Footsteps Epilogue
by indie

Okay, Footsteps was a nice PG-13 fic from me, the queen o' nastiness.  It almost killed me.  Sixty some pages with no harsh language and no SEX.  Puh-leeze.  I'm *so* not doing that again.  This story is an epilgoue, not a sequel.  And truth be told, it turned out a lot mushier than I had originally planned.
Buffy gaped at the beautiful bouquet of wildflowers waiting for her on the table in her small kitchenette.  They were clearly visible without the lights on, due to the dozens of candles burning in the room.

"What's the occasion?" she asked as Angel entered the suite behind her.  She knew he was responsible.

"Someone suggested that maybe I should give you some flowers and take you dancing," he said vaguely.

"Someone?" she prompted, grinning at him.

Angel nodded.  "Your son."

Her brow furrowed.  "You're sure?  He's about 6'3", dark hair, answers to Jakob?"

"Yes, Buffy, Jakob suggested I give you flowers and dance with you," he said with a smile.

A matching smile spread across her features.  "I never thought he was listening to anything I said," she admitted quietly.

"He's *very* observant," Angel said with a wry smile.

"What do you mean?"

"He wanted to know why we hadn't started dating sooner. As he put it, we're still 'way into each other'."

Buffy laughed lightly and then sobered.  "I love you, Angel," she said quietly.

"I love you too," he said in complete honesty, leaning in to kiss her.

“So are you?” Buffy asked coyly after the kiss had ended.

“Am I what?” he asked, pulling his head back to study her face.

“Way into me?” she said with a goofy, almost nervous grin.

He looked at her for a long moment, his eyes taking on a predatory glint that made her shiver.  Slowly, his mouth shifted into a wicked, lopsided grin.

“Not yet, but we’re just starting.  I do expect to be *way* into you some time this evening,” he said wolfishly, pulling her body into full contact with his.

Buffy looked at him blankly for several seconds, unable to believe Angel had just said something so blatantly carnal.  He laughed, understanding her shock at his words and actions.

“I ... “ he started to explain, needing her to understand his behavior.  “Before ... you were so young.  I didn’t want to scare you ... later, the curse ... I didn’t want to make it any more difficult for either of us ...“

She blushed crimson while answering his grin with one of her own, but didn’t look away.  She wasn’t seventeen anymore, she was an experienced woman who knew what she wanted.  She didn’t need Angel to coddle her or make allowances for her innocence.  She simply needed him, end of story.

“There is no curse now,” she said seductively, “and I’m not a virgin.  You don’t need to worry about scaring me off.”

Angel’s eyes darkened as he watched her carefully.  Overcome with her hunger for him, Buffy’s breathing increased, and her heart began to pound against her chest.  But still she was unable to break eye contact.  As her tongue came out to moisten her suddenly dry lips, Angel’s gaze dropped to follow it’s wet movements along her mouth.  When his eyes once again returned to hers, he grinned another lopsided grin and lowered his head, brushing his lips against hers.

The kiss wasn’t like the others they’d shared recently.  It didn’t show any signs of tapering off and it teased her with promises of things yet to come.  She’d forgotten what it was to be held like this by him.  Riley had never been able to instill such a sense of wonder and passion in her with his touches.  She wanted to weep with pleasure.  Had it really been so long since she’d known this kind of reverent worship?  The last time she could remember feeling so loved, so wanted, without a sense of foreboding, was the night of her seventeenth birthday when they were both too innocent to understand the horrors that lay in wait.

“Do you want this, Buffy?” he asked, his voice suffused with longing.

“Yes,” she answered baldly as she began to pant, legs quivering.

“I want to see you,” he said, moving his hands around to the front of her dress.

He was still for a moment, allowing her to read his intentions.  The look she gave him let him know she understood what he meant to do.  When she didn’t move to halt him, he began swiftly releasing the line of buttons that ran the length of her dress, stopping only when it hung open completely.  He stared at her hungrily, taking in everything about the way she looked.  The dress fell from her shoulders, leaving her clad only in her tiny pink satin bikini underwear and matching bra.

Angel almost growled at the sight of her perfect golden skin, but as his vision lighted on the flaw, his lust was tempered by a sense of bone deep possessiveness.  He paused for a moment to reverently trace the raised white skin of the long scar just above her bikini line.  Buffy shuddered at the contact and instinctively tried to cover herself.  Riley had always been put off by the scar, abhorring it just as much as the one on her neck that he avoided with equal fervor.  Several times, he’d suggested she consult a plastic surgeon to see if there was anything that could be done to make the imperfection less noticeable.

“Don’t,” Angel said, his voice harsh.  “Don’t hide from me.”

She flushed, closing her eyes.  “It’s just ... “ she flustered, “I know it’s ugly.  You don’t have to pretend.”

Angel smiled despite himself.  She thought he would be put off by the scar.  Dropping to his knees before her, he touched his lips to the raised flesh.

“Do you have any idea how long I’ve wanted to do this?” he asked pressing soft kisses into the scar.

Buffy shivered at the tentative, reverent touch of his lips.  Her hands balled into fists as she fought the urge to push him away.  She was barraged by a torrent of conflicting emotions and whimpered in frustration.  She’d been conditioned to believe that part of her body was undesirable, but she so badly wanted to believe what he was saying.

“You’re beautiful, Buffy.  Every inch of you.  Especially here,” he whispered against her skin.

Buffy didn’t answer, she simply threaded her fingers through his hair and held him to her body, her eyes pricking with tears.  For the first time, she felt she understood why Riley had been so put off by her marred flesh.  The scars were evidence of how much Angel had marked her, how much she had given him, first her life blood and then his only child.

Angel hadn’t been exaggerating when he’d told Buffy that he’d been wanting to do this.  He’d been dying to lave the raised skin with his tongue since the first time she’d shown him the scar.  But it wasn’t just that kissing the scar would put him in a position to kiss other, more intimate, territory; it was the scar itself.  The evidence that she had given him his son.  Buffy had confessed to him that she and Riley had tried to have more children, but were unable.  Her husband’s seed had never taken root in her body.  Angel’s son was the only one she would ever bear.

“Angel,” she whimpered, feeling horribly exposed.

Rising to his feet once again, Angel held her tightly, pressing hard kisses against her lips, cheeks, neck, the tops of her breasts.  A continual stream of words issued from his lips, all paying her homage.  He told her she was his goddess, his reason for living, his heart’s only hunger.  He thanked her for his second chance, for his son, for her love.

She felt warmed by his obvious love, emboldened.  Buffy pressed herself more tightly into his embrace, returning his favor by kissing the exposed flesh of his neck.  Her tentative affection seemed to break his spell of worship and he looked at her hungrily.

“I want you now,” he said baldly.

She bit down on her bottom lip, her mouth curving into a mischievous smile as she undid the buttons of his shirt.  While she worked on the buttons, Angle toed off his shoes and unbuckled his belt.  Together they both fumbled with the fly of his slacks.  Angel looked around frantically, almost growling in displeasure.  Buffy cocked an eyebrow at him, but he ignored her, roughly grabbing the expensive vase of flowers off of the table and setting it on the kitchen counter.

Had she not been so aroused, Buffy would probably have found his behavior comical.  As it was, she wasn’t laughing.  He returned to her, unceremoniously yanking her pink satin panties down her legs and setting her, bare assed, on top of her kitchen table.

“Angel,” she hissed, scandalized, as she realized what he intended.

“It’ll be fine,” he said, grasping her behind the knees and urging her to lock her legs around his hips.  “We’ve done it before, trust me.”

“Yeah,” she said without much genuine censure, “according to you, we ended up on the floor when the table broke.”

Angel didn’t bother to respond, and Buffy’s upper body fell back against the tabletop as he wrapped her legs around himself.  Despite any mental reservations she might have had about the position, she found herself hungrily clawing at his biceps, desperate to have his body blanket hers.  He didn’t disappoint.

Buffy keened loudly as he plunged into her without preamble, lowering his head to capture her lips in a rough kiss.  She arched against him, angling her hips to give him all the access he needed.  And he needed a lot.  Buffy let out a breathy cry as she felt the head of his cock bump the mouth of her womb.  How had she managed to forget just how monumental his proportions were?

The table squeaked and creaked as he rocked in and out of her body but Buffy didn’t care.  Breaking off the kiss, she thrust her chest against his.  Angel immediately took the cue and kissed his way down her upper body, pulling her bra down until her breasts popped free.  As soon as her nipples were exposed he clasped his mouth around one and molested the other with his hand.  Buffy sucked in a breath sharply and then came with a loud wail.  Angel smiled against her breast, but did not still his motions.

She let out a breathy cry as she dug her fingernails into the corded muscle of his back, thanking whatever gods had seen fit to reunite them.  No sensation in the world came close to equaling the bliss she felt in being one with her mate.  And she was certain that no other male on the planet knew her body so well, a fact of which she was sure he was aware.  There was no doubt that he would quickly replace all of the memories of nights of unfulfilled longing she had shared with Riley.

“Buffy,” he hissed against the flesh of her neck, punctuating it with a small groan.

“No,” Buffy breathed, digging harder into the flesh of his back, “don’t come yet.  Just a little more.”

Angel growled, his jaw clenching as he tried to distract his attention from his warm, writhing mate beneath him.  He wanted nothing more than to climax in her liquid depths, but she wasn’t finished yet.  After eighteen years, he figured he could wait a few minutes ... he hoped.  He moved his free hand from her breast down to squeeze the base of his cock just to be sure.

Buffy grasped his head firmly between her hands and brought him down for another kiss.  He was lost in sensation as her tongue roamed freely in his mouth, dueling sensually with his own.  The mere taste of her was overwhelming.   How had he survived without her for so long?

Angling his hips, he made sure his pubic bone pressed against her clit with each thrust.  She broke off the kiss with a breathy moan, her eyes squeezing shut.  Angel picked up the pace, pounding into her so hard that the table banged into the wall.  Her legs tightened around his hips as her body corded in climax and Angel buried his face between her breasts, letting himself go.  He released a strangled cry of his own as his warm seed spurted deep inside her body.

“What?” Angel asked, cocking an eyebrow at his giggling mate.

“Just thinking,” she replied evasively as she repositioned the blankets around both of their sleepy forms.

“About what?”

She smiled sweetly at him.  “I was just being thankful that we didn’t break the table this time because I didn’t want to try and explain it to your son.”

Angel smiled predatorily.  “Who says we’re done with the table?”

It was shortly after two o’clock Sunday afternoon when Gunn and Charlie dropped Jake off in front of the Hyperion.  While he appreciated the fact that no one seemed to mind chauffeuring him around, he intended to hold his father to his promise to buy him a car when he turned eighteen later in the month.

Jakob wasn’t surprised to find the lobby quiet, given that the business wasn’t officially open on Sundays.  But, he was shocked when he noticed his parents sleeping on one of the large sofas.  He stood in the middle of the room blinking for several long moments.  He was certain he’d never seen his mother do something as decadent as take a nap on a lazy Sunday afternoon.  She’d always been a whirlwind of activity, never taking a moment to rest.  He wasn’t sure, but he would have thought the same of Angel.  Yet, here they were, curled up together on one of the sofas, dozing away.

He smiled an easy smile of complete contentment.  It was obvious to see that they loved one another and that simply being together had relaxed something deep inside both of them.  Just when he’d been ready to give up all hope, he’d finally found the family he’d always needed.  He didn’t think he’d ever felt this at peace.

Responding with all the polish and charm of a seventeen year old boy, he said loudly, “Can’t you two get a room or something!”

“What about this one?”

Angel frowned.  “Does it have airbags?”

“Dad, it’s a classic.”

“You heard your mother before we left,” he said firmly.  “I am not to purchase anything that is not safe.”

Jakob shot his father a withering glance.  “You could humor me, you know.  Doting fathers are supposed to do that for their only sons.”

Angel’s expression let Jakob know that he had no intention of buying the old convertible.  With a sigh, Jake abandoned the car in search of something else. Angel relaxed, relieved the boy had given up so quickly.  He was fairly certain that he wouldn’t be able to tell Jake no if he really had his heart set on something.  Also, for whatever reason, Jakob seemed determined not to fight with him and he was eternally grateful for that fact.

“What is this again?” Angel asked nervously as he studied his reflection in the mirror.

“Don’t worry about it,” Buffy assured him with a smile.  “It’s nothing big, just a picnic the school holds every year for the boys on the basketball team before school starts.  It gives all the kids and parents and coaches a chance to get to know one another.”

Angel looked at her warily.  “Why are you so relaxed?  It’s not like you’ve been to one before either.”

She smiled.  “Please.  They had things like this all the time in Huxley.  Granted, they were pot lucks, not catered events, and nobody showed up driving a seventy thousand dollar car, but I doubt it will be that different.”

He sat down on the bed, unconvinced.  “What am I going to say?  I don’t know anything about basketball.”

“You don’t have to know anything about basketball,” she said, pausing to place a kiss on his forehead.  “You just have to be a dad.  As far as I can tell, you’ve got that part down pretty well.”

Angel watched as the team played a pick-up game on a nearby outdoor court.  Buffy had been right, he hadn’t felt any more out of his element than half the other men present.  Most of them weren’t even fathers, but step-fathers or boyfriends dragged long by the boys’ mothers.  There were even a couple boyfriends accompanying some of the kids’ fathers.  He and Gunn two of the few actual biological fathers accompanying their children’s biological mothers to the event.

Coach Williams had passed out the season’s new jerseys at the event and the boys were wearing them to play.  He smiled at the neatly lettered “Summers” on the back of Jake’s jersey.  No one had said much about the change.

“He’s a good kid,” Coach Williams said, motioning towards Jakob as he came to stand next to Angel.

“Yeah, he is,” Angel agreed in a reserved manner.  He wasn’t sure what to think about the comment from an old college friend of Riley’s.  It seemed innocuous enough, but he was sufficiently familiar with human nature to not take anything at face value.

The two men silently watched the boys play for several minutes.

“Barring injury, Jakob will probably be a starter this season,” Williams said, not looking at Angel.

“I’m sure he will be pretty excited about that.”

Coach Williams nodded, turning to face Angel.  “I wasn’t sure this spring what I was going to do with him.  He’s a talented athlete, but it was obvious he had a few problems.  Being able to put the ball in the hoop is only part of the game.  They have to have a clear head on their shoulders as well.”

Angel nodded but didn’t say anything.

Coach Williams smiled easily.  “I used to talk to Riley quite a bit about the boy.  I know that he’s had a lot of problems for quite a while now.  Trouble with the law and such.”

Once again, Angel nodded, his expression blank.  Inside, however, he was quickly going on the defensive.

Williams snorted.  “I don’t think Riley ever had a clue what to do with Jake.  He kept trying to push him into one thing or another.”

“From what I understand they had a few disagreements,” Angel said in a guarded manner.

With a smile, Williams said, “But you don’t, do you?  You and Jake seem to get along just fine.”

Angel relaxed a little.  “We don’t seem to have much friction, no.”

“It’s more than that,” Williams said evenly.  “Riley was one of my best friends, but he wasn’t good for Jakob, regardless of what his intentions were.  You are.  It’s pretty obvious to see that he’s improved due to the fact that he’s much happier at home.”

Angel smiled genuinely.  “We all seem to be doing pretty well.”

Williams smiled but said seriously, “Give yourself more credit than that.  What you did wasn’t easy.  I know how hard it is to give kids this age any guidance.  It’s obvious how much he cares about you.”

Buffy yawned as Angel made lazy circles on her hip bone.  They were lounging in bed after a night together that had turned out to be anything but quiet.  She honestly didn’t know if she’d ever be able to sit down to a meal around that table again without blushing.

“I love you,” he said, nuzzling against her neck, sucking lightly on his brand.

Buffy giggled, snuggling closer to him, relishing his fragrant warmth.  He tasted different now, not better or worse, just different.  His skin was spiced with the salty, musky scent of living, vital things.  His seed was no longer cool on her tongue or in her womb.  For as much as she loved his familiarity, she also loved discovering how much he had changed, how much *they* had changed.  She’d enjoyed sex with him on her seventeenth birthday, but she also knew just how many perks there were to being older and wiser.  She definitely had a new appreciation for his many talents.

A crisp knock on the door broke the intimate spell.  Wrapping the covers around their involved forms, Buffy yelled, “What is it?”

“I need to talk to you,” came Jakob’s muffled reply.

“Come in,” Buffy called.

The door opened, but Jake had yet to appear in the doorway between the kitchenette/living room and Buffy’s bedroom.

“Are you two decent?” he asked from around the corner.

“If you don’t look under the covers,” Angel replied, completely unashamed.

“Oh gods,” they heard Jake grumble in exasperation.

Peeking his head around the corner, Jakob was relieved to find them both with the sheets pulled up to their necks.  However, it was obvious his mother was half lying on top of his father and both of them had very messed up hair.  He sighed, turning his attention to the open window as he blushed in embarrassment.  He understood that they were happy together, but they didn’t have to spend every spare second in bed.

“I just wanted to let you know I’m going to Caritas,” he blurted out.

Buffy stiffened and Angel asked, “Do you think that’s a good idea.”

“Yes, I do,” he said firmly.  “I’m going with Faith.  I just thought I should tell you before you hear it from Lorne that I was in there.”

Buffy opened her mouth, but Angel silenced her with a look.  “Fine,” he said,” just be sure to take the phone with you and don’t be too late.”

Jake nodded and headed for the door with alacrity.

“Why didn’t you say something?” Buffy asked when she heard the door close.

“I did say something,” Angel countered.

“You know what I meant.”

“He’ll be fine.  He’s with Faith.”

Buffy’s eyes narrowed.  “He’s been spending an awful lot of time with her lately,” she remarked.

Angel looked at her blankly.  “Don’t you think it would be a little hypocritical of me to tell him to stay away from the ensouled vampire?”

Buffy’s face slowly broke into a grin.  “I suppose,” she said in resignation.

“He’s eighteen, Buffy,” Angel said, rolling them over so she was pinned underneath him.

“I know,” she whined, “but he’s my *baby*.”

Angel grinned at her.  “Yes, but when your baby goes away to college, we’ll have more time for other things.”

Buffy giggled as he waggled an eyebrow at her.  “We already do that all the time,” she said.

“Not on the front desk.”

Buffy laughed loudly, pulling his head down for a kiss.  “I suppose you’re right,” she said against his lips.

“Of course I am,” he countered easily.


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