Secrets & Lies, Part VII

Author’s Notes: Future-ish fic.

Thanks to everyone for hanging in with me on this one. There’s still quite a bit more to come, so buckle in for the ride please.

Oh, and a smut warning. You can’t take Angelus out to play without, well, getting a little carried away.  I promise, plot will resume shortly.

Rating: Adult; explicit sex

Disclaimer: Own nothing. All belongs to Joss, ME, Fox, et.al.

Pairing: Ultimately B/A. Has C/A and mentions of B/S.

Distribution: My site, EverySixSeconds; sites currently with permission to host my fics; all others please ask.

Originally Posted: Mar 4, 2003

Angelus glanced down at Buffy as she searched her bag for her keys to the front door. Neither of them had spoken on the ten-minute walk back to her condo, Angelus moody and restive, Buffy pleasantly sated and happily content with her earlier decision to indulge in a little sexual gratification.

As they stood on her porch the quiet of the night surrounded them, the hum of crickets chirping broken only by the sound of a dog barking nearby. A kind of palpable tension hung in the air as Angelus struggled with his conflicting urges. How often had she done this before? And with who?

Buffy glanced up at him, taking in the shuttered, churlish expression, the dark, angry eyes and rigid posture. “You don’t have to do this, you know. But I’m not going to let you run amok in Sunnydale, Angelus.”

“Do what Buff?”  His brow lifted fractionally. He stepped forward, pinning her easily against the door with the heavy weight of his body. He nuzzled her hair as he leaned into her, the rigid length of his arousal hard against her stomach. No matter his sense of mental or emotional discord, he wanted her. That was never in doubt. “Fuck you again?”

She glanced up at his face with a gaze could only be described as wicked. Her lips curved into a small smile as she writhed almost imperceptibly against him, reveling in the weight of his hard body pressed to hers. Her small pink tongue darted out to wet her lips as her eyes drifted from his intense stare to his lips. “Yes.” She answered him in a husky whisper, tilting her head back as her eyes closed in anticipation of his kiss.

Angelus needed no further invitation. He rested his palms on the door one on either side of her head, leaning down to press his lips to hers in a hard, punishing kiss. Her insouciance stirred his anger, his need for possessive ownership.

Buffy’s hand snaked up his chest to the back of his head, clutching the nape of his neck and pulling him closer as her mouth opened to his probing assault. She moaned softly into his mouth as he deepened the kiss.

“Er-ah-hem.”

Angelus lifted his head and whirled around with a scowl at the soft sound of coughing behind him. The sight that greeted him was so completed unexpected that he blinked twice in surprise. A small ram-rod straight elderly woman with lively blue eyes wearing a fuzzy pink robe decorated with cats and matching furry slippers stood just a few feet away from them, clutching her robe together with one hand and a heavy cast-iron skillet in the other. Her soft gray curls bobbed as she trembled slightly, either in fear or from the exertion of simply holding up the heavy pan.

Buffy perched on her toes and peeked over Angelus’s shoulder curiously. Her eyes widened in surprise to see her neighbor out and about at this time of night.  She blushed slightly, a little embarrassed to have been caught kissing on her front step like a randy teenager.  “Hi Betty.”

“Buffy.” Betty glanced warily at Angelus, leery of the tall glowering stranger possibly accosting the tiny and darling girl that lived next door. “Are you okay sweetie?” She asked bluntly, albeit with a tiny quaver of fear in her voice. Her stance was still slightly challenging, her arm cocked as if she were prepared to swing her iron weapon of choice at any moment.

Buffy saw the black scowl on Angelus’s face and plunged a small fist into his ribs. He grunted and turned the scowl on her. Without looking at his face, she smiled over his shoulder at the elderly woman who had thought to come to her rescue with a skillet.

“I’m fine.” Buffy replied apologetically, wondering now if Betty had seen more of her comings and goings late at night than she’d previously thought. “I’m sorry. I hope we didn’t wake you.”

“No, honey, you didn’t. It was the Yaeger’s damn puppy again.” Betty’s eyes shifted back to Angelus, surveying him now with a casual interest that belied her years. Slowly her arm holding the heavy pan lowered. “He’s been barking for hours now. Guess they must be out again.”

“Oh.”  Noting Betty’s interest in her companion, Buffy mentally chastised herself for her lack of manners. “Betty, this is Angel.” Glancing up at his face, her brows lifting slightly in challenge as she emphasized the last syllable of his name, Buffy continued, “Angel, this is Betty, my neighbor.”

Angelus glanced down at Buffy with mild admonition. She’d owe him for this. He would make sure that she say *his* name properly – several times, loudly and soon. Buffy’s elbow jabbed him in the ribs, disrupting the turn of his thoughts and prompting him to speak.

“Hello. Nice to meet you.” Angelus smoothly replied, shifting his attention back to Buffy’s neighbor as he reached for the woman’s hand, kissing the back of it lightly and smiling his most charming smile at her.

At Buffy’s introduction and obvious familiarity with the tall and rather good-looking stranger, Betty’s wariness gradually began to be replaced with mild appreciation, her lips curving slightly into a coquettish smile and her eyes gleaming sportively.

Buffy suppressed a chuckle at Betty’s expression. No doubt Angel, er, Angelus was rather used to the rather obvious and interested reactions he received from women – of all ages – for his stunning good looks and obvious sexual magnetism. Betty was clearly not immune to the charm that he exuded so easily.

“Yes, well, it’s about time I meet the man that’s been sending little Miss Buffy here all those beautiful flowers.” Betty replied with a smile and a wink. “Course I can see now why she might want to keep you all to herself.”

“You caught me.” Angelus grinned teasingly, reaching for Buffy’s hand and squeezing it before raising it to his lips. “Took me weeks and dozens of flowers before she’d even talk to me.”

Buffy glanced sideways at him – his eyes meeting hers roguishly for a fleeting second.  The grip on her fingers tightened when she tugged so she relented rather than make a scene. She shrugged slightly and smiled modestly at Betty, as if she were somewhat embarrassed by his elaborate recitation.

“Uh-huh.” Betty skeptically replied, arching one eyebrow in appraisal as her eyes swept up and down his tall form again. “I’ll just bet.”

“Course had I known there was such a beauty as yourself in the neighborhood.”

Buffy rolled her eyes slightly at Angelus’s flirty banter with Betty, extracted her hand from his grip and resumed her search for the condo key. She only half listened to their conversation, surprised that Angelus hadn’t simply dismissed the woman with a cruel retort.

Finally finding the key at the bottom of her bag, buried under a jumble of stakes and a couple of small bottles of holy water, Buffy looked up at her neighbor, now smiling like a star-struck schoolgirl. With a small smile, Buffy interrupted “Well, Betty, don’t let us keep you.” And then turned to insert the key into the lock.

“Oh dear.” Betty murmured as the iron skillet she held in her hand clattered loudly to the ground.

Casting a directive out of the corner of her eye at Angelus to help the elderly woman out, Buffy jiggled the stuck key in the lock. Murmuring a small curse under his breath, Angelus stepped forward and bent over to pick up the pan. When he felt the firm pat followed by a slight cupping grip on his behind, he was completely taken off guard. His head jerked up and he spun around to stare at the perpetrator, bumping into Buffy who stood behind him, nearly knocking her into the door.

Betty only giggled and reached her hand out for the pan. Her eyes dropped to his crotch then drifted back to his face. Her smiled deepened. The hand clutching her robe together dropped, and the material gaped open to reveal a silky thin nightgown beneath.

“Angelus, watch out.” Buffy said irritably as she stumbled, casting him a quick look out of the corner of her eye before returning her attention to the key and door lock. She was completely unaware of the double entendre of her warning.

With a leer and a smile, Betty leaned forward and brushed his hand with her now free one. Her robe gaped open more giving him an unobstructed view of her rounded and slightly sagging breasts. He attempted to step back but he was trapped between Buffy and the now advancing elderly woman, her eyes raking him suggestively as her hand reached for his.

Buffy looked up at in puzzlement at Angelus as he quickly stepped around her and knocked her hands away from the door lock. In one rapid move, he got the stubborn key to turn and pushed open the door.  Her brow furrowed even more so as she noted the startled look on his face.  She cast a quick look at Betty only to see the woman standing demurely nearby, her hand once more clutching her robe together, a slight smile on her face. She glanced back at Angelus and shook her head slightly.

“Well, good night Betty.” Buffy said over her shoulder, picking up her bag from where she had sat it next to her feet. She pushed open the door further and flicked on the light switch.

Angelus nodded once hesitantly, somewhat indignant that the little gray haired woman had just dared to pat his butt. It was unthinkable. He could only stare back at her in astonishment.

“Night dear. Night Angel. Very nice to meet you.” Betty winked lustily at Angelus as she turned back in the direction of her own condo. With an almost envious sigh she concluded. “Have fun.”

“It’s a little unusual to see Betty out this late.” Buffy commented as she dropped her bag just inside the door and then peeled off her coat. She closed the door firmly behind them, twisting the lock.

“To say the least.” Angelus muttered, still somewhat disconcerted by the overt advances of the elderly lady. Of course, it’s not as if he hadn’t been propositioned plenty of times before…

Buffy shifted her attention to her guest, smiling playfully at Angelus as she reached up and pushed his coat down his arms. He helped her ease it off and then tossed it casually on the couch before turning back to face her, dismissing disturbing visions of her neighbor from his mind.

After a brief pause, Buffy took both his hands in hers and began walking backward, leading him down the hall. When they reached her bedroom, she released one of his hands for just a second while she turned on the small lamp, then she tugged him into the center of the room.  She reached for the hem on his shirt, a mischievous grin on her face as she noticed his hesitation. “Don’t worry, I won’t hurt you.” She promised impudently, her tone lowering suggestively as she added, “much.”

Angelus stood completely still while she tugged the sweater over his head, the depths of his eyes flickering furiously with golden highlights as ungovernable territorial prerogatives regarding her availability and behavior surged with renewed force. Her casual demeanor bothered him, yet her confident assertiveness was something he had never before experienced; it was propelling his lust to dangerous heights.

She tossed his sweater aside and turned her attention to the smooth, muscular expanse of his chest, her hand stroking the contours languorously with long lingering strokes as she explored him with her eyes, reacquainting herself with his body.

Her scent surrounded him, the rich vanilla combined with her own subtle aroma of desire reminding him powerfully of days past. Watching her move as she reached for his belt buckle, her hands confident and skilled, only enhanced his discomfort level. Angelus was beginning to understand covetousness for the first time in his long life with an intractable sense of unease. The scowl of his face deepened.

Glancing up at his face, Buffy paused in her task of undressing him. She studied his face thoughtfully before brushing his bottom lip with her fingertips.  “Don’t sulk, lover.” She smiled up at him flirtatiously, her eyes touched with a capricious audacity. “I promise to make this worth your while.”

“I have no doubt of that, lover.” Angelus replied softly, his eyes trained on her face as he repeated her endearment with added emphasis. His tone was amused; his eyes were not. His hand seized her wrist, arresting the slow glide of her fingers across the bulge of his erection.

“Then just what is your problem?” At the undisguised anger in his eyes, Buffy once again returned her eyes to his. She wasn’t sure if the look in his eye was anger or passion or something all together different. Was he simply playing games for his own amusement or was he truly enraged?  The thought of either provoked a subtle rise of heat within her body, the possible salacious consequence sending a shiver along her spine.

Complex and incomprehensible reason assailed him. She was too self-reliant and too direct – neither trait particularly one with which he took issue, except that his masculine and chauvinistic impulses preferred her deference to him. It was an unaccustomed assertion of ownership from both man and demon that had previously viewed women as casual amusements. That is, until and except for, Buffy.

It was the idiot soul’s fault that things had turned out this way; he had been the one to leave her, couching his own indolent cowardice in noble sentiments about doing what was best for her when it fact it was largely about doing what was easiest for him. But he could – no would – correct that mistake and he would reclaim his mate. But first. first he would take advantage of what she was so willing to offer him.

“There’s no problem Buff.” He whispered silkily, releasing her hand. In the next instant he forced her hand back to his arousal, cupping it around him and showing her how he wanted her to touch him. “On the contrary… I think I like your new attitude.”

“You do, do you?” Her eyelids dropped halfway as the sweet ache of want began pulsing deep inside her. She’d missed this, missed the pure sensual pleasure that could be found in his arms so very much.

“Oh, definitely.” He quietly murmured as he reached beneath the soft cotton of her top to stroke the swelling rise of one silken breast. “A hot little cunt ready and willing to be fucked – what’s not to like?”  The feel of her skin was like the softest rose petal, velvety and fine. The thin cotton of her top was no obstacle to the cool sensation of his touch.

The crude word only added to the spiking thrill of lust licking through her veins. Buffy opened her mouth to reply but then his fingertips brushed across her nipple through her shirt and the words stuck in her throat. With slow, deliberate fingers he rubbed each peaking crest through her shirt and the lacy fabric of her bra into a rigid, aching hardness.

When his hand dropped away, satisfied for the moment with the telltale response of her body, Buffy stretched up on her toes to nibble at his lips, rubbing against him suggestively like a cat in heat.  “I want you…” She murmured huskily, arching into him fully as her tongue traced an enticing pattern along his jaw to his ear. “…inside me.”

“I know…” Angelus murmured, his palms gliding up her back. How small she felt under his hands, how fragile and delicate. He could feel the growing heat of her body; smell the sweet scent of her arousal. “I know what you want.” He paused, his hands sweeping down her back to her hips to adjust her against him again. “I know what you like.”

Some of what I like.” Buffy breathed seductively against his lips as he lowered his head to kiss her.

Angelus’s eyes flared angrily, his mercurial temper ignited once more. He was perturbed by her brazen authority and resentful of her amorous past; wanting no reminders of past pleasures given and received by her with anyone else. Towering over her, a fiery passion of discord still burning in his eyes, he yanked her against him with such force that he felt her flinch. “Damn you.” He murmured against her lips, his hands gripping her hips hard, his body straining against hers.

Buffy moaned softly as her hands reached up to cling to his shoulders. Driven by burning desire, she could no more control their ascent than she could stop the rising tide of passion that was swelling within her. Her luminescent green eyes opened briefly to meet his, their radiant depths hot with longing, before they closed and her lips found his in a hungry kiss.

It was a brutal kiss, impelled by lust, anger, frustration and a misguided sense of betrayal. Short of the actual act of marking her as his with his bite, he was intent on staking his claim on her in no uncertain terms.

Buffy broke off the kiss after a long moment, gasping for air. She could still feel the swaying aggression of Angelus’s need pressed against her belly as he pressed against her, his hands roving restlessly over her hips and back.

With effort, she pushed out of his arms and stepped back. Her eyes were half-closed, her breathing hushed as she reached for the hem of her shirt and, just as she had done earlier, she pulled her top over her head. Reaching behind her, she unhooked the clasp in her bra and dropped it next to her shirt on the floor. Deliberately, she made eye contact with him as she reached down with torturous slowness and cupped the mounds of her breasts in her hands. Her nipples were still rigid from his earlier attentions and her desire for him, the pink tips now tingling with want. She could almost feel the cool, sucking pressure of his mouth. Her eyes closed as her fingers rubbed the peaked crests firmly.

Angelus watched her with dark eyes, a feral expression on his face when she turned her attention back to him and finished undressing, kicking off her sandals quickly and stripping the low-waist jeans and thong panties down her legs and off. Gracefully she walked over to the bed, bending slightly to strip the comforter back. Watching her, her moves graceful, feline and sensuous, provoked both his desire and his earlier unresolved anger. He flexed his fingers as he took in the deliberately provoking position; the satiny curve of her bottom, the curve of her hip and thigh and the teasing glimpse of the feminine portal between her legs.

She turned and stretched in a slow luxurious movement, artfully displaying the luscious ripe mounds of her breasts before she sat down on the bed. Her thighs parted provocatively as she leaned back on her elbows. Her eyes drifted over him lazily, boldly assessing as she waited for him to make the next move.

Buffy watched him for several long moments. There was no mistaking the tension in his body. She felt it, but she also felt the smoldering fire between them, the undeniable attraction, the irrepressible need.

“Look, I’ve never brought any one here before.” She soothed as she removed the fabric band from her hair, releasing the golden tresses as if it were an after thought. She wasn’t sure why she wanted him to know or why it should matter, but for some unforeseen reason it just did. She smiled up at him. “Is that the right answer?”

How many times had she cajoled a man into better humor? Angelus wondered, still watching her with a menacing expression. How many times had she smiled like that in bed? How many men had seen her in such lush disarray – her hair tousled on her shoulders, her cheeks flushed from passion, her lips swollen from kisses, her thighs spread in open carnal invitation?

He stared at her for long seconds, his expression unreadable. Did he believe her?

“Are you thinking of joining me?” She questioned softly, watching the muscle clench in his jaw. Oh yes, the fire was there. She just needed a little more of an igniter. Bending her knees, she lifted her legs and propped her feet on the bed, then slowly parted her thighs wider blatantly exposing herself to his gaze. Her voice dropped to a husky whisper, “or beating me?”

For the space of five tautly silent seconds he stood there taking in the provocative invitation she so beautifully offered, all dewy wet and hotly eager. A muscle in his cheek twitched.

“Mm… now there’s an idea.” Angelus finally growled in response, his hand removing his belt with deliberate slowness.

“Ummmm.” Buffy purred as she rolled on to her stomach. “You look devilishly wicked when you say that.” Rising to her knees, she looked back at him over her shoulder her eyes alive with passion, the rounded globes of her behind tantalizingly displayed for his view. “Will I like it?”

“I can say with a fair degree of confidence.” Angelus stalked forward, kicking his shoes off and shoving his pants down his legs. “That you will.”

When he reached her, lust exploded in his brain – pure, unadulterated and coursing through him in a wild flood.  He dropped the belt to the floor, changing his mind about that particular diversion – for now. He flipped her on to her back in one smooth motion, his lips finding hers with frantic urgency. In another two seconds, he guided his erection to the hot, wet heat between her legs and in one second more was buried deep inside her.

Buffy welcomed him with a wildness of her own, her strong arms clawing at him to draw him closer as he lunged forward.

Now that he was where he wanted most to be, Angleus stopped and fought for control of his raging lust. He pulled back slightly and gazed down at her, his dark eyes boring in to hers, bold and shameless. His hands captured hers and pressed them firmly into mattress on either side of her head.

“Now then, my sweet little bitch,” Angelus nipped at her shoulder as he slowly withdrew only to thrust forward again with determination. He wanted her to assuage the chafing frustration, the jealous anger. And he wanted to know that she wanted him more than she wanted anyone else. “Ask me nicely to fuck you.”

“Damn it, Angelus.” Buffy attempted to move beneath him, but the solid weight of his body held her pinned to the bed.

“Or perhaps I should stop.” He threatened in a low husky whisper near her ear, his tongue tracing the delicate shell before he planted several nipping kisses along her neck.

She writhed beneath him slightly but only succeeding in driving him deeper.  Her eyes closed in sublime satisfaction even as the frustration of his controlled movement built.

“Don’t be obstinate, lover. Tell me.” Angelus murmured as he moved again, thrusting into her so solidly, so deeply that she gasped. He moved again and she mewled softly, the molten rapture streaking through her senses. He held her immobile, subject to his whim.

Silence engulfed them, a hushed quiet rebellious with suppressed, feverish need.

“Angel-us.” Buffy finally murmured in protest as he shifted slightly, ensuring that he connected directly with the sensitive nub of pleasure at the top of her mound. She arched against him as the spikes of pleasure jolted her, pressing the hard peaks of her nipples against the cool wall of his chest.  Angelus moved again and a flare of indescribable rapture flooded her senses.

“Say it, lover.” Angelus whispered against her neck, his tongue laving the frantic beating of her pulse. “It’s not so … difficult.”

“Please.” The whisper was soft, barely audible but his preternatural hearing picked it up easily. He smiled and nuzzled her cheek.

“Please. Angelus. Now.” The additional breathy cry was capitulation enough, and he drove into her again as a wild rapacious jolt surged through his body at the sound of such unrestrained passion.

He knew exactly how to touch her, how deep, how slow, how hard. She was so naturally responsive to him. he still knew precisely how to make her lose control – so he did.

Her high keening cry had only just subsided when he began to move again. He kept her pinned beneath him like a sacrifice to carnal pleasure as he moved with hard, deliberate strokes. In some part of his tumultuous brain, he selfishly wondered whether he could keep her permanently captive for his pleasure as if forgetting that he himself had only a temporary existence before the soul would once again be in control.

Buffy undulated her hips to lure him more deeply as he murmured seductive words in her ear, his voice deep and velvety, promising her unimaginable pleasures and fulfillment of her darker desires. When he again felt the tightening of her wet heated channel and the next luscious flood of her climax, he increased his pace and thrust harder.

After the pulsing convulsions subsided, he withdrew from her and slid down in the bed. Buffy parted her legs invitingly and he shot her a wicked grin. She was even more luscious and responsive than he remembered, and he eagerly reacquainted himself with the perfection of her tiny body. Buffy sighed and mewled softly as his tongue drifted over her wet slit, exploring her gently before he delved in with insatiable hunger. He brought her to climax several intense times with his mouth and fingers before she finally pulled away, panting heavily and pleading for him to stop. She felt over-stimulated, every nerve alive and throbbing to the rapid pulse of her heart.

He ignored her protests as he positioned her beneath him again, his hands cupping her breasts and tugging at her nipples as he guided his erect shaft once more into her soaked heat.

He rocked against her as she keened his name, delighting in the sound of the long suppressed sound coming from her panting and parted lips. She arched into him hungrily, the rapid torrent of delirium threatening her sanity as he pushed her toward yet another orgasmic peak. He kissed her, as if responding to the sound of his name, wanting more from her.

They mated as if they were out to obliterate each other, each consumed by ravenous passion and greedy lust. First he was on top, then she was, as they moved from position to heated position. It was erotic, wild and unrestrained. With increasing urgency he moved, his long delayed climax rapidly approaching.

“Mèin. He whispered against her neck, laving the spot roughly where his mark should have been before sucking the flesh through his teeth. The urge to bite, to mark her again as his was strong but he resisted in deference to her constraint. When the impulse reached the point where it was no longer tolerable, he satisfied his urge by biting down with blunted teeth and sucking hard, leaving a faint purple bruise behind. “Gráim thú.”

Buffy felt as if the top of her head lifted off as she plunged toward the inevitable explosive ecstasy. Her hands gripped his hair, pulling his head down to hers for a greedy kiss. At the very peak of sensation, when he felt the shuddering convulsions within her body begin again, Angelus slammed into her with two hard thrusts that brought them to the cataclysmic height together. They lay together, his face buried in her hair and Buffy panting heavily beneath him for long minutes.  When he could finally think again, Angelus rolled, taking her with him so as not to crush her with his weight.

“Gra im oo?” Buffy murmured softly after several long minutes had passed, artlessly mispronouncing the words he had whispered to her earlier. She lay sprawled across his chest, sated and drowsy. Her warmth breath sent little ripples of pleasure across his skin, stirring him from pleasant contentment of the moment. “What does that mean?”

Angelus’s hand stopped the lazy stroking of her back and his eyes opened in surprise. Although the words were only half-formed he recognized the phrase “I love you.” He hadn’t realized that he’d said it.  He adjusted her slightly and his hand resumed the gentle feather light caresses. He shrugged, “It’s just sex talk, Buff.”

She wasn’t looking at his eyes, only felt his dismissive shrug as she lay on his chest. “Mm… But what does it mean?” Her fingertips trailed over ribs. He could feel the delicate sweep of her eyelashes on his chest as she blinked. Even that small touch was seemingly erotic with her.

“It doesn’t really translate well.” He replied evasively, chagrined to think that he’d confessed his love to her. He didn’t love her. Obsessed with her? Yes. Desire her? Oh, yes. Want her for his mate? Hell, yes. But love?  Demons didn’t *love*. And most certainly notorious vampires did not love Slayers … Did they?

“I’ve just never heard you talk like that before, you know in that language.” She lifted her head to look at his face, disrupting his vacillating thoughts. “I like how it sounds.”

“Gaelic?” She looked deliciously tousled and he was motivated by a restless, urgent passion, desperately wanting more of her. Subconsciously perhaps, he knew that his time was limited. Rolling her on her back, he murmured against her lips. Love, huh?  “Hmm… how’s this then … póg mé, mhuirnín?”

“What does that mean?” Her lips curved into a smile as she wrapped her arms around him and returned his kiss.

“Kiss me,” He murmured softly against her lips. “sweetheart.” Maybe this love thing wasn’t so bad after all.

She lifted her head slightly to find his lips again, her kiss passionate and hungry. It was the last word either of them said before their thoughts deserted them for more earthy pleasures.

A long while later, as he drifted off to sleep with her in his arms, Angelus thought that perhaps whatever magic she had used to break the bond must surely have broken. With a small smile, he congratulated himself for a job well done. Soul boy will have a few things to thank him for tomorrow.

Angelus glanced down at Buffy as she searched her bag for her keys to the front door. Neither of them had spoken on the ten-minute walk back to her condo, Angelus moody and restive, Buffy pleasantly sated and happily content with her earlier decision to indulge in a little sexual gratification.

As they stood on her porch the quiet of the night surrounded them, the hum of crickets chirping broken only by the sound of a dog barking nearby. A kind of palpable tension hung in the air as Angelus struggled with his conflicting urges. How often had she done this before? And with who?

Buffy glanced up at him, taking in the shuttered, churlish expression, the dark, angry eyes and rigid posture. “You don’t have to do this, you know. But I’m not going to let you run amok in Sunnydale, *Angelus*.”

“Do what Buff?”  His brow lifted fractionally. He stepped forward, pinning her easily against the door with the heavy weight of his body. He nuzzled her hair as he leaned into her, the rigid length of his arousal hard against her stomach. No matter his sense of mental or emotional discord, he wanted her. That was never in doubt. “Fuck you again?”

She glanced up at his face with a gaze could only be described as wicked. Her lips curved into a small smile as she writhed almost imperceptibly against him, reveling in the weight of his hard body pressed to hers. Her small pink tongue darted out to wet her lips as her eyes drifted from his intense stare to his lips. “Yes.” She answered him in a husky whisper, tilting her head back as her eyes closed in anticipation of his kiss.

Angelus needed no further invitation. He rested his palms on the door one on either side of her head, leaning down to press his lips to hers in a hard, punishing kiss. Her insouciance stirred his anger, his need for possessive ownership.

Buffy’s hand snaked up his chest to the back of his head, clutching the nape of his neck and pulling him closer as her mouth opened to his probing assault. She moaned softly into his mouth as he deepened the kiss.

“Er-ah-hem.”

Angelus lifted his head and whirled around with a scowl at the soft sound of coughing behind him. The sight that greeted him was so completed unexpected that he blinked twice in surprise. A small ram-rod straight elderly woman with lively blue eyes wearing a fuzzy pink robe decorated with cats and matching furry slippers stood just a few feet away from them, clutching her robe together with one hand and a heavy cast-iron skillet in the other. Her soft gray curls bobbed as she trembled slightly, either in fear or from the exertion of simply holding up the heavy pan.

Buffy perched on her toes and peeked over Angelus’s shoulder curiously. Her eyes widened in surprise to see her neighbor out and about at this time of night.  She blushed slightly, a little embarrassed to have been caught kissing on her front step like a randy teenager.  “Hi Betty.”

“Buffy.” Betty glanced warily at Angelus, leery of the tall glowering stranger possibly accosting the tiny and darling girl that lived next door. “Are you okay sweetie?” She asked bluntly, albeit with a tiny quaver of fear in her voice. Her stance was still slightly challenging, her arm cocked as if she were prepared to swing her iron weapon of choice at any moment.

Buffy saw the black scowl on Angelus’s face and plunged a small fist into his ribs. He grunted and turned the scowl on her. Without looking at his face, she smiled over his shoulder at the elderly woman who had thought to come to her rescue with a skillet.

“I’m fine.” Buffy replied apologetically, wondering now if Betty had seen more of her comings and goings late at night than she’d previously thought. “I’m sorry. I hope we didn’t wake you.”

“No, honey, you didn’t. It was the Yaeger’s damn puppy again.” Betty’s eyes shifted back to Angelus, surveying him now with a casual interest that belied her years. Slowly her arm holding the heavy pan lowered. “He’s been barking for hours now. Guess they must be out again.”

“Oh.”  Noting Betty’s interest in her companion, Buffy mentally chastised herself for her lack of manners. “Betty, this is Angel.” Glancing up at his face, her brows lifting slightly in challenge as she emphasized the last syllable of his name, Buffy continued, “Angel, this is Betty, my neighbor.”

Angelus glanced down at Buffy with mild admonition. She’d owe him for this. He would make sure that she say *his* name properly – several times, loudly and soon. Buffy’s elbow jabbed him in the ribs, disrupting the turn of his thoughts and prompting him to speak.

“Hello. Nice to meet you.” Angelus smoothly replied, shifting his attention back to Buffy’s neighbor as he reached for the woman’s hand, kissing the back of it lightly and smiling his most charming smile at her.

At Buffy’s introduction and obvious familiarity with the tall and rather good-looking stranger, Betty’s wariness gradually began to be replaced with mild appreciation, her lips curving slightly into a coquettish smile and her eyes gleaming sportively.

Buffy suppressed a chuckle at Betty’s expression. No doubt Angel, er, Angelus was rather used to the rather obvious and interested reactions he received from women – of all ages – for his stunning good looks and obvious sexual magnetism. Betty was clearly not immune to the charm that he exuded so easily.

“Yes, well, it’s about time I meet the man that’s been sending little Miss Buffy here all those beautiful flowers.” Betty replied with a smile and a wink. “Course I can see now why she might want to keep you all to herself.”

“You caught me.” Angelus grinned teasingly, reaching for Buffy’s hand and squeezing it before raising it to his lips. “Took me weeks and dozens of flowers before she’d even talk to me.”

Buffy glanced sideways at him – his eyes meeting hers roguishly for a fleeting second.  The grip on her fingers tightened when she tugged so she relented rather than make a scene. She shrugged slightly and smiled modestly at Betty, as if she were somewhat embarrassed by his elaborate recitation.

“Uh-huh.” Betty skeptically replied, arching one eyebrow in appraisal as her eyes swept up and down his tall form again. “I’ll just bet.”

“Course had I known there was such a beauty as yourself in the neighborhood.”

Buffy rolled her eyes slightly at Angelus’s flirty banter with Betty, extracted her hand from his grip and resumed her search for the condo key. She only half listened to their conversation, surprised that Angelus hadn’t simply dismissed the woman with a cruel retort.

Finally finding the key at the bottom of her bag, buried under a jumble of stakes and a couple of small bottles of holy water, Buffy looked up at her neighbor, now smiling like a star-struck schoolgirl. With a small smile, Buffy interrupted “Well, Betty, don’t let us keep you.” And then turned to insert the key into the lock.

“Oh dear.” Betty murmured as the iron skillet she held in her hand clattered loudly to the ground.

Casting a directive out of the corner of her eye at Angelus to help the elderly woman out, Buffy jiggled the stuck key in the lock. Murmuring a small curse under his breath, Angelus stepped forward and bent over to pick up the pan. When he felt the firm pat followed by a slight cupping grip on his behind, he was completely taken off guard. His head jerked up and he spun around to stare at the perpetrator, bumping into Buffy who stood behind him, nearly knocking her into the door.

Betty only giggled and reached her hand out for the pan. Her eyes dropped to his crotch then drifted back to his face. Her smiled deepened. The hand clutching her robe together dropped, and the material gaped open to reveal a silky thin nightgown beneath.

“Angelus, watch out.” Buffy said irritably as she stumbled, casting him a quick look out of the corner of her eye before returning her attention to the key and door lock. She was completely unaware of the double entendre of her warning.

With a leer and a smile, Betty leaned forward and brushed his hand with her now free one. Her robe gaped open more giving him an unobstructed view of her rounded and slightly sagging breasts. He attempted to step back but he was trapped between Buffy and the now advancing elderly woman, her eyes raking him suggestively as her hand reached for his.

Buffy looked up at in puzzlement at Angelus as he quickly stepped around her and knocked her hands away from the door lock. In one rapid move, he got the stubborn key to turn and pushed open the door.  Her brow furrowed even more so as she noted the startled look on his face.  She cast a quick look at Betty only to see the woman standing demurely nearby, her hand once more clutching her robe together, a slight smile on her face. She glanced back at Angelus and shook her head slightly.

“Well, good night Betty.” Buffy said over her shoulder, picking up her bag from where she had sat it next to her feet. She pushed open the door further and flicked on the light switch.

Angelus nodded once hesitantly, somewhat indignant that the little gray haired woman had just dared to pat his butt. It was unthinkable. He could only stare back at her in astonishment.

“Night dear. Night Angel. Very nice to meet you.” Betty winked lustily at Angelus as she turned back in the direction of her own condo. With an almost envious sigh she concluded. “Have fun.”

“It’s a little unusual to see Betty out this late.” Buffy commented as she dropped her bag just inside the door and then peeled off her coat. She closed the door firmly behind them, twisting the lock.

“To say the least.” Angelus muttered, still somewhat disconcerted by the overt advances of the elderly lady. Of course, it’s not as if he hadn’t been propositioned plenty of times before.

Buffy shifted her attention to her guest, smiling playfully at Angelus as she reached up and pushed his coat down his arms. He helped her ease it off and then tossed it casually on the couch before turning back to face her, dismissing disturbing visions of her neighbor from his mind.

After a brief pause, Buffy took both his hands in hers and began walking backward, leading him down the hall. When they reached her bedroom, she released one of his hands for just a second while she turned on the small lamp, then she tugged him into the center of the room.  She reached for the hem on his shirt, a mischievous grin on her face as she noticed his hesitation. “Don’t worry, I won’t hurt you.” She promised impudently, her tone lowering suggestively as she added, “much.”

Angelus stood completely still while she tugged the sweater over his head, the depths of his eyes flickering furiously with golden highlights as ungovernable territorial prerogatives regarding her availability and behavior surged with renewed force. Her casual demeanor bothered him, yet her confident assertiveness was something he had never before experienced; it was propelling his lust to dangerous heights.

She tossed his sweater aside and turned her attention to the smooth, muscular expanse of his chest, her hand stroking the contours languorously with long lingering strokes as she explored him with her eyes, reacquainting herself with his body.

Her scent surrounded him, the rich vanilla combined with her own subtle aroma of desire reminding him powerfully of days past. Watching her move as she reached for his belt buckle, her hands confident and skilled, only enhanced his discomfort level. Angelus was beginning to understand covetousness for the first time in his long life with an intractable sense of unease. The scowl of his face deepened.

Glancing up at his face, Buffy paused in her task of undressing him. She studied his face thoughtfully before brushing his bottom lip with her fingertips.  “Don’t sulk, lover.” She smiled up at him flirtatiously, her eyes touched with a capricious audacity. “I promise to make this worth your while.”

“I have no doubt of that, lover.” Angelus replied softly, his eyes trained on her face as he repeated her endearment with added emphasis. His tone was amused; his eyes were not. His hand seized her wrist, arresting the slow glide of her fingers across the bulge of his erection.

“Then just what is your problem?” At the undisguised anger in his eyes, Buffy once again returned her eyes to his. She wasn’t sure if the look in his eye was anger or passion or something all together different. Was he simply playing games for his own amusement or was he truly enraged?  The thought of either provoked a subtle rise of heat within her body, the possible salacious consequence sending a shiver along her spine.

Complex and incomprehensible reason assailed him. She was too self-reliant and too direct – neither trait particularly one with which he took issue, except that his masculine and chauvinistic impulses preferred her deference to him. It was an unaccustomed assertion of ownership from both man and demon that had previously viewed women as casual amusemements. That is, until and except for Buffy.

It was the idiot soul’s fault that things had turned out this way; he had been the one to leave her, couching his own indolent cowardice in noble sentiments about doing what was best for her when it fact it was largely about doing what was easiest for him. But he could – no would – correct that mistake and he would reclaim his mate. But first. first he would take advantage of what she was so willing to offer him.

“There’s no problem Buff.” He whispered silkily, releasing her hand. In the next instant he forced her hand back to his arousal, cupping it around him and showing her how he wanted her to touch him. “On the contrary. I think I like your new attitude.”

“You do, do you?” Her eyelids dropped halfway as the sweet ache of want began pulsing deep inside her. She’d missed this, missed the pure sensual pleasure that could be found in his arms so very much.

“Oh, definitely.” He quietly murmured as he reached beneath the soft cotton of her top to stroke the swelling rise of one silken breast. “A hot little cunt ready and willing to be fucked – what’s not to like?”  The feel of her skin was like the softest rose petal, velvety and fine. The thin cotton of her top was no obstacle to the cool sensation of his touch.

The crude word only added to the spiking thrill of lust licking through her veins. Buffy opened her mouth to reply but then his fingertips brushed across her nipple through her shirt and the words stuck in her throat. With slow, deliberate fingers he rubbed each peaking crest through her shirt and the lacy fabric of her bra into a rigid, aching hardness.

When his hand dropped away, satisfied for the moment with the telltale response of her body, Buffy stretched up on her toes to nibble at his lips, rubbing against him suggestively like a cat in heat.  “I want you…” She murmured huskily, arching into him fully as her tongue traced an enticing pattern along his jaw to his ear. “.inside me.”

“I know.” Angelus murmured, his palms gliding up her back. How small she felt under his hands, how fragile and delicate. He could feel the growing heat of her body; smell the sweet scent of her arousal. “I know what you want.” He paused, his hands sweeping down her back to her hips to adjust her against him again. “I know what you like.”

Some of what I like.” Buffy breathed seductively against his lips as he lowered his head to kiss her.

Angelus’s eyes flared angrily, his mercurial temper ignited once more. He was perturbed by her brazen authority and resentful of her amorous past; wanting no reminders of past pleasures given and received by her with anyone else. Towering over her, a fiery passion of discord still burning in his eyes, he yanked her against him with such force that he felt her flinch. “Damn you.” He murmured against her lips, his hands gripping her hips hard, his body straining against hers.

Buffy moaned softly as her hands reached up to cling to his shoulders. Driven by burning desire, she could no more control their ascent than she could stop the rising tide of passion that was swelling within her. Her luminescent green eyes opened briefly to meet his, their radiant depths hot with longing, before they closed and her lips found his in a hungry kiss.

It was a brutal kiss, impelled by lust, anger, frustration and a misguided sense of betrayal. Short of the actual act of marking her as his with his bite, he was intent on staking his claim on her in no uncertain terms.

Buffy broke off the kiss after a long moment, gasping for air. She could still feel the swaying aggression of Angelus’s need pressed against her belly as he pressed against her, his hands roving restlessly over her hips and back.

With effort, she pushed out of his arms and stepped back. Her eyes were half-closed, her breathing hushed as she reached for the hem of her shirt and, just as she had done earlier, she pulled her top over her head. Reaching behind her, she unhooked the clasp in her bra and dropped it next to her shirt on the floor. Deliberately, she made eye contact with him as she reached down with torturous slowness and cupped the mounds of her breasts in her hands. Her nipples were still rigid from his earlier attentions and her desire for him, the pink tips now tingling with want. She could almost feel the cool, sucking pressure of his mouth. Her eyes closed as her fingers rubbed the peaked crests firmly.

Angelus watched her with dark eyes, a feral expression on his face when she turned her attention back to him and finished undressing, kicking off her sandals quickly and stripping the low-waist jeans and thong panties down her legs and off. Gracefully she walked over to the bed, bending slightly to strip the comforter back. Watching her, her moves graceful, feline and sensuous, provoked both his desire and his earlier unresolved anger. He flexed his fingers as he took in the deliberately provoking position; the satiny curve of her bottom, the curve of her hip and thigh and the teasing glimpse of the feminine portal between her legs.

She turned and stretched in a slow luxurious movement, artfully displaying the luscious ripe mounds of her breasts before she sat down on the bed. Her thighs parted provocatively as she leaned back on her elbows. Her eyes drifted over him lazily, bolding assessing as she waited for him to make the next move.

Buffy watched him for several long moments. There was no mistaking the tension in his body. She felt it, but she also felt the smoldering fire between them, the undeniable attraction, the irrepressible need.

“Look, I’ve never brought any one here before.” She soothed as she removed the fabric band from her hair, releasing the golden tresses as if it were an after thought. She wasn’t sure why she wanted him to know or why it should matter, but for some unforeseen reason it just did. She smiled up at him. “Is that the right answer?”

How many times had she cajoled a man into better humor? Angelus wondered, still watching her with a menacing expression. How many times had she smiled like that in bed? How many men had seen her in such lush disarray – her hair tousled on her shoulders, her cheeks flushed from passion, her lips swollen from kisses, her thighs spread in open carnal invitation?

He stared at her for long seconds, his expression unreadable. Did he believe her?

“Are you thinking of joining me?” She questioned softly, watching the muscle clench in his jaw. Oh yes, the fire was there. She just needed a little more of an igniter. Bending her knees, she lifted her legs and propped her feet on the bed, then slowly parted her thighs wider blatantly exposing herself to his gaze. Her voice dropped to a husky whisper, “or beating me?”

For the space of five tautly silent seconds he stood there taking in the provocative invitation she so beautifully offered, all dewy wet and hotly eager. A muscle in his cheek twitched.

“Mm. now there’s an idea.” Angelus finally growled in response, his hand removing his belt with deliberate slowness.

“Ummmm.” Buffy purred as she rolled on to her stomach. “You look devilishly wicked when you say that.” Rising to her knees, she looked back at him over her shoulder her eyes alive with passion, the rounded globes of her behind tantalizingly displayed for his view. “Will I like it?”

“I can say with a fair degree of confidence.” Angelus stalked forward, kicking his shoes off and shoving his pants down his legs. “That you will.”

When he reached her, lust exploded in his brain – pure, unadulterated and coursing through him in a wild flood.  He dropped the belt to the floor, changing his mind about that particular diversion – for now. He flipped her on to her back in one smooth motion, his lips finding hers with frantic urgency. In another two seconds, he guided his erection to the hot, wet heat between her legs and in one second more was buried deep inside her.

Buffy welcomed him with a wildness of her own, her strong arms clawing at him to draw him closer as he lunged forward.

Now that he was where he wanted most to be, Angleus stopped and fought for control of his raging lust. He pulled back slightly and gazed down at her, his dark eyes boring in to hers, bold and shameless. His hands captured hers and pressed them firmly into mattress on either side of her head.

“Now then, my sweet little bitch,” Angelus nipped at her shoulder as he slowly withdrew only to thrust forward again with determination. He wanted her to assuage the chafing frustration, the jealous anger. And he wanted to know that she wanted him more than she wanted anyone else. “Ask me nicely to fuck you.”

“Damn it, Angelus.” Buffy attempted to move beneath him, but the solid weight of his body held her pinned to the bed.

“Or perhaps I should stop.” He threatened in a low husky whisper near her ear, his tongue tracing the delicate shell before he planted several nipping kisses along her neck.

She writhed beneath him slightly but only succeeding in driving him deeper.  Her eyes closed in sublime satisfaction even as the frustration of his controlled movement built.

“Don’t be obstinate, lover. Tell me.” Angelus murmured as he moved again, thrusting into her so solidly, so deeply that she gasped. He moved again and she mewled softly, the molten rapture streaking through her senses. He held her immobile, subject to his whim.

Silence engulfed them, a hushed quiet rebellious with suppressed, feverish need.

“Angel-us.” Buffy finally murmured in protest as he shifted slightly, ensuring that he connected directly with the sensitive nub of pleasure at the top of her mound. She arched against him as the spikes of pleasure jolted her, pressing the hard peaks of her nipples against the cool wall of his chest.  Angelus moved again and a flare of indescribable rapture flooded her senses.

“Say it, lover.” Angelus whispered against her neck, his tongue laving the frantic beating of her pulse. “It’s not so . difficult.”

“Please.” The whisper was soft, barely audible but his preternatural hearing picked it up easily. He smiled and nuzzled her cheek.

“Please. Angelus. Now.” The additional breathy cry was capitulation enough, and he drove into her again as a wild rapacious jolt surged through his body at the sound of such unrestrained passion.

He knew exactly how to touch her, how deep, how slow, how hard. She was so naturally responsive to him. he still knew precisely how to make her lose control – so he did.

Her high keening cry had only just subsided when he began to move again. He kept her pinned beneath him like a sacrifice to carnal pleasure as he moved with hard, deliberate strokes. In some part of his tumultuous brain, he selfishly wondered whether he could keep her permanently captive for his pleasure as if forgetting that he himself had only a temporary existence before the soul would once again be in control.

Buffy undulated her hips to lure him more deeply as he murmured seductive words in her ear, his voice deep and velvety, promising her unimaginable pleasures and fulfillment of her darker desires. When he again felt the tightening of her wet heated channel and the next luscious flood of her climax, he increased his pace and thrust harder.

After the pulsing convulsions subsided, he withdrew from her and slid down in the bed. Buffy parted her legs invitingly and he shot her a wicked grin. She was even more luscious and responsive than he remembered, and he eagerly reacquainted himself with the perfection of her tiny body. Buffy sighed and mewled softly as his tongue drifted over her wet slit, exploring her gently before he delved in with insatiable hunger. He brought her to climax several intense times with his mouth and fingers before she finally pulled away, panting heavily and pleading for him to stop. She felt over-stimulated, every nerve alive and throbbing to the rapid pulse of her heart.

He ignored her protests as he positioned her beneath him again, his hands cupping her breasts and tugging at her nipples as he guided his erect shaft once more into her soaked heat.

He rocked against her as she keened his name, delighting in the sound of the long suppressed sound coming from her panting and parted lips. She arched into him hungrily, the rapid torrent of delirium threatening her sanity as he pushed her toward yet another orgasmic peak. He kissed her, as if responding to the sound of his name, wanting more from her.

They mated as if they were out to obliterate each other, each consumed by ravenous passion and greedy lust. First he was on top, then she was, as they moved from position to heated position. It was erotic, wild and unrestrained. With increasing urgency he moved, his long delayed climax rapidly approaching.

“Mèin. He whispered against her neck, laving the spot roughly where his mark should have been before sucking the flesh through his teeth. The urge to bite, to mark her again as his was strong but he resisted in deference to her constraint. When the impulse reached the point where it was no longer tolerable, he satisfied his urge by biting down with blunted teeth and sucking hard, leaving a faint purple bruise behind. “Gráim thú.”

Buffy felt as if the top of her head lifted off as she plunged toward the inevitable explosive ecstasy. Her hands gripped his hair, pulling his head down to hers for a greedy kiss. At the very peak of sensation, when he felt the shuddering convulsions within her body begin again, Angelus slammed into her with two hard thrusts that brought them to the cataclysmic height together. They lay together, his face buried in her hair and Buffy panting heavily beneath him for long minutes.  When he could finally think again, Angelus rolled, taking her with him so as not to crush her with his weight.

“Gra im oo?” Buffy murmured softly after several long minutes had passed, artlessly mispronouncing the words he had whispered to her earlier. She lay sprawled across his chest, sated and drowsy. Her warmth breath sent little ripples of pleasure across his skin, stirring him from pleasant contentment of the moment. “What does that mean?”

Angelus’s hand stopped the lazy stroking of her back and his eyes opened in surprise. Although the words were only half-formed he recognized the phrase “I love you.” He hadn’t realized that he’d said it.  He adjusted her slightly and his hand resumed the gentle feather light caresses. He shrugged, “It’s just sex talk, Buff.”

She wasn’t looking at his eyes, only felt his dismissive shrug as she lay on his chest. “Mm. But what does it mean?” Her fingertips trailed over ribs. He could feel the delicate sweep of her eyelashes on his chest as she blinked. Even that small touch was seemingly erotic with her.

“It doesn’t really translate well.” He replied evasively, chagrined to think that he’d confessed his love to her. He didn’t love her. Obsessed with her? Yes. Desire her? Oh, yes. Want her for his mate? Hell, yes. But love?  Demons didn’t *love*. And most certainly notorious vampires did not love Slayers . Did they?

“I’ve just never heard you talk like that before, you know in that language.” She lifted her head to look at his face, disrupting his vacillating thoughts. “I like how it sounds.”

“Gaelic?” She looked deliciously tousled and he was motivated by a restless, urgent passion, desperately wanting more of her. Subconsciously perhaps, he knew that his time was limited. Rolling her on her back, he murmured against her lips. Love, huh?  “Hmm. how’s this then . póg mé, mhuirnín?”

“What does that mean?” Her lips curved into a smile as she wrapped her arms around him and returned his kiss.

“Kiss me,” He murmured softly against her lips. “sweetheart.” Maybe this love thing wasn’t so bad after all.

She lifted her head slightly to find his lips again, her kiss passionate and hungry. It was the last word either of them said before their thoughts deserted them for more earthy pleasures.

A long while later, as he drifted off to sleep with her in his arms, Angelus thought that perhaps whatever magic she had used to break the bond must surely have broken. With a small smile, he congratulated himself for a job well done. Soul boy will have a few things to thank him for tomorrow.

————————————————————-

Angel leisurely rolled over and reached out his arm. When he encountered cool sheets instead of the warm body he’d been expecting he sat up in alarm but relaxed in another moment when he heard the drone of the shower running in the nearby bathroom.  He glanced at the clock, noting the time: almost 4:00 am. It was a little unusual that she was up showering at this time of the morning, but then again he knew nothing about her schedule now. Slowly he sank back into the bed, crossing his arms behind his head.

Thoughts of the previous night drifted through his mind. He was more than a little conflicted about the events of the evening. Angelus had a ruthlessness that he sometimes lacked, so he was grateful in some respects for Sebastian slipping him the Ecstasy laced cocktail. no doubt it contributed to his success in dealing with the demons that had shown up for the contrived “Slayer Elimination” tournament.  The thought of which brought an angry frown to his face. Angel was more than a little disappointed in his son. He sighed heavily; he’d have to deal with Connor first thing when he returned to LA and he wasn’t looking forward to it.

The sound of the shower cutting off shifted his attention back to Buffy. That was another thing to add to his list of regrets. He’d never wanted to return to Sunnydale, to her, as Angelus. The fact that she so readily accepted him as a demon bothered him more than he cared to admit, and yet at the same time he found it strangely reassuring.

Whereas he was ashamed of his primal nature, Buffy had been accepting. She never treated him as anything but a man, she had made him believe in himself again, made him believe that he could be more than what he was. made him believe in love, made him feel love. He shifted on the bed uncomfortably. She’d given him so much and he. well, he’d pushed her away until he could no longer deny his own feelings, then he tormented her as Angelus, only to return and break the promises that he’d made to her when he’d left her behind.

“Hey. You’re awake.” Buffy greeted him softly as she returned from her shower, combing her hair gently and detangling the wet strands. She studied him from her position near the door, the only light in the room coming from a nightlight in the hall behind her.

“Hey.” Angel replied uncertainly. What was her reaction going to be to the events of the night? Had Angelus offended her in any way?  Hurt her? He had his own memories of course but her feelings weren’t quite clear. Not to mention, he wasn’t even sure in his own mind how he felt about her taking his demon home and engaging in such amorous entertainments.

“You’re you again.” Buffy murmured quietly as she continued into the room and sat next to him on the bed, her eyes appraising him with interest. He looked deliciously appealing lying in her rumpled sheets, his dark head resting on her pillow. His hair was in disarray from their earlier play and the fingers she had run through it, making her fairly itch to sink her hands into the thick mass again. Her eyes drifted over the corded muscles in his folded arms, down to his lean torso only to stop where the sheets were bunched at his waist and hiding the rest of him from her view.

“Yeah.” Angel murmured, his tone regretful. It shamed him, his demon, and the lack of control that he had over it at times. He dropped his eyes and uncrossed his arms, moving to sit up on the bed. “Did I-”

Anticipating the turn of his thoughts, Buffy interrupted with a smile, a playful sweet smile. “You were terrific.” Abruptly she leaned over and kissed him lightly on the lips. “really.” Despite the relative excesses during the night, a wave of sexual frisson fluttered through her senses. She was more than enjoying her new found freedom with him.

He could smell the clean fragrance of her skin coupled with the rich delectable vanilla scent that he had always associated with her wafting from her warm skin and it stirred his senses, reminding him of the feel and taste of her from the night before. Even now he could still savor the essence of her on his tongue.

Angel frowned, discomfited by her casual demeanor just as his demon had been. His now growing agitation combined with his jealously of the attention that she had so easily and eagerly bestowed on his demon gave his eyes a hint of fierce anger.

Noting his grim expression she sighed. She thought they’d put the moody vampire thing to rest last night, but then again that had been Angelus, not Angel. If he was still the same brooding vampire that she had known, then no doubt he was feeling guilty about Angelus’s return – no matter how short a duration. There was also the possibility that he was put out by her behavior, scandalized or perhaps even angry that she’d eagerly slept with his demon.  She might even expect censure from him for her actions or behavior. She didn’t even consider jealousy, which would have been perhaps more singularly accurate characterization of his feelings.

“Would it make it easier for you, ” Buffy whispered softly, her luminous green eyes squarely meeting his, “if I seduced you?”

“You do this often then?” Angel replied petulantly, his eyes raking over her with a frost-filled gaze.

“No, not often.” Buffy assured him with a grin as she threw her leg over his lap, straddling him on the bed and pushing him back against the headboard with a solid shove. “At least, not until last night.”

“Ah. Should I feel honored?” Angel retorted, a certain insolence his words as his jealously eclipsed his earlier feelings of contrition and shame. She said something similar to his demon last night – he wasn’t sure if he believed her then or if he believed her now.

“Sure, if you like.” Buffy replied with a shrug, shifting on his lap slightly even as his hands automatically came up to circle her waist. Leaning down to brush her lips across his, she continued with a husky whisper, “But later, baby, okay?”

His discord was fast dissolving with the feel of her lips on his, the sensation long missing from his life. As her tongue licked across his lips, he reached one hand up to her head, holding her still so he could take control, tasting her mouth and sliding his tongue between her lips, feeling her respond to him. With Buffy there was an instinctive need, an irrepressible lure.

As they kissed, his hand untied her robe and snaked inside to rest on her ribs, just under the curve of her breast. He changed the slant of his head deepening their kiss, as Buffy purred slightly and leaned into him a bit more, eagerly returning his kiss. His palm drifted slowly upward to feel the cresting peak of her nipple before gliding back and forth slowly, feeling the tip harden further in his palm.  The slow burn of passion began to spiral through both of them as the floodgates of long denied desire opened yet again.

Buffy broke their kiss, taking in a deep breath before she began planting soft, butterfly kisses over his face: the slant of his eyebrow, the straight aquiline bridge of his nose, on each closed eyelid. She nuzzled his jaw, brushing gently along his face with her nose before stopping to nibble on his earlobe, willing away the tension still taut within his body as he mentally debated his feelings of unease.

Angel felt the naked heat of her body against his stomach, even through the thin sheet. Her lips and tongue teased his ear; when her mouth slid along his neck, he tilted his head slightly to the side to give her easier access. The feel of her body against him, the sweet sensation of her kisses was rapidly sweeping away any hesitation and any reservations, along any other thoughts that he might have had.

She used her teeth to nibble and bite at his neck, knowing full well the effect it would have on him, before easing back and down his legs and leaving a trail of wet nipping kisses on his throat.  She then kissed a path down his chest, stopping to lap at his nipples with her tongue before closing her teeth on them with the lightest pressure. When she heard a soft sound escape his lips, her eyes swept up to his face and she bit down harder forcing another small moan from his lips.

Not quite satisfied that she had overcome all of his pointless reservations and more than happy to explore the body she hadn’t had the leisure or opportunity to do so before, she scooted down yet again on the bed bringing her face level with his stomach. With a teasing flick of her tongue, she traced the muscles of his abdomen, watching as his muscles contracted with each adept wet swipe.  His hands came up to rest on her shoulders when she traced the circle of his belly button before dipping the tip of her tongue in with a provocative thrust. Reaching up with one hand, she raked her nails gently across his chest, stopping to rub her fingertips over the now taut buttons of his nipples.

Angel closed his eyes and dropped his head back to the headboard behind him when she tugged the sheet down to expose his now hard erection to her gaze. He sucked in an unnecessary gasp of air when he felt her warm breath caress his hard cock before she lapped gently at the swollen and reddened crest. After a few seconds of the tantalizing pleasure, she took him into the warm, moist cavern of her mouth. Within another few seconds, he was so hard that it almost hurt.

With exquisite slowness she licked and nibbled, at turns sucking him deeply into her mouth, at others tracing him with butterfly light strokes of her tongue. She circled her fingers around his shaft, tugging firmly as she scraped him every so gently with her teeth.

“Do you like that?” Buffy asked in a breathy whisper as she looked up at him, her tongue licking him affectionately, her eyes half closed and gleaming seductively.

Angel forced his eyes open at the sound of her voice and, with considerable effort, pulled back from the ragged edge of ecstasy where she had pushed him. He glanced down at her, his eyes welcoming the sight of the beautiful blonde lying between his legs, her brilliant green eyes darker in unlit room, her lips wet and shiny.

“Mmmmm.” He murmured softly as her tongue swept across him again, laving him with a near-painful slowness. When the warm heat of her mouth once again engulfed him, the fleeting thought crossed his mind that perhaps nothing had ever felt this good. Each sweep of her tongue, each sucking pressure jarred his nerve endings and sent him racing with wildfire speed toward climax.

“Is that,” she said, a smile curving her lips as her tongue lazily continued along the length of him with long wet licks before swirling around the crest, “a yes?”  Before he could answer, she once again took him deep into her mouth and throat.

In response, he only nodded, several horizons beyond conversation, his hands gripping her shoulders with his increasing urgency. He groaned deep in his throat as exquisite sensation swept over him, her lips and tongue creating an intense friction that he could feel through his entire body.

She smiled again and drew him deep into her mouth, sucking with increased pressure.

He tensed when she paused and his hands slid into her hair, the feel of the silken tresses on his hands and brushing across his groin only adding to the burgeoning sense of ecstasy, the rapid pulsing of the culmination of desire.

Buffy began to move her head faster in deference to his lightly guiding hands, using her teeth to gently scrape the tip before sucking him hard back into her throat.  She was enjoying the sense of power touching him gave her, enjoying the pleasure she gave him, enjoying his surrender to her. Reaching between his legs, she caressed the sensitive twin spheres of his testicles, rolling and squeezing them gently.  His fingers tightened in her hair and she sensed his orgasm before it began. When he arched his hips and released a growl deep in his chest, she swallowed his ejaculation with eagerness, basking in his taste and the result of his pleasure.

Resting her head on his thigh, Buffy continued to kiss and nibble his still semi-hard erection with feather light kisses, waiting for Angel to stir.  Long minutes later, he finally opened his eyes and looked down at her. She was pleasure unimaginable.

“I missed you.” He whispered huskily, reaching down to tug her up to him. He pushed her robe off her shoulders, his eyes drinking in her lush naked beauty despite the darkness in the room. Could he subdue his vampire tendencies, his masculine age-old instincts that cried out for him to tame her, to own her?

Angel’s hands slid up her waist to her breasts, cupping them in his palms and squeezing gently. His hands felt cool against the heat of her skin and he felt her tremble slightly.  She leaned down to kiss him, their tongues tangling and caressing as they explored each other’s mouths, their kisses growing more heated and demanding at each touch.

No, he could not.

With a sudden, unexpected movement, Buffy found herself flat on her back, Angel leaning over her and nuzzling her breast. She closed her eyes and buried her fingers in his hair as his lips circled one taut peak with agonizing slowness before sucking the pink crest into his mouth and drawing on it powerfully. Alternating sucks with nipping bites, he worshiped her breasts: the stiff and swollen tips, the dusky aureoles and the rounded outer curves and valley between. No patch of skin was left untouched by his exploring lips.

While his lips were preoccupied, his hands swept over her, touching her everywhere. Sliding along her arms, down the sides of her breasts to her waist then along her hips and thighs, moving lower to glide along the calves of her bent legs to her knees – touching her everywhere but between her legs where the growing ache for him was building.

Buffy opened her eyes for a brief second to meet his as Angel finally trailed his hand up her inner thigh to the damp curls between her legs. At the first sweeping touch of his fingers, her hips lifted off the bed, rising of their own accord to meet his hand. When his finger slid inside her, she whimpered softly. He added a second finger, stretching her gently, teasing and touching with delicate strokes. His thumb grazed the swollen nub of her clitoris, lightly enough to make her mewl softly and raise her hips again, pleading for firmer pressure.

As he watched her through lowered lashes, he wondered again how he had ever convinced himself to live without her, how he had ever settled for anyone else except his precious, golden goddess. His mouth covered hers greedily, hungrily, tasting her sweetness there as his fingers continued to probe the wet heat between her legs.

“I love you.” He whispered huskily, lifting his head slightly so she could catch her breath.

“Mmm. ” Buffy’s eyes opened briefly, the hazel green luminescent in the dim light. She smiled at him as she tilted her head back and nibbled on his lower lip.  “And I need you, Angel, please…”

At her encouragement, he settled between her spread legs, pressing against her with his weight as she rocked her hips into him insistently, her desire for him now burning hot. His lips settled on hers again as he guided his hard cock to her dripping wet sex, then thrust slowly inside. Buffy wrapped her legs around his hips and clutched his shoulders tightly, holding him to her.

Kissing her softly for long minutes, he whispered to her how much he had missed her, how good she felt, how good he felt inside her, how tight and hot she was, how much he wanted her. Rotating his hips in slow, barely perceptible movements he pressed against her sensitive clit, steadily driving forward. Buffy gasped and arched against him, softy sighs of pleasure escaping her lips at his husky whispers and subtle motions.

Impatiently Buffy shifted their position, straddling his hips and raising herself to a seated position on his lap. His hands spanned her waist, guiding her movements as she began to move slowly up and down, rolling her hips slightly and rocking forward with each downward stroke. On each upward motion, she paused with only the tip of his erection inside her before lowering herself down completely, stopping at the bottom to absorb the exquisite sensation of fullness of him, his size stretching her, filling her as no one else had ever done. Using muscles that he didn’t even know she had, she tightened around him, clenching and squeezing until she managed to elicit a low groan from him, almost a growl.

Angel reached up, his large hands once more cupping and squeezing her breasts, unable to resist the taut peaks of her nipples that seemed to beg for his touch. He watched her with half-closed eyes as he squeezed her nipples gently then with increasing pressure as she arched into his hands.

With a teasing gleam in her eyes, she held her fingers to his lips and waited for him to take them into his mouth. When he had sucked and licked them to her satisfaction, she withdrew them from his mouth and rubbed the wet pads of her fingertips across first his nipples, then her own.

Grasping her hips in his hands, Angel rolled her beneath him once more, at long last yielding to his impulses that cried out to possess her, to dominate her, to mark her as his once more. He moved with increasing speed, drawing her legs up around his hips as he braced his feet and thrust hard. He wanted to eradicate all traces of her past, of anyone else that she had ever been with.  As Angelus had thought earlier in the evening, Angel too wondered then if he could keep her all to himself – for as long as he wanted.

“Yes, Angel, harder…” Buffy keened wildly, clinging to him and relishing the weight of his strong body driving into her. He pounded her into the bed, burying his face in her neck and biting down. Where his mark had been. Where his mark *should* be. Her hips arched to meet his as his hands slid under her bottom, pulling her into his next down stroke. She eagerly matched his rhythm, arching against him. Their lovemaking was breathless, fierce, tumbling, falling, hurtling; unlike anything he had experienced before. A low guttural groan escaped his lips as he spurted his seed inside her.  Buffy followed his lead bucking hard against him as she too reached the pinnacle of pleasure, crying out softly before he collapsed against her, his arms wrapping around her back to clutch her tightly into his chest.

After a long moment he rolled from her, keeping Buffy curled against him with one arm. Sated and content, they slept.

And a tiny fissure formed in the ice around the Slayer’s heart.

————————————————————-

It was close to dawn when Angel woke again. The first thing that he noticed was that he was alone again, but after a minute pause he could hear the sounds of Buffy moving around in the kitchen. Noting the time as well as his own internal clock, he cursed softly under his breath, knowing immediately that it was too late for him to return to LA much less leave Buffy’s condo unless there was a sewer entrance incredibly close by.

He smiled slightly as he rose, thinking of their night together. It wasn’t how he had planned for things to go, but he wasn’t complaining. They’d still have to figure out how to make things work between LA and Sunnydale – he doubted if she’d leave the hellmouth and he couldn’t really leave LA right now.

He took a quick shower and dressed in his clothes from the night before, grimacing slightly at the traces of demon blood on them. He hadn’t exactly planned well – or really, at all – for this trip that much was true. Had he even guessed that he would have been spending the night in Sunnydale he would have packed a bag.

He smiled slightly at the sight that greeted him when he walked into the small kitchen: Buffy sat at the table reading the paper, a cup of coffee near her elbow. She was obviously showered and dressed, ready to start her day.

“Good morning.” He smiled, leaning over to kiss her lightly on the cheek.

“Morning.” Buffy replied without looking up from the article she was reading. “You’re welcome to stay – since it’s well, day and you kind of have to stay inside.”

“Thanks.” Angel paused, a little confused by her somewhat cool demeanor this morning. They could have been friendly coworkers meeting over coffee, rather than the most intimate of lovers.

“I’ve got to get to work.” Buffy stood, folding the paper and collected her coffee cup and the nearby plate with toast crumbs. She rinsed the dishes in the sink and sat them aside.

“Uh, okay. I’ll see you later?” Angel’s sense of alarm was growing steadily; where was the warm and impassioned woman from the night before?

“Uh, sure. Yeah. I’ll be home around 7 – earlier if I can.” She turned to face him, drying her hands on a towel. “You okay staying in Sunnydale today?”

“Yeah, it’s fine. I’ll call the office in LA and let them know.”

“Sorry.” Buffy replied apologetically, knowing that her own interests had been the cause of his delay. Had she simply let him go earlier they wouldn’t be having this awkward morning after moment. Of course, they wouldn’t have had that truly astonishing before moment either, had she not given in to her impulse. She suppressed a slight smile, “I wasn’t thinking, you know, about the day thing.”

“No, it’s fine. Really.” Angel assured her, noting her calm and detached disposition. A tiny flare of unresolved anger and jealously flared in his eyes. He hadn’t really wanted to say it, hadn’t wanted to start the argument again but he seemed incapable of controlling his temper. “Do all your lovers not spend the night then?”

Noting the hint of anger in his voice, Buffy sighed tiredly. She’d already been through this with Angelus and somewhat with Angel last night. Did he honestly think that leaving her entitled him to offer his opinions on her past or her life now?  With a direct stare, she firmly replied. “It’s none of your business, Angel.”

“You do this a lot then?”  He questioned insolently, all his feelings of hurt, jealously and anger now clamoring loudly in the forefront of his mind.

“Do what?” She questioned warily, wanting clarification before she took issue with his statement. She crossed her arms over her chest defensively, bracing for battle.

“Take guys home for sex?” He challenged, his brow quirking in question, his eyes piercing under the slant of his brow.

“No, not that it’s any of your business.”  Buffy retorted acerbically,  “I suppose I should have just let Angelus run around Sunnydale then? Killing? Raping? Murdering?  You need more crimes to atone for, do you?”

“Of course not, it’s just-” Angel snapped in frustration, his hands gripping the back of the chair and threatening to break the wooden back.

“Just what? You left me so I could fuck, Angel.” She bluntly replied, stopping at the expression of near shock on his face, and correcting her words with a sardonic tone, “Oh, sorry, excuse me – you left me so I could make love. Don’t get mad because I do.” There was no need for him to know that she hadn’t really practiced that to the extent that he perhaps thought.  Turning around and grabbing her jacket off the back of the chair, she unthinkingly muttered under her breath, “Geez, and to think the last time I had sex was like 4 years ago with Spike.”

“You slept with Spike?”  Angel asked, his attention shifting suddenly to her choice of partner rather than the many he had imagined. He also remembered Cordelia’s words about Buffy and his grandchilde. For the most part, he’d dismissed those as yet another of her lies. “How could you? I didn’t leave so you could, could- with him!  Lovemaking is supposed to be special, it’s -”

“It’s what Angel?” Buffy interrupted impatiently, her belief firm that he had absolutely no grounds over which to offer his opinion on her life. “Fireworks? Bell’s ringing? A dulcet choir of pretty little birdies?”

Angel stopped short. The words were eerily familiar. Those were the same words that Angelus had said to her the morning after they had first been intimate. He’d kicked himself time and again for sweeping that under the rug when he’d returned from hell, for not dealing with the seeds of insecurity and doubt that the demon had planted in her mind. It was apparent now that those unattended seeds had certainly taken root and grown leaving a wealth of hurt and bitterness.

“But Buffy-”

“Hey, you’re the last person that should be all pious about it, Angel. What with Darla and Dru and Cordelia and god knows how many others.” Buffy countered cuttingly, “You spent the last three years fucking Cordelia and risking your soul – and you have the nerve to question me about who I’ve slept with?”

Angel ran his hair through in frustration, she was right and he knew it. He couldn’t critique her about her sex life; besides, Angelus wouldn’t have given her a choice..

Like a slap in the face it hit him. The spell. It wasn’t broken after all, despite her eager and generous responses to him in the night. She took him home because she wanted to have sex, not because her feelings for him had changed.

“Look Angel, last night was great, really, but it’s just…”

“I know.”  Angel replied, dropping his eyes. “Buffy, I understand. I had no right to question you. Or judge you. I’m sorry.”

Buffy smiled with relief, crisis apparently averted. She waved her hand dismissively. “Look I have to go to work. Make yourself at home, okay? I’ll see you later.”

She kissed him lightly on the cheek then headed out the door.

Angel watched her go with a frown on his face. The woman walking away from him wasn’t the Buffy that he remembered. Of course he hadn’t expected winning her back to be easy, especially after all they had been through but now… Now he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to reach her.

But he wasn’t about to give up. Not yet.

————————————————————-

Angel waited until just after 7:30 before dialing Gunn’s cell number. He knew that his friend and coworker was typically up by now, especially with the baby, but somehow it seemed impolite to call any earlier.

“Yo.” Gunn’s voice rang out clearly when he answered. “Angel?”

“Hey.” Angel replied, skipping all pleasantries and going straight to the reason for his call. “Find Connor and lock him up. His room if it’s secure enough, the old cage in the basement if he gives you any problems. I don’t want him to be left alone and he can’t leave the hotel.”

“You sure, man?” Gunn replied hesitantly, shifting the phone to his other ear. “What’s up?”

“I’ll tell you when I get back to LA.” Angel replied absently, noting the shadows of someone moving around outside Buffy’s window. “Let’s just say relaxing my guard and letting him have the run of the hotel without constant supervision was a mistake.”

“Sure thing. I’ll round him up and make sure he’s here when you get back.” Gunn smiled slightly, guessing Angel’s location and reason for being there. “Just when is that gonna be?”

“Tonight maybe, tomorrow.” Angel said thoughtfully, noting the date on Buffy’s calendar. He still had a few days yet before Nikkos would be back.

“You in Sunnydale then?” Gunn bantered, smiling at Fred as she approached him with Amelia in her arms.

“Yeah.” Angel answered, his mind drifting back to Buffy with worry that whatever magic she had invoked might prove to be permanent.  “Do me a favor. Tell Lorne I want him to come to Sunnydale. Now. Tonight.”

He was groping now, and he knew it, but maybe if he could get Buffy to sing something, the Host could read her and see something that might help him.

“Will do.” Gunn replied affirmatively.

“Thanks. I owe you.” Angel hung up the phone.

For the next hour he flipped through Buffy’s pile of magazines then perused her small bookshelf until he came across the volume of poems similar to the one he had given her for her eighteenth birthday. He settled on her couch and began to read, wanting to kill the time until she returned.

His cell phone ringing woke him up from where he had been dozing on the couch. He typically slept during the day, so it was what his system was used to, and despite his interest in Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poetry, he’d still managed to fall asleep for a couple of hours.

Picking up his phone, he noted that it was the number from the hotel. Worried that it might be news about Connor, Angel flipped open the phone and answered.

“Angel.”

“Angel, thank god. Where are you?” Cordelia’s voice sounded loudly through the phone. “You know I worry.”

“Cordelia.” Angel gritted the seers name out through clenched teeth. He’d successfully managed to avoid her this last week and had no intention of changing that. This was the first time that he had in fact had to talk with her in days.

“You may have just stopped caring about me Angel, but I still care about you.” Cordelia tearfully declared.

“What do you want?” Angel replied coolly, stretching slightly and adjusting his position on the couch.

“You don’t have to be so cold.” The seer replied snottily, her tone obvious and clear even over the phone transmission.

“Cordelia.” Angel warned, anxious to quit the conversation with her.

“Angel. Connor’s been saying stuff. He’s threatening me with lies.” Cordelia blurted, thinking that perhaps something dramatic would capture Angel’s interest and attention. Besides, she needed to start covering her own ass, just in case Connor did tell Angel everything as he threatened.

“Why?” Angel asked moderately, unmoved by her statements. It would take a heck of a lot more than that for him to trust her again, to believe anything she might have to say.

“I don’t know. I think he wants to keep us apart.”

“Well, he doesn’t have to lie to do that. We *are* apart.” Angel stated, watching the shadow of someone through the living room curtain approach Buffy’s door. “And Cordy, we’re going to stay that way.”

“Dammit Angel-”

“Bye Cordelia.”

Angel snapped the phone closed and hung up. In the next instant, a knock sounded on the door.