A/N: April 15, 2013: Okay, the first version of this fic was written in 2005. It was a personal challenge of sorts. I wanted to write something from Logan’s POV, it had to be something with sex (because I’d never written smut before), and Marie wasn’t supposed to be pining.

The fic that resulted was utter crap, but it was the best I could do at the time. I’ve sort of rewritten the whole damn thing now, but I’m still not a PWP-writer. Still, I tried my best, and there will be a sequel soon. I just can’t leave my OTP hanging like this anymore. I hope you’ll agree it’s needed once you’re done reading. :)

Big thanks to Jaq_of_spades and Thru_the_blinds for the suggestions and beta.

“Logan, you awake?”

A soft knock on his door in combination with her whispered question makes sure he is now. He doesn’t move though. He lets her unobtrusively enter his room, listening to her somewhat shallow breathing, taking in her restlessness.


She doesn’t come any closer. He’s taught her well. He slowly turns to his back and answers, “Coast’s clear.”

She takes the remaining steps and sits down next to him, shivering a little. “Can’t sleep.”

Yeah, he figured that much. It isn’t strange either. Tomorrow is her big day - the day she could be 'cured' from her mutation. The school’s brilliant physician, Dr. Henry McCoy, has given her the opportunity to think about the consequences, but she’s given him the green light almost immediately.

“Come here,” he orders affectionately, pulling one of her sleeves and reaching out for the shirt and gloves he keeps around for nights like these.

This isn’t the first time Marie’s come to his room. Sometimes she’s suffering from the aftershock of one of his nightmares. Sometimes she’s simply upset because she’d had a fight with one of her friends. He always talks to her until she’s calm enough to return to her own bed, and tonight, he doesn’t expect things to be any different.

She slips under the covers and snuggles up against his body, her back against his chest. He always covers up for her. She doesn’t even wear her gloves anymore, so she knows, with him, touch is simply always safe.

“You think I’ve made the right decision?” she asks in a small voice, resting her head on his upper arm, but he doesn’t want to influence her. He knows some unreasonable part of him is too protective, maybe even too possessive of her, so he gives her his best impartial answer.

“It’s your call, kid.”

“That’s a 'no.'"

She knows him too damn well.

Sighing, she turns around to look at him. “Think of all the things I’ll be able to do. I can touch people. They can touch me. I can wear summer clothes, take a swim, people don’t have to be scared of me anymore.”

He listens to her somewhat jumbled explanation.

“Who are you trying to convince?”

Her jaw snaps closed as his question sinks in. She turns around again, curling herself a little closer against his body before she admits quietly, “I’m scared.”

He wishes he could shield her tomorrow like he’s doing now, but he knows it should be *her* choice. There is not a damn thing he can do about it.

“I know,” is all he says, letting his free hand soothingly roam over her arm.

As always, she relaxes somewhat under his touch.

“Bobby’s thrilled,” she murmurs.

Now that instantly ignites a temper. He’s sure she felt him flinch.

“You’re doing it for him?”

It takes a while for her to answer, but when she does, she settles for a simple, "No."

“You sure?”

"Yes," she assures him. "Absolutely."

He isn’t convinced. He’s certain the moment she’s touchable, the little shit will be all over her, and he doesn’t like the thought one bit. Maybe they’re sexually active already, but he doubts it. Drake isn’t suicidal, and the fact that she’s confessing her fears in *his* bed and in *his* arms says enough. He likes it this way, although he’d never admit it out loud.

“You know, I’m touching you now,” he tells her, hoping she sees she doesn’t need to change to get some affection. She only needs the right guy.

“I want more than just a pat on the head, sugar,” she snorts bitterly.

She shouldn’t have said that.

He’s very aware she’s left childhood behind some time ago. It’s been well over two years since she snuck into his trailer, and in those years she’s transformed from a skinny slip of a thing into a young woman with curves in all the right places. She gradually became a young woman he wants, even though he attempts to deny it every day because he’s convinced she deserves someone better. Still, if he goes by her scent and heartbeat when he unexpectedly touches her more tenderly than he should, he knows she wants him as well. She has better control of her feelings nowadays, but they aren't gone, and he’s been walking a slippery slope for months already.

The irony is, when she's actually in his arms, like tonight, she's a little girl again. The little girl who trusts him and thinks of him as safe. As much as others think he’s a merciless predator, he knows he’ll never lay a hand on her when she’s depending on him with such innocence. If he wants to make a change, there’s only one way to turn the tables, and it has to be done tonight.

It’s time to draw out the woman in her.

“You can have that too,” he says in a low voice close to her ear, knowing damn well what it’ll do to her.

She shivers again, but not from the cold this time. She’s such a delicate instrument. He’s feeling smug for knowing exactly how to play her.

“Bobby isn’t--,” she starts, but swallows the rest of her words when his fingers almost brush against her breast. Almost, but it’s enough to make her squirm.

He uses the opportunity to pull her closer to him, her curvy behind pressed against his groin. She instantly stiffens a little, but it’s definitely not in fear. He's sure of that.

Keeping his tone casual and offering her a way out, he asks, “Bobby isn’t what?”

“Nothing,” is her whispered reply.

Hesitantly, she rubs her body against his. Her scent’s already changing. She’s still anxious, but now it’s also tinged with an excited nervousness.

He nuzzles her neck, protected by a curtain of silky hair, and his hand roams almost carelessly over her side, her hip, her thigh. It earns him another shiver. She smells so good - the moment he allows himself to truly take it all in, his brain becomes foggy and his dick is getting hard. She’s going to feel it any time now.


“Yeah, darlin’?” His voice a deep rumble, so close to her deadly skin.

She doesn’t answer.

Instead, she tilts her head to the side to give him better access, reaching out behind her to caress his upper leg, accepting his touch.

Accepting *him*.

It’s all he needs.

More certain about her approval, he moves his hand back up over her hip, over her soft belly and onto her stomach. His fingers graze the curve of her breast, making her whimper and lean into his touch.

“You sure?” he asks, because he has to hear it, his leather-clad hand lingering on the cotton fabric of her modest nightgown. He might be a rotten bastard for picking this moment to test the waters, but he’s pretty damn sure he’ll never forgive himself if she isn’t certain.

“Yeah.” Shakily, she pulls him even closer by grabbing his sweatpants, urging him on.

He shifts a little, adjusting himself and positioning right, and then he starts grinding against her ass, his dick throbbing and swelling even more. Cupping her breast, he gently squeezes the soft flesh, and he feels the hardened nipple even through the cotton and leather. When he gently pinches, there’s a sharp intake of breath, followed by a soft, whimpering moan while she arches her back, silently begging for more.

He’d hoped she would be responsive enough to help him scan her feelings, but he didn’t expect this. He thought she’d lie still, waiting for him to take the lead. Instead, she’s surrendering to his touch, sensually rubbing against his length, and she seems to enjoy it as much has he does. It’s so much better this way.

Suddenly, she wriggles her hand between their bodies to curl around his shaft. With his dick uncomfortably trapped within his pants, he tries not to thrust into her hand. This is about her, not him. He’s doing this to show her she can have it all, him included, without being touchable. He can take care of himself later.

She hooks a foot behind his calves, opening her legs, and it’s an invitation he didn’t expect either but certainly doesn’t decline.

Grabbing a fistful of cotton, he pulls up the hem of her nightgown while she helpfully lifts her hips. His leather-clad fingers slide under her panties to show her how good his touch can be, and even with gloved fingers, he can tell she’s wet already.

He’s genuinely surprised about how easy it was to make it happen. He’s barely done anything so far, but he doesn’t even dare to think further than just this moment. He forces himself to just concentrate on making this good for her and ignore her firm grip around a certain body part that’s all too happy to come out and play.

He knows exactly where to rub, where to dip, and feeling the leather sliding easily through her slick folds is making him dizzy with want. She moans out loud, opening herself even more, and for a moment, he wonders if he should slide a finger inside of her.

She’s probably still a virgin, and he’s wearing gloves. They’re snugly fitted, but he doesn’t want to take the risk of hurting her. She might want to quit, so he decides against it. Besides, she’s close already anyway. Her scent, her moans, the tension in her body – she doesn’t need much anymore. He’s intoxicated by her the smell of her *need*, and he salivates just thinking about tasting her skin.

Growling in frustration, he can’t help but give in.

He licks the spot underneath her ear, his middle finger massaging her swollen clit, and that’s all it takes to make her come. Her body’s jerking, hips bucking, staccato breaths, and she’s squeezing his dick so tight it’s almost painful, but goddamn, its hot to see her not holding back. He doesn’t move except for gently applying the right amount of pressure to let her ride it out, and only when he’s sure she’s coming down from her high, he shifts his hand back to her heaving belly, leaving a damp trail from his glove on her dangerous skin.

It earns him a nervous giggle.

“What?” he asks, nuzzling her neck again, and he barely recognizes the tenderness in his own voice.

“I never thought I would cheat on Bobby.”

It’s a bit of a cold shower.

He doesn’t want her to think about the boy right now. He surely doesn’t want her to feel like she’s cheating. She’s his, damnit. She’s always been his, but he’s aware it’ll probably sound disturbingly possessive if he tells her that, so he tries to come up with something less primitive.

In the meantime, she contemplates out loud, “Then again, I never thought I'd ever be having sex with you, so in a way it makes sense. You’re the only one I’d ever cheat with.”

She turns around. Big, feverish eyes watching him, her cheeks flushed, her full lips slightly parted. For one not-quite sane moment he wishes she was already touchable. Those lips just have to be kissed. He'd take five hours of coma if he could show her what he can’t seem to say with words, but he knows it wouldn’t do his private little mission any good. In fact, it would trigger quite the opposite. He'd be down and out, and she'd be begging Hank to start her treatment right away.

Suddenly, she asks, “Do you have a condom?”

Her practical question breaks his musing, and he eyes her skeptically.

Is she serious?

She must've seen his look, because she explains with a determination he’s seen on her so many times before, “If I cheat, I’m going to cheat all the way. You make a hole in your sweats and wear a condom. If we’re careful we should be able to pull it off. If you want to, of course.”

Her sudden, calm pragmatism annoys the hell out of him. He tries not to show it, and he’s not even sure why he’s feeling that way. Didn’t he want to draw out the woman? Well, there she is. What the fuck’s the problem?

“You did this before?” he asks, because he simply *has* to know.

She snorts. “Like anyone dares to even point a finger at me.” Then, she narrows her eyes at him and says scornfully, “You’re the first. Bet it does all kinds of good to your ego, huh? First right and all? The beast happy?”

His mood darkens even more.

It's not that he doesn’t know of the bitterness she feels sometimes, but it’s usually not directed at him. Of all people, she knows what it’s like to live with that savage animal inside of him. She knows he’s always fighting so damn hard to keep it under control and not give in to its most primal urges. He’d never admit it out loud, but it actually hurts that she’s mocking the ever-present struggle. His strong sense of self-preservation tells him to lash out and hurt her back.

“He’s thrilled,” he snarls, grabbing her shoulders and shoving her to the middle of the bed.

A part of him knows this isn’t going the way he wanted it to be, but he’s suddenly close to desperate. Somehow, she doesn’t seem to need him as much as he needs her, and vulnerability isn’t something he takes well. He doesn’t want to lose her now - not when he finally knows how good it feels to have her in his arms for something else besides comfort, and if she thinks she’s capable of handling that untamed part of him, he's not going to play Mr. Sensitive anymore.

He has to give her credit - if she’s startled by the sudden change in him, she doesn’t make a sound. She doesn’t try to get away either. She’s just lying there, watching him with an expression close to hatred, but he tells himself not to give a damn and just *take* what’s been his from the moment they’d met.

He grabs his wallet from the nightstand and takes out a condom. Roughly spreading her legs, he sits on his knees between them and pulls down his pants. He doesn’t even bother to shield himself or take a less-threatening stance, and the usually tightly controlled beast beneath his human appearance actually enjoys the way her scent changes. Arousal mixed with a little bit of fear – it’s a combination that only brings out the worst in him.

He starts pumping his dick between her parted legs, daring her to watch his dominant display of power.

She swallows hard but keeps her eyes locked on his, her mouth set in a firm line and her hands tightly clenched in angry fists.

One swift tug is all it takes to remove her underwear, and she can’t help but shriek now. She’s splayed open right in front of him. A pink, wet pussy only partially hidden by dark, curly hair, and her scent is overwhelming. It's almost pushing him beyond reason, but he quickly flexes his wrist and the sharp pain and metallic sound more or less grounds him again.

Summoning up even more willpower, he forces himself to take his time to cut a hole in his pants and slowly roll on the condom. He’s giving her the opportunity to change her mind even though he’s pretty sure it’s going to be the death of him. Still, if she wants to leave, he’s not going to force himself on her. He’s not that big of a bastard. She can still tell him to stop, and she can even use her skin if she’s really desperate. He’d never hold it against her.

But she doesn’t do anything.

She doesn’t even try to close her legs or cover up.

“You ready?” he asks, literally looking down on her, all tenderness driven away by raging lust, and he knows it’ll probably be her last chance.

“Why don’t you check for yourself?” she bites back , and the beast within tries to claw his way out, ferociously scratching the edges of his self-control.

Leaning over and supporting his weight with one hand, he roughly pushes a gloved finger deep inside of her, making her gasp. He withdraws almost immediately, bringing the wet, glistening glove between their faces.

Showing her an ugly smirk, he says, “I’ll take this as a ‘yes’.”

He makes sure she’s watching him as he licks her warm juice from the soft leather, and he doesn’t miss the mixture of anger and passion flickering in those expressive eyes. Her scent and taste are such sensory treats, it’s instantly crushing any form of self-control left. He needs her, and he needs her *now*.

Without warning, he pins her arms next to her head and positions himself to thrust inside, but she’s so tight, her whole body instantly tries to deny him further access. Her raw, agonizing cry and twitching hands makes him curse under his breath, and he holds completely still, trying to concentrate on something other than the hot wetness surrounding him, and so much more within his reach.

Fighting his way out of the red, raging lust, he slowly realizes she doesn’t deserve this. She doesn’t deserve any of this, but he wants her so damn much, hell, *needs* her so damn much, he’s willing to hurt her if she doesn’t want him back.

The knowledge makes him sick.

“I’m sorry,” he whispers, closing his eyes while guilt and shame are battling the rest of the rage right underneath his crawling skin.

He releases her hands and wants to back off, but she grabs his shirt to keep him close.


Her body relaxes a bit and he accidentally slides deeper into the tightness, causing her to hiss and tense up again while his blood’s almost sizzling in his veins. He’s lost somewhere between a frantic craving and gut-wrenching disgust, but he manages to groan between clenched teeth, “We don’t have to go through with this.”

“I know,” she says, still clutching his shirt into her hands. “But I want to. Just… give me a minute.”

He’s smelling her tears, and the beast within howls before slinking back so he finally calms down enough to breathe and think.

When he looks at her, he sees her staring up at him, wet trails on her cheeks and so disturbingly young again. There’s no trace of her earlier defiance, and he suddenly doesn’t have to clue where to take it from here. He doesn’t have a clue what she wants from him and what’s *right* for her, so he just watches, his body hovering and trembling with restraint while he’s desperately trying to forget he’s still half buried inside of her.

“Okay,” she says quietly after taking a few, deep breaths. “I’m… I’m sorry too. I shouldn't have taken it out on you. I’m… ready now.”

She’s so goddamn beautiful. He can’t help himself. He lowers his head and kisses those moist lips, so soft and warm and inviting, and she wants to protest but her yelp becomes a muffled whimper against his mouth. The moment her skin reacts, he thrusts again, past the barrier and forcing her to accommodate, knowing his claim can never be undone.

“Ow!” She pulls away and looks at him with wide, frightened eyes. “Oh, God, are you okay?”

In a twisted kind of way it’s sort of funny she’s asking *him* that question, but he also knows she needs reassurance.

“Fine,” he replies, fighting off the anticipated grey-out while the beast inside is still quietly whining in the dark. “Just… give me a minute.”

Hearing her own words back again, she manages to relax, flattening her hands on his chest. They gently move up to his shoulders, brush down his arms, and then she squeezes his biceps as if she’s touching him for the first time. He wishes he could take off his clothes as well, just to feel her on his skin, but then she tries a little wiggle and her inner muscles contract around him, and it instantly brings him back into the moment.

“Wow,” she says with an innocence that actually makes him cringe. “It’s… quite something.”

“It’ll get better, trust me.”

“I always do.”

Her simple statement is so surprising, it makes him seek her eyes again.

They look up with such acceptance, he suddenly feels a lump in his throat.

Well, great. From a goddamn animal to a quivering pansy in barely five minutes flat. She clearly doesn’t have a clue what she’s doing to him, so he starts moving his hips before he’s going to fall apart for real, settling for short strokes in a slow rhythm, making sure she can get used to the feeling.

“Oh,” she murmurs, heavy eyelids sliding closed. “That’s… oh.”

Carefully watching her response, he adjusts the pace just a little. “Good?”

“Yeah. God, yeah.”

He pulls her knees a little higher, giving him better access, and she welcomes every movement with an appreciative whimper, her hands still wandering over his upper body.

He wants to lose himself inside of her, but he also knows this isn’t the time. He has to remember it’s all about her again; her pleasure, her satisfaction, but fuck, how he just wants to drive himself deep into the clasping slickness and forget about everything else.

“You feel so good,” he groans, and it makes her smile brightly between her panted breaths.

“Yeah? How? What’s it like?”

“Tight… and wet… and hot.” He repositions himself a little, carefully plunging in and out with controlled strokes while she arches her back. He rests his head in the crook of her neck, taking in her scent, and unable to stop now that he’s started his confessions, he says, “I need you… so bad.”

“You have me,” she moans, keeping her legs locked around his waist. “Always.”

He doesn’t quite not know what to make of that. He isn’t exactly capable of profound insights right now because all he wants is to stay inside of her and see as much of her porcelain skin as possible.

“Stay still,” he warns, burying himself deep inside of her and sitting up straight.

He pops a claw, grabs a fistful of fabric, and carefully, he cuts through her nightgown while she’s just curiously watching, a catlike smile appearing on her face.


Smirking, she lies completely still when he reveals her breasts, full and milky-white with nipples hard and protruding.

“Goddamn, darlin’,” he says, almost salivating again, and he retracts the blade to cup her flesh and pinch those taut, pink buds.

She closes her eyes and her mouth turns into a breathless ‘oh’. He instantly wants to kiss her again, his plan to make her see she doesn’t need to be touchable looking less attractive by the second.

Bending over, he supports his weight on one hand and rolls his hips to grind the fabric of his pants against her clit. He ignores the danger of her skin and flicks his tongue over her lips, sucking in the air she breathes when she warns a wheezy, “Careful.”

“Yeah,” he assures her, and then he gives in to his fantasy for real.

Tasting every inch of her upper body within his reach, he starts moving again with slow, deep strokes. As long as he doesn’t linger, the deadly pull can be avoided, but her low, husky moans are soon making it hard for him to think.

His blood is boiling again, and his heart’s pounding wildly against his sternum. He wants to ravish her body, coming so hard he can’t see straight, but he manages to stop again and just admire her for a while.

Her hair’s fanned out over the bed, her skin’s flushed, those sexy, plump lips open, and she’s got the best damn tits he’s ever seen. Her scent is so goddamn mind-blowing, and her body’s so perfectly cradling his, the inner beast is rattling the bars again.

When her eyes flutter open, they’re dazed. It takes her a second to focus, but then she frowns. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” he answers truthfully, because for the life of him, he can’t come up with anything wrong right now.

He wants to watch and make her come like she’s never done before, so without pulling away from her, he reaches for a pillow, lifts her hips, and props it underneath her ass.

She watches him, curious again, an amused smile curling the corners of her mouth.

“It’ll be good,” he promises, and her smile widens.

“Can’t wait.”

Concentrating on her pleasure only, he slowly pulls out of the tight slickness of her body, and then gently pushes all the way back in again. Her belly actually rises when he fills her up, and when she moans, he thinks about how he’s the only one who’s been inside of her like this. The only one who’s touching her so deep. The only one who’s ever fucked her, and the beast is snarling and growling that she’s his, goddamnit. She’s always been his, and she always will be. No one’s allowed to come even close to her from now on.

He presses the heel of his hand just below her belly button, moves out, and then gently thrusts in again. It makes her gasp in surprise, her inner muscles tightening around the base of his dick.

“Oh! That’s… so… good…”

His self-control is under severe pressure, but he grits his teeth and tells himself to just hold on, hold on goddamnit, don’t slip into the fog just yet.

Another thrust, harder now.

It makes her tits jiggle and she groans, grabbing the sheets. “Argh…”

“Fuck, Marie…”

He does it again.

And again.

Her belly rising and falling under his hand with each thrust.

He’s close, so close, and thankfully, so is she.

Her body is coiled, the sheets bunched up in her fists, and she’s visibly struggling to keep herself from screaming out loud.

“Come on, darlin’. That’s it. Gonna make you come… now.”

The moment he plunges deep inside of her, his thumb pushes her clit, and the timing’s just right. She cries out, and he feels the pulsing contractions milking him hard, over and over again, and finally, he surrenders as well.

He grips her hips so tight he’s bruising her, but he knows he’s beyond control. The beast’s roaring, his dick’s throbbing, and he moves without thought. His own muscles are clenching, and he’s coming so hard he’s vulnerable and lost, but for once it isn’t frightening and he just lets it happen. He simply *feels*, and it’s the best goddamn sensation he’s ever had.

For the next few minutes, there’s nothing but pure bliss in his existence.

There’s panting, there’s warmth, and her caressing hands on his back and in his hair are the first things he’s aware of after pulling himself somewhat together again. The fact he’s almost crushing her, is second.

Pushing up to support his weight with one hand, he looks at her when he draws back from the warmth of her body, holding the condom in place with the other.

“So why now?” she asks, her skin still flushed, those lush lips so tempting. She sounds… sad, somehow. Did he hurt her? Disappoint her?

“It felt right,” he answers, suddenly cautious.

“It sure did.”

But it isn’t a compliment.

Carelessly dropping the condom next to the bed and crashing down beside her, he says, "I didn’t have an ulterior motive."

No motive other than wanting her, poisonous skin and all.

“Really? Are you sure you didn't want to prove a point? Or did you just want to claim the female before she's available to everyone else?

“Cut it out, Marie,” he orders tiredly. He’s in no mood for challenging discussions. Not after experiencing what it's like to have sex and feel something else other than mere lust for the first time in his life.

“Please, don’t let this be a pity-fuck.”

He doesn’t flinch visibly, but his stomach drops and he’s getting angry again. Does she really think he’s capable of something like that? That he’d do that to her? Isn’t she supposed to *know* him?

“It wasn’t.”


“No.” He sighs and decides to just be blunt before she gets any other weird ideas. “Look, you don’t have to change. Not for me. You’re mine, just the way you are.”

She broods over the simple declaration for a few good seconds, but then she asks, “What if I don’t want that? Did I give you that impression?”

Something inside his chest painfully tightens, because… was he wrong to assume that if she wants him sexually, she wants the rest of him, too?

He glances over. “I could sense it.”

“Alright, yeah.” She shrugs. “Besides my skin, that’s another thing I can’t control. It’s just something physical, though.”

Just something physical? His mind’s still too damn befuddled to think straight.

True, she never hinted about wanting anything beyond friendship. She never flirted with him or followed him around. She got herself a boyfriend pretty soon after he’d left her the first time, and from that day on, she pretty much lived her own life. A life where she accepted him as her friend. A very close friend, but, still, just a friend.

He’s starting to get worried.


“Sexual attraction is one thing, Logan. A lifetime commitment is another.”

The casual comment brings him an unwelcome sense of deja vu. Jeannie said almost the same thing after he’d kissed her. He never thought he'd feel uncomfortable about being a lust object, but he’s forced to admit he feels far from smug right now.

Disguising his uncertainty behind a scowl, he grunts, “Okay. Let’s cut the bullshit. What is it you want?”

Lazily, she crawls away from him, shrugging off the remains of her nightgown and calmly smiling. “Nothing, really. A smoke would be nice, but we don’t want to freak out Scott.”

He watches her confidently walking to his closet and picking out one of his shirts. He thought she’d be feeling a little embarrassed, or maybe cling onto him and expect a proposal or some other mushy guarantee that he's serious about her. Above all, he expected her to make plans for dumping her boyfriend the moment he rolled off of her.

“Oh, and of course,” she drawls, buttoning up the flannel, standing in the middle of the room, “I wanted to know if you were as good as in my fantasy, but it’s not exactly a fair comparison right now because I’m always touchable in those.”

His ability to speak seems to have vanished. All he can do is stare at those bare legs still visible while the rest of her body’s drowning in his shirt. Those legs were secured around his waist just a moment ago. He can still feel the pressure and friction of her thighs on his skin, for Christ’s sake. What the fuck happened?

He tries to shake himself out of the stupor and say something.

“Where are you going?”

“My room,” she answers, seemingly without a care in the world and opening the door. “I think I’ll be able to get a few hours’ sleep now. Thanks, you know, for listening and all.”

Beaming him a heart-stopping, honest smile, she walks out of his room as if nothing ever happened, and his attempt to make her see that she doesn’t have to change didn’t matter a goddamn thing.

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