I must have looked rather moronic stood at the door, my eyes widened in shock, whilst Parker stood there, casually waiting with his hands in his pockets. I didn't understand why I was so shocked that he was here at my house, maybe it was because his eyes were back to their warm selves. I gulped, trying to banish my dream that kept cropping back up in the centre of my mind, and took a step outside, shutting the door quietly behind me. I hoped Angel would be able to survive my Mom without me for a seconds – which was a really stupid thought as I knew he was immortal, even my Mom couldn't bore someone like that to death.
'Hey Buffy, sorry for just dropping in like this,' said Parker, running his fingers through his hair.
I wished he hadn't just dropped in like this. Angel was in the house, probably already listening closely to his thoughts, and I didn't even want to imagine the tension if he were to step outside for a moment. I shrugged the image of Angel ripping Parker's head off out of my mind. I reminded myself that it was me who deserved to have their head ripped off.
'Uh, no – it's ok!' I smiled.
Parker returned my smile.
We stood awkwardly, both with our arms folded over our chests, gazing in opposite directions. The dream continued to replay in my head repeatedly, though I started to wonder if it had just been a dream. Maybe it had just been my self conscious thinking ahead of its self. Maybe it had never happened. Yet, Parker blew this theory out of the window…
'You and Angel, huh?' he asked.
I looked up and instantly winced. The dark look, which he had possessed in my dream, had returned again. Without thinking, I took a step backwards. Parker was my friend and I never once thought he would hurt me intentionally, although the look in his eyes would make even the bravest man take a few steps back.
'Yeah,' I said.
He pinched the bridge of his nose, taking a deep breath through his mouth, with his eyes clamped shut. I noticed his other fist was clenched tight, his knuckles whitening.
'Parker,' I said, reaching my hand out towards him.
As soon as my hand rested on his arm, he slowly relaxed. He unclenched his fist and let his eyes flutter open. Once again, the softness of his eyes returned and he sent me an apologetic smile.
'I'm sorry,' he apologized, running his fingers through his hair.
I smiled softly, nodding my head to show that I had accepted his apology.
'What are you here for, Parker?' I asked.
Parker seemed to be debating his answer in his head. Whilst he tried to figure out his answer, I turned my head slightly and listened carefully. A few moments later, I heard Mom's laughter enveloping the silence. I smiled – it seemed Angel was winning over her heart already.
'I just wanted to see you.'
I turned my attention back to Parker and noticed he was smiling sadly. He shoved his hands into his pockets, looking down at his feet. I shuffled forward and wrapped my arms around his waist, digging my face into his chest. I felt him pull his hands out of his pockets and wrap them around my waist, pulling me closer to his body. Eventually I pulled away and smiled at him. Parker smiled back, though the sadness still swirled around his eyes.
'Goodbye,' he finally said.
He pulled me into another hug and planted a kiss on the top of my head. He pulled away and headed down the steps, pulling out his car keys as he went. I watched as Parker jumped into his car, started the engine, and pulled out onto the road, waving to me as he drove off with the same sad smile. It was only a few seconds later when I realised he wasn't going in the right direction to school.
'Like I said, Angel, it was nice meeting you.'
I heard the volume of Mom's voice increasing. I spun around as she opened the door. Angel stepped out of the house. His brown orbs glanced over me, probably assessing me for any signs that Parker had upset me, before turning back to Mom and charming her with his dazzling smile.
'It was nice meeting you too, Miss Summers,' he replied.
Mom smiled at him, the adoration clear in her eyes.
Angel wrapped his arm around my waist, said his goodbyes to Mom, and walked me over to his Jeep. Mom stood at the door and watched in amusement as I climbed into the passenger seat. I slammed the door shut, fastened my seatbelt, and waited whilst Angel fumbled around looking for his keys. Feeling the purr of the engine, I looked out of the window and waved to Mom. When we turned around the corner, I let my hand fall. I turned to Angel, who had his eyes firmly on the road, and quickly reminded myself to breathe.
'I think that went better than expected,' he said proudly.
I laughed softly. 'What did she think?'
'She kept admiring my eyes,' chuckled Angel, fluttering his eyelashes, 'and she thinks I am a good influence on you. In fact, she is quite keen on having me around for a long time. Though, I doubt her definition of 'long time' is a few centuries like it is to me.'
I grinned. I was glad that Mom liked Angel – it just made it so much easier now. Then again, who wouldn't like Angel? Sure he had manners, morals, and was very protective of me, constantly radiating his unconditional love for me … but who could resist that dazzling smile? Even if Mom had hated him when she first saw him, if he smiled at her then she would have melted like butter in the sun.
We pulled up in the parking lot. As always, Cordelia's red convertible was there, standing out amongst the other cars in the parking lot with its glossy brightness. Parked next to Cordelia's car was a black shiny Porsche. My jaw dropped, gazing at the car with amazement.
'Spike's and Faith's,' Angel said, noticing my astounded look. 'I bought it them as a present.'
'You bought it them as a present? A car? A present is aftershave or jewellery,' I gasped.
A car for a present? That just proved that he had more money than sense. In his garage, from what I had seen, was a huge Jeep, a glossy convertible and a shiny Porsche. The cars alone probably cost more than my house. And that wasn't even including Wesley's or Tara's car …
'What cars do Wesley and Tara have?' I questioned as we walked to class.
'Wesley has a Mercedes Benz. Tara has a Mini Cooper,' answered Angel.
I was pulled out of thoughts when I felt Angel's cool fingers wrap around mine. It never ceased to amaze me that this beautiful man was mine. As long as I would live, I would never understand what I had done to deserve this amount of good fortune.
Turning around the corner, I noticed Willow and Oz, hands intertwined, walking in front of us. I tightened my grip on Angel's hand and dragged him towards them, trying to catch up with their pace. However, for a few seconds, I forgot Angel could be as rigid as a statue and that, no matter how hard I pulled, I would be unable to budge him. Angel chuckled and pressed a kiss in my hair, following my speedy pace.
'Willow! Oz!' I shouted.
The couple spun around. Willow grinned happily as she saw our linked hands – she looked like she was ready to burst out squealing. Oz nodded his head at me and Angel, a small smile graced upon his face. As we approached them, I heard Angel laugh quietly. I turned to give him a puzzled look, confused as to what he was laughing at, though he merely gave me a look that said
'I'll tell you later'.
'Look at you two! With the holding hands thing and happy smiles,' Willow exclaimed.
She pulled her hand out of Oz's and hugged me tightly.
'I've never seen either of you so happy,' Willow whispered in my ear.
I knew Angel probably heard. I looked up to see him dazzling me with his usual beautiful smile.
For the rest of the day, there was only one thought on my mind: where was Parker?
I was supposed to have at least two lessons with him today, though he was absent for both of them. I wondered if he was ditching – I wouldn't blame him as History and Spanish were very boring subjects. However, when lunch came, I sat at our usual table, dragging Angel over as well, and was surprised to see everyone there except Parker. When I asked Xander where he was, I noticed Angel stiffen slightly besides me. Knowing that we had Physics together next, I decided to question him then …
Walking to Physics, allowing Xander and Anya's light babble to fill the silence, I watched Angel out of the corner of my eye. He seemed completely at ease: his fingers were intertwined with mine – as they always were nowadays – and he even seemed to find Xander slightly amusing … though I couldn't work out if he was amused with Xander's words or thoughts. Finally, after Xander and Anya headed off to Geography, we headed into Physics. I was glad that Angel was unable to read my thoughts – he would be unaware of the interrogation he was about to suffer.
'So …' I started off casually.
'Just ask me,' Angel smiled.
I stared at him. How did he know I wanted to ask him something. 'I thought you couldn't read my mind!'
'I can't,' he frowned, pulling out his Physics book, 'but I know you. You want to ask me something, so … go ahead.'
I decided to just come right out and ask.
'Where's Parker?' I said.
Once again, Angel stiffened. However when he saw me staring at him, he slowly relaxed. His face remained composed.
'He's gone,' Angel finally answered.
My eyes widened. I was shocked … hurt. Why did he leave? Why didn't he tell me he was leaving? And then I realized. The pieces of the jigsaw fit together like they always did. Without using words, he had told me. He came today to my house to see me one last time. Without letting me know, he was saying goodbye. I guess that explained why he turned up unexpectedly. Parker knew that I would have argued with him if he told me he was leaving – I would have forced him to change his mind.
'It was all he was thinking about this morning,' said Angel, breaking me out of my thoughts. 'He doesn't know whether he'll come back or not …'
'Why?' I asked, looking up at Angel with devastated eyes.
Angel frowned. He reached out and pushed a lock of hair behind my ear, letting his hand linger on my cheek.
'Now, now, Mr O'Conner – less of the public display of affection,' chuckled Mr Howell, dropping a few sheets on our table.
Angel let his hand fall and grabbed the sheets, placing one in front of me. He pulled his pen out and began writing, finishing the sheet before I could even find a pen. Luckily, Angel passed me his and I was able to get to work. As I worked, Angel decided to fill me in.
'His thoughts gave me no exact reason. He just decided he needed to leave. I guess he just needs time,' mumbled Angel.
I nodded sadly.
When I stepped out of the classroom, I felt a surge of calmness pulse through me. I looked around to see Spike leaning against the opposite wall, smiling happily at me. I returned the smile and headed over to him, Angel following behind.
'Nice car,' I said.
'It was a very generous present from Peaches here,' replied Spike, nodding at Angel.
I looked around and realised Faith was nowhere to be seen. Faith was usually with Spike, so it was unusual for her to be absent. Angel must have noticed me looking around.
'She ditched last period to go hunting with Tara,' Angel informed me in a whisper.
I nodded and slumped off in the direction of the parking lot. I could hear Angel and Spike talking to each other in murmured whispers, although I was too upset to even try and be angry at them. Spike's calmness was wearing off.
The weather increased my awful mood. It was raining heavily and I hadn't brought an umbrella. I stepped out into the rain, without even bothering to put up my hood, and headed over to Angel's car. I waited as Angel quickly finished his conversation with Spike and ran over, a little too quickly for a human, to open the passenger door for me. I got in and slammed the door shut. Shivers erupted through my body, my teeth chattered loudly and rain drops dripped from my hair onto my face. Angel got in the drivers seat and took one look at me. He pulled off his jacket and wrapped it around my shoulders, before leaning into the back of the car and pulling out a soft looking, warm blanket. Wrapping that around me as well, he pressed a kiss to my forehead.
'I love you,' he whispered.
I felt my heart stutter. He loved me …
'I love you too,' I said, staring into his brown orbs.
And I truly did.
Authors Note: I AM SO SO SO SORRY! Ok, awful writers block! Urgh, I hate it. And it has been two months since I last updated – I am totally sorry! But, thank you SOOOOOOOOO much for getting me to 200 reviews and thank you to everyone who adds it to story alerts &/or favourites. You are all stars. Since I made you wait so long, I thought I'd slip in the fluff at the end. Hope I haven't disappointed with this chapter! Lots of love x