His Lady Lazerus. 7

Part 7

Cordelia tapped her nails in an uneven drum against the tabletop, careful not to touch the dark sticky patch to the left of her elbow. Her gaze swept around the room with feigned disinterest.

Actually, it wasn’t all that feigned.

Once upon a time the brunette would have been enjoying herself along with the rest of the inhabitants of the club but tonight she felt older than her years and just wanted to crawl into her soft bed. Her heels felt too high, her dress too tight and her make up too false. A wave of claustrophobia wrapped itself tightly around her chest, the club was bulging with people, most enjoying themselves, some looking like herself, on the verge of mass homicide.

Determined that she wouldn’t spend another moment here Cordelia knocked back the rest of her drink in one gulp. She picked up her purse and slipped gracefully off her stool, running her hands over her dress to smooth out the non-existent wrinkles and stalked through the crowds of people until she found the target of her current wrath and annoyance.


“He’s not going to show,” the brunette crossed her arms over her chest and pinned Angel with a withering stare.

“It’s still early,” the vampire informed his best friend evenly as his eyes scanned around the bustling night club for the star of their latest case.

“Maybe to you Mr I-don’t-need-beauty-sleep but for the rest of us it really is, I’m tired Angel, please, I just want to go home.”

“Cordy,” Angel said her name softly, apologetically, that sincere way only her best friend was to be capable of and it made the young woman want to smack him round the head with her purse because she knew he was going to say no, “we need to stay, you know we do. This is the best-”

“Lead we’ve had yet, I know,” she muttered through clenched teeth. “But
this Cinderella has had enough!
“ Cordelia’s irritation exploded in shout that made Angel wince and drew unwanted attention to them from the other people gathered at the bar.


“Do you see this?” She raised her eyebrows and jabbed a finger at her forehead.

“What am I looking at?” the vampire frowned, his eyes sweeping over her annoyed forehead.

“Wrinkles Angel, I have wrinkles!” Cordelia ran her fingertips over the smooth expanse of skin.

“You don’t have wrinkles,” Angel told her evenly as his attention slipped away from her, his stare becoming fixed on the entrance opposite them for any sign of the man they were looking for. Cordelia grasped his chin between her finger and thumb and forced him to look at her, letting him know that this conversation was far from over.

“Why couldn’t Fred be the bait for once?”

“Can you really see Fred in a place like this?”

“What’s that suppose to mean?” Cordelia narrowed her eyes dangerously at him.

“It didn’t mean anything,” the vampire sighed dragging a hand through his hair and messing up the perfect spikes. This wasn’t exactly his idea of fun either but they had bills to pay and it was cases like this that put food on the table and blood in the refrigerator.

“I want to go home Angel. Please,” Cordelia whined with a pout, she slipped her hands into his as she bounced on her toes. “Pleeeeease,” her eyes were wide and doleful, the pleading little girl lost look she had cultivated during her teen years of sweet talking her father into extending her credit card limit, she knew it wasn’t just her Dad that it had an effect on, there wasn’t a man walking the planet that didn’t succumb to Cordelia Chase’s charm.

“It’s not gonna work Cor,” Angel said apologetically, he hated making her do something she quite clearly didn’t want to do but they had all agreed, even Cordelia.

“Dammit!” Cordelia stamped her foot like a petulant child, she jerked her hands out of the vampire’s just as he was beginning to enjoy the soft warmth of her skin against his. With defeated shoulders she snatched Angel’s drink off the bar and took a cautious sniff to see what it was, just as she was going to knock back the brown liquid Angel’s hand shot out and stole the drink from her.

The vampire was pretty sure he heard the young woman growl.

“Wasn’t it you that insisted we took this case in the first place?” Angel ignored the death glare she was currently throwing his way. “I seem to remember a couple renditions of Cordy’s got a brand new bag being sung around the hotel too.”

“Yeah, well, that was before I knew I’d be forced to spend a evening with the dregs of the gene pool,” Cordelia wrinkled her nose in distaste.

“It’s not so bad….” He trailed off unconvincingly as he watched the throngs of humans bumping and grinding against each other on the dance floor.

“You’re not the one being hit on by every knuckle dragging slime ball that walks in here,” she muttered testily.

“Maybe if you hadn’t worn-”

“Oh, I highly recommend you don’t finish that sentence,” Cordelia scowled and Angel swallowed the comment he was about to make about the lack of material in her dress. Not that the vampire noticed that sort of thing about his best friend. Especially not recently. And he certainly hadn’t almost tripped over his own feet when Cordelia had breezed into the Hotel earlier that evening in the scrap of midnight blue material that dipped low at her breasts and hung short against her tanned thighs. Thighs he’d had wrapped around his waist.

“You’re not the only one being pestered,” he said shaking the inappropriate thoughts about Cordelia’s thighs from his head.

It’s your own fault, standing there all dark and glowery. Of course women are going to be attracted to you, you’re the ultimate mysterious loner. You may as well be wearing a sign that says love me, I’m vulnerable.” The brunette rolled her eyes and straightened the lapel of his leather jacket apparently forgetting the fact that she was angry with Angel.

“I don’t think the woman with the…” he gestured wildly at his chest then the top of his head. “… was interested in my vulnerability.”

“Now that was funny,” Cordelia snorted, she’d watched as her best friend had squirmed uncomfortably when a large breasted, large haired red head had decided that Angel was the man of her dreams and had pulled out all the stops to make the vampire see that she was the woman of his dreams. It had been the high point of the evening so far.

“She was grabby,” Angel shuddered making Cordelia snort with laughter again.

“Aw, poor baby,” Cordelia cooed and patted his shoulder, any sympathy in her words was negated by her trademark Cordy eye roll.

“Thank you for your concern,” Angel said, his tone heavy with a sarcasm that he hadn’t known he was capable of until this woman had walked into his life.

“You’d get more sympathy if you let me go home.”

“We need you here.”

“I still don’t see why Fred couldn’t be the bait,” Cordelia muttered petulantly, her earlier grouchiness returning full force.

“Is there a problem?” Wesley appeared next to them as if out of no where making Cordelia startle for a moment before she turned her wrath to the Englishman.

“I want to go home.”

“But it’s still early,” frowned Wesley as he squinted as his watch in the dim light of the bar.

“That’s what I said,” Angel nodded in agreement but decided to stay out of the conversation when Cordelia glared sharply at him.

“This guy isn’t going to show,” she said knowingly, crossing her arms over her chest and daring Wesley to argue with her eyes.

“And you know this how? Did you have a vision?” The former Watcher pulled off his glasses and rubbed his eyes with an air of a man that already had much too much on his mind to be dealing with one of Cordelia’s tantrums.

“No, it’s more like woman’s intuition.”

“Well, as much as I trust your intuition Cordelia, I say we wait a while longer. Our client said this was a regular haunt of her stalker and as we’ve had no other luck tracking him down, this is the best chance we’ve had so far,” the former watcher said distractedly as his gaze sauntered around the room, stopping on Gunn who was in turn looking straight back at him.

“What if this weirdo shows up and you guys get distracted and don’t see him-”

“We’ll see him,” Wesley dismissed her concerns over his shoulder as he was already walking away from them.

“Oh no, he’s not distracted at all,“ Cordelia said as she watched his retreating back make its way over to Gunn. “Those two need to wake up and smell the love already.”

“Don’t meddle,” the vampire warned her as thought he could read her mind.

“As if I would,” she fluttered her eyelashes at him, daring Angel to contradict her.


“I have to go try look seductive and enticing now,” Cordelia flicked her hair over her shoulder and walked away before Angel could say anything else. If she’d waited a moment longer she would have heard Angel mutter under his breath that she didn’t need to try at all.

But that was the demon in him talking.



Twenty slow, agonising minutes later Cordelia was still sitting on her own at the oddly sticky table. She leant her chin on her hand and blew a stray strand of hair out of her eyes.

Bait, Cordelia thought, always the damn bait.

This had seemed like easy money when they’d first accepted the case a week ago but the members of A.I weren’t exactly known for their investigative skills, give them a prophecy to thwart and they were like pigs in mud, give them an obsessive walking dead stalker with a penchant for brunettes and bad music and they couldn’t find their butts with both hands.

It should have been easy, tail the client for a couple days and grab the creep when he trips up, because they always trip up.

The problem was this one didn’t.

They always seemed to be five minutes too late or three steps behind, nothing they did, no matter how hard they tried, he was always just out of their reach. So they came up with a new plan, a plan that didn’t involve spending night after night hunched down in Angel’s car waiting for something to happen. Angel Investigations decided to go on offence, go to the night club the stalker had been seen in on numerous occasions, use Cordelia to lure him into a conversation and then knock him unconscious with something heavy, after that plan got murky.

OK, so, it wasn’t the best plan in the world but it was the only one they had.

It’s the worst plan in the world, Cordelia sighed swirling the rapidly melting ice around in her glass with disinterest and closing her eyes, tempted to fall asleep where she was sitting.

“A pretty girl like you shouldn’t be sitting on your own, can I buy you a drink? The name’s Tom.” A male voice made her eyes fly open, her heart beat rapidly for a moment she thought that it was finally the guy they had been looking for the past week. It wasn’t though, just another gold jewellery wearing sleaze with a paunch belly wading through the middle of a mid life crisis. Cordelia frowned and shifted away from his overpowering cologne.

“You see that angry looking guy over there Tom?” She jerked her thumb in the direction she knew Angel would be lurking.

“Er, yeah,” Tom nodded.

“Ex boyfriend. Very jealous. Big muscles. I’d run along before he does something violent,” the brunette made a dismissive shooing motion with her hands.


“The last guy that tried to buy me a drink ‘accidentally’ swallowed his own tongue, that was after Brutus over there dislocated both his shoulders and broke all his fingers. It was very messy.” Cordelia shook her head solemnly. “Very, very messy.”

Cordelia’s would be suitor took in Angel’s hunched shoulders and scowl, a scowl that was currently being trained on him as if he were nothing but a bug to squash beneath his heavy boot. Tom shifted uncomfortably when the tall man with the intense forehead and leather jacket crossed his arms over his chest.

“Right,” he nodded and scurried away just like most of the men that had tried to chat her up this evening had.

It was a stupid plan and if Cordelia had thought about it for longer than the five seconds she had before she’d agreed to it she would have undoubtedly said no. Sitting in a two bit bar hoping to catch the eye of the maniac who’d been making their clients life a living hell for the last three months?

Make that a hell no.


Angel was well aware of the fact that he had the tendency to be possessive, it wasn’t a sudden realisation he had as he stood at the bar watching his best friend casually shoo away yet another eager male who was attempting to ingratiate themselves into her favour. It wasn’t a grand epiphany, there was no musical score swelling emotionally in the background, he didn’t clutch his chest and fall to his knees in comprehension.

Angel was possessive, everyone knew that. His friends, his family, they were his. Not that he felt he owned them, not really, it was just that after the bleakness of the year before he refused to let anything or anyone come between him and his people. He wouldn’t let that happen again.

So, Angel being possessive about the people he cared about was nothing new.

The growl that rumbled repeatedly through his chest whenever a man walked up to Cordelia Chase was though.

It was new and more than a little disturbing.

The vampire hadn’t realised he was doing it until he noticed there was a large semicircle of empty space around him, the invisible line that separated him from the rest of the world now clearly visible, it was reflected in the nervous looks that were being occasionally tossed his way.

It was the demon, not the man, it wanted to come out and play. It was itching beneath the surface of his skin, buzzing through his blood and tensing every muscle in his body. No matter how hard Angel tried to ignore it, the desire to tear the head off the next guy that smiled at his Cordelia coursed seductively through his veins.

He was also well aware of the fact that he was thinking of Cordelia as his property. Rationally Angel knew the young woman wasn’t his, they were co-workers, best friends, nothing more.

OK, best friends who occasionally had sex, but there were no romantic feelings on either side, he wasn’t in love with Cordelia and Cordelia wasn’t in love with him.

Angel knew that.

But the demon in him still wanted to shred every inch of skin from the next man that looked at her. Feeling unsettled the vampire turned his back to Cordelia and ordered another drink.

Or possibly three.


Typical, Cordelia thought anxiously, the boys spend three hours watching me like a hawk but as soon as the bad guy turns up they’re looking the other way. Why am I not surprised?

“That’s so interesting,” Cordelia turned on her one thousand watt smile and let her hair fall invitingly over her shoulder because she had no idea what the man opposite her had just said.

It was him, the guy they’d been looking for, the psychopath, the stalker, the not entirely human and possibly dangerous man that had terrified their client for the last three months of her life.

He looks taller than he did in the photograph, Cordelia thought randomly.

“Really? Would you like to see them?” He smiled toothily making Cordelia grimace internally.

“Er…sure, maybe.” She said noncommittally, darting a glance at Angel who still had his back turned to her then to Wesley and Gunn who were doing that non talking lustful stare thing they thought nobody noticed.

“Maybe we could go get a coffee?” He leant toward her in his seat

“But I don’t even know your name,” Cordelia smiled coyly as she mentally detached Angel’s testicles from his body.

“Dan,” he reached his hand out for her to shake, the brunette took it and struggled not to eww at the cold clamminess of his skin.

“Hello Dan, it’s nice to meet you,” she slipped her hand out of his and casually wiped it on her skirt. “I’m Charlie, Charlie Pryce.”

“Well Charlie Pryce, why don’t we get out of here and have that coffee now?” He stood up and gestured for her to do the same.

“Oh no, not now, please not now!” Cordelia groaned pitifully, she felt it in her fingertips first of all, a burning prickle that made every muscle in her body tense with expectation

“We could stay here for a while longer if that’s what you want,” Dan frowned, he’d thought this one would be easy.

Cordelia didn’t hear him, didn’t hear anything. Her eyesight blurred and she shook her head to clear her vision even though she knew from experience that it wouldn’t do a damn thing to help. Her head snapped back like a whip, bile burnt her throat and when the fire lanced through her synapses Cordelia felt herself falling and there wasn’t a thing she could do about it.

An orange glow, forgotten alley, threatening footsteps echoing behind, closer, closer, always getting closer. Don’t panic, it’s probably nothing he tells himself. Heart beating, fear prickling the skin above his top lip. The crash of a trash can, startle with surprise, just keep walking, don’t look back, don’t look back. Humourless laughter reverberates behind him, no, don’t look back….

The raw tang of sweat on her lips, delicious and male, wrapping around her tongue. His need makes her feel seductive power in the ends of her fingertips, god, he wants her so much, nothing else matters but this, this sweet torture, furious release. Hands twisted in her messy hair, he moans begging for more, when did you become a tease…when I realised how hard it made you….

Trip, fall, a sharp crack to the forehead. Eighteen years of knowledge rattling around inside a cracked skull. Struggle, fight, no can’t fight, can’t run, a cold hand wrapped brutally around his throat, can’t breathe, can’t think, take my money, please don’t hurt me. Oh god what’s wrong with your face? Brittle death prickling the side of his throat…

Oh god baby don’t stop, polished marble against her tongue, whispered pleading licking at her nerves. Her hands, lips and tongue own him, as she travels his body she soothes his sins, nails raking red down the inside of his thighs, her ownership tattooed on his pale skin. Mine, she licks into his soul, yours he groans and the room hums with the possibilities….

The neon glow blurring, blood stinging his eyes, please don’t kill me. I love it when they beg, snap, a bone shatters like fragile porcelain, a broken cry muffled by hands heavy with death and destruction. Who’s hungry? His mother will cry, his father won’t understand, I’m sorry Dad, I should never have moved to this town, you told me it would be the end of me, you were always right. Fire in his neck, in his wrists, life dripping thickly out of a boy who’s future was meant to be so wonderful….

A growl that makes her skin prickle and thighs ache, slick heat and demanding steel crashing together again and again, never stop, god, please never stop. His face buried in tempting place where her neck meets her shoulder, he wants to, she wants him to, the fire blazing beneath her skin, beating like a siren song, to crawl into each others bodies and understand the riddle of their lives. Connected by more than necessity, more than need and desire. A moment of breath taking stillness, his lips whispering a secret into hers and finally the world becomes clear behind her eyes and everything makes glorious sense….

“Cordy?” Her name pulled her back to herself, Cordelia’s eyes fluttered open, she blinked in confusion as the face she’d seen in her vision hovered above hers.

“Angel?” She whispered barely able to hear her own voice above the beating of her heart. Her feminine fingers traced a path down the slope of his cheekbone and over his bottom lip, Cordelia’s breath hitched in her throat when the vampire’s tongue sneaked out and tasted her skin like a snake scenting its prey.

“What did you see?” Angel struggled to force the words out of his throat, Cordelia’s eyes were heavily lidded pools of obsidian boring into his own, the scent of sudden all consuming desire radiated off her body in waves that made the vampire’s mouth go dry and his body react in a way a best friend shouldn’t.

“You….” Cordelia murmured, her breath licked across his chin and made the vampire visibly shudder. Angel felt himself get lost in her gaze, hot and confused, his demon stirred his lifeless blood and screamed to be let free so it could take what was his. No, not mine, Angel tried to remind himself even as Cordelia’s lips threatened to touch against his. Yes, mine, the demon taunted as her fingers bit into the corded muscles of his arms and her hip pressed invitingly into his cock. You’ve had her, she laid down for you, smell her-it’s you she saw, you who’s made her wet with want-

A nervous cough snapped the moment into brittle pieces and Angel wrenched his gaze away from the young woman that was looking at him as though he could give her the world.

“You had a vision of Angel?” asked Wesley.

“Vision?” Cordelia frowned, her bewildered gaze drifting slowly back and forth between the vampire that was holding her and the man looking at her with brotherly concern.

“You OK Cor?” Gunn asked her in the same concerned tone of voice Wesley had used, the part of Cordelia’s brain that was still working on a cognitive level told her there was something she was meant to be doing and it wasn’t gripping onto Angel’s shoulders like the heroine on the front of some trashy romance novel.

“I….” Cordelia trailed off as reality returned and the noises of the club going on around them rattled through her ears and crashed thunder into her brain. “Vision,” she groaned and squeezed her eyes shut as every nerve in her body twisted and sparked painfully, the young woman leant her head against Angel’s shoulder for a moment before the full confusing extent of what she’d seen and felt hit her like a juggernaut.

“Of Angel?” The Englishman asked again.

“No!” Cordelia said quickly, unconvincingly, as she extracted herself out of Angel’s arms. The vampire came to his senses the same time his best friend did, he stepped away from Cordelia as though she were a leper, wrapping the sides of his leather jacket across his chest to hide the tent in his pants. Angel cleared his throat and stared down at his boots, rocking back and forth on his heels as he silently told his body to calm down.

The perfume of desire that still emanated from Cordelia wasn’t helping his situation.

Things began to make a sense that didn’t in Cordelia’s brain, images of pain and fear became mixed with passion and teasing hands, leaving the young woman unsure whether she wanted to throw up or do things to Angel that made him growl like he did in her vision. That thought alone crept a wave of crimson up her already flushed neck and forced her to groan audibly and rub the palms of her hands into her eyes.

“O-K,” Gunn said slowly narrowing his eyes at the pair before he silently asked Wesley what the hell was going on here with these two with a jerk of his head. The Englishman shrugged.

“We should go,” Cordelia said quickly, her eyes unable to meet Angel’s, not that it mattered, the vampire was still staring at his boots as though they were telling him the secrets of the universe.

“Er, where?” The black man rubbed a hand over his smooth scalp feeling like he’d missed a large part of this conversation

“To save the man in my vision,” she said while shouldering her purse.

“And he would be?” Wesley raised his eyebrows.

The…didn’t I tell you?”

“No, you were too busy cosying up with the vampire over there. Wanna let the little people in on what that was about?”

“We weren’t….” Cordelia felt the blush on her cheeks intensify, she shook her head, now wasn’t the time for this. “There’s a guy with a bright future ahead of him about meet the business end of a pair of fangs, now, we can all stand here looking at me like I’ve grown a two heads or we can go do our job,” she looked at them sternly.

“Sounds like a plan,” nodded Gunn, all business once again even though he had no idea what was going on. Sometimes it was best to just go with the flow.

“One more thing,” Cordelia stopped the men as they turned to leave.

“Yes?” Wesley stepped towards her thinking there was a an important part of the vision she needed to tell them.

“I’m gonna throw up,” the young woman turned an interesting shade of green and promptly dispelled every drink she’d had that evening on to the Englishman’s shoes.


An explosion of dust then nothing. That was all a vampire was at the end of the day, nothing but ashes blowing in the wind. All the death and destruction that raged through it’s veins, cold vengeance and animal instincts gone as though it never even existed, as though they hadn’t just fought like it was the end of the world.

Well, it wasn’t really the end of the world, but it could have been for the eighteen year old kid running down the alley like his life depended on it, which, five minutes ago, it had.

“Hey, no worries, you don’t need to thank us or anything!” Gunn called after kid as the last vestiges of the fight rained down on them, blanketing their clothes in a fine grey powder that they knew from experience would be found in the strangest of places for days to come.

“Manners have a tendency to be forgotten when the person in question is terrified beyond all rational thought,” said Wesley as he tucked his stake into the inside pocket of his jacket. “Although it would be nice to hear a ‘cheers’ every once in a while.”

“This is what I’m saying,” nodded Gunn as he reached his hand out to Angel who was still sitting on the pavement where he’d been for a large portion of the fight.

“You off your game tonight?” he asked the vampire bluntly as he tugged him to his feet.

“No,” Angel answered automatically, straightening his jacket as casually as he could.

“You don’t usually get knocked on your ass leaving me and English to do all the work, especially by a few dirty blood suckers, no offence.”

“None taken,” he scowled but his scowls had stopped having any effect on his friends a long time ago. Angel knew he was off his game, distracted, he was well aware of the reasons why but he had no intention of telling Wesley and Gunn that.

I got knocked on my ass by a vampire two hundred years younger than me because the scent of my best friend’s sudden arousal was making me want to press her up against the wall and fuck her still she screamed. Oh and by the way that whole arousal thing? Yeah, she was having a vision of the pair of us having sex, which we do now.

No way, no how.

“That could’ve turned real ugly,” Gunn crossed his arms over his chest, the tension that would forever simmer between the black man and the vampire threatened to boil to the surface as it did on numerous occasions.

“But it didn’t,” Angel mirrored his stance with defiance.

“But it could’ve.”

“Oh yes, lets do have an argument now,” Wesley rolled his eyes, Angel and Gunn ignored him.

“But it didn’t.”

“It could’ve.”

“Oh give me strength,” the Englishman muttered and left the two ‘alpha males’ to their post battle testosterone induced pissing contest. “Cordy?” The former watcher knelt down next to the young woman who sat on the pavement, touching her shoulder gently so as not to surprise her too much. When she turned her head to face him, leaning her chin on her knees, Wesley had to fight not to frown with concern because he knew how much she hated that, hated being pitied.

“Hey,” Cordelia blinked her eyes into focus, rubbing the palms of her hands over her face, not caring if her make up was ruined, she had a pretty good idea she already looked like crap. “Did you save the kid?”

“Of course,” Wesley nodded. “How are you feeling?”

“A hot bath and a couple painkillers and I’ll be good as new,” she reassured him.

“We ready to go?” Gunn’s asked as he and Angel finally gave up on their pathetic argument and joined their friends.

“Definitely,” Cordelia nodded, shooing away each man’s offer to help her to her feet, stubbornly doing it by herself only to sway dangerously to the left when she was upright.

“Woah there girl,” Gunn grasped her elbow before she could topple over.

“I’m good, I’m good,” Cordelia steadied herself even as a fresh wave of nausea churned her stomach and paled her skin.

“Barbie’s gonna hurl again,” Charles Gunn, street fighter, bad ass loner and alpha male let go of the brunettes arm like he’d been burnt and took a quick step away from her. Luckily Angel was there to catch her, just as he always was.

“I’m not gonna hurl….”

Wesley cautiously stepped back too this time.

“….OK, maybe I am,” Cordelia grimaced as the tell tale thickness in her throat told her she actually was, quickly turning her back to them she leant her hand against the dirty wall and wretched painfully making the three men wince in sympathy.

“Bring the car round,” Angel threw his car keys at Gunn and gestured for Wesley to go with him. With his friend’s footsteps fading down the street the vampire rubbed his hand over the small of Cordelia’s back, murmuring useless words of comfort to her as she coughed and gagged until her knees shook and her hands trembled.

“Shit,” she muttered dragging the back of her hand across her mouth.

“At least you missed your shoes,” Angel offered weakly, rewarded by a snort of laughter then a pained groan from Cordelia.

“Please don’t make me laugh.” She straightened up, the world still spinning around her.

“Sorry.” Angel tucked her now dishevelled hair behind her ears.

“What happened to creepy Dan?” Cordelia blinked her red puffy eyes as the random thought sped to the forefront of her brain.

“Creepy Dan?”

“The stalker.”

“I think the you scared him away.” Angel picked up Cordelia’s purse from the pavement and slung it over his shoulder, he could hear Spike telling him what a ponce he was in his head as he did it.

“Damn,” Cordelia frowned, a whole evening down the wasted just as it looked like they were making a breakthrough.

“It doesn’t matter, we’ll catch him next time. C’mon,” Angel wrapped an arm around her shoulders and quite literally swept Cordelia off her feet.

“What are you doing?” she gasped, desperately trying to control the churning of her stomach.

“Taking you home,” he said as casually as Cordelia snaked her arms around his neck.

“I can walk,” Cordelia said stubbornly even as she nestled her head into the crook of Angel’s neck.

“I know you can.” He pressed a kiss to the top of her head, his stride stuttering a little as he was assaulted by her natural scent. Through the fear and the pain arousal lingered.

He knew what that meant.

“Want to go back to the hotel or your place?” Angel whispered in her ear, he felt Cordelia go tense in his arms.


“We don’t-”

“Mine,” Cordelia swallowed audibly, instantly remembering how she’d purred that word not long ago in her vision and her skin prickled at the memory. The vampire’s nostrils flared and the brunette felt a blush creeping up her neck. “My place, lets, lets go back to my place.”


Cordelia poured the boiling water into the small red teapot Wesley had given her last Christmas, her hands no longer shook as they had done when she and Angel first entered her apartment, it was mostly from nerves now, Cordelia realised. She didn’t know why she still felt nervous about having sex with Angel, they’d done it twice now.


It seemed more than that somehow, in her head Cordelia had been touched by Angel what felt like a thousand times, whenever she closed her eyes there he was, taking over her dreams and leaving her to wake with an empty ache between her thighs. It was making her crazy, she was hesitant to sleep because in her dreams Angel looked at her as though he wanted to write his name across her heart, she was scared to close her eyes because she enjoyed it when he did.

In her dreams Angel touched her and Cordelia craved for more. His hands on her breasts, his lips on the small of her back, his name falling from her lips. When she woke the dreams would fade and she could go into work, hug her best friend like everything was normal and pretend that he hadn’t licked the inside of her thigh and made her moan in her slumber.

But now the powers had re-sent the original vision along side the latest innocent soul to save. Cordelia didn’t understand it, she didn’t understand why the powers were making her see and feel these things in both her sleeping and waking hours.

She squeezed her eyes shut in an attempt to wipe the memories from her brain but it was of no use, when she closed her eyes it only intensified everything, his teeth gazing bluntly over her shoulder, his tongue swirling circles around her navel, her legs shaking and back arching, his eyes flashing amber as Angel whispered all the things he was going to do into her skin….

Cordelia dragged a deep shuddering breath into her lungs and forced her eyes to open, she touched her neck, her pulse was beating quickly beneath her fingertips. The young woman bit the soft flesh of her bottom lip between her teeth and gripped the countertop until her knuckles turned white. The former Sunnydale cheerleader forced her body and mind to calm down, stamping down the desire that coursed through her veins. The problem was without that to distract her the splintering ache that sparked pain into every corner of her skull returned and twisted her stomach with nausea. She really didn’t want to throw up again but the alternative was to let the vision replay over and over again in her brain in all it’s technicolor glory.

She didn’t know which one would send her mad first.

Cordelia stood vacantly stirring sugar into her tea, listening to the low hum of her shower running in the bathroom, desperately fighting the pain in her head and the need in her body. She rubbed her hand over her forehead, alarmed to find a light sheen of sweat coating her skin

“Get a grip Chase,” Cordelia scolded herself and wiped the cuff of her sleeve across her forehead. A gentle breeze fluttered through her hair and reminded Cordelia that she wasn’t alone

“I’m OK Dennis,” she smiled tenderly at her ghost’s show of concern, breathing through the pain and focusing all her concentration on the simple task of making tea.

The urge to close her eyes and listen to her best friend tell her how beautiful she was, how he needed her, how she made him crazy was so very strong. To listen to his voice and feel his hands on her body, forget about the splinters in her head and think of nothing but the ache between her thighs.

No, no, she couldn’t. It wouldn’t be right, friends, just friends. She had to remember that and ignore everything else, ignore the heat simmering in her belly, ignore the ache in her breasts and the tingle in her lips. Oh god it wouldn’t stop, the taste of his skin, the landscape of his hard lines and sculptured muscles, the rough scrape of his stubble between her breasts, her nails scratching marks into his shoulders as she forgot her own name, forgot everything but how he felt inside her, never ending, hard and gentle, making her head spin and her lungs cry out for more, now, oh god please, more-

“What happened?” Angel’s voice snapped her out of it before she got any more. Cordelia spun around on her heels to face him, her heart beating in her throat.

“Whu?” She blinked.

“There was a crash,” the vampire said slowly noticing her flushed skin and distracted demeanour.

“There was?” Cordelia’s eyes followed a single trickle of water as it made its way down Angel’s naked chest and slipped under the towel that he wore low on his hips.


“What?” Her eyes jerked back up to his, embarrassed that she was caught ogling her best friend.

“The crash?”

Oh, I, I…I must have knocked it over,” she stuttered frowning at the shattered mug that lay accusingly on the floor. Shaking her head in yet another futile attempt to clear it Cordelia bent down to pick up the broken pieces of china.

“Are you OK?” Angel asked already knowing what her answer would be.

“I’m fine,” smiled Cordelia a little too brightly. “Just a million miles away,” she shrugged. Angel nodded accepting her answer even though he knew it wasn’t the full truth, he wasn’t going to remind her how they’d agreed to know more secrets because he didn’t have to. The vampire knew what had made her skin flush pink and her lips swollen red, he could taste it on the air, sweet like red wine and whispered promises. Angel watched as Cordelia carefully collected the shattered shards in her hand, his feet rooted firmly to the ground by her scent and the seductive curve of flesh that had become exposed as the top of her robe slipped open like a flower tasting the first rays of spring light. Full flesh that he’d nervously held in his hands, soft but firm, a delicious weight pressing against his chest-


“Yes?” He snapped his eyes away from his friend’s breast.

“I asked if you had good shower?” Cordelia stood up with a frown, unaware that she’d just flashed her best friend.

“Oh, yes, I er, no longer smell of alley and dust,” he nodded.

“Good,” she nodded in return, her brain felt like it was sloshing around in her skull at the movement. “Did you want something to eat?” Cordelia asked trying to distract herself from drumming in her head.

“No, I’m good.”


Cordelia ran her fingers through the ends of her damp hair for something to do while their old friend awkwardness stepped loudly in the room, Angel crossed his arms over his chest and rolled back and forth on the balls of his feet.



“How’s your head feeling?” Angel asked, relieved that he’d thought of something to say before the silence swallowed the entire world.

“Like a jackhammer and jet engine got frisky one night and spawned lots of little hybrid jackhammer/jet engine babies and they’re all doing the cha cha in my head,” shrugged Cordelia.



“Well, maybe we should….” Angel nodded in the general direction of the bedroom.

“Yeah….” Cordelia nodded taking a deep shuddering breath, looking for the courage she knew was buried inside her somewhere. “I’ll just…er…go get ready then.”

“OK,” the vampire nodded. Again.


“I’ll let you go get ready.”



“I’ll…right.” Cordelia forced herself to move, concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other and not how her face was burning scarlet she slipped passed the vampire and into the privacy of her bedroom, Cordelia let out a shuddering breath and let her mask slip a glorious moment, alone she didn’t need to pretend.


When Angel finished staring at the kitchen ceiling as he counted to twenty, the reason why he was doing this he wasn’t completely sure of , he walked silently through the apartment until he reached Cordelia’s bedroom door. Moving his head from side to side the vampire cracked the bones in his neck and shook his arms as though he were about to step up to the plate. His hand grasped the door handle and turned it slowly, his body and mind arguing wordlessly with each other just as they’d done ever since he’d stood in his shower a week ago as images of a dream fresh in his mind made his head spin and his body hard.

Angel pushed the door open just as Cordelia’s robe fell from her shoulders and into a puddle of silk on the floor. Shadows played across her naked back, moving over her skin like animated tattoos, his gaze swept predatorily from the damp chocolate waves that caresses her shoulders, down the line of her spine, over the intricate sun that sat above the curve of her ass…Angel swallowed heavily and stood frozen in the door way.

The vampire wished he were wearing more than just a towel.

The creak of his weight against the floorboards alerted Cordelia to his presence in the room, she glanced over her shoulder then slipped into bed as casually as she could manage. Angel cleared his throat for something to do as he walked to the opposite side of the bed, the mattress dipping as he climbed in next to her.


A loud staccato banging erupted in the small apartment as the bedroom door repeatedly slammed shut, shaking the wood on it’s hinges.

“What the hell?” Angel exclaimed in surprise, his body instantly tense and alert for a fight, Cordelia gripped his shoulder to still him.

“Dennis! Stop it!” she shouted loudly but the ghost continued to make himself heard with a series of crashing slams that made the pain in Cordelia’s head increase tenfold. “I mean it, don’t make me get Whitney Houston out!”

There was silence, just a Cordelia knew there would be. One of her less favourite lipsticks floated up from her dressing table, the lid falling to the ground as an invisible hand wrote a shaky ‘WHAT’S GOING ON?’ across the mirror.

Cordelia groaned and rubbed her forehead.

“I’ll explain later,” she muttered feeling Angel’s concerned gaze boring into her.

NO, NOW! appeared on the mirror accompanied with another series of hard slams of the door.

“I said later Dennis!” Cordelia shouted furiously, regretting her tone when an icy breeze swept through the room signalling the ghosts angry departure.

“Sorry about that, he’s just….”

“Protective of you, like we all are.” Angel snaked his hand over hers and squeezed it affectionately, Cordelia smiled weakly, she didn’t have the energy for anything more. They sat side by side in her bed with nothing but a few inches of space separating them but a ocean of silence stretched out between them. It was in that latest moment of load quiet that Cordelia realised she couldn’t do this.



“I can’t do it.”


“The awkward silence thing, not again…I just…I don’t have the energy for it Angel, my head is…I can’t…everything is so…I just can’t Angel….” Cordelia trailed off, her eyes wide with a vulnerability she very rarely let her friends see.

“Shhh, shhh, it’s OK,” the vampire murmured, twirling a strand of her hair around his finger then tucking it behind her ear.

“No, it’s not, the vision, it’s driving me crazy-”

“I know Cordy.”

“No you don’t,” she shook her head in exasperation.

“Cordelia, listen to me,” Angel cupped her chin in his hand and made the young woman look at him. “It’s OK.”

Cordelia searched his face for a long moment, unsure of what it was she was looking for, the truth maybe or perhaps just a simple reassurance.

“Close your eyes,” the vampire brushed his knuckles down the slope of her cheekbone, pressing his finger against her lips just as she was going to say she couldn’t, if she closed her eyes….

“Just trust me.” He reassured her, that was all it took because Cordelia did trust him, she might not trust her mind, her body, or herself right now, but she trusted Angel. With a short nod the brunette closed her eyes, letting out a jerky breath as her skin prickled to life under the images that flooded her system. Cordelia felt the ache in her brain begin to drift away on a sea of senses, letting everything she’d fought so hard to ignore in the last hour, the last week, soak into every nerve in her body until there was nothing but a desire she had never experienced before filling up every millimetre of her body.

Cordelia let herself sink down onto the mattress, feeling heavy and languid from an exhausting night that was far from over. She forgot about the horrors she’d seen, the stifling atmosphere of the club, the numerous desperate men who’d tried to crawl into her favour through a haze of after shave that she’d thought she’d smell for days…it all vanished until nothing else remained but the whisper soft caress of lips against her shoulder. She laid back, almost unable to move as her best friend trailed kisses down the valley of her breasts, his fingers twined through hers, keeping her safe, keeping her grounded, her body aching for something she was scared to put into words, scared to let herself acknowledge. Her best friend’s tongue dipping into her navel, licking her scent from her belly, inching lower and lower and lower.

Cordelia’s eyes flew open as she realised it wasn’t the vision that was making her breath leave her lungs in short erratic pants. It was Angel, not the vision she’d let herself succumb to. He was going to….

“Angel, what are you…oh my god….” She squeezed her eyes shut and bit her bottom lip as the vampire buried his face between her thighs. The brunette hadn’t even been aware that he’d been touching her, too wrapped up in the flashes in her mind, the way the vision made her feel to realise that it was Angel travelling her body and not just a message from the powers that be.

This was so incredibly beyond personal, beyond what they had to do, beyond the line they had wordlessly drawn when they’d began this weeks ago. But Cordelia didn’t stop him, she knew she should, but the words sat heavily in her throat and it just felt too damn good, his hands running up and down her sides, fingers brushing the underside of her breasts, his mouth devouring her like a starving man…he shouldn’t be doing this, she shouldn’t be enjoying it, she shouldn’t be moaning into her hand and lifting her hips off the bed like he was her lover and she desperately needed him.

She shouldn’t, but she was.

A fire inside her marrow and bone, nothing but liquid need arching her back off the bed, twisting her trembling fingers through his thick hair, Angel’s thick hair, her best friend’s thick hair. It had never been like this before, but then they’d never done this before, Angel had never given her such an intimate touch, his tongue travel over the most secrets parts of her, enjoying it, she knew he was enjoying it, it scared, thrilled and ashamed her, warring emotions boiling through her blood until she gasped and shuddered from her toes to the ends of her hair, wave after wave crashing against the shore until Cordelia moaned her release into her hands, it was too much, he shouldn’t have, they were friends, friends didn’t do this, oh god it had felt so good….

“Cordy?” Angel said as minutes ticked by without a word being uttered.

“Oh my god,” she mumbled breathlessly into the hands as the world slowly began to came back to her.

“Are you OK?”

“Oh. My. God.”

“You already said that.”

“Oh my-”

“Cordy, could you take your hands away from your face.”

“I don’t so,” Cordelia shook her head, embarrassment keeping her hands exactly where they were. Possibly forever.

“Cor…just….” Angel pried them away from her face.

“You shouldn’t have done that,” Cordelia hissed, her hand shooting out and smacking his shoulder before he saw it coming. “Friends do not go down on their friends!”

“Didn’t you enjoy it?” Angel frowned, suddenly scared that he’d done the wrong thing.

“That’s not the point,” Cordelia muttered wanting to hide her face in a pillow and never look Angel in the eye again.

“You enjoy it in the vision, don’t you?”

“That’s not-”

“No, that’s exactly the point.”


“Oh you enjoyed it,” Angel smirked knowingly.

“You’re an ass,” Cordelia rolled her eyes, the tension she that had suffused every molecule of her body since the vision had hit in the club no longer even registering on her radar.

“As long as you’re not telling me it was the n word or giving me the ‘it happens to all men’ speech, ass I can live with.”

“Well, there’s still a chance-” Cordelia’s words were cut short as a now familiar length of hard flesh was pressed against her hip. “OK, maybe not the ‘it happens to all men’ speech this time,” she bit the inside of her cheek to stifle a laugh, no longer mortified at the surrealness of the situation because her head no longer hurt, her body no longer ached and her fears were being chased away with every brush of Angel’s fingers through her hair.

Soft laughter and quiet conversation filled the room from then on, caresses that were no longer quite so tentative and nervous were shared between the two, they touched as lovers but talked as friends, it was strange and confusing but not as much as it had been before. When Angel moved slowly inside her he whispered nonsense into her ear to make her laugh as though they weren’t having sex to save her life, as though it were just another thing they did in their spare time like sparring or watching Leno. Cordelia kissed his shoulder, ran her fingers through his hair, called him a dork and smiled.

It still wasn’t the grand passion of her visions and dreams but Cordelia didn’t care because she felt light without the oppressive pain of another persons terror crowding her brain. Nothing else mattered but that


Angel quietly tugged on his boots as he sat on the end of Cordelia’s bed, the young woman’s breathing deep and even in her slumber, her hair a tangle of silk against her pillow, her skin still flushed pink.

A part of him wanted to stay in this bed and watch her sleep, wrap his arms around his best friend and make sure nothing ever harmed her again.

Yet he didn’t, that wasn’t part of the deal.

They were just friends.

He could still taste her on his lips, smell her scent on his skin, the ghost of her fingers gripping his shoulders.

Just friends.

The vampire pressed a kiss to the top of her head and pulled the sheet up to her shoulders, she shifted and sighed in her sleep but didn’t wake. Angel wondered what Cordelia would say in the morning if he did stay the night, what her reaction would be.

This time he wouldn’t find out.

Nothing but friends.

It was becoming harder for Angel to remember that.

Part 8

Posted in TBC

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