Title: Memory

Author: Jennie

Characters: Linda/Leander

Fandom: Heir Series

Rating: R

Summary: It has been years, but they still remember.

Prompt: 1. spellbound

Disclaimer: The characters are not mine. I am merely borrowing them and do not intend to make any profit from them.

AN: This takes place right after Leander finds out about Seph's parentage. Written for the LJ community 5_times. This is rated R for a reason. And no, I'm not sure whether to be proud or ashamed that I've written the first R-rated Heir Series fic. Comments and constructive criticism are always appreciated.

"I want Seph to know who his father is."

Lee's words were the last straw. The sobs she had been holding back emerged from her throat and her stray tears erupted as a torrent, leaving long, salty trails behind as they traveled down her cheeks. She wished she could burrow into the floor, disappear. He increased the pressure of his touch on her back, pouring soothing power into her, but it wasn't enough.

It could never be enough.

She had been so sure of herself, so sure of her decision, that she had never played with the possibility of Lee finding out, of Seph getting taken. The Sanctuary was safe. Lee – well, Leander was around on occasion and she knew there was no way of completely hiding Seph from him without making him suspicious, but so far he had only been wary; had only been worried about her safety and hadn't even thought to contemplate why she was Seph's guardian, why he was so important to her. Sometimes, she realized, his driven nature and suspicion were good things.

Everything had been going so well. Seph was happy, fitting in well with the laid back life in Trinity and making new friends. People weren't asking questions she couldn't answer. They were about to make a life there, for God's sake. She had allowed herself to relax and dream and convince herself that her worries, her nightmares, were unfounded.

Then Seph was kidnapped. Then Leicester found out about his parentage. Then Leicester had told Leander of all people. And now, here she was, breaking down while Leander was doing his best to comfort her, undoubtedly dealing with his own fears and worries at the same time.

"I'm sorry," she sobbed, sitting up and lookingat him through red-rimmed eyes, his image blurring through the still unshed tears. "I thought – I thought it was for the best." Her voice hitched in her throat and she nearly choked on the tears. "I am so sorry."

She felt more than saw him hesitate, felt him adjust his position so that he was sitting not next to her, but slightly in front of her. She could feel his confusion, his uncertainty, his pain. "Linda…" he said, drawing out her name, his voice just as raw as her own was.

One of his…advantages, when it came to fighting the Roses and the Trade was that he had no weaknesses. It was common knowledge that his family was gone and it was the driving force behind him. He wasn't afraid to sacrifice things (including people) for the greater good – a trait that had scared her in the past, knowing what he was capable of. He was a fighting force; a wild animal that got its teeth into something and wouldn't let go. He had no vulnerabilities.

At least, that's what everyone thought.

Because he did have a weakness: he had her. They had worked so hard to keep their romance a secret, because they both knew what would happen if it got out. If he treated her as anything else besides an ally, the game was over. She was pretty much unknown to the Roses, which had enabled her to futilely seek out Dr. Longbranch's help for Jack. And to the Trade, she was merely a pesky enchanter who didn't know her place and needed to be taught a lesson. She wouldn't be killed outright if she was caught and she probably wouldn't be tortured either. They'd want her in decent shape and alive in order to make a profit on her.

But if they knew that she was Leander Hasting's one weakness…

So they had hid their relationship, never speaking of it in public. They hid their glances and their touches and made everything as professional as it could possibly be. After all, she was seventeen. She was a child. There was no reason he would be interested in her that way, and even if she somehow slipped, if she somehow let it out that what she felt for him was more than respect and friendship, she could just explain it away as some unrequited crush. Seventeen year-old girls had crushes.

It was normal.

But to make up for the façade in public, when they were alone, they let passions fly. They needed the contact, the closeness. It was their little secret. When she found that she was carrying his child, she hadn't stopped to think. The next day she had left and forced herself to never look back. After all, she had spent years convincing herself, it was for the best.

None of that mattered now.

"I didn't want this to happen," she whispered, the words jumbling in her mouth. "I was trying to do everything to not make this happen." She tried to meet his eyes, blinking the tears away. "I made a terrible mistake."

"You did," his voice was soft but the words were blunt. He had never wasted his time on hiding the truth, unless there was a tactical advantage to it. "You made a mistake. But I'll fix it." He hesitated, before reaching out and cupping her cheeks, using his thumbs to wipe away her tears. "It'll be all right," he said, with a false bravado, as if he were trying to convince himself just as much as he was trying to convince her. "I'll get him out."

She didn't know what possessed her to do it, as if someone unknown was controlling her body. But somehow, she found herself kissing him. One moment, he was reassuring her and wiping away her tears and the next moment she had lunged forwards and was kissing him hard on the lips.

She could read the shock in his eyes. She could feel the hesitation in his movements, as his arms slowly wrapped around her and drew her close to him, his hands tracing circles up and down her backs. But he kissed her back, nibbling on her lower lip, reforming the connection that once been there, reopening the gates of their past. It may have been over seventeen years, but their bodies recognized each other. She still knew that there was a spot behind his ear that made him writhe against her when she rubbed it and that kissing it would get an even stronger reaction. She still knew the taste of him, the feel of his hands against her bare skin, as he slowly slipped his hands underneath her shirt and was now tracing circles into the skin on her back.

There were a lot of issues between them. Their son was missing and they should make plans. The conference was approaching soon and there was no guarantee that he and Seph would make it back in time – or make it back at all. There were so many things that could go wrong, so many contingency plans they needed to think about, so much networking they had to do.

And yet, none of it mattered at the moment. They were being driven by some outside force. If she didn't know better, she would swear it was a charm of some sort. She didn't even realize she was unbuttoning his shirt until it was halfway off of his shoulders. Their tongues dueled each other, their mouths permanently fused, only stopping for the split second it took for him to remove her shirt.

His arms cradled her against him and she locked her arms at the back of his neck, trying to merge them even closer together. They sat there, rocking against each other, until he started to unfasten her bra, slowly pushing the straps down her arms. She let go of him to take it completely off and moved to lightly scratching up and down his chest. He tilted his head back when she went to place a kiss at that special spot behind his ear and pulled her down with him, so that they were lying on the floor with her on top of him.

One of his hands dipped into the waistband of her jeans, and she wriggled against him, bringing their hips even closer together. She felt him hard against her, a wake-up call, finally causing her to still, releasing her from the spell they were both under. His hands stopped moving and he lifted his head up to meet her eyes. His eyes weren't accusing, though they had every right to be. Fury was missing from his gaze. Pain was missing as well – all emotions she was expecting to see. Actually, she realized, the three emotions she could read were confusion, passion and… and love.

She fought back a gasp and concentrated on keeping her breathing even. He moved his hand and reached up to stroke her cheek. "Are you all right?" He murmured, tracing the still damp trail from her tears.

"I – I'm fine," she choked out. Closing her eyes for a moment, she tried to regain some of her composure – whatever composure she had left, that was. "I just…" She bit her lip, still staring into his eyes. They were a dark green, intense. His touch was intense as well, causing light sensations to travel down her spine. She shivered against him.

She didn't know what she wanted. She didn't know what she needed. All she knew was that this felt really good, even if it terrified her at the same time. She was so fickle when it came to him. Seeing him for the first time since she had left had been incredibly hard – the only reason she had managed to control herself was because they were in public and she didn't want to have to explain it all to Jack and Becka. And then Jack had been hit with the curse and she was so worried and in Cumbria, she was actually glad that he had given her the perfect excuse to be mad at him. When she was mad at him, she didn't have to worry about breaking down in front of him. She didn't have to concentrate on keeping her feelings hidden – she could speak her mind. It was much easier to hate him than to even contemplate if she still loved him.

After the Game, meeting up to plan things for the upcoming conference, trying to smooth things out and get things ready between summers, she had forced herself to concentrate on their mission. And when she felt she couldn't take it anymore, she'd run. She felt like a fool, ducking out of meetings, making excuses – good excuses, because there were lives on the line. But she kept her distance and anytime she weakened, she reminded herself that their son was more important – that she had given up Lee once and she could do it again if she had to.

He was dangerous to be around, not because of what he would do, but because of how she felt about him. It would be all too easy to give in completely. Part of her had wondered if he still had feelings for her, or if all his outreaching gestures were merely an effort to gain her friendship again. It would be so much easier if he had moved on, if he didn't love her anymore.

The evidence spoke against it.

She knew, deep down, that he didn't let go of things easily. Hell, he was fighting an entire war because of an event that had happened over one hundred and thirty years ago. She didn't know – and she didn't particularly want to know what his relationship with her great-grandmother Susannah had been – but whatever it had been, he still cared for her grave, a century later. Leander was dedicated and stubborn and loyal to those he cared about – even if his loyalty was a bit twisted at times. He had chosen to let her in; he had chosen to love her. And it was clear that he still did.

The question was: did she still love him?

It would be easy to lie to her self. It would make things so much simpler if she could say "no" and mean it. But the gig was up – there was no denying anymore. Not when she had broken the barrier she had erected between them, not when she kissed him for the first time since she left and all the old thoughts, desires, feelings – everything came pouring out.

There was no turning back if they went through with this.

"I…" She paused, closing her eyes for a second, trying to gain her composure. "It's nothing." She placed the flat of her hand against his chest, right above his heart, and tried to feel its beating. He seemed to be working through something in his mind, trying to come up with an answer, something to say. Their legs were tangled together and his erection was still pressing into her. They could stop now or they could continue on.

The choice was simple, wasn't it?

"I'm not going to deny that I want this," he finally spoke up, breaking the silence. His voice was heavy, gravelly, the emotion evident. "And it's probably not a good idea, but I am past caring at the moment. But," he stopped; making eye contact with her in an effort to show that he truly meant what he was about to say, "I will walk away if you want me to."

She made her decision. She didn't bother answering him with words; instead, deciding to fall back on actions. Slowly, she trailed her hand down his chest until she hit the waistband of his pants. With deliberate movements, she pressed against him as she undid the button and unzipped them. His breathing picked up, but he stayed perfectly still as she took both his pants and his boxers and pulled them down, only lifting up his hips slightly so that she could remove the clothing easier.

She drew them all the way down, tracing the path down his legs, slightly pausing behind his knees, tickling the flesh there. His legs twitched, his first movement, and she continued the journey, slipping off his socks and shoes, leaving him completely bare.

"I suppose that it's a 'yes'," he quipped against her lips as she lied down on top of him again, pressing their lips together once more. She merely kissed him harder in response, pressing her full body into him. He was ready for her – and she was definitely ready for him. His hands found the button of her own jeans and pulled them down, along with her underwear. She kicked them off, sending her shoes flying as well, the act causing them to brush up against each other even more. It sent a shiver through them both and he took it as a sign.

He slowly rolled them over so that he was on top of her, his arms on the side, propping him up. "Are you ready," he whispered into her lips, stroking her hair.

She merely nodded and braced herself inwardly for the pain – it had been a very long time, after all. She hadn't remained celibate after leaving him; there had been a time where she thought it was possible to lose herself in someone else and forget about Lee. But it hadn't taken very long for her to realize that what she had with Leander was unforgettable; that even if she never saw him again, she would still remember what it had been like. She gave up after that, going on the occasional date but not letting it get more physical than hand- holding and a good- night kiss, which usually felt good, but paled in comparison to any of Lee's kisses.

He took her hand and, hands clasped together, they guided him into her. She gasped at the sensations – it was slightly uncomfortable at first, but as he began to slowly thrust within her, the pain dwindled and passion replaced it. She had always enjoyed sex, but sex with Lee was something entirely different. It was as if there was something inside her missing, as if he completed her. She wrapped her legs around his, pressing him further into her.

The words came unbidden, leaving her unaware that she had even thought them until she had given them voice, until they hung in the air between them.

"I love you."

Something flashed in his eyes. This…probablywasn't the best time to have a meaningful conversation, but it might be the only time they had. He stopped moving and propped himself up on his arms, staring at her. There was a distance between them, not more than a couple of millimeters, but it felt like a deep chasm. "Did you…" He trailed off, and a lock of hair flopped into his eyes. She smoothed it out of the way, peering into his eyes. "Did you mean that?"

She closed her lips and wanted to look away, but she realized she owed him more than that. After all, she had put the subject on the table and now they couldn't ignore it. "I think I do," she breathed out, closing her eyes.

"You think?" She couldn't read his tone. It was dry, tinged with sarcasm…but then there was an additional layer underneath that she has hope for, as if he isn't just completely writing her and her declaration off, as if it does something to him.

"It's been years, Lee. Our son has been kidnapped; you just found out that you have a son –"

"No thanks to you," he muttered.

"And," she accented, ignoring his comment, "we're currently having sex – and yes, yes, I kissed you, and yes, I do want this. And you know, I know I still have feelings for you, strong ones. But I honestly don't know if they're the same as they were, or if too much time has gone by. You mean a great deal to me. And you know, I think I love you."

He shifts within her. "You…" He breathes out. "I want to be furious at you. And a part of me – a large part of me – is still very hurt and betrayed that you just left and took our son away, without ever telling me. But," and this time it is his turn to stop her before she can open her mouth and interrupt, "I do love you. Somehow," he adds, with a twist to his lips.

Sometimes actions speak louder than words. She could no longer hold back. She raised her arms and pulled his face down to hers, kissing him soundly, holding him there. "You don't make it easy to love you," she whispered against his lips.

"The same goes for you," he replied, before kissing her deeply, seeking her tongue with his own. They kissed for what felt like ages, before they finally broke to take a breath of air.

"And yet… I really do." She pulled him into a kiss again and used her legs to prod him on. "I love you." There was no space between them anymore, and she wanted to keep it that way. He loved her. She loved him. Things weren't completely sorted. She was still hesitant and he definitely had his own problems with their relationship. They weren't going to suddenly take up their romance the way it had been before she had left. But they had laid the foundation, and things were progressing.

They would work everything out.