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Chapter Ten: Heart of an Angel 

            She felt like she was floating, but she couldn’t see anything. It was like she was in some sort of void. Where am I? She tried to speak, but nothing happened. After a few panicked moments, her mind was filled with a fuzzy image. As it slowly came into focus she could see that it was her. She was working out and it appeared to be graduation day. Great. So, no luck with the ‘me being blissfully unaware’ situation, huh? Frickin’ wonderful. She felt someone shush her, and then she was drawn into the scene in her mind. It was strange. Like she was watching it and experiencing it all at the same time. Then there was no more thought, just the moment.


            She pulled off the headphones as she finished her workout. Wiping her arm across her forehead, she turned for her water bottle and almost knocked it over when she saw Angel standing there. How did he always manage to sneak up on her?

            “God, Angel! You trying to give me a heart attack?” She started to smile until she noticed his expression. He looked almost…desolate. He glanced up suddenly, his gaze intense.

            “You know I’ll always be here for you, right?”

            “Yeah, sure.” She smiled seductively and brushed up against him. “And I’ll be here for you.” His hands gripped her arms almost painfully tight.

            “I’m serious. I will always be here.” She pulled back and took a sip of water.

            “What’s going on? Did something happen to Buffy?” Her eyes widened, and she tensed up in fear. “Did something happen to Giles?”

            “No, nothing like that.” She relaxed slightly, sighing in relief before punching him hard in the arm.

            “Quit acting weird. You’re freaking me out.” She grinned, sliding up to sit on the edge of the table, but he looked so sad that she got worried again. “Angel, what’s wrong?” He brushed her cheek tenderly.

            “Just missing a friend.” Faith eyed him seriously, all flirtatiousness set aside for the moment.

            “You know I’m here for you too. If you ever need to…talk or whatever.” She shrugged self-consciously. “For real. No come-ons.” A ghost of a smile crossed his face as he moved to sit next to her.

            “I know. Thanks.” He looked down at the floor, apparently lost in thought, and Faith watched him silently.


Fading back out, her eyelids fluttered rapidly as images of battle flashed through her mind. Graduation, fighting the mayor, Angel saving Buffy, vampires, an ambush outside a cemetery, Angel saving her three damn times! God, you’d think she was some kind of lame ass in a fight if all you saw was that. The images slowed and then tightened focused, drawing her in again.


            She swung the ax easily, the vampire exploding into a dusty cloud as his head was severed from his body. Turning quickly, she saw that Angel was handling the other two. What a guy! She didn’t like to sit on the sidelines though and jammed her stake into the back of one just as Angel grabbed him. As the vamp disappeared Angel shot her a look that was equal parts appreciation and annoyance. Shrugging, he turned and finished the other one. She tossed him the ax and he caught it easily as she bent to pick up her fallen crossbow.

            “Told you the ax would be better for patrolling,” he said, his expression slightly smug. “Crossbow’s better for long range.”

            “Well, I could’ve taken them out from back there if someone hadn’t shouted my name, and let ‘em know I was there.”

            “There was a Frovalach demon sneaking up on you! If I hadn’t warned you; you might be dead now.” She set off across the cemetery, and he fell in beside her as she said,

            “I was aware of the Frova-whatever. I was planning on dealing with it after I dusted the vamps. Hey, refresh my memory; why is the vicious demon still alive? Oh yeah! It ran away when you shouted.” He reached out and shoved her, and she kicked him in the back of the knee causing him to stumble. He glared at her for a second and then they both started laughing.

            “The expression on your face was priceless,” he said.

            “Yeah, well my favorite part was your mad dash after the Frovy-thing that resulted in your tumble down the hill. Man, you went down hard!”

            “I didn’t hear you laughing when that big vamp knocked you on your ass!”

            “That wasn’t funny.” She tried to kick him again, but he dodged it, laughing. “So, what are you doing later?”

            “What did you have in mind?” he asked, his voice all studied indifference.

            “The Bronze, a few drinks. Unwind?” He looked tempted and she smiled. “Could be fun.” She could tell he was wavering and grabbed his hand. “Come on, stud. Live a little!” Angel laughed.

            “Alright, let’s get crazy.”

            “That’s the spirit! I knew you were a party animal at heart. Maybe if I get enough liquor in you you’ll even dance!”


            Everything spun out again for a moment, and then back in on what appeared to be later the same night.


            “So they arrested you?” Faith nodded at Angel’s question before she downed a shot. “Did they give you anything to wear?”

            “Yeah, after they frisked me.” She raised an eyebrow at him. “I guess they thought I might be carrying a concealed weapon.” He smiled and she called the bartender over. “Hey, sweet cheeks,” she said, a sultry smile in place as she nodded in Angel’s direction. “My friend here needs another drink. I’d order him a Screaming Orgasm, ‘cause he really needs one, but I’m thinking he’s more of a Suffering Bastard kinda guy.” The bartender laughed, and Angel shot her a dirty look before saying,

            “I’ll just have a whiskey, thanks. Crested Ten.” The bartender nodded.

            “Good choice.” He smiled at Faith. “Although I think your girlfriend might be trying to tell you something.” Faith tried not to laugh as he walked away. She leaned toward Angel and giggled.

            “Aw, check me out; I’m your girlfriend!”

            “Yeah,” Angel groused. “My unsatisfied girlfriend, apparently.”

            “I don’t know why he would think that. I said you needed an orgasm, not me.”

            “Could we…not?”

“Not what?”

“Talk about sex.”

            “You brought it up, sweetie.”

            “No you brought it up with your drink order.” Faith flashed him a smile.

            “Really?” Angel shook his head with a rueful grin.

            “Poor choice of words.” The bartender brought Angel’s drink and blew a kiss at Faith. “You know, he’s awful flirtatious for a guy who thinks you’re my girlfriend.”

            “Why don’t you flash him your game face? I bet he’d back right off.” They shared a look and laughed. They drifted into silence as Angel sipped his drink. “Come on,” she said, getting to her feet. “Dance with me.”

            “I don’t dance.”

            “Come on, Angel. It’s a slow song; all you have to do is hold me and sway.” He watched her for a second, and she was sure he would say no, but then he set his drink aside and stood.

            “Alright.” She smiled and took his hand.


            More images. Buffy laying out a plan, Will and Xan being silly as Giles tried to get everyone to be serious. Hanging with Anya, giving her pointers on how to seduce Giles (not that the girl needed much help; Giles was completely smitten). And image after image of Faith and Angel hanging out together until one caught her and pulled her in.


            This time they were sitting on a couch in the mansion. Faith was leaning against Angel’s side and he had his arm around her. She held his hand, her fingers tangled with his on her shoulder, and they appeared to be deep in discussion.

            “So he shows up, and he just demands a trade, you know. Ballsy, I’ll admit, but he’s still a killer, right? So I was all set to stake him when Buffy and Giles decided he might be useful. He claims to have information on the commando guys. I don’t know though; he’s kinda shifty.”

            “Typical Spike. Defenseless, but still trying to come out on top.”

            “You know him?” He looked down at her, puzzled.

            “Didn’t they tell you? He and Drusilla-”

            “Oh, yeah!” Faith laughed at her forgetfulness. “I’m retarded. So? What do you think of him?” He looked as though he was debating on what to say. “Angel?”

            “The truth? I don’t like him, but you should form your own opinion.” She grinned.

            “Always do.” He gave her an unreadable look, and she wondered, as always, what he was thinking.

            “Just… be careful.”

            “Aw, you’re worried.” She leaned up and gave him a kiss on the cheek. “That’s sweet.” She snuggled back into his side. “But unnecessary. I’m a big girl; I think I can handle Spike.”

            “I’m sure you can,” he said, and she smiled as she curled her arm across him in a hug.


Flashing forward again. This time they were sparring, and Faith smiled as her own recent memories of sparring rose up in her mind. Pushing them aside for later, she focused on what they were saying.


            “He’s just… I’ve never met anyone as good at being a wiseass as I am. He matches me word for word, you know? He can hold his own.” Angel dodged a punch and stepped back slightly.

            “This is something you find attractive?”

            “Yeah, kinda. I mean, imagine the fights we could have.” Angel watched her as they circled each other, disapproval radiating off of him in waves. “I can practically see the word ‘lecture’ on your face.” He shook his head.

            “You’re an adult; I’m not going to tell you how to live your life. I just think there should be more to a relationship than constant fights and great makeup sex.” Faith blocked a roundhouse kick and then signaled a timeout.

            “Whoa! There has not been any makeup sex. No sex of any kind, actually. Why the hell would you say something like that?” He looked at her, his eyes dark.

            “Let’s just say I have a feeling about you two.” She watched as he turned and walked off.

            “Are we gonna finish sparring?” He didn’t look back.

            “Later. I’m not really in the mood right now.” She wrapped her arms around herself as he left the room, and she wondered what was wrong.


            Rapid shift again. Sometimes she was hanging out with Angel, sometimes fighting with Spike. Several scenes of the Scooby gang, Spike and Angel always at odds over something. Faster and faster at an almost painful rate, and then suddenly -


            This time she was with Spike. She lay next to him, out of breath and satisfied, sheets tangled around their nakedness. Spike glanced sideways at her, sitting up to retrieve his smokes.

            “Well,” he said as he lit a cigarette and took a drag. “That was unexpected.” Faith smiled.

            “I don’t know. Angel said he had a feeling about us.”

            “No offense, luv, but I prefer a woman not discuss other men in my bed. Especially not him.” She leaned up and kissed his shoulder.

            “Aw, are you jealous?”

            “Well, yeah. When he’s the first bloody thing you think of after having sex with me; of course I am.”

            “We’re just friends, Spike.” Faith relaxed back onto the pillow.

            “Couldn’t you just not be friends? I mean, what’s the big attraction?” She sat up abruptly and climbed out of bed, pulling the sheet along to cover herself.

            “I owe him my life, Spike. He’s been there for me through a lot of shit. If you can’t understand that then maybe this was a mistake.” She began looking for her clothes.

            “Wait a minute, wait a minute!” He grabbed her arm and pulled her against him. “I’m sorry.” He pushed her hair back and kissed her neck. “I’m sorry, luv. I’m just a little touchy when it comes to Angel.”

            “Well, I’m not giving him up for anyone, not even you. He’s my best friend so I think maybe you should learn how to deal.” He turned her around.

            “I will, I promise. Right now, though, I’m more concerned with you and me getting along.” He nipped at her neck.

            “Quit it.” He smiled at her and she smiled back reluctantly.

            “Come back to bed.”


            Fast forward again. The commandos, Adam, the final battle; this time Buffy and Co. saved the day. More scenes with Spike, less and less of Angel. He seemed to be avoiding her. Faith was upset, then – Angel’s mansion.


            Angel seemed not to have heard her come in, and so she watched him silently, enjoying his graceful movements as he finished his exercise. He moved across the room, dropping onto a chair and reaching for something she couldn’t quite see. He slowly brought his hands to his face and she saw he was holding a shirt. Was he…smelling the shirt; what was that about?  He set it aside suddenly, and then he spoke,

            “How long have you been there?”

“Not long.” She moved further into the room. “I haven’t seen you much lately.”

“I thought you might want a little time alone. New relationship and all.” He stood up, turning to face her.

“Just because Spike and I have a…thing, that doesn’t mean I’m dropping my best friend. I made that clear to him; I guess maybe I should’ve made it clear to you too.” He just stared at her, his expression unreadable, and she sighed. “I hate it when you do that.”

“Do what?”

“Get all closed off and stone-faced.” She moved over and wrapped her arms around his waist. “Don’t shut me out. I need you.”

“I didn’t mean to shut you out; I was just trying to give you some privacy.” She laughed.

“I don’t need privacy from you.” Faith looked up at him and smiled. “Now go get changed; it’s time to party.”

“Where are we going?”

“Patrol and then you’re taking me dancing.”

“Only the-”

“Yeah, yeah, I remember. Slow songs only.” She shoved him towards his room. “We all know that’s just an excuse for you to hold me.” He shot her a smile, and she waved him off impatiently. “Go get dressed! I’m not gonna wait all night.”


Shift. The next night. Angry Spike.


“I don’t understand why you didn’t tell me.” Faith spun around in exasperation.

“I did tell you. I told you I was going out with a friend.”

“Yeah, a friend. I assumed you meant Anya or Willow. If I’d have known you meant you were taking Angel out dancing…”

“If you had known… What? You would have forbidden me? Tried to keep me from going? What?” Spike shook his head.

“Like I could ever forbid you to do something.”

“Damn right.” He smiled.

“It just would’ve been nice to know is all. Then maybe jealousy wouldn’t have ripped through my bleedin’ gut when I saw him with his arms around you.” His expression grew angry again. “Maybe I could have prepared myself for seeing your body pressed up against his as if…” his eyes flashed yellow as he broke off. Faith sighed.

“We’re just friends.”

“Friends don’t dance like that, pet.” Throwing her hands up in disgust, she yanked her coat off the bed and strode to the door. She ripped it open, turning to look back at him.

“When you’re through with all this macho bullshit, give me a call.”


Months flashed by in the blink of an eye. Making up, fighting, making up, fighting – and Angel always there when she needed a friend. Hanging out, going to the movies, patrolling, drinking, dancing…


“So things are good?” They were at Faith’s this time, cuddled up on the bed, watching TV. She leaned back, considering Angel’s question before nodding.

“In a manner of speaking.” He moved the popcorn so she could get some, his expression confused.

“What does that mean?”

“He’s sweet and funny, and there’s this incredible passion.” She smiled. “I mean, seriously, he’s like an animal the way he-”

“I get it,” Angel interrupted. “Animal passion. Moving along.”

“Okay, see, that part is great, but… I guess you were right before. About the fighting.” She sighed. “He gets jealous, and we fight, sometimes for days. I just wish…”


“Why can’t it be like this?” He looked at her in surprise. “I mean, we can sit here and watch crap on TV and it’s,” she shrugged, “easy. You and I, we talk and dance and hang out and I feel like I can just be…me. Why can’t it be like that with me and Spike?” She rested her head on his chest with a yawn and closed her eyes. “I guess you’re just special.” She drifted off to sleep, but Angel remained wide awake, his hand covering hers over his heart.


Drifting out again and then crashing back in, this one was intense. She felt more a part of it, less like she was watching, more like she was actually there. Like it was happening to her right now. And, man, was it rough.


“You’re leaving?” Faith stared at him in shock. “But… where will you go?”

“I was thinking maybe L.A.” He didn’t quite meet her eyes, and she fumbled for a reason why he couldn’t leave. Something besides her desperate need for him to stay.

“What about Buffy? I thought…” He shook his head and turned away.

“That’s been over for a long time; you know that. My reasons for staying are gone; I’m just…in the way here.”

“You’re not in my way.” She reached out to touch his shoulder but drew back without making contact. “I’ll…miss you.”

“You can visit whenever you want.” He crossed his arms, his gaze lowering to the ground. “Besides you have Spike.” She shook her head, unsure of what to say.

“When- when are you leaving?”

“Tonight. Now, actually.”

Now!” He turned to face her, and she tried not to look as devastated as she felt. “What- I thought… you said you’d always be here for me.”

“I will.” He pulled her against him, and she closed her eyes to keep from crying. “If you ever need me – for anything – just call me, and I’ll be there.”

“I still don’t understand why you have to go.” He pulled back slightly and looked at her, his expression sad.

“It hurts too much, and I keep hoping… If I stayed, it would be for selfish reasons, and I’ve been selfish enough over the years; I can’t do it anymore. Not to someone I love.”

“You’re talking in riddles.” She shook her head. “If you’re talking about Buffy, maybe you should just tell her-” He didn’t let her finish.

“This is what I have to do, Faith. Don’t make it harder than it already is. Please?” He brushed her hair back off her face, his fingers gentle on her cheek, and she nodded. She tried to imagine her days without Angel around, and pain spread through her body. There was an ache in her chest and she felt sick to her stomach. Strange feeling, very unpleasant. So this was what it felt like when your heart broke. She’d been hurt before, disappointed and, she’d thought, heartbroken, but it was nothing compared to this searing pain that engulfed her. Wrapping herself around him, she held on as tight as she could for what seemed like hours. When she felt like she could let go without collapsing she stepped back. He was watching her closely, but she didn’t let him see how torn apart she was.

“So then I guess this is goodbye.” She looked up and he nodded.

“I guess so.” She turned around and walked to the door. Pulling it open, she glanced back but didn’t meet is eyes as she whispered,

“Bye.” Stepping outside, she dragged in several ragged breaths as she closed the door. She headed back towards town slowly at first, her pace increasing as the tears came until she was running as fast as she could. She was out of breath and sobbing when she found herself outside Spike’s crypt banging on the door. She didn’t bother explaining what was wrong, but he still held her all night as she sobbed into his pillow. In the morning, she left wordlessly, refusing to tell him what had happened.


Time passed. Glory came. Angel made a brief appearance and then Glory was gone. A flood of happy images, Anya and Giles getting married, Xander and Cordelia moving in together – less fighting, more sweetness. Buffy’s mother still died, but Dawn was there and they got through together. A lot of time spent with Spike as she pulled further away from him day after day.


“We need to talk.” Faith glanced up at Spike’s serious tone.

“About?” He lit his cigarette and smoked nearly half of it before answering her. He always had to add a touch of the dramatic when he had something important on his mind.

“You know I love you, right?” She nodded, curious despite herself. “You know that you’ll always be part of me, always have a special place in my heart?”

“Are you getting ready to dump me?” she asked in shock. “‘Cause this sounds like a breakup speech.” He shook his head impatiently.

“Will you just answer the bleedin’ question?” he snapped. She crossed her arms defensively, her eyes angry, and he softened his tone. “Please?”

“I guess I know that,” she answered.

“You know that I would do anything to keep you with me forever, right?”

“Yes. But what does this-”

“Then go to him,” Spike interrupted quietly.


“You should go to him. I know you want to.” She just stared at him, not sure what he was telling her. He looked up and his smile was bittersweet. “He left because he loves you, you know. I could see it every time he looked at you. It’s why I was so jealous all the time.”

“Spike, he doesn’t-” He silenced her with a wave of his hand.

“Shouldn’t interrupt a bloke when he’s trying to be all noble. I thought maybe when he left that it would work out, that we would work out. But he’s still here. He’s still in your heart, and every time you get that faraway look in your eyes, I know you’re thinking about him.” He glanced up at her, his expression one of sad acceptance. “I know you care about me; I think maybe you even love me a little. But your heart belongs to him, it always has; I only managed to steal you away for a little while. It’s not right for me to keep you here when you really want to be with him.” She moved to kneel in front of him.

“I do love you, Spike.” He leaned forward and kissed her, his mouth moving gently against hers for a moment before pulling away.

“Not the way you love him.” Her lip trembled and she bit it hard to make it stop.

“I’m sorry.”

“So am I.” They sat in silence, watching each other sadly.

“Now what?” Faith asked.

“Now you go to L.A.”


A brief glimpse of the drive and then she was there.


She stood across the street in the rain trying to work up the nerve to go in and knock on his door. He was her best friend, she’d come all this way to see him, and yet here she stood like an idiot. It was stupid really, this nervousness. They had parted as friends; Angel would be glad to see her. She didn’t have to tell him why she was there. She wouldn’t burden him with her feelings; Spike might think Angel loved her, but she knew he’d always love Buffy. They had that whole doomed love thing going for them; Faith didn’t really think she could compete.

She slicked her hair back from her face. Shaking the water off her hands, she stepped out into the street. Movement from the corner of her eye caught her attention, and she turned to find Angel watching her from the corner across the street. He was soaked and she wondered how long he’d been there without her even noticing. She didn’t even remember moving, but suddenly she was right in front of him as they continued to stare at each other silently. Then he spoke,

“Are you really here?” She wondered at the oddness of the question as she nodded.

“How long were you watching me?”

“About an hour.” Her eyes widened slightly. “Why were you just standing out here in the rain?” She shrugged, forcing a laugh.

“Didn’t know if you felt like company.” He took a step toward her.

“Spike come with you?” She looked away, shaking her head.

“We- That’s over.”

“What? What happened?”

“I wasn’t in love with him, at least not the way he wanted.” Angel laughed bitterly.

“That’s ridiculous. You told me for months how much you loved him; it’s the reason I left.”

“What are you talking about? I never told you I loved him.”

“But you do.”

“I care about him, but he’s… not who I want to be with.” Angel moved closer and Faith realized what he had said. “Wait. You left because I loved Spike?” Instead of answering her, he asked his own question,

“Who do you want to be with?” The air around them felt charged as she glanced up, and suddenly, as she looked into his eyes, she saw it. What he’d been hiding for so long, why he’d been so distant about Spike, why he’d left. She closed the distance between them, putting her hands on his chest. He watched her, his expression cautious. Sliding her arms around his neck, she said,

“You. I love you.” For a moment she thought she’d completely misread him, and then his arms were around her, his hands moving on her back as he took her mouth in a kiss that stole her breath and made her weak. She strained to be closer, her fingers moving over his face then into his hair. He broke away, leaning his forehead against hers as he sighed.

“I’ve waited so long to hear you say that.” She smiled.

“Were you planning on returning the favor any time soon?” He closed his eyes briefly then opened them to look at her.

“I love you.” She wiggled closer and rested her head on his shoulder. They were silent for a moment and then Faith said,

“Just so you know, I’m okay with the curse. I mean, not that I don’t want to, ‘cause I do, but I don’t have to. Just being with you is,” she sighed, “more than I ever hoped for.”

“We need to talk about that.” He tucked her into his side and moved toward the building. “Why don’t we go in and get dried off, and then we’ll talk.”


Once inside she headed for the bathroom while Angel went to change in his room. Drying her hair as best she could, she stripped out of her wet clothes and wrapped a towel around herself. She peeked into the living room, but Angel was still changing so she hurried in and grabbed a blanket. Dropping the towel, she snuggled into the blanket and settled down on the couch.

As she waited for Angel, her thoughts drifted and she closed her eyes. She felt so safe and loved here; everything seemed so peaceful and calm. She had always felt this way with him. She wondered why it had taken her so long to recognize and identify the feeling. Home. When she was with Angel she was finally home. Shifting on the couch, she smiled as she drifted off to sleep.


As the other her fell asleep, Faith found herself watching as Angel came in and found her. He tenderly caressed her cheek, a smile on his face, and then he carried her in to sleep in his room. He tucked her in as though she were a child, pulling the sheets up over her and then dropping a kiss on her hair. Then he went and slept on the couch.

Everything faded away and she was in the void again. She floated there for a moment, unsure of what might happen next. Slowly she began to be able to see, there seemed to be some sort of light growing in brightness around her. Then she saw Eliana.

“What’s going on?” The woman came closer and Faith grew nervous. Maybe Eliana was here to blink her out of existence or whatever. That was, after all, the choice she had made. At least Angel was happy; she could deal with death knowing that.

“The memories were not painful this time, were they?”

“Memories? No, no pain, but… what’s going on? Why am I here?”

“This is your reward.” Faith regarded her in confusion.

“Floating in nothing is my reward? I thought Angel’s soul was my reward.” Her eyes widened. “You did give him his soul, right?” Eliana nodded.

“That was a very selfless thing you did, sacrificing yourself for Angel.” Faith thought about what she had seen.

“It was worth it.”

“And so you are rewarded.” Faith glanced up. “We had high hopes when we gave you the choice, and you exceeded every one of them.”

“Wait. You mean… I still get to go back?”

“That’s what the memories are for.” Eliana stepped forward reaching out to touch Faith’s forehead. “Good luck.” And then everything went black.


She woke slowly, her mind still adjusting to the new memories. Her eyelids fluttered open; the room was dark, but she noticed Angel had lit a candle so she’d be able to see when she woke. She stretched languidly, enjoying the feel of silk against her skin and relishing the feeling of being back. He was in for quite a surprise; she hoped he liked it. Relaxing against the pillows, she closed her eyes and caught the smell of brewing coffee. She felt the mattress dip as he sat down next to her. He stroked her cheek, and she smiled, opening her eyes.

“Good sleep?” he asked. Her smile widened.

“I dreamt this.” He grinned, thinking she was still half asleep.

“It’s not a dream; you’re really here.” She laced her fingers with his and moved a little closer to him.

“No, that night we saved Giles. I dreamt about this that night at the mansion. That’s why I couldn’t sleep. Remember?”

“Faith, how did you know-” His eyes widened. “Faith?” She sat up, lifting her hand to stroke his face.

“It’s me. Or I’m her. Whatever. Either way, I remember everything. I have her memories and mine.” He pulled her close, his arms tight around her.

“Where did you go?”

“They gave me a choice; I could go home, or I could get your soul for you. I chose the soul.” He shook his head.

“You shouldn’t have done that. You shouldn’t have made that kind of sacrifice for me.”

“I wanted to, and you’re worth it. I just wanted you to be happy.” She smiled. “I guess they were hoping that’s what I’d do, because they sent me back to you. It’s my reward.” He laughed, his eyes suspiciously bright.

“That’s a hell of a reward.” Faith moved to press her lips to his, and heat licked through her body. Angel’s hands stroked down her back, flattening her against his chest, and she shivered at the sensation of his hands on her bare flesh. She shifted and the sheet dropped into her lap, reminding her that she was naked. Pulling away slightly, she grasped his shirt, moving backwards as she pulled him up to lay with her. He leaned up to look at her, trailing his fingers down her body in a feather light caress, and Faith trembled. “God, you’re beautiful.” Curling her hand around the back of his neck, she pulled him towards her. She met him halfway in a hungry kiss fueled by months of restrained passion; years for him.

Her hands moved over his back as she brought her leg up to brush against his hip. And suddenly his hands were everywhere, stroking her long and slow, heating her desire to a fever pitch. She moved against him, tugging at his shirt and he pulled away just long enough to strip off his clothes. She pulled him back to her, trailing a string of openmouthed kisses along his jaw and down his neck before returning to his mouth. His hand slid down her leg and then back up, moving against her in an intimate caress, making her moan in pleasure.

She felt like she was on fire and she wasn’t sure she could take much more. She shoved him hard, flipping him onto his back before moving to straddle him. The corner of his mouth kicked up in a devilish grin, and she leaned down to bite his lip. She pulled back teasingly, but he tugged her back into a heated embrace. They devoured each other, mouths meeting hungrily, hands sliding over sensitized flesh as she moved on him. He shifted, sliding into her, and she gasped, tossing her head back in pleasure. Angel reached up, his knuckles tenderly brushing her cheek, and her head tilted forward as she leaned into his touch. Faith watched his face as they slowly rocked together. God, he was beautiful! The look on his face, that fire in his eyes. How had she lived all her life without this, without him?

His gaze caught and held her – how did he do that? – and she felt her need spiral and tighten. She moved on him, her hands clutching at his arms as she stretched toward a seemingly unreachable goal, and then suddenly, she was there. Sensation exploded through her body as light flared behind her eyes, and she thought she might pass out. Then Angel was holding her firmly in his arms, anchoring her, and she watched in wonder as he followed her into oblivion.

As she drifted back down to earth, Angel rolled to the side, cradling her against his body. His hands moved soothingly over her back as she pressed soft kisses to his chest. She hooked a leg over his hip, needing to be as close to him as possible, and he pulled the sheet up over them. She looked up at him, running her hand through his hair.

“That was… there are…no words.” He kissed her, just the barest hint of pressure, and then he smiled.

“Like I said, hell of a reward.” She laughed into his shoulder, and his arms tightened around her. For the first time in her life she felt like everything was going to be okay. 


Read: Renewed Faith, a short companion piece from Angel's POV