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Part 2:

Jess's hold on the bottle waivers at his words, her fingers curling into a little fist as she watches Nick disappear towards the bathroom. His shoulders are looking amazing in that shirt, and she thinks it's a bit of a shame he's going to be taking it off...

Shaking her head at herself, Jess decides another glass wouldn't be a good idea given her current situation, and wanders towards the books spread out on the table. They'd made far more than needed, as it turns out, but seeing all the copies of the story Nick had written lying there looking all new and pristine just fills her with pride. This was just the start of his new adventure, of that she had no doubt.

Running her fingers along the grain of the wood, Jess walks the length of the table and comes to a stop next to the first book they'd made together. Nick decided he wanted to keep the original prototype as a souvenir, which Jess was actually thrilled about - Nick doesn't really do sentimental - but of course she'd acted as nonchalant as she possibly could at his request.

Smiling, Jess sits down at the end chair and flicks through the pages - a faint waft of the now dry glue floating its way up to her nostrils and making her laugh at the memory of how ridiculously high they'd gotten. Her eyes fall to the page the book has opened on and Jess pulls her lips inwardly over her teeth.

Should she?

Was it weird to read that part again while Nick was also in the loft?

Glancing behind her and hearing the shower on full blast, Jess clears her throat and sucks in her cheeks. She umm's and ahh's for ages, tapping her fingers on the table before giving in and deciding to let herself read on...


Jess is so engrossed, she hasn't even noticed Nick re-enter the room. He's stood barefoot by the couch, rubbing a small towel over his head then dumping it on top of the cushions. She'll probably moan about that later, he reckons.

Nick watches her for a moment, completely transfixed by the book in front of her. He was half expecting to come out and find her doing cartwheels in her underpants given the amount of pink wine that was readily available, but seemingly she had heeded his somewhat jokey warning earlier.

Taking a silent step closer, he glances over from the side, still unnoticed, and can see she's reading The Pepperwood Chronicles - he's surprised...and somewhat confused when he focuses his attention on her expression.

Because she's wearing that look on her face.

He knows that look.

He sometimes still has dirty dreams about that look.

She's horny as hell.

He suddenly remembers their discussion about The Shed Scene earlier, and it all clicks in to place. Jess is reading his book and feeling twirly.

Nick feels himself go instantly (and uncomfortably) hard when he realises it's all because of something filthy that he wrote.

"Doing a little bedtime reading, Day?" He tries to keep his voice level, but it's honestly a struggle because his mind is going to crazy places he knew it really shouldn't.

"No!" Jess squeals, jumping out of her skin and trying to cover the pages, although there's really not much point because they both know she's lying "It was already open on the table and I was just, uh...checking..."


"Typos?" She cringes, her cheeks burning.

"Oh? That's very thoughtful of you to proof read them like that for me." Nick has walked over to Jess and is leaning over her shoulder, one hand on the edge of the table. He's so close that he can smell the coconut shampoo she'd used earlier that day, and unbeknownst to her he breathes it in deeply.

"Well, you know me, I'm a thoughtful person..." Jess mumbles quietly as she slams the book closed and squirms in her seat. His close proximity wearing nothing but a robe is doing precisely zero in helping to dull the throbbing ache between her legs. Especially now that he smells all fresh and clean and...oh, boy, if she doesn't get away from him now then she's going to do something she might regret.

Jess stands abruptly, shoving past him and walking to the kitchen to afford herself some distance to calm down while she pretends to make tea.

"Okay, well...by all means please continue to check those pages thoroughly." Nick tries to stifle a laugh as he finishes the sentence, but fails miserably and earns himself a scowl from Jess.

"Get out of here, Nick!" She yells, gripping the kitchen island tightly "Shouldn't you be putting some clothes on?!"

He shrugs, spinning on his heel and chuckling quietly to himself on the walk towards his room.

"This is all your fault!" Jess mutters to her half empty bottle of pink wine - whom she blames solely for making her so twirly that she can't think straight - deciding to put it back out of reach where it belongs.

Jess leaves her face directed towards the cool blast of air from the fridge in a futile effort to quell the horny heat stirring in her gut. She's usually so good at forcing her feelings for him aside - she's gotten so used to doing it that sometimes Jess could believe the lies she told herself - but they're undeniably growing stronger by the day, and she's damn near about to lose her mind.

Unable to get the smell of Nick out of her head, all soap and manliness, she decides there's nothing for it - Jess is going to have to take herself to her room to...uh...fix this issue. Get it out of her system, so to speak. It's not the ideal solution, obviously.

But it's the only one she has right now.

Jess begins to spin around and yells hurriedly towards the hall.

"Hey, Nick, I think I'm actually just going to call it an early niii_" she trails off when she looks up and finds Nick walking back into the room without saying a word.

What the actual fuck?

He's wearing sunglasses and the distinctive blue cap of one alter-ego by the name of Julius Pepperwood, and she's not quite sure how to react. So she stands there like a deer caught in the headlights, mouth silently opening and closing while she's rooted to the spot.

Nick walks brazenly towards her and takes a seat at the table, grinning as he sits down and makes a neat little pile of Pepperwood books, delighting in picking up the copy she had been reading moments before and thumbing through it before placing it on the top of the stack with a gleeful thump. Jess feels her cheeks flood with colour and she could swear the temperature in the loft has just increased by several degrees.

"Nice hat." She says sarcastically, crossing her arms and narrowing her eyes.

"What, this old thing?" Nick replies, running his fingers along the edge of the peak and sitting back in his seat to kick his legs up on the table where he crosses them at the ankle.

"It's not funny." Jess huffs at him in annoyance, stepping closer to swat his legs back on to the floor.

"Oh, I respectfully disagree..."

"Take it off."


"You look ridiculous." Jess glances disapprovingly at his grey sweatpants and dark green t-shirt, clashing with the cap and glasses combo.

"I look great! I look like Julius Pepperwood!" Nick retorts.

"Take it off!" She demands again, reaching towards him.

"Woah, not so fast there!" He shifts away from her, still in his chair "You're gonna have to at least buy me a drink first before you start undressing me, young lady!"

Nick laughs.

Jess doesn't.

Her neutral face falters slightly, and for a split-second Nick sees her mask slip. He thought this was just some silly bit, to tease her the way they always do, but realises too late that he may have totally misread the situation. No change there.

Before he has a chance to say sorry, Jess lunges forward and knocks the hat clean off his head. Instinctive reflexes kick in, and Nick tries to duck - catching Jess by the wrist and bringing her tumbling forward on top of him.

She's half sprawled across his lap, half leaning over his shoulder, and quickly tries to push herself upright with her free arm.

Nick's eyes go soft and apologetic, and her stomach does a somersault at the way he's suddenly looking at her - but Jess can't hold the gaze for longer than a second without giving herself away. Her breath hitches at the way his right hand is still gripping her wrist, Nick's thumb pressing firmly into the soft skin where he can feel her pulse throbbing against him. He looks at her and swallows hard, eyes widening ever so slightly when he sees her gaze dart down to his mouth. The air in the loft suddenly feels void of oxygen, thick and stifling around them. Breathing normally has become impossible.

They realise at the same time that his left hand has settled on her thigh. Their eyes drift down together to see his fingers splayed just below the hem of her skirt, where heat is spreading across her skin like fire and shooting sparks right up between her legs.

Nick feels her shift slightly on his lap, so now she's practically straddling him and Jess adjusts her legs to make sure they're firmly over his as she lets her weight settle against him. He really isn't sure what's going on - but he knows this is the most alive he's felt in months. His blood is pumping hard through his veins and he's pretty sure that's his heartbeat he can hear pounding in his ears.

There is no way she hasn't noticed how turned on he is.

So, she must be doing this on purpose? Which makes him even more confused.

Jess can see the question in Nick's eyes as he looks up at her, and the truth is she isn't quite sure how they got here either - but she can't keep pretending around him any more.

She doesn't want to.

There aren't enough words to try and explain everything to him, so when she sees him run his tongue over his bottom lip ever so slightly, she decides to let her body do the talking for once. Actions speak louder than words, after all.

Nick sits stock still as her hands reach to cup either side of his face, stroking her thumbs across his stubbled cheeks, his breath catching slightly as he watches her lean in.



She's still making the noise as her lips approach his, and he feels her breath land on his skin before they make contact. Everything stops in that moment.

Nick's mind simply goes blank as he surrenders to the gentle caress of her soft touch.

His eyes close and the blackness surrounds him, heightening the blissful sensation of Jess's mouth tenderly coaxing his to open. He obeys, and when her tongue slowly finds her way to his, Nick wraps an arm tightly around her waist, where it settles on the small of her back. The space seemingly made to perfectly fit his palm.

Their kiss deepens, and history has been erased. They've stepped right back into their old rhythm - it's super slow and extremely sensual, all heavy breathing and roaming hands. Nick finds himself sucking her bottom lip in between his teeth and he could swear Jess grinds herself down against him a little in response.

At first he's not sure, so he repeats the move and she does it again, making Nick huff out a sound that's half amusement, half disbelief - because this is insanely hot and he just can't get his head around it.

She wants him.

What is going on?

He's trying not to think too much about it but it's Jess and it's him and she's in his lap and they're making out.

Right now.

In the middle of the loft.

In all honesty, he thought that ship had sailed. As much as it had hurt him to contemplate, Nick didn't ever think the day would come that Jess would lust after him like this again. He honestly assumed he'd never get another chance. He'd be lying if he said he hadn't dreamt about it. Of course he had - he's a human man, after all, and sleeping Nick can't be trusted - because Jess is there under his nose every day of his life with her glasses and her hair and her singing and her pyjama outfits and her fruity shower gel...and her little robes...and her tiny shorts...and all the million other little things she used to do that made him fall in love with her in the first place.

Oh, shit.

He's an idiot.

He's an absolute idiot.

"Winston could be home any minute." Nick breathes, words hot against her face as he breaks their kiss. Jess glances over his shoulder at the clock and merely shakes her head.

"We've got time." She whispers.

Nick pulls back to look at her, to make sure this is real and that he hasn't slipped in the shower and knocked himself into an unconscious state where his deepest fantasies play out. Her eyes are wild and reckless as she stares back at him - it's a side of her he hasn't seen for a very long time.

Too long.

Something snaps in him at that point, and Nick kisses her again - this time it's hard, fast, and messy as his left hand slides up the length of her back and rests at the base of her neck.

Jess makes this little noise - not quite a gasp yet not quite a moan, but something incredibly sexy somewhere in between the two - and has one hand gripping his shoulder as the other tugs urgently at his hair, she's rapidly losing herself in this moment, it's spiralling away from her with no way back and he's holding her tighter against him - his chest pressed hard to hers, and then...

Wait, is he...? He is...he's standing up, oh sweet Moses.

The chair scrapes loudly along the floor as he pushes it back in his haste to stand, hands now wrapped around her waist to bring her with him, her legs instinctively tightening around his hips to stay connected.

Jess had long forgotten the sweet sensation of being weightless in his arms, but now that she's back there she never wants him to put her down. He starts to lower her slightly and she's just about to whine in disappointment, except she doesn't land on the floor - because he's gone and sat her on the table.

The. Fucking. Dining. Table.

And - oh, Nick Miller you perfect human - he tugs her swiftly to the edge where their hips line up perfectly, and Jess has to suck in a deep breath from the pressure of his erection pressing into her because, Lord have mercy, it's just as amazing as she remembered.

His tongue is strong and eager in its search for hers. He tastes like beer and memories and hope. All too soon, his mouth leaves hers to travel south along her jawline. Jess's eyes flutter closed as he drags his lower lip sideways along the skin of her throat, goosebumps exploding on every inch of her body.

His fingers trace their way up the inside of her thighs, pausing briefly before disappearing under her skirt. A second later Jess lets out a low groan as his thumb rubs at her gently.

Too gently.

She needs more.

Nick slowly guides her backwards so she's leaning on her elbows, and he has a hand on the inside of each thigh as he moves her into position, pressing down firmly to hold her in place as he lowers his head. She would swallow hard in anticipation at this point, if it weren't for the fact her mouth feels like it's full of cotton.

Jess watches him watching her while he edges closer, and bites the inside of her cheek as he makes contact.

Oh, man alive...

Nick keeps his eyes on her as he runs his tongue along the inner crease of her left thigh, deliberately slow. She loves it and hates it all at once. It's so close but not nearly close enough - and her whimper tells him so.

Jess cant take her eyes off Nick as he lands a row of butterfly kisses up along the soft skin of her abdomen and back down again until he reaches the point where she's practically pulsing with longing.

He dances his tongue across her once and makes her do that breathy little moan that was always music to his ears.

Then he does it a second time. And a third.



Teasing her.

Jess's hips buck involuntarily when she feels his thumb slide down to where she's so slick it would be embarrassing if she had the mental capacity to care about anything other than what Nick is doing to her right now.

Her head falls back against the table with a crack, but Jess doesn't even feel it because now he's doing that swirling motion over and over again with his tongue in the way she used to love and, and_

Yeah...she's not sure she's even still on this planet right now.

The glorious throbbing is building in her gut but instead of moaning, Jess is holding her breath and sucking in thready little gulps of air. Suddenly, his fingers are sliding inside her and she groans at the wonderful feeling but then - oh, that's new - he's twisting them in the most amazing way, and she can't help but gasp loudly when he curls them and hits something that makes her toes curl in the best way possible. Jess feels a smirk curve his lips as they press themselves on the spot of skin between her pelvis and her hip, drifting down until his mouth is on her again and she can't take it any more. Every limb of her body is tingling deliciously, and with another few sweeps of Nick's tongue, Jess feels the spasms shoot through her like a rocket - and she can't stop it, but his name flies from her mouth as she topples over the edge.

Nick continues to gently run his fingers along her as she rides out the feeling and when she opens her eyes, he is stood between her legs with a massive grin on his face. His lips are glistening from the taste of her and his hair is all messed up where her hands have been running through it.

Jess sits up slowly, tugs her skirt back in to place, and bites her lip.

"I forgot how good you were at that..." She says, a little dumbstruck, then they both laugh loudly as he thanks her for the feedback and she leans into him, his hands stroking up her back, feeling her heart pounding against his chest as she rests her forehead on his shoulder while her breathing steadies. It means she gets to enjoy the scent of him properly this time, and Jess turns her face to the right where she repeatedly presses her lips gently to his neck. His chest rises more than normal when she opens her mouth and very carefully bites down on the same spot she had just been kissing.

"Hmm...that still does it for you, huh?" She purrs, feeling him shiver as her tongue traces its way to his earlobe.

"Anything you do does it for me, Jessica." He breathes.


Nick nods, and is infinitely grateful that he's wearing non-restrictive sweatpants, especially when he feels her hand snake its way down to his groin.

He lets out a little grunt as she rubs him over the top of the material, and he's certain he's never been so hard in his entire life (except for maybe that one night when he carried her from the elevator into his bedroom...) when she slips under the waistband and curls her fingers around him. His dick twitches slightly in her grip and Jess still has her mouth against Nick's neck, so she feels the way he sucks in a deep breath as she begins to stroke him, slow yet firm. Her hand moves perfectly from memory, building the pace the same way he used to like, twisting slightly at the base before sweeping up over the head, making him groan from low down in his gut.

Nick was sure that his eyes would be rolling back in his head if they weren't already screwed shut as he concentrated on not exploding every time she pumped him in her hand. With a small hiss of air, Nick grips her wrist with his fingers and she stills immediately.

She knows what that means. He's getting too close.

Jess starts to lean back towards the table as he bends forward, Nick's mouth attacking hers hungrily, her arms lifting his t-shirt up and over his head as he chases after her - and he's practically crawling his way up her body, hands resting either side of her waist and his knee coming up on the dining table as it creaks slightly below their weight, neither one of them giving a damn.

Jess nearly falls onto her back underneath him, her elbow knocking the pile of Pepperwood's he'd stacked up right onto the floor with a crash.

"Oh, shit. Sorry...your books." She pants.

Nick looms over her and peers down to the floor.

"Fuck it, we'll make more." He laughs, dropping down to her mouth again, skating a hand up her side and hurrying to undo the buttons of her blouse. Jess helps him when he fumbles with the bottom few, and then it joins his t-shirt on the floor along with her expertly removed bra. Nick kisses her firmly before grazing his thumb across her left breast, feeling Jess moan into his mouth as he circles the pad against her nipple.

Jess digs her fingers into his back, and feels the muscles in his shoulders move under the palm of her hand as his head dips down to her chest. She arches her back - because it feels that good.

It's so hot in the loft, their skin is sticky as their bodies press together, but it feels so amazing that Jess's mind is racing. The blood in her body feels like it's heated up, coursing through her veins and making her feel like there's fire beneath her skin wherever Nick touches her.

And he's touching her everywhere.

Nick's mouth is open on the spot just above Jess's collar bone - hot and wet as he sucks on her skin hard enough to leave a bruise, like he's ravenous to taste every part of her again.

"Oh, god..." Jess's voice is way deeper than normal when she speaks, husky almost, and she all but writhes against the feeling of him. She would happily let Nick devour all of her if he wanted to, Jess yearned to have him as close to her as possible.

She'd always thought the use of the word 'yearning' in saucy women's literature had been so cliché, but at this moment it felt completely fitting - especially when she considered the actual meaning: an intense feeling of longing for something, typically something that one has lost or been separated from.

His breath is loud and fast in her ear, and his hands quickly push her skirt right up around her waist without bothering to even try and unzip it to pull it down (side-note: sexiest thing that has happened to her since...well, since Nick carried her from the elevator that one time) leaving no questions about whether they were actually taking this all the way on the table they ate dinner off every night. Jess grabs blindly for his pants and tugs them down so he can wriggle free and kick them off.

And then it's just her and him.

Naked and laid bare on the dining table.

Nothing about this feels weird, or wrong. It feels primal, and instinctual...and it just feels right.

They pause for a second as he rests himself between her legs, both needing to catch their breath. Nick leans forward to rest his forehead on hers, and kisses her lips with a softness completely paradoxical to the utter urgency of the past few minutes. He doesn't get to draw back, because Jess has wound her arms under his and is holding on tight, kissing him now like her life depended on it. All the raw emotion from the past few months catching up with her and taking their chance to escape, winding themselves around the way her mouth moves on his, desperately hoping he can somehow sense everything she has been too scared to say.

Nick returns the gesture with equal enthusiasm and when he feels her right leg hook around his hip, he needs no further signal, pushing himself into her and growling into her neck.

"Jesus, Jessica..."

He stills inside her as his hips finish their thrust, feeling her adjust to him, Jess's breathless moan matched by his own. Nick grips her thigh tightly, lifting it slightly as he rocks into her, the angle creating a friction that very nearly gives Jess an out of body experience. His other arm is next to her head, and Jess finds herself turning to place her teeth on the beautifully tanned, muscular forearm within biting distance. For some reason that seems to really turn him on, and he thrusts harder, causing Jess to whimper in delight.


She wasn't even able to separate her words now, they just blended into one semi-coherent noise as she tried to roll her hips to keep up with his building pace.

His hand has slipped up from her thigh to cup her ass, and Jess has both knees bent as she braces her feet on the edge of the table.

"Fuck, Jess..." Nick grits out, sweat from his brow damp against her cheek - but she couldn't care less, her eyes are squeezed shut and Jess is getting dizzy from the shallow breathing she didn't even realise she was doing.

Nick's arm starts to shake under the strain of his weight, so he drops down to his elbow bringing his chest flush against Jess. She's never really been one to swear much, but right now, every second word out of her mouth is an expletive. It's the sexiest fucking thing he's ever heard, especially when it's mixed with cries of his name. Every curse word she utters makes him press harder inside her, until the only noise in the room is their loud gasping.

Jess hums loudly as her orgasm pulses through her insides, making her spasm around him. She digs her nails into the skin of his back and her lips are pressed to his temple as Nick buries his face in the crook of her neck, groaning loudly into her hair and thrusting a final time before following her.

He collapses his top half against her, legs only just capable of still standing. She hears him trying to catch his breath and feels his heart thundering against her as he allows himself to chuckle slightly, kissing his way along the curve of her neck before pulling himself back up so as not to crush her under his weight. Jess's head is still spinning, and as she forces herself to take some deep breaths, the gravity of what has just happened hits her full force.

A single tear betrays her and creeps to the edge of Jess's eye, but Nick brushes it away quickly with his thumb and kisses the damp, salty trail it tried to mark her with.

"Hey, you okay?" He asks, voice so soft it makes her heart swell. Nick looks down at her, concerned. Eyes darker than she's ever seen - with an intensity behind them she'd forgotten existed.

"I'm...more than okay..." She smiles, almost shyly, which she knows is ridiculous, given that they're both naked in the middle of the apartment and way past that point.

Her right hand grazes up along his stomach, and across his chest until it comes to rest upon his heart. She stares hard at that spot and swallows before bringing her eyes up to meet his.


Placing his hand over hers, he squeezes her fingers gently and shakes his head, making her fall silent.

Jess thinks she'll always love Nick just that little bit more for not making her say it.

He knows.

He can feel it.

Leaning forward, Nick kisses her so tenderly that she nearly cries again when he whispers in her ear.

"Me, too."

They have a lot to talk about.

They're both aware of it but, likewise, they know that conversation can wait.

Tonight is about them, this moment of pure bliss, their happiness - and nothing else.

After all, they've got the rest of their lives to work things out...