Author's notes: Oblivion and all its characters, places, events, etcetera are property of Bethesda Softworks. Special thanks to my beta, Pheonicia, who cleans up my grammar errors and typos. Warning: contains mature themes and a couple jokes. Nothing too bad, but I want to warn you.
I woke up feeling pleasantly lazy. And warm. Either I had really good dreams last night…or I wasn't sleeping alone. I smiled, and shifted slightly, snuggling up to the warm bulk nearby, smelling a mix of sandalwood, my own cherry blossom, sweat and things best not discussed in polite company. Warm fingers absently tangled in my sheet of blue-black hair, fumbling against my scalp. Opening my eyes, I craned my neck.
Lucien was still asleep, he never looks this relaxed when he's awake—the fingers in my hair were just reacting to the pleasant sensation of silky-soft strands. Wow, I'm going to have a hell of a time getting my hair brushed. Shifting to a more comfortable position, I tossed an arm across his torso, and breathed deep and slow. I like his soap, my eyes half-closed as I inhaled the scent, feeling very warm and very content.
Whole in a way I hadn't felt since I'd 'enacted' the Purification. Needed. Wanted. Loved. This made my spine prickle pleasurably.
My eyed closed—this was a nice place to be, a safe place. Though the way he slept so soundly, you'd think he hadn't had a couple of days' vacation, hiding out in Deepscorn Hollow...which meant he had worried. Now whether he'd been worried about me, or about the outcome, or both, that was up for debate.
My vanity and pride both say he worried for me—the last night or so sort of indicated this was the case. My sense of practicality and pragmatism says 'worry about the outcome'. Maybe I should flip a coin. Ugh. Then I'd have to get up to fetch one, and that's not something I'm really inclined to do just now. I dragged my fingers delicately across his skin.
I let myself slip into a half-waking, half-sleeping state behind leaden eyelids. I'm happy to be free to cuddle and enjoy the sensation of being this close to another live human being—particularly this live human being.
Which made me smile. I shifted my hand to rest against his diaphragm, feeling him breathe the deep, slow breaths of sleep. An assassin is always aware of breaths…we sometimes feel a pulse as it slows and ceases…but this was not like either of those situations, watching the life drain from a person. This was a silent, continuation of a life. A life that trusted to wake up the next morning, despite the dangerous creature coiled nearby.
And that works both ways, I'll have you know. Lucien's the most dangerous person in the world to me…my drug, my bad habit…the one person who could break me, if he had a mind to.
Which brought to mind the fact that before I go back to Cheydinhal Sanctuary, I need to take a bath and scrub. Really, really well—because M'raaj Dar will smell Lucien on me…all over me. The sort of closeness, the cling of scent that would plainly tell exactly where I had been and what I'd been doing.
I don't feel like dealing with the racy jokes, or Gorgon's 'uh-huh—I thought so…' comments.
Lucien shifted onto his side, pulling me tightly into the hollow of his chest, the hand in my hair pulling free. I opened my eyes and looked at his sleeping features. I never noticed how long his eyelashes are…the freckle right in the middle of the small of his back—found that last night, actually, and I slipped my hand down to touch the mark. His face twitched and his mouth pulled into a sort of smile.
Then he shifted and leaned over and kissed me, long, deep and tender. "Morning," he breathed against my lips, smirking errantly.
"That's a hell of a good morning…makes me not want to get up," I said, licking my bottom lip slowly.
Lucien chuckled softly and opened his eyes. "Sounds like a plan." he closed his eyes, smirking.
It was my turn to chuckle. "Oh yeah?"
"Mmm hmm. I'm on holiday." One hand slid to the small of my back.
I chuckled softly. Holiday, is it?
"Mm…and so are you," he tightened his grip on me, in a rather possessive-protective way I did not find disturbing. "So unless you have pressing matters…" he reached up and tilted my head so he could kiss my neck, "I suggest you enjoy a well-earned break."
"If you have on your mind what I think is on your mind…" I've lost track of how long I've actually been here. Probably a couple days…but Lucien is good nightmare repellant, and Evander and a couple of the others have been reanimated…so…holiday is it.
"Hm?" he teased.
"…I doubt it'll be exactly restful…if you know what I mean…" But I was grinning too.
The trapdoor clanged.
I immediately dove for a knife that wasn't there and swore softly.
Lucien tapped my ankle and produced two daggers—I suspected from between the mattress and the bed frame. That doesn't surprise me in the least—I keep an extra between the mattress and my headboard.
"Lucien…" Vicente's voice was sharp.
"Oooh…" I whispered, and bit my lip—Vicente doesn't know I'm here. How's he going to react to his star pupils still cuddled up, not a stitch of clothing between them? Not well, that's for sure, it's more than any mentor wants to see—or think about. I hitched the sheet up higher and wrapped it partly around me, leaving Lucien the blanket, if he wanted it. I have no desire to let Vicente see me in a state of total undress. I really don't.
That rat—Vicente, I mean. He worries like a mother hen…but I can't quite be mad at him, even if his timing sucks. "I'm in here—what do you want?" Lucien said, in a good imitation of sleep-muffled tones, wrapping an arm around my collar bone and kissing my shoulder.
I giggled softly and settled back against him, smirking innocuously.
Vicente stalked into the room batting aside the heavy wall hanging that disguised the entrance—hence why I never saw any indication of Lucien's bedroom on any previous visit—and stopped dead. "Sweet Sithis…" He looked at me, draped in the wine-red silk sheet, my hair in total disarray, spilling around me like ink.
I bit my lip, trying not to smirk, smile, or otherwise show I was quite happy and proud to be where I was. "Is there a problem, Vicente?" I asked sweetly.
Lucien ducked his head against my shoulder, snickering softly, giving my hip a squeeze.
Vicente didn't seem to know whether to walk out and wait for us to pull ourselves together, or just explode.
"Is there a problem?" Lucien repeated the question, resting his chin on my shoulder.
I chuckled and reached up to try and finger comb my hair.
"Tell me that you have not been holed up here for a day and a half…" Vicente began, trying to force calm.
"Oh no…" I smirked. "Kinky-ness all over the place—better watch your step." I said unblushingly, causing Lucien to give a sort of coughing snort and Vicente to close his eyes, wincing. I don't think he needed those pictures in his head. I wrapped my sheet a little more securely, tucking it so it wouldn't fall off and clambered onto the floor—which was very cold on my bare feet. "What's the matter? Is this a Speaker-Listener thing…or is it his brains and my killing arm again?" I asked, perfectly serious.
Vicente sighed. "More of a security thing—given the current climate, having the two of you just wandering off…" He ran his hands over his hair. "Surly you understand why the others are anxious."
I felt a twinge of guilt, but not enough for me to apologize. It's been a good holiday, so far. "It's sweet that you worried."
"Indeed," Vicente shook his head.
I sat back down on the edge of the bed. "Is this a 'get your ass back to the Sanctuary' thing?"
Vicente actually gave a sort of smirk. "Well, now that I at least know where you are…I suppose it doesn't matter, Listener, Speaker." He was being a little sarcastic, and I can appreciate the reason. It must have been quite a scare, to have two of us just up and vanish, with the infrastructure so recently…shifted. Vicente turned to go then stopped. "Sari?"
"Yeah?" I cocked my head.
"Let the man get some sleep—he looks like he needs it."
I giggled at this and Vicente vanished. "Oh…we're all really bad…" getting to my feet again I sighed and stretched until my back crackled. "I don't know about you…but it's time for breakfast. Again…" Lucien was giving me a look that meant if I didn't get out of the room right this second breakfast was on hold.. "Yeah I know…bed-sheet is the new epitome if sexy house wear. Breakfast," I said and turned to stride out—or rather, shuffle, so as not to trip on the trailing material, which I wound up hitching out of the way of my feet with one hand.
"You have no idea," Lucien breathed, having slipped up behind me, sliding his hands across my waist and holding me against him.
And on that note, I do look good in this bed sheet. Don't ask me why the man's got red sheets, but dark red is one of my best colors. I just don't wear it often.
"Breakfast, dammit!" I giggled, squealing as I pulled free, tripping on my sheet and banging into the doorframe. "I want real food!"
That's it! We're done!
Special thanks to my beta Pheonicia – she does such a wonderful job whipping my grammar, punctuation, spelling and typos into shape. You're a great cheerleader! (She's also a great writer – hint hint.)
Also, thanks to you, my reviewers – you have no idea how great a help your reviews are, to stave off writer's block. Virtual cookies, to you all. (Especially those of you who tell me to update. It's nice to hear. )
And also to Bethesda, because Oblivion is still theirs, not really mine. Sniffle.
See you all around!