Without You Epi

EPILOGUE

Los Angeles

Angel struggled to get his wits back together, but try as he might he couldn’t drag his hungry eyes off her carelessly lounging figure. She looked great, better than great with a healthy bloom to her cheeks, and clear, sparking caramel eyes that no longer looked at him with beseeching wariness, and as for the clothes-

He gulped and unable to resist did another quick survey, tracing the full breasts outlined by the tight amber toned v-necked shirt with its intricately woven trim teasing the plump flesh rising up in mouth-watering temptation. Hypnotised, his dark eyes dropped to the short chocolate coloured suede of her skirt, dumbly cursing his too reactive body as he took in the things it did for her legs, making his head spin and body tighten.

Open toed sling backs completed the picture of a young, carefree woman with her whole life ahead of her and while it hurt like a sucker punch, a part of him stopped fretting and relaxed, knowing he’d done the right thing in leaving. The fact that he felt like he was missing a piece of himself without her there didn’t matter. She was doing fine without him and that was what counted. It was the way should be.

Now all he had to do was get rid of her before he gave himself away. He looked back up to catch her knowingly satisfied expression and finally yanked his rebellious mind back under his control. She was using the oldest trick in the book; surprise, disarm and entice.

He sighed and turned away, refusing to admit how much he wanted to just give in, wave the flag of surrender and take her to bed and never let her out of it again. Instead he dug his car keys out of his pants and negligently tossed them on the dresser beside the wrist stakes.

“Get out of here, Cordelia”. He hadn’t looked at her while he said it, but he did now and carefully blanked his expression to hide any trace of how difficult it had been to say.

Cordelia blinked more at the indifference than the words themselves, she’d been expecting the latter just not the former. So he thinks he can just freeze me out? Hah, I don’t think so.

“Well that was polite- not! I drop in to say Hi to an old friend and you’re kicking me out already? Geeze, who rattled you’re cage”? She teased airily. Hazel eyes narrowed thoughtfully, she pursed her lips and cocked her head so that her hair fell in luxurious and glossy waves down almost to her midriff. Then pinning a wide artless smile to her lips she unfolded her arms and sauntered over, moving her hips sensuously in a graceful sway with each step.

“Nobody, and-” he dragged his attention off the lush curves of her hips and latched onto a spot in the distance. “You’ve said Hi so now you can leave” he finished, his voice low and forced. Feeling defensive and needing to do something with his itching hands Angel dug them in his pockets, and hunched his shoulders, watching her approach with a wary look on his handsome face.

Cordelia didn’t stop until she was standing directly in front of him and catching his wide eyed look of comprehension she didn’t hesitate to grasp his head and lift herself up to set her lips on his. Caught of guard and reeling from the feel, taste and smell of her after pining for months just for the sight of her, Angel froze and every thought spun away into the ether.

“Cordel-” he finally mumbled and grasped her shoulders with his hands. Cordelia pressed up again and used the opportunity to dip her tongue inside, to swirl the tip of her tongue along his lower teeth and velvety bottom lip.  Angel went as tense as sprung wire as an electric wave of lust surged up. “Cordelia” he barked, desperately pushing her back and detaching her from him before the heady joy sucked him under.

“Stop that” he commanded in a deep growl and ignoring her heavy pout flexed his fingers on delicate shoulders just once before pushing himself back, needing some distance. I can’t believe she’s done it again, he thought dumbly; gotten under his defences within seconds of him setting eyes on her. Ruthlessly he reigned in his spiralling needs and fixed her with a starkly brooding look.

“Go back home, Cordelia. I don’t want you here. Get over it” He ground out deliberately being harsh in an attempt to make her run out of here and away from him. Before she undid anymore of his good intentions.
I only want what’s best for you. Can’t you understand that? He didn’t say it, knew it would only make her more determined and stubborn.

He knew his girl. If she realised how much this was costing him, she’d keep going until she’d worn him down to a frazzle. He couldn’t risk it. Needing to finish it he attacked, ignoring the ball of ice growing in his belly. “Look, I appreciate you helping me and all. You made a big difference to me and I’ll always be grateful for that. I had no idea that I could ever do anything more than just exist on the edge. I know better now and-“

He’d ducked his head when he was talking unable to meet her eyes until her “pfft” had him looking up with a frown.

“Is this that big speech you rehearsed? You know, the one where you tell me what a peach I was for helping you see you’re not the monster you thought you were – blah blah blah”? Cordelia quirked a brow and then rolled her eyes in mild disgust.

Baffled, his brow wrinkled and brows lowered into a confused frown. “What speech”? He asked while a feeling of doom crept in to knock a few chunks out of his assurance that he was right.

“The speech Spike told me about when he came to see me” Cordy revealed, dropping the bombshell with her usual forthright bluntness and then watched him blanch in horror. “Thanks for ceding the Mansion to me and Willow by the way- nice touch. Of course I’d rather you’d stayed in it too” she finished softly.

I’m gonna kill him. “Spike came to see you”? He asked tonelessly, scrambling to keep up and having no idea how much she knew. Spike you are dust. I’m gonna rip your lungs out through your goddamn skull!!

“Yeah” Cordy confirmed brightly, then frowned. “I was coming after you anyway by the way, so don’t blame Spike. I hired a P.I. Hey, I’m impressed how quickly he found you. I’m thinking of trying that out”.

“Trying what out” Asked Angel frustrated with trying to keep up with her rapid topic changes.

“Investigating; anyway enough of that” she waved a hand dismissively and pinned him with an amused look. “He told me how you got roaring drunk one night and spilled your guts all over him”. Her smile widened at the memory.

“You shoulda seen ‘im, Love. It was disgusting. I nearly chucked up me lunch” Spike complained with a grimace of undiluted distaste on his lean face.

“Well don’t stop there, dumbass” she’d all but yelped and grabbed his shirt. Pretty much the same way she had when she’d first opened the door to him and promptly hauled him inside before he could disappear on her.

“He told me everything, Angel -so give it up already. I know your faking” she assured him, “and just for the record I’m still gonna kick your ass for thinking its up to you how I live my life” she warned and poked him hard in the chest, stormy hazel clashed with almost black.

Humiliation warred with resentment in the vampire and he closed his eyes and struggled to keep a lid on his temper. “I was trying to do the right thing. Still am actually” he added perversely and gave her a hard look out of equally stormy eyes before pushing past her to stalk into the kitchen, every stride stiff with tightly checked emotion.

Cordelia didn’t hesitate to follow him. “What do you mean, ‘still am’? Are you serious”? She could hardly believe just how frickin’ stubborn he was being. Her own temper dampened after her revealing talk with Spike sparked up again.

Angel extracted a blood bag from the refrigerator door and slammed it shut with far more force than necessary. “Yes I’m serious. So you can forget whatever Spike told you I said when he was every bit as drunk as me” he lashed out doggedly and tossed the bag onto the table without giving it another look.  Both were too engrossed in the fight to realise he’d just slipped up and admitted the whole thing. Cordy stared at him non-plussed for a moment, and was fighting the urge to wallop the intractable vampire for being such an… Asshole.

Finally she stood back and raised her chin, letting a haughty look settle over her face. “Fine, if you don’t want me there’s plenty that do.” She felt him stiffen and shrugged nonchalantly then quirked a brow coldly. “But just so you know. It doesn’t change much cos I’m still moving to LA”. Finished with her announcement Cordy turned smartly on her heel and went to walk away with her spine stiff and pride firmly cloaking her hurt. She was spun back before she’d taken more than a step.

“The hell you are” Angel snarled and unknowingly squeezed her elbow. “This city is no place for a girl alone. I won’t let you”. There were all kinds of horrors lurking at every corner in this city. He should know -he spent most of his nights killing as many of them as he could.

Alarm at the thought of Cordelia being hurt by the kind of things he hunted every night made him reckless and uncaring about giving himself away, he crowded her back. Cordelia didn’t care either, in fact she felt a deep thrill at the heated fury in his eyes. So much for indifference now, big guy.

“Too late; I already am here and planning on staying” she tossed out and threw back her head to smirk at him triumphantly. “In fact I have an appointment with yourlandlord about the offices next door. So guess who’s gonna have to get used to seeing a lot of little old me”? She taunted willfully and just to make him madder twisted her arm up and around to pull out his grasp.

Just the thought of having this torture laid on him 24/7 was enough to send Angel’s temper soaring through the roof. Sweeping anger bore away every civilised instinct leaving only raw need and seething pain. A volatile mix only made perversely worse by her breaking free from him with such look of freezing look of disdain on her face.

“We’ll just see about that” he snarled, every syllable sounding like sandpaper on gravel.  Later on he’d realise he’d only been waiting for an excuse. If he’d really wanted too he could have got her out of there himself without being too rough. But he hadn’t, instead he’d let her wind him up until his control snapped and then he literally pounced, filled with fierce exultation.

Afterwards there’d be no denying she’d sealed her fate when she walked in his door. It was true that he wouldn’t have gone after her, would have stayed away and let her lead a normal life. But when she turned up at his place, that was it. His conscious mind stayed in denial while his sub-conscious worked on getting exactly what he wanted and needed with every fibre of his being.

Cordelia gasped and instinctively backed away when she saw his face contort with a savage and primal rage, his dark eyes glinting with feral fire. Then the alarm faded before it could get a hold and was replaced with an answering fire inside her. He advanced and her chin lowered so their eyes could meet in a sizzling duel.

Facing him, all she could think was how much she wanted him, like this, exactly like this. Instant arousal flared to life like a flame flickering through her lower body. She didn’t want noble sacrifices. She wanted fire and passion. She loved his possessiveness; ‘New’ men were wimps and they could stay the hell away from her. If a guy loved her she damn well expected him to be a little crazy with it.

Angel swooped her up with hard hands around her waist and then the room turned to white blurred streaks just before she was dropped to the bed. He didn’t give her a chance to move away and Cordy couldn’t help a wince when he immediately followed her down, half expecting to be crushed by his heavy weight.

He didn’t crush her but he did snag her wrists and shackle them with his beside her head. Cordy opened her mouth to tell him he didn’t have to restrain her but the words got locked unspoken as he forcefully captured her lips, silencing her. Angel could smell her arousal and it brought his own to fever pitch. Her chest was heaving with each deep breath she took; brushing her breasts against his sweater covered one so that each scrape of a pointed nipple burned though both layers to abrade his skin.

The kiss turned searing as each sweep of his tongue tasted her deeper, filling and dominating effortlessly. Angel took in every ragged breath and whimper, not releasing her lips long enough for her to utter anything more and cupping her chin with one hand, pulled her mouth further open with one thumb so he could plumb every velvet part of her mouth. Nobility was the furthest thing from his mind, gone and never to return when it came to this girl. At the back of his mind, behind the overwhelming and mindless passion was the knowledge that he’d let her go once, despite every howling instinct not too, and he wouldn’t do it again. She’d put herself back in his hands and as far as he was concerned she was staying there.

Cordelia arched under that single restraining hand; leaning into the kiss and undulating her hips against the straining erection she could feel pressing down at the juncture of her thighs. After two months of wondering if she was wrong and he really didn’t want her anymore the fierceness of this semi ravishment was an exciting yet soothing balm and she wanted more of it. She was dizzy through lack of oxygen before he was willing to release her long enough to bring his legs up and straddle her. Cordy watched with dazed lust as he hauled off his sweater, revealing the rippling, muscular torso she’d been craving to touch for too long without satisfaction.

Free for now she lunged up and grasping his sides for balance, latched onto a small male nipple, making him groan even as he attacked the buckle of his belt, then his zipper with frantic impatience to be naked. Small white teeth tugged hungrily on his flat nipple, making it pucker with a skill borne out of eagerness, then rewarded the begging tip with soft sweeps of her tongue and laving it with her wet heat. Grunting with pleasure Angel thrust a hand into her glossy locks at the nape and tugged her head back only to swoop down and thrust heavily into her mouth again. The hard plunge of his tongue repossessed her with heated demand before sucking hers into his mouth and biting down with ruthless precision, making her squirm as liquid arousal flooded her already drenched core.

An arm wrapped around her back like a steel band while one hand searched and found the fastenings to her skirt. Thrilling to the smooth bunch and flex of heavy muscle Cordelia grasped his shoulders so she could lift her butt, and drew up her legs under the arch of his thighs to help, relishing the feeling of being caged and yet cherished at the same time.  Moved up too high now Cordelia abandoned his chest in favour of his neck and draping her arms over his impossibly wide shoulders, plastered her front to his while she kissed and nipped the length of his jaw, then down the thick cord of his neck.

The damp heat of her suckling kisses on his sensitive skin was torturously blissful to the vampire but it was nothing to the effect her biting down had on him. The resulting deep growl of pleasure rumbled between them and he fumbled with the final inch of her skirt zipper, almost howling in relief when he could finally delve inside and touch her throbbing heat.

Cordelia hissed out a breath between gritted teeth and her head fell back as those callused fingers spread her folds and cupped her sex. Groaning lustily under her breath Cordelia gyrated her hips over his questing fingers, rubbing her clit against his fingers and drenching them with her juices.  “God, just fuck me already” she begged heedless of anything but the dragging ache in her womb and the need roaring through her willingly captivated body. Her hips jerked as she lost the rhythm under a spiralling tension that had arrived far too soon and she wailed in panic when he speared a thick finger inside her passage, knowing she couldn’t last.

“Please, Angel. I want you inside me when I come” she whispered the hoarse plea in the shell of his ear making him jerk at the hot wash of breath that played with the short dark hair surrounding it. Desperate to drive him to do what she wanted she cupped his chin in her hands and kissed him with every bit of the pent-up passion she’d been keeping for the last few months. Slender fingers threaded into his dark spiky hair, holding him to her while she plundered his mouth, biting and sucking with earthy eroticism.

Long fingers grasped the neck of her top, splitting it into two down the back and baring her from the waist. Her empty sex pulsed a protest and seeking to assuage it Cordelia trailed her hands down his body to press them over the impressive bulge still mostly hidden by his open pants, while her fingertips stroked the velvety tip free of cloth, carelessly spreading the tiny drop of moisture she found there. Powerless not to Angel bucked his hips when she grasped him with the full heat of one caressing palm, lifting him free from the pants to slide along the thick ridged length, relearning every throbbing inch with tender thoroughness. “Hold me tighter”? He half pleaded half demanded in a guttural growl and sucked in a breath when she did.

Now his head fell back and Cordy smiled wickedly at the hoarse cries of pleasure that fell from his open lips. Fascination overrode her own passion and leaning in she grazed the bump of his adam’s apple and whispered sultrily, “one of these days I’m going to suck you off and you, Buster, are gonna let me”. It was a promise and a warning all rolled into one. She gasped out a laugh at finding herself instantly pushed on her back and lifted so the skirt could be unceremoniously whipped off her legs. Hungry hazel eyes dropped to gaze at the thick length of him as he came up on one foot so he could strip the rest of clothes of her panties and all.

The promise of the hot wet heat of her mouth swallowing his frantically aching cock drove away every last shred of self-control. So it was no great surprise when the moment she was naked he dropped on her and with his head planted next to hers, roughly shoved his pants down with the help of her impatient feet until he could kick free of them. Cordelia gasped and laughed at his wildness then choked a little when a rough palm gripped one soft breast in readiness for his lips to latch onto the turgid tip and suckle it deep into his mouth. The strong suction had her keening as sharp prickles of electric heat shot from her breast to her loins, increasing the dull throbbing back to imperative needy spears of piercing fire.

Grasping his head again with both hands Cordy wrapped her legs around his waist and undulated against him, brushing her pelvis against the hard ridges of his muscled abdomen in a dance mean to incite and it did. The sweet spice of humid female arousal was a siren call, impossible to ignore and Angel didn’t even try but simply scooted down her body to cup her buttocks in his large hands and lift her up to his face. Cordelia reached down to trail the fingers of one hand over his brow and nose while he nuzzled into her centre. While the other hand softly brushed through the dark spiked strands of hair now beaded with drops of sweat as he separated the soft folds to delicately sip at the blooming bud of her clit.

Cordelia felt a dizziness sweep over her mind and her vision went blurred with the intense pleasure that soft caress wrought but refused to stop caressing him too. Determined to not lose a second of their lovemaking to blind passion she whispered endearments to him, telling how much she loved him while he lavished attention on the part of her that allowed him to join them together and make her his. She knew she was almost babbling as the pleasure built to impossible levels but still she ran her hands over him; feeling his jaw work as he alternated between long slow licks of every soft damp fold to stabbing flicks inside, and then fingering her rapidly with deliciously rough nipping sucks that finally splintered her control as she came.

“Oh God! Oh God” helpless entreaties to the Almighty filtered the air as the orgasm rippled through her; while feet planted on the tapestry bedcover she bucked and arched into him and her hands flexed in his hair, needlessly pressing him closer as the release flooded then drained from her into him.

With the heady onrush of that sweet moisture into his ravenous mouth Angel lifted her higher with both hands, so the fingers pressed into the cleft between both luscious cheeks taking the pleasure to another level, while he got drunk on the taste of that hot liquid rush. Before she could come down from the plateau of that orgasm Cordelia found herself lifted and turned onto her front. Too dazed to care, hazel eyes slid shut and swollen ruby lips parted as renewed pleasure rolled over her as Angel sank slowly but surely into her from behind.

Their mutual “arghhhh’s” floated on the air joined by more as the vampire moved in and out of her silkily smooth and drenched sheath in a measured rhythm designed to drive them both to distraction. Restless under the lash of a slowly building tension, Cordy came up on her hands pivoting her hips to change the angle and moaning thickly at the truly wonderful sensation of that deeply invasive penetration. Large hands gripped her hips guiding her as he surged, as inevitable as the tide in and out of her quivering sex, sending shock-waves of insidious heat rippling over every nerve ending as that thickness rasped the sensitive walls encasing it.

Still holding onto her with one hand, Angel ran the other over the soft velvety globes of her buttocks; then around to softly caress the soft, smooth flesh of her belly lingering to knead gently before sliding up to skilfully fondle a breast; tweaking the begging nipple between his fingers and making her pant under the dual lash of exquisite pleasure and spiralling need. Revelling in the lush dewy skin under his hands Angel watched with heavy lidded eyes as his shaft slowly and repeatedly plunged between the curves of her ass, seeing and feeling her softness accept his aching hardness inside her with such sweet welcome, grasping and milking him with unrestrained enthusiasm.

For the vampire every plunge brought with it an intense heat that swallowed him whole, spreading tingles of mesmerising pleasure that soon had his head reeling from the pure joy of being able to feel it, touch it- take it. Her life was so precious, and yet so easily taken it scared him but that fear was no longer enough to have him send her away.  Any thoughts of this being a last time deal were well and truly gone. She was his to have, hold and protect with every strength and skill he possessed and accepting that forced him to grit his teeth and battle back the explosive orgasm already tightening his balls.

Cordelia didn’t know and never would just how close his demon was to the surface when he was making love to her. How charged his emotions where and the struggle that brought an ache to his chest and had every muscle trembling with the strain not to lunge like a wild thing in a frenzy of possession.  He’d cope if it meant he could have her, it was as simple as that. He refused to abuse her trust in him by being rough with her. She might be the bravest person he knew; never flinching from going toe to toe with him but at times, like now, she seemed as delicate and as fragile as a rose in bloom.

The gentle slope of her spine was a picture of graceful femininity drawing his smouldering gaze. The wide flat of his palm followed the delicate length of it as he leaned up to hang over her with his hands braced on either side of hers; caging her in the muscular strength of his arms. Cordelia whimpered as the penetration changed so the tip of his shaft rubbed against the raised sensitive spot inside her sex, rising higher and closer to that plateau again as the peak loomed closer. Her hands grasped the cover tightly as he rocked harder and faster, feeling the change in her body that heralded another orgasm.

“C’mon, Baby. Come for me” Angel’s voice rumbled in her ear, shamelessly offering her another of those blissful releases, as his pace picked up again and he nuzzled his face into her neck, drinking in the scent of her skin and the heated pulse of her racing blood.

Instead of freaking her out and in direct opposition to the Master, having him Angel nuzzle her neck was impossibly erotic and exciting, forcing another whimper to work its way free. Bite me, Angel, the plea remained unspoken as oblivion threatened to suck her down again. Mute, she arched her back rubbing herself along his body and taking him inside her as he thrust again. The scrape of blunt teeth on the nape of neck sent sizzling darts of mingled pleasure and alarm, bringing her ever closer to the edge of that darkly beckoning chasm and one she was more than willing to tumble into.

Bite me, Angel, please trembled on the tip of her tongue and she opened her lips to finally voice the plea. But was cut off again when Angel pulled out of her making her hiss in protest.

She didn’t have time to complain back before he was inside her again only this time they were face to face as he sank back into her. “I want to see you when you come” he explained gravely his face taut with passion only just held in check and then she saw the strain in his topaz ringed eyes. He wanted to bite her, she realised and her heart started to pound in her chest.

If possible her breathing got chopper as carnal need transformed into something even more primal, a shade darker than most people can accept. Cordelia had no such qualms. “Bite me, Angel” she demanded huskily and pulled his head down to her offered neck. “Do it now”

Her legs trembled as they grasped his plunging hips and his trembled as he braced himself over and she could feel him hesitate. “I’m not afraid. Do it. I want you to claim me” she insisted and arched up again. This time she was rewarded with the sharp sting of his fangs as they pierced her skin. It was indescribable, the sensation of that twin invasion. Angel helpless to do anything but follow his instincts had lowered himself to cover her completely, and now with her trapped underneath him, he staked his claim. To Cordelia, it was like taking the act of love making and doubling it in every way; so intimate it was almost beyond bearing and unable to hold it back she screamed.

Moaning softly, Cordelia could feel as well as hear his involuntary growls as he drank her blood and that coupled with the throbbing thickness of his cock as he pumped inside her literally threw her over that edge, and spinning into a vortex of darkly satisfied desire that drew out another scream of anguished pleasure as she climaxed. Her contractions around him and the pure ambrosia of her blood made all the sweeter as she came, sent him wild as pleasure whipped through him in a tidal wave of pure sensation. Every muscle in his body went taut in instinctive defence of his prize until finally the tension spun out of control and by snapping, released him into his own explosive orgasm.

His back bowed under the strain of it and he growled at the loss of that sweetly drugging blood. Then with a last driving plunge into her heat, deep enough to touch her womb, at last he spilled his seed and then fell on top her, shaking from the force of the new blood racing inside his system.

***

They lay entwined in his bed, both of them feeling too lethargic and replete to even think of moving off it and not really wanting to either. Angel smiled lopsidedly and stopped his lazy circling of her back to look down at her piquant face. He recognised that look and that was twice now she’d opened her mouth then shut it with a puff of breath.

“Spit it out” he told her and grinned when she threw him a puzzled look. “I know you want to ask something so-” he shrugged and turning to face her, finished softly “.. shoot”.

“Well erm, okay” Cordy hesitated and looking for a distraction played with the soft line of hair that arrowed down to his groin.

Angel gave a strained laugh, and snagged her hand to pull it back up and away before she did something she might regret. “Co-rd-el-ia” He sang out softly, making her smile at the memories he’d deliberately invoked.

“Okay, okay geeze. Though you might regret pushing me” she warned darkly and sucked in a breath. Angel almost held his breath he was under so much suspense. This was not how Cordelia usually acted when she wanted something.

“How come-” she stopped again and he was assailed with the urge to shake her. She looked at his face and saw the lurking impatience and finally got it out. “How come you never tell me you love me? I tell you lots of times” she finished sulkily, thinking about earlier on.

Angel was thinking about the same thing and he couldn’t suppress a smirk or stop a brow from rising up in sardonic humour. “I was kinda busy at the time” he defended himself tongue in cheek.

“Oh you-” Cordelia gave him a hard shove and went to roll away in a full pout, only to find herself pinned to the bed again and looking up at a grinning vampire. “I love you. I’m crazy about you and-” he leaned down to nibble on her pouting lips. “I am completely and utterly lost..without you” he admitted huskily against her lips. “Happy now” he asked smiling at the huge megga watt one now lighting her face.

“Sure” she admitted and snuggled into his chest. “I wish you didn’t have such a hard time saying it though” she mumbled against his skin.

Angel shivered at the hot wash of her breath as it whispered over his chest and ducked his head to find one hazel eye peeping out at him. “Cordy, if you go as long as I did fully believing you can’t have love, it gets kind of difficult to push out the words when it smacks you in the face”. He admitted wryly.

Cordy sighed and came back up to plant a kiss on his lips. “I guess but don’t think you won’t be getting in lots and lots of practice” she warned him cheekily. Happy now she was happy Angel settled back and shut his eyes, just wanting to enjoy the feel of her in his arms without any horrible doom hanging over their heads. Then he heard another of those little intakes and puffs out of breath.

He didn’t open his eyes. “What is it now” He complained mildly.

“So when did you realise you loved me”? He could feel her toes rubbing along his calves and the energy of total wakefulness was coming off her I waves; this time he sighed heavily. “When you got sick” he answered bluntly and hoped that would be enough- like hell it was.

“What! Are you kidding me? As late as that, really?” Cordelia was *not* pleased.

Uh oh. “You asked when I realised” he reminded her. “It was much earlier than that really but I wasn’t ready to admit it”. He rushed out and waited tense as a sprung wire.

“Hmm, good recovery” Cordy huffed suspiciously and plonked her chin on his chest. “Well since I’m not entirely convinced I guess you have to make it up to me and make love to me again”

That got his eyes wide open. So much for sleeping.

FINIS

Helen

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