Wow! When I said that you would have to wait for the next chap… I didn't imagine it would take all these months for it to come forth. I can't say much more than I'm sorry. Life got in the way. My job, which involves writing, got too demanding.
But, I am back. On vacation and I'll be writing more often.
Thanks for everyone that reviews and are still following my story. So, we were left with a kiss… right?
Angel sat in his office trying to concentrate in his work, which consisted of Buffy's case. He was trying to analyze all the material they got so he could built his argumentation for the judgment.
But truth was he was failing miserably. It had been two days since he had last seen his client. Two days since he had kissed Buffy. And the kiss was hunting him. He didn't mean for it to happen, but in one moment he was just trying to comfort her and the next one she was so close. He could smell her vanilla scent. Her lips were just inches away and he gave up. Pretty simple.
However, it was not that simple. He had trouble before with clients wanting more than his law services. He was obliged to tell than he was prohibited to do so by his own ethics towards his work. Let alone the rules of the American Bar Association against sleeping with clients, which prevented complications as being called as a witness against the said clients.
In this case, Holland could use any inappropriate behavior of his part with Buffy against them to confuse the members of the jury. Holland could use their relationship by saying, for example, that he was being a lot harder on his client because he had a personal interest in the matter. This could lead to the change of Buffy's lawyer, which could help Holland to lessen Xander's punishment.
Angel turned his chair to look through the window behind his desk. If he was really true with himself, he would also admit that he had run. Yes. He had run away from Buffy faster than if he had seen the devil itself. He was scared of what he was feeling. His experience with Cordelia had hurt pretty badly. Then, he didn't know if Buffy would want to have anything with him. She had kissed him back, but he was not that good in reading woman, was he?
He was still mulling his options when his door was opened.
"So, Peaches. Good morning!"
Angel growled loudly and turned his chair to look at his friend.
"William, I told you I do not want to be called that."
Spike ignored the fact that Angel had called him by his given name, sat in the chair in front of Angel's desk and put his legs over the man's desk.
"You are growling. That is bad. What is it? Man, you are in a bad mood and it is only nine thirty. Tell dad here what the matter is."
"Not know, Spike."
"Hey, man. I thought you would be all happy happy with the turn in your girl's case…"
"She is not my girl!"
Angel snapped so fast that Spike had to smile. He baited and Angel fell for it.
"You… are… whipped by that girl?!This is priceless. Wait until I tell the guys."
Spike clapped his hands and laughed loudly.
"I am not whipped! Buffy is my client."
"She is a woman… and a really beautiful one…"
"Stop it, Spike!"
"Ok, I didn't see her personally, but from the pictures I saw… she is beautiful. If not for my Faith…"
Angel growled again. He was definitively jealous.
"Come on, Mate! You are totally smitten with the little bit."
"Spike. I already told you. She is my client. If I am having a bad mood today, it is not related to her."
"So. It is related to her. Tell me."
Angel ran his hand through his hair and looked his friend dead in the eyes.
Angel closed his eyes and leaned his head on his table when the memory of the kiss came back to haunt him.
"You are shaking."
"It's nothing. It will pass. It just… I can't process everything yet, but I am feeling free you know. It is like a huge weight was lifted."
Angel put some of Buffy's hair behind her ear. They were so close that Buffy could smell his cologne. When their eyes finally met, they held the contact as if there was something splendid in each other eyes. Angel swallowed hard because that strong urge to kiss Buffy, to sample her lips, came back with full force. He had to get up and get away from her. He just didn't find the will to do so. Before his brain fully processed his actions, he leaned and kissed her.
Angel caressed Buffy's lips so softly that she invited him in immediately. When their tongues met, they dueled for pleasure with need. He pulled Buffy against him and deepened the kiss. Buffy leaned in the kiss, feeling Angel's lips against her. They wanted to taste each other badly. She put her hands around his neck and tugged at the hair in the back of his head.
That brought Angel back to his senses. Angel pulled away instantly, got up and took some steps away from Buffy.
"Buffy, I am… sorry… sorry… I shouldn't… I... I'm going."
He practically ran to the door and left without turning back. If he had done so he would have seen Buffy touching her lips.
Angel could still feel Buffy's taste in his mouth and he wanted nothing more than to kiss her again. And that was why he had called his mother so she could tell Buffy he was not going to be around because he was going to work on her case.
However, the truth was that he was delaying a much needed confrontation with her. He knew that he had probably hurt her by leaving the way he left, but he needed time to sort through his feelings and assure himself that he could do his job and leave aside how he felt about her.
He got his head up from the desk when he heard the voice of his annoying friend again.
"So… are you planning to tell me what is happening so I can go take care of my business… or should I just stay here with you all day and…"
"Jesus, no! Actually, I have a favor to ask."
"What you think of being Buffy's lawyer?"
"I don't want a new lawyer!"
Both man turned to see Buffy standing at the door.
Buffy sat in one chair in the porch near the pool of Angel mother's house holding little Anne, while Drusilla was in the house talking to her mother. The little girl really seemed taken with her. Anne smiled and played with a strand of her hair, which brought a sad smile to Buffy's face too.
She had thanked God that Drusilla brought the little girl for a visit. That gave her an excuse to stop thinking about Angel and the kiss they shared every second of the last two days. Her brain was stuck in the he had kissed her part and nothing seemed to make her leave that state between utter shock and elation. The kiss had been soft, gentle and delicious. It was like lights dimmed everywhere else.
Then, he had run away and stayed away since.
It was confusing and it hurt. He was the one to start the kiss. Did that mean he was interested in her or that he just used the opportunity presented for him? From what she had heard and seen, he didn't seem like the sort of man to do the second, so was it the first? Why did he run? Why didn't he came back to talk to her? Did he just felt sorry for her and took the comforting a little too far?
Everything was also confusing. She knew she had feelings for Angel. She was not naïve enough to not recognize them, but she knew she could not go into a relationship. She was not ready for that, if she ever will be after what happened. Then, a voice told her that she didn't have a panic attack when Angel kissed her. That was a big achievement, considering that she was so afraid of men that it was difficult to be in the same room with one of them.
There were also the specifics of how they came to know each other. He was her lawyer after all. The truth was she did not know what to do. Was he still her lawyer?
Buffy was so engrossed in her thoughts that she didn't realize Drusilla was back.
"She really likes you, doesn't she?"
Buffy looked up to see Drusilla smiling at her. She took one of Anne's fingers to play with.
"Yes. She does. She is a doll."
"You seem a little down."
"I… it… it's just I've been thinking about things."
"Do you want to talk?"
She shook her head. Buffy looked to the far horizon and then turned her gaze to Anne.
"Since my parents rejected me I've dreamed of having a family you know. Now I'm holding Anne and I just ask myself if I can have a baby of mine one day. I mean be a complete woman."
"Buffy, you are a complete woman."
"Am I? I don't see it like that. I was not good enough to be a daughter or sister. I don't even know if I am fully equipped to have a baby, to be a mother. Will the baby love me? Want me? Let alone that for that to happen I have to be wanted as a woman. I don't know if I can ever be a woman fully."
"I've already told that you can be everything you want. I must say that you gave a huge pass to put all of this behind you when you confronted that man. You are a survivor and that should tell a lot about you and what you can do. Now, why are you so worried about having babies and relationships? Were you or are you interested in someone?"
Buffy was staring at little Anne, but when she heard the question she looked up so fast that Drusilla knew she had hit the mark. She also imagined who the someone was.
"No! I am thinking in general and the future… but… but supposed there was someone. Do you really think it could happen?"
Buffy was thinking of Angel. How good to kiss him had been. She also wanted to confide in Drusilla what happened, but she didn't find the courage to do so. She missed to have friends to talk to, but Drusilla was Angel's sister.
"Yes, but for that to happen you will have to let go of the past just like Faith did. Do you think you can do that? One thing I can say. If there is… there was someone, I'd start my own healing as soon as possible so I'd give myself and the person a chance. I already offered it to you."
"Thanks. I will follow your advice."
"Mom has the number to my office. You can call and make an appointment when you feel ready."
"Can I ask you something?"
"Well, since Anne is so taken with you, I'd like to know if you would like to be her babysit."
"I don't know what to say. I mean, I don't have a job right now, but… take care of a baby? I took care of my sister Dawn. When things got rough at home even before I was… kicked out… I used to babysit to raise some money for me, but it's been a while since I did that. "
"You do have the experience and Anne just loves you. You can choose. If you want I can leave Anne here or you can go to my home and come back at the end of the day."
"But… but I don't leave here. I can't come back in the end of the day like I belong here."
"Well. Then you should tell that to my mother. You can think of it since this arrangement is not for now."
Buffy smiled. She loved the little baby girl and knew she would accept the offer.
"Can I ask you something?"
"What would you do if something happened and you didn't know what it means or where you stand?"
"Well. I am not the one to sit down and wait for things to solve themselves. I'd do exactly what you did with that man and confront things. I'd have an answer to my questions at least."
Buffy had been mulling what to do and hearing what Drusilla said, she was reminded that If Mohammed can't go to the mountain, the mountain will go to Mohammed. It was time to confront her fears and pay Angel a visit.
"Doesn't anyone knock anymore?"
Angel stared at Buffy standing at the door, with Faith behind her. Spike was staring appreciatively at his client.
"Sorry, Angel. I couldn't keep Buffy waiting."
"You know, bro. The pictures do not do her justice."
"Get out, Spike!"
When he passed Buffy he grabbed her left hand and kissed it.
"Nice finally meeting you, Buffy. My boy there has been obsessed..."
Angel cleared his throat and gave Spike a warning stare.
"… as I was saying before being rudely interrupted, my man here has been obsessed… with your case."
Spike winked. Buffy turned to Angel and then to Spike.
"It doesn't seem so since he was trying to ditch me thirty seconds ago."
"Oh, no matter! Peaches is in a bad mood today."
Spike left closing the door behind him. Buffy walked and sat in a chair in front of Angel's desk.
"So, she is beautiful huh?"
Faith glared at her husband with a pout.
"Hey! You are my princess. Nobody can come anywhere near you, my darling."
"It didn't seem so two minutes ago."
"That?! I was just trying to get to Peaches. And I did. He may not admit it. You know how the man is uptight, but he is totally smitten with that blonde inside."
"You think so too?"
Spike was about to answer when Faith saw a couple walking towards them.
"So, you were trying to ditch me. Why?"
Buffy decided to be direct. She didn't have the time or energy to play stupid games. She wanted to address the problems with them soon so she'd know exactly where she stood.
"Buffy. I was not trying to ditch you. I just asked my friend if he wanted to be your lawyer."
"After… after what… what happened…"
Angel gave Buffy a hurt look. She was treating their kiss like it was not that important to her, while it threw him more than he wanted to admit. However, she was making everything easy for him because it was clear that she was not really interested in him.
"Y-y-yeah. I am really sorry for what I did. It was not very professional. The only thing I can say in my defense is that I am not planning for it to happen ever again. That was a fluke. You were emotional and I'm not that good dealing with that sort of things. So, I acted stupidly. I don't go around doing that to my clients though."
Angel was doing his best to leave his growing feelings for Buffy aside and let it clear to her that he was not harassing her in any way.
"However, I thought you wouldn't be comfortable with me being your lawyer after what happened. So, I was already searching for options. Spike is a close friend and has taken care of cases similar to yours. So, he is fully capable of helping you if you decide you don't want me… I mean, my services anymore."
Buffy put her hands on his table and looked at Angel directly. Part of her was hurt that he was being so casual about their kiss. Part of her thought she was being rejected. Again. That made her want to cry.
However, she swallowed her pain when she realized it was for the best. She was not ready to have anything with him or any man yet. If ever. She knew she had a huge emotional baggage she had to sort out. It would not be fair to dump it on his shoulders. Angel seemed a nice guy and he should have a nice girl as well.
"Look. Let's put this behind us. I was told you were the best among the best. You proved it when you found what nobody did and helped me to prove Xander's crimes. I need you. I want you… I mean, I need your services… ok?"
Angel gave her a smile. If Buffy could see beyond her own feelings of deception, she would see his smile didn't reach his eyes.
"Well. Then, I am going back to your mother's house. I promised her that I would be there in time to help doing something with her plants."
"Thanks. My mother is very much alone in that enormous house. We tried to make her sell it, but I think she can't part with the place she lived most of her life and was happy with my father."
Angel had just opened the door when he saw the couple standing in front of Faith. His eyes bulged, which made Buffy turn around… to see a woman who was a copy of herself with a man with glasses.
AN.: Yep! I am bad, bad, bad! Left you with another cliffhanger. Buffy is going to meet her true parents.
Next chapter, Angel will do something very funny. I am already writing it and I truly hope I can post it next Wednesday. I'll be updating my other fics before that.