This is happening.

She put one foot in front of the other, willing herself not to do anything stupid like trip over her own socks. No sooner had the thought taken hold than she stumbled a little bit, caught herself, blushed furiously.

He snorted.

All in all, the walk to Logan's room was the bravest—not to mention most awkward, terrifying, downright exhilarating—thing Marie had ever done.

Suddenly, he took her hand in his, the warmth of the contact intense in the dark, chilly hallway. The silence strained as they shot each other glances, reading, calculating, searching. Marie squeezed. He squeezed back, gave her a half-smile, continued with his slightly rushed pace. She had never seen him like this. The air around him was positively snapping with nervous energy as he opened his door and tugged her into the room with him. He gave her hand an almost painful squeeze before dropping it and turning to shut the door.

If Marie didn't know better, she'd say Logan was stalling as he twisted the knob and pushed the door silently into its frame before releasing it, then set the deadbolts with two heavy clicks and the chain lock with a slow metallic slide. He must have installed the extra locks himself.

Probably shortly after he woke up from a nightmare to find a fifteen-year-old girl impaled on his claws.

His hands lingered on the locks, his back to her, the sound of their breathing harsh in the dim, quiet room.

Perhaps it was that sound that did it. Or maybe it was his wild pointy hair, or the muscles in his back and shoulders shifting fluidly under his worn grey wifebeater. Perhaps it was just her own mind finally catching up to itself after the roller coaster ride she'd put it through. Whatever it was, it hit her: this was real.

This was actually Logan. Not a knight in leather armor for her to worship from a distance. Just a man, up close and real. Full of flaws and insecurities and a never-ending need to prove himself, much like her. Just a man, who sometimes made poor choices, but had a much stronger sense of honor than he gave himself credit for. Just a man, lonely.

A good man. She wanted him, she did, and it would be worth all of the fear and awkwardness it took to get there. She blew out her cheeks, looking up briefly for courage, or perhaps just inspiration. None was sent down to her. As ever, she was a little bit scared of him and a lot in love with him and really, really attracted to him. And she knew that, as ever, this was going to be awkward, because she couldn't help but make everything awkward, it seemed.

This wasn't anything like the first time Bobby asked her into his room, all feigned innocence and thin pretense, and it certainly wasn't like the hazy dream of hers where Logan growled and ripped off her clothes and made her moan his name. This wasn't what she had fantasized about or hoped for.

It was so much more.

Finally, Logan drew an especially shaky breath, gave up the guise of fiddling with the locks, and turned. The tension rose a few notches, the mood of the room taking a decidedly anxious shift.

So. This was it. Fate. Kismet. Coincidence. For whatever reason, she and Logan had both woken up on the thirteenth of October at two in the morning, stumbled their way to the kitchen for drinks, and, not for the first time in their lives, changed each other forever with a simple touch.

Now here they were. Facing each other at arm's length. In Logan's room.

Arm's length. And he wasn't doing anything to rectify that.

This was the part in her fantasies where he went crazy with lust and started ripping off her clothes. And she just . . . kind of . . . laid there and enjoyed the ride. Some small part of her was still holding out hope that everything would suddenly turn dreamlike, that he would approach her slowly, all bulging muscles and hungry molten eyes.

He didn't.

Her gaze darted around, the muscles in her shoulders and neck growing tighter by the second. Dark, but definitely his room. Ceiling, floor, four walls and all. Thin stripe of light shining through the barely cracked bathroom door. Unmade bed against the adjacent wall.

Ho hum.

He didn't move, didn't speak. Was it just her, or was a lot of time passing? Moments were just ticking right by, and he was doing nothing, repeat nothing.

Marie wondered if she was supposed to make a move, say something, or wait for him . . . uhh, maybe there was a secret handshake? A password she could speak to get this show on the road? Why didn't health class cover these kinds of things? Should she do some stretches to warm up? What exactly did "come to my bed" mean, anyhow?

All she knew was that it sounded fucking hot the way he said it, like a promise to show her the best time of her life, those words setting a hundred butterflies loose in her stomach. She would have said yes to pretty much anything he requested right then, if he would just keep creating that hot melty feeling inside her body.

But now that she was here . . . what had she agreed to, exactly? She could really use his guidance right about now. Should she, like, get into the bed or something?

Time just kept ticking. Wa-was he having second thoughts? Her stomach fluttered in a whole different way. She felt like she was going to be sick.

Ohmygawd, Logan, say something, do something, PLEASE.

He just stood . . . and his mouth opened and closed a couple of times, floundering for words.

Oh, no way. Really? An odd giddiness rose up inside her. He was scared, choking up just as bad as her—

The air system kicked on loudly, and he jumped. Marie giggled.

Logan snapped out of it and glared at her, eyebrow inching up. "Somethin' funny?"

Marie's mouth opened to respond, aiming for the wittiest, most eloquent reply a person could possibly make in this situation. But somewhere between her brain and her vocal cords, some wires must have got crossed, because what came out in a trembling rush was, "Y'look more nervous than a sore-tail cat in a room fulla rockin' chairs."

Oh. My. Gawd. Shoot me.

His eyes crinkled. He stepped in close, looking down at her with all the fondness—the love—that she would have found hard to believe had she not absorbed it from his own mind. He swallowed audibly, shook his head in amusement. His voice sounded especially deep, this close: "Guess I am." Then he wove both of his big, hot, damp, trembling hands into her hair.

The gentle push of his fingers tilted her head, and he expertly angled his mouth over hers. The warm press of his lips slowly reawakened the heat in her belly. Her skin seemed to be cooperating, so she pressed back, then darted her tongue out, tasting the sweetness of her tea mixed with the crisp, slightly bitter taste of his Canadian lager. A perfect contrast. Yum.

At her tentative lick, he groaned, long and deep, rumbles vibrating through her like the purr of the motorcycle she sometimes rode with him. Oh, that was nice. Lots of tingling, from the crown of her head to the tips of her toes. He pulled her deeper into the kiss, and she heard a sweet keen of approval, thanking her body for knowing how to make that sound without any conscious help.

"Mmm, feels nice, doesn't it, baby?" he whispered into her mouth, making her whole stomach clench with arousal. Her body seemed to get a few degrees hotter. Oh yeah, feels more than nice—this was worth all the fear it took to get here. He pulled back a little, the brush of his lips now feather-light and teasing. "Your lips taste sweet," he mumbled, removing one hand from her hair. She nearly whimpered a protest—until the hand dropped to rub circles on her lower belly. Oh God. She melted. His confidence seemed to grow as she made little noises of approval, gripped his sides to steady herself, and continued responding eagerly to his kiss.

Then she was doing more than just responding. Marie caught his lower lip between hers, suckled, and felt her heart do something giddy at the hitch in his breath. She had the overwhelming desire to make him feel good, show him how much she cared, show him she was trying to do this right. She wove her fingers through his hair like before, scratched his scalp, got the happy groan she wanted.

Yes. More of that. Please him. Make him happy.

She domineered the kiss, licking and nipping anxiously at his lips, needing his approval, and relishing the way he responded to her. She never thought she would be like this towards a man, but every surprised, pleased, and hungry sound he made was music to her ears. It was a heady drug, his pleasure. The knowledge that she caused it. Her hand meandered to the button of his jeans, but he gripped her wrist, moving her up to the safer territory of his chest. She was grateful for that. He wouldn't let her do anything foolish. This was safe, finally safe with him.

So Marie ignored him when he tried to draw her lower lip between his, pulled free of him and then dove in again, went right back to her eager teasing. Please him. Make him crazy.

Logan growled. His hand tightened in her hair and he stepped into her, backing her up until her legs hit the bed. His tongue took advantage of the distraction, slipping out for a taste. When she tried stubbornly to steal control of the kiss again, he pulled her hair in warning, drove his thick denim-clad thigh between her legs, and rubbed, his erection pressing hot and hard into her hip.

Oh. She whimpered, leaning all her weight into him when her legs went weak. He rubbed again. Oh fuck yes. Her hands roamed all over his upper body, looking for something to latch onto, to anchor herself. He went back to nibbling and worrying her lip, and she didn't have the presence of mind to do anything but enjoy it. The whole world was spinning, gravity pulling her in strange directions. It was as if she'd gotten drunk on the taste of lager in his mouth.

Logan pulled her hair a little harder, one hand slipping under her pajama top to stroke firmly up her stomach. Up, up, up—until his fingers reached the underside of her breast. He tensed for a long moment. So long that Marie moved her hands in his hair, then down his neck, mewling her displeasure as she gripped at his shoulders and chest insistently, half-consciously showing him what she wanted.

His leg stilled and his fingers teased over her ribs, refusing to go any higher. He muttered into her mouth, "Relax, baby, we got plenty of t—"

She squirmed against him, whimpering, trying to get his touch where she wanted it, and finally resorted to breaking their kiss. "Please," was all she could manage before the sudden rub of his thigh sent another jolt of pleasure through her, and his lips caught hers once more, muffling her gasps and whimpers in the moist heat of his mouth.

She wasn't sure whether he misunderstood what she wanted or needed to calm himself down or was just getting her back for controlling the kiss, but his hand abandoned her chest and moved around to her back. Marie gave up, her own hands settling back into their comfy spot in his hair as he kept up the delicious movements of his thigh, his big hand tracing warm paths up and down the expanse of her back. Mostly down. His palm settled on the small of her back, and she broke the kiss again, this time by accident, with a sharp gasp.

"Aha, thought you'd like that," he said with a chuckle, pulling back to watch her reaction as he continued rubbing the heel of his palm into that spot, in time with the rough slide of his leg.

Her eyes clenched shut and she twitched, gripping his thigh convulsively, and just like that she was on the brink of ecstasy.

"Oh," he sounded surprised but excited. "You like that a lot."

Her throat had seized, her voice the barest whisper: "Oh—oh God, yessss . . ."

He took away the pressure of his hand, and her eyes opened just in time to see his eyebrow flying up to his hairline. "God? God? Uh, no. He ain't the one stickin' this," he gripped her hips and ground her against his thigh, "between those pretty little legs. So why don't you try that again?"

She laughed in exasperation, in desperation, her hands clenched tightly at his scalp. Her entire body was tight as a bowstring. So close. She'd do anything to make him put his hand back in that spot. Too far gone to be self-conscious, she locked her eyes with his. "Logan, please," she begged, loving the way it made his hips jerk into her.

He did a poor job of sounding unimpressed as he ground against her one more time. "You can—aghhh—do better."

No, no , no that delicious tension was starting to slip away. She planted little open-mouthed kisses all over and around his mouth. Her voice hardly seemed her own, a strange mix of begging and demanding: "Damnit Logan, put your hand back, please. So close, I need—"

"You need me. Aw, fuck yeah. That's more like it, baby," he growled, reclaiming her lips and touching her again in that spot that made something quiver all the way up and down her spine—goddamn, but it was good. How had she and Bobby missed this? She quickly pushed away the thought of Bobby, not wanting to let him enter her mind right now, even if it was only to contrast how much better this felt with Logan.

It was easy to push the past aside now. Logan, so good. His kisses, the things he said, how his body radiated heat into hers. She could feel his urgency growing with her own, with that heat, and his kiss began to change . . . . hard and wet and sliding and wow.

Marie gripped the front of his shirt and hung on for dear life, the feelings in her all sweeping up towards that crescendo again. She was absolutely content to let him control the kiss now, opening under him when the tip of his tongue demanded entrance.

She might have wished that hand he fisted in her hair would pay some attention to her aching breasts, but she couldn't summon the will to complain. She was lost, the friction building as she dared to move a little, back and forth against his thigh. She sobbed his name—Oh! His hips bucked into her again, the force of it lifting her off the ground for a second. Oh, he liked that. She tried to file away everything that he liked, start building up her own personal "How to Please Logan in Bed" manual, but it was a little hard to concentrate with the bolts of pure ecstasy shooting up and down her body.

He traced an intricate maze over the roof of her mouth, moaned into her, and smiled against her lips when he managed to pull a shameless moan from her in response. She was absolutely gone, drunk on him.

He mumbled words into her mouth between kisses, his voice growing thready and strained: "Yes, baby. So close. Do it. Come for me." Something about the tone of his voice, eager yet so in control . . . Do it. Come for me. She climbed her way to a precipice, and the sudden aggressive thrust of Logan's tongue into her mouth, more demanding, more needy than ever before, shoved her right over the edge.

It felt like she was falling—no, she really was falling, landing on the soft bed, springs creaking and Logan's thigh had become Logan's fingers, somehow under her waistband and rubbing bare skin. So intimate, wet and hot and pressing a little harder and rougher than she wanted on her extra-sensitized flesh—it was perfectly imperfect, just what she craved, his eagerness for her. She convulsed under him again, eyes screwed shut. Her back arched up and she fisted her hands in the sheets. Soft, wordless, helpless sounds spilled out of her as her body twitched and shuddered.

"Look at me. Say my name." His voice was a distracted mumble, more gentle reminder than command. Teaching her what he liked, what he needed. One finger plunged into her, giving her still desperately twitching muscles something to grip.

She gasped at the penetration. Oh, fuck, that was good. She couldn't force her eyes to open, but she complied with his second request, managed to sob his name a couple of times before she slipped back into oblivion, "Logan, Logan, oh I love the way you, nnnnghhh."

Another finger joined the first, stretching her, impossibly drawing out her climax, working her through the last of the aftershocks better than she could have worked herself. She came down slowly under his touch.

Sated. Utterly boneless.

Wow. Man was a genius.

"You are fuckin' beautiful, Marie," he said, kissing her eyelids. Her heart melted. Oh yeah. Definitely a genius. Certifiable Einstein, having figured out a way to be so strong and yet so tender, to say a thing like that and make her believe it, even in the state she was in. She made a note to herself to brush her hair and be wearing something, anything, sexier than thermal pajamas the next time she wound up in his bedroom.

Next time. The thought made her heart do that slightly giddy thing again.

Marie realized his fingers were still inside her when they suddenly moved again, shifting until she tensed, then yelped at the hint of pain. He hushed her with a brief kiss, started to pull his fingers out, but then surged forward and pressed one more time as if he just couldn't resist. He swallowed her second yelp eagerly and finally pulled his fingers out.

Ow, that wasn't very nice. She was about to ask him for an explanation, but lost focus when he sat up, laving his tongue all over his hand and in between his fingers, in a way that made her feel a little grossed out but even more turned on. He licked his lips and beamed at her. "Mmmm. Good girl. Oh, fuck yes. I had hoped . . . didn't know if you and that little prick Bobby—grrrrrghhh . . . but no, of course not. You wouldn't. You waited for me. Grrrrrghhh. Gonna make you all mine." A really strange inflection slipped into his voice, especially on that last word. He pulled her into a crushing embrace and buried his face in her hair, breathing deeply in a way that gave Marie the impression he was smelling her.

Oh. Well okay, Marie thought, kind of turned on in spite of herself. She got her arms around him, returning the hug even though it twisted her body awkwardly. There was something about that possessiveness . . . mine . . . that made her stomach start doing strange jittery things again. She had wondered about it a little before, figured Logan's feral mutation would have some influence on his—now their—sex life. She just expected it to stay . . . a little less talky and more growly, she supposed. She wondered how to respond, what she should say.

She hadn't exactly waited for him in particular, but hey, it had worked out that way, and he really, really seemed to like that idea, if the change in his breathing and the little breathy growls slipping out were any indication. Fate. Luck. Kismet. Whatever. She wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth, would much rather have him excited about her inexperience than disappointed that she didn't know all kinds of . . . special tricks and . . . ways to bend and . . . things.

Not that she didn't read Cosmo. But she figured reading about something and actually doing it were two very different things. She couldn't even figure out how to assemble a bookshelf from the instructions.

And those instructions had pictures.

"Say you're mine," he mumbled into her hair.

Oh. Well, that was about as clear as instructions could get. "Okay. I'm—I'm yours," Marie replied, and then realized the words were true. This time it was more like a thousand butterflies let loose inside her.

He nuzzled into her, squeezing her tight. Very tight. And then her hair was pulled away and he was kissing her neck. She sighed happily. The soft, hot, open-mouthed kisses mixed with the scratch of his whiskers and she figured she'd be raw tomorrow, but it felt too good to make him stop. And then kissing became nipping, and her whole body started getting hot again. All of a sudden he seemed to find a spot he really liked—his teeth closed over her particularly hard, and he worried that same spot of flesh for a good minute, sucking.

An odd grunt, half-pain, half-pleasure, came up in her throat. It seemed to set him off, because a tremble went through his whole body, and then he was pulling her more fully against him and rubbing his hardness into her through their clothes. Marie accepted him, hugged him and didn't try to get away from his too-tight arms around her back, even if it was a little tough to breathe. She let his hips buck up into her heat, let him growl and snarl into her skin, sometimes wordless, sometimes her name, profanities and deities and a few words she'd never heard before. He still seemed unable to trust that she wasn't going anywhere, because he kept one crushing arm around her back while he fumbled between them. He got his fly open one-handed, and then there was only one layer of cloth between them, and it was hot and hard and friction and, "Unnnghhhh . . . so good, Logan. You're so good . . ."

That seemed to set him off even more, and he buried his face in the crook of her neck and convulsed against her, grunting something like "M'rie," spasms rocking his body, squeezing her to him so tightly she thought she might break. She could feel his and her warm, sticky wetness mixed on the crotch of her thermals, and interestingly enough, she didn't dislike them quite so much anymore. She had a feeling Logan didn't, either, as he came down from his climax, rocking into her, still twitching a little spastically.

She got her hand free and patted it over his sweat-dampened temple, the only place she could reach with his face still buried in the crook of her neck. This was so different from the nights she fumbled around with Bobby, but a little the same, too, and she was glad. Glad that even grown men had insecurities and nervousness and then a frantic eagerness that was difficult for them to control. Or maybe not all grown men. But Logan. And that was all that really mattered to her.

Finally, he drew a few deep, shaky breaths, and laved the flat of his tongue over the mark he had made. She hissed.

He eased his grip, rubbing his hands up and down her back. He whispered in her ear, "You . . . you're okay, right?"

She laughed softly. "A little more than okay," she reassured him.

He planted another kiss to that tender spot on her neck. "I didn't hurt you? Got . . . carried away. M'sorry, baby. Might leave a mark."

She just laughed again, hugging him tighter. "Might? You knew good and well that would leave a mark, mister." Jeesh, what did he think, she was an idiot? She'd gotten a few hickeys, even after Bobby. But she figured maybe she shouldn't tell that to Logan.

He simply shrugged, not bothering to deny her accusation. A moment of silence stretched, and Marie wasn't sure if it was awkward or not. It was Logan who broke it, "Oh. Here, let's get those off." He pulled back, got a hand in her waistband, and tugged at her pajama bottoms.

Marie suddenly felt nervous. "Oh—I don't—um, have anything on under . . ."

He stilled his hand. "S'Okay. I'm not pushin', sweetheart. Here, you slip under the sheets and take'em off, okay?"

Marie was still somewhat nervous, even though she knew that was silly. She'd practically had sex with Logan, just now. But it was . . . well . . . it was different, without clothes on. Still, the rapidly cooling sticky patch was not something she wanted against her sensitive skin. She scooted up the bed, surprised to feel herself a little choked up at the simple way Logan helped her straighten the sheets and tug them into place.

She wanted to thank him, for being so sweet like that, for making her feel so good, for saving her life and for not leaving her on the roadside when she was a half-starved little runaway. But she didn't think she'd be able to say those things without bursting into tears, and there had been enough tears, no more tonight. So she just tugged off the damp, sticky thermals along with her socks, dropped them to the floor beside his bed, and pulled the covers up a little more. She turned on her side and propped herself up on one elbow, looking over at Logan who was still sitting near the edge of the bed, turned from her in an attempt to discreetly tuck himself in and do up his fly.

Marie realized there had been no boxers, and certainly no Captain America tighty whities underneath. She had to ask. "Do—do you sleep in bluejeans, Logan?"

He flashed her a grin, answered frankly, "Usually I just sleep in sheets." But he kept his jeans and shirt on as he crawled up the bed, laying himself out on top of the sheets beside her. The mattress dipped so much under his weight that Marie rolled onto his chest. She certainly didn't mind, though. And he didn't seem to either, especially when she dared to tug down the fabric of his wifebeater and press her lips to his bare skin. His heavy arms fell over her back and he let out a sigh that sounded content to Marie.

She figured she could fall asleep like this, wrapped in the sheet. She tucked her ungloved hand under the pillow behind his head, let the gloved one settle onto his chest above the neckline of his shirt. She sprawled over him, listening to his steady breathing, growing warm and drowsy. And then it was easy, muffling her voice in his warm skin, feeling safe and sleepy enough to say most of what she wanted to say: "That was good, Logan. I liked . . . how you touched, and kissed, and . . . things you said . . . I liked it."

He rose up a little, kissed the top of her head before settling back into the pillows. "I noticed." His fingers brushed the small of her back again, and he chuckled conceitedly at the shudder that went through her. "How good?"

It took a minute for the question to register in her sleepy thoughts. Hmm. Uh, on a scale of one to ten? How was she supposed to answer that? She burrowed a little deeper into his chest. "Ummm . . . really good?"

He seemed content with that answer. "Good. You just tell me what you want, Marie, and I'll do it." His hands started roaming over her back. "Wanna make you happy."

He settled her body more fully over his, and she nuzzled into his chest, loving the fact that she could hug him, hold him, be with him like this now . . . she was sure there were a dozen new insecurities and fears that would creep in with the morning light, but for now it was just really, really good. "I'm happy," she said. She paused for a moment, working up her courage. "Wanna . . . make you happy, too."

Marie didn't know if he had heard the hint of nervousness in her voice, how much she needed to hear his words, but he answered her question perfectly in his sated, drowsy rumble: "Already have, Marie. I'm happy."


A/N: The (happy) end. I have a sequel in mind for this story, after I finish another work in progress. Thanks for reading :).