|A Shelter From All Storms
Author: Bad Faery PM
Sometimes you have to go to the other side of the universe in order to find home.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Dr. N. Rush & Belle - Words: 8,272 - Reviews: 13 - Favs: 21 - Follows: 6 - Published: 06-19-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8235185
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Nick Rush didn't like Belle French. It wasn't an insult or a condemnation of her character. Rush didn't like anyone, therefore he didn't like Belle. He also didn't dislike her, and that put her head and shoulders above most of Destiny's inhabitants.
There were things about her that he liked. She was decorative. Ever since she'd been rescued from one of the stasis pods some months ago, she'd easily been his favorite thing to look at, her chestnut curls and bright blue eyes bringing a dash of color to their grey world. She was quiet. She didn't shout or wave guns around; she quietly transcribed the ancient writings they found on the ship or she read. Occasionally she tripped in the corridors, and he caught her if he happened to be passing by. She always said thank you.
Belle was pretty, quiet, and polite. All good qualities but not enough to inspire any actual affection until they were planet-side, Belle included on the team as she more frequently was these days due to her quiet competence, and Young was bellowing in his face about things like 'trust,' 'chain of command,' and 'the right to know' sounding every bit like the entitled ass he was.
"You've never had our best interests at heart! I don't know what your game is, Rush, but-" Young's face was turning an interesting shade of puce, and Rush focused on that, tuning out the actual words until a feminine voice contributed to the one-sided conversation.
"It's not fair not to trust him." Every eye on the team swiveled to Belle, who didn't seem to notice she was suddenly the center of attention.
"Excuse me?" Young croaked, caught mid-tirade and therefore off-guard.
"You're always complaining that you don't trust Dr. Rush, that he doesn't tell you anything," Belle shrugged a little. "But he's always right. How many times has he saved our lives in the past month alone? If that doesn't make you trust him, what will?"
Young's mouth moved but no words came out. Rush beamed at his unexpected ally. He liked Belle French.
Later Nick wasn't sure if he'd claimed her for himself or someone had decided to assign her to him, but from that moment on, Belle was his assistant and a massive improvement over Eli. She did as she was told, didn't argue, and when she asked questions they were usually intelligent ones. Plus, she was a damned sight better looking than Eli. Her help was actually helpful, and he wasn't sure how he'd gotten along without her.
That didn't mean she didn't have more than a few irritating qualities. Belle had rules, and one of those rules was that he wasn't allowed to spend more than thirty straight hours in the console room. She kept track, and once he hit that completely arbitrary number, he was out.
"Bedtime, Nick," Belle informed him as she insinuated herself between his body and the console he was working on. He'd considered it a major personal victory when he'd gotten her to start calling him Nick instead of Dr. Rush. She'd been stubborn about that. Belle was stubborn about a lot of things.
He leaned to try to look around her, and she smacked his hand when he reached for the console. "I even gave you a forty minute grace period. It's time for bed."
"Belle..." he sounded whiney to his own ears, a little boy being sent to bed without supper, although Belle was very good about bringing him food and something that approximated coffee at regular intervals and he didn't see her in the slightest maternal light. "I'm almost done. Give me another hour."
She crossed her arms in front of herself and didn't budge. "You remember what happened the last time I gave you an extra hour."
His extra hour had turned into seven, and although he didn't remember blacking out, Nick did remember waking up on the floor with his head pillowed in her lap. It hadn't been altogether unpleasant. In fact, he wouldn't be opposed to repeating the experience, preferably in a bed next time. Preferably after a more enjoyable activity than working himself into a coma.
Belle mistook his shiver of desire for one of remembrance and gave him a triumphant look. "Are you going to leave quietly or do I have to throw you out?"
She'd do it too. She'd found the perfect spot on the back of his neck that made him cringe when she dug her nails in to march him to the door like a kitten being carried about by the scruff of the neck. Although Nick had enjoyed plenty of fantasies about his pretty little lab assistant clawing at him in the height of her pleasure, that was not a spot that had featured highly.
He glared at her; she glared back, and he finally deflated. "I'll go peaceably."
A sunny smile lit Belle's face, the woman perfectly happy now that she'd won. She leaned up to kiss his cheek, and Nick fought the urge to turn his face and attempt to capture her lips with his own. There was one person on this ship who could tolerate him, and he couldn't afford to screw that up. Not when Belle gave no sign of wanting him in return.
"Good dreams, Nick," she bade, the quaint phrase a holdover of the past she'd told him about in dribs and drabs, and one day he was going to have to sit her down and get the entire story out of her. Belle claimed to understand magic, not science, but the two seemed closely related enough to him. Who knew what he could learn from her if he could stop being distracted by her soft lips long enough to have a serious conversation?
He'd have good dreams if she'd accompany him to his out of the way quarters, but that wasn't in the cards. Belle would remain in the console room for at least another hour or two to get some work of her own done and make sure that he didn't sneak back before he'd had his requisite eight hours of sleep. She'd learned that lesson the hard way, and he had no one but himself to blame for teaching her not to trust him. If she'd walk with him, he might be able to come up with something he had to show her and lure her into his quarters that way. Instead, he walked alone, grumpy and out of sorts.
He paced his quarters for awhile, wondering how on earth she expected him to sleep when he'd been right in the middle of something. It wasn't like he could magically stop thinking just because she'd kicked him out of the room. The least she could do would be to give him something else to focus on.
Stripping off, he tossed himself down on the bed, mentally rewriting the last hour or so into a more pleasant shape.
"Bedtime, Nick," Belle purred, reaching out to take his hand and tug him away from the console. For a moment he was irritated by the interruption, but one look at the sparkle in her eyes made him forget all about what he'd been doing. They stumbled together down the corridor, him yanking her against him to steal kisses as often as he could.
By the time they staggered through the door of their quarters, his hands were already working on her blouse, and Belle stopped trying to bat him away, instead melting into him as he kissed her properly, her soft little body tucked into his arms. With laughter and some cursing from him they managed to get out of their clothes, both of them wearing too many damned layers on this cold ship, but they'd warm each other up soon enough.
They tumbled onto the bed, still wrapped around each other, and Belle's sweet mouth strayed lower, seeking out those sensitive places she knew drove him wild. "You've been working too hard," she scolded him as she licked along his ribs, more prominent than usual. Despite her best efforts he hadn't been eating enough, and she'd be all but force-feeding him the next day.
"Distract me," he rumbled, and she rose to the challenge, her clever fingers drawing circles around his nipple before she licked with the flat of her tongue, and he groaned, his fingers burying themselves in her curls to hold her there.
"Belle..." Nick hissed, grinding the back of his head against the wall as he rubbed his chest, trying to imagine the way her face would flush as they did this. He already knew how soft her skin was. Would she feel like that everywhere? Would she like having him play with her hair? He'd dreamed so many times about stroking her curls, threading his fingers through them. Would she let him?
In his head, Belle let him do all that and more. She let him make love to her for hours in their bed. She let him take her up against the consoles and pin her against the wall of the shower. She let him hold her hand when they were together and kissed him no matter who was watching. In his head, Belle was his.
Closing his eyes, Nick drifted back into his fantasy, his hand sweeping over his body as he tried to emulate what her touch might feel like. "Distracted yet?" she murmured, nipping just a little with her teeth and he jerked his hips, shamelessly begging for her attention.
"Getting there," he groaned, tugging on her soft curls in an effort to coax her lower. He was burning, throbbing for her, and without her mouth he'd go mad. "Belle, please..."
Her fingers wrapped around his cock, squeezing a little, and he growled at the touch. "More. More, please," he begged, and she didn't deny him, wouldn't deny him.
Nick wrapped his hand around himself, bringing his free hand down to rub his palm against the head, feeling dream-Belle's tongue lapping at him, teasing and torturing him. "Belle..." he whimpered, squirming beneath her, and she took pity on him, her mouth sliding over him, taking him deep.
"God, Belle!" Nick slammed the back of his head against the wall as he thrust into his fist, feeling Belle's hot, wet mouth around him, sucking, lapping, and it was so good, so fucking good.
She looked so gorgeous like this- all bright eyes and flushed skin and red lips and him in her mouth. It was all he could do not to thrust up, to push more of himself into her, but he didn't want to hurt her. Then one of her hands was cradling his balls and her other hand was creeping under him to squeeze his arse and urge him on, and Nick felt the muscles in his back contract, his hips moving of their own volition, and he watched avidly, the sight of him moving in his Belle's mouth enough to drive him over the edge.
Roughly, he fucked his hand, giving up on even trying to be quiet. No one would hear him in this distant part of the ship. "Belle!"
"Nick?" The sound of her voice didn't register at first, just another part of his fantasy world, but the sound of the door opening did. Nick's eyes flew open, finding Belle as she hurried into the room, her look of concern quickly melting into one of horror as she realized what she'd caught him doing.
He froze, taking in her wide eyes and flushed skin, just like in his fantasy, and he couldn't stifle his groan, mortification not yet having caught up with his lust. For her part, Belle was looking everywhere but at him. "I'm sorry! I was coming to check on you, and you... you called my name, and I thought..." She stumbled backward, fumbling for the door and unable to open it in her flustered state.
"Belle..." he muttered, dazed, his head refusing to clear. He still had his cock in his hand like he was offering it for her perusal, and he grabbed for the blanket, wrapping it around his waist in a belated attempt at modesty as he lurched off the bed and toward her.
She pressed herself against the wall, but he could see no fear in her face as he staggered closer, just a healthy dose of embarrassment. Her cheeks were pink, her lips glistening and parted with her rapid breath, and she looked just like his dream-Belle. The urge to plaster himself against her and seize her lips for his own was nearly overwhelming, as was the need to fling himself at her feet and plead for mercy.
If there was a protocol for being caught by a woman while wanking to her image, Nick didn't know what it was, and his brain still wasn't working properly. His erection had flagged a bit, but having her in his quarters close enough to touch and looking like that was quickly remedying the situation. He had to touch- had to- and she'd deck him and run if he did.
He'd stumbled well into her personal space, not quite touching but so close he could feel the warmth of her body. Belle's gaze flickered over him, taking in his bare chest and the way his erection was tenting the blanket, and she swallowed hard, her color heightening. Nick wasn't sure if it was with embarrassment or arousal at this point, but he couldn't stay away.
Dropping his forehead against hers, he hissed even at that contact. "I'm sorry," he panted out like he'd run five kilometers, "I shouldn't..." Nick wasn't even sure what he was apologizing for at that moment. Wanking to thoughts of her? Getting in her face now? Maybe all of it.
"I should have knocked," Belle said quickly. She couldn't back up any more, and she couldn't get away without touching him, so she stayed where she was, crowded against the closed door. "You called my name, and I thought-"
"I was thinking about you." That was the most patently-obvious statement in the history of the universe, but Belle's eyes still widened.
"About me?" she whispered.
His voice was hoarse, his accent thick enough to render his next words all but unintelligible. "I'm always thinking about you, Belle." With a shaking hand he cupped the side of her throat, feeling her pulse race under his fingers. "Do you... ever think about me?"
"Nick..." she breathed, and she wasn't moving to pull him closer, but she wasn't pushing him away either, and in the state he was in that was encouragement enough.
He rubbed his nose against her, their lips brushing in a touch that wasn't quite a kiss but easily could be. "I'll stop if you tell me to," he assured her, some part of him realizing that the words were probably necessary if he wanted her to be sure that this was his clumsy attempt at seduction, not an assault. Not that, never that. He wanted her willing or not at all.
"Tell me to stop," he whispered against her lips and claimed them for the first time, sucking first on her bottom lip, then the upper, his tongue darting out to taste, but not delving into her mouth. Not yet. Not until she told him he could.
"Do you want me to stop? I won't be mad," he promised. He'd stop the moment she told him to, and his anger would be reserved for himself for pushing her like this when she'd done nothing to encourage him. Of course Belle wouldn't want him. Who the fuck would?
Her skin was so soft and warm beneath his calloused fingers, and he could feel how fast her heart was beating with either fear or desire. Probably the first despite his attempts to reassure her that he'd take nothing she wasn't willing to give.
His breath caught when one of her small hands lifted to cradle his jaw, and he nuzzled helplessly into the touch, relieved that she would at least let him down gently. "I think about you too," she murmured, and he couldn't keep the soft little groan from escaping him. Belle thought about him.
His lips barely grazed hers, and if he let himself kiss her now there was no way he'd be able to stop, and she still hadn't told him yes. At some point he'd moved closer, and they were pressed together from knee to chest, his erection throbbing against her stomach through his blanket and her skirt. Grinding his teeth, Nick fought the urge to rub himself against her. If she didn't decide soon, he was going to lose his mind.
"Belle..." he couldn't quite keep the pleading note out of his voice. He'd beg if she wanted him to. He'd get down on his knees and plead for the privilege of touching her. Nick had never begged for much of anything, certainly not sex, but for her he would.
She was biting her lip, not quite meeting his desperate eyes, and the need to soothe those tiny wounds with his tongue made him shake. He was breathing hard, almost panting, pressed against her like a second skin, and this wasn't seduction. This was coercion and intimidation, and he should be fucking ashamed of himself. "I'll stop."
He let his hand drop from her throat, taking a step back, and not even knowing he was doing the right thing was enough to soothe the raw agony of losing contact with her. Before he could take more than a step, Belle's fingers moved from his jaw to his hair, tightening in it to hold him in place, and her eyes met his at last, clear and unafraid. "Kiss me, Nick."
He wanted to ask if she was certain, but his control was shot. As soon as her lips shaped those words, he was flush against her again, his hands burying themselves greedily in her curls as his mouth sought hers. Somehow he kept the presence of mind to be gentle and not simply fall on her like the ravenous beast he felt like. He sucked on her lower lip, nibbling lightly before running his tongue over it to soothe any hurt he'd inflicted. Belle sighed against his mouth, her hands sliding around his shoulders to hold him closer, and Nick groaned at her acceptance of him.
Her hair was so soft in his hands, her mouth so warm and sweet, and even if this was all she allowed him, Nick would be perfectly content. He had the real Belle in his arms, and she was so much better than any fantasy.
Then her tongue brushed against his lips, asking for entry, and he growled, granting it instantly. Her tongue twined with his before exploring his mouth, and he ground against her, more aroused than he could remember being before in his life. Belle wanted him. She wasn't giving in because he'd coerced her or she felt sorry for him. She wanted him.
Only the friction of their bodies was keeping the blanket wrapped around his hips, and Nick wanted it gone. He wanted her clothes gone too, wanted her naked and writhing in his arms as she wrapped her legs around his waist and he claimed her at long, long last right here against the door.
The pulse of lust that filled him at the thought left him lightheaded, and he dueled with Belle for control of the kiss, wanting to learn her secrets as thoroughly as she was learning his. She tasted like blackberries and sunshine, and he was instantly addicted to her mouth. He had to make this good for her- had to make it so good she'd let him do it again and again- because if he didn't get to kiss her every day, he'd go mad.
Nick knew how to kiss; all he had to do was remember how to think, and then maybe he'd be able to prove it. Taking a half-step back so he wasn't pressing into her stomach was a good starting point, and from there it was a matter of coordinating his lips and tongue and teeth, just a little, finding her hotspots and making mental notes, teasing each one until Belle was gasping against his lips. He conducted a scientific survey of her mouth, finding her every bit as captivating at Destiny's mysteries.
"Nick..." Her soft moan of his name made him feel like he'd won something, and he needed to get her away from the damned door before he lost control again and tried to take her against it. It was a lovely idea in theory, but he was so keyed up he'd last about two minutes if he attempted it. Not the first impression he wanted to make.
Reaching down, he caught her hand and tugged, trying to get her to follow him, and it felt like a dream when she came willingly, allowing herself to be led to the bed. Nick sat down on the edge and scooted back, pulling her down to sit between his thighs. He wrapped his arms around her from behind, smiling when she leaned back into him, covering her hands with his own as he just held her for long moments, resting his chin on her shoulder. "You okay with this?" he murmured, hoping they were on the same page. It felt like they were.
"Yeah." Belle rubbed the side of her face against his like a cat, and his eyes slid shut at the affectionate contact he'd been so long denied. "You just surprised me. I didn't think you liked me."
Nick kissed her jaw, the only part of her he could reach without letting her out of his embrace. He wasn't ready for that yet. He needed her in his arms for just a little bit longer before he could think about letting her go. "You're the only one I do like."
Her mouth curved in a small smile. "Because I stood up to Young for you?"
That had been the start of it, but he'd found so many more things to like about her since that day, that Nick wasn't even sure the moment was on his list of the top ten things he liked about Belle. "Because you're Belle," he told her, peppering his words with kisses to her jaw and throat, "Because you're smart. Because you ask good questions. Because you make me laugh. Because you care."
Belle cared about him, he knew that, but even more importantly she let him care about her. He cared when she looked tired or sad, cared that she was getting enough to eat, cared that she was being treated well by the rest of the crew, and Belle accepted his concern with a squeeze of his hand or a kiss on the cheek. He hadn't cared about anyone since Gloria, and to be able to care about Belle made him feel human again. He felt like he could be the kind of man she deserved.
Nick hadn't expected this when he decided he liked Belle. He hadn't wanted it, but now that he had it, he was so very, very glad he did. She'd given him back a piece of himself he'd thought lost forever, and his heart was a small enough price to pay. He swayed a little, rocking them both, not giving himself a chance to think about it. "I love you, Belle."
She stiffened in his arms, and he hugged her tighter. "I'm not just trying to get up your skirt. I mean, I'd love to get up your skirt, but that's not why I'm saying it." Nick winced, realizing he should have quit while he was ahead. Too late now. "I mean it, Belle. I love you."
She pulled away enough that she could face him, and her eyes were anguished. "Shhh..." he whispered, brushing his lips against hers before she could say anything. Clearly, she wasn't going to tell him that she loved him back, and he'd rather have silence and hope than the sound of her voice telling him that she'd never love him. "It's all right. You don't have to say it back. You don't have to say anything."
Trying to smile, he coaxed her to lie down on the bed, making sure her head was comfortably on the pillow as he lay beside her, careful not to touch. This was not going at all the way he'd hoped, and he should probably put some clothes on, but he couldn't bear to move away from Belle. She looked so sad, and it was his fault, and he should have kept his fucking mouth shut.
"Nick, I'm so sorry," she whispered, reaching up to cradle the side of his face, and he rubbed his cheek against her palm, needing the comfort of her touch. "It's not you. It's so not you. It's just too soon for me. I'm not ready."
Catching her hand in his to hold it in place, he nodded, relieved that she hadn't given him a categorical refusal. "It's okay. I don't mind." Somehow that wasn't even a lie. Even if Belle didn't love him, he could still love her, and that was what he needed more than anything in the universe. "I'll wait. Maybe you will someday, yeah?"
Belle pressed her lips together and nodded, her eyes bright with unshed tears. "Yeah," she agreed, catching the back of his neck to pull him down into a long, chaste kiss. Her words had offered him hope, and the kiss felt like a promise.
"We can still-" she began, and he cut her off at once.
"We don't have to." He risked putting his arms around her, relieved when she snuggled into him.
"Don't you want to?" she asked, sounding a little hurt.
"Every minute of every day," he confessed. He'd been more productive before he started wanting Belle, but he wouldn't trade the excitement of having her near for anything, "But not if you're not ready."
They were barely speaking in complete sentences, slipping into the conversational shorthand used by the oldest of friends and closest of lovers and understanding each other perfectly. He had so much just like this. Even if Belle never gave him her heart, this would be enough.
She was a part of him now and always would be. Nick wasn't alone anymore, and that was more than he'd ever dared to hope for. He nuzzled closer to her and closed his eyes, more content than he could remember being in a lifetime.
Another day, another planet, another tirade from Young. Nick bounced on his heels, attempting to look like he was paying attention while trying to catch Belle's eye over the taller man's shoulder. She grinned at him, shaking her head at the other man, and he beamed back which just made Young yell louder.
"I trust you," she mouthed clearly which wasn't helping him keep a straight face. Things had been going so well between them since the night she'd walked in on him six months ago. More nights than not she accompanied him to his quarters after kicking him out of the console room, even if they hadn't done more than kiss. Passionately. Frequently. Nick adored her mouth and availed himself of it as often as possible.
He adored their nighttime ritual too. After noticing his complete inability to keep his hands away from her hair, Belle had offered to let him brush it for her. He'd never excelled at things like relaxing, but running the brush through Belle's hair, watching the chestnut waves straighten under his ministrations and bounce back as he released them was the closest thing to meditation he could muster. He followed the brush with his hands, the cool silky strands curling around his fingers as he stroked and petted and Belle sighed and arched her neck with pleasure. Ten minutes spent playing with Belle's hair at the end of the day did more to calm his nerves than any chemical relaxant he'd ever tried, and if she'd been with him during those first days on Destiny, he might never have had his breakdown.
Belle quirked her head to the side, her eyes softening as she watched him watch her. Nick watched her take a breath, then she mouthed, "I love you."
The air fled his lungs like he'd been punched in the chest, and he couldn't take his eyes off of Belle, even when Young smacked him in the shoulder. "You okay?"
"Bugger off," he wheezed, shoving past Young to get to Belle who was holding her hands out to him. He caught them in his own, and she squeezed reassuringly, her face glowing with happiness. "Belle?" he asked desperately, hoping against hope she'd said what he thought she'd said.
Her smile was blinding as she tugged on his hands to pull him closer. "I love you, Nick," she repeated so there could be no misunderstanding. His mouth was on hers instantly, his arms encircling her body to pull her against him, unable to get close enough to his precious girl. The fierce pulse of joy at her words left him dizzy, only her support keeping him upright. Nick didn't understand what had changed, what had made her decide in his favor, but he wasn't about to argue. Belle loved him, and that was all he wanted to know.
Their tongues met and mated sensuously as he dragged her closer, cursing the heavy fatigues that kept him from feeling her soft curves pressed against him. Undaunted, he buried his hands in her hair, undoing her messy bun to feel the soft waves properly.
"I will turn a hose on you two," Greer grumbled from somewhere behind him, and Nick managed to untangle one hand from Belle's hair long enough to flip him off. It was too late; Belle was already laughing, her mouth breaking away from his with her giggles.
He groaned, pushing his face into the curve of her neck. "Will you shoot him, please?"
Belle stroked his hair and pressed a kiss against his temple, still giggling. "We might need him later."
"Not bloody likely," he muttered, nipping at her throat.
She sighed in pleasure, then eased him away from her with a scolding shake of her head. "All right, enough of that. We're still on a mission."
When he tried to pull her back against him, she evaded his grasping hands, and he complained, "It's your fault. You had to tell me now."
A saucy smile was the closest thing he got to an apology. "I thought you might like to know."
Young separated them at that point, deeming them incapable of completing even the most basic of tasks if they were together, which even Nick had to admit was a fair assessment. Left alone with Belle, the only foraging he'd be doing would be looking for a secluded spot where he could show her exactly how happy her words had made him.
The hours dragged, not even the promise of a new planet able to hold his attention for long, and Destiny had never looked so good when he was finally able to dial home. Then there were debriefings and an examination of the newly-found supplies, and stupidity, until finally- finally- he and Belle were making their way through the corridors to his quarters, their shoulders brushing with every step. That was all the contact Nick could permit himself until they were behind a closed door, otherwise he'd take her up against the wall.
He hadn't been able to stop smiling since she told him, even though he knew he looked like an idiot and somebody was probably making sure there was kino footage involved. Even if he was a laughingstock by dinner, Belle loved him, and nothing else seemed important.
Once they were finally locked in his quarters, he had no idea what to do with his hands. Belle was smiling at him- warm and tender and a little dazed- and he beamed back, content for the moment just to look at her.
"I love you," he told her, the words coming easily. He took her hands, the press of their fingers the only point of contact between them, but that alone was enough to bring him to his knees.
"I love you, Nick," she echoed, and he kissed her, soft and sweet, everything their first kiss wasn't. This was a fresh start, their first kiss as a couple in love, and he was going to marry Belle French. Whether or not they ever made it back to Earth, he was going to find a way to make her his wife. He'd vowed never again, but this was real and true and right, and somewhere Gloria was happy for him. She'd want his happiness, and nothing made him happier than Belle.
There would be time enough to tell her about his plans later; for now he had Belle's mouth to explore, her sweet tongue playing with his as he relearned all the places that made her moan and press herself against him. They could have stood there for hours, clasped hands and warm mouths, and the gentle press of body against body until the nearness of her went to his head, and he had to have her closer.
Belle squeaked as he pulled her tightly against him, her hands clutching at his shoulders for balance, and he grinned against her mouth, loving having her lean on him. He'd gladly be her support from this day forward. Having the rest of the crew depend on him was a constant source of stress, but having Belle rely on him was the way life should be. He needed her; it was only fair.
"Bed, Nick?" she suggested, and he nodded wordlessly, the pair of them stumbling together to sprawl across his bed. Their bed now, he hoped. They squirmed against each other, her hands in his hair, his tongue in her mouth, the fatigues they were both wearing blunting any real sensation, and this was ridiculous.
"Clothes off," he grunted against her mouth before yanking her into another kiss, his hands refusing to let go of her long enough to do anything about the situation. Belle attempted to unbutton his jacket, but he was holding her too closely to let her make any progress, and she snickered through her nose.
"You're going to have to let go," she pointed out when he pulled back half a millimeter to let her speak, all the distance he could muster.
"Fuck that," he muttered, then he was kissing her again, his hands straying to her hips to pull her closer.
Her nails dug into the back of her neck, latching onto that spot he hated. Somehow in this context it didn't feel so bad, but he still didn't appreciate having her drag him off of her. "Nick..." she said, her voice a laughing warning. "Clothes off."
With a groan, he tore himself away from her, rolling to sit on the edge of the bed as he went to work on his bootlaces with clumsy fingers. Beside him, Belle was having slightly more luck as she wrested her own boots off and stripped off her jacket, leaving her sitting beside him in just her camouflage pants and thin tank top.
She watched him struggle for a moment before saying with amused affection, "You're a disaster." A moment later, she was moving to kneel on the floor in front of him, and his cock twitched eagerly at the picture she presented. All she did was bat his fingers away from the mess he was making of his bootlaces, settling in to undo them herself, pulling his boots and socks off of him in record time.
Attempting to be useful, he managed to get his own jacket off, tossing it aside a second before Belle straddled his lap. Their mouths met in a frenzy, the sheer strain of going a full three minutes without kissing too much for either of them. Nick ran his hands up her back, feeling her arch into him, and they were still overdressed, but at least now he could feel her softness and warmth. She ground against him, and his cock throbbed, the mere sight of Belle astride him enough to undo him.
With shaking hands, he fumbled for the hem of her tank top, releasing her mouth only long enough to pull it off over her head before diving back in. There was so much of her silky skin available to him now, and he filled his hands with her, trying to touch everywhere at once.
Then Belle silently demanded that he get rid of his own shirt, and suddenly they were skin to skin, and his eyes rolled back in his head as he arched beneath her, scrambling for the fastening of her bra. He pawed at her, frustrated, until Belle wrenched her mouth off of his long enough to gasp, "Front clasp."
The instruction helped considerably, and God, he was fucking incompetent at this, but she didn't seem to be holding it against him, sucking on his tongue and humming happily as he finally managed to get the wretched garment off of her. He grunted as her bare breasts pressed against his chest, and he had to look at her. Reaching up to cup her shoulders, he twisted the pair of them around and dumped her onto the bed, scrambling to kneel over her, his mouth going dry as he got his first look at her perfect breasts.
Everyone on Destiny was pale from the lack of sunlight in their everyday lives, but Belle made it look good, her skin smooth as ivory and soft as silk as he brushed his calloused fingers gently over the swell of her breast, her delicate pink nipples hardening even at that light touch, and this sign of her desire for him snapped his self-control in two.
Nick lowered his head to bathe her with his lips and tongue, her soft gasps of pleasure sending a shiver down his spine. His teeth closed around her nipple, tugging gently, and she arched beneath him with a shuddering cry that was suddenly the only noise he wanted to hear. He repeated the process, using his hand to tease her neglected breast, and Belle's fingers tugged at his hair. "Nick..." His name had never sounded better than it did in her husky growl.
She was shifting beneath him, her hips rocking as she searched for stimulation, and Nick wasn't about to let her down. Dropping his head for a fierce kiss, he let his hands stray to the fly of her trousers, pulling back to rest his forehead against hers as he looked to her for permission. "Yeah?"
Belle's eyes shone with happiness as she leaned up to brush her lips against his. "Yeah."
Being able to see what he was doing made this a thousand times easier, and he made short work of the fastenings, drawing her trousers and panties down her legs and tossing them aside as he sat back on his heels to look. She was perfection, all porcelain skin and glistening curls, and a tiny mole on the curve of her hip that he suddenly needed to press his lips against more than he needed to breathe.
He laved his tongue over the mark, and Belle squirmed beneath him, giggling. "Ticklish, love?" he asked when he was finally able to lift his head, and she nodded, biting her lip to stifle her laughter.
His eyes lit up at that, a thousand ways of using that new piece of information presenting themselves to him. Then her fingers stroked his jaw, and she whispered, "Nick, please," and every other thought fled his mind other than the desire to give her what she wanted.
With a soft kiss to the little mark, careful not to tickle this time, Nick nudged her thighs apart, taking his place between them with a prayer of thanksgiving. He could smell the sweet musk of her arousal heavy in the air, and for the first time he let himself believe that Belle might want this as much as he did. He pressed a tender kiss to her curls and moved lower, letting his tongue stroke along her folds until she groaned his name, her hips twitching impatiently, and he allowed himself to delve deeper, lapping at her like a starving man.
It had been years since he'd done this, but the basics came back quickly, and Nick was highly in favor of anything that made his Belle writhe like that and call his name like he was a god. He found a rhythm that she liked- slow and the tiniest bit rough- and he licked and nibbled, wanting nothing more out of life than this moment. She was delicious, the best thing he'd ever tasted, and with her juices on his tongue and her cries in his ears, Nick felt like he could happily drown in her.
Desire thrummed through his body as her cries grew louder, her hands tugging at his hair to hold him in place, and she couldn't have gotten him off of her if she'd shot him, not when she was moving like that and groaning his name, and tasting like heaven. He ground his hips against the mattress, needing some kind of pressure against his throbbing erection before he completely lost his mind, then Belle was screaming like he was killing her, the words Nick and love and yes all tangled together into the most wonderful sound in the universe.
He kept licking- slowly, gently- drawing it out as much as he could, wondering if he could get her to do it again, because he was still starving for her, and his ears were empty without the sound of her cries filling them.
"Nick..." she moaned, pulling on his hair until he reluctantly released her, moving up her body to kiss her throat, not sure she'd appreciate having her mouth kissed after what he'd just done.
He needn't have worried. She attacked his mouth like a woman possessed, licking deep into his mouth to taste herself on him, and Nick's brain nearly shorted out from the sheer eroticism of her action. Her hands tore at his fly, her fingers slipping in to cup his hard length, and he jerked into her hand with a grunt, his lips sliding off hers, "Fuck, Belle!"
"Yes," she gasped, and he shoved his trousers and boxers down, kicking them away frantically, needing to feel all of her against all of him. He groaned as he yanked her into his arms, her warm body wrapping around his, her hands everywhere. He was throbbing against her stomach as she reached down to squeeze his arse, her lips moving down his throat in soft little bites that destroyed what was left of his sanity.
He rolled her onto her back, his full weight resting against her as he ground his hips down. "Please..."
She pouted prettily, trying to move herself back on top of him, but brute strength won the day. "I wanted to-"
"Later," he vowed, all but snarling in her face. "Let me inside, Belle. Just let me inside, please. You're killing me, love."
Belle shifted beneath him until her legs were wrapped around his hips, putting him exactly where he wanted to be. Reaching down, she took him in hand, and the feeling of her cool fingers around his cock nearly sent him through the ceiling. "Yes, Nick," she whispered, guiding him to her entrance, "Yes."
He crushed his mouth to hers- messy and frantic and so very grateful- as he pressed his hips forward, trying to be gentle, careful. With one long, slow thrust, he was buried within her, moaning in relief as her tight heat soothed his aching need.
He held himself there for long moments, shuddering, burying his face against her throat as he struggled for control. "So good, you feel so good, Belle, so good," he babbled, fevered lips moving against her skin as he fought the urge to come immediately like a callow boy.
"So do you," Belle purred, kissing his hair, "You feel wonderful inside me."
At that, Nick had to move. With a tortured groan, he pulled out just a few inches and even that much distance between them was too much. His mouth sought hers as he thrust home again, and never had there been a more appropriate turn of phrase. To him, Belle was home.
He managed to keep the pace slow and gentle for longer than he'd imagined possible, but he had long months of lust and longing at his back, and soon enough his self-control started to shred. He whimpered in despair as he started to move faster, unable to hold back any longer. Instead of admonishing him, Belle held him closer, murmuring encouragement in his ear as he thrust harder, her soft body jerking in his arms at his force.
"Belle?" he panted, afraid he was hurting her, but she beamed up at him, her nails digging into his shoulders.
"Harder," she gasped, and he could do nothing but obey. Going up on his knees for better leverage, he wrapped his arm around her hips, keeping her flush against him as he slammed into her again and again. Belle wriggled against him, twisting her hips, and then he was clearly hitting something she liked, because she was crying out, her nails clawing at him, and even that felt fucking fantastic. In that moment, Nick would have let her do anything to him, anything at all, and the thought of her having so much power over him thrilled instead of terrified. Belle owned him, and he wouldn't have it any other way.
He was so close it hurt, every muscle in his body trembling, then she was shaking and yelling his name, and he plunged after her blindly, his climax ripping through him with blinding intensity. It seemed to last an eternity, galaxies being born behind his eyes, then he was collapsing onto Belle, so deep inside of her it felt like they were one being, and that felt better yet.
She stroked his sweaty hair as he nuzzled against her, feeling utterly boneless and content. With the last of his strength, he managed to roll off of her, bringing her with him so that she lay sprawled over his chest, taking care to keep himself buried inside of her. If he had his way, he'd never be anywhere else.
"That was worth waiting for," Belle murmured, trailing her fingers over the side of his face. Nick turned his head to nip at them.
"That it was," he rumbled, nudging with his chin until she lifted her head for a lazy kiss, their tongues twining together like old lovers.
"We should do this again some time," she snickered, and he lightly slapped her ass.
"Insatiable wench," he mock-growled, delighted at her enthusiasm, "Give me ten minutes."
She tweaked his nipple and his cock twitched, filling him with no small amount of pride. He might be twenty years her senior, but he was going to prove he could keep up. "Make that two minutes."
Belle laughed outright at that. "And I'm the insatiable one?"
"Been waiting months for you, love," he reminded her, arching beneath her as he felt himself harden again, and there was something to be said for long dry spells. "That barely took the edge off."
She sat up, pressing her hips down against him as she squeezed with her inner muscles, and he wasn't even going to need the two minutes. "I was promised I'd be allowed to touch later," she reminded him.
Nick made a noise halfway between a laugh and a groan, his arms falling wide as he offered himself up as a willing sacrifice. "Then by all means, it's later."
Her delighted smile warmed his heart as she bent to kiss his chest. He threaded his fingers through her curls, letting her do as she would with him. He was her puppet, her plaything, hers.
He was home.