After they kiss, Rey and Clyde find their way up to her apartment.

I realized that I've been sitting on this completed chapter for about a month now, so I thought I would share it now rather than waiting. The next chapter is halfway written, but I haven't been able to write since Christmas due to a really intense bout of depression. I won't go into it, but this is probably the hardest I've been hit by my brain weasels in...possibly ever, and it hasn't let up at all. And now due to *gestures vaguely at the world* I don't have the spoons to do more than survive, which is why I've kind of disappeared.

With that being said, thank you for reading. And thank you to Megan for beta-reading as always.

***Sorry I'm a bit behind in posting this one to ffn. Hope you enjoy!- Skye***

Chapter 3

Cold wind swirled around her legs, the only part of her that wasn't pressed against Clyde, and Rey had to use every ounce of her willpower not to jump up and fling her legs around his waist. She didn't want to scandalize the residents of Boone County just yet.

She had plans for Clyde Logan, though.

Big plans.

But for now—

"Do you want to come up to my apartment?"

He'd followed her when she broke the kiss, which Rey found incredibly endearing.

She felt him stiffen at her question. And not in the fun way.

"You want—" his brows furrowed, and Rey wondered if she'd made a mistake.

"I thought maybe we could talk more," she said a bit breathlessly. "About books, movies, things like that. "

"Sure, darlin', I'd love to talk about books with you."

His slow smile sent shivers down her spine, and her knees went weak at the endearment. His cedar and pine scent enveloped her as she tugged on his flannel again to draw him nearer. Rey's hands slid into the soft waves at the back of his neck, and Clyde's own hands traced down her spine to rest respectably on her hips. She considered moving his hands lower but decided against it.

It was probably in their best interest if she didn't jump him on the sidewalk.

So she took his hand and led him to her apartment, a block away. She lived above a little boutique that sold things she didn't quite understand, mostly cheese trays with college football mascots emblazoned on them, or earrings with the same. But the shop was mostly only open during school hours, so she only had to deal with the nice older lady who owned the building and ran the store asking about Rey's monogram pattern maybe once a month.

When she pushed the door open, Rey had half a moment to berate herself for not tidying up more, but she hadn't really let herself think that she might end up with Clyde in her apartment. Even though he was now, mostly platonically.

But the way he'd kissed her had been anything but platonic.

"Wow," he breathed once he'd stepped over the threshold.

Rey wondered if he was 'wowing' the overflowing laundry basket or the half-full tiny dishwasher that she'd left open in her haste to leave.


She followed him in, closing the door behind her. Clyde stepped over to one of her bookshelves, stacked three deep with paperbacks. He ran a thick finger across the top shelf, taking in the titles, and Rey watched as he paused at a few and tapped the spines like he recognized them.

"It's a bit of a mess," Rey said before trying to shove the laundry basket into her bedroom without him noticing.

"When you come to my house, I'll show you my library." Clyde offered her a shy smile, one that made her wonder how many people had seen it.

Seen him .

He seemed so quiet and unassuming, despite taking up so much physical space, that Rey wondered how many people really saw Clyde for who he was.

"I'd like that a lot." Rey grinned and crossed to her tiny refrigerator and pulled out two bottles of beer, silently offering him one with a gesture.

He hesitated for a moment, then nodded.

The apartment had been furnished, probably with the owner's rejected furniture, and Rey sat on the tiny, threadbare burgundy-colored loveseat that was probably the only piece of furniture in the room that would fit Clyde's tall frame. She bemoaned the fact that she slept on a twin bed, but tried to put it out of her mind as she patted the cushion next to hers for him to sit.

Clyde sat next to her and took a long pull from his beer.

"So," Rey said. "Books?"

Clyde nodded for her to continue, resting his beer bottle on his knee as he tried to make himself more comfortable on her tiny loveseat. The bottle looked minuscule in his hand. Rey had to force herself to look away from that hand, his thick fingers.

"What's your favorite book?" she asked.

"You promise not to laugh?" He peered at her earnestly, his whiskey-colored eyes looking not sad, exactly, or wary, but…reserved.

"I promise." Rey crossed her heart with the hand holding her beer.

"Well, I read a lot, and I have a lot of favorites," he said. "But my very first favorite is— are you sure you won't laugh?"

"Clyde, I will not laugh at you."

"Alright. It's The Story of Ferdinand."

Rey did not laugh. In fact, she thought she could understand why it was his favorite.

"I've read it. It's quite lovely," she remarked. "Will you tell me why it's your favorite?"

"It was the first book I remember reading on my own. I was five, I think, and Mama took us to the Boone County library, and the lady told me I could take a book home. Things are different now, but back then we didn't have much, and the only book we ever had at home was the Bible. Mama read to us all the time, but finding a whole building full of books? That I could just read for free? I think it put me into shock, and I only grabbed one. Ferdinand."

Rey smiled at the look of awe that flashed over his face, like he still remembered that feeling. She'd had a similar moment as a child, and she felt her heart warm at their shared experience.

"I read that book so many times before we had to take it back," Clyde continued. "I liked it so much I checked it out almost every time we went back. Still do, sometimes."

"It really is lovely. I love that Ferdinand just wants to sit and smell the flowers." Rey spun her nearly empty beer bottle between her fingers. "And you read romance, too," she said coyly, peering at him through her lashes..

Clyde, bear of a man that he was, blushed, the color spreading over his cheeks and up to his ears.

"I do," he said simply.

"Now that is interesting," Rey said, emptying her beer bottle before setting it on the floor and tucking her feet under her. "I can't say I've met many men who'd actually read romance, much less admit it."

Clyde shrugged.

"It's nice to read about the…romance." One of his thick, dark brows ticked upward and his full lips quirked.

"Why, Clyde Logan," Rey did her best to imitate the local drawl, "are you saying you like to read smut ?"

"First of all, Rey Johnson," he said, his voice dropped an octave, "don't you ever talk like that again. Your accent is much prettier than mine." Rey bit her lip at the order, at his tone, trying to ignore the rush of heat it sent through her. "And second of all, so what if I do read smut?"

"I just—it's just—"

He smirked at her stuttering, pressing his lips to the rim of his bottle and taking a sip.

"It's just that romance novels are typically written for women. Lady porn, you know?"

Rey watched his full, sensuous lips form the words 'lady porn' before he spoke.

"And?" was all he said.

"You mean to tell me that you, big strong man that you are, read romance novels that are intended to get women off, and you like them?" She couldn't quite fathom it.

"Maybe I like to get women off too."


Oh, shit.

"That a problem?" he asked before draining his own beer and setting it aside.

And Rey realized that she'd sworn out loud.

"No, no problem," she squeaked.

For all her eagerness earlier, she was caught off guard by his sudden brazenness.

"So, Rey, why do you read romance?" He settled against the back of the loveseat, his broad shoulders taking up a majority of the space.

"I suppose I rather enjoy reading about heaving breasts and creamy thighs and heads thrown back in ecstasy." She smirked, hoping to catch him off guard, but his eyes darkened.

"Hmm," he hummed, and Rey was close enough on the tiny piece of furniture that the sound sent vibrations through her chest.

Somehow, like he had a gravitational pull all his own, Rey felt her body drawn toward his again. The worn, rough fabric of the loveseat tugged against the nylon of her tights, probably pilling them horribly, but she didn't care. Clyde shifted, leaning further back and shifting his legs a bit. One raven-dark eyebrow quirked at her, and Rey took it as an invitation, draping herself over him, her legs straddling his, spread almost impossibly wide.

One warm hand and one cold one slid over her outer thighs, sliding beneath the hem of her summer dress, stroking slowly upward. Whiskey eyes met hers, watching, as if waiting for her to stop him.

She didn't, wouldn't, couldn't stop him.

Rey leaned back, allowing her denim jacket to slide off her shoulders, all but pressing her breasts against his face. She watched as his eyes tracked downward toward the soft smocked top of the dress. Almost of their own accord, Rey felt her own hands moving, rising to card through his soft, dark hair that was nearly longer than hers. His eyes closed as her nails scratched lightly over his scalp, and Rey took the opportunity to really look at him, drinking in the sight of him beneath her.

Her hips shifted, stretching to further accommodate his width between her thighs, and his thumbs dug into her hipbones. A rumbling growl reverberated through his chest, and Rey moved against him again.

His fingers fisted in the hem of her dress, slowly tugging it upward, pausing somewhere around her waist.

"This okay?" he whispered.

She pulled the dress over her head in answer.

His whiskey eyes tracked her hands, and when she'd flung the dress to the floor, Rey saw that Clyde's eyes were very pointedly looking over her shoulder.

She giggled.


"Yep." He still wasn't looking at her.

"Clyde." She bounced on his lap.

He closed his eyes and groaned.

"Clyyyyde." Rey ground her hips down and leaned forward to wrap her hand beneath his chin, tugging his face to hers. His lips were so soft against hers, and she could taste her cinnamon lip balm on him as his mustache tickled her skin.

He kissed her back but kept his eyes firmly closed.

"Such a gentleman," she breathed against his lips. "Too bad I'm not much of a lady." Rey's hands slid down to where Clyde's had returned to rest on her hips, gripping his wrists and dragging them slowly upward, over the plane of her stomach and ribcage until his palms covered her breasts. "You can look now. They're covered."

Clyde swallowed audibly, but opened his eyes. Rey's fingers were still wrapped around his wrists, or at least as much as her small hands could wrap around his wrists, and she left them there as she spoke.

"Clyde?" She wondered why he wouldn't look at her.


"You don't want to look…at me?" Her voice caught on the lump in her throat.

"I am trying ," he said through gritted teeth, "to be a gentleman. And I don't know if I can do that if I look at you."

His voice was deliciously rough around the edges, scraping over her exposed skin and sending curls of heat through her to pool at her core.

"Hmm." Rey looked down to where both of his hands took up nearly her entire torso and rocked her hips against his again. "I don't think I'd mind too much if you weren't a gentleman." Her voice came out in a rasp.

A muscle ticked in Clyde's jaw, and she thought he might have bitten the inside of his cheek.

His thumbs stroked over the soft skin between her breasts, once, twice, then he flipped her onto her back so quickly she barely had time to realize what happened before he was moving over her, covering her mouth with his own. All the air left her lungs as Clyde's broad chest pressed into hers, and she felt tiny beneath him. Her hands grasped at the hem of his shirt, needing to feel his skin against hers, and Clyde obliged her, shrugging off the soft flannel before ripping his tee-shirt off and draping it over the arm of the loveseat.

And then he finally looked at her, half-clothed beneath him. He stared drinking her in, his newly-bared chest heaving as she did the same. She felt shy in her semi-exposed state, raw and naked, yes, but in a new way.

She felt like he saw her, like she saw him, all of his unexpected softness and kindness. One finger gently pushed a lock of hair off her forehead as he knelt above her, and her heart ached at his tenderness

Clyde Logan looked at her like she was something holy, something she'd never seen from anyone, and she wanted that, always.

So Rey reached for him, sliding her hands into his soft hair, guiding him back down to her, finally feeling the warmth of his skin sliding over hers. He sighed against her as their lips met, then growled low in his throat as she hooked her legs around his hips and arched up against him. Clyde reached his arm behind her to move her body back so her head rested on the arm of the loveseat. With one leg braced on the floor and the other between Rey and the back of the seat, Clyde shifted his attention from her lips to press little biting kisses from her ear down the column of her throat to flick his tongue over her collarbone, pausing there to suck a bruise into her flesh. Rey whimpered at the feeling of his tongue and teeth and pulled her legs tighter around him, pressing her throbbing center against the bulge in his jeans. He ground against her in response, and Rey whimpered when his mouth left her neck only to gasp when his lips found her peaked nipple. He palmed the other, flicking the pad of his thumb over it, mimicking the movement of his tongue. She cried out when he lightly scraped his teeth over the swollen tip of her breast, and he froze.

"I'm sorry, I—" Clyde pushed himself backward, taking his hands off her, nearly falling off the loveseat.

"Clyde." Rey slid herself out from beneath him, raising up on her knees to even out their height. He still towered over her, she noted with a mixture of satisfaction and frustration. "I liked that."

His brows furrowed like he didn't believe her, like he couldn't believe she wanted him.

"Do you want to feel how much I liked that?" she whispered.

His eyes widened, but he nodded slowly.

Rey reached between them to again grasp his wrist, to pull his hand forward, to slide it between her legs so he could feel the dampness of her arousal. One thick finger traced over the fabric, stopping where her clit lay beneath.

"You're soaked through, darlin'," he said in awe. "For me?"

"For you," she answered, eyes fluttering closed as his finger traced the same path over her folds.

"You really want me ?"

Rey's heart hurt at his words, his uncertainty.

"I want all of you, Clyde," she breathed. She stared into his eyes, so he would know, so he would believe.

His strong arms slid around her, knocking the breath from her lungs and crushing her to his chest. She felt the brush of his hair against her shoulder as he buried his face in her neck.

Then slowly, like he thought she might bolt, he slid one hand down her back and around her hip to rest at the waistband of her tights.

"Can I— can I touch you?"

"Only if I can touch you." She gave him a wicked grin as she reached between them to unbutton the black jeans that had hugged the muscles of his thighs. Her hand dipped inside his jeans while he slid his hand into her tights. They found each other at the same time, and she gasped at both his finger sliding between her slick folds and at the sheer size of him.

Clyde hissed through his teeth as she wrapped her hand around his erection, using her other hand to tug down this waistband of his boxers to free him.

"I—you first—please?" he said, staring between them at her hand that looked tiny as she slowly worked her way up his shaft.

Rey scowled and started to speak, but he slid his finger over her clit again, and her hips bucked. A little smile quirked his lips upward, and she stroked him one more time before he grabbed her wrist and pinned it above her head with his left hand.

The tights were old, and Rey was thankful for that as they stretched when Clyde pressed his hand further between her legs, lazily caressing his fingers through her folds. He looked rather pleased with himself when her breath started coming in ragged pants as he slid one finger inside her, stroking her front wall.

Almost as if they had a mind of their own, her hips ground down, seeking more from him. Clyde smirked down at her as he added a second finger, curving them inside her. Rey's back arched, but Clyde kept her in place with his hand on her wrist as his thumb brushed over her clit. He was going so deliciously, agonizingly slowly that Rey was on the verge of pleading with him to let her come when her phone vibrated in her purse.

It was the only sound in the room other than their own breathing and the sound cut through the near-silence like a knife.

The phone stopped vibrating, then started again a second later.

"Maybe you should get that," Clyde said, leaning back so Rey could sit up.

Rey groaned. Nobody called her except work. Everyone else knew better.

She stomped over to where she'd left her purse on the coat rack near the door and fumbled about inside it until she found the offending piece of glass and metal. She grabbed it just as it stopped vibrating again, and for a second she thought—


This time, she answered, walking back to where Clyde waited as she did so.

"What?" She wasn't often so curt, but she felt she had the right since she had been right on the verge of orgasm.

"Miss Johnson?"

"Yes?" She snapped. Clyde reached out for her, and tugged her toward where he remained on the loveseat, his face level with her sternum. He nuzzled into the space between her breasts, one warm hand and one cold one sliding up and down her back.

"There's been an incident at the school." The night security guard's nasal voice grated in her ear.

"What happened?" Rey's voice sounded far away as Clyde's mouth trailed toward a nipple, scorching her skin.

"A pipe burst. There's water everywhere," the guard said.

Rey threaded her fingers through Clyde's hair, partly to keep him still, but partly because she enjoyed his reaction to being touched. He purred against her breast, and Rey watched in fascination as her nipple disappeared into his mouth.

"Oh no. What exactly should I do about it?" Her eyes glazed as Clyde started peeling her tights down with one hand, his mouth still on her.

"Aren't you the emergency person for the elementary school?"

Rey sighed.

"I suppose I am. What do you need me to—" she groaned as Clyde pulled her tights to the tops of her thighs and slid his fingers back inside her.

"Miss Johnson? You okay?"

"Fine," Rey ground out. "Just…stubbed my toe."

Clyde chuckled around her breast, and the vibrations of his deep baritone nearly sent her over the edge.

"Oh, okay. When can you be here? The insurance guy said he'd be here soon."


"The insurance guy. To check out the water damage?"

"Oh, shit." Clyde was scissoring his fingers inside her.

"It's not that bad," the guard said hastily, misinterpreting her cursing.

"Good." Rey had to bite her lip to keep from moaning as the pad of Clyde's thumb circled over her clit.

"Right. So when did you say you'll be here?"

"Umm. Soon?"

"The guy from the insurance company said he'd be here in half hour—"

"Perfect," Rey said.

"Fifteen minutes ago" the guard continued as if Rey hadn't interrupted him.

"Fine!" Rey snapped. Clyde's honey brown eyes peered up at her as he kissed his way to her other breast, one dark eyebrow quirking upward in question.

"See ya," the guard said, completely unaware that he was interrupting her orgasm for the second time in five minutes.

Rey threw the phone down, and belatedly hoped it landed somewhere soft.

And then she immediately forgot about it as Clyde bit down on her nipple and crooked his fingers, rubbing that spot deep inside her. One of her hands clenched in his hair, the other dug into the skin of his shoulder as she bowed forward over him, hissing through her teeth in pleasure. Clyde caught her as her knees gave out, guiding her gently to the seat beside him.

"You got to go, huh?" Clyde tugged the waistband of her tights back up over her hips, and Rey nearly sobbed into his neck.

"I do. I'm so sorry."

"It's alright, darlin'." He kissed her temple.

"Can I see you again?"

"You sure you—"

Rey stopped him with a light brush of her lips over his.

"Stop that."

"Yes ma'am."

Rey's toes curled in her combat boots.

"I like you, Clyde Logan, and if you think for one second that I'm going to let you get me off and not repay the favor, then you've got another think coming."

"I like you too, Rey, a whole lot."


They gathered up their clothes, almost shy with each other, despite what they'd nearly done on her tiny loveseat, and they left her apartment hand in hand.