Vamp SmackDown. 8-9

Chapter 8

“Sir, I..” Angel’s arm cut off the rest of the man’s request. Angel twisted the man’s neck as his other hand balled into a fist shattering a nearby small table.

“Angel, what..” Jumping back from the spray of ash that appeared as Angel plunged a broken table leg into the man’s chest. “OH.” Her gasp of realization turned quickly into a whine of exasperation and disgust.

Cordelia looked down at her dress. No vamp dust. Thank god. There was still a chance that the dress would remain undamaged, she looked back up at Angel. He was staring intently at the door and then at the pile of dust. But it wasn’t looking good. Still she couldn’t give up.

“Angel,” Cordelia cried suddenly keeping her voice low as the vampire swung around grabbing her arm and pushing her back down the stairs.

“Go.”

“Go, where?” Cordelia furiously whispered. “And why in the world was a vamp taking VIP tickets. Isn’t that just being a little too much into the whole Dracula is vampire theme? What, reality TV not enough now we have to have reality premiers? Hollywood, Pfft.”

“Shut up.”

Cordelia glared at the vampire, pulling at his grip. “Angel.”

Angel realized immediately his mistake. He tried again. “Cordy, please, just be quiet and go.”

Cordelia stilled her struggling at Angel’s tone. “That wasn’t the only vamp, was it?” Her hopes for the survival of her dress plummeted.

“No, now go.”

“No.”

“Cordy.”

“No, Angel. You haven’t said ‘let’s get out of here’- you said me- go. Which means you’re staying, which means I’m staying. I’m not leaving you alone. Now what are we talking here- a bunch of Dracula whannabe’s watching a movie, like a fan club or something?”

Angel breathed in deeply, stalling his urge to yell and shake the young woman. “Cordelia, you have to go. In that room, there are vampires, a lot of them, a lot of old vampires with humans. It’s a party, but not the type you expected.”

Cordelia scrunched up her face. “A party? A vamp party with humans? Are the humans-guests or refreshments?”

“Entertainment and refreshments.”

Cordelia stepped back from Angel, her eyes narrowing. “I go, what are you going to do?”

“What do you think?”

“Get yourself dusted by going in alone. That’s what I think. No, I’m going with you. We got tables.” Pointing to the broken table and its identical mate along the wall.

“Cordelia, we don’t have time for you to argue. Why must you always argue?”

“I don’t, I’m not. I’m just saying you aren’t going alone. We’ll call Wesley and Gunn and then you and I will do what we can stalling, staying and staking. It will work. How much is a lot?”

“No, it won’t.”

“I can fight.”

Angel looked at Cordelia, his brows raised skeptically at her long form fitting red dress. Then he sighed again at Cordelia’s return glare. Angel had to convince her to leave. Angel looked once more at the closed door. He couldn’t do it there, any moment a vampire could decide to pay attention and the vampires wouldn’t not be able to sense Cordelia.

“Come on,” Dragging her down the hallway turning once then pushing Cordelia into a storage closet.

“Angel, if you think that you are locking me….”

“Would you PLEASE be quiet and listen, just once, please. Thank you that wasn’t that hard now was it.”

Angel’s sarcasm changed immediately to a plea at Cordelia narrowed glare. “Cordy, there are at least a dozen vampires in that room.”

“That’s not a lot. A lot is a whacked vamp Tony Roberts in an auditorium of his followers and we…”

“None of which is under two hundred, which means they are more powerful, which means you can’t stay.” Angel ignored Cordelia’s reference to the vampire pyramid scheme that they fought over a year ago. “Just go call Wesley and Gunn, wait outside, talk to no-one, do nothing. Just wait.”

“So, what? You’re just going to walk right in?”

“Yes.”

“You need an invitation.”

“It’s a public place and vampires are inside.”

Cordelia waved two ticket stubs in the air. “An Invitation. The dead vamp door guy said so. I can get in. You can’t. Not invited.”

“I can get in.”

“Well, so can I.” Cordelia brushed the tickets under his nose. Angel grabbed them.

“You’re leaving. I can’t protect you if you go in.”

“Uh, what do you mean can’t protect me? You always protect me. That’s stupid. And I don’t need protecting, I can fight.”

“Cordy, I’m going in, but not to fight, not yet. I need to see who’s exactly in there. I need to find a way to make sure the humans are safe. You can best help by leaving and calling Wesley and Gunn.”

“You’re going to party? Hoping to renew old, old, old, acquaintances are you? Hmmph. They’re my tickets.”

“Cordy.”

“Angel, I can be your date. You were mine.”

Angel took another deep sigh. “Vampires don’t date humans; not in this crowd.”

“I thought you didn’t know who they were?”

“I have a suspicion, but regardless vampires do not date humans.”

“Technically, I’m not..”

“You’re human enough. I can’t tell the difference, if I can’t no vampire will be able to.”

“How do you know?”

“Because I’ve touched you, I know your scent intimately..I’ve.”

“I thought we agreed to forget that..And vampires date humans, you dated Buffy.”

Angel closed his eyes. “I am a freak to them- a vampire with a soul-think Angelus as your so prone to do, not me.”

“Angel, I said I was sorry.” Cordelia went up to the vampire. “Really Angel. I’m sorry.”

Angel grabbed her hand before it touched his face. “Cordelia, these vampire don’t date humans they use them as food or bound..servants, no better than slaves. And if you go in there, that’s what you will be, one or the other.”

If Angel was right about who was in there then food wasn’t what he was worried Cordelia would be. Angel had to get her out of there. “No buts, now leave.” Angel strained his senses trying to discern if they already waited too long.

“No. There has to be a way. Just say I’m your meal on wheels.”

Angel studied the young woman. “It won’t work.”

“Why not? Just say you’re allergic or something had to bring your own. Me.”

“Cordelia..” God, the beautiful young woman could be so frustrating at times.

“Okay, fine. Can’t be food though don’t know why. How about the slave thing? Exactly, what kind of slave are we talking here? What would I have to do ‘fetch and carry’ be yes Master anything you say Master? I can do that.”

“No you can’t, you can’t even stay quiet for two minutes or leave when I tell you to.”

“That’s now, then I’ll be ‘acting.’ I’m pretty good or at least Skip said I could’ve been. I had my own show. So, what, I walk three feet behind you and bow every now and then.”

Angel closed his eyes. “No, Cordelia, you would be my…”

“Be your what?” Cordelia urged him to continue.

Angel took a deep breath. “Vampire’s version of a concubine.”

“Oh.” Cordelia thought about it a moment. “I could do that.”

“No you couldn’t.”

“What? You don’t think I can be a concubine, I CAN be a concubine.”

“Cordy, it won’t work. I just can’t say your my property and leave it at that. Please, Cordelia just go. Call Wesley and Gunn.”

“Why not,” ignoring Angel’s plea for her to leave. She wasn’t going so there was no reason to bother with listening to it.

Angel took another deep breath. How much unneeded air was he going to have to swallow before Cordelia left. Angel sighed. He would tell her then she would understand and leave. Angel didn’t want to tell her, but begging and reason wasn’t working.

Maybe the truth would. “Cordelia, for any of those vampires to abide by my claim that you are mine, I have to mark you. Bite you.” Making sure she understood the ramifications. Angel watched, as Cordelia’s eyes got big, her mouth suddenly shut. Angel didn’t like her lack of verbal response. He should have heard an Eww or something equally loud to express her disgust.

Cordelia’s eyes darted around, her teeth chewing on her lip. Finally, she looked back at Angel. “This mark will it hurt? Is it a big bite?”

“NO.” Angel couldn’t believe it she was actually considering it.

“What, you can’t stand to kiss me and now my blood’s bad. I don’t have cooties you know, some men think I’m a hottie, I bet those vampire’s in there wouldn’t mind.”

Honestly, Angel couldn’t decide whether to yell in frustration or just pick her up, throw her over his shoulder and damn the humans in the theater or kiss the living hell out of Cordelia proving his feelings. As it was he just stared at the young woman.

Cordelia pursed lips raising her hand waving it in front of Angel’s face. “Wakey, wake, potential massacre in the next room.” Cordelia scrunched up her face. “You would think that I would’ve gotten a vision. Angel?” She waved some more.

Angel took a deep breath. “I’m not biting you, I can’t even begin to comprehend how you even think I would and it has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with me not finding you beautiful or attractive. I’m just not doing it.”

“Does that mean you DO think I’m beautiful?”

“Cordy, you know I think you’re beautiful, you are beautiful, special, gorgeous, enticing and frustrating as hell.” Angel shook his head, not even realizing what he said.

“Beautiful, special, gorgeous AND enticing. Wow.” Cordelia smiled a little stunned at Angel’s description of her. Angel thought she was attractive, really attractive. She scrunched up her brow as she thought back to the ballet and their intimacy by way of possession and at Angel’s beginning of a stammered speech at the hotel afterwards.

He said he wanted to forget because he wanted it to be new. What did he want to be new? Cordelia’s stared back at Angel. “What were you going to tell me at the hotel, you know after the ballet, before Groo showed up?”

“Cordelia.” Angel gasped in exasperation. “We don’t have time for this, sooner or later one of the fanged party guest is going to come across that pile of dust.”

“Well, if you would just hurry up and bite me, then we could go.”

“I am NOT going to bite you.”

“Fine, then I’ll just go use MY ticket and get in without your mark. Your choice.”

“You’re forgetting the one where I gag you and forcibly carry you out of here. Screw the humans.”

“ANGEL, you don’t mean that.”

“Keep your voice down.”

“Then stop saying such stupidness like you would leave them in a vamp buffet. They’re not lawyers.”

“Cordy, I don’t want to bite you, I can’t, okay.” Angel ignored his demon’s instinct, which screamed the exact opposite of his words. Angel didn’t want mark Cordelia. It would be an act just like the possession at the ballet hadn’t been real. But like Angel couldn’t forget the feel of her skin and warm responses under his touch,

Angel knew he wouldn’t forget the taste of Cordelia’s blood. And worse, his demon wouldn’t care if it was a ploy, Cordelia would be marked as his and that would make it real. That was more worrisome than the possible triggering of his lust for human blood. He had gone through a hard enough time when he bit Kate at the museum.

“Why not?”

“Cordelia, biting means blood. I drink pig’s blood for a reason. You know what happened when I bit Kate.”

“Oh.” Cordelia scrunched up her face. “Does that mean, you marked her as your slave, if so it didn’t work very well. She definitely wasn’t yes sir, no sir.”

“Of course not.”

“But you bit her. And you bit Buffy. What’s up with the difference?”

“Cordelia really, we don’t have time.”

Cordelia crossed her arms over her chest. “Angel, when you bit Kate you were still being affected by the Shroud. You’ve had human blood before, Buffy’s and other times when you’ve been badly injured and you didn’t go into a downward tail spin.”

“The possibility exists.”

Cordelia shook her head. “If you have to go cold turkey then I’ll be there to help you.”

“That may be difficult if you’re what I have to go cold turkey from.”

“Now, you’re just being melodramatic. Pfft.”

Angel shook his head. He hadn’t been talking about experiencing an irresistible desire for Cordelia’s blood, just the irresistible urge of his demon to possess the young woman completely once he had a taste. Angel’s love for Cordelia could quickly be overshadowed by his demon’s desires.

And then it wouldn’t matter how Cordelia felt about him, Angel would never let her leave him or be with anyone else, she would be his.

“Angel, you’re the one that keeps saying we don’t have time. I’m not leaving.”

Angel closed his eyes, he flinched as her felt her hand go back to his face. Angel knew he shouldn’t. He should just take her out of the theater. He could come back later with Gunn and Wesley. It would be riskier than not scoping out the party beforehand, but Cordelia would be safe.

But, just like Cordelia’s touch had broken through his resistance to the possession, she was destroying it now. Angel pulled her to close to his chest, his hands cupping her face. “I won’t hurt you.” He said softly.

Cordelia gave a sigh of relief. Angel wasn’t going to argue with her anymore. Though, she wasn’t sure how he could promise the no hurting thing, Darla had hurt. But then again, the other vampire’s intention had been to drain her. But still. Cordelia closed her eyes, involuntarily tensed her body and waited, wondering what the hell she was doing.

Or better yet, why. Cordelia sensed the reason of Angel’s logic. It actually made sense. Cordelia should just leave and call Wesley and Gunn. Angel was the champion, granted he was a clueless one at times but not when it came to fighting.

But that was the problem. Angel was worried about these vampires and that made Cordelia worried. And if she was worried about Angel’s safety then she wasn’t leaving his side until she no longer had to worry.

Cordelia’s eye flew open as she felt Angel’s lips on her neck. His lips not fangs. He was gently kissing and nuzzling her skin, his hands had moved caressing down her back, spreading out pulling her body to his. Angel wasn’t biting. He was kissing and feeling her up. She hadn’t agreed to that. Cordelia tried to tense up and move away, but her body betrayed her mind. It was like the possession all over again. Her flesh was tingling and burning, needing his touch.

Okay, maybe this was the difference between biting Kate and marking her. Cuz, if this was what the blonde cop experienced, she wouldn’t have been so mad afterwards that’s for damn sure. Kate would have begged for more. Oh god. What was Cordelia thinking? “Just bite already.” Cordelia cringed that was what she was supposed to have said, but it sounded more like a small moan to her ears. Oh god. What did it sound like to Angel?

Angel continued his caresses even after he felt Cordelia’s body loosen. He knew he should just bite her and stop touching her. But he couldn’t. Cordelia was responding. Her hands had gone from their previous position on his shoulders to down his back; pressing them both closer together small barely audible sounds were coming from her throat. Nevermind that her order had been a whimper.

Cordelia felt the scrape of Angel’s fangs. But it didn’t worry her or make her nervous. She wasn’t sure if her body had the ability to tense up even if she had been nervous. Damn, this better just be part of the whole marking process or she was going to have a long talk with herself when this was over. Angel’s touch wasn’t supposed to affect her like this. But it was. Cordelia had to have him closer.

Her hand reached through his hair tugging at his head. “Just do it already.” Thank god at least this time she formed real words. The breathy gasps weren’t encouraging, but at least she could speak. Maybe Angel wouldn’t notice. Though how he wasn’t going to notice her leg hooked around his pulling him closer, she didn’t know.

“Shh.”

Cordelia felt his unneeded breath on her throat. Now he was kissing again, moving his lips up to her cheek, one hand leaving her back to rub at the spot that his lips and fangs had been.

“It’s over.” Angel said as a placed a gentle kiss on her lips.

“Uh.” Cordelia blinked. “Uh.” Cordelia shook her head. She needed to start thinking straight. Her hand went to her neck. “That wasn’t a bite.” She looked at the dots of blood on her fingertips. “Okay, but it wasn’t a ‘bite’ bite -can you even see it?”

Angel looked at the mark on her neck. “Yes.” The area of her skin was already discolored, the bright red trickle of blood blended into the forming bruise. It would do. Angel closed his eyes. It had been hard, harder than he thought not to make it deeper, permanent. It scared him how his demon’s need to possess Cordelia was so close to the surface. Thank god for love and a soul or the young beautiful woman would be naked lying writhing on the floor under his body and bleeding from permanent wounds on her throat.

Cordelia looked back at the blood on her fingertips. Her eyes shot up to Angel. “Did you use some sort of vamp hypnosis, is that why I didn’t feel it, but felt..You said you didn’t know how to do the mind stuff.”

“No, Cordy, I didn’t use any mind stuff, I just distracted you.” Angel fidgeted. He hoped she didn’t yell.

“Distracted me? By..Nevermind.” Cordelia shook her head. She wouldn’t think about it anymore. She couldn’t. Cordelia had hoped that her responses to Angel’s kisses and caresses had been the result of the marking process along with some mind voodoo, but no, it was just the result of Angel trying to distract her and she had been distracted without the aid of any magic or weird stuff.

Cordelia hadn’t wanted him to stop. Lord, she wasn’t going to have a long talk with herself, she was just going to slap herself silly when this was all over. “Can we go now?”

Angel nodded, stopping himself from reaching out for her. “Cordy, you need to understand because of that mark the vampires in that room will consider you my property and concubine and that means you have to act like it.”

“I got it, I’ve got to act the part of some zombie sex slave.”

“No. I mean, just act..

“Obedient, submissive, needy..Do you like your sex slaves hanging all over you or is it the three steps behind routine?”

“Just stay close to me.” Angel stopped trying to explain and actually there wasn’t much to explain, Cordelia was right. He just didn’t like admitting it to her.

“Come on, Angel, I need to know. What’s my motivation, how am I supposed to act?”

“Motivation? You’re motivation is pleasure and pain, Cordelia. Pleasure if you do what I tell you to, pain and eventual death if you don’t.”

“Well, those are powerful motivating factors. Let’s go, oh master.” Cordelia pulled him out of the closet.


Chapter 9

“Cordy” Angel stopped in front of the door leading to the party. Angel was beginning to think he lost his mind. He surely lost all sense of reason.

He just bit Cordelia. The enormity of what Angel had done finally hit him with full force. How could he have done it? Why had he had done it? Angel let himself be convinced by Cordelia that it was the only way. Why had she allowed it? If Angel hadn’t already lost his mind he was about to. Angel knew that he could have forced her to leave, ignored her arguments, but he hadn’t.

Cordelia shouldn’t have been able to convince him. She shouldn’t have even wanted to try. But she had and he allowed it. Why? Angel hated himself at that moment. He knew why. Angel let her convince him for the simple reason he wanted to mark Cordelia, claim her. God, he really screwed things up now.

“Angel, no turning back, I got the hickie and the motivation, lets go.” Cordelia glared at the still vampire. She couldn’t believe it. Angel was getting cold feet, he just bit her and now he wanted to retreat. Her champion was driving her nuts.

“Cordy..” Whatever Angel had been about to say was stopped as he pulled Cordelia towards him turning her so that her back was pressed against his chest. His mouth latched on to Cordelia’s throat sucking and licking, Angel’s arm a steel band around her waist.

Cordelia resisted the urge to squeal. That had been unsuspected. She tensed as Angel rested his chin on her shoulder and the door opened.

“You’re interrupting.” Angel lazily said with a slow grin towards the man standing in the doorway.

“Excuse me, sir. I do apologize. But, it had been brought to my attention that there may be a problem out here.” Mortimer looked around at the dust on the ground. “Yes, well, I see there was. May I help you? Do you have an invitation? It would be helpful, if you did.”

Cordelia just stared from the confines of Angel’s strong grip. The man looked like one of those hoity toity butlers from years past, complete with the British accent. The ones that her mother was always trying to employ but couldn’t afford. Those types only worked for royalty and no matter what her mother and father believed-the Chases weren’t royalty.

“I’m having a fine time, no trouble.” Angel shrugged, his fingers stroking Cordelia’s neck.

“Yes, I see. Sir, I must ask again, do you have an invitation?”

“No.”

“Yes, well this is a private party and I must ask you to leave.”

“You?” Angel showed his game face.

“Impressive, but still you need an invitation.unless.” Mortimer studied the vampire more closely. “You have age, perhaps you know the Count or the Baroness? Have you happened to have heard of the celebration and brought a gift?” Mortimor looked pointedly at Cordelia. “If so, I’m sure you’ll be welcome, the Count would be pleased.

Angel leaned up, one arm leaving Cordelia’s waist, but the another remaining over her shoulder.

“No gift, don’t know the Baroness, don’t really like the Count.”

“Sir, the Count truly dislikes disturbances at his parties. I suggest you go.”

“No, I haven’t been to one of the Count’s shindigs in well, years and since he’s brought this one to my town, I thought I should say hi. So, hi.”

Mortimor thought quickly. He at the Baroness’ request had checked Los Angeles out, there was no Master vampire in the city. It was just full of young uncultured vampires. But no Master, the nearest Master that had been mentioned had been at the Hellmouth. So, Mortimor had directed an invitation to be sent to Sunnydale for purposes of respect and acknowledgment by the Count that he was just visiting in the area.

Of course, the Count had been furious. Dracula hadn’t known the Master had been in Sunnydale, if the Count had he would’ve paid his respects when he was there over a year ago. Dracula didn’t particularly care for the Master, but the vampire was an elder, he deserved respect. Mortimor had hoped he would die in the Count’s resulting rage, but no.

Mortimor, though had been pretty positive about LA, the young vamps had been uncouth, stuttering something about a renegade vampire hunting his own, but nothing about a Master. Yet, the vampire before him was old, he could sense it, a talent he picked up from his long association with the Count. The unfamiliar vampire was older by at least two centuries than any local vampires Mortimor had met and employed as help for the party.

The Englishman thought about it, his mistake could be a blessing. The Count would be furious at him for failing to include a Master. It was bad etiquette. Or maybe the vampire before him would be enraged enough to kill him after all he was a lowly mortal. Just because the vampire was grinning didn’t mean he wasn’t angry. Though, the vampire did look more amused and bored rather than enraged.

“Sir, I must offer my humblest apologies, the Count of course required that I search the area for Masters before the plans were finalized. The fault is mine. I offer my life for the mistake. Please, just give your name and house before I give you my blood.”

Cordelia wanted to gag at the man’s obsequious offer, but she remained still. Though, more from her inability to move as Angel’s arm came back around her waist than the submissive words she heard.

“You are?” Angel moved his head slightly from Cordelia’s shoulder.

“Forgive me, I’m Mortimor, the Count’s most humble servant.”

Angel grinned. “Have you started chomping on the creepy crawlies, yet?”

Mortimor narrowed his eyes. The strange vampire was definitely amused. “I’ve been spared that craving as of now. I see you know of my predecessor.”

“Fed him rats. He’d jump through hoops for a ripe one.”

“Yes, I heard. Sir, your name and house, so I can announce you.” Mortimor looked again at Cordelia. “Is it your desire that I introduce her as your property?”

“That would prevent any misunderstandings.” Angel smiled, caressing the bruised and red mark on Cordelia’s neck. “My name? Tell the Count, that Angelus wishes an audience, as for my house..I’ve seem to have made myself an orphan, but don’t be sad,” Angel brushed his lips against Cordelia’s cheek. “I’ve been thinking about starting my own. What do you think, my prize pet?” His fangs traveled along Cordelia’s throat.

Pet? Now she was a pet? What happened to being a sex slave? Cordelia suppressed her shudder. Pet, slave, she guessed it was all the same. She really didn’t like this, but it had been her idea, so she giggled. Cordelia wasn’t exactly sure that’s what a sex pet would do, but it seemed to work.

The distinguished looking lackey didn’t seem to think it was unusual and Angel’s fingers were still stroking her collarbone. She leaned further into the caresses, her giggles turning into a small smile, her hand going up across her chest to touch Angel’s face. Cordelia inwardly cringed. It would be so much easier if Angelus hadn’t been brought into the act. She hadn’t expected that twist, though why she hadn’t, she didn’t know.

It wasn’t like Angel could say’ hi, I’m Angel, formally known as Angelus, I’ve got a soul now, let me come party anyway, and then stay still while I dust you’.

“Angelus?” Mortimor’s mind went into overdrive. The master he neglected to find was Angelus or was the vampire even a Master? Mortimor didn’t know, but he knew whichever, Dracula would be beyond mere enraged. There was something about the younger vampire that set the Count on edge.

This could very well work out into Mortimor’s favor. “Angelus, the rumors implied that you were dead, your unique brand of notoriety disappeared, your presence in this place was unknown.”

Angel leaned against the wall, bringing Cordelia with him, settling her body over his. “Disappeared? I like to think of it has a change in interests, hobbies. Dracula was right about one thing, humans can be so much more than just food.” Angel nicked at Cordelia’s throat.

Cordelia was relieved that Mortimor seemed to think her sudden gasp at Angel’s actions was one of pleasure rather than surprise.

“Yes and it’s so beneficial to the human as well.”

Angelus cocked a brow at the butler. “Life of servitude getting you down, Morty?” Angelus grinned. “Maybe you’ll be as lucky as Renfield.”

“I wait for the day, sir. Angelus, it was my understanding that your Grandsire resided on the Hellmouth.”

Angel laughed, pushing up Cordelia’s body with his. “The Count’s grapevine is missing quite a few branches. I killed that bottom dweller years ago. Um. Morty, are you going to let me in?” Angelus cocked a smile at the butler.

“Would maybe you kill me, if I didn’t?”

“No, why? Break your legs and arms, but why kill you? Waste of energy, and I would have to listen to Dracula go on and on about how hard it was to find good help. Lord, the excruciating boredom when Renfield ate that last bad rat.” Angel shivered.

“Oh. Well, then, please follow.” Mortimor turned before he entered back into the room. “As, you didn’t get an invitation, I must remind you of a few rules.”

“I’ve been to enough swanky Count displays of the rich and beautiful, no biting on the entertainment before time, no unsanctioned snacking before refreshments are served and ..oh..yeah, bow, scrape and laugh at every inflection of the Count’s voice. That’s why I brought my own. I can bite, snack or just plain entertain without his blessing or listening to him recite the code of vampire manners. Lead on.”

Angel smirked as Mortimor led them into the room. His smirk became a cross between a glare and apology as Cordelia elbowed him. “Pets are seen not heard.”

Cordelia glared back, then smiled seductively and reached into his pants pocket that was still pressed to her side. She squeezed her fingers around an object and pushed against his thigh with her fist. “Connor, you idiot.” She whispered through her wide smile.

Cordelia’s nervousness had changed to concern as soon as she felt the vibrations of the beeper against her hip.

Angel pulled her closer. “Slightly out of character if Angelus pulls out a cell phone to check on his son, don’t you think?”

“This damn thing,” Cordelia’s fist hadn’t unclenched from around the beeper, her hand still in his pocket. “Has been going off, we need to call the hotel.”

“I know.”

Cordelia saw the vampire lose every trace of the Angelus persona in an instant. Shit. Cordelia took her hand out of his pocket and raised it up to Angel’s shoulder. “We can do this, you can. Just be ‘grr’ psycho guy for the intro’s then we can call home.” Cordelia forced her smile wider as she looked at her surroundings.

Angel tried to regain his objective. Angel forced himself to bring up the personality of Angelus. He couldn’t do it, not when he was worried about Connor. So he tried again, this time bringing up the soulless demon’s reaction to Cordelia.

Possession. Actually, when he thought of it that way, it was easy.

Chapter 10

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