Even though I had taken the stance that Cordelia was doing this as a favor to her friend, I hated seeing her on Reg’s arm that night.
She looked radiant in her red gown, her hair upswept like it had been on the night of the ballet with tendrils of it falling gently around her face and neck. I was used to watching Cordelia from afar, but seeing her paired up with someone she knew of such long standing and whose dark good looks complimented her own appearance, I was drowning in a pool of jealousy again.
By now it had become habit and this time I wasn’t relegated to watching from some distant corner of the room. I was an invited guest and had the freedom to roam the gallery wherever I wanted.
At first, I simply followed them from a distance, but then I needed to get closer just to hear what was being said. I know…I have super senses and can detect conversations from a distance away, but it’s easier to intimidate your rival if you get up close and personal.
So I critiqued his art with the skill of any professional critic present at the gallery wowing Reg and the crowd around us with my knowledge of art. It was lucky for me that he was a good painter because if I’d said anything negative at that moment Cordelia’s stare would have turned deadly.
I fully admit that I didn’t leave them alone all evening. When they turned a corner, I was there. When they mingled with other guests, I was there. When Cordelia came out of the ladies room…yes, I was there waiting to catch her alone.
She caught me instead, grabbing me by the sleeve and dragging me through a door marked ‘Private’. It led to a long corridor with what looked to be offices that were all shut down for the evening.
“What is your problem, Angel?” Cordelia demanded of me while looking gorgeous in her state of fury. “You’re making an ass of yourself.”
Denying it, “I am not.”
“I was just imparting a little wisdom,” I crossed my arms over my chest as she rolled her eyes and walked away from me further down the corridor.
Finally, she turned and stared back at me. “Since when is following me around like a lost puppy a wise thing?”
It had been some time since Cordelia had referred to me as a lapdog, but I never liked hearing it then and I certainly didn’t like the comparisons now. I stalked down the corridor and backed her up against the wall pinning my hands on either side of her head leaving her breathless at my sudden move.
“You’re right, Cordy,” I told her much to her surprise. “I’ve been running after you for weeks and I’m tired of it. I’m tired of watching you go off on dates with men who don’t know what they’ve got, tired of scenting them on your skin after you’ve kissed them goodnight, tired of fouling up your dates and behaving like an idiot as I track you around town.”
“Around town? Not just the museum,” Cordelia’s eyes got a little larger as the truth came out.
“You have no idea of the things I’ve done to keep you from going out at night,” I said mocking my own behavior. “What I’ve done to bring you back to me.”
Blinking at the enormity of what I was admitting, Cordelia seemed to keep repeating what I’d just explained. “You kept me from going out?”
I expected the lecturing to begin right after the screaming ended, but to my surprise I could have heard a pin drop in the hall. The soft sound of Cordelia’s breathing was accompanied by her staccato heartbeat tripping along a little faster than normal. My eyes closed listening to the sound and memorizing it.
“Why?” she finally asked in that soft voice she usually reserves for Connor.
“You want to hear the excuses?” I asked with a self-derisive smirk. “I assure you that I’ve accumulated many.”
The arching of her eyebrow was answer enough.
My hands left the wall to cup her face as I pressed my cool lips against the warm skin of her forehead. I followed with another on the curve of her cheek and felt the butterfly touch of her eyelashes against my skin. Her hands curled under my elbows moving along the back of my sleeves as I continued with my habitual path to place a kiss over the beauty mark on her cheek.
“Angel,” she sounded out my name turning her face to align itself under my mouth.
“I’m so in love with you, Cordy. I can’t stand not being able to touch you the way I want too,” I admitted caressing her face and throat with the backs of my fingers. “I’m tired of waiting in the wings as you parade around town with other men hoping my turn will come.”
I didn’t wait for her response. I just kissed her. From the first touch of her lips under mine, I was lost. Any hope I had of regaining my composure, if I ever had it at all, vanished as I claimed her mouth and felt Cordelia’s unbridled response. Her hands gripped my hair as she held me. We rolled against the wall each trying to gain some kind of control over the direction of that kiss, but it had taken on a life of its own and only Cordelia’s need to breathe forced a pause.
“I love you,” I couldn’t seem to stop saying it as I nibbled my way up her throat to the sensitive spot behind her ear. She moaned at the contact pressing her breasts into my chest and I think I growled at the feel of those lush mounds against me.
Then she was laughing, a deep throaty laugh that brought a smile to her face and made me wonder what the hell was so funny. “What is it?” I asked as I met Cordy’s mischievous gaze.
“We’re both idiots,” Cordelia chuckled at the realization. “I’ve loved you for so long I can’t remember not feeling it.”
She pressed a finger up against my lips, but I wrapped my arm around her hauling her up against me and used my other hand to bring her hips into closer contact with mine. I think she got the message.
“I want you too,” she revealed with a promise in her voice. “Let me say something first.”
Her finger dropped away trusting that I would allow it. Listening didn’t mean that my hands couldn’t wander over her curves.
“After the ballet, I was afraid that you’d figure out that I had more control over myself than it seemed at first. Maybe it was her words and the suggestion of how to act, but it was me kissing you,” Cordelia sounded as if she thought she was the only one to recognize that.
“Me too,” I said. “We were following their script, but I let it happen. I wanted you then, Cordy. I thought you were relieved when it stopped.”
“I was. I thought you didn’t want me. You tried to convince me that going back was a bad idea,” she countered in confusion.
“Why the dating frenzy?” I figured I had a right to know even if my body was shouting at me to shut up and pick up where we left off that night of the ballet.
Cordelia nibbled at her lip until I couldn’t stand it and leaned in to capture that same lip between my teeth and suck it gently into my mouth before letting go again. She let out a deep little breath and looked at me as if she’d momentarily forgotten the question.
“At first it was just to throw you off track so you wouldn’t think I was crazy in love with you.”
“That worked,” I admitted. “I didn’t want to ruin our friendship, but I couldn’t stand seeing you with men like Trey Hollywood.”
She giggled as I used my dartboard name for Bartholomew Cummings the third. “I actually liked Paul a lot, but he told me the same thing Trey did.”
“What was that?”
“That I was in love with you.”
Remembering some vague comment made by her producer friend, I guessed I had been right that she’d talked about me at dinner. Only I hadn’t been imagining such a pleasant outcome to the conversation. As for PA Paul, his insightfulness did not come as a shock at all; David Nabbitt only hired the best.
“That’s why I came back to the hotel. I was going to tell you…only you were an ass!”
“Yeah,” I agreed darkly. “I’d probably do it again. Never forget you’re in love with a vampire, Cordelia. I may have a soul. I may love you as no other man could ever love you, but there are things about me…instincts…that go too deep to change.”
Cordelia trembled at my words, but I could tell it wasn’t in fear. Raking her fingers through my hair, she grabbed onto the top of my ear and leaned in close, “Tell me you want me. Tell me you want me now.”
My lips crashed down onto hers for another blinding kiss. I think I’m addicted to her mouth and her skin and her curves. “Now, yes. Can’t stop touching you, Cor.”
“Yes, touch me,” she panted wantonly as my hands slid over her breasts.
“Baby, you’re mine, every inch of you,” I claimed with words what I knew I’d soon claim with my body.
She reached down between us cupping the hard bulge beneath my zipper. I trapped her hand there as I pushed her back up against the wall, but only for a few seconds of pleasure. Taking her wrist, I pulled her after me as I went further down the corridor glancing in room after room until I found one that met my needs.
It had a couch. Beyond that, I didn’t look at the décor.
We stumbled into the room, the door slamming shut behind us, eager smiles and eyes glittering with anticipation. Cordelia walked to the other side of the room with a sashay in her hips and I noted the way that the slit in the back of her dress went up to mid thigh.
Cordelia turned back to me, any trace of shyness or doubt gone from her face as she ran a hand from her throat down low on her flat belly. “I want you to undress me.”
They echoed the ballerina’s words, but this time I knew they were for me.
I approached her from across the room as stealthy as a panther on the hunt. “Is that what you want?”
“Please,” the need in her voice drowned out any last thoughts of saying no. For a few milliseconds I actually contemplated waiting until we could get home to my bed.
Just to confirm it, just to hear myself asking that question again, I cupped her face and looked deep into Cordelia’s eyes as I queried, “You want me to make love to you right here?”
“You know I do,” her answer swiftly ended any attempts at teasing ourselves with the memory of that night.
Only now, I needed to fulfill that first request. I undressed Cordelia by layers taking the time to kiss every inch I uncovered. She wrestled me for her bra until I stopped long enough to remove everything except my pants. I would have continued if Cordy hadn’t put her hand on my belt raising herself up on her knees and asking, “Let me?”
Unbuckled and unzipped, I watched as her crimson-tipped fingers dipped into the opening of my pants. A sharp hiss sounded as her hand brushed against my cock. I pushed the pants further down as she fisted me, her fingers tight and eagerly pumping my flesh. She licked at her lips, seemingly caught up in fascination at the way I fit into her hand. Though I wanted her mouth on me, this first time I wanted to be inside her as I came and I knew I wouldn’t last if she went down on me.
That didn’t mean I couldn’t finish what I started in that prima ballerina’s dressing room several weeks ago. Distracting Cordelia with a kiss, I removed her hand from my shaft long enough to discard the rest of my clothes. She tossed her red bra on the floor and would have shimmied out of those thong panties if I hadn’t stopped her in time to do it myself.
I left her standing next to the couch, my hands mapping her curves as I made my way to the floor. I stayed at her breasts far longer than I should, leaving Cordelia’s nipples red, erect and shining in my wake. Her fingers dug into my scalp as I used my teeth on the skin just below her navel. Ringing my tongue into that concave little dip drew a cry from her throat and her hips bucked forward in surprised response.
Then I touched her through her panties finding them and her inner thighs already slick. Rubbing my face against the silky scrap of material covering her mound, I let my hands slide up the length of her legs from her ankles to cup the perfect curves of her firm bottom. Then I pulled at the elastic of her thong letting it snap once against her skin just to hear the responsive catch in her breathing.
Hooking a finger inside, I pulled the panties down to the floor leaving Cordy dressed in only her high-heeled red shoes and the lacy garter holding up her sheer silk stockings. The little triangle of brown curls at the apex of her thighs drew me in and I pressed a kiss to its center before rising to my feet.
Taking Cordelia back into my arms, I drew her close exploring the warm cavern of her mouth with my tongue and teasing her with my lips. Gently, I eased her down upon the couch and took a moment to gaze on her beauty. Looking at her was the biggest turn-on I’d ever had knowing that she was my friend, that she loved me and that soon I’d be making her come.
Cordelia pulled me down on top of her and for a few seconds my weight crushed her into the couch. “Anxious, baby?” I nibbled at her earlobe before moving on to that tempting throat and pressing my lips to her thrumming pulse.
“Yes,” Cordy admitting sounding a little frantic with her arousal as she clasped my shoulders. “Please, fuck me.”
“Oh God,” she gasped aloud as I let my fingers explore the curves of her sensitive breasts again, my mouth teasing her as I continued my path south. I was too far gone to do them justice now. Later, I promised myself.
I kissed the little red spot that remained beneath her navel and lifted her garter with my teeth snapping it against her skin. Bending one long limb against the back of the couch, I lifted the other over my shoulder. Though I’m certain I could have stayed there all night devouring her body’s natural nectar, I wanted her too much to take my time.
Cordelia could have days and weeks of me worshipping her with my mouth if she wanted it, but right now I just needed to taste her, to watch her fly apart under my tongue and fingers. So my teasing touches ending and I slipped two fingers inside her tight core gathering the slick fluid and easing my entrance as I lowered my mouth to her.
“Angel!” Her hips bucked against my face thrusting in time with my fingers. “Yes, yes. Just like that.”
When I sucked the swollen nub of her clit into my mouth, she practically came up off the couch. I knew she was a screamer. Before the last tremor of her climax ended, I was on my knees, cock fisted in my hand, easing myself into her slick entrance. She was so hot and tight surrounding me.
“Cordy,” I needed her mouth on mine again. Addicted, remember? Capturing it, I swirled my tongue along hers as I continued slow thrusts of my hips penetrating deeper into the core of her sex.
I heard a little whimper leave her throat, knew that I was stretching her and tried to swallow her momentary discomfort as her body adjusted to my size. Her eyes were full of love and trust when I paused long enough to gaze into those hazel depths. “I love you,” I told her again for the sake of reassurance and simply because I decided I liked saying it.
“I love you back,” Cordelia grinned that brilliant smile that lights up her face and everything around her.
I think I lost it at the sound of those words on her lips and the need to bury myself inside her took over. I’d like to think I was still in control, but all I remember are the sensations as my cock stroked her insides, as she clenched tight around me, the feel of her hands palming my ass and her needy cries of encouragement as I fucked us both into a state of oblivion.
Cordelia’s name was a little more than a guttural growl from the depths of my chest as I let my orgasm follow hers. I gathered her up in my arms pulling her on top of me as I sat back on my knees. Still hard inside her, I felt her body slide down my shaft until I was buried to the hilt.
Her hand rubbed over the damp skin of her abdomen, the sensation of me being so deep making her gasp in wonder. We kissed, slowly, gently and my hands swept up to palm her breasts. She moaned into my mouth and her hips began a natural sway rocking against me.
I dropped a hand between us using my thumb to circle her clit as she lifted up and dropped back down. Her languorous pace was killing me, but now that I’d come once I knew that I could give her anything she wanted. My free hand traced her spine moving up and down with the same rhythm she used to ride me.
The hands clutching at my shoulders moved up to palm my face as Cordelia leaned in to kiss me again. Then she wound her arms around me, pressing her breasts tight into my chest and whispered in my ear, “I’m only alive when you’re inside me.”
To say that the control I thought had returned vanished might be an understatement of the fact. All I knew was that I took the rest of the night to make it up to her. It wasn’t until the wee hours of the morning that we finally left the gallery both of us tired and satisfied and totally in love.
The party was long over and the place virtually shut down except for the night guard who gave us an odd look, but let us go without question. I figure it was a pretty easy guess as to what we’d been up to considering our state of dishevelment.
Looking back on it all, I have to wonder at the state of my own fear in taking the leap of faith I needed in claiming Cordelia as my own. We claimed each other that night at the gallery and I learned it was more than just possible to be her lover as well as her friend. It was essential to my being.
I’d been trying futilely for weeks and probably the months before to keep my relationship with Cordelia at the status quo because her friendship fit into my life like a vital piece of the puzzle that is my existence. I simply didn’t realize that there was another way. That it didn’t have to be one or the other. A friend or a lover. We could make something new, something better, a new piece of the puzzle that made it complete.
Now watching as my 11-month-old son futilely attempts to pound a square block into a round hole, I am reminded that not so long ago I made a concerted effort to do the same. Some things couldn’t be forced. They just had to be accepted.
Plucking the block from Connor’s hand I moved it over to the appropriate square. Protesting loudly, he called out to Cordelia as she lay sideways on our makeshift picnic blanket in the middle of the lobby floor, “Mama!”
Cordelia smiled indulgently commenting to me, “You know he’s supposed to learn to do that for himself.”
It had taken me almost two hundred fifty years to understand the lesson about puzzle pieces, so I figured our son could use a little help. Letting go of the block, it slipped into place.
A perfect fit.