Archive for January 7, 2016

Lost and Found 22   1 comment

PART 22

He hadn’t even looked away to see it land, but she did and then her eyes jerked back to his. An arrow of fear speared her body at the look in his dark and turbulent eyes, only it darted straight towards her loins and not her heart; instinctively she tightened her thighs and then lifted her chin.

He stayed utterly silent and still, tense and poised for even the slightest move she made to evade him so she didn’t even try. What would be the point and anyway she had set this up and now it was obviously time to pay the piper. She’d gone this far and didn’t want to turn back now.

She calmed down, the first horrible spurt of fear retreated to be replaced by feeling of anticipation that helped clear  her mind. She knew what she wanted but she wouldn’t force it, it was up to him now or it would all have been a waste of time.

“So you’ve found me, now what”? She wanted to say it out loud but refused to prompt him; the ball was in his court.

“What’s going on Cordelia”? His voice was so gravelly she couldn’t help checking his eyes and brow to see if he was about go vamp on her but his face remained human.

“Nothing”, she answered him quietly never taking her wide hazel eyes off his face, she saw his jaw clench and nostril flare as the anger bit deeper.

“You’re lying”, he snarled at her, he moved forward crowding her when she refused to back up, they were only centimetres apart now with his wide upper chest blocking everything else from sight.

“Maybe but that’s my business”, she looked up into his eyes, her jaw tight and determined, she saw the fire blaze in the black depths of his eyes as they flickered at her provocative reply.

“Really and does your ‘business’ include Groo”? His mouth curled into a mocking sideways smile as he thought of the half demon. His palms itched at the memory and he felt the demon inside him twitch, impatient and greedy.

“No it doesn’t, he was lying to you”, it was important that he realised that, she didn’t want him thinking that she playing him off against another guy; that would be disastrous, this was just between the two of them.

“Then why the fun and games?keep”, she wished he would fold his arms or something like he usually did to keep a distance, but distance wasn’t what he wanted. His arms were loose at his sides, his shoulders taut under the black shirt and his throat and part of his upper chest visible in the vee left by a few undone buttons.

She refused to answer but started to back away from him; his hands snapped out and gripped her upper arms, pulling her back until they were flush together. He could feel her heart beating rapidly inside her and leaned down until his head was next to hers, his lips to her ear.

“I want to know that the hell you thought you were doing”? She shivered as his deep voice rumbled in her ear, his lips brushing against her. His hands flexed on her arms, still holding her tightly and stilling her slight movement.

“Tough”, she whispered, turning her face so their lips were almost touching, her breath caressing his face as her eyes stared challengingly into his. She felt him tense and saw his glittering eyes narrow as the sculpted yet full lips drew back into a snarl.

Anger filled him, roaring through him and the demon rose up and merged with the soul for just an instant but underneath the anger was both pain and fear. It stilled the demon but fuelled the anger and hardened his resolve. He reached deep inside again and deliberately opened the inner barrier that locked back the demon; releasing it.

Cordelia felt his muscles bunch and his hands became a punishing grip for just an instant as he lifted her up, the air rushed them and the room became a blur, she felt herself being released but could do nothing as she went airborne, landing hard enough to knock the wind out of her; directly onto the centre of the bed.

“What do you think your doing, Angel?” She asked him, trying to keep her voice stern and not become a breathless whimper, this was what she’d wanted but underneath the exhilaration there was a hard core of fear. She had definitely not thought this through properly.

This time it was his turn to refuse to answer her, he had remained at the archway, his body turned toward her but blocking the exit with his large frame. In the half light of dawn and with the curtains drawn all she could see was where the dim light touched him, she could not see his upper face, just the jaw and unsmiling lips.

She watched him take a deep breath, his muscular chest expanded with it and then relaxed as he slowly released the unnecessary air. He was fighting for control, his demon scratching at his mind, frenzied now. He walked deeper into the room then slowly and with deliberate steps, he could hear the beating of her heart get louder and faster.

The light fell on his face but he ducked his head, she heard him growl and nearly leapt off the bed in fright. No, oh no she had not wanted this; she watched frozen with horror as he looked back up letting her see his face again. Sharp fangs glistened and he continued to growl, letting her see them by keeping his lips drawn back, yellow/gold eyes glinted under ridged brows.

“Shit, oh shit, you stop this now, Angel”, she scrambled over to the farthest side of the bed, but didn’t try to get off, knowing it would just set him off quicker, “I mean it”, she was breathing hard and her chest heaved under her clothes.

He could smell her fear and hear the catch in her voice, a part of him, the human side, howled in pain at that; but it was drowned out by the sharp pleasure of the demon that had risen to the surface. “Will you say something?”, she yelled at him her face flushed and hazel eyes wide and dark with fear. No he wouldn’t say a word; nothing could get past the thickness in his throat anyway.

How could she stop him, god this was too much, she’d wanted him to let his darker side out but not the frickin darkest of the dark for gods sake. She had to reach him somehow; she had to make a move. She threw herself off the bed and to the side, not just stepping off it but literally launching herself away hoping he hadn’t guessed what she intended.

He had, he’d seen her body tense getting ready to move and pounced, even before her feet touched the ground he threw her back onto the bed, she rolled over to the other side in one smooth move and grabbed up the lamp off the bedside table, yanking the lead out and holding it in front of her, she balanced on the balls of her feet and watched him, waiting for the next move.

“Who told you, you could move”? He asked with quiet menace, as he walked around the edge of the bed, his demonic eyes never moving off her; focusing on her as only a true predator can.

She would not get out of the room, never mind the hotel and there was nowhere else to go, she was running out of options so fast her mind was spinning. She threw the lamp at him as he approached; he simply smacked it out of the way with the flat of one hand and continued to advance.

She shrieked in fear and anger and skidded backwards away from him, her shoe hit something on the floor, she looked down; it was her bag which must have fallen off her shoulder when he’d thrown her. She ducked down to the floor and snatched something from just inside, pointing it at him and just in time too, he was only about 3 feet away from her. He stopped when he saw the tranquilliser gun. She held it higher, gripping it tightly and trying to steady her nerves.

“Please just stop this OK” She said and hated the fact that her voice shook, “I don’t want to use this”.

“Feel free” he growled at her, unmoving and yet scarier somehow, “Go on Cor, use it – pull the trigger now”, she jumped when the last was shouted at her, commanding her.

“Fine, I’ll have it then” he started walking and she pulled the trigger aiming for his chest, the biggest target, to make sure it hit and it would have done if he hadn’t literally snatched the dart out of the air before it could pierce his skin.

Before she could recover from her shock he snatched that out of her hand too, breaking it into two pieces and then dropping them casually to the floor, they crunched under his boot as he closed the distance between them.

She recovered with a snap of her jaw and started to backup again needing space to try and run, as useless as that would be now. She didn’t get given the chance; as soon as he got close enough he wrapped one arm around her waist and tugged her feet off the floor even before she could think to try and wrestle free again, he toppled them both on the bed and rolled so that she was underneath him.

He pulled her hands out from beneath his chest and pressed them down into the bed coverings, stretched high above her head. One heavy leg covered hers, keeping them and her in place. Helpless to move she looked up at the face of the vampire over her and felt something a shiver race down her body, her skin was covered with goose bumps and felt so sensitive the slightest movement caused her to tremble. The position was so sexual she couldn’t help but feel a hot sticky warmth flood her loins and closed her eyes and groaned.

She kept her eyes closed, it was better that way and worse she discovered when she felt one hand touch and trace her breast, underneath the jacket but over the light cover of the vest top. Again she groaned in denial when the nipple pebbled hard, begging for more. This couldn’t be happening, she thought desperately.

“Look at me”, He demanded in a low growl, that alone was enough to tell her he was still in vamp face. “No”, she even shook her head to back up that refusal. She wasn’t in any position to stop him doing anything else but she would deny him what she could.

She heard fabric tear and jumped in his tight hold, cool air brushed over her chest and she shivered, she clamped her lips together refusing to shame herself by whimpering or worse begging.

His hand travelled down her ribcage and over her belly to her navel, releasing the button and then the zipper with the one hand, she squirmed and tried to push her bottom deeper into the bed, it was no use. His hand pushed under the waist of the now open jeans, long fingers sliding under the lace of her panties and not stopping until he cupped her sex.

One long finger slid between her soft folds and found her wet centre, he rubbed rhythmically and then with long strokes spreading the juice her body was frantically producing, aroused despite her mind. “Stop it” She said wiggling and trying to get away from that finger, feeling herself get wetter and hotter at each stroke.

That same tormenting finger, speared up inside her then and she yelled and tried to free her hands from his remaining one. “Open your eyes Cordelia”, he demanded again, his rough finger scraping the sensitive skin inside her body and then pushing a second one inside too, increasing the pressure and the pleasure.

“Don’t…” she whispered tears pooling in her eyes and she couldn’t stop a few from falling.

“Don’t what” He asked, ceaselessly caressing her, his voice was cold and ruthless that coupled with the fact that he wasn’t touching her in any other way made it seem so impersonal and …. shameful.

She tried again to free her arms but couldn’t move them, he simply pushed down harder on her hands and inside her body, reaching deep and finding the spot that would give her the most intense sensations, her hips arched up instinctively seeking and grinding her clitoris against his hand and she was helpless to stop it with the flooding heat inside.

He carried on, rubbing and pinching and thrusting with either one finger or two, driving her higher but she wouldn’t open her eyes still- but he didn’t care by then; the scent of her arousal was driving him crazy, she was going to come. He withdrew one finger but left one to continue to press against the nerves inside her, his other finger stroked her clitoris and around the sensitive skin of her entrance.

Then he removed them leaving her empty and aching, “open your eyes!”, his voice was raised and bitingly angry, she opened her eyes and looked at him.

“That’s better, now that we’ve got that out of the way, tell me what game where you playing last night huh”, his tone was mockingly playful now he’d got his own way.

“No game” She whispered, her legs quaked with unappeased arousal and she knew he felt it.

“You’re lying and that’s bad, Cordy; you have to do better than that”, he said in a conspiratal whisper, he moved his hand back down to her and circled her clitoris, the shaking in her legs just got more intense, she had been so close.

“You were definitely playing me, luring me on and all the time you knew what you were doing and I want to know why“, he continued to tease her without satisfying her, rubbing gently and making sure she stayed at peak arousal but could not go over the edge, she couldn’t prevent a moan and had to bite her lip to stop any more.

“It wasn’t like that OK, I just wanted…” he stopped waiting for her to continue.

“What”? He snapped when she stopped.

“You to come to me” She finished, unable to go on.

“Well you got that, didn’t you?” he snarled; but he pushed two fingers back inside roughly and then used a strong rhythmic motion to bring her to orgasm. He still held her legs and arms down, so she could do nothing but take it and then her inner muscles started to contract around his invading fingers and she screamed as she came.

She lay there quivering, her breath panting out of her and she turned her head away trying to hide the few tears that squeezed out despite her best effort. She felt him move and found her arms were free now; he pulled them back down to rest limply near her body. She rolled over so she could curl into a tight ball of misery and started to sob, her body quaking with them.

He lay on his back and stared at the ceiling his face human again now, he crossed an arm over his eyes but couldn’t block it out anymore, the demon had receded and with that came the emotions he’d been ruthlessly holding back.

The fear of losing her, added to the pain and anger of possibly having been used and then discarded had been maddening; and then to finally realise that he’d been led around in circles, and deliberately had his feelings manipulated against him! He had been so enraged he could hardly contain it but now her sobbing was tearing his guts out, he couldn’t bear it.

He tried to roll her back over but she pulled tighter into herself shaking her head, not speaking. He tugged harder and then crossed his leg over hers again completely this time. Finally his hard body settled on hers and large hands framed her face, turning it back toward him, she kept her eyes closed.

“Let me go”, she said, tears clogging her throat and making speech difficult.

“No, never”, he whispered, gentle lips kissed the tears off her face and she gasped at that, then those same lips traced her own followed by his soft tongue before it dipped inside to taste her.

“Ssshh baby, you know I would never hurt you”, he continued to kiss her tenderly, over her eyes and nose, drying her cheeks at the same time. Not physically maybe- but he didn’t seem to mind hurting her pride, she thought but was too dazed; feeling a crushing sense of relief that the worst was over.

Wanting and needing to be comforted, she let him; opening her mouth wider and deepen the kiss. His fangs were gone, and she opened her eyes to look at the handsome yet solemn face over hers. More tears gathered and he ducked back down to rub them away again with his cheek, his mouth finding hers again in sweet kiss so tender, it started to melt the hard cold feeling in the pit of her stomach and drove away the tight feeling in her chest.

His body completely covered hers but he kept his full weight off her by resting on his elbows, his legs settled more firmly between hers and he started a gentle rocking motion that rubbed her, oh so lightly, against his bulging crotch. She gasped again and raised her arms to loop them around his neck, pulling back a little so that her small hands cupped the back of his head, holding him to her.

Neither tried to undress the other, this was not lovemaking, this was two lovers comforting one another; loving the contact but being content with just the kiss and feelings of being so close and yet not joined. Cordelia felt the heat rise again but welcomed it this time, arching up into him as the kisses became more demanding and intense.

He thrust his tongue inside her mouth in exactly the same motion as he moved his body over hers, his hands still framed her face and gentle fingers caressed her ears and neck with light strokes; he released her lips only to let her breath before capturing them again, he knew when she was going to come when he felt her tense and thrust deeper into her mouth, swallowing her cries of ecstasy.

Afterwards she tucked her nose into his neck and hid her face, she wrapped her arms around his neck again and kept him as close as she could, trembling with relief more than from the orgasm. He moved to the side and tucked her into the cradle of his large body, keeping her face by his neck and allowing her the time to recover.

She dozed off for a few minutes but awoke when she felt him get off the bed; she opened her eyes and watched him as he went to shut the connecting doors between the two parts of the suite. On the way back he pulled his shirt from his pants and unbuttoned it, revealing that broad muscular chest she loved so much, shrugging it off his shoulders and then reaching down to unsnap his jeans and pull down the zipper.

She smiled and felt a quiver of arousal again between her thighs, all fear gone filled only with anticipation; she couldn’t help but feast her eyes on his naked body, travelling down his long length and stopping at the hard erection jutting out from his groin . He climbed back on the bed as she sat up to remove her now rumpled jacket; he knelt down before her and took it off to throw it carelessly aside. She sat without moving and let him pull her torn vest top over her head, and it followed the jacket without ceremony.

She wore no bra and shook her hair back over her shoulders with a toss of her head, watching as he admired her full breasts; reaching out with both hands to cup them and rub the nipples with his thumbs, she tilted her head back to push them into his caressing hands and he obliged her by dipping his head and darted out his tongue to flick over one hardened tip.

She wrapped a hand around him and ran her fingers down the hard pulsing length, he groaned deeply and suckled strongly on her breasts for a moment, before his hands released her breasts to move down to her hips, pushing her back on the bed and pulling both jeans and panties off with one strong tug, then she was naked too.

He spread her thighs with both hands exposing her as he settled his large body back over her. With no barriers between them now, she felt his smooth tip at the entrance of her body and lifted her hips invitingly, he took it and entered her with one smooth thrust; she was so wet from having already had two orgasms that she had no trouble taking him, the feeling of being stretched was delicious and she purred deep in her throat. He nuzzled her neck and she reached up to run her fingers through his hair and trace his ears, she turned her head and kissed his neck just below the jaw and then ran her tongue over it and up to his mouth.

He raised himself up on his hands deepening the stroking thrusts, grinding down on her loins with his to increase her pleasure, he ducked down to kiss her open mouth, thrusting his tongue inside and stroking the roof of her mouth, her tongue followed his and he sucked it inside his own to playfully tease her with more sucking and then little nips with sharp teeth.

He kissed her nose and cheeks, trailing down to her ears to trace the shell of it and then bit gently on the lobe; she clutched his hips and felt them moving strongly under her hands, rising and falling as he thrust, and she raised her hips and cradled him tightly.

“If you ever run from me again, I’ll come after you”.

After so much silence his voice was a shock, the deep possessiveness vibrated though her and increased the hot licks of fire in her belly. Desire escalated and she moaned unable to reply.

“There’s no place you can go where I can’t find you and bring you back”.

The rough voice matched the increased rhythm as he moved faster, deeper and stronger, branding her with each hard, rough stroke. She arched her back as helpless little cries fell from her open lips.

He thrust his tongue into her mouth and grasped one breast firmly, rubbing the tip with clever fingers, pinching lightly as he demanded hoarsely, “Say my name”.

“Angel” it came out breathless but she tried again and this time she was high with passion and lashed with unbearable pleasure, his possessive words bringing her as close to orgasm as anything else had.

He lifted her bottom up and kept her raised by cupping the back of one knee, his hard body pumped between her thighs and he looked down to watch as his sex as he entered and then retreated inside her wet creamy centre. She started to convulse, and he watched her with lust filled eyes, her breasts and nipples where flushed with blood and veins stood out in relief, the damp dark curls mingled with is own and he ground down to feel every spasm and milking motion of her inner muscles on his sex.

She lifted herself off the bed as she came and wrapped her arms around his neck to pull him down to her, “I love you” she whispered into his ear, then she started to come.

He felt the flood of her orgasm, and with her words couldn’t hold his own back any longer. He dropped her knee and reared back up and then over so that his head rested beside hers, his shoulders blocking out everything else but him; her hips raised high off the bed to accommodate him as he bucked hard into her.


EPILOGUE

Cathy was at the bus station; she had brought her ticket and waited for a ride out of here. They would be OK now, oh sure there would be problems in the future but they wouldn’t be them without a few heated moment, now would they?

The threats of the moment where gone, disposed of, but not removed for good unfortunately. She had noticed the two burly demons arrive, lurking outside the hotel as she watched from across the street, then as she’d known he would she saw Angel arrive; After he’d finished he got rid of the bodies by dumping them down a sewer to dispose of later, then went inside to wait for Cordy.

Cathy winced a little feeling guilty but sometimes needs must when the devil drives and all that. If they didn’t sort it out it, it would fester and to do that they had to fight it out between them. She’d known he wouldn’t hurt Cordy or she would never have come here in the first place, but still she was glad he wasn’t hers, urgghhh, she’d had enough of domineering men in the past, way in the past; she shoved the thought aside.

THE END??

Helen

Posted January 7, 2016 by califi in Complete

Lost and Found 21   1 comment

PART 21

ANGEL – HUNTING

Angel rang the hotel trying to reach Fred again. He’d spoken to her some time ago but she’d had nothing to report. She’d sounded a bit strange as if she was desperate to get off the phone but he’d put it down to Fred just being Fred.

She picked up the phone a bit breathlessly and gave a strangled sound when he told her it was him. “Hi Angel”, did she sound nervous?

“What’s up Fred”? He asked, frowning in concern, had she learned something bad, his hand clamped down harder on the public phone he’d found.

“Nothing” She said- athough it sure didn’t sound like nothing, “Listen we’ve had a sighting of Cordelia, a good one, almost definitely her” Fred told him.

He straightened and felt a surge of adrenalin flood his body, “Where” he snapped out, all thoughts of Fred’s weird behaviour going completely out of his head.

She told him and he put the phone down, sprinting off down the road and back to his car before she had even disconnected herself. She put the phone down slowly, trying to calm her nerves. “Well it’s started, I hope you know what your doing Cordelia”

Angel raced at breakneck speed to get to the place she’d been spotted, he’d broken about a dozen speed limits and even driven in reverse down a whole block dodging cars with both pure luck and skill, when he’d taken a wrong turn that would have taken him too far out of his way.

He found the coffee shop and pulled open the door, it was almost deserted and the waiter behind the counter looked bored as hell. He approached the counter and pulled out a photograph of Cordelia for about the thousandth time that night. “Have you seen this woman here recently”?

At first it looked like the guy would refuse to answer, but then he got another look at Angel’s set face with the intimidating and shadowed dark eyes focused on him like lasers and changed his mind. He took the photo and looked at it carefully, his face cleared and he actually smiled, “Sure she was here just a few minutes ago, twice actually”.

Angel didn’t hear anything past the ‘sure’ before he was out the door and looking up and down the street, searching the dark street, lit only the occasional street lamp with eyes that could see with perfect vision. He listened for her voice and sniffed delicately at the air.

His spine tingled when he caught it, it was her and she couldn’t have gone far. He ran down the street following the scent, a large black figure streaking past the closed shutters and dark empty doorways, filled with a grim satisfaction now knowing that he would have her soon.

He entered an all night bar, by passing the security guys at the front and opting for a side door with only a small lock and chain. He pulled the steel links apart with his bare hands and pushed at the door, the small lock on that gave way too and he stepped inside, closing it behind him, no need to give her another exit he had to cover.

Cordy was at the bar nearest the front entrance when the cell phone, borrowed from Cathy, rang and she picked it up, her heartbeat increasing as blood rushed through her body in excitement and with some small amount of trepidation; he was close by.

“He’s inside, use the main entrance, leave now”, she did without a moment’s hesitation; diving past the security guards and out into the night, running across the street and taking the next corner and getting out of sight.

Angel entered the bar area and scanned the light crowd, his eyes almost black with the effort it took not to just tear the place apart until he found her. She wasn’t there, his control slipped another notch, but he held on with a slippery hold and looked again.

Over by the other end of the bar was a glass, abandoned; it was filled with red wine and something about it made him go over and pick it up. Instantly he knew it had been hers and he brought it to his own lips and drank it down, tasting her on his tongue. He left and followed her trail down and across the street, it was stronger now and for a moment his head swum with a dizzying array of emotions, he was closer and he could still taste her.

An hour later he was still following her, his mood so black that anyone who saw him moved out of his way, she’d gone to a magic shop and asked for an invisibility potion, what the hell for? But didn’t wait for the store owner to explain why that wasn’t possible, just got out of the back entrance minutes before he’d arrived, if she’d used the front he would have seen her.

Now they were in a section of the city that was filled with shops that’s stayed open all night, seedy places that catered to both the human and demon world, the denizens of this place were dangerous and she was playing games with him. He growled deep in his throat and a passing elderly Morlar Demon gave him a startled look from its piggy eyes, huge hands tucked into the voluminous cloak it wore to pass through the human world or at least the mixed areas, he ignored it.

He scanned the street and the only satisfaction he got was that he hadn’t lost her scent, he would find her eventually and then there would be hell to pay. He walked at a fast pace, head swivelling from side to side, making sure he missed none of the small dingy buildings with their mysteriously muted advertising slogans, all designed to fool the daytime crowd into believing this area was just for the eccentric and not actually otherworldly. His dark eyes were piercing and thorough; seeing past the grime and between cracks in boards or drapes in microseconds without having to actually stop and check.

Cordy picked up the pace and reached into her pocket to answer the phone, “Where is he” she asked, whispering so that her voice didn’t travel too far and pressing the phone close to her ear to make sure she missed nothing.

“Look you’re going to have to go faster he’s only a bit behind you now. SHIT” said Cathy in a horrified whisper, “What, what is it” Said Cordy pressing a hand to her tummy, feeling as if a herd of elephants had just run through it.

“You’re about to hit a snag, there’s a dead end coming up, take a left and then run like hell, don’t look back and don’t slow down OK”, the sheer ‘determined not to panic’ tone of Cathy’s voice was enough to make her start to panic herself, she forced herself not too.

“OK” said Cordy starting to run and careening around the corner, glad she’d worn flats, like she was going to try and run Angel in circles wearing high heels. She could feel the blood pumping through her body and the resulting adrenalin made her feel breathless and jittery, she tried to calm down which was not exactly easy running full pelt down a dark alley, trying to escape a vampire in full stalk mode. “Oh shit”, she pulled her chin into her chest and pumped her arms, speeding up.

Her scent was suddenly stronger and he could feel she was close. She was running; he could hear footsteps pounding away to the left and up an alleyway. He followed, his pounding footsteps obliterated hers but he didn’t need to hear it anymore. He couldn’t hear much anyway over the ringing in his ears, as anger rushed through him. He would not let get away from him this time and he hated that she was running from him at all, it hurt him but he ignored that and reached for more speed, lengthening his stride and delving deep into his demonic side, willing to use every means available.

Cordy reached the end of the alley and burst through the darkness and back into the streetlight, her face flushed and panting with exertion and a strange exhilaration. She had come out on the next street up. She looked both ways, searching for a refuge or a way of distracting him so that she could escape again. The phone rang, “Oh god please let this be good news”

“There’s a store, fifth one down the street on the right, go inside don’t worry about who’s in there. Sit down in a chair cover yourself in anything smelly you can, do it NOW”.

She didn’t bother to answer and could hear nothing but the pounding in her ears, was he getting close. She ran inside the store and skidded to a halt, surprised and alarmed. It was like any normal beauty store, only this one was for demons and the smell, oh gross. The patrons looked at her from a line of chairs against the wall, mirrors behind them with little silver wheeled trolleys next to them, covered in little pots.

“Screw it” and then “Ignore me” she announced, please and sat down pulling one of the matching yucky green coloured gowns over her arms and covering her entire body, it smelled like sulphur, good. The patrons got back to reading their magazines after a moment, ignoring her and the startled assistants just shrugged and thankfully left her alone.

Next to her was one of the trolleys with all sorts of potions and creams covering it. “Eww, gross, dammit this had better work” she said she quickly as she covered her face and neck in purple goo, the stinkiest one she could find. She refused to do her hair, but snagged a towel and wrapped it round her head.

She didn’t know it but Angel was outside the store just as she finished wrapping her hair. He stopped confused her trail ended here just outside the store but the pungent aromas from inside mixed with it and overwhelmed it so that he couldn’t be sure.

He growled low, deep in his throat without even realising he was doing it. He turned around in a circle and then paced in different directions; he couldn’t pick it back up. He eyed the store with stormy eyes and then entered it, his size and dangerous demeanour giving the patrons a nasty start. He glowered at them and looked closely at each one as he walked down the aisle towards Cordelia, she slunk as low as she could in the chair and closed her eyes, only to open them again, but only as slits, she needed to know when he reached her.

Cordy watched him get closer, his tall black clothed body moving down the aisle with predatory grace, face taut and angry with a locked jaw and eyes narrowed and piercing under lowered slashing brows. He looked seriously pissed and her breathing hitched in her chest forcing her to fight an urge to cough, oh jeeze don’t choke Cor!

He was only two chairs away from her when his cell phone rang and he cursed as he flipped it open to answer. She jumped at the sound of his voice, anger vibrated through the deep timbre of his voice. He stood only a few feet away from her, with his preternatural senses how could he not sense her? Sweat started to pop out on her skin and it felt cold and clammy as she realised that it would only increase the chance of her scent reaching his sensitive nostrils.

Suddenly she started to doubt the wisdom of what she was doing; it had seemed a good plan back all safe and sound in the coffee shop, trying to work out how to fix things so that she would be less of a target for the Senior Partners while making sure she wasn’t setting herself up for heartache anyway.

She tuned back into the call he’d taken, his hand on his hip and a ferocious scowl on his handsome face. “What is it Fred”, those intimidating brows snapped even further down after she answered him, the next instant he slammed the cell phone shut hard enough to break it and left the store at a run, the turbulent movement of air caused by his speedy exit making the open door shut with a bang.

Cordy held a hand to her mouth, holding back the cough by pure willpower, her eyes watering and throat spasmed, finally she could let it out and ended up wheezing when she could finally get some air inside her lungs.

She made it outside after cleaning as much of the gunk off herself as she could, she felt like screaming at the nerves she felt stepping out of the door. After a few minutes of brisk walking to get some distance between her and the store she rang Cathy.

“That was too close” she said, still a bit breathless, her heart feeling as if it was trying to pound it’s way out of her chest wall to pitter patter its way down the street, she almost wished it would and give her some peace.

“You’re telling me” yelled Cathy making Cordy pull the phone from her ear, “The only thing that saved your ass from getting collared was me getting Fred to ring him on his now activated cell and pretend you’d been sighted getting into a cab a few doors down”. Cathy finished with the shouting and settled down, “He won’t be fooled for long, so get moving”.

“OK thanks, any ideas where next” She asked, having run out of them herself.

“Yeah how about coming back to the hotel and stop giving me a heart attack”, Said Cathy with some asperity.

“You think it’s enough”? Cordy asked.

“Cor, I thought it was enough over an hour ago but you wanted to carry on remember”? Said Cathy impatiently and yet resigned at the same time.

“Yeah I know, but this is a one shot deal and I wanted to make sure that he wouldn’t just give up”, replied Cordy defensively.

She was fibbing to herself and she knew it. Some little devil inside had made her take this way too far and now it was too late. Why she’d strung it out so long she didn’t want to guess, maybe just to see if she could do it or much simpler, because she wanted to see how far she could push him. He’d driven her crazy a few times since she’d got back to LA was it so petty to want some payback.

Maybe or maybe not, but she knew that she didn’t dare push for much longer, reality had started to set in and a large part of her was afraid of the results of tonight’s work.

“Hun, listen to me and hear this time OK, he is so far over the line of just being ‘pushed’ that I seriously think you should consider giving him some cool off time before you stage the ‘truth or dare’ scenario you came up with”.

“OK I’m coming in” said Cordy, she’d deal with Angel later and then she shivered thinking of what Cathy had said, OK much later. Had she been too hasty she wondered, should she try and placate him and find another way of dealing with her insecurities. They both had them, was she being fair in trying to end hers by playing on his.

She got back to the hotel about a half hour later, the lobby was deserted and the lights off, Cathy must have gone to bed, thought Cordy with a grimace, she’s probably mad at me for the scares.

She walked upstairs but didn’t knock on Cathy’s door; apologies and thanks could wait until later in the morning. She opened the door to her room, a feeling of déjà vu coming over her as she remembered all the times she entered it when it had been his.

The door closed behind her without her having shut it, she spun around, her heart at her throat, and He stood just behind it, a menacing shadow in the half light of dawn. She just stared at him as tension filled the space between them with crackling energy. The cell phone rang and she answered it automatically.

Before she could even blink he was standing in front of her, he snatched the phone from her nerveless fingers and threw it with vicious force against the nearest wall where it smashed into fragments of plastic and electronic bits and pieces.

“Oh crap, you’ve done it now”, what the hell had she been thinking!

Part 22

Posted January 7, 2016 by califi in Complete

Lost and Found 20   1 comment

PART 20

Lilah stalked into the room where Cathy lay, she glanced at her on the bed but concentrated on Fred sitting in a chair staring at Cathy from just a few feet away.

“Did she buy it”? She asked without preamble, her face taut with anger.

“Yeah I think so, it looked that way to me”, Fred didn’t take her eyes off Cathy, Lilah didn’t notice but started to pace the room, frustration pouring off her.

“That stupid bloody fool, I told him to just take off with her and make sure she never came back if he didn’t want her dead”, she continued to pace, spinning on her heel when she reached a dead end. “But no he just couldn’t do that! He had to rub Angels’ face in it and then nearly got himself killed”. She ran out of breath and room again so stopped to stare at Fred.

“Why are you still looking like that and why are you staring at a dead body, I didn’t realise your kind ate meat”? Asked Lilah, fed up with little details messing up her plans.

‘Fred’ morphed into a pale grey, shapeless creature; it was quite small and very thin. “I’m a shape shifter Ms Morgan, it’s what we do”. There was a tiny whine in the voice that horribly, still retained Fred’s sweet Texan twang.

“Well stop it, it’s creeping me out – where is our little scientist by the way; you didn’t kill her did you”? She went on to ask.

“No, she’d just out of the way, but still alive”, it answered, then with a sly look in its fathomless black eyes, “It’s lucky you had a plan B to go to with the demon half breed out of the picture”.

Lilah took the compliment as her due, “I didn’t trust him and good thing too or otherwise we’d be in big trouble by now”

“Will he be willing to put her aside, just because she believed him capable of such ‘awful’ things”, it snickered at the description.

Lilah smiled a small smile too, “He’s a big wuss and would forgive her anything, no, that’s not plan B. Plan B is to make it look to the others like he killed her in a fit of rage or at the very least he’ll blame himself for her untimely death at the hands of vampires. Only it wouldn’t have to be vamps; they’re off the market on this one since the last stunt he pulled; but I’ve arranged it to still look like it”.

“Either way she’ll be gone forever, he’ll be inconsolable and alone again with no-one to turn to, and maybe finally he’ll be ready to embrace his darker side. What more could a girl ask for”? She smirked with a sudden intense feeling of satisfaction.

“What about the others, will they not intervene”? The shape shifter murmured in a distracted manner; it’s attention swinging back to the woman on the bed.

“They won’t know their cell phone accounts have all been blocked” Replied Lilah and then she noticed the continued preoccupation with Cathy.

“What are you staring at? It’s just a dead body” She was genuinely curious, this was not normal behaviour for shape shifters.

“There is something unusual about this one”, it replied, the fascinated gaze not wavering. “I cannot figure out what, but she is different and…it calls to me; I want to hurt her so bad and yet she’s already dead”, its black eyes looked up to Lilah as if seeking answers.

“Well don’t look at me” replied Lilah with a shudder, “I’ll leave you to it, do your worst or whatever bakes your cookies”, she left then going back to the hell she’d come up from.

The creature smiled then, rubbing its hands together in glee as it approached the bed. The bed hardly dipped with the slight weight and it laid a cold grey hand on Cathy’s cheek being careful to leave no mark, yet. Then Cathy’s eyes opened and she took a deep breath, her eyes latching onto the thing on her bed.

She’d known it was there even before she had opened her eyes, had sensed it even before the woman from Wolfram & Hart had arrived. She sensed something else too and only just managed not to dart her eyes to behind the thing and give the game away.

The creature gave a startled little shriek but then moaned in delight, “So I was right…” it never got to finish what it was going to say, before the sharp point of a sword was driven through its belly. Fred stood behind it, fire in her brown eyes and a red bruise on her right temple.

“Do you know what the hell is going on”? Asked Fred, bad temperedly.

“As a matter of fact I do” Said Cathy, swinging up off the bed and rubbing a crick out of her neck, now perfectly back in line with her spine. “We need to find Cordy”.

CORDY – HUNTING

She’d tried everywhere she could think of and was starting to get desperate too about the fact that she couldn’t get hold of any of the others, “What the frickin’ hell is going on, is there some kind of phone conspiracy or something”?

She jumped about a mile in the air when the phone box she was just walking past started to ring with an insistent shrill tone. She looked up and down the street, trying to see if there was someone lurking waiting for a call. She was alone, she looked at it quizzically and then thought, what the hell and picked it up.

She nearly dropped it when she heard Cathy on the other end, “What? Slow down OK, start again”. She stayed silent for a while, listening and then said, “Meet me at the coffee shop, you know the one that’s open 24 hours, OK see you soon”.

She hung up, feeling pissed as hell, “This is going to stop, I have had enough already”.

ANGEL – HUNTING

He was alone now having sent Lorne home; he just couldn’t bear to be around the demon at the moment. They’d got nowhere in the search for Cordy and the others had all stopped calling in, probably due to the fact that his damned cell phone wasn’t working.

He wasn’t giving up and unlike last time, never would if he had to track every fucking bus, train and plane out of this city he would find her no matter what and when he did… He stopped the thought, he’d find her first and then worry about making damn sure she never left his side again. He’d meant what he’d said in the hotel basement, even if he hadn’t quite realised it at the time.

He’d reached his limit, it had been different before; she hadn’t been his but this time she’d told him she loved him and he’d accepted it and no way was she taking it back; he didn’t give a crap what had happened since. He prowled the city, senses on alert always searching for her scent, or any small hint that she’d been close by.

He’d seen a woman who for just a second had looked like it might be her and he’d pounced, just before he reached the woman he’d realised it wasn’t Cordelia but he’d still given the woman a hell of shock, followed by a thrill by the look on her face as he’d walked away, too frustrated to be embarrassed.

“Where the hell are you”? His back was arched and fists clenched as he yelled it, scaring the hell out of people passing by. He was past caring; his hard earned self-control was stretched paper thin; that was why he’d sent Lorne away, because he had known it too.

CORDY – COFFEE SHOP

“I just do not believe this” hissed Cordy, leaning over the table trying not to be overheard, “Why does my relationship with Angel or lack of one matter so much to them”? She asked truly wanting to understand.

“What’s to understand” Replied Cathy, “It’s obvious you are a threat to them and the eventual turning of Angel back to their way of thinking”.

“How?” Asked Cordy, her hands in the air as she slumped back in the plastic chair, a picture of amazement and frustrated annoyance.

“Because when he’s in love with you, it doesn’t matter what crap they throw at him, he would just shrug it off. You’re his heart and they know that; without you he would be truly lost to them”.

Cordy just stared at her. She remembered the anguish he went through being in love with Buffy, they’d had so few real happy moments, was her relationship with Angel so different then? Then she wanted to smack herself, of course it was. They’d been friends first and then lovers, the happy moments were already in their memories in abundance. All they had to do to get through the bad times was bring ’em out and dust ’em off.

“OK I see why they might see it that way and maybe I even think it could be true. So what do I have to do to get rid of them”? She asked, despondently.

“You probably never will, but forearmed is forewarned and anyway you can handle yourself – and he can handle both you and himself”, Cathy grinned at Cordy and watched her blush; she’d done it deliberately to try and relax her.

They both sat for a while mulling over what they knew and trying to think of ways of ending the threat, at least for now.

“OK I think I might have a plan” Said Cordy, flicking a look at Cathy and gnawing on her full lower lip with sharp white teeth for moment before she sat up and continued, “You’re not going to like it but dammit if I’m going to take the risk I need to know for sure”.

Cathy gave a look back and took the bait, so delicately offered “Know what”?

“If he’s truly committed to me and not just the idea of being in love” She replied a determined look in her hazel eyes, “Yeah, yeah before you say it I know he says he is and I believe him mostly. But does he truly love me? I know better than anyone else that Angel loves to love, it makes him feel human and that’s important to him”, she stopped trying to find the right words to explain what she was thinking and feeling.

“I understand that as much as any human who’s not 250 plus years can, but that’s why I need more than words. I need to know”, she stopped frustrated at not being able to verbalise it properly; not surprising really it was something she usually avoided thinking about.

“I understand” Said Cathy quietly her hand squeezing Cordy’s on the table in support, “You want to know that he values you for you”.

Cordy shrugged and pulled a face, that sounded so cold and selfish but essentially it was true, “Does that make me a bad person”? She asked with a sideways and almost shy look at Cathy.

“Not at all, considering you’re the only one I know with a vampire for a lover, I’d say some reassurance above and beyond the norm is natural”.

OK that made sense reassured Cordy gave a big smile, and the plan seemed even more attractive now.

Some time later Cathy sat back and just stared at Cordelia in shock, shit that would take some guts, not to mention some serious risks considering exactly what was being proposed, thought Cathy. “Are you sure you want to do it that way”? Please change your mind!

“I’m sure” Said Cordy without any hesitation, now she’d said it out loud she couldn’t wait to get started, she was fed up of being manipulated and wanted to take back control of her life, starting now.

“You do realise that he may flip out completely and then where are you going to be”? Asked Cathy desperately.

“He won’t hurt me, not really” Said Cordy with certainty, sure of it in such a way that she couldn’t understand how she’d believed the lies earlier in the night.

“Look, you said it yourself, the things you value are the things that are most important to you; which to him are, his soul and I’m so not going to touch that one, kind of essential. But then there’s that damned noble streak of his that’s so important to him. I want to push him to see if that kicks in and he walks away from me; or if he drops it completely then I’ll know he’s really mine”.

She was so earnestly sure that she could safely manipulate him into revealing his darker side and letting it loose, on her. Cathy couldn’t think of a more insane plan even if she had a week to do it in, but still was there a better way? If this was what it would take for Cordelia to accept him completely, should she really try and stop her?

“OK I’ll help you, but let’s not forget the big death scene the dead woman had planned for you”. Cathy finally said and Cordy relaxed; she could handle that, but she needed Cathy’s co-operation for the plan to work on Angel.

“OK, lets get started we only have about three hours of nighttime left”. Cordy said as she gulped down the coffee and picked up her bag. “Are you ready”?

“Am I hell” Cathy muttered, but stood anyway, what was she getting into now?

Part 21

Posted January 7, 2016 by califi in Complete

Lost and Found 19   1 comment

Part 19

GROO’S MOTEL ROOM

Cordelia came too with a splitting headache and a belly that protested even the slight movement needed to breathe. Fighting down the urge to be sick she twisted her head around without lifting it off the pillow and searched the room for Groo, grateful when he was nowhere to be seen.

She sat up then only to find that now it was her turn to find herself chained to a bed, this time with handcuffs around her wrists and another chain linked to the bed-head and her mouth was taped shut. Duh like it wouldn’t be the first thing she removed, she thought to herself as she did just that.

“Well this is just great”, she said annoyed with herself as well as Groo, “What the hell has got into him! You just wait till I get my hands on you, you stupid frickin…”? She didn’t finish the sentence unable to think of anything bad enough that summed up her feelings, so she huffed out a big sigh and then flopped back down to lie on her back so she could reach into the back pocket of her dark blue jeans and removed a little packet of tools.

She got it out with some more wiggling and pulling and then sat back up, picking up the little red plastic packet and choosing one of them. The long thin instrument was not easy to use in this position and it took her quite a while and one sore wrist later to unlock the cuffs and free herself.

She clambered off the bed in a less than graceful fashion and stood swaying for a while, willing the rising contents of her stomach back down where it belonged. “Groo; you have some serious explaining to do”.

Then a thought struck her and her eyes widened in sudden panic, she checked all of her pockets, jeans and hip length jacket but couldn’t find her cell phone, “Dammit”, she checked the motel room phone but it was dead, the lead yanked out of it and frayed, impossible to repair.

“Great, could this day possibly get any worse”? She groaned her head in her hands, but then she sat up again, “What am I worried about Angel for, it’s me who got chained up”. But she couldn’t get rid of a bad feeling that he was next on Groo’s list.

“He’s a big bad vampire, he can look after himself”, she repeated this to herself a few times and tried not to worry about what damage Groo intended. “This is getting ridiculous! Every time we reach some kind of understanding something happens to ruin it”, she just hoped that whatever was going on Angel didn’t over-react, “like he usually does” she thought, “Crap”.

“There should be a health warning about NOT getting into relationships with demons; things go wrong, forget counselling and call in the National Guard”.

First things first were to get back to the hotel and try and reach Angel to warn him, if not then she would just have to go to his office herself. She let herself out of the motel room, pleased to find her car still sitting outside -and wonder of wonders, the car keys were still in the pocket of her jacket. Things were looking up and boy would she be glad to see the back of this bizarre day.

THE HYPERION HOTEL

Cordy opened the glass doors and was greeted by nothing, the lobby was empty but she could smell coffee, so Cathy was around somewhere then. She walked over to the weapons cabinet and took out a large hunting knife, it was an impressive one and she’d need it if Groo decided to make another appearance.

Next was the phone, she dialled Angel’s office and was greeted with an electronic voicemail message asking her to leave a name and number, it was out of hours so there was no receptionist, unhelpful or otherwise. Frustrated she rang his cell phone again, only to get an unobtainable signal. She nearly screamed in frustration.

“Crap, crap and double crap, I hate Wolfram & Hart”, but she was going to have to go there, so much for a long hot soak in a tub followed by a couple of hours of much needed sleep.

She knocked on Cathy’s door intending to warn her too and waited for an invite inside, but she was shocked to find the door being opened by Fred, a very battered looking Fred. “What the hell happened to you”? Asked Cordy dumbstruck and then felt awful when big fat teardrops formed in Fred’s big brown eyes and started to fall down her cheeks.

Unhesitatingly Cordy put her arms around the smaller woman and led her back inside, only to stop in horror seeing the prone figure on the bed. “What happened here Fred” She asked again turning the woman so that she could see her face.

Fred tucked her face downwards; unsuccessfully trying to hide the ugly red and blue bruises marring her left cheek and eye. “It was Angel” she whispered as more fat tears fell down her cheeks.

ANGEL & LORNE

They’d split up into two teams while Fred stayed back at the hotel in case Cordy came back there on her own and also ringing around the hospitals and local motels trying to find a lead. Gunn and Wes were checking Cordy’s old apartment and known human haunts which were not many. Angel was with Lorne.

They stuck to the demon hotspots, with particular attention being paid to any demons from other dimensions. “If she’s gone and got herself sucked down another portal I swear I’m gonna tie a bungee cord around her waist”, snapped Angel, frustration getting the better of him.

“Calm down Angel, you’re vibes are seriously impeding my aura reading abilities here, they get any more electric my brains are going to be fried”, said Lorne tired out from trying to keep the vampire from simply going with his standard ‘sudden burst of violence’ approach.

“If you hadn’t beat the crap out of our only solid lead, then we might have already found her”, he added, hoping another dose of guilt would put a lid on the temper.

Angel just shot him a disgusted look, “He wasn’t going to tell us where she is, you heard him”, but damn he was ready to give it another shot if the half demon had come back around yet. “Where did they take him anyway”?

“Oh no you don’t and do not give me that look Angelface, the not killing him part still stands and I seriously doubt he’s going be ready for another round for quite a while”, replied Lorne, unimpressed by the black look he was getting from the vampire.

They had just left another dead end and where running out of options of where to go next. They needed a lead, preferably before Angel’s control snapped yet again. He was going to have to have a word with a certain ex-seer/princess, thought Lorne, she needed to appreciate what her antics put them all through when Angel found out about them and went nuts.

“So what are you going to do if we find her and she wants to leave LA”? He hesitated to ask, but neither was it a good idea to ignore the possibility and then find out when it was too late.

“I don’t want to talk about it”, Said Angel quietly and succinctly, following it up with a sideways, ‘don’t go there’ look.

“You need to consider it, Groo was known for being a stickler for the facts” Said Lorne, he was sympathetic, he really was. But he was also worried he remembered with chilling clarity the words Angel said during the fight, “I will not let her go”. Oh boy this was shaping up to be an angst filled night.

He looked back at Angel noting the tense jaw, full lips drawn back tight in a snarl and winced. Don’t anger the man in black, he should make it a motto and put it down on a memo for any other unsuspecting idiot with a big mouth.

“I said I don’t want to talk about, I just want to find Cordy, now”, he growled in that ‘about to vamp out’ fashion he had. Did he do that deliberately wondered Lorne, cos as a method of intimidation it was pretty effective, he shut up about it.

THE HYPERION HOTEL

“What”? Said Cordy her voice a shocked disbelieving whisper, no way.

Fred didn’t miss the denial in Cordy’s eyes and pulled away, “You think I like admitting one of my closest friends went berserk, beat me up, killed your friend and all but murdered Groo right before my eyes?”, her voice was trembling and close to being hysterical.

The only thing that made any sense to Cordy was the bit about Groo, so she latched onto it but the sick feeling in her stomach was suddenly spreading through the rest of her body. “Groo was here”? Let’s keep it simple, she thought; and then maybe she could keep up with Fred’s mental gymnastics.

“Yes, he came to tell Angel that you were safe and that he had helped you escape from some demons and Angel just went postal, saying that was his job”, said Fred still crying, she walked over to Cathy and picked up a pale hand. “Cathy tried to tell him that she could ‘see’ that you were OK and he smacked her into a wall so hard it snapped her neck”.

Fred saw the disbelief on Cordy’s face still and stood up again to walk over the balcony door.

“Believe me I understand why you don’t want to believe it, I saw it myself and I still can’t get it right in my head, it just doesn’t click does it? But it happened”, Fred started to sob quietly then hiding her face in her hands.

“It’s not that I don’t believe you Fred” said Cordy carefully, hell yes she didn’t believe her. There had to be something else going on, but this was Fred her friend and she was hurt and definitely afraid of something or someone. “It’s just it doesn’t sound like him and it doesn’t make any sense”.

Fred stayed silent just looked up with her tear stained face silently looking at Cordy; her eyes were like bruises too, filled with pain but of the emotional kind, not the physical. All of a sudden Cordy’s certainty started to melt and she felt a dizzy spell sneak up on her, she took deep breaths to make the panic disappear.

“Go and watch the video” Said Fred with a carefully neutral look on her face, “What video”? Asked Cordy.

“The trying to kill Groo part happened in the basement and it got recorded on the CCTV we had installed last year, see that and you will know that the rest is true too”.

Feeling sick Cordy walked back down to the lobby and over to the monitor still on the hotel counter, a leftover from the Angelus period of last year. The picture turned from static to show the basement just as Groo walked down the stairs.

The small hairs on her neck and arms rose up as she watched it with eyes wide, there was no sound only a picture but it was bad enough just watching without the sound too. She shivered as if cold and rubbing her bare arms, the white vest top she was wearing suddenly not covering enough.

Fred stood beside her, whispering explanations. “We weren’t worried at first, it was just a guy thing, but then Angel took it too far and it was all we could do to stop him killing Groo”.

Cordy watched it unfold, speechless at the sheer brutality of the fight, she’d seen him fight so many times you would think she would be immune to it by now, but this was something else. Oh my God, what the hell was going on she thought as the recording finally stopped just as Angel looked like he was going for the kill. As evidence that he’d lost it, it was damning

“Are you sure it was Angel, could it have maybe been something pretending to be him”? She asked desperate to find an excuse, anything to explain this without having to believe that Angel had turned murderous. “Or a spell, maybe it’s a spell”, that sounded better and not unbelievable, not to mention fixable.

Then she looked back at little Fred’s bruised and swollen face, “What about Wes, Gunn and Lorne why did they let this happen”? She asked pointing at Fred’s face.

“They left to get Groo out of Angel’s way before he changed his mind, I stayed behind with Cathy. But Angel lost it again and I tried to stop him from hurting Cathy, I failed”, she said the last miserably, obviously torn up about it.

“It’s not your fault Fred, there’s little you could have done”, my god am I actually starting to accept this now? She asked herself, her numb mind still trying to absorb it all.

Why did it feel wrong somehow, she knew she should be able to work this out but her brain just wouldn’t function properly, she was still so drained and sluggish from the drug Groo had used and was totally not up to dealing with this, but she had no choice; again.

She walked back over to the weapons cabinet and replaced the knife, taking out instead the tazer and the tranq gun and tucking them into the bag now slung over her shoulder and picking her jacket back up of the couch. She looked back at Fred and smiled wanly, “Do you know where he went”?

Fred shook her head and watched as Cordy walked to the doors, her face strained and pale, but filled with a kind of desperate determination. “OK it doesn’t matter I’ll find him somehow and try and immobilise him. Will you get hold of the guys and tell them what’s happened and to try and catch me up”?

Fred nodded, “What if you can’t immobilize him. Will you kill him”? Cordy was too preoccupied to notice that the question in Fred’s voice was matter of fact.

“No” she said shortly and then “look after Cathy” as she walked out.

“Look after what? She’s dead you moron” said Fred once Cordy had safely left.

Part 20

Posted January 7, 2016 by califi in Complete

Lost and Found 18   1 comment

Part 18

“The hell she is”

Those words growled out by Angel had everyone freezing; nervously looking between the two men. Fred glanced at Wesley who just lowered his chin and nodded at her reassuringly. Lorne tried to smile and laugh it off, anything to break the almost unbearable tension; while Gunn suddenly took an interest in the ceiling while at the same time surreptitiously keeping a close watch on Groo.

Angel stood in the lobby looking up the stairs at the new arrival, his body language the kind that spells violence, in capitals. The silence lengthened as Groo looked back down at Angel with an expression that spoke volumes, fearless and arrogantly assured that he could handle himself.

“I have come to collect her things” said Groo, looking away from Angel and talking to the group as a whole; ignoring Angel’s aggressive denial, which did as it was supposed to and infuriated the vampire even more.

“You are not taking anything from this hotel” snarled Angel moving forward a few paces, stiff with anger; his muscles tight as if he was barely holding himself in check. If he had hackles they would have been standing up by now, thought Lorne, wondering where he could get his hands on some water to throw over the pair one they stopped squaring off and got down to what look like a doozy of a fight.

“You would stop me from doing what she has asked of me? Have you lost all nobility and honour then vampire”? Asked Groo coldly, deliberately stabbing at the heart of Angel’s insecurity and relishing the way he stiffened even more.

Pain lashed through Angel’s insides like claws twisting in his gut, “It’s not true” He denied, trying to hide the fact that he was hurting. “Cordy is where she wants to be”, God he needed to believe that. “I want to know where she is so I can talk to her” he demanded, eyes narrowed with suspicion on the half demon.

“She does not want to see you” said Groo with quiet conviction, changing his attitude to one less aggressive and more ‘sympathetic’.

“I don’t believe you, you’re lying” Fred jumped in, this makes no sense she thought, how could it be possible, when did Cordy change her mind and why?

“I am the Groosalug I do not lie” said Groo with a sharp glance at Fred, who went quiet, unable to dispute that fact and looking damned unhappy about it.

“We know who you are” said Wesley severely, “but we still want so see Cordelia in person before we’re satisfied”. He had a great deal less faith in Pylean folklore than Fred did.

“Forget satisfied” Angel interrupted still looking at Groo with unwavering intensity “I don’t give a rat’s ass what you say. Cordy is not leaving with you”. He didn’t care what this asshole said he wanted to see Cordy; he’d deal with her wanting to leave then. He pushed the pain aside to deal with later; for now he had only one focus and that was getting her location out of Groo, piece by piece if necessary.

“Cordy’s stuff is in the basement” Piped up Fred, earning her glare from all four of her male colleagues, she just shrugged and making sure Groo was looking elsewhere flicked her eyes to indicate the stairs and held her hands up; imitating holding bars.

They got the message and Wesley took the initiative, walking towards the door leading to the basement, they all followed including Groo while giving Angel a suspicious look and waiting for him to precede him. Angel ignored the unspoken invitation to go first and stood back his face expressionless now, hiding his rioting emotions and biding his time.

Once downstairs Fred, Wes, Gunn and Lorne stood facing Groo; two on either side of the cell door that now stood open. Groo looked momentarily confused when he saw it and then it clicked and he stiffened. But it was too late, Angel stood directly behind him, a silent and menacing presence.

“Tell us where Cordelia is or you cool your heels in there while we go find her ourselves anyway”, said Angel, watching and waiting for the attack that he knew would come; he wanted it so bad he could taste it.

Fred moved off for a moment and went over to the cupboard at the rear of the basement; they needed a chain to lock the cell now since Gunn had managed to bust it open the last time they’d been in there themselves.

Groo saw the opportunity and dived for her, his hands outstretched to snag her jacket and get himself a hostage. Fred felt the move though and dropped to the floor, Groo’s hands came up with nothing and Angel grabbed him by the belt of his pants and almost casually yanked back, sending the half demon crashing into the wall under the stairs.

Groo shook his head to clear it and looked at Angel, he smiled then with uncharacteristic coldness, his blue eyes filled with a gleam of anticipation. “I have not had a good fight since leaving here; I will enjoy beating you to a bloody pulp, vampire”.

“You have it backward Groo, I’m going to whoop your ass”, Angel smiled back every bit as coldly, his body moving with predatory grace, circling the man he now considered his enemy and so his prey.

“I am the true champion here, you are just a tool for the powers” goaded Groo deliberately while flexing his arms and shoulders and matching the circling movements.

“Who gives a shit” said Angel without heat, Gunn snorted with laughter and moved to the side to let Fred get behind them as they all moved to clear a space and watch. “So he can swear then”? Gunn asked Wesley and just got a raised brow and a small smile of agreement back.

That was the end of the verbal sparring, Angel waited for Groo to make the first move using the time to nurture the rage coursing through him. Channelling it to the demon inside him, feeding it and feeling it rise to the surface, making his skin tingle with pure unadulterated aggression.

Groo aimed a pile driver punch straight at Angel’s face, all of his considerable strength behind it making it capable of crunching bone. Angel caught the fist but didn’t try to stop it, simply held on and let Groo’s face come closer as he helplessly followed through, unable not to with no connection to halt him. When Groo’s face was only whisker away from his own Angel vamped out in full demonic form; feral yellow eyes underneath a ridged brow and with hungry fangs on full display as he opened his mouth and growled so savagely it was more of roar.

Groo jerked back and staggered a little before righting himself and taking a deep breath to steel his rattled nerves, Angel let him; satisfied that Groo was no longer under any illusions about what was going to happen here.

As he’d been trained Groo carried on with his offensive, using his strength and speed to attack at full stretch, ready to fend of any counter attacks. Only Angel made none, He let Groo’s confidence ebb as he deflected or avoided every strike no matter how fast or skilled. The coldness Angel used to maintain his control of the demon within was nothing but a dim memory, obliterated by the heat of jealousy and anger, fuelled by pain.

After a few minutes of this Groo was so frustrated he took a risk and left himself open, his midriff exposed with both arms back drawing for more strength. Angel instantly slammed his own fist directly into Groo’s stomach with all of his considerable might. Groo doubled over, gasping for breath only to have it knocked out of him again when a follow up punch to the mouth had blood flying off to the side from his now split lip.

Angel could smell the blood and growled again as the blood lust and hunger enraged him further, inciting the need to inflict more pain, a need wholly instinctive to his demonic nature. Playtime was over, he followed Groo’s downward path and grabbed his chin with his left hand so that he could drive another punch onto that bloody face with his right, crunching the nose ligaments and making Groo gag as blood ran down his throat.

Groo stiffened as he felt himself lifted off the ground by his shirt and fabric tore as Angel threw him across the basement to land several feet away. He looked up and saw the vampire coming at him again; the snarling demonic face ruthless and fangs glistening even in the dim light. He tamped down a spurt of fear and waited for Angel to get close enough.

Groo snapped out a booted foot and felt triumph flood him again when he caught the vampire’s knee driving him back and down, he made himself rise and take advantage of the only opportunity he’d had so far.

Angel felt himself hit the ground and used his weight to balance on his shoulder blades and then swung his legs up, the momentum and drive allowing him to rise but not quite quickly enough. Groo pulled a foot out from beneath him again and then followed it up with a stamping boot to the groin.

This time it was Angel who doubled up in pain, but what Groo didn’t or simply couldn’t realise was that the vampire within Angel thrived on receiving as well as giving pain. Angel rolled away and spun on the small of his back; bring his own legs into the action and catching the back of the half demon’s legs.

Groo fell to his knees and then could only clutch with desperate hands the legs that were suddenly wrapped with destructive force around his throat, the powerful muscles constricting and crushing his windpipe. Angel used his back and thighs to force Groo back down to the floor again, not relenting, gritting his teeth and refusing to release his deadly lock around the struggling man.

Once on the floor Angel sat up and brought a fist down onto Groo’s chest, the recoil would have twisted his own back if he hadn’t finally released him at the same instant the blow landed. Then he rose and waited for Groo to recover, backing away a few steps but not enough to let Groo think the worst was over.

“Where is Cordelia”? He snapped it out, his voice unnaturally deep.

Groo staggered upright, blood was still spurting from his mouth and nose, to the vampire the air was misted with it, his hunger increased but he tamped it down. Groo laughed, a crazy sound coming from his battered face, “I will not tell you and you will never find her, detective”, he said with careful mockery in every word.

Angel growled infuriated and struck with an unreasoning fear that had nothing to do with the conflict, his body clenched with an all-encompassing surge of pain, and the resulting fury was more than he could contain. “I will not let her go”, he roared the words that had been spinning through his mind since Groo had turned up, finally releasing them as they were dredged up from the depths of his soul.

Reason fled, emotions and the basest of violent instincts drove him to attack without thought of life only death. Wes, Fred and the others watched in horrified silence as the two went at each other in a vicious frenzy again and again.

Groo sensing the pain he had inflicted found a second wind and managed to strike out and drive back the vampire, but Angel would just rise and come back hardly slowing down for any blow that landed. They were both bloodied by this stage, but neither noticed nor cared; each focused entirely on the other man they considered a rival.

Finally Groo started to tire as he had been losing blood for longer, and not helped by the fact that his wounds did not heal quite as quickly as Angel’s. He couldn’t manage to duck from another crunching blow to the jaw and his head snapped back, then Angel whipped out a kick that also caught his jaw sending him crashing into the wall behind him, he stayed upright only because another kick followed that one and then another, his head continuously battered against the cement wall.

His head swum dizzily but he managed to see a fist fly toward him through swollen and slitted eyes, but it was not possible to avoid it, he could hardly move. It didn’t matter anyway, because he hardly felt it, his face was numb. Angel continued to pummel the half demon with blows to both body and face, only microseconds between each one.

Finally Angel stepped back gathering himself for a last killing kick to the throat that would crush the larynx. But just as he was about to unleash it, he felt strong hands gripping him by the upper arms and pulling him away; he snarled and twisted out of their grip, turning around to face his friends; his face murderous.

“That’s enough Angel,” said Wesley unflinchingly, not backing away from the rage that poured off the vampire in waves. Gunn stood beside Wesley watching Angel carefully; prepared to defend himself, but hoping like hell it wouldn’t be necessary.

“Think Angel, even if he’s telling lies about Cordy, she would never forgive you if you killed him” he said, praying it would be enough to get past the blood lust.

Fred moved to stand between the two, certain that he would think twice before hurting her. Lorne joined her but felt a lot less certain about that self same thing.

Angel backed away from them his hands clenching and unclenching as he battled for self-control, they watched him; aware of it and trusting he would be successful. Finally he crouched down on his haunches and covered his face with his hands, covering his eyes and nose to block out the smell and sight of the blood gleaming with red and tempting fire on the floor, walls and on Groo now slumped on the floor.

Wesley signalled to Gunn and Lorne to pick up the unconscious half demon and take him out of there while the going was good, they didn’t hesitate.

Upstairs unknown to the gang a slim figure was slouched over the reception desk counter, grey face almost pressed to the screen of the monitor, having watched with avid enjoyment the scene that had been played out and also made sure certain parts had been recorded. It darted upstairs with inhuman speed when it heard them stagger up the stairs with Groo held up between them.

Part 19

Posted January 7, 2016 by califi in Complete

Lost and Found 17   1 comment

PART 17

OUT AND ABOUT

It was late evening and Cordy was finishing the day with a quick trip to the bank; having arrived so late she was using the automatic teller to deposit a cheque from a client. She was deep in thought when she heard his voice and nearly jumped out of her skin, she jerking around to find him standing behind her. “Stop with the stalking will you, it’s bad enough with the others you’ve got watching me night and day”, she snapped at him, glowering.

“Why did you ditch them if all you were doing was going to the bank”? He asked enquiringly, one brow raised in mild amusement. In the evening darkness he was just a tall dark figure looming over her, blocking the street light behind him.

She tossed her hair out of her face, wishing it was even darker to hide the blush that stained her cheeks, images of the dream from the other night filling her mind, it was the first time she’d seen him since.

“I don’t like being watched” She finally got out and then arched a brow of her own, making it clear she didn’t appreciate having to go to the trouble of losing her ‘guards’. He just lifted his chin in acknowledgement and turned to walk with her, calming down she asked him, “How did you find me”?

“I picked up your scent from the where they’d last seen you, care to tell me how you do it”? He asked not really expecting her to answer. She stopped walking and so he stopped too, smiling at her exaggerated ‘grossed out’ expression.

“OK enough with the supernatural sense of smell. Are you telling me I need a bath or just letting me know that I wouldn’t be able to ‘ditch’ you as easily as I did your crack team”? She smiled at him then entranced by the idea of pitting her wits against his and seeing if she could beat the ‘master’ stalker, “don’t go there Cordy”.

“You smell great and you know it”. Better than great actually, he had to suppress an urge to lean down and nibble, in a good way he hastily assured himself and cursed his photographic memory among other things.

“As for the watching, I want to offer you a compromise” he finished, moving his head to hold her gaze when she would have started walking again.

“Compromise”? That sounded promising but she could hardly concentrate on what he was saying. They were standing so close she had to look up to see his starkly masculine face and her eyes kept get getting caught by his full lips and remembering how they felt kissing their way down her body.

“Yeah, I’ll stop the surveillance if you agree to ring me anytime you take on a dangerous case so that I can, you know help you”. He was completely serious now, face almost stern in the half light. She didn’t say anything straight away, appearing to mull it over.

He didn’t like her hesitation, “It’s either that or I baby-sit you myself and believe me I’ll be all over you like you wouldn’t believe” He warned his jaw set stubbornly, dark eyes fiercely determined.

Thinking about it later she thought she should have objected to being given an ultimatum like that, but right then she was too busy fighting yet another blush and the tingles that raced through her body at the ideas that ‘threat’ gave her overactive imagination, “get a grip” she told herself.

“OK you have a deal”, she didn’t know if it would work but what the hell if it got rid of prying eyes and besides that she wasn’t so stubborn she would refuse some backup if things got rough.

“Promise me” He said stubbornly moving to block her path, wanting to cement the deal and at the same time use it as an excuse to make sure he would see her again soon. She wasn’t too happy with his apparent lack of trust but just gave him an annoyed look as she said “I promise OK”.

He was satisfied with that and walked her back to her car, wincing as she drove off at what he considered to be a dangerous speed. “Women drivers” he muttered and then was glad she couldn’t hear him or his head would have been bitten off at the neck.

THE HYPERION HOTEL

The next morning Cordy was in the basement, practising with a light-weight broadsword, specially designed for women said the store owner, yeah right, it felt like a lead weight, ah well she’d get used to the weight soon enough.

She ignored the footsteps on the stairs coming down, thinking it was just Cathy but it wasn’t it. When she turned around and saw Lilah, she nearly dropped the sword in shock but managed to swing it safely to the side. “What are you doing here” she whispered, remembering their last face to face.

“I’ve come to make you an offer” said Lilah with a broad smile, “Think of it as thanks for killing me before Angelus could do his worst”; she finished with a smirk and a depreciating shake of her head. Lilah watched as Cordelia turned even paler, her hazel eyes wide and yet watchful.

Cordelia recovered her wits and said with brutal frankness “I’m not sorry you’re dead Lilah, I’m just sorry it was me that did it, there are so many other people who deserved the pleasure”, it was just her opinion.

“Don’t you want to hear the offer, it’s a good one” Asked Lilah leaning against the bars of the steel cell that was still taking up a fair amount of floor space. The cell was something Cordy wanted to get rid off; although right then it was looking like it might come in handy.

“Not interested” said Cordy shortly, her face relaxed now, this was familiar territory, sparring with Lilah, one bitch to another.

“How can you know unless you hear me out” Said Lilah with a deep sigh, as if practising patience. She’d known Cordy wouldn’t be interested but then it was only an excuse for being here, not the real reason for the visit.

“You’re dead, you’re evil and you’ve come here for the Senior Partners to make me an offer, oh sure I’ll just sign on with the law firm from hell, gimme a break” Replied Cordy without a moment’s hesitation.

“The others all did, they seem to be enjoying the perks, especially Angel”, Lilah prodded, deliberately.

“Don’t kid yourself Lilah, he’d be gone in an instant if you didn’t have a hold over him”, Cordy narrowed her eyes at the dead woman, knowing there was something else that Lilah was waiting to reveal.

“Oh I think I’m not the one kidding myself Cordelia, but that’s another story. So tell me how’s life after the visions; what with there being no messages about people in trouble for you now. How much can you do alone”?

“I do OK and I don’t need any help from you, I can take care of myself just ask Eve”, Said Cordy coldly.

“I would except she’s no longer available for consultation, thanks for that by the way, she was getting on my nerves. Nice to know I can still bank on you to get someone killed for me” Smirked Lilah watching for Cordy’s reaction avidly.

“I didn’t kill her”, snapped Cordy

“You might as well have, she’s got a contract out on her and will be dead before morning”.

“Just like you there’s no-one I can think of who deserves it more” replied Cordy with sarcasm.

“No doubt, shame about the young teenage girl who was taken too”, said Lilah her face carefully composed into one of mock sorrow.

“What the hell are you talking about” snapped Cordy stalking towards Lilah, the sword raised now.

“Take it easy wonder girl, I’m dead remember. Eve was running for her life and stopped to beg some girl for help. The girl was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and they both got taken”. Lilah shrugged unconcerned.

“Of course that means that’s two to add to your body count -but not to worry you’re still nowhere near your lovers numbers yet, but I have faith in you”, Lilah taunted in a low smiling voice.

Cordy ignored Lilah’s taunting; she knew this was not her fault, but still. She turned away to think, her mind working the angles furiously. She shot a suspicious look at the dead woman “How do I know you’re speaking the truth”?

Lilah took some photographs out of the leather case she been holding and dropped them on the cement floor of the basement. Cordelia leaned down to pick them up, keeping a careful watch on Lilah.

They were taken in a darkened street and by the quality were taken from a CCTV camera or something similar. They showed large unidentifiable cloaked figures attacking Eve and a young teenage girl. The last one showed them both being dragged away, Eve by her hair, the girl by the waist like a sack of potatoes.

“Why show these to me? Eve worked for Wolfram & Hart, so get Angel to rescue the girl”

“The demons work for us; this is Eve getting her comeuppance for failing so miserably; the Senior Partners are touchy about that kind of thing. As for the other girl, well sometimes you just can’t control subcontractors”, she said it in a kind of fatalistic, ‘what the hell’ kind of way making Cordy wanted to slap her.

“Make them release the girl, it’s not fair, she’s an innocent”, Cordy said to her, the words slow and carefully pronounced, this was no longer a verbal game of cat and mouse.

“Life is never fair haven’t you realised that yet and anyway I can’t do it, they consider her part of the spoils and so theirs”. Lilah shrugged again.

Cordy studied the pictures again, she found an address on the back of one of them, “What kind of demons are they and ..”? She looked up but Lilah was gone and she was alone again.

WOLFRAM & HART BUILDING

The phone on the desk rang, diverted from Angel’s direct line as he was out of the office. The woman at the desk answered the phone with professional crispness.

“Good morning, Wolfram & Hart, how can I help you”?

“Hi can I speak to Angel please, this is Cordelia Chase” asked Cordy hurriedly, c’mon put me through she wanted to say, life and death stuff here.

“I’m sorry Ms Chase but Mr Angel is not in his office, can anyone else help you”? Still crisp and impersonal but the woman’s eyes had sharpened on hearing who was calling.

“When will he be available it’s an emergency and I need to speak to him now” demanded Cordelia sharply.

“I have no idea Ms Chase, maybe later tonight or early in the morning”.

“Does he still have the same cell phone as before”? Asked Cordy frustrated.

“I’m sorry I don’t know” Said the woman unhelpfully.

Cordelia rang off after insisting that a message be given to him to ring her immediately. Annoyed she picked up the phone again and rang the cell phone number Angel’s used to have from way back.

“What the point of offering help and then not being around to give it you big dumbass”? She waited impatiently for someone to pick up at the other end.

A cell phone started to ring on the woman’s desk, she smiled and ignored it, when it finally stopped ringing she picked it up and then deleted the message Cordelia had left.

CORDY SEARCHING

The address turned out to be an old suburban estate, only the houses were not well kept up and one or two actually looked abandoned, or so she thought. In some cases roof tiles were missing and most had windows yellowed and grained with old dirt, but no matter what, they still looked better than the house whose address she had.

She stood outside it and looked down the path, overgrown with weeds and grass that looked like it had never see a mower since being sown, but that was just the best part. The worst was the fact that the house was a burnt out wreck. Blackened and cracked windows with soot and smoke from a much earlier fire staining the walls on both levels, lovely.

“This can’t be right”? She asked herself, reluctant to even go near in case she breathed too hard and the whole structure came tumbling down.

“Dammit Eve you’ve been a pain in the ass since I got back to LA, don’t stop now will ya”. She said with all the snark she could muster, just to cheer herself up.

She checked her cell phone again, still no signal, what was up with the damn thing she’d bought the best package just to avoid this situation. So no messages from Angel and no chance of getting hold of Cathy or anyone else, she was truly on her own with this one. Was that what Lilah had wanted, her alone and defenceless, maybe but could she really back away now?

She got the photographs out again and studied the young and terrified face of the teenage girl, she was blonde too but the difference from Eve was stark, even in the grainy pictures, she reminded Cordy of a much younger Buffy, only without the superpowers. For that reason alone she could not back out of this, she had to try.

“It’s just a house Cor c’mon, get a grip and get in there”, she told herself forcefully, pep talking herself was not her strong point but regardless she took and deep breathe and started down the path toward the old rickety porch.

ANGEL – WOLFRAM & HART BUILDING

“Are there any messages for me”? Angel asked of the woman who was manning the desk outside of his office, he didn’t think of her as his receptionist because they changed so often, Most were afraid of him and none stayed for long, he tried not to let it bother him.

“No sir” She answered with a sigh, not surprising since he’d asked that question at least once an hour since he’d gotten up. Despondent he walked away and then turned and hurried back.

“Did you find my cell phone”? He asked her, stuffing his hands into the pockets of his black pants. He hated to appear like he was bothering the woman but she just smiled and handed it back to him, he took it off her full of gratitude.

“Yes sir, I found it on the floor of your office” She told him archly.

“Oh I thought I’d checked my office” He said surprised and embarrassed.

“Obviously not very thoroughly Sir” She said without inflection, he looked at her and then walked away again, his shoulders slumping when he saw there were no messages. He missed her small and satisfied smile.

EVE

They’d chased her from the bus station where she’d been waiting in the dark and cold of pre dawn. The place had been deserted except for a single teller who had looked at her as if she was crazy. She’d been expecting something to happen, you just can’t do what she had done and expect to live, failure was not an option. When she’d seen the weird cloaked creatures she’d known they were there for her so she’d abandoned her stuff and just run.

But there had been more of them than expected and she nearly ran headlong into more, she’d gotten away that time but still she didn’t get far. She’d come across a girl and begged for help, though god only knows what she’d thought the girl could do, call the cops?

Now they were both here, chained to single metal frame beds, the mattresses had been removed and wooden boards put on top, both of them lay on the hard unyielding surface. The girl was crying, great gulping tears of pain and fear, Eve didn’t cry and had nothing to say that would be of any comfort, they were both going to die, soon.

CORDY

She didn’t bother knocking, hello did she really want to give advance warning that she was here, NOT!

She’d checked out the downstairs windows but couldn’t see much past the several years’ worth of grime and soot. The screen door was surprising silent when she opened it, obviously well oiled and the front door was unlocked, all she had to do was push it open.

“Why am I suddenly reminded of all the horror movies I’ve watched where some idiot woman goes into the monsters den”? Cordy asked herself. She paused before entering, it was noon and hot as hell but she shivered anyway. She pulled her cell phone out again, still no signal, damn.

She walked inside, clutching a small throwing axe in her right hand and slightly behind her back. Her trainers made no sound on the floor and she avoided the more obviously rotten parts of the floor. She’d come dressed to fight in long pants and a t-shirt, nothing too loose or baggy to give an opponent something to hold onto in a fight. She had a feeling she was going to need every advantage she could get.

After ten minutes and finding nothing inside the house to indicate anyone had been there recently and feeling oppressed by the blackened walls and huge gaping holes in the floors, she decided to leave before she fell through a floor somewhere, like that hadn’t happened before. “Been there done that” she thought.

She did a last sweep of downstairs, which looked the safest floor wise and found a door that she’d missed before; it opened easily just like the front doors had. It led to some stairs going down to the basement. Gripping the axe tighter she made her way down them, keeping to the left and making sure her right side was clear to defend and attack. At the bottom she found a light switch and snapped it on.

She’d found them, Eve and the girl were chained to beds in the middle of the room, blinking in the sudden light. OK so far so good, so where were the demons and why the hell had this been so easy. Cordy wasn’t happy with this set-up, because that’s exactly what it felt like, a set-up. She’d found the bait so where was the reel?

“Get us out of here” hissed Eve, suddenly wild with hope, why was the dumb bitch just standing there looking around?

Cordy had to admit Eve was right, why waste time -maybe she’d just hit lucky and caught the bad guys napping or something, no use wasting the opportunity. She moved to the beds and checked out the chains, solid but not impossibly thick; glad she’d brought the axe she started to whack away at the chains binding the girl.

She’d just finished with the girl and moved over to free Eve when there was a hissing sound, followed by a thunk. Cordy whipped her head up and around and saw a figure at the bottom of the stairs, blocking the only escape route. She stood up and briefly glanced at Eve, now dead with an arrow sticking grotesquely out of her chest, her mouth open as she’d been about to scream a warning just when it hit her. She looked back at the killer, but still couldn’t tell what it looked like, it wore a concealing cloak.

ANGEL – THE HYPERION HOTEL

She was definitely going to accuse him of stalking now, but he couldn’t shake a bad feeling about her and so here he was. At least this time he had a good excuse, he’d hunted out a case to offer her, not too dangerous and hopefully a good earner.

He felt like an interloper when he walked up the stairs from the basement and then crossed the lobby floor, which was strange considering this had been his home not too long ago.

“Hello, anyone here”? He had raised his voice, just in case.

No answer, he frowned it was the middle of the day and they could be on a case, but the bad feeling increased and made his stomach feel like it was full of knots. Deciding to forget being polite he bounded up the stairs to the upper floor, heading for the rooms and hoping he was just being oversensitive.

He found Cordy’s rooms empty but they looked OK, no signs of trouble and his senses were telling him she’d been there only a few hours ago at most. He walked back out and along the corridor to another room a few doors down, this room had been Fred’s. He knocked and waited, there was no answer and as far as he could detect there was no heartbeat but something made him open the door anyway.

She was lying on the floor, her legs twisted in an awkward angle which have been uncomfortable if she wasn’t already dead, her neck broken by the looks of it. He knelt down beside her and checked for a pulse, nothing. He sat back and looked down at her, if Cordy was right and the other week seemed proof enough, she would recover.

He picked her up and laid her on the bed, arranging her limbs and head in natural positions and then turned to leave. He didn’t notice that he’d left behind the wallet containing the details of the ‘case’. His bad feeling had escalated to almost downright panic and he patched through a call to the office as he ran back downstairs.

CORDY – HOUSE

The cloaked figure dropped the old fashioned bow it had used on Eve and drew back the hood of the cloak, its face was oddly human which should have been reassuring but it wasn’t. The head was entirely bald with a high brow and widely spaced entirely black eyes. The skin looked thick and pasty white, the mouth was lipless and the nostrils little more than slits.

“Well hey there handsome, do you come here often” Said Cordy sarcastically, lifting the axe up to her shoulder in an aggressive stance, designed to at least impress on it that she wasn’t going to be intimidated just because it was ugly, I mean weren’t they all?

It obviously didn’t like her response and lack of fear because the next thing it did was open the rest of the cloak to reveal, “Ewwww” an entirely naked, all pasty white body. It bent down and clenched its fists, staring at her and then it opened its mouth and howled.

“Oh gross, yuck and Eww again, you are one disgusting creep do you know that”? Said Cordy truly disgusted, then it charged her and she shrieked, she couldn’t help it. Give her a scaly monster any-day of the week and she’d have preferred that to this thing. She raised the axe and using a two handed grip swung it at the body.

It bounced off the thick skin and she ended up with a sore arm from the rebound. Its hands reached for her and she only just managed to bring a knee up and get it where it hurts, it howled again and backed away. Cordy could only be glad it was similar to humans in being sensitive in that area as well.

Not hesitating she took a step forward and raised the axe as high as she could and then brought it down on its unprotected head, thankfully it sunk in and it collapsed to the floor.

“There that wasn’t so bad”, she said smiling at the girl cowering under cover of the bed she’d been chained to. “There are more of them” the girl whispered back her pale and sweaty face filled with terror and shock.

“There are”? Asked Cordy feeling a lot less cocky. “Well let’s get the hell out of dodge before they come back too”. She grabbed the girl’s hand and pulled her out, but it was too late; they both heard the door bang shut at the top of the stairs.

Shoving the girl behind her Cordelia assumed a battle ready stance with both feet planted firmly apart for better balance. They both waited in silence as the footsteps came down the stairs and closer to them. When the figure reached the bottom and came into the light it was all Cordy could do to stare in utter confusion, “What the hell are doing here”?

“I’m here to save you” Said the man, stepping closer to reveal the familiar face of the Groosalugg.

ANGEL – WOLFRAM & HART BUILDING

“I hate this” he snarled as he stormed around his office, frustration at being able to do nothing eating at him. “Where the hell is she”?

Lorne was leaning against the desk watching as the vampire paced back and forth like a caged animal, “Wesley and the others are all out looking for her, there’s nothing you can do that they can’t”, then he winced, “except for the supernatural abilities of course, duh”.

“If she hadn’t kept evading the surveillance teams, we might have a better idea of what she’s been doing”, still with the snarling, in fact that last one was a good imitation of a growl.

“I can’t just wait here. I’m going back to the hotel; tell the guys to meet me there unless they come across a lead and then I want to know immediately, clear”?

“Sure thing boss, you want some company for the ride”? Angel didn’t answer but he took it as a yes anyway.

CORDY & GROO

“I can’t believe you found the message I left for Cathy and just turned up, not that I wasn’t glad to see you” Said Cordy with an uncomfortable smile. She just wasn’t sure she wouldn’t have rather just left before he turned up, “stop being a bitch” she told herself.

They’d just dropped the poor shell shocked girl off at home and where on their way to Groo’s motel room. He’d offered to accompany her back to the hotel but for some reason she hadn’t wanted him there and that made her feel bad too.

“I wanted to see you straight away, princess” for some reason his use of the name he’d always called her sounded odd, as if it was purely by rote. Her unease increased, call it women’s intuition, whatever, she just knew that Groo had changed since she’d last seen him and she didn’t think it was for the better.

“Look I appreciate that, really but I’m fine and sooo tired why don’t I see you tomorrow and we can catch up then over a nice mug of latte”? She gave him a bright smile, “please just say OK”.

“I need to talk with you now and then we may see each other tomorrow”, he said insistently. She silenced a deep sigh and turned back to give her attention to the road now that the stop light had changed to green.

His motel was part of a large chain and so she was able to park outside his room as directed. When she would have just said ‘bye’, he reached over and lifted her hand in his, pointing to his room. She looked into his eyes and remembered how much he’d given up for her and how she’d let him down. “OK but just for a few minutes and then I have to go back home”.

“I understand” he said quietly, smiling his gentle smile making her wonder why she’d felt such uneasiness about him, he was still her Groo.

Cordy entered the room first and wondered why the curtains were drawn tightly closed. It couldn’t be to keep the heat out as there was air conditioning in each room but then she felt a cloth being pressed over her nose and mouth and understood. She tried to fight him off but his arms were steel bands around her, she lost consciousness within seconds.

THE HYPERION HOTEL

They all gathered in the lobby getting ready for another sweep of the city and Cordy’s known haunts over the last few weeks, Intel gathered from the surveillance, meagre at best was laid out on the desk that had been Angel’s then Wesley’s and was now Cordy’s.

Dusk was only a half hour away and they were all glad of it, Angel was getting past unbearable at being cooped up still and moving location hadn’t helped at all.

“We’ll find her” Said Fred to Angel as he stood broodingly surveying the mess of papers, looking for anything that leapt out as the best place to start.

He didn’t bother to answer her, but cocked his head to one side, listening. They all noticed and looked askance at him, what had he heard? As one they all left the office and followed him out to the lobby. He watched the doors his body tense as sprung wire.

One of the glass doors opened to admit a man they all recognised. Tall, dark and muscular although this time not in animal skins. “Groo”? They chorused in unison.

He stood at the top of the stairs, “Be at ease about Cordelia, she is with me and has agreed to leave with me” he announced to them all, but he was looking at Angel. All five stared at him in shock, and then Angel growled savagely.

“The hell she is”.

Part 18

Posted January 7, 2016 by califi in Complete

Lost and Found 16   1 comment

PART 16

ANGEL’S OFFICE (TWO WEEKS LATER- EVENING)

“What the hell do you mean you lost her again?” Angel roared at the end of his tether and not caring who else knew it. He got up from his chair and came around the desk to stand nose to nose with the man.

“Sir the only explanation I can think of is she’s had training at avoiding surveillance”, Sam Carstairs, Wolfram & Hart’s Chief of Security tried not to back away from the towering dark figure of the enraged vampire. Was this guy ever in a good mood? Not that he blamed him. Carstairs was proud of his work and his team but this woman eluded them time and again, it was infuriating.

“That’s not possible”, what, she’d left LA for an intensive counter intelligence training course? He didn’t think so. This was the fourth time this week that they’d lost her. The first week had been fine, she’d spent it moving into the hotel which had at least negated one of his worries, that she would just want to get out of there and away from the memories.

“Do you or your men have any idea where she could have gone”? He asked, his voice dripping with sarcasm.

“No sir, we lost her in a crowd of people, she was talking to someone on a cell phone and then she was gone”. Carstairs waited for the tirade to continue and almost sagged with relief when there was a knock on the door and Ms Burkle popped her head round.

“What is it Fred”? Snapped out Angel, he was not finished with this and wanted no interruptions.

“Nothing much Boss, just wanted to let you know I’m finishing downstairs and won’t be available for the rest of the night” She was all bright breeziness and he just nodded wanting her gone.

“See you tomorrow then and I’ll say Hi to Cordy for you”, then she ducked out again, he was after her in a flash, nearly tripping over the door in his haste to pass through it.

NIGHTCLUB

The club was absolutely heaving, it was a trendy and popular venue and almost impossible to get into, but they’d managed it and Cordy felt the excitement right down to her toes. All three of them were dressed up and looking gorgeous, even if she did say so herself. She hadn’t had so much fun in ages.

They’d all gotten ready to go out from the hotel, playing with makeup and hair-stuff and trying on clothes, it had been so like high-school; the nostalgia had nearly had her in tears. Cathy had grumbled constantly while she and Fred worked on her but it had worked out better than fine, they all looked sexy as hell.

After a lot of soul searching she had made her decision and was putting it into action, she was going to try and have her cake and eat it too, if it didn’t work out, well, she would deal with that if it happened. Angel thought he could bully and frighten her into doing what he thought was best for her, well he was wrong. He might have frightened her at the time but not for long, she knew him too well and it had only taken a few days for her to shake off the loss of confidence and self-esteem he’d caused and decide exactly how he was going to pay for it, in spades, before she was through with him he was going to be begging her for forgiveness.

He knew she was here and the three of them looking like they did was guaranteed to make sure they got a lot of attention from the male of the species. For a moment she worried that he might send a flunky to watch over them. She shook the thought off; no way not after the spectacular lack of success those self-same flunkeys had been having over the last few days. He would come himself, she was almost sure of it.

Angel watched her from his vantage point on the upper level, a spot he’d picked out so that he could see the bar area and most of the downstairs. He was familiar with the layout, these places all seemed the same to him and he’d had no trouble finding what he wanted, a place to see without being seen.

He hadn’t bothered with the main door, there was no way they were going to just let him in and he’d hadn’t had enough notice to arrange anything through the firm, so he’d reverted back to old habits and broken in.

The three of them arrived about a half hour later just when he’d begun to think they’d changed their plans, then he saw them and his insides seemed to squeeze at the sight of her, rapidly followed by his jaw dropping when he got a better look at her and saw exactly what she was wearing, or not wearing.

His jaw came up again in his lips drew into a furious line and he nearly broke the glass he was holding. He’d bought a drink at the bar when he’d arrived, hoping to blend in better, now he tossed the amber liquid down his throat in an effort to relieve the sudden dryness of his mouth. What the hell was she doing going out in public looking like that, if he’d had a blood pressure it would have been sky high by now, even without it he felt as if steam should be coming out of his ears.

A few hours later the three women were still being besieged by groups of men and trying to look interested in talking to them. For the most part through Cordy was just glad to be out on a social occasion, her enjoyment was only lessened by the fact that Angel had yet to make an appearance.

“Dumbass” she muttered and then plastered another smile on her face when the guy she was supposed to have been listening to gave her a startled look.

She was wearing a metallic teal dress with a tight bodice that was entirely back less, no bra and short twirly skirt that flirted with her knees and exposed her golden calves and even some of her thighs when she moved the right way, her dark hair was loose and cascaded down to the middle of her back now it had grown. He should have been here salivating while she remained carefully aloof and enjoying the attention, without encouragement of course, of other men.

“Where the hell is he”? She hissed to Fred, who was blushing at something one of the other guy’s currently crowding round had just said to her. Fred just shrugged and looked apologetic.

Cathy leaned over the table to talk to her, she didn’t really have to but she wanted an excuse to get away from the jerk next to her who was trying to see down her cleavage. “Why don’t we dance”?

The lighting in the club was dark and intimate and people were dancing everywhere, some not even bothering with the dance floor but just finding any spot to enjoy the rapid, pounding beat. “OK” she agreed, anything was better than just standing around waiting for something to happen.

The two women moved away after a quiet word with Fred, they didn’t go far because they didn’t want to leave her alone, they found a good place near a corner with plenty of space and not too many people so they wouldn’t have to constantly worry about getting bumped.

The music changed to another track, just as heavy and pounding but with an almost primal undertone in its throbbing beat; Cordy started to dance and her eyes drifted shut as she let the music take over. In just a few seconds she started to feel as if her she were weightless and yet there was also a strange pulse inside her body matching the music as it flowed and pulsed intimately through her.

Hardly knowing what she was doing she started to undulate with erotic female grace, her hips swinging enticingly from side to side in an unconsciously provocative imitation of lovemaking, soon she was helplessly caught in a web of pure sensual feeling that encompassed her whole being. She had no awareness of the club, passing time or anything other than an almost primitive need to move in time with the pounding rhythm and appease the throbbing in her body.

The men around her watched, mesmerised by the sight of a beautiful woman caught in the thrall of dancing only for herself and being entirely absorbed in the joy of it; totally unaware of them watching and the effect she was having on them. Angel watched her from above; his hands were clenched around the metal bar that ran around the balcony top, crushing it without even being aware of the pressure he was applying.

He was as mesmerised as the others, his dark eyes watching with helpless fascination each movement of her hips and breasts; he had to swallow hard when with his unnatural eyesight he saw small beads of sweat form between her breasts and start to slowly travel down her body under that damned dress which just by the way it hugged her body should have been illegal. God her face looked like she had when they were making love and he was rock hard just seeing it, she was killing him with lust and there wasn’t a damn thing he could do about it, except leave. He stayed where he was.

Cathy smiled, enjoying herself too, she loved to dance it was one of the few things she truly loved. Most of the time she hated her empathic abilities and blocked them out, but she had to admit there were times it was a definite advantage, like now. She could feel him watching Cordelia, hard to miss even in this crowd and unlike the ‘seeing’ stuff it didn’t rely on physical connection.

She almost shook her head in rueful amusement, even in a jaded and cynical society like this one, sometimes the old ways were the best. A woman dancing in a nightclub, done right could still turn men’s minds to mush; every bit as much as their ancestors had when dancing around a campfire.

OK that was enough she decided when the track changed for the third time, don’t want to over do it. Cordy felt as if she was floating and then blinked confused at the attention she was getting, what the hell had just happened? She shot Cathy a look and met a bland smile, Oh yeah that’s gonna wash. The two women walked back to the table where Fred was watching them with a big smile on her face.

“What did you do”? Asked Cordy before they reached the able; still feeling the effects of the dance.

“Don’t worry about it OK, I simply jacked up your endorphins a little bit, think of it as a free and harmless drug, the effects will soon wear off”

Cordy swallowed and avoided the hot and intent gazes of the men around them; jeez she needed a drink like now. She headed towards the bar over the other side of the club, weaving around tables and between bodies like a pro.

The music was so loud she didn’t hear one of the guy’s she’d been talking to earlier when he shouted at her to gain her attention again. Too drunk to realise she wasn’t just playing hard to get and thinking he had an edge on everyone else as he’d already talked to her. He gave a thumbs up to one of his buddies and set off after her intent on cornering her for a quick grope.

He was just getting close enough for his hand to reach out and cup her ass from behind when he felt himself being grabbed by the collar and lifted in the air. He had no idea who was holding him and if he tried to turn his head the hold on his collar tightened and threatened to choke him, he found himself being carried off to a dark corner away from the crowd.

Angel slammed the puny little shit’s back into the wall and leaned in to say in a low growl “Don’t follow, go near, touch or even look at her again, do you understand me”?

The guy just stared, head pressed back against the wall shocked at the suddenness of being threatened by a very large and menacing stranger, when only seconds earlier he’d been enjoying the view provided by one Cordelia Chase and anticipating more.

He said nothing; too drunk to realise the danger he shook his head and then choked in horror when the stranger’s eyes flashed a strange yellow. Later on he would convince himself that it had been a trick of the light, but right then he felt his bowels loosen in terror.

Quickly he nodded, “Yeah, sure I’m going now” He squealed out sliding along the wall a bit to try and get out of the strangers way. “Leave now then” the stranger growled and stood back blocking the club itself but leaving a path open to the exit. He wasted no time and didn’t even try and signal his friends, just left not turning around once.

Angel watched him leave only marginally satisfied; he’d spent hours standing back and watching Cordelia get fawned over by other men. He’d been forced to wage a constant battle with himself not to jump down in the middle of them and simply throw them away from her, toss her over his shoulder and storm off to somewhere private and that dance had stretched his control even more. He turned around to go back to his lookout and continue the torture only to find himself facing three women, all looking at him, two very amused and one not.

Cordelia had seen the guy coming up behind her in the mirror above the bar and was about to turn round and get rid of him when suddenly she saw him being lifted in the air by..nothing, no reflection. She’d whirled round just in time to see Angel carting the terrified man away. She repressed a spurt of satisfaction and signalled to Cathy and Fred to hurry over which they had.

She’d planned this meeting from the start and she was more than ready for it, even so seeing him for the first time since they’d fought was strangely unnerving and for some reason embarrassing. She forced down a blush and placed both of her hands on her hips, coincidentally highlighting her figure to best advantage, one foot started to tap and she fixed a scowl on her face that made it clear she was less then impressed.

He was caught and feeling immensely embarrassed at being found doing what he’d been doing, acting all jealous and protective again when they weren’t even talking to one another. He looked at Cordelia and without even realising it, practically ate her with his dark eyes. Even angry she made his gut ache with need.

He stood still and waited for her to come to him as he knew she would, the last time he’d seen her she would have staked him if she’d had something wooden and pointy available and he didn’t think that time would have lessened her anger. He’d known the risk of what would happen if she saw him and now he couldn’t do anything other than let her have her say. She deserved it and no matter how much it cut, he was going to take it.

Cordy saw his face drop as he ducked it a little in a defensive gesture, he looked nervous and that gave her confidence that she was doing the right thing, here was the Angel she knew and loved; it was time to implement the plan.

“What do you think you’re doing here Angel and why did you just frighten off a guy I was actually starting to find interesting”? She waited a beat and then finished deliberately “which makes a change”.

She felt Cathy giving her a sideways look and remembered her warnings about playing jealousy games, she’d had trouble convincing Cathy it was a good plan and she’d had to promise not to ‘look’ like she was trying to make him jealous. But damn it was difficult not to feel a thrill as his face showed every emotion going through him, got you, she thought with an internal smile. “Even if he was a total jerk,” she said it to both relax him and placate Cathy; it worked on both counts.

Angel did relax a bit, after her deliberate needling had made him tense up with anger despite his best intentions, he could take her insulting him but just the idea of her wanting other men was enough to make him feel more than a little irrational. He wanted to avoid her question though so he asked one of his own, of Fred.

“You told her didn’t you” he said with one of his most intimidating looks, Cordy drew in a long breath and advanced on him then, one hand coming up to poke him hard in the chest. Fred just smiled apologetically at him and he looked down at a furious Cordy.

“Don’t you dare snarl at Fred like that you big dumbass, she’s my friend too and you shouldn’t have tried to make her take sides”, she carried on poking him but he didn’t try and stop her. He must be sick or something but he enjoyed her touching him even when she was trying to poke a hole in his chest.

She must have guessed so she poked harder, he grabbed her finger and growled at her “Cordelia”, she grinned at him and curled her finger into his palm, making him twitch slightly before she tugged it loose.

“So where’s your crack surveillance team then- not lost them have you”? She said with obviously feigned concern, her face tilted up to his with a falsely sweet smile and a flutter of lashes. Angel’s contriteness changed at that to a mixture of both irritation and admiration for her, at that moment he couldn’t decide if he wanted to throttle her or kiss that sassy mouth.

Her skin was sheened with a glow made by the heat and the exertion of the dancing and it brought out the scent of her perfume as well as that special smell that was hers alone. His mouth watered and he felt himself harden again, God he wanted her.

“What’s the matter cat got your tongue, or are you just speechless at my fabulous dress?”, she lifted up the skirt a bit and sassily swung her hips from side to side, the flimsy material played a hide and seek game with her soft inner thighs, just for his benefit.

Flashes of the other times he’d seen and touched those thighs flitted across his mind and he hardened even more, straining his pants. Thanking god he was wearing a long enough shirt, he finally spoke in what he hoped was a totally relaxed voice, “What game are you playing Cordelia”?

He sounded rusty as hell and Cordy knew just by the hot lights in his eyes that the dress was having the desired effect. Men she knew about and this one the most, even the biggest and meanest could be brought to his knees by the right woman, well she was that women and she had some payback to get. “Game, I’ll tell you shall I”?

She stepped closer to him, her breasts nearly brushed against his wide chest and her hands rested on the hard muscular shoulders under his coat as she leaned in a little, stopping when her face was almost cheek to cheek with his, their eyes meeting in a heated clash of brown and hazel.

“It’s this little game called, ‘its My Life’ you should learn the rules”. Then she softly kissed the corner of his mouth and turned to saunter away with her hips swinging in that maddeningly feminine way.

He watched her gather her strange friend and Fred and then walk towards the exit; she didn’t look back at him. His hands still itched to touch her and his whole body tingled from that kiss.
He’d been expecting to be annihilated by that clever and wicked tongue of hers at the very least, maybe even punched out and instead she’d kissed him. His hand rose up to touch the spot wonderingly.

There was no one else like her in the whole world, she was unique and his. Even if she wouldn’t accept that right now, he wouldn’t give up trying to convince her until she did. He was tired of always feeling unworthy and unloved. He’d done the noble thing before, by stepping aside or leaving. This time around there would be none of that for either of them, she was too important to him.

“Mine”, the word felt strange on his tongue only now he savoured the sound of it; inside him the possessiveness that he tried and often struggled to keep hidden and repressed came loose. The emotion filled him and for the first time since he had gotten his soul back over a century ago, he let it.

HYPERION HOTEL

Back at the hotel Fred looked and Cordelia’s smug and satisfied expression and asked the obvious question, “So you’re happy with the way it went then”?

“Oh yeah this plan is going to work, I can feel it” She was positive.

Fred was doubtful, these things never seemed to go the way they were supposed to but she didn’t say it out loud, at least not directly. “I still don’t get how making him all jealous and possessive is gonna change how things are, I mean isn’t he always like that about you anyway”? She asked.

“The plan isn’t about making him all jealous and possessive; that was just to get him to make a move” Said Cordy shooting another look at Cathy.

“Deliberately playing the jealousy card is great for finding yourself flat on your back real quick, but not so good for the long-term option if you get what I mean, it’s a trust thing”, Cathy frowned at Cordelia for good measure.

“I know, I know”, said Cordy, smiling cheekily “but if I want to change his mind about not interfering in my business. Then we need to make up, but he has to come to me or it won’t work”.

“I can’t believe that you’re so willing to forgive him”? Fred asked the question that was still dumbfounding her, Cordy was a loyal friend but she could be unforgiving about some things.

Cordy had thought about it a lot this past week, not that she’d had much choice with the dreams still coming every time she went to sleep. But it was more than that, she missed him and the thought of cutting him out of her life was a painful one and she was not someone to cut her nose off to spite her face.

“He’s still a dork, but he’s my dork and anyway I know I can turn him around. I just need to make him want me so badly that he’ll be willing to compromise. I made a mistake in letting him make me try it his way”. She was not going to try and explain it more than that, something like her relationship with Angel was just too complicated to be put into simple words.

“Are you sure it’s wise, I mean what if he gets so wound up that…..” Fred tapered off.

“Pfft, if he didn’t hurt me when we were fighting, my just pushing a bit won’t tip him over the edge. All I want him to see is that even when he tries he can’t control what I do and then it’s simply a choice between being with me or without me. Simple”.

KEENE – NEW HAMPSHIRE

He watched the flickering screen with clenched fists, his handsome face was twisted with anger and jealousy and bitterness.

“You chose him over me and now you want me to help you”, he snarled at the beautiful face of Cordelia Chase, frozen on the TV screen. “I will not come, you let me leave and go out into this alien world alone”. This world was truly a hell, unforgiving and cruel and you had to become that way just to survive, so he had.

His fists clenched tighter and tears fell from eyes like blue pools. “You chose him over me and now you can pay the price”

THE HYPERION HOTEL – TWO DAYS LATER

Cordy was fast asleep in bed, content after another successful day running the surveillance team a merry chase and still managing to accomplish what she wanted. They’d found another case and they were making progress. She was smiling with her hand tucked under her face. Angel stood next to the bed looking down at her, his face strangely tense.

He crouched down next to where she lay and lifted the sheet away and down from her body, she stirred only a small bit before relaxing back into deep sleep. His dark eyes wandered over her, resting briefly on the low vest top and a nipple peaking out over the neckline before travelling down to the bed shorts that had ridden up to expose all of her thighs.

Her scent came to him then gently wafted on the night breeze that stirred the curtains at the window where he’d come in and he inhaled deeply his face relaxing from its previous tension with the confirmation that whatever she was up to it didn’t involve another man.

It had been irrational to think so but not knowing what she was doing was driving him crazy. For last few years he’d known almost every thought that crossed her mind and every time she’d had a date he’d hated it even back before he’d started to fall in love with her.

He was possessive as hell and he knew it but it was a part of him that he couldn’t ignore for long and tonight had been his limit, he’d had to know; though god knows what he would have done if she had found another. Thankfully he didn’t need to find out.

He sat back on his heels and just enjoyed the slight of her all pink and rosy with sleep, her full lips pouting even now. He was hard but then that was pretty much automatic these days when he was around her, so he ignored it. One of his hands came up to run a long, callused and yet gentle finger over one arching brow, over her cheek and down her neck, coming to rest on the slope of her breast, only a small distance from that tempting nipple. Sighing he stood up carefully and turned to leave the way he’d come.

He stopped and turned back to press a soft kiss on her forehead and whisper softly “I love you”, then he did leave.

CATHY

In bed herself, Cathy’s eyes were open and she rolled them and smiled when she heard him leave again after only a few minutes. “What the hell do you need, a written invitation”? she sighed. This was going to be hard work.

“OK then noble, boring but noble”, she relented her mind working around the possibilities.

ANGEL AND CORDY

It was nearly dawn, Angel had just got into bed and it had been hours since he had been in Cordy’s bedroom. He gave a sigh as he settled down naked into the bed sheet with the covers wrapped around his hips.

About twenty minutes later he groaned and turned on his back deeply asleep, his body twitched and he moved restlessly almost searchingly, his hips rose up and he groaned again

Cordelia turned on her back in her bed, the sheets were twisted around her torso and she pulled them off frowning but still asleep, she squirmed and moaned deep in her throat as she arched helplessly under the lash of some intense sensation.

She was naked and hot, cool hands skimmed her body, drawing ever decreasing circles towards her aching breasts, finally soothing the tight buds of her nipples with pinching little nips from fingers and teeth and lips.

The bed dipped beside her and felt a large heavy body settle next to her, soft hair prickled across the soft silky skin of her ribs as he continued to lean over and suckle on her nipple. She tried to open her eyes but they felt so heavy and the pleasure was so intense that she couldn’t get them to obey her.

The bed dipped on her other side as he shifted to lean over her completely, his muscular hardness pressing her down as his tongue danced around and then inside her mouth. Sharp teeth pulled at her lower lip in a silent demand that she open her lips wider, she did and he slid inside, the intimate invasion was both possessive and giving as his tongue danced with hers, her hips undulated under him and she felt his groan travel through her own body like a growl.

She was driving him crazy and he felt her soft wet warmth press against his thigh and finally his sex as she spread her thighs so that he settled deeper into the apex there, it tempted him too much, he had to taste her and he gave a low growl just before he slid down her body, worshipping every golden inch before he reached his target.

She protested his leaving her and came up off the bed but he pushed her down again, one large hand pressed into her belly while the other lifted her bottom up to bring her to his ravaging mouth, she did arch then but couldn’t move back from the sweet pain and the sharp lashing pleasure of him licking and sucking at her. Her legs were over his impossibly wide shoulders and he would not let her move back but lifted her higher so that he could incite and take every drop of delicious moisture her body could produce.

He was frantic with the need to bury himself inside her but she tasted like heaven and he wanted to make her come and take that too, relentlessly he drove her higher with his darting , thrusting tongue, reaching high inside her body and then circling and nipping at the incredibly sensitive bundle of nerves, lapping her up.

She screamed as she came, bucking in his hands and finally she opened her eyes and saw his dark head still between her thighs and shuddered with the pleasure the sight gave her, her legs felt like leaden weights and she couldn’t have moved even if her life depended on it. It didn’t matter though he wasn’t finished, he looked up and caught and held her gaze with fiery brown eyes, his lips curved in the most sexually predatory smile she had ever seen.

He kissed her deeply, his thrusting tongue almost roughly as he forced her to take him, she was more than willing though and arched her hips to take him inside her body with just as much welcome has she did his mouth. His big body settled heavily on her as he entered her with one penetrating thrust that nearly drove her up the bed and into the bed head. She pulled back from the kiss to gasp and moan at the pressure and he moved those wicked lips to her neck, nipping and laving playfully and then biting just hard enough to make her buck and writhe under him.

He leant up on one side and then bent his head down, still thrusting without faltering into her very depths, the pressure and friction caused by his engorged sex on her inner walls and delicate nerves of her clitoris was almost too much coupled with the strong suckling on her nipples; she cried out his name. His head came up and he looked down into her flushed face, devouring her features and watching as each thrust he gave her made her breathing hitch and eyes slide closed in ecstasy.

It wasn’t enough he wanted more, needed more to satisfy some primitive urge to create an unbreakable bond between them, a bond that she wouldn’t be able to deny afterwards and drive him away again. He sat up and drew her up with him, still joined but with her legs now wrapped around his hips, heels on the bed behind him.

She opened her eyes and looked into his and saw the strange and possessive lights in his eyes, she looked at his full lips and couldn’t resist leaning in to press her open mouth on his smiling lips, dipping her tongue out to trace them and then thrust inside his mouth, angling her lips so that she could match the rhythm he was setting. He set her back from him and she closed her eyes as the angle and depth of his penetration became even more unbearably deep.

His loins tightened and he almost came at the sight of her laid out before him, their bodies joined, her dark curls pressed and mingled with his own as he rocked her back and forth on his thighs. He lifted one hand while still supporting her back with the other, to draw on a breast, squeezing their fullness, cupping and teasing her one at a time, watching her every expression with heavy lidded eyes.

“Open your eyes and look at me” his deep rumbly voice commanded, she opened them and looked at him, his muscular body easily rising her up, muscles bunching and then relaxing in rhythm with his thrusts; his wide shoulders gleamed and his arms held her effortlessly as if she was weightless. The hand at her breast reached up and cupped the back of her neck to pull her in for a demanding kiss, her legs trembled with the threat of orgasm and she tightened her thighs.

“Look at us” he said and bent her head a little until she too saw what had nearly driven him over the edge, his thick sex glistened with moisture from her body, entering her smoothly and then retreating, relentless and so impossibly intimate. Seeing it and feeling it at the same time was too much and she whipped her head back as the spasms from her orgasm started.

He watched her start to come and felt his own tremors begin, he dropped her back on the bed and drove himself as hard as he could into her soft and writhing body, one hand gripping a knee to keep her spread for him as he continued to pound until at last he collapsed from the force of the draining pleasure.

Angel woke up wide eyed and whipped the bed sheet from around his straining sex, cursing in every language he knew. He got up and with trembling legs walked over the bathroom to slam the shower door back and get inside. He rinsed himself of the evidence of his orgasm using one arm still to support his still trembling form.

Cordy relaxed and stilled, still asleep but drained and content at the same time, she turned over and cuddled into the bed, “Angel” she whispered smiling.

KEENE NEW HAMPSHIRE

He was packed and ready to go, he was dry eyed now having changed his mind and decided he would go back to LA, obviously she had made the wrong choice and it was up to him to make sure she knew that.

Part 17

Posted January 7, 2016 by califi in Complete

Lost and Found 15   1 comment

PART 15

ANGEL

Angel parked up again, got out of the car and headed for the elevator. If Fred had been around to see him now she would have been seriously worried, he walked like an old man. His head heavy and steps slow, even just lifting up an arm to press the button looked like it took tremendous effort.

Once inside it he leaned back against the rear of the mirrored cage and watched the doors close with dark and unseeing eyes. Without meaning to he slid down until he was sitting on the floor of it with his head in his hands. The doors opened with a soft ping on arriving at his apartment, so lost in thought he didn’t even notice and the doors shut again, with him still inside.

A few minutes later he walked out of the elevator and headed directly for the drinks cabinet, sliding off his coat he dumped it on a chair and slid into another one, a glass and bottle in his hands. He opened it with a sharp twist of the cap and poured the first of many in the search for oblivion.

CORDY

Cordy gave up trying to sleep and flung back the covers; she was too filled with anger and bitterness to even think about sleep right now. She got up and paced the rooms that had been his, hating him at that moment but also hating the fact that doing so hurt her too.

“How could he do that to me”? That question crossed her mind at least two dozen times an hour and it was driving her crazy.

“I love you Cordy, he says, yeah right and I believed him”, the sarcasm was almost savage in intensity and her pacing increased along with the agitation. “He would never have done that to her, or tried to tell her what to do”, she spun again and nearly tripped in the edge of the rug covering that part of the floor. That just made her angrier as if the rug was his fault too.

“Well OK I’m not Buffy but I never tried to be, I’m me and if he can’t deal with that, tough” Talking out loud was not exactly a sign of mental health but she had to spill it or go mad.

“I hate him and I’m never going to even speak to him again, that’s it we’re through”, she spat the words out filled with venom and a hint of tears. Her face scrunched up a moment before she forcefully smoothed it out, tears till sparkled in her hazel eyes but she was damned if she was going to let them fall. She took a deep breath and forced it out slowly, her mind whirling in different directions.

“This is way too coincidental coming on top of everything else, someone else is behind this and I’m going find out who”, her first thought was Eve and making an impulsive decision she stalked over to the closet to get dressed.

She was even upset over the fact that she’d bothered to put stuff in the closet, but just a few short hours ago she’d been planning to persuade him to let her stay in the hotel, like that was gonna happen now.

A little while later she found herself outside Eve’s apartment door, memories of the last time flitted through her mind but she shrugged them off too angry to really care. Her second round of knocking still produced no results and she nearly screamed in frustration. A door opened a little along the hall and she turned to see a nerdy looking guy with glasses and a pale complexion blinking at her.

“She’s gone” the little man said before she could even ask and shut the door again. She debated with herself for a moment and then knocked very gently on his door. He opened it with a startled look on his face.

It was late and he didn’t know her, so she gave him a forced smile and tried to look apologetic for disturbing him, “Thanks for telling me that, you wouldn’t know where she’s gone would you”? She used her most inviting voice and followed it up with a brighter smile.

“No she didn’t say, just took off with a few things and that’s it”, he still looked scared, “When was this”? Last question and then she was finished; he looked desperate to shut the door and go back to whatever nerdy stuff he had to do, probably hacking a bank or something.

“Two days I think, yeah that’s about right”. She nodded her thanks and walked back down the hallway.

ANGEL

Angel was lying crossways on the bed, only half undressed, his naked back gleamed in the starlight, thick arms were wrapped around a pillow, clutched tightly as he slept. He groaned and turned his head the other way still dreaming and his arms tightened on the pillow before in a sudden burst of movement flinging it across the room.

He rolled on his back and lifted his hands to press into his eyes, his muscular torso arching as he dug his heels in, he rolled onto his side with a deep sigh and opened burning eyes to stare out of the window next to his bed. The curtains were open and he could see the stars but didn’t care; all he cared about was trying to forget what had happened with Cordy, particularly the acrid smell of fear.

He’d done it deliberately but it still had the power to hurt; Cordy had been afraid of him and he couldn’t stop hearing her ask if that was what he’d wanted; God no, he didn’t, how could he when he loved her. Would she ever understand why and forgive him?

Just thinking about her dying froze him inside, he knew he couldn’t bear to go through that again and even if it meant she hated him he wouldn’t let her come that close to it ever again. But heaven help him it hurt so much. He stood up and walked back over to the pillow to pick it up and lifting it to his face, breathed in her scent.

CORDY

She was insane! There was no other explanation for what she was doing here in a demon bar at the dead of night, standing in the door waiting for them to notice her. It didn’t take long and the silence that followed was unnerving, but she stiffened her spine and walked fully inside.

She just hadn’t been able to face going back to the hotel having failed to get anywhere with finding out who was determined to ruin her life, plus it felt like admitting defeat and that would mean that Angel was right and she might as well give up now, not going to happen she had thought fiercely. She knew a large part of why she had chosen this as the next lead was to spite him and she was exhilarated at the thought. Let him try and tell her what to do, NOT.

“Do any of you know who I am”? She asked the silent and wary patrons, all ugly ass demons with no two looking the same, except for some vamps at a table by themselves. She stood by the bar so that she could see most of them at once and she’d come unarmed, keeping her hands in the pockets of her denim jacket. It was a really grungy and smelly place but she managed to keep her face calm and expressionless as she waited for someone to speak up.

“Yeah we know who you are girl, whatcha doin here”? It was the bartender who answered her; he looked nervously at the door on their left as if he expected her to have company.

She didn’t turn around but moved sideways so that he was in her line of sight when she replied “I want information on whoever was behind the attack on me a few days ago”. There were murmurings then and a few of the demons shuffled around, some even moving back like she was going to attack them or something.

“He already killed them all” Said one of the vamps, his voice ringing out across the room and his companions all male, nodded enthusiastically.

“I’m not talking about the lackeys” Answered Cordy, ignoring the reference to Angel, “I want the people behind it; the one’s who sicced Drusilla on me in the first place”. There were a lot more confused murmurings now and one or two of the demons sidled out of the exit and away, not wanting to have anything to do with her or whatever she was mixed up in now.

“Well I dunno but I heard there was some woman from that law firm involved in the beginning but then she just, ya know disappeared” Said one of the other vamps. Cordy decided they were obviously the best source of information so walked over to their table; they did not look pleased at the prospect of her joining them. She pulled up a chair anyway and sat down.

They all looked at her as if unsure what to do or say now, looking at one another and back to her; their yellow eyes wary and even afraid, wow he must have done a real job on them she thought, then quashed it, don’t go there she told herself.

“I’m not going anywhere even if I have to stay here all night, until someone tells me where I can find this woman, someone in here must know where she went considering the amount of demon stuff she’s mixed up in”, it was a statement of intent, declared in a loud and determined voice and they believed her.

EVE

Eve was sitting in front of the TV, the curtains were shut but the glow from the screen was more than adequate light for reading the letter she’d heard pushed through the motel room door, hand delivered at 3 am.

She still had one more shot and then she was shit outta luck, the package had been delivered now and the results of that should make things around here a bit more interesting. “I’m a firm believer that a girl needs to make a choice and to do that well she needs a few choices”, she smirked at the thought, coming to life a bit.

She ran her hands through her hair and stretched like a cat, coming out of the stupor she’d fallen into. “I’ll have to stop taking the tranqs”. She’d started taking them after she’d heard about Dru, but she needed her wits about her now. She also needed to get in character again, just in case he got here earlier than she expected.

She imagined what the reaction would be to the video and giggled. Those images were not going to be well received at all. She’d even sent a note with it suggesting that Ms Chase had not been a willing participant; that should certainly light a fire under his ass.

There was a knock on the door and she stiffened, who the hell was knocking on her door halfway through the night, this couldn’t be good. She stayed silent and hoped whoever it was would just go away.

“Eve if you don’t open the door in the next twenty seconds then I’m going to start picking the lock, so open up”, Cordy demanded from the other side of the door.

Eve gaped when she heard that voice, this was unbelievable -and she panicked thinking Angel must be with her. She dived for the window at the back of the room and started to climb out, but was dumbfounded when she was confronted by Cordelia Chase all on her lonesome, except for a very sharp knife which was pressed to the skin of her throat, so close it drew blood.

“I want to know all about your little trysts with Dru and why the hell you’ve been coming after me like a bitch in heat” snarled Cordy face to face with Eve; she pressed the knife harder into skin.

THE HYPERION HOTEL – CATHY (MORNING AFTER)

Cathy sighed and carefully turned on her side, she could hear Cordelia moving around in her room and she almost got out of bed to go and try and comfort her, No, better to wait until a little later.

“Men, they’re all the same and he’s worse than the rest; 250 years old and he still hasn’t learnt how to deal when a woman tells him no”, she muttered angrily to herself.

How the hell am I going to fix this? she thought groaning at the prospect. Giving up the idea of getting comfortable she faced the ceiling again, she understood the need to protect the people you love; it was actually quite an admirable trait. He was also right in that Cordy wouldn’t last long on her own and that was why she had been careful on the ‘cases’ she found, nothing too dangerous but then of course she hadn’t planned on so much interference from the outside.

It was obvious that Cordy needed Angel because of his ruthlessness and capacity for violence, but even more than that, Angel needed Cordy for her compassion and perception, things that he sadly lacked at times. Certainly the others were important; but after the last year it was even more obvious that this whole mess had to be fixed or risk losing what had turned out to be a very effective defence against the darkness and the beings that thrived in it.

Wesley was a good man and friend but the vampire needed to love, it was as if the soul once starved now craved it, something else she understood very well. Fred was a darling but nowhere near in Cordy’s league and as for Gunn well, he had his own twisty tunnel to pass through before he could be counted on again.

There was nothing else for it, she was just going to have to find a way to bring these two stubborn characters together again. She raised her eyes upwards and scowled with frustration “A little help here would be sooo appreciated”, but she knew she was on her own, like always. Aah well that’s what you get for being a ‘fixer upper’, except somehow she hadn’t been expecting to have to play cupid.

Did it help that she had come to love Cordelia Chase as a friend and not just someone in need of help? She liked to think so; it was so much better to actually care about what you where doing. She’d been burned so many times in the past that she’d stopped letting herself care but with Cordelia it just couldn’t be helped.

Well she was just going to have to start breaking a few rules, starting now.

MEETING ROOM – WOLFRAM & HART

They had just finished the daily case progress meeting, all department heads were present including Wesley, Fred and Lorne along with numerous others and Angel. Gunn had been called out with an emergency to do with the surveillance on Eve, but was due to report in later.

Once everyone else had left but himself, Fred and Lorne, Wesley looked at Angel at the head of the table, leaning back in his chair looking out of the window at the bright and sunny day, lost in thought.

“So are you going to tell us what happened after you left my apartment”? Asked Wesley; watching as Angel tensed and look back at him with unreadable eyes.

“I went after the rest of the vamps, killed them and made sure the message got out that nothing like it had better happen again”.

“Oh I heard that” said Lorne with an affected shudder, “According to my messages you’d gone and started a bloodbath, what they thought I could do about is anyone’s guess” He gave the vampire a penetrating look. “So I’ve got to admit Angelface it’s good to see you looking fairly sane today”.

“What about Cordelia, how is she”? Asked Fred concern evident in her voice and earnestly pretty face.

“Cordelia’s OK” Replied Angel shortly not meeting anyone’s eyes; “Do we know anymore about this woman she’s with, Cathy”? He asked Wesley, who looked at Lorne.

“Nothing more than what Cordelia told us, nothing matches her abilities and appearance on the demon database, healing rarely does and the fact that she looks and smells like a human” He trailed off, they were all thinking about Jasmine.

“I did a test on the blood Wesley brought me from the bandage, looks pretty normal to me and I got it checked for a second opinion, human it is” Said Fred, relieved to be able to report that much at least.

“Lorne” prompted Angel

“I got nada, nothing on the wind or coming in from my various sources, although I gotta admit most of them were intrigued by what I was asking so I had to play it safe and be discreet”.

“Keep looking all of you, I want to know more about her and how she met Cordelia” Instructed Angel to the group as a whole.

“Can’t you just ask Cordy” Said Fred surprised he hadn’t thought of that, “I know she was reserved with Wesley but you’re …….. erm different”, she nearly stopped when she saw his face.

Angel slumped back in his chair and fiddled with his pen, he looked up at Fred when an uncomfortable silence fell over the table, “No I can’t talk to Cordy about it” was all he said in reply.

“Did you speak to Cordy about not telling you Drusilla had threatened her”? Wesley asked Angel.

“I told her she wasn’t doing anymore demon hunting” Angel finally replied uncomfortably and picking up a report from in front of him, he flicking through it trying to look absorbed. He looked back up to find three sceptical and expectant gazes on his face.

“Did you fight”? Asked Fred, boy she had no idea just how literal that was, thought Angel with a wince, before looking towards the double doors just as they were both slammed open and Gunn came in saying “You guys are not gonna believe this”.

Angel’s heart sank as he looked into Gunn’s dark and excited eyes, “What”? he asked shortly.

“Our very own Cordelia Chase has just run little Evie outta town at knifepoint”, he chuckled with laughter and then saw Angel’s face and stopped with a choke.

“Cordelia went to see Eve again?” Asked Angel quietly and slowly as if trying to make sure he understood exactly what he was being told.

“Yup”, Uh oh; better not mention the other thing. “How did she find out where Eve had gone”? Asked Fred her brow creased in confusion. Gunn had to stifle an urge to shift from foot to foot as they all looked at him waiting for him to answer.

THE HYPERION HOTEL – CORDY

Cordy was covered in sweat and tossing and turning on the bed, moaning in pain and wishing she could wake up, wake up, WAKE UP!! She shot up wild eyed, looking around the room trying to get her bearings and waiting for her heart to stop racing and her breathing to slow down.

“Oh God, Oh god it’s over it was just a dream”, she shook her head and pressed a trembling hand to her mouth, tears threatened but she blinked them away as reality finally sunk in. She looked at the clock beside the bed and groaned it was nearly 11am.

She got out of the bed and stood beside it for a moment trying to still her trembling knees, what an awful nightmare. She entered the bathroom and ran the cold tap over her wrists, glad for once that the room didn’t have a mirror. She was sure that she must look as bad as she felt. Sitting down on the edge of the bath she crossed her hands on her knees and took deep calming breaths.

“What the hell was that”? She asked herself; she had never had a dream like it before. She had expected to have a nightmare or two about nearly dying and Dru and all but not like that, she had dreamt the whole thing not as her seeing it, but Angel, every thought and feeling she had felt was his. If it was even a little bit true, she could almost understand….

“Oh no you don’t” she suddenly snapped, angry with herself “That is not gonna happen; there will be no forgiving or forgetting”.

Cathy was already downstairs and had explored a bit, found the coffee-maker and coffee and started it going, not surprising considering she was a self confessed caffeine addict.

“Hey, how are you” she asked when she saw Cordy coming down the stairs. It was redundant question really as Cordy’s tight and angry face gave her away. But asking the question gave an opportunity for venting.

“Fine” said Cordy shortly, irritable and dog tired, she flopped onto one of the puff chairs, deliberately avoiding ‘that’ couch. Cathy just looked at her over the mug she was holding, “Go on” she prompted when Cordy didn’t elaborate.

“What” asked Cordy Defensively?

“You may as well tell me and get it over with” said Cathy, she could see it brewing away in there and knew the sooner she got it out the better.

Cordy stood up and started to pace around the lobby, different areas in the big space seemed to make her angrier when her eyes touched on them before jerking away again. “Men are complete bastards” she got out at last, muttering under her breath something about vampires.

“Uh huh” no disagreement from me there, thought Cathy

“I hate him”

“Fair enough”, sure you do

“I don’t want to talk about it”; she was as upset as Cathy had ever seen her.

“Later then” Cathy conceded. “Maybe” said Cordy unwillingly

The conversation was cut short by a knock on the glass panes of the door and it being opened by a slight young woman with dark hair and glasses. “Hi Fred” said Cordy really, really glad of the distraction. “What’s up”?

“Wow the hotel looks good! You wouldn’t think it had been empty so long,” she exclaimed as she came down the steps, looking around happily and with some nostalgia.

“Well yeah, that’s because you got it cleaned,” said Cordy confused now.

“I know but still it looks lived in, so you’re staying here now” said Fred with a pleased smile.

“Er no, we’re going home today” Replied Cordy with a scowl, there was no way she was asking Angel for anything and he could just stay the hell away from her.

“That’s not what…..Oh erm, yeah OK” Fred faltered in the middle and then finished with the last words tapering off in embarrassment.

“That’s not what you, what”? Asked Cordy suspiciously

“Well that is..” Fred looked at her feet torn; “Fred” said Cordy losing patience.

“Angel said you would be staying here now” she finally blurted out, watching Cordy’s reaction, she knew something had gone wrong between Cordy and Angel in the last few days, something more than just the near death experience. Angel had gone into simmering mode when he’d heard about the demon bar and ordered a 24 hour surveillance to be put on her, based from the hotel.

“Angel said that”? Asked Cordy in utter disbelief, was she hearing this right, what happened to making things difficult for her? Why was he giving her what she wanted? – not that he knew that of course because she hadn’t got to mention it, but still there was something up with this picture somewhere, she narrowed her eyes at Fred.

“Yeah” said Fred with a bright but uneasy smile.

“Fred why don’t I introduce you to Cathy, my friend and then we all go for a late lunch and have a nice chat” suggested Cordy with a wave towards Cathy.

Fred confused and a little perplexed; agreed absently and then remembering her manners smiled and waved at Cathy trying not to look like she was a little freaked out by what Wesley had told her about this woman but also relieved that this was going better than she’d thought; she felt a pang of guilt for Angel but hey fair was fair right?

ANGEL’S APARTMENT

Angel had gone back to his office to work, but after snapping twice at the same woman who’d made the mistake of interrupting him in full brood and then nearly knocking some poor guy over the balcony and down to the foyer below, just because he hadn’t been paying attention to where he’d been going and bumped into him, he decided he needed to be alone if he was going to stay out of trouble.

Back upstairs he paced around the apartment, going outside was impossible until the sun went down and the tunnels and sewer systems would drive him crazy at the moment, he needed space. He felt as if he needed to burn off all the energy that was pumping through him and enclosed spaces wouldn’t help him.

“I can’t believe she did something so stupid and dangerous” He ranted, knowing she’d done it to prove a point to him, more than anything else.

“Well she won’t do it again”, He’d arranged for her to be watched, every move she made, he was going to know about and if there was any danger it would be headed off before she got there. She was going to hate that but it was the only way he could protect her and she was just going to have to get used to the idea.

What if she leaves LA again, to get away from you” He thought and had to shut it down because it was too painful to think of. She wouldn’t leave, “that would be admitting defeat and she’d rather stake me than do that

He hoped that was true; he needed her nearby even if he couldn’t be with her, he needed to know he could at least see her occasionally even if she didn’t love him anymore; that would have to be enough for him, to love her from a distance was better than feeling nothing and hoping for nothing.

He wanted to see her now, “Bad idea“, impossible and he knew it, they both needed to calm down and he didn’t want to push her into thinking she had to leave LA. after all “I won’t let her” He felt the rise of emotion inside and cut the thought again, he had to get a grip on his own possessive nature now or he’d end up driving himself crazy and going out of control, “Like that hasn’t happened before“.

His friends were worried about him and if he was honest they had reason to be, he knew he was slipping backwards when it came to his humanity. It couldn’t have been helped, with everything that had happened last year, losing Cordy and Connor; he’d had to pull back into himself just to be able to carry on.

Being inside Wolfram & Hart wasn’t exactly therapeutic either and there were times recently when he felt as if all the progress he’d made in the last few years was nothing but an illusion. That he was still just an outsider, unable to relate to anything or anyone around him, unless it involved death and violence.

You were too rough with her“. His conscience smote at him

“It was necessary”; he muttered with a sort of desperate need to convince his inner self.

It never used to be, why didn’t you just ask her to join in here

“I don’t want her mixed up with this place”. That was true enough

Oh right but scaring her is OK, well you certainly did that didn’t you, did you smell it

“Shut up, I had to try, it’s better than her dying and losing her completely”

You think you haven’t anyway“?

That was it, he had to get these thoughts out of his head and stop thinking about her constantly; obsessing about her was bad and getting him nowhere. He yanked off his black knitted shirt and then undid his zipper before reaching into the closet and pulling out a pair of loose drawing string pants. He needed to empty his head and the only thing that had worked in the past was meditating, it was time for some tai chi.

What are you trying to prove Angel, that I should be afraid of them or of you“? Her voice echoed in his head.

BACK AT THE HYPERION

“Surveillance, I just do not believe this guy, he is insane” Cordy’s shouting must have been heard from at least two blocks away, Cathy winced at the volume.

She felt a hell of a lot of admiration for Cordy’s restraint; that had been bottled up for at least an hour, ever since Fred had spilled the beans. They were back now though and the need for restraint was gone.

“We are leaving here immediately”; snapped Cordy running for the stairs to gather the few things she’d brought here.

“Wait” said Cathy, “Don’t be so hasty”

“Hasty” the volume was still at mega watt, as Cordy whirled round to stand with hands on hips “That stupid sh… Dork has set a bunch of mindless morons to watch me”. Fury was evident in every word, not to mention what she’d almost called him.

“Exactly, stupid morons that we can run rings around, like that”; Cathy snapped her fingers and grinned at Cordy and then waited for the possibilities to filter through the anger, it didn’t take long.

“You mean…” said Cordy with an intrigued look on her face, Cathy’s grin just got bigger “Oh yeah”.

“Won’t that piss him off” Cordy grinned back her; her nimble mind running through all of the scenarios that could be, all of which ended up with Angel having egg on his handsome face.

“This hotel has hundred of rooms, numerous exits and you know them all like the back of your hand, what better place can you think of”? Asked Cathy.

“There is none, you’re right and Angel will think he’s got me exactly where he wants me, but he’s sooo going to find out different”. She was getting excited now, this was actually good news.

“No one uses me like that and gets away with it” Said Cordy, damn she hadn’t meant to say that out-loud but it was too late, she saw Cathy focus on her.

“Just because his wits went A.W.O.L. overreacting to you nearly dying in front of him doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you” Said Cathy with quiet conviction.

“Whatever, it doesn’t matter” replied Cordy turning her face away, but Cathy wasn’t finished.

“Cordy” she waited until she turned back “He does love you, don’t let anger kid you into fooling yourself otherwise, would he have gone so ballistic if he didn’t”?

Cordelia remembered the dream she’d had and didn’t brush it away this time, had he really felt that bad? Even if he had was it really any excuse for the way he’d acted; was love a good enough excuse? She didn’t know what to think anymore, Cathy sounded so certain and even if she shouldn’t let it, it did knock away at the foundation of her anger with him.

“I’ll worry about that later, for now we have a business to finish getting started”. She would focus on that for now and see what fell out of the woodwork; she was too confused and angry at the moment to think rationally about her abortive relationship with Angel or lack of one.

Part 16

Posted January 7, 2016 by califi in Complete

Lost and Found 14   1 comment

PART 14

ANGEL DAYTIME – ABANDONED BUILDING NO 1

“Which one of you is Diego”?

They all looked at him as they sat huddled under blankets, staring with blinking eyes and startled faces. There had been a lookout posted at the sewer entrance so they were better prepared than the last bunch, but not much smarter; he’d taken the guard out without any trouble.

“Take my advice: next time you post a guard, do it up top and not in the sewers, makes it harder to kill ’em”, He gave this sage advice in a quiet and almost friendly tone, confusing them even more.

Things got clearer when Angel removed the sword from inside his leather coat where it had been hidden, it was shorter than his broadsword with a wider blade, almost Romanesque to look at it. The big advantage was it could be carried and concealed much easier.

He held the sword up and across his body and smiled, but it didn’t reach his eyes, “So which one of you is Diego”? He walked further in, keeping to the middle of the room while scanning it, counting the numbers and checking the location of each of the vampires in the nest.

“He’s Diego” said one of them pointing to one of the other huddled shapes that was watching him with wary yellow eyes, those eyes darted to the tattletale and then back to Angel, it lowered the blanket and shot back “He’s lying he’s Diego”.

“I don’t care, just thought I’d ask, you’re all going to die anyway” He kicked the nearest vamp so hard it went airborne, flying into three others a few feet away, causing them to jump up. Then he was on them, not using the blade at first, just his fists, feet and the hilt. He’d found out where the exits where and any that tried to escape just died quicker.

There had been nine of them in the nest, at the end of five minutes there was only one left. He stalked the last one, already beaten but not dusted. Whenever it made an attempt to get around him or leave through some hidden exit, he grabbed it by its clothes or whatever was handy and dragged it back, always keeping it within reach, never letting up.

Finally it just sat on its knees and looked at him, waiting for him to do whatever he was going to do. “Man, will you just get this over with” it complained, resigned to its fate.

“Is that what your victims say to you” Asked Angel still with the quiet voice.

“Sometimes, what about you, ‘Scourge of Europe'”, it sneered at him, knowing he wouldn’t like that. He didn’t so he back handed it across the room with his sword-hand.

“There’s a reason you’re not dust yet, so why don’t you shut up and listen” it lay there spitting out blood and listening.

“The reason why this happened is because of an attempt made by some vamps to get to me through my people”. Angel stopped talking to let that sink in, walking in circles around the vamp on the ground.

“You’re alive to get a message out to all your other vamp and demons buddies that if it happens again. I will do this again and again, every demon involved will die and every demon with that demon will die with it”.

He leaned down until he was speaking directly into it’s now hopeful face “Do you understand what I want you to say”?

It nodded, if any vamps or demons did something like this again, many would pay the price, even if they had not taken part. Guilty by association.

Angel walked back out, two down and two to go kill before he could go home.

THE HYPERION HOTEL

It was the day after and she was still sore, but so much better than she could have been so she didn’t complain, much. Cathy was in Fred’s old room and she had taken Angel’s, well they were the two most habitable after all.

“At least the place has been kept clean, thank you Fred for feeling sentimental and getting it cleaned regularly”, she said aloud and with a smile for the absent Fred.

She wandered around the lobby, fingers trailing on the polished wood of the counter and looking around her with mixed feeling of happiness and sadness at the memories. She and her friends had helped a lot of people during their time here and no one could make her believe otherwise.

“And I’m going to keep up the tradition” She announced, determination on her face. She was sick of the apartment she was in; it was small and cramped especially to work from.

“I’m coming back and setting up shop” Then a thought hit her and she nearly danced with glee “Maybe I can get Cathy to move Dennis here. Wow won’t he love the space”.

Of course she would have to persuade Angel to let her have it, she frowned then unhappy with the fact that she wasn’t so sure he would agree. She was going to have to work on her negotiating skills. “Damn”.

ANGEL – EVENING

It had taken him a while to find the next one, but eventually he’d gotten the right address, that nest had had a similar set up to the last and ended in the much same way. Now he was on his way to find the last one, he should have been tired, but every time he stopped moving, searching or fighting he would see it all again, FEEL it again.

The absolute horror of what had almost happened, he’d thrown up earlier when he’d eventually found a place to rest and closed his eyes, it all came back to him; finding the dead security and lab staff; frantically searching for her and then finding them.

Realising what Drusilla had planned and feeling terror right down to his bones that he wouldn’t get through in time, then the certainty that he couldn’t. He still didn’t understand how it had been stopped, she was OK, but he nearly died with every image burned into his skull of Cordy alive by the merest thread, being fed by Drusilla.

At the time he’d forced himself to not think, to feel only the rage and none of the pain, he had to believe that he would get through and he did. But something else had saved Cordy, not him. She hadn’t given him the chance to, hadn’t let him protect her by keeping it from him and facing it alone.

It was never ever happening again, he was seeing to it and then he would make sure that Cordy understood he would not let her do that to him again. He was never going to feel that way again.

He looked up past the front of the betting shop, to the rooms above. The owners of the shop would fleece the punters and the vamps would eat the losers that couldn’t pay their bills. Nice little set-up, except for the hapless customers of course.

He entered the betting shop so swiftly no one saw him until he had ripped the CCTV camera from the wall and thrown it through the plate glass window protecting the counter staff. There was lots of screaming but he left it behind him when he vaulted over the counter heading for the back stairs and the rooms above.

He reached the landing and found two doors; one he identified easily as the john purely by the smell, the other one was locked, not surprisingly. He lifted a leg and booted it in and the bolts and one hinge gave with a twist of metal, making the door hang at a crazy angle. He stepped through and saw a figure disappear out of the window to the street below.

Angel didn’t wait to see if he recognised any of the other demons in the room, two of which were vampires while the others were a mix of demon breeds. He sprinted over to the window and dived out of it, after the leather clad bearded vampire he had seen briefly, that one he did recognise from earlier, the last one.

It was only one storey so he landed on his feet no problem in time to see his quarry race down and across the empty street and into an alley. He pursued, his booted feet pounding the pavement in ground eating strides that lengthened even more as he pushed for more power. He entered the alley within seconds of having seen the other vamp do the same.

He was gaining on it as the other vampire lost ground turning round to see where he was, he could smell rancid grease mixed with blood on it. Good it would be easier to track if he lost it.

It leapt up a building using the drainage pipe and gained the roof but didn’t slow as it carried on running. Angel reached the earlier neighbouring building and leapt up onto a parked van, using that to vault onto the roof. He ran along it and then leapt over the gap between the two buildings before the biker vamp had reached the other end and jumped down again on the other side.

The biker vamp gained the ground and yanked open the door of a parked car beside the road where it landed. Angel saw it and stepped back a few paces from the edge only to run back and leap off. He fell towards the ground, landing directly on the bonnet of the car, just as the engine was cranking to life.

The bonnet folded with screaming metal and the engine died, Angel punched a hole through the windscreen and used that to gain a hold on the roof, wrenching with all his might up and to the side, peeling back the roof to get at the other vampire.

It dived for the passenger side and scrabbled to get out of the car and made it with only seconds to spare; annoyed Angel slammed the misshapen roof out of his way again to pursue the fleeing vampire. The roads where still pretty deserted as this was not an area frequented for pleasure unless it was an illegal one and those people didn’t want to be seen so they had the road to themselves. Angel’s feet flew over the tarmac, each pounding step causing reverberations to race up his spine and he felt a tingling pleasure at the chase.

The vampire took another corner into yet another alley, but over estimated the corner and bounced off the far wall before recovering and setting off again. Angel was gaining on it and closed the distance even more when he used the same corner to keep up his speed by setting a foot on the wall and racing along that for two strides before going back to the ground again. His boots hitting the cement with a crunch.

Within seconds he was only an arms length away from the other vamp. It slid something from its waist and started to swing it, turning to face Angel now that he had caught up with it. It was a length of heavy chain. Angel ducked and felt it whistle over his head, he grabbed the hand holding the chain and turned, putting his back to its stretched torso to flip it over his shoulder.

It landed on its head and shoulders and Angel continued the momentum by bringing his own weight into play, slamming down on top of it, elbow first. They both gained their feet almost immediately, the biker vamp shaking its head to clear it, Angel didn’t wait but came in low with a jabbing punch to the solar plexus, doubling it over just in time to meet a crunching blow from an upraised knee.

It fell back and staggered, blood pouring from its nose and mouth but it still had hold of the chain and it spun around to bring the chain in arc towards Angel. Angel jumped away but it still caught him and he staggered and tripped, falling onto his back. Using his legs Angel flipped back onto his feet and met the chain again, this time in the chest, it spun him round with the crushing blow and he fell face down to the ground again. The vamp stomped a boot down onto his back as he tried to rise, driving him back to the unyielding ground, Angel tasted his own blood and swore.

He kicked out with one leg which forced the biker vamp to move back or hit the ground itself, giving Angel the chance to get back to his feet, which he did with a snarl and flashing fangs of his own.

He feinted to the right and then when it fell for it, back handed it across the face with his left fist, grabbing the chain again with his right hand and yanking back until the vampire was again within reach of his pounding left fist. It fell to the floor its head hanging, stunned.

Angel now had the chain; before the other could recover from the two previous blows he wrapped the chain around its head like a noose and crossed it at the back. It reacted to that but was too late to prevent Angel tightening the chain from behind and hauling it back onto its feet. Then he gathered his strength and tossed it up and over his hip, snapping its neck with the pressure from the chain.

But it was still alive, lying there grasping it’s head and helplessly trying to squirm backwards and get away. Angel looked around and saw that they had an audience, about half a dozen vamp and assorted demons were watching the show with avid interest, none of them made a move towards helping the fallen vampire.

Angel stared them down, his expression making it clear they were not to interfere. When he was satisfied they wouldn’t he walked towards an abandoned wooden desk at the side of a nearby building, next to an already overflowing trash can.

He lifted it up and set it down with the legs upwards and with deliberate slowness he walked back to the terrified vamp with the biker gear, beard and nose ring and picked it up by one arm and the opposite leg at the same time. Then he swung it up in the air with all of the power in his wide shoulders and muscular arms, for a second raising it to his shoulders before slamming it onto a desk leg, staking it through the heart.

It was done, he staggered and almost fell, a bad idea considering the company he was keeping so he managed to stay on his feet and melted back into the shadows. Watching the other demons watch him, when he had enough distance he turned toward where he’d left his car, slowly and aching in every muscle.

WOLFRAM & HART BUILDING

Fred had a fit when she saw him getting out of his car, parked in his spot beside the elevator that would take him back to his apartment.

“Angel what happened to you are you OK”, Asked Fred, horrified at the bloody and battered state he was in.

She ran over to see if he needed any help to get out of the car, since he wasn’t looking too nimble right then, but he didn’t need help, just gave her a tired look and shook his head when she came over.

“Are you wounded do you need any bandaging”? She asked, she knew he hated being patched up by the medic’s as he didn’t like strangers so close to him, so normally she or Lorne did it for him.

“No I just need a shower and some rest” he replied, pressing the button to call the elevator, which opened immediately with a muted ping. He got in and looked up at a worried looking Fred, who was chewing her bottom lip and looking like she wanted to say something else, then blessedly the doors closed and he was alone.

He started to shed clothes the moment he entered the apartment, dropping them wherever, just wanting to get into the shower and get all the blood and gore off his body.

The bathroom was luxurious with dark chocolate brown tiling, which would have been too dark except for the gold speckles that gave it some relief. There was a Jacuzzi in one corner, which he ignored in favour of an extra wide shower cubicle.

Naked he stepped inside it and turned on the water to maximum, sighing in relief at the warm sluicing water pouring over his tired and aching body. Streaks of red, purple and black bruising covered his torso, forearms and thighs. He stood under the spray with his head down, his spiky brown hair flattened and lengthened by the water which then ran down his neck reddened by blood from cuts on his forehead and by his eyes.

He was so tired he had to brace an arm on the tiled wall but his mind wouldn’t let him rest until he’d finished what he had to do, he knew if he tried to sleep he would only relive the nightmare. It was still early for him, if you didn’t count the fact that he hadn’t slept since the day before last.

He knew he was not in the best frame of mind to talk rationally but regardless he needed to see Cordelia. Check she was still OK and make her see that she couldn’t carry on with what she’d been doing, it had to stop now and he wanted her promise that it would, then he could rest.

THE HYPERION HOTEL

It was now over 24 hours since she had been nearly killed by Dru and she was dealing she thought, only a few nightmares and no shakes or anything, she was quite proud of herself. Another bonus was Cathy was on the mend, she guessed she could wake up at any time.

So she stayed with her, curled up on a big stuffed slight ratty armchair with a few magazines and a big hot steaming mug of coffee on the tabletop beside her. The rustle of pages turning was the only sounds to disturb the peace and so she had no problem hearing Cathy taking her first breath for over a day and night.

She put the magazine aside and sat on the bed beside her, the bite marks were still apparent what with the livid fresh scarring but they were closed over completely now. She smiled as Cathy opened her eyes and looked at her.

“Where are we” Cathy croaked, her throat was dry so Cordy helped her sit up and take a drink of cool water before she answered.

“Where at the Hyperion Hotel, do you remember me telling you about it” She replied.

Cathy nodded; a lot of what Cordy had told her about her life in LA was centred around this hotel with its art deco style and numerous empty rooms.

She struggled to get her bearings; she was always disoriented when first waking up from this type of sleep. It was as if her brain was so fogged with exhaustion from the effort of healing and sometimes even rebuilding her body that it refused to function properly when she returned to the land of the living.

She winced with the pain in her neck and reached out to touch it, she dimly heard Cordy asking her if she wanted to eat or pee, she shook her head and felt the searing pain increase with the gesture. No her body would not return to normal for a while yet, it would be tomorrow before normal human activity returned.

But she was thirsty as hell and was grateful when Cordy lifted her up again for more of the cool water. She stiffened for a second when she saw it but Cordy didn’t notice it. Should she tell Cordelia the confrontation she dreaded was imminent? No, she decided it couldn’t be avoided so why worry her friend before the fact, she’d find out soon enough.

A short time later Cordy was back down in the lobby, Cathy was asleep again, but a normal sleep this time, her body shut down only enough to get more rest. Cordy just had to leave her to it.

The glass doors over to the side closed with a bang and she swung around her heart in her mouth and then gasped when she saw him. God he looked like he’d been run over by a truck, she started to run over to him but something in his expression stopped her in her tracks.

Her heart dropped out of her mouth and sank to the floor, or at least it felt like it, uh oh, here we go she thought to herself, unconsciously lowering her chin but keeping her eyes locked to his. The silence that followed stretched her nerves and got her temper snapping, she raised her chin again, defensively.

“What is it Angel”? She kept her tone level but firm and crossed her arms.

He didn’t answer her but walked down the steps and over to where she stood, stopping just in front of her and leaving only about a foot between them. She had to look up to maintain eye contact.

“It’s finished they’re all dead”, she didn’t relax, he had that awful quiet voice that she hated with a passion, the one that said ‘don’t push me’ without actually saying the words.

“Good, thanks”, she was pretty much feeling her way here, she guessed what he was going to say next and wanted to avoid it but didn’t know how.

“It’s not enough Cordelia”, it was a warning of what was to come.

“Don’t even go there Angel, just don’t OK”, she couldn’t just let him say it; not without letting him know that she wouldn’t take it. She uncrossed her arms and moved back trying to create some space between them.

“Why not? tell me something then, why didn’t you warn me about Dru, I could have stopped it from going that far”, he moved forward too, refusing to let her have the distance she wanted.

“She told me if I did she would kill innocent people, because of me, a family. I couldn’t let that happen”. She faced him glaring almost toe to toe now, daring him to deny her the right to have made that choice.

“If you listened to her then you’re a fool. Just what the hell do you think she was feeding off, rats? Young families are her favourite always has been. All you did was make sure she had more time to do it”. He practically snarled it out, itching to shake some sense into her.

“That’s not fair, you couldn’t have found her”, denied Cordy stricken, dammit she hadn’t thought of that but then how could she have known.

“I know Dru, I could have found her, she was always a creature of habit, more so than any of the rest of us”, he didn’t spare her, wouldn’t.

“OK maybe you’re right and I made a mistake in not telling you, but that doesn’t mean that I have to give up, I won’t”, she wanted him to leave it at that, she didn’t want to have to make another choice between him and what she felt was right. She loved him but she would if he forced her.

“You will”

He said it with such finality that she gasped and stared at him. The words seemed to hang between them. They stared at one another the air thick with a tension so tight it would take almost nothing to make explode.

“You can’t make me” She whispered it because her throat suddenly felt tight but there could be no doubt that she meant it. She was stiff with both determination and a stubbornness that made her unwilling to back down or even compromise until another time, when he might be more reasonable.

She wanted to lower her eyes or walk away, anything. But something made her stay where she was. She watched as his jaw clenched so hard a muscle began to tick, his brows lowered narrowing his eyes and his lips curved into a tight, cruel smile.

It was an expression she had seen on his face many times before but it was the first time she had ever been on the receiving end of it herself. She braced herself and locked her knees to prevent any hint of a revealing backward step.

She watched as he seemed to gather himself and then couldn’t help an instinctive step back when his eyes flashed gold as he vamped out right in front of her. His fangs flashed in a challenging snarl and demonic eyes watched her with predatory hunger.

“What the hell are you doing”? She asked him, horrified by the change in a way she had not been in a very long time.

“You’re so sure you can handle yourself, so prove it, right now”, every word was growled out as he advanced on her.

Oh my god was all her numb brain could come up with, “I don’t want to fight you” she said, disbelief written over her face, had he gone bad and she didn’t know it?

“Tough, you don’t have a choice. Real life time Cor, this is the life you want isn’t it”? He was taunting her now.

She backed away from him but he kept coming, her back hit the counter and she slid along it, trying to keep some distance, she could feel her heartbeat going crazy and her knees were weak with fear, she hated it and the fact that he couldn’t not know it, that made her angry.

“What are you trying to prove here Angel, that I should be afraid of them or of you”? Those words made him pause for just a fraction but before she could feel any relief he answered her.

“Shut up and get on with it Cordelia, unless your feeling to….Oh I dunno weak maybe” He was goading her but at the same time deadly serious.

She’d had enough, “Go to hell” she snarled at him and turned to storm off. His hand shot out and fastened on her upper arm and quick as a snake she went to punch him in the face but his other hand caught hers and held on, she tried but couldn’t break his grip.

“Is that the best you can do?” He said pulling her away from the counter, she had no option but to go or be dragged.

When he stopped she deliberately got too close and brought a knee up in a quick strike aiming to cripple him with pain, all he did was twist his hips out of her way and she missed and it was only his hold that prevented her from falling on her knees. Maddened she turned and twisted in his grip but all she managed was to hurt herself.

Thinking furiously she feigned defeat, relaxing and lowering her head, waiting for him to take the bait and release her or at least loosen his hands. He did release her hand and she instantly brought it up in a swinging punch which he deflected, she did it again and he deflected it again with insulting ease.

“Let me go” she spat the words out in a fury, she tried to pull away and dragged herself almost to the floor but he held her up, despite her best effort.

“No” just that nothing else.

Using his hold to aid her she braced both legs and practically climbed him, kicking out and pushing back, she caught him in the face and he let her go, she flipped once and landed on her feet in a crouch; she swept out a foot wanting to knock his out from under him but he braced his legs wide apart and simply absorbed the kick without so much as flinching.

“Darla used to like to fight, she’d get real worked up about it, gotta admit I never saw the fun in it until now”, he laughed at her.

Truly infuriated she jumped back to her feet and back-flipped away from him to gain some time to think. She faced him with chest heaving and fists clenched. There was a strange pressure in her chest but she refused to acknowledge it, she hated this and wanted it to stop, now.

“My turn now” He growled unsmilingly

Her eyes widened and she barely had time to react before he was nearly on her. She pulled back and spun on one heel bringing the other up in arc, he ducked under it and kept on coming as she backed up further, skirting one of the red circular puff chairs.

She came at him with a flurry of punches that he either ducked, reared back from or deflected with his hands or arms. She was panting with exertion and out of time, his big body was herding her back against a wall. She ducked under him and dived for the clear space behind him, but he hooked an arm around her waist and literally launched her into the air, to land on her back on one of the couches.

She scissored her legs to help her get back up and swung them over the side but she was too late, he grabbed both of her ankles and pulled her off the couch and onto the tiled floor. She kicked and punched at him but this time he didn’t even bother trying to avoid them but simply dropped to his knees and then straddled her hips, trapping her legs with his longer ones pressing them together. His hands snagged hers again and pressed them to the floor high over her head.

She bucked and heaved, not caring what happened just wanting to get him off of her NOW but he was too big and heavy and he just waited until she tired herself out.

She glared up at him, humiliated and angry “Are you satisfied now, does it make you feel better, Asshole?”

“Now now, mind your language”, the only consolation was he wasn’t smiling and his face was human again. Some of the tension left her, but none of the anger or the humiliation which she knew was his whole intention.

“Get off me”, she snarled, starting to wriggle again.

“I will when you give me your word, no more cases”, he said with calm deliberation.

“Kiss my ass”, god that felt so good to say that.

“Are you so determined to die?” he was angry again and she didn’t give a crap.

“No I’m not, but I decide not you” she was yelling at him by the end.

“You don’t have a choice” he snapped back infuriated again

“Why because of this? Get real” she had lifted her arms a fraction in his restraining hold to make sure he understood she didn’t care what point he thought he’d made.

“I can stop you”

“Do your worst, Dumbass”. She said it fiercely still glaring up at him with fire in her eyes.

He hesitated for a moment and then got off her, a measure of sanity had returned and he wasn’t willing to go any further, no matter what he’d thought when he arrived he couldn’t hurt her even to stop her from being killed at some future point. He would have to find another way.

“I hope you have another source of income other than cases, because you’re gonna need it”, he said determination in his voice and with that he left again. The door banged shut again before she had even had time to sit up.

“Asshole” she yelled at the top of lungs, not caring if he could hear her, finally she let the tears gather in her eyes, but didn’t let them fall.

Angel stalked out of the gate and over to his car, he got in and without warning slammed his head on the steering wheel, his hands clenching around it until the knuckles turned white. His head shaking from side to side in a gesture of denial. He covered his face with shaking hands and rubbed away the tears that had started to fall.

What are you trying to prove Angel, that I should be afraid of them or of you“? He couldn’t remember anything ever hurting so much as when she’d said that.

Part 15

Posted January 7, 2016 by califi in Complete

Lost and Found 13   1 comment

PART 13

WESLEY’S APARTMENT

The spray was strong and as hot as she could bear it, beating down on her bent head, the water running in rivulets down her face, neck and body. She’d borrowed Wesley’s shower gel; it was a masculine scent, but nice and she didn’t think he’d mind.

She was clean now but she stayed under the spray enjoying the massaging effect of it on her tired body. Unwillingly the events of the night replayed through her head and she unconsciously rubbed at her neck, where the marks of a vampire bite should be. But found only smooth unblemished skin.

Her thoughts turned to Angel, he was angry with her; she could tell as soon as he picked her up and carried her out of there. He’d been rigid with it, his face stern if unemotional but she wasn’t fooled and she knew him well enough to know there would be a confrontation between them very soon.

She sighed and move back from the spray, reaching up to turn it off and stepping out of the cubicle. She wrapped a towel around her torso and started using another to dry her long legs.

“Oh for the days when his moods where only irritating”, she rubbed her forehead with her hand again in a gesture that was fast becoming habit for her.

Before she’d started to fall in love with him, she would have just brushed off his bad temper and either ignored him, aggravated it further, or coaxed him out of it. But they were lovers now and the all rules had gone and changed on her even more, this bad temper was very definitely going to affect her, whether she wanted it too or not. It was personal now, about as personal as it could get.

“Where the hell does he get off being pissed at me, I’m the one that nearly died, Asshole”. The anger was welcome but short-lived.

“Dammit” She was just getting into the swing of things what with work and her relationship with Angel and now this has to happen. Both had become important to her in the short time she’d been back in LA, She didn’t want to lose either.

I should have told him when Drusilla first showed up” She thought, knowing that was a big part of what was angering Angel.

“I couldn’t remember, innocent lives at stake. I couldn’t take the risk”, she said out-loud, defensively.

He’s going to try and insist I stop working cases on my own

“So what if he does, what can he do”? She told the inner voice, so wrapped up in the conversation she was having with herself, she forgot she wasn’t alone in the apartment.

Wesley shouted from the living room asking if she was OK, “Yeah I’m fine don’t worry just talking to myself”, great way to come off as a mental case, Cor.

He’s going to say you can’t cope that you nearly died and got vamped and he’s not wrong

“Oh right and he hasn’t nearly gotten himself staked plenty of times before”

You know he won’t see it that way, ‘over protective much’ remember

“Well anyway he is wrong I can cope, I’ve been doing OK and maybe I’ll get some muscle in”, she visibly brightened at the idea.

“Wow won’t that bake his cookies” Both she and her inner self smiled for a moment enjoying the thought.

“Groo, I could try and find him – no wait, that wouldn’t be fair, what with him loving me and me…, well me not feeling the same way”, she’d nearly said ‘being involved with Angel” but she wasn’t feeling very coupley at the moment. She drooped for a moment defeated; no-one else came to mind.

“Ya know what? I don’t care, I won’t let him decide my life just because I’m sleeping with him. This is what I want to do and he’s just going to have to get used to it or get the hell out of my life”, she scowled and resumed drying her feet with rough strokes.

Oh yeah and Mr Stubborn, Possessive and Over Protective Guy, is really just gonna back off -and anyway, you know you don’t want that“, the annoying inner voice taunted.

“I can stand up to him, it’s not like I haven’t before when he’s been all dark’n’broody”, she said the last with rolling eyes at the memories.

Maybe, but he’s really, really mad this time“. Big time mad, the look on his face and the brutal fight was etched firmly on her mind.

“Oh shut up”, she slammed the towel down and got dressed, refusing to think about it anymore.

ANGEL THRU THE NIGHT

It had taken him the rest of the night to find the first one. He’d spent hours spent trawling demon hotspots and hangouts, beating up snitches and countless demons looking for the four vamps that had gotten away. Picking fights and generally making the demon underworld know that he was killing mad. He didn’t leave much room for doubt.

He’d taken more than a few knocks himself, but the battered and bruised look only made him look even more dangerous and unstable. Especially as his coat was liberally splattered with blood only a little of which was his own and his face; brows lowered over dark narrowed eyes, glittering with cold fire, was tight with reckless fury.

But now, finally he’d hit lucky and one of the remaining vamps that had hurt Cordelia was dangling by its neck from his clenched right hand, its eyes bugging out of its head with fear.

He brought his own snarling face in close and then without warning pulled back his arm and slammed the vampire against the wall again; its head hit the wall with a sickening thud while its hands still scrabbled frantically at his clenched encircling fingers.

Dust floated freely in the air from the other four vampires he’d found this one hanging out with. They were not the ones he wanted but he dusted them anyway before they’d even had a chance to defend themselves, it being morning and all, they had not been expecting visitors. He’d left this one until last deliberately, he wanted to know where the other three where before he killed it.

“Where are the others? I want names and locations now” Asked Angel with a calm deliberation that revealed the deadly purpose behind the visit. Just in case it hadn’t already figured it out.

“I don’t know”, it gasped around his strangling fingers, vampires don’t need to breath to live but they still need air to talk.

Angel flipped it in the air and slammed it down on its back, before it could recover its wits, one of his boots came to rest with crushing force on its nose and chin.

“Really I don’t know, I don’t know them, only met them for the first time for the job”, it squealed out of mashed lips.

Angel took out a knife from inside his leather duster, his boot still pressed onto the vampires face. He didn’t ask again but bent down and slammed the knife deep into its torso and turned it, the vamp screamed. He stepped off and crouched down beside it.

“You guys must have talked hangouts or favourite hunting spots”, he didn’t raise his voice or bluster, and they both knew he wasn’t bluffing.

“You’re going to kill me anyway”, it whimpered in pain, struggling over broken teeth and split lips.

“True, but I can cut you up first or not, your choice” He removed the knife as he said it, balancing it expertly in his hand ready and willing for the next strike.

It told him what it knew and then he drove a stake into its dead heart.

WESLEY’S APARTMENT (Still the previous night a few hours after getting there)

Lorne arrived at Wesley’s apartment while Cordy was in the shower, he knocked gently, nervously checking up and down the corridor in case any of the neighbours came out and saw him before he could get inside and away from human eyes.

Wesley opened the door and stepped back to let him in, “You didn’t have to come over you know”.

“I know, I just wanted to see her, it’s been a while”, he looked around hoping to see his favourite ex-seer. “So where is she”?

“Shower” said Wesley with a jerk of his head toward the sounds of running water and went back to cleaning the shotgun, currently in pieces scattered around him waiting for a turn with the gun oil and rag.

“Oh and Angel where’s he”? Lorne asked not spotting a large, dark and not so recently broody vampire, “Back to brooding after the close call with vamp Cordy”?

It was a pity thought Lorne with real regret, Angel gets to be happy for a few days after months of sliding back into dark Angel and then this happens. If he knew his boss and he did, this was going to have some very dark repercussions.

“Out” said Wesley, intentionally brief and uninformative, “Is Gunn still keeping an eye on Eve”? he knew he was having only just spoken to him but he wanted to change the subject.

He needn’t have bothered Lorne had spotted the woman on the bed through the door which Wesley had kept open. An axe was propped on this side put there by Wesley, just in case. Lorne walked into the room and over to the bed, looking down at the prone woman.

“Pretty little thing” He said, strangely enervated by the sight of her, “What’s her deal”?

“A friend of Cordy’s” answered Wesley joining the green skinned demon “Drusilla killed her”.

“Oh I doubt that” said Lorne, he sat next to the woman and picked up a hand, “She’s not dead”.

Wesley just stared at him; an uneasy crawling feeling came into life inside him. He suppressed the need to shiver with it “What makes you say that”. His eyes travelled the length of the woman, looking for whatever Lorne could see that made him sound so certain.

She looked the same as when they first carried her onto the bed, pale and still with no signs of life, just horrific wounds on her neck which were now covered with bandages.

“I can feel it, it’s so strong I can almost taste it” answered Lorne cryptically.

“Feel what”, snapped Wesley not in the mood for riddles.

Lorne looked up at him with a smile at his surliness, knowing he was driving the ex-watcher crazy and enjoying it for a moment before relenting, “The life-force Wesley, there’s no way this one has been snuffed out, it’s too strong”.

He placed the hand back by her body and patted it gently before moving back out of the room, they both heard Cordelia come out of the bathroom then, not difficult considering she was all but stomping, her beautiful face flushed and wearing a black scowl.

“Hey there Princess, come and give me a big ole huggeroo” Said Lorne with a big smile and wide open arms. Who could resist Lorne; she went to him and got enfolded in a big bear hug.

“How are you doing” He asked her, leaning back but holding her to look into her face, “Hmm not good then”?

“I’ve been better” she said with a wan smile, pushing her hair back behind her ears and looking at Wesley a little sheepishly.

“So I hear” said Lorne, “nearly got yourself vamped by the bosses daughter is what I heard” and then he gave an exaggerated shudder “What that would have done to the family tree I shudder to think”.

“How’s Cathy” Asked Cordy of Wesley, wanting to change the subject and not get into what had happened earlier, she was going to get enough of that later.

“No change that I can tell” said Wesley genuinely and then genuinely curious “So how does this work with her”?

“She’ll just heal and then wake up” said Cordy simply, walking into the bedroom and over to the bed. Cautious as ever Wesley followed closely behind not wanting to leave her alone with what he still half believed was a vampire in the making.

“You’ve seen this before then”? When she nodded he decided now was a good time to dig for more “What is she Cordy, has she told you”?

For a moment Cordelia looked like she was going to ignore him, she didn’t look up from removing the bandages on Cathy’s neck to check the wounds; she smiled when she found they had closed over somewhat, the skin no longer looking so savagely mauled.

She leaned back so Wesley could see and watched him pale, he looked at her “This doesn’t mean anything; the same would happen if she was being turned”. For a moment it looked like she might actually hit him she was so infuriated. So he held up his hands saying “Look all I can go off is what I know and you’re not telling me anything I can believe in”.

Cordy blew the bangs of her hair off her face and placed her hands on hips, searching his face, for what?

“Don’t you trust me”? Asked Wesley a little hurt.

“It’s not up-to me to trust you, but I will tell you some of what I know, the rest is not my story to tell, OK” She waited for his agreement, which he gave reluctantly.

“For starters this could take days to heal before she comes round. How she got the wounds makes a big difference on how quickly she heals. If she gets attacked herself then she heals very quickly but if it’s a wound she’d taken off someone then it takes much, much longer”.

“So these wounds are the ones that you got from Drusilla then?” asked Wesley, incredulous, he’d actually managed to convince himself that she never got bitten by Drusilla after all. Even though he’d seen it with his own eyes.

“Yes” said Cordy. Even Lorne who had followed them in looked sceptical “I don’t know chickpea, it all sounds a bit biblical to me, but maybe that’s just me”? Wesley and Lorne shared a look.

Cordy laughed then, “I said that once and it was the first time I ever saw her angry, I mean really angry so don’t ever say anything like that to her of you want to keep your head on your shoulders”.

“So how does she do it then”? Wesley was feeling more uneasy not less, thinking of Jasmine and her ‘healing powers’.

“She calls it paying the price, the way she tells it’s like she’s some kind of, oh I don’t know cosmic credit card. Someone’s sick or something she can heal them but she has to pay the price for it, which means she takes on the problem and then she heals herself”.

“Very kind of her”said Wesley dryly “She must be busy there’s a lot of sick and hurting people out there”.

Cordy crossed her arms and aimed on of her dirtiest looks, the kind she only saved for VERY special occasions, like now. “Don’t talk about what you can’t understand Wes, she’s only one person. She has to decide who to help, can you imagine having to make that decision”. She raised a brow and waited until he dropped his own eyes before she was satisfied.

“But what is she”? Asked Lorne, wondering if he’d missed that part.

“I don’t know exactly, she’s never said but she is pretty much human though” replied Cordy, hands up in a ‘take it or leave it’ gesture.

“Pretty much human”? Wesley replied back with a great deal of ‘I beg your pardon’ in his voice.

“Yes Wesley, just, well a little more as well”, Cordy shrugged, what did he want her to say for crying out loud, what was she some kind of encyclopaedia for the strange and unusual.

“What other ‘powers’ does she have”?

Cordy stayed silent for a moment this conversation was not going well as it was, should she mention the other psychic stuff, especially as Wesley’s reaction was bad enough without it and by the same thought what would Angel’s be like?

“That’s all you need worry about”. Better not to risk it.

“Cordelia” Said Wesley in a warning tone of voice, all stern and father figureish, yeah OK Wes.

“I said that’s all you need to know OK, for gods sake she saved me from being dead or a monster, isn’t that enough”? Cordy raised her voice and glared with all of her considerable might at the ex-watcher who she also considered to be a good friend but right now was being a complete pain in the ass.

“Where is Angel anyway? He shot out of here quick enough, what happened did he have a board meeting or something”? Sarcasm and bitterness was evident in her voice and dark scowling face.

“Making sure that the threat is completely taken care of” Replied Wesley, picking his words with care, getting in between these two when they were squabbling was a game for fools.

“What threat? He took care of that with unusual gusto at the lab; by the way has someone been spiking his blood again? cos that was a little too gung-ho for me” She started pacing, was this night ever going to end.

“I want to home now, there’s no point in my being here, I can take Cathy there and look after her”, she told Wesley, daring him to contradict her.

He must have had more gumption than she remembered “NO, not until we’re sure your safe, your apartment is the first place any remaining vampires who worked for Dru would go to find you”.

“Urgghh that’s rubbish Wesley, there can’t be more, she had them all gathered for the show” said Cordy with a great deal of frustration showing through.

“Nevertheless” said Wesley refusing to budge an inch. Lorne could feel the tension rise and knew Cordy was about to raise the roof, so he said “What about the hotel”.

Both Cordelia and Wesley looked at him and said in unison “What”?

Lorne shrugged and looked nonchalant “The Hyperion. it’s empty and available, any vamps of Dru’s won’t go there looking for Cordy and anyway they’d be too afraid of bumping into our very own prince of darkness to try anything”.

As an idea it had merit, Cordy looked back at Wesley and raised a brow “It’s either that or I go home, Wes, so make up your mind and make it snappy”.

Part 14

Posted January 7, 2016 by califi in Complete