in an attempt to stop grinning. The damn thing was making his cheeks ache. “How about a better deal? I accompany you one night, that way you can keep an eye on me. Make sure I don’t do anything complimentary, to you or anyone else.”

“You frighten me when you’re not there. I’m not about to willingly be around you, go swimming with you, just to make sure you don’t get Valentine’s on me. That makes no sense whatsoever.”

“Makes perfect sense to me. You get to know me, maybe you’ll realise I’m not so bad. Well,” there was that grin again. “Unless you piss me off. You have any plans to piss me off?”

Deceit had never been one of her favourite hobbies and as such, had never practiced it. She turned away to hide her frown as she lied through her teeth. “No,” she said, her voice strangely distant to her ears. “No I don’t.”

“Then you’re free to have open windows and go swimming.”

What could she say? “Thanks.”

Part 4

Posted October 31, 2015 by califi in TBC

39.23.59.   Leave a comment

Title: 39, 23, 59
Author: Scorch
Posted:
Email
Rating: NC-18
Category: Humour/Smut
Content: C/Aus
Summary: And he thought he knew eternity.
Spoilers: BtVS 2
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: AO, FSB, the places of Lea and Cal.
Notes: Impress, so very sorry this took so long, but I lost the disk it was on. I hope this makes up for the ridiculously long wait. Hope it doesn’t disappoint. It also might a week or two before an update, what with DoA and Christmassy stuff to do. Hugs and Snogs, S xxxx
Thanks/Dedication:
Feedback: Like the cherry on top


Day 41

It wasn’t often Spike found himself facing a tied up filly he had no intention of killing or hurting in any way.

It wasn’t often Spike found himself on a time limit.

It wasn’t often Spike found himself willing to pay said filly if she’d comply with his demands.

It wasn’t often Spike found himself writing out plans and taking notes.

“Stop bubbling will you, there’s a good girl.”

It wasn’t often Spike found himself comforting the filly he had tied up.

Well, excuse her if she found the situation called for it. Not like she could run away screaming, was it?

He rolled his eyes. Out of all the singletons of Sunnydale, he just had to choose this one. Like he didn’t have enough on his hands that he had to torture himself by picking the one woman in the land that had the tongue of a serpent. Saying that, his grandsire deserved no less. Especially since last year’s stupid plot to suck the world into hell.

Spike was sure he wasn’t the only happy camper that it didn’t work. He snorted. Like a statue was gonna come to life and swallow the Earth. There was more chance of a Martian invasion then there was of that happening. And idiot that Angelus was, had to go and try it.

Spike wondered what was next. Angelus hunting for Atlantis? He shook his head. He wouldn’t put it past his grandsire. He could actually see Angelus decked out in a pair of hiking boots, a Gortex anorak, and a pair of gators, ready to take on Everest, or wherever Atlantis was. Maybe if he was really lucky, his grandsire would wear a beanie.

He shook his head again. There were more important things than Angelus, and that was getting the tasty bit in front of him to agree to his plan. Not that she’d have much choice, of course. If she didn’t, he’d kill her. End of story.

Looking at her now, she seemed a tad stressed, and when he was stressed, he smoked.

“Want some?” Spike held out his cigarette.

She stared at him like he was nuts.

“Guess not. Listen.”

Pretty eyes rolled.

Oh yeah. The gag. “Not like you can do much else. Anyhow,” he took a drag. “You and me? We got business to discuss.”

Pretty eyes blinked. Business? What he could he need with her? Unless he wanted a barrister, in which case he’d have to go elsewhere. Her father didn’t specialise in vampirism.

“You an me have someone in common.”

Oh please. If this was about Buffy, she’d kill herself.

“See, Angelus and me.”

Oh God. Why couldn’t this have been about Buffy?

“We got a bet on.” He took another drag and yet again offered her some. When she glared, he shrugged. “If you’re sure. I stand to win.”

Win what? The award for being the most irritatingly evil schnoz the world’s ever known?

“It ain’t about the money, ya know. More important than that. Picture this.”

Oh dear God. He was gonna go down memory lane. Help her. Somebody, anybody, help her. Maybe she’d get lucky and he’d bore her to death.

“Me, three hundred years from now.”

Oh no. It was worse than she thought. It wasn’t memory lane he was going down. It was his future plans. If he said anything about two point four kids and a white picket fence, she was gonna cannibalise her own intestines and eat herself to death.

“Hearing his whiny voice you lost, you lost, ha ha, you lost.”

He had her there. Three hundred of years of listening to that would drive her over the brink. She sympathised and would have said so if she wasn’t gagged. She nodded instead. Poor Spike.

“Bad enough hearing his voice 30 minutes a day, let alone 300 years of it. This is where you come in.”

He must be mistaken. She didn’t come in anywhere.

“This bet. Involves a woman.”

Yeah well, she was not that woman.

“Not just any woman mind you, but a woman like you.” He took another drag, taking a second to savour the smoke before putting it out with his boot. “You know the sort.”

The sort? What kind of chauvinist was he?

“Legs up to here,” his hands waved around his neck. “Body like this,” his hands made an hourglass shape. “And bloody good tits. Drive a man mad, they would.”

What she wouldn’t give to yell at him. How dare he say she had good tits? That was so… so… Male. Urgh. Even vampires were men it seemed.

“Bet you’d give a right old tit wank.”

Oh God! Just who did he think he was?

“My Dru does. Not as hefty, mind you, but by heck. She doesn’t half know how to please her bloke.”

Forget the self cannibalising. The love struck expression was enough to make her choke on her own vomit.

“You an her would get on great.”

She could see the Christmas presents now. Dru would get a gift voucher for a year’s worth of therapy and she’d get an arm in a box. The seasonal joy was already getting to her. She could hardly wait.

“You two could have tea parties and the like.”

What did he think they were gonna do? Throw slumber parties where pillow fights would lead to female experimentation? God, perversion really didn’t discriminate between dead and alive.

“Anyhow.”

What was worse? Him thinking of female bonding, or the reason why he had her tied up and gagged?

“Angelus an me have a bet. He’s a bit active, shall we say. Got a lot of time to make up for.”

Now she was confused.

“Poor git’s had a soul half his existence. Like a leash, it is.”

The soul was more of a blessing where she was concerned.

“He fed off rats.”

She was not going to feel sorry for Angelus. He deserved getting cursed.

“Course that won’t make a difference to you. What with being a strong woman and all that.”

Flattery would get him nowhere.

“He wasn’t himself. Bogged down with all that guilt, trying to save all them people. Falling in love with a slayer.” Spike grimaced.

She agreed. How anyone could fall in love with a girl who wanted what she couldn’t have was sickening. She’d seen Buffy have a chance with human men and ruin it because they were too normal, she’d seen Buffy have a chance and ruin it with a man who was not normal enough. It was pathetic, really.

“Let’s just say he was sick. Not himself. We’ll both be happier if we think that way.”

She’d be happier if she wasn’t tied up and gagged.

“Since he lost that soul, he’s been sleeping his way through the demon world. Trying to prove he’s back and badder than before. You know, trying to prove a point and all that.”

Oh lovely. Way to get attention, Angel.

“I had a bit of business last week.”

Was this the same business he wanted from her? Cus if so, then he could go to hell.

“And Angelus brings this bird home. Quite a meal, she was. He didn’t share of course. Kiss n tell is more his style. Then if I had a bint like her, I’d kiss n tell, too. Anyways. There I was, trying to conduct my business all professional like, when he became God, quite loudly if I remember rightly. It ruined the moment. You can imagine, I’m sure.”

Only too well.

“This brings me to you. The bet is he can’t go forty days without a shag. He says he can, I say not.”

How, exactly, did this bring him to her?

“If I know my old sire, he’ll go the nine yards just to prove me wrong. I can’t be having that over my head. Here’s where you come in. You got the looks, the bod, and I’ve already said, the tits.”

The outrage was back in full force.

“All we need to do is polish you up some, get you out of the high school cheerleader clothes and into something decent. Putting you on his radar ain’t gonna be hard at all. Not with those pins of yours.”

She’d give anything to choke him to death. Pins? Pins? God. She wanted to scream for all the females on the damn planet. Pins? Just how rude could one vampire be? She’d also give anything to have the ability to tug her skirt down.

The way he was looking at her was really giving her the creeps. His eyes kept going from toe to waist and back down again, lingering where thigh met pelvis. Urgh. What a perv. Anyway, what was all this we stuff? Last she heard, he was the one with the bet.

“As I was saying. Get you in a skimpy piece of yum, put you in a place where he’s gonna notice, and I win. Sound like a plan? Does to me.”

Why couldn’t he be the one in a skimpy piece of yum and why couldn’t he be put in a place where Angelus was gonna notice?

“And if you don’t go along with it, I’ll kill your family and make you watch.”

Didn’t that put a whole new spin on things?

“Now. I’m going to be a good little lad and take that gag off. When I do, you’re going to say yes. Understood?”

She nodded. Didn’t have much choice really.

Spike got off the rickety old chair he was on and removed her gag, patting her on the back while she coughed.

“There, there pet. I got something here to help with dry throats.”

She watched as he slipped out a silver flask and wiggled it in front of her face. She couldn’t smell the liquid inside, but she heard it sloshing around. It could be anything from absinthe to vodka. No matter what it was, she was so not drinking it.

“Hmm. We have to do something about your girl scout attitude.” His head tilted to one side. “Or maybe not. Tell you what. You let me handle the details and you just show up on time, eh?”

Yeah. She didn’t think so.

He must have read her mind. “Remember that thing where I’ll kill your family and make you watch? That’s no joke, pet. Angelus may be the original big bad, but I’ve learned a trick or two. Don’t you forget that. Had a kink on for railroad spikes, I did. Nice little toys. How I got my name.”

Spike blinked down at her. “You look a bit green around the gills. This’ll help with that.”

She opened her mouth, fully ready to let him have it when liquid started trickling down her throat. It burned. It really, really burned. Her eyes filled with tears and her head went to one side as she coughed up the disgusting whatever.

God, her throat was actually numb. “What the hell…?” She glared up at the vampire questioningly.

He beamed, pleased he had her approval. “My own recipe. Bit of Willie’s home brew whiskey, spot of brandy, and a smidgen of battery acid.”

Battery acid?

“Good, ain’t it? Keeps me warm an cosy on a cold winters’ night I can tell you that much.”

Battery acid?

“Now,” Spike took a drink of his own and she watched in amazement when his eyes rolled back in sheer delight.

Battery acid?

“Do we have a deal?”

Cordelia could barely talk around the sizzling sensation of melting skin and tissue in her throat, but she just about managed it. “Do I have a choice?”

Spike grinned. “That’s the beauty of it, pet. Neither of you do.”


Day 40, the game begins

She felt like a whore.

Black lace covered her from ankle to toe, with a slice of bare skin here and there.

She stared, dumbfounded, into the huge full length mirror at the dress adorning her body. Lace was the main course with black patent leather going from the bust to three inches below her ass, the straps belonged on a bra, and there was a slit which flashed part of her left thigh. It clung to every curve in a way that made her look like an hour glass with hands and eyes.

Then there was her make-up, which Spike had personally done.

She didn’t know what surprised her more. The fact he could apply mascara without her flinching or the fact he was an expert with a blending brush. A natural beige covered her entire eyelid while a metallic charcoal followed her eyebrow arch, and a smoky grey was on the lower part of her lid.

A light gold bronze had been dusted over the apples of her cheeks, tip of her chin, and middle of her forehead, while her lips shone like a freaking diamond. What scared her more than who applied was the way he’d applied it. He’d spent half an hour on the eyeliner alone, getting it just so he said, and then he’d gone on to spend another half hour on the eye shadow.

Her hair had almost gotten her killed. He’d wanted to add a blonde strand here and there. To add warmth, he explained as though he was Nicky Clark, but no. Blonde would be in her hair when Satan bought ice skates.

So, a compromise had rose.

Her beautiful, beautiful chestnut hair, her crowning glory. The same hair she’d been photographed for Sunnydale University fashion column was now highlighted with the odd strand of honey. He hadn’t used a store brand. He’d actually gone to a hair and beauty wholesalers for the proper stuff, including an intensive conditioner for her to use forty eight hours from now.

The fact she liked the few caramel strands scared the bejesus out of her. Creepy wasn’t in it.

The honey pieces really brought out her eyes, or so he claimed.

She felt like a whore.

“Come on then, ducks. Let’s have a butchers.”

Cordelia’s framed eyes rolled and hands made a choking motion. If only she was Buffy, then she could really hurt him. Speaking of the devil. How had the all important, all intuitive slayer not noticed anything was wrong with her today?

For heaven’s sake, she’d shaken her head when she said yes, she was fine, and had badgered Giles. Of course, they’d all been too busy to deal with her problems. Probably thought her problems revolved around a broken nail or split end.

Broken nail and split ends? Please. Who did they think she was? Willow?

She heard an irritated sigh. “I haven’t got all day.”

Funny. He just had an eternity.

Well, here went nothing.

Cordelia tucked her hair behind her ear, poked her tongue out at her reflection, and then eased out from behind the curtain. Silence greeted her and she wondered what was wrong. She checked everything. Wrinkles in the dress, a pinkie finger checked for mascara under her lashes, and tongue searched for something between her teeth.

There were no wrinkles, no mascara, and no stray bits of food. So what was wrong?

“C’mere, pet. Gimme a twirl.” He smirked through a cloud of scented smoke. “For good luck, of course.”

She did as told and twirled.

Hands clapped slowly, as slow as his eyes wandered over her. She wanted to take her dress off and strangle him with it. What a perv.

“Now that’s temptation if I ever saw it. My old sire’s going to have a rough night.” He inhaled, there was a pause, and he exhaled. “Having a hard time myself.”

Her shock and rosy cheeks went ignored as he nodded in approval. “You’ll do,” he commented after a moment of blessed silence. “You’ll definitely do.”

Spike had to admit he’d outdone himself on this one, and mentally thanked all the times he’d played Barbie dolls with Dru. The cheerleader didn’t half look good and it was all down to little old him.

Long legs were left bare just in case his plan worked and there was touching. Stockings had been considered, but since Angelus seemed to be going through a skin-on-skin fetish, the stockings idea had been postponed to a later date. Her long hair had been tweaked so those doe eyes of hers weren’t overpowered by dark brown.

Plus, the strong mix of ammonia and hydrogen peroxide would help drown out his scent.

After a lengthy debate, the decision had been made to leave it down so the natural waves could work their natural magic. The dress hadn’t cost much. Not a penny, as a matter of fact. Pretty cheap considering how deliciously helpful the sales girl had been. Well, delicious anyway.

All in all, the chit cleaned up nice.

Gee, thanks. Cordelia stood under the weight of his admiration, her patience waning with every passing second. So what if her family’s life expectancy was on the line. There was only so much she would put up with and waiting around for his say so was more than she could take.

“Hi there,” she waved a hand in front of his face. “Remember me? Cordelia Chase? The girl you’re blackmailing?”

She got his attention. Great. “Before you say anything, yes I know the giant black cloud over my head could open up, but can we please get this over with?” She wanted to go home, shower, shower, and shower again, then forget this ever happened.

Unfortunately, no such luck existed.

Blue eyes snapped up from the general direction of her buttocks and met hazel irises, and she didn’t like the gleam. It wasn’t a nice gleam and made her decidedly uncomfortable. She shuffled on her feet and skin prickled as a strange chill went down her spine.

She really didn’t like that gleam, and eyes subconsciously went to the door just behind him.

“You’d be dead before you moved an inch.”

Her brain waved bye-bye to the escape route.

“Glad we got that sorted. Let’s get down to it shall we?” Spike flicked the cigarette butt away, blowing out the last of the smoke in an unnecessary breath.

Cordelia couldn’t wait.

“Angelus will be sprawled in a corner, no doubt with his arm around a sweet piece or two and teasing me with a quick win.” He didn’t tell her what else Angelus maybe doing with said sweet pieces. “He’ll be bored out of his tiny mind. There’s only so much girl talk a man can handle before he blows a fuse.”

“Why didn’t you get one of those sweet pieces instead of me?”

He stared at her like she was an idiot. “Have you ever heard a pair of tits talk?”

“I’m listening to one right now.” Though the retort was mumbled, he heard perfectly.

Spike smirked. “Just answered your own question.”

She glared as much as she dared. “Look, I don’t know what you want from me. You say it’s to win a bet, but come on. All this trouble so you don’t have to hear him gloating?” She shook her head. “It doesn’t wash. What do you get out of it?”

“Nothing.” Except the fun of watching the high and mighty fall. When she didn’t believe him, “Honestly.”

“You’d sound more sincere minus the smirking and cackling.”

“Cross my heart and hope to die.”

“You’re already dead.”

“And you’re observant. Look,” another cigarette was removed from the packet. She was annoying him? Good. Shoe was on the other foot. “Angelus ain’t my favourite person and I’ll stake my life on the fact he ain’t yours, either. You play by the rules and we’ll both have a barrel of laughs at his expense.”

Then there was the added bonus of watching his grandsire suffer. Being around a hot bitch like her and not being able to a damn thing about it has to be hell. No better place for his old sire if you asked him.

“No doubt he’ll be expecting you to make a scene.” Off her look, “You know, the white hat routine.”

She was still confused. White hat routine? Spike sighed in irritation, struck a feminine pose, and raised his voice to a poor imitation of a woman’s. “You hurt anyone in here and I’ll get Buffy to beat you to death with your own arms.” His voice went back to it’s original level. “So you walk past and ignore him.”

Cordelia’s face remained blank as she listened to her instructions. That was it? Walk past Angelus and ignore him? “And you think that what? I look so hot, he’ll come running over to ravish me?”

Good point. Spike considered the options for a second. “Flash him one of them toothy smiles of yours.”

Okay. She was supposed to walk past Angelus, ignore him for a short while, smile at him, and then ignore him some more? “You’re pretty down with the light flirting. Why don’t you dress up and do it? He always did come across as sexually ambiguous.”

She wasn’t expecting the chuckle. “Oh pet, if only you knew.”

She winced. “That was just way too much information.”

An arched eyebrow was the response. “Don’t matter where you get it, as long as you get it.”

“Again with the too much information. Can we not talk about this, please? It’s giving me the creeps.” He was giving her the creeps. In fact, the last few hours was giving her the creeps. She shuddered.

“Let’s see it, then.”

Ah. The confusion was back. “See what?”

“A smile.”

Cordelia twitched one corner of her lips. Trying to smile when there was nothing to smile about was a lot harder than she thought.

Spike’s blue eyes rolled. “No. A smile. Like this.” Pearly white fangs flashed as his lips parted into an ear-to-ear grin.

She just knew she was in for a lifetime’s worth of nightmares. How scary could one vampire be? His smile fell back into his natural smirk and he waited impatiently for all of two seconds. “Well?”

She copied him. Spreading her lips as wide as they would go, and held it until told to do otherwise. Face ache, prepare to meet Cordelia Chase.

He shook his head. “No. A plastic smile won’t work. It’ll only antagonise him. Again. I want a nice smile. A smile that makes me all warm and cosy.”

A smile that made him all warm and cosy? Fine, fine. Cordelia took a deep breath and thought happy thoughts. She thought about Keanu proposing, she thought about a giant wedding that would make front cover of Vanity Fair, she thought about the litter of baby Keanu’s that would surely follow. Maybe three, no four.

A boy first. Keiran Reeve? Hm. Definitely had a ring to it. Then twin girls. Gabriella and Elizabeth, then another boy, Tristan. They would live in Hollywood Hills, with vacation homes in Monte Carlo and Dubai, and perhaps a little honeymoon place in the mountains.

All horrible, horrible thoughts of Angelus and Spike and their stupid bet were banished.

“Smile and a half, that is.” He wondered what she was thinking about. Probably driving a stake right through his pretty little heart. It’d be fun watching her try. “You turn that on my old sire and he’ll be melting into his deceptively large boots.”

Didn’t that just bring her down to Earth with a crash and bang? Cordelia resisted the urge to growl at him. Instead of doing something that may result in her untimely death, she bottled up the growing anger and forced that smile and a half to stay put.

“Now, run by me what exactly you’re going to do. Finalising the details and all that.”

“I go in, spot Angel…”

“Wouldn’t call him that, pet. Not if you want your throat intact.”

“I go in, spot Angelus, walk past while ignoring him. I wait a few minutes and smile, then go back to ignoring him.”

Spike grinned. “Excellent.”

Cordelia didn’t like this one iota. “Won’t this seem too rehearsed? Won’t he see straight through this? I mean, if he’s expecting a scene and gets a smile instead, won’t he click onto the fact it’s a set-up?”

“Don’t overestimate his intelligence. He did bunker down with a slayer.”

She had to smile at that. “If I die, I’ll kill you.”

“I’m shaking, pet. Let’s away, shall we? Don’t want to keep him waiting.”
****

The place wasn’t what she expected at all. Instead of rockish Goth music, there was a nice piano instrumental that provided the right amount of ambient background music. Just enough to fill pauses in conversation, yet quiet enough for people to hear each other. It was strangely relaxing.

The decor was just as lovely, with comfortable chairs that could swallow a person and tables that were large enough to give decent elbow room. It was nice and clean, no spill stains on the wood or cigarette butts crushed into the floor. There also appeared to be a dress code or something as every person in there seemed to be wearing their Sunday best.

Or maybe they were just strict on who they let in. Either way, Cordelia decided, it was certainly her kind of place.

She stood just inside the double doors, staring around at the huge room, taking note of every little detail. Right from the attractive wall lights that gave off soft hues down to the bits and pieces that gave the place atmosphere. There were paintings, decorative mirrors, the odd display cabinet filled with ornaments.

Oh yeah. She could see herself fitting in quite nicely here.

She was only about halfway when she started noticing other things. It wasn’t the fact people were staring at her, it was how they were staring at her. It wasn’t obvious staring, it was more like sly sideways glances that roamed over her figure. It was the fact every person seemed to have a wine glass filled with red wine. There were other things, too. Like the heavy drapes that hovered above large windows, and the making out going on in every corner.

Her stomach began to churn and her flesh was crawling with a realisation she did not want to make.

Oh God.

Spike had sent her to a vampire club, and the place was choc full of them. Family or no, she had to get out of here pronto.

Cordelia tried to keep her cool as she spun on her heel, wholly intent on making a mad dash before any of them decided she’d make a nice entree. She got as far as the bouncers when a cloud of smoke whirled around her face, making her cough and splutter as she came screeching to a halt.

Blue eyes pinned her in place while a smirk irked her endlessly. Asshole.

“Something wrong?” Like he cared.

Was there something wrong? Was there anything right? “No,” she swallowed, not liking at all how he was eyeing her. “No problem.”

He nodded. “For a minute there, I thought you were making a run for it.”

“No, I was just…” Doing that very thing. “Getting some air. You know, prepare myself for a barrel of laughs at Angel’s expense.”

The smile he gave her did little to comfort. “That’s my good girl. Be a shame if you were about to run. You’ve made a bit of an impression.” Spike gestured over her shoulder to the double doors.

She glanced behind her to see a small gathering of vampires, both male and female, watching her with more than simple interest. How flattering. “Great,” Cordelia muttered as she looked away. “Cordelia Chase, the flavour of the vampire week.” How lucky was she?

“Go on then. Your public awaits.”

Sure it did, and so did her own grave. She took a deep breath, gave Spike a similar smile to his, nodded once and went with all the dignity befitting a Chase back into the club, all the while pretending not to notice the hungry gawking coming her way. She guessed it was time to go find Angelus, ignore him, then smile, and ignore.

Find, ignore, smile, and ignore. What exactly Spike thought he was going to accomplish with those particular instructions she didn’t know, but whatever. Wasn’t like she could make a quick retreat now, especially not with him watching her every move.

Oh well. Here went less than nothing.

Hazel eyes turned to a hawk’s gaze and she swept what part of the room she could see, but there was no Angelus. There were only people, or vampires rather, who kept inching closer to her. Cordelia tried to keep the panic to a minimum and her paces at a casual speed, her head held high and she treated the occasional dead person to a swift nod.

God, they must think she had a death wish.

It was strange because here she was, right in the middle of a bunch of demons who’d have her for dinner, and she was feeling fine. The numbness was probably to thank for that, but hey. Numbness was better than screaming help me, help me, for the love of God help me, for which she’d either get laughed at or she’d get eaten.

She decided it was a tough choice and so split the money between them. Maybe she’d get lucky and they’d laugh themselves so silly, the fangs were rendered useless. Yeah, and there was a golden pig taking off from LAX every twenty minutes.

Cordelia shook her head. Now was not the time for a nervous breakdown. She had light flirting to do. Oh, she really hoped her parents knew what she was going through to keep them breathing.

Oh God. There he was.

Her target for the night, and he was doing exactly what Spike said he would be doing. Sprawled out in a corner love seat, with one arm lazily draped over the shoulder of a gorgeous leggy blonde, while his other arm was being warmed up by a gorgeous leggy red head.

She snorted in sheer disgust. She could see the dye from here. Oops. A hand went up to her own, newly highlighted hair. She couldn’t say that no more, even if all she had were four or five well placed streaks. At least her hair wasn’t dog butt dry and at least her legs were normal length, not looking like an airbrushed commercial for support hose.

Cordelia looked away. She couldn’t stand to see it any more. So what if he was dead. Did that mean a lower standard and less taste? Spike’s words about slayers and Angelus came to her, and she smiled. Her gaze once more drifted round the room to land on the bar. Since she was here, she may as well grab herself a drink.

Hell knew she needed it. She just hoped she could get served. Not that they had any reason to turn her down, of course, not when the main clientele were sans pulse.

She shot a look over her shoulder at Angelus to make sure he was still there, thankfully he was. It was like watching a spider. She hated the sight of them, but always had to know where they were. If she couldn’t see, then the little bugs could be anywhere. Inside shoes, clothes, crawling up your trouser leg, skittering down your sock…

Yick. She shuddered in a way that had her hair tickling her neck, so she brushed the strands away, taking a second to admire the tiny caramel tint. It really did look nice. Huh. If Spike ever decided to give up his wicked, wicked ways, he could always pick up a curling iron and he’d be set for life.

Although, the idea of finding him working part time in her favourite salon was enough to give her nightmares, so she pushed those nasty thoughts far away. Right. Drink.

How weird was it to have vampires part to let her past? Cordelia didn’t dare question it and kept up a slow saunter, purposely putting on a regal and confident act. Not a problem for a star actress in the making. She ignored the thousand eyes on her as she ordered her poison.

“A glass of the house white, please.” Her first words came out a little more shaky than she would have liked, but what else could be expected? Determined to make up for it, “And don’t water it down.”

The bartender gave her a look that made her feel guilty for saying that. Watered down wine in this place? There was obviously more chance of an alien invasion. He didn’t say anything. “Excellent choice, madam, and will there be anything else?”

“No, thank you. I, ah,” she really couldn’t be doing this. “I apologise for the water comment, I’ve just never been here before.”

“Quite understandable. Humans do not tend to frequent here without invitation or choice. It comes as a bit of a surprise, but no less welcome.”

A polite vampire? What were the odds? “I’m not here by choice, either.” Off his look, “But thank you for making me feel welcome.” He was still looking at her in a way that silently asked for an explanation.

Quick Cordy, think of something. Anything.

A broken car was lame and wouldn’t explain her dress. She went with the next best thing. “My date left me in the middle of nowhere, and most places keep the facilities for paying customers only.” That was pretty damn good if she did say so herself.

“Then it is the telephone you wish to use. That will be seven…”

“I’ll get the lady her drink.”

Cordelia sucked in a breath and froze. God. Angelus was right behind her. She could feel him looking her over, taking in her outfit and no doubt thinking she looked like a whore. The insane part of her wondered how much he was going to offer her for a night of passion, while the sane part of her wanted to ask for a vat of acidic holy water to dump over his head.

“Cordelia.” Her name was drawn out, his tone full of amusement. “This is a surprise.” He glanced at the bartender once and she watched said bartender walk away, hopefully to fetch her drink.

There was a pause that told her he was yet again looking her over. “A nice one, I must admit. Like the outfit.” She felt him lean closer. “It’s very you. New, am I right?”

This wasn’t in her job description. Spike never said anything about having to make conversation with Angelus. She never replied. Mainly because her vocal chords seemed to be in that Monte Carlo house. Damn them, and damn her brain for going on the fritz when she needed it most.

He chuckled. “You know, ignoring me won’t make me go away.”

Now wasn’t that just a challenge waiting to happen?

Her fate was sealed the second she turned to face him. Cordelia shrugged with a nonchalance she certainly didn’t feel. “If you can’t say something nice… Well, you know the rest.”

Vampires close enough to hear immediately stopped what they were doing and stared at her like she’d sprouted a third head. Of course, they went back to minding their own business after a sharp glare from Angelus, something she was glad for. Anymore staring and paranoia would set in.

He walked round her to relax against the bar, stretching his arms across the brass pole, and sighing deeply. “Of all the bars in the world, you had to walk into mine. Must be my lucky day.”

Yeah well, don’t count your chickens. “Why is that?”

She got a grin and a quick glimpse of pearly whites. “It’s not every day a guy gets to talk to a pretty lady.”

“You seem to be doing alright.” Angelus followed her line of sight to where he’d been sitting with Darlene and Stacey. Stacey had been alright, but Darlene left a bitter taste in his mouth. Drugs probably, cocaine or smack. Having not been to his liking, he’d given the red head to Carmine, who didn’t mind dabbling. “Watching me were you? Didn’t think voyeurism was your style.”

“It’s not. I was merely wondering who to pity. You, or them.”

“Then what is your style?”

Cordelia received her wine graciously. “Self preservation.”

He appeared to read a deeper meaning into that and nodded. “I like your style.” His eyes narrowed as he took a closer, more intense look at her.

Now paranoia really was setting in. “What?”

“There’s something different about you. I can’t put my finger on it just yet.” Angelus focused completely on the brunette, carefully running his gaze from the tip of her head to the bottom of her chin, taking in every little detail. She jumped when he snapped his fingers in victory. “Your hair.”

“What about it?”

“Pretty, but I preferred it without the honey. You’ll change it back.”

“Excuse me?”

“You’ll get rid of the highlights.”

Surely he couldn’t seriously be telling her how to have her hair? He was. He was being deadly serious. Where the hell did he get off telling her what to do with her hair? It was hers. She could have it however way she liked it. If he wanted to have chestnut hair, then he could dye his own. She was in half a mind to go all-out honey, just to tick him off.

“No, I won’t. I like them.” It hurt admitting that.

Contrary to his smile, “You misunderstand, Cordelia. It was a suggestion, nothing more.”

Didn’t sound like it, but she wasn’t gonna argue. Not when she was clearly outnumbered. That thought made her laugh. Without the club, she’d still be outnumbered. Not very comforting at all.

“Well?” Angelus tilted his head to her glass.

Honestly? “It’s delicious. Thank you.” There was no bitterness like a lot of wines had, and it left her mouth feeling nicely tingly. Refreshing was the word.

“My pleasure.” He relaxed further against the bar, glancing here and there as though he were a king checking on his royal subjects. “Care to tell me what you’re doing here? It is a little out of your way. Unless you often wander into these clubs.”

“Not especially.” Cordelia took a sip, and then another. “Bad date.”

“Left you stranded?” Angelus surmised. “What did you do… Or is it a case of what you didn’t do?”

He was handing the answers to her on a plate. Go him. “Something like that.”

He looked so dismayed in his fellow man. “I can’t think of anything more shocking. Me? I’d never leave a woman stranded.”

“No, you just eat them.”

“In more ways than one.”

“That was just crude.”

“Sorry. Didn’t mean to offend your delicate sensibilities. How are you getting home?”

Of all the questions she was expecting, that was not it. Cordelia blinked and glass paused an inch from her lips. “Pardon?”

Angelus smiled so serenely. “How are you getting home? It’s pretty far from your part of Sunnydale and walking wouldn’t be suggested. Who knows what unspeakable evil lurks around town at this time of night.”

Not much considering half of that unspeakable evil was currently housed in here. “Cab.”

“Oh no, no, no. Can’t have that. Allow me…” A quick click of fingers had the bartender there in seconds. “My guest needs a driver.”

“Let me know when you are ready, madam.” He was gone with a swift nod.

Cordelia couldn’t seem to stop blinking. What was up with the gentleman act? It was giving her the creeps.

Angelus chuckled at her expression. “What is it?”

“You had me worried for a minute. I thought you were gonna offer to take me home.”

He hissed in disappointment and shook his head, giving the impression of just how sorry he was he couldn’t take her up on that sweet little offer. “Another time perhaps.” Definitely another time. “In the mean while, how about you join me for another drink?”

She nearly choked. “I was gonna go home after this one.” Yes. Go home and max out her credit card on a very long stay at the Sunnydale asylum.

He tutted. “You’re not going to insult your host by not joining him for a drink and decent conversation?”

“And what exactly do you think we can converse about? Politics and current affairs?” She didn’t discuss those things as a rule. As far as she was concerned, politics was one of the main causes of war.

Angelus grinned. “How about human interest? It’s my speciality.”

Cordelia just bet it was.

“One drink. No harm, no foul. We can get to know each other better. Whaddya say?”

She didn’t want to know him at all, but there was obviously no way out of this, so she sighed in resignation as she delivered herself to Satan. “One drink.”

One and no more.

Part 3

Posted October 31, 2015 by califi in TBC

That Mouth   Leave a comment

Title: That Mouth. A Darkness Within ‘Short’
Author: Samsom
Posted:
Email
Rating: R, mostly implied
Category: Dark POV
Content: Angel POV
Summary: Angel’s got it bad.
Spoilers: None
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: Just ask
Notes:
Thanks/Dedication:
Feedback: Please.


She kills him with that mouth, it scalds like holy water when she’s pissed and turns gentle as rain when he doubts himself.

It double speaks when she talks to the bill collectors, and blinds with a smile when she wants to charm a potential client.

He watches for an hour or more as she eats a couple of peaches, juices caught on the end of a curling pink tongue, mouth savoring the meat of the fruit in a way that makes him sweat with envy.

He knows it’s pathetic, but he does it anyway, one time when he’s alone in her apartment.

Her toothbrush is pale lavender, and it’s mostly manufactured mint on the bristles, but underneath that, he can detect a slight trace of her.

And savors the taste.

~*~

Samsom

Posted October 31, 2015 by califi in Complete

She Goes   Leave a comment

Title: She Goes
Author: samsom
Posted:
Email
Rating: PG
Category: Drabble. “Short fic. Very, very short.”
Content: Duh!
Summary: Read notes
Spoilers: none
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: GTC/A, anywhere else please ask first.
Notes: No names, but ya’ll know who I’m thinking about when I write fic, so … You’ll have to be the judge on whether this works or not. For myself, I like it.
Feedback: Always appreciated.


Deep in the dark wood, she goes.

Barefoot through the dirt and trees, hushed in the blue moonlight, she goes.

Deep in the rotted wood, through the pine and oak, deeper in the brown and green, she goes.

Pulled, she goes.

By her nightmare, by her dream, deep in the dark wood, by her heart and by her gut, pulled on a string.

She goes.

Deep in the decaying wood, her groom awaits.

In a cold mausoleum, up the stairs and through a door, he waits.

Waits with his sharp, pointed teeth.

~*~

samsom

Posted October 31, 2015 by califi in Complete

Staving   Leave a comment

Title: Staving
Author: samsom
Posted: Feb 07
Email
Rating:PG. I think it’s safe enough for everyone
Category: Prompt fic
Content: Angel/Cordelia
Summary:A dark, lonely street, and overprotective vamp, and Cordelia.
Spoilers: S2.
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: Please ask first.
Notes: An impromptu challenge between me and Gabriella at her journal last weekend. It was fun, and I’m sort of proud of this result, since it was so on the spot.
Thanks/Dedication: For Gabriella.
Feedback: Always appreciated.


Cordy groaned.

She thought maybe her tailbone would be bruised by morning, and groaned again at the thought of Dennis trying to work out the knot in the middle of her back.

When she asked Angel to teach her to defend herself, she thought she was ready for whatever he threw at her.

She wasn’t.

In more ways than one.

Remembering the way he pressed her into the mat, she groaned again. His body was hard, long and leanly muscled, and it took everything in her not to press back, push up the way she wanted.

It was all she could do to push him off her and declare the sparring session over.

He said okay, but his breathing had been as hard as hers, eyes burning as he nodded.

She told the others good night and walked out the door, deciding that walking four blocks to the next bus station was a good idea.

The sweat cooled and her aches fell away as she put one foot in front of the other.

Then she was grabbed, lifted off her feet and dragged into a dark alley.

She rolled her eyes, and curled her fore- and middle fingers into a hook. She reached behind her and jabbed into the perp’s throat, feeling satisfaction when he cried out and dropped her.

She swung around and put her fists up, bouncing on the balls of her feet.

“Ready for some fun, buddy?” She asked.

Then a dark figure rushed past her, pushing her behind, and stalked up to her mugger.

“Hey! Angel, no-“

Angel swung his fist and she heard the guy’s jaw snap audibly. The vampire stepped forward, picked the crumpled figure up and threw him into some trash cans, upsetting a couple. She watched them totter and fall over, covering the mugger with garbage.

Angel swung around and rushed back over to her.

“Cordelia, did he-?”

She curled her fist and punched him in the jaw, an upper cut that barely moved his head but had her fist exploding in pain.

“Cordelia!”

“What is your damage, Angel?! I had him!”

Angel looked at her like he’d never heard such nonsense.

“You had him? Cordelia, he could have been a vampire, he could have been high on PCP-“

She snorted, hands on her hips.

“PCP? What is this, 1985?” She scoffed, throwing her hands up.

“He could have hurt you, or worse.”

“Angel, he’s human! I could have taken him without breaking a sweat.” She turned and stalked away from him. “This is so typical. You think I’m weak, like all I’m good for is staving or baiting or something equally useless.”

She swung back around to find him directly behind her.

“I’m not a DID, and I refuse to be treated like one! I’m Cordelia Chase, I’m –“

He grabbed her waist with his left arm and her shoulder with his right, and jerked her up against him, cutting off her words with his mouth.

“Mmff.”

She pushed at his shoulders but he didn’t budge, instead he bent his knees and brought the force of his body up through his mouth, parting her lips and slipping his tongue inside. The hand on her shoulder moved up and cupped the back of her head, pulling her into the kiss.

Fire licked at her, chasing away shock and anger, and she melted in the heat of his mouth, kissing back with all the passion and love she had for him, wrapping her arms around his shoulders and letting him lift her up.

He broke the kiss, staring down at her with eyes the color of burning pitch. He licked his mouth and blinked slowly, visibly controlling himself.

She stared up at him, dazed, wanting another hit like a junkie deprived of her drug.

“You’re right. You’re not just another DID, you’re Cordelia Chase, and I love you. So why wouldn’t I fight harder for you?”

She struggled to respond, her ears ringing with his sudden confession, mouth opening to emit a squeak.

“I know, but we’ll talk later. Right now, just kiss me.”

She thought about it, but really, there wasn’t a choice. Not even a semblence of a choice.

“Okay.”

She brought her hand up to cup the back of his head, bringing his mouth back down to hers, holding him closer, feeling her heart soar.

~*~

samsom

Posted October 31, 2015 by califi in Complete

Merry Christmas, Angel   Leave a comment

Title: Merry Christmas, Angel
Author: samsom
Posted: Feb 07
Email
Rating:PG-13
Category: Drabble
Content: Angel/Cordelia
Summary:some gifts are more precious than some. Just takes a while sometimes to realise that…
Spoilers: S2.
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: Please ask first.
Notes: Just a fun little drabble for DamnSkippy, inspired by a Christmas icon of hers I forgot to upload. *slaps forehead*
Thanks/Dedication: For DamnSkippy.
Feedback: Always appreciated.


Angel was drawn down the stairs to the lobby by the the soft crooning from the radio.

He saw his red-clad Seer standing at the counter, wrapping presents.

He paused a moment to take in all the right ways she wore the wraparound dress, from the gentle swelling slopes of her breasts to the curve of her perfect ass. Her calves flexed with every shift of her body weight and he watched the play of muscle, mesmerized by the graceful way she moved.

Moving to sit on one of the circular sofas, he leaned back and slumped down, spreading his thighs slightly apart, folding his arms over his chest. Staring through drooping eyelids, he watched the concert of her beauty and wished for paper and charcoal.

Then she turned and smiled at him.

“Angel.”

His name was a throaty purr, one that made him shift into a more comfortable position as his trousers became confining.

“Cordelia,” he breathed just as softly, watching her walk toward him. Her hand went to the pretty string tied at her waist.

“Are you ready to open your present?”

She pulled and the dress fell open as she stood between his open legs, enveloping him in the perfume of her body, soft curves and smooth skin expanding to fill his vision. He wrapped his arms tight around her waist, pressing light, damp kisses along the center line of her torso.

He leaned up to take her mouth, understanding all at once the confusing, encompassing tumult of his emotions the last few months, ever since Vocah nearly killed her.

Her soft breath on his lips –

“Angel!”

Angel jumped and blinked.

Cordelia was standing at the counter again, arms crossed, looking at him with an exasperated frown.

“Wha-? He swallowed past the dryness in his throat, praying she wouldn’t look down at his lap. “What?”

“Are you going to help me wrap Wes and Gunn’s present or just sit there daydreaming all night? Or is that nightdreaming? Or-well, never mind. Just get more tape, okay?”

She smiled, bright face full of coaxing charm, and he blinked again and smiled back.

Oh God.

He was a goner.

~*~

samsom

Posted October 31, 2015 by califi in Complete

Doughnuts & Jam   Leave a comment

Title: Doughnuts & Jam.
Author: Samsom
Posted:
Email
Rating: PG
Content: C/A. Sort of.
Category: Cordy PoV. Fluffy.
Summary: Cordelia has thinky, and no so thinky, thoughts.
Spoilers: S3
Disclaimer: Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: Just ask
Notes: Free writing again, because I need to stretch some atrophying muscles. Hate it, like it, it’s all good.
Thanks/Dedication:
Feedback: Yes please.


I burnt my tongue on the coffee when I took a too-fast sip. Now I can’t stop scraping my tongue over my teeth, aggravating it into a stinging red spot.

There’s jelly on my shirt, over my right breast. I squished it out of the doughnut I was eating when I bit into it.

Wes and Fred are being geeks in his office, pouring over another page turner of a tome, and Gunn….Gunn is making me smile, because he’s over by Angel’s weapons cabinet and he’s swinging a new sword in his two-fisted grip. I bought it on Ebay two weeks ago. It was cheap, relatively speaking, and Angel smiled for nearly half a day after I whipped it out of the packing.

The steel blade catches the lights overhead and flashes like a strobe on every downward stroke Gunn makes.

He’s like the little kid I imagine he never was.

Something catches the corner of my eye.

Well –

Not something.

Angel.

He always catches my eye.

I don’t know when that started.

Not the second time, anyway.

The first time is unforgettable. That night at the Bronze. He came in looking for his One True Love.

He found her too, on a date with another guy. What was his name again?

Oh, yeah.

Owen.

A bookworm, but a cute one.

Into Buffy big time.

I still wonder why she cut him loose but I never asked.

I didn’t do that back then. I wrote Owen off after he showed his preference for the weirdness of Buffy over the fabulousness of me.

But not Angel.

I tried for a while, probably longer than I should have, because he was so cute and mysterious and grown up.

I just didn’t know how grown up at the time.

When I figured it out…well, that was that. Plus, I got distracted by a fixer upper.

When I saw Angel again in L.A., it still didn’t set off any bells. He was just Buffy’s undead ex-lovahhh.

When Wesley told me that was the word she used when she quit the council, I laughed so hard I almost peed on myself.

Then Russell Winters happened to me, and I knew for sure I was going to die. He was going to kill me and drink my blood and probably throw my body away in a trash heap for the garbage collectors to find and someone would notify my family – maybe – and that would be the end of Cordelia Chase.

Only Angel stepped out of the shadows instead, all vampy faced and pissed off about someone named Tina.

All the panic left me, my fear…everything.

I knew I was safe.

It took a while, but he became my family.

Him and Doyle.

Then we lost Doyle and for a little while, it was just us two, trying to find our way around each other and the world. Orphans, I thought, the night we huddled and watched Doyle’s commercial.

Then it was three again, with Wesley. And it was okay. Not the same, not at all, but so good in its own way.

Research man. Vision girl. Hero.

Then Gunn started hanging around, and he added to us, our family. Became the fourth.

Then Fred.

I’m still not sure about her damage, but she’s a fighter, and that’s what makes her one of us.

Even if she reminds me a little of Willow sometimes.

I turn my head and watch Angel walk across the lobby with his broad shoulders and heartbreak eyes.

Darla was a skank but God, she named him so well.

Angel.

My Angel.

Jeez, listen to me. When did I turn into Buffy, staring at Angel with my big, weepy eyes, asking to be loved?

He turns to me and smiles, and my breath catches in my chest, getting choked off by my surprise.

Don’t smile at me like that, big guy.

I’ll get ideas.

None of them good.

For so many reasons.

He turns and heads for my direction and my stomach does this fluttery thing that tells me I may already have won.

God.

Am I in love?

With a eunuch, an emotionally stunted, prone-to-turning-evil undead vampire still in love with a girl who died saving the world?

Am I stupid or what?

He approaches the counter and grabs a doughnut.

Hmm.

He doesn’t eat. He never does. Not even when he cooks us breakfast. I know vampires can because Giles used to spend a lot of valuable long distance phone time complaining about Spike eating him out of house and home.

But Angel never does.

I think it’s a way of separating himself from us, of keeping the lines drawn.

As if he needs the added cross to remind himself he’s a vampire. But whatever. That’s Angel for you.

Trying to out-martyr the martyrs.

Then he walks around the counter, still smiling at me, and sets the maple bar on my desk, nestled in tissue paper.

He reaches over and swipes his finger through the stain on my shirt, sticking it in his mouth and sucking the jam off.

He makes a nummy sound in his throat and walks away again, leaving me to stare after him and trying not to sink to the floor in a puddle of messy goo.

Did I call him a eunuch?

My mistake.

~*~*~

Samsom.

Posted October 31, 2015 by califi in Complete