Different club, same old story, Cordy thought as she walked out of the Raven (an exclusive "adult only" nightclub on the outskirts of Sunnydale- her mature facial features would've gotten her in if her chest hadn't), rummaging through her purse for her blackberry lip gloss.
"Well, aren't you a pretty little thing."
Cordy looked up from her bag to see the smirking, British vamp the voice belonged to. He was leaning against the wall of the front of the club like he owned the place, arms crossed and muscles bulging against the sleeves of his leather jacket.
Luckily, her right hand was still in the bag, so she used it to grab the stake she carried there (and no, she didn't carry one because she was a pathetic little Buffy wannabe- as if- but because she felt safer with the weapon knowing what she knew about the creatures of the night. Also, it came in use when some jackasses got handsy and/or didn't grasp the concept of "no means no"- except for that one guy who hadn't been threatened at all and had growled "kinky"…he she had had no choice but to roundhouse-kick in the groin) and pull it out.
"Easy, love," he chuckled, throwing his hands up, "I'm full. No worries."
He pulled out a lighter and a pack of Menthols from the inside of his jacket, emptying one into his hand.
"Oh, how rude of me- you want one?"
Hazel eyes narrowed in suspicion.
"Fine," she said coolly, "but you light it. I'm not letting go of this stake."
"Don't trust me as far as you can throw me, eh?"
"Not even that much…and that's saying something, seeing that I can throw you pretty damn far."
"Yeah, I'm an athlete."
"What's your sport?" he asked, handing her one. She placed it between her lips and he flicked the end with his silver lighter.
Cordy held it with her index and middle finger, inhaled, and blew a perfect ring of smoke above her. Spike was impressed (which he rarely was…generally his expression ranged from "completely bored" to "somewhat amused") that such a young thing even knew how.
Spike nearly choked on his cigarette.
"Excuse me," she said prissily, "you don't get to laugh until you've done five rounds of cartwheels, handsprings, and heavy lifting without skipping a beat and a smile on your face. The only reason it's not officially a sport is because of the goddamn patriarchy."
"You're awfully cheeky, considering I could drain you of blood faster than you can say 'boo'."
"Figure if you wanted to kill me, you would've by now. Besides, Buffy would see it as a direct message to her, since everything is always about her, and then you'd have to deal with her. Who wants that headache?"
He stared at her, mouth agape, but it didn't affect the blasé way in which she took another drag.
"You don't hold back, do you, poppet?"
"Not really. I've said it before and I'll say it again: tact is just not saying true stuff."
Spike pondered that for a bit.
"You smoke kind of, like…elegantly," he observed.
"Maybe…I was a queen in a past life," she said seriously.
"I believe it."
"Yeah…I don't really get why so many girls want to be princesses. I mean, I guess I saw the draw when I was younger, how you'd get power but no responsibility...but I think that'd get boring after a while. I'd much rather be a queen. They actually do things."
The vampire let his gaze sweep over her: long, tan legs, short, black skirt, silk, red blouse, chestnut waves falling softly around her shoulders, pouty, lipstick-covered lips…her body was developed for a high schooler, but other than that she could've been any beautiful girl, except for one thing: her eyes were different than a typical American teenager's, for the sharp, crystallized anger of cynicism resided within them.
"There's more to you than meets the eye," he said simply.
The snort she emitted at his observation was at odds with the languidly graceful way in which she smoked.
"Well," she said with a grimace, "you're the only one who thinks so."
They smoked in silence for a while, looking at the parking lot across from them, the moon that hung in the sky among a sprinkling of stars and swirling clouds.
"So," he drawled, "what's new with you?"
"Well…I got a rebar to the stomach. I'm avoiding my old friends, and I'm avoiding my ex, since he cheated on me with Willow. So, you know… I've been better."
"Willow…d'you mean the little witch?"
"The very same."
"Figures. It's always the innocent-looking ones."
"Tell me about it."
A new, much louder band must've started playing inside, as the wall buzzed with the bass. A group of inebriated men opened the doors of the club, shoving each other all the way to their car.
"You can put that away, you know," he said, eyeing they weapon.
"I don't…I don't really want to kill you," he said sheepishly, as if it were an embarrassing confession, "actually, I've enjoyed your company so far."
She shook her head adamantly. He shrugged, as if to say "suit yourself".
"What's your name again, chit?"
"Ah…heart of the lion."
"Your name. That's what it means, near enough. Coeur de leon."
"Huh," she said, considering.
"I like that," she decided.
"Thought you might."
Cordelia flicked the remainder of her cig in the ashtray on top of the garbage can before tossing the rest in.
"I gotta get home, so I should probably-"
"I'll walk you to your car."
The pair walked to her cherry Corvette.
"You know…" he said finally, "just because we had some nice chitchat doesn't guarantee I won't kill you later."
"Whatever," she sang.
He almost snapped her neck right then and there for her insolence, but before he could even finish that thought she had sped away.
Despite himself, he laughed at her license plate.
"Queen C", indeed.