When Joyce arrived home later that day, a day earlier than planned, she was in a foul mood. By the time Buffy had come downstairs to greet her, she was already on her second tumbler of scotch.
“Hey Mom. You’re home early. Happy New Year.”
“Yeah.” Joyce remained unmoving from her position at the kitchen window. She and Ethan had fought bitterly when she had caught him getting the phone number of the cocktail waitress at the casino. He insisted it was nothing, but she was furious. All men were the same – interested in young women. It had been the reason she and Hank, Buffy’s father, had separated. He had been having an affair with his secretary. At least that was her story and she was sticking bitterly to it.
“You ok?” Buffy could tell by the rigid posture that her mom was upset. Joyce was always difficult when she was drinking, which was more and more often lately.
Joyce finally turned. “Yes, Buffy, I’m fine. What did you-” Joyce trailed off and stepped over to Buffy, grabbing her chin and tilting her head. “Who’s been sucking on your neck?”
Buffy’s hand flew up to the tiny bite mark. She hadn’t expected her Mom home today, so she hadn’t bothered to try to cover it up. Besides, it wasn’t that big or that obvious – except, perhaps, to a mother’s keen eye.
“Buffy.” Joyce turned her anger on Buffy, which was often the case. There was always an undercurrent of resentment in dealing with her daughter. Joyce felt burdened as a single parent with a teenage daughter. She wanted a life of her own, she wanted to go out, have friends, live a little – just as Hank could.
“Who is he, Buffy?” Joyce sighed heavily. “You haven’t mentioned anything about a boyfriend.”
“Um. His name is Angel.” Buffy hadn’t mentioned Angel to her Mom for a lot of reasons. No doubt Joyce would lecture her about his age or the fact that he was in a band. And Buffy hadn’t really wanted Angel to have to suffer the bitter pill that was Joyce, particularly when Joyce would insist on meeting him. The last boy that Buffy had brought to dinner had been subjected to a cynical tirade on relationships, which was undoubtedly why they had never gone out again.
“How long have you been seeing him?” Joyce poured herself another drink.
“A little while. Three months.”
“So, you’ve been seeing a boy for three months that you haven’t even bothered to tell me about?” Joyce sipped her drink, staring at her daughter. “That’s not very mature or responsible behavior Buffy. You’re grounded for the next two weeks. School then home, that’s it. And you’re not allowed to go out with this boy again until I meet him. Invite him for dinner after your grounding is over.”
“But Mom…” Buffy clearly did not like this turn of events.
“Buffy. Don’t whine about it or I’ll make it three weeks.” Joyce was unrelenting.
Buffy left the room, noticeably moping. She now had to cancel all her plans for the next two weeks.
Only a week into her mom imposed exile and already Buffy was going stir crazy. She talked to Angel and Willow on the phone, and of course saw Willow at school, but it wasn’t the same. As much as it seemed that she and Angel could talk about anything and everything in their phone conversations, she still wanted to see him. And touch him and kiss him, a little voice in her head suggested. Buffy smiled at the thought.
Angel had been understanding when Buffy told him that he would have to come for dinner. She had worried that he would see it as a reminder of her young age and balk. But instead, he had soothed her fears with his calm, deep voice – telling her that it was fine, he’d like to meet her Mom. When in fact, Angel never met parents – at least not when he could avoid it. This would be a first.
When Buffy neared her block, she spotted a familiar black Jeep parked several houses down. With a huge smile on her face, she hurried forward. She didn’t see him at first, sitting down on the curb in front of the car. When he stood, she jumped back in startled surprise before she laughed and hurled herself at him.
Angel had finished work early that day and had impulsively driven over to see if he could catch Buffy on her way home. He had missed seeing her too, although he’d be far less likely to admit it.
Hugging her to him he laughed at her exuberance before brushing her hair back from her face and lowering his lips to hers. He kissed her once, twice lightly before lifting his head to smile at her.
“What are you doing here? Not that I’m not glad…” Buffy could hardly keep from smiling so happy she was to see him.
“I finished early. Besides, maybe I like you.” He shrugged, tightening his arms around her. As her arms crept up around his neck, they both stilled. She pressed closer to him, sinking into his warmth as his lips met hers once again. Angling her head, she slipped her tongue into his mouth. His hand, resting lightly on her back slid down to her waist.
She murmured a subtle protest when his lips left hers, nudging her head back so he could place a series of small nipping kisses along her throat. He was careful not to leave a mark this time, not wanting Buffy to get into any more trouble.
His hand roamed over her hips and the smooth swell of her bottom guiding her in a slow rhythm against him. Buffy pressed closer, shifting her hips eagerly against him searching instinctively for ease.
Angel returned his lips to hers in a greedy kiss, reveling in the feel of her against him, her breasts pressed firmly against his chest, her hips moving sensuously. When he finally lifted his lips, she sighed.
“How was work?” She searched for something calming to say, realizing that they were making out on the street in the middle of the afternoon. Mrs. Gugens, their nosy neighbor was probably having an apoplexy if she were looking out the window as she usually did.
“Fine. How was school?” He smiled at her, noting that she was still pressing her hips against him in a slow rotation.
“Fine. Good, I mean.” Buffy moistened her lips with her tongue then closed her eyes as Angel kissed her again.
“I should go. My mom will be home soon and if I’m not there-” Her hips had stilled, but were tight against him. “See you Friday?”
“Go.” Angel reluctantly dropped his arms then swatted her playfully on the behind. “Yes. I’ll see you Friday. Saturday too, for your birthday dinner.”
Joyce and Ethan, having reconciled a few days earlier, were well into their third round of drinks by the time Angel arrived for dinner. He brought a bouquet of flowers for Joyce, and single red rose for Buffy.
Buffy picked nervously at her food through dinner, too aware of Joyce’s unpredictable moods when she was drinking and half expecting a confrontation of some sort. But Joyce and Ethan were both on good behavior, conversing cordially with Angel and making him feel welcome.
It wasn’t until Buffy was helping her Mom in the kitchen when the first sign of trouble erupted. “He’s older than you.” Joyce leaned on the counter and watched as Buffy piled the dishes in the sink.
“Yes.” Buffy reached in the fridge for the cheesecake Ethan had brought for dessert.
“And no doubt much more experienced. Too experienced. With looks like that and in a band you’d better believe he’s been around.”
“Yes.” Buffy refused to look at her mom, hating reminders of all of the other women that had been in Angel’s life. Instead, she focused on serving dessert and getting this evening over as quickly as possible.
“Buffy, are you having sex with him?” Unaware that the sound carried to the dining room, Joyce raised her voice in censure. In the next room, Ethan and Angel looked at each other uncomfortably.
“Mom!” Buffy whispered loudly as she looked toward the door. She was mortified to think that Ethan and Angel could hear their conversation.
“Well, are you?” Joyce persistently asked.
“No.” Buffy whispered again and attempted to go back in the dining room, but Joyce stepped in front of her.
“No? Then he’s going to expect to. They all do. And then what, Buffy? Are you going to end up pregnant at 17?” At Joyce’s words, Ethan stood and helped himself to the vodka on the buffet near the table. This time when offered a drink, Angel did not refuse.
“No, Mom. I’m not. Can we not do this now?” Buffy glanced toward the other room, sure now that Angel and Ethan had to be hearing this conversation. “I’m not sleeping with him, OK?”
At least not yet… Buffy felt a twinge of guilt at the small fib. She had taken Willow’s advice and visited Planned Parenthood last week – even though she had to cut class and sneak off campus to do so, having been grounded. She had started taking the pill, but it would be another few weeks before she could count on it being effective.
“Fine Buffy. I don’t think you seeing him is a very good idea, but since you never listen to me, why start now?” Joyce sighed, giving up for the time being. Joyce picked up two of the plates with cheesecake and went back into the dining room, Buffy following.
Everyone chatted politely, as if the conversation in the kitchen had not taken place. Angel stayed only a short while after dinner, sitting with Buffy on the porch. He promised to pick her up tomorrow night, as he wanted to take her someplace special to celebrate her birthday. Much to Buffy’s disappointment, he only kissed her lightly on the lips before he left – Joyce’s words having effectively put a damper on his libido for the evening.
On Saturday when Joyce announced that she and Ethan were going to Newport Beach, Buffy silently jumped for joy. A friend of Ethan’s was opening a restaurant and they really should go, even though it was last minute. Joyce apologized, knowing that it was Buffy’s birthday but promised to take her shopping next week to make up for it. Joyce was a little reluctant to leave Buffy alone now that she had seen Angel, but not enough to give up her own weekend of fun. She hesitated only a moment before she and Ethan hopped in the car and drove away.
Ten minutes after they left, Buffy was spontaneously rushing toward Angel’s house. He wasn’t picking her up for dinner for another five hours but she hoped he wouldn’t mind a quick visit from her to say hi – if he was even home. By the time she reached Angel’s house, the gray sky that had been threatening rain had become a torrential downpour.
“Buffy.” Angel opened the door, surprised to see a thoroughly soaked and shivering Buffy at the door. “What’s up?”
“Hi.” Buffy smiled, happy to see him even though she was clutching her arms tightly around her trying to keep warm. “I know we don’t have plans until later… I just thought I’d stop by. Is it ok? Are you busy?”
“Come in here. Let me get you a towel.” Angel dashed up the stairs only to return a minute later with a big fluffy towel.
“Where is everyone?” Buffy wrapped the towel around her, a little self-conscious now as she realized that she must look like a complete mess.
“I just got home. Oz is in his room, I think he’s working on a new song. Spike and Xander are out. They decided to have a party tonight when they found out it was your birthday.”
Of course, Angel knew that Spike and Xander would use just about any excuse to throw a party, having celebrated memorable past events such as the “no clean laundry” party or the “we witnessed two snails mating” party (which led to much debate about the sex life of snails).
“Oh. That’s nice.” Buffy was in truth a little disappointed. Having spent the last two weeks being grounded, she now wanted nothing more than to spend some quality alone time with Angel. She shivered, still cold.
“Here. Give me your jacket.” Angel held out his hand, knowing that she’d never get warm in the damp clothing. “I’m glad you came by. I would have picked you up if I would have known.”
“It’s okay. I didn’t mind the walk – at least not until it started raining. Will they be back soon?” Buffy removed her jacket and handed it to Angel who hung it on the doorknob to dry.
“I doubt it.” Angel smiled, remembering the heated debate about which type of beer to buy when the two of them left. He sobered, immediately serious as he looked back at her. The outline of her nipples was clearly visible against her wet top. She shivered slightly and reached once more for the towel. Before she had wrapped it around her, Angel swept her over his shoulder and carried her up the stairs.
Buffy laughed and playfully pounded on his back to put her down. He did, when they reached his room. She had seen his room a couple of times before, but this time was different somehow. She was more aware of the masculine feel of the room, the heavy dark wood furniture, the faint woodsy scent, and the sheer intimacy of the setting. She felt a streaking sense of anticipation.
She stared up at him, her eyes as serious as his now. He took the towel from her hand and carefully, slowly dried off her cheeks, her neck then her arms and shoulders. She wet her lips with her tongue and swayed toward him, her eyes on his lips. She wanted him to kiss her.
Angel dropped the towel and reached out, pulling her close as his lips met hers. She stood up on tiptoe, fitting herself against him and wrapping her arms around his neck. She parted her lips, inviting him in. He took her up on the invitation, plundering her mouth.
With one hand he ran his fingers through her hair, separating the wet strands gently. His other hand splayed across her back, holding her tight against him. He broke off the kiss and lifted his head, regarding her thoughtfully under his lashes. Carrying her to his room had been a spontaneous act – he certainly hadn’t planned a seduction. It wasn’t too late to back off, especially with last night’s conversation between Buffy and her mom echoing through his head.
“Buffy, maybe we shouldn’t…” Angel ran his hands down her arms, the heat of them warming her cool skin.
“Shhh. Please. Just kiss me.” Buffy pressed closer, her hunger for him too overwhelming for her, in her inexperience, to ignore. When her lips met his, her tongue sliding into his mouth once more he relented, the last few months of unaccustomed celibacy contributing to his decision. He wanted her desperately.
He kissed her for long leisurely moments, as if they had all the time in the world. Buffy murmured softly in disappointment when he eventually released her and stepped back, only to pull her shirt over her head to reveal a lacy bra.
“We’ll take this slowly, sweetheart…” His voice was a husky whisper, eliciting a small shiver as goose bumps rose on her arms. His lips brushed her ear before they returned to her lips. She clung to him as her senses reeled.
Angel reached around her and unhooked her bra, drawing it slowly down her arms. “If you’re uncomfortable about anything…” His lips returned to hers as he kissed her with a sensual, heated warmth. “We’ll stop.”
Buffy looked at Angel with hot wanting eyes before running her fingertip lightly over his brow. She didn’t quite know what to expect, but she trusted him unequivocally.
Angel kissed her hand and smiled a slow delicious smile, reminding Buffy once again why women followed him in droves. She watched as he removed his shirt. His skin was lightly bronzed by the sun, his chest powerfully masculine and athletic, his presence strikingly male. Buffy reached out to touch him, his attraction potent and irresistible.
He kissed her again, walking her slowly backward toward the bed. When he reached it, he turned and sat, pulling her down with him without breaking off their kiss. His hands on her back, he lay back on the bed taking her with him.
Angel spread his hands over her behind, holding her against the throbbing ache of his erection while his tongue teased and played with hers. Buffy wrapped her arms around his neck, hungrily returning his kisses. She couldn’t think, all her thoughts on his lips and the hard body under her.
Rolling, he trapped her beneath him. Changing the slant of his head he kissed her deeply, pressing her into the bed with his weight. Buffy writhed against him, heated and eager. She felt an overwhelming warmth streaking through her senses, her thighs on either side of his hips as the ridge of his arousal pressed against her intimately.
Angel shifted to lie beside her, kissing her again as her lips searched for his. The delicate scent of her vanilla perfume rose around them as her skin heated. Buffy clung to him, her tongue boldly exploring his mouth as his hand slid up her waist to capture her breast.
He kneaded the firm flesh, squeezing and cupping her breast in his palm gently. At her low moan, he broke off their kiss and pressed hot open-mouthed kisses along her cheek, down her throat to her collarbone to finally stop at the pebble of her nipple. Buffy dropped her head back, exposing her throat and arching her back. He laved the hard tip of her nipple with his tongue before sucking it into his mouth.
His lips and tongue moved over her breasts teasing first one then the other aching peak until both were wet and tightly swollen. He used his teeth to bite gently, sending sharp sensations of lust through her. As he drew one tip deeply into his mouth, Buffy whimpered, the small erratic sounds breaking the silence of the quiet room. The low fire that had started within her now burned hot.
As he suckled her breasts, Angel’s hands roamed over her tracing every curve. Gently he pulled off her boots, then unfastened her pants and slid them down her hips leaving her clad only in the tiny thong panties. Wave after wave of pleasure surged through her body, as the heated weight of his hands continued to touch her. Her back, her sides, the flatness of her abdomen, the firm muscles of her thighs, her arms, the delicate arch of her feet, her bottom – no part of her escaped his attention, his touch.
Angel couldn’t remember if he had ever slept with a virgin. Certainly Buffy’s heated and eager body pressing ardently against his was anything but what he might have expected. Returning his lips to hers, he kissed her with soft playful kisses as his chest brushed across her sensitized nipples.
Buffy sank her fingertips into his arms, gripping tightly and testing the strength of the flexed muscles as he leaned over her. Tentatively her hands moved, exploring his chest and ribs before she wrapped them around his back to pull her body close to him. She relished the sensation of her breasts pressing against the firm muscles of his chest. Her kisses grew feverish, demanding.
Angel slid one hand in her panties and between her legs, finding her hot and wet. Buffy whimpered softly as he probed her hot, slick folds caressing gently before pressing deep inside. She arched her back and moaned, tilting her hips toward his hand wanting a surcease of the ache between her legs. Angel’s only response was to kiss her deeply while continuing to stroke her slowly, deliberately. When his thumb pressed on the sensitive nub of her clit, Buffy moved her hips desperately seeking more as a wild rush of pleasure shot through her.
Sliding down in the bed, Angel heard her take an indrawn breath as his lips traced a path across her belly, stopping to lave at the indention of her navel. He planted a hot wet kiss above the dainty lace of her panties.
“Angel?” Buffy softly queried, her hands stroking his hair as his head rested on her stomach. She shifted restlessly on the bed as he pulled her panties down her legs. When he moved down on the bed between her open thighs, Buffy flushed hot with embarrassment. He had seen her naked and touched her there before, but he had never really been that close…
“Easy, sweetheart. I want to taste you.” Buffy’s head dropped back on the bed and she cried out softly as his lips touched her intimately. He smiled, she was slippery wet. He licked a wet path across her swollen tissue, tasting and probing. His tongue slipped gently inside her and she cried out once more and lifted her hips. When the first star burst hit her, Buffy clutched Angel’s head, her nails making small half moons on his neck. She panted and moaned as the ecstasy radiated throughout her body.
When Angel moved between her legs, Buffy’s eyes opened. Somehow he had removed the rest of his clothing and she could feel his velvety hard shaft brush against her thigh. She glanced down and felt a momentary panic.
“You won’t fit…” Despite her words, she writhed beneath him. Her orgasm had not diminished her want, her need for him. Angel opened the small package that he held in his hand and rolled the rubber sheath over his penis as Buffy watched.
“I will. Trust me.” Angel soothed her fears with his soft voice, his hands gently stroking her hips. Perversely the thought that she was a virgin once more further aroused him when he’d never been interested before. It was as if a novel sense of possession gripped him. Buffy was his and his alone, he licentiously reflected.
When she felt the first intimate intrusion into her body, his erection hard against her, she tensed. Angel reached between her legs and caressed her, bringing her focus back to the pleasurable sensation of his touch. When she relaxed, he pushed forward and slid inside. Buffy sucked in a deep breath. He felt much larger than she expected. “Angel… This is not going to work.”
He kissed her again, returning her attention to the heated demands of his kiss. “Yes it will, sweetheart. Remember, slow and easy.” If anything, he was even more tense than she was. His muscles were rock hard, straining to control himself to move slowly when really he wanted to thrust deep inside her. “Do you want me to stop?” Angel asked the question, even though he knew it might be beyond his capability to do so.
Buffy was filled with a mix of emotions – uncertainty, desire, need, even a tinge of modesty but overriding them all was a something stronger, more powerful. Hazel eyes met chocolate brown ones. She dared not say the words, but she knew in her heart that she loved him. “No… I want you.”
He moved slowly inch by inch only to withdraw slightly and push forward again. Angel did this again and again until she adjusted to his size and he was moving easily.
“Kiss me.” Angel lips brushed across hers as he smoothed her hair back from her face with one hand. Buffy responded immediately, parting her lips and meeting his. He kissed her greedily, their panting breaths mingled together.
She was hot, slick and so very tight around him that he could wait no longer. One powerful thrust coupled with the pressure of his hands on her hips and he was fully sheathed inside her. She cried out softly, the sound muffled by his lips.
Angel clenched his jaw, waiting for the pain to subside and her body to relax. Buffy opened her eyes and looked up at him. His eyes were closed and she could feel the tensed muscles of his shoulders under her hands. Inside her she felt the fullness, the steady throb of him. As the tension slowly dissolved, Buffy tentatively moved her hands on his shoulders.
“Angel?” Her voice a soft whisper, she waited.
“Does it hurt?” At the sound of her voice and the loosening of her grip, he slowly he began to move.
“N-no…not anymore.” Buffy sighed, melting against him as the remaining tension flowed out of her body.
When the initial awkwardness had vanished, Angel’s hands began to move, caressing her breasts, her waist, her hips before returning to her bottom. He lifted her to meet each thrust, tilting her pelvis to rock against him, guiding her movements. Buffy felt a compelling urgency surge inside her. She whimpered, enthralled by the feel of his hardness sliding slick and deep within her.
Circling his neck once more with her arms, she drew his head down for a kiss. The feeling of her nipples scraping across his chest, the exquisite glide of his body into hers evoked a feeling so right, so incredible that Buffy wanted more.
She lifted one leg and hooked it over his hip as he thrust into her again and again, bringing them closer to the ultimate pleasure. They panted and groaned, each soft sound adding to the urgency until they both finally exploded. Buffy cried out and clutched him close, as she was lost in the heart-stopping glorious sensations of orgasm. Her world at the moment consisted of nothing more than feeling – Angel, his body, under her hands, the scalding heat within her. She felt bonded to him, she was his.
Angel released a guttural groan as he joined Buffy in climax, his release so profound that he could not remember having felt such unrestrained, heated desire. She was pleasure beyond imagination.
As they radiating ecstasy drifted away and they floated back to reality, Buffy and Angel cuddled and kissed, talking in soft murmurs. Angel disposed of the condom and returned to the bed, gathering Buffy close.
Angel felt a curious, restless passion, desperately wanting more of her. It was beyond his the casual dalliances or detached liaisons of his past. His previous relationships, if they could even be called that, had been pleasurable diversions but they had never, ever had this same urgency, this irrational possessiveness.
“I should go. Shower. Change for dinner.” Buffy snuggled close, her face pressed to his neck, her foot slowly stroking his calf.
“Mmm… Five more minutes.” Angel rolled lazily toward her, shifting to run his hand up her thigh to her hip. His lips brushed her jaw, trailed down her throat.
“Only five?” Buffy teased, feeling his arousal pressing insistently at her hip as she arched her neck giving him better access.
“Maybe more than five.” Angel murmured as his hand slid between her thighs. His touch was so light, so delicate Buffy could scarcely believe that she could feel it so intensely. It was as if each nerve ending were aroused, waiting for him. He knew exactly how to touch her… She opened her legs wider and sighed, the small sound provocative and encouraging.
Angel rolled on another condom, the slid between her legs. Adjusting her position slightly, he plunged inside her as her arms twined around his neck. He smiled at her breathy sounds of pleasure, her abandon as she moved against him.
Cupping her face in his hands, his lips traced her features as he moved inside her with gentle, measured strokes. When his lips met hers once more, she sighed into his mouth, her next explosive climax fast approaching.
“Please… Ang…el… I… need…” Her soft cries and breathy moans echoed through the room. She wrapped her legs around his waist, seeking to bring him deeper. He increased his pace, driving forward with relentless thrusts. When she arched against him, he groaned deep in his throat, a low sound of pleasure. Buffy matched him thrust for thrust in heated ecstasy, as together they searched for the delicious limits of passion, making the afternoon unforgettable.
Much, much later, Angel watched her as she slept in the circle of his arms. Her golden hair spread across his chest, her darkened and lacy lashes hiding the luminous beauty of her hazel eyes, her lips slightly parted as she breathed quietly, the delicate features of her face perfectly formed. He smiled as she nuzzled his chest when he shifted, murmuring softly in her sleep.
As he studied her in the dim light, he knew that she was more beautiful than any other woman he had seen. It was an objective assessment made by a man who had seen a great many beauties closely and intimately. He smiled faintly and lifted a stray curl to his lips. He could hear the sounds from downstairs indicating that Spike and Xander were setting up for the party but he was reluctant to disturb her. He already knew that they would miss their dinner reservations, but his Uncle Rupert would understand. He’d take her there for dinner tomorrow night.
“Happy birthday, sweetheart.” Angel murmured softly, hugging Buffy close. Closing his eyes, content, he too slept.
It was just after nine when a firm knock sounded on the bedroom door. Angel stirred, opening his eyes slowly and glancing at the clock. He had slept so deeply those few short hours that he thought it would be much later. Kissing the top of Buffy’s head as she snuggled against him, the knock sounded again.
“What?” Angel’s voice roused Buffy and she twisted her head to look up at him.
“I didn’t believe Oz when he said you were still here. I thought you had a date. Don’t tell me you broke up with your little bit just before the-” Spike opened the door just in time to catch a glimpse of blond hair as Buffy slid under the covers.
“Ah well, hello there.” Spike grinned at the sight of the two of them and strolled into the room, casually looking at the strewn clothing. “No need to pick up little fluffy then. She’s already here.”
“Get. Out.” Angel snapped, annoyed that Spike had just waltzed in. If he hadn’t been so distracted earlier, he would have locked the door. Angel made a mental note to remember that next time.
“Sure thing, mate.” Spike was still smiling as he leaned over to the bed, attempting to catch a glimpse of the obviously naked blond before retracing his steps toward the door. Stopping, he picked up Buffy’s bra and twirled it around his finger before dropping it back on the floor. He seemed completely oblivious to Angel’s angry glare. “I’ll understand if you might be a bit busy to attend our little party downstairs.” Laughing, he closed the door as he left the room.
Angel flipped the blankets back and pulled Buffy into his arms. “Hey.”
“Hi.” Buffy blushed, embarrassed at having Spike see them in bed together. “Now everyone will know.”
“No. He won’t say anything.” Angel crossed his fingers, hoping that he was right. Spike, despite his faults and deliberate attempts to annoy him, did seem to know what really mattered and when to draw the line. Angel was fairly certain that this was one of those times when Spike would leave well enough alone.
When Angel and Buffy finally joined the party a while later, it was still going strong. Even without Spike having to say anything, Buffy’s rosy cheeks, the smiles of deep contentment on both their faces and the constant kisses and touches were enough for most people to draw their own conclusions as to what the couple had been up to.
Buffy was a little embarrassed to be wearing her rumpled jeans and one of Angel’s shirts – hers having been wrinkled beyond wearing – and only a trace of makeup. She was grateful that she carried some eye makeup and lipstick in her purse along with a hair clip, otherwise she would never have been able to show her face downstairs. And that was only after Angel convinced her to join him in the shower – a new experience for her that proved to be most enjoyable…
On Sunday, Angel picked Buffy up just after seven to take her out for her belated birthday dinner. She had dressed carefully wearing the new silver cross necklace that Angel gave her for her birthday along with a knee length brown skirt, a tan floral print top, and a new pair of closed toe heels. Joyce watched them from the window as they drove away, a frown on her face.
As soon as they were out of sight of the house, Buffy couldn’t resist leaning over for a kiss. Which led to several more, causing the driver behind them to honk when they sat through the green light. Buffy smiled happily on the entire drive, even though Angel refused to tell her where they were going. She was surprised and a bit nervous when they arrived and Angel explained that it was his Uncle’s pub.
Rupert Giles owned a cozy British pub and restaurant in downtown Sunnydale. Angel often helped out as bartender, occasional waiter and sometime dishwasher. Giles and his girlfriend, Jenny, joined them at the end of the evening when all the other restaurant patrons had departed. Still, Angel’s gaze was almost exclusively reserved for Buffy and he steered the conversation primarily around topics of interest to her. When Giles and Buffy discovered that they shared an interest in English literature, Angel smiled fondly and listened while they compared favorites.
“He’s in love with that girl,” Jenny said with conviction as the couple left. “Though I never thought I’d see the day, the way he was working his way through the female population.”
“You’re too romantic, love.” Giles calmly replied as he cleared the tables and prepared to lock up for the night. He was much more familiar with Angel’s lifestyle and casual detachment, and easily understood the difference between sexual attraction and love.
“Come on now. You have to admit, this one is different.” Jenny admonished, “How many girls has he brought here before? Let me think… One? At least that’s all I can remember in the 6 or so years that I’ve known him.”
“Hm. Maybe.” Giles politely acceded, not inclined to argue. Giles had raised Angel after his parents were killed in a car crash when the boy was 7, so he felt a father’s protective paternal instinct. This girl did worry him though – she appeared to be younger and much more innocent than Angel’s typical companions. Maybe he should have a word with the boy next time he saw him.
“Your uncle and Jenny are really nice.” Buffy glanced out the window as they drove, taking in the sights of downtown Sunnydale. The movie had just let out at the Cineplex, so the streets were crowded.
“Yeah, they are.” Angel was distracted, currently wondering if Buffy would be offended if he drove them back to his house. Despite the amorous activities of the day before, he didn’t want to appear presumptuous.
Buffy, unaware that her thoughts were drifting in the same direction, leaned over and kissed his neck just as they turned into the darkened neighborhood. One hand dropped carelessly in his lap as she rested the other one on the headrest behind him. Slowly she planted hot, wet kisses on his neck, his ear, the line of his jaw, before shifting forward to kiss him on the lips.
Angel’s arm dropped around her shoulders and he pulled her closer. Keeping one eye on the road, he kissed her back thrusting his tongue wetly into her mouth, the promise of sex explicit.
Buffy’s hand brushed across his growing erection. She suddenly felt hungry, urgently wanting to feel him. She gripped his arousal tightly and heard him groan deep in his throat. As she tugged at the buttons on his pants, he pushed her hand away.
“Sweetheart, slow down.” Angel took a deep breath, attempting to recover a measure of control. “We’ll be there in a few minutes.”
“Fine.” Buffy pouted, crossing her arms and slumping back against the seat.
“I don’t want to drive off the road.” Angel smiled and pressed firmly on the accelerator as he reached for her hand. He kissed her palm as they turned on his street.
He was still smiling when he parked the car, Buffy still sulking. He lifted her from the seat when she refused to move, holding her close. “I’ll make it up to you…” His voice was teasing, husky and warm near her ear. She shivered.
“I thought you didn’t want to…” Buffy looked up at him in the dim light.
“Uh-huh.” Angel pulled her closer, his hands drifting up her back as his lips lowered to hers. It was a teasing kiss that slowly roused her passion, his tongue entering her mouth to curl around hers before pushing deep into her throat. One hand drifted down to her hip and fitted her tightly against the hard bulge between them. As his lips trailed down her throat, he murmured. “Does it seem like I don’t want to?”
“Hmmm.” Buffy ran her hands up his arms to wrap around his neck, her fingers lightly toying with the short hairs at his nape. She wondered briefly how he managed to get his hair so perfectly spikey. Her earlier pique had vanished now that she was in his arms, where she wanted to be. She smiled. “I guess not.”
He tugged her hand, pulling her toward the door. Buffy followed him eagerly inside and up the stairs, waving to Oz and Willow who were cuddled on the couch watching TV in the living room.
When they reached his room, Buffy immediately went into his arms, her earlier urgency returned. Angel lifted her effortlessly and carried her to the bed, his lips planted firmly on hers.
He felt so good, so hot, so hard against her that all of Buffy’s thoughts were centered on feeling him inside her, above her once again. She had no idea that sex would be so addicting… Make that sex with Angel. She doubted that anyone else could stir the same fires within her that just being with him did.
Angel too was feeling an unusual sense of urgency, his customary sense of caution and control having fled the second that Buffy was in his arms in the darkened bedroom. He lowered her to the bed and followed her down, his hands roving over her.
Buffy tugged his shirt over his head and pressed her lips to his chest, squirming beneath him. Not content in her current position, she pushed him onto his back and impatiently reached for the buttons on his pants. Straddling his hips as he lay back on the bed, she pulled her top over her head and tossed it aside.
“Very nice. No bra?” Angel’s eyes were fixed on the plump fullness of her naked breasts as she slid her skirt over her head and off, then pulled off her shoes. They hit the floor with a thump.
“No. Didn’t you notice?” Buffy smiled as she scooted down his thighs. Angel lifted his hips for her as she slid his pants and boxers down his hips and off, along with his shoes.
“I noticed the second I saw you, sweetheart.” And he had. He hadn’t commented on it, wanting to keep his lust in check in front of his uncle.
Clad only in the tiny bikini panties, Buffy kissed a wet path down his chest, seized with the desire to kiss him – everywhere.
When her lips first touched his cock, he jerked. Kneeling between his legs, she smiled up at him and returned her lips to the rosy crest. Not quite sure what to do, Buffy went on instinct. She licked him like a melting ice cream cone, slowly, wetly. Angel groaned and counted to ten. After long minutes of licks and soft kisses, she sucked him into her mouth. When she nibbled and sucked him even more deeply into her mouth he wrenched away, once more fighting for control. Buffy followed, intent on her mission.
“Buffy, baby…” Angel knew that he would only last a few more minutes with her fevered attentions, his cock aching for release. He reached for her. “Come here.”
“I’m not done.” Buffy pouted as she wrapped her hand around him and stroked up and down the way that he had shown her. Lowering her mouth back to his erection, she licked the wet tip tasting him. “Mmmm.” She licked her tongue across the tip again and looked up at him, smiling seductively.
Angel drew in a deep breath. Had he not known better, he would never have thought her only recently introduced to sex. She was still innocent in so many ways, yet whatever natural instincts she possessed, whatever little bit he taught her, she mastered with an enthusiasm that left him weak.
He watched her as she moved her head up and down slowly on his cock, her lips and tongue creating an intense friction that he could feel through his entire body. When she sucked hard and began to move her head faster, her hand gripping him just below her lips and stroking him firmly, Angel lost all control. He attempted to pull away from her as he came, but Buffy held firm and swallowed his seed hungrily. Licking her lips, she looked up at him where he lay on the bed, panting heavily with his eyes closed. He tasted salty and spicy, not at all unpleasant. And just being able to bring him such pleasure was a heady sensation all by itself…
When Angel felt Buffy snuggle up next to him, he opened his eyes.
“Was that ok?” Buffy looked up at him almost shyly, unsure of her aptitude or skill. And she still felt that unmitigated ache for him between her legs, which she clenched together tightly.
“Baby, that was incredible.” Angel rolled to his side, his hand on her waist. His almost lack of control with Buffy was itself highly unusual, as was the utter sensation of ecstasy assailing his brain. How could she do this to him so easily?
His fingers slowly trailed down to her pink nipples, the hardened tips fairly crying out for his attention. His mouth followed as he rolled her over.
Angel slipped his palms to her back and lifted her up to meet his mouth. He played with her taut crests, nipping and biting softly before sucking them into his mouth. Buffy moaned and arched into him, her arms circling his neck to hold him there.
Kissing a path up her throat, he returned to her lips. She wondered briefly if the taste of him in her mouth would deter him, but he was obviously unconcerned. Buffy opened her lips under his, inviting, enticing him further. She arched beneath him as the kiss continued, his weight holding her immobile on the bed. She could feel him hard against her leg as if he had never climaxed.
He licked a path down her body, paying close attention to the rounded outer curves of each breast and the small indentation of her navel, before sliding her panties down her legs. “Beautiful.” His soft murmur against her skin only inflamed her more and she restlessly shifted on the bed, craving the release that he would provide.
Buffy closed her eyes as Angel pushed her legs apart, his tongue sliding along her tiny slit. She was still slightly embarrassed at such blatant exposure, but could not refuse such incredible pleasure. When he parted her with his fingers and licked softly at her clit, she sighed and lifted her hips. He took his time, nursing at her clit and sliding his tongue up and down slowly, pressing inside before returning to lap at her engorged flesh. She was transformed into a single point, all sensation centered between her legs as he prolonged the exquisite sensations. When he slid two fingers inside her and bit down softly on the sensitive nub, she cried out, the sound echoing through the room and even through the house.
Buffy wasn’t aware of anything for the next few minutes, content to float on her pink-tipped cloud of bliss. When she stirred, it was to see Angel groping in the drawer next to the bed for a condom, donning it with the speed of considerable practice.
She spread her legs for him as he crawled over her, his erection nudging her gently before pushing inside.
“More…” Buffy’s breathy sigh urged him on, and he pushed forward until he was fully inside her. She was hot and wet, and rocking her hips insistently against him. Angel then gave her what she wanted, what he wanted since the very first time he had seen her. Moving his hips forward, he settled in a hard driving rhythm.
She melted around him, gripping him tightly with her arms and searching for his lips with hers. They moved together with feverish abandon and she came, crying out with a sharp keening sound. Then she came once again, as he didn’t stop his forceful movements, urgent and craving more of her. Finally he climaxed, nipping at the flesh on her shoulder before releasing a low guttural groan and collapsing on top of her.
Instantly apologetic about crushing her with his weight, he rolled over taking her with him. They lay together quietly, absorbing the sensations of delight rolling over them like soft waves.
“Hmm. I should go.” Buffy sighed heavily a while later, not wanting to leave the comfort of his arms but knowing that her mom would be waiting up for her to return. She glanced over Angel’s chest to look at the clock.
“Ok.” Angel kissed her temple softly, also reluctant to have her leave.
In between kisses they dressed, Buffy hoping that there would be no tail-tale signs of her evening spent in Angel’s bed that her mom would be able to spot.
After he dropped her off, Buffy crept quietly up to her room. Thankfully, her mom had fallen asleep in front of the TV so there would be no inquisition tonight.
Spike was the only one home when Wesley called on Monday to let them know that they needed to be in LA on Wednesday. Wes apologized for the short notice, but the studio time had recently become available due to some cancellations.
That evening as the guys sat around the kitchen table drinking a celebratory round of beers, they discussed their hopes for the band and their thoughts of spending time in LA.
“I wonder what the place is like. The one that Wesley said he ‘procured’ for us.” Xander opened another beer and sat back down.
“It’s probably just some cheap corporate apartment or fleabag motel, mate. It’s not like we’re big time. Yet.” Spike grinned, confident of their success.
“As long as I have my own room for all the hot chicks that I’ll be banging there.” Xander returned Spike’s grin, his priorities clear for the moment. He’d been seeing Cordelia regularly, but Xander wasn’t inclined to make it an exclusive relationship.
“Speaking of banging hot chicks…” Spike fairly leered in Angel’s direction. “Your little kitten is quite a screamer. With claws too.” Leaning over Spike inspected the nail marks on Angel’s neck.
Angel arched an eyebrow at Spike and took another drink of his beer, not inclined to respond. His feelings for Buffy were too new, too precious to discuss even with his closest friends.
“And speaking of kitten…” Spike saw her blond head pass by the window as she walked up with Willow. “Red too. Guess you’ll have to break the news. I, for one, do not want to be here when the crying and babbling begins. I think I’ll head down to Willies. Xander?”
“Nah, man. Cordy’s coming by.”
“Well, that’s bleedin’ perfect. I know I’m not inclined to hear all of the screwing that’s about to take place around here, especially since Dru’s out of town.” As an account manager for a local advertising agency Dru traveled occasionally visiting clients as part of her job.
Spike grinned at Buffy and Willow on his way out, leaving the door open as he passed by and quickly roared away on his motorcycle.
“Hey.” Oz greeted Willow softly as she took the chair Spike had vacated.
Angel pulled Buffy to his lap, where she settled comfortably against him. “Hi.”
“Hi yourself.” He smiled, unable to stop himself from leaning down and kissing her in front of everyone.
“Must have been quite a day.” Willow nodded to the evidence of several empty beer bottles.
“It’s a fuckin’ great day! Wes finally called with our studio time. We have to be in LA on Wednesday.” Xander blurted the news, ecstatic.
“Oh.” Willow looked at Oz and tried to smile. All she could think was that her lover, her best friend, near constant companion for this past year would be gone. She knew from earlier conversations that they expected to be in LA for about 3 weeks, maybe longer. Regardless, three weeks without Oz sounded like a lifetime to Willow right now. “Well, um, that’s good. Right Buffy? It’s really good.”
“It’s great.” Buffy felt her earlier contentment rapidly dissolving. Using the excuse of needing a glass of water, Buffy fairly bolted from Angel’s lap, suddenly needing distance. She stared out the window as she sipped the cool liquid, her mind whirling. Get a grip, Buffy, it’s just a few weeks. It’s not like you and Angel have ever even talked about a “relationship.” Just because they were at the ultimate intimacy now, it didn’t mean… Buffy’s eyes widened as she considered that they had never even talked about seeing other people – or not. Maybe Angel was even seeing other women now. Maybe he would in LA.
Buffy gulped the water, her eyes unseeing as she stared out the window. She was struggling for composure.
Willow watched Buffy for a minute before she left the room, Oz following close behind. Seconds later the sound of a door closing was heard as they went into Oz’s room. Xander opened the fridge and got another beer before heading into the living room and turning on the TV.
“You ok?” Angel’s voice was quiet near her ear. She had no idea how long she had been standing there staring, thinking. A pair of strong arms circled her waist as he pulled her back against him.
“Um. Yeah. Sure.” Buffy sat the now empty glass back on the counter. They were alone now in the kitchen and she didn’t even notice when the others had left the room. “I should go I guess. You probably have things to do.”
“It’s only a few weeks, sweetheart. I’ll come see you or you can come to see me when you come to LA to visit your Dad.” Angel hugged her close, sensing her disquiet.
“If you want to. Angel…?” Buffy turned in his arms to face him. Should she ask him about their relationship? Did she dare?
“Hmm?” Angel’s hands ran up and down her back, their warm weight soothing.
“Nothing.” Buffy wrapped her arms around his waist and buried her face in his chest. She chickened out. She suspected that Angel had far too many women in his past attempting to cling too tightly. Besides, she had some pride. She’d just try to enjoy this moment now and let the future happen however it may.
After a few minutes Angel led Buffy upstairs to his room. Without saying a word, he rummaged through the top drawer of his dresser until he found the object he was seeking.
“I have something for you. I was going to wait but now…” Angel smiled slightly and shrugged. He held out a small jewelry box for her. Buffy took it, looking at him curiously, nervously. She opened the box slowly to reveal a silver claddagh ring.
“My parents. They were Irish. And the ring, well, it means something…” His voice only slightly louder than a whisper, Angel cleared his throat and continued. “The crown is for loyalty, the hands are for friendship and the heart…”
Buffy swallowed hard, her eyes watering at the touching sentiment. She looked up at him with huge, liquid eyes.
“Well, the heart is for love.” They stared at each other quietly, each taking into the significance, the implication of Angel’s words.
“Put it on. If you wear it with the heart pointing toward you it means you belong to someone.” Angel showed her the almost identical ring that he wore on his left hand, the one that it had once belonged to his father. He had mentioned that it was one of the few things he had that had left from his parents. Angel had worn the ring since she had known him, but now it was turned with the heart toward him. “Like this.”
Buffy sniffed and put the ring on. “Thank you. It’s beautiful.”
As she slid it on her finger, Angel lifted her hand and kissed it. Reaching out she took his hand and kissed the ring he wore in like fashion.
“You are beautiful.” Kissing her lips softly, tenderly Angel smiled. “Maybe this will help to discourage all the Sunnydale guys from trying to pick up my girl while I’m out of town.”
Buffy smiled. “Really? Your girl?”
“Yes, my girl. What did you think?” Angel hugged her, kissing her cheek.
“I dunno.” Buffy looked away, ineffectively hiding her earlier doubts about their relationship. Before Angel could say anything, Buffy wrapped her arms around his neck and snuggled close, smiling. “So, you’re my guy then, right?”
“Yes.” Angel buried his face in her neck, brushing her hair aside to tease the delicate shell of her ear with his tongue.
“Exclusively?” Buffy ventured in a small voice, unsure if she should even ask.
Angel lifted his head, studying Buffy’s expression. When he bought the ring it had seemed the right thing to do, so easy, so natural. At the jewelry story he had struggled briefly to understand the unusual feelings Buffy evoked in him, before dismissing all doubts and simply following his gut. Despite the purchase of the ring, however, years of experience and conditioning in avoiding serious relationships were still putting up a last resistance.
Angel studied her, taking in the delicate beauty of her face, her wide hazel eyes and pouty pink lips, shining with the latest sparkly gloss. Finally he smiled, one thing certain. “Yes, of course exclusively. Buffy, I love you.”
“Oh Angel. I-I love you too.” Buffy stammered, completely taken by surprise at Angel’s words. While she had felt sure that she loved him for months now, maybe even from the first moment she had seen him, she had not expected to have the same depth of feeling returned. Oh, she knew he cared for her that was never the question. But, love…
Throwing herself against him, Buffy hugged him exuberantly, happy even though he would be leaving her tomorrow. Angel swept her up in his arms and spun around in a circle before setting her back on her feet and kissing her enthusiastically.
They made love that afternoon with special tenderness, both conscious of their newly exchanged feelings and the brevity of their time together. He wanted to remember each and every curve of her body, each gesture and sigh, each exquisite sensation. Buffy in turn, wanted to remember the unmitigated pleasure he gave so easily, the warmth of his smile, the heat of his touch and most importantly, the words he had uttered so softly.
Angel felt a curious, rare sadness when Buffy left that evening. It was the first time that he could recall that he ever missed a woman. He distracted himself by packing, then heading over to visit with his Uncle Giles, always a comfort in his life.
Buffy had told her mom that she was going with Willow and her parents on a weekend trip, Willow in turn told her parents that she was going with Buffy to visit her dad. Right after school, the girls headed to LA in Willow’s car, laughing and talking excitedly as they pulled into the sprawling city on their own.
Buffy and Willow chatted nervously as they changed their clothes in the hotel lobby bathroom. The Dingoes were booked at the Roxy that night, a popular club that could easily launch the band to a whole new level of success. Both girls were excited to see their guys but were not quite sure what to expect at the popular LA nightclub.
Since the Dingoes played their first gig in LA two weeks ago, they had been much in demand. They had been booked almost every other night, thanks to Wesley and were fast climbing in popularity. All of which was great news for the band, but it meant that Buffy and Willow had not seen their guys in almost 6 weeks, as they had stayed in LA after they finished their recording sessions. Even Buffy and Angel had not been able to get together when she had been to LA to visit her Dad, their schedules simply had not allowed it.
Oz and Angel had arranged for a car to pick Buffy and Willow up from the nearby Hilton hotel and bring them to the club since they wouldn’t get to LA until after the guys needed to be there for the sound check.
Wesley managed to get Buffy and Willow into the club, despite the age limit. It was just after eight, but the club was already beginning to fill up due largely to the interest in the band. Buffy searched for Angel in the crowd, smiling nervously as she and Willow made their way through the people.
Minutes after they entered Wesley excused himself, saying he needed to be backstage to ensure that everything was set up, and left the girls sitting at a table near the bar. They were immediately surrounded by admirers, which only added to their unease.
When Angel entered the room wearing his trademark leather pants, Buffy was unprepared for the overwhelming number of female fans that squealed and surrounded him. As she watched, he fielded the questions and demands graciously, but insistently pushed his way through the crowd toward her.
Angel was not too pleased to see the men surrounding Buffy, whom he had spotted the second that she had entered the club with Willow and Wesley. He was annoyed that Wesley hadn’t simply brought her backstage, but set about to rectify that. When he reached her, she smiled then surprised him by throwing her arms around his neck and hugging him tightly.
“Missed you.” Her voice, soft by his ear, was barely discernible in the loud club. When she attempted to pull back and sit down, suddenly hoping that she did not embarrass him by her public display of affection, he refused to release her, hugging her close to him instead. He could not believe it had been over a month since he had held her in his arms. Predictably, his body responded immediately to the feel of her soft curves and silken skin.
“Did you miss me?” Buffy smiled and pushed closer, reveling in the feel of his hard body pressed to hers, his arousal firming between them. She smiled and waved at Oz who had just joined them and was hugging Willow.
“Yes. Can’t you tell?” Angel leaned down and kissed her, uncaring about any staring eyes. He was elated to have her in his arms again, suddenly feeling dangerously out of control wanting her. “I can’t believe I get you for the whole weekend.” He brushed another kiss across her lips. She looked absolutely delectable in the short black mini-skirt and the sequined pink halter-top.
Buffy searched his face, memorizing every feature. The last 6 weeks had seemed like a lifetime. Before she could reply, an exotic looking woman with dark hair pushed her way between them shouting his name, ignoring completely their intimate embrace.
Buffy controlled her temper as the woman asked for an autograph then shamelessly reminded Angel in explicit detail of a rendezvous in Sunnydale last year, after one of the Dingoes shows. Angel rebuffed her offer for a repeat performance politely, but clearly did not recall the woman. He doubted that she was telling the truth, but then again, his past exploits were well known.
Excusing himself politely from the woman and tugging Buffy’s hand, he extricated them from the crowd and headed backstage as Oz and Willow followed. He knew from Buffy’s silence that a certain degree of delicacy was going to be required to restore things to their earlier sense of accord.
“I shouldn’t have come here.” Buffy blurted the second they reached the relative privacy of the hallway backstage.
“I missed you.” Angel pulled her into his arms, looking down into her eyes. “I’m sorry about that-” He tilted his head, gesturing to the crowd, “but you know better. You’re the only person that I want to be with.” Kissing her softly, he teased her lips with his. “Please…” Trailing hot kisses along her cheek to her neck, he pushed her back against the wall. “Stay with me…” His voice was low, hushed. When his lips met hers again, they brushed across hers in a kiss that was feather light for the briefest moment before Buffy wrapped her arms around his neck and stood up on tiptoe to press close to him.
Angel pulled Buffy into him with an almost violent embrace, his hands sliding along her waist, one hand moving to grip her hip the other to splay across her back. Intent on tasting the sweetness of her mouth after the long abstinence, Angel’s mouth moved on hers as her soft curves melted against his hard body.
The sound of someone clearing his throat broke through Angel’s consciousness, and with great effort he lifted his head. “What?”
“Hello cutie.” Spike grinned at Buffy, then gestured behind him. “Wes wants a word.”
Buffy blushed slightly and looked past Spike where Wesley stood with Xander, Oz, Willow and a beautiful brunette that Buffy had never seen before. The girl positively exuded sexuality.
Taking a deep breath, Angel regained control and stepped back from Buffy but held tightly to her hand as if he did not want her far out of his sight.
“Buffy, this is Faith. Faith, this is Buffy. Faith works for Wesley.” Angel introduced the two girls, Faith clearly checking out the smaller blond as Buffy smiled in greeting. So this was the girl that Angel wanted… Faith was certainly interested in Angel, but in the past few weeks that she’d known him he hadn’t shown even the slightest bit of return interest. Oh he was nice and polite to her sure, but nothing else. Which was certainly not something Faith was used to.
She eventually heard from Xander during their romp in the sack that Angel had a girl back in Sunnydale, but Faith never doubted her ability to have any and every guy that she wanted. It was just a matter of time. She’d be with the band a lot if Wes got the deal signed that he was working on. And guys got lonely on tour, all that time on the road… Yep, she had time.
Besides, Wes had already expressed to her his concerns about Angel’s girlfriend. Oz’s too, for that matter. Wes felt that both girls represented a liability for the band, being under 18. He shuddered to think how that news leaked to the press would hurt the band. No doubt the media would present the story as if the band were full of perverted men preying on young girls. His preference was that both girls be given their walking papers – and soon. Wes had suggested that Faith might try to help in that matter… Faith, only recently turned 21 herself thought it a touch ironic of Wes, having been her lover when they met 4 years ago – but whatever. She didn’t need to understand the rich and powerful as long as he took care of her.
When the band performed that night, even Wes had to admit that they seemed to be more up than usual. Angel was in particularly good form, the sexual tension giving him a stronger and rougher edged sound. Buffy watched from off stage, feeling hot waves of desire surge through her as she studied Angel with singular focus as he performed. She marveled at the sheer lust he provoked within her, the absolute intensity an almost forgotten feeling in last few weeks of his absence.
A post performance party had been planned at the club immediately after closing, so Buffy and Willow waited at a table near the bar while the guys showered and cleaned up after the show. When they finally appeared from backstage, Wesley bought the first round of drinks congratulating them on a ‘truly terrific performance.’
Buffy and Willow talked quietly and sipped their drinks, finding the cosmopolitans a little strong. Buffy was disappointed that it would be awhile before she and Angel would be alone, but she was happy for his success. She looked over to see a commotion at the bar as Faith insisted on buying a round of shots for the guys in the band.
Angel looked at Buffy who simply smiled and shrugged. While it might annoy her and while she might be very jealous and possessive, she wasn’t about to let those sentiments show here, now. In an attempt to appear casual and unconcerned, Buffy big gulp of her drink. Willow, feeling much the same, took her cue from Buffy and did likewise.
Glancing sidelong at Buffy, Faith proceeded to show the guys how they were supposed to imbibe them. She started with Angel, unbuttoning the top few buttons of his shirt and licking a spot on his upper chest then dousing it with salt. Faith then pushed a lime into his mouth, laughing and smiling as she explained the next step, which was to pick up the glass using teeth only and from her cleavage. Since Angel didn’t have the required cleavage, she’d make do to demonstrate. Faith then licked the salt off Angel’s chest and downed the tequila. When she went to kiss him to suck the lime out of his mouth, Angel pushed a piece of lime he had picked up from the small dish into her mouth.
He had no interest in Faith or in playing her games, and he’d go along only so far. Kissing her and in front of Buffy, was just a little too far. He downed his own shot of tequila, then sucked the juice out of the lime that Faith has put in his mouth. Oz took his turn next following Angel’s lead, glancing once at Willow, who was staring intently at the dance floor unwilling to watch the display. Xander and Spike however, cheerfully indulged Faith in her recommended method, licking the salt off her exposed chest and following through with salt and lime kisses while the other guys laughingly cheered them on.
When Angel looked back, neither Buffy nor Willow was at the table where they had been sitting. Both their drinks were empty, evidence that they had indeed been there and downed the strong concoctions.
Angel scanned the crowd but didn’t see her. Moments later he spotted Oz leading Willow out to the dance floor, so he moved in that direction. Maybe Willow would know where she had gone.
Minutes after Buffy left her seat, Faith followed. Reaching the ladies room, the girls stood in the long line.
“So, B. I gotta admit, I admire the way that you handle things with Angel.” Faith, in her usual animated style, initiated the conversation.
“What do you mean?” Buffy turned to Faith then stepped forward as the line moved.
“You know. The way that you seem to keep him right in line. That’s gotta be hard to do with a guy like that. I mean, he’s gotta have more than his share of opportunities, and being apart and all… I’m just saying that I’m not sure I’d be so trusting if I were in your shoes.” Faith was testing the waters, probing to see what insecurities Buffy might reveal.
“What do you mean?” Buffy wasn’t deliberately being obtuse, rather she wanted Faith to be clear.
“I just mean that it must be hard to accept all the girls, you know the temptation when he’s away.”
“Faith, I don’t think my relationship-”
“Excuse me, if you’re next that one’s open.” The woman behind Faith pointed out the open stall to Buffy who was next in line.
Buffy smiled, then apologized holding up the line before entering the stall. Faith shrugged and left the room.
A few minutes later Faith found Angel standing on the edge of the dance floor, looking around. “So, wanna dance?”
“No, thanks. Have you seen Buffy?” Angel looked past Faith to where Willow and Oz had moved. Still no sign of Buffy.
“B.? No. Maybe she left?” Faith shrugged, then ran one hand down Angel’s arm. “Sure I can’t interest you in that dance?”
“No. Thanks.” The latter was added as an afterthought, a nicety that Angel really didn’t feel necessary with Faith. Giles however, would be proud, having strongly encouraged Angel to learn polite behavior as a child. Just as he started to turn away in frustration, Buffy bumped into his back.
“Hey. There you are.” Angel smiled, relieved that he finally found her in the crowd. Taking advantage of her close proximity, he wrapped his arms around her.
Buffy grinned, “Yes. I’m just glad you’re so tall or I’d still be searching for you in the crowd. And why is it that the lines in the ladies rooms are always so long?” The strong drink had made her feel all fuzzy and relaxed, and now that she was back in Angel’s arms, she was feeling something stronger and more carnal. Faith’s words had completely left her mind now that she was where she wanted to be. Stretching up and fitting herself against him, she lifted her lips for a kiss.
Angel looked down at her face, his earlier heated response to her rapidly returning with even more intensity. His hand rested lightly on her bare back, the strings of her top teasing him, inviting him to pull ever so slightly and release them… Angel shifted his hand to her hip, removing the temptation. Buffy had begun to move to the music against him with slow erotic grind, further igniting his need for her.
Lowering his head, he kissed her. An urgent, blatantly sexual kiss that stole her breath, his tongue probing insistently in her mouth. Buffy sighed, melting against him and meeting his tongue with her own.
Faith rolled her eyes as the couple moved to the music, their bodies pressed together and their lips still locked. As they danced, Faith tried several times to separate them by dancing between them, but to no avail. Angel and Buffy danced and kissed, both too involved with each other to care about anything or anyone else around them.
Spike, who had been watching Angel and Buffy, and therefore Faith, had also noticed Faith making several exasperated gestures to Wesley, who in turn had waved back as if to tell her to keep trying. Spike lit a cigarette and smiled. Well, well. Wasn’t this interesting. Spike had guessed that Faith had a thing for Angel. But conspiring with Wesley to separate Angel and his little fluffy, well that was just too curious. He’d have to keep an eye out…
“You look so hot in leather pants…” The next song had just started when Buffy whispered in Angel’s ear. “Please… let’s go…” Angel grasped her hand and led her rapidly out the door, stopping only briefly to ask Spike to pick up any of his personal belongings from backstage. Whether or not Wes wanted them to stay for the entire party was of no consequence at that moment.
They took a cab to the Fairmont hotel in Santa Monica where Angel had booked a room for the weekend. The apartment where the guys were staying was a small place with limited privacy, not exactly suited to Angel’s plans so he had made other arrangements. It was, after all, his and Buffy’s first weekend together – ever – not to mention the long weeks apart.
Given the lateness of the hour, there were only a few people about in the lobby as they made their way through to their room. Angel had checked in earlier in the day, dropping off his stuff and getting the key. When they entered the room, Buffy raced around excitedly, taking in the room before rushing to the window to look out at the ocean in the moonlight. “This place is beautiful, Angel. And so romantic.”
Turning off the light, Angel smiled and locked the door before coming to stand behind Buffy at the window. Now that they were finally alone, he attempted to reign in his earlier sense of urgency. When she moved to turn around, he murmured softly. “No. Stay there.”
She felt his lips on the nape of her neck as he lifted her hair. She shivered, goose bumps forming on her arms at the heated kisses on her sensitive skin. He dropped her hair over one shoulder as his lips traced a line along her other shoulder to her neck. She felt him tug at the strings of her halter just before his hands slid around her waist and under her top to cup her breasts.
Buffy sighed, leaning back against him and closing her eyes. She had missed him so much. She lifted her arms, circling his neck as his lips continued to work their magic on her. As her top slithered to the floor, Angel’s thumbs brushed across the hardened tips of her nipples. She clenched her thighs together, the ache between her legs becoming unbearable.
Angel toyed with her nipples, pinching and tugging them lightly. He listened as Buffy’s breathing increased to soft pants, her hips pressing back against his groin in insistent demand as she arched her back. She was beyond aroused. “Please… Angel…”
His hands roved down to her hips, now guiding them in a firm rhythm against him. He leaned against her back as his hands moved lower, his palms tracing the outsides of her thighs before gradually sliding up. His wrists lifted her skirt, pushing it up to her waist. At the sight of the tiny black lace thong between her legs, Angel groaned. He could wait no longer.
Nudging her, he encouraged her to part her legs. Pulling the strip of fabric to one side, he ran his fingers across her swollen labia, through the lush profusion of wetness between her legs before he lowered his own zipper. He cursed softly, remembering that the condoms were in the bag he had left in the bathroom. “Don’t move. I’ll be right back.”
Buffy looked back over her shoulder in question as Angel started to move away from her. Instinctively, she knew what he wanted. “It’s OK. I- I’m on the pill.” She hadn’t mentioned it to him earlier, wanting to wait until the right time.
Angel hesitated only a moment before guiding the crest of his erection to her wet slit. At the first thrust, Buffy gasped and braced her hands against the window.
Gripping her hips tightly, Angel began to move. Buffy struggled to collect her thoughts but her mind could only focus on the feel of him inside her, how large and hot he felt. How different it felt without the latex barrier. It seemed much more intimate somehow.
Angel thrust against her harder, his own breath coming in short pants. He held her hips as he moved, each thrust firm, deliberate, complete. Buffy surrendered completely to sensation as his hands roamed over her body, cupping her breasts and squeezing her nipples before sliding down her flat abdomen to skip across her skirt bunched at her waist to delve between her legs. With increasingly intimate touches, his fingers probed between her legs to manipulate her clit in rhythm to his thrusts.
Buffy felt his hips against her bottom as he moved, the leather of his pants against her legs as she opened them wider allowing him greater access. Leaning forward slightly and opening her eyes, she could see the faint reflection of the two of them in the window. Her hair a tousled mess, her eyes half closed and her lips were slightly swollen and parted. His hand appeared large against her tiny frame as it cupped her breast, the thumb rubbing the hardened tip of her nipple. Behind her, Angel’s dark head was bent as he looked down, watching as he buried his hard cock into the hot, wet channel between her thighs. The firm cheeks of her bottom enticed him as she rocked her hips back against him suggestively.
When Buffy felt the first convulsion begin, Angel moved his hand back to the swollen nub between her legs. He pressed hard, caressing her through the scrap of lace before jerking it aside once more to touch her bare flesh. She cried out softly as she came, closing her eyes and pushing her hips hard back against him.
Angel continued to thrust hard, wanting to prolong the incredible pleasure. He wrung two more intense orgasms from her before he allowed himself release. Closing his eyes, he lost himself in her.
He was hard again almost before he lowered her to the bed, feeling like an adolescent again, feverish and uncontrolled. Licking her lower lip, nibbling gently on the full perfect curve, he smiled. “Mmm. I love the taste of you.”
“I love the feel of you.” Buffy stripped off her panties and parted her legs as Angel crawled between them, filling her once more and arousing already sensitized nerves. He plunged forward as she bucked against him, oblivious to all but sensation. Over the next few hours, Buffy tested Angel’s stamina with an innocence and eagerness that he found captivating. But then, he was equally obsessed.
Drowsily, they watched the sun rise, Buffy clutching Angel tightly as they drifted off to sleep, both smiling, mutually content.
Around noon, Angel retrieved Buffy’s bag from the concierge. Willow and Oz had left it, along with a message and Angel’s jeep. Rather than stay at the apartment with Spike and Xander, Willow and Oz had also checked into a hotel. They were going to spend the day at the Getty museum. If Buffy and Angel were interested in getting together for dinner, call Oz’s cell phone. Willow reminded Buffy that they needed to leave by 3:00 on Sunday to get back to Sunnydale, so they’d meet at the guys apartment around 2:30.
That weekend was pleasure beyond expectation. Buffy and Angel took long walks on the beach, ate romantic dinners either at nearby restaurants or in their room, but mostly they made love. They were completely engrossed in each other, preoccupied with pleasure and basking in the sheer joy of love.
On the drive back to Sunnydale, Willow mentioned that she was going to apply to UCLA and USC next year. At least that was the plan if Oz was still going to be in LA. Buffy thought that sounded like a good idea and wondered if she should do the same. Given that the girls still had to get through their senior year of high school, college seemed so far off to Buffy that she hadn’t really given it much thought.
Buffy admitted to Willow that she found the thought of Angel becoming a big time rock star more than a little intimidating. He already had more than enough female fans, so she could only imagine it would get worse as the band became more popular.
Willow confessed that she too worried about the future, that she naturally had assumed things would always work out but she and Oz never really talked about any definite future plans. They talked for a while longer before they both agreed that the best strategy was to simply live for the moment. Things were good now – which Buffy corrected to “phenomenally good” with “great” only possible should the guys return to Sunnydale soon – and they should enjoy every moment. With this philosophy reaffirmed, the girls sang happily along with the radio as they drove back to Sunnydale.
Buffy walked slowly out of class, relieved that the day was finally over. Her math test had been beyond comprehension. Buffy wondered briefly if she had even been in the wrong class the entire time because all the concepts on the test had seemed so foreign. She groaned as she spotted Scott in the hall, not needing another headache today.
Scott was nice enough, but had been pestering her repeatedly about going out on a date. From the sly looks he gave her, she knew that he didn’t believe that she was really dating Angel, rather he suspected she had made up their relationship out of a one-night stand (most likely) or that she simply had a crush on the guy. Not unheard of in Sunnydale where the Dingoes were well known.
As Buffy spun around and headed in the opposite direction, Scott spotted her and rushed to catch up, shouting her name. Buffy stopped to avoid any further embarrassment and waited.
“So, Buffy.” Scott was panting heavily as if he had just run a full sprint in a 100-yard dash when in fact he’d barely jogged 10 feet. “Want to go to the Bronze tonight? It’s the annual fumigation party.”
“Uh. No, thanks though. I already have plans.” Buffy started to walk away, but Scott followed.
“Everyone will be there. You have to come. I’ll even buy you a mocha with extra whipped cream…” Scott smiled, sure that the drink would be an enticement knowing Buffy’s partiality for the sweet.
“Thanks Scott, but I already promised Willow that I’d hang with her.” Buffy waved to Willow who was coming across the campus toward her. “Right Will?”
“Um, uh, yeah. Right Buffy?” Willow smiled, knowing that Buffy was once again trying to shake off Scott. “We already…”
“Have plans.” Buffy shot Willow a look.
“Yeah, plans. We’re uh, going to the Bronze. Annual fumigation party.” Willow improvised, not aware of Scott’s earlier offer.
“Great! Then I’ll see you there. And you’ll owe me a dance. A SLOW one.” Scott attempted a sexy smile, which really just made him look like he had just swallowed something sour.
“Ugh.” Buffy grimaced at Willow as Scott left.
“Sorry.” Willow smiled sheepishly, sorry that her attempt to help Buffy with an excuse had backfired. “Well, we can always not go and just say that we got sick or something.”
“Nah, that’s ok. My mom’s still on the ‘Buffy must socialize’ kick. When Angel left town and I didn’t go out for like three days she freaked, thinking I was going to wither away and die in my room at 17. If going out keeps her off my case, then by all means, let’s go out.”
“Well, if you’re sure…”
“I’m sure. I mean, I should be able to avoid Scott most of the night, right?” Buffy hooked her arm through Willow’s as they started forward. “Besides, maybe Angel will call tonight before we go, which always gives me a happy.”
Willow only grinned in response.
Both girls were noticeably bummed when they arrived at the Bronze, neither having heard from their guys. It had been almost a month since their trip, and the oh-so-happy weekend that still made Buffy smile every time she thought about it. Like now.
“Thinking of that weekend?” Willow smiled too, noting Buffy’s dreamy expression.
“You can tell, huh?” Buffy still smiled, although her cheeks were slightly pink from a blush.
“Oh yeah. Every time.” Willow teased. They had exchanged stories of their weekends during the ride home as well as the weeks that followed, but Buffy still kept a lot of it to herself. It was just too precious to share, even with her best friend.
It wasn’t long before Cordelia arrived with Harmony and two other members of the ‘Cordettes’. And, of course, every chance she got she made sure to insult or needle Buffy somehow, having never forgiven her for what she saw as trespassing or for humiliating her at the party months ago.
“So Buffy, I hear you’re dating Scott now.”
“Really Cordy? Then you heard wrong.” Buffy rarely let Cordelia’s barbs get to her, usually choosing to dismiss them as the jealous taunts they were.
“Oh. And here I was finally going to congratulate you for moving on with your life rather than waiting around like a loser for a boyfriend that has most likely dumped you. My mistake.” Cordelia walked off, smiling at her own wit as the girls with her laughed.
Buffy rolled her eyes and laughed as she looked at Willow. “Oh, brother. Does she really think she’s witty?”
Scott had arrived really early, just after the Bronze opened and had been watching the door for Buffy ever since. When he spotted her, he made a beeline for the counter and ordered a mocha. He was just stepping up to her table with it when there was a commotion at the door.
Several shrieks were heard followed by people rushing toward the door. Buffy and Willow looked curiously in that direction, trying to see what was going on.
Buffy’s heart sped up and thumped heavily in her chest at the glimpse of a dark head near the door. It couldn’t be, could it? She stared, craning her neck to see over the heads crowded around.
“Buffy? Buffy?!” Scott was attempting to get her attention.
“Huh? What?” Buffy looked at him briefly, then looked back toward the door. The crowd of people was slowly moving inward.
“Your mocha. I told you I would…” Scott stopped as Buffy smiled, a huge, radiant smile. Scott smiled, thinking for a brief moment that Buffy was incredibly easy to please if a mocha made her smile like that. Then he noticed that she was looking past him. He turned.
Angel and Spike, followed by Oz and Xander had entered the club, a few excited fans that recognized them causing the commotion.
Buffy watched as Angel scanned the crowd before moving toward her, politely pushing past the remaining few people between them. He looked curiously at Scott who stood between them, his mouth agape.
Cordelia rushed forward and wrapped her arms around Angel, hugging him. “You’re back!”
Xander snorted and moved past them toward the bar. Clearly Cordelia was still jonesing for Angel, even after their involvement. Not that he had been exactly faithful to her, but he expected or maybe hoped for a little more consideration.
Oz moved past Angel, as did Spike. Oz hugged and kissed Willow, smiling patiently at her excited response. Angel shrugged out of Cordelia’s embrace just as Spike reached Buffy and surprisingly pulled her into his arms.
“Hello pet.” Hugging her tightly, he planted a kiss on her lips. He did it for his own enjoyment of course, but also because this new jealousy of Angel’s certainly deserved some teasing. Grinning, Spike released her, then shot Angel a quick look before following Xander to the bar.
“Hey.” Buffy watched Spike’s back with a bemused smile before shaking her head and smiling up at Angel as he stopped in front of her. “I know you…”
Angel reached for Buffy’s hand, pulling her toward him. Buffy stepped forward easily and wrapped her arms around his waist, still smiling and looking up at his face as if expecting him to disappear. He draped one arm around her shoulders. “I can’t believe you’re here. When did you get back? Why didn’t you call?”
Noticing their still attentive audience, Angel glanced at Scott with mild inquiry, his brows arched. “Did you want something?” Despite the polite words, the tone was definitely proprietary.
“Um. Well, Buffy and I- I mean, this is for Buffy. And I thought we were- uh, I thought we were going to dance.” Scott stammered, feeling a little intimidated by the tall and rather large man looking at him with a somewhat territorial expression.
“You can leave that-” Angel nodded to the mocha in Scott’s hand, “on the table if you’d like, but Buffy’s busy tonight. Tomorrow night too. In fact, I don’t see any openings in the near future…”
Angel returned his gaze to stare down at Buffy, his eyes drifting over her lazily in perusal as if it had been months or years, rather than a few short weeks since he had seen her. He kissed her then, a sweet kiss with heartfelt longing. Buffy’s eyes closed the instant his lips met hers, a surge of raw, primitive desire rushing with surprising speed within her. Her arms slid around his neck and she stretched upward against him, angling her head and opening her mouth.
Angel suppressed a groan. It had been far too long since he had kissed her and the middle of the Bronze was not exactly the right place for their reunion. At least, not the kind he had been planning. Raising his head he looked down at her, her eyes were still closed and her lips were moist and still slightly parted.
Buffy opened her eyes, cognizant once again of their very public forum, Angel’s arms still wrapped around her. “Mmm. Welcome home.”
Angel leaned down to whisper a response in Buffy’s ear that made her laugh and blush, then kiss him heatedly again.
Scott finally walked away, disappointed. He was surprised that Buffy had been telling the truth about her boyfriend, but even more astounding was the evidence of their apparently mutual feelings.
Buffy and Angel left the Bronze minutes later with Willow and Oz, the girls stopping by their houses to pick up their things and to tell their mom their respective stories about spending the night at the other’s house.
When they reached the guys’ house, Buffy and Angel quickly disappeared into his bedroom equally anxious to renew their acquaintance in a much more thorough and intimate fashion.
It was very late that night when Buffy breathed a soft sigh and braced her hands against Angel’s shoulders. “No more… I’m sore…”
“Maybe just once more…” Angel, feeling that restless insatiable desire that he always did with Buffy, slid down in the bed, lifting her thighs over his shoulders. As his fingers skimmed across her swollen slit, touching her lightly he murmured. “Mmm… You’re so small, baby. So wet and luscious…”
Buffy stirred restlessly, amazed at how easily he provoked her with words alone. With slow gentle licks, he lapped at her tender soft flesh, teasing and probing. Her fingers twined in his hair, pulling at the short strands and holding him close as he nibbled her clit. She could feel the flood of wetness between her legs as he easily manipulated her desire to his whim.
She whimpered softly when he climbed up her body, feeling only the renewed ache of want, of need. He kissed her with the taste of her on his lips, further igniting her craving for him.
“I love you.” Angel’s words were a soft murmur against her lips as he slid inside her. Buffy lifted her hips to meet him, moaning softly. There was no pain, no soreness – on the beginning of an ache that only he could satisfy. She clung to him as he moved, twining her arms around his neck and arching against him. When she shuddered around him, he finally poured into her with a release so wild, so tumultuous it left him breathless. He rolled from her but kept her close, their sweat dampened skin sticky to touch. Exhausted, they finally slept.
The Dingoes schedule allow them to be home for the next two months, then Wesley planned for the release of their first single followed shortly by the CD. If all went as planned, they’d be touring the country in the summer as part of the summer and fall BFD concert tour, along with such diverse acts as Incubus and Rob Zombie.
For Buffy and Angel, the time passed quickly. They spent as much time together as their schedules allowed, Buffy having school finals coming up soon to prepare for, Angel having returned to work yet still needing to make time for rehearsals.
It was a sunny May afternoon when a knock sounded at the door. It had only been a week past that Wesley had confirmed the Dingoes addition to the BFD concert tour and the need for the guys to return to LA in a two weeks for rehearsal and the tour kick off. During that call, Wes had made some other suggestions that Angel met with a less than interested reception- although he listened politely and simply said he’d think about it.
“Mrs. Summers. Come in.” Angel stepped back from the door and gestured for Joyce to enter. He was surprised, to say the least, at the identity of his afternoon visitor. It was purely by chance that she had caught him at home, he had just been about to head down to his uncle’s pub.
“Angel.” Joyce entered, frowning at the empty alcohol bottles in the kitchen trash before stepping into the living room.
“I’ll get right to the point. I know my daughter cares for you. I think that she even believes herself to be in love with you. And I know that she’s sleeping with you.” Joyce paused, wondering if Angel would deny any of her statements but not really expecting a response.
“Mrs. Summers-” Angel wasn’t sure what he should say, what he could say.
“Which, as much as I don’t like it, it’s not the reason that I’m here. Perhaps with someone younger, less experienced, she might have waited… I just hope that you both have enough sense to be careful and take precautions. I doubt that your future plans include supporting a pregnant 17 year-old girl,” Joyce paused, glancing around the room again.
“Well, I-“Angel felt the need to say something, anything.
“No, I came here because I know that you’re leaving soon to go on some tour or something with your band. Buffy tells me that you’re going to be gone for 6 months, maybe longer. Do you really think that it’s fair that you ask my daughter to wait for you? That she miss out on the best years of high school while you’re out having the time of your life?” Joyce turned back toward Angel, her voice perhaps sounding harsher than she intended.
“Do you honestly think you will be faithful to her while you’re away for months? And if you aren’t, do you understand how much that will break her heart?” Joyce’s own feelings of an unfaithful husband surfaced in her tone, making her words angry, hostile.
Angel leaned his hip against the couch and crossed his arms over his chest. His feelings for Buffy were unequivocal. Was it unfair to her, somehow? “I-”
Once again, Joyce cut him off. “Maybe you care about my daughter. I just don’t know if you care enough. There are some tough decisions ahead, and if Buffy can’t make them, then I hope you can.” With that, Joyce turned and left, leaving Angel to ponder her words.
When Buffy arrived at the house a few days later, Angel suggested that they take a walk. Buffy easily acquiesced, but thought the request unusual given that they hadn’t seen each other in a few days which normally meant that they’d end up in his room… Regardless, she enjoyed spending time with him anywhere.
“Buffy, we need to talk.” Angel regretted each and every word as it came out of his mouth. This was easily one of the hardest things he had ever tried to do.
They had stopped at a small park down the street. Angel walked a few feet away from her, hoping that distance would make this easier. He took a deep breath, before releasing it in a slow expulsion.
That slight internal warning that Buffy had felt when Angel greeted her coolly now sounded again. She knew from Angel’s tone, his unwillingness to look her in the eye that something was wrong. She stepped toward him and he stepped back. Another warning. “Angel. What is it? You’re scaring me.”
“You know I’m leaving soon. The tour.” His words were circumlocutional, but Buffy didn’t know that. He struggled for words, a first for a man who had easily dismissed more than his share of women.
Angel looked away from her. “The more I think about it, the more I know that us – you and me together – is unfair to you.”
“What are you saying?” Buffy swallowed nervously.
“I can’t ask you to wait for me while I’m gone. You need to go out, have fun… meet new people.” Angel closed his eyes briefly, struggling for composure.
Buffy’s voice was a husky whisper. “Are you- Are you breaking up with me?”
“I- yes.” The words fell from his lips, flat and toneless.
“What happened to ‘we’ll make it work’? Was that just some lie you told me to placate me? Were you planning this all along?” Buffy lashed out, wanting to hurt him in return for the pain he was causing her.
“Buffy, you know I-” Angel paused realizing that he couldn’t tell her he loved her, not now. “Be practical. I’ll be gone for months.”
“And you want to see other women. Or should I say screw other women? That’s it, isn’t it? You’re tired of me…”
“It’s not that.” Angel’s voice was quiet, his own heart breaking.
“I love you… I want my life to be with you.” Buffy’s eyes filled with tears, but she willed herself not to cry.
“I don’t.” The words were barely more than a whisper as Angel finally met her eyes. He wanted to tell her that he didn’t mean any of it, he wanted to take her in his arms and wipe away the pain that he could see on her face. But he couldn’t. He had to believe he was doing the right thing for her.
“Did you ever mean it when you said you loved me? Even a little? Or was that just some excuse to get-” Buffy choked on the words. She couldn’t wait for his answer. She turned and ran, unwilling to humiliate herself and cry, or even worse, beg him to stay like so many other women in his life had done.
When Willow arrived at her house after Buffy’s brief call, Buffy finally gave in to the tears that had been threatening. She poured her heart out to Willow, unable to comprehend Angel’s rejection. After Willow left, Buffy cried for hours then closed herself in her room for the next two days, hiding her pain and unhappiness in sleep and ice cream binges.
She tucked away the ring he had given her, along with the cross necklace and all the pictures, cards and letters. She hid them at the bottom of her trunk, unwilling to be reminded of what they had shared.
When she finally emerged to the world, she was a changed person. She no longer believed in love at first sight or even love forever. She was skeptical about the existence of love at all outside the extremes of friendship and lust. The bright light that had always seemed to shine from her now seemed dim. She smiled less and studied more. She signed up for summer school and joined a gym. The less time she had to think about Angel, the easier it would be. Or so she thought.
When Angel arrived back at the house, he closed himself in his room with a bottle of vodka. The next morning when he showered and shaved, he was noticeably different, his mood somber, his words coated with subtle acidity.
Oz knew the reason from Willow’s call the previous night, but only mentioned it to Xander and Spike after Angel left.
“Why the bloody hell did he do that?! I was practically expecting wedding bells the way those two carried on.” Spike’s reaction was stunned surprise, while Xander’s was one of casual disinterest. Oz could only shrug. He was dumbfounded, having never suspected this particular turn of events. No one seemed to know why Angel suddenly had a change of heart.
Two days later, Darla just happened to be passing the grocery store when she noticed Angel pull in. She parked next to his jeep and waited for him to exit. She’d already heard the latest gossip – news traveled fast in a small town like Sunnydale – so she knew that he’d finally dumped the little schoolgirl that he’d been seeing. She was just surprised that it lasted so long.
“Darling. Imagine running in to you here.” Darla smiled, her voice flirtatious. “I’m so sorry to hear about your recent breakup.”
Angel’s eyes flitted over Darla’s form taking in her short skirt and tight top. When he spoke, his tone was sardonic. “Really?”
“Really, darling. Why don’t you come for dinner? We could talk.”
“Why don’t I fuck you for a few days instead?” He was looking for oblivion, not romance and he was damn sure he’d never find any difficult emotional entanglements with Darla.
“Flattering, Angel. What kind of offer is that?” Darla asked petulantly.
“Yes or no?” Angel sat his grocery bags containing his several bottles of vodka in the passenger seat of the jeep, then climbed in.
“I’m not sure.” Darla was still debating her options. He was a fantastic lover, but clearly in the mood he was in she was sure she wouldn’t be getting romance and flowers. However, she still felt that familiar flare of heat in her belly.
“Suit yourself.” Starting the car, Angel was prepared to drive away.
“Yes, then.” Darla blurted out the words, her own heated desire spurring her on. She knew that she wasn’t going to be able to keep him, but she couldn’t resist the opportunity to try.
Darla drove out of the parking lot with Angel following. They spent the next three days secluded in her house, ordering out for food when necessary. Angel drank constantly, a bottle conveniently within reach even first thing in the morning. Despite the high level of constant inebriation, Darla greatly enjoyed the passionate rewards of Angel’s misery and quest for forgetfulness.
When Darla answered the phone the morning of the fourth day, Angel no longer knew what day it was. He no longer cared. He just wanted to forget the blond beauty that persisted in his thoughts, haunted his dreams. His friends and his Uncle Giles, however, had been frantic. They had been searching for him non-stop. It wasn’t until a friend of Xander’s mentioned that he had seen Angel’s jeep at Darla’s house the day before that they managed to track him down.
Giles, Spike and Oz arrived at Darla’s an hour later. “How is he?” Angel was Giles’s first concern. He suspected something terrible if Angel had really taken up with Darla again. Giles had been there to see the fallout, Angel’s disappointment, then later his cynical view of relationships.
“He’s wonderful, darling. An absolute dream.” Darla wore only a tiny silk robe over a small chemise leaving no doubt in anyone’s mind regarding the intimacy of the situation.
“I’m fine. Thank you for your hospitality, Darla.” Angel walked unsteadily toward the door, the sound of voices stirring him out of his stupor.
Giles was momentarily shocked at Angel’s appearance. He was unshaven and noticeably thinner, but most disturbing was the lack of life in his dark eyes. “Well, uh, shall we go then? Angel, why don’t you ride with me? Oz and Spike will take your jeep.”
Giles said very little to Angel on the drive home, his own thoughts in disarray. He was concerned and angry, not to mention upset that Angel would be so irresponsible. He knew what had happened with Buffy of course, he just didn’t think that Angel would have reacted quite this way. His behavior was particularly curious since he was the one that had broken it off.
“Your father-” Giles began, only to have Angel cut him off.
“Don’t.” Looking out the window, Angel sighed. He felt tired and dirty, but mostly he wanted another drink.
“Would you like some advice?” Giles tried again.
“No. I’ve had too much already.” Angel closed his eyes and dropped his head back against the seat.
Sighing, Giles realized that he’d have to give this more careful consideration.
As Angel looked out on the LA skyline from his hotel room, he took another drink of the vodka he held in his hand. Since Buffy had run out of his life almost 8 months ago, he had continued to resort to alcohol in attempts to suppress the images of blond hair and hazel eyes, of perfect curves and soft sounds of desire that unwilling flooded his mind at inopportune times. It served as a sufficient anesthetic, yet the pain was still there from time to time.
Buffy’s mom hadn’t been the only one that encouraged Angel to ‘do the right thing’ at the time. Wesley had suggested politely that Angel ‘reconsider his relationship’ with Buffy, for her sake. Even his Uncle Giles has questioned him, wondering if Buffy might be a bit too young. The additional opinions, however much they seemed to support his actions, didn’t seem to take away any of the feeling that he had perhaps lost something precious.
The tour had gone exceptionally well. The Dingoes were clearly a favorite and their album had landed in the top 30 and was still climbing. Largely due to their success, they continued on and played additional dates in a number of cities. There was talk of some international dates coming up, along with another album. Wes happily predicted only good things ahead. Angel couldn’t quite see it.
Last night had been their last scheduled performance. They’d be off until March or April, unless the international dates firmed up earlier. That meant two months of free time – something none of the guys had seen in awhile.
Angel was pretty well drunk when Spike opened the door, knocking as he entered. He glanced at Angel before grabbing an empty glass, and two bottles from the bar. Sitting in the chair across from him, he poured a large amount of gin in his glass, topped it off with a little tonic then raised it in salute. “Well, here’s to success and finally finishing one hell of a tour.”
Angel nodded in reply and raised his glass, drinking the remainder of the contents.
The two sat and drank companionably, watching the sun slowly set. They laughed over stories of events during the tour, talked about the various cites and the many women. They joked for a while about Faith and her wild ways, although both guys had successfully fended off propositions to experience her first hand. Not an easy task, by any means. After a while, Oz joined then, as did Xander.
“So, what next?” Angel looked at Spike, undecided.
“Me? Well, I’m heading back to Sunnydale. I’ve had enough hotel living for awhile. Believe it or not, I actually want to do my own laundry and make my own damn cup of coffee for a change.” Spike smiled slightly.
“Definitely Sunnydale for me.” Oz smiled slightly, thinking about Willow. The long distance hadn’t been easy and they had broken up, but they kept in touch and Oz was hopeful that they would be able to work things out.
“Yep. I’m for the ‘dale too. If nothing else, I want to have some of my Aunt’s cooking. It’s terrible, I know. But in a weird way I miss it.” Xander smiled and shrugged.
“What about you, mate?” Spike lit a cigarette and poured himself another drink.
“I don’t know.” Angel looked thoughtfully down at his empty glass.
“She’s not seeing anyone.” Oz ventured after a long pause. He’d heard from Willow that Buffy had rarely, if ever, dated anyone since Angel. Although recently, she had seemed to warm up to a new guy, a college guy named Riley.
Spike watched for Angel’s reaction, knowing instantly when he realized the identity of Oz’s ‘she’, and confirming what he had suspected all along. Angel was still head over heels in love with the little blond.
Angel stood abruptly, heading for the bathroom. As he stared in the mirror, he found himself obsessing about her again. He thought himself over her, somewhat, having proceeded to occupy himself with old familiar habits, but it only took the slightest scent of vanilla or the sight of a particular shade of blond hair and the memories would return, brilliant and provocative. What could he say to her, if he returned? Would she ever forgive him? Could he live with himself if he didn’t try to see her again, to make things right?
Finally reaching a decision, Angel splashed water on his face. He felt optimistic, maybe for the first time in months. Opening the door, he strode back into the room. “What time are we leaving then?”
Spike grinned. “Well, it’s about goddamn time.”
Buffy walked slowly up the street to the coffee shop for her usual Saturday shift. She had been working there for the past few months, saving money for college and hopefully a car. And, it fit right along with her plan to fill her every waking hour with activity so as not to think about Angel.
For the most part, her plan was working. Except at night, where she had no control. Sometimes he would appear in her dreams as a brief flash, a buried memory perhaps or a subtle wish for what might have been. Other dreams were real and vivid, detailed recollections of his touch, his smell, his taste. Buffy would wake from these dreams panting and aroused, stifling the urge to scream his name. It was after repeated nights of these dreams when she finally succumbed to the urge to masturbate. She could close her eyes and pretend he was there…
Buffy suppressed a smile, her cheeks warming in a slight blush. It had certainly helped her get through those first few painful months. And, while she certainly didn’t forget about him, the sheer number of activities she had committed herself to allowed the memories to stay tucked away.
She had just turned the corner when Riley stepped out of the bookstore in front of her. He smiled, always happy to see her. “Hi.”
“Hi.” Buffy returned his smile. She met him a few weeks ago when he and his friends came into the coffee shop. He had come back several times since, making small talk with her or just hanging out and reading.
When Riley didn’t reply, Buffy pointed past him to the coffee shop. “Sorry. Work. Gotta go.”
Riley watched her for a moment as she walked past, then turned and walked quickly to catch up. Blurting out his thoughts before he lost the nerve, he asked the question that had been on his mind. “Would you go out with me on Friday?”
Buffy looked up at Riley. He was cute, more than cute with his sandy hair and blue eyes, his tall muscular body. It wasn’t the instant attraction she had felt with- no, Buffy, not good, don’t even go there… but then again, maybe that was better. It would be… less risky. Still turning over the idea in her mind, Buffy noticed someone waving out of the corner of her eye. It was Jenny, on her way to Giles’s pub, which was just down the street.
Jenny often stopped in the coffee shop, but through mutual unspoken agreement, she and Buffy never talked about anything other than the most mundane topics; the weather, the latest clothing trends, current coffee flavors. In other words, anything other than the lead singer of the Dingoes.
Buffy waved back then took a deep breath. The sooner she got on with her life, the better, right? “Um. Ok. Sure. What time?”
Since the guys gave up their lease during the months of the tour, the first line of business after arriving in Sunnydale was finding a place to stay. Xander planned to stay with his aunt and uncle, at least for a few days; Oz was staying with his parents while Spike and Angel were crashing at Giles’s.
Angel, reinvigorated after two days of sobriety, set to work with anxious energy. He rented a house in an exclusive Sunnydale neighborhood that was, he noted with some satisfaction, near the college. He knew from Oz through Willow that Buffy had decided to attend UC Sunnydale in the fall, so the location was chosen with specific intent.
The house was a California Spanish style with three bedrooms, a large living room with a fireplace and a big window that looked out on to an undeveloped, grassy hillside. The bright sunny kitchen was newly remodeled and the hardwood floors throughout the house had been buffed to a rich amber shine. He had used every little bit of clout he possessed, not to mention the payment of a year’s rent in advance to close the deal within a day.
The only thing Angel wanted to change about the house was the master bedroom, which he repainted ‘latte’ tan, the exact shade of the room he and Buffy had shared at the Santa Monica Fairmont. That weekend was one of his happier memories – and he was hopefully optimistic that the recreation of the room would bring about many more. After a few calls to the hotel, he managed to locate a plantation style four-poster bed that was identical to the one at the hotel, along with a dresser and armoire. He had just been reviewing his work with a critical eye for detail when he heard a knock at the door followed by Giles’s voice.
Giles had brought over Chinese take-out, knowing that Angel had been moving and working around the house all day, so had probably forgotten to eat. Angel showed Giles around, then they made themselves comfortable on the living room floor to eat. Angel was barefoot and shirtless, having left his any additional clean clothes at Giles’s house in his haste to get started early this morning.
They talked for a while about the tour, Angel telling sufficiently edited tales of the guy’s exploits on the road. They moved on to the next steps for the band, including Wes’s plans for some dates overseas and a next album, and finally they talked about the house.
“Your mother was young, you know.” Giles hesitantly began, having an idea of what was motivating Angel even though the younger man hadn’t made any mention of his plans.
Angel looked at Giles curiously. They had talked about his parents at various times over the last 18 years of course, but this was something new.
“They met just after your father had started his second year at the architecture firm in Dublin. I was working in London at the time, doing some research for the Natural History museum.” Smiling at the memory, Giles glanced out the window.
Angel knew that even though his father and Giles had not been related by blood, they considered themselves brothers. They had attended boarding schools together since they were 8, followed by high school and then college. Common interests as well as inattentive parents brought them together. It had been his father’s wish that Giles raise Angel, even though Angel had relatives in Ireland that would have gladly taken him in.
“Let’s see. Oh yes. There was a Celtic music festival – your dad always loved music, you know – and she was there. The minute he saw those green eyes, Patrick talked of nothing else. She was beautiful, your mother. Young though. Only 16. And he was 26. Her parents, quite naturally, discouraged his interest. ”
“He would go to visit her or they would meet somewhere. Your aunt Elisabeth, a romantic at heart, was often an accomplice in helping Claire to meet your father. Well, it of course happened that one day Claire became pregnant. She must have been 17 by then.” Giles paused, taking another bite of chow mein.
“Patrick was overjoyed. Claire’s parents were not. They eloped, marrying in a small church in Scotland. It was a beautiful ceremony.”
Angel recalled seeing the few photographs of his parents wedding. The bright smiles despite the apparent overcast gray skies. It now made sense why his maternal grandparents were not in any of the pictures.
“When your mother miscarried a month later, they were devastated. But, they seemed to find strength together. It was five or so years later, of course, before you were born.” Giles sobered, remembering those days so many years ago. “I’m sure they wanted more children, but they were also adventurers. Traveling for various projects. Your father designed buildings all over the world, you know.”
Angel shifted uncomfortably on the hard floor. He remembered his parents as energetic and fun loving people. Always laughing, always playing games with him. Giles’s words were filling him with regret that they were taken from him so early.
“They were happy, your parents. And very much in love. In the twelve years that they were together, I never knew them to argue.” Realizing that he had become somewhat maudlin, Giles cleared his throat.
“Actually, where I was going with this when, uh, I started… Your father, well, he believed in love at first sight. The idea that each person has a soul mate. I always laughed, calling him a hopeless romantic and he always said I was much too logical. He always told me to stop thinking so much and follow my heart. That’d I’d be much happier if I did. For what it’s worth now, I think you might want to consider his advice…” Giles cleared his throat again, feeling somewhat emotional. Angel so looked like his father, too.
“Thank you. For telling me.” Angel glanced out the window and looked back at Giles. “And I think I might do just that. Let’s just hope it’s not too late.”
When Friday rolled around, Angel was finally ready to make his move. On the way to Buffy’s house, he picked up the bouquet of white lilies and red roses that he had ordered earlier in the week.
Joyce was surprised when she opened the door, not expecting to see Angel in town, much less at her doorstep. She frowned as she noticed the flowers in his hand, clearly a sign that he had changed his mind about his relationship with her daughter. Joyce informed him in icy terms that Buffy had gone to the Bronze before closing the door, practically in his face. Angel sighed. He knew this wasn’t going to be easy.
When he arrived at the Bronze, he hadn’t envisioned her on a date. Maybe with Willow or maybe some other girls, but not with another guy. And certainly not dancing.
Taking immediate offense, his jealousy never within reasonable bounds where Buffy was concerned, he had to force himself to respond civilly to the few fans that recognized him. Angel smiled politely, uttered a few courteous replies and signed several autographs before he was able to break away from the crowd.
He stood in a quiet corner and watched the unpleasant sight of his lover with another man, no, make that boy, smiling and laughing as her body moved seductively to the music. He was no longer in the mood to pursue her with romantic gestures and gentle words. Rather, he was seriously considering the much more primitive option of simply carrying her away.
Willow, who had just returned from the ladies room, spotted Angel immediately leaning against the wall, a disturbing look in his eyes as he stared at the dance floor. She glanced nervously toward Buffy, feeling a little uncomfortable now that she hadn’t told Buffy that the guys were back in town. She was curious though, why Angel was here. Oz hadn’t mentioned anything when she had talked with him earlier.
Willow didn’t have long to wonder about his motives, as Angel soon pushed away from the wall and made his way slowly out onto the dance floor where Buffy and Riley were still moving to the music.
The crowd parted easily for him even as the whispers began. He was a recognizable face in Sunnydale, even more so with the band’s recent popularity, but they would have moved aside for him regardless due to the intense expression on his face.
Buffy wasn’t aware of him until he was quite close behind her, Riley’s quizzical look alerting her to the fact more so than the gaping crowd. When she turned, the smile on her face fled abruptly.
“Buffy.” The music had not stopped, yet she heard him clearly. She was more beautiful than his memory, although she seemed slightly thinner now. The pale yellow dress she wore outlined her curves and emphasized the tan of her skin. Her hair was pulled up on her head, the length hidden.
“Angel.” Buffy thought her heart was going to stop beating, so unexpected was his appearance. He was just as she remembered – tall, dark and gorgeous, with an allure so potent she could feel the familiar ache stir in her body. No one had the power to affect her so easily.
Impulsively, Angel reached out and took Buffy’s hand. He wanted to talk to her away from the staring eyes, the pounding music, and most of all, away from the boy she was with. He turned and pulled her along behind him.
He’d only gone two steps when a hand clamped hard on Angel’s shoulder. “She may not want to go with you.”
“Ask her.” Angel jerked his shoulder free and turned back to face Riley, his stance combative.
“Riley, please. I’m just going to talk to Angel for a few minutes.” Buffy quickly intervened, sure that Angel was not beyond starting an all out brawl on the dance floor. When he started walking again, she wasn’t even sure why she followed him so easily.
“Then I’ll come.” Riley started to follow, unintimidated and feeling protective of Buffy.
Buffy plowed into Angel’s back as he stopped abruptly, hearing Riley’s words.
“Angel, no. Please. Not here.” Only because he could not refuse her, Angel backed up and slowly unclenched his jaw. Riley, in turn, lowered the fist that had been raised. The music had stopped now and the tension in the air was noticeable as everyone watched the two men face off.
“There’ s no need to go all mister macho guy here, Riley. Angel and I are just going to talk. We’re old, er, friends.” Buffy dismissed him and turned back to Angel. She wanted out of the attention that was now centered on them. Buffy was looking away and missed Angel’s smirk as he glanced back at Riley.
She had to quicken her pace to keep up with Angel’s long legged stride as he took her hand again and moved across the room toward the door. Neither of them said a word, anxious to get past the curious stares. Jerking away from him just outside the door, Buffy stopped.
“What do you want?” Her temper was up, her emotions high. How dare he walk back into her life now and drag her away. Buffy struggled into her jacket.
“You.” His answer was simple and direct. And it took her completely by surprise.
“You left me. Your choice, if I remember correctly.” Gathering her scattered thoughts, Buffy coolly replied.
“My mistake, you mean.” His words were soft, sincere.
Buffy wasn’t sure how to reply, her nerves on edge. Her heart was pounding and her thoughts were a chaotic jumble.
Angel sighed softly at her silence. “I want to show you something. Come with me?”
Buffy looked at him for a long moment, uncertain.
Buffy stared at his face, his expression so schoolboy innocent that she couldn’t resist. As if she had ever been able to refuse him… She sighed with resignation and followed Angel to his car.
Angel grinned in victory after he closed Buffy’s door on the jeep, feeling increasingly confident of willing a return of her affections. Hell, she didn’t even ask about Riley before they drove off – surely a positive sign.
They drove in silence to the house he rented, Angel leading Buffy inside after they arrived.
“You’ve got to be kidding me. You want to show me your bedroom?! What are you thinking?! That’d I just-just hop in bed with you like all the others, you arrogant asshole!” Buffy shrieked in anger as Angel grimaced. He sincerely hoped that the neighbors weren’t home, because surely they all would have heard her.
“No! Buffy. No. It’s not like that.” Angel grabbed her arm as she started to back out. “Please. Just hold on – I’ll explain.”
Buffy jerked away from him and crossed her arms over her chest. She looked at him angrily for a few minutes before she calmed and actually glanced at the room. She recognized it immediately. She was once again assailed by contradictory feelings, wanting to hate him but finding it increasingly hard to do now that he was here, close to her.
“I missed you. Every day.” His words were soft, close to her ear as he stood beside her.
Buffy closed her eyes against the rush of emotion that threatened to overwhelm her. “You left me.”
“A mistake. I want to make it up to you.”
“I don’t know if you can.” Her voice sounded small, as if it were coming from a distance. She couldn’t open her eyes, she couldn’t look at him.
“Let me try.”
Could she trust him?
“How do I know that you won’t change your mind next time you’re going on tour? Or next time my Mom says something else to scare you off?” Buffy finally opened her eyes and turned to face him, wondering if he’d admit to what she already knew.
“You knew about that?” Angel looked down somewhat sheepishly.
“Mom couldn’t resist bragging when she had one too many long island ice teas at dinner one night. It was too late though, you were long gone.” Buffy sighed and moved slowly into the room, stopping to run her hand along the carved post of the bed, tracing the pattern.
“It really hurt, you know. You made a decision about our future without me. Rather than talk to me, you simply let my Mom decide what was best for us.”
“It wasn’t just your Mom, Buffy. I thought I was doing the right thing for you. It wasn’t what I wanted by any stretch of the imagination.” Angel followed Buffy into the room, watching as she moved slowly around the bed to examine the armoire.
“And now? Are you saying you changed your mind?” Buffy looked at him from the mirror, her reflection serious.
“Yes. I missed you. More than I ever thought possible. And Giles. Well, he told me a story about my parents. Seems there might be a few parallels to my own life. And he passed along some advice from my father that I would be wise not to ignore.”
“Such as?” Buffy stood at the window now, looking out into the night.
“Such as love at first sight. Such as following my heart.”
Her heart constricted at his words. Had he really come for her? Once more she felt a flutter of nervous expectation. She turned to face him.
“But how can I trust you to not hurt me again, Angel? What if you decide later that what’ s right for me isn’t being with me? I wanted to die when you left…” Her words were a soft whisper, intense with emotion.
Angel walked toward her cautiously, as one would walk toward a skittish colt, afraid she might bolt. Her words were like a knife in his heart. He regretted hurting her. Reaching out, he slowly took her hand and caressed it before raising it to his lips.
“Sweetheart, I’m sorry I hurt you. If I could take it all back I would.” He inched closer, his other hand slowly coming to rest on her waist.
Buffy studied his face. He was as gorgeous as ever, she thought. Still. Always.
“I heard about- about Darla. About the girls on the tour.” She watched his face, wondering if he would deny it.
Angel shrugged dismissively and looked away, wishing he could make her understand how different sex was with anyone else. How little anyone else mattered.
“Angel?” It wasn’t enough. Buffy needed more clarification than a casual dismissal. She felt a sharp stabbing pain coupled with jealous anger at the thought of sharing him.
“I’m sorry, if that helps. Very sorry. I wish I could say something different.” Angel looked into her eyes, uncertain now and without arrogance.
After a long silence, Buffy placed her hands on his biceps. She squeezed and took a deep breath, wondering briefly if she was out of her mind.
“What happens when you leave again?” With him so close, she was dangerously close to simply throwing caution to the wind and ignoring any doubts still lingering in her mind. But she warned herself to be sensible. She needed to think with her head instead of her heart.
“I’ll come back for you, always. Or I’ll pack you up and take you with me. I bet you’ll even fit as carry on.” He smiled slightly, his eyes dancing with amusement. Her words gave him hope.
“That’s not what I meant.”
His gaze moved slowly over her face taking in each feature. She was undeniably beautiful, but it wasn’t just her beauty that moved him. He needed her. Without her, the future seemed less bright, less interesting.
“I know how to say no.” His voice was a low murmur, his face serious. He knew what reassurance she was looking for.
She studied him, searching for any sign that would give lie to his words. She inhaled deeply.
“If you fuck around, I’ll kill you. Well, maybe not kill you but at least rip off your-”
Angel effectively stopped her words with a searing kiss. His arms slid around her to pull her hard against him, crushing her body into his. Gradually he reigned in his impatience and his kisses changed to slow, deep seductive ones that lured and enticed as she melted against him.
Lifting his head, he looked down at her face. Her eyes were half closed, her lips moist and parted. Unwarranted jealousy flared at the thought of anyone else seeing Buffy like this. “I’ll expect the same from you.”
“I know how to say no too.” Her body a contradiction to her words, her hips now moving in a slow, gliding rotation against him.
“And when would that be?” His hands slipped around to her bottom and he massaged the firm flesh. He had no way of knowing that Buffy’s response to him was unique.
“Maybe I happen to find *you* irresistible. Want me to change that? Should I start saying no now?” She smiled as her hands slid up to his neck, her fingertips teasing the short hairs on his nape.
“No. Never. Not at all. And not to me.” Kissing her again, his tongue licking her bottom lip before sliding inside to explore her mouth. Lifting her in his arms, he moved toward the bed.
“You were careful right? No babies or diseases?” Buffy yanked at his shirt, tearing the buttons as she pushed it back over his shoulders.
Angel stopped short, her blunt words giving him momentary pause. “Yes. Always.” And he had been, his own sense of self-preservation strong. Besides, to his credit Wes was meticulous about keeping the band healthy. He insisted on routine physicals, which included the occasional blood test and rather embarrassing personal exam that ensured that no one picked up anything ‘undesirable’. When Spike complained, Wesley simply showed him the contract that he had signed, agreeing to such measures.
However, a new and unwelcome thought crossed Angel’s mind. “You?” The word came out churlish, brusque.
Buffy glanced at his face. “Yes, I was careful.” Her smile was teasing, playful, but she felt a small degree of revenge at the ambiguous statement.
“Buffy…” His voice was a growl, the idea that Buffy might have been with someone else igniting his temper. It was irrational, he knew, given his own behavior, but then he had never felt anything near reasonable when Buffy was concerned.
“Remind me to introduce you to my friend, mister pink vibrator. He was quite, um, shall we say, friendly while you were gone.” Even as she said the words, Buffy blushed.
“Hmmm…” Angel grinned, sat Buffy on the edge of the bed and pulled off her shoes. “Definitely introduce me. I’d love for you to show me how he ‘entertained’ you…” Angel, already hard, was near bursting at the thought of Buffy with a vibrator. Easily he tossed her further up on the bed as she giggled.
Buffy pulled off her jacket and yanked her dress over her head as Angel stared down at her with an expression that could only be described as hungry. Spreading her legs, she displayed herself for his view. He kicked off his shoes and unbuttoned his pants, slipping them off before crawling predatorily up the bed toward her, clad only in black boxers.
Buffy unhooked her bra and flung it off the bed. Holding her legs together and raising them in the air, she slid her panties off and tossed them at him. Catching them, he inhaled her fragrance, a familiar scent of vanilla and musk that he adored.
Her hands slid down his ribs as he moved over her, then impatiently she gripped his boxers and tugged them down. “I can’t wait… It’s been too long…” He had left them on, thinking that they would help to slow the pace, but at her impassioned plea all his thoughts of prolonging their reunion flew out the window.
Without any additional preliminaries, he slid inside her. His eyes closed as feelings of belonging, contentment assailed him. He had her back. She was his.
Buffy clung to him as he moved, hot desire coursing through her veins. How did she ever think she could live without him?
Angel moved his hands to her bottom, guiding her to meet each thrust.
“Love… you.” She was seconds from climax, the words coming out in a gasping breath, as her thoughts were no longer based on anything remotely resembling reality. Moments later she felt it, the explosive ecstasy, the passionate delirium of orgasm. It had been too long…
He felt the same wild rush of pleasure, the intemperate need. His fingers bit into her hips as he moved harder, pushing them both forward, moving higher on the bed. It was ravishment, fierce and obsessive and completely out of his control. He surged forward, the throbbing release of his orgasm pouring into her. Panting heavily, he collapsed against her.
Blissful and satiated, her senses pleasantly numb as she floated in his arms, Buffy sighed. This was heaven… Suddenly her eyes opened with a snap. “Oh god. Riley.”
“Not flattering, sweetheart.” Angel murmured, holding her close as he rolled over taking her with him. She sprawled across his body, half on top of him.
Angel kissed the top of her head, his eyes still closed. He was content for the moment.
“No, I forgot completely about him. I said I would be back…” Buffy lightly socked his chest as she glanced toward the clock. She groaned.
Angel opened his eyes, his erection stirring restlessly at her subtle movements. His gaze traveling slowly from her face to her chest, where it stopped, arrested by the sight of her pink nipples. Rolling her once again on her back, his lips on her upper chest, he murmured. “He’ll have to wait…” When his lips latched on to her nipple, Buffy whimpered. “I’m obsessed with you. And I have months to make up for…”
It seemed that he was not content for long, his body and soul starved for her from the months of deprivation. He craved her taste, her touch, her smell, but she wanted him with equal fervor. They made love that night with reckless abandon, at time tender and playful, other times with desperate need and finally with a soul-stirring intensity that left them breathless.
When the sun was just beginning to peek over the horizon, they drowsed languorously in each other’s arms.
“I was thinking, maybe you could move in here with me. After you graduate of course.” His hand was slowly tracing circles on her back.
“Um.” Buffy only murmured unintelligibly against his chest. “Talk later. Sleep now.”
“I love you, Buffy.” His words were soft, but she heard them and smiled against his chest. It would all work out, somehow. They’d make it.
Six months later Buffy did move in with Angel, although he was unaware of it at the time because he was away on tour. She had tired of her mother’s drinking and constant complaining, and when Ethan had moved in the house just seemed too crowded.
When he was away, Angel called often and sent postcards from every city. When she could join him, he sent her tickets. And when she couldn’t, he came home even if it was just for a day or two. They made sure they were never apart for longer than a month at a time.
When they married three years later, Buffy was 6 weeks pregnant with their first child. When Patrick was born, Joyce visited and they finally mended their relationship.
The Dingoes continued rise in popularity also subjected them to additional media attention and scrutiny. Buffy had groaned unhappily when Willow arrived at their house with the latest gossip magazine. They had published pictures obviously taken by peeking paparazzi of Angel kissing his very pregnant and bikini-clad wife during a vacation in the Bahamas while Patrick played near by. The caption was rude, wondering how Buffy could attract such amorous attention from her “hunky” husband even while so obviously pregnant.
“What? You look good.” Angel looked over her shoulder, smiling and unconcerned, before sliding his arms around her. Resting his hands on the enormous mound of her stomach, he nuzzled her ear. She laughed when he whispered something suggestive and drew his head down for a kiss. Which, of course, led Willow to tease them further. A month later Buffy gave birth to twins, Brandon and Connor.
Buffy didn’t get the girl she wanted until four years later when Chelsea was born, six weeks early. Angel had abruptly left the MTV music awards show when he received the call that his wife was in labor, but even with his haste he didn’t make it in time for the delivery. He was teasing and apologetic to Buffy as he held his newborn daughter, before tenderly chastising her for not waiting for his arrival.
They bought and remodeled a house in LA, a sprawling estate with plenty of room for the children and a studio on the premises for the band. Angel did buy the house in Sunnydale where he and Buffy first lived. They stay there when they visit Giles or friends, as the house holds many happy memories for them.
The Dingoes stayed together, despite the difficulties over the years, and enjoyed considerable success.
Xander struggled with drug and alcohol addiction before finally seeking help. After two stints in rehab he finally managed to stay clean and sober. A few years later her married a former Playboy Playmate, Anya. They settled in Pacific Palisades with their 2 children.
Oz never married, although he dates often. He donates time with several charitable organizations around the world, and often travels as a peace ambassador when the band is on break. He has a house in Sunnydale, but loves his somewhat nomadic existence.
Spike started his own record label and is often the man behind many of the new popular acts that are breaking on to the music scene. He and Druscilla married and divorced, but now share joint custody of their son, Sean. Spike prefers his homes in New York and London, but still spends considerable time in LA, usually staying with Angel and Buffy.
Willow got her Ph.D. and became a professor at Stanford. She and Buffy are still close, getting together every six months for a girl’s weekend in Big Sur, Carmel or Catalina. Tara, Willow’s partner of three years, recently opened a bed and breakfast in Santa Cruz.
Giles and Jenny eventually married, and he still runs his pub in Sunnydale. Each year he considers retiring but doesn’t. They adore the children, spending time with Buffy and Angel’s kids as often as possible.
Darla’s lavish spending combined with a corrupt accountant left her broke after only a few years. Unable to find the man that made off with most of her money, Darla was forced to sell her expensive home and sell off most of her assets to pay her debts. She still lives in Sunnydale, and has worked her way up from a greeter at Wal-mart to shift supervisor.
Oh, and Cordelia? She left Sunnydale in hopes of becoming an actress or model. After several unsuccessful auditions, she turned to the adult entertainment industry. Her twelve movies have been enormously popular, and she has been the winner of the Adult Video Film starlet of the year award for the last two consecutive years…