Everything Has Its Place

by Saber ShadowKitten

Part Seven

Angel noticed that Buffy kept glancing back at Spike as they walked to Giles's house, but she didn't ask and Angel didn't volunteer information as to why the blond vampire was following behind them like a silent puppy. What he'd done was between a Sire and his Childe only and not to be shared with a beautiful ex-girlfriend that he was still head-over-heels in love with.

It had been two hours since Angel had hauled Spike into one of the back bedrooms. Cordelia had returned to the mansion during that time after having run errands for him, and Angel had found her and Buffy conversing about Doyle, Wesley and Dennis when he came back into the living room. The two girls had continued chatting while Angel fed and made notes for his file on Spike until the blond vampire had finally joined them. Then, since Angel wanted to send his co-worker to get her own dinner, he'd given Cordelia his car keys and had told Spike that he was accompanying them back to Giles's house.

As they walked, Buffy was filling him in on the various larger battles -- and one six-inch one -- she'd had to fight thus far during her first year of college. Other than the close call with the three demons trying to reopen the Hellmouth, she seemed to have had no troubles keeping the citizens of Sunnydale safe.

But, for some reason, Angel felt as though she was keeping something from him. It was almost as if she were omitting a portion of her stories and he didn't know why. Didn't she know that she could tell him anything?

He was grateful for one thing, however. It seemed as though any awkwardness that should have been present between them was minimized. Maybe it was because Angel was there to help Spike and not her, or maybe it was because Spike was walking with them and, before, Cordelia had monopolized the conversation. Whatever it was, Angel was thankful. The bittersweet ache he felt in Buffy's presence was bad enough as it was -- although he wouldn't trade a second of walking by her side even it meant feeling as though he was in Hell again.

"...Ethan Rayne came back to town and turned Giles into a Fyarl demon," Buffy was saying. "I stabbed Giles with a letter opener."

"I take it he wasn't too happy about that,"Angel commented.

"He was just glad to get back to his old self, minus the horns and hooves," Buffy said. "And I was triply-glad that the letter opener wasn't made of real silver."

"Well, I'm glad, in a sense, that it didn't happen on your birthday," Angel said. "And I hope your actual birthday was good."

"They threw me a surprise party," Buffy said wryly.

Angel winced. "Ouch."

"Yeah, ouch," Buffy agreed. She sighed. "But it was a very sweet thought. The cake was cakey, the punch fruity and the people merry. Plus, I got gifts. Nothing as exciting as getting an arm in a box," she gave Spike an evil glare over her shoulder, "but still good gifts."

"If I'd know it was your birthday, Slayer, I'd have given you something," Spike said, his voice low-pitched and quiet, as if it he was afraid to speak. "Maybe a nice pearl necklace."

"Why would you want to give me jewelry?" Buffy said in confusion.

Angel choked back his laughter. "Spike," he said, trying to keep his tone stern. "That's not nice."

"Reminder -- I'm not a nice man," Spike said dryly. He sped up slightly until he was walking even with Buffy, pulling every-so-often on the denim over his inner thigh, where Angel had taken a large bite out of his femoral artery. "And the closest I ever want to get sexually with Buffy would be to give her that necklace. Even then, only if I was forced to. Playing sucky-face with the chit was horrifying enough as it was."

"Hey, don't think that it was a picnic for me, either," Buffy said. "I had to scrub my mouth out with sandpaper and gargle with CLR to get rid of the ick-factor that came with kissing you."

"Shit, can you imagine if we actually did get married before Willow's cocked-up spell broke?" Spike shivered in revulsion. "I would've had to take a holy water bath for weeks."

The disgusted look on Buffy's face made it evidently clear what she thought of that. Still, she joked, "I don't know. I think Mr. and Mrs. Pile-Of-Dust had a nice ring to it."

"Speakin' of rings," Spike said, his voice somewhat back to normal. "What happened to mine?"

"I tried to sell it to a pawn shop, but they could only assign a negative value to it," Buffy replied.

"Ha ha," Spike said.

"It gets better," Buffy said. "I gave the ring to Xander and now he uses it when he's pretending to be The Phantom."

"Complete with purple tights?" Spike asked.


Spike started to chuckle, which was immediately joined with Buffy's giggles. Angel, on the other hand, was glowering in jealousy, even though Buffy had already told him about Willow's spell.

Spike had kissed Buffy. His Buffy. And Buffy had kissed Spike back. Her warm tongue had stroked the inside of Spike's cool mouth, had tangled with the younger vampire's own skilled tongue, had stoked passion and arousal that had to have made Spike insane with hunger to bury himself in her hot core.

Angel could see Spike's hard, lean body pressed flush up against Buffy's softer one, his strong fingers caressing her skin, making her moan in delight. Naked, they were entwined together on the bed in Angel's own bedroom, the candles spread around the room casting shadows on their forms. Spike's hips rose and fell with every slow thrust he made into Buffy's slick channel, with Buffy's legs wrapped over his calves as she lifted her own hips to meet each of his thrusts.

Spike and Buffy stopped kissing suddenly and turned their heads. Both of them reached out in the same direction and Angel found himself being pulled onto the bed with them, touching both of his lovers and being touched in return.

Angel moved behind Spike, positioned his weeping shaft and thrust forward into the younger vampire's tight hole, driving Spike into Buffy. All three of them groaned at the sensations, and soon they were moving together in a rapturous rhythm that had them all panting with pleasure.

"Angel, tree."

Angel stopped two-inches away from walking straight into a poplar tree.

He stared at the tree for a moment in mortification, then glanced over at Spike and Buffy, who were both wearing similar expressions of amusement on their faces... which only served to increase the blood flow to his groin. There had to be something in the Sunnydale air that was causing him to be as continuously horny as a teenaged boy. It was either that or Cordelia was putting aphrodisiacs in his blood supply.

He'd grill her later.

"You can stop smiling now," Angel told them, stepping to the left, then proceeding forward again around the tree outside of Giles's building.

"What could you have been thinking about so intently that you almost pulled a George?" Buffy asked him.

"Pulled a what?" Angel frowned at her in confusion.

"A George," Buffy said. "You know, George of the Jungle? Watch out for that -- smack -- tree? Brendan Frasier in a droolcloth... forget I said that last one."

Angel gave her a small smile. "I was thinking about the case, that's all." Spike snorted. Angel shot him a glare and the younger man schooled his features to express innocence. "Do you have something to say?"

"No," Spike replied. "Nothing at all."

"That's what I thought," Angel said. They went down the stone steps into the courtyard, the dark-haired vampire falling slightly behind. He snagged the back of Spike's duster and slowed his Childe down in order to speak privately with the blond.

"Behave," Angel warned. "Just because the others will be here doesn't mean I won't take you over my knee in front of them all and tan your hide. Got it?"

"Yes, Sire," Spike said quietly.

"Good," Angel said.

Silence greeted them when Angel, followed docilely by Spike, entered Giles's home. Angel glanced down, wondering if the erection he still had was that blatantly obvious. His untucked shirt seemed to be adequately hiding it and he raised his head again with a carefully blank expression on his face.

An uncomfortable tension filled Angel and he fervently wished Cordelia was present. Whatever comfortableness he'd had with Buffy on the walk over vanished with a swiftness that cut sharper than a knife to his gut. It was almost as if, now that she was in the presence of Xander, Anya, Willow and Giles, Buffy remembered he was her ex-everything and they weren't allowed to be friendly with each other.

Angel decided that, come hell again, he'd finish his business in Sunnydale that night.

"I'm glad everyone is here," Angel began, lying through his teeth. He threw himself into investigator-mode, forcefully pushing aside his feelings. He could brood later. "I just want to update you on what I've learned before we leave."

"Fire away," Xander said from his perch on the stairs, Anya sitting beside him. "We're all tingling with anticipation to hear your words of wisdom."

Angel ground his teeth together and he took a purposeful breath. He wanted to keep any and all emotions from his voice, including irritation at a certain brunette boy who badly needed to be put into place.

"I spoke with a professor at the university by the name of Margaret Walsh," Angel looked from person to person, noting their reactions as he spoke, "and I learned that she is the person who designed the device that Spike has in his head."

Willow and Buffy exchanged worried glances, but didn't seemed to surprised to hear of the Professor's involvement. "Buffy, is there anything you know about the Professor that I should know?" Angel asked.

Buffy shrugged. "I knew she's involved with the Initiative and that she holds some sort of position of leadership, but that's about all."

"Did you find out if the, er, device could be removed?" Giles asked Angel.

Angel turned and looked at Spike, who met his gaze with a worried, questioning look of his own. "No, it can't be removed," the dark-haired vampire said unemotionally.

Spike pressed his lips together into a thin, white line. Angel could tell the younger man was trying desperately not to react to the news. He was able to hold back for three seconds.

"Damn it all to hell!" Spike spun and slammed his fist into the wall, making a hand-sized hole in the plaster. "Those fucking bastards!"

Angel wanted to let his Childe rage, but he doubted Giles would want his house destroyed. If only Giles hadn't asked that specific question, Angel thought with a silent curse, as he took a step towards Spike. "Spike, stop."

Spike's yellow eyes blazed with anger and pain. "Leave me the fuck alone, you soddin' pillock! This is all your fault...," the blond vampire looked past Angel to the others in the room, "...the whole lot of you! Why couldn't you just die like good little food?! Why is it that you stupid twits are the ones who win over and over again?! Why am I the one who always gets royally fucked?!"

The dark-haired vampire grabbed Spike's wrists and held tightly. "Outside," Angel instructed quietly. He released Spike and the younger man whirled, stalked to the door, threw it open and stormed out.

Angel glanced back at the others. "Excuse us," he said politely before following his Childe, making sure to shut the door firmly behind him.

Spike grabbed the edge of a picnic table and upended it with a roar. A planter was next to receive his anger, followed by several potted plants being smashed to the ground. A neighbor's ceramic gnome went flying through the air after a vicious kick and shattered against the stucco wall of the building.

Angel leaned back against the door to Giles's home, watching silently and waiting for the rage to leave Spike. It wouldn't take long -- Angel'd been there before, after Doyle had died -- and the dark-haired vampire wasn't necessarily pleased to know he was right.

Spike dropped to his knees and screamed ferally to the night sky, then bent forward and slammed his fists down on the concrete ground of the courtyard. He slowly lowered his head until his ridged brow was touching the ground, which was when Angel moved.

The dark-haired vampire squatted beside Spike and put his hand on the younger man's shaking back. "Pull yourself together," Angel told him softly. "Then we'll finish up here and go home."

"Is everything okay?"

Angel raised his head at Cordelia's calmly asked question and saw his friend descending the steps to the courtyard, a small takeout bag in hand. "No, but we'll make do," he replied.

Spike straightened and wiped his once-again human face with the back of his sleeve. "Let's get this done. I want to leave this hellhole."

Angel nodded, stood and led the way back inside. He was greeted again by an unnerving silence, but this time, because Cordelia was with them, it didn't bother him as much. He'd have to remember to tell her later how grateful he was for her presence.

"I'm taking Spike back to LA with me," Angel announced without preamble. "This Initiative is-"

"Here," Anya interrupted, pointing at the window. "They're here."

Angel, Cordelia and Spike turned to face the door the same time there was a knock on it. Angel moved quickly in front of his Childe at the same time Spike let out a low growl of anger. The dark-haired vampire held up his hand and Spike was immediately silent, but Angel could feel the tension radiating from him in waves.

Giles walked to the window and glanced out. "It's appears to be only Riley."

"Commando-fucker himself," Spike spat.

"He's probably looking for me," Buffy said in an offhanded manner. "He was going to patrol with me tonight."

If Angel hadn't known what every gesture and expression on Buffy's face meant, he would have missed it. But since he was completely in love with her, and had been since the day he'd first seen her, it was glaringly obvious to him what she was trying to hide from him.

Riley was her new boyfriend.

White-hot jealousy ran up his spine, making him straighten to his full height. The new feeling compounded on top of his demon's anger at the threat to his Childe, but instead of causing a primitive response, Angel became perfectly still.

"Let him in," Angel said in a calm, cool voice, his hands hanging loosely by his sides.

"I think I'm going to eat my dinner in the kitchen now," Cordelia said, having heard that voice before. She quickly moved in that direction as Buffy answered the door.

"Riley, hi," Buffy greeted in a somewhat subdued tone. "Ready to patrol?"

"I'm ready," Riley said, smiling down at her. "Did you bring a coat? It's getting pretty cold..."

The sandy-haired soldier trailed off when he caught sight of Angel over Buffy's shoulder. His own posture changed as military training kicked in. "You."

Angel stared dispassionately back. "Buffy, aren't you going to introduce us?"

"Oh, uh, yeah," Buffy said, stepping back from the door. "Riley, this is Angel-"

"We've met," Riley interrupted. "He stopped us from apprehending a HST."

"I'm not an HST, I'm a bloody vampire!" Spike exclaimed. He went to storm past his Sire, but Angel put his arm out to the side, stopping him.

"Hostile 17." Riley stared in shock. "Buffy, why is Hostile 17 here?"

"It's a long story," Buffy hedged, looking at Giles for help.

"We've been looking for Hostile 17 since he escaped and you've been hiding him here the whole time?" Riley said with incredulity-tinged anger.

"My name isn't Hostile 17," Spike snarled, pushing against Angel's arm. "It's Spike, you fu-"


The word itself was benign compared to other methods of telling someone to be quiet, but the soft tone with which it was said caused all eyes to turn to Angel and shut Spike up mid-word.

Angel had never used the tone of voice reserved for dominating his Childer in front of his former friends before and, if he was acting more like his normal self, he'd be feeling guilty at the wide-eyed looks of fear he was receiving. However, right then, he could care less.

"Buffy, why don't you invite Riley inside so we can have a nice chat?" Angel suggested calmly. "I know I have some things I want to ask him."

Buffy turned back to Riley at the same time Riley reached behind his back and things exploded into chaos in an instant.

"Riley, why don't-"

Angel leapt towards Buffy when he saw Riley's movements, a snarl ripping from his throat.

"Buffy, down!" Riley ordered.

The dark-haired vampire shoved Buffy back behind him with a force that sent her falling to the floor. Angel snatched the handheld device out of Riley's hand and crushed it in his grip before the mortal could even blink. Without pause, Angel grabbed Riley, shoved the young man against the doorjamb and pressed his forearm tight across Riley's throat.

"I allow no one to endanger or threaten my lovers," Angel hissed. "And Spike and Buffy are mine."

Riley gasped for air, clawing at Angel's arm with one hand and trying to reach his pocket with his other.

Cordelia rushed out of the kitchen. "Angel, let him go this minute!"

Angel growled, "Not a chance." Both halves of himself had blended together from jealousy and anger and, coupled with the stress of being in Sunnydale, his logic had gone in favor of pure emotion.

"I told you to let him go, you doof!" Cordelia kicked the crushed device on her way over to him. "You killed the big bad radio. The danger is over."

Angel looked at her sharply. "Radio?"

Riley used that moment to whip a retractable stick-club open and smacked Angel hard on his head. Angel released Riley and took a partial step back more from shock than from being hurt. Riley raised his weaponed hand again and Spike let out a loud snarl at the same time Buffy yelled, "Riley, don't!"

Spike galvanized into action, launching himself across the distance between himself and Riley and tackling the sandy-haired soldier. The vampire howled out in pain when he hit Riley and he was easily shoved off.

Riley rolled up to one knee and slammed the stick-club down across the back of Spike's neck. His arm came up a second time, but before he could strike the blond vampire a second time, his wrist was grabbed in a punishing grip.

Angel squeezed Riley's wrist until the youth dropped the weapon. The older man drew his fist back and started to throw a punch at Riley. Buffy caught his elbow and pulled his punch up short. The dark-haired vampire's gaze shot to Buffy, a growl tumbling from his lips.

"Angel, don't," Buffy said. None of them noticed the audience watching from the door.

Angel scowled and released Riley abruptly. Riley stood quickly and put himself into a fighting stance. The dark-haired vampire's lip curled up in a sneer. "You think you can take me on?"

"Angel, enough!" Buffy snapped, tugging hard on the vampire's arm until he faced her. "Riley didn't know about Spike and beating him up isn't going to work as an explanation!"

"But it'll make me feel better," Angel muttered, glowering darkly at her.

"Yeah, but it'll piss me off," Buffy told him. "Now, we're all going to go inside and talk like mature adults. Got it?"

"Tell her to fuck off and beat the crap out of the commando," Spike grumbled from the ground by their feet.

Without taking his eyes from Buffy, Angel used the same soft dominating tone of voice as earlier to say: "Know your place, boy."

"Yes, Sire," Spike said quietly in response, rising up to his knees at Angel's side.

Angel cupped Spike's head and pressed the younger vampire possessively against his thigh, his thumb lightly stroking Spike's blond hair. Buffy glanced down at Spike, then returned her gaze to Angel's with a questioning lift to her brow.

The dark-haired vampire didn't explain, instead he called over to Cordelia, who was watching from the doorway with the others. "Cordelia, go start the car. We'll be there in a minute."

Cordelia shook her head as she started across the courtyard. "Next time, vision or not, we are so staying at home."

"So, that's it?" Buffy said to Angel. "You're just going to run off again and leave me to pick up the pieces?"

"If I don't leave now, I'm going to tear your new boyfriend into shreds and bathe in his blood," Angel replied, his voice revealing no emotion. Inside, however, he was a quagmire of jealousy and rage, all of which was focused on a single individual -- Riley.

"Oh," Buffy said, blinking at him in shock. "Why?"

"Because he hurt what is mine and has what I want more than anything," Angel answered bluntly.

"Oh... again."

Angel's entire body hardened at the beautifully stunned expression on Buffy's face and he gave up the fight against himself. He wrapped his free hand around the back of her head and hauled her to him. With a sigh of pleasure, his mouth descended upon hers and he kissed her with all the built-up passion that had been bubbling within him.

Dimly, he heard sputtered exclamations around them, but the burning sweetness of Buffy's mouth beneath his caused him to tune everything out. His lips moved over hers with possessiveness and an expertise that came with having kissed her thousands of times before. His tongue dove between her parted lips and swept into the warm cavern of her mouth, stroking her tongue with his own.

When he felt her hands slide around his waist under his coat he growled in satisfaction. Angling his head, he deepened the kiss, savagely plundering her mouth and dueling with her tongue. She pressed herself up against him and he could feel the hard nubs of her nipples poking him in the chest. His already-throbbing erection swelled even fuller, threatening to rip the material of his pants, and he thrust his hips forward against hers.

Buffy mewled in the back of her throat and the sound shot down Angel's spine, causing him to shiver. His hand dropped from holding her head to her buttocks, cupping her ass in order to pull her more firmly against his erection. His fingers dug into the soft globe as he ground his pelvis against hers, undoubtably leaving bruises on the skin hidden beneath her yellow dress.

Angel inhaled sharply when Buffy's hands dropped down to his backside, and three distinct scents of arousal greeted his senses -- his, hers and his Childe's. He'd completely forgotten that Spike was kneeling at his side, his hand pressing the blond's head to his thigh.

The scent of Spike's arousal inflamed the demon within Angel, who clamored loudly for its own mate. His soul and demon began warring against each other, causing Angel's face to flicker to its true countenance and back to human again, as he continued to pillage Buffy's mouth.

Angel felt Buffy rub her tongue against his sharp canine when his features twisted again, purposely cutting herself. The taste of Slayer's blood on his tongue threw his demon into control, but, because of the blood, the demon wanted her almost as much as it wanted its own mate.

A guttural snarl came from deep inside Angel when he tore his mouth from Buffy's. His fiercely glowing, golden eyes met her hazy, desire-filled ones for a brief second before he hoisted her up over his shoulder.

"Angel!" Buffy squeaked.

Angel turned and glared hatefully at Riley. "Mine," he spat, then stalked past the shocked soldier and up the stairs, leaving Spike still kneeling in the courtyard.

"Angel, put me down!" Buffy demanded, hammering on his backside.

At the top of the steps, Angel snapped his fingers and he heard Spike scramble to his feet. The dark-haired vampire didn't pause his stride, forcing his Childe to catch up on his own.

Cordelia stared incredulously at Angel as he tossed Buffy into the back seat of the convertible. "What are you doing?" she asked as Spike jumped over the edge of the car and into the back seat, settling down beside the prone Slayer.

"She's mine," Angel snapped at her, climbing into the passenger side. "Now drive."

Cordelia put the car into gear and drove.

Part Eight

"Bedroom, clothes, floor, now," Angel ordered in short, clipped tones as they entered the mansion. Spike practically scampered across the living room and disappeared down the hallway.

"Um, I'll be in the kitchen," Cordelia said, quickly vanishing as well.

The dark-haired vampire stopped in front of the fireplace, his hands clenched into fists at his sides, his face still twisted in its vampiric countenance. He fought himself for control, even though all he wanted to do was throw Buffy down on the floor and fuck her into unconsciousness.

"Okay, Angel, what's with the cavevamp routine?" Buffy asked from behind him.

Angel twitched at her voice. His demon was telling him just to take what he wanted then get back to the bedroom where its mate was waiting. Angel forcibly shoved his demon back enough so he could speak. When he did, his voice was low-pitched and strife with tension.

"When I broke our relationship off in the sewers that night, I hated myself even more than usual," he began. "We both knew that it had to happen sooner or later because of the damn curse. I did it the same night I made myself face the fact that I had to leave Sunnydale, because I knew if I didn't, I never would."

He turned around and saw her standing beside one of the couches, her fingers digging into the material on the back of it. He stared hungrily at her for a long moment before yanking his golden gaze away.

"On the night we destroyed the Mayor, a part of my soul died," he continued. "Ending our relationship was a piece of cake compared to walking away from you for the last time."

Angel started to pace in front of the fireplace, his movements jerky. "Then you came to LA and all my dreams of being able to love you properly came true, but not without a price that was too steep for the world to pay. I had to give you up again and even more of my soul died when that day was swallowed. A week later, Doyle sacrificed himself and it tore the rest of my soul to pieces. If Cordelia hadn't needed me and hadn't been there for me in return, I don't know what would have happened, but it probably wouldn't have been good."

Angel stopped pacing abruptly and faced her, his golden eyes glowing with longing and need. "I love you, Buffy. I've loved you since the moment I first saw you and every single second that I've had my soul since then. I want more than anything to be the man in your life, the man to make you happy, the man to make love to you for days and days until we're both too sated to move. You are my soulmate, Buffy. My soul's mate."

Pain and anger flashed across Buffy's features, but Angel didn't allow her to speak as he moved to her. "I know that you don't want to hear this, but I have to say it, Buffy. I've kept everything bottled up inside of me since the day that no one remembers. I need you to know how much I love you and how badly I miss you. I need you to know that I would do almost anything to be able to take you to my bed myself and show you how you make me feel."

Angel cupped her chin and stared down into her hazel eyes. "Buffy, I need you so much. Let me show you that, no matter what happened between us in the past and what happens in the future, I will always love you. Please, let me love you one last time that you'll remember with happiness."

"But, Riley...," Buffy said with pain in her voice. "I like him very, very much, Angel. He's what you told me to find, the one that I can have some of that normalcy that you wanted for me."

"And I still want you to have that," Angel said, jealousy boiling in him, but under control. "But I'm begging you, Buffy, let my soul love its mate one more time. Let me give you a memory that you can cherish with happiness instead of pain. I'm begging you, Buffy. Please, I'm begging you."

Buffy studied his golden eyes for several long moments before she breathlessly whispered, "Yes."

Angel released a deep growl and captured her mouth in a volatile kiss. His tongue plunged past her lips and teeth to tangle with hers, stroking and caressing and inciting passion. His fangs cut her soft lips and the taste of her blood made the demon within him howl in pleasure.

The dark-haired vampire dragged his mouth from hers and snarled, "Come."

He turned and strode purposefully out of the main room and down the hallway, shedding his coat on the way. He opened a door on the right side, walked inside and waited for Buffy to enter. His eyes raked over her as she crossed the threshold into the candle lit bedroom before he firmly closed the door and turned the key in the lock.

Angel yanked his shirt over his head and let it drop to the hard floor. Buffy was standing near the dark coverlet-covered double bed that was pushed up against the far wall, her posture indicating nervousness. Her eyes were wide with lust and confusion and fear as she looked between him and the naked, blond vampire kneeling on the floor in the center of the room.

Angel moved toward Buffy like the predator he was, his face losing its vampiric ridges. He patted the top of Spike's head as he passed the other vampire and murmured, "Good boy." He absently noted the small purr of Spike's response before the younger man was silent again.

"Angel, what-" Buffy began, but Angel swallowed her question with another powerful kiss.

His hands tangled into her hair to hold her as he ravaged her mouth. Her hands came up to lay on his bare chest and, with the feel of her warm touch against his cool skin, his entire body began to burn. He kissed her until all thoughts were driven from his mind and all he could do was feel.

Buffy gasped for breath when Angel tore his lips from hers to kiss and nip at her jaw and neck. His hands moved from her hair to her shoulders and his thumbs brushed briefly over her soft skin before he lifted the straps to her dress and dragged them down her arms. The yellow material slid off her body to the floor, pooling around her feet and leaving her nude save for a scrap of pale silk covering her womanhood and her shoes.

Angel dropped to his knees in front of her, his hands sliding around her back as his mouth moved over her heated flesh. He kissed down the front of her body, his half-slitted gaze drinking in the sight of her bare breasts. He licked a path to one of the small globes and captured a coral-colored nipple between his lips. The dark-haired vampire suckled the hard peak like a babe, causing her to gasp and clutch his shoulders.

The musky scent of her arousal grew stronger as he repeated his ministrations on her other breast. He glanced up her body and saw her head was lolled to one side, her eyes were half-closed and she was panting softly through her mouth. His body strained against taking her right then and there swiftly and without further foreplay.

Angel dragged his attention away from the thoughts of what it would feel like to be buried deep within her core. He focused instead on the taste of her salty skin as he laved a wet trail along her torso with his tongue, pausing to dip it in the shallow well of her navel while his hands pulled her panties down her legs.

He removed his mouth from her tanned flesh only long enough to turn her and push her gently down onto the bed. He discarded her of her last vestiges of clothing quickly, then draped her legs over his shoulders before returning to the task of physically loving her.

The dark-haired vampire caressed Buffy's inner thighs with his lips and teeth and tongue until she writhed on the bed and tugged at his hair. He allowed her to guide his face to her sex and was rewarded with a cry of pleasure when his tongue delved into her nest of dark curls.

Angel laved her silken folds with long, wet licks, purposely avoiding the pearl of flesh that throbbed for attention. He dropped his mouth down to her entry, tasting the honey that had already flooded her channel. He thrust his tongue in and out of her heat several times before suddenly moving up to latch onto her clitoris.

Buffy arched and yelled out in surprise and pleasure. Angel sucked hard on her nubbin, rapidly flicking his tongue back and forth over the small bundle of nerves. Her fingers tore at his hair and her thighs closed around his face in reaction, making Angel growl in satisfaction at her response.

Angel's fingers found her slick entry and he thrust two inside of her. She mewled and bucked up against his face as he curled them over and over, repeatedly hitting her most sensitive spot, as he continued to love her with his mouth.

"ANGEL!" Buffy screamed as she climaxed, he body rising almost completely off the bed. Angel held fast, drawing her orgasm out while she kicked his back with her heels and dug her fingernails into his scalp.

Abruptly, he released her and swooped up over her body, smashing his mouth down upon hers. He brutally kissed her, bruising and cutting her lips with his blunt teeth. One of his hands fumbled with the fastenings of his pants as he simultaneously tried to kick off his shoes. He fell awkwardly on top of her, almost crushing her with his weight.

With a snarl, Angel pulled away from her mouth, rolled off of her and yanked the remaining clothing from his body. Buffy gasped as he grabbed her and settled her beside him lengthwise on the bed, with his back almost touching the wall. His lips found hers again and he pressed her lower body to his, rubbing his throbbing erection against her coarse curls.

He broke from her mouth with a hiss as her fingers closed around his shaft. He squeezed his eyes tightly shut against the exquisite torture of her small strokes. He was panting, unable to control the unnecessary action, and he whimpered in the back of this throat when she brushed her thumb over the sensitive slit, wiping at the viscous fluid that formed there.

Angel opened his golden eyes and met Buffy's unwavering hazel gaze. His hand slid down her outer thigh and he pulled her leg up over his hip. He then wrapped his fingers over hers on his turgid member, helping her to stroke him. "Don't stop," he whispered hoarsely.

Buffy silently nodded and Angel pressed a brief kiss to her parted lips before he raised his head to look over her shoulder. He locked eyes with Spike, who was still kneeling on the floor. "Come," the dark-haired vampire said in a soft, commanding tone.

Spike rose, his lean, hard body unfurling gracefully like a feline, and he crossed over to the bed. Blue eyes filled with hunger and understanding held Angel's gaze and Spike joined them without hesitation. The blond vampire spooned himself to Buffy, pressing himself close to her back.

Angel moved his gaze from Spike back to Buffy. Her expression was one of confusion and slight mortification, and Angel didn't stop the smile that crossed his vampiric face. He was able to slide his human mask back into place and he gave her a long, loving look.

"I can't, remember?" Angel said quietly, his hand still helping her pump his swollen shaft. "But we can pretend."

Buffy gasped as Spike entered her, her eyes growing huge. Angel chuckled softly before he pressed his lips to hers again, initiating a slow, tender kiss. He could feel Spike bumping up against her, could hear the slick sound of his Childe's cock sliding in and out of Buffy's wet channel, and it sent a tingle down his spine.

Angel didn't know how long had passed when he felt time-roughened fingers brushing over his skin. The dark-haired vampire read the message the touch conveyed and he immediately stopped helping Buffy bring him pleasure, moving his hand away. The grip around his shaft loosened briefly before tightening again, as Spike's hand closed over Buffy's around his cock.

Angel broke the kiss and he opened his eyes to watch the emotions flit across Buffy's face. His fingers delved between her feminine folds, searching for and finding her tiny knob of flesh.

Buffy fell over into her second orgasm in silence and, almost simultaneously, Angel heard a short, animalistic whimper from behind her, the dual hands on his shaft freezing. Buffy's body shuddered hard in his partial embrace, both from her climax and from Spike's final, rapid thrusts.

It was only after they both stilled completely that Angel put his hand back over both of theirs and assisted them in bringing his own release. He came with a relieved sigh, spilling his cool essence onto the coverlet between Buffy and himself. His orgasm wasn't as powerful as it would have been if he'd been the one in the cradle of her thighs, but it wasn't his pleasure he wanted, it was hers.

"I love you," Angel whispered, brushing a gentle kiss on Buffy's forehead. The dark-haired vampire lifted his head and looked past his soul's mate to his demon's mate, meeting and holding the lazy blue eyes that looked back at him. "And you."

Shock spread across Spike's features and Angel's lips curled up in a smirk. He dropped his gaze back to Buffy and he received a tender smile from her. He felt his heart clench and he knew leaving her again would be painful, but it would be a bittersweet pain that he could live with.

A knock sounded at the door, followed closely by Cordelia's voice floating to the trio intimately entwined on the bed. "Angel, we have company of the really annoying kind. Get out here before I take your car and leave your undead butt in Sunnydale."

Angel waited until he heard Cordelia walk away before speaking. "This doesn't have to go any further than this room," he said, mainly to Buffy, but also to his Childe. "No one will ever know what happened between us unless we tell them... except for Cordelia, who seems to be omnipotent."

"Hate to point this out, mate, but we smell like we've been rutting," Spike said, scooting over to the other side of the bed.

"Rutting?" Buffy said, rolling onto her back in order to scowl at the blond vampire. "How very romantic of you."

Spike gave her a cocky grin. "How 'bout 'whoring' instead?"

"Only if I get to be Julia Roberts," Buffy replied.

"Does that make me Richard Gere?" Spike said.

"No, you're the frizzy-haired streetwalker with the hairy legs," Buffy said, reaching over to ruffle his blond hair.

"Hey, don't mess with my hair!" Spike's eyes widened comically. "Oh hell, I sound like the poof! Quick, stake me!"

Angel's smile grew as he watched the two loves of his unlife tease each other. Things may not turn out to be happily ever after, but this was close enough in his book.