Disclaimer :: The characters herein are the property of their creators. I make no profit from their use.


:: Snow Angel ::

written by Starlet2367 { e-mail // livejournal }


Angel stood on the porch, a steaming mug warming his hands. In the distance the serrated edges of the mountains cut the clouds to ribbons. He watched as skiers rode red ski lifts to the top of the ridge, just so they could let gravity and luck shoot them right back down. It was silly if you thought about it: ride up, slide down; hope you didn't break something on the way.

A sparrow fluttered and cheeped, and he glanced upward, following its flight path to its home under the eaves. If he squinted he could see the uneven brush of branches and shredded paper that made up its nest.

He rubbed his hand over his face, yawned, and took another swig of blood. The wind picked up and the bare tree branches whispered to him, a sound only slightly louder than the hiss of snow meeting earth.

Then something moved at the edge of the wood. Pale brown burnish; flash of huge, dark eyes. Deer. The young doe stood in the shadow of the trees and watched him, nostrils quivering.

Her grace and beauty captured his imagination. "Hey, pretty girl," he whispered. He held out his hand in communion, but instead of coming closer she spooked, and with the flash of a white tail, she was gone.

He sighed. She was probably coming to forage in the yard. Must have caught his scent on the light breeze; sensed a predator. He licked his lips, thinking of the capture and kill. The feel of the short, hot fur in his mouth and the spurting blood's wild, gamy taste.

He took another sip of pig's blood and grimaced. Not quite the same as the fresh stuff, but then, nothing ever was.

He breathed deeply, letting the smell of snow and fir trees clear his mind. He had a son now, who napped in the living room in front of the crackling fire. No use thinking of hunting big game; unless Angelus got out, he'd never do that again.

And the trade-off seemed to be working out okay, considering he got something in exchange that he'd never even realized he wanted: a family. Before they left to spend the afternoon on the slopes, Fred had changed Connor's diaper. Wes fed and burped him. Cordy made sure his crib was close enough to the fire to keep him warm, but not so close that popping wood would burn him.

Angel had rolled his eyes when they fussed, teasing them for spoiling his child, but the truth was, through their acceptance of Connor they made Angel feel loved. Part of something bigger than himself. Very nearly human.

They’d been gone for nearly three hours, and in that time he’d sung a lullaby, folded the now-dry pile of yesterday's fleece pullovers and started a huge pot of vegetable soup for dinner. He’d then pulled on his boots and come out here with a snack to watch the woods while he waited.

There was nothing to kill, no apocalypse to avert. Nothing but him and the pure, cold air.

He didn’t mind being alone; at least, he never had before. But since Cordy had nearly died he’d been feeling a pinch in his heart every time she left him. Demon or no, she’d been this close to—

Her laughter, a raucous shriek, echoed through the valley and he straightened, looking out over the road. She and Gunn rounded the curve, hands full of snowballs, pelting each other. Her aim was off—she needed to concentrate more if she wanted to--

One of Gunn’s snowballs hit her square on the nose and sent her flying ass-first into the snow. Angel was down the steps and halfway across the lawn when Gunn crouched over her, his face creased with concern. Her talent with the old fistful-of-snow-in-the-face trick caught them both by surprise and left Angel laughing even as Gunn howled.

Cordy shrieked again and rolled away, dodging Gunn, who was yelling something about paybacks. Angel looked down at the blood in his cup and then up at the sky and thanked whatever gods that existed for the cloud cover that kept him from bursting into flame.

By the time he made it back onto the porch Cordy and Gunn were lying flat in the snow, singing Jingle Bells and thrashing their arms and legs to the rhythm of the song. Angel winced. Neither of them could carry a tune in a bucket and-- "You guys are gonna freeze your butts off," he yelled.

Cordy sat up carefully, shot him a happy wave, and eased herself to her feet. Once she was up, she made a funny little hop, then turned around. "Look!" Angel heard her exclaim. "She's perfect!"

Gunn went through the same contortions and turned to look at his creation. "No, mine's perfect. Yours is--" He kicked the mound of snow that made up Cordy's angel's skirt. "--A sloppy dresser."

"Hey!" She shoved him once, hard, and Angel bit back a grin when Gunn stumbled to his knees. She'd learned that move in their first training session. He hadn't had to teach her the next tactic--the scream-and-run--since she'd already perfected it.

She hurtled toward him, gasping and laughing, with Gunn gaining behind her. Their heavy boots thumped like heartbeats over wet gravel and up the stairs to the porch. Before Angel could move, Cordy swung around behind him, grabbed his waist and ducked.

"Chicken," Gunn taunted, as he skidded to a stop inches from Angel's face and peered over his shoulder at Cordy, who was pressing her head into the small of his back.

"I'm trying to eat, here," Angel said, lifting the mug and twisting it back and forth in front of Gunn's face.

Gunn waved his gloved hand, which was still full of snow and said, "Well, get out of the way. I've got to get me some girl."

Cordy squealed again and slipped under Angel's arm. Before Gunn could parry, she rounded him and jumped on his back, then shoved her bright-red hands down the collar of his turtleneck.

Gunn bellowed and dropped the snow so he could grab her wrists.

Angel rolled his eyes and sipped his snack. "Cordy, where are your gloves?"

She bit Gunn's ear through his toboggan and he bellowed again, spinning them around and around until Gunn dropped dizzily onto the Adirondack chair. Cordy slid off the arm and onto the porch and landed with a "whump."


Her fleece headband, bright blue with snowflakes, covered only one ear and fell into her eye. She grinned up at Angel from the floor of the porch, pink-cheeked and pink-nosed—vibrant. So different than the girl who had lain, cold and still, on his bed, waiting for death to take her.

"I think they're in Gunn's pockets."

"Last time I checked, they were" Gunn said, patting the zipped pockets of his black, down coat. "Girl, you got hands like ice cubes."

"Duh. But I can't make a decent snowball with those things on." She kicked Gunn's booted foot. "You wanna help me up, here? My butt is *freezing*."

Gunn stuck out his hand and pulled her up. "She spends the entire trip back on a quest for the perfect snow angel, and now she complains about her cold butt."

Angel nodded. "Cordy logic."

She poked Angel in the arm. "Oh, both of you bite me." Her poking fingers grabbed the sleeve of his sweater. "And if you're gonna diss, you have to make me some cocoa."

Gunn stopped unlacing his boots and looked up at her. "What, you don't like mine?"

"Yours is all powdery. Angel uses the whisk," she said, shooting him that smile--the one that could convince him to do a lot worse than make hot chocolate.

He couldn't help but grin back. "Sure, Cordy. I'm your man." He stopped, realizing how that sounded. "For hot chocolate, I mean." He gestured with the mug, hoping he covered well enough that she wouldn't realize--

She patted his sleeve like he was the poor, village idiot. "Riiiiight."

Of course, it was Cordy. He didn't have to worry about her realizing a thing. "So, uh," he said, toeing off his snow-painted boots and stepping sock-footed onto the porch. "Where are Fred and Wes?"

Gunn dropped his own boots with a loud thud. "They're still out."

Cordy unzipped her parka and shook her hair out of the headband, then bent down to undo her laces. "Yeah, for a girl who grew up in Texas, Fred's quite the skier. She's actually giving Wes a run for his money."

Gunn stood up so fast the chair skidded across the porch and banged into the rail.

She frowned at him. “It’s good for them to have time alone." Then she balanced her hand on Angel's shoulder and toed off her boots. "After Billy...."

The door slammed behind Gunn with a bang.

She shook her head. "You'd think he had a thing for Fred, the way he acts." In her socks she barely came up to his chest. "Where's Connor?"

"He's, uh--" The baby wailed. Angel winced. "Taking a nap?"

Cordy grinned. "Which is why you were out here becoming approximately the temperature of snow?"

He shook his head. “No, I was watching for you…and—uh, the others."

"That's nice," she said, grabbing his hand. "Now come and make me something hot to drink. As was previously noted, it’s freezing out here.”

On her way through the living room Cordy stopped by the crib and scooped Connor up, pressing her still-pink nose into his neck and making him cry even louder. Angel watched them out of the corner of his eye as he went to the kitchen, almost weak with relief to have her back even if she was making his kid scream.

In the big, cheery, green and white room, Gunn rummaged in the fridge, singing Jingle Bells under his breath. The soup bubbled on the stove making the air fragrant with oregano and basil, tomato and carrots. After the cold, black-and-white universe outside, the cabin looked and smelled like something dreamed up in Technicolor.

Angel reached into the cabinet for the tin of cocoa powder and sugar. "Hand me the milk," he ordered, then took the carton that magically appeared over the top of the door. He grunted his thanks then pulled a pan from the bottom shelf of the cabinet.

The stove was an ancient, white, gas range, and he lit the pilot light under the burner with the pack of long matches from the drawer. The whisks stood crammed next to wooden spoons and mismatched spatulas in a crock on the counter. He picked the one that was already his favorite and dumped cocoa and sugar into the pot without measuring. The milk was next, and then he adjusted the flame.

Blue and orange flickered against the metal, and he bent over from the waist, tilted his head and watched the glow. When you grew up in the 1700s there wasn't a whole lot to do at night besides read and watch the fire burn. Even now, when a single ember could turn him to ash, he found himself drawn to the hypnotic dance of flames.

Gunn plopped the bag of marshmallows and two mugs down on the counter at Angel's elbow.

"Thanks," Angel said, without looking up.

"You want me to put the marshmallows in?" Gunn asked, around a mouth full of food.

"No, thanks. I got it." Angel ignored the loud chewing noises in favor of the dancing fire.

"You're burning it."

The scent of scalded milk and chocolate hit the air with a sudden snap and Angel reluctantly stood up and started stirring. "Thanks," he said, glancing at Gunn.

Gunn shoved another one of Cordy's red grapes into his mouth then started poking the marshmallows through the bag. He left finger-sized indentions in nearly a dozen before Angel slid the bag away from him.

"I still say my recipe's better. But I ain't gonna complain, long as I don't have to cook it." Gunn spit a seed toward the sink. "Hey, I think I'm gonna go start a movie. How does Terminator sound?"

"Great," Angel said, watching the whisk swirl the slowly darkening, steaming liquid. It made patterns in it, whirlpools. Almost like the patterns in the flame.

"You gonna stir that all day?"

He jumped. "Huh?"

She stood inches away from him, arms full of kicking, fussing baby. She arched a brow. "I *said*--"

"I heard what you said. I was just watching the cocoa. It makes patterns when you stir it."

She snorted. "Next thing you know, Con-man, he's gonna be staring at the flames in the stove again."

Angel cleared his throat.

Her brow went higher. "Oh, please tell me you didn't."

He bumped her aside with his hip. "Move." The cocoa hit the bottom of the mugs with a wet slap. Marshmallows were next, white, squishy buoys bobbing in a dark brown sea.

"Trade you," he said, holding out his hands for his son.

"Long as I get him back later," Cordy said, dropping the squirming, cooing baby into Angel's arms. "Oh, man, this is *so* good." When she lifted her face from the cocoa, her nose was covered with melted, white goo.

Angel nodded toward her face. "Um, Cordy, you have some, uh--"

She looked down at her bright pink turtleneck. "Don't tell me I spilled it."

When she looked back up, the marshmallow was still there. God she was adorable. "Marshmallow. On your nose." He made a wiping motion with his elbow--the only thing free--and watched as she rubbed the back of her hand across her face.

"Mmm," she said, licking it off. "Thanks."

He stared at her, mesmerized by her skin and eyes the way the flames and the turning cocoa had captured his attention before. There was something about the way she--

Her smile widened. “I want.”

His stomach tightened. God, so did he. Then her words clicked in his brain and he knew he hadn't heard right. "What?"

"I said, Gunn's firing up the VCR. We can watch a movie if you want."

He nodded, shoulders slumping in relief and disappointment. "Sounds good."


He walked the halls, wood floors creaking under his bare feet. Night was his time and even though he hadn’t slept much during the day, he wasn’t tired.

Connor snuffled and shifted in the portable crib, grounding Angel in the here and now of the dark cabin, keeping him as he always did from flying into total self-absorption. Not that anyone could become self-absorbed in a house this full.

When Cordy suggested a trip to a cabin, he hadn’t imagined she’d want to bring the whole family. He’d dreamed it would be the two of them, alone with Connor. They'd spend the day reading and watching the fire, then go to sleep with the baby between them--

Which was probably why he wasn’t getting any sleep now. They should never have slept together that first time. After watching her eyes grow heavy-lidded, her mouth fall open; after being surrounded by her nurturing heat....

He couldn’t sleep with her but he sure as hell couldn’t sleep without her.

So he was up, walking. He passed her bedroom and then the staircase to the second floor, where everyone else slept. The stairs ascended at a sharp angle and as he walked by he could smell drying wool and hear Fred's dream-induced mumbling. From the sound, it was nothing worse than usual; no need for him to knock on her door and make sure she was okay.

At the end of the hall he stopped at the window and looked out at the night. The moonlight’s blade-sharp edge cut the snow into harsh lavender strips and if he'd had breath it might have melted the lacy frost that edged the corners of the glass. He laid his hand on the pane and the frost smudged and disappeared, taking on his imprint.

Behind him a door opened. He stepped back automatically, and went still. The blanket of Cordy’s sleepy scent wrapped him up, leaving him warmed and comforted. She yawned and shuffled to the bathroom. The door closed, then opened again a few minutes later, and over the silver sound of the running toilet, he heard her step into the hall.



“Why aren’t you asleep?”

He shrugged.

“Is Connor all right?”

He nodded.

“You know I can’t see you, right? At least grunt, or something.”

He sighed, stepped into the dim light from the moonlit window. “He’s fine. I’m fine.”

The sound of her bare feet on the floor was like falling snow. As she came closer he was surprised to see her in a long, flannel nightgown. White with little, red flowers. The collar was wide and dipped out to her shoulders, leaving her collarbones bare. She was so close now that the light from the window traced the lace of her veins under her pale, blued skin.

He felt her warm fingers link with his.

“You’re freezing.”

He shrugged.

She squeezed his hand. “Come on. You’ve got to get some sleep. We’ve got a long drive tomorrow.”

“No longer than a bad rush hour.”

“Whatever. It feels like a long drive.” She leaned her head on his shoulder and gazed out at the night. “It feels like we’re in the middle of nowhere, doesn’t it?” Her voice fell to a whisper. “Like we’re the only people alive on the planet?"

He smiled. “Not really alive, but, yeah. I get what you mean.”

In the near-dark he saw her look up at him and roll her eyes. “Come on, Mr. Literal." She yawned, a real jaw-breaker. "I’m tired.” She headed down the hall and he slowed when they passed her room, but she kept walking.


“I know you, Angel. Once you get warm, you’ll sleep like a baby.” She walked right into his bedroom, dragging him along behind her. She dropped his hand long enough to lean over Connor and tuck the blankets around the snoring child. “Sweet little boy,” she whispered, and kissed his forehead.

Angel realized he was staring. It could have been a picture from his own childhood, the woman in the long, white gown, leaning over the sleeping infant. The firelight captured her profile and turned it warm and golden. He shook himself. “Right. I'll put on some socks or something. That'll warm me right up." He gestured toward the door. "See you in the morning?”

“It'll be kinda tough not to,” she said, pulling the rumpled sheets back and climbing into bed. She hissed and kicked. “Crap it’s cold in here.” She scooted over, and scrunched down under the covers. “Come on, get in before I freeze.”

He opened his mouth, but since his brain was short-circuiting, nothing came out. They’d slept together before, sure. On top of the covers, though. Fully clothed. Not in pajamas and a nightgown. Not like—

“Aaaaan-gel,” she whined.

He closed the door with a quiet click, then got in next to her and pulled the covers up and over them. His feet hit her legs and she jolted. “God! I thought you said something about socks!"

He yanked back, holding himself stiff and away. “Sorry. Sorry.”

She grumbled and wrapped an arm around his waist. “Aim for the fabric. No icy feet on bare skin until we’ve got you warm. Come on, Angel, relax. God, what’s gotten into you?”


Through layers of fabric he could feel her breasts, nipples hard against his chest. There was the press of her hipbone, a hard jut against his thigh. Her legs twined with his and she moved her head on the pillow, once, twice, then settled.

“That’s better,” she said. She reached down, took his hand, and put it on her hip. “This works better if you participate.”


“Shh. Go to sleep.”

She was a furnace, a safe fire. He gave up and wrapped her close, letting her soft warmth spread and spread until—

He blinked against the soft morning light. God, he was warm. He wasn’t sure why, though.

Then someone shifted and he realized it was Cordy. Perfume and sweat, slightly sour, slightly floral. She sighed and sent a wave of warm breath billowing over him, then buried her face deeper in the crook of his neck.

He stayed still, watching the numbers on the digital clock tick by, and listening to the quiet cabin. Five heartbeats; two in this room. The two most precious in this room with him.

Connor started making that funny little cooing noise, the one that preceded a cry, and Angel untangled himself as carefully as he could. “I’m here, little man,” he said, moving to the edge of the bed so he could look into the crib.

Behind him, Cordy mumbled and shifted, and one arm flopped across the mattress and nearly landed in his lap. From his crib, Connor stared at him like a wide-eyed owl.

“You hungry? Need a new diaper?” Connor blinked. “I’ll take that as a yes.”


He looked over his shoulder, and she blinked up at him sleepily. In the predawn light she was an array of shadows bound in rumpled blankets. “Want me to do it?”

He shook his head. “Nah. I got him.”

She nodded, pulled the covers up around her shoulders, and closed her eyes. “Bring him to me when you’re done.” She sighed, long and windy, and then quieted.

Angel got up and rummaged through the diaper bag, coming up with a diaper and a clean bottle. He pulled on his robe and tucked them into the pockets, along with the can of dry formula.

He changed the baby's diaper on the kitchen table while the formula heated in the microwave. He hummed Connor a lullaby while the baby drooled and dozed on his shoulder. At the ding, the baby jerked once, and let out a wail.

"Shh, shh," he said, jiggling and patting, the only surefire method (besides food) of getting the kid to shut up. He headed down the hall and slipped through the open door, closing it as quietly as he could, but Cordy had obviously been waiting for them. She rolled over and sat up, spilling night-dark quilts over the white expanse of her gown. She held out her arms.

"Baby snuggles. Gimme."

He dropped Connor into the nest of her breasts and climbed back into bed with them. Then he watched as she fed his son, cradled him on her shoulder and burped him. Listened as she half-talked, half-sang to him in her tone-deaf voice.

“That’s my boy,” she whispered, patting the baby's well-padded bottom. She smiled up at Angel from under the fringe of her bangs. “He’s asleep again," she whispered.

Angel took Connor and put him back in the crib, tucking the fleecy blanket under his moon-round chin.


Connor breathed like a miniature freight train coming into a station. “Hm?” He poked at the tiny blanket once more for good measure.

“Do you ever think about….”

He tucked his hands in the pockets of his robe and turned to look at her. “Hmm?”

She wouldn’t meet his eyes. Instead, she pleated the sheet with her fingers.


She glanced at him, and then away, an awkward smile on her face. “Nothing. It’s silly."

He sat down on the edge of the bed. The room turned from gray to hazy silver as day continued her upward rise. “What?” he asked softly. Her hair was so soft, so shiny. Sometimes he wanted to brush it with his fingers, just reach out and—

She gasped. “Angel?”

He pulled his hand away. “Sorry. It was-- It was getting in your eyes.” He stood, suddenly very aware of how her skin felt against his. "Did you want to ask me something?"

She took a deep breath. “Do you ever wonder what it would be like to—" She closed her eyes and swallowed, almost nervously. “Really be parents?”

He wrinkled his brow. “I really am a parent,” he said, glancing over at his sleeping child.

Cordy huffed her “dumbass” huff. “No, I mean us.” She waved her hand around the slowly lightening room. “I mean— Oh, never mind.” She sighed, obviously frustrated with him, though he couldn't say exactly why.

The edge of the nightgown had crept down her shoulder and he could see the warm little crevice where arm met breast. “Cordy, I—“ He stepped back, another foot away from her, then put his hands in his pockets and looked out the window.

He heard the mattress and blankets rustle, heard her feet hit the floor. Felt the breeze as she brushed past.

She was almost out the door when he touched her arm. It was a reflex—don’t go—and then his fingers, there, on the pulse above her wrist. She turned, and when her eyes met his, they were full of things he couldn't quite read.

He looked at her in the early-morning shadows, eyes wide and questing, and his hand moved again, sliding up her arm. The line between her eyes deepened, and when he stepped toward her, her shoulders tensed. She reminded him of the deer he saw earlier.

If he didn't know better, he'd think she was afraid. Of him.


She spent the night in his bed, in a nightgown that shouldn’t have turned him on. And then she hinted...suggested.... Was she saying what he thought she was saying?

"Don't go."

"It's not like I'm leaving you, Angel. I'm just going back to my--"

He saw her face, the ski-slope of her nose, her mouth, and then a blur of them all as he pressed his lips to hers.

She went completely still.

He forked his fingers into her hair, cupping her head, stroking her scalp. Under his mouth her lips started to open.

She was fragile, precious, alive in his hands, and he wanted to lose himself in her white skin, in the red flowers of her blood. Her open mouth called to him, and he followed, finding her wet and warm and— Then she wrapped her arms around his neck and melted against him.

He pulled back, gasping, stunned by her response. The way he'd wanted her-- He'd never dreamed--

She shut the door with a quiet click. The cabin was completely silent except for the hiss of their feet on the braided rug and the sound of Angel’s back hitting the mattress.

She framed his face with her hands and kissed him again, then tangled her feet with his, tickling her toes up his calves.

He wrapped his arms around her back and pressed their bodies together. She gasped. “We can’t do this,” she said, as if that thought were brand new.

He spread his legs and when she came to rest he could feel, for the first time, the press of her pubic bone against his, and the slowly building fire between her legs. “It'd be a huge risk,” he said. He lifted a hand and brushed her hair back, tucking it behind her ear.

She ducked her head and when she looked back up at him, her eyes glittered with tears. “It’s not fair.”

“No." He ran his hands up and down her back, trying to settle them both. Just another minute, he thought, and he pressed his palms into the small of her back. It was an invitation to linger between his legs, settle even deeper there, where she belonged. He felt the muscles in her belly quiver, like the wings of the sparrows in the cabin’s eaves.

The look in her eyes--pure, slumberous desire--tempted him to rethink his position. "Maybe we can't do everything, but--" Slowly, slowly, he hiked the nightgown up. Felt it tug against his pajama bottoms, felt her feet shift restlessly against his legs.

“Angel,” she whispered, dropping her forehead to his and closing her eyes. “Are you sure?”

“Shh." He slid his hands under the heavy flannel, ran them up the downy skin of her thighs. Rucked the gown higher and found the sweet, round firmness of her ass. Cotton panties rode unevenly over her flesh and he looped his fingers under the edges and smoothed them out.

She arched away from his hands, then, but that only brought her more deeply into the cradle of his pelvis and onto the throbbing ridge of his cock. She breathed out harshly through her nose and glanced toward the crib. “Connor,” she said.

“Is asleep,” he whispered, raising one hand to caress her face, to bring her eyes back to his. “We’re awake.” He felt like smiling for the first time since she announced they were all having a vacation together, all six of them.

“Some of us are *extremely* awake,” she said with a frown.

His grin felt wicked. “You wanted to know what it would be like to be parents."

Her eyes widened. “I didn’t—“

In a bold move, he trailed his hand from her jaw to her chest, letting his fingers tangle in the flannel and pull it away. Her words cut off with a gasp as he cupped the low-slung weight of her breast in his hand for the first time.

His thumb raked her nipple and she bit her lip sharply. "Cordy," he said, and he rolled her onto her back. She looked up at him, doe-brown eyes and tousled hair, with her nightgown riding up around her waist, and in that moment their relationship shifted, and his feelings for her crystallized.

His. She was *his*.

He kissed her. Ate her with his mouth. Found her lips, her teeth, her tongue, and consumed them the way he wanted her to consume him. His hands slid down her arms, drew designs on her thighs and skied across the deep valley of her waist.

Her belly button quivered when he dipped in, and her breasts, oh, God, her breasts-- He cupped them in both hands and leaned down, nuzzling, kissing, nudging aside the flannel to find the hard points of her nipples.

She cried out and his hand shot up and over her mouth. “Shh,” he said.

Her eyes were wide, frantic. He drew his hand away. “You all right?”

“Yeah--,” she said. “It’s just—“

He covered her lips again and bent his mouth to her breast. She squeaked and tried to get away. "Cordy." She kept wiggling. "Cordy," he repeated. "Do you trust me?"

Her eyes locked with his. After a moment, she nodded.

Slowly he pulled one hand off her mouth, watching, savoring as he slipped the other between her legs. Her eyes closed as he slid his fingers between the cotton and her damp flesh.

She was plump, soft and so hot she nearly scalded him. And she smelled—God-- He dipped his head down, kissing her breasts, her ribs, her quivering belly. He slid the panties off and dropped them somewhere on the bed.

When he kissed the hard mound of her pubic bone, she gasped and arched against his face. He scooted down the bed and settled between her legs, spreading her with his fingers, taking her heated, scented flesh into his mouth. She was tangy, salty, and she covered his lips like the syrup she'd slathered over her waffles at breakfast.

He dove deeper, darting his tongue as far into her body as he could reach. The taste exploded like the first swallow of blood. He moaned, grabbed her ass, and pulled her closer.

She writhed against him and he could hear her hands plucking at the sheets. Warm. She was so warm and wet and alive. He licked her, flat-tongued, then lapped at her clit. Her hips tensed and rose, so he did it again.

Don’t leave me, don’t leave me; he wanted to say. He wanted to tie her to him however he could. Pleasure worked best of any bond other than death. If he could make her want him--

He fluttered his tongue on her clit, danced his fingers across her lips, then slid them inch-by-inch into her trembling flesh. He felt her body coil, wind tight. He had to make her want him-- Needed her to stay—

"Angel,” she gasped.

His world became her—her body, her responses, her rhythm. He needed to make her come, to make her his—


He pulled away and looked at her, at her pleading eyes and trembling mouth.

“Angel, stop.”

He laid his head on her trembling thigh and closed his eyes. He was so hard his cock hurt; she was so wet she was nearly steaming. And she wanted him to stop?

She ran her hand gently through his hair. "Come up here."

"I like it down here." To prove it, he ran his tongue over the olive-cream skin of her leg.

She shuddered. “Angel…. God. I’m serious.” She tugged his hair. “C’mon.”

Confused, painfully aroused, but unable to deny her request, he kissed her leg one more time then slowly made his way up to her ribs, her jaw, and settled on the bed next to her, face-to-face. "Cordy?”

She smiled, ran her hand through his hair. "Hey. You all right?"

"Why’d you stop?”

Her fingers slid over his head and down back of his neck. She scratched his scalp with her nails and he closed his eyes and let her soothe him.

"Can I ask you something very personal?"

“Of course.”

“Angel, look at me.”

He opened his eyes.

“When you and Darla….”

His entire body tensed. “When we what?”

“You know.” She waved her hand. “Had sex.”

He rolled off of her and lay on his back, staring at the ceiling.

“You didn’t lose your soul, right?”

“No. Yes.” How did they get from making love to talking about Darla?

“Meaning, yes I’m right. You didn’t lose your soul.”

“You know I didn’t.”

“Shh-- Angel, don’t be mad.” She traced her fingers down his arm and twined their hands together. “Please look at me,” she whispered.

When he glanced up at her face, she was smiling. No judgment, just love…and determination? The tension eased off a degree.

“So, I've been thinking about that."

He arched an eyebrow. “About what?”

"You and Darla.” She slipped her hand from his and rested her palm on the inside of his thigh, just above his knee. He sucked in a breath, shocked by the sudden, intimate contact.

“You know, how you boned her and didn’t go all evil.”

“Cordy, why are we having this conversation?” he asked, rolling onto his side so he could see her face more clearly. Her hand got trapped between his legs, but instead of moving it, she used her free thumb to stroke his thigh. The arousal that had fled at the mention of Darla’s name danced back into the room.

“Because. While you were down there,” a wicked grin crossed her lips, “I was thinking—“

“You mean, you were thinking about it while I--?”

She nodded.

“Damn. My technique must be slipping."

She grinned. "Hardly. It was your technique that got me to thinking.” She slid her hand free and played fingers around the rim of his ear. His cock twitched against his pajama bottoms. “I mean, if you're so good at *that* then what can you do with the rest of the equipment?"

He could only chuckle at her unbelievably cute leer. "Did you come up with an answer?"

She waved her hand at the room. "Perfect bliss," she said. "Kind of hard to achieve with a whole bunch of people in shouting distance."

He stared at her. "As much as I'd like to believe it's that easy--"

She touched his lips. "Let me finish. You're a dad." She glanced over at Connor. "With all sorts of new responsibilities." She pulled her hand away and started ticking things off on her fingers as she named them. "College fund, braces, first car--heck, first bike. It's not like you can lose sight of yourself anymore."

He brushed his fingers along her jaw, remembering what he'd thought earlier, about how Connor grounded him and kept him from sinking too deeply into himself. "It's not just Connor, though, it's all of you." He tucked her hair behind her ear. "But the thought of unleashing Angelus--"

"Look, Angel, you know I'm the last person in the world who wants to see the return of Angelus." She cupped his jaw in her hand. "But we want this. I mean, I became demon so I could stay with you, right? Doesn’t that mean anything?” She brushed his ear with her lips. “Don't we deserve some happiness?”

He shuddered. "I wouldn't be working so hard if I didn't believe we deserved to be happy. Somewhere. Sometime."

She slid her hand down his throat to his chest. "What if that time is now?" Her hand tangled in the belt of his robe and started working the knot free.

He could only lie still and watch as she slid the fabric aside, as she kissed his mouth. “Angel, I’ve never wanted anyone this much. That has to mean something.” She untied the pajama bottoms and eased them open.

He put his hand on hers, stilling her movements. “You really think…?” Leave it to Cordy to approach his curse from a totally new angle. Leave it to her to infuse him with hope.

“I’m Cordelia,” she said, voice filled with confidence. “I don’t think. I know.” Then, without any preamble, she closed her hand around him and squeezed.

He gasped and arched against her.

“Come here.” She rolled him on top of her and settled him between her legs. “I want you, Angel,” she whispered. “And not just ‘cause you make the best cocoa.” Her smile glinted in the cool, morning air.

She spread her legs wider, drew her knees up. Taking the hint, he took his cock in his hand and nosed himself right up to her. “I want you, Cordy. And not just ‘cause you keep my files in order.” He slipped the tip of his cock into her body. “Not just ‘cause you take good care of my son,” he whispered, going in another inch. “Not just cause you—“

She moaned. “Angel,” she hissed, her voice raw with desire.

“Make me feel—“ He slid all the way in. “Oh, God.” It was like completing a circuit. The jolt flew up his spine and the top of his head crackled with electricity.

She writhed beneath him, impaled. Her hands clawed the sheets.

He jerked back, pulling all the way out. “Cordy— Cordy, look at me.”

Her eyes were hotter than the flame under the pot.

He clenched her hips and angled her up, and thrust once, hard. He held her gaze as he banged her against the mattress, made her watch as he dropped his hand between them and fingered her clit.

She arched into him, breasts and throat rising toward him like the morning. Sounds emerged from the back of her throat, whimpers and moans.

He shook his head and moved his hand over her mouth. “Shh,” he whispered.

She nodded and pulled him down to her so she could bury her face in his neck. Her mouth worked against him, but she didn’t make a noise.

He pumped into her as quietly as he could, conscious of the house full of people and the baby sleeping three feet away. And still all he could really think about was her. All he could really see was her.

She pummeled her heels against the small of his back, urging him on. He pressed his face against hers, breathed into her hair, and adjusted her hips again.

Then there was nothing but her. The friction of her skin on his was delicate torture; it built behind his eyes, in his toes, and tickled way down deep at the base of his cock.

He wanted to make her come again and again, just to see her face. Just to feel her, yes, like that, going soft inside. Softer and softer and--

Pleasure tightened in him, humming and focusing and overwhelming until he was nothing but a sweet, hot, biting ache.

She opened up; he felt it happen, something expanding deep in her womb. And then she snapped like hungry jaws and devoured him. He lost it, spiraling, exploding, thrusting a string of hot, beaded *want* into her and wishing he could follow it. Wanting to bury himself inside her forever.

When he came to, she was looking up at him with soft eyes, and her hand was pressed over his mouth. Her hair lay like a discarded mink on the navy pillowcase and she moved her hand and kissed his ear, his cheekbone, his jaw.

He collapsed against her throat and breathed her in. Let his senses find him again. Realized he still had his clothes on and her nightgown was bundled between them, making her every bit as sloppy a dresser as her snow angel.

She tapped him on the shoulder. He looked up. “So, was I right, or what?” Her smile was as wide and bright as the sunrise.

Suddenly the upstairs toilet flushed, feet thumped down the stairs and Gunn shushed a giggling Fred. Cordy went completely still beneath him. "Think they heard anything?”

He kissed the top of her head. “If we didn’t wake the kid, then I doubt—“

In the crib next to the bed Connor rustled, waved his fists and yelled at the top of his lungs.

Cordy broke out laughing. “Oops.”

Angel looked over at his squalling son, then back down into Cordy's laughing eyes. He nuzzled her nose, kissed her swollen lips. "Best oops of my life," he said.


Note: Annie, thank you for your excellent beta. As always you're Santa's Editing Elf.