Thanks to those reading and reviewing. This is to how I have been working on it. But you know how it is... work... college... RL get in the way frequently. However I am not ready to just abandon this. Again, thanks for the support!

She wasn't sure at the time if he was telling her not to do it again. Normally he would say it. He would not say it outright but recite some poetry or line from a long forgotten movie or play to justify his feelings on the matter. She did not get that from his reaction to her lips coming so close to him. He seemed shocked, of that she was certain. But he was unusually quiet as they sat on separate sides of the couch watching the news about the war in America, the riots breaking out in London, civilians fighting the Fingermen.

In the semi dark, half the lights in the Gallery were off and she'd be damned if she was imagining his head turning ever so slightly to look at her, the glow of the television setting her skin alight. She could feel that Fawksian smile and dark fabric eyes roving over her like hands and it tingled her body. His body always seemed on edge like he wanted to say something but could not make it come out.

Oh god if only she could bring herself to do it for him, but fear as it is kept her from crossing boundaries. She would rather face a garrison armed to the teeth coming after her with intent rather than tell him how she felt. Honestly, if he wasn't aware after the dinner recitation, then he truly could not love or feel a passionate embrace outside of his ardor to make the government pay for what they had done to him and other innocent people.

The news was over and soon she stood before he turned off the television and plunged them into deeper shadow. Track lighting illuminated and cast lines of light that reflected off the mask and it was a bitter temptation she had to fight back to not throw herself into his arms and kiss that patch of neck exposed from the collar, the hair and his mask. She nearly did, her legs flitted forward in a jerking motion as they may have been stuck on the floor. Her nerve failed her as he looked up at her, quiet. She knew he was waiting. She had pictured herself sliding across the length of the black leather couch and placing her left palm on his black clad thigh, feeling the strong muscle clench at the touch of her warm hand and jitter into a relaxation as the sudden uneasiness left him. Of course, because his mask had blocked his face, she could not see the trepidation he was trying to hide… but his beguiling smile; no, the masks smile, held more emotion to her than he probably realized himself.

As if the touch of her palm to his thigh wasn't enough, she would come close enough so she could hear the slight whisper of his breath through the mouthpiece of the mask, shaky and shallow. Evey knew better about V that he would do everything in his power to appear in control, it was easy for him, his face, where a lot of people read human emotion was forever smiling. However, Evey liked to think his arousal, hidden by shades of deception was paramount and he fought to maintain that front. He was romantic in his own quiet and bedeviling way because others couldn't read him. Evey had been with him long enough to know every quirk of his head or shrug of his shoulders, the twitch of his elbows or position of his hips, back and legs can tell her exactly what he is experiencing.

If she was allowed to continue forward with her imaginings, her hand would travel up his thigh and trace the strong contours of his hip and up over the tunic but feel his hard stomach muscles quiver under her sliding hand, all the while his cloth black squint-eyed gaze and whispery breath keeps pace with her forward motion, her left thigh coming up over his left thigh and descending onto his lap, the leather of the couch squeaking against the bare skin on her lower legs revealed from under the hem of the loose fitting capris she wore.

Evey stood there and looked down at V who returned her gaze and she could feel herself clenching, the warmth was maddening, imagining she could feel a hot hard yet velvety softness pressed against her as his steel grip hands clutched at her spread thighs, lifting up and pushed himself against her. She could feel his hardness separating her and even between the materials of their clothing, his heat obvious against the quickly moistening center between her legs.

"V… oh…' Evey whispered, the voice in her head sounded provoked and desperate. She could feel her hips moving forward to bear down on his hardness with her small pearl of pleasure that throbbed as he rose to meet her again. Her arms slunk around his neck and his hair coming to drape over her forearms as her lips brushed lightly, butterfly kisses across the white painted metal of the Fawksian mask that she had come to love and find sexually attractive. She wasn't sure if her thoughts fed her heightening excitement accurate portrayals of V's actions should he be faced with an encounter like this… he had never once discussed romance with her; not romance in the sexual context since he first met her. So hearing his bear like growling voice making slow moans as her mouth, breasts and heated opening moved against him in an erotic dance may have been her brain falsifying it in lieu of wishing it to really happen, but it sounded lovely and felt even more so. He smells good, even in her head, a soft musk like smell… like a sort of patchouli but not as strong and pungent. Evey buried herself into him deeper and he groaned again, tilting his head back as her shoulder came up to nuzzle under his chin and her hips rolled against the stiffness between his legs and she could nearly feel the sensation that could provide just standing there looking down at him. Would he be embarrassed to know what she was thinking and fantasizing about him? Would he like it or find it trite? She pulled herself away from the steamy vision and found her eyes haven't moved from the dark points of his eyes. How long had she stood their looking at him while she dreamed of seducing him and he surrendered to her so willingly?

"Goodnight, V." She shook and said in a subdued manner, hating for all she had gone through that a display of love or even lust was harder for her than the thought of death. She turned away jerkily and walked around the couch and as she did, she brought the knuckles of her right hand where they came down and started to curve back up to her palm over the length of his forearm where it rested on the arm of the couch and proceeded toward her room.

"Sleep well, Evey." V said in that velvet sonnet of a voice, not turning his head, not having too. He knew with it he would momentarily stop her. She did. It seemed a justifying means of repaying her the coy action of running her fingers over his arm, tempting his reserve when he had so little left where she was concerned. She paused; will pulling her back toward the destination of her room, desire yanking her back insistently to him. V wanted her just as much as she wanted him. He could tell… he would be a complete fool and blind if he couldn't feel her womanly desires wafting from her. He could smell her desire, feeling it scorching his already scarred skin.

He felt her struggles but sought not to end it. He watched her for the indeterminate length of time stand there and resisting her natural craving to seduce him. He wasn't a mind reader and he could not see it like a projector in her head the things that she was thinking that puffed her lips, swelled her breasts so they peaked hard at the tips and gave her that misty glow of a woman so overcome with sexual aspiration she was rapt by it. He wondered what she was imagining that would seem to take her breath away the way it had. Thrill of anticipation kept the fire alive and he knew she would not be able to suffer her torturous yearning of him for much longer, judging by the plumpness of her lips and breasts, the heat from her body. He knew for that moment, he would not be alone that night as her basic instinct as a woman took control of her sanity, her conscious mind and claimed his as well.

He would not… could not stop her if she buckled and came to him. He too rose off the couch; body feeling strange, odd twinges he had forgotten existed, tingles and pulses of blood in places he'd not thought of in years. His masquerade couldn't hide how hot he too had become under the half lidded heaviness of her steamy gaze. He may have walked to his room alone, looking back over his shoulder, wanting to see Evey standing there, and she wasn't, but his head… his ideas were down the adjoining but opposite hall in what used to be his spare room; now hers, to her… envisioning her leaning on the door, wishing she would hear him walking down the hall to her. Perhaps she was hoping that he would burst through the door and sweep her off her feet and carry her to the bed, lay her down and make slow and torturous love to her all night long in the dark and shadowed underground where the only other voices was the sounds of their love making echoing back to them from the empty corners and high ceilings.

(14) "Into my world of darkness and silence, you brought light and music. When you lit my candle, I began to see and understand the taste and texture of love. For the first time."V's voice seemed to drip with the moisture of his lust and passion, a body alight that had long been so dry, like the voice that spoke the words unheard but for the art surrounding him was as brittle as sun dried wood.

No matter… V was patient. He had to be. Evey, his delicate flower that he nearly broke beyond recall, had risen from her ashes, and wanted him instead of hating him, the sumptuousness of her desire blistering his hunger to a fine peek… no… if it was meant to happen, he would not be the one to stop it. She had chosen to love him rather than hate him for what he had done. Maybe not the actions he performed on her, but for the lesson he taught her. And he fell for her with every passing moment of pity and anger he felt for himself as he tortured her… very nearly killed her. He wondered… if she did not break, would he have allowed it to continue. He swallowed deep in his throat. He didn't want to think of this now.

His leather clad hand brushed the walls as he passed through the halls of the home he has known for twenty years and never once did he ever consider feeling so lost and confused since his time in Larkhill. He didn't feel like himself, the man, the idea he had long since maintained he is. He felt like a love sick fool struck dumb by cupid's arrow. He had never entertained notions of being romantically tied to anyone, his mind and life so singular in purpose for too long. Until Evey came along and then everything changed.

Was she now laying in her bed… thinking of him as heavily as he was thinking of her? He wondered if she was touching herself, wishing it was his fingers pleasing her. He turned back to look down the hall toward the main gallery, looking as if he was pondering just going back and assuming control of her pleasure. But he didn't. He knew what would happen if he just broke that final string that still bound him to his purpose. The one that made him remember the 5th of November. To go to her may imply he had other objectives… not to her but to himself. He did not want to be the one to prove his thoughts and actions and desires had gone a slightly different path over the last year compared to what he believed and sought for the previous nineteen before Evey first asked him "who are you?!"As she sat on the alley floor with the pitiful can of mace in her slender and beautiful fingers.

"Who…? Who is but the form following the function of 'what' and what I am is a man in a mask." V heard himself answer in a playfully acerbic manner. He was just a man in a mask to her at the time, a crazy person, she insinuated, but now he had gone from captor, to friend, to ally, to teacher, to torturer… and now… and equal, a lover in the year he had known her.

He turned away from the direction she was. If it was going to happen, he would not stop it… He had not the power to stop fate in its tracks. He had not the power to refuse his destiny, which he believed was lay bare before him long before Evey came to him. She was his calm before the storm, and no more departed from his fate than the night of the 5th, when twenty long years of planning and aiming would come into fruition.

*/*/*

She gingerly, half expecting the door to be pushed shut again or unable to move, opened the door and it gave easily, swinging inward at her palms touch. The room was in complete darkness sans the soft light now filtering into the space. Still, the light was not enough to illuminate everything but she could see the corner of his bed however could not make him out from the darkness above it. She stepped in, feeling like time had slowed to a crawl, and her heart beat ten times lower than usual though she was sure it was beating a mile a minute.

The only sound was her hammering heart and shaky breaths as she approached the foot of the bed. As her eyes adjusted to the lack of light, she could see out of the black, the manifestation of white rising up like a ghost from a point higher up near the head of the bed. He was lying there… or at least his mask was. She could hear him breathing slightly; the soft inhale and exhale of one who may be sleeping, or pretending to be. Really? He slept with his mask on? She found that an odd thing, but perhaps he didn't before she came into his life, fearing being seen, his disfigured face bared to her and send her running like a frightened dog.

She pushed the thought out of her head. She didn't want the idea of his insecurity about himself to mar the moment that could possibly change things for them forever. She put her smooth warm knee on the satin covers of V's bed. The mattress was firm and her light form barely made the bed shift at all.

She crawled, tiger-like over the bed, her hands coming to meet the side of his leg, which she found was covered, perhaps not in his usual suit, but something lighter that could breathe as he sleeps. She came up higher on the bed and as she did, her eyes adjusted more so she could actually see the detail of the black arched eyebrows, the curled up mustache and the little beard below that pink lip that attracted her so, his head angled toward her.

She came to settle at his side looking down at his 'face', uncertainty on her own. She licked her lips and placed a tentative hand on his chest, feeling it raise and fall slowly. He didn't move so far, he had not made any motion that he knew she was there. He lay still… calm. He knew she'd come, that was why he left his mask on, otherwise it would be off, his door would be locked and he would be under the covers. He was expecting this… and his expectations were right. He could feel her shaking, so scared, anticipation maybe is what made her tremble, but when her hand came to rest on his chest, his heart bounded. He was surprised she didn't recoil from it. Lastly he could not deny that had she not come to him… he would have been hard pressed to stop himself from going to her, visiting her in her room, looming over her small form, lustily passionate as every bit of his once dormant seed of manhood seemed to rush to a head like a raging bull on fire.

"V?" She whispered softly, her hand slid slowly down, the points of her fingers coming to rest just under his sternum.

"V…' she said even quieter. "Tell me you know I'm here. I want to hear you say it." She said. Somehow she knew he was awake, he didn't strike her as someone who slept heavily. His hidden arm on the other side came up and gently took her hand that lay on his stomach, which when slightly removed to accompany his own hand, made the flesh and muscle under it tremble.

"I knew you'd come, Evey." V said breathily, his hand nearest her coming up to touch her thin shapely neck. She felt a burning at his touch that spread from the point his gloved hand made contact on her jugular, down her spine and settled in her center, bare… warm… and wet. She barely knew how to respond to it… the feeling. All she knew was she loved it. Her eyes were glistening even before his fingers could touch her, but when they had in such a soft and romantic manner, she bit her lip and let one fall out over her cheek.

"I've thought of this moment… how it would play out. But now that I am here…"Evey stammered and watched as he lifted into a half sitting position, his face angled up to hers. She could really feel his breath now; feel more heat waft off him than she had ever felt. It was intoxicating as her eyes roved over the more prominent part, being the mask on his face, loving it… loving him.

"One never knows of where the road of anticipation would lead us, Evey. I can tell plainly by human instinct that you are attracted to me. I know you felt my attraction to you in turn… or you would not be my visitor in the night, gracing my lonely bedroom with your delicious presence." V was a master with words when manipulated by his throaty purring voice… Evey felt every nerve in her body vibrate, her womanhood clenching with dire need as he spoke. She could barely articulate a coherent thought after that that would sound savory and delectable, she'd sound uncultured and dim. She leaned forward, her free hand coming up to touch the chin of the mask gently as she traced a gentle line over the cold metal nose with the tip of her own.

He reacted so softly to the gesture that she was surprised it would have that effect. He hitched a little, taking in deep but soft shallow breaths as he lay back in the bed, her right thigh coming over him and settling on his other side so her warm center lay pressed against him, just above his crotch. She leaned down over him, taking the sides of the mask in her hands and lowering her mouth to it. Her sweet and warm lips touched the slightly less cold mask and she felt herself spiral wildly. There was something about this that was so intensely erotic, perhaps it was the tenseness of his hands on her hips, the clench of his body or the little moan… barest of sounds… that came from him when she kissed him. Her fingers slid down over the jaw of the mask, fingers catching on the soft silky strands of his hair as she moved, her lips still touching the Guy Fawkes mask, but there was a space between where she breathed his air into her lungs and allowed him to breathe in her air.

His body rose slightly, as if inflating from the magnitude of her gesture. He knew her enough to guess that she would not force or even ask him to remove the mask, and if kissing the mask was good enough for her, it was good enough for him… but she took it further, finding ways around the barrier of metal to still connect with the warm moisture of his mouth by inhaling his lungful of air and in turn, giving him hers.

"Evey… you amaze me." V said, sounding unlike himself, stunned perhaps by her willingness to improvise in light of his situation. She pulled back only enough to let her eyes settle on where his were.

"I'm acting on what my human instinct tells me, V…" She said with a high temperature in her tone, burrowing into his chest, her fingers caressing his neck, feeling only small burn welts there that were less prominent than his hands. V took a moment to enjoy the touch of her skin to his. His hands slid up her sides, feeling every rib under his palms before he gently took her wrists.

(12) "Such is my love, to thee I so belong, that for thy right myself will bear all wrong."V said in an equally heated tone. She smiled at him and lowered her mouth to his exposed neck.

"My Shakespeare. I love thee - I love thee, 'Tis all that I can say it is my vision in the night, my dreaming in the day. (13)" She said. He chuckled softly.

"Thomas Hood~" He managed to whisper before her mouth was over his neck and he moaned softly, tipping his head back to offer her more of the skin he exposed. Her tongue came out to draw elegant wet circles over his Adam's apple and back along his real jaw where her nose came up to dip under the fabricated hair that smelt pleasant and found an earlobe she never seen ,but met it pleasantly with a nip of her teeth that drew out a grunt from the man under her.

"V, love your precious guilt.' Evey said huskily as she drew her hands down his chest, feeling his contours that weren't being touched by the length of her torso pressed to him already. 'You made me what I am… and made me feel what I do." She heard him make a strangled sound in his throat, not unlike someone trying to choke back a cry of pleasured anguish. His hands came to meet hers down near his waist.

"No poetry this time, Evey… I won't hide~' V started but she cut him off by sitting up slightly and looking down into his masked face directly. He could see her expression was pointed…serious.

"I'm not asking you to take off your clothing or your mask. I don't need to see you, my certainty of feeling comes from here,' she touched his chest over his heart, and then placed her fingers at his temple. "… And here, whatever I may have seen in you over the last year has changed from one emotion to the next, you confused me… you scared me… you made me want you and hate you all at once, V. How does someone love and hate another?" She said. His hands again took her wrists and he shook his head.

"I wish to apologize for the hell I put you through Evey if it wasn't meant to make you stronger… to make you understand that you wore a mask, just like me. I wished to remove it from you." He paused for a moment, turning his head away from the weight of her heavy glance, painfully and lustfully aware that her warm womanhood was pressed to him. "It's not like me who am tainted and scarred. You said it yourself. I am sick… evil. You can't remove my mask because the man beneath has died when I left Larkhill. What came from the ashes that day was a monster… a cruel and vengeful beast. You are renewed; you came from your ashes… beautiful, a phoenix rather than my more unsavory ugly duckling." V said as she lowered her head, ear to his chest, arms coming down to encircle his ribs, tucking up under him a little so her hands were between his back and the bed.

"Student and teacher… that is what it seems like. You had to teach me a hard lesson. The things I said weren't right, V. You're not a monster." She said softly, aching for him yes, but not willing to break him like this, not like he broke her. His hands came up to close around her comfortingly, the angle of his head bringing the jaw of the mask down to rest at the top of her head.

"I won't ask you to leave. I find comfort in your presence, Evey… there are many hours before us that would otherwise be spent in silence and alone. We can find each other in the dark tonight."

Evey lifted her head to look up at him, sliding up his body slowly and kissed his neck before coming up to level herself with his face.

"But we have." She said and brushed her mouth over the mouth slit careful to breath out at that moment before she brought her face down again to claim the delectable neck she found tasted every bit as delicious as she thought it would. Her hands traveled down his arms, bringing her palms to his. He was still, and if it wasn't for his breathing she may have thought he was a doll. But as his hands opened flat against hers, they trembled gently.

She kissed his fingertips slowly, paying close attention to each as they passed before her lips. Both hands slipped up the soft material of his sleeve so that her fingertips slid under the rim of the glove. She didn't hesitate and he didn't pull away. No sense in being uncomfortable about his hands, she had already seen them. They were pink and warped white flesh twisted in strange circles over the tissue, but they weren't as bad as he felt they were. However she knew it was something he would have to overcome on his own when it came to the rest of his body. It was just down to her to show she wasn't disgusted by it.

As her fingers came up under the arm band of the glove, she watched him, intuitively looking for a flinch of movement that he would pull away but he didn't. The glove started to come loose from his fingers slowly. A sticky sort of gasp escaped his throat as her teeth took the tip of the index finger and started to pull up on it, freeing his wrist from the leather. Once his fingers came free of the sheaths of the glove, she held to his wrist and pulled the rest of it off painfully slow. The glove fell to the bed with barely a sound as she brought her palm to his bare scarred flesh. His hand was hot but dry. Smooth but calluses and ridges from the burns made trails she could trace, as if each one told a story.