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Part 11

Angel stirred, rolling to his side facing the coffee table.  His eyes fluttering open, he noticed a note propped against the centerpiece.  He placed a hand on the floor and reached for the paper.

Morning!! I hope you got some sleep. Sorry I kept you up, I mean awake. Well, not sorry... but you know what I mean. During my free periods today I Will run by your place and get you some um... breakfast and some clean clothes. I made sure all the windows were covered so you aren't stuck in the living room. The den down the hall has a computer. do you know how to run a computer? If not I could show you sometime... but there are also lots of my Dads books. If you get bored. There are clean towels in the bathroom if you want to shower. I'll see you when I get back. Thank you for staying with me. I hope I can think about school today!

< How can she be so sweet? >  He smiled to himself and figured a shower would be a good idea.  Angel got up and replaced the throw on the back of the sofa and picked up the glasses from the night before.  He brought them into the kitchen and placed them on the counter closest to the door to avoid the rays of sunlight streaming through the slats in the window coverings.  He returned to the living room and picked up the clothes scattered about placing them neatly on the sofa.  Spending most of your time alone and having countless sleepless days one tends to become rather neat.  After finishing, he found the washroom and just as she said in the note, there were fresh towels set out on the vanity.  Angel paused in front of the mirror, briefly staring at the reflection of wall behind him trying to remember what his face looked like.  < She said I was beautiful... what does beauty look like to Willow? >  He ran his fingertips over his face trying to remember any of his features with little luck.  < Hair is dark, eyes brown... is that all I can remember? >  He let out a heavy sigh and started the shower, forcing himself away from the empty mirror.

Giles stopped the car at the entry to the large, gothic mansion.  Willow looked at him and then pushed the door of the car open.  "I'll just be a second okay."  He nodded and she jogged to the doors and entered the old house.  Just minutes later she came out with a small duffel bag in her hand.  "Okay, that's it."  Giles said nothing figuring it was best to let things be for the time being,  put the car in drive and brought them to the curb in front of Willow's house in silence.

Willow again exited the car and bounced to her door unlocking it and quickly entering. She went straight to the living room but it was empty.  "Angel?"  She started up the hall and heard the water running rather loud.  "Angel, I brought you some of your ah... stuff."  She noticed the door to the bathroom was open and it was the shower running.  < Oh, he's showering... Ooh,  he's showering... all naked... in the shower. I'll just go back to the living room till he's done. >  She told herself as she slowly moved closer toward the noise.  She inched up just close enough to the doorframe to see the edge of the shower doors.  < One more little step. >  Willow gasped.  Through the speckled glass doors she could see the detailed silhouette of Angel.  He stood with his back to the streams of water, his head tilted back with his hands running through his hair.  Steam billowed out over the doors and, she
was sure, out of her ears as well.  Willow stood frozen, jaw dropped, with her chest heaving heavily with each pass of  her eyes.  She drank him in from head to toe.  The water stopped and Angel slid the door open.  She was too shocked at the speed of his movement to run.  <Feet... feet... move DAMN IT run...  move! >

"Ah, Willow. um... hi,"  Angel smiled, a little shocked, but enjoying his effect on her.  He couldn't remember his face but he could see that he was built rather well.  He reached for a towel, not really rushing, and wrapped
it around his waist tucking the corner at his hip as he stepped out onto the mat.  "Willow... are you okay?"  His smile faded when she didn't respond.  He rushed over to her and grabbed her shoulders. "Willow, sweetheart, did
something happen ... are you alright?"  Her eyes lingered at his waist, then his chest, slowly meeting his eyes.  She felt dizzy and her body was screaming for her to pull the towel from him and run her hands all over his
perfectly etched body.  "Willow... ?"  Angel began to catch on once her eyes met his.  They were like shinning green glass giving the impression that she was intoxicated.

"Hmm, oh, Angel... um... ah... I'm sorry... I just... I was... Oh God!"  She pushed her face into his chest  <Oh, bad Idea!!! >  Then quickly pulled away and bolted to the living room, then back again long enough to shove the bag
into his hand.  "Here.  Your... ah... clothes..."  < ACK >  He full out laughed at her actions. Angel pulled out the clothes and quickly put on his pants and followed her.

"Willow.  Willow!  Willow look at me!"  She had her face stuffed against a pillow.  "Willow,"  he sat down next to her and she shot to the far side of the sofa.  "Will, come on don't hide from me."   He stopped laughing and his
tone became one of comfort.  He moved down effectively trapping her between the arm of the sofa and his chest.

"I am really, reeaally sorry... I didn't mean to stare... gape... ogle ... drool. at you.   I just... I couldn't help it.  Well, I'm sure if I really tried I could have ripped my eyes out and stepped on them but other than that they really wanted to be, well... on you."  She spat it out so fast he could barely hear the words.  He put his hand on her shoulders and turned her to face him.  She looked at everything in the room other than him.

"Willow, I love that you like to look at me.  Don't for one second feel bad or think you did something wrong.  There is nothing to be sorry about.  Mind you, I was surprised, but I am not going to tell you that knowing you enjoy looking at me that much isn't a huge source of pleasure for me, because it is.  I love that you look at me.  I love that you like what you see when you look at me.  Okay... I'm over 240 years old.  I don't remember what my face looks like, but I've grown out of being shy ... mostly."

"Wow... this is really. odd.  I feel like a pervert.  Like a peeping Tonya or whatever the girl name for Tom is..."  He laughed.  Something he couldn't get use to doing.  Her mood was lightening.

"Willow, you are not pervert."  He flashed her an evil grin,  "Maybe a bit of a voyeur but not a pervert." She slapped his arm. "Hey... if I walked in on you in the shower... I wouldn't have gotten caught looking."

"Oh, but you'd look?"  Willow was now smiling fully.

"Of course not!"  His tone dripped of sarcasm while he smirked and lifted an eyebrow letting her know he was lying.  Angel quickly turned and then looked back at her with a very nervous expression just as a knock came on the front door.  It opened and Giles called out for Willow.

"Oh God... I forgot..."   she whispered.  "Giles, we're in here,  < Oh crap. > living room,"  Willow was looking at Angel like she'd been caught with her hand in a cookie jar.  He placed his hand on her leg and patted it.

"OH... oh.  I was... ah... concerned."  Giles shoved his hands into his pockets, nervously looking around the room.  Angel cut in when he noticed Willow hold her breath and look very panicked.

"Oh, I was showering and Willow just waited for me.  Here..."   He looked back at Willow who was doing her best to hide behind him making for a very guilty scene.  Giles nodded and made to leave.

"Willow, we have work to do... Angel, could you meet us after sundown?"  Not waiting for an answer and wishing for nothing more than to remove himself from the situation he ended the conversation.  "Willow, I'll be in the car,
but do hurry.  I need to get back to the school."

Angel flashed a wicked grin at Willow.  "Yeah, sure.  I'll see you as soon as I can get out."  Willow scrunched up her eyebrows and backhanded him in the gut. "WHAT?"

"He knows!"  She spat.

"Knows what?  How could he know anything?"  Angel continued to grin.

"Oh, I don't know?"  she spat sarcastically,  "Let me see. could it have been that 'I just caught Willow doing the Peeping thing while I was in the shower.  Naked!' grin on your face?"  He moved to put his arm around her shoulder but she slipped up the arm of the sofa and to her feet.  "Now, how am I supposed to go out there and face him?"  Fear and a hint of self-loathing played across her face.

Angel stood and slowly placed his hand on her arm, his gaze falling from her face to the carpet below his bare feet.  "Willow, I am sure Giles doesn't know.  He's always jumpy about anything intimate.  You know that."  He looked back into her face. His hand, of it own free will, traced it's own path up and down her arm.

"He is always jumpy.  How do you think he would react to seeing us kissing?"  Willow met his eyes.

"The same way, I am sure.  He doesn't know.  Trust me."

Her shoulders relaxed a bit and she smiled half hearted. "Okay."  Her smile became genuine flashing a hint of mischief.  "You better hope so, mister!"  She leaned up and took his face in her hands.  "I'll see you soon.  Make sure you, ah... eat, okay?"  With that she kissed him, then turned toward the door.

She turned the knob and started to open it only to be stopped by Angel's strong hand on hers.  Willow spun around bumping into his chest.  "Wow, you sure are, ah... stealthy.  I-I didn't even hear you ..."  She pressed herself against the door for support when he ran his hands from her upper thighs to her bottom and bent to press his lips to hers. < Oh OH. ooooh >  He drew her bottom lip between his briefly and opened his mouth in invitation.  She gladly accepted, running her tongue over his lips and into his mouth.  Angel pressed his body into her, forcing her to flatten against the door.  The sound of  her heart rate increasingly pumping her blood through her veins sang like a siren.  Her breath caught as her chest heaved pressing her top to his bare sculpted chest.  He pulled his face back to study her.

She remained still, her lips slightly parted, eyes fluttering beneath closed lids.  The sight of her desire and her shallow breaths caused fiery sensations to shoot to his groin.  A moment passed before she noticed he had
stopped the kiss.  She reeled in the feeling of their body's contact from pelvis to chest.  The feel of his hand that continued to caress her neck.  < She's totally unaware of the world around her.  How could I have such an
effect on her?  Uhmmph. the same effect she has on me. >  The ironic thought that someone could feel with every part of their being, someone other than him shocked him.  < She is truly beautiful. Everything about her. >  His
fingers drifted to her face.  "How could I have overlooked such pure beauty?" Her eyes shot open and he grinned at the thought he unconsciencelly vocalized.

"Oh... um.  Heh... ah... hey, it happens all the time.  You could never begin to count the times I have heard that line."  She said in her best mocking tone raising her eyebrows to emphasize her wit and ease his discomfort.

"You, ah. should go.  NOW."  < Oh, that came out harsh. >  "Sorry, Giles is waiting."  He smiled, leaning to give her a quick peck.

"Oh... right.  Research girl. that's me.  What is it I am researching again?  Oh darn."  She whacked him in the arm yet again.  "Now see what you did!  You-you just made my brain do that Jell-O thing where nothing but the naughty parts work.  Jeez.  Now... now... Shame on you."  She scolded him in jest.  "You are not being very helpful here.  I have to go and do what I'm told and now I just want to do you. and I have to go do stuff that is not you and, my God, did I just say 'do you'?  I am so shutting up now.  Wow, every time I figure I have earned the award on 'most unruly and embarrassing babble I top myself, but, hey,  at least my title is safe and no one can be better than me at that right?"   Angel couldn't help but laugh at her until he caught the most interesting part of the babble.

"Do me?  You want to do me?  All you think about it doing me?  Hmm... Hey!  So, I'm just an object.  A piece of meat to you?  A boy toy?"  He was still laughing,  "Soon, my sweet little witch.  Soon you'll have your way with me."  Flashing a wicked grin.  "But not until you are ready.  Now get ... shoo. go on."  He opened the door shielding himself from the rays of sunlight with the heavy wood.

"Okay... um... I'll see you later, okay?"  She stepped out pulling the door shut behind her.

On the other side, Angel leaned heavily against the object that not only separated him from death but from the one taste of life he had.  His eyes drifted closed imagining how the rays of sunlight might cast a shimmering
crimson glow through her tresses.  How her eyes might reflect the intense emerald in the light. How her glowing pink skin might flush after too much exposure to its rays.  All the while knowing these images were as close as
he'd ever come to that beauty in full bloom.  With a heavy sigh, Angel pushed from the door and strolled to the bag she had brought him that now lay in the hall to grab some nourishment, finish dressing, and wait.  The only thing he could do with ease, or as close to ease as anything that infected his vampiric lifestyle.

Part 12

Xander was in the library when Giles and Willow returned. "Hey, Will.  Chem. class was canned for the day.  Teach had brain pain and opted for bailage."  He smiled and raised his eyebrows.  He bowed his head raising his hands in that 'no need to thank me' pose as if he had some control over it rather than just delivering the information.

"Very good."  Giles held a serious lack of comfort in his tone.  "Now, w-we must attend to the matter at hand."

"Yeah.  Last class of the day a misfire, must be time for the Scooby gang to solve the big mystery, find out who it is behind the rubber mask.  Find the baddy.  Earn the snack.  Speaking of snacks, Buffy is a no show-- who's on
Ho-Ho duty?"  Xander said inciting a puzzled look to pass between Willow and Giles, who promptly ignored him and moved to their stations-- Willow logging on line and Giles burring himself in a pile of books.  "Oh-Kay... I'm up... any body want? Will?"

"No, thank you.  I'm still not sure my tummy wants solid food just yet."  Xander stood taking in the sound of keys being punched out rapidly and pages and books shuffling on the table.  "Okay, I shall return sporting chocolatey
goodness and caffeine."

"Oh... Caffeine?  I-I would like a soda.  Caffeine sounds of the yummy," Willow changed her mind at the thought of a sugary caffeine rush.

Xander returned with the snacks needed for him to go into research mode and soon they were deeply involved in putting clues together.  Before they knew it the doors swung open and Buffy walked in.

"Hey,"  she hesitated,  "Um... guys?"  Willow looked up in shock and scanned the room to see who the 'guys' she was referring to were.  To her surprise, Giles had moved to his office and only Xander, Buffy and herself remained.

"Hey, Buff, is it patrol time already?"  Xander had promised her he'd tag along to keep her company.  He glanced up at the clock.  "Wow, time for all the those fang-faces to be hitting the streets."  He winced and looked up at
Willow, who he found looking at Buffy in total shock.

"Hey, Will.  C-can I... Look, we need to talk.  I think there are some things that need to be said."  She looked pained but Willow was still very concerned with what nastiness might come out of her and a bit about whether she had the strength to endure anymore of the verbal lashings her one-time best friend had been giving her of late.

"Um... Okay.  Sure.  I guess we should ... um yeah... talk."  Willow stood as Buffy passed the counter and made her way to the stacks.  Willow followed.  Xander grabbed her arm as she passed him and gave her a trademark smile then let her pass.

Buffy had seated herself on the floor leaning on a bookcase.  Willow sat a few feet away leaning her back on the opposite case.  "W-well... is there... what is it that you want to, um... say?"

"Okay... this is not going to be easy and don't think I am going to want to see this happening.  Not for a while... maybe never.  But you were right.  I held on to what I thought Angel was, but I can never trust in his love or
separate the two... the demon.  I don't even know that I love him... like I did or should have." Buffy couldn't meet her eyes. Be it shame or pride... or pain something held her gaze tightly to the floor. Willow sat quietly not sure how to react or what to say.  "Will, you are my best friend.  I guess I have a hard time thinking of you and Angel... you know... he was my first... everything.  I never thought he'd ever..."

"Be interested in me!"  Willow snapped harshly.

"No... I never thought he'd not love me.  I know that it is selfish, but more than love him I needed him to love me.  I should have told him about the curse and that I didn't feel like I could trust him.  I don't even know if I knew I didn't trust him... or myself, or whatever it is that changed.  I needed him to love me.  To need me."  Buffy drew a sharp breath.  "Xander and I had a long talk today.  About a lot of things.  He explained what happened and he actually made sense... and when Xander... oblivious guy. sees something I'm missing, I know I'm wrong.  I am so..."  Tears streamed down her face as the word caught in her throat. "I'm sorry, Willow.  I don't expect you to forgive me... or Angel, for that matter.  Not now... maybe not ever, but I'm going to deal.  Okay?  I promise I will not stand in the way... okay, here I go with that center of the universe thing... I know I can't stand in the way... I just want you to know that I am sorry.  I love you, Will.  You are my best friend and I've been such a bitch.  I don't expect it now but I hope some day that you ... and Angel can forgive me."

Willow sat stunned, tears also running down her cheeks.  She sat in silence briefly before responding. "Buffy... I-I can't say I under stand fully but I see why you reacted the way you did.  I-I ah... don't ... I'm not sure I'm ready to be palling around like a couple of days ago but in time... okay, we all need... time. ...Time to adjust."  Saying that Willow wiped the tears from her face and got to her feet.  "We have done all the research... we just have to put the pieces together find out what to do about the mayor and what he has planned."  She turned and  started back to her computer.

Just as she exited the stacks the doors to opened again.  Angel took a few steps into the center of the room and stopped at the sight of Willow.  She had seen the doors open and his entry.  She paused briefly fighting the urge
to throw herself at him and ravage his mouth before moving behind the counter.  "Hi!"  She said as she took her seat behind the monitor, her smile brightening as he moved to stand behind her, kissing the top of her head.

"Hey,"  he leaned over her shoulder to look at the screen. "Gorgeous," he whispered across her ear as he moved.  She squirmed and began pointing to the information and explaining.

Hearing him enter, Buffy stayed in the stacks to gather herself before coming down and finding a seat next to Xander.  Angel tensed and straightened.  "Buffy,"  he said in a tone void of emotion.

"Angel... hi.  How are you feeling?"  She did her best to sound friendly and not too overly concerned.  His tension lightened.

"Better.  Still a bit weak.  But not... too bad.  You?"  He had turned his attention back to the computer and to Willow, placing a comforting hand on the small of her back.

"I'm okay.  Willow and I spoke.  I'm sure you and she will talk about that."  Just then Giles emerged from his office.  "Hey Giles.  Don't you think we... you, Xander and I... can handle the books and stuff for tonight?  They ...
A-Angel and Will could use some rest."

"What?  Oh... yes, yes... That would be fine."  He turned to Angel.  "Could you see that Willow gets home and she can give you the details of, of what we have discovered."  Before he could get an answer he turned back to the table.  "Xander, if you plan on patrolling with Buffy, I think the two of you should stock up on weapons a-and begin."

Angel picked up Willow's bag and coat.  "Giles, I'll phone you tomorrow."

"G-good,  yes.  Do please.  And Willow... get some rest.  You mustn't overlook that head injury."

"Oh, yeah, right.  You know it's funny... I haven't even thought about it.  Bye, guys."  Willow and Angel started out.

"Will?  Call me... when you, ah... when you're ready."  Buffy smiled at her friend.  Willow nodded and they left.

"What was that all about?"  Angel questioned as he slipped his arm around her shoulder.

" Oh, just Buffy... the really real Buffy... not the bitchy one we've been seeing lately..."  She explained the conversation as they made their way to her house.

"Well, that was pretty big of her.  I-I should have guessed she would come to her senses.  Hey, I'll get you inside then I need to head home, okay?"  Angel sounded distant.

"Home?  Why home?  Why your home?  Angel is everything okay?"  < Oh god... Oh god... Buffy... Oh god. >   "Is it something..... Did you change your... a-about ... me... you and me... about um... us... is there an us?"  He stopped her on the porch and turned her to look at him.

"Will... don't think like that.  I just... If you and I are going to take this slow... if ... I don't know if I can take you... or not 'take' you two nights in a row.  We. you need to slow down.  I'm letting you take things... I'm taking things too far."

"I don't want to be here all alone,"  she put her head down and pushed her lower lip out, lifting her eyes to him beneath her lashes.  "I want to be close to you."  She lifted her hands to his chest and slipped them inside his
shirt stroking his chest.  He stepped closer leaning his forehead against hers.  "I want to touch you... feel you touch me.  Kiss you,"  She lifted her head and brushed her lips against his, pulling back when he instinctively
tried to press them to hers.  "I want to fall asleep in your arms.  I want you, Angel... all of you... To feel all of you. touching me."  Her voice dropping into a seductive tone she never knew she had in her.  A small tortured moan escaped his lips as she arched into him then pulled away leaving him standing just as he was--his eyes closed, mouth dropped open, hands helplessly at his sides.  "Okay fine... good night."

 She turned and unlocked the door.  Angel leaned over her wrapping one arm around her stomach pressing her back to him as the other pushed open the door.  He leaned to her ear.  "Go get what you need to bring with you."  The almost animal-like husk in his voice shot shivers through her.  < Ha... ha... I win >  She flew to her room quickly tossing a few things into her bag and bounced back to where he waited at the door.

"Okay... I'm ready."

"Are you?"  The hint of sly flirting in his tone confused her at first.

"Yeah, I got my clothes, my toothbrush... and... OH... oh... well... um... ah...  Stop that"  She giggled wanting to blurt out <Yes quite sure... Hey I'm good to go!! I'm ready...> But fear caused her to be unsure that was the

"Just testing... kind of curious as to what your answer would have been.  Hey, I'm still a man here... well... sorta and, you, little lady, started that.  You were just looking for trouble."  He cocked an eyebrow and gave her a half grin.  "Come on."  He pulled her to the side of the house and stepped into the bushes.

"What are you doing?"  < Oh God... maybe he has to pee or something... yeee... do vampires pee? >  A second later Angel reemerged pushing a rather expensive Triumph Motor cycle. < WOW... wow... cool... or scary. >  "Angel, do you expect me to get on that that thing?  It's spooky.  Can you drive it?  Of course you can drive it.  I've never been on ... Hey, you didn't tell me you had a motorcycle."  He merely laughed, took her bag, strapping it to the back and climbed astride the bike.

"Come here.  Give me your hand."  She did.  "Alright, see that?"  he kicked down a footrest  "Put your left foot on that and throw your right one over and kick down the other."  She did as he told her and wrapped her arms around his waist.  Angel started the bike and gently pulled to the driveway.  He looked back at her with the same sideways smile, "Hold on!" And took off.

Surprisingly, Willow loved the feel of the wind in her hair and the speed of the world whizzing past her. She leaned her head against his back.  They arrived at the mansion in no time at all.  Angel parked the bike and helped
her off.  He grabbed her bag and her hand and led her into the wondrous house.

Part 13

Angel flipped a switch that spread faint light through out the large room.  Willow followed behind him nervously.  < What am I doing? Oh my god ... > Just inside the main room, he dropped her bag and spun on her.  He pulled her to him. <Oh, oh, oh... >  She stared at him wide eyed and tense.  His face softened and developed into a big smile just before his lips were on hers.  He wrapped one arm around her waist while the other made it's way up her back
stopping with his hand cradling her head.  She slowly moved her hands up his sides feeling the muscles in his back tense then relax with her movement.  <Oh, ah... hmm. tingles... >  Angel drew the kiss out lazily as their mouths parted.  "Are you okay?  I didn't mean to scare you.  Impulse. couldn't help myself... sorry."

"Sorry?  No sorry.  Good.  Very good.  I'm all, um... tingly... No sorry, okay?  Impulse, huh?  Neat.  You should have more of those ... only... later... I forgot to eat.  Do you have food?  Okay, dumb question... seen the fridge.  Your, ah... food... but I need my kind of, um, food."  She winced.

"Come on."  He pulled her to the couch and pointed.  She sat with his direction and watched as he disappeared into the corridor she remembered led to the kitchen and den.  Moments later he returned with couple of menus and a cordless phone.  "Look over these."  He handed them to her and she glanced over them picked out something to eat and showed her choice to him.  He took the menu back and ordered her dinner. "It will be here shortly."

"Oh, okay ... thank you... um... well I guess I should um,. get you up to date on the Mayor."  She explained that he and Bradley had arranged everything with the morgue, gotten him buried, worked all the details to ensure that not only did he die but that he suffered in the process.  After giving him all the details,  she began to try to find a hidden motive.  "It is obvious he wanted  you out of the way."  He nodded.  "I think I was just a-a reason for you to be protecto guy, but why?"  She frowned.  Appearing to speak more to herself.  "Bradley, his new deputy Mayor pulled all the strings, he's the dirty work guy... The out of the way part is easy.  You can't protect Buffy or help her if you are... you know... but what does he have planned for Buffy?"

"Willow."  She looked up at him shocked and confused.  "The door... your dinner is here.  I'll get it but you have to promise to stop thinking long enough to digest, okay?"  He moved from his seat.

"Oh... okay... no thinking ... eating, digesting... no thinking."  She agreed, mumbling to herself.

Angel was back and sat beside her offering her the bag.  "Here, eat.  Nothing is going to go awry while you eat.  Besides, there isn't much we can do tonight. about whatever is going on... outside.  Just here."  He trailed off
as he stood.  "Um... I'm going to go get a room ready for you."  Willow took the bag and began removing the contents before his words dawned on her. "A room?"  He was already down the hallway.  <A room?  Not his room?  Darn...  >  Seeing the food, the fact that she was famished hit her. < Oh, hungry... ooh, and a drink! >  She wasted no time ingesting  the combo Chinese dish.   Just as she placed the container back in the bag, placing it on the table, Angel entered the room.  She pulled her legs up under her and sat back with her fountain drink. "So... um... so?" She was growing more confused by the moment and began to wonder why she put herself in this position in the first place.

"So, I... thought. um, I figured... I ran a bath for you,"  He blurted the last part out as if he was waiting for a rejection to the offer.  When it was met with a huge smile and slight bounce he continued,  "I was thinking how
much of a waste having that big tub was... I thought since you spent some time exploring the washroom that it may help to relax you.  I want you to be comfortable here.  I'd like to think that you'll be spending a lot of time...
um... hanging around."  He shrugged, grasping his hands in front of himself.

< Wow... could he be... no... he's like... Oh my God, he's scared. >  She almost giggled and couldn't hide the grin that emerged when she sucked hard on the inside of her cheek.

Angel's brow furrowed as he tilted his head in attempt to find the humor that she did. "What?"

"Huh?  Nothin'!  What what?"  She countered.  He looked move confused.  < That is so sweet... oh, I should probably tell him that... >  "Oh... it's just sweet.  I mean the bath... not... yeah, the bath... It is really sweet that you ran me a bath and not that you are nervous.  Oh my God... sorry... I think that was just a thought run amuck... I mean, it's sweet that you are nervous, too, but ... oh I'm making this worse aren't I?" She lowered her head and looked up at him flashing a wide toothy grin.  He chuckled and grabbed her hand shaking his head.

"C'mon,"  He pulled her up and led her down the hall.  "I ran it rather hot... lots of bubbles.  You'll love it. Just get in and relax for a while."  He looked back at her and smiled at her bouncing steps.  She pulled back on his hand when they reached the door and stopped.

"Hey... if that tub is just going to, ah... waste... why do you have bubble bath?  You are a closet tub junkie, aren't you?"  He laughed.  "I knew it.  No one has a tub like that for show.  I bet you lay around in that tub all
the time."  < Oooh tub... naked... oh... hmm. >

"Okay, so you got me.  I like baths.  It's nice.  Raises my body temperature.  It feels good to be... warm... sometimes."  He pulled her into the room and quickly changed the subject.  The room was sparsely lit with floor-standing candleholders scattered though out the immense room.  The sound of the waterfall trickling was soothing and the bubbles glistened like pearls.  "I put some towels on the vanity and if the water is too warm adjust it."  He stopped at the steps that led to the tub and released her hand.   She stood looking at the mountain of bubbles and inhaled the steam that carried a blend of sweet and spicy herbal scents.  When she turned to thank him again, he was nearly out the door.

"Angel..." He paused.  "It's beautiful... so peaceful.  Thank you... This is very sweet.  I-I... Oh I forgot my bag.  My clothes ..."  With a smile, he nodded and held his finger up signaling for her to wait while he retrieved it.  < Okay... do I wait?  How am I going to do this...?  I don't know how to do this... >  Quickly, Willow slipped out of her clothes and into the tub.  She pulled the bubbles around her and wound her hair into a bun on top of her head, leaning back and closing her eyes tightly.  < Oh God, why... what am I doing... Is he going to run... be angry?  Oh god... maybe I should... nope, no time to get dressed again. >

Angel strolled back into the room eyes focused on the bag in his hand.  Half way across the marble floor, he lifted his gaze.  At the sight awaiting him he dropped the bag.  Willow's eyes popped open and she jumped splashing water over the edge of the black marble.  "Willow!  I did say to... well, you know... I-I ... sorry... I'll just leave ... this, um... stuff."  Instinctively he turned his back and his head dropped. "I'll be ... waiting, um... out there..."  < I know... she understood... what is she doing... Christ... clear thoughts... God, she's beautiful... >  He took a step forward.

"Angel?  Um... can you just ... keep me company?  I'm all covered . nothing... is... ah... you can't see anything..... well, you could if ... Damn it, turn around!"  He did but continued to study the floor.  "Angel!" Her tone was forceful.  His head snapped up and his eyes drifted over the edge of the tub.  Following the path of where her leg may be just beneath the bubbles, slowly, he met her eyes.  "Okay... that's better.  Can you come... over here and sit with me?  Please?"  Visible fear crept across his face.  "And stop looking at me like that.  I'm okay.  I'm a little ... well... this is new... not usually something I share... but I'm okay with this... if ... you are.  Are you?  Do you not want to... um, do you need to..... go away... from me?"  He eyes peered from side to side, then, in defeat, they moved to the bubbles that separated over her stomach. "Hey... it's okay..... I'm sorry.. I just thought... you know... it would be nice.  Boy, do I feel stupid!"

Swiftly he moved to the side of the tub and grasped her hand in his,  "Don't.  Don't ever feel like that.  You just caught me ... off guard... I wasn't ... I didn't ... this was not my intention  I am not saying that I don't want to
be... here... with you... I do."  < God, if she only knew how bad...>  "I'm beginning to think that I am more afraid than you.  I don't want this... you to feel like... this was what I had planned.  I was merely trying to help you
relax.  To let go of everything you've had to deal with."  He sat at the edge of the tub dipping the tips of his fingers into the water and with a feather light touch, left a wet trail up her arm.  His cool hand pressed against her
cheek and she leaned into his touch closing her eyes. "Is this what you want? Really want?  Am I what you want?"  He whispered as his other hand brought hers to his lips.

"You.  I want you."  Her reply mimicked his tone.  "Closer... Angel... I want to feel you... with me..." Gently pulling her hand out of his, she grasped his shirt pulling him slowly to her waiting lips.  He braced himself with one
hand while the other stroked her cheek.  "Let me... feel.you...  warm against me."  She tugged at his shirt.

He pulled back and stood.  Slowly, he unbuttoned his shirt and let it fall to the floor.  His eyes never leaving hers, he removed his shoes.  He unfastened his pants slipping his thumbs into them as he began to drag them over his
hips.  Willow's eyes drifted to his chest then lower to his taunt stomach.  Her eyes caught sight of his hipbones as the pants passed them < God! He's perfect! >  She shyly glanced away briefly when their decent continued.  Unable to fight the urge, she looked back as he stepped out of the puddle of material around his ankles.  Her eyes traveled upward taking in the sight of his well-formed body, the sight burning a permanent image in her mind.  The way his calves arched just below the knee. The tight muscles that formed his thighs, < Oh MY >  The fact that she was completely enthralled with the sight of him was evidently arousing to him.  She glanced quickly to his eyes
embarrassed once she noticed that her mouth had gaped open, and her breathing became shallow.  All of this was dismissed once she saw the pleased smile on his face.

He bent and placed a hand on her back sliding into the tub behind her.  She froze when the cool flesh of his erection slid down the small of her back and against her backside.   Warmth flooded her body when he snaked his strong arms around her pulling her closer to him.  He leaned up and placed small kisses down the nape of her neck that caused warm tingles to shoot though her.  Angel pulled her back so that she was pressed against his chest.  He ran his hands up her shivering skin, tracing the underside of her breasts and up to her shoulders.  His strong fingers gently kneaded the tension away.  Her head drifted back to rest on his shoulder giving full view of her breasts as they rose from the bubbles shielding them.  He continued to massage down her arms to her hands, taking each, one at a time in his, rubbing each finger determined to work the stress from every muscle in her beautiful, untouched body.

Once her arms were lax he lifted her and turned her to face him.  "Lean back against the far end."  His voice was melodic and soothing.  When she did, he lifted one leg from the water resting her foot against his chest and worked the same pattern as with her arms.  When she lay limp and totally relaxed, he stood and stepped from the bath.  <Hey! Oh... okay.>  He walked to the vanity returning with two thick black bath sheets.  His was placed on the step the other he tossed over his shoulder.  "Willow, love... give me your hand."  She did  as he asked and allowed him to pull her from the tub to the towel on the step.  He knelt before her and patted the beads of moisture from her legs consuming her with his eyes as he worked his way up.  Once he was standing again, he wrapped the towel around her.  He patted himself dry and wrapped the large towel around his waist.  He moved down the steps and turned, offering his had to her. Once again she accepted it.

She followed him hoping he wasn't going to lead her to a big empty room and leave her there.  He did not disappoint.  He stopped in front of his room and turned to her.  "Are you sure?"  She brought her hands up to his face and pulled him into a sweet kiss.

"Have I given you any reason to doubt?"

He smiled and shook his head,  "You go. I'll be right back... I'm going to grab your things and put the candles out.  There is a robe laid out for you if you are uncomfortable. It's going to be big on you, but." He kissed  her and she entered the room.  She took a deep breath and walked to the bed.  Pulling back the covers she dropped the towel and slipped in.  The silk sheets were cold against her bare skin.  Once she laid back into the pillow and turned to face the door,  Angel was approaching.  He crawled in next propping his head in his hand and pulled her to him.  "Willow. you are quiet.  Are you okay?  Do you want to get some rest?"

"No... I mean... no... I-I want you.  I want you to... us to..."  She was very sure.  She pressed her self into him.  "I just don't know what to say.  do I need to talk... ?"  Her voice was meek, but far from fearful.  "I just want to touch you... feel you. all of you... in every way."

He rolled onto his back and put his hands behind his head.  He flashed a sweet smile.  "I'm all yours.  Do with me as you wish."  His eyebrows raised suggestively.

"Um... Okay.  But promise me... I-if I do anything ... wrong ... you will tell me, okay?"

"Love, you do what ever you want?  If it feels good to you, I am quite sure I'll enjoy myself, too."

"Oooh ... so I can play... or... well. play?"  Her face lit up with a radiant smile.  He nodded once.  So she did just that.  Willow laid across the bed propping herself on her elbow.  With her free hand, she traced the lines of
muscles on his chest and stomach.  She bent and kissed the hollow of his throat then followed her hand.  She planted soft open-mouthed kisses over his pecs and down his side.  She listened and felt for his body to respond to her actions.   Slowly, as if memorizing every curve and line she worked her way down. Reaching the hipbones that caught her attention earlier, she placed wet kisses on the spot ending with a light graze of her teeth.  Angel's abs twitched and a throaty moan escaped his lips.  < Oooh, that's a good spot. >  She moved herself over him to gain better access to both sides and carried out her first plan of attack.  With each series of kisses, she'd end with the light graze.  Each time inciting stronger, more erotic sounds to roll in his throat.  She moved lower to his legs, temporarily avoiding his erection.  As she moved her hair cascaded over his pelvis and his hips flexed upward.  She ran her tongue down the inside of his thigh and up the other. Then, again, this time she added kisses and light nibbles.  With her increasing bravery,  her hand moved feather light over his erection.   Angel moaned out right.  Again, she ran her hand over him.  Again he moaned.  With her index finger, she circled the head then trailed down his shaft.  She wrapped her hand around the tip and moved it slowly down to his base.   His hands dropped to his sides and he gathered the sheets in his fist and gasped.  "Oh... oh... did I ... oh god..."  She crawled up his body and laid down beside him,  "I-I'm sorry... did I do something bad?"