Author's note: This little drabble has been swimming around in my head for nearly two years, and finally, I was able to write it. Constructive criticism, criticism, and plain ole positive feedback is desperately desired, so please, review. Hope ya'll enjoy.

Disclaimer: I do not own Edmund, Mercedes, Albert, Fernand Mondago, or anything else in this. They belong to whoever has the copyright, and whoever made the movie. I am simply playing around with the characters. No copyright infringement intended. Please do not sue me. Savvy?

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PEACE

It was the first time he had ever been able to find peace on a bed since his imprisonment. He still was unable to sleep, but a part of him knew that was because of her body lying next to his that kept him awake, not his distaste for the soft bed in his room.

Her breathing was soft and steady, the rhythm of her body in its slumber was comforting and intoxicating. Her taste was still on his lips, her voice as she moaned still rang in his ears, his skin still burned everywhere from her touch.

It was still fresh in his mind, and it was still hard to grasp. Her face, eyes staring up at him trusting him as he caressed her, touching every inch of skin, his hands familiarizing themselves with a body he had memorized still. The feel of her own hands, marking him as hers once again, wiping away the pain and hatred he had clung to, tracing his scars.

For so long he had thrived off of his hatred. The only thing left for him to cling to, or so he thought. Lust for revenge, the desire to see the worlds of his enemies crumbling around them. Even to ruin her, to bring down her new family, to destroy their foundations out of spite.

But she had seen through his act, his façade. Brushed off his caustic comments and withering glares, fighting against him until she finally beat him down and took away his cloak and shield. Coming so close, so agonizingly close to him in so many ways, pushing and pushing through each barrier. In the end, he did not have the will to resist the overwhelming urge to touch her, kiss her, claim her as he once had.

Perhaps sometimes, it was weakness, it was ruin to clutch pride and hatred so closely that nothing else could exist within. Perhaps it was stronger to surrender, because now, lying in her embrace as she slept peacefully beside him, he felt something he had not felt in sixteen years.

Peace.

Overwhelming, calming peace.

But it would not last. Not so long as Fernand still lived. There was no way he would ever let Mercedes and Albert go.

Edmund did not want to let him live in any case. He did not want to simply watch as his worst friend and best enemy was taken in, sent to prison, convicted of his crimes by total strangers. This was too personal. Too long had he held onto his desire for this that even now, even having her back, even with his new found peace, he still could not let Fernand get off so easy.

She shifted, nuzzling closer to his body. A delicate arm moved to rest across his chest, her fingers leaving a trail of fire on his skin where they grazed him. He closed his eyes, sighing contentedly.

For the first time in sixteen years. Amazing how something so simple never mattered until now.

Morning was swiftly approaching, and he knew he would have to leave her soon. But only for a few hours, only to finish his vengeance and finally be free. Then he would be with her for the rest of his life.

He could feel peace for the rest of his life. A peace he should not be able to feel. A peace he should have been to numb and to cold to even be able to know of its existence. He felt it though, like flames lapping at his skin from the inside, sending shivers down his spine and making him yearn for it to never, ever stop.

He laid his hand on top of hers, his fingers absently stroking her skin. She was silk and flesh and heat in his arms, alive and real. His own. She was his, and he was hers. He had come undone by her kiss, and she had gently, lovingly put him back together.

She wanted him, loved him. It was such a hard concept for him to grasp now. He had denied her, denied his true identity, denied how he truly felt, still, somewhere deep down in a part of him he had shoved away and tried to suffocate. She had shoved and prodded until he could not ignore that part anymore.

He wanted to hate her for it. He could only love her more for it.

Dawn. Time for him to leave her for the last time. Time to end it all, this vengeance of his. To finally finish his mission and wipe his hands clean of his life as a naïve seaman who knew nothing of the cruelty of humanity, as a smuggler and sailor whose name meant "driftwood", as a aristocratic and caustic count who fooled people with his false humility, as a man bent on revenge and filled with hate.

Sunset would end those lives. And he could finally be at peace fully.

Reaching over, he lightly caressed her face, staring at her lovingly. He was thankful she was still in deep slumber, he knew she would never let him leave if she awoke. Carefully, he removed himself form her arms and slide off the bed to his feet.

His body began to tense like a cat's, already preparing for the fight. For the kill. He dressed quickly, silently, and grabbed his sword. Giving her one last glance, he realized he might never be able to sleep in a bed. At least now he could find peace in it.