by Wolfling

(Rated NC-17


Part 18


"This is it," Angel said, pulling the car into a parking spot in front of a hotel that looked like it had been old before the Burning. "I know it doesn't look like much from out here, but inside it's really something." He gave Wes a heated look. "Specially the beds."

Wes gave Angel the best smile he could, but was aware it seemed half-hearted at best. Not that he wasn't grateful for what Angel had been doing for the entire drive -- flirting and talking about inconsequential things, anything to try and distract Wes from the worry he couldn't quite banish and couldn't quite hide.

Ever since Angel had told him about Lorne and Wes had realised what being read would mean, he hadn't been able to stop worrying at it. Angel's assurances about the past not mattering had helped steady him, but it couldn't banish the worry entirely. Because regardless of the reassurances that nothing in the past could make a difference, Lorne hadn't seen his past yet. Forgiving a vampire for being a vampire was one thing, but what Wes had did...

But there was nothing to do about it except swallow his fear and worry as best he could and go on. It wasn't just about getting to Unity now, if it was, Wes' courage may have failed him and he would've halted the journey and returned to his library. But now there was Angel as well, and while Wes might have been able to walk away from a place out of legend, walking away from Angel would have proven quite a bit harder.

He still didn't know quite why Angel had become so important to him in such a short time, but the more time he spent with the vampire, the less he cared about the whys. He was far too busy thinking about the whats and the hows and the wheres, which apparently would be a bed in the safehouse they were parked in front of if Angel had his way.

If Angel still wanted him after the reading.

It all came back to that, didn't it?

Try as he might, Wes couldn't seem to think past the reading. He was trying to stay positive, trying to believe that they really would let him be Wes and leave the crimes of Wesley behind him, but it wasn't something he seemed able to manage. All he could do was go through with it and deal with the fallout whatever it may be.

"Wes?" Angel touched his shoulder, breaking into his increasingly depressing and circular train of thought. "You still with me?"

"Yes." Wes gave himself a good mental shake and forced himself to focus. "Sorry. I was just..."

"Freaking out about Lorne reading you?"

"Was I that obvious?" Wes asked, slightly apalled.

"You weren't sending up smoke signals or anything," Angel replied with a faint smile, "but yeah. To me anyway. You going to be okay going in there?"

Wes took a deep breath and nodded. It wasn't like he had much of a choice. And if it was going to make a difference with Angel, maybe it was better to find out now before they got any closer.

"You sure?" Angel asked. "Because we can sit here for a while if you need some time. Just not a very long while -- if we're still sitting here when the sun comes up, you'll find yourself sitting with a pile of dust, and this is where you'd point out again what an impractical choice of car this is for a vampi-"

There was something about Angel babbling -- especially when he was doing so because he was worried about Wes -- that Wes couldn't resist. Not even trying to, he leaned over and kissed the vampire, cutting off his last word.

Angel made a surprised sound, but kissed Wes back with enthusiasm. So much enthusiasm that when Wes finally pulled back, he was breathless and considerably more hot and bothered than he ever would have thought a kiss could make him.

"What was that for?" Angel asked, reaching out to run a thumb along Wes' bottom lip. "Not that I'm complaining or anything. I just want to know what I did, so I can do it again."

Feeling a sudden bout of shyness -- which was even sillier when Wes remembered what they'd done together -- Wes lowered his gaze and gave a half shrug as he answered. "You were being... nice." It was an understatement as far as Wes was concerned, but he couldn't quite bring himself to go on at length.

"So all I've got to do to get you to kiss me like that is keep being nice?" Angel smiled, his fingers moving up over Wesley's cheek. "I think I can manage that."

"Well there was the babbling, too," Wes added, finding himself getting distracted by Angel's touch.

Angel frowned. "I don't babble."

"It was babbling," Wes confirmed. "But it was cute babbling." He leaned in to kiss him again. "Quite irristible..."

The kiss went on longer this time and left Wes with the impractical urge to climb over and settle himself in Angel's lap. "This is going to take some getting used to," he murmured, mostly to himself but vampire ears picked it up.

"Being horny?" Angel grinned.

"Yes," Wes acknowledge although he could feel himself blushing at the admission. "It's not really a feeling I have a lot of experience with. It's a bit... unsettling."

"I'll be happy to help settle you," Angel said, sliding a hand along Wes' cheek again, "but better do it inside. It's too close to dawn. You don't want to get involved in... gaining experience and find yourself suddenly molesting a pile of dust."

Right. Inside. Where this Lorne would want to read him and... Wes still couldn't bring himself to think beyond that point.

He wondered if his sudden... ardour... for Angel was as much about trying to put that off as it was about actual ardour. Thinking about going in there now was certainly cooling that ardour quite handily.

"You're back to worrying again, aren't you?" Angel asked, giving him a concerned look.

Wes didn't try to deny it. "I don't think I'm going to stop until we get this over with," he admitted, adding silently, and it all blows up in my face.

Still right now, he was only delaying the inevitable, and prolonging the worrying. Might as well step up and, as he just said to Angel, get it over with.

Taking a deep breath, he pasted on the best attempt at a determined expression he could manage and turned back to Angel. "Well then. Shall we go on in?"


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