DAY 4 – Put It On
Cordelia’s eyes blinked open at the sound of running water. The night had been uneventful and she had slept peacefully without any further problems. With a deep yawn and a sleepy stretch she turned to her other side just in time to see Angel’s naked silhouette from behind the shoji screen. Instantly alert, her eyes widened as she watched his large body bend over the side of the tub to adjust the water temperature.
Steam drifted up in thick clouds as he stepped into the hot water. Absorbed by the movements of the dark shadow along the screen, Cordelia shuffled from beneath the sheets. Invading her friend’s privacy without his knowledge was certainly not polite, possibly voyeuristic and too tempting to resist. Feeling a twinge of guilt, but not enough to look away, she chose to enjoy the show.
With a small sigh, she sunk deeper within the security of the blanket. All the while, her curious gaze never lost sight of the figure behind the screen. She nearly gasped aloud when Angel bumped into the shoji screen just before sinking down into the protection of the bath. It teetered for a moment revealing at first a flash of pale skin before settling into place now providing an unfettered view if she tilted her head just so. From this angle, he was turned away from the bed and couldn’t see her watching. Slowly, he sank below the steaming surface, emerging again with his usually spiky hair slicked back with the weight of the water.
Cordelia’s heart rate increased, ever so slightly as she followed the trail of a water drop trickling its way down from his head to the glistening plane of his chest. Her breath caught in her throat until a tight pressure built up in her chest and she let it go in a heated huff. She was familiar with that chest. After all, she had patched it up on the numerous occasions, but this was different. Now she longed to touch, to run her hand down those muscles, roaming across the smooth expanse of it.
She uttered an ‘mmm’ of appreciation as she dreamt of the feel of his wet skin beneath her eager hands. Just the thought made her melt a little deeper into the bed covers, her body tingling. Her fingers tangled in the sheets, crumpling them as she watched him.
Placing a small dab of shampoo on his head, Angel reached up with both hands to massage it into his hair, his biceps flexing as he lathered on the shampoo. Cordy couldn’t help but be mesmerized by the ripple of his arms. She bit down on her bottom lip, trying to hold back the little rumble of pleasure that burst forth.
God he was sexy…what the hell was this place doing to her? Squirming in irritation, she released her death-grip on the sheets, her hands landing on the cotton covering of her top. The sensation only accentuated the ache building deep inside. Ugh! She was not some sex-driven nymphomaniac.
Preoccupied with her internal debate, Cordelia was caught completely unprepared for what happened next. Just when she was trying to convince herself that there was nothing sexy about Angel, he stood up in full naked glory. A torrent of water washed along his skin, splashing back into the bath. Still within her line of view, he rubbed soap over his dripping wet body. He lathered the soap up his well-formed thighs, over the round curve of his tight behind, around the hips to the toned stretch of his abdomen.
Large as his frame was, he moved with agile grace. Cordelia had witnessed this grace many times while watching him fight, but never in such an intimate way. She followed the trail of foamy suds left behind by the soap, her blood pumping energetically throughout her body as her heart raced.
Longing clouded her mind and she just couldn’t seem to shake the lustful thoughts. It should be her hands sliding across that slick skin. Blood rushed to her face, as she blushed furiously. Nevertheless, her eyes continued wandering over every sexy inch exposed to her view. Almost every inch. Her restless fingers began to toy with the edge of her top, sliding across the warm flesh beneath, stirring sensation and bolstering her resolve.
Gathering the nerve to look where she knew she shouldn’t, Cordelia allowed her eyes to stray down below to his masculinity, and boy howdy was he masculine. In perfect profile, she was able to see everything, including his arousal. Apparently, she wasn’t the only one in this room enjoying his bath.
A small gasp escaped her, as Cordelia watched Angel’s hand fist his growing erection. With a firm grip, he stroked himself, the slickness of the water and his soapy fingers making it effortless. His palm slid slowly up and down the length of his sex and his head fell back in a moan of pleasure. Moaning with him, as softly as she could manage, she felt her face flush more intensely.
No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t take her eyes off of him. What she really wanted to do was get into the tub with him and explore every inch of his hard body with her tongue. Her hand slid down to the warmth of her own sex, fingers threading through the curls nestled there. Rubbing at the needy area, she imagined his rough hands massaging her, the way they massaged his own body.
Suddenly, that little fantasy was interrupted by the sound of knocking on the door. Cordy jerked her hand out of her panties and shoved it under the pillow behind her head. Guilt exploded, but the thought of getting caught drove it back. Through slitted eyes, she saw Angel reluctantly release his hold. A low growl of frustration rumbled in his throat as he jumped out of the tub, not bothering to wash off the soap.
He was still dripping as he wrapped a towel tightly around his hips, making sure to confine the evidence of his arousal. Instantly Cordelia dropped her head down to hide beneath the pillow and acted like she had been sleeping the whole time, as Angel went to answer the door. It was room service with a cartful of pancakes, eggs, toast, juice, milk and potatoes. Angel took the cart and thanked the waiter.
After the door closed, Cordelia slowly sat up, stretching and yawning, as if she had just woken up. “What time is it?” she asked in her best sleepy voice.
“Nine o’clock,” Angel replied, turning away from her to hide the grin that was forming on his face. She was a horrible actress, even if he had not been aware that she was watching him bathe, he would have instantly known she hadn’t been asleep from her lousy ‘just waking up’ routine.
“Mmmm, what smells so good?” she inquired as if she didn’t already know.
Congratulating herself on the fact that Angel had no idea she had watched him or that she had found it impossible to resist touching herself while she did so, Cordy tossed aside the sheets and climbed out of bed. Suddenly hungry for food, she headed for the linen-draped cart, her stomach rumbling.
Mavie and Daven had sent breakfast for all the couples. Angel, being very suspicious of all the food, didn’t allow Cordelia to eat any of it. He promised to buy her breakfast from the restaurant downstairs if she allowed him to get ready first.
She accepted his offer, and went out on the balcony to give him some privacy. He got dressed in a flash and left the room, permitting Cordelia to get ready in private.
Angel walked around the hotel, taking in the different smells, to see if he could sense any demons. Whatever was going to happen here was going to happen tonight, and he was taking every opportunity to track down the source before it had a chance to strike. Unfortunately, he didn’t seem to be getting anywhere. There wasn’t a single demon in the hotel. Apart from the handful of moments he had detected fleeting traces of demon scent in their room, he had not found any evidence elsewhere in the resort. He abandoned his search temporarily so he could meet Cordy at the restaurant.
Meanwhile, Cordelia got ready as fast as she could. Grabbing a bag of blood and pouring the contents into a cup, she quickly left the room and went down to the restaurant to meet up with Angel.
Breakfast was a bit awkward. Angel appeared nervous around her, and she couldn’t figure out why. Probably some details about the case he was keeping from her. Regardless of his tense demeanor, she upheld a conversation with him, getting him to talk about his past, like only she could.
Only Cordelia could listen intently while he confessed the horrific sins of Angelus’ past, and he knew it. She was a friend, and he didn’t have many of those in his life. But Cordelia was much more than a friend, and he was finally coming to terms with his feelings. He was certainly going to miss her frequent company when back at home.
Cordelia finished her breakfast, and Angel paid the bill as promised. They were due to meet in the lobby for the morning activity.
Upon entering the main lounge, Daven gave his wife a long-lasting kiss, in spite of, or maybe because of the fact they had an audience. The three couples—besides Cordy and Angel—gawked in admiration at the impassioned display of affection. After what felt like several minutes, Mavie withdrew from his embrace to face the surprised couples. “Tonight is *the* night. We believe each of you will be ready for the next step.”
Still gently stroking his wife’s arms from his position behind her, Daven added, “That being said, we have the final activity for you this morning. It is the most important lesson we can teach you. Foreplay should begin long before intercourse. Making each other feel loved and beautiful is part of foreplay and part of the seduction.”
Mavie moved to the desk at the far end of the lounge, pulling out a notebook and glancing at it. “When you registered we asked you to fill out a questionnaire that told us a little about your interests. Using this knowledge, we have created a unique activity for each couple.”
Daven motioned for Greg, Leoni, Evan and Kara to follow him. Mavie stayed behind momentarily to take Danny and Marcy in each arm and guide them to the door. “Angel, Cordelia, I need you to stay put, I’ll be right back.” Her voice faded as she took the two people on either side of her down the hall and out of sight.
“I can’t believe we have been here for four whole days and still, we know very little about the case,” Cordelia declared gloomily. “What if nothing happens tonight…we won’t have an excuse to stay any longer, and our case will go unsolved.”
“No it won’t, something is going to happen tonight. We will be alert, and ready. Don’t eat or drink anything given to you by the hotel staff.” Angel struggled to sound hopeful. He wanted to alleviate Cordelia’s unease, but he wasn’t feeling all that confident himself.
Standing in complete silence, they waited for Mavie to return. Time passed at a snail’s pace. Minutes seemed like hours in the awkward quietness. After ten long minutes, Mavie returned, carrying a beautiful scrap of folded crimson material in her hand, “You two, follow me please,” she said, turning back around and out the door.
Giving Angel a quick glance, Cordy promptly strode out to catch up with Mavie. In a flash, Angel was right behind her. Not knowing what this next activity would be had her a bit unnerved. She was already experiencing emotions she hadn’t felt before for Angel. She didn’t think she could take another exercise in intimacy without crossing the line of friendship with her scrumptious vampire friend slash boss. It was too much. Lately, her body had been responding to his touch in ways that made her blush, and she was certain, even without his vampy senses, he would be a fool not to notice.
Mavie stopped in the middle of the corridor, turning to her left, and opening a door. Cordelia and Angel didn’t move, but Mavie was already in the room. She gestured for them to follow. Angel went in first, and Cordy followed behind him. The room was empty except for a chair and a stereo hidden away in the furthest left corner. The lights were somewhat dimmed, producing a soft glow on their skin.
“Cordelia, can you please go put this dress on?” Mavie handed Cordelia the silky material she had been carrying.
Unsure of what else to do or say without giving anything away, Cordy seized the dress and left the room.
“Angel, we picked the dress Cordelia is going to wear based on the answers you gave us on the questionnaire. Red is your favorite color and silk is your favorite material, correct?” Angel slowly nodded in agreement. “Cordelia said she used to be a cheerleader, so I’m guessing she is comfortable dancing for you?” Now uncertain, but not sure there was much he could do just yet, Angel nodded again. “Good, you should both enjoy this very much. You can go ahead and sit in this chair.” Mavie said pulling the chair out from the corner and into the middle of the room.
Suddenly, Angel heard Cordelia’s quickened heartbeat approaching, and could smell the faint fragrance of her citrus perfume. Preparing himself for the vision of Cordelia in red silk, he took in a sharp breath. Then sitting to face the door, he waited patiently for his beautiful best friend to arrive. Mere moments passed and then, there she was, like the rising sun, scarlet and luminous, spreading her light and warmth into the dim room.
Standing at the room’s threshold, Cordelia bashfully met Angel’s gaze. Breathtaking. She was absolutely breathtaking. The satiny bodice clung to her breasts, only revealing a subtle glimpse of cleavage. His eyes dropped lower noting how the dress dipped in at her waist outlining the feminine curves of her body before flaring out flirtatiously to mid thigh.
“You look…” sexy, delicious, mouth-watering- his mind wandered endlessly taking in her luscious form “stunning.” He knew he was pushing the boundaries of their friendship with his thoughts just has he’d pushed them this morning when he let her see what the thought of her could do to him. Thoughts he couldn’t help thinking. He wanted to feel her warmth, taste her essence, and then claim her as his in every way possible, so that no other man could bask in her radiance.
How was he going to get through this night without doing just that? He was so close to just taking her, but he wanted…needed her willing and wanting him. “Cordelia, turn around,” he practically growled out the demand.
Hesitantly, she twisted around causing her skirt to lift, just the slightest bit, enough to give him a better glimpse of her golden thighs. He shifted uncomfortably in his seat, trying to relieve the pressure of his hardening arousal. The silky material hugged the top curve of her bottom but left her back gloriously bare with only two thin straps crisscrossing at mid back to hold the dress up.
Slowly completing the twirl, Cordelia examined Angel’s expression. He’d never looked at her with so much longing before, his eyes black pools of hunger. A shudder tingled down her spine, instantly eliciting a fiery arousal that dampened her panties. The notion that she might be causing as much need in him as he had caused her in the bath this morning enticed waves of passion that crashed recklessly throughout her body.
Mavie seemed satisfied. “Well you two still have desire for one another, this shouldn’t be difficult!” she exclaimed as she pressed the play button on the stereo. “Just allow your body to tease and temp him; you will both enjoy the stimulation. By tonight, you will experience the highest pinnacles of pleasure. Trust me, works like a charm.”
The song began….an intoxicating combination of persuasive bass vibrations and a hypnotic synthesized harmony. Walking towards Cordelia, Mavie added in a low whisper, “Let the rhythm guide you.” Positioning her hands on Cordy’s hips, Mavie coerced her to swing them back and forth.
Put it on
And don’t say a word
Cordelia closed her eyes and focused on the stimulating music, the stirring poetry of the lyrics, the deep, spell-binding sound of the tenor. His alluring voice dripped with sensuality, sending shivers vibrating throughout her body. Her pulse was in tune with the music, and her breathing began to calm as she relaxed and allowed the slow, seductive beat to lead her movements.
Put it on
The one that I prefer
She never even noticed Mavie withdraw her guiding hands and back away, exiting the room…leaving Angel and her alone to their erotic dance. Controlled by the music, her hips rocked back and forth with the tempo.
Put it on
And stand before my eyes
Her hands rose from her sides and fingered her abdomen, before gradually ascending to skim the outer curves of her breasts.
Put it on
Please don’t question why
Can you believe
Her hands continued slowly advancing to her neck, before sweeping around her silky locks and capturing them in a messy gathering on top of her head, her body still moving to the influential beat. Releasing her right hand, she invitingly guided it back down to the toned expanse of her belly.
Something so simple
Something so trivial
Makes me a happy man
Can’t you understand
Emerging from her daze, Cordelia slowly opened her eyes, watching Angel through lowered lashes. Their eyes met, unleashing a tidal wave of arousal within her body, her breasts forming pebbled peaks in reaction.
Say you believe
Just how easy
It is to please me
His ravenous gaze, slipped away from her eyes to roam her body. The heat, rampantly coursing through her womb, intensified, her body beckoning him. She wanted this. Wanted him. Angel.
Because when you learn
You’ll know what makes the world turn
He let out a breath he hadn’t realized he was holding. Then, drawing in another lungful of air, he attempted to take in all of her musky aroma. He wanted to drink her in, her scent, her arousal. He wanted this. Wanted her. Cordelia.
Put it on
I can feel so much
Following her movements as she progressed toward him, he held perfectly still. Her step in harmony with every rousing beat of the music, her rhythm graceful and unhurried, he watched anxiously, awaiting her warmth. Her shadow fell onto him, dancing seductively over his features, while he sat still, helplessly captivated.
Put it on
I don’t need to touch
She was so close he could see every indentation and crease of her dark crimson dress. Her scent was spicy and rich with arousal. He was rapidly sinking to the depths of desire. Not just desire…love. He loved Cordelia.
Put it on
Here before my eyes
In his eyes she saw more than lust, she saw passion. Her body ached for his touch, but her heart ached for more. She felt an unfamiliar sensation…love. She had loved before, but had never been in love, until now. She loved Angel.
Put it on
Because you realize
And you believe
He wanted to touch her, caress her face, explore her body. He ached for her. She was fueling the flames of desire within him. He reached out, needing to touch her, but she was out of his reach, and he could not wait any longer. Without hesitation, he advanced towards her, reaching out and placing his hands on her hips, he pulled her close. She stepped into his arms and it was like she had always belonged there.
Something so worthless
Serves a purpose
His hand skimmed the dip of her waistline and continued its ascent to the curve of her breasts. His touch, leaving a scorching trail in its wake, elicited a sultry moan from her. She curled her hands around his shoulders, as he sprinkled delicate kisses up the nape of her neck. His hands caressed her flushed cheeks, then brushing her plump bottom lip with the pad of his thumb applying light pressure. Her lips parted under its weight, luring him with an invitation to enter.
Makes me a happy man
Can’t you understand
Say you believe
Moving his hands to her hair and pulling her in, closer to him. His hard chest crushed against her silky full breasts, his body eagerly soaking up her warmth. His head lowered to hers as his hands tangled in her hair. He tugged gently, bringing her mouth slowly to his, until their lips fused together.
Just how easy
It is to please me
His cool tongue invaded the burning heat of her mouth, sliding in smoothly in a tender exploration. His kiss was a satisfying assault of body and mind. Reaching deeply within, taking her completely, and moving her very soul.
Because when you learn
You’ll know what makes the world turn
They were oblivious to the world around them. All that was left was Angel and her, nothing more than she could feel, and that’s all there was—her Angel.
He captured her bottom lip, with light suction, between his teeth, before reinvading her mouth with his silky tongue.
Concentrating on each other, his eyes focused on Cordelia as he allowed his lips to leave the safety of her mouth and let her breathe. Breathless and ravaged, she gazed back at him passionately. Their bodies still moving together as one, to an imaginary beat.
His hips swayed in unison to hers, as he held her close. Never in his 245 years of undead life, had he felt such a burning need for anyone…and he did need her, un-beating heart, body, and soul.
Her mind whirled with the myriad of emotions she was experiencing. Her body craving his touch, her thoughts filled feelings of love. Love for a vampire, a vampire who was in love with someone else. A vampire cursed with a soul, but could lose his soul in perfect bliss.
The music faded away. Silence allowed the harsh truth of reality to set in as Cordelia extracted herself from Angel’s arms and backed away.
Lyrics from song: ‘Blue Dress’ by Depeche Mode
Angel was crestfallen. During their impassioned dance, he had realized that he was completely in love with Cordelia. He had felt a connection to her and for once in his long life, he had dared to imagine a future that held love. A future with her. Up until moments ago, Angel had the impression that his feelings for her were reciprocated, then she did something unexpected.
Cordelia had fallen for Angel, fallen hard with no way back up. All through their erotic dance, he had worshiped her and made her feel like the most beautiful woman in the world. Now that the flames had subsided, logic returned, subduing her emotions. She accepted it could never be. Not only was he still in love with someone else, but he wasn’t even interested in pursuing a relationship. So, Cordelia did the only thing she could do…she pushed her emotions down to the hidden depths of her heart and behaved like nothing happened.
Angel couldn’t believe how distant she had become and in such a short period of time. Once she had realized the music was no longer playing, Cordelia had withdrawn from his embrace and told him she was going to eat lunch. Angel had followed her to the restaurant in the hotel and now here they were – seated at the table waiting for their food to arrive.
Cordelia sat quietly, not really knowing what to say. She was looking downward, playing with her napkin, afraid to see the lack of emotion in Angel’s eyes. What could she say to him? Her racy performance, the way her aroused body had moved for him had beckoned him but now made her feel uncomfortable at the memory. Had she tried to seduce him? What if she had succeeded? Angel wasn’t in love with her, this was a dangerous game that could only have one outcome—her heart broken into a million pieces. How could she have allowed herself to be that vulnerable to him? Divesting all the emotion from her expression, Cordelia faced him shamelessly. She wouldn’t lose her best friend over a moment of stupidity.
Stiffening her spine, Cordelia sat up rigidly, eyes cool and face devoid of all expression. Angel felt a knot forming in his stomach. He wanted to take her into his arms and confess his true feelings, but didn’t want to push her further away. She obviously regretted the direction their bodies had led them. He couldn’t have her the way he wanted her but he had no intention of losing her friendship too; it was much too important to him. He couldn’t live without her. So he did the only thing he could…Angel lied through his teeth. “Cordelia, I’m sorry about…well you know…what happened earlier.”
Desperately trying to keep his emotions in check and unable to look her in the eyes while blatantly lying, Angel focused his vision to a spot in between Cordelia’s eyebrows. “I don’t know what I was thinking, its just been so long since…well since…since I’ve been with Bu….let’s just say I’m acting like a guy on the rebound. I guess that I just wasn’t thinking. I’m sorry, it won’t happen again.”
God, how he hated himself. He had just told one of the biggest lies of his life, but he did it for the greater good. Cordelia would never feel comfortable with him if she thought he had feelings for her. His implication of Buffy should have done the trick. Cordelia always assumed he did nothing more than pine away for his ex. Truth be told, he hadn’t given a single thought to Buffy this whole week he had spent with Cordelia but she didn’t have to know that. By confirming her assumption, he was letting her off the hook, she no longer had to be embarrassed by their actions since it was an accident. He was doing the right thing.
Cordelia held back the tears that were forming behind her eyelids. She knew Angel loved Buffy. He would never love her the way she loved him; yet for a brief moment, Cordelia had allowed herself to entertain the notion that Angel just might love her in the same way. Now he had clearly spelled out the truth for her. In one sentence he had stripped her of what little dignity she had left. Well, Cordelia Chase was nobody’s second choice and certainly no vampire’s substitution for a whiney blond.
Composing herself quickly, she stated with confidence, “Yeah, total mistake. Pfft. I can’t believe I danced for you, pfft! I should get paid overtime for this crap.”
The waitress arrived with Cordy’s food and Angel’s coffee. Cordelia ate her food without sparing a single glance in his direction, Angel drank his coffee and neither made a sound. They were sure their friendship could never be the same again.
Cordelia found her scarlet red bikini in her suitcase. Luckily, she had insisted that Angel buy two swimsuits for her because the other one still had sand caked on it and she didn’t do washing on vacations. She was determined to make this a vacation. Angel was the one who had to crack the case, Cordelia was going to make the most of her stay on this gorgeous island for the rest of the day. She hummed as she got ready to head out and enjoy the afternoon doing what she did best…shop. Then later, she would go for a swim in the ocean. After having spent the worst lunch ever, she was more than ready to have a little fun and relaxation.
Cordelia knew she couldn’t do the dating thing here on the island because it would blow their cover, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t flirt; after all, she had seen many married women flirt before.
When she was finished putting on her bathing suit, Cordelia pulled on a t-shirt and a pair of shorts. Twisting her hair up into a clip and putting on her sunglasses, she walked towards the door. She opened the door and stepped out, almost running into Angel.
He looked down at her, “Where are you going?” his voiced laced with concern; after all, it was the last night of the retreat which meant whatever was going down would happen tonight.
“Shopping, then swimming. See ya,” She swung her bag over her shoulder and strolled towards the elevator. Angel watched her go with sadness in his dead heart. If he could only just grab hold of her, he would never let her go. His curse was no longer an issue, but Cordelia obviously didn’t feel anything for him so he wasn’t about to lay his unrequited love on the line for her to laugh at. But God he wanted her, no…he needed her.
“Stop Cordelia,” there was a slight growl in his tone, he shook it off and tried to sound less needy, “You can’t go.” Well, that wasn’t exactly what he intended to say. His traitorous heart was betraying his attempt at acting detached and cool.
Anger sparked in her eyes as she turned to glare at him. She decided to ignore that last comment and turned back to the elevator.
“Remember we’re supposed to meet the group once again for dinner,” he called out to her, as she entered the elevator. His gaze locked on her, his hands tightly fisted at his side.
“Don’t worry, I’ll be there,” she answered from behind the closing elevator doors.
The doors closed and seconds later a frustrated Angel smashed a dent into them with his fists. This was killing him.
After his frustration subsided a bit, Angel had spent the next few hours checking out every nook and cranny of the hotel. He would be alert tonight, he had to find whoever or whatever was responsible for the death of Mary and her baby. Besides, he knew there was potential danger for Cordelia tonight and he was not about to let anything happen.
He was stealthily sneaking around the kitchen area, when he saw Mavie from a distance. She was putting something in the punch, some kind of powder, but Angel didn’t have time to investigate because he had sensed a demon nearby. He bound out of the kitchen soundlessly, trying to locate the source of the demon scent.
His search led him right back to the kitchen where he had begun, but there was no one there except for Mavie. He knew she wasn’t a demon, otherwise, he would have sensed it previously, but he went towards her anyway, trying to get a better whiff.
Before he had a chance to get too close, Mavie spotted him. “Angel, I was just adding sugar to the punch for tonight. I’m done now, so I’m going to go finish getting the dining area prepared. You know we will be dining out in the patio tonight.”
Taking the powder she had been stirring into the punch with her, she left the kitchen. The demon scent left with her, leaving Angel more than confused. Why had he not sensed she was demon before? He inhaled the fruity aroma of the punch. It had a hint of something else, Angel knew it had to be what had caused Mike and Mary to forget what happened on their last night here.
He would be watching Mavie and Daven closely tonight, and making sure Cordelia did not drink any of the punch.
Cordelia found a really charming little boutique about a mile from the resort. It’s racks were filled with gorgeous, low priced, high quality clothes.
“I’m in heaven,” she said to herself.
“So am I,” replied an attractive young man, who was standing behind her staring at her shapely form.
Cordelia turned around and, to her surprise, she saw the man she had met a couple days before. Trying to not look too judgmental she asked, “Hey Travis, what are you doing here…in a woman’s dress shop?”
“Actually, I saw you come in, and I thought I’d come say hi…so, hi! But you look very busy, so I guess I’ll be going now.” He started walking to the door looking rejected and a bit pathetic.
“After I’m done shopping, I was planning on going for some coffee. Do you wanna join me?” Her invitation was mainly because of the guilt she was feeling from her less than friendly greeting.
“Sure, I’d love to.” Suddenly, he no longer looked pathetic, his grin was big and a bit calculated. Cordelia was really hoping Travis only had coffee on his mind.
“Where’s Josie,” maybe she should emphasize that… “your wife?”
“She had some errands to run,” his deep russet eyes held a hint of a smile, as he turned his left wrist to glance quickly at his watch, “but she may call me sometime soon, in which case—would you mind if she joined us?”
Cordelia noticed the cell phone he gripped tightly in his right hand. Allowing herself a sigh of relief, she nodded, “Yeah, that would be great! I was hoping I would run into the both of you again before going home.”
Shopping went by quickly; after all, it was her favorite pastime, and time always flew by when she was doing something she loved. She had bought several new outfits, all of which she paid for with the company card. Cordelia considered this shopping expedition the sequel to the ‘before the trip’ shopping she and Angel had done, which meant that Angel was still responsible for paying. That was sound reasoning as far as she was concerned.
Unfortunately, the Starbucks experience wasn’t as enjoyable. Not that it was really Travis’ fault…well, not technically anyway. Travis had been a gracious gentleman and had carried her shopping bags for her to the coffee shop. But once they had bought their drinks and sat down, the conversation became tiresome.
Travis had asked many questions about Angel, and their stay at Deliciae. He was curious about whether or not the resort delivered on its promise of fantastic sexual intimacy. Of course, since Cordelia’s stay was a complete sham, she had no interest in answering all these questions. Conveniently, she was saved when Josie called Travis.
“I’m here at Starbucks with…you’ll never guess who,” Travis gestured around excitedly as if his wife was next to him, instead of on the cell phone.
“No. Cordelia, remember from two days ago…on the beach…YES!” He exclaimed so loudly, Cordelia visibly winced.
“She wants to see you again, maybe you can come join us….oh, okay. Alright, bye…love you too.” Hanging up the phone, Travis looked at Cordelia apologetically. “I’m so sorry, I have to go, my wife needs my help at home. She did say she’d like to see you again.” Looking hopeful, he added, “maybe tomorrow before you leave, we can meet both Angel and you for breakfast.”
Knowing there was no way they would meet but she nodded anyway, “Sounds great, just give me your number, and I’ll call you tomorrow.”
Travis wrote down his number on a nearby napkin and handed it to her. He said a brief farewell, and then took off to go meet his wife. Cordelia watched him walk away, then remembered she had a dinner date. She looked at her watch, crap. It was time to eat dinner with the group of weirdoes. Well, her swim would have to wait until later that evening.
Angel entered the dining hall and was immediately disappointed when he didn’t sense Cordelia’s presence in the room. He had spent the entire afternoon searching the premises to make sure there wasn’t anything unusual. Not only was everything normal, everything was spookily normal. He had found Mavie again, setting up the dining area with romantic decorations and adding finishing touches to the table, but this time she smelled human. Angel was at a complete loss, he might as well be hitting his head against a brick wall.
He walked towards Daven and Mavie, casually taking in their scent. No, it was still human… creepy, but human nonetheless. He tried to think back to when he saw Mavie earlier, maybe a demon had been in the room and he had mistakenly thought the scent was coming from Mavie. The demon smell had been overwhelming, he hadn’t even been able to pick up Mavie’s strong flowery perfume, but it had been Mavie alright—unless she had a demon twin sister. Even then it would be odd that two sisters, even twins, were identical in mannerisms, voice and personality. He shook his head in exasperation.
Suddenly his frustration melted away, as he took in the unmistakable soothing fragrance of the woman, he could finally admit to himself, that he loved.
Cordelia entered the dining hall looking dazzling, as usual. Before arriving for dinner, she had made a quick stop to her room, so she could change into one of the new dresses she had bought. The black chiffon hugged every one of her luscious curves and as she walked towards Angel, her long sun kissed legs would push through the high slit of her skirt. She couldn’t explain why she was trying so hard to impress Angel, all she knew was she would make him regret the day he chose another over her.
Eyes widening as he watched Cordelia walk by, he had a strong urge to fall to his knees and worship the radiant sun goddess. He could not seem to get her out of his mind. There really was NO going back, he had a taste of her and he wanted more….but she didn’t, he reminded himself. He would try to keep his feelings under control but he was starting to think that was an impossible undertaking.
Regally, Cordelia made her way to the seat next to him. All of the males in the room had their admiring eyes glued to her body as she walked. Angel growled angrily at the sight of all the vultures staring at his Cordy. He possessively put his arm around her waist, making it obvious to the onlookers she was for his eyes only.
Cordelia took note of his reaction, growl and all, and with a satisfied smirk she pulled away from his embrace.
Angel unwillingly released her, but sent a heated glare towards the guys at the table as a silent warning. Immediately, they all turned back to their spouses, heeding his unspoken threat.
Pulling out the chair for her, Angel watched as Cordy gracefully sat down. He was very grateful she hadn’t caught his primitive display of jealousy, because she would have made his life hell over it. Angel sat down next to her, trying to calm the surge of emotion undulating within his heart.
Cordelia felt like she was in the twilight zone. Dinner was an eerie experience, considering that all the couples were now acting like entirely different people. Not even the Dellevue’s fought tonight, that was just unreal. In fact, they were all acting like Mavie and Daven clones, kissing and groping each other inappropriately.
Mavie had been badgering everyone to have seconds. Every time Angel found a way to dump his punch, Mavie would come around and refill it for him.
All through dinner Cordelia had been looking for ways to get rid of her food. She had hidden some in the potted plant behind her, put some in her napkin and excused herself to the ladies room to flush it away, and now she only had a small piece of steak and some mashed potatoes left on her plate. She noted how the couples were all consumed with each other and not paying any attention to anything else, so she slipped her steak onto Mavie’s plate. Feeling quite proud of herself when no one noticed, she smiled slyly at Angel.
He had been watching her through the entire meal, and had been fascinated by her game of hide the food. She could be quite stealthy when she wanted to be, and it was a good thing too, because he didn’t know if it was just the punch that was drugged or if Mavie had done something to the food, too.
Daven got up and disappeared into the kitchen as Mavie stood and spoke to the couples.
“We are so happy to have had the pleasure of meeting all of you. We hope you have enjoyed your experience here at Deliciae and that you continue to practice the loving intimacy rituals we have taught you.” Mavie was smiling cheerily, as Daven walked back into the room with a bottle of champagne in his left hand.
Cordelia observed that the bottle had been unopened as she watched Daven pop the cork. She really wanted a drink. Knowing all the couples were going to be intimate and probably very loud all night was making her consider having a few glasses of champagne. Suddenly painfully aware of her urgent want for a certain vampire, Cordy reconsidered—perhaps more than just a few glasses would help her cope with this long night.
Mavie handed each person a glass of champagne, when she was finished she held up her own glass, “I’d like to propose a toast: to love and intimacy, may you all enjoy a lifetime of sex and happiness with your partner!”
“To love,” the couples responded lifting their glasses in acceptance of Mavie’s toast. Angel brought the glass to his mouth and simulated drinking a sip, all the while watching Cordelia through his peripheral vision.
Bringing the glass up to her mouth, Cordy tilted it causing the bubbly liquid to slide down the inside of the glass towards her mouth. Angel watched her action as if it was happening in slow motion, when he realized in horror she was actually going to drink. Relying on his reflexes he jutted out his arm, effectively knocking the glass away from Cordelia’s mouth and sending it flying towards Kara.
Cordelia glared furiously at Angel. She was *not* going to be sober through the love-fest that was so obviously going to be taking place later tonight. Taking in the look of dread on Angel’s face, she swung around to see what his gaze was fixed on. The anger drained quickly from her mind as she struggled to hold back the laughter caught in her throat.
Kara was soaked from head to toe with the champagne, luckily she didn’t look angry. Quite the opposite, in fact, she looked pleased! Evan was whispering something in her ear, and Kara was giggling uncontrollably.
Cordelia’s anger returned, not only had Angel deprived her of a drink, he had managed to inadvertently initiate the sex-a-thon. Well, she could only take so much. Excusing herself from the table she left, acutely aware of the vampire trailing behind her. Once she was outside the hotel, and far enough away from hearing range, she turned around and faced Angel.
“WHAT?! What do you want?” She could no longer hide her frustration. “Look Angel, I came with you on this case, and I even let you off the hook relatively easy for the way you tricked me into it.”
Angel watched her quietly as she continued, “But this is it, I can’t take much more. I need time alone, I’m going to the beach *alone*.”
“Cordelia, I told you they were probably going to drug the drinks, and you’re not going to the beach alone, it’s too dangerous,” Angel returned her intense stare, daring her to refute him.
Who does did he think he was? Staring her down like that. “The champagne was sealed, Daven had to work pretty hard to pop the cork.”
Had it been sealed? He hadn’t paid much attention to Daven at the time he was opening the bottle. No matter, it still wasn’t a good idea for Cordelia to be on the beach alone. “You are going to go to the suite and wait there, whatever is happening here will take place tonight.”
“And that’s why you’ll be in the room to take care of it!” She countered, knowing this was a battle she was not going to lose. “I’ll be out here on the beach where it’s safe. You know whatever they’re doing to their guests they’ve gotta be doing in the privacy of the room.”
Angel disliked it when her arguments actually made sense. She was right. She would be safer away from the hotel. “Fine, but don’t be out too late, I’m sure there are other types of dangers on this island besides the hotel.”
The sun had descended from the sky, but not without a parting gift, the sunset was glorious. Splashes of violet, crimson, and rose painted the sky still lit up by a trace of light reminiscent from the recently departed sun.
Walking along the shore, Cordelia appreciated the magnificent display in the heavens. She had removed her stiletto high heels and was holding them in her hand, her bare feet relishing the feel of the cool water and soft sand. She really didn’t want to think about Angel right now or her burgeoning love for him. Evidently, her mind wasn’t listening to what she wanted, because the only thing that kept replaying in her thoughts was the attractive vampire himself.
She stopped to watch the remaining rays of daylight disappear behind the sea line. The sky was now a fantastic dark indigo dotted with glittery white specks of light. Cordelia realized she had never seen so many stars. The crescent moon was shining in the night sky, illuminating the water with a soft white glow.
Why did this have to be so romantic? Now her mind was filled with thoughts of an almost naked Angel swimming in the ocean with her, his loving gaze on her and his strong arms encircling her small frame. Her dream-Angel was confessing his adoring feelings for her and telling her she was the only woman for him.
With a small sigh, she continued walking, her fantasy occupying all her attention, when a familiar arm curled around her waist, pulling her backside tightly against a very solid chest. Wanting to lose herself in his embrace, she leaned into him, her right cheek turning to rest on his shoulder.
His mouth lingered over her left ear, a stream of air tickled her earlobe as he whispered, “God I want you.”
She wondered if she was still daydreaming…nope, there was definitely a strong, very solid arm holding on to her.
Fueled by desire, she whirled her body around to face a very lusty-eyed Angel. This was better than her fantasies, this was real. He was here, holding her, looking at her like she was the only woman for him. She no longer wanted to fight her feelings for him, all she wanted was to have him: his heart, his body, him.
But instead she whipped out her hand and hit him playfully on the shoulder, “You drank some of that punch didn’t you? You’re acting like a love sick puppy.”
“No, I’m acting like a man in love,” he said, not a hint of a smile on his face. He was serious!
Cordelia decided she’d see how far he was going to take this, “How about a swim?”
“I have to go change into my swimsuit,” was his reply, as his hands roamed the flat expanse of her abdomen and just skimmed the underside of her breasts, “Do you need to change?”
Her hands came up to rest on his chest, “I have mine on underneath my dress.”
“I’ll be right back then,” he responded. Kissing her quickly on the lips, Angel released her from his embrace and vanished quickly to go change.