AN: Phew, got this all up before my vacation. I'm leaving tomorrow and won't be home until Monday so the timing worked out great there. So here it is, the final chapter!

Chapter 8

The fact that Audrey had never seen the inside of Nathan's bedroom before was the furthest thing from her mind at that moment. He pulled her flush to his body again as he walked her slowly toward the bed, his lips working a relentless pattern over her shoulders and neck. When her legs bumped the mattress he lowered her down, his movements gentle if slightly awkward.

Once she was stretched out across the bed he knelt above her, his lips teasing the hollow of her throat. She laced her fingers through his hair, trying to bring him back up to level with her, but he smirked against her skin as he grabbed her wrists. "You really have no self-control, do you?" he murmured into her neck, lifting her hands away and laying them on the mattress above her head. She made a soft noise of protest at both the restraint and the way he turned her own words against her. "No, not this time, Parker," he said. "This time I want you to be the one to just enjoy for a bit, okay?"

She was about to argue again, but then he dragged the tip of his tongue over the sensitive patch of skin behind her ear and the only noise that escaped her was a moan. He nipped lightly at her earlobe and then whispered, "Just trust me, Audrey." And with that every ounce of tension left her body, because she did trust him, completely. She didn't have to worry about being in charge, or putting on a brave and confident front with him. With him she could just be.

Nathan began moving again, down the column of her throat to her shoulder. He followed that to her arm, kissing steady trails up her left arm, through the crook of her elbow all to way to her wrist. He paid special attention to her hands, mapping the curves and lengths of each individual finger with his lips until she began writhing underneath him. With a smile he started back down her arm just as slowly, across her collarbone until he reached the right shoulder. Then, to her combined enjoyment and frustration, he worked the same deliberate pattern up her other arm, this time lingering at the shallow dip on the inner curve of her wrist.

When he'd finished with her arms, he headed downward again. He swept along the hollows beneath her collarbone down to her breasts. These he examined thoroughly, feeling both the way they fit into his hands and the way the nipples fit his mouth. He tested her nipples with his fingers and his tongue, seemingly fascinated by the reaction to his touch. It wasn't until she bucked wildly under him and he had to disentangle her hands from his hair again that he finally moved on.

Tracing his way down the valley between her breasts, he moved to her stomach. He tasted along the faint lines of muscle through her abdomen. He nipped at her sides, making her whimper, and investigated a thin scar along her waist before his tongue traced the waistband of her jeans. Audrey moaned and twisted into the touch. She felt his lips curve and then his hands busied with the button of her jeans. Audrey lifted her hips to make it easier for him to slide them off. He eased them down, laying kisses along her left leg as he did. When he dropped them on the floor he started back up the inside of her leg with slow, steady movements. The higher he got the harder it was for her to control herself, and his lips, surprisingly soft considering how often he chewed at them, slid against her sensitive skin. Just as he'd reached the height of her leg, he switched to the other and started back down again. She couldn't fight the groan of frustration that escaped her.

As much as she was annoyed by the ministrations, she also understood what he was doing. He was memorizing her body. Using the sense of touch that only she could provide him, he was laboriously exploring every inch of her body to find the way the different areas of skin felt. She loved that she could give that to him. But his painstakingly slow motions were making it extremely difficult to keep her self-control when all she wanted to do was tear his jeans off and pin him to the mattress for the rest of the weekend. Or the month.

Nathan's lips travelled back up the outside of her right leg until he reached the cotton waistband of her underwear. His fingers hooked beneath the fabric and Audrey practically cried with relief as he dragged them down the length of her legs to join the jeans on the floor. His head came back to the apex of her thighs and she barely realized what was happening before his tongue stroked up her slick skin.

A strangled gasp slipped out of her as she bucked into him instinctively, her eyes rolling upward as the wave of pleasure surged through her. His firm hands pressed down on her hips, holding her in place, as his tongue went back to work. He plunged in and out of her, tasting her with just as much dedication as he had the rest of her body. Audrey moaned as he sent wave after wave of energy through her nerves, until she was nearly whimpering. She couldn't take much more of this, the way his moist tongue lapped at her sex until she couldn't see straight.

"Nathan, please," she groaned when every muscle in her body felt like it had coiled so tightly she'd never be able to move again. One of his hands moved down from her hip and he thrust two fingers deep into her, and she crashed over the edge with a half-scream.

When she finally opened her eyes again, still panting heavily, Nathan had crawled up to hover above her again. She placed her hands on his waist and grabbed the belt loops of his jeans. "These have got to go," she purred, her legs still shuddering slightly from the aftershock of her orgasm. Nathan smirked at the comment but obligingly sat up on his knees and slid off the last of his clothes.

As he loomed above her, kneeling between her outstretched legs, she had never seen him so confident. While he was generally self-assured about work, when it came to more social aspects his attitude was more doubtful and self-deprecating. But here and now, positioning himself to join with her on the most intimate level, he looked - sure. Like a man who had found his place. And she realized that sense of home and belonging that he gave her might be exactly the same for him.

His firm pressure paused just short of entering, the hardness pushing lightly against her warm sensitive skin, and a groan rumbled in the back of her throat. "Audrey," he said, and the tenderness beneath the ragged edge caught her by surprise. She opened her eyes and glanced up into his sincere, dark-eyed gaze, struck dumb by the intensity. "I love you," he said pointedly. "I just realized I hadn't said it yet, and I wanted to make sure you knew."

Audrey smiled and a whole new type of heat rushed through her. "I know," she whispered in reply. She pulled his face down to crush their lips together fiercely, and in the same movement coiled her legs around his waist and lifted her hips so he was buried deep inside of her. Nathan gasped into her mouth, a tremor running down his body, and then he seemed to recover from the shock. He took both of her wrists in one large hand and held them against the mattress above her head, leaving her neck and shoulders bared to his lips.

It was a whole new sensation for her, not being the one in control of the situation, but despite being a little unsettling, it wasn't unpleasant. His grip on her wrists was loose, giving her the chance to escape if she needed to, like he just innately understood her uneasiness. That in itself was more comforting than anything else she had known, and she surrendered herself to his whims.

While his hips rocked a steady pace against her, Nathan's mouth teased at her shoulders and neck, sending pleasant little jolts through her. He toyed with her ear for a moment and then ducked his head to her breast, taking a nipple into his mouth. She let out a low keening noise as he sucked lightly at the rosy tip and the tension boiling in her stomach curled tighter. His mouth switched to the other breast, the speed of his hips picking up just slightly and this time it was his name that came out on her breathless noise. "God, Nathan."

At this his hand released her wrists, moving down to fist in her hair. He used it to tilt her head back more, completely exposing her neck, and he nipped a random pattern over the skin, salving the stinging bites with soft kisses. Her freed hands jumped to his body, one gripping the back of his neck, urging him wordlessly to continue. The other settled on his hip and she drew him harder and faster into her.

The arm that was supporting him slid beneath her back, causing her body to arch up over it, and with the new angle he drove straight into her g-spot. She gave a strangled shout as her body lurched into him. Nathan pulled back and then thrust harder, and her toes curled in the duvet as the thrumming heat and energy surged through her. "Nathan," she moaned, and then he thrust again and all thoughts of coherent English left her. He was hot and hard inside of her, filling her and pounding into her most sensitive spot, and the pressure building below her waist was maddening. She was going to snap.

"Audrey," Nathan whispered huskily against the pulse point in her throat. And she somehow knew exactly what he was saying with that one word, that it was their time.

"With me?" Audrey asked, unable to form the complete sentence. She could feel him, full and ready, inside her. He had to be close as well.

"Always," Nathan replied, and that one word, one promise, sent her flying off the edge. She shouted his name as the waves broke over her, and through the pounding in her ears she could hear him gasping hers. They jerked against each other for a few moments, riding out the last of their orgasms, and then Nathan's body went limp above her, his shaking arms the only thing keeping him from crushing her. After a few more seconds to catch his breath he careful disentangled himself from her, a motion that made them both gasp again, and then collapsed down on the blanket beside her.

Audrey rolled over and curled against his side, burying her face in the curve of his shoulder, and he wrapped his arms around her. They didn't talk, but they didn't need to. They just laid in the silent afterglow for several long minutes until Audrey felt the adrenaline sweeping out of her, leaving her eyelids heavy. When she yawned against his chest, Nathan chuckled but dragged the duvet out from beneath them, pulling it up over their bodies. When he'd settled on the bed again she immediately wrapped herself around his side again, twining her legs around one of his and splaying her arm over his chest. She wanted him to feel her there, to feel that same comfort of contact and warmth that she was feeling.

"I like this," Nathan murmured quietly, one of his hands tracing lazy patterns on her back.

"Me too," Audrey admitted. She wouldn't thought she would like it. She never had been one for much physical contact but it felt different with Nathan. Everything was different with him. She placed a quick kiss on his chest before laying her head down again.

Audrey had nearly nodded off when Nathan finally spoke. "Duke's going to be insufferable now," he said thoughtfully. "Or more so than usual."

"What makes you say that?" Audrey asked curiously, glancing up at him through her lashes.

"He and Evie had a bet going on us," Nathan answered off-handedly. Audrey lifted her head to see his face better, her eyebrows coming together in surprise. "About if we'd get together, or something like that."

"How do you know?" Audrey asked suspiciously.

Nathan snorted. "Subtlety never was Duke's strong-point," was his response. Audrey rested her chin on his chest as she thought back over the last week. Now that she paid attention, both of the Crockers really had been taking the opportunity to ask a lot more questions about her personal life. She thought at first it was just friendly ribbing, since they knew about she and Nathan and their friends-with-benefits status, but now she saw it for what it really was: fishing for information.

"I can't believe it," she said, shaking her head. Then she paused and added, "Well, okay, actually I can believe it. Just surprised I didn't figure it out before. Should we deal with them?"

"We'll deal with them on Monday," Nathan said, tightening his arms around her and burying his face in her hair. "For now, I just want to stay here. We've got the weekend ahead of us, with no council meetings or work shifts, and I want to enjoy it. With you."

Audrey smiled and closed her eyes, listening to the rhythmic thumping of his heartbeat against her ear. This was where she wanted to stay too. She knew it wouldn't happen, that they'd eventually have to go back to work and fight more Troubles and face more questions with answers that never made sense, but they would always have this to come back to at the end of the day. "I love you, Nathan," she breathed sleepily.

"You too, Parker," Nathan replied and pressed a gentle kiss to the top of her head. "Always."