Prey by Lara
Summary: A post-RoF piece from Angel's POV
Spoilers: Rain Of Fire, Season Four.
Notes: This has nothing to do with my other stores Pain and Ashes, Queen of Sorrow, and Things Fall Apart. There might be offensive material- you have been warned. Don't hate. "I Dreamed A Dream" lyrics from Les Miserables.
was a time when love was blind and the world was a song and the song was exciting there was a time then it all went wrong//
His eyes scanned the dark floor, discarded objects tossed around carelessly. The smell of dust filled the room, moving up his nostrils and almost making him cover his nose in disgust. He walked past the animal heads, mounted on boxes like some morbid show. It almost looked like the bodies were stuffed in the boxes. Boxes way too small for their carcasses. Torn and battered clothes hung around the worn wooden tables like demons, the shadows extending to the floor. The windows were completely covered in dirt and grime, so thick no light could sneak into the floor.
Dark. Angry. Unforgiving.
His son had some place.
The vampire walked around, letting his hand run over the items on the table. The things- books, clocks, shoes- fell to the ground with loud thumps. Connor would've heard the noise and would've immediately came running down to defend his fair lady's honor.
She didn't belong to Connor. She fucking belonged to him. He owned her like his shoes. He controlled her like his car. When he told her to stay, she better stay.
She had been rebellious as of late. He would have to fix that.
Of course, she had never taken his threats seriously. She always did that smirk of hers and assured him he was no longer a threat. That is, until he got in her face. But she still held her ground, chin up and head held high. Nose in the air. Queen C let no one boss her around. She did what she wanted.
Even when she had amnesia. She stayed at his son's place with no regard for *him*.
His hand swung out and connected with a coat rack, sending it crashing into an old mirror, cracking it. For a second, he imagined that rack to be his son's face.
The little boy that once slept between him and his Seer mere months before was now a grown man-child- a person who had been to hell and back. A person who was as stubborn and irritable as his father.
A person who had fucked his father's woman.
The image of blood gushing from the teenager's nose and mouth was enough to bring a slight smile to vampire's pale face. The grin grew thinking of what he could do to his lost boy. A lit lighter held right next to his eye until it exploded. An ice pick being dug into his stomach until intestines were felt. His sharp tongue cut out with a dull knife. Hell, he would make him eat his own tongue. Raw. Hot toothpicks shoved under his fingernails. Then the salt and liquor will be rubbed in.
And he'd make that bitch watch.
The faint melodies of a woman's silky voice on the next floor caught Angel's attention. A loud, booming voice echoed through the area. Soft and strong at the same time. Loud enough to block out any noise he was making on the lower floor.
He heard movement. Someone was moving around on the higher floor. Light, soft thumps snaked across the floor above him- almost dainty. A loud sigh, then more delicate steps.
He looked up the thin metal ladder, a ray of light coming from the top and cascading across the lower floor. His hands grasped the bar just above his head, his foot on the second bar from the bottom. The metal was cold- like him. He gripped it tightly, twisting his palms back and forth over the smooth surface. His fingers passed over several nicks in the metal. Possibly from Connor's weapons. He was always careless.
He could smell her.
She had just showered. Dove soap. He loved that scent on her. Soap and Cordelia. It was a good mix. She never needed perfume. He could stand behind her and take her in all day. He would. Watching her file and take phone calls the whole day, keeping close to her so he could let her fill him. It was intoxicating. Addictive. He could smell her blood too. And everything in between. She drove him crazy.
After a moment of hesitation, he climbed up. Silently and quickly. Like a cat.
The woman's voice got louder.
//I dreamed a dream in times gone by When hope was high and life worth living I dreamed that love would never die I dreamed that God would be forgiving//
Angel reached the opening to the loft in no time. His eyes searched the room, resting on the rickety table near the opening. The black boom box rested on the table, the small knob turned to maximum volume. She always had a habit of listening to music as if she were deaf.
He moved from the table to a place in the corner of the loft. Near a window. In the ever-welcoming shadows.
He recognized the song.
It was from a musical Wesley had taken Cordelia to see. He had stayed behind- a musical about death, suffering, and pain wasn't his thing. But they had returned in high spirits. The Seer came with the soundtrack, cheerfully playing it non-stop in the hotel for weeks. It had irritated the hell out of him, but he enjoyed watching her dance and take pleasure in the music. That was a long time ago.
Before Connor ruined his life.
He walked on past boxes and a column, his feet nearly silent against the hard wood. The place was a mess. Women's clothes were discarded on the floor, clean ones folded on the windowsill. CDs littered around the boxes, along with photographs, books, and journals. His nose crinkled as the smell of dust entered his nose yet again.
Dust and sex.
The smell made him close his eyes, and his hands clenched. He had seen the whole thing in living color. Play by play. Thrust by thrust. Pant by pant. Until the end. Until his son had finished.
Until she lay by herself staring blankly at the ceiling while his son left to shower. Alone. Just like he was.
He stopped in his tracks, spotting a slender shadow across the loft.
It was Cordelia.
Cordelia sat in the middle of Connor's bed with her legs tucked under her, her back to the vampire. Her hands ran through her short, silky hair. She wore a black leotard- no doubt from her dancing days. Little rich girl with ballet classes in a small, shiny town. He remembered her saying she took classes from childhood to the age of seventeen. She was a walking cliché.
She also wore one of Angel's white shirts. Too big for her slim frame.
His eyes narrowed. He had given the Seer his shirt when she had first began to work for Angel Investigations out of hospitality. She obviously had kept it in good condition. She kept a lot of his things in good condition.
He glided across the floor, gracefully avoiding the roadblocks in his path. He stopped behind a broken shelf, staring at Cordelia's profile. She was silently mouthing the words to the song, absently playing with her hair. Her eyes remained fixed on the open window several feet in front of her, watching the black sky. She appeared deep in thought.
That wasn't surprising anymore. Cordelia thinking. She was actually a very smart girl. No dumb sexpot observation by him anymore. No- she could actually carry deep, meaningful, compassionate conversations. *Maybe if we just give it a little time...*
This was the same Cordelia Chase who chose a goddamn freak from another dimension over him. The same Cordelia Chase who touched his face and told him she loved him and always would. The same Cordelia Chase who fucked his son.
Compassionate she wasn't. Giving, maybe...
Angel walked past the shelf, staring at the girl's face. His eyes narrowed once more. Not in bitterness, but to get a better look. Regret and pain filled her shiny eyes. Not shiny- watery. And red. She had been crying. Her chin trembled slightly as she lowered her head, and he moved behind the shelf once more.
The floor shifted with him.
Cordelia's head jerked up at the slight whine of the wood. He couldn't even begin to think of how she heard it. Her eyes looked around almost hopefully, her body leaning forward in inspection.
She looked around once more before slowly settling back to her lonely state. He stepped back, his hands balled up in fists at his side. Her hands trailed from her hair to her neck, gently rubbing the skin. Her mouth began to move with the lyrics again, her face slowly giving in to the words and the sadness filling her eyes yet again.
Beautiful, perfect lips.
Beautiful, big eyes.
Everything about her was perfect.
She let out a shaky sigh and continued to silently mouth the words. Her slender hands settled on her lap, slowly twisting and squeezing the other.
//But the tigers come at night with their voices soft as thunder as they tear your hope apart and they turn your dream to shame//
He still loved her.
He moved back until he was gazing at her back once more. Her straight, perfect back. He had to smile.
Her shrieking cackle of a laugh used to bring a smile on his face. Something that would be annoying as all hell from anyone else was cute and perfect for her. Not anymore. Now he associated her laugh with mocking condescension. He could almost see her laughing at him.
Because he loved her.
He stepped forward, past her wall of photos.
She fooled him into believing she loved him back. The soft touches. The lingering stares. The sweet smiles. The slight, flirtatious leers.
She was a tease. A fucking tease. The way she moved and acted, he was ready for her to spread her legs for him and let him fuck her brains out. She didn't. She ran away before he could even touch her there.
He could've killed her for that.
She teased him with her body. Her smell. Her looks. Her voice. Her mouth. Her laugh. Her eyes.
She led him along and he had followed like a whipped puppy. Anything to get her into his grasp. He wanted her in his arms. He wanted her under him. He wanted to feel every inch of her. From the inside.
Connor got that pleasure.
Angel wondered how long it would take to twist the boy's neck all the way around.
He silently began to think. She hurt him without regret. She didn't care. She would never care. She would only move on with her goddamn chin up and her head held high. Nose in the air.
He could break her fucking perfect nose for making him hurt.
She should've known he loved her. She shouldn't have had to ask. She knew him. Or so she claimed.
Angel scowled, stepping closer. She hurt him. Twisting that fucking metaphorical knife deep into his back. His heart.
How dare she hurt him...
He stopped directly in back of Cordelia, leaning over and inhaling her scent. Smelling her. Taking her in. Her head jerked up and he smirked. She spun around and found nothing. Slower this time, she returned to her place on the bed. He stepped forward once more, and he watched. She scooted to the edge of the bed, letting her legs touch the floor. She sighed loudly, humming to the song. He stepped forward, and she froze.
Cordelia Chase needed to be taught a lesson. She just couldn't hurt him and get away with it. She needed to pay for all her crimes. She needed to learn where her place was. Why he loved and hated her so much. Why he wanted to be on top of her, filling her. Making her scream in pleasure.
Or in pain.
Her hair was so pretty...
//But he was gone when autumn came and still I dream he'll come to me that we'll live the years together but there are dreams that cannot be and there are storms we cannot weather//
The bridge of the song came.
His hands reached around and grabbed Cordelia's neck, squeezing as hard as he could.
She barely made a squeak before his strong arms had jerked her from her seat by her neck, her legs flying into the air and kicking out. The only time she was able to make a sound. A squeaky, garbled noise. He dragged her across the bed, her feet gathering the blankets and sheets under her as they were forced diagonally. Her eyes darted around wildly, resting on Angel's nearly black ones. Her hazel eyes widened, and she struggled harder, fighting his grasp. Her beautiful lips attempted to mouth his name as he squeezed, blocking all air from her windpipes. Her body jerked as she fought for her own life, her hands reaching up and trying to push the vampire away with no avail. Her nails started to scratch at his face, her back arching and lowering in another feeble attempt to gain the upper hand.
It was almost sexual, he noted.
The room was embraced by the poignant ballad. Cordelia's quaking gasps and Angel's grunts were barely heard over the music. Tears started to fill the girl's beautiful eyes, and her soul begged him to stop. As did her hands. They gripped his shoulder, scratched his face, and pushed his head away. He gripped her life harder in his hands, squeezing. He felt the skin under his hand warm up, her pulse throbbing.
He jerked her body back once more, and she let out a strangled, feeble shriek. Half of her body tumbled off the bed, her shoulders and head slamming into the floor with a loud slam. He dropped to one knee, the palms of his hands brutally pushing into the girl's throat. She continued to thrash about violently, trying to twist her body away from him.
It worked against her.
Her breathing became more repressed as she struggled. His hands continued to clutch her thin neck, shaking her with rage. He felt her heart begin to weaken in his grasp. He didn't even hear himself talking.
"I loved you...I cared about- I LOVED you- fuck you- fuck you-"
Shock and realization filled Cordelia's eyes as her mouth moved weakly. Silently. He pressed even harder, choking the life from her. She kept fighting for her life, trying to tear his hands from her neck. She smacked at his arms, the hits doing nothing to him.
The hits got weaker.
Her eyelids fluttered.
Her eyes rolled back halfway.
Her hands dropped slowly.
Her back arched once more, and then fell.
Angel breathed hard, letting go of her neck roughly. He stared at her lifeless body, half on the bed and half on the floor. Her hair fell over her forehead slightly, and her skin was nearly white. She almost looked like a doll. His eyes avoided the strikingly red marks on her throat.
She wouldn't hurt him anymore.
//I had a dream my life would be so different from this hell I'm living so different now from what it seemed now life has killed the dream I dreamed//
Angel blinked, looking around. He hadn't moved from his place in the corner.
The song was over.
The girl got up from her seat on the bed, climbing over the mattress to the shelf in the corner. She plucked out a towel and walked towards the bathroom. She was getting closer.
And he realized he was breathing hard.
She walked right past him towards the bathroom. His eyes bore into her as she began to unbutton his shirt. One by one. Bit by bit. She hummed the song quietly, pulling back the shirt with each button.
The vampire couldn't resist. He leaned forward and inhaled. Taking in her scent. Soap and Cordelia.
"Connor?" She muttered, waiting for an answer.
After a long minute, she walked into the bathroom, but not before stopping at the door. He watched her steadily. She seemed to be thinking. Her hand lingered on the frame, her eyes on the floor. Finally, she looked up, her chin trembling.
With a shake of her head, she walked into the bathroom, turning on the light switch. She disappeared into the light.
Angel stepped out of the shadows as the shower was turned on. He heard her clothes get dropped to the floor and the soft thumps as she stepped into the stall. She continued to hum. And cry.
He was shaking.
And he still loved her.