Phew, I'm back! I lost count of the number of times I wrote this chapter! I actually started it before I went on vacation, then I worked on bits and pieces of it on the plane…and again after I got back. It's a little short, but I think this is all I want to convey from Grimmjow's perspective for now.

I owe some people replies to their reviews, I'm sorry for the delay! I'll get to them in the morning. :)

My head feels impossibly heavy in my hands. I'm dizzy. I want to throw up. I want to kick myself in the nuts.

I hear the sound of the crappy pipes in my apartment. Ichigo is showering happily on the other side of my bedroom wall, oblivious to my shitty predicament.

Me and my big mouth.

But can you blame me? The kid had walked out my bedroom looking like a kicked puppy. I may be a cocky, narcissistic asshole, but I'm not that cold-blooded. My legs acted on their own, carrying me back into the apartment. My arms acted on their own and crushed him against my chest. Then my mouth acted on its own and invited him to stay the night.

And that, my friends, is how I ended up in the current situation.

There's a sudden screech of metal, then the pipes clank one last time and go silent. I sigh and stand up. Ichigo is going to come out of the bathroom any minute now. I have to look cool and collected.

"Your turn," Ichigo announces as he knocks politely on the door frame.

I gape at his damp, half-naked form. He's clad only in a towel, his skin glistening where it's wet with water that is dripping down from his hair. His normally-vibrant locks are darker, almost red. His boyish face is flushed from the hot shower.

He looks so delectable that I can feel myself twitching already.

"Okay, thanks," I mumble.

He steps aside to let me pass, then just as I'm about to close the bathroom door, he asks me where he should sleep. On which side of the bed, he asks.

I stare at him dumbly. That's a good question. I usually sleep in the middle, and it's been so long since I shared a bed with someone that I've forgotten which side I favor.

"Left," I say finally after a good long pause.

I watch him amble over to the bed and plop down on his assigned spot. It feels really strange to see someone in my bed. The kid is still practically a stranger to me. It goes against every fiber of my being to allow him to come so close to my sanctuary, but it's too late to kick him out now. I still want him around. I have no illusions about what I am to him. I want to enjoy this while it lasts, before he's distracted by the next piece of hot ass he sees.

When I'm done, Ichigo's tapping away on his phone with a stupid grin on his face. He has my spare pillow propped up against the headboard, and he's leaning back on it looking every bit like he belongs here.

I climb into the bed next to him and lie down. Now comes the awkward part. I'm not sure what to do: I could just turn away from him and go to sleep, let him do whatever he's doing on his phone. Or I could reach over and turn off the lights, to hell with what he's doing. I lie on my back, mind working furiously to no avail. It's difficult. I never claimed to be the most tactful person around.

Ichigo ends up solving the problem for me. I hear a soft thud as his phone lands on the nightstand, then before I can even blink, he's on top of me, straddling my thighs and looking down at me with his almond-shaped, caramel-hued eyes. I swallow thickly as I stare back at him. He looks…different.

He doesn't give me much time to wonder what the hell is going on. He clutches the waistband of my boxers and grinds down, rubbing against me forcefully. I gasp in surprise and arch my back by reflex. For a few moments that's all we do, our bodies clashing as we seek out more friction. It's maddening. Every time I reach down to remove my boxers, he bats my hands away.

Then all of a sudden I understand what he's doing. This is not unlike what I did to him earlier, even though his method is a lot more subtle and tame. He doesn't even say anything, he just toys with me silently, riling me up and then stopping whenever I try to speed up.

Fucking hell. There is no way I'm begging.

His face is flushed and sweaty as he continues. He's panting, his eyes half-mast, but he doesn't look away. I can see the determination in his eyes. He wants to see me break. I curse him and his entire ancestral tree in my head. He's clearly suffering too, but it doesn't look like he's going to give up. The stubborn bastard.

I grab his knees for leverage and raise my hips, but two seconds later he pins my wrists on my sides, surprising me with his strength. He grins wickedly and rocks against me. I growl, and then to my horror, it turns into a manly whimper when he does it again, harder. I'm throbbing madly inside my boxers, my cock so hard that it feels like it's on fire and about to explode. It's straining against the restrictive fabric, aching for release, but I'm not getting enough stimulation to get off.

And he fucking knows it.

Another roll of his hips rips a groan out of my throat. My heart thumps loudly in my chest, my mind frantic and clouded with need. All I can think of is that I want to climax. I need it so badly that every nerve on my body is aflame.

"C'mon," he whispers, then his fingers ghost over my cock, his touch light and dulled by my boxers. His hand lingers on the damp spot at the front of my pants.

I've never wanted to fuck someone so badly before, but something at the back of my mind holds me back, keeping me from humiliating myself.

"Shit," I grind out between my teeth. If I'm not careful, I'm going to chew through the insides of my cheeks.

Ichigo's grin widens. "Uh uh," he says with a shake of his head. "That's not the magic word…" Then he touches me again, stroking gently and slowly, up and down the shaft of my cock.

"Fuck!" I howl, unable to hold back my frustration. "Stop teasing me!"

He cackles softly and stops. "Okay," he says innocently before throwing both hands up in the air.

I'm not going to say please.

I'm not fucking begging.

I buck my hips, but he simply moves away completely.

Fuck my life.

I'm ashamed to say that I sound pretty damn needy when I beg. But at least it works. The next thing I know, I'm sheathed to the hilt inside of him. Everything goes white behind my eyelids. I haven't even noticed when he'd removed my boxers. I groan loudly as my blood sings in relief and pleasure. As he begins to move, I yank him down by his arm and crush our lips together, ignoring his grunt of pain. His teeth graze my tongue and I hiss at the sting, but it's quickly forgotten when he returns the kiss fervently.

Bliss. Absolute, mind-numbing bliss. That's all I can use to describe the euphoria I'm feeling. He rides me with fiery passion, moans tumbling freely from his lips as he throws his head back.

Then it hits me; a sweet, sharp ache that surpasses anything I've ever felt before. I stiffen as if I'm being electrocuted, my entire body going numb suddenly as I come violently inside of him. I hear him cry out, and on an impulse, I pull him into my arms and bury my face in his hair.

It's right there on the tip of my tongue. Ichigo. Ichigo. Ichigo. I can taste the word struggling to slip, and I clench my teeth against it. I want to moan his name into his ear, to call out to the man who just made me feel like I'm floating in heaven, but I don't. Instead, all I let out is a choked grunt that makes me sound like I'm being strangled.

I succeed, like how I did earlier. I manage to swallow his name forcefully down my throat. I try not to think about why I always do this, why I have to do this. Maybe it's stupid, maybe I'm making a big deal out of nothing, but I can't help it.

For a while we lay there quietly; his weight heavy across my torso. He has a fistful of my hair in one hand while the other is splayed on my chest. His breathing has evened out. If not for the gentle stroking in my hair, I would've thought that he has fallen asleep.

"Umm, you sleepy yet?" I ask awkwardly. This is the longest time we're alone with each other not having sex, and the silence is beginning to creep me out.

Ichigo pushes himself off of me and sits up. He doesn't say anything, but his eyes tell me that he wants to. I avert my gaze. I'm no psychic, but I have an idea what he might be thinking. It's always like that. It always comes up eventually, and more often than not, it means that I won't be seeing the person again. I frown, feeling slightly wistful that I'm losing my little stalker so soon.

To my surprise, Ichigo remains silent. He simply cleans himself up and tosses a bunch of tissue paper in my lap. I stare at his toned back, where the muscles ripple as he bends over and wipes his front. Is this it? Am I actually getting away with this?

I throw the crumpled ball of soiled tissue next to the bed and cover myself with my blanket. A few minutes later, he pulls on his boxers and joins me under the covers. There's about two feet of distance between us at first, which makes me feel awkward all over again, but after a while, he inches closer. I feel his body heat next to me, then he touches my bicep tentatively.

Is he really doing what I think he's doing?

Oh hell, yes, he is. I hold my breath as he snuggles up to me. He drapes an arm over my waist and rests his chin on my shoulder. All I can do is stay still and try to breathe normally. He doesn't seem to notice how tense I am.

"Night, Grimm," he mumbles, sounding sleepy.

Ah well, what the hell. What harm can a little cuddling do? After a moment of hesitation, I close my eyes and place my palm over the back of his hand.

"Night, Ichi."

I wake up to find myself alone in my bedroom, with a small slip of paper on the pillow next to mine.

"Good morning! Gotta move all that shit out of the shop before you guys start work tomorrow. See ya!"

I can almost feel Ichigo's smile from his handwriting, and for reasons I cannot fathom, I find myself smirking.

The night had gone by relatively smooth. He'd woken me up by accident when he went out to get some water in the middle of the night, sporting a pretty impressive tent in his boxers. You don't have to be a genius to know what that had led to.

I take a few minutes to think as I sit up in bed. I feel completely normal. I chide myself for freaking out like a chick last night and trudge to the bathroom to get ready for the day.

I arrive at Cero in record time, and for once, I'm the first one there. I start preparing for tomorrow.

At nine o'clock, on the dot, Ilforte arrives. He raises an eyebrow when he sees me, but he doesn't comment. Nnoitra barges into the office half an hour later, cussing loudly about finding a ticket on his windshield. Something to do with street cleaning. The idiot.

He comes up to me to look at the notes I'm going through. He continues his rant about the bloody ticket, and then he stops suddenly.

"Dude, is that a fucking hickey on your neck?" he asks.

I touch the left side of my neck by reflex. I remember Ichigo kissing me there, but I didn't know he had actually done it hard enough to leave a mark. I hadn't noticed it in the mirror this morning. It's probably his idea of revenge.

"The orange-haired kid again?" Nnoitra prods.

I roll my eyes and ignore the lecherous grin on his face. He hasn't stopped teasing me about Ichigo since I told them about it yesterday. The clogged toilet excuse didn't work, obviously.

"No shit! Ya better be careful before he grows on ya!" Nnoitra cackles and slaps me on my shoulder.

Before I can retort, Ilforte exclaims indignantly, "Nnoi!"

Nnoitra ignores his outburst and asks, "So how many times did you two fuck?"

I hear a strangled noise of protest from Ilforte and grin. Who does he think he's kidding? I can practically smell his curiosity from across the room. "Three times last night," I say nonchalantly.

I enjoy the look of amazement and envy on Nnoitra's face. I bet that is more than the guy has had in the past week, perhaps even months.

"That must be one hell of a long night," Ilforte comments dryly.

"Hell yeah." I roll my shoulders and pretend to wince in pain. "That last one in the middle of the night almost tore my dick off."

I frown when the bout of laughter I'm expecting doesn't come, then I realize belatedly what I have just said.

"Shit," Nnoitra says incredulously. "He stayed over?"

"Nnoi!" Ilforte's voice takes on a sharper tone, but Nnoitra acts like he doesn't hear him.

"Haven't you learned your bloody lesson?" Nnoitra explodes.

I groan inwardly. I don't like where this is going. Let's just say that my…personal life is a sore point in our friendship.

"Nnoi, stop it. I think it's great that Grimm has found someone—"

Nnoitra cuts Ilforte off and sneers, "Oh yeah? Just like last time, eh?"

I sigh and sit back in my chair. Here they go again, fighting over this in front of me like I'm not right fucking here.

"That…that's different!" Ilforte sputters.

"Like I'm gonna let him believe you again!" Nnoitra yells back fiercely, raising himself to his full height to tower over Ilforte.

I try my best to tune them out, but not before I catch Ilforte giving me a pained look. I pretend not to see it. I know what that look means. I've told him over and over again not to feel that way, but of course he never listens.

I don't blame Nnoitra for reacting this way. He just wants to "protect" me, which I really don't appreciate. It's kind of insulting to know that he thinks I can't handle this on my own, but I understand where he's coming from.

I give up trying to ignore their bickering and slam my fist on the table. "Enough, you two," I growl.

They stare at each other, then look over at me. I know they're just dying to continue, but I shoot them a glare that warns them that I mean it. Ilforte bows his head and shuts up. Nnoitra, on the other hand, just has to put in the last word.

"You be careful, boss," he mutters. "Ya let him get close…that's when he cuts ya."

My mouth goes dry. All of a sudden, last night doesn't seem so great after all.

To be continued…