Setting : Early in their relationship, but sometime
Summary: A story of temptation
Written as a back-up story for IWRY 2011 in case of need and
inspired by one of my prompts at ba_rosebuds.
He stands in the shadows in The Bronze, where he is
almost invisible. All around
him the perfume of hormonal teenagers hangs in the stifling air, but he
only has eyes for her. She has been here for some time,
with her friends, but this is the first chance that Angelus has had to give
her his full and uninterrupted attention. She’s wearing a moss green top with a deeply scooped
neckline that sits only on the very edges of her shoulders, exposing
incomparable golden flesh.
She’s dancing, laughing, her eyes sparkling. He watches the movement of her
ribs, her breastbone, as she breathes. Even the Slayer can get out of breath when she dances. Her neck, slender and graceful,
sweeps down bare and unadorned.
She isn’t even wearing the cross that Angel gave her. He sees the blood throbbing beneath
the skin, in time with her heart, and it’s all he can do to keep his fangs
from lengthening. He doesn’t
want that, at least not here, in public.
Beneath the tender flesh of her throat sits the v-shaped
hollow where her collar bones meet her breastbone. It glistens moistly. A small bead of sweat breaks free
and travels down towards her breasts.
He longs to follow it, but he turns his attention instead to those
enticing collarbones. These
are her real neckline, the neckline that’s meaningful to him.
Behind those bones run important blood vessels. They can be tricky to reach, but
they are so much sweeter for the trouble. A fang into the nerve that sits alongside, and she would
lose the use of that arm.
There’s a perfect symmetry, of course, and he could explore both
collar bones alike. How sweet
would that be, the Slayer unable to beat him away? How long for would depend on the
damage of his bite. He could
make it temporary or permanent.
His choice. He wants to
smile, but his face remains impassive.
Putting that thought aside for later, he admires the
curve of her neck and the elegant arc it forms with her bare shoulder. His gaze caresses that gentle slope,
his palm tingling with the anticipation of smoothing its way down from her
ear to that second neckline of green cotton. He can feel the softness of her throat under his thumb,
and the strength of her spine beneath his fingertips as he thinks of his
hand slipping over her smooth skin.
The dance movement turns her away from him, and then
back again. Briefly, she faces
his direction, but she doesn’t look up and he remains hidden from her. Her skin glistens, sheened as it is
with sweat from her exertions and from the steamy heat of the club.
He’s fascinated by the throbbing pulse point in her neck
again. Even from this
distance, he can see it clearly.
If it weren’t for the infernal racket made by the band, he would be
able to hear it, above the beating hearts of every other mortal in this
place. Something in her blood
calls to him.
He runs the sensitive tip of his tongue across the back
of his upper teeth. They are
still human for now, but he can feel his very different teeth shimmering
beneath the surface. Slowly,
unhurriedly, his tongue licks across his slightly parted lips, moistening
them, refreshing and sharpening the taste of Slayer that has been carried
to him on the pheromone-saturated air.
He wants more.
He wants to feel that pulse point beneath his lips, feel the change
from the deep, strong beat of a Slayer to the heart-skipping flutter of
prey. He wants to savour the
tongue-tingling taste of her sweat laced with the musk of desire and the spice
He’s torn out many throats in his time, but he doesn’t
want that for her. He wants
the throbbing sensuality of her to linger in his mouth as his fangs part
the flesh of that exquisite neck, sliding into a rich artery, releasing a
sip at a time. She is the
finest of wines, and she is to be relished for as long as possible, not
drained in a few hasty gulps.
All humans are different, and the taste of each of them
is the sum of all their parts, every drop of blood a cameo of their entire
lives. Even Slayers, different
as they are from the common run of humanity, are different one from
another. Each peerless taste
is unique. He wonders what she
will taste like when at last he fulfils his lust for her. That will be a day to look forward
to, the day when she will truly be his...
Angel blinks, and forces the demon’s desires down into
the cage he keeps for such things, a cage forged from an iron will, in the
fires of regret. But it’s far
too late. He wants what the
demon wants. He always does,
because he is the demon.
That is why he always watches her for a while,
unobserved, before making himself known to her. He needs to control himself, to accustom himself to the
overwhelming presence of her.
Anywhere in Sunnydale he is aware of her, her scent, her sound, the
pull she has on every fibre of his being. Close to her, he is consumed by her, ensnared within the
intricate mesh woven from the scent of her blood, the pounding of her
heart, her coiling desire, and the irresistible enchantment of her very
existence. And by the warmth
and trust that radiates from her, born from the light in her eyes and the
welcome in her smile when first she greets him.
She has made of him a callow youth, and so each time he
comes to see her, he has first to ride the surging tides of his lusts. Vampires are creatures of passion,
and he more than most, but she seems to multiply his passion tenfold, even
his penchant for pain and death.
Not long ago, on the night he was forced to stake Darla, he told the
Slayer that he wanted to kill her, and it was true. With his appetites inflamed by their
battle, he’d wanted to sink his fangs into her, to tear her flesh, to glory
in his defeat of her, and to delight in the special essence of Slayer
He wants that now, although with much more finesse and
artistry, but now he has been granted a choice. He is the sum of all his parts, and in some ways, the
worthless man and the vicious demon seem to balance each other. Just. With his soul, he can cage the demands of the demon –
eventually – and listen to the sweeter demands of his heart. He can never act on his heart’s
wishes, but he can dream, even if his dreams are woven with
nightmares. And so he stays in
the shadows of The Bronze, unseen by her, until his appetites are under
control. Know thyself. Perhaps one day he won’t need these
moments of preparation, this period when he explores the savagery within so
that he can cage it, but that day isn’t yet.
Like the demon before him, his tongue traces a line of
moisture across his parted lips, her scent fizzing against his senses. Her hair is loose, and she pushes
it back from her face. He
imagines his fingers where hers are now, the weight of her hair sliding
through them, then letting go, to trace a sensuous path down her cheek,
along the line of her jaw, to dwell on the delicate flesh of her throat.
His hands are stuffed into his pockets, but he feels the
tingle over the pads of his fingers as he watches the movements of her
throat, watches her swallow, breathe, laugh, share a smile with her
friends. And just to one side
is the pulse point where the blood runs so close to the surface...
Tearing his gaze away, he follows the shadowed hollows
that mark her collar bones, the line at the base of her neck that marks the
lower limit of a vampire’s most erogenous zone, erogenous for the vampire,
that is, not always for the human to whom the neck may belong. The flesh over those bones is
softly rounded, marking her youth, and this reminder that she is just a
girl settles the weight of his years in an invisible mantle around him. It doesn’t last long, though. She always makes him feel like a
He’s glad that Spike hasn’t found Sunnydale, because
Spike hasn’t stopped trying to catch up with him in the dead slayer
stakes. Spike would want this
Slayer dead, to add to his tally, and he would want to drink her. Angel would have no choice but to
dust him. He’s still smarting
from ramming a crossbow bolt through Darla’s heart and he’s not sure he’s
mentally up to slaughtering another member of his family. Not yet.
No. No one
is going to drink from Buffy, especially not him. But Angel can’t help wondering what she would taste
like. He’s never going to
know, of course. The power of
her blood would surge through him, as electrifying as a lightning bolt, but
would it be as delicious as her kiss?
He had never experienced the like before, when he kissed her. Poets since the beginning of time
have tried to describe the kiss of their lovers, but they could never have
imagined the potent effect that she had had on him. Her kiss was innocence and fire,
honey and spice, and every good thing he had ever known, all threaded
through with the piquancy of mortal danger.
He will never drink his
Slayer, but he’ll never stop wondering.
Slayer. He loves her, and that
isn’t going to change, but that isn’t the same as being his. It’s the opposite, he supposes, although he has had so
little experience of love, he isn’t sure. But he knows a lot about his. He
understands himself well enough to admit that he has obsessions, that he is
possessive and territorial.
Not all of that is the vampire. He has come here to help her, to protect her as much as
he can while she learns her trade, and now he is thinking of her as his. That’s such a dangerous thought. No good ever comes of his
The band has ceased their racket, temporarily, and he
can hear the heartbeats of those around him, the rushing sounds of blood,
the harsh breathing of over-stimulated teenagers. In a steady counterpoint to the hectic fever of the
other dancers, one heartbeat is deep and strong and steady. Hers. The pulse point in her neck beats in slow response. He can feel his fangs sliding into
that butter-soft flesh, the heat of that throbbing blood on his tongue, her
fires warming him.
He swallows, and continues to watch her until he can
control his thoughts, can lock them up in that cage with the demon. Soon...
Buffy is enjoying the freedom of the dance, safe among
her friends in The Bronze. But
it isn’t just the dance that she’s enjoying. It’s the rapt attention of the figure standing deep in
the shadows. It’s Angel. He must think that she doesn’t know
he’s there, but how could she miss him? She can feel any vampire who comes close to her, but
Angel is different. She felt
his approach, in the dizzying fall in the pit of her stomach, and in the
clenching of her heart, before he’d even stepped over the threshold of the
She knows that he’s watching her. She doesn’t know why he should do
that, but she can’t help showing herself off to him. She’s displaying herself, as though
she were a normal girl, and he were a normal boy, and she was trying to
attract his attention.
Careful, Buffy, the attention of this
vampire might be a perilous thing.
Undaunted by that realization, she runs her fingers
through her hair, holding it away from her neck so that he has a clear
view. Although she’s still
innocent in some ways, she’s aware that boys – men – have certain
predilections. She doesn’t
know whether Angel is a boobs, an ass or a legs man, but she’s absolutely
certain that he’s a neck man.
She lets her hair fall.
If he wants to see more, he’s going to have to come for her.
That, she thinks, is why she chose this top, with this
neckline. It exposes very
clearly what might most tempt a vampire and yet, from the pictures that
she’s looked at of the women born around Angel’s time, it’s a neckline that
might be familiar to him from when he was human. Unless the books lied. Time will tell.
She dances around, the bass beat pounding through her
breastbone, his gaze scorching over her skin. She believes him, that he hasn’t fed from a living human
for a hundred years, but that doesn’t make him any less dangerous. He’s a hunter, after all. She ought to be repulsed by him,
but she isn’t, not by a long chalk, and any girl, even the Slayer, should
be forgiven for going slightly weak at the knees at the thought of having
her own savage protector.
Hunter and hunted.
She is the hunter, but sometimes, the way he looks at her, the roles
might be reversed. Not the
hunt of a predator, but his look can be so intense, so possessive, so male... That brings her a new thought. Do hunter and hunted ever become alike? She thinks it might be so.
Angel told her that he wanted to kill her, when she
fought him in The Bronze, on the night he staked his maker. All his vampire instincts must be
there within him, but kept impotent by his soul, which means that, when he
looks at her, he must want to drink from her. What would she taste like to him? Hers is just blood, isn’t it? Or is there more to it? Would it be sweet to him? Salty? Does he have taste sensations known only to the
demon? Would the Slayer in her
blood simply give her a more’ishness, a kind of vampire monosodium glutamate? Or would it be vampire cocaine?
Mischievously, she flicks her hair aside as she turns
towards him. She doesn’t look
at him, though, still pretending she doesn’t know that he is there. What would it feel like, to have
his fangs in her neck? Just
for a sip? Vampires are
predators, killers, but don’t half the old stories talk about them being
seducers, bringers of ecstasy?
She can almost feel the sharp sting, the practiced penetration, the
There’s worse, though. Even more dangerous. Denied a clear glimpse of him now, she pictures him in
her mind’s eye. The solid
muscles of his chest, the curving lines of his collarbones, the v-shaped
hollow at the base of his throat from where powerful sinews define the
strength of his neck. She
wonders how it would feel to slide her teeth into that strength, or into
the softer flesh of his throat.
And she wonders what he would taste like.
His kiss was... unbelievable. Not just the kiss, but the taste of him. Knowing what she knows now, but
didn’t know then, she would expect him to taste different, perhaps a little
strange. Cold. But it hadn’t been like that at
Different it had certainly been. The other boys she had kissed had
all tasted of beer or burgers or boyish adrenaline, not unpleasant but very
human. Not so, Angel. She should have known then, but she
had thought it was something to do with how much she had wanted him to kiss
her. His taste had the sharp
clarity of a frosty dawn wreathed around the soft velvet of a summer night,
and had been indescribable.
Even poets wouldn’t have the words. If he had seduced her, the seduction had taken hold
She smiles a small, secret smile as the dance comes to
an end. If that was his kiss,
what might his blood taste like?
It isn’t a question she can ever ask anyone, especially not Angel,
but she imagines her lips on his throat, her tongue on his skin, her teeth
pressing against his flesh and then... and then, a sip of whatever essence
makes Angel who and what he is.
She never will, of course, it’s far too treacherous a thought. She’s a Vampire Slayer, not a
vampire Slayer. But she’s
curious to know her enemy, and her enemy is the demon inside him.
The band stops for a rest, and she turns to face her
friends, putting her back to where Angel stands. She doesn’t need to be told when, seconds later, he’s
standing behind her, appearing as if from nowhere. Her heart is attuned to his
presence. But she pretends
that she doesn’t know, until Willow rolls her eyes at her.
When she turns to him, he’s smiling.
Despite all experience to the contrary, she can do monosyllabic,
“Would you like a drink?” he offers.
She blushes, and he misunderstands, looking
embarrassed. At least, she
hopes he misunderstands.
“Coffee,” he elaborates. “Or... something similar.”
Politely, he stands back to let her precede him. She feels his presence at her back,
and that makes her feel safe.
And if he is eyeing up her neck, that makes her feel the power of the
hold she has on him.
She loves him.
She knows that. But
she’s young, still learning what makes her attractive to men. There’s nothing wrong with an
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