A Second Chance. 7

Part 7

Angel drug Cordelia across the room, seemingly unaware of her struggle to break free of him.

As the wall drew closer and closer, Cordy studied the chains with frightened, hazel eyes. They were like something out of a medieval dungeon. Hanging from two sturdy bolts buried deep in the stone walls. A thick, steele manacle at the end of each length of chain.

Angel had been shackled by those chains when he first got back from Hell. So they were strong enough to hold a half-crazed vampire.

There was no way she’d be able to break free.

Oh, God.

“No!” she screamed, and instinct took over. Blinded by panic, she stopped struggling to get away from him. Instead, she somehow managed to turn towards him. Professionally manicured hands forming into claws, she reached for his face. His eyes.

Powerful hands grabbed her wrists, squeezed until she was sure her bones would shatter. But she didn’t stop. If she could just hurt, somehow, then she could get…

Suddenly, Angel pushed her away from him. And, for one long moment, she was floating. Twisting through the air.

Her left side slammed into the wall. Her forehead hit stone with an audible CRACK.

Second time tonight, she thought groggily. Her legs collapsed and she slid to the floor, sitting down in an ungraceful heap. She groaned as pain shot across her brain, first here, then there. And her upper body begin to slump to the ground.

“Oh, God,” she heard Angel gasp. “Cordy!”

Cool hands grabbed her shoulders, pulled her back into a sitting position.

Cordy stared at him. Watched as he faded in and out of focus. His face was a study in guilt and remorse.

“I’m so sorry,” he said, his voice unsteady. “I’d never…I’d never want to hurt you, Cordelia.”

Even through the fog, her mind noticed the distinction. He didn’t say he wouldn’t hurt her. Just that he didn’t want to.

When the room tilted behind him, Cordy closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She focussed on the pain, which helped clear away some of the fog. Feeling more alert, she opened her eyes.

And found Angel staring at her forehead, his fingers digging into her shoulders. He seemed mesmerized by…something.

And Cordy realized the cut she’d felt earlier was stinging. Had probably reopened when her head hit the wall. She could feel a whisper against her skin, trailing from the cut.


Her heart leapt in her chest. Unstable vampire. Her blood on full display.

Not a good combination.

“So,” she said, her voice a little loud. Anything to divert his attention. “Who’s the lucky girl? I know Buffy wouldn’t have been stupid enough to give you another happy. So, what happened? Been getting some on the side?”

A confused frown creased Angel’s intense brow. Then, as he seemed to catch her meaning, his expression cleared. The shadow of a smile, grim and bitter, quirked his lips. “I haven’t lost my soul, Cordelia. If I had, I wouldn’t”—like a physical blow, his eyes drilled into hers—“I wouldn’t hurt this much.”

Cordy tried, but couldn’t look away. His eyes were like two open wounds, lost and aching. She wasn’t known for her ability to empathise with others. But even she could see it. If the eyes were the windows to the soul, his was in shreds.

“Then why?” she asked, her voice shaking. “If you haven’t gone all evil, why are you doing this?”

“Because I love you.”

Cordelia’s heart leapt in her chest. No-one had ever said that to her before. Not with such certainty. With such raw, naked emotion.

And it terrified her. Sent a shiver racing down her spine.

Cordy pressed her back into the wall. Tried to shrug his hands off of her shoulders. But he wouldn’t let go.

He wasn’t going to let her go.

“Look, this is crazy!” she exclaimed, an hysterical edge to her voice. “A few days ago, you didn’t even notice me. You can’t…”

“I love you,” he insisted, his voice as dark and wounded as his eyes. “And I can’t live without you.” His glance drifted towards the chains. “Not again.”

Eyes wide disbelief, she watched him reach towards one of the shackles. He was going to do this. He was really going to…

Cordy didn’t think. She just lunged towards him.

Already off-balanced by his crouched position, his attention focused on the chains, he wasn’t prepared. Her tackle sent him crashing to his back. His head smacked against the floor.

Cordelia landed on top of him with an UMPH. Startled for a moment by her position, Cordy froze, unsure what to do now. The sound of his moan, the vibration of it flowing from his chest to her hands, snapped her back to her senses. She started to push away from her.

Lightening quick, despite the fact that he seemed a little dazed, his hands grabbed her arms.

“No!” Cordy cried, as she slammed her knee into his groin.

Angel let out a strangled moan. His hold on her slackened just enough.

Feeling a moments satisfaction, Cordy rolled off of him. Jumped to her feet.

Pain exploded through her head. The room twirled around her. Darkness clouded the edges of her vision.

With a startled gasp, Cordelia collapsed to her knees. Eyes squeezing shut, she took a deep breath and waited for the dizziness to pass.

Get the hell up, idiot! an inner voice screamed. Get up and get out of here!

But the dizziness didn’t pass. And the voice started to fade. Along with everything else.

Slowly, she collapsed to the floor. The marble was cold against her cheek.

As her consciousness slipped away, she heard a deep, rumbling growl.


Angel tossed Cordelia’s unconscious form onto the bed, the gentle concern he’d displayed earlier all but gone.

He glared down at her, his eyes angry gold. Fangs were revealed as his lips curled back in a snarl.

Tears ran, unheeded, down his cheeks.

A growl cut through the stillness of the room as he took a step towards the bed.

No! an inner voice exclaimed. I can’t touch her. Not now. If I touch her, I’ll…

Look at her, said another voice. So beautiful. The most beautiful…

She’ll never love me now? another chimed in. After what I’ve done? The only thing she’ll ever feel for me is fear.

It was a chorus of overlapping voices. A din that got louder and louder.

Disconcerted, Angel staggered away from the bed. The voices were like nails, scraping across his scull. Slithering around under his scalp. Scattering every thought before it could take hold.

They’ll realize she’s missing. They’ll come looking for her. They’ll take her away. They’ll take her…

Hate. That’s all she’ll give me now. I never wanted her to be afraid of…

Take her somewhere. Somewhere safe. I’m good at hiding. They’ll never find…

Cordelia moaned.

Angel’s eyes snapped to her face. To the trickles of blood that seeped from the reopened wound.

A hungry growl, low and longing, rumbled in his chest.

No! I could never…I wouldn’t…

He could feel a part of him rebelling, horrified that he could ever think of touching Cordelia that way.

Even as his toungue glided across the sharpness of his fangs.


Cordelia woke with a start. The memory of a sound echoed through her mind.

It sounded like…slamming. Something slamming. A door?

Slowly, mindful of her throbbing head, Cordelia sat up. She took a deep breath and let her head fall forward, until her chin rested against her chest.

Disappointment coursed through her. She’d been so close to getting away. But no! Her stupid concussion, or whatever, knocks her off her feet before she could make her great escape.

“This just isn’t my night,” she muttered.

Swallowing the panic that tried to choke her, she studied her surroundings. She was back in the bedroom. And alone.

She considered her options. There were the windows, which were covered with thick, damask curtains. She’d bet they were boarded over. Couldn’t let the psycho vamp burst into flames while he’s trying to catch some Z’s.

Even if the windows weren’t boarded over, they was nailed shut. And, even if they weren’t nailed shut, that was no guarantee she’d be able to get one open.

The door was option number two. Maybe it wasn’t locked. But she couldn’t believe Angel would leave her in a room that was that easy to get out of.

As she tried to decide which was her best bet, her eyes continued to roam around the room. Searching for a weapon. Or something.

She almost looked past the antique wardrobe. But her eyes caught a glimpse of something through the partially open door.

Something familiar.

“My purse!” she gasped.

Cordy resisted the urge to jump off of the bed, Instead, stood up as slowly as possible. The room hardly swirled at all this time.

Fingers crossed, she made her way to the wardrobe. And her purse.

She prayed her mister was inside.


Angel paced outside the door, hands fisting and unfisting at his sides. An animal trapped in a cage.

The cage was the part of him that was still rational. Rational enough to force him to leave the room. To try to get some kind of control over his raging emotions.

But the voices still clashed inside his head, pushing control further and further away.

Back and forth he paced. Back and forth.

I’ve lost her. I never had her. Not really. And I’ve lost her.

She’ll never love me. I can lock her away from everything, until I’m all she has. And she’ll hate me for it.

He took a deep, unneeded breath. And was almost overwhelmed by the scent of Cordy’s blood.

It took him a moment to realize the scent was too potent to be coming through the door. It was close. Very close.

He glanced down at his hand, at the smear of moist red. Vibrant crimson against his pale skin.

He lifted his hand, eyes following its progress. Mesmerized.

He breathed deep, Let the scent flood his senses. Closed his eyes. Pressed his hand to his lips.

Sweet richness exploded inside his mouth. Memories flooded through his mind. Every sweet, beautiful memory Cordelia had ever given him.

The voices in his mind ceased, leaving deafening silence behind.

His jumbled emotions stilled, leaving perfect clarity in their wake.

There was a way to make her love him. Stay with him. Because no matter how much they denied it, how much they fought it, rebelled against it…

…A childe couldn’t help but love their sire.

Part 8

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