Excitement was palpable in the air of the hotel’s lobby, the near silence thick with it. The two vampires stood directly in front of the stairs leading out into the courtyard, each woman’s hands grasped tightly in their own. In a way, it was almost like they were being married; they were definitely making a commitment and a bond for life. Each couple may not be recognized legally by the State of California to be husband and wife, but they would be joined, physically, mentally and emotionally, for the rest of each partner’s existence. It was a heady thought, one that tended to cause sensory overload if thought about too deeply.
Wesley had decided, in the interests of time, that they should conduct the soul binding ritual for both couples at once. In preparation for that, he’d placed each couple facing each other, the pairs side by side, off to one side of the lobby. In front of him was a small table with the proper accoutrements all laid out. Giles stood near his elbow, ready to offer assistance if necessary. The rest of the gang, Xander, Anya, Willow, Gunn, and Fred (holding baby Connor), sat nearby, mesmerized by the sight and awed by the power of the moment.
“Are we all ready, then?” Wesley asked, folding his hands together in front of him, looking for all the world like an undertaker about to show off his priciest selection of caskets.
“Geez, austere, much, Wes?” Cordelia joked, cracking a smile. “This is a soul binding ritual, not a funeral.”
The tension in everyone’s shoulders relaxed just a bit at her humor. It was true that this moment was important, but it didn’t have to be so solemn.
“We’re ready, Wesley,” Buffy said softly, never taking her eyes from Spike’s.
A broad smile cracked Wesley’s solemn façade as he picked up the ancient book in front of him. “Very well then, let’s get started. Angel and Spike?”
The two vampires, having been coached before the ceremony, came forward and took two matching, antique daggers from the velvet case in front of Wesley. The hilts were inlaid with gold and silver, the blades razor thin and wickedly sharp. Angel and Spike faced Cordelia and Buffy, holding the daggers over one hand, poised and waiting. As Wesley chanted the words, they repeated them, their deep voices bouncing off the tall ceiling of the lobby and echoing around them.
“My blood, I give to you.” The blades sliced cleanly into their palms, the blood welling up as they fisted their hands closed to hold it in. Each man walked back in front of their life mate, their now bloody hands reaching to grasp the offered ones of the women in front of them.
As their palms were cut, Cordelia and Buffy repeated the sacred words. “My blood, I give to you.”
Giles and Xander came forward to take the daggers back from Spike and Angel.
As they had been instructed, Cordelia and Buffy lifted their injured hands up and pressed them against the injured palms of Angel and Spike, their blood mixing and flowing freely into each other. Wesley had explained earlier that it was necessary to have an open connection to each other’s bodies in order to allow a true fusion of their souls.
Hands joined with their vampires, the two women took the next step, the one necessary to begin the telepathic connection. Reaching up with her free hand, Cordelia gently placed her thumb, forefinger, middle finger, and ring finger on Angel’s chin, cheekbone, temple, and forehead. Angel then reached up to her and did the same. Both closed their eyes, Spike and Buffy mimicking their poses, and let the Latin words of the ritual and Giles’s melodious voice soothe over them.
As they chanted, Willow whispered the translation to the onlookers:
“My mind to your mind,
two voices linked together.
My soul to your soul,
two beings fused forever.
May your thoughts be mine
May your desires be mine
May your life be mine
through this life and beyond.”
Xander nudged Willow with his elbow. “See, I told you it was like the Vulcan Mind Meld. Gene Roddenberry must have jacked it from this ritual,” he said, sounding smug. Willow just gave him a long-suffering look and shushed him. Now was not the time to bring up Star Trek, as apropos as it might be.
Cordelia and Buffy had been given the translation of the Latin words earlier, but even the awe those phrases had inspired before the ritual had not prepared them for the actual binding itself. The moment Giles began chanting the words, all four could feel a surge of energy flow through them. Their eyes shot open, drawn like magnets to that of their partners, their eyes glowing and their fingers tingling at the contact points. Their breaths became rapid and shallow, a sheen of sweat breaking out on their foreheads as the energy flowed through them. But the evidence on the outside was just a taste of what was going on in the minds and souls of each couple, a mere raindrop in the midst of a massive hurricane.
Angel felt as if his mind had been split wide open when Giles began speaking, his consciousness overrun with Cordelia. Her thoughts, her feelings, her insecurities, her love, all poured into his mind like water through a sieve. He saw her entire life in rapid succession, every memory, every feeling, every smell, every taste, every touch. He shared the pain of her parents’ abandonment, the fear of being alone in L.A., her anger and hurt over his actions with Darla. It was as if he’d been given the key to her mind that he’d always wanted but had never found. And as her thoughts were melded to his, his love for her swelled until it permeated every cell in his body. Everything he’d fallen in love with became so much a part of him that he couldn’t see where she ended and he began.
For Cordelia, the sensation was just as intense, but where Angel had merely two decades of her life to deal with, she had nearly 25 of his to process and sort through. She felt the dichotomy of a pure soul residing in the same body as an evil demon. She felt the wickedness of Angelus and the guilt of Angel, the insecurity and boredom of Liam and the hopelessness of his Beige period. And even though the sins of his past pained her, his evil actions tearing at the very fabric of her soul, the remorse and guilt he felt over those actions made her love him all that much more. With this telepathic exchange, she gained knowledge of the one thing that had always eluded her about this enigmatic being: what made Angel tick. Now, she could look into those beautiful brown eyes and know what he was thinking before he said it. She knew what his gestures meant, she didn’t have to guess. The relief of such knowledge was staggering.
As the memories rushed across the mental connection, each person was lost in the flood of information. But as the trail of information found balance, memories were sorted and stored, feelings were categorized and shelved, and the rooms of their minds were tidied up and cleared. As the calm settled over them, the most amazing thing yet happened.
They could hear each other think.
A smile broke out over Cordelia’s face as she distinctly heard Angel’s incredulous voice echoing in her head: *I can’t believe she wants me to bite her when we make love.*
*Isn’t that what vampires do with their mates?* she asked back mentally, the humor evident in her phrasing.
He grinned at her, his eyes twinkling. *Well, yeah, but I thought you’d say it was ‘icky’.*
Her laughter rang out in his head. *Icky? Not exactly. Wesley’s books say it can be really sexy.*
His eyes darkened in passion. *With you, sexy would be understating it.*
Her laugher turned to a gasp as she was given a very vivid picture of Angel’s fantasy. Her eyes nearly crossed as she saw herself splayed out on his bed, her back delicately arched, his fangs descending towards her neck as his hands caressed her in the most intimate of places. Seeing herself in such wanton abandonment made her pulse race erratically and her face flush.
*Stop doing that,* she begged breathlessly in her mind. *We’re not done with all this yet and I can’t concentrate.*
*Later,* he promised, schooling his thoughts and tucking the fantasy away in his mind. Cordelia breathed a sigh of relief as the image vanished and she was able to gather her thoughts.
Just a few feet away, Spike and Buffy were staring at each other, mouths open, Buffy breathing heavily as she digested everything that was Spike. She’d known that he loved her as a demon, but she’d always thought it had been a possessive, obsessive love. Now, seeing and feeling his emotions so completely, she knew she’d been so very wrong. Spike had loved her so unconditionally as a demon that it was unbelievable. But now, with a soul? That love was so powerful, so pure, that Buffy could barely stand under the staggering weight of its impact. She felt inadequate, unworthy, of feelings so strong.
Spike was amazed as well. He saw how her love hadn’t been as strong as his, but he also realized that she’d been holding back because she was afraid. He was thrown by the level and pervasiveness of her fear, in disbelief that someone so strong, so confident, could be afraid of so many things. Living every day of her life in fear for the lives of her friends and family, she was afraid for the future and for the victims she couldn’t save. She felt like she wasn’t good enough to be the Slayer, and that very insecurity made him wrap his thoughts around her and lend her his strength. But even though he could see and feel all of her fear, he didn’t know why it was there. As he sifted through her mind, through her memories, he couldn’t find a reason for so much uncertainty and pain.
So he asked.
*Luv, what are you so afraid of?* His eyes searched hers as she jumped, hearing his voice so clearly in her head.
*Afraid? I’m not afraid. What are you talking about?* Her eyes were confused, her thoughts scattered as she was dealt with the power of his mind.
*Yes, you are. I feel it in everything I’m getting from you. You’re scared all the time that you might mess up and someone you care about will die. Why do you let that get to you?*
Immediately, she knew what he was talking about. And then she realized the calm she felt, calm like she never had since becoming the Slayer. It was as if he’d reached those powerful arms inside her mind and wrapped them around her soul, holding her and sheltering her from anything that wanted to hurt her.
*I’m not afraid, Spike. Not anymore. I guess I didn’t realize that I ever was, not until now that you’re showing me the difference.* Her voice was filled with wonder, as if she were unable to believe she’d been so lost before she had him.
They would’ve continued the mental exchange, but Wesley interrupted them, anxious to continue the ritual.
“Angel and Spike? Are we ready to continue with the claiming?” Both vampires tore their eyes away from the women, giving Wesley a terse nod before turning back.
The third and final part of the binding ritual was unique to vampires. Generally, Wesley had explained, the transfusion of blood through the palms of the ritual’s participants would be enough. But to bind each other, to claim each other as mates, to lend Buffy and Cordelia the strength of vampires and to give Spike and Angel the attributes of humans, the telepathic bond needed to be combined with an actual vampiric claiming of a mate. Normal claiming didn’t have such power, but combined with the rest of the ritual, and the incantations that would be read as they claimed each other, would give the act that extra boost.
Wesley made the women repeat after him, as their blood was being offered to their mates:
“My blood, I give to you, as a symbol of my love and devotion. May it bond us as mates for eternity, bring you protection against death, give you the ability to create life with me and protect it.”
Buffy looked up in to Spike’s face as she spoke, seeing the wariness in his blue eyes, as if he were reluctant to continue with the claiming.
*I trust you,* she said through their link. As his face changed, his teeth elongating and his eyes turning yellow, she continued. *I love you, Spike. All of you. The demon, the soul, and the man.*
His eyes held hers, still hesitating, his demon clawing at him to sink his teeth into her flesh, to obliterate Angel’s old mark and make his own. Her next words gave him the strength.
*I want to be yours. Claim me!* The furious demand of her voice was accompanied by her grip on the back of his head, pulling his face down until his lips were nestled in the crook of her neck. Almost without thinking, he opened his mouth and gently pierced her skin, the ambrosia of her blood flowing over his tongue. He drank greedily, savoring the taste of her life, spiced with love, determination, and excitement.
Angel was just as hesitant as Spike to claim Cordelia. He hadn’t tasted human blood since the Shroud of Rahmon had forced him to drink from Kate. At the time, he’d been half-crazed and play acting, and he hadn’t enjoyed the taste of such a delicacy, only retched at the thought of draining a human. Now, he was practically salivating at the thought of tasting Cordelia. His demon had been wanting this for so long, practically since the first time he met her in Sunnydale, and now he was being given that chance. But to his soul, biting someone intentionally, especially someone he loved, was like giving a dried-out alcoholic his first sip of Jack Daniels after a 20 year hiatus. And claiming a mate; that was something he’d never done, something that scared him a little. From what he heard, such an experience was about as intense as it could possibly be. Frankly, he was afraid he’d be unable to control himself once his demon took over.
Cordelia felt his struggle as he stood poised over her, and like Buffy, she knew what to say to bring him the assurance he needed.
*God, Angel, you’re such a dork. Just bite me already, okay?*
She could practically see him jump as she startled him with her bold words, but still, he hesitated.
Rolling her eyes at him, Cordelia sighed deeply. *Look, I already told you I wanted you to bite me when you’re making love to me. This is nearly as intense. Can’t you tell how it’s making me feel? How it’s turning me on? Can’t you tell how much I want it, Angel?*
Now it was her turn to play with fire. She conjured up a vision in her head, a fantasy so hot, so erotic that Angel began trembling as he stood before her. The vision she’d fed him was one that was the wet dream of any vampire, only she’d tweaked it so that it fed the hunger of his soul as well. Nearly without noticing, Angel’s eyes turned yellow as his demon’s features came forth, and his head descended quickly to her neck. She gasped as his teeth pierced her skin, a whimper of pleasure rather than a cry of pain. It was amazing. She felt her blood leaving her body, but the pleasure coursing through her at the sensation was so unbelievable that she had to reach up and grasp his arms to remain on her feet.
Nearly simultaneously, Angel and Spike withdrew their fangs from the women, then took the knives back from Giles And Xander. Still reeling from the taste of their mates’ blood, Angel and Spike’s voices were hoarse as they repeated similar vows to Cordelia and Buffy as they prepared to offer their own blood.
“My blood, I give to you, as a symbol of my love and devotion. May it bond us as mates for eternity, bring you immortality and strength, give you the ability to create life with me and nurture it.”
Each vampire reached the blade of the dagger up to their collarbones, slicing a small mark into the skin until the blood welled up. Buffy and Cordelia were drawn like magnets to the sight, their tongues coming out to lap delicately at the rich blood of their mates. Instinctually, they began to suck, drawing the blood into their own systems.
The rest of the crowd looked on nervously.
“I don’t get it,” Gunn whispered, squished on the couch in between Anya and Fred. “How is this different than turning Buffy and Cordy into vamp chicks? Isn’t that how they do it?”
No, it’s not,” Anya said, not being able to tear her eyes away from the erotic scene in front of her. “To actually turn them, they’d have to drain them nearly dry and then force them to suck the blood back from them. This is different. They’re each only taking a little, the blood mixing together and making them hybrids. Well, kind of.”
“So how does it actually make them like vampires? They just mix blood? I thought a regular claming did that,” Xander added.
“That’s the ritual, the words that Wesley’s saying. Shhh,” Willow said, poking him again.
“And they have to renew the claim on a regular basis, feed from each other and all that, to make the bond as strong as possible,” Anya added, still mesmerized by the sight.
Cordelia and Buffy gently pulled away from the marks on Angel’s and Spike’s chests, licking the blood from their lips and looking breathlessly up in to the eyes of the men they were now bound to for eternity.
One last time Wesley’s powerful voice rang out across the lobby. “These beings are joined, mentally and physically, for all eternity. Let no force separate them, let no being stand between them. They are one.”
Wesley’s last words were powerful, enveloping both couples in a bright light, their heads thrown back as the energy washed over them. This lasted for a few seconds, then the light dissipated as abruptly as it had appeared, and the four participants slumped to the ground, grasping for each other as their strength left them.
Quickly, the rest of the group rushed over to them, Gunn, Fred and Wesley hovering around Angel and Cordelia; Giles, Willow, Anya and Xander crowding around Buffy and Spike.
“Geez, guys, we’re fine,” Cordelia said, trying to stand up. “Just a little dazed, is all.”
“Buffy?” Giles asked worriedly.
“We’re fine, Giles,” she said, smiling at him. Suddenly, her head whipped to look at Spike as a knowing smile came across the vampire’s face. “Stop it, Spike,” she whispered, her face blushing.
Xander rolled his eyes. “Great. Now we have to put up with telepathic honeymooners. Lots o’ fun,” he groused.
“At least you don’t have to overhear whispers about their orgasms,” Anya said brightly. “I know you don’t like to talk about other people’s sex lives in public.”
Xander blushed and fidgeted, shoving his hands into his pockets. “You’re right, I don’t.”
Wesley was looking Cordelia and Angel over, determined to make sure they were all right before they proceeded. “Are you sure you’re okay, Cordelia?” He asked worriedly.
“I’m fine, Wes, really. But I guess if you want to test to make sure it’s all good, we can send Angel out into the courtyard. If he doesn’t get all smoky, we’ll know it worked,” she suggested.
Angel frowned at her for a minute, the smiled as she said something in his mind.
“Spike,” he called. “You wanna try out this daywalker thing?”
Spike couldn’t help but smile at the possibility. “Sure thing, Peaches. Let’s take it for a test drive, eh?”
Holding tightly to Cordelia’s hand, Angel followed Spike out into the courtyard. The crowd gathered under the shade of the overhang, both vampires suddenly nervous when faced with this. If it didn’t work, it was pretty certain that Cordelia and Buffy hadn’t gotten anything from them, either. A lot was riding on this.
They scooted forward to the edge of the shade, raising their free hands and stretching them out tentatively towards the light. Everyone else held their breaths as the tips of their fingers were brightened by the sun. When they didn’t feel the pain they usually did, Spike and Angel looked at each other in surprise, then thrust their hands out fully into the sunshine, then their arms, shoulders, and finally their entire bodies. Enraptured, Angel turned his face up and let the warmth of the sun caress his skin. Unbeknownst to him, tears had escaped from his eyes and were rolling down his cheeks. Spike was in a similar state of bliss.
Angel turned bright eyes to Cordelia, pulling her out into the sun with him and into his arms. “It worked,” he whispered brokenly. “I can’t believe it worked.”
It wasn’t just the sun that had made them so emotional, although that was definitely a cause for celebration. It was what the moment symbolized. Going out into the sun meant that the rest of the ritual had worked as well. They were immune to stakes. They could have children. And most importantly, Buffy and Cordelia were now immortal and had the strength of vampires.
“Wes,” Cordelia called, searching for her friends face in the sea of people gathered around them. “Let’s get this last part over and done with, okay? I’m kind of ritualed out right now, and I want to get this finished.”
Wes nodded, turning to go back inside the hotel. Everyone followed, and soon, Buffy and Cordelia were standing facing each other, a black orb in each woman’s hand.
“So we’re back to the beginning, huh?” Buffy said, smiling wryly at Cordelia.
“Weird, definitely,” Cordelia agreed. “But I wouldn’t trade this for the world.”
“Me either. Let’s do it, Slayer,” she said, winking at Cordelia.
At Wesley’s signal, the women twisted the orbs simultaneously, and everyone held their breaths again. Just like the first time, they were enveloped in a small globe of white light. Seconds later, the light dissipated, and they looked at each other wide-eyed. Frantically, they searched for the faces of their loved ones.
And just like the first time, Cordelia said, “Oh, God. Angel?” and promptly passed out.
Five Years Later
*Angel, knock it off! We have an audience, and I don’t think they’d appreciate a live demonstration of how good you are with your tongue,* Cordelia said to her husband, a teasing frown on her face highlighting the mental admonishment.
*Xander might,* Angel said with a smile, nodding over at their old friend, who was looking at them jealously.
Cordelia rolled her eyes. *We have so got to find him somebody. He needs a woman. Bad.*
*Stop it, Cordelia. You know how badly your matchmaking turned out last time,* Angel came across the room to her, using his free hand to grasp her elbow and help her to her feet.
She frowned at him. *It turned out fine, Mr. Smarty Vamp. Faith and Wesley are very happy together.*
Both of them looked across the lobby of the Hyperion at the subject of their mental conversation as he gulped down a glass of liquor and scanned the crowded lobby for pretty, single women. The place was packed, the imminent wedding well attended by friends and out-of-town family.
Angel reluctantly admitted to himself that Cordelia was right about Xander. *But it wasn’t without a whole lot of pain, Cordelia, pain they probably would have avoided if you hadn’t stuck your nose in it.*
*Pfft. You’re such a party pooper, Angel,* she whined. *Let me have my fun, ‘kay?*
He just shook his head at her, and she knew she’d won. Smirking, she held her hands out to the squirming bundle in his arms. “C’mere, baby. Daddy has other things to do right now,” she said to their two year old daughter, a brown-haired sprite named Katie. The little girl just smiled at her mother, her thumb shoved into her mouth, the pretty brown eyes wide and innocent.
“Hey, all! Where’s the lucky couple?” Spike’s voice rang through the lobby, and the entire crowd turned to look at him, then smiled and turned back to their conversations.
A huge smile lit Cordelia’s face and she rushed through the crowd and crossed the room, enveloping Buffy in a crushing hug. One of Buffy’s arms was full, a large, brightly wrapped gift balanced between her elbow and her very pregnant stomach.
“They’re getting ready for the ceremony, Spike. Duh!” Cordelia teased him as she squeezed his wife.
The two couples exchanged heartfelt greetings as if they hadn’t seen each other in years, but in truth, they’d seen each other a month ago at Dr. Willow Rosenberg’s graduation from UCLA. But this moment was still special. Every time the four friends gathered in this place in the Hyperion, on the steps where they were bonded to each other five years ago, they couldn’t help but stand in awe at the memory. Even now, Angel and Spike could still taste the panic as the girls switched their powers back and then fainted. Twenty anxious minutes later, they both woke up, still very much alive and back to their Slayer and Seer selves. It was only then that the two vampires could let themselves relax enough to enjoy the rest of the miracle that had happened that day.
Since that amazing day five years ago, the two vampires and their lifemates had kept in close contact, seeing each other often and becoming closer than they’d ever thought possible. They’d had some rough times, definitely. Apocalypses had come and gone. A man from Angel’s past had nearly succeeded in stealing Connor away from them and ruining their happiness, but Wesley had thwarted his plan just in time. Sunnydale and the First had been destroyed and conquered, Spike almost dying in the battle. An evil being named Jasmine had taken over Lilah Morgan’s body and wreaked havoc in LA. But all in all, they’d prevailed. And with each passing crisis, the bond between each couple had grown stronger and thicker.
“William!” Buffy shouted, the arm she’d had around Cordelia shooting out and grabbing the back of a little blonde boy’s hair and pulling him to a halt. “You will not run in Auntie Cordelia’s hotel. Remember what we talked about?”
The little boy, his face a mirror image of Spike’s, looked down at his feet and scuffed his toe against the floor. “Okay, mom,” he said, not able to keep the whine out of his voice.
Buffy ruffled his hair as she released him. “Go. Find Doyle and Connor and play nicely with them. No fighting this time, okay?”
At the mention of her four year old son, Cordelia couldn’t help the smile that lit her face. He was such a doll. Light brown hair, hazel eyes just like hers, and a sober countenance that was the perfect image of his father’s. Even though Angel had experienced perfect happiness for nearly five years now, his moods had remained somber over all. He was still introspective, contemplative, and slow to make decisions. But he didn’t brood anymore, and for that, Cordelia was thankful. Frankly, she wouldn’t let him.
From across the room, Giles’ voice reverberated. “I think we’re ready to go. Will everyone take their places, please?”
Handing the baby to Buffy, Cordelia walked across the room and stood by the arbor they’d set up near the doors to the courtyard. The throng of guests took their seats facing the altar, Spike and Buffy settling near the front, a squirming toddler on each knee. Connor was in between them, sitting quietly and well behaved at a mature five and a half years old. Cordelia rolled her eyes as she watched her son take a swing at little William, then laughed as Spike firmly pulled them apart and spoke low in their ears. They were immediately silent, the vampire’s formidable growl still intimidating at their young ages.
From a side door, Wesley, Angel, and Gunn exited and filed out slowly, Gunn looking intensely nervous. He kept glancing up at the stairs, clearing his throat and pulling at his tie.
Cordelia heard a breathless voice suddenly rush up beside her, and looked over to see Willow join her in her bridesmaid’s dress. Willow smiled at her, happy to be there for such a special day. After all, one of her best friends was getting married today, and she wouldn’t have missed it for the world. They’d gotten to know each other that week that changed everyone’s life, and they’d been nearly inseparable best friends ever since.
The crowd waited with breathless anticipation, and was rewarded by a vision in white trailing down the stairs. Tears sprang to Cordelia’s eyes as she saw the beauty of Fred in her wedding dress, the love she had for Gunn glowing on her pretty face. This couple had been through a lot together, enough break-ups and heartache to make their storyline worthy of a daytime soap opera, but they’d finally worked through it all and made it here. Their close friends breathed a sigh of relief that this day was finally happening.
Fred’s father held her elbow and guided her to Gunn’s side, and it was apparent that the nervousness the young man had felt only moments earlier had immediately evaporated as soon as he saw his future wife.
As Giles read the words and bound these two special people together, Spike and Buffy and Angel and Cordelia shared a moment of remembrance for the day that they were linked to each other for life. The words of the ceremony had lost none of their potency, and the fact that there was no bloodletting or white light or Latin words at this ceremony took nothing away from the renewing of their commitment that each couple made to each other in their minds.
An hour later, Angel and Spike sipped glasses of whiskey as they watched their wives dance with their small sons to a rousing rendition of “Love Shack” being sung by their DeeJay, Lorne. Both vampires had an expression akin to extreme satisfaction on their faces as they stood in silence and watched the lights of their lives having fun.
“Well, Peaches,” Spike said, the nickname for his grandsire still firmly in place after all this time. “Looks like we finally did something right.”
“Definitely,” Angel agreed. “I never would have thought, even five years and a week ago, that we would be here like this. I never thought I’d thank Wolfram & Hart for anything, but they definitely did me a favor this time.”
“And now they want you to take over their L.A. branch office?” Spike asked, wanting to know if the rumor was true.
“Yup,” Angel said. “Seems that they’re kind of impressed that we destroyed peace on earth and they want to reward us for it.”
“You killed an evil goddess and they want to pay you? Are you going to take it?”
Angel looked at him like he was crazy. “Are you kidding? Hell no! The only thing a deal like that would bring me would be more trouble. There’s no way I could take them down, even from the inside out, and they know it. It would be suicide, and I’m not that gullible.”
He took a healthy gulp of his drink. “Besides, they didn’t have much to offer me besides that, and I think I’ve got everything I want here, anyway.”
Looking over at Cordelia, he smiled again. Yes, he definitely had everything he wanted, and more. Wolfram & Hart could just take that job and shove it.