Disclaimer: All the characters you recognize belong to someone else, as usual.
Category: Smut, glimpse, and a moment in time.
Rating: at the most a R
Spoilers: None really, err I think…
AN: Another ficlett I wrote while waiting for my time on the computer, the one with access to the net. It's something that occurred to me while I was thinking – what can I write that is not major angst. I wanted to take a pause to Choices nr II. If the R&R is good and the interest is out there I may write a series of ficlett in this universe, perhaps an adventure to the trip they are planning in the fic, or what happens next. Have any suggestions? Let me know…
AN#2: There is a NC-17 version of this story archived on my site. Just go to archive -- Hetero -- Silvi -- and then to Darla section of it and you´ll find it…
Acknowledgment: a big THANK YOU to Mofetash for betaing this…(she has only Betaed the NC-17 version of the story.)
Feedback: It's really what sustains us authors so that would be a yes please!Dedication: To anyone who likes Angelus and his immortal mate (to those who haven't guessed it, that's Darla folks!)
Summary: Darla must come through with her promise, and what does Aus ask for the pay-up? Strangely enough nothing kinky to her rather big disappointment.
& & & & & &
Pouring himself a cup of coffee, half listening to his seers ranting again, watching her from the corner of his eye as she hovered over Wesley's shoulders explicitly pointing at something, Angel was still not so distracted that he didn't detect the man standing by the entrées to the lobby, looking rather unsure of himself.
Calmly sipping, he replaced the kettle down in the coffeemaker. Turning around, he approached the man and with a quick look over and a sniff he determined that whatever he was there for it wasn't of the "supernatural" cause. He didn't smell that kind of subtle smell those people usually had over themselves, Angel wouldn't be utterly surprised if the man actually had no notion whatsoever of what went bump in the night. Which increased his curiosity.
Obviously the man was nervous and as his eyes caught sight of Angel the level increased. Amused, Angel observed as the man wetted his lips and took a hesitant step forward.
Before Angel could say anything the surprisingly dark voice of the man could be heard. That made Cordelia stop in mid sentence, her face brightening up like a Christmas tree when her eyes landed on the potential client. She's gonna be disappointed, Angel sing-sang in his mind.
And sure enough, as her eyes managed to catalogue everything visual about him, her smile dimmed significantly. Ouch , subtle Cor…real subtle.
"Are you Mr Angel?"
Shaking himself out of his mental wandering Angel brought his attention back to the man. He was dressed rather formal, but not in any suit that he recognized, especially not for a deliveryman, which, peering behind him and seeing a rather big package leaning against the wall, would indicate that he was.
Acknowledging that indeed he was Angel the man turned around and hoisted the big, flat object and motioned Angel forward handed it over.
"This is for you."
Taking hold of it he watched as the man turned to walk out.
"Hey, aren't I supposed to write on something." Angel called out after the retreating man. Curious. The man didn't even turn around. Suspiciously looking down at the package in his hand he entertained briefly the idea of going after him but alas – it was day. Shrugging, he turned around and positioned the object against the round couch in the middle of the lobby.
He heard Cordelia walk up behind him agreeing with Wesley that that was odd. Just leaving like that.
"Do you think it's dangerous?" Wesley asked, tentively poking the brown paper that covered the thing. "One of Wolfram & Hart's little gifts, perhaps, again?"
"No, I don't think so" Angel shook his head. "I didn't feel anything off about him."
"Oh, well then if your not going to open it and let us all have a look.."
" Wes, we where in the middle of something I believe."
Looking at Wesley, who watched Cordelia´s retreating back, he patiently waited. As he caught his eyes Angel nodded towards her and smiled, "you go ahead."
"Yes. I'll take this up. If it is one of W&H little gifts, I'll let you know."
Hoisting it up Angel walked up to his rooms. Instead walking into his suit he chose another room down the hall, just in case…
It was a rather bare room with just a couple of chairs. The wallpaper, like most of the old Hotel, was dark with age and falling off in places and like a lot of windows in the building, the ones in here were bordered up. Closing the door behind him he walked to the side and lent the object against the wall.
He was rather sure that this was not a W&H little ploy, it just didn't feel like it and he prided himself that he had managed to acquire a rather good ability to sense when it involved them.
Squatting before it he let his hand hover just mere inches from the surface. He could still hear Cordelia going on at full steam, as she had picked up where she had left off before this little interruption.
Listening once again with half an ear (metaphorically speaking), he let his mind wander, pondering if he should open it up now or wait. Suddenly he shook his head as the enraged screeching voice of Cordelia pierced his ears.
"Dammit Wes, You promised! We had a deal, you CAN NOT back out!"
Hmm, something about that sentence sparked something buried deep within him, a memory.
Straightening himself up, he took a few steps back and sank into one of the chairs. With his brows furrowed deep it didn't take long before the memory resurfaced for the first time in a very long time.
Stepping into the foyer of the current house they had acquired for their stay, Angelus took off his gloves, a satisfactory smile on his face. There was a glint in his eyes, though, that told you not to be fooled by his benign features.
Taking his cane, he deposited it in the holder with some others. He handed over his overcoat and gloves to the minion waiting beside him. Turning around he watched as his sire walked in wondering what she had to be so content over. Considering she was the one that lost their little debt. She was due to pay up tonight.
Aaah, she thinks that I will…Chuckling quietly to himself he shook his head, bemused. Nay my love things will not go the way ye want tonight.
Not listening to the orders she gave to the minions that had gathered there as they entered, Angelus walked to the parlour (sitting room) where he wanted things to play out.
Making himself a drink, he waited for her to enter. Soon he heard the soft swoosh, swoosh of the fabric of her dress as she walked through the door.
Turning, he watched as she drifted closer to him, a small knowing smile on her lips.
"Well, well, tonight is the night, hey…My, what ever will you do." She said softly.
Smirking, Angelus dipped his head lower, hovering close to her lips. As she stood on her tiptoes to kiss him he smoothly evaded her, which made her growl.
"Now, now, none of that." He admonished her. "This is my night, remember."
Quickly and as fickle as a summer breeze, she changed her face from one of annoyance to all pleasant giving him her best girlish smile.
"Of course. So what do you have planned, my sweet Angel?"
Leaning down he whispered something into her ear.
"You want to do WHAT?!" she asked furiously. "by- oh, you…you…" shaking her head, her eyes glared coldly up at him.
Taking a step back he just looked at her, unaffected. Setting the glass down he crossed his arms and waited.
"You can't be serious."
"The deal was that I could do whatever I wanted should I win, or have you already forgotten." He stated, his voice betraying nothing.
Even though outwardly he showed no signs, he was in fact carefully, wearily, watching her as her frame shook. Even though he had rights tonight he had learned to act cautiously when she blew her fuse. Luckily it was extremely rare to really enrage her, but when it happened she could easily match if not surpass him.
Smiling at her batting his eyelashes, giving his best dear-look, he said, "Pretty please, sire…."
"I do not find this amusing Angelus." She growled at him, sensing his attempt for lightening things up.
Stepping closer to her Angelus bent his head so that his mouth was near her ear, "Does that mean you´re going to back out?"
"Grrr, no. I never back out. Not when it comes to this, but I thought we were going to do something fun not this…. this!" she said flinging her arms out indicating the scene around her.
"Well this is what I want to do, and you promised, so chop chop and up you go." Grinding his hands together he looked expectantly at her.
Narrowing her eyes at him she stifled a snarl. You just wait, boy, I'm gonna get you.
Lifting his eyebrow as time sank pass them Angelus patiently waited. He knew he had her just where he wanted – though unfortunately, or perhaps not, depending if he could sway her mind, he knew that he would pay for this, he always did.
Taking a deep breath to calm herself down – damn it and I had such wicked things planned for tonight, but nooo, instead I am going to waste it doing… - she shook her shoulders and straightened up her not- so-very- tall figure.
Even though she was more then a head shorter then him he couldn't but marvel how she always managed to be able to look down at him. Luckily she didn't do that often as he had well gotten sick of receiving those types of looks while he was still alive and it never ended prettily.
He refused to let that sway what he had planned for this night. He had waited long for this opportunity and he was damn if he was going to let her scorning attitude affect him.
"Where do you want me?" she finally asked. Her shoulders seamed to have sunken in on herself just a little fraction.
Smiling broadly he stepped forward and around her so that she had to step back and turn to keep him in sight. Grabbing a hold of the big curved loveseat he dragged it a few feet into the room and in front of the fireplace.
She didn't lift a finger to help him, one – because he didn't need it, two – because she was still miffed that there wasn't going to be any frolicking. Crossing her arms she waited for him to finish.
Satisfied at last with the position of the furniture he went over to where he had placed the few items he wanted to use earlier today. He had everything under control.
Seeing the Chinese silk sheet in his hands, a gift he had acquired for her not so long ago, she arched her brow, wondering what he was up to. She didn't say anything though; instead he walked over to the fireplace and gazed into the fire that was merrily burning rosewood, spreading a sweat pleasant smell into the room.
From the corner of his eyes Angelus kept watch over her every move while he extended the sheet over the furniture. Arranging so that it fell over the side and onto the floor, leaving just two corners of the blue satin clad sofa exposed - The lower right corner so that the lion-paw shaped leg came into view and on the left upper corner.
The furniture was placed so that it semi-faced the fireplace letting the golden light play over the shiny material.
Casting her a look, he walked to the door of the room and called out for one of the minions.
Playing with the few crystal trinkets that had been placed on the mantel she absently heard him instruct the minions for something.
Turning her head around she looked on as he closed the door leaning his back against it. Catching his eyes she once again arched her eyebrow in question – and now what?
Smirking a little he took a step towards her, unbuttoning the first few buttons on his shirt, well aware that she was watching his every move.
"You could take your clothes off." He said. Oh she wanted to, but not for the reason he obviously did. Shaking her had sadly she began to do just that. She had some trouble unlacing the back of her dress so Angelus, with a sigh, came and did it for her, not being very careful whether he tore the fabric or not.
She opted to stay silent. After all, this was his night. As she pushed the dress off her shoulders and let it pool on the floor, Angelus turned his back to her and retrieved the things he needed.
While he got everything ready, she managed to undress completely. Looking up, he had to swallow as he caught sight of the vision before him.
Crossing her arms under her full breasts she waited once again.
"Let you hair down." He quietly instructed her. Furrowing her brow she nevertheless did, as well as un-braiding her hair and passing her fingers through them. She let her locks splay out over her shoulder.
As he gave made final preparations on the loveseat partly facing him, he heard a knock on the door. Seeing that she had complied he walked over to the door and opened it carefully so that the minion didn't have a good look into the room. Taking the burden from the minion Angelus closed the door with his foot and carefully laid it on the floor.
"My aren't we being clichéd…" he heard her say. Glaring at her he growled, "If you´re going to be snarky I prefer you to be quiet."
Grabbing the roses Angelus began to tear the petals off throwing them into a container, irritation in his every move. Pausing he took a deep breath to calm himself before he was the one ruining tonight.
Once he regained his calm he began to pluck the remaining petals of the roses lying at his feet. Some he left, as he wanted some roses whole.
Walking with the filled container to her he stopped a few feet from reaching his goal.
Quietly he said, "You know, I just want to paint you, can't you just give me that. The fact that I want to immortalize you in paint?"
"Now why would I want that?" she said lying across the furniture, "I'm already immortal, boy."
"I can guarantee you that you'd like the result, after all I'm painting you as I see you."
Sighing, she looked down at her hands, "Let's just get it on shall we?"
Placing the container down on the floor he walked back retrieving the roses that where left and began placing them around her The petals he placed in such a way that it covered her most private places but still drew your eyes to them. The contrast of her pale skin with the dark red of the petals and the silk sheet under her with the blue satin glimpsing here and there was startling and he knew that when he had managed to capture it all on canvas, the focus and centre of attention would be the woman herself.
Which was exactly what he wanted.
Pushing her a little back so that she semi lay he arranged her hair around her. He told her to hold one of the whole roses and when he was finished the tablue that he was met with was breath taking.
He just hoped he could do her justice.
Walking back to where he had put up the canvas, he asked her to look at him.
At first she glared – she didn't like to feel so exposed. But as she notice how wrapped up he was in his work her eyes softened and she began to listen to the passing of the brush as it met the canvas and she couldn't help being at least a little bit curious of what the end result would be. She knew that he was a talented drawer, having seen many of his sketches, but it was a whole different matter being able to paint with oil.
What she didn't know was that he had cheated a little, having painted the background a while back. Knowing that this was the only chance he would get. The only thing that was missing from the composition was the female herself and some of the details.
Hours had passed when he finally decided that enough was enough. Besides, he was hungry and he knew that his sire was as well, but amazingly enough she hadn't said a word, only humming from time to time.
Cleaning the brushes off, he laid them down on a table beside him and covered the canvas.
"Finished already?" she asked surprised, "and what, aren't I going to see it?" Sitting up, having the petals rain to the floor, she swung her feet down.
"Not now." He answered, "let the paint dry first. Besides it's not quite finished, I'll put in the final touches later."
Taking his shirt off, he stretched, trying to ease the stiffness out off his shoulders and for the first time she noticed his aroused state and she wondered how come she hadn't done so before. She then mentally smacked herself on the head, because you where to annoyed with him. It pleased her that he had been affected by her being splayed out before him.
"I'll be right back," he said as he walked to the door and called out for the same minion that had been there before. Within minutes he came back carrying a container filled, by the smell of it, with blood.
Taking it from him, Angelus once again closed the door in his face with his foot. Walking to her he laid the container on the small table beside them, while she watched his activities.
"Why did you call for that?" she inquired as she to began to stretch muscles sore from being immobile for so long. "We could go out for a quick hunt. There's still time for that." She continued.
"True" he said, "but I want to stay in. I want to make this up to you. Let me take care of you."
Before she could say anything he walked around the loveseat and began to massage her shoulders, slowly driving away her tension.
"You like that?" he asked whispering to her.
Retrieving a goblet Angelus filled it with the nurturing red liquid and handed it to her before going back to her shoulders.
Without a word she slowly drank, enjoying the warmth that lingered still. She knew that he was hungry as well and that he was withholding in a way to show her his appreciation, for what she was unclear of.
Leaning back into his powerful hands she let him do his magic on her. Taking mercy on him she told him that he too could drink.
It wasn't long before the container was empty. Grabbing one of his hands she steered him around so that he stood before her.
"You really want to show me your appreciation?" she asked him. While she drifted her hands over his flat stomach, bless the day I decided to turn him.
An amused glint entered into his dark eyes, as he knew where she was heading. Nodding he said, "I do."
"Well then, "she smirked, "on your knees." Pulling lightly at his hand she watched as he went down. It always thrilled her to have him in this position, even though he was in a submissive posture; there was nothing submissive about him.
Caressing his face she lent slightly forward making him arc his neck to come to her and kissed him. Caressing her fingers through his long hair she sighed into his mouth.
With a last peck to his lips she withdrew her hands and placed them behind her leaning backwards, more petals falling to the floor. Spreading her legs, placing them on either side and opening herself up to him she said, "Show me how much."
She was already wet at the thought of what he was going to do. Making himself comfortable on the floor he lifted his hand and brushed away some errant petals from her thighs. Sliding his hands down them he rested on her knees massaging them as well.
Leaning forward he began to do exactly that, though he couldn´t resist toying with her a little but stopped when he heard her say, "Boy. I'm not feeling very appreciated here."
Internally shacking his head bemusedly he did as he was told.
He helped her rode out her first orgasm and then the next knowing he had a long way until he could seek any type of realise for himself.
Mentally sighing he figured that this was her retaliation – or at least one could hope as it was definitely the more preferable choice of action if one took in the other ones into consideration.
He had perfected the act of giving her exactly what she wanted, meeting her every need and desire while his mind drifted. Which is why while he gave her orgasm after orgasm. Ignoring the throbbing pain of his own denied erection, he thought of the things he needed to do for the upcoming trip to the Arabic world, since she had expressed her desire to see the Muslim world, not to mention snack on the men for their patronising way with their women.
He doubted that they were like that, or at least any different from the Europeans but he'd never had an Arab and was curious how they tasted, perhaps better then Germans, aye much better then Germans, they must be.
Having taken pity and after being thoroughly pleasured she pulled his head back and up against her so that he was laying flush against her nude glistening body. She could feel the dawn outside the closed shutters but she wanted to relieve him of his, err situation.
As they kissed she quickly unfastened his trousers and she felt him sighing in relief. Pushing them down to the floor she made short work of him seeking release in her.
The power of his orgasm drained him of his strength and he collapsed on top of her, nuzzling into her neck.
Gently caressing him over his shoulders, making his post shiver go away and over his dampened hair, she murmured things no one is meant to hear but him.
"Think you can go to our room or are you too tired out?" she asked him after awhile. Placing his hands on either side of her, feeling her legs sprawled to the floor, he hoisted himself up. Looking down at her, her hair sprawled out around her, her eyes shining he felt his heart constrict.
Looking around the room and to the window he saw the light seeping through the cracks in the shutters. Returning his attention to her he nodded while she removed the hair hanging down over his forehead.
Pushing back he slowly stood up feeling the dull throbbing his knees gave after being on the floor so long. Grimacing he grabbed her hand and pulled her up catching her as she wobbled.
Never relinquishing her hand he walked to the door knowing that the clothes would be taken care of and if necessary either replaced or fixed.
Before long they where in the rooms that they had picked to stay in during the days when they chose this house. Closing the door behind him he watched as his sire moved to the bed and crawled into it gasping hugely while stretching like a cat. Burring under the covers she lifted her head asking him, "Are you coming."
Smirking tiredly as the effect of the burning ball outside in the sky was making itself known to his being he though, now there's a few way to answer that, but before he could say anything she interrupted him, "don't even…"
Shrugging he walked to the bed and said, "I'm coming."
Lifting the covers he too buried into them, wrapping them around both him and her, almost making him purr with the pleasure. Spooning behind her he pulled her into him and as he felt her hand grasp his he let sleep take him knowing that she would follow soon.
Few days later.
It was midday and Angelus was still asleep. She knew that he had been working on the portrait and last night she had heard him murmur about it being finally finished. Even though they had been rather busy, with both hunting and finally making the arrangement to travel and she was tired, her curiosity was almost killing her, metaphorically speaking of course. It had been so long since she saw herself that she didn't really remember anymore. She knew she was beautiful, having never been short of men telling her that, or even women, but to actually see herself even if it were through the eyes of her childe, well she could hardly resist taking a peek now could she?
The house was quiet since everyone was asleep. Wrapping her robe around her she quietly opened the door to the room. If Angelus knew what she was doing, uh oh, but he won't.
Quickly stepping through she closed the door behind her. Looking around she detected the covered canvas in the corner. She noticed that there was no evident of what had been going on just a few days ago. One can complain a lot about minions but the ones they had sure were efficient.
Walking to the canvas she grabbed the cover and carefully removed it. Stepping around and in front of it she gasped as one hand flew to her mouth. She couldn't but stare incredulously at the picture before her. Is that the way I look? Is that the way he sees me?
Mentally whimpering she stretched out one hand but stopped before she actually touched it, only letting it ghost over it.
She couldn't deny the beauty before her and she felt tears gather in her eyes. My boy, my beautiful boy, what have you gotten yourself into now?
One tear manages to escape down her cheek as she once again covered the canvas carefully to not disturb it.
Quietly she returned to their room and, standing leaning against the door, she watched him sleeping, her heart contracting inside her with a feeling she knew but couldn't understand why.
Shaking her head she slowly walked to the bed and slipped inside knowing that he unconsciously would grab her and spoon behind her, and sure enough, he did.
Grabbing his hands as he burrowed into her, she closed her eyes and fell asleep unaware of the radiant smile that graced her face.
In another place, in another time.
"Angeeeeell" a voice shrieked. "Where the Hell are you?"
Signing he shook his head and stood up, leaving the wrapped package leaning against the wall. Walking out of the room he carefully closed the door before walking to the staircase and looking down at the brunette currently chasing the taller thinner man around the lobby of the old hotel.
From the corner of her eyes she saw him and abruptly stopped, managing to grab the last jelly donut from the man's grasp.
"Oh there you are! Where the heck have you been?" she asked planting one fist against her side. She stomped her foot while taking a bite from the donut careful to keep one eye out for the man hovering close by.
With another deep sigh which to his annoyance seemed to be a habit he picked up since beginning to deal with her in his life, he began to walk down.
"What is it Cordelia." He softly asked, the lingering memory of that night still in his mind. Sensing something in his tone of voice, a furrow appeared briefly between her brows before shrugging it off as she knew he wouldn't talk about it until he wanted to, if he ever did.
"You are the one that chose this place as our new work place, so you deal with the paperwork, beside there is a guy in the office to see you."
"A guy?" he asked, "when did he get here, who is he?"
"Geesh how the heck should I know? Go talk to him." She huffed before walking to the sofas splayed out in the lobby, grabbing the box with the remaining donuts in them.
"Hey, leave some for the rest of us." The thin man exclaimed as he stomped to her, managing to grasp one donut.
Rolling his eyes Angel said, "Behave kids." Sometimes they could really make him feel old.
"I'm not being the grabber here, Cordelia is!" blurted the man.
"Oh please, Wes, get a grip." She huffed as she devoured the last jelly donut to the disbelieving eyes of Wesley.
Firmly closing the door behind him Angel turned his attention to the man sitting in the chair in front of the desk. It was a rather plain looking man with a briefcase on the floor beside him. Hearing the door close the man turned to him. Nodding to him Angel walked around the desk and sat down saying, "I'm Angel, what can I do for you?"
"Hello Mr Angel," said the man, "I'm Mr McCrew and I'm here to bringing you the last of the papers for this place."
"Oh, I though I had already done the necessary things."
"Oh in a way you have, but this is just to make everything legal, no loopholes and such as you requested." Mr McCrew said as he opened his briefcase taking out the envelope containing the papers. Handing it over he lent back.
Angel took it and opened it, removing the papers, briefly eyeing them through. He could sense that that was not the only reason Mr McCrew was there to see him and he pointed that out.
"Err, yes you would be correct." Stuttered the man. "You see I have this problem, something I can't take to the police since they most surely would throw me into a nut house faster then you could say zimkareem, and I- well I heard that you- what I mean to say is-"
Talking the man out of his nervousness, it didn't take much for them to get down to business – Cordelia should be pleased that we have a paying customer, he thought, as he escorted the man out.
Taking the envelope with the last papers for the Hotel Hyperion he walked past the reception desk and left the notes for their new case on top of it, throwing behind him as he walked up the stairs that they had a new client.
He could hear her squeal and both of them rush to the desk. Tuning them out he went to leave the envelope in his room before returning to the package he had been looking at when this all began.
Closing the door behind him and locking it he walked up to the wrapped object leaning against the wall.
It was a little over a meter tall and almost a little over a half as wide. Taking out a pickpocket knife from his pants he began to remove the cords binding the thing up. He didn't know what it could contain but it had been sent to him using his old name.
Taking a step back he began to tear the protecting wrapper from it. Soon a corner was revealed and it showed a mark, the ones usually around a painting. Pausing as he suddenly had a strange feeling about it, he took another step back.
Shrugging it off as he had come so far – might as well go all the way – he tore the last cover away.
"Oh no." his whimper could be heard. His hand shook and held the remaining wrapper in a suddenly cramped grasp.
"What, how, why?" sinking down to his knees he let go of the wrapping and lifted trembling hands towards the flat surface of the picture in front of him.
He knew this one; he made this one – he remembers that time so clearly. Shaking his head, closing his eyes, he in a way hoped that the image before him would change. Peeking through one eye it nevertheless showed the same thing.
"I though we lost it..." He whispers as he carefully traced the features of the woman painted on the canvas. Many things could be said about it but one could not but notice the feeling portrayed in every brushstroke that had been made, a feeling the painter had been unaware of at the time it was made. And which ironically in spite of everything that had happened, hadn't diminished over time.
His eyes glazed over as tears filled them thinking of everything lost. Leaning forward he rested lightly his forehead against the woman in the picture letting his tear fall down.
One name drifting over his lips, "Darla…"
After a while he collected himself and stood up. Grabbing the canvas he walked out of the room and hid it where none of his employees would ever find it. Where he could go to be alone and remember.
As he went to sleep that night, it was the first time he dreamt of her and - she felt so real. He could almost believe she was actually there…