A/N: Greetings dearest readers. I've been mentioning the possibility of a lemon for a little while now, and this isn't it. :P So sorry to disappoint, but I've had this rolling around in my "Done" folder for quite some time, and I feel like it's a little too much for a T rating, so I've started my M rated series of one-shots off with this. Eventually I'd like to have a whole story with an M rating for all of us who enjoy that kind of thing, but for the moment, I'll be using this as a place to put all my one-shots that are a little too racy for the T rated series of one-shots.

A quick moment to set the scene...This is set post-Reckoning, at a rental house that I have decided they stay at for a few weeks.

Disclaimer: I'm clearly not Kelley Armstrong because if I was, I'd be selling this stuff and making a fortune off all the people who'd buy ANYTHING written about Chlerek. :)


Another nightmare, I thought sadly, rushing the last few steps to get to him, thankful that Simon was still out. I wouldn't be able to do this if Simon was here.

He was thrashing in his sleep again, the blankets so twisted I was amazed he could still move.

"Shh," I whispered, leaning over him, laying my hand against his face. He turned into my touch, and my heart did a weird little dip in my chest. His cheek was warm but not feverish. I eased down on the bed and murmured softly, trying not to startle him.

"Derek? Come on, wake up."

After a few seconds, his eyes opened, fixing on me dazedly. "Chloe?" he mumbled, reaching for me like he wasn't sure I was really there.

"Shh," I whispered again, leaning closer to push some hair back off his face. "I'm here."

Instead of the tender moment of gratitude for waking him up from a nightmare that I was expecting, his eyes widened as they focused and he bolted up in bed, his grip on my shoulders tightening to keep me away.

"What are you doing here?"

A little put out, I answered, "Well, I heard you having another nightmare, so I came to wake you up." I wriggled, trying to get out of his grip, but he held firm.

"Nightmare?"

Mentally rolling my eyes, I forced a patient tone. "A nightmare, like a bad dream?"

"Right."

"Derek?"

"What?" He was eyeing the foot of the bed like it was the only escape route from a burning building.

"Are you sure you're ok?" He fidgeted, grabbing my wrists when I reached to double-check his forehead for fever. "Come lie down, I'll stay until you fall back to sleep."

His laugh was a tense. "I'm fine. Go back to bed."

Something was definitely up. I relaxed my arms until his hold loosened, then yanked my wrists out of his grasp, a trick he had taught me. "Derek, for God's sake, what is up with you tonight?" I bracketed his face with my hands holding him still as I stared intently into his eyes.

Another uneasy laugh escaped him as he avoided my eyes. "Nothing."

I gave him a long look, but he didn't react. Fine. Letting go of his face, I caught a corner of the blankets, pulling them back enough for me to slide under. Derek inched away from me until he was stopped by the wall.

That was new. Since getting to Pennsylvania, we'd been about as inseparable as any new couple - nauseatingly so, if you listened to Tori - which included cuddling at every opportunity. My newfound confidence took the brunt of his implied rejection, and instead of drawing the covers over me, I sat up to leave, hurt resonating until it was all I could feel.

His arm snaked around my waist, effectively keeping me from leaving. Twisting in his grasp, I tried to get free.

"Chloe," he whispered in my ear, tightening his arm and pulling me back towards him. I struggled harder, hooking my feet over the edge of the mattress and using them as leverage. "Chloe, stop."

His commanding tone irritated me that much more, and since I tend to cry when hurt or angry, hot tears welled up. I was desperate to get back to my room, so I elbowed him hard.

"Let me go!" A frustrated sob escaped me.

In a flash I was flipped onto my back and he was on me, using his superior weight to hold me still. His fingers circled my wrists, pinning them gently over my head.

"Stop."

After a moment of panic at the feeling of helplessness, I relaxed. Trust Derek to throw his weight around when it suited him.

He dropped his lips to my ear, his warm breath tickling as he spoke. "If you really want to go, I'll let you go, but don't leave angry."

Blinking the salty tears out of my eyes, I inhaled deeply, glad that he wasn't resting all his weight on me. "Why are you acting so weird?"

A sigh. "It's personal."

I think my soggy laugh surprised him. "Like we haven't dealt with personal stuff before?"

"Do you really want to know?"

My answer came out on a long, sighing breath as he nuzzled the side of my neck.

"Yes."

His answer didn't come in the form of words. Releasing my wrists, he framed my face with his big hands, his mouth coming down hard on mine.

I lay there for a second, buffeted by the intensity of his kiss, before my brain wheezed into life again. My arms lifted to go around his neck, pulling him down on me as I kissed him back. Up until now, the best we had managed were a few precious stolen minutes in the backyard in the evenings, almost always interrupted by Simon or Tori, who I think both took a devious pleasure in making sure we never got more than a few minutes to ourselves.

"I wasn't having a nightmare."

I was gasping for breath, my head filled with the rushing sound of the blood that my heart was pounding through my body. "What?"

His eyes glowed in the dark, his hands still on either side of my face.

"I wasn't having a nightmare. I was dreaming about you," he said.

"You were dreaming about me?" I felt a little slow.

"Yes." A low sound escaped him as I twisted my fingers in his hair and tugged gently. "Dreaming about doing this," he continued, punctuating his explanation with lingering kisses. "And this." One of his hands smoothed down my side and slid under my t-shirt, his fingers creeping teasingly up my ribs, using them like the rungs of a ladder.

His voice lowered as his hand settled over its prize. "And about having the privacy to do this for as long as we'd like."

I shivered at both his touch and his tone. "Well, aren't you lucky that dreams sometimes come true?" I asked, shifting to get more comfortable. We both gasped when he settled into the natural cradle of my hips.

"Oh, God," he ground out, dropping his forehead to mine. My brain was in complete agreement, but I couldn't get words out if my life depended on it. So I used my hands to angle his face until I could kiss him again.

We might have stayed like that for hours, or maybe it was just a few minutes, but by the time my mind got back online, I was in no shape to speak, stand or even breathe.

"Enough," he breathed, shifting to lie down next to me. I could feel his big body trembling faintly where it rested against mine. "You're killing me."

I turned towards him and made an agreeable noise as he tucked me against him. His panting breaths stirred my hair, and his heart pounded next to my ear. I was drifting in a sea of boundaries I'd love to cross, but his soothing caresses on my back slowly brought me back into myself.

"But what a way to go." My heartfelt comment made him chuckle.

"Yeah." His voice rumbled in his chest. "So do you understand now?"

"Oh, yeah." Did that dreamy voice belong to me? "Sorry."

The rhythm of his petting slowed and he nudged his head closer to mine on the pillow. He always tried to get closer to me when he was anxious. It was sweet. "Why are you sorry?"

I yawned, pressing against him until you couldn't have fit a slip of paper between us. "Sorry I woke you up."

The amusement in his tone outweighed the exhaustion. "Don't be. This was better."

"Mmhmm," I murmured, tucking one of my cold feet between his. "I so agree."