Title: The Summer Of …
Category: Angst, Romance, BtVS2
Content: C/A AU
Summary: What *really* happened that summer? What if Cordelia lied and didn’t go to Tuscany and opted to stay home for the summer instead?
Spoilers: Background up to first season BtVS I guess
Disclaimer: Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: AA, GTC/A, NF, anyone else please ask
Notes: Watched this ep yesterday and the whole episode I kept thinking “Why is Angel acting like that? What is he hiding?” And Voila! My idea. If you like it I’ll keep writing it. The writing style that came out of this prologue is very different than “Provisions” if it sucks tell me!
Thanks/Dedication: To Califi, Si Crazy, Lilyana_Vamp, Tipdip, C.C., Impress. Thank you so much for the encouragement!
He knew Buffy was back. She’d been in town a full night and day. She had not sought him out, just as he had not sought out her.
He knew she had left town full of fear and uncertainty and most likely spent the last three months in a morbid gloom. His guilt surfaced again, nagging at him. His summer months had been spent in pure abandoned bliss. What had started out as a single casual meeting at the bronze had turned into erotic filled nights and days flowing with laughter and joy.
The thought of her made his loins stir and his heart fill with warmth. A dark haired woman-child with the beauty of a goddess.
Walking in the shadows of a clear moon filled night he stopped and closed his eyes. Bringing up the memory of a face full of innocence and eyes filled with laughter. A face that he’d watched night after night with looks of wonderment turning into pure ecstasy. A face with eyes that looked into him and saw his soul.
He never asked why she stayed with him. And she never asked if it would last. He experienced things with her that he’d had with no other woman. They connected in a way he’d never known with another being.
Opening his eyes, he continued his solitary trek. Closer and closer he came to his destination and with every step he wanted to turn back. To flee the meeting that he knew was inevitable. To change his course and head straight into the soft warm embrace of the one he now thought of as his and his alone.
He turned the corner and silently approached his destination. The house was quiet and dark. He could see her window from where he stood under the old tree that grew beside it. That tree, once a magic path that lead him to a fair haired girl and school girl kisses, was now a desolate ascension that would take him away from the woman with chestnut strands that laid across his chest night after night as he slipped into a contented slumber.
His emotions torn. His soul in anguish. He made his decision.
Three months ago:
Cordelia slammed her bedroom door in anger and listened to the satisfying boom the solid oak made. Picking up one of three of her suitcases, that had taken her a week to pack, she heaved it onto the bed. Unzipping it she started ripping the neatly folded clothes out and stomping over to her walk-in closet to re-hang them again and muttering to herself.
“Stupid, stupid parents! What sane teenager wants to go to Tuscany and look at musty old things? They promised me St. Croix. They promised! Aggghhh!”
Yanking a satin covered hanger off the rack she shoved the skimpy David Cardona dress on it and shoved it back on the bar. Going back over to the bed she grabbed a handful of lingerie and headed to her dresser. Wrenching the drawer open she shoved the expensive silk in to it and slammed it shut. Standing there in an utter fury she clenched and un-clenched her fists. Closing her eyes and taking a deep breath she repeated:
“I will not allow them to get to me, I will not allow them to get to me, I will not…”
She stopped her mantra as a thought struck her.
Going back to her closet she grabbed the dress she had just hung up.
“This will do nicely. Mommy and Daddy dearest wouldn’t dare miss their plane and if I just happen to not be here when they leave for the airport….well….what are they gonna do?”
Taking off the blouse and skirt she had been wearing she slipped the creation over her head. The light weight chiffon drifted over her skin making her feel like she was wearing almost nothing. Choosing a pair of high heeled strappy shoes she slid her feet into them and turned to look at herself in the full length mirror.
Grabbing her clutch and her keys, one last check that her makeup was okay and out her bedroom door she went. Since her parents rooms were on the other side of the house there was never a need to be sneaky. She just traipsed down the stairs and out of the house. Getting in her car she thought that she was sure to meet up with Aura or Harmony and she could stay with one of them until her parents plane took off.
Angel paced back and forth in his living room. Sticking his hands in the pockets of his black slacks and then pulling them out again, dragging a hand through his hair. He’d stop, sit on the fire place, pick up the book he’d been trying to read and immediately set it down again starring off into space. Then he’d shake it off and start all over again. He’d been doing this for the last hour.
He stopped his pacing. Looking around the sparsely decorated room, the cold floors and gray walls he knew he couldn’t stand it another minute.
“Why should I let her do this to me? I didn’t do anything to her. She’s probably off living it up with her old LA friends while I just sit here.”
Thinking back on the conversation he and Buffy had yesterday, the day she left, he reminded himself that she was the one that decided she wanted to stay an extra month with her Father. And she was also the one that stood just in the doorway and gave him the flippant “See ya in three months, have a great summer!” As she waltzed out into the sunshine where she knew he couldn’t follow.
“You know what? I think I *will* have a great summer!”
Going into his bedroom he changed into a clean. black, cotton dress shirt, grabbed his leather jacket off the chair and strode out the front door.
The Bronze was jumpin’, school was out and summer had come to Sunnydale. Cordelia pulled up to the building and parked her car. Checked her lipstick in the rearview mirror, gave her hair a pat down and climbed out. With a flick of her wrist she engaged the alarm and strutted in the front doors of the Bronze
Angel slipped in the back door but there was no need to be quiet about it. The music was blaring as bodies bumped and slithered against each other. Doing an age old dance Angel had seen a thousand times before.
Male pheromones calling to female ones. Adrenaline racing, energy surging, a sexual tension high. In today’s day and age many would go home with partners and some wouldn’t even make it that far. Grabbing and groping in dark corners or in the back ally. He’d stumbled on many a couple in mid copulation since coming to Sunnydale. But there were still some, a few mind you, that would go home to their own beds, alone and merely fantasize of the ones they had been with here tonight.
Standing on the edge of the throng of people, hidden by shadows, he watched. Wanting to join them but not knowing how. Still unsure of his place in this world of the living, he simply observed as he always had.
A small tingle hit his spine. Nothing much more than that. Just a sense of something he should take notice of near by. Scanning the area he couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary, no threat or danger. Still the feeling persisted. He adjusted his view, first left, then right, trying to see the front door. A large pillar was obstructing a small part of his field of vision in that area. Concentrating harder he waited, his patience paid off as a figure moved to the right, then stopped. He could make out long hair and a voluptuous body profile. He waited for her to step into a lighted area.
Cordelia sauntered into the club. Head held high, a swing in her hips. She titled her head to the side taking inventory of the who’s who in Sunnydale that was here tonight, ticking off her mental list and discarding most she saw, as they were beneath her and not worth her time. She searched the gathered groups to see if any of her so-called-friends were there.
She felt a small tugging sensation and she took a step to her left. She wasn’t sure what it was, just a need to move a bit. She turned toward the dance floor, confused by the feeling, she scanned the people there. Again came the tug. So she took another step and stopped, which put her underneath a small hanging lamp.
Angel watched as the woman turned and stepped in to a soft glow of light. Recognition crossed his face and he wondered why he’d felt her presence when she’d entered the building.
Cordelia’s eyes flicked this way and that, then landed with curiosity on the shadowy figure across the dance floor and found herself mesmerized by the intense gaze in which she found herself in. With the music pulsing around him, Angel moved around the dancing couples, his eyes never losing connection with hers. Approaching her he saw a small frown dip between her brows. She watched him move closer and closer until he was standing before her.
He stood, hands jammed into his pockets, suddenly unsure as to why he’d come over to her. She clasps her hands in front of her and fiddled with her keys.
“So, uh, where’s Buffy tonight? Hangin’ with the creepies?
“No, she uh, left. To visit her Dad. In LA. For the summer.”
“Really? Isn’t she supposed to be here protecting all us helpless, un-superhero-y humans? You know, by like, killing all the things that go bump in the night?”
“Yea. Well, it’s been quite since she killed The Master. His minions either left town or went into hiding. It should be pretty quite for awhile.”
“Ugh, don’t remind me. That was so horrible. And creepy. And a whole lot of disturbing.”
“Yeah. So, you’re what? Done with classes? Down time from work? Or just independently wealthy?”
Trying to understand what she meant, he realized that she didn’t know he was a vampire. That she wass fishing around with her questions looking for clues to tell her more about who he wais, what he did.
“Uh, something like that.”
“Well, which is it?”
“I guess a combination of all of them.”
“Okay. I can take a hint. You don’t wanna spill, that’s okay with me………so are you like ashamed of what you do?”
“Fine, fine. Whatever. So. What are you doing here?”
“Wow. You are really good with the vague, aren’t you?”
“Sorry. I meant that I really don’t know. I thought this is where I wanted to be tonight but it turns out it really wasn’t.”
“Yea, I know what you mean. I was hoping there’d be at least a few of my friends but I’ll I’m seeing is ‘loser’.”
“Oh. Not you! It’s just everyone else that I wouldn’t give the time of day to.”
“So. You wanna dance?”
“I don’t dance.”
“Pfft. Everybody dances! Come on, it’s a slow song, you can’t screw that up much.”
Grabbing him by the arm she pulled him out onto the dance floor. Taking his hands she placed them on either sides of her hips and wrapped her arms around his neck. For a moment he was completely frozen. Other than Buffy, he’d not touched a woman in over a hundred years. And Buffy was no woman. Sweet and fragile. Innocent even in her calling. But Cordelia, feeling her body under his hands he realized, this was no mere girl. She casually pressed her hip into his, breaking through his thoughts.
They started moving slowly, awkwardly at first. And then she almost melted into him. Barely touching. And yet he could feel her all around him. Her scent invaded him, a hot, musky smell that reminded him of a tropical forest, clean with rain but with hidden, heavy undertones. He noticed her height as the top of her head brushed his cheek. He felt her fingers curl in his hair at the back of his neck and his hands moved up her waist and then back again in an unconscious caress.
She’d danced cheek to cheek, body to body with hundreds of guys. But never had she been so immersed in someone as she was right now. His body swayed with hers to a rhythm only they can feel. She shifted and her inner thigh brushed against his, causing a pleasant sensation to creep up her leg and settle in her belly. Titling her head up, she was caught in the dark eyes she saw there. Moved by the emotions swirling behind those iris’s, her lips parted and she issued a small gasp.
He noticed her intake of breath as if in surprise and wondered what it is that she saw. His eyes travelled over her face, taking in the flawless skin, the high cheek bones, the full lips. One hand moved to the small of her back and then up her spine. He lowered his head and pulled her closer to him. He could feel her warm, sweet breath fan his face and watched as her eyelids slowly closed in expectation. His lips came down to claim hers.
Abruptly someone knocked into her from the side pushing her off balance. He tightened his hold on her so as not to let her fall. The intimate spell broken. Taking a step back, out of his embrace, she pretended to straighten her dress, trying to cover the emotions swirling through her body.
His body went ridged, hands clenched at his side. Berating himself in his head as to why he would even attempt what almost happened. Flustered but pulling herself under control she gave him a big fake smile.
“So, you hungry? I’m hungry. I’m thinkin’ Italian. I’ll drive.”
Turning on her heel she headed toward the exit. Not knowing what else to do, he followed her out to the car.
Pulling away from the Bronze she covered her nervousness with non-stop chatter.
“You like Italian food right? I mean cause if you don’t we can always go somewhere else. I’m not sure what else is open this late. Chinese maybe? No, it’s after ten, they’re closed. Um, I’m sure we can find something else if you want…”
“Oh, okay. Great! I think I’m in the mood for Chicken Piccata. God it’s incredibly fattening but you gotta admit it’s just so good! When the lemon and butter sauce hits your tongue, mmmm……”
“It does sound good.”
It didn’t take long to reach the restaurant. Pulling into the parking lot, Cordelia let out a groan.
“What is it?”
“See that middle aged couple in the window over there? The man in the gray suit and the woman in oh so drab brown?”
“Well they’re good friends of my parents. And if I go in there they’ll see me and will be sure to call and tell my parents.”
“Are you not supposed to be out this late?”
“Oh God no. It’s not that. It’s just, well, you see, my parents are leaving tomorrow. They’re going to Tuscany for the summer.”
“I don’t understand. Why is their friends seeing you a problem?”
“Well because I’m suppose to be going with them. But I’m kinda not gonna be there in the morning when they leave for the airport.”
“Why wouldn’t you be?”
“Because I don’t want to go. They promised me that we were going to Saint Croix and then tonight they just tell me that they’ve changed the plans and I have to go. But I don’t want to. So I figured if they couldn’t find me then they’d leave without me and I wouldn’t have to be dragged through that boring ol’ country for what would seem like an eternity in hell.”
“Oh……well, why don’t I go in and order to go and then we could take it back to my place……..if you want..”
“Sure. Yea. That would be…great!”
Reaching in her purse she went to give him some money. He stayed her hand with his and got out of the car. As she watched him walk to the door of the restaurant, she rose her brow and shook her head.
“Why Buffy would leave that much hunk alone for a whole summer is beyond me.”
Angel walked into the restaurant, observing the dim lights and intimate settings. Rich smells of food wafted around the room. This was alien to him. Something he’d never experienced. Sure he’d eaten the ‘patrons’ at expensive dinning halls, but never the food. While growing up his family was never poor but they were never inclined to eat at posh restaurants either.
After ordering her food, he had a few moments alone, he wondered to himself why he had asked her to the mansion.
Considering the strange events over the past half hour he wasn’t sure it was at all wise. The sensations he had felt were new. Nothing he’d experienced before. He knew what lust was. The raw, carnal sexual hunger that went hand in hand with feeding. He also knew simple sexual desire from his nightly visits to the tavern when he was human. But this? This was all that and more. At the moment he had no words to describe it. He just knew it was there and it was very real.
Sitting in the car alone, Cordelia replayed the last half hour in her mind. The ‘tug’ she felt right before she saw Angel. The dance and the feelings from touching him brought out in her. She couldn’t say she hadn’t wanted the kiss they almost shared. She had, more than anything. She just couldn’t understand why she wanted so badly. This was so unlike her. He was Buffy’s boyfriend. And she was no Ho’. She walked a fine line with dating. Giving out just enough to keep them coming back while still keeping her virginity and pride intact was definitely a high wire act.
Angel came out of the building and got in the car. She pulled out of the parking lot and onto the street. As they drove he gave her directions to his apartment.
Taking the bag with her dinner in it he went up the steps to his place with Cordelia following behind him. Walking in the door he went straight to the kitchen with the bag and started getting a plate ready for her. Cordelia wander around the small space. Looking at the statue in the enclosed glass and running her fingers over it. That’s how he found her. Gazing at the statue with an almost adoring look on her face.
“Do you like it?”
“Yes it’s beautiful.”
He handed her her plate of food and they walked over to the small living area and sat down.
“It’s one of the few things I have left from when I was in France.”
“You were in France?”
“Yea during the Revol…ah `Remainder` of my French studies…”
“You studied French culture? Hunh. Wow. You just don’t seem the type…..Not that there’s a type. And that you couldn’t be one.. type, that is.”
“It’s okay. I know what you mean.”
She smiled apologetically and dug into her food.
“Mmmm. God this is so good……hey didn’t you get anything?”
“I ate before I left. I really wasn’t hungry.”
He watched her as she lifted a small carrot to her mouth. They way her lips envelope the fork. The sensuality that she has, performing such a small act. She looked up at him and caught him watching her with a definitely hungry look on his face.
“Angel, are you sure you’re not hungry? You’re watching me eat like you’re starving or something.”
Embarrassed that she’d caught him, he stood up and walked towards the kitchen.
“No, I’m really not. Sorry about that. Ah, I was just thinking I was thirsty, would you like something?”
“Oooo, yes please. What cha got?”
Angel opened his refrigerator and of course he found only his blood. Then rummaging in his cupboards he came across a bottle of wine. He leant around the corner of the door opening with an apologetic look on his face.
“Ah, it looks like all I have is water or a bottle of merlot…..sorry”
“Oh, that’s ok, the merlot ‘s fine.”
He popped back into the kitchen and got two glasses. Asking himself for the third time tonight what the hell he thinks he’s doing. Walking back to the sitting area he handed her glass to her. And she smiled her thanks at him. The smile, a genuine one, stopped him in mid pass. Dazzling him. He shook it off and sat.
She was very confused by his behavior. She didn’t know him well enough to know if this was normal for him or not.
“It’s okay…..um, so Buffy’s at her Dad’s for the whole summer huh?”
“Are you going to go visit her or anything, I mean that’s a long time to stay away from your girlfriend in the beginning of a relationship. Don’t cha think?”
“No. I don’t think I’m going to go see her. I kind of got the impression when she left that we weren’t much together any more…..”
“What is she? Blind?”
“Or did you do something to piss her off?”
“I mean your too big a splash of salty goodness to be sayin hasta leuego to for no reason, if you know what I mean.”
“No. I don’t know what you mean.”
“I mean you’re like a major hottie! But also nice, and a little on the dark and dangerous side, which is always appealing, and shoulders, wow do you have shoulders! And I am making a total ass out myself right now so I’m just gonna shut up and eat.”
She bowed her head into her plate and started shoveling food into her mouth. He could see that she was blushing. An appealing stain of red starting at her collar bone and reaching the tips of her ears. It was then he realized that she was just as attracted to him as he was to her. And just as unsure about it as well. Trying to be reassuring he reached over and took her plate, setting it down on the small table between them. She was’nt willing to look him in the eye so he lifted her chin with his hand, a small smile playing over his lips.
“Hey, it’s ok. Thank you. It’s…..very flattering that you noticed. Really. Please don’t be embarrassed. Okay?”
Their eyes met and she could have swore her breathing completely stopped. Angel felt something move inside him. He moved his thumb up and ever so gently pressed it against her bottom lip. Applying another small amount of pressure he opened her mouth fully as he lowered his head bringing his mouth over hers.
Her lips were full and soft. His tongue swirled inside her mouth. It glided back and forth eliciting small moans from her throat that she wasn’t even aware of. But Angel was. Skimming his tongue lightly along her lips he gently sucked on her bottom lip. Her mouth opened for him again and he delved inside. Losing himself in her taste. Bringing the kiss down, he again let the tip of his tongue trail across her parted lips then dip slightly into her mouth. Kissing her slowly, sweetly. He kept repeating this. A touch of his tongue, a press of his lips, each time more intense than the one before. Each time he kissed her she moaned and Angel took it that much deeper. Going on and on as if to stay like this, with her, forever.
Warmth pooled in her belly. Oblivious to everything but what he was doing to her mouth. Her breaths were coming in little gasps, becoming more aroused then she’d ever imagined she could be. She triesdincreasing the speed of the kiss but his actions demanded it was kept slow and deliberate. Making her body quiver in frustration.
In every way a man could, he wanted inside this woman. A need clawed at his gut, his erection straining against his pants. He trembled with the wanting of her and then his demon lurched inside, making him growl low and deep in his throat. Afraid of his overwhelming desire, he pulled away and stood up. Turning his back to her as the passionate hungering threatened to bring him into full game face.
Cordelia sat stunned. Completely unable to form a coherent thought other than he had taken away his skillful mouth and she felt bereft of it. Looking up at his back she whispered his name.
“God, I’m sorry Cordelia. I’m so sorry.”
“I should never have brought you here. Never let you believe I was something I’m not.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I can’t believe nobody told you. I thought for sure at least Xander would have warned you.”
“Angel? I have no idea what you’re talking about. Will you please look at me? What. Is. Wrong? What did you make me believe?”
Struggling with his shame. Everything in him telling him that if he tells her what he really is she’ll run out screaming. That he’ll lose, whatever it was that he was feeling and never be able to get it back. The demon inside him laughed at his discomfort. Taunted him, teased him. Told him he was what he was and he couldn’t change it. She could be nothing to him but a tasty snack.
But there was something in this woman-child. Something that told him different. That she was different.
That just maybe….