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I poked his chest.


I poked him again, harder this time.

No response.

Frowning, I bent down from my seat on top of him and put my lips by his ear.

Apparently, this feral was a very heavy sleeper. As much as I loved the peaceful look on his face, I liked him conscious more.

"Viiiiiiictor." I whispered, licking then blowing cold air onto his ear lobe. That should do the trick.

If that didn't wake him up, I don't know what would.

The effect was instantaneous. Creed jumped up with claws extended and collided with me, causing us to roll off of the couch onto the floor. Somehow, I still remained on top, moving up and down with his panting.

I raised an eyebrow at his dilated pupils. "Morning, sleepyhead. Violent, much?"

"Don't do that." He snarled, retracting his claws from their near proximity to my abdomen. "I'm never in a good mood when I wake up."

"Why's that?"

"Because." Creed glared at me, putting his hands on my waist. "I'm not."

Oh, I don't think so. He's wheedled things out of me, now I'm just going to do the same.

This is going to be fun.

"But why…?" I drawled, stroking his abs in a way I knew he liked. His eyes were already glazing over as he stared back at me, and his muscles flexed in approval. They rippled every time I dragged my fingers over them.

Gotcha, sucker. You're mine.

Victor narrowed his eyes, still dazed. "You're using me, Stripes. You're using our bond."

Smiling smugly, I dug my nails in, creating little red trails that healed over a few seconds later.
"Is it working?"

Making a low sound in his throat, his grip tightened on my waist. "Maybe."

Huh. I'm getting déjà vu of myself with that 'maybe.'

"So." I pressed my chest into his, breathing down on him. "Why are you never in a good mood when you wake up, Victor Creed?"

Rumbling still, he looked longingly at my mouth then darted his gaze back to my eyes. "When I sleep, I have…nightmares."

Hm. Interesting development.

"About what?" I lowered my lips closer to his, taunting him. We were practically breathing the same warm air at this point. It was intoxicating.

"All the wars." His lips almost brushed mine. "All the casualties, the deaths, my past…" He didn't even seem to be aware of what he was saying anymore, he was so focused on my mouth. "My father…"

I pulled away, sitting back up on his chest. "Your father? You have nightmares about your father? What did he do to you?"

Growling, Victor sat up, pressing our chests together again. Bare skin hit bare skin, and it was just then that I remembered that I was only wearing a bra and jeans.

Oh, yeah. Last night.

That had happened.

"I don't like being teased or interrogated, Stripes." Creed bared his eyeteeth at me. "I suggest you remember that."

Guess I'd have to get the info out of him another time.

Darn. And I was so close.

Immediately, Victor smashed our mouths together and proceeded to kiss me in a way that should be illegal. I gasped in surprise, and he only used it to his advantage, going deeper into my mouth. It was like he was trying to learn and know it by memory, at least at the rate he was going.

I'd barely begun to kiss back when he nipped my bottom lip and pulled back, leaning his forehead against mine. "Not fun, is it?"

I grumbled unhappily against his forehead. I could feel his hot breath touch my face as he chuckled at my reaction. Clearly, someone was enjoying themselves here.

Okay, so maybe being teased wasn't that fun.

But being the teaser totally was.

Fo' show!

"So." Victor pressed his forehead more into mine so that our eyes were locked on each other. "Why'd you wake me up, when we were having so much fun in the first place?" Slowly, as he said this, his hands drifted farther up my waist, skimming my sides with his claws.

Shivering, I saw him smirk, and I put on my most innocent look.

Big eyes, slightly pouting lip, sad yet hopeful expression. You know.

The works.

"Well…" I smiled. "I was hoping that you'd teach me how to pick a lock today, actually. The Professor got me a kit, and I really want to use it. So…pretty please with a cherry on top?"

Cue the big, bright smile no one can resist.

He blinked, clearly not expecting that to be the reason. Pulling back his head a bit from mine, Victor gave me an incredulous look. "You woke me up for me to teach you how to pick a lock?"

I grinned. "Yup. Why else would I awaken the beast?"

Creed gave me a hard stare, his mutton chops shaggy. "Fine. But on one condition."


"You haven't heard my condition yet." Deadpanned Creed.

"Fine, what is it?"

"Once I teach you lock-picking, I get to teach you another lesson."

I gave him a weird look at this, knitting my eyebrows together. "Like what?"

The wickedest, naughtiest smirk appeared slowly on Victor's face, leaving no doubt in what department his lesson would be in. My stomach churned in anticipation. Oh.

It would be that type of lesson.

I squinted at him. "No sex."

His smirk only widened to show his canines, his fingers massaging up and down my sides. "Such a dirty mind, Stripes. I didn't even mention that."

"Please. You think about it all the time."

"No." His lips were suddenly on my ear, an imitation of how I woke him up this morning. "I think about doing it with you all the time."

My marks swirled a little faster at that.

Four hundred and sixty feet above sea level. Seventy-three degrees. 8:34 A.M.

Creed's scent seemed to hit me all the harder. Surrounding me. Engulfing me.


I snorted. "How romantic."

Victor kissed my ear, chuckling again at me. That seemed to happen a lot now.

"Wasn't supposed to be." He cocked a brow at me, getting a more serious look on his face. "So, lock-picking…. Whose room should be our first victim?"

And that's how we ended up outside of Sparkle Girl-Emma Frost's room, fully dressed now. I had debated that we should've started with Logan's, but Victor had quickly nixed the idea, saying that his brother would hear our criminal activity before we even started it.

Hearing that, I tended to agree. Logan really was a do-gooder, contrary to his appearance.

Wolverine on the outside, teddy bear on the inside.

Kind of like an Oreo. But not.

Besides, he wouldn't like Victor teaching me how to pick locks in the first place. Actually, he wouldn't like Victor to have anything to do with me.

Tough luck.

"Now," Victor gestured quietly towards the ominous white door with his long claws slightly out, "this is how we're going to do this. I'll show you what to do, and then you follow my lead. Seeing as the diamond bitch is in there still sleeping herself, we're going to have to be as quiet as possible, so do not make a sound."

I mock-frowned at him, whispering. "You make it sound like I'm such a loud person. I can be sneaky, you know."

He put a claw under my chin and raised an eyebrow. "When you get frustrated, you get loud and violent; it's a feral trait. So, as much as I like it loud, Stripes, you should channel the frustration elsewhere for now."

"And where would that 'elsewhere' be I wonder?" I said snidely.

His dark smirk told me the answer.


We'll see about that, mister.

I held up my lodestone of tools to him. "Here. Show me how to do this already, slave. Chop, chop."

Shaking his head at my term, he shook his head and merely held up his hand to me as his claws extended to thin, fine points. Fine enough to fit through a keyhole.

Fine enough to pick a lock.

"Showoff." I muttered, getting closer to him and the door to watch him work his magic. He better be as good as the Professor told me he was at this. That's all I'd say.

Grinning, he inserted two of his claws into the keyhole, moving them gently around. His fingers seemed so precise and yet delicate at the same time as he was cocking his head to hear each tumbler click into place with his enhanced hearing.

Sometimes, being a feral was awesome.

A second and a click later, I saw the door open. It revealed a little stretch of yet more white into darling Emma Frost's room. How plain.

How typical.

"Bravo." I whispered, as he closed the door again and locked it back into place. "But I barely saw you do anything. It kind of makes you hard to copy."

"That's the point." Victor smirked, beckoning me over to the door, in front of him. "It takes a combination of instinct and skill, and, naturally, since I have both, I make it look easy. Now it's your turn."

"So humble." I muttered, slipping into position in front of the keyhole. "Now, what?"

"Seeing as you don't have claws, I'd suggest getting out your tools, babe."

I half-turned to face him, while getting my lock-picking set out. "I'm not your babe, Victor."

He looked satisfied, as if he had expected this reaction. Creed crept closer to me, trailing a long claw down my neck. "I know." He growled. "But you're mine, Stripes."

Scoffing at him, I turned to focus my attention on the lock.

Who cared if my marks felt like they were about to fly off my skin? Who cared if I was wearing a tank top and Victor could see exactly how fast they were going? Who cared if I could practically feel his smug smirk directed at me?

Who cared?


Focusing on the lock, as well as my instincts, I could hear Frost's deep even breaths coming from the other side of the door. She was sound asleep. An easy target.

Hm. Ideas.

Biting my lip, I put two of my lock-picking instruments into the lock and fiddled them around, turning them this way and that. I wasn't exactly sure of what to do. But all I heard in my feral ears was a horrible scratching sound of metal upon metal. Gritting my teeth, I attempted to move my instruments around even more, hoping to get lucky.

I didn't.

I felt like everyone in the mansion could hear me.

It hadn't sounded this way when Creed had done it; his had been smooth and easy. Mine was…harsh and shrill. Unrefined.

Needless to say, I felt like a failure.

"Okay." I whispered, staring at the foreboding keyhole with my tools still in it. "What now?"

I was so clueless. Victor had made it look too easy.

Chuckling lowly, Victor slid up behind me and pressed himself to my back, slipping his arms around mine, his fingers overlapping my fingers. Immediately, my body temperature rose as a result of being in contact with him. He was…warm, to say the least.

Okay, he was hot.

But that's not the point.

His fingers wrapped over mine, controlling their movements. Our combined fingers moved the tools slightly, pulling them back a bit.

"Take it slow." He whispered through my hair to my ear, his hot breath once again upon me. "Feel the tumblers and what makes them tick. Listen to them and give them what they need."

Our fingers adjusted, twisting the instruments this way and that. I heard one click.

"Keep going." Victor continued in an almost inaudible voice. "And go deeper. Understand its puzzle and make it snap."

Our fingers twitched again, and another click was heard.

"Just a little more." Victor growled, and I could feel the vibration of it all throughout my body. "Almost there. Feel it at the edge."

The lock clicked a final time, and the door opened. I had done it. Picked a lock.

And I was practically panting from the intensity.

Somehow, I don't think picking a lock with someone else would be the same experience as picking it with Victor.

I smiled and turned, beaming up at him. "I did it—"

And was promptly interrupted by his lips crashing onto mine, ravaging them.

Gasping, I fought back using my mouth and tongue to my advantage and reveled in the feeling of how right this felt. Grunting, Victor picked me up, and I wrapped my legs around his waist, pressing as much of me to him as possible. He growled and slammed my back against the wall, his hips moving against mine roughly.

Grinning through the kiss, I raked my fingers through his hair as his own hands snuck up my sides smoothly.

I felt so alive. On fire.


Fiery perfection, to say the least.

How could he not be my mate? It didn't even seem to be a question anymore.

I'd accepted it.

"Well, well, well…" A voice from the doorway drawled. "What do we have here, lurking outside my bedroom, I wonder?"

Victor and I's heads snapped up. Emma Frost was standing at the door, hand cocked on her hip, wearing a very revealing white nighty.

Oops. Apparently we'd forgotten our vow of silence and awoken the kraken.

"I'd say you stopped by for a visit, despite the odd circumstances." Frost continued, raising a blonde eyebrow at our compromising position. She smiled that oversweet smile that seemed too cold to be real. "How convenient."

Oh, it was convenient for her all right.

Too convenient.