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The Fifth Adjective

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Her hand in her undies and half way to Heaven, Cordelia Chase was ready to murder whomever it was who'd just knocked on her door. And she was ready to bring Dennis back from the dead and murder him, too, when she heard him let the visitor in.

"Thanks, man," said Doyle, and Cordelia very nearly swore. There was silence as Doyle apparently took in the empty apartment and her bedroom's closed door before speaking again, this time in a whisper.

"There weren't no need to let me in if she's sleepin'. This ain't a desperate situation. I was just lookin' for some pleasant company, you know? I mean, Angel's my best friend, but there's only so much broodin' a guy can take on top of this kinda headache."

Cordelia held her breath.

"Thanks, man," Doyle said again, softly. But he didn't leave. She heard him moving around, and the next time she heard his voice he was on far side of the room, and she had to strain to hear.

"I guess you get lonely, too, man, huh?"

Then silence.

Cordelia had nearly forced herself to forget that Doyle was in the other room, probably watching TV with the resident ghost, and she had just slipped a finger along her still wet slit, when she heard the snap of a soda can opening.

Flushed and irritated, she wrapped herself in a robe and stormed out of the bedroom.

Doyle's face was paler than usual in the flickering light of the television, and his left eye was wide and blue and shining. He was holding a damp cloth over the other. Neither of them said anything until the lights came on, and Cordelia flinched and whirled on the floating can of diet root beer.

"What do you think you are doing?!" she cried.

The soda can gestured towards the sofa and towards Doyle, who had taken the opportunity to disappear into the kitchen. He re-emerged without the cloth, and Cordelia could see a dark bruise forming around a nasty scrape just over his right eye.

"Sorry, Princess, sorry," he sputtered and shrugged, flustered and inefficient, into his brown leather jacket. "Rough night fighting the good fight, you know. I was just lookin' for some . . ."

"Pleasant company," she cut him off, infusing the phrase with as much lewdness as she could manage. "I heard you the first time."

"No!"

She raised her eyebrows.

"Not that kinda pleasant company. Just a friend, you know, to spend some time . . ."

She cut him off again.

"Well, I was spending some time quite pleasantly all by myself before you arrived, Mister, so why don't you just get out."

Doyle's mouth opened and shut. He looked hurt, and she felt almost guilty enough to apologize, considering that bruise on his head.

"Right. I'll just be going, then."

He sounded downright dejected. She opened her mouth to say something less mean but thought better of it because, watching his gloomy trek toward the door, she could see the precise moment when he realized just exactly what it was she had said. He spun around, his battered face plastered, somewhat artificially, with the same kind of leering grin that always accompanies indecent propositions.

"Unless, of course, you'd like me to help you with that." His eyes wandered meaningfully.

It was a rather more direct approach that Cordelia was used to, and she simply stared. Faced with unprecedented silence, Doyle swallowed and motored on.

"I mean, I did interrupt and all, so clearly I owe you that much."

Cordelia guffawed.

"Yeah, right. You want to do it for me."

"Absolutely. Mouth and hands only, I promise. Better than what you were up to before, I imagine, so you're really comin' out on top . . . er . . ."

"And what's in if for you? I though you wanted pleasant company."

"Well, you're my princess, Princess. Just seein' you in the throes of passion would be more than pleasure enough."

He smiled then, genuinely, hopefully, and Cordelia almost wanted to give in.

"Fully dressed. I'll stay fully dressed," he offered.

She looked him up and down, casting a disparaging glance from his battered brown shoes to his terrible orange shirt. He waggled his eyebrows and tugged on his leather lapels for emphasis. That clinched it.

"You're right. You do owe me. Fine."

Doyle stared in disbelief.

Dennis dropped the can of pop.

Cordelia rolled her eyes.

"You, in there." She propelled Doyle into her bedroom. "And you, Phantom Dennis," she gestured to the empty room and the pool of soda spreading on the floor, "clean that up."

Inside, Doyle continued to stare at her in awe, jaw lax and eyes wide, but Cordelia was all business.

"Right. Shoes off."

She shucked her robe and climbed onto the bed, stripping off her panties, still damp from before. She left her camisole on. Doyle appeared to be in shock.

"Ground rules:" she continued matter-of-factly. "You, fully dressed, mouth and hands as promised. Below the waist only. No kissing. No sweet nothings. Shoes off. Now."

He blinked, then knelt down to deal with his shoes, removing them with shaking hands. For all his winks and leers and naughty propositions, he was clearly unprepared for this particular turn of events. Finally, he stood up and sat on the end of the bed. Cordelia spread her legs and cocked an eyebrow at him.

He shot her a nervous smile but couldn't seem to look her in the eye. He laid a hand on her ankle.

Cordelia watched him trace her foot and calf lightly before pulling himself all the way onto the bed and beginning to work in earnest. He seemed disinclined to look at her again. She lay back against her pillows, closed her eyes and pictured someone else.

Doyle stroked the underside of her left knee with one knuckle and then nipped at the flesh with his teeth. He poured kisses up the inside of her thigh and sucked on her pelvic bone. He ran his nose along her abdomen and started down the other side. When he reached her right foot, he massaged the muscles for a bit, then slipped it over his shoulder and crawled up under her leg. With his face close to her pubes, he stroked her slit and felt her juices. She could hear him taste his fingers with his tongue before he plunged it suddenly inside.

Cordelia moaned: "Oh, yes!"

He slid one finger inside, then two, his breath hot on her inner thigh.

"Oh, God!"

He sucked her clit, and she wanted to force her whole body into his mouth.

"Yes!"

Her hands came down and tangled in her lover's hair, pulling him closer.

"God!"

He sucked harder and his fingers went deeper and faster, but it wasn't going to be enough. She wanted him closer still.

"Oh!"

Groping blindly, she took hold of the wide collar of his leather jacket and pulled again.

She'd seen, it, felt it too many times, and her fantasy came crashing down.

"Doyle!"

Her eyes snapped open, and he was looking up at her. She ran her fingers around that collar and tugged on it again, gently.

"Doyle," she murmured, looking him in the eye. "Doyle, Doyle, Doyle, Doyle . . ." an endless litany.

She felt him smile against her. A real, wonderful smile so wide that he couldn't suck any more, so he bit her instead, and she screamed.

"Doyle!"

She yanked on his collar again, this time pulling him up beside her, and crashed her lips onto his mouth. She maneuvered him out of his his jacket and tossed it aside.

"I know who I want," she purred, "Doyle."

She kissed him again, sucking his lips, running her tongue along his teeth, hearing him gasp as he opened his mouth. She pulled off his shirt and slid down his chest and pulled off his trousers, too.

He let her fumble in a drawer for a condom and slip it on him and slide on after it and clench around him as she stripped off her camisole before he ran his fingers up her sides and along the curve of her breasts and her chin and her cheeks and her neck and murmured:

"Oh, Cordy. You're beautiful. Wonderful. Radiant. Glorious. Radiant."

"You said 'radiant.'"

She moved mercilessly and he groaned. His hands slid down to her hips and he thrust

and thrust.

"Well, I only taught third grade. I didn't need to know more than four adjectives . . ." he choked out, breathless.

"I know an easy one." She leaned over and whispered into his ear, moist and hot, "yours."

"Mine," soft and reverent as he thrust hard and she cried out.

"Yours! Yes, Doyle, yes!"

"Mine, and I love you," he whispered into her eyes, then into her kiss.

She was with Doyle, and Heaven could wait.