True Confessions: The Honest Truth
Pacing across the floor of what was now Wesley’s office at the Hyperion, Cordelia came to a stop, turning toward Angel. He sat on the edge of the desk, muscular arms folded across his chest, his expression no longer vacant as the tension between them ratcheted up another notch. Cordelia felt it, too.
Sensing that he was about to interrupt her lecture, she held up a hand to stop him. “I don’t want to hear it.”
Angel hadn’t actually had the chance to speak yet, but Cordelia figured this was more of a one-way conversation. That was the way their usual discussions went. As far as Cordy was concerned, now that Angel was back, some things needed to change.
It was one thing to accept his gift of gorgeous designer clothes. After all, she deserved them considering what he’d put her through over the past few months. Not to mention the fact that he’d given her favorite blouse to charity. Angel needed a little pep talk on how things were going to be from now on.
“You’re working for us now,” her mouth quirked into a smile. She propped her hands on her hips and walked forward, stopping directly in front of his outstretched legs. “There is a whole lot of your crap that’s no longer tolerated.”
The scowl appeared to be deepening. Angel’s jaw tightened, but Cordelia started to tick a list off on her fingers. “No brooding. We’ve had more than enough of that to last a lifetime.”
When she paused, Angel simply stared back waiting for her to continue. “No keeping your dark obsessions to yourself,” Cordelia went on. Then couldn’t resist adding, “Especially when they involve skanky blondes or when they might come back to bite us— literally.”
Cordelia felt a warm pulse of satisfaction at the grim look on his face. Evoking a little guilt was easy, but that wasn’t the point of this little talk. She missed the way things used to be when they were all a family of close friends who had a common goal: the mission.
“No overprotecting us,” Cordy ticked off another point. “We are a team. There is no I-am-a-broody-creature-of-the-dark-loner in T-E-A-M.”
His sudden smile, a brief flash of teeth that vanished as his mouth settled back into a smooth one, caught her off-guard. Angel smiling tended to cause her heart to do little uncontrollable flippety-flops. He unfolded his arms, pressing his hands down on the desk and smoothly pushing himself into an upright position. Licking her lips, Cordelia drew in a little gasp of air before continuing on with the lecture. Only now, her voice softened as she stared up into the deep brown eyes holding her captive.
“From here on out it’s all about honesty. If I ask you a question, I want the truth, not some growly mumbling about what it was like back in the dark ages. You have to let me— us in.”
No arguments followed. Angel simply answered, “Okay.”
Cordelia inched back to stare, a hint of suspicion showing on her face. “Okay, just okay?”
A slow nod of his head followed. “Does this little arrangement work both ways?” he asked curiously taking another step closer.
“The part about being honest with each other,” Angel clarified. It was surprise more than misunderstanding.
There was an unspoken challenge to his words, one that left Cordelia inwardly tense, and her cheeks suddenly flushed. If he thought she couldn’t hold up her end of the bargain, Angel had another thing coming.
After a long pause, Cordelia managed a casual shrug, “Pfft, I’ve got nothing to hide.”