Lindsey didn’t think he’d ever fall in love, until the day she crawled out of the cage, naked and dirty, the acrid scent of fear leaching through the sweat on her skin. Ragged strands of lank, dirty blonde hair falling over cornflower blue eyes that were wild and crazed, her pale ivory skin smeared brown and bearing the purple bloom of bruises.
He saw Holland take a step back, watched Lilah’s lip curl in disdain as Darla crawled forward on all fours with the savage grace of a cornered wildcat, and still she was beautiful. He’d started to lose his heart that day, lost a little bit more of it in the days and weeks that followed.
The others underestimated her, were deceived by her brittle and fragile appearance, by the lightness of her voice and the difficulty she had in remembering, in accepting, who she was and what she had been. But he could smell it on her, taste it on her lips from their first kiss, the steel bright tang of the strength that ran through her.
Holland intentionally pushed them together in making Darla his responsibility. He knew he was being played and for the first time in his life he didn’t give a damn. Played by Holland, for whatever scheme the Senior Partners had going, played by Lilah because that always had been the game between them, even back when they’d shared a bed. Played by Darla, who before she became a vampire had been a courtesan. Her mind may not remember what she’d been, but her body hadn’t forgotten.
Sometimes he wasn’t sure whether he loved her because of who she was or what she represented. Angel had only ever known her as the vampire who sired him, Lindsey knew the woman.
When her body moved under his, when her legs wrapped vice like around his hips as he slid into her, when her fingers tangled in his hair pulling him down into a kiss, even when she whispered Angel’s name into his ear when she came, revenge was honey sweet on his tongue.
He hated Angel, with a passion so bright, so all consuming he could taste it, feel it in the air around him. Angel had made him believe, had shattered his dreams and made him take a good hard, long look at himself, and then Angel had taken his hand.
Now he had taken this, because he had something with her that Angel never would.
Hatred and love, he wasn’t so stupid, so lost that he couldn’t see how closely linked those two emotions were and she’d seen through him the first time he kissed her.
Sprawled on the bed beside her, his anger spent once more in the clinging heat of her body, the truth of her words echo though his mind, fanning the spark of hunger in his belly, making him hard even as her breath whispers against his shoulder.
"It’s not me you want to screw, it’s him."