Have a Little Faith

Part 32

“Can I have the rings please?” the Judge asked.   He was an elderly man with white hair that Lindsey had picked out of the phone book because all the judges he knew did not like him. The judge had a small chapel in part of his house that was once an indoor patio.  It was warm spring day that seemed to make Cordelia happy who was not sure she wanted to be married in a backyard.

“Oh shit,” Faith said, patting the pink dress she despised more than anything she ever had to wear and could not wait to get out of it back into her jeans.  “Damn—did I leave them at home?”  She looked at the judge and winked.  “I guess the wedding is off. That really sucks or maybe you could wait five minutes.  I think I can catch the bus.  I shouldn’t be longer--”

“Faith,” Wesley warned when he thought the joke had gone on too long.  Doyle was silently chuckling. Although Doyle looked uncomfortable in a suit, Wesley did not; he was wearing a fancier suit than he usually did.  “This is a joyous occasion, not a bad comedy festival.”

Faith smiled and pulled the shiny gold rings out of her pocket.  One was a standard gold band, the other a gold band with three diamonds shaped like a heart.  She handed them to the judge.  He took it and smiled.

“And has the best man finished with her wise cracks?” the judge said, clenching the two rings in his hand.

“Five by five, shutting up right now, sir.”  She looked at Lindsey.  He had a big smile on his face and seemed to do anything to keep from laughing.  Even Cordelia looked slightly amused, but there was annoyance in her gaze.  Alex, Kate and Gunn only started smiling after the judge put Faith down.

The judge looked over Cordelia and Lindsey.  Cordelia was beautiful.  She wore a soft green dress and a diamond studded hair pain.  Lindsey wore a black tuxedo.  He used to wear it to Wolfram and Hart functions.   He was glad he had not donated it. “Do you Cordelia Chase promise to take Lindsey McDonald as your husband?  Will you love, respect and honor him throughout your years together?”

Cordelia looked over Lindsey and smiled.  She barely knew anything about him, except that she loved him and her mother was going to kill her when she found out she eloped. “I do.”

“Do you Lindsey McDonald promise to take Cordelia Chase as your  wife? Will you love, respect and honor her throughout your years together?”

“I do,” Lindsey said and smiled.

“By the power invested in me by the state of California, I know pronounce you husband and wife.  Please seal your love with a kiss.”

Lindsey put his hand on Cordelia’s soft face.  He could be with her forever.  He pulled her close, felt the warmness of her skin.  Then kissed her gently on the mouth.  Angelus could never take this moment away.

They had dinner, Lindsey’s treat, at one of the most expensive restaurants in town.  It was eight of them, Doyle, Faith, Wesley, Alex, Kate, Gunn and the bride and groom.  Even Gunn wore nice pants and a shirt.

“Looks like we lost our chances, darling,” Doyle told Faith as they watched Lindsey and Cordelia dance.  He pulled at his suit.  He hated wearing these.  He never planned to wear one again.

“Yep,” she said.  “But I’m not jealous.”

“Yeah right.  I’m sure there’s a twinge at least?  I’ll admit that I have a twinge as big as bloody Angelus’ fangs.”  He said, finally giving up on the suit and taking off the jacket.

Faith snickered.  “Yes, a small tiny little bit, but nothing like the kill everyone jealousy.”

“We could have told them.”

Faith shook her head. She still kept focused on Lindsey.  He had a look of utter bliss on his face.  That sad look in his eyes—that look of trouble was almost gone.  “No,” she said and shook her head again.  “Look how happy he is.  He may finally have a chance,” she said.  “I never want to destroy that.  No matter what.”

“You would have picked the lady instead of the tiger wouldn’t you?”

“What?” Faith asked.

“It’s just a story I used to teach.  There was a princess was in love with a man, but the king did not want them to marry.  He set up an exhibition where the man could pick one of two doors.  The princess could see what was behind the two doors, but the man could not.  Behind one door, there was a beautiful woman and the man would be instantly married to her and be lost to the princess forever, behind the other door there would be a vicious tiger and he would be killed.  The princess signaled to her love which door to pick.  You would pick the lady.  You’re special Faith.  You put everyone else before you.  You would rather have Lindsey happy than yourself.  If you were the princess, you would have picked the lady.”

“Yeah, I would” Faith replied.  “Cause they could always get divorced.”

“Ladies and gentlemen,” said the leader of the band.   The group were just about to finish their dinners.  “We are please to announce today the marriage of Lindsey and Cordelia.”

The audience applauded. Lindsey and Cordelia’s friends stood up and looked to the bride and groom to indicate who the couple was.

“And for his new wife, Mr. McDonald has a surprise for her and apparently a treat for the rest of us.  Come on up here, Mr. McDonald.”  Lindsey pulled away from Cordelia who had a confused look on her face and walked on stage and grabbed the mike.

“Hello,” he said to the audience.  His friends looked confused and a little surprised. He paused for a moment and took a deep breath. Faith was glad when he did not touch his neck. “This is for Cordelia, the most wonderful person in existence.”

The band started up and Lindsey got close to the mike as if he was about to sing and pulled it out of the stand.  He smiled then opened his mouth.

Somewhere beyond the sea,
somewhere waiting for me.
My lover stands on golden sands
and watches the ships that go sailing.

“Holy fuck,” Faith said to Doyle in completely shock.  “Did you know he could sing?”

Doyle looked equally surprised.  “Hell no.”

“He said he played guitar—badly.”

Lindsey moved with the mike over to Cordelia. Who sat at the table next to Alex.  Alex had her mouth opened and looked on in same shock as Faith and Doyle.  Although the people around them were all clapping and cheering, all of Lindsey’s friends were completely silent.

If I could fly like birds on high,

He sang deeply into the mike.  His mid-west accent made Bobby Darin sound country.

…then straight to her arms
I'd go sailing

He extended his hand and Cordelia gladly took it.  He pulled her up and they moved to the dance floor.

I know beyond a doubt

He sang to her and looked into her deep brown eyes and saw happiness.

My heart will lead me there soon

He pulled her close and they began dancing. Several people in the restaurant stood up and watched the couple dance.

We'll meet beyond the shore
We'll kiss just as before

He sang and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek before going back into the song.

Happy we'll be beyond the sea
and never again I'll go sailing.

He pulled her close and kissed her again.  This time with more passion.  The people in the restaurant applauded loudly.  Those who were sitting, stood up and gave the couple an ovation.

Lindsey held his wife close and told himself he was no longer evil.

“Shortcake,” Faith said, when Cordelia and Lindsey finished their dance and returned to the table.  Immediately one of the people at the restaurant asked Cordelia to dance.  Cordelia was to happy to refuse. “I didn’t know you were so versatile.”  Faith said and concealed her shock.

“You mean you didn’t know I could sing,” he said and smiled.

Faith smiled.  “You surprised me.  I’m glad I’m—We’re getting to know you better.”

“That was bloody brilliant,” Doyle said, putting his hand on Lindsey’s shoulder.  Doyle sounded drunk, but Faith knew he had not drank at all.  Even with the bill being on Lindsey.

Lindsey smiled back, then looked Faith over.  “I think my best man deserves a dance.” He looked out on the dance floor where Cordelia looked uncomfortable dancing and was looking like she regretted accepted the dance. Alex and Wesley looked happy dancing although neither Wesley nor Alex had natural rhythm.  Lindsey was sensing that something was going on between the two of them.  He guessed that was nice.  They all deserved to be happy.

“Oh, I can’t dance—I mean I can—but not in that fancy way.”

Lindsey gave her his hand.  “It isn’t difficult.”  Faith took it and smiled.

She could see his scar up close.  The plastic surgeon had done one graft so far, but he was always going to have a deep red mark next to his eye.

He did not touch his neck the whole evening which made Faith happy.  Maybe he was starting to get over the nightmare that was Angelus.

“So,” she said and liked that his body was so close.  Their dancing was essentially moving back and forth.  “Where'd you learn how to sing?”

Lindsey smiled.  “I don’t know I just started doing it and I was okay.  I’m not great—“ he paused.  “I think my vocal cords got damaged.  It is usually a lot easier for me to sing Beyond the Sea.”

“Well you were terrific,” she said, quickly.  She did not want his mind on Angelus on his wedding day.  “You practically swept Cordelia off her feet.”

 “She is wonderful,” he said, looking at her.  She was dancing with Gunn now. Gunn seem to have rhythm, but he lacked the skill of ballroom dancing.

Faith nodded.  Now Cordelia was.  Faith had not really thought about it, but Cordelia had changed since she first met her.  She put Lindsey’s safety before her own and had even been helpful.  It was nothing like the Cordelia she knew from Sunnydale who cared only about Cordelia.

She looked at Lindsey and smiled.  Cordelia had once been a nasty person, Lindsey had once been evil, but neither of them cared about their pasts.

“So you guys gonna have kids?”

Lindsey turned back to her, laughed, then turned red.  “Definitely not now and there’s no rush, Cordelia’s only 18. Oh god, I just married a beautiful 18 year old.  I’m a scumbucket.” But then he laughed again to show it was a joke.

Faith laughed too, only because she was glad to see him happy and laughing.

“Does she knew you are a liar,” she said and laughed.

“About what?” he asked but knew she was kidding.

“Oh, I’m not that good at playing guitar,” she said, mimicking him.

“I didn’t play guitar tonight.”

“I bet you are fucking brilliant at it.”

“May I cut in?” said a voice.  Lindsey and Faith turned to see Kate dancing with Doyle.  “It’s purely business.”

Lindsey smiled.  And of course he took Doyle’s hand instead.  He did a few turns with Doyle before the four of them laughed.

“I have a wonderful wedding present for you,” Kate said.  “A beautiful gem.”

“How—“ Lindsey asked.

“The owner happens to be well versed in the gem’s properties.  He gave me the gem for safekeeping.  Once I told him that the book that goes with it may still exist, he insisted I take it.  He’s going to substitute a fake for the exhibit and when or if Angelus takes it, the guy will have the insurance money.   I’m giving it to you.  Find a safe place for it.”

Lindsey nodded, though something about it sounded to easy.

“I’m absolutely loving your wedding,” Doyle commented.  “I didn’t even have one drink.”

 “Sir,” Lilah said, coming into Holland’s office.  “You sent for me?”

 “Sit,” he said and motioned to the chair opposite him.  Lilah sat down and crossed her legs.  She was uncomfortable.  Holland rarely summoned her unless there was a problem.  If he had praised for her, he would have mentioned it while passing in the hallway.

“I must say I am disappointed,” he said, immediately.

“Disappointed, sir?” Lilah said, playing innocent, although her heart was pounding.

“That when you had a problem you went to our enemy not to me.”

“Sir—I—  It was just Lindsey.  He’s not the enemy.”

“Lindsey no longer shares the goals of the firm.  You need to understand that if you are to have a future here.”

“Sir, Angelus is planning something and you wouldn’t believe me--”

“I know exactly what Angelus and his little vampire gang are planning.  I also know he’s been putting off killing Faith so we wouldn’t know.  I need that taken care of and I’ve put things in motions so he will forced to do just that.  Then we will deal with whatever Angelus has planned.  That is not your concern.  You deal with your clients and make sure Angelus and his vampires are happy.  Is that clear?”

“I’m sorry, sir.”

“Lilah, you must realign yourself with the goals of this firm.  Next time I won’t be so light on you.  Faith, Lindsey, they do not share our visions of perfect order and power.  They think we are the ones that are wrong in some kind of odd game of good and evil.  You are very talented.  You have a future here if you just play the right way.”

“Yes sir,” was all Lilah could say.

“It’s beautiful,” Faith said, looking over the green gem.

“And expensive,” Wesley said, nabbing the gem from her.  Before handing it to Alex, he looked it over.  “Extraordinary,” he said.  “It is quite beautiful and the properties of it.  It looks like it’s almost an entirely perfect prism.  This gem has a lot of power.  I would love an hour to study it.  It’s extraordinary.”  Alex then grabbed it from him.

“And it’s going directly into safe I installed in Cordelia’s apartment,” she said.  She was not wooed by it.  “Where hopefully Angelus won’t find it.”

“He won’t.  He’s got to get passed Cordelia’s lashing tongue,” Faith joked.

“When are they due back by the way?” Alex asked.

“Monday,” Faith replied.  “Two days before the robbery.”

“I hope the last of the skiing is good,” Alex said.  It was Spring in Los Angeles.  She did not need to wear a jacket during the night.  Cordelia and Lindsey had flown all the way up to Canada to catch the last bit of skiing for the season.

“I don’t think they are going to be to concerned about the skiing,” Faith replied.  “Fact is I think Lindsey did not take skis just his guitar.  I’m just happy they could have some time together alone without us or Angelus.”

No one said anything.  Their silence ended when Doyle entered the room.

“Hello all,” he said.  “Anything new.  Oh wow, is that the gem?  Can I see it?”

Alex shook her head.  “The only one seeing it is the safe.”  She walked away and headed to Cordelia’s apartment before Doyle could stop her.

“Anything new?” he asked.

“Just waiting for the fake gem to arrive so we can ambush Angelus,” Faith explained.

“All this for a fake gem,” Doyle commented.

“He’s going to realize it’s fake once he gets it.  At least this way if we fail to stop him from getting the fake one, he still won’t have the real one.”

“Any clue on what it does?” Doyle asked.  Faith shook her head.

“Since it is supposed to bring back the dead.  My guess is Angelus wants to bring someone back from the dead,” Wesley explained.  “I have examined my books, but that is all I have managed to ascertain.”

“But who?” Doyle asked.

Wesley shrugged his shoulders.  “There is quite a lot of people he would want back.  The Master perhaps or his sire Darla. Apparently Angelus and Darla caused a great deal of terror across Europe when they were together.  Angelus is probably not too keen that he staked her”

“Who or whatever it is,” Faith commented.  “It’s gonna suck for us, so it’s best he ain’t successful.”

“I doubt he’ll ever believe we have it or that it is in some place so simple as Cordelia’s apartment,” Doyle said.

“He could,” Faith said.  “Angelus ain’t stupid.”

“We should make sure he doesn’t realize we have it,” Doyle said.

“He will get suspicious if we show up at the museum to thwart him,” Wesley explained.

“He might hurt someone at the museum if we do nothin’” Faith retorted.  “I don’t want anyone hurt for Angelus.”

“If we allow Angelus to steal the gem, and he discovers it is a fake, he’s not going to suspect we had a hand in the switch.” Wesley said.

“But what about the guards?” Faith asked.

“I suspect that Angelus may want to do this quietly as to not arouse suspicion of the police or Wolfram and Hart.  I also believe he will want to do it quickly and at the most convenience of time.  Alex did say most of the museum’s security is electronic now.  It is a risk we have to take to make sure he does not get his hands on the gem and to keep us out of a certain amount of danger.”

“What about the woman?” Faith asked.  “What was her name?  Lilah Morgan?  Angelus will kill her if he finds out she fibbed.”

“Lindsey offered her help,” Wesley replied, “and she refused.  We cannot force her to leave.”

Faith did not reply.  Wesley smiled.

“What’s the smile about?”

“Just you. A year ago, you have not given this woman a second thought.”

“If Lindsey could find his way out of the darkness, maybe others can.”

They both stopped talking when Alex came back from the apartment.

“Now it’s safe and sound,” she said.

“Good, listen, I gotta go patrolling.  I’ll see everyone later.”

“Keep yourself safe,” Alex mentioned.

Doyle smiled.  “Patrolling means it’s late and the bars are opened.  I’ll see everyone later.”

Doyle followed Faith out.  Wesley rolled his eyes after he left.

Alex smiled at Wesley.  “So I guess that leaves us two.”

Wesley nodded.

“You know I’m free, you want to have a drink?”

“Yes,” Wesley said, without a second thought.

Chapter 33


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