As they waited in the dim living room, three feet apart, the clock struck twelve.

"Hey, we're not up that late," said Shikamaru, stifling a yawn. "Temari?"

Temari was snoozing on the sofa. Shikamaru looked at the sleeping kunoichi and smiled tenderly. He walked over to her and woke her up, shaking her shoulder. "Hey."

"Mmmm?"

"You wanna just bunk over for the night? I'll get you set up in my room, then I'll sleep out here or in the study."

"I'll get lonely," she mumbled dreamily, looking through misted eyes at him. Shikamaru swallowed. That was a picture he did not want to paint, not yet. He shook her again, a little more firmly. "Wake up, Temari, and then sleep in my room."

Temari sat up a little straighter. She examined Shikamaru's face, cast in shadow. Then she looped her arms about his neck and kissed him soundly on the lips.

"Oh no," Shikamaru muttered, pulling himself away through pure force of will, "not now. You won't even remember this in the morning."

"So if I can remember, you won't pull away?" Temari's voice was teasing.

Shikamaru narrowed his eyes. "That – just now was just an act, wasn't it?"

"Maybe."

Two can play at that game, Shikamaru thought as he approached the kunoichi. He grabbed her wrists roughly and pinned her down on the sofa. "Is this just a spot of fun for you, Temari?"

Temari's breath caught. All through the day and the evening they had been avoiding physical contact. Just now it had been a tease. Now the air space between them sizzled with anticipation.

"Let me go," she ordered. Her voice sounded wrong even to herself: husky and breathless. She swallowed the catch in her throat.

Shikamaru shifted his weight so he could look into her eyes while she wouldn't be able to read his expression. "No."

"Let me go now."

"Why should I?"
"Because you're a good boy," cajoled Temari. There was a hint of apprehension in her clear eyes, no longer clouded by misty dreaminess.

"I am not good and I am not a boy," said Shikamaru in a low voice, bending down to her. His nose was a shadow's width from her cheek."And you are a manipulative, troublesome woman who needs to be taught a lesson." He crushed her lips with a hard kiss.

She struggled to free her hands, to push him away, to fight back, but to her terror and thrill Temari discovered Shikamaru had added physical strength to his repertoire. He was stronger than she was. That was new. And exciting.

His lips were demanding, pressing against hers, and as she opened her mouth to protest he silenced her with his tongue.

It was not remotely like the teasing interlude she had initiated, almost a year ago, on the top of the Hokage cliff face. Shikamaru pinned her wrists above her head and switched to a one-handed grip. His right hand slid down her torso, and groped its way up beneath the loose tee shirt she wore. She tried to wriggle away but to no avail.

Temari gasped when Shikamaru pulled away from her lips. Before she could protest his treatment of her, Shikamaru's left hand let go of her wrists and joined its partner beneath the tee shirt. As his cool hands skimmed her skin, leaving fiery traces in their wake, she reached for Shikamaru's hands to pull them away. Then she realized she made a tactical error: her hands were outside her shirt while his were already teasing at the soft swell of her breasts. Her frantic grab had pushed his hands more firmly up against herself.

"Easy now, Temari," he crooned throatily. Again he anticipated her next move, intercepted her hands and proceeded to kiss her, long and tender this time, as his fingers began tracing patterns on her breasts. Temari felt lightheaded as he took his attentions to her neck, and his fingers flicked at her nipples. Her freed hands, desperate for an anchor, grabbed at him blindly and directed his face and lips to her collarbone. Now he had taken her right nipple and was rolling it between his fingers. His other hand slid behind her, to push her into his embrace. He licked along the curve of her neck to a spot just below her ear.

Temari moaned, leaning into the erotic caress. Shikamaru grunted and pulled away.

"We'll be more comfortable on my bed," he answered her mute query as she struggled to a sitting position. Before Temari could frame any reasonable argument to leave the apartment he had swept her up in his arms. Shikamaru grinned down at her and whispered, "You have some heft to you."

Temari colored. "Nara, if you're saying I'm fat -"

"No," Shikamaru interrupted her with a quick kiss – too quick for Temari – and lay her out on his narrow bed. "I like my women to be voluptuous and curvy. Both of which you are."

"Who are you and what did you do with the nice, innocent boy called Shikamaru?" demanded Temari throatily. She felt weak and not in control, both of which was repugnant to her nature. Yet, when he looked at her with those dark eyes, eyes like the shadows he plays about with...

"I told you, I'm not good and not a boy," said Shikamaru. "Definitely not gonna play nice, and as for innocent..." He licked her on her neck, the same spot he was concentrating on just now. He pushed her questing hands down. His hands slipped to her slim waist and, in one efficient motion, tore the tee shirt off from her. "I never liked that shirt anyway."

He straddled her, his knees on her palms so she wouldn't be able to push him off. He took his time taking off his own tee shirt, allowing himself a smirk when he saw her eyes roaming over his lean physique. He got off her hands but did not free her wrists; he rubbed his body against her, distracted her while he positioned her hands above her head. In the exact same position as they were on the battered green sofa in the living room.

"What are you doing, Nara?" demanded Temari breathily as he secured her wrists to the headboard with two cotton bandannas.

"Trust me," Shikamaru said and licked her nose. Temari wriggled, trying to free herself. "Uh-uh-uh, we're playing my way tonight. I'm in charge in my own home."

"Like hell you armmmmm..ooohhh." Her angry retort was channeled when his fingers began playing with her ample breasts and nipples again. She tried to twist out of his embrace. "Don't ... oh god, stop, Nara, don't... I can't..."

"Alright then, I won't stop," he whispered, his lips feather-soft on her skin. He shifted his mouth to take over from his fingers, while his hand got to work on the other breast. Her breathing quickened to little gasps. He groaned as she arched against him, and he divested himself of his pants and assisted her with the drawstring bermudas.

Her legs were clenched tight together. Shikamaru regarded Temari's face: a little fearful, a little anticipatory, a little embarrassed. He smiled up at her as he lowered his head to kiss her belly button, his tongue darting in the slight depression and earning him a surprised giggle. Encouraged by the response Shikamaru began kissing and licking her slightly rounded belly. He could feel her abdominal muscles tensing and relaxing into his efforts. His right hand slid down the side of her body and slipped in the small of her back; his left hand traced her skin down to her outer thigh and slowly drew into between her legs.

Temari almost cried out, but choked back the response. Her anxiety didn't go unnoticed; Shikamaru looked at her looking at him, and murmured softly a reassurance.

"Trust me, Temari, I'm not going to hurt you." His fingers were stroking her nether lips, his kisses and licks falling on her mound of Venus. She writhed and twisted, instinctively trying to convey what mere words could not phrase. Shikamaru's fingers slid between her labia, rubbing her clitoris: first slowly, then with pulsating urgency, then a change in pace and rhythm, then all over again until she was swimming with need.

Temari whimpered. She wanted to say something, to do something. She strained her arms to free her wrists, but Shikamaru knew his knots and she had to endure the exquisite torture he was visiting on her. Shikamaru's kisses trailed down to where his fingers were and his tongue proceeded to excite her to feverish pitch. His fingers clenched her pert butt, squeezing and releasing. She could feel her mind slipping; she was wet and hungry and eager and ready for so much more...

"God you taste amazing," he groaned as he drew himself up between her legs and his lips sought hers again. She could taste herself in his mouth. Her hips bucked and pushed at the weight above her body, and her legs wrapped about his hips. Her thighs tightened and unclenched in anticipation of an as yet unfulfilled desire. Temari was only vague cognizant that Shikamaru was as aroused as she was. His length pressed against her, but he restrained his impulse to take her in one quick thrust. He claimed her mouth again, rubbing his manhood against her clitoris; she was incredibly sensitive there. She writhed beneath him again, her gasps and moans no longer forming coherent syllables. But Shikamaru wanted something else.

"Do you want me, Temari?" he demanded, voice thick with barely contained want. He braced himself on his forearms, his fingers entwined in her sandy blond hair.

"Yes, oh Nara,... oaoohh, yes," breathed out Temari, her hands flexing and releasing. Her fingers scrabbled at the wooden headboard, aching to be involved.

Shikamaru felt the painful throbbing between his legs and decided that logic and rationality can go to hell. He slipped both hands under her and slipped into her warmth in one long, hard thrust.

Temari whimpered at the sudden shock of pain, but that was soon subsumed by Shikamaru's renewed efforts. They found their rhythm, lost it, and then found it again as his hips ground and pumped against her. She bucked and thrust at him, feeling her desire and love and passion mount within until it was a raging river of emotion. She screamed his name as she peaked, her back arching into his body.

Temari wanted, needed to hold him, to feel him beneath her hands, but it was he who clung to her as he climaxed with a choked cry. The chuunin held on to his woman as he drew shuddering breaths into his body, murmuring her name over and over.

He kissed her breasts and her lips tenderly, reaching up to undo the knots. He settled himself beside her on that narrow bed, their limbs entwined and their faces a breath away from each other.

"My wrists hurt," Temari said softly with a pout. She rubbed the sore joints and winced.

Shikamaru kissed her very tempting lips. He took the wrists and massaged them. "I'm sorry about that, Temari. I'll make it up to you for this, I promise."

"Hmmm..." Temari snuggled up to him. "Sounds promising... but why did you... y'know... tonight?"

Shikamaru reached around her and showed her the digital clock. It was just past midnight.

"The date, Temari. Look at the date."

"Twenty-second September," read Temari. Then she flushed. "You mean... the – the promise I said..."

"I remembered, Temari. And I kept mine for you as you kept yours for me," whispered Shikamaru with a smirk as his hands roamed her curves freely. "I was afraid you'd deny ever making that promise, so I decided to take things into my own hands."

Temari squirmed as he squeezed her butt. "And if I did deny the claim?"

"I'd take you just the same, Sabaku no Temari. Only harder, and faster, and more desperate, before you can think of killing me with that fan of yours."

"Show me then, Nara." Temari's breath caught in her throat again as she wrapped her arms about him.

Shikamaru grinned lopsidedly. "I love a challenge."