Hooked on the Bait
Barely past sunset the evening air no longer sizzles with heat. A blanket of blue-black night and a glowing moon fill the sky as the frenetic pace of the day shifts from work to play. Gathering in crowds, the human element seeks diversion looking for food, for sex, for entertainment. Most are ignorant of the dangers around them.
Here on the streets of Sunnydale such ignorance is usually deadly.
Angelus watches the line forming outside the Sun Cinema from a rooftop across the street. The name of the film means nothing to him. That isn’t the reason he has come to this place. He’s already fed tonight, a quick bite before getting on with his plans for the evening. A young brunette whose terrified brown eyes and too thin lips left him strangely dissatisfied.
The reason is all too clear. Cordelia Chase is his obsession and nothing will distract him from his plans to have her on his terms and no other. Dark instincts drive him onward, a constant hunger gnawing deep within, an emptiness only she can fill though it irks him to admit it.
Beauty is only one reason to want her. It’s the defiant wit that turns him on, that brassy attitude. He wants the fire in her eyes to burn for him alone. And he is determined that it will. Anger will give way to passion again and again until nothing is left except raw desire.
She calls it hatred, but Angelus knows better. Lust is a living flame burning brighter than anything he has felt before. Pleasure is to be near her. Close to her heat, to the pulse that sounds in his ears. It is the soft gasp of his name on her lips just before she comes and the coppery taste of her blood trickling on his tongue.
The pain is pleasure, too. No matter that it means holding back his urge to break her will instead of bend it to his own. Denial of what he wants leaves his cock aching, hard and untouched unless it’s to taunt or tease her. Forcing himself to be patient leaves an itch behind that makes him feel alive. He’s taken a beating from the Slayer just to see the hint of concern in Cordelia’s eyes. Deliberately held back his strength, speed and desire to kill when one of her friends tries something heroic, reining his instincts in.
Buffy and her little pals are fools. They hope to save him. To bring back his soul. That’s why the Slayer hasn’t staked him yet, or died trying. Angelus does not care what they do as long as his pursuit of Cordelia is not hindered. They know now. Cordelia has told them what horrible, beastly things he’s done. Perhaps not in exacting detail, but they know to fill in the blanks.
He’s a vampire. They shouldn’t be surprised, and Angelus is certain the news devastates them anyway just as he is certain that Cordelia denied enjoying it. He knows better. The knowledge that he has claimed her, made his mark, leaves him feeling powerful in his possession. It is true that he allows her to move about freely, but she belongs to him even if she does not admit it.
Every encounter brings her that much closer to giving herself willingly. Tonight could be that night.
Earlier, Cordelia found him lurking in the school halls mistakenly thinking that the daytime provided a respite. The shock of seeing him during the hours he should be sleeping riled her into another argument. Whiplash anger that Angelus ate up, letting it course through him. Her fury was a storm he enjoyed riding out.
Students milled in the halls around them lingering at their lockers long enough to try and listen in. Cordelia saw nothing but red letting her anger fly without any effort to curtail her tongue. She demanded to be told why he was stalking her. Angelus never bothered to answer because they both knew the reason.
Possessively, he cupped the nape of her neck rubbing his thumb across the mark on her throat otherwise hidden by the veil of her loose hair. A soft flush appeared on her cheeks caused by arousal rather than embarrassment. Denying that she wanted his touch was a losing battle. There were a hundred myriad signs to prove it.
Angelus could’ve cared less about the audience, but she soon became conscious of her staring classmates. He enjoyed her discomfort because it was accompanied by the swift arousal that hit every time they met. When he’d cocked his head to indicate they should move out of the hall, Cordelia’s argument stopped short.
Finding someplace private was less of a challenge than he’d imagined when Cordelia had grabbed his wrist and pulled him into a janitor’s closet. In the dark, she reached for a string that hung down from a light fixture in the ceiling. Obviously one she had known was there. When he asked her how she knew about that particular little spot, he heard her breathing stop for a few seconds, a hint of fear scenting the air.
Then she'd told him what he wanted to know.
Lucky for Xander Harris that he found the story amusing because it would’ve been all too easy to find him and flay him alive— slowly. Angelus didn’t have time for the boy at any rate. He was here for her. So he’d reached up to turn the light off again and made it his task to erase any memories of closet time with Xander. She resisted just long enough to let him know it wasn’t her choice.
Angelus drowned in the taste of her mouth, sipping softly, opening her up to the wild intrusion of his tongue. Sliding both hands up to cup her breasts he’d grunted at the sensation of the soft weight filling his palms. His fingers rasped across silk squeezing gently, eliciting little moans as he brushed up against her peaking nipples.
The thought of ripping open that blouse and sinking his teeth into one lace-cupped temptation made him painfully erect. He nuzzled her throat instead and nipped at the mark of his claim with his blunt teeth. Cordelia shuddered nervously, but knew better than to pull away. Instead, her hands traveled up the length of his arms to cling to his shoulders.
Pulsing blood flowed just beneath the surface of her warm skin. He wanted it inside him as much as he wanted to be inside her. But Angelus was conscious of their surroundings. And the scent of old mop water and chemicals distracted him from the sweet musk of arousal. Stolen kisses and a quick grope in a dark closet didn’t do it for him.
Cordelia snapped in frustration when he pulled away suddenly and didn’t bother to hide the fact. Her mortification came out as insults, first by negatively comparing his kisses to junior varsity football players. He let the rest of her words bounce off without making any effort to curtail them knowing she was riled up by wanting him.
Angelus smirked, promising to make it up to her later. He nipped at her earlobe then proceeded to tell her exactly how he wanted to do it. She shuddered in his arms, her body pressed close, panties getting wetter from his coarse descriptions, anticipation forcing her breath to catch in her throat.
Never one to let him get away with it, Cordelia had a few choice words of her own. She pushed away, claiming as much personal space as she could get in the small janitors closet in order to gear up for another argument, flipping on the light again so she could see him. But the mix of arousal and anger made her forget how possessive he coulc be. Without really thinking about it, Cordelia let it slip that she had made other plans tonight that had nothing to do with Scoobiage or vampires.
Naturally that piqued his curiosity because he’d grown a sudden fascination with all things Cordelia. It also sparked a nerve. She had no business doing anything when he wanted her with him. That’s when she’d sprung it on him— the news that she had a date with Keanu.
Instantly angered, Angelus demanded to know where she got off accepting dates. He had already warned her to break things off with Xander. Now she had some other nitwit sniffing after her. He crowded her against the closet wall, arms stretched out on either side of her shoulders. Baring his teeth, Angelus threatened to rip the boy apart and demanded to be told where to find him in order to do just that.
Cordelia looked stunned by his fierce reaction. He expected pleas for mercy, but got giggles instead. Tension knotted his shoulders as he growled in confusion. When he demanded to know what the hell was so funny about him peeling her new boyfriend apart layer by layer, she started laughing so hard there were tears in her eyes.
There was no boyfriend. Cordelia called him a dork as she leaned back against the wall seemingly relaxed in the face of his fury. Angelus felt like turning her over his knee and spanking her until her ass was red with it. There was no room for that in the closet, so he settled for a sharp swat that immediately dried up the tears and brought back the fire to her eyes.
It was a movie starring Keanu Reeves, she explained, promptly demoting him from dork to dumbass. Angelus let the insult go. It was little more than a kitten scratch coming from her. It was harder to ignore the strange sense of relief in his gut that she wasn’t interested in someone else. He quickly put petty jealousy aside as his ego kicked in.
Cordelia was into him whether or not she would admit it. And that was something he was determined would happen before he took the next step. Wanting him was one thing, but she had to need him with the same intensity. That took time and patience. He had both.
Giving her back a few inches of space, Angelus relaxed as his plan came together. If Cordelia was going to the movies, he’d be there to remind her that she needed no cinematic heroes in her life, only him. Though he’d never be her hero, he would be her everything. The sooner she learned that lesson the better off things would be for both of them.
When he told her to enjoy her night out, Cordelia looked instantly suspicious, but did not question it. She simply complained that he’d made her late for her last class and escaped into the hall. Angelus let her go, heading back toward the basement where the Sunnydale’s tunnel system led back home to the mansion.
There, he passed the time after their encounter preparing for the next.
Now the sun has set and the night awards him freedom. Only hunger causes him to pause for a snack, a teenager whose only luck comes in dying fast. State Street is not far away and he arrives at Sun Cinema before the crowd begins to form.
Even before he sees Cordelia his other preternatural senses kick in. Her scent is on the breeze. High heels click against the pavement in a familiar rhythm signaling her arrival. The voice that earlier mocked him is light with laughter as she chats with the people around her. Moths to a flame they can’t help but be drawn to her. Nor can he. It pisses him off to want her like he does, but the idea of it gives him pleasure, too.
She’s come alone, which is a good thing for anyone who might get in his way.
Inside the darkened theater the crowd spreads out sitting two by two with a few lonely souls isolated from the rest. Scents assail his senses: popcorn soaked in butter, melted cheese over tortilla chips, hot dogs coated with mustard and relish, human musk and cheap cologne. Angelus lurks in the shadows searching for his girl.
He finds her easily, his senses blocking out the noise and the scents surrounding him to focus on the familiar beat of her heart. Cordelia’s attention is not on the previews rolling across the screen, but on a couple sitting two rows away. They are practically in each other’s laps, leaning close to whisper their desires, and sharing soft teasing kisses before turning their eyes back to the front of the theater.
The sad expression on Cordelia’s face angers Angelus. Whatever she’s thinking can’t be good. There’s a look of longing as if she wants something she knows is out of reach. He wants to make her forget anything but him. He’s the only thing she’ll ever need for as long as they’re together— however brief that might be.
The previews end and the lights dim down signaling the start of the movie. Angelus takes the opportunity to step away from the dark corner to walk down the aisle where Cordelia is seated. Her eyes are still trained on the couple to her left. Slowly, she notices that she is no longer alone.
Her shoulders stiffen and her eyes trail up to his face where a smirk twists the corner of his mouth. For an instant, Cordelia thinks about running. He can see it in her eyes just long enough to notice her glance toward the exit. Angelus tells her to stay put. If she leaves he’ll have nothing better to do than kill them all.
Knowing he’ll do it just to prove his point, Cordelia calls him a bastard and then orders him to sit down because he’s blocking the view for the people in the rows behind them. Angelus chuckles as he takes a seat beside her. When she leans away from him, he lets out a growl of complaint and tugs her arm until she presses up against him. Threading his fingers through hers, forcing contact, he leans in to whisper sweet nothings in her ear.
The words are anything but sweet except to a vampire. Such sordid talk forces a blush to her cheeks when Cordelia figures she should be getting used to it by now. She licks her lips unable to stop her trembling reaction. Any effort to resist is met with a tightening grip, now bruising. In retaliation Cordelia curls her fingernails into his knuckles and demands that he let go.
Surprisingly, Angelus lets go of her hand, but the spark of triumph she feels dies as soon as his hand drops onto her thigh. Now is not the time for a lecture on choosing the stylishly short skirt she’s wearing over a practical pair of jeans, but she mutters it anyway. Fingers curl around her thigh moving higher forcing her legs to part. His thumb slips beneath the elastic eliciting an angry gasp that is swallowed up by his sultry moan.
Angelus finds her wet as he rubs his thumb through the soft fur there. Seeking out the hot little nub of flesh that will set her on fire. He wants to see her go up in flames here in the dark surrounded by others of her kind knowing that only he can do this for her. A broken protest sounds: his name half-shouted only to be stifled at the harsh shushing from people three rows back.
Glaring at them over her shoulder, Cordelia turns her attention back to him. Tugging at his wrist, eyes pleading with him to stop. He only plants a firm kiss across her parted lips before settling back in his seat, his thumb keeping a constant beat against her flesh. When Keanu appears on the screen, Cordelia doesn’t even notice. Her eyes are closed. All of her senses focused inward.
She’s gripping the armrests, legs splayed wide, lower lip caught between her teeth to stop herself from crying out as he thrusts his thumb inside her. His hand works beneath her panties, slickness spreading. It’s all she can do to stop from riding his hand, urging him on. Her thighs tremble from the effort of holding still.
It’s impossible to resist. Desire mounts rapidly and some part of her admits it’s because she knows they might be caught. And she’s wanted this since their abrupt encounter in the closet where his hands stoked a fire inside her he would not put out. Her back arches, head rolling against the seat, his name rolling off her tongue in a soft plea.
Cordelia slumps down in the seat to hide her movements from anyone who might be watching. Beyond that she doesn’t care because there’s nothing except the delicious friction against her clit and the slick slide of his fingers. The laughter of the audience is like whitenoise in the background, the onscreen action only a blur.
He doesn’t stop until she loses it completely. The theater seat squeaks subtly as her hips thrust down on his hand. Panting breaths deepen to moans and scattered needy mewls she can no longer suppress. It happens faster than it seems— the sharp scream that erupts from her throat as her orgasm claims her.
Clasping a hand over her mouth, Cordelia is glad to be scrunched down in the chair out of sight. Angelus holds still glaring at anyone who looks his way. And when the audience turns its attention back to the screen, he slips his cream-coated fingers from her panties.
Angelus dips his thumb into his mouth while considering taking their game one step further. He feels Cordelia’s eyes boring into him like sharp daggers, but takes his time to enjoy the taste of her essence coating his skin. When he’s finished, he glances at her, smirking at the fact that he can make her lose it anywhere.
Suddenly, she’s on him like a tigress, claws curled and scratching. Calling him every name in the book. The movie goers are pissed at the commotion, but neither one of them notices or cares. Angelus doesn’t know whether to be turned on or ticked off at the way she’s fighting him. He just yanks her hard against his chest and kisses the breath out of her before letting her go.
When she comes up for air, Cordelia pushes away, stands up with her legs shaking like a newborn colt for the few moments that it takes her to pull her act together. Standing there like a scorned goddess, she stares him down. Angelus is curious whether she’ll stay or go.
Choosing the latter, Cordelia whirls on her heel pausing only long enough to grab her purse before heading to the nearest exit. It sets off a noisy alarm. A raucous mix of cheering and boos echo in the theater. Angelus thinks it music to his ears adding to the thrill. He considers letting off some steam by following through with his threat about what would happen if she left the theater. The thought of snapping bone and ripping flesh has such appeal.
Angelus’ eyes drift to the couple Cordelia had been watching knowing precisely where he might start. Then again, he’s not about to let his girl get away.
The emergency theater exit lets out behind the building. Her car is two blocks away. The urge to look back is tempting, but Cordelia sticks to her plan to make a run for it. Angelus will either follow her or go through with his threat to kill everyone at the theater. Though she doesn’t really want anyone to die tonight, she really hopes it won’t be her.
Nearly there, Cordelia turns the corner, her heels clicking against the concrete as she moves quickly through the narrow alley leading back to State Street. She can see the bright red hood of the Corvette at the far end.
Before she can reach it, a large heavy body rams into her slamming her up against the brick wall. The air whooshes out of her lungs, purse flying from her grasp to land on the sidewalk, its contents scattering. Before she can gather her thoughts to curse Angelus for this latest indignity, Cordelia realizes that it’s not him.
Hazel eyes go wide, her face pales as she takes in the sight of the heavily muscled skinhead holding her up against the wall. Somehow, it’s still a shock when his rugged face morphs into ridged bone and sharp fangs. She’s too numb to scream, but her body goes into action on auto-pilot. Her knee hits his groin with exacting precision.
He drops his hold sending her crashing down to the grungy alley floor. Cordelia cries out when landing hard on her wrist as she reaches out to stop her fall. Scrambling for her car, she knows time is already running out. The vampire is still bent over clutching his pee-wee package and howling in pain, but he’ll recover in a matter of seconds.
With the Sun Cinema open for its evening shows, this section of State Street is barren of traffic. The parked cars are lined up on either side of the street and will stay there until the movies let out. No one is around to help.
Cordelia spots her car keys a few feet away, but it’s already too late. She has no time to lunge for them before her assailant has whirled her back to her feet and shoved her down on the hood of her car. This time she does scream, a shriek that only makes him growl in anticipation, his heavy body leaning into hers, his big hands pressing her down.
He tells her he likes the way she smells. Cordelia cringes knowing that he’s not talking about her perfume. She turns away from his lascivious leer unintentionally exposing her throat in the process. Her mark is clear enough to be seen, but he leans even closer, scenting her.
Cordelia feels him start to pull away an instant before Angelus rips him off. She clutches a hand to her throat, instantly relieved, yet also confused. There is no time to think about why the vampire stopped. She has to dodge out of the way as the two vampires hammer it out. Their brawl is furious.
The ugly guy is bigger than Angelus, but slower. Cordelia figures this is a good time to get out of Dodge. She looks for her keys again, but can’t find them and decides to make a run for it, this time straight down the main road to the front entrance of the theater. Only the fight is blocking her way.
Despite the flying punches and kicks, Cordelia bobs and weaves her way to the opposite side where she can leave the vampires to their brawl. She knows only one of them will come out the winner. The thought forces her to pause. Looking back, she sees Angelus go sailing into the air.
Crashing against the brick building knocks his senses for a loop. Angelus’ opponent is strong, determined to win, and looming above him when Angelus hears Cordelia call out. The sound of his name on her lips reinvigorates him. The fact that she was concerned gives him a thrill and proves that his plan is working.
He tells her to stay put so they can finish what they started at the theater. The tease is a mistake causing an instant return of Cordelia’s resentment. She also discovers her keys.
Her fingers tremble in her haste to find the right key and Cordelia is so focused on doing so that she fails to notice the fight has ended. The victor remains. Closing in, he stands behind her, a low growl rumbling in his chest. With the key halfway into the lock, she drops her hand, turning slowly to face him.
Her eyes sweep along the black leather and crimson until she meets Angelus’ eyes. His face is bruised and bloodied as it shifts from ridged angles back to the smooth lines of his human face. Cordelia knows why he fought— because he believes she belongs to him. It changes nothing to deny it when she feels so relieved to see that he’s not the one who is now a pile of dust.
Angelus’ dark eyes peer deep into hers, possessive yet emotional in a way she does not expect. She reacts without thinking, throwing her arms around him, her cheek against his chest. Her relief emerges as a sob.
It surprises him and stiffly, Angelus reaches to tilt her chin. She’s already halfway there. Her own hand palming his face, fingers following the dark line of a bruise forming on his cheek. Then she’s standing on her tiptoes to kiss him. First his lips and then the bruise. And he’s too stunned to do anything but slide his hands down to her hips and hold her to him.
It’s when his body stirs in response that Cordelia realizes what she’s doing. A strangled gasp sounds as she pulls her lips away and steps back. There’s the fear again glinting in those hazel eyes, but this time it’s because she’s afraid of her own actions rather than him. Satisfaction swells in his chest as he watches Cordelia stagger backward.
Tumbling back, she falls against the side of her Corvette and then tries to push away into a standing position. She winces at the pain from her sprained wrist pulling it close to her chest and curling her fingers around it protectively. Angelus steps forward concerned to see that she is hurt and angry that he can’t do anything else to the bastard responsible.
The fury on his face is at odds with his gentle handling as he examines her wrist. Cordelia reacts defensively by telling him that she’s fine. It’s a lie, of course, one he sees straight through. It irks Angelus that she is in pain when he is not the cause of it. She is covered with another vampire’s scent and it is only because it is superficial that he can hold back from replacing it with his own.
Tonight, he has scored a victory over her whether Cordelia realizes it or not. So he lets go her wrist to push the car key into the lock and opens the door for her. She hesitates as if she thinks it’s a trick wondering each time they meet whether this encounter will be their last or if he’ll choose to end her life.
Angelus plans to let her wonder a while longer. He tells her to think of him when she’s soaking in her bubble bath tonight. The soft kiss of goodbye he plants on her lips is even sweeter when he feels her response. He deliberately keeps it light and smiles inwardly when her mouth moves toward his as he lifts his head.
Sliding into her car, she takes the keys he hands her. Angelus tells her to drive safely. That he’ll catch her again later. No snarky comeback follows, just a wide-eyed stare this time, as if she’s not sure if she considers that a threat anymore. Her abrupt goodbye is followed by the slamming of her car door and the revving engine of the Corvette.
Angelus watches until the car disappears from his sight. Whistling cheerfully, he cracks his knuckles and decides to head back to Sun Cinema to see what he can catch.