Angel of Mine
Summary: .OneShot. Joshua and Angelina have been friends for a long time, until a simple event manages to throw things out of whack and forces them to face hidden emotions neither knew the other had about each other.
Note: Contains sexual situations.
"I don't want to hear another word, Joshua James Taylor."
Angelina threw the words over her shoulder, walking briskly. Her heels clacked sharply against the marble flooring, the sound matching her mood rather perfectly.
"Oh please, I already said I was sorry!" Joshua James Taylor argued, walking behind at an almost languid pace, though he was able to keep up with the most definitely harassed woman in front of him. He nodded and smiled to his colleagues as he passed them by, even though he really wasn't in the smiling mood. One had to keep up appearances in the office after all.
Angelina David stopped by a tiny office for a moment to drop off a thick file, muttering quick words to the lady seated at the table, who seemed to visibly shrink back as Angelina spoke to her. Josh didn't even bother to listen. Not a minute later, she set off again.
"Why the hell are you following me?" Angelina asked, annoyed, looking back over her shoulder, not breaking her stride. It was just like Josh to do as he pleased, she thought. They had been friends for so long. Couldn't he have figured her out by now?
"Don't call me Angel."
"Fine! Angelina, you have to know it wasn't my fault," Josh said, trying not to resort to pleading.
"Oh really? Then whose fault was it?" Angelina stopped and turned to Josh, her eyes blazing. "You know what? I don't have to listen to this. I'm late. I've got to go." She resumed walking to her desk.
Josh stifled a groan. Damn her for being so stubborn! He stared at her retreating back. She was dressed today in typical office wear: a fitted blouse and a skirt. He found himself wondering which one of her jackets she had worn today, knowing her snazzy sense of dressing. When she rounded the far corner, he came to his senses. Groaning softly, he snapped to his heels and strode after her, wanting to catch her before she left the building.
Angelina smiled grimly. Good, there wasn't any sound of footsteps following her. Frowning, she sighed heavily. She hated to fight with Josh. It was always exhausting as the both of them had explosive tempers, even if it wasn't shown often. This time however, Angelina knew that her anger was justified. For her close friend to betray her like this, it was unforgivable.
Reaching her desk, she grabbed her bag and jacket and strode off towards the elevators. She punched the down button savagely, finding satisfaction in venting her anger. Tapping her heel impatiently, she glanced at her watch.
She had an appointment with the manager of a start-up advertising company in an hour. She knew she was going to clinch this deal. When she had spoken to the manager over the phone, she had learned that he was savvy enough to know that investment was a lucrative and safe business. It was just a matter of which investment company he would place his trust in. Luckily for her, she had managed to contact him first.
The doors to the elevator opened just then and she stepped in, this time gently pressing the button for the lobby. Her anger had dissipated somewhat. Just as the doors were about to close, however, Angelina heard the 'ding' of the elevator, indicating that somebody outside had pressed the down button to stop the doors from closing just yet. Sure enough, Josh strode in.
"Hello, thought I'd almost missed you," he said amiably, as if they hadn't fought in the first place.
Angelina bristled. "What do you want? I've got an appointment and I don't need you making me late," she said, glaring at him before turning to the front.
"I just want you to hear my side. Is that too much to ask?"
Angelina kept silent. She wanted to know why he had done what he did, even though she knew it would hurt. Hell, she was already hurt. Hadn't he just admitted to her a couple minutes ago that he had betrayed her?
"Look, Josh," Angelina began, her voice soft, but she never got to continue. Suddenly, the lights in the elevator flickered and went out. The elevator gave a sickening lurch, causing Angelina to stumble backwards, and everything went silent.
"Josh?" Angelina whispered in the dark.
"Yeah?" she heard him say.
"What the fuck just happened?"
Josh couldn't help it, he chuckled, and he heard Angelina start to laugh as well. "Well, Angel, I think the lift has stalled," he said, after a bit.
"I gathered," Angelina said dryly. Just then, the elevator was bathed in dim orange lighting, and Angelina could finally see where Josh was. He was lounging against the back of the elevator, arms folded casually across his chest, looking up.
"I think that's some sort of emergency lighting. You know, if the power goes off or something," he said, glancing at her. Angelina nodded. It was most likely that the power had gone off in the building or something, and hence, the lift had stalled.
"I wonder how long we'll be here," Josh muttered so softly Angelina almost missed it.
"Oh shit! Oh no, I can't miss my appointment!" She groaned, her eyes widening. She glanced at her watch, then at the row of buttons.
"What the hell? There aren't any emergency buttons here!" she exclaimed. Josh stood up and brushed past her, examining the row of buttons closely.
"I believe you're right," he finally said. "I guess we're stuck here."
"Way to state the obvious, mister." Angelina sighed heavily, and slid down onto the floor, leaning against the back of the elevator. Josh came to sit next to her.
"You know, it probably won't be that long. A couple of minutes, most to most," he said.
Angelina nodded. "Yeah," she mumbled. Suddenly, a thought struck her and she rummaged in her bag for her cell phone. Grabbing it, she eagerly opened the clamshell, but gave a small cry of horror upon seeing that there was no signal.
"Damn these phones! Where's yours?" she asked Josh.
He shrugged in reply. "Left it on my desk in my hurry to come after you," he said.
Angelina lapsed into silence, preferring not to go into why he had hurried after her. She rummaged in her bag again, taking out her planner. Rifling through the pages, she tried to make herself busy, but there wasn't anything to do, really. Tossing the leather-bound book back into her bag, she hugged her knees to herself.
Angelina sighed. "Yes?" She resigned herself to hearing the sordid story.
"You have to believe me when I said I didn't do it on purpose. Never in my life would I ever try to harm you. You have to believe me when I say that. I'd never let anyone harm you, including myself," Josh stated with so much intensity that Angelina couldn't help but turn to look at him.
"Okay, I admit that I took the 50,000 from your case file and placed it with Lucy's, but do you know why?" he asked, looking at her.
Angelina looked away. Josh had taken her fifty thousand dollar investment case from one of her clients and given it away to Lucy Baldwin, who just happened to be her rival in the company. She and Lucy were competing for the grand draw that year. The one with the highest amount in their name would walk away with not only a fabulous bonus, but a car as well, and Josh knew, he knew that she had wanted that car ever since she had first set eyes on an earlier model, way back when they were in university. Not only that, a promotion was more than likely in the bag if she came out on tops; she'd been going after that ever since she'd first stepped into the office.
"Why?" she finally asked.
"Because Lucy needed it," Josh said. Angelina turned to him, her eyes widening incredulously.
"Because she needed it? What do you mean she needed it? That's the most pathetic reason I've ever heard in my life! Just because you're the BDM doesn't mean you can do whatever you like, you know! Do you know how hard I worked to get that client? I missed Janice's birthday party because of it!"
She recalled how hard she had slogged just to get this client. Not only did she have to compete with Lucy and others within the company, she had to compete with other companies as well. Investment was cutthroat, ruthless, and in the end, she had missed her sister's 16th birthday party due to a last minute meeting the client had called. Her sister, who was mentally disabled, and who loved her so much she had cried for an hour because Angelina had failed to turn up. It had taken much more than just presents for Janice to forget about that incident.
Josh sighed, knowing fully how hard Angelina had worked for the case. Being the Business Development Manager, he oversaw all the investment analysts in the office, including Angelina, and knew each and every one's portfolio.
"Can you hear me out, for crying out loud?!" he exclaimed. "Lucy is not neck-and-neck with you okay? You've got the thing in your bag already! The CEO has given her a letter of warning. She's got to make at least 50,000 dollars by the year's end, or she's out."
"What?" Angelina was shocked.
"Yeah, not many people know about it, and I didn't want more people to know about it. So I thought you wouldn't mind helping her out, even if she's your rival and all that," Josh said. "I would have checked it with you first, but the deadline was yesterday, and Lucy only came to me yesterday. I had to do it fast," he explained.
Angelina looked away, disbelief flooding her senses. Lucy was on the verge of being fired? But how could that be? She always took so much pride in her work. Part of her couldn't help but feel that Lucy knew Josh would do that for her, since it was known in the whole office that Josh had a thing for her.
"Why was her production that bad?" Angelina asked.
"Her son died," Josh said shortly. "Pneumonia," he added.
Angelina was floored. Lucy Baldwin had a son? The Lucy Baldwin, who turned up to work wearing short skirts, flirting with every male in the office, being the prima Donna of the world?
"Are we talking about the same Lucy here? Lucy Baldwin?" Angelina couldn't help but ask.
"Angel," Josh said warningly.
"Okay, okay. God, I can't believe it. How do you know that?" she asked Josh.
"We went out for a while last year, and that's how I got to know about her son. She got pregnant at the end of high school, the father's nowhere to be found, and she's been bringing up her son with the help of her mother," Josh admitted.
"You went out for a while last year?" Angelina exclaimed. "How come you didn't tell me? What happened?" she asked, feeling a bit offended at being left out of the loop.
"I just asked her out casually. It snowballed, but then I realized I wasn't into her." He fiddled with his shirt sleeve, not looking at her.
"What do you mean you weren't into her?" Angelina frowned. Although she could clearly understand why any man wouldn't be into Lucy Baldwin, the way he phrased it seemed peculiar.
"I just realized that I wasn't into her," Josh reiterated. Angelina blanched suddenly, coming to a realization.
"Oh my God, Josh. You're not gay are you? I'd kill you with my bare hands!" she exclaimed.
Josh laughed full deep laughter that she'd always associated with him. "Don't be silly. You've known me for years. Of course I'm not gay, but what do you mean you'd kill me?" he asked curiously.
"I'd kill you for not telling me the moment you found out you were gay, because, you know, we're such good friends and all…" Angelina trailed off. "Not that you are gay," she amended hastily, stifling laughter at her own silliness.
"So, can you forgive me?" Josh looked at her, his trademark get-out-of-trouble puppy-dog eyes were out in full force.
Angelina laughed in spite of herself. She could never resist that look, and he knew it too. "I do," she said softly.
"What did you say?" Josh asked, his eyes twinkling mischievously.
"I said, 'I do', okay!" Angelina said loudly. "You should have told me properly though," she added.
"Yeah, I should have. Instead of blurting it out stupidly," Josh agreed.
Angelina nodded. "Men can be stupid sometimes," she said, biting her lip to refrain from laughing, knowing Josh couldn't take such comments.
"Hey! What do you mean by that? Just because we men make mistakes sometimes don't mean that-" He stopped, looking at her strangely. "Oh, you were doing that on purpose," he stated. Angelina nodded, and started laughing.
"Fine, fine, laugh all you want," Josh said grumpily, folding his arms across his chest and huffing indignantly. Angelina giggled harder, and Josh soon followed. They drifted into silence a moment later; a comfortable silence, each of them in their own world.
Angelina thought about how she was going to miss her appointment and how she would have to make up for it, but then perked up when she realized she would be getting the red Porsche after all. And the promotion, she thought giddily.
Josh shifted slightly just then, and she became aware of how close they were actually sitting. His shoulders were comfortably pressed against hers. Inadvertently, her thoughts flew to old memories of their days in university, when she'd had an awful crush on him. Moments like this had caused her heart to start thumping so wildly she had always wondered if he could hear it as well.
The crush had slowly dissipated as she had got to know him more and more, and now, here they were, almost 8 years later. He was one of her closest friends. Someone she could always go to for help, and she knew he trusted her in that manner as well. She absently lifted a hand to brush back a few strands of hair that had fallen over his eyes, but he caught her hand so swiftly and suddenly that she gasped in surprise.
"What are you doing?" he asked, letting go of her hand, not even looking at her.
"I was just brushing your hair back," she informed him softly, adding, "You know, these strands." She gently lifted said strands off his face and smoothed it backwards. His hair was soft, so soft she wondered what he did with it. It would be so nice to run her hand through his hair, feeling the soft strands caressing her hand. Without even thinking, she started running her hand through his hair, nearly being mesmerized by the dark brown, almost black strands. She didn't even realize as Josh leaned into her touch; just continued playing with his hair, taking simple pleasure in doing so. Josh started to feel his blood rush from his head; Angelina's simple touch was making him crazy. Making him want to do things he really shouldn't be thinking about.
"Angel," he said softly. "Angel," he said again, a little louder.
"Stop that." He brought his hand up to his head to catch hold of hers, stopping her movement.
"Oh, sorry." Angelina seemed to come to her senses. "Sorry," she apologized again, placing her hands limply in her lap.
"No, it's okay." He shook his head, looking over at her, knowing immediately he had done the wrong thing. She was beautiful, and though he had known that the moment he had seen her 8 years ago, it had taken most of that 8 years to really realize that.
"You were just, you know, making me feel… a bit weird," he tried to explain, without using the words that really expressed how he was feeling.
Angelina frowned. "Oh, I'm sorry," she said again, seeming to take it the wrong way.
"No, there's nothing to apologize about. I – oh forget it." He tilted his head back to rest against the wall, cursing himself silently.
Angelina shrugged, trying to comprehend her own jumbled emotions. Unbelievably, she had almost forgotten they were stuck in the elevator. It felt as if they were hanging in limbo somewhere, where the whole world was not known to them. Strangely, she felt that she wouldn't really mind if that was the case. Josh being here with her was enough.
"How long has it been? How long are we going to be here for?" she asked, as if he knew the answers to everything.
"I don't know. It's going to be an hour since we've been here though," he answered.
Suddenly, the elevator lurched, and Angelina found herself grabbing hold of Josh's arm unconsciously.
"Holy crap," she said, forgetting her feelings for the moment. Josh laughed.
"I hope this damn thing doesn't fall all the way down," he mused aloud. Angelina blanched.
"Oh dear God." She shuddered, trying to imagine them tumbling down sixteen storeys to the ground.
"Don't worry, Angel," Josh reassured her.
"I'm not worrying," Angelina responded automatically, her standard reply to that particular statement that Josh had uttered many times before. She let go of Josh's arm and leaned against him instead, causing Josh to put his arm around her instinctively.
"You know, this ordeal is making me feel exhausted," she said. Josh smiled.
"Yeah well, when we get out of here, we can definitely feign extreme exhaustion and get a day off work, at the very least."
Angelina laughed. "I'm sure, Josh," she said mockingly. She closed her eyes for a moment, but opened them immediately as a thought occurred to her. "Hey, what's the time? I'm too lazy to lift my hand and check."
Josh glanced at his watch and turned to her. "It's four-" he cut himself off, seeing how close her lips were to him. All he had to do was lean down a little, and he found himself kissing her, so gently, softly, as if he was kissing a girl for the very first time.
Angelina felt as though she had just been struck on the head. Josh had suddenly leaned down and kissed her so fast she couldn't even think. The only thing she could feel was his lips, how soft they were. And then she was kissing him back.
They pulled away a few seconds later, that first kiss being purely instinctive. Silence reigned for a moment as they looked at each other, both trying to read each other and trying to get hold of their own feelings.
"Josh," Angelina whispered, whether it was to stop him, or a plead for a repeat performance, she didn't know, but she saw a change in his hazel eyes the very moment she uttered his name. Suddenly, they were practically attacking each other, their kisses now forceful and intense.
"Josh," Angelina moaned, pouring all of herself into the next kiss and being answered equally in passion by the man she had always known to be her best friend.
Josh had no idea what had come over him, but one thing was true, he was giving this moment everything he had. All his pent-up emotions rushed to the surface for the first time since a year ago when he had realized that Angel was truly his angel. He kissed her furiously, leaning over her and pushing her gently towards the floor. His body had taken over his mind and right then, all he knew was need. He needed her, he needed more of her.
Angelina felt Josh undoing the buttons on her blouse, and to her own surprise, registered her hands doing the same to his shirt. As crazy as it was, it felt right, doing this here, right now. She realized she needed him, and she couldn't help but feel that he needed her as much.
"Angel, Angel, Angel." Her name flowed from Josh's lips easily as he nuzzled her neck. He pushed her blouse off of her, vaguely realizing his shirt was open. Angelina pulled back slightly and reached behind her, unfastening her bra in a fluid motion and tossing it to the side. Josh groaned, at a loss for words, and chose to capture her mouth again in a searing kiss, gripping her upper arms tightly. He pulled her roughly towards him, wanting to feel her skin on his.
Angelina gasped in startled pleasure as she felt her hardened nipples come into contact with Josh's bare chest. Josh shrugged his shirt off and Angelina lifted one hand off his back to tug at his sleeves, helping to pull it off him. Their lips met once again and Josh ran his hands up Angelina's waist, sliding his thumbs along the underside of her breasts, causing her to gasp once again.
"Josh," Angelina breathed, arching into his touch. His touch was electric; why hadn't she known this before? Deep in the back of her mind though, she knew, of course. Her strong attraction to Josh when she had first met him had diminished over the years, shoved into a dark corner probably, but never gone away.
Josh plunged his hands into her wavy honey-blonde hair, undoing her hairclips rapidly, causing her hair to tumble down her back. He set her gently down on the floor and began to trail kisses down her neck; his initial forcefulness and speed given away to gentleness.
Angelina shivered as her bare back came into contact with the cold floor, but then Josh leaned over her, his eyes dark. There was an expression on his face she had never seen before. He started kissing her, slowly, surely, and she forgot everything when he covered his mouth over her breast.
Angelina's moans and gasps were becoming a bit too much for Josh to handle. He wrenched his lips away from her breast, both now moist from his attentions, and reached for the hem of her dark grey skirt. He pushed at it until it gathered around her waist and swallowed thickly. All that was left for him to do was to pull her panties down her legs. He did so, slowly, as if they had all the time in the world.
Angelina couldn't say anything as she felt Josh pull her panties down her legs and toss it aside. She couldn't utter a sound. Silence filled the small cabin, only to be overpowered by the passion that sizzled in the air between them.
Josh deliberately parted her bent legs and lowered his mouth to her, gently placing a kiss at the spot between her legs. Angelina's cry of astonishment fueled his passion, and he sat up, hurriedly unzipping his pants and pulling his boxers down. Not even stopping to properly get out of them, he positioned himself at her entrance. He stopped then, looking up at Angelina, who seemed to be numbed into silence.
Angelina read the look in Josh's eyes plainly. The unspoken question, the point of no return was here. Instead of thinking rationally like how she always did, weighing the pros and cons as she ought to do, Angelina sat up and captured Josh's lips, kissing him fiercely with untold hunger, with hope.
Their mouths parted and Josh bent over Angelina, thrusting into her. Angelina cried his name out and he slid slowly out of her, only to drive back in again. They settled into a rapid pace, suddenly both impatient, both needing to feel each other acutely. Josh gathered Angelina into his arms, kissing her once again. He trailed kisses down her neck, groaning in pleasure as she caressed his chest and back.
They kept up the relentless pace, and Angelina was soon mewling uncontrollably as pleasure blinded all her senses. She vaguely felt Josh press kisses to her heated skin, whispering unintelligible words. She clutched at him, almost falling apart in his arms as he licked at her neck, and then she heard him breathing into her ear, "I need you, Angel, baby."
She gasped, feeling herself rushing into orgasm, a breathless, toe-curling, sky-is-the-limit orgasm. She cried out, calling Josh's name as she came, clutching him even more tightly.
Josh growled as he felt her muscles clench around him as she came, crying out his name, and he vowed he'd never forget that breathless cry, the way she said his name. He stiffened, knowing he was about to climax, and sure enough, he did, burying his face in Angelina's neck, calling her name out over and over again.
They clung to each other limply, waiting in silence for their hearts to stop hammering wildly, for their panting to slow down, waiting for what would happen next. Angelina rubbed her thumb across the back of Josh's neck, feeling the strands of hair plastered there, the sweat slowly dripping down his back. She breathed deeply, inhaling his scent, not wanting the moment to end.
"Angel," Josh finally murmured.
"Hmm?" Angelina almost felt as though she were in another world.
"I- I love you," Josh said hesitantly. Angelina drew her head back, eyes widening. She searched Josh's face, not even able to begin to comprehend what he had just said. She opened her mouth to say something, but she found that she was tongue-tied.
Angelina's silence was becoming too difficult for Josh to bear. He had to say it. He couldn't just not say it. Even though he had thought about what would happen if she didn't love him back, he found he wasn't able to cope with that situation, and he drew back, slipping out of her.
Angelina felt a sudden loss as he withdrew from her and she reached for him. Right at that moment, however, the dim orange light started flickering and the white lights came back on again, glaring, bright. They both looked up in confusion, and a second later heard the dull whirring of the motors. The elevator started moving.
Josh looked at Angelina in shock. The elevator had started moving and they were in this state! "Fuck!" he cursed even as he reached for Angelina's blouse, tossing it to her. He rose to his feet in one fluid movement, watching as Angelina did the same, and they both hurriedly began to dress.
Oh no, I'm not going to have enough time to dress, Angelina thought. She almost felt like giving up and forgetting about it. Let the whole world know that she and Josh just had sex on the floor of the elevator, the one everyone in their office rode in every morning, every evening, for the past couple of years!
Seeing Josh buttoning his shirt up quickly though, she came to her senses and started buttoning her blouse up, pulling her skirt down to its proper length. She bent to pick her panties and bra up and tossed them into her bag. Finally, she threw on her jacket to cover up.
"Do I look fine?" she quickly asked Josh.
"Your hair," he replied automatically, gesturing to it with one hand as he tucked his shirt into his pants. Angelina cursed and quickly tied her hair into a ponytail, completely forgetting she had come into work with a tight bun that morning. Glancing up at the floor indicator, she saw they were on the second floor and quickly looked around them for anything incriminating. Nothing. Thank God. Josh had just a second to glance at Angelina before the doors opened… to a crowd.
"Oh, Angelina! Josh!" People in the crowd were calling out to them, relief evident in their voices. Plastering a smile on his face, Josh stepped out, Angelina just in front of him.
"Oh it was lucky, I tell you! We were all afraid the elevator would plunge all the way down. The technician told us one of the cables had broken!" One of the receptionists came through, wringing her hands before the two of them. Others in the crowd echoed her sentiments, and soon, both of them were captured by different people.
"Oh, it was nothing. We were just worried that we would be stuck for a long time," Angelina said, trying to look around for Josh, who had been swallowed up by the crowd. His distinctive hair was nowhere to be found.
"Hey Josh, you made up with Angelina?" Lucy asked, worry written all over her face as she came to stand next to him.
"Yeah, I did, no worries," Josh said, allowing a small smile to grace his face as he pushed down on distressing emotions threatening to overcome him. He turned around, hoping to catch sight of Angelina, but he couldn't seem to see her.
"Hey, J.J., now that you're safe and sound, I need you to quickly do up the production report for me. Is that alright? I need to submit it to the CEO by tonight." Josh's manager came around to him, leading him away from the crowd.
"Yeah, no problem. It's almost done anyway," Josh agreed amiably, glancing around one last time for Angelina before disappearing around the corner.
Angelina was finally left alone. She looked around for Josh, half hoping he'd be leaning against a wall somewhere, smirking at her with his arms folded across his chest, complaining about how she was always more popular than him (even though that wasn't true), and half hoping there wouldn't be anyone there. Not seeing Josh anywhere around, she sighed, feeling disappointed, even though rationally she should have been half relieved.
She exited the building, dug around in her bag for her cell phone and called her appointment, re-scheduling it for the next day without any difficulty. Having done that, she decided to go home.
Josh quickly amended the last figures in the production report and printed it out, tapping his feet impatiently as the documents were being printed. Finally, once they were out, he slipped them into a file and grabbed his bag, striding into his manager's office.
"Hey Doug, the report's here," he said, passing it to his manager. After giving some flimsy excuse about having to go off urgently, Josh rode a different elevator down and strode out of the building. He glanced at his phone. To call, or not to call. Perhaps it'd be better to meet in person. He decided to head home for a shower first, and upon reaching his car, tore out of the car park in record time.
Angelina let the hot water wash over her, trying to clear her mind of any thought, but found it difficult to do so. She kept flashing back to Josh and how he had run his hands over her body, kissing her… Shaking her head, she decided she'd better get out of the shower quickly.
Throwing her closet open, she gave a cursory glance over the clothes she had. She reached for a simple jeans and sweater, but found herself thinking twice. Would this be good enough?
"Oh for God's sakes, you've been friends for so long he practically knows your entire wardrobe!" she scolded herself. Even still, she threw the jeans and sweater back and settled for another pair of jeans and a camisole, throwing a black blazer over it.
Quickly brushing her hair a few times, she smoothed it until it fell in soft waves around her shoulders and proceeded to put on a touch of make-up. Finally, she dabbed a bit of perfume on her wrists and throat and walked towards the front door. Deciding on shoes was another problem. Sneakers or heels? Deciding that it'd be heels, she finally grabbed her bag and got out of the house.
"Oh shit!" she exclaimed, as it started raining. "Just my fucking luck," she grumbled, and started jogging, trying to get a cab.
Back at his home, Josh found himself questioning whether he had done the right thing by telling Angel he loved her. No flowers, no dinner, no special anything, he just – to put it crudely – fucked her and then told her. Shouldn't it have been the other way around?
Tossing his towel to the side, he pulled on a pair of jeans, thinking back to the hour in the elevator. It had been passionate, incredibly so, and he fought to stay unaffected. He couldn't go down that path now. Sliding a pressed shirt off its hanger, he pulled it on, thinking about what he was going to say to Angel when he went over to her place. What would she be doing now?
Angelina glided through the front doors of Josh's apartment complex. "Hey Ralph," she called out a greeting to the front deskman. A regular visitor to the apartment complex, she knew Ralph pretty well.
"Caught in the rain?" Ralph asked sympathetically, smiling. Angelina groaned, nodding, shaking her hair vigorously to get rid of stray droplets of water. Ralph laughed and waved her over to the elevators instead of making her sign in as was wont to regular visitors to the apartment complex.
Josh was just buttoning his shirt up when the doorbell rang. Frowning, he wondered who the hell it was, and why Ralph hadn't phoned in the visitor. The deskman only ignored the normal protocol for a few people: his mother, his sister, and some of his close friends.
"Just a minute," he called out, heading over to the door and throwing it open. He almost gasped in shock when he saw Angelina standing there in rain-splattered clothes, her normally wavy hair slightly flat against her head. She never looked so beautiful.
"Angel," he simply said, gripping the door knob tightly to control his raging emotions.
"Josh, hi," Angelina said. "Can I come in?" she asked, cursing herself for talking stupidly.
Josh opened the door wider and stepped aside. "Of course," he replied.
"You were going out?" Angelina asked, looking at Josh, who seemed to be in the middle of dressing up. His hair was wet and falling all over the place, and though she'd seen him like this countless times, it never failed to steal her breath.
"I was just coming over to your place," Josh said, smiling finally.
"Oh!" Angelina grinned automatically, and suddenly, it was as though they were back to being best friends.
"Yeah, Doug caught me just now; told me to finish a report," he explained, trying to get across to Angelina that he hadn't meant to ditch her earlier. Angelina nodded.
"Yeah, I understand," she said genuinely.
"Oh, hey, you need a towel." Josh strode to his bedroom, grabbing a neatly folded towel from the closet. When he turned around, Angelina was but a few paces away. "Here," he said, offering the towel. She smiled her thanks and walked past him, going into his bathroom.
Angelina dried off as best as she could. Then, switching Josh's blow dryer on, she started drying her hair and her clothes. "Okay, practice. Josh, about earlier, when we were stuck in the elevator," she said softly to herself, aiming the dryer now at the bottom of her jeans.
"Oh, I really don't know what to say," she told her reflection nervously. Honestly, all she could think about was how incredible Josh looked in the half-buttoned shirt, and how his eyes had darkened earlier when she had turned up at his door.
"Angel, you okay in there?" Josh's voice drifted through the bathroom door.
"Yeah." She raised her voice slightly so he could hear her. "Yeah, I am," she added quietly. Deciding that she was sufficiently dry, she switched the dryer off and placed it back in its place.
"Josh," she called out, walking out of his bathroom. "Thanks for the towel," she said, handing it back to him.
"Yeah sure," he said, tossing it onto the bed carelessly. At a loss as to what to say next, they simply stood by each other.
"So, um, about, just now, Angel-" Josh started, but was cut off when Angelina closed the gap between them and placed a soft kiss on his lips.
"I love it when you call me Angel; no one else does," she whispered, her lips moving against his. "Do you really love me?" she asked, looking into his eyes. Tears sprang to her eyes suddenly as she succumbed to the overwhelming emotions roiling within her. She blinked a few times quickly, stopping the tears from falling, not wanting to let Josh know about it.
Josh took a breath, looking at Angelina, her beautiful face, her big midnight blue eyes; she suddenly blinked quickly and he felt rather than saw the subtle shift in her expression.
"Angel," he murmured, cupping her cheek with his hand, rubbing a thumb across her cheek. "I love you, I really do," he said, his voice low.
"Well, I guess I always have as well." Angelina nodded slightly. She had loved the man standing before her for a long time, she just hadn't realized it. Josh looked at her in surprise, his eyes widening slightly.
"I love you, Josh," Angelina proclaimed softly, a smile forming on her face. Josh grinned and captured her lips in a searing kiss, jolting them both out of the tender moment to replace it with intense passion.
When they finally broke apart, staring at each other with surprise and arousal, it only took a second before they both started laughing, relieved and yet amused at how life had taken them for a spin, only to bring them both back to where they had started.
Josh took Angelina's hand, reveling at how easy it was to go from friends to lovers, and led her to his bed. "You know, now that this is out in the open, you have no idea how relieved I am," he said.
"Really? When did you know that… you know?"
"I loved you?" Josh completed Angelina's question, and smiled as she nodded. "When I went out with Lucy and got really jealous when she told me you had gone out with Doug before," he said, laughing as he recalled how he furious he had been at the time.
"Oh yeah, he asked me out for dinner when I was working late one evening. I never liked him romantically though. Office relationship taboo and all that," Angelina replied, snuggling up to Josh and grinning as he put an arm around her, hugging her close.
"Really? Office relationship taboo? How about me then?" Josh asked, smirking.
"I guess I'd have to make an exception," Angelina replied. "Oh I can't believe we had sex in the elevator," she added, blushing as she thought about it.
"You have to admit, it'd make a great story to tell," Josh commented casually.
"Tell who? I'm never telling anyone," Angelina retorted.
Josh chuckled and leaned down to kiss her again, trailing barely-there kisses down her neck. "Mmm, I love this perfume on you by the way," he commented, looking up at Angelina.
"Thank you. I'll remember to get another bottle of it," she said laughingly.
"Take your jacket off," he said, starting to push the fabric off her shoulders. Angelina obliged, and Josh smiled happily, taking in her tiny silk camisole top.
"This has to go too," he said, after a moment.
Angelina giggled and raised her hands above her head. Josh lifted the top and pulled it over her head.
"Thank you," he said politely and started unbuttoning his shirt. Tossing the shirt over his shoulder, he glanced down at his Angel, clad in just a bra and jeans, looking up at him, her eyes shining, and his heart almost ached.
"Angel," he began.
"Hmm?" she asked, smiling at him, anticipating a funny remark.
"Marry me," he said simply.
Angelina sat up in shock. "What?" she exclaimed.
"Will you marry me?" Josh said, leaning towards her. "I don't have a ring yet, but we could go get one tomorrow."
"We just said 'I love you'!" Angelina couldn't believe her ears.
"Angel, we've known each other for 8 years. I think that's long enough," Josh remarked, smiling softly as he trailed his hand down the side of her face tenderly.
Angelina tilted her head into his touch, returning his soft smile. "Okay," she finally replied.
"Okay?" Josh asked.
"Okay, as in, yes, I'll marry you!" Angelina laughed and Josh pounced on her, pinning her below him.
"Oh, you're the bestest friend I could ever have!" he said laughingly.
"I'll bet!" Angelina grinned.
"I love you, Angel," he said, kissing her lightly, and proceeded to show her just how much he really did.
EDIT: 4 Oct '08
A/N: Reviews are love. This author needs quite a bit of that. Thank you.