“This way, sir.” Mortimor led Angel and Cordelia through the small crowd of humans and vampires.
Angel found Angelus’ disregard and disdain for all things but what he wanted. He sensed the surrounding vampires interest in Cordelia immediately. Their interest changed as they glanced at Angel and saw his mark on her neck. Angel drew Cordelia closer and ignored the combination of surprise and curiosity that the vampires around him exhibited.
The surprise came from those that he recognized and in return recognized Angelus, but none came up to greet him. Angelus hadn’t been the most friendly vampire. Their interest in Cordelia dissolved completely as Angelus’ identity and reputation traveled quietly through the crowd. A pleased superior smirk remained firmly on his handsome face as Angel led Cordelia through the room.
“Mortimor, what is it?” Dracula lifted his head from the neck of a beautiful blonde vampire.
“Sir, another guest.”
Dracula turned looking, his eyes narrowing as he took in the sight of the couple.
“Angelus, I didn’t realize that you were invited. Actually, hadn’t realized that you were still walking the earth. I’m pleased.” The Count’s tone implied the direct opposite. “Mortimor how is it that I didn’t know that Angelus would be here?”
“A gross oversight on my part, obviously. I’ve apologized profusely, even offered my blood, but no. However, Master if you wish to take out your displeasure at my huge unforgivable mistake, I am of course your servant.”
Dracula broke his stare with Angel and turned to his servant. “Mortimor, you really need to get over this death wish of yours. It’s becoming annoying.”
“How annoying, Master?” Mortimor asked hopefully.
“Mortimor, I so love your humor. Get me some more wine.”
Mortimor shook his head and then sighed. The night wasn’t over yet; maybe then he would be dead. “Yes, Master. Anyone one else? Miss?” Mortimor glanced to Cordelia.
Cordelia looked to Angel. This love slave thing was harder than she thought. Was she supposed to answer? And she didn’t like the way everyone was staring at her. Or at least the way half of the room was staring at her and Cordelia was pretty positive it wasn’t the human half. Cordelia glanced at the group of people that were gathering around the theater seats placed directly in front of a large window over looking the movie screen.
They were showing only a marginal interest in the newcomers, sure she saw some appreciative looks from both men and women towards Angel and some to her, but it wasn’t the intense curiosity shown by the aristocratic people moving closer to Angel. Cordelia looked back in disgust at the oblivious humans milling around the theater chairs, couldn’t they sense the waves of danger that rolled off the beautiful vampires. The room reeked of it. Nowhere more concentrated than right in front of her.
“Of course she does.” Dracula smiled moving closer to Cordelia. “Angelus, please tell me she’s a gift, she’s charming.” The Count reached for Cordelia’s hand moving it towards his lips.
Cordelia realized that a knee to Dracula’s groin probably wasn’t the correct response, so she let him take her hand. She would let Angel field this.
Angel stilled. He didn’t have to pretend to be Angelus; his reaction was the same as Angelus’ would’ve been. Unfortunately, grabbing the older vampire by the throat and slamming him against the wall was not the response that would further his objective, it would just bring about the bloodbath he was trying to avoid.
“I understand that the senses are the first to go as one reaches the dotage years, is that it- you dotty now?” Angelus draped his arm around Cordelia’s shoulder.
Dracula gently brushed Cordelia’s hand with his lips. Cordelia wanted to vomit. There was no question that the Count was beautiful, gorgeous even. Easily the most attractive individual in the room, not one Hollywood version ever did Dracula justice.
He made her skin crawl, Cordelia involuntarily moved back into Angel’s chest, silently begging for Angel to hold her. She slumped back further as Angel’s arm came back up around her waist, locking her to his body. Cordelia wanted to plant kisses all over her vampire in gratitude.
Dracula leaned up studying the young woman. She was stunning and unusual. He repulsed the beautiful mortal. That had never happened before. Even the most resistant humans were at least intrigued, even that little slayer girl. But, this mortal was rejecting him, seeking out Angelus’ embrace. Dracula cocked his head. She was an oddity.
Drusilla, even after Angelus turned her, still reacted to Dracula, still admired him, desired him. Yet, this human wanted Angelus and only Angelus. Well, Dracula wanted her and Dracula had no doubt at whose will was the stronger. The Count raised a hooded glance to Angel. It would be right taking Angelus’ pet from the younger arrogant vampire. The Count would make Angelus watch. It would pleasurable in all aspects.
“Angelus, your tastes have changed. A mortal pet? What does Darla say?”
Angel shrugged. “She didn’t like it that’s why she’s dust.”
Dracula blinked, his thoughts diverted from the young woman. “You are a vulgar barbarian, you killed your sire?”
“Ouch.” Angel grinned. “She got to be boring and interfered with my pleasure. It happens.”
Cordelia laid a delicate hand on the arm that encircled her waist. “Angelus,” she said softly.
Angel tensed this was the first time Cordelia had spoken in front of the old vampires. He waited, unsure of what she was going to do. He probably should try to prevent the words that were going to come out of her mouth. It couldn’t be good. Angel knew Cordelia was feeling nervous and agitated, that usually meant honest rambling babble from the young woman or loud yells.
“Angelus,” Cordelia turned her breast pressed against Angel’s chest, her hand moving to his lips. “I think you need to make your mark more apparent, the Count doesn’t seem to understand that I belong to you. I need you.” Her voice was full of longing and want. “Angelus, please.”
Angel knew he had to think quickly, the only problem was he was in complete shock at Cordelia’s words and actions. Her other hand had moved to his stomach trailing in smooth caresses towards his groin. Okay, Angelus didn’t stammer and groan. Angel reached for Cordelia’s exploring hand and brought it to his lips.
“Count, if you’ll just excuse me for a moment, talk of Darla always makes Cordy feel anxious and neglected. Can’t have an unhappy pet now can we?” He winked at Dracula.
“Angelus.” The Count glared. Dracula wanted the young woman in his sight at all times. But he couldn’t outright forbid Angelus to do what he wanted to do with his pet, not unless the Count wanted to physically fight the other vampire. Dracula studied Angelus.
Not that the Count would ever admit it, but he hadn’t beaten Angelus all those years ago, he just hadn’t lost. And that was when Angelus was young and cocky just over a century old. Angelus had changed, the Count could sense it, just as arrogant, just as uncouth, but more powerful than he had been, more likely to think before acting impulsively and recklessly in a fight.
No, the Count had other ways to take what he wanted from the younger vampire. And then there was the fact that Angelus had marked his property, Dracula couldn’t go against tradition and protocol at his own party. Dracula studied the mark, it was recent, probably wouldn’t even be permanent, but the mortal’s actions weren’t the ones of a newly acquired pet, the vampire and the mortal were connected, attuned to each other which was evidence of a deeper bond than the mark indicated. Finally, an end to the tedium that his life had become. Dracula would have Angelus’ property and he would enjoy it.
Angel narrowed his eyes, his grin getting wider and his grip on Cordelia tighter as he watched the Count. “”I’ll be right back, this won’t take long or were you planning to try to stop me? That would be rude and unadvisable.”
“Of course of not, Angelus, this is a party. She’s yours, for now.”
Angel bit back his growl and smirked. “Always.”
“Angelus.” Cordelia pouted prettily, tugging at his arm. “Please.” She had to get out of there. She needed to hear that Connor was all right and she had to get away from all the vamp tension and evil vibes. Cordelia wanted to have Angel’s arms around her and feel safe, even for just a minute. Angel – not Angelus. Then she would be okay.
Angel pulled Cordelia even closer and grinned. “You were right, Count, I have no idea why I didn’t do this sooner, human pets are just so..I don’t know.. insatiable is the word I think I’m looking for. Got to thank you for that insight.” Angel laughed and pulled Cordelia to one of the one of the side doors.
“Don’t want to disturb the guests.”
Cordelia broke from Angel’s hold as soon as the door closed. “Give me your phone.” Her need to hear that Connor was fine was reality, what was happening out there wasn’t. Cordelia didn’t need Angel to hold her; she just needed to know why they were being paged frantically. Cordelia needed to know that Connor was all right, that’s all.
Angel had to blink at her sudden change in demeanor. He shook off the feeling of Cordelia’s caresses, reminding himself this was all an act. Angel knew that Cordelia hadn’t really wanted him to make the mark bigger or wanted to have sex with him but for a minute there he had believed.
She was a good actress. He pulled out his cell phone.
“Gimme that, at least you didn’t forget it.” Cordelia grabbed at the instrument.
“I can call. Stop it and be quiet, we’re supposed to be…just be quiet.”
Cordelia snorted. “It won’t take long, – believe you me pal, if we were in here making love, it wouldn’t be no quickie. No, wham bam drink thank you mam. Give me the phone.”
“Of course it wouldn’t be quick.” Angel held the phone away from Cordelia’s hands.
“What?” Angel said dialing the number of the hotel.
“What did you say?”
“I don’t know, be quiet. Vampire hearing.” Angel lifted the phone to his ear.
“Eww, he kissed my hand.” Cordelia rubbed the offended appendage on Angel’s jacket.
“What did you expect? Look at what you’re wearing.”
“What’s wrong with what I’m wearing? Give me the phone, I want to make sure Connor is alright.”
“Be quiet, he’s my son.”
“Oh, that’s just mean. Gimme it.” Cordelia grabbed at Angel’s arm.
“Sorry, I know you love him as much as I do. Stop it.” He pushed at her hands.
“Damn straight and don’t you forget it.”
Angel turned away from her as he spoke into the phone. “Gunn, is Connor alright? Yeah, we know. Stop it. Ow.” Angel moved away as Cordelia hit him and grabbed at the phone. “Connor’s fine, they just wanted to tell us about Dracula.” Angel turned his head towards Cordelia as he jerked the phone away from her grasping hands once again.
“Old news, are you sure Connor’s fine?”
“Yes, now stop it.” Angel pushed at her hands again. “What?” he said back into the phone. “Gunn, you and Wesley get the weapons. But don’t come barging in before you figure out how to empty the theater of the humans. We’re in the private rooms upstairs, as soon as you get here one of you get Cordy out. I can’t do anything until she’s gone. Ow.” Angel pushed again at Cordelia.
“Don’t Ow me Mr. I’m a vampire you can’t hurt me’ and I’m not going anywhere.” Cordelia grabbed at the phone.
“Have you seen her dress? It’s like a beacon to all vampires, red, buttons.” Angel said back into the phone.
“What’s wrong with my dress? Gimme it.”
“Stop it. Vampire hearing. Love slave, remember, start acting like it.”
“Sure, why not, I like a two minute quickie in a closet.” She snatched the phone from Angel’s hand. “Gunn, don’t worry about me, just get your asses here. The movie has started and snacks are coming soon.” She glared at Angel and hung up the phone.
“Two minutes? Not likely, two days at least.” Angel grabbed the phone back and shoved it in his coat pocket.
“Yeah, right, promises, promises. Pfft. If that slimy, cheesy vampire touches me again, I’m kneeing him, so you better just start doing that ownership thingy better. What good is this so call mark if the birthday vamp is fondling me? Hmm. You tell me? Hmm. Make it bigger, do something.”
“He only kissed your hand.” Okay, granted Angel wanted to kill Dracula for doing it, but kissing a hand wasn’t fondling. But, if Dracula did it again, the older vampire was dead.
“I know, eww. Do something or I will. He’s not doing it again. Eww.”
“Cordy.” Angel grabbed at the young woman stopping any more of her outbursts by kissing her soundly and thoroughly.
Cordelia didn’t think she just reacted; she pressed her body in closer, her hands clutching at Angel’s shoulders. Actually, she was lying to herself. She was thinking, she was thinking that she did need Angel to hold her.
If possible Angel deepened the kiss, his hands traveling down Cordelia’s back, stopping only momentarily at the tiny buttons of the dress.
Cordelia tried to resist her need to breathe; she didn’t want to halt the feel of Angel’s lips against her. She gasped as her need forced her to move her mouth away her breath panting against Angel’s cheek. Cordelia felt safe, she moved closer into Angel’s body.
Angel’s one hand moved upward entangling its fingers in Cordelia’s wild curls, the other hand stayed on the buttons, his mouthed moved to her throat, sucking and pressing at the earlier made puncture marks. Angel growled in game face as he looked up.
“Excuse me.” Mortimor bowed from the now open door. “The Count requests that you return.”
Mortimor looked hopeful. Angelus looked really angry at being interrupted. Mortimor’s hopes were dashed as the Count came up.
“Yes, I do.”
Cordelia hid her face in Angel’s shoulder. Reality hit her. She had been macking on Angel as if her life depended on it. But her life didn’t, it couldn’t. Cordelia couldn’t believe that she was grateful for the Count’s appearance.
What the hell just happened? She had wanted more than just Angel to hold her and make her feel safe, she had wanted to stay in the room and have Angel make love to her. Cordelia groaned she was going to have to do more than just slap herself silly when and if they ever got out of there. Cuz something was happening to her that she just couldn’t figure it out.
“I know the story, don’t need to see the movie.” Angel growled.
“And here I thought you had learned some manners.”
“Really? Before or after the vulgar barbarian comment?” Angel kept Cordelia close to his chest. Cordelia was grateful; she needed the time to sort out what she was feeling. Though being in Angel’s arms wasn’t exactly clearing her mind.
“Come, Angelus, lets let bygones be bygones. Share your pet’s beauty with the rest of us.”
“I don’t share.”
“I didn’t mean literally, of course. Though, I don’t remember you ever caring about etiquette or tradition before.”
“The only thing you have to remember is – she’s mine.”
“Of course, come enjoy, there’s still a party to be had. Maybe you’ll find a tastier treat.”
Angel laughed and turned Cordelia around. “You think so, I don’t. Go away. I’ll be out.”
“Do hurry.” The Count closed the door.
“I want him dead.” Angel growled as he quickly buttoned Cordelia’s dress back up.
Cordelia looked over her shoulder in shock at the unattached buttons. How’d Angel do that? When did he do that? So much for her security buttons precaution. Damn. Cordelia’s shoulders slumped in resignation. One way or another she had the distinct feeling that her current dress was just as doomed as the other expensive formal gown.
“Cordy,” Angel turned her back to face him. “Cordy?”
“It took Dennis almost five minutes to button those up. How much more scooping out do you need to do? There may still be a chance that I will be able to afford food for the next year if we leave now.”
Angel blinked he had gotten pretty good about understanding Cordelia’s various topic changes and streams of consciousness. But this one had him stumped.
“Oh, nevermind, come on, let’s party. Wesley and Gunn should be here soon. I hate Dracula.” She sighed. Cordelia wouldn’t worry anymore about her mixed up feelings about Angel. She would just concentrate on getting through this.
“Hey, Draccy baby, happy birthday. Where’s my grandpop, you didn’t kick him out already did you? By the way, you owe me some money.”
Angel and Cordelia looked at each other. “What the hell?” They both said at the same time. They quickly exited the room.
“Angel?” Cordelia squeaked. She grabbed Angel’s hand and stared as Spike walked boldly into the main room. “What’s he doing here?”
“I have no earthly idea.” Angel masked his surprise as the blonde vampire’s gaze fell on him.
“Granddaddy, good to see you, I thought we were coming to this shindig together. Did you mean to stand me up? Not nice. Hey, no one told me this was Bring Your Own.” Spike winked at Cordelia.
Spike turned to Dracula. “Things getting a little tight, you can’t provide refreshments anymore? Too bad, hey don’t worry about the money you owe me, if you need it, keep it.