Title: Open Invitation
Rating: NC-17 for sexual situations.
Summary: Unbeknownst to Cordelia, Angel has lost his soul. She issues the vampire an open invitation to her house.
Spoilers: S2.14 Innocence
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit made.
DistributionGT/AA/JF. Anywhere else, let me know
Feedback: Want it, love it, need it.
Xander and Cordelia put away the demonology books they had been searching through for any clue as to how to defeat the Judge.
Spike and Drusilla had pieced the creature together from its dismembered and boxed up parts. Now reassembled, the Judge would seek out and destroy humanity by incinerating anything with a soul.
Stuck researching, the pair found a moment in the upper section of the library behind the stacks to continue an earlier argument. These tiffs were commonplace even now that they were secretly seeing each other.
“Come on Cordy, can’t we just kiss and make up?” Xander’s whining and those big dark eyes must have done something.
“No, I don’t want to make up.” Cordelia still sounded irritated, but added slyly, “I’m okay with the other part.”
Grinning, Xander leaned in to kiss her. Kissing each other started out as this irresistible thing. Continuing somehow seemed forbidden— a cheerleader and one of the school’s biggest dorks. Their smooch sessions in the school janitor closets and other private locations around the school gave them both a little thrill. Neither the Scoobies nor the Cordettes had a clue.
Coming up for air, Xander and Cordelia immediately noted that they had an audience. It was Willow who stood agape with shock and horror. Not merely just surprise, but disgust at finding her best friend enthusiastically kissing their childhood nemesis. Without a word, Willow darted down the steps and headed out the library door as fast as her feet could carry her.
“Willow! Willow! We were just—”
Groaning at the discovery, Cordelia put her hands on her head. “That does it. Now everyone will know.”
Xander was halfway down the stairs. “I have to go after her. Explain what we were doing.”
“I think it was obvious enough.” Cordelia followed him down the steps. “If anyone needs to think up explanations, it will be me. Everyone will be asking me if I’m out of my mind for kissing you.”
“Let’s argue about it later, Cor,” he suggested still edging toward the door.
Cordelia grabbed onto his shirtsleeve. “Maybe I wanna argue about it now.”
Looking over his shoulder at the still swinging doors, Xander realized Willow would likely be at the front hall by now. “Let’s argue later about arguing later.”
“Grmph! Just go,” Cordy released him then gave him a look that suggested he was abandoning her.
Willow was his best friend. Xander figured that Cordelia might not understand his urgent need to make things right with the redhead. “Cordy, I do have to go.”
Relieved, Xander pushed open the door, but paused long enough to say, “Okay, but I need you to do something. I have a plan to stop the Judge.”
“What book were *you* reading?” Cordelia thought they had come up empty on ideas. “I found nothing.”
“Actually, you did.”
Eyeing her skin-tight top and pants, Xander told her, “Just go home and get changed. Wear something- trashier. Meet me at Willow’s house in an hour.”
“Care to let me in on this plan that I’m a part of?”
Xander looked wide-eyed at the thought. “No.”
Hands on her hips, “Why not?”
“Because if I tell you, you won’t do it.”
Cordelia walked out of the library behind Xander. He turned toward the front part of the school while she headed for the shortcut through the gym. Her car was parked behind it. As she exited the school, Cordy found that it had been raining. They had been closeted up for so long at the library that she never noticed the downpour. Scattered raindrops still fell from the clearing sky.
As Cordelia dug through her purse looking for her car keys, two cats ran from behind the dumpster directly in front of her. Jumping out of the way, she let out a shriek as her purse tipped over. Its contents spread across the damp blacktop of the parking lot, several items actually rolling under her car.
She picked up all of the items she could reach, but realized with horror that her car keys and her favorite lipstick were out of reach under her Corvette. There was no way she was getting her clothes wet and dirty by crawling under the car.
“Rotten luck,” she muttered. “Those weren’t even black cats.”
Cursing at her dilemma, Cordelia decided that she could either go back to the library to beg Giles for help or she could handle this herself. Glancing over her shoulder, she saw the dumpster figuring that there might be some empty boxes from the cafeteria or something she could use to put on the ground. That dumpster held some bad memories. The last time she was near it- actually in it- the trash bin held body parts of dead girls.
Finding a flattened cardboard box, Cordy pulled it out and set it down on the ground next to the car. She knelt down low, but still couldn’t reach it. With a flash of genius, Cordelia remembered the broken mop handle that was also in the dumpster. Retrieving it, she went back to her task.
“Aha!” Cordy felt triumphant as the keys and lipstick came within reach.
As she turned her head, Cordelia saw a pair of black shoes directly under her gaze. The lights were now off in the school, strangely enough and there was only moonlight above. Looking up, she thought she saw a flash of white fangs in the shadows of the face above.
Gripping the broken mop handle, she wondered if the tip was pointy enough to use as a stake.
“Nice view,” Angel’s familiar voice sounded from the vampire towering over her.
Even as her shoulders relaxed with a sudden release of tension, Cordelia realized that he was looking down from a very advantageous angle- straight down into her cleavage. Just like a man, she thought rolling her eyes. “You scared me, Angel. Stealthy vamp guy does it again.”
“Yeah,” Angelus nodded holding out his hand to help her to her feet. “I think we have done this before. You with the car keys. Me walking around the school perimeter. Only this time I caught you before you decided to hide in the dumpster.”
“Don’t remind me,” Cordelia gave a dark laugh. “Not one of my favorite occasions.”
Angelus held out his hand for the wooden weapon and Cordelia readily handed it over with as she bent over to brush off her pants. The cardboard had been clean, but she didn’t want to chance it. A clatter sounded as the vampire tossed the broken mop handle away.
The vampire slowly eyed Cordelia up and down, pondering his next move. He came to the school with a specific purpose. Ran into Willow, Xander and Buffy. Gave his little speech. Now here was Cordelia Chase all alone and looking scrumptious as usual.
“Where are you headed?” Angelus asked with a raised brow.
“Home,” Cordy revealed. “I have to change into something more-“
Glancing down at the midriff top with its deep vee neck and the skin tight hip huggers that Cordelia was wearing, he wondered what she had in mind. There was a look of dark hunger in his eyes as Angelus looked at her again from her sandled feet and painted toenails to her taut waist and rounded breasts. By the time he met her eyes, he appeared interested to hear more, but kept the leer hidden.
Cordelia pressed the button on her key ring that unlocked her car eliciting a beep and a flash of lights. “Xander has a plan to stop the Judge- unless you and Buffy took care of him.”
Her hopeful look disappeared as Angel told her cryptically. “Buffy and I took care of one or two things tonight. Not the Judge. We did manage to avoid being incinerated.”
“Avoidance of looking like burnt toast is always a good thing,” Cordelia grinned at him. “Too bad. Looks like we’ll have to try Xander’s plan after all.”
“What is his plan?”
Shrugging, Cordelia told him. “I know nothing except that it involves me wearing trashy clothes. Wanna come?”
She meant to say that Xander’s plan could always use a back up. Having Angel along to provide vampire strength and a few kick-ass moves would no doubt help them succeed.
“Come? With you?” Angelus’ voice turned husky as he met her eager gaze. The sound left her a little breathless and Cordelia suddenly thought she was hearing things. “I think I will.”
Finding herself staring up at his handsome face, Cordelia blinked away the images that crept into her head. What was she thinking? Only yesterday she had seen Angel and Buffy making out at the blonde’s seventeenth birthday party. The vampire had eyes only for the Slayer. It seemed strange that Angel was suddenly putting off vibes in Cordy’s direction.
Wishful thinking, she sighed. “Get in the car. We have to meet Xander at Willow’s house in an hour.”
Cordelia started the car as soon as he was inside. She pulled out of the parking lot and headed toward home while chatting about her not-so-thrilling night of research. Suddenly interrupting, Angelus asked her, “Where were you?”
“When the lights went out at the school.”
“Outside, I guess,” Cordelia reminded him about her fiasco with the car keys.
Angelus’ mouth curled into a slow sensual smile that drew her attention to his lips. “So, you don’t know.”
“Know what?” Cordy asked clueless.
Thinking about it, the vampire decided to go ahead and say it. “That Buffy and I- we split up tonight. Irreconcilable differences.”
“What?!” Cordelia was so shocked that her car swerved on the road. Was this the reason for his sudden come-ons. Was Angel on the rebound? “What happened? You were all over each other last night when you thought no one was looking.”
“But you were? Looking?”
“Hello- I have eyes. I’m very observant.”
“Really,” he sounded doubtful.
“So- you dumped her the day after her birthday? Or did she do the dumping?” Buffy was an idiot if that was the case.
Angelus pressed the fingertips of both hands together, pondering his answer. “It was a mutual decision. I showed her who I really am and she couldn’t handle it.”
That confused Cordy. “Buffy knows you’re a vampire, Angel. She’s seen your game face before.”
With a gasp, she asked, “Did you try to bite her- like a vampire hickey thing?”
Laughing aloud, Angel admitted truthfully, “No, I did not try to bite her.”
He wanted to toy with the Slayer first. Biting would come later after he let anticipation rise to its peak. First, he had a promise to keep and that involved Buffy’s friends and the trail of corpses he planned to leave at her doorstep. It would have been easier to simply suck Cordelia dry and leave her dead body draped across the hood of her car, but that was a bore.
No, the evil vampire suddenly had other plans for this luscious specimen of humanity. The thought of finding pleasure in her was not a new idea, but the soul kept those ideas tempered down. Lust after the cheerleader while dating the Slayer? Only naughty vamps thought such terrible things.
Cordelia found the vampire grinning at her again. That smile just made her whole body weak. “I-I still don’t understand. What with all the kissing yesterday-“
“Kissing,” Angelus waved his hand carelessly. “You know how it is. Kissing can mean everything or nothing.”
“Nothing?” Cordy gaped. It certainly hadn’t looked like nothing.
“Like you and the X-boy.”
It took her a second to realize that Angel knew about herself and Xander Harris. “How do you know about Xander?”
“His scent is all over you, but it’s just his skin and the scent of his clothes having rubbed against yours.”
“Eew!” Cordelia scrunched up her nose. “You can tell? God, I hope I don’t smell. What do I smell like? Not bad, I hope.”
Angelus wondered if she really wanted to know, but told her anyway. “Like Xander, as I’ve already said. Underneath that there is your skin scented with raindrops, soap, just a hint of your perfume and-“
“And what?” Hopefully not dumpster odor.
He was smiling again, this time running the tip of his tongue across his lips. “-the soft stirring scent of the essence that is you, Cordelia. Your sweet breath, your copper blood, and the tangy moisture that lubricates your flesh.”
Gripping the steering wheel a little tighter, Cordy kept her eyes pointed forward. Did he just say what he thought he did? Lubrication was never a common topic of discussion between herself and the vampire, but somehow she doubted that Angel was suggesting she was sweaty. Especially since her own senses told her that the moisture in question was the reason her panties felt a little damp. Just being in Angel’s presence like this and hearing the tone of his voice aroused her, much less listening to his suggestive words and having his gaze upon her.
“Huh! Vampire senses. Never know what you’re gonna come up with next,” Cordelia joked. Trying to focus on their original conversation, “Imagine that you can tell I kissed Xander just with your sense of smell.”
“Have you done more than kiss?”
“That is *so* none of your business.” Cordelia huffed at the audacity of the question. Bad enough everyone would find out she had been kissing Xander much less doing anything else. Quickly admitting, “No, Xander and I have not moved beyond the kissing stage.”
Angelus hated the idea of the lowly cretin looking at any of his women much less kissing them. The thought repeated in his head as the vampire realized he included Cordelia in the small group of females he considered his. She was supposed to be his- to kill. That could wait a few hours.
Cordy tagged on, “There was definitely gropage in the broom closet two days ago, so I suppose maybe we’ve moved on to the groping stage.”
“Groping in the broom closet?”
“Don’t look so shocked,” Cordelia laughed. “What do you expect, Don Juan? Xander is a high school boy, not a two hundred-year-old manpire with oodles of experience. Geez! I think you keep forgetting that we’re in the 20th Century. Girls don’t have to stay virginal until they get married or die from boredom.”
“I am aware of the sexual revolution. Been there. Loved that,” Angelus laughed at her wide-eyed expression. “So tell me- are you?”
Grateful that they had just pulled up to the gate of her family’s estate, Cordelia pushed the button that lowered the window. “Again- that is strictly on a need to know basis.”
Leaning out the window, she punched in the code to open the gate and heard Angel repeating his question, “Are you?”
Nervously licking her lips, Cordelia wondered if the vampire was simply curious or asking for another reason. His questions were overly intimate. Considering their past interactions, Cordy felt confused by the sudden attention. Not that her body seemed to care. It was practically humming every time she met his warm chocolate gaze.
The gate was open and Cordy jammed her foot on the gas pedal causing the Corvette to jerk in reaction. Ignoring the persistent interest in the status of her hymen, she chose to change the subject. “So, you’ve never been to my place before.”
“No.” Angelus glowered realizing that she had no intention of telling him whether or not she was a virgin. Just made him more curious.
“Guess you’ll need an invitation.”
Wondering if he had been pushing her too fast, Angelus looked a little doubtful. “If you will give me one.”
“Don’t be a dumbass!” Cordelia pulled the car to a stop along the circular drive directly in front of the huge steps leading up to the main door. “You’re my friend. Aren’t you? That means you always have an open invitation.”
“Just need the one.”
Cordelia exited the car and waited for Angel to close his door before depressing the locking mechanism on her key ring. “Vampires have weird customs.”
Not bothering to correct her, Angelus strolled up behind her. “Do I get the grand tour?”
“Xander is expecting us in about forty-five minutes,” she reminded. “There’s no time for the grand tour. How about a quickie?”
“I suffer from foot-in-mouth disease,” Cordelia felt her skin flush. Talk about a Freudian Slip. “I meant the mini-tour.”
Cordelia covered her embarrassment by showing Angel around the lower level. Passing through the formal living and dining rooms, they paused in the kitchen where a tinfoil-covered plate was left on the counter. Once again, the maid had left before Cordelia got home. “Rosaria goes home at six. Sorry that I can’t offer you a bite- we don’t have any pig’s blood.”
“I can wait,” Angelus glanced down at her neck as she turned to head back into the dining room.
The main staircase branched off to two separate wings of the house. “My parents’ rooms are on that side. They’re in Europe on business right now or I’d introduce you. My rooms are in this wing.”
Rooms indeed, Angelus looked around at the opulent furnishings and equipment. Cordy had her own private gym and another room full of entertainment devices in addition to her bedroom and private bath.
“So this is your bedroom,” the vampire wandered in even though she was hovering at the door. “Nice big bed.”
“Uh- yeah. I like to stretch out.”
“It’s those long legs.”
“Er- Angel, I have to get ready if we’re gonna be at Willow’s house on time. I have to take a shower and pick out something trashy to wear.”
“Mm-hmm,” came the absent sound. Then Angelus turned to her with sudden vigor. “I’ll just wander around the rest of the floor on my own.”