In the Dark. 8

Chapter 8

She slowly stalked across the lobby towards him, feline grace and leggy charm. Her hazel eyes locked onto his, sending tremors of heat through his body.

He watched her, lazily reclining in his leather office chair, feeling his body harden as she stopped to face him across the huge walnut desk. Cordelia’s face glowed in the soft light.

“Angel….I….I just can’t do this anymore. This pretence…this sham. I tried to stay angry at you, but I know I’m just trying to hide my true feelings.” She stroked at her collarbone listlessly. “I…..I want you, Angel. I burn for you.” Her hands both rose to tangle in her hair, her lush body slowly undulating as her hands slid down her face, down her throat, down over her breasts. He watched, impassively, feeling his cock swelling as she touched herself, caressing her ripe, full breasts.

“God, please, tell me you feel it, too….I know you do. I know you want me.” She climbed up on his desk, sweeping the papers and files away. She crawled across the desk, the scent of her arousal filling his senses. She leaned to lick at his lips, biting his lower lip before pulling back and staring into his eyes. “Take me, Angel. Take me now.”

“Bite me, Gunn.” Angel was startled out of his daydream as Cordelia’s less than loving voice bit across the lobby. He jarred his knees against the too small legspace beneath his desk as he jumped in his chair. Looking around to see if anyone had noticed, he shifted a bit, leaning forward to hide the thick bulge beneath his jeans.

Gunn leaned against the counter, glaring at Cordy. “I’ll slay the demons, I’ll bury the pieces, I’ll wash your car, I’ll watch Oprah. Just don’t make me deal with those beady-eyed little critters. Ugh.” He shivered.

Cordelia, arms full of rat traps, turned to Wesley, who slowly lifted the newspaper he was reading till he was completely hidden behind it. She stared at him a moment, then trudged to the basement door.

“Be back in a moment. Maybe you can both pass the time looking for your balls and go online to ebay and buy a spine.” They both breathed a sigh of relief as they heard the door slam and her footsteps echoing down the stairs.

Angel sat still, waiting for his body to calm, then casually rose and walked to the basement.

“Better go help her. We really don’t want the wrath of Cordelia on us all day.” Gunn grinned and nodded in agreement. Angel opened the door and slowly walked down the stairs, not making a sound. He paused at the bottom of the steps, grinning to himself at the view.

Cordelia, down on her hands and knees, faced away from him, trying to push the trap between a set of shelves. Her top had ridden up over her back, giving him a perfect view of the delicately traced tattoo on the small of her back . Her ass, round and firm, wiggled a bit as she worked the trap back into the furthest reach.

She crawled backwards and stood, huffing at the dust in the air.

He wiped the grin off his face as she turned and shrieked, startled to see him standing there.

“Dammit, Angel! Wear a bell or something. Jeeze. What is your deal?”

His voice was calm. “Came to help you. I know this isn’t fun.”

“Oh. OK.” She seemed to be a little off center, not sure of him at the moment. He walked, stopping a few inches from her. She fought the urge to back up. Looking around, she picked up two traps and shoved them at him. “Here. I haven’t done that corner yet.” She pointed across the room before picking up another trap and walking in the opposite direction.

Angel watched her a moment before setting the two traps. Then he walked to the stairs and waited for her. She took a step up, ignoring him.

His voice was calm. “Gonna thank me?”

Her back stiffened and she turned around to face him. “OK. Thanks for earning your paycheck, Angel. I really appreciate your being able to work at your job.” She turned and started up the stairs. So quick he was a blur, he shot in front of her and blocked her way up the steps. She backed down one step, her eyes raised to him.

He sat on the higher stair, trying to be not intimidating while being, well, intimidating. He sighed. She needed to hear this, and this was the only way he was going to get her to listen.

“Move.” Her voice was quiet and low. “I mean it. Move or I’ll call Wes and Gunn.”

“Just want to talk.”

Silence. Her gaze was thunderous. “Fine. Talk. Then move.”

He stared at her for a minute; she finally looked away. His face was unreadable, his voice was calm. “Maybe you didn’t understand me last night. The punishment portion of the entertainment is over, Cordy. I was wrong, and I know that, and I’m back. You’re angry, and you don’t trust me, and I get that. But this queen bitch thing, it’s done. I let you get away with it…”

“You LET me…..arrogant much? You don’t LET me do anything.”

He stared down at her, deciding to let that pass. “All I’m saying is….let’s go on. All of us. Let’s try…” he paused. “Let’s try to be better than this.”

Cordy stared back, fire lighting the hazel in her eyes to a fine blaze. “Fine.”

“Fine.”

“Fine.” Cordy let out a sigh, feeling some of her anger draining out with it. She looked up at him, feeling the words tumble out before she even knew they were being formed. “I’m tired of being mad. It’s too much work.” He nodded, looking down. “Is this what it was like for you? Did you just…..get tired?”

“No.” He looked back up at her. “I got awake.” He held her gaze calmly. “You asked where I was. You said you couldn’t find me. You did. I’m right here.”

Cordy felt warmth creep through her heart, flowing through her blood and coursing thorough her body. She couldn’t have moved if her life depended on it. He slowly raised one hand and stroked along her cheek, relieved when she didn’t jerk away. She watched him, almost hypnotized as he slowly pulled his hand away. He rose, stepping aside.

She climbed the stairs past him and opened the door, stepping out into the hallway. He followed behind her and was turning to close the door when she shrieked and flung herself backwards, into him. He grabbed her shoulders and held her close, holding her arms as she writhed, screaming.

God, he hated this. She seemed to fold into herself, inching towards a place dark and painful whenever she got a little gift from the fucking PTB.

Footsteps pounded as Wesley and Gunn came pounding from the lobby. Angel held Cordy to his chest as she gasped, coming out of her vision. She clutched at his arms, hanging on as her eyes pressed shut against the light.

“Oh god….” Angel looked at Wesley, who trotted to the restroom to get aspirin and water. Cordy shuddered a bit before taking a deep breath.

“Um….samo samo….demon…two big horns…” her brow crinkled. “Ewww. Pus oozing scales. Corner of 31st and Hanthorne. He’s…..he’s….” She looked up at Angel. “He’s….eating a dog?”

Gunn hovered over her, confused. “He’s having a hotdog?”

“No…” Cordy looked up at Gunn. “A dog. Bowwow. He’s eating a DOG.” She looked up at Angel. “We’re supposed to help the helpless dogs now?”

He looked down at her, equally confused. “Maybe the dog is an appetizer.”

“EWWWWW.” Cordy rose, flushed from her vision and a bit wobbly on her feet. Angel reached to steady her, his eyes dark with concern. She leaned into him for a moment, sighing, before her inner voices kicked in and she shoved him away, grumbling as she reached for the aspirin and water from Wesley.

Angel watched her a moment, his brows furrowed in a frown, before looking to Wesley and Gunn. “Ok. I guess we go check it out before he moves on to the main course.” He glanced at Cordelia as she ewwed again.

“Stay here and rest, Cordy. We got this.” She lowered her head, her eyes closed. Angel looked at Wesley, who looked back, sharing a look of worry. Wesley spoke up.

“Angel’s right, Cordelia. We’ll go make the world a safe place for Lassie. You rest.” His voice was gentle as he put his arm around her, guiding her to a chair and sitting her down. Squatting down beside her, he looked up into her face, willing her eyes to meet his.

Cordy sighed, meeting his gaze as he continued, “They’re getting worse, aren’t they?” Cordelia nodded, tears filling her eyes. Wesley kissed her forehead. “Rest. No phone. No work. No going online and ordering shoes.” Cordy’s lips lifted in a small smile. “Rest.”

She nodded.

Gunn walked back from the weapons cabinet. “Barbie, just get your z’s on and when we’re back, I’ll take ya home. Be good and I might spring for a concrete at Custer’s.”

Cordy grinned tiredly. “Passionfruit mango kiwi. Double.” Gunn grinned and headed to the door, followed by Wesley. Angel stopped beside her chair, stooping down beside her.

“Cordy….” She looked up at him, pain still burning in her eyes. “Baby….go lie down. Let the aspirin kick in.” She sighed, nodding miserably. He looked at her a moment before rising and stalking to the front door, charging out thinking that someday, he’d track down the fucking powers that be and show them a little of his own powers that be.

Cordelia sighed as she heard the door slam. Tiredly, she rose and walked to the phone, making sure the answering machine was on. She looked around before walking to the stairs, climbing them with her mind numb and her head churning with pain.

Stopping in the hallway, she looked around, realizing that none of the rooms were really habitable, except Angel’s. She stood there, letting the thought of a soft bed carry her feet to his door. Opening it, she staggered across the room to the bed, dropping down onto the smooth, cool surface.

A dog. Jeeze. A huge, fluffy, shrubby-clipped poodle. She frowned to herself as she began to drift off, clutching a piece of fabric to her face as her mind began to ease. Had she told them that…to look for a poodle cut like hedges? She smiled sleepily as she fell asleep. She smelled Angel. Was he here?

Her last thought was….something was different…..something was new.

***

Later that evening, she slept blissfully on, clutching Angel’s discarded shirt still to her face. Angel rested in a chair beside the bed, his feet up on the edge, chin rested on steepled fingers as he watched her sleep.

Watched her sleep in the new bed that had been delivered yesterday, on top of a new bedspread that covered new sheets on new mattresses. He had tainted the old bed with his hatred and his anger. This bed….he watched her, intent.

This bed would be christened a hell of a lot differently.

Part 9

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