A/N: Sorry about the delay. I finally wrote this, only to have my computer die. This isn't really the sort of chapter you edit in public so...delay. Hope you enjoy it.

Nessie was always right—Seth's life would be easier (and happier) if he could just remember that tiny fact. When she said having her move across the damn country would make everything between them far too difficult, he should have listened.

But he had been worried about the regrets she might have later so he only saw one problem at a time (he wasn't great with multi-tasking). He just knew he had to get her out of there before she resented him for making her stay. He hadn't realized that without her around...his life was pretty damn boring. Everything was just...blah. Work was still fun, patrol was still exciting...but telling her about it on the phone afterwards was kind of lousy. It almost felt like he was talking to himself.

It became almost impossible to remember the way she looked beside him, the way she never quite believed the stories he told but loved listening to them anyway. Seth felt like he was dating a phone—and the phone bills were costing him a fortune.

There was only one thing to be done. It would suck and be painful as hell, but Seth realized fairly quickly it was the only thing to do.

When she needed to get home for Christmas break he drove out east to pick her up. It was a long trip, even driving well above the speed limit, but the three thousand miles seemed to fly by. It even gave him time to reconsider, though he was too busy singing along with Christmas carols to bother.

Nessie might not be too enthusiastic but...he'd manage to convince her. Maybe.

When he knocked on the door to her apartment he barely had time to hope it was loud enough before there was this reddish blur and then there were familiar arms around his neck. Her legs were almost too tight around his waist, but he would worry about that later because she was in his arms and kissing her was even better than he had remembered.

"Does this mean you missed me?" he teased.

"Of course. Did you miss me?"

"So much."

"I'm glad you made it."

She sounded relieved and not just because he was safe. Had she just not expected him to come? He knew things had gone off lately but not that wrong. He found himself holding her tighter. Then: "You have anything to eat? I'm starving."

Her laugh was the most beautiful sound, so different in real life than it was over the phone. Ever so slowly they disentangled, letting her slip down him until she was on the ground once more. Then her hand found his and she was pulling him inside.

"Here." She gestured to the couch. "You must be tired. Rest and I'll get you something to eat."

"Thanks. You look exhausted," he called after her as he sat down. "What happened to not working too hard?"

"I have a lot of work to do, Seth. I have to make a good impression and—"When she sighed he got off the couch and went to the kitchen. She was holding a box of cookies and it should have been hot, but she looked so miserable and tiny just then. "You stopped reminding me to relax."


It was all he could think of to say but the second he took a step towards her she stopped him with a box of cookies to the chest.

"Start on those and I'll get you—"

"Could we just talk instead? I kind of don't have much of an appetite."

"Liar. You're always hungry."


This time when he went to her, she let him gather her to him. One hand was clutching at his shirt a little too tightly, but that really wasn't important, not when her head was tucked just under his chin.

"Talk to me," he begged.

"I've been trying to for months."

"I'm sorry."

"Me too. I just..." She burrowed against him further. "It was like you were someone else. You just...you weren't laughing as much or teasing me or making me feel...I felt like I was talking to someone else. And it sucked."

"I guess I'm pretty lousy with phones, huh?"

"Really lousy," she corrected. "I can't—I won't do this again. I have plan."

"Of course you do." Her hair was curlier than usual; when he ran his fingers through it, it seemed to take on a life of its own. He couldn't help smiling at the way danced around her. "You going to tell me what it is?"

"At dinner. There's this restaurant I really want to take you. We can plan there."

"Sounds good."

A floral aroma was coming from her hair—a new shampoo. Her skin was just as soft, though the callous on her middle finger seemed tougher. She'd been busy. When he pressed a kiss to the crook of her neck, he could taste the faintest hint of salt on her skin along with the some orange-smelling soap. Slowly the phantom in his head that did not compare was completely obliterated by the very real woman in his arms.

"This is nice," she murmured. Her fingers were running through his hair. It always puzzled him how Nessie could be so different from everyone and everything he had ever known and still feel so familiar but he didn't dwell on it. Getting reacquainted with the curves and planes of her body was much more important.

Nothing had changed about her (of course, she would have explained, I stopped developing at age seven) but he only believed what his eyes were telling him after he ran his hands over her arms and hips and legs. She was wearing slippers, but she slipped out of them so he could even touch her toes.

Nessie didn't even ask what he was doing with her feet; she just let him do what he needed to after being away from her for so long.

When he looked up, she was taking off her shirt.

Her skin was still perfectly unmarked ivory and her body curved just the way he remembered. Unfortunately, her jeans hiding everything he really wanted to see. Before he had admired how tight they were. Now he was a little disappointed at how hard they were to get off.

"I'll do mine if you do yours," she teased.

She was laughing at him, a little. He didn't mind. Some of his brothers said she wouldn't want to keep him around anymore. She had ticked off her life experience boxes. Boyfriend, sex, college. What use could she have for him anymore? His brothers never got to see her like this, the hint of a smile on her face, the love in her eyes.

Seeing her naked was just a bonus.

(A very big bonus—like extra sugary icing)

After he had convinced himself she was really here, he stood up and helped her to the kitchen counter.

"Do you remember," she murmured against his lips.

"Of course. I could never forget you in those shorts."

"I thought you'd never kiss me. And I wanted you to so badly."

"I wanted to just as badly."

"But you didn't."

"Proving you are definitely the smarter one."

As if to make it undeniable, she stopped talking first. She was just as hot as he remembered, almost impossible to survive. And her eyes still went wide, so loving and trusting he could have just stared at them for the rest of his life.

He had missed her so much. Afterwards, she ordered him to carry her to the shower, so he got to see water drenched Nessie too—and he got to have her in the shower. Somehow, it was even better than what he had once imagined.

If his stomach hadn't protested, they might have spent the rest of the night getting reacquainted with each other. But it did rumble.

"You should have said something," she scolded, pushing him off her. The bed was a little wet and he would have felt guilty, but he was enjoying himself far too much. "Get out of here. I have to get dressed."

"We could order in."

"Seth, it's our first night together in forever. I want it to be special."

"Hey, I'm good as long as it's with you."

"Get out." But her smile took the bite from the words.


His few clothes were in the car, but she told him not to bother. In the closet there was a suit that Alice had sent over. It fit, of course, and he looked pretty damn good in it.

Then Nessie came out of her room.

She was always beautiful. It was her default setting. He was in love with her and she was part vampire, so she always looked perfect. Seeing her naked and disheveled in the kitchen had been more than perfect. But seeing the way the green fabric clung to her body, the body that had just been pressed against him, covered in sweat and him, all he could think about was how he had to get under that dress.

"Stop it," she ordered. Fixing her hair again—he was going to die if he had to stare at her bare neck like that all night without kissing it—she offered him her arm. "Now come on."

They made their reservations, so she was happy.

"This place looks really nice," he couldn't help but notice.

She shrugged. "I've been waiting to go here all year. Dr. Leonardssen says it's his favorite."

Dr. Leo was not her supervisor but a physics genius who liked making sure she knew how to work the expensive equipment in the labs. He was also divorced and hitting on Seth's girlfriend, though Nessie didn't seem to have noticed. Since she hadn't noticed, he wasn't about to tell her that her latest paternal figure wanted to get into her pants.

After telling him way too much about Dr. Leo, she talked about her research. Seth couldn't believe he had almost forgotten what she was like when she got like this, all wide-eyed and determined. She still talked over his head, but it was nice hearing it all again. She had been so busy lately she hadn't had time to just talk like this with him. And she even paid attention when he started talking about La Push; she missed it, in her own way. It was just good being with her again, holding her hand, feeling her foot brush against his leg.

Eventually they got around to her plan. Because they both knew that the past couple of months...they hadn't been bad exactly. Saying they were bad made it sound like they had ignored each other or fought or something terrible. The truth was that talking on the phone wasn't the same as talking in person and that was that.

"So I was thinking," she said, "As much as liked the experience and the prestige of Yale, it's not like it's that much better over here. Transferring back to Seattle would be as easy as calling Daddy and—"

"Don't you like it here?"

She let herself admit the truth: "I did think about moving my classes so I had a three day weekend and then flying out to you then."

He couldn't help laughing. "Nessie, that sounds exhausting. I'd spend all our time together watching you sleep."

"Not to mention the administration wasn't that helpful. But a small donation could probably change their mind. Seth?"

"Yeah, beautiful?"

"I would—I'd prefer flying out even if it is tiring. I...I finally belong somewhere, here. I'm...I'm not just the in-between freak."

"I'm glad." And he was. The relief on her face made his heart swell. Even through the phone he had been able to pick up on it; she was happy here. Maybe just because everyone around her was laboring under the same self-imposed ambition to be as perfect as they could, maybe because she just thought she was finally allowed to be whatever she wanted to be, but she had found someplace where she felt like she made sense and he could only be happy for her. "But I still think travelling back would be exhausting."

"I don't mind."

"I do."

Her face fell. "Seth—please, it's the only way—"

"No, it's not. I appreciate that you'd do all that, I really do, Nessie, but it sounds pretty awful. It just makes more sense if I just moved here."

Her eyes grew wider. And wider. "You...you can't," she said slowly. "Jacob wouldn't let you. The pack..."

He laughed. "Despite what you think, Jacob sometimes let's me make up my own mind about things. He'll let me do this, Nessie. We've talked about it a bit. I'm one of the most controlled and the two of us can go hunting together. It should be okay. That is, of course, if you wanted me to come."

"Of course I—" It was almost like he was watching her pragmatism beat her excitement to death as he gazed at her face. She wasn't going to be able to be happy about this until her questions were answered. "You'd really leave the pack?"

"They'd still be in my head."

"And La Push? And your family?"

"As long as we don't cut them out of my life forever. I mean, I do need to see them. Just not all the time. Most kids take off from the rez; it's expected. Usually not for half-vampires but—"

"I can't," she burst out. "I...Seth..."

"Okay. I just thought it would be the simplest, but I'm sure we could think of something else."

Three day weekends wouldn't be so bad…no, they would kill him. Even for her he couldn't be satisfied with conversation for years, not when he needed to be able to touch her to know her. There had to be something else, then. Something…

"It's not—" She took a deep breath and tried to explain herself. "I do want you to come here. More than anything I want you…but I—I can't ask you to leave them all for me."

"You didn't. I'm offering."

"The way everyone always just lies down to die for me. I don't—Seth, I've never done anything to deserve it."

"I'm not trying to die for you. Dying is like the last thing I want to do, Ness. And who says you haven't done anything to deserve it? You think I'd leave La Push if being around you wasn't the best thing that had ever happened to me?"

"I'm not worth it."

"You're pretty dumb for a genius, you know."

That got a tiny smile. "I'm taking too much from you."

"It's not like I would never see my family again. I can't get rid of the pack, even if I tried. And La Push is just a town. It's not...the stuff that matters would come with me."

She kept chewing her lip. He waited. Years of being friends with Edward and his ability to stare at Bella for hours had made Seth patient. He waited now for Nessie to decide.

"We could visit them all the time..." she began.

"We could."

"And if you got homesick we would have the option of going back. It's not like we couldn't change our minds."


"I still don't...what can I possibly give you that can compare?"

"I happen to think I'm getting the better deal."

She shook her head, but she didn't seem upset anymore. In fact, she started looking happy. Very happy. She started looking so happy she looked like she was glowing—and really, that was all he wanted.

"I could work in Seattle for a couple of years after I graduate. Maybe even in Forks for a little while, so if Leah had kids you could be around them."

"Sounds good."

"I mean, we'd have to work out the details when the time came, but that—that could work." She grinned. "It could really work. So...you'd move here then, after Christmas?"

"If it's okay."

"Yeah." She giggled. "Yeah. Okay. You should be able to find a job easily."

"And someplace to live."

"You'll move all the way out here but you won't move in with me?"

He had expected her to refuse on some principal he didn't understand.

"Are you inviting me to move in?"

"If it's okay."

Now they were both grinning in a way that would have made Goofy jealous.

"Sounds nice."

"We could stay in my place, if you wanted. But there are a lot of decent places for cheap near the hospitals near campus. If you wanted we could find a place of our own. Maybe even pick it out ourselves?"

"I'd like that."

She burst out laughing. "I can't believe this. You know, Seth, all this sounds like you came up with a plan. A really good plan."

"One of these days I'm going to be offended by how surprised you sound all the time."

It made her laugh, so it was worth it.

Then his super old-fashioned, easily embarrassed girlfriend stood up from her chair in the middle of Dr. Leo's favorite restaurant, one of the nicest, most expensive places in the city and sat down on his lap and kissed him so deeply Seth forgot everything except how much he needed to get that green dress off her.

Apparently, she really liked it when he thought ahead.

They were brought to by the sound of the waiter clearing his throat rather impatiently. Nessie didn't seem to hear, just smiled down at him. He couldn't resist.

Seth grabbed her hand and announced to the room at large, "She said yes!"

There were happy murmurings and scattered applause and the waiter backed off a bit. Nessie ordered them champagne to celebrate their fake-engagement and they got to talking with the couple at the table beside them who had been married twenty-six years. They gave plenty of advice and got Nessie laughing and it was only with some reluctance that they parted at the end of the night.

"Care to explain why we juts lied to those nice people?" They strolled through the city arm in arm, exploring. She didn't sound mad though, just amused.

"We didn't lie. We translated." It was an important distinction. "Happy news should be shared. Did you mind?"

She thought about it only for a second. "No. I liked talking to them. I think you might be right about happy news. We should do more investigating."

"Later," he said, just in case the night turned into a giant experiment. Tomorrow. Tonight was for enjoying being together. And sketching themselves a dream world that was exciting and terrifying all at once.

Finally he caught her yawning. "We should go back to your place," he said. "We have a lot of driving to do tomorrow."

"I'm not that tired," she promised.


"I have plans for you tonight."

"What kind of plans?"

She didn't even blush, just gave him this look that promised good things for good boys.

"Plans you better not be too overfed to implement. Now come on."

So it turned out Nessie had missed him. Missed him a lot.

He felt wholly unworthy of the love she managed to put in every action, every word, not that it stopped him from pulling her closer, holding her tighter, accepting everything she gave. It was enough that she wanted him and he wanted her. They might occasionally get confused about everything else, but he figured as long as that part stayed okay they would manage.

"I knew you wanted to have sex," Nessie complained at one point. He knew she'd like being on top.

"Of course I wanted to." He rolled his eyes. "But we're celebrating the fact you want to now."

"I think we might also be celebrating the benefits of twenty-four chromosomes," she noted drily.

"Let's celebrate that, too, then. Tonight I feel like celebrating."

He threw open his arms to the world, pleased when she crawled into them.

"We do have a lot to celebrate," she said as she nuzzled his neck.

"We do," he agreed.

"I can't wait until you come here. We can pick out paint colors and I'll put tape on what you're not supposed to get dirty and then we can do the actual work and then we can find matching curtains and matching furniture and—"

"As long as you get a bed like this one."

"You can sleep anywhere."

"Yes, but I'd rather sleep with you. And you're picky."

"You're not allowed to tease me while we're celebrating."

"Sorry. I thought we had stopped celebrating."

The light was coming through the blinds. They had a long drive ahead of them; they should get up soon. Where had all the time gone? Who cared?

"I suppose we did. We should get going. I want to stop by the school before we leave, if you don't mind?"

It was nice getting a tour of the campus. The buildings were cool looking and the people seemed nice enough, if really busy, and Nessie was absolutely gorgeous this morning, dressed up to be a respectable looking academic (well, that skirt was too tight to be professional, even if it was down to her knees but he didn't complain). Seth was pretty sure he had never heard her giggle quite so much. If she didn't mind, he certainly didn't. She was something else when she was silly-happy.

"We're almost done," she promised.

"It's not like I'm in a rush to get back into the car. Can we just run back?"

"Three thousand miles might kill even us. Besides, I remember one of us complaining about being tired this morning."

"My girlfriend's insatiable," he said as he grabbed her around the waist. She squealed, but went silently quickly enough when he brought his mouth to hers. There weren't that many people around right now—even people at Yale apparently went home for Christmas. What smart geniuses.

"You know—" and he was trying to listen except one of her hands was doing not very public sanctioned things "—no one really comes to this building, except for me and Dr. Leonardssen."

And because her hand was very distracting all he did was laugh and press her into the wall.

Nessie was right—no one came to the building except her and Dr. Leo.

So when he heard footsteps two minutes later, he could put a name to the sound. However much he didn't want to.

"Someone's coming." He was whining, but she didn't notice. She did start almost choking, which made him more nervous than he would ever admit to her. It wasn't a matter of trusting her—vampires had very sharp teeth. There were a lot of things that could go wrong.

Nessie cursed (badly, but still) as she stood up. "How do I look?"


"Stop it." But she was still too happy to be angry with him. "Do up your pants. And stop looking at me like that."

"Like what?"

"Like you're picturing me naked."

"Can I still do it as long as you can't tell?"

"Well...I suppose. Oh! That's definitely Dr. Leonardssen. I did want you to meet him, so I guess this is a good thing."

Still, when the other genius came in, Nessie pouted just a little bit when she introduced them. And how hot was the way she beamed when she said boyfriend? It made up for Dr. Leo's barely concealed scowl.

The old man wasn't the most sociable of people, more concerned with whatever project Nessie was helping him with than anything, though he was pretty good at calling Seth an idiot in however many languages it was that he knew. Nessie looked a little puzzled at one point, but fortunately hanging around the pack hadn't made her anymore aware. She was too adorable.

There was a large part of Seth that kind of wanted to hit the man and an even bigger part that just wanted to kiss Nessie in front of him, but in the end he felt sorry for Dr. Leo who didn't have Nessie holding his hand just then, who would never know what she looked like when she was exhausted but content and laughing and scheming in the way she couldn't seem to stop. So he said the man's work sounded awesome (it did) and watched the way she lit up having someone she could talk to who understood this stuff.

Of course, when Nessie turned around and Dr. Leo glanced at her ass, Seth couldn't help nodding in agreement—she had a great ass. This was an undisputable scientific fact. The older man looked like he was going to have a heart attack then settled for turning an interesting shade of purple.

In his garbled English, Dr. Leo excused himself, blushing the whole way.

Nessie didn't even seem to care, just waited until he was out of earshot before giving Seth that come hither look she was really far too good at giving.

"You can go back to looking like you're picturing me naked," she instructed.

"Thank you kindly."

"Shut up." She giggled, letting him wrap his arms around her. They held the kiss for a long time, enjoying each other and being together and all the things they had silently promised each other about the future. And the terror was fading the more he kissed her. When deciding that moving was the only thing to do, he had been nervous. Hell, telling Jacob what he was thinking had been downright terrifying (Jacob had sighed, then smiled, then told Seth that if anyone hurt Nessie, ever, Seth was going to have his intestines pulled out through his nose, then Jake hugged him and wished him good luck because his Alpha was the best). But now that he was here, now that they were really going to do this, all he could think was that it was going to be totally awesome.

"So what did you think of him?"

"He's got good taste."

His hands were creeping up her stomach when she stilled. It was a pretty obvious sign, so he stopped. "You okay, Nessie?"

"What did...you meant...he doesn't..." She studied his face for a second, then realized: "Oh. Really?"

Crap. He probably shouldn't have said anything because now she looked upset. "It's hard not to develop a crush on you. I should know. Be nice to the poor guy—if you didn't notice, he's clearly trying to keep it professional."

"Then he probably should stop telling me about his divorce." Before Seth could properly respond, she had grabbed his arm. "Come on. This does change something."


But he was ignored by the bronze haired goddess tugging him out of the lab. Pulling keys from her pocket, she brought them to a nearby room.

"Where are we?"

"Welcome to Dr. Leonardssen's office," she said as the door opened. "What do you think?"

"It's an office. Do I care?"

She was leaning on the desk, leaning back, presenting herself to him. How those clothes were comfortable for a billion hour car ride Seth didn't know, but she insisted it was fine and reminded him she had grown up dressed by Alice. And if she wanted to wear a sinfully tight pencil skirt and a blouse that didn't quite button up all the way with stockings and heels that just screamed sex, then he wasn't going to complain.

"You're doing it again," she pointed out.

"Doing what?"

"Picturing me naked."

"I wasn't supposed to?"

Her evil smirk was too adorable. She stepped between his legs, titling his face down so she could kiss him properly. Sometimes she felt too tiny, but he would never mistake that for thinking she was fragile. Nessie was tougher than most of the werewolves he knew. And she did it wearing designer shirts.

"I didn't realize that the professor had ulterior motives for bringing back here after classes. I suppose I should have," she purred. "He was always so concerned with expanding my horizons."

"And how did he go about doing that?"

"Well...he was very firm about not wasting his time on wrong answers."

"I can't see you ever giving the wrong answer."

"I do. Sometimes. But then he brings me to his office and helps me improve."

And his mouth was going a little dry at the way her eyes were sparkling.

"How does he do that?"

"First, he tells me to put my hands on his desk."

She demonstrated, turning around and placing her hands in the middle of the desk, the material of her ridiculously tight skirt getting even tighter across the curve of her ass as she half-leaned over the desk. He couldn't resist (which was probably the point) running a hand down her back before squeezing the delightfully round flesh. He asked, "Then what?"

"Then he tells me I have to be punished for being such a know-it-all." For not deserving everything that was showered on her.

"And how would he do that?"

"He tells me I'm not allowed to move. Then he lifts up my skirt." She went breathless from anticipation. He could hear her heart hammering—real life was so much better than the phone. Placing a hand over her wrist (her pulse was racing just under his finger tips) he slowly tugged her skirt up.

"Like this?"

"Yes," she whispered.

She wasn't the only one getting excited—she hadn't bothered with panties this morning. The pale flesh was too tempting not to touch. He traced the garters she wore, watching her tremble, then parted her legs just a little bit so that the beautiful smell coming from her could spread through the air more easily.

"Stop squirming," he said, undoing the garters, pushing them up so she was bare from mid-thigh, where her stocking reached, all the way up that way up past her delicious rear. Then he let his hands roam, careful to keep away from where he wanted to touch most.

"That's what the good doctor tells me," she whimpered. "Right before..." Her nerve didn't fail her. They had come this far, hadn't they? "He says I've made too many mistakes. He says he needs to teach me a lesson. I need to be spanked."

And even though he had a pretty good idea of what she wanted, Nessie added, "Please?"

"How many times?"

"Thirty. One for each of the inner transitional elements."

"And he makes you count them out loud?"

She gave a little moan that he took as a yes.

Nessie was a very conscientious counter. After years of being careful with everyone, it was strange not having to worry if he put a little bit more strength in the movement than he had planned. In fact, the harder he went the louder she panted. He was all too aware of her steadily spreading legs, the way she'd raise herself to meet each blow. Her white skin turned pink quickly, creating patterns on her skin and he was wolf enough to feel a sense of satisfaction at how she was so obviously his.

"Thirty," she pouted when it was time to stop.

Her skin was hot to the touch—probably hotter than he was right then—as he gently ran his hands over her. She quivered, arched into him, shook when he ran a finger between those adorable little cheeks.

"Please, touch me."

"I am touching you."

When he squeezed, she squealed, her skin raw and sensitive. The smell was so intoxicating he almost said screw the game and just took her right then.

"Touch me."

"What happened to the girl on the phone? The one with the filthy mouth? The one who told me what a sweet cunt she had?"

The flush of her skin was beautiful. He couldn't resist leaning forward, catching the bright red ear in his teeth, playfully tugging as she tried to shift his hands to where she wanted them.


"Is that what you called Dr. Leo?"

"Please, I need you to touch me."

"Here?" He kissed the small of her back, kissed the freshly marked skin that was so warm under his hands.

"Touch my pussy."

"Say please."


"All together now."

"Touch my pussy, please."

"Why didn't you just say so?"

She growled at him so he gave her one last smack between the thighs which had her moaning, "Be nice."

The inside of her thighs were already drenched and she felt like an inferno, soaked and needy.

"Yes, please, thank you," she murmured as he brushed his fingers against her. He was careful to keep the touches lights since she seemed so determined to go as fast as possible. She wanted more, but he liked watching her work for it. Nobody on the planet seemed to work as hard as Nessie.

"This isn't fair," she gasped.

"I thought you were being punished, Nessie. It's not supposed to be fair."

He leaned over her, reaching so she had his fingers against her lips, the other hand still rubbing her gently. She sucked a finger into her mouth. His throbbing cock appreciated the reminder, but he gently pulled his finger away. She kissed his palm, his wrist...there was a reason she lingered there, hot breath ticking his skin.

"Go ahead."

She didn't heed to be told twice. Her teeth were sharp; the bite was clean.

The smell of blood mingled with the smell of her sex. He suspected it was the smell that did it for her, because she had barely tasted the blood before she started shaking violently. Her grip on his arm was so tight he could keep her up, as his fingers didn't stop their relentless assault. Half moon markings ended up decorating his skin as her fingers dug in as she rode out the orgasm. Breathing came before blood, it seemed, because she stopped sucking on his wrist in order to lean back and let out the most perfect sort of growl.

When she finished, she slowly released his wrist. Then she rested against the desk, red ass up and her legs wide apart. Aside from the tiny bit mark, his wrist looked as good as new—which was good, because his wrist was the least of his concerns.

"You okay?" he asked, tugging her upright so her bottom was tight against his thighs, making her hiss; her nails dug into his thighs, holding him to her. She rubbed back, not helping his dick forget what it really wanted to be doing.

"So that's what you and Dr. Leo do, huh?"

She leaned back against him; he loved the feel of her weight against him, loved the feel of her hair against him, just loved her. Period.

"I think seeing me dressed this way almost gave him a heart attack. I think having me come in here and ask him to punish me would really kill him."

"Now you know what to do if he ever gets out of line."

She pulled away, tugging her skirt back down. Boo.

But she swatted away his hands and got the skirt in place. "You know, Seth, we haven't discussed your punishment yet."


"You didn't call."

"Yes, but—"

"Now take off your clothes."

"You haven't even locked the door."

She was going around to the other side of the desk, searching around in the drawers for something. Nessie was not impressed. "You're a werewolf—you have no shame. Take off your clothes."

"On behalf of my tribe, I'm offended." He still took off his clothes because…well, she was right. He really didn't care who saw him naked. And he was hoping she found whatever it was she was looking for.

"And sit down."

The chair looked solid enough to handle his weight, despite looking like it was centuries old. Which, Seth supposed, was a good thing because the ancient piece of furniture didn't have wheels.

"Here we go." She was beaming as she looked at him; it wasn't just because she had popped in some sort of mint candy (though he was grateful she was trying cover the blood).

"How come you know where he keeps his spare tie?"

"Because I'm a genius. And I spend all my time in this office. I thought he just…he doesn't matter. You should have called more."


"Shh..." Her finger was against his lips, barely touching him. He nipped at the digit, made her laugh, before she let him take it into his mouth, her fingers in his hair, her fantasies in his head. If this was how she wanted to get back at every old man who had told her what to do and then not been as infallible as she expected, then Seth would suffer through somehow. Probably by focusing on how hot she would look getting fucked on that desk.

"Close your eyes," she ordered. He dutifully listened; he let her wrap her professor's tie around his eyes until he couldn't see a thing. Maybe he could have, if he had opened his eyes, but it was a point of honour. Super powers—what did he need his sight for? He knew her well enough that he didn't have to see her.

"This is almost like the phone," he pointed out.

"And you seem to be enjoying it." Well, over the phone she hadn't been able to see that, nor rest her hand against him, applying just the tiniest hint of pressure. "We could have done more of this if you had called."

The hand disappeared. Her voice was a little further off; she had taken a step back so she was leaning against the desk again. Her voice wasn't nearly as light as she was trying to make it (there was a promise in there).

"And I'm sorry."

"Not good enough. Hush now. Listen."

Hands brushed against fabric, so slowly she almost wasn't making any noise. She was moving upwards, over the curves of her hip, up to her breasts, cupping them lightly, running her hands over the round flesh. Then he heard her nails tap plastic as she undid the top button of her blouse, followed by the next two.

"What about me did you miss?" she asked as she pulled her shirt from her skirt.


"Be more specific."

"I missed...that look on your face when you're planning something. I don't even know how to describe it, I just...I missed seeing that. And the way your hair frames your face and how your eyes close when you laugh and...everything, Nessie. The way you snore sometimes. The way you get quiet around strangers. The way you stick out your chest when you're mad."

"I do not."

"You do. It's adorable. And I missed seeing how hot when you're taking off your clothes."

He couldn't remember how many buttons the blouse had, but however many it was, Nessie had finished because he could hear the fabric being pulled apart. She was shrugging her shirt off. Her heels clicked against the floor as she walked towards him, letting the shirt trail against his skin.

Seth couldn't help it—she was right there. His arm snaked out, caught her waist, tried to tug her closer. Her hair brushed against his face as she laughed, swatting at his hand and pulling away.

"Just for that..."

Her shirt was completely off now. Seth didn't need to figure that out because she had used it to tie his offending arm to the chair. Lightly, so loosely he could probably get out without thought, but that wasn't the point. The point was that she was now running her hands up his arm and over his shoulder and back again.

"I missed the veins in your arm." She giggled. "How dumb does that sound? But I did. I love…just...it's so fascinating the way they stick out."

Her hair was against his shoulder as she surveyed him. Then she moved around him, nuzzling his neck, chest to his back as she leaned behind him. It wasn't hard to picture the way she would be bent over, ass in the air. He groaned when she ran her hands down his chest, then raked her nails back up.

Her teeth were pressed against her shoulder. She wanted to...but she didn't. She stepped back instead, leaving him there. His other hand almost went looking, but she was behind him and there was no way he could reach.

Instead, he had listen at the sound of metal detaching, as her bra slipped down her arms, as she stepped back towards him. She stayed out of reach, prancing around Dr. Leo's office, placing her clothing carefully on the desk.

"Come here," he begged. She listened, standing between his legs, hands on his thighs, teasingly bringing her lips close enough so he could feel her breath on his face but not close enough to touch. "Mean."

"You didn't ask."

"Can I kiss you?"

"You should have called."

Then he heard the sound of a zipper being undone. The pressure in his cock was unbearable, but it wasn't jeans doing that. It was the thought of Nessie slowly tugging her skirt down her legs. He could hear her stepping out of it, placing it on the desk, pulling herself on top of the desk too (she hissed a little; even vampire healing couldn't quite negate werewolf strength that quickly).

"Is this why you didn't call?" she asked. "Because you can't smell me over the phone?"

"That' s not fair, Nessie." She knew what the scent of her did to him.

"Life's not fair. It took me a long time to learn that one, actually, and every now and then I forget because everything in my life is almost more than fair and...I'm shutting up now."

"Don't. I like it when you ramble."

"I have more important things to do."

One of her heels was digging into the wood. And she was becoming cruel. He could hear flesh against flesh, hear her fingers sinking into her wetness, hear the way her breath was uneven, hear the way her heart was pounding. Under everything was the smell of her, calling him, telling him he had to be over there right that second. Life was meaningless unless he got over there just then, instead of just sitting still listening to her get herself off.

"This is why I hated the phone," he pouted. "I could hear you and I couldn't do anything about it."

She laughed, but she was slipping off the desk. It was overwhelming now, demanding he help her, sink into her, fuck her until they were too tired to do anything but curl up together covered in each other.

The pressure against his lips was unexpected and it almost made him jump. Almost. He was too busy greedily sucking her fingers into his mouth. She tasted even better in the dark, it seemed, where there was nothing to distract from the taste that was distinctly her. She sat down on his lap so fucking close, nuzzling his neck again.

"Please let me touch you."


So he listened, ran his hand up her bare back until he could thread his fingers through that thick hairs of her and pull her so her mouth was finally against him. The mint had helped a little, though he didn't care about the faint metallic taste because he could still taste her. He had forced her body against him more solidly, her too soft breasts pressed against his chest. Her nipples were pebbled against him and then she was so hot and wet against his dick it really wasn't fair.

Maybe she got that because her hands were reaching between them. Just feeling her hands on him was almost enough to send him over the edge (poor Dr. Leo) but she didn't hold him long. Just long enough to guide him into her.

And she was still too hot for words, bouncing on his lap, her nails again decorating his skin as she gave up every little pretence she had ever concocted so she would feel worthy and instead just was.

She was guiding his hand over her body, where the thinnest layer of sweat was starting to form (he had that effect on people) down to the heat between her legs. If his thumb moved slowly it was because he couldn't see—and he wanted to torture her a bit. But since he wasn't going to be able to take it, not when she was bombarding him with everything he had missed the past couple of months, all the ways she had passed the time missing him, he focused what little attention he had left on touching her clit until she was clamping down around him. He really couldn't deny her, so he came when instructed, emptying into her as she panted above him.

"Missed you, missed you," she murmured as she came, legs still too tight. He didn't mind. Didn't mind at all as long as he got to stay like this, with her weight against his chest, her body over his.

Her hands were shaking a little, but she pushed the blindfold off. Her face was flushed but as always she was more beautiful than he could imagine.

"I missed seeing how happy you can look," he murmured between kisses. "I could remember and I could imagine, but neither was good enough. I needed to be able to know you were really happy."

"I love you." It was all she said. It was all he needed to hear.

"We should get going," she remembered suddenly, climbing off him and setting about getting dressed with her usual efficiency. "We do have a long drive and Dr. Leonardssen could come back."

"You don't want to have sex on his desk first?"

"We can do that after Christmas." She was blushing and adorable, so he quickly undid her shirt and crept up behind her. She was giggling and kissing him (and sitting up on that desk, legs spread). "We have time."

Forever, in fact. So poor Dr. Leo's desk was spared. Mostly.

Then the two of them spent the next week discovering all kinds of things you could do in a minivan when you had twenty-four chromosomes.

The fact that Jacob was okay enough to let them stop off at his house to take a shower before they drove to the Cullens meant basically the world to Seth (and probably Nessie, if they way she just wouldn't stop hugging Jacob was any indication).

"Leah's not talking to me," Jacob said to Seth as Nessie cleaned herself up in the other room.

"She's not talking to me either. I'm sorry." But Seth wasn't worried about his sister. Leah always came through. She would be happy for him; she was just missing him already.

Jacob laughed. "I'm not. I think I had two happy thoughts in a row the other day."


"She'll get over it. She forgave me for having a crush on Bella—she'll forgive you for being in love with her daughter." Jacob's lips twitched. "Plus, she doesn't have a choice. Your mother has decided we're going to be happy for you."


"Oh yeah. Dad made the mistake of not liking the Cold Ones in front of her the other day and—I think it's safe to say your mother approves."

"Cool." The two men glanced at each other. "How did she do that?"

"She's Nessie." Jacob continued, "Besides, I figure if you can get Edward to be okay with this, then she can get your mom on board."

"I guess. Hey, Jake? Thanks."

"I'm still not happy about it," his Alpha said honestly. "I could use you around here and I wouldn't say no to keeping her here, either. But...I hope the two of you don't screw it up."

"Aw. You wanna give me a hug, too?"

Actually, Jacob did hug him. Told him to behave, too, and made him promise to visit because Jacob was not dealing with an angry Leah all by himself.

Edward avoided threatening them, just asked what sort of place they wanted to get. Seth let Nessie deal with that.

And then everything sort of clicked into place.

The new year saw their apartment materialize, someplace close to his work and her school; it wasn't as nice as she expected but she never complained. She even seemed to delight in having to fix up the place on a budget (Nessie liked numbers too; he had seen that coming). The work took twice as long because she insisted on being taught as they went and most of what he knew was second hand from his brothers and he wasn't very good at it himself. Still, they managed. And Nessie covered in paint turned out to be the hottest thing ever.

They still had moments where they thought the other was dead wrong, but she was good at compromising and he was good at realizing when backing down was worth more than being right. And they never stopped enjoying just listening to one another and that probably helped.

After she got her first doctorate, they lived in La Push for a couple of years, so he could be near his family. Her family took them on vacation with them all the time or showed up whenever they missed her (it was a lot). Bella never quite forgave Seth for not being Jacob, he thought, but they were still friends and Edward was awesome enough for ten people.

Eventually, Nessie started working all over the planet. He'd join her when it was allowed and they'd come home, eventually. When changing the world got to be too much for her he'd hold her when she'd cry in the darkness and promise to protect her from the nightmares. Then he'd make her take a day off to actually just hang out with the people she was trying to save (being a nurse meant he actually got to know her patients better than she usually did). She would thank him and curl up in his arms and start talking again, dreaming bigger than before.

And when he found it hard to remember the stories she somehow always just remembered that she had to return to Seattle right then and they would go home once more. It was rather unstable and always chaotic and he loved every second of it. She was like no one he had ever met in his life, but somehow she seemed to make perfect sense.

They were at his mother's house one day. He was catching up with Jacob and the guys in the back while she was talking to Charlie Swan and they were both enjoying a well-deserved break.

"I don't know how you've managed to survive her," Jacob said. "But I'm impressed. I always thought she'd chew you up and spit you up."

Seth decided to take that as a compliment.

"I'd be more worried about myself, if I were you," he warned Jacob.

"What's that mean?"

"My mother and Nessie have gotten to talking," Seth said. They were two of the three women he loved most in the world, but they still scared him with how impressive they were. He was glad they seemed to get along. "And they both agree that you, Jacob Black, and how you monopolize her time are the reason Leah hasn't found a guy and started producing children that she would of course untraditionally give the Clearwater family name. Thus, you, Jacob, are standing between Nessie and my mother being happy."

There was no need to clarify that Sue Clearwater and Nessie Cullen both had a tendency to amputate anything that annoyed them without anesthetics.

Jacob's face went pale. "What did you tell them?"

"What could I say? I had to agree you had kind of always been territorial."

That was for ordering Seth not to touch his girlfriend, it was for breaking his jaw and all the other injuries but most of all it was for not warning Seth that Nessie had grown up into this beautiful, wonderful woman when Seth wasn't looking. Maybe if he had been warned...he probably still would have been a dork. It had worked out for him, in the end.

That's why he let Jacob jump to his feet when Leah appeared.

"We need to go," said the leader of La Push.

"But I just got here."

"Just move, Leah. Please."

It was the please that swayed her, because Jacob didn't usually use manners around Leah. "Fine. We can talk about the budget. I am not happy..."

"Where did Jacob go?" Nessie asked a couple of minutes later when she came outside. "He's going to miss the hors d'oeuvres."

"Business," Seth lied for his Alpha cheerfully.


Then Nessie sighed and sat down on his lap as he reached around her for the food.

"Your mother has claimed the week of your birthday, so we'll meet up with Esme and Carlisle right after for a few days before I have to start work with Dr. Martinez. I'm still talking to the minister, but it doesn't look like they'll let you work in Indonesia. Dr. Martinez has some volunteer work he can get you, but I thought you would prefer to work in the orphanage for a while."

"Sounds fun."

"Good. Alice and Jasper have promised to visit us while we're there, so hopefully she'll get the kids new clothes, too. If I'm not asked to stay on Rosalie and Emmet want us to visit for a few weeks after, but even if something does come up, we'll be home in time for Claire's first day of high school, no problem."


"Seth? Were you even listening?"

Her smile was glowing, so he figured he wasn't in trouble; when he kissed her he just enjoyed the way she still melted into him.

"Mostly. You'll fill me in on the important stuff when it comes up. We're home for now. Let's just...deep breaths."

She laughed and rested her head on his shoulder.

"How come you're always right?"

"I think it comes from hanging around you for so long."

The End