Angel was discovering a new favourite hobby -- namely watching Wes sleep.
As sights go, it was right up there with the wonders of the world as far as Angel was concerned. Currently Wes was sprawled on his stomach beside him, one arm raised to wrap around his pillow, the other stretched out towards where Angel lay. His head was turned that way as well and Angel found himself spending much of his time just staring at Wes' face in repose.
Not all of his time, mind you, because the room was warm and Wes had pushed the blankets off until they lay tangled around his waist. This left the long lean line of Wes' naked back on display and Angel kept finding his eyes moving over all that warm skin, his fingers itching to pull the blankets away so he could see even more.
He didn't because he knew if he did he wouldn't be able to resist touching and he didn't want to wake up Wes. Vampires may not need more than a few hours of sleep but humans did.
Whenever Angel felt his fingers start to twitch with the urge to touch, he'd pull his gaze upwards again, back to Wes' face. In sleep, his features were relaxed which just made Angel all the more aware of how much of Wes' emotions usually shone through when he was awake.
Sleep also made Wes look younger, barely older than Connor from certain angles. That sometimes sent a pang of guilt through Angel, but it was always quickly banished by memories of looks and words and actions that Wes bestowed on him when he was awake.
Angel didn't let himself dwell on that too much -- or at least certain of the looks, words and actions -- because that just made the urge to wake Wes up all the stronger and again, he was trying to resist disturbing Wes' rest.
It didn't make it any easier that he had spent so much time before they went to bed not touching Wes as well in an effort not to "weird out" his son. It had been worth it though; by the time they all retired to their respective rooms Wes and Connor had been getting along like they'd been friends for years.
Connor had especially warmed up to Wes when he found out that Wes had been living in the library with all the books. Wes had asked Connor what kinds of stories he liked and then had listed off a number of books that were in his library that matched Connor's interests. And he had won over Connor entirely when he had offered to bring some of them the next trip they made.
Aside from how thoroughly Wes had managed to charm Connor, there were a couple of other things Angel had noted. First, that Wes seemed to have a working knowledge of, if not every book in his library, at least a great deal of them, which would have been an incredible achievement in the World Before. The way things were now outside of Unity, for someone to have accumulated that much knowledge -- self taught -- was downright miraculous. And smart, Angel decided, was most definitely sexy in this case.
The other thing Angel had made note of was the casual way Wes had talked about going back to his library -- and then coming back to Unity once again. Since they had become lovers, they hadn't discussed the logistics of a long term relationship, whether Wes would go back to the library or remain here in Unity, giving up the place that had been his home and sanctuary for so long and what would happen to them if he did. Angel hadn't brought the subject up because he hadn't wanted to ruin what was still the first blush of this relationship. But listening to Wes, it seemed he hadn't needed to worry. Wes had apparently already settled that particular question in his own mind and didn't intend to give up the library or Unity, but to divide his time between the two. It was, Angel decided, probably the best solution that would allow him to keep Wes, but not have to worry that Wes would come to resent him for what he had to give up.
Like he said, smart was sexy.
Hell, he might as well just admit it; he found everything about Wes sexy. Pretty much irresistible actually, Angel thought as he caught his hand reaching out to stroke down Wes' back once again. It was difficult being this close to the man and not wanting to submerge all his senses in essence of Wes.
Well, touching was out for the moment if he didn't want to wake Wes up, and taste as well for the same reason, but that did, Angel thought, still leave him three other senses he could indulge his Wes infatuation with.
Sight of course he was already indulging, his eyes following the path his fingers ached to touch. To it he added the sense of smell, taking an unneeded deep breath to draw Wes' scent deep into his lungs. It was slightly musty, like the scent of old books, and overlaying that was an earthy musk, the scent of their lovemaking still strong on Wes' skin and indeed filling the room in general. Underneath it all was the coppery scent of Wes' blood, something that Angel's nature made it impossible for him to shut out.
So instead he gave in to it, stretching out his hearing to see if he could hear Wes' blood running through his veins; Angel was never sure if he could quite make that out, but the sound of Wes' heart, beating strong and slow was more than a fine substitute.
Angel focused on that sound, letting it lull him into a half doze. He was beginning to think that it would be able to lull him all the way back to sleep when it started to change.
Wes' heartbeat began to speed up and that was enough to bring Angel back to full awareness. Wes' scent also changed, taking on the subtle tang of fear although he was still clearly and deeply asleep. It was obvious to Angel what was happening.
Reaching out, Angel laid a hand on Wes' shoulder, shaking it slightly in an effort to wake him. At first Wes' only reaction was a low moan; Angel thought there might have been words in it but if so they were too garbled for him to make out. He shook Wes' shoulder again, this time a little harder, adding a softly spoken, "Wes?"
Wes came awake all at once in a blur of energy, slapping Angel's hand away and rolling out from under Angel's touch, ending up on the far edge of the mattress, arms raised in front of him defensively, his loudly yelled "No!" still echoing in the room.
"Wes?" Angel was careful not to make any move that Wes' half-awake mind would identify as threatening. "It's okay. You were just dreaming."
He'd had his eyes focused on Wes' face the entire time so saw the instant his gaze showed full awareness. "Angel?"
"Yeah." Angel smiled encouragingly, then realised that Wes probably couldn't see him in the dark and reached over to turn on the bedside lamp.
Wes blinked in the sudden brightness, then seemed to relax when he was able to make out Angel. A second later he was pulling in on himself again, this time -- if the red staining his cheeks was any clue -- out of embarrassment.
Deciding that the direct approach was the best way to nip that in the bud, Angel reached over and pulled Wes back across the bed and into his arms. Wes didn't resist; in fact he all but melted against Angel.
"Sorry," he muttered against Angel's neck.
"No big deal," Angel replied, shrugging as best he could with Wes in his arms. "It was just a bad dream. Happens to all of us." He listened to Wes' heartbeat slow down to its normal rate, then asked curiously, "Was it about the same thing as the last time?"
"What?" Wes asked, sounding puzzled, but immediately seemed to remember. "Oh, you mean in the car on the way here... Yes, actually, it was. More or less." He gave Angel a weak smile. "My subconscious it seems is distressingly unoriginal."
Angel smiled back in an almost pavlovian response to Wes smiling at him. "Don't suppose you feel like talking about it this time either, huh?" he asked, sliding a hand along Wes' cheek.
Wes hesitated and for a moment Angel thought he was going to tell him about the dream after all, but then he just shook his head and rested his head against Angel's shoulder with a sigh.
"Okay," Angel said, trying to sound soothing and not disappointed. He stroked Wes' back, following his spine down and then back up.
"If I could talk about it with anyone it would be you," Wes said after a moment. "It's just..." He sighed, his breath warm against Angel's skin. "Talking about it would give it power in my waking life and that's the last thing I want. I may not be able to choose what dreams I have, but I can choose what I spend time on when I'm awake. The nightmare can stay where nightmares belong."
Privately, Angel wasn't sure that Wes' logic tracked but he didn't want to argue about it. "Okay," he said, stroking his hand down Wes' back again. "But if you ever change your mind, I'm here."
Wes smiled and pressed closer. "I had noticed that," he said, sliding his hand along Angel's side. "I'm growing quite accustomed to it actually. And I like that very much."
"Yeah?" Angel shifted them both to give Wes' roving hands easier access. "How much?"
The grin Wes gave him then was the definition of wicked. "Let me show you."
~...previous | to be continued...~