Summary: Cordy signs up for more than she bargained for when she agrees to go undercover with Angel.
Spoilers: Up to ‘Somnambulist’, set before ‘Expecting’
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: Anywhere, just let me know.
Thanks/Dedication: Thank you to Lysa for being the most wonderful beta in the world and for the great suggestions! Val, Thank you for all the encouragement. *hugs* Luv ya both.
Feedback: Yes, please.
Wesley beamed from behind a pile of old books strewn about his desk. “This is exciting news!” He exclaimed, removing his glasses and polishing them with a handkerchief he removed from his shirt pocket.
Angel returned the ex-watchers smile with a weak one of his own, “Yeah, great.” He wasn’t as thrilled as he had always imagined he would be upon hearing such incredible news, instead his thoughts were unmistakably consumed by a petite blonde slayer.
“Now you can return to Buffy, and have the life you originally wanted with her.” Wesley was still grinning from ear to ear.
If only things were that simple. “Wesley, I didn’t leave Buffy because of the curse. I left because it was in her best interest for us to go our separate ways…” almost as an afterthought he added, “Nothing but pain came out of our relationship.”
Even upon admitting this bit of information, he still felt overwhelming sorrow when faced with the simple truth of it. “I’ll be in my office if you need me.” With a click of the door he was behind the safety of his dark quarters and free to brood the morning away.
He had spent many days pining over his one ideal day with Buffy. The day she didn’t know about. Didn’t remember, not by any fault of hers, but it hurt his heart all the same. As long as he was a vampire and she was the slayer, it was an impossible relationship. She didn’t accept him, not all of him, and he could never provide her with the normal life she longed for, given that he was a demon.
After the death of his close friend Doyle, he was left with no one he could confide with regarding that ill-fated day spent with his love. Although true, the past couple weeks following Doyle’s death had brought Cordelia and him closer together- practically best friends now, he still was not comfortable talking with her about his former romance with the slayer. After all, Cordelia’s and Buffy’s relationship couldn’t even remotely be described as friendship. Even the mere mention of Buffy’s name, would cause Cordelia to get that irritated glint in her eye, and an irritated Cordy was not a Cordy he wanted to deal with.
No. He didn’t need anyone to help him through this. A few more decades of brooding and he was sure the pain would lessen and then he could pick up the pieces of his non-existent love life and move on.
Wesley wasn’t sure what had just happened to send the vampire into instant brood mode. He always thought solving the problem of the curse would be a joyful thing for Angel. Giles had telephoned him a few days ago, and given him the information needed to secure Angel’s soul, and the vampire wasn’t even the least bit appreciative. Well too bad, it was done. Angel’s soul was secure, whether he cared or not. Besides, ridding the world of the treacherously evil Angelus was admirable enough in itself. Wesley certainly didn’t need the gratitude of a morose vampire to be proud of doing the world such a prodigious favor, and it was evident Giles didn’t either.
His thoughts were interrupted by a loud thud as Cordelia entered the office in a huff, letting the door slam shut behind her. She removed her bag and deposited it on her desk, shuffling through the inside and fishing out a piece of crumpled paper, “The Powers sent Angel a case….and a side of bone crushing, side splitting pain for me. Yay me.” She jeered, raising her fist in a mock cheer.
Handing the wrinkled page to Wesley she added, “Not surprisingly, the vision was as elusive as they come, so all we’ve got to go on are a couple pieces of the puzzle and, I guess, somehow we have to connect the dots.”
Quickly glancing at the two names written in Cordelia’s loopy handwriting, Wesley motioned for Cordy to sit down in front of the computer. “Can you please perform a search for Mary Brodigan?”
Cordelia shot Wesley an annoyed look, before starting over to the computer. Her long, black ankle length skirt swaying back and forth and her high heeled shoes clicking on the floor as she walked, she tugged at the bottom of her golden tank top to even it out before gracefully sitting behind the computer. Tossing a long strand of her silky, rich chocolate hair over her shoulder and out of her way, she briskly nudged the mouse to take the display off standby mode. Hunting and pecking her way on the keyboard and then pressing the search button, she waited for the results to come back.
Wesley made his way over to where she sat, positioning himself behind her, so he could see the computer screen.”Nothing,” she said, narrowing her eyes and rechecking the small print on the monitor, before giving up altogether. “Maybe Angel can contact cop lady to see if she’s got any information.”
“Vision?” Angel asked, finally emerging from the security of his dark office and heading towards her desk. Cordelia nodded in reply. “What did you see?”
“This woman, Mary, in the hospital and luckily I was able to make out her full name from the doctor’s chart on her bed. She was there having a baby, but it was kidnapped before she was discharged”
“That’s interesting,” Wesley looked over at Angel, “that hardly seems like a case for us.”
“I don’t send the visions, I just get them. So take up your complaints with them,” Cordy said glancing briefly up at the ceiling. “There’s more, it seemed like a different case altogether- but they are somehow connected….I saw what looked like a resort. Deliciae, was the name on the sign. That’s all I saw. Just those two names, and a missing baby.”
“Were you able to see which hospital, or the location of the resort?” asked Wesley.
“All I saw was what I gave you, and um, that it’s past tense, it already happened.”
“The missing baby and this resort were all in one vision?” Angel asked furrowing his eyebrows. Cordelia nodded, “So, these two things are related somehow?”
Rolling her eyes, Cordelia commented sarcastically, “Yeah, way to deduce, dumbass-I just told you that it was.”
He didn’t flinch at her remark, he actually enjoyed her tongue lashings, course he preferred they be directed at someone else but he was willing to take the good with the bad, “Well, I’ll go check with Kate and see if she can give me any information on Mary, what’s her last name?”
“Brodigan,” Wesley replied handing Angel the crumpled paper, “We can find information on Deliciae, while you’re at the police station.” Wesley said waving his hand back and forth between Cordelia and himself.
“Correction, you can look up information on Deliciae.” she said slapping his hand away from her, “I have an audition, hence the stunning attire, which by the way- Nice dress Cordelia, you look beautiful, are those new shoes? Would it kill ya to notice?” shaking her head as she got up to grab her bag, “Never mind, I shouldn’t expect much from an emotionally stunted vampire and his groveling sidekick.” She smiled while pulling her bag over her head positioning it across her chest and strolling out the front door, “so I’ll see you two later!” The door slammed shut and she was gone.
Wesley and Angel stood still staring at the door. Blinking Wesley asked, “What just happened?”
“I think Cordelia insulted us, and then gave herself the afternoon off.” Angel headed to the elevator, “I better get over to the police station.”
The past few hours had been a *complete* waste of time. Kate didn’t have any records on Mary Brodigan, didn’t even have the lady in the city database. He had even checked around with his ‘underground’ sources and had come up with nothing. Despondently, he trudged his way through the murky sewers, making his way back to Angel Investigations. Hopefully, Wesley had more luck in his search.
Angel climbed his way up through the sewer entrance in the middle of his basement apartment, and proceeded to the elevator.
Wesley looked optimistically at Angel, as he arrived at the landing of the ground level floor. “I got nothing,” Angel said quickly so that he didn’t have to look at the hopeful expression on Wesley’s face any longer, “How about you?”
“Well I did find the website for the ‘resort’- as Cordelia put it, I don’t suppose the Powers felt it necessary to show her the nature of this place,” Wesley grinned a bit, “I left it up on the computer so you could take a look.”
Angel moved over to the computer and read the description on the front page of the website for Deliciae.
Bring a refreshing attitude to encourage sexual intimacy within your marriage. Daven and Mavie, a husband and wife team, have spent the last 10 years refining methods of bonding for couples and has made their wisdom available for
everybody.Nothing seemed to be making sense, what did sexual intimacy have anything to do with Mary Brodigan’s missing baby? Shrugging it off he continued to read the rest of the description.
Located on Catalina Island, Deliciae is a unique retreat that advances sexual health for couples who desire a dynamic love life. Deliciae offers a five day haven where couples are taught the essential tools for lovemaking. Our inspiring and affirming approach to sex is as much about intimacy with your spouse, rediscovering passion, and self-discovery, as it is about physical technique. Energize all dimensions of your vital sexual connection with your partner by making your reservation with Deliciae today.
“Okay, so it’s not a typical resort, but I still don’t get what Deliciae has to do with a baby being kidnapped.” Angel really wished he could punch the powers in their noses…maybe twice, one for Cordy’s vision pain, and one for this stupid case. If they wanted him to do *their* work, then they should at least give him the details needed to find the demons he was expected to kill. At least, he hoped they were demons. He didn’t know anymore – not after Cordy’s last vision, maybe the Power’s That Be decided he should take on regular cases now too. Missing children, what’s next? Domestic disputes? Hell, why not send him out to find lost pets too.
“Can you check to see if Mary Brodigan was a guest at Deliciae, before her baby was taken?”
“I already did boss,” Wesley said unenthusiastically, “the receptionist said they don’t give out information on
guests.””So they did say Mary was a guest?”
“No. Basically she said they couldn’t tell me anything and then she impolitely hung up.”
“Oh.” Sighing, “Well, I guess I’m going to have to enroll as a guest, and see if I can find a connection between the two. Can you make a reservation for me?” This was not going to be fun. Investigating a case with absolutely NO leads, on an Island resort, occupied by married couples exploring sexual intimacy with one another, meanwhile he would be avoiding sunlight, and people. Could things be any worse?
“Actually, reservations can be booked on line, but there is a small problem.”
Why did he have to think things couldn’t be worse, didn’t that *always* seem to make them worse? Angel was getting really tired of dead-end leads, it appeared to be the only kinds of ends they were finding for this case. “What’s that?” he mumbled.
“I’m sure the directors of this retreat will be more than delighted to teach you and your hand to be intimate with one another,” Wesley frowned a little after noticing Angel’s icy stare, “Angel, it’s a sexual health retreat for COUPLES. It states on the reservations page that the guests must be married. At any rate, how are you going to *not* burst into flames on an island retreat?”
“I’ll see if Cordy wants to go as my wife, set up the reservations for us. Hopefully I can bribe her to do this. I’ll figure out how to *not* burst into flames when I have the need to.” Angel appeared absolutely assured on the outside, but imagining himself asking Cordelia to play his wife for a week at a sexual intimacy retreat had him nervous. Nothing can EVER be easy, can it?
Rejection was becoming a common occurrence in Cordelia’s acting career. She was way better than those other girls at the auditions. She was a good actress. Cordelia Chase was good at everything. That was exactly what she would keep telling herself. After all she was beautiful and young, she thought as she pushed open the door to the office, and was nearly startled to death by the two grinning idiots standing not more than two feet from the entrance.
Jumping a little in alarm, she shrieked, “Geez, heart attack much? What do you two want?”
“We just wanted to know how the audition went.” Angel said still with the stupid grin on his face.
“I didn’t get the part.” It was a rare event to see Angel smiling and she was captivated by how handsome he looked, yet even so, she knew *that* particular smile. It screamed of I-need-you-to-do-me-a-favor, and she wasn’t feeling particularly generous at the current moment. “Now can you move? I have a lot of work to do.” She stated wryly and pushed her way past Wesley and Angel.
“Work? You shouldn’t be working, what with the painful vision from this morning. How about you take a vacation? Go to a retreat, could be fun.” Angel tried.
“Are you crazy? A vacation because I had a vision? You do know I have visions all the time, right? Are you going to send me away every time I get one?” She looked at Wesley, who was mirroring Angel’s dumb grin. Okay a little creepy, but maybe she was a bit amused. She wanted to see where this was going, what they wanted, and what she could get out of the deal by agreeing.
“How about we sign you up for a five day retreat on Catalina Island? You can spend a long relaxing five days there, and I’ll pay for it.” Angel’s grin had become even dumber, if that was at all possible. The look on his face bordered on the edge of desperation, this was going to be easy.
“You’ll PAY for it?” Realization dawning. “Oh, I get it. The retreat from my vision? You want me to go check it out. Well it’s gonna cost ya.”
“No, I don’t want *you* to check it out. I’m going to do that, but I’d like you to come along. You can relax and just enjoy your stay, lounge on the beach- soak up the sun, have a few drinks.”
“Why?” Cordelia said skeptically, and rightfully so.
“Are you always so suspicious?” Cordelia arched her eyebrow at him, “Okay, I need you to pretend to be my wife. I will be doing all the investigating, you can enjoy the stay.” Angel was almost pleading, he was out of options and
desperate.That was it? That wasn’t so bad. “Fine, but I’m going to need some new vacation clothes. Can’t expect a girl to go out to an Island retreat, and not have a new bathing suit or a few new sun dresses.” Now she was happy, she was going on a vacation and hopefully getting a new wardrobe. All she had to do was be Angel’s wife, that didn’t seem so hard, she could do that.
“How much is this going to cost me Cordy?”
“A lot.” She beamed one of her signature 1000 watt smiles.
“The resort is a WHAT?” Cordelia screamed, her eyes twinkling with fury. Angel winced, now he was going to get it. But, this had been the only way to get her to agree to go along with the charade.
“Cordelia, keep your voice down. Everyone is staring at us.” Angel’s voice was firm but no more than a whisper. He only wished he felt as in control as he appeared. Wesley had dropped them off earlier at the Long Beach dock to catch the Catalina Express, the only transportation method offering an after sundown trip to the island. Now he was trapped for the next hour with a livid brunette, who was berating him in front of a boat crammed with amused, eavesdropping old ladies.
“I DON’T CARE!!! You booked US into a SEXUAL INTIMACY retreat, Angel. In case you hadn’t noticed- you and I do NOT have sex.” She was outraged. He’d tricked her into coming, didn’t tell her the details about the undercover role she had agreed to, and now it was too late, she was trapped into doing this. She knew his rationale for lying to her was justified (in his mind) as long as he caught his demon in the end, but she was going to make him pay if it was the last thing she did.
“Cordy, I bought your swimsuit, your dresses. Hell, I even let you pick out some bright colored shirts for me to wear, because you wanted a fashionable ‘husband’. You and I are *only* pretending to be married, I seriously doubt they are going to force us to be intimate in front of them.” His voice was almost an inaudible whisper.
“I better not have to!” She said indignantly. Now he was thoroughly offended. Was the thought of being intimate with him so repulsive in her mind?
“You won’t.” He allowed his voice to elevate to her intensity, “NOW GET OVER IT.”
“Pfft.” She was tricked and he was telling her to get over it? “Whatever.” She crossed her arms over her chest in a stubborn pout. “I’ll be your ‘wife’, but you’re sleeping on the floor, and I’m spending my days on the beach, tanning. So you can forget any delusions you may have about me spending any daylight time with you.”
“Great. I never said I wanted to spend my days with you anyway.” He knew it was a childish remark, but he was trying to get back whatever dignity he had left. “Just remember to make it believable, we need to be there long enough for me to get some information regarding Mary Brodigan and her missing baby.”
Cordelia gave him the silent treatment for the remaining half hour of the trip.
The resort was no bigger than a large mansion, and appeared deserted aside from the working staff. Upon checking-in, the bell boy led them to the elevator, up three floors to the top level, and finally to their room. After the boy deposited Cordelia’s bags on the floor next to the closet, Angel reached in his pocket and pulled out some cash, handing him a dollar for his trouble. His vampire hearing caught the boy’s angry curses after he closed the door to their room. “A dollar’s a good tip isn’t it?”
“Pfft.” Was the only response he received from Cordy. She knew she was being a little excessive by continuing to not speak to him; after all, Angel was just trying to solve the case, and she was getting a vacation out of this–but she was still reeling from being lied to.
Looking around the room, Angel’s eyes immediately traveled to the large window at the far end of the room. Deep crimson velvet drapes were pulled back to reveal a small balcony with a picturesque view of the beach beneath. Below the full sphere of the pale golden moon and the black sky speckled with brightly shining stars, was a long expanse of sand lined with palm trees, the resort lit up with a subtle sapphire and violet illumination, adding an even more romantic ambiance to the shoreline. The ocean’s profound darkness was only disrupted by the foamy white patches created by waves, as they ran wildly throughout the ocean, eventually crashing onto the sand.
Cordelia’s eyes widened as her gaze fell to the direct right of were she was standing. A large Jacuzzi tub that was concealed only be a shoji screen, and to the side of the bath was a sink with a vanity. She was NOT taking a bath in the open with Angel around and certainly not going to be around when he was bathing. Luckily, the toilet was separate with its own door for privacy.
Continuing her scrutiny of the suite her gaze journeyed to the queen size bed, that seemed to be the main attraction, centered in the middle of the room. The bed was furnished with silky cream colored sheets, covered with a deep crimson, velvet comforter matching the drapes. Scarlet and cream silk drizzled from atop a crowning canopy, dangling alluringly down to the ground. Her mind was spinning at the motif implication of the room. It was undoubtedly a room made for sex, with its overdone fabrics and obvious shades of red, it screamed of extravagant tackiness.
Angel allowed his eyes to wander away from the view below the balcony, to take in the rest of the room. The floor was covered in luxuriously thick, cream colored carpeting. On the ivory colored walls hung erotic contemporary artwork, and unlit candles decorated every surface in the room, emitting their refreshingly clean aroma of rainfall. He loved the stylish elegance and the rich materials. Silky and velvety fabrics, rich red colors, no television only a small stereo, a large tub, a great view, it was definitely a room made for him.
Recognizing Cordelia’s look of utter panic caused him to bite down in an attempt to hide a small smirk that threatened to surface on his lips. He could only imagine what was going through her mind, he guessed she was envisioning the room’s intended purpose. He could visualize a few uses himself. His amused thoughts were interrupted by a knock at the door, cautiously he went to open it.
Standing at the door was a cheery couple, holding hands and smiling from ear to ear. The petite blond woman was holding a bottle of red wine, as the taller, dark haired man circled an arm around her waist.
“Welcome,” her voice exaggeratedly upbeat, “we hope you are pleased with your room.” the woman smiled and handed Angel the wine. “We will be your instructors and guidance counselors this week. This is my husband, Daven, and I’m
Mavie.””Thank you,” Angel said impassively, taking the offered wine. “This is my wife, Cordelia,” Setting down the wine next to two crystal glasses on the dresser, and motioning towards Cordy then to himself, “and I’m Angel.”
Cordelia turned, her arms still folded across her chest, “Hi.” she said indifferently, garnering herself a ‘behave yourself’ glare from Angel.
“We came to let you know that introductions will be held tomorrow morning after breakfast. Two other couples are joining us this week, and we would like you all to get to know one another.” Daven’s voice was equally as annoying as his wife’s. “Please join us tomorrow morning in the main lobby at ten.”
“Can’t wait!” Cordelia said, using her best fake cheery voice. The couple smiled happily, waving goodbye before turning to leave.
Angel closed the door and began removing his sweater and unbuckling his belt. “What do you think you’re doing?” demanded Cordelia.
“I’m going to take a bath,” Angel replied and continued stripping off his undershirt. “So if you want to leave the room, I’ll be about 20 minutes. Otherwise, enjoy the show.” Allowing his amused smirk to finally surface, he gestured to the sheer screen providing the lone shield to the bath.
“That’s just great!” Cordy fumed, “I’ve been here a whole 30 minutes and you’re already expecting me to spend tomorrow morning with Donnie and Marie wannabes, and now I can’t even get ready for bed because *you* are taking a bath first?” With the most dramatic exit she could muster, she stomped out of the room.
Angel was still smirking; he had had enough of Cordelia’s tantrum, she may have had the right to be mad at first, but she was taking it too far. He had not really intended to bathe just yet, he had planned to go snoop around a bit tonight, but the opportunity to rile the stubborn girl was too good to pass up. So bath first, snoop later.
Angel wandered around the hotel investigating the different floors. After finding the third floor was mainly just guest suites, he ventured down to the main level. He managed to find a row of five offices that appeared to be personnel administrative areas. Angel inhaled deeply, sneaking into the office where he could detect the overpoweringly flowery scent of the woman who had come to their suite earlier. Mavie. This must be her office. He began shuffling through papers, making sure to stay highly alert to any noise. Last thing he wanted was to get caught, and have yet another dead-end to this case.
Not a trace of Mary Brodigan. Then he noticed the computer was on and didn’t require a password, so he clicked on an icon that read ‘Deliciae Guests’. Entering Brodigan into the search field, he hit enter. Again the search turned up with nothing. Maybe the Powers had sent Cordy two mismatched visions, if Mary had anything to do with this resort wouldn’t her name be in this file? Maybe she was an employee. He would have to keep searching. He would look for the payroll and human resources information tomorrow and see if he got lucky there.
With nothing left to explore in Mavie’s office, he reluctantly left. He looked at his watch, 2 a.m., he had better go to bed; otherwise, he would never wake up in time to attend breakfast in the morning. Not that he needed to eat the food, but he needed to keep up appearances. So he proceeded back to his room and called it a night.
Cordelia was sound asleep on the bed, when Angel entered the room. Her strawberry shampoo dominated the aroma of the room, but the faint hint of her unique feminine scent, was what filled his senses instantly. His vampire vision saw her effortlessly, even in the darkness of the room, her chest rising and falling with each uniform breath, her heartbeat a constant rhythm. She was so peaceful and serene looking…except…was she snoring? Dear lord, the girl snored like a wounded moose. He’d be lucky to get any sleep tonight.
Taking an unused pillow from the vacant side of the bed, and a large blanket he retrieved from the top of the dresser (Cordy must have left it out; even angry she still took care of him), he laid down on the floor and despite her snoring, having her in the room was extremely soothing, and making him feel relaxed. He fell asleep almost immediately.
DAY 1 – Introductions
Cordy awoke in a pleasant mood. Forgotten was her rage with the vampire, who was still sleeping peacefully on the floor. This was her vacation and she was determined to enjoy it. She got out of bed, and went to brush her teeth. He was lucky she had the courtesy, as well as the prescience, to pull the drapes closed before going to bed, otherwise he would be a pile of dust right now.
She took a hurried bath and dressed quickly in one of her new sundresses, being quiet enough to not disturb the slumbering vampire. Last thing she wanted was to be caught in the bathtub with only a thin screen covering her nakedness. She was relieved to see he was still dormant when she was done getting ready.
Now that she was fully dressed and very hungry, she gently shook his shoulder, “Angel, wakey-wakey! It’s 8:30, we are supposed to meet those two at ten, you need to get ready, and I want to go eat.”
Angel’s chest rumbled a little, but other than that he seemed unresponsive. She lowered her head closer to his face. “Angel? W…” before she could finish her sentence, his arms shot out and pinned her to the ground.
“Geez Angel, what’s your damage?”
The close proximity allowed the heat from her body to seep into his cool body. He reveled in the feeling for a few moments before realizing it was Cordelia, “Sorry.” He apologized, and then let her go. Seeing her flushed face, and dismissing it to the warm bath she had clearly just taken.
“It’s okay, just go get ready. I’m hungry and you’re treating me to breakfast. I’ll be waiting for you in the restaurant downstairs.” She smiled at him and then left the room so he could get ready.
Breakfast had been pleasant, Cordelia had even slipped some blood into a Styrofoam coffee cup, and heated it up for him, so that he was able to enjoy his meal while she had hers. But now they were standing in the lobby with three other couples waiting for their hosts to arrive. Not knowing what he was in for made him a bit anxious.
Finally, the couple they had met the night before arrived. Acting like newly weds, with their hands all over each other. Daven gently squeezed Mavie’s rear before turning around to grab a handful of questionnaires from on top of the counter behind them.
“Before we begin, we ask that you all complete these questions. It’s nothing difficult, only things like your favorite color, favorite pastime, and the like.” He said, handing out a page and pen to each person, and then quickly heading back to his wife for some more inappropriate groping.
When everyone completed their surveys and Mavie had collected them, Daven began speaking, “Every day this week, we will host activities that will help you connect with you significant other. Teaching you the tools of intimacy and helping each partner feel loved and cherished.” He reached his hand out and clutched his wife’s hand. “Our desire is to create an inviting atmosphere that will, by the end of this retreat, help strengthen the bonds of love and ignite passion within your relationship.”
Cordelia looked over at Angel, rolling her eyes when he made eye contact. His deep brown orbs revealed utter grief. That damn slayer again, why was he always thinking of her. He was probably picturing what it would be like bringing her to this retreat. Did he seriously think this hocus pocus would help solve relationship issues? She doubted it would solve regular marital troubles, not to mention the colossal tribulations a slayer and a vampire would have to
tackle.Continuing for her husband, Mavie added, “We request that you do not make love these next few days, you will be forming bonds of trust and a deep level of intimacy as you embark on this erotic journey. But we will be doing this without the actual act of sex…” she paused, waiting for everyone to begin complaining. They just stood around like a bunch of mute idiots, nobody said a word.
Good thing too, considering if our vampire here gets a ‘happy’ we’re all dead, Cordelia mused as she glanced over to Angel again. Stop brooding. Stupid vampire and his one track Buffy mind.
When no one protested, Mavie continued on, “…at least not until your final day here.”
Pfft. Sheeeya right, that’s gonna happen, like NEVER. They better not be thinking that will be one of their group exercises. Cordelia’s lips curled up a little, as she entertained a brief notion…although, unleashing Angelus on them is tempting.
“Hopefully the exercises you will be doing this week will develop a long, slow build of desire within each of you. The objective is by the last day, you will ache for your partner, not only physically, mind you, but emotionally too.” Mavie said concluding her explanation.
Daven picked up where Mavie left off, and oh how Cordy hated this tag team thing they had going on. “This morning’s activity is going to be a getting to know you. We are going to go around the room. Each of you will state your name. How long you’ve been married. How you would rate the intimacy in your relationship, on a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being the best, and also please tell us what physically attracts you to your spouse.”
“I’ll go ahead and begin,” Mavie said, “My name is Mavie Evender, Daven and I have been married 15 years, we met in college and have been in a state of rapture ever since, which answers the intimacy question – 10 of course. I was attracted mainly to Daven’s beautiful blue eyes, but his cute butt helped too.” She finished smiling over to her husband.
Daven went next, but Cordelia had tuned him out. She couldn’t believe she was in this mess. Her temper was returning. They hadn’t even practiced a ‘how-we-met’ story, now she had to come up with something quickly.
Before she knew it, it was her turn. How had her turn come so fast? She must have zoned out for a while, because apparently everyone except Angel and her had had a turn.
“My name is Cordelia… uh…Chase,” So much for making up a fake name. Angel’s eyebrows wrinkled, he obviously didn’t approve of her slip-up.
“Angel and I have been married a year,” that was the only thing that made sense considering she was only 19, “hmm, our intimacy? How should I put this nicely – 1” a growl escaped Angel’s lips, she smiled sweetly at him. Ha, she would make him pay for putting her in this mess.
Angel had been furious with her for giving her real name, but even more outraged by her intimacy rating. He was GREAT in bed, it was his forte. Why would she embarrass him like that?
Her smile faded when she realized she had to acknowledge what physically attracted her to him, and not only in her mind, but directly to him. She thought back to her high school years. She just hadn’t thought of him in *that* way for a long time. He was quite the hottie, “I was attracted to his handsome smile, his striking features, and his broad chest.” She answered honestly.
His anger faded with her confession. All eyes were on him. Oh right, my turn, “My name is Angel…”
“Chase.” Cordelia finished for him, and then couldn’t help the sly grin from surfacing on her lips. That’s right baby, you took MY last name, who’s the one that wears the pants in our marriage!
Angel could see the satisfaction in her eyes, “Chase,” he growled. “Like Cordelia said, we have been married a year and I, too, rate our intimacy a 1, mainly because she doesn’t actively participate when making love.” There, he was redeemed, but then he saw the incredulity in Cordy’s eyes and he felt guilty.
“What attracts me to Cordelia is…” He looked at her. He had never really *looked* at her before, not as a woman. Only as a friend. She stood there in her new sundress. The bronze of the material made her skin look radiant. The v-neckline exposing the top of her firm golden breasts, her tan legs, long and slender, but very well sculpted. She was stunning. How had he missed that incredible body? The beautiful face, with those kissable lips? The cascading chocolate silk that fell to her mid back, “…everything, she’s gorgeous, I mean, LOOK at her.” Oh crap, did he just say that out loud? Luckily vampires can’t blush, because he would be bright red right about now.
All the women in the room sighed adoringly, but Cordy just stood there completely speechless. He had never said anything like that to her before. Suddenly feeling disappointed, she realized he was probably just playing his part as the sweet husband, making her look like the bad guy.
Yet, hearing those verbal caresses from his mouth, made her feel more beautiful than anyone else had ever made her feel. Not for lack of hearing praise, she heard that often enough, it was the way Angel looked at her when saying it. What was she thinking??? This was Angel! No bone, Angel. Why did she want him to be attracted to her?
Cordelia spent lunch in the company of one of the other couples, while Angel was out investigating. Danny and Marcy Dellevue were, mildly put, maddening. They couldn’t say two words without arguing and calling each other all kinds of offensive names. She felt like she was sitting at the tourette’s table, because every few minutes a loud string of profanities would erupt from either one of the two seated next to her.
Spotting Angel as he entered the dining hall, she put her hand in the air, waving frantically at him. She had never been more pleased to see him than at this very moment. “Angel! Hi. If you two will excuse me, I would like to talk to my husband,” she said getting up from her seat and running towards him, giving him a forceful hug.
He was shocked at her enthusiasm and especially surprised by her display of affection. For the second time today, he allowed himself to enjoy the warmth of her body. She raised her head to his ear and whispered softly, “Thank god, you saved me. Any longer and I would be in jail for murdering those two.” Understanding dawning on his face, he smiled at her.
“Sorry, but I wanted to see if I could find the human resources office.”
“I found the office, unfortunately I didn’t find anything on Mary.” He spotted Daven heading in their direction. “Looks like its show time again.”
Cordelia turned just in time to see Daven a couple steps away, “Cordelia, Angel,” he greeted. “Mavie and I would like to speak with you two for a moment, in our office.”
Cordelia looked nervously at Angel. “Where is your office?” Angel said coolly, “and when do you want us to meet you there?”
“Actually, right now…if you would just follow me.”