The night was a disaster.
Sure, in terms of amassing power, tonight’s festivities had been successful beyond Angelus’ wildest dreams. But in terms of his personal life, tonight had been a humiliating bust.
It wasn’t Angelus’ his nature to brood about things, that was the domain of the soul. He tended to be more of an “if you don’t like it, change it” kind of demon. Living for pleasure, he tended not to let things get him down and if they did, well, as a vampire of action he formed a plan of attack and destroyed all obstacles.
And yet he was consumed of thoughts of Cordelia Chase and their stupid, apparently nonexistent bond. The longer the evening went, the more she shied away from his touch, the more obsessing he did on her chilly deportment.
He’d been cheered earlier by the passionate interlude in the dressing room. Finally believing that he could free himself from these ridiculous concerns, he was appalled to hear her explanation that it was nothing more than overactive teenage hormones on her part. Even worse was the immediate thought that her reasoning was far from unsound.
It wasn’t as if he really wanted the girl, it was the principal of the thing. He was by no means driven beyond control to have her. He was a vampire of some years, he could exercise a great deal of restraint when he so chose. His age and the power that came with it would allow him much more time before the bond was overwhelming.
No, this wasn’t the mystical side effects of the claim, propelling him now was an even greater imperative – his pride.
Yes, Cordelia was an extremely beautiful woman. Her classic features, dark, rich coloring, and long, lithe body could arouse a corpse – and did, he thought, smiling. Some of the feelings he was having could be laid at the door of her beauty and even her dynamic personality. But it was more than that.
While the claim was by no means overwhelming, he could still feel its pull, like an itch you just can’t reach. Not like a rash, but more the gentle distraction of someone running a feather over your skin as you slept. It wasn’t entirely unpleasant, but it left him vaguely unsatisfied. It wasn’t enough to be more than mildly annoying, but it was still something. It was still there.
But Cordelia, who should be much more susceptible to the claiming influence, seemed to be feeling no effects. The question was, “Why not?”
Actually, given his solution oriented nature, the question became, “What was he going to do about it?”
Being a demon was all about dominance and control. If he felt the draw of the bond to a greater extent than Cordelia then she became the dominant individual in their quasi-relationship. It went against his very nature to be submissive in any respect, especially to someone weaker than himself. His need for control in all things would not allow this state of affairs to continue, even if he were the only one to know of its existence.
The only way that he could see to rectify this power imbalance was to force the bond on the girl. Not a lot, naturally. Just enough to make her aware of the as yet unawakened need for him she now carried in her very blood.
Forced exposure to him would, theoretically have a greater impact on her than on him; although in light of recent events he might be willing to argue that theory. This should leave her ever so slightly dependent on him, and leave him relatively unchanged.
The bond would still be more than manageable because his new position assured that, after tonight, there’d be no reason for contact with the vexing girl.
Although the consequences would linger for Cordelia, the worst would probably be a small but definite dissatisfaction with the opposite sex. Of course, with her dating Harris she’d have to get used to disappointment. And if she ended up too dependant, well he could always drain her and leave her artfully arranged amid the stacks in the library – a present for the slayer and her watcher to defile their sacrosanct haven.
But he hadn’t lied to Cordelia when he told her he wasn’t ready to start killing off Buffy’s friends just yet. No, killing Cordelia would be a last resort. Once he could see concrete evidence of the bond from her then he could let this go and never have to worry about the gregarious cheerleader again. And not questioning why that thought made him ache, just a little, he knew one thing –
It was a plan.
The night was a disaster.
True, she’d made it through alive, and that was always a plus, but she was so confused by the evening’s events that she didn’t know which way was up and which was down.
It had started alright. In fact, she was surprised when they arrived and she was deprived of Angelus’ shielding coat how much calmer she’d felt than when the left the store earlier that night.
She might not be sexually experienced, but she wasn’t naive. Before Angelus had cloaked her near nudity with his duster she’d felt the heavy weight of male stares crawling over her.
Yet throughout the festivities, although she’d certainly been studied by curious demons, their clear gazes lacked the haze of lustful intent that had characterized those of the human’s.
Whether that was because they knew enough to fear Angelus’ wrath or because, as a human they found her unattractive was unclear. If it was the former, they were certainly wise to placate their new leader. If it was the latter, the non-attraction thing was completely mutual.
Well, that wasn’t exactly true. Of the 150 or so demons there, 149 were a complete turn off. But oh, that 150th demon – Good Lord!
Cordelia didn’t understand herself, she knew that Angelus was a vampire, a member of ClubDead, and therefore wasn’t just on the no-bone list, but was all of the top 100 entries.
Even with Angel who was of the good vampire variety, well, not a variety, more like just one, but even Angel fell off of her list of “guys to do” once she found out about the bloodsucking demon thing.
And yet here was his evil, soulless, leather wearing, inner bad ass and she was practically jumping out of her skin…and onto his.
And what the Hell was up with the constant touching? From the moment he removed her coat until the dinner was over his hands had been almost constantly on her. Sliding down the curve of her spine, toying with the silver chains as his fingers drew abstract patterns around her navel, grasping her hips in an unbreakable hold as he tugged her bottom securely into the cradle of his thighs, even now the memories threatened to drive her into an orgasmic frenzy.
She knew that he wanted to prove something to the assembled demons, but did he have to do it in a way that liquefied her legs and made information gathering for Giles nearly unthinkable?
Sure, she could totally get the gropage on his part, but what she didn’t understand was her response. When the touching first started she was angry and being who she was, she didn’t suffer silently for long.
“Get your undead hand off my ass!” She hissed during one of the all too brief moments they’d had to themselves.
Said hand contracted, inciting even greater rage from the scantily clad young woman, and it was all she could do to keep her voice to a whisper.
“Look, being your whore wasn’t part of the deal.”
Angelus bent down, his lips resting against the shell of her ear. The picture they presented of young lovers was clearly at odds with the chilling menace in his voice.
“The deal, Cordelia, is that you do whatever it is I require of you. Whether that’s letting me cop a feel of your oh so enticing ass, or letting me throw you down on the nearest table and fuck you until you can’t even whimper my name, you’ll be with me every step of the way.”
“Cause tonight, Cordelia, you don’t have anything I want except your compliance. So when I put my hands on you you’ll smile and shut the fuck up. Just remember, there’s a million and one things I can do to your body, and two thirds of them wont be nearly as pleasant as groping your ass.”
Wrapping his arms completely around her, he enclosed her in his hard embrace. Although his voice lost the undertones of peril to her life, they took on new undertones of peril to her virginity.
“Of course, the other third would ruin you for other men, if that’s what you want to call that imbecile you’re dating.”
His voice became liquid, swirling in her ears and cascading down her spine.
“And that last one would make you come so hard your bones would shatter.”
God, his words were enough to drive her past the brink of sanity with the images they conjured in her overloaded mind. But far more disturbing was the flood of arousal she felt as his hard length pressed into her rapidly heating center separated by two, far too inadequate stretches of leather.
Which brought her back to the question of why she responding to the monster holding her life hostage to his grab for power?
She knew that she was a healthy teenager with a natural interest in sex, but she’d never felt anything like this with Xander. Sure, he didn’t have centuries of experience pleasuring women of every sort, but what he lacked in prowess he made up for in not wanting to killing her in bloody and terrifying ways. You would think that would even things out.
Well, she was never one to cry over spilled milk. If you can’t go back then there’s only forward was her belief. So whatever was going on, whatever kind of freak she was turning into the more time she spent with the over-sexed vampire, there was only one solution and she was going to take it.
It didn’t matter what he did to her during his stupid power play, not how he spoke to her, not how he touched; she would give no evidence of the swirling mass of sexuality he unleashed in every cell of her body. No, her humiliation would be hers and hers alone. After all, once tonight was over they’d probably never see each other again until it was her turn to be killed for the great Buffy obsession.
So from now on, every touch avoided, every undertone ignored. And, not questioning why that idea left her feeling slightly hollow, she knew one thing –
It was a plan.
As Angelus walked Cordelia home the tension settled thick around them.
Both concentrating on their chosen course of action, Cordelia was constantly drifting to the side to avoid any unnecessary contact, while Angelus’ was fast losing his patience watching her move continuously away instead of towards his touches.
Shit this was frustrating, Angelus thought in aggravation. Obviously Cordelia was defective.
Since before recorded history vampires had been bending humans to their will. How could it not work on this one slip of a girl? Her next words were hardly a balm to his irritated mind.
“Now that you’re the head honcho around here you’ll probably be finding yourself a dead first lady, so this is gonna be our last little get together, right?”
His jaw clenched painfully at what he was hearing. Now she was telling him that she didn’t want to see him anymore. That he should find someone else and stop bothering her. He could feel his fangs slipping down as he tried to hold onto his human visage.
Risking a glance to the side, Cordelia was surprised to see the flicker of his true face before he regained control. Not knowing what caused the vampire’s new show of temper and realizing it was still not out of arms reach for the demon, she stepped quickly to the side and away from her companion.
The low sound of discontent that had been building in Angelus’ chest found voice as a muted bellow of rage. Moving faster than her eyes could see, Cordelia found her wrist grabbed in a punishing grip as she was yanked back towards the seething figure who resumed walking, hoping the exertion would release at least a small portion of his ever growing fury.
Did she not grasp the danger she was in? Had tonight not shown her that he would do as he wished and it was her job to submit?
Hoping to return things to a state where she feared death at his hands, but not her imminent death, she tried to lighten the dark mood.
“Well, I’d thank you for the new dress, but since it was really humiliating I think I’ll pass. Besides, not highly rewearable.
Cordelia, whose wrist was still being gripped tightly in Angelus’ hand, was forced to stop as the vampire stilled.
Like gasoline to a fire, Angelus felt himself blazing out of control at the mere thought her words brought to mind. The growl was back in his voice as it rasped through his throat.
“Too true. You will never wear this dress for anyone but me.”
Cordelia, oblivious to the inherent possessiveness in that statement was blithe in her reply.
“Duh. Who else would I wear it around? None of the other people I know are kinky pervs, and I’m certainly not wearing it to school, ’cause that would go over well – Showing up dressed like a slut in case there are one or two people left who don’t think I put out.”
The timely reminder of her innocence calmed Angelus and he turned once again towards the Chase home. He took in the sight Cordelia made as she walked along side of him, her face and hands the only parts of her visible as the leather of his coat swallowed her.
“You don’t sleep around. You haven’t slept with anyone.”
Startled by the certainty in his tone, Cordelia couldn’t help asking, “True, but how would you know? Even if that were the type of thing I’d share with people, I’d hardly have shared it with Angel. Besides, I know he would’ve just believed whatever Buffy did, and I’m pretty sure that wasn’t complementary.”
Angelus’ pleasure at Cordelia’s words help drain the earlier tension from his body. He was glad that she saw Angel as a separate entity. While Angel may have had the demon, Angelus certainly didn’t have the soul. The slayer couldn’t seem to grasp that fact, and though it made hurting her that much easier, he hated to be mistaken for the blubbering mass of guilt that was the soul.
“I know you’re pure. I could taste it in your blood.”
“You could taste my virginity?! Ewwwwwwwww!”
Cordelia scrunched up her face in disgust at the thought. Then, her natural curiosity overcame her distaste and the questions spilled forth.
“What else could you taste? Can you tell my blood type? Do you know what I had for lunch? Ooh, can you see my future??”
Angelus had to wonder at the fact that Cordelia worked with a vampire slayer and yet seemed to no next to nothing about vampires. And yet, listening to her inane questions he couldn’t help feeling as if her were caught in the midst of a whirlwind, and in many ways it was exhilarating.
If there was one thing Angelus loved, it was surprises. Even bad ones kept him on his toes. A fact not often appreciated by humans, but when eternity looms ahead of you, you tend to bore quickly.
That’s often why vampires grew more vicious with age. The more you’ve done, the more you have to do to get the same feelings. Over time they learn to forgo the immediate kill and in favor of new and ever escalating torments.
Even before the soul his existence had become stagnant, routine. Spending time with this unpredictable girl had certainly alleviated much of that boredom.
Angelus smiled slightly at her naiveté. “Yes, there is a difference discernable between blood types. No, I have no idea what you had for lunch. And other than the fact that I plan on killing you before long, I have no idea about your future. I can tell other things, though.”
“Even without seeing you I’d know you were female. I’d be able to guess your age within a year or two. I can tell that you’re healthy and disease free. But that’s the instinctual part of vampirism, not the enjoyable part.”
Moving his body closer to hers, their shoulders now brushed as they walked.
“No, what’s truly wonderful about your blood isn’t the trivia it contains, but the potential.”
“Human blood is rich and layered, depending heavily on the emotions evoked at the time of imbibing. Unlike pig’s blood,” he practically spat the words, “the taste of human blood can be altered to a great degree.”
“When I tasted your blood the first time, I tasted all of those small, inconsequential facts. I also tasted your robust health and your innocent state. But mostly I tasted your fear. Oh, you hid it admirably on the outside, but the blood doesn’t lie. The adrenalin released in response to the fight or flight instinct is like caffeine for a vampire. It’s a rush, a high, it’s addictive, and the more fear I create in you the better you’ll taste.”
“It’s almost the ultimate delicacy. Almost.”
“As much as I savored your blood that first night, it held no candle to the way you tasted tonight. The only thing greater than fear laced blood is blood pulsing with burgeoning arousal.”
“As your body heats up in the throws of passion your blood thickens, slowing to pool in erogenous places. As your desires clog your arteries with the succulent mixture of pleasure and anticipation, the flavor deepens. At the moment of the “little death” when fantasy finally merges with reality, mere blood is transformed into ambrosia as it’s released from it’s physical constraints to nourish the one feasting upon it.”
It was fortuitous that the were walking in such close proximity as Angelus’ words invoked a pounding heat in Cordelia’s loins that was so distracting that she managed to trip on an uneven portion of the sidewalk. While normally the stumble would not be cause for alarm, teetering precariously on the heels of her new boots, she was less than her usual, stable self.
Grateful, for once, for the speed of his demonic reflexes, Cordelia almost sighed in relief to find herself caught mere inches from the ground.
As he stood her up, Angelus smirked at seeing her reaction to his words. Surely this proved that the girl was not immune to their bond. However, any thoughts of victory were cut short when, on returning her to an upright position, she promptly scrambled out of his arms.
Bad mood back in place he quickened his pace, Cordelia trailing in his wake.