i. accidia (sloth)
The record is skipping
again. Lilah closes her eyes and wills it to stop, for the fragile .33 to stop
popping and hissing and keep playing tinny
recordings of Ma Rainey or Bessie Smith or Elvis or whomever the fuck roots musician this is.
Angel (whose randomly-collected
and misused record collection is worth more than Lilah's Armani collection)
circles her naked wrist with his hand,
twisting it just far enough to make it hurt as he blows on her stomach. His other hand is pushing her thighs apart, and Lilah thinks she's supposed to care. But somehow, somewhere, sometime along the way, it all stopped mattering.
There are no champions anymore.
No more champions,
no defiant last stands, no lone heroes standing against a harsh and indifferent
world. Not that it was ever Lilah's thing, but you
know. It was a contrast. It made life interesting.
Angel puts two fingers inside her, thrusting in and out mechanically without paying a bit of attention to whether she likes it. She doesn't blame him. Lilah's not paying attention, either.
The record is skipping
and the picture on the wall, which is a genuine Van Gogh, is crooked. The air
conditioner is on too high by at least two
degrees. Details. Lilah's obsessed with details because there's not a big picture to care about.
On the day Angel
gave up, he called her into the office and told her to take off all her clothes
in the same voice he used to ask for inter-office
memos. His eyes watched her as she decided he was serious and she began to undo her jacket without an iota of interest.
Whatever kept Angel fighting was gone, and he'd celebrated by finding the nearest female body to fuck senseless on the carpet. Lilah had rugburns for a month.
His lips graze her belly-button with just a hint of teeth. Lilah shivers.
"So why me?" she'd asked, casting aside her blouse with trembling dead fingers. The curtains were open. Guess it was time to see just how good the sun felt on naked skin, she thought ruefully.
here," he told her, pulling the skirt down in one motion. Lilah winced
as the zipper scraped the back of her thigh. Bastard. "Because
you know. And I don't want to anymore."
Now he's so mired
in his own crapulence that he doesn't even bother with violence or degradation.
He thrusts into her body over and over again,
trying to find oblivion, trying to put it all in her decaying, damned, evil body. Angel wants to forget his sins. No. Angel wants her to take his sins
the way she takes his cock, so he can be saved and she can take her damned knowledge and slink back into Hell alone.
So there they are.
Corporate Sellout Angel, complete with his very own Corporate Sellout Whore.
Lilah's learned to deal with that. She prides
herself on being able to get used to anything, and this isn't *really* that bad.
If only the damn record would stop skipping.
ii. luxuria (lust)
Faith's bare thighs are trembling as Lilah runs the white leather riding crop up and down the exposed skin.
It's a turn-on.
Everything's a turn-on with Lilah and Faith, from the curve of a breast in a
see-through top to the little hitch of breath when Lilah
orders Faith to hold hers to the scratches that Faith sometimes leaves on Lilah's arms.
But this? Watching
Faith twist and claw, bound to the wrought-iron bedpost with nearly indestructible
handcuffs, tangling the four-hundred-count
unbleached cotton sheets as she rocks back and forth?
"Somebody needs to be patient," Lilah sing-songs, a nice sharp shot of arousal hitting her spine when Faith wails her lust as Lilah flicks the whip across Faith's stomach. "Good *God*, you're pretty when you're wet for me."
Lithe, perfect hips buck upward, twisting-turning left to right. Lilah grins. There are so many things she could do to Faith when she's like this. For example, she could flog Faith until she drew blood and get begged for a little more by a hoarse-voiced girl. She could pull out all her favorite toys (though not the scarves anymore, because those just have BAD associations--but hey, that still leaves nipple clamps, vibrators, dildos, gags, et cetera) and decide which one to use first.
She could simply sit on Faith's face and order her favorite slayer cum sex slave to lick it til Lilah was entirely satisfied. Or maybe Lilah was feeling like burying her head in Faith's pussy, taking her to the bring, and pulling away, then doing it again and again until Faith broke her wrists from frustration.
a question of what I want," Lilah muses to her willing captive, fondly
stroking the girl's leg, letting her thumb brush against clit before
withdrawing. "Do I want you to come? Do I want to come? Fast or slow? Rough or violent?"
"Fuck, Li--" Faith gasps. "You're killing me here."
Lilah's laugh burns against her ruined throat, and she momentarily considers calling Wesley. Giving him all the decisions. The visuals alone send a flush of desire into her cheeks. The potential bruises, the friction, the sheer heat--it's a very pretty thought.
But, there there. Lilah has naked, lusting Faith all to herself, from sparkling feverish eyes to straining muscles in her thighs to the evident wetness between them to taut, hard nipples. Lilah suddenly wants very much to bite down on one.
Lilah wants so much that one day, the lust is going to overload the fragile nerve pathways in her already-delicate brain. But the pleasure? Is worth a blown gasket or two.
I haven't even begun," Lilah growls, straddling her charge and rubbing
against Faith athletically as her fingers pinch and caress one of
those pretty nipples. "You're going to come so hard that you'll beg me to stop befo re begging me for more."
"Fuck, yes," Faith agrees breathlessly. Lilah, triumphant, bites down on the girl's earlobe, the plans all coming together.
It's going to be a very long night.
iii. ira (anger)
Lilah and Cordelia's first kiss takes place two seconds after Cordy slaps Lilah so hard that her head almost does come off.
evil hell-bitch," Cordelia hisses, eyes flashing. She backs Lilah into
a corner, the murderous intent Lilah remembers so well creeping
into her posture. Lilah understands why Cordelia's upset. Wake up from a coma after being raped and possessed only to discover that your worst enemy has taken over your life, down to being the champion's Girl Friday, and you're going to be pissed. "Who the HELL do you think you are?"
Lilah's unbeating heart almost skips one; she stares down Cordelia, blue-green eyes staring into hazel with borrowed bravado. This is not happening again. Lilah's like the snake in the folktale. Everyone knows what she was when they picked up with her, and that includes Lilah herself. And after all, it's Cordelia's fault Lilah is dead, so it's not a surprise when Lilah hears herself say it.
"I'm the one who didn't fuck us all over by falling for her own self-righteous hype, Cordelia dearest."
In her thirty-four years of life and eight months of semi-life, Lilah Morgan has gotten exceptionally good at watching the rational function in people snap like dry twigs when she applies pressure. There are the strangest physical signs that give it away. Everyone thinks it's in the eyes, and that's true to some extent, but really? It's in the shoulders and the chin.
Most importantly, insane anger is all in the lips.
Cordelia's chin comes up sharply and her lips are trembling so hard that Lilah isn't sure Cordy's going to be able to form words. And she's right. Cordy doesn't.
The blow comes
unexpectedly, sharp and fast against Lilah's right cheek. The world starts to
wobble and shake, and Lilah, scared again, grabs and
holds her neck. Stupid goddamn Cordelia Chase and her self-righteous--
Cordelia's mouth presses against hers, tongue worming its way into her mouth as the rest of Cordelia's body molds itself to Lilah's walking corpse. For a second, Lilah almost pushes her away, because it's a mistake. But hate, rage, and pain have always been catnip for Lilah's libido and every since Wes made it very clear that love or not, necrophilia wasn't a kink he was interested in exploring, she's been lonely.
Suddenly there's pain, intense and shooting in her lower lip. Lilah yelps and pulls away, realizing that Cordelia, the crazy bitch, has bitten through it.
"What--the--fuck?" Lilah asks, folding her arms around her protectively. "Could you stop trying to kill me? I'm already DEAD, remember?"
"I'm taking my life back," Cordelia answers, trembling with tears and rage.
"You've got to be kidding me," Lilah says sardonically, putting her fingers to her wounded lip incredulously. "Haven't you tasted enough of my blood?"
Lilah's wrist and pulls the other woman's fingers to her mouth. With little
or no finesse, she starts sucking on them, licking the
blood clean, and fuck. It's almost enough to make Lilah come right there and then.
"No," Cordelia finally tells her. "I haven't."
iv. invidia (envy)
husband know you're a lesbian, Mrs. Pryce?" Lilah asks on a sunny May afternoon,
sprawled out on a very nice Italian leather couch.
She's nude, of course. Mrs. Pryce isn't actually fond of her person, just her pussy. "A genuine carpet-licking dyke?"
"Shut up," Fred answers, looking up from just above Lilah's knee and slapping Lilah's calf nattily. "I don't need you to talk."
One day when she
can figure out how to do it and not be a Jasmine-groupie, Lilah is going to
undo Angel's "selfless" sacrifice of Connor and the
proper timeline. If that's not possible, she's going to bide her time and finally jam red-hot pokers into Angel's eyes and stomach before staking his
selfish, hateful ass.
Of course, no one's
complaining but Lilah. In this Los Angeles, Fred Burkle-Pryce is the happy and
productive head of the science division of
Wolfram and Hart. She had a devoted husband, lots of toys, and a beautiful mistress who comes and visits because while Fred loves Wesley with all her heart, he just can't satisfy her Sapphic self. Because of course, with no Connor, there was no reason for Wesley to fall into Lilah's dastardly
clutches and so he didn't.
Funny how either way Lilah was still dead, and how much Angel could fuck himself for that, she couldn't even begin to express.
"I guess not,"
Lilah agrees. "Bet he thinks you like it, that big hard cock of his ramming
into you all the time. Wesley's very proud of his sexual
prowess. You really should tell him that it doesn't get you off."
"Knock it off," Fred says, shaking her head. "Is there some reason you're trying to piss me off. If you don't want to be here, you can leave."
This is also true.
It was Lilah's decision to come here in the first place, and she comes here
of her own free will to Wesley's home to do this. It's
her own choice to endure Fred's fumbling attempts to get her off and to reciprocate quickly and efficiently until the twig's moaning in her arms.
The whole arrangement was Lilah's idea, and if she closes her eyes, it's even a good one. Fred's gotten better at going down on her, and her body is warm and skinny.
Just like Wesley's.
And they both know and never mention, that Lilah is here because fucking Wesley's wife is as close as she'll ever get to Wesley, and Lilah wants Wes more than she can ever explain to Fred. And Fred? Fred loves Wesley. She just doesn't love cock, and she tells Lilah that if only Wesley were a girl, it would be perfect.
"It was a
bad day at the office," Lilah lies, thinking about the levels of denial
being played out here. If only she were the woman kneeling before
her, licking her clit and blocking out her words. She wants Fred's life so badly that she'll do this over and over again. "Sorry."
She's not sorry. It's not a word in her vocabulary. Hers or her Wesley's.
One day, Lilah's going to get her man, her life, and her things back. And on that day, everyone's going to pay. Even Fred.
v. gula (gluttony)
Since she's taken up with him, Lilah's gained ten pounds and she swears before Holy God, Spike hasn't gained an ounce. The universe is deeply unfair.
"I cannot eat another bite," Lilah protests to him one night in August, her stomach feeling bloated and full as is. "I don't care if it's triple chocolate brownie butterscotch delight or tiramisu or Japanese beef or Vermont maple bacon, Will. If you feed me any more, I'll burst."
to that," Spike--or more accurately, Will, because he's given up Spike
with his shanshu--announces, emerging from his stylish and modern
kitchen with two glasses of scotch and a rakish grin. "You don't get to burst 'til I say so."
Lilah chuckles, adjusting her scarf. "And then what?" she asks. "It might get very, very messy all over your marble countertops and we wouldn't want that."
"Oh, I dunno," Will murmurs, putting the classes on the island and sauntering over to put his arms about her waist. "If I'm to have my Lil for a proper dessert, it needs to be a bloody mess or it's not done properly."
Decadent man. Possibly
worth facing down the Slayer and Angel over. Lilah puts the thought aside and
relaxes into Will's embrace. She doesn't love
him--and everyone, including Will, understands--but he's fun. Human. A giant decadent pig who found himself alive again alive again jiggity-jig
and decided to enjoy it this time around.
He's fond of stuffing
chocolates down her throat until they could both see her tummy bulge and then
taking her on the table or couch or floor. He's
fonder yet of licking whipped cream, honey, champagne, or melted chocolate off her breasts and stomch. There are so many sexual things to do with food; for example, there were the strawberries he fed her at Griffith Park with one hand while his other was wrist-deep inside her.
Best of all--at
least in Lilah's opinion--was the time Will had thrown her on his king-sized
bed with the satin sheets and proceeded to do shots of
freezer-chilled tequila off her stomach before eating her. The feel of ice-cold alcohol followed by his warm tongue had almost left her dizzy even
before he'd laid a finger on her pussy.
"You're a pig, Will," she chides him, rocking back against him as his hands roam under her blouse, mussing her something fierce. "Is there anything you don't think of in terms of eating?"
"I was a vamp
for damn near a hundred and thirty years, Lil-love," he purrs in her ear,
his breath slightly gamey and scotch-tinged against her ear.
"Tend to forget there's a bloody difference between food and sex."
She shivers. "That's intensely disturbing," she says as he begins to kiss and nuzzle her neck and jaw. "You--oh, God--you know that, right?"
he answers, clearly more interested in getting Lilah on the kitchen counter
than the disturbing nature of his food/sex obsession. She
can't help but laugh. Will is a single-minded, deeply human, extremely enjoyable son of a bitch. He's decided to enjoy his reward, take, gorge on
it, and never be satisfied. It's a good way to live and Lilah's glad to help him enjoy his shanshu. If more people were like Will, she wouldn't hate all of them. She thinks.
The marble's cool
against the small of her back and Will's rock hard and kissing Lilah's collarbone
with intent to devour. She whimpers and giggles
almost simultaneously, aware that she's all too glad to be the feast. Why not? It's good, isn't it? And she's hungry, starving for the kind of hunger
Will has as he grasps her wrists and pulls them over her head.
vi. avaritia (greed)
"You know, vulgar displays of wealth are just so...vulgar," Lilah comments, looking over their score with calculating eyes. They could buy and sell the Axis of Pythia twice over if they played it right. "And yet--"
Her breath scars the stack of gold bars before evaporating, and she can see Lindsey checking out her ass--and the stash--and trying to pretend he's not hard for both of them.
"I always knew you were for sale, Lilah," Lindsey teases, raising his glass of Cristal and grinning.
"*Fuck* you, Lindsey," Lilah says delightedly, twisting around and confronting Lindsey with a smile of her own. "We just bought fifty gold bars with Angel's money because they were sexy in their shininess. And right before that, we sold Cordelia to medical science to score a private performance from David Bowie at our self-congratulations party. If I'm for sale, you're a two-dollar crack whore."
They are perhaps a little high on adrenaline. And champagne served in diamond-studded glasses. And maybe the China White Lindsey had scored from whatever the fuck rock star he'd been blowing in the green room.
Whatever. It's a sparkly kind of high. The world belongs to Lilah and Lindsey and they've decided to display their ill-gained wealth as loudly and tauntingly as possible. At this point, who's going to stop them? Fortune favors the bold, and they have most certainly won.
"It's not me," Lindsey replies. "I've got this evil hand and it's always giving me ideas."
Lilah howls with
laughter, unable to quite stand up anymore. She slides down to the floor, landing
with an undignified thump on the berber. She
hasn't done drugs since the mid-80s, when she had a much, much higher tolerance for nose candy than she does now.
like when the evil hand gave Angel jollies over and over and over until it set
Angelus loose on the world again?" Lilah asks, smiling fondly.
"His death was so tragic. Well...the part where his ashes gave me a rash was tragic. Angel's death, not so much."
Lilah really hates
Lindsey, but hey. He got it done, and she'd never had as much fun in her life
as she had fucking Lindsey on Angel's ash heap. And
then the part where they'd drained every last cent out of Wolfram and Hart LA to a special offshore account?
Still makes her horny just thinking about it.
"What are we going to do with all this lovely money?" Lindsey drawls, his baby blues glittering.
each other until it gets both of us dead?" Lilah supposes, rubbing fretfully
at her breast. She doesn't like fucking Lindsey--Lilah
really hates fucking Angel's leftovers and that's what ruined Wesley for her in the end--but there's gold. And her shoes were sixteen hundred
dollars and she's thinking of setting them on fire because the heel is a quarter-inch too high. If she doesn't fuck someone soon, she'll combust
from sheer need.
"You're not wrong, babe," Lindsey says, joining her on the floor. "But before that?"
"Sex, drugs, rock and roll, expensive properties, our own private armies, more cars, a harem--and OOOH! You know what I want?" Lilah asks, aware that in the morning, she's going to have herself a hangover like no tomorrow. Hangovers are worse when you're dead, with the cells not quite wanting to clear out the effects of abuse but not knowing what else to do.
Lindsey asks, tentatively walking his fingers up the arch of her foot. She kicks
at him--ticklish--and shakes her head. "A 30 foot statue of
yourself set up in the middle of Los Angeles made of solid gold?"
closer when you suggested the pony," Lilah says contemptuously, thinking
it might take another glass before she actually wants to fuck
Lindsey. "I want the Hope Diamond. And to be the middle of a Matt and Ben sandwich."
Lindsey howls with laughter. "Lilah, you're a shallow, greedy thing," he praises her.
Lilah raises her champagne glass in a toast. "Greed is good."
Lindsey kisses her ankle. "Damn straight."
vii. superbia (pride)
need to be here," she frets, her fingers worn down almost to bone now.
Lilah's been filling out tax forms for--she's not sure how long
anymore, but it's a very, very long time. Or maybe it's not, maybe it just seems that way and if Lilah were to go back, it would be the same day as
when she left. "I told you not to come. This is what I signed on for. Not you."
Wesley paces back
and forth, and she can see the jagged hole in his stomach, and the fires burning
on the other side. It's still bleeding. If she could stop filling out these
stupid forms, she'd stand up and bandage it. She's sure it hurts, that he's
so dizzy and pained that he can barely
stand, but Wesley's still pacing.
Back and forth and back and. It makes her nauseous just to think of it, a spiral of vertigo making the room spin and bob like ships on the sea.
It's been too long since she's seen the ocean. Years. Centuries. It's not a question of measuring time when you're signed to perpetuity.
"No one should face the underworld alone," Wesley says, limping forth and then back.
He always makes
her heart shatter into tiny little pieces when he says things like that. Why,
Lilah doesn't know. She would have been all right
without Wesley with her. She would have been better without him here, damned for eternity alongside her. And still--she's glad, she's selfishly,
evilly glad that they've let her have him, even like this, broken and bloody and bruised. In the end, in the aftermath of the divine comedy of
champions, heroes, angels, and slayers, Wesley belongs to Lilah and she almost takes pleasure in that.
But then he coughs
blood or staggers under the weight of damnation and Lilah's fingers can almost
pause at the endless work and wish just as hard
that he were away from all this, that she had her memories to keep her warm.
All the memories but the last one, the one that sealed the deal. Wesley so sure that he could play Orpheus and win that he put them both on the line.
Two souls for the price of one, double down and Wesley almost convinced her that he could do it.
"I won't look back," he told her over and over, his hands on her face. "I won't."
"Read the fine print, Wes," she'd said, worried. Her soul wasn't worth this. It never had been, and yet the look in his eyes...
No one has ever looked at Lilah the way Wesley does. It was enough to make her hope when she knew better.
And yet here they
are, in the midst of Hell's ironic banality and sometimes the reality drowns
out the good memories that Lilah uses to deal with the
day-to-day of endless deskwork.
"Do you remember the time I called you in the middle of a meeting?" she asks, apropos of nothing except idle memory.
"Yeah, maybe" she answers, slowing her pen. "Biggest tax meeting of the year, and you start talking dirty to me."
"Did you really take the panties off?" he asks, his breathing slower, but not with pain. "They were the flimsy little red pair, right?"
you know me," she says with a snicker. "I took them off and stuck
them in my purse. Hell, remember when I showed up after my meeting
that night all hot and bothered?"
"Could I ever forget?" he asks. There goes her non-existent heart again. Because he might have failed, they might have been too proud, too stubborn, too whatever, but they still have this. Memories. Love, she supposes. Lilah has to believe it's love, because if not, she damned Wesley to this for nothing.
That would be too much. So it must be love, even in hell. Especially in hell.
"Keep talking," she tells him as she lets go of the pen, aware that whatever punishments the overlords have, it'll hurt a lot. But fuck it.
In five hundred
years, if he hasn't forgotten, if the Powers That Run Hell allow it, they'll
talk about the time they talked dirty over paperwork. In
a thousand years, they'll remember something else.
"Are you wearing a skirt?" Wesley asks, and for a moment, Lilah closes her eyes. And it's just like it always was. Almost enough to make her happy.