He barely slept amidst the gunshots and rubble that the war had brought. Though the country's military forces were winning against the rebels, dead bodies piling up in the battlefield were proof that everyone has nothing to gain and everything to lose. Such is the case of Colonel Jellal Fernandes. He nearly lost his right arm when he saved an incapacitated soldier in the heat of battle after an explosion. He managed to survive, harmed in the process as a huge gash and burn decorated the totality of his forearm. The only good thing keeping him sane and alive were his muse's letters and promise.

Jellal retired inside his tent right after smoking. It was a habit long forgotten, yet somehow resurfaced as the uprising raged on. He opened one of the redhead's letters and smiled at how the words spoke to him, some yearning and others playful. Erza had sent him a total of eight letters, and he'd sent the equal number, their monthly conversation serving its purpose of keeping each other connected and updated. As he picked up his pen to write to her, he couldn't help but smile as this will be the last time he'd be writing to her.

The bartender was her usual self, except she wasn't entertaining men anymore. In the past months their place managed to get renovated, attracting a lot of male customers and most of them immediately becoming regulars. Being busy helped ease her longing for the blue-haired soldier. The more work she had on her plate, the less she worried and thought of him.

She received the latest letter from him a week ago and was already in the process of replying. This time, she thought of sending him some "encouraging" notes and even a few risqué photos of her to keep him motivated. Erza wasn't the type of person who indulged in pleasing someone's sexual fantasies but she figured she'd make an exception for him.

"Bring me another bottle!" called a man from a nearby table.

Mirajane filled in her friend's shoes for a while as Erza focused on finishing her letter.

She had expected a reply in an instant but got nothing on the first week of the next month. She briefly wondered if Jellal had been busy with the aftermath and decided to postpone his response. Erza had been keeping herself informed about everything going on in the war via newspaper and it was only recently that she learned about the military crushing the rebellion.

"Erza, Lisanna and I will be heading out now." Mirajane appeared a moment later with her sister as they were all up and ready to go to the countryside and visit their brother who's working there as a mechanic. "We'll be gone for four days. You can close the bar and go with us for vacation too."

The redhead shook her head. As tempting as the offer sounded, she couldn't just leave. Four days working would go to waste and she was still waiting for Jellal's letter.

"Are you sure?" Mirajane asked, her tone final.

"Definitely. Say hi to Elfman for me." Erza hugged them and escorted them to the station. She felt a sudden pang in her chest. Must she always be the one to wait and get left behind? Then regretted the thought. Nobody was forcing her to stay, and it was her choice anyway. She could use a vacation after working for nearly a year without a breather. Sighing, Erza walked home.

She had the place all to herself and the rest of the evening went by slowly. Seeing as there was no way to get through the night quickly, she busied herself by cleaning glasses, moping the floor and scrubbing dirty dishes. Tired and exhausted, she took a hot and long bath before collapsing to the comfort of her bed.

Erza wasn't prepared. She was in her white nightgown and robe when she answered the door. The redhead thought she was dreaming because he wasn't supposed to be there without notifying her through a letter he hadn't sent yet. But there he was, standing at her doorstep with multiple bags slung over his shoulders, his arm bandaged and his face warm and serene as the first glow of soft sunrays lit up the surroundings.

"You're not supposed to be back." she breathed out in shock, hands briefly covering her mouth before cupping his cheeks. He leaned into her touch. Unable to restrain himself any longer, the soldier took her into his arms and was rewarded with a squeak.

"You're not supposed to be back!" she repeated, still unable to believe he was there with her in flesh and bone.

Jellal smirked and in mock hurt said, "You didn't want to see me?"

"You know what I mean!" she laughed, giving the soldier a quick peck on the lips.

"I finished everything earlier on schedule so I can come back as soon as possible." he explained, placing light kisses on her forehead, nose and cheeks. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing. I mean look at me! I'm not dressed pretty for the occasion!" she groaned while gesturing to all of herself. He looked at her and whistled.

"I think you're properly dressed for the occasion." his voice dropped low and his eyes roamed around her figure.

Erza pulled at his coat and bit her bottom lip.

"Come inside." she purred.

"Wait, Mira and the others?" he asked, all the while staring as Erza shed her clothes in a matter of seconds.

"Gone." she quickly dismissed the topic.

"Where are they? And how are you?" he was stupid enough for asking a follow-up question and that had Erza frowning at him.

"Do you seriously want to go through the unnecessary pleasantries and small talk? Because right now, I'm about to give you your homecoming reward."

Jellal chuckled, seeing as how eager the redhead was. He can't blame her though. All those months apart, of course she was on edge. He too was more than ready and his body was screaming at him to take her right then and there without regard to whether they'd be on top of the table or on the floor but he figured he at least had the decency to ask her how she was.

Erza, however, had a different point. The moment he showed up, words were useless. She believed that the best way to express her emotions were through actions.

"You have so much clothes on." she began tugging at his military uniform and rid of all his bags altogether.

"Erza, I've missed you." he whispered, meaning every word.

"And I too." Erza replied, breathless and impatient. "Now can we stop talking and just get down to business?"

Jellal assisted her clumsy hands in removing all of his clothing. When they finally did, their bodies clashed together in an attempt to close the nine month gap they've been apart. Their kisses were rushed and sloppy, never minding where they landed. Erza tugged on the soldier's hair in hopes of bringing him even closer. Jellal directed their movement, with him carefully maneuvering every step until the redhead groaned slightly as her back hit the counter. The soldier worked fast, grabbing both her thighs and hitching them up to rest around his waist. She felt her press onto her and she couldn't help but break the intensity of their kiss to suck in air. The contact alone was electrifying as the soldier continued rubbing himself at her sopping center, pleasure heightening with every thrust. Erza's head flung backward which allowed him access to her neck. He gave her a long and agonizingly slow lick which started from her clavicle and up to the spot behind the hollow of her ear.

"I missed the sounds you make too." he rasped into her ear, breath ragged and hot. Erza just continued to be on the receiving end, almost guilty that she was instead of her giving what she promised to him. She couldn't help it though, her body was helpless to his touches.

Jellal moved his way to her chest, admiring the way she was heaving and anticipating his next move. His mouth stopped abruptly at the tip of one of her generous mounds, smiling slyly as she let out a frustrated groan. Their start might've been quick and rough, but the soldier didn't want to rush it this time, not when he had all the time in the world to figure out the best ways to make the bartender squirm and scream.

He darted out his tongue, teasing the hardened tea rose nipple with the fleeting touch. He earned another one of her demanding grunts. This time, he let the wet muscle continue its torturous action in circular motion.

Erza was flushed and biting her bottom lip under his scrutinizing gaze, enjoying how she looked. He placed butterfly kisses on the valley between her breasts before giving the other globe the same treatment.

"Stop teasing me." Jellal knew it was a command, but the way she delivered it sounded more like a plea. Was this real? Was he making Erza Scarlet beg?

"Whatever do you mean?" His ego skyrocketed as a devilish grin appeared on his lips.

"Oh, for fuck's sake!" Erza pushed the soldier's head onto on of her breasts, effectively shoving the mound into Jellal's hot mouth. She moaned in delight. Jellal brushed the idea of having to make this woman beg, and just focused on doing his job. He softly clamped down on the soft flesh and efficiently utilized his tongue to pay the same attention to her tip. The redhead cried out in approval, tightening her hold on the soldier.

He continued assaulting both globes with a series of scandalous licks and ferocious nips, his hands occupied in caressing both the cheeks of her bottom.

"Bed. Erza, let's get to bed." he lifted his face and prepared to carry her back to the room upstairs but the legs locked on his waist and her pout told him otherwise. Erza shook her head and pulled him down once more on top of her.

"I won't make it to bed." she hotly confessed, feeling the relentless shaking of her legs.

"I'll take you there." he sweetly kissed the tip of her nose. "Your back must be sore from the counter."

"No," she replied while grinding herself to his hips, the soldier almost losing his grip on his sanity. "Take me here. Right here, right now."

He didn't need to be told twice as he slipped inside her with ease. He groaned at the tightness that welcomed him. The redhead moaned in satisfaction, feeling full and accustomed to the soldier's familiar size. Jellal moved quickly, the power of his hips sending their fluids to drip and splash in every direction. Erza scratched her way from Jellal's shoulders down to his arms, her left hand grazing the texture of bandage on his right.

With her release coming close, Erza urged him to continue his erratic rhythm and he eventually complied as his own drew near. The redhead convulsed around him, the muscles clenching his girth to bring him to climax. When they finally settled down from their high, they looked at each other.

"Welcome back." she warmly told him. Jellal smiled and slipped out of her, slinging the redhead over her shoulder from which he earned a playful thumping of her fists on his back and a bubbly laughter. He brought her upstairs and to bed where they resumed their multiple rounds of give and take.

Jellal slumped back on the soft mattress with harsh pants, his sweat suddenly coating the totality of his skin. Erza watched in fascination as he brought the back of his hand to his forehead and swiped. Her fingers played on the bandages wrapped around his right arm.

"What happened?" she asked, running her fingers along the covered limb.

"It'll heal soon enough," he told her, relishing the tingly feel of her touches from under the sterile cloth. "What about you? How have you and your siblings been?"

"Good." she hummed.

Jellal quirked an eyebrow at her clipped response.

"You haven't been...messing around with other men right? Not that you're not allowed to because we aren't committed or whatever. J-Just asking." he cleared his throat in hopes of recovering but the redhead was keen and she was already thinking of ways to floor him with her witty comebacks.

"No, I haven't." came her honest reply.


She grinned.

"Really. But," Erza got out of bed and stood up, the soldier's eyes fixed on her figure. "I can't promise I won't if someone doesn't make his move."

Jellal gulped.

"I'm going to shower. Care to join me? We can discuss matters that you told me before leaving. This immeasurable number of which you speak."

"You mean me spending the rest of my life with you?"

Erza chuckled.

"I thought we were speaking in terms of a fixed figure, Colonel."

"We are," he stood up and followed her. "'Rest of my life' is a definite and specific number."

A/N: Happily ever after~ NAT, HAT's update is going to be delayed because I've been busy with the the year coming to a close and all. Happy Holidays everyone! Much love!