Many days later, but not too many
Cordelia sat at her desk sparing a glance around the office. It finally felt all right. Wesley and Gunn were arguing about the best method for cleaning weapons. Cordelia scrunched up her nose. It was a strange argument but a familiar one. She still didn’t understand the big deal.
She shrugged just glad that whatever unease Wesley had felt about Gunn and Fred’s relationship seemed to have evolved into acceptance and the friends earlier friendship seemed to have returned.
Cordelia turned to study Fred, puzzled by the fierce concentration on the other woman’s face as she stared at her computer. Fred had been sitting at the computer for hours.
Cordelia didn’t know what she could be researching, Cordelia hadn’t had a vision and the pending cases were pretty simple. Sure, Wesley had been searching for any signs or prophecies on any up-coming apocalypse but Cordelia didn’t think that Wesley found anything that needed Fred and her computer.
“What’s so interesting?” Cordelia wandered over to Fred’s desk.
The young woman looked up nudging at her glasses a scowl on her pretty face. “I got a B.”
“Look.” She swung around her laptop showing Cordelia the Acme Detective School web page and an instant message flashing a big B. “They gave me a B.” Fred said in disgust.
“Oh.” Cordelia patted Fred on her shoulder. “It was only the first test, maybe on the next one you’ll get an A.”
“You don’t understand- a B. I’ve never gotten a B, never.” Fred glared at the screen. “And they didn’t even tell me why my answer was wrong- just flashed error, error. I don’t think I was even wrong. I studied and studied. I don’t get Bs ever.”
“Maybe you should e-mail them ask them to send you more detailed explanation.” Cordelia shrugged.
“I did. The instructor responded that my analysis of DNA identification wasn’t the answer they were looking for.” Fred swung her chair around to face Cordelia. “How is showing someone a picture more effective for purposes of identification than DNA tests?”
“What was the question?”
Fred clicked on her mouse, pointing to the test and the question that popped up on the screen. “Looking for a missing person and identifying that person. If you were missing, a DNA match would definitely be more accurate than some person identifying a picture of you.” Fred commented.
Cordelia frowned as she read the question and Fred’s answer. “Wouldn’t you have to find me before you did the DNA thingy.” pointing to Fred’s long detailed scientific summary of DNA and it’s usefulness in identification.
Fred shook her head. “Not necessarily. Not if you had a clue with viable blood, salvia or hair.”
Cordelia looked at the question again, “Fred, honey, I think maybe the instructors didn’t want you to think so much in your answer or read so much into the question. I think you just blew them away with all that scientific stuff. “
Fred studied the question. “What, you think the answer should’ve been handing out fliers and showing pictures around to potential witnesses.” Fred pushed at her glasses. “But that’s so simple and I said that.” Fred pointed to her answer.
“Yeah. In a sentence, then you spent the rest of the,” Cordelia scrolled down the pages, “10 pages on DNA. Overkill.”
Fred bit at her lip. “You think so.”
“Hmmph. Well, they could have just said that AND I did answer the question right. I shouldn’t be penalized because I added a little bit extra. I’m going to write them.” Fred tapped on the mouse, getting back to her e-mail.
“Good idea.” Cordelia smiled at the determined expression on Fred’s face.
“Hey, Mario, and Jr. Mario, how’d the drivin’ go, no broken bones or other damage to report.”
Cordelia looked up to the door at Gunn’s call. Angel and Connor were just coming into the hotel lobby. She scrunched up her face at Angel’s expression. The vampire looked paler than he should- practically terrified even. Cordelia looked at the teenager. Connor seemed fine. Cordelia blinked, Connor looked better than fine, the boy was actually smiling.
Cordelia moved closer to hear Angel and Connor’s answers.
“I drove.” Connor said proudly.
Cordelia glanced back to Angel. He didn’t look proud- he looked sick.
“Angel let you drive his car? I thought you’ll were still in the observing stage.” Wesley questioned.
“Man, I was just kidding. How’s the car?” Gunn winced up at Angel.
“I didn’t hit anything.” Connor said defensively. “Well, except the curb, but that wasn’t my fault, he did it when he grabbed the steering wheel.” Connor pointed to his father.
“Angel, what happened?” Cordelia wanted to hear Angel’s interpretation of the event and find out why the vampire looked pale and sick.
“The car is fine. I’m not, though.” Angel turned to his son. “Connor, I explained that the yellow lines are on the roads for a reason, you must stay in them at all times otherwise the cars coming towards you will hit you.”
“But it didn’t hit us and you didn’t have to grab the wheel, I could’ve avoided it, you almost caused an accident the way you jerked the car around. ”
“Connor, I saved both of our lives, that car was a semi and you weren’t paying attention. Eyes must remain on the road at all times, not watching hoo….women on street corners.”
“But, they kept calling out and waving to us.”
“Angel, where exactly did take your son.” Cordelia raised her brows.
“I didn’t ‘take’ him anywhere.” Angel defended. “It was just that being on the freeway was a really bad idea, so I told him to get off at the soonest exit he would actually slow down for.”
“You took him on the freeway? Are you nuts?” Gunn said.
“No, I’m not nuts. It’s just that I didn’t realize my son had trouble with left and right.”
“I know my left from my right.” Connor protested.
“Then why did you take a left onto the freeway, when I specifically said right.”
“That was your fault, you were still yelling about the stupid light and you weren’t real clear.”
“What stupid light?” Fred had joined the others in listening to Angel and Connor’s adventures.
“It was no big deal, I didn’t hit that car wasn’t even close to it.”
“Connor,” Angel said with forced calm. “Red lights mean STOP.”
“It was yellow.”
“First of all it was RED, it had turned RED. Yellow means caution, look out for traffic, slow down and prepare to stop, it does NOT mean speed up.”
“He does it,” Connor pointed to Gunn.
“Whoa, kid. Hey, Angel man, I never told him to speed up on yellow, never man.” Gunn held up his hands at Angel’s glare.
Angel gave a stiff smile to the black man. “Yes, well, later I would like to have a word with you about what else you have and haven’t been telling my son.”
Gunn shot a look to Connor. “What’d I say?”
Connor grunted, rolling his eyes. “He’s still mad that you were talking about him having sex with Cordelia.”
Cordelia gaped at Connor than at Gunn, who by that time had fallen off the desk. Fred just hurried to get Wesley a glass of water, since he seemed to be choking.
Gunn scrambled to his feet, looking back and forth from Cordelia and Angel. “I didn’t…never said anything about…….no way. Kid, why are you trying to get me killed, I thought we were cool.” He called to Connor.
“I’m not,” Connor looked puzzled. “All I did was ask him why he would want to jump Cordelia’s bones if he still had his soul and what bumping and grinding meant. You said it was a conversation I needed to have with him. So, did you.” He pointed to Wesley.
Fred got back up and ran to get some more water as Wesley started to choke again.
“Whoa, hey,” Gunn held up his hands. “All I said was jumping bones and bumping and grinding were a Dad/Son conversation. He’s the one that brought Cordy into it,” Gunn pointed accusingly at Wesley. “All worried that you two couldn’t be alone together without….anyway, I was defending you.”
Fred looked at the water in her hand and put in on the counter and decided that slapping the back of the blue-faced choking Wesley would be more effective. “Come on, Wesley, you just need to breathe.”
“I..I..” Wesley coughed and took a deep breath, his blue face turning red. “I was being vague in my worry in front of Connor, you were the one that brought the simple thought down to the gutter, with your jumping bones and bumping and grinding in front of the boy.” He glared at Gunn, who just glared back.
Connor shrugged. “I don’t know why everyone is getting so upset. What’s the big deal about Dad and Cordelia having sex now that his soul is anchored?”
“Man, if you knew what it meant why’d you have to bring it up.” Gunn whined.
“Well, I didn’t until he started to get all stammery and flustered then mad.” Connor pointed to Angel. “It was obvious then.”
Angel turned from his son to watch Cordelia get up from her chair shaking her head. “Cordy? Where are you going?”
Cordelia blinked. “I’m not sure but away from this whole conversation and those imbeciles,” she blinked again at Wesley and Gunn. “If I stay I might have to kill them.” She said her head still shaking.
“Cordy,” Wesley started to reach out.
“Don’t, Wesley, saying anything else right now probably wouldn’t at all be in your best interest.” Cordelia moved past him towards the stairs.
“Right, Well.” Wesley cleared his throat and studied his shoes.
“Gunn, what Cordelia said goes for you too.”
“Sure, Gottcha.” Gunn settled back down on the desk.
Connor shrugged. “So, when do I get to drive again?”
Angel studied his son. “Never.”
“Hey, it’s not my fault that Cordelia got mad. It’s theirs.”
“Can’t we just gag that kid.” Gunn whispered over to Wesley.
“I wish.” The other man sighed.
“Yes, but it is your fault that we almost got killed numerous times tonight.”
Connor glared. “You are melodramatic; those cars weren’t even close.”
“Who called me melodramatic?”
“Please, god, no, please…don’t let him say me.” Gunn whispered again. Wesley closed his eyes praying the same.
“I heard Cordelia call you that – a melodramatic dork.”
Gunn and Wesley let out a sigh of relief. “Thank god.” Wesley nodded in agreement.
“And they all agreed.”
“I hate that kid.” Gunn whispered. Again Wesley nodded.
Fred rolled her eyes at her boyfriend and Wesley. “Angel, sometimes you can be a bit melodramatic.”
“Girl.” Gunn warned, trying to wave Fred’s statement away.
“I am NOT melodramatic.” Angel glared. “And Connor, until you can tell me exactly everything you did wrong tonight and why it was wrong, there will be no more driving lessons.” Angel shook his head and went up stairs.
“See, melodramatic,” Connor looked to the others for agreement.
“Whoa, kid, I’m not saying anything in front of you, you little tattletale.”
“Connor, there are times that conversations heard are best not to be repeated.”
“If it was wrong to say them, why’d you say them?”
“Very good question, unfortunately not one that Wesley or Charles can seem to answer right now, if ever. Why don’t we order some pizza and you tell us exactly what you did tonight while driving and maybe we can help you figure what you did wrong.” Fred said reasonably.
Connor nodded and then lifted his head in a question. “What kind of work do woman on street corners do? Dad said those women that were waving at us, were working. What kinda work? They weren’t wearing very many clothes.”
“I’m not answering that, no way.” Gunn shook his head. “Sticking to the driving stuff, only.”
“Yes, Charles is correct.” Wesley nodded vigorously.
“Oh, sex can be a job?”
“What?” both Wesley and Gunn exclaimed.
“It has to be something about sex or you wouldn’t be getting so nervous.”
“I’m going to go order the pizza,” Gunn decided to just ignore the teenager.
“Charles, I believe you will need my input.” Wesley followed the black man to the phone.
Connor looked at Fred.
“Yes, it can, one that can be unpleasant and unsafe for the women and men that are forced by circumstances to make their living selling sex. Sexual intercourse is an act that should preferably be done between two emotionally mature and loving people that respect each other, not for profit or other senseless reasons. It’s not a job that most are eager to have. It is not so much embarrassing but sad.”
Connor smiled. “Thanks.”
“Your welcome. Now, tell me about the driving and then I’ll show you the material I studied when I had to retake my driver’s test when I got back from Plyea. Will get you ready for your next lesson.”
Angel paused in the doorway of his suite bracing himself enter. It was both heaven and hell in there. Cordelia had slowly resumed her habit of just going into his bedroom to talk to him. Angel remembered the hope that had sprung up when he first saw that she was sitting on his bed waiting for him.
The hope transformed into another type when Angel quickly realized she wasn’t there because she wanted to make love.
Angel had been disappointed but he had also been grateful. Cordelia wasn’t shutting him out. It was almost like it was before- before the kidnapping or forced underwater imprisonment, before any declarations of love-just friendship and talking, usually about Connor but never about the two of them. It was almost comfortable.
Who was he kidding, it was wonderful, but it was also damn painful and frustrating to have to sit in the chair away from Cordelia, when all he wanted to do was be on the bed with her, in her, touching her.
There were times that Angel could sense Cordelia wanting the same, but she never gave any indication or made a move towards him and Angel wouldn’t. Angel believed without a doubt if he in anyway took advantage of her desire she would never forgive him. Angel wondered if she was testing him. If she was- he wouldn’t fail it.
So, Angel just sat and forced his instincts and desires down concentrating on her voice and words immersing himself in the enjoyment and comfort of talking to his best friend.
Angel took a deep breath and opened the door. He stopped. Cordelia’s face was buried in her hands, her shoulders shaking. Was she crying? “Cordelia?”
Cordelia looked up, wiping at her tears, small choking sounds came from her throat, vibrating her body and shoulders. Angel sat down on the chair, his worry gone. She was laughing or rather she was trying to stop laughing.
“What part of all of that do you find so amusing?”
“All of it, you should have seen your face. You were scared.”
Angel growled. “That was not funny and you would’ve been scared too, he can’t drive. Rules of the road don’t exist for Connor, he just does what he wants the faster the better. He’s dangerous. I’m not letting him drive again. He doesn’t listen to me. He listens and repeats any other stupidity that he hears but he won’t listen to me tell him to stop at red lights and stop signs or stay in the white and yellow lines, that spend limits must be adhered to even if it seems too slow. Connor’s a menace. We could’ve died or killed somebody. Rules are made for a reason. They must be followed. My car could’ve been hurt.”
Cordelia started to laugh all over again.
“It’s not funny.”
“Oh, my poor baby, afraid of his son that doesn’t like to follow rules,” Cordelia slid off the bed.
“Rules of the road…..Cordy, what are you doing?” Angel’s rant changed immediately to a startled question as her warm body settled in his lap and her hand snaked up around his neck.
“I think I’m about to jump your bones, if I understand Gunn’s meaning correctly.”
Angel started to speak but no words came out, he just froze as he felt gentle moist lips grace his. Cordelia leaned back up at Angel’s unresponsiveness. “Did I get it wrong? I could’ve sworn that it meant make love.”
“Cordy,” Angel squeaked finally finding his voice. “You wouldn’t….”
“Tease you?” Cordelia smiled. “Not now, maybe later.” She leaned back in.
Angel brought up his hands pushing her back. “You forgive me? You want to make love? You love me?” Angel gripped at Cordelia’s shoulders, searching her gaze.
“Cordy.” Angel shook her slightly needing to hear a better answer.
Cordelia brought up a delicate hand cupping his jaw. “I love you and I’m tired of wondering how long I’m supposed to be mad. Day by day has to stop some day and since you are so damn cute when you become frantic daddy dork, I’ve decided today is as good of a day as any.”
Cordelia scrunched up her face at the still motionless vampire. “Angel, you’re being slow on the up take here.”
“Slow.” Angel blinked finally understanding. “Can’t be slow, later,” he growled pushing up from the chair, Cordelia’s body tight in his grip until she was dumped on the bed.
“You have two seconds to take your clothes off or they will be in shreds.” Angel growled removing his own quickly and efficiently.
“Not fair, you’re always faster than I am.” Cordelia mumbled through the material of her shirt as she tried to kick off her shoes.
“Wear less.” Angel growled yanking down at her jeans breaking her zipper and pulling the denim off as he threw Cordelia’s shoes across the room.
“Hey,” Cordelia cried out. “Okay, Geez.” She quickly reached around freeing her breasts as Angel tossed the little ripped material from her hips. Once Angel had Cordelia’s nude body safely trapped under his, he calmed his earlier urgency. Angel leaned slightly up not quite willing for his chest to leave the softness of the breasts that pillowed him, but he needed to have a better view of Cordelia’s face. Angel’s hand came up to caress the smooth cheek, his thumb tracing the full bottom lip. “I love you,” he said forcefully and earnestly into the happy hazel eyes.
“Me, too.” She grinned, wrapping her hands up around his neck urging him closer. Angel dove to capture the beautiful grin. Pent up frustration was released in a deep growl as Angel savored the lips, his mouth and tongue moving to relearn every taste and flavor that had been denied to him for too long.
Cordelia whimpered at the force of the kiss, her body arching in need as Angel’s hand palmed her breast, his thumb rubbing her nipple, his other hand entangled in her hair keeping her lips locked to his. Cordelia squirmed jerking her hips closer, gasping as Angel’s firm caress left her breast traveling down her side to embed itself between her thighs. With the heel of his palm he pressed into soft curls of her center spreading the concentrated moisture with wide strong strokes, causing Cordelia to gasp out her breath as she tried to open her thighs wider.
Angel growled shifting, bringing his hips in line with Cordelia’s, stopping her movement with a strong hand, lifting and pressing his penis to the hidden entrance. Thrusting with a hard push he embeded himself in the heat, catching Cordelia’s gasp with his lips. Angel felt whole as he pressed harder into the warmth, every dead nerve cell became alive with the pleasure and power of his thrust, every brain cell and every corner of his soul filled with love as his body and instincts screamed out for possession. A low growl of need vibrated deep in the vampire’s chest, emerging from his throat in one harsh word. “Mine.”
Angel lifted his head as his brain and soul panicked, his body stilling under the knowledge of what he just said and the burgeoning fear at the beautiful woman’s reaction underneath him. Would she reject this instinct within the vampire, regardless of her love? Tell Angel again that she hadn’t consented to his mark, that she refused to be possessed.
Cordelia reached up to cradle Angel’s face, smiling softly. “Yours.”
With one word, Angel’s fear left leaving nothing but love and instinct. “Mine,” he growled, plunging to capture her smile again as his hands and hips moved with vigor to take claim to Cordelia’s entire body.
Cordelia closed her eyes feeling the barely restrained danger of the vampire as he moved over her controlling her body with his strength. This was not like any prior acts of love between Cordelia and the vampire. It was surely not soft or sweet by any means. Neither was it the mutual aggressiveness and playfulness of the so-called unbridled lust variety nor the manipulative teasing of faux Angelus’ versions of sex.
It was power and controlled violence, leaving Cordelia with nothing to do but hold on. She began to wonder whether it mattered to the vampire who she was or was she just a body to be used. Cordelia hoped to god she was wrong, she opened her eyes straight into Angel’s intense gaze. <br
Tears started to form blurring her visions as the intensity overwhelmed her. It wasn’t blind lust, but everything that Angel was, she saw love, desire, pain, strength, need, want, hope all contained in the dark stare, all directed towards her begging for acceptance.
Cordelia moved slightly to hold on tighter, bringing her lips up to Angel’s ear, rubbing her cheek against his, “I love you.” She whispered, then closed her eyes abandoning all thoughts and worries for the purely physical sensations of being owned because, in that dark gaze, Cordelia realized that while Angel took relentlessly from her body, he was offering her something precious in return- his entire being.
Cordelia cried out as Angel shifted her hips changing the position of their joining. Tension that had been caused by thoughts and worries now changed to the tension of pounding excited nerves. Angel’s low growl of release and the twitching of his expelling cock triggered small explosions under Cordelia’s skin. She cried out again as Angel withdrew. He moved quickly descending kisses down her breast as his hand and fingers claimed the just abandoned warmth. Angel’s touch was gentle and precise building the pressure back up in Cordelia’s belly. Angel’s lips settled on her stomach covering the newly healed wound. Angel glanced up searching for Cordelia’s gaze. Cordelia rolled her eyes, gripping the vampire’s hair forcing his lips back to her skin and his hand back on her center not wanting to deal with words or the dichotomy of the insecure powerful vampire at that moment. Cordelia smiled as Angel took her direction as consent.
This time she watched as Angel transformed, his fangs piercing the skin as his fingers distracted her from the initial pain with pleasure. Cordelia’s eyes widened at the eroticism of the feel and sight, she gasped as the pressure in her belly erupted into an intense orgasm and Angel in human form sucked and licked at the small puncture wounds. With one last gentle kiss, Angel rose bringing his body back over Cordelia, again searching her gaze. Cordelia wanted to smack him for still being unsure, but then he smiled, one of those beautiful smiles that made her heart ache.
“I love you,” he whispered, nuzzling his face into her neck.
Cordelia pulled up at Angel’s face. “Mine.” She said clearly with a small grin. Wow. Cordelia had thought the first smile was beautiful. “Yours.” Angel agreed, returning to the crook of her neck and shifting their bodies, tucking Cordelia’s into his side, with his arms and legs bringing her in closer.