First of all, I'd like to dedicate this chapter to Xaphrin—her challenge that I post this chapter up by Sunday is really what got me over the issues of writing this chapter. So, thanks for the push! :)

Okay...so this chapter (and maybe a few scenes in the coming chapters...we'll see) are pretty much why I've made the story M. I tried to keep it at T (I don't like to pull rating changes in case some people decide a rating is too high or something and are uncomfortable with finishing the story) but I really just kind of needed to. I don't think there will be a full-blown lemon (not sure about that, I may give it a try if anyone would be willing to beta it), but there will be situational things that would be classified as M. Starting in this chapter. So, erm, sorry?

Also, I think this is the last filler chapter before the main villain will appear (if all goes according to plan). Woo!~ Action soon.

In the meantime, enjoy this chapter of random sexual tension! :)


The Excursion Pt.1

He dragged her out of the cafe, irritated with the prospect of taking her to her favourite bookstore.

"Honestly, I don't think I know anyone who would like this outing," he remarked sourly on their short walk to his motorcycle.

"Damian would."

He growled, unhappy that the subject had somehow returned back to Damian. The guy she was supposed to be forgetting about.

"Doubt it, he'd go cos you dragged him along," he retorted.

"He likes to read," she defended indignantly.

He snorted, "What does he read, pray tell?"

"He told me yesterday that he read the book I'm reading now, Angela's Ashes."

"You know, anyone can say they read a book. Just say it was great and insightful. That's kind of how I passed all of my English classes."

She frowned, "He knew it was about the famine in Ireland. And his comment was only short because he probably didn't want to spoil the book for me."

He scoffed, barely registering that they had reached his motorcycle. Still, he pressed, "What did he say about it?"

"That it was a poignant portrayal of the famine. And it is."

"You sure he didn't just read the back and then come up with a quick comment?"

"Unlike you, some people enjoy reading."

He put his hands up in a backing-down gesture, "Whatever you say."

Because, really, she wasn't going to admit that what he was saying could've been true. And he really didn't want to discuss Damian, anyway.

He prayed this outing wouldn't take forever—he was unapologetic about the fact that reading was boring.

(Somehow he knew he wouldn't end up that lucky, though.)

Yeah, he wanted to help her but that didn't mean that she couldn't find something more...conducive to both of their interests. No matter how much she insisted they were opposites, there had to be something they had in common. Something they could do that would actually be painless. Maybe even fun.

That's why, when arriving at the street her favourite book store was on, he promptly died a little inside.

The street was roped off, with traffic officers directing annoyed patrons of Jump city to other streets. The blocked road was lined with small white pavilions that ran up and down each side. Each stand had books from independent owners and small, local stores from around Jump City.

(It was the first annual Jump book festival was today.)

He could see her brighten instantly.

Well, fuck.

There was no getting out of this. Not for a long time, anyway. He sighed, parking his motorcycle. He had better be nominated for the best fucking person award for this.

Almost as soon as he stopped the bike, she practically jumped off.

(This time, however, he assumed that it was just as much from excitement as it was from fear.)

He frowned. Under normal circumstances he might laugh at her unusual demeanour—she was like a small child at Christmas—however, he couldn't help but wonder what he would spend the time doing. He'd probably just be a glorified piece of furniture.

(Quite frankly, this seemed like hell.)

(Did this mean he could claim he went to hell with her too?)

He followed her to the nearest tent, hanging behind as she went about inspecting the books. As if that weren't enough, she was talking with the elderly man behind the table—what was it about people who liked books becoming best friends instantly? Looking at them, he'd guess Raven knew this guy her entire life. He crossed his arms, trying to find anything remotely interesting to look at.

There weren't that many people there—wonder why? he thought bitterly—and the ones that were there were all like her. Busy looking at the backs of books or chatting amiably with other bibliophiles.

He turned his attention back to her, practically glaring daggers at her—now fully dried—violet hair, willing her to hurry up under his heated stare. Unfortunately, she continued on as though she didn't sense his fuming look.

(She did, though. He knew she did. After all, she called him out for staring at her intently when she was making tea yesterday.)

He wanted to say something, however, part of his mind registered the fact that they just got here. Even he knew he was being unfair. Frowning, he kicked at some of the rocks on the road, finding some amusement in the small soccer game he'd started with the little grey stones. Of course, having an ounce of intelligence (or a short attention span), he quickly lost interest.

All of this was made worse by the fact that she still had his brown leather jacket. He didn't want to be a douche and take it back from her, but he was starting to get cold. He could feel the goosebumps raise themselves on his arms. Despite the fact that he was standing in a patch of sunlight.

He frowned, wondering if he could maybe skip some of the outing with the excuse of buying another coat.

(He knew it would never work though. She'd insist on giving his back—eliminating his option of escape and making him feel guilty.)

"Here."

Her monotone voice sliced through his thoughts with all the surprise of a bucket of cold water to the face. She had taken his coat off and was offering it to him.

He really was a terrible person.

(To be fair, though, he should be allowed to mentally complain.)

"I'm fine," he muttered.

"I don't need it," she argued, "Stronger constitution than you, remember?"

"I'm not taking it back."

She gave a gusty sigh, "Look, your discontent is nearly giving me a headache. This will do good for both of us."

He frowned. He sometimes forgot being an empath was just as hard for her as everyone around her. Nodding, he took his coat back and revelled in the warmth it brought. Not even the fact that her smell saturated his favourite coat could dampen his spirits—at least something was going right. If he had to be decoration, at least he would be warm doing it.

She chuckled, "You're so easy to please, it's remarkable."

He shrugged, "Nothing wrong with enjoying the simple things in life, right?"

Her lips pulled into a contemplative frown. "No, I suppose not. Be grateful for all you have and all of that," she muttered with a dismissive wave. It wasn't until she stopped at another tent did he realise they had been walking.

Of course, she couldn't just walk past the tent. No, she stopped at each of the tents—taking her sweet time—caressing the spines of various books as she considered adding them to her already too large collection. Whatever happiness being warm brought him was slowly seeping away as the morning marched on.

He looked around at the fair, which was still sparsely populated, hoping something interesting would just appear. Nope.

He checked his communicator for any signs of villainous activity. Hell, he'd even take a minor break in at this point. Nothing. The city was completely quiet.

So, naturally, with nothing else interesting to look at, his gaze shifted back to her.

He watched her delicate fingers lingering over almost every tome that she saw—gently sliding over their worn spines—biting her bottom lip—turning them cherry red—as she contemplated which books to pick up.

He couldn't help but wonder what it would be like of she were to explore him with the same care she was giving to those books—how it would feel to have her nimble fingers delicately tracing him. She would start at the planes of his chest, slowly dragging her hands slide lower in slow, rhythmic patterns—teasing in their effervescence.

He could practically see the flush that would stain her cheeks as she tentatively continued, biting her lip all the while. He would lift her chin so that her gaze met his, moving his thumb against the line of her jaw, watching her squirm a bit from his intense gaze. He would plant butterfly kisses along her jaw, continuing back to her ear. He would nip her earlobe then trace the ridge with his tongue—leaving her doe-eyed and surprised, her breath hitching and her feather-light touches hesitating for a moment from the sensation—to get her to stop biting her lip—which was exhausting his self-control. She, of course, would give into the sensation, her head tilting back as he continued his trail down her smooth neck, stopping occasionally to decorate her ivory skin with a few love-bites—marking her as his—smiling at the whimpers he pulled from her—

—His eyes snapped open.

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What the actual fuck? he couldn't help but think at the turn of his—traitorous—thoughts.

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No. This was not happening.

Couldn't be happening.

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(Except it did and now the images refused to leave him.)

Crap. Crap. Crap.

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"I'm going to be right back," he explained, words tumbling out of his mouth as quickly as possible as he all but took off, unable to even act remotely normal.

He just needed to get away.

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He barely remembered how he arrived in the small porter potty, his thoughts were a whirlwind. He was barely thinking straight at all. Itching to pace but unable to do so in the confined space of the—reeking—stall, he felt caged. Frustrated. This was not supposed to fucking happen. He needed to get it together and fast.

He really wanted to bang his head against the cheap plastic wall of the small box frame. (The only reason he didn't was because he was afraid he'd do so with such force that the contraption would go falling forward.)

He pulled at his hair, for once not caring that he was messing up his usually immaculate 'do. That was actually the farthest thing from his mind—he was busy berating himself for the close call.

She was an empath. And one he had to live with for the next few days. He did not want to be massacred before returning home.

Spirits this wasn't fair. Clamping his eyes closed, he willed himself to think of anything else that was remotely not fun—training. Arguing with Aqualad about eating fish. The twins laughing at his hair routine. Bee yelling at him that he needed to clean.

After a few moments reliving those memories, he felt his heart slow and the tightness in his jeans ease. He opened his eyes, contemplating the next order of business—how was he to go back out there without having another episode? He groaned. Why the hell did she have to be a fucking empath? Worst power ever.

He frowned, his brows knitting together as he dissected why it happened. It had to be boredom. He was so bored that he was willing to fantasise about nearly anything. However, he had no idea what to do to entertain himself? Hell, maybe he would look at the books too. Ones that she wasn't looking at. At a different stall. As far as possible without being suspiciously far. Then, like a horse with blinders, he'd just look at what was in front of him. Yeah, that could work.

After stalling a bit longer—doing anything to put off going back out there—he finally admitted that his bathroom break would put most women to shame and that it was time to rejoin her outside. Swallowing, he made his way back to the pitifully small fair—slowly, enjoying the crisp day. He also removed his jacket after reminding himself that it reeked of lavender and black tea.

"Well did you get her number?" her monotone voice asked when he finally found her—unmoved from where he'd left her.

"Hunh?" he asked, gaze adverted, still unable to really form a cohesive sentence. Not to mention, he was surprised. This was not the direction he thought things would go.

"You had a surge of hormones before taking off quickly," she explained, "I only assumed that's what you were doing."

He grunted, not even willing to address that statement.

Upon seeing that he'd give no answers, she shrugged, wandering off to examine something else. He finally allowed relief to settle in—thank the Creators for his reputation. He sighed, slowly drifting away from her as he absent-mindedly picked up a book, holding it for an acceptable time to look like he'd read the back before setting it back down and repeating the process.

(It wasn't until the man behind the desk pointed out that he'd read the back of his books multiple times—and asking if he were alright—that he moved on to another stall, trying to keep track of the ones he'd looked at so that he wouldn't look as stupid. But his whole plan was stupid and still left him alone with his thoughts.)

Glancing at the time on his communicator, he was grateful to note that it had been two and a half hours—plenty of time for him to insist on leaving. Putting the tome that was in his hand back in its place, he nearly ran into the sable-haired woman next to him. She was a good few inches shorter than he was with long, flowing hair and brilliant blue eyes. She was actually hot. Especially considering who else was here. And she was not-so-subtly eyeing him.

"Erm...can I help you with something?" he asked, cringing at how...not-suave it sounded.

She smiled, "No, I was just wondering your name. I don't think I've seen you around before."

He returned her smile, "I'm Roy. I'm actually here visiting friends from Steel City."

"I'm Annette," she replied easily, "Oh, I've only been once. Lovely city."

He nodded in agreement, forcing himself to follow the conversation. Which was quickly turning badly as she inquired about his favourite books. He sighed, guessing that telling her the only author he'd ever really bothered to read was Oscar Wilde would not go over well—she probably knew enough about Wilde's famed personality and would assume he held similar values. (Which would be true but he didn't feel like burning this bridge just yet.)

Frantically wracking his brain for anything, he finally blurted, "Angela's Ashes."

"I don't think I've heard of that one."

"Yeah, it's a bit obscure...," he supplied, grimacing internally at the parallel between him and Damian—who also most likely didn't read the book he thought spitefully.

"What's it about?"

"The famine in Ireland," he supplied, praying she wouldn't ask what famine or what time period. Because the hell if he knew.

(History was never a strong subject for him either.)

"Oh, how interesting."

"Yeah. It was a poignant portrayal of the events shown through the lens of the main character," he added, grateful he remembered the exact explanation that saved him many times when discussing books at school.

She smiled, appeased. The conversation continued with her discussing her favourite book. Somewhere in the conversation, Raven had joined them, waiting patiently for them to finish speaking. Annette, aware that he was probably about to go, quickly exchanged numbers with him, expressing her hope that she'd see him again before he left. He waved to her retreating figure in much better spirits than he'd been in before.

"Since when can you keep up in a conversation on books?" she asked with a frown.

He shrugged, "I'm not entirely unread, you know."

Okay that was mostly a lie. But, still, he couldn't help the bubble of indignation from rising at her comment. She didn't have to assume. Just because few people liked reading as much as she did didn't mean they were completely unread or stupid.

She shrugged dismissively, "Whatever. Would you like to leave?"

"Creators, yes."

She rolled his eyes, poorly suppressing a smile at his response.

"So now where to?" she asked, a full plastic bag in her hand.

Oh, right. He'd forgotten the fact that he insisted on taking her somewhere awful after the bookshop. He frowned, unsure if this was really a good idea anymore.

Her eyes gleamed wickedly, "Or is it as I thought? That you were bluffing."

Fuelled by the desire to prove her wrong, he thought what the hell. How bad can this be, really?

He smirked at her, "Hardly. You'll love this."


Arriving at the blackened store front, he allowed himself a smile at her wide-eyes.

"You cannot be serious," she stated firmly, gazing up at the store's tacky neon sign that read For Your Pleasure.

He shrugged, "I told you I'd make it excruciating."

"I am not going into a sex shop," she hissed.

His grin grew and he remained remarkably unfazed by her reaction, "You made a deal. Shouldn't have bet against me if you weren't willing to take the risk."

After a pause, he added, folding his arms across his chest, "Or are you going to go back on your word—the one that you always tout as worth something?"

She frowned, torn.

He laughed, she was regarding the store with such a fierce determination.

"Don't be such a prude," he commented, starting toward the doors.

"Where are you going?"

"Inside. It's not going to go away, Rae. Not to mention, you'll just look weird standing outside glaring at a store as you gather the courage to go in."

She scoffed.

"It's like a band-aid," he continued, ignoring her annoyance at his insinuation that she lacked courage, "Just rip it off. Get it over with."

She growled. Despite dragging him (accidentally) to a local book fair, this was needlessly cruel.

"You can always put on the holo-ring Cyborg made for you if it'll make you feel better," he offered, bringing her attention away from the storefront.

"Don't have it on me," she explained.

Refusing to let him get the better of her—or be anything that could be deemed remotely cowardly—she squared her shoulders, and followed him inside the place's forbidden—blackened—exterior with all the dignity she could muster.

She let out a breath she didn't know she had been holding when she discovered the place was empty. She smiled at the small victory. For a moment, she stood at the entrance, taking it all in. It was packed with all kinds of things—toys, DVDs, costumes, games—and had an overpowering smell of plastic. It was like a hoarder's basement—a hoarder with a fetish and organisational skills.

Passing a the wall of toys (and trying not to look too much at them) she concluded that she had no idea what a good portion of them were even meant to be used for. Some of them looked to be more pain-inducing than anything else. Others—like the handcuffs—she couldn't fathom why anyone would want. Most of the items were downright degrading. Turning to the other wall of the small store, she saw the wall lined with random DVDs. Honestly, she had no idea there were so many trashy porn films out there. She wandered down that wall, careful not to touch anything.

In short, she looked at her surroundings with the curiosity of a child who knows it is seeing something that it shouldn't be.

Some of the DVD covers were facing outward on small displays and had images that would make a grown man blush (or not, if Roy was any indication). She flushed when she realised that he wasn't looking around, but rather, intently at her, gauging her reaction.

"What?" She snapped.

He held his hands up defensively.

"Relax, I was only thinking that maybe you're not such a prude after all," he supplied with a chuckle as her face flooded with colour as she struggled with how to respond to that.

"Do people actually do this?" She asked, absent-mindedly picking up the DVD, frowning at it.

"Yes, Rae. It's just sex not rocket science."

She could feel her face redden in embarrassment at how obviously inexperienced she was.

Her face scrunched up as she snapped, "Well thank-you for that. I have no idea what I'd do without your expert input."

He allowed the grin on his face to grow, "A sentiment I've heard from many women."

Black energy flowed to her fingertips, almost unconsciously. It was clearly her first reaction when dealing with him. Unfortunately, the shop's proprietor emerged from the stock room, in a large grey t-shirt that matched his greasy long hair and scraggly beard. His eyes widened when he realised just who was in his shop. Even if he hadn't recognised her iconic purple locks and ivory skin, he would've recognised her by the black that engulfed her petite hands.

She turned, the man's emotional surprise catching her attention. He was behind the counter and sending not-so-subtle looks of awe her way. She could feel her cheeks heating up under the scrutiny and Speedy's wolfish grin.

She frowned as she heard Speedy's mutter smugly under his breath, "You should've worn your holo-ring."

She blinked, wondering why this man was staring so intently at her—what did he want?—before he began to advance on them.

"I never expected to meet a Titan before. Not here," he began, waves of nervousness breaking into the amazement that radiated strongly from him.

"I hadn't expected to be here," she tried to joke, but she knew her voice came out flat. Maybe even bitter.

"Hey, do you mind if I take a photo?"

The awe was back, drowning out the traces of apprehension that had been there. She nearly suffocated from his emotions. Shocked at his audacity, she nodded dumbly, unaware of the DVD still in her grasp. No, at that moment she was busy praying that the flash washed her skin back out to its normal colour. He snapped two quick photos and was off with a quick thank-you. She sighed, glad that he left them to the illusion that it was just her and Speedy.

With an amused smirk, Speedy asked, "You do know what he's going to do with that, right?"

She turned to him, her face still burning bright red. He couldn't help it but he loved provoking her—eliciting these rare uncomposed reactions from the usually stoic girl was a badge of pride for him.

"No. Do I want to?" She replied, her head tilted as she waited for his response.

He couldn't help but think that she looked adorably clueless. That was the best way to describe her expression.

"He's totally gonna masturbate to them."

Her eyes widened as she jerked back like she'd been physically hit, "What?"

After a moment, she lowered her burning face and said, "You're joking...there's no way...that would be...no. No."

His grin grew bigger, "Think about it. If he were a fan, he'd have taken a photo of both of us. Probably to take it to the media. But he didn't, he only wanted you. You looking very cute and very red."

She glowered, "I am not cute. And I'm not that red."

(Okay, even she had to admit the last part of that statement was probably a stretch.)

She then turned her attention away from the archer, unable to respond to the rest of his statement. He frowned, wondering how to continue on in the face of her unusual silence. Thankfully, she spoke before he had to come up with something.

Unfortunately, her question was...

"How much longer do I have to spend here?"

He frowned, was it that unbearable? Okay so it was supposed to be (kind of) but...not...not really...

"Another two hours, if we're sticking to the previous arrangement. Though even I admit this place doesn't have enough to even keep me occupied for that long," he replied with a sigh.

"So then when are we going if not in two hours?"

"Eh. Maybe twenty minutes. We'll see," he offered with a shrug that looked more nonchalant than he felt.

She nodded, "Good. I think it's safe to say that I'm never coming back here."

He just chuckled, "He's not the only one, you know. Besides, there are plenty of pictures online for anyone who's dead-set on a picture of you. Comes with the territory of being famous and attractive, so be flattered."

She blinked at him, clearly registering the word attractive. How he wished he could shake some sense into her. For someone so smart, she could be incredibly slow when she wanted to be.

"Even if I could be flattered by the prospect of a guy...doing that...to a photo...of me," she grimaced but continued on, "That's still too close to home. I don't actually want to know."

He chuckled, "To each their own."

"I'm sorry," she began, brows furrowed, "You would want to know if a random woman was...messing around...to a picture of you?"

He shrugged, "Yeah, why not? I, personally, think it's kind of hot."

"Even if she looked like that man's female counterpart?"

He grimaced, "Okay, point taken."

She smiled at the victory.

The last twenty minutes was pretty much spent with him trying to embarrass her further by poking her with random toys—most of which elicited a look of disdain from her. ("How could anyone even come up with this?" she'd asked after dodging his attempt to pinch her arm with nipple clamps.)

When he'd exhausted that, he gambled his life by looking at the costumes and telling her that she should opt for a uniform change. Mercifully, despite being obviously uncomfortable, her magic didn't appear again nor did she threaten him.

(Though there were more than enough glares to compensate.)

Wandering over to the far wall, he teased, "You know, maybe I should add ten minutes to this excursion for every glare."

"You wouldn't," she replied, her voice dangerously low.

He gave her a cheeky smile, "Want to test that out?"

"Hardly."

"So...you'll try not to look like you want to murder me in my sleep?"

She huffed, crossing her arms in front of her chest, "Fine."

He picked up a random DVD in an effort to not wither under the deadpan look she gave him. It was just a look of nothing—which made it almost worse than a glare. He'd have to bear that in mind.

Seeing her look not producing the desired effect, she sighed and went about looking at the shelf before her.

"Do people really spend time watching this?" she asked, swallowing her pride with the reasoning that she had already proven several times over that she painfully new to all of this.

"No, these get made to decorate shelves."

"I can't imagine anything less appealing, though," she continued, ignoring his sarcastic comment, "At the end of the day, they're just actors."

He shot her a look that she couldn't really decipher, "You're telling me that you've never even tried to watch porn?"

He looked aghast.

"When did I say that?"

"You said 'something something..imagine...' which means you haven't!"

She looked down, willing for the floor to swallow her whole, "Fine, no I haven't."

"No wonder you don't understand," he muttered. As an afterthought, he added, "So then what do you do in between pokes?"

"What?"

"In between the few times you have sex," he clarified.

"Between assumes there's been a first."

He could feel his jaw drop and land somewhere in China.

"I knew you were shy...hell and really inexperienced...but...I never thought..." he sputtered.

"Drop. It."

"Okay, okay," he muttered, returning his attention to the toys with a newfound purpose.

"What're you doing?" she asked, hoping her statement didn't reveal her nervousness—she didn't like the unpredictable way he sped off to the dangerous looking toy section that she'd tried to avoid.

"I'm here to help you," he explained, "Consider this education part of your help. Movies you can easily find online so I'm seeing if there's anything else here that might help."

"Erm...I think I'm fine, really. Twenty years and I'm perfectly fine."

Still, he ignored her, eventually spotting a particular item, which he snapped up before she could see what it was.

"Alright, alright, you can go now," he informed her, "I'll get this and then meet you outside."

She moved faster than he'd ever seen her as she scrambled to leave.

"Azar, why did I ever think inviting him was a good idea?" she muttered to herself when she was safely out of that store. She massaged her temples—she was in way over her head. At least the cool air was helping to take the heat from her cheeks.

(She nearly forgot what fresh air smelled like in that dank store.)

She heard the door close and his footsteps as he approached her. Turning, she saw him carrying a nondescript black bag.

"Someday I'm going to kill you," she stated, glancing wearily at the black bag.

He laughed, "Aw, that wasn't so bad. I went easy on you."

She shot him an incredulous look as they crossed the small street, "No you didn't."

"I did too. You can't expect me not to react when you say you're a virgin, Rae." She cringed as she noticed some of the few people on the road turned to look at them after hearing this—rather loud—statement.

"Why don't you say that a little louder? I don't think all of Jump City heard you," she snapped.

"Sorry, sorry," he muttered, "I can't help it, I'm surprised."

Her mouth pulled into a contemplative frown, "I don't get why. I called you over here because I've never dated."

"I thought there was that one guy," he offered.

She could feel her muscles stiffen, "He was an asshole. Also made out of paper."

"Seriously?" he asked with a chuckle.

"What're you laughing at?" she asked indignantly as he opened a compartment on his bike to stash the secret item away.

"You would date a guy more book than human."

The ends of her lips tugged down lower, deepening her frown. She was unsettled by how accurate that statement was—not that she'd let that show. The less he knew, the better.

"Whatever. So I ask, if I dated one guy who was an ass, what would make you so surprised that I haven't done it yet?"

He shrugged, "You guys go clubbing sometimes. Or girls nights or whatever. I just assumed by now you would've. Didn't peg you for the 'first time is special' type."

"I'm not the first time is special type," she defended, "I just haven't really had an opportunity. I don't really drink or go out. It's difficult to do so with my powers. Especially in places like clubs where emotions are raging."

He stared, "Oh. I didn't...really think about that."

She bit back her bitter 'Of course not' and settled for a dismissive wave. "It's not that important."

He nodded in response. The conversation appeared to be at a close, however, he made no move to get on the bike. No, he just stood there—probably re-evaluating her in light of all this new information.

"What?"

"Nothing...Just wondering...What have you done with a guy?"

"Can we not do this here, in public?" she snapped.

"It's just a simple question."

She could feel her face turn tomato red, "Not much, okay?"

"We'll start simple...have you ever kissed a guy?"

"I guess...but I'm not sure it counts," she muttered.

"What do you mean you're not sure it counts?"

"I was like nine and it was a dare."

He blinked. She stared at the cracks in the pavement.

Neither spoke.

After a moment, he gave a low whistle, "Ho-ly shit. You, my dear, need way more work than I thought."

She stopped for a moment, shocked by the words my dear. He'd never said that before.

"I'm not your dear," she huffed. From the shock radiating from him and the redness that tinged his ears, he hadn't really put much thought into the epithet. She instantly regretted correcting him.

Clearing her throat, she asked awkwardly, "So...erm, now what? Do we go through the cycle of me torturing you followed by your revenge once again?"

He chuckled, "I'm not sure you'd want that."

She cocked her head to the side as he removed their helmets from the bike, handing her the spare.

"Why is that?"

He chuckled, "Because I'd have to outdo myself. If you thought that was bad...well..."

She could feel herself flush but forced herself to ask, "What could be worse than that?"

He gave her a measured look, "Seriously? About a million things. Like the shitty prostitution area south of town, for one."

"I don't even want to know how you know that."

"Good, it's not a story I'm inclined to share."

He preferred not to tell her about his undercover mission working with the drug cartels.

"So then, I repeat...Now what?"

After a pause, he grinned, "Actually, I have an idea."

"Gods...what fresh hell have you come up with, Harper?"

"You'll see," he replied in a sing-song voice, hopping on his bike and gesturing for her to do the same.


Yep, I went there. So...I didn't want to put this in the top explanation because I wanted you all to form your own conclusions before knowing this...but Roy's fantasy moment is probably the most lemon-y thing I've every written. Actually this chapter is the most overtly sexual thing I've written. But the lemon-y moment in particular is what I'm most insecure about. I feel like almost all my lemon-y things are terrible so if you have any critiques or comments on that specifically, please please send me a PM or a review!~

Or just send a review with general thoughts! I appreciate them all!~ :)