Angel sat in the darkness of his bedroom suite, a two-thirds full bottle of Jack Daniels resting on his muscular thigh. With an unneeded sigh, he raised the bottle to his lips and took a long drink, enjoying the fire of the liquid as it burned him on the way down. He hated this, the uncertainty. This hadn’t gone according to his plan. Cordelia was confusing him, and he didn’t like it.
She’d been strangely silent on the way home, and as soon as they’d pulled in the parking space at the hotel, she’d hopped out with a false smile and made some exuse about needing the bathroom. Two hours later, she was still hiding, and Angel was at a loss as to what to do. He’d imagined that once he declared his love and reassured her about his feelings for Buffy, she’d practically jump into his arms. God, what a chump he’d been. Obviously, there were still some unresolved issues here. If he could just pin her down for a few minutes—
“Hey, big guy,” her soft voice behind him made him jump.
“Damn, Cordy, I have got to get you a bell,” he said as he swiped at the growing stain on his pant leg where his booze had spilled. He must’ve been really deep in his musings for her to sneak up on him like that.
“Hey, that’s my line, doofus,” she said, her white teeth flashing in the dark as she smiled. She came up to him, standing in front of him, her body blocking the moonlight and creating a fetching silhouette.
“Hey, um,” she began, and he could see her half smile, then smiled himself as he watched it disappear as she bit her lip in her nervousness. She placed her hands into the back pockets of her jeans and shifted nervously on her feet.
“Hey um what?” he asked, smirking.
She made a face at him. “Hey, um, I have a question.”
He raised his eyebrows. “Okay,” he said slowly, perplexed. He’d told her loved her. What more did she want?
“Did you get your curse fixed or something?”
“Huh?” he asked, taken aback. This was the last thing he’d expected.
“I mean, cause, if you did, then that would be great. Because we could make love and everything and it would be fantastic, mind blowing even, if it didn’t end up like the other night, when you didn’t lose your soul even though you had the curse. And why is that, exactly?”
It took a moment for that to sink in. He opened his mouth to explain it to her, but then thought better of it. Like Dr. Van Buren had said, it wouldn’t work if the moment were contrived. He needed Cordelia to give herself to him, to trust him completely, even if she wasn’t sure that things would be okay. He needed her to believe him when he said that he wouldn’t let anything hurt her, not even himself.
He stood in front of her, grasping her shoulders in his big hands.
“Cordelia, I love you.”
“I know,” she said, biting her lip and refusing to meet his eyes. “I love you, too.”
“No, I don’t think you do know,” he said, forcing her gaze up to meet his. “I love you. I love you so much that I would die for you, Cordy. I’m so deeply in love with you that I can’t see or think straight, and I can’t think about anything else but you.
Her mind spun. How could she argue with that? Her eyes came back to his. “Say it again,” she whispered.
“I’m in love with you, Cordy. I’m so in love with you I ache with it.”
“Me, too, Angel,” she said, her eyes glittering.
“You asked me to explain about the curse. I can’t. Not yet.”
He raised a finger to her mouth when she would have protested. “I need you to trust me, Cordelia. I need you to let go and get lost in this amazing bond between us. I need to touch you, to taste you, to be inside of you, and I need you to give yourself to me, Cordy. All of you.”
She stood there for a moment, searching his face, afraid to give up control, but knowing that she needed it, too.
“Okay,” she said softly, finally. “I love you, Angel, and I trust you.”
A smile stretched across his face in an expression that she’d never seen before. The peace and happiness in his face was almost tangible, almost surreal. She felt her breath catch as the beauty of his happiness bathed her in its light. He was gorgeous, and he was hers.
“Take me, Angel,” she whispered, cupping his face in both her small hands. “Make me yours, for real this time.” The last sentence was said with a wry smile, a goodbye to the strife between them over the last two days.
Before she could prepare herself, his mouth descended on hers swiftly and without mercy. He nearly crushed her to him, his mouth cool and demanding as his tongue ferreted out every ounce of flavor she had stored in her mouth. She met him without resistance, molding her body to his, wrapping her arms around his neck and losing herself in the love that flowed around them.
She couldn’t have said later how they ended up on the bed, her top open and his mouth at her breast, but she would remember the feel of his tongue bathing her nipple until the day that she died. She arched her back, gasping, her fingernails digging into his shoulder blades as the bolts of sensation shot through to her toes. His fingers worried her other nipple, satiating the ache yet increasing its yearning for the same treatment its twin was receiving. And just when she thought she could lay there forever and feel him there, he moved again, further up her body, sucking at the pulse point in her neck, and she gasped anew. She’d never thought such a place could be so erotic, but here it was, a vampire mere centimeters from her jugular, and all she could think was that it would feel so good to be claimed by him.
Not giving her time to continue that line of thinking, Angel moved back up to her mouth, claiming hers with his own in a lazy dance of dominance and submission. She gave herself to him completely, and he accepted her, giving himself in return. His fingers flew expertly across the buttons of her fly and his, disrobing them both completely until there was nothing but scant air between them, and then not even that much. He ached with wanting her, but she wasn’t frantic enough, not even close.
Needing to catch up with the feelings, Cordelia grasped his head in both her hands and forced him to look at her.
“Angel,” she gasped. “You’re killing me here.”
“I know,” he said with a smirk, though his eyes were hot. “But you love it.”
She nodded, and he tried to pull away from her to wander back down her body.
“No,” she said softly, stopping him. He looked at her questioningly. “Change, Angel,” she said. “I need to see all of you.”
He frowned, not wanting to unleash his demon on her, but knowing that she loved even that part of him.
“Please,” she whispered, and he did as she asked, the demonic features sliding over his face in a silent beauty all its own.
With reverence, she traced the bumps and ridges on his face, gazed deeply into the beautiful golden eyes of his demon, and then raised her mouth to his. Sensually, she melded their mouths together, her tongue carefully tracing his teeth and caressing the roof of his mouth where his fangs began. He growled deep in his throat at the thrill that coursed through him, his hips jerking in a sudden burst of lust. She giggled against his mouth, then impaled her tongue deliberately on one fang, letting her blood drip into his mouth.
Angel stiffened as the ambrosia of her blood hit his tastebuds. His eyes closed in bliss, and he carefully pulled away from her, closing his mouth and savoring the earthy blend of spices that encompassed the love of his life. He tasted strength, lust, humor, love, and most of all: trust. His eyes flew open as he realized the evidence she’d provided him with, the proof he needed that she was his. And not just now, but forever.
With a growl, Angel grasped her more tightly to him, rolling onto his back and pulling her on top of him as his features effortlessly glided back to human ones. She lost her breath for a moment as his hard length rubbed against her, and then he increased the intensity by pulling her up slightly, then slowly sliding her down on top of him. Her eyes closed and her head rolled back as she got lost in the sensations of being filled by him, being stretched and completed by him. She felt him throbbing inside of her, felt him touching her womb, and marveled in the beautiful simplicity of their joining.
He didn’t give her much chance to ponder the existential nature of it. He slowly undulated his hips underneath her, forcing her upwards, then back down again, creating an intermittent rhythm that both frustrated her and heightened her desire. Adding to the pleasure was his thumb and forefinger gently pinching and rubbing her clit in a way that sent white-hot heat tingling through her body. Before long, Cordy had picked up the rhythm herself, their thrusts matching in time and strength until they lost themselves in it. Just as the intensity threatened to overtake her, Cordelia dropped her head forward again, her glazed eyes opening and locking with Angel’s black ones. Her fingers ran across the planes of his chest, tweaking his nipples even as she impaled herself on him.
Just as she was about to fly over the edge, dots of color behind her eyelids, he swiftly rolled and moved her beneath him again. He brought her arms up above her head, interlocking their fingers and thrusting against her. He stilled, buried fully inside of her, and caught her eyes with his.
“Say it, Cordy,” he said, his voice hoarse with the strain of holding back his passion.
“I love you, Angel,” she whispered, then brushed her mouth against his and writhed beneath him. “I love you,” she repeated, never losing contact with his eyes as he guided them, with quick thrusts deeply into her, over the edge into bliss.
In the moment that he burst inside her, Angel felt something happen inside himself. It was as if two interlocking pieces suddenly shifted in the region of his soul, sliding until they fit perfectly nestled into each other with a resounding click, and his soul and body were whole. He felt the transformation of his soul into permanency, and it overwhelmed him. His eyes flashed a brilliant white glow, making Cordy’s mouth drop open in amazement even as she panted in an attempt to catch her breath.
Angel just closed his eyes for a moment, leaning his forehead down and burying his face into the crook of her neck, nuzzling her skin and enjoying the feel of being joined with her in this moment of perfect happiness.
It would be hours and several moments of perfect happiness later before Cordelia got her answers.
“Give. It. Back.”
His voice was so low, so quiet, it nearly disappeared into the thick silence of the room, but the nearly evil playfulness in it was unmistakable. His eyes sparkled with mischief and a promise of shudderingly pleasurable retribution as his broad shoulders cast a long shadow across her face.
She wasn’t intimidated in the slightest, but she couldn’t help the tingle of excitement that charged up her spine. She pinned him with her most unaffected haughty smirk and stared him down.
“Hell no, pretty boy. It’s mine, fair and square.”
“I had it first, Cordy. You will give it back to me.” He wiggled his eyebrows and cast a lewd wink in her direction.
“’You will give it back to me’?” she imitated, her voice dropping into a bad imitation of his. “What, are you taking lessons from Dracula now? I don’t fall for the thrall, big boy.”
“It’s mine, Cordelia,” he said, his voice a deep rumble as he stepped closer His face was now inches from hers, his eyes rimmed in gold as he let his demon out to toy with his favorite playmate. “Fork it over, Cordy.”
She raised her eyebrows and a challenging glitter sparkled in her eyes. “Why don’t you make me, Mr. Bad Ass.”
“Make you?” he said, a huge, malevolent smirk crossing his face even as the hungrily playful sparkle in his eyes cancelled it out. “Oh yeah, baby, I’ll make you. I’ll make you beg me to take it back.”
She shook her head sadly. “Promises, promises. And yet, I see no results. I think you’re all talk and no action, baby.”
He stepped closer to her, throwing his arm around her waist and pulling her hips in line with the already rock-hard bulge in his pants. “Oh, I’m plenty of action. And I think you saw plenty of results last night, if your screams were any indication.”
Cordy had the grace to blush. Her eyes narrowed with a calculating gleam, and she drew his head down next to hers. Running her tongue along the outer shell of his ear and then dipping it in the orifice. Angel purred his pleasure as her touch sent shocks of pleasure up his spine. She was amazing. A horny Cordy was an insatiable Cordy.
Coyly, she pulled away from him and twitched her hips in his direction as she put space between them. Looking back at him over her shoulder, she said, “I’ll just go watch my show now. You let me know when you want to continue this conversation.”
He literally shook his head free of the cobwebs as her words sunk in and he realized he’d nearly lost the fight by default. “You’re going to give it back, Cordy,” he said confidently. “It doesn’t matter anyway.” He kept his voice deliberately neutral. “Your little seduction routine doesn’t work with me. I know how you operate and you can’t control me that easily.”
She sighed, shaking her head sadly at his stupidity, then marched up to him and poked her well-manicured index finger into the solid mass of his chest, repeating the gesture throughout her statement as if to highlight the important words. “Oh, you have no idea what you’ve just gotten yourself into, bucko. You are so, so gone.”
He growled, a deep rumble of dissent that echoed in the room. He stood, feet spread apart, arms crossed across his chest, eyebrows raised in challenging defiance. “Okay, little girl. You think you can make me fall apart? Go ahead and try. If you can break me in ten minutes, you win.”
She smiled evilly. “You’re on.”
Angel swallowed. God, what had he gotten himself into?
Five minutes later he was panting with the exertion of keeping his mouth shut and forcing himself to stay silent. She’d done one little thing that had totally screwed with his concentration: she’d kept her clothes on. The only other thing she’d done was walk over to him, stand on tiptoe so that her mouth was in line with his ear, and she began to describe, in vivid, startling detail, every single naughty thought she’d ever had about the two of them together. Ever. When they were in Sunnydale. When he was with Buffy. When they were first in L.A. When she’d stayed at his apartment. When he’d stayed at her apartment. When they’d slept together platonically in his bed. She told him the minutiae of her erotic fantasies, positions she’d wanted to try, places she’d wanted to make love, games she’d wanted to play.
And then she really warmed up.
“Angel,” she whispered, her breath tickling his ear. “Everything I’ve told you is true. I want you to do all of that to me until I scream. But you know what?”
He shook his head and gulped.
“There’s one last thing I want from you.” She pulled back until she met his eyes. “I want you to claim me.”
She watched with feminine satisfaction as the brown rims of his eyes disappeared and darkened to black.
“I want you to slide your fangs into my neck, piercing my skin, drawing my blood into your mouth and tasting the intensity of my love for you. And you know what?”
He shook his head again.
“I’ll bet you that when you do that, I’ll come so hard I won’t be able to scream. I probably won’t be able to breathe.”
“Oh, god, Cordy,” he moaned, his eyes closing. “Please, baby, stop,” he muttered.
She jumped away from him, a triumphant smirk on her face.
“Ha! I won! You lost!” she sang, dancing her victory dance around the room.
“You little . . .” he growled, trying to hold back the smile on his face.
“Little what?” she challenged.
he didn’t rise to the bait, he just attacked her, making her breathless.
Three minutes later, a shout broke through the haze they’d created.
“Bloody hell, can’t the two of you find a room? You’re worse than teenagers!”
They just smiled and ignored him. Perfect happiness was hard to come by, and there was no way that they were going to waste a minute of it.