Ours is a forbidden love.
Love? Underneath the school Angel’s mouth fell open in shock as his body clenched at her words. They had a forbidden love? He’d had no idea that she could feel that way towards him, that she would want him as desperately as he wanted her. A sigh full of longing escaped him. From the first moment he had met her he had wanted her. There had been something delicate, almost fragile about her that called to him, appealed to and appeased the demon inside of him. But he had to be sure. There was no way he could leave those words hanging between them and never know if she meant them the way he had heard them.
Hours later as the sun dipped ever so slowly beneath the horizon and with her words playing over and over in his mind, Angel waited impatiently for night to fall before he made his way to her house. He knew he shouldn’t do this, it wasn’t right, or honorable or any of those other things that he tried so hard to be but he could feel Angelus, stuck in his cage, urging him to go to her to claim her as his own; to go after what he wanted that he deserved it. And although he knew he might regret it, What if she really didn’t love him, he couldn’t help but think what if this time Angelus was right? Would it be so wrong if, just this once, he had the one thing he wanted. The one thing that could make him happy.
Lights burned bright in Willow’s room. An unneeded breath caught in his throat, he could make out the outline of her body as she walked around and it drove him to distraction. He wanted to rush in, grab her in his arms and never let her go but his inner demon was urging him to caution. And wasn’t that a shock? Angelus being cautious?
Finally, after what seemed like hours but in truth were only a few minutes all of the lights in the house were finally extinguished. Angel waited a little while longer just to be sure everyone was asleep before he slowly crept toward the door to her room.
Willow snuggled underneath her blankets and willed sleep to come. But for some reason it was eluding her tonight. She felt wide-awake, and a little anxious almost as if she knew something that would change her life forever was going to happen. But what that would be she wasn’t sure.
She jumped as a soft knock sounded at her door. Her eyes wide with nervousness; she got out of bed and pulled back the curtain to look outside. Angel? She quickly unlocked the door and held it open. “What’s wrong?”
Angel stood in the doorway and drank in the sight of her. Her long red hair fell down over her shoulders brushing the tips of her... He hastily caught himself and jerked his head up to look her in the eyes. “I... uh...”
Before he could answer she stepped to the side and motioned for him to enter. “I’m sorry, Angel. I didn’t mean to be rude. Won’t you come in?”
With a tiny smile Angel sauntered into her bedroom.
Her fingers trembled as she closed the door behind him. Willow took a deep breath to calm her nerves before she turned to face the vampire in her room. ‘Okay, so tell me. What’s wrong? Is it....”
He shook his head. “Nothing’s wrong. I just wanted to...” He paused and stared down into her trusting eyes. “I heard what you said.”
Huh? Willow tried to think of what he was talking about but she drew a blank. “When?”
“When you were talking to Xander this morning.” The boy’s name escaped him with a growl.
“I was talking to Xander?” She made the statement into a question before it finally... Oh! What was she supposed to say now? That she had only been teasing Xander? That she really hadn’t meant it the way it had sounded? She supposed she could do it but it would be a lie. The truth was she had always harbored a forbidden sort of love for Angel. “Angel, I....”
“I was standing beneath the school,” He shook his head as she opened her mouth to interrupt, he knew what she was going to ask, “It doesn’t matter why I was there. What does matter is that I heard what you told Xander about us having a forbidden love.”
They both began to speak in unison.
“I didn’t mean to say that out loud, Angel. It just kind of slipped out.”
“What I want to know is did you mean what you said? Can we?
Did he really mean...? Her eyes widened. “But what about...”
Angel moved closer and quickly placed his fingers against her lips. “Shh. There’s no one but us. Nothing else matters but you and me.” He stared down into her eyes. “That is if you want there to be a you and me. Do you?”
Willow couldn’t believe the doubt she heard in his voice. She was the one with raging doubts and insecurities. From the moment she had seen him she had wanted to belong to him. He had also, on many occasions, scared the pants off of her. But what she wanted didn’t really matter. It couldn’t. “But...”
Once more Angel quickly jumped in before she could try to come up with a reason they couldn’t be together. “You said you didn’t mean to say it. But did you mean it, Willow? Do you feel that way?” He reached out and grabbed her by the arms. “Do. You. Love. Me?” He spoke each word slowly.
She couldn’t take it any longer. She couldn’t hold her feelings back. “Yes! I love you! Are you happy now? Does the fact that I’m so in love with you I don’t care who it hurts just as long as I can have you make you happy?
A wave of relief washed over him. “Are you serious? Of course I’m happy! I’m way more than mere happy. I’m ecstatic. From the moment I met you I wanted you. I wanted to claim you as my own!”
“Well, I wanted that too!” Tears filled her eyes as she shouted back at him.
“Then why are you yelling?” His voice softened to a whisper.
The tears that threatened fell down her cheeks. “Because I want you to understand I can’t purchase my happiness with someone else’s pain, Angel. I wasn’t raised that way.”
Angel closed the distance between them and slid his arms around her waist. “I want you to listen carefully to what I’m about to say, Willow. Will you do that?” He waited for her nod before he continued, “I love you. No matter what you decide I will always love you and there will never be anyone else for me as long as you live.”
Willow took a step back out of his arms, brushed the tears from her cheeks as he stared up into his dark eyes. “So you’re saying if I don’t.... You’ll be alone? But... but you can’t mean that!”
“That’s exactly what I mean.”
The thought of Angel lonely was more than she could bare. “But, Angel...”
Angel ducked his head as he spoke so she wouldn’t see the victorious gleam in his eyes. He would use whatever tactic he had to use to win Willow for his own. After all, all was fair... “So you see if you don’t want me to live with loneliness, suffering with the pain of never having you then....”
She bit her lip. “Okay, Angel. You win.”
“You’ll be mine?”
Willow nodded her head.
“You’ll stay with me?”
Once more she nodded.
A huge smile spread across his face as he pulled her back into his arms.
She snuggled against him. “You did that on purpose didn’t you?”
Angel tightened his arms around her as he placed a kiss on the top of her head. He didn’t feel guilty in the least. “All’s fair in love and war.”
Willow tilted her head back, her lips curled into a smile. “And which one is this?”
“Love, Willow. It can only be love.” He whispered against her lips as his mouth met hers in a passionate kiss.
A wave of happiness went through Willow as she realized her love for Angel wasn’t a forbidden love after all.