"It's not a place that makes you feel safe. It isn't reassurances and police presence and it sure as hell isn't security alarms. The thing that makes most people feel safe is, well, other people. Safety in numbers, that's what they always say. Simple and it works. I mean, when does everyone die in the scary movie, besides after they run upstairs? It's when they split up. Reapers, like humans, are pack animals. We have a hierarchy and we have a buddy system and at the end of the day that's all we have. It's not like Millie Hagan has credit."

Sleeping is hard. Being a reaper comes with plenty of perks: immortality (of a sort), indestructibility (as far as I can tell), a wicked tolerance for alcohol (not that this is always a good thing) and guaranteed job security. It also has a downside. Taking the souls of the leaving without being able to change it or ask questions about it and insomnia. These are my two least favorite things about being a reaper, well, that and the fact that I'm dead. In fact I think they are probably everybody's two least favorite since being dead isn't all that bad.

Either way we all cope differently with the insomnia. Roxy bakes, Daisy wears an eye mask, Mason gets piss drunk and uses narcotics to knock himself out and Rube…actually, I don't know how Rube sleeps but I imagine several lonely nights at Der Waffle House. I, on the other hand, toss and turn until eventually I get up and watch reruns of Law and Order or whatever other show is on besides the home shopping network. Unfortunately since Mason in already on the couch watching Law and Order I'm stuck in my bedroom most nights. I've tried going down but we end up huddled together watching TV until Mason falls asleep and then I'm stuck there, usually under a stray arm or leg he's thrown over me to make himself more comfortable.

Tonight I decide to wait it out in my room. I spray that fancy lavender stuff Daisy suggested, and lent me, on my bed and get in. It's hot. Like surface of the sun hot. Washington is in the middle of an uncharacteristic heat wave and frankly it's not very good for my temperament as Roxy so politely mentioned this morning. I throw the covers off, strip down to my cowboy panties (complete with little lassos and words on my ass proclaiming "saddle up!") and turn the fan on. Once I'm back in bed I just focus on my breathing. I try to breathe through my nose, I heard that helps. Soon everything is starting to fade away.

Then I hear the door open. Shit.

"Georgie? Georgie girl, you up?"

"I am now," I grumble and shut my eyes to block out the light seeping in from the hall, "what do you want Mason?"

"Georgie, I can't sleep. It's hot downstairs and you've got a fan."

"Your point?" I lift my head up slightly and I see him, he's clutching a pillow and he is wearing his customary union jack briefs and a t-shirt. Mason, Mason, Mason.

"Can I bunk with you tonight darling?" I think it over. If I say 'No' he'll just moan and beg and I'll end up saying 'Yes' anyway.

"No."

"Please Georgie, I can't sleep down there and-and your room is so much cooler, please." He's kneeling beside the bed now and I sigh, throwing an arm over my eyes as I turn all the way over to face the ceiling.

It was worth a shot.

"Fine, get in."

"Oh, thank you, thank you, you marvelous girl." Before I know it he's throwing back the covers of my full bed and dropping his pillow next to my face. He kisses my forehead as he gets in. "Really, thanks Georgie."

"No problem."

I try to ignore the weight of his body beside me. It's hard. In a valiant effort to ignore Mason completely and get back to the sleep I was about to enjoy before he showed up I turn away from him and face the window. Pretty soon I hear his breathing even out and I know he's asleep and just like when we're downstairs on the couch he throws an appendage on me. Even in sleep he needs the comfort of someone else. It's sweet really, if a little clingy. This time it's an arm. Then it's the rest of him. What the fuck? How am I supposed to sleep with Mason practically suffocating me?

He's turned over and has completely pressed himself along my back. In a strange way it's comforting to feel that needed, that loved. I try snuggling against him and shut my eyes. It's not so bad; no wonder people seem to like this so much.

"Georgie?" I stiffen. I thought he had been asleep. Now he caught me, red handed, cuddling. God damn it.

"Yes, Mason?"

"Why aren't you wearing any clothes?" As if to draw attention to the point he opens the hand that was closed and lying against my stomach and runs it the length of my torso from just under my breasts to the top of my panties. Oh God, how could I forget that? I was cuddling AND I'm naked.

Figures.

"I was hot, Jesus Mason, you got a problem with that?" I struggle to move away but he clasps me tighter.

"No, no, I don't mind at all darling, I was just a bit shocked. I didn't take you as one to sleep in au natural." I'm about to say I still have my underwear on when he pushes against my back again and I can tell he's smiling against me neck. "Don't mind at all, remember, nude is natural love."

His voice is a warm whisper against my ear and I fight the shudder that runs through me. This is Mason for Christ sake. Mason, the fuck-up. Mason, who drilled a hole in his head. Mason, whose briefs are pressing alarmingly harder into my backside then they were a second ago. You have got to be shitting me. Ugh.

I just close my eyes. I can go to sleep. I will go to sleep. Hell, he's pretending to sleep. At the very least I can pretend to sleep. I even out my breathing and pretty soon things are getting fuzzy again. I snuggle back just a little and sigh. This must be a record, it can't be past 11pm. Score.

I'm not sure how long I slept for but I feel it when Mason unwinds his arm from my waist. I don't turn I just close my eyes again and listen to him. I figure he still can't sleep, maybe he'll go downstairs. He groans and I feel him sit up. There's more movement but I can't identify it. Then I hear him moan. It's shallow and quiet and hardly audible over the whir of my fan. Then I hear the soft, dry, rhythmic sound of Mason fucking wanking in MY bed. What. The. Hell.

"Georgie." I almost ask 'what?' but I realize he isn't talking to me, not exactly. Well I'll be damned. "Oh, Georgie, I'm sorry." He's whispering now and I don't know what to do. Do I sit up and say, 'its okay Mason, if you weren't in love with Daisy I would totally fuck you!' or 'age doesn't matter, we're both dead!'

I decide to play dumb but I have got to get him to stop. I really should have put on pajamas but it was just so fucking hot.

I groan. "Mason?" He stops dead. I sit up a little, pretending not to notice the sheet has fallen of me and turn a little to look over my shoulder while rubbing my eyes. I think I must be pretty convincing because he hasn't screamed yet. "Mason, what are you doing?"

"N-nothing." Now, if I were him I would stand up and beg off, something about the kitchen or a glass of water. Mason is not me. He just sits still, head turned toward me, hands moving in his lap. I know he's tucking himself back in. Thank God.

I lean across the bed, fully turning to him, still rubbing my eyes with one hand and reaching out the other. His eyes widen at my chest, even in the dark, I know he can still see me. "Come back to bed, Mason." I read in Cosmo that a man likes to hear you say his name, it's comforting. I wrap my arm gently around his shoulder and ease him backwards. He picks his feet up from the side of the bed and lets me pull him down next to me. I pull the sheet over him. I guess it's true.

I snuggle against him, practically on him and throw a leg over the leg he has closest to me and insinuate myself between his thighs. He groans again. I duck my head a little to hide my smile. That'll teach him. I press closer with my whole body and I let my arm drift down his torso like I'm just getting comfortable and really I am.

"Georgie, love, aren't you hot? Don't you want to move over?"

Surprisingly I realize I don't, in fact, want to move over. It's a strange sensation and not one I'm entirely comfortable with since the last guy that I came even close to caring about turned out to be an asshole. Probably best to ignore it.

"Mason, stop squirming, I'm tired." I felt guilty but I didn't want him to leave. Honestly though, something about Mason made me want to comfort him as much as flirt with him. Flirting of course became significantly secondary once he proclaimed his love for Daisy and our tentative friendship became more solid. I sighed, it was good to have such a decent, albeit completely fucked up, guy around.

He gently stroked the arm I had across his chest and looked down at me. I couldn't see it but I could feel it. I looked up and he had the saddest smile on his face.

"You've always protected me Georgie, from Rube, from Roxy, from myself. Fuck George, I saw what you did to Ray." He did? I thought he had been asleep.

"You did?"

"Yeah, I was pretending to be a sleep because I'm a fucking coward. I knew he was there and I let you handle him George, because you knew you could. My little Georgie-girl, protecting me from the baddies." Yeah, not so much. I never liked Ray anyway.

"Mason, it's okay. I never liked ray anyway." His breathing was shallow and he shook his head.

"Georgia, you're beautiful. You're bloody marvelous. I have to go." He moved to get up.

"Mason, what is your problem? You wanted to sleep here, you said it was too hot downstairs. You know what, whatever. I don't care." Ha, the old stand-by. What did I care if he left? He's a fucking pervert anyway. He was sitting now and looking at me. I wanted to turn away only I wasn't moving.

"Good. You shouldn't. I'm a fuck up Georgie, a right fuck up and now you need protecting from me." Well, he was half right.

"Okay…what?"

"For Christ sake look at me, I'm not a fucking saint!" He was practically yelling now.

"Shh, Mason calm down or Daisy will hear you!"

"I don't fucking care if Daisy hears me. Look at me, I'm fucking hard as a rock here and you, you're fucking 18. Shit Georgie, you're not wearing nothing and you fucking trust me to sleep in bed with you. What are you fucking doing?" He said it. "I'm not right Georgia. I'm bad. I'm sorry. You know I love you. I just can't fucking help it, I'm so sorry. I'll just go, shall I?"

This was it. It's now or never Georgia Lass.

"Stay."

"What?"

"Stay, Mason." The look on his face is priceless, even if this ends horribly (and considering my track record it's likely to) it will have been worth it for the look on his face. Its shock and confusion and, god help him, hope. I've seen that look. Whenever Daisy smiles at him or laughs at one of his jokes. When Rube tells him 'good job' or when Roxy gets through lunch without threatening to shoot him in the crotch. I love him for that look and now it's directed at me.

Mason, Mason, Mason.

"Darling, do you know what you're doing? Are you feeling alright?"

Ugh. No, this is stupid but that never stopped me before I died, why would it after?

"Yes." He broke into a sly grin.

"Why Georgia Lass, did you do this on purpose?" Really, was he being smug? I glare at him.

"No." He kneels on the bed and moves towards me and I'm caught again, like a deer in the headlights. Apparently that is my default reaction. Flaming toilet seat? Headlights. Cute, undead, British drug-addict? Headlights.

"I think you did." He smirks again and then he's kissing me. I've thought about how it would be a few times, what kissing Mason would feel like. I imagined he would taste like whiskey and smoke but he doesn't. He tastes like minty toothpaste and something else. Maybe cloves. I can't tell, its unfamiliar and nothing like kissing Trip. Kissing Trip had been desperate and cloying and he had tasted like whiskey but Mason is gentle and soft and slow. Kissing him is languid and comfortable, well, at first.\

"Say it Georgie." He whispers as he bends a little to kiss my neck and now I'm sitting up. I'm pressing myself against him and I do say it.

"I did it on purpose." I feel him smile before he nips at my collar bone.

"I knew it." Now he's pressing me down into the mattress and all I can think is that this is it. This is what it's supposed to feel like.

His hips grind into mine and I moan softly, I can't help it. I'm so hot. He struggles with me trying to take of my underwear as I pull off his t-shirt and he's taking off his briefs and we're sweating and its slick and his lips are on mine and I can't think anymore. He feels so good.

Granted, he's had 30 plus years to work on his technique so I really shouldn't be surprised but I am.

Too soon he is looming over me, breathing heavily and when he looks down into my eyes he smiles and brushes my hair back from my face.

"You really are marvelous, Georgie-girl." I can only smile before he is pushing into me. It hurts a little but that's not surprising. After all I died a virgin; I'm literally a virgin 'til I fill my quota because I'll heal up right after we're finished. I figured that little fact out after Trip. I brace for the pain though and soon I can't feel anything but pleasure.

He throws one of my legs over my shoulder as I beg him for more. He pounds into me, giving me what I want and I have to hang on to the bedpost with one hand because the force is pushing me backwards and I just want to move closer. I'm whimpering now and he seems to like it, he bends his head and takes one of my nipples into his mouth and hums around it. I moan again and he bites down.

I scream a little but definitely in a good way. I can't stop now that I've opened my mouth, Daisy be damned. I hope she's still out or we won't hear the end of it tomorrow at Der Waffle House.

Now he's grunting and moaning above me as I squeeze tighter around him, trying to hold him inside. He's saying my name among other things but it's deteriorating into nonsense and I can't tell if it's because he is having trouble talking or I'm having trouble understanding.

I know he's close, I can feel the swell inside me and his thrusts are hard and erratic but then he slides a finger between us and he's massaging my clit. The sensation rockets me over the edge and I shut my eyes. All I can see are white lights behind my eyes and I'm crying out and he's pushing harder as I ride the wave he started and suddenly I feel him press against me a final time as he comes. It hot and sticky and I know he's filling me up.

I have a brief flash of fear, I did take sex-ed in high school, but reapers don't get sick and we don't get pregnant. Now that would be fucked up.

Mason collapses on top of me with and rolls over a little to let me breath. I don't know what to say. Thankfully he does.

"Georgie?"

"Yeah?"

"You're bloody brilliant." I look over at him and he's smiling and I smile back. I am aren't I?

"Thanks, you're not so bad yourself." He laughs a little and pulls me towards him, nestling me under his arm. It's started raining outside, finally breaking this stupid heat wave and already the cooling sweat on my skin makes me feel chilly. I pull my sheet over us and curl into him again.

"You know what?" I'm almost too tired to answer but I turn my head up slightly.

"Hm?"

"I think it'll be too hot tomorrow night to sleep on the couch, if it's all the same to you I think I'll sleep up here again."

Well, I've created a monster.

"No problem."