Title: To Be a Wife
Summary: Angel and Cordelia go undercover in a new case.
Spoilers: Somewhere between S1 and S2
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: I don’t care where, just let me know.
Notes: I know the undercover thing has been done before, but I wanted to put my own spin on it.
Thanks/Dedication: Thanks to RGW for her ideas! I don’t know if this fic would’ve continued without you.
Feedback: Bring it on, baby!
“So, what exactly am I doing, again?” Cordelia rasped breathlessly. Angel’s lips on her neck were unbelievably distracting and Cordelia abandoned any attempt to maintain coherent thought. She shuddered as his tongue grazed her, burning an invisible mark into her skin.
“You’re pretending to be my wife,” Angel whispered, restrained laughter in his voice.
“Oh.” Cordy replied, her eyes sliding shut as he kissed a trail from her neck up to her earlobe. “Yeah. Right,” she continued absently. Her hand stole up to grasp the back of his head, running her fingers over the short hairs at his nape.
“Just think of it as acting practice,” Angel reasoned, the vibrations of his low voice sending sensations coursing through her like warm honey.
His mouth left her ear but his strong arms stayed wrapped around her waist, his hard stomach against her back. Cordelia’s body hummed with the desire he had so quickly kindled in her. Just minutes before they had been standing outside the club, three feet apart, friends and business associates, and now they were acting the part of passionate lovers, entranced by each other.
Funny how it wasn’t as difficult as Cordelia had imagined. They’d taken this case thinking they could solve it without any undercover work, but all their stealthy surveillance and interviews of witnesses had only exposed more questions. The last resort had been for her to play the part of his wife, or more appropriately, be the bait.
Angel Investigations had been hired by an Anogic demon, a friendly human/demon hybrid that lived peacefully among LA’s highest social circles. Their physical appearance was virtually identical to a human’s, and a little make-up hid what telltale markings did exist. Their other demonic attributes—the ability to see through walls and melt metal with a glance—were able to be used surreptitiously if at all.
The original phone call from the demon had been a test to Cordelia’s newfound patience. He’d been frantic on the phone, demanding to speak with “Mr. Angel,” claiming that it was a matter of life and death. Cordelia almost hung up on him; he’d been talking so fast that she couldn’t understand what he was saying.
“Hey, calm down, mister,” Cordelia had ordered sternly, earning another stream of frantic babbling from the other end of the phone.
“No, YOU listen!” She had no patience for unprofessional behavior. Was it too much to ask for the man to slow down? Sheesh, like the world revolved around him, or something. Self-centered, much?
“Angel is not in,” she stated, her statement only agitating him further. “Stop!” She ordered. “take a deep breath, and tell me your name first.”
“Jeremy Falkirk,” he stated, obviously annoyed to be interrupted with mundane details.
“Oooo K,” Cordelia wrote his name down, her eyebrows arching at the very un-demon name.
“All right. Now tell me what’s wrong. Angel will help you if he can.”
The demon did as she asked. As Jeremy told her his story, Cordelia’s eyes grew wide with disbelief. Her pencil moved rapidly over the page, the light scratching the only sound in her quiet apartment, save the tinny voice coming from her telephone. She took voluminous notes, stopping a few times to change pages. This case was unlike any they’d ever had.
“Well,” she began after he’d finished. “I’m sure that Angel Investigations would be happy to take your case. I have to run it by Angel himself, of course, but I’m certain he’ll want to help you.”
After his profuse thanks, she set the phone back into its resting place, and stood silently, trying to process what he’d told her. His wife had been abducted. His very human wife. She’d known what he was when she married him, but she hadn’t cared, he said, because she loved him. His demon roots had never interfered in his life before, and he had no reason to think they ever would. He was wrong.
Less than two days before his phone call to Cordelia, Jeremy and his wife had attended a posh dinner club in West L.A. His wife, Jessica, had excused herself to go to the ladies room, and that was the last he saw of her. Frantic, he called the police, who’d coldly informed him that a missing-person’s report couldn’t be filed for 24 hours. The officer’s voice was tinged with a sarcasm that said Jessica had left Jeremy on purpose, and Jeremy was too dumb to figure it out. Angry and upset, Jeremy returned home, pacing his floor, trying to figure out what to do. Around midnight, he received a phone call from someone claiming to have his wife.
The caller was not human.
Daniel, as the caller identified himself, claimed that Jeremy was just another charlatan, living as a human when he should be honoring his demonic heritage. Daniel stated that unless Jeremy agreed to work for him, his wife would be held captive indefinitely. When Daniel explained what his work would be, Jeremy’s stomach lurched. There was no way he could do as they asked; he had to find another way to save his wife’s life. That’s when he decided to call A.I.
Angel’s early investigation uncovered the fact that Jeremy wasn’t the only one who’d been violated like this. There were seven other men who’d suffered the same crime, and their wives were still missing. The common thread was that they were all living as humans, ignoring their demonic natures, and their wives had been abducted at the same club. Angel had even witnessed the tenth abduction, but he’d been unable to follow them to the location where they were holding the women. The only thing he could do was inform the distraught husband of the situation and return home frustrated with the lack of success.
Wesley had suggested the idea of using Cordelia as bait. After all, Angel, as a vampire, could be characterized as a demon, and that could be used to their advantage. He wasn’t living completely as a human, but he was definitely turning his back on the evil that other vampires embraced. It was agreed that the men whose wives had been abducted would spread the word in their social circles about Angel’s demonic characteristics and that Cordelia was his human wife. The rumors had been in place for two days, and Jeremy agreed that it was probably enough time for all of LA’s upper echelon, including the brains behind these abductions, to know the minute details.
Cordelia was amazed that Angel would put her in such a precarious position, but he’d agreed almost before Wesley had finished suggesting it. Cordelia put up a token resistance, but the idea of going undercover was intriguing. Besides, she reasoned, Angel wouldn’t let her get hurt. Would he?
So here she was, locked in Angel’s embrace, mixing with the elite of LA’s society. Under normal circumstances, she’d be giddy at the opportunity to make so many promising contacts. Now, though, the only thing she could concentrate on was how good Angel’s sweet-nothings had sounded.
She tried valiantly to clear the fog of passion he had induced in her brain, but her attempts were short-lived as Angel’s fingers lightly stroked her stomach and drove her to distraction. His lips found her shoulder again, teeth nipping her gently, and he began to sway with the music that drifted over them from the direction of the dance floor.
“D-don’t you think—“ Cordelia had to clear her throat and begin again. “Don’t you think this is playing the part a little too well?” She reasoned, trying to pull out of his embrace and put some distance between them. His arms didn’t budge.
“What part, honey?” Angel responded. The endearment, coupled with the expression in his deep eyes, reminded her that they had an audience and she should keep her voice to a whisper when talking about their business here.
“Uhh, nothing.” She said, her smile wobbly. This time, when she grasped his hands and pulled, he released her, and she backed away. The distance restoring her equilibrium, she put their plan into action. Cordelia glanced around her at their companions. Jeremy had set them up with a few of his friends, couples he and Jessica socialized with frequently. They were oblivious to the entire situation. Jeremy had told them that Jessica had had a family emergency and was in New York.
“I have to visit the little girls’ room, Angel.” She smiled sweetly, her own gameface once again firmly in place.
Angel nodded briefly, acknowledging her verbal signal. “Don’t be gone too long,” he warned, his smile laced with the convincing hunger of a man in love with his wife. ‘Too convincing,’ Cordelia thought.
As she tore her gaze from Angel’s and turned to walk away, a voice to Angel’s right said, “That’s some woman you’ve got there, Angel.”
The appreciation in Mark’s voice was evident. Angel turned to look at Jeremy’s friend, just in time to see the man’s gaze sweep up and down the back of Cordelia’s retreating figure, his eyes lingering in appreciation on Cordelia’s butt. “Where was she when I was single?” Mark added wistfully. It was well-known that his marriage was less than fulfilling. Rumor had it that he was between mistresses and in full-fledged hunt for a new one.
Eyes narrowing, Angel replied, “Oh, we’re VERY happy.” His tone implied that he wouldn’t tolerate any more of Mark’s “appreciation” of Cordelia.
Cordelia had gladly left Angel’s side, desperately wanting to cool the heat he’d created with his overacting. At least she thought it was overacting.‘Okay, Cordelia, get a grip. Shake it off. Be the Oscar-winning actress you are. You can do this,’ Cordelia chanted to herself.
She wove through the crowd, locating the hallway that led to the women’s restroom. She paused briefly, looking back to see if Angel was following her as they’d planned. He was no longer standing beside Mark, but she wasn’t sure where he was. Scanning the room, she spied him ambling towards her from the direction of the bar.
Satisfied that Angel was following her, Cordelia pushed through the door. Almost immediately after she entered the darkened hallway, a steely arm wrapped around her middle and a sweet-smelling cloth covered her mouth. Just before she succumbed to the darkness, she heard Angel’s angry growl and the thud of a fist connecting with flesh.