She smelled so good; so warm and sweet, her already compelling natural scent drenched in arousal. As he acknowledged both the inevitability of how this night would end, and the absolute pleasure that thought gave him, a predatory awareness gripped him.
The excited uptake of her heart’s rhythm, the straining need of the swelling globes against his chest, the moisture gathering on her silken folds, he alone had caused all of these changes; called her body to life. She belonged to him in so many ways; ways she didn’t know, that he’d never told her. But before the killing sun drove him home for another day, she would have a crystal understanding that in this way, above all others, she was his.
Angel knew that if Cordelia understood what the chase in which they were engaging was doing to him she’d at least attempt to be less aggressive than her nature seemed to dictate. Now that he’d freed himself from thoughts of discretion and caution, he reveled in the challenge she presented. Each comment she made invited him to disabuse her of her erroneous beliefs, and every movement he allowed away from his throbbing body was simply to provide himself the pleasure of returning her to where she belonged – crushed tightly against him as he wrapped himself around her softness.
He felt the air fill her lungs as she breathed deep in an attempt to steady herself to answer his inquiry. Her hands curled tightly around his tautened biceps as she tried once again in vain to push him away.
“Angel, I wouldn’t want you even if you came gift wrapped…in colored paper. Now get – off – me!”
He barely gave the words time to finish spilling from her lips before curling a hand in her hair and jerking her face up to his. Crushing her mouth to his, he swallowed her exclamation of surprise. Running his tongue teasingly along her lips, Angel was content to take his time with her, to sip slowly at the sweetness she offered. Or he would have been.
The taste of her overwhelmed his senses and his hold began to soften. As if she sensed a weakness in the tenderness of the remnants of the man inside him, he felt her nails pierce his skin through the weave of his sweater. As the tangy scent of blood hit the air the barely restrained demon broke through with a roar scarcely muted by her his mouth on hers.
Giving her hair a sharp tug with his still entwined hand, he used her small gasp of pain to thrust his tongue deep into the recesses of her mouth. Arms tightening to just shy of crushing, Angel refused her any movement as he slid over her tongue again and again ’til he felt her quiver as her need for oxygen grew.
Tearing his lips from hers he heard the air rush into her lungs as he shifted slightly and swept her up into his arms. Before she could gather her bearings to protest, Angel had moved them to the decrepit office couch and pinned her underneath his heavy form. Trapping her hands in between them, he groaned as her attempts to move them dragged her palms over his sensitive nipples. Shuddering at the long awaited touch, no matter the intention behind it, a low, almost snarl-like sound broke forth as his head dipped low to recapture her mouth.
The menacing rumble grew louder as, his intent perfectly clear; Cordelia turned her head away from his. He stiffened at this newest rejection and his hand shot up, long fingers firmly grasping her chin, turning her face back to his.
She was so accepting, so trusting. She’d met Angelus…twice. She knew better than almost anyone on this planet what he could do. After all, watchers may tell tales of the Scourge of Europe, but she had a front row seat when he’d nearly sent the entire world to Hell. And yet, unlike those still in Sunnydale, she’d moved passed it. She didn’t loathe the demon. She’d told him that it was that part of him that made him capable of saving the homeless, of keeping her and Wesley safe. She trusted his soul to rein in his instincts. And so he did.
But that was no longer a luxury he was able to afford to either of them. This was who he needed to be; stronger, harder, able to break his enemies. But not to break her, never her. Letting his demon instincts run free didn’t negate his soul, and both parts of Angel had always been equally protective of the girl writhing beneath him. The soul was concerned with his friend and seer, the demon with his odd little family. He in no way planned to harm her. But she would learn this lesson tonight. She would know by morning and for every other morning of her life that she was his.
She was so proud of her independence. And because he cared for her he let her believe that her little illusion was reality. While he’d let her keep her pseudo freedom for a little longer, he would only do so with the express understanding between them that this was at his discretion, at his indulgence. He needed to ensure, in both her mind and his, that when this battle was done her place was beside him…beneath him, over him. A million different ways, but always with him.
While Cordelia was still struggling to regain her stolen breath Angel moved to taste other areas beckoning him. Cool, moist kisses feathered over the edges of her lips as he trailed down towards her neck. With every downward movement of his head he halted and swirled his tongue along her silken flesh, taking in her essence, leaving his scent.
Reaching her throbbing pulse, he nuzzled in closer, allowing the surge of blood to flutter against his questing lips. As he laved the sensitive area, his demon felt a fierce sense of satisfaction as she arched her throat further into him. Even now, in this time of discord, she offered herself up in a manner that, were he any other demon, would surely mean her death. But whether she wanted to deny it or not, fight against it or not, deep inside she understood that she held a valued place in his family, that he was what stood between her and the darkness of the world, even if he was a part of that darkness.
She might rail against him, against this, but when the moment was upon her she couldn’t help but surrender to what they both knew to be true – her emotions, her responses, her very life; it all belonged to him. Her mind might protest the very thought, but her body knew that it was his right to touch her, to pleasure her, and to own her.
Pulling her pulse point slightly into his mouth, Angel brought the blood even closer to the surface. As the heated skin pressed against his lips his body fought against the physical manifestation of the demon inside. If it were his true face tucked into her neck now, if it were other than his blunt teeth worrying her tender flesh he knew that he wouldn’t be able to keep himself from piercing the thin barrier and taking what she was subconsciously offering. And while that was definitely a fundamental part of his plans for this night, it was a pleasure best left for further along in their journey.
Moving on before temptation snapped the demon’s tenuous control, his teasing caress swept past her collarbone and small, butterfly kisses followed the curve of her blouse from her shoulders to the hint of the shadowed valley of her breasts. Frustrated with the rub of fabric where he wanted only the smoothness of her skin, he lifted himself away from her trembling form and, with a movement so swift it could not have been followed by human eyes, he tore away the offending blouse, casting it to the floor.
Although there was no doubting the erotic picture Cordelia Chase presented looking wild and tumbled, breasts covered in a smattering of black lace, he wanted more, needed more, and there would be no waiting now.
Her delicate bra met the same fate as her blouse, and Angel tensed as her firm, bronze globes were finally bared to his burning, amber stare. Although in his two and a half centuries of existence he’d seen many women, he was sure that he’d never seen anything more beautiful than the picture of perfection that was filling his hungry gaze.
His mouth longed for the taste of her flesh with almost the same ferocity as the desire for her blood. How he had managed to deny himself this bounty for as long as he had was now a complete and utter mystery to him and he marveled at the amount of control he had developed over a century of self-denial. Lunging back towards her, he engulfed a straining coral bud into his watering mouth. Her low moans of pleasure echoed in his ears as he drew even more deeply on the stiffening flesh.
Moving to lavish attention on her other breast, he kept the abandoned peak in it’s hardened state with knowing fingers, not allowing her a respite from the sensations that were causing small, erotic mewls to slip from her kiss reddened lips.
It was odd, he thought with his last shreds of coherency. But the more he had of her, the stronger his need grew. It was as if, instead of satisfaction, every touch, every taste merely heightened his expectations of the next delight. And, to this point, his theory of ever-greater pleasure had not been disproved in the least. And so, although the burgeoning flesh he was worshipping was painfully difficult to leave, he did so knowing that nirvana awaited him.
Her firm, supple stomach met the same fate as her throat as Angel sampled the sweet and salty tang of her skin. His head full of the scent of what awaited him, he had less patience with her skirt and the matching piece of her ruined lingerie set and, fingers twisting to gather both offending garments, he yanked his arm backwards, material disintegrating in his hands as the last of all of her barriers against him were removed.
As if the cold air had pulled her back to awareness, Cordelia’s hands shot forward to block this long awaited view. Now, having lost more of himself to the beast inside him with every passing moment, he roared out his displeasure at this last piece of feeble resistance. Capturing her hands in his he flung them away as his eyes rose to burn into hers. Pleased to see that she had the good sense to be slightly frightened by his animalistic outcry, his face took on a look of absolute possession.
As he moved closer to his destination, his gaze still locked with hers, he spoke only one word; a low, guttural decree that conveyed a wealth of intent an instant before his tongue snaked out to taste the wet heat so long denied him.
Cordelia had no time to process Angel’s statement of ownership as it was immediately followed by the introduction of his cool mouth to her white-hot center. Although she’d never engaged in this particular activity, her one night of sex consisting of far less than an hour of actual experience, she had certainly heard of it, and always assumed it to be a gentle, teasing activity. Tonight she learned how truly naïve she truly was as, with no prelude at all, Angel forced his thick tongue through the protective petals guarding her most precious treasure, and deep into her core.
An excess of unknown sensations swept through her and her body tried to accommodate the contrasting need to escape the flood and arch into it simultaneously. As mating instincts as old as time overtook her, her hips thrust up to meet the rhythmic penetration. Her mind lost the focus of all its doubts and fears and responded instead solely to the masterful touches and rumbling sounds of approval coming from her vampire lover.
Her muscles began to shake with the tension building in her as her acquiescence to his nonverbal demands caused a satisfied purring to migrate into the juncture of her sex sending waves of pleasure racing along her nerve endings.
A wail of loss sounded from the thrashing brunette as Angel pulled back slightly, only to be replaced by a heavy moan of gratification as his skillful tongue was replaced by a long, thick finger sliding into her tight, grasping center. Probing deeper, he seemed to know all of her body’s secrets. A knowledge he used ruthlessly, turning her into a quivering mass of desire that could do no more than gasp out the vampire’s name, over and over, begging for something nameless that seemed to exist just out of her reach.
A sob of ecstasy tore from her throat as another finger was eased into her, filling her drenched tunnel and stretching her silken walls. So close. Her body kept signaling that she was so close. But not knowing what else was needed or how to force the dominant being between her legs to give it to her, all she could do was wait and plead for satisfaction with small whimpers and ragged breaths.
And then it was there. The missing piece of this sensual puzzle she’d been trying to solve. As his fingers were busy plunging into her over and over again, his mouth was suddenly brought back into play as his lips encircled the throbbing bud of her clitoris.
Surging upright in surprise, Cordelia wound her fingers into Angel’s hair. Not releasing her grasp, she flung herself backwards with the next pull of his mouth as her hips shot upwards and into the strong caress. As with all of the sounds he made, she felt rather than heard his chuckle as she tried desperately to pull him even tighter to her. Not caring about that or anything other than the onslaught of feelings he was drowning her in, she continued to pull against him until finally –
Angel was torn. He needed to taste the sweet nectar of Cordelia’s release, but he also had to feel the tight grasp of her clenching muscles on his aching rod right that moment. Deciding compromise was the only way to satisfy both desires, he twirled his fingers deep inside her, thoroughly coating them with her liquid heat while his other hand freed his straining erection from its leather confines. With a grace that spoke of his abilities he withdrew his fingers and slid home his rock hard shaft in one fluid movement.
Pulling his fingers deep into his mouth he couldn’t be certain if it was her fiery essence or her spasming heat that caused an earthy moan to leave his lips even as his hips jerked forward, lodging himself firmly against her womb. Hearing her small breath of pain, he stilled, realizing that her one, pathetic attempt at sex had in no way prepared her for the length now forcing the extension of her molten core.
Calling on mental resources he never knew he’d possessed, he forced himself not to move and removing his fingers with a wet pop, distracted himself by plundering the cavern of her mouth once again. But despite reveling in the soft play of her tongue against his, her ongoing orgasm steadily stripped him of his control and he could no longer restrain the need to withdraw, only to surge forward again into her still grasping sheath.
Feeling her shudder in response to his movements, he began a steady rhythm of deep, slow thrusts that pulled at her inflamed nerves, and quick jabs of his hips that propelled him directly into that elusive spot and ground him against her swollen nub.
Her whimpers were a delicacy as they poured into his mouth as with every thrust of his body he refused to free her from the writhing grip of ecstasy. So close. He was so close to joining her that he only needed one more thing. One small action that took this from momentary pleasure to life altering event.
Pulling reluctantly from her lips he gazed down at the beauty that was Cordelia in glorious release. Eyes moving slightly downward, he watched the frantic throb of her pulse as it called him with it’s rushing siren’s song. Memorizing this moment, the moment that would redefine her place in their family structure, he bent forward. Nudging her head to the side, he smiled against her neck as she offered no protest, but simply continued to murmur incoherently as she thrust her hips up to meet his.
The muscles in his body hardened as he finally let his demon come completely to the fore. With one final pass of his tongue he gently punctured her flesh, driving through her thin barrier and piercing her artery. As blood welled from the site of his penetration, he pushed impossibly deeper before easing out to experience liquid embodiment of all that was Cordelia Chase.
As the life giving fluid fled from her body to his, his ears were assaulted by a high pitch scream as Cordelia was lifted, once again to the heights and propelled over the edge into bliss. The sounds and taste of her swirling in his head, Angel found his own release as he poured himself into her. The intimate feeling of exchange as he pulled her in while filling her up was one that no two humans could know. It was an almost spiritual experience as each became part of the other.
As Cordelia’s convulsions began to subside and his shuddering started to slow, Angel began to tenderly lave the wounds he’d created, stilling the blood flow and filling her with his scent.
Whatever problems this beige period produced, whatever ramifications were yet to be addressed, he would never regret this cold, dark time as it finally allowed him to do what the soul had only wished for – claim Cordelia for his own. She had always been his.
Destiny had brought him to her in Sunnydale, fate had sent her to him in L.A., Doyle had given her to him in a cargo hold, and the Powers had mystically chained her to his side. And with every fiber in him he knew that this had been the reason he had been called to the fight beside the slayer. Not to help her, for Lord knew Angelus had been her greatest foe, but to begin the chain of events that started with a chance meeting in the Bronze and ended with Cordelia here, now, beneath him and undeniably his in every way possible.
As Cordelia finally returned to reality she became aware of two things. There was a very larger, firm body pressing her into the couch, and her legs were holding him there, wrapped around him and driving him deep into – Oh! And there was the third thing. They were still joined, still far too intimately connected for the scene that was sure to follow their primal eruption of passion.
With slow, measured movements she drew her legs from Angel’s waist, careful not to jostle tender muscles. Keeping her eyes downcast, she drew her hips downward what little she could in a silent signal for him to leave her. Her eyes flew up to collide with his steely gaze as, for a moment, his hips followed hers, showing clearly that his subsequent decision to withdraw was his choice to make and not hers.
As he pulled back, and with quick, efficient movements refastened his pants, Cordelia pulled her legs up, her face reddening as she realized that he hadn’t even bothered to undress. She didn’t know if that was a sign of their overwhelming passion or that he cared so little that he couldn’t be bothered. Although the latter seemed almost impossible to believe in light of their recent experience, she allowed it to rekindle the flame in the embers of her temper. Shoving embarrassment aside, she opted instead for her familiar cloak of sarcastic fury.
“Couldn’t even bother to remove your boots, Angel? Wow, if it was like this with you and Buffy no wonder you had to leave town.”
Expecting the anger or angst that was always left in the wake of Buffy’s name she was surprised when she got neither. Instead she watched warily as he leaned towards her, his knee resting near hers. His arms once again caging her in, his lips twisted into a sinful smirk.
“Baby, if it would been like this with Buffy I never would have had to leave town.”
For a moment she sat stunned, hurt shadowing her eyes before she shoved it down. She forced herself to face the insult, proud that the ache in her heart didn’t seep into her voice.
“Right. No perfect happiness here. If you could have figured out how to just use Buffy for a quicky you could’ve stayed in Sunnydale forever.”
Refusing to look at him, not wanting to see the cold indifference in his eyes, she was shocked when he gripped her face, turning it to his, revealing an intense, unnamable look shot through with concern.
“Cordelia, the curse isn’t about sex. It’s about a moment of perfect happiness for my soul. Because believe me, the demon in me was none too happy with such close proximity to the slayer. My entire relationship with Buffy was about pretending that I wasn’t a demon, that if the “Chosen One” could love me I must still be a man. The night of her birthday wasn’t about sex, it was about convincing myself for one brief instant that was true.”
“When my soul believed, for that one moment that the demon no longer existed, that there was no need for guilt, for redemption; that was the bliss. I may have found that in Buffy’s arms, but it doesn’t mean that, knowing what I know now, I ever would again.”
Confusion clouded Cordelia’s eyes. “But…that’s why you left Sunnydale.”
“No, that’s what I told Buffy. I loved her and there was no reason to hurt her. The problems we had were insurmountable, and one of us had to be mature enough to see that. Buffy had to play the adult enough times in her life, so I did what had to be done.”
“But if Buffy and I had had this, things would have been different, we could’ve made it work, I would have tried to stay.”
Bewildered by confession time after so much disinterest from the vampire Cordelia decided not to bother making heads or tails of this. It was all too new, too raw, and she wasn’t going to open her heart to him again, even if he was saying things that, on some level, she’d always longed to hear. And yet they were hollow words because, once again, she still didn’t measure up to the great Buffy Summers.
“Great, so it’s just your soul I can’t make happy. That makes me great for a tumble on an old couch. At least Buffy got a bed.”
Sitting up to push against him she was surprised to feel herself propelled backwards as his hands moved to her hips to pull her further down the cushions, holding her immobile with the bulk of his hard body.
“Stop hissing and listen up, kitten. It’s not a case of whether or not you can give my soul bliss. It’s about the fact that I never forget that I’m a demon with you.”
Cordelia’s body gave a jerk, not in response to his words, but to his hand which had moved from its place on her hip to wedge between her clenched thighs and teasingly rub against her fast dampening folds.
“Buffy was a slayer and the only way either of us could be with the other was to pretend that I wasn’t what I am – a vampire. But the very thing Buffy despised in me is the thing you need the most. You need my strength, my protection. Things I couldn’t give you as just a man. You need the demon.”
She gasped as her still tender flesh was forced to stretch once more as the length of his finger speared into her.
“You think this is all you want; the soul that bares his heart to you. But you want this too.” Her head fell back as a second finger slid into her. She arched into him, sensitive nipples pebbling as they brushed against rough wool. Even as shudders began sweeping her body she heard him.
“You want the demon, kitten. You want this. To let me possess you, to belong to me. You want me to take care of you, to fight your visions, to fulfill your desires. Even the ones you don’t think you have.”
Cordelia wasn’t sure if she was shaking her head back and forth in a denial of his words or because her body was nearing sensory overload. And when she was sure that she couldn’t stand one more minute of this new brand of torture, Angel pressed the pad of his thumb firmly against her clit and began manipulating it in small circles.
As the building wave crested, lights exploded behind her tightly clenched lids. Bucking wildly against his still moving hand, it was only the weight of his strong body that kept her on the couch. His expert technique forced her from peek to peak, until finally, the tension that had animated her muscles dissipated, leaving her limp beneath him.
Floating on a sea of satisfaction she felt him lean down, his mouth brushing softly against her own.
“You’re mine, Cordelia Chase; make no mistake about it. And when this is over, I’ll be back for you. Be ready.”
A cool breeze caressed her heated flesh as he moved from her, but it was quickly blocked as something was laid over her. A small caress of lips against her neck, and the tinkling sound of the office door’s bells and she knew he was gone.
As awareness slowly crept back to overtake her dreamlike state she felt a dull throb along her neck. He bit her. What the hell did that mean??? Who was this man…this demon, whatever he was becoming. And more than that was he right about her?
No. Her eyes hardened as she pushed away the ambiguity of the night’s events. This hadn’t changed anything. He was still fighting a pointless war with Wolfram & Hart. She was still dying for a redemption he no longer seemed to care about pursuing. Nothing was different and she couldn’t afford to need “protecting”. Especially by someone who couldn’t bothered to do it when it counted.
So, pushing aside any change in her feelings for the vampire who had been everything to her mere months before, she began building her walls once more, holding her hurt and betrayal to her like a breastplate and shield.
So intent was she on waging this inner battle that she hadn’t noticed her hand slip from beneath the large black duster covering her, to gently finger the marks at her neck as his words repeated softly in the background of her subconscious – “I’ll be back for you.”
As Angel stood again in the shadows across from the new Angel Investigations, he watched Cordelia will the resolve back into every line of her body. As he fought the urge to storm back in and shred anew the defenses meant to repel him, he was suddenly soothed as she began to caress the mark he’d placed on her. Knowing that she wasn’t even aware of the movement of her fingers was even more satisfying as it showed how instinctual her turning to their joining, to him, was in times of distress.
But watching her pain was almost impossible. Now even more than before. A part of him, the man that still remained, regretted many things about that night. Not touching her, not taking her, but that their first time had been in a shabby office in the slums without the soft words and reassurances she deserved, that he longed to give her. She deserved better than this. Cordelia deserved the world.
And while the soul mourned the loss of the perfection he’d wanted to provide, the demon rejoiced. As he watched her through the window, her fingers skating the edges of her wounds, he knew that he’d done what had to be done. She may not understand the ramifications of this night; that she was now a living part of him, but she would, in time. And until he could make his way out of the darkness and back to his rightful place at her side, he could at least reassure himself that there was not now, nor would there ever be any moving on.
And God help her should she try. Any attempt by the stubborn woman who’d become necessary to his very existence to demonstrate otherwise would meet with swift reprisals. And men previously let go with merely terror inducing threats would now be met with vicious retribution for their trespass. As for his independent seer, well, her punishment would be quite another matter.
Shaking off thoughts erotic chastisements, Angel forced himself to turn away from the vision of loveliness Cordelia presented branded by his demon, bundled in his coat, and, therefore, drowning in his scent. He needed to focus on the war at hand. Now, more than ever, he needed to stop the evil that Darla and Drusilla were spreading all over his city. He had to safeguard his family from the endless destruction of Wolfram & Hart. He had to stop them all because then, and only then would he be able to reclaim his family, his woman.
His eyes hardened as he readied himself once more for the fray. And while this night had changed the motives for this fight, he couldn’t let it change the outcome. So, tamping down any wayward tenderness he walked once more into the battle.