Angel heard Wesley and Gunn entering the hotel. They were arguing. Arguing about what to get Cordelia for her birthday and whose fault it was that they forgot.
Angel opened his tightly clenched hand and stared at the box, the ribbon was ruined. He had ruined the pretty strings. Just like he ruined everything, a small tear hit the shiny paper.
His head shot up. Cordelia’s fragrance bowled him over. She was in the hotel. Angel stumbled to his feet, the box once again clutched in his hand. Angel ran out of the room and dashed down the stairs.
He stopped as Cordelia walked past Wesley and Gunn. She stopped before him and swung at Angel. The loud smack of her fist hitting his face echoed in the now silent lobby.
“If you ever do anything as stupid, as self destructive again, I will stake you myself, you won’t have to worry about any death wish. Got it.” Cordelia grabbed his hand and dragged the still stunned vampire to the stairs.
Wesley stood motionless, his mouth gaping wide. He started as Gunn ran past him. “Where are you going?” he called after the young black man.
“To get Cordy a present, a big one,” Gunn yelled as he tore out of the hotel.
Wesley looked back up at the stairs. He really didn’t think what had just happened had anything thing to do with Cordelia not getting any birthday presents. Angel had said he had gotten her one. But then again, who knew?
It was better to be safe than to have an angry Cordelia. “Wait up,” Wesley called running after Gunn.
“I’m sorry Cordy,” Angel begged the now quiet young woman. “I would have told you.”
Cordelia raised her brows.
“I would have, I just don’t know when,” he admitted.
“Well, the soul thing, sooner would have been nice, but I don’t know what I would have felt or done with that information. So, it probably is not a bad thing that you waited until now. Now, I know how I feel and what to do about it.”
“And how is that?” Angel asked quietly, the hope creeping into his voice.
“I love you, now shut up. The other little bombshell you dropped, well……” Cordelia paused and cradled Angel’s face in her small hands.
“There would have never been a good time. But, Angel don’t ever lose sight of your redemption again. Don’t ever risk yourself, your future, like that again. I don’t care how helpless, or angry or whatever you feel, don’t do it. And I will be with as long as it takes, the power’s willing.” Cordelia said firmly. “And if I catch you even looking at another blonde you will be so dusted, got it. That includes live ones and dead ones.”
Angel nodded, a beautiful smile breaking out all over his face. “I love you.”
“I love you too,” Cordelia smiled widely, running into his arms.
“So, what did you want to do about the soul thing.” Angel grinned, pulling her body close to his.
“First my present, you said first thing this morning, it’s morning.”
Angel stepped away from the young woman. He held out his hand. “It got a little smooshed, I’m sorry. I…….I hope…..you like it,” he said hesitantly, doubt suddenly filling his body.
“Angel,” Cordelia looked puzzled at the vampire. He was scared. “I’m sure I will.” She sat on the bed and gingerly held the small shiny silver wrapped package, its gold ribbons falling limply in her hands. “You wrapped this?” she asked.
Angel sat next to her, reaching out and touching the ribbons. “They use to curl, honest.”
“Oh Angel, it’s beautiful,” she cried hugging him and kissing him.
“Um, Cordy, you haven’t opened it, yet,” he said untangling her arms from around him.
“Oh right, silly, uh,” she nervously opened the package. Cordelia carefully slid her fingernail along its side, not tearing at the paper.
“Cordy, what are you doing?”
“I’m opening my present, jeez.”
“No you’re not. I’ve seen you open presents, before. Open it, already,” Angel cried. He was both excited and scared to know what she thought about it.
“But, it’s pretty and you wrapped it for me,” she whined.
“Oh, give me it,” Angel griped, snatching the box from her hand.
“Angel,” Cordelia whined some more.
Angel ripped the paper off the small box.
“Angel,” Cordelia cried, picking up the tossed aside ribbons.
“It’s paper,” Angel exclaimed.
“It’s my paper, from my present, that you gave me, now shut up and give the stupid thing.”
“It’s not stupid.”
“I’ll be the judge of that, now hand it over.”
Angel slammed the small box in her beckoning hand.
“Ummph,” Cordelia snorted as she opened the box. The snort died in her throat as she pulled out the necklace, her fingers traced down the chain, pulling the pendant up to her eyes.
“It’s an angel,” Angel said unnecessarily.
“I know,” she whispered, turning the small charm around in her fingers. Angel gave her an angel. Cordelia had been so tempted over the last two years, to buy an angel charm. She almost did once. She rationalized that it was just a symbol for Angel Investigations. But, even in her rationalizations, she knew that wouldn’t be true.
It would symbolize Angel pure and simple. And she hadn’t the guts to buy it. It would be to weird. Too presumptuous. But, he had done it for her. Angel had seen this and gotten it for her before the dreams ever started. He had given her the symbol of himself. Cordelia thought her heart would burst.
“It won’t break, it’s platinum. The jeweler said you could fight demons with it on. Well, actually, he didn’t say that, but he said that it could withstand an active lifestyle and well we do have an active life style and all. The demons, and stuff. You don’t like it.” Angel said fighting down his panic. Cordelia said she loved him. It didn’t matter if she didn’t want to wear an angel.
It was pretty stupid when he thought about it. “You can exchange it, well I’m not the sure the antique store takes exchanges, But he will if I tell him too, I’m sure.” Angel babbled, trying to come to grip with his mixed emotions.
“Angel, shut up and put this on me now,” the tears in her throat choking her words. She leaned around and pulled her hair from her neck.
“You like it?” he asked, the necklace dangling from his fingers. .
A sob and chuckle escaped from her lips. “I love it and I love you, now hurry up and put it on.”
Angel closed the clasp around Cordelia’s neck. His hands stayed to caress her skin. He leaned in to kiss her gently. The back of Cordelia’s neck tingled at the moist softness. Cordelia lurched around and pushed Angel down on the bed. Her body was straddling his. “Make love to me, now,” she demanded, her voice low with love and desire.
Angel raised his head and captured her lips as his hands traveled under her shirt. Angel growled as he felt the heat of her skin. His kiss became more demanding as the heat from her body, seeped into his soul. Cordelia moaned into his lips, his perfect lips. She relished every cool touch his hands trailed over her body.
The coolness soothed her hot skin as the flames built up within her center. She pressed further into Angel, clutching at his shirt, tearing at his buttons. Cordelia was impatient to have him inside her. She knew what awaited her, and she was frantic to feel all of the pleasure that Angel ignited in her body. Angel sensed her anticipation; it mirrored his. Angel quickly removed both of their clothing.
Angel poised himself over her center. “Cordy,” he stalled. “I can’t…..” Angel struggled to contain his needs. Dreams aside, Angel knew that Cordelia hadn’t been with a man for over a year and he didn’t want to hurt her.
“Now,” Cordelia urged. She forced her hips upwards, her center embracing the tip of his penis. Angel growled at the contact. He thrust hard, fully embedding himself in Cordelia’s welcoming heat.
Angel stilled, struggling not to lose control. But it was almost impossible. The dreams had been erotic, spectacular and intense. But this was more. This was heaven and hell intermingled and thrust together. Fire surrounded him, starting from within but seeping out of his very pores to encircle him to torture him, to promise him the bliss of paradise if he was judged worthy. He moved within the flames, each lick of heat searing his being he thrust harder and faster trying to reach the pure rapture that waited.
With every deep stroke, Cordelia felt her inner body get closer too a delicious meltdown. She was poised, balancing between the burning of her blood, nerves, every cell that flowed through her and the coolness of each of Angel’s thrust, the soothing balm of his hands as they caressed her skin. Cordelia clenched her eyes shut; she couldn’t look at Angel anymore.
All she could do was concentrate on the battle between the hot and cold, and the sparks that the fight generated on the back of her eyelids. Each of his actions increased the painful pleasure of her denotation, closer and closer to an exquisite explosion. Cordelia was impatient the pain pleasure unbearable. She couldn’t stand it anymore; she needed immediate release. Cordelia grabbed at Angel’s head, yanking his mouth to her breast, urging, begging him to do the one thing that would end the torturous bliss and set her free. She pushed her flesh into his mouth as she drove her hips harder into Angel.
Angel had no thoughts, but to squelch the fire around him. To release both Cordelia and he. He bit into Cordelia’s skin. At the first sip of her blood, his hips pounded harder. Everything that was Cordelia surrounded him, her blood, her scent, her heat, her flesh, and her love, all which pushed Angel to the edge of the precipice between heaven and hell.
Cordelia cried out, gasping at the air, holding on to Angel for her very life as they both dove then flew into their joined bliss.
Cordelia’s limp body sunk deeper into the mattress as Angel’s heavy body fell onto hers. They stayed like that for a moment. Both, trying to regain any semblance of consciousness. They clutched at each other trying to establish proof that they were real, that their love was real and that they were still alive.
Cordelia was the first to move. Her head nuzzled into the crook of Angel’s neck. Her head rubbing, her mouth kissing and murmuring soft words.
The breath on his neck, the feel of Cordelia’s damp silky hair caressing his skin, brought movement to Angel’s limbs. Angel held Cordelia close as he turned them both over, relieving Cordelia of his greater weight. Cordelia let out an another breath and draped herself down on Angel. Her arms and legs flayed out over his body. Her face still caressing Angel’s skin.
“This isn’t a dream, is it?” Cordelia whispered.
“No,’ Angel said lowly.
“I didn’t think so,” she signed. Her intake of breath pushed her further into Angel’s chest. “You know, dreams are overrated, real stuff is so much……more,” she said decisively.
Angel’s hands crept up to Cordelia’s face. He brushed back the dark strands that covered her face and stared memorized by the love in her eyes. Angel smiled. “Yes.” He agreed simply, bringing his lips to hers in a soft gentle kiss.
Cordelia smiled into his kiss. She leaned up, her fingers reaching for the angel charm. She wrinkled her face trying to see how it looked on her. Cordelia humphed, still straining to look at the necklace. “I can’t tell, how does it look?”
“Beautiful,” Angel’s eyes never left Cordelia’s face.
“The necklace,” Cordelia blushed and huffed at the same time.
“Oh,” Angel lifted the charm and dropped it against her skin, his fingers caressing the surrounding skin. “It’s pretty, too.”
Angel’s eyes and fingers trailed down to trace the wounds on Cordelia’s breast. A slight frown formed on his face. Angel hadn’t meant to bite her, he had wanted to prove his last drawing false. But the need to possess all of Cordelia had been too great. Her heat, her love had brought forth his demon. And at the moment before he tasted her, Angel had felt her desire and willingness. But now, seeing the wounds his doubts began to resurface again.
Cordelia’s eyes followed his fingers. She turned even redder at the sight of the puncture marks.
“You so need a mirror in here,” she grumbled moving away from Angel.
“There’s a mirror in the bathroom,” she interrupted. “I want to see my necklace.” She started to jump off the bed. Cordelia didn’t want to talk about the bites. It was too embarrassing. She had practically forced him to bite. Cordelia reached on the floor for Angel’s shirt. Her hand bypassed the material to land on a piece of heavy paper.
Cordelia stood up, staring at the picture. “I don’t look like this.” She said in awe.
Angel tensed and said nothing. He had hidden all his sketches or so he had thought.
“When did you draw this?” Cordelia asked still staring at the paper.
“Which is it?” Angel finally said, holding out his hand.
“There’s more?” Cordelia eyes widened at the vampire.
“I did several after each dream.”
Cordelia studied the picture some more. Her obvious pleasured face and form dominated the page, but once she looked past that she saw the background. “The third dream,” she said recognizing the floor of her apartment. “I want to see the others,” she said suddenly.
“Cordelia,” Angel hesitated.
“You read my journal. Don’t think I forgot that invasion of privacy. Just because I haven’t expressed my displeasure at that little tidbit, doesn’t mean I can’t or won’t,” Cordelia promised. “I want to see the rest.” She demanded.
Angel gulped. He had hoped with all of his other bombshells, that particular transaction had been forgotten. Angel should have known better. He slowly got off the bed and went to his bottom drawer. He handed her the stack of sketches.
Cordelia plopped on the floor as she went through the stack. “What the….Oh, my god…..This is how you saw me?” She said stunned. In every drawing, Angel had used simple lines, and subtle shading to make her more beautiful than any Hollywood makeup artist could ever do.
“That’s what you look like. You’re beautiful, more beautiful than I can put on paper.”
Cordelia raised her brows in doubt. “You aren’t in any…….” She stopped and stared at the last picture in her hand. “This is not right,” she stammered. “This is not what happened,” She shook her head as she stared at the picture. “This is not you.” She jabbed forcibly at the picture of the grotesque vampire.
“Yes. That’s what I am.” Angel said simply.
“A vampire yes, but that no.” Cordelia shook her head firmly.
Cordelia was on the bed, her breast bloodied, her skin torn. A vampire was leaning over her body. Angel, but it wasn’t Angel. The vampire was menacing, dangerous, and vile.
“Angel, this isn’t really how you see yourself, is it?” she begged.
“Angel, you’re not a monster. This is.” She said pointing again to the picture. “So, you fed in your dream, it was a dream. It was an amazing dream for me at least. You obviously have some major hang ups about it, though. Gee, I’m the one that should be all wigged out not you.” Cordelia paused, “if you felt this way, why did you do it, this time for real? Oh, and by the way, you didn’t look like this.” Cordelia added firmly and knowingly. She waited for Angel’s answer.
“Cordelia, I did turn,” Angel corrected her last statement.
“Yeah, your eyes changed to a deep gold, the bumpy things came out doing a number on your hairline, and the pointy teeth definitely made an appearance. But, it was different than this. This is just gross,” Cordelia shook her head at the picture in her hand. “You weren’t gross, just ‘grry’.” She shrugged. “So, why did you do it?”
Angel studied Cordelia. He almost believed that she really didn’t see him as a demon or rather; she didn’t see him as a monstrous one, just a ‘grry’ one.
“You were wigged out.” He said, not knowing what else to say.
“When?” she challenged.
“After the dream,” he claimed.
“That wasn’t for you to read,” Cordelia glared. “But, you did, ignoring Dennis’ warnings, threatening him, for that alone I should yell…….Yes, Dennis spilled, or wrote rather.”
Angel winced. He should have exorcised that snitch ghost.
“But you did read through it…..and all you came up with was I was wigged?” Cordelia continued, questioning.
Angel cautiously shrugged. Actually, that wasn’t all he came up with. The rest was what had enabled him to have the hope and nerve to tell and show Cordelia how he felt about her.
“Angel, of course I was shocked. I grew up on the hellmouth; getting bit by a vampire was the big classic ‘no no’, usually ending in death. Not, pleasure. Man,” she trailed off, thinking.
“What?” Angel asked nervously in her silence.
“What? Oh,” Cordelia said bringing her focus back to Angel. “The bite thing, is it always like that? I mean is it some sort of talent all ‘grr’ guys have, cuz if it is then it a good thing it’s not well known, otherwise, people would be lining up just to get snacked on.”
“Cordy, what are you talking about?” Sometimes, Cordelia really confused him.
“The high, the pleasure, the intensity,” she recited. “Does that always happen? I mean, if that yucky Winters vamp and I had done it, and he bit me, would I have felt the same things.” Cordelia scrunched up her face. “That can’t be right, that would’ve just been gross and I would’ve been dead. Right, or is it a vamp sex thing?” This is so weird”
Weird it was crazy, Angel thought. The workings of Cordelia’s mind didn’t only confuse him, but sometimes down right scared him. “What?” he asked fearfully, not at all sure he wanted to know what she meant.
Cordelia humphed, she had thought she was being clear. “If I had sex with a vampire, not you, but another one and he fed off me, would I……”
“Never,” Angel growled.
“Angel, I’m not actually planning on doing it. I was just wondering. Jeez.”
“Cordelia,” Angel exclaimed in exasperation. “Vampire’s don’t snack, they feed, feed to the last drop.”
“You didn’t.” she countered.
“Of course, I didn’t, I don’t do that anymore, soul remember.” Angel’s head was starting to really hurt.
“Really,” she raised an elegant brow and pointed to her breast. “Blood sucked.” Daring him to contradict her logic.
“I didn’t feed, we were making love,” he defended and explained at the same time.
“So, it is a sex blood thing,” she nodded. “Which still begs the question, is it like that with other vamps? Was it the same with you and Buffy?”
“Never mind,” Cordelia yelped as Angel squeaked out a loud “Buffy, NO.”
Cordelia glared at Angel’s shocked tone. At first, after she had realized what she asked she had immediately regretted it, a detailed accounting of Buffy and Angel’s sex life was not a subject that she wanted to discuss.
Especially, not sitting naked on Angel’s floor, after making mind blowing, body burning love to the vampire. But now, because Cordelia was sitting on the floor naked with two holes in her breast, she did.
“Why not?” she demanded. “You had sex with her, Angelus ringing any bells?”
“I could never bite Buffy,” he said still shocked. Angel thought his head would explode. What had started out as a nice, sane, potentially angst filled conversation had turned into the bizarre.
“Why not?” Cordelia asked in an irritated tone.
“It would’ve been wrong, so wrong”. Angel exclaimed, still completely confused and appalled at the idea that he would ever have bitten Buffy. “I couldn’t let that ever touch her,” he jabbed at the picture he drew of his demon.
“Oh, you couldn’t let that suck Buffy, but you could poke holes in me. How’d I get so lucky.” She spit.
“Cordelia,” Angel exclaimed, hurt by her tone. Angel didn’t have a clue how their conversation had deteriorated into this.
“No, Angel explain to me why Miss Slayette couldn’t be ‘touched’ by your demon, but I could. Why is it that you could let that feed off me,” she demanded pointing at the picture.
“You said that you didn’t see me like that,” Angel choked.
“But, you see yourself like that, obviously something that Buffy,” Cordelia hissed, “needed to be protected or kept away from. But not me. What? Why? Oh, never mind, I know. Buffy was Buffy, don’t do anything to upset her, we can’t upset the almighty wonderful slayer.” Cordelia started to get up.
Angel shot out his hand, pulling the angry young woman down. Cordelia was livid, but she was angry at the very fact that made Angel know that they were soul mates. He had to make her understand.
Angel stared as the woman squirmed angrily before him; her eyes had dropped to her fidgeting hands during his prolonged silence. They had managed to go full circle, starting with his insecurities and ending with hers. Which would be fine, if anything had actually been said, during the verbal merry-go-round. Angel wondered if they would ever have a conversation, like normal people, but then again, they weren’t normal.
Personally, he wouldn’t mind being normal, but not Cordelia. He wouldn’t change a thing about his seer. Nothing. Because, the one thing that he did discover during her angry rants was that his doubts and fears regarding his demon didn’t exist for Cordelia. She hadn’t been mad that he bit her, just that he hadn’t bit Buffy. Which was slightly confusing to him, but mostly Angel was amazed, gratified and very happy.
“I tasted your blood, because I could,” he tried to explain.
“What is that suppose to mean?” Cordelia cut in. “You loved Buffy. And god, how we all suffered that version of the greatest love story of all time. But you couldn’t ‘soil’ her……” Cordelia grunted in disgust.
“Soil?” Angel’s happy moment plummeted.
“Soil,” she yelled. “You obviously, don’t think it’s a good thing to do,” Cordelia yelled, pointed to the picture, “or you wouldn’t have drawn yourself as the star vamp of a B horror movie. Or be so appalled that I even suggested that you showed your true nature to Saint Buffy.”
Angel was angry, Cordelia was being obtuse. “ I loved Buffy very much. She was the first person that gave me hope. I wanted to touch her, to make love to her. And she allowed me. My demon wanted to taste her that night, to possess her, to experience every part of her, to not only be inside her, but to have her inside of me……..
“Don’t,” Cordelia choked. A sharp blade sliced through her anger and embedded itself in Cordelia’s stomach as she saw the sadness in Angel’s eyes, created by the memory. She couldn’t take it. Cordelia wasn’t sure what Angel’s purpose was in saying all of this. But she didn’t want to find out. All Cordelia wanted to do was hit something, but mainly she wanted run, curl up and die.
“I didn’t,” Angel stated, ignoring Cordelia’s gasp. Angel was just talking now. It wasn’t angry, or even an explanation. It was just a desperate monologue. It was as if once he started, he couldn’t stop.
“I was able to control my instincts with Buffy. I had to. She wouldn’t have understood or allowed me too take that final step which would have exposed what I really was. It wasn’t her fault. She tried to accept me. But, she is the Slayer. Vampires are her natural enemy. And she couldn’t acknowledge that I was something that every instinct in her body told her to kill. I was…………am a vampire. I tried to forget that in her arms. For her I denied who I was. Which was okay, I foolishly thought I could. And, I wasn’t about to ruin our love by allowing my instincts to take over. It wasn’t that hard and I did have my joy. To the regret of everyone” Angel said bitterly.
“Angelus, my being a vampire, it was too much to ask of her. Buffy is amazing and giving, but she just wasn’t capable of that sort of unconditional love, not with me.”
“You loved her that way,” Cordelia said in a small voice, the knife obliterating what was left of her anger, leaving nothing but pain and sorrow. “You still do. Why did you give me this?” Cordelia fingered the small angel around her neck. The tears welled up, filling her beautiful sad eyes.
Angel stared at the crying young girl. Angel remembered back to a dark night, what seemed to be a lifetime ago. He was standing on the dock, Buffy facing him. Her eyes large with tears. His heart breaking. They were saying what they thought was goodbye. Angel saw himself give Buffy the Claddagh ring, a symbol from his past, of what he had been once.
Angel looked to Cordelia’s small fist, clenching at the angel pendant. Another gift, another symbol, but not one for goodbye, or a memory from a long dead mortal Irish young man. No, the angel symbolized who he was now, who he had become. His future. And Angel had given it Cordelia. He smiled no longer lost in old memories, only hoping for the rest of his existence.
“No, Cordelia. I thought I did. But, how do you love someone unconditionally when you know that there are limits to their love? I hadn’t wanted to admit that Buffy’s and my love with less than perfect. But how could it be, when she couldn’t truly accept what I was. How could I love her unconditionally, knowing that I had to always hide my true nature from her? I know that everyone that experienced Buffy and I thought we were the ultimate example of the star cross lovers, soul mates destined to be apart, but to always be in love.
But we weren’t, we were just each other’s first love. The type that burns bright and furious, but wanes in time, leaving nothing in its wake but bittersweet memories. No, true love is the unconditional love that is almost impossible to find. The one where your soul mate knows you, truly knows you and accepts and loves you anyway.” Angel smiled at Cordelia.
“I think you just heard my third epiphany, or maybe it was really the first. The one that allowed me to recognize and hope for what has been in front of me for over two years.”
The knife loosened in Cordelia’s belly. Angel was trying to tell her something. But she was having a real hard time figuring it all out. Probably, because she spent the last two years learning how to decipher his grunts, growls and long silences. But all the talking? Why couldn’t he just glare and brood, she knew that stuff. Cordelia thought she understood, but she couldn’t be sure.
Cordelia scrunched up her face. “I don’t understand.”
Angel growled. He knew there was a reason he didn’t like have long involved speeches. Too easily misunderstood or messed up. Actions were so much better.
“Stop,” Cordelia pointed at the approaching vampire. “I understood that,” she grinned happily.
“What do you understand?” Angel growled, moving her hand aside as he crawled, his arms going around her body trapping her.
“That you trust me to love you and all the ‘grr’ stuff that goes along with who, not what, you are. That we’re really soul mates.” She said smugly, pleased that Angel finally had growled what she needed to hear.
“Why you couldn’t have said that in short, grunts and growls and long broody silences, I’ll never know. You had me worried there for awhile,” she humphed, her red eyes evidence of how much of an understatement that was.
“I…..” Angel gave up. “I love you,” he growled again, sticking to what he did best.
“I know,” she said happily, pulling the vampire into her arms. “See how easy that was,” she said as she captured his lips.
“I guess we should get up.” Cordelia said. The young woman was sprawled over Angel, his hands still caressing at her sides.
“Angel, we left Wesley and Gunn downstairs, like hours ago, Eek,” she squealed. “What they must think? I’m just glad that you’re good at this,” she humphed, staring at the new puncture wounds below her early ones.
Angel arched an amused brow.
“Yeah, well, you’re good at that to, but what I meant was, I’m glad you didn’t ruin my neckline. It’s California, I don’t own many turtlenecks, I would much rather explain the whole soul bit, and love stuff to the guys, than the ‘grr’ hickeys.”
“So would I,” Angel acknowledged.
“You don’t think she actually dusted him to do?” An anxious Gunn asked Wesley.
Wesley stopped his movements. “No,” he said after some serious thought. “Are you done, yet?”
“Good, now we wait.”
“She’s had him up there an awful long time,” Gunn renewed his earlier nervousness.
“Yeah, just be glad it wasn’t one of us.”
“True, so true.”
“Wait. I think I hear a door opening. Hurry,” Wesley cried. “Hide.”
“So, they’re still here,” Cordelia asked. “I mean can you super vamp hear them?”
“Darn.” She huffed. Cordelia wanted more alone time with Angel.
Angel hid his smile and allowed Cordelia to pass him on the stairwell.
Cordelia stood in the darkened lobby. Where were Gunn and Wesley? Angel said that he heard them.
“Surprise,” Gunn and Wesley jumped out. Lights flashed on. Balloons and streamers fell from the ceiling.
“Happy Birthday,” the duo sang, shoving presents in front of the stunned young woman.
“Um, my birthday was last month,” she reminded them, her brow’s raised.
“Of course, it was,” Wesley agreed. “But, if we had done this then, you wouldn’t have been surprised. Surprise,” he said again encouragingly.
“Right,” Cordelia brows raised even higher. “Oh, never mind…I couldn’t be mad at you, Mr. Eager Beaver Research Spell guy,” she laughed hugging Wesley. “I should thank you and not just for this. But, this is great. Thanks.” She giggled.
Wesley gasped at her tight hold. His puzzled eyes shot towards Angel. Angel just shrugged. A broad smile on his face.
“Hey, what about me, I went blue puffing on those balloons,” interjected Gunn.
“Thank you, too”
Wesley sighed in relief as Cordelia released him and ran to hug the young black man. At his freedom, Wesley went over next to Angel. “I see she is in a much more congenial mood than earlier. I must comment, we were getting a tad worried.”
“Everything is wonderful.” Angel said simply. Wesley raised his brows.
“This was a good save,” Angel commented, not offering anymore explanation as to what happened between he and Cordelia. He wanted this moment to be just about her.
“Yes, well….” Wesley took his glasses off and rubbed his face. “We thought it was for the best. I wouldn’t have wanted to be on the receiving end of Cordy’s right cross or in your shoes when she had you alone, I imagine it wasn’t pleasant. I take it she didn’t like her present. ” Wesley couldn’t keep the curiosity out of his voice.
Angel smiled as he watched Cordelia tear into her presents from Wesley and Gunn. “She…….” Angel turned as he caught a familiar scent on Wesley. It was familiar but didn’t belong to Wesley. Angel eye’s shot towards the young black man who was handing Cordelia presents as fast as she could ooh and ahh.
“No, Wes, I imagine you wouldn’t have wanted to be with Cordelia in my room,” acknowledged Angel. Angel smiled, slapping Wesley on the back, leaving a puzzled Wesley staring after him.
*****Who was Wesley’s bedpartner……..Angel’s thinks he knows. But, you all can put anyone there that you feel comfortable with- Anne