The pack of vampire demons they found indeed had the frat boys surrounded. From where Cordelia sat in Giles’ car she saw Buffy, Riley and Angelus marching up to the now snarling demon.
The young woman allowed herself a few seconds for just watching Angelus strut up to the pack with a smirk and his game face. The commando had lithe easy motions – but the vampire!
Cordelia recalled a previous statement about salty goodness and realized she’d been right on the money.
Angelus has his own unique pull to him. It was the way he walked up to the demon, fangs bared, the booted heel sending the demon sprawling away so he could take his time and play. Play with his new toy.
Giles’ coat discarded to the ground, the black silk shirt open around his throat, pulled out of the confines of his leather pants.
While the night had dawned, he’d finally convinced Giles to let him grab some clothes of his own and now Cordelia saw the confidence with which he went about disposing demon after demon.
She smirked. She always did think the right threads could make the `tude.
Putting her arms on the steering wheel, her chin resting on her arms she watched Buffy exchange blows, she saw Riley duck and parry, but it was Angelus who mocked, laughed and held all of Cordelia Chase’s attention.
Lips drifting up at the corner, she gazed with amusement at her own appreciation of the dance of death. But maybe she was just morbid and maybe Angelus was just too damned studly for his own good.
Glaring at her train of thought, Cordelia slumped back in her seat, grumpily muttering about good-looking dead guys. And now she was bound to him for life. She sighed at the irony.
To find someone as yummy as him and for him to be Buffy’s ex and a vampire. It was just not fair.
Looking up at the heavens she glared. “Don’t I ever get a break?”
With a bereaved sigh, she slid her gaze back to the vampire and nearly choked. Kicking her door open she ran across the park just as Buffy’s fist connected with her vampire’s jaw. “Hey!” Jumping between them, unthinkingly putting herself between Angelus and the slayer, she glared at the flailing woman in Riley’s grip.
“What the hell is your damage?”
“ME!?” Buffy spit out, her green eyes flashing with rage. “He’s the one who goads me and incites ME!”
Angelus rubbed the sore spot on his jaw, his eyes still spitting fire as he watched the slayer struggle in the commando’s arms. Every instinct told him to reach forward and snap her scrawny neck, but the brunette was still standing between them and the insistent throbbing in his temple told him to keep his homicidal urges in check.
But that didn’t include the onslaught of his tongue. A few well placed words and the slayer was back in kick-butt mode. No amount of borrowed blood could sate the demon while the slayer was around.
“Incite or entice you Slayer? But then you slayers can never really make up your mind, can you?”
Cordelia yelped at Buffy’s guttural snarl and jumped back against Angelus, her hand reaching back to curl into the collar of his silk shirt. She could almost feel the quip on his tongue. “Angelus…”
But he didn’t heed her warning; smirking banefully, he fixed his eyes on the green of the slayer’s. “Ever wonder why the soul didn’t stay? The goddamn ultimate happiness and all that crap that means so much to you Buff. Your tragic love farce about soul mates and two halves of a fucking whole! The truth is slayer; YOU were not the other half.”
Cordelia spun around when Angelus started his tirade and she tried to grab him, tried to make him shut up, tried to put a hand over his mouth but he wasn’t done, he grabbed both her wrists and continued.
Cordelia had only one other weapon left. “Your pathetic attempt at the fuck of a lifetime killed the soul. Because you were do damned bad at sucking my-”
Angelus had been so busy firing barbs; he didn’t see the panic chase dogmatic determination on the cheerleader’s face before her mouth was crushed against his and all sound was stolen from him.
Now the demon was a thing of action, but when he felt the soft wide mouth of one Cordelia Chase against his own, he missed those few precious seconds to react; she drew back and took a deep breath.
Buffy Summers had gone deathly still in Riley’s arms.
Cordelia however took a deep smug breath, happy to finally have the silence around her. “Well good. We’re silent. I was starting toMUFFFPH!”
Only he hadn’t given her a moment to inquire what was his damage was. Taking advantage of her agape mouth and bewildered state, he stepped against her, arms wrapping around her like iron bands, one holding her around the waist tightly, the other up her back, hand tangling in her hair and his mouth slanted on Cordelia’s.
Like Xander’s, his mouth was full and firm, but that was where the similarity ended. None of the dreamy kisses she’d shared with Xander compared to this burst, this shock of having a man’s skillful lips devouring hers.
Or the hot, impatient way he used his tongue and teeth to simply drink her in, to focus every thought, every feeling, every need into that points where mouth met mouth.
Angelus had reacted on instinct when she’d pulled away. The kiss she’d bestowed on him was hard, jarring and distracting. Mouth closed, lips pressing into his with vehemence.
But when he’d grabbed her again, he hadn’t intended to give her a moment to defend herself.
When he felt her body jerk, stiffening against the onslaught of his lips, teeth and tongue, he wondered if even a fraction of what was battling through him was heightening inside her as well. He’d expected biting and he’d expected heat.
But he wasn’t prepared for the power, the pleasure that her mouth was made to give and receive. Her wide mouth had incited many fantasies. In the tub while he’d lain awake all night. Bored. Wanting. Raging.
And he’d known he’d find it all in her. It slammed into him like a bare-knuckled fist and left him drinking deeper. And he wanted to taste where her pulse throbbed, but he couldn’t get enough of her mouth to move lower.
Cordelia didn’t hear the slayer stomp away in betrayed, confused anger, but she was brought back down to earth when one cold hand slid up her stomach, fingers plowing into the neck of v-neck blouse and dig out one silk covered breast.
The shock of the cold digits flicking over her nipple sent bullets of ricocheting heat through her already overloaded system. And she jerked her mouth away with a gasp. “Stop!”
His lips twisting into a sensual smile that made promises he had no right to make Angelus let his fingers stroke the swell of the breast in his palm. “You’re right. We need to finish this in a better place. My place or yours Hazel?”
“I’m homeless remember!” She placed trembling hands on his chest; she tried to push him away. The sheer weight of him surrounded her like a hot blanket and Cordelia fidgeted. “HEY! Hands off grubby paws! AIR!”
“Mmmm, yeah baby, I’m having trouble myself, but let’s breathe later.” He lowered his head, nipping at her jaw. “Let me have you Chase. Don’t fight this.”
Her breath hitched somewhere between her throat and her chest at the feel of his teeth on her neck. “NO! Let me go! Let me go NOW!”
She struggled against him, until finally she shoved him away and he went, more afraid the girl would bolt rather than the blinding pain his chip would reward him for forcing her.
“Go ahead and breathe Brighteyes, but it doesn’t change facts. Although,” he ran a hand through his spiky hair giving Cordelia a peek at the restraint he was showing, “I’m not too damned happy with this either.”
“Bullshit.” She tried to calm the wild pumping of her blood and heart as she fixed her clothes. “You think just because you’re a big sexy neutered vamp you can seduce me! Hand me downs! Easy pickings since I’ve never done this before!” The hazel in her eyes turned a flashing honey with anger.
He rolled his eyes. “Oh come off it Cordy! Hand me downs my—” He broke off, one eyebrow hiking up. “Never done what?”
“You know damn well what I’m talking about!”
One corner of his mouth drifted up slightly, eyes flickering with interest. “Never? As in ever?”
Cordelia clenched her fists to her side, waiting for him to laugh so she could deck him.
“Fucking hell Chase! How was I supposed to know; I just figured since you and the moron, you’d…”
“Did he say that!” Her eyes narrowed into slits as she poised ready pounce.
Angelus held back the laugh, remembering the last two occasions when she’d pounced on him, the flesh where she’d bit him warming at the memory. “No. But have you looked at yourself in the damned mirror. I just assumed that you’d—”
He winced at the snapping retort.
Hand me a damned shovel, he thought. Digging a hole with my bare hands is getting tedious.
He shrugged and chose his next words carefully, because already he’d decided this sumptuous creature with her clever mouth was going to be his. Seer or no seer.
“You’re a beautiful woman Cordelia. I just assumed you knew how to ask for what you wanted.”
“You’re the LAST thing I’d want!”
He smirked at her hissing, defensive reply. “Yeah right Chase. I’ve been thinking about you with as much heat as you’ve been thinking of me.”
“Doesn’t matter. Because now that I’ve had my hands on you, I’m only going to be thinking more of you and everything else that can occupy your mouth.” Her eyes flickered as her mouth parted in surprise at his blunt appraisal, laced with promise.
“You’ve got one hell of a mouth on you Chase.”
“Shut up!” Spinning on her heel she marched towards the empty street where Buffy and Riley had obviously driven off and left them to neck in solitude. “I’m going home!”
He watched her strut her stuff to the lamppost across the street before looking back at him, the line of her shoulders not as sure anymore. When he stayed back watching, she scowled. “Are you coming or not!”
With a snicker he fell into step behind her as she tenaciously stomped back towards Giles’ house. He watched the sway of her hips and shoved his hands into his pockets, already grinning at the prospect his future was bringing. If serving the good side meant he could play with this little spitfire it would be worth it. For a decade or so.
He rubbed a hand over his belly, knowing it would take a hell of a lot to untie the knots there. She’d gotten to him. Gotten to him hard. And the fact that she had no experience about what all they could do together made it all the more unsettling for Angelus.
Unsettling and arousing as hell.
He walked behind her without a clue as to what he would do about her, but he knew for certain that Cordelia Chase would have to accept that the Scourge of Europe was going to be her first.
Buffy held the sword beside her thigh, angling her body as she looked at the solitary mausoleum standing in the middle of the cemetery.
“Are you sure this is it?”
Looking back at her watcher, Buffy took a deep breath. “Yeah, Riley should be here soon.”
“You trust him.”
“Don’t ask me why Giles; I just do.”
“I’m not questioning you Buffy, just that…”
The door creaked and the blonde slayer stepped forward. “He’s here.”
Willow and Xander followed Buffy into the marble crypt. Giles took a deep breath and looked back at Angelus and Cordelia. The seer had insisted on tagging along. “Angelus?”
“I’m coming Watcherboy, keep your panties on.” Angelus looked down at Cordelia. “Go back to the car.”
The seer rolled her eyes and blew her front bangs off her forehead. “Oh my god; is your record still on pause! We’ve been over this!”
“Dammit Chase, you’ll just get in the way! Go back to the fucking car!”
“You’re not my nanny!” Glaring at his cavemen attitude, she strode past him and grabbed one of the axes from Giles.
Angelus let out an unneeded breath as he looked at the watcher and followed inside. “I’m watching her.”
Giles contemplated the prospect and the finality in Angelus’ voice for a moment before walking after his troupe.
It was an ambush. And if they hadn’t been prepared, they would have been dead.
Angelus didn’t wait a second. The vampire demons were not soldiers. The soldiers were the Scoobie’s forte. It wouldn’t kill him to get payback for his time on the lab table. He reached forward and grabbed the first demon’s wrist in his left hand. He let out a snarl, game face in place as his right leg smashed over thing’s head and then snapped back throwing him back onto the ground, neck broken.
While Cordelia watched from behind him, Angelus fought like a vampire possessed. And not once did he let anything get near her.
Before the next demon could grab Angelus, his fist smashed into its stomach but one of the demons had rolled past him towards Cordelia. Spinning around he made a move to throw it away, but Cordelia’s axe had landed in the middle of the demon’s head before he slid to the ground. He blinked at the haughty woman dusting her hands. “Nice.”
The cheerleader grinned before her eyes widened. “Look out!”
She’d reacted without thinking.
Flying off her feet, her arms wrapped around Angelus’ waist, Cordelia forgot that bullets wouldn’t do a damn thing to the undead.
Angelus grunted as he hit the concrete floor, landing on his shoulder, wrapped arms around the woman as they rolled. And then he smelled it.
Blood. And it was hers. He just knew it.
The roar in the underground chamber of the old initiative headquarter was feral. The demon was on his feet, fangs elongating, and the ripples in his face furious as he sprinted straight for the last remaining soldier that had opened fire in desperation.
Giles rushed to Cordelia’s side.
The soldier barely had time to open his mouth as the gun was wrenched away from him. Angelus’ hand grabbed the man’s face and brutally smashed him into the wall behind.
The snarl reverberated through the hall and everything stilled but him, his rumbling dropped a notch as the man let out a whimper behind his hand, his skull cracked in several places as Angelus leaned into his neck, his eyes wide and terrified, peeking from between Angelus’ fingers.
Buffy stood beside a panting Riley, frozen as she saw the vampire tear into the soldier’s neck viciously, the blood staining his shirt and sliding down his neck as he drank deeply, painfully, his hands crushing bone.
“God no.” The dread building in her veins, the slayer broke off the leg of an abandoned chair and sprinted straight for the ravaging vampire.
“Let him go!” She wrenched the demon off the man, but not in time to save him. She watched in horror as the dead soldier slid down against the wall a trail of blood making an eerie arrow pointing down to his body.
It was when the slayer’s eyes lifted up to him in disbelief that he realized what he’d done. Sliding his tongue out to lick the fresh blood off his lips, Angelus’ mouth twisted up into a smile. “Well well.” It was gone.
He was free.
Buffy took a step back. “Angelus…”
His lips pulled back from his teeth in a baleful smirk. “Say please slayer.” He sprang forward, only to fall screaming to his knees.
Giles stared at the writhing vampire at Buffy’s feet. If he hadn’t seen Angelus kill the soldier he never would have believed it was the same one shuddering on the floor. For a moment Giles had thought the chip had malfunctioned, but now it appeared it had just blinked off. Enough to allow one meal.
Still covered in blood and trembling with the ripping pain in his head, he lifted his agony fogged brown eyes to his seer. She was alive. The bullet had grazed past her shoulder. She was alive.
Coughing as his own blood curdled in his throat, he swallowed painfully and glared at her. “Starting tomorrow Chase. I’m teaching you to protect your own ass.”
Giles stopped the car. The two occupants in the back most silent than he’d ever seen them. Today they’d fought by each other’s side. For the first time they’d reacted out of their instinct to protect each other and he could see it had rattled them. Rattled them enough for Cordelia to lose the cynicism in her eyes for contemplation. But she wasn’t as shaken as the vampire next to her.
Still brooding Angelus sat in the seat beside her, his jaw clenching and unclenching. The blood of the soldier still singing in his veins as he reflected on the concept that was his seer. Never in his damn life had anyone ever put his life in front of their own. Not even when he’d been human. He’d never been worth saving. But today. Cordelia had nearly died protecting him.
The idea unsettled him. It unsettled him to no end. “I’m going for a walk.” Kicking the door opened, he was gone before Giles or Cordy could look up.
Signing, Giles met her gaze in the rearview mirror.
They made fun of his confusion.
Walking aimlessly, his hands shoved into his pockets Angelus wondered what the hell they were saying behind his back. Their voices and hers molded into unbearable screams, deafening the rest of his world.
She tainted the shadows around him. When the darkness rose inside him, she radiated sunlight brighter than he remembered. It fumed the hatred and stirred the resting embers until he was smoldering worse than when he was in hell.
And the possibility of just how frail she really was, enflamed it to a holocaust, burning him from the inside. She was already essential to him. To them. This, Angelus realized, would never heal.
Pain. Longing. Loss. Love.
How much could he take? When would it be enough?
He was dangerous. He knew he craved blood and lust. He itched for destruction. He wasn’t the Scourge of Europe anymore. He died the day he’d let the cheerleader swallow him whole. He was out of control and he wasn’t sure if he could save her back. Her death would be too hard to live with. For eternity.
Looking up at the porch to the watcher’s house Angelus swallowed the emotion sticking in his throat. He was afraid to leave, but staying horrified him.
His head snapped to the side to see her sitting in a chair on the porch. “Surprised?”
“It was getting late.”
Her eyes darkened to his implication. “What do you mean?”
“You fucking know.” The shaky emotional voice laced with regret couldn’t have been his, but if she was responding to it, then it had to be his.
“I’m tired Angelus.” She stood out of the chair, satisfied that he was back.
“Then quit Cordelia!”
He’d slapped her without touching her. And she winced. He’d read perfectly into her inability to sleep. She didn’t trust him to come back.
“If you still think I’m leaving Chase, then go.” She couldn’t doubt him. Not after tonight.
“Angelus, I…” She had an answer for him. It was in her eyes. But she didn’t speak it.
“Shut the hell up Chase. I’m no longer listening.” He climbed the steps up to the front door. The barriers rose up to the heavens.
His eyes wandered over her face as he waited for her to go first. They spoke.
Cordelia swallowed them whole. “I don’t think we need to talk about this again.”
She walked into the house and the sun warmed the sky.
The moment had already passed them and the blood bond was established. It was painfully clear – they’d kill for each other if necessary.