Timely Reunions by Tracy
Pairings: B/A of course, as well as W/O and X/A
Feedback: Only if you want more.
Disclaimer: Don’t own them, but I like these people better. Joss and crew own the originals.
Summary: Completely AU. No demons, no hellmouth, no evil. Just two people whose lives connect early on, and they keep meeting till they get it right.
Author’s Note: Not beta read, I am too anxious anymore. And my first attempt at AU. Let me know how you like it, if you want it to continue. Actually, I am liking it, so I’ll finish it anyway.
Little Buffy Summers was filthy. That was the only way to describe it. She had mud from one end of her to the other. Why in the world he had told his mother he would watch her and her friends was beyond him. She was a little ragamuffin. Every time he watched her, she managed to break some piece of furniture, or trash some dress that her Mom insisted on putting her in. But she really was cute.
Angel Donahoe was your typical sixteen-year-old high school student. He was on the football team, got good grades, had a part time job bagging groceries at the local store, and helped his mother around the house. Since his dad had left two years ago, he had focused even more on making sure she got time to just go out. But unfortunately her best friend was Joyce Summers. They did everything together. Joyce was also a single mother. And her daughter was the infamous Buffy. What was even worse was that Buffy had not one but two best friends. Whenever he had to watch her, he always managed to have to watch at least one of her friends. But it usually meant the whole gang, all three of them. And together they were terrors.
Today was one of those days. His and Buffy's mom had gone to a viewing at the art gallery she owned and out to dinner. So he had been stuck babysitting since 5:00. And not only had he had Buffy, but her friends Xander and Willow as well. Nothing like a trio of nine year olds to ruin your day. Or night. Or, hell, life. He was supposed to have had a date with Darla tonight but had cancelled it instead. He wasn't going to disappoint his mother just because Buffy's babysitter had bailed at the last minute. Darla wasn't happy with him, but she would just have to get over it. He didn't want to be here either.
"Angel, whatcha’ thinking about?" Buffy asked.
"Oh, nothing, Buffy. How did you get so dirty? There weren't any mud puddles in the back yard."
"Duh, Angel, we have a hose. And we made some really great mud castles. Want to see?'"
She had the cutest smile and he couldn't resist. "Sure, Buffy. But then we have to get you three cleaned up. Your mother is going to kill me. Another dress ruined. Why can't she just put you in shorts and a t-shirt like most kids?"
"But, Angel, I like wearing dresses. Don't you think I look pretty?"
Buffy was looking up at him with her beautiful hazel eyes. She was going to be a knock out one day was all he could think. "Yes, Buffy, you always look pretty. Even with mud between your eyes. Now let's get your cohorts in crime and get your baths started."
"OK, Angel. Willow and Xander are really dirty too. So we all need to take a bath. Do you need to take a bath?"
Angel giggled at that. "No, Buffy, I haven't been playing in the mud. So only your Scooby gang needs to bathe. And while you're getting clean, I'll order a pizza. How's that sound?"
The Scooby gang was the name they had given themselves a year ago after deciding, in a very heated debate for a trio of eight year olds, that the Scooby cartoon was the best ever. Buffy had become the leader. She just came by it naturally. Giving orders was what Buffy did best.
Three hours later, Angel, Buffy, Willow and Xander were all spread out in the living room. Xander was on the floor, so close to the TV that Angel was beginning to worry about the boy's eyes. Willow was propped up in a chair with her nose in a book that would have very likely bored him to death, and Buffy was leaning against his side, engrossed in the movie they were watching. "The Princess Bride" was a good movie, but there were only so many times a man could be expected to sit through it. He looked down at Buffy, who was now sound asleep, and marveled at the time they had spent together. She had only been seven years old when he had first met her. The first time he had watched her she had looked him up and down, like she was trying to decide if he was worthy of her. With a nod of her head she pronounced him fit, then preceded to ask him if he would marry her. Angel had been flabbergasted. Not wanting to hurt her feelings, he told her she was too young to get married and to ask again when she was older. This had seemed to pacify her for the moment. But every birthday since, she had asked him if she was old enough to get married. It was really cute, and kind of unnerving, that such a sweet child would hold him in such high esteem.
Cute she was but he really wished he was with Darla right now. They were going to go to a party, one with all their friends. But it was OK. She would forgive him, like she always did. He loved her and she loved him. There would be other parties.
It was 11:00 before his Mom and Mrs. Summers got home. After Joyce paid him, he took his mom home and asked if he could go out for a while. Surprisingly, she had said yes, he could go out for a couple of hours, as long as he was home before 1:00 A.M.. Not wasting any time, he headed to the party, hoping to catch up with Darla before she left.
Knocking on the door, he could hear all the people partying in the house. Figuring no one could hear him with the music, he just opened the door and walked on in. The first person he saw was his best friend Will, otherwise known as Spike. "Hey, Dude. How's it going? You seen Darla?"
His blond hair looked a little more mussed than usual. "Uh, yeah, she's, uh, around her somewhere. You wait here, and I'll find her."
Angel thought it was weird that Will would offer to do that. "No, that's OK. I'll find her. Just tell me where she is."
"Angel, she's, uh, well, she's in the bedroom."
"What the hell is she doing in the bedroom? Did she have too much to drink and pass out again?"
"Well, yeah, pal, she has been drinking a lot. But, hell, who hasn't? But, no, she isn't passed out."
Angel was getting angry now. "Will, just tell me where she is."
"Back off, man. OK, she's in the master bedroom. But do yourself a favor and just go home."
Angel stalked off, looking for this bedroom. The woman he supposedly loved was in a bedroom doing lord knows what with lord knows who, and he was going to find her. This wasn't happening, it couldn't be. She loved him, she had said as much on more than one occasion. He trusted her.
The first door he opened was the bathroom. Fortunately for him, no one was in there at the moment. He continued down the hall, heading for the last door. Will caught up with him, and grabbed him by the arm. "Angel, man, don't go in there. You really don't want to do that."
"Why the hell not, Will? What the hell is going on? She's MY girlfriend, why would she be in a bedroom with someone else?"
"Angel, I love you, man. We have been best buds since we were in preschool. But you can be so dense when it comes to women. Darla has always been a whore. Hell, she's slept with most of the guys I know over the years."
"But, Will, that was before we were together. She's with me now, right?"
"Damn it, Angel, no, it's not right. She's been doing anything she could catch since way before she met you, and meeting you didn't change anything. Hell, she's in there right now doing Graham."
"No fricking way, Darla wouldn't even talk to him, let alone sleep with him."
"I see you are going to make this hard. Well, good. I have wanted to tell you this for a long time. Darla almost got me into the sack, after you and she started dating. And she would have succeeded if I hadn't got a big burst of conscience at the last minute. But the bitch has no conscience. She is a whore, Angel, and if you don't believe me, open that door and see for yourself."
"No, Will, you are wrong. She wouldn't do this to me. She loves me, I know she does. You have got to be lying."
Opening that door completely changed his outlook on life. It's amazing how one decision can have so many lasting ramifications.
There she was, lying beneath Graham, making the same sounds she had made the few times she had let him go there. His Darla, letting some other man take her. He didn’t think he would ever be able to trust another woman again.
Eight years later
Buffy was going to her first college party. Even though she still had a year to go before she graduated high school, her friend Willow had a boyfriend that was already there. And Willow was coming over to help her get dressed.
Hearing the knock on the door, Buffy went to answer it. Willow was early, which was good because she had no idea what to wear. Throwing open the door, she turned and walked away, assuming the caller was her best friend. “I’m so glad you’re early. I still don’t know what to wear. Mom is not happy about me going, so she has put some serious limits on my wardrobe. If she didn’t like Oz so much, not sure I would be going anywhere.”
Not hearing a response, Buffy turned to see what the problem was. “Willow¼”
The visitor at the door wasn’t Willow. “Buffy, is that you? God, I haven’t seen you in a long time. What, it must be 6 or 7 years?”
Buffy’s mind just stopped. Angel, that has to be Angel. But why? She hadn’t seen him since she was 11. He stopped being her babysitter then. He went off to college and she hadn’t seen him since. But she never stopped thinking about him. Of all the things she remembered about growing up, he was the only thing whose memory never dulled. At least that was what she thought, until she saw him now. If possible, he was even better looking all grown up.
“Yeah, Angel. It’s me. Long time no see. What are you doing here?”
“Uh, I came to pick your mother up. Your mom and mine are going out tonight, but I guess your mom’s car is in the shop.”
Angel had a hard time getting that out. Little Buffy Summers was all grown up. He had known when she was little that she was going to be beautiful, but he had no clue just how lovely she would be. Her face was exquisite. If anything, her eyes had gotten bigger, and greener. Or was that blue. He couldn’t even tell because of all the different colors. Her nose was straight, her chin firm, indicating that she still had her stubborn streak. Her hair was long and really blond. She had it curled on the ends, and it looked really great. And he didn’t even want to think about her body. High, full breasts accentuated a slim waist leading down to a firm, tight ass.
*God, Angel* he thought. *Get a grip. She’s only 17. She’s too young for you, so just stop it. *
Realizing he was staring, and so was she, Angel decided to break the spell. Stepping into the house, he said, “You grew up nice, Buffy. Really nice. Uh, how’ve you been?”
Buffy giggled. “Ooh, you name it, I’ve been it in the last six years. Come on in and have a seat. I don’t think Mom is ready yet.” Sitting down next to him, she tried to think of something to say. “Uh, so how’s college life? I heard you got a football scholarship to USC.”
Angel couldn’t seem to take his eyes off her mouth. She had the most sensuous lips he had ever seen. Realizing she was waiting for a response, he snapped out of it. “Well, actually, I graduated last year. I was red shirted my freshman year, so I went for five years instead of four. But I got a head start on my masters.”
“Well, education is a good thing, I guess. Though most of it bores me to death. What did you get your degree in?”
“Actually, I decided on Architecture. I found I have a knack for engineering, and an eye for design. As a matter of fact, one of my building designs won an award last year.”
“Really? Where is it built? Maybe I can see it one day?” Buffy asked.
Angel smirked at that. “Well, the design won an award, but no one has actually bought the design yet. That’s kind of why I’m here in Sunnydale. I don’t want to work for one of these firms that just keep building the same kind of stuff, you know? I have some really great ideas, and I think I can get people to buy them. So I want to open my own firm. Mom is kind of helping me get it all together.”
Buffy smiled at him. His eyes lit up when he talked about his plans. He was just too cute. She remembered the crush she had on him when she was little. But she wasn’t little any more. And she didn’t get crushes anymore. Or did she? Her heart was beating a little too hard, and her breath coming a little too quickly. And all she was doing was talking to him. She wondered what it would be like to have his lips kissing hers. *Geez, Buffy, stop it. He’s much too old for you. He’s a man, not some high school kid. *
Feeling really warm, Buffy got up from the couch, trying to remove herself from the heat that seemed to be Angel. “Well, it’s been really good seeing you again, but I have a party to get to. So I guess I’ll maybe see you around, huh?”
Angel stood up, his manners kicking in naturally. “I hope so, Buffy. I meant what I said, you grew up really nice. And it’s been good seeing you again.”
Tossing a look over her shoulders, she had to agree. “Yeah, Angel, looks like we both grew up nice. See ya’.”
Buffy ran up the stairs, into her bedroom, slamming the door. She wondered if she had a paper bag handy. She felt like she was going to hyperventilate, and she read somewhere that breathing into a paper bag would help. He was so hot, so sexy, just a few minutes in the same room with him caused her to loose her breath. Damn, that did not make sense.
About the time that her heart and her breath returned to normal, Willow knocked on her bedroom door. Grateful to hear a familiar voice, Buffy opened the door to let her in. Willow hurriedly entered the room, and plopped down on the bed. “Buffy, did you know that our ‘Angel’ is sitting in the living room? Gosh, we haven’t seen him in years. And, boy, did he grow up fine. Not to say he wasn’t fine when he was younger, but now he’s like *wow*.”
Buffy laughed at Willow’s excitement, secretly glad that she wasn’t the only one that was affected by Angel’s appearance. “Yes, Willow, I know he’s here. We had a nice little conversation before you got here. And, yes, he is definitely fine. But, heck, I knew it when I was seven. The rest of you were just slow on the uptake.”
‘OOH, yeah, that’s right.” Willow gushed. “You proposed to him when you were seven, and every year after that. Do you still want to marry him?”
“Please, Willow, I’m not seven anymore. And besides, he’s way too old for me. Isn’t he?”
Willow giggled. “Yeah, he is, Buffy, but he is so cute. I don’t know about marriage, but, you know¼”
Buffy was shocked at her friends comment. Willow was usually so conservative in her speech. “Willow Rosenberg, you should be ashamed of yourself. That’s terrible.”
Giggling again, Willow replied, “Yeah, you’re right. I don’t know what came over me. Your so innocent and all.”
Blushing, Buffy said, “OK, girl, that’s enough of that. Just because I’ve never done the dirty, doesn’t mean I don’t know what you mean. So just stop embarrassing me.”
Chastised, Willow apologized. “I’m sorry, Buffy. I didn’t mean to embarrass you. I think it’s great that you’re waiting for the right guy. Heck, that’s what I did, I just found my mister right before you did. But, don’t worry, you’ll find him, and you have lots of time.”
Buffy felt guilty that she made her friend feel bad. “No, it’s OK, Willow. I know you were just funning. And, let me tell you, if I wanted to just do the dirty, Angel would be on the top of my list.”
Willow jumped from the bed and gave her a hug. “See, I always knew you had good taste. Let’s get you dressed, so we can go party, huh?”
Buffy and Willow arrived at the party about Nine o’clock. It wasn’t that crowded yet, but there were still a lot of people shoved into one place. As soon as they walked into the room, Oz seemed to sense Willow’s presence. Walking away from the equipment he was working on, he approached them. Grabbing Willow by the waist, he planted a big kiss on her lips. After several minutes, Buffy coughed, beginning to feel uncomfortable.
Oz broke the kiss, and smiled at Buffy. “Sorry, Buffy, I didn’t mean to embarrass you. Glad you could make it.”
“No prob, Oz. I’m glad I could too. So, what time do you guys start playing?”
Squeezing Willow tighter, he commented, “The Dingoes take the stage at 10:00 o’clock. And you don’t want to miss it. We almost don’t suck.”
Laughing, Buffy agreed. “Yeah, and that’s a glorious recommendation if I’ve ever heard one. You know I’ll be there, right in the front row.”
Laughing, Oz placed one last kiss on Willow’s mouth. “I have to go finish up, but if I were you two, I think I’d avoid the front row. Not sure about these loaner speakers, and I wouldn’t want you to get hurt.” Turning around, he headed back to the equipment, picking up where he left off.
Willow continued to stare at him as he walked away, a dreamy smile on her face. “Earth to Willow, are you in there?” Buffy questioned.
Mentally shaking herself, Willow smiled at her friend. “Oh, sorry, Buffy. I guess I was kind of, you know, preoccupied.”
“I could see that. How about we mingle and see if we can find something to drink, huh?”
“That’s me, the mingling girl. Shall we?” Willow responded, hooking her arm in Buffy’s and leading her into the kitchen. “Oh, Buffy, I see a friend of Oz’s. His name is Parker, and he’s really cute. Let’s go say hi.”
“No, Willow, maybe we shouldn’t¼.” Willow bodily drug Buffy until she was right in front of him.
“Hi, Parker. This is my friend Buffy. I brought her over to meet you.”
Shooting Willow a dirty look, Buffy managed to find her voice. “Nice, uh, to meet you, Parker. I hear you’re a friend of Oz’s.”
Parker smiled at her. “Yeah, I’ve known him for a while now. It’s nice to meet you too, Buffy. Would you like something to drink?” He handed her a glass full of punch, and she took a big swig, for lack of anything else to do.
As she swallowed, Buffy could feel the burning begin. Trying not to spit on him, she swallowed the rest, and immediately began to cough, her eyes watering. As soon as she could talk, she said, “Oh, I guess this isn’t punch, is it?”
Parker laughed. “Sure it is, just probably not the kind you’re used to.”
Not wanting to look like a kid, Buffy took another smaller sip. It went down OK this time, though it still burned. Willow gave her a funny look, and pulled her to the side. “Buffy, what are you doing? You aren’t old enough to drink, and from the look on your face, I’d have to say that’s some pretty potent stuff.”
“What did you want me to do, Willow? Hand it back and tell him that I’m just a high schooler and my mommy won’t let me drink? Don’t worry, I’ll just have the one glass. What harm can it do?”
“I don’t know about this, Buffy. You’ve never drank before, and I don’t want you to get in trouble.”
“Willow, just relax. I’ll be fine. Now, if you don’t mind, can I get back to entertaining Parker? You’re right, he’s cute.” Buffy left Willow standing there, with a concerned look on her face. Oh, well, Buffy was a smart girl. She can take care of herself, Willow thought. And she left her with Parker, while she went to say hi to the rest of the band.
Buffy was having a blast. Parker was fun, and cute, with a really nice smile. And he could dance. Once the Dingoes had taken the stage, he and Buffy had taken to the dance floor, and had only gotten off of it to quench their thirst. She was really proud of herself. She was still on her first glass of punch. Of course, she hadn’t noticed that Parker kept refilling her glass.
Dancing with abandon, her head spinning, Buffy turned her back to Parker, and began rubbing herself against him. Parker grabbed her around the waist and pressed her closer, placing a wet kiss on her throat. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she leaned back and turned her head to place a kiss on his lips.
That was about the time that Willow grabbed her by the arm, and pulled her from the dance floor. Parker followed them, not wanting to let Buffy out of his sight.
Dragging Buffy, Willow could see that Parker was tagging along. Not wanting to have this conversation in front of him, she pushed Buffy into bathroom and quickly locked the door.
Buffy turned on Willow, and almost fell as her head began to spin. Sitting down on the commode, she took a moment to gather her wits. “Willow, what the hell was that about?” Buffy slurred.
“That’s what I’d like to know. What the hell are you doing? You just met Parker and you’re out there kissing him and rubbing against him in front of a room full of people. And just how much have you had to drink? You’re slurring your words and staggering.”
“Well, MOM, if you must know, I’m still on the same glass. And what business is it of yours if I’m having a good time? I’m not doing anything wrong.”
“No, Buffy, you wouldn’t be if you knew Parker. But you’re giving him the wrong impression. And just so you know, Oz filled me in a little on Parker. He may be cute but he’s also a whore dog. His specialty is to literally ‘love ‘em and leave ‘em’. He only wants one thing from you, and you know what that is.”
Staggering to her feet, Buffy confronted her friend. “No, Willow, you’re wrong. Parker really likes me. You’re just jealous, that’s all.”
Sputtering, Willow snapped, “What the hell have I got to be jealous about? At least I have a man, one who loves me. I don’t have to pick up some guy at a party.”
Seeing the hurt in her eyes, Willow tried to apologize. “Oh, Buffy, I’m so sorry. I don’t know what came over me.”
“No, Willow, that’s OK. It’s good to finally find out how you really feel. You think I’m just some loser who can’t get a man. Well, you just sit back and watch.” Buffy stormed out of the bathroom and went immediately back to Parker’s side. She grabbed his glass and chugged the rest of it, turning to give Willow an “I told you so” look. Then the two of them disappeared into the sizable crowd.
Willow had been looking for Buffy for a good half hour. She had caught sight of her about twenty minutes ago but by the time she threaded herself through the crowd, she was gone again. Dejectedly she went to sit on the stairs out front, needing some air, and wondered what she was going to do. Tears began to roll down her cheeks. She couldn’t believe she had said that to Buffy. It was all because her friend had hit a nerve. She was a little of jealous of Buffy. Buffy was the beautiful one.
Having been her best friend all their life had not been easy. Every time they went somewhere, even when they were little, Willow might as well have been invisible. It was always, “Oh, Buffy, you’re such a pretty little girl.” When people had noticed her, all she got was “My, look at all that red hair.” It really was depressing. And it just got worse the older they got. Oz had been the only man who had ever been able to look past Buffy and see Willow standing there.
But she really didn’t begrudge Buffy her beauty, it wasn’t like she could help it. And she was proud to be seen with her. Hell, she loved Buffy like a sister, and was glad that everyone thought she was beautiful. Buffy had just hit a little too close to her green-eyed monster tonight, that was all.
Feeling a hand on her shoulder, Willow looked up. Shocked, she stood up and wiped her eyes. “Angel, what, w-what are you doing here?”
“John, one of my friends, is a member of this frat house. He invited me. I think the better question is what are you doing here? I thought you were going to go to a party with Buffy.”
“I am, and here we are. At least, here I am. I’m not sure about Buffy.”
Angel gave her a concerned look. “What do you mean, you’re not sure? Didn’t she come with you?”
Starting to cry again, Willow nodded.
Frantically, Angel grabbed Willow by the shoulders, looking into her eyes. “Willow, what the hell is wrong? Where’s Buffy, and why are you crying?”
“Angel, I can’t find her. And she’s,” hiccupping she continued through her tears, “she’s been drinking, and she doesn’t drink. And she’s kissing all over this guy and he likes to, you know, pick up women and stuff. And we got into this fight, and I don’t know where she is.”
“Come on, Willow. We’ll find her together. She’s got to be here somewhere.” Angel wrapped his arm around Willow’s shoulder, leading her back into the house.
Parker had talked her into coming upstairs to one of the empty bedrooms. They had started off talking, and then he had kissed her. Now they were lying on the bed engaged in a heavy make out session. Starting to feel a little lightheaded, she pushed him off, “Parker, I need to sit up. The bed is starting to spin.”
Grabbing her around the waist, Parker let her sit up for a few minutes and then began to kiss the back of her neck. “Come on, Buffy. Just let it go. You like me, I like you, so let me show you how much.” Pulling her back down, Buffy kissed him back. His hands were roaming down her waist and up under her skimpy shirt, massaging her naked flesh. It felt really good and Buffy couldn’t find it in her to object. Until he moved his hand up her skirt, and pressed his fingers against her. No one had ever done that before and she wasn’t up to having it happen tonight, when she couldn’t seem to even focus her eyes.
Downstairs, Angel was making a room-by-room search, looking for Buffy. He and Willow were checking every nook and cranny, trying to find out where she went. “Willow, tell me the truth,” Angel asked, “Could she be upstairs?”
“No, Angel, Buffy’s not that kind of girl. At least, she wasn’t before tonight. But, well, with the fight we had, and with the drinking¼ Oh, Angel, we have to stop her. If she’s up there with Parker, she’s going to make a big mistake.” Turning toward the stairs, Willow had to follow Angel because he was two steps ahead of her.
Angel began opening doors, yelling for Buffy. One by one, he uncovered couple after couple, but had yet to find Buffy. The last room down the hall was the only one left. As he approached it, he heard screaming.
“Damn you, stop it. Get off of me, I said no.”
“You’re nothing but a big tease. Come on, we were having such fun.” Those were the last words Parker would speak for several weeks, as Angel pulled him off of Buffy and landed a punch that proceeded to break his jaw.
“You piece of shit, she said no. Are you deaf or something?” Angel asked, as he hit Parker again. Grabbing Buffy around the shoulders he handed her off to Willow, who took her into the hallway.
Angel grabbed Parker off the floor and shook him hard. “You slimy bastard, if I ever see you near her again, I will personally make sure you have nothing left to offer a woman.” Dropping him again, Angel kicked him in the ribs on his way out.
The hallway was now packed with people who were vying for a position to see what the commotion was. Checking through the masses, he spotted Willow and Buffy crowded up against the wall, Buffy crying hysterically on Willow’s shoulder. Working his way through the crowd, ignoring people asking questions, he didn’t stop until he got to them. “Willow, is she OK?”
“Yeah, Angel, she’ll be OK. She’s just scared, embarrassed and drunk. Not a good combination. He didn’t hurt her, thank God.”
Looking up at him, Buffy was mortified. Unable to look him in the eyes, she dropped her eyes to the floor. “Thank you, Angel. I, I’m sorry to be such a bother. I don’t know what came over me, that’s not like me.” Tears were pouring down her cheeks during her admission.
Grabbing Buffy around the shoulders, Angel propelled her towards the stairs. He turned and looked at Willow. “Willow, you have a ride, right?”
“Yeah, Angel, I have my car.”
“Good, I’m going to take her home.”
“OK, and Angel, thanks. Looks like your still watching over us, huh?”
Grinning, Angel replied. “Yeah, but it’s a little different now. Almost miss the days of mudpies.”
Even Buffy had to grin at that. Even through her tears, Angel looked good. Probably just the booze talking. Walking down the stairs, Angel continued to drape his arm over her shoulders just because it felt right. Walking her into the hallway, he turned her around to face him. “Now that we’re not in the middle of all that, are you really alright?”
Touched by his concern, the tears came again. “Yes, Angel, I’m fine. But my head is really starting to hurt, and I have this incredible urge to toss my cookies. Can we go home now?”
Laughing, he nodded assent. “That’ll teach you not to drink. Stuff never leads to anything good, and I learned that the hard way. You think you feel bad now, just wait until tomorrow.”
Moaning, Buffy sat down in the front seat of Angel’s car and leaned her head back, closing her eyes. As Angel pulled out into the street, the motion caused Buffy’s head to spin and her stomach to roil. “Oh, Angel, I really don’t feel well.”
“Just try to focus on the road, Buffy. Don’t close your eyes, it will just make it worse.”
After a few minutes of silence, Angel decided he had to know. “Buffy, that guy, he, you know, he didn’t do anything, did he?”
“NO, Angel. He was persistent, but I don’t think he would have really hurt me. You’ll be glad to know you came in the nick of time. My hero.”
Angel gave her a deep penetrating look, trying to make sure she was telling the truth. Seeing no deceit in her eyes, he nodded. “I’m not a hero, Buffy. I’m just a guy who thinks a girl ought to be taken seriously when she says no, as well as sober when you’re trying to get down her pants.”
Returning his look, Buffy smiled. “Angel, will you marry me? Am I old enough yet?”
With a twinkle in his eye, he answered the question with the same response he’d been giving her since she was little. “No, Buffy, you’re not. But ask me again when you’re older.”
Laughing, they both became silent, deep in their own thoughts. He was shocked at the fact that a part of him wanted her to do just that. And she was surprised that his reply had made her heart beat just a little bit faster.
Buffy tried, she really did, to keep her eyes open, but it just wasn’t working. And every time she closed her eyes, the swimming began again. “Angel, I really think we need to pull over. I think I’m going to be ill.”
“Oh, shit, Buffy, just hang on. I just bought this car and I really don’t want you to barf all over it.” Pulling over, Buffy was out of the car with her head hanging in a bush before it came to a complete stop. Sighing, Angel got out and went over to her. Reaching down, he held her beautiful hair back out of the way as she continued to hurl up everything in her stomach. After several minutes, Buffy wiped her mouth and stood up. Embarrassed beyond belief, she did what she always did. Decided to make light of the situation. “Well, Angel, this has got to be the worst night of my life. I’m so glad you got to see me in all my glory.”
Angel chuckled, “Wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Come on, let’s get you home and in bed. If you’re lucky, you’re mom won’t be home. They were going to go to some new bar, so they might not be home yet.”
“Eww, don’t say bar in front of me. I’m never drinking again.” Buffy complained.
“Well, Buffy, you have to learn moderation. I know I did.”
“Oh, did you get drunk and make a fool out of yourself, and then almost barf on the floorboard of some hunky man’s car?” Realizing what she said, Buffy blushed a bright crimson red. “UH, no, I guess you wouldn’t have done that, would you?”
Angel was enchanted with the girl/woman in front of him. Every time she opened her mouth, something fascinating came out. Smiling at her, trying to alleviate some of her embarrassment, Angel ignored the remark. “No, Buffy, I’ve never done that. But I have made an ass of myself on more than one occasion. And that’s all you really need to know about that. Now get in the car so I can take you home.”
Getting back in his car, Buffy found she felt much better since she had emptied the vile content from her stomach. Not great, but better. Before she knew it, they were pulling up in front of her house. As Angel pulled in to park, Buffy could see there were no lights on in the house. Which meant her mom wasn’t home yet. If she had been, she would have left a light on for Buffy. “Whew, look’s like I escaped with my life. Mom’s not home yet.”
“Looks like tonight’s your lucky night. So you’re off the hook.” As Buffy started to get out of the car, Angel grabbed her by the arm. “Buffy, I hope you learned something tonight.”
Turning back around, Buffy sat back down. “Yeah, Angel, I did. One, don’t drink something that someone else hands you.”
Sighing, Angel continued. “No, Buffy, though that’s a good start. You need to remember that there are men out there that only want one thing from you, and it’s not your heart. What you have is too special, too precious, to give it up to just anyone. A real man knows how to appreciate a gift, and will wait for you to be ready to give it. A boy will take whatever is handed him.”
“How did you know?” Buffy asked, searching his eyes for an answer.
Puzzled, Angel asked, “Know what, Buffy? That you’re a virgin?”
Gasping at his plain talk, a breathless “Yes” is all she could get out.
“Let’s just say that I feel like I know you, that I’ve always known you. And anyone who knows you can see it in your eyes.”
She was again embarrassed to the roots of her hair. He must think she such a little girl, when she really wasn’t. “I have to go.”
Again, Angel grabbed her, stopping her from her departure. This time she tried to pull her arm from his grasp. “Angel, please, let me go.”
“No, Buffy. Not until I say what I want to say.” Taking a deep breath, Angel noticed that Buffy refused to look into his eyes. Grabbing her chin, he turned her lovely face towards him. “Do not be embarrassed about this, Buffy. You should be proud. You’ve proven that you’re not some bimbo who jumps into bed with the first man she meets. You will find that man, but just make sure it’s on your terms. Not his. So many girls your age just jump into bed thinking it will make them an adult. It’s so much more adult to wait until it’s right. I’m proud of you, and you should be too.”
Flabbergasted, that was the first word that came to Buffy’s mind. “You don’t think I’m a freak? That it’s weird that I’m almost 18 and haven’t had sex yet?”
Smiling at her with a smile that reached his soul, he rubbed her cheek with his thumb. “No, I think it’s just right for you. When you decide to have sex, it should be with someone you really love, and you will find him. In the meantime, you’re not losing anything by not having sex. Trust me, without love, it’s just not the same.”
“Sounds like you know from experience.” Buffy responded.
“Unfortunately, I do.”
Curious now, Buffy leaned into him. “Angel, have you ever been in love?”
Smirking, he replied. “I thought I was, once. Not so sure anymore. But it, well, I was but she wasn’t. She was too busy putting notches in her bedpost, if you know what I mean.”
Seeing the confused look on her face, Angel smiled. “I see you don’t know what I mean. God, being with you is like taking a breath of fresh air. She was doing it, with any and every one pretty much. Notches in the bedpost is an old expression, like when people would put notches in their gun for everyone they’d killed with it.”
Eyes wide, Buffy stammered, “Oh. OH, I get it now.” Blushing, she said, “You must think I’m an idiot. I’m really not, at least I don’t think so.”
“No, Buffy, you may be young, but you are far from an idiot. I can’t remember when I’ve enjoyed a conversation with a woman this much. It’s been really fun. Now you better get inside before your mom comes home and wonders what we’re doing in my car at 1 AM. She likes me, but not that much. Come on, I’ll walk you to the door.”
Opening his door, he walked to the other side to help Buffy out of the car. As she stepped out, he automatically draped his arm across her shoulders, walking with her to her front door. As they reached the stoop, Buffy reached into her bag and pulled out the key. Fortunately, Willow had remembered to hand her bag to her as she was leaving, or she was sure she would have left it there. She leaned into the door and unlocked it, then turned around to say goodbye to Angel. Buffy was standing on the step while Angel was on the landing, which brought them almost eye-to-eye. Looking into his eyes, Buffy spoke. “Well, again, let me apologize for ruining your night. But thanks for taking care of me. I obviously wasn’t doing a very good job of it.”
Angel smiled, unable to help himself. He leaned into her hair and whispered in her ear. “I can’t think of anything I’d rather do than spend time with the only woman who has ever asked me to marry her.” Stepping back, he was stunned when she leaned forward and placed a kiss, not on his lips, but on his cheek. Her lips were warm and soft, and his mind was starting to go places it shouldn’t. Then she pulled back.
Smiling at him again, she laughed. “And don’t you forget it. I might just ask you again one day, when I’m old enough, of course.”
Laughing, he turned to walk back to the car while she continued to stand on the stoop. In an insane moment, he turned and winked at her. “I hope you do, beautiful. I really hope you do.”
Five Years Later
Graduation Day. It’s amazing how much more it seems to mean when you’re in college than in high school. She, Buffy Anne Summers, was now a college graduate. It had been a really long four years and she was ready for it to be over. But she wasn’t sure what it meant for real life to begin. Nervous and excited, she was up before the crack of dawn.
Running downstairs, Buffy filled the coffee pot and hit the on button. Today was going to be a long day. First was the graduation ceremony and then her mom was using the gallery for her party. It was a catered affair complete with a buffet dinner and an open bar. Everyone they had ever met would be there, or at least was invited. In all the stress of her finals, she never got a chance to see who had accepted. She knew Riley would be there cause he was her current *boy friend*, as well as her friends, though she was couldn’t help but wonder if *he* would be there. She hadn’t seen him since that disastrous and wonderful night when she was seventeen. Even to this day, just thinking about that night made her blush at her stupidity and glow at the same time.
Through the contact with his mom she knew he wasn’t married. Of course, he had dated lots of women from what she knew. But no one important. And his company was a huge success. Still based in Sunnydale only because he wanted it to be, they were one of the only firms specializing in building or refurbishing a building to a chosen time period. And that was her specialty. She had a minor in world history, with a major in interior design. While Angel worked on the building itself, she wanted to work on those same buildings from the inside. Making sure the decor fit the time period that was intended.
Grabbing a coffee cup out of the cabinet, Buffy filled it and sat down at the counter. It seemed to her like she had been thinking of Angel her whole life. As far back as she could remember, when she thought of her future his face was always there. She may be naive but not enough to believe in ever after. Well, at least not ever after with Angel. After all, he was older and much more experienced than her. There was no way she could compete with the kind of women he was used to dating. According to his mom, his latest girl was a model. As in the New York, runways, lots of money kind of model - not the JC Penny’s catalogue kind of model.
But as insecure as that made her feel, she just knew that he was meant to be someone important in her life. It could just be childhood fantasies that kept that dream alive, but Buffy wasn’t going to let them go without a fight. She had waited a long time, and if she got the opportunity, she was going to go for it. She was going to have Angel even if it was only once. Damn his age, damn his girlfriend, and damn her virginity. Now that she wasn’t tied down by her classes, she would find the time to see him. Accidentally of course, unless he came tonight. Tonight would be the perfect opportunity, one Buffy didn’t plan to blow given the chance.
Buffy was startled from her thoughts by her mom’s entrance into the kitchen. Flinching, she almost spilled her coffee. “Oh, mom, you scared me to death. I guess I wasn’t paying attention.”
Laughing, her mom went to get her a coffee cup from the cabinet. “I noticed. What in the world were you thinking about?”
Blushing, Buffy got up to refill her cup, trying to avoid her mom’s eyes. “Oh, nothing important. Just thinking about the big day.” Regaining her composure she sat back down in her chair, hugging her cup, blowing on it to help cool it down.
Joyce poured herself a cup and sat down across from her. “Well, you could have fooled me. You might have been sitting here, but you’re mind was miles away. Thinking about Riley, maybe?”
Buffy smirked. “Mom, you know I like Riley. He’s very nice. But it’s just not like that between us. I just don’t feel that way about him.”
Reaching over, she touched Buffy’s hand with her own. “He’s such a nice man, Buffy. I think, if you let yourself, you could feel that way about him. I know he loves you.”
With an exasperated sigh Buffy looked at her mom, trying to penetrate her brain. “Mom, we’ve had this conversation a thousand times. I DO NOT love Riley. I care for him, I like being around him but that’s it. I’ve been honest with him, and he knows how I feel. I never wanted to hurt him but I’m afraid that’s exactly what’s going to happen. But I have to do what is right for me. And I just don’t see Riley anywhere in my future.” At that comment, Angel’s face popped into her mind, causing her to blush again.
Sighing, Joyce decided to give up for now. “OK, Buffy, I don’t want to argue with you. You’re an adult now. I just want you to be happy.”
Standing up, Buffy reached over and hugged her Mom. “I know you do, and so do I. But let me get out of college and get a job before you try marrying me off, please?”
Hugging her back, Joyce commented, “You’re right, honey. No more talk today about Riley, or men in general.”
Smiling, Buffy walked to the dishwasher and began unloading the dinner dishes from the night before. “Uh, Mom. How many RSVP’s did we get for the party tonight?” Buffy knew she was fishing, but didn’t care. She just couldn’t find the nerve to come out and ask her Mom if Angel was coming. Maybe because she was afraid the answer would be no.
“Oh, didn’t I tell you? We have over 150 people coming. I had to order more food. All your friends are coming and so are you aunts from LA. It’s going to be great. And of course, several of your teachers from high school and even a few of your college professors promised to make an appearance. I’m so proud of you honey. You managed to make quite an impression on several of them. And here’s the exciting part. I even managed to pull some strings and get the owner of RG Designs to come.”
Buffy’s mouth dropped open. “You did what? Mom, what were you thinking?”
“Honey, you know that I’ve known him for years. Rupert is a friend, and the fact that he owns the premiere design firm in the country is just a bonus. You know, they have a whole division that specializes in what you want to do. With all the pictures of your work hanging in the gallery for the party, it should be a really great opportunity for you.”
“YOU DID WHAT?” Buffy was stunned. “Mom, how could you? You didn’t even ask me, let alone let me approve what you’re displaying. You can’t just hang anything I’ve ever done in the gallery for everyone to gawk at. Geez, I’m still an amateur. If Rupert Giles sees some of those, I’ll never get a job anywhere.”
Tsking at her daughter, Joyce replied, “Nonsense, Buffy. I own a gallery. I know good work when I see it so I’m not going to embarrass you. It’s just a few photos and sketches of some of the rooms you did computer designs for at school. And a couple from the internship you did with that historical society. And I can assure you, they are really good. I wouldn’t intentionally embarrass you. And besides, some day millions of people will be looking at your work. So sweetheart, it’s time you got used to it.”
Buffy felt like she was going to barf. She knew she was good and that people would some day be looking at her designs. She just wasn’t planning on it being so soon. “I just wish you would have discussed it with me, Mom. I didn’t want my graduation party to turn into a job interview. But I know you meant well.” Not wanting to hurt her Mom’s feelings, Buffy decided to let it go. One way or the other, she would survive this. The Double Meat Palace was always hiring so she wouldn’t starve. “Uh, Mom, is Anne Donahoe going to be there?”
Smiling at her, Joyce happily responded. “Well, of course, honey. Anne has known you for years, and she wouldn’t miss it.”
Trying to be slick, Buffy smiled. “That’s so nice. How about Angel? Is he going to make it?”
“I don’t know, honey. His mom said he was in New York this week, but he was going to try to get back if he could. So we’ll just have to wait and see. Why?”
Feeling her heart sink, Buffy tried to blow it off. “Oh, just curious. No big deal. I think I’ll go upstairs and lay back down. Lord knows, we have about a gazillion hours until we have to leave.”
“Okay, honey. You might want to go back to bed. This could be a long day.”
Buffy wished for that, more than her mom would ever know. “Well, Mom, we’ll just have to see. In some ways, I really hope you’re right.” Kissing her Mom on the cheek, Buffy walked out of the kitchen, and headed up the stairs to her bedroom.
Throwing herself down on the bed, Buffy couldn’t stop the tears from rolling down her cheeks. She hadn’t realized just how much she was looking forward to seeing Angel until her mom had said he might not come. Somehow she felt like the whole party was going to be a waste if he wasn’t there. Sitting up she wiped her eyes, taking a deep breath to regain her control, and gave herself a pep talk. *Get it together, Buffy. It’s not the end of the world. And he did say he’d try to make it. So think positive. *
Feeling better she laid back down, deciding that she might as well go back to sleep. The morning loomed in front of her with nothing to do so a nap was just what she needed. If she got lucky, maybe she’d have one of *those* dreams about Angel again. The ones that made her breathless and tingly all over. The ones that made her know that he was going to be her first.
The Gallery was beautiful. Her mom had decorated it in burgundy and cream, with streamers at every possible location. The tables were decorated with a wide variety of appetizers, all served on silver platters. The first thing she did was check out the pictures and designs that her mother had on display. She wasn’t about to let her mom embarrass her if it was at all possible. Satisfied with what her mom had chosen, Buffy was excited and nervous while waiting to see just who would show. Praying to all the Gods out there, she really wanted to see him.
Buffy looked incredible and she knew it. The dress she wore was cream-colored tea length chiffon with an open back all the way down to the small of her back. The front was cut low also, showing some serious cleavage while leaving very little to the imagination. The skirt was full, swaying with her hips as she walked. Her mom had pitched a fit when she’d seen it but Buffy pulled the *I’m an adult* thing on her, and her mom had relented. Buffy had spent an inordinate amount of time fixing her hair so that her long tresses hung in just the right way, and her makeup was heavier than usual but still minimal compared to most women.
Seeing that the first guests were arriving, Buffy ran over to greet Willow, Oz, Xander and his girlfriend Anya. Hugging them one at a time, Buffy said, “Thanks for coming, guys. It means a lot to me.”
Oz smiled at her in his normal stoic way. “Congrats, Buffy. I knew you could do it.” Anya of course was her normal blunt self. “We’re glad for you, Buffy, but what took you so long? Four years seems like a long time.”
Xander leaned over and gave Buffy a kiss on the cheek. “Hey, Buffy, you know we wouldn’t miss this. And Anya, you know four years is what everybody goes. Just because Willow did it in three, well, honey, that’s not the norm.” Smiling at Buffy, he returned his attention to her. “A college graduate, huh? Now we have two of them. Ooh, let me touch you, maybe it will rub off on me. Well, no, forget that. I don’t want to have to sit through another boring graduation ceremony. ”
Laughing, Buffy kissed him back. “Actually, Xander, if you include Oz we have three. And Mister Construction Site Manager, you don’t seem to be doing so bad without a degree.”
Nodding in agreement, Willow added her own encouragement, “Yeah, Xander. Heck, you’re making more money than I am and I graduated college in three years. So there’s no reason for you to feel inferior.”
Xander chuckled, “Gee, Will, I wasn’t until you brought it up. And I actually make more money than you do?”
Blushing, Willow shook her head. “Well, no, you don’t, but hey, you’re close, so that should count for something.”
Draping her arms around Xander and Willow’s waists, Buffy propelled them towards the food tables. “Come on, guys, let’s get you something to drink and eat. Mom really outdid herself, so there’s enough food to feed an army. And more beer and wine than the whole graduating class could consume, I think.”
Xander perked up at that. “Beer and food? Sounds like my kind of party. Let’s do it.”
Two hours later, the Gallery was filled with people. Buffy felt like she had met, talked to, introduced or entertained everyone she had ever met, and some she hadn’t, tonight. And still no Angel. And for that matter no Rupert Giles, the head of RG Designs. She’d been on pins and needles all night, waiting for both their appearances, and neither of them had yet to show. On the plus side, Riley hadn't shown up yet either.
Sighing deeply, Buffy took a sip from her glass of wine. Only just now starting her second glass, Buffy couldn’t help but think about the lesson that Angel had taught her. Moderation, he’d said. And Buffy had practiced that lesson since that night.
About to give up on them both, Buffy saw her mom out of the corner of her eye. She was in deep discussion with a very handsome older man. He was wearing a tweed suit, stylish but conservative. She could tell they were dissecting one of her designs, and that made her very nervous. If someone was going to critique one of her designs to that degree, she wanted to be involved. Walking over to her mom, Buffy interrupted their conversation. “Mom, I see your friend is really interested in this design.” Turning and smiling at him, Buffy extended her hand. “Hi, I’m Buffy Summers. And you are?”
The gentleman took her hand, and shook it. “Ah, yes, Miss Summers. It’s a pleasure. I’ve known your mother for years. She speaks highly of you and you’re talent.”
Liking the man immediately, Buffy smiled back. “Well, I should hope so. She did give birth to me, after all. But you still have one up on me.”
With a confused look on his face, the gentleman looked first at Joyce and then at Buffy. “Excuse me?”
Again, Buffy was touched by his sincerity. “Well, kind sir,” Buffy stated, “I’m think I’m at a disadvantage. You know who I am, but I haven’t a clue as to who you are.”
Gasping, her mother breathlessly said, “Buffy, no¼”
At the same time, the older man replied, “Oh, dear, Miss Summers. Excuse my rude behavior. I just assumed you knew. I’m Rupert Giles, the owner of RG Designs.”
Buffy wanted to crawl under the nearest rock and die. She’d seen several pictures of this man, knew his resume like the back of her hand, but she hadn’t recognized him in person.
Chagrined, Buffy tried to make amends for her faux paux. “Oh, Mr. Giles, I can’t believe I didn’t recognize you.” Thinking that sucking up would be a good idea, Buffy smiled again at his kind face. “Your pictures don’t do you justice. You’re much better looking in person.”
Laughing, Mr. Giles grabbed Joyce around the waist and kissed her on the cheek. “Joyce, I can’t believe you never told me how wonderful she was. I haven’t had such a good laugh in a long time.”
Realizing her attempt at sucking up had failed, Buffy blushed from head to toe. Damn, she wasn’t very good at it, and had never been. Deciding that honesty was the best policy, Buffy just blurted it out. “Mr. Giles, your right. I’m not very good at sucking up. It’s not my strong suit. But that doesn’t mean I’m not good at what I do. And I’m good enough to know that you’re good at what you do. There isn’t a building or a design that you or your company has done in the last ten years that I don’t know about. And, frankly, there’s a couple I could guarantee that I could do better.”
Shocked, Mr. Giles raised his eyebrows at her. “Oh, really? So, you think you could come into the real world and compete with the likes of me?”
Buffy gave him a half smile. “I don’t want to insult you, cause you do fantastic work. But, yeah, I think I could.”
Approaching Buffy, Mr. Giles smirked at her. “Well, Miss Summers, I’ve looked at your work here tonight, and some of it is really amateurish.”
“Yes, it is. But those ones were done a long time ago.”
Continuing as if he hadn’t heard her, Mr. Giles said, “And some of it is the some of the best I’ve ever seen. So, I have a proposition for you.”
Buffy raised an eyebrow at him, “A proposition? And what would that be?”
Grabbing Joyce by the arm and Buffy as well, Mr. Giles escorted them to an empty table. “Would you ladies like anything before we get down to business?”
After both ladies replied no, he sat down and began to speak. “ Buffy, if I may call you that, I have something I think you will be really interested in. I have a contractor that has purchased a mansion here in Sunnydale. He’s a good friend of mine and even though he doesn’t have a buyer yet, he thinks that once the place is restored to it’s full glory, it could fetch a very tidy sum. And I am inclined to agree with him. His company will handle all of the building restoration and architectural needs, and mine will be responsible for decorating it. I think you would do a wonderful at the decorating and am willing to hire you on a contract basis.”
Joyce and Buffy were stunned. For several minutes, neither of them could form a coherent word so they sat there in silence. Buffy was the first to regain her voice. “Contract basis? What exactly does that mean, Mr. Giles?”
“Well, the first thing it means is you stop calling me Mr. Giles. All my friends and employees call me Giles. And the second thing it means is that you would be employed by me until such time as the job is done or I no longer feel the need
for your services. This way I’m not held down to an offer of employment, and you get a chance to show me your stuff.”
Buffy smirked at him. “So you aren’t willing to offer me a job, is that what you are saying?”
“Yes, Buffy, I am saying that. I own a company that stakes *my* reputation on the quality of the work. I don’t hire college graduates right out of school. But after seeing your work tonight I’m willing to give you a shot. You are good, and I think you would be good for this mansion.”
“And what if I do a good job? What happens then?” Buffy asked.
Giles looked into her beautiful hazel eyes that were so much like her mothers. “If you are as good as I think you are, Buffy, you won’t need me. You’ll be able to go anywhere you want and find a job. But yes, I will hire you in a heartbeat.”
Grinning from ear to ear, Buffy stood up to shake his hand. “Giles, you have a deal. I won’t disappoint you, I swear. You tell me when and where, and I’ll be there.”
Giles was thrilled at her enthusiasm. “No need to get into details tonight Buffy. I’ll come around to the house tomorrow and we can finalize our contract.”
Smiling again, Buffy nodded in agreement. “Thanks, Mr. Giles, uh, Giles. This is great. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go tell my friends the good news.” Running from the table, Buffy didn’t even wait for a reply.
Joyce had sat speechless during the whole conversation, amazed at the maturity her daughter displayed. Her daughter was going to work for the only man she had truly ever loved. The world was much too small for her at the moment. Standing up, she chugged what was left of her drink and looked towards Giles. “Thank you, Giles. I can’t tell you how much this means to me.”
Giles also stood up and hugged Joyce. “You know how much I care for you, but this isn’t about us. Buffy’s designs show incredible promise, and I feel honored to be the first to give her a chance to do something she is really good at. You’ve done a good job with her, Joyce. Its just too bad Hank couldn’t have tried a little harder to be part of her life.” Reaching up, he touched her cheek, running his hands down her throat. “You know I missed you. I always do.”
Her breath catching, Joyce grabbed his hand. “Don’t, Giles. It won’t work.”
Gently grabbing the back of her head, Giles focused his gaze on her. “What now, Joyce? What’s your excuse? Buffy is 22 years old and Hank’s been gone for years, so that can’t be it. Don’t shut me out anymore.”
Swallowing hard, Joyce blinked up into his blue eyes. “It’s not about Buffy anymore, Rupert. And it was never about Hank. We’re two different people now. You’re this big successful businessman, and I’m just the owner of a little gallery in a small town. What could we possible have in common anymore?”
Leaning over to whisper in her ear, his lips close enough to touch her, Giles breathed in her scent. “If you would let me, I would love to show you.”
Pulling back, Joyce was shocked at the reaction his words caused. Her heart was beating a little too fast and her breath kept catching in her throat. Turning around in order to regain some sense of composure, Joyce shook her head. “No, Rupert, it wouldn’t work. You’ve dated all these really sophisticated, beautiful, not to mention young, women over the years. I would bore you to tears in a matter of days.”
Smirking, Rupert nodded his head in agreement. “You’re right, Joyce. I have dated a lot of really beautiful women. But I’ve only loved - hell, I still only love - just one.”
Shocked, Joyce was about to dispute that statement when Buffy again made an appearance. Not wanting to have this conversation in front of her daughter, Joyce pleaded silently with Giles to let it go.
With a look that said ‘This is not over’, Rupert Giles gave a quick nod of his head. “Well, Buffy, how did your friends take the news?”
“Oh, they are really excited for me. Though probably not as excited as I am. I can hardly wait to get started.” Grabbing Giles by the arm, she propelled him to the table. Her mom smiled at her and took the seat next to Giles. “So, tell me all you know about the mansion.”
Buffy sat down with her back to the door, waiting for Giles to fill her in on some of the details. When he didn’t immediately start talking, Buffy looked at his eyes and noticed that he was staring over her shoulder. “Uh, Giles, is there something wrong?” she asked.
Not responding, Buffy heard him mutter under his breath. “Well, I’ll be.”
Wondering what Giles could possibly be looking at, Buffy turned around in her chair only to find herself staring into a white silk shirt. Craning her neck, she looked up to see who the shirt belonged to. Her jaw dropped and it was her turn to mutter now. “Angel?”
Angel leaned down and placed a kiss on her cheek. Smiling into her eyes, he whispered “Congratulations, Buffy. I’m very proud of you. The Dean’s list, no less.”
Shocked, Buffy’s mouth continued to hang open. Angel took the seat next to her and said hello to her mother. From what Buffy could tell, Joyce made all the appropriate responses. When Angel turned towards Giles, Buffy regained her voice. Before she could say anything, Angel beat her to it.
“Small world, huh, Giles. I had no idea you knew Buffy.”
“Well, Angel, that makes two of us. How¼why are you here?” Giles questioned.
Laughing, Angel held his hands up in the air in a gesture of surrender. “No work, I promise, Giles. It just so happens that I’ve known Buffy and her Mom since I was a teenager, and Buffy was in grade school. Joyce is best friends with my mom, and I spent several torture filled years babysitting for Buffy and her friends. I wouldn’t have missed this for the world.”
Stunned, Buffy gazed back and forth between the men and asked, “You two know each other?”
Giles took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. “Uh, Buffy, you could say that. Angel and I have worked together on several projects over the years.”
Smiling back at Buffy, Angel nodded in agreement. “Yep, Giles and I go back a long way. Well, not as long as you and I, but still a few years.”
Even Joyce seemed to be confused, so she just sat there and listened to the conversation. Buffy, in the meantime, couldn’t seem to get her jaw off the floor. Angel was here, and he knew her new boss. She couldn’t seem to wrap her mind around the idea.
Giles cleared his throat, looking Angel in the eye. “Well, Angel, I hope this isn’t going to be a problem. Uh, well, you see, I just hired Buffy to decorate the mansion. On a contract basis, of course.”
Startled, Angel raised his eyebrows. “Really, Giles? That’s not like you. You usually only use seasoned designers. May I ask why?”
Leaning over in order to have a more personal conversation, Giles explained. “If you look around, you’ll see some of her work is displayed tonight. She’s really good, Angel. I think she could do the mansion proud. And she knows it’s on a trial basis.”
Insulted that they were talking about her like she wasn’t there, and confused as to why Angel would care, Buffy chimed into the conversation. “Excuse me, but if you’re going to talk about me, I prefer to be part of the conversation. Angel, what in the world does my working for Giles have to do with you?”
Giles sat up, clearly uncomfortable, and sighed. “Well, Buffy, if you must know, Angel is the contractor I was talking about. You will be working with him on the mansion. I hope that isn’t going to prove to be a problem.”
*Working with Angel? * Her first design job was going to be for Angel? Buffy’s mind had come to an almost complete stop. She would see him, be around him, everyday. Or at least a lot of the time. And he would be the one deciding if her work was good enough. Could she do this? Did she even want to? Coming to a decision, Buffy shook her head. “No, Giles, no problem for me. What about you, Angel?” Looking him in the eyes, she tilted her chin and dared him to object.
Shaking his head, he smiled back at her. “No, Giles. If you think she’s that good, I’m not going to object. I’ve always respected your opinion and admired her spunk, so this could prove to be interesting.” Reaching out his hand in the gesture of a handshake, Buffy shook it. “Welcome aboard, Buffy. I’m looking forward to working with you.”
Joyce had sat there silent during the entire exchange. Tonight was proving to be one of the strangest nights of her life. First the job offer from Giles, then his declaration of love, and now this. Sighing, she realized it was time for the music to start. “Well, I’m glad you worked this all out. I need to go find the DJ and get the music started. So, Buffy, Angel, I’m sure I’ll run into you somewhere in this crowd.” Sensing that Buffy and Angel needed some time to get reacquainted, she ventured to take Giles with her. “Giles, would you like to join me?”
“Why, Joyce, I can’t think of anything I’d rather do more.” Giles responded, standing up and following her. Placing his arm around her waist, the two headed into the crowd.
“Kind of weird, huh?” Angel asked.
“Yeah, really weird. I can’t believe we’re going to be working together. This is definitely not how I imagined this evening, that’s for sure.” Thinking about what she had planned, Buffy blushed all the way up to the roots of her hair.
Noticing, Angel grinned. “So, Buffy, just what did you have planned?”
“Uh, nothing, no big plans, really.” Leaning over, Buffy placed her hand on his hand that was resting on the table. “Thanks for coming, Angel. It means a lot to me that you came.”
Squeezing her fingers, Angel smiled into her eyes. “Like I said, I wouldn’t have missed this for the world. I don’t know why, but when I got your invitation I think I was excited for you as you probably were.”
Blushing again, Buffy decided it was time to change the subject before she went up in a big ball of flames. It was getting really hot in the room, and it felt like someone had removed most of the air. Clearing her throat, she removed her hand from Angel’s. “Well, I appreciate you coming. If it weren’t for you, I would probably be working at the nearest fast food joint. You, along with my mom, were kind of my inspiration, almost like a role model.”
“Oh, Buffy, I think you’re giving me way too much credit.” Angel grinned at her. “You did this all on your own.”
“Well, yeah. But if it weren’t for you, I would still be in school hopping from one major to another. I started out with world history, but I just couldn’t see a practical future in it unless you want to teach, which I didn’t. So then I thought of you and tried architecture, and even though I wasn’t any good at building design, it led me to interior design. So, you indirectly helped to lead me to my chosen profession. Speaking of that, Giles said the mansion was owned by a contractor. You’re an architect, not a contractor.”
“That’s true. But as I began to build the business, I found that designing buildings was one thing, and getting someone to build them like you want is another. So, I decided to do both.”
Laughing, Buffy leaned into him. “But Angel, what do you know about construction?”
Laughing with her, he responded, “A lot more than I used to. I brought in a partner who knows just about everything, and he’s taught me more than I ever cared to know.”
“Oh, well, that’s good. You’re Mom said that things were going well. I’m really glad for you. I, for one, never doubted that you would be successful.”
“Well, Miss Summers, flattery will get you everywhere.” Standing up, he held out his hand to her. “Speaking of which, would you like to show me your work? I’m really anxious to see it.”
Jumping up like a schoolgirl, and then remembering she was in a semi-formal gown, Buffy regained her composure and grabbed his outstretched hand. “Why, Mr. Donahoe, I would love to.” Placing her hand in the crook of his, she looked up into his beautiful brown eyes. “Shall we?”
Angel just stood there staring into her eyes. “Shall we what?” he asked after several seconds. “Oh, yeah, sorry. Lost myself for a moment there.” As they began to walk towards the first of her drawings, he leaned over and whispered in her ear. “Just so you know, that dress is enough to give a man ideas. You’re lucky I’m such a gentleman.”
Giggling, Buffy leaned closer to him, smiling, “Oh, that just might have been the idea. And surely, you aren’t always a gentleman. Sometimes you just have to be a man.”
Stopping in his tracks, Angel looked at her, confusion written on his face. His mouth was flapping open and closed as he tried to think of a response, but for once in his life, Angel was speechless. Trying again, all he could get out was, “Uh, Uh¼”
The air was filled with tinkling laughter as Buffy pulled him forward. “Angel, I’m all grown up. If you play with fire now, you just might get burned.”
Shaking his head, Angel smirked. Stopping, he twirled her around to get a good look at her dress. “Yes, Buffy, you are definitely all grown up. And I think I’m going need some serious skin grafts before this over.”
Looking at each other, they both started sputtering in laughter at the same time. At that, Angel grabbed her around the waist, continuing them on their way. Both of them were still laughing and breathless when they came upon the first design displayed. As the music finally began to play, Buffy couldn’t help but sway to the beat.
As Angel perused her design, she nervously waited for his opinion. It was a collage of pictures from the dining room she had done for the historical society. The house had been an 18th century Georgian, located in the outskirts of Boston. It was one of her better works, and she was getting anxious waiting for Angel to critique it. After several minutes, she couldn’t stand it anymore. “Well, Angel, what do you think?”
Standing up, he shrugged his shoulders. “Well, I’m not a designer, but I would say you captured the mood perfectly. But I’m not so sure about that table. Are you sure it’s not 17th century?”
“No, Angel, look again.” Both of them leaned into the picture, pointing out the things she wanted him to notice. “See the etching on the legs, and the tapering? That’s a sure sign that it’s a design from the early 18th century. The 17th century designers didn’t use that style.”
Smiling up into her face, she realized what he was doing. Standing up at her full 5’2” height, she glared at him. “Oh, testing me, are you? I don’t know whether to be angry or insulted, or both.”
Angel hugged her stiff body. “How ‘bout neither? I had to be sure you know what you’re doing. Giles probably didn’t tell you, but I bought the mansion with my own money. Well, a lot of my own money, and a lot of money from the Bank of Sunnydale. Since I didn’t have a buyer lined up, I didn’t want to stake the future of the company of a hunch. So, I have a lot at stake in this remodel. Anything we spend is coming from a bank, in my name only, and I even have to pay my own company for the work.”
Gulping, Buffy pulled back and gasped. “Angel, do you think that was the smartest thing?”
“Probably not, but there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last 5 years. Never ignore your instincts. So far, it’s proven to be a reliable philosophy.”
“That’s what I hear. So,” Buffy sighed, forgiving his interrogation, “what do you think? Can we do this? Do you trust me to decorate your mansion?”
Looking into her eyes, Angel answered, “Yes, I think I do. Somehow, Buffy, I feel like I could trust you with anything.”
Hearing the song that began to play, Angel asked, “Would you like to dance?”
Grabbing his hand, Buffy began dragging him to the dance floor. “I thought you’d never ask.”
The song was an old Burt Bacharach song that fit Buffy’s mood perfectly. Wrapping her arms around Angel’s neck, Buffy leaned her head on his shoulders. He felt wonderful, and Buffy couldn’t help but rejoice in the fact that he was here, in her arms. She had been dreaming about this moment forever. Running her arms down his back, she again moved her hands up around his neck. Looking up into his eyes, Buffy found herself getting lost in them.
Continuing to stare into each other’s eyes, they were both swept away by the lyrics of the song. It felt like the song was written for them and this moment.
The look of love is in your eyes
A look your smile can't disguise
The look of love is saying so much more
than just words could ever say
And what my heart has heard, well it takes my breath away
I can hardly wait to hold you, feel my arms around you
How long I have waited
Waited just to love you, now that I have found you
Don't ever go
Neither of them could seem to look away, and Buffy was sure she was going to die right there. Dancing with Angel was the best experience of her life. And the way he was looking at her, she was pretty sure dancing with her was affecting him as well. And the stiff parts in his pants kind of gave him away. Feeling his obvious arousal, Buffy leaned into it, luxuriating in the feel of his body being excited because of her. Angel sucked in his breath, and pulled Buffy even closer.
You've got the
Look of love, it's on your face
A look that time can't erase
Be mine tonight, let this be just the start of so many nights like this
Let's take a lover's vow and then seal it with a kiss
I can hardly wait to hold you, feel my arms around you
How long I have waited
Waited just to love you, now that I have found you
Don't ever go
Don't ever go
Lowering his head, Angel gently placed a kiss on Buffy’s welcoming lips. Buffy was stunned but thrilled, and leaned in to deepen the kiss. As their tongues began to duel, the song came to an end.
Suddenly, Buffy was pulled from Angel. Startled, she pulled her arm back, and turned to face the person who would dare to ruin her perfect night. Only to stare directly into Riley’s face.
Not knowing Riley, all Angel knew was some really rude person had just interrupted what was probably the most defining moment of his life. Angrily, Angel grabbed the man by the arm and growled at him, “I would suggest you take your hands off of her, and do yourself a favor and back off.”
Riley glared at Angel, red-faced in his anger. “The hell I will. Who the hell are you, and why are you kissing my girlfriend?”
“Who I am is none of your concern, and you had probably better ask your *girlfriend* what she was doing kissing me?” Angel replied, shooting Buffy a dirty look.
“Angel, he is NOT my boyfriend, no matter what he may think.” Grabbing him by the arm, she pleaded, “Please, don’t make a scene. Let me handle this.”
Seeing the sincerity in her eyes, Angel nodded. “I’ll go get us something to drink, and find Willow and Xander. Meet me at their table?”
Smiling her gratitude, she nodded and mouthed ‘thank you’ as she roughly grabbed Riley by the arm and led him off the dance floor.
Buffy could never remember being so angry in her life. Ushering Riley into her mother’s office, she slammed the door behind him. “What the hell was that about, Riley?”
“You were kissing that guy. You’re MY girlfriend, damn it.” Riley whined indignantly.
Sighing, Buffy tried to again let him down easy. “Riley, how many times do we have to go through this? I am your friend, but I am not your girlfriend. I care about you, but not like that.”
Riley grabbed her by the arms, and gently shook her. “You don’t mean that. Buffy, we’ve been seeing each other for a year now. I love you, and I know you love me, too.”
Feeling her anger return, Buffy tried to pull away from him, which made Riley squeeze tighter. Feeling the bruises beginning to form, Buffy glared at him. “Riley, I have never loved you. How many times do I have to tell you this? I don’t love you now, and I never will.”
Buffy didn’t like the look in Riley’s eyes, and really didn’t like the next words that came out of his mouth. “This is bullshit, Buffy. So you’ve spent the last year just leading me on? Is that what your telling me? And then the first man that comes on to you, you start necking with like some slut in front of all our friends - when I couldn’t even get a good night kiss?”
Really angry now, Buffy jerked harder and managed to pull her arms from Riley’s grip. Pulling her hand back as far as she could, she slapped him with all her might. “How dare you? I have always been honest with you. Never, not once in the last year, have I ever given you a reason to think we were more than just friends. And, for your information, I’ve known Angel for over fifteen years. Now I think you need to leave.” Turning around to escort him from the office, her head jerked back as Riley grabbed her arm and pulled.
“No, Buffy, this isn’t going to be that easy. I’m not just going to go away empty handed. You will love me, even if I have to make you.”
Despite Buffy’s struggling, Riley pulled her to his chest and wrapped her in a bear hug. Leaning down, he cruelly kissed her lips. After having just shared the world’s most perfect kiss with Angel, Buffy gagged at the touch of Riley’s cold, cruel touch. Trying to protest, she opened her mouth to say no, and he took that chance to stick his overly wet tongue into her mouth. Buffy was gagging so much, she thought she might barf in his mouth. Using the only weapon she had at that moment, she bit down hard on his tongue, drawing blood. Quickly releasing her, Riley slapped her across the cheek, causing her eyes to water and her ears to ring. It wasn’t hard enough to bruise, but she was definitely going to have a welt.
“Bitch, I can’t believe you just did that. All I ever did was love you, and this is how you repay me.” Riley spit out the blood that was now forming in his mouth, and Buffy found some satisfaction in the fact that he spattered some of it on his really expensive suit. Well, that’s not coming out, her inner diva thought.
Holding her cheek, Buffy spat at him, “Get the hell out of here, Riley, before I have you arrested for assault. If I ever see you again, you better hope you have a bodyguard, cause I will make sure it’s a meeting you don’t live through.” Seeing him hesitate, she warned, “You have about 30 seconds before I call the police.”
Realizing he had burned his bridges, Riley stopped long enough to get in one last dig. “You used me, Buffy. You’re nothing but a slut, and I should have known that all the time.” Walking out the door, he slammed it shut as he left.
Grabbing her throbbing cheek, Buffy fell to the floor and cried. She had been so scared. Even more scared than she was when Parker had tried to make her do things she didn’t want to do when she was drunk. How did she miss it? How could she have been friends with this man for a year and not seen the cruel, sadistic side of him? Sobbing again, she didn’t hear the door open.
As Buffy led the *asshole*, which was now Angel’s pet name for him, off the dance floor, Angel did as he promised. He went to the bar and got himself a scotch and Buffy a white wine. Searching the rooms, he finally found Willow and Xander at a table in the 17th century art room. As he approached the table, mouths began to drop. Willow was the first to notice him, and the next thing he knew, he was smothered in a big hug by an “I may be drunk” Willow.
“Angel, you’re here. I can’t believe you came.” Willow continued to hug him until Angel gently unwrapped her arms from around his neck.
“Well, of course I came. I wouldn’t miss the chance to see the Scooby gang finally all grown up.” He replied.
Smiling up at him, Willow grabbed him by the arm and led him to the table. Angel shook hands with Xander, who was, as always, a little intimidated. “Hey, Angel, nice to see you again.”
“You too, Xander.” Feeling his discomfort, Angel decided to ease his tension. Looking at Anya, he asked, “So, Xander, don’t tell me this beautiful woman is your girlfriend?”
Xander followed Angel’s line of sight, and found Anya. Putting his arm around her in a possessive manor, Xander replied, “Uh, yeah, Angel, this is Anya. Anya, this is Angel.”
Smiling into her face, Angel realized she really was an attractive woman. Holding out his hand, he shook hers. “Nice to meet you, Anya.”
Anya replied, “Yes, I’m sure it is. Xander has mentioned you, but he forgot to mention how handsome you were.”
Smirking, Angel decided to ignore her comment. It was plain to anyone who had eyes that she loved Xander to distraction, and Angel was really glad for him. Winking at Xander, Angel turned his attention to Oz.
“Hey, Oz, how’ve you been? I haven’t seen you since the party for John’s graduation two years ago. How’s the music business?”
In his usual stoic fashion, Oz replied, “Good, Angel. At least it’s paying the bills.”
“Well, can’t ask for more than that.” Angel responded.
Willow jumped up, and wrapped her arm around Angel’s shoulder. “So, Angel, have you seen Buffy yet?”
“Yes, Willow, as a matter of fact, I just left her with Riley.”
Tsking at him, she swayed, “Angel, you should be ashamed of yourself. Why would you leave her with someone who was so dull? This is her party, she deserves to spend it with someone hot, like you.”
Taken aback at her comment, he arched a questioning eyebrow at Oz. Shrugging his shoulders, he commented, “Sorry, dude, but they, well, especially Buffy, they think you’re hot. And Willow is a little inebriated, so her tact is pretty much all gone.”
Looking back at Oz, Willow objected to the comment. “I am not drunk. OK, well, maybe I am, but he really is hot.”
Angel had the class to be embarrassed by the comment, while Anya took the opportunity to agree. “Yes, Angel, I would have to agree. You are a rather sexy man.”
Deciding it was in his best interest to ignore Anya’s comment, Angel was starting to get worried about Buffy. Hell, how long could it take to blow a man off? “Guys, speaking of Buffy, I’m getting kind of worried about her. You don’t think she left with this Riley guy do you?” Trying to be nonchalant, Angel didn’t do a very good job.
Willow slurred first. “Angel, if you’re here, Buffy’s not leaving with anyone else. Trust me on this.”
Angel felt his heart swell at that comment, and then his instincts kicked into overdrive. He needed to find Buffy. “Well, if you guys don’t mind, I’m going to find her. If she comes back here, keep her here for me, will you?”
Willow again smiled, sitting down on Oz’s lap. “Oh, don’t worry. If she knows you’re coming back for her, she won’t go anywhere.”
Angel had looked in every room in the gallery and had yet to find Buffy. Fortunately, it wasn’t a big gallery. Finally coming to Mrs. Summer’s office, he opened the door, only to see Buffy sobbing on the floor, clutching her cheek.
Running over to her, he knelt down and wrapped his arms around her. “Buffy, what the hell happened? Are you alright?”
Looking up into his face, Buffy tried to hide the swelling with her hand. “I can’t believe I was friends with such an asshole.”
Removing her hand from her cheek, Angel looked at her slightly swollen face. An anger like he’d only felt once before welled up inside him. He was almost as angry as the night Parker pulled his stunt with Buffy, maybe even more so. “He hit you? That son of a bitch actually hit you?”
“Yeah, can you believe it? And, you know what’s even worse?” Buffy smirked.
“What, Buffy? What else did that asshole do to you?”
“He kissed me.”
With a confused look on his face, Angel repeated, “He kissed you?”
“Yeah, and it was so awful, I bit his tongue, really hard. Actually drew blood.”
Angel hugged her, and softly kissed her swollen cheek. “Good for you. But when I find him, he’s going to bleed in a whole lot more places.”
“No, Angel, just let it go, at least for tonight. As it is I’m going to have to use a whole lot of makeup, and some pretty good lies just to go back to the party. I don’t want to get people upset.”
“I don’t like you having to lie about it. You didn’t do anything wrong.” Angel commented.
“No, I didn’t. But everyone I’ve ever known almost is out there. And I don’t want my graduation party to turn into a lynching. I’ll tell my mother the truth tomorrow. But for now, let’s just say I ran into a door.”
Sighing, Angel agreed. He didn’t want her night to be ruined any more than it already was. Standing up, Angel grabbed Buffy by the waist and hauled her up to him. “OK, I’ll go along with it for now. But, he will pay. I’ll make sure of it.” Staring into her eyes, he leaned down and kissed her gently.
As he went to pull away, Buffy grabbed the lapels of his jacket and deepened the kiss. Never before in his whole life had he enjoyed kissing anyone as much as Buffy. It was almost a religious experience. Wrapping his arms around her again, he plunged into her mouth with his tongue, causing her to moan into his throat. Angel felt like a teenager again. He was so excited just by kissing her, that he felt like he could lose it at any minute. Drawing back from her mouth, he slid his tongue down her cheek, placing feather like kisses as he went. She tasted wonderful, like vanilla and sunshine. Running his hands up her sides, he gently teased the underside of her breasts while nibbling on her beautiful throat. Buffy arched into his hands, panting and squeezing his arms.
“Please, Angel. I need you to touch me.” Buffy breathlessly begged. For the first time in her life, it felt right to have a man’s hands on her. Every other time a man had touched her it had somehow felt wrong. But not now. This is what she had been waiting for. This was why she was still a virgin - she had been waiting for him.
Angel moaned at her plea, and moved his hands up to cup her breasts. Rubbing her nipples through the material, he could feel them harden into pebbles at his touch. Wanting to see them, he pulled back from Buffy, who whined in protest. “Shh,” Angel said as he walked to the door and locked it. Returning to her, he again grabbed her around the waist, kissing her until she was almost senseless.
As much as Angel was enjoying this, he knew that now was not the time. But he couldn’t deny himself a little bit of ecstasy. Hell, it wouldn’t hurt to tease himself a little bit. And just touching Buffy was a really big tease. She needed to get back to her party, but he needed to be here with her, even if only for a few minutes.
Dragging his lips away from her mouth was almost painful. Looking into her eyes, he continued to tease her nipples through her dress. Her eyes were half-closed, pupils dilated in her arousal until they were almost black, except for the little ring of green around the edge. That one look was probably the most sensual thing he had ever seen, and that was saying something. Angel had had more than his fair share of women, but nothing had ever aroused him as much as the Buffy’s face at this moment. Moving his hand to her throat, he pressed a kiss to her cheek. “Buffy, honey, I don’t know what you’re doing to me, but this is definitely a new experience. I’m not sure if I want to throw you down on the floor and make mad passionate love to you, or wrap you in my arms so tight that no one can ever hurt you again.” Moving down her throat, Angel kissed and sucked at her flesh until Buffy again moaned in pleasure.
Buffy was beside herself with desire. She could barely even come up with a coherent thought. She had dreamed of this for so long, but the reality of being with Angel like this was so much better. Moaning, she begged, “Please, Angel, make love to me.” Grabbing his jacket, she pulled it down his arms, and he helped her remove it. Throwing it onto the chair, Buffy took the opportunity to unbutton his shirt. While she was doing that with her shaking fingers, Angel reached behind her and unzipped her dress. When he was finally shirtless, he slid Buffy’s dress down her shoulders and hips until it pooled at her feet. As he stopped to take in the sight before him, he gasped. She was spectacular. She wasn’t wearing a bra. The dress she had on wouldn’t accommodate one. And she might as well have not had any underwear on either. Only a cream colored silk thong covered her nether regions from his view. Her breasts were full and firm, with dusty rose-colored nipples. Those led down to a narrow waist and firm hips and thighs. Even her legs, though not long, were perfectly proportioned for her petite body.
Buffy was feeling uncomfortable with his obvious perusal, and she tried to cross her arms over her chest. “Oh, no, Buffy,” Angel said as he grabbed her hands and twined his fingers with hers. “Don’t ever try to hide yourself. You are an amazingly beautiful woman, and you should never try to cover up that beauty. Unless, of course, your not with me.” He growled. Again looking her up and down, Angel had never before felt the possessiveness he felt towards this woman. Releasing her hands, Angel grabbed her by the waist with one hand and kissed her full on the mouth, while grabbing her breast with the other and massaging the soft flesh.
Delirious, Buffy moaned into his neck when he broke the kiss, pushing herself against his hand. No matter how many times you might touch yourself, it couldn’t compete to having the right man touch you with his hands. Grabbing the back of his head, she helped to guide him to the spot that needed the most attention. As his mouth got nearer to her nipple, Buffy’s breathing became so rapid she was afraid she was going to pass out. “God, Angel, please.” Buffy moaned, as she touched his back. He felt like Heaven, hard and soft all at the same time.
Angel gently lathed her nipple with his mouth. She tasted so good he never wanted to stop. And the sounds she was making were making him so hard, he wasn’t sure he was going to make it. Not that he intended to actually make love to her here. This was just a warm up. When he finally made love to Buffy, it was going to be somewhere where they could take their time. That was something he did not want to rush.
Moving his hand lower, he ran his hand to her backside and massaged her cheek. God, it was so soft, yet firm, and he wanted to feel to feel it against his hips as he took her behind. Trying to remember his earlier promise to himself, Angel switched his mouth to her other nipple, and brought his hand around to rub gently up and down her inner thighs. He could smell her arousal, which was just another reason he was finding it so hard to control himself. Plus the fact that her hands touching his back were almost better than anyone else’s hands on his other more sensitive parts.
As Angel’s hand gently began to tease her sex through her thong, Buffy’s knees almost gave out on her. Grabbing his back, she clung to him with all she had. She was so close, she knew it wouldn’t take much longer. Just when she thought she was going to die with longing, Angel dropped to his knees in front of her. Embarrassed but too excited to care, Buffy arched her pelvis into him as he began planting kisses along her thighs. Dragging his tongue along her thighs, he reached his destination, placing a kiss on her panty-covered clit. Buffy groaned, grabbing the back of his head. “Angel, I need something. Please, I can’t take much more of this.”
Inhaling deeply, Angel kissed her thigh again, just taking a moment to marvel at the incredible smell of her. Sweet, sexy, it was just the right mix of lust and musk. He couldn’t wait to taste her. Shoving aside her thong with one hand, he reached up and gently licked her from one end to the other. When Buffy cried out, squeezing his shoulders to the bruising point, Angel felt his cock twitch in response. She was so responsive, so incredibly sexy that he was almost beside himself. And her taste. No words existed to describe her incredible taste. Continuing his ministrations, he moved one of his hands up and inserted a finger inside her as he licked and sucked her clit. God, she was tight. So tight, he could almost feel her clenching his cock in ecstasy. Damn, he was going to come right here on her mom’s office floor.
Knowing he wasn’t going to make it much longer without throwing her down on the floor and taking her, Angel increased the pressure on her clit with his tongue. Continuing to move his finger inside of her gently, he listened to her moans until he could tell she was ready. With one last lick, he gently bit down on her clit, causing all hell to break loose. Buffy came with a low pitched keen, pumping herself into his face until he thought she was going to hurt herself in the process. Damn, he must be the luckiest man in the world.
Quickly hoisting himself up, he kissed her lips again, until they both had to come up for air. “God, Buffy. You are incredible.”
Grabbing him around the throat, Buffy hugged him for all his might. “No, Angel,” she said, “you’re the incredible one.” Looking into his eyes, Buffy blushed all the way to her toes. “That was, well, it was just incredible.” Reaching down, she timidly ran a hand over his swollen crotch, obvious in spite of his pants.
Moaning, Angel grabbed her hand. “No, Buffy, we really should get back to the party. I’m sure you’ve been missed.”
Smiling, she leaned up and kissed his mouth, while leaning down to unzip his pants. “Oh, Angel, a few minutes won’t hurt. And I wouldn’t want you to carry this,” she leered at him, while wrapping her hand around his now unleashed cock, “around with you all night.”
Tentatively, she inserted her hand inside his underwear and squeezed him. Causing Angel to moan, he lurched up to meet her, moaning her name in arousal. Spurred on by his reaction, Buffy grasped him hard and began to move her hand. She may not have done this before, but she knew the general idea. Kissing him, she plunged her tongue inside his mouth, mimicking the movement of her hand. Angel was moving in rhythm with her hand, his breath catching in his throat. Enjoying herself more than she thought possible, Buffy increased her pace, moving her hand up and down with increasing speed on his hard, large member. She couldn’t imagine something this size inside of her, but she was will to give it a try. But now wasn’t the time. As she squeezed harder, Angel threw back his head and groaned in release, mumbling her name, his come spraying all over her hand and his belly. Somehow, by the luck of the gods, he managed to miss his pants. Fascinated, Buffy watched his cock twitch in her hand, finally getting her first real look of the male anatomy. Health class just didn’t do it justice, she thought. At least not Angel’s anyway.
As the tremors subsided, Angel looked into her beautiful face and kissed her gently. Not knowing what to say, moved beyond words, he again kissed her.
As a pounding penetrated his brain, he pulled slightly away. “What the hell¼”
“Buffy, are you in there?” Xander’s voice echoed from the hallway, as the doorknob turned frantically.
Jumping back from each other, clothes began to fly everywhere as Buffy and Angel tried to get dressed.
Shooting Angel a panicked look, Buffy responded to Xander’s repeat request. “Uh, Xander, yeah, I’m here. Just, uh, give me a minute, will you??”
Outside the door, Xander stood back and stared at the door in confusion. Again jiggling the doorknob, he asked, “Buffy, why the hell is the door locked? Is Riley with you?”
“GOD, no, Xander!” Buffy yelled at the door. Rolling her eyes, she again looked at Angel, who was attempting to button his pants when his fingers wouldn’t cooperate under the pressure. Shrugging his shoulders at her with an apologetic look on his face, he tried to hurry, but he didn’t have a clue as to what she should say. What happened between he and Buffy was private, so it was up to her how she wanted to handle this with her friends.
“Then what the hell are you doing in there, Buffy?” Xander questioned. “Hell, Angel’s out here somewhere looking for you. And I know you don’t want to miss him. So unlock the damn door.”
Blushing, Buffy looked at Angel who had the class to blush as well. “Well, Xander,” Buffy said, running over to Angel so he could zip her dress, “Angel kind of found me. Uh, could you, uh, just give us a moment? Please?”
Xander jumped back from the door like the knob had shocked him. Not knowing whether to be pissed or tickled, he just stood there. Buffy, Angel, locked door. No one had to draw him a picture. “Oh, uh, yeah, Buffy. No problem. I just wanted to make sure you were OK. Uh, people are starting to wonder about where you are. So, you probably need to, you know, like, make with the, uh, hurry. I’ll just go back out front.” Still stunned, Xander turned around to rejoin the party. Buffy and Angel, who would of thought it? Smiling, he laughed out loud as he made his way down the hallway. Funny, how it felt like the most natural thing in the world.
Sighing, Buffy sat down in her Mom’s chair, finally having managed to right her clothes. Looking up at Angel, she could see that he was putting on his jacket, looking almost as good as he did earlier. Not ‘naked’ earlier, she thought, just ‘clothed’ earlier. Blushing again at her thoughts, she stood up and went to the mirror to fix her face. Grabbing her bag from the desk drawer where she had put it earlier, she pulled out all the necessary war paint and started to try to cover up the welt that was still visible on her face, as well as fix her makeup, which was a lot worse for wear after the events of tonight. As all this transpired, Angel finished dressing and leaned against the door, watching Buffy.
Feeling uncomfortable under his scrutiny, she looked back at him and asked, “What are you looking at?” smiling to soften her words.
Chuckling, he shook his head. Buffy never pulled any punches. “You, if you want to know. It’s somehow erotic just watching you do something simple like apply makeup. I guess I’m just a pervert at heart when it comes to grown up Buffy.” Waggling his eyebrows at her, he looked her up and down, giving her an evil leer.
Finished with what she was doing, Buffy went over and softly kissed him on the mouth. “Okay, Snidely Whiplash, do I pass inspection?”
Reaching down and grabbing her by the ass, he squeezed her soft globes. “Oh, hell, Buffy, you don’t need makeup for that.” Leaning down, he kissed her soft lips gently.
Pulling back, she grabbed him by the hand and unlocked the door. “Guess we better go and join the party, huh?”
Sighing, not wanting to do any such thing, he silently nodded agreement. Hand in hand, they went to face the firing squad, each knowing that Xander probably shared what he found with her friends, and they were going to want explanations.
Surprisingly, Xander decided to keep this secret to himself. He still wasn’t exactly sure how he felt about what he had found. And Willow was in no shape to really process the information. Besides, this was Buffy’s big night and he didn’t want anyone ruining it. Reaching the table, he leaned over and gave Anya a kiss. Willow, in her inebriated state, grabbed him around the neck. “Did you find her, Xand?” she asked.
Hugging her, and then prying her hands from around his neck, Xander nodded. “Yeah, Willow, I did, And she’s, well, she’s perfectly fine. She said she would be here in a few minutes.”
Sitting back down next to Oz, Willow asked, “Well, tell me. Where was she?”
Xander took a moment to think about what he was going to say. Sitting down next to Anya, he finally came up with a plausible answer. “Oh, Angel found her, and they were, you know, just talking.” God, he hated lying, and he wasn’t very good at it.
“Just talking, huh?” Willow questioned. She always was too smart for her own good. Giving her a ‘let it go’ look, Xander nodded. “Yes, Willow, they were just talking.”
Smiling, Willow nodded in agreement. “Well, at least she wasn’t just ‘talking’ with Riley. Cause, yuk, is all I got to say.”
With a knowing look, Oz winked at Xander and grabbed Willow’s hand, deciding to see if he could distract her. With as much alcohol as she’d consumed tonight, Oz knew she wasn’t going to let this go unless she had something else to think about. “Come on, Will. Dance with me,” he said, as he led her to the dance floor.
“Angel and Buffy, huh? She is a very lucky woman,” Anya told Xander.
“What?” Xander questioned. “They weren’t doing anything, they were just talking. They only locked the door so they wouldn’t be disturbed.” Realizing what he said, his mouth shut with an audible clip. Damn, he had such a big mouth - he wanted to kick himself. Anya was not the kind of person to who could be discreet enough to not mention something like this.
Staring across the floor, Anya smiled. “Well, if Angel can make a woman look like that by just talking, I would hate to see what he could do, you know, with other things.”
Turning around, Xander’s mouth dropped open. He’d known Buffy a long time, but he’d never seen her look like she did now. Her face was flushed, her eyes shiny, and her mouth just slightly swollen. She looked like a woman that had been well kissed, and God knows what else. As she and Angel approached the table, Buffy gave Xander a small smile, grateful that the posse wasn’t lying in wait to ambush her. Hand in hand with Angel they walked toward the table, each looking like the Cheshire cat.
Sitting down at the table, Buffy politely asked Angel if he would get her a glass of wine. Nodding his head, he left to do just that. As he walked away, Buffy couldn’t help but stare. He was beautiful, and her eyes couldn’t seem to get enough of just looking at him. Realizing that she was staring and ignoring her friends, Buffy turned her attention back to Xander, who was looking at her like he’d never really seen her before. Embarrassed up to the roots of her hair, she asked, “So, Xander, how are things going?”
”I swear, Buffy, I didn’t say anything. At least, nothing that mattered.” Xander defended himself.
Anya smiled at her, and nodded her approval. Reaching over and squeezing her arm, she smirked at Buffy, “You go girl.”
Shooting Xander an ‘I kill you later’ look, Buffy smiled at Anya. “Thanks, hon, but I don’t have a clue what you are talking about. Angel and I have just been spending time getting reacquainted.”
Laughing, Anya slapped Buffy on the knee, “Well, then that explains why you look like a woman who has been well loved. Every woman who has just spent time with a man like Angel and all they did was talk looks like you do now. You know, swollen lips, flushed cheeks, shiny eyes; it’s all caused by just ‘talking’. And what’s with the swollen cheek?” Everyone else had had enough to drink that they hadn’t noticed the slight swelling. Leave it to Anya to mention the unmentionable.
Rolling her eyes, trying to avoid the whole conversation, Buffy was rescued by Angel’s return to the table, followed closely by the return of Willow and Oz. Accepting her glass from Angel, she took a sip, deciding to let it go for now. “So, is everyone having a good time?”
Willow reached over and hugged Buffy, who caught her around the waist to keep her from falling. “Buffy, this is a really great party. But, you know, I think I might have had too much to drink.” Looking over and seeing Angel, Willow began to giggle. “So, I see Angel found you.”
Hugging Willow back, silently thanking the stars that Willow didn’t drink very often, Buffy replied, “Yes, Willow, he did. We were just, you know, talking. Getting to know each other.”
“Yeah, that’s what I hear.” Willow smirked. “So, Buffy, tell me,” she leaned in to whisper in her ear, “How was the ‘conversation’?”
Having never been able to hide anything from her, Buffy smiled, whispering back. “Willow, you have no idea. Now shut up, before you embarrass me in front of Angel.”
Giggling, Willow whispered back, “Wouldn’t dream of it. You have been waiting for years for this, and I think it’s great.” Grabbing Buffy around the shoulders, she hugged her tightly. Kissing her friend on the ear, she spoke again, her voice barely audible. “He’s been waiting for you. Don’t leave him, no matter what. You two belong together.”
Pulling back, Buffy gave her friend a strange look. Where did that come from? Willow had always had a keen insight into the things that happened around them, but this almost seemed like a premonition. Shaking it off, Buffy turned back towards the table, amazed at the happiness she felt at having all her friends around her. Her life was coming together in a big rush, and she felt like she had been waiting for this to happen all her life. And Angel was a part of it. Reaching over, she grabbed his hand and leaned into him, wanting to just feel his body against hers. Wrapping his arm around her waist, Angel felt the same way. Touching Buffy was the foremost thing in his mind, so much that he didn’t even hear Joyce approach the table.
“Uh, Buffy, honey, I saw Riley a little while ago. He was looking for you.” Joyce commented, giving Angel a strange look.
Jumping back, Buffy pulled away from Angel, feeling like a little girl who got her hands caught in the cookie jar. “Uh, hey, Mom. Don’t worry, I found him. And he left. So no worries.”
Trying to hide her face so her Mom wouldn’t see the welt, Buffy noticed the hurt look on Angel’s face. What the hell was she doing, she thought. She was almost twenty- three years old, and she was letting her mother scare her away from what she wanted. Taking a deep breath, she wrapped her arms around Angel’s waist and smiled up at her Mom’s shocked expression, and then at Angel’s satisfied look as he wrapped his arms back around her. “Mom, what little Riley and I had is over. I told him as much tonight, and then he left. End of story.”
Shocked at what she was seeing, Joyce replied, “Well, I knew you and Riley were probably over, but I’m still a little confused.” Staring Angel down, Joyce faced off with him. “Don’t you think you’re a little old for my daughter?”
Realizing his next comment could forever alter his life, Angel smiled sincerely into Joyce’s eyes. He had known Joyce for 15 yrs, and he knew she had always liked him. But that’s not the same as liking him dating her daughter. “Mrs. Summers, no, I don’t. Buffy is only 7 years younger than I am, and she just graduated from college. Plus there’s the fact that she’s the sweetest, most beautiful woman I have ever known. So if you have a problem with this, I would suggest we talk about it at a later. Tonight is Buffy’s big night, and I intend to make sure it’s special.”
Not sure whether to be angry or thrilled, Joyce again looked at Angel and her daughter. They seemed right together, a really handsome couple. But he was just too old, she thought. Opening her mouth to again voice her objections, she squealed when a hand snuck around her waist. Turning around to face her attacker, she laughed. Smacking him on the arm, she chided, “Giles, don’t do that. I’m too old for those kind of shocks.”
Angel’s eyebrows rose as he noticed the interaction between Giles and Joyce. Looking at Buffy, he wagged his eyebrows to let her know what he was thinking. Buffy returned his look, slightly shaking her head in denial, shocked at the suggestion. Her mother and Giles? No, her mother didn’t do those kinds of things anymore. Or did she?
“So, Joyce, what seems to be the problem?” Giles asked, lacing both his arms around her waist.
Feeling uncomfortable, Joyce tried to nonchalantly pull out of his grasp but he was having none of it. Giving Angel a wink, Giles reached down and nuzzled her neck. “Rupert, please, I need to talk to my daughter and Angel. We, uh, are having an important discussion.”
Giles pulled back a little, and asked her, “Like what? I think they make a cute couple.”
“But he’s too old for her!” Joyce objected.
Rolling his eyes, Giles smirked, “Oh, bloody hell, Joyce, they’re both adults. Responsible adults, at that. What more could you possibly want for her? Angel is a responsible, caring man. I just don’t see the problem.”
“You wouldn’t. You’ve never been a father.”
Pulling back, Giles stared into Joyce’s eyes, the pain evident in his gaze. Responding only loud enough that she could hear, he growled, “That wasn’t my choice, if you remember. You made that decision for me.” With one last look, Giles smiled regretfully at Angel and Buffy, and turned on his heel to leave. As they watched him walk away, tears began to form in Joyce’s eyes.
Stunned, Joyce stared at her daughter and Angel, seeing the confused looks on their faces. She had done it again. She had hurt him. Rupert was going to leave, and it was all her fault, again. Damn, she was so bad at this relationship thing. “I have to go find him. Buffy, Angel, we WILL talk about this, but I have to find Rupert.”
Reaching up and giving her a hug, Buffy whispered in her ear, “Yes, Mom, I think you do. Go on, we’ll be fine. And we will talk, all of us, later. Cause I have some questions of my own.”
As Joyce ran off in search of Giles, Buffy looked up questioningly into Angel’s face. “What in the world do you think that was all about?”
Shrugging his shoulders, he was just as confused as she. “I have no idea, but I can’t wait to find out. Looks like your Mom and Giles were a little more than friends, doesn’t it?”
Joyce quickly followed the direction that Giles had taken, noticing that he had walked out the door. Afraid she wouldn’t catch him before he left, she hurried even more. Exiting the building, she saw him standing at the curb, getting ready to cross the street to his car.
Running up to him, she grabbed him by the arm. “Rupert, please, don’t go,” she begged, turning him to face her.
Looking at her, Giles just shook his head. “Why in heavens name not? You have made it perfectly clear tonight - hell, for the past 20 years - that you do not want me here. So why should I stay where I’m not wanted?” Getting no response but her bowed head, he began to get angry. He turned toward her and grabbed her by the arms. With a slight shake, he asked again. “Give me a reason, damn it, to stay. After all these years, just give me one bloody good reason.”
Joyce was crying now. Looking up into his eyes, she sobbed, “Because I love you. I’ve always loved you. And I don’t think I could stand to see you walk away again.”
Slowly moving his hands up her arms, he gently grasped her face, placing a soft kiss against her tear drenched mouth. Pulling back to stare into her eyes, he smiled at her. “See, that wasn’t so hard, was it? I’ve been waiting for what seems like forever to hear you say those exact words. And for the record, I never walked away, unless you asked me too.”
Smiling back through her tears, she laughed. “Yes, it was hard. It’s always been hard for me to admit that I need anyone. Especially a man.”
“I know, Joyce, just how hard it can be to let someone in. I haven’t been close to anyone, really, since you walked away all the years ago. But I’m willing to give this a shot, if you are.” Giles thumbs gently rubbed her cheeks, wiping away the tears.
“I’d really like that, Rupert.”
Stepping back, he grabbed Joyce by the hand and walked her back to the door of the gallery. “I know you have to stay until the party is over, but I’m going to go back to my hotel. We’ll just take this thing with us slow, if that will make you feel better about it.”
“Yes, I do have to stay. But it should be breaking up pretty soon. Most of the people have already left. So, what do we do now?” Joyce looked at him questioningly.
“That’s completely up to you. Whatever you want to do, I’m willing.” Giles said.
Leaning into him, Joyce grabbed his arm. “If you really want to know,” she looked at him sideways, “I’d like you to give me your room number, and I’ll meet you there in a while.”
Stopping in his tracks, Giles stared at her. “Are you sure? That wasn’t what I was expecting, you know.”
“I know,” she smiled at him, glad he wasn’t pushing, “It’s been a really long time since I’ve been with anyone, well, that way. But, yes, I’m sure. I can’t think of anything I’d rather do.” Leaning in she placed a gentle kiss on his mouth, one that he deepened. After several long minutes, Joyce pulled away, gasping for breath. “Wow, that was¼”
Nodding in agreement, Giles had to agree. “Quite something, yes, it definitely was¼ So, I’ll see you in a while, correct?”
Smiling at him as she walked to the door, she answered, “I wouldn’t miss it for the world. Sunnydale Hilton, room 456. About two hours tops, unless I can get these people to leave sooner.”
Turning around to watch him walk to his car, she smiled as he looked at her and pointed at his watch, reminding her that time was wasting. Sighing, she was turning around to go back into the gallery when she heard the squealing of tires and the grinding of breaks. She quickly turned around, just in time to see Giles go flying over the top of the sedan that had just hit him.
Joyce stood there in shock. *NO*! The word kept echoing through her brain. If felt like she just stood there for hours, but it was actually only seconds. Finally getting a grip on herself, she ran as fast as she could, screaming his name. “RUPERT”!!! As she quickly approached him, she threw herself onto the street, leaning over his unconscious form. “Rupert, please, wake up. Darling, please. Oh, God, don’t do this. SOMEONE CALL AN AMBULANCE!” she screamed.
Buffy, Angel and the gang were sitting around their table, talking and laughing, when one of the guests ran in and screamed for someone to call an ambulance. Looking at Angel, Buffy gasped, “Mom!” and took off toward the front door of the gallery. Glancing quickly at Willow, Angel yelled for her to call 911 as he ran to follow.
As they both exited the building, the first thing they saw was Buffy’s mom, perched over a prone body in the street. Recognizing him even from a distance, it was Angel’s turn to gasp. “Giles!” He ran toward Joyce and bent down staring at his friend’s face. “Giles, are you alright?” Not getting a response, he looked at Joyce. “Willow is calling an ambulance. What the hell happened?” Buffy caught up with him about that time, and kneeled down to wrap her arms around her mother.
Joyce looked at Angel, trying to speak between her tears. “He was just going to leave, and¼ and that car, it just came barreling out of nowhere and ran right into him. He didn’t even have time to get out of the way.” Holding Giles’ limp hand, she smoothed his hair out of his face. “Don’t worry, Rupert. You’re going to be fine. The ambulance is on its way. You just relax.” Tears continued to poor down her face, and Angel could see the beginnings of shock setting in. Buffy squeezed her harder, wiping the tears from her own face. She’d never seen her mother so upset, not even when her father had left. “He is going to be fine, Angel. Isn’t he?” Joyce asked.
“Yes, Joyce. We have to believe that. What about the driver? Is he okay?” Angel asked.
“Oh, the driver. I-I don’t know. I haven’t even looked.” Joyce sing-songed, continuing to hold Giles’ hand. “Mom,” Buffy finally spoke, “he’s going to be fine, but Angel and I need to check on the driver.” Looking back at the car, Buffy couldn’t help but think the car looked familiar. “Angel, I think I recognize this car. Oh, no, it can’t be.”
Running to the driver’s seat, Buffy could see a man passed out, laying face down draped over the passenger seat. Angel was right behind her, and helped her open the door that was buckled from the front-end damage. “Please, God,” Buffy said, “don’t let this be who I think it is.” Angel gave her a questioning look, as he leaned in to see if the man was at least breathing. “Well, whoever he is, Buffy, he reeks of alcohol. But at least he’s alive.” About that time, the unknown driver began to stir.
Turning to face them, he pushed himself up slightly and said, “What the hell happened?”
In unison, Buffy and Angel glared at the man and sneered, “Riley!”
Angel leaned back into the car and asked Riley if he was hurt. “My head hurts a little, but I don’t think anything’s broken. Man, look at my car. Who did this to it?”
Angel was beside himself with anger. Reaching in, he helped Riley sit up all the way. “Are you sure you aren’t hurt?”
Feeling better now that he was sitting up, he replied, “Yeah, I’m okay.”
“I can’t tell you how glad I am to here that.” Snatching Riley from the car, Angel threw him up against the side of it and grabbed him by the lapels of his jacket, going nose to nose with him. “You miserable, drunken son of a bitch. You hit someone, and not only that, you hit someone who I care about.”
“Angel, stop!” Buffy cried, placing her hand on his arm, trying to get him under control. “Killing him won’t do Giles any good. We’ll let the cops take care of him.”
Stepping away from him, Angel could hear the ambulance rounding the corner. “You’re right, Buffy. Killing him won’t help Giles. But it sure would make me feel better.” Turning around to walk away, Angel couldn’t help himself. He turned back and punched Riley in the jaw. “That wasn’t for running over Giles. That was for hitting Buffy. You ever come near her again, and I will kill you. That’s not a threat, it’s a promise.”
Grabbing a stunned Buffy by the arm, he walked with her back to the ambulance.
Three hours later, Buffy, Joyce, and Angel walked into the Summers’ house, stress and exhaustion evident on their faces. Setting her purse down, Joyce turned to the two younger ones and asked, “Anyone want a decent cup of coffee? That hospital stuff was awful.” Sighing, they both agreed. “Sounds good, Mom. I don’t think I could sleep if I tried. And the hospital did say they’d call if anything changed.” Buffy said.
Walking into the kitchen, Joyce began the preparations for coffee, while Angel and Buffy plopped down on stools around the island. Buffy looked at her mom, noticing her precise, unemotional movements. Standing up, she went to her and wrapped her arms around her. “Mom, you need to go sit down. I’ll make the coffee.” Shaking her head, Joyce pulled back, “No, Buffy, I need to keep busy. It helps, you know.”
“No, you don’t, Mom.” Placing her hands on her Mom’s shoulders, Buffy forcibly escorted her to the seat next to Angel. “You’ve had a really long night, and you need to sit down and relax. I’ll make the coffee.” Angel nodded in agreement. “She’s right Joyce. No offense, but you look like a strong wind would blow you over.”
Smiling at them both, Joyce was too emotionally worn out to argue. “Okay, I give up. You make the coffee, and I’ll let you wait on me hand and foot.”
“Anyone hungry?” Buffy asked, as she finished filling the coffee pot and hit the on button.
“That’s a good idea. Buffy, why don’t you get the sweet rolls out. That sounds good.” Joyce offered. Angel nodded in agreement, shrugging his shoulders. “Come to think of, I can’t remember the last time I ate anything. Feels like hours though.” He commented.
As they all sat down at the table, each one with a cup of coffee and a warm roll in front of them, silence ensued. Wanting to break the uncomfortable silence, Buffy asked, “So, Mom, how long have you known Giles?”
Joyce knew these questions were inevitable. After everything that had happened tonight, it was pretty obvious to anyone who was there that she and Rupert were more than just friends. Even if she had been trying to convince herself otherwise for a long time. “Buffy, Rupert and I met a long time ago, right after I got out of college. I was already married to your father by then.”
“Oh¼” Buffy said, realizing her Mom must have had an affair. Not that she cared about Hank’s feelings, it was just weird to realize that your mother was, well, human.
Angel sat in silence, afraid that any comment he made would somehow make Joyce think he was judging her. He didn’t approve of extramarital affairs, but he also knew that Joyce and Hank’s marriage was far from happy.
Sighing, Joyce rubbed her eyes. “Yes, Buffy, I can see those wheels turning in your head. I was technically a married woman. But it wasn’t quite what you think. There are things that happened, before you were even born, that I never told you about. Things that I’m not even sure I want to tell you about now.”
Buffy reached over and clasped her Mom’s hand in hers. “It’s okay, Mom. If you don’t want to tell me, I understand.”
Standing up, Angel cleared his throat, trying to gain the women’s attention. As they both turned to look at him, he stated, “Mrs. Summers, I think it would be better if I go. This seems kind of personal, and I don’t want to intrude.”
Shaking her head at him, having forgotten the boy’s impeccable manners, she looked into his eyes. “No, Angel, it’s alright. I’m not ashamed of it. The only reason I never told Buffy was because, until tonight, it didn’t seem to matter. It was just something that happened in the past. But now¼no matter what happens, I want her to know.”
As Angel sat down, Joyce continued. “Your father and I,” she said, looking deep into her daughters’ eyes, “were not really happy from the time we got married. So, after about a year, we separated.” She stopped at this statement, trying to gage her daughters’ reaction. Seeing none, she kept going. “That’s when I met Rupert. Well, I guess not officially. I was working at a little museum in a small town outside of LA, and he was one of the patrons, so I’d seen him around. Even before Hank and I split up, he used to come in at least once a week. But once I took off my wedding ring, he approached me and we began talking. Before I knew it, we were having coffee, and then dinner the next time, and, well, one thing led to another. But it wasn’t just sex, Buffy. He truly cared for me, and I knew then that I had never really loved Hank. Not if Rupert could make me feel the way he did. I was, for the first and only time in my life, truly in love. It was the happiest three months of my life.” Tears were gently sliding down her face, in complete contrast with the smile that graced her lips.
Reaching over to hug her mother, Buffy wiped the beginnings of tears from her own eyes. Looking at Angel, she smiled at him, noticing even his eyes appeared to a little moist. “Well, Mom, if you were so happy, what went wrong?”
Joyce looked with trepidation at her daughter, afraid of how she was going to take the next bit of news. “Nothing went wrong between Rupert and I. But I¼I found out I was pregnant.”
Gasping, Buffy literally flinched at this statement. “Mom, are you trying to say that Giles is really my father?”
“No, honey, no. Hank is your father.” Joyce leaned over and hugged her daughter, trying to reassure her, while Angel sat there in stunned silence. “Back then, we didn’t have kits you could go buy that would tell you when you were 1 day pregnant. And since I was never very regular, I was already three and a half months pregnant before I knew. Which meant that Hank was your father, since Rupert and I had only been intimate for a couple of months.”
“So, because of me, you went back to Dad. Gee, thanks for the guilt trip, Mom.” Buffy sniped, and began pacing the kitchen floor. Angel grabbed her arm gently, “Buffy, honey, I’m sure that’s not what your mom meant. Sit down, and let her explain.” At least he hoped that wasn’t what she meant. He’d never known Joyce to show anything but love for her daughter.
“Buffy Anne Summers, you know that isn’t what I intended. Angel is right. Sit back down and let me finish.” Feeling a little guilty for having upset her Mom after the night she’d had, Buffy for once, didn’t argue.
Now that her daughter had calmed down, Joyce went on with her story. “Yes, Buffy, I went back to Hank because I was pregnant. But it wasn’t because of you - it was because of me. I still cared for Hank, and I just couldn’t bring myself to deprive him of his child. So, I did what I thought was right. In hindsight, maybe it wasn’t for the best, but at the time, that’s what I thought.”
“But, Mom, what about Giles? How did he take it?” Buffy asked.
“Oh, he was furious. He went so far as to offer to be your father. He told me that he loved me, and therefore, he would love you. But I just couldn’t bring myself to do that to Hank or to Rupert. And I really did think Hank would be a good father. And he was, at first. But as things got worse between us, he pulled back from you as well. So, I guess that just goes to show you that even mothers can make mistakes. Things could have been so different for us both¼.” Again, Joyce couldn’t stem the tears that were slowly rolling down her cheeks.
“I guess we’ll never know, Mom. But I know you did what you thought was right. And I’m kind of flattered that a man like Giles even wanted to be my father. But, that’s all water under the bridge, so no use dwelling on the past. It’s time we all started working towards a future. And that includes you - a future with Giles, hopefully.” Smiling into her Mom’s face, her Mom smiled back.
“Well, we’ll just have to see about that. I don’t want to read too much into tonight, but, uh, he does seem to still care. First we have to get him better, then we’ll see where it goes.” Seeing the concern on her Mom’s face, Buffy again patted her hand in reassurance.
“They said he’s going to be fine. He is only unconscious because of the concussion, but he’ll wake up soon. And his knee will be fine too, after a few weeks of physical therapy.” Looking at Angel for backup, he agreed. “Yeah, Joyce, he’ll be fine. He can even stay with me while he’s recuperating.” Angel offered.
“But, Angel, you’re mom said you gave up your apartment. Just where are you staying?” Joyce asked.
“Oh, yeah, I forgot about that. I’m going to be staying at the mansion while it’s being renovated, trying to save a little money. But that’s not a good place to be when you’re in a wheelchair and on crutches. Way too big. But we’ll think of something.” Furrowing his eyebrows, Angel was concentrating on a solution to their dilemma.
Joyce looked at Angel questioningly. “Uh, does he have anyone in New York? Like, family or, an, uh, girlfriend?”
Shaking his head, Angel smiled at her. “No one of any consequence. As a matter of fact, I’ve never known him to go out with anyone for more than a few weeks. And all his family passed a long time ago. So, nope, no one in New York, unless you want to count his secretary.”
“Oh, well, then, we have to help take care of him. He can stay here. I’ll fix up the spare bedroom on this floor so steps won’t be an issue. There’s even a bathroom in there. And I can cut back my hours at work, to make sure he’s taken care of.” Joyce went to the cabinet to get a piece of paper. “Let’s see, I guess I better make a list of things I need to do before he comes home.”
Buffy was beside herself. This was so typical. Her mother loved to feel needed, and she was the consummate list maker. Unable to contain herself, she burst out in laughter. “Oh, Mom. You are too funny. Always one for the list, aren’t you? But you forgot one small detail.”
The list thing was a running joke in the Summers’ house, so Joyce wasn’t the slightest bit insulted by her daughter’s laughter. “I did? I haven’t even finished my list, how could I have forgotten something?”
“Well,” Buffy giggled out, “you might want to ask him first. Not that I think he’ll say no, but it’s kind of rude to plan someone’s life for the next few weeks without their permission, don’t ‘cha think?”
“Oh, heavens, I hadn’t even thought of that. What if he wants to go back to New York?”
Angel took the opportunity to fill her in. “I happen to know for a fact that Giles was planning on an extended stay in Sunnydale. I thought it was because of the mansion job, but now I’m not so sure. I think he might have had an ulterior motive.” Angel smiled at Joyce, who was blushing like a schoolgirl. “So, I don’t think you’re going to have to try very hard to convince him this is for the best. Nope, not very hard at all.”
Shooting Angel a grateful look, Joyce stood up and went to pour another cup of coffee. “Well, when I talk to him tomorrow, I’ll just have to lay down the law. He is going to stay here until he’s better, and I won’t take no for an answer.” That decided, Angel stood up to go. “Young man,” Joyce questioned, “where do you think you’re going?”
“Uh, well, it’s getting really late. I thought maybe you ladies would like to get a little sleep.” Angel replied, feeling like a deer caught in the headlights.
“Oh, no. I think you better sit right back down. Don’t think I’ve forgotten about the other side of this coin. We talked about Rupert and I. Now I want to talk about you and Buffy. How long has this been going on, and when were you planning on telling me?” Joyce queried, shooting concerned looks back and forth between Buffy and Angel.
Buffy and Angel traded panicked looks, not sure how her mom was going to take this. With a nod at Angel, Buffy gave him leave to take the reins. “Mrs. Summers, this is going to sound really bad, but, until tonight, there’s never been anything really between Buffy and I. As a matter of fact, except for a couple of chance meetings in town, we haven’t seen each other since she was 17.”
Angel paused, waiting for the inevitable storm that he knew was coming. Taking a deep breath, Joyce just glared at him, and asked him to continue. Under the careful gaze of Joyce, Angel actually blushed. “Well, Mrs. Summers, you know that Buffy and I always seemed to have a connection, even when she was a little girl. Oh, that wasn’t what it sounded like. We were only friends, and I wouldn’t have ever-”
Rolling her eyes, Joyce interrupted him, “I know that Angel. I’m not accusing of child molestation. Please, do continue.”
Swallowing audibly, Angel looked at Buffy, who was so embarrassed, he was afraid she was going to just melt into the floor. “Well, like I said, Buffy and I had always had this connection. And when I saw her tonight, it just all came together. She is everything I ever imagined finding in a woman, and so much more.”
“So, you were hanging all over my daughter because she’s beautiful, is that it?” Joyce asked, almost sneering at Angel.
“No, damn it, Joyce.” Surprised at the use of her given name in this circumstance, Joyce gave him an admiring but wary look, waiting to see what else he had to say. Angry now, Angel fired off, “Hell, yes, she’s beautiful, but I knew that when she was seven. It’s just so much more. She’s witty and charming, and fun to be with, at least when she’s not fighting off some girlfriend-beating man. And she’s just so much more than her looks. She’s intelligent and kind, and” he gulped, looking away from the mother and into the daughter’s eyes, “everything I feel like I’ve been looking for my entire life.”
At that comment, Buffy’s eyes teared up. She jumped from the table and hugged him, speaking into his chest. “I couldn’t have said it better myself.” Though barely audible, Joyce managed to decipher her daughter’s words.
Jumping up, Joyce said, “Well, I’ve heard all I need to hear.”
“No, Mom, you can’t just decide I can’t see him. It’s not fair. You don’t even know him anymore. And he’s, he’s so much better than Riley.” Buffy cried, trying to convince her mom. Not that she needed her approval, but she desperately wanted it.
Sighing, Joyce leaned against the counter. “I only have one question. Who is this girlfriend-beating man Angel mentioned? It wouldn’t happen to be the newest resident of Sunnydale’s jail, would it?” Eyes flashing in anger, Joyce waited for an answer.
Sheepishly, Buffy uttered, “Yeah, Mom, I was going to tell you about that. Just not quite this way.” Shooting Angel a nasty look, she smiled again when he shrugged his shoulders in apology. “It wasn’t that big of a deal.”
“The hell it wasn’t, Buffy.” Angel roared, his anger renewed at her dismissal of the whole situation. “That son of a bitch had the nerve to hit you. It’s not like he called you a name. He HIT you.”
Flinching, Buffy said, “Well, actually, he did call me name. But, damn it, Angel, I’m just glad it’s over. Can’t we just let it go?”
Turning her to face him, Angel looked deep into her eyes. “I’ll never forgive, and I’ll never forget. But, for you, I’ll let it go. But you remember this. I’ll never, ever let anyone hurt you again.” Leaning down, he placed a gentle kiss on her mouth.
“Well, you two,” Joyce interrupted, “I have a couple of things to say.” Getting their attention, both of them turned to face her. “First, Buffy, I’m glad Riley’s true colors finally came to light, and Angel appears to have been there to pick up the pieces. But don’t you ever be afraid to come to me if something like that happens again. And, second - Angel, I can’t think of a better man for my daughter. But mark my words. I still think that maybe you’re too old for her, but I’m willing to give this the benefit of the doubt. But if you break her heart, I’m the one you’ll have to deal with. Now, I’m going to try and get some sleep. Please wake me if the hospital calls.” With a quick push, Joyce was out the door and gone.
Angel and Buffy stood there long after Joyce had left the room. As soon as they could, they picked their jaws up off the floor, and went back to their seats. “Wow,” Buffy said, still in shock at her mom’s reaction. “Every time I think I know that lady, she surprises me.”
“Yeah, she surprised me too.” Angel commented, taking a drink of his lukewarm coffee.
“But, hey, it’s one less problem than we have to deal with, right?” Buffy asked, suddenly unsure about her place in all this. “You do plan to stick around, you know, long enough to deal?”
Grabbing her hands, his thumbs rubbed back and forth over her knuckles. “Buffy, I’m not going anywhere. But you have to remember that I have a business to run. And, unfortunately, it causes me to have to spend a lot of time in New York, as well as on the road.”
Smiling at him, Buffy shook her head. “That’s not what I meant. I *know* you’ll be on the road. Once I get a real job, I will be too. What I meant is, are you going to stick around to see where ‘us’ leads?”
Reaching up with one hand, Angel gently caressed her cheek. “Buffy, this thing between us, it happened so fast. I think we both need to slow down before we literally hit a wall.” Seeing the disappointment on her face, he reached forward and engulfed her in a hug. “I don’t think that came out right. What I meant to say is that I want to be with you. But I think we should take the time to get to know each other. What happened between us tonight shouldn’t have happened. I’m old enough to know better, and I should have had more control.”
Pulling back from him, Buffy looked into his beautiful dark eyes. “So, you’re saying you regret what happened earlier? Cause I sure don’t. Frankly, it was the most exciting thing that’s ever happened to me.”
Holding her gaze, he shook his head in denial. “No, Buffy, I wouldn’t change it for the world. It,” he said, leaning over to kiss her soft lips that were beckoning him, “was incredible. But I don’t want this to just be a wham-bam thank you, ma’am, kind of thing. I really care about you, and I want it all. I want to get to know the new, improved, above the legal age limit Buffy, body and soul. And it’s not usually a good idea to start with the body.” Seeing her giggle at that, he smiled at her. “But don’t ever think that I regret what happened tonight. You are the most exciting woman I’ve ever met, and tonight was incredible.”
Buffy stood up from the table, slowly reaching back and unzipping her dress, letting it slide to the floor. As she stood there in her heels and thong, she purred, “I admire your ethics, Angel, I really do. But you forgot one thing. There are two people in this, not just one.”
Gulping, Angel sat transfixed as he watched Buffy shed her clothes. As her dress pooled down around her high heels, Angel’s mouth dropped open. He could barely remember his name, let alone respond to her comment. As he watched, she sauntered over to him, straddling his legs to perch herself on his lap. She was nose to nose with him, and he was lost as he gazed into her hazel eyes. With a groan, he kissed her roughly, plunging his tongue deeply into her mouth. His hands reached around and grabbed her hips, rubbing her sex against his now throbbing erection. “God, Buffy,” he moaned, in between hard, bruising kisses, “you’re so damn sexy.” Shifting his hand around and down the back of her hip, he massaged the cheek of her ass, then shoved his hand into her cleft and inserted a finger inside of her. At the same time, he pulled her back far enough to lower his mouth to her firm breasts, licking and sucking the golden flesh.
Buffy moaned and panted, moving up and down on his finger while twining her fingers in his hair as he worshiped her breasts with his mouth. “Angel, please, I need you, baby.”
Angel started at Buffy’s plea. Gently laving her nipples, he slowed down and gently pulled away, looking into her hazel eyes, as she continued to move slowly up and down on his hand. “Buffy, I have to ask you something. Have you ever had sex before?”
Blushing, she muttered in a low voice, “Well, I guess that depends on what you call sex. There was tonight.”
Sighing, Angel tried again. “Let me rephrase that. And would you stop moving for a minute, you’re distracting me. This is important.” Pouting, Buffy stopped her movements, disappointed at the lack of friction. “Buffy, honey, have you ever had intercourse?”
“I thought you could tell. You could when I was seventeen.” Buffy replied, just barely above a whisper.
Placing a finger on her chin, he gently raised her face to his. “Honey, you’ve grown a lot since then. You’re a lot worldlier now, and with that comes the fact that you’re not quite as readable as you were then. So, you never answered my question. Have you ever had sex?”
Buffy was embarrassed all the way up to her roots. “Uh, well, if you want to get technical, I guess not,” she said, flinching back, looking for the derision in his eyes. Seeing none, she hid her face into his shoulder. “I’m sorry if that turns you off.” She muffled out from his shoulder.
“Is that what you think, Buffy? That the fact that no man has ever been here,” he punctuated his word with another deep thrust of his finger into her, “before would turn me off?”
Gasping at the jolt of pleasure that shot into her, Buffy sat up and looked at him. “Well, I’m almost 23 years old and still a virgin. I can’t imagine any man thinking that’s a good thing.”
“Well, then,” Angel said, again slowly working his finger in and out of her, “I guess I’m not just any man. Because the fact that no one else has ever been here before, “ he emphasized by inserting a second finger into her, “is the biggest turn on I could imagine.”
Buffy was rolling on his fingers, her eyes half closed, pushing her clit against his hard on. Panting softly, she reached forward and grabbed his head, pulling his lips towards her. Plunging her mouth against his, she took the initiative and stuck her tongue deep into his mouth, dueling with his. “Ahhhhh, Angel,” she moaned, quickening her movement on his fingers. “Please, I need something. I need¼”
“What baby?” Angel rasped, trying to contain himself as Buffy humped his lap and his fingers. “What do you need?”
“More, Angel, I need more. Please, touch me.” Buffy whispered, shy but sure of what she wanted.
With one swift movement, Angel stood and deposited Buffy on the stool he had been sitting on. Buffy gave him a confused look, until she saw where he was heading. Dropping to his knees, he spread her legs, pulled her thong out of the way, and buried his head between her legs. Lapping up her juices, he sucked her essence from her, exhilarated by her taste. Slowing a bit, wanting to prolong this opportunity, Angel licked her outer lips, then alternated between diving deep into her, and gently licking her clit. The variety caused Buffy to thrash around on the stool, so close to the edge she was losing her mind. “OHHHHHHH, God, ANGELLL.” Buffy cried, squirming on the stool. Feeling her pain, Angel decided to give her what she wanted. Inserting two fingers in her, he lathed her clit with his tongue. Jerking in response, Buffy arched forward as the intensity of her orgasm took her over. Grabbing the back of Angel’s head, she pushed him closer to her, spasming against him.
As Buffy came down, Angel moved up and kissed her panting lips. “God, you can’t imagine how erotic that was,” he gasped, pushing his hips against her open, wet center. Buffy grabbed him around the hips, and pulled him closer. “Angel, please, let’s do this. I want to do this, with you.”
Pumping in to increase the contact, Angel smiled at Buffy’s gasp. “Honey, if I have anything to say about it, we will. But you are not going to lose your virginity in a chair in your mother’s kitchen.”
“Okay, then, let’s go to my room.” Buffy said, continuing to create pressure on Angel’s crotch.
“No, baby. When we do this, it’s going to be right. When I take you that way, I want all night, without any chance of interruptions.” Angel pulled back and stood up, trying to get his bearings back.
Slowly dragging herself out of the chair, Buffy walked towards him, her near naked body glimmering in the dim lights. “But Angel, you didn’t, you know¼” Buffy said, embarrassed at the conversation.
Grabbing her hands, Angel pulled her to him. “Believe me, Buffy, that was better than a lot of times I did. So don’t worry about it.”
“I’m not worried, Angel. But you gave me something wonderful, and I want to give you something in return. Come, sit down.” Buffy said, leading him back to the chair.
Following along, Angel tried to object, “Buffy, it’s not a contest. I’m not keeping score.” Sitting down in the chair, Angel looked up into her eyes. Wrapping her arms around him, she giggled, “No, I didn’t think you were. But I can’t seem to keep my hands off of you, and since you know my dirty virgin secret, I figured you’d be up for letting me try some *new* things, at least new for me.”
“Buffy, really, you don’t have to do¼” That’s as far as he got. Buffy had quickly reached down and unzipped his pants, pulling his again hard member out of his pants, gently caressing him. Gasping, Angel pushed into her hand, trying to increase the pressure. “I know I don’t have to. But I love the look on your face when I touch you. You’re eyes are almost black when you’re excited, did you know that?” Increasing the pressure, Buffy leaned over and kissed his throat, mimicking the same things he had done to her. “Uh, no, I didn’t,” Angel hissed through clenched lips. “Oh, yeah,” Buffy said in between licks, “it’s a real turn on.” Moving down his throat, she licked and sucked her way to his chest. Coming to his nipple, she gently took it between her lips, lapping at it with her tongue. Angel moaned in response, grabbing the back of her head, holding her to him. “God, Buffy, that’s feel so good. You’re driving me crazy, baby.”
Not responding, she moved to his other nipple, giving it the same treatment. Angel was moving quicker against her hand that had continued to stroke him throughout. Dropping to her knees, Angel’s cock was now right in front of her face. Reaching up, she grabbed his pants and scooted them further down his hips, giving her better access. Taking a few seconds to look at him, she leaned over to taste him, a little afraid and more than a little excited. Two hands grabbed her head and pulled her back. Looking up at him questioningly, Angel whispered, “Buffy, you don’t have to do this. It’s okay.”
“I know I don’t, Angel,” she said. “But I want to. And since it’s my first time, you can tell me if I’m doing anything wrong.” She smiled up at him, holding his gaze as she leaned over and gently licked the head. Angel gasped at the contact, amazed at how hot her little tongue was. It seemed to leave a trail of fire wherever it went. Buffy continued to gently lick him, venturing down the shaft, tasting him like an ice cream cone. Coming back to the head, she opened her mouth and slid her lips over it, causing Angel to jerk at the sensation. “Buffy, baby, please, you’re killing me.” Gently sucking him deeper into her mouth, she continued to use her tongue on him. As his movements became more frenzied, she increased the speed, trying to take him in deeper. He was really large, so large that she couldn’t get all of him in her mouth. But not for lack of trying. Her little head bobbed up and down on his member, her blond hair falling down around her face, having long ago fallen out of its clip. Unable to help himself, Angel grabbed the back of her head, thrusting himself into her mouth. Knowing she wasn’t experienced enough to take him all in, he tried not to gag her, only going as deep as she was. Moaning, he gasped, “Baby, that’s so good. Please baby, faster. I almost there.”
Granting his wish, she increased the speed and the pressure of her lips, feeling him get even harder. If she’d known this would be such a turn on, she would have done it along time ago. Well, not really. Not unless it was Angel. Angel was panting even harder, lacing his fingers through the back of her hair. “Baby, you need to stop. I’m going to come.” Angel moaned, trying to remove her mouth from him. Instead she just quickened her pace, reaching down with her hand and caressing his sack. That was all it took. Angel tensed, seeing stars as he squirted his seed deep into her throat. The groan that came from his mouth was so loud, Buffy was afraid it might wake her mom. But she doubted it. Her mom’s room was in front the house on the second floor. Licking him clean, Buffy pulled back and smacked her lips. Angel was still breathing hard, but he couldn’t help but blush that she had actually swallowed his cum.
“Sorry, Buffy, but I did try to warn you.” He said contritely.
“Actually, it wasn’t that bad. A little salty, but not too bad at all. Of course, I don’t think they should bottle it, but it’s do-able.”
Shaking his head, he laughed at her comment. Grabbing her off her the floor, he placed her back on his lap. “’When did you get so funny?”
“Hey, I've always been a laugh a minute. It’s not my fault you didn’t get the jokes.” Smiling at him, she leaned in and placed a kiss on his lips. “You know, we better get dressed before my Mom decides she needs to get up and call the hospital. Can you imagine the look on her face if she would have walked in?”
Rolling his eyes at the thought, he shook his head. “No, I can’t even imagine. Let’s get you back in your dress before that happens.”
Angel stood and readjusted his pants, then helped Buffy get back into her dress. Twining his arms around her, he leaned down to give her a kiss. “I had better get going. It’s after four, and I don’t think want to push my luck with your mom.”
“But I thought you were going to wait until the hospital called.” At that comment, the phone began to ring. Running to the phone, Buffy picked it up, barking hello at the person on the other end. “Uh huh¼okay¼sounds good. Thanks for calling,” was the side of the conversation that Angel heard. As she hung up, she turned around to face Angel and smiled. “Good news. He’s awake, and talking. They said he’s going to be fine, and we can see him in the morning. Visiting hours are at 11:00.”
Angel breathed a sigh of relief. “It’s good to know that he really is going to be okay. Even though they said so earlier, I feel better knowing he’s awake. Now that they called, I’m going to head to the mansion and take a shower, and then try to get a little sleep. Which, my dear,” he said, walking towards her and enveloping her in his arms, “is something you should do, too.”
“Yeah, I am kind of tired. So, I’ll see you at the hospital tomorrow?” Buffy asked.
“Yeah, I’ll be there. Eleven AM sharp.” They walked to the door, hand in hand.
Leaning over, he gave her a gentle kiss. “Sleep tight, Buffy. I’ll see you in the morning.”
“Yeah, in the morning. Bye, Angel.” As he left, she closed the door behind him, leaning against is as it closed. The night hadn’t turned out quite like she planned, but some things had turned out even better, she thought. Smiling broadly, she turned and took the stairs two at a time, wanting to give her mother the good news about Giles.
Monday morning came bright and early, but not early enough for Buffy. Sunday had been a long exhausting day - one that had come after a long, exhausting Saturday night. Angel had been right. Convincing Giles that staying with her and Joyce was for the best had been relatively easy. Once he was discharged from the hospital, Angel had helped get him settled and then went back to the hotel to discharge him, packing his things and bringing them to the house. Giles had insisted on joining them in the dining room for the dinner that had been a prepared by a group effort, and that was the time that Buffy’s contract had been finalized. She officially worked as a contractor for the best design firm in the country. The money had been more than adequate, and Giles terms had been reasonable. Angel had left early, giving her a slow, delicious kiss, citing the need for both of them to get some sleep. Buffy didn’t blame him. She had barely been able to keep her eyes open as it was. But today was another day. Today she started her new job, working with Angel. Jumping out of bed, Buffy put on her robe and practically skipped to the bathroom.
Thirty minutes later, Buffy was back in the room, getting dressed for the day. Knowing that parts of the mansion were still under construction, she didn’t think a dress would be appropriate, but she still wanted to look professional. Deciding on a pair of tan dress pants and a black, red and tan sequined shirt, she donned her flats. From what she had been told, the mansion was just that - a mansion. So high heels would not suffice for the walking she was going to do today. Pulling her hair up into a sleek bun, she applied a light coat of makeup, finishing with a dusting of pink gloss on her lips. With one last appraisal, Buffy was ready to face the day.
Heading for the kitchen, she could smell the wonderful aroma of coffee. Sometimes she thought that the smell of coffee was the only thing that got her up in the morning. To think that someday soon the only way she would have that smell was if she got up and made it herself was kind of sad. She had been waking up to that smell her entire life. Maybe she’d get one of those pots with a timer, she thought, smiling to herself. Now that she had a job, she could afford some of those things.
Pushing open the door to the kitchen, she was surprised to see both her mother and Giles bent over their cups, deep in conversation. They didn’t notice her as she entered, so Buffy cleared her throat, trying to politely announce her presence. Jumping back, they both looked guiltily at Buffy. Giles was the first one to find his voice. “Uh, good morning, Buffy. I trust you slept well?”
Smiling at them both, she nodded her head. “Yes, Giles, I slept very well. And it looks like you two are well rested.”
“Here, Buffy. Have a seat, I’ll get you a cup of coffee. Giles and I were just reminiscing.” Joyce said, blushing brightly as she stood up.
“Geez, Mom. Relax. I am more than old enough to get my own cup of coffee. And would you stop with the blushing. It’s not like I caught you guys doing the wild thing right here on a kitchen stool.” Remembering having done something very close to it just over twenty-four hours ago, it was now Buffy’s turn to blush.
“Buffy Anne,” Joyce cried, not sure whether to laugh or die of embarrassment. “Sometimes, young lady, I think you sit up nights thinking of things you can say that will embarrass me.” Noticing that Giles was turning a new shade of red, Joyce was even more embarrassed - until she noticed his chest vibrating in an attempt to contain his laughter. “Okay, Rupert, you don’t have to hold it in. I assume you thought that was funny.”
Letting it go, Giles laughed until he had tears rolling down his cheeks. “I’m - I’m sorry, Joyce, Buffy. But really, Joyce, she’s such a breath of fresh air. I can’t remember the last time I met someone who just tells it like they see it. It’s just so damn amusing.” Wiping the tears from his eyes, he sighed, regaining his composure. “So, I see you’re ready for work, Buffy. And I must say, you look very presentable.”
“Yes, Buffy, you do look very nice. But don’t you think a dress would have been more appropriate for your first day at a new job?” Joyce asked.
“Mom, if I was working in an office, maybe. But the mansion is under construction, or at least parts of it. I wanted to be professional, but practical. Thus the short shoes,” she said, holding her foot out to show her mom.
Giles commented, “Very wise, Buffy. Much of the mansion is complete and ready to be decorated, but other parts are a mess. You may find that even the attire you are wearing now is too formal. Feel free to wear whatever you like. I’ve never been much for judging a book by its cover.”
“Giles, you couldn’t have told me this before I got ready? I spent 30 minutes picking this outfit out. And then you tell me I could have put on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. Men!” Plopping down on the stool, Buffy smiled at him, softening the words.
“Well, it was worth the time. You look, uh, very nice, Buffy,” Giles stammered, not used to complimenting such young women on their looks. Well, that wasn’t true. He’d dated women her age. But they had never been the daughter of his only love. Feeling embarrassed at that, he frowned, looking down at his cup of tea.
“So, what’s on your plans today, Mom?” Buffy asked, turning her attention to Joyce.
“Rupert has his first physical therapy session at 11:00. The hospital arranged to have someone come over, so we don’t have to worry about getting him back and forth. I took the day off, so after the therapist leaves, I’m going to teach Rupert to use this wheel chair. He about ripped the kitchen door off when he came in this morning. Or if I can’t teach him, I’m at least going to point him in the right direction.”
“Joyce, I resent that comment. Have you ever had to maneuver one of these contraptions? It’s like driving a car without a steering wheel.” Giles wasn’t really offended, but he did like a good argument.
Pleased that she was leaving them both in good hands, Buffy stood up, announcing that it was time for her to go. Leaning over, she kissed her mom goodbye, and smiled at Giles. “Wish me luck, guys. I’m off into the not so real world, if this weekend is any indication.”
First impressions are lasting, so the saying goes. Well, Buffy’s first impression of the mansion was one of awe. She’d never seen a place that left her as breathless as this one. It was just stunning. From the stone it was built with, to the layout of the grounds, she loved it. Eager to get started, she opened the massive front doors, entering the large entryway. Looking down, she noticed the beautiful marble floor, already planning to have it polished, not replaced. It was original, and the thought of tearing it up made her stomach lurch. The walls were also original - old wood carved with beautiful engravings, but not in great shape. Not sure what they could do to salvage the original work, she took out her notebook and made a note to find out. There had to a way to save it, and that was her goal.
Walking into the first room she came across, Buffy found construction men working on one of the walls. Seeing that a large burly man was about to take a pick-ax to the floor tile, she ran over to him and pulled the tool from his hands. “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?” she shouted.
The man was startled at being interrupted, but seeing who was interrupting him, he gave Buffy a leer. “Well, darling, if you really want to know, I’m trying to get this tile out of the way so I can keep this wall from falling down.” Putting down his tools, he sauntered up to her, smiling at her in what she assumed was supposed to be a sexy manner. His gravelly voice was low as he said, “Unless you got something better I could be doing with my time, if you know what I mean.”
Shaking her head, Buffy rolled her eyes at him. “What, may I ask, is your name?” After getting a brief answer of Bill, she continued. “You, Bill, will never talk to me that way again. And if you touch one fragment of that tile, I’ll personally see to it that you never set foot on these premises again.” Buffy wasn’t quite yelling, but she was louder than normal, alerting all those on the first floor that she had, indeed, arrived.
Angel had heard the first shout by Buffy, but it had taken several seconds for him to pinpoint the direction it was coming from. Unfortunately, he entered the room just about the time that the construction worker propositioned Buffy. Ready to rip the man’s arms from his body, he instead stood still in shock as Buffy put him in his place. Crossing his hands across his chest, he smirked at her reply. Giving the man a nasty look, he walked toward her and asked, “Is there a problem here?”
Buffy was the first to answer. “No, Angel, no problem here.” Looking up into Angel’s face, Buffy’s hands began to dance descriptively, reflecting her agitated state. “This, this ‘buffoon’,” she said, pointing to the now stunned Bill, “was going to take that, that ‘thing’,” she gasped, pointing to the pick-ax, “to this tile. And I told him that that so wasn’t going to happen. Angel, this tile is original. You can’t just break it up and use it for landfill.”
Looking down at the tile with a confused expression on his face, Angel pondered her words. “No, Buffy, this stuff can’t be original. We’d be talking 300 years.” Looking again, he asked, “Do you really think so?”
“Angel, I would almost guarantee it. We can cut a small corner from a closet or someplace inconspicuous and have it analyzed, but I am 99% sure it’s the original stuff. Please don’t tell me you’ve gone and torn out bunches of it.”
“Uh, no, we haven’t. This, as a matter of fact, is the first time we’ve had to touch any of it at all.” Angel replied.
Sighing in relief, Buffy nodded. “That’s good, then.” Smirking at Bill, she walked towards him and barked, “So, macho man, here’s what you are going to do. You will fix that wall, and if ANY, I repeat, ANY piece of tile needs to be removed, you will gently remove it, in tact, so that it can be replaced when you’re done. As a matter of fact, from now on, nothing - I repeat - nothing in this place will be destroyed until I okay it. Got it?”
Realizing he’d made a really big mistake, Bill shook his head, letting her know he would indeed comply with her wishes. Not satisfied with that, Angel took his turn putting the man in his place. Backing him into a corner, Angel hissed, “Bill, let’s get a couple of things straight.” The look in Angel’s eyes caused the larger man to flinch. “First, the woman you just insulted was Buffy Summers. She is the interior designer that Giles hired, and a damn good one at that. So, you will never, ever question anything she says. And, second, you will never again proposition a woman that works here. At least, not if you want to continue to work at all. If I even think that you have, I’ll make sure that you never work in this business again.”
With a nod of his head, Angel stalked from the room, leaving a stunned Bill to watch him go. Buffy turned and shook her head in disgust at the man, then followed Angel out of the room. Once they were in the hallway, Angel turned to face her, catching her so off guard that she stumbled into his chest. “Umph,” was the only word she could get out, having lost most of her breath when she ran straight into his chest. Grabbing her around the shoulders, he kissed her roughly, plunging his tongue into her mouth. Kissing him back, Buffy pulled away when her head started to spin, trying to finally get her breath. “Angel, what the heck was that all about?”
Realizing that he might have scared her, Angel looked at her contritely. Running his hands through his spiked hair, he sighed. “God, Buffy, I’m so sorry. But when I walked into that room and heard him trying to, you know, I wanted to tear him limb from limb. I’m sorry you had to deal with that. Do you want me to fire him? He’s really good, but I will if you want me too.”
Sliding her hands up his chest, Buffy laughed. “Angel, I’ve been in this situation before and managed to handle it. So, no, you don’t need to fire him. He’s been appropriately chastised and no harm was done. Boys will be boys, and I’m enough of a woman to put them in their place.”
Grabbing her around the waist, Angel smiled down at her. “Yeah, you are that. Hell, I’m beginning to think you’re more woman than I can handle.”
Batting her eyes at him, she gently pulled away. “You might just be right, Angel. You might just be right. Now, can I get a tour of the place, or am I going to have to decorate by osmosis?”
Laughing, Angel turned and offered her his arm. “Your mansion awaits, my lady. Shall we?”
Tucking her hand in the crook of his arm, Buffy responded, “Yes, sir, I think we shall.”
Two hours later, Buffy felt like her brain was on overload. The mansion was much bigger than she originally thought, causing her head to spin with ideas, and her notepad to fill with work to be done. As they approached the next room, Angel stopped her, looking deep into her eyes. “Well, tell me, what do you think of my mansion?”
“Angel, it’s fantastic. Who would have ever thought that something this incredible could have existed undiscovered here in Sunnydale for so long? I guess I don’t understand how that could have happened. Even my Mom didn’t know, and she’s the resident expert on these kinds of things.” Buffy looked again at the woodwork, stunned again at the beauty of it all.
“I thought the same thing. But up until I bought it, it was a privately owned residence, and the public wasn’t allowed in here. The Masters family was always known to be a reclusive, private bunch, but the latest Mr. Masters was basically a hermit. No one except for the small staff he employed has been in here in the last 50 years. So it’s not so surprising that it’s never really been evaluated before.” Angel couldn’t help the enthusiasm that seemed to take over his voice. Leaning in to kiss her, Angel smiled, “Only one more room, and I saved this for last. It’s already furnished, but feel free to suggest any changes you think it might need.”
Angel approached the double doors at the end of the hallway, opening them both so Buffy could get the full effect. And it did affect her. Walking through the doors was like walking into a different time period. “Angel, did you do this?” she asked.
“Yes, it’s my own personal slice of the 1700s. Do you like it?”
Buffy was in awe. Walking further into the room, she was stunned at the beauty of it. It was a really large bedroom, with the centerpiece being a huge mahogany bed, complete with a canopy and bed curtains. The color scheme was all based in burgundy, accented by paler shades of rose in the pillows, rugs and shams. All the furniture was dark mahogany, accenting the really large bed. It was a man’s room, with just a touch of female to make it complete. “It’s beautiful. Hell, Angel, if you can do this, why do you need me?”
Gently laughing, Angel smirked, “Do you know that it took me as long to do this as it’s taken us to rebuild this place? I only did it on a whim, when I found out that I was probably going to need to be here full time. And since I gave up my apartment, I wanted a place where I would be comfortable.”
Looking again at the bed, Buffy blushed. “Well, if you, uh, can’t get comfortable in that bed, then there’s something wrong with you. It’s huge.”
Walking up to Buffy and winding his arms around her small waist, he noticed that he could almost span her entire waist with his two hands. Angel kissed her beautiful neck, whispering sensuously in her ear, “You know, a person could almost get lost in there. But don’t worry, I’ll always find you.” Reaching around, he took her lips into his mouth and kissed her gently.
Leaning into the kiss, Buffy gently slipped her tongue into his mouth, enjoying the feel of him pressed against her backside. Pulling back, she looked into his eyes and sighed. “Well, as good as that was, I’m not getting paid to kiss you. Cause if I was, I’d be rich, and you’d need a major supply of chapstick.” Angel laughed at that, stepping back from her. Taking a firm stance, legs firmly apart, Buffy wanted Angel to know she meant business. “So, Mr. Boss, you may not have anything to do, but I have a list about 10 miles long, and I have some serious work to do.”
Angel smiled, and held out his hand to her. “Well, little miss all work and no play, let me take you to your office.”
“My office?? I have an office? Cool!!” Buffy forgot the professional composure she had just been trying to achieve, and almost jumped up and down in excitement.
“Oh course the designer has an office. Unfortunately, it’s really a food pantry off the kitchen, but it has everything you need. A computer, phone, fax machine. We are a sophisticated outfit, you know.”
“No, that’s fine. If you show me the way, I’ll get down there and get started. I have a couple of things I want to call about, including a friend of mine that can have the tile evaluated for authenticity.”
“Sure,” Angel answered, “I’ve actually got things that I need to do. So, off to work we go.”
Several hours later, Buffy sighed in exhaustion, sitting back in her chair at *her* desk. It had been a long but satisfying day. It had taken a while, but she had finally tracked down her friend from school that she wanted to evaluate the tile. There were other people that could do it, but she knew this person, and knew she’d get a fair price for an excellent job. Then she spent several hours talking to numerous suppliers who had what she wanted, but wanted to charge her an arm and a leg. After some really long and heated conversations, she had at least talked them down to prices that she could work with. So, all and all it was a good day. As she began to rise from her chair, there was a knock on her door.
“Uh, come in.”
Angel’s beautiful smile appeared from the opening door. “Hey, you, are you ever coming out? It’s after seven.”
“Is it really that late? I had no idea.” Buffy exclaimed, seriously shocked at the fact that time had gone so fast.
Opening the door the rest of the way, Angel entered and took a seat on the chair in front of her desk. “Yes, it is. Have you even eaten today?”
“Uh, now that you mention it, I haven’t.” About that time Buffy’s stomach let out a loud rumble, protesting its lack of attention.
“I can tell, Buffy. Fortunately, I’m prepared. If, you know, if you want to that is.” Angel blushed, afraid he might have presumed too much.
“Angel, I am probably going to say yes, but you have to ask me first. Cause right now, I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“Well, I thought you might want to have dinner, here, with me. I even had it catered in, since the kitchen is not all that great yet.”
Buffy’s heart began to beat faster, causing her voice to become raspy. “Yes, Angel, I would love to have dinner with you.”
Reaching out for her hand while standing up, Angel squeezed her fingers in thankfulness. Leading her around the desk, he wrapped his arm around her, leading her to their dinner.
A couple of hours later, Buffy sat back from the table that Angel had moved into his bedroom. Plenty of food and just enough wine to make her feel contented had her feeling like her muscles were jelly. Relaxed had taken on a new meaning in her vocabulary.
Angel sat across from her, with a content smile on his face. “From the look on your face, I guess the food was good.”
Sighing again in pleasure, Buffy smiled at him. “Yes, it was. I can’t remember a meal that I’ve enjoyed so much. Oh course, that might have something to do with the company as well.”
Angel walked over to the stereo and hit play on the CD. As the sounds of Al Green permeated the air, he held out his hand to her. “Will you dance with me?”
“Mr. Donahoe, I would love to. But take it slow. I’m stuffed.” Taking his hand, she stood up and went into his arms, as he wrapped her in his loving hold.
Angel placed his hands on her hips, causing both sets of hips to sway with the music in perfect harmony. Drawing her close, he pressed his body up against hers, allowing her to feel his obvious arousal. Burying his head in her throat, Angel tasted her skin, again amazed at the taste that was uniquely Buffy.
As the music continued to swell around them, Buffy was lost to his touch. Sighing in pleasure, she bared her throat, allowing him access to her sensitive skin. Wrapping her hands around him, she placed her hands on his ass and pulled him closer to her. Buffy loved the feel of his aroused member pressing against her stomach, and pulled tighter to increase the pressure. Her legs were getting wet from her arousal, and she needed so much more.
As if he’d read her mind, Angel slowly moved his hand under her shirt, rubbing her stomach. Slowly he found his way up to her breasts, rubbing her nipples through her bra. Buffy gasped with the first touch, leaning forward to increase the contact. “Angel, please, I need you.”
Stunned by her comment, Angel pulled back and looked into her eyes. “Are you sure, Buffy?”
Pulling his head down, kissing him hard enough to bruise both their lips, Buffy gasped as she pulled back. Grabbing his shirt, she ripped it open, taking buttons and all. “Oh, yeah, Angel, I’m sure. I’ve been waiting for you for a long time. I’m done waiting.”
Knowing what he did about Buffy, Angel grabbed her hands, slowing her down. “Baby, we are going to do this, but it’s going to be right. I care way too much about you to just throw you down on the bed and do this.”
Flinching, Buffy thought she might have pushed too hard. “Sorry if I was too bold. I’m still trying to learn this and I thought you wanted me.” The forbidden tears came to her eyes, not quite falling but hanging on her lashes.
*How can women do that? * Angel thought. Placing his hand on her cheek, he looked into her watery, now green, eyes. “Buffy, don’t you ever, ever think that I don’t want you. I have never wanted something as much as I want you. And, no, you weren’t too bold. But I want this to be special. Something you will always remember. Your first time shouldn’t be quick and rough, and frankly, I’m having a hard time thinking about slow and easy with you ripping my shirt off.”
“Oh”, Buffy blushed, lowering her head. “What do we do now?”
Lifting her head with his finger, Angel smiled, “Well, first off, you will never have a reason to blush with me. And second, how about I go take a shower, and you get into bed.”
“OK,” Buffy said, her heart skipping a beat at the thought. “Uh, should I get undressed?”
“Honey, that’s up to you. This is about what you want. You want to keep your clothes on, it’s OK. Hell, I would love just holding you. You want to take them off, that’s OK too. So, you decide, and when I get back, we’ll see where we go from here. Either way it’s alright with me.” Angel smiled at her, before turning and leaving the room.
Hearing the shower kick on, Buffy took a deep breath. Was she ready for this? It wasn’t like she and Angel hadn’t done some really naughty things before, and she’d seen his most important parts naked. But this would be it. This was the big time. Making love to Angel. She’d been dreaming about this for, well, forever it seemed. Was she ready to make her dream a reality? What if he was disappointed? After all, he’d made love to a lot of women, a lot of beautiful women. What if he found her lacking something? Taking a deep breath, Buffy realized she was being foolish. No matter what happened between them, this was her dream. And she was going to live it.
Quickly shedding her clothes, Buffy crawled under the blankets on Angel’s big bed. Nervous and excited, she waited for him to finish his shower so he could join her. She didn’t have very long to wait. Five minutes after she’d made her decision, Angel walked into the bedroom with only a towel wrapped around his waist. Buffy’s mouth went dry as she stared at his beautiful chest.
Angel was entranced. Walking into his bedroom, seeing her hazel eyes stare at him above the covers, was like a dream come true. He’s spent so many useless nights with numerous women. This was completely new to him. He *wanted* her here, with him, in his bed. Not just for sex, but for always. As the realization hit him, Angel smiled at her, giddy with the fact that he loved her.
Sitting on the bed, Angel reached out and smoothed her hair, just wanting to feel her. Not wanting to ruin the moment with words, Angel slid under the covers, towel still attached. Realizing that she was, indeed, naked, Angel gasped as his arms made contact with her hot flesh. Moaning as his hand encountered a naked breast, Angel kissed her lips, worshiping her mouth with his tongue.
The passion Buffy was feeling was making it hard to breath. Unable to resist, her hands found their way to his chest, lightly brushing her hands along his bare skin, causing a gasp to wrench from Angel’s mouth. Lowering her hand, she pulled on the towel, exposing Angel to her wandering limbs. Grabbing his stiff erection, she continued to kiss him, reveling in his moans and gasps at what she was doing. As he tugged harder on her nipple, Buffy grasped harder on his huge cock. “Angel, yes, please baby. I need you, I need you now.”
Rolling over on top of her, Angel placed his hands on either side of her head. “Buffy, we don’t have to do this. I,” he gasped as he rubbed his throbbing cock on the inside of her thigh, “can wait.”
“But I can’t, Angel. I feel like I’ve been waiting for this forever.”
Kissing her again, Angel pulled away and smiled into her beautiful face. “I don’t know how it’s possible, and I know we only just met again 48 hours ago. But I think I’m in love with you.”
Buffy froze in shock. “Angel, you don’t have to say this just to, you know.”
“NO, Buffy. That’s not it. I haven’t said those words to anyone in a very long time. I really do love you, and I just wanted you to know. Even if you say no right now, I’ll still love you.”
Tears forming in her eyes, Buffy reached up to kiss him. “I love you too, Angel. I always have.”
Angel’s heart skipped a beat at her admission, causing him to forcefully kiss her. As his mouth assaulted hers, he thought he heard a sound the background. Assuming it must be his imagination, he didn’t even stop when he thought he heard the bedroom door open.
“EXCUSE ME! But what the hell are you doing?”
Both Angel and Buffy jerked up at the same time, stunned that someone had invaded Angel’s personal sanctuary. Holding the blanket up to cover their nakedness, two heads turned toward the unwanted visitor.
“Cordelia?” Angel asked, in disbelief. “What the HELL are you doing here?”
Angel jumped from the bed, attempting to take the covers with him to hide his nakedness. It didn’t even dawn on him that these were the same covers that kept Buffy covered, but he was rudely reminded as she yanked back. Sitting back down on the bed, Angel looked at her, grinning in apology. Silently mouthing ‘Sorry’, he kept himself covered, turning to face their visitor. “Cordelia, you will go down stairs right now, and I will be there in a few minutes.”
“Oh, I don’t think so. If you think I’m going to leave you with this¼this slut, you are dead wrong.” Cordelia screeched.
Angry beyond words, Angel turned toward Buffy, afraid of the affect that Cordelia’s words might have had on her. Looking into her eyes, Angel didn’t find the expected pain or hurt. He saw anger. Seems his girl was still a little spitfire. Leaning down, he kissed her angry lips. “Don’t worry. I’ll take care of this,” he whispered. Buffy nodded at him, realizing this was his fight.
Stomping her foot, Cordelia whined, “Damn it, Angel, I want an explanation right now. What is this woman doing in your bed?”
“Cordy, you’re not stupid. You know what we were doing. And you are going to leave this room right now, or I will get out of this bed and physically throw you out. You decide.”
“Fine, but I expect some answers. And I want her GONE - NOW.” The door slammed as she left the room.
Buffy had had enough of this dark haired woman’s insults, and tried to get up to follow her.
“No, Buffy, this is my problem, not yours. Please let me handle this.” Angel looked deep into her eyes, begging for understanding that he knew he hadn’t earned. “It’s not what you think. I’m not with her, and I haven’t been for few weeks now. But she doesn’t seem to get it.”
Buffy wanted to believe him, she really did. But years of innocence and wanting had left its mark. As the tears started to fall down her cheeks, she sat up and rubbed her face, wiping them away. “I want to believe you, I really do. But how did she know where you live? And how did she get in? I saw you lock the door.”
Sitting up next to her, Angel wrapped his arms around his legs. “I first came to see the mansion about six months ago and Cordy was with me. And to as how she got in, that’s a good question. One I intend to get an answer to.” Raising his hand to her face, he caught her tears with his fingers. “Buffy, there’s something you have to realize. I’ve known hundreds of women like her. Not all intimately, most through business. They’re shallow, rude, and callous - women that are great for meaningless dating, but that’s about it. No depth at all.”
Turning her tear filled eyes toward him, Buffy attempted a smile, failing miserably. “So she must be the model your Mom was talking about. She’s very pretty.”
“I suppose so, though she doesn’t hold a candle to you.”
Buffy smiled in thanks, not really believing it. “Maybe I should go. Looks like you are going to have your hands full for a while.”
“Damn,” Angel sighed, wishing to God that this night had turned out differently. “I understand if you want to leave. This whole night has turned into a total disaster.”
“Oh, no, Angel,” Buffy said, reaching out and grabbing his hand. “It was wonderful. It was the best night of my life. I just hope there will be others like it, minus her of course.” Buffy smiled at him, trying to reassure him.
Shaking his head in disbelief, Angel smiled at her. “You know, if I’d known you were so wonderful I would have snatched you up when you were seventeen, just to make sure no one else got you first.”
“Well, everyone is entitled to make mistakes. And it looks like you got a big one waiting for you downstairs. So I’m going to leave you to the fixing part. And you are going to fix it, right?”
Seeing the doubt in her gaze, Angel tried to reassure her. “Buffy, baby, I meant what I said earlier. I love you, very much. And I will fix this.”
“Good, cause even though this bed will fit three, I really don’t want the company.”
Angel laughed, getting out of bed and walking to his dresser drawers to pull out sweats and a t-shirt. “I’m going to go to the bathroom. If you want to get dressed, I’ll walk you to the door when I get back.”
Finding it impossible to breathe as Angel’s naked form walked across the room, it took a moment for her to realize what he was saying. “Oh, uh, yeah, that’d be great.”
As Angel went into the other room, Buffy jumped up and quickly put her clothes back on. Sitting on the bed, she ran her hands over the silk sheets, thinking about what could have been. She really didn’t like this Cordelia person, and she’d be damned if she was going to let her screw this up. Angel was hers, and in some way, he always had been. So model or not, Cordelia was in for the fight of her life. As Angel returned, Buffy stood up and grabbed the hand he reached out to her.
Wrapping his arm around her waist, he leaned down and kissed her lips. “Thank you.”
“Well, first for a wonderful night. And second, for not running screaming from the house when some ill mannered bitch interrupted what should have been the best night of both our lives.”
As they walked down the stairs, Buffy stopped one stair up, turning him toward her, enabling her to almost meet him eye to eye. “The best night of your life, huh?” Wrapping her arms around his neck, she looked into his eyes. “And why would that be?”
“Well, if you must know, because it would have been the first time I made love to the woman I love.”
“Oh, really. And who, may I ask, would that woman be?”
“Uh, let me see if I can remember her name. I believe it was something like Buffy. Sound right to you?”
“Sounds wonderful.” Kissing him with everything she had, Buffy tried not to think about the fact that she was leaving him alone in his house with a beautiful woman who obviously wanted him. Relationships begin with trust, and she really wanted to trust him. But she wasn’t sure she was ready for this kind of trust.
Pulling back, she voiced her fears. “Angel, I know you need to take care of this. And I’m trying to be adult about it. But I don’t like this at all. Just for the record.”
“I understand. Hell, I don’t like it either. You know, if you want, you can go back upstairs and wait for me. I wouldn’t mind at all.”
“No, you need to take care of this. And I have to work tomorrow. How would it look if I showed up in the same clothes? Don’t want people thinking I only got this job because I’m doing the boss.”
Frowning, Angel snarled, “Don’t you ever let anyone tell you that. What’s between you and me had nothing to do with this job. You got this job because both Giles and I think you are capable of doing it. And if I didn’t think so, I’d still be chasing after you, just not during business hours.”
Hugging him, Buffy smiled. “Thank you. I needed to hear that. Now walk me to the door, so you can get rid of the rude women hiding down there somewhere.” Nodding to the first floor, Buffy grimaced at the thought.
After saying goodbye to Buffy, it took several minutes for Angel to find Cordelia. The smell of coffee brewing helped him to locate her, sitting at the table in the kitchen. Not saying a word, Angel went to the cabinet and pulled out a cup, pouring the coffee into it. All the while, Cordelia continued to shoot daggers at him with her eyes.
After taking a long sip, Angel looked into her angry face. “You want to tell me why you’re here?”
“What do you mean? You know why I’m here.” Cordelia snapped.
“Uh, excuse me, but no I don’t. I told you two months ago that we were over. So, why would you show up now?”
Standing up, Cordelia approached him and wrapped her arms around his waist. “So we had a fight. Couples fight all the time. That doesn’t mean it’s over. You know you love me.”
Unwinding her hands from him, Angel stepped away, trying to put more distance between them. “Don’t put words in my mouth. I’ve never said I loved you before, and I can guarantee that I don’t love you now. How in the hell did you get in here anyway? The door was locked.”
“Yeah, I kind of noticed the locked door when the taxi dropped me off. Speaking of which, my bags are on the front porch. You might want to get them and take them to your room.”
“Not on a bet, Cordelia. And you still haven’t answered me. How did you get in?”
Sighing, Cordy sat back down and took a sip of her coffee. “If you must know, someone left the side door unlocked. It took me ten minutes to find a window or door that wasn’t locked. This place is sealed up like a drum.” Smiling brightly, she looked really proud of herself. “But as you know, I’m persistent.”
Shaking his head, Angel crossed his arms over his chest, staring in disbelief at the woman sitting in his kitchen. “So you flew out here, had a taxi drop you off, checked every door in the house until you found one unlocked, and entered my home uninvited? That’s what you are smiling so smugly about?”
“I wanted to surprise you. But instead I find you’re cheating on me with some floozy. How could you, Angel?”
Feeling his anger rise to a new level, Angel took a deep breath. “You will never call Buffy that, or any other derogatory name, again. And you will call a cab and get the hell out of my house now. Before I throw you out.”
Anger flashing in her eyes, Cordelia confronted him. “You don’t mean that, Angel. No one dumps Cordelia Chase. It’s like a law or something.”
“Well then, you better have me arrested. Cause I’m as done with you as done gets.” Picking up the phone, Angel pressed the memory button that would connect him to the only taxi service that ran this far out. After listening to the recording, he hung up. “Seems the only taxi service available out here is closed. So first thing in the morning, you are out of here. I’ll personally make sure of it.”
Cordelia could tell that Angel was serious. Not one to give up easily, she jumped on the opportunity presented to her. “Well, since I have to spend the night, how ‘bout another round for old times sake?” Snaking up to him, she attempted to rub his chest with her hands.
Shaking her off, Angel put as much distance as possible between her and his body. “What part of ‘No’ don’t you understand? I’ll get a room ready for you since you can’t go anywhere tonight, but tomorrow you will be leaving.”
Sitting back down at the table, Cordelia stared into her coffee cup. Tears sprung to her eyes as she looked at him. “But, Angel, I can’t leave. I was hoping to make this easier, but there’s no other way, I guess. Angel, I’m pregnant.”
Angel sat alone on his bed, stunned beyond belief. Cordelia was finally settled in bed, in a room far down the hall. For extra precaution, he had even locked his bedroom door - something he didn’t normally do. He felt like his life, the same one he was looking so forward to earlier today, was over. Buffy would never understand this. It would be over before it even began. Feeling tears well in his eyes, Angel stood up and went to take a shower.
As the hot water hit him, he had to wonder. How could this have happened? He had always been so careful. Since the scare with Darla in high school, he hadn’t had unprotected sex with anyone. Hell, he couldn’t even remember what it felt like to get some without latex. So how could she be pregnant? The rubber had never broken, they’d never done it without it - he just didn’t get it. The word *Dad* didn’t scare him. In his mind, he could see Buffy telling him he was going to be a father. It was quickly becoming one of his fantasies. But now it would never happen. As he shut off the water, the tears streaked down his face. What was he going to do now? And how could he ever tell Buffy?
Buffy walked into the mansion early the next morning, eager to see Angel but scared at what she might find. Following the sounds of yelling and the smell of coffee, she found him pacing in the kitchen, talking on the phone. Smiling at him, she reached up and grabbed a mug and turned to pour herself a cup. As she turned around to look at him, Angel turned away, refusing to look her in the eye. Buffy started a bit, but thought maybe it had something to do with him being on the phone. Taking a seat in the nearest chair, she decided to wait until he finished his conversation before she got upset.
“Spike, that’s not what we agreed upon.” Angel listened, continuing to pace. “Yes, I understand. But they can’t just change the price in the middle of a job. So you better let them know that unless they stand behind their original bid, we’re going to sue them for everything they own. And don’t forget to throw Giles’ name around if you need to.” Back and forth he went, intently listening to the other side of the conversation, the one that Buffy couldn’t hear. “Fine, Spike, you do that. Can I assume you’ll be on the plane this afternoon?”
Wondering who Spike was, Buffy sat back and waited for Angel to finish. As Angel agreed to pick this unknown person up at the airport, he hung up his cell phone, still avoiding Buffy’s eyes. Starting to get nervous, Buffy approached him and wrapped her arms around his waist. Though Angel didn’t push her away, he didn’t join her either. Feeling awkward, Buffy took a couple of steps back, looking up into his face.
“You want to tell me what’s wrong?” she asked.
Finally looking up at her, she could see the pain in his eyes. “No, I really don’t. But it doesn’t seem like I have much of a choice. Let’s go to my room.”
Buffy didn’t know what was wrong, but she instinctively knew she didn’t want to know. She figured she had lost and Cordelia had won. As he turned to leave the room she grabbed his arm, halting his progress. “No, Angel, I don’t want to know. I have a job to do, and that’s what I’m going to do. I hope you and Cordelia will be very happy.”
Angrily, Angel turned on her. “Buffy, for the second time in less than twelve hours, I’m sitting in this kitchen asking a woman to stop putting words in my mouth, and I’m not very happy about it.” Taking a deep breath to calm himself, he swooped his arm towards the door, gallantly offering her the doorway. “Now, please, let’s take this somewhere private. My life is screwed up enough without having to announce it to the world.”
Shocked and concerned, Buffy could only nod, exiting the kitchen and heading towards his bedroom, with him on her heel.
Buffy sat on the bed, not daring to say anything. Angel’s obvious irritation was making her nervous. Not because she was afraid of what he would do, but because she was afraid of what he was about to say. Trying to calm the situation, she gently asked, “Angel please, sit down somewhere. You’re starting to scare me.”
Sitting next to her, he ran his fingers through his hair in frustration. Knowing what he needed to do was not the same as wanting to do it. Looking into her eyes, he was shocked at the love and acceptance he saw there. “Sorry, Buffy. I didn’t mean to scare you.”
“I know you didn’t. But I think you need to tell me what’s going on, because my imagination has now taken a really bizarre vacation, and it’s a trip I don’t want to be on.”
“You can’t even imagine,” he sighed.
“Okay, this is so not good. I don’t suppose this is something you could just not tell me? Knowledge isn’t always a good thing.” Buffy was truly frightened now.
Turning towards her, he grabbed her hands and looked into her face. “No, Buffy, I can’t not tell you this. But first let me tell you that the last few days have been the best of my life. I meant what I said last night. I love you. And if I would give just about anything to not have to tell you this.”
Eyes all teary, Buffy squeezed his hands. “Angel, whatever it is, we can get past it. I love you, and nothing you can say will ever change that.”
“Don’t make promises you might not be able to keep, Buffy. And I won’t blame you if you walk out. It’s my own fault.” Standing up, Angel began to pace. “God, I’m such an idiot.”
“Damn it, Angel. Just tell me. I know this has something to do with Cordelia. So just say it. My heart can’t take the stress.”
Unable to think of another reason to stall, Angel sat down next to her again. “You’re right, it does have to do with Cordelia. I met her about six months ago. She was just your typical New York model. Beautiful, fun and shallow. We dated on and off for four months or so, nothing serious as far as I was concerned. But she didn’t see it that way. She began calling me all the time and showing up at my place unannounced. Something she’s still doing, as you saw last night.”
Nodding in agreement, Buffy smiled encouragingly at him.
“Well, of course, we had sex. A lot of sex, actually.” Seeing Buffy blanche, he cringed. “But I always used a condom. I’m not stupid. Hell, I can’t tell you the last time I had unprotected sex. I don’t even remember what it feels like.” Angel smirked. “Buffy, honey, I haven’t exactly led the life of a saint, in case you didn’t know.”
“No, I kind of figured that out from your Mom’s occasional updates.”
“Well, unfortunately she didn’t exaggerate, and she only knew bits and pieces. But I’ve always tried to be careful. With all the diseases and stuff out there, you can’t be too careful. Hell, I was even going to use a rubber last night with you.” Seeing Buffy blush, he smiled at her reassuringly. “You may be innocent, but I’m not.” Releasing her hands, he placed his feet on the floor, looking down at his shoes in shame. “And there’s always the pregnancy thing.”
Buffy gasped in shock. “Angel, are you trying to tell me that Cordelia is pregnant with your child? You can’t be serious!”
“I can’t tell you how much I wish this was just some sick joke.” Sighing deeply, he looked up at her, tears in his eyes. “I’m so sorry, Buffy. She told me last night. I don’t know what to say.”
“Neither do I. Is she sure? And are you sure it’s yours?”
Feeling a glimmer of hope, Angel wondered why he hadn’t even asked. “Both of those are good questions. But in the shock, I never asked either question. But I wouldn’t get your hopes up. I can’t believe Cordelia would lie about this. Hell, she has a successful career in New York. I can’t imagine having a baby would do anything to help that.”
“Yeah, that’s true. But you did say she was kind of obsessed with you. Though I hate saying this, there are women out there that will go to any lengths to trap a man. Not that I’m proud of it, but it’s true. And let’s face it, Cordelia has shown that she would stoop pretty low if you were the prize.” Smiling at him, she leaned in and kissed him. “Not that I blame her. You are pretty hot.”
Staring at her in shock, Angel sat back and looked at her quizzically. “Are you saying you’re okay with this?”
“Hell, no, I’m not okay with it.” Buffy snapped as she straddled his lap, wrapping her arms around his neck. “But if, and I repeat if, it turns out to be true, we’ll deal with it.” When Angel didn’t respond to her, Buffy pulled back. “Unless you want me to not be okay with it. Do you want to be with Cordelia?”
Groaning, Angel grabbed her around the waist and rolled her onto the bed. Positioning himself between her legs, he grabbed her face and kissed her with all the love he had. “I love you, Buffy. Not Cordelia, not anyone else.” Burying his head in her neck, he couldn’t stem the flow of tears that were now falling from his eyes. “I thought I had lost you. I was so sure that you would never forgive me for this.”
Wrapping her arms around his back, Buffy hugged him as hard as she could. “One way or the other, Angel, this isn’t going to be easy. But nothing you could ever do would make me stop loving you. Heck, I’ve loved you since I was seven. That ought to tell you something right there.”
Smiling through his tears, Angel rubbed his fingertips along her cheek. “Buffy Summers, you are the most amazing woman I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. And I love you.”
“I love you, too, Angel Donahoe. But from now on, the only woman that better even have a chance of thinking she’s having your baby had best be me.”
“That, my dear, is a promise.”
“I’ll hold you to that, you know.”
Several deep kisses later, Buffy sighed in frustration. “Angel, I have to get to work. I’m expecting a call from a supplier soon, and I need to be there.”
Climbing off of her, Angel echoed her sigh. “Yes, dear. Back to work we go.” Grabbing her outstretched hand, he pulled her to him. “Uh, don’t suppose I could talk you into spending another evening with me?”
“Oh, that shouldn’t be a problem. But you have some business you need to take care of first. You need to get to the bottom of this Cordelia mess.” Raising her huge hazel eyes to his, she gazed deep into his dark orbs. “Angel, what are you going to do if she really is pregnant and the baby is yours?”
“Buffy, I can’t walk away from my responsibilities. If this baby is mine, I’m going to take care of it. I hope that doesn’t hurt you, but I just can’t walk away from my child.”
“I was so hoping you’d say that.” Hugging him, she asked, “But what about the Mom? What are you going to do about Cordelia? She shouldn’t have to go through this alone.”
“And she won’t. I’ll be there for her, to the best of my abilities. But we’ll never be a couple, if that’s what you’re worried about. I can be a father to my child without being with his mother. People do it every day.”
“Yes, I suppose they do. Hell, both our mothers raised us without our dads, and we turned out all right. But I’m really glad you want to be part of this child’s life. That is, assuming it’s yours.”
“That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? But either way, you’re going to be there, right?” Angel looked at her, all his insecurities shining in his eyes.
“As long as you want me to be, Angel.”
“How’s forever? Does forever work for you?” Angel blurted, a little shocked when the words came out his mouth.
Startled by his comment, Buffy looked questionably into his face. “Forever is a long time, Angel.”
“But not nearly long enough.” Grabbing the back of her head, he placed a soulful kiss on her mouth.
“No, Angel, not nearly,” Buffy gasped at the end of the kiss, overwhelmed by the emotion she could see in his eyes. Flustered, she pulled herself away from him, knowing she needed some air. “Uh, I, uh, have to go to work now. I, uh, guess I’ll see you later.”
As she opened the door to exit the room, she heard a whispered “You can count on it” as the door softly closed behind her.
Buffy could hear Cordelia calling Angel’s name from the moment the woman’s feet hit the stairs. Knowing she needed to leave this for him to deal with, she sat in her office listening to another woman call Angel’s name for a REALLY long time, and just stewed. This was not going to be easy. Having taken about all she could stand, Buffy rose from her chair. As she did, the door to her office slowly opened. Cordelia’s dark head peeked around the door, repeating her litany. “Angel? Are you in here?”
Standing up as straight and tall as she could, Buffy smirked as Cordelia’s mouth dropped. “Can I help you, Cordelia?” Buffy asked, knowing full well this was the first of many battles.
“YOU! What the hell are you doing here?” Red faced with anger, Cordelia slammed open the door.
“Uh, first thing, that’s original wall that your trying to break, so don’t let it happen again. As Angel will tell you, no one gets to tear anything up around here without my permission. Second, that’s a door you just opened - without knocking. Surely, we don’t need pictures, do we? A closed door just screams knock first, doesn’t it?” Buffy confidently smiled as she watched Cordelia’s anger rise.
“Oh, so you’re nothing more than the hired help? Figures. Angel always was a sucker for trash.” Cordelia smiled as she could see her barb hit its mark. Wanting to place the final nails in the coffin, she gleefully said, “You know, when our baby comes, Angel and I are going to be married.”
Buffy could feel her face getting red from anger and humiliation, but she refused to let this nasty woman win. “Married, huh? So we are reaching for the stars, aren’t we? Speaking of the baby, when is the happy event, Cordelia? Do we have a due date yet? Both Angel and I want to make sure our calendars are clear so we can attend the birth.”
Cordelia was stunned speechless by that. Buffy raised an eyebrow at her, waiting for a response. Gathering her wits, Cordelia snapped, “Oh, you think you’re hot shit, don’t you? But you’re nothing more than the convenient lay of the moment. Hell, every time Angel does a house, he winds up sleeping with someone. What are you, the maid?”
“No, actually I’m the head designer. And you are a nuisance. So go away.” Sitting back down in her chair, Buffy made it obvious that Cordelia was dismissed.
Not one to be dismissed so easily, Cordelia continued to dig. “So you think sleeping with the boss will get you brownie points. Hey, if you can’t cut the actual work, just give a little head on the side, right?”
Buffy took a deep breath, fighting down the urge to kill this woman. If she wasn’t supposedly pregnant, she might have done it earlier. “Well, not that it’s any of your business, but I don’t work for Angel. I work for Rupert Giles. I also have a degree in interior design, having graduated with Honors. You just let me know the next time your pea brain graduates from anything with Honors, and will go at it. Now get the hell out of MY office.” Seeing Cordelia’s mouth open with a retort, Buffy snapped. “Get the HELL out now, or I will throw you out.”
“Fine. I was looking for Angel anyway. We have a future to plan, you know.” With one last sneer, Cordelia turned and stormed out of the room.
Sighing, Buffy looked down at her hands, trying to steady their shaking. Wiping away the inevitable tears, she took a deep breath to regain her composure. She’d known this was going to be hard, but she hadn’t really known how hard until now. How was she going to get through this, especially if this nasty woman was having Angel’s child?
Several minutes later, Cordelia caught up with Angel as he walked through the front door. Angel jumped back as she almost tackled him, wrapping her arms around his waist. Unwrapping her arms, Angel glared at her. Then remembering her supposed state, he softened his look. “How are you feeling today, Cordelia?”
“Honey, I’m a little queasy. Could you come to my room and rub my stomach and back?”
Sighing, Angel just looked at her. “We really need to talk. But I can’t do it now. I’m expecting a phone call, then I have to pick Spike up at the airport this afternoon.”
“Why the hell is Spike coming here? It looks like all the construction is pretty much done. Hell, I never knew why you needed him anyway.”
Running his hand through his hair, he couldn’t help but wonder what he ever saw in this spoiled, petulant woman. “Besides being my partner, he’s also one of my best friends. I know he can be a bit rough at times, but I expect you to show him a little respect while you’re both here. If you can’t do that, I’ll get you a room at the closest motel.”
“You’re telling me you’d throw the mother of your child out for Spike?” Cordelia whined loudly.
“You may be the mother of my child, but that doesn’t give you the right to disrespect the people I care about.”
“Oh, you mean like the little tramp whose office I just came from? What could you possibly be thinking, Angel? She’s so, so bland. And skinny. You can’t find her attractive, not after having a real woman like me.” Snugly up to him, she tried to run her fingers down his chest, only to have her hand jerked away.
Angrily, Angel stepped away from her “Yes, Cordelia, that’s exactly what I meant. If you do or say anything to upset her, you will have to deal with me. Do we understand each other?”
“Oh, I understand that you are defending some little trollop over your girlfriend, your PREGNANT girlfriend at that.” Marching towards the stairs in anger, she turned around as Angel called her name.
“Cordelia!” Angel snapped, stomping towards her retreating form. “Let’s get one thing straight right now. You were never anything more than just someone I dated. So don’t try to make me feel like I’m betraying you. I’ll be there for you during the pregnancy, but only as a friend. And, of course, I’ll always be there for the baby.
“But Angel, I want this baby to have a father and a real home.”
“He will have a father, that I can guarantee. And I will always make sure he has a decent home. But Cordelia, I don’t love you, and I never will. I’m sorry, but that’s just the way it is.”
“You say that now, but when you get tired of the milkmaid in there, you’ll be back. Don’t worry, I can wait.”
God, the woman was unbelievable. “Wait all you want, Cordelia. But it’ll never happen.” Tired of sparring with her, Angel turned to go to his office, as Cordelia started back up the stairs. “Oh, Cordelia, by the way.” Angel called to her. “I made an appointment for you for tomorrow with a doctor in Sunnydale. Nine AM sharp, so try to be ready.”
“But I already have a doctor.”
“I’m sure you do, but if you’re going to be spending time here, you’ll need one in Sunnydale. Now I really have to get back to work. I’m sure I’ll see you later.”
Two hours later, Angel was getting ready to head to the Sunnydale airport when his cell phone rang.
Answering it, he was surprised to hear Spike on the other end. “Why aren’t you on your plane, Spike?”
“My bleeding connecting flight was cancelled, and I’m stuck in Los Angeles. It’s going to be tomorrow before I can get another one.”
“Hell, Will, I can’t pick you up tomorrow morning. Something’s come up that I need to take care of.”
“Come on, Angel. What’s so important that you can’t pick me up?”
Feeling the need to unburden himself, Angel sat at the table and told Spike the whole, ugly story about Cordelia, only briefly mentioning Buffy. He wanted to keep her out of this as much as possible.
“So, Cordy’s pregnant? Are you sure?”
“Well, that’s why I’m taking her to a doctor tomorrow. Just to make sure. And to see for myself that everything is on the up and up. Man, I guess they don’t make rubbers like they used to.”
Spike had to laugh at that. “Yeah, this is kind of surprising. You always were the over cautious one.”
“Well, apparently I wasn’t cautious enough. Maybe I should have used two.”
“Hell, then why bother? Well, I wouldn’t get too worked up over it. It’s possible there is more to this than you know. Don’t worry about me. I think I’ll see if I can get a car, and just drive up in the morning. I kind of want to be there when you get back. And I want to meet the woman that has you all worked up. Been a long time since anyone’s done that to you.”
“That’s probably the easiest way. So we’ll see you in the morning, Will?”
“I’ll be there. See ya’.”
As Angel hung up, he heard Buffy coming out of her office. As she entered the kitchen, she smiled at him. “Hey, Angel. I thought you’d be on your way to the airport by now.”
“No, I was just talking to Spike. His flight got cancelled so he won’t be here until tomorrow.” Approaching her, he wrapped his arms around her, kissing her on the lips. “So, how’s your day going? I heard you had a run in with Cordelia.”
Buffy rolled her eyes, letting Angel know just how bad it was. “More like a collision. The woman is a menace, Angel. She’s lucky she’s got looks, because someone forgot to give her a personality.”
Angel smiled at her, sweeping a stray hair from her face. “I’m beginning to see that. She wasn’t quite so bad when we were dating. She at least attempted to be civil.”
“Well, that’s definitely not happening now. But don’t worry, I put up a good fight. I might have even won the battle. But it’s going to be a long war. Enough about Cordelia. So who is this mysterious Spike?”
Angel looked at her curiously. “Oh, I thought you knew. Will, better known as Spike, is my partner and best friend. We’ve known each other for years. He’s a little rough around the edges, but he’s basically a nice guy.”
“Oh, well then, any friend of yours is a friend of mine.”
“I hope you like him, but don’t think you have to because of me. But there is something I want you to do for me.” Kissing her again, Angel sighed as he pulled away and sat at the table.
Buffy grabbed his hand and sat across from him. “Ask away.”
“I made an appointment with a doctor tomorrow morning for Cordelia. Just to have things, you know, checked out. I want you to come with me.”
“Won’t that be a little awkward for you? I mean, the father of the baby being accompanied by his girlfriend?”
“Yeah, but I still want you there. If we’re going to get through this, I need for you to be part of it. Then maybe it won’t be so hard for either of us.”
“I’m not sure if that’s true, Angel. But if it means that much to you, I’ll go. But you know Cordelia’s not going to like it.”
“No, I don’t suppose she will. But the sooner she gets it through her head that I’m in love with you - and not her - the better for everyone.”
“Let’s just hope that happens sooner rather than later. Or things are going to be rough around here for a long while.”
Joyce grabbed a spoon out of the drawer and began stirring the homemade vegetable soup that she had spent the better part of the afternoon making. She’d always loved to cook, but hadn’t had much of a chance in the last few years. As she put the spoon down, she heard her daughter come through the front door. Sitting down at the kitchen island, Joyce knew Buffy would eventually track her down.
Buffy swung open the kitchen door, breathing in deeply, Angel following close at her heels. “Someone’s been busy. This place smells heavenly.” Reaching over, she kissed her Mom on the cheek and walked to the stove to see what was cooking. “Oh, Mom, vegetable soup. One of my favorites. I hope you don’t mind, but I invited Angel.”
“I can see that, Buffy. And, no, I don’t mind. Hi, Angel.”
“Hello, Joyce. I hope I’m not intruding.” Angel said, smiling at Buffy’s mother.
“Not at all. Can I get you something to drink? A beer, or maybe some wine?” Joyce smiled back.
“A beer would be fine. Thanks.” Angel sat down in the stool across from her. “So, where is Giles? I thought he’d be here entertaining you with his tales.”
“He needed a nap after his physical therapy. It seems to wipe him out. But he should be up soon.”
“Would you like me to go check on him?” Angel asked.
“Would you mind? He’s alright once he gets into his chair, but sometimes he needs help.”
As Joyce said this, the kitchen door opened as Giles awkwardly pushed himself into the kitchen. “Bloody hell, Joyce, this kitchen door is going to be the death of me yet.” Angel jumped up to help him, but Giles managed to roll himself into the kitchen before he got there. “Oh, hello, Buffy, Angel. So how are things going at the mansion?”
“The mansion is coming along fine, Giles. You’ll be happy with the progress.” Angel replied, shooting a glance at Buffy for her input. Taking her cue, Buffy chimed in, sitting next to her mother. “Yeah, Giles. It’s amazing. I have every reason to believe the tile and a lot of the walls are original. Though some are clearly not. I just don’t understand why someone would go into a home like this and put up fake façade. Of course, the original walls are going to need some work. I’m still working on that. But I do have someone whose going to come in and authenticate the tile for us. And I have found the perfect table for the dining room. It sits twenty, which should be adequate for the room, and it’s in really great shape from what I’ve seen. Once I’m sure it’s what we want, I’ll need to go and see it.” Realizing she was babbling, Buffy abruptly stopped, blushing as everyone smiled at her.
Trying to ease her discomfort, Giles tried to take the focus off of Buffy. “Uh, well, Buffy. I see you have a handle on things. That’s nice to know. And as for this table that you’re interested in, would it be possible to see a picture of it? Not that I don’t trust you, but I would love to see what you’ve chosen.”
Gratefully, Buffy nodded. “Sure, Giles. I found it online. But my computer’s in my room upstairs. I don’t think we can get you there.”
“No, I don’t suppose we can. But I have my laptop in my room, if that will suffice. It’s dialup, of course, and slow as molasses, but it does function. Would either of you mind if we went to have a look?” Both Angel and Joyce shook their head, leaving Buffy and Giles to go search for her table.
“I hope I can remember the website¼” was the last thing heard as the door closed behind them.
Joyce sighed, looking at Angel. “So, Angel, how are things between you and Buffy?”
“Why do you ask, Joyce? Did Buffy say something?”
“No, I was just being a nosy mother. But from your answer, can I assume there’s something to tell?” Angel’s response definitely made her think that all was not right with the world.
“That’s a tricky question, Joyce. And I’m not sure I’m ready to talk about it.” Angel looked down at his beer can, unwilling to meet her eyes.
“You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do, Angel. It’s one of the good things about being an adult. But you do have to live with the consequences. That’s one of the bad things.” Joyce stood up and went to stir her soup.
As she stood stirring, Angel contemplated his options and decided to come clean. Joyce was a good enough friend to his mother to know more about him than he would ever be comfortable with, and if this baby WAS his, he needed her to understand that Buffy was still going to be the woman in his life. “You’re very astute, Joyce. There is something going on. But before I tell you, let me say that Buffy is aware of everything. I would never lie to her. I love her too much.”
“That’s good to know, Angel.” Joyce looked into his face, and frowned at what she saw. “Angel, this is really none of my business. If you and Buffy want to keep it to yourselves, it’s okay with me.”
“Thanks, Joyce. But I want to tell you, if only for the fact that it could impact the rest of our lives. And I don’t want there to be any shadows between Buffy and I. You know that I’ve always been, well, kind of a ladies man.” Running his hands through his hair, Angel sighed in frustration. “God, I know that must sound egocentric, but that’s not the way it was.”
Joyce sat back down across from him, and took a big swig of her wine. “Angel, it’s okay. You are a good looking man, it would seem to reason that you would have been with your fair share of women.”
“Oh, you could say that. My share and a couple of other guys’ share, as well.”
“More information than I need, Angel. So just spit it out. This is sounding worse by the minute.” Staring into his eyes, Joyce let him know she was done with the chitchat.
“There is this woman who I was dating a couple of months back. Well, she showed up at the mansion last night.” Angel flinched, seeing Joyce’s eyes narrow.
“Well, I imagine that was unpleasant.”
“To say the least. The woman is spoiled and rude, and has no problem letting the rest of the world know it. But that isn’t the worst part.” Taking a deep breath Angel plunged forward, wanting to get it over with. “She says she’s pregnant with my child.”
The silence rang out in the room as Angel waited for Joyce to say something. If the shocked look on her face was an indication, this was not going to be pleasant.
“Wow, I’m stunned, Angel. I don’t really know what to say. How could you let this happen?” Joyce was getting angrier as she went. “You aren’t a child. Didn’t you use protection?”
“YES, Joyce. Always. But nothing is 100 percent effective. I’m not sure how it happened.”
“I’m sure you know, Angel. Hell, you had to be there. You’re telling me that Buffy is okay with this? I find that hard to believe.”
Angel grabbed Joyce’s hand and squeezed gently in reassurance. “So did I, Joyce. I fully expected her to walk away when I told her, but she didn’t. I’m hoping it’s because she cares for me as much as I care for her. She completes me, Joyce. When I look into the future, all I see is her. I need her, and I won’t let anyone come between us, not if I can help it. I’m just sorry this had to happen.”
Joyce looked into his beautiful eyes in wonder. “You really love her, don’t you?”
“Yes,” Angel smiled, shaking his head in reassurance, “I do. I’ve never felt anything like this. It’s amazing.”
“Yes, it is. I just hope you do the right thing.” Joyce said, giving Angel a pointed look.
“Did you do the right thing, Joyce? When you left Giles?” Angel asked.
“No, Angel, I didn’t. I did all the wrong things with all the best intentions. But now I realize Buffy and I would have been better off without Hank. He never wanted to be a father, and no amount of pushing was going to change things. Don’t get me wrong, he cared for me, and he loved Buffy. But Rupert would have been so much better at doing both. So be there for the child, but don’t stay with the mother if you don’t love her. Children can sense these things, and they wind up feeling like they’re the problem. Do what you can, but don’t try to live a lie.” Joyce reached over and kissed him on the cheek, hugging him around the shoulders. “No matter what happens, you have my support. I couldn’t wish for a better man for my daughter.”
Angel blinked several times, surprised to find tears welling in his eyes. “Thank you, Joyce. Your support means more to me than you could know.”
“Your welcome, Angel.” Joyce pulled away and began to pull out bowls and spoons for dinner. “So, what’s this girl’s name, and when is the happy event?”
“Her name is Cordelia Chase. And I’m not sure of the due date yet. We’re going to the doctor tomorrow to find out. Just to make sure everything is okay. Plus, I’m still finding it hard to believe that she’s really pregnant - especially with my child.”
Joyce’s eyebrows shot up at that. “Do you have a reason to think this baby isn’t yours?”
“No, no exact reason. But Cordelia and I were never exclusive, at least as far as I knew. We just dated and you know¼” Angel blushed at the comment.
“Yeah, that ‘you know’ will get you in trouble every time. I just hope you didn’t get Buffy’s hopes up, thinking this could be a mistake.”
Shaking his head in denial, Angel commented, “No, actually Joyce, she’s the one that brought this up. It never even dawned on me to ask. So tomorrow morning, Cordy, Buffy and myself are going to see a gynecologist to find out all the facts. This time tomorrow, we’ll know what we’re dealing with.”
With that comment, the kitchen door opened as Buffy helped to wheel Giles back into the kitchen. Once they finally made it in and Giles was pushed up to the table, Buffy sat down in the stool next to him, and took a deep breath. “Giles, you’re right. That kitchen door needs to come off. It’s a pain in the ass.”
“I could take it off the hinges, if you want, Joyce.” Angel offered.
“Could you, Angel? If I have to listen to his complaining one more time, I don’t know what I might do.” Smiling at Giles, she sat the bowls out, readying everything for the soup. “The tools are in the basement. Buffy can show you where. Dinner won’t be ready for at least a half an hour, if you want to do it now.”
“Now works for me. How ‘bout you, Buffy? Does now work for you?” Angel winked at her, waiting for her response.
“Sure, Angel. Now is as good a time as any. Follow me, and I’ll point you toward the tools.” Standing up, Buffy headed towards the basement, not bothering to see if Angel was following. She could tell he was by the throbbing in her jeans.
Opening the basement door, Buffy flipped on the dim lights and headed down the stairs. Angel followed closely, waiting for the right moment to hit. As they reached the landing, he grabbed her tiny waist and turned her toward him, trapping her against the wall. Taking her lips with his, he kissed her, forcefully opening her mouth with his own. Slipping his tongue into her mouth, he growled as she gently bit down, using her tongue to duel with his own. Jumping up, she wrapped her legs around him, grinding herself hot snatch into his fully aroused cock.
Pulling back, Angel wiped a few stray hairs from her face, trying to contain himself. “Baby, I’m sorry if I scared you. But I want you so bad.” All the while he was punctuating each word with kisses on her neck and collarbone.
Panting with each kiss, Buffy grabbed the back of his head, urging him on. “Not scared, Angel. Just want you.”
“Not here, baby. But soon, I promise.”
Grabbing him around the head, Buffy insisted, “No, now, Angel. I need it now. I ache all over.”
Grinding his cock against her, groaning at the sensation, Angel rasped out, “No, baby, but let me make you feel better. I can a make the ache go away.” Angel unsnapped and unzipped her jeans, pulling back far enough that he could lower them down her waist. Placing her legs back on the floor, he lowered her pants and underwear down her hips, stopping at her shoes. Grabbing her right thigh with one hand, he lifted her leg as far as it would go, opening her to his touch. Running his hand up her inner thigh, he reveled in her gasp of pleasure.
As one hand reached her dripping center, his other pushed up under her shirt, raising it to reveal her beautiful breasts being held captive by a lacy bra. Lowering his mouth, he sucked in a rosy nipple that was showing through the bra. Buffy pushed against his mouth with her chest, and his hand with her hips, panting in her need. Unable to deny her anything, Angel slowly inserted a finger into her delicious center, feeling dizzy with want.
“Oh, God, Buffy. You’re so wet, honey. You’re beautiful everywhere, but especially,” kissing her nipple through the cloth, he emphasized, “here.” Moving to the other nipple, he kissed it as well, whispering, “And here.” Inserting his finger into her as far as he could, he groaned at the tightness he could feel milking his digit. “And especially here. Soon, baby, we’re going to be completely together. I promise.”
Moaning out loud at his words, Buffy grabbed his hand by the wrist, propelling him on. “Please, Angel, I need you.”
Inserting another finger into her, Angel’s breath caught in his throat as her gasp of pleasure echoed throughout the room. “Not half as much as I need you, baby.” Continuing to impale her hot little box on his fingers, Angel began to massage her clit with his thumb, causing Buffy to twitch on his hand and moan out loud. Quickly catching her cries with his lips, he kissed her mouth, sucking on her tongue in the same rhythm that he moved his fingers. Within moments, Buffy was screaming her release into his mouth, causing even Angel’s knees to become weak. Angel continued to kiss her as she calmed, all the while wishing he had a soft bed and a clear conscience so he could take their relationship to the next level.
Pulling back from her lips, he looked deeply into her eyes. “I love you, Buffy. No matter what, please don’t ever doubt it.”
“I promise, Angel. I love you too much to ever doubt it. Thank you, that was wonderful.”
“Yes, it was. But there’s so much more. And I can’t wait to show it all to you.” With one last kiss, Angel reached down and grabbed her panties and jeans, slowly pulling them back up her hips. “Girl, you may just be the one to drive me over the edge. But if you want to keep your mom from coming down here and killing me, I think we better get those tools and head up to fix that door.”
Buffy woke the next morning with a smile on her face, thinking about the good time she’d had the night before. Being with Angel was great, but mixing in her mom and Giles was a lot of fun too. They’d played cards and talked until Giles couldn’t keep his eyes open anymore. Angel had gone back to the mansion, promising to pick her up in the morning, leaving Joyce and Buffy to finally get to bed. Surprisingly, she wasn’t tired this morning, just really wound up, thinking about the coming day’s events. She just hoped that Angel planned on telling Cordelia that she was coming along before they pulled up in the driveway. That way most of the hysterics would hopefully be over before they got here.
Waiting in the living room, Buffy jumped as she heard Angel’s car pull up in front. Opening the door and heading towards it, she walked down the walk, meeting Angel who was walking toward the house to meet her. Leaning down, he kissed her softly on the lips. “Good morning, Beautiful. Did you sleep well?”
“Why, yes, sir. Very well. How about you?”
“Hardly a wink. I kept having this dream about this really hot blond woman. It was amazing, but distracting.” Angel grabbed her hand, leading her to the car.
“That’s a shame. But for your sake, that blond woman had better have been me.” Buffy teased, taking his lead and walking towards the car.
“None other. I hope you don’t mind, but Cordelia insisted on sitting up front. She’s already in a major snit because I invited you to come with us. If it’s a problem, I can make her move.”
“No, Angel. Let’s just make this as conflict free as possible. I just want to get this over with.” Buffy took a deep breath as Angel opened the back door for her, and she sat down in the back seat. Feeling the tension hovering thick in the air, Buffy decided to try and break it. “So how are you feeling today, Cordelia?”
“Oh, just peachy, “ Cordelia spat, sneering at Buffy. “First I wake up exhausted, and quickly proceed to the throwing up. Then I get dragged to this ridiculous appointment, so someone I don’t even know can stick their hands into places strange hands shouldn’t go, and to top it all off, Angel feels the need to drag you along to witness my humiliation. Will the fun never end?”
Buffy found herself sympathizing with the woman. “Cordelia, it’s just a routine exam. And Angel asked me to come along for moral support. Not to humiliate you. So let’s just try to be civil to each other, and get this over with.”
Cordelia turned on Buffy, her eyes flashing fire. “Angel shouldn’t need you for moral support. That’s what he has me for, you twit.”
“Cordelia!!” Angel barked, glaring at her. “Don’t start this now. Like Buffy said, try to be civil. If you find that impossible, then just keep your mouth shut.”
“Fine, Angel, take her side. Don’t worry about me. I’m just the one carrying your child.” Cordelia crossed her arms in anger, turning her head to stare out the window.
Sighing, Angel chose not to respond to her comment, silently wishing this little trip was over. As they pulled up, Angel helped both ladies out of the car, he and Buffy following the irate Cordelia as she stormed towards the building. Entering the doctor’s office, Angel ran into the back of Cordelia, who’d come to a dead stop. “Cordelia, what is the problem?” he asked, thinking she was about to spout another one of her countless objections about the appointment. When she didn’t answer, but instead stared at a spot in the waiting room, Angel looked towards the direction that she was staring. His mouth dropped open at what he saw.
“Spike, what the hell are you doing here?”
“Oh, mate, I wouldn’t miss this for the world.” Spike smiled at him, dangling the unlit cigarette from his lips.
“Spike, what the hell are you doing here?”
“Oh, mate, I wouldn’t miss this for the world.” Spike smiled at him, dangling the unlit cigarette from his lips.
“YOU!!” Cordelia spat, “Don’t think you’re going to come here and ruin this for me! You don’t belong here.”
“I beg to differ, love. I think this is exactly where I belong. And if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll agree.”
“Don’t be an ass, Spike. Angel is the father of this child. I CAN count, you know. It’s not that hard.” Cordelia was nose to nose with Spike now, fire spitting from her eyes. “I can’t believe you came here, just to embarrass me. How could you?”
“I came here for a number of reasons. The main one is that if there is even a slight chance that this child is mine, I want to know. Another is that I’m not going to let you snow my friend here given the opportunity. Especially now that he’s found someone that he loves. So, the four of us are going to do this together. And if you don’t like it, that’s tough!” Spike was not angry, just determined. He’d dealt with women like Cordelia all his life, and had yet to lose. And he wasn’t about to start now. Realizing she was fighting a battle she wasn't going to win, Cordelia signed in at the desk and went to have a seat in the corner, away from the trio of people who seemed determined to ruin her life.
Buffy and Angel had stood and listened to the whole conversation, shock and confusion showing on their faces. Angel was the first to wake from his stupor, grabbing Spike by the arm and pulling him towards the opposite corner that Cordelia had stomped her way to - away from the patients that were sitting in the waiting room. Buffy realized what he was doing and followed him, not about to miss this.
“What the hell was that all about, Spike?” Angel asked, staring into Spike’s eyes.
“Hey, good to see you too. And to answer your question, I don’t know. I just have this really strange feeling that the baby she’s carrying is mine.” Grinning into Angel’s face, Spike waited for the reaction to hit.
“Are you telling me that you slept with Cordelia while we were seeing each other?” Angel asked, a confused look on his face.
“Angel, you know better than that. I’ve might have slept with a few of your discards, but I at least wait until you discard them. Hell, I didn’t even have to go after Cordelia, she came after me. So when you told me yesterday that she was pregnant, all kinds of bells and whistles started going off in my head.” Spike continued to fondle his cigarette, wishing he could light it up. Looking at Buffy, Spike raised his eyebrows in interest. “Speaking of which, are you going to introduce me to this lovely lady? You always were the lucky one, Angel. How come I never meet woman like this?”
Putting an arm possessively around Buffy, Angel gave Spike a dirty look. “I don’t know if I should, Spike, after what you just told me. I’m not sure I can trust you.”
“Angel, buddy, I’m crushed. After all these years, you know I wouldn’t try to steal your girl. Hell, if you’d really cared about Cordelia, I wouldn’t have laid a hand on her.”
Relaxing, Angel smiled at him. “I know, Spike. This is just turning out to be a really weird morning. Buffy Summers, this is my oldest, and sometimes dearest, friend, Spike. Spike, this is the love of my life, Buffy Summers.”
Smiling at her, his blue eyes twinkling, Spike shook the delicate hand that the petite blond held out for him to shake. “It’s truly a pleasure. I never thought I’d see the day that some woman would steal my friend’s heart.” Giving her the once over, he eyed her from head to toe. “But having met you, I can definitely see the attraction.”
Growling, Angel held tighter to Buffy’s waist. “Spike!”
“Just joking, Angel. Hell, I could lie and tell you she’s a hag.”
Buffy glared at them both. “Uh, that’s enough, boys. I hate it when people talk about me like I’m not here, so I’d appreciate it if you both checked your testosterone at the door.” Turning back to Spike, she gently took her hand back. “It’s nice to meet you, too, Spike. Now, what do you say we all join Cordelia and wait for the doctor to call her back?”
Spike laughed and shook his head. “Somehow I get the feeling that I’d be safer over here. If looks could kill, I’d be one dead man, judging from the fire and brimstone shooting out of the bird’s eyes.” Nodding towards Cordelia, he shook his head again, finding the whole situation extremely odd and humorous.
Angel laughed at that, turning around to glance at the very angry Cordelia in the corner. “Yeah, she looks like she’d like to have you drawn and quartered. Kind of odd, considering she’s so sure that I’m the father. I wonder what's got her so wound up.”
Buffy looked at her too, noticing the pain behind the anger. “She’s really upset. Maybe you should go and talk to her, Angel. It can’t be good for her to be this upset.”
“I can see you don’t know her very well, Buffy. Hell, that’s Cordelia on a good day. She’s got the worst temper on a woman that I’ve ever seen, and that’s saying something.” Spike commented.
“And you dated her, Angel? Why would you put yourself through that?” Buffy asked.
“Hell, she was the most agreeable person in the world for about six weeks. Then she turned into, well, into that.” He said, pointing towards the scowling woman in the corner.
“But she’s still upset. Go on, Angel. Try to at least calm her. We’ll get to the bottom of this whole mess soon enough.” Gently pushing him, she watched as he went over and took the seat next to Cordelia.
Spike looked at her in disbelief. “Buffy Summers, you’re either very confident, or very naive. Which is it, I wonder?”
“A little bit of both, I would imagine. If you’re asking me if I believe in Angel, the answer is yes. I’ve believed in him since I was seven years old. And he has yet to disappoint me.”
“Yeah, he has that going for him. He’s faithful to those he truly cares about. And you seem to be one of those people.”
Smiling at him, Buffy blushed. “Well, I can tell you, the feeling is mutual. I feel like I’ve loved him my whole life, Spike. It’s an amazing, frightening experience.”
“Yeah, love can be like that.” Spike whispered, staring at the dark haired girl who was deep in discussion with Angel in the opposite corner.
“Oh, my God!!” Buffy said, lowering her voice and leaning into him. “You’re in LOVE with her!”
“Don’t be ridiculous, Buffy. She hates me.” Spike responded, staring at his shoes, unwilling to look into her eyes.
“She’s hates you enough to sleep with you, Spike. So there had to be something there.”
“Yeah, there was something there. It’s called revenge. She wanted to get back at Angel. Hell, she told me that with her own lips. I was nothing more than her latest pissed off revenge plot against Angel.”
“Oh, Spike, if that’s true, that’s the cruelest thing I’ve ever heard. She had to have known how you felt.” Buffy patted his arm in sympathy.
“It didn’t start that way at first. I knew what she was doing, and I didn’t really care. If I’d thought that us being together would in any way hurt Angel, it wouldn’t of happened. Since I knew he couldn’t have cared less, I just went along for the ride. But then things changed. I thought she was really starting to care for me, and I began to care for her. Then one day she just stopped taking my calls. She wouldn’t even let me in when I went to her apartment. I guess she realized that Angel really didn’t care, so spending time with me wasn’t going to accomplish her goal.”
“Jeez, Spike, that’s terrible. I can’t imagine what you felt when Angel told you she was pregnant.” Buffy had taken an immediate liking to this British man whose blue eyes flashed, and whose smile came so easily. She could see why Angel liked him so much.
“Funny as it sounds, the first thing I felt was hope. If this baby is mine, maybe she’ll at least talk to me. Angel was always the safe one, insisting on using birth control EVERY time. Well, I wasn’t always so smart. This baby has a better chance of being mine than it does of being Angel’s. I just know it!”
Deep down, Buffy hoped he was right. “I’m not going to deny that that would make my life easier, Spike. But one way or the other, we’ll all find a way to deal with this. Now that Cordy can see that Angel is off the market, she may give up on her obsession. You just never know.”
“Yeah, well, we'll soon have an answer to all these questions, won't we?” As he said that, the nurse came out of the office and called Cordelia’s name. Standing up, she grabbed Angel’s hand and propelled him with her back to the doctor’s office, smirking at them both in triumph as the door closed behind them.
Buffy couldn’t hide the fact that she was hurt that Angel had just left her standing in the waiting room, while he walked hand in hand into the office with Cordelia like they were proud parents. If she’d known that he was just going to leave her out here, like some uninvolved bystander, she would have just stayed home and saved herself the humiliation. Spike seemed to sense her pain, looking crushed himself at the turn of events. Taking a seat in the nearest chair, he again began fondling his unlit cigarette, staring off into space deep in thought. Buffy followed suit and took a seat a few chairs down from him, leaning her head back and closing her eyes, trying to stop the flow of tears that were threatening.
Just as she was about to give up the fight, having stood up to leave and hail a cab, Angel poked his head from the office door. “Buffy, Spike, could you two come in here?” As Angel opened the door, Cordelia could be heard shrieking in the background. “I can’t believe you’re doing this to me” echoed throughout the waiting room, causing even the patients to blush. Buffy shook her head, thinking that being in there was one of the last places she wanted to be. “No, Angel, she doesn’t sound like she wants us there.”
“Please, Buffy. I need you in here. Codelia is just, well, I don’t know what her problem is, but I need you here for this. The doctor is going to be in the room any second, and I want you both to be part of this. So let’s take it somewhere private, please.”
As Cordelia continued to entertain the crowd in the waiting room with her complaints about her mistreatment, both Buffy and Spike hurried to get through the door so the people in the waiting room would be spared her anger. As the door closed behind them, Buffy and Spike followed Angel - and the seemingly never-ending shrieks that Cordelia was continuing to spout - into the office that she was occupying, glad to be away from the questioning, accusing eyes of the other patients in the waiting room
"Cordelia," Spike snapped, loudly and forcefully, "That is enough." Amazingly, Cordelia abruptly quieted, giving Spike a puppy-dog look, complete with tears hanging on her lashes. Walking towards her, Spike put his arm around her and gathered into her arms as she hid her face in his chest, letting the tears fall. "Please, Cordelia, don't do this. It's going to be okay, love. I promise."
As Cordelia continued to cry into Spike's chest, Angel wrapped his arms around Buffy, gathering her to him, surprised to find tears in her eyes. He looked at her questioningly, wiping the tears from her face with his thumbs. "Angel," she whispered, "I know it's silly, but I feel sorry for her."
"Honey," he whispered into her ear, "that's just another reason why I love you. I wouldn't expect you to feel any other way. So let's just get through this together."
Nodding, she worked on gathering herself. As she wiped her cheeks, the doctor came through the door, causing all four heads to turn, waiting for instructions.
Marching to her chair, the doctor took a seat at her desk, inviting all four of them to take a seat with a sweep of her hand. "So I hear we've been having quite a time in here.” Looking each of the room’s occupants in the eye, the doctor couldn’t help the look of disapproval that came over her face. “My name is Dr. Jenny Calendar, and this is my office you're causing all this turmoil in. Who would like to fill me in on the details? If we're going to have a baby, I expect that this situation is going to improve."
All eyes in the room turned toward Cordelia, who quickly hid her face in Spike's chest, shaking her head no. As the other three realized that Cordelia wasn't going to come forth with any information, Angel cleared his throat, taking the initiative to attempt to clear this mess up.
After telling the doctor all the basics, but leaving out most of the ugly details, the doctor raised an eyebrow at all parties involved, shaking her head. "Well, ladies and gentleman, my job is to help Cordelia have a healthy, happy baby, not fix your personal lives. But what it boils down to is that expectant mothers do not need to be upset. Cordelia, I’ll need to ask you some questions. Would you like to do this in private?”
Shaking her head, grabbing tighter to Spike’s hand, she responded. “No, I don’t have anything to hide that they don’t already know about.” With this comment, she turned and gave Buffy a dirty look, which Buffy chose to ignore.
“Alright, it you insist. How much time elapsed from the last time you had sex with Angel, and the first time you had sex with, uh, Spike, is it?”
“Actually, it’s Will, but most people call me Spike. It’s a long story.” Spike hated being embarrassed, and this whole situation was getting more embarrassing by the moment.
“Let’s see,” Cordelia said, counting on her hands while speaking out loud. “The last time I was with Angel was the night of the big charity ball for the Opera company. And the first time I was with Spike was the night I saw Angel at the ballet with one of my supposed ‘friends’. Ten days, exactly ten days difference.”
“I have to ask this, Cordelia. Was there anyone else in that ten day period?” The doctor hated asking these kinds of questions, but it had to be done.
“NO! God, what do you take me for?”
“I’m not insinuating anything. I just needed to know. So what makes you think the baby is Angel’s?”
“Because my period was already late even before I slept with Spike. So I must have been pregnant before we were even together.”
“I could see how you would think that, but that’s not necessarily the case. Let’s do a blood test, an internal exam and an ultrasound, and we’ll see what we find. So you saw a doctor in New York? What did he say?”
“Well, he just did a pregnancy test. I made an appointment for next week to have all the rest.”
“Ahh, that explains why you don’t know exactly how far along you are. Come on with me, and we’ll get started.”
Cordelia stood and followed the doctor, leaving Buffy, Angel and Spike to sit and stew, pondering their futures.
"Damn, what's taking so long?" Spike continued to pace back and forth as the time slowly ticked by. The doctor wasn't going to be happy if she had to buy new carpet when this was over, and Spike was trying to guarantee it. Angel took a deep breath and decided to jump into Spike's private torture, if for no other reason than to save the woman's carpet."Spike," Angel said, as he got out of his chair and stood in the middle of Spike's path, "calm down. Hell, you're making me nervous with all this pacing, and I'm stressed enough. One way or the other, we'll handle this. So just sit somewhere and deal. I don't know why you care so much anyway. So you had a fling with one of my exes, and now she's pregnant. The way you're acting, you'd think you actually care."Stopping in his tracks at that, Spike looked Angel in the eyes, pain shining from his blue orbs. Angel was almost speechless for a few moments. "Oh, my lord, you do. You care about her." Not getting anything from Spike but a blank expression, Angel feared the worse. "No, it's worse, isn't it? You're in love with her, aren't you? Mr. Tough Guy is in love with the biggest bitch in the whole state of New York. And that's the label you gave her, in case you've forgotten. What the hell are you thinking?"Not expecting Spike's reaction, Angel was caught off guard as Spike's body slammed him into the wall and his hands gripped his collar. "Don't ever, ever say that about her again. She may be a bitch, but if I have my way, she'll be my bitch. Got it?"Lifting his hands in surrender, Angel smiled at his friend. 'No problem, Spike. I hope you'll both be very happy. Now, I'd appreciate it if you'd let go of me, cause you're upsetting Buffy. And by the way, you do know I can still kick your ass, just in case you forgot."Looking back at Buffy, Spike could see that she was out of her chair, ready to attack him if necessary to protect her man. Smiling at Angel, he let go of his clothes and raised his hands in the air. "I give. No way do I want this woman kicking my ass, which I have no doubt she could do. You, on the other hand, I do have my doubts about. You may be bigger, but I'm wiry and agile. You'd have to catch me to kill me."Laughing also, Angel rearranged his attire. "You're right about one thing. She could kick your ass. But as for me, I may be slower, but I would catch you. It may take me longer, but the results would be the same.""Don't push your luck, mate. I would hate to have to hurt you." Spike continued to laugh, glad to release some of the all-consuming tension that had filled the room since Cordelia had left with the doctor. Seriously," Angel began, looking Spike in the eye, "I hope you get what you want. And if Cordelia is it, then more power to you. I only want you to be happy, like I am.""Hell, I know that, Angel. We just have to hope she gives me the chance to make her happy.""From the way she was acting before she left the room, you might just get your chance." Angel couldn't help himself. It was just too funny. Spike in love with Cordelia. A little good-natured ribbing was definitely in order. As he sat back down in his chair, he couldn't stop himself. "Spike and Cordelia, sitting in a tree, k-I-s-s-I-–g.""Come on, Angel. What are you, twelve?" Spike growled, shooting Angel a dirty look. "Sorry, Spike. But for a minute there, I felt like I was back in junior high, and you were professing your undying love for Judy Glower. I apologize.""Oh, wasn't that the same time you decided you were going to marry Tammy Springer, the little blond with the glasses and the braces? She was a real catch." Spike goaded, not about to let Angel one up him. Buffy shook her head in disbelief. "WOULD YOU TWO PLEASE STOP? I can't believe you’re sitting here, digging into each other, when the next person who walks through that door is going to change one of your lives forever!" It was Buffy's turn to pace now, trying to calm her nerves. "Like this isn't bad enough, now I get to listen to you two bite into each other. It's almost more than a girl can take."Angel sighed, approaching Buffy with an apologetic look on his face. Reaching out his arms, he invited her into their embrace. As she stepped in, he wrapped her into his strong arms. "Oh, Buffy, honey, I’m sorry. We didn't mean to upset you. Spike and I have known each other so long that sometimes we forget that other people don't communicate the same way we do. What you just witnessed was the Spike and Angel show. I goad him, he goads me, and we laugh about it later. Odd, I know, but it's always been that way."Looking up at Angel, Buffy could see the truth in his statement. Glancing at Spike, she could see he was wearing a contrite look, but he nodded in agreement with Angel's explanation. Sighing in exasperation, Buffy whispered, "God, no wonder I'm still a virgin. I know absolutely nothing about men!" Angel pulled back in shock, unable to believe she had just said that out loud. At the same time, Spike's eyebrows shot up so high, he felt like he had another hairline.Buffy stepped back, stunned. "I did not just say that out loud. Please tell me I didn't." "Uh, no, I, uh, have no idea what you're talking about. You didn't say anything. Did she Spike?” Angel shot Spike a pleading look, begging him to go along with it. Spike just smirked, but nodded his head in agreement. He'd taken quite a liking to the little blond, and didn't want to embarrass her any further then she already was. Not to say that Angel wasn't in for a good bit of teasing. "No, pet, didn't hear a word." Spike gave her a true smile, trying to reassure her. Buffy was pretty sure they were both lying, but she was grateful that they were at least attempting to not make this any worse than her big mouth already had. Sitting back down, she held her head in her hands, just wanting this whole thing to be over with. As if her wish had been heard, the doctor entered the room, with Cordelia close on her heels. Taking a seat behind her desk, the doctor waited for everyone to resume his or her seats. It was turning out to be a really odd day. She definitely wasn't used to having to deal with these kinds of situations. Someone in this room was about to have their lives drastically changed, and she just hoped he was ready to deal with it. Cordelia took the seat next to Spike, and looked down at her crossed hands, refusing to meet the eyes of anyone in the room. The doctor's next statement was directed toward her. "Cordelia, would you like to share this information, or would you like me to?""Uh, Doctor, I think I'd like you to. If you don't mind." Cordelia looked up long enough to let the doctor know that she had complete and total control over the situation. "Well, we ran a blood test, and Cordelia is definitely pregnant. After doing an internal exam, and performing an ultrasound, it's safe to say that she is no more than six weeks along, probably more like five weeks. So, Spike, I guess congratulations are in order."Spike's face reflected the confusion that was evident in the room. Angel’s mouth dropped in silent shock, while Buffy sat in stunned silence. After several tense moments, Spike cleared his throat and spoke. "But, she said she was already late before we were even together? How can that be?""A woman's period can be late for any reason. It's not that unusual for a woman to miss a period all together. But it doesn't mean she won't ovulate the next month. This really isn't that unusual. Can I assume you'll be going back to New York now, Cordelia?""Uh, I don't know. I was so sure it was Angel's. I haven't thought anymore about it." Cordelia's face was white and drawn, causing Spike to wrap his arms around her in reassurance."We'll work out the details later. Can we take her home now?" Spike stood up and reached to draw Cordelia into his arms, intending to get her somewhere to lie down."Yes, I think that would be best. She's had a bit of a shock, and rest is the best medicine. In the meantime, make sure she continues to take her vitamins, and gets plenty of rest. If you decide to stay here, I would be happy to monitor the pregnancy and deliver the baby. But if you go back to New York, just make sure she gets regular checkups.""Thank you, Dr. Calendar. We'll call if we need anything." Spike began to walk towards the door with Cordelia wrapped in his arms, with a shocked and speechless Buffy and Angel following behind. Spike turned towards Angel and asked, "Is it okay if we stay at the mansion, Angel? I haven't had time to get a hotel room yet.""Of course, Spike. You're both welcome to stay as long as you want.""Good. I'll drive her, if that's okay with you, Cordy.""That's fine, Spike. Let's just go. I really need a nap."With a glance over his head, Spike said their goodbyes, promising to talk to them later.~Buffy plopped down into the car seat, neither she nor Angel having said a word since Dr. Calendar had dropped her bombshell. After they started back to the mansion, Buffy caught her breath enough to sneak a look at Angel. Worried at the look on his face, Buffy couldn't take the silence any longer. "I'm sorry, Angel. I think. Actually, I don't know what to say. But I really need to know what you’re feeling. Are you upset?”“I honestly don’t know. When she told me it was mine, I just assumed it was. And I was working really hard to come to terms with the situation. But now that we know it’s not, I’m not sure what to feel¼.”Buffy was hurt that he would be disappointed about this. “Oh¼so you are upset. I was kind of hoping you’d be glad that she wasn’t having your child. Guess I was
wrong.”“Buffy, please don’t think that. It was just a shock, you know. Kind of like when you finally accept the fact that you’re going to be bald, but then your hairline stops receding.”Smiling at Angel’s analogy, Buffy apologized. “I’m sorry, Angel. I know this has been a shock. I didn’t mean to act like a petulant teenager.”“Hey, no problem. Frankly, that’s about how I’ve felt for the past couple of days - a lot of shock, and a whole lot of cursing at the fates. Now that it’s not an issue, I’m just kind of numb. But don’t ever think I’m mad at you.” Looking towards Buffy, he gave her a grateful smile. “You’re the reason I got through this so well. Thank you for sticking by me.”“I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else.” Reaching down, she grabbed his hand and squeezed, while looking up into his eyes and smiling a genuine smile. “So, now that the drama’s pretty much over, what do you want to do first?”“My first thought is to sleep for a week.” Angel smiled back. “That’s it? That’s the best thing you can think of?” Buffy asked.“No, that’s just my first thought. As you can imagine, I haven’t gotten much sleep the last couple of nights. But then¼”“Oh, did you have something in mind?” “Well, I was thinking about a nap, then a long, romantic night with this woman I know. You should meet her. She’s really hot.”“Hot, is she?” Buffy slid over and caressed his arm, burying her head in his neck, slowly licking the bare skin she found there. “Well, that’s too bad. I was kind of hoping you’d show pity on me, and finally finish what you started.”“Oh, gosh, Buffy.” Angel dramatically sighed, “I, uh, don’t know.” Angel wanted to continue with the teasing, but her tongue was driving him crazy. “Okay, I give. What did you have in mind?”“Oh, you have no idea. I was thinking,” Buffy sucked hard, causing Angel to suck in his breath, “that you would go and take a nap, and I would do a few things around the office.”“Oh, baby, that can’t be all you have in mind.” “Not by a long shot.” Sitting back in her seat, she gave a deep sigh, studying her nails. “After I do a few things around the office, I’m going to go home.”“Why would you go home?” Angel whined, not wanting to let her out of his sight.“Well, a girl’s got things to do when she when she’s planning a date with a man as hot as you. You know, like take a bath, shave, get all dolled up. Plus I’ll need to pack a bag, since I have no intention of going home tonight.”Angel could feel himself growing hard as Buffy talked. He didn’t know how he was going to be able to wait until tonight, but he was pretty sure Buffy would make him. And he really didn’t mind. He’d been waiting a lifetime for a woman like her, so a few more hours wouldn’t kill him. As his cock began to throb in his jeans, Angel had to rethink that statement. It wouldn’t kill him - just make him damn uncomfortable.As they pulled up in front of the mansion, Angel quickly put the car in park and pulled her into his arms, kissing her hard. Finally pulling back when he ran out of breath, he smiled into her face, caressing her cheek. “Okay, you win again. You go do what you need to do, but I expect you back here at 7:00. I’ll do a little planning, and this time, I promise you they’ll be no more interruptions. Just you, me, a bottle of champagne and the whole night in front of us.”“Umm, sounds wonderful. But won’t Spike and Cordelia expect to be entertained?”Angel snorted at that. “Do I look like a tour guide? Spike can take care of himself, and Cordelia too, from the looks of things.”“You’re right, he can. I couldn’t believe the way she just snapped to attention when he opened his mouth. It was incredible.”“Yeah, it was pretty amazing. She either loves him, or she’s scared to death of him. Which with Spike might be the same thing.”“You don’t think he’d hurt her, do you?”“Hell no, Buffy. Spike comes off as gruff, but he wouldn’t hurt a fly, at least not a female one. He just has this way with spoiled woman. He could always keep them in line. I never understood it, but that’s just the way it’s always been.”“Well, that’s good to know. Maybe Cordelia just responds to overbearing men. Some women are that way, you know.” Buffy opened the door and got out, heading towards the front door of the mansion, leaving Angel to follow.“Think that would work with you?” Angel asked, opening his door and following Buffy up the walk.Turning around, Buffy smiled. “Well, sir, it would all depend on just what it is you’re trying to get me to do. But in most cases, I would have to say answer is a resounding ‘NO’.”“Didn’t think so. Damn!” Angel laughed as he said it.“Well, if that’s what you want, I’m sure Cordelia would love to take you back.” Buffy teased, waiting up for him. Angel groaned, wrapping his arm around Buffy’s waist. “Please, don’t even kid about that. Just the thought gives me the shudders.”As they opened the door, they could hear the sounds of an argument coming from the drawing room. Looking at each other in surprise, they stopped to listen to the sounds coming from the other room.“But Spike, I don’t want to live here or in England. Or anywhere but New York for that matter. And besides that, I don’t want to marry you either.” Cordelia screeched.“We are not going to raise our child in New York, Cordelia. I want this child to be raised among family and friends, not models and debutantes. And no child of mine is going to be born out of wedlock. I won’t take no for an answer. We’re going to be married as soon as possible, and that’s that. ” Spike’s voice was loud, but not the same screeching, yelling tone that Cordelia’s contained. “Fine, ruin my life. That seems to be the prevailing sentiment. First, Angel dumps me for some little harlot, and then you show up. And now I found out I’m pregnant with your child. This just sucks.”Angel gritted his jaw in anger, and Buffy’s face flushed red at Cordelia’s comment. Knowing they shouldn’t be eavesdropping, they both turned to walk away, but stopped in their tracks at the next words that came out of Spike’s mouth. “For your information, Buffy is not a harlot. We’d be lucky to have the chance to build the kind of relationship that they are working on building. Please give me the chance to show you that, Cordelia. I love you. I’d do anything for you. But don’t make me raise this child in New York. You know I have money, so you don’t need to work. And I’ll take you to New York a couple of times a year. We’ll even take the kid. Just don’t shut me out now.” The love and longing was obvious in Spike’s voice. Even though they felt like they were intruding, neither Buffy nor Angel could walk away without hearing Cordelia’s response.“Oh, Spike, I want to, I really do. But what if it doesn’t work? What if we can’t make it work?”“At least then we can say we tried. Give me a chance, Cordelia, and I’ll do everything in my power to make you happy.” Spike was almost begging.“Oh, Spike, I do care for you. I don’t know if it’s love, but it could be. So, let’s just take it slow. I’m willing to try if you are.”“You know I am, love. Now come give me a kiss to seal the deal.”Footsteps could be heard, followed by silence. Buffy and Angel turned and walked away, glad that Spike and Cordelia were working together, hoping for the best for them both. TBC The best part is next. Stayed tuned. Buffy finally gets laid!!!!
Buffy had quickly finished up her tasks at the mansion and headed home to prepare for the evening. After taking a short nap (Angel wasn’t the only one who hadn’t been sleeping well), she jumped into the shower, washing away the residue of the dark cloud that had been her constant companion for the last few days. It was just amazing and unbelievable to her that Angel was now hers, completely, freely and without any obstacles.
After drying off, she blow-dried her hair and piled it loosely on top of her head, leaving tiny curls to hang down, brushing her shoulders. She applied a light coat of makeup, adding a touch of eyeliner just to make the evening a little special. Looking with satisfaction in the mirror, she walked to the bedroom, intending to riffle through her closet for the perfect outfit, one that displayed class and sexiness without overstating the fact that she had every intention of getting laid - TONIGHT.
Looking in her closet she decided on her black leather mini skirt. It was probably a bit over the top, but it looked too good on her to pass it up. She also picked out a red silk tube top that fit like a second skin, so she wouldn’t need a bra with it. Realizing that she had left the bounds of “class” behind, she decided to pull out all the stops. Searching through her sock drawer, she found the thong, black garter belt and black lace stockings that she had bought on a whim, but had never worn. She had a feeling that Angel would appreciate them, so she put them on just for him. Finishing off the outfit, she donned a bolero jacket, trimmed with sequins around the edges.
After completing the outfit with her black three inch pumps, Buffy went to her drawer and packed a bag for the next morning. A pair of jeans, a light sweater and her tennis shoes went in, piling on top of her clean undies and basic body care, like makeup, toothbrush and hair brush.
Buffy left the house an hour early, too wound up to wait. Twenty minutes later, she pulled up in front of the mansion and parked her car. Nervous and excited, she took a few minutes to regain her composure. Angel, sex, tonight, all of it sounded like something to good to be true. Taking a deep breath, she got out of the car and walked to the mansion, wondering again if she picked the wrong outfit.
Not knowing whether to knock or walk in, Buffy decided to err on the side of caution and knock. After a few seconds, the door was opened by none other than Spike. After a brief look of shock, he let out a low wolf whistle, approval shining in his eyes. “Oh, my pet. I almost wish you were here to see me. You look really smashing.”
Laughing at his comment, Buffy responded, “Well, tough luck. And thank you, Spike. I needed that.”
“No problem, pet. And if the big guy doesn’t give you what you need, you just let me know and I’ll see what I can do.”
“Spike,” Buffy chastised, “you shouldn’t talk like that. You know you’re in love with Cordelia.”
Sighing, Spike smiled at her. “It’s true, damn the fates. But don’t worry. I have no doubt you’ll get exactly what you need with Angel. And I think he needs you as much as you need him.”
“Let’s hope so. So where is he? I know I’m early.”
“He hasn’t come down since he got back, but a whole lot of people have gone up. But I’m sworn to secrecy, so you’ll have to see for yourself. He’s waiting for you in his room.”
As Buffy started to head up, Spike stopped her. “Wait, Buffy, let me call him first. Make sure he’s ready.”
“Don’t be silly, Spike. I’m sure he won’t mind.”
“No, Buffy, I’m under strict orders to announce your arrival, so take a seat in the other room.”
Buffy rolled her eyes in disbelief, but followed Spike’s instructions. Taking a seat in the drawing room, she was surprised to see Cordelia sitting there, drinking a cup of tea.
As she sat down, Cordelia gave her a nasty look, not even commenting at her presence.
After a few minutes of awkward silence, Cordelia looked up from her magazine and gave Buffy a sneer. “So, I see you dressed the part. Hussy all the way.”.
Buffy smarted at the comment, trying not to sink to her level, but not succeeding.
“ Isn’t that like the kettle calling the pot black? Cause from what I hear, you are the ultimate ‘easy ride’.”
“Excuse me, Miss Hometown girl, but I’ll have you know that I’m a very successful model in New York - while you are nothing but a back woods bimbo who thinks she can use sex to get anything she wants, including Angel.”
“CORDELIA!” Spike yelled, having walked in the room just about the time Cordelia’s last comment began to escape from her mouth. “You have no right to speak to Buffy that way, and I won’t stand for it. If you can’t get over the fact that Angel will never love you, then maybe I should just leave now.”
Backed into a corner, Cordelia’s eyes began to tear. Turning around to face Buffy, she smiled a small contrite smile. “God, Buffy, Spike’s right. I don’t know why I’m acting this way. I cared for Angel, and I still do. But it was never love. I guess I’m just not used to losing, even when I don’t really want to win.”
“Cordy, I hope that’s the truth.” Buffy said, really wanting to get through to this stubborn woman. “Because whether we like it or not, Spike and Angel will always be friends, and since I have no intention of Angel ever waking up again without me being a part of his life, this could get ugly. There’s a good chance that we will be forced to spend some time together in the future, and I don’t want to spend it arguing.”
“Surprisingly enough, Buffy, neither do I. I never wanted to hurt Angel, I hope you know that. I really did think he was the father.”
Smiling back at her, Buffy sighed in relief. “I have no doubt of that, Cordelia. But I think you got a pretty good man right there,” nodding her head towards Spike, “and I hope you give him the chance he deserves. Both Angel and I wish you both the best. And we’ll be here for both of you, if you need us.”
“Thanks, Buffy. I, well, we both appreciate it, don’t we, Spike?”
Walking across the room, Spike wrapped his arm around Cordelia’s waist and planted a soft kiss on her temple. “Yes, sweetheart, we do. I love you, you know that don’t you?”
Nodding her head, Cordelia hid her face in his chest, enjoying the comfort of his arms.
Buffy was feeling decidedly like an outsider, wanting to leave the two alone, but not knowing if it was okay to go up to Angel’s rooms. Raising her eyebrows in question at Spike, she sighed in relief when he quickly nodded his head, giving her the thumbs up to go ahead and go up.
Turning around, Buffy ran to the steps, and took the stairs two at a time, running towards the man she loved and the future she’d been dreaming about since she was a little girl.
Buffy walked towards Angel’s door, trying to catch her breath. Between running up the stairs, and the nervous high, she was finding it hard not to hyperventilate. And the last thing she wanted to do was swoon at Angel’s feet. Stopping at his door, she took another calming breath, and gently knocked.
After a few seconds, the door was opened by a smiling Angel, dressed in black leather pants and a black silk shirt opened almost to his navel. Buffy gasped, surprised at the shot of lust she felt. Her toes felt like they were curling, and the space between her thighs began to throb. She would of been embarrassed if she hadn’t noticed that Angel, too, was speechless. He took one look at her outfit, and his mouth dropped open. For several long moments, neither of them moved or spoke. Angel was the first to break the trance, silently inviting her into his room.
Buffy entered, her breath catching in her throat as she looked around the room. Everywhere she looked the room was alight with beautiful burgundy candles that matched the decor of the room. And to top that off, spread all over the place, including the bed, were cream colored orchids. In the center of the room was a small table decked out in the finest china and crystal, just waiting for someone to enjoy the beauty.
“Oh, Angel. This is beautiful. You did all this for me?” Buffy asked, awed by all the work it must have took.
Walking towards her, Angel gently wrapped his arms around her waist. “This is your night, Buffy - our night. I want this night to be so special that you’ll remember it when you’re ninety.”
Wrapping her arms around him, she buried her face in his neck. “I promise you, I’ll never forget. It’‘s - well, it’s just astonishing. I don’t have words for how beautiful this is. Thank you.”
Reaching down, he gently lifted her face to his. “No, Buffy, thank you. For being here, with me. You’ve completely changed my life in just a few days. And I couldn’t be happier about it. Some people spend there whole life looking for something, and never get lucky enough to find it. Well, I got really lucky.”
Tears began to gently fall down her face. “Angel, I feel the same way. I feel like I’ve spent my entire life just waiting - waiting for something or someone to make me feel whole - and you do that. You complete me.”
With answering tears in his eyes, Angel tightly hugged her. “Me, too, baby. Me too. I never want to wake up again without having you in my life. “ After another tight squeeze, Angel pulled back, trying to lighted the mood.”And that outfit definitely helps keep my mind pointed in the right direction.”
Laughing, Buffy pulled back and wiped the tears from her face. “Oh, you don’t think it’s too much? I tried, but I couldn’t find a dress code for losing your virginity.”
“Buffy, baby, that isn’t just what this it about. If you told me right now that you weren’t ready, I’d be okay with it. This is just about us being together, alone, without anything between us.”
“Yes, that’s true.” Turning around, she approached the table, pouring herself a glass of champagne. “ But I have no intention of letting you off that easy. You said it yourself, tonight is my night. So, how about we eat and talk, and let the rest take care of itself.”
Walking towards the table, Angel smiled, unable to think of anything that would make him happier.
Later, Angel and Buffy sat across from each other, both a little full, but content, sipping their champagne. Leaning forward, Buffy dipped a strawberry in the bowl of chocolate sitting on the table and popped it into her mouth. Sighing, she sat back and took a deep breath. “Angel, you outdid yourself. That was wonderful. If you keep feeding me like that, I’m going to need a bigger skirt.”
“Oh, I don’t know, Buffy. Not that you aren’t perfect as you are, but a few pounds wouldn’t hurt you.”
“Are you calling me skinny, Mr. Donahoe? I’ll have you know I’m a perfect size... well, I’m just a perfect size.”
“Yes, I would imagine that you are.” Angel leaned forward, pulling her hand into his, gently rubbing her knuckles with his thumb.
The jolt of pleasure that ran up Buffy’s arm caught her off guard. “Well, yeah, I am, you know, perfectly fine the way I am.”
“Oh, you are so much more than that, baby. You are exquisite, and I’m the luckiest man in the world to be here, now, with you.” Standing up, Angel leaned forward and placed a slow, wet, sensuous kiss on her cheek, tasting her skin.
“Not only are you the perfect size,” Angel said in between sips of her skin, “you are the perfect taste. You taste like honey and vanilla, with just a touch of sunshine.”
Standing up and pulling her towards him, he leaned in and continued to taste her skin, moving his way down her shoulders. “And your skin is like velvet - soft, plush and silky, making me want to touch you all over. And I really want to touch you all over.”
Buffy’s head lolled back, allowing him full access to her throat. “I want that too, Angel. So very, very much.”
Angel’s hands slid down her sides, gently squeezing her hips through her skirt, pulling her close to his obvious erection. “Buffy, I need to know. Are you sure you’re ready for this? Cause once we start, I don’t know if I”ll be able to stop. I want you more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my life, and I’m just not sure I have the control to stop in the middle. I’ll wait, if you want. I want this to be right for you.”
Looking into his beautiful eyes, Buffy smiled up at him. “Angel, this feels like the most ‘right’ thing I’ve ever done. I want this. I want you - to be with you. I love you more than I’ve ever loved anything. Let’s not wait another night to be together.”
“No, no more waiting, baby. Tonight we’ll be together, in every sense of the word.” Angel continued to caress her with his tongue, while slowly moving her towards the bed.
Angel gently laid her down, coming to rest between her legs. Buffy’s legs naturally bent at the knees, allowing him to nestle between her thighs. With a moan, Angel moved against her center, causing them to gasp, even though they were both still fully clothed. Leaning on his elbows, Angel gently grasped her face in his large hands, and pushed the tiny tendrils of hair out of her face. “I want you, Buffy Summers. You are the half of my soul that’s been missing for all these years.”
“As are you, Angel.” Arching up, Buffy gasped at the shot of pleasure that shot through her. “Please, Angel, I need you to touch me.”
Not needing a second invitation, Angel sat up and kneeled between her legs. Pulling her onto his lap, he grabbed onto her rear allowing him to pull her jacket off. Suckling her shoulders, he worked his hands down her waist until he came to the bottom of her tube top. Gently hooking his hands in the hem of it, she raised her arms to assist him in quickly pulling it over her head, bearing her firm, supple breasts to his eyes.
Angel breathed deeply, glad to finally have the chance to take the time to really look at her body. “You’re so beautiful, Buffy. The tips of your breasts are this glorious rose color that just intensifies when I touch them.” As he spoke the words, Angel’s hands followed along. Grazing them lightly with his palms, both Buffy and Angel looked at them in lust as they did exactly what Angel said they would. The tips became hard and rose-colored, begging for more. Leaning in to caress her neck with his tongue and slowly working his way down, Angel licked and kissed her skin until he found one hard, luscious tip. Softly wetting it with his tongue, he pulled back and gently blew on it, causing Buffy to suck in her breath.
Grabbing the back of his head, Buffy pulled him back to her, loving the feel of his mouth and breath on her breasts. Taking the invitation, Angel sucked a nipple deep into his mouth, caressing it with his tongue. As Buffy’s breath quickened, he quickened his assault, causing her to moan out loud. Needing more, Angel slid his hands up her taut thighs, stopping abruptly at the tops of her stockings. Feeling himself grow even harder, he pulled back and looked into her eyes. Huskily, he asked, “Buffy Summers, what have you got on under that skirt?”
Pulling back, trying to focus on his words, Buffy stutteringly answered him, “Uh, well, I thought you’d like them. You don’t?”
“I’m not really sure. Why don’t you stand up and show me, and then I’ll let you know?”
Blushing, Buffy whispered, “I don’t think I can, Angel. What if you don’t like it, or you think I’m too skinny or something?”
Chuckling, Angel shook his head in wonder, loving the mix of woman/innocent that was his Buffy. “Honey, I was just teasing. I would never make you do something you don’t want to do. It’s okay if you’re uncomfortable. And, I pretty much guarantee that I would love anything on you. So don’t worry about it.”
Rising to the challenge, Buffy jumped from Angel’s lap, and stood on the floor in front of him. “I’ll have you know, I wore these just for you. They’ve never been worn before. I’m not even sure why I bought them, except I thought I might someday need to have something like this.” Realizing she was rambling, she decided to shut up.
“It’s really alright, Buffy. But if you wore them just for me, can I see them?”
By this time, Buffy was blushing furiously. Not in a bad way. Actually, the whole situation was only helping to increase her desire. Angel wanted to see her, to see the sexy outfit she had worn for just him. Yes, it was going to be a good night.
Deciding to pull out all the stops, Buffy smiled at him. Without a word, she slowly reached around to unzip her skirt. Angel leaned on one elbow, intensely watching her. The only sounds in the room were his breathing, and the whiz of her zipper slowly making it’s way down it’s path. As Buffy gently reached her hands around the waist of the skirt, she slowly lowered it around her hips until it puddled on the floor. With two gentle steps, she stepped out of it, leaving her standing in nothing but her black thong, garter, stockings and high heels.
As the skirt hit the floor, Angel’s breath noisily caught in his throat, and his mouth dropped open. Staring at her, he couldn’t seem to catch his breath. Of all the really beautiful things he’d seen in his life, nothing compared to the real life beauty standing in front of him. He knew he should say something to let her know how he felt, but he was absolutely speechless. Snapping out of his stupor, Angel could see that Buffy was starting to get really nervous. Slowly unfurling his long body from the bed, he stood up and slowly removed his clothes until he was completely naked. “See, baby, nothing to worry about. Now you have on more clothes than I do.”
Gasping, Buffy couldn’t think of anything to say. His beautiful body was there, in all it’s glory, for her to see. His chest was lean and strong, and his erection strutted from body, large and powerful . She’d never seen a man completely naked before, but she was pretty sure that most of them didn’t look like Angel. “Angel,” she said in between deep breaths, “you’re beautiful.”
“No, baby, you are the beautiful one here.” Angel deliberately walked towards her, like a predator who had just trapped it’s prey. “You can’t even imagine what that outfit does to me. Every fantasy I’ve ever had just lost all it’s shine. You are my ultimate fantasy.” Coming to rest in front of her, he gently pulled her into his arms, kissing her softly. Reaching around, he grabbed the bare cheeks of her ass and squeezed, deepening the kiss until he had to stop for lack of breath. With one quick move, he moved close enough to the bed to fall back on it, bringing her with him, sitting on top of him. Unable to contain himself any longer, he began to kiss, lick and touch her all over.
Buffy’s skin was on fire, she was sure of it. There was no way her skin could feel this hot unless she was burning alive. Every time he touched her, Angel’s hands and lips seem to scorch her skin, causing her to gasp in ecstasy. Afraid of losing it, she sat up, straddling his hips, her breath coming in little pants from her lips. “I need to slow down, Angel. It’s too much too fast.”
Sighing, Angel took a deep breath. “Okay, baby, if that’s what you need.”
Realizing that he thought she was calling a halt to the festivities, Buffy slowly began to undulate her barely covered parts against him. “Oh, Angel, don’t even think that I said stop.” As she continued to move against him, Angel sucked in his breath and grabbed her around the hips, moving her hips against him in a steady rhythm. Smiling at him, Buffy followed his lead. “No, Angel, we are never going to stop. I just didn’t want to burn alive. And that’s how you make me feel.” As she continued to move her hips, her breath again quickened as the sensations increased to a frenzied pace. Angel’s head was thrown back, his breath coming in gasps as he forcefully moved her soaking, thong covered center against his painfully throbbing cock.
Realizing that he was in danger of getting off, Angel slowed her movements, and moved a hand up and under her thong, using his thumb to massage her nub. Buffy screamed at the contact, bucking against him, her head thrown back in the throws of her orgasm, her nipples tight and hard. Angel gasped out loud at the sound and sight of his love coming, as she pushed against his raging erection until he had to physically pull back a bit to keep from shooting his cum all over her thighs. Almost seeing stars in front of his eyes as he watch her writhe in front of him, he continued to touch her until she quieted. With one quick movement, he tossed her under him, kissing her roughly.
“Buffy, that was the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen. I need you baby. Are you ready?” Angel continued to grind against her, waiting for her to give him some sign. “Oh, yes, Angel. I need this. I need you.”
With one quick movement, Angel sat up and grabbed a rubber from the nearby drawer. After putting it on, he laid back down on top her waiting form, and reached down and ripped the thong from her body. “I promise, I’ll buy you another one.”
“I don’t care, Angel. After this, I don’t think I ever want to where clothes again.”
Smiling at her, Angel lifted her legs so they wrapped around him, allowing his cock to rub against her entrance. The feeling was incredible, and Angel had to hold himself back from plunging hard into her warm, wet channel. Looking into her eyes, he kissed her. “I love you, Buffy, I hope you know that. I wish I could say this wasn’t going to hurt, but it is. But I’ll go slowly. Let me know if it hurts too bad.”
“I know, Angel. But it’s okay, I trust you, and I want this. I love you, Angel. Please make love to me.”
Angel wondered if it was possible to have an orgasm just by someone’s words. His head spun and his cock throbbed uncontrollably when those words left her sexy mouth. Grabbing her face, he kissed her soundly, inserting his tongue in her mouth, teasing her tongue with his own. At the same time, he began to slowly insert himself into her. When Buffy pulled back and gasped, Angel stopped. “You okay, baby?”
“Oh, yes, Angel. It just feels so good, it’s almost scary.”
Her words urging him on, he pulled out and slowly began to insert himself deeper into her. Buffy arched into him, begging for more. As Angel continued to go deeper into her, both of them began to pant heavily. “Buffy, look at me.” Angel said, wanting to gain her attention. With half open lids, she did just that, staring into his eyes as she continued to gently move against him. “I love you, and I always will.”
“I love you too, Angel.”
With that, Angel leaned down and roughly kissed her lips, while at the same time quickly burying himself to the hilt into her virgin channel. Buffy hissed in pain, stopping all movements, while Angel was finding it hard to lay still. “Are you okay?” he asked.
“I’m not sure. Is it going to get worse, or was that it?”
Chuckling softly, he leaned down and kissed her ear. “Well, from what I hear, that should be the worst. But you’re going to be sore for a couple of days.”
“Oh,” was all she could manage to say. Angel continued to kiss her neck and shoulders, but didn’t move a muscle down in the area that had just been violated. As Buffy’s pain subsided, her hormones took over, and she began to slowly move against his embedded cock. Angel’s audible gasp of pleasure spurred her on, causing her to arch against him even harder. Although it hurt a little, the pain was nothing compared to the pleasure.
Leaning up on his elbows, he looked into her eyes. “You sure you’re okay?”
“Yes, Angel, I’m fine. Don’t stop now.”
With an audible sigh, Angel again began to move within her. Slowly, deliberately, he pulled in and out, causing her a little pain, and them both a lot of pleasure. As Buffy’s breathing sped up, her hands became frenzied, touching his back and buttocks, pulling him closer and deeper. Angel could tell she was getting close. With increasing speed, he worked himself in and out of her hot, wet channel, causing them both to moan in pleasure. As his paced increased, Buffy forgot the pain, and could only feel glorious sensations of him sliding in and out of her. Angel, too, was lost. Never before had he felt anything so hot and tight. Knowing he wasn’t going to make it much longer, he wanted to take her with him. Leaning up on one leg, Angel continued to move inside her, while slipping a hand down to fondle her clit. Within seconds, Buffy was coming around him, screaming his name in her release. The feel of her tight muscles contracting around him was more than Angel could take. With a gasped “Buffy”, he plunged into her one last time, his cock throbbing in ecstasy as he came.
Both of their breaths where coming in short gasps as Angel fell on top of her, his head swimming. Realizing he was probably crushing her, he rolled over on his side, quickly removing the now used rubber and dropping it into the waste basket next to the bed. Returning to her side, he grasped her around the waist and pulled to him, unwilling to break contact with her lovely body.
“Buffy, baby, “he gasped, leaning in to kiss her, “you are incredible. Thank you, for everything.
Rolling towards him, she grabbed him around the neck, hugging him with all her might. “No, Angel. I should be thanking you. A girl dreams about her first time her whole life, and my dreams could never compete with this evening. It was perfect.”
Joining her in the hug, Angel smiled into her neck. “Yes, it was perfect. You were perfect.”
Looking up into his face, Buffy blushed. “Well, you were pretty terrific yourself. As a matter of fact, you were beyond terrific. All I’ve ever really heard is the horror stories from other women about how bad their first time was. But this was just... phenomenal.”
Blushing from her comments, Angel brushed them off. “I doubt it was me, Buffy. It had a lot to do with you waiting until you were ready - until you were a woman. Most girls don’t know themselves well enough to enjoy sex. But a woman does.”
“Okay, if that’s the way you want to play it, I’ll go with it. But, just so you know, mister, I ain’t buying it. You are what made tonight so special, or maybe that and the combination of all the really hot thoughts I’d thought about you over the years.”
“You really thought about me?”
Giggling, Buffy reached down and tickled him. As he laughed, she answered. “Like you didn’t know. Hell, I don’t think I’ve ever had a fantasy that you weren’t involved in.”
“Honey, I wish I could say the same thing, but my fantasies about you didn’t start until after the infamous party episode. And even then, I was beginning to think maybe I had a deep, dark perverted side. You were just so young.”
“Yes, I was. But lucky for both of us, I’m not anymore.” Leaning against him, she rolled him onto his back and climbed on top, straddling his thighs. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she kissed his lips, gently rubbing her slick, hot slit against his reawakening cock. As she sucked and played with his tongue, she continued to rub herself against him until he was again thick and hard. “I need you, Angel.” she whispered into his ear, loving the sound of his breath quickening.
“Are you sure you aren’t too sore? I, “Angel gasped as she increased the pressure, again coating his cock with her juices, “don’t’ want to hurt you.”
“The pain is nothing, Angel, not compared to the way you make me feel.”
Taking her at her word, Angel reached over and grabbed another rubber from the drawer and handed it to her, letting her do the honors. Looking at it strangely, she shrugged her shoulders and ripped open the package, removing the little ring from package. Leaning back, she slowly rolled it down him, making sure to touch him as much as humanly possible, eliciting a low moan from his throat. “Damn, girl, you’re good at that.” Angel breathily said. Grasping her around the waist, he lifted her hips slightly and planted her firmly but gently on his raging erection. Buffy gasped as he seated himself to the hilt, but not from pain. Sure, the pain was there, but it couldn’t begin to compete with the pleasure. Now that she was there, Buffy wasn’t quite sure what to do. She knew she should move, but move how?
Feeling her indecision, Angel grabbed her hips and began moving them in the direction that pleased him. After a few minutes, Buffy began to get the hang of it, and took over from there. Slowly, she lifted up and then let herself down, reveling in each gentle stroke. Angel removed his hands from her hips, and moved them to her breasts. Buffy’s breath caught in her throat as he touched her nipples, his hands alternating between gently grazing them and tugging on them hard. Feeling that now familiar tightness in her stomach, she sped up her movements, loving the sound of her thighs hitting his as she bounced up and down on him. Angel sneaked one hand down to the V between her legs and began to massage her clit, causing Buffy to gasp his name out loud. “Angel, now. Please.”
With that, Angel grabbed her hips with one hand, pumping into her hot channel with all he had left, while the other hand increased the pressure on her swollen clit. His head thrown back, he still managed to keep his eyes open, watching her every move. Wanting to again see her in the throws of orgasm, he begged her, “Come for me, baby. I need to see you come again.”
As if his actions weren’t enough, his words were. The sound of his husky voice pleading with her sent her over the top, causing her to push herself against him forcefully, grinding her mound into him. Gasping his name, she came quickly, her tight muscles clenching around his cock. Angel too gasp as she came, lost in the glory that was Buffy. With one last, hard thrust, he screamed her name and spilled his seed, all the while amazed that she could make feel this way.
Falling on him, Buffy continued to touch and rub him, almost as if she was afraid he wasn’t real. Feeling the same way, Angel grabbed her in a gentle hug, a grin appearing on his face. He knew he was the luckiest man on earth, and he planned on keeping it that way.
Pulling back, Buffy caressed his face, smiling at him. “I love you, Angel, I’ve always loved you.”
“I love you, too, Buffy, more than you will ever know.”
Only intending to tease him, Buffy kissed him and asked, “Angel, will you marry me? Am I old enough yet?”
Taken back a bit, Angel stared at her, and suddenly grinned at her. With one quick movement, he tossed her under him and roughly kissed her. “Yes, Buffy, I will. I thought you’d never ask.”
Laughing out loud, they hugged each other in joy and contentment, having come full circle.
Two and A Half Years Later
Buffy waddled down the stairs, feeling fat, uncomfortable and happy. The mansion was decorated for Christmas, with lights adorning the staircase and the tree already trimmed. The only question was if Buffy would be here to see it. Tomorrow was Christmas day, and Buffy was already a week late in delivering her and Angel’s first child.
Sighing at the thought, Buffy continued into the kitchen, making herself a cup of tea. Sitting down to drink it, she rubbed her stomach, thinking about all that had happened in the last two years.
Angel had been serious when he accepted her proposal. Within a week, Buffy was sporting a one carat diamond ring, given after Angel ‘officially’ took her out to a special dinner and reaffirmed their plans. Two months later, they were married in the mansion in a small but beautiful ceremony. Her mom and Giles had followed suit, and were getting ready to celebrate their two year anniversary. She giggled when she thought about how hard her mom had tried to resist.
Cordy and Spike had actually gotten married a few weeks after she they found out the baby was his. Less that eight months later, she’d given birth to a healthy baby boy, who’d they’d named Noah, after her great grandfather. With big dark eyes and sandy blond hair, he was the perfect mix of Spike and Cordelia. To everyone’s surprise, they were still together, and more than happy. Spike’s business was thriving, and Cordy had even managed to keep her career alive, although she did it only occassionaly. Surprisingly, she and Buffy had actually become friends. Not *I would die for you* friends, but more like, *Wine and girltalk* kind of friends.
Once the mansion was done, neither she nor Angel had had the heart to sell it. The place felt like home. So together they pooled their funds, and managed to get a mortgage financed on it, one that would replace the short term loan that Angel had taken out. It was a ridiculous amount of money to spend on a house, but it was just the way it was. Fortunately, both she and Angel had had more offers for work then they could accept, and had managed to pay off parts of the mortgage to make the monthly payment acceptable. Since she’d been working for Giles full time since the mansion was completed, her income was more than adequate to assist in the payments. Now with the baby coming... well, it would work out, she knew it.
As if her thoughts conjured him, Angel walked into the kitchen, reaching down and kissing her lips, rubbing her stomach. “So, baby, how are you?”
“Are you talking to me or this stubborn child?” Buffy asked, smiling to let him know she was teasing.
“Well, both of you, I guess. No pains?”
“My whole body is one big pain, so it’s kind of hard to tell.” Buffy commented, again rubbing her uncomfortable body. “I just have to keep telling myself that eventually this baby is going to come out.”
Chuckling, Angel rubbed her shoulders. “Yes, honey, he will when he’s ready.”
“Yes, SHE will.” The sex of the baby had long been a running commentary with the couple. Neither cared, but it was fun to pretend it did.
As the doorbell rang, Angel hauled her gently out of the chair. “Come on, baby. Our guests are starting to arrive.” Smiling at him, she wrapped her arm around his waist, feeling the same sense of contentment fill her soul that always did when she was with him.
Angel reached out and opened the door, smiling as he saw that everyone had seem to arrive at the same time. There stood Cordelia, Spike, Willow, Oz, Xander and Anya.
“What, did you all convoy?” Angel asked, laughing as the crowd began pouring in.
“No, mate, we just happen to be very prompt people.” Spike said, giving Angel a brief hug. “Merry Christmas, puss boy.”
“You too, you weenie.” Angel responded, shaking his head in a friendly gesture of dismay.
As hugs were given all around, everyone headed into the living room, putting packages, kids and diaper bags down. Grabbing Noah from Cordy’s arms, Buffy walked to the tree and showed the baby the tree, snuggling and hugging him as he tried to remove each ornament one by one.
As Angel turned to look at her, he smiled at the look of peace and love on her face. Until he noticed the grimace that suddenly came over her beautiful face. Quickly he turned and went over to her. “Are you okay?”
“No, I’m not. Angel, please take the baby.” As Angel took Noah from her arms, he turned and handed her to Cordelia, who didn’t enough notice his discomfort as she took the baby, since she was deep in conversation with Willow.
Heading back to Buffy, he quickly asked, ‘Is it time?”
“No, Angel, it can’t be time. It’s Christmas Eve. I’m not doing this tonight.”
Chuckling, Angel caressed her cheek. “Do you really think you have a choice?”
“Let’s not panic, okay. It was just one contraction. No big deal. Happens to women all the time. It could be days before it’s time.”
“Yes, that’s true. And it could be hours, or just minutes.”
“No, it’s wasn’t that bad, Angel. I think it was just a twinge.” Buffy lied, not wanting to ruin anyone’s Christmas.
“Yeah, sure, Buffy. I’ll let it go, but I’ll be watching you, woman. One more twinge like that and we’re out of here.” Angel walked over to the couch, joining the conversation that was going on, periodically looking up to stare at Buffy, who had yet to leave the tree.
Seeing this, Willow walked over, wrapping her arm around her shoulders. “So, soon to be mom, how you holding up?”
Putting on her best ‘There’s nothing wrong’ face, Buffy turned toward
Willow and smiled brightly. “I’m doing great, Willow. Just admiring this fine looking tree.”
“It is fine. So, how far apart are they?”
Shocked, Buffy pulled back a bit, giving Willow a curious look. “How did you know?”
“Oh, call it a hunch. Plus the fact that I’ve never seen you voluntarily give up holding Noah. So is wasn’t too hard to figure out.”
Buffy pleaded with her friend. “Don’t say anything, Willow. There’s only been a couple, and only one was really bad. It’s probably nothing.”
“Oh, it’s something, Buffy. Don’t doubt that. But I won’t say anything. Being you’re first it could take awhile.”
“Thanks. I don’t want to ruin anyone’s Christmas.” Buffy said, beginning to feel the beginnings of another contraction.
Shaking her head in disbelief, Willow smiled at her best friend. “Buffy, don’t you see it will only make it that more special? You and Angel are, like, the perfect couple. This baby is a pure example of love. And what else is Christmas about? Even if I don’t technically celebrate it, I know that.”
Grimacing, Buffy turned away from the group, not wanting Angel to see the pain that was showing on her face. After a few seconds, she relaxed, finally able to breath again. She wasn’t surprised that when she turned around, Angel was standing behind her, arms crossed in determination. “So, how long?” he asked.
“About ten minutes, I guess.” Buffy answered, not ready yet to meet his eyes.
“Buffy, how long have you been having these?” Angel asked, upset that his wife would conceal this from him.
“I swear, Angel, I wasn’t sure until I had that one you witnessed earlier. Heck, I’ve been getting pains for weeks now, and then they just go away. This might too, you know.” As the words came out of Buffy’s mouth, she could feel the moisture begin to run down her legs. “Oh, god, Angel. I think my water just broke.”
As the puddle continued to pool around her feet, Angel jumped into action. “Xander, go get a car, any car, now.”
Feeling the rising panic, he wasn’t in the mood to argue with Xander or anyone. “The baby’s coming.”
“Oh, shit,” Xander said, running towards the front door.
As everyone crowded around her to make sure she was okay, Angel ran to their bedroom to get her suitcase. They were prepared, weren’t they? Yes, they had to have everything. With one last look around, he went over the checklist in his mind. On a whim, he grabbed Mr. Gordo, Buffy’s beloved stuffed pig from the dresser and shoved it into the suitcase.
Coming down the steps, he could hear Buffy shouting out names and numbers.
He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. As Buffy stood there, doubled over in pain, she was issuing orders for someone to call their cleaning crew to have the tile cleaned.
Entering the room, he looked at Buffy with raised eyebrows. “Honey, do you really think that’s necessary tonight?”
As another contraction hit her, Buffy doubled over in pain, moaning out loud. As the contraction eased, she answered, “Yes, Angel, I do. I worked too hard to preserve this tile to have it ruined now. I don’t care what it costs.”
Realizing he wasn’t going to win, Angel gave up that fight. “Willow, please call them. Let them know we’ll pay double the rate, if that’s what it takes.” Grabbing Buffy gently by the elbow, he began to walk her to the door.
Realizing the just about everyone was following them, they both turned around curiously. “You guys, you know the baby may not be born for hours. Feel free to enjoy your Christmas Eve. We’ll call you when it’s here.”
The objections were varied and numerous. But what it boiled down to was they were not going to go to the hospital without a posse in tow. Cordelia took that moment to bring tears to Buffy’s eyes. “You were there for me, Buffy, both of you. You stayed the whole time. I wouldn’t let you two do this alone.”
Smiling at her, Buffy then grimaced, feeling another strong pain.
Angel grabbed her arm and propelled her to the car. “Come on, Buffy, let’s get you to the hospital before you have this baby right here.”
“That’s probably a good idea.”
Several hours later, it was all over. Angel walked into the waiting room, a smile on his face as he greeted the friends that has stayed to welcome his and Buffy’s child. Giles was the first to approach him, with Joyce close behind, the rest of the gang bringing up the rear. “So, Angel,” I assume all is well?” Giles asked, looking his friend in the eye for any sign of discomfort.
“Everything is perfect. Buffy did great. She and the baby are sleeping now.”
“Oh, well, then. That’s wonderful news. Ah, so, what is it?”
“It’s a baby, Giles. A little, tiny beautiful baby.” Angel sighed, grinning like a little boy in a toy store.
“Well, that’s good. But what kind of baby?”
“Oh, you mean...” Angel had to laugh at himself. “I’m sorry, it’s a girl. A little, tiny beautiful girl. She looks just like I would imagine Buffy looked when she was a baby. Except for all the dark hair. We named her Cassandra - Cassie for short.”
Joyce leaned in and hugged Angel, tears coming to her eyes. “That’s a beautiful name. Can we see them both?”
“The doctor said in a little while, as soon as they’re moved to her room.”
One by one, the gang walked to Angel to give their hugs and congratulations. Cordelia was the last one to approach him, having handed a sleeping Noah off to Spike. With a big hug, she whispered in his ear. “I couldn’t be more happy for you. Isn’t it amazing how things always work out the way there supposed to?”
Pulling back, he smiled at her. “Yes, Cordelia. It’s absolutely amazing.”
THE END - FINALLY...