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Knight to king’s bishop 3. Checkmate in 2 moves, unless of course you would like to concede now, my dear Angelus?
Angel read the words for the fourth time, his eyes drifting to the ornate board on which this battle had been taking place for the better part of the last six months.
“Did you just growl?” Cordelia rounded on the vampire, her hands resting firmly on her hips and a pretty sneer gracing her face. “You so better not be growling at me, mister!”
“What? No… I… No!” He waved the letter at her, the exquisite penmanship clearly visible on the high-quality parchment. “It’s Vlad,” he whined pitifully, “He’s beating me.” Turning molten-chocolate eyes on her, he pleaded silently for her sympathy.
“Oh, please. It’s a chess game, Angel. Get over it.” Cordelia rolled her eyes before turning and heading back to her desk and the rest of the day’s mail.
“And how many times do I need to tell him my name’s Angel, not Angelus?”
Cordy looked up, carefully shuffling the bill she’d just opened to the back of the desk in the hope that if she forgot about it, it would go away. The sight of her boss continuing to pout over his oh-so-expensive don’t-ever-let-me-catch-you-touching-it chess board had her eyes rolling once more. ‘Men! Do they ever grow up?’ she wondered to herself. ‘You’d think by his age he’d at least have stopped whining when he lost at a silly game of chess. Oh, that’s right, I forgot, he’s Angel, he doesn’t lose!’
“We’ve got the internet, right?” Angel’s suddenly-eager voice at her shoulder intruded upon her thoughts.
“I just want to look something up,” he replied sliding into her chair and gently pushing her over.
She watched in amazement as he slowly picked out the letters, his tongue poking out the side of his mouth and his eyes gleaming as he typed his query into the Google search engine.
“You’re cheating!” she accused incredulously.
“No I’m not,” he quickly denied.
“You’re looking up how to beat him on the internet, if that’s not cheating what is it?”
“Imaginative improvisation,” he responded. “Besides,” he continued attempting to placate her, “I bet that’s how he’s been beating me all along.”
“Right. Because Mister I-still-write-with-a-fountain-pen is gonna have internet access in his big drafty castle!”
“He might. You don’t know. Beside, the fountain pen is probably just an act. You know, to throw us, make us think just that way. I bet he’s even got cable or a satellite.”
“You just go on telling yourself that big guy. If that’s what your soul needs to convince itself that it’s not cheating!”
“Got it!” Angel cried, ignoring both her words and the withering glare that was burning through the back of his head.
Grabbing a pen and paper he quickly scribbled down his next move before heading to the chessboard to examine every angle of his new attack. ‘Yes, this should work quite nicely,’ he mused smugly.
“What?” He turned to look at her, for the first time noting the look of complete disgust on her face. “Look, Cordy, you don’t understand. It’s not just a chess game. It’s important.”
“Well, why don’t you explain it to me then, so I do understand why the vampire with a soul suddenly feels the need to cheat in order to win some silly game?”
The determination on her face was not to be argued with and with a sigh he tried to think of how to make her understand what had happened all those years ago on that much-loathed night.
“It was a long time ago,” he began. And when she continued to stare at him expectantly he expanded, “It was All Hallows’ eve, 1857. Darla and I were in Romania, we had run into Vlad, or ‘The Count’ as he liked to call himself. You do know he’s not really a Count, don’t you?” he asked eagerly, not waiting for her response before continuing, “Just some minor nobility with delusions of grandeur. Anyway, this night we’d had a few drinks and Vlad and I’d got to talking, you know how it goes. Next thing I know everything’s gone blurry. I woke up the next day face-first on the floor of his decrepit excuse of a castle, my head pounding and my mouth tasting like someone had curled up and died in there.” He magnanimously chose to ignore her amused snort. “Well it was obvious he’d drugged me. I went to our room and Darla was missing and after a long search I found her. They were coming out of his room, laughing...”
“So, let me get this straight. You’re cheating, because you’re a lightweight and Drac drank you under the table and then slept with your girlfriend, who, from what I’ve heard was a big Ho and pretty much slept with anything that could move? I was wrong. You’re not just a cheat. You’re a pathetic cheat.”
With a frustrated growl Angel grabbed his piece of paper and went downstairs to his room to compose his letter. ‘The girl could never understand,’ he told himself. ‘She’s not a vampire, she doesn’t understand vampire honour.’
*Drac.... of course *1 'Good' BtVs character as a major
character. *1 'Evil' AtS character as a major character.