Season of Solace. 135

135:     Crawford Street Mansion, Central Sunnydale

Walking down the corridor at half the usual pace and loudly throat clearing along the way, Wesley came to a halt just short of the study door. His short acquaintance with Cordelia and Angel made it prudent to be cautious. Despite the brief time he was out of the room, anything might have happened.

Most people would have had some propriety, but those two couldn’t keep their hands to themselves. They had that new couple in love aura about them that Wesley was in awe and somewhat jealous about. It was something of a mystery to him. Certainly, it never occurred to him that a vampire would be so enamored of a human, though the soul Angel possessed obviously played a role.

Having read reports about it, he had considered Angel’s relationship with Buffy, the vampire slayer, to be something of a fluke. Mortal enemies drawn to each other in spite of their differences.

This was different. This was something more. Perhaps he would discover what that was through further study.

In the meantime, he could only wish for soundproofed walls or that their tendency to mate like a pair of wild rabbits at odd hours of the night would come to an end. Wes knew there was nothing to be found in such sour milk. The girl was beautiful, and he found her intriguing, but she was most definitely taken.

Pushing the door open, Wes cautiously peeked inside. He sighed, relieved to see the two of them no where near each other. From this angle behind the couch, he noted that Angel appeared to be poking at the ashes in the fireplace. Perhaps looking for additional remnants of the documents Drusilla had burned during her little spree. He saw Cordelia studiously poring over a page in her assigned book.

All was well. Perhaps now they could get back to the order of the day. Research. This delay was getting them nowhere.

Angel kept his back to him, simply glowering over his shoulder in acknowledgement of his arrival. It made Wesley wonder if the vampire remained suspicious that he had been flirting with Cordelia. Which he had not. No, not at all.

Closer now, Wesley saw that Angel’s normally unruly spiked hair was even more out of whack. It stuck up at odd angles. Further, the cheek turned toward him as Angel glared at him was covered in little black speckles that suspiciously reminded him of smudged fingerprints.

“Good heavens.”

“Something wrong?” Angel asked calmly and without looking Cordelia’s direction.

Wesley adjusted his glasses. Wrong did he ask? It did not take a genius to guess he would find Cordelia Chase in a similar state, but it was impossible not to feel just a bit judgmental and a tinge envious. over the lovers’ seemingly irresistible attraction to one another.

Disheveled clothes, unruly hair, dirty faces, a large black handprint across Cordelia’s right ah…chest, and the upside-down book keeping her attention riveted all added up to something.

“Apparently,” Wes’ clipped voice revealed his irritation. It certainly was not research.

Scene 136

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