The Broken Pieces. 13

Part 13

Buffy mapped the surface of the table with her fingertips, tracing the wooden swirls and lines as she tried to understand how this could happen. So many times she had sat here with her friends as they had discussed the latest nasty, planned how to save the world over pizza and tea.

There had been tears, laughter, love and pain soaked into the smooth grain but the Slayer felt none of that now.

Buffy was numb. The man she had loved had fallen in love with someone else, slept with someone else and it made her feel nothing but numb.

“How long has this been going on?” Buffy asked quietly, the anger that had consumed her when she’d learnt the truth only twenty minutes before was easier to deal with than this, this heartbreak.

“Not long.” Angel said as he sat opposite her, his elbows on the table and his head in his hands.

“How long?” She demanded needing an answer for reasons she couldn’t put into words.

“About a week.” The vampire knew that even though he and Cordelia had fallen into bed with each other only two days ago it had really started the moment Angel had watched her cry from the shadows.

“God I feel so stupid.” The slayer muttered as she dragged her hands through her hair. “I had no idea….”

“I never meant-“

“Don’t Angel, I don’t wanna hear how you didn’t mean to hurt me, how you never meant for it to happen.” She cut of his apology before he could really even begin it, any comfort in his words would be forever tainted with betrayal and deception and Buffy couldn’t bare to hear his voice whisper them.

“I’m sorry.” Angel said penitently, the thick silence of the library swallowed his contrition and made it sound meaningless to even his ears.

“You’re sorry?” Buffy laughed bitterly, her throat thick with emotion. “Change the record Angel, that doesn’t work on me anymore.” The slayer felt the hot prickle of tears burning her eyes and compounding her anger. The vampire couldn’t bring himself to meet her gaze, to look into her young eyes and see the hurt he had put there.

“Why? Why Cordelia of all people?”

“I don’t-“

“No Angel, I want a real answer, not I don’t know. You owe me that much at least.”

“It just happened Buffy, there’s no rhyme or reason to it.” Angel sighed and rubbed his eyes.

“You never even cast a glance at her before and now you’re in love with her? What the hell happened between then and now?”

“Nothing…everything…She needed somebody, she lost…She’s not who you think she is Buffy, she’s….Cordelia just needed a friend.”

“And you thought you were the best applicant for the job?” Buffy scoffed as she tried to ignore the way he said the cheerleaders name.

“I don’t want to drag Cordy into this. “

Cordy. Not Cordelia. Cordy. Knowing, familiar, affectionate, loving…and Buffy hated the brunette for it. Hated that Angel said Cordelia’s name like she¬†was everything to him when it should have been Buffy.

“Well tough because she is in this. She’s right smack bang in the middle of this.”

“It’s not her fault.”

“No? Then who’s fault is it Angel? Mine? Was I not enough for you that you had to go look elsewhere? Was it just that she put out and I didn’t? What was it Angel, tell me because I don’t understand any of this!? I don’t understand how you can fall in love with another girl in seven days! Seven days!What the hell is so goddamn special about Cordelia Chase that you stopped loving me and fell in love with her in seven days!!”

Buffy Summer’s was shaking with an anger that had propelled her out of her seat, her vision was blurred and it was only after she stopped shouting that she realised she was crying, tears falling down her face because the man she loved wasn’t who she thought he was.

“I didn’t stop loving you Buffy.” Angel didn’t know how to make her understand, how to make this better, make it so he hadn’t so carelessly broken this young woman’s heart.

“Is that meant to make everything OK?”

“No, but I don’t know what else to say to Buffy-.”

“Nothing you say can make this better.”

“I know.”

“Are you really in love with her?”

“I-.”

“You know what? I don’t want to hear it, I don’t want to know. I don’t want to know how it happened, how wonderful Cordelia is, how you never wanted to hurt me like this because it’s too late. You have hurt me like this.”

“Buffy-” The vampire reached out his hand to her.

“Angel….” Buffy stepped away from his reach. “Leave…just…just leave.”

She turned her back on him letting him know they were done, Buffy and Angel were over. The slayer heard the creak of the library doors swinging with his silent departure from her life. Buffy dragged her hands through her hair crumpled limply down into the chair, she broke down in his absence, her shoulders shaking as she cried into her hands, Slayer hands that had slain vampires and saved the world, strong, powerful…but could do nothing to keep her heart from being torn apart.

“Buffy?” Giles knelt down before the inconsolable young woman who sat alone crying in the library of Sunnydale High.

“Giles.” Buffy sniffed loudly and wiped the tears from her face, trying to gain control of herself and her emotions but the understanding on the face of her Watcher made her crumble again but this time into the safe harbour of Giles’ arms.

“Shh shh….” Giles whispered softly as his Slayer cried into his shirt, deep gut wrenching sobs that made the Englishman want to tear Angel’s limbs from him one by one.

***

Cordelia Chase was functioning on automatic pilot.

Remove makeup.

Shower.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Breathe.

Don’t think about how much it hurts.

The cheerleader pulled the brush through her wet hair, once, twice, a hundred times and everything would be OK as long as long as she didn’t think. She pulled on a pair of sweats and a vest, rubbed moisturiser into her elbows and hands.

Don’t think about Angel and the way his hands had held you safe as the world flew apart.

She picked up the clothes from the motel room floor, stripped the sheets from the bed because they stank of lies and a foolish girl that thought she’d had more than she actually did.

As her car had pulled away from the High school the tears had stopped and she’d be damned if she let herself go like that again. She was Cordelia Chase and she didn’t do crying. Didn’t have a heart. She was better than that, she wasn’t going to sit in the dark and cry over something she never really had in the first place.

So she’d thought she meant more to Angel than she did.

So what?

Get over it loser.

Just don’t think about anything.

Cordelia turned on the small fuzzy television and put clean starchy sheets on the bed. Off white but clean, no memories of whispered conversation and slippery flesh, just clean sheets.

Clean. Empty. No Angel.

Cordelia brushed her hair again and wondered if she could afford a pedicure. Probably not. She’d left a bag of her belongings at the vampire’s apartment, clothes, perfume, lipstick, her heart, underwear, a history book.

Her heart.

She wondered how she could pick her stuff up without seeing him, a midnight raid maybe with grappling hooks and night vision goggles. A laugh bubbled up from her throat but she quickly stopped it’s entry into the world by her hand.

Don’t smile, don’t laugh, don’t cry.

Just…don’t feel anything. Don’t feel how scared you are, how alone this room feels without him, how quiet it is.

It was nothing. A mistake. Cordelia scolded herself as she stared blankly at the flickering images on the tv. It’s not as though it even went on for months and months. Seven days. A few as lovers, more as friends. Seven days that need to be forgotten. Get over it Cordelia. You knew he loved Buffy, you knew that when he was inside you, surrounding you, taking you over.

You were naive, stupid and naive. He’s not gonna cry over you so don’t you dare cry over him-

“Cordelia?” Angel’s voice drifting in through the closed door broke through her self scorn. For a moment the brunette thought she might just be imagining it….

“Cordy, I know you’re in there…please open the door baby….” He called out again letting Cordelia know that she hadn’t lost her mind and was hearing things.

She stared at the double locked door as though she could see through it, wondering how long he’d been out there as she’d silently talked to herself, knowing the exact way he’d be leaning his forehead against the dirty wood, his fists bunched and itching to just punch through, patience not being one of his stronger attributes.

Baby? He doesn’t get to call me that anymore. Doesn’t he know that?

“Cordy…please…let me in….”

Silence.

Tick tock tick tock.

“Dammit Cordelia open the door!” His voice rose as he demanded entry to her room just as he demanded entry to her heart. She wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice. The brunette turned the volume up on the television to drown out his voice and her thoughts but failed on both accounts.

***

Angel leant his head against the grimy paint peeling door, his hands fisted as he attempted to quell the desire to pound his fists or hell, just kick the damn door in. He knew she was in there, he could hear the tv on, hear her heart beating, smell her perfume. Cordelia was in there and she wasn’t answering the door.

Why wasn’t she answering the damn door?

“Cordelia. Open. The. Door.” The vampire said through gritted teeth loud enough to be heard three rooms down.

“Hey buddy, d’ya think you could keep it down out here, some of us are trying to watch the game.” Cordelia’s next door neighbour, the one that thought it was just fine to throw his woman against the wall and call her whore, poked his head out from his room, all shaved head and skull tattoos.

“You wanna make me?” Angel growled and didn’t even look his way.

“Maybe I do.” The no-necked Neanderthal was quick to rise to a challenge, too many years of beer and testosterone coursing through his body to realise that stepping up to Angel would be the last thing he ever did.

“Well come on then, I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.” The vampire let his forehead ridge and teeth elongate, turning his head slightly towards the human. Angel could almost hear the man swallow, this type were all the same, they could raise a hand to the one that loved them but come face to face with something that could show them the real meaning of pain and they peed in their pants.

“What’s….”

“Go back inside, watch your game, and if I ever hear you even mutter a curse to your girlfriend again I’ll break every bone in your body without batting an eye.” Angel told him evenly, letting no-neck know he was out of his league. The man nodded mutely and slipped back into his room, twisting the locks and pushing a chair up against the door behind him.

Angel shook the demon from his face and took a deep gulp of useless air into his lungs and focused his attention back on the silent door and the woman he could hear inside. Cordelia had become everything to him in seven days, her scent still lingered on his clothes, painting his skin like a misty water colour blue, he could taste her on his lips, feel her in his blood

“Cordy…please….” He whispered from his soul, his need to see the brunette, to hold her in his arms, to kiss her soft lips was thrumming through his dead body making him feel alive like no one else could. A bubble of hope sprang in his chest when he heard sounds of movement in the room, the tv being turned off, her breathing near the door.

Please don’t shut me out Cordy, please, open the door. Angel silently begged her as he listened to her life beating from the opposite side of the wood. Everything he wanted was in that room, her smile, her laughter, her tears and venom. She was Cordelia Chase, Cordy, Queen C and Angel loved and needed all of her.

***

Cordelia was torn as she mirrored the vampire’s stance on her side of the door, bodies separated by wood and assumptions. She rested her palms on the barrier and closed her eyes, willing her heart to stop beating to so loud and fast, to not give her away and embarrass her further.

It would be so easy for her to let him in, fall into his arms and carry on pretending. But Cordelia was done with pretending, done with playing the scarlet woman and having a heart.

Seven goddamn days and she’d forgotten who she was.

Who she was meant to be.

“Cordy…please baby…. “

Square your shoulders, raise your chin, hide your heart and remember to breathe.

Then she finally opened the door….

Cordelia fixed Angel with an unreadable look from between the thin opening allowed by the chain lock. This wasn’t exactly what he’d been hoping for but it was better then talking to green paint.

“You OK?” Angel’s fingers itched to reach through the gap and run his fingers over her cheek.

“I’m fine.” Cordelia said coolly and flicked her hair idly over her shoulder.

“Cordy-“

“What do you want Angel?” She cut him off before he even had the chance to make this better…because she knew he would, he’d make her believe that it was her he wanted when she knew full well that he loved Buffy.

“Come home with me.” Angel said softly, cut by her cold tone.

“I don’t think so.” Cordelia shook her head, tightening the belt of her robe around her waist, not daring to look the vampire in the eye.

“Why not?” Angel frowned.

“Would you like a list of reasons?” The cheerleader scoffed.

“Cordelia-“

“Look Angel, I’m tired, I just wanna get some sleep….” Cordelia attempted to push the door closed but Angel held it open with his hand.

“We need to talk.” Angel knew she was upset, there was a sadness in her eyes that he couldn’t understand.

“There’s nothing to talk about.”

“There’s everything to talk about. Like us, for a start!” The vampire said incredulously. Angel needed her to let him in, to let him wrap his arms around her and find sanctuary in her warm embrace.

“There is no us.” The cheerleader stated flatly even when her heart body and soul was screaming at her to just open the damn door and let him in. But Cordelia was done listening to her heart, it had brought her nothing but trouble, she’d denied what her brain and her common-sense told her because she thought he loved her like she loved him…but that ended now.

“Since when?”

“There was never an us, there was just a mistake that went too far. It’s over OK? It was fun while it lasted but that’s all it was. A fun mistake that shouldn’t happened.”

“You don’t mean that.” Angel whispered, his eyes crying out for her. Cordelia couldn’t meet his gaze knowing it would be her undoing.

Angel doesn’t love you, it was just a mistake, he loves Buffy, you heard him tell her he loves her twice, he hasn’t promised you anything, he made no promises. It was just sex. You were the only one that wanted more.

“Yes I do.” Cordelia put the final brick in place.

“Cor-“

“You made your choice, go back to your girlfriend.” Cordelia did something Angel thought she would never do, would never use against him because she knew him, understood him, had thought she loved him. She pulled out a cross from the pocket of her robe and placed it against his hand until pale skin smoked, Angel reeled back in surprise giving the cheerleader the opportunity to slam the door and lock it in his face.

Cordelia turned on the tv, turned up the volume to it’s highest setting, drowned the vampire out…and finally cried.

As much as she hated to admit it, she did have a heart.

It was just broken is all.

***

The next day life went on as normal at Sunnydale High school, well as normal as life on the Hellmouth could be anyway. Cheerleaders cheered, science geeks wheezed and the ones in between did whatever they did to get through the day. A regular California day, the usual humidity, maybe a chance of showers in the evening.

See, normal.

Expect two heart were broken in the hazy lunch time sunshine and nothing either could do helped to ease that crippling ache. Two girls that might have been friends in different circumstances had dragged themselves through the day as though they were swimming through molasses, one with a bright smile on her face that didn’t quite meet her eyes and the other with a sadness in her eyes that infected anyone that stumbled her way.

Cordelia Chase sat with her cheerleader friends, laughing at all the right moments, snarking when it was expected. She gazed at her nails in boredom when Harmony asked if the rumour was true, that she’d stolen Buffy Summers’ handsome older boyfriend.

“Harmony, as if I’d want anything that freak had touched.” The brunette had sneered and picked at the salad in front of her.

In times of crisis Cordelia had a tendency to fall back on what she was familiar with. Smile, bitch, flirt and not give a damn about anything or anyone. It was usually easy, comforting to hide behind a wall of indifference but that wall had been chipped away enough for the pain to creep through. Cordelia could throw her head back and laugh, flutter her eyelashes at the jocks and spit venom at the unworthy and appear to not have one care in the world but inside she was screaming for the day to end.

Buffy Summers on the other hand couldn’t crack a smile if you paid her. Her pain had become her best friend, quiet, reliable and all consuming. It wouldn’t let her down, wouldn’t hide secrets from her, wouldn’t fall in love with another girl. She was the Slayer, the chosen one, the one girl in all the world blah blah blah but the man she loved had strayed and no amount of strength and otherworldly powers could bring him back to her.

The Slayer, the chosen one, the one girl in all the world sat in the golden sunshine, flanked either side by Willow and Xander, staring at the shiny apple in her hands that she couldn’t bring herself to eat.

“I don’t want to talk about it.” Had become Buffy’s stock reply to her friends hesitant inquiries of what had happened the night before.

Buffy didn’t want to talk, didn’t want to listen to the redheads reasons for not telling her, didn’t want to hear the dark haired boy’s testosterone fuelled threats of what he was going to do to Angel. Buffy just wanted to sit here in the sun and wait for the day to be over so she could go home to her Mom who would make everything better.

Cordelia and Buffy sat on either side of the High school courtyard, both pretending the other wasn’t there, that the conversation that had to take place wasn’t going to happen.

But it was, Buffy was hurting and Cordelia was jealous and both were fixing for a fight.

The Slayer was the first to move, throwing her uneaten lunch in the trash can and walking away from her silent friends without saying a word. Cordelia saw her approaching from the corner of her hazel eye, the grey cloud that had been shadowing the blonde girl that she’d done her best to avoid the entire day following over her head, fury and righteous indignation swirling together into a storm that was soon to meet a wall of jealousy and anger.

“Do you really want to do this here?” The Cordelia stood up when Buffy finally reached her.

“You bitch.” Buffy spat at her with disgust loud enough for the entire quad to hear. Cordelia felt a thousand eyes searing her flesh, eager to see the downfall of Queen C

“OK, apparently you do.” Cordelia flicked her hair over her shoulder and folded her arms across her chest. If they wanted a show, she’d give them a show.

“Where the hell do you get off Chase?”

“You mean apart from with your boyfriend?”

“You don’t have an ounce of conscience in your body do you?”

“Listen Summers, your beef is with Angel not me.”

“Wrong, you’re the bitch that screwed my boyfriend for the hell of it so my beef is very much with you.”

“It’s not my fault Angel finally realised what a real woman was.” Cordelia sneered and look the slayer up and down with derision.

“A real woman? Ha! You’re nothing but a vapid whore whose bra size is bigger than her IQ.” Buffy’s mouth twisted with disgust.

“Oh, she did not just go there.” Aura whispered to Harmony who shushed her not wanting to miss the show.

“Speaks a three foot tall psychopath freak that spends all her spare time with the school librarian and her evenings in cemeteries.”

“I bet your Mom’s real proud of you, flat on your back and following in her footsteps. Mother and daughter with matching slutty reputations. Bravo.”

The air prickled with tense anticipation as their audience waited for Queen C’s scathing come back.

“Listen you short assed, trumped up, self righteous, style-less midget….” Cordelia trailed off as she realised she didn’t have the energy for this, didn’t have the energy to pretend her heart wasn’t broken as well as have the expected cat fight with the wronged woman. “Buffy, just get over it.” She sighed picking up her bag and turning her back on the blonde, incensed Buffy grabbed her arm and spun her back around to face her, she wasn’t done yet.

“Get over it? GET OVER IT?!” Buffy screeched, the grip on the cheerleaders arm was too tight and would leave a bruise but she didn’t care because Angel had fallen in love with someone else and someone had to pay.

“Let go of me.” Cordelia winced and tried to jerk her arm out of the blondes grasp to no avail.

“Who the hell do you think you are? What gives you the right to go around breaking relationships up? Because you’re Cordelia fucking Chase and what you say is law? Because you don’t give a damn about anything or anyone but yourself? You screw the man I love and you tell me to get over it? You heartless bitch!” The Slayer raised her palm to slap the girl that had stolen everything from her, to knock Cordelia down and make herself feel better but she was stopped before she could connect a stinging blow.

“Buffy…don’t do this.” Xander’s voice broke through the her haze of anger, his hand circling her small wrist, holding her back.

“She-“

“I know, but if you hurt her you’ll never forgive yourself Buffy.”

Cordelia finally snagged her arm away from Buffy, her dignity in pieces, her pride shattered…but the wall still intact.

***

Angel had made a mistake. He knew that now as he paced in the silent gloom of his apartment, it was a mistake that filled him with regret and made his soul ache with her absence. The shadows were oppressive without her, the silence stifling without her soft laughter.

Angel had made a mistake…he hadn’t kicked the motel door down and made Cordelia listen to him. Stung by her rejection and the cross that had burnt his flesh Angel had stared silently at the door as her words had cut him to the quick…

A fun mistake that shouldn’t have happened.

…and then Angel had walked away like he promised he wouldn’t do the first night they’d made love as Cordelia had stared out into the rain. But she’d slammed the door shut in his face, kicked him out of her life as easily as he’d walked into it and he’d walked away. He didn’t know why he’d left without so much of a fight, too quick to accept defeat and return to an empty home still infused with her scent, wanting nothing more than to wallow in Cordelia’s absence.

It wasn’t until the sun was inching over the horizon, trapping him inside with nothing but his memories as companions that he realised what a stupid mistake he’d made. In fact, make that two stupid mistakes.

He’d walked away…and he’d never told Cordelia Chase that he loved her.

He’d never finished that sentence when Giles had caught them, he didn’t stop and reassure Cordelia that it was her that he wanted, he’d been too consumed by the knowledge that Buffy might find out before he had the chance to talk to her that he had inadvertently hurt the woman he had fallen in love with.

The vampire was a putz.

Two hundred and forty one years on the earth and he still sucked with women, he had no idea how their minds worked, how their hearts could scream one thing but their brain could convince them of another. The hurt he had seen in Cordelia’s eyes the night before was because she’d assumed something that wasn’t true and he hadn’t told her who had his heart.

Angel glared at the small clock on his desk, a half hour to sunset. Thirty minutes until he could set right the wrongs of the past twenty four hours. One thousand, eight hundred seconds more of Cordelia thinking that it wasn’t her he wanted, needed, loved.

***

Cordelia had come to a decision on her way home from school, she was leaving, getting out of this two bit Hellmouth town and going somewhere where people didn’t look at her like she was a serial killer because she’d fallen in love with someone she shouldn’t have.

The whispered rumour had spread like wild fire truth around the school after lunch, coupled with a new and even more debilitating piece of gossip that Queen C was living at the Sunnydale Motel. She didn’t know how that one had been found out, who had over heard what conversation but the truth was simmering and ready to boil over.

Everything had fallen apart and all Cordelia wanted to do was run and find her Mom, cry and curse and be someone new because tomorrow she wouldn’t be Queen C, wouldn’t be Angel’s Cordy…she’d just be the girl that had nothing and screwed Buffy Summers’ boyfriend.

It was too humiliating.

And all Angel’s fault. He was the one who’d made her feel not so alone, that had made her believe that what people thought she was wasn’t who she had to be. His body and soul had whispered silent promises to her that he didn’t mean and Cordelia was so angry with him she wanted to scream.

How dare Angel do this to her, how dare he walk into her life and turn it even more upside down than it already was. Cordelia gone from being destitute and alone to destitute, alone, the school joke and the slayer’s punching bag.

The brunette threw the last of her belongings into her suitcase ready for the morning when she could scurry away without being seen then applied another coat of gloss to her lips.

Yes she was destitute, alone, the school joke and the slayer’s punching bag but damn she still looked good. One more night of being Queen was what she wanted, one more night of walking with her head held high before the full truth of her situation spilled out into the general populus. One more night to pretend and forget…then she was out of here for good. Vampires, slayers and hearts be damned.

She was Cordelia Chase.

***

Angel sat at the bar of the Bronze, his back to the entrance because he would know when she arrived, would feel her presence, smell her perfume, hear her heart pounding in her chest. The music was loud and the liquor weak, the vampire hated this place and he didn’t know why he spent so much time here, amongst the living. Angel swirled his drink around idly and waited, he knew she’d be come here tonight because he knew Cordelia Chase, they may have only had a week together, seven days to fall into a love that would bring him to his knees, but he knew her, he might not completely understand her, but he knew her.

Cordelia would come here to forget, to surround herself with faceless nobodies just as she had before when she was trying to hide from the truth. He’d gone to her motel and watched her from across the street just as he had done that first night a week ago, watched her talk to herself as she angrily threw clothes into a bag. If she thought she was just up and leaving without him putting up an fight she was very much mistaken.

Angel swallowed the last dregs if his drink and waited in a place he detested because he was in love…he didn’t have to wait for long.

***

Cordelia weaved her way through the club, avoiding people she knew because she was here to forget, ironically forgetting the fact that the last time she had tried to do this she’d ended up with Angel in her bed and a life ten times more wonderful and complicated than it had been in the first place.

While she beamed a fake smile to some guy whose eyes weren’t dark enough, whose shoulders weren’t strong enough she felt the hairs on the back of her neck prickle in a far too familiar way. She was being watched, she could feel it in her bones just as she had the night….

Angel.

He was here somewhere.

Cordelia scanned the crowd looking for his face, ready to run out the way she’d walked in at the first sight of the man she was in love with but she couldn’t see him.

“Can I buy you a drink?” A sweet looking boy that knew nothing about the workings of a woman’s heart, all sincere smile and perfect hair sidled up to Cordelia as she continued to dart quick glances around the club, shouting above the music.

Smile, flirt, breathe. Be the Queen.

“That sounds-“

“Beat it.” A too familiar voice growled from behind her making the sweet looking boy scramble away because dude, did his eyes just glow yellow?

“You just don’t get the message do you?” Cordelia sighed and turned to face Angel.

Breathe.

“Stop it.” Angel cut through the crap with two simple words.

“Stop what?” She folded her arms across her chest and arched a disdainful eyebrow at him.

“Whatever you’re thinking, whatever you’re doing, just stop it.”

“Pfft, whatever.” Cordelia huffed and went to walk away from him but the vampire stopped her before she could take a step.

“No, you’re not running away from this.”

“OK, is it grab Cordelia day today or something?” The cheerleader muttered but didn’t attempt to pull out of his grasp.

“You have a bruise on your arm.” Angel frowned and ran his cool finger gently over the red mark marring the perfect skin of her arm.

“No shit sherlock, your psycho girlfriend thought she’d take a piece of me today. Now if we’re done here I have an else where to be.”

“I don’t think so.” He refused to let her go, there was no way on earth Angel was going to let this woman walk out on what they had because he was an idiot and she closed herself off to him.

“Oh I’m sorry did I miss the part where you have a say in what I do?” Cordelia scowled at him, her beautiful eyes shooting a fire at him that he’d missed in the last twenty four hours.

“Do you have any idea how infuriating you are?” Angel sighed, god he loved this girl, he reached out to brush the stray strands of chocolate hair from her face.

“Don’t…you can’t do that anymore.” Cordelia jerked away from his hand, the memory of the night before still too fresh in her memory.

“Cordy-“

“If Buffy catches you here talking to me she’ll give me a matching eye to go with my arm.” She warned him, trying not to notice how his eyes saw nothing but her. You’re not the one he loves, get over it.

“I won’t let her hurt you.”

“No, you hurt me just fine on your own Angel.” She yanked out of his grasp and finally walked away from him, not realising that the band had finished their set and that their conversation could be heard by everyone around them. Two days ago their affair had been shrouded in a comfortable silence but now it was out for the world to see and hear.

“I made a mistake.” Angel followed her relentlessly.

“We both did. Lets just move on with our lives and forget it ever happened.” Cordelia dismissed him over her shoulder as she pushed her way through the throngs of curious spectators.

“God dammit woman.” Angel recaptured her arm, spinning her around to face him. “I’m in love with you!”

Part 14

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