Buffy struggled to speak, spots appearing before her eyes as Angel’s death grip cut off her oxygen. She glanced desperately at Cordelia, who was shaking her head and blinking her eyes rapidly as she pried herself off the floor.
As soon as Cordelia’s vision cleared, she raised her head and gasped.
“Geez, Angel! Let her go!! She was trying to help me. God, you are such a dumbass sometimes!”
In a moment of confusion, anger still coursing violently through his veins, Angel looked back at Cordelia, then to Buffy. He seemed to jerk himself out of the red haze, snatching his hand away from Buffy’s throat and allowing her to drop to the floor. She took in deep heavy breaths, trying to replenish the oxygen she’d lost. She clutched her fingers around her neck, rubbing cautiously at the bruises that were already forming.
The room was bathed in tense silence as Cordelia fumed and Buffy tried to recover.
The injured slayer spoke first, her voice hoarse. “I’m sorry, Angel, for everything,” she said, looking up at him, the remorse in her eyes unmistakable.
Angel just stared at her, his emotions still in turmoil. He’d come into the room and seen Buffy grabbing Cordelia, and he’d feared the worst. For that split second, he’d let his anger take control and he’d reacted without thought. Cordelia had been in danger, and he couldn’t allow that.
Mistaking his silence for mistrust, Buffy continued. “I shouldn’t have demanded that you take me back like that, Angel. I just . . . I just love you so much that it was a shock to see that you don’t love me anymore.” Buffy dropped her gaze to the floor, the intensity of the feelings too much to handle. “I know that you love Cordelia, and I can see now that you belong with her, not me. Even though it hurts like hell.”
Angel was stunned. He knew her apology was genuine, but he never actually expected her to accept his love for Cordelia.
“Thank you, Buffy,” Angel said, the emotion raw in his voice. “It means a lot to me that you said that. And I’m sorry for hurting you. I saw Cordelia in pain, and I . . . overreacted.”
“Geez, you can say that again,” Cordelia complained, now sitting upright and dragging herself to the couch. “That was a vision headache, in case you didn’t figure it out, dork. That means a message for you. There are a few vampires who are going to make a prom after-party into their midnight snack. You’d better go.”
Angel crossed the room, crouching before her, his fingers brushing her cheek. “You okay, Cordy?” he asked, concern lacing his tone.
“I’m fine, Angel,” Cordelia said softly, her own hand reaching up to cup his face. Her eyes sparkled as she teased, “No thanks to your show of possessiveness!”
“Yeah, well, I love you. I want to protect you,” he said, lamely trying to excuse his actions.
“I love you, too, Angel,” Cordelia said, “but next time, pay a little better attention before you start attacking people.”
He just stared at her, lost in her eyes, amazed at the love she was finally admitting to him. He’d completely forgotten that Buffy was in the room at all.
Cordelia glanced over at the Slayer, who was watching their exchange with an expression that was a mixture of sad acceptance and longing. “Buffy might be able to hold her own, but if she were any normal human, you might have killed her. You’ve got to start thinking ahead, Angel.”
After a moment of silence, Cordelia just rolled her eyes at his love-struck expression and pushed on his chest. “Go, vamp guy. People need saving.”
He stood up, pressing a gentle kiss to her forehead. “I’ll be back in a little while.”
Cordelia nodded. “You okay over there, Buffy?”
Standing up wearily, Buffy crossed the room to the couch and sank into it heavily. “Yeah. A little worn around the edges, I think, but okay.” She paused for a moment, absorbing the last 24 hours. “This has been just, well, weird.”
Angel wasn’t one to mollycoddle her, especially now that she wasn’t the love of his life anymore. “Buffy, the curse?”
“Don’t worry, Angel. I’ll leave it with Cordelia,” she said. She looked up at him, the earnestness evident in her face. “You deserve to be happy, Angel, no matter who you love. When it came right down to it, I couldn’t let myself keep that from you, no matter how angry I was.”
At her words, she saw the forgiveness appear in his eyes, and the sorrow he felt at hurting her. “Thank you, Buffy,” he said, his voice raspy. “I never meant to hurt you; I hope you know that.”
“I do,” she said, and the silence between them was healing. “Cordelia’s right. You should go. Fight the good fight.”
The two women watched as he exited the apartment, the lack of his presence creating a vacuum that nothing else could fill.
Buffy stood up, facing Cordelia, tears once again in her eyes. “I’m going to go home and see if I can get my boyfriend to forgive me. Although I wouldn’t blame him if he didn’t,” Buffy said, speaking to Cordelia but her thoughts a few hundred miles away.
She walked to the door and Cordelia followed her in silence, not sure what to say. Buffy was still lost in thought, her mind in Sunnydale.
Buffy shook herself and continued, her expression hardening as she grasped the doorknob, her tears finally overflowing as the finality of everything sunk in. “If I ever find out you broke his heart, I will personally kick your ass, Cordelia. He deserves to be happy,” she said, opening the door and leaving, shutting it firmly behind her.
“So do you, Buffy,” Cordelia said softly to the closed door, the Slayer’s footsteps retreating on the other side.
The post-battle high was intoxicating, and Angel let himself feel every enhanced nerve and savor the feeling. He wanted to hang on to the adrenaline so that he could use it for tonight, for when he finally had the chance to make love to the woman he adored more than anything in his long life. His chest tightened in anticipation as he imagined what the evening might hold for them.
Nearly rubbing his hands together with glee, Angel bolted for Cordelia’s front door as soon as it was in view. He burst into the apartment, silence greeting him. Momentarily, he felt bereft, as if half of himself were missing. Then he realized Cordelia was gone, a piece of pink paper folded over on the dining room table with his name scrawled in her messy script.
He opened it, smiling at the little heart she’d drawn next to his name.
I went to Wesley’s to show him the spell. Meet me over there, okay? After that, I was thinking maybe we could hang out, or something. Got any ideas?
P.S. I love you.
Smiling, Angel stroked the words with his index finger. Oh, yeah. He had some ideas alright. Beginning with that ride he’d promised her.
He turned and strode out of the apartment, his coat billowing behind him. He had places to be. A soul to secure. Things were finally going to turn out right in his life.
It was about freakin’ time.
“So that’s it?” Cordelia asked, skepticism evident in her voice. She tilted her face up at Wesley, her eyebrows raised, highlighting her question.
“It appears that way,” Wesley answered. “There’s not much to it. It’s quite amazing, really.”
Wesley shook his head in wonder as his eyes skimmed the short Latin lines on the paper. “Who knew that the gypsy curse had such a simple addendum to it? It’s no wonder that they sent Jenny Calendar to watch him back in Sunnydale. If anyone knew about this, the vengeance they were wanting so badly would be negated forever.”
Cordelia was still trying to understand what was happening. “So if Willow had added these lines at the end of the curse, his soul would’ve been made permanent already?”
“Yes. When I called Giles, he said that the disk left by Jenny had some un-translated text in it. It was a challenge to Giles, but he felt he owed it to her memory and he’s been working on it all this time. He had no idea what was in it until a week or so ago.”
“Well, I still don’t understand why they didn’t make his soul permanent in the first place. It took him 100 years to get over having it. Don’t you think that would be enough suffering?”
Wesley shrugged. “Apparently, the Gypsies have used the entire curse to make other kinds of demons suffer with a soul, but it was never used against vampires. With other demons, having a soul at all was more of a torture than anything else; they’d never been human before, so they didn’t know how to deal with the soul, permanent or not.”
Wesley scratched his head and frowned, trying to make this easy for Cordelia to understand. “Vampires were once human, and their original soul takes over when they’re cursed. In Angel’s case, the Gypsies knew that he would suffer more greatly if he had his soul and wanted to keep it more than anything else. They knew that he’d want to be happy and keep his soul, and they wanted him to suffer as he walked the line.”
Cordelia frowned fiercely. “That’s just wrong.”
“Well, he did kill a favored daughter of their clan,” Wesley said wryly.
“Angelus killed her. Angel had to pay for it,” Cordelia said, defending him.
“But Angel is Angelus, Cordelia. You have to understand that.”
“I do, Wesley. I really do,” Cordelia said intently. “But what bothers me is that Angelus isn’t Angel. Angel’s soul wasn’t present when he did all those bad things, but he has to feel guilty and suffer for it. Angelus could no more stop himself from being an evil vampire than you could stop from being British. It’s just who you are.”
Wesley’s expression turned disapproving when he realized that Cordelia had just compared him to a vicious killer. “Thanks a lot, Cordelia,” he said wryly. “The last thing I want is to be compared to Angelus.”
Cordelia rolled her eyes. “You know what I mean, Wes.”
Wesley regarded her in silence, not deigning to comment.
“One more thing I don’t understand. When you add this part to the curse, Angelus isn’t there anymore?”
“Not exactly,” Wesley said. He removed his glasses and scrubbed the lenses with his handkerchief, trying to find a way to explain the complicated procedure. “Right now, Angel has almost a multiple personality thing going on. Angelus is there in his head, a separate voice. Angel has control and he can shut out Angelus for the most part, but there are two separate entities at home in one body: the voice of the demon and the voice of the soul.”
“Right, I get that. I’ve seen Angel arguing with himself before. At first I just thought he was weird, but I get it now. The curse takes that away?”
“Angel and Angelus will merge, becoming one voice. Basically, Angel will get all of Angelus’ thoughts as his own, but those feelings will be filtered through the soul. He will still want to kill, feed, and hurt people at times, but his soul will be his conscience, preventing him from carrying through with it.”
Cordelia still looked confused. “How is that different than now?”
“Now, Angel has to worry about letting Angelus take over. He’s always holding him back, ignoring the taunts in his head, etcetera. After the curse, he won’t feel that anymore. He’ll just feel anger or disgust, but not actual words in his head from Angelus.”
“Oh,” Cordelia said, lost in thought. Suddenly, a thought struck her. “But won’t that make Angel more dangerous?”
“Maybe,” Wesley conceded. “More likely, he’ll be more aggressive, more sarcastic, more outgoing than he is now. He’ll still have a quick temper, but he’ll probably use the new aggression to his advantage. Basically, he’ll feel more confident because he’ll have peace within himself. No more inner struggle between the soul and demon for domination of the body.”
A sweet smile passed over Cordelia’s face as she realized that this meant Angel’s happiness would be inevitable. He’d always wanted peace. In his entire life, he’d never had that, even as a human. But now, it was within his grasp. She was so happy for him.
Just then, Angel knocked on the front door, letting himself in when he realized it was unlocked.
“Hey,” he said, suddenly overcome by nervousness. What if this didn’t work? What if he was doomed to be cursed forever?
“Hey, yourself,” Cordelia said, gracing him with a soft smile. She walked over to him and hugged him tightly.
Pulling back, Cordelia looked up into his face, her eyes shining. “Can you believe it? You’re about to be Angel permanently. Way cool, huh?”
Angel smiled at her, calmed by her presence. “Definitely way cool.”
Wesley just rolled his eyes at their display. “I take it you’d like to get this done as soon as possible?”
Nodding, Angel walked over to Wesley. “So what do I do?”
“Nothing, actually,” Wesley said, adjusting his glasses and opening the scrap of paper in his hand. “You can stand or sit; it’s up to you.”
“How will we know if it worked?” Angel asked, still worried that this wasn’t real.
“Giles said that the curse came, rather conveniently, with a description of what would happen. Apparently, when the entire curse is read, your eyes glow white as the soul is cast, then the glow turns blue when it is made permanent. Since the Gypsies and Willow only did the first half of the spell, there was only a flash of white.”
“Okay,” Angel said, somewhat mollified. “Will I feel anything?”
“Um, let me see. . .” Wesley said, skimming over his notes. “Giles’ notes say that there should be a sharp pain followed by disorientation as the soul enters your body. Then . . . well, there’s not much here. Basically, when the soul is made permanent, you should feel a ‘peace within.’ Not exactly a detailed description.”
Angel was still a little confused, but he said only, “I think I understand.”
A thick silence permeated the room as they all absorbed the ramifications of this act. Taking a deep breath, Angel said, “Okay, Wes, I’m ready.”
“Angel,” Cordelia said, feeling the need to reassure him. “I love you, no matter what happens, okay?”
Smiling at her, Angel replied, “I love you, too, Cordy.”
As she moved away again, he was chanting silently, Please let this work, Please let this work.
“Okay, let’s begin,” Wesley said solemnly, coming to stand before Angel. He turned to his right, his eyebrow raised. “You ready, Cordelia?”
“Stinky herb girl, standing by,” Cordelia said, with a wink at Angel.
“No Orb of Thessela this time?” Angel said, unable to keep the nervousness out of his voice.
“Relax, Angel,” Wesley said with a frown. “Your soul is already in place, so we don’t need to channel it. No need for the orb.”
“but what if something goes wrong and I lose my soul?”
“Geez, Angel! You’re such a worrywart,” Cordelia complained. “It will work, and if it doesn’t, Wesley has taken precautions.”
“Pfft. Like we would tell you. Duh, Angel. Angelus is in that head with you, isn’t he?”
“Oh, yeah,” Angel said sheepishly.
“Are we ready NOW?” Wesley asked, somewhat petulantly.
Angel just nodded.
The scent of burning herbs suffused the room, making Angel’s nose twitch. Wesley began chanting the Latin incantation, and almost immediately, Angel felt a searing pain in his chest.
Cordelia watched anxiously as his eyes glowed with white light, the coffee color she loved so much nearly obscured by it.
To counteract the pain, Angel focused on the words flowing from Wesley’s mouth. Knowing the language so well, he couldn’t help but translate it in his head. He took comfort in the words:
May the soul within change your evil ways
May it eradicate the evil that has plagued you
May you become a force that fights for good
And lives to serve others.
May it always be thus
May it never be removed
May it never be separated from the demon within.
As Wesley uttered the last few phrases, Angel felt a sudden cessation of the pain in his chest, and his vision cleared. In that moment, his mind and heart cleared as well, as if someone had taken a broom and swept out all the dark corners.
Cordelia & Wesley let out breaths they didn’t know they’d been holding as Angel’s eyes glowed blue, then dimmed to the original color.
Angel was awestruck. For the first time in 100 years, all he heard in his head was his own voice.
The silence was deafening.
No taunts from Angelus, no bitching and moaning in the background, no sudden snorts or grunts of displeasure or irritation. But most obvious was the lack of struggle between his soul and his demon. Angel no longer felt the need to fight his demon’s every instinct; they were a part of him, second nature, without the guilt. He didn’t have to draw on Angelus for his vampiric power or skills; he just acted, and they were there.
Wesley’s earnest voice tore into Angel’s self-discovery. “How do you feel, Angel?”
Angel stared at him in wonder. “I feel great, Wesley. It’s amazing. It’s like . . . ,” Angel struggled for the words, knowing what he wanted to say but not really believing it. “It’s like being human again.”
“Except for the blood drinking thing,” Cordelia quipped, an excited smile on her face.
“Except for that,” Angel conceded. His thoughts turned inward again, and his two best friends watched breathlessly as a myriad of very un-Angel emotions passed over his face.
“I had forgotten what it felt like to be human. To have a soul that was at home in my body. I thought I knew, but I didn’t,” he said, his voice hoarse as tears of joy flooded his eyes.
Searching the room, his gaze found Cordelia’s, and she saw how much he needed her right now. Hurrying to him, Cordelia enveloped him in a tight hug, savoring the moment when his arms wrapped around her. Her happiness left abruptly as she pulled back from his chest and saw the tears streaming down his face. “Angel, what’s wrong?”
“I’m just happy, Cordelia. I’ve waited so long for this, and now that it’s here, it’s overwhelming me.”
“You’re not going to turn all sensitive, softy guy on me now, are you?” Cordelia teased. “The next thing you know, you’ll be out hunting demons and instead of killing them, you’ll be checking them in to Baddies Anonymous.”
Angel’s tears had mostly stopped, and he rolled his eyes at Cordelia, something she’d never seen him do before. It made her laugh. Giggle, actually. She couldn’t help herself.
“You’re rolling your eyes at me,” she said.
“So. Whatcha gonna to do about it?” Angel said playfully.
“I think impertinence like that deserves severe punishment,” Cordelia said coyly, her eyes holding his.
“Oh, really,” Angel said, his smile turning into a smirk, a sparkle in his eye. “If anyone should be doing the punishing around here, it should be me. You put me through hell with that little display of yours tonight.”
“What display?” Cordelia asked innocently, her eyes wide as if to say, “Who, lil’ ol’ me?”
“That one where you ripped my heart out and danced the chicken dance on it.”
“The chicken dance.”
“Yep. I think its kind of appropriate, since you were such a chicken about this.”
“Wesley, I think you need to check your notes. I don’t think this turned out right. Angel’s acting kinda weird,” Cordelia called, then turned when no one answered. “Wesley?”
His voice floated from the back of his apartment. “Please, for the love of God and all things good, go get a room. Don’t defile my apartment with your disgusting display of happiness and love, okay?”
“I think Wesley needs a girlfriend,” Angel said, laughing.
“I think you might be right,” Cordelia grinned. “Can you think of anyone?” She grabbed his hand and pulled him toward the door.
“What about Faith?”
Cordelia looked at him strangely, then called, “Bye, Wesley!”
To Angel, she said, “Hello? Faith’s Prison Girl, remember? Not to mention she kind of tortured him. The thought of dating her would be a punishment.”
“Speaking of punishment. . .” Angel smiled wickedly as Cordelia pulled him out the door.
“I get dibs. I want to go first,” Cordelia said, a wicked smile of her own firmly in place.
Saturday, 2:12 a.m.
The trip back to Cordelia’s apartment was nothing short of torturous. Cordelia kept to her side of Angel’s car, her palms itching with the need to touch him. She knew he wanted her as much as she wanted him; he kept looking over at her, each glance longer and longer, until he nearly ran a red light and almost hit a pedestrian.
“Freakin’ jogger. What the hell is someone doing running around at 2 a.m.?” Angel muttered, miffed at having been caught driving dangerously.
Not able to help herself, Cordelia slid over to Angel’s side as the car was stopped, and put her arm around his shoulder. Her other hand came to rest on his thigh, just above his knee. Slowly, she began to stroke his leg, her fingers squeezing the firm muscles occasionally, an erratic rhythm that was impossible to anticipate. Her lips moved up to the side of his face, licking his jaw and taking his earlobe into her mouth, biting down and rolling it between her teeth.
She was too caught up to notice when the car started moving again.
“Angel,” she whined, “why aren’t you kissing me back?”
“I’m trying to get us home in one piece, Cordy. If you keep doing that, we’re not going to make it,” he said. The words ended in a hiss and Angel had to struggle to keep his eyes open as her tongue darted into his ear, swirling around and leaving a fiery trail of wetness behind. She intensified the already heady feeling by blowing into his ear, one long, warm puff of air that sent sparks of desire to every erogenous zone in Angel’s body.
The car swerved erratically.
Another red light gave Angel an opportunity to turn the tables on her. Growling, he turned his head and grabbed her face with both hands, smashing their lips together in a bruising, passionate kiss. His tongue wasted no time, reaching into her slack mouth to explore every inch of it. He skimmed her teeth and her lips, bringing the bottom one into his mouth and sucking on it erotically. Cordelia moaned into his mouth, turning onto her side and bringing her right leg up over his, arching her back to get as close as possible, rubbing her breasts against his pecs.
The kiss ended as loud honking interrupted them, leaving Cordelia breathless and Angel irritated at the interruption.
Determined to make it home as quickly as possible, Angel pushed on Cordelia’s shoulder, forcing her back to the passenger side.
“Stay over there, Cordelia.”
She pouted. “But I don’t want to.”
“If you don’t, I’m going to end up taking you in this car. While that holds interesting possibilities, I don’t want to do this for the first time up against the steering wheel or cramped in the backseat. I want to be in our bed, the lights on, your gorgeous body naked under mine, with me making you scream so loud the neighbors will talk about it for weeks.”
His eyes stayed focused on the road while he talked, but Cordelia’s were riveted to his face. Her heartbeat quickened as she envisioned the scenario he’d so vividly painted. While she knew she was torturing them both, she wanted to continue this burning conversation.
“What will you do to me, Angel?” Cordelia asked breathlessly.
Angel’s fingers tightened on the steering wheel, his knuckles turning white at the strength of his grip. He still refused to look at her, but he answered her question.
Boy, howdy, did he answer it.
“I’m going to take off your clothes, one garment at a time, unbuttoning and unzipping so slowly and carefully that you’ll whine with frustration. Every inch of skin I uncover will be burned by my tongue as I lick and stroke you, dampening your skin and giving you the shivers.”
Cordelia’s pupils dilated, her nostrils flaring.
“I’ll pay careful attention to your breasts, squeezing them, laving your nipples with my tongue, biting them gently. They’ll stiffen into hardened peaks, aching for me to suck on them.”
At his words, her nipples tightened in response, dying for what he said to come true.
Angel adjusted his position in the seat, his pants uncomfortably tight. This monologue was agony, but in a very, very good way. The scent of Cordelia’s arousal was thick in the confined space of the car, nearly tangible.
“When I’ve revealed every inch of your golden skin to my eyes, I’ll lay you softly on the bed, running my hands down your curves, teasing, squeezing and stroking, touching you everywhere but the places you want most.”
Her skin tingled everywhere and the place between her thighs throbbed, begging for him to at least say he’d touch her there, even if he couldn’t do it yet.
They were a block from her apartment, just enough time to fan the flames into a bonfire.
“My mouth will join my hands and I’ll kiss the inside of each thigh, working my way up. I’ll spread your legs wide and look at you, at the beauty of your body, the perfection that is my wife.”
Cordelia’s heart nearly stopped at that mental picture.
Angel pulled into the parking space and turned off the car. He turned to face her, a few feet still between them, and his eyes burned into hers as he finished what he was saying.
“I’ll continue to move up your body, kissing and tasting you, showing you how much I love you. And then, when I slide inside of you, our bodies becoming one, I’ll tell you I love you. I’ll tell you that my life would be nothing without you. I’ll tell you that you are the beat of my heart, the air in my lungs, the sun in my life, when otherwise I would have nothing.”
They stared at each other across the darkened interior of the Plymouth, Cordelia’s breath escaping in short gasps, her heart pounding like she’d just ran up ten flights of stairs. The electricity that passed between them practically crackled with intensity.
Cordelia tore her gaze away from him and reached for the door. She wrenched it open, lunging out of the car and sprinting for the front door. Even though she’d gotten a head start, Angel beat her there and thrust it open, Cordelia sailing through the opening like she was running from a fire.
She didn’t give him a chance to close the door, she just jumped on him, the momentum pushing him back into the portal and slamming it shut as he was thrust against it. One leg wrapped around his leg and her mouth attacked his viciously, like he was water and she was dying of thirst. She savored his taste, exploring his mouth with her tongue, rubbing her tongue against his.
Angel’s hands roamed her back, reaching down to cup her ass, squeezing the firm half spheres with his strong fingers. He moved his hands up, skimming the warm skin under her top, tracing the tattoo he loved but couldn’t see at the moment.
Dragging her mouth from his and gasping for breath, Cordelia looked into his heated stare and smiled the smile of a woman who was exactly where she wanted to be, getting exactly what she wanted. “I love you, Angel,” she said, her face turning serious. “This is so perfect; we’re married, you love me, and you’re not cursed. I want to cry, its so good.”
“It’s about to get better, Cordy,” he promised.
“Bring it on, grr guy,” Cordelia said, pulling away from him, skipping backwards, then whirling around and bolting for the bedroom.
“Last one naked does the dishes for a month!” Cordelia called, giggling.
“We’ll see about that,” Angel grinned, running after her.
He entered the bedroom to find her topless, struggling with the zipper in her pants. He was momentarily mesmerized by the sight of her breasts, but he recovered his senses quickly. He smirked at her as she fought with her clothes, then stripped in record time.
“Looks like you’re doing the dishes, honey,” he said smugly.
Cordelia forgot all about her zipper as she stood awestruck at the Adonis in front of her.
Angel was beautiful.
She’d seen most of him at one time or another, but never the whole package at once. And wow, what a package. This was the best (and definitely biggest) gift she’d ever had the privilege of receiving. Her hungry gaze devoured his muscular chest, hard stomach, chiseled arms, and powerful legs, but it was the center attraction that caught her attention and held it. Her eyes widened as she took in the impressive evidence of his desire for her, and it was only Angel’s satisfied chuckle that broke her concentration.
“What?” she asked, irritated to be interrupted in her ogling.
“See anything you like, baby?”
“Maybe,” Cordelia said her eyes sparkling, “But I think I have to try it on for size, first.”
“It’s adjustable, you know.”
“Yep. I’m sure I can find something in the next size up, if that’s what you’re looking for,” Angel said, barely holding in his laughter at her wary expression.
“I’m not sure I can handle what I’m looking at,” Cordelia said, her uncertainty taking over.
“Oh, you can, Cordelia. You will. And you’ll love every inch of it,”
“Well, let’s take it for a test drive, shall we?” Cordelia said, flooded with wet anticipation at his words. She was desperate to hurry, yanking off her pants and underwear and tossing them away.
She fell back onto the bed, her legs parting slightly, her elbows supporting her weight.
“So how about a ride, handsome?” She asked, winking saucily at him, arching her back so that her breasts strained in his direction.
“What is it with you and riding, Cordelia?” Angel smiled at her, obviously pleased by her excitement. He leaned over her, planting his hands beside her elbows, his face inches from hers.
“Just this thing I have, I guess. You promised me, don’t forget.”
“Oh, I haven’t,” Angel said, his voice full of sensuality.
“Okay, then,” Cordelia answered. “So stop with the talking, already.”
He didn’t have to be asked twice. His mouth descended on hers, the kiss slower and more sensual than they others they’d shared. He licked her lips, delving into her mouth to explore her, marveling again at the sweetness of her taste. She tried to increase the pace but he wouldn’t stand for it, pushing her back and controlling the kiss, keeping it at a pace that both frustrated and enticed her.
After some intense minutes of mouths sliding against each other, Angel moved down her body like he’d promised earlier, tasting every inch of her skin, stopping to suck and nibble in places that she never knew were so sensitive. When he reached her breasts, she collapsed onto her back, pushing her head into the pillow and moaning. The things he was doing to her with his mouth sent waves of pleasure coursing through her body, each one ending in a slowly growing pool at her core.
Tired of being the only one receiving, Cordelia began an assault of her own. She wrapped one leg around his back, bringing her wet heat into contact with his hard stomach, rubbing herself against him. Her hands threaded through his hair, pulling the short strands and scratching his scalp lightly. She scorched the skin of his back with her palms, her hot skin branding him in a million places.
Her offensive strategy came to an abrupt halt when Angel’s journey down her body reached the juncture of her thighs. He paused, his gaze lingering on her flushed face as he burned her with a smoldering, passionate stare. Then his head descended, and Cordelia experienced sensations that seemed to flood her, filling every square centimeter of her body with pleasure. Every nerve ending was on fire, an overwhelming pressure building so that she felt like she’d explode. His tongue bathed her, its cool surface inciting a riot of feelings that threatened to consume her in their force.
He was relentless. The pace of his ministrations increased in sync with the intensity of sensations, his fingers sliding inside of her and heightening the experience. Cordelia had no time or desire to hold back. Her climax overcame her in a matter of minutes, the power of it leaving her trembling and incoherent.
His body screaming for release, Angel inched his way back up her torso, bringing himself in line with her opening, the tip of his shaft just brushing her, teasing her.
“Please, Angel. Don’t make me wait any more,” Cordelia begged, finally able to speak again.
“I love you, Cordelia,” Angel rasped, the strength of his desire making speech difficult.
She wrapped her legs around his waist, pushing him inside inch by excruciating inch.
Breathless at the incredible feeling, Cordelia met Angel’s gaze. “I love you, Angel,” she said, a tear escaping her eyes as the power of the moment overwhelmed her.
At her declaration, Angel buried his lips in her neck, beginning to move inside of her, the rhythm speeding up as they got closer to the peak of their desire. Without breaking the rhythm, Angel moved Cordelia’s legs from around his waist and pulled them up over his shoulders.
The new position adjusted his angle inside of her, and Cordelia gasped at the new, more exhilarating sensations. She couldn’t keep from exploding again when Angel reached his hand down and his thumb brushed her clit, just once. As the vibrations of her orgasm squeezed him, Angel couldn’t hold back his own release, and he shouted as he buried himself deep, coming apart inside of her.
Several minutes later, Cordelia’s heartbeat and breathing had regulated at a manageable level. Angel was still on top of her, buried inside of her, but significantly less impressive than he’d been a few moments earlier. She stirred underneath him, and was pleasantly surprised to feel him responding to her, hardening once again.
She kissed his ear, as his face was buried into the pillow next to her. “Hey, there, big guy,” she said, sensual promise in her voice.
He pulled his face from the pillow and looked at her, a satisfied smile brightening his features. “Hey, baby,” he answered. “So did the test drive meet your expectations?”
“Maybe,” she said coyly, winking at him. “Although I think I want to take him for a spin again. Adjust the seat a little; try out a different position. Sometimes that can make all the difference.”
Angel pulled out of her, turned her away from him, and thrust into her from behind in barely the time it took her to blink.
“What about this position?” he purred, his lips nuzzling her nape. “Would that convince you to buy?”
“Oh, yeah,” she managed to say, her eyes crossing as his hand came around and down, his fingers stroking her. “Is there a lifetime guarantee with this model?” she said breathily.
“Of course. We aim to please,” he answered, his hips beginning to rock gently against her, the friction making her breath hitch.
“Okay, you’ve sold me. I’ll pay anything,” she said, her eyes sliding shut as his cool length glided inside of her, then retreated, only to begin the torture again.
“Just say it, Cordelia. That’s payment enough,” he begged, both of them nearing release.
“I love you, Angel,” Cordelia moaned as her pleasure peaked and she shuddered.
“You’re mine, Cordy. Forever. And I love you,” Angel vowed, his own climax reducing the words to a hoarse whisper.
Resting in the glow of their love, Angel finally let himself be happy.
Tightening his arms around his lover, best friend, and soul mate, Angel was more content than he’d ever thought possible. He could truthfully say that happiness was worth all the pain it took to obtain.
His heart swelled nearly to bursting with the emotion he’d only felt once before since becoming a vampire.
Only this time, the feeling was here to stay.