deployment end

Just Once.  (Maybe Twice.)

This has been a long time coming, but finally here’s the Nessian smut fic for my 500 followers giveaway.  I ended up doing a modern AU for a change, deciding to make it loosely related to The Costume Party.  Hope y’all enjoy it, especially @empress-ofbloodshed!  Definitely NSFW.


“Hey, don’t look, but there’s a cute guy checking you out over by the bar.”  

Naturally, Nesta had to look.  And what do you know, Feyre was kind of right, though Nesta wasn’t totally sure she’d call six-foot-four of solid muscle and tattoos peeking out from under his t-shirt “cute”.   Then again, Feyre had enough ink for a sorority full of college girls, so she supposed tastes differ.  But the guy was undeniably attractive, with a strong jaw and full mouth and light brown eyes.  He was also undeniably staring at her, and his expression turned cocky when he realized she had noticed him.  Ick.  No doubt he was just a standard-issue asshole, and god knew she didn’t need another one of those.

Mor plopped into their booth, Andromache right behind her, both flushed from dancing.  “Ooh, who are we checking out?” she asked, seeing that the sisters were both looking at the bar.

“That guy with the tats looks like he’s into Nesta,” Feyre explained.

“Oh, god.”  Mor laughed as she realized who they were talking about.  “That’s just Cassian.”

Feyre’s brow crinkled.  “Cassian?  Like, Rhys’ brother?”  Rhys was Feyre’s nauseatingly perfect new boyfriend, and Mor’s cousin.  Nesta hadn’t known he had a brother, but she’d be damned if she’d date, let alone go to bed with, this guy if that was the case.  Talk about asking for trouble.

“They’re not really brothers,” Andromache said.  “Rhys’ mom did foster care, Cassian was one of the fosters for a while.”

“I though he was in the military,” Feyre said.

Mor shrugged.  “Reserves.  He got back from deployment at the end of last year.”

She snuck another glance, but he was talking to some brunette chick in a clingy dress.  Good.  The last thing she wanted was some hyper-responsible military type when she was trying to avoid all emotion.

“Actually…”  Mor tapped her wine glass.  “If you’re really just looking to get laid, Cassian’s not a bad option,” she said, looking sideways at Nesta.  “What?” she asked defensively at Andromache’s and Feyre’s glares.  “Isn’t that why we’re here?”

It was, in fact, why they were there.  

After her one and only relationship had ended in disaster, she hadn’t even tried to go on dates.  It had been months since Tomas’ sentencing, over a year since that terrible night, and earlier in the week Mor had declared that it was time to rip the band-aid off and get her back out there.  “Get back on the man” was the exact phrase Mor had used, much to Nesta’s disgust.  Why she was letting Feyre’s roommate bully her into such an idiotic plan, she had no idea.  But the truth was, she kind of wanted to get it over with, and meaningless sex with a total stranger had a certain appeal.  Just once, she wanted to fuck somebody.  Just once, she wanted to have a man inside her and have it be nothing more than gym activity that felt good.

Sex with Feyre’s quasi-brother-in-law, on the other hand, seemed loaded with potential for further catastrophe.

Still, she was appreciative when Feyre asked for her, “What makes you think Cassian’s a good choice?”

Mor grinned.  “Well, back in the day, when I was young and naive -” Andromache rolled her eyes.  “Well, young at least, I may have learned what assets he had besides all that muscle.”

“In other words,” her girlfriend interjected, “she lost her virginity to him.”

Okay, yeah, definitely not an option.  “So you want me to go to bed with someone who was so horrible that he turned you gay?” she said.  

Andromache snorted her cosmopolitan out her nose and Mor laughed until the tears ran down her cheeks.  “See, this is why we keep you around,” she said, when she finally caught her breath.  “And no, he’s a good guy, really.  He just doesn’t really do relationships, so, no strings.  Perfect, right?”

That did sound perfect, exactly what she was looking for.  When she looked back to where he’d been standing, though, he was gone, as was the brunette.  Which was for the best, she decided, even as her thumb strayed to the empty spot on her left ring finger.  While the others chatted about something inane, she scanned the crowd.  There were a number of men there, and quite a few who caught her looking at them and returned the look with interest, but they were all just so…ordinary.

“Hey, Mor.  Andromache,” came a deep, resonant voice from behind her.  She craned her head around and, of course, the tattooed man was leaning on the back of their booth, grinning down at her.  “Going to introduce me to your friends?”

With a dramatic sigh, Mor obliged.  “This is my roommate, Feyre, and this is her sister, Nesta.”

“Nice to meet you both,” he said, reaching over the booth and extending his hand.  Nesta just looked at it.  After an awkward moment, Feyre leaned across her to shake it.  “Rhys has mentioned you, Feyre.”

She smiled and said something conventional in response.  Cassian evidently saw that as an invitation, and he walked around to slide in next to Andromache, across from Feyre.  He took up half the booth, but seemed oblivious to the fact that he was crowding the rest of them.  He, Mor, and Andromache fell into easy conversation, and Nesta wondered how they could be so relaxed together.  Then again, Mor was always comfortable in every situation.  It was her special gift.  Though being born beautiful and rich no doubt helped.  Not that Nesta was bitter.

“So.”  Cassian’s attention turned to Nesta.  “What do you do here in Velaris, Nes?”

“Don’t call me that,” she replied automatically, and he grinned wickedly.

“Oh, so you prefer Nessie?”  Great, he was a comedian.  She just rolled her eyes and said nothing.  “No, really, Nesta, what do you do?”

“I’m a paralegal,” she said after a pause.

“She’s applying to law school,” Feyre added, ignoring the glare she received in response.  

Cassian whistled.  “So you’re smart, too.  That’s cool.”  She looked at him levelly.  He returned the look with an appraising one of his own.  Then Andromache elbowed him and he looked away, and Nesta was left wondering if she’d passed whatever test that had been.  Then being annoyed with herself for caring.

He stood, letting Mor and Andromache out of the booth so they could hit the dance floor.  The music was pounding, almost oppressive, and he turned back to the sisters with an eager light in his green-flecked eyes.  “Well, Paralegal Nesta, would you like to dance?” he asked.

“I don’t dance.”

“I can show you,” he offered, holding out his hand.  “This type of dancing isn’t that difficult.”

She ignored the broad hand for a second time.  “I didn’t say I can’t, just that I don’t.”

“I see,” he said nodding, lips twitching as though he were fighting a smile.  “Can I ask you a question then?”

“No.”

Of course he asked it anyway.  “Why come to a dance club if you don’t dance?”  Feyre was struggling not to laugh, and Nesta could cheerfully have strangled her.

“Go on, Nesta,” her sister encouraged, sliding out of the booth to free her.  “I’ll watch the drinks.”  Nesta glared from Feyre to Cassian, but neither of them seemed likely to budge.  Rolling her eyes, Nesta clambered out.  Just as she passed, Feyre whispered, “There’s condoms in your purse.”  Nesta flipped her off as she followed Cassian out onto the floor.

This is going to be a bloodbath, she thought, seeing a path clear around his towering bulk.  Videos she’d seen of entire rooms of people being knocked over by one bad dancer flashed through her mind as he turned to her, a wild joy on his rough-hewn face.

Then he started to dance.  And damn her but that hulking brute could move.  It was like watching fully clothed porn (not that she had ever watched such a thing), his muscles rippling under his snug shirt, his hips moving in a sensual rhythm.  He was both utterly free and completely aware of everybody around him.  When he held his hand out for a third time, she took it and let herself be dragged into the melee.  

She lost track of time as they danced.  Lost track of everything, actually, except for the vibrant man moving with her, until finally the music slowed a little and she realized she was spent.  Turning abruptly, she shoved her way through the crowd towards the natural break made by the entrance into the bathrooms.  Reaching the wall, she turned around to lean against it, only to find Cassian looming behind her.  

“What,” she snapped, though there wasn’t much force behind it.

“Are you okay?” he asked, and damnit, that was genuine concern in his face.  

“Fine.  Just need a break.  You should go back out there.”

He just leaned against the wall next to her, looking down at her.  “Was that so bad?”  

She wanted to come up with a clever retort, but he was just so close.  The words failed on her lips as she met his eyes.  

“You were right, you know,” he said, bending a little closer.

“Of course I was,” she replied.  “About what?”

“You do know how to dance.”  With that he kissed her, gently, lingeringly.  When he pulled away to gauge her reaction, she couldn’t stop herself from reaching up and drawing him in again.  This kiss was deeper, fuller, and she found herself opening for him, responding as his tongue swept in.  Her core went molten on her, and she pulled him closer until he was pressed up against her.

What the hell is wrong with you? Her brain interjected abruptly.  Remember what happened.  Remember.  Remember.  Reflexively, her knee shot up, but he somehow caught it before it made contact with his groin, pushing it to the side as he pulled back.

“You could have just said no,” he said mildly.  “Or, I don’t know, taken your tongue out of my mouth.  I wouldn’t have pushed you.”

“Go to hell,” she said, hating the roughness in her voice.  She stumbled through the crowd towards their booth, nearly skidding to a stop when she saw that Feyre wasn’t alone.  Somehow Rhys had materialized, just as he always seemed to even on a girls’ night, and they were totally wrapped around each other.  Shoving down the useless tears, she grabbed her purse from where it had fallen to the floor.

Feyre disengaged when she realized someone was there.  “Are you okay?” she asked.

Nesta tried a smile.  “Fine, just tired.  I think I’m gonna head home.”

“Want some company?” Rhys asked.  “We’d be happy to go with you, I think Mor’s probably going to go home with Andromache.”

“No, thanks, I’m fine,” Nesta said, shaking her head, hoping the denial wasn’t too strenuous.  She headed for the door to find Cassian standing there as if he was waiting for her.  Sighing, she crossed her arms and brushed past him as if he were statuary.  He followed.

“Fuck off, Cassian, I’m going home.”

“Okay,” he said, still walking just behind her.

“That was not an invitation, asshole.”

He snorted.  “No shit, princess, but I’m not letting you walk home alone at this time of night.”

She stopped and whipped around to glare at him.  “And I don’t want you knowing where I live, okay, you’re probably some freaking axe-murderer!”

“Axes are way too messy, but I get your point.”  He pulled out his phone.  “At least let me call you a cab.”

“When did you turn so damn altruistic?” she asked, putting as much scorn in her voice as she could muster.

“I’ve always been altruistic.  And yes,” he added, grinning at her skeptical look, “I know what it means.  I only look like a brainless sex god.”

“It’s not that far.  Honestly, just go back to the club, find some other chick to bone, and leave me the hell alone.”

Blowing out a frustrated breath, he glared at her for a moment.  “Do you really think Mor and Rhys would have let me hang with you if they didn’t trust me?”

“Yeah, well, it’s the people you trust who can do the most harm, isn’t it.”

He took a step back and looked her up and down.  “And you know that on a personal level, I’m betting.”

“Just…leave me alone, Cassian.”  He didn’t answer, but looked down at his phone and started texting rapidly.  “Who are you texting?”

“Rhys.”

‘Why?”

He paused briefly.  “Well, since you won’t let me walk you home, and you won’t let me call you a cab, I’m asking him to come out and take you home.”

Just exactly what she didn’t need, her baby sister having reason to go all mother-hen on her yet again.  “Ugh, fine, you can walk me home.  Just try not to be too annoying.”  She spun on her heel and headed up the street, all too aware of that big body next to her, trying not to notice if he walked as fluidly as he danced.  (He did.)  At least he was capable of being quiet, and she had to admit that she did feel safer with him there when she passed a gaggle of frat boys out in front of one of the other clubs.  A couple of them started to stare at her chest before they noticed Cassian looming on her other side, and they quickly found the brick buildings much more interesting.

He was silent for most of their walk, until she turned onto her street.  Perking up, he asked, “Wait, do you live down here?”

“Yes, why?” she asked suspiciously.

“Because,” he said, pointing at one of the brownstones down the street, “I live right there.”

Shit.  It just figured that of all the hundreds of people in the club that night, she ended up dancing with a bossy arrogant prick who not only had slept with her sister’s roommate and probably half of the city, but who also lived two buildings down from her.  

“Well, then, you know this street is safe.  How about you just leave me here.”

“If you prefer,” he said.  She could’ve sworn hurt flashed across his face, and she felt a twinge of guilt.  “Here, can I see your phone?”

“No, and why?”

He sighed.  “Since we’re neighbors, I want you to have my number in case you ever need anything.  But I doubt you want me to have yours, so I was going to put it in your phone and that way you don’t have to worry about me knowing how to contact you.”  Oh.  She unlocked her phone and handed it to him, and he entered his number then handed it back, holding it for just a second longer than he had to.  “Have a good night, Nesta.”

She gave him a nod and walked towards her apartment building as he mounted the steps of his own, disappearing into the shadows of the doorway.  Though she couldn’t see him, she could feel his eyes on her, watching until she made it into her building and closed the door behind her.

Her apartment was dark and cold, just like it always seemed to be no matter how many lights she turned on, no matter how many colorful paintings she hung on the walls.  It always seemed to reflect the hollowness she had felt since the day Tomas had been shoved into that cop car.  Longer than that, actually; really it had started the night after he’d slipped his ring on her finger and they’d sworn their oaths to each other.  When she’d moved to Velaris, she’d assumed the city would drive it away, but the noise and bustle of the the people and cars just made the emptiness yawn wider.  

Maybe she should get a dog.

She flicked on the TV but there was nothing she wanted to watch.  Her small bookcase was overflowing, with extras stacked on top.  She scanned the titles, so many of them old friends, but none of them were speaking to her today.  Pride and Prejudice was on top, so she grabbed that and settled down on her couch.  She didn’t even make it to the introduction of Mr. Bingley before she had closed it and dropped it on the couch next to her, attention pulled by the phone sitting on the small trunk she used as a coffee table.  Damn it.

Grabbing the phone, she opened up her contacts and laughed; she couldn’t help it.  Cassian had entered himself as “Hot Asshole from Rita’s.”  Before she could second guess herself, she tapped out a text and hit send.  

It turns out that staring at a phone doesn’t make the person respond any faster.  She had given up and started gathering the stuff to make hot chocolate when she heard that fateful bing.  With a slightly sick feeling in the pit of her stomach she picked it up and looked at the screen.  “Your place or mine” the text read.  Biting her lip, she typed in “Yours” and then paused, thumb hovering over the send button, before finally pressing the screen.  Taking a deep breath, she grabbed her keys and her jacket, hit the lights, and left.

Thirty seconds later she was standing at the door of his brownstone, staring at the names on the little list next to the buzzers.  The only option that made sense was C. Bardhyl.  She pressed the button, and was almost immediately buzzed in.  The sound of the door clicking shut behind her sounded oddly ominous, and for a moment she moved to push it open again before stopping herself.  Taking a deep breath, she started climbing the stairs.

The door on the third floor opened before she could knock on it, and Cassian stood aside to let her in, dressed only in gray sweatpants.  “You’re not wearing a shirt,” she blurted out by way of greeting.

“Observant, aren’t you,” he said.  “Hey, I put pants on, I thought that was enough of a concession to your delicate sensibilities.”  At the mention of pants her eyes flicked south, and Cassian grinned.  “Want some coffee?” he asked as he headed towards his small kitchen.  “I just made some.”

“No, I’m nervous enough already.”  Cassian paused and looked at her with some concern.  Damn her stupid mouth.  She needed to just not talk.  To distract herself from the fluttering in her stomach that had ramped up even more at the sight of his ridiculous body, she looked around the room.  It was not quite what she expected, sparse and airy and spotlessly clean.  He had almost as many books as she did, though his tastes ran more to science fiction and history.  There was one picture, of a younger Cassian with his arms around two other men.  Boys, rather; they looked to be in high school.  One of them, with the deep violet-blue eyes and arrogant expression, she recognized as Rhys.  The other was unfamiliar, with the same coloring as Cassian but a much narrower build and a face that was beautiful rather than ruggedly handsome.  She was distracted from studying the picture by him setting down two cups and a small plate of cookies on the table next to the couch.  

“I made you some herbal tea,” he said with a nod at the mug with a white tag hanging out next to the handle.  “In case you want it.”  

Nesta stared at the plain white mug, at the faint color of the tea seeping into the hot water.  It was all so utterly normal that she just…couldn’t. She didn’t know what she had been expecting from this, from him; some dim part of her had just skipped all the parts between the knock on the door to him throwing her down on the bed and thrusting into her.  Somehow she had been expecting to open the door and walk straight into a porn movie (again, not that she watched that kind of stuff) and for him to be standing there, with tea and cookies, all nice and human and real…

“I’ve gotta go,” she said.  She looked around for her jacket, then realized she was still clutching it, had never even put it down.  “Yeah.  I, uh…I’ll see you around.”

“That’s fine, Nesta,” Cassian said, his tone too gentle, “you can do whatever you need to.”  He bent to pick up his mug of coffee.  In addition to the tattoos swirling around his shoulders that she had seen glimpses of in the club, there was one in what looked to be characters of some kind that ran down his spine.  She hadn’t noticed it when she first got there, a little overly taken aback by the anatomy lesson his abdominal muscles were providing, but it was quite striking.

“What does that tattoo mean?” she asked.

He knew which one she meant, and his face changed.  “It’s a memorial.”  His deep voice was suffused with enough pain that she didn’t push further, but her eyes caught on the thin silver chain around his neck, the dog tags that hung between his collarbones.  She wondered if he ever took that chain off, or if it was another memorial.

Dropping her jacket on the arm of the chair, she sat and picked up her mug.  He didn’t comment on her decision to stay, just sipped his coffee and watched her.  “I don’t know what I’m doing here,” she confessed abruptly.

“If you were anyone else, I’d say you were here to get laid,” he said, amused.  “But with you, well, I’ve been wondering that myself.”

“What is that supposed to mean?” she snapped, piqued that he evidently saw her as different.

“You don’t exactly seem like a fool-around kind of girl.”

No, she never had been.  But it wasn’t like her faithfulness had ever gotten her much, other than some broken bones.  “I’ve never done this before,” she admitted, feeling the heat rise in her face.

He looked slightly alarmed.  “Never gone home with a stranger?  Or never…”

“Oh!’ She could feel her blush deepening.  “Oh, no, I was m-, er, I meant gone home with a stranger.”

His lips twitched up in a slightly crooked smile that softened his face.  “I suppose I should be honored you chose me, then.”  She didn’t know how to respond to that, and the silence grew awkward as she sipped her tea.  Clearing his throat, he stood and carried his mug over to the sink, then came back and flopped down on the couch, sprawling like a lion at the zoo.  She couldn’t help but watch the way his muscles rippled under his skin; it didn’t look natural somehow, more like he belonged in some kind of an exhibit than out here in the real world.

“Do you take steroids or something?” she asked, and then dropped her face into her hands, utterly mortified.

There was a beat of silence, then he burst into laughter.  “Do you always say everything that pops into your head?”

“No,” she moaned, “only at the worst possible times.”  

“Well, the military frowns upon steroid use, I’m afraid,” he said in a mock-professorial tone,  “so I’m stuck with just being a workout junkie.”  

She started to laugh then too, at her own sheer ridiculousness, and that set him off again.  When they finally stopped, the silence that fell was easier.  She found she didn’t mind his eyes on her as much as she should.  Found she actually kind of liked that he seemed approving of what he saw, that she wanted to know what those scar-flecked hands felt like on her body.

“I don’t know how this works,” she said.

“It works however you want it to.”  He shrugged, looking completely nonchalant.  “If you want to go home, that’s fine, I understand.  If you want to sit and watch a movie, that’s cool too, I have a ton of them and there’s always Netflix.  If you want me to kiss you, and see where that leads…” A slow smile spread across his face, “Well, I’m more than happy to oblige you.  As long as you keep your knees where they belong.”

She gave a small, forced laugh and looked at her hands, then back up at him.  She knew her desire was showing on her face; she hoped her fear wasn’t.  He stood up and walked over to her chair, brushing her hair back lightly from her forehead.  “You say stop, and I stop, Nesta.  No matter what.”

The next day, the next week, she would wonder what made her turn her head to press her mouth to his wrist.  Whether it was the gentleness of his fingers in her hair, or the naked sincerity in his tone, or just the overwhelming beauty of that body so close to hers.  Whatever it was, the brush of her lips on his skin was spark to powder.

She didn’t know how she ended up on her feet, but there she was, with his lips on hers, one hand tangled in her hair, the other pressing into her back, holding her against him.  Her own arms found their way around him, and she relished the feel of his lean bulk, the muscle moving underneath her hands as his tongue played with hers.  

When he finally pulled back, they were both breathing hard, and Nesta was pretty certain parts of her that had long been ice had caught on fire.  “Do you want to take this into the bedroom?” he asked huskily.

She knew if she said no, he would let go of her instantly, would let her walk away without question or judgement.  “Yes,” she said, and he kissed her again, scooping one arm under her ass to pick her up and carry her down the short hallway into his room.  The only things that registered were that the room was small and ninety percent bed.  He set her on her feet and she reached behind her to unzip her dress.

“Allow me,” he said, and after a moment’s hesitation she turned her back to him.  His fingers brushed lightly against the back of her neck, moving her hair out of the way, and she shivered as a jolt went through her core.  His lips traced where the fingers had been, and she heard the zipper slowly being drawn down, felt the fabric fall away from her skin as his hands eased it off her shoulders and let it drop to her feet.  She waited for him to drop his pants, push her down on the bed, but instead he just stood there, caressing her skin with his hands and mouth.  It was ecstatic torture.

Nesta turned in his hands to face him, and he took her mouth with his again.  This time there was nothing patient about the kiss; it was urgent, pulsing, and she responded in kind.  He drew her closer, and she was stupidly startled to feel his arousal pushing into her abdomen.  It was odd to think of seeing another man, touching one; odder to want to.  But he had no inhibitions as he unhooked her bra and slid it off to join her dress on the floor, so why should she?  Her hand found his waistband and slipped beneath, brushing against the smooth head of him.  He shuddered and his breath caught, and she smiled a little against his lips and reached in a little farther to stroke him lightly again.

Those pants, though loose, still blocked her access.  She eased them over his hips, freeing his arousal, and her mouth went completely dry at the sight of him.  Granted, her sample size was small, but holy shit…

Cassian chuckled.  “That’s a new one,” he said, and she realized in horror that she had actually said that out loud.  But come on, he looked like a porn star (okay, okay, maybe she’d watched it once or twice).  And this was probably her only chance to be with a guy like that.  She looked up and met his eyes, then took a step backwards.  When she felt the bed against her legs, she sat, then lay down carefully, never breaking eye contact.  He followed her, stretching out next to her and propping himself up on one elbow while the other hand slid across her stomach.

“Don’t you want to turn the lights off?” she asked, relieved her voice was steady.

“No, unless you want me to.”  He grinned lazily at her expression.  The hand on her stomach moved up to cup her breast, thumb gently rolling over her nipple.  “I want to watch you when I make you come, Nesta.  Besides,” he went on, shifting to kiss her other breast, “why would I not want to be able to see these?”  

She flushed and looked away, embarrassed.  It had never occurred to her that someone might want to look at her body, might not need the safety of cloaking darkness.  “Hey,” he said, releasing her breast to press his hand to her cheek, drawing her face to his.  “If you’re not comfortable with that, that’s fine.  It’s just…you’re so beautiful.”  The earnestness in his voice had her blinking back tears.  She shook her head in a mute denial.  “You are, Nesta.  Every inch of you.”  He lightly kissed her lips, then her jaw.  “You have the most beautiful eyes, and your mouth drives me crazy.”  He returned to it before moving down to her throat, then her collarbones.  “And these,” cupping her breast again, “women spend a fortune trying to buy what you have naturally.”  He took her nipple into his mouth, teasing it with his tongue, and she felt a rush of heat in her core.  His hand glided down her body, pausing when it reached the edge of her lace panties.  A calloused finger tip began tracing along the edge, then shifted to where the fabric met her thigh, ever so lightly tickling, teasing, until she felt her thighs widen almost involuntarily.

Looking down, she caught her breath at the sight of him, and she understood why he wanted the lights on.  The muscles in his shoulders bulging as he supported his weight, that thick, glossy black hair falling across his forehead, long lashes obscuring her view of his eyes as he focused so intently on his task.  And the broad hand dipping between her thighs, pushing the lace off to the side so he could brush up against the edge of her…  She lifted her hips and he took the hint, tugging the panties down.  He released her breast so he could slide them all the way off, before kneeling between her thighs, nudging her more open with his knees.  

From this view, she could see all of him, and god, she wanted to feel him inside her.  Something tickled at the back of her mind, she felt like there was something she had to do, but she couldn’t remember what it was.  But it was his fingers that found her core, tracing her until she was practically twitching with need.  One finger slid into her and she gave a little moan of relief.  He kept the movements slow and she closed her eyes so she could concentrate on the feel of him, of each stroke ratcheting her up until she started to writhe, needing more of him, needing him to find that spot her own fingers knew so well.

And then he did, but not with his fingers.  No, that felt like his tongue, and a jolt went through her of mixed pleasure and fear.  “What -” she gasped, opening her eyes, and true to his word he was out and away from her instantaneously.  She wanted to cry at the loss of him.  

“I’m sorry,” he said, “I didn’t mean to push too far, I thought you were good with it.”

“I.  Um.  I was, I am, I just…”  She was blushing fiercely, cursing herself for being unable to form a coherent sentence, cursing him for taking himself away from her.

Realization dawned on his face.  “You’ve never had anyone go down on you before?”  He shook his head.  “Idiots.  Your previous lovers were idiots.”  She was grateful he gave her credit for the plural, however inaccurate that was.  He ran one hand up her thigh, but got nowhere near where she wanted him.  “Do you want to keep going?”

“Yes,” she whispered, and he leaned over her to kiss her lips while his fingers found her again.

This time, she was a little more prepared for the feel of his mouth on her, though it still was almost overwhelming.  She wanted something to hold in her arms as he brought her closer to the brink, as her breathing came quicker and her body began to bow off the bed.  She settled for running her fingers through his hair and then her climax hit her and she couldn’t think of anything at all but the contractions of her core around his fingers and the last lingering strokes of his tongue.

She was drifting, vaguely aware of lying on a comfortable bed, of the huge male body next to her, of featherlight kisses on her cheek and jaw.  Her body felt completely and utterly wrung out, and yet…  With an effort she opened her eyes and turned to Cassian, who was looking quite proud of himself.  Fair enough, he should be.  

“Was that all right?” he asked, and she huffed out the skeleton of a laugh, all she could manage in her current state.

“Yeah, I should say so,” she murmured, and he grinned as he bent to kiss her again.  The movement pushed his body against hers, and she could feel his cock against her thigh.  When he pulled back, she couldn’t keep herself from looking down.  “What about you?”

He shrugged.  “I’m fine,” he said, despite the evidence to the contrary.  She rolled to face him, brushing her fingers against his stomach, daring herself to reach lower.  He was as thick as her wrist, and she could barely close her fingers around him.  With an indistinct noise, he pushed gently against her.  “Do you really want to?” he asked quietly, reaching a hand out to rest on her hip.

She nodded, but he didn’t move.  “Yes,” she said, or tried to, but it came out more like a squeak.  Clearing her throat, she repeated herself.  Rolling them both so he was resting on his elbows on top of her, he kissed her deeply for a long moment, then pushed up to his knees.  He reached over her to the nightstand, yanking open the drawer and pulling out a box.  

Pausing before he opened the box, he met her eyes.  “I’m clean, I’ve been tested recently,” he said, and a flash of irritation at her own stupidity flared through her.  It hadn’t even occurred to her to ask, or to insist on protection.  Mor was right, Cassian really was a good guy, thank whatever powers there were.

“Me too,” she said.  It had been last year, the last time she’d been in the hospital, but she’d been celibate since then so she figured it counted.  She bit her lip as she watched him, with practiced ease, tear open a condom and roll it on.  Tomas had never worn one; he said they didn’t feel as good, and that if she got pregnant and didn’t want to be that was on her.  There was something shockingly sensual about it, about watching Cassian’s large, deft hands handle himself, and she felt heat growing again between her legs.

He turned his attention back to her, trailing his lips and tongue and teeth up her body, from her navel to her breasts, over her collarbones, up her neck to nibble on her ear.  His hand eased between her legs again, testing, and he growled deep in his throat when he felt how ready she was.  Part of her thought she should be embarrassed, but there was another part that overruled it defiantly.   Why shouldn’t she enjoy him?  God knows she’d had enough pleasureless sex.  She opened for him, wrapping her arms around his body and pulling him into position.  He hesitated for just a moment before using his hand to guide himself to her.

At the first nudge of him at her entrance, all thoughts and fear and residual shame fled.  Slowly, carefully, he eased into her and then stilled, waiting for her to adjust.  

She would never be able to adjust to this; he stretched her, filled her nearly to the point of pain, yet she had almost climaxed just from that.  It was too much.  It was not enough.  Cautiously, she slid her hand down to his ass, and he began to move.  Just a slow drag out, a gentle thrust in, each movement sending new sparks through her.  Without thinking she opened her knees wider, tilting her pelvis, taking him a little deeper.

“Oh, God, Nesta,” he murmured in her ear, his breath tickling her.  “You’re so beautiful.”  With each stroke he increased his depth, his pace, until she was so caught up in him, so full of him, that she had forgotten about every hollow corner of herself.  She was close to her release, but it remained elusive, and every muscle strained as she sought it.  He pushed himself up on his hands and she opened her eyes to watch him driving into her.  There were flashes of light echoing off the walls, and at first she thought she was hallucinating, that it was some sort of fever dream.  Then she saw it was simply reflections off his dog tags as he moved.  Somehow, that was enough to push her over the edge, and she cried out as her body shattered into fragments like the light.

When he felt her contracting around him, he moved deeper, faster, until he joined her with his own low cry.  He remained hovering over her, panting, as he brushed her hair back and brushed her forehead with his lips.  Carefully extracting himself, he stretched out along next to her, resting his hand on her abdomen and just…watching.  She didn’t know what she looked like.  All she could imagine was that her hair was wild, her face blotchy.  She knew she was disgustingly sweat-soaked; of course so was he, but that was okay for a man.  

“I could look at you all night,” he said, almost as if he knew what she was thinking.  “I’m glad you came over.  I hope…” He trailed off with a subtle tightening of his face.

“What?” she asked.

“I hope that you got what you were looking for.”  Though he smiled, there was a hidden bleakness in those green-flecked eyes, and it was then that Nesta saw it.  Saw a chasm yawning, as deep and wide as her own.  Mor had said that he didn’t do relationships, and after the train wreck that had been her marriage she of all people understood the appeal of never binding yourself to another.  She wished she had not opened herself up to being consumed by the parasite that Tomas had been.  Yet…Cassian had not bound himself, and was being eaten alive by emptiness just the same.  Images of the tattoo down his spine flashed in her mind, and she wondered just exactly who he had lost.

She didn’t know how to answer him.  What had she gotten, in the end?  Pleasure, certainly; and technically he was a stranger.  But she couldn’t call it meaningless.  Not when he had treated her like she mattered.  Not when he looked at her like she was beautiful, special.  Worthy of being pleased.

Nesta reached over to touch his cheek, and he closed his eyes and leaned into her palm.  She brushed her thumb over his lips, then sat up enough to follow with her mouth.  “I did,” she whispered, and kissed him again before dragging herself out of the bed and wandering off in search of the bathroom.  When she reached the doorway on her return, he was lying flat on his back, staring at the ceiling, an unfathomable sadness in his eyes.  The expression was gone in a flash as soon as she entered, and she wondered if she had imagined it.

“Should I go home?” she asked, feeling like an idiot.

“If you want to,” he said, “but you’re welcome to stay.  I make great pancakes.”   His grin was cocky enough that she half wanted to smack him, half wanted to hug him.  She looked down at her dress where it lay abandoned on the floor and it struck her oddly how much smaller the empty pool of fabric was than the dress seemed to be when it was on her.  When she looked back at Cassian, he was just waiting, patient, no expectations.  No hope, one way or another.

Lifting the corner of the duvet, she slid underneath.  He reached behind him to turn off the light then wrapped his arm around her and tucked her into his body.  Strange.  She had never been held after sex, never thought men wanted that.  Never thought she wanted that, but there was something so comforting about his warm bulk that she found herself relaxing.  

“Nesta?” he asked, the rumble of his voice vibrating through where she was pressed against his chest.

“Hmm?”

“What was it you were looking for?”

She thought of the flashes of bleakness she had seen, the gaping loneliness.  The beautiful, empty apartment.  The picture of him and Rhys and the unknown third boy, his dog tags and his tattoo.  “Just once, I wanted to feel something.  Just once, I wanted to be more than a sex toy.”

His arm tightened around her and he kissed her hair.  “Just once?” he whispered.

“Maybe twice.”  Maybe more, she added silently.  She felt his lips against her hair again and closed her eyes, letting sleep wash over her to the rhythm of his breathing.

Feels Like Home (Ethan)

The clock struck 12 just as you tightened the hold around your locket with a picture of you and Ethan sitting inside. He had sent a letter a week ago, finally saying his six month deployment was going to be over on this exact day and the plane would land back in Jersey that morning. You had started to worry if he was even getting to come home today, seeing some of your friends had already posted pictures and long paragraphs to Facebook claiming their significant other was already here.

You had wanted to go to the airport to be able to pick him up, but he claimed he wanted you to stay home and relax until he got there. Glancing at the clock again, your anxiety started to kick in full force and your leg began to bounce uncontrollably.

‘What if he’s hurt?’

‘What if he has to stay an extra week or maybe an extra month?’

‘What if they told him he can’t come home until he goes on ANOTHER deployment?’

All of those thoughts haunted you and consumed your thoughts, until the doorbell rang.

Keep reading

7

Your freedom has been bought and paid for.

The price of freedom is ongoing, and though the deployments end - the war continues. Do not forget those who pay for your freedom, your liberty, everyday as they struggle to simply get out of bed.

Its RED Friday
Remember Everyone Deployed….

Especially those still deployed in their souls

I don’t know where to begin. Our life has literally been all over the place. We went through a deployment, and towards the end of it, his mother passed away. It’s been so very hard on him and it isn’t easy for me either. We recently just got a place together, I just graduated with my bachelor’s, and now.. we are expecting a baby!!! I haven’t told everyone since I’m only 7 weeks, but I couldn’t be more happy. He was away when I found out and when he ported I got to tell him. He’s still gone and I can’t wait until he’s home so I can just hug him! So many emotions right now. I couldn’t have asked for a better man to be on this journey with.

hurry home, partner. [linstead one shot.]

{Based on the prompt from @kkmallow3 and @thelinsteads}

In a perfect world there was only peace and in a perfect world the men defending their country didn’t live in a fear of having to go back because it was their duty when the safety of the land of the free was threatened and because going back to that place brought all of their nightmares to life but when the Taliban grew restless and even more dangerous than before even Jay’s PTSD couldn’t stop the tugging in the pit of his stomach because he had an obligation and he had to do what was right and he couldn’t just sit back in the safety and the warmth of the apartment when his fellow soldiers were out and fighting and afraid and truth be told he had been doing better because he’d moved back in with his girl and the warmth of her body pressed up against him in the dead of the night kept him anchored to reality and the present and away from the gunshots and the blood and the death he’d fought so hard to stay away from.

Keep reading

7

Played 40K at the shop again on Saturday but didn’t get many photos taken. The place was busy with a MtG pre-release so it wasn’t very easy to get up and get around the table for pics.

This time we went up to 100 power level a side with two players on each side.

An odd game in that we (Silver Skulls Primaris and old school Ultramarines) almost got tabled after four turns - sole survivors a Gravis Captain on 1W, a Techmarine, and a Whirlwind that was sitting on our table edge - yet won 6-3 on the objectives. We used what I think are the Tactical Objective Cards and to be perfectly honest the random objective draws were very, very kind to us. When you have two units in low orbit awaiting the opportunity to deep strike and a random card says “have at least one unit in the opponents deployment zone at the end of your turn to score 1 point” you know it’s going to be your day…

I now have 48 points of painted Primaris, and only have the Primaris jet pack troops to paint and I’m not sure I fancy doing them. Chaos next as I’m fed up with painting silver.

Prince Harry and Chelsy Davy’s relationship timeline (as requested)
  • May 2004- Harry and Chelsy meet while she was in her final year as a student at Stowe School. Harry was 19, Chelsy was 18. 
  • Summer of 2004- the press reports that they may be in a relationship
  • 2005- Its revealed that the now 20 year old prince is “in love” with his South African girlfriend
  • September 2005- Harry confirms their romance and spoke about his “amazing” girlfriend in his 21st birthday interview 
  • Spring 2006- Harry gets handsy with good friend, Natalie Pinkham, in a bar after which the photos make tabloid front pages. Harry is also spotted giving her a friendly kiss on the cheek leading some to wonder the status of his relationship with Chelsy. 
  • August 2006- Chelsy begins her studies at the University of Cape Town
  • July 2007- Chelsy joined Harry at the Concert for Diana where she is seated next to him
  • November 2007- its reported that Harry and Chelsy ended their relationship after three years though this is most likely just a break in anticipation of his upcoming deployment 
  • End of 2007- Harry is secretly deployed to Afghanistan where he served for 77 days. He allegedly carried a photo of Chelsy in the front pocket of his jacket. 
  • May 2008- Harry is presented with an Operational Service Medal for Afghanistan by Princess Anne with Chelsy in attendance 
  • May 2008- Chelsy meets Queen Elizabeth II as well as the rest of the Windsors for the first time at the wedding of Peter and Autumn Phillips 
  • November 2008- Chelsy is Harry’s date to Prince Charles’ 60th birthday party with many European royals also in attendance 
  • December 2008- Chelsy joins law firm Farrer & Co in London as an intern 
  • January 2009- Harry and Chelsy end their relationship so they can both focus on their work, Chelsy announces the split when she changes her relationship status on Facebook; Harry starts training to become a pilot while Chelsy continues her internship
  • Spring of 2009- Chelsy completes her law degree from Leeds University 
  • Summer of 2009- Harry and Chelsy see other people- Harry has a brief fling with Caroline Flack and Chelsy dates Dan Phillipson and Dominic Rose 
  • September 2009- its rumored that Harry and Chelsy are back together 
  • October 2009- its confirmed that they are back together after being photographed at a pub
  • November 2009- they are photographed attending a rugby match together
  • November-December 2009- they end their relationship once again 
  • April 2010- after a few months apart, Harry and Chelsy are rumored to be together again
  • May 2010- the rumors are confirmed when Harry is awarded his flying wings with Chelsy in attendance 
  • Fall of 2010- the pair decide to go their separate ways after their busy schedules keep them from seeing one another; Harry is visiting Lesotho with William during this time and makes an official trip to New York  
  • April 2011- Chelsy attends the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton leading many people to believe that she is attending as Harrys date, although it remains unclear if she was, in fact, his date or not
  • May 2011- its confirmed that they are 100% over after Chelsy stated that “its not the life for me
  • Present- they have been spotted attending many of the same events and seem to have remained friends

Force Reconnaissance Marines with the Maritime Raid Force, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit perform a diving exit while conducting an initial High Altitude Low Opening jump out of an MV-22B Osprey at Marine Corps Auxiliary Landing Field Bogue Field, N.C., Aug. 11, 2014. Air support for the training was provided by the MEU’s Aviation Combat Element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 (Reinforced). The training took place as part of pre-deployment training in preparation for the 24th MEUâs deployment at the end of the year.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Todd F. Michalek/ Released)

lmao sa forums poster broken loose found a way for a skaven player to instantly win any game of warhammer: age of sigmar on their first turn

It’s worse. Skaven are part of an inarguable instant win combo.

Fateweaver has
Oracle of Eternity: Once per game, you
can change the result of a single dice roll to
the result of your choosing.

The Screaming Bell has
Peal of Doom: In your hero phase, the
Screaming Bell tolls. Roll two dice, add the
scores together and consult the table below
to see what happens (no modifiers can be
applied to this roll). If a result says that it
effects units ‘within range of the Peal of
Doom’, consult the Damage Table above to
see the current range of that effect.

(skip 1-12)

13 Improbable Victory!: Against
all probability and reason, you
immediately win the battle (and
are hereafter branded a cheat –
not that that should bother a true
skaven general).

[…]

Deployment: Chaos player sets down a Screaming Bell. Other player sets down whatever. Chaos player sets down Fateweaver. The only chance the other player has to not instantly lose is to end deployment RIGHT NOW, take the first turn, and destroy the Screaming Bell (Oracle of Eternity ignores whether or not Fateweaver is alive). Otherwise, Chaos player ends deployment and seizes the first turn.

Turn 1, Hero Phase: Roll for Screaming Bell’s Peal of Doom. Use Oracle of Eternity to declare that the roll is 13. Instant win, before the first movement phase.

i mean you could argue that in a friendly game nobody would actually do this (which ignores a.) tourney play and b.) many warhammer players are bad people anyway who totally would do this) but it still demonstrates the total lack of thought in how any of these rules interact with one another GW put into this