A/N: So this is a story I wrote 2 years ago, took it down for some personal/religious reasoning, then came to terms with those issues. I've since decided this is probably one of the best stories I've ever written and many people have contacted me, begging for either a copy or for me to repost it. So, I'm putting it back up - in pieces. I've since taken a college English course and now when I go back and see my many grammatical errors (I'm sure there's some I still missed), I had to fix them. So, as I edit the chapters, I will repost them.
For those of you who are not familiar with this story, this was written before Atlantis Complex came out so it is supposed to take place after Time Paradox. this chapter was originally written as a one-shot but was then developed into a 200K word novel (yeah, you might want to reconsider getting invested now).
Please review once again. Once upon a time, this was the highest reviewed AF M-rated fanfic on the site. I lost all those reviews. :(
Disclaimer: All rights to Artemis Fowl are Eoin Colfer's. No copyright infringement intended.
Butler entered the kitchen to find Artemis at the breakfast counter with a distant look in his eyes. Butler assumed he was either still half asleep or lost in thought. Either was plausible considering that since Artemis had entered puberty, he slept like a stone and waking up had become increasingly difficult. The latter option of him being lost in thought though, was more probable.
"Something on your mind?" Butler inquired to Artemis who did not even acknowledge Butler's presence.
"Hmm?" Artemis came to from his daze and looked towards Butler. "What was that?"
He wasn't paying attention at all. It was very unusual for Artemis to not be aware of his surroundings. Butler thought he had taught him better than that.
"I asked you if you had something on your mind but I see the obviously answer to that question is 'yes'".
"Oh". He said, then returned to his distant stare.
"Artemis, do you want anything in particular for breakfast this morning?" Butler wasn't one to pry. Yet he kept the conversation going, realizing that if Artemis wanted to talk, he would do so on his own terms.
"Just eggs." There was a short pause before he spoke again. "Butler, have you ever had a disturbing dream?" he blurted out.
Butler turned to examine the expression on his young charge's face. He looked utterly perturbed. He clearly deduced that Artemis was not actually inquiring about Butler's dream patterns, but obviously Artemis himself had had a dream he found 'disturbing' and was asking indirectly if this was a common occurrence amongst the 'common-minded folk'.
"Yes, I suppose I have." Butler had had several nightmarish dreams remembering certain battles and stressful situations he had encountered throughout his career. The worst of them being a case where the dream ended in Artemis being shot. However, Butler misunderstood Artemis's definition of 'disturbing'. "We all get nightmares from time to time, Artemis".
"No, that's not what I meant. Of course we all get nightmares. It's the brain's way of subconsciously purging itself from stressful memories. No, what I meant was…" He paused, suddenly obviously uncomfortable with the discussion. "I mean, you know, it's this awful puberty thing. It's becoming increasingly difficult to control".
"Oh. Those kind of dreams. Yes, Artemis. That is normal. If you don't dwell on it, you will naturally forget it shortly."
"Too late for that" Artemis muttered miserably. "I can't get the images out of my head. It involved someone I care about but I didn't think of that way…Butler…" Artemis sounded very distressed but continued "It was me, with Holly!"
Butler tried hard to hide his smirk, but was most likely failing. At least it was with a female he mused, though he wondered why this would have been "disturbing" to Artemis. He could see he clearly had feelings for her, even though Artemis would never admit it, not even to himself. Maybe it was his subconscious trying to drop him a clue.
"Butler, we are not even the same species! The physical impossibilities of the pairing…" he trailed off.
Butler clapped him on the shoulder. "Artemis, don't stress over it. It's normal." Butler said with a reassuring voice.
"I suppose you are correct. On an entirely different note, I will need my bed sheets changed today."
All day long, Artemis was haunted with the images of his erotic dream involving Holly. However, in his dream she appeared to be human, and there was no 'size' issue. Artemis, having the mind to be calculating constantly, tried to picture how a coupling between the two of them could actually work factoring in their size difference.
Suddenly, he found he was not just simply looking at this as a scientific equation to solve. He was actually fantasizing. When he came to this realization, he quickly changed his train of thought to something else; anything else, except nothing else came to mind, or at least had enough power to overcome his current train of thought. Jumping from the chair of his desk so forcefully he knocked the chair over, Artemis bolted to his private en-suite bathroom and ran himself a very, very cold shower.
After completing a lengthy entry in his diary documenting the day's occurrences, he decided to research erotic dreams. Sadly, though, he found that simply typing the word "erotic" into a search engine produced results he had not intended to come across. A pop-up window appeared on his monitor, showcasing a nude woman bent over displaying her invitation to the viewer. Artemis slammed his laptop shut, not even containing the strength to simply close out the window. He disconnected the battery and put the laptop back on his desk. Perhaps the Internet wasn't the best source of information in this particular case.
Artemis was determined to change his line of thinking. Since isolation wasn't the best choice, he sought out his parents. He found them in the kitchen preparing dessert. Recently, Angeline had taken a passion to baking French pastries and refused to let Butler assist her in her newfound hobby. Artemis Fowl the First loomed over her as she was mixing what appeared to be some sort of icing. Artemis watched as his father place his arms around his mother's waist in a warm embrace. This was not so unusual since his father had returned home. He and his mother had been more openly affectionate than Artemis remembered in his earlier childhood days. Artemis actually found it endearing.
That was until he heard their quiet conversation. Sometimes the ability to lip read works to your disadvantage. Artemis Senior had whispered into Angeline's ear about "saving some of that icing for later" all while pressing his pelvis forcefully against Angeline's rear. Angeline giggled like a schoolgirl. Artemis Junior paled and fought his gag reflex. Clearly now was an inconvenient time for him to be with his parents.
Artemis sat quietly at the dinner table, barely touching his food. When dessert came, he politely refused. He stated that he had a stomachache, which wasn't entirely a lie. He recalled the scene from earlier that day when the now iced pastries were set out before him.
"Artemis, are you unwell? Should I call the doctor?" Angeline said, her voice full of concern for her eldest son. She knew he was legally 19, but after Angeline's experience involving Opal Koboi, Artemis had explained how he lost 3 years and was really only biologically 16. She worried about the effects this might have had on his physical health. Though even if something were wrong, he would probably need assistance from the fairy people regarding any health issue that was the result of jumping through dimensions.
"Maybe you could call your friend Holly to see if she could help you. I know she has helped you before."
Artemis's glare could have shot daggers. "Holly's assistance will not be required. Please excuse me," he said in a steely voice as he left the table and retired to his room.
In his bedroom, Artemis thought. Then pondered. Then found that once again he was fantasizing. He imagined Holly's smooth caramel skin that was perpetually hidden from view by her LEP suit. How he would like very much to find the zipper to that damn thing and tear it off. Artemis was deeply entangled in his fantasy when he realized he had become painfully aroused.
It was late and he was alone in his bedroom. The security cameras were not only disabled, but also physically unwired currently, as he had become increasingly paranoid of Foaly's supreme hacking skills. Just as his left hand began to creep below the waistband of his boxers, he noticed a breeze in his curtains that came from an invisible source accompanied by the sound of steps that could only be those of a stealth cat or…
"Holly?" Artemis sat up in his bed alarmed, wary that he was not actually alone in his room. His assumption was correct.
Holly shimmered into visibility. "Damn, I was trying to scare the pants off you!"
Poor choice words, thought Artemis. He was pleasantly surprised to be seeing Holly actually in front of him. It had been at least six weeks since she had even last called him, even longer since he'd seen her in person, though he knew it wasn't exactly easy to get a surface visa and she did have a job.
"What are you doing here?" he finally managed to choke out.
"Gee, nice to see you too, Mud Boy." She said giving him a degrading glare, which morphed into a smug smile. She took off her helmet and ruffled her hair to give it back some volume after being squashed in the helmet for hours now. Her hair was still short but longer than he remembered, with the shortest parts now touching her ear lobe and the longer parts hitting the nape of her neck. She was absolutely stunning, as he had always thought, though recently this revelation made him terribly uncomfortable.
"That's not what I meant. I mean it's good to see you. I was just, well, wondering what the purpose of this visit is?" Artemis was stammering and overly formal. Very unusual, thought Holly. Maybe she really had given him a fright and he was just hiding it better than she previously assumed.
"I just finished up with the Ritual. You know it doesn't actually take very long. Now that I'm a Major, I get fewer and fewer opportunities to come to the surface. I figured since I was up, I'd drop by. I haven't seen you in a while." She managed to sound very nonchalant about it, although she had been dying to come visit Artemis for months now. She had even had to stop herself from calling him so often, as she found this was only increasing her suffering. She was a little less than pleased to see that he was not jumping for joy at her unexpected visit. Unbeknownst to her, Artemis's heart had practically stopped and he had done everything he could to conceal the fact that he was already aroused when she arrived. Being in her actual presence was doing nothing to remedy that situation. In fact, it was doing quite the opposite.
"Holly, it's always nice to see you. Maybe you could call ahead next time, give me some time to prepare?" He had completely averted his gaze from her. He felt like every time he looked at her, his eyes bore through her clothing and the images of both dreams and fantasies became more life-like.
"Sure. Are you okay, Arty? You look… miserable." She walked towards him placing her helmet on his bedside table. She hopped onto his enormous bed to get a closer look at him. Immediately, Artemis pulled his knees up in hopes of concealing a possibly visible 'tent', and buried his flushed face between his crossed arms. Holly stared at him in shock, now realizing that something was seriously bothering him. She put her arm around him and squeezed his shoulder gently.
"Artemis, you can talk to me if you want. We're friends, right? That's what friends do?" she paused for a minute to scold herself silently, remembering that friends call more often than every six weeks and certainly visit more often than she had. "Are you…you're not mad at me, are you?"
Artemis peeked up at her with an incredulous look. "No. What would make you think that?"
"I don't know. Just that I haven't been able to see you and maybe you felt like I haven't been there for you, or something."
"You know what, Holly," he stated "I am mad at you. But not for that reason." His expression was fierce and took her by surprise. She had really pissed him off somehow.
"Why then? What did I do?" she shot back in a defensive tone.
"You gave me something and then took it away without asking! Even I wouldn't do something so cruel. Well, maybe I would. But I would not have come to expect such a thing from you!" He continued to stare her down with their faces only inches apart. Holly was still in shock and confused as ever as to what he could be referring to.
"What? What did I give you? What on earth are you talking about?" she yelled back trying to glare at him just as fiercely, not allowing herself to be intimated by Artemis yet again. Before she had time to react, he had grabbed the back of her head and crashed a very rough, angry kiss on her lips. She then realized what he was referring to. She pushed at him, a reaction to the instinctual feeling of being attacked. He fought to keep his hold on her as his fingers knotted through her hair. When she finally conceded and kissed him in return, he released her hair and then her head. She looked back at him, bewildered as to what brought this on so suddenly. She was honestly surprised by his forcefulness.
"I made amends for my error towards you. You do not kiss me then tell me I will never experience it again. That is not how it works. You were the one to open Pandora's box, Holly, and as you know, the box cannot be closed once opened."
Holly was speechless. She knew she had feelings for Artemis but assumed he didn't return them. Assumed that, in fact, he may not have a romantic or passionate side to his personality at all. This was very unexpected. She desperately struggled to comprehend the situation. There are certain situations in life that the LEP Academy does not prepare you for.
Real intelligent, thought Holly. She needed to say something but was having difficulty finding words. "I didn't know that you felt that way."
Smooth, real smooth. She had a hard time not rolling her eyes at her own cliché response.
Artemis continued to push her under his gaze. She was admittedly intimidated by him, but felt that she had wronged him and didn't know what to say to make amends. She wanted to make amends.
"Artemis, I'm sorry. It was presumptuous of me to act the way I did in the gorilla cage. I honestly think I had just become so overwhelmed with the whole situation. And add in the fact that I was transformed back into an emotional 'teenager'. I shouldn't have acted the way I did or said the things I said…"
He stared at her as she rambled on. It sounded like she was either regretting kissing him or regretting telling him he'd never kiss her again or maybe both. He was truly puzzled, and decided to put his theory into action. He moved closer to her, his lips barely brushing hers, but he stopped there. If she wanted to kiss him, it would be her choice. Or she could push him away. Either way, he'd respect her choice, though he prayed it wasn't the latter.
Holly stayed stone still. She braced herself for another of his angry kisses but was stunned to find him paused, hovering. She was surprised, and surprisingly disappointed.
Holly moved, slightly towards him, just enough to feel his young, soft lips. She couldn't resist. It had been wrong to lie to herself about her feelings for him and forcefully think that there wasn't anything there. They both clearly knew there was. This time it was her who knotted her fingers through his hair to deepen their kiss.
Artemis smiled inwardly, pleasantly surprised to find his theory to be correct, for the better. She had indeed kissed him back of her own volition but with a greater passion than he had expected. Although the genius's brain could handle many different problems and situations as once, he was finding it difficult to calculate what should next be done or said due to a surprising lack of blood supply in his head.
Holly broke the kiss, gasping, still shocked. Artemis's expression had turned from an intimidated glare to a predatory grin. Holly was actually afraid for a fraction of a second. Even as a 12 year old, he had always been intimidating. But this was Arty, her Arty. He wouldn't try anything on her, would he?
Unfortunately for Holly, she had underestimated the hormone-driven male she had just moments ago enticed with a passionate kiss. All bets were off now, so to speak. She really couldn't predict what he'd do or how he'd react.
Artemis moved on to his knees, placing him in front of Holly. The blankets that had previously concealed him now fell to the mattress revealing he only wore his boxers to bed. This would not have been an unexpected sight for Holly since she had seen him in his shorts before. Although, at that time, he had been a 14 and-a-half-year-old and deathly embarrassed.
My, how time changes things, she thought as she looked at the young man before her. He had probably grown at least another four inches since then and had filled out nicely. He didn't seem to be embarrassed at all to be in front of her with only his underwear on. In fact, as she couldn't help but notice, he was quite apparently aroused.
She was still staring down when he grabbed her shoulders, pushing her against the headboard of the giant four-poster bed. She was amazed that her little Arty had grown up, but then realized his intentions.
"Artemis! I don't think we should be too hasty." Holly pleaded in a thin scream. She was not used to losing control of the situation. If, and it was a big if, something like this was going to happen, it would be on her terms.
However, Artemis didn't see it her way and continued to advance on her, pressing his erect member against her covered opening. Holly gasped more out of shock than anything else, but Artemis took it as an invitation to continue. After all, she had never said 'no' or 'stop'. He would not force her into anything, but at the same time he would not be denied over any reason he found to be trivial.
He moved in to kiss her neck and trailed his finger along the neckline of her LEP jump suit. She heard him growl in frustration. "Where is the zipper?" he huffed, tugging at the neckline.
Still bewildered and yet intrigued by the situation she had found herself in, she realized the she had answered him before giving it much thought. Especially irresponsible being quite aware his question was not out of simple curiosity.
"It's in the back," she said in almost a whisper. She was shaken by how quickly he released his pin against her, only to pull her close to him. The hand that had previously been at her neckline found the zipper and flew down, unzipping the entire length of it. Holly let out a gasp that made his heart shudder as her suit came undone. He grabbed the hems of her sleeves and tugged them in a quick, precise fashion- the way a magician might remove a tablecloth, leaving all the glasses and silver undisturbed on the table.
Although he had successfully removed her LEP suit from half her body, he was very disgruntled to find she wore her one-piece beneath it. His vicious movements had not revealed anything to him. He grabbed her under her knees and jerked her forward so she was on her back supporting herself with her forearms, her legs bent on either side of his hips. Artemis found this to be more agreeable as he responded to her shocked look with his signature vampiric smile.
In quite the same fashion as removing her arms from her sleeves, he repeated the action with her legs. Her suit came loose from her and disappeared behind him. His eyes beamed with success. Now the matter of that pesky one-piece…
Holly remained dazed throughout this entire ordeal. Part of her brain was telling her 'What the hell are you doing! It doesn't matter that he's twice your size or that he's filled out! You've taken down trolls! You can take him too! Don't let him overpower you.' But the other part of her brain was too impressed by his bold actions and honestly, quite aroused by it. This internal conflict kept her from either reciprocating or fighting him off. Instead, she simply allowed herself to be manipulated by the young man she had wished for many times but had written off as an impossibility.
With her LEP suit removed he trailed his fingers up and down her bare legs. He figured it went on (and therefore off) in the same fashion as a bathing suit. He pulled down the straps of the one-piece, peeling it from her body. He suddenly slowed at her elbows, looking at her for his cue. Locking his gaze, she lifted her arms out of the arm straps allowing him to continue. With painful slowness, he pulled it down off of her, only pausing after he had revealed her breasts. They were small, yet perfectly proportionate to her tiny frame. Her dusty pink peaks visibly hardened at the exposure to the cool air. Artemis's expression darkened as he took in her visage. He gently ran his fingertips over her left nipple, barely touching it. Holly closed her eyes, instinctively arching her back into his touch. Artemis smiled at the knowledge he was teasing her. He found sadistic pleasure in the fact that he was frustrating her. Serves her right, he thought.
He continued the action on her right breast and again she arched up towards his touch. He ran his finger tips in a gentle circle around her areola and watched in wonder as it puckered at his touch. Holly was truly turned on now, not that she hadn't been before, but now she was actually writhing beneath him. She bit her bottom lip hard in an attempt to silence her moans but a few managed to escape.
Satisfied with her frustration, he decided it would be unkind to continue with the teasing, not to mention uncomfortable for even him. He tore off the rest of her one-piece in a swift, unceremonious fashion and suddenly there she was, lying before him, completely naked.
'How did this happen!' screamed that part of her brain that she had somehow manage to cage throughout this experience. Yet, she continued to lie still and allow whatever it was he was planning. She had a vague idea of what it might be, what she hoped it would be.
She opened her eyes, looking for his face. His smug grin had turned to one of actual surprise. His hungry eyes raked over her body down to the small triangle of soft brown hair between her legs. Artemis was taken aback by his actions, but felt it imperative to the health of his reproductive organs to continue. Things felt as if they were beginning to turn blue.
"Holly, are you okay with this?" he breathed. His voice was so low and he sounded as he may have been trying to keep himself from panting. Holly was still lost in the ecstasy back in his touch to her nipple. She closed her eyes again and nodded. "Are you positively certain?" He asked again, though he really wasn't giving her much time to change her mind. He had already slipped out of his boxers and they joined her suit and one-piece on the floor at the foot of the bed.
Holly, although her eyes were closed, could tell what he was doing as he shifted between her legs. She braved herself a look. She had previously acknowledged to herself that there was going to be a size difference but still she wasn't prepared for what she saw when she opened her eyes. Her expression turned from one of lust to one of utter worry. 'He wants to stick THAT in me?' said that caged part of her brain. The part of her brain that had been in control yet silent all this time finally replied to its counterpart. 'Shut up, you can take it.' Simultaneously, she wondered if it was healthy to be talking to herself in this fashion.
Artemis realized she had also worried about the size issue. He did his best to calm her fears. "Holly, I won't hurt you. If it hurts, tell me. I'll stop." He gently lifted her, up on her knees in front of him, to be somewhat close to eye level. Still she barely came up to his chin.
Holly just nodded in acknowledgment of his statement to be gentle. Yet, she really wondered if that would be possible for him in his current state, and indeed, is that what she wanted anyway?
Artemis resumed his previous position, pressing her against the headboard. This time, lifting her onto his lap, he spread her legs alongside him. He pressed his lips to hers then trailed his tongue down her jaw line towards her earlobe. He started with a gentle nip to her earlobe but then raked his teeth over it. Holly hissed at the pleasurable pain as her hips, quite on their own, began to buck towards him. She could feel his hard member against her now extremely wet entrance and moved against it to gain some friction.
Her invitation was clear enough to him and he took no time to plunge inside of her. So much for gentle, she thought as she winced at the pain. It's not like this was her first experience, just her first experience with something so... large. He was inside, but didn't move yet. He waited for her to recover to see if he could proceed. At this point, he wasn't sure if he could stop, even if she begged him to. Thankfully, he didn't have to face that dilemma. Already extremely aroused, her walls began to relax. As she stretched to accommodate him, the pleasure out ruled any pain that may have remained and a certain rhythm appeared in their movement.
Artemis silently thanked the gods for all of this and released any apprehension he had about hurting her. He thrust against her with incrementally increasing force than she had initially allowed, pinning her up against the headboard.
She caught his eyes again, giving him a coy smile. Holly realized that he had thought this over, since this was probably the best position to accommodate their size difference, not to mention it felt awesome in her opinion. He supported her weight by cupping her ass in his hands until she wrapped her legs around his waist and her arms around the back of his neck. His neck was hot and slick from sweat and strands of hair fell in front of his eyes as he pressed her back against the headboard giving him leverage to release his hands and pin her in position by spearing into her. Holly moaned loudly in pleasure and shock at the sudden forceful movement, forgetting that there might be someone who could hear her. Artemis loved to hear her cry out but was not thrilled at the idea of being caught with his pants down, literally. He covered her mouth with his own and pushed his tongue into her mouth with the same force and rhythm as he pushed with other parts into other holes.
Holly's cries were muffled in his mouth, but it only spurred him to continue to claim her as his. While one of his hands held her shoulder pinned to the headboard, the other moved down to cup her breast and pinched at her nipple. Her breath hitched, and then she suddenly gasped. He knew she was there. Artemis felt her walls constrict firmly around his cock and a hot liquid he knew wasn't his own came spilling against him and down the inside of her thighs. He was thankful she had came first because he honestly couldn't hold on a second longer.
With a final forceful thrust, he grunted as he came and emptied into her. Never in any conscious memory, had Artemis Fowl the Second ever had his mind go completely and truly blank…until now. The only thing he could process was that this was total ecstasy, and Holly was his.
A few moments later, his mind returned, thankful for the reprieve and the return of blood that other parts of his body had borrowed. He slowly withdrew himself from Holly and backed off of her. She slid down the headboard and landed, her butt on the pillows. Artemis held his weight with his hands on the headboard on either side of her head so as to not collapse on top of her.
Holly's eyes rolled back to their forward position and took in the scene. She had just had willful sex with a Mud Man! Not just any Mud Man, but Artemis Fowl! The Council is not going to like this one bit. Interspecies relations were generally frowned upon even amongst the fairy families. This was taking it a step beyond.
"Holly," he panted, looking at her warily. This had happened so suddenly. He was bracing himself for her wrath. He felt as if he had somehow seduced her unwillingly, yet he couldn't think of how.
"Oh, Artemis. That was... ". She tried to answer, out of breath, "amazing."
He smiled at her, satisfied that she was satisfied and took her into his arms to hold her. Holly laced her arms through his. His heart was audibly thundering in his chest against her ear. She kissed his collarbone and lovingly traced circles around his shoulder with her fingertip.
Artemis fought hard to keep his emotions in check. He was overwhelmed. He realized he had not simply been sexually frustrated, craving a physical release- he really wanted Holly. He wanted her to be his. And Holly he was given, despite everything he had done to her in the past, despite their species difference and any possible consequences that their coupling might have.
"Artemis, I can't stay. I want to but I can't." she apologetically squeezed him, then pushed herself away from him and slid off the bed. Artemis collapsed at last onto his side, sweaty, panting, with dark spots dancing in front of his eyes. She skipped on her toes to his en-suite to clean up. He got a nice view of her bare ass as she darted away from him. He really wished she'd stick around long enough for 'round two'.
She could feel his eyes on her and she turned to stuck her tongue out at him. "Didn't you ever hear it's impolite to stare?" She smirked, then shut the bathroom door behind her.
Artemis was pleased to find this was far too real to be another dream. It had been far better than anything his subconscious could conjure up. He now had a fabulous inspiration for his next novel.
Holly emerged from the bathroom and collected her clothing. Artemis watched her slide into her suit and unconsciously began to pout. Holly turned to see his face and couldn't help but laugh. "I'll be back soon enough, Mud Man. Don't give me that look." He noticed she had finally stopped referring to him as a boy and felt quite suddenly smug about this.
She paused and looked at him over her shoulder as she zipped up.
That sounds horrible! Say something else! He screamed at himself. "What I mean is, Holly, I don't think you realize what that meant for me." He found he couldn't continue. Why was sharing your body with someone you loved easier than simply expressing it in words? Holly examined his conflicted expression and pried at him to continue.
"What does it mean for you, Artemis?" she was honestly curious. If he was going to be the pursuer, he was going to say it first too.
He knew it was only fair to tell her. He had no idea when she'd be able to get back to see him again. He most certainly was not welcome in Haven. And this, this was not something you can say over the phone.
"Holly, I…" he swallowed a lump in his throat. Even if she didn't return his feelings, she obvious felt something towards him otherwise she would have not allowed what just happened to occur. "Holly, I love you. I always have. From as far back as I can remember. Even when I first saw you, and well, put you in the cellar. Even my frozen conscience at the time was stung by the fact that of all the fairies to kidnap, it had to be a beautiful female. If I hadn't been such a wretch at the time, I would have let you go immediately. But I guess I'm glad I didn't, since circumstances wouldn't have then led us up to... this."
Holly made the best sense she could of his rambling. She returned to the bedside to kiss him gently on the lips. She got the point of the message. "I love you too, Arty. But now I have to go before Foaly remote activates the cameras on my helmet to figure out why my suit suddenly lost all body heat."
Artemis suddenly realized this was not outside of Foaly's capabilities and he would, in fact, become worried when the vitals read-out supplied from her LEP suit suddenly flat-lined. She would have to be either dead or naked. He would have to rule out the first, more dreadful option. Artemis hadn't noticed the helmet on the bedside table the whole time... turned toward them. Mortified, Artemis stared at the helmet and pondered how long it would take for Foaly to check on Holly. His worse fears were most likely probable. Artemis blanched white, and then went completely red. He glared right into the visor of the helmet and in the most menacing, threatening voice he could muster said, "If you are watching and you say a word, I will find you, and destroy you!"
"Oh please Arty, have more faith in your friends. Don't you think that even if Foaly had turned on the camera and gathered what we were up to he would have turned it off to respect our privacy?"
"Mmm." Artemis neither agreed nor disagreed. He was highly skeptical. He shot the helmet another menacing glare.
**Back in Police Plaza**
Foaly was in a fit of shock. He had been discovered peeping. He took Artemis's threat with all the seriousness that was intended. He quickly scrubbed the data to manufacture false readings the entire time Holly was occupied and looped her vitals and GPS location several hours back to Tara. If anyone ever found he'd tampered with the data, it would be his neck on the line, but he'd do it for Holly. Though, Artemis's threat may also have had some of the motivating factor to his choice of action.
**Back at Fowl Manor**
Holly had left shortly after midnight and Artemis was left to fall asleep alone. Although he really wished she could have stayed, it didn't really matter. He replayed her words in his mind "I love you too". It was more beautiful than any other sound he'd heard. Artemis drifted into a deep, restful slumber. Something he had not enjoyed for some time.