Chapter 4 pt. 3
The room was dark with shadows; not even the pale moonlight filtered beyond the lone, high window. Angel paused at the threshold of his apartment, peering into the corners with his night vision, yet still unable to penetrate the darkness. His sensitive ears caught a nearly silent whisper of fabric brushing against something as he took a step farther into the room. "Who's there?" he demanded sternly, though he didn't feel threatened in the least. Whoever, or whatever, was hiding in the darkened corner of the room giggled lightly, in a sound that sent a surprising rush of warmth and affection throughout the vampire's cool form. Surprised, Angel took another, confused step forward, searching more diligently for the intruder, wondering at his unusual reaction.
Another soft giggle came from the depths of the apartment, and Angel was able to track the sound and, now that he was concentrating, the heartbeat to a corner near his kitchen. A flash of pale fabric caught his eye as his 'guest' moved swiftly behind the pillar near his bedroom door. A faint perfume reached his nostrils and, if he'd been human, Angel's heart would have lurched with recognition. It was HER! Tears welled in his chocolate eyes, and he reached blindly for the whisper as she sped past him into the open bedroom, once more disappearing into the shadows. Angel stared at his hand, and the small, sheer garment clutched in his fist, when a soft flicker of light caught his eyes. He looked up and a hard and fast wave of desire slammed into him, causing his body to harden instantly at the inviting sight that met his gaze.
Buffy was kneeling on his bed as she lighted a few more candles on his bedside table, clad in a sheer, lacy teddy that matched the robe still clutched in his fist. She caught Angel's dazed stare, and giggled as she curled up against the pillows and coyly crooked her finger at him, beckoning him to her. The flickering candlelight and her demure position on the bed contrasted with the sheer temptation of her lingerie and sent Angel's hormones into overdrive. He walked towards her as if under a spell, and indeed he was, but the spell was simply that of true love and long repressed passion.
Before the vampire realized what was happening, he was kneeling on the bed before Buffy, almost afraid to touch her for fear she would disappear. Buffy smiled sweetly, love and desire glowing in her hazel eyes, flushing her cheeks and chest. "Please Angel," she pleaded, bringing her hand up to cradle the side of his face. "Please, kiss me."
Angel groaned softly as he leaned into her warm caress before acceding to her demand. He leaned the last few inches between them, cool lips brushing lightly against warm ones several times before deepening the kiss further. Angel closed his eyes in pleasure when Buffy's satisfied moan resonated in his own mouth. Their tongues tangled, her warmth heating him, his coolness soothing her burning passion. The kiss escalated quickly, and the next thing Angel registered, beyond the taste of Buffy's mouth, was the feeling of her soft curves giving under his weight as Buffy pulled him down on top of her.
Buffy brought Angel's hand to the curve of her breast, arching into the cool caress before bringing his body firmly into the cradle of her thighs. Angel slipped closer to the edge as the musky scent of her arousal and the wet heat of her core tantalized his enhanced senses. Buffy rose and fell against him, trying to get close enough to ease the ache of her desire, the pressure against Angel's throbbing erection sending a wave of pleasurable pain through him. Unbidden, his hips jerked into Buffy's, his body desperate for release. Angel's yearning increased when Buffy's tiny warm hand slid down his chest to caress his aching hardness, the steely flesh twitching in response to her tentative strokes.
The boiling passion burning through his body brought Angel to his senses momentarily. Reluctantly tearing his mouth away from Buffy's Angel grated out, "Buffy! Oh, God, sweetheart we have to stop. I can't hold on." Despite his words, Angel's fingers continued to knead the firm flesh of her breast while the other hand tangled in her blond hair as she nibbled on his ear. Angel's mind breathed a sigh of relief when her hand and mouth left off their tormenting caresses, but his heart, soul, and body howled in silent protest.
"Shh, Angel," Buffy murmured quietly, petting his shoulder and neck soothingly, relaxing her grip on his body, but still holding him above her. "It's OK to let go honey. I promise, I won't let anything happen. We won't go too far. But, we can share some intimacy, can't we? Just to tide us over until we find a better way. Let me worry about things this time."
Angel was torn, his mind warning against getting his hopes up and being disappointed yet again, but his heart yearned for any closeness with his lady love. While still struggling with the problem, Buffy nuzzled into his neck, nipping lightly and stroked back down his chest towards his penis. A quick twist of her body, and Buffy had him next to her on the bed. "Please Angel," she pleaded softly as she leaned up on her elbow next to him, gently caressing him through his pants. "Please let me please you." Hope and love shined brightly in her hazel eyes when Angel finally relaxed under her touch, nodding his assent.
Angel had to bite back a tortured moan when Buffy knelt next to him, biting her tongue thoughtfully as she swiftly unbuttoned his silk shirt. The sight she made was straight out of his fantasies; she had an innocent air that was evidenced by the rosy flush on her cheeks as she fumbled with the fastening on his pants, and the surruptious glances Buffy cast the vampire from under lowered eye lashes to make sure she was pleasing him. At the same time, the Slayer was a decidedly erotic and seductive vision lounging unselfconsiously beside him in her little blue teddy. The knowing, pleased with herself chuckle that escaped Buffy when his hips started thrusting his erection into her hands as she tentatively stroked him was sure to fire his dreams for years...Angel's pleasant thoughts were wrenched back to his Slayer as her hands became more sure; gentle caresses turned into firm, pulling strokes. Angel mumbled his pleasure to her, most of it inarticulate, but he did manage 'faster,' 'perfect' and 'love you' before slipping beyond conscious thought and into the pleasure his heart's desire was giving him.
All too soon, the vampire could feel the tension building to the breaking point. When one of Buffy's small hands slipped from his straining shaft to cradle and squeeze his testicles, all thoughts of showing her how to delay his release so he could return her attentions vanished. Angel's mind blanked, and his hips jerked as Buffy pushed him over the edge into orgasm. Wanting, wishing so much he could share that pleasure with her once again, Angel let go of all his longing for her during his release, desperately calling "Buffy!"
Angel jerked awake as the dream dissolved into reality. He was a little disoriented and ached with renewed intensity, missing Buffy's presence after the intensity of her presence in his dream. He shifted in bed, suddenly uncomfortable as his mind finally realized just *how* intense the dream had been; his sheets were damp and clinging to him, evidence of his physical release. Shaken, Angel stumbled out of bed, his knees and legs still trembling in reaction. It had been literally centuries since he'd had wet dreams; the vampire had never gone to bed wanting, and the soul had been too guilty, weak, and starving to even contemplate the pleasures of the flesh.
Even after he'd fallen in love with Buffy, and spent what felt like months in a constant state ranging from semi to full arousal, Angel hadn't lost control in his sleep. The one exception had been when the First Evil had caused Angel and Buffy to share dreams, but since that dream had ended in horror, it had only served to increase Angel's need to control his desires. Granted, Angel had taken steps to ease the constant yearning with his own hands, but he'd been careful, controlled. He'd gone to bed exhausted when a part of Buffy's life before he'd lost his soul, and existed almost exclusively in nightmares since his return from Hell. He'd had to control his desires for Buffy so fiercely while awake, especially after the First Evil had manipulated his dreams, that once he'd recovered from Hell, the control he exerted over his libido had extended into his dreams. Oh, he'd dreamt of making love with Buffy often enough, brought her to orgasm in dozens of ways in his dreams, but his fears had always kept him form his own release. Even in the dreams Angel was conscious of the curse. Afraid that the peace, love, and acceptance that Buffy had given him their one night together, something that was a constant memory and aspect of his dreams, would affect him even in sleep. While it should take Buffy's actual presence to completely sever his connection to his body, Angel wasn't completely positive. He feared that the blurring between fantasy and reality, the brief moment before he completely woke up and missed her, would cost them everything, or cause his hold on his body to weaken. His mind simply wouldn't allow him to take the chance that taking pleasure in Buffy, even in his dreams, would cost him his soul.
Confused, Angel stripped the sheets from his bed and loaded them into the washer on auto pilot. Only slipping into a cold shower to clean up woke him form the haze of loneliness, love, desire and fear. Angel shook his head as he dressed. He had a lot of thinking to do.
"Some things never change."
Angel turned from his perusal of the LA skyline, surprised by the dry voice that came from behind him. The vampire frowned uneasily at the garishly dressed demon before him; Whistler rarely brought good news. "What are you talking about?" Angel asked warily, shifting his weight as he fought the urge to walk away from Whistler. He knew the little demon would simply follow him, and the information he carried was probably important.
"You," Whistler said with a jerk of his chin in Angel's direction. "You're still up here brooding, trying to keep yourself from hoping, from feeling too much." Whistler shook his head in exasperation. "You've come along way in the last few years Angel. Don't start backsliding now."
"What are you talking about?" Angel demanded, irritated, and wishing that Whistler could make sense just once.
"Angel, you're this close," Whistler held his thumb and index finger about an inch apart to demonstrate, "to convincing yourself there's no hope for you and your Slayer. Hasn't saving souls taught you anything? There's always hope. In fact, you can't live without it." Whistler tossed Angel an envelope and walked away, leaving Angel staring after him and a parting shot. "You keep that in mind. You're gonna need that hope soon."
The vampire turned the envelope over in his hands thoughtfully, knowing who it was from before he even saw her curling script. The tingle of anticipation that had run through him the instant he'd caught it, along with the faintest hint of light perfume told Angel that this was Buffy's latest letter. Wanting to give the letter the attention it deserved, Angel returned to the view of the city below him as he thought about Whistler's parting words.
Angel *had* been fighting the lightening in his heart, concerned that the letdown would finally kill him if he were wrong. If Buffy wasn't coming home, if there really wasn't a chance for them anymore. Angel smiled ruefully as he realized that he'd been ignoring the advice he'd been giving others for years; 'It's good to just feel sometimes, even if things don't work out the way you want them to. It means you still care.' Reminding himself that caring about Buffy was the best thing in his life, Angel allowed some of that hope free reign in his unbeating heart, and turned to the envelope in his hands, carefully opening the flap and slipping out her letter.
I'm sorry it's been so long, but life had been busy happening. I have so much to say, and part of me wants to just write it all out, but that would only confuse and complicate things, so it'll have to wait until I see you.
That's right, until I see you. Things are getting pretty bad in Sunnydale, so it's time to go stamp out the evil doers again. Besides, I'm tired and homesick. Leaving was a huge mistake; it messed everything up even worse than it was before. At least two good things came out of my decision to leave, even though I was running away again.
One is that I think I finally understand why you left me after graduation. You didn't want to leave me, and you did love me, but you didn't see any other way. I know I had blinders on, but I wanted you with me so badly... Anyway, that's the past, and while we do need to talk about it, it should be done face to face, along with any explanations due you. Just know that I'm better about your decision to leave, and please, believe me when I tell you that my own departure had nothing to do with you, or my feelings for you. At least not really. When I look back and think about how hurt and lonely I felt when you left, I realized I did the same to you. Only I didn't give you the reassurance of knowing where I was, or if I was safe, like you did for me. I'm sorry for that.
We both made the same mistake Angel. We did the wrong thing, for the right reasons. We left the person we needed and wanted the most, the one who could really understand us, because we thought leaving would be the best for the other person. So, our hearts were in the right place, but our heads, as usual, messed things up. Think about that until I see you. I wish I could tell you when, but things are really up in the air. Just know that it will be soon. I really need to talk. *We* really need to talk.
Oh, and as for that second reason? You'll just have to wait and see. I just hope you think of it as the blessing I see it as.
Angel read the letter several times, pondering the idea that they'd let their rational minds get in the way of their heart and soul. He knew she was right; he'd told Buffy that he was thinking with his head and not his heart when he left her. Angel just wasn't convinced that it was a good idea to follow his heart. It was the best thing for *him,* Angel knew. He didn't care as much about anything if he wasn't with Buffy. The ensouled vampire had turned every soul he'd saved into one that Buffy wouldn't have to worry about, so that he could find the strength to keep fighting. Angel knew that Buffy was, without a doubt, the best thing that had ever happened to him. He was far from convinced that he was the best thing that had ever happened to Buffy, but he had learned one thing from Cordelia during these years apart. Buffy was responsible for her own life, and she knew her own needs best. In the end, what happened would be her decision. Angel just hoped it would be the right one.