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31 October 2006 @ 07:22 pm
Truth or Treat  
Title: Truth or Treat (1/2)
Author: Kelly and Mike (collaborative writing team)
Posted: 10/31/06
Rating: PG-15
Email: jjsoapchat AT yahoo DOT com
Content: Some angst, action, smooches
Scenes include: C/A baby!
Summary: AO Fall Fic Challenge. Our friend, Trish, suggested this to us (the costumes) and we ran with it. Takes place Post-Billy but before any Connor-ness. Angel and Cordelia are hired to be security for David Nabbit’s Halloween Party and Cordelia gets to pick out the costumes!
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David
Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: AO and our LJ. And is open for entering in any comp.
Notes: We didn’t have a chance to get this one beta’ed because of time. There might be some glaring errors so please forgive those. Also, because of the length of the story, we had to put it into three posts: header, part one and then part two. Also, the timeline doesn't match up as when popular culture events happened and the show aired but its no bigger a leap in continunity than we saw on our screens. LOL Enjoy!
Feedback: Yes, please. Tell us how we are doing!
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Cordelia stood in front of the filing cabinet with a few files in the crook of her arm. She had been putting this off for weeks but she didn't have an excuse now. Angel was giving her “The Look” every time he spied the pile sitting on her desk. Well, excuse her if she was too busy with killer visions to file. She reached over, turning up the radio. As it got closer and closer to Halloween, the DJs were slipping more and more spins of "Monster Mash" into the rotation. She rolled her eyes as it yet again came on the radio. Halloween and she was going to be stuck working. Gunn and Fred already called ‘one, two, three not it’ since it was Fred's first Halloween in five years. Wesley would no doubt lock himself in his office to study something or other. She was just hoping for a call for something interesting for that night.

As if an answer to her prayers the front door opened and in walked the very unassuming and nerdy David Nabbit. He glanced around nervously until he saw Cordelia. A big grin covered his boyish features and he approached. "So, how's the demon slaying going," he asked her. He'd love to ask her something else but for all his money he still had trouble talking to girls. Looking to the radio on hearing the song, he chuckled. "And the music plays on what I want to ask you about."

She heard a voice and she turned to see who it was. Her face lit up at the sight of the billionaire. She doubted very much if he was here to take her on an all expenses paid tropical vacation or a thousand-dollar shopping spree. "Hi David." She held the files up before putting them on her desk. "Excitement never ends here."

David would probably give her all those things if she just asked. He just gave a little wave as he approached the desk. "Is the bossman around," he asked Cordelia. David then looked at the clock. "Yeah, he's still sleeping. His night is our day and vice versa."

"He is always sleeping. It’s called lazy." She gave David a smile as she came up to the front counter. "Take over any companies today?" She would have taken advantage of him if she wasn't a good person deep down. She would have felt instantly guilty about it. Granted, she would have plenty of nice things to assuage her guilt but it wasn't the same.

"I really don't know," David said. Nabbit was smart, he was over the scale on genius but take-overs were a sad thing when you thought of the people involved. "Ah, okay. Well, maybe you can help me then."

"You don't know if you have taken over any companies today?" She raised a brow at this. David was a smart man but he didn't have a whole lot of common sense. She paused when he said something about helping him. She tried to hide the light in her eyes as she thought about that big fat check. "Well, what can I do for you?" She just assumed that he meant her or he would have asked for Angel.

"I'm having a Halloween party." He just shrugged while explaining. "I do this every year. Actually it’s the only party I really enjoy." He gave her that infectious smile of his as he leaned on the counter.

Halloween party, that was something she hadn't done since Sunnyhell. Then again, you see your friends start thinking they ARE their costumes, it kind of ruins it. "What are you going as?"

"Oh, everyone has to dress a celebrity or movie hero," he said and leaned forward to her, as if afraid he'd be overheard. "I'm going as Indiana Jones."

She could only imagine David Nabbit as Indy. He would probably end up crushed by that big boulder. She just smiled at him, unsure of why he was bothering to tell her this. "That's great."

"Yeah. I got the whole thing," David said still grinning. "I managed to get my hands on one of his satchels. You know that canvas bag? It’s actually a World War II British gas mask bag."

Cordelia just blinked. This would so be the conversation that Angel would love but it was something she was really close to not tolerating anymore. David was nice but he didn't have any of the endearing qualities any of the other dorks she dated did. "That's great, David. Really."

"Yeah," he nodded. "I paid quite a bit for it, but I had to have it." He took a breath then shrugged. "So, back to the party. I was wondering if your team could be security?"

He didn't have to ask twice. She remember the last party that David threw and she was so there. She smiled at him. "Of course. But, it will only be Angel and myself. The rest of the team already has plans. But Angel...Yeah...Big and all with the grrr. Perfect security."

"But, no grrr," David replied. "If I were having the monster mash party, he'd be perfect, you know all..." His voice trailed and he tried making a fierce face, but failed miserably. "Well, you know, none of the vampires in the movies or TV ever had that kind of thing going."

"No, I promise. No grrr." She paused for a moment because if they were going to do this job, might as well make it worth it. "So you want us to come in costumes? We will probably need an advance on that. Tight month."

"Oh, yeah." Nabbit pulled out his wallet. "I don't have my checkbook. But," he said pulling out some bills. He handed her two thousand. "Is this good? I'll have the rest for you the night of the party."

Cordelia eagerly took the money. She could do a lot of damage putting together two costumes with this. "Oh yeah. This is great, David. What time should we be there?"

"I suppose you need to get there early," he said thoughtfully. "Probably about six?"
She nodded her head, pocketing the money. "Six it is. No worries, we will be the best security your vast fortune can buy."

"I know," he agreed, "after all, how many can say they have a vampire as a body guard?" He turned and started for the door and took a leap up the steps but tripped; though he didn't go down. He turned and pointed at the step. "I...I meant to do that." The he was out the door before Cordelia could comment.

Which was a good thing as she brought her fist up to her mouth to cover her laughter. She pulled herself together and headed upstairs to talk to Angel. She knocked on his suite door, waiting for some indication that he was awake. "Angel, wake up! CNN just announced they can make chocolate flavored blood for the vampire community."

He always wondered why Cordelia didn't take her own advice about let sleeping vampires lie. Angel woke to the sound of the pounding on his door. He looked over at his clock. It was only eleven a.m. He brought his hands up and rubbed his face. When the knocking continued he got up, grabbed his robe and slipped it on. No way did he believe a word of what she had said. Finally, he made it to the door and opened it.

Cordelia was looking down at her watch, timing him. "Almost a full two minutes, Angel. What if I was out here being attacked by a demon? Or if I had a vision? The Powers don't care if you are sleeping in."

"I don't think CNN is vision worthy," he said. "As far as demon, I'd know if it were happening because you wouldn't knock. You'd been in here."

"You locked your door." She said flatly. "Besides, I can handle a demon. That is what all your training downstairs has been for, right? In case you are too busy sleeping to come in and rescue me?"

"Yeah, well, as you've said before, creature of the night and all," Angel replied leaning on the door. This had actually been the first sleep he'd had in a couple days after having to chase down a nest halfway to Watts.

"While you were counting...Bats or whatever, I got us a job. And I need the rest of the afternoon off to get supplies for it. You have to man the phones." She leaned against the opposite side of the door since he never told her to come inside. She could have barged in but what fun was that?

A frown creased his heavy brow. "What kind of job," he asked. What would she have to shop for unless Wes was sending her to one of the magic shops?

"David stopped by. He is throwing a Halloween party and he would like us to work security. He still can't talk to women so I am assuming he is going to have entertainment of the demon variety there. And..." Cordelia reached into her jeans and pulled out the two thousand dollars. "He gave me an advance to get us costumes. So that is why I need the afternoon off, Inspector."

"I don't do Halloween and I don't do costumes," he said to her as if she should already know this. "And why would he have demons there when he got into a lot of trouble with them before?"

"I don't know. Why did you keep running back to Buffy even when you knew she was bad for you? Its because men are stupid. Besides, you don't have to wear a costume. Do you think you can handle a black wife beater and a pair of worn black jeans?" She raised a brow, looking at him. It was a challenging look. She needed this. It just wasn't the money but it was a chance to go out. Wes was right when he said that she had become withdrawn and less social because of the visions.

"I wear that all the time," the vampire said getting a puzzled look. "Its a Halloween party and no costumes?" It didn’t even occur to Angel that jeans and a wife beater was going to be his costume.

"That is going to be your costume. It will all make sense as soon as I pick up mine and two accessories for you. You don't even have to change your hair." She gave him a bit of a smile but there was a sadness in her eyes as well. She really wasn't going to take no for an answer and she wasn't going to stand here to argue with Angel when she had two grand in her pocket.

That look she gave him, she knew would work. He could fight donkey demons, as she said, but when she started with those eyes, he was helpless. "Yeah, okay," he said. "Just turn on the machine. I do need to get at least a couple more hours shut eye. As quiet as it’s been I think we're allowed that."

"Next time I want to sleep in, I am just telling Wes that I turned on the machine. We will see how well THAT goes over." She just shook her head. She hadn't meant to give him any look. It was just something she hadn't been able to shake for a few months now. "You want me to warm you up some blood before you go back to sleep?"

"No," he walked back to the chair in the room and got his pants. He started pulling them on. "I ate just before I laid down."

"I thought you were going to get a couple more hours. I am leaving so you can hang around in all your pantless glory. Gunn and Fred are gone. Wes is still brooding in his apartment over the incident." She crossed her arms over her chest, watching him dress. It was a sight she had seen dozens of times before but for some reason, this time, it caused a slight tingle at the base of her spine.

Zipping his fly and buckling his belt, he then took off his robe and placed on the foot of the bed. He then got his gray pullover shirt and put it on. "I'll come downstairs," he said. "I'll sit in the office and listen for the phones."

She rolled her eyes at him. "I was just kidding about the answering machine thing." She stepped into his suite. She put a hand on his chest, pushing him back. "Just go back to bed. I don't want to have to deal with a grumpy manpire tonight."

With her final push, he fell back on the bed. "This is more comfortable then the desk," he admitted and laid down.

"I will be back in a couple of hours. Just get some sleep. I don't want you snoring during our training session tonight." She wasn't about to go pull off his pants or his shirt, no matter if part of her wanted to. She turned and went right for the door. She had shopping to do. That trumped any sort of undressing of manpires on the no-bone list.


Cordelia had finished the last of her shopping on Halloween itself. She came into the Hyperion, loaded down with bags. There was no reason to change at her place when she could just change here. She was going to have to come here anyway so that Angel could drive them. She gave a smile at Wes. It seemed like he got talked into manning the phones tonight. She was happy just to see him out of his apartment. "What are you suppose to be, Wes?"

Wesley Wyndam-Pryce looked up from his research. "An overworked, underpaid employee," he said.

"Oh, I thought maybe it was uptight bookworm. You have the look down." She gave him a smile before gesturing upstairs with her bags. "Is he up there?"

"Yes," Wes replied. "You know he'd be much happier here. He's not really a party animal like others we shall not mention."

Cordelia just gave Wes a look. "Its security. Gunn and Fred are out doing trick or treating, which yeah, outgrew that when I was about five. And you are moping around here like you were an Angel clone. I can't exactly run security myself. I am intimidating and yes, fabulous, but David is paying for Angel."

"So, I take it he's going as himself, and you?" He took off his glasses and laid them on the book. Picking up his cup of tea, he took a drink.

"Angel isn't going as himself. You will just have to wait and see when we come downstairs." She stuck her tongue out at Wes. She turned on her heel and climbed up the stairs. She called out. "Angel, you better be decent. I am coming up with your costume."

Wes just watched her go and let out a sigh as he put his glasses back on. He went back to reading his book. There was a time when, once, she would have wanted him to go with her.

The vampire was sitting in his chair, reading. He was in his robe since she was bringing him what he was supposed to wear. He was almost afraid to see it. "Its safe, Cordy," he said as he closed the book.

That was a few years and a different Cordelia ago. Now, she and Wes worked better as brother and sister. It was a lot easier to just forget that their awkward kiss during her high school years didn't exist. She opened the door and came in with hands filled with bags. "Ta-da!" Her face was lit up though. Not only from the chance to spend two grand on clothes but that she got to get something really nice for her best friend.

Standing, he walked over to her and took some of the bags. He then sat them down on the bed. "Are you still keeping me in the dark about this," he asked indicating the purchases.

"You are the one who wanted to stay home and sleep." She put the rest of the bags with the ones he took on the bed. She looked in them and pulled out a new pair of rather expensive shoes. "I went to the Diesel store. Picked up most of your costume there. Careful with the shoes, not exactly Payless Shoesource here."

Raising a brow at this, Angel looked at the shoes. "Cordy, these are..." his voice trailed off. Angel knew clothes. He loved his clothes, even back to his mortal days.

"These are the new Moonwalk boots. They don't even have them in most of the stores. I had to go down to the Beverly Center to get them. And...," She took out a pair of black Diesel jeans, industry faded and worn in. Rather silly to pay extra for the worn jeans look but it wasn't Cordy's money. She handed them over to him. "These too and...." She handed him a pair of silk black boxers and then went rummaging around in the bag.

"Boxers too," he actually chuckled. "I guess I had better try these on." He started to move to the bathroom.

"Wait! Shirt!" She tossed a black wife beater at him. It wasn't one of the cheap ones from Target that come three to a pack. She had spent a good amount of money to get him one at Diesel. Nearly half of the money David had given them had gone to Angel's costume. "When you are done, come back out here with your gel and I will do your hair. Plus, I have to add the finishing touches."

Angel caught the shirt then walked into the bathroom. He took a moment to look over the clothes. He admired them all. He had to smile once he was safely in the bathroom. He knew how much Cordelia had spent on these, giving up part of the money for costumes for him when she could have easily spent it on herself. After dressing he stepped out, hair product and comb in one hand. He went over to his dresser and got out a pair of socks heavy enough for the boots. Angel handed her the gel and sat down in a chair to put on the socks. Looking up at her, he spoke, "I'm trusting you, you know. It’s my hair."

"You can't see it anyway, so what do you care?" She stepped behind him and put the gel into her hands. She spread it to both palms before she worked it into his hair. She gave him a little bit of a finger massage on his scalp, seeing if he would notice.

With that bit of a massage, he closed his eyes and relaxed a bit in the chair. Just a little bit of an upturn came to the corner of his mouth. "Yeah, well, I can feel it."

"You can feel if your hair looks bad? Now that takes some talent, Ace. You might want to sell that secret to millions of women who get bad haircuts." She took her fingers off his scalp and reached for his comb. She combed his hair, spiking it up just a little bit. It really wasn't hard to achieve the look she was going for. "Okay...Just one last thing and then you will be done." She set the comb down so that she could go back to the bags. While she was looking for that last accessory, she was sure Angel would be putting on his boots.

"Yeah, well, how do you think I fix it without a mirror," he said as he leaned forward to grab the boots. He looked them over again then put them on.

"I didn't think you fixed it at all." She smiled as she came back to him. She knelt down on his right side. "Okay, stay still." She had what looked like to be a long sheet of paper in her hand. It was paper on one side and plastic on the other.

Angel glanced at her out of the corner of his eye. "What's that," he asked and turned his head to try and see.

"It’s a surprise. And it’s painless. So just keep still and look straight ahead." She peeled the plastic off the long sheet. She looked at his bicep for a moment. She positioned the paper and wrapped it around his arm. She pressed down, using a gentle pressure so the designs would stick.

"Most surprises I've experienced aren't something to look forward to," he said as he sat there. He felt the pressure and something sticking to his skin.

"Every time you are with me it’s a pleasant surprise. So just sit back and relax." She peeled away the paper so that it left the temporary tattoos on his bicep. Around his arm was barbed wire and above that was a sun design. She smiled as she looked at her handy work. "Wait, don't move. The guy at the shop gave me some powder to dust it with so they will set against your skin better."

Angel waited with patience. He did have plenty of it in most cases. It was acquired over the centuries because god knows he wasn't patient as a young human. He wanted things and wanted them his way. "Well, yeah," he agreed. "That's a pretty good surprise."

"You have to trust me, Angel. I would never do anything bad on purpose. You are my friend." She knelt down by him and gently dusted the temporary tattoos with some of the finishing powder. "I got these at a specialty shop on Ventura. Cost almost as much as your new jeans." She chuckled as she stood up. She stood back to admire the look. "Perfect. I am just going to get dressed in your bathroom, okay?"

Angel stood and he looked at his arm for a moment then he looked to Cordy. He loved her eyes, they said more about her then probably she even realized. Actually to think about it, Cordy has been the one constant in his life since he moved to California a few years back first coming to Sunnydale. "Cordelia," he said before she could go to the bathroom.

She grabbed up her bags on the way to the bathroom. When she heard her name, she stopped. She turned around to look at him. "They aren't crooked, I promise. And your hair looks great." She flashed him one of those high wattage smiles.

"That's not what I wanted to say," he said. "What I wanted to say is... I do trust you."

"I trust you too. But you already knew that." She had told him before but maybe she just wasn't telling him enough. He was probably just having an insecure moment since they were about to go to a social function. "You might want to eat dinner while I get ready. It’s going to take a couple of minutes." With that, she slipped into the bathroom and shut the door.

Angel turned and headed for the little kitchen in his suite. He opened the fridge and got a container of pig’s blood. Setting it in the microwave, he heated it. Angel glanced to that door wondering just what she was putting on. Then the ding of the oven brought his attention back to it and he removed his dinner. He waited a moment then lifted it and drank.

It took nearly 30 minutes before Cordelia was ready. She was just glad that she had done her makeup at her own house. She opened the door to the bathroom, stepping out, and striking a pose. She was dressed in a low cut, body hugging leather vest and nearly painted on low-rise jeans. Her ample chest was nearly spilling out of the vest and when she moved, one could catch a glimpse of her navel. She had put on a curly blonde wig that flowed down past her shoulders. "So...Um...Is that like pig or is it blood, y’all?"

Angel just stood there, not saying a word. Cordelia as a blonde. Finally, he managed to speak. "You look...Well, you look..." Well, he could speak but finishing a sentence was another matter.

She put her hands on her hips. She looked down at herself and then back up to him. "You don't like it. I am suppose to be Jessica Simpson and you are Nick Lachey. Does the costume not look right?"

"The costume looks...Great," he said. "Ah, who's Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey?"

She just raised a brow at Angel. "Newlyweds. The TV show? He is a singer, she is singer and actress. She is dumber than rocks and he just tolerates it." She was fishing here, hoping Angel had any idea who she was talking about. "You look a lot like him. And well, my rack is as big as hers." She looked down at her golden brown cleavage. She was glad she took some time in the self-tan booth before this.

Angel still wasn't sure who they were. "I'm not going to have to sing, am I?" he asked. "I don't sing."

She just sighed over-dramatically at him. "You don't sing. You don't dance. You don't tan. You don't date. You don't smile. You don’t do Halloween. You don’t do costumes. You have a whole list of don'ts." She paused for a minute. "Maybe I can throw something together for Wes."

"No," he shook his head. "Nabbit is expecting me." He walked over and got his car keys then opened the door for her. "C'me on, Ms. Simpson. Let's go mingle with the beautiful people."

That hurt her just the smallest bit, the comment about David expecting him. She thought maybe this job could be fun but if he wanted to be like that, then fine. She walked past him without saying a word and took the stairs two at a time down. At least she had plenty of practice with these stairs in heels so she didn’t fall. She looked over at Wes, still at the desk. "Don't wait up for me." She emphasized the 'me' very clearly to Wes so Angel could hear it.

Angel was down those stairs behind her. Wesley looked up and was about to say something. Angel pointed at him as a warning, not to say a thing. Then he continued after Cordy. Down in the garage, he opened the car door for her and waited for her to get in.
She got into the GTX and slid all the way over to the passenger's side. She wanted to put a bit of distance between herself and Angel. She spent a long time on these getups, she did his hair, his fake tattoos. She was always taking care of him and instead of a sentiment of having a fun night out, all he wanted to do was talk about was his stupid don’t list and how David was expecting him.

He put the key in the ignition on the dash but he didn't start the car. He sat back. "I'm sorry," he said in a hushed tone.

"You don't have to apologize, Angel. You are right, this is a job. And we better not be late. David said six and we still have to hit traffic." She didn't look over at him, preferring instead to look at the passenger's side window at the garage.

If he could sigh, he would. He started the car and pulled on out, heading for David Nabbit's party that had been billed as the party to be at this year.

Once they arrived at the party, she got out as the valet opened her door. She gave him a smile and tried to ignore the look he was giving her. He was talking at her breasts but she was going to have to get used to it this evening. There were only staff here so far so she moved up towards the door. It was already open, people milling around. She stepped inside, not waiting for Angel, calling out. "David? Its Cordelia."

Angel paused by the valet, tipping him but he also spoke, "Put you eyeballs back in your head, kid or I'll do it for you and if I do, they'll be at the back of your skull." Looking back to the car he then added, "Not a scratch either. Got it?"

Cordelia stepped more inside, giving a smile to one of the cater waiters. She was practicing her fake smile for the rest of the party. "Do you know where David is?" The waiter just shook his head and it caused Cordelia to sigh. The house was huge so she would never find David on her own.

David came into the room and smiled when he saw Cordy. He was indeed dressed as the intrepid explorer/archeologist, Indiana Jones. "My, I think I found my lost treasure," he said in his good-natured way. "You really look..." Then his eyes went over Cordelia's shoulders on seeing Angel. "I get it now. Jessica and Nick!"

Angel eyed David in his costume. Now that was one he would have understood and known. He loved the Indiana Jones series. Actually he liked all of Harrison Ford's movies. The guy was just real on camera.

Cordelia lit up as David recognized them. "That is right!" She gently nudged David while still smiling. "Your costume looks great, David. Really authentic. Did you buy an old set costume?"

"Just the bag," he had to admit. "Mr. Ford's clothes wouldn't exactly fit." He looked from Angel to Cordy. "You both look really good. I bet Jessica will have a laugh when she sees."

Angel cleared his throat. "Maybe we better check things out. Get familiar so in case of trouble we'll be able to handle it." He paused then asked, "Are you expecting trouble?"

"You could have gotten them tailored but I couldn't tell the difference." She paused for a moment. She hadn't really expected Jessica Simpson to be here tonight. She thought it was 'dress like a celebrity' not 'be a celebrity'. Of course, Angel ruined things yet again by going right to the job.

"Okay," he said as he started to walk. "The main crowd gathering place is going to be in the great room. Guess they call it that because its so big," David said as he walked. "I've got two bands tonight. One is playing in the Great Room the other out by the pool. Food buffet both places." David stopped and looked at them both. "Feel free to have some food. But," he looked apologetic, "sorry, Angel. I didn't I mean."

"Its okay David," he said, "I ate before we came." As they walked Angel was taking in his surroundings, becoming aware of it all.

She followed next to the two guys. Food, expensive food, sounded so good right about now. Her stomach was already growling. She was checking out the champagne going around too. She was already in a better mood. She would separate from Angel and have herself a good time while keeping an eye on everyone. "Is that Beluga?"

"I think," David said, tinge of red on his face even through the make up. "I really don't do all this. I have a party organizer and she sets this all up."

"Do you mind?" She gestured towards the plate with the little toast points. She was already reaching for it. She really doubted that David was going to tell her no.

"Oh, go ahead," he indicated it to her. "There's plenty. I could probably even send some home with you after the party."

Angel started to say something but he was quickly cut off as Cordelia spoke.

"David, I love you." She cut Angel off before he could say a word. She put one of the toast points with the caviar into her mouth. She closed her eyes, making a face that was nothing short of orgasmic. "Oh my god...Its so buttery and rich and just the right amount of salt."

With his mouth still open slightly, Angel watched Cordelia enjoy that morsel. Her face, that expression, he had to finally look away. "This is...Is really nice, David," the vampire said in a bit of a choked voice.

Again, David smiled. "Thanks," he said. Then heard the door. He looked at the two and excused himself. As he walked the bullwhip on his belt swayed. Angel watched him go on to the foyer.

She opened her eyes slowly, still reeling from that delicious experience. She grabbed up a flute of champagne to wash it down with. She reached for another toast point to help wash down the champagne. That was her excuse if anyone asked. "Don't tell him. What he doesn't know, won't kill him."

"Go easy on the champagne," he said to her. Not just because they were working but he also knew how she got drunk. He glanced back at that buffet table and saw the chocolate truffles. It really sucked a lot being a vampire.

"I am having fun, Angel." Her voice took on that tinge that she was still mad at him. She didn't yet eat that second serving of caviar. "We should split up. We can watch the party better that way." She didn't wait for him to say yes or no before she moved away from him. He was going to basically ruin her night with his don'ts and his can'ts.

Angel watched her walk off. His eyes took her in, or more like watching her ass in those jeans. He shook his head. He had to get those thoughts out of his head. She probably didn't even have the same feelings towards him.

Cordelia was making every attempt to be good security but she had to face the fact that she was distracted. All the Hollywood elite of the business and entertainment world had shown up. Some of them were human, some of them weren't. Cordelia frankly didn't care where Angel was because she was having too much fun rubbing elbows with the rich and famous. The band was fantastic and she really wanted to dance. She kept shooting glances across the room to Angel. It was a shame that dancing was on his don't list. That was one seriously long list. He didn't have problems dancing with Buffy at Prom. She snorted as the thought of Buffy popped into her head. That was a quick way to ruin a party that is for sure.

When Cordelia turned from one of her glances she bumped into a tall, model type guy. He had a smile that probably cost a fortune and sparkling blue eyes that were probably enhanced by contacts. He was dressed as Bo Duke, easy enough to tell, the John Schiender version. "Well, well, cuz," he said looking at her.

She wasn't exactly a retard when it came to pop culture so she knew who he was supposed to be. She grinned at him, hooking her thumbs into her pockets. Angel could handle the security issue while she flirted with this guy. "Good thing we are from the South. They don't seem to mind that kissing cousins thing." She grinned at him. She might as well have fun playing Jessica Simpson. It would take her mind off everything for a bit at the very least.

He grinned at her. "Well, how about honoring a good ol' boy a dance," he said really working on that southern accent, which was clearly fake.

One line from her and the guy was ready to dance. It was nice to see that she still had it. "The Funky Chicken or The Twist or maybe The Running Man." If he was going to stay in character, so was she, and just have fun with it. She twirled a piece of that blonde wig around her finger, looking every bit the dumb blonde for the moment. His accent couldn't have been any worse than the one she was attempting though.

He led her out to the floor. "How about we let the music decide," he told her. "And I'm just wondering how tired you are from all the running around in my dreams you've been doing." The guy took her in his arms, holding her close.

"Maybe you can dial the cheese factor down just a little bit. You are at Limburger levels here." She could only keep up the Jessica Simpson act for so long before Cordy came shining through. She gave him a smile though because he was really cute, even under the costume. She put her arms on his biceps, squeezing them gently. "Someone works out."

"That was kind of bad, wasn't it," he said, the accent gone. "Yes, I know. And what gym do you use?"

"I just work out at home." She was careful not to say 'with my manpire boss. And sometimes, when we are practicing sword fighting, and he touches me, I get a tingle running down my spine.' She let this guy lead, moving to the music. "What about you?" It was LA so either they were going to talk about their gyms, their diets, or their plastic surgeons. Those were topics that Cordelia hadn't discussed in a long time.

"I work out at TRAIN," he said. But before he could say anything else a tall dark haired guy that looked like Nick Lachey interrupted him.

"Excuse me," Angel said to the guy, "I need to speak to the lady.”

The guy hesitated and looked to Cordy to see what she wanted. He wasn't happy about this.

She knew that the only reason Angel would be coming over to her would be because it was work related. She rolled her eyes and patted Bo's chest. "Sorry about this. Hold that thought. My husband for the night gets antsy when they run out of food." She broke herself away from her companion. She grabbed Angel by the arm, leading him off. "This better be really important, Angel."

Walking with Cordelia, he wasn't sure what to tell her. He wanted to get her away from that guy. He was one of the wannabes of this town and he just didn't like it. "I...I thought maybe it was time to do a sweep of the premises."

Cordelia just sighed. She looked back at her model man but he was already chatting up a Halle Berry Catwoman. She looked back to Angel. "Premise sweep. Got it. Anything else, boss?" She was still taking an acidic tone with him. He was far from on her good list considering how things had been going.

The vampire was holding a punch in his hand and he handed it to her. "Thought you might like it," he said. "It’s fruity, or that is what I was told."

Cordelia just looked down at the cup in his hand before she looked back up at him. She took it from him but she didn't drink it. "Where do you want me to start? The sooner we finish, the sooner I can get back to the party." She took a sip of the punch, not bothering to tell Angel that she wished it had been him that asked her to dance. She was a realist but when it came to Angel, she got stuck in fantasyland.

Angel didn't like the idea of her mingling with the beautiful people. He kept telling himself it was because they were here on a job, not to party. That's what he kept telling himself. But when he saw her dancing with that guy something in him wasn't happy the way the guy was holding her and smiling at her.

"Earth to Angel." She reached over and snapped her fingers in front of his face. She set her punch down. "Where do you want me to start?"

"Just make a sweep of the room," he said after he blinked a couple times from her snap. "I'll move towards the dining area."

"Yeah, you do that. Try not to have any fun on your way. Would hate to violate one of your 'don'ts'." She rolled her eyes at him before moving away from him. She didn't know what his problem was but she felt his eyes on her as she was walking away. She looked over her shoulder at him. "Did I sit in something?" She started wiping her butt off.

"Uh, no... No," he replied aware now that he was watching her ass in those tight jeans for the second time tonight. He quickly turned and started making his way through the crowd.

He didn't make it far though as a petite blonde came running up to him. She gave him a wide and sunny smile. "I love your Nick costume." She reached out to touch his bicep, the one with the temporary tattoos on it. "Oooh, are these real?"

"No," Angel said as he sort of sidestepped before she touched. Fake tattoos were easy to explain. Cold skin when it was nice and balmy outside was a little harder. "Thanks. It was something quick, last minute."

"You look..." Her eyes roamed his body, sizing him up. "Fantastic. Do you need a Jessica?" She smiled at him once more. She looked the part, if one squinted their eyes and ignored her rather flat chest. She bore a strange resemblance to someone else however, if one tilted their head just right. It wasn’t Jessica Simpson but rather a certain Slayer from Sunnydale.

"Do I need a Jessica?" It took him a moment to process this, being culturally retarded as he was. "I...Well, this is just dress up, you know. I mean, what you see isn't...Well, its illusion."

"Well..." She moved a little closer to him, putting her hands on his chest. "How about a little fantasy with me?" She was obviously drunk, even though the party was just getting started. She ran a finger down his chest. "I have a pair of Daisy Dukes at my place."

"I don't think," he started to say as he looked down at her hand and those fingers that she was letting do the walking.

Cordelia saw all of this from across the room. She really wanted to let Angel squirm just a little bit longer. But she could feel that knot in her stomach. If anyone should be putting their hands all over Angel, it should be her. She came up on his side, giving the other girl a glare. "How about you move off now, Skankarella? I think I saw an Usher who was looking to feel up some easy meat."

The girl just frowned up at Angel when Cordelia came along. "Are you going to let her talk to me like that, Nick?" She didn't know his name but it seemed to work well enough for the situation. She moved off just a bit, stumbling. She was drunk enough that when she spotted a Brad Pitt, she was quickly chasing after him, calling. “Brad! Brad! Do you need a Jen?”

Angel watched the girl go and didn't have a chance to tell her his name wasn't Nick. He looked at Cordelia. "I thought you were doing a sweep?"

She rolled her eyes at Angel. "Some thank you for saving you. What is with you and attracting horny blondes?" She started to move away from Angel since he was going to be like that. "Sweeping...See..."

"I don't attract horny blondes," he called after her. Then he realized how loud that was and people turned not only to look at him but her too.

It was a good thing that she didn't get easily embarrassed. She did shoot Angel a look. He was ruining her evening and he didn't even seem to care. She disappeared back into the crowd, leaving him to stand there with the crowd looking at him.

Cordelia was keeping her eyes peeled though when she saw a gentleman sitting by himself. That was never good. She made her way over towards him. "My feet always kill at these things too. All the standing around." She moved to sit down next to him.

The stranger took a drink. He was dark and had a smile that would melt a woman. "I wouldn't last 10 minutes in something like those," he said with a smile.

"I think they would look cute on you." She chuckled and moved a little closer to the guy. Yes, she had been drinking and usually when she mixed drinking with a handsome guy, it ended up with her pregnant with demon spawn. "I'm Cordelia, by the way, but you can call me Cordy."

"Cordelia," he said with a raised brow. "Oh, now, don't give me that Jessy. Clever coming dressed as a what? Pop star?" He was grinning at her.

She laughed and shook her head. "No, really. Not Jessica Simpson. Just came dressed as her." She pulled the wig off enough to reveal her brunette hair underneath. She pulled the wig back on quickly.

"It’s really a great job," he told her shaking his head. "Fooled me and I know Jessy and her Ken doll."

"I will take that as a compliment. So you have a name?" She looked at him for a moment. It was clear that she was sizing him up. Was he going to fall into the friend, foe, or potential one night stand? Its not like she could have a real relationship with anyone, not with the killer visions and demon slaughter. She was right when she told Wes that maybe they were all meant to end up together.

"Wayne," he said holding out his hand. "But you can call me Wayne."

"Nice to meet you, Wayne." She took his hand and she paused for a moment. She caught something out of the corner of her eye. "Listen, how about we level here. First, I know you are gay because aside from the guy I brought with me, you are the only male not to talk to my tits tonight. And I know you aren't human because I just caught your face shimmering a bit."

"Damn, and I was hoping it would be the champagne," he chuckled again. "But not exactly gay, well, by human standards." He stood and reached down to help her up.

She stood up with his help. "Asexual breeding or hermaphrodites? Sorry I am all nosy. I just work for a vampire and I have been around demons for years. Its hard not to spot them." She just looked at him and even though he had a human face on, she could see the sadness in his eyes. "Do you want to go someplace and talk? I am probably one of the few people here that you could be honest with."

"Actually," Wayne said as he started walking, "they can't even be truthful with themselves. Hollywood is far from what people on the outside think. It’s not the glamour they fantasize. And the meals from crafts services suck."

Cordelia was really not one to talk about being truthful. She was hiding two huge secrets and she was hiding them well. The first was that she was dying and the second was that she was in love with Angel. She walked along side with him, nodding her head. "I used to act. Tell me about it. "

"So, you work for a vampire," Wayne opened the backdoor for her to step out to the pool. Outside the band was playing soft jazz. "So, are you his blood doll or something? I heard there was a trend going around with the undead. Instead of killing right off they keep a human. Even give them drugs so they can get a high." He wasn't saying it in a mean or sarcastic way, just out of knowledge from his side of the tracks.

"So I am really working that heroin chic look then? And I just thought thin was in." She laughed softly but she couldn't exactly afford to eat steak every night. "No. Not that...Whatever. My boss has a soul. Angel. Might have heard of him. I am his Seer. I get skull splitting visions from The Powers That Be and then I tell Angel so he goes to kill things." She shrugged her shoulders because this was her life now. It didn't seem that odd to her.

"Oh, yes," he nodded in recognition of the name. "Uh, I hope I'm not on his list of things to kill. I'm really not such a bad guy. I just want to get by and not make waves."

"He doesn't kill demons until they do the killing first. Actually, a lot of our clients are demons." She reached into her jeans. She was always prepared. She pulled out a business card, handing it over to him. "I designed the logo myself."

Taking the card, Wayne looked at it. He raised a brow at the graphic. "Ah, its," he turned it one way then another, "A crab?"

"It’s an angel." She just sighed. She reached over to turn it the right way. She started pointing things out to him, moving closer to him. "See, this is the body, these are the wings. See it?" She was close enough to Wayne now to give the casual observer the wrong impression.

Angel was walking through the partygoers. He'd been stopped by a couple of women, even after his outburst. One dressed as Elvira, it might have really been her, but he declined the offers of dance and possible things to come. He walked by the huge picture window that looked out at the backyard and the pool. Something caught his eye, or rather someone. Cordy talking to a tall, dark man...And talking rather close.

"Yes, I can see it," he admitted. "I'm sorry, I should have seen it." He paused then looked from the card to her. "I was wondering, you said we could go someplace private. Maybe, I mean, if I'm out of line here...Maybe you can come with me and let me and talk. I really need that."

She nodded her head, giving him a smile. "I meant it when I said it. When I saw you across the room, I could just tell that you had the weight of the world on your shoulders. I am around that look a lot...Angel and all." Though it would be nice to actually talk to someone who would open up about what they were feeling rather than heading downstairs to the punching bag. "I know the layout of David's house so come on, we can go upstairs to one of the guest rooms." She took Wayne’s hand to guide him. She started to move away from the pool and back into the house. She headed upstairs, opening a door and holding it open for Wayne.

He stepped through the door following her. He stood there with his hands in his pockets. "David is one lucky bastard," he said "Seems everything goes right for him even when he screws up." Wayne laughed.

Cordelia shut the door behind them. She moved to sit down on the bed. "I take it that things aren't going so well for you then?" She patted the bed next to her for him to sit down. She already knew he was only interested in a friend, someone to talk to.

Wayne sat down beside Cordelia. He sighed and looked up at the ceiling. "How do I start," he said.

"Beginning...Usually a good place." She gave him a smile but she knew better than to laugh. He was obviously distressed and she wasn't really insensitive. She always listened on the rare occasions that Angel wanted to open up.

"Okay, well, you already guessed what I am, for the most part," Wayne began. "And yes, I still take up my residence down in the tunnels. Not that bad, actually. We have a nice little flat down there, fixed up really nice. Once you enter it you wouldn't think you were in the sewers." He looked over at her a moment. "But last week, one of my family mates...Was attacked. We couldn't even identify the body. Then it happened again, a couple days later."

Two cases in one night, well Angel would be happy that he would be able to go kill some more stuff. "Do you have any kind of enemies at all? Maybe a rival clan or something that would want you dead?" She had really learned way too much about demons and demon relations being around Angel and Wes this long.

Shaking his head, the glamoured demon looked down at the floor. "None that we know of," he said. "Though back home there was one that was said to prey on our kind. That we were what it needed...To...Well, ready itself for..." He was having trouble with this part, that was obvious.

"Mating?" She was pretty well versed in that now too thanks to Wes. She moved a little closer to Wayne, putting a supportive hand on his back. She rubbed his back gently. "How about once the party is over, you take Angel and I down there? We can hunt around and maybe find whatever is killing your family."

Tears started to form in his eyes. He looked at her. "I can't loose the rest," Wayne said, his lip quivering. "I can't..."

"Wayne...Don't worry...I promise. Angel and I, we will find out who is doing this. Its what we do. You just have to have some faith in us." She hesitated for a moment before she gave him a hug. He looked like he needed it to say the least.

He put his arms around Cordelia but before he could give his thanks the door to the room flung open. Something dark and angry was there. Angel grabbed Wayne and next the poor demon knew he was flying across the room. Angel turned then on the crumpled Wayne and was down on him, his fist drawn back.

Cordelia shot up from the bed. She got behind Angel and held his fist. "What the hell do you think you are doing?!" She tried to pull Angel's fist back, to keep him from hurting Wayne further.

"Cordelia," Angel said with a growl, his face was morphed, his demon was on the surface, "this isn't human."

"I know. His name is Wayne, he is a demon, and something is killing his family. Jeeze." She let go of Angel's fist. She moved to kneel beside the cowering Wayne. "Wayne...Are you...Oh man, your head." She reached back to touch the poor demon's skull. She shot a venomous look at Angel.

Looking at Cordy, Angel swallowed. "I didn't know you...He looked like he was about to...You were on a bed and..."

"And what? I am a grown woman. If I want to get down with a demon at a party, I am allowed!" She looked back to Wayne now. "Are you going to be okay? I am sorry about this. I don't know what his problem is."

Wayne nodded and started to stand. He pulled his handkerchief from his pocket and wiped the corner of his mouth. "I'm okay," he said. Then he looked at the vampire.

Cordelia moved to help him to his feet. She could not believe that Angel had burst in on her. What if Wayne wasn't playing for the other team and they were making out...Or more. That would have been a sight to say the least.

Wayne looked at Angel but he said nothing. He knew why Angel had done this even if the vampire didn't want to admit it. He looked back to Cordy. "I'd better go," he said to her.

"Wayne...Something is still attacking and killing your family. I was serious when I said we would help you. The party has to be winding down by now. At least let me find David and ask him if we can leave a little early? It’s the least we can do." She was speaking for Angel here but considering he was so keyed up, he probably needed to go kill something.

"Thank you," Wayne said. He looked to Angel who by now had put his human mask back on. "We've heard a lot about you. Most demons are scared shitless of you. I can see why now."

Angel glanced from Cordy to Wayne. "Yeah, well, it’s a job," he said. "Ah, look, I'm sorry. I thought Cordy was in trouble. I could tell you weren't human. You didn't...Well...Smell right."

When Cordelia stepped out Wayne turned his total attention on the vampire. "That's not what worried you," the demon said. "You were afraid her affections were being directed elsewhere. But, that is impossible with me, I assure you."

Angel didn't reply to that. He just stepped around the demon to head out of the room.

At least now the party had winded down so Cordelia was able to find David easily among the few partygoers left. She gave him a smile. "David...do you mind if Angel and I take off? We got another case while we were here." She didn't see any reason not to just tell David the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Nabbit had taken the whip off his belt and had tried to pop a leaf off the tree. The whip snaked the branch and now he was pulling on it trying to get it down. "Ah, yeah, great," he said as he looked back at her. "Demon slaying? Need some help?"

Angel had walked up by then and saw the situation. He stepped over to Nabbit and took the handle of the whip from him. He gave it an expert flick of his wrist and the whip turned loose of the limb. "I think we can handle it, David. Its nothing big."

She covered her hand over her mouth to try to keep herself from flat out laughing at David. It helped a great deal that he was going to give them a big, fat check. "Just a little recon work. Besides, looks like you have your hands full for tonight. What with the demon hookers and all." She did make a note that they seemed to be sticking around even if the party was over.

He started walking into the house. "Let me give you your balance," he said as he walked. Then he looked to the hookers. "Oh, yeah, well, they asked if they could hang around. I told them sure, as long as it wasn't literal hanging...You know...From the fixtures?" He walked to a desk and opened it. Pulling out a book of checks he wrote it out and handed it to them. "You both were really good tonight. Got a lot of good comments on your costumes. Nobody even realized you were security." He handed the check over.

Cordelia grabbed the check up quickly. She folded it up and slipped it into the front of her vest. "Safe keeping. One place Angel won't go." She smiled at David. "Well, glad people like Nike and Jessica milling around. You need security again, just give us a call."

Angel noted that check vanished faster then the human eye could detect. He nodded and said his good-byes to David then waited for Cordelia.