A/N: Done much sooner than I expected! I love this chapter :) Hope you guys do too...

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Chapter 5 - Affinity

"And now, I need to know is this real love,
Or is it just madness keeping us afloat?"

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Unassuming and completely oblivious to the turn my day was about to take- hell, the turn my life was about to take- I answered the knock on my door on Tuesday evening without even checking the peephole.

Mistake number one.

Face to face with Grimmjow, the beautiful and sinfully seductive man I had likened to a dangerous drug addiction for the past three or more years, for the sake of preserving my sanity, was staring intently right at me.

Immediately every dream, every thought of him I'd had over the past few years flooded my brain and my legs turned to jelly. I fought to maintain some semblance of sanity, tried to figure out whether I was having another, very vivid dream or I was actually as royally fucked as it seemed.

I blinked a few times, face undoubtedly horrified, strain probably visible in every feature of my face. Nothing changed. Grimmjow still stood, scandalously good looking, frowning at me. FROWNING. Not quite the expression I would expect if a man came knocking on my door, but who was I to ponder expected futures. Mine was obviously not playing out like I'd expected.

Naturally, my first response was to do what any recovering addict would do when avoidance with the substance no longer worked. What any alcoholic, faced with a room full of alcohol, would immediately do.

I went into denial.

I slammed the door in his frowning face and closed my eyes.

If I couldn't see him, he wasn't there. That was my brilliant rational for you, and the stupidest plan I'd ever had in my life. How soon I forgot that he was dangerous, so wrapped up in resisting temptation that I lost all sense of physical preservation at all.

Like an idiot, I had forgotten to relock the door.

Mistake number two.

Unlike an idiot, Grimmjow saw an opportunity when it was presented to him.

The door reopened, and when my eyes snapped open at the sound he took a step forward, towards me, sending me backpedaling deeper into my apartment to avoid contact. The flash of heat in his gaze shot through me, and I shuddered, those blue eyes that had haunted me for years not burrowing intensely into my panicked brown ones. Without a word he closed the door behind him and fully entered my home.

Seeing him, here in my space, was doing all sorts of things to me that I didn't have the ability to process. My eyes, the stupid idiotic things that had tried to solve my problem by hiding, were unable to leave his.

Blue, my whole world was now a startling shade of azure blue.

He smirked then, and the force of that smile sent an unfortunate dose of reality to me. Grimmjow was here, in my home, and I was just standing there like an idiot. Staring.

"Ichigo." His voice was like a rough purr, borrowing deep inside me and rubbing up against my skin. My eyes slipped closed again, briefly, in self preservation this time as I fought to maintain control.

"Why are you here?" My voice sounded rough, weak- even to me. I knew that he was well aware of how uncontrollable my body's response to him was, some things would probably never change.

"I heard an old friend was in town, and curiosity finally got the better of me. Then I noticed he was avoiding me, and I started to wonder why."

Friend. What a foul word, as if it could describe any aspect of our relationship.

Why was it that I hadn't been content with my attempt at a clean slate? I just had to take Renji's offer to mend the ties I'd broken, knowing full well that I risked exposure to a highly dangerous substance.

Damn the man, why couldn't he leave me alone.

"If I recall correctly," I straightened, still reigning in my emotions as much as possible, as if it would limit the risks of exposure to him. I tried for irritated, since I knew somewhere behind the shock I was furious that he'd just shown up in my home "You told me I could leave."

"I said I wouldn't make ya stay." He responded easily, and I watched him carefully now. He was no longer frowning, but the smile I'd grown to think was a permanent part of his face hadn't quite slipped into place. He looked… curious? Such a mild emotion compared to my own. "That doesn't excuse ya for greeting all of my closest friends except me, especially when I like to think of myself as your once-favorite of the group."

Was that, hurt? Somehow, as his gaze intensified further, I was seeing more than simple curiosity. Was he really here just because I'd been avoiding him? A better question: Would I ever be able to look at him, hear him speak, and not immediately turn into an internal pile of melting bone and burning veins?

Not quite willing to ask that out loud, I settle for the former.

"So you're here because I'm avoiding you?" I asked carefully, and he finally grinned. Watching it change his face into the one I'd had spent months of my life devouring… I tried uselessly to clear my head.

"That's it strawberry."

That nickname, the memories that brought back.

No one had ever gotten away with calling me that but him, because when he said it desire had always flooded through me instead of anger or embarrassment. Desire that surged again as if the last three years hadn't passed and I was still the same guy who had jumped on him any chance I'd gotten.

But that wasn't me anymore. I took a deep, purposeful breath through my mouth to avoid any possible drugging by the mere scent of him, and locked my gaze on his.

"It's been a long time, Grimm."

"Both too long and not that long at all." He countered, watching me curiously and unabashedly assessing me from head to toe. Even I could see the sparks of some other emotion flashing as his eyes seemed to physically move over me. "A lot has changed, that's for sure."

I finally tore my own gaze from his face, taking my time to assess him too – it was only fair.

Grimmjow was still taller than me, hovering somewhere around 6'2", and as built as ever under his clothes. His clothes, however, were in stark contrast to the types of things I'd seen him in years ago. Standing in my apartment wearing black slacks with an indigo shirt, unbuttoned and worn with a loosened black tie, it was obvious he'd come straight from work. My eyes couldn't help but devour his well-dressed frame, noting that his clothes were perfectly tailored to highlight his long legs, trim waist and broad chest. The blue as a compliment to his eyes was a nice touch too, a part of my mind registered, but most of me was trying to reign in the memories of how much I used to enjoy stripping clothes off of Grimmjow's lean swimmer's build.

I finally caught myself staring, and I was pissed. It couldn't have escaped his notice, and slightly ashamed of my weakness I tried to collect my sanity before I pulled my eyes back to his. Mind over matter; I could shove the desire away.

"If you really wanted to see me, a phone call would have worked. Renji didn't just show up at my front door and give me a heart-attack, he called me. Much less startling." I pointed out, hoping to shame him.

Once, I would have known better; things may change, but Grimmjow has always been immune to shame.

"This is a heart-attack, hmm? Interesting." His grin remained firmly intact, still standing in my entryway like a predator. Had he always been so... overpowering? Of course he had, I mentally shook myself, that's what happens when one has the pull of a drug. I pulled out of my reverie in time to hear him expand. "I was in the area, just leaving my office, and remembered one of the guys mentioning that ya lived over here. I tracked ya down, not so terribly difficult, so I could give ya a hard time in person."

"Gee, how considerate." I sighed, "Consider me plenty harassed. Did you need anything else?"

"Can't get rid of me that easily." He shook his head, pausing to consider me for a moment before continuing. "Unless, I suppose, ya come to dinner with me on Friday? We won't go to Departures with the guys, but I think we need a chance to catch up."

Stuck between a rock and a hard place: Deal with him now, in my home, or deal with him later, over dinner. I knew he wouldn't leave until I agreed, so the choice really wasn't that hard.

"Fine, get my number from one of the guys." I complied, eager to get him out of my home and my sight, at least in the short term. "Now will you please leave?"

"You're not making it seem like you're happy to see me at all." Grimmjow pointed out with a tauntingly raised eyebrow as he opened my front door. I scowled in return.

"You said it yourself: I was avoiding you."

His laugh would echo through my head for days after he walked out of my apartment, shutting the door firmly behind him.

That memory haunted my dreams, and as I turned to go make dinner I decided to tell Renji about the encounter tomorrow- A person could really only take so much Grimmjow in a day, whether that be seeing him or talking about him, and I really didn't want to relapse.

I think.

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Renji had apologized again and again for dragging me back into Grimmjow's circle of friends, and then begged me not to go to dinner. I had made it pretty clear that living with Grimmjow in my life and not being in a relationship wasn't something I was capable of, and so he didn't question that. So, even he knew that there were really only two possible outcomes. Either A: I managed to resist Grimmjow's pull long enough to get through dinner and then I would, once again, disappear in a pathetic attempt at self preservation, or B: I would succumb.

Given that I'd tried both before, even I wasn't sure which outcome was the likeliest. Obviously I preferred an option that wasn't even on the table- that Grimmjow would leave me the hell alone. But he never would, and I knew that because I'm not as stupid as my orange hair makes people think I am. I knew, as well as I knew that my goat-faced old man would never let either of my sisters date until they weren't living at home, that Grimmjow would not give up the hunt now that I was back in his reach.

Even though he'd let me leave.

Perhaps because he'd let me leave.

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Thursday night, as if I needed more fuel for the blue fire that burned through me, I dreamed of our first night together.

It had been passionate, driven by so many things and feelings, but it hadn't been driven by drugs. One of the few nights I can say that about, and all the more memorable for it.

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I was sitting on his bed cross-legged, waiting for him to get out of the bathroom. We'd been up late watching a movie when our cuddling had crossed the line into making out, which had progressed into some heavy petting, which had ended in Grimm excusing himself for a shower.

I couldn't be mad, he was just respecting the boundaries I had set out in the beginning. I wasn't gay, and I wasn't ready for a full physical relationship with a man. Of course, if I was half as transparent as I felt, I figured Grimm knew that those boundaries were beginning to blur. I was obviously gay for him, because I'd never been so hard in my goddamn life, though that didn't extend to other men. As for the full physical relationship… if I let him stroke my dick trough my clothes I obviously wanted him. All of him.

And why the fuck not?

Grimmjow is beautiful in a way that makes my toes curl and my heart race. The sharp lines of his face, the lean, muscled planes of his body, the blue eyes that met mine as often as he could make it happen… all of these things were so far burned into me that I felt like a complete idiot denying either of us anymore.

His laughter brought an immediate smile to my face, even when he was teasing me. Sometimes he'd actually succeed in making me so mad that I'd come at him, fists flying, and we'd fight until we were both laughing again. I hated him, I loved him, and I damn well knew that I didn't want to live without him.

So what was the hold up?

When Grimm exited the bathroom and saw me sitting in the middle of his bed, he raised an eyebrow curiously. He'd donned his favorite baggy sweats to sleep in, shirtless as always, and I barely resisted a shiver as my eyes took their time devouring him.

"Oi, strawberry, ya might want to tone down the fire in those eyes before I jump your bones."

He'd meant to be both reproachful and teasing, reminding me of my own boundaries, but I knew that the threat was a serious one. I smiled slowly, eyes caressing his body again as they slowly returned to his face.

"That sounds like a great idea, Grimmjow." My eyes were lit with amusement and desire as they watched his expression carefully, "How about we take care of that pesky, final wall I left up?"

Grimmjow growled deep in his throat, stalking to the edge of the bed as his eyes bore into mine.

"You shouldn't say things ya don't mean strawberry, especially when you're asking for something I want."

"Oh I mean it," I purred back, crawling toward him where he stood until I was facing him, on my knees on the top of the bed, our gazes clashing as I lifted my hands to graze the muscles of his stomach playfully, but with purpose. I felt his stomach twitch under my fingers, and my eyes stayed locked on his as I slowly slipped them to the waistband of his pants. "All I could think about while you were taking that shower was: the next time I get him hard, I'm going to take care of it myself."

Inhaling sharply, he stared at me for a long moment as he tried to pull the truth out of my mind. Whatever he saw there in my eyes led to one last deep breath before he shoved me firmly backwards onto the bed. He followed.

When his body landed over mine, caging me in and effectively trapping me beneath him, I fought to contain my satisfied moan. I wanted him so bad, I wanted to touch every part of his body and lose myself in the sound of his voice. I wanted him to devour me.

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Grimmjow was dangerous to me even then, because I was helpless to his pull.

He had been slow at first, pulling me out of my clothes languidly and stoking the fire until I'd been all but lost in his arms. His lips, his tongue, they caressed every part of my body and mouth; by the time he'd managed to get me out of my pants I was all but exploding already.

The first time hadn't been the best time. I had been so swallowed up in desire that I forgot one of the reasons I'd been resisting so long- the first time would be more painful and weird than it would be wonderful. Grimmjow was good, I wouldn't deny him that, but in hindsight (and compared to the immeasurable number of times we had sex in the following months) it hadn't been anywhere near perfect.

What had been perfect was the look in his face as he came inside me for the first time. Visibly torn, he had fought the desire to close his eyes as he watched me succumb completely to the feeling of him inside me. He got me off first, surprisingly considerate about that sort of thing in bed, and so I'd been little more than a giant pile of mush at that point.

But his eyes, those goddamn beautiful, captivating and predatory eyes, had screamed "mine" that very first time, and every time after that.

And I, as weak as I was, loved that he wanted me that badly. That he physically claimed me, but wanted more. I could see it in his eyes every time we had sex- he wanted my physically, emotionally and metaphorically.

Any way he could swing it, he wanted to possess me.

And he did, to this day, own parts of me that I hadn't realized that I'd given away until it was too late.

Until I was addicted to him, to his magnetism, to his eyes, to his unmistakable purr. To the softness of his voice when I was lying sleepily in his arms. To the fierce flash in his eyes as his temper flamed. To the laughter that could both chill my bones and arouse me in ways that it shouldn't.

And even now, at the risk of my own sanity, I knew that I wouldn't be able to resist going to dinner with him.

Addiction is so much more that words can express.

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A/N: REVIEW! It makes me happy :)