KiniP & Menomegirl

Burning Imprints

Authors: KiniP & Menomegirl
Disclaimer: Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Fox, etc, etc…own them all.
We're just smutting them up for fun.
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: None…yet. Will be A/L.
Warnings: None…yet.
Feedback: Please! You can feed the muses at powerscin@yahoo.com
and/or ilikebuffy101@yahoo.com
Author's notes: This is a WIP

Summary: A debt gets paid.

~~~~~~~~~~
Prologue: -

*Debt: Paid in Full*

She was rushing, she knew that, but time wasn't in her favor here.
In between the chaotic thoughts of Wesley and almost regrets about
the choices she'd made, not to mention the fact that she would
probably be dead soon, Lilah had discovered something within herself
she hadn't known she still possessed.

A sense of honor. There was a debt she felt she owed, and with the
events of the day, she was desperate to repay it. The Beast had
targeted Wolfram & Hart, for some obscure reason, unknown to anyone.
She had found out everyone working for the firm in the LA branch was
dead. Except her......but yet, there was still one other who was
tied to the LA branch.

He'd saved her life once. It was surprising to her, in these
devastating circumstances, that all she could think of first was
that she had to try and save his. She hadn't loved him, hadn't even
liked him.....but he'd found a way for them both to beat the system.
It was time to repay him.

She swiftly cast the spell, hoping she'd read him right, in this one
instance. If she was wrong, well.....it didn't matter much, she
doubted she'd be here to see the show, anyway. As the last of the
magic dissipated, she lost consciousness. She had no way of knowing
that her casting had been observed by unseen entities.

She awoke some time later, weakened, tired, dazed. She got rid of
what evidence remained of the casting, picked up a crowbar, and left
to confront the Scourge of Europe.

Her last thought as she left was that she hoped she was right, that
it wasn't just hate that had drawn enemies to each other in the
past, cause if it was, Lilah Morgan had just created one hell of a
mess for someone else to fix.

Chapter 1 ––

*Innocent Dreams*

Angel was tossing and turning in his bed. The dream was always the
same. Angel watched as Angelus grabbed a young man and rammed his
hard, cold cock into a soft, fiery heat. "Holy Hell, you're tight.
And here I thought you'd be used to this by now, given who you
worked for. Tell me, *lover*, did my big bad just pop your cherry?"
Laughing sadistically, Angelus pulled back until just the tip was
still inside then leaned over to whisper in the man's ear. "Fucked
up thing we have here, ain't it? One minute, you're all about the
pain, wanting it, wanting Angel to give it to you. And he won't, but
instead he gave it to *her*. Got to hand it to him though, I didn't
think he had it in him –––– especially after the whole slayer shit
went down. Oh well, I may not be *who* you want, but here I am boy,
and more than willing to give you *what* you want although now you
don't seem to want it anymore. Guess what…*too fucking bad!!*"
Angelus slammed back into the body, ignoring the young man's pleas
begging him to stop.

Angel could smell the blood, the fear, the rage all coming from the
boy and all heavily laced with the scent of arousal from the body
under him. The fact that the smell was familiar and that he couldn't
place it irritated the hell out of Angel along with the other fact
that Angelus seemed to know the boy moving beneath him.

*"Who is it, you fucking sadistic bastard?"*

"You know him, *Angel.* You smell him. And *you* should know his
scent better than anyone. I know it. I kept waiting for you to
recognize it. The want, the desire, the need for you. It was all
there. Hell, it still is. But you ignored it and now…………now *I'm*
going to step in, give him what he wants."

*"No, don't do it!"*

Hearing the distressed moans underneath him just excited the demon
more and Angelus drove harder and harder. "Watch this Angel, I'm
gonna make him mine now." Then he leaned down and buried his fangs
into the man's tender neck.

Then blood. Angel felt the hot blood flowing into his mouth,
flooding his senses, he felt it as it pushed Angelus over the edge
and he came, flooding the tight ass with icy cold semen.

The dream was always the same, always ending before he could say
whether or not he killed the young man. He didn't *feel* like he
killed him so could it be that Angelus turned him? Maybe only marked
him? *Surely Angelus wouldn't have claimed him, would he? Never been
his style, but...........*

The dream was always the same, only this time it came with a twist.
This time he saw the man's face.

Angel awoke with a startled jerk. "Lindsey?"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lindsey McDonald…………you're one twisted fucker, you know that?
Staring at yourself in the mirror, trying to figure out why you keep
dreaming about a former enemy of yours. If they were only bad
dreams, you'd have no problem. It's not as if you've *had* a decent
night's sleep in years, anyway. But they aren't. Fuck! I think I may
need therapy. Why else would I have wet dreams about Angel? Dreams
about making love, dreams more erotic than any I've ever had before,
involving things I've never done, things I'm damn near positive I've
never thought about, and about pain....I mean, Christ on a crutch,
what the hell is that about?!? Dreams that involve my eternal death.
Dreams about a vampire I despise. I mean, here I am, dreaming about
the sanctimonious bastard.......I can't believe it. Cannot fucking
believe it!!

It's been going on for a month now. I'm at the end of my damn rope.
Can't take it any more. I'm torn between throwing up or jerking off.
Cause I've done both, and it ain't helping none. My imagination is
going wild with all of this, and I feel like I can't breathe. I feel
this.....hunger....I've never known inside me. Wonder if that
qualifies as caught between a rock and a hard place? (Oh, that's
funny, Lindsey boy...really funny.) I'm totally pissed off
because...I just wanna forget I ever even heard his name. I wanna
forget about evil law firms, backstabbing co-workers, and being
maneuvered like a piece on a chessboard. I want my life back,
goddammit! But every day, I look in the mirror.....and every day, I
hate myself. I can't forget....but I don't want to remember, either.

I don't *want* to want him.

Well, shit.....let's be honest while I'm looking at myself and no
one else is here. It's not as if the mind readers can fuck with me
here. Who's gonna know if I *seriously* thought about Angel for just
a few minutes? No.....fucking.....body, that's who. I believe I can
be honest with myself. Okay....here goes......Do I want Angel? Do I
want to make love with him? Do I want him to touch me, taste me,
take me, own me, do all the nasty things I keep dreaming? Let's have
a moment of silence while I think on that.....

Oh, fuck me!......I *know* I didn't just get hard thinking about
that! Crap....now I have to take another damn cold shower....I'm
sick of this shit. Something's gotta give. This is freaking me out.
Why is this happening to me, huh? Cause you know, I'm so not into
pain....and, in a way, Angel is the very definition of the word. So,
what does that say about me, that I come from dreaming he drains the
blood from my body, while fucking me until I can't move? What's
wrong with me? Damn, that's cold!

I need a drink.

*I need Angel.*

Make that several drinks.

*God, I'm just so damn screwed. The shit just NEVER ends.*

Maybe my brain'll stop working overtime.

*I wish.*

Maybe my body will behave itself.

*Yeah......and maybe the moon really is made out of cheese. You
think?*

Chapter 2

Deep Inside-

Angel stood at the window of his fifteenth floor offices at Wolfram
& Hart and stared unseeingly at the view laid out before him. He was
tired. Dead tired. He was afraid to sleep, afraid of the dreams,
especially now. Now the dream had a face, a face he had hoped to
never see again. //What the hell is going on? Are they trying to
tell me something? And Angelus? And Lindsey? How do they fit in? And
what did Angelus mean when he said Lindsey wanted –– no *needed* me?
Shit. I need to eat. I need to sleep. I need to forget all this. It
was just a fucking dream, for fuck's sake. Taking over this firm is
seriously messing with me. Yeah, that's it. *All this shit started
when I came here.*// So deep in thought was he that he never heard
the door open and close, nor did he hear the footsteps that brought
the visitor up to stand beside him.

"Beautiful view isn't it?" the man asked.

Angel started and dropped the file that he had been
holding. "Wesley! How long have you been here?" Angel bent down to
retrieve the file and the papers scattered around it.

"Just walked in…… Are you okay?" Wesley asked as he bent down to
help. He picked up the red file folder and read the name on the
label. *Lindsey McDonald* He stood up and waited as Angel gathered
the rest of the loose papers and drew up to stand beside him.

Angel took the file from Wesley's hands and shoved the papers inside
and threw the file onto the desk, then turned back to the
window. "I'm fine, Wesley, was there something you needed?"

"No. I was just checking in. Although when I was looking through
some research material, I came across a file which contained a spell
which sounded rather interesting but…….. Angel, are you sure you're
okay? You look a little……tired." Wesley asked, watching closely.

"I am tired, Wes. There's so much to go through, and the more I
read, the more I feel like I am getting nowhere. I guess I'm not
sleeping much."" Angel said, rubbing his hands over his face.

"That's understandable." Wesley glanced over at the file on Angel's
desk. "So, are you going to go look for him?"

Angel turned and looked at Wesley "Look for whom?" he asked.

"Lindsey?" Wesley replied.

"Why would I look for Lindsey? After all, I was the one who told him
to leave and not come back. He seemed to be okay with that……"
Angel's voice drifted off as he again turned back to the window.

"Do you ever think about him? Especially now, being here in this
place." Wesley motioned to the opulent office around him. Something
was bothering Angel and he would bet his Wolfram & Hart paycheck
that it had a lot if not all to do with the errant lawyer and quite
possibly the spell he'd found.

Angel whirled around to stare at the ex-watcher. "And what would I
think about him, Wesley?"

"Oh, I don't know, like maybe you wonder where he is. If he's safe."

``Pffttt'' Angel snorted. "If he's even still alive? Who knows, Wes,
maybe Wolfram & Hart met him on his way out of town and terminated
his contract. That would be something, wouldn't it? Finally a reason
for me to feel guilty about Lindsey McDonald." He turned back to the
window, "As if the dreams weren't enough."

"Dreams? What dreams?" Wesley asked.

*Shit. Smooth, Angel. Anything else you didn't want anyone else to
know?* Angel turned and looked at his friend. "Nothing. Did I hear
you mention something about a spell you found?"

"Do you *miss* him?" Wesley prodded.

Angel turned to the window again and smiled, more to himself than
for Wesley's benefit and continued to stare through the glass. *Do I
miss him? Do I miss having to watch over my shoulder to see where
the next attack is going to come from? Do I miss watching those
incredible blue eyes change shades when the man got angry, or happy,
or.....aroused? Do I miss looking at those full lips , wondering
what they would feel like under my own? Would they be rough and cool
or soft and invitingly warm? Do I miss Lindsey? Well.....fuck. I
blame it on the dreams.*

Angel sighed inwardly and decided that some things were better left
alone, and *this* was one of them. "I admit that I got curious when
I ran across his file, but that's about all. Other than that, I
haven't thought about him since he left. I don't know where he is
and I really don't care. I have enough to worry about right here in
LA right now."

"And if I told you that the odds are good that he's alive……and maybe
even headed this way? Lord knows, we could use him to help us make
sense of all this sh-stuff." Wesley said.

"I'd tell you that I hope he is alive, but as for Lindsey coming
back here? I hope not. Right now the last thing I need is Lindsey
McDonald back here……" *First thing I want.* "Last thing I need."

Angel turned away from the window and went back over to his desk. He
picked up Lindsey's file and put it in a bottom drawer. *There. Out
of sight, out of mind. Moving on.* Looking up at Wesley, he smiled
at his friend, "I'm tired Wes. Is there anything that can't wait
until tomorrow? I think I am going to head off to bed now."

"Okay then, `til tomorrow. Is there anything I could do to ease your
workload?" Wesley decided the spell could wait until tomorrow. And
it was obvious Angel didn't want to talk about Lindsey, so better to
leave it at that.

Angel turned to his friend and smiled. "Not really, although I do
appreciate your offer. It's late. You go home, too. I'll call you if
I need you."

"All right, then. Good night." Wesley turned and headed for the door.

"Good night and Wes, be careful." Angel said to the man's retreating
back. He watched as Wesley shut the door behind him and went back to
the window. *Do I miss Lindsey? Yeah, I miss him. I miss him alot.*
Angel reached out with a hand and touched the cool glass…….

CHAPTER 3

"Wants"

Lindsey sat on the sofa contemplating the bourbon in his glass. He'd
been doing the same thing every night for a solid month. He was
sitting here, slowly getting a little drunk, trying to understand
this...*thing*...he had for Angel. His mind was stuck on the
vampire, and no matter how hard he worked, the images just refused
to dissipate. It was arousing to the extreme, and often embarrassing
to boot. It was getting extremely difficult to concentrate on his
duties at the firm, when he had a full-blown raging hard on all damn
day. He was beyond desperate.......and just *when* had it started,
anyway? Had he been in denial all this time? Or had he been trying
to block it all out?

Going to the bar to refill his glass, Lindsey thought//Attracted to
my worst enemy. What a nightmare. Yeah, I'm was twisted, all right.
I just never realized how much before. Shit, I'm just.....I'm ate up
with the dumbass, that's what. Always wanting what I can't have.
Needing what I know can never be. But that's fair, right? What else
do I deserve, after the things I''ve done?//

Just think: *Angel.* How fucked up was that?

Lindsey sat back down on the sofa, sipping the bourbon, and forced
himself to remember what he could. Found it was everything. Every
touch, every word, every pain. The first time he'd seen Angel. Those
soulful brown eyes staring into his in a courtroom. Every gesture
the man had ever made in Lindsey's presence. Every threat he'd
uttered in that smooth voice. Every time Angel had kicked his ass.
Oh, yeah...how about being nearly strangled....how about the
garrote? What about having his hand cut off? And what about having
his life saved? And oh, let's not forget the temper tantrum I had
when he did that.//Am I drunk? Yeah, a little.//

Lindsey closed his eyes as he reached the final analysis. Whenever
he'd been within Angel's presence, he had been in an aroused state.
Even worse, the danger of the vampire called to his senses more than
anything else ever had. Lindsey was a sensualist. He liked pleasure.
He liked to kiss, and he knew how. He liked to fuck until he
couldn't move, couldn't think, couldn't hardly breathe. He was all
about touching, feeling, smelling, tasting. He lost himself in
passion, he always had. But he'd never considered another man in
this way until now and the thought of Angel along those lines had
him harder than Lindsey could ever recall.

A strange thing it was, too. Lindsey didn't get off on pain. He
never had, before Angel. But, hell....it was time to tell the
truth.....and take it like a man. That pain in the ass, screw up
your whole world, make-you-so-damn-angry-you-lose-your-fucking-mind
Angel had come along, put those hands of his on him, and Lindsey's
body had just fucking turned on him, becoming one big mass of fuck
me-hurt me-use me-Angel slut. That's the truth, as much as it pained
him to admit it. Was it because the vampire had knocked him around
so much he'd gotten to like it? Why was that? It was almost, as if,
some sort of fusion happened between them...as if some mystical
connection bound them.

Lindsey didn't understand it, didn't like it and it was pissing him
off. He swallowed the remaining bourbon, faintly disgusted with
himself. This fascination with vampires...or vampire as the case may
be....was just that. Fascination. That's all it was. It had nothing
to do with fate or destiny or any fucking Wolfram & Hart mumbo
jumbo. He'd left all that shit behind in LA. He was done. Finished.

He sighed. If only the dreams would go away or he wasn't so damn
turned on by the whole thing. If only he didn't get hard at the mere
thought of Angel vamping out. If only his body would act like his
mind wanted it to......or his neck hadn't become so
sensitive......or if he didn't want to know what it would really be
like, being with Angel, having him inside, moving with him in
rhythm....and Lindsey was just drunk enough to admit to himself that
he did want those things. Why be anything but honest about it now?
Cause, damn...*Angel*....shit, anyway you looked at it, he was
pretty much fucked.

So, what to do? Lindsey had left LA behind, but discovered it wasn't
as far away as he'd imagined. And this may be new to him, but
ignoring it damn sure wouldn't make it go away. He decided to, at
the very least, make a phone call. Perhaps, if he heard his voice,
he'd find out all this was a figment of his fevered imagination. He
was just tipsy enough to do it, too.

He picked up the phone, knowing the call couldn't be traced back to
him, his heart rate speeding up, arousal shooting up a notch, and
dialed the number he had so many times before. This time, he
wouldn't hang up before someone answered. The phone rang, and he
knew the call had been transferred elsewhere. But he was stumped
when he heard, "Wolfram & Hart. How may I direct your call?"

"Uh...I must have dialed the wrong number," he said. "I was trying
to reach another party."

"Were you trying Angel Investigations? If so, you have reached the
correct number. How may I direct your call?"

*uh.....what the fuck???*

"I'd like to speak to Angel, if I may?" Lindsey said.

"May I ask who is calling?" The irritating voice asked.

Lindsey said, "Just put Angel on the line."

He was afraid of what was happening. He was exhilarated at the same
time.

"Please stay on the line while I direct your call," the woman said
in a slightly huffy manner.

Lindsey felt the exotic, skin crawling sensation begin that he'd
always felt when he'd known contact with Angel. And he could feel
the flush of heat that rushed through his body at the mere thought
of hearing Angel's voice in his ear. Something so mundane, so common
as a phone call was turning him inside out, and when had he become
that fucking enamored with the man?

Then he heard the voice, his voice saying, "This is Angel."

It sent a shiver down Lindsey's spine.//So arrogant, so menacing,
and I'll admit it, so damn sexy.// He felt a smile break out on his
face at the sound of the vampire's voice, realized how very much
he'd missed hearing it.//You stupid shit! Are you totally drunk? No,
I'm not. Shut the fuck up. Oh, God, I'm losing it.//

*What can I say? I want.*

Chapter 4

"Inevitable"

Angel

*"Enjoyin' the view?" he says casually as he saunters in. I turn to
see the subject of my now daily dreams walking into the room. That
swagger of his, that soft sexy drawl, those damn blue eyes, those
full lips that just beg to be kissed, even his eyebrows....the sight
of him heightens my senses like no creature ever has before. I want
him with a passion unmatched in my entire existence.*

*Yet, I don't want him to be here. I want him gone, just like I
planned. If he's gone, I won't be tempted. If he's gone, I won't
burn inside for things I know cannot be. I don't want to feel the
heat that he carries with him, or know again the Lindsey smell
that's etched into every cell of my body, dead though it may be. And
if he's not here, then my conscience won't scream out that we
wronged each other, we hate each other, we used each other, and we
tried to kill each other.*

*I want him gone from here so he'll never know the despair I felt
when he drove away. I don't want him to know about the emptiness
that followed. No one knows. After the debacle with my sire, I
spared my friends and co-workers the hell I lived through after
Lindsey left LA. I suffered in silence, brooded in secrecy, and
damned the Powers with all my heart.*

*I wanted him to leave and never come back. That way he'd at least
have some chance at a normal life. I had given her the same chance.
Why didn't he take it?*

*"Lindsey, what are you doing here? Is this your idea of leaving
town and never coming back?" I ask with a small half-smile, not
moving, not welcoming him. Challenging him.*

*I watch him as he comes up to stand beside me, close enough so I
can feel the heat coming off of him in waves, warming me, and
enveloping me in his scent, and all the while that little secretive
smile that knows more than it says keeps dancing on his mouth. His
eyes, intense, alive. "C'mon, you knew I'd be back some day, Angel."*

*"Why now? What do you want?" I ask.*

*"I'm hoping that you want the same thing I want." He says. He's so
close and I want so bad to reach over to touch him but I'm afraid,
I'm afraid that if I do –– he'll disappear.*

*"And what would that be, Lindsey?" I pull back and wait for his
answer.*

Instead, a soft, eerie sound breaks the silence.

*rrring*

I snap out of my thoughts, violently catapulted back into reality,
and it takes me another moment to connect this sound to my phone.

*Lindsey's gone.*

Dazed by the afterglow of my intense fantasy I blink a couple of
times until I am able to react and my nervous system works again. I
walk over to the desk and hit the button for the speaker
phone, "Yeah?"

"You have a call on line 2." Harmony's voice came back in her ever
present whine.

"And?" I ask.

"And what? You have a call on line 2." Harmony said, voice now laced
with exasperation.

"Harmony, Who is it?" I ask, trying to keep a level tone.

"Oh. He wouldn't say. He just said ``put Angel on the phone''. Do
you want me to ask again?" She asked.

"Never mind." I hung up on her and hit the blinking button.

"This is Angel." I said.

"Miss me yet?"

~~~~~~~~~~

Angel froze. He looked over at the closed office doors, expecting to
see the embodiment of the voice he had just heard on the phone. No
one there.

"What. *Now* you're speechless?" Sardonic amusement came thru the
speaker.

*On the phone, Angel. On the phone. You really didn't think he was
here, did you?* Angel shook his head to clear away the voice and
reached over and grabbed the handset.

"Lindsey?"

"I'm flattered, Angel. Got me in one. Makes me wonder if you've been
thinking about me." Again with the sarcasm, it was a habit he'd
picked up in childhood, one that had become second nature to Lindsey
when it was something that really mattered. *Down yourself before
they down you. That way, it won't hurt so bad.*

Angel closed his eyes and just listened to Lindsey speak. *I swear,
I could listen to his voice every day of my life and never tire of
it.* Angel felt a strange prickling sensation on his arms and looked
down to see goose bumps all over them.

Lindsey realized he was still smiling. And the sarcasm just kept
flowing out...he couldn't help it. Hiding the truth behind sarcasm
was something he did very well...and Angel had sounded a little
strained. Why wasn't he answering?

"Angel? Still there? Not on the floor passed out in shock to hear my
voice, are you?" Ha! Answer that one!

"Vampires don't faint, Lindsey." The sound of amusement in Angel's
voice spurred Lindsey on.

"Oh really? Bet I can make you faint!" Lindsey was still
smiling....and trying to avoid the reason he'd called.

"Lindsey, please," Angel replied, amused. "I thought two years away
would give you time to grow up."

"Oh, that's a loaded statement from a guy who gets his kicks leaving
childish signs on trucks." Lindsey thought *Give me time to grow up?
God, he sounds as if he wanted me to call him.*

Angel laughed. "Got a ticket, did you?"

Lindsey snorted. "Of course not! I talked my way out of Wolfram &
Hart. What made you think I couldn't talk my way out of a ticket?"

"I should've known. But it was fun. And I'm still not fainting,
Linds. Just why did you call, any way?"

//Okay, he still sounds amused. Remember, Lindsey....truth hidden in
sarcasm.....Angel likes that. He likes a lot....apparently. Are you
really positive he....maybe....oh I don't know, but nothing
ventured, nothing gained, isn't that what they say?//

Lindsey teasingly said, "Well, I was just sitting here, wondering
what it would feel like to have you screw me until I couldn't move,
so I called to ask you how it would feel." *Hmm...Silence of the
Vampire.* "Angel...you still there?"

Angel didn't faint, he did worse.

He stuttered.

"Par…….!" *Did I just hear what I think I did?* "Wha…….?" *He didn't
just say he wanted to fuck, did he? Surely not.* "Excuse me?" Angel
finally manages to sputter out.

Lindsey laughed. "Talk much, Angel?"

"What are you playing at this time Lindsey? What's the game?" Angel
sat down in his chair behind his desk. He felt jittery, jumpy, and
somewhat distracted. Visions of Lindsey's blue eyes clouding over
with desire for him kept popping up in Angel's head.

"No game Angel." Lindsey's voice dropped another octave and the
sarcasm was notably missing. "I'm deadly serious. I keep thinking of
you, dreaming about you……"

"Are you looking to get that way?" Angel asks emotionlessly cutting
Lindsey off.

"What way?" Lindsey asked. *Why does he always do that? Now he
sounds like he doesn't care.*

"Dead." Angel answered.

Lindsey sighs. "No Angel, I'm just looking for a way to get you out
of my head." *And very possibly my heart.* But no way was Lindsey
going to tell the vampire that.

"And into your bed?" Angel replied, his voice tinged with amusement.

"If that's what it takes. I swear, Angel, I think I am going crazy.
So are you going to answer my question or not?" Lindsey says,
exasperation now creeping in.

"What question was that Lindsey?" Angel asks quietly.

Silence filled the line for a minute or so. *Oh, God.....this is so
damn hard to say.* "What would it feel like?" Lindsey softly said,
feeling his body flush all over. "I really do want to know. Hell, I
*need* to know."

"Why do you `need' to know?" Angel softly asked.

"Because," Lindsey answered truthfully, "I can't get the thought of
you out of my head. I'm not joking now, okay? I just.....I
just.....I want.....something. You, I guess. God, I can't believe
I'm saying this. Look, I know I'm twisted, okay? But.....this
is.....confusing me and.....Angel, I need you. I need help. Please,
this once, trust me. I'm on fire here, Angel."

"Lindsey, where are you?" Angel asked, smoldering desire lacing his
voice. *On fire....for ME? Oh...my....god.* He understands Lindsey's
needs, his wants, his desires. He understands what it feels like to
be haunted with the unknown. But what he doesn't understand is this
raging need in *himself* to answer Lindsey's question in person.

Chapter 5

"Truth or Dare"


"Home, Angel. I am at home." Lindsey said with a soft laugh, teasing
again. He'd just let more out than he'd intended....and what if
Angel wasn't interested? What if he was only....getting his rocks
off listening to Lindsey say these things?

Was Lindsey serious...or just getting off on messing with his head
again? "Where's home at, Lindsey?" Angel said.

"Definitely *not LA.*. Are you worried that I may be right under
your nose and you never knew it?" Soft laughter floats through the
phone and into Angel's ear, settling right in Angel's groin. "No,
Angel, I am not under your nose but I think I *am* under your skin.
I bet that pisses you off too, doesn't it?" More soft laughter and
now Angel is hard. "I know it's pissing me off."

"Lindsey, did you call me for phone sex or is there a point to all
this innuendo and heavy breathing?" Angel asks, frustration
screaming through his body.

*Phone sex....did Angel actually just say phone sex?!?* A heated
flush swept through Lindsey's body at the thought of Angel and phone
sex...Angel and any sex....Angel....sex....Lindsey closed his eyes
and softly growled.

Angel chuckled. "Lindsey, did you just growl at me?"

"Uh...maybe?" Lindsey said, a little breathless now.

*Oh, turnabout is fair play, Lindsey. You made me stutter. Well, I
can play, too.* Angel made a sound between a growl and a purr, and
said, "I like it. I like the sound of your voice. It makes me want
to fuck you right through the floor."

Lindsey felt his face go slack in shock and the phone dropped from
his suddenly boneless hand. //Oh, *Fuck*....did he just actually say
that?!? I cannot *believe* the stoic bastard said that! // He heard
the vampire speak again.

"Linds....you still there?"

He picked the phone back up with a hand that now held a fine
tremor. "I'm still here! Are you trying to scare me off? If so, it
didn't work! You know, I can play just as hard as you can,
Angel!"*Cause you know what? Pain or no pain, I'm doing this now.
That's right. I'm gonna let Angel screw my brains out. If only....I
can get him here.*

Angel chuckled again. "You don't want to get burned, you shouldn't
play with fire, Lindsey. You started this dance. I ask again, is
there a point to all of this?"

"The point is Angel, I want you. Question is: Do you want me?"
Lindsey said, his voice suddenly smooth and sultry, a little
breathless, a little teasing.

*He really means it!* Thoughts of a desire drugged Lindsey were now
driving him to the edge. He had to get to him...as fast as possible.
*Do I honestly want to fuck him through the floor? Lemme
think......Hell yes!!* "Yes, Lindsey, I want you………….and if you tell
me where you are, I'll even come and show you."

"Find me, Angel………….and you can have me." He said with the sexiest
drawl he could, and with that Lindsey hung up the phone.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"LINDSEY!" Angel roared into the phone. Nothing but dead air
answered back.

"DAMMIT!" Angel ripped the phone off the desk and hurled it across
the room where it shattered against the wall with such force pieces
were left imbedded in the wall. Angel turned to the doors where
Harmony was standing having come to see what all the noise was about.

"Harmony, get in here." Angel ground out.

Harmony walked over to the desk and looked at her boss. She could
see yellow flirting with the chocolate brown of his eyes and smiled
gleefully. *This job may not be such a drag after all.* "Hey, Angel?
What's up? Need somebody killed? Or at least maimed?"

Angel grimaced at Harmony's words but he knew that she was sensing
his demon fighting for control. He took a deep breath and let it out
slowly, not for the oxygen but for the minimal time it gave him to
take back that control.

"No, Harmony. Found……I want someone found. As soon as possible.
Yesterday would have been nice. Understand?"

"Sure. You want someone found. Who?"

"Lindsey McDonald."

"Wasn't he just on the phone? Why didn't you just ask him where he
is?"

"I did……Harmony. He had already hung up. I need him found……NOW!"

"Alright already. I get it. No need to get all pissy about it. Any
hints as to where to begin?"

"He used to work here a few years back. I already have his file but
there's nothing beyond his termination date. Look for credit card
usage, forwarding address from his apartment…….I don't know……Look
for anything……Just find him!"

"Ok already. I'm on it." With that, Harmony turned and walked out
the door closing the doors behind her.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Back in Oklahoma, Lindsey McDonald sat at his desk, worried about
what he had just set in motion. He realized he had let his body talk
and not his mind. Why in the holy hell had he just done that?
Invited a vampire, whose hands had never touched him except to hurt
him, back into his life?!? Shit, he'd all but dared the man....and
Lindsey knew he was a lot of things, but a masochist was *Not* one
of them. Or, at least, he hadn't been. Damn! He needed another drink.

Lindsey decided he pretty much hated the unknown.

Chapter 6

"Homeward Bound"

Six hours later, Angel had all the information he needed laid out
before him and knew everything the young lawyer had been up to for
the last 2 years. He picked up a piece of paper and read the
letterhead. *Garland, McDonald, & Powers - Attorneys at Law*

"Tulsa, Oklahoma. So I guess you went home after all didn't you
Lindsey?"

"Lindsey?"

Gunn walked in and took a seat on the couch across the room from
Angel's desk and looked over at the vampire. "I know you
ain't talkin' about that evil lawyer you ran outta here a few years
back……or are you? He ain't comin' back into play now is he, cause
I'm thinkin' he may not like it here now –– with you bein'
boss and all."

Angel smiled. "No Gunn, Lindsey isn't coming back. Seems he has
made a name for himself back home in Oklahoma. Partner in a firm
there."

"And you know this how? Better yet –– why?" Gunn asked.

"I ran across his file the other day and got curious. Had Harmony
look into it. He was easy to find, didn't even change his name to
hide. I guess the Senior Partners did like him cause he's still
alive and --"

"Angel, I just got off the phone with the pilot and he said that the
Wolfram & Hart company jet can be ready to go whenever you are. He
just needs an hour to get pre-flight done. So there's your
nonstop flight to……Oh! Gunn……Hi." Harmony looked over at Angel and
smiled as angelically as she could. *Oops! You're so busted!!
* "Anyway,here's the pilot's name and number……" She handed Angel a
scrap of paper "I'm leaving now, so can I get you anything before I
go?"

"No Harm, I think you've done enough for one day. Go home and
I'll see you tomorrow." Angel walked over to the blonde and putting
his hand on her elbow, steered her towards the door.

"But aren't you going to -" Harmony started to ask.

"Goodbye, Harmony!" Angel said loudly effectively cutting her off.

"Alright! Goodbye already. You better not be this grouchy tomorrow
or I'll-"

"Harmony!" Angel bellowed.

"I'm gone!" Harmony turned and fled.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

"What was that all about?" Gunn asked when Angel came back into his
office and closed the doors.

Angel considered what to tell the man but then opted for the truth.

"I'm going to Oklahoma. To see Lindsey. Wes seems to think that
maybe he could help us." Angel looked over at Gunn expecting the man
to blow up at him, get angry, ask him if he was crazy *I am,
aren't I? Aren't I?* anything *but* the reaction he got, which was
none.

"Kinda figured you would……someday." Gunn said.

"You did?" Angel asked, surprised.

"We all did, man. We just figured it would have happened before now
is all. But I guess ``outta sight outta mind''. Then you
came back here –– to this place and……well, I guess now is the time."
Gunn said, shrugging his shoulders. ""When you leavin'?"

Angel looked at the scrap of paper in his hand then looked back at
Gunn with a faint smile on his face. "Hopefully, in about an hour."
He said, reaching for the phone.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Angel lay back on the bed in the back of the luxurious Wolfram &
Hart company jet. He had decided to board before sunrise so he could
sleep on the way and have less wait time for sunset when he got
there. He was determined to see Lindsey that night.

It seemed the entire plane had been outfitted especially for him,
from the blood bags in the galley to the special glass for the
windows, the same glass used in his offices and penthouse suite that
Wolfram & Hart gave him when he took over the LA offices. //Nothing
but the best huh, Lindsey? Five star accommodations. I can see why
it would be hard to turn all *this* down, especially after growing
up the way you did.//

Angel let his mind wrap itself around the young lawyer, and the only
time they ever worked together instead of against each other. //
Well there was the body parts shop, but can't really count that
cause he didn't ask for my help, that just sort of happened. //
But the kids………That's where it all began………………

Saving those kids seemed to be personal for Lindsey. I had thought
it would wake him up as to the type of people he worked for. I was
wrong. He said that he wanted out. I had assumed that he meant out
from under Wolfram and Hart. Lindsey wanted out all right, out from
under the guilt he knew he would feel when Vanessa got done with
those kids. But that guilt was replaced by fear and anger. Anger
because his body reacted to mine. It came alive. I made his body
sing in a way it never had before. I know because that scent, his
arousal, his passion, his essence....it's been a part of me since
that night. Lindsey was angry because he couldn't accept it. His
scent is what constantly drove me to touch him, to remind him. So I
did. Mainly with my fists. I needed him to hurt. I needed him to
bleed. He got off on it, too. He's as twisted as I am. I needed him
to need me.

But most of all, I needed him to come forward and tell me what his
body was screaming at mine. That he wanted me. And that want of me
made him afraid. I could have helped him understand his needs, his
desires. Himself. Instead, he hid. Hid behind that concrete, steel
and glass called Wolfram and Hart. Where he felt safe, where he felt
wanted. Where he didn't have to come to terms with himself, about
what he'd felt for me.

Lindsey never knew that I wanted him too. I was going to tell him
after we saved the kids. I waited up on the hotel roof until just
before sunrise, then headed down to my rooms and waited some more. I
was so sure that he would come to me. I even convinced myself that
he had gone home first to clean up. Wearing a co-worker's blood
all over you all day can be a little unnerving. Maybe reminded him
of his own mortality. Either way, Lindsey never showed up at my
office again.

That was the beginning for me. Oh, if you were to ask Cordelia,
Wesley or even Gunn when my descent into darkness started they would
tell you it was when Darla arrived back into my life. But in
actuality, it was when Lindsey turned his back on me, denying me,
denying himself and in effect, denying us.

But maybe Lindsey knew something that I didn't. Maybe he knew
that I probably would have just marked him up as a win for the good
guys and then left him to fend for himself. After all, I loved
Buffy, right? She's my soul mate, isn't she? And the curse thatwon't
allow me to be with her surely wouldn't let me be with Lindsey, would
it? Was that what he believed? //What was worse than worrying about
all that was the knowledge I had gained the one and only time I
vamped out in his presence. He said I was really gross, but he was
covering. It turned him on, and that was a bad thing to know. *bad,
bad, bad thing to know.*//

Either way, it didn't matter. After I took his hand to save
Cordy's life, he became focused on destroying me. Part of it was in
anger for what I took from him involuntarily and I guess I
understood that. But I think another part of him hoped that with my
destruction, my death he could regain the part of himself that he
had given me voluntarily, his heart. But he couldn't do it.//

Maybe if he had been able to make Darla love him, he would have been
able to let go of his twisted hatred of me. He could have fooled
himself into believing that through her he got me. Instead he got
neither. Darla left, disappeared. And me, well I did everything
short of physically driving him out of LA personally. I needed him
gone before one of us ended up dead. I had to let him go. So, I
stood there, hands in my pockets, and watched him drive away. Out of
LA and out of my life.

*God, I let him go. It was worse than leaving Darla in China, worse
than leaving Sunnydale. I'd never had anyone walk away from me
before.....and I hated it.*
~~

Oh, I was doing fine until Lilah offered us Wolfram & Hart on a
silver platter. My random everyday thoughts about him became an
almost constant litany of remembered words and harsh touches. Then
the dreams started. Nice at first, filled with unfulfilled wants and
desires acted out just the way I wanted them. Then they changed,
became wet dreams and vampire wet dreams are *nothing* like a
human's wet dream. My wet dreams consist of Angelus draining and
turning Lindsey, killing the part of him that I want so much, his
heart. So, again, good thing Lindsey was gone.

Then he called. I can still hear that voice. I swear that voice has
haunted me since the day we met. He said he wanted me, that he
couldn't stop thinking about me, dreaming about me, and it was
making him crazy. *Trust me, Lindsey. I know the feeling.* I
can't help wondering what his game is though. Seduction, or rather
sex, is a tactic he never used before, at least not with me. Now I
am intrigued.

"Sir" I jumped at the tinny sound coming from somewhere on my left.

"Yes." I answer.

"I just wanted to let you know that we will be beginning our descent
into Tulsa International in about 20 minutes." The voice replied.

"Thank you."

"Well, Lindsey, here I come. Are you sure you're ready to play?"
Angel laughed silently. *Question is, am I ready? Look at me. 250
years old, jumping at some 29 year old boy like a bitch in heat.
Spike said something to that effect once. Something about being
Love's bitch. Wouldn't he love to see me now?*

Lindsey has more control over me than he ever realized. He always
has. I look into his blue eyes and I feel Angelus screaming inside
of me to have at him. I won't allow that to happen. Not to him. My
balance may be precarious at best, but when it comes to Lindsey, I
have to maintain control. Nothing less is going to do this time,
because I mean to have him. He belongs to me, and I'm fucking tired
of waiting. Tired of all the long, lonely nights.

Lindsey has a dominate nature, the same as I do. The same exact
sense of submissiveness is there too. I've felt it. We're two halves
that make a whole. The fact that he's human only makes my desire for
him greater. Part of Lindsey wants me because I'm a vampire. He's so
beautiful to me, my heart hurts to look at him. I cannot decide what
I truly want more: to kiss him or to turn him.

There must be a place in between....*there just has to be.*

I'm going to find it.

Chapter 7

"Before The Storm"


Lindsey

I've been thinking about my total lack of fear when it comes to
vampires, since I hung up on Angel. At first I thought it started
with Angel...but now I realize that I never had any fear at all. I'm
not sure why that is. It's true, I had a rotten childhood. We were
dirt poor. I'll never forget the death of my siblings due to flu. A
part of me will never get over that. It left an empty place in my
heart, an empty dark place I tried to fill with Wolfram & Hart.

Yet this isn't reason enough for my lack of fear. It was always
there, I suppose. Sometimes, I think a part of my soul is missing. I
feel nothing, most of the time. That's what enabled me to work there
in the first damn place. It eats at me, that nothingness. It tears
me up inside, that numbness. I did crazy things to try to....be
somebody. To prove I was something. *To Belong.* And twice did I try
to get myself out of the whole mess I'd made of my life. The first
time I desperately needed guidance. It didn't work out. The last
time, I ran away.

I once went to Angel for help. I just couldn't stomach the death of
children. It was too much. I let him see the emptiness within
me.....and all I got in return were snide remarks. The man who had
protected Faith against the Watcher's council, despite the torture
of Wesley Wyndham-Price, the man who had even fought his lover over
the rogue slayer.....*he didn't care if I lived or died.* I had
asked him if I died, would it prove I'd changed. He coldly answered
that it would be a start.

And that day was almost my death. I've often thought how close I
came, how no one would have cared, and how very much I want to be
loved. About how I've held no fear of death ever since. I believe I
took the promotion Holland Manners offered me because...at the time,
I thought it was hate towards Angel. Now, I know it was rage,
because he hadn't cared enough to truly help me.

Angel was supposed to help the hopeless. That day, I was pretty
fucking hopeless. That day, the emptiness inside me became a living
thing. Because that day, I finally realized my fate was bound to
his, somehow. My body, it came alive in a way I'd never felt
before that night. *That little epiphany damn near made my heart
stop.* I went straight into denial, and I think it made the rage
worse. So, when I closed that office door, I pushed all the hope
I'd felt deep inside, and I've never recovered it. Now, the
emptiness is all I feel.

For a brief span of time, I thought losing myself in Darla would
make it go away, that hopeless feeling. I'll never forget those
few sick moments in the nursery when she was dead. Also, the fact
that I understood that crazy Drusilla has often made me wonder how
sane I am. I told Darla I didn't mind dying. At the time, I'd
meant it. The funny thing is, Darla had known, she'd even told
me once. *It's not me you want to screw. It's him..*

Then I felt him, the same second Drusilla did. He said, I'm sorry
I didn't get to you in time. Darla assumed he was talking to her.
That was the only true apology he ever gave me. I smiled when he
shut the door on us. If I had died that night, at least he had
given me that much.

Now, I've called him to me. I'm still not afraid. Will he come?

These two years, I've filled them with passionate encounters.
It's almost become a blur to me. Sex for me has always been an
exquisite, sensuous experience, and *yes, alright....sometimes,
it borders on pain.* I drive my body until I'm numb, until I can't
move, until I'm nearly dead.

It's not enough any longer. I've realized I'm doing it to *feel*.
To feel alive. To feel human. To feel that I'm not a selfish,
uncaring bastard. I need something else, some other forgetfulness
to quell the emptiness I live with. *To forget him. Always....him.*
But I can't....I just can't. He's under my skin,
he's in my blood, and I can't live without him any longer.
So, I called him. If Angel does show up....I'll let him take me.
He can fuck me, kill me,turn me, love me....I don't care which.
*I only know.....I want him more than I want to breathe.*

Like I said before, I'm not a masochist. But if all he offers me
is pain, I'll take it. I'll cry, I'll scream....fuck,
I'll even beg the bastard. My pride is gone, my heart is barren,
and Goddamn it, I feel...so fucking alone. *He's the only one who
can understand.* Because he knows that at least physical wounds
heal, and fade. Emotional ones seem to never leave. They leave a
deeper scar that can never completely fade. And I'm so tired.
So fucking tired.

And at least with him I'd feel something, wouldn't I? Even if
it's only pain. It's better than this cold emptiness I live
with. Iwant to feel something real, something tangible..
Something life-altering and cataclysmic, something to stir what
remains of my soul.

The sound of his voice on the phone brought it all rushing back, and
I want him. Dreams are sometimes only dreams, because I'm not a
prophet or a seer. Only a lawyer with an evil hand, who denies the
truth when it's staring me in the face. And I'm not a
teenager, confused and ashamed of what I need from him, but a man
who knows what I want.

I'm not hiding from it any longer.

Chapter 8

"Choices"

Lindsey stood up from the couch he'd been lounging on, and walked
to the liquor cabinet to pour a tumbler of scotch. He looked at
himself in the mirror behind it, smiling at himself. He needed to
stop this.....what had Angel once told him?....ah, yes. Moping.
He made a noise that was a cross between a snort and a laugh.
*A case of the pot calling the kettle, Angel. You brood, and
I mope.* And even after all this time, Lindsey still had to smile
at Angel's snarky attitude during the car ride the day before
he'd left LA. At first, it had been the side glances at Lindsey,
even during the call he'd made to Cordelia. It had made
Lindsey's skin crawl. But then Angel just couldn't keep his
mouth shut.

*Your hand hasn't been doing anything....funny....lately, has
it?* The vampire had asked with a look of total innocence on his
face. *While his hand stroked the side window. Innocent.....right.*
Lindsey had shot Angel a look that said *I saw that* and *Are you
flirting with me now?* and *That's none of your business* and *Go
to Hell* all at the same time.

Lindsey had told Angel *You know, I know you're Mr. Save A Soul
now, but at least you used to throw down with your enemies.
What do you wanna do now? You wanna share?* *Only, I meant screw,
and he knew it.* I'm glad he didn't reply to that at the
time. I was on the edge as it was. And when I gasped at the sight
of the axe in his hand.....

Lindsey's memories were cut off at the sound of his cell phone
ringing. He was grinning as he answered, "Hello?"

"Still want me, Lindsey?"

*Oh, man.....it's him. He has my cell number.* "Angel?"

He sounded amused. "Expecting someone else?"

Lindsey said, "No. Not really. How did you get this number?"

Angel laughed and the sound made Lindsey's mouth go dry. "You
told me if I found you, I could have you. I've been searching,
and I almost have you pinned down. Do you still want me, Lindsey?"

*Does this mean you're coming? Please say it does. I couldn't
take it if you don't.* Lindsey thought that, but all he said was,
"Yes, I do. Wh...Where are you?"

"So, do I have an open invite to your place once I find you?" Angel
asked, avoiding the question.

Lindsey laughed. He knew that the vampire must already know where he
is. *He sounds too cocky not to know where I am. Question is, where
is he, how long before he gets here and how long do I have before I
have to make good on my promise?* "When you get here, Angel, come on
in. Door's open."

Angel said, "You sure about that? Once I walk into your life again,
all choice will be gone. Are you really sure you want this?"

Lindsey made the half-snort, half laugh sound again. "Yes, I'm sure.
You want it in writing?"

Angel's voice said behind him, "That would be nice, but not
necessary. Thanks anyway."

Lindsey whirled around found himself face to face with the object of
his every sleeping thought, though lately even the waking thoughts
were filled with *him* too. "Angel?"

Angel smiled. "Hello, Lindsey, long time no see." And with that
Angel took Lindsey's face in his hands and kissed the young man
breathless.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lindsey barely had time to process the fact of Angel's presence
in his home before the vampire took his face in his hands, a sweet
surge of heat enveloped his body, and Angel's lips were on his
own. His kiss was everything Lindsey had dreamed of and more.
He opened his mouth and let him deepen the kiss. It was pulse
pounding, earth shattering, and left the lawyer breathless,
wanting, and that element of danger....he felt it down to his soul.

Lindsey dropped the phone, reached up to wind his hand in the
vampire's hair, and kissed him back, touching Angel's tongue
with his, and he felt it in every nerve in his body, which was
now burning to just get on with it.....and his mind was screaming
*he's here, he came, he's kissing you. Oh my god.* He craved
contact with that body, so Lindsey moved closer, slipping his hand
under Angel's shirt to touch the vampire.

Angel was surprised. The way Lindsey had sounded on the
phone....he'd thought Lindsey was maybe just curious or
something, but.....*oh shit*......damn, Lindsey was teasing his
nipples. The vampire muttered "*Fuck*" and Lindsey moaned into the
kiss. Damn.....was Lindsey a novice at this or not? Angel moved his
right hand to Lindsey's back, and kissed his way to the young
man's ear. His smooth voice whispered into his ear,
"Have you ever done this before, Lindsey?"

That momentarily confused Lindsey. Then it dawned on him what Angel
had asked, and Lindsey felt himself blush all over, a combination of
embarrassment and desire sweeping over him. His heartbeat
accelerated, and now he wondered if he was insane to have brought
this down on himself, but frankly, he was too hot to care. He softly
said, "I've never been with a man before, Angel, if that's what
you're asking."

Angel laughed softly as he moved to stand behind Lindsey.
"That's very good. I've always wanted to be the first one
there,Lindsey." He slid his hands down the young man's chest,
until he reached the erection that strained against fabric. He
softly began to stroke it. Lindsey gasped and arched into Angel's
hand. "So, you're trying to tell me...what? I'm the only one?"

Lindsey let his head fall back as he closed his eyes. Why was he
only complete when Angel touched him? His voice was very husky,
deepened with passion as he answered, "Yes. You're the one.
The....only....one."

Angel softly growled into Lindsey's ear. The young man was very
visibly turned on by that, just as Angel had known he would be. The
vampire slid his hands up under Lindsey's shirt, touching him,
teasing him, just to feel how sensitive his skin was to his touch.
Lindsey arched up into the touch....*God, his skin's so damn hot.
He feels like he has fever.* Angel thought. His hand wandered back
down, and he began unbuttoning the jeans.

Lindsey moaned, placed his shaking hands on the cabinet in front of
him. *Oh, God....this is it. If I wanna back out, it's now or
never.....*, but then Angel started undoing each button on his
jeans, the pressure on his erection hit his system, and Lindsey knew
without doubt, *he wanted this.....desperately.* His body felt more
alive in this moment that it ever had before. "Afraid?" Angel
whispered into his ear. "Hell no," Lindsey shakily said.

"Do you want me to stop? Slow down?" Angel said, his hands poised to
push the jeans down.

*He's giving you an out. This is it, Lindsey boy....take it and
move on....or get on with it and take what you've always wanted.*
Lindsey shivered. He whispered,
"Fuck no, don't stop....please....don't stop."

Angel growled again. Lindsey gasped at the sound, and the vampire
chuckled. He slid the jeans down, his hands inside touching
Lindsey's legs all the way down, then back up again as he stood.
He shrugged the duster off, placing the lube he'd brought on the
cabinet in front of Lindsey, who inhaled sharply at the sight of it,
but didn't try to move away. The vampire continued touching
Lindsey, who was gently shaking with the desire that was running
though his body, panting softly, and blushing at the same time.

Angel decided this was the moment of truth, right here....right now.
He gently took Lindsey's balls in his grip, gently
squeezed....not enough to hurt....just enough to get his attention.
He kissed Lindsey's neck, and the young man sucked in his breath
and *froze*. Angel menacingly said, "What game are you playing
at.....what do you want, really? Tell me, Lindsey."

Lindsey softly said, "I have a vampire at my neck, my pants are down
around my ankles, every nerve in my body is singing, I can't
decide what it is I want the most, but your hand is on the most
vulnerable part of my body....I can feel the danger I'm in. Tell
me, Angel....what do I smell like I want?"

"Oh, you smell like you really want me to take you, but I want to
hear you say it. Tell me, Lindsey," Angel whispered. "You look at
yourself in that mirror, and you tell me."

Lindsey glanced in the mirror, saw himself...the look of abandonment
in his eyes, the color of the blush of his skin, and he was blinded
by passion, only feeling the hot desire the vampire had always
aroused in him, Lindsey turned to look Angel in the eye, and
answered honestly, "Anything you want, Angel. I'll let you do
anything to me you want. I just want you to take me. Here. Now."
His voice broke, and he swallowed what remained of pride,
"Please. I just want to feel something real."

That wasn't the answer Angel was expecting, and it made the
demon within glitter in his eyes. A Lindsey who kissed back,
who touched him boldly, and didn't shy away from something
he'd never known, he'd not expected that. He'd expected
anything but the aching, crushing, heart stopping need he could
hear in Lindsey's voice and the unwavering truth he could read in
the young man's eyes. It sent his senses reeling, and before he
could control himself, he had the lawyer bent over the liquor
cabinet, the lube he had brought in his hands. Angel got Lindsey
ready for him, he wasn't cruel about it, but not gentle either.
Lindsey sucked his breath in, he whimpered a little, but he
didn't protest. Then Angel took the man under him, hard and fast.
Lindsey screamed at the swift invasion.

He felt pain and pressure as Angel moved in him, but it faded as
other, more primal needs took him over. The hot, sweet flush was
replaced by a nasty, even hotter desire, one that he found he liked.
Being taken this way by someone stronger than him, being used this
way by Angel.....Lindsey liked it very much. It hurt, but not like
he'd imagined it would. Passion took him over, and all he could
do was ride it out. Then the vampire moved a different way, and
Lindsey groaned deeply. Angel was hitting his prostate with every
stroke, and Lindsey started moving in rhythm with him.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lindsey hadn't lied. He was tight, only the way a virgin at this
would be. The heat surrounding him was incredible, Angel had never
felt anyone this hot under him before. A red haze descended over the
vampire, and all he felt was the need to conquer and dominate, to
fuck the man underneath him, and he didn't hear the sounds that
were coming from Lindsey until it was almost over. But by then,
Angel couldn't stop the orgasm that overtook him when he realized
the young man under him was moving with him, he was moving and
moaning, and he came right before Angel did, the vampire's name
echoing in the air in that harsh, husky voice.

Angel knew then that Lindsey was playing the only game that ever
mattered. It was kiss or kill and he was afraid it was going to end
up being both, because Lindsey was the one, the only one, who was
prepared to take it all the way. Angel had known this from the
moment he'd really looked into Lindsey's eyes, what seemed a
lifetime ago.

The final dance between them had begun.

Chapter 9

"An Angel in Black"

Angel pulled slowly out of Lindsey, wincing when he saw traces
of the young man's blood on his cock. *Damn it....did I have to
be so rough? I did not want it to happen this way. But face
it....control and Lindsey do NOT belong in the same sentence.
Not when I heard all that need in his voice....*

"Angel! Don't!" Lindsey had felt the change in Angel the moment
the vampire left his body. He turned, followed Angel's eyes to the
man's softening penis, saw the blood and knew Angel was feeling
guilty.

"Don't what?" Angel looked up at Lindsey.

"Don't start feeling guilty, especially about *that*!"
Lindsey said pointing to Angel. "Nothing happened here that
*I didn't want to happen or that I didn't expect to happen....
or that I didn't enjoy.* I asked you for that, remember?"

"That may be, but I didn't have to be so rough," Angel quietly
said.

"Right now, Angel, that's the only way it can be. Let's face
it, gentleness and tenderness ain't part of what we are. It never
was. I knew that when I called you," Lindsey said.

Angel locked eyes with the young man who appeared so concerned over
the guilt he couldn't help but feel. "It can be, Lindsey."

*Okay.....he feels guilty.....and damn those puppy dog eyes of
his.* "Maybe……Someday. But today ain't that day. We have too
much to punish each other for right now."

"Punish each other? Is that what you think I am doing here? I've
come to punish you? Lindsey, don't you think you have been punished
enough?"

"Okay, maybe 'punish' isn't the right word, but still, I think you
get my drift," Lindsey replied.

Angel sighed. More for appearance than for necessity. *Seriously,
can the man be more infuriating?* "Lindsey, obviously we need to
talk and I really can't have that conversation right now, not
with the smell of blood –– your blood –– hanging around."
Angel smiled at the little play on words. "So could you please
point me to the bathroom and let me get cleaned up first."

Lindsey pointed the way and watched Angel walk away. Bending down
and retrieving his own clothes, he redressed and sat on the sofa
waiting for Angel's return. He heard water running and laid his head
back and closed his eyes. *Dammit, didn't realize he planned on
taking a shower. Sure, Angel....make yourself at home.*

Angel paused just inside one doorway of the bathroom, and stared.
One corner of the room was taken up by a large Jacuzzi tub. Angel
grinned as he walked over to it. Made to fit the corner, sunk into
the floor, and easily accommodating to two people, Angel turned on
the taps and adjusted the temperature. As the tub filled, Angel
scanned the rest of the room, taking in the double vanity sink and
pausing at the double wide shower in another corner of the room.
*Only a sensualist would have a bathroom like this. Lindsey's
been holding out on me.* Angel turned back to the tub and turned off
the water. Lighting the candles he saw on the corner of the tub and
laying out two big, fluffy towels, Angel slid the door closed behind
him and went in search of a certain lawyer.

Angel paused and stared at the young man relaxing on the sofa.
*He looks like I feel....lonely. Very lonely. Why are you alone,
Lindsey?*

Angel shook his head ridding himself of all the questions.
//As of right now, Lindsey, you are not alone……not anymore.
Someday……somehow……I will see you happy, starting right now.
*I hope*.//

Lindsey jumped when he felt Angel slip a cool hand into his warm
one. He looked up at Angel and watched as the vampire leaned over
and placed a cool, and oddly comforting, kiss on his forehead.

"Come with me." Angel said, smiling, pulling Lindsey off the sofa.

"Where?"

"For God's sake, Lindsey, must you always question me on everything?
Just once, trust me. Now come on." Angel turned and headed back to
the bathroom, tugging a hesitant Lindsey behind him. When they
reached the bathroom door, Angel turned back and smiled
mischievously at the young man and reached over and began
unbuttoning Lindsey's shirt.

"Angel, what are you doing?"

"Shhh, taking off your shirt, now close your eyes."

"Why?"

"Because I have a surprise and you're overdressed. Now please,
close your eyes and keep them closed, no matter what. If you
peek……well, I guess I'll have to bite you." Angel said with
a smile, both on his face and in his voice so the young man could
hear the playfulness in its tone.

Lindsey closed his eyes and sighed when he felt Angel's fingers
ghost over his skin as each button popped open. He flinched slightly
when he felt Angel's cool fingers slide across his chest, blunt
nails lightly grazing each nipple and coming to rest on his
shoulders. Fighting to keep his eyes closed as he felt Angel's
hands gently massaging down each arm and feeling his shirt slipping
off to puddle at his feet. *Okay, Angel has this seduction thing
down to an art. This feels incredible.....Oow!* Lindsey heard
Angel's swift intake at the same time searing pain shot through
his upper arm. Lindsey's eyes flew open as he jerked away and he
looked accusingly at the vampire.

"Oww! Shit Angel, what was that for? My eyes were closed." Lindsey
reached over to touch the bruised flesh.

Angel caught a flash of black on the young man's arm then looked
back at the slightly burned flesh of his palm. "Lindsey……what
did you do?"

"What do you mean what did *I* do? Felt like you bit me." Lindsey
leaned past Angel and slid the bathroom door open. Pushing past the
vampire, Lindsey walked over to look at his arm in the mirror. All
he saw was the other constant reminder of why he left L.A. *As if
the scar around my wrist wasn't enough.*

"You burned my hand."

"How the hell could I have burned your……hand?" Lindsey turned to
look at the vampire and froze taking in the sight before him. Bath
drawn, towels laid out, and candles everywhere. *Holy shit.....what
is he doing?*

Angel looked up from his hand to the reflection in the mirror. "When
did you get that?" Angel asked pointing to the cross entwined with a
very familiar looking……angel? on Lindsey's upper arm.

Lindsey looked at his arm then back to the tub, "The night I left
L.A. I wanted to……" Lindsey faltered.

"Wanted to what?" Angel was overreacting and he knew it but he
couldn't seem to help himself. "Hurt me? Tell me that you
didn't do this to hurt me."

"Hurt you, Angel? How the hell was I supposed to hurt you with this?
I never expected to see you again. You told me to never come back-
and why does *this* have to be about you? Maybe I wanted-?"

"The angel, Lindsey. That's the agency's logo. So now tell me
how this isn't about me. Besides, you had it blessed, or else I
could touch it." Angel interrupted, not wanting to be reminded of
that night. Standing there watching the young lawyer drive off was
one of the hardest things he had done. "Why did you do it?
Why would-"

"I wanted to remember." Lindsey interrupted quietly, pleading in his
eyes for understanding and space. *Please, don't push this. Not
here....not now. Whatever you had going on here.....I want it.*

Angel saw the look in Lindsey's eyes but chose to ignore it.
He had never seen the lawyer this……open. Lindsey was always so
tightly controlled, showing little –– if any –– emotion,
giving nothing of himself away. Angel was at a loss as to how to
handle this newly revealed vulnerability but he knew that Lindsey
would close back up if he relented so instead he pushed
on. "Remember what, Lindsey? The pain of L.A.? The evilness of
Wolfram & Hart? All the material things that you had to give up?
Am I getting warm here?"

"YOU!" Lindsey ground out, visibly upset at having to reveal that.

*What??* Angel reeled back as if Lindsey had slapped him. He stood
staring at Lindsey unsure of what to say. "Wh……wh……what?"

"Dammit Angel, I wanted to remember you."

Angel felt the anger slide out of his body and the beginnings of
something warm taking its place. Reaching over and grabbing the
waistband of Lindsey's jeans, he hauled the young man to him and
planted a kiss on Lindsey's lips. His flavor was distinctive,
staggering, and each taste was a shock to the senses. Angel felt
Lindsey's tongue meet with his own and engage in a short battle
for control before feeling the young man give in and lean into the
kiss. Trailing his fingers across and down Lindsey's chest, Angel
found the silky ribbon of hair that descended into soft, worn denim
and lower. When Angel stroked it lightly he could feel the muscles
of Lindsey's belly jump in response. The evidence of the young
man's excitement brought a heady kind of thrill.

A dizzying spiral of heat swirled through Lindsey, turning him
boneless. He couldn't have stood without Angel's support.
Angel's mouth was laying claim to his own with tongue and teeth,
leaving him breathless. Lindsey sensed a hint of desperation in
Angel's hands as they popped open the buttons of his jeans, one
right after another. Angel's hands slid back around and into the
jeans to cup Lindsey's ass, kneading it gently.

"You have the firmest, tightest ass I've ever felt." Angel
whispered, before letting go and sliding Lindsey's jeans and
boxers down to his ankles. Angel slid around to stand behind Lindsey
and nodded his head towards the tub. "That's for you. I was a
little……forceful earlier and I thought this might help with the
soreness."

Lindsey smiled, "I'm fine. You didn't have to do this."

"Yeah, I did. I shouldn't have taken you like that but this
isn't just about that. It's about the past. We can't
change it but we can learn from it. I learned that I wanted you,
a little too much for my comfort, and so fighting with you was easy.
Watching you hurt though, that wasn't so easy." Angel laughed
softly, "Hell Lindsey, nothing about you was ever easy, but……"
Angel paused and nudged Lindsey towards the steaming water,
wrapping an arm around the young man's waist as Lindsey kicked
off the clothes at his feet. "but I found that I still wanted you
and I'm sorry that I couldn't have found a better way to show
it."

Lindsey turned and just stared at Angel, sort of in shock. Couldn't
believe Angel seriously meant what he'd just said. Lindsey closed
his eyes and thought hard about that. Could he let it go, the pain
which had been the greater part of him for the last several years?
If he let Angel do this, he would be losing what had driven him for
so long.....but maybe in doing so, he would gain something finer to
replace it. He sighed deeply as he made his decision, and he let the
sweet hot flush he'd been fighting finally settle into him. Along
with the flush of desire this time, Lindsey felt a tightening around
the area of his heart. He was not sure it could be termed
pain....but...was this the something real he'd wanted?

He opened his eyes to see that Angel's gaze had never left his
face. "Yeah, I'm sorry too." he softly said.

Chapter 10

*Impulses*

Angel let out a deep breath he didn't even know he was holding in
and reached out and caressed Lindsey's handsome face. He watched
as the young man gave him a shy smile and place his warm hand atop
Angel's cool one, and felt his heart jump when Lindsey turned and
placed a kiss in Angel's hand. Angel, halfway in love with
Lindsey already, knew he needed to slow down and let the young man
catch up, so putting his free hand on Lindsey's shoulder he
turned the young man back towards the tub. "Better get in before
the water gets cold."

"Only if you get in there with me," Lindsey said.

Angel looked at the man for confirmation. "Are you sure?" *How can
he want me near him after what I just did?*

"Angel, I'm really not sure about anything right now, but I know I
want you with me, right here, right now. So get in the damn tub.
Besides……you're softer to lean on," Lindsey softly said.

Angel smiled as he stepped into the tub before Lindsey. He reached
out and grabbed the young man's hands and dragged him into the tub
with him. Lindsey hissed when Angel pulled him down to sit in front
of him in the steaming water.

"Damn Angel, are you trying to boil me?"

"Sorry. I like it hot. Only way to feel warm."

"I guess."

"Is it too hot?"

"I don't know, I'll tell you in a minute." Lindsey leaned back
against the vampire and was slightly surprised to find that Angel's
skin was still cool regardless of the almost scalding water they
were both immersed in. He slid further back, wanting to feel as much
of Angel as he could. Angel's arms slid under his and wrapped him in
a cool embrace. *Why is it that this feels so right? And what
happens now? Where do I -we-go from here? Why is he here? Does he
really care about me or is this just a way to appease a guilty
conscience? Making Amends? Is there a 12 step program he has to
follow to right his wrongs with the Powers? And where does that
leave me?*

"Lindsey." Angel whispered into Lindsey's ear. "Quit thinking. There
will be enough time for that tomorrow. Tonight is for this - for us.
Now relax, please."

Lindsey closed his eyes, forced himself to relax and just let
himself feel the vampire. He concentrated on the feel of the water
which surrounded them both, and discovered the heat no longer
bothered him. The contrast between the heat of the water and the
coldness of Angel's body was creating a strange comfort zone. And
the desire he felt was still there, but it was muted now. Angel's
hands were soothing him, petting him, making him want things that
actually had everything and yet nothing to do with sex at the same
time. He had never thought the vampire would even think about
touching him so softly, so gently....almost reverently.

Angel pulled his right arm out from under Lindsey's and ghosted a
finger above the tattoo –– tracing the cross without touching
it. He could feel heat radiating from it in his fingertip and a
familiar headache was beginning to throb behind his eyes.
*Wonder if he feels anything?*

Lindsey shied away from Angel's finger. "That tingles……in a
pins and needles kinda way," He remarked, answering Angel's
unasked question. "Do you feel anything?"

"Heat……intense heat. I was wondering if it was just you or the
cross itself. Want to tell me about it?" Angel dropped his hand and
wrapped his arm back around Lindsey and focused his eyes on the
young man's face.

"If I said *not really* –– would you let it go?"

"Not really –– no."

"Figured as much." Lindsey sighed as he slid more comfortably back
in Angel's embrace, steadfastly refusing to look at the
vampire's face.

"It was impulse, really. Done in anger and spite. I was okay with
leaving but your little visit and parting gift got me pissed off all
over again. I was almost to the freeway out of town when I get
pulled over and the officer asks me to step out of the truck. So I
do and I'm thinkin' *this is it.* This is probably one of
Wolfram & Hart's goons and I'm about to disappear." Instead,
he walks me to the back of the truck and asks me what *that* is all
about. Really Angel, was *Cops Suck* the best you could do?"

Angel shrugged and gave Lindsey a squeeze. "It was an impulse."

Lindsey smiled and entwined his fingers with Angel's. "Yeah,
whatever. Anyway, it worked. But after.."

"Wait. What worked?" Angel interrupted.

"The sign. You always have to have the last word……well, you got
it, for all of about 20 minutes. As soon as I talked my way out of
the ticket and tore the sign to pieces, I headed for the highway.
I passed a place on the way and that put the idea in my head. Next
thing I knew I was parked in front of an ex-client's place and
your business card was in my hand. I walked in, told him what I
wanted and walked out about 2 hours later with what I thought was
the ultimate *Fuck You, Angel* on my arm. I wanted the last word
this time." Lindsey tensed a little and waited to see what
Angel's response would be. *Please, don't be mad, Angel. This
is so....nice. You being here with me feels so good....so right.
Don't let this come between us. Don't...*

"Then?" Angel whispered in Lindsey's ear, interrupting his
thoughts.

"Then……what?"

"Lindsey –– I can't touch it. I'm not sure why but I am
assuming its because you've had it blessed……or something.
And that requires forethought, almost as if you were expecting me."
*And if you were, did you really think I'd hurt you?*

"I was at first. I kept asking myself *Why would Angel go and do
something that was no doubt going to get me pulled over? Did he want
me to get mad enough to go back and confront him? Was he waiting for
me?* Anyway, when I didn't go to see you –– part of me
expected you would come to me."

Lindsey paused, waiting to see if Angel would confirm or deny his
suspicions. When Angel didn't say anything he forged ahead with
the rest of the story –––– wanting to get it done as soon as
possible. "Anyway –––– after I got here, I ran into a law
school buddy of mine. He asked if I would be interested in a
partnership at our own firm. I threw myself into it. Worked so much
so that I barely remembered to eat, much less anything else. Then
about 6 months ago, I started getting restless and edgy. The firm
was doing great and we added another partner, so I started doing a
little pro-bono work. Helping everyone and everywhere I could. That
worked for about a month, then the dreams started. Little snippets
of my past flashing behind my eyes, and it all involved Wolfram &
Hart in some manner. I figured that they found me and cast a spell
to slowly make me crazy, so I went to see a priest."

"Are you Catholic, Lindsey?" Angel said, curious.

Lindsey shrugged and laughed lightly. "Hell Angel, I couldn't
even remember the last time I went to church. But there I was, and
the priest was suggesting that we start at the beginning. I was
christened, and when I made my first confession. Father Michael
wasn't shocked, he believed everything I told him. He's the
one who wanted to bless the cross. He said the voice within told him
it was important he do so, and he always heeded that voice. He told
me I was forgiven my sins, and that prayer would comfort me. He gave
me a rosary, which I still have, but...."

"What?" Angel said.

"I just don't believe forgiveness comes that easy, Angel. Or
maybe it requires faith, and that's something either I never had
or lost long ago. Anyway – when the dreams changed, I quit going.
I knew that if I was dreaming about you, then Wolfram & Hart must
have succeeded and I was crazy. Especially with the dreams I was -
*AM*- having."

"When did those start?"

"About a month ago. Why?"

"Just curious." *That's when I took over at Wolfram & Hart. But
what does that mean? My dreams started shortly after......How does
Lindsey fit into the new scheme?*

Lindsey turned and looked directly into Angel's eyes. "Look
Angel, I'm sorry about the tattoo. I didn't know……I
didn't know……" Lindsey trailed off, completely at a loss as
to what to say.

Angel's eyes never left Lindsey's face. He knew he was staring but
he couldn't seem to help himself. *Hell, Angel...quit acting like a
teenager with his first crush. But damn....he's just too damn
gorgeous not to look at.* He smiled and then leaned down and buried
his face in the young man's neck. Angel felt Lindsey begin to tense
up and pulled back and whispered in his ear. "Shh. It's okay. I'm
not going to bite you, although it's tempting. You just smell so
damn good. Red-blooded American male, its rather intoxicating."

Lindsey smiled as he relaxed back into Angel. "I'll have to take
your word on that, Angel. I wouldn't know. But are we okay? We can
get around this right?" Lindsey watched as Angel bent down and
kissed his shoulder and then felt as Angel moved back to his ear.

"Yeah but - why me, Lindsey?" The vampire quietly asked.

Lindsey didn't even try to pretend that he didn't know what Angel
was asking. He no longer wanted to play games with the vampire.
Something was happening here, to him, *to them*, and only together
would they figure out what it was. He turned his head so that he
could see Angel's face, "Honestly Angel, I don't really know.
But.....I do want you. And I'm not sorry I called you, nor am I
angry about what just happened. I just wish I knew *why* you were
here."

"Linds-"

"I know that I'm not making a whole lot of sense here, but these
last couple of weeks haven't made much sense to me, either. Here I
am, back home and doing good. Great actually. Started up my own
firm, was playing my guitar regularly, and just staying busy. No
time to think about LA or…….you. Hell, up until about a month
ago I hadn't given you a second thought. Then-"

"Lindsey. I'm sorry about the way that ended. I-"

"Shut up for a sec. Geesh. I'm not sorry, Angel. I had to leave. If
I hadn't left then one of us was going to end up dead and the way my
luck was going……well, I would have bet on me. I didn't want to
die and……never mind. Anyway-"

"What Lindsey? Never mind what? Honesty here Linds, you said that.
Tell me."

Lindsey paused. *Am I ready for this? All this honesty? Oh,
well....nothing ventured, nothing gained. What dumbass ever said
that?!?*

"Linds-"

Lindsey sighed, "Ok, ok. I didn't want to die and……you were
never going to accept me after all that had happened. Even though I
had left Wolfram & Hart, you would have kept watching and waiting
for me to screw up, and I probably wouldn't have disappointed you.
You told me once that I had to change, well.... I have, but I had to
get away from you to do it. If I would have stayed, I wouldn't have
changed just to spite you."

Angel smiled at the man, "I can believe that. I think that was one
of the first things about you that grabbed my attention, your
stubbornness. You were never afraid to face me."

"Hell, Angel. I was more afraid of *my* reaction to you than of
*you* yourself. I wasn't ready to admit that I found you attractive
or what my body felt when I was near you. And to admit to myself
that I liked it when you hurt me or that I got off on you vamping
out....that's the hardest damn thing I've ever done."

"You like pain, Lindsey?" Angel asked, his voice lower now, slightly
aroused. *I can't believe he admitted that. Didn't think he
had the nerve to. What other surprises has he in store for me?*

*Oh crap....maybe I shouldn't have said that.* " Maybe...a
little...I don't know. It's not really a kink I wanted to explore
until I met you. All I know is, every time you had your hands on me,
we both know it was to hurt me. Well, now we both know it turned me
on. But you know, all things aside, I probably would have passed on
the whole losing my hand thing."

Angel looked down at Lindsey's arm. The scar was still there, a
faint reminder of the pain they had dealt each other in the past.
Lindsey followed Angel's gaze and lifted his hand up, making a fist
with it then relaxing it. "I guess I lied when I said that I hadn't
really thought about you. Every time I see this scar I thought -
*think* - about you. And I've looked at this scar everyday since I
left."

Angel took Lindsey's hand in his and brought it to his lips. He
placed a single kiss over the scar on the inside of Lindsey's wrist.
He felt a small shudder pass through Lindsey and smiled fleetingly.
Entwining their fingers together, he let their hands drop back down
into the water. "Lindsey, I can't apologize for this. Cordelia's
life was in jeopardy and you didn't really seem like you wanted to
help. Maybe there was another way but I didn't feel moved to look
for it."

"I know that, Angel. I know I acted like I hated you, but it was
always myself I hated. I hated what I'd become, the things I'd done
to you...to them...to her. And I can't apologize because the things
I did....those things can't be forgiven. So I look at this scar
every day, I think about you, and every day, I remind myself that I
may not be forgiven, but maybe I can be redeemed."

Angel gently pushed Lindsey forward so he could slide around and
face him. He took the young man's face in his hands and forced
Lindsey to look at him. He needed to look into Lindsey's eyes and
watch his reaction to his next question. "Is that what you want
Lindsey? Forgiveness? Redemption? Do you think I can give that to
you?"

Lindsey's eyes locked with the vampire's. He knew that Angel
was looking at him……watching him……waiting to see if he would
lie to him. But Lindsey was through lying, to himself, to the man in
front of him, to everyone. "Yes."

Angel watched as Lindsey stared him down, then smiled at him. He
knew that Lindsey was telling the truth. He loosened his grip on
Lindsey's face but let his fingers caress the man's face
before dropping his hands back down to take Lindsey's hands in
his own. "But I can't give it to you, Lindsey. You have to do it
on your own and yes, it's hard. Redemption comes with work,
atonement, righting wrongs. Forgiveness comes with compassion and
never forgetting those you hurt."

"What about those who hurt me?"

"Forgive them, for that's one way to learn compassion. But with
that forgiveness can come guilt and that my friend, is sometimes the
hardest part of redemption."

"Have you forgiven me, Angel?"

Angel smiled at Lindsey, "Yeah. Just don't do any of it again,
okay. Now, the water is getting cold, what say we get out of here
and go someplace warmer and a lot more comfortable like
maybe……your bed?"

"Thought you said this was the only place where you felt warm."
Lindsey said teasingly.

"I lied too then, cause there is one more place where I felt warm.
Angel said leaning in to kiss Lindsey's lips.

"Where was that, Angel?" Lindsey asked nipping at Angel's bottom
lip before sucking it into his warm mouth.

"Inside you, Lindsey. I've never felt anything that damn hot under
me before. And I would very much like to feel that again - *but only
if you want to.*"

Lindsey blushed, and his breathing increased, and his heart....felt
like...stopping. *Oh my God.* "As long as you return the favor.
Remember, new at this?"

"Trust me Lindsey, you *will* be inside me in more ways than one."
Angel kissed Lindsey once more and then stood up and stepped out of
the tub. After briskly drying off, he turned to help Lindsey and
found the man behind him reaching around for the other towel.

"Bedroom is right through that door, right behind you." Lindsey said
smiling as he leaned over to plant another kiss on the vampire's
lips and take the towel from his hands. He watched as Angel took a
much unneeded breath. "Why the breathing, Angel?"

"Because you're smiling," Angel said placing a gentle kiss on
Lindsey's forehead, "and it's beautiful."

Lindsey blushed again, took Angel's hand and led him into his
bedroom.

Chapter 11a

"Sanctuary"


Angel let Lindsey lead him into the bedroom and there he paused.
The slight smell of wood and leather tickled his nose and the sight
before him was one to behold. Soft light from a lamp on night stand
displayed a room only a man would have. The king sized sleigh bed
was a rich mahogany and had soft leather pillow-like inlays in the
headboard. The matching night stands and armoire along with 2
comfortable looking leather chairs completed the furnishings in the
room. There were various pieces of artwork scattered about the room.

Lindsey turned back to see why Angel had stopped and smiled at
the rapt expression on the vampire's face. Following Angel's
eyes, he tried to see what Angel saw. This was his room, his
sanctuary, something he had never shared with another person and
now he was sharing it with Angel. *Shit, what does that mean?
He is-scratch that-WAS my number one enemy and now I'm sharing my
bedroom with him? Fuck that, I'm about to share my BED with him.
Lindsey boy, you are one twisted little man, you know that,
don't....*

"Lindsey," Angel watched as Lindsey jerked his head up and looked
at him, "you're doing it again."

"Doing what?"

"Thinking. I thought we had decided to *not* do that until tomorrow."

"No, Angel, *you* decided that." Lindsey smiled and walked over to
Angel and grabbed the towel at the vampire's waist and tugged on
it lightly. He could feel the head of Angel's cock with his
fingertips, and leaving his hand right where it was, he pulled Angel
over to the bed.

"Lindsey, we need to get something straight here."

"Oh yeah, Angel," Lindsey ran his thumb down the length of
Angel's hard cock and began nuzzling Angel's neck, licking
and nipping all the way up to his mouth. "Seems to me that
you're already straight *here*."

Angel grabbed the back of Lindsey's neck and pulled him away, so
he could think clearly. He looked into Lindsey's eyes, saw that
passion had darkened them to a deep, rich shade of blue *Dark blue
looks good on him. What I wouldn't give to keep him like this,
forever. Make him truly mine.*

Shaking off those thoughts he turned back to the problem at hand.
Which, at the moment, was Lindsey's hand stroking him, teasing
him, bringing him out to play. *He's gonna kill me at this rate.
But....he feels so damn good, his hand is so damn warm. Don't
really want this to end right now. But if he doesn't slow down,
he's liable to find himself face down on that bed, before
he's ready.*

Lindsey watched as Angel drew in a deep, ragged, unneeded breath.
He started to pull off the towel, but stopped when he felt Angel's
hand atop his own, halting his movements.

Angel saw the question in Lindsey's eyes and answered it before
Lindsey could say it aloud. "Just stop for a minute, please."

Not wanting to give Angel time to regroup, but rather wanting to
see the vampire lose control, Lindsey resumed his thumb stroking.
Rubbing his two fingers against Angel's now weeping cock allowed
Lindsey to lubricate the head and his fingers, working the foreskin,
so he could stroke Angel's full length from the inside of the towel
while his thumb worked Angel from the outside.

"Lindsey, dammit, you are going to kill me."

"Doubt that, but if you want to see how close we can get, well hell,
I'm on board."

"Fuck, Lindsey. I mean it! Stop for a second. Let me say this."

Lindsey stopped his ministrations to Angel's cock and just held
the vampire carefully in his hands. He looked up into Angel's
eyes. "Say what, Angel? Don't you want me?"

"Lindsey, I want you very much, but I don't want a repeat
performance of the earlier show. I don't want to hurt you again,
ever again. I was too rough and you didn't deserve that. I want
this -"

"What do you want, Angel?" Lindsey interrupted. "And just what do I
deserve? Tenderness, happiness……love? I never expected those
things, so for me to be without them is no loss. Personally, I
thought that you and I wanted the same thing."

"Which would be what, Lindsey?" *Why doesn't he think he deserves
those things? What makes him think that?*

"To no longer be alone, to be able to call someone home... no matter
where you are," Lindsey answered.

*So, Lindsey.....are you ready? Ready to come home....with me?*
Angel stared at the man before him and wanted to ask him to clarify
that remark but Lindsey's hands on his cock was making all
rational thought exit his brain and letting pure feeling enter.

Lindsey pulled the towel from around Angel's waist and let it
drop to the floor. He stepped back and just stared at the man.
"You know for a dead man, you are really hot. I wonder how many
more out there look like you, I may have to check that out."

"Over my dead body, Lindsey. No one, and I mean *no one*, dead
or alive, better ever see you this way. You're mine now."
Angel punctuated each phrase with a firm kiss.

"Hell Angel, the way I see it, you're already dead...so that
sorta makes that Over my dead body thing kinda null and void.
But…………" Lindsey swooped in and kissed Angel before the
vampire could utter a word of protest. "Let me finish…………
But right now, *You, Angel*, are the only person I want,
dead or alive."

*Holy shit, he's serious. He wants me, after all I've done.
This is....good....right? No....no, it's not....this is soooo not
good. It's too much, too soon. Isn't it? Oh shit, and Angelus
is right here, right under the surface of my skin. He wants Lindsey,
as much as I do. Oh, fuck. There's going to be blood shed here
tonight. I just hope I can make it my own. He needs to be warned.*

"Lindsey, you need to know something. Things might get a
little…………out of control here and that scares me. I don't-"

Lindsey put two fingers against Angel's lips to quiet the
vampire. "Angel, would you please shut up and fuck me?"

"Problem is that I don't want to fuck you, Linds. I want to make
love to you." Angel sucked Lindsey's fingers into his mouth,
laving each one thoroughly with his tongue.

Lindsey's eyes widened, his mouth dropped open and then closed as
if his words were stuck in his throat. *Oh, god. What's he saying?
Am I ready for that? Am I ready to become Angel's lover?*

Angel watched as a myriad of emotions flitted across Lindsey's
face. He saw shock, confusion, maybe a touch of happiness, and
excitement. And the smell…………the smell of Lindsey's
arousal nearly knocked him off his feet. He smiled at the young man
and placed his hands on Lindsey's shoulders and gently pushed him
down to the bed. "See Lindsey, it doesn't always have to be about
pain. *We* don't always have to be about pain. Yeah, I won't
deny that I enjoy pain and Angelus…………well, the more the
better. But *I* am a demon and *you* are not. Pain has its place,
it's just not here, not right now."

Angel crawled up Lindsey's body and straddled the young man and
leaned down to capture Lindsey's lips with his own. Still reeling
from Angel's announcement, Lindsey held himself still and
unresponsive. But when Angel's tongue gently probed along his
lips, seeking entrance, he relented with a sound that was part sigh
and part moan, opening his mouth in wordless invitation.

Angel took a moment to savor's Lindsey's scent, a musky,
woodsy, spicy smell that he knew every nuance of from past
encounters, then dove in for an even more intimate taste, slowly
mapping every nook and niche of Lindsey's mouth, tasting,
teasing, tempting.*I think I could get seriously addicted to
this....to him. Just kissing Lindsey makes me feel warm and
strangely comforted. I know I could do this for eternity.*

Angel's hands traveled over Lindsey's chest and abdomen,
touching him, caressing him, methodically arousing him. He didn't
think he'd ever be able to get enough of this man.*He feels so
unbelievably right beneath my hands. Could he really be the one?*
Angel began kissing and licking his way down Lindsey's body,
following the path his hands had just taken, his cool tongue leaving
a wet trail along warm smooth skin. He paused, looking back up at
Lindsey, "Think we can lose this now, don't you?"

Angel gently tugged open the towel still wrapped around the young
man's waist and watched as Lindsey's cock sprang free. He
watched his face as the blush appeared. Wondered how the man under
him could be so damn brazen and so damn innocent at the same time.
The combination of fire and ice was driving Angel insane. He could
see confusion in those blue eyes again, then Lindsey
whispered, "Angel, I...maybe we shouldn't do this. I....why are
you looking at me that way?"

"Because Lindsey McDonald, you are an enigma. You blow hot and
cold all at once, but you can't hide what your body is saying to
mine. I know just how aroused you are, Linds," Angel said.
He touched his hand to the young man's face, caressing it
softly. "You honestly don't want me to stop, do you?" *And
underneath your desire you're afraid. But not of me. No, never
me. I'm beginning to believe you're afraid of yourself.*

The gentle touch of the vampire chased away all lingering doubt
within Lindsey's mind. "No, I don't. I don't think
I've ever wanted anything in my whole life as badly as I want
you, Angel."

Chapter 11b

"Letting Go"

Angel smiled. "Just close your eyes, Lindsey," Angel softly
said. "Stop fighting yourself, don't think, just let yourself
feel."

Lindsey closed his eyes and gave himself over to the vampire,
enjoying the sensation of strong fingers stroking across his chest,
massaging taut muscles, soothing the tension away. He arched into
the touch, a small cry not unlike a sob escaping his lips when he
felt Angel's lips brush gently over the skin of his neck. Angel
noticed again the sensitivity of Lindsey's neck, but didn't
linger on the thought.

Angel took his time, exploring every inch of Lindsey's body with
fingers and tongue, tasting him, smelling him, learning him. He was
fascinated with the man underneath him and watch transfixed as
Lindsey's muscles rippled under his ministrations. Everywhere he
touched he felt hot, firm yet pliable skin, almost as if
Lindsey's body was made to mold itself in Angel's hands, around
Angel's body. *Mine. He's mine. Now, how do I convince him of that?*

Lindsey moaned quietly when Angel pushed his legs apart and settled
between his thighs. The heat of desire he felt was incredible. He
felt like he was truly on fire. And all the way down his body, he
felt little electric shocks where Angel's cool lips found his
overheated skin.

Lying almost flat between Lindsey's legs now, Angel gave himself
over to his senses of taste, touch, and smell. The scent of
Lindsey's arousal was like an aphrodisiac to the vampire. So much
so that he buried his nose in the light brown curls at the base of
Lindsey's cock and took a deep breath, enjoying the spicy, musky
fragrance. Then wrapping a hand around the warm shaft, Angel began
placing feather light kisses on the velvety skin.

Angel slowly ran his tongue around Lindsey's erection, and then
down and back up the length of his shaft. Lindsey softly moaned.
As he flicked his tongue over the head, teasing the slit and tasting
Lindsey's pre-cum, Angel felt fingers winding through his hair,
heard that husky voice utter a strangled *"Oh god....yes, please,
Angel."*. It had been so long since he had wanted to taste another
man so intimately, and he craved Lindsey with a passion that
surpassed anything he'd ever known.

With a small sigh, Angel took Lindsey's whole length into his
mouth. As he gently suckled on the young man's cock, he reached for
his balls and began fondling them, wanting to memorize the weight
and feel of them in his hand. Lindsey shivered as Angel's cool mouth
wrapped around him. He moaned softly and his breath became a little
ragged as he rocked up into the gentle sucking. *Feels good. Feels
so damn good.* "Angel," he whispered, "harder, please. Do it
harder."

Angel felt the change in Lindsey before he heard the words and knew
the man was close to coming. He released Lindsey from his mouth and
smiled when he heard more words, words of disappointment this time,
coming from the young man.

"Nononono......Don't stop, Angel......so close......please!"
Lindsey begged.

Angel, wrapping his hand around Lindsey's cock and stroking him,
leaned up and watched, mesmerized, at the young man underneath him.
Head back, body arched, hips moving in time with Angel's hand,
Lindsey had lost all inhibitions, and it was a sight to behold.
*He's fucking beautiful. I shouldn't be the one to see him
like this, I haven't earned it. But....here I am. What makes me
special? Who hurt him in the past? Darla?* Angel felt a fierce
protectiveness towards the man who was rapidly taking residence in
his heart and vowed that nothing, and no one would ever harm Lindsey
again. Angelus' growl of approval brought Angel back to the moment
at hand.

"Lindsey, do you have anything in that night stand there?" Angel
asked, motioning to the small table next to the bed, easily within
Lindsey's reach.

"Like what?" Lindsey softly answered.

"Lotion, lube, anything that might make this a little easier, less
painful, and a whole lot more enjoyable."

"Oh...yeah," Lindsey answered, a blush flooding his face once more.
Lindsey reached into the drawer and took out a small bottle of lube
and handed it to the vampire. Angel arched his eyebrow in question,
but didn't ask. Flipping open the bottle, he poured a small
amount into his palm, then placed the bottle off to the side, out of
the way, but still easily within reach. Angel leaned back down
between Lindsey's legs and took Lindsey's hot length into his cool
mouth once more.

"Oh shit, that feels good," Lindsey said, as his body arched into
the coldness that was burning him up. He wound his fingers into
Angel's hair once more, fighting the desire to push Angel's
mouth onto him harder. He wanted to slowly ride this out, but he
knew he wouldn't last much longer. It felt too damn good.

Angel continued to suck Lindsey's engorged shaft as he slowly
inserted a finger into Lindsey's passage, gently massaging to
stretch and relax him. When Lindsey didn't hesitate or shy away,
he slowly inserted another finger and he began pumping them in and
out slowly in rhythm with the movement of his mouth. A gasp of
delight from Lindsey when Angel stroked across that spot inside the
man that he knew was the prostate, urged Angel on. Stroking that
spot again, receiving yet another gasp and the fingers wrapped in
his hair began pushing him further down onto the cock in his mouth.

"Oh fuck, Angel." Lindsey hoarsely moaned, all his concentration on
the fire Angel had created with his mouth, and the shocks of
pleasure from the vampire's fingers inside Lindsey's body had him
hovering over the edge.

Angel licked the underside of Lindsey's shaft, then sucking him
back into his mouth; he inserted a third finger into the tight
passage and began growling low in his throat, creating a sensual
overload to Lindsey's body.

Lindsey yelled and fisted his hands in Angel's hair as he came,
his warm semen pouring out of him and into that greedily sucking
mouth. Angel swallowed it all and then licked Lindsey clean. Leaving
his fingers inside Lindsey, he let the young man's cock slip from
his mouth and looked up at him, smiling when his eyes met the dark
blue ones staring back at him in disbelief at what he'd just done.

"Holy Shit!" Lindsey said. *Damn! When he says he's gonna do
something, he fucking does it. Guess the phrase "safe sex"
doesn't mean much to a vampire, but....holy shit! Do you think he
knows I've never had anyone actually do that without a condom on
before? Judging from that sly grin....yeah, the fucker knows.
Holy shit!*

Angel's smile turned into a toothy grin. "Told you I'd have
you in me...one way or another." Angel moved up enough to kiss
Lindsey full on the mouth, sharing the taste of the young man with
him. Lindsey felt his whole body blush. Not giving Lindsey time to
recover, Angel began slowly moving his fingers inside the young
man's body, gently stroking the sensitive spot, taking him higher,
seducing him back to raw desire again. "I want you, Lindsey. I want
to be inside you. Do you want that, Linds? Do you want me inside
you?"

*Fuck, Angel, you already are. Can't you see that? You're in
my head, my heart, under my damn skin, you're everywhere.*
Lindsey's head screamed, none of it out loud. Noticing Angel had
quit moving his hand, Lindsey realized Angel actually wanted a
response from him, but the young man was afraid to say anything, in
fear of what he'd blurt out. So, he decided actions would speak
louder than words. Reaching over and grabbing the bottle of lube,
Lindsey poured some into his hand and took Angel's erection in his
hand. He ran his fingers lightly over Angel's cock, loving the feel
of satiny skin and throbbing hardness. Sliding back the foreskin he
massaged Angel's pre-cum into the head.

Angel was losing control - fast. Lindsey's hands were driving
him to the edge. He wanted - *no, needed*-- to be inside the young
man when he came, so Lindsey's explorations would have to wait.

Reaching underneath Lindsey, he grabbed the back of the young mans
thighs and pulled him up and positioned himself so that the head of
his cock was pressed against Lindsey's slicked, stretched
opening. Angel leaned over and kissed Lindsey, then slowly pushed
past the twitching ring of muscle and into the silken heat beyond.
*Oh, god....he's so damn tight. Feels so good.*

Angel held still, waited patiently for a sign to continue before
repeating the movement. Lindsey had sharply inhaled at his entrance,
but hadn't tried to pull away. Lindsey looked into his eyes
and softly said, "I'm ready now." The relief Angel felt at the
feel of Lindsey relaxing around him would have dropped him to his
knees, had he been standing.

As Angel began to move in and out, he heard a quiet little moan. His
heart did an odd little flip flop. Angel could hear tiny, breathless
moans and gasps coming from Lindsey every time his cock rubbed
against that sensitive spot deep inside the man. It drove Angel
crazy, made him move faster, harder, and then changing the angle so
he could shove more of his length inside Lindsey's enticing
heat. And Lindsey was moving in unison with Angel now, creating a
strange yet familiar connection between them.

Angel looked down and noticed Lindsey's cock was hard again.
Using one hand for balance, he took that silken hardness in his hand
and began stroking him. Gently at first, then gradually getting a
little rougher as he felt the pressure slowly rising within him.

Angel could feel the demon clawing at him from within. It wanted to
taste Lindsey, to mark him, to turn him. *I promised him no pain.
I won't hurt him again....not that way. But god....I can smell
his blood pumping under the surface of his skin. I can feel the heat
of it. No....no....no. I won't bite you, I won't. No blood.*

Lindsey felt the jerky, seemingly out of control movements Angel was
making on his cock and looked up at the vampire. He realized Angel
was fighting his demon for control. If the yellow tingeing the
chocolate brown eyes wasn't enough of a clue, the fangs were.
He could hear Angel's quiet murmurings of "no blood, no blood..."

Lindsey, following some deep instinct, placed his left hand, his own
hand, over the vampire's heart. He met Angel's eyes with his own and
softly said, "Stay with me, Angel. I'll help you. What can I do? I
don't know what to do. Tell me what to do."

"Touch me, Lindsey, squeeze me. Hard."

Lindsey ran his hands over Angel's chest, savoring the feel
of the vampire's skin under his hands. He gently rubbed
Angel's nipples, and then tugged on them. Levering himself up on one
hand he replaced the hand with his mouth. Tongue and teeth, licking
and biting at Angel's body. Moving up to Angel's neck, he began
kissing and nipping at the distended vein he found there. Angel
moaned and started pounding into him even harder. The sounds he made
excited Lindsey to a fever pitch. He started teasing Angel with his
teeth.

"Lindsey.......oh......fuck......yeah......that's it......gonna
come......gonna come................."

Lindsey felt his own orgasm building and ran his hand back up to
Angel's left nipple and pinched it hard, causing Angel to
slam deep inside of him. Lindsey's orgasm ripped through him, and
instinct rode him again, making him sink his teeth into Angel's
neck, breaking the skin. Tasting blood. Angel's blood. Feeling
Lindsey's teeth in his neck sent Angel following Lindsey over the
edge, spilling his seed into Lindsey's silken heat.

Lindsey was reeling from everything that had just happened. His
thoughts were a confused jumble, and when Angel leaned down,
pressing his lips to his own, Lindsey kissed him back with a fervor
that surprised the vampire. The taste of his own blood in Lindsey's
mouth was something else Angel hadn't expected from the encounter
with the lawyer. He broke the kiss off and looked down at the man
under him.

"Holy shit, Lindsey."

"Yeah," Lindsey said.

"I mean....Holy shit." Angel repeated.

"I think we got that one covered, Angel," Lindsey cockily said.

Angel slowly smiled at him. "So Linds, did that answer your
question?"

Lindsey couldn't remember anything right now beyond the last few
minutes. "What question?"

"I thought you wanted to know what it would feel like if I screwed
you until you couldn't move?"

Lindsey grinned as he recalled asking that.

"Damn good answer," Angel said smiling.

Chapter 12

"Bloodplay"

Angel rolled onto his side, turning Lindsey so they faced each
other. He was smiling, because....damn, Lindsey was grinning. His
eyes were all lit up, he was relaxed, and Angel had never seen him
that way before. Couldn't believe the man was looking at him like
that. And it was something Angel realized he wanted to see for the
rest of his life. *I made Lindsey happy. I put that look in his
eyes. It was me....me, me, me.*

*He's smiling. I made Angel smile.* His stomach felt funny, his
heart felt like it was melting, a part of him felt like he was
dying, but Lindsey couldn't help it. Angel smiling was the best
damn thing he'd ever seen. *Okay, okay. I'll admit it to
myself. I'm completely hopeless when it comes to Angel.
I'm...in...love...with...Angel. There. I thought it. Yeah, I am.
I really am. See? That wasn't hard.* Then he did the only thing
he could think of....cause he wasn't gonna say that. No way.
Nuh uh. So Lindsey kissed Angel, and he put everything he felt
into it.

Angel knew this kiss held something different, but he didn't want
to put too much hope into it. After all, Lindsey had let him down
before. But he went with it, returning the kiss with everything he
had.*God, I just.....I have to talk him into going home with me.
I can't leave him here. I can't leave him. I need him too
much.* His thoughts went blank when the man in his arms started
kissing his face, tugging at his ear with his teeth, then Lindsey
softly sighed, "Angel" into his ear and first kissed, then licked
the wound at Angel's neck.

A wave of desire shot through him, and although Lindsey seemed none
too concerned about Angelus, Angel certainly was. He'd nearly
lost it just a few minutes ago, Lindsey had pulled him back from the
edge, but....*Oh, fuck*...Lindsey was sucking on his neck again,
reopening the wound he had made earlier and *Oh fuck me! He's
drawing blood!* Lindsey was rocking his body against Angel's and
*Holy shit!* roaming his hands over Angel's body and *Yes,
Lindsey, that's right. Take me, taste me. Oh my god.*Angel used
one hand to press Lindsey's body harder against him, while the
other touched his head, urging the other man on and *He's hard
again. What's Lindsey been doing to his body the last two years?*
Angel's mind went blank once more at the realization he'd
found someone who liked to play at it as hard as he did.

What he did next was without thought or planning, but it wasn't
Angelus who did it. It was Angel. He sank his fangs into Lindsey.
The young man he held in his arms moaned in ecstasy, which took them
both into orgasm, and shocked both into reality again. They broke
apart and looked at each other.

Lindsey went very pale and slapped a hand over his mouth. *Oh my
God! I just...I just fed from him! Know I'm twisted but,
man.....that's sick!* His eyebrows rose almost into his hairline
and *I was rubbing against him like a bitch in heat while I did it!*

Angel could almost SEE the thoughts scream across his face. It was
too much, he couldn't stop the laughter from erupting. Then the
eyebrows went back down as Lindsey frowned at Angel's laughter.
*That's not funny. Why the fuck is he laughing?*And then the
eyebrows rose again as he thought *Oh god....the fucking bastard bit
me! And....and I came when he did it!* and Lindsey was so freaked
out, he tried to move away, but Angel caught him.

"Lindsey, no. It's alright, it's okay," Angel said as he
pulled the young man back into his embrace. "Shh, calm down,
you're not going to die. You aren't going to turn, I promise.
Look, I'm sorry I laughed, but you should've seen your face."

"That wasn't very fucking funny, Angel. My God, why didn't
you stop me?"

"I couldn't, Lindsey. I got too caught up in what you were doing.
Damn, that was hot. What made you do that?"

*Had a moment of clarity......then lost my fucking mind. But no way
I'm telling you that.* "I was just....I don't know. Following
an instinct? But.....why did you bite me? What the hell was that,
huh?"

"Well, hell, Lindsey....who bit who first?"

"I did, but....It seemed like you were fighting for control
and....my God, Angel. You didn't want to kill me, did you?"

Angel tilted Lindsey's face up to his. "No, Lindsey. It was only
the demon wanting what just happened between us, that's all."

"And what did just happen?"

"A vampire sex thing. I just marked you, that's all. You'll
have a small scar, Lindsey. But I didn't claim you." Angel
caressed Lindsey's face, and bent his head to gently kiss him.

"What's the difference?" Lindsey whispered.

"A claiming is for life, Lindsey. It binds the soul of the human to
the vampire. I've never done it before."

"Oh," Lindsey said. He made that half snort/half laugh sound.
"Well, can't have you doing that. Already turned into a blood
sucking bitch in heat. Don't really want to know what
*claiming me* would do."

Angel was partly amused and partly wanting to beg the man he was
holding to let it happen. "Lindsey, it's not just a matter of
*me* claiming *you*. It's a consensual thing. It can't happen
unless you agree. It would mean that you would be bound to me for
eternity…… Do you think it's something you might want?"

*Bound for eternity? Shit, I think that happened in a courtroom in
LA.* Lindsey thought.*And what was you say if I told the truth and
said yes?* But he wasn't up to that conversation just yet, so he
told Angel, "I don't think I'm ready for that right now.
Maybe later."

Angel smiled and kissed him lightly. *He didn't laugh. He
didn't say no.* The words "Maybe later" reverberating in his
mind, Angel said, "What are you ready for?"

*Forever. Tomorrow. The rest of my life. As long as you're part
of it.* Lindsey closed his eyes. He couldn't say that. It was too
soon."Sleep sounds good. Are you going to stay?"

Angel glanced around the room, at the heavy draperies that would
prevent any sunlight from entering. He looked back down at his
lover. "It's been awhile since I woke up in someone's arms,
Lindsey. I'd like that, if you don't mind."

Lindsey smiled, and moved to put the lube on the night stand. Then
he reached into the drawer and removed a small box of personal
cleaning wipes. When Angel saw what he held, he plucked them out of
Lindsey's hands and said, "Let me. I want to see what damage I
caused you." Lindsey blushed again. *Damn, is he always like that?*
He knew protesting was useless, so he tried to relax while Angel got
personal with his body. *Guess so. Damn, hasn't Angel got any
sense of personal privacy? Ouch. Guess not. Wait.....does he think
I'm his now? Damn, he said that, didn't he?*

Angel knew Lindsey was embarrassed, but he wanted to see what
he'd done that first time. There was small damage, but nothing
major. A little bruising. Lindsey was going to be sore later.
He heard Lindsey wince, so he distracted him with a question.
"Why did you have lube in the night stand, any way?"

Lindsey's blush deepened, and he couldn't think. "I
was...uh....using it to....uh...."

Angel chuckled. "Jerk off?"

"Yeah," Lindsey softly said.

"It turns me on when you blush like that, Lindsey. I know you're
doing it because of me. Oh, by the way, I don't think you're
a bitch in heat."

"What am I then, Angel?," Lindsey replied. He sighed in relief as
Angel stopped his ministrations, then took care of himself, and put
the wipes back in the night stand. He pulled back the covers and
slid under them. Angel got behind him, pulling Lindsey's back
against him so they lay spooned together. Lindsey felt safe and
content, something he couldn't recall ever being before.

Angel softly said, "You're a very sensual man with strong
appetites, Lindsey. You've driven your body to the point where
you could finally accept what's between us. You've come out to
play, but you're still a little unsure, a little wary of me.
You're being cautious, but with the straightforwardness I've
always admired you for. You fascinate me, and you know what?
I like you, Lindsey McDonald."

"Thank you," Lindsey whispered, closing his eyes, a smile on his
face. Angel understood.

Angel held Lindsey and listened to his breathing slow as he drifted
into sleep. Shortly before he did, Lindsey softly said, "I like
being in your arms, Angel."

Angel softly whispered into his ear, "I like holding you, Lindsey."
He smiled as the young man sighed and relaxed into sleep. He lay
there a long time listening to him breathe. Listening to
Lindsey's heart beat.

~~~

Wondering about the tattoo, and hating the fact that there was a
part of Lindsey he couldn't touch, couldn't make his. Angel
softly ran his hand over the outside of Lindsey's left arm. Tight
muscles under smooth skin. Lindsey sighed in his sleep. His body
seemed to burrow deeper into Angel's. Angel smiled and gently
rubbed his nose into Lindsey's hair, inhaling the scent of it.
Lindsey made a soft noise in the back of his throat, and whispered
*"Angel"* His body temperature rose slightly. But his breathing was
still shallow, so Angel knew he was still sleeping. *"Touch me,"*
Lindsey murmured.

Angel was touched to know the sort of dreams Lindsey had been
having. Sounded a lot nicer than his had been. He smiled and rubbed
his cheek against Lindsey's hair. *"Not....made of glass...hurt
me....just a little.....oh yes....."* Oh, man. Lindsey had told the
truth about the pain. His scent changed into that ardent arousal
that came with pain/pleasure. Angel was immensely gratified to
realize he held in his arms everything he'd always wanted. *"Take
me, Angel. Make me yours. Please....yes, Angel....please."*

Then Lindsey bared his throat in a way Angel knew meant he was
offering his blood in the dream. *"Do it, Angel.....please. I want
it. I want you to."* Holy hell. Lindsey must be nearing the end of
the dream. If he blushed over telling Angel what he used for self-
gratification, he was going to be totally mortified if he climaxed
in his sleep while Angel held him. So, the vampire did the only
thing he could think of. He bent his head to the place on
Lindsey's neck where his mark was and gently sucked on it.

And it worked. Lindsey went still again, but he didn't wake up.
Lindsey's voice was now laced with emotion as he said softly in
his sleep what he couldn't bring himself to while conscious,
"Can't run away from fate....can't stop wanting
you.......can't forget you.....forgive me, Angel.....love you...
think I always did......can't stop it....can't have a normal
life....never......cause of the firm....Darla, please, no....I'm
sorry...sorry....so sorry......" Then Lindsey went quiet in
Angel's arms, deeply asleep now, leaving one very elated and
confused vampire wide awake.

Chapter 13

"Bared Souls"

Lindsey slowly awakened, at first his mind was fuzzy, sleepy, but
then he became aware of several things. First, he was a little
chilly. Second, he wasn't alone in his bed, something he had
always been since he'd moved into this house. Third, the reason
he was chilly was because the other person sharing his bed was
Angel. Fourth, he had dreamed about the vampire again, but this
time, he hadn't awoken sticky, feeling nasty and disgusted with
his lack of control over his body while sleeping. Fifth, Angel had
taken him the way Lindsey had pretty much expected him to. Sixth, he
was sore in new places.

Last, and oh my God, not least, Angel had made love to him. It had
been the most intense experience of Lindsey's life. Giving
himself over to Angel, letting his inhibitions go, just trusting the
vampire, even the blood play Lindsey himself had initiated.....it
was everything Lindsey had wanted when he'd called Angel. He had
wanted to feel. Well, waking up in the arms of the vampire had him
feeling a lot of things. The most important feeling of all
was......he felt whole, for the first time in his life.

He was in love with Angel. That said it all. Their lives were
somehow connected, he wasn't sure how or why, but Wolfram & Hart,
fate and destiny aside, even if Angel never returned his
affections......Lindsey belonged with the vampire.

He was startled out of his thoughts when Angel placed a kiss on his
shoulder. Lindsey smiled and turned around to face the vampire.
Angel caressed the side of the young man's face and asked,
"Regrets?"

Lindsey softly said, "No, Angel. No regrets."

"You dreamed about me, Lindsey," Angel said. "I know you told me
that when you called, but.... Lindsey, you dreamed I was making love
to you. You whispered things to me in your sleep.....things that
made me want so much."

Lindsey was shocked. He'd talked in his sleep? Oh, God. And,
Angel looked like he wanted things. He just wasn't sure he was
going to like what those things were. The vampire looked really
serious. Damn, just what had he blurted out in his sleep,
anyhow? "What did I say? And what do you want?"

Angel grinned. "Well, you wanted me to touch you. You wanted me to
take you. And you wanted me to hurt you....just so, by the smell of
your arousal. If you want, I can do all those things. We can play as
hard as you want. But the last thing you did, Lindsey.....it shocked
me. I couldn't believe it. You bared your throat for me. Do you
dream that every time?"

"Yes, I do," Lindsey whispered. "I know how twisted that makes me,
Angel."

Angel chuckled. "Well, yes, you are....but only someone twisted
would get involved with me, in the first place. So, I'm thinking
that's kind of a non-issue here. See, the thing is, only two
humans have ever done that for me before. Both times it was to save
my life. *And that's not what you were doing.* You were doing it
because you *wanted* me that way, too. We made love, *and you took
it that way*. You never even stopped to *think* about it. You did it
out of some instinct, and when *Lindsey McDonald* does something
like that without thinking, not just once, *but twice*, there's a
problem."

Lindsey said, "I fail to see the problem, unless your blood is gonna
harm me."

Angel said in exasperation, "That's the *problem!!!!!* You're
not seeing Angelus at all. You only see me. And that's bad,
because he wants you as much or more than I do. Lindsey......
I hate to ask, after the progress we've made, but I have to.
I'm sorry, I really am." Then Angel stopped talking, and pulled
Lindsey into his arms, kissing him hard, desperate now....
because he didn't *want* to ask.

Of course, being only human, Lindsey shortly needed to breathe. He
struggled until Angel let him go. While catching his breath, they
just looked at each other. The vampire's nose twitched, and he
growled softly. Lindsey raised an eyebrow, grinned wickedly at Angel
for a few seconds, but then he got serious again. "Only one reason I
can think of for what you just did. You want to know if I'm
playing some kind of mind game with you, trying to make you go all
dark again. Isn't that right?" Angel shook his head yes, but he
was stroking Lindsey's back, trying to make up for his doubts.

Lindsey touched Angel's face, lightly caressing it. "Angel,
there's nothing else you could possibly think. Why would you?
Trust is something I'm going to have to earn from you. You
can't blindly give it to me, not after all I've done to you.
I understand, and I'm not angry. And I'll answer your
question flat-out. I'm not playing any mind game here,
I'm through with that. When I said I wanted you more than
anything I've ever wanted in my whole life, I meant just that.
And the reason I don't see the problem is because I believe the
whole Angel/Angelus thing is just one big mind-fuck."

Angel's hand stilled. "What?"

"You heard me. When I look at you, Angel....I *see* you. Not just a
part of you, the part with the soul, but *all of you.* I see the
good as well as the evil, and I can't separate it, because
we're alike, you and I. You know, the world isn't only white
or black. There are a few shades of gray in the spectrum and
I think that's where we belong, Angel," Lindsey said.

"Lindsey, that way of thinking is going to get you hurt.
Believe me, I know."

"I'm not afraid of you, Angel," Lindsey softly said, inching
forward a little, until his mouth hovered just shy of touching
the vampire's. "I never was. I want you, all of you."

"Lindsey, do you know what you're playing at?"

"Hmm," Lindsey hummed, then gently kissed Angel, coaxing his mouth
open, warming it with his own, tempting him into play, caressing
Angel's tongue, his teeth, making love with his mouth, while his
hands touched the vampire's body. He softly kissed his way to
Angel's ear, and he whispered, "I want to warm your body with
mine, Angel. I want to touch you, taste you, hold you, so close you
can feel my heart beat, as if it were your own. I want you to let
your need for control go, let it go and let me love you. I need to
be inside of you, like you were inside of me. Let me, Angel. I want
you so."

The words *let me love you* echoing in his mind, Angel was rendered
speechless. The sound of Lindsey's voice had always done things
to him. But the words he'd just whispered into Angel's ear
sent a wave of heat coursing through the vampire's body, straight
to his groin, into his brain, where the words *let me love you*
screamed for an answer. Lindsey's hands caressing, seducing,
arousing him, gentle and so soothing, yet firm and
knowing.....*Damn, he's good. But I can't let go, Angelus
would come out....and I won't let him hurt Lindsey.
But, God, I want this. I want him.*

"*Lindsey*, wait. Stop a minute, please," Angel raggedly said.

"I don't wanna stop. I want to make love to you, until you
can't think of anything.......anything except me. I want to make
you to feel the way I do, when you touch me. I need you to feel that
hot, sweet hunger your body feels when you surrender yourself. I
want so much for you to know what I felt like, when you made love to
me. God, I just want to be inside of you, the way you're inside
of me....in your mind, in your blood, in your heart. Body and soul,
Angel."

Angel looked at him, saw the open honesty in his face, and was
stunned at the emotion he could see blazing in Lindsey's eyes.
Now, instead of *let me love you*, the words *body and soul* became
Angel's entire focus.

*Does Lindsey really love me or is he just feeling so much desire it
only sounds like it? Am I reading more into this than there is? If
he really wants this, he's going to have to let me bind our souls
in a claiming. It's the only way to keep him safe from Angelus.
And why do I get the impression Lindsey thinks his soul is bound to
mine already?* "Lindsey, I need you to calm down, and listen to me,
alright?"

"I don't want to calm down, I want to make love to you. Don't
you want me to?"

"Yes, Lindsey, I do. Very much so, but I.....there are some
questions I need answered first. It's really important, okay?"

Lindsey softly growled. He closed his eyes, laid his head back on
the pillow, and sighed.*How important can it be??? I came as close
to saying "I love you" as I could, and you wanna talk?* But he
couldn't say that, because he didn't think Angel would
believe it.

Yet, Lindsey was so frustrated, he just had to say something.
*"Christ on a crutch, my body's on fire, I want you so bad I
hurt, and you wanna TALK? I'm so worked up over you, I can't
fucking see straight any more, and you wanna TALK?*" Lindsey
sarcastically said, and sighed again, willing his body to relax,
trying to find some semblance of control.

Angel just smiled.

"Fine, Angel," he said. "Ask me what you want, but hurry the hell
up, please. You're fucking killing me here. You know that, right?"
Angel chuckled. Lindsey glared at him. "It's not funny, Angel."

"Yeah, it is. You're so cute when you have a *Lindsey fit*."

His eyebrows raised in surprise on hearing that phrase, Lindsey
said, "*A Lindsey fit?* What the hell do you mean, *a Lindsey fit?*"

"You know, when you get so mad, your accent comes out, you can
hardly form a complete sentence, you say really immature things, and
you're so turned on, you can't think. It's just so damned
cute."

Lindsey snorted. "I'm glad you find me so fucking funny."

"Oh, come on. Don't tell me you don't know how cute you are
when you do that."

"I am not!"

"You are, too."

"I am not cute!"

"Yes, you are. It's all I can do not to kiss you silly when you
get all huffy."

Lindsey growled at Angel again. "Just ask your questions already,
okay?"

Angel said, "Did you really love Darla?"

Lindsey felt like Angel had just thrown ice cold water over his
entire body.

Chapter 14

"Memories"

Lindsey closed his eyes against the images flooding his mind. Her
blonde hair, those brown eyes, that softly seductive, so deceiving
voice. He felt sick, the way he always did when the images of her
managed to surface. He'd always been able to ruthlessly suppress
them, back deep into his mind. Just pretend it never happened, it
was some dream, it didn't matter. It had always been so damn easy
to do that for him, to feel nothing, no remorse, no guilt....it
was what had allowed him to do all he had.

It wasn't happening this time.

Angel was alarmed at the emotions flickering across Lindsey's
face. He wished he'd kept his mouth shut about Darla. He thought
he was seeing revulsion in the expression on his face. He thought
he saw repulsion there, as well. Lindsey was fighting to reassert
the blank expression he had mastered, but for some reason, it looked
like he couldn't. Angel was at a loss as to whether that was a
good thing or not, in this situation.*I'm sorry. I take it back.
Just please...please, don't regret all that's been between
us. Not now.*

Lindsey quietly said, "I talked about her in my sleep?"

"Yes," Angel softly said.

"What did I say?" Lindsey whispered.

"You kept saying you were sorry."

Lindsey flinched. He opened his eyes, looked at Angel, and he tried
desperately to quell the emotions welling up in him, the memories
punching their way into his conscious mind. But it all came fourth,
he'd opened his heart to Angel, and there was no turning back.
The past crowded into his mind, he saw it all with perfect recall,
and it ate at him like acid, it burned into him like a brand, it was
in surround sound and his own words came back to haunt him.

*I don't want her to die, any more than you do.*

*I'd save her, if I could. You can, and you won't.*

*How did you think this would end?*

The truth Lindsey had so long denied to himself washed over him, and
his stomach revolted. He ran to the bathroom and was violently ill.
He vaguely registered the sounds of Angel moving around in the
bedroom. He flushed the toilet, and moved to the sink, rinsing his
mouth out, brushing his teeth, and then he looked at himself in the
mirror a long time.

A soft knock on the door, and Angel's voice saying, "Are you okay
in there?" brought him back to the present.

"Yeah," Lindsey replied. "Be out in a minute."*Okay? Haven't been
okay in a long time. Don't think I'll ever be okay again.* He
looked at his reflection one more time, then put on the robe that
was hanging on the door. He never felt like sex less in his whole
life. Apparently neither did Angel, who had redressed in his pants,
and put his shirt back on, although he hadn't buttoned it. Lindsey
knew he was probably confused about what he'd done. *How can I
explain the way I feel? God, how can Angel even look at me, after
what I've done? Why didn't he kill me....I don't deserve
to live.*

"Feel better now?" Angel softly said.

"Not really, no." Lindsey grimaced. "I'm sorry about that, Angel.
I don't know what you're thinking, but my being sick, it had
nothing to do with what's happened here. It's not about that
at all."

Nearly shaking in relief, Angel said, "What made you sick,
then....if it wasn't me?"

"I do, Angel. I make myself sick." Lindsey sighed and said, "You
know, I finally understand why she broke the mirrors. I never did
before now, you know. But.....I know why now. It's an awful thing
to look at your own reflection....to look at yourself, and know
you're looking at a murderer."

Angel said, "I understand.....but, Lindsey-"

"You asked me if I loved her," Lindsey interrupted. "Well, the
answer is, yes, I did. I loved her. I loved everything about her and
how can you even look at me, knowing what I did? You tried to tell
me, but I wouldn't listen. You tried to tell me what she truly
was, but I was so blind with desire for her, I didn't care.
Because I saw things in her that you never did, Angel. I saw what
she could've been, I suppose. Maybe I was only seeing what I
wanted to, though. Maybe....maybe I thought, if I could save her,
I could save myself."

Angel could relate to that. He smiled. "I know what you mean,
Lindsey."

Lindsey said, "You know, most of my life, I haven't felt anything
real. I've gone through life with this emptiness inside, and it
was killing me. But there was something about her that gave me
hope." He raised his face to look right into Angel's eyes, so the
vampire would know that Lindsey realized the enormity of what
he'd done. "And I was so desperate not to lose that feeling,
not to lose her, that I killed what I loved in order for her to
continue to exist. I know Wolfram & Hart maneuvered me into doing
it, and I know Holland Manners was the mastermind behind the whole
thing. But that doesn't matter. Neither does the fact that I
didn't do it with my own hands."

Angel softly said, "Because you had a moment of choice. But,
Lindsey, they would've done it anyway. There truly was nothing
you could have done to save Darla."

"Don't you see? It's not just Darla herself. I'm
responsible for everyone she killed, because I set the evil
free.....I let it loose. And I didn't turn away from her, Angel.
I helped her, while you were trying to stop her. I was so lost,
even when she taunted me, made fun of my love for her, I still
helped her. I hid her from the firm, from you.......God, I was
such a love sick fool, and she used me. And used me. And used me.
And I let her do it."

"Why did you do that? I always wondered," Angel asked.

"Because I thought.....I thought, if only she would love me, it
wouldn't matter...it wouldn't matter that you didn't. It
wouldn't matter to me if you hated me. I thought.....if I could
only make her love me, I'd forget I'd ever even wanted you.
But Darla......she only wanted you. She only thought about you.
She even laughed at me, Angel. That knowledge twisted me up inside.
It finally killed what little hope I had left. And, God help me, I
think part of the reason I did it......was to spite you."

Feeling a little hurt, even though he'd suspected that all along,
Angel said, "Why?"

"You said I wasn't capable of love. And you said neither were
you. That moment......I think I came close to hating you in that
moment. I was so angry and *hurt* that some of what happened after
you left my apartment, I still don't remember. But I'll always
remember what happened at the motel. The look of fear on her
face.....I put it there. I killed her, Angel......*I killed Darla*."
It was at this point Lindsey broke completely. In tears, desperate
to stop the pain, he couldn't stop the words from rushing out.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry......I'm so sorry. *My heart hurts,
Angel. I can't stand it. It hurts, I hurt, I feel like I'm
dying inside, help me, please*."

Angel enfolded Lindsey within his embrace and just held him while
the young man cried his bitter tears. His heart hurt, because there
wasn't much else he could do to help him. He thought on all
Lindsey had said, and he realized that he'd failed the young man
in a way he hadn't even thought of before. Lindsey had been around
24 years old when they'd met. He hadn't been with Wolfram &
Hart long, 6 months at most. He must've worked that brain of his
like mad to get where he'd been. No mean feat, that....and all
Angel had seen was that cold, hard blankness that he instantly
came to loath.

But underneath that, Lindsey had just been a young man.....coming
from this part of the country.....it was no wonder he'd freaked
out when he'd realized the attraction between them was sexual in
nature. Coming on top of all he'd learned upon employment at
Wolfram & Hart, about demons, vampires, things of that
persuasion....it was no wonder at all. Angel suddenly questioned
what he'd have done, if he'd found out he was bisexual when
he'd been mortal. Of course, back then, that wasn't even a
word.

//And let's face it, I wasn't exactly what you'd call
moral and upstanding, was I? I wasn't much older than Lindsey
was, the night Darla took me. Drunk and going to steal my
father's silver. If I'd met a man then that I was attracted
to....I may have been quite upset at first. But then I'd have
been as perverse about it as possible, just to do it.....to piss
my father off.//

Lindsey had the reality of not only adjusting to bisexuality, but
adjusting to the fact that he was attracted to a vampire. And, from
his own words, not only that, but was actually turned on by the
demon itself. Aroused by rough hands on his body. Desire heightened
by the thought of fangs in his neck during the sex act itself. None
of which was the middle-American idea of normal. Even though the
last half-century had seen a radical change in disposition towards
alternate lifestyles, necrophilia was not an acceptable thing, even
in enlightened places, such as LA. It must have been the shock of a
lifetime when the truth had dawned on Lindsey.

He must have seen Darla as some sort of lifeline to the normality
he'd unknowingly craved, because he was so busy denying to
himself the truth of what he was.*I've been wrong in blaming him
forthat. If only I'd tried a little harder to understand....*
And as frail and vulnerable as Darla had appeared while human....
it was inevitable Lindsey would fall for her. She must have
appealed to every instinct instilled in Lindsey, Southern-born
and bred. It couldn't have happened any other way.

That bastard Holland Manners had pushed and maneuvered Lindsey every
step of the way. Had he known that Lindsey was one of those humans
that attract vampires like a magnet? Was that the reason he'd put
the young lawyer, whose true talent to Wolfram & Hart *should* have
been in the courtroom, in charge of a project to turn me to the
darkness? Is that the reason Lindsey had been given the care of
Darla, who had kept coming back to him, even though she hadn't
wanted him? They'd even had him dealing with Drusilla. In the
long run, just how much of what had happened was truly Lindsey's
own initiative?

Angel shook off these thoughts when he became aware the young man in
his arms was quiet now, and Lindsey was holding onto him as if to
draw strength from his body. Angel said, "Feel better now?"

Lindsey softly said, "Not really. I feel sort of drained. Kind of
empty."

Angel tilted Lindsey's face so he could look down into it. "I can
help you, Lindsey, but I can't take away your guilt or your pain.
You'll have to work on that yourself. All I can do is be there
for you, to hold you like I am now, to stand beside you and support
you if I can. And I can't condemn you for what happened, how
could I? I've done worse than you ever will."

Lindsey looked into Angel's eyes, and was never more grateful for
anything in his life as he was to see the understanding residing in
those brown eyes. The relief he felt nearly drove him to his knees.
Angel felt the tension leave Lindsey's body and tightened his
hold on him, then he led him to sit on the side of the bed.

Angel knelt in front of the young man, and said, "I believe you were
saying you wanted to make love to me. Something about me letting
control go. Well, I've decided it's not about control.
It's about discovery. About exploration. About awareness. I want
to see your face while you do all those things. I want to you to
know how I feel when I'm inside you. I want to feel your skin
sliding slick against mine when you're inside me, and I want you
to know my body the way I've known yours. Do you still want that,
Lindsey?"
Chapter 15

"The Letter"

Lindsey smiled slightly. He reached out, placing his hand against
the side of the vampire's face, rubbing his thumb softly on
Angel's cheek. He said, "Yes, I do, but right now.....right now,
I just want you to crawl under the covers with me, and hold me in
your arms. I need that, Angel."

Nodding his head in understanding, Angel stood up, removing his
clothing while Lindsey removed his robe. They got back in bed,
and Lindsey slid into Angel's embrace, laying his head against
Angel's chest. The vampire wondered what it was like for Lindsey,
listening to the lack of a heartbeat within his body. Being held
in the coldness of his embrace. As much as he wanted Lindsey,
he wondered why the young man in his arms could gain such comfort
from him.

If Lindsey had known Angel's thoughts, he would have told him it
was a very simple thing. He made Lindsey feel safe, loved and
wanted. It was something Lindsey had never felt in the presence
of any other being in his whole life. He didn't care that Angel
wasn't human. He didn't care what Angel had done in his long
history. All his family was gone, his few friends might miss him
for awhile, but Lindsey knew Angel was the only one who truly
cared if he lived or died.

Angel felt the young man relax in his arms, and Lindsey feel into
deep, dreamless, healing sleep. The vampire realized what it was,
and he didn't disturb Lindsey, who had finally come to terms with
his past actions, and Angel knew he was sleeping more soundly than
he undoubtedly had since the death of Darla.

That's when he realized what he had to do. He couldn't ask
Lindsey to come to LA. The young man was going to have to make
that decision on his own. Angel couldn't influence him in that
decision, because then he would never know if Lindsey wanted him
of his own free will or not. He'd never know for sure if he loved
him or not.

He gently removed himself from Lindsey, and got dressed. He looked
at his lover a long time, then found implements to write Lindsey a
letter. Laying it beside the young man, Angel left, all his
instincts urging him to turn back, afraid this was the last he would
see of the man who held a deeper place in his heart than anyone ever
had.

*************************************

It was past noon when Lindsey awoke. He slowly opened his eyes,
awareness of all that had occurred the night before drifting though
his mind. He knew instantly Angel was gone. He also knew it
couldn't have ended any other way. He'd known that last
night, so he wasn't that upset.

He had tried to tell Angel how he'd felt when the vampire had
made love to him. He'd wanted to show him with his body. Lindsey
didn't think he'd done a very good job of it. Oh, Angel had
been turned on by what he had managed to say, but.....it was funny,
really. He made his living with words. He was very good at it.
But the most important thing he'd ever needed to say in his
entire life....and he'd frozen up.

But he didn't know if he could convey all the vampire had made
him feel with mere words. How could he tell Angel the wealth of
emotions that had shot through his body, when Angel had touched
him with tenderness, when all he'd expected from the vampire was
unmitigated hatred? How could he explain that his heart almost
stopped when Angel had said he wanted to make love to him? How was
he going to tell Angel the entire experience had transcended sex,
took him to a place within his heart, his mind, his emotions that
he'd never been to before?

How the hell was he going to make the vampire believe that Lindsey
was in love with him?

He noticed the letter beside him, and he picked it up, thinking
about whether he wanted to read it or not. Realized if he wanted to,
he might be able to let it go now. He could go on with his life, let
the past go, find a way to redeem himself on his own. Get married,
raise a family, be a normal person. Angel had given him that choice
by not being here now. Lindsey realized that this was the second
time the vampire had done it. It was the most selfless thing anyone
had ever done for him.

Lindsey thought about all that could be. Then he turned his back on
all of what could be, in favor of what was. He unfolded the single
sheet of paper, and followed his heart.

*** Lindsey,

I'm sorry, but I have duties in LA that I cannot walk away from,
much as I wish I could. I would really have liked waking up in your
arms, but I did what you asked me for. Such things aren't mine to
want, and I'm sorry if you're upset with me. I didn't
mean to mislead you in any way.

Last night meant more to me than you'll ever know. But I
won't.......I can't ask you to come back to a world you
walked away from out of my own selfish desires. If I never see
you again, I wish you all the best in the future. You have the
strength inside to seek your redemption on your own.

You don't need me for that.

You can have a normal life, Lindsey. Filled with love and laughter,
someone who can grow old with you, and share all of life's
happiness and sorrows with. This is what I truly wish for you.
To be happy, always.

You don't need me for that.

So, if I don't hear from you, I'll understand. I'll be
happy for you.

Angel***

Lindsey contemplated the scream for love and understanding that
short missive truly was. Angel was as alone as Lindsey himself had
always been. For the first time, he realized how utterly noble the
vampire was. How he always did what he had to, no matter what it
cost him personally.

He left the bed he had slept alone in until last night, and faced
his future with no doubts in his mind at all. The idyll in Oklahoma
was over. Fuck Wolfram & Hart. He was in love with Angel, and
nothing was going to stop him from being at his side.

Nothing and no one.

Ever.

Chapter 16

~Of Unicorns and Men~

Angel exited the elevator and made his way to where Harmony was. He
listened in disbelief as he realized she was still prattling on
about that television show she was so embroiled in. Damn! He'd
thought their little talk about unicorns being a myth had worked.
How could she be so silly?

"And then, oh my God, when he turned around.....I started screaming!
I was in total shock! I mean, it was him, it really was! The evil
unicorn hunter himself. I swear, I heard the name Leslie screamed
all over LA for at least an hour. Huh? Well, yeah....I hate him and
all....but damn, he looks too good to hate. Besides, maybe he
won't be evil this time. I think he knows how important unicorns
are now. What?.........No way! Everyone knows Adam and Leslie
belong with each other! No, I don't care about that shit.
Who cares what the network says? I'll believe what I want and..."

Harmony finally noticed Angel standing there. She smiled
radiantly. "Hi, Boss! What are you doing back so soon?"

Angel shook his head at Harmony's delusional attachment with a TV
show. "I'm going to take a shower, and sleep awhile. Do me a
favor? As soon as Wesley comes in, tell him I need to consult with
him on something, will you?"

"Sure. Is that all?"

"Yeah," he said, walking away.

"Um...boss," Harmony called after him.

"What?" Angel said, still walking.

"Spike..."

"Later, Harm. I'm too tired to even think about Spike right now."
Angel said.

"Ok, but I tried to warn you," she muttered under her breath.
Putting the phone back to her ear, she continued her
conversation. "And can you believe they had him in bed with that
nasty Elisa? I mean, really..........can I just say: *ewwwww!*
That's just *so wrong*. I felt like throwing up........what?
*Gay? I never said Leslie was gay!* Damn, I *hate it* when people
say that. I mean, Hello!!! Look it up in the dictionary....it's
spelled B i s e x u a l, for God's sake..........."

Angel kept walking, tuning out Harmony's insane logic, hoping to
avoid Spike. Unfortunately, that hope was dashed as soon as he
neared the door to his suite. Spike was leaning against the wall.

"Well, I see the poofster returned, after all. What's the matter?
Didn't find your boy toy?"

"I'm not in the mood for this shit, Spike. Go away," Angel said,
passing Spike by to open his door.

Angel barely had time to register the shock on the other
vampire's face before Spike had him pressed into the wall, had
his face buried into Angel's neck, practically inhaling the skin
where Lindsey had bitten his grandsire. Angel roughly pushed him
away.

"What the fuck happened?!?" They both said.

Spike took an unneeded breath, said as calmly as he could, "A box
arrived, something inside made me corporal again, it's a mystery,
Fred's working on it." He paused. "Angel, this man you went to
find, I can smell him on you. He's of the Secular Caste. You let
him mark you. Are you insane?"

Angel growled, walked past Spike, through the now open office door.
Returning the favor, he pushed Spike against the wall. "Did you
forget who I am while I was gone? I don't need your approval. In
fact, I don't need anyone's approval for what I do. I'll
do what I want, when I want, and I don't give a damn who likes it
or who doesn't. Understand?"

Spike was utterly stumped by his grandsire's statement. That just
sounded so much like Angelus, but it was very clear to Spike that
this wasn't him. This was Angel. "I understand," he said.
"It's that serious, then, is it?"

Angel looked into the other vampire's eyes to see if Spike was
being sincere or joking now. He sighed. "Yeah, it's that
serious." He let go of his grandchilde, and backed up a little.
"I know he attracts vampires, Spike. I'm not that foolish.
In fact, you're the only one in our little family he hasn't
had contact with. But that's a moot point. No one can touch him
now, except me."

"Angel, you didn't," Spike paused. "You two didn't claim each
other, did you?"

Angel shut the office door. "Not that it's any of your
business....but, no, we didn't. Why would you even ask that? What
do you care?"

"I don't care. Not really. It's just...."

"What?" Angel said, exasperated.

"You have a soul, Angel. It wouldn't just be binding him to you.
You'd be bound to him, as well. You know it's eternal. As far
as I know, a souled vampire's never done it before. Who knows
what the consequences would be. You aren't going to do it, are
you? Cause I'm thinking, that might not be good."

Angel snarled, "I just told you, I'll do what I want. And if
Lindsey finds it in his heart to follow me here, after everything
we've been through together, I *am* going to talk him into it.
Anyone who doesn't like it can go to hell. Are we clear on this?"

"Yeah, we're clear. But could you do a favor, could you climb
down off your high horse and tell me why you're being this
stubborn about it?" Spike said.

Angel exploded. "Christ, Spike, haven't you ever had someone who
looks at you and isn't afraid? Who sees all of you, demon and
man, and isn't repulsed? Who wants you for all those reasons,
and who you don't have to be gentle with, who'll let you
teach them all the sexual finesse a vampire thrives on, someone who
gets off on it? Someone you feel was made just for you alone?"

Spike went very still. "Yeah, I have," he quietly said. "I died for
her."

That deflated Angel. *He's talking about Buffy. Shit.* "Christ,
what a mess," he muttered. He sighed for effect, then walked over
to the bar, grabbed a bottle and a pair of glasses, placed them on
the table between them, an open invitation to his grandchilde.
He splashed some whiskey in a tumbler, then sat down, sipping it.

Spike followed him, helping himself to a shot of whiskey himself.
He downed it in one shallow, glaring at Angel to say something.
Angel only raised an eyebrow at him. "Spit it out, Spike. You
obviously knew I was back, otherwise you'd be far from here by
now. Say what you want, then leave me in peace."

Spike quietly said, "I'm going to Europe, Angel. I'm going to
find the slayer. I don't know if things could ever be repaired
beyond our past, but.....I have to talk to her, face to face.
At the very least, it'll give me...*us*....closure."

"I understand, Spike, and I won't try to stop you,
but......Buffy's changed. Ever since she hasn't had the
slayer'sresponsibilities on her shoulders alone, she's been
different. You know, she was always awfully self-involved. It's
worse now. It's like.....she doesn't give a damn about
anything or anyone, other than herself. Maybe she's trying to
make up for all she feels she's missed out on, I don't know."

"I have to try, Angel," Spike said.

"I know," Angel softly answered.

"This thing you have with this man.....is it real or just a passing
fancy?" Spike asked.

Angel was quite for a few minutes while he thought about that.

Finally, he looked at Spike and said, "Yeah, it's real. It's
the most real thing I've ever known."

"More real than the slayer was for you? I don't understand that,
mate," Spike said, knowing how his grandsire had once loved her.

Angel said, "Buffy was always afraid of me, Spike. Even *before* I
reverted back into Angelus. And after that, well......things just
couldn't go back to the way they were, that's all."

Spike smiled slightly. "And you're telling me this human
you're involved with isn't afraid?"

Angel laughed. "Lindsey once ran me over repeatedly with his pickup
truck, then when that didn't kill me, he came at me with a
sledgehammer. And he was one-handed at the time."

Spike said, "You're shitting me, right? I mean,
Angel....one-handed?"

"No, it's true. I cut his hand off, he tried to drive me
insane....it was a thing," Angel said, smiling.

"Sounds intense....like a television show or something," Spike
laughed.

"Yeah, like that stupid unicorn shit show Harmony watches. Have you
*heard* her talk about it?" Angel said.

"Bloody hell, yes. She's bent about it, like half the females in
the benighted town. Have you heard her go on about that Leslie
character coming back on the show after a couple of years?" Spike
asked.

"Shit, when I got here, she was yakking on the phone about it. I
don't understand what the big deal is. I mean, the guy is short,
for God's sake. Yet, women go nuts about him. What's that all
about?" Angel said.

"He's not *that* short, Angel. You're just prejudiced because
you're so tall," Spike said.

"I am not prejudiced against short people," Angel said.

"You are so," Spike said.

"Am not," Angel grumbled.

"Are so," Spike cockily said.

The two vampires argued into the night about the subtleties of
height, television shows, and how obsessed Harmony was with unicorns
and a television character named Leslie.

Chapter 17

~Welcome Home~

Lindsey stepped into the shadow of the building and looked up at
it.*Not much change on the outside....wonder if it's still cold
inside?* Touching Angel's letter in his back pocket, he smiled
and headed towards the main entrance. It had been almost 3 months
since Angel's visit and for the first time in... like
forever……Lindsey felt like he was coming home.

Lindsey walked into the lobby and paused, taking note of all the
changes that had taken place since his departure. He still didn't
know the particulars of how Angel had gained control of this
division of Wolfram & Hart……and at the time of Angel's
visit, he hadn't really cared.*Face it, Lindsey, the only thing
you cared about was being *with* Angel, everything else was
insignificant.* But now, being back here in this place, he'd
wished he had at least cared enough to ask.

He stopped at the information desk and inquired information as to
the location of Angel's office. He was told it was on the 15th
floor, and advised Angel didn't see clients without an appointment,
but he could make one with his assistant, Harmony Kendall. Lindsey
smiled, thanked the man, and made his way to the bank of elevators
along the back wall. He found it odd that no one seemed to *notice*
him, and in his jeans, flannel shirt, and jacket, he knew he stood
out amidst all the suits around him. He also noticed that no one
looked familiar. *Angel must've cleaned house when he took over.
Wonder where Lilah ended up?* Lindsey headed over to the nearest
elevator and pressed the "up" arrow.

The elevator came almost immediately and Lindsey stepped in and
pushed the button marked "15" and smiled as a random memory flitted
through his head. *Something about a fifth floor office, company
car, and my soul. No, the irony isn't lost on me, Angel.*
The doors started to close when a feminine hand reached in and
stopped them.

"Sorry, I didn't see you." Lindsey said when the doors slid open
and an attractive young woman stepped in beside him. "What floor?"

"Fifteen, thanks," the woman said, smiling shyly at him.

Lindsey stepped back and leaned against the back wall of the
elevator and watched her. She seemed to be engrossed in a book and
what looked like a case file opened to a picture of what could have
been perceived as a deformed cat. He leaned over her shoulder to get
a better look and smiled. "Coaties" he said in her ear.

She jumped and stepped away from him. "What?"

"That's a picture of a coati. Mischievous little rascals. We call
them.."

"Raccoons." The girl interrupted.

"But in the dimension they come from, 'coaties' means 'rats'. How
did it get here, anyhow?"

"Not sure yet and we think there's more than one of 'em. I just got
this and haven't had a chance to really work on it. So, any idea on
how to catch them?"

"Enchanted cheese."

"Enchanted cheese?"

"Yep. The enchanting spell should already be in the computer
under "Coati", all you'll need is the cheese."

"Thanks, Mr……." She trailed off, noticing the elevator had
stopped and the doors were sliding open. She glanced up and saw
Wesley standing there, as if waiting on an elevator himself.

Wesley looked the man with her up and down, raised an eyebrow, and
said, "Lindsey McDonald."

Lindsey responded to the perusal with a smirk. "Hello, Wesley. I
wondered why no one stopped me from coming up here. It seemed too
easy. So, are you the welcoming committee?"

"Actually, no. I was on my way down to the lab to meet with Fred.
But now……" Wesley turned to the young woman and said, "Fred, I
will need to get with you later."

Lindsey turned and smiled at Fred. "Nice to meet you, Fred. Oh, and
don't forget to have a cage ready for your coaties……the
enchanted cheese only last for about an hour."

"It was nice to meet you, Mr. McDonald," Fred said, giving Lindsey a
glance of consideration as she exited the elevator.

"Lindsey, please. And I'll be around if you need any help." Lindsey
said to her with a wink.

***************

"Mr. McDonald, if you would be so kind as to accompany me to my
office……" Wesley said, although Lindsey thought it sounded more
like an order than a request. But, *whatever*. Might as well get
this *over* with.

"Tell me something, Wesley. How did Angel manage to gain control of
this part of Wolfram & Hart?" Lindsey asked as he followed Wesley to
his office. He really wanted to see Angel but he was curious as to
what the Englishman was after, because he didn't look surprised
to see him at all. He looked.....*resigned*. As if he'd known
Lindsey would follow Angel back to LA.

"You mean he didn't tell you when he visited?" Wesley asked,
rather surprised. He led Lindsey into his office and pointed him to
a chair. "I'm rather surprised you didn't....taunt....him with
the knowledge that he's in charge of this branch of Wolfram &
Hart, Lindsey." Wesley thought about it, then decided he'd be
truthful with the other man. He'd been on Angel's bad side
himself, too, after all. "Frankly, had I been in your place.....
I would have."

Lindsey sat down in the proffered chair, blushing a little. He still
was a bit shy about his feelings for Angel. "No, he didn't. We
had....other things to discuss. I'm not up to elaborating on what
those things were, so why don't you just fill me in on the specs?"

"After the Beast killed everyone here, and Angelus killed the Beast,
Lilah came to us with an offer from the Senior Partners. We could
have this branch to run as Angel saw fit. Of course, there are
loopholes we keep having to work our way out of, but what do you
expect in a law firm?"

Frowning at the mention of Angelus, Lindsey said, "Lilah Morgan?
Where is dear ole Lilah, anyway? Can't imagine Angel keeping her
around."

"He didn't. She's dead. As a matter of fact, she was dead
when she came to us with this proposition. I guess even in death..."
Wesley trailed off when he looked over and saw Lindsey's ashen
face. "Are you ok?"

"What? When? How……how did she die?" Lindsey stammered out.

"I'm sorry, Lindsey, I really thought you knew all this. Lilah
was killed by the Beast's master." Wesley was a little confused.
He hadn't thought Lindsey and Lilah were even friends, but the
man looked *stunned* by the news of her death. "I wasn't aware you
were friends, Lindsey. In all the time I knew her, she never said
anything that led me to believe you were. I'm sorry."

Lindsey closed his eyes, let an image of the last time he's seen
her wash over him. "We weren't friends, Wesley. More like wary
enemies. When I left LA....part of it was wanting to get away from
Angel. But mostly, it was getting away from the firm, the
manipulation, the backstabbing, and the constant thread of death
from my own employers. If I hadn't quit....if I hadn't quit
the way I did, they were going to promote me, not Lilah. They were
going to kill her, Wesley. But I quit, and they promoted her in my
place. I guess I....saved her life." Lindsey was quiet for a few
seconds. "Now it looks as if that was a wasted gesture, one of many
since I first arrived in LA. She didn't change at all, did she?"

Wesley softly said, "No, she didn't. I had hoped.....but
then....well, it was too late."

Lindsey contemplated the Englishman. "You were in love with Lilah?"
"No, not really. It never got that far," Wesley said. "We were
involved, but....it couldn't work, so we broke it off. Although,
I did try to burn her perpetuity contract, after she died. I thought
she deserved a measure of peace, or maybe I felt guilty I hadn't
truly loved her. That was a wasted gesture, as well. Lilah said
something about eternal flames. I couldn't break the contract."

"Oh, yeah, the good ole perpetuity contract. I guess that
means....I'm still technically an employee, huh?" Lindsey
said. "God, I wish I'd gotten away from under here before I
signed that."

Wesley frowned. "I was under the assumption all employees signed one
upon employment at Wolfram & Hart."

"No, I didn't sign mine until the night Vanessa Brewer died,"
Lindsey replied.

"Uh," Wesley said. Oh, that *was not* good. "Does Angel know that?"

"No, I never told him. Things got.....intense after that, and it
wasn't his business, was it?" Lindsey said.

"Oh, Lindsey," Wesley said, remembering a young man walking into
Angel Investigations, asking for help.

Lindsey said, "It doesn't matter now, Wesley. I'd rather
focus on the present than linger on what could have been.
So, tell me...who's the liaison to the Senior Partners?"

"That would be me. Hello, Lindsey. What took you so long?"

Lindsey turned around to see someone he'd never expected to see
here, of all places.

"Eve Morgan, what are you doing here?" Lindsey said, clearly
surprised at her appearance.

"Gotta keep the lines between the Senior Partners and the white
hats open," Eve said, walking up to Lindsey. "Damn, Linds...
you look good. What's your secret?"

"Sex, booze, and rock and roll," Lindsey said. "You look....all
grown up, darlin'."

"Excuse me," Wesley interrupted. "Your name is...Eve Morgan?
I take that to mean, you're Lilah's sister?"

"When I admit it, which isn't often." Eve answered, her eyes
never leaving Lindsey. "So, I'd love to show you just how grown
up I am, Linds, but duty calls and you're late. Angel was expecting
you weeks ago."

Lindsey grinned, remembering the teenager who'd had a massive crush
on him. "Now, Evie, you know better than that. Putting the moves on
me won't work any better now than it did when Lilah and I were in
college. So run along now, play good girl to the bosses and leave
Angel to me."

"That's okay, Linds. My moves may not work on you, but they work
just fine on Angel...don't they, Wesley?" Eve turned to Wesley with
an amusing smile dancing on her lips, daring him to lie and refute
her statement.

"That was due to a spell that Lorne had accidentally cast. I doubt
very seriously that it had anything to do with your uh....charms,
Eve." Wesley stated.

Lindsey looked shocked. "Angel and you....you....he....no fucking
way!"

"You're right, Wes. After all....it was "Lindsey" that Angel
screamed....the first three times, anyway. Gotta love that vamp
stamina.....don't you, Lindsey?" Eve said, watching as Lindsey
fought a battle for control between anger and embarrassment. She
smiled very sweetly, and headed for the door. There she paused,
looked back and winked saucily at the two men. "Don't forget to tell
him about the spell, Wes. See you soon, Lindsey."

Chapter 18

~Fighting Words~

"Well...I see Eve hasn't changed much. I always said that their
mother named them just right," Lindsey angrily stated. "Eve and
Delilah Morgan, bitches from Hell."

Wesley smiled slightly and sat down behind his desk. He was still
a little shocked at the revelation about Eve and Lilah's
relationship. "I wouldn't disagree. And that *will* help us
determine if Eve is really evil or not."

"Yeah, Eve plays for her own team," Lindsey muttered. *Fuck! I
can't believe she said that!* Wesley was ominously silent,
so Lindsey looked over at him. The man's face was beet-red,
and he looked as if he were on the verge of an attack of some
sort.

"Do you think he really did that, Lindsey?" Wesley said, trying
his level best not to laugh.

Lindsey blushed furiously. "I think she was just fucking with me.
Unless Angel really did....maybe she was *pissed off*. I
mean....could you imagine being with someone...and having them
yell out another name....not once, but three times? If that's
true....God, how humiliating."

Wesley blushed, recalled having done that to Lilah
once. "I...uh....I imagine it would be, yes," he softly said.
"And, I don't want to hear any more about it. I do, however,
need to talk to you about the spell that Eve just mentioned,
so please sit back down."

"What spell?" Lindsey asked, sitting back in the chair, wondering
what the deal was. *I knew it! Wolfram & Hart assholes.*

"When I was going through some of Lilah's files I found a spell.
I believe she cast it not long before she died." Wesley sighed,
not wanting to be the one to tell Lindsey that what he was feeling
for Angel was probably false. Angel had not taken it well, and he
suspected that Lindsey wouldn't either.

Lindsey sighed. "I suspected a spell a long time ago, Wesley.
I told Angel that when he came to see me, so I'm not surprised.
Lilah was trying to drive me insane, right?"

"No Lindsey, Lilah cast what appears to be a love spell. And you and
Angel were its recipients. I think the 'insaneness' you were feeling
was due to the separation between you and him. Like Eve said, we
expected you much earlier than this."

"That's not possible, Wesley," Lindsey stated. "What the hell would
Lilah do that for?"

"That's the problem. I don't really know why she did it. I'm still
looking. Did you ever give her reason to believe that you
had...feelings for Angel?"

Lindsey stood up, walked over to the window. He put his hands in his
pockets, and just thought about it. Finally, he turned back to
Wesley, and said, "I must have unknowingly, somehow. Even *Darla*
knew I had feelings for Angel. Why wouldn't Lilah?"

"Well, like I said, I'm still looking into it. Angel suspects its
because it was the only way she could be sure that you would remain
safe."

"Safe from what?" Lindsey asked.

"Maybe she felt that everyone at Wolfram & Hart was targeted by the
Beast, and as you pointed out earlier, you still have a contract
with the firm. Maybe by tying you to Angel in some way, she felt you
would...somehow escape."

Lindsey's face changed. To Wesley, he looked
somehow...*younger*....not as hardened as he normally looked.
*If that's true, then she was trying to save my life. Why?
Because I saved hers?....Would Lilah have done that?*
"Let me see this spell, Wesley," Lindsey said.

"Yes, you should look at it. Maybe you will see something that I
have missed," Wesley said, handing some papers to the other man.

Lindsey took the pages Wesley was offering, and he sat back down to
read.

As he did, he remembered things.....starting with a long glance in a
courtroom, and ending with himself deciding to follow Angel. One
thing led to the other, in his mind. And he knew several things
Wesley didn't.

"First thing is, this isn't a spell, Wesley. I'm sure Lilah thought
it was. Maybe it worked that way at first, hell, I don't know. What
I do know is....Lilah never earned points for originality. Check
back, see if maybe Nathan Reed had a spell cast, maybe after I left
LA. If he did, she would've followed up on it. If that's what
happened, Lilah fucked up big time."

"Are you sure? It looks like a spell to me, Lindsey," Wesley said.

Shaking his head no, Lindsey said, "No, it's not. The wording is all
wrong. She used Greek, not Latin. You see the difference? Lilah cast
a curse, not a love spell."

"If it worked, what's the difference?" Wesley asked.

"Because...a spell works without consent. A curse only works if the
cursed believes in the curse. Like Angel believing that gypsy crap
about one moment of happiness. Well, I don't believe in any of
that shit," Lindsey said.

"So, you don't believe in Angelus? Does Angel know this?," Wesley
asked incredulously. "Believe me when I say he's real. Lindsey,
Angelus does exist within Angel."

"No, I don't. Angel knows that I don't believe in Angelus," Lindsey
said. "I'll tell you what I do believe . I believe I looked at Angel
across a crowded courtroom, and I saw the person I was meant to be
with for the rest of my life. I knew almost instantly he was *the
one*, and that was years ago, Wesley. Only I was too stubborn and
foolish to admit it. Well, I know now, you see. It's Angel- it
always was. I refuse to believe that none of my feelings are real,
I know that's what you're getting at. And no spell or curse is
going to stand between him and me. *Ever*"

"That's a nice declaration, Lindsey....and I guess as long as
Angel doesn't find perfect happiness with you, then you can hang
on to your beliefs, but be warned. *If Angel attains that one
moment.....then you'd better run.* Because Angelus *will* kill
you, if for no other reason than *because* Angel loved you." Wesley
was shocked and a little wary at this new insight into Lindsey.

Lindsey laughed. "I'm not scared of Angel, Wesley. I *never* was.
I fielded both Darla and Drusilla, and frankly...vampires don't
scare me at all. They never have. I have a thing for them.....they
have a thing for me. There's actually a term for it, can't
rememberwhat it is, though. Besides, Angel told me himself.....
quote *Angelus wants you as much or more than I do* unquote."

Wesley reeled back as if Lindsey had slapped him. "He told you
that?" He could not believe that Angel would have said something
like that to Lindsey. *My God, how close does Angel keep Angelus?
Is Lindsey a threat to his soul....or not?* "If that's true then
heed my warning, I will do whatever's necessary to keep Angel
from finding a perfect moment of happiness with you.

"Then you'll be my enemy, Wesley. I told you- *nothing* and *no one*
is going to come between us. *Ever*," Lindsey stated. "Why would you-
who profess to be his friend- say something like that?"

"Because if Angel loses his soul then we *all* die. Frankly, after
all the research and documentation you had at your disposal, I'm
shocked that you don't believe. Think about it, Lindsey.....if there
is no such demon in Angel then *what* did Holland Manners and the
Senior Partners want that they had to bring Darla back for? What
could Angel possibly give them that would have been beneficial to
the firm?"

"The man who shut me in with two rabid vampires, that's what. They
were mere inches from attaining their goal, Wesley-did ya'll ever
know that? An evil Angel, soul intact - think about it. Have you
never seen a glimpse of him? He's *there*, Wesley. I've seen him.
That's what the senior partners want. You all have this big blind
spot when it comes to him. You all only see the surface. *I see
under it.* You all think in black and white. *Well, I don't. I
can't afford to.* I love Angel-body and soul. He's mine. I've
waited my whole life to feel this way- and you, your little friends,
Eve, the senior partners, Wolfram & Hart, even the Powers That Be---
you can all go fuck yourselves if you think you're going to stop
this from happening. I won't lose him- I *can't*. I'd die if I
couldn't be with him- don't you *get* that? Don't you understand?"
Lindsey damn near screamed.

Wesley was exasperated beyond belief. He could not *believe* what he
was hearing. Lindsey in this moment reminded him of Buffy, quitting
the Council because they wouldn't help save Angel's life. And
even though part of what the other man was saying made sense to him,
Wesley knew he was wrong. Yes, he'd seen the side Lindsey was
referring to. But he'd met Angelus in person. Lindsey was wrong,
he had to be. *Maybe Lilah did cast an insanity spell on
him.....Lindsey sure is showing signs of it.* "Fine,
Lindsey.....believe what you will, but if Angel loses his soul and
Angelus comes out to play....I will destroy him. I only hope that I
can get to him before he gets to you. Make no mistake, Lindsey,
Angelus *will* kill you," Wesley said with quiet, steel resolve that
left no room for argument.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Angel was standing at the window enjoying the feel of muted sunlight
on his face. He reveled in its warmth and he smiled as the memory of
another place where he felt warm flickered in his mind.

"Now that's a look that we don't see much of around here."
Fred said as she walked into Angel's office. "You keep that up
and the troops are gonna get restless."

Angel turned and smiled at her before stepping back in shock. He
could smell *him* on *her.* The smell was faint and only someone who
knew that scent would even catch it. Someone with his heightened
sense of smell, that is.

"Angel, what's wrong?"

"Wha…………what? Oh, nothing. Thought I smelled something
familiar, is all. What's up? Did you manage to figure out what
those little…………furball looking things are? And how to catch
them?"

"Yep. They're called "coaties", they're all rounded up and
caged, waiting for a trip home. And it was all thanks to a Lindsey
McDonald and enchanted cheese."

"Lindsey? Did you say Lindsey McDonald?"

"Yep. He came up on the elevator with me or rather I came up with
him since technically he was on the elevator first and..."

"Fred, where did Lindsey go when he got off the elevator?" Angel
asked, a bad feeling overcoming him.

"Oh, he went with Wesley.....who by the way didn't look none too
happy to see him," Fred answered.

"Dammit!" Angel said, turning away to head out of his office.

"Angel, we need to talk." Eve said, waltzing into the room.

"Not now Eve, I have to go." Angel headed across the reception area
towards Wesley's office, Eve hot on his heels.

"Angel....." Eve said, trying to keep up with him.

Angel opened the door to Wesley's office, eyes seeking out
Lindsey and locking onto the young man's stormy blue gaze.
Lindsey looked quite upset, so Angel assumed that Wesley must
have told him about the spell. *Shit*

Then Lindsey's gaze fell on Eve, who was standing right behind
Angel, a self-satisfied smirk on her face. He looked back at Angel.

Who was damn glad Lindsey didn't have a sledgehammer right now.


Chapter 19

~*Insecurities*~

Angel knew without a doubt that Lindsey was more than upset,
the young man was pissed off. What he didn't know was why.
"Lindsey……what's up?"

Angel felt Eve hovering behind him. Irritated that the girl
couldn't take a hint he decided to explain it to her. "Eve, I
said ``not now'' so back the hell off!"

"Don't kick her out on my account, Angel. It's a little late
for that, don't you think?" Lindsey said quietly, walking towards
the vampire, his movements slow and steady.

"Lindsey, what are you talking –" Angel didn't see it coming
until too late and pain exploded on the side of his face,
knocking him to his knees.

"Lindsey!" Wesley yelled as he ran to help his friend who was
trying to regain his balance, shocked Lindsey would hit someone
he'd just claimed to love. "I told you it was a spell-"

"So is that the new excuse now, Angel? Everything you've done
lately is because you're under a spell? Sleeping with me?
Sleeping with *her*?" Lindsey pointed to Eve, who stood beside
the door with a smile on her face. That *smile* infuriated Lindsey
even more. Grabbing Angel's shirt and pulling the vampire down so
that they were face to face, a mere inch separating the two,
Lindsey quietly asked, "You came to me, you made me believe you
cared about me, you practically begged me to come back here,
all for what, Angel? Because you were under a spell?"

Angel was rapidly trying to piece everything together and quickly
came to the realization that he was missing a few key elements.
He discerned that Lindsey knew about the ``sex fiasco'' with
Eve, how Lindsey found out was still a mystery, but Angel knew
that he had to handle this carefully or Lindsey would walk ––
straight out of his life. So he did the one thing that he hoped
would diffuse Lindsey's anger –– he took the young man's
face in his hands and closed the gap. Angel kissed Lindsey
McDonald like there was no tomorrow.

~~~~~~~~

Lindsey stood frozen, trying to resist Angel's teasing tongue
which was demanding entrance into his mouth. //*Fuck!* No! I will
NOT let him *kiss* his way out of this. *But, shit*……I want to
taste him again, I want to see if my memory did justice to the
real thing. I want……*I want*……. *fuck!*// With a groan of
frustration, Lindsey opened up to Angel's caresses and let
himself be kissed.

*Yes! He still wants me. I still have a chance!* Angel dropped his
hands from Lindsey's face and lightly rested them on the young
man's shoulders. He decided to let Lindsey control the kiss and
was happy to feel himself pulled closer, as if Lindsey was trying
to crawl inside Angel's skin.

"Ahem." Wesley, skin slightly red from witnessing such a private
moment, from his boss no less, decided it was time to separate the
two before they decided to go any further. "Uh...pardon me, but
could you two…….Please……" He gave up on talking and just
walked over and touched Angel on the shoulder.

Angel jumped at the sudden contact and moaned when Lindsey broke the
kiss. He turned and glared at Wesley who was looking slightly
embarrassed. Looking around, he saw Eve still standing in the
doorway, looking flushed and now slightly irritated.

Looking back at Lindsey, Angel watched the young man's eyes go
from the passion filled dark blue, to the anger filled stormy blue
and he knew that Lindsey would turn away from him before he'd let
Angel see the hurt come in and change their color yet again.

"Lindsey……I'm sorry. The deal with Eve……that was
Lorne's fault. He inadvertently cast a spell and everyone at
the party found themselves acting……bizarre." Angel said.

"Shut up, Angel. I don't want to hear the *spell* excuse again.
You know what? I gotta go. I……just......I gotta go." Lindsey
unfisted his hands from Angel's shirt and backed away from Angel.
Grabbing his jacket he headed for the door.

"Angel's telling the truth. I was caught up in it too. We all
were." Wesley chimed in.

Wesley's comment seemed to fall on deaf ears as the lawyer kept
walking. Angel sighed, "Running away again, Lindsey? I found you
once, I'll find you again. Save us the trouble and just talk to
me." Angel watched as Lindsey paused at the doorway for a second
then continued through it, without looking back.

"Dammit! LINDSEY!" Angel started after the young man but stopped
short when Wesley stepped into his path. "Wesley, move!"

"Angel, we need to talk," the former Watcher stated firmly.

"That's what I've been trying to say." Both men turned toward
the perky voice coming from the doorway. Eve was still standing
there, waiting patiently.

"After I catch Lindsey." Angel tried to step around Wesley but the
ex-watcher matched him step for step.

"NOW!" Wesley and Eve said in unison.

Angel gave up. He knew they wouldn't let him go until they said
what they had to say, so he sat down heavily on the couch.
"What is it?"

~~~~~~~~~~~

Lindsey walked over to the elevators and pushed the "down arrow" and
waited.

//Fucking sonofabitch. *Running away again, Lindsey?* Fuck him and
the white horse he rode in on. I can't believe he said that.
*I'm here, aren't I?* I came *here* - to this place I *hate*
for him. I came because he asked.// He pulled out the letter and
looked at it. //Okay, so he *didn't* ask verbally, but I can read
between the lines and *he asked*.//

"Mr……Lindsey?"

Lindsey started and looked up to see Fred standing in the elevator,
her hand holding the door open for him. "Hey. Fred right?" Lindsey
asked as an idea formed in his mind.

"Yep. That's me. Are you waiting for an elevator, cause this
one's here. I'm headed to the lab……want to join me?"

"I would, but I think I would like to take a shower and get cleaned
up. I feel a little ……grimy. Could you be a doll and tell me
where I can find Angel's apartment? I left him and Wesley hashing
out some spell and thought I would try and find it on my own. But
since you're here –– maybe you could cut a guy a break."

"Well, since you're not being escorted out by security, I guess I
could help you. Besides I owe you one, right? I mean you did help
with the coaties and all, so I do owe you, so-"

"Fred, you're holding up the elevator, hon. Someone could be
waiting." Lindsey said replacing her hand on the door with his
own. "Angel's apartment?"

"Oh, right. There's an elevator in Angel's office that takes
you right there. You can't miss it." Fred said quickly as the
elevator doors slid closed.

"Thanks Fred, I think I owe you one now." Lindsey muttered as he
made his way to Angel's place.

~~~~~~~~~~~

"Eve, why don't you go ahead?" Wesley walked back over to his
desk, as if to give them a modicum of privacy.

"You have to let him go, Angel. The Senior Partners are not happy
with his return to the Firm." Eve stated, the smile still on her
face. She looked *ecstatic* being able to relay this message.

"Lindsey isn't returning to the Firm, Eve. He came here for me,
because I asked him to." Angel said.

"So it's….personal?" Eve asked, the smirk returning.

"Yes. So go tell your bosses that Lindsey is *off limits* to them or
anyone else from way back when. He's here for me." Angel stated
firmly.

"Okay, then. I'll pass that along, but I don't think
they're going to listen." Eve said and breezily walked out of the
room.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Your turn." Angel turned to Wesley who was standing beside his
desk, watching Eve leave with a hint of distaste clouding his
features. "Careful, Wes. That woman has eyes in the back of her
head. She sees that look and……you'll have to start sleeping
with your eyes open."

Wes looked over at his friend and smiled wanly. "She's right,
Angel. If the Senior Partners sent her to tell you to get rid of
Lindsey, then the probability of them letting him stay is small.
Regardless of your……reasoning."

"Lindsey came here because I asked him to. He's here for me. *not
the Firm.* Not to cause problems for the Firm. He's here for
*me*!" Angel insisted.

"I know that. He made that very clear." Wesley replied.

"*He did?* What did he say……exactly?" Angel said, hoping Lindsey
had relayed some....hint....as to his feelings to the former Watcher.

Wesley decided he *was not* going to tell Angel the things Lindsey
had told him. He felt it wasn't his place to do that, not after
what he'd just witnessed between the two men. Lindsey could tell
Angel on his own...*or not*......but fair was fair, and it
wouldn't be *the right thing to do* if he told the vampire. So,
he compromised and said, "Quite a number of things, actually. First
being that Eve is Lilah's sister. Secondly is that Lilah's
*spell* is actually a curse and not a love spell. He suspects that
there might have been a spell cast around the time he left LA and
Lilah just followed up on it," Wesley paused, then asked Angel what
he'd really wanted to talk to him about. "Angel....Lindsey told
me he doesn't believe in Angelus. I'm....not sure what to
make of that information. Were you aware of that?"

"So, he told you that too?" Angel said.

"Yes. Doesn't that *bother* you?" Wesley said.

"Scares the hell out of me, but something about being with him makes
me feel safe. I can't explain it……not yet, anyway." Angel
said, his mind clearly on the lawyer, not on this conversation.

Wes could see that Angel was no longer paying attention to him or
the conversation and decided to let the vampire go. "Angel, promise
me that you will be cautious in your relationship with Lindsey. I do
believe in Angelus, and I don't ever want to deal with him again."

"I don't want that, either." And with that and a small smile to
his friend, Angel left and went after a certain lawyer.

Chapter 20

~Rituals~

Lindsey stepped off the elevator and looked around the apartment.
He wasn't *quite* sure what to expect but this was no where near
what he had envisioned. *This* was cold, clean, almost sterile.
The furnishings were sparse and way too modern for the man he knew.
Throwing his coat on a nearby chair, Lindsey headed to the bar
across the room. Smiling, he grabbed the bottle of scotch and
poured himself a drink.

Lindsey knew that Angel wouldn't be too far behind him, so he
settled himself in a chair to wait. Noticing the corner of what
looked like a notebook sticking up from the side of the chair,
Lindsey carefully pulled it out. It was a sketchbook. He opened it
up and stared at the picture in his hands. He began turning pages,
one after another until he reached the last page. He noticed the
date and gasped. *Yesterday* He flipped back to the first page and
read the date *September 15th. Two days after he left Oklahoma.*

Lindsey began to go through the book page by page when a hand halted
his progress.

He jumped and looked up, straight into Angel's wary gaze.

"There's one for every day we've been apart. But this
one……" Angel turned back to the first drawing and tapped it
lightly, "this one is my favorite. You looked so peaceful,
relaxed, almost happy. I really liked seeing you like that.
Thank you for that…gift."

Lindsey felt himself blush, "I should be the one thanking you.
If I hadn't been in your arms, then I wouldn't have looked
like that." He felt the blush deepen and silently thanked the gods
for minimal lighting. "Sorry, I found it when I sat down to wait
for you. Here." Lindsey held out the notebook for Angel to take.

"Keep it. They're all of you, anyway. I can always draw more."
Angel said, smiling.

Noticing the empty glass on the table, Angel walked over to the bar
and grabbed the bottle and a glass for himself and headed to the
couch. After refreshing Lindsey's drink and making one for
himself, Angel settled in to wait.

Lindsey put the book back on the chair and walked over and sat down
beside Angel, not quite touching the vampire, but close enough that
he was pretty sure that Angel could feel his body heat through his
clothes. "A spell, huh?"

Angel sighed for effect, looking at Lindsey, who *didn't* look
angry now. "Lindsey, one more time, then it's done, finished.
Yes, at some point during Lorne's big Halloween party, he
accidentally cast a spell. We *all* found ourselves doing
*abnormal* things. It was one time, one very long time……but that
was it."

"Eve said you…*screamed* my name when you came, is that true?"
Lindsey asked, turning towards Angel and resting his leg on top of
Angel's.

"Every damn time……so we done here?" Angel rested his hand on
Lindsey's leg and gently began rubbing the firm muscle he felt
under the young man's jeans.

Lindsey leaned in and buried his face in Angel's neck. He took a
small, sharp bite and smiled when he heard Angel growl. Pulling
back, he said, "One more thing."

"What?" Angel said impatiently. He wanted Lindsey badly, but he knew
he was going to have to follow the other man's lead.

"Apologize." Lindsey said.

"Dammit, Lindsey! Alright already. I'm sorry I slept with..."
Angel was cut off by Lindsey's warm finger over his lips.

"Not for that, for this. For leaving me with just this……"
Lindsey pulled out what Angel recognized as the letter he wrote
the day he left Lindsey sleeping peacefully in his bed back in
Oklahoma. It was worn, and Angel knew Lindsey had read it a lot by
the condition it was in. "I want you to apologize for leaving me,
period. Didn't you know that I would have come back with you, had
you just asked?"

Angel gently pulled himself out from under Lindsey and stood up.
"I couldn't ask you to do that, Lindsey." Angel flash backed on
the conversation he had with Spike regarding Lindsey's coming to
LA. *And if Lindsey finds it in his heart to follow me here, after
everything we've been through together, I am going to talk him
into it. Anyone who doesn't like it, can go to Hell.* Angel
sighed, "I wanted you to come here of your own free will. Not
because I asked, but because you wanted to, because you wanted me."

Lindsey stood up and walked towards Angel, smiling as he slowly
unbuttoned his shirt with each step. Once in front of his soon to be
again lover, Lindsey took Angel's face in his hands, "You big,
dead dumbass. I would've come –– not because you asked me,
nor because I wanted you –– I would've come because I love
you."

For the second time since Angel could remember, Lindsey had rendered
him speechless.

~~~~~~~~~~

Angel just gazed at Lindsey, too stunned to form a reply. Those blue
eyes looking into his.......there was the most amazing honesty in
them, simple and direct....no regrets, no questions....just the
simple, honest truth. Three little words. The only thing Angel could
do was lower his head- and kiss him. And kiss him. And kiss him.
Trying to put everything he felt into the kisses.

Lindsey leaned into Angel, knew the vampire was letting him take
the lead in this, he even knew why. *Angel wasn't going tell him
he was in love, too*. He could tell by the way he was kissing him,
Lindsey could damn near *hear* the emotions coming at him through
the contact between them. A part of him *hurt* because he felt as
if Angel didn't believe in him. Yet..........Lindsey *understood*
that Angel was too afraid to say the words, after what had happened
in Sunnydale.

He'd just have to live with that for now.

Angel pulled back, looked down at him, and said, "Lindsey, I....I
want-"

Lindsey softly said, "I know. I understand, Angel."

And Angel *could* see that he *did* understand, but he could also
see the hurt inside that understanding. They were just going to have
to be at a stand-off on this for now, because Lindsey *didn't-
couldn't-or....wouldn't* believe in Angel's curse. He was
going to say more, but then Lindsey pulled his head back down,
crushing their lips together in a desperate, need-filled kiss, his
tongue invading Angel's mouth, as if he again wanted to crawl
into him.

Angel broke the kiss off, smiled, and said, "No."

Lindsey, nearly breathless now, licked his kiss-reddened lips and
teasingly said, "That didn't taste like "No" to me."

Angel grinned, leaned downed to place a kiss on Lindsey's
forehead. "Not no to you, Lindsey. I'd *never* say no to you.
It's just..." Angel paused, considering how to word it just right.

"What, Angel?" Lindsey asked. *And he tells me *I* think too much??*

"If I asked you to do something for me...no, for us.....could you
do it, without questioning it to death?" Angel asked.

"Jeez....are you trying to say I'm a lawyer or something?"
Lindsey laughed.

Angel laughed out loud. "Kinda sounded that way, didn't it?"

"Yeah, it did." Lindsey replied. "I'm kind of offended.....the
CEO of *Wolfram & Hart* just.....*insinuated*.......that I'm too
much of a suit to *do something without questioning why*.
Didn't you read my employment records, Angel?"

"That's not funny, Lindsey," Angel said, grinning anyway.

"No, it's not," Lindsey agreed, laughing. "But....what the Hell.
I'm in. Tell me what you want me to do....I'll do
it.....without question. I *swear*. But this is a one-time-never-to-
be-repeated-offer. Deal?"

"Deal," Angel said, then took a deep, totally unneeded breath. "I
want us to lay claim to each other, Lindsey."

The lawyer's eyes got wide, his mind was filled with all sorts of
questions, and *he* was now rendered speechless.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In one of those movie-like moments that seem to stretch into
infinity, Lindsey questioned and answered himself in his own mind.

*He won't tell me he loves me, but he wants us bound for
eternity?*

//Well, that's the most definitive "I love you" I ever fucking
heard.//

*Why is he damn near....no....he *is*.....insisting we do this now?*

//Because of that goddamn stupid curse, you idiot. He's afraid
he's going to achieve that one moment of happiness. Aren't
you just ate up with the dumbass today?//

*God, that's so stupid! *WHY* can't he understand.....why
can't he see things the way I do?*

//Because Angel's from another time and place, full of beliefs
and magicks that no longer exist today. He's seen more than
you'll ever know.//

*Doesn't he have faith in me?*

//No, he doesn't, Lindsey boy. How do you expect Angel to have
faith.....when you don't know if *you* have it yet, either?//

*What the fuck is that supposed to mean?*

//You found out he slept with Eve, knew it was spell, knew it
wasn't *on purpose*.....and you blamed him and hit him, anyway.
That doesn't sound like you have faith in him to *me*.//

*I'm sorry!*

//You're not supposed to apologize to yourself, asshole.//

Lindsey focused his gaze back on Angel, reached out and grasped his
shirt, pulling him into full body contact. He kissed him with every
bit of passion he was feeling, then moved to whisper into his
ear, "Okay, but make it snappy, Angel. After all, I've waited
three months to fuck you. I don't feel like waiting much longer."

"Alright, Lindsey. I was going to be nice about it, do it all
romantic-like, but since you're so hot to fuck.......let's
get it on, then," Angel silkily whispered back.

Lindsey softly growled into the vampire's ear, "Sounds like a
plan to me." They looked at each other for a minute. Lindsey was
panting softly. Angel's skin was actually slightly flushed. But
Lindsey wasn't quite aroused enough, so the vampire placed his
hands on the young man's chest and *rushed* him into the wall
behind them.

"Fuck!," Lindsey yelled, his body simmering with arousal. Before he
could utter much more than the *Uhhh* of surprise that slipped out
at the unexpected move, Angel was at his neck, smelling him, licking
his pulse point, growling softly. Lindsey had never been this
aroused in his life. The danger in his position wasn't lost on
the young man, if anything, he found it extremely erotic.. His hands
pulling the vampire as close as he could, Lindsey whispered, "Do it.
Just do it, damn you." His eyes closed in complete surrender as he
felt Angel gently bite him.

Chapter 21

~*Heaven or Hell*~

When the first drop of blood hit his tongue, Angel moaned. He knew
he'd missed Lindsey everyday that they were apart, but hadn't
realized just how starved he was for the young man. Until now. After
taking a deep pull and savoring the rich, coppery taste that was
uniquely Lindsey, Angel gently retracted his fangs and ran his
tongue over the weeping punctures. He began kissing his way up
Lindsey's throat when he felt the young man pull back.

"Say it," Lindsey said, looking Angel square in the eye.

Angel knew exactly what Lindsey wanted him to say and he wanted to,
very badly. The words were right there on the tip of his tongue, yet
in the back of his mind, he heard Spike's words to him the night
the other vampire had left to seek Buffy out: *"You have a soul,
Angel. It wouldn't just be binding him to you. You'd be bound
to him, as well. You know it's eternal. As far as I know, a souled
vampire's never done it before. Who knows what the consequences
would be?"*

Needing to be sure that Lindsey knew and understood the realities of
such simple words, Angel leaned forward, kissing Lindsey's neck,
"Be sure, Lindsey," Angel growled softly into the young man's ear.
"If we do this, there's no going back. No Oklahoma. No running
away. It's forever."

*Do I want this?* A faint flutter of fear flew through his gut as
the words Angel had spoken to him back in Oklahoma echoed in his
head, *"A claiming is for life, Lindsey. It binds the soul of the
human to the vampire. I've never done it before."* He had spent
the last three months closing another chapter in his life. He had
sold his part of the firm, his house and most of the contents. He
kept his bedroom furniture and had it shipped to the storage
facility that he used to store his truck back in his Wolfram & Hart
days.

Throwing his duffel and guitar into the truck, he had headed out.

That was two months ago. Lindsey remembered a client he had had when
he was new at the firm, a demonologist, specializing in vampires and
vampire customs. He looked him up and spent a month with the
professor in Arizona. He studied everything he could find in regards
to claiming and other vampire rituals. He probably knew more about
it than Angel did.*Do I want this? Yes...I do. God, yes.....I do.*

Lightly grabbing the back of the vampire's neck, Lindsey pulled
Angel back so he could look the older man in the eye and
shrugged. "Sold it all, Angel. Nothing to go back to. And as for the
running away? Not going to……unless you come, too." Lindsey
leaned in and kissed Angel firmly, then asked, "Now the question is:
*Are you sure?* Do you really want this? Want me?"

Angel met Lindsey's look head on, "Yes, Lindsey, I want this. I
want you more than anything, but……"

Lindsey cut off Angel's rebuttal with a light touch of warm
fingers on cool lips, then moving in to replace warm fingers with
warm lips, until he was kissing Angel lightly. Lindsey looked up at
Angel and made his wants known, "Then say it, Angel."

Angel leaned into Lindsey's neck and ran his tongue over the
punctures. Feeling very little blood, he slid his fangs gently into
the slightly seeping holes, and opened them back up. Lindsey moaned
at the feel of Angel's pull and tried to move in closer to the
vampire. His moan turned into a groan of frustration when Angel
withdrew and ran his tongue back over the marks.

Angel backed away from Lindsey's neck and stood so that he was
eye to eye with the young man, Lindsey's blood still staining the
vampire's lips. "Your blood becomes my blood, as I bind my soul
to yours. I take you as my beloved, for all eternity, in this life
and any that may follow. Heaven or Hell, wherever I end up, so too
will you, Lindsey McDonald, for we can never be separated
again, "Angel softly said, a smirk on his lips as he said the last
part.

"Snarky bastard, "Lindsey said, but he smiled back, reached over and
licked the blood off Angel's lips, then pushed his tongue inside
and cleaned out all remaining traces of blood from inside Angel's
mouth.* *Damn, he did it. He did it right, too. Holy fuck!*

Angel moaned as the erotic feeling of what Lindsey was doing to his
mouth –– and inadvertently to the rest of his body- swept over
him. He was hard as a rock and at the end of his patience. Wrapping
his arms around the young man, Angel picked Lindsey straight up off
the floor and carried the lawyer to the bedroom, never losing the
connection Lindsey had created with his kiss.

In the five seconds it took Angel to reach the bed, he was done
being nice. Dropping Lindsey unceremoniously onto the bed,
effectively breaking the kiss, he headed to the bathroom.

"Angel?" Lindsey said, struggling to regain awareness.

"Strip." Angel demanded and disappeared into the other room.

Lindsey glared at the vampire's back, before smiling to himself.
He knew Angel was fighting to regain some control and *in no way*
was he going to give it to the vampire. Quickly getting undressed,
he crawled back onto the bed and sat back against the head board
looking very much like the happy man that he was.

*Holy Shit. I truly belong to Angel now.* Lindsey thought as he
leaned back, closed his eyes and slowly ran his fingers over the
bite mark on his neck. Gently taking his semi-erect cock into his
hand and replaying in his mind what had just happened in the other
room, Lindsey stroked himself into a full blown, ragingly painful
hard-on. He was picking up speed, nearing completion when Angel's
voice in his ear made him freeze.

"Don't come, Lindsey. Don't you *dare* fucking come!" Angel
growled.

"Fuck, Angel. Make some goddamn noise occasionally, will ya! Scared
me to death." Lindsey grabbed the base of his cock and squeezed
until he feel himself relax enough to let go.

"You still feel very much alive to me." Angel said, nuzzling
Lindsey's neck.

Taking advantage of Angel's preoccupation with his neck, Lindsey
swung himself over the vampire and pinned him to the bed. Leaning
down, he gave Angel's mouth a very thorough kiss then began
placing light kisses along the vampire's jaw. Feeling Angel's
body shaking with barely contained need, Lindsey whispered in the
older man's ear, "You've made me yours, Angel……now
it's time to make you mine."

"It's about fucking time, Linds. I was beginning to think you
were going to play *Tease the Vampire* all fucking night. And for
the record……*NOT* a good idea." Angel growled then hissed when
Lindsey's tongue found a nipple and laved it gently. "*Linds
ey*……you're still teasing. Not a good i-*Fuck* Yes!" Angel
said loudly as Lindsey bit down on his nipple. The stinging
sensation shot straight to his groin, causing Angel to buck up hard
and almost dislodging Lindsey from atop him. Grabbing Lindsey's
head in his hands, Angel wrapped his fingers in Lindsey's hair and
held on while the young man repeated his actions on the other nipple.

Lindsey smiled at the almost painful way Angel was pulling at his
hair. He knew Angel was close and began licking a trail down the
vampire's body until he was laying comfortably between
Angel's legs. Taking Angel's cool, velvety length in his
hand, Lindsey looked up at the vampire whose face was awash with
both want and need and couldn't help the feeling of
possessiveness that stole over him. *He's finally going to be
mine, and mine alone.* He couldn't help the small smile of
anticipation that flickered across his face as he slowly guided
Angel's cock into his mouth.

*Holy hell! His mouth is so damn hot!* Angel hissed and carefully
unfisted his hands from Lindsey's hair and fisted them in the
sheet instead, trying desperately to keep from letting go and just
fucking Lindsey's mouth for all it was worth. Gasping with
unneeded breaths, he looked down at the young man between his legs
and watched as the young man drove him closer and closer to the
edge.

Lindsey alternated between soft, slow strokes applying lots of
pressure on the underside with his tongue, to short, fast strokes,
occasionally pausing over the head to send his tongue into the slit
to lick up the pre-cum collecting there.

"Lindsey……" Angel said warningly.

Smiling, Lindsey decided Angel had had enough teasing and danced two
fingers along Angel's lips. Angel sucked them into his mouth
greedily, knowing exactly what the young man was up to. Taking his
well coated fingers from Angel's mouth, Lindsey teased
Angel's opening before gently sliding one finger in. Angel arched
up off the bed and Lindsey had to use his other hand to hold the
vampire down. Easing his finger out and adding the second one,
Lindsey swallowed Angel's cock down his throat and began humming
as he worked his fingers back inside Angel.

As soon as Lindsey hit that sweet spot inside him, Angel hit
sensation overload and saw stars as his orgasm hit and he came with
a yell. "OH FUCK, LINDSEY! YES! YES! Fuck, Lindsey. Yes!" Angel kept
up the litany of repeated words as he rode the orgasm to completion,
quieting down as Lindsey licked him clean.

Reaching down and burying a hand in his hair, Angel pulled Lindsey
up to him and dove into the young man's mouth, kissing him with
complete abandon. "Fuck me now, Linds. I want to feel your heat
inside of me." Angel reached over to the night stand and grabbed the
small bottle of lotion sitting there. Placing it in Lindsey's
hand, he looked into passion filled blue eyes and saw his own need
reflected there. "I *need* to feel you inside me."

Lindsey flipped open the bottle of lotion and poured some into his
hand. Knowing Angel required little – *if any* – recovery
time, he recoated his fingers and shoved them back inside the
vampire. He watched as Angel arched up to meet his hand, burying his
fingers deep inside the vampire. With his other hand, Lindsey coated
his now painfully hard cock with lotion, then moved into position
over Angel.

Angel groaned in frustration when Lindsey removed his fingers, but
then moaned when he felt something thicker and hotter teasing his
entrance.

"Angel, look at me," Lindsey softly said.

Angel opened his eyes and looked at the man above him,
questioningly. "*What*?"

"Just wanted to tell you…*you're mine now*." And with those
words Lindsey drove himself deep into Angel's body.

"*Fuck, Lindsey*!Yes!" Angel screamed, damn near delirious feeling
that heat moving inside him. He had never felt that kind of heat
inside before.......and he wanted more. He squeezed Lindsey with his
inner muscles, whispered, "God, you're so hot, Linds....so damn
hot." He saw a flicker of uncertainty on Lindsey's face, so he
said, "Fuck me, Lindsey. Fuck me hard." Then he watched as the man
above him lost control and began fucking him with abandon.

Lindsey couldn't tell when he'd lost control. All he knew was
that Angel felt incredible. He was so tight that Lindsey was afraid
he'd hurt him when he drove into him, but Angel's demand to
fuck him harder put those fears to rest. Wanting to please his lover
by giving him what he wanted, Lindsey began pounding into Angel for
all he was worth. Then Angel started moving in rhythm with
Lindsey's thrusts and the young lawyer knew the time had come.
Looking down at Angel's now hard cock, Lindsey grabbed it and
using the pre-cum as a lubricant Lindsey began stroking it in time
with his thrusts.

"Shit, Lindsey. That feels so good. *You* feel so good. Please,
don't stop. *Don't ever stop*." Angel muttered.

Lindsey smiled, leaned over, kissed Angel then licked his way down
the vampire's neck. Sucking on the side of Angel's neck,
Lindsey waited until he felt Angel squeeze him again then drove hard
up into the vampire, saying as he did so, "Your blood becomes my
blood, as I bind my soul to yours. I take you as my beloved, for all
eternity, in this life and any that may follow. Heaven or Hell,
wherever I end up, so too will you, Angel, for we can never be
separated again." Then Lindsey sank his teeth hard into Angel's
neck, breaking the skin, drawing blood.

"HOLYHELLSONOFABITCH, LINDSEY!" Angel yelled as he came, splashing
Lindsey's chest with his cool seed.

Feeling Angel's ass muscles clench tight around him and tasting
Angel's blood in his mouth, Lindsey's orgasm crashed through
him and with one final thrust he came deep inside his lover. Letting
the waves of his climax wash through him, Lindsey leaned down to
kiss Angel. Loving the feel of the vampire's tongue erotically
playing with his, losing himself in the kiss itself, the young man
was surprised at suddenly being flipped over onto his back, Angel
covering him.

Angel gazed down at Lindsey, grinning at his shock in the swift
change of position. "Bloodthirsty little bastard, aren't you?"

Lindsey licked his lips. "Hell, Angel. You know I had to do that.
It's the way it's done. Spent a month researching it, after I
thought about it. That's just me, you know? I don't do things half-
way."

"Oh, yeah, I know you, Lindsey," Angel said, in a voice that sent
chills down Lindsey's spine. "I've known you since I looked
into your eyes in the middle of that courtroom." He growled, then
leaned down to lick the sensitive spot right behind Lindsey's
earlobe.

Lindsey arched up, a moan escaping his lips. "Fuck, Angel," he
groaned, his voice raspy and harsh.

"You're wild, unpredictable, a little dangerous," Angel whispered
into his ear. "Like a snake in a pit. A rattlesnake. Yeah, that's
you, Lindsey. You know what? *I like it*."

"Damn good thing you do, after what we just did," Lindsey uttered,
every nerve in his body screaming in anticipation.

"What, that?" Angel said, a wicked smile on his lips. "That was
foreplay, Lindsey. Now.........I'm gonna show you what having a
vampire as a bedmate's really all about."

Chapter 22

*Savage*

Lindsey was no longer amazed at his body's response to the
vampire as Angel's words shot to his groin, making his cock jump in
response. Smiling in anticipation, he took Angel's head in his
hands and knotted his fingers in his lover's hair. Pulling Angel
down, Lindsey gave him a brief and bruising kiss before burying his
head in Angel's neck. Running his tongue across the mark he had left
just moments earlier, Lindsey licked his way up to Angel's
ear. "Bring it on, babe. I didn't come here for a snugglefest."
Lindsey whispered before leaning back down and sinking his teeth
back into Angel's neck.

"Holy fucking hell, Lindsey." Angel gasped as he felt Lindsey's
bite all through his body. He felt his fangs descend and was about
to return the favor when Lindsey pulled back up and claimed his
mouth once again. Having decided that Lindsey's mouth had to be the
eighth deadliest sin created, *at least to me*, Angel smiled
inwardly and decided to let the young man keep control of this kiss
*for now*.

*For now* lasted all of about five seconds. Lindsey had pierced his
tongue on one of Angel's fangs and the combined taste of their
blood sent Angel spiraling out of control. Struggling to maintain
even a tenuous hold on his demon, Angel grabbed Lindsey's head and
heldhim in place while he ravaged the warm mouth with his tongue.
Lindsey gave in with a groan and arched up to grind his cock into
Angel's leg as he felt those fangs graze over his bottom lip.


Angel, feeling Lindsey's erection pushing against his leg,
reached down and took it in his hand. He loved the feel of Lindsey's
cock, whether it was in his hand or deeply buried in his body, he
wanted it. And all that heat and hardness wrapped in velvety
softness, tasting like heavy cream was what Angel craved *now*.
Rubbing his thumb over the head, gathering the pre-cum that was
collecting there, Angel began stroking Lindsey alternating gentle
tugs with almost brutal pulls. Feeling Lindsey's moan vibrate
through his mouth, Angel's own cock jumped in response.

Pulling his mouth away from Lindsey's, Angel began kissing and
licking his way down his lover's body. "Are you ready to find out
what a true claiming feels like, Lin?" Angel asked as he took a
nipple into his mouth and laved it gently, before piercing it with
his teeth.

"Fuck, Angel!" Lindsey hissed and arched up into Angel's fist,
which was gripping him tightly.

"Not yet, babe, but we'll get there." Angel smirked.

"Fuck, then get on with it. Quit jacking around." Lindsey said,
frustration dripping off every word.

"You didn't answer my question, Lin." Angel said, licking
Lindsey's other nipple and slowly moving the hand wrapped around the
hot cock, simultaneously.

"Shit, Angel. You and your need to talk all the damn time is going
to kill me. Can't you put that mouth to better use?" Lindsey
ground out, pulling Angel back up to his mouth and shoving his
tongue down the vampire's throat, slicing open his tongue.

Lindsey's blood filled his mouth and Angel began sucking at
Lindsey's mouth like a starving man. When the blood had slowed to
a trickle, Angel pulled away from Lindsey's mouth and slithered
down the young man's body until he was face to balls with
Lindsey's cock.

Angel pinned Lindsey down with one hand while the other hand gripped
Lindsey's cock tightly. Looking up and catching the passion
filled stare watching him, "Do you trust me, Lindsey?"

"Dammit, Angel! Your fucking fangs are inches away from my cock, my
balls are practically in your palm and I'm begging you to suck me
off, so yeah, I'd say I trust you."

Angel smiled. Leaning down slightly, he licked the head of
Lindsey's cock, cleaning it of the salty pre-cum before swallowing
the young man whole.

Lindsey bucked up helplessly, trying to shove more of his length
into Angel's mouth. He wanted to fuck Angel's mouth desperately, but
he couldn't move. "Shit, Angel. I need to move, please. Please let
me move."

Angel ignored Lindsey's plea and continued working Lindsey's
cock. Tongue stroking and swirling, teeth lightly grazing as his
mouth moved up and down the shaft. Removing his hand from Lindsey's
cock, Angel took two saliva slicked fingers and wormed them into
Lindsey's tight passage.

"Fuck! Angel...please baby, please...now..."
Lindsey was panting, the need to move raging now, and when Angel
scraped a nail over that bundle of nerves inside him, Lindsey
begged. "Please, please, please, Angel, please. I want you inside me
when I come, please."

Lindsey's begging was music to Angel's ears and went straight
to his own aching cock. Angel scissored his fingers inside Lindsey
to give him a little more room, and then began to move them in time
with his mouth. Lindsey screamed. Angel felt Lindsey's hands tighten
up in his hair, pulling at it painfully, and he knew the young man
was close. Holding Lindsey down, so he couldn't move at all, Angel
closed his eyes and let instinct ride him. He pushed his fingers
hard against Lindsey's prostate and swallowed the throbbing
hardness down his throat. When he was nose to curls at the base of
Lindsey's cock, he took a deep breath and gently eased his fangs
into the tender flesh.

Lindsey knew what Angel was going to do just seconds before feeling
the piercing pain shoot through his body, only to be followed by the
hardest, mind blowing orgasm he had ever had. "HOLY SHIT! ANGEL!" He
tried desperately to arch up into Angel's mouth but the vampire
held him hard against the mattress. "Fuck...fuck...FUCK!
UNNGH." Lindsey gave one last half-hearted attempt to move before
everything went black.

Angel retracted the fangs, let Lindsey slip from his mouth, a grin
of extreme satisfaction on his face. *Lindsey was his now.* He
gently moved back up his body, checking out every bite mark to be
sure he hadn't been too brutal in his claiming. In the process,
he inadvertently ran his hand over the tattoo on Lindsey's arm.
And although Angel still felt extreme heat coming from it, he wasn't
burned this time. He smiled, leaned closer and just *inhaled* the
aroma that exuded from Lindsey now. *Mmm....he smells so damn good
after he comes. Salty, hot, and musky. You're mine now, Lindsey
McDonald. Come what may.* Then Angel placed a soft kiss on his
lover's forehead, and let himself fall into contented sleep.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lindsey awoke to the soft sound of the telephone ringing on the
night stand next to the bed. Waiting for Angel to answer it, Lindsey
reached out to touch his lover but came up empty instead. Glancing
around the room, he reached over and picked up the handset. "Angel?"

"Hardly. Who are you?" The voice that came through and assaulted
Lindsey's ears was the same annoying one he'd gotten when
he'd called from Oklahoma.

Lindsey smiled as he caught the sound of the shower running in
the next room. "I'm Angel's wet dream, darlin'. Who are you?"

"I'm his assistant, Harmony, and if you're Angel's wet
dream, then you must be Lindsey. So, do me a favor and tell Angel
he has a meeting in Wesley's office in 15 minutes. Please."

"Will do." Lindsey hung up the phone and headed into the bathroom.

***

Angel stood under the hot spray and just let the water cascade over
his body.*Funny how this used to make me feel warm. Now, it's
just a poor substitute for Lindsey and his heat.* Smiling, he let
his mind wander back over the last eight hours and all that had
happened, lingering as the events of the last few hours replayed in
his head. Tasting Lindsey's blood was heaven, but tasting the man's
blood mixed with his come...*That's the ultimate high for a
vampire. Total surrender. Wonder if Lindsey knew that?*

Lindsey watched as Angel reached down, took his now hard cock into
his hand and begin stroking it. *What the hell is he thinking about
that made him hard? It had better be me!*

"So, are you just going to stand there, watching.......or are you
going to help your lover out?" Angel said, interrupting Lindsey's
thoughts.

Lindsey stepped into the shower and placed his hand over Angel's,
stilling the vampire's movements. "Tell me what you want."

"You, only you. But since I was a little...rough earlier, I'll give
you a break. Just jack me off, Linds. Just touch me. Make me come,
please." Angel grabbed Lindsey by the neck and pulled him to his
mouth. Angel kissed Lindsey hard then pulled back slightly. "You
know that you have the sexiest mouth I've ever had the pleasure
of losing myself in." Angel bent down, gently kissing him this time.

Lindsey took Angel's cock in his hand, started slowly stroking
it, knowing what the very warm water, and the heat of his hand
undoubtedly felt like to the vampire. "If you hadn't held me
down, I would've torn myself. That was the most erotic thing I've
ever felt. I knew the claiming would be....slightly feral. But
that.....damn, that was hot, Angel," Lindsey whispered. "I liked it."

"Fuck, Lindsey. I'm glad you enjoyed it, but can we not talk about
it right now? All I want to focus on is your hand around my dick."
Angel managed to growl out as he placed his own hand over Lindsey's
and showed the young man exactly what he wanted. "Harder. Faster.
Please."

Lindsey smiled, gave the vampire what he wanted and soon Angel was
coming over his hand and chest. Watching Angel's face when he
came was an erotic experience for Lindsey. Using his free hand, he
pulled Angel's face to him and kissed the vampire softly. "You're
fucking beautiful, do you know that?" Releasing Angel's cock and
bringing his hand up to his mouth, Lindsey let Angel watch as he
licked all traces of Angel's come from his hand. He winked, "And you
taste good, too."

"Shit, Linds, are you trying to drive me crazy?" Angel asked as he
pushed his lover up against the wall and began trailing kisses along
the young man's jaw.

"Actually, no. At least not right now," Lindsey replied. "Seems you
have a meeting in a few minutes in Wesley's office. Your
secretary called to remind you, but got me instead. I came to tell
you and got a little....sidetracked."

"Fuck." Angel sighed and rested his forehead against Lindsey's.
He wanted to stay here in his suite and spend the day in Lindsey's
arms. Or vice versa. He wasn't picky....just so long as he
was touching him.

"Hey babe," Lindsey laid a hand against Angel's cheek, then kissed
him softly, "I want that too. And we will...just later. Now
go...save the world."

Angel stared at the man before him. *Did I just say that out loud?*

Lindsey gave Angel a wicked smile. "It's written all over your
face, how much you want me. And if you don't stop looking at me
with *those* eyes, then you *will* be late. Now clean up and get
out. I need to take a shower too. All this dried blood and come
itches like hell."

Chapter 23

~*Checkmate*~


Angel walked into Wesley's office seven minutes late. Harmony was
already there and handed him his morning mug of blood with a knowing
smile on her face. Angel nodded his thanks and looked over at the
other members of his team already gathered around the conference
table in the center of the room. Smiling, he pulled out a chair next
to Gunn and sat down. "Sorry I'm late. I was…detained. So, what
have I missed?

Wesley spoke first. "Not much. We haven't started yet. May I ask
where Lindsey is?"

"He was in my shower when I left. Why?" Angel answered. He knew that
there would be questions and he was prepared to answer them,
although he was a little surprised at the feeling of protectiveness
that surged through his body at the simple mention of his lover's
name.

"Lindsey? Lawyer-boy is here? In the building? When did this
happen?" Gunn asked, a little surprised. Yeah, he'd known it was
possible, hadn't cared about it when Angel had went to
Oklahoma....but that was *before* he'd had the upgrade done.
*So, the golden boy's back. Fuck! That's just not fair. I
wonder if his contract can be broken?*

"Sweet Pea's back? Hot damn! Now we're going to have fun!" Lorne
chimed in from Gunn's right. *About damn time! Now, I won't
have to see that bitchy slayer in Angel's thoughts all the time!*

"Lindsey's that good looking man in the elevator, right?" At
Wesley's nod she continued, "He got here right around sunset
yesterday. He helped me with the coatie problem. I need to thank
him." Fred said smiling in anticipation. She was startled at the
frown Gunn turned on her, the amazed look Wesley gave her, and
didn't understand the growl that came from Angel. "What?" She said.

Lorne laughed. "Someone's jealous. Come on, Angel-cakes, hum a few
bars of something for me. Although I seriously doubt I need that
much, since your face is speaking volumes this morning."

*It's written all over your face, how much you want me.*
Lindsey's words played back in his mind and Angel decided he
needed to.......not hum a damn thing. He just smiled.

Lorne laughed. "Hmm, Angel-cakes, you're a very naughty fellow."

Fred exclaimed, "You mean.....Angel and.....that guy with the
earrings? No way! Shit, since when is *Angel* gay? Where was I when
that happened??"

"Oh my God! Don't you know *anything* about vampires? Where the
hell have you been, another dimension? I mean, haven't you ever
heard the term *bisexual*, Fred?" Harmony said, disgust in her
voice. "It's just like that show I watch...."

"Shut Up, Harmony!," Angel, Lorne, Gunn, and Wesley said in unison.

"Alright, you don't have to get all pissy about it," Harmony
grumbled.

"Angel, we need to talk about this seriously for a minute. You heard
what Eve said yesterday. The Senior Partners aren't pleased he's
here," Wesley said.

"Eve Morgan's a bitch," Angel said. "Do you know what she told
Lindsey yesterday?"

"Yes, I do. I was there, remember? But I believe she was serious in
regards to the Senior Partners and Lindsey. They don't want him here
and frankly, I'm not sure I do either." Wesley stated, a little
miffed at the vampire's attitude.

"Ho, what? Eve *Morgan?* You're saying that girl is related to
*Lilah?*" Gunn said.

"Yes, she is. She's Lilah's sister. But that's not the issue
right now. Angel, you *have* to talk him into leaving, if nothing
more, than for *his* safety. His life could be in danger, for all
we know," Wesley said.

"If the Senior Partners didn't want Lindsey here, then why
didn't they reverse the curse Lilah cast? She cursed him with the
dreams....the dreams which led him to call me. The dreams which,
*oh by the way*, she gave me, too." Angel stood up and began walking
slowly around the table. "They *obviously* wanted Lindsey to come
back here…….question is *Why?*"

"All the more reason for you to be wary of him." Wesley said.
"It seems to me that *you* are……were……to be Lindsey's
main target. What if that spell we found is, in effect, still in
place and Lindsey is here to……harm you in some way? *Even if he
doesn't know it?* Can we take that risk?"

Angel said, in a no-nonsense tone of voice, "*Enough* with the spell
shit! Lindsey *is not* leaving. That's final, Wesley."

"May I ask *why* he's so important to you?" Wesley pushed.
He'd watched as Angel came in and noticed how relaxed his boss
was. He hadn't seen that in a long time. But he couldn't help the
feeling of unease that washed over him.

"I was going to wait a little while before telling you this. I
wanted to give us some time to adjust to it ourselves, but Wesley's
right, Lindsey may be in danger from the Senior Partners and you
need to know why I can't just *send him away*." Angel
said. "Harmony, will you please shut the door?" Angel turned back to
his friends and smiled at each of them before catching Wesley's
eyes.

"Wesley's probably right and Lindsey isn't safe." Angel
began, "But it's *not* because he's here under some spell,
with some secret agenda to carry out for the Senior Partners.
*If there ever was such a plan*, then we……Lindsey and I.......
we threw a big wrench into it last night."

"I don't follow." Wesley said.

"We came to a new understanding," Angel stated. "Without getting
into details, let's just say that we *bonded* last night."

"*OH MY GOD!* You did it, didn't you, Angel? You claimed Lindsey.
You took-"

"HARMONY!" Angel snapped, "Sit down and shut up or leave. Either
way, keep your mouth shut."

Angel kept his eyes focused on Wesley and watched as the hazel eyes
turned a shade darker at Harmony's outburst. Angel knew then that
Wesley *knew*. Angel also knew that if anyone could understand this
unexpected turn of events, it would be Wesley. He was counting on
that.

Taking a deep breath he began, "Yes, Harm, I claimed Lindsey. It was
mutual and *No* - I didn't turn him. I don't plan on ever turning
him." Angel paused, thinking *Not unless I have to.*

"What if he asks?" Wesley pushed, taking advantage of Angel's
silence.

"He won't. He doesn't want to be a vampire." Angel answered.

"That's true. Lindsey was always afraid of that. Especially in his
earlier days with Wolfram & Hart." Lorne stated.

"Angel, doesn't this *claiming* thing mean that you're bound to each
other in some way?" Fred asked quietly, still in shock, trying to
*imagine* Angel with Lindsey.......because.....*damn*.

"Yes, it does," Wesley said. "It's a vampire ritual, Fred.
It's mystical, ageless, and eternal. And it can be quite brutal,
from what I understand. Is Lindsey.....you didn't hurt him, did
you?"

Angel said, "He's fine, Wesley. Lindsey knew what to expect. You
didn't think he'd come back here, to a place he *hates*, just
for kicks, now....did you? I mean, with the exception of Fred and
Harmony, you all thought I'd go after him a long time ago. You
all knew I had a thing for Lindsey. It's hardly a shock now, is
it?"

"Holy Shit!," Harmony squealed. "*Yes!* My boss so *rules*! I *love*
this job!" Noticing the looks sent her way, she muttered, "Shutting
up now. Jeez!"

The former watcher looked back at his friend and said, "Why
didn't you just mark him, if you wanted to show he was yours? I
don't understand this, when you *know* Lindsey doesn't
believe in your curse."

"Wait a minute, wait a minute!," Gunn said. "That's impossible,
man. Lindsey worked damn hard trying to bring Angelus fourth.
Don't ya'll remember that?"

"No," Lorne softly said. "It was never *Angelus* Lindsey focused on.
He always saw Angel somewhat differently than we do. I'm not
saying he's right, we all know better. But.....he's not
entirely wrong, either." He looked like he wanted to add something
else, but refrained from doing so.

"What is it, Lorne?" Angel asked.

"I believe Lindsey's been in love with you a very long time,
Angelcakes. I could see it all over him the last time I read him,
right before he left LA," Lorne said.

"Are you *sure* about that, Lorne?" Wesley said, unconvinced.

"100%, Wesley. His aura was *screaming* it. But Sweet Pea was too
busy being resentful and angry to pay attention," Lorne said.
Angel smiled happily. *I knew Wesley was wrong!*

Silence fell. Lorne and Harmony were smiling like idiots. Fred still
looked shell-shocked. Gunn was looking like a stray had just
wandered into his bone yard. Wesley was concerned for his friend,
and he felt like some new apocalypse had just begun.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lindsey walked out of the bathroom, into the bedroom. Wasn't
really surprised to find Eve sitting on the bed. *Bitch!* Damn glad
he'd wrapped a towel around his waist, he frowned at her. "How
the hell did you get in here?"

Eve smiled sweetly. "I have a key, of course. Why wouldn't I? I
did have sex with him, you know."

Lindsey laughed. "That dog won't hunt, Eve. Angel told me all
about it. Now, gimme," he said, holding out his hand. She dug in her
pocket, handed it to him.

Eve shrugged. "I can get another, you know. Call it a perk of the
job."

"If you know what's best for you, you'd better just do your
job, and stop trying to play a game, Eve. Didn't you learn
*anything* from Lilah?" Lindsey said.

Eve smiled that evil little smile of hers. Looked him up and down.
She leaned back a little, supporting her back with her elbows. "You
look damn good, Lindsey. Why don't you join me? We could play
while Angel's gone."

Lindsey looked her over with the same arrogance she had him. She was
pretty, he had to give her that. But even when he'd been trying
so damn hard to be evil, he hadn't been *that* stupid. He looked
into her eyes, and said, "And you just look desperate, Eve. I'd
fuck every demon in hell before I'd fuck you. What about that
don't you understand?"

Eve laughed, stood up, and moved close to him. She touched the bite
mark Angel had left. "Looks to me as if you have a head start on
that ambition, Lindsey. What happened? Angel decided to put his mark
on you? I bet you came when he did it, too."

Lindsey chuckled. "It's more.....*possessive* than that, Eve
darlin'."

She jerked her hand away. "*He didn't do that.*" she hissed.

"No, he didn't," Lindsey taunted her. "*We did it*."

"You bastard!" Eve snarled, then she slapped him. She pulled her
hand back to do it again, and was shocked when it was caught in a
firm grip, and she was violently turned around.

"Angel *does not* like his family fucked with, pet. Best you learn
that now. Save yourself a whole lotta grief later," Spike said.

"Let me go, you jackass," Eve demanded.

Spike smiled, let her arm go, then stood to the side.

Rubbing her wrist, Eve shot Lindsey an evil glare. "The Senior
Partners aren't going to be pleased about this, Lindsey. This
wasn't the way it was supposed to happen."

"Oh, let me guess. I was supposed to turn him dark again, *and then
seduce him?* ," Lindsey laughed. "If that's what the plan was,
you can forget it, sweetheart. The Senior Partners don't have
anything to do with this."

Eve smiled. "You don't think so? Why else would you still be
alive, Lindsey?"

"I'm alive because they have better things to worry about than
little ole me, that's why," Lindsey said. "I'm *nothing* to
them, found that out years ago......so don't try and pull that
*bullshit* on me, darlin', *cause it ain't working.*"

"I'm going to enjoy the look on your face when you find out
differently," Eve said. "You're still under contract, you know."

Lindsey smirked at her. "What do you think they'll do? Suck me
into a portal, so we can have a chat about how I'm such a bad
boy?"

Eve glared at him, angrily muttered, "Asshole.", then turned around
and left with as much panache as she could muster.

"Bloody hell, I wish Angel would just let me *eat her* and get it
*over with*!" Spike growled.

Lindsey laughed. "I'd be careful what you wish for, man. Her
veins are probably full of venom."

Spike chuckled. "Wouldn't doubt it. So, you're Lindsey,
right? Heard `em talking in the Watcher's office.....thought
I'd come check on you, see if you were okay after last night,
since you're family now, and all. I'm Spike."

"Spike? Oh, yeah- I know who you are," Lindsey said. "Drusilla
turned you in London....hey, wait a second. Why'd you call me
family? Angel didn't turn me."

"Knew that, pet. He told me what he was gonna do, if you came back,"
Spike said. "That makes you *family* in my book." He stepped into
Lindsey's personal space, leaned forward a little, and inhaled
the younger man's aroma.

Lindsey went perfectly still. He'd had this done to him an
unknown number of times, and he'd lost whatever small fear
he'd had long ago. Besides, Spike couldn't bite him now, not
after the claiming. In fact, if Spike didn't stop touching him,
he was fixing to find out Lindsey didn't play that game any more.

"Mmm, you smell sweet and spicy, like a gingersnap cookie," Spike
softly said. "Good thing Angel did it last night, or I'd be
tempted, cause boy, you smell good enough to eat. Tell me,
Gingersnap......did you like what Angel did to you?"

"What?" Lindsey said, mystified.

Spike's glance slid down to the towel around the young man's
waist. Lindsey turned red. That was answer enough for Spike. He
grinned. "Hmm, you're a naughty boy, aren't you? Damn, Angel
knows how to pick them," he said. "Come on, get dressed, let's go
annoy him, Gingersnap. I wanna see the look on his fa-"

"Owww!" They both yelled. Lindsey put his hand on his upper arm,
glaring at Spike.

Spike pulled away, frowning at the light burn on his palm. He turned
Lindsey's arm, looked at the tattoo, and grinned again. "Oh,
you're just full of surprises, aren't you? Can Peaches touch
that?"

Lindsey jerked out of his grasp, and moved away from Spike. "Not
that I'm aware of, but after last night, I'm not sure," he
said, pulling his jeans on.

"I hope he can't! I bet he was pissed off." Spike said, glee in
his voice, and a gleam of mischief in his eyes. "Angel *finally*
found someone he wants forever, and it would just be *too funny* if
he can't touch all of you. C'mon, hurry up, I wanna go fuck
with his head a little!"

Lindsey shook his head, and continued dressing, but he couldn't
keep from smiling at Spike, who was acting like a kid with a new toy.

Chapter 24

~*Jealousies*~

Charles Gunn sat behind his desk and looked at the file open before
him without actually *looking* at it. He was replaying bits and
pieces of the meeting in Wesley's office not even an hour ago,
wondering what Lindsey's return meant for him. Two days ago, he
would have been happy to return to his old self and lose some of
this added responsibility, but now, he wasn't so sure. He kinda
liked being the smart one for a change. Fred and Wesley were *demon*
smart and that was fine, but here at Wolfram & Hart, *Charles Gunn*
was in the know and he wanted to keep it that way.

"Charles?"

Gunn jumped and looked to where Fred was standing, just inside the
door. Smiling, he waved her in. "Hey Fred, what's up?"

"I was going to ask you that.You were looking at that file like
you'd rather be shredding it than reading it," Fred said.

"Actually, not a bad idea." Gunn looked at her, grimacing.
"But wouldn't do any good. Besides, it's Lindsey
McDonald's file. Angel asked me to look into his……damn,
what do we call Lindsey now? Boyfriend?"

"How about *Lindsey*? That is his name, right?" Fred said, a little
put off by Gunn's attitude

"Well, whatever *Lindsey* is, Angel asked me to look into his file
and see what we can do about the contract that Lindsey signed as he
was moving up the ladder here," Gunn said sarcastically.

"You don't like Lindsey much, do you?" Fred said, overwhelmingly
curious why she had never heard this man mentioned before, if
everyone else had known Angel had been....*infatuated* with him.

"Fred, you weren't here when the Lindsey game was in play.
What that man did to Angel was evil and unforgivable, and Angel
was right to see him out of town," Gunn replied.

"That may be, Charles, but obviously Lindsey's changed, otherwise
Angel wouldn't have made such a finite move. I mean, they are
bound to each other forever," Fred said.

"That's what I don't understand! *Why?* Why did Angel make
such a permanent move? Wasn't everyone happy with the way things
were," Gunn asked.

"Evidently not. Besides, according to Angel, you all expected a
reunion of sorts between him and Lindsey, anyways. So.....why should
any of this be surprising?" Fred said.

"We expected Angel to *follow up* on Lindsey," Gunn hastily
explained. "You know, make sure that Wolfram & Hart left him alone,
that he was okay. A phone call would've worked. I don't think
any of us expected this! *He's practically married to the guy!*
How did that happen? They were sworn enemies!"

"He loves Lindsey," Fred softly said.

"How would you know, Fred? You've *never* seen them together!,"
Gunn said.

"Angel wouldn't have made such a huge move, if there weren't
intense feelings involved, Charles. And the way Angel talks about
Lindsey......*there's definitely intense feelings involved.*"

"Yeah- *horniness*. Angel wanted to get laid. *That* I can almost
hang with, but this whole claiming thing......that bothers me," Gunn
replied.

"Bothers you, huh? You sound like you're jealous, Charles," Fred
said.

"Jealous? Hell, no! *But in no way am I gonna let some redneck
lawyer come in here, and start changing things!*" Gunn stated.

"Okay - so not jealous, but definitely threatened. Look, Charles,
that *redneck lawyer* probably knows more about this place than you,
me, Wes, and Angel do - *combined*. Not to mentioned that he's the
only one we know of who managed to escape from here *alive*. She
smiled reassuringly to Gunn. "But if you're worried about your job -
don't. Angel said that Lindsey came back here for him, not the firm.
And even if Lindsey does decide to work here - there's always room
for another lawyer for the good guys - right?"

"I guess, but can I just say for the record…I don't trust him
*or* his reason for being here," Charles stated.

"You're entitled, I guess. But keep in mind - Angel *claimed*
Lindsey - he can't send him away again. We're all going to have
to get used to Lindsey being around for a *LONG* time. I suggest we
make the most of it." Fred gave Gunn a long look and turned and
walked out the door.

Gunn watched the young woman's retreating figure until she was out
of sight, then turned back to Lindsey's file. *Nope. No way am I
gonna make the most of this. And NO WAY am I gonna just sit here
while Lindsey McDonald makes himself comfortable on my turf.*
Picking up the file in front of him, Gunn gave it a cursory glance,
then threw it in the trash. *Sorry, Angel. I couldn't find a
loophole in Lindsey's perpetuity contract. Seems that if the
Senior Partners want to kill him then....they can.....and hopefully
will.*

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wesley looked at his friend, tired of discussing Eve, the Senior
Partners, everything Angel had thrown up for a topic, as if he were
desperate to avoid the questions the former Watcher needed the
answers to. Unfortunately for the vampire, Wesley had no intention
of backing off until he *knew* Angel's true emotions for Lindsey.

"Angel, please! I'm heartily sick of you beating around the
bush," Wesley said, exasperation creeping into his voice. "I know
you believe I'm prying where I have no business, but.....if you
were me, what would you do?"

Momentary resentment for Wesley welled up within Angel, but he
pushed it away. *He doesn't remember Conner. All he knows is I
was once close to becoming Angelus, and Lindsey was part of the
reason why.* Angel sighed for effect. *Fuck it......either he'll
understand or he won't. I need him to understand......I think he
can....no, I hope he can.*

"Wesley, I've known you longer than anyone else here. You've
seen me at my worst, you've seen me at my best, you've fought
by my side. You're one of my closest....if not *the*
closest....friend I've got. God knows, we've been at
cross-purposes before, and *damn it*, I *don't* want to do that
again. I want you to understand, really I do, but I'm not going
to *beg you to understand*. Either you do or you don't, but no
matter what, I want you to know......*there's not one damn thing
you can do to change my mind*. This has gone way past that point
now," Angel said.

"I'm aware of that, Angel," Wesley said. "Don't you think
I've seen how lonely you are? Don't you know I've wished
a million times you could have someone? Do you think I'm that
insensitive?"

"No, I don't," Angel said. "Alright, Wes. The truth is I'm in
love with Lindsey. I have been for a long time. I know
you.....wonder how that could be, because all you know is the anger
and resentment I displayed towards him."

Wesley thought about that. "No, I knew you
felt.....*something*.....for Lindsey other than that, Angel.
You've always said his name with a.....*a softness*......that
I've only heard you use for one other person. And deep down, I
always suspected most of the anger was a mask you showed to cover up
the hurt you felt every time Lindsey did something wrong."

"Yes, that's true," Angel said. "But now....I've got him
back. Lindsey's here....he came back....*he came back for me*. Do
you have any idea what that means to me, Wesley? I can't lose him
again. *I can't*. I let him walk away twice, and I can't do
it again, not after everything I've been through."

Wesley thought how best to word his next question. It wasn't a
question of Angel's sexuality, because as a former Watcher, he
was well aware of the proclivities of vampires. No, he was so
concerned because it was *Lindsey McDonald* Angel had chosen, and
while Wesley could see the physical attraction in the man, he
couldn't understand the depth of emotional attachment to a man
who was so morally ambiguous.

There was something he was missing in all of this, and it was why he
thought Lilah's gesture in trying to save her ex-colleague was
behind it. They had both been the recipients of dreams, as per the
curse, spell or whatever it was. But even with that, it shouldn't
have been the reason Lindsey had reached out to Angel, not after
having been apart for so long. Both men were too strong for that.
No, there was something else going on, *something else* that had
prompted that phone call......something that made them both feel
incomplete without the other. Whatever it was, Lilah's casting
wasn't part of it, because the casting had only cloaked the
former lawyer from the Beast's attention.

Now Angel had bound himself for eternity with a man who was very
mortal, who had willingly returned the gesture. Wesley had read
several accounts of vampire claiming, enough to know how truly rare
such a happening was. Did either Angel or Lindsey know what they had
done to themselves? Did they know that the death of one of them
would leave the other so devastated, only death would ease the pain?
*Why would Angel or Lindsey have done that?* Had they done it only
to thwart the Senior Partners, who clearly didn't want Lindsey
here?

Before Wesley could ask any of his questions, however, they were
answered for him. Angel's face got an expression on it Wesley
had never *seen* there before. He shut his eyes and
whispered, "Lindsey." And the emotion in his face deepened. He
looked.....he looked *at peace*. Seconds later, when Lindsey walked
in, with Spike in tow, Angel opened his eyes. Their eyes met, and it
took Wesley's breath away. The emotions they felt sang in the
air. It was a physical presence, intelligible to anyone near them.
It was the most stunning thing Wesley had ever seen.

The former Watcher caught Angel's gaze, nodded once, and he left
the room a man with a mission. He had to try and find a way to
prevent Angelus from emerging, or from inflicting damage to Lindsey
if he did. Wesley knew he didn't have much time to work with,
either.

Chapter 25

~*Family*~

Stepping aside to let Wesley by, Lindsey stood just inside the door
of the ex-Watcher's office and let his eyes slowly wander up the
vampire's body, until he caught Angel's amused look. "Liking
what you see, Lins?" Angel asked, his voice a little rougher than he
expected.

"You know I do," Lindsey said, his voice husky, as he walked over,
leaned down, and placed a soft kiss on the vampire's lips.
"Missed you. I needed someone to scrub my back."

Growling softly, Angel pulled Lindsey back for a more thorough
kiss. "Oh yeah? Promise me another shower like that one, and I'll
definitely stay and scrub your back."

Lindsey slid his hands up Angel's silk covered chest, letting his
fingers graze gently over the vampire's nipples. Hearing
Angel's growl getting a little louder, Lindsey smiled and nipped
gently on Angel's bottom lip. "That's an easy promise to
make."

"You two need a room? Or maybe you'd like to just have at it on
that big table there." Spike stood by the door and motioned to the
conference table behind the lovers. "Either way –– can I watch?"

"Spike," Angel said, glancing at the blond menace. "I thought you
were gone."

"Hell, Angel, I was gone for about 3 months. What? You didn't
miss me?" Spike said, feigning hurt feelings. "I'm *crushed*!"

"Not really, no." Angel said. "Didn't find what you were looking
for?"

Spike snorted. "Found it, alright. Don't care to talk about it,
either."

"So you came back here for what? To hear me say `I told you
so'?" Angel asked, amused at Spike's refusal to admit
Angel had been right about Buffy.

Spike looked over to Angel expecting to hear just those words and
was surprised at what he saw. Yes, the `I told you so' look
was there but it was the compassion in the vampire's eyes that
shocked Spike the most. It was also what hurt the most. And
`that' just irritated the hell out of him so he decided to
irritate back.

"I was driving around, and I got to wondering if your boy toy came
to town," Spike replied, unwilling to say his grandsire had been
right, or that he'd felt without purpose and that he'd come
back because he'd felt the need to help Angel.

"Boy toy, my ass," Lindsey said, chuckling, then standing up, he
leaned against the desk, crossing his arms. "Do I look like a toy to
you?"

"You really want me to answer that, Gingersnap? "Spike said. Lindsey
thought about it, then shook his head no, and Spike smiled. "I
couldn't get a picture in my head of you with a guy,
Peaches.....so I came back. Bloody hell, mate...how the hell do you
always pick the nummiest ones? Holy shit, Angel.....he's hot.
Damn hot."

Angel growled. Lindsey grinned. "Thank you," he said.

"Gingersnap looks even better without those clothes on," Spike said,
really teasing the other vampire now.

Angel moved so fast, it startled both men. He was out of the chair,
had Spike pinned to the wall before they could even blink. "What did
you say?" Angel snarled.

Spike laughed. "He has a really gorgeous ass, Peaches."

Angel pulled Spike forward a little, then slammed him back again.
Spike laughed again, but before Angel could do anything else, he
felt Lindsey's hand on his arm. "Nothing happened, Angel,"
Lindsey softly said. "Spike was just there when I got dressed,
that's all. Let him go."

"Yeah, let me go," Spike cockily said. "Besides, I wasn't the
only one there with him. Seems little Miss Evie has a thing for your
boyfriend, too."

Angel scowled, but he released the other vampire. "Eve was there? In
the penthouse? Why?"

Spike said, "Besides wanting to boff your boy here, not really sure,
but I daresay she begs watching."

Lindsey rolled his eyes at Spike's remark and said, "She wanted
to
cause trouble. It's her forte in life, or at least in mine,
anyway. But Spike's right –– she needs watching. She was
*pissed off* when she found out about last night." Lindsey found
himself subconsciously rubbing the mark in his neck.

Angel, watching Lindsey's hand, reached out and gently traced his
fingers over the mark he left on the young man's neck. "She upset
about this? Or the fact that we had sex?," he softly said.

Lindsey softly moaned and shivered at the feel of Angel touching the
bite. His eyes met Angel's, the need in them more than clear to
the vampire. Angel made Lindsey burn, made him want, made him want
Angel inside of him right now, and he *really didn't care if
Spike was watching or not*. He grinned at Angel, who had raised an
eyebrow, and he softly answered, "Probably both –– but I think
the *claiming* was what really got her going."

Spike grinned at the smell of Lindsey's arousal. He was
oddly....*satisfied*....to see the young man enamored with Angel,
for some reason he couldn't fathom. He said, "Got her going good,
too. She was about to give Gingersnap here a nice little shiner as a
goodbye gift, but I stopped her. Told the bint you didn't like
your family fucked with. So......see now, you owe me one."

"I don't owe you a damn thing," Angel said. "And *why* are you
calling Lindsey *Gingersnap*, for God's sake?"

"Cause he smells all sweet, hot and spicy, Peaches. His voice sounds
like honey and pears, smooth and gritty.....ummmm.....he's yummy
all over," Spike taunted Angel.

"You need to work on that food fetish you have, Spike," Angel
grumbled. "You're the only vampire I know who *eats food*."

"Ho! That's funny coming from someone who ate Lindsey up last
night!," Spike stated. "But Christ......you two are sweet, you
give me a fangache. It's sexy as hell, though."

Lindsey started laughing, he couldn't help it- the *look* Angel
got on his face was *priceless*. "Oh my god..." he wheezed. "Spike,
you.....you're gonna piss him off again."

"Nah," Spike said. "Why would I do that?"

"To annoy me, why else?," Angel said, glowering at the other
vampire. "Just how close did you get to Lindsey, Spike?"

Spike grinned. "This close," he said, showing Angel his burned
palm. "Can you touch the tattoo, Peaches?"

Angel took Spike's hand, looking at the light burn. "I
couldn't at first, but I can now. I assumed Lindsey had tainted
his blood with mine, but if it burned you....." Angel
paused. "Lindsey, do you have any idea *why* it still burned Spike?"

"No, not really," Lindsey said. "I'd pretty much assumed the same
as you. And before you accuse Spike of trying to seduce me or
something, he didn't do anything every other vampire I've
come into contact with has. I always get smelled up, it doesn't
bother me. Right off hand, I'd say you were the only one who
*didn't* do it when we first met. Oh yeah.....and Drusilla
didn't either, for some odd reason."

"Dru? You met Dru?" Spike said, and in the back of his mind, he felt
a little *tingle*.

"Yeah, a couple of years ago, why?" Lindsey replied.

"I *told* you that before you left, Spike," Angel said. "Don't
you remember?"

The tingle became a dull nagging sensation in Spike's head. "Was
this when Dru re-vamped Darla?"

Lindsey's face paled a little, but he didn't look away from
Spike. "Yes, it was," he answered.

Spike was silent, his mind *racing*, trying to recall everything
Drusilla had said when she'd come to Sunnydale. He now knew
exactly who Lindsey was, he was kind of embarrassed he hadn't
realized this when Angel had discussed the young lawyer with him
months ago. But he had this sinking feeling Dru had said *something
important* about Gingersnap back then......and *fuck*, he
couldn't recall what it was. "*Dammit!*" He muttered.

"What is it, Spike?" Angel said. He *hated* seeing that look on his
grandchilde's face. It didn't bode well, whenever Spike
thought about Dru like that. It meant Spike was remembering
something, and Angel had a feeling he wasn't going to care much
for anything coming from Drusilla's insane mind.

Spike shook his head. "Can't recall what Dru said. Could be
important, though. I'm gonna have to go think about it," he said.
Moving to where Lindsey was, catching him totally off-guard, the
vampire reached out and pulled Lindsey to him, swiftly kissing the
young man. "Welcome to the family, pet. And don't worry about it.
Darla's death wasn't your fault." Then Spike turned and left
without a backward glance at his grandsire.

"Uh! *I can't believe he did that*!" Lindsey said. "Ewww!"

Angel was the one who laughed this time. He gently pulled Lindsey
into an embrace. "What's the matter, Lin? Spike doesn't turn
you on?"

Lindsey looked into Angel's eyes. He grinned. "Hell, no. He's
too crass for my tastes. Besides, you're the only one I want.
Thought I made that clear last night. But, if you're in doubt,
I'd be more than willing to show you again, lover."

Angel leaned down and took Lindsey's lips in a kiss that left no
doubts in the young man's mind about what the vampire wanted. It
set Lindsey on fire, and he didn't try and battle for control, he
just kissed Angel back, softly whimpering. Angel responded by
holding him closer, drawing him in, and Lindsey didn't know *why*
he found desire in someone stronger than him, he only knew it *was*.

"Excuse me?"

They both turned to see Lorne standing in the doorway.

Chapter 26

~Intrigue~

"Sorry to break up your little snugglefest, Angel-cakes but
you're needed in the lab, something about a something, something
or other." Lorne stepped in the office and grinned at
Lindsey. "Lindsey, look at you –been living at the gym, Cupcakes?
Tell me," nodding to Angel, "what are you doing with this big lug?
Thought you had better taste."

Lindsey smiled as he looked at his long time friend. Hearing
Angel's low growl of possessiveness, Lindsey slipped his hand
into the vampire's and squeezed. "Careful, Lorne. Angel's
kinda cranky today. I think he got up on the wrong side of
the bed."

"Well, if someone hadn't been hogging the bed, then maybe I would
have gotten up in a better mood." Angel said smiling and squeezing
Lindsey's hand in response. Lifting Lindsey's hand to his
mouth, Angel kissed the back of it, then moved in to place a soft
kiss on the young man's lips. "I gotta run, but I'll be back
as soon as I can. You can wait for me either in my office or the
penthouse –– it's up to you."

"I'll make sure he gets taken care of, Sweet cheeks, you just go
and see what Fred needs." Lorne took Lindsey's free hand in his
and winked at Angel.

Angel frowned but didn't say anything, he just gently removed
Lindsey's hand from Lorne's. Now holding both of his
lover's hands in his own, Angel smiled and said, "When I get
back, we need to talk about moving you in, ok?"

Lindsey tensed, "Yeah, we'll talk about that, but you need to go.
I'll be here –– don't worry."

Angel felt Lindsey's tension and knew that he would have to
proceed carefully. He didn't want to scare Lindsey now that they
were finally together. He was going to make this trip to the lab as
short as possible. Giving Lindsey a short, yet very possessive kiss,
Angel turned and headed to the lab.

Lindsey turned to Lorne and smiled. "So Lorne, how have you been
doin?"

Lorne turned Lindsey toward the door with a big grin, "Funny you
should ask, Sweetpea. Let's take a walk and I'll fill you
in."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Eve walked into Gunn's office and looked around. Finding herself
alone she decided to take a look around, maybe find out what their
Mr. Gunn was up to these days. She walked straight to the desk and
thumbed through the files on the corner. Finding nothing of
interest, she nosed around a few drawers until a red file in the
trash can caught her eye. Pulling it out, she walked over to a chair
located in front of the desk and sat down. To anybody passing by -
or even Charles himself - she looked like someone waiting patiently
for the young lawyer to return.

Smiling she looked down at the file. *Lindsey McDonald* "Well,
well…" Talking to the file, "Tell me - did you fall into the
trash by accident or did someone put you there, like say - Charles?"
Since no answer would be forthcoming, Eve opened the file and let
the excitement surge through her when she noticed Charles's notes
were still inside the file.

*Look into perpetuity contract.* *Can it be broken?* *Lindsey bound
to Angel for life.*

"So this is what you're looking for, Angel? A way to keep your
precious Lindsey safe.' Eve felt that feeling of excitement turn to
seething anger. She was still furious about what had happened in the
penthouse. Lindsey's rejection of her still smarted but the real
kicker was what Lindsey had said took place last night between him
and Angel.

*She* had wanted to be the one to seduce Lindsey. She needed him to
side with her. She was tired of being the Senior Partner's Girl
Friday and she damn sure didn't want anything to do with that
hypocritical vampire. Nope, she wanted *more* and Lindsey was going
to be her means of getting it. But now….

Just recalling the look of happy contentment on Lindsey's face
tinged with amusement –– which she was sure was at her expense
–– made the anger turn into hatred. And that hatred gave her
clarity.

Taking a few calming breaths, Eve closed the file, slid it around to
her back and tucked it in the waistband of her skirt –– covering
it with her blouse. And waited...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lindsey walked into Angel's office fully expecting to be on his
own for a while. He was a little upset that Angel hadn't asked if
he wanted to come along to the lab, but he also knew that he was
going to have to start over with the rest of Angel's team.
However, there was one member of the gang that seemed to be okay
with his and Angel's relationship and he was standing at the
window staring outside, letting the late afternoon sun wash over
his pale features.

"Kinda weird seeing you in the sunlight. Does Angel enjoy it like
you do?" Lindsey asked, walking over to stand beside Spike.

"More, I think. Makes him feel more *normal.*" Spike turned, walked
over to the desk and sat on the corner. "Where is the big pouf
anyways? I can't imagine him leaving you alone for anything."

"He was needed in the lab and why wouldn't he leave me alone for
a little while? We're lovers, Spike, it's not like we're
married." Lindsey said.

"Is that what you think, Lindsey? That you can play this little love
game you got goin' and then walk away? Do you even know what
you've gotten yourself into here?" Spike gave a small laugh and
shook his head, "Tell me, Pet, did you like it when Angel swallowed
you whole? Did you get off on the rush?" Spike asked, a faint smile
dancing around his mouth.

Lindsey looked over at the vampire and upon seeing the expression
on Spike's face –knew that Spike knew what Angel had done to
him. Feeling jealous rage start to move through him, Lindsey
said, "You know I did. Didn't you, Spike? Didn't *you* like
it when he did it to you?"

Spike grinned. "Gingersnap, I could have all kinds of fun with you.
*Look at you*. You who –– not too long ago, wanted Angel dead-
now is *upset and jealous* because others have shared his bed, and a
fine bed it is, but as for-"

"You know what, Spike? I don't want to know. Forget I asked."
Lindsey said interrupting, not even wanting to go there. He
didn't ever want to try to explain the whole *I was pissed cause
Darla slept with Angel, but I was even MORE pissed because Angel
slept with her*, cause it was just too freaky to understand.

"As I was saying –– BUT as for a true claiming –– *no*.
Angelus never claimed me –– or anyone else for that matter.
Trust me when I say, *NO ONE* - and I mean *NO ONE* has gotten
under Peaches' skin like you have," Spike said, wondering at the
fleeting expression that crossed Lindsey's face.

Lindsey thought about that, then he said, "You mean Angel.
Angel's never claimed anybody else."

"What?" Spike said.

"You said Angelus," Lindsey replied.

Spike shrugged. "Angelus, Angel, Peaches –– all one and the same
–– although I doubt I'd call Angelus *Peaches* to his face."

"So you *don't* believe that Angelus is a separate personality.
That he and Angel are the same?" Lindsey said. "I thought I was the
only one who believed that."

Spike looked at Lindsey in complete amazement. "What are you -
*DAFT*? Angel doesn't suffer from Multiple Personality Disorder,
Lindsey, - well, maybe he does - but not in the way you're
talking about. Angelus is very real." Spike paused and watched as
Lindsey paced the room. "Are you saying that you *don't* believe
in Angel's demon?" Spike finally asked.

"I believe that Angel has a dark side ––yes. I've seen it,
up close and personal. And I'm not afraid of him, Spike. I never
fucking was," Lindsey said. "Don't you realize that he was in game
face almost the entire time we were together last night? I didn't
freak out, I didn't shy away from him, and I damn sure wasn't
scared! But to think that he has an entirely different *person*
inside him – I don't buy it. And I damn sure don't
believe in that fucking gypsy curse!"

"Not person, love, demon. Angel is first and foremost a demon.
Never forget that. *Angel* just happens to be the more human one
due to the soul. Remove that and you'll have one very mean
son-of-a-bitch licking at your neck. And the *first thing* that
Angelus will do is kill everyone who is/was dear to Angel,
beginning with……you. *Holy shit!* That's why he did it.
That's why Angel claimed you……so Angelus couldn't touch
you. I'll have to give him points for that one." Spike said,
hopping off the desk.

Lindsey just stared and the vampire. "What are you saying? That
Angel claimed me to keep me safe?"

"I'm not saying anything, pet. I'm just telling you what it
looks like to me, is all." Spike replied.

"Bullshit! Angel and I claimed each other because we love each
other." Lindsey was damn near yelling now.

Spike walked over and shut the door before they attracted any
unwanted eavesdroppers. "Look, Lins. I don't doubt that Angel
cares about you –a lot even. And you're right – he does
love you, as much as he can, but he didn't have to bind you to him
like that." Spike walked over and stood in front of Lindsey.
"Do you really understand what he did, Lindsey? You're right when
you say you're not married – married people can divorce and
walk away if things go south. You and Angel are-"

"Mated." Lindsey interrupted, "Yeah, I know, Spike. I know
everything about it. It was what I wanted. Angel wanted to claim me,
but I needed more. I knew what I was getting into. I don't want
to be apart from him –– ever." Lindsey stated vehemently.

"Look, mate. I'm glad you promised Angel forever. He deserves it.
I just wanted to know that *you* knew the deal. But this denial you
have for Angelus…be careful with it. If Angelus dies because
someone was protecting you - then Angel dies, too." Spike rubbed his
fingers lightly over the mark on Lindsey's neck, "And where will
that leave you, pet?"

"Take your fucking hand off him, Spike," Angel growled, standing in
the doorway. "What part of that mark do you not get? The part that
he's mine or THE PART WHERE HE'S MINE!"

Lindsey and Spike had turned at the sound of Angel's voice. The
young man had known Angel was quite possessive of him, but was
surprised when Angel vamped out at the end of that short tirade,
which sounded about as confusing as his Angel/Darla issues. That
last sentence didn't add up, it sounded off somehow.

Spike was even *more* shocked than Lindsey. Because the being who
was stalking toward him in a towering rage, who yanked his head to
the side, and buried his fangs in his neck was not Peaches. This was
one hundred percent *Angelus*.

"Hey!" Lindsey growled, reaching out and pulling his lover off
Spike. "Leave Spike the fuck alone!" He moved to stand between the
two vampires. "He didn't *do anything!*"

"Yes, he did," the vampire growled. "He touched you. No one is
allowed to touch you but me, Lindsey. No one!"

"Oh, so it's wrong for Spike to touch me, but it's okay for
*you* to bury your face in his neck?" Lindsey snarled. "*I don't
fucking think so*! If you wanna suck neck, you suck mine. Are we
clear on that?"

"Lin, you don't understand-"

"Oh, I understand just fucking fine," Lindsey raged. "You think
because you're his grandsire, you can do what the hell you want
to Spike. Well, I didn't like seeing that. I don't want you
doing it again, Angel. You're *mine*, MINE, and I'm not
sharing you with anyone, even if it's only through a blood link."

The vampire looked down into the face of his lover. He'd seen
Lindsey pissed off about Darla, but *damn*. He hadn't realized
the young man was this possessive over *him*. He liked it. He began
making a soft purring noise, reaching out to touch the bite himself.
Lindsey sucked in his breath. The vampire rubbed it with a bit more
pressure. Lindsey whimpered, and the heady smell of his arousal
scented the air like perfume. Omitting a soft growl, Angelus morphed
back into human features, bending down to lick at Lindsey's lips.

Spike was now more shocked than he'd ever been in his life. He
couldn't believe what he'd just witnessed. *No fucking wonder
Lindsey didn't believe in Angelus*. He'd undoubtedly been
dealing with the bastard unknowingly on and off, all this time. And
Spike now had to wonder if Lin was even a threat to Angel's soul.
He'd just seen the boy take the great Angelus down. Bloody hell,
he'd done it with a *whimper*, for pity's sake. Spike grinned.
*That's the coolest damn thing I've ever seen!*

TBC