Rachel's surprised to hear from Noah. They used to be friends, but they don't really talk any more. In fact, it's been years since they've spoken at all. When he calls her out of the blue and asks if she'd be willing to put him up for a week while he looks for his own place in the city, you could knock her over with a feather.

"What about-"

"Don't ask about Quinn," he interrupts tersely, then lets out a heavy sigh. "We broke up. Which is part of the reason that I'm moving. Most of it."

"I'm sorry to hear that," Rachel says quietly before biting down on her tongue to keep herself from asking all the questions in her head. It's not like she has the right; they don't talk at all, and they've certainly never talked about his relationship with Quinn. Noah wasn't even the one who told her about his relationship with Quinn; her dad passed it along with the rest of the gossip from Lima he still thinks she's interested in after years of being away.

"Yeah, well." He sighs again, and she imagines that he's rolling his eyes when he says, "I'll tell you everything when I see you, okay? Can I crash on your couch?"

"Of course you can stay with me. I'm happy to have you."

He promises to call her with his travel information once he has everything arranged, and even though he won't be here for two weeks, she finds herself cleaning up her living room after she's hung up like he might notice the handful of magazines scattered across the coffee table. It's silly, but she feels restless now, just thinking about seeing him. Thinking about him at all, really.

She hasn't seen Noah since the last time she went back to Lima for the summer, after her freshman year at NYU. It's sort of mind-bending to realize that was seven years ago, because it feels like ages ago and like no time has passed all at once.

She meets him at the airport when he flies in from Denver. He looks different, better, though she didn't really think that was possible. His hair is longer than when she saw him last, and she thinks his arms might be just a bit bigger, but what she's really noticing that there's something different in his face. (And not just the scruff on his jaw, which is stupidly sexy.) He just looks...well, older, frankly, but not in a bad way. More mature.

He pulls her into a one-armed hug, his bag slung over his other shoulder, tweaking the curled ends of her hair when he pulls away. "You look good," he tells her, and she smiles because it sounds so simple and sincere.

"So do you."

She's dying to ask about Quinn. She's spent the last two weeks thinking about what might have happened between them. She's shameless enough to have called and asked her dad - who is without a doubt the gossip in the family - if he knew anything about their breakup, but he failed her. Anyone else who might know, she's lost touch with. For all of their talk about being a family and loving one another, Rachel doesn't think very many of the members of New Directions are still in contact with one another, with the exception of Noah and Quinn, who are (or were) together, and Santana and Finn, who wound up married (an odd couple if there ever was one) and living in Dallas of all places.

Instead, she spends the entire cab ride from the airport to her place making small talk about his trip and telling him about the show she's in workshops for, forcing herself not to twist the end of her scarf in her fingers nervously like she knows she's in the habit of doing.

He's standing on the sidewalk watching her when she finishes paying the drive, head cocked to the side. "What?" she asks.

"Just ask already, Rachel," he tells her, grinning a little. "I know you're dying to."

God, she really is. "I don't want to be rude, and I'm not going to pressure you into talking about it if you aren't comfor-"

"We hadn't had sex in, like, a year, and I couldn't take it any more," he interrupts bluntly. She's not the blushing virgin she once was, but she still feels her cheeks flame. He's saying this in the middle of the sidewalk, after all. "And I kind of fucking hate Denver, so I ended shit."

She presses her lips together for a moment. "Oh." She fights it, tries to keep her mouth shut, but then, "A year?"

Noah smirks. "Right?"

Rachel's thinking about all the possible excuses to offer to a man you're dating - living with, sharing a bed with - to avoid having sex for an entire year. It's baffling to her, as is the fact that Quinn is sleeping next to this man every night and not touching him.

She decides that two things are probably true. First, Quinn Fabray is still a crazy bitch (a thought Rachel's kept to herself for years, thank you very much), and second, Quinn is cheating on Noah and likely has been for some time, more than likely. Wisely, she keeps these thoughts to herself and just takes Noah up to her sixth floor apartment.

It occurs to her, while they're standing in the elevator, that it's probably more than just sex that cause this breakup, and she wonders if she'll get the story out of him while he's here or if she'll have to wait to wear him down once he moves.

Because at some point, she's getting this story. Honestly.

She hasn't told him yet, but she's going to take the couch and give him her bed while he's here. She's significantly smaller than he is, which makes sleeping on the couch significantly more comfortable for her. Besides, a good host always offers her best to her guests, and the bed is simply better than the couch.

"Fuck that," he says when she tells him that. "I'm not kicking you out of your bed."

"You aren't," she argues. "I'm offering. Insisting, actually."

"Rachel, the only way I'm sleeping in that bed is if you're in it with me," he says flatly.

"We can argue about that later," she tells him simply. Inside, she's thinking about how strange it is that Noah was able to say those words without turning them into an innuendo.

He goes to meet with a realtor while she goes to a rehearsal, and she almost manages to forget about him for a few hours.

Except when the director starts working with the chorus on a particular musical number, she has some down time, and...well, she's started thinking about that night they spent together all those years ago, something she tries not to let herself do. She only thinks about it sometimes. And really, if you'd been there, you'd think about it, too.

They spent that entire summer flirting, and even though it was never quite innocent - nothing involving Noah is ever completely innocent - it never went further than that either. He never tried to cop a feel and she never let herself get drunk enough to get affectionate, so they have had an excuse to take things any further. And yes, now, years later, she knows that was really all they needed to fall into bed together: An excuse.

The night before she left to go back to New York, that excuse came in the form of the bottle of Southern Comfort they shared at his house while his mom was on an overnight shift and his sister was at their nana's. She still doesn't know who started it, who kissed who first, but then he was tugging her panties down her legs, biting at the inside of her thigh with his teeth and asking if she was sure. He made her say the word, even though she was having a hard enough time just remembering how to breathe, let alone how to form coherent words, he made her so crazy.

To be perfectly honest, she's been looking for another sexual experience like that one - that whole night - ever since. It was more than five years ago, and she's most certainly had sex since then. She's dated men, had the same boyfriend for nearly two years. She hasn't gone unsatisfied. It's just...well, her night with Noah was memorable, and now that he's in the city - is moving to the city - it makes sense that she's thinking about it.

She brings home a pizza for dinner, and she listens to Noah sympathetically while he complains about the price of real estate in New York City, sipping the beer he handed her when she walked in the door. (She kind of loves the fact that he stopped and bought more of the beer she already had in her fridge.)

She looks up at him when he comes out of the kitchen and hands her a full beer. He looks so comfortable in her place; with only a couple of exceptions, she's never seen him look particularly uncomfortable anywhere, one of the many things she envies about him. "Can you just tell me what happened with Quinn so I can quit wondering about it?" she asks without preamble. He sort of hovers over the couch in midair for a second before falling down into his seat, staring at her. "I mean, I don't even know how you two ended up together again in the first place," she points out, pulling her legs up onto the couch and turning to face him a little. The last time she saw him, he hadn't even talked to Quinn since graduation.

He shakes his head, taking a long pull off his beer before looking over at her. "Your mom, actually."

Rachel's mouth falls open a little, but she catches herself, pressing her lips together to keep in all of the new questions this brings up. She needs to keep her mouth shut, figuratively speaking, and let him talk, she knows.

"Shelby was always really up front with Beth about being adopted, I guess, and when she started school, she started asking about us. Me and Quinn," he clarifies, not that she needs it. "It was a closed adoption, but it's not like Shelby didn't know us, so she called and we ended up going to see her."

He takes another drink. "I started hanging out with Quinn again after that. She was like, totally different, but she was still the girl I wanted in the first place, you know?" She nods, because she does understand what he means; she felt that way about Finn at one point in her life. "Long story short, she came with me when I got the job in Denver, and we shacked up and she got her realtor's license. And it was cool, really."

The phrase 'shacked up' just doesn't belong in the same sentence, somehow, with Quinn Fabray. Of course, until it happened, neither did 'knocked up.' "Until it wasn't?" she prompts quietly.

He barks out a laugh. "Yeah. Pretty sure she was cheating on me."

It's Rachel's turn to laugh. "How else could she go a year without sex?" She doesn't add the 'after being with you' that's tumbling through her head.

He's quiet for a moment, then looks over at her. "I never cheated on her," he says before draining his beer.

She gapes at him a little. "Are you telling me that you haven't had sex in a year?"

"We broke up six weeks ago."

"But before that - a year?" He shrugs, and she takes a deep drink. "That's...I'm not sure if I should congratulate you or apologize," she tells him honestly.

He shrugs again. "I'm not a cheater."

"Then I guess congratulations are in order."

He shakes his head at her and grabs the remote control from where it's sitting on the coffee table, flicking through channels until they agree on reruns of The Office. Rachel's giggling at Dwight's wrapping paper desk (it gets her every time, and she's seen it more than a few times) when Noah looks over at her. "Are you really going to sleep on the couch?"

She raises her eyebrows, because she remembers the way he used to be. "Can you sleep next to someone without it being sexual?" she asks, then burst out laughing at the pointed look on his face. "Fine, you're right. We can share."

She's already in bed, setting her alarm, when Noah emerges from the bathroom in just a pair of sweats. She lets her eyes linger on his chest for a moment. "Looking good, Puckerman."

He chuckles a little, coming over the crawl into bed beside her. "Since when did you get so shameless?" he asks, and her cheeks warm a little when she thinks about the question.

"A girl should never be ashamed of looking at an attractive man," she says, leaning over the flick off the lamp and listening to him chuckle into the darkness as she turns onto her side and moves a little to get comfortable.

He's sitting on her couch after spending his second day looking for a place, looking through print-outs of listings the realtor gave him to look through. He's supposed to be prioritizing, choosing the ones that sound the most promising so he can go see them tomorrow. As far as she can tell though, he's just whining.

"I hate this shit," he says flatly, tossing the folder of papers onto the coffee table.

Rachel doesn't bother to glance up from the cooking magazine she's flipping through. Honestly, she's heard those exact words come out of his mouth no fewer than six times in the last two days. It's beginning to lose meaning.

He gets up and goes into her kitchen, comes back a minute later with two beers. "You know what's fucked up?" he asks, handing her a bottle. "I can't figure out if I hate it because I hate it or because it makes me think of Quinn."

Rachel furrows her brow for a moment, then it clicks: Quinn is a realtor. "It doesn't really matter, does it?" she asks after a moment. If he doesn't like apartment hunting, it doesn't make a difference what the reasoning is; he's going to be annoyed until it's done. It seems like scapegoating to blame Quinn for something so unavoidable, and Rachel's sure there are better things he could blame her for.

He take a long pull off his beer and considers her. "I guess not."

Noah's face is the first thing she sees the next morning. He's asleep on the opposite side of her bed, lying on his back with his head turned towards her so she can see the way his eyelashes fan down to his cheeks. It's silly, she knows, that she notices his eyelashes, but they're quite lovely.

She knew she was going to end up in bed with Noah the moment she agreed to let him stay in her apartment, because she knows him. She knew that he wouldn't let her sleep on the couch, and she certainly wasn't going to let him sleep there. What she didn't anticipate was how easy it would be, sleeping beside him. There isn't any of the tension that could be there, given their history and this thing that she can feel lingering, just quietly, between them. If she's being honest, she thought sharing a bed would involve far less clothing.

Spending time with Noah is just so easy. It has been since they found some common ground through glee club and she learned to ignore his near-constant innuendo. (At some point, it all became amusing instead of annoying, and after that summer when they spent so much time together, she caught herself thinking the sorts of things that Noah would have said aloud in a given situation.) It's simple to fall back into the same patterns they had before, to have the same sort of relationship.

She is surprised that he's managed to keep his hands to himself while they've shared a bed, mostly because blaming things on one's subconscious wold be so easy. Maybe he's just well-behaved, badgered into submission after months of sleeping next to a frigid Quinn, but with the exception of playfully teasing her a little, pressing his cold feet to her calves, he's stayed carefully on his side of the bed, not making any moves towards her.

She slips out of bed quietly, thinking about all of that when she closes the door gently behind her and pads through the apartment to start the coffee before she showers. She usually makes half a pot for herself, but with Noah here, she measures twice as many grounds into the filter and fills the carafe with water.

Rachel is between men, so to speak. She just isn't built for one-night stands, and she doesn't particularly have time for dating right now, so she's in a bit of a slump. Sharing a bed with an attractive man is a temptation. Considering that man is Noah and she knows the things he's capable of doing to her body, well...

Suffice it to say she's surprised she's managed to keep her hands to herself as well.

But, as she reminds herself when she's adjusting the temperature of the water in the shower, she's a model of self-control. She didn't get to where she is - almost exactly where she wants to be - by giving in to every temptation that walked by. (Or crawled into her bed.) Noah is her friend, and it's important to maintain boundaries in all relationships.

And, when she walks into the kitchen in her bathrobe and finds Noah standing there, shirtless and slurping coffee from a pretty yellow mug with white polka dots, she thinks it would be easier to say to hell with self-control and take what she wants.

But she won't.

It takes Noah four days to find a place, which surprises her only because she'd always considered him a rather impulsive person, not one who would be too particular about an apartment the way he's turned out to be. Of course, as she reminds herself, she hasn't really known him in years. It's a funny thing, she thinks, getting to know someone all over again. You're always surprised by the things that have changed, and it isn't until they point it out that you realize you've changed as well. Spending time with Noah is, in some ways, like learning about a whole new person.

It really is funny, but she thinks she likes him better now than she did before, and the longer he's here, the happier she is that he's moving to the city. She's really looking forward to having him around.

They go to a pub just a few blocks down from Rachel's apartment to celebrate his new place, and three gin and tonics in, she's feeling pretty celebratory. She excuses herself to the restroom, and when she comes back, Noah is sitting at their table with a wicked smile on his face and a tray of shot glasses in front of him.

"What are these?" she asks warily, eying the glasses of amber liquid as she takes her seat at the side of the table adjacent to his.

"SoCo," he answers with a little smirk.

It's ridiculous that her heart starts to beat a little faster when she hears that. "It's been years since I've had SoCo," she says without thinking. It's true; not only was Southern Comfort responsible for what was, for all intents and purposes, a one-night stand with Noah, it was also responsible for her last one-night stand. (Eric, a friend of a friend whom she met when she was out dancing.) She swore off the stuff after that, because while neither decision was particularly bad, neither was well thought out by any means.

It isn't until he says, "Me too," his voice low as he takes one of the glasses and pushes another towards her, that she realizes how suggestive her words sounded.

Rachel isn't stupid; she knows exactly what's going to happen if she takes these shots, exactly where the two of them are going to end up. What's more, she knows that Noah has obviously already considered all of this himself, and this is his almost roundabout way of propositioning her.

His eyes are on hers when she picks up the little glass. "To your new place," she says quietly, touching the glass to his before putting it to her lips.

"I can't have any more," she insists three shots later. Their legs are tangled together beneath the table, and he's tracing shapes on the inside of her forearm with his fingertips, driving her to distraction while they both talk about things she isn't even paying attention to. She feels warm all over - whether it's from the alcohol or Noah, she isn't sure - and is resisting the urge to peel off her gray cardigan. It just feels like she'd be giving something away, not that she didn't already when she agreed to drink the SoCo anyhow, or days ago when she agreed to share a bed with this man.

God, who is she kidding? She's drunk and she wants to be naked. With him.

"Why not?" he asks, looking smug somehow.

It wouldn't be a lie to tell him that if she has any more, she's going to slip past 'drunk' into 'sick,' but it also wouldn't be the whole truth. That's why she says, "Because I want you to take me home."

She doesn't realize that she's holding her breath until he leans towards her, his fingers wrapping around her arm as he presses his lips to hers for the first time in years. She gasps into his mouth, which he takes as an invitation to push his tongue past her lips, slipping his free hand into her hair, his thumb just brushing the sensitive skin behind her ear.

She pulls away from him with a whimper, because as much as she doesn't want to stop kissing him, she isn't interested in doing this in the middle of the pub. "Please," she breathes out. She pulls her body away from his, untangles her legs and moves her arm out of his grip, watching him the whole time. "Let's go."

He follows her up to the bar to close the tab, standing behind her with one hand curved around her hip, distracting the hell out of her even though all she's trying to do is sign her name and get her credit card back into its slot in her wallet. That hand slides to the small of her back when they walk to the door, and a touch that innocent shouldn't feel like such a tease.

It's cold outside, cold enough that she should be wearing a coat instead of just a lightweight cardigan, but between alcohol and Noah, she's warm from the inside out. She's clutching the strap of her bag over her shoulder with one hand, the other clenched into a fist until Noah grabs it, pressing their palms together as they stop to wait for the light at the corner.

He pushes her hair behind her ear with one hand. "I'm going to fuck you so hard, Rachel," he murmurs against her ear. "I still remember the way you sound when you moan my name."

"Noah," she breathes out, biting down on her lip to keep the moan - the moan he's talking about - in the back of her throat while she looks up at him through her eyelashes.

"Not quite," he teases, and she can hear the smirk in his voice.

He spends the entirety of the four-block walk to her building telling her filthy things, describing exactly what he wants to do to her, his thumb slipping beneath the sleeve of her sweater to brush over the pulse at her wrist.

The elevator is open when they get to her building, and he's kissing her, pulling her body against his and holding her there, as soon as the doors have closed behind them, his tongue teasing hers just lightly. His hand is splayed between her shoulder blades, pressing her close, and it's the feeling of him, half-hard against her stomach, that makes her step forward, pushing him gently until his back's against the wall of the elevator and he's got his hand tangled in her hair.

Part of her feels like this is completely reckless and out of control. Another part of her thinks that it was inevitable. It doesn't really matter; it is what it is, and Rachel is finding it difficult to care about anything but how good he's making her feel, his lips skimming over the back of her neck while she digs her keys out of her purse.

"Noah, stop," she laughs, struggling with the locks on her door.

He tugs at her cardigan, exposing the strap of her tank top and her shoulder. "No," he says simply, grazing his teeth over the newly revealed skin.

She bites back a whimper and attempts to shrug him off. "I can't get the door unlocked with you doing that." He lets out a hum and licks a stripe up the side of her neck. "Noah."

She nearly drops her keys altogether between the second and third locks, and she's never been so grateful to get through her damn door in her life as she is right then, turning and pulling Noah through with her fingers clutching the front of his shirt. He presses her back into the wall beside the door, kicking it closed (she cringes a little, thinking of her neighbors), pushing his hips into hers and kissing her hard.

"You make me so fucking crazy," he tells her, pushing her cardigan off her shoulders so he can slide his tongue over the hollow above her collarbone. She lets out a little whimper, her hands fisting in his shirt at his sides, pulling him closer as he kisses up the side of her neck. "Rachel, baby."

"Please," she breathes, turning her head to the side when he nips at her earlobe with his teeth. "God, Noah, take me to bed."

His hands slide down her body to palm the backs of her thighs, lifting until she's locking her legs around his waist, her arms coming around his shoulders as he kisses her lips, licking into her mouth as he maneuvers them through her dark apartment. He doesn't stop kissing her when he sets her on the edge of the mattress, not until he skims his hands up her body, taking her shirt with them until he's tugging it over her head and dropping it onto the floor.

She still has her legs wrapped around his hips when he dips his head to sweep his lips over her breast just above the cup of her purple lace bra, nipping at her skin a little before setting his hand on her abdomen and pushing her onto her back. She moans when he drops his hand to the button of her jeans.

He shakes his head at her. "Jesus, you're hot."

She breathes out his name when he tugs her jeans down her legs. She places one of her feet on his stomach and pushes gently. "Take off your clothes," she orders, biting her lip when he smirks at her. Honestly, it's a ridiculous expression, but she loves the way it looks on him.

She pushes herself up against the pillows while she watches him undress, running a hand through her hair and taking a deep breath while she looks at his body. He looks incredible, and his eyes are dark when she meets them, watching as he crawls up onto the bed to hover over her, one hand on her hip, tracing along the waistband of her panties.

She shifts restlessly beneath him after a moment. "Do something," she whines, wrapping both arms around his neck and tugging a little. He doesn't move. "Noah."

He doesn't say anything, just slides his hands up her body, one slipping behind her back to unhook her bra, his thumb swiping over her nipple after he's pulled the garment from her body. He dips his head to kiss along her collarbone, nipping his way up her jaw to her ear. "I'm gonna make you scream," he mutters, pushing his hand into the front of her panties and sliding one finger alongside her clit. He chuckles into her neck when her hips buck against his hand.

She sinks her hand into the back of his hair and tugs, pulling his mouth up to hers instead of saying anything - not that she'd have any idea what to say right now. He's kissing her too gently, just like his fingers are moving over her too lightly, and it's just not enough. She pulls away, digging her fingernails into his shoulder blade. "Don't tease me," she says seriously, her eyes narrowing when he smirks at her. "Puck."

"Fuck," he bites out, hooking his thumbs in the sides of her panties and pulling them sharply down her legs. He sets his hand on her thigh, kneading the muscle until she bends her knee, letting him press her thigh into the mattress, opening her wide. "Look at how wet you are."

"Oh, god."

He smirks up at her, setting his hand just below her navel and skimming it up to cover her breast. He kneads at her flesh when he dips his head, sucking hard at the inside of her knee, hard enough to leave a mark, before nipping his way upwards. She cries out sharply when he sinks his teeth into the inside of her thigh, hips bucking and her fingers curling into the bedspread beneath her. He chuckles lowly, his breath coming out against her center, making her whimper. The sound dies in her throat when he presses the flat of his tongue against her clit, circling it once before pulling her nerves past his lips so she cries out again.

She sinks her hand into his hair when he pushes two fingers inside her, dropping his arm over her hips to still her body. "God, Noah."

He thrums his tongue against her clit, then pulls back a bit, ignoring her whine and swiping his thumb over her. "Pinch your nipple, Rachel." He says it quietly, his eyes dark as he watches her face.


"Do it," he orders gruffly, scissoring his fingers inside her and pressing hard against her clit until she gasps. She does as he says, bringing her hand to her breast and rolling her nipple between her thumb and forefinger until her body is arching up into her own touch involuntarily. "Don't stop."

She keens out his name when he puts his mouth on her again, her head dropping back onto the pillow and her eyes snapping shut as he sucks noisily as her clit. It sounds obscene, but she can't find it in herself to care when it feels so good. He presses his tongue inside her, sliding two fingers on either side of her clit, applying just enough pressure to feel amazing.

"Please," she gasps, struggling against the weight of his arm, trying to push her hips closer to his face. "Please, please, don't stop."

He lets out a little hum, swirling his tongue around her opening and pinching her clit, then flicking his tongue against her just twice to push her over the edge. Her body bows up off the bed as she moans his name loudly, her entire body tensing up before going liquid.

He moves up her body before she even realizes what's happening, muttering words she doesn't quite catch before kissing her hard, pressing his tongue past her lips. She moans, partially at the taste of herself on his lips, but mostly because of the way he's sucking at her tongue before nipping at her bottom lip with his teeth. She can feel his length pressed against her, hard against where she's wet, where she wants him most.

He sinks his hand into the back of her hair, tipping her head back to kiss down her throat. She slips her hand between them, grasping his cock and stroking slowly. "Fuck, Rach." His hips buck against her hand and he nips at the skin of her breast. "Condom."

She shakes her head, shifting her hips restlessly. "Pill. I want to feel you." He groans against her skin, and she hitches one leg up over his hip, pressing her heel into the small of his back as she guides him to her opening. "Do it, please."

He thrusts into her all at once, hard and fast, pulling a high-pitched sound from her throat and making her dig her fingernails into his shoulder blades as he stills his hips against hers. Her eyes snap closed and she takes a couple of deep, gasping breaths as she adjusts. "You okay, baby?" Noah asks, lips pressed to her ear, voice sounding a bit strained.

Rachel takes another deep breath, then rolls her hips, sliding one hand up to cup the back of his neck. "So good," she breathes, the words catching when he pulls out slowly, pausing for a beat before pushing back into her hard. "So good."

He feels incredible, actually. It's strangely familiar, particularly given that this has only happened once before and she was drunk then (is drunk now). He's watching her carefully, one hand gripping her hip hard, the other beside her shoulder to hold himself over her. She hitches her leg a little higher on his hip and hooks her arm under his, keeping him close.

The rhythm he sets makes her a little crazy, slow but hard, punctuated by occasional snaps of his hips that catch her off guard in the best way. It pushes her towards the edge, but it isn't enough to send her over. It's just enough, really, to make her feel frantic. She presses her lips to the underside of his jaw, her tongue darting out to taste his skin. "Noah, I-" He cuts her off with a quick thrust of his hips, grinding against her for a second when he's as deep as he can be. "I need-god."

He slows his hips, making shallow, teasing strokes as he smirks down at her. "What do you need, baby?"

He thrusts into her hard when she opens her mouth to speak, hitting her spot and making her eyes snap closed when he grinds against her again. He looks far too smug when she opens her eyes. "More," she manages. "Touch me."

He slips his hand between them, rubbing his thumb against her nerves as he moves inside her just right, and it takes no time at all before she shatters around him, chanting his name and pressing her fingertips into his ass as she lets go. He palms her breast, kneading it roughly as his thrusts grow erratic, until she feels him expand inside her, grunting her name when he comes.

He drags his tongue up the side of her neck, then nips at her earlobe. "Goddamn, baby."

She lets out a little hum, smoothing her hands up and down his back slowly as her breathing goes back to normal, the sweat drying on her skin. He kisses her lips when he pulls out, sucking her bottom lip a little when she sighs. "That was..." She trails off because she can't quite find the right word.

"Fuckin' awesome," Noah supplies, making her laugh a little. He moves off her, sliding his hand down her thigh once he's flopped over onto his back.

She stretches her back, arching up like a cat before turning onto her side to look at him. "Let's do it again," she suggests, sliding her hand across his abdomen and biting her lip when he looks at her incredulously. "I mean, if you're up for it."

He arches his brow at her. "Rachel."


He's shaking his head when he grabs her arm, tugging hard until she moves to straddle his hips. "You try'na kill me?"

She sets her hands flat on his stomach, pushing them upwards slowly, dragging her palms over his nipples before letting her fingernails dig into his shoulders gently. "Think you can't keep up?"

He scoffs, pushing his hand into her hair and pulling her down to kiss her hard, biting at her lip. "'S'like a fuckin' challenge or something," he mutters against her jaw.

She's still a little drunk, which is exactly why she says, "You still haven't made me scream." She knows exactly what she's doing, exactly how he's going to take her words to heart.

And that's exactly what she wants.

She takes her time showering the next morning. She's sore, having given muscles she hadn't used in a while quite a workout, but it's a good soreness. She keeps finding little marks all over her body, including a rather distinctive bruise on the inside of her left thigh from Noah's teeth.

He's awake when she steps back into her bedroom, lying back against the pillows and looking smug. "What?" she asks, holding her towel closed at her chest and opening a dresser drawer to get a pair of panties.

"There's a hickey on your knee."

She shakes her head a little, turning to face him. "That's the least of it." He raises his eyebrows expectantly. "There's a bite mark on my thigh."

He grins wickedly. "Yeah?" She nods, and he sits up straighter, the blankets pooling at his waist. "Show me."

She drops the towel without hesitating, crawling onto the bed and straddling and sitting back on his thighs. She watches his face as he sets his hands on her knees, pushing them upwards slowly until his fingertips are tracing the mark he left. "'S'it hurt?" he asks, looking up at her face. She just shakes her head, too distracted by the fingers of his other hand, just barely grazing her center, to speak. "D'you like it? When I did it?" She bites her lip, nodding, and watches a wicked little grin spread on his lips. "Want me to do it again?" he asks, gripping her other thigh a little tighter. "Make it a matched set?"

He pushes her onto her back when she nods again, making her moan as he nips his way down her body.

"What happens now?"

He's coming his fingers through her hair, her head resting against his stomach. He's flying back to Denver in the morning, and they're just sort of lying together, taking a break, she knows, before they're driving one another crazy again.

That's a lot of what they've been doing these last two days, though not just that. He entertained himself when she was in rehearsals, but then she took him to a couple of her favorite places in the city, like the little bakery that does marshmallow treats made with Fruity Pebbles instead of Rice Krispies and her favorite coffee place in Brooklyn. Earlier, when she got home from a dance class, they ordered Chinese and watched a House marathon. (During which they both agreed that Olivia Wilde is definitely more attractive than Jennifer Morrison, even when Cameron went blonde.) Nothing's different between them now that they've had sex again, except, of course, for the fact that they keep having sex.

She turns her head to look up at him. "What do you mean?"

He shrugs. "Is shit going to be weird between us because we fucked?"

It's not a stupid question, even if his phrasing is crass. Not at all, actually, and she isn't really sure of the answer. They didn't talk for years after the last time they fell into bed together, but she's never thought that it was because they slept together. It was just because they were so far apart, geographically and otherwise, and they both got caught up in the things going on in their separate lives. "I don't think so," she answers honestly after a moment.

"I don't want it to be," he tells her seriously.

"Me either." She sits up and moves so she's straddling his hips, pushing her hair over one shoulder as he brings his hands to her hips, sliding up her waist and back down. "So we won't let it be weird." She leans down to kiss him, curling her tongue around his and drawing it into her mouth when his hands slide up to cup her breasts. "Noah," she breathes, shifting her hips and feeling him growing hard against her center.

He's grinning when he rolls her beneath him.

"Let me know when you get home, okay?"

He nods, setting his hand on her waist and pulling her a little closer to the wall they're standing next to when a woman with an enormous rolling suitcase goes by, just a little too close to be considered polite. "Thanks for letting me stay in your bed."

She raises her eyebrows at the smirk on his lips. "You're welcome." His hand is still on her waist, warming her skin even through her sweater. "Have a good flight."

He nods again, then pulls her into a quick hug, placing a quick, light kiss against her lips when he pulls away. "Bye, Rach."

"I'll see you soon."