Title: The Set-Up
Summary: Willow and Lindsey are set up by a mutual acquaintance.
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership over these characters. I am merely borrowing them from Joss et al.
Distribution: My site, the usual lists, anyone with previous permission. Anyone else - just ask.
Feedback: Yes please! It makes me happy and keeps me writing.
Author's Note: Thanks to velvetwhip, emeraldswan and strangecreature for all of your help.
Author's Note 2: Written in answer to mrsdrake's Unanswered Challenges, Challenge #12: Pick two characters from the BTVS/ATS universe that have never met on the shows. Then send them on a blind date together. That's it. Be creative with it.
Lindsey pulled up in front of the Angel Investigations building at five minutes to eight on Sunday morning. He had hoped that Willow would be waiting for him outside, in the sun, so he wouldn't have to see that annoying, holier-than-thou vampire, but wasn't surprised when she wasn't.
Lindsey was determined not to let thoughts of Angel get to him today. He felt better about his life, and himself, than he had in a very long time. And he couldn't wait to tell Willow about it.
He hastened inside to find Willow waiting for him, a bright smile on her face. Her vampire bodyguard was lurking in his office doorway.
"Willow, darling, you're a sight for sore eyes," Lindsey said, crossing to her. He marveled at how sexy she could make jeans and a t-shirt look.
Willow's eyes greedily took in Lindsey's similarly attired form. Unconsciously, she licked her lips. "I could say the same thing about you."
Stepping forward, Lindsey bent to brush a kiss against Willow's cheek, just as she tilted her head, causing him to catch her lips in a fleeting kiss instead. A spark of electricity spread through both of them, even as Lindsey pulled away.
"Are you ready to go?" Lindsey asked.
"Yep," Willow grinned. She grabbed her purse off Cordy's desk, calling back over her shoulder, "Bye, Angel."
"Just be back in time to leave for your bus," Angel called back, hoping she heard him.
"What time is your bus?" Lindsey lightly asked once they were in his car, trying to ignore the knot in his stomach at the thought of her leaving.
"Oh, it's not until 3:15. Cordy and I were going to go shopping. She insisted that if I ever came to LA she was going to do something about my wardrobe. We may sorta be friends now, but she still doesn't think that I can pick out my own clothes."
"Are you still going shopping today?" Lindsey asked, hoping the answer would be no.
"Nope. You've got me all to yourself until I need to go," Willow happily replied. "That is, if you want to. I mean, I don't want to keep you from any important weekend things you may need to do."
Lindsey placed his hand on her knee, squeezing gently. "Willow, there is nothing I'd rather do than spend the day with you."
"Good," Willow grinned. "So where are we going?"
"I thought we might have a breakfast picnic at the spot we went to Friday night, if that's all right with you," Lindsey said.
"Sounds heavenly," Willow replied, loving the idea of it being just the two of them. No waitresses interrupting them, no noisy restaurant to have to talk over. Just them, for what little time they had left.
"There's some things that I wanted to talk about with you, and I didn't want to have to deal with a lot of other people," Lindsey admitted. "Plus, I'm selfish. I didn't want to have to share you with anyone."
Willow shyly looked over at him, "I was just thinking the same thing."
Lindsey turned on the radio to a classic rock station and they quietly listened to the music the rest of the way, each lost in their own thoughts of what the other might say over breakfast.
Willow was a little afraid of what it was that Lindsey had to tell her. She'd made her opinions of his employers perfectly clear. What if he said that he simply couldn't leave his job? At least not for a woman he'd just met. She was rapidly falling for the strong man she knew him to be and didn't want to have to give him up yet.
Lindsey, for his part, tried not to show his nervousness as he mentally played out possible scenarios for when he told Willow he was resigning from Wolfram & Hart. His favorite one had her jumping into his arms and kissing him senseless. He knew that she'd be happy for him no matter what, but he also couldn't help fearing that she would be overwhelmed by such a strong action. He didn't want her to feel pressured to be with him, believing that the reason he'd left his job was because of her. He'd have to explain that it was something he'd wanted for a while, she was just the catalyst that made him realize that if he didn't get out now, it might truly be too late very soon.
As they pulled into the clearing on the hill, Willow felt a sense of calm settle over her. It was a beautiful, sunny day and she was here with a handsome man who wanted to be with her. She knew it was a bit silly, but somehow, she knew everything would be okay, no matter what it was that Lindsey had to tell her.
Lindsey noticed the serene look on Willow's face as he put the car into park. His breath caught at how beautiful she looked with the sun shining in her hair and the complete and utter calmness on her face.
Willow smiled as she turned to look at Lindsey, having heard his intake of breath. "What?"
"Nothing," he swallowed hard. "It's just…you're so beautiful." The shy blush that stole across her cheeks at the compliment only intensified her beauty in his eyes.
"Thank you," she mumbled. Shifting uncomfortably under his intense gaze, Willow asked, "So, what'd you bring for breakfast? I'm starving."
That shook Lindsey out of his reverie. "Oh, right, of course. C'mon, I'll show you."
He quickly exited the car and moved around to help Willow out. Then he removed a large picnic basket and a blanket from the trunk of the car. Willow helped him lay out the blanket and they settled themselves near each other.
Opening the lid of the basket, Lindsey listed the items as he pulled them out. "We have: fresh croissants, strawberries, some muffins, juice, and coffee. I hope this is okay. I couldn't exactly keep omelets warm in here for very long."
"Are you kidding?" Willow asked, reaching for a croissant. "This is perfect. I'm usually a pretty light breakfast eater." She pulled off the end of the croissant and held it up to Lindsey's lips. "Open up," she said.
Lindsey obligingly parted his lips and Willow placed the buttery pastry on his tongue. Lindsey caught her hand and licked her fingers clean before carefully chewing, keeping his eyes on hers.
Willow's heart sped up as Lindsey licked her fingers. She'd meant it to be a playful action, but he had turned it into something totally sensual. She didn't even realize she'd spoken as she exhaled, "Oh wow."
Lindsey smirked. He had hoped that she'd like the gesture and was thrilled that it had worked. He had high hopes for the rest of their meal.
Picking up one of the strawberries, Lindsey held it to her lips. "Your turn," he huskily said.
Willow simply licked her lips before parting them to admit the fruit. Slowly, she bit into the berry, taking in only half before closing her lips over Lindsey's fingers to pull the rest of it into her mouth. Following Lindsey's lead, she licked his fingers clean of the berry's juices.
When she released his fingers, Lindsey couldn't stop himself from leaning forward and licking the juice off her lips. Willow eagerly met his lips, kissing him with all the lust he had so easily invoked. Willow pressed herself closer to him, wrapping her arms around his neck, giving in to the sensuality of the kiss. Lindsey couldn't seem to keep his hands still; they roamed over her back and hips, pulling her close as she moved into his arms.
It wasn't until Willow was practically sitting in his lap that Lindsey found the restraint to pull back. They were both breathing heavily, trying to make up for lost oxygen.
"I swear that I had only intended on us talking out here," Lindsey said. "Not that I'm complainin', mind you. I just didn't want you to think that I brought you out here under false pretenses."
"I know that," Willow assured him. Her fingers ran through his sun-warmed hair, as they were still comfortably entwined. "So the fact that you brought finger food for breakfast didn't even enter your mind when you were packing it?" she teased.
"It's not my fault that's what's easiest to bring on a picnic," he said.
"Well, you didn't hear me complaining over the turn of events, did you?" Willow asked, bending to nibble at his neck.
"No, I would have to say that you were most definitely a willing participant," Lindsey agreed, suppressing a groan at how wonderful her lips and teeth felt on his neck.
"Then it's agreed," Willow said in between kisses along his jaw, "the evil lawyer was on the level, for a change."
"I'm not," Lindsey said through gritted teeth, nearly sighing with relief when Willow sat back to look at him questioningly. "Not an evil lawyer, that is. Not anymore."
"But I thought…" Willow started to say.
"I quit," Lindsey blurted out. "I talked to my boss yesterday after finding an out-clause in my contract. He's agreed to accept my resignation when I hand it in tomorrow."
Willow stared at Lindsey with wide eyes, her mouth hanging open. She could hardly believe what she was hearing.
As she continued to gape at him, Lindsey grew nervous. "Willow, please, say something."
"Y-you…you actually quit? I didn't think…I mean I'd hoped…I wasn't sure if…but you did…and…for me?"
Lindsey relaxed a bit as Willow babbled. Confusion he could deal with. "Yes and no," he said.
He watched as Willow's forehead crinkled adorably as she tried to work that one out.
"Yes, I looked into my contract after you said that we couldn't be together while I worked there. You helped me to see how unhappy I've been. I mean, I knew that I couldn't stand representing some of the clients they made defend. But it wasn't until I met you that I realized that maybe, just maybe, I could leave. A friend pointed out to me that the reason I thought my contract was forever binding was because I never thought that I'd need an out-clause. In the beginning, I loved my work and never thought I'd want to leave. But then things changed, and I started working with more low-lifes and demons, and I began to hate myself." He took her hands in his. "You opened my eyes, Willow. You made me see that I can be a great lawyer and a good man. I want to be a good man, for you."
Willow stared at him with tears in her eyes for many long moments. "I…I don't know what to say."
"Say I did the right thing," Lindsey prompted. "Tell me I didn't just burn a potentially dangerous bridge."
"Yes, of course I'm happy!" Willow threw her arms around Lindsey, pulling him into a tight hug. "I was so afraid to let myself feel these feelings that I have for you, afraid that you wouldn't leave them. I want to be with you more than anything and my heart and my head were having a terrible time preparing for the worst. But you did it."
Willow pulled back and kissed Lindsey again. She poured her joy and her waning fears into the kiss. It was desperate in a way that the earlier one could never have been. They let their lips and tongues express all of their hopes and fears as they clung to each other.
"Please tell me this is real," Willow said when they parted, her hands still caressing his face.
"It's real," Lindsey promised. "If you want me, I'm yours. I don't know what I can offer you, seeing as how I'm now out of a job and live a couple of hours away, but I want this. I want to be with you."
"Gods, Lindsey, how can you even say that? Of course I want you. We'll find a way to make this work. I'm sure the unemployed thing won't be a problem for long. I bet there's lots of firms that would kill to have you. Not literally of course," she added. "Or, oh, you could work for Angel."
Lindsey frowned at that suggestion. "No offense, but Angel and I wouldn't exactly work well together. We can't stand each other. Besides, he's an unlicensed PI. What would he need a lawyer for?"
"I bet a lot of his clients could use a good lawyer," Willow said.
"Can we not spoil the mood by talking about Angel," Lindsey asked, a slight pleading note in his voice. "You're right, I'll find another job before long. But can we just focus on the important things right now? Like you kissing me?"
"Oh, I think that can be arranged," Willow agreed with a wicked grin.
This time when they kissed, it was a slow exploration. Just as passionate as their other kisses, but without the urgency. Now, they had all the time in the world to express their desire.
The rest of the morning passed quickly. Eventually they got around to nibbling at some more of the food, in between nibbling on each other.
As they were packing up for the drive back to Angel's, Lindsey said, "I can't believe this is the last we're going to be together for who knows how long."
"I know," Willow agreed, stepping into his arms. "I'm going to hate getting on that bus and driving away from you."
"So don't," Lindsey said.
"Lindsey, I have school tomorrow. I can't just stay here. Just like I wouldn't ask you to pick up and move to Sunnydale just to be closer to me."
"As tempting as that would be, that isn't what I was asking," Lindsey said. "I meant, don't get on that bus. Let me drive you back. I know that it won't be much, but it's a few more hours we can spend together."
"I'd love that," Willow said, grinning up at him. "Part of me wants to be all noble and tell you that you don't have to go out of your way, but I think the selfish part of me is going to win this time. I don't want to leave you yet."
"So…if you don't have that bus to catch, then I guess we don't have to leave just yet," Lindsey said, running his hand suggestively down her back.
Willow laughed. "You're incorrigible. And yes, we still need to leave now. If I don't get back before I would have had to leave for the bus, Angel will send Cordelia out to look for me."
"She wouldn't find us here," Lindsey pointed out. Seeing Willow wasn't going to give in, he said, "All right. I guess it'll be fun seeing his face when he finds out that I'm driving you back."
"You see, silver lining," Willow said, squeezing him before stepping out of his arms. She picked up the blanket and headed for the car.
Lindsey watched her walk away, smiling as he thought, 'Silver lining, indeed.'
Continued in Chapter 6