Cordelia counted to twenty, shot off the bed and made for the door. No way was she going to just sit there like a good little victim and wait for Buffy’s now-psycho ex to hack her into small pieces.
As her hand reached out for the heavy doorknob it crossed her mind that she was merely running from one evil killer to another, but a tiny slither of hope tightened her fingers around the brass fitting as she recalled the slight softening of Spike’s blue eyes as he’d sized her up. Hell, if she was going to die anyway, Cordelia decided that it would probably be a lot less painful if he did it.
Just as she turned the handle, her wrist was captured in an almost crushing grip and pulled away. Fighting for balance as her body whirled back from the force, her head jerked up at the sound of a low growl.
“Going somewhere?” Fathomless dark eyes pinned Cordelia to the spot, her heart beating ten to the dozen and breath held as she waited for him to lash out. When he didn’t the air whooshed out of her mouth and she took several steps back. Angelus remained where he was, and she belatedly realized it must have been because her retreating steps had taken her further into the room and away from the door.
Dragging her wide panicked eyes from his, Cordelia finally took in his apparel – or lack of it. She swallowed hard. Low slung sweats hugged lean hips, and small drops of moisture still clung to his broad and powerful chest. One of the things that had drawn her to Angel, besides his beautiful face, was his impressive stature, but it still surprised her at just how heavily muscled he actually was under all that black he usually wore. His shoulders alone were not far off the breadth of the door behind him, and his neck was thick and strong.
As Angelus absently rubbed his damp hair with a hand towel, Cordelia’s admiring eyes were drawn to the raised, powerful arm with bulging muscles that rippled under his pale skin with each swipe of his hair. Then he tossed the towel aside and spoke. “Strip.”
Cordelia blinked rapidly, convinced she’d imagined it. “Excuse me?”
Finding Cordelia’s polite reply amusing given the circumstances surrounding it Angelus decided to be magnanimous. “You stink of Harris. That might work for me when I’m in a killing mood, but it isn’t the scent or taste I want on you. Now strip,” he added, his initially light tone changing abruptly into an order.
Her mouth dropped open in shock and amazingly, outrage simmered and surged to the surface.
As soon as the words left her mouth, Cordelia wished she could take them back. Surprisingly after Angelus’ eyes briefly flared gold, he remained where he was and folding those thick arms he ran dark chocolate eyes from her mussed hair to her bare feet.
Cordelia Chase was either very brave or completely stupid, Angelus thought, surprised by her reckless response. But something told him that the former was most likely nearer to the mark- and he was impressed. It never even occurred to him that a human especially, would have the backbone to defy him. But on reflection, He realized it had been the fire in her eyes and the sharpness of her tongue that had drawn his growing interest in the first place, as well as her rapidly blossoming beauty. Having a soul hadn’t made him blind; just weak.
Although he didn’t want to break her spirit completely, that thought reminded him that she had to learn defiance wasn’t an option when he wanted something from her.
A sharp gasp of fear escaped Cordelia’s throat when suddenly confronted by him, his powerful body looming over her in such a way that she felt almost suffocated by his close proximity. God, she hadn’t even seen him move! Gripping her chin with hard fingers Angelus tilted her face to his.
“You will strip and get in the shower,” his voice pitched lower. “If you have a problem with that I can just fuck that pretty ass of yours until you bleed. Your choice,” he added, releasing her chin but remaining deep within her personal space.
The chilling threat in the gold-rimmed eyes inches from hers had Cordelia trembling like a leaf; the thought of such an awful violation had her cowering in abject fear.
Satisfied with her response, Angelus turned away and walked over to his bed. Settling himself on it, his back leaning against the headboard and long legs stretched out with his ankles crossed. He folded his arms and waited to see if she would do as he demanded, or if he would end up doing it for her. Her lack of compliance at this stage, he knew, could jeopardize his plans later on. Especially as rarely did he threaten a punishment and then not carry it out..
Cordelia remained where he’d left her, momentarily unable to move. Where’s the taunting, the trademark smirks? she wondered numbly. Since he’d lost his soul, an extrovert side of his personality had shown itself every single time Cordelia had seen him whenever she’d happened to have the misfortune of seeing him. Even earlier tonight his behavior had been smug, mouthy and with a grin always hovering on his lips. The difference to how he was now was so extreme that it took her to a whole new level of fear.
Taking a deep, shaky breath, she eventually dared to look up and found dark, expressionless eyes trained on her and her fingers instantly curled into the hem of her top. Pulling it over her head quickly before she thought too much about what she was doing and freaked out enough to make another run for the door, Cordelia almost threw it across the room to stop herself from clutching it tightly against her near-naked torso.
Knowing that door was unlocked made it even more frustrating. Angelus obviously had no concerns that she could escape, and his arrogance stirred a trace of left over anger in her. When her top hit the floor, leaving her chest covered only by a mint green bra, she deliberately showed him her back before undoing the clasp.
“Turn around,” he ordered, a husky pitch threading though the demand. Hesitating, Cordelia debated ignoring him, but when a low growl sounded out behind her she decided quickly that maybe that wasn’t such a good idea.
Slim shoulders hunched in sheer mortification, Cordelia turned to face him, still clutching the scrap of silk to her breasts, her hands frozen in place. Lifting her eyes after the silence stretched her already taut nerves, she was surprised to find that his unreadable gaze was fixed on her face rather than her partially exposed chest. Strangely, this made it easier for her to relax her grip and drop the fabric. Instantly his gaze dropped, previously unreadable eyes coming to heated life as they leisurely explored her bare, sun kissed flesh.
“Keep going,” Angelus ordered softly, restraining the urge to approach the delicious vision a few feet from him. Full, rounded breasts sat high on Cordelia’s chest, firm with youth. The nipples, that had tightened the moment his hot eyes had rested on them, were velvety pink, and surrounded by slightly darker aureoles. His mouth watered at the thought of how they would feel against his tongue.
Swallowing down the thick lump that had gradually formed in her throat, Cordelia reached for the fastening of her pants. Shaking fingers fumbled a moment before she managed to grip the tag and jerkily tug it down; the only sounds that broke the blanketing silence were her harsh breathing and the soft rasp of the zip. Fully conscious of her freed breasts jiggling when pushing her pants down her legs, that as soon as they were kicked off she straightened up so fast her head spun dizzily.
After blinking rapidly to clear her vision she gasped aloud on finding that Angelus had left the bed and was walking towards her at a measured pace. Her whole body tensed to the point of pain as she watched him approach, then circle her like a wolf that was awaiting the perfect moment to pounce. With pupils dilated until they almost eclipsed the warm honey irises, Cordelia stood frozen to the spot, clad only in silk panties, the feeling of complete vulnerability so overwhelmed her that she could hardly breathe.
Angelus had been unable to remain at a distance after observing the tempting sway of Cordelia’s generous curves and had soundlessly slipped off the bed with the intention of scrutinizing her from every gorgeous angle, literally devouring her with his eyes. He couldn’t remember ever seeing such flawless skin and the golden hue enticed him. The slayer’s skin had been a similar color, but unlike Cordelia’s, tan lines had spoiled the overall effect, also after so long being used to Darla, and more recently Drusilla, whose skin seemed so pale and washed out in comparison, it was like having the sun in his room. He couldn’t wait to be burned by her special brand of heat.
After looking his fill, Angelus circled her once more, but this time halted when directly behind her. Dipping his dark head until his cool lips brushed her ear, he whispered huskily, “Don’t keep me waiting,” then gave into the urge to taste her. Using the tip of his tongue he traced the delicate cord of her throat until reaching the join of neck to shoulder, humming with pleasure at the slightly salty taste that fear had added before pressing his cool lips against the frantic thrum of her pulse and kissing the spot.
Cordelia shivered as the soft sound vibrated against her throat, the kiss jolting her into movement. She lifted reluctant hands to her hips and hooked shaking fingers into the elastic of her panties, going for speed before the renewed urge to bolt overpowered caution. They were halfway over her hips when cool, lightly calloused fingers slipped alongside hers and took over. The wide pads of his thumbs brushed the soft skin of her buttocks as he slid them down. When they reached her ankles he waited until she stepped out of them before dropping them to the floor, then large hands abruptly gripped her hips and spun her around.
Startled, Cordelia looked down to find Angelus balancing on his heels at her feet. When realizing just how close his mouth was to the apex of her thighs, she instinctively attempted to back up, but his hands tightened and kept her in place. Angelus’ lips parted as he breathed in deeply, his tongue sliding out to wet his lips; the action disturbing the soft curls that protected her core. A choked gasp escaped her mouth at the instant flood of heat that whispering contact caused, and Angelus rose up from his haunches, his black as pitch gaze sensual and knowing as they locked with hers.
Holding Cordelia’s frightened gaze, Angelus held back the satisfied smirk on seeing a hint of confusion creasing her brow, cheeks flushed with a blend of shyness and faintly growing arousal he doubted she was fully aware of. One of the hands still gripping her hips slid upwards until a whisper away from the full curve of her left breast, but even as her throat choked on a gasp, Angelus’ fingers had moved to the side instead circling her upper arm. Taking his time, he caressed the full circumference of her arm, only tightening his grip on reaching her wrist. Then he turned, taking Cordelia with him and made for the bathroom…
Cordelia hovered nervously beside him, not really having much choice since Angelus still held onto her as he turned on the shower and checked the temperature, yelping when he yanked her forward and under the warm stream of water.
“Now get clean,” he ordered, indicating a sponge, shower gel and shampoo on a shelf within the cubicle.
His brief sentences continued to unnerve Cordelia more than his threats and she reached for the shampoo with a badly shaking hand. When Angelus showed no signs of moving away from his bird’s eye view directly in front of the open cubicle, she again attempted to turn away only to drop the shampoo bottle in alarm when large hands grabbed her hips and spun her around.
“You turn your back on me again, and I’ll carry out that punishment we talked about earlier.” Not waiting for a response, Angelus released a hip and reached down to retrieve the bottle. Before straightening up, his mouth lightly pressed a kiss against her now damp curls. The low deep growl that left his throat at the heady contact vibrated against Cordelia’s mons, eliciting a throbbing response from her hidden clit. When her hips instinctively reacted to the sensation by bucking into his face, Angelus increased the pressure for a brief moment, inhaling the faint scent of arousal before straightening up.
The humiliation of having to face Angelus as she showered overwhelmed Cordelia so much that she closed her eyes tightly, using the excuse of lathering and rinsing her hair. Desperately attempting to ignore his looming presence and to instead concentrate on the task at hand, Cordelia squeezed out the excess water almost roughly before reaching for the body wash. Grabbing the sponge, she squirted the lightly scented crème onto it before quickly running it over her shoulders, breasts and ribs. When reaching her lower belly, fully aware of his dark eyes following the path of her hand she speeded up to skim rapidly over her groin and moved on to less intimate areas.
Angelus, who’d been leaning nonchalantly against the side of the cubicle immediately straightened up at her furtive move and grabbed her hand. Tugging her closer he reached down to grip the back of her knee and lifted it until her inner thigh aligned with his hip.
Cordelia’s free arm flew up at the sudden change of balance and clutched at his shoulder. Her well-kept nails almost pierced his skin even as she gasped aloud when he covered the back of her hand with his own and slid them between her legs. Slim fingers dug into hard muscle as he proceeded to direct the foaming sponge over her sensitive folds, the tips of his fingers overlapping hers to brush lightly against her. She’d never been touched so intimately, and his barely there touch turned her legs to jelly.
Angelus watched her face intently as he pulled their joined hands away and released hers to reach out to scoop water from the cascading shower, rinsing away the foam until all traces were washed away. Cordelia’s freed hand pressed against her trembling thigh, the sponge held in a death grip. Her cheeks flared a deep crimson when his fingers lingered, lightly tracing the entrance of her heated core and he bit back a groan as the pads rapidly became coated with honey. His earlier suspicions, despite scurrilous comments heard by others questioning Cordelia’s morals, that she was still a virgin strengthened by the second. So far her every physical response and mortified expression in those gorgeous eyes screamed out that fact.
The knowledge that ultimately he would be the one to take it from her caused his already hard cock to pulse with the urge to forget waiting and fuck her hard against the cubicle wall. It was so strong that he had to literally take a step back and release her. His fingertips still burned with the contact of her soft, pink flesh, and as he watched through narrowed eyes as she rinsed away the remaining bubbles, Angelus brought his fingers to his mouth, chest rumbling with a restrained purr of pleasure as her taste exploded on his tongue. It was more than enough to make his mouth water copiously in anticipation of devouring her until her body had no more to give.
Oblivious, Cordelia finished rinsing off before stepping back from under the steady flow of hot water. Her nervous eyes followed Angelus’ movements when he reached in to turn the shower off then became distracted by the stray droplets that spattered his chest. She followed the trail almost compulsively and her breath caught in her throat on noticing that the water had dampened his sweats. The soft material clung and molded to muscular thighs as well as snugly outlining an impressive erection that strained against the dark fabric in such a way it caused a lump of building apprehension to form rapidly in her throat.
Lost in his own dark thoughts, Angelus failed to notice where her shocked gaze focused, turning away as soon as the shower faucet was off to reach for a towel. Cordelia instantly retreated a step when he entered the small cubicle, her back slapping against the steamy tiles. After a slight pause, he spun her round until she faced the wall.
Thinking Angelus intended to rape her -then recalling his earlier threat when he’d turned her around, Cordelia sagged against the wall when instead he proceeded to gently blot the moisture from her hair. Pressing her palms flat against the cooling tiles, she closed her eyes as relief surged though her.
Moving up to massaging her scalp with the firm pressure of his fingers, Angelus smiled to himself. He hadn’t missed the wild panic in her eyes as he approached her and guessed what had caused it. It didn’t occur to him to reassure. That wasn’t his way, as she’d soon realize. On noting the now relaxed slopes of her spine, the grin widened. As terrified as he knew Cordelia to be, the fact that even for a moment she’d relaxed under the soothing touch of his hands pleased him. It didn’t last long, though. Keeping her off balance was essential if he as going to succeed in his plans. Once he was satisfied that all excess moisture was dealt with, Angelus reached for another, larger towel before turning her back to face him.
For a moment, Cordelia just stared at him in confusion when he simply held out the bath sheet. She’d expected him to take over completely, but when he nudged the folded fabric against her belly and told her dry herself, the relief she felt was blinding. But after, about to wrap it around herself, the relief vanished as Angelus shook his head and held out his hand. For a moment, Cordelia was tempted to refuse to give up the flimsy shield, but one look at the dark brow he raised was enough to bring the fear back to the surface. Angry with herself for being such a whuss, she literally threw the towel at him, her scowl darkening when he actually smiled as he stood back and pointed wordlessly towards the open doorway.
Stopping abruptly once she was halfway between the bed and the bathroom door, Cordelia spun round to face him, almost stumbling back on finding him directly behind her. The vulnerability that had dogged her since Angelus had first made her strip almost overwhelmed her, shoulders hunching and arms crossing over her body instinctively in an attempt to cover herself. Making no comment, Angelus moved past her, and she automatically turned to watch him warily.
As Angelus walked leisurely towards the armoire on the far wall he spoke without bothering to look back. “Lie down on the bed like a good little girl.”
That lack of courtesy plus the patronizing assumption that she’d do it riled Cordelia enough that the anger she’d felt brewing moments earlier strengthened. All thoughts of retribution temporarily fled her inflamed mind and her chin lifted defiantly. He reached into the depths of the cupboard and grabbed a small plastic blue bottle before closing the doors and turning to face her. He frowned darkly on finding her still standing exactly where he’d left her and raised a dark, forbidding brow at her blatant defiance.
“I’m not six, so stop with the patronizing,” Cordelia demanded hotly, tilting her chin higher with what little pride still left. “And I’m not one of your grubby little minions either,” she added for good measure, then gulped at the calculating expression that instantly narrowed Angelus’ eyes.
Attempting to cover her fear, she glared back, refusing to back away when he moved. As he rounded the bed, Angelus abruptly changed direction to set the bottle onto the bedside table before turning back and approaching her. When only inches separated them, he, dipped his head until their noses almost touched.
“No, you’re not – but you are my property. My little toy,” he added with a deliberately insulting sneer twisting his pale lips. As his words sunk in, Cordelia unthinkingly drew back a hand to slap his arrogant face even as she gasped in pure outrage – then cried out with pain when his hand blocked the blow, fingers squeezing her wrist until the bones grated together, all without once taking his eyes from hers.
“Now see, I was hoping to avoid unpleasantness, Sweets,” Angelus pursed his lips in mild irritation, “but it seems you need a reminder of just who you are dealing with,” his tone by now chilling. He watched with almost clinical detachment as Cordelia’s pupils dilated in apprehension and felt her muscles bunch, preparing to flee. Then he pounced.
Cordelia’s world abruptly upended as Angelus hoisted her over his broad shoulder with ease before turning to stride across the room. The air whooshed out of her lungs when he sat down and fluidly moved her until she lay breathless across his powerful thighs.
Before he’d even started, Cordelia guessed at what he was about to do, and tensed her body in readiness, but nothing prepared her for the first painful sting of his large palm against the soft skin of her buttocks.
With measured force, Angelus brought his hand down firmly on her taut buttocks, his groin tightening at the resulting cry that tore from her mouth. Her whole body jolted with the second blow, arching her spine, hands scrabbling against the coverlet for purchase. By the third, Angelus leant in to push down with his forearm across her back holding her in place.
After several well-placed slaps, Cordelia was squirming frantically, causing his cock to throb where it pressed against her hipbone. Angelus had to remind himself that this wasn’t about his pleasure, but teaching Cordelia a lesson. With deliberate ruthlessness, he steeled his own response and continued on.
Cordelia lost count of the times he slapped her, and tears ran down her face as she sobbed uncontrollably. This was by no means a playful spanking. That Angelus meant it to leave a mark and hurt like hell – which it did, was all too clear, and after what seemed an age, he finally rose up to his feet and threw her onto the bed.
The sudden contact with the soft mattress gave no respite, adding to the pain that still blurred her vision along with her tears. Looming over her, a hand either side of her head, Angelus appraised her wet, highly flushed face with detached interest. Cordelia stared up at him, the barely held sobs still wracking her frame. Although the sensitive flesh of her buttocks throbbed unmercifully, almost taking her focus from everything but the pain he’d inflicted, the complete lack of anger in the gaze that held hers was so unexpected it drew her attention.
“Stay put,” Angelus warned softly before drawing back to reach for the bottle. On noting the infinitesimal flare of fleeting anger that briefly darkened Cordelia’s otherwise cowed features at his succinct warning faintly surprised him, After the punishment he’d just doled out she should have been too overwhelmed to feel anything less than pain and intimidation. As he unscrewed the lid of the bottle her watery gaze immediately went to it and narrowed with apprehensive suspicion, causing Angelus to revise his initial estimation of the strength of will she possessed.
In well over a century of perfected torture, he’d seen many a victim’s light fade and disappear beneath his cruel hands. Although that didn’t feature in his plans for Cordelia, he doubted a little chastisement now and then would break her. At worst it would soften the edges. Having a healthy respect for his undoubted superiority over her didn’t necessarily mean subservience.
Although, Angelus conceded, Cordelia had absolutely no idea of just how lightly she’d got off. If it had been anyone else, the steel-tipped leather whip stored in the closet would have been used instead of his hand. Luckily for her, the last thing Angelus wanted to do was to permanently mar her beauty, and he valued her unique spirit too much to risk completely eradicating it,
When the moment finally arrived and he was ready to take her, Cordelia had to be willing to give her passion, her devotion, and her loyalty- he wanted it all. But without having to steal the warmth life gave her to acquire it. The initial desire to turn her had changed the more he’d observed her through the foggy constraints of the soul. The unique spark that drew him like a moth to the flame, he knew, would be destroyed the instant a demon took over her body and mind.
For the very first time since Darla had turned him, Angelus realized he wanted something he hadn’t even thought of, never mind considered… until Cordelia Chase had caught his interest: a consort. Unlike taking a pet or a potential vampire mate, for the ancient ritual to work, she had to be completely willing. All he had to do was work on that defiant streak Cordelia possessed, until she unreservedly gave him what he needed.
With that constant reminder at the forefront of his mind, Angelus ruthlessly quashed his base urges and bided his time.