Here is the final chapter of 'TCOH.' This is the first story in a several story series, the rest yet to come. Thanks for reading!
Angel entered the hospital, whistling softly. He was feeling absolutely fantastic. Thankfully.
It honestly wasn't that hard though. Hell, Buffy was healing wonderfully. And she was pregnant with his child. Ethan was looking at a very long prision term. Cordelia had decided to move back in, to start her life over again, and she was working on the divorce proceedings from her abusive asshole of a husband.
And it didn't pass him that there was something very strange going on between her and Wes. And he couldn't have been any happier about it.
'Now all I have to do is get my woman healthy. And get her to marry me.'
Angel hurried to the elevator, holding it open for a man and a little girl who was carrying a balloon and some roses with them.
He looked down and smiled at the little girl who smiled shyly back.
"My mama had a baby," she told him.
"She did?" he asked. "Do you have a new baby brother or sister?" Angel asked and got down more to her level.
"A baby sister," she said and scrunched her nose up. "Boys are icky!"
Angel laughed and looked up and smiled at the father. "Yeah, they sure can be."
They got off of the elevator at the maternity ward then he continued up to Buffy's.
He again held the door open for a group of older women who had gotten in as he left.
He turned the corner and made his way down the hallway towards Buffy's room.
"She's gone," the nurse said coming up behind him. "She signed herself out earlier this morning and she left."
"Le... left? Left for where?" Angel asked. He was shocked and confused. He had a bad feeling overwhelming him.
"I don't know really, home I guess. Oh, she left you this though," she said and handed him the envelope Buffy had given to her.
She had been watching out for him ever since taking the pretty blonde downstairs to the cab really not wanting to miss him. She had just thought he seemed to love the injured doctor so much. And thought it was just terrible what she'd done to him.
Angel stared down at the envelope then finally took it from her. "Thanks," he said and then turned to go towards the small lounge room he'd wasted so much time in and he sunk down into one of the chairs.
Angel turned the envelope over, seeing his full name written on the front. Slowly, he opened it and he pulled out the piece of paper from inside. He also grabbed the ring as it fell out also.
He felt a pang in his heart as he stared at for a moment, not understanding why in the world it was there.
Then he unfolded the letter.
He stared down at the letter she'd left at him, his eyes going over her words reading over what she had written. When it all finally started to sink in he lifted his head and unconsciously clenched his hands into fists.
He just sat like that. Completely lost.
It was a very different man who stood up than the one who had came in happy and whistling just a few minutes before.
He straightened out the note then he folded it and put it back in the envelope then stuck it in a pocket of his jacket. He stared once more at the ring then finally put it into his pants pocket. He could feel it resting against his leg as he left the waiting room.
And a determined look was on his face.
Buffy sighed. She was so overwhelmed with tiredness.
It had been her first day back at her old job and she was exhausted.
Between working, her healing wounds, and the baby... yeah, she was tired.
And it sure didn't help that she missed Angel like she did.
She could barely even stand to think his name. She just wanted to burst into a thousand tears. Her heart felt dead and there was a knot in her stomach that just wouldn't go away.
"It will get easier," she said to herself for the millionth time. "It has to."
Buffy rubbed her hand down her stomach before digging her keys out of her purse. She unlocked the room to the small apartment she was renting. She had hardly furnished it yet. She bought a couch and a chair, a bed, and a small radio.
She missed her old apartment greatly. This place just didn't feel like home.
All of her childhood mementoes, her pictures, her everything were gone. All the little things that had made it feel like home, gone.
And gone by the man who created her.
She had two bedrooms here, one for her and one that she was fixing up for the baby. She had a small living area and a tiny kitchen. It was a rather small place but she didn't need much. Least not right then.
She planned to save her money up, then when the baby came, she was going to move somewhere else. Someplace bigger and nicer. Maybe somewhere with a yard. That was what she'd always wanted as a kid herself... a yard to play in. A swing set and maybe a dog in it.
And her child was going to have it.
"I'm going to be the best mom," she whispered and looked down. There was a slight bulge, bigger than it had been at the hospital.
Buffy sighed and pushed the door open. She was just wanting to drop everything and collapse.
She really needed a good nap.
She dropped the mail down onto the small bar in the kitchen and sat her purse beside the pile. She pulled off her coat and draped it over the chair then she started heading for her bedroom.
She wanted to take her shoes off then find something more comfortable to wear. Something soft and warm.
But before she made it there was a knock on the door.
Angel popped into her thoughts all the time. She wished she could find him, could talk to him, tell him how things were going in her life. She wanted to tell him about how great the baby was doing. She would wake up in the mornings reaching out for him, wishing he was there next to her. Tears would always come next remember he wasn't there. That he never would be. And why.
The knock came again, louder this time. It practically rattled the door.
"Coming!" she called and turned to go to the door.
She opened it slowly and her eyes went wide when she saw who it was.
Angel pushed open the door, making it wide enough that he could walk by her. He went to stand in her small living room and started looking around before looking at her. "You remembered," he said. His tone was harsh.
"What are you doing here?"
"You and I have some unfinished business Buffy," he said and his eyes dropped down to her stomach.
"I said all that I had to say in that letter I left you," she said as she closed the door. Then she moved around him until she had the kitchen bar between the both of them.
"Right. That ridiculous letter you left me. It said nothing Buffy!" he pulled it out of his pocket. "Dear Angel," he started, his voice harder. "I've change my mind. I don't want to go with you to... blah blah blah!" he said then crunched it into a ball. "I think you can do better than that."
"You think, what?" she said and felt her own anger boiling inside, her mind finally processing the thought that he was really there. And in her living room.
"You heard me," he growled and prowled around the small space. He slipped his jacket off finally and then put it on top of hers. "I think that I deserve a lot more than some damn Dear John letter from you." Angel turned and started towards her, his eyes noting every detail about her. "You look like shit," he said suddenly. He felt a twing of concern and worry.
"Thank you," she said dryly. She couldn't say the same about him. He look amazing. He was tanned and healthy, he did look a little thinner though. But he never looked better to her.
"So.." he asked as he stopped right in front of her.
"So, what?" she asked hating how close he was to her. The scent of him had her heartbeat speeding up and she wondered if he could hear it.
He was too close.
If she lifted her hand up just the smallest bit, she would touch him. And the urge to touch him, to kiss him, to make love to him... it was all overwhelming.
Angel was there, completely determined to finish what he had came for today. He was going to win his girl back no matter what it took.
"I told you all I can tell you," she said then turned. She walked into the living room desperately trying to put some space between them.
"What?" she said suddenly looking at him. Afraid. More afraid at the expression on his face. 'Oh God! He can't know! How could he? I never told anyone... unless he got it from Ethan... he couldn't know!'
"I know you, Buffy and you're hiding something from me. And I am not leaving here until you tell me what the Hell it is!" he said and walked in, sitting down on the couch. Waiting.
"There's nothing I'm hiding. What is your ego just so big that you can't believe that you weren't worth it for me to pack up and leave with you?" she said and almost flinched as the hurt flashed on his face.
"It's not my ego that's telling me that you're lying Buff," he paused and stared at her. "It's my heart," he whispered.
Buffy stared at him, hating him as much as she could manage at the moment.
"Fine, you sit there," she finally said and looked away, "But me? I'm tired and I'm going to change my clothes."
Buffy turned and stormed into her bedroom slamming the door behind her. For a moment she just stood in the middle of her bedroom. She stared at the unmade bed, the small television tray she used as a nightstand, and the box she used to store her clothes, not having enough to buy a dresser yet.
It all seemed so shabby, so worthless. Now more so with him there in the next room.
"Damn you Ethan!" she hissed out wishing she could let loose the tears that were in her chest that making it hard to breathe.
"What did he do?"
Buffy whipped around startled at finding him there behind her. She hadn't heard him come in. "Nothing. Now get out of here!"
"No," he said and stalked her around the bed until she was pressed up into a wall. "Why would you damn Ethan? Why did you change after that night you spent back in his mansion alone? Why did you run from me?" he asked.
Buffy didn't answer. She couldn't.
Angel slammed his hand into the wall beside her. "Why did you tear my heart out and hand it back to me in fucking pieces Buffy?"
"He's my father," Buffy whispered.
And it took a moment for her words to sink into Angel's mind. "Who's your father? You don't mean Ethan..."
"Yes," she said and shoved him away. "Happy? Now you know. Get out!"
"I'm not going anywhere. Who told you he was your father?"
Buffy walked away from him, headed back to the living room. She dropped down onto the couch. "He did. He bragged about it, about how he seduced my mother. He just couldn't wait to bring out all the evidence and throw it in my face," she said bitterly.
"Baby, why didn't you tell me?" he asked sitting down beside her.
She looked up at him, shocked and confused. "What are you doing? Why aren't you running from me?" she asked. "My father was who killed your parents Angel. He kidnapped your sister. He let his flunkies molest her. Not to mention he kidnapped you as well. He almost beat you to death!"
"None of those things are your fault, Buffy. Is this why you left me? Is this why you ran from me?"
"I came from him, Angel. I have his blood in my veins. God, he wanted me to sit at his side, to help him run his evil empire" And she felt a wave of nausea run through her at the thought.
"Ethan Rayne is a delusional man, Buffy. We both know that," he said and reached out, taking her hand despite her attempts to not allow him to. "You can't choose who your parents are, baby, and we all have things we're not proud of in our lives."
"I have a homicidal father. I'm thinking I'm higher up there."
Angel listened to her go on until finally letting out a growl. "Do you have any fucking idea what I've been going through? Of what I would do for you? To have you back in my life? It's been killing me, Buffy. Not seeing you, not touching, not making love for you for weeks now. This is hell on earth! And you're only giving Ethan the one thing he wanted all along. Goddamn it, Buf!" he dropped her hand then stood up and went about pacing the floor. His hand went up to his hair running trembling angry fingers through it.
"What thing?" she asked.
"He wanted so badly to break me and he's going to do it through you! If you leave me, if you stay here alone, he wins. He keeps us apart, he ruins our love. And how can you let him do that to us? I refuse to let him, Buffy!" he growled and turned again. He went over to her and lifted her up, yanked her up into his arms.
His mouth came down on her and he groaned.
Buffy thought she was in heaven. Here, in his arms, his mouth devouring hers. She couldn't fight him. Or herself. It was just too hard.
This was what she wanted, what she needed. This. Right now.
He lifted his head and they locked eyes seeing all of their emotions swirling around between them. "We are getting married, Buffy. You're going to move in with me. You're going to make me deleriously happy and you will be happy. There will be no more thoughts about Ethan or anything he's done to us. I will not let him come between us. I love you too damn much to try and go through this life without you," he said then ran his hands down her back and running them down over the curve of her ass and squeezed gently. "Now, tell me you want to marry me," he ordered.
"I do.." she whispered. "But..."
"No. No buts. We're going to get married and be happy. That's it," he said and lifted her into his arms easily and he brushed past the kitchen bar on his way to her room.
Angel let her slid down his long body until her feet once again touched the floor. Angel groaned, his hands held tighter, and his mouth clinged to hers. His hands moved to the small buttons on her shirt and he undid them quickly then slid his hands back up to push it off of her shoulders.
It fell to the floor and his hands explored the exposed upper body.
He cupped her lace covered breasts before dropping down in front of her, his lips finding the swell of her stomach, and his arms holding her still. "You're so beautiful," he said. "I've been going crazy with missing you."
He reached down to take her shoes off then slid his hands up her legs. He pulled the button of her pants, drew down the zipped and leaned forward to kiss the bit of skin he'd exposed making her shiver.
"I plan on making up for lost time," he said and tugged and pulled them off of her.
His eyes roamed over all the curves and dips of her body, now only left in a small set of matching white lace bra and panties. He could seethe changes in her body from their baby. Her breasts had grown, the swell of her stomach... and all of it made him think she was even more beautiful.
He drew in a deep breath and felt his member pushing against the zipper of his jeans. He was so hard it almost hurt. He wanted to throw her to the bed, take her again and again until they had zero strength left, and he tried to do his best to ignore all of those thoughts. He wanted this to be special.
He couldn't lose her again.
He slid his hands down the outside of her hips to her ankles before moving back up. This time the inside of her legs were stroked. His hands pushed gently forcing her legs opened.
He moved even closer and kissed her thighs then brushed his lips higher over the satin and lace.
Buffy groaned at the feel of him touching her again. She'd forced herself into believing they were over, that she'd never have him or this again.
Her hands went to his hair, digging into his scalp, pulling him closer.
Angel took her knee in his hands and hooked it up over his shoulder, opening her for him.
"Jesus," she cried as she felt his lips against her, his fingers moving aside her panties so he could reach her. His tongue stroked over her, tasting her, then finding her clit and coaxing the tiny bud from hiding.
Her hips moved against him, her hands dug into his hair. She began to feel the tightening in her stomach as his fingers started to slowly push inside of her, his other hand still holding her up.
"Angel!" she screamed as she came, her body arching and shaking.
His tongue never let up on her clit until her legs began to completely give.
He finally rose back up, lifted her into her arms, then laid her down on the small bed. He stared at it for a moment, measuring it against his larger frame, making her laugh. "You've got to be kidding me," he said.
"Hey now, we did manage on that cot down in the basement," she said as she stretched out on the sheets.
He growled as he watched her then with a sigh came to her, his lips finding hers again, his hands sliding over her body. "You gotta promise me something, Buffy," he whispered.
"What's that?" she asked as she worked on the buttons of his shirt.
He took her hands in his, stopping her previous movements and forced her to look up at him. "You have to promise me you'll never leave me again. I can't lose you and live Buffy. I've been like a madman. I've been screaming people head's off, practically ran my business into the ground. And all because I couldn't get you out of my mind."
Buffy searched his eyes, seeing truth in his words, how he felt seeming to shine from then. "If you can forgive me for being so stupid about Ethan.." she whispered. "I can promise to never leave you again." she sighed. "I've been miserable too."
"Good. You deserve it for not trusting me and not telling me right away," he said and took her hands, placing them back on his shirt. "Now get back to work," he smirked at her playfully. "I've got too many damn clothes on," he said then dipped his head to find her soft and hot mouth.
Buffy hurried his shirt off. She pulled at it when the buttons weren't coming undone fast enough for her. Her hands went inside the material and pressed against his chest, kneeding to feel his flesh against hers.
His moan came out at the same time as hers then he chuckled when she ripped the rest of his shirt off and got it off of his shoulders.
"Miss me did ya?"
"Shut up and make love to me," she growled.
Her hands reached down and pulled on the button and fly of the black pants he was wearing. Next she slid her hand inside to find the hard bulge of his cock. She stroked him, squeezed gently, and loved all the sounds he made from what she was doing to him.
"If you don't stop doing that," he growled, his voice husky, "this is going to be over before it starts."
Buffy laughed. "I think that I could find oh someway to revive you"
His eyes narrowed. "Fine, I'm yours for the taking. Just don't take too long."
Buffy swung her leg over and sat on his thighs, her hand still inside his pants. With the other, she reached back and unhooked her bra, his hands helping her get it off of her. He squeezed and moaned as he took in their new shape. She leaned down and found his mouth, kissing him until they were both breathless.
She left his lips and went to his jaw and licked and nipped at his flesh. Next was his throat and neck.
She pulled on his jeans and lifted up to pull them down his long legs, watched as he kicked his shoes off and pulled his socks off.
She took her time coming back up his legs, nibbling at the hard muscles on her route up. She eyed the long shaft that was tenting his boxers and she smiled.
"Guess you missed me as well," she said and her hand reached out to wrap around him.
He groaned and she bent down to use her teeth against the material. He tightened under her, his hand went to her hair. "Take them off," he said and lifted his hips.
Buffy took the band in her teeth and tugged them off of him using her hands to sweep them the rest of the way off of his body. Then she reached for him once more, her hand stroked down the soft skin then her mouth came down, tracing one side then the other before capturing him in deep.
Angel could hardly catch his breath. Her mouth was so hot and wet around him. He could hardly contain his pleasure.
He knew he wasn't going to last like this. It had been too long. And he wanted her too much.
With a growl, he reached down and surprised her by yanking her up to him. His hands went to the final piece of clothing she still had on. He tore them off easily then rolled her under him. He took control of her mouth and sank between her thighs and pushed into her.
They both moaned and started moving their hips together.
He grabbed her hips and thrust hard into her, making the bed pound into the wall loudly.
When they both came, she was sure the neighbors had heard every last bit of their love making and couldn't believe the bed survived it.
She was still shivering under him, he was still buried inside, and she wrapped her legs around him not ever wanting to let him go.
"You meant it didn't you?" he asked. "You won't run from me again?"
"I'm yours until you decide you don't want me anymore Liam Angelus," she smiled.
"Hmm. I want you again already," he grinned and started moving his hips.
"Prove it," she said and laughed at his growl.
He did just that.
It was much later before Angel came out of the bedroom. He was laughing and shaking his head as he walked to the kitchen. "Ice cream and peanut butter," he muttered. "Guess it could be worse.. but why can't she crave a nice steak?"
Angel stopped and looked at the pile of mail Buffy had left on the bar earlier, the return address catching his eye. He frowned and turned it over, not seeing anything that would tell him anything else.
"Buffy?" he called out. "Who do you know that lives in Buffalo, Wyoming? You know, besides Wes and all..."
Buffy came out, buttoning on his shirt that she had threw on. "Um... no one. Why?"
"You have a card here from somebody there," he said and handed it to her. He went to the kitchen and looked through her fridge and cupboards for food.
Buffy turned the envelope over in her hand. She glanced at the address then slit it open with her nails. She pulled out a sheet of paper that was folded over a card.
"Oh my God!" she said shocked. "How did she get my address?"
Buffy lifted up the card she had been sent. "The Lovers," she said looking at the tarot card of the man and woman. "I can't believe she sent me this."
She opened up the sheet of paper that had came with it and read out to him. "Dear Buffy and Angel, I know this will find you well and together. Finally. You have had a long journey and it is not yet finished, but know that you will make the rest of it together. Hand in hand. Isn't it just wonderful when love wins out? Here is a warning however.. there is another cloud waiting on the horizon for ones that you love and care for. Have faith, for it too just needs love to bring back the sun. I will be watching. Blessed be to both of you. And your little one too. Madame Willow Rosenberg."
Buffy sat the piece of paper down. Stunned.