A/N: Merlin, I spoil you lot =) You were all so wonderfully sweet and so enthusiastic about the first chapter that I couldn't resist sharing this one with you as well. I hope you like it =) Happy Halloween! xx-Kitten.

Let it Burn

By Kittenshift17

Chapter 2: Desire

"Which cabin's yours, H'mione?" Charlie Weasley slurred at her several hours later when they'd all been kicked out of the pub for the night. It was nearing two in the morning and Hermione wasn't the only one more than a little bit tipsy.

"I don't remember," Hermione giggled, feeling very silly as she looked around trying to recognise her surroundings and figure out where she'd unpacked all her things. The cabins all looked identical to her. Made of stone – to protect against being destroyed every time a dragon got loose, she'd been told, they all housed one or two people to a cabin. Hermione had opted for one of the ones that she wouldn't have to share with anyone else. She'd outgrown the urge for roommates after being back at Hogwarts for her NEWT year and living in a tent with Ron and Harry the year before.

She liked to have her own space and she didn't like having to deal with the comings and goings of someone else cluttering up her space, cramping her style or complaining about her odd hours. She remembered dimly that she had tried to count the cabins between her place and the pub.

The entire village within the sanctuary was made up of similar cabins, a research centre, the dragon enclosures, a few shops, a post office and a grocery store. Hermione had actually been surprised by that. She'd expected researchers, keepers, dragon tamers, a few Ministry officials and the dragons but she hadn't been prepare for an entire village of people. All types seemed to loiter in the area. Traders who sold different dragon parts – raw materials like dragon's blood, dragon talons, scales, hide, snot, dung and eggs. Almost every part of a dragon could be used for other purposes within the wizarding world and as such, people pedalled them. Vendors who bought some of those raw materials and turned them into other things could also be found.

Stores selling dragon hide clothing, boots, gloves and vests; Apothecaries selling any potion that contained dragon bits. Even other vendors selling things that communities just generally needed. There was a quill shop and a place to buy books. There was a grocery store, a sweet shop, an ice-cream parlour and even a joke-shop – though it didn't look to be very popular. Hermione would have to remember to write to George and tell him there was an opening for a Wheezers store here in Dragonsmeade – as the village had so aptly been named.

One of the biggest buildings, however, was the hospital. Hermione could see it shining in the distant, lit up even now as people were treated for different things. Burns. Maulings. Bites and scratches from the dragons themselves. Spell damage. Common illnesses, aches and pains. Hermione knew that Dragonsmeade hosted the largest researched centre in the world for Dragon Pox studies as well as any number of labs dedicated to the actual study of the dragons themselves.

"You don't… well, shit," Charlie swore at the idea that she didn't remember where she lived, looking around blearily as well and trying to see past the end of his nose - something she doubted he could currently do. After their toast to her many hours earlier, the Tamers had taken to her well enough, though Amy still seemed frosty. They'd been drinking late into the night and Hermione had ended up in a round of shouts with them all, buying and downing drinks as fast as they could consume them.

She'd been 'inducted', as Jason had called it, and that meant she had to learn to drink as hard as she would learn to work. Caroline had informed her they all tended to drink most nights, especially if one of them was injured in the line of duty or something was off about the day. The only time drinking was out, she'd been told by a slurring Sid, was when they were on a hunt for dragons in the field that needed to be relocated to the sanctuary. Being hung-over and too slow off the mark could see a Dragon Tamer or her colleagues killed and as such, drinking was prohibited when they were hunting.

Charlie had rolled his eyes and told her they still tended to have a few, just not as many as to get plastered.

"I think it was five houses that way and then seven that way," Hermione offered, pointing in the vague direction of the dragon enclosures in the distance that made up the dragon hospital. She hadn't been given a tour yet, but she had learned that most of the dragons in the sanctuary were kept further afield in large, natural-habitat type enclosures. Only those that needed monitoring or medical attention were kept on hand at the hospital.

"Shit," Charlie cursed again, "Mine's closer. Come on."

Hermione laughed as he wrapped his arm around her shoulders, his free hand grabbing her arm and pulling it around his waist. They stumbled as they walked together, Charlie more inebriated than Hermione ever remembered seeing him before.

"Wait, I think it's the other way," Hermione said, still trying to pinpoint where her own house might be and cursing to herself for being such an idiot and getting so drunk on her very first day.

This was not the way to make a good first impression.

"Who cares about impression?" Charlie scoffed, making Hermione realise she must be talking out loud, "You're H'mione Granger. You'll knock their socks off within the week."

"I don't want to know their socks off," Hermione replied, swaying and laughing when Charlie tripped over his own boots and nearly sent them both sprawling toward the ground, "I want to make sure I don't get kicked out before I find out why the dragons aren't breeding properly anymore."

He snorted and glanced sideways at her.

"That's why you're here?" he asked, raising one eyebrow.

"Well, that and one other reason," Hermione retorted.

"Oh yeah?" he asked, a wicked smirk crawling across his face, "What's that?"

"Got to do my field-work to get myself qualified," Hermione replied before she could blurt out that she'd come because she wanted him to strip her naked and shag her until the place between her legs stopped tingling.

Charlie snorted again, swaying as he led her down a street with a broken street light and towards a cabin at the end of the row. The porch light was on, but Hermione didn't recognise it.

"This isn't my house," she protested.

"It's mine, idiot," he chuckled, "No way either of us is any shape to stumble around in the dark trying to find yours now. We'll Floo call your roommate inside."

He led her up the stairs and to the door, touching what she assumed to be a blood-ward on the door to gain entry.

"I don't have a roommate," Hermione told him as he tugged her through the door and into his cabin along with her.

"Well, shit," Charlie cursed again, releasing her to lean against the wall while he tried to pull his boots off his feet. Hermione couldn't help laughing when he lost his balance and fell on the floor.

In the morning, she was sure it would occur to her what idiots they were and how drunk they really must be that it occurred to them to Floo call a third party, but not to Floo from Charlie's cabin to hers. But right then, watching Charlie hit the floor with a groan and his right boot in his hand, it was the farthest thing from Hermione's mind. Leaning against the wall herself, Hermione jerked her own shoes off her feet, almost losing her balance in the process.

"Do you need help?" Hermione asked him when Charlie got his other boot off and sat on the floor for a minute simply watching her as she took her shoes off and stood them neatly next to his own messy pair.

"I think so," he admitted, holding both hands up to her.

Hermione took them, leaning back to keep her balance while she hauled on his arms and jerked him onto his feet.

"You're stronger than you look," Charlie told her, stumbling into her slightly when Hermione pulled too hard. She hadn't been expecting him to help very much as she pulled him to his feet and so had surprised both of them when she pulled so hard while he tried to bounce to his feet without pulling her over.

She found herself pressed back against the wall in the hallway leading to the kitchen, realising his cabin was laid out identically to hers. Charlie dropped her hands to catch himself against the wall, pressing his palms to the cool stones either side of her face.

"Oops," Hermione chuckled, finding humour in the moment even though she was currently closer to Charlie than she'd been in years.

All evening he'd kept her close to him. Indeed she'd spent most of the evening seated on the windowsill with one of his legs pressed against the window behind her back and the other knee brushing her legs while she sat, or her hips when she stood. For almost the entire evening he'd keep his fingers twisted through her belt-loops. She didn't know if he did it out of a need to touch her or an urge to warn away any of the other Dragon Tamers or the other people of Dragonsmeade that she'd met this evening, but Hermione couldn't say she minded.

"You alright?" he asked, grinning a little as she leaned against the wall.

"Yes," Hermione nodded her head, smiling in return, "Though I'm sure that in the morning, I won't think so."

"You still know how to make hangover potion, right?" he asked, "I seem to recall you making particularly potent Hangover cures that kept Mum from screaming at all of us for getting drink every other night with Georgie."

"I didn't bring any with me," Hermione admitted, "And I think trying to brew in this condition might be unsafe."

"I've got enough for tomorrow," he chuckled, "But if you're going to live here, you're going to need to handle your liquor or you're going to have to start brewing both of us those hangover potions you're so good at."

"I could be persuaded to brew them," Hermione grinned.

"Persuaded?" he smirked at her and Hermione wondered how she even still had knickers. If they weren't so damp with her neediness, she was certain they'd have gone up in flames from the heat of the throbbing, fiery place between her legs that begged to have Charlie touch her.

She didn't know what to say to his question without hitting on him. Honestly, her ego had taken enough blows tonight to learn he'd had no idea she wasn't still dating Ron, let alone interested in dragons like him. She wasn't about to put herself out there to be shot down. So instead, Hermione just smiled at him sweetly and did her very best to keep from arching into him where he leaned so close to her that she could probably count his eyelashes if the world wasn't spinning.

He grinned wickedly in return, tilting his head to one side ever so slightly.

"Did I mention that it's good to see you, Hermione?" he asked her, still peering at her and Hermione blinked.

"I don't think so. You were too busy trying to figure out if I'd run out on your brother," Hermione shook her head.

"Well," he shrugged, "Can you blame me? I don't exactly listen to every detail when Mum Floo calls me and goes on and on with updates of what everyone at home is doing. When she said Ron was engaged, I just figured he'd finally got his shit together and asked you to marry him. Been expecting it since you lot were still in school."

Hermione rolled her eyes.

"Never would have worked out," she shook her head, "Didn't work out. It was actually really awkward, felt kind of like I imagine snogging one's brother might feel."

Charlie snorted at her assessment.

"You still dated him a while."

"It was sort of… expected," Hermione admitted quietly, reflecting on the brief few months she and Ron had dated. She'd never slept with him, actually. She'd barely even snogged him. It had felt too strange.

"I'd disagree, but I expected you'd still marry him even though you broke up years ago," Charlie shrugged, "You want something to eat? I'm starving."

He pushed away from the wall, the intimacy of being so close and so drunk suddenly broken by the mention of the fact that she'd dated his brother. Hermione kicked herself for bringing Ron up at all.

"You're going to cook something?" she asked, pretending he hadn't just pressed her into the wall.

"Won't be so hungover if we eat something," he said over his shoulder, "Should probably shower too. I haven't yet today."

"Neither have I," Hermione sighed, "I can't believe I forgot where I live. I'm making a terrible debut into the world of living abroad."

"Don't worry about it," he laughed, "Grab a shower if you want, towels are in the cupboard in the bathroom. Ignore the mess."

"I don't have anything to put back on," Hermione pointed out.

"Oh. Right," he frowned for a second, ceasing his actions of pulling ingredients out of the fridge, "Hang on a minute."

He swayed down the hallway, and Hermione giggled as she heard him curse when he tripped over something on his way into his bedroom. She crept over to the bench where he'd been pulling out ingredients, trying to figure out what he planned to make. She smiled when she recognised the staples for Molly's usual midnight snack option. Grilled cheese sandwiches. While Charlie was distracted, Hermione continued making them.

She might have never been to his place before but if he was anything like his siblings and his mother… ah, Hermione grinned when she opened the corner cupboard and found his frypan before setting it on the stove and firing it up. She dropped butter into the pan, smearing the excess onto the toast before stacking thick layers of cheese over it and dropping the next layer of bread on top. She was giggling to herself as she made double-stacked grilled cheese, something she and Harry had discovered to be the tastiest things since grilled cheese. Another layer of cheese went on top of the middle slice of bread, followed by a third piece of bread.

She repeated the processes with another sandwich.

"Here you go, you can…." Charlie appeared back in the kitchen clutching a wad of clothing that he was offering her, stopping mid-sentence when he found her cooking them both grilled cheese sandwiches.

She'd also filled his kettle and put it over the heat to boil, intending to make them both cups of tea, knowing she was never as hungover if she had a cup of tea before going to sleep when she'd been drinking.

"You found everything?" he asked, coming closer as though he had forgotten she'd practically spent every summer since she'd been twelve living in his family home.

"You don't exactly deviate from the way Molly keeps her kitchen, Charlie," Hermione chuckled, "It wasn't hard."

"What are these?" he asked, peering over her shoulder to look at the double-decked grilled cheese sandwiches she was making.

"Double stacked," Hermione grinned at him, turning her head and almost bumping noses with him when she found him inside her personal space.

"Why have I never thought of that before now?" he asked, looking slightly awed.

"Harry's a genius when it comes to food," Hermione shrugged her shoulders, "He put me onto them a few years back. But twice the cheese means it takes longer to melt. You've got time to shower if you want."

"You go, I'll do this," he grinned, "This is for you."

He handed her one of his jumpers to wear and Hermione took it without looking.

"Are you okay here?" she asked, "You're not going to stumble and burn yourself on the stove? You're pretty drunk."

Charlie scoffed at her, "At least I can remember where I live, Hermione. Go and get clean or you're not sleeping in my bed."

"You'd make me sleep on the floor if I didn't bathe?" she demanded, laughing.

"Too right, I would," he grinned, "So get. Burn myself on the stove, indeed. I'm a professional bloody Dragon Tamer, I think I can handle one little stove that's bolted to the floor."

He shook his head, pointing her out of the kitchen and Hermione laughed but did as she was told. She was much too drunk to protest the matter further before she sauntered off down the hallway and into the bathroom. She stripped out of her clothes quickly, amused that he'd told her to ignore the mess. Clearly he'd not spent much time living with Ron or Harry if he thought he was messy.

Folding her things quickly, Hermione dug a bath-towel out of the cupboard and set it on the bench along with Charlie's shirt before she turned on the taps and climbed under the hot spray of the shower. She almost groaned at how good it felt as she bathed quickly. She didn't worry about washing her hair. It would take too long for it to dry and she'd done it yesterday before moving. Making use of Charlie's soap – noticing with amusement that it was the same brand the rest of his family used as well, Hermione washed herself quickly, scrubbed clean and got back out of the shower.

She towelled off, trying to keep her balance while she dried her feet.

She wrinkled her nose at the idea of putting her used underwear back on, but with nothing else, Hermione settled for a strong cleaning charm on the clothing before pulling them back on again. She pulled Charlie's shirt on over the top and Hermione glanced in the mirror when she was done, amused when she discovered he'd given her one of his old Quidditch jerseys. It had a faded number seven on the sleeves and the back; the Hogwarts emblem and Gryffindor team name on the front and the name C. Weasley stamped across the back.

The idea titillated her in ways it had no right to and Hermione grinned at her own reflection. She eyed her jeans for a minute, not intending to sleep in them and so not wanting to put them back on. Rather than bothering, Hermione picked up the pile of her own clothing and carried it with her as she left the bathroom.

"That was fast," Charlie commented from the kitchen when Hermione returned there, setting her things in a pile on the kitchen bench.

"I didn't need to wash my hair or I'd be up all night trying to get it dry," Hermione replied, "You go grab a shower, I'll finish these."

"They're done," he shook his head, turning towards her with both sandwiches plated up.

He paused when he spotted her leaning barefoot against the kitchen bench wearing only his jersey. It fell to mid-thigh on her, but Hermione imagined the sight was more of her than he was used to seeing. She hated herself a little when she felt another throb of heat between her legs at the way he trailed his gaze over her from head to foot.

"Gryffindor colours did always suit you," he chuckled, handing her a plate and waving his hand towards the cups on the bench where he'd clearly made her a cup of tea.

"Probably a good thing," Hermione replied, "Else I'd have spent an awkward seven years wearing unbecoming colours."

He nodded around the big bite he'd taken of his sandwich and Hermione watched him as he watched her while she ate her own sandwich as well. She could feel the tension between the two of them increasing slowly and Hermione sighed out a heavy breath when she took a long drink from her cup of tea.

"You should get to bed," he told her when they'd finished eating while Hermione set the plates and cups on the sink, "Seven AM is going to come a lot sooner than you think with the hangover we've both got coming."

Hermione nodded her head.

"Come on," he reached for her, tugging her down the hall by the hand and nodding her towards the bedroom. Hermione bit her lip as she turned in the doorway to glance up at him, "I'll be in there in a bit. Don't hog the covers, alright?"

"No promises," Hermione told him, grinning.

He laughed as he turned away and Hermione was sure she might've whimpered out loud when he yanked his shirt off over his head on his way into the bathroom, revealing the tattooed, muscled expanse of his back to her hungry gaze. Like the rest of his body that she'd ever seen, he was so freckled that he looked tan because of the amount of time he spent outdoors. Hermione wanted to run her fingers over every inch of that flesh and it took more self-control than she'd realised she possessed to be able to turn away as he closed the bathroom door.

She didn't bother turning the light on as she crossed the room to his bed. He'd pushed it into the corner of the room and Hermione suspected he didn't entertain a lot of overnight guests. That idea pleased her immensely. She'd been getting bad vibes all evening from Amy, making her think the woman fancied herself Charlie's lover. Given Charlie's lack of reaction to Amy's bad mood and his continued insistence that Hermione be so close to him, not to mention his allowing her to sleepover in his bed, she doubted the woman was his girlfriend.

Maybe she just fancied herself his girlfriend. Hermione snorted to herself as she peeled back the covers and climbed between the sheets of Charlie's bed. If the woman thought she was going to end up with Charlie Weasley one day, she was sorely mistaken. If anyone was taking the title of Mrs Charles Weasley, it was going to be Hermione Jean Granger, thank you very much.

Snuggling down under the covers, Hermione slid to the far side of the bed closest to the wall and stretched out on her back. She tried to convince the walls to stop spinning and she found herself wishing she hadn't drunk quite so much that evening. Hermione closed her eyes, listening to the sounds all around her. In the distance she could hear the occasional sound of a dragon roaring into the night. The sound of people stumbling their way home within the village – having also been kicked out of the pub at closing time – could also be heard. People laughing and calling to one another.

Closer still, Hermione could hear the sound of the water running through the pipes as Charlie bathed and a smile pulled at the corners of her mouth when she heard him randomly begin to sing the chorus of one of the songs that had been playing at the pub. She chuckled to herself at the muffled sound, especially when she heard him sing the wrong lines, mixing them up and singing them out of order.

He was still singing in a slurred mumble when the door to the bathroom opened once more and Hermione heard more than saw that he waved his wand to lock the front door and turn out the lights.

She grinned as she began singing the words along with him, giving him a sound to follow over to the bed.

"Bloody good song, that one," he muttered to her when they'd both sung the chorus obnoxiously loudly.

"You won't think so when you wake up tomorrow with it still in your head," Hermione told him.

She opened her eyes to watch him fuss around in the dark and by the dim light of the moon outside, Hermione could see Charlie standing over by a chest of drawers in just a towel. He squiggled his hips slightly as though he were dancing to the song still playing in his head and Hermione squinted in the dark, trying to see when he dropped the towel and grabbed some fresh boxers. Hermione couldn't tell what colour they were in the dark as he jerked them up his legs.

She could, however, see it when he turned towards her with his hands in one of the drawers still, looking as though he were debating whether or not he ought to don more clothing to sleep next to her.

"Are you going to wander around singing all night, or are you coming to bed?" Hermione asked him.

"Do you want me to sleep on the couch, Hermione?" he asked, clearly sobering up a bit and regaining some of the gentlemanly sensibilities Molly and Arthur had undoubtedly drummed into him.

"Don't be ridiculous," she rolled her eyes, snorting with amusement at the very idea and secretly wanting to feel him crawl into bed beside her.

"You're not going to get weird on me in the morning?" he asked, clearly discarding thoughts of more clothing as he crossed the room towards the bed wearing only his boxers.

"Only if you sleep on the couch and make things awkward," Hermione told him, "Just get into bed, would you? I'm cold."

Charlie laughed.

"You're probably the only straight witch I know who can sound so impatient whilst inviting a man to bed with her, entirely for non-sexual purposes," he informed her as he peeled back the covers and crawled in next to her.

"Do you get invited to bed by lots of bent girls for non-sexual purposes, Charlie?" Hermione asked innocently, smirking to herself.

"I'm not above wrestling you for that tone, Granger," he warned at her flirtatious and rather cheeky tone.

"You couldn't even if you tried," Hermione challenged immediately, "You couldn't even pull your boots off without falling over."

"Right, that's it," he growled playfully and Hermione immediately squirmed when he reached for her under the covers, digging his fingers into her sides as he began to tickle her.

She couldn't hold back the laughter that bubbled up from within her as she tried to escape his tickling fingers, squirming across the bed until she hit the wall. Charlie was laughing as well, chasing her across the small space. Her only option was to fight back when she found herself trapped and Hermione gleefully dug her fingers into his ribs, the skin bare beneath her touch as she did so.

"Oi! That's not how this works. You're cheeky, you get tickled," Charlie laughed, "You don't get to fight back while you're punished."

"What are you going to do about it, Weasley?" Hermione challenged, kicking one leg over him and straddling him. Hermione pinned him to the bed, still tickling him mercilessly.

"You're going to regret that, love," he retorted, squirming beneath her hands before he bucked his hips, trying to dislodge her from her perch atop him.

"I don't think I will," Hermione laughed, writhing when he tickled her some more.

She squeaked when she suddenly felt both of his hands slide up the length of her thighs before he gripped her tight and flipped them both with ease. He caught her hands in his tight grip and jerked her arms up over her head, pinning them to the pillow. The length of his body rested intimately in the cradle her hips created, her knees bent up either side of his lean, muscled frame.

"I wrestle ten tonne dragons all day, love," he reminded her, "Did you think one little hundred pound witch would be a challenge for me?"

Hermione snorted at his cocky tone, suddenly finding her whole body scorching with desire she could feel every sinuous inch him pressed against her. Something hot and hard inside his boxers prodded intimately against the scorching junction of her thighs and Hermione bit her lip on a whimper that threatened to escape her.

"And when you get those dragons pinned, what do you do to them Charlie?" Hermione asked, aware of her suddenly breathless tone and suspecting he noticed it too.

"Well now, that depends on what it is they need from me," he replied, his own voice turning husky, "Some of them have been injured in a fight and need to be patched up. Some of them need a good scrub down to make them feel better after eating something they shouldn't."

Hermione could feel her breath coming in little gasps as he spoke. He lowered his face towards her neck as he listed the types of things his job entailed in that husky voice. His long red hair was loose and damp, tickling her skin and making her quiver. He trailed the tip of his nose up the length of her neck, and Hermione didn't even think about it as she stretched it automatically in response to give him better access.

"Some of them need their claws cut or a hang-nail removed," he went on, "Some might have some scale-rot I've got to scrub at with a metal brush," he trailed his lower lip against her jaw seductively, making Hermione tremble.

"Some of the females need a belly rub when they get pregnant and they're uncomfortable," he kept talking and Hermione was alarmed that the use of the word 'pregnant' whilst in bed with him didn't douse the heat racing through her, "Some of the males need a good fight and to snap and snarl when they get beaten out for the right to mate. My job is to figure out what they need and give it to them."

Hermione shivered when he stopped, his mouth by her ear, his lips brushing ever so faintly against the sensitive shell.

"What do you need, Hermione?" he whispered hotly into her ear, searing her with his heat.

A lusty whimper left her throat without her permission and, unbidden, her body arched beneath Charlie's. Her breasts tingled when she pressed them to his chest and her breath hitched as she rubbed herself needily against his crotch. He nipped her earlobe in response to the caress and Hermione would swear she must be dreaming.

Hermione arched into him again, feeling the way he ground his erection against the needy junction of her thighs through the thin fabric of their underwear. Somewhere away in the distance there was another roar from a dragon. Charlie's lips trailed a burning line of kisses along the edge of her jaw towards her mouth and Hermione moaned softly at the exquisite caress.

Another roar from a dragon, this time much louder than before, had him stilling.

"Do you hear that?" he asked, pulling back from her slightly.

"The dragon?" Hermione asked, trying to think clearly through the haze of lust and fire-whiskey.

"I'm not imagining it," he said and by the glow of the moon through the window, Hermione watched the way Charlie's brow furrowed.

She was just opening her mouth to ask if it was important right then that a dragon was roaring somewhere, but before she could, a rapid and alarmingly-loud pounding came from Charlie's front door.

"Shit," Charlie groaned, burying his face against her neck once more and latching onto the flesh. Hermione moaned softly as he suckled at the flesh, drawing blood to the surface and giving her a love-bite. The pounding at the door continued.

"You need to get that, don't you?" Hermione sighed when he pulled back from her and looked at her guiltily.

"Yeah," he sighed.

"Do you want me to get it?" Hermione asked, bucking her lips slightly against the raging erection she could feel pressed to her throbbing, aching core.

"That would nice," Charlie chuckled, "But no. It'll be one of the Handlers. Sounds like Hercules is getting worse. You stay here. Get some rest. You've got to be up in four hours to start your first day of Tamer training."

He climbed off her reluctantly and Hermione sighed in frustration as she watched him dig some jeans and a shirt from his chest of drawers. He pulled them on quickly.

"Do you need my help?" Hermione asked as she watched him pull his shirt on over his head.

"With Herc?" he asked, "Nah, it's alright, Hermione. You sleep. You're going to need it. It'll be bad enough that I'm fuck-eyed right now. Don't need you there while you're tipsy too."

Hermione sighed again, flopping back against the pillows when he glanced at her for a moment, looking rather torn between his duty to his job and his yearning to return to bed, hopefully to ravish her. He didn't say anything else before striding out of the room, pulling the bedroom door mostly closed behind him.

"What Gerry?" his voice came a few minute later when he snatched the front door of his.

"We need you, boss," a panicked male voice replied, "It's Herc, he's getting worse. Crashing into the bars of the enclosure. He's already hurt himself."

"Has anyone tried sedating him?" Charlie asked, the slur of his drunkeness disappearing with the boost of adrenaline that came from needing to call on his expertise.

"Marla tried to get close enough to give him something and he almost tore her arm off," Gerry said, clearly still panicked, "They've rushed her to the Clinic. She'll be out of the game for a month at least, they reckon. Ripped her shoulder apart when he grabbed her in his jaws and flung her around the cage. Henry and Samson are in the hospital too after they had to dive in and distract Hercules while the rest of us got Marla outta there."

"Fuck!" Charlie cursed, "Let's go."

Hermione heard the sound of him pulling his boots on followed by the door being pulled shut. Heavy footsteps across the porch ended abruptly when they both stepped off the edge and raced away into the night to deal with the crisis on hand. She was torn between the urge to go after them and offer her assistance however she could, and between wanting to call Charlie back and demand he have his wicked way with her.

Her whole body burned with the urge to be touched, with the need for release. And by the sounds of things, Charlie wasn't going to be coming back any time soon to help her out with that notion. Huffing in annoyance, Hermione figured she would just have to do it herself.