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I Can't Stop Loving You

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Angel and Spike leaned against the desk discussing their latest trip to Italy. Although they rarely agreed on anything they were both in complete agreement it had been an utter fiasco. They were supposed to have picked up a demon head but because they hadn't wanted to believe a word of what Andrew had gleefully told them about Buffy and The Immortal, they had raced around trying to save her from their arch nemesis. But despite their best efforts they had failed to warn her and finally had had no choice but to return to LA.

Spike looked over at Angel, anger evident on his face. Every plan he’d come up with Angel had vetoed. The big pouf wouldn’t let him put her in a box or even use a spell to get Buffy to come to her senses. Just what did he expect them to do? Offer them tea and scones! “What the bloody hell do we do now?”

“We have to let her live her own life and move on with ours.”

“Are you sure we can’t make her dump him?” Spike asked hopefully.

“No, we can’t. She deserves to be happy and if The Immortal can do that then, as much as we’d want to, we can’t stand in her way.”

Spike sighed loudly. “Well, that’s that then. We move on.”

Angel nodded his head slightly. “Yeah, I guess we do.”

Angel couldn’t believe that Spike was actually buying all the crap he was saying about moving on with his life. Move on his ass! Was Spike new? Had he forgotten it was the Buffy and Angel show? They fought, broke up, made up, got back together and broke up some more. But the crucial words there were that they got back together. Always. If Spike thought for one minute he was going to leave Buffy in The Immortal’s evil clutches then he’d best think again. She was his soul mate. But while he was waiting patiently for cookies to finish baking she was letting the damned Immortal eat cookie dough. Well not anymore. Buffy belonged to him and it was past time that she and everyone else remembered that fact.

Spike stood up straight and walked towards the door. “Well Peaches, I don’t know about you but I plan to get disgustingly drunk. Join me?”

Angel shook his head and waited impatiently for Spike to leave the room before he hit the intercom button. “Have the jet fueled and ready to leave in five minutes. What? I’m getting cookies. Oh and Harmony if you tell anyone I will stake you.”

Two brief phone calls later Angel was ready to leave. He locked his office door, made a staking motion towards Harmony just to remind her, and headed towards the elevator.

~~~~~~~

Although Wolfram and Hart’s jet was the fastest one available it had still taken too long for his piece of mind. By the time he’d arrived in Italy and made his way to Buffy’s apartment, ready to rescue her from the evil clutches of his arch nemesis, he’d almost been too late.

Andrew had taken perverse delight in telling him that Buffy was in the shower getting ready for her hot date with The Immortal, but that he would make sure she knew Angel had dropped by. At the self-important look on his face, Angel had had to stick his hands in his pockets in order to control the urge to snap the smug bastard’s neck. He really couldn’t stand the jerk, why Buffy kept him around he’d never understand.

Once Angel had ‘convinced’ Andrew to leave and forget he’d ever seen him there, he'd quietly made his way to the master bedroom.

As he stood outside the bathroom door, Angel knew that what he was about to do wasn’t the brightest thing he’d ever done. As a matter of fact it could probably be considered the stupidest thing a vampire had ever even thought about doing. But damn it all to hell he was tired of waiting for the cookies to finish baking. As far as he was concerned the time was up, whether she was ready or not.

Silently, he eased open the bathroom door and was immediately struck by the vision standing behind the glass enclosure. It had been years since he’d last seen her like this. She’d been a mere teenager, almost a child really. But now a full-grown woman stood before him. His eyes roamed her body appreciatively from head to toe, absorbing the changes. If she’d been beautiful then, God, she was breathtaking now.

“Buffy.”

“Angel!” Buffy shrieked as she looked around desperately for someway to cover herself. “What in the hell are you doing here?”

Angel tossed her a towel. “We need to talk.”

She wrapped the towel around her body, counted to ten, before she stepped out of the shower. “Enough with the cryptic. What’s wrong?”

Angel stared intently as one lone droplet of water fell from her hair, skimmed slowly down her neck, before it disappeared underneath the towel. What he wouldn’t give to be able to trace that droplet’s path with his tongue. To be able to caress Buffy’s naked skin at will. To remind himself what if felt like to be surrounded by her warm, wet…

“Angel?”

He shook his head as he came to his senses and backed out the door. “No, not here. Get dressed. I’ll be in the living room.” Thinking nonsensical thoughts he added quietly to himself as he left the room. He was desperate; he’d take anything to get his mind off seeing naked Buffy. Hell, even the thought of Xander in a tutu would do. That thought gave him pause. Okay so maybe he wasn’t quite that desperate.

~~~~~~~~

Five minutes later, Angel stood in the shadows watching as Buffy entered the room. God, how he’d missed the simple pleasure of watching her walk, missed seeing the way her blonde hair caressed the soft skin of her shoulders as she moved. He had almost forgotten how graceful she was. He loved the way the shimmering purple tank top hugged her pert breasts before sliding into the black leather mini-skirt that showed off sun-kissed legs to perfection.

Was this the outfit she’d planned on wearing on her ‘hot date’? Jealousy burned through his insides like quicksilver. Mine, the beast within him roared. Whatever reservations he’d had with his plan vanished on seeing Buffy dressed like that.

Quietly he moved to stand behind her, waiting for the perfect time. Although his body clamored for contact, any kind of contact, he was careful not to touch her in anyway. He wanted to gather her in his arms and make her forget everyone and everything but him. But he couldn’t. There was more at stake than just a moment out of time. He wanted forever with Buffy in his arms. And he had no intention of settling for anything less.

She must have sensed he was there but before she turned around, Angel clamped the chloroform soaked cloth to her face. As she finally gave into unconsciousness, Angel gave in to the temptation to hold her close to his aching body for a brief moment.

He gazed down at the petite slayer, lying unconscious against him and a wave of love nearly brought him to his knees. I’m tired of fighting my feelings for you. Nothing or no one, past or present, will ever change the fact that you’re still mine. It’s long past time you remember that you belong to me.

Finally, he swung her limp body into his arms. As her head rested against his chest, he tried to drag up a little remorse for what he was doing but could find none. Mine, the beast within him roared once again. With one last look around the room, to make sure he’d left no sign he’d ever been there, he carried his precious bundle out into the night.

~~~~~~~~

Roughly two hours later a small plane landed in the middle of a field at the corner of nowhere and no place. Angel stepped from the plane, holding Buffy snugly against his chest.

Since he’d had to sedate her three more times after boarding he wanted to get inside as fast as he could before she came to again. Damn slayer constitution! Quickly he dismissed the pilot and made his way to the log cabin that sat across from the field.

He felt like a juggler doing a balancing act as he tried to unlock the door without dropping Buffy before finally giving up and kicking the door in. With long strides he carried her unconscious body to the bed, he laid her down gently before he turned to shut the door. Even though the door was hanging a bit haphazardly Angel sighed in relief after it closed behind him.

 

Once the door was secured the only thing left to do was wait for Buffy to wake. Angel scooted the only chair in the room close to the foot of the bed before he sat down to wait patiently. She looked so pretty and peaceful almost as if she were Sleeping Beauty. Although he doubted, once she came to, he would get the same welcome as the prince had in that particular fairy tale. As a matter of fact if he knew his Buffy, after what he’d done he’d be lucky to keep his lips attached if he even tried to kiss her awake.

~~~~~~~~

Suddenly Buffy’s eyes snapped open and she looked wildly around the room. What was going on? Where in the hell was she? Comprehension dawned on her when she spotted Angel. Of all the vile, despicable things to do! She didn’t know what Angel thought he was doing but whatever it was he’d better think again.

Grabbing the lamp from the table, Buffy leapt off the bed in one swift move. Thankfully the lamp was made of wood. Not that she wanted to kill Angel but it was nice to know she had a makeshift stake handy just in case he turned out to be Angelus.

“Where am I? Why have you brought me here? What in the hell’s going on? And you’d better answer me fast. I have a lamp and I know how to use it.” She brandished the aforementioned lamp in his direction.

Angel quickly hid a smile. He thought she was adorable when she was angry but he didn’t think she’d appreciate his humor given the current situation.

“You’re with me. Because it was the only place I could think of on short notice. That’ll take longer to explain.” Angel fired off the required answers in quick succession.

Buffy glared at him. “Just tell me why, Angel. Why are you doing this?”

Angel looked at her with sadness in his eyes. “Because I can’t stop loving you. And I’ve tried, Buffy. I’ve tried to move on with my life just like I told you to do with yours. Maybe it would have been better if I had stopped loving you but I can’t. Wherever I go you’re there. Whoever I’m with you’re there. No part of my life exists without you in it. I don’t want it to and I’m tired of pretending otherwise”

“Angel, I….”

Angel ignored the interruption and continued to speak. Now that he had her as his captive audience he wanted to get everything out in the open. He didn’t want there to be any doubt left in her mind about his feelings for her. “There’s and old adage that says time heals a broken heart. But don’t believe it. My heart broke the day I had to leave you and it’s still breaking every day that we’re apart. I kept telling myself that you’ve moved on. I tortured myself with the knowledge of you with Riley, and then Spike. I pictured you together in my mind and it killed me. But I wasn’t really worried I knew that your heart still belonged to me. And then I heard you were seeing The Immortal and for the first time I was frightened. I knew I could finally lose you and I panicked. I had to get you back. I’m no good without you. Don’t make me go back to that lonely existence. Please Buffy, don’t let me go.” Angel bowed his head as he finished speaking. He’d said what he needed her to hear what happened next was up to her. Although he had no intention of letting her go no matter what her decision, he wasn’t stupid enough to tell her that.

Buffy stood stunned, the makeshift stake hung limply at her side. She was having a hard time coming to terms with everything she’d just heard. And even though there was a lot of things that needed to be worked out between them and probably more that begged to be talked about, the only thing that had ever mattered to her had already been said. Angel still loved her.

The love-struck seventeen-year-old girl inside of her danced with joy. Angel still loves me!

Her heart had made the decision for her years ago and had never once taken it back. Hastily, Buffy tossed the lamp behind her and kneeled at Angel’s feet. She put her hands on the sides of his face and gently raised his head until his eyes locked with her tearful ones. “I’ve never let you go. I’ve been waiting for you all this time. You just forgot to come back.”

“I won’t ever forget again.” His voice was harsh with emotion.

“I’m going to hold you to that.”

Angel growled low in his throat. “Mine” He whispered before claiming her lips with his.

They both knew that their lives wouldn’t be easy but whatever happened from now on they would face it the way they were meant to…together.