Season of Solace. 59

59:     Angel’s Mansion, Crawford Street, North Central Sunnydale

“Tell me,” Angel refused to be daunted by Cordelia’s diversion tactics. As they stood toe to toe, he laced his fingers through hers, softening the impact of his demand by stroking her palm. “Be honest, Cordy. Don’t keep me in the dark. What was so frightening?”

Cordelia squeezed his hand before hesitantly raising her eyes back to his, “You.”

Stunned, Angel jerked back dropping his hold on her hand as he tried to fit that revelation into the picture Drusilla had painted for him. He shook his head slowly. All he could think about was his fears of repeating mistakes he made with Buffy. That somehow his soul would be lost again and as Angelus he would renew his plan to target the Slayer’s friends for death, this time starting with Cordelia.

Only death would not serve as an escape, but a sentence to an eternity by his side. Angel felt sick at the surge of pure demonic lust that welled up inside him at the thought of truly making her his. It was a thought, an instinct he suppressed as other images flashed through his mind of her wrists bound, her body writhing as their lovers’ games went far beyond the point of pleasure.

He was a vampire with demonic desires, but that wasn’t what he wanted. Every remnant of humanity within him wanted something more. Voice thick with denial, “You know I’d do anything in my power to protect you, even from me.”

Angel touched his lips to her forehead before continuing, “Promise you’ll stake me if I—”

“Pfft! That’s a given,” Cordelia raised her brows and sent a look that suggested he was way off track. “I wasn’t talking about Angelus.”

That meant he frightened her, which was a hundred times worse. Looking for answers in her eyes, Angel saw only the slow buildup of a smile that started with a satisfied little smirk. Confusion kept him silent until Cordelia finally explained, “Drusilla showed me glimpses of my future. You were there— um, with me.”

Angel wondered just how far in the future Dru’s glimpse had taken them. “We’re still seeing each other?”

“Oh, yeah, a lot,” Cordelia clarified. “When I said you were with me, I meant you were with me. There was nakedness and…” a blush colored her cheeks as her words trailed off, eyes tilting upward as she got lost in the memory of it.

Fear diminishing, Angel began to realize the reason for Cordelia’s initial reaction to him. With their friendship so new, it was no wonder seeing something like that had frightened her a little, especially considering the curse. If that was all that was holding her back, Angel knew he could alleviate some of those fears. Not all at once, perhaps. Not even tonight.

Curious, he wanted to hear more. Confidence renewed, Angel stepped forward again. His fingertips slid over the curves of her hip spreading out to span her small waist. “Were we making love?” he asked, purposely phrasing it gently.

When her hands lifted to settle on his arms, he felt like purring at her touch. God, he wanted more, now. Somehow, Angel managed to keep still despite the urge to make that vision a reality. Despite sensing her early arousal, he knew Cordelia was not ready to make that leap in their relationship, even if it was somehow possible.

Cordelia’s tongue dragged across her lips. They parted as her gaze slipped down to his mouth. “Yes,” she answered looking back up at him.

There were limits Angel was holding to tonight, but that did not meant he could not push them a little. “Tell me what you saw. Did we kiss?” His lips captured hers briefly, only a tease as her head tilted up for more when he lifted his mouth away to let her answer.

As she opened her eyes that had drifted closed during the kiss, Cordelia let out a little mewl of protest, wanting more. “Yes,” she admitted licking her lips again to savor the taste of him, “but not just my mouth.”

“Here?” One hand moved up so that his thumb brushed the curved underside of her breast.

Cordelia nodded and a little pant escaped her throat as his hand turned, the back of his fingers moving across the outer curve and then shifting again to fully cup her breast in his palm. The Lycra proved a thin barrier as it revealed the budding shape of her nipple.

Before he gave into the temptation to bend his head down to drag his tongue across the peaking fabric, Angel moved his hand back to the curve of her waist. He settled for kissing her instead, a soft moan sounding between them inflaming the soft touch of lips into something more.

Mouths parted into a wet slip-slide of tasting and teasing. Like an addict, Angel could not get enough. He fluttered his tongue against the flat of hers eliciting a lusty little sound as Cordy’s arms wound around his neck, and crushed her body against his.

Maybe it was for the best when Cordelia reluctantly ended the kiss by settling her hand on his cheek. “Angel, wait. I have to tell you the rest.”

Scene 60

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