She gripped the back of his neck with both hands, her fingernails digging into his skin. His fingers encircled her arms, tight and bruising. He felt a droplet of blood roll down his back as her nails pierced deeper. His hold tightened, the urge to hear a crack of bone seizing him. This is how they would always be, he thought, drawing blood and bruising. They'd kill each other. Or die in each others names. She moved an inch closer and kissed him, never releasing the pressure of her fingers. She drew back and found his eyes with hers. "That was from Katya."

He wrenched himself free from her hold and pushed her back violently. His expression hardened, rage coursing through his body. "You had an affair with Sloane, conceived a child with him. I have nothing to apologise to you for."

She lips curled into a mirthless smile as she held his gaze. "You only think I slept with Sloane. I know that I didn't. Can you say the same of yourself and my sister?"

He couldn't break from her eyes. Her words encased him. His head shook slightly as he tried to dispel them. His eyes bore into her, desperate to find a trace of deceit within them. He failed. "Sloane..."


The tips of his fingers started to numb as his blood iced, the truth hardening in his veins. He could have cracked and shattered, a thousand pieces painted with betrayal. Not hers. The world reshaped around him as he tried to grasp its new dimensions.


"Yours. Ours."

"You should have told me." His words were stilted. His mind still fogged and void of true comprehension of what was happening. "You should..."

A noise startled her and she broke his gaze. The sound of footfalls on the stairs. Two sets running. They burst into the room, the shadows of two dark haired children chasing and giggling. They ran around Jack, passed her and vanished back into manufactured memory. She heaved a great breath into her lungs. "I couldn't. It was too much."

He understood. Somewhere inside of him he understood what she meant. The brutal air that had hung between them dispersed and drifted from the room leaving them with the stain of their individual sins. Loosing each other to their darkness.

"What now?"

"I don't know. Katya...anyone else I...I never thought it would be something that I would have trouble forgiving."

"There was more to it then..."

She waved her hand to silence him. "Not now. Please." She tucked her hair behind her ears, passed a hand across her face to wipe the vision of her husband and her sister from her mind. "I can't leave until tomorrow. May I..."


She nodded and left the room, taking the stairs slowly. Ten minutes ticked by before he found he was capable of moving. The weight of everything that had transpired that evening almost more then he could bear. He made his way upstairs, towards her. Always towards her. The door to the guest room was slightly ajar. The extent of the damage to them evident in her choice of room. He should have kept on to his own room, should have let her be, should have taken the time for himself. She lay on the bed still fully dressed, still awake but facing away from him. He stepped in without speaking and reached for her, taking her feet in his hands as he removed her shoes.

"What are you doing?"

"You don't like sleeping with your shoes on." He dropped them on the floor, joined them with his own and lay down next to her. Silence hung between them. A hand found another and forced a thread of digits. She squeezed. He tugged.

She turned and kissed him, her tongue demanding entrance to his mouth. He opened to her and matched her stroke for stroke. They kissed with ferocity, sucking, biting. His hand lost in the length of her hair as he rolled her on to her back. She pulled back with ragged breathing, her mouth still a breath from his as she forced him to look at her. The air between them heavy as she searched for traces of her sister in his eyes and saw only herself reflected back at her. She closed the distance as hands reached for clothes. She tore at his shirt and shredded buttons as his hands found their way beneath her top. He sat up and dragged her with him, shrugging free of shirt before sliding his hands under her clothes, his hands tracing the lines of her body as he pulled her top over her head. Her bra followed suit as did their remaining garments. He lay her back down, kissing her again as he fondled her breast, the gentleness of his hand acting in counterpoint to the fierceness of his mouth against hers. She felt him hard against her, and sought him, gripping firmly, determined strokes matched with her tongue against his.

"Irina." He ground out her name, his hips thrusting him into her hand. He grabbed her wrist and drew it over her head, releasing her as he ran the back of his fingers down her ribcage and lower to between her legs. He kissed a line to her right breast, suckling her as his hand caressed. She whimpered at his ministrations, back arching as she pressed herself closer. The pressure building she pulled at him, needing him inside her, needing his mouth on hers again. He readily obliged, pushing his length inside of her. They both stilled momentarily at the contact. He began to move with intensity as she dragged her nails across his back, scratching, marking, urging him on. She came with his name whispering from her lips. He, with hers.

"I love you."

"It's that simple?"

"It's that complicated."

They moulded into each other. Nothing was solved but nothing was worse. Somehow that was enough to relax them into night.