Disclaimer: If I happened to own Artemis Fowl, well, I'd be filthy rich and Artemis would have jumped Holly by now. In other words, I disclaim.

Summary: A simple conversation about kissing turns to, well, this. Holly forgot momentarily that Artemis, regardless of his mental capabilities, was still just a man and every man had his breaking point. Apparently, she was his.


Title: First Kiss

by Aleauxvander Barduaux

He stirred his tea quietly and saw the curious glint in her eyes. With her hand under her chin and propped up on the patio table, she was looking, not at him, but in the general direction over his shoulder.

Knowing Holly would, without fail, eventually speak her mind, regardless of whether he wanted to hear it or not, Artemis wasted no time nor breath asking where or more, what her thoughts were. Putting the spoon down in his ever unflappable and well bred manners, Artemis lifted his tea to his lips.

Holly's comment came soon after

"What is it with mud men's fascination with kissing?" she asked

Artemis, with little control over doing so, choked.

Her mismatched eyes snapped to him and watched him lift the napkin to his mouth, blinking rapidly, either from the odd question or the hot chamomile tea.

A few patrons also sitting outside in the particularly cool, but sunny atmosphere of the nameless café in Dublin sent odd looks in the striking couple's direction at the sound of the young man's cup falling to the table. They were quiet a pair, in the middle of the mayhem that was Dublin. He was tall and decidedly pale with aristocratic features and dark hair and she was small, too short to be considered politely petite, dark skinned and beautiful.

Under the shade of the umbrella out on the patio of the small café, Artemis Fowl II reached for his tea, took a look inside the murky mixture and put it down again, pushing it away from him with gloved hands.

"What spurred this question, Holly?" he asked quietly

She leaned back in her chair and as subtly as she could, inclined her head in the direction she had been gazing.

With little artifice, Artemis looked over his shoulder and sure enough, at another café not far down the street, a couple sat, clearly enamored with each other, and with little regard for propriety, were eating each other's face. His eyebrows shot up as he turned back to her

"Ah." Was all he said

Her own eyebrows went up and she crossed her arms over her chest "'Ah'?" she said quietly "that's all you can say?"

Picking up a scone and buttering it, he slid it into her plate

"What do you expect me to do, Holly? Break them apart?" he asked

She could have kicked him

"Obviously not, Fowl." She answered "but I expected a more intellectual reply than a monosyllabic 'Ah'. That's not an answer." She told him

He paused in buttering his own scone and gave her his best perplexed look

"You expected me to answer?"

She did, then, kick him under the table.

"I don't ask questions just for the kick of it. No pun intended."

His eyes went to the hat on her head and he reached across to adjust it over her ears more securely

"I should have expected that." He said "you aren't one to fill silences with idle chatter."

She frowned

"You're stalling, mud man."

He gave a nonchalant shrug

"And you are asking odd questions, Madam. Why?" his eyes met hers over the table. Light from the trees along the walk streamed in over him even though they were under the general protection of the large umbrella and for a moment, he looked younger than his 22 years

"Curious." She answered looking away as casually as she could

"What am I to tell you, Miss. Short?" he asked "I believe it means the same in each culture and even extends to each species."

He waved for the waitress who all but stumbled over herself when he smiled, produced the bill due and tipped her heavily. Holly's gift of tongue deciphered their brief conversation in rapid Italian and she rolled her eyes. Fowl was charming when he wanted to be. God bless the any woman who would have him.

Standing when he did, they found themselves walking down the avenue, shaded from the cold wind and biting sunlight by the overhanging awnings of the stores along the way.

"So what if it means the same thing in all places, Artemis. It still doesn't explain why mud men feel it necessary to swallow each other's faces."

Artemis all but through his hands into the air

"I thought we had ended this discussion."

She scoffed at his side "Ended? Discussion? You hardly gave a sentence, mud man." She complained "what, uncomfortable with the topic?" she asked with a satisfied smirk

She was momentarily paralyzed when his mismatched gaze swung in her direction. The look in his eyes, one she had only seen a few times before and could never name nor explain, was quickly reigned in and once again, impassive, almost bored hazel and cobalt blue eyes met hers

"Hardly." He murmured, his eyes never leaving hers. Then they crossed the road over into an almost empty park, littered with heavy vegetation. Sitting on the park bench under the protection of a spreading almond, he tired his best to explain what little he could

"Where did you come up with the conclusion that all humans, as you so tactlessly put it, eat each other's faces when kissing?" he asked

"Simple observation." She said

He snorted "how generalized." He said and she smacked his arm. "Not everyone feels it necessary to publicly display affection."

Her remarks were almost biting

"Affection? Mud men and kissing have nothing to do with affection. It's more lust than anything else."

"Call it what you may, Holly." He said "whether lust or love, not everyone deems it appropriate to swap spit in public."

"How blunt." She noted with a smile

His grin was heart stopping "I tend to be at times." He said "nevertheless, humans kiss because they want to. Obsession or not. It is, for lack of a better word and diplomacy, enjoyable."

She leaned further back into the cold wooden bench and frowned

"The People hold kissing in the highest regard." She said haughtily "we don't just dish them out like canned goods—"

"Like canned goods, Holly?—"

"— to the people, a kiss is something binding. It's almost as big as writing in blood."

He chuckled "next you'll be telling me, young women aren't allowed to interact with the opposite sex without a chaperone. How archaic."

She glared at him, but the smile on her face gave away her amusement

"Cute, Fowl. Cute."

"I was aiming more for irresistible but one does what one can." He shrugged then a smug look overcame him. Turning to her, he let the full onslaught of his intense gaze hit her. Poseidon blue and earthy brown

"Besides, I seem to recall a certain overeager adolescent stealing my first kiss."

She coloured lightly under his scrutiny and the memory of that time and tried to play it off as smoothly as she could

"You were such a poor, inexperienced fool." She said.

His pride didn't take it too well and she laughed at his expression

"I was mauled by you! I was caught off guard—"

"— mauled!?—"

"And the poor simpering idiot I was, I didn't have the sense to get away from you." He shook his head "men are weak to the wiles of women. Cradle robber" He said jokingly

She patted his back and her hand lingered and for probably the 20th time since they had left the manor he felt like, in the most illogical and primal manner, shoving her against the nearest surface and—

"At least you were able to, inadvertently mind you, admit that kissing for mud men comes only down to lust." She said watching him stand with that small smile on his face and his eyes avoiding hers and followed him not far down the street from the park to where his Dublin flat was situated

"Answer this then, Captain Short." He asked when he disarmed the security panel and let them into the warmth of his secluded and well armed flat " if Butler were to kiss you on the cheek, would that be done in lust, hmm?" he lifted an eyebrow

She took off her gloves, the ridiculous hat, and her jacket

"You know that's not what I meant, fowl."

Artemis nodded and lifted his hands in defeat "unjustly put, I admit. Very well then, if I were to kiss you on the cheek, would that be done in lust?"

It was the fact that the thought of him doing it was more than pleasant that startled and unnerved her. She frowned, staring up at him "stop splitting hairs, Aretmis."

He turned to look at her briefly and she became weary. The unnamed, unexplained look was in his eyes and the butterflies in her stomach intensified

"Touché." He admitted "but then again, you seem to be the one making much ado about nothing." He stepped towards her "why the sudden robust interest in mud men and just why the kiss? It never bothered you before."

He put a thoughtful, pale, finger to his chin and feigned innocence

"Come to think of it, it shouldn't matter to you, no? My elf kissing days are over, apparently—" she froze at that "so what about you?"

Her mismatched eyes met his and she could only open and close her mouth, with little to say

"You're twisting my words, Artemis!" she accused

He shrugged, uncaring, throwing his jacket aside and approaching her

"Maybe." He said reaching her

"W-what are you doing?" she asked with true panic born of something that wasn't fear but rather a twisted sense of anticipation

He smiled as though nothing out of the ordinary was happening

"Making a point." He said vaguely and before she could blink, his hands were at her waist and he had her sitting on the counter and as though he had every right to do so, Artemis leaned down and kissed her.

Holly melted.

She should have expected this. Artemis Fowl II was a true genius of his time and was never half mast nor incompetent in anything he did. And only recently, she noted, never chaste. Everything Artemis did was done with unnerving passion that she had tried to put aside and compartmentalize as enthusiasm.

Boneless, her arms wound around his neck and into his hair and he proved, again, just how competent he was, just how well he excelled in any and everything. Parting her lips, he deepened the kiss and blind to the world, Holly let him. One gloved hand kept his grip on her waist, invading her personal space and situating himself between her open legs and the other, wound around the nape of her neck, holding her in place as he rid her of every coherent thought.

In the midst of drowning, falling beyond control, Artemis, albeit distractedly, realized she smelled like his soap. She had announced that she was using his shower that morning but it hadn't occurred to him just how intimate sharing a simple bar of soap was. Regardless, the smell was heady and more mind blowing and addictive on her than it would have been on him.

And surprisingly, she tasted nothing like cinnamon. The heady scent that usually followed her around was no where as crippling as her taste. Pulling her closer to him, he continued to taste her, not in small, content sips but deep, heavy, addicted gulps.

At her moan and protest for air, he tore his lips form hers and without preamble put his searching lips to the scented column of her neck. Her grip in his hair tightened and she watched her half mast vision blur when he, without restraint, nipped on the rushing pulse beneath her ear

The sound of the security panel just beneath the knocker being disarmed once again by nimble fingers registered to neither of them. The only forewarning was the sound of the central lock within the house clicking and, automatically, unsealing all deadbolts and major door locks within the small house.

The door opened as they separated, and Butler ducked beneath the low door and into the flat. Trailing behind him without a care in the world and dressed as little boys should, in jeans and T-shirts messy with ice-cream, Myles and Beckett stepped in.

The retired body guard turned babysitter only threw the couple an amused glance before leaning his weight on the cane in his hand and limping over to the center table in the living room where a set of keys sat with a silver cell phone.

The twins, though they loved their brother and though Holly (the love of Beckett's life much to his brother's chagrin) was there, she was sure to visit them at the manor. Holly adored them! She would never come to visit Artemis and not see them.

At the moment, Holly was looking in any direction but at the trio and their brother had his head ducked before her face, and knowing their places and just when to keep quiet, the twins exchanged glances before, as innocently as Fowls could look, ate their ice-cream.

Gathering his keys and phone and handing the small day bag from the ground over to the twins, Butler ushered them towards the door.

With a grin and deliberate spite, he said "Oh no, don't let us stop you. By all means, continue."

Holly, sitting in the cage of Artemis' arms, prayed to Frond that the ground would swallow her up. When the door closed behind the trio and the sound of the chauffer carrying them away, Holly spun around to glare in Artemis' direction

"What was that, Fowl?" she demanded

If she hadn't know the lying deceitful creature he could be and the fact that her neck and shoulder held the proof, she probably would have believed his act

"What was what, holly?" he asked innocently. The gleam in his eyes she could now identify as pure unadulterated male need rendered her speechless momentarily before anger took over her embarrassment

"You know what I'm talking about!" she accused

He leaned back but not enough to give her movement and put a startled hand to his chest

"Me?"

She bristled "Don't annoy me, Artemis!" she threatened "you don't want to see me angry."

He smiled "On the contrary, mon cheri, I would very much like that." He said and when she frowned, confused, forgetting momentarily that she was supposed to be trying to be upset with him, he continued, raising his hand to trace his gloved finger's path up the side of her neck "when you get angry, your vein right here—" he smoothed his thumb over the spot and she bit back a sigh "becomes pronounced and to watch the blood rush through it is beyond fascinating."

She put up her hands to stop his advancement and they fell on his chest "Don't," she pleaded weakly trying to remember just how they got to this point. Oh, right, she thought deliriously as he, without apology, trailed kisses down the arch of her neck as though his brother's and lifelong friend hadn't popped up, we were talking about kissing. A world of good that did, she thought

"Do you understand now?" he asked

She couldn't have told him Frond's name if he had asked "what?" she asked, confused

He chuckled and the butterflies attached her stomach. Oh Frond, this wouldn't end well

"There is a difference between love and lust." He said self assuredly

She blinked. What in the world did that have to do with anything?

"W-what?" she sputtered. They were talking about why mud men found PDA necessary not lust…

He smiled and her heart skid to a halt "Ah. You don't understand."

She shook her head at the ridiculousness of the one sided presumptuous conversation he was holding

"Just wait a min—"

He had transported her to the couch as though she weighed nothing and he took off his gloves smiling down at her

"Fret not nor faint," he said quietly. Her lips parted and she could only stare. She had, blindly, forgotten that though he was still Artemis, he was undeniably male and every man had his limits and he had, most certainly, reached his.

Her.

"I'll teach you." He said

And he did just that and some.

:.


I apologize for any mistakes and grammatical errors made. In a rush to have this submitted, I bypassed my usual strict editing procedures and only re-read twice. Its naiive to believe for every visit I get, I will receive a review but tell me what you think. All reviews are appreciated.

-Vance Barduaux