The Necklace. 62-67

Chapter Sixty-two

Angel was lost in the intense sensations running through his body at the feel of Cordelia’s warmth against him.

He thought nothing of his guilt over what Angelus had done, or his fear for Cordelia. All he could think or experience was that somehow, someway his beautiful, caring seer was responding with equal fervor to his own need and love.

His hands stroked up to the swell of Cordelia’s breast. He had thought only a few days before that she would fit perfectly in each of his palms. Angel needed to test out his earlier theory. His hands cupped and palmed Cordelia’s breast. Perfect, Angel growled. His fingers stroked and flicked at her hardened nipples.

Cordelia moaned into his embrace, her hands tugging at the fabric of Angel’s shirt. She squealed in triumphant as her hands found Angel’s bare skin.

The heat of her touch inflamed his body. Angel scooped Cordelia’s willing body up into his arms and carried her to the bed. Angel tossed Cordelia onto the mattress, his body following immediately after. He covered her with his weight, his lips tasting every crevice of her mouth. Cordelia squirmed underneath him, her caresses never leaving his broad back. Her clutches held him closer, while divesting him of his shirt.

Angel tore at her blouse, popping the buttons. He reached in with his lips, encasing a hard nipple. Never moving his weight, he tugged at Cordelia’s jeans, tearing them off her body.

Just as frantically, Cordelia pulled at Angel’s pants. Soon, there was no material separating the two.

Angel growled in pleasure as the length of his body covered Cordelia’s hot skin. Their hands and lips reaching everywhere each touch increasing their desire. Their passion flourishing into a frenzied longing for completion.

“Angel”, moaned Cordelia in both an insistent and pleading tone. Angel answered with a growl and thrust into Cordelia’s welcoming center. Angel stilled relishing the heat the surrounded him. Angel began to move slowly, then faster as Cordelia moans and whimpers urged him on.

The warmth in Cordelia’s center grew and formed into a seemingly solid form, building in size and pressure. Her desire threatening to explode into a thousand pieces, promising exquisite pleasure. Cordelia moved frantically beneath Angel’s powerful thrusts, begging for the vampire to give her that release.

The fire that encased Angel consumed his body. All of his senses were wired, amplifying Cordelia’s scent and feel. He continued to thrust into Cordelia, spurred on by Cordelia’s passionate responses. Angel dreaded and strived for their mutual release. His desire to maintain their connection was overwhelming, but his need for completion, like Cordelia’s was becoming unbearable.

The fragrance of Cordelia’s heated blood circled around him, coating him with its aroma. The spicy, sweet scent triggered a primal lust and longing with in the vampire. He needed to possess all of the beautiful woman, not only her body but also her blood. His demon had to taste her, to mark her as his. Blinded by lust and need, Angel bit into Cordelia’s neck, savoring the hot life giving fluid.

Cordelia instinctively jerked away. The pleasure in her body at Angel’s actions became almost painful in its intensity. Angel followed her movement never breaking contact. Cordelia’s breath caught in her throat as her body tensed on the edge. With a strangled gasp, she felt her nerves fracture apart, a universe of stars exploded behind her eyelids.

Cordelia clutched at Angel has he growled shuddering his release into her trembling body. Angel sipped and licked at the small wounds in Cordelia’s neck, as the cloud of lust swept away from his mind. Cordelia signed at the ministration, hugging the vampire closely. Suddenly, Angel stopped and jerked out of her embrace. His brown eyes widened in horror as he stared at the drops of blood on Cordelia’s delicate neck. Angel gagged at the tantalizing taste on his tongue.

“Angel?” Cordelia worried, her arms still out stretched.

“Oh god,” Angel backed off the bed, his eyes never leaving the puncture wounds. Self-disgust overtook his mind. He had let his beast touch Cordelia. With guilt and loathing, he grabbed up his clothing and ran out of the room.

“Angel?” Cordelia whispered.


Chapter Sixty-three

Cordelia sat in the bed, the covers wrapped around her. The fears and doubts that had reappeared in her mind at Angel’s hasty departure transformed into pure anger.

How dare he, she thought. Cordelia jumped up and grabbed at her clothes. She looked in disgust at her useless blouse. She rifled through Angel’s closet, picking out a black sweater. Once clothed, she tore down the steps.

“Angel,” she yelled. “Where is he,” she demanded to the three dazed men.

“Angel, um, he…..He went down there,” Wesley pointed to the basement stairs. “He seemed a bit upset.” Wesley suggested.

Cordelia narrowed her eyes and headed for the stairs.

“Um, Cordelia, that was Angel, right?” John asked.

“Of course it was, he didn’t try to kill anyone did he,” scoffed Cordelia, opening the door.

“Um, Cordelia, I don’t think you should follow him, …..I mean are you okay?” asked Wesley.

“I’m fine and the next person that asks me that is going to die.” She stormed through the exit, slamming the door on the way.

“Should we go after them?” asked Gunn.

“I’m suggesting no.” Wesley again was stuck in the position of not knowing what was going on with his two friends. But, his gut yelled at him to let Angel and Cordelia to handle whatever this was on their own.

“We have some more researching to do.”

***

Cordelia hated the sewers. They were smelly, dirty, and god only knew what gross things were hiddened under the muck that flowed on the ground. And of course, Angel was no where in sight. Cordelia stared at the dark tunnels that branched out before her. She had no clue as to where Angel ran off to.

Cordelia slumped down on a broken stone column. What was she doing? It was obvious why Angel ran out on her. He regretted what had happened between them. The stupid vampire probably thought it was some sort of betrayal of Buffy of high. Cordelia shoulder’s slumped down further. Buffy, Buffy, Buffy, she grumbled, then signed.

She really had no one to be mad at except herself. It wasn’t has if she hadn’t known that Angel loved Buffy. She had just begun to hope that Angel had gotten over the blonde slayer. And that maybe, just maybe, Angel had started to really care about her, Cordelia Chase. Silly, stupid thought.

Cordelia started at a weird sound coming from one of the darkened tunnels. Just great, she grumbled. Cordelia got up and looked to back from where she came. She hadn’t realized that she had gotten so far from the hotel. She jumped again as the noise got closer.

Okay, enough of this. Cordelia took a deep breath. “Angel,” she screamed. “Get your dead butt back here. God only knows what unholy gross creepy crawlers are down here. Angel,” she yelled.

“Stop shouting or you will call every creepy crawler here.” Angel materialized through the darkness.

Angel and Cordelia stared at each other.

“You shouldn’t be down here,” Angel finally said, not moving closer.

“Duh, but neither should you.” She retorted.

“Cordelia, I….”

“Oh, god get over it will you. It was just a mistake that’s all. It meant nothing, okay.” Cordelia fought against the tears welling up in her eyes.

“It meant everything, but it was a mistake, a horrible, unforgivable mistake. I…”

“Angel, it just happened okay.” Cordelia couldn’t believe that she was forced into the position of minimizing the most spectacular and important moment of her life.

“Unforgivable, no, especially if you don’t tell her. I mean why would you. Let’s just call it a wacky side effect of glowing, healing thing and go figure out how to kill Bathym. Buffy never needs to know, okay?”

“Buffy?” Angel asked perplexed. “What does Buffy have to do with it?”

“That’s right, she has nothing to do with it. That’s why you don’t have to get all broody and angsty. There is no reason to let this one mistake get you all guilt filled and confessiony. It meant nothing. You can still go running back to Buffy, but first can we please kill the big old ugly and get out of this gross place?”

Angel contemplated the young woman. In an instant he was in front of her, his large hands cupping her face, forcing her moist eyes to meet his. “What does Buffy have to do with any of this?” he repeated searching her eyes.

Cordelia tried to break away, but his firm tender embrace kept her close. “Buffy, the love of your un-dead life. The one that Angelus said that you wanted to be with. That’s why you ran out, right? Because, you got all guilty about…. well, the mistake…But Angel, there is no reason. It just happened, your soul is permanent, it won’t happen again….So no harm, no foul.” Cordelia claimed.

Angel’s hand drifted from her earnest face to caress the small holes on her neck. “Cordy, I bit you.”

“Yeah…well…. it didn’t hurt,” Cordelia reassured the vampire. “Really,” she emphasized at the vampire’s questioning expression. “It was…well, it didn’t hurt,” she repeated. Cordelia wasn’t at all willingly to tell the vampire that the sensation of his drinking her blood was one of the most erotic sensual experiences of her life.

That and having Angel’s body over and in her had for the first time made her feel truly alive, loved and complete.

“Cordelia, I’m a vampire.”

Now it was Cordelia’s turn to be perplexed. “Duh, what’s that got to do with anything, with Buffy? Though, I guess being a vampire is a little off putting to a vampire slayer. But she loves you and now that you have your soul- no more Angelus.”

Angel was completely confused. “Cordelia, what exactly do you think the ‘mistake’ was?”

“You know,” she stuttered embarrassed, waving her hands between the two of them. “I know you didn’t want it to happen.”

“How did you come to that conclusion?” Angel asked.

“Angel, we are talking about BUFFY, miss slayer, the ‘One’, the love of your….”

“Un-dead life, right. How else?”

“Well…Angelus,” Cordelia glared at his incomprehension to the obvious.

“I see. Because the evil, sadistic, psychotic side of my demon, told you that I still loved and wanted Buffy, you believed it and decided that I thought that making love to you was a mistake.”

“He tells the truth,” argued Cordelia.

Angel nodded as if agreeing. “So, Cordy, when he claimed that you were his, that he wanted you, desired you, wanted to touch and feel your heat, Angelus was telling the truth?” Angel asked lowly.

“Um, well…” Cordelia started to fidget nervously. “Well, then he may have been just trying to get under my skin.”

“Yes,” Angel agreed. “He wanted to get under your skin and all over it. That was not the lie. The lie was that I still wanted Buffy. The truth, or the whole truth is that Angelus wanted you, desired you AND so do I, oh and, I love you too.” Angel smiled.

“What,” Cordelia yelled pushing against Angel. “You do not.” She argued.

“I don’t?” asked Angel

“No, if you loved me you wouldn’t have left me, you would have stayed. But, it’s okay, I understand.”

“No, Cordelia you don’t.” Angel was amazed. His seer, the woman he loved, truly believed that he had left her because of Buffy. Cordelia had no thoughts or fears about his biting her.

“Cordelia I drank your blood,” he claimed.

“Eww, you make it sound so Bela Lugosi. I told you it didn’t hurt. Wait, I’m not going to go all ‘grry’ or anything am I?”

“No.”

“Whew, I wouldn’t have liked that.”

“Cordelia, I lost control of my beast.”

“Beast, what beast? There was no beast. Just you and me. Jeez, what are you talking about? You aren’t making any sense.”

“Cordelia, I…”

“If you are going to say that you bit me one more time, I’m going to hit you. So what? You’re a vampire, you drink blood. Actually, you shouldn’t just go around sucking everyone’s blood that wouldn’t be good. But just now, that wasn’t a bad thing was it?”

“Yes”

“Oh, it didn’t seem bad. Not, that I want just any ‘grr’ guy to drink my blood. Gross. But, with you it didn’t seem bad. It was…” Cordelia paused. “It didn’t hurt or anything.”

“It didn’t scare you, make you hate me?”

“Okay, I’m clueless here. Why should I hate you, well except for you dashing off after…well, you know. Is there another reason? Oh, and I don’t hate you. I told you I understood about Buffy and all.”

Angel felt his undead heart spin in circles. Cordelia was not in the least bit fazed by his lack of control over his demon. All, she seemed to be concerned with was Buffy, still.

“Cordelia, once and for all, I don’t love Buffy. I did, very much at one time. But it was never meant to be. But, her love allowed me to believe that I can love, can hope. And I do love, YOU.”

“But,”

“And,” Angel interrupted, so the never-ending circular conversation would stop. “I left you, because I did bite you. Because, even without the fear of Angelus, I lost control. My demon wanted to taste you, to own you, to mark you. And I wanted it, because I am my demon.”

“You love me, but left me feeling rejected, stupid and scared, because you suddenly realized that you were a vampire.” She raised her brows.

“Yes, I love you and of course I know that I’m vampire. But, Cordelia, I bit…..”

Cordelia smacked her hand hard against his head. “I warned you, stupid,” she grumbled and turned away leaving a stunned Angel.

“Cordy,” Angel ran up to her. “Wait.”

“No, we have a demon to kill.”

“But….”

“Angel,” Cordelia swung around to face him. “I love you. You are a vampire. Believe me, I know this. But do I care? Yes. But does it change the fact that I love you? No.” Cordelia took a deep breath, her tone softening.

“I love you. Making love to you, bite and all, was the most exciting, loving and safe experience that I ever had. I love you,” she whispered reaching up to caress his still face. She grunted in irritation at the still confused look on Angel’s face.


Chapter Sixty-four

Angel watched the beautiful young woman stomp away from him. Did Cordelia just say that she loved him, demon and all? That’s what it sounded like. But he had to be sure.

“Cordelia, wait…” Angel called, running up to the young woman.

Cordelia huffed to a stop. She scrunched up her brow and waited.

“You love me?”

Cordelia raised her brows even further. She shook her head and left the vampire, grumbling as she moved.

“What?” she mumbled as Angel reached out holding her still.

“I asked….”

“Clueless, dense, broody, ‘grr’ guy,” she hissed, lunging for his lips. Cordelia grabbed at Angel, seizing his mouth. She pressed a hard, loving kiss onto the vampire. Angel’s surprise turned quickly to passion has Cordelia’s lips traveled over his. Angel’s hands clutched at Cordelia’s body, holding it tight.

After awhile, the couple parted. Cordelia licked at her swollen lips. “Understand, now,” She claimed.

Angel slowly nodded, a smile growing large on his face.

“Good,” Cordelia sighed. “Now lets go kill Bathym.”

***

“So, any luck,” Cordelia asked Wesley, Gunn and John as the surrounded a book laden table.

Wesley stumbled to his feet. “Um, Cordelia.” Wesley looked around for Angel. His eyes and brows shot up as he saw the vampire and the very goofy grin on his usually somber face.

“Um, yes, Angel, Cordelia. It seems that Bathym is vulnerable to the usual way of killing. Just more. The toughness of his skin makes the standard slice and dice more difficult, but not impossible. But the more difficult part will be get close to the demon.”

“The zapping and moving thing, ummph,” added Cordelia.

“Yes,”

The room became silent. Wesley looked up towards Angel. He expected the vampire to be angry and tense but Angel still wore that goofy expression. His gaze never leaving Cordelia.

“Angelus,” Cordelia called out.

The room jumped. “What?” Angel called out.

Cordelia ran to the vampire. “The big ugly thinks that you don’t have your soul. He expects Angelus to bring me back dead, necklace in hand. Let’s give it to him. Not the dead part, obviously. But, you know. You take me back as Angelus, then when we get close. Wham Bam, evil dead.” She nodded pleased with her idea.

“I..”

“Angel, you can do it. Get in touch with the sarcastic, icky side. It’ll work.”

“Um, Angel, she may have a point. Bathym expects Angelus. Give it to him, then …..”

“Wham Bam,” finished Cordelia.

“Quite.” Nodded Wesley.


Chapter Sixty-five

“I don’t like it. You should stay here,” argued Angel. “I can just go back as Angelus and tell Bathym that I couldn’t find you. I don’t want you anywhere near the demon.”

Cordelia rolled her eyes. “You need me, I’m back up. Wesley and the others won’t be able to follow right behind.”

Angel gaped at the young woman. “Back up? You’re a distraction.”

Cordelia’s stubborn expression turned beautiful as slight smile centered on her lovely face and she giggled. “I guess that’s better than saying that I would just be in the way, uh.”

Angel’s frown turned goofy, as the vampire fought against the smile threatening to overtake his stern expression. He couldn’t help it, Cordelia’s sparkling eyes and smile begged for a similar response from him.

Wesley and Gunn stood stunned. Angel and Cordelia’s usual battle over whether she went or stayed behind during a fight was absent. Instead, Angel and Cordelia just stood there, staring and smiling at each other. It was bizarre.

Gunn’s eyebrows shot up as he turned to Wesley. “I think the vamp just giggled,” he whispered in disbelief.

“No, but he will if we don’t put a stop to this nonsense,” Wesley grumbled. Obviously, whatever had been going between his friends was settled, favorably so, Wesley thought.

“Angel, Angel,” he repeated trying to get the vampire’s attention. “Cordelia’s right. It would be better to have her and the necklace with you. We don’t want Bathym to be suspicious for any reason,” Wesley continued once Angel acknowledged the former watcher’s presence.

Cordelia smirked and stuck her tongue out at the vampire. The ‘I told you so’ clearly written on her face.

Angel goofy smile disappeared. He growled. “Wesley, Gunn get the weapons together. You,” Angel clutched at Cordelia’s arm. “Are coming with me.” He commanded firmly.

“Hey,” she called as Angel dragged her upstairs.

Gunn looked at Wesley. Wesley shrugged. “Don’t ask. Let’s just gather every sharp, heavy weapon we can. John are you still with us?” Wesley asked the Indian.

John nodded.

***

“I want you to stay here.” Angel growled as soon as they were in the bedroom.

Cordelia scowled at him. “Just because we’ve actually said the words ‘I love you’ doesn’t mean you can order me around. I’m going. You need me there.”

“Cordelia, I don’t want you to be near the demon.”

“I know. But, we don’t really have a choice. You need me so Bathym doesn’t get suspicious. And what if the big ugly tries that soul corruption thingy again. Just because Angelus is gone for good, doesn’t mean you’re immune to Bathym’s regular bad vibes, or what if he goes after Wesley, Gunn or John. You need me and the necklace.” Cordelia claimed.

Angel glared at the young woman, knowing she was right. “Fine, but Cordelia don’t ever stick out your tongue at me again, unless you are prepared to use it.”

Cordelia cocked her head and smiled. She ran towards the vampire. Angel caught her and kissed her. She giggled as she used her tongue quite effectively against Angel’s.

Angel broke away. He shook his head in regret, pushing down his growing desire. Angel shook his head at the flushed young woman. “We better go.”


Chapter Sixty-six

“That was weird,” Gunn whispered to Wesley.

“Yes,” his friend agreed.

The group had just arrived at the underground warehouse. The car ride had been silent. That wasn’t what was weird or odd. Nor was it that Angel was back to his grim mode.

Gone was the silly smiling vampire; the goofy grinning vampire had actually been pretty weird. But now, Angel was back to his usual broody, determined mindset. No. What was odd now was that Cordelia seemed content almost happy at the overprotective, sullen glances that the vampire kept shooting towards her.

And why was Cordelia riding shotgun, Wesley grumbled. That was his usual seat. He always sat there so he could give Angel last minute instructions from his books.

Wesley sighed in sudden insight. Angel and Cordelia must have finally acknowledged their feelings for each other. Thank goodness, Wesley thought. No more, pouting, insecure, angry Cordelia and no more unsure, anxious and tense vampire.

It was worth giving up his front seat privileges. Now, there would be peace at last. Or there will be once Bathym was defeated.

“Everything is fine,” Wesley assured Gunn.

Gunn looked at him questioningly. Wesley responded by shooting his eyes upwards and wiggling a finger discreetly at Cordelia and Angel in the front seats.

Gunn’s eyes widened in sudden comprehension. “It’s about damn time.”

“What’s is?” Cordelia asked, catching Gunn’s comment.

Gunn coughed.

“That we got here,” Wesley quickly covered.

“It didn’t take too long,” she disagreed.

“Yeah, it was way too long, if you ask me,” Gunn stated quietly.

Wesley shot Gunn a sharp look. This was not the time or place to make observations about the change in Angel and Cordelia’s relationship.

“Cordelia, I really don’t think……” Angel was ignorant of the by-play in the back seat.

“Angel,” she interrupted rolling her eyes,

With a disgruntled sigh of defeat, Angel got out of the car. “Wesley, give us a fifteen minute head start. Bathym will be too busy by then to notice that you all are coming.”

“Right, of course,” Wesley nodded, helping Gunn unpack the trunk.

“And Wesley,” Angel got close to the former watcher. “When you get there your first priority is getting Cordelia out of there. Understood.”

“Of course.” Wesley slammed the truck closed, and gave Angel his sword.

“No matter what,” the vampire emphasized. “Understand.”

“Yes, Angel.” Wesley nodded sharply, trying to give the vampire the assurance that he needed.

“Angel, come on.” Cordelia called from near the entrance.


Chapter Sixty-seven

“I was thinking,” Cordelia commented. Angel looked warily at the young girl.

So far, he hadn’t been real pleased with any of her ideas about how to get close to Bathym. In fact, they were starting to make him very angry. They all seemed to star Cordelia in some sort of dangerous scenario. Angel began to have some serious regrets about listening to her or to Wesley. His original plan could have worked. And Cordelia would still be safely in the hotel.

“I know you don’t like it, but I think you should hit me,” she suggested again.

“For the last time, I’m not hitting you,” Angel growled.

“Angel, its going to look mighty peculiar for me too show up without any signs of injury. Bathym thinks that Angelus can really hurt me. So, I think you should hit me or something.”

Angel took a deep breath, trying to calm down. “For the sake of argument, even if I agreed, which I don’t. I can’t hurt you. The necklace. The same reason Angelus or Bathym couldn’t permanently injury you.”

“Oh yeah, well at least you could chain me up. I have to look like Angelus’s prisoner.” Cordelia started to move over the steel grate that Angel had tore off on his first trip to the underground rooms.

“Cordelia, I’m not chaining you up. You need to be free to move. You’re supposed to be an actress, pretend to be unconscious.” Angel called after her.

“Oh, all right,” she sighed. “I can do that. At least, my bite marks still show. Maybe that will convince the big ugly that Angelus sucked me dry. But,” Cordelia touched the marks that had been hidden by Angel’s sweater. “They’re awful small. Hey, maybe you could bite me again.” Cordelia stopped to look at the vampire. “Hey, stop that, you’re going to break your sword.”

Angel had ceased to move at her words. His fierce grip was straining at the steel of the sword. The intense pressure that he was exerting seemed to be bending the metal. “Cordelia, come here,” he growled, afraid to move. Angel was afraid that the rage that was building in his body would erupt in some violent fashion.

Cordelia tensed. Angel was mad. But she hadn’t done anything. She went over to him. The vampire didn’t seem to be in the mood for any argument from her.

Angel said nothing as he pushed at the neckline of the sweater. Two small puncture wounds glared at him. Angel stared back. Shock and rage swirled through his body. And he disgustingly acknowledged a sense of satisfaction.

Those abominations were supposed to have disappeared. Angel wanted them to disappear. He wanted all evidence of his demon’s actions to be erased. Didn’t he, Angel question, as the sense of satisfaction and lust rose up within him fighting against his feelings of anger.

Undeniably a part of him was pleased that the marks of his taking Cordelia were still present for the world to see. In fact, that part of him agreed with Cordelia. The marks were too small. Forcibly, Angel pushed down his demon’s possessive glee and observations.

“Why aren’t these gone? The necklace it is suppose to heal. Angelus’s marks, they disappeared.” He struggled to finish. Angel paused; bile rising to his throat at the memory at what his evil self had done to Cordelia. There was no satisfaction in that memory. Angelus’ marks weren’t his.

“Yeah, weird uh. But, I figure it had to do all with the context. Angelus was trying to drain me, the big ugly and his scrawny human side kick tried to stab me and saw off my throat…can I just say ewww.”

Angel staggered back. “STAB- SAW?

“Oh, right you hadn’t shown up yet. Yeah, they were testing the necklace. Human-lackey started to hack away at my neck, but the necklace kept healing. It hurt,” she understated. Cordelia glanced questioning at the paler than usual vampire. “Angel are you all right?”

“Cordelia,” Angel croaked out. Every emotion in Angel’s body stalled. Angel desperately tried to come to grips with the picture of Renfield slicing at Cordelia’s delicate neck.

“Angel?” she questioned gently. The vampire didn’t seem at all well. “Anyway,” she continued, taking concerned glances at Angel. “Angelus, Bathym and the other guy were trying to kill me. And well, it did hurt. So, the necklace healed. But, you didn’t hurt me, not at all. So, it did nothing, I guess.”

Angel closed his eyes willing down the red cloud of rage that threatened to take over his whole being. “You are going back to the hotel.” He said calmly and coldly, his tone offering no room to argue.

“Angel, “ Cordelia started tentatively, recognizing his tone. “Angel, what’s wrong. If it’s about these,” Cordelia hand brushed the puncture wounds. “They’re fine. No need to make them bigger. It was just a thought.”

Angel’s face if anything became darker. Cordelia’s eyes widened.

“I will not let you near Bathym,” he growled. “And those, will never happen again.”

Cordelia took a deep breath, than another. “Angel, you have to take me with you. It’s the plan. And,” she raised up her small hand to Angel’s clenched jaw. “As for the other, it will happen again. Because, we will make love again and again and again. Unless you really want to see me pissed off.” Her eyes bored into Angel’s blazing eyes.

“No.”

“Yes. Am I going to have to hit you again?” she whispered, bringing her body closer to Angel’s tense one.

“I can’t hurt you. I can’t let you be hurt.” Angel struggled. His anger gone, replaced by sadness and determination.

“First,” Cordelia said gently moving until her taunt body was pressed against Angel’s. “You won’t hurt me, you don’t hurt me. Second,” she cupped his strong face in her small hands.

“You won’t let Bathym hurt me. I believe this. I know this. You will kill the demon and you will save me like you have always done before, always Angel. But this time, I will be able to truly thank you as I have wanted to for so long.” She placed a gentle kiss on the vampire’s lips.

“You mean it, don’t you?” Angel whispered, feeling the love flowing from the young woman.

Cordelia’s sweet smile beckoned to the vampire. “Never doubt me or my love.”

“It’s not you….”

“No, it’s you. Angel, don’t doubt yourself either. I don’t. I love you. Please, finally will you get that through your dense vamp skull.”

“I…”

“Angel, I love you, but a good ten minutes have been wasted. We have to go.” She gently urged.

Angel took a deep breath and nodded. Cordelia smiled in return. Angel’s hand shot out to grab her as she took off for the tunnel. “Cordy, I love you.” His tone was a mixture of love, awe, and possessiveness.

Cordelia’s smile widened even more to light up the dark tunnel. Hand in hand the two ventured further into the underground passage.

Chapter 68

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