Have a Little Faith, Chapter 30

“I still cannot believe she gave you a full kiss on the lips,” Cordelia said, as she drove with Lindsey in his 1999 Lexus, that he was thinking of selling and buying a more humble car.  They were going out to eat on their first official date.   Cordelia had been ranting for the past day how Mrs. Kline had been flirting with Lindsey.  For the first time, Lindsey decided he could have fun with his girlfriend and allow her to be jealous.

He loved the sound of the word: Girlfriend.  Just the word friend was good enough. “I mean she’s married and all.  I don’t know why she thought she could flirt with a half her age.”  Lindsey made a strange face.  Mrs. Kline was in her late thirties.

“That was about twenty-thousand dollars worth of furniture I just donated,” he explained.

“Twenty thousand?” Cordelia questioned.  She looked away from Lindsey and place her eyes on the traffic ahead.

“Cordelia,” he explained.  “Money is one of the reasons that put me on the path to Wolfram and Hart and darkness.”

“I understand,” she said and smiled, but he got the notion that she was happy he was freed of Wolfram and Hart, but unhappy that he gave so much of the money away.

“I still have a quarter of a million dollars in the bank.  That’s not small change. That should make sure that everyone is taken care of.”

“Everyone?” she said, not taking her eyes off the mini-van ahead of them.

“Yes, I want to make sure Faith has all she needs against Angelus, especially since I can’t be her inside man anymore.”

Cordelia did not respond.  He looked her over.  He knew she had gotten used to having money and the last year had been difficult for her.

He took her hand with his right while using the left to drive the car.  “Money isn’t everything.  I promise I will always have enough to take care you.”

“I don’t need to be taken care of,” she said, but not angry.  She did not pull her hand away.  “All I need to know is you’ll always be there for me.”

Lindsey nodded, then smiled.  He squeezed her hand tighter.

“We’re together right?”

“Yes,” he said and smiled.  He liked that word too.  Friends, girlfriend, together. He even liked the word jealous because it meant a normal human relationship.

“But Angelus can kill one of us any day.”

He looked away from her and studied the road.  He did not want to think of Angelus killing her.  He still nodded.

“Then we should make the most of it,” she said, with a big smile.  “Especially if we only have tomorrow.  We should be together always.  I’m not really the type of person to do this, Lindsey--” she paused.  “But I want to be with you.  I want to be with you forever.”

Lindsey looked at her and knew exactly what she was thinking.  It was another word he never thought he would use for himself.

“We need to find only one more thing,” Lee said, looking over an inventory.  “The Gem of Dorchadas Marbh.”

“The dark dead?” Angelus asked, remembering the words from when he was human.

“I don’t know what it means,” Lee said.  “I just know that’s what the ritual calls for.”

“And then we can do the spell?” Angelus asked from behind him.  Drusilla stood by the shuttered window.  Alonna and Penn stood by the door.

“It has to be done in Sunnydale,” Penn explained.  “On a hellmouth, the book was quite specific.”

“And the Slayer is there,” Dru said and waved her hand around.  “All around the place, everywhere.”

“The slayer is here, all around, also dear,” Angelus said.

Drusilla pulled her cards out and placed them on the desk. “The queen of Swords and the Queen of Pentacles.  Here is the the King of Pentacles in a very supporting position.  The magician and the priestess are also here.  And justice supports them in a limited capacity.  All of them are working together against you.  But the Queen and King of Pentacles they are your chief adversies.  They must be stopped, their work halted. Together they can end this.”

“I’ll take care of Faith,” Angelus assured her.  “It’s only a matter of time.  I just want a bit of fun.”

The door opened and Lilah entered the room.  She smiled, but suddenly felt very uncomfortable being in a room filled with vampires.  Oddly enough, she missed Lindsey despite that his leaving gave her room to move up. She had been itching to get a junior partnership, but that wouldn’t happen unless Holland got to be vice president of Special projects. She hoped that the vampires were not planning anything major that might involve her death.

“Hello Lilah,” Angelus said and smiled.  “Everything all right?”

She nodded.  Holland had told her to check up on them and report to him directly their progress.

“Holland wants to set up a meeting about getting rid of the slayer.”

Angelus smiled.  “We don’t need a meeting, I’m just going to do it—slowly and painfully.”

Lilah nodded.  “Well, if there’s anything you need.”

Angelus smiled again.  “How about a little taste of neck?”

Lilah laughed, but it wasn’t the school girl giggle.  When he used to tell her that months ago, when Lee was alive and Lindsey was still working for them, she thought he was joking, now she thought he was dead serious.

Alex was able to see Lindsey and Cordelia enter the office from hers.  This was the first time she seen him since he was in the hospital.  There was still a bandage on his check, but the bruises on his neck were nearly gone.  She did not feel comfortable visiting him in the hospital, and felt it better that just Faith and Cordelia be there. She still volunteered to watch him just in case Wolfram and Hart tried anything.  They had not done anything, which was what worried Alex.  Trouble was brewing, she could almost sense it.  Angelus was not the kind of vampire to do nothing.  Whatever he had planned, they had to be prepared for it.

She took a deep breath, she had worked alone for most of her life, now she was forced to work with people in order to save the world.  Without giving it to much thought, she left her office to greet the couple.

“Lindsey,” she said when she entered her front room.  She shook his hand.

“Hello Alex,” he said and smiled.  He looked her over since he barely remembered anything from the first time they met.  Alex was taller than Cordelia.  Her hair was long, straight, soft looking and brown.  She also had light brown eyes. She wore less make up than Cordelia.  The most noticible was the dark red lip stick.

He felt hesitant about hugging her because despite her nice voice, she did not seem to be the hugging type.  Neither was he, but he planned to change a lot of things in his life. “I’m glad we could met under better circumstances.”

She smiled again.  “I never properly thanked you for saving me.”  Faith had told her that Lindsey had a hard time accepting that he had done many good things while working undercover even though they had not stopped Angelus.  She had planned to remind him as much as possible that he saved her.  She was not doing this for his sake, she was actually grateful for what he had done.

“I’m glad I can do it.”

“I would have been dead without you.”

“So would I,” he responded, touching his neck.

“So where’s Faith and the others?” Cordelia asked.

“Faith and Wesley are training downstairs.  God knows where Doyle is.  He’s supposed to lay low and it’s nearly dusk.  Gunn is supposed to be here soon.”

Lindsey nodded.  He had not yet met Gunn, but he knew that Gunn had been the one to grab him when Alex cut him loose from the noose.

“We all need to lay low, but when Angelus went after the Oracles, I think it was just a vengeance thing.  Not that I’m saying Doyle shouldn’t be careful, but we’re all in about the same danger.  Can you get in touch with him? Cordy and I have something to tell everyone—“

“Shortcake!” Faith screamed out when she came up the stairs and saw Lindsey.  She resisted the temptation to do a Tigger on him and knock him down.  She knew he might still be sore from Angelus. Instead she embraced him.

“I think you can drop the shortcake now,” he said and laughed.  He touched his neck and pulled away from her.

“I like it, though, can’t help it, force of habit,” she said, looking him over.  She could hardly believe he was standing in front of her.

Lindsey laughed.  He guessed he was stuck with it.

“Where’s Doyle?” Faith asked.  “I told him to be here at five.”

Alex shrugged her shoulders and looked at the clock.  It was five fifteen.

“So why do you want Doyle here?” Lindsey asked.

“It’s a surprise—“

“We have a surprise too,” Lindsey said, putting his arm around Cordelia and pulled her close.

Faith smiled.  She was a little jealous, but she decided not to let it get to her.  Lindsey and Cordelia were in love.  They had been since they first met and now they may have a chance to be together.

“Good morning all,” Doyle said, entering the room. Gunn followed slowly behind him.

Alex looked at her watch, though she knew what time it was.  “It’s late afternoon.”

“You’ve been drinking again?” Wesley asked. “I can smell your breath from here.”

“It’s my day off,” he snapped.  “Lay off.”

“Found the lush in the street outside,” Gunn said and tried to laugh to break the tension between Wesley and Doyle.

“But anyway I’m here.  What’s the big event?”

Alex smiled.  “Apparently we have two announcements.”

“Faith,” Lindsey said, “why don’t you go first?”

Faith smiled.  She looked embarrassed because everyone was staring at her.  “Okay, shortcake, come this way.”

Faith led Lindsey to the room next to Alex’s office.  He had never been here before so he did not know what it was used for.

Faith opened the door.  Inside is what looked like a small office.  There was a wood desk with a computer on it.  The desk was clean.  It looked like no one had ever used it.  Faith walked over to the desk and picked a nameplate off it.

“Welcome to your new office, shortcake.”

Lindsey smiled and looked around the room again.  “My new office?” he said both happy and surprised.

Faith nodded.  Lindsey turned around.  Alex, Wesley, Cordelia, Gunn and Doyle were behind him.  They all had smiles on their faces. Even Wesley seemed happy.

“Yes,” Alex said.  “Provided you give me free legal work, you can use this office for free.”

“You’re one of us now,” Faith said and touched his shoulder.  “We all know you think that you have a lot to make up for, but you did good and we want you to be part of the family.  You have made up for what you’ve done.”  She handed him the nameplate.  It read “Lindsey McDonald, Attorney for the forces of good.”

Lindsey did not respond, because he could not.  For the first time in a very long time, he felt very loved, very wanted and no longer alone. He felt choked up inside.  “Thank you,” he finally managed to croak out.

Faith smiled.  She was glad to see him happy and that maybe he no longer had this desire to die in order to atone.

“So,” Alex said. “What is your announcement?”

Lindsey took Cordelia’s hand.  “We talked it over last night and decided that—well we’re fighting Angelus.  Not that I want any of us to die, but with Angelus, it could happen— He knows we want to restore his soul.  Cordelia and I just figured that—well if we die, we might as well be happy before it happens.”

“I sense an engagement,” Alex said, so Lindsey did not have to continue feeling uncomfortable.

“Yes,” he said.  “And the wedding will be as soon as possible.  We’ve decided to keep it small, just to close friends and family.  Which is pretty much all of you.  You will all be getting a free dinner out of it at least.”

“Congratulations,” Faith said.  She was only slightly jealous, but she was glad Lindsey was alive.  She guessed although they were great friends, it would never be more than that.  She was concerned that Lindsey barely knew Cordelia, but she could not bear to take the smile away from him.

“Yeah,” Doyle said and he was also jealous, but he had the same respect for the couple as Faith had.  His jealousy seemed a little more obvious.  So much that Wesley gave him a sharp look.

It was daytime and she knew that this time her sneaking around might get her killed.

It was stupid. She should not be doing this.  She did not know what compelled her to sneak into Lee’s office, go through his stuff and see what the vampires were up too. Maybe she wanted to snitch to Holland what the vampires were planing, so she could gain favor with him or maybe she was concerned with her own life.

Lee had disconnected the camera in his office, so they would not know she sneaked in.  She used to do this to Lee and Lindsey all the time, but this was the first time Lilah Morgan was afraid of being killed.
She had no idea why she was in his office, but was glad when she came across the newspaper articles about the traveling exhibit in California featuring the rare Gem of Dorchadas Marbh.

“How’s he doing?” Faith asked.  Lindsey was going over his new office.  They could hear Doyle and Wesley arguing about the best way to organize it.  Wesley was arguing for the neatness approach, Doyle said messiness was an easier way to find things

Cordelia and Faith were alone in Alex’s front room.

“He’s fine,” she said and smiled.  “That’s a good thing you just did for him.”

“You know what I mean.  He keeps touching his neck—“

“He had nightmares in the hospital,” Cordelia admitted.  “A lot of them.  Usually once or twice a day.  We stayed at his place for a few nights.  They didn’t seem to get better.  He’s gonna stay with me for now. We might get a bigger place.  Maybe that will help.”

“Yeah,” she said.  “He shouldn’t be alone.”

“Well, he has me,” Cordelia smiled. There was a twinge of jealousy in her voice. “And you.”

“Alex said that sometimes being strangled like that, losing air can be very tramuatic.”

“You think he might need therapy?”

“You might want to suggest it,” she said looking down.  She could not believe it.  A year ago she would have said counseling was for idiots. “He’s been through a lot and although he may appear happy, he still may unconsciously think he hasn’t done enough.  I’ve been trying to boost him up.”

Cordelia nodded.  “He wants to be happy,” she explained.  “And he has done enough.  You,” she admitted, “have really been helpful.  You made him believe he has a place to belong.”

“He deserves it,” Faith said and smiled.  “At least now he has a chance with you.”  She took a deep breath and told herself that Lindsey wanted to be Cordelia and that she and him were just friends.

“Yes,” she said and smiled.  “I plan to make him happy.”

“So when’s the big day?”

“Three weeks, nothing elaborate.  Just a judge and going out to eat.  Just the six of us.  You, Wesley, Doyle, and Alex.  Maybe Gunn and Kate can come, but I don’t know them that well.”

“What about your family?”

Cordelia smiled.  “If I told my mother, she’d want an all out wedding just like the Fraters had. My folks can’t afford it.  I guess we’ll go to Sunnydale one day and meet them.”

“What about Lindsey—“

Cordelia looked down.  “Whatever is left of his family— We’re his family now.”

“Yes,” Faith replied.  Their moment was interrupted when Lindsey and the others came back into the front room.  Lindsey came over to Cordelia and kissed her.  He touched his neck again then put his arm around her.

“Excuse me?” said a voice from the door.  Faith saw Lindsey freeze for a moment. He was not scared at the voice, just surprised.  He turned around slowly to face the person who just entered.
Standing at the door was Lilah Morgan.

Part 31


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