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You know that feeling when you’re watching something happen, and you just know that it’s gonna come back and bite you in the ass, but you can’t do anything about it? I do. I’m getting it right now. Though just about everything feels that way these days. All I can do is sigh as I watch Miles drop his assault rifle and let that brainwashed kid run off. Thanks Mom. When that kid comes back and gets off a lucky shot that kills me, are you going to blame Miles the way you blame Monroe for Danny? Yeah, he gave the order to take out the rebel base, but you were there, Mom. “Collateral damage” isn’t usually holding a rocket launcher.

Who the hell am I kidding? That kid takes me out and it would probably be a week or more before she even realizes I’m gone. I’ve never been the favorite. Not by a long shot. Even Danny’s ghost still gets preferential treatment. I don’t want to think too hard about why that is. He was sick a lot as a baby. Ok, that kind of thing happens. But the way she looked at me was always so different from the way she looked at him. It was like she was so proud of him for just being alive, and I was some kind of disappointment that she didn’t want to be reminded of. In light of recent events… or more like in light of really old events made obvious by recent events, I have a theory about it. I don’t really want to know if I’m right. I could know with a single question, though I certainly wouldn’t ask either of them. If I ever really want to know for sure, I’d go to Monroe. I have no doubt that he knows the answer, and he’d tell me straight. How messed up is it that the only person in our little group that has enough respect for me to be honest with me is Sebastian Monroe. See? There’s already too much drama in this ridiculous family. For now I’m happy to just keep on letting Uncle Miles stay Uncle Miles.

“Crap. For a second there I really thought he was gonna shoot that kid.” Connor sounds relieved as he walks up behind me.

“He should have.” I grumble as I turn to face him.

“But he’s just a kid.” His naïve optimism is starting to grate on me.

“He stopped being a kid the minute those Patriot’s got to him. Now he’s a ticking time bomb with somebody I care about’s name written all over it.” Connor needs to figure this out. While I appreciate the irony, the last thing this place needs is a bleeding heart Monroe. Grandpa’s already converted Mom, and now she’s got her hooks into Miles. It’s spreading through our ranks way faster than that stupid not-typhus took out Willoughby.

“You’re really ok with shooting unarmed kids?” He sounds a little horrified.

This. This is exactly what I need from him. Yes, that was sarcastic. We just had a big gunfight, my adrenaline’s still up, and I clobbered the crap out of the closest thing I can claim to being an ex-boyfriend. Talking’s not really what I had in mind right now, let alone being judged.

“That’s not an unarmed kid. That’s a brainwashed killing machine. Best you remember that before he’s taking a blade to your neck.” Thankfully, the voice of reason, let’s not discuss the fact that I just bestowed that title on the senior Monroe, has appeared at my other shoulder to defend me.

“He still looked an awful lot like a scared little kid to me, and that’s not what I signed up for.” Connor huffs, turns, and walks away.

“That kid’s gonna come back to haunt us.” Bass mutters as he looks over at Rachel and Miles consoling themselves about their moral superiority. “Guess Connor just hasn’t seen the real world enough to know that death comes in all sorts of packages these days.”

“It’s not like we’re talking about intentionally going out and murdering innocent kids and stepping on kittens. The Patriots are the ones who killed them by making them soldiers.” I attempt to justify.

Bass starts to laugh.

“What?” I’m confused.

He puts an arm over my shoulders and leans in to whisper conspiratorially into my ear. “I said the exact same thing to Miles once about the rebels.” He gives my shoulder a squeeze before dropping his arm and turning to walk away.

Great. Now I feel angry, guilty, and sexually frustrated.

He’s about three strides away when he turns and smiles that cocky smile that I know means nothing but trouble. Speaking loudly enough so that the few people in the vicinity can hear if they are paying any kind of attention, he smirks, “Sorry I kind of cock blocked you just now with my boy. I mean, I know how I get after beating the shit out of a Neville. And from the looks of you, I’m guessing you know exactly what I mean. Sadly, it doesn’t look like that trait ended up getting passed on. But I guess there’s only so much a single Y chromosome can do.” He quirks his eyebrows suggestively before turning and continuing to amble away.

I want to kill him. In that moment my hands are reaching for the crossbow that isn’t there. I’m fuming and imagining the feel of his windpipe collapsing beneath my hands, but even in my fantasy I can’t wipe that smirk off his face. Bastard. Right now I really hate him. And it’s not because he has no qualms about shooting a kid, or that he’s mocking me in front of my family. Nope. I hate him because he has unintentionally pointed out a truth that I don’t want to accept. We’ve become the same person. I’ve gotten darker, he’s gotten saner, and somehow we’ve met in the middle.

And then, because I’m sure it’s exactly what he would do, I’m stalking off into the woods after him. I don’t have the slightest clue as to why until he hears my advance and turns on me. Then I see it in his eyes. The frustration. He’s frustrated that Miles can’t pull it together around Rachel, frustrated that we are willing to use him but don’t respect him, frustrated that he can’t make everyone see what needs to be done the way he can see it, and hiding there under it all is the sexual frustration he alluded to a moment earlier. It’s like looking into a mirror.

Having decided to entirely embrace this new concept of “what would Sebastian Monroe do?” I walk right up to him, get right in his personal space, grab the front of his jacket, and pull him in toward me. Standing hip to hip and chest to chest, I look into his eyes. “Tell me how good it felt break that slimy weasel’s face.”

He has no misunderstandings about what’s happening here, as he’s crashing his mouth down onto mine. There are obviously a number of things that aren’t genetically inheritable, because Connor doesn’t kiss like this. It is aggressive and violent. There are teeth involved. I’m giving back as good as I get with all the sucking, nipping, and tongue thrusting. It’s like our mouths are fighting or fucking or both. Whatever it is, it has shut my brain completely off, because I’m already straddling his waist with my legs around his hips and pushing his jacket off his shoulders before I register that my feet have even left the floor.

My back slams against a tree and he’s dry humping his already impressive denim-covered erection against me rougher than can possibly be comfortable for him, as he starts pulling on my belt. I alternate between working his t shirt off over his head, unbuttoning his jeans, and leaning forward to untie my boots and kick them off. As soon as he’s got my pants unzipped, he shoves at my thighs until I drop my legs and stand on my own. He pulls my jeans and underwear down and past my ankles as I shove his pants down off his hips.

I barely have time to run my nails down his chest and perfectly defined abs and to graze my fingertips along the length of his cock once before he kicks my feet apart slightly. Then he’s bracing against my hip with one hand and rubbing the tip of his dick back and forth against my entrance with the other. Damn, he gets it. I’ve never had that before with somebody. There’s no teasing or foreplay required after a fight, just straight to business. When he seems convinced that everything is sufficiently lubricated, he directs it home and slams into me hard. I can’t hold back the yelp of surprise and pleasurable discomfort at the way he’s taken me. His mouth is on mine again to silence me, and if I’m not mistaken, to muffle some sounds he’s also letting slip. He pulls out about half way and pushes back in firmly a few times at a speed that isn’t rushed but isn’t leisurely either. It’s like a warm up before a rough training session. It’s exactly what I need.

As my body slowly adapts to the girth of his fully engorged penis inside me, I start to push back against him, increasing the pressure and sending him deeper and deeper. My cooperation has obviously registered with him, because now he picks up the pace and thrusts with more and more effort. I hike a thigh up over his hip again and he growls in appreciation of the pressure the change in position provides. I bite down on his lip hard enough to reopen a cut there, and I taste the slight tang of copper. His fingertips are digging into the flesh around my hips, and he’s slamming into me so hard, there’s a good chance he’s going to bruise my cervix and my pelvic bone. It’s perfect. It’s all hormones and primal animal instincts, just like the fighting. We’re not trying to hurt each other, but when we do, it just makes it that much more intense.

He’s got a hand down between us, rubbing me off in time with his thrusts, and there’s not much more I can take. We haven’t been at this long, but that’s the point. It’s rough, fast, and the only emotions involved are the ones we’re trying to forget by slamming our bodies together. My head lolls back against the tree I’m still being hammered against, and my orgasm hits like a freight train. Bass actually clamps a hand over my mouth to quiet me. The last thing we need is one of the others running out here. Then he suddenly replaces his hand with his mouth, using my tongue to silence his own needy groans. He has one arm around my waist holding me to him, and is slamming his other fist violently against the tree trunk just above and off to the side of my head as I can feel him pumping against my contractions and using my orgasm to stroke himself empty inside me. I should be mad that he hasn’t bothered to pull out, a courtesy his son never manages to forget, but I’m feeling just too thoroughly fucked to care.

We’re both gulping down oxygen like we’ve been too long under water, and I can feel the tension drain out of both of our bodies. He’s still pinning me to the tree, but now it’s because he’s just leaning into me. He drops his forehead to my shoulder and makes a sound like a feral purr. Yeah. My sentiments exactly. I’ve still got my right arm draped around his neck and my left around his waist. I let my leg drop from over his hip, but keep him pulled close. We’re both drained, and there’s something very gratifying about feeling his usually hard and tensed muscles relax against me.

We’re still and silent for a while, but it’s not awkward. We’re both just enjoying that nice hazy feeling that comes after really good sex.

Bass is really leaning into me now, and I’m starting to wonder if he’s even still awake when he mumbles, “That. That is what it felt like to beat the shit out of Tom Neville’s ugly face. You?”

“I’m pretty sure I cracked Jason’s cheekbone, but it was over in one blow. I think this might have felt better. Actually, I know it did.” My voice is husky and low as I nearly whisper my reply.

“Shame. Next time I’ll let you have Tom.” I’m listening for the smile in his voice to signal that this is some kind of joke, but I don’t hear it. I think he really is offering to let me have first crack at Neville when next our forces do battle again. At face value it sounds really messed up, but I get the sentiment behind it. It’s kind of sweet.

And that’s where tender ends in this sordid affair. His dick’s gone mostly limp and he pulls the rest of the way out with a small groan he’s probably wishing I hadn’t heard. He’s pulling up his pants, and his expression’s gone all back to business. I pull up my underwear, then thread my legs back into my jeans. He looks like he’s about to head back to camp, the look on his face like nothing just happened. Part of me is relieved that this isn’t about to become some big thing, but another part of me is a little insulted and maybe just a bit insecure. This unexpected encounter pretty thoroughly just rocked my world, and I’m not sure how to take it that he doesn’t seem similarly affected. I mean, I essentially just cheated on his son with him. Though the thing with Connor is just a thing, not a thing. I’m not sure that the idea of “cheating” actually applies. But yeah, it’s still kinda awkward. It would be nice if he’d at least give some indication that this little tryst was worth the hassle that it will inevitably lead to.

I’m looking down at my hands as I buckle my belt, and I don’t even realize that he’s back in my personal space until he’s laced his thumbs into the rings on my belt and tugs me forward. I’m pressing against the front of him, startled, as he leans down and whispers in my ear, “Until next time.” He’s swaying his pelvis side to side slightly as he pushes against me.

“Next time?” I try to sound skeptical.

“We both know this is going to happen again.” He smiles, overly cocksure.

I can’t help but try and knock him down a peg. “What gives you that impression?”

He just laughs at my attempted bravado. “I’ve met your family.”

He doesn’t immediately offer any further explanation, so I look at him slightly quizzically.

His voice is gravely when he speaks again. “You get it. You understand the kind of things we’re gonna have to do if we don’t want it to be us bleeding out on the ground. The rest of them, not so much. It won’t be long before you find yourself… frustrated… again.”

He’s right, and I know it. And the smug look on his face signals that he knows I know. Damn. I really hate it when he gets the upper hand in our little debates.

“And since your mother and her little science experiment turned off the modern world, there’s really only one way to deal with frustration like that.” His face has turned almost menacing, but still manages to have a seductive pull as he speaks.

I swallow hard, and he seems to get enough satisfaction from my discomfort that he drops his grip on my belt and steps away. As he’s walking back towards our camp, Monroe almost flippantly adds over his shoulder, “So you go back to banging my kid, blindly following Miles’s orders, and pretending that you and Rachel share anything beyond some genetics. You keep trying to make yourself believe that we’re all gonna get through this.” He turns so that he’s walking backwards away from me but still holding my gaze. “And when you can’t…” He holds his hands out in a gesture that clearly indicates himself and his body.

I can’t stop the near chuckle that escapes my lips and draws them into a smile as I walk to catch up. Has the once high and mighty Sebastian Monroe just offered to be my boy toy? “You sound awful sure that I’m gonna want to come back to you with my frustration.” I give him a smirk with one eyebrow raised.

As we walk, his hand skims lightly down my spine and stops just low enough on my back to be considered inappropriate if anyone were to see. “You know you’re already thinking about it.”

Fuck him and his being inside my head… and being right. “You mean you’re already thinking about it.” I reach behind me and pluck his hand from the top of my ass, dropping it in the neutral territory between us as we come in sight of the abandoned plant.

He’s smiling now, seemingly happy to have been caught and called out. “What can I say? I’m surrounded by Mathesons. I’m always frustrated.”

Now we’re both smiling as we rejoin the group and it undoubtedly looks suspicious as hell.

“The hell were you two doing out in the woods?” Miles’s voice is accusatory, but he’s using his words instead of his swords, so he obviously doesn’t actually suspect what we were really doing.

“I was gonna double around and see if I could pick off that kid on his way back to town, since you’ve suddenly become too pussy whipped to do what we both know needs to be done.” Monroe lies to Miles.

“And when is him creeping off into the woods by himself not sketchy as hell? So I followed.” I finish the story.

“Did you?” Miles looks at Bass expectantly, and I can’t tell which potential outcome he’s actually hoping for.

“Didn’t have a chance to find him before this one caught up and got in my face. Shouting matches don’t usually help with stealth.”

I shrug apologetically and Miles seems placated.

“Well both of you get your crap together. Not safe staying here anymore.” Miles grumbles. Our hasty bug out to yet another safe house is his fault, and he knows it.

Monroe and I go our separate ways to collect the few things we’ve had stashed around our old hide out. I can’t help casting the occasional glance in his direction as sounds of my mom and grandpa talking about needing to save the town’s children drift over towards me. Sure would be nice if she’d give that much thought to protecting her own child. I catch a particularly impressive view of Bass bending over to pull a sword out from where he’d hidden it under some pipes. Is it wrong that I’m already starting to feel frustrated again?