"This is nice." Meggie sighed as she leaned into Dustfinger, instantly feeling his warmth against her cool skin.

Dustfinger looked down, pressing his lips to her neck. Her skin tingled and a smile graced her lips.

"Well my beautiful, it's your eighteenth and I thought spending time with me would be an ideal gift."

"Wow." She laughed. "Aren't you cocky?"

"And right?"

"You already know." Dustfinger responded with another soft kiss on her neck.


"Mm, my darling?"

Ignorance was bliss, and she hated to puncture a hole in it but what she was about to ask had to be asked.

"When are we gonna tell people?" Without realising it she held her breath, and kept her head cocked so she could see him.

Dustfinger frowned as he concentrated, unsure. Two months had passed they had decided to partake in Friends with Benefits. Though they did not bear the title 'couple', they were so much more and Meggie knew she wanted to spend the rest of her life with this man.

A man older than her.

She was an adult now, but she knew what people would say. Words were devastatingly beautiful, could lift your heart and blacken your soul. Sometimes at the same time.

They both pondered in silence before Dustfinger broke it.

"Meggie these past months have been beautiful, one of the happiest times in my life. To be in our own secret world together...I fear this bubble will be popped once we let people in."

"The secrecy is good yet a hard thing. For both of us. Because whether we want it or not, people will find out."

"Not necessarily," Dustfinger argued.

The words hurt Meggie and she cursed when she felt the familiar sting of tears.

"I want to spend the rest of my life with you," she said quietly,

"Don't you want the same?"

Dustfinger pushed her away and stood up so abruptly that Meggie fell backwards. Shocked, she looked up , watching as Dustfinger paced.

"After everything how can you question my love for you?" Meggie flinched at 'everything'. Dustfinger saw this. He knew she hadn't been coping well: she refused to talk about it, no matter how hard he tried to coax her or yelled at her when sheer patience ran out.

Nothing worked, and he feared if she didn't talk soon, it would poison her and kill off the Meggie he knew and loved.

"Please talk to me!"

Meggie turned away, wishing she could turn her ears off and her heart away from his desperate pleading.

"Don't change the subject."

She had him there but that was not Dustfinger's intention. Meggie's wellbeing came above everything.

"If I answer, will you?" he tried, locking his gaze with hers.

Meggie swallowed, looking trapped.

"Depends how good your answer is." Dustfinger thought about this and shrugged.

Words, don't fail me now.

"Alright," he agreed and sat back down, taking Meggie in his arms once again.

"I want to spend the rest of my life with you too. I even want a family with you. I want to spend far longer than forever with you. We treat the word forever so lightly but when I'm with you, I mean it." This time Meggie let the tears come freely, and she threw herself into him.

"I love you," she said between kisses. Dustfinger lay her down and leaned into kiss her, laughing, the deal they had just made forgotten.

"No you're dead! I'm safe!"

Basta was grinning at her.

"The mind is a peculiar thing, darling. It's amazing what lies it feeds itself."

Meggie sat breathing heavily, eyes now moving to Jeremiah.

"Come on, you love me and we had fun together. Can't we go back?" she was lying but she was also desperate.

She tugged at her wrists again, but it was useless. The rope was so tight that it burned every inch of skin it was wrapped around.

"You love Dustfinger. I'm sorry Meggie I never wanted this." His expression showed remorse and truth, and it pulled at Meggie's heart strings.

She cried harder.

"Silly girl....silly Meggie," Basta was tsking her now, laughing.


"Silly Meggie."


She flew up with a gasp and into someone's arms, struggling and unaware that she was safe.

Well, physically.

"Meggie." The familiar gentle tone sprung her out of her nightmares, and she gasped again, though it was calmer than the one before.

Meggie blinked, looking around. She needed to see for herself that she was safe.

She then brought her eyes to the person who was still holding on her.

She leapt back against the headboard of her bed.

"I'm still in a nightmare aren't I?"

The person flinched, and Meggie smiled at the reaction.

"No, you're not."

"Then dreaming?"


"How did you even get in? Why are you here?"

Resa smiled grimly and held up a dangling key.

"I stole them before I left. I was going to come back but then I realised I needed to sort myself out first. Please Meggie, let me help you. I know what happened and it kills me that I wasn't here, and wasn't here for you. Please let me help you!"

Meggie didn't want to hear this. She was angry, and she was hurt. Never good emotions, and even worse when together.

So she did the only thing she could do.

"Mo!" Meggie hollered, staring at Resa who just stared back determinedly.

Mo flew in, a fierce and protective look on his face that soon melted into shock and something Meggie couldn't comprehend when he saw Resa. The look stumped Meggie, as she had always been able to read her father well.


Dustfinger: And it's back, the pain, the fights, the lies, oh whatever will-

Me: Shut up Dustfinger you overdramatic pile of-

Dustfinger: I was mocking if you couldn't notice. Were you just going to call me a pile of crap? That is a) insulting and b) stupid. Because you think I'm 'adorable' so then-

Me: Dustfinger I swear I will make a fat women come in the next chapter.

Dustfinger: All threats and no action. You're losing your touch.

Me: That's it I'm going to do it! I will.

Dustfinger: Look, I just saw a pig fly!

Me: Oh really?

Dustfinger: No, you silly girl. It was my response to: I'm going to do it. That will happen when pigs fly.

Me: Hey it's Inkheart, you never know what happens there.

Dustfinger: Changing subject now. So-

Me: Oh, very smooth Dustfinger. Yeah we didn't notice at all.

Dustfinger: Be quiet. So I'm curious, what's going to happen?

Me: Block your ears Lusty! *Blocks his ears*

Me: (to audience only) Would you be offended or pissed off in any way whatsoever if Meggie started to cut and she kept it a secret from Dustfinger?

*Waits for response*

Me: Is that a yes?

Dustfinger: (shoves my ears off) Of course they are not going to respond now!

Me: You heard that?

Dustfinger: No just the last part and that smile. I know you too well.

Me: Aw that is so sweet!

Dustfinger: I didn't mean it in a sweet way. I'm not actually happy with it.

Me: People that is Dustfinger's way of telling me he loves me.

Dustfinger: No, actually it's not. Bells here just wants that to be so.

Me: And I'm the author.

Dustfinger: ...

Me: Hah!

Dustfinger: But you don't own me.

Me: ...

Dustfinger: And once again, Dusty bites the dust!

Me: I can't believe you said that. You ruined it!

*Walks away*

Dustfinger: (mumbling) Your face ruined it...I guess I've got to do this. The things she does to me...Anyway, uh, hi. Please review? And insult her because it would make my day. Have a good night!

*I wack Dustfinger's head*

Dustfinger: Ow!

Me: I'm still here!

Dustfinger: Oh...whoops?