Part 2: August 4, 1833

As far as Enjolras was concerned, one of the advantages of his new residence was finally having enough space to fit in a bed that was roomy enough for his liking. 'Never mind that I'm always going to be sharing it,' he thought as he sat down on the edge of the oversized bed and began to take off his shoes, followed by his coat. It was a hot August night; even at this late hour a warm breeze was wafting in through the open windows, and it did not help that the only illumination in this room came from several candles strategically placed around the room. It was enough to make Enjolras wonder if he'd be able to get any sleep at all this evening. 'Assuming I will even be allowed to,' he mused as he thought back on the events of the day.

At length he heard a soft step in the doorway. "Are you honestly going to sleep wearing that?" a low but distinctly feminine voice teased him lightly.

"Of course not," Enjolras retorted just before he felt the rest of his words catch in his throat as he finally made eye contact with the young woman standing a few paces away from him. 'How could she get even more beautiful than she was this morning?' he wondered as he took in the sight of her. Eponine had changed out of her red wedding dress into a simple, rather demure white nightgown, and let down her hair so that it fell past her shoulder blades. The effect was familiar yet still very alluring; it was how she was during some of their frenetic mornings back at their old tenement, or during the long nights they'd stayed up late working on articles and petitions. He had to avert his gaze quickly, before she could realize that he was staring at her.

Eponine grinned, knowing exactly why he'd suddenly turned speechless. "You like what you see?"

"Yes," he managed to say, despite the fact that his mouth had gone dry. It did not help that he saw how well Eponine's lacy nightdress outlined her slender form, leaving nothing to his imagination.

She laughed as she sat next to him and began running her hands through his hair. "I thought it was a little fussy, but I'm glad you like it," she remarked.

"It's not that," he pointed out before kissing her to emphasize exactly what he was referring to. Her lips parted almost immediately under his as she twisted some strands of his hair around her fingers and closed the gap between them such that she was almost sitting on him. The feel of her tongue sliding against his was exquisite, giving him impetus to pull her closer as he continued to kiss her more hungrily, determined to show her the effect she had on him. He brought his right hand up to cradle the back of her neck while the other trailed over her hips, making her gasp with surprise and want as she kissed him back fiercely, her fingers now trailing blindly over his cravat.

Enjolras broke their kiss in time to catch her hands. "Give me a moment," he said, tugging at his cravat.

"No, let me," she whispered insistently, even as she began working on the knot.

"I could deal with this myself."

"I don't want you fretting over something so silly now." She tossed aside his cravat and began unbuttoning his waistcoat, slowly brushing her fingertips over his bare throat and down to the partially open neckline of his shirt. She laughed teasingly as she met his gaze. "Did I tell you I've wanted to do this for some time?"

"You want the oddest things," he remarked, raising his arms to help her remove his shirt; it was getting far too warm for him to sleep fully clothed anyway. He had to force himself to stay calm despite the way her hands were slowly tracing patterns on his skin, moving lower towards his abdomen. He moved to kiss her again but she shook her head and planted a kiss right on the side of his neck, making him grit his teeth to hold back a groan. The sensation was sending all sorts of warmth through him and making him long for much, much more than just her kisses. "Eponine, please..." he muttered, gripping her waist tightly when he felt her lips on his throat.

Her eyes were dark with mischief as she met his gaze. "You don't have to be so quiet when you say my name like that!" She laughed on seeing him go completely red at her brash words. "There isn't anything wrong with it."

Enjolras sighed deeply at this; it was always difficult for him to let on about desiring her in this way. He kissed her forehead before he moved towards the head of the bed, pulling her with him gently till she was right beside him, half propped up by the pillows. "It's simply new," he admitted, pushing her hair out of her face, feeling her breath catch under his hand as he cupped her chin for a moment.

She smiled knowingly at this as she moved to straddle his hips, laughing again when his breath caught audibly at this new position. She took both his hands and placed them on her hips, such that he was bunching up her nightdress. "Go on."

Enjolras took a deep breath before deftly lifting Eponine's nightdress over her head. The sight of her completely naked and on top of him was enough to steal all words from his lips, and for a while even all thought. He had always thought that he'd known her well enough before from all the time they'd spent together, being closer than most couples dared to be. Yet it was another thing to actually see the lightly tanned expanse of her skin, marked here and there by scars. Most of these were light and almost faded, except for a rough looking circle in her left side, just over her ribs. He didn't even have to ask to find out that this was the other scar from the barricade, where the bullet had struck her after piercing her hand.

Her eyes were pensive, almost questioning as she caught his gaze. "Do you still like what you see?"

"Yes, very much," he replied.

Eponine swallowed hard. "Then, would you still have me like this?"

"I'd simply have you," he replied, tracing her scar with his index finger. The realization that he'd almost lost her even before knowing her name unsettled him enough to draw her closer so that he could touch her shoulders and her back, running his hands over the lines there from another more recent debacle that they'd both barely survived.

Her cheeks turned pink, both from his words as well as this unexpected gesture. "Are you going to stop there?" she asked after a moment.

"What do you mean?"

Eponine smirked before shifting her hips so that she was rubbing against him slowly. Enjolras hissed at the added contact before dropping his left hand to her waist to steady her; he could already feel the effects of her teasing and it was all he could do to remain in control. He tentatively planted a kiss on her neck and then on her collarbones, until he felt her fingers tugging at his hair. "Lower," she whispered insistently in his ear.

He met her insistent eyes with a look of consternation. "Now?"

She nodded as she brought his free hand up to her breasts. "It isn't odd, you know. I don't care what you might have read about it."

Enjolras felt the blood rush to his face at this innocuous quip; the last thing he wanted to be reminded of now was a certain favourite philosopher's statements regarding women and the importance of a certain part of the anatomy with regard to motherhood. 'This is not the time to be remembering anything Rousseau wrote!' he thought with frustration, now finding it difficult to meet her gaze. He settled for kissing her again as he let her guide his hand over the soft mounds of her breasts. He carefully rubbed his thumb over her left nipple, feeling the peak harden under his touch.

She gasped and bucked into his hand. "More. Don't stop," she whispered breathily.

"How?" he asked. The word felt strange tumbling from his lips, but she seemed to like hearing it, if the way her heartbeat had sped up under his hand was any indicator.

She smiled mischievously as she took hold of the hand that had been gripping her waist. This time she guided his fingers down over the curve of her hip and further down to between her thighs. The smoothness of her skin was tantalizing, but before he could caress her there she brought up his hand to rest right on her center. He could feel the wetness and heat between her legs, which only seemed to intensify as he continued to kiss her all over her face and her neck, further encouraged by her soft sighs and moans. She let go of his hands so she could push on his shoulders so that they were both lying on the bed, with her still on top of him. "Let me," she said in his ear.

"What are you doing-Eponine!" he groaned as she began planting soft kisses over his chest, slowly moving downwards and dangerously close to the waistband of his pants. He could feel himself growing harder in his trousers, so much that it almost hurt. "Down there..."

She nodded understandingly before helping him get rid of the garment; he could barely conceal a sigh of relief when he felt the pressure ease up on his erect member. "Now who is the eager one?" she whispered hotly before planting a kiss on his hipbone.

"No. Not that," he said firmly as he touched the back of her neck, knowing exactly what she was about to do. He had heard from their more brash friends what a woman's mouth could do down there, but for some reason he couldn't exactly bring himself to allow Eponine to pleasure him in that way, at least tonight. To illustrate the point he pulled her up so that they were face to face again before he kissed her passionately, leaving her completely flushed and wide-eyed. "It's not how I want us to go about things now," he said against her lips before he kissed her forehead.

She nodded a little confusedly as she wriggled her body to align her hips with his. "Are you sure?"

"Absolutely. It's not just about..." he began before he bit his lip at the feel of her heat right up against him. "Eponine..."

"No, please you have to let me," she said. She began to lower herself on him slowly, grabbing his hands to help hold herself up. "Oh..." she gasped, clearly trying to get accustomed to the sensation of their joining.

"Not so fast..." he muttered before she sank down on him and cried out with pleasure, squeezing his hands as if for dear life. The sound of her voice was just as maddening as the tight warmth of her around him, enough to make him groan as well as he involuntarily thrust up more deeply into her, this time making her whimper with need as she clutched at him more tightly. He took a few deep breaths, fighting to control himself but it was no use when Eponine began rocking her hips against his slowly, moaning softly each time he tried to match her movements. In a few moments he felt his body tense before he was overwhelmed by his own release, tearing a ragged yell from his lips.

It took a while till at last Enjolras could move and catch his breath. He blinked twice when he saw that Eponine was still on top of him, her hair tousled and her skin glistening with a sheen of sweat. Her lips were swollen and her eyes darker than he had ever seen them before. As far as he was concerned she had never looked lovelier. "Eponine..." he mumbled hoarsely, reaching for her.

She nodded as she linked her fingers more tightly with his. "Did you like it?"

He nodded as he carefully withdrew himself from inside her, hearing her sigh at this sudden loss. "Yes, but what about you?" he asked, now aware that she had not exactly reached her peak.

"I know, and I don't really mind. It happens," she said, stretching out so she could rest her forehead against his. She idly began to twirl his hair around her fingers. "It's the first time you've been with anyone."

"It's your wedding night as well," he pointed out. Even though he could feel lassitude catching up to him, he still did not miss the rather dissatisfied, almost resigned frown that now crossed her face. He ran his long fingers through her hair, combing out the tangles there till he felt her relax quite considerably. "It's not fair to you-"

Eponine smiled bemusedly at this awkward statement before placing a finger on his lips. "You can start by kissing me. Anywhere you like," she whispered.

Despite still feeling a little abashed at having gone faster than either of them would have liked, Enjolras obliged by kissing the tip of her nose, in the way that he knew would make her giggle. He dropped another kiss on the crook between her neck and her right shoulder, murmuring her name against her skin before moving his lips to below her collarbone. Eponine sighed appreciatively before bringing her hand up again to rub his shoulders as he sat up and pulled her into his lap. He braced her with his left arm over the small of her back as his right hand clasped her scarred left hand, fingers tracing her knotty skin and rough knuckles almost reverently.

The trusting, longing look in her eyes was all the encouragement he needed to continue caressing her with his mouth, making a line of quick but fiery kisses downwards, till he could tease her nipples with his tongue. He lingered between her breasts as he felt her free hand bury itself again in his hair, alternating between scratching his scalp and grabbing at his curls. He planted a few kisses around her navel as he let go of her hand and brought his fingers to her core, remembering now what else he could do to bring her to the same height she'd brought him to. He tentatively parted her folds, dragging his index finger over her crevice till he finally located a small nub of flesh there. He pressed on this lightly and felt her suddenly tug sharply on his hair as her body arched upwards.

"Antoine, how did you..." she asked shakily before he circled this bundle of nerves again, bringing her once more to incoherence. "How did you know about that?" she finally managed to say shakily.

Enjolras chuckled as he took in her surprised yet pleased smile before bending to kiss the angle under her ribs. "I asked."

"I bet Courfeyrac was eager to give you advice."

"Actually I asked Combeferre."

"I could have just told you..." she said, her words dissolving into a moan as his hand pressed harder on her core. He let his fingertips brush against her opening while she spread her legs wider, her toes curling as her body arched and bucked under his lips. He was slowly getting hard again at the mere sight of her, and he groaned loudly when he felt her hands dragging down over his chest as her lips feverishly kissed anywhere she could reach, further heightening his arousal.

He hissed as she planted a particularly bruising kiss on his neck, her teeth scraping and her lips sucking in a way that was sure to leave a mark. He groaned into her hair before bending to capture her lips fiercely. "You're beautiful, Eponine," he whispered.

Her eyes were bright with wonder and lust as she kissed him again. "So are you."

Enjolras took a deep breath, partly out of need and partly in an attempt to maintain some control. He glided his hand up to cradle her head as he laid her on the bed, this time kissing her more slowly to allow her to catch her breath. He parted her legs and manuevered himself between them carefully, taking care not to rest too much of his weight on her. He took a moment to look at Eponine intently, committing to memory the sight of her reddish hair fanned out on the pillow and her face flushed with desire as she mouthed his name, inviting him to make love to her again. He gritted his teeth as he positioned himself against her entrance, guided by one of her hands firmly on his lower back as if to keep him there. He kissed the bridge of her nose before slowly pushing into her, though it was all he could to keep from fully burying himself with one swift motion in her warmth.

She gasped and shut her eyes, all the while digging her fingernails into his arms. "Did I hurt you?" he asked worriedly.

She shook her head before opening her eyes and held his hand. "Please, just move."

He kissed her neck before beginning to cautiously thrust in and out of her, moving in deeper each time. Eponine clutched his back as she ground her hips against his, clearly trying to take in more of him and help him find some sort of rhythm. Enjolras muffled his moans against her hair before he shifted their positions a little to allow her some more room to move. "Is this fine with you?" he asked as he thrust again into her.

She gasped as she scrabbled at him, alternating between grabbing at his back and clutching at the sheets. "It's...just don't stop, please don't," she begged, reaching up to kiss him messily.

Enjolras kissed her back fervently, nearly slamming them both against the mattress with the sheer force of his kiss. He moved his tongue between her lips in time with his thrusts, more so when he felt her keening into his mouth as she clenched around him and tangled her hands in his hair. He pulled away after a while to allow them both some much needed air as he continued to push relentlessly into her, feeling his own release approaching again even as her grip on him tightened and her cries grew more incoherent. At last she screamed out his name as she finally climaxed, hard enough to also bring him over the edge once again as he murmured endearments in her ear. He buried his face into her shoulder as he collapsed on her, holding her close as he waited for both of them to stop shaking.

After what seemed to be a long while, Enjolras finally managed to prop himself up on his elbows. He saw that her eyes were still closed as she tried to catch her breath. He kissed her eyelids lightly. "Eponine, how are you?" he asked in a low voice.

Eponine's eyes fluttered open, and she smiled widely as their gazes locked. Before Enjolras could ask her again, she hugged him tightly. "Thank you, Antoine," she whispered.

"For what?" he asked confusedly as he looked at her.

She touched his cheeks gently. "I love you too."

Enjolras nodded, realizing now what he had certainly said just minutes before. He kissed her hand as it came to rest near his lips. "I mean it."

She buried her face in his shoulder for a moment before letting him move to lie next to her. "You always do."

He settled an arm around her as she curled up against him and clasped his hand to her chest. He could feel her breathing calm down in time with his as she nestled her head under his chin. He dropped a kiss on the top of her head and heard her sigh contentedly. "You're more than I could ever ask for, Eponine," he said in her ear.

She craned her neck to look at him. "Really?"

He paused, wondering how to say everything that was on his lips at that moment; there was no one way to sum up the love and gratitude he felt for her. "You're my new beginning," he said at last before kissing her again, knowing that this would better convey the answer.