Three Part Story
Angel would never forget the look on Connor's face in the car that night. Connor had lied and disobeyed and gone out "hunting" vampires alone. Cordelia had had a vision and that was probably the only reason that Connor was still among the living. Her vision had allowed Angel to find and rescue his headstrong offspring, who had been literally moments away from being someone's dinner.
In the car he had told Connor that when they got home that he was going to blister Connor's ass. Hence the look. It was part disbelief and part fear. It also reminded him of the expression on Cordy's face every time he opened the company credit card bill. How Cordelia thinks that the accountant will believe that shoes are a business expense is beyond him. But that's a whole different problem.
When they got home Connor who was already in enough trouble smarted off to Cordelia and almost made her cry. For Angel this was the last straw in a very long and complicated history with his child. He had shown the patience of a saint in regards to Connor and his issues, but he now realized that maybe that was just not the solution to this problem. The teen continued to taunt him and he simply took off his belt and handed it to the boy with instructions to go and wait in his room.
As Connor got to the landing he warned him that he had better be up there when he came up. But the vampire had already made his mind up that if he had to track the kid all over the city, before daybreak this young man and his behind were going to get exactly what they had coming. He stood at the foot of the stairs and watched Connor's retreating back.
And as much as he was convinced of what he needed to do, he was also certain that either Cordelia was already mad at him or would be soon. He loved her with every fiber of his being, but he knew that he had an obligation to his son to make sure that he didn't continue to put his life on the line just to rebel against the father that he hated. And Angel smiled ruefully thinking that after he was done tonight Connor's dislike of him would go to a whole new level.
He was deep in thought and felt Cordelia's arms wrap around him as she hugged him from behind. Then she planted a soft kiss between his shoulder blades and asked "Are you sure about this Angel?"
He softly sighed and answered her question. "I'm sure; this is the only way to make him understand."
"Okay then let's just do it."
He turned so that he was face to face with her. "My God Cordelia what did I ever do in my life to deserve you?"
She just smiled that smile that made him feel warm from the inside out and stood on tiptoe to plant a sweet kiss on his lips. "No time like the present then big guy." She took his hand and slowly they walked up stairs together.
He'd left her standing in the hallway outside the door to his room. Taking a deep breath of un-needed air he went inside praying that his son was still in there. The vampire was relieved to see that Connor was standing by the window and for the first time tonight Angel could smell fear on him. Eager to not prolong this for the teen's sake, Angel swiftly picked up the belt and placed his desk chair in the center of the room.
He motioned Connor over and hoping to avoid giving him any chance to resist, in one quick movement pulled him over his lap. Knowing that he needed to make his point without question, he raised one knee a little to put the teens behind in a better position for punishment. His heart felt as if it was breaking but he knew that Connor both deserved and needed this.
Angel was unsure of anything other than the fact that he needed beyond question to get through to this stubborn child of his. And with that thought, even though he wished with all his heart that it didn't have to be this way, he brought the belt down on Connor's butt- hard. He continued to smack the bottom in front of him and could feel the boy struggling not to cry. He knew that he was dishing out a pretty sound spanking and soon Connor was squirming on his lap trying to avoid the belt.
It didn't take too many more swats after that and he could smell the tears that Connor was trying so hard to keep in. Not wanting to, he increased the strength of the swats, and was relieved when his son began to cry. He kept the pace with the belt until Connor was crying out loudly with each well deserved swat.
The vampire stopped long enough to ask his headstrong boy if he would promise to never go out hunting alone again. He was hoping for an affirmative answer and they could be done with this. But true to form Connor refused to promise him anything. And not quite believing just how hard headed this boy was, he began swatting him again. He knew that Connor had to be hurting, but he continued; adamant about making his point with tears running down his own face.
After what seemed to be far too long a time Angel brought the belt down hard twice on the backs of Connor's legs and he felt the boy just give in and wail. He threw the belt onto the bed never wanting to see it again. He rubbed the boy's back and let him cry for a moment and then helped him to his feet. Standing up himself he wrapped the teen in a large hug and told him all the things that he had never gotten to say to his son. "I love you, I'm sorry I had to punish you so harshly, and Daddy will keep you safe."
Connor continued to sob and Angel continued to hold him knowing that the boy needed to let all of this out. Finally the teen pulled away from his father's embrace and reached around to rub his throbbing behind. Angel walked him to the door and told him that if this happened again that the next time the punishment would be worse. Connor looked back at him as if he had lost him mind. But the boy didn't resist another hug. In fact to Angel's amazement he hugged back.
He opened the door to find Cordelia waiting for Connor with open arms. Watching the love of his life tenderly comfort his son was a precious gift to him. He could feel the tears
sliding down his face again. Watching the two of them he was reminded of all the times
when Connor was a baby and she would sit and hold him for hours. He had thought that was the most beautiful and sensual thing that he had ever seen. But this sight the love that Cordelia had for his son struck a chord deep within his un-beating heart.
After a while he told Connor to go to his room that he and Cordy would be in soon to talk to him again about tonight, and miracle of miracle the boy did as he was asked. He watched the teen walk down the hall to his room still wiping tears onto the sleeve of his shirt. Angel sighed as he wished again that tonight hadn't been necessary, but of course it had been.
Cordelia's gaze fell to him and he could read the surprise in her face as she took in his own tear stained face. And like Connor he found arms open in an embrace. And as soon as he pulled her to him and wrapped himself around her slender form he finally felt better. What was it about this woman that felt like coming home he wondered?
He placed his head on her shoulder and allowed himself to weep for a moment, unable to control his sadness. People say that he is her champion, when the truth is that she is his champion. The only person in his whole life who has known exactly who and what he is and loved him because of it. In his long life there has never been another that he trusted with his feelings as he did with her.
Finally he lifted his head and asked her if she was mad at him, and he knew beyond any doubt that she would be truthful with him. For this was Cordelia's way and surprisingly one of the things that he loved best about her. "I was a little at first" she replied.
He dropped his gaze to the floor and then explained that he had no choice, and that Connor was going to fool around and get himself killed. As was always her way she defended his action, and he knew that she understood that he had to reach Connor no matter what it took. To his surprise she confided to him that Connor had called him "my dad." He apparently also admitted that he had been doing dangerous things just to make "my dad" mad. Suddenly he found a smile creeping across his face. Before Cordelia, smiling was not something that he did often (or ever.) But with Cordelia in his life there always seemed to be something to smile about.
And then she was calling him 'Broody Boy' again. Her nick names for him meant much more to him than she knew. They symbolized her total acceptance of every part of him, both good and bad. Acceptance was something that he had had little of in his long life and it was ever so precious to him. As was the beautiful brunette in his arms who he leaned down and kissed deeply. He told her that he could face anything as long as she was by his side. And he knew deep within his restored soul that this was the truth. And hand in hand they walked to Connor's room.
Cordelia placed herself directly in front of the door to Angel's suite. This put her close to Angel and Connor, but hopefully not close enough for her to hear anything. She wasn't sure that she could bear it if she had to listen to what was about to happen. But she knew that no matter what, she needed to be here for Angel, and for Connor who was once again in a huge amount of trouble with his very frustrated father.
She had watched as Angel entered his room with shoulders squared ready to lay the smack down on the kid who just refused to stop with the problem child behavior. She imagined that right about now the vampire was bending Connor over his knee. And even though she knew that she was a very strong person she felt her own knees going weak at that thought. She just wished that this was over already.
Since the boy had returned from Quor- Toth there had been so many times when he had disobeyed and defied his father. She knew very well that Angel had exhausted every possible punishment trying to get through to his strong willed son but nothing had worked. And as well as she knew this, she also knew that Angel did not want to have to resort to physical punishment. But he was becoming afraid that Connor was going to eventually get himself killed. And so here they were.
Her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of a solid "thwack" coming from Angel's room. She felt her eyes well with tears as she knew that Angel had begun to punish the teen. And sadly she realized that she would be able to hear a lot of what was to happen. Like Angel had done minutes before she squared her shoulders and prepared for the worst. Within a short time the sound of the belt fell into a regular cadence and Cordelia wondered how both of her guys were holding up.
It seemed as if the spanking got louder and soon after that she could hear Connor whimpering with each smack the belt delivered. Then the whimpers became actual cries and Cordy knew she simply couldn't bear much more no matter how deserved it had been. She knew how hard Connor resisted his father at all turns, and she realized that Angel must be dishing out some serious punishment for the teen to actually be crying. She wasn't surprised to find her face wet with tears and she wiped them off with her hands.
Suddenly the sounds stopped and Cordelia could hear the deep murmur of Angel's voice asking Connor a question. The answer given must have been the wrong one because the cadence resumed. She could hear Connor crying out now and yet Angel continued to punish. And then Connor began actually sobbing and wailing, and to Cordelia's great relief Angel stopped. She leaned against the wall in the hallway and thanked God that it was over.
She could still hear the sound of Connor weeping as well as Angel's voice speaking softly to the boy. He must have been trying to comfort Connor and explain how his continued dangerous behavior had gotten him here. And while she knew that the vampire had exhausted every other type of consequence before resorting to this, she was still suddenly filled with anger at Angel.
Listening to Connor's continued sobs she questioned Angel's decision to be so harsh with the teen. He could have just yelled at the boy or grounded him. Why did it have to be smacking his butt? But even as she thought this she knew that Angel had tried all of the above and none had worked. That's exactly how they had gotten to this point.
Connor had lied to Angel, and then disobeyed him over and over again. And tonight he had snuck out to confront a group of vampires. A very large group and he knew damn good and well that he was not to go out fighting alone at night. If she hadn't had a vision and gone to Angel, who knows what would have happened. And this wasn't even the first time he had done this.
And if that wasn't bad enough he wasn't sorry, admitting to his very furious father that he did this all the time. He had laughed in his father's face and actually said that this was a good way to work off tension. She had looked from father to son and noting the look on Angel's face she had thought "not tonight Connor, definitely not tonight." And from the sound of things in Angel's room she knew she had been right on the money.
Angel had then sent Connor up to his suite to wait for his punishment. And shortly after he had followed his son up to make good on his promise. At the time she had had a thought that maybe this was too personal for her to witness. But then she realized that she was the closest thing that Connor would ever have to a mother. And she and Angel had been in love for a very long time although they had just recently declared it to each other. So she had felt that it was her place to be here no matter how difficult it was. And no big surprise now that it was over she felt heartsick.
Again she wiped the tears from her face and put on her biggest and brightest smile. Years of smiling when her heart was breaking left her well prepared. Finally the door to Angel's room opened and she heard him warn Connor in a harsh tone that if this ever happened again that the punishment would be even worse. He then asked Connor in an even sterner voice if he understood.
Cordelia was astonished to hear the teen answer his father with a respectful "Yes sir."
Earlier in the evening when Angel had brought the boy home literally by the scruff of the neck he had called his father several things none of which was sir. In fact she couldn't think of one single time when Connor had called Angel sir, or been anything that even resembled respectful.
Her thoughts were interrupted as Connor appeared at the door and her false smile faltered slightly at the sight of him. His hair was mused up and his bright blue eyes were awash in tears. In fact his entire face was wet with tears shed. He looked so young and vulnerable and ever so innocent. Like his father with whom he shared the ability to always look innocent even when guilty was the proper choice, such as tonight.
As if on instinct Cordelia opened her arms and Connor flung himself into her embrace. She began rubbing his back and kissing his cheek as she held him. She realized that he was still crying and she just let him cry a little longer. This was not the first time that she had hugged Connor, but she was again surprised at how tall he was now. She whispered into his ear "It's all right baby, it's over now" in an attempt to comfort him.
After a moment Connor pulled back and looked into her face. "I'm so sorry Cordy I shouldn't have put my life at risk just to make my Dad mad."
Cordelia fought the urge to look amazed. Connor has never called Angel his "Dad" before. Maybe tonight was just what the teen needed, and maybe everything was going to turn out all right after all.
Angel spoke to Connor from the doorway "Go to your room son, Cordelia and I will be in soon and we can talk about this a little bit more."
Connor nodded his head yes and as he walked by her, Cordelia whispered "I love you" into his ear.
She was rewarded with a sweet and shy smile. And once again she was overcome by his resemblance to his handsome father. The teen obeyed his father's request and went to his room.
Cordelia watched him walk down the hall and then her gaze fell to her champion standing against the doorframe. On a night filled with so many surprises she was surprised once again. He looked as if he had aged ten years. Knowing who and what he was, she knew that it wasn't possible, but she saw it all the same.
Her hazel eyes caught his, and she looked into eyes which were as tear filled as Connors. And as she had done for his son she reached out with open arms for him. In an instant she felt herself being pulled hard against a muscular chest in a crushing embrace. And she simply held onto him.
She realized that he too was weeping. He put his head onto her shoulder and she circled him with her arms and rubbed his back. She began to whisper comforting words in his ear as well. "It's all right, it's all over now." Basically saying the same thing that she had said to Connor, and the irony of that didn't escape her. Angel nodded his head and allowed her to continue to comfort him.
After a few moments he lifted his head and looked into her eyes. "Cordy are you mad at me?"
She fought the urge to smile at how well her vampire knew her, but she didn't let it show. And as always she was honest with him. "I was a little at first" she replied.
He looked down at the floor head hanging and looked like a little boy himself. "I had no choice Cordelia; he was going to get himself killed with all this sneaking around, fighting evil crap."
She nodded her head and sadly said, "I know. You did what you felt needed to be done, and I'm pretty sure that after tonight sneaking out is a thing of the past. Along with sitting down."
She felt Angel place his head back on her shoulder and hug her even harder. "I didn't want to have to do this Cordy but I can't let him self destruct, I won't."
She was looking into his eyes again and she saw the determination there. She was very familiar with just how stubborn he could be, and was actually glad about it in this instance. "I know Angel, and if it makes any difference he just referred to you as his 'dad'."
She smiled as she found herself staring into very surprised chocolate brown eyes. "As in I hate my dad and wish he were dead- again?"
This time Cordelia could not resist a laugh at his puzzled expression. "No as in I should stop doing dangerous stuff just to make my dad mad."
A rare smile spread across Angel's handsome face. Cordelia could not help smiling back at him, so joyful that after all he had been through that he had something to smile about. "Hey Broody boy nice smile. I don't have to worry about perfect happiness yet do I?"
He shook his head no and looked towards Connor's room. "Not for a while anyway Cor- I still have a long way to go with him and myself too. But one thing's for sure, I feel like I could face anything as long as you're by my side."
She understood with all of her heart that he was right and he kissed her deeply. "Then let's go and talk to Connor then."
Connor knew that he was in trouble as soon as he saw that he was surrounded. Turning in a circle he saw vamps on all sides and realized that he was about to be invited to dinner- as the main course. Whenever he snuck out he always known that there was a chance that this could happen. But that or anything else for that matter had never stopped him. If anything the danger made it that much better.
As he continued to hold them off, he smiled as he thought about how he was almost certainly going to die just to piss his father (still hard to think of him as that) off. Probably not the best decision of his young life but then lately he had been making some really rotten decisions.
It was at this point that Angel had arrived, and he quickly dispatched with both the vampires and the situation. For a fleeting second Connor was relieved to see him. But looking up into the face of the man who was his father he felt the first real fear that he had felt all evening. Angel grabbed him by the neck and pulled him into a tight hug.
Connor relaxed and even hugged back a little thinking that maybe this would be all right after all. He did as he was told when Angel told him to get into the car. They settled in and Connor began to relax. He knew that this would be like all the other times when he had snuck out to go hunting. There really was nothing that Angel could do about it. He leaned back into his seat and smiled.
They hadn't gotten very far when Angel turned towards him with a very serious look on his face. Connor paid close attention, curious about what Angel was going to say. "When we get home Connor, I intend to blister your ass for this little stunt tonight."
Connor looked over to see if maybe, just maybe his father was bluffing. One look at the vampire and the teen knew that he was dead serious. "Oh shit"
The words were out of his mouth before he could stop them and while dear old dad made no comment Connor knew that he had heard them. Damn vampire hearing anyway.
He dropped down in his seat hoping that the ride home would take a long time but unfortunately they arrived at the hotel in what Connor was sure was record time. His father got out of the car and came around to open the door and pull Connor to his feet. He had a very firm grip on the back of Connor's neck and the teen knew that there was no way he could get out of his father's hold. At least without some serious damage to his neck. But it wasn't the damage Angel was going to do to his neck that had him concerned.
As they walked into the hotel Connor was thinking of all the things that he had said and done since he came back from Quor-Toth. Even up to dropping his father into the ocean for three months there had been understanding and forgiveness. He supposed that maybe that was part of the reason he continued to sneak out and seek out danger. He wanted, no needed to know where the line was drawn with this father. He had a sick feeling that he had just crossed that line.
Cordelia was waiting for them and grabbed Connor in a huge hug.
"Oh my God Connor you're all right. Were you surrounded by vampires Connor- were you?" She was stabbing Connor in the chest with her finger as she asked these questions.
"Well you're vision girl why ask me?" he replied in a voice filled with sarcasm. And as soon as he said it he knew that it had been exactly the wrong thing to say.
For starters Cordelia's face fell and it looked for a minute as if she might cry. Knowing how protective his dad was towards her, he knew that if that happened things would be considerably worse. His father turned a furious gaze his way. "Yea that's right Connor up to your eyeballs in trouble and that smart-ass attitude is definitely going to help you."
He put on a brave face shrugged his shoulders and said, "Whatever."
Apparently he had found the end of his father's patience as well. "So let's review Connor- you lied, disobeyed me and snuck out tonight which put your very life in danger. Is that right?"
The teen could tell from the way his father was speaking in a low and deliberate voice that he was furious. And while Connor was very afraid about the consequences of all his bad choices he refused to give his father the satisfaction of knowing that. "Hey I do it all the time it really is not a big deal- demon."
One look at Angel and Connor knew that perhaps he had pushed too far. The vampire was actually pulsing with fury. Connor noticed that Cordelia had placed her hand on Angel's back and was rubbing back and forth in an attempt to calm him down. And all the while she was looking anxiously between the two of them.
He saw his father take a deep un-needed breath and step even closer to him. "Look we both know what's going to happen now so just go upstairs to my room and wait for me."
Connor's felt his heart pick up at the sound of Angel's rather menacing command. But he refused to allow his panic to show. "You are a poor excuse for a human being- vampire."
The teen was sure that this would cause his father to engage in a little hand to hand with him and hopefully forget all his other plans. But much to his surprise Angel just shrugged and smiled at him. "You really are already going to get quite an attitude adjustment- don't make it any worse."
With that he stripped off his belt and handed it to his son. Connor thought for a moment that he was going to be sick, but he accepted his fathers "gift" and went up to Angel's room taking the stairs two at a time. As he reached the landing he heard his father warn "You had better be up there when I come up, boyo."
When he got to his father's room he laid the belt on the bed and stepped away from it quickly as if it were poison. He began to pace and tried to come to terms with what ever had possessed him to taunt his father like that. He had known from the moment that he had first seen Angel tonight how serious his father was about his behavior. He also knew that Angel was very strong and he had a suspicion that in all of their other physical altercations that maybe Angel was holding back as not to hurt him. He knew that he wouldn't be given that courtesy tonight.
And in as much as he was a warrior and not afraid of any demon he was very afraid of what his father had in mind for him tonight. He looked over at the belt on the bed and shuddered. But knowing all of this, he also knew that he could not have stopped himself tonight. His actions and attitudes had been begging for this or a similar response. He wondered why he needed to do this with his father.
In the hell dimension with his other father "Steven" had been physically punished from time to time. And while he had felt the sting of Holtz's belt more than once he knew that Holtz was merely a human. And his strength was that of an ordinary human. And Connor had always known that he possessed some super-human abilities. Being put over Holtz's knee may not have been fun but it really didn't hurt all that much. He had obeyed that father almost always and there usually had been little reason for punishment.
But Angel also had super human strength and Connor knew that going over his knee would be a whole different thing. And while Holtz never had much reason to punish him Angel had an entire list of things that he had done since he came back. He thought briefly about going out the window but he knew that would only make it worse. It would make it later- but worse. Before he had a chance to think any more about that he heard Angel's tread on the stairs.
He felt as if his heart was going to leap out of his chest as his father entered the room and walked to the bed and picked up his belt. He then pulled out the chair to his desk and put it in the center of the room. Just as Connor was beginning to panic he motioned for the teen to come over to where he was. Connor didn't want to obey, but he knew that it would be worse if he didn't so he slowly walked over to his father.
In one quick motion Connor felt himself being yanked across his father's hard and muscular legs. And if the position weren't embarrassing enough he felt Angel lift one leg slightly so that his behind was raised even higher. And within a few short moments he realized just what this punishment was about. It was about submission. He had never felt as vulnerable as he did right now in this position waiting to be spanked.
He didn't have to wait long as Angel immediately began to swat Connor with the belt. As he had feared, it hurt a lot more than any punishment he had ever received from Holtz.
And Angel had just started. Connor tried to be still and just take it. He didn't want to cry in front of Angel and he made his mind up that he would not. But as his father continued to swat his behind with the belt, his resolution became harder and harder to keep. It just plain hurt a lot.
Soon Connor found himself crying out and dangerously close to real sobs and yet his father did not ease up. And even though he would never have admitted it, Connor realized that this punishment was much deserved. And that thought just made it worse. Finally Connor knew that he couldn't take any more and the tears started to fall. And to the teen's great relief the vampire stopped his actions with the belt.
Connor was relieved that he had prevailed and had not allowed Angel to break him. Through his tears he heard his father ask him a question. "Give me your word that you will not sneak out to go hunting alone anymore and we can be done with this now Connor."
The teen became frantic when he realized that his father was not yet done. And while he wanted nothing more than to say yes and to promise anything to make this punishment stop for some reason he shook his head no and told his father that he would not promise him anything. And Angel being a man of his word resumed his punishing actions with the belt.
As soon as the belt fell on his already aching behind Connor knew that he had made the wrong choice. His butt felt as if it was on fire and he was struggling as hard as he could to not let the sobs escape. And then his father administered several hard swats to the back of his legs and he felt his resolve crumble. Wails and sobs erupted from his chest and he cried and cried.
He was aware from the depth of his emotional pain that his father had stopped spanking him. But he couldn't seem to stop crying or even move off of Angel's lap. He felt Angel lift him to his feet and then standing up himself pull him into a large hug. His father continued to hold him in a tight embrace, which only seemed to make him cry all the more. He looked up into his father's face and was surprised to see tears there as well.
Then Angel whispered words of comfort into his ear, telling him that he loved him and that he was sorry and that he had to punish him so harshly. And Connor found for some inexplicable reason that he wasn't so angry at Angel anymore. The spanking had hurt worse than he could have imagined but something in Connor felt different now. It was as if a wall had been torn down and the teen had let go of some of the pain that he carried inside.
He felt sort of embarrassed to still be standing and crying in Angel's arms but it felt too good to stop. After what seemed to be a long time he pulled away from his father. Angel walked him to the door and gave him another little hug, which Connor not only didn't resist but actually returned. His father then told him that if this happened again that he could expect another spanking only the next time it would be worse.
Connor swallowed a large lump in his throat upon hearing this. In a voice that sounded nothing like his own he replied, "Yes sir."
He knew that his father meant what he said, and he couldn't imagine worse than what he had just gotten. And he was pretty sure that he would be reminded of the lesson his father had given him every time he sat down (or didn't) for the next few days. But he shook his head to indicate that he had heard and understood what his dad had just said.
Angel opened the door and Connor stepped out into the hallway and found Cordelia there with her arms open in an embrace that he knew he probably didn't deserve. He allowed her to hug him and much to his surprise he began weeping again. Holtz had never allowed him to cry. But somehow tonight it seemed to ease the pain in his chest not to mention the throbbing in his punished behind.
It also helped Connor to know that Cordy still loved him. He had given her no reason to with all the rotten things that he had done and the horrible way he had treated her tonight. But like his dad she seemed to have forgiven him, and was going to give him another chance. And he was honestly going to try this time. While things were still going to be difficult he knew that both Cordy and his father loved him, and maybe that might just be enough.
He heard his father saying his name and looked to where the vampire stood. "Go on to your room son, and Cordelia and I will be in soon and we will talk about this a little bit more."
And for the first time since he came back from Quor-Toth he did as his father asked simply because he wanted to.
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