"I can't believe you're taking his side!" she said, her gaze heated and angry as she picked up the empty takeout containers and stalked to her garbage can.

"Look-- murder and stalking are never justified. I'm just saying, as a motive, sexual obsession is understandable." He was more frustrated with her than usual, and his nostrils were flaring. The argument they'd paused while they ate was back underway, full steam ahead.

"How is it understandable?" she asked, whirling to face him as he followed her to continue the argument. "Objectification of women as mere sexual beings? Violence when one's attentions are unnoticed? That is never understandable." She was breathing hard, her anger from earlier reigniting as he once again claimed that on some level, what the killer did in the case they'd just closed made sense. He ran his hands through his hair, standing on top of her as she continued to shout at him. "If he said something, who knows? She might have reciprocated. He was a coworker, he wasn't unnattractive, and according to all witnesses, she considered him a good friend before he snapped. If he hadn't let his obsession build as he decieved her about his feelings, it might not have happened. It was completely irrational for him not to reveal how he felt. It's not understandable. At all."

He glared at her, his eyes hot, and anger rolling from him in waves. "It's always simple with you, isn't it? What if he felt there was more at stake? What if he was afraid? Do you have any idea what it feels like to want the unattainable?" He loomed over her, backing her against the refrigerator, and her eyes widened. For the first time since they'd started working together, he seemed on the verge of losing control around her, and while he didn't scare her, physically, she was confused and disturbed by his response to what she thought was a reasonable series of questions. Clearly, she'd pushed him too far, somehow, and her lack of understanding of him and the unpredictable triggers of his angry outbursts drew her own anger from her.

"I don't understand you! Sometimes I don't think I ever will!" She pushed past him, and headed back to her bedroom, assuming he'd take the hint and leave-- but he was walking purposefully after her, and followed her right into her bedroom, where he'd never been before.

"You're right, you don't understand me, Bones," he yelled, grabbing her shoulders with his hands. "You just go about your oblivious way, not taking a care for your own safety, completely ignorant of your effect on people."

She had no idea why the conversation had shifted. "I don't understand," she said again. "I thought we were talking about the case."

His eyes darkened, his grip still firm on her shoulders. "We were talking, Temperance, about sexual obsession, and why it might lead to something... unexpected." He had lowered his voice, and was no longer yelling, but she was still confused by his manner.

"Booth," she began, her voice hesitant, "I don't understand why you're so upset at me. And I have to say it makes me a little... uncomfortable."

"Why is that, Temperance? Why do I make you uncomfortable?" His voice was still low, and he was still staring intently at her. She felt trapped by his gaze, even as his hands still held on to her shoulders.

Her voice small and hesitant, she said, "Because you're my friend, and my partner, but sometimes I feel like there's something you're not telling me-- and I don't like making you angry. If I can't have an adult debate with you about the morality of a killer's actions, I just... I just don't think I understand you as well as I should." She was utterly confused, and saw that he was still vibrating with tension. Unthinking, she placed a hand on his chest, hoping he might calm down a little if she reassured him that she wasn't really that angry with him.

He jerked at her touch, and looked down at the hand she'd placed on his chest. When he looked back up at her, something in his eyes shifted, and ... snapped.

In an instant, he picked her up and placed her quickly into the middle of her bed, pinning her there with his weight as he reached into his back pocket and pulled out his handcuffs. "Booth!" she exclaimed, as he pushed her hands over her head, snapping one cuff in place and then bringing the chain around, behind the rungs on her bedpost, and snapped the metal closed over her other wrist.

He then let go of her, and stepped away, shedding his clothes in an instant. He was, she saw, completely erect, and his eyes glinted dangerously. "Well, you'll understand me by the time I'm done... explaining it, Temperance."

Her breathing hitched. "Booth, you can't be serious, what are you doing?" Her voice sounded weak, even to her.

"You want to know what sexual obsession is, Temperance? You say you can't possibly understand why it can drive a man to do things he normally wouldn't? Well, I'll satisfy your ... curiosity," he said, his eyes raking her form as he moved to stand at the foot of her bed. He couldn't believe he was doing this, but he was beyond going back now, beyond rational thought or control over his obsession with her that he'd kept caged for so long. She'd already removed her shoes and socks and changed into more casual clothing when they'd returned to her place, and she was clad in some soft satiny pants and an oversized button-down shirt. She had no idea what she did to him? She was going to find out.

He climbed onto the bed, and crept on all fours up the length of her body, not yet touching her, simply letting her feel the raging heat she stoked in him. "Do you have any idea what it feels like to want someone every second of every day, Temperance, so much that you think you'll die if you can't have them?" he said, his face looming over hers, his breath hot in her face. Her eyes were wide with shock, and she began to open her mouth to answer him-- but he put his hand over her mouth, and bent down, to growl in her ear, "Shh. I'm explaining. Don't make me make you keep quiet." A tremor passed through her as his hand touched her face and he growled his instruction in her ear, and she was suddenly breathless. She couldn't have asked anything even if she wanted to, now, even as his hand gently but firmly kept her from speaking. His voice, even lower, breathed in her ear. "Have you ever been so hungry to taste something you've never tasted, and yet you're so sure it will be the most unbelievable, satisfying thing you've ever had, that you spend every day starving, because anything else you eat instead tastes like nothing?"

His tongue darted out to trace the outer edge of her ear, lightly flicking at her. "Do you know what it means, to be completely possessed by someone, so that all you can think about is them, and you lose all sense of yourself?" he whispered, even more lowly, and a shiver passed through her. He shifted, then took her earlobe into his mouth, sucking and nibbling, as a lightning bolt of realization, coupled with an unbelievable longing sensation, shot through her. This was what he hadn't been telling her, what he was talking about when she thought he was angry about the case. He began to trail hard, sucking kisses down the side of her neck, his supple lips and velvet tongue manipulating her flesh as he reveled in the incredible scent and taste of her, finally filling his nose and his mouth. He paused, one hand still over her mouth, as he unbuttoned the shirt she was wearing with the other hand, exposing her chest to him. She hadn't bothered to put on a bra when she'd changed, and her breasts were bare, high and full, her nipples tightening as the cool air reached them. He groaned, his erection twitching visibly as he drank in the sight of her, and another tremor, this one solely of longing, shook her as she saw how much he wanted her. She swallowed, hard, at the look of raw need in his eyes, and the ferocious determination filling him. He trailed a finger, lightly, under the undersides of her breasts, and his touch drew an unconscious moan from her, the sound muffled by his hand. His eyes snapped up to meet hers, the heat of his gaze bearing into her.

"Do you like that? Do you want me to do it again?" He brushed his fingers over her again, and she twitched at his teasingly light touch. More boldly, he brushed his thumb across one cold-stiffened nipple, and she strained toward his hand. "Of course you do," he said, his expression becoming satisfied and even more determined than when he started this crazy encounter. It was crazy-- you didn't just handcuff your partner to her bed so you could ravish her, only to find out that she liked it once she realized what was happening. But he'd take crazy-- he'd tried being controlled, tried being sane, and it hadn't stopped him from doing this. He bent forward, and licked his way from the hollow of her neck through the valley of her breasts to her navel, the vibration of another moan under his hand making him even harder, though he was already impossibly, painfully hard.

"I'm going to move my hand," he whispered, before bending to take her breast in his mouth, prompting her to push herself toward him again as she whimpered, "and as long as you're good, you can say certain words." He paused again, to take her perfect flesh in his mouth and suck at her, drawing a whimper from her this time, then lifted his head to look at her. "You can say yes, and please, and now, and Seeley, and touch me, and taste me, and take me, and I'm yours, all yours, only and always yours, Seeley. Anything else, and I'm afraid I'll have to make sure you don't interrupt me while I continue... explaining." He switched his mouth to her other breast, circling her nipple with his tongue, stroking her firmly and then closing his mouth on her, biting lightly as he sucked the pebbled nub between his teeth. Her gasp under his hand left his palm hot and moist with her breath. He looked up at her, his eyes boring into hers, and he saw that her wide eyes were now glazed with surprise and desire. Growling, he said, "Do you understand me, Temperance?"

He removed his hand from her mouth, and a gasped "Yes, Seeley" fell from her lips. He thought he'd snapped before, but her husky consent truly sent him over the edge. He lunged for her mouth, holding her chin in one hand as his lips crashed into hers, his tongue invading her mouth, claiming, demanding, clamoring for her taste and response. She moaned again, her lips parting further, her tongue starting to tangle with his, and he renewed his assault, sucking her tongue into his mouth and kissing the breath from her. Letting go, he looked down, satisfied by her breathless, dazed look.

Sitting back, he straddled her hips, and traced one finger down the placket of buttons laid open at the side of her ribs, then let his hands roam over her breasts again. "Do you know what it's like to have the wind knocked out of you every time you see the one thing you can't have, every single time you see her?" She gasped at his touch, but didn't speak, because "No" or "tell me" weren't words he said she could say. His voice was almost conversational as he continued. "Do you know what it's like to be denied seeing the thing that's most beautiful to you in the world?" He reached forward again, then placed his hands on the sleeves covering the arms bound over her head, as he glanced down at her, a feral smile on his face. "I do," he said, then tugged at the fabric of her sleeves sharply, until they tore from her arms. "It makes me crazy to not be able to look at all of you." He then proceeded to slowly and methodically shred the shirt she was wearing, pulling it from her and casting the pieces aside as he went. He tore them as if they were paper, she realized, and he'd parted the fabric without it ever touching her.

His utter control, even as he claimed that he had none, made her breath hitch, and a wave of longing passed through her, an ache building at her center. He paused, laving her from neck to waist with hot strokes of his tongue, before shifting and tearing the side of her pants at the seam open, from hip to ankle. Her hips bucked at the noise, and he laughed. "I'm going to make you as crazy as I am," he promised, then reached across and repeated the gesture, before pulling the pants from her and throwing them, too, to the side. He groaned as he saw that she was wearing no underwear-- she'd clearly planned to sleep in the clothes he'd removed, and hadn't bothered with underwear when she got out of her work clothes.

"You came out and were working at the table with me for two hours without any underwear?" He looked at her, then straddled her again, sitting across her now-bare hips as his hands came down, hot and dry, to take her breasts into his palms. "Answer me, Temperance."

"Yes," she whispered, her eyes closing as his thumbs began kneading her flesh.

"Yes, who," he demanded, pressing her nipples firmly as he continued his attentions.

"Yes, Seeley."

He bent forward to take one breast into his mouth, one hand continuing to stroke and knead at her other breast, and her hips bucked involuntarily into his own as he straddled her. He groaned again as she responded to him, more than he'd ever dreamed of, then looked back in her eyes. "Do you trust me?" She nodded, her eyes glazed but comprehending the question. "Say it."

"Yes, Seeley." Her voice was hoarse.

He bent over the side of the bed, and came up with her now-shredded pants. He tore them again, until he was satisfied with the long rectangle of fabric that was left. Folding it in on itself, he tugged at it, then placed it, shiny side down, across her eyes. Lifting her head up, he tied it behind her, close enough to make everything black, but not at all tight or binding. She closed her eyes under the fabric. There was no way she could resist at this point.

His voice whispered in her ear. "I never knew when I could touch. When I could taste. It's torture, not knowing. Not knowing when, not knowing if I would ever touch you the way I wanted, taste you the way I wanted. You have no idea what it's been like." He paused, and kissed her until she was breathless, his lips claiming hers as she yielded, and let him invade her. "But you're going to know what it's like now, Temperance."

Without further words, he left her, entirely. She could feel his weight settle at the side of her bed, but he wasn't touching her, and the cool air of the room began to settle on her, the hot flush he'd drawn from her abating without his body above her, radiating his heat like an oven. She could feel gooseflesh begin to form, and she grew colder, until a shiver at the temperature and the anticipation he built crept over her. A hot puff of air blew over her breasts just as the second shiver began, as his weight shifted around her. After the waiting, it warmed her whole body. Another puff blew at the curve of her waist, then her neck, him moving so randomly that she never knew where he would be next. He continued, it seemed endlessly, never touching her, just letting his hot moist breath warm her for a moment, before he withdrew and waited. She gasped involuntarily each time his breath caressed her, a flush gradually filling her and an incredible ache at her center more painful than any desire she'd ever felt, combined, in her life. Each breath began to come closer, his lips fractions of inches away, and the nearness of him soon had her straining toward him, only seconds too late as he pulled away each time.

"Please," she finally moaned.

"Please what?" he whispered in her ear, still not touching her.

"Please touch me, Seeley," she whimpered, then moaned as his hands immediately descended on her, his fingers splaying at her sides as he ran his hands firmly, once, over her torso and limbs, before he grasped her, his hands in her hair, and kissed her again until she was breathless and panting.

"Are you beginning to understand, Temperance?" he said, as his fingers began to brush over each inch of skin teasingly, stroking her lightly from forehead to toe. Each time he said her name, it was like a dark caress, each utterance sending its own jolt through her.

"Yes!" she cried out, as his fingers lightly stroked her folds, then withdrew, to trail more teasing brushes over her breasts and sides.

"You like it when I touch you, don't you, Temperance," he said, dragging his fingers more deeply between her legs. He took an iron grip on his self-control then, as her slick wetness coated his fingers.

"Yes, Seeley," she whined, as shudders began to wrack her from the tension he had yet to release.

"Do you want me to touch you some more?"

"Please," she moaned.

"When?" He was relentless.

She moaned again. "Now, please, Seeley. Now."

He chuckled. "I'd ask you where you want me to touch you, but you know better what to say now, don't you?" His hand palmed her breast, kneading it, and her answer was cut off by a gasp at his firm hot fingers on her again. "Don't you," he said, withdrawing his hands entirely.

She cried out, arching toward where his hands were moments before. "Yes! Yes, Seeley!" The tremors wracking her as she panted, and moaned, and strained toward him made all the intense yearning he'd built up for her all of these years turn into gratification, tempered still by a dark determination to draw it out for her until she was as obsessed as he was. If he'd thought she was stunning before now, the sight of her flushed and begging for him was unbelievable. He shifted over her, sitting down on top of her knees so that her legs were clamped together. He let one hand rest at the top of her mound, fingers curling against her but not yet delving between her legs, as he began to draw figure eights around her breasts with his other hand. He kept up the circling motion as he slowly and gradually worked his fingers between her legs, and she panted and strained toward him. He delved his fingers inside her incredibly tight and slick heat, curling against her inner walls, his thumb rubbing her engorged clitoris, working her as she moaned and tried to arch under him, his weight across her legs holding her down. She cried out "Please" repeatedly, begging him to keep touching her, and he knew he would bring her soon to her first release. As he stroked her more firmly, though, the metal cuffs began to grate on the wood as she writhed under his ministrations. He looked up, and saw that her wrists were becoming reddened and chafed. Shifting so he was kneeling over her, he slid his hands under her hips, and lifted her slightly, pushing her upward, until her upstretched arms were slightly bent. He then bent to place a kiss at the edge of the reddened flesh at one wrist.

The incredible care in his act of shifting her so her wrists would no longer chafe sunk through the haze of need she was floating in-- he was obsessed, but safely so, and when his lips gently pressed against her chafed flesh, the love in the gesture undid her. "Seeley! I'm yours!" spilled from her lips as her orgasm seized her, her whole body releasing under the meaning of that one simple kiss. As the spasms wracked her and she cried out wordlessly, he gathered her to him, holding her as she rode out the aftershocks coursing through her, both frightened and awed by her reaction. The fever that grasped him when she first put her hand on his chest snapped, and he shook as he realized how far he'd gone. Trembling, he let her down gently, and nearly fell off the bed in his haste to find the key to the handcuffs.

As he left her, she whimpered, her breaths shallow and wheezing.

"I'm here, I'll be right back," he rasped out, hoarsely, fumbling through his pants pockets until he found what he was looking for.

She heard the clinking of metal and then felt his hands on her wrists again, the click and release of the cuff from one wrist and then the other. His breath was harsh, gasping, like he'd run a long distance race, and she heard the thumping of metal as he tossed the cuffs as far away as he could. Gently, he pulled her his lap, removing the blindfold and clasping her to him, her head tucked under his chin. He couldn't look in her eyes, not yet.

"Oh God, Temperance," he moaned. He gathered her completely into his arms, rocking her, saying "Please," over and over as she tried to regain control of her voice. She was too limp from the force of her release to do anything else than let him hold her, but as he continued to murmur her name and rock her, she realized that his frenzy had passed, and now he was terrified of her reaction. She swallowed, willing her throat to moisten, and inhaled more deeply, struggling to regain control of her breathing. All she could see was the flesh of his chest and the curve of one upper arm in front of her face as he clasped her head to him, but she could feel the microscopic tremors shaking him even as he continued to encircle her with his arms. She swallowed again, and willed her limbs to respond. Never before had she been so shattered by an orgasm, but then again, never before had it been prompted by such a combination of obsession, tenderness, ferocity, and love. Finally, she willed a hand to respond, and she stretched her fingers out to touch the arm clasping her head to him.

"Seeley," she rasped, then swallowed again. He jerked as she said his name and touched him, and drew back to look down at her. He didn't want to look in her eyes, to see what was there, but she was calling him by name, and he had to know. As he met her eyes, he jerked again, this time in shock, because instead of condemnation, or shame, or terror, he saw understanding and love. She licked her lips and spoke. "I'm yours, all yours, only and always yours, Seeley," she said, his prior demand transformed into a gift-- then brought her palm to the side of his face. He just stared at her, long moments, disbelieving, until she brought her hand to the back of his neck and pulled him down for a kiss as understanding and loving as the look in her eyes. Breaking it off, she looked back at him, a half smile on her face. "I believe you were on 'touch me,' and that you were about to explain 'taste me' and 'take me' when I interrupted you."

With her words of permission, the fire roared up in him again, and he crushed her lips to his, his hand at the back of her head cradling her as he shifted, lowering them both to the bed. His hands languidly explored her, as her hands did the same, kissing until they were drunk from the taste of the other. Her fingers were magic on him, agile and strong despite their delicacy. As he kissed his way from her mouth to her core, her fingers plucked at him, sending chills through him with every touch.

He paused to look up at her, one hand on her thigh as he braced himself with the other-- she wore a smile of pure pleasure, nothing more. He tasted her, then, groaning as she filled his senses. She was delicious, and her answering whisper, "oh, Seeley," as he lapped her again sent his desire to please her over the edge. He licked and sucked at her, drawing her folds into his mouth and swabbing them with his tongue. He nibbled the flesh of her cleft as her hands grabbed at his hair and the bedsheets, her moans coaxing his tongue to lap at her further. Her thighs quivered and clamped around him as he nudged her sensitized nub with his nose, then thrust his tongue into her core, pushing and withdrawing over and over. When she was trembling all over, he thrust his tongue into her once more, one hand coming over to pluck at her engorged bundle of nerves. Screaming, she bucked her hips into his face, and he thrust his tongue into her again as her walls shuddered and flooded. He lapped at her as she continued to call out his name, screaming "Yes!" at the top of her lungs, and he plucked at her again to see what would happen. She arched, convulsing further, moaning as he withdrew his tongue from her core, to drag it the length of her heat before stopping to lap at her clitoris. As she began to stop quaking, he flicked at her with his tongue, then sucked the small bud between his lips, nibbling and sucking, circling it with his tongue, until she called out, almost brokenly, "Oh, Seeley, please, I just can't!" her hands spasming in his hair.

He stopped, placing a soft kiss on her sensitive flesh, eliciting a low moan from her despite his intent to do as she asked. Her fingers flexed again, pulling at him, dragging him back up to her. "Come here and kiss me," she said, her voice low and raspy, and he obeyed, pausing on his way back to her mouth to place hot, open-mouthed kisses along the curve of her ribcage and between the valley of her breasts. She sighed as he continued laying a trail back to her mouth, pausing to greet each nipple with a swipe of his tongue. As he lapped at the hollow of her collarbone, she shifted beneath him, her hands tracing paths of fire on his arms and his back where her fingers traced the line of each defined muscle, she watched him, her eyes intent on each shift of tendon and muscle as he moved his mouth and hands over her. "Kiss me now," she said, not that she tired of his mouth on her skin, but because she knew he needed her to keep telling him it was alright, that this was what she wanted. As he placed one last kiss at the hollow, she trailed her hand from the back of his arm to his neck, pulling herself up to kiss him, one of his arms automatically sliding beneath her to hold her flush to his chest.

Their tongues danced with each other, as his broad hand between her shoulderblades splayed. His fingertips dug gently into the skin of her back when she let her head fall back, exposing her throat to him. He took the invitation. laving the white column with tiny wet kisses, covering and re-covering each inch of flesh with his mouth, as her hand at the back of his neck held him to her. Her breasts, heavy and aching, pressed into his chest, the pressure and contact making them heavier. His other hand at her hip grasped her more firmly when she writhed against him, but he jerked in surprise as her free hand suddenly closed around him. Since this entire encounter began, he hadn't touched himself, and she had been in no position to touch him. He had been heavy and aching, stiffer than he ever could have believed, his desire for her so strong that even as he shook with fear until she kissed him again, it wasn't enough to shrink him. Now her fingers wrapping around him jerked him back to reality, in a manner of speaking, and her fingers stroking along him made him gasp in anticipation. His hand at her back lowered her to the bed, his other hand still grasping her hip-- he was too afraid that if he let go, he would wake up. But she proved it wasn't a dream, looking back at him as she circled her fingers around him, quickly and surely tugging along his length, the base to the tip and then back again, and he braced himself, closing his eyes as she stroked him.

"You like it when I touch you, don't you, Seeley," she purred, echoing back his words to her from earlier.

"Yes, Temperance," he groaned, closing his eyes as the sensation seized him, willing himself not to jerk away from her as her other hand came to cup him from behind in her palm, the other continuing its motions along his length, varying the pressure and speed in ways he'd never experienced. She was magic.

Tickling him lightly, she said, "Do you want me to touch you some more?"

"Please," came out as a harsh whisper, but she heard him, and continued to stroke him, her hand on his shaft every so often pausing to grip him as she ran her thumb with just enough pressure over the head of him to send jolts of lightning through him with each pass of her thumb. He groaned again, as she set a punishing rhythm, speeding and slowing until his arms trembled, bringing him close to the brink and then pushing him back again, then repeating her actions until his harsh gasps hardly sounded like they came from him at all. He shuddered and moaned at her continuing attentions, somehow managing despite it all not to collapse on top of her, but she gradually slowed her grip on him, the hand no longer cupping him from beneath trailing its way up his stomach and chest, pinching and stroking as the hand still around him continued to circle and slide along the length of him. He groaned her name unwittingly, and the hand now at the side of his face brought him down for a kiss.

It wasn't any kiss-- it was the kiss. Where he had demanded, invaded, plundered her mouth, insisting in his frenzy on her submission, now she did the same, except differently. Her tongue and lips enticed him, coaxed him, tempted him to return each aspect of her kiss, until they were moving together so completely, their bodies sealed against one another as they continued, that each did forget where their own sense of self ended, and melted into the other. He was breathing because she was, and she was feeling as he did each touch and stroke of her hands. She accepted his obsession, his demand that she yield, but now, her mouth told him, he had to do the same. He surrendered.

When breathing became necessary, they tore apart, the loss of contact almost painful. His forehead rested against hers, both staring at the other, both panting with effort and realization.

"Do you want to take me now, Seeley?" she asked, her voice soft and low.

"Please, Temperance," he gasped in her ear, levering himself to hover over her on his forearms, the heat between them almost unbearable, the friction of her breasts against his chest almost driving both of them over the edge.

"Take me now," she replied, shifting beneath him and raising her knees, spreading herself open to him.

"Oh God, Temperance," he shouted, the shock of the completion of his thrust nearly undoing him as she completely enfolded him. Her answering cry of his name, as her arms wrapped more tightly around his neck, crushing their chests together, drove him on. Each completed thrust made him see stars, and her answering movements, meeting him each time, maintaining his pace perfectly and moaning his name or "Yes" in response to his own groans of pleasure and calls of her name sealed them closer together. Her head fell back over the hand grasping her behind the shoulders, and her own escalating cries as the friction and fullness his actions created pulled at him, magnetically. He could feel her building around her, even as he felt himself gathering. He was determined to bring her over the edge one last time before he tumbled himself, so he shifted, holding her and bringing him with her as he levered himself higher. She responded to the motion, bringing her knees even higher, and the new depth she gave to him drove him mad. His body took over, faster and faster, the head of him sliding hard with each stroke against that ridge on her inner walls, each contact driving a wordless, aching cry from her. With one last jerk into and across her, she screamed, convulsing in his arms and shattering all over again, her spasms inside her so strong as she flooded around him that his own release exploded before he could complete his thrust one last time. He shouted her name, blinded by the sensations, and only slowly came back to himself, groaning she continued to flutter around him, tiny and nearly continuous aftershocks shivering through her.

Beautiful didn't begin to describe her. "His" didn't either. "I'm yours, all yours, only and always yours, Temperance," he gasped, unable to stop staring at the vision of her as the flood carrying her slowly began to recede.

"And I'm yours," she replied, her eyes fluttering open to smile softly at him. His trembling limbs collapsed then, and he managed to fall to his side, rolling to carry her with him, until she lay atop him, her head coming to rest at the crook of his neck and shoulder. Their hearts pounded against each other, the air gradually cooling them both as their breathing began to even. As she shivered atop him, he reached out to ruck back the covers to the side of them, then rolled, taking her with him, until he could reach with his other arm and pull the covers over them. Blankets settled, his arms found her waist again, holding her tightly to him.

Neither of them knew where they ended or the other began as sleep stole over them both, and on waking later, neither could remember who said "I'm yours" and "You're mine" as oblivion claimed them. It could have been either or both of them. In the end, it didn't matter. Both were true.