Many thanks to katmom for beta'ing, and horsesoldier for her generous donation to the fundraiser that provided the beta service.

An earlier version of this story was written for F4LLS, now revised and extended. Major revisions were made post-beta, mistakes my own.

A/N: This is really more of an outtake, but oh well.


Outside the door of his hotel room, when he was fumbling with the key, he wanted to turn around and tell her it was a mistake, that a one-night stand would only complicate things. But then she pressed her face into the middle of his back, wrapped her little arms around his waist and just like that, he was done for.

The first time was hard and greedy. Filthy. No time to take off their clothes. Skirt around her waist, her knees over his arms, on the side table next to the door.

He tried to slow down, tried to be gentle, but the way she was gasping out his name, her hands on his buttocks, pulling him back in every time...God, the heat..he couldn't...

The table hammered the wall with his every stroke. He made the sound louder and louder until it seemed to fill the narrow entry way.

Afterwards, the fog of melancholy that seemed to swirl around her returned with a vengeance. He had felt it before. It seeped out of her postcards. He hated it. Tried to tease it out of her. Tried to charm it away. Finally, he told her she was beautiful. She responded with a sceptical frown.

Had he not told her before? He was a fucking idiot.

He pulled her in front of the full-length mirror.

"See what I see—you're beautiful," he said. She blushed, squirmed, tried to escape.

He stood behind her in front of the mirror and held her fast. "No," he insisted. "See what I see." He tried to show her then, what the sight of her mouth did to him; brushed aside her hair to reveal the neck that used to drive him insane when he wasn't allowed to kiss it. Before he knew it, he was tugging at the belt of her hotel bathrobe, naming and worshipping every curve of her body with his hands and mouth while she looked on.

He saw some of the light come back into her eyes. He watched as she seemed to bloom into herself, as she grew bolder, wanton even.

He let her wrestle him down onto the thick carpet. Smiled when her soft hands pinned his wrists down to the floor. Heard himself groan when she brushed her taut nipples against his chest.

But it was only when he felt the shock of hot flesh clamping down around his cock that he understood who was in charge. And he had surrendered then. Allowed himself to be taken while she dug her little nails into his skin. The noise he made happened between a moan and a sigh.

He wouldn't think about the future.

He wouldn't think about the Ph.D. she wanted to do, about all the things that would take her further away from him.

He wouldn't think about the other men she might have kissed while they were apart. The men she might have fucked, the way she was fucking him now.

Instead, he allowed his mind to go blank. His heavy eyes followed the compass pendant as it swung back and forth in a hypnotic arc, only fluttering shut when his body emptied itself into her.