< Damn… Busted… > The vampire thought grimly.
“Don’t you even think about jumping down and running away,” the redhead screamed at him, “What the hell are you doing on my balcony?”
She stood poised and ready, stake in hand.
Angel had hoped to spy unnoticed, but a stumble over a flowerpot had divulged his secret.
“Willow, I…” < I what? I’m sorry? I’m embarrassed, humiliated…? I’m an idiot…? >
“One more time… what are you doing on my balcony? Are you all right?” Her arm holding the stake dropped to her side.
Angel smirked, < Just like her… thinking about my well being instead of her own… still Willow… >
“Angel, come ins…”
“Don’t!” Angel cut her off.
“Angel, please come inside,” she continued, her exasperation evident in her voice.
“That was stupid, Willow,” he told her as he stepped over the threshold into her apartment.
“Haven’t you learned that inviting vampires into your home is a bad thing?”
“Obviously you don’t have as much faith in my spell casting abilities as I do…”
“But nothing. I cast a spell that can, and will, never be broken. If I do say so myself, that spell is untouchable… I know that there is absolutely no danger in inviting you into my home,” she replied curtly, thinking back to the time when she, first, restored Angel’s soul, and second, again unbeknownst to Buffy and Giles, when she discovered the dangerous ritual which involved transporting her own soul into Hell to bring him back. It seemed like lifetimes ago.
“Willow, you haven’t seen or heard from me in years… you have no idea what’s happened to me since then. There is no such thing as an unbreakable spell… you should know that as well as anybody. If it can be cast, it can be uncast.”
“I would have known if it had been broken…”
“How? ESP? Are you psychic now, too?” he asked, much more sarcastically than he had intended to.
“I thought we were friends, Angel? Why are you here? Come all the way across the country to insult me?”
Angel looked slightly embarrassed as he inspected a particularly fascinating section of the hardwood floor.
“Why are you here?”
Angel would have liked nothing better than to jump over the balcony and disappear. It wasn’t often that vampires got embarrassed, and this was one of those few times. The last time Willow had seen Angel, he was skulking off into the darkness of night, leaving Willow to her own defenses after she escaped from Hell with him in tow.
And now, five years later, on the other side of the country, he was tripping over flowerpots on her balcony.
“Making sure you’re OK.” <OK, Dead Boy… > Angel had adopted Xander’s pet name years before. < That made sense… >
“Angel, I haven’t seen or heard from you in five years, and all the sudden you’re checking up on me. You’re going to have to do better than that.”
“I wish I could, but I can’t… But,” he confessed, “I’ve been here before… it’s not the first time. And… I’m sorry… I didn’t mean to insult you, especially after you’ve done so much for me. Willow… I didn’t mean for you to catch me on your balcony… we vampires are supposed to be experts at being stealth, and I really… I just don’t know what to say to you.”
“Angel, I don’t understand what’s going on here at all. Why don’t you try telling me the truth?”
It had been five years since Willow’s spell brought Angel back from Hell and restored his soul permanently. The Scooby Gang and their esteemed leader had long left Sunnydale. Buffy and Giles had taken off for parts unknown, following evil wherever it lurked. Xander and Cordelia were attending UCLA, and Willow was a senior at NYU. Angel had been the only one to stay behind in Sunnydale, or so Willow had thought.
“Look, you guys—you, Cordelia, Buffy, Giles…even Xander—are the only family I’ve had in a very long time. After what happened, and I, I… grew apart from all of you, and you all left Sunnydale, I’ve checked up on you—all of you—periodically. I couldn’t stand it if anything happened to any of you after all you did for me. I just haven’t been caught before now, ” he stated, somewhat sheepishly.
“Angel, that’s really sweet and all, but I just really don’t get it.”
“I should be going now, Willow. I can see that you’re just fine.”
Willow had grown up. The body of the seventeen-year-old that he remembered had been replaced with the curvy body of an adult. A beautiful adult. She had cut her long, red hair much shorter. It now hung just below her chin, tucked delightfully behind one ear. She still wore little makeup, and her face was still as open and innocent as ever. Willow had blossomed into an incredible woman.
“Oh no you don’t… you’re not just going to jump off my balcony and leave after two minutes of playing cryptic boy. You’re going to stay here and talk to me… See? Remember my resolve face? This is it, and you’re not leaving.”
Angel sighed, running his fingers through his dark hair. He remembered the resolve face all too well.
“OK, but just for a little while…”
Angel took a seat on her couch, and was truly startled by Willow’s actions. With a leap, she landed in his lap, arms wrapped tightly around his neck.
“God, Angel, I’m so glad to see you… I’ve been worried sick over you for five years,” she pounded her small fist into his chest for emphasis, “Why? How come you never let me know that you were all right?”
Not quite knowing what to do with his arms, he slowly slid them around her waist, gently moving her into a more comfortable position on his lap, since she showed no signs of intending to move soon. < This is very odd >
“I thought that it was best for all of you. Your association with me almost got all of you killed.”
“That’s a lame excuse, Angel… I worked my butt off to bring you back, and the thanks I got was your disappearance? You… you… JERK!” Willow’s words were harsh, but her demeanor soft.
Angel was shocked by her boldness, but the tears welling in her eyes were pure Willow.
“Who are you, and what have you done with my Willow?” he asked tenderly, guiltily.
< Did I do this? Is this anger, this change in her my fault, or did little Willow finally grow up on her own…? >
“Your Willow? You never had a Willow… you had a Buffy, remember? I was Xander’s Willow, and Oz’s Willow, but never got to be Angel’s Willow…”
Angel chuckled. This was definitely not the same Willow, but he liked her as well. This was becoming increasingly more bizarre. In a million years, he could have never imagined himself sitting on Willow’s couch, with her draped across his lap. He never imagined it, but that didn’t mean that he didn’t like it.
“Never got to be? That almost makes it sound as if you wanted to be…”
“Once again, I open my mouth and too much comes out,” Willow confessed. “C’mon, Angel, you’re smarter than that. I was seventeen, and you were this older, dark, sexy, gorgeous, mystery man. Of course I wanted you. But you belonged to Buffy, and I was only an annoying little kid to you.”
“Never! Willow, you’re the one that saved my life, and you think that you were an annoyance to me?”
“You never even thanked me. Jerk…” she repeated.
“Is it too late now?” he asked, his deep voice turning surprisingly sultry.
“It’s never too late…”
“Fine, then. Willow Rosenberg, I owe you my everything for restoring my soul, and traveling into the pits of Hell to bring me back to Earth.”
Willow was surprised by the serious tone of his voice.
“I’m not kidding, Willow. Buffy had to save the world, but you’re only concern was saving me. Why?”
“This conversation is getting awfully deep… maybe we should lighten things up!” Willow uncomfortably began to slide off his lap, only to be caught in Angel’s strong hands.
“Not so fast—I asked you a serious question... and quit wiggling.”
“For Buffy, of course,” she stuttered over the words, “I had to bring you back for her…”
“Why do I have the distinct impression that you’re lying?”
“Because you’re a vampire, and you have this weird sixth sense thingy?”
Angel snickered again, “Always the smart one, weren’t you, Tinkerbell?”
“Tinkerbell? What the hell is that?”
“You always reminded me of a little fairy, running around casting happy spells… You’ve always been Tinkerbell to me.”
Willow chortled with laughter, “You know, Angel, I think you’re the only one that I would ever let get away with calling me that.”
Again, she tried to scoot off his lap, only once again to have her attempts thwarted by the vampire.
“Don’t change the subject. I still want to know why… and you really have to stop wriggling.”
“Angel, don’t ask questions that you really don’t want the answers to…”
“I know the answer, Willow. I just want to hear you say it…”
This time Willow succeeded in jumping off his lap.
“You smug, arrogant, son of a… a… female dog,” she was standing in front of Angel now, hands on her hips, looking every bit the part of a dangerous, angry female.
“What?!” Angel knew that this was coming, knew that he deserved her anger, but when it came, he still wasn’t expecting it.
< Why am I doing this? And why am I reacting this way to her wiggling around in my lap…? This is Willow, for Christ’s sake… >
“You show up, lurking around on my balcony, after five years, and after five minutes you expect me to divulge the biggest secret that I’ve ever kept in my life? How dare you?!”
“Willow, I-I’m sorry,” he stammered, rising from the couch, “I didn’t mean to… I don’t know what I meant to do… I shouldn’t be here… I’m sorry.”
He was quickly moving back towards the balcony doors from whence he came, when Willow grabbed him by the arm, and with more force than he imagined that she could have, spun him around to face her.
Tears were forming in her eyes, and she spit the words at him. “I love you.”
Angel was stunned. He never really expected to hear her say the words. He never expected any of the events of this evening to happen.
“Happy now? Is that what you wanted to hear, Angel? I love you, damn it. I never meant to, and I certainly would have stopped it if I could, but I love you.”
Her tears spilled over, running down her flushed cheeks.
“Willow… when…? When did you fall in love with me?”
Angel was truly stunned by Willow. In the almost four years since she had left Sunnydale, Angel had traveled to check on her at least once a year. He knew that she had a crush on him. He could see her sit up straighter in her chair when he’d join them at the Bronze, an almost unnaturally huge smile of welcome and acceptance when he’d sit beside her at the table. On the instances when he’d turn his attentions to speak with her, she never could quite control the blush that would slowly creep into her cheeks.
But he had never once suspected that it was anything deeper. He knew, through Buffy, her feelings for Xander, and, finally, her love for Oz, the one teenage boy in Sunnydale that had appreciated Willow for the incredible, intelligent beautiful young girl that she was.
She loved him? He quickly scanned his memories for signs that she could have given him. He thought back to the things he had learned about her over the years, searching for a clue. He came up with nothing. He knew that she and Oz had gone their separate ways after graduation. He, too, had gone to Los Angeles, hoping for a career in music, and they had decided to put romance on hold in lieu of friendship.
Angel had seen the changes in her over the years of his visits, the maturation. He hadn’t sought to seek any deeper knowledge of her life, concerning himself only with her physical well being. Her words of love shocked him, and saddened him. He should have seen it, he told himself. Should have been more aware of her.
“I thought you knew the answers already. I thought that you just wanted to hear me say the words,” she sputtered back at him.
“Willow, I just thought…”
< What did I think? What do I think now? How do I make this right? >
“I just thought that you had a little crush on me… I never suspected that it was anything more…”
“You thought that I would send myself to Hell to rescue you because of a little crush?”
Willow was furious with him. It had been so obvious, she thought. Never, ever mentioning to anyone, as a teen she had hoped that no one would see through her ruse. As she had grown older, and thought back upon her actions, she had decided that anyone could have seen the love she felt for Angel. Especially Angel. Didn’t two hundred and forty plus years teach him anything about women? His disappearance immediately after his return from Hell had felt like an ugly, cold slap on the face to her. He hadn’t given her one word of thanks, no sign of his appreciation.
She had gone to Hell for this man, literally. The wounds inflicted upon her soul had taken years to heal, although she had hidden this from her friends. Hell was bad. Opening the portal through that damn statue and being sucked into the vortex had been a physical pain unlike anything ever imagined. As if he had been expecting her, Angel was waiting on the other side. Without speaking, she had taken his hand, and brought them back. The visions, the nightmares, had plagued her for years. Heaven and Hell were beyond her grasp at seventeen. The repercussions of being one of the very, very few souls on Earth to know for a fact that Hell was a real place, someplace real people were sent to when they died, had changed her forever. She had grown up at that moment. And the one person that knew what she had gone through left without a trace. She knew he had his reasons. Shame, embarrassment, his own personal scars. He had killed Jenny, along with countless other innocent beings.
But, Willow knew, he was Angel. Angelus had done those things. They all knew that… Buffy, Giles, even Xander, didn’t hold him responsible.
Willow had needed him, and he wasn’t there. Not Angelus… Angel had hurt her.
Over the years, in her own healing, part of the process had been to forgive Angel. She loved him, in spite of what he had done. But the anger was boiling over now that she had him standing in her living room, acting like the oblivious male that he was.
“When, Willow? Tell me,” he implored.
“When you were gone. When the demon had control of your body. I realized how much I missed you, and, eventually, how much I loved you.”
“You don’t love me, Willow… I’m a monster, remember?”
“Don’t… Don’t you dare!! All my life, people have told me how I should feel, what I should do, how I should act. I’m not a little girl anymore, Angel. I had to grow up. You made me grow up. I had to grow up because of you…”
“I’m not finished. Don’t you interrupt me! Xander tried to tell me that I didn’t love him… that it was just friendship, that I was confused because we were best friends, because we were so close… And Oz… he tried to tell me that I couldn’t love him, because he was a werewolf… why doesn’t anyone ever want me to be in love with them? What’s so bad about my love?”
“Nothing is wrong with your love, Willow… I’m… I’m sorry. But love? Me? You don’t even know me…”
“And you don’t even know me, but apparently that hasn’t stopped you from spying on me…”
“You’re right, Willow… I guess I don’t know you at all. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t care about you… after what you did for me.”
“You’re damn right, you don’t know me… so don’t you dare try to tell me that I don’t love you. And don’t forget, I DO know you. Remember Hell? Or have you forgotten that already, because I sure haven’t?”
“I’ll never forget Hell…”
“Then don’t forget the things I saw… I saw your life, remember? I saw those images, I felt them, too.”
“Why didn’t you ever tell me?”
“Tell you what? That I had fallen in love with you, or that I was inside your head? That I was inside your past? What? Why didn’t I ever tell you what?”
“Why didn’t you tell me that you loved me? I could have helped you… I could have… done things differently.”
“WHEN?! You disappeared, remember? And, anyway, even if I had had the chance, I wouldn’t have. You were Buffy’s! I would have just made a fool out of myself. And, like an idiot, I thought that just maybe what I had done for you would be enough to show you what you meant to me.”
“Oh, my God, Willow, you’re not the idiot… I am.”
Angel sank back onto her couch, elbows resting on his knees, head in his hands.
“Willow, I’m so sorry. I never, ever meant to cause you so much pain. I can never repay you for what you did for me, and I’ve ruined our friendship. You mean so much to me. I’m so sorry that I wasn’t there for you.”
Willow sat beside him on the couch, and placed her hand on his leg, giving it a small squeeze that sent shivers through Angel’s body, reverting back to the old Willow to comfort him, forgetting her anger. She knew that he honestly didn’t know what he was responsible for. He had spent so many years trying to come to terms with what Angelus had done, he had forgotten to right the wrongs that Angel had done.
“Angel, it’s OK. It’s in the past now. I just wasn’t expecting you to show up tonight… I was completely unprepared.”
“In the past?” he questioned, his gaze rising to meet hers, “Didn’t you just tell me that you love me?”
“I’m always going to love you, Angel… but that doesn’t mean that I’m foolish enough to expect anything from you, to expect you to return my feelings.”
She cut off his words, “C’mon, Angel. Before these last few minutes you never once thought about the two of us as an ‘us’. Your surprise is obvious. It’s a foreign concept to you. I’m just being honest…”
“Don’t tell me what I think, or what I thought… I don’t know what I’m thinking or feeling right now. Confused, bewildered, honored, embarrassed, a little aroused…”
Willow’s shocked expression forced yet another small chuckle out of him, the mood lightening considerably after the strain of the last few minutes.
“Willow, I’ve watched you grow up from afar over the last five years. You may have never known, but I was around… maybe not in the way that I should have been, but I was watching. Honestly, Willow, I just thought it was a crush. Vampire or not, I’m still just a man. We’re known for our infernal stupidity when it comes to women. I knew… I saw it before anyone else, with the possible exception of Oz…”
“Knew what?” she asked softly.
“Knew that you were going to be an incredible woman. Watching it happen over the years, watching you blossom like a strong, beautiful rose… I just never once suspected that you had loved me. God, I’m an idiot. You are beautiful, Willow, inside and out, and you have just thrown me for quite a loop.”
“Don’t say things that you don’t mean.”
“Have you ever known me to lie?”
Willow shifted uncomfortably on the couch. < Once or twice. >
“Don’t turn away from me, Tinkerbell,” he said tenderly.
He placed his hand on her shoulder and gently turned her back to him.
“We’ve opened this can of worms… let’s see it through to the end.”
“The end? What sort of ending do you have in mind? I’m humiliated and embarrassed, you’re uncomfortable and don’t know what to say… I think we have a quandary,” she stated resolutely.
“Then let’s not say anything…”
Angel’s mouth captured Willow’s in a soft kiss, his lips barely grazing over hers. She opened her mouth to protest, only to be silenced as he brought his lips against hers again.
< What am I doing? >
< What is he doing? >
Before she could try to protest again, Angel had easily lifted her back onto his lap, never breaking their sweet kiss.
Willow pulled away, “Angel, I…”
He pressed his lips against her throat, taking great delights in the moan that escaped her mouth. Her fingers found the nape of his neck, pulling him tightly against her neck. He responded by opening his mouth a little wider, his tongue tracing a wet trail from her neck to her earlobe, where he nibbled softly before plunging his tongue into her ear, pulling back in a gentle kiss. His hands caressed the small of her back, delighting in the newfound sensations coming from touching Willow in this way.
“Oh, God, Angel… stop…” she purred.
“Let me make love to you, Willow… let me show you how much you mean to me, how important you are in my life…”
Her hands grasped his shoulders, trying to push him away from her.
“Angel, stop. This isn’t want you want. You feel bad for hurting me, and you’re trying to pacify me…”
“Willow, I readily admit that I’ve never given the two of us much serious thought…sexually, that is… but that doesn’t mean that right now, at this moment, I don’t want you more than anything, to show you what I should have shown you long ago. This isn’t just about thanking you for the sacrifices that you made for me… and I do know. I was there, I know what going to Hell did to you. I was there because I deserved to be…You’ll never be back there again. You’re the angel, not me. But this isn’t about that… this is about showing you how beautiful you are, and how much I feel for you, how much I want you.”
Angel knew that he shouldn’t be saying these things to her, but he couldn’t stop himself. He had been so alone for so long. After his world in Sunnydale fell apart, he had isolated himself from everyone. He had never allowed himself to grow close to anyone, never formed any attachments.
“Angel, I don’t know if I could handle making love to you, only to have you disappear on me again. I don’t think I could take it…”
“I won’t disappear, Willow. I promise. Give yourself to me… Show me that you trust me.”
< Where are these words coming from? What on earth am I saying to her…? Trust me? Why on earth should she trust me? I’ve done nothing, I’ve given her no reason to trust me, and now I’m trying to convince her to let me make love to her? Shut up, Dead-Boy! Quit saying these things… get your raging vampire hormones under control… >
“Angel, no! I can’t let you do this to me,” she pulled herself out of this grasp and crumpled in a small heap next to him on the couch.
Seeing her vulnerable form next to him, Angel forced back his feelings of lust.
“Jesus, Willow, I’m so sorry…” his words were soft and tender, “It seems like every time I try to make things better for you, I just make it worse. But I’m not leaving. I’m not going to make it worse by leaving you alone.”
Willow whimpered next to him as his hand gently rubbed her back.
“You’re not going away?” she whispered.
“No… Not even if you ask me to. I don’t want to be anyplace other than right here.”
These words meant more to Willow than anything else he could have said to her. Through all the years that she had known him, he always seemed to disappear. But, for the most part, he hadn’t lied to her, either. If he said he wasn’t going to leave, that he didn’t want to leave, he meant it.
Feeling empowered, emboldened, she lifted herself up to face Angel.
“One kiss and you turn me back into a simpering seventeen year old…”
“That was something a little more than one kiss, Tinkerbell.”
“You know what I mean…”, she blushed.
“Willow, you are a woman now. You are definitely not the same shy, innocent ingénue that you were five years ago. You are a very different Willow now… my Willow.”
Hearing those words made Willow shudder, and this time it was she, not Angel, who initiated the kiss. Taking his face in her hands, she drew herself towards his lips, pressing against them with an urgency not known to her before now. Her tongue circled with his, dancing together in a hot, wet embrace. His arms snaked around her small back, crushing her body tightly against his. Angel pulled them up off of the couch, clutching her small body before gently setting her feet on the ground.
“Willow, we really shouldn’t do this…”
“Would you make up your mind? You want me, you don’t want me, you want me, then you don’t again… which is it?”
“It’s not as simple as that and you know it. I’ve been here for twenty minutes. We both need time to think about what’s going on here, and what we’re doing.”
Taking her hands, he pulled her back down onto the couch, “Sit back down her with me and let’s talk about this…”
“I don’t want to talk about it, Angel. For once in my life, I want to throw caution to the wind and make love to the man I’ve been dreaming of since I was sixteen.”
“You’ve been dreaming of an illusion, Willow. You said it yourself… ‘older, dark, sexy, mystery man’… You’ve created this fantasy person… someone that’s not me.”
“You’re not older? Dark and sexy? A mystery?”
Angel couldn’t stop the chuckle that escaped his lips.
“Willow, I’m a bloodsucking vampire… a demon.”
“Angelus is the bloodsucking vampire, not you.”
“I am, Willow… I’m not human. You were there, you saw it. You know what I am…”
“And I still want you anyway. God, look at me… I’m begging you to have sex with me… how attractive is that?”
“It’s very attractive, Willow. No one has wanted me for a very long time. Please, don’t think I’m not flattered, or that I’m not attracted to you… It’s just… Damn it, Willow, you deserve so much more that what I have to offer you. You know that there is no future in this… we can’t be together. You deserve a man that can be there for you every minute of every day. Someone human. Someone deserving…”
“I deserve a night of happiness with you. It’s the least you can do…”
< Great, Willow… pull the guilt card… you sure know how to suck ‘em in, Rosenberg, you idiot… >
“Angel, forget I said that. The last thing I want is for you to sleep with me because I made you feel guilty… maybe you should go… maybe we should both forget that this night ever happened…”
“I can’t forget this night ever happened… I don’t want to. And neither do you…”
“Oh yes, I do… This is pathetic. You show up and I’m reduced to begging you to sleep with me. Could this be anymore humiliating?”
“Willow, stop it!”
Willow stopped rambling as Angel’s harsh tone cut through the air.
“You are not pathetic… I’m the one that’s been lurking on your balcony for five years. What could be more pathetic than that? I stand outside your doors watching you, wanting nothing more than to be able to come inside, and see you, and that dazzling smile of yours, and feel the love and acceptance that you’ve always shown me… the love and acceptance that no one has ever shown me except you…”
“You did know! You liar! You’ve been acting like it’s such a shock to you, and you just said it yourself. You knew that I loved you!”
“Willow, not that kind of love… the friendship kind of love. You’ve always given that to me… no matter what, back when Buffy first came to the Hellmouth… since the first day you met me, you’ve trusted me, and you’ve accepted me for what I am, and you never questioned it, not once, and God knows, I’ve given you plenty of reasons to take that back. Jesus, you invited me into your house tonight without a moment’s hesitation. No one has ever done that before… no one that’s ever known what I am, anyway… And now you’re asking for the ultimate… you want me to make love to you. Willow, that’s incredible… that you would even consider allowing me to get that close to you, to allow me to touch you in that way, to bless me with that gift… it’s just too much for you to give me. I don’t deserve it… I want it, Willow… more than anything, but I just don’t deserve it. I don’t even deserve your friendship, much less your love…”
“You are way too into self-flagellation. If I want you, and you want me, why can’t we just accept that, and go with it? I don’t give a damn about what happens tomorrow. The only thing that’s important to me right now is the fact that you are here, and you’re my friend, and I love you and want to be as close to you as I possibly can. For once, can’t you just act on impulse and be with me?”
“I acted on impulse with Buffy, and look what happened…”
“But you know as well as I do that can’t happen again. Don’t hide behind that curse as an excuse. Do you want me?”
“I do, Willow… I want you… but…”
Willow scooted closer to him on the couch until their legs were touching.
“Angel, do you want me?”
She leaned her face in closer to his, her eyes peering into his soul.
“I… I want you…”
“Then make love to me…” her voice was growing softer with each word.
She pressed her lips to his, throwing herself into the kiss, until he gave in to her. He pulled away, shaking his head slowly, a small smile playing on his lips. He scooped her into his arms, rising from the couch.
“To Hell with the rest of the world, Tinkerbell… tonight, it’s just you and me…”
“Do you need an invitation into the bedroom, too?” she giggled.
Throwing his head back in an easy laugh, “I don’t need anything but you.”
He carried her into the bedroom, and tossed her on the bed, pausing only to remove his leather jacket before jumping on top of her, his knees resting on the bed as he straddled her body.
“Have you done this before, Willow?”
She offered him a seductive smirk, “I’m not that innocent, Angel. I do have a little experience under my belt…”
Angel laughed again, and began unbuckling the leather strap laced through the loops of her jeans, “Under your belt, indeed…”
He whipped the belt through the loops and tossed it aside. Slowly he popped open the button fly on her jeans and pulled her shirt loose, before reaching up to casually begin unbuttoning it. He spread the shirt open and paused to admire the woman lying beneath him.
She was nearly breathless with anticipation as he leaned over to kiss her, prying her eager mouth open with his tongue, relishing in the fire hidden just beneath the surface of his red-haired beauty. His hands rested lightly on her hips, sliding up to massage her flat stomach before moving further along to cup her breasts. Through the silk material of her bra, he slowly kneaded her in his hands, softly pinching her hardening nipples between his fingers.
Willow moaned against his mouth, and he became painfully aware of the erection pressing against his own jeans. He pulled her up into his arms and pushed her shirt back off of her shoulders. She allowed it to slide easily from her body. He slid one bra strap off of her shoulder, following its path with his tongue. As he freed one of her breasts, the cold air, followed by Angel’s cold hand sent a jolt of energy through her body, causing her to arch against his body, pressing her pelvis against his. Willow felt his hardness pressing against her, and began fumbling with the buttons on his jeans.
Gingerly sliding a hand underneath his tee shirt, she came in contact with the smooth, cool skin of his stomach. She slid her hand underneath the elastic band of his boxers, wrapping her fingers around his manhood. Angel jumped in her hand, growing harder by the second. Willow pulled him free from the confines of his pants and massaged his length.
As she continued her beautiful torment, Angel cupped her face in his hands, kissing her with all his worth, his tongue plunging into the depths of her wet, eager mouth giving her a small hint of things to come.
“Angel?” she whimpered against his mouth.
When he ignored her, continuing his assault on her lips, she asked again, “Angel?”
“What? What’s wrong?” he asked.
“Clothes… take them off…”
Angel laughed and pulled his tee shirt over his head, tossing it to the floor. He stood from the bed and kicked off his black leather boots before slowly removing his jeans, teasing her. Willow reached around behind herself to release the clasp on her bra.
Angel startled her by jumping on the bed and grabbing her hand away.
“No, let me…”
He pushed Willow back against the bed, pinning her hands above her head with one hand as the other traced its way along her body, slowly, tortuously, gliding along her arm, and across her chest, blazing a trail between her breasts, and down her stomach. He tugged at her jeans as she lifted her hips to allow him to slide them off of her body. He threw them into the growing pile on the floor, and joined Willow on the bed, lying beside her. In one swift move, he flipped her over onto her stomach. Planting small wet kisses along her shoulder blades, he unhooked her bra, kissing every inch of her skin.
Sliding his hands along her body, his hands came to rest upon her hips. Caressing her small body, he moved down to knead her long legs. Willow sighed contentedly as all signs of tension began to leave her body.
“My intention is *not* to make you fall asleep, Will…” he whispered, beginning to massage her inner thighs.
Willow’s stomach jumped in response to Angel’s hands moving closer to her core. Almost unconsciously, she spread her legs further apart.
Angel’s fingers dipped between her legs, coming in contact with the hot, wetness beginning to seep through her silk panties. Suddenly, he plunged one finger between the innermost folds of her labia, forcing the silky material into her shuddering body.
Willow bit down on her lower lip, desperately trying to fight back the intense feelings that Angel was causing to wash over her body. The tenuous grip on reality that she had was slipping away. She didn’t want to let the vampire know how badly she wanted him, needed him, after all these years.
But her wetness betrayed her. Angel leaned into her ear, growling lightly, “Willow, you can’t hide from me… Don’t hold back…” he told her, continuing to plunge his finger slowly inside her.
“Tell me what you want…” he continued to coo into her ear, “I can make this take all night… Tell me how you want me to touch you…”
Willow lost the minute grip she had on her control, and began to murmur softly against her pillow.
“I can’t hear you, Tinkerbell…” Angel teased her, his voice wavering slightly behind his growl as his own feelings of desire began to plague him, “Get your face out of that pillow, and tell me what you want me to do to you…”
Moving her thighs further apart, Willow arched her back, lifting her bottom off the bed, trying to force Angel’s finger further inside her.
“I can’t hear you,” he continued to torment her, slowing the actions of his single finger, refusing to give her more than he already was until Willow gave in to his instructions.
“God, Angel…” her voice was still muffled by the pillow.
Suddenly, Angel removed his finger from her core, and flipped her over onto her back.
Wild-eyed, confused, Willow glared into the face of a very amused, aroused Angel. Kneeling on the bed, he sank back onto his heels, and, with an evil smirk, he let his tongue slide out of his mouth, and began to lick her juices off his finger, relishing the tastes like a small boy with an ice cream cone.
Seeing his vulgar display, Willow lost it, complying with his cruel wishes.
“I want you inside of me, Angel…”
“Not good enough, Willow…” he snickered, “I know you have a better vocabulary than that…”
“Evil…” Willow gritted her teeth, watched as he sucked his entire finger into his mouth, before removing the digit, smacking his lips together.
“Damn you, Angel…”
“I want you to…”
“C’mon, Willow… you can say it…”
The demon couldn’t take control again, but she knew that it still lurked beneath his surface. It didn’t scare her, it excited her, and she knew it excited him.
“Fuck me, Angel…” she growled at him, growing hotter and wetter by the second.
“That’s more like it…”
Angel fell across her body, allowing her the contact she desperately desired. Willow’s eyelids fluttered shut, her chest rising and falling with each labored breath. His fingers began tracing a line around the soft, underside of her breasts, teasing her. His mouth closed around one of her nipples, his teeth tenderly clamped down of the hard little nub before using breath that he didn’t need and sucking it hard into his mouth.
Willow gasped, clutching onto his back, her nails digging into his cool, hard skin.
Removing his mouth from her breast, he roughly squeezed both of her orbs in his hands.
“No intercourse just yet, Willow… there are so many other ways that I can please you…”
He moved his way down her body, kissing a trail from her breasts to her stomach, stopping at the edge of her panties. Willow lifted her hips off the bed, allowing Angel to easily finishing stripping her. He kneeled between her legs, using his hands to push her knees further apart. Willow was now completely naked lying on the bed, her knees in the air, as Angel sat back on his heels to admire this woman in front of him.
“Angel… why are you staring at me?” She shifted uncomfortably beneath his gaze.
“Don’t be embarrassed in front of me, Tinkerbell,” he admonished her with a twinkle in his eyes, “You are extraordinarily beautiful. I’m just admiring what an incredible woman you’ve become…”
He placed his hands on her knees, squeezing gently, before sliding them up her thighs. Using his thumbs, the carefully spread her outer lips, exposing all of her innermost secrets to him. Using one hand to hold her open, his other thumb began to rub small circles just inside her tender folds. Refusing to remove his eyes from hers, he watched her face begin to contort with moans of pleasure. She was growing closer, and closer to her orgasm with each caress of his thumb.
Quickly dipping his head between her legs, his mouth completely covered her vagina, and he plunged his tongue deep inside her.
Willow bucked underneath him, crying out, as the waves of her orgasm crashed over her. Angel continued to torture her with his tongue, lapping up every drop of her juices as the ripples of ecstasy began to subside.
Angel moved back up to lie beside her, gathering her in his arms. He kissed her passionately, allowing her to taste herself on his lips.
“Thank you, Angel…”
“Don’t thank me yet… I’m far from finished with you,” he chuckled softly against her hair, “I just thought I’d give you a minute to recover.”
“That’s very kind of you… being a vampire and all,” she taunted.
“A vampire AND a gentleman…”
Angel shifted beside her on the bed, his own feelings of desire bubbling to the surface. Willow smiled to herself, knowing Angel needed his own release. Almost casually, she pushed him over onto his back, allowing her hands to easily glide across his hard chest. Nuzzling against his neck, she opened her mouth, wetly suckling the tender, cool skin of his throat. Angel moaned loudly, inciting Willow to increase the pressure against his jugular. Knowing full well from years of studying vampires that they prone to oral fetishes, both from being on the giving end as well as the receiving, she bit down hard, not drawing blood, but hard enough to leave deep teeth marks and a glorious, painful bruise that she knew would be gone in minutes.
Angel screamed out, shocked and completely aroused by his formerly timid Willow’s dangerous action. Forcing himself back into control, he roughly grabbed her face, pulling it to his own, demanding that her eyes meet his.
“Don’t do that, Willow…”
“You liked it, didn’t you? That scream wasn’t because you hated what I did…”
“I didn’t hate it… but you don’t understand how closely you’ve come to making this a very deadly game for you…”
“You could never hurt me…”
“Willow,” he glared at her with his dark, piercing eyes, “You don’t know what I’m capable of… I don’t know what I’m capable of.”
Willow tried to pull out of his grasp.
“If we cross that line, you may not make it back, Willow. I love you too much to allow that to happen…”
Embarrassed by the anger that she had evoked from him, she squirmed away.
He rolled over on top of her, pinning her arms above her head as she scrambled to get away.
“Will… I’m not mad at you. I still want you very, very badly,” For emphasis, he ground his pelvis against her, showing her the hard evidence of his desire.
“Angel, I… I’m sorry…”
“I don’t need that type of foreplay to make love to you. I can, and will, and want to make you come over and over and over again. I am burning up for you… you know that, right? You know how badly I want you, don’t you…?”
“I-I just want you to feel what I’m feeling…”
“I do, Willow… I don’t need bloodshed to reach orgasm. I just need you.”
Angel kissed Willow roughly, his tongue invading her mouth before she could reply. He released his grip on her hands and they immediately fell to his waist, hugging him tightly against her. Crushing his hips against her small body, she instinctively wrapped her legs around his thighs. Through his soft, black cotton boxers, she could feel his hardness pressing against her fiery, drenched core. Mimicking the actions to follow, he thrust against her, teasing her with his blade.
Her hands glided to his hips, pushing the boxers down over his tight behind. When they refused to move any further, she lifted herself up onto her elbows trying to see why.
“They’re hung up, Tinkerbell…” The delightful twinkle had returned to his eyes, replacing the dark glare from before.
Willow giggled as Angel stood from the bed, removing the last vestiges of his clothing. He quickly climbed back onto the bed with his Willow. Once again kneeling between her legs, he draped himself over her body, his face hovering inches above hers. He kissed her forehead, her eyelids, and her cheeks. He lowered his head slightly and kissed her exposed throat, savoring the pulsing of the hot blood coursing just below the surface. He kissed her delicate chin before crushing his swollen lips against hers.
“My Willow,” he murmured against her mouth.
In a lofty show of his manliness, he thrust his pelvis against her, sliding his penis along her wet slit, refusing to enter her until he was ready, and until she was begging.
“My Willow…” The murmur turned into a deep, bestial growl.
“Angel, please…” Willow writhed on the bed beneath him, pleading with him to take her.
“What to you want, Willow?” he commanded.
“You, Angel!” she howled the words, feeling the moisture from her between her legs seeping onto the sheets below her.
He bruised her lips with his own once again.
“Me what?” he asked.
“I want you inside of me,” she cried through her clenched teeth, “I want you inside of me right now, Angel…Right now!”
Abandoning his torment, Angel lowered his hand between their two bodies and quickly plunged two fingers into her weeping center. Drawing the moisture from her body, he grasped his penis in his strong hand and lubricated himself with her nectar, before guiding the tip to her entrance.
He slid himself inside a couple of inches before pausing to lower himself over her body, supporting his weight on his hands, not allowing himself to fall on top of her so that he could watch her body underneath him.
With small, intense thrusts he began moving inside her, pulling out before slipping further inside of her, teasing her.
“Angel, damn it, cut that out…” Willow begged.
Shifting his weight onto his elbows, he thrust inside her with his full length, forcing a cry out of Willow that rocked Angel to his core.
Abandoning all thoughts of taking it any more slowly than he had, Angel began to thrust inside her with everything that he was worth. Willow wrapped her legs tightly around his body, her hips rising off the bed to meet his. His hands found hers, and their fingers intertwined, desperately clutching together. The penetration grew more urgent as his orgasm neared.
Suddenly, he held back, slowing the pace ever so slightly, knowing that this time, Willow wouldn’t object. The initial urgency passed, Willow having already enjoyed her first climax, in no rush for her second, and Angel, with incredible vampiric patience, prolonging the experience, and they developed an easy rhythm. Angel thrust deep inside her body, incoherent words of love falling from his lips as she writhed in joy beneath him.
Angel’s soul wouldn’t allow him to rush this for Willow. Every time he felt his climax growing near, he forced the feelings back, enjoying Willow, letting her control the pace. For her part, she blissfully lost herself in Angel. In her mind, they weren’t two separate beings, they were one. What Angel felt, she felt. If she died at that moment, she knew that she would have no regrets.
Their lovemaking continued, Angel maintaining his delicious torment of her body. Willow slowly felt her orgasm growing as he slightly quickened his thrusts, sensing Willow’s swelling need. Angel felt as if he continued to grow inside of her, his desire blinding as beads of unearthly sweat formed on his brow. Willow’s silent anguish began to spill from her lips—as she grew closer to her climax, she grew louder, driving Angel crazy as the formerly quiet, shy hacker began moaning underneath him. He untangled his fingers from one of her hands and lowered it between their two bodies.
Resting in the soft, red nest of curls, his thumb located the sensitive nub of her clitoris, and rubbed fiercely, drawing her orgasm out of her, continuing to thrust deep inside of her womb, the pace increasing as his own orgasm began to rumble deep in the pit of his stomach. He couldn’t believe the amazing amount of wetness he found. Willow was on fire as she ruptured. She screamed, clawing at his chest, lost, trembling violently underneath her lover. Her body convulsed, bucking hard against Angel, grinding herself against him. Angel lost his battle with his own body and he brutally began thrusting inside her body with inhuman speed. Willow’s own orgasm seemed to last forever, driving Angel further into his oblivion. With one last violent thrust, a primal scream tore from his throat as his orgasm tore through his body, firing into the depths of Willow’s spent body.
Willow held him tighter between her quivering legs, milking him as his thrusts slowed, then stopped, with a final, feral cry. He fell on top of her, exhausted. For all his vampiric strength, his Willow had taken him to the edge and beyond. Willow snaked her arms around his waist, hugging him to her body, their glistening sweat forming a sticky barrier between their bodies.
After a few moments of breath catching, Angel pulled himself up to look into her eyes. He smoothed a few strands of damp hair out of her face.
“You are incredible, Tinkerbell,” he said with a slow, sensual smirk.
“Not so bad yourself, for an old guy…” Her breaths were beginning to slow as she regained control of her senses.
He carefully lifted her chin to seize her lips with his own. A slow, tender loving kiss followed, deepening as the two new lovers sought to show the other the intensity of their feelings, as her hands caressed the small of his back, drifting downwards to glide across his buttocks.
“Mmm…” he purred, pulling back, “You’re going to stir up trouble all over again, young lady…”
“You can recharge that quickly?” she inquired, a hopeful gleam in her eye.
Angel laughed, his dark eyes continuing to twinkle in a way that she had never seen before, “Not that quickly, dearest…”
“Like I could move, anyway… two hundred fifty years of practice has taught you well, grasshopper…”
“Practice has nothing to do with it… it was all you. I wanted to make this experience something you won’t soon forget…” he caressed the side of her face with his fingers.
“Soon forget? Angel, I’ll never forget this night… ever,” she stated emphatically, “I love you.”
“And I, you, Willow.”
Angel rolled over to recline next to her on the bed.
< Snuggles or no snuggles? > Willow thought to herself. < Is he a ‘roll-over-and-go-to-sleep’ guy? >
As if hearing her voice inside his head, he extended his hand to her, beckoning her into his arms.
“C’mere,” he instructed.
Willow obediently settled into his arms, her head resting on his strong shoulder. She sighed happily, as his fingers gently tickled her arm.
Gradually, the soft strumming of his fingers sent her blissfully drifting off into sleep.
She awoke with a start.
It had been a dream, hadn’t it? Angel hadn’t really shown up on her balcony and make love to her.
He had, and his arms were still wrapped around her.
He felt her jump as she awakened, and instinctively held her tighter.
“Hey, sleepyhead,” he greeted her with a kiss on the top of her head.
“Angel… how long have I been asleep?”
“Just an hour or so… go back to sleep, Tinkerbell. I told you that I’m not going anywhere, and I won’t.”
“The sunlight, Angel… what time is it?”
“It’s 4:30… and you have one tiny window in this bedroom that I’ve already covered up. I’m not going to turn to dust on you.”
Willow stretched, spreading out beside him, “I don’t want to sleep anymore. I’ll sleep during the day with you.”
“Do you sleep at night ever? Watching you over the years, no matter what time of night I came to see you, you’ve always been awake.”
“Force of habit? Sleeping during the day is safe… sleeping at night leaves yourself vulnerable.”
Angel sighed, “Willow, I wish you had never had to learn the things you know. I wish you had been able to live your whole life without knowing the evil that lurks among us.”
“Not me… Angel, that would have meant never knowing Buffy, and Giles… and you. Buffy taught me so much. All my life, I was an outcast. I was the kid in school that the other kids teased. Xander and Jesse were my only friends, and they were considered just as weird as me. Buffy made me realize that there is nothing wrong with being left of center. Buffy was one of the first people that loved me for being me… And Giles… he was such an incredible influence on me. He treated me like an adult, even when I was nothing more than a child. Giles refused to accept my insecurities, and showed me that intelligence was something to be proud of. God, even Cordelia, my most-hated tormentor, became one of my closest and dearest friends. Having that love, that acceptance from my friends gave me the confidence and courage I needed to grow up. And you… Angel, you’ve changed my life in so many ways, some bad, some good… I wouldn’t change any of it.”
“Willow, what did any of us ever do to deserve you?” Angel asked tenderly, “You gave all of us so much more than we ever gave you. I have no doubt that Buffy wouldn’t be alive right now if it weren’t for your friendship. Slayers don’t live long… Buffy has made it far longer than any of the others. You are responsible for that, in a big way. Most slayers don’t have much to live for, outside of slaying. Her friends, and her family, have given her something else to fight for, a more personal reason to stay alive. I still care for Buffy… I always will, and I thank you for keeping her alive…”
“Angel, I’m not…”
“Shhh… I’m not finished. Jenny lived on in you. Buffy was Giles’ charge, but you were the one that he was most proud of. Jenny’s protégé. You carried on the work that she was doing, and I know that every time Giles saw you, he saw a little bit of Jenny. You helped him through the pain I caused him more than you’ll ever know…”
Tears began to stream down Willow’s face, and Angel quickly kissed them away.
“And, me… Willow, we really need to talk about what you did for me…”
“Angel, we don’t have to…” she sniffled.
“Yes, we do. I need you to talk to me about what happened. You need to talk about it… and I need to talk to you. It seems so long ago, doesn’t it?”
Willow simply nodded her head in agreement, the tears still falling down her cheeks.
“I should’ve been there, Willow… of all the things I regret in my life, leaving you to deal with what happened in Hell all by yourself is the biggest mistake I ever made.”
“You’re right, Angel,” she hissed through her tears, “You should have been there. I needed you.”
“I’m so sorry.”
He took her in his arms and let her cry, knowing that these were tears that she should have been allowed to shed with him years ago. The quiet tears grew into a wail, as years of pent-up fears and anger swallowed her. Angel could only rock her in his arms, softly smoothing her hair.
Gradually, her sobs subsided, and he continued.
“You got me out of Hell. I can’t believe I never realized the love that it must have taken for you to be able to do that. You’re the strongest person I know, stronger than Buffy, and much stronger than me. I don’t know if I could have done what you did… no matter how much love I felt.”
“I needed you,” she repeated. “How could you let me down like that? I know that you wanted to die for the things that Angelus did, but that wasn’t you, Angel. THAT WASN’T YOU! But it was you that left me behind, it was you that never once came to me to tell me that you, at the very least, knew the sacrifices that I had made to help you. That you at least understood what I had been through.”
She pulled herself out of his arms, and jumped out of the bed, pulling the sheet with her, wrapping it around her naked body.
“NO! No, Angel, just SHUT UP! For FIVE years, I’ve had no one to talk to about this. I couldn’t share what I had done with ANYBODY! I rescued you from Hell and you disappeared! I never told anyone that I brought you back! ANYONE! Not Buffy, not Giles, not Xander! I’ve kept this all inside for YEARS, and you want to tell me that you know how I feel?” She was wailing again, with great sobs that wreaked her entire body.
“Nobody but me EVER knew that you were alive! I couldn’t tell Buffy!” She was crying so hard that she could barely breath, but she was somehow managing to spit the words at him. “How could I tell Buffy that I brought you back only to have you disappear! HOW? I was so ashamed and embarrassed… I had done this thing, and you left. How could you do that to me?” she sobbed.
Her despair took over her entire body, and she fell to the floor, unable to support herself any longer. Her grief, and her anger became too much to bear.
Angel sat on the bed, in shock, not knowing how to handle this outburst. His heart was breaking. He had damaged her far worse than he had ever imagined.
He leapt from the bed and attempted to cradle her in his arms, blood tears streaming down his own face.
“NO, damn you… Don’t you touch me!” she gasped for breath, “DON’T YOU DARE!”
“Willow, please…” he pleaded, “Please let me help you now. I know it’s too little, far too late, but please let me help you with this. Tell me how I can make this better!”
“YOU CAN’T…THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT!” she screamed at him, gulping for air.
“You’re right, Willow, this is all my fault.”
He took her shoulders in his grasp, and shook her violently. Her head fell forward as if her neck had snapped, unable to hold it up any longer.
“It’s all my fault, Willow, and I’m sorry… but I’m not leaving you now. Yell and scream and hit me if you have to, but I’m not leaving you.”
Willow fell forward into his arms, allowing him to hold her in a harsh embrace.
“I’m not leaving you, Willow, I’m not,” he whispered over and over into her ear.
“I’m not leaving you…”
Sitting in the floor, in his arms, she cried herself to sleep. Angel lifted her from the floor, and tucked her into the bed. Angel needed to think. The sun was beginning to rise, and Angel knew that he was now trapped in this bedroom until sunset. Sinking into a dark corner, he held his head in his hands and cried softly, not wanting to wake the sleeping Willow.
He thought back over the past five years since Willow had rescued him. Rescued in more ways than one. First was the incredible restoring of his soul. Willow had attempted the ritual twice, the first time failing miserably as Angelus’s peons and Dru had almost killed her. < Angelus, not me… Angelus >
The second time, she succeeded. Just a few minutes too late, but she couldn’t help that. After the damage he inflicted the first time, she shouldn’t have even tried it again. But, in studying the curse for the second attempt, she had uncovered its flaw. She found the way to restore his soul permanently. Thanks to the shy, young, quiet hacker, the demon would never again have control of his soul. And, lastly, but certainly not least, she had launched her pure, innocent soul into Hell to rescue him. She had no idea what awaited her, no idea the pain it could cause, or the damage that could be done.
She not only rescued him from Hell, she rescued his faith in humanity. One little person. One tiny little redhead with her head in the clouds and enough enthusiasm to fill the universe. Little Willow that had been teased, and pushed around, and make fun of all her life had done something that no one else in the history of the world had ever done, could ever do. And she had done it all by herself, and kept the secret all by herself.
Angel damned himself a thousand times for what he did to her. She hadn’t done it expecting his gratitude, his undying love, or even his thanks. She could never be that selfish. That wasn’t Willow. She had very simply done it out of love. Not for love, but out of love. Because she loved him, a love so simple and pure that she hadn’t even thought about the consequences of seeing Hell before she did it.
He had never shown her his appreciation, never shown her what it meant to him. He hadn’t forgotten, he hadn’t overlooked the great sacrifice she made. He had thought about it over the years, analyzed it, dissected it, and he had known that she did it out of love. But not love for him, love for her best friend Buffy. He had foolishly thought that Willow did it to bring him back to Buffy. Why he had never considered the possibility that she truly loved him, he didn’t know. She loved Xander, she loved Oz. Loved Angel? The thought never seriously crossed his mind.
He felt that he had been a study in selfishness. Even if he had never considered her feelings for him, he should have considered what she was going through.
But he had disappeared, closed himself off to those around him, those that had been his friends. He had felt a sense of duty to all of them. Buffy, and Giles were all right on there own, wherever that was. He had fooled himself into thinking that all he needed to do was check on their physical well being. He never stopped to consider the emotional damage that had been done to all of them. Xander, Willow, and Cordelia were safe in college. Vampires could hover closely, but couldn’t allow the kill. Missing college kids would stir up too much trouble, draw too much attention. So, Angel knew, as long as they were still in school, and living well within the confines of the college campuses, they would be fine. Oz, he worried about. He, too, was in Los Angeles with Xander and Cordelia, although not associating with them very often. He was playing with a band, hanging out in dank, dark bars until the wee hours of the morning, exactly the types of places that vampires love. He was a smart kid, though, not to mention the fact that he was a werewolf. The vampires stayed away from Oz, and he never went looking for them.
Angel had hated that Willow went so far away from the rest of them. He had to travel all the way across the country to see her, moving in dark, dreary boxcars under the cover of night. He had considered joining the twentieth century and traveling by air, but the risk was too great. Delays, traveling against the light in a place where he couldn’t possibly escape. But he had to check on little Willow.
She took care of herself, though, as Angel had seen over the years. She took the necessary precautions. He had watched her enter her apartment after a night out with friends. She walked in the door, and, almost comically, had begun withdrawing hidden stakes from her clothing, a trick she had learned from Buffy. Opening her purse, she had removed a huge cross, and a water gun that Angel knew had been filled with holy water. She was fine, he told himself… Just fine. Stupid… God, he had been so stupid.
Delicate had always been one of the first words to form in his mind when he thought of Willow. If someone had taken her in their hands and squeezed, he could almost imagine her disappearing, leaving behind only the crumpled, crushed up petals of some small red flower.
Physically… physically weak. But she had proved him wrong in that respect time and time again. She fought along side Buffy many times, never showing fear, never backing off. She had be to Hell, and came out without a scar… physically.
Angel mentally berated himself. How could it have never occurred to him that she might be crumbling on the inside?
Maybe he didn’t want to see it. Had he not wanted to feel the responsibility of taking care of Willow, inside and out? Many times, he felt he couldn’t even be responsible for himself. After Angelus had shown his ugly head again, Angel hadn’t felt that he deserved the love, or the acceptance of anyone. How could he not realize that Willow needed him? That this delicate flower needed nurturing?
Angel released a pent-up sigh, and stood from his hiding place in the corner. Willow hated him, and he deserved it. He picked through the pile of clothes on the floor, and began to get dressed. He couldn’t go anywhere. He had promised and he wasn’t going to break any more promises to her. If she hated him, and wanted to stake him, he wouldn’t try to sway her. No more broken promises, spoken or otherwise.
He sat on the edge of her bed, and began to pull on his boots, when he realized Willow was beginning to stir. Glancing at the clock, he realized that she had been asleep for hours. It was almost noon. Frozen, he couldn’t move, waiting for Willow to make the first move.
“Angel?” she asked in a timid whisper, “You’re… you’re leaving?”
His heart broke once again as he realized what it must have looked like to her to see him sitting dressed, on the edge of her bed.
“Of course not, Willow. I told you I wasn’t, and I’m not going to.”
“Why are you dressed?” Her voice betrayed her true feelings… she was still terrified that he was going away from her.
“I thought… I just… I figured that seeing me naked wasn’t something you’d be particularly interested in right now.” His voice was low and dark, matching his mood.
Willow scooted down to the edge of the bed, holding the sheet against her body. She timidly laid her body against Angel’s back, releasing a long sigh.
“Angel, I’m sorry…”
“What on earth are you sorry for… I’m the bastard that hurt you so bad…”
“Angel, I’m really, really over it…”
“No, you’re not… that’s pretty obvious, Willow.”
“You surprised me… this has been a pretty eventful past few hours.”
“That it has…”
“Seriously, Angel, I’m sorry I lost it. I was angry with you, and I was hurt, and I guess I just had some things that I needed to say. I wish I had had more time to think about it…”
“You said exactly what you meant to say, and exactly what you needed to say… I deserved hearing all of it, and probably much more…”
Willow pulled herself away from Angel, and he turned on the bed to gaze at her, lingering, brushing her red hair away from her face.
“What now, Willow? Where do we go from here?”
“No more deep discussions for now, OK? You need to sleep… I need more sleep… maybe, later, we could… um…”
Angel laughed, knowing what her “um” signified.
“Tinkerbell, we can um all you like…”
“Sleep first… I’m still exhausted.”
She climbed back towards her pillow, nestling into the comfort of the covers. Angel walked around the side of the bed and started to lie down beside her.
“Wouldn’t you be more comfortable without all those clothes?”
Angel quickly pulled
his tee shirt back over his head and removed his jeans. Wearing only
his boxers, he climbed into the bed beside her. Willow turned her
back to him, lying on her side. He snuggled in beside her, spooning
her with his body. Her fingers entwined with his, holding them to
her heart, and they slept.
Angel awoke hours later to an empty bed. Long past sunset, he found Willow in the kitchen, at the table eating a bowl of cereal. Her long legs were kicked up on the table, as she sat with a pensive look upon her face. Angel knew she was pondering the events of the past day, and he wondered if she was angry with him again, realizing the monster that she had invited into her bedroom, or if she was his Willow, his Tinkerbell, that loved him despite the pain he had caused. She was wearing only a long tee shirt that had risen a few inches beyond decency as she shifted her legs. Angel’s mind, while contemplating her emotional state of being, appreciated her physical state of being.
He cleared his throat, alerting her to his presence.
“Sleep well?” she asked, a small grin playing on her lips.
“Like a baby…”
“Why do people say that?” She scrunched her nose at him. “Babies fuss and cry all night long…”
He put his arms around her, hugging her back to his chest, relieved that she didn’t appear to be sorry for anything that had happened.
“I slept very well in your bed…”
“Good… are you hungry?”
Met with Angel’s silence, she realized what she had asked.
“OK, so that was a stupid question…”
“I am hungry, Willow. It wasn’t a stupid question. I-I…damn. I need to feed…”
Startled, she asked, “You don’t…?”
“No, of course not… I’m still the same old Angel.”
“Angel, what do you drink? I mean, Buffy never told me, and I never asked, and it’s really none of my business, is it?” She blurted at him.
“Willow, I’m going
to do something that I’ve never done in front of anyone else, ever.
Not even Buffy…
I mean, she knew… but I could never do it in front of her… it’s embarrassing.”
“What, Angel?” She was confused.
“I…I hadn’t planned on staying here this long… I need to make a call. Can I use your phone?”
“Yes, of course.”
Willow watched Angel pick up the phone and dial a number from memory. After a few moments of hushed conversation, he hung up the phone, and sat across from her at the table.
“Angel, you just called and ordered blood like you were ordering a pizza…”
He chuckled at her comparison.
“Yeah, well, you know…”
“It’s all right, Angel. You have to eat, too…”
“When it gets here, would it be OK if you didn’t watch me feed?”
“I thought that you just told me that you were going to let me see what you had never let anyone else see.”
“Willow, it’s grotesque… I change when I feed. I don’t want you to see me like that,” he stated grimly.
“You put your game face on?”
“I don’t exactly put it on, Tinkerbell… it just sort of happens.”
“Whatever… you don’t have to be embarrassed in front of me. I’ve always been curious… I want to watch.”
“No… please, Willow. Let me be alone when I do this.”
Willow didn’t answer him, and continued eating her cereal.
“Willow? C’mon, don’t be mad at me… You don’t seriously want to watch me drink blood, do you? I mean, why? Why would you want to see something that disgusting?”
“Do you find it gross that I’m sitting here eating this?” she shoved the bowl under his nose, “I know you find this disgusting and unnatural, yet you’re sitting here talking to me as if it’s the most natural thing on Earth…”
“It’s a little different, Tink… I used to eat food, too, you know… I still can, if need be. Watching you eat food is not unnatural to me. Drinking blood is unnatural… to me… Even after 250 years. I don’t want you to see that.”
“Angel… I just… I just want you to feel comfortable around me… I don’t want you to feel that you have to hide anything from me. I know what you are, and I except that, and I love you. I love all of you, demon and all…”
“You do NOT love the demon. Don’t ever forget what Angelus did. Angelus may never be able to gain control again, but he’s still inside of me. I thought that you learned that when you bit me.”
“When I bit you, Angel remained firmly in control… the only time that I saw any sign of Angelus was when you wanted me to talk dirty to you…”
“How do you know that Angel doesn’t have a kinky side?” he asked with a smirk.
“Whatever, it was very Angelus-like. And, you know what? I liked it, it turned me on. I may not be real comfortable with that sort of stuff… yet… but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the effect that it had on me…”
Angel hadn’t been ready to admit to Willow that he had a dark side when it came to sex. The love that he had made to Willow was beautiful and perfect, and he wouldn’t change one single second of it, but Angel also had a desire to play, sometimes, and sometimes when he played, it could become a little rough. Angel hadn’t had a chance to think about this with Willow… he hadn’t had a chance to think about anything with Willow. Rough sex? Willow, kinky? She seemed so innocent to him, no matter that she was already sexually experienced before Angel. He strongly suspected that the previous evening had been the first time anyone had really made love to her, and he wasn’t about to shock her by showing her his deviant side.
“Angel, I’m not saying that I want you to tie me up and spank me… tonight… but I’m not opposed to the idea of exploring different things with you…”
“Willow Rosenberg, you are making me blush now…”
Just then there was a knock on the door.
“That was quick,” Willow said.
“Vampires are quick… stay back and let me handle this.”
“You invited a vampire to my home?” Willow blurted.
“I’m not inviting him in… you don’t need to worry.”
Angel went to the door, returning a few minutes later holding a small cooler.
“Willow, I’d really prefer it if you didn’t watch me do this…”
“Angel, after the things we did together, I can’t believe you’re turning shy on me now.”
Angel sighed, and asked
her for a glass. She gave it to him, and watched as he opened the
cooler and pulled out a packet of blood. He carefully ripped the
bottom open, and let the red liquid run into the glass.
He popped the glass in her microwave, and turned it on low power for a minute.
He turned to study Willow, who had been intently studying Angel’s actions. He had a grim look on his face… Willow knew that he really didn’t want her to watch him feed.
“I, um… I’ll be in the living room when you’re finished…”
“I thought that you wanted to watch?” he asked.
“I… Angel… who am I to insist on watching you do something that you keep so private?”
“Willow… it’s not that I’m trying to hide something from you… it’s just… it’s not very pleasant to watch.”
The microwave beeped,
signaling the end of the warming. Willow stood and left the room.
A few minutes later, Angel joined Willow. Now that he had fed, he felt energized, renewed. Willow hadn’t even noticed him enter the room… he slunk in like a panther. She was reclining on the couch, her legs stretched across the cushions. Startled, she jumped when she realized Angel was standing next to the couch, a gleam in his eyes.
“So, do you do that on purpose?” he asked.
“That thing with your legs… stretching them out all naked and long like that… You were doing it at the kitchen table, too…”
“Like it?” Her green eyes shone seductively under her lashes as she flashed Angel one of her brightest smiles.
“Love it…” He picked up her legs and sat on the couch with her, draping her legs across his lap.
He began caressing her legs, massaging her calves, in his strong hands. Willow groaned, arching her legs in his hands.
“Oh, Angel…” she moaned.
“You,” he said, “have perfect feet.”
He moved his hands to her feet, taking one small foot in his hands. He kneaded it, bringing the foot to his mouth. He slowly sucked her pinkie toe in his mouth, at the same time running his hand swiftly along the length of her calf up to her thigh.
The action sent a wave of heat rushing through Willow’s body, and she could feel the moisture beginning to penetrate her panties.
Angel grinned up at her, his mouth still suckling her little toe, before moving to the next one. With the attention given to each toe, Angel’s hand continued stroking her leg, moving a little further up before moving back down, driving Willow mad with desire. She tried to rub her legs together, trying to give herself some relief from Angel’s sweet torment, but he was stronger. His one hand was easily able to spread her legs back apart. Willow whimpered in protest, desperately needing satisfaction.
Chuckling softly, Angel released his grip on her foot and placed it gently back in his lap. Willow began caressing his erection through his jeans with her feet. He grasped her ankles and pushed her feet off his lap and onto the couch so that she was lying on the couch with her knees in the air.
He stood from the couch and removed his jeans, leaving himself naked before Willow. He joined her again, kneeling between her legs, sitting back on his heels. Again, he grasped one of Willow’s feet in his hands, massaging her instep while taking her toes in his mouth. Divine pleasure coursed through her body as her other foot started massaging his crotch again, this time experiencing flesh against flesh. Angel moaned, involuntarily thrusting his pelvis forward. His lips left her toes and began a wet trail along the side of her foot, placing light, feathery kisses along the arch and her heel before stopping at her ankle, where he nipped at the delicate bone, and soft skin before continuing his journey. He lifted her leg high in the air, pausing to trace small, wet circles with his tongue on the back of her knee. Willow was moaning and whimpering, begging Angel for release.
He dropped her leg to his side, and placed his hands on her hips underneath her tee shirt.
“Are you ready, Tink? Do you want me now, or should I play a little longer…”
“No…” she moaned with labored breaths, “No more waiting… I want you now, Angel…”
Angel slid her panties down off her hips, and she raised her legs to aid him. She sat up slightly as he pulled her tee shirt off her head and tossed it over the back of the couch.
He stretched out over the top of her, relishing in the feeling of their naked flesh pressed together. As their lips met, Willow’s arms reached around his back, hugging him to her, before her fingers danced along his spine, down to his buttocks, where she caressed his firms cheeks, pressing his body against her own, feeling his hard erection pressing against her stomach.
Angel lowered himself and entered her in one quick thrust, lifting her hips off the couch as he did. Willow wrapped her legs around his body, as her hands caressed the firm muscles of his chest, running her fingertips across his hard nipples. Angel growled, lowering his mouth to cover hers in a hungry, wet kiss. He sneaked one hand between their bodies, rubbing her inflamed sphere with his thumb. Willow thrashed beneath him, her eyes clamped shut as she exploded beneath him.
Feeling Willow’s release, Angel thrust deeply and insatiably, releasing his seed into his Willow. Spent, he collapsed on top of her. Needing no breathe of his own, he delighted in the rise and fall of her chest against his.
A few minutes later, Angel pulled a blanket off the back of the couch and they cuddled together underneath it. Willow reclined against Angel’s body, absently strumming her fingers along the length of his arm.
“I think you should leave.”
“I-I think you need to leave for a while... to find out what you’re really feeling.”
“I don’t need to go anywhere to find out how I really feel, Willow. I love you.”
“Angel, no. Too much has happened in the last day. This is all way too sudden. I really want... need... you to go away, and give yourself time to decide if this is what you really want...”
“Willow,” he cut her off, “This is want I want... I have no doubts, none whatsoever...”
“Impossible. I love you so much, and I always have... I need to know that you really, really love me... that if I send you away, you willingly come back to me because you want to.”
“You’re crazy. We’ve already wasted too much time...”
“We’ve got plenty of time, Angel. Please, do this for me?”
“Is this want you really want, Willow? Do you really want me to leave you?”
“Ok...” he replied, kissing the top of her head.
Fifteen minutes later, he was dressed and standing by her door saying goodbye.
“How long do you want me to stay away? An hour, a week?”
“Long enough for you to think about us, and if this is really what you want.”
“I hate this, Tink. I’ve been out of your life for far too long...” he twirled a strand of her red hair between his fingers.
She pulled him down for a quick kiss before pushing him towards the door. Her eyes brimmed over with tears.
“Go now, or I’m afraid I won’t let you go at all.”
Angel opened his mouth to speak, but she shushed him.
Willow opened the front door for him. She stood back, closing her eyes to rub the tears away. When she opened them again, he was gone.
“Damn, I hate it when he does that.”
To be continued...?