Title: Gloomy Sunday
Summary: A moment of comfort leads Angel and Cordelia down a new road of danger, temptation and possibilities.
Spoilers: All of season 1
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: Please let me know where.
Notes: Written for a challenge by the wonderful FlameFlirt. Also, betad by the wonderful FlameFlirt! What can I say? She is truly smashing! This would be a puddle of run-on sentences and gibberish without her. Here’s the challenge (below) if you’d like to read it
Thanks/Dedication: Thanks again to Lysa & Liberty, awesome ladies with great suggestions, support and patience. Also, extra thanks to Califi – your thoughts and PMs totally helped me change some things about this part that just weren’t feeling right. *squishes you* You’re tres faboo! Oh, and of course, feedback is always read and loved and then saved for rainy days when it is pulled out and read again because it makes me feel so nice. (long way of saying I love it truly)
Feedback: It’s like hot chocolate with extra marshmallows. I heart it truly, madly, deeply.
Challenge: (at end of fic)
Cordelia had finally gotten around to putting new batteries in the wall clock. It dangled lopsidedly off its hook and now it clicked loudly with each passing second. Unsurprisingly, instead of fixing it she sat idly behind her desk. As he watched, she crossed her legs, then changed her mind and uncrossed them. She even never looked up. Instead, she stared blankly at the shades drawn tightly over her window.
Angel closed his eyes, focused instead on the barest inhalation of her breath, the miniscule rustle of fabric from her breathing or was she simply shifting in her chair? He eased from behind the desk.
Her eyes snapped toward him. “Where are you going?”
“Out.” He avoided her eyes while shutting the elevator door, and as it descended he could hear her muttering. How was your day, Cordelia. How are you feeling, Cordelia? Any more spine-crushing brain melting hope you didn’t like that silk blouse you just drooled all over visions? Oh, no, I’m just going to slink down to my basement of doom and sulk all day.
Waspish little brat. Sometimes she made his enhanced hearing feel like a curse.
He wasn’t sulking. But he needed to stretch his legs, to get away from the thick silence of their office, the conspicuous lack of Doyle that still ached even months later, the tip-toeing they both did around the hole that still remained.
She’d forgotten that he’d held her the night Doyle died (sacrificed himself to save Angel and wasn’t that a joke because Angel could have told him there wasn’t anything left worth saving). Icy, brittle Cordelia Chase had softened with grief in his arms. He couldn’t forget that and now it colored everything, touched every thought, slid up his back and whispered in his ear. He struggled for distance between them, she crossed it effortlessly. He erected walls she leapt in a single bound. He pushed her away and she blithely grew closer.
The dark of the sewers enveloped him; fetid air caressed his skin, the click of his boots soundless on the damp walkways. He sensed the bright burn of sunlight above. Lunchtime in Los Angeles, and deals were being made and broken as he skulked in the shadows. He drew in a long deep breath, testing, scenting … and went flying against the wall. His head hit hard and he vaguely heard a bone snap.
“Vampire,” a silken voice hissed and he had the briefest glimpse of smooth purple scales before instinct set in and he launched himself through the dark.
“Angel!” A hand crashed into his face, Cordelia’s scent enveloped him and he struggled to smooth out his ridges, to soften his teeth, to control himself. She was leaning over him, blouse gaping, and her lilac bra couldn’t keep her breasts from swinging as she rocked back to slap him again.
He shot a hand up, caught hers in mid-air and stilled it. “Stop it.”
Her face melted into relief, her fingers loosening in his clasp. “You’re okay.” She smiled thinly, motionless for only a split second before she slid into action, bringing out the obligatory first aid kit from somewhere behind her back. “Where are you hurt? What happened?”
He reclined on the pillow of her concern, inhaled her lingering fear, and answered absently. “Demon in the sewers.”
Her lips thinned and she half frowned. Pinned up hair wavered, struggling against slipping pins before sliding free. Long, glorious, a silken sweep against him, sharp nails tantalizingly light against his bare skin, a sweet whisper cooing in his ear…
“Angel!” Sharp and snapping, Cordelia dug her fingers into his ribs and twisted.
“Ouch,” he snapped back and blinked once. Twice. “What are you doing here?”
“Patching you up, doofus.” Light touches and brushes as she layered cloth bandages over cuts he hadn’t even noticed. Walls firmly built up and defenses battened down, she had no problem with searching out his weak spots and poking, prodding, prying. “What’s the deal with you? Leaving the office all huffy and stalking about in the stinky sewers, nearly getting ripped to shreds and not saying anything, just laying down here all martyry?”
He could have answered but he turned his head away instead, and concentrated instead on the rhythmic push of her heart, tub thumping away.
She taped silently for a moment and then sat back on her heels, surveying her work with a look of pride. “All done.”
He watched her silently and she floundered under the weight of his gaze. “Are you okay? You seem a bit wacky.”
Love makes you do the wacky, he thought but didn’t say the words. She wouldn’t have gotten it anyway and he just wanted to forget.
Faith blew in, a hurricane of rage and bloodthirsty agony, tangling around everything and everyone, ripping it all to shreds. He watched from the inside out as she sliced and bled and his soul ached to save her and yet he could feel the flow of blood under her fingers, sweet, dark, musky and warm. So warm. And not so deep inside, hunger rumbled. As she crumbled in front of him he froze for the barest moment, because after hundreds years he’d forgotten how much it could hurt to look at his reflection.
Everything erupted into chaos and he knew what he had to do, but he’d never been good with words, or with explanations. Wes silently asked for one, seeping bitterness as he stood and glared at Angel. Buffy demanded them, fists and blonde curls flying. He’d been doing the right thing, for once he was sure of it and yet it led him here, to a deserted hallway in the police station where Buffy quietly and easily flexed her grip on his heart and then ground it under her high heeled boots.
Her words echoed, cold angry eyes staring flatly at him, the clicks of her steps echoing as they walked away. Anger seeped up around his neck and he closed his eyes, threw his body into a punch at the wall, fighting the change that pulled at his brow and threatened to elongate his teeth. He thought he’d perfected the art of control, but now he floundered and while Wesley talked to him and tried to calm him, his mind roiled; a massive, stormy battle.
He hadn’t decided what he was going to do, where he was going to go (home or Sunnydale, apologize or – or what?) but when he pulled up in front of Cordelia’s apartment, at least he didn’t dread knocking on the door.
Because even though Cordelia talked too much and could be clueless, insensitive and brutally honest, the most amazingly perceptive comments would come out of that mouth of hers (usually just when he was about to give up on her) and he was only now starting to not be shocked by that.
She was the only person that never asked anything from him. She simply took what she wanted, demanded what she felt was her due and was always there.
The front door opened underneath his knock and a cool breath of air smoothed over his head and down his back. “Hey Dennis,” he said and the door swung shut firmly behind him.
“Angel?” Her voice was muffled with sleep, confused and questioning. He should have left but he followed the sound into her bedroom, propping a shoulder against the door jamb and letting it take his weight. “What’s wrong? After Wes called, I thought you’d be half way to Sunny-hell by now.”
Buffy’s strings tugged at him and the tiny hairs along his neck stood up underneath his leather coat. He shrugged out of it and hung it carefully on the edge of the door. Cordelia didn’t seem surprised by his silence but she still huffed an impatient sigh and shifted onto her side under the covers.
“Gotta tell you – this appearing at my bedside in the middle of the night? Kinda creepy.” She watched him unblinkingly, then rolled over and strained for the bedside table lamp.
“Don’t,” he said sharply. She froze, then let her hand fall.
“Okay, so, Buffy storm is over? Let the clean up begin.” She glanced pointedly at the bed next to her.
The bed creaked under his weight. Angel toed off his boots and swung his legs up to lie next to hers. “Go ahead, make yourself comfortable,” she said wryly. He relaxed back into the pillows, soaking in the peace, the blessed shadows and the soothing quiet.
“Oh, so it’s going to be one of those broods,” Cordelia sighed. She thumped the pillow, and shifted onto her side, kicking the sheets irritably when they tangled around her feet. The bed rocked under them until she stilled, eying him impatiently. “Well? What’d she say? Must have been a doozy.”
And there went the soothing quiet.
Angel thought for a moment. “She said some things I didn’t know she felt. And then I said things I didn’t know I felt, until I said them, at least.”
Her forehead crinkled with confusion and she propped her head up on a slender hand. Her tank top gaped, shadows parting for one curve of skin to gleam in the moonlight slipping in through a crack in the curtains. He shifted, stared up in the ceiling, but out of the corner of his eye he studied her, traced the frown bracketing her lipstick free mouth, examined the startling contrast of her blackened eye to golden skin.
“That makes the kind of sense that doesn’t,” Cordelia said. She turned into her hand and muffled a sleepy yawn. “So, what did you say?”
“To get out of my town,” he said and she sucked in a reflexive breath.
“You said what?”
“And that was after I punched her.”
Her lower lip fell open in a surprised gape. Cordelia was speechless. Not a good sign then.
“But she punched me first.” Memories swirled around him, the satisfied quirk of Buffy’s lips as she’d prepared her devastating emotional blow, the instant flash of guilt and regret on Faith’s face as she’d inadvertently let the truth out, the compassion in Wes’s eyes.
“Yeah, well, Buffy hates Faith,” Cordelia blurted, casting her eyes up at the ceiling in an unmistakable duh.
“And that was before Faith slept with her boyfriend.”
“Well, yeah! – wait! You? And Faith?” Cordelia’s mouth firmed into an angry frown. “What? What about the curse? Are you touched in the head? Faith?”
He let her run for a second before interrupting. “Not me, Cordelia.” It took two seconds for her to put the pieces together, and then she glanced up at him, eyes wide, face creased with chagrin.
“Oh. Ooops?” She laid her hand on his elbow, fingertips pressing lightly. “I’m sorry.”
He turned his head to face her. “So am I.” She was staring at him, completely serious and focused on him, and it felt good. He started feeling the tiniest bit better. She chewed absently on her bottom lip and he could almost see her cogs turning, figuring out what she should say. It wasn’t a big surprise when she gave up and simply said what she was thinking.
“Not like you really thought she’d be waiting around forever,” she said perkily, brutally. “I mean, she’s Buffy! She loves having guys pining after her as long as she still gets to move on. I think it’s that whole tragic hero thing.” She caught herself too late, hand flying up to cover her mouth.
“Cordelia,” he warned, and she did this weird half-wiggle half-shrug that was probably the closest he’d ever get to an apology. She was close now, warm and unbearably alive.
“Maybe you should go home,” she said tentatively. “Drink some blood? Do some brooding? Could be fun!”
He closed a hand around her wrist, slid it down to her elbow and then trailed his fingertips slowly – lightly – up to her shoulder. “Maybe I should.” He cupped the shoulder, rubbed absentmindedly. “Maybe I don’t want to.”
“What do you want?” she asked with typical Cordelia directness.
He shrugged. “I don’t know anymore,” he said, but cut her off before she could keep pushing. He reached out, stroked the darkened skin underneath her eye. It was soft, puffy but if he hadn’t been studying her so closely he might have missed her wince of pain. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” she said, but her eyes were dark and restless under his gaze. “Slayer strength is nothing compared to your visions, buster.”
He should be used to the heavy weight of guilt by now. But Cordelia with her brave words trying so hard to hide her pain (the pain he’d caused her even though she didn’t deserve it) sent fresh guilt welling up, deep ruby drops of blood weeping and seeping no matter how many layers of gauze she used to bandage him.
“I’m sorry she hurt you,” he said, and she shut her eyes, eyelashes whispering against his thumb. Her brave smile faltered at the edges. “I never wanted that to happen.”
“I know,” she said. “You wanted to save her.”
“She had to save herself,” he said. “I just wanted her to know that she could.”
She nodded, nestling her head into his hand. He froze, unaccustomed to such nearness even with Cordelia. Especially with Cordelia. Her sigh blew warm air against his skin.
“It’s not like I understand Faith at all,” she said. “I didn’t before and the whole murdering people, aligning herself with the Mayor and now joining forces with Wolfram and Hart is not exactly helping.”
She opened her eyes and looked back up at him and he couldn’t help but see her, underneath the wall of cheer she used on a daily basis. “But I think I understand her loneliness, Angel,” she said, on a little girl wisp of a voice and his heart broke for her all over again. “It’s hard to be alone, you know?”
He tightened his grip on her head, and leant in close so she couldn’t miss his words. “You’re not alone, Cordelia.”
Her eyes were dark pools in her face, hair streaming around her, eerily reminiscent of the last time he’d sat on the bed with her, holding her hand, her belly big and swollen with a demon’s child.
“Aren’t I?” she asked.
“No,” he said, angling her face toward him. “We are not alone.”
Her smile was sad but real and she swept her hand up to rest on his leg. “You’re my friend, right?”
Her hand was warm and he suddenly became aware of the heat of her, such aching warmth so close to him and she was so soft against him. He’d thought of her as self-absorbed and shallow for so long, but every day he learned more of the real girl. Perhaps she knew how unbearable it was to always be alone. Maybe sometimes she wanted to run and hide from the world. Maybe sometimes she just wanted to forget about everything too. She had fears and she cared, and no matter how strong she tried to be, she needed him. And part of him needed that – loved that.
“Angel,” she said, and he snapped his glance back to her. She looked at him pleadingly and he knew what she was asking before she even opened her mouth. “I don’t want to be alone,” she said, and her voice caught in her throat. “Just for tonight, okay? I just don’t want –”
“Shhh,” he said, and drew her closer against him. “It’s okay.” He held her close to him and her smile started small and grew slowly until his breath caught in the back of his throat. Her legs were sliding open and her sigh as he slid between them was soft and blissful. She cradled him, arching into him as he shoved the blankets between them down to the foot of the bed.
He was moving fast. Maybe too fast. But what could anyone expect from someone that had gone so long without even the slightest touch? He was rushing her, he knew and yet he couldn’t … slow … down …
She was clutching his back, her fingernails digging in a silent plea. He closed his eyes, kissed her behind her ear, the gentlest brush that trailed down to her collarbone.
“Cordelia,” he said. She tensed against him. He kissed her neck, a sudden swoop that sent her hands in between them, suddenly on the cusp of pushing him away.
“Angel-” she questioned or maybe sighed and he ignored her, sliding his hands down, under the thin tank and pushing it up into her underarms, settling back down before she could move. “Wait,” she said, and the promise was gone from her eyes and her voice was the all business Cordelia again.
“What am I thinking?” she asked, and he could almost see reality dawning, the reasons they should never have touched each other listing up in her head. Buffy. The curse. She skipped the first and went straight to the main event. “God, we can’t do this. It’s too dangerous!”
This was the understanding Cordelia, gently matter-of-fact. She started pulling out of his grip.
He froze; glanced up at her, troubled. She was his friend and he didn’t want to hurt her, but … “No, it’s not, Cordelia,” he said gently.
She caught her breath, but Cordelia would never let anyone see her hurt. “Rough week, huh? No happiness to be found?”
“Not perfect,” he said honestly. “But I can make you happy, Cordelia. I can make us both –” Her mouth latched onto his, muffling the rest of his words, tongue slick as it teased softly against his. He clutched her tight automatically, and she whimpered again, wriggling in his arms to get closer and then wresting her mouth away.
He smoothed a hand over her face, the silk of her hair, slid her leg up and over his hip to press fully against her. For a moment, she was the lost little girl again, looking wistfully past his shoulder, thinking of … what? Needing someone, something. Her name was both a question and an invitation on his lips.
Soft eyes hardened, and her smile was suddenly pure seduction. “C’mon,” she teased. “Let’s do it,” but her walls were higher than ever and he had no idea what she was feeling or thinking. And he should care, but right now all he wanted was this, to sink in and be surrounded by warmth, to have someone care even if it wasn’t the right someone. She was soft and beautiful and she kissed like melting chocolate and he couldn’t get enough. He slid his hand under her sweats, in between her legs, and she was hot and wet and he should have slowed, should make it soft and gentle for her, but he couldn’t.
Maybe it didn’t matter. She was struggling with his buckle, yanking his pants down, freeing him, and stroking him with an utter concentration he’d never seen her apply to any of her work around the office. She wouldn’t look in his eyes, but she held him with gentle precision, stoking him from base to tip and when he groaned, a flicker of a satisfied smile crossed her face.
He leaned into her touch, slid his thumb up the crease of her thigh, teasing her with slow caresses and a soft pinch. She struggled beneath him, silently curling into him, pulling herself closer and her eyes were lost in lust and hot with need. When he circled her clit, she jerked reflexively and breath curled out of her, her eyes slammed shut in unmistakable delight.
He pressed inside her, bracing his weight on fists anchored on either side of her head. Her breath hiccupped in her throat, her face creased with awareness. She turned her face to the side, he pressed his forehead into her pillow and her breathing was desperate in his ears.
Her eyes were screwed shut, her body strained against his, and when he came, he bit his lip hard enough to draw blood.
Cordelia was sitting outside of a Starbucks enjoying the sun and sipping happily on her half-caf extra foam non-fat double tall cappuccino when her next vision hit. One moment she was all normal hot L.A. girl with a new pair of Prada knockoffs that were to die for, and the next, she was sprawled on the hot sidewalk, coffee dripping down her white blouse and something warm trickling down her chin which was probably blood, but could totally have been drool.
“Oh, my god! Are you okay?” The glare of the sun blinded her eyes and she couldn’t see whoever the concerned citizen was kneeling next to her. “Can you get up?”
Her stomach lurched at the thought of moving, but she did anyway, ignoring the whispers from the rapidly growing crowd.
“Is there anyone you can call?”
She nodded. In retrospect, that was a mistake. Tiny explosions erupted behind her eyes; fierce hands gripped her stomach and twisted brutally, nearly sending her back to the ground. She stiffened her spine and burrowed into her purse for her cell phone. Thankfully, unlike some stodgy old vampires, she actually knew how to work her speed dial.
Angel must have picked up the phone because she could hear Wesley grousing irritably in the background. She cut him off before he could butcher the greeting. “Vision,” she said grimly, and shrugged off a concerned hand that landed on her shoulder. “I’m fine,” she snapped at the crowd. “Nothing to look at. Move it along, alrighty?”
She turned back to the phone, irritation sharpening her voice. “Did you hear me? I said vision!”
“They heard you in Toyko, Cordelia,” Angel said. She couldn’t tell what he was thinking, but she suspected he was amused and it annoyed her. “What’d you see?”
She hated when he asked her that. Like she wasn’t going to tell him? But each time he asked, the vision crashed over her again like it was worried she would miss out on some detail.
Like being forced to live through people’s terror and agony was something she would ever be able to forget. She braced herself against a nearby table, brushed the hair out of her eyes. She’d scraped her knee when she fell, and the thin trickle of blood felt warm on her shin.
“An apartment in Crenshaw,” she said. “We’ve got some time. After the sun goes down.” She dabbed the blood with a crumpled Starbucks napkin but the smear stubbornly remained.
He was quiet. “Were you planning on coming in today?”
She glanced at her watch. Two thirty. “Yes,” she lied. “I was on my way. Apparently, the PTB didn’t think I was moving fast enough.”
“We should talk,” he said flatly. “When you get in.”
What was there to talk about? His sudden appearance in her bedroom late last night? Or his equally sudden disappearance before she woke in the morning? Or everything in between? “We don’t need to talk,” she argued. “Everything is fine.”
If he’d been human, he’d be breathing or doing something that she could hear, could use as a cue. Instead, there was absolute silence on the other end of the phone. And then: “Cordelia…” It was a warning, a sigh of annoyance, an aggravated self-appeal for patience all wrapped up into one word.
“Fine,” she sighed. “I’m on my way.”
She checked her watch again as she let herself in the office. Five fifteen. Was it her fault that her way included stopping by her apartment to change and getting caught up in Dennis and his recent addiction to the Mexican soaps? Avoiding Angel certainly had nothing to do with it.
The office was dark and Angel’s office door was shut. The red blinking message light on her phone was the only light. She blinked, let her eyes adjust, and her shoulder bag slid to the floor with a gentle thump. She’d check the message and then write a note with the vision details for Angel. Not because she was avoiding him. Anyway, he was probably brooding away in the bat cave over his latest Buffy betrayal, and that was one brood she didn’t want to interrupt.
“You made it.” Angel’s voice was quiet in the darkness, but sudden enough that she jumped. “About time.”
She spun on him, pointing her finger like a long, trusty stake. “Haven’t we had conversations about you jumping out of the darkness?”
He folded his arms across his chest and looked impassively at her. “Haven’t we had conversations about you attempting to show up on time for work?”
“I never leave work,” she muttered and flipped on the lights, refusing to enjoy his slight wince from the harsh brightness suddenly filling the office. “Besides, it’s Sunday! I shouldn’t be here at all. Oh, and by the way, before you ask, yes, I’m okay. Thanks for your concern.”
He stood motionless, but his eyes tracked her as she slipped to her desk and picked up the receiver. “Um, do you mind?” He lifted a shoulder in the smallest of shrugs, but his eyes stayed firmly trained on her. “Creepy, much?” she muttered resentfully.
The solitary voicemail was a hang-up. Figures. She had nothing to do but turn back to Angel. “We should get going. Crenshaw’s a long drive.”
“No, I think we should talk.” He shifted awkwardly, leaning one hip against her desk. “About last night.” It figured. Get Angel into a fight, and he was all graceful and catlike and witty with the one liners. Give him a morning after and he was as uncomfortable as a man in a lingerie store with his grandmother.
“Fine,” she said. “Talk.”
His hand fluttered in the air before landing fruitlessly on his leg. “I’m sorry,” he said. “It shouldn’t have – I shouldn’t have –”
Cordelia heaved an enormous sigh, and rose from her chair. “Are you done with the self-recrimination? Because if you are, it’s my turn.” She didn’t wait for his response. “You didn’t start it, Angel. I did.”
He frowned and somehow drew closer without moving a muscle. “This isn’t something to hop on the guilt-mobile over, Angel. Okay?”
His voice was a low grunt. “Why?”
She looked away, crossed her arms over her chest. “I had my reasons.” They stood there silently for a moment until it grew so quiet that her ears started to hurt from the pressure. “Look, I get it, Angel. It wasn’t what you wanted. You did me a favor. So is the time when I say thank you?”
His frown grew and she cocked a hip, arching an eyebrow impatiently. “You think my feelings are hurt? I’m a big girl, Angel. I’m glad you didn’t have your pure bliss, because who wants evil soulless you running around? Definitely not me, no matter how good I am with drinking water.”
He flinched and guilt flared. She’d crossed a line and it could be the biggest mistake she’d ever made because Angel was her friend and maybe she’d just screwed it all up beyond belief. What girl wanted to be second best? Not her! And she hadn’t thought of him like that in so long. He’d been her broody, occasionally clueless, always good in a pinch boss. Her friend. Last night, with moonlight highlighting the angles of his face and the concern in his eyes, she’d wanted to believe …
She shook her head forcefully. Those thoughts had no place in her head. Now if only she could forget the feeling of his skin sliding against her, the rasp of his voice in her ear, the near unbearable pleasure of his body inside her own, she’d be good. Her voice softened unconsciously, and she took an apologetic step closer to him. “Look, Angel. All I’m trying to say is no harm, no foul. Okay?”
He didn’t answer. He didn’t even look at her. She didn’t have to be a genius to see a storm cloud brewing, but she just couldn’t hear him say that it was a mistake. And she really didn’t want to hear anymore about his endless love for Buffy. And if he apologized again, it was entirely possible that champion or not, he’d be out one seer girl.
She was strong and she’d be fine and she’d said all she could. Instead, she bent to scribble the details of her vision. “Here,” she said, turning to hand him the paper.
He slid his hand over hers, curled his fingers in and the slip of paper tumbled weightlessly to the ground. And then he yanked. She flew forward, sprawling against him, and her knee jammed the desk – hard.
“Ow,” she complained but instead of apologizing or backing off, he slid another hand down, anchoring around her back. His fingers squeezed once, twice and her muscles went weak. It was horribly unfair, how much she wanted him. It was supposed to be a one night thing but the fire she’d started wasn’t going away. She’d created a monster.
All it took was his hands on her and instantly she was back in her bedroom, lost in a haze, unable to believe this was happening, powerless to say no. She watched him lower his head – slowly – inch by tantalizing inch, until it hovered the barest distance above her own. She should feel gusts of breaths against her lips, should have a heart skittering beneath the hands that had wrapped around his back for balance, and their absence made her insides contract.
“There’s something else,” he said, and this close his voice sounded rougher, warmer. She struggled to form a response, but he beat her to it. “I liked it, Cordelia.” She shivered against him and saw the ghost of a smile tug at his lips. “I liked it a lot.”
Closing the distance between their lips, she kissed him. And he instantly kissed her back, tugging her up to straddle him on the desk, her knees pressing into the cheap plywood. Not that it mattered. Nothing mattered, nothing but the smooth soft leather under her fingers, the purposeful working of his lips against hers, the slick slide of his tongue, the gentle working of his fingers.
Wait. The gentle working of his fingers?
She yanked her head free just in time to see her favorite peasant skirt slide effortlessly down to tangle around her sprawled ankles. She sent an accusing glance at an oblivious Angel, too busy nibbling blunted teeth against her collarbone to notice. Wait a second! Nibbling against the collarbone that should have been covered by her most demure sleeveless turtleneck – the one she’d specifically worn to prevent this exact type of activity.
She caught a glimpse of the turtleneck, flung haphazardly across the room and precariously balancing on top of their coffeemaker. Her brassiere joined it a second later, and she was now almost completely naked, straddling the lap of an entirely clothed, turned on vampire.
Strong hands manacled her wrists behind her, forcing her body into an unnatural arch, giving him complete access. He was smiling, a full expectant smile she’d never seen before. And that was her last coherent thought, before they all melted in a cloud of steam as he lipped her nipple, curved a hand around her breast, smoothed it down her body with an appreciative murmur.
He said something, or grunted really, but she didn’t care because the sound of his zipper sliding free was loud in the deserted office and he was lifting her, and the coarseness of cotton was rough on the tender insides of her thighs. “Cordelia, just let me…” He palmed her hips, fitted her over him, arched his back and drove in heedlessly, and she couldn’t quite stifle a pained whimper from the sudden intrusion.
“Shhhh,” he murmured softly, smoothing a hand over her hair, a gentle comforting touch at odds with his big hands and rough body. “Shhh, I’m sorry, it’ll be okay, just hold on,” he crooned, palming her head, kissing her lips almost tenderly. “Are you okay?” He asked, not moving inside her, sliding her hands from around his neck and simply holding them.
“Isokay,” she forced out and twisted her hips, struggling to find a more comfortable position.
“Uh, Cordelia,” Angel nearly groaned, dropping his head into the curve of her throat. “Please don’t do that.”
She braced her elbows on his shoulders and let him readjust their position, the discomfort and strain gradually fading.
“That’s better,” she whispered, and he grunted underneath her, sliding her into a rhythm that made her gasp for air.
He held her steady, braced her against his body and buried his head deeper into her throat, relishing her warmth, the humid sweat and rapidly growing yearning rising from her silken skin. It wasn’t enough, he couldn’t get close enough, deep enough, he needed more, and with a barely repressed growl he shifted, rolling her onto her back, towering over her, digging blunt teeth into her shoulder as he worked his way inside her body.
Her bare heels thudded against the side of the desk, she tightened her arms around his neck and kissed him deeply, rising to meet him, swirling her hips to meet each of his thrusts. She was beyond noticing the rawness of the wood, the painful clench of his fingers into her skin. She keened as she came, a husky moan of absolute contentment and he gave up any pretense of control, hammering wildly, screwing his eyes shut in concentration. He came silently, jerkily, pounding a fist into the desk before collapsing on top of her.
She shuddered for breath underneath him, a feeling he could barely remember, but still he shifted off her, allowing for easier breathing. He let his head fall back against the desk, casting his eyes up quickly to make sure the computer was still in one piece and then relaxed, settling in comfortably. This wasn’t exactly what he’d had planned, but after two amazing encounters in as many days, he found he couldn’t regret it completely. He lifted up a hand, studied the shards of wood buried deep within the skin. Once before in another lifetime, he’d focused on peeling splinters free, relishing the background of heartbreaking sobs cascading over him, pleading, begging, crying…
“Shit!” Cordelia cried out, and the shards of remembrance disintegrated around his feet. He raised his eyebrows, reluctant to move. She shoved at him, awkwardly sliding off the desk and pulling up her skirt in one jerky move. She stepped forward tentatively, obviously sore and he turned his head away so she wouldn’t see the glint of pride in his eyes.
She shoved him again, a puny little move but for her it meant business. “Hello, Mr. Horny-Pants,” she spat at him. “Vision? Remember? We have to go – now!”
Shit. He was right on her heels, zipping his pants and snatching up his keys as the door shut behind them.