A/N: Thanks for the encouragement, support, reviews, favorites, and follows. Every one is treasured and loved. I own nothing, except for Lacey
"I really wasn't expecting company, sorry," Hermione apologized, blushing slightly when Remus waked past her through the door. He noted her half empty glass of red wine sitting on the counter near her small kitchenette and then let his eyes graze momentarily on her long bare legs as she reached for her wand and quickly spelled him dry from the rain.
"Don't be, you look beautiful," Remus told her. It was the truth, but he felt it came out a bit insincere, especially because he had to force the words to leave his throat. It was becoming more obvious by the second that he might have made a mistake by coming to see her. As angry as he was at Narcissa, he couldn't get her out of his mind.
Hermione's smile was fleeting. She allowed herself a second to bask in the compliment, to enjoy the way her ex's eyes ran over her body, to pretend he wanted her. But the dominant, logical part of her brain took back over control a few seconds later. Remus was loyal and if he was with Narcissa, she needed to find out why he was here, "Remus is there something you want to talk to me about? Are you alright?"
"'Mione, come here…." He beckoned her into his arms and she snuggled against his chest despite her better judgment. He took the clip out of her hair and let her curls fall down, running his fingers through the soft mass of chestnut hair. She breathed him in, wood and spices, and tried to control herself.
"Remus, whatever you think you are doing you need to stop." Her voice was cutting as she stepped away from him, trying to make the separation clear, "I don't know what happened between you and Narcissa, but if you are trying to use my feelings for you to make her jealous, you need to leave."
He realized, as he looked into her sad chocolate eyes, that this was not how he should handle things. Sirius and her were right, "Gods, Hermione I am so sorry. This is exactly what I did to you. I'm an immitigable arse".
She took his hand and led him to her small, lumpy couch and lit the fire. He refused a glass of wine, but promised he would start trying to make sense.
"You broke up with me without any explanation…is that what you did to Narcissa?"
"Well, no…what I mean is that I ran from you without trying to fix things and now I am running from her. And I shouldn't be," he sighed.
Hermione crossed her arms, "I'm not exactly a fan of hers, but if you are this distraught, she obviously means a great deal to you."
Remus shook his head in disbelief at the way he had acted, "She does. And I am incredibly sorry that I once again dragged you into this…led you on…"
Hermione tried to ignore her breaking heart. She reasoned that he had already broken it months ago, and now small pieces were just falling off every time he came around, so it couldn't get much worse. "You came here to sleep with me, didn't you?"
"Like I said, I'm an arse." He gave her a sorry, embarrassed smile.
"Well, seeing as that won't be happening, let me try and help you instead. What is going on with Narcissa?" Hermione tried her best to think of this moment as one of simply helping a friend, and Remus' grateful eyes reiterated to her that it was the right thing to do.
"She's jealous over Lacey and, well, I said some things I shouldn't have…" he admitted.
"I think you and Lacey pretending to be a couple was the stupidest mistake you made in this situation. And if you want me to help you, I need to know everything. Starting with why Narcissa and Lucius aren't divorced yet." Now Hermione's eyes were flashing and fiery, determined to know the answer.
"Because Lucius has no idea Narcissa is cheating on him. In hindsight, that was the stupidest mistake," Remus grumbled and then hung his head, appalled at himself that this situation had spiraled so out of control.
"Come again?" Hermione's mouth gaped open, "I'm the first one to admit I don't always keep up with the Prophet or any of the gossip magazines anymore, but I guess I should have realized this before…if she had been divorced I obviously would have heard somehow…which is why I was so surprised when I checked at the Ministry that the request was still pending and its been so long…"
Remus watched Hermione as she mumbled her reasoning out, thinking aloud, finally turning her gaze to him once more, "He's going to murder you."
"I doubt he wants to go back to Azkaban…" Remus chuckled darkly, although he had thought about the possibility many times.
"But how…how does he not realize that Narcissa spends so much time with you?"
"Well, that's part of the reason Narcissa and I are fighting. At the beginning of the divorce process, she and I asked Lacey to distract Lucius while she had her lawyer split the assets and make contracts. Lacey fell in love with Lucius and I told Narcissa that tonight…to try and show her that Lacey isn't bloody in love with me and she can stop being jealous. But the thing is, she still is jealous. She still refers to Lucius as her husband and this is just dragging on. She was supposed to serve the papers to him a long time ago…but with Lacey…"
"Stop. Stop…" Hermione put up her hands in disbelief, "Delaney is actually in love with that creep? And you are going to allow that to happen?"
"What do I care? I'm not her father…I can't exactly wrap my head around it either," he sighed. Hermione reached out and took his hands in hers.
"I think you need to find Narcissa and you need to make it right, tonight. It's all become too much about Lacey between the two of you. If she really fancies herself in love with Lucius, then that will be her battle to fight. If you love Narcissa, go get her," Hermione told him gently, and he leaned forward and gave her a long hug.
"Smartest woman I know, and that is never going to change. Thank you." He rose from the couch and she walked him to the door, saying a silent, true goodbye to him as she watched him walk away into the rainy darkness.
"Are you awake still, darling?"
Lucius softly crept into Lacey's bedroom and closed the door behind him, which surrounded him in darkness. He heard her sleepy murmurs and some rustling of the sheets.
"Shhh…you and I both know I'm not supposed to be in your room. We have to protect your innocence don't we?" His voice was low and lascivious and it made Lacey squirm in her bed, waking her up quicker than being dunked in ice water.
"Oh sod my innocence, come here…" she whispered back to him, her heart starting to race. She didn't know how late it was, and she couldn't see him, but she heard him walk towards her and then felt the bottom of her bed dip a bit as he sat down.
"Well, I did promise you a good night kiss."
She knew he was closer to her, as his voice seemed right by her ear. A second later, she felt his lips against hers and melted into his kiss. She reached up and out towards him, wanting to pull him closer, but he was actively pulling his body away from her, just touching her with his lips. His blonde hair fell around her face and tickled her cheeks, but he kept everything else chaste and she moaned into his mouth.
"Gods, please, what are you doing? Just get into bed!" Lacey protested his lack of touch but he didn't come closer.
"I only promised you a kiss goodnight. I have to get some sleep." She could almost hear the smirk in his voice and she involuntarily let out a low growl that made her blush at herself in the dark.
"My, my, what a feisty little kitten you are tonight." He was laughing at her, and she once again tried to reach out for him, fumbling in the dark, trying to just go off his voice and the shadows.
"Just get over here Lucius, stop fucking around!"
More low laughter, and then, Lacey felt some of her blankets being pushed back from her body until there was just one thin sheet left covering her. Now she felt the weight of him on top of her, and once again, her mouth was caught in a searing kiss. He let her touch him this time and her arms wrapped around his neck before running down his back and then up his sides, feeling his muscles under his shirt. He still, infuriatingly for Lacey, kept his hands at her sides and didn't move them to run over her body in the same way. When she tried to take off his shirt, he stopped her and gently pinned her arms back down at her sides.
"I really do have to go, darling…" He ceased his kisses and then whispered into her ear, nibbling there. She rolled her hips upward but he moved his body away so they never made contact.
"Bloody tease…" she pouted as his hands inched up just slightly so they rested at the sides of her breasts. Her nipples were now hard and straining through her thin sleep tank top, but he made no move to touch them.
He answered her by pressing his hips down onto her and she felt his erection snaking down his pants leg; he was rock hard. She gasped and he chuckled again, gently stroking her hair before returning to kissing her.
She rolled her hips against his, trying to get some friction. It felt so naughty, with so many layers between them and with both of their clothes on. He ground against her like that for a few moments, kissing her hard, pressing against Lacey's body in the perfect way. Both of them were panting for each other, rubbing together like teenagers. When Lacey was sure she was going to explode from the pent-up sexual frustration, Lucius pulled away and stood up. In the darkness, he knew she couldn't tell how hard it was for him to compose himself.
"You bastard," Lacey breathed out, her body aching for more.
"Patience truly is a virtue Lacey. Besides, I have a surprise for you tomorrow that I think will make up for this." He ran his hand down over the front of his trousers, willing his raging erection to go down before he ventured back out into the hallways of the house to the guest bedroom.
"You inside of me right now could easily make up it…"
"I do hope you are aware of how wanton you sound Lacey."
"Oh, I am. And I don't regret it."
Both of them smiled in the darkness and Lucius moved towards the door best as he could manage, "Goodnight. I love you."
Remus had faced many challenges in his life; half of them had been life threatening and the other half would give anyone nightmares for weeks. But yet, as he stood in front of the gates of Malfoy Manor, he felt more scared than he could remember.
To his surprise, the front gates yielded to his magic and he trekked along the straight, narrow walkway to the grand entrance. He had long ago stopped caring about the rain, or how wet he was, or what a sight he looked-he just cared about making things right with Narcissa.
He was let into the house by a small house elf, but the creature would not let him go any farther.
"Mipsy will get Mistress Malfoy if you need…" the little elf wrung her hands together, eyeing Remus suspiciously. He was just incredibly thankful none of the men of the house were at home.
"Certainly, thank you Mipsy," Remus nodded, spelling himself dry as well as the marble floor that he had dripped all over. The elf dissaparated and Remus was alone to take in the grandeur of the house Narcissa would no longer live in if she agreed to be with him still. His stomach dropped when he thought about how he would never be able to give her a life like this.
"Sir? Come with Mipsy…"
He looked down to find that the elf had reappeared and was tugging at his pants leg. He nodded and followed the creature of the staircase and through a maze of tapestry and painting-lined hallways before they stopped at a pair of double doors.
"Mistress is in there. Says she will sees you."
Remus closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and opened the doors. He wasn't sure where to look at first because the room was so large, but saw the woman he loved sitting on a small, dark green chaise by the fireplace directly in front of him. She didn't stand when he walked in and the doors closed of their own accord behind him. He noticed an empty glass on the table to her left and that her blue eyes were rimmed with redness.
"I can't believe you came here." She said it in surprise instead of anger, and Remus took another step forward. He wanted to fall to his needs and plead with her to come back, but he also didn't want her to scoff as his desperate need for her.
"I made a huge mistake in asking you to leave. And I would have gone anywhere needed to tell you I am sorry." He was hopeful at the small smile she gave him and even happier still when she beckoned him to sit down with her.
He took a seat opposite her, watching her body language closely. Her ankles were crossed, her back rod-straight, and her hands folded in her lap. Someone that didn't know her well would simply think this was only her good breeding. But Remus knew she always tried extra hard to hold herself together when she was falling apart.
"I can't lose you," he admitted, his eyes searching for similar feelings.
"You haven't lost me, and you won't. Remus, I was out of line. You have been nothing but a good and patient man with me and I repaid you thoughtlessness. Tasking Lacey with this was my idea, not yours, and I should have known the issues it would raise. I've never faced Lucius' cheating until now and I haven't been with another man besides him, so I guess some part of me thought you would cheat to if a pretty young girl came your way. It's been second nature to me…and I also feel horrible for Lacey. If she is truly in love with my husband, what have I done to her? What have I set her up for? This was supposed to be so simple and yet I have complicated that poor girls' life for my own selfishness. I should have been strong enough to tell Lucius outright that I wanted to be with you. I'm nothing more than a coward like he is," Narcissa sniffed back her tears and Remus moved from his seat across from her to the space besides her, taking her into his strong arms and holding her against his chest.
"We both thought it would be easier this way, and now we know better," Remus stroked her fine blonde hair, so incredibly thankful she hadn't run from him.
"I see so much of me in her, which is probably why her and I don't exactly get along," Narcissa admitted, pulling away from her lover, "He'll hurt her."
"She's the one who will hurt him. The truth needs to be said, darling, and I think she can take care of it herself. As long as I know you don't want him-you don't want this…" Remus gestured around the room, "Everything will be alright with me."
With a gentle touch, Narcissa took Remus' hand, stood up, and led him through to the room adjacent to the sitting area. When he saw the large, plush bed, he realized they were in her bedroom.
"Then, let's let it be alright," she said and kissed him softly.
A/N: Not the most exciting of chapters, I know, but next chapter marks the beginning of the end, so get ready! What is Lucius' surprise for Lacey? Reviews welcomed!