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Two Truths & a Lie

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Rey Andor, staff writer for Force Publications, had been staring at her latest article for the past thirty minutes. “How to Glaze Berries” was not an Earth-shattering topic. It was yet another dull domestic fluff piece for their lifestyle magazine: First Order. 


She had been a writer with the magazine for over a year now. Despite how hard she worked and the amount of research she put into each article, she was nowhere closer to her dream. 


Since she had gone to university in London, she had longed to become a journalist — not a columnist but a bold, gritty journalist who was half-detective, half-author. She wanted to find truth in the world, uncover stories no one else knew about and bring them into the light. 


Part of her drive may have had something to do with the fact she was living her own mystery. Rey had been found abandoned as a child on the doorsteps of a police station in Sussex when she was about five or six. There had been no belongings left with her or even a name. 


The sergeant who took her in, Captain Cassian Andor, had decided to name her Rey, since her smile had lit up the precinct. He had decided it would be 'Rey' with an 'e' because 'Ray' with an 'a' was too often considered a man's name. Of course, the spelling didn't actually do much. People automatically assumed she was male most of the time. Still, Cassian had meant well. 

 

It was hard to think about her father at a time like this. He and her mother had worked hard to get her into Uni and then again to help her live her dream by coming to New York. She couldn’t let them down, b ut a better article title still hadn’t come to her. 


With a groan, Rey dropped her head onto her desk and tried once more to think up a less boring headline. Just because the prompt was boring, didn't mean she had to be. 


“Almost ready to turn in your submission, Andor?” Her manager, Armitage Hux asked, as he came to hover over her desk. 


She wanted to groan again. Hux — or as her friend, Poe, liked to call him ‘General Hugs’ — was her superior and he never let her forget it. She had a different name for him — one which was not nearly as nice as the term Poe chose to use. 

 

Fuck-whit.


Prying her forehead off her desk, she glanced cautiously in his direction. Thankfully, he was too absorbed in his phone to have noticed her position. 


“Yes, Mr. Hux,” she replied, straightening up slowly. “You’ll have it before I leave for the day.” 


He didn’t bother to look at her, too engrossed in his inbox. “See that I do.”


He walked away and Rey’s fake smile fell from her lips.


What she wouldn’t give to deck that smug son of a bitch. 


Hux was her manager, but he was also a grade-A prick. On her first day, he had eyed her as though she was a bug which needed to be squashed under the heel of his very expensive leather shoe. Even after the Director of Human Resources, Kaydel, handed Rey over to her new boss — informing him of the awards she and won in the UK — he hadn’t seemed even a bit pleased to have her onboard. 


It only went downhill from there. 


Rey had mistakenly tried to talk to Hux about his accent, hoping they would find some common ground. It turned out to be the wrong thing to ask. 


She later found out Armitage Hux had been sent to boarding school as a child. That in and of itself wasn’t a surprise to Rey, given his mannerisms and haughty attitude. What did surprise her was how much he had loathed it. Not at first, she assumed, but later because he had been trapped there when his mother had passed away. He never got the chance to say goodbye to her. 


He blamed his father for the ordeal. So as soon as he was old enough, he left England and moved to New York City, to spite Brendol Hux. Though Armitage claimed otherwise, Rey sensed he was still bitter about his father. They were not on speaking terms — a lesson she had learned the hard way when Brendol had called one unfortunate afternoon.  The opportunity to bond over their biological parents was an even worse idea and Rey eventually gave up on trying to forge any kind of relationship (beyond manager and employee) with Hux. 


Turning her attention back to the task at hand, she re-read her article. This was her final edit and she was hoping something in the text would pop out at her — something to make a great title. 


Red, pert and shiny.


Nestled jewels.


Glistening with jelly.


Rey felt heat burn across her cheeks as she continued reading. Suddenly, she realized her article sounded more like food porn than a piece on the merits of glazed fruit.


As if her imagination wasn’t already going off the rails, Kylo Ren, Editor-in-chief walked by her desk. The warmth she had felt on her face suddenly went south, pooling low in her abdomen. 


The man was built like a tree — one Rey wanted to climb very, very much. She had fantasized about him since her first day at the publication. It was wrong on so many levels, the worst of all being he was her superior's superior and it was against company policy to have relations with someone in the office. She was convinced that was part of the allure. He was a dangerous gamble. It was against the rules to lust after the most powerful man in the building, though it didn't stop Rey from fantasizing about him at home. 

 

She told herself it didn't matter. It wasn't as though she was going to act on her impulses, no matter how good he looked and damn, did he look good today. Then again, he always looked good.  

 

He had aquiline features, which some people found unattractive, but to Rey he was the epitome of handsome. His skin was pale and appeared to be as smooth as finely cut marble. The only imperfections — and she wouldn’t even call them that — were the scattered moles which decorated his face and neck. 


Yes, she knew all the intricate details of Kylo Ren’s body...or at least what she had gleamed since she had started at Force Publications. He typically wore the finest suites, tailored to his form which both enticed her and reminded her of the vast differences in their positions at the company. Regardless, she found herself wanting to peel off each layer of his high-end suits to reveal the rippling muscles beneath.

 

Besides the obvious HR violation, there was another problem — his personality.


Like the finest mystery novel, Kylo Ren was a complex enigma. While he had never once so much as raised his voice to her, he had yelled at nearly everyone else in the office and on occasion had thrown company property. No one had batted an eyelash at his outburst. Everyone went about their daily routine as if nothing had happened. When she returned to her cubicle after lunch, she found every piece of furniture he had damaged had been replaced. It was as if the incident had never occurred. 

 

She never saw him socialize with anyone. The only conversations he entertained were about business. He worked late each evening and was there before anyone else in the morning, including his assistant. It was as if he lived and breathed his job and maybe he did. About a month after she had been hired, Rey had broken down and Googled him. She found very little apart from his career page on LinkedIn and mentions of him on their website and affiliated partners. 


It was almost as if Kylo Ren didn’t exist. 


Of course, in this moment, she was all too aware he did. The flush on her cheeks expanded to cover her entire face and she ducked her head down, attempting to conceal her reaction to his proximity.


“Hey boss!” 


Rey recognized Poe Dameron’s voice instantly. She busied herself with checking emails, in hopes Poe would (for once in his life) not stick his nose where it didn’t belong. 


“What can I do for you, Dameron?” The Editor-in-chief stopped right next to Rey. She willed herself to breath evenly, trying to ignore the scent of his aftershave. 


Poe stood opposite Kylo, not tall enough to peek around him to smile at Rey. “I wanted to speak to you about BookCon next month.”


“Isn’t that the Marketing department’s job to sort out?” Kylo grumbled, his back to Rey’s cubicle. 


Poe cleared his throat and Rey bit her bottom lip. Kylo was known for his no-nonsense attitude. He didn’t care to be bothered with anything he considered beneath him...which was a lot.


“They are down a team member since Jess went out on maternity leave,” Poe reminded the editor.


“I thought she had a C-section,” Kylo replied matter-of-factly, as if he was reciting an element from the periodic table. 


Rey tried not to roll her eyes. The man was gorgeous to behold, but he had a nature about as inviting as Antarctica. 


“Last Tuesday,” Poe pointed out, clearly believing Kylo would understand what that meant. 


He didn’t. “So she can’t make it that weekend because?”


“Because she’s on maternity. She won’t be back for another two months.”


“Excuse me?” Kylo asked, tightly. Rey flinched in her seat. She knew that tone. That was the ‘I’m-not-happy-and-you-should-know-why’ tone. She had heard of almost every day she had been an employee here.


“Kylo,” Poe began, “Come on, man. She cleared this with her manager months ago, as per company policy. It’s on your calendar. I made sure your assistant added it.”


“Bazine was hired to keep people out of my office, not keep track of the personal lives of my subordinates,” he groused. “So what is the problem? Marketing can’t backfill her position in time for the event?”


“Exactly,” Poe replied. 


“Then they shouldn’t have approved her maternity leave,” Kylo stated. With that, he turned on his heel and marched off to his office.


Not surprising to anyone, he slammed the door behind him.


“Hey, Sunshine!” Poe leaned across the wall of Rey’s cubical, flashing her one of his typical charming smiles. It reminded her why Poe was head of PR for the firm. He could smooth over any issue with a smile like that. 


“He’s not happy,” she remarked, inclining her head over her shoulder in the direction of Kylo’s office.


Poe shrugged. “When is Kylo Ren ever happy?”


Rey thought about it for a moment. Last year during the company holiday party, the firm had gone all out. They had come in under budget for expenses and above their forecasted 15% profit margin. As a reward for their employees, everyone had been awarded the week between Christmas and New Years off, which had been announced at the party. She remembered looking at Kylo in the seconds following the announcement. He was the only person in the room not cheering. 


“I don’t think I’ve ever seen him smile,” she admitted to her friend. 


Poe shrugged. “We’ll figure it out. We’ve been to enough of these things over the years. I’m sure we could wing it and still get more leads.”


“Whatever you say,” Rey laughed, shaking her head.


“So Maz’s tonight?” Poe asked, effectively changing the subject.


“That depends,” Rey grinned, “are you buying?”



 

Kylo Ren clenched his jaw, watching the scene unfold before him through the slit in the blinds of his office window. 


Dameron was talking to the pretty brunette staff writer again. Kylo knew they were close — friends even — but that didn’t stop Kylo from imagining how he could throw Dameron into a wall. That would be a sure fire way to wipe his smug smile from his face. The girl — Rey, her name is Rey — was beaming up at the PR Director, nodding in agreement to whatever it was the nit-whit was saying. 

 

Nit-whit. Fuck-whit is more like it, he thought agitatedly.


Kylo loathed the man.


He loathed how easily Dameron could converse with people. He loathed how effortlessly charming Dameron was. He loathed the fact that Dameron had made friends with the brunette practically the moment she joined the Force Publications staff. 


The morning she had arrived, Kylo had known he was in trouble. With her shoulder length chestnut hair, hazel eyes, and tanned skin covered in freckles, Rey had arrived at their firm all warm and glowing. She was like a sun goddess, venturing out of the light into his cold metallic city. What was more, she had a lovely accent — a rural tone which made her all the more appealing for some reason. 


Of course, the moment he had gone to introduce himself, Dameron had been there, fawning over her, offering to help her get acclimated to the office and take her out to lunch. Kylo had held his breath, waiting off to the side to see if she would buy the other man’s offer. When she had, he had shut himself in his office and remained unresponsive and sullen for the remainder of the day.


It was a well known fact Kylo did not play well with others. He had never been good with people. Where he lacked social skills, he made up for in extensive reading, which had led him to the position he now held at Force Publications.


After years of working his way up through the company, he had succeeded in obtaining the coveted position, beating out his former classmate and rival, Armitage Hux. As if the title wasn’t gratifying enough, seeing the look on Hux’s face when Kylo was awarded the position over his adversary was priceless. 


Of course now he wished he had Hux’s job, if only because it gave him a reason to talk directly to Rey. She was a staff writer, so technically she was his employee — they all were — but Kylo had never shown interest in his individual contributors before. He knew it would raise some eyebrows if he suddenly wanted to make chit-chat with the youngest member of the writing staff.


That was another problem — her age. He had scanned her employee records (for only professional reasons, of course). She was ten years his junior. It wasn’t a huge age gap, yet the decade between them made him nervous. If he ever did manage to strike up a conversation with her, what would they talk about? He didn’t understand the millennial world. Hell, he couldn’t even figure of what all the emoji symbols on his phone meant. What was the eggplant for again? Netflix and chill? 


Kylo stepped back from the window, letting the blinds snap close. It was ridiculous he was wasting so much energy on worrying about what the girl thought. She surely never thought of him, but even as he thought that he had the urge to peer out his blinds at her once more.


If he had, he would have seen Rey Andor staring over her shoulder at his closed door. 

 


 

Rey hadn’t had any luck with finding a suitable title. The clock in the lower right-hand corner of her computer glared back at her. It was five o’clock on the dot.


Slumping forward onto her desk, she let out a defeated sigh. She knew Poe had already gone over to Maz’s with Kaydel and the crew. He never waited for her. He was too much of a social butterfly to be bothered with that. Normally it didn’t bother her, but tonight she was already in a mood about her article, so it got to her.


Rey contemplated sending what she had to Hux, but cringed when she thought of how he’d react. True, if she sent it now she’d be able to run out and catch the first round of happy hour with her friends. However, she’d also be in for a headache come Monday morning and that was never a good way to start the week.


So she decided to stick it out until a title came to her.


As she scanned her research for inspiration, she realized how quiet the office was. This time of day was only a hard stop on Friday nights. Any other night of the week there would be a handful of staff — who, like her — was working to complete last minute assignments or overdue drafts. Tonight, however, everyone had bolted. 


TGIF, she thought sarcastically, as she flipped a page of handwritten notes over. 


On the other side was a doodle she had made, trapped within a half-crescent coffee stain from when she had worked on the article last weekend at home. She wished she was in her apartment now.


The loft was small, barely enough room to house her and the Tico sisters, but the three girls managed. Besides it was all Rey could afford, considering she needed to keep this job to remain in the States. 


The Tico sisters had been supportive of her choice, helping her move in after the trio had met for coffee at a Starbucks on the corner. Rey had never been fond of coffee, preferring tea, but she had let Rose, the youngest Tico, talk her into a caramel macchiato. All things considered, it wasn’t really coffee, but the sweet treat was something Rey craved every now and then. 


As the minutes went by, she was no closer to coming up with a title. She was about to call it quits when she heard a door closing behind her. Straightening up, she glanced around, suddenly on high alert. She had thought she was be only one in the office. 


Kylo Ren’s tall form moved with purpose through the building, coming right for her cubicle. Slung over his shoulder was a leather business bag in black. It was the only color she had ever seen him in. He hadn’t noticed her, head bent over his cell, as he scrolled through emails or texts. 


Rey held her breath, unsure if she should bid the grumpy editor goodnight or not. 


When he was within a couple steps of her cube, she gave a small wave. “Goodnight, sir.”


He stopped on a dime, pivoting about to face her. “Rey...er...Ms. Andor, what are you doing here so late?”


She tried not to blush at the sound of her name rolling off his lips. The way he said it struck something within her. He had such a deep, commanding voice. It went right to her core, reminding her of her sinful thoughts from earlier in the day.


“Finishing up my article for General Hugs — I mean Mr. Hux.” She wanted to smack herself. She couldn’t call a senior manager that behind his back…especially to his supervisor. She felt her face go red in his presence for the second time that day. 


Rey expected him to reprimand her for the slip-up or at the very least remind her she was still in the Force Publications office and should mind her tongue. She did not expect him to chuckle.


The sound, like his voice, did things to her.


“General Hugs,” he repeated the name, as if he was testing it out, “Did you come up with that?”


“No,” she answered, honestly. She caught the flicker of interest in his eyes, but it quickly darkened. 


“I assume then I have our Director of PR to thank for that title?”


His voice was dripping with disdain and Rey sensed there was something else besides professional indifference wedged between Poe and Kylo. 


“My lips are sealed,” she replied, carefully, not wishing to upset her editor further, but also not willing to throw Poe under the bus. 


Poe had been the first friend she had made at her job. Besides the Tico sisters, who she lived with, he was one of a handful of close companions she had. She wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize that. 


Kylo made a humming sound. His eyes focused on the computer screen behind her. “You normally turn in your assignments well in advance. What seems to be the trouble?”


She wondered how he knew her submission stats. It was true. Rey was typically the first on the team to turn in her work. But why would he know that? An insignificant detail such as that was not what the surly Editor-in-chief usually concerned himself with. 


When she didn’t answer right away, he placed a hand on the back fo her chair, leaning in. “Rey?”


“Oh...um...it’s my title,” she admitted. “I can’t seem to come up with anything appropriate.”


“Let me take a look.” 


Before she could assure him she would take care of it, he placed his satchel on the floor and pulled over another chair so he could sit beside her. He propped an arm on her desk, tilting forwards to read the words on her screen. 


Rey bit her bottom lip worried about the risqué style of her piece just as much, if not more than the quality of her writing. Kylo’s face was unreadable as his eyes ran across each line. As the silence grew between them, she grew more and more anxious. 


When he reached the end, he leaned back in the seat, placing his hands on his knees. For a tense moment, he didn’t speak. He also didn’t look at her. Rey wished she’d have gone out with Poe and chanced Hux’s anger. It would have been less nerve-wrecking than being personally judged by her editor. 


“Huh,” Kylo finally huffed, as though he was both surprised and amused, “that’s a very...unique take on things, Ms. Andor.”


So they were back to formal titles again? Rey wondered if she had done something wrong. Maybe her article was that bad. Perhaps she had crossed a line. Was he going to fire her?


“You have an unnecessarily long sentence in the third paragraph and you missed a semicolon on your conclusion, but other than that it is a sound piece. Nice work.”


Rey stared at him, her mouth parted slightly in surprise. Had her temperamental — yet undeniably alluring — Editor-in-chief just compliment her? 


“I believe you can title your piece Dessert Decadence,” he added. Then, suddenly he stood, grabbing his bag and moved to leave. 


Rey rose from her seat, confused by his change in demeanor. “Sir?”


“Good job, Ms. Andor. Make the changes we discussed and submit to General Hugs,” he winked. Rey nearly swore under her breath. How could that man make her so unnerved and her so turned on at the same time? “See you on Monday.”


“Have a nice weekend, sir.”


By the time she responded, he was already exiting the office. 

 


 

Kylo paused at the elevator doors, his hand tightening and loosening as he gripped the strap of his bag. 


Why did you leave? She’s all alone in the office, his brain screamed at him.


He sighed and ran a hand through his black tresses. Kylo had expected Rey's writing to be good. She was a decent staff writer for being so young, but he hadn’t expected to react to her work in a physical sense. 


The way she had described the fruit, especially the glazing process had been in a word — erotic — and his body had reacted accordingly. At the mature age of thirty-four, he couldn’t believe how one girl’s article had managed to turn him into some kind of food kink pervert. 


Rey always managed to catch him off guard. It was unnerving. 


Last winter, during the employee holiday party, he had been asked to announce the extra holiday time the employees were being awarded with. Kylo had been bitter about it. Not only was the publication going dark for a few extra days — leaving him with nothing to do — he wouldn’t have a chance to see Rey for a full week.  He had been in a terrible mood about it all night. Once he made the announcement, everyone cheered, but when he found her eyes in the crowd, she was staring at him. His breath had caught in his throat and his mind went blank. She gave him a small smile and mouthed ‘Happy Christmas.’ 


Kylo said nothing in return, too baffled that she had even noticed him to properly respond. It wasn’t until later he realized she was probably concerned about his expression. He had been the only one at the party who wasn’t happy the year was over. 


He had missed his chance to talk to her then. He wasn’t about to let another opportunity pass him by. 


Turning on his heel, Kylo walked back into Force Publications.


He let out a relieved exhale when he spotted her at her cube. Rey saw him, as he made his way towards her and smiled. 


“Forget something?”


Yes. You.


But he didn’t say that. In fact he didn’t know what to say. All his life he had been in love with the written word. He had worked on play scripts, articles, books, and even a few films, but now all of that knowledge left him. He was left hovering over her desk speechless. 


“Sir?”


“Kylo,” he offered, thankful he could even remember his own name. Hearing her call him ‘sir’ did things to his mind and his blood pressure. How could he command an entire publication but lose it as soon as one pretty girl smiled at him? 


“Kylo,” Rey repeated and he just about dropped to his knees before her. The way she said his name was the most beautiful noise. He couldn't help but wonder what other beautiful noises she could make. 


“I...um...apologize for Hux keeping you. A better manager would have proofread for you and given you some ideas so you could enjoy your Friday night,” he apologized. “I’m sure you had plans,” he added, remembering how Dameron had been all over her earlier in the day. 


She shrugged, seemingly unbothered by the fact she was still in the office, as opposed to out in the city with her friends. “It’s just cheap beer and greasy pizza. You can find that anywhere in New York.”


“True,” he agreed, absently wondering when he had actually had a slice of pizza.  Probably about the time he was a staff writer like Rey, living off ramen noodles and PBR. Now he could afford the finer things, like a twenty-five-year-old Macallan — which gave him an idea. 


“Would you care to join me for a drink?”


Rey eyed him curiously. “Now?”


“Sure,” he grinned, amazed she didn’t immediately call HR on him for suggesting such a thing. That would be his luck. “I have a bottle of whiskey in my office and a fresh pair of glasses.”


Her face lit up instantly. “You’re serious?”


He mimicked her shrug, playing it off as if this was no big deal, like he was used to speaking to attractive women and being as charming as Dameron. “Why not? It’s Friday and we’re off the clock.”


Rey stood up, the smile practically taking over her entire face. “Lead the way, boss!” 

 

Dear Lord, were those dimples? She had freckles and dimples.

 

Right then and there, Kylo Ren knew he was a goner. 

Chapter Text

 

Rey followed Kylo into his office. She had never stepped inside the room before, though she had caught a glimpse of the interior once or twice in passing. 


To her left was a circular table with four chairs around it and a speaker phone. To her right was a more comfortable set-up. There was a pair of arm chairs and matching couch with a coffee table situated between them. Besides the over head lights, there were a couple floor lamps scattered about the room, which lit the office in a warm glow.


In front of her was a large mahogany desk, which probably cost more than a year’s worth of rent. It was situated in the center of the room and behind it was a full wall of bookshelves, completely filled. She felt as though she was Belle in the animated film she had watched as a child. Her eyes dilated as she took in all of the titles. 


Classics like Anna Karenina and Heart of Darkness were in the middle, — all clearly first editions — while more modern titles such as Goliath and The Paris Wife sat on either side. None of the titles were sorted alphabetically or by the Dewey decimal system, so Rey concluded Kylo had organized the books by personal preference. 


While she admired his impressive collection, he sat down at his desk and produced the aforementioned whiskey and tumbler glasses. Rey gazed at him sitting in his normal spot and tried not to laugh. Even after hours, he was all business, carefully pouring exactly two fingers worth of the liquor into the glasses with concentrated precision. 


Kylo caught her staring. “What?”


“We are off the clock, right?”


“Right,” he drawled, warily. 


“So let’s sit over there,” she gestured to the couch against the right wall. 


It was obviously meant for meetings with prospective clients or new talent so he could have a more intimate conversation. By sitting at the same level and in a more relaxed area of the room, it helped both parties feel at ease for the negations which were sure to occur.

 

If they were going to drink together, Rey didn’t want to be separated by a massive desk. She planned on sitting close to Kylo — very close. After all, she could very well wake up tomorrow and this would have all been a dream brought on by too much wine at home and too many late hours in the office.


Not waiting to find out, she strolled over and situated herself on the couch, patting the open space next to her.


Kylo stared at her for a moment, before gathering up the glasses and the bottle of Macallan. She watched him visibly swallow before sinking into the seat next to her. He slid one of the glasses across the coffee table towards her.


Briefly she wondered if she was being too forward or if she was reading him wrong. Rey took a long sip of the whiskey, praying for liquid courage. Kylo also took a rather large sip, though his turned into him draining his entire glass. He quickly poured himself another. 


They sat together in silence for a period of time. Rey had never been good at sitting still. Even when she sat at her desk all day working, she fidgeted. She’d take a walk to the break room, even if she didn’t need anything, or she’d help Beebee, their admin, with filing. Rey was an action-taker and preferred to be in motion, which made this torture. 


Next to her, Kylo seemed to be faring no better. He kept opening his mouth, as if to speak, only to rapidly shut it again and turn away from her. 


Rey pressed her lips together, trying to think of how she had made friends with Rose, Paige, and Poe. Meeting new people made her nervous. Her mother had taught her to be herself and allow her personality to attract the type of people who would value her for her. 


“Being something you aren’t won’t win you any friends — not real ones anyway,” Jyn Erso-Andor had told her. Rey had taken the advice to heart and though she didn’t have many friends, the ones she had were true. 


“I don’t really know you that well,” she started, taking another sip of whiskey. “What do you like to do when you aren’t here?”


Kylo stared at his glass, rotating it around on the coffee table. “The usual stuff, I guess. I go to the gym. I read. I write.” He paused and shrugged. “Nothing exciting.”


“Well what do you do when you’re out with friends?”


For the first time since he had sat down, Kylo looked at her. His face was unreadable, but she didn’t turn away. They were having a friendly drink and as far as Rey was concerned, this was the most male attention she had gotten in two years, so she wasn’t going to give him an excuse not to stare at her.


“Maybe you haven’t noticed,” he answered evenly, “I’m not really friend material.”


“What makes you say that?”


He chuckled and ran a hand through his hair, leaning back into the couch. “I’ve been told I’m too demanding and too aggressive. Last year HR told me I intimidate people to bend them to my will.”


Rey smiled over at him. She knew all of the things, if only because Kaydel got drunk most Friday nights and became far too transparent. However, Rey also didn’t believe it — at least not entirely. 


Kylo was a bit rough around the edges - okay, he was very rough around the edges — but, as it turned out, he was also thoughtful and cute in a sweet, awkward kind of way. He was human. 


Oddly enough, she found herself more attracted to this version of him. He was slowly lowering his walls, letting her catch a glimpse of the man behind the suit and the rigorous work ethic. 


“I think you’d make a great friend,” she offered, still smiling. 


He continued to stare at her, clearly unsure if she was joking or being serious. 


“You are already off to a good start,” she gestured to them sitting together, sharing the Macallan.


Kylo mulled it over, but Rey didn’t want him to doubt himself for inviting her into his office, so she decided to up the ante. 


“Have you ever played Two Truths and a Lie?” Rey asked. “I played a lot at Uni when I first arrived. It helped me learn more about my roommates and we bonded. Over our years there together we got really close.”


“It’s a game?”


“Typically a drinking game,” she nodded, raising her glass, “and since we’re already drinking it would be appropriate.”


Kylo hesitated.


Rey went red and started to shake her head back and forth. “Never mind. It was a stupid idea. Forget I mentioned it.”


“No,” he cut her off, surprising her with the firmness of his voice, “Let’s play. I don’t think I’ve played a game with anyone since...,” he trailed off, watching the liquid in his tumbler, “well, it’s been a while.”


“Okay,” Rey agreed, cheerily. “I’ll go first and that way you can see how it works.”


“Alright.”


He raised his glass to down it again, but she reached over and stoped him. The moment he hand wrapped around his wrist, she felt a current rush through her. She instantly withdrew her hand, gasping at the sensation. 


“Sorry,” she apologized, her eyes fixated on her hand. 


“I’m not allowed to drink yet?” He grinned, taking stock of her reaction.


“Right,” she laughed, releasing her nervous energy. “You only drink if you guess wrong. If you guess correctly, I drink. Make sense?”


“I think so.”


“Okay, here are mine,” Rey announced, kicking off their game. “I was born in Sussex.  I’m an orphan. My mother is my best friend.”


Kylo studied her face as she spoke, looking for her tell, but Rey had none to show. Her father had taught her how to be convincing. Despite Cassian Andor being an honorable member of the police force, he was also dedicated to his Saturday night poker games with his fellow officers. More than once Rey had snuck into the game to sit on her father’s lap and learn how to deceive her ‘uncles.’


“That’s easy,” Kylo scoffed. “Your mother is clearly not your best friend.”


“Final answer?” Rey queried, fighting back a laugh.


“Yes.”


“Drink up, boss. You’re wrong.”


“What?”


“My adoptive mother is my actual best friend,” Rey admitted. “I can talk to her about everything and I miss her every day.”


Kylo’s expression changed into one of longing, as if he wished he had a similar relationship with his mother. Rey suspected from his initial response, that was not the case. 


“So where were you born then?”


She shrugged. “No one knows. I was found at a police station in Sussex but I didn’t match any missing children’s reports or hospital files they had, plus no one recognized me for miles. I wound up being adopted by the sergeant who found me.”


“Your parents just abandoned you?” Rey watched his hand grip the glass tightly. 


“Hey, hey,” she reassured him, beginning to reach for his hand then thinking better of it, “it was years ago. I’m fine. My parents — the ones I have now — are amazing.”


“But you’re here and they are still back in England?”


Rey nodded, “It was my dream to be a journalist. New York City was a part of that dream. They understood.”


He mused over her answer. “Your parents sound like wonderful people.”


“They are,” she smiled, “but enough about me. Your turn!”


“Um...,” he took a swig of his whiskey, placing it back down with a slight tremor in his hand. “Alright. I published my first work in the Imperial Press when I was seventeen. My first real paying job was with my mo— Leia Organa at Resistance as a copy editor. My least favorite job was being a copy editor.”


Rey laughed. 


“Does that work?” he asked.


“Yeah,” she grinned, “You did good.”


“Do you know which one is the lie?”


She drummed her fingers along her kneecap as she reviewed the options. “The second one. When you worked at Resistance, you weren’t a copy editor yet. You were a fact checker.”


Kylo’s eyes widened. “H-how did you know that?”


Rey blushed and wished she had had a bit more to drink before they started playing. “I may have read your LinkedIn profile once or twice.”


“Twice was enough to memorize it?” he teased.


Her cheeks burned. “I was interested in your background.”


“Really?” He appeared genuinely surprised and leaned towards her. 


“Why?”



 

Kylo was sure he had heard Rey wrong. She was interested in him? 


His mind raced through reasons for her admission. It had shocked him she was able to identify such a small detail from his resume. He had held multiple positions over the last two decades. It was strange she’d be familiar enough with his work experience to pick out the tiny lie. 


Yet, here they were, sitting alone in his office, sharing a bottle of whiskey. Rey’s face was red and growing redder by the minute. 


“Rey?”


He needed to hear her say it. He needed to hear it from her lips before he lost his mind. 


She was focused intently on her glass, turning it in her hands. “I always wanted to be a writer,” Rey told him, “and you’ve made a name for yourself. I wanted to see how you did it — how you worked your way up until you achieved your dream.”


Oh. Right. 


“Hard work,” he answered, keeping the disappointment from his voice. Then, softer, he added, “You’ll get there.”


She turned back to him, face brightening at his encouragement. “You think?”


“I know,” he replied. “You’re dedicated and everyone here loves you. I’ve seen you go above and beyond more than once and it is always appreciated. You have made yourself irreplaceable here.”


“T-thank you,” she stuttered, placing her glass down to wipe at her cheek.


Was she crying?


“You have no idea what that means to me.”


“Uh, sure,” Kylo swallowed. He hadn’t meant to make her cry. He had only meant to reassure her she was an asset to his company. This was why he didn’t do things like this. He struggled to understand what was appropriate to say and what wasn’t and now he had killed the mood.

 

He needed to get her smiling again. “So what’s next?” he asked. “Are we going another round?”


“Yes,” she laughed, a grin breaking through. “Absolutely, but I guessed correct so you drink again.”


Kylo flashed her a smile right back. “Bottoms up,” he said, before downing his glass.


After several more rounds, Kylo had learned a lot, but all of the details of Rey’s life paled in comparison to how it felt to share in this private discussion with her. He was taken with how expressive she could be. 


When she told him stories about her life back in Sussex, she usually waved her hands about. When she admitted to not knowing who Anakin Skywalker was — one of his favorite authors (for a very non-biased reason) — she had hid her face in her hands. When she had shared with him her fear of spiders, she had pulled her legs up underneath her, as if a slew of the insects would crawl across the floor at any second. It was adorable.


What was more, Kylo found she was comfortable around him. Unlike the majority of his employees, she didn’t shy away from him or back down when he asked a difficult question. In fact, she was all too eager to challenge him right back. 


While the game went on, the level of Macallan lowered and Kylo scooted closed to Rey. At some point, he had removed his suit jacket and laid his arm over the back of the couch and she had kicked of her shoes, complaining the heels pinched her toes. 


Now they were sitting rather close to one another with barely a quarter of the bottle remaining. 


“Another?” Rey giggled more than asked. 


Her cheeks were rosy and Kylo couldn’t concentrate on anything other than her. She was beautiful in a natural, easy-going way and her personality was addictive. All her light touches and smiles had him captivated. 


When she had first touched his wrist, the contact had rippled through him like a match to a line of gunpowder. It had ignited the carnal desires he had suppressed since she joined their ranks. He had been fighting himself since — unsure how she’d react if he closed the distance between them and kissed her.


She was staring at him, clearly waiting for something. His mind short-circuited. Did she feel it too?


“Kylo?”


He blinked. “Huh?”


“I said, did you want to go another round or do you want to call it a night?”


He did want to call it a night. He wanted to move this conversation to his car and then to his apartment — more specifically his bedroom.


“What do you want to do?”


Kylo watched as Rey’s pink tongue darted out, swiping over her lips. God, he was done for. This woman would kill him before he could have even a taste of her. 


“I’m game, if you are,” she responded, completely unaware of how her words affected him. 


“Right,” he coughed, trying in vain to think straight. “Sure. Ok.”


Busying himself with refilling their glasses, he watched from his peripherals as she closed her eyes and leaned deeper into the couch back. She hummed to herself and to him it sounded like purring. 


Kitten.


Kylo coughed again, startling himself with the suggestive title, but as he straightened up, he realized how enticing it was to call Rey a kitten — his kitten. 


And he would delight in making her purr


“Your turn,” he reminded her, settling back into the couch and handing her the refill. 


“Thanks,” she smiled, as she accepted the fresh drink. 


Kylo watched her gaze trail from the glass up his arm to his face, pleased when he saw how her eyes darkened as they roamed. Maybe it was the whiskey, but he was beginning to think he actually had a chance with Rey Andor. 


“Alright, here it goes,” she started. “My favorite color is green, like sea foam green not Christmas emerald green. My favorite book is Pride and Prejudice, cliche I know, by its true. And this is probably my favorite game of Two Truths and a Lie ever.”


Her grin couldn’t be contained, as she awaited his response. 


Kylo’s hands were clenching whatever he could grab. For his left that mean the back of the couch. For his right it meant he was digging his nails into the meat of his thigh. Rey’s last line was echoing in his head over and over. He hoped beyond all hope that one was true. 


“Any guesses?” 


Clearing his throat, he attempted to answer her calmly. “Your favorite book is not Pride and Prejudice. I’ve read your work. I think you’re more of a Sense and Sensibility lover.”


Rey gasped at him, eyes wide,“You’re getting too good at this!”


“Drink up,” he pointed to her glass with a victorious smirk. 


She took a large gulp, smiling over the lip of the tumbler at him. “Your turn.”


He stroked his chin, pensively. For as large of a man as he was, the effects of the whiskey were starting to hit him. Up until now, he had been losing their little game and had drunk most of the bottle himself. He wanted to win this round and see Rey finish her glass. 


“I only ever want to live in New York — I have no interest living anywhere else. I don’t like kids — even cute ones. I’m fairly certain this is the most fun I’ve had in years.”


Rey’s cheeks turned a brilliant shade of crimson and she took another sip from her glass. 


“You didn’t even guess yet,” he chuckled. “Are you forfeiting?”


“No,” she cried, indignantly, “I was just thirsty.”


Kylo knew the feeling. He was thirsty too, but not for whiskey — or any other drink for that matter. 

 

When Rey spoke next her eyes were locked on his. “You like kids.” Then, as if she was only just beginning to believe it herself, a tender smile graced her lips. 


Kylo opened his mouth to confirm her choice, but was cut off by her laughing. It rang as clear and pleasant as a bell. 


“Brooding and sullen Editor-in-Chief, Kylo Ren secretly likes children! Who would have thought?”


“I can like kids,” he insisted, trying to scowl and failing miserably. He couldn’t act angry when she was glowing, her happy attitude spilling forth and penetrating his normal icy exterior. 


“I never would have guessed!”


“You just did,” he pointed out. “And you were correct.”


She was still laughing, as she nodded. “I think that’s twenty to me and four to you.”


Yes, he was well aware of how adept she was at reading him. It was unnerving and exciting all at the same time. He took another drink from his glass, content to watch her bask in her most recent victory. 


“Your turn.”


Rey bit her bottom lip, eyes flitting away from his face and around the room, as if searching for the appropriate content. 


“I prefer dogs because they love you unconditionally. I’ve never been to the boardwalk. Some day, I want to drive across the country and dip my feet in the Pacific Ocean.”


Kylo chewed the inside of his mouth. This one was difficult. All three items were clearly Rey, or at least as clear as he pictured her based on his new wealth of knowledge. He puzzled over it for a few moments, unable to find fault with any of her statements. Finally, he gave up. 


“I don’t know.”


“Cause they are all true!” she exclaimed with a slight giggle.


He would have been annoyed, had it not been for the redness on her face or the way she rocked back and forth a bit as she sat next to him. 


She was drunk. 

 

As pleased as Kylo was to learn Rey trusted him enough to let her walls down around him, he was also disappointed by the turn of events. He wouldn’t do anything while she was intoxicated. He didn’t want their first…anything…to be under the influence. He wanted her to remember it and yearn for more.


“I think we should call it a night,” he remarked, gently. 


Rey’s face immediately fell. “What? Why?”


“It’s late,” he stated. A quick glance down at his watch proved that it was in fact nearing two in the morning. They had spent a good portion of the night together. He hadn’t even realized how late — or early — it had gotten. “I can call you a cab,” he offered, trying not to let her sad face affect him. 


“No, it’s alright. I can take the subway.”


The thought of her all by herself wandering down into the subway at this time of night instantly made him clench his fists and bare his teeth, like some sort of animal. “Absolutely not,” he growled.


“I don’t have money for cab fare and it wouldn’t be right for you to pay.” 

 

“We can share it,” he suggested, aware he had had far too much whiskey to be under the legal limit. Besides sharing a cab with Rey meant more alone time with her.


“Okay,” she agreed. “Let me pack up.”


Carefully, she rose onto her bare feet, wobbling a bit as she straightened up. Instead of sliding back into her heels, she picked them up and proceeded to walk barefoot out of his office and to her cube. 


Kylo nearly groaned watching her stroll out. Her pencil skirt had bunched up from when she had been lounging on his couch and it was tight against her rear. Leaning back, he carded his fingers through his hair before finishing the Macallan. 


This was either the best idea of his life or the worst. 


Once he had disposed of the bottle and hidden the used glasses away, he locked up his office and joined Rey at her desk. 


“All set?”


“Yep!” She beamed up at him, still standing flat footed.


“You’re going to want to put your shoes on,” he remarked. “New York streets are not known for their cleanliness.”


Rey’s bottom lip jutted out in a pout as she gazed down at her offending heels. “I really need to start packing flats,” she told him, forcing her feet back into the black stilettos. 


Kylo could only nod in agreement. If she had worn that expression much longer, he would have scooped her up and carried her down himself. It was probably something he’d lose his job for, especially considering the cameras all over the building but it would be worth it to feel Rey’s body tucked against his own. 


All he could think, as they made their way to the elevators, was how glad he was there were no cameras in his office. 



 

Rey felt giddy. In fact, she felt as though she was flying. No cab ride had ever felt as wonderful as this. She chalked it up to the fact she was seated next to Kylo and he had his arm draped around her, effectively keeping her close for when the cab unexpectedly jerked or turned too sharply — which was often. 


It was a New York cabbie, after all. 


Despite his offer to share the ride, Kylo had paid the driver ahead of time, telling the man to drop her off first and wait for him while he got her safely inside. She couldn’t be sure, in her inebriated state, but she thought she saw him tip the man a fifty too. 


She knew she should have been more cautious about sharing her address. Growing up with police officers made her overly sensitive about certain things — namely her safety — but Rey wasn’t worried about Kylo. He was safe. 

 

There wasn’t much traffic — by New York standards — at two in the morning, so the cab pulled up to her apartment within fifteen minutes. Kylo shifted, allowing her to gather up her purse and work bag, while he scooted over and opened the door for them. 


“I’ll be right back. Keep the engine running,” he told the cabbie. 


He held open his door for Rey, standing between the cab and the sidewalk, still acting as a protector even though they were the only two people out on the street. 


“You don’t have to walk me in,” she informed him, trying to play it cool even though she already felt cold without his body pressed against hers. 


“You’re drunk,” he smirked. “Besides what kind of editor would I be if I let my best staff writer try to get home alone?”


“I am home,” she reminded him.


“Still,” he insisted, “I’ll walk you up. Don’t want to chance you tripping up the stairs or sleeping in the hallway.”


Rey laughed, shaking her head but she let him follow her inside. The apartment building was older and the elevator only worked intermittently, so she tended to walk the six flights of stairs up to the loft she shared with Paige and Rose. If the amount of steps bothered Kylo, he gave no indication of it. 


He silently followed behind her, keeping his hand on her lower back as a constant reminder of his presence — as if Rey could forget. If she leaned into the touch a bit — well he had said she was drunk, right? — it couldn’t be helped. 


By the time they reached her door, they were both breathing a little heavier. Rey searched through her purse for her keys. When she fished them out, she dropped them. Kylo’s hand snapped out, catching them mid-air before they could hit the ground.


“Nice reflexes,” Rey praised him. 


“They come in handy,” he responded, handing the keys over to her so she could unlock the door. 

 

Rey felt a wave of heat hit her body. Even though Kylo hadn’t uttered the words in a suggestive way, her alcohol-addled brain instantly thought of what he could do with his hands — those very big hands which were attached to muscular arms and broad shoulders. 


She stumbled into her apartment partially because she was running away from him before she made a fool of herself and partially because she needed the loo.


“Rey?”


“One sec!”


She darted through the darkness, racing towards the bathroom. She slammed the door shut behind her nearly fell face first into the sink when she reached it. 


Damn these stilettos! 


Her heart was beating erratically in her chest. Kylo Ren was in her apartment. It was two in the morning and she had brought a man home. Rey had never done that before, in the States or back in the UK. She took a couple of deep breaths. 


After she had taken care of herself, she washed her hands and took a long hard look at herself in the mirror. Her face was still flushed and her blouse was crooked, as was her skirt. Strands of her hair were sticking out in odd angles and she was all too aware of her feet screaming at her for running in her heels. 


She was a mess. 


No wonder Kylo had insisted on walking her up to her flat. He was probably worried she’d talk to Kaydel come Monday morning. 


With a groan, she kicked of her shoes under the sink and opened the door to return to the living room where she had left her editor. 


“Are you alright?” 


Rey jumped with a start, finding Kylo standing on the other side of the door, left completely in the dark.


At her bewildered expression, he rubbed the back of his neck. “Uh, you mentioned you had roommates. I didn’t want to wake anyone up,” he said, as if that explained why he was in her apartment instead of waiting by the door where she had left him. It didn’t.


“Yeah,” Rey managed to croak out. “They’re probably asleep.”


“Right.”


“We should probably get to bed too,” she said. “It’s late.”


Kylo’s eyes widened and he backed up so fast he walked into the hallway wall. 


Rey rushed forward, moving easier without her heels on. She reached up, placing her hand behind the back of his head where he had hit the wall. “Are you okay?”


“Yeah. Yeah,” he quickly replied. 


“Good thing you have the cab waiting for you,” she grinned. 


Kylo’s face fell and it was only then she realized the connotation of what she had said prior. 


Just as she opened her mouth to say something — she wasn’t sure what — he gave her an awkward one armed hug and bid her goodnight. 


“This was fun,” he told her, as he paused in her entryway. “Maybe we could do it again sometime?”


Rey smiled back, though she wasn’t sure if he could see her in the dark. “I’d like that.”


“Yeah?” He stared at her in disbelief and she dug her nails into her opposite palm to keep herself from telling him to stay. 


“Yeah.”


He gave her a goofy grin. Suddenly he looked younger and much lighter than ever before. “Well, I’ll see you Monday then?”


“You know where to find me.”


“Goodnight, Rey,” he started to move out of her apartment.

 

Whether it was the alcohol or her own repressed need, she wasn’t sure, but suddenly, she was calling out to him. “Kylo?”

 

“Yeah?” he paused in the doorway, one hand clutching onto the frame.

 

Rey padded over in her bare feet, keeping her arms at her sides, so she didn't do anything too rash. Closing her eyes, she rose up on the balls of her feet and placed a chaste kiss along the corner of his mouth.


“Goodnight.”

Chapter Text

 

Kylo’s weekends were never exciting. He usually spent them alone in his apartment catching up on work from the week prior. Sometimes he broke up the monotony with a stroll through the city or watching a movie from his dismal Netflix queue. He didn’t go out drinking or to parties or whatever it was others, like Hux, assumed he did. Kylo was a routine person. He started and each day the same way and the weekend was no different.

 

The weekend following his night with Rey however, was another matter entirely. All he did was pace, Google his intriguing staff writer, and pace some more. He was convinced he was going to wear a path into his hardwood flooring with his constant treading.


Since Rey had kissed him, he hadn’t been able to stop replaying every second of their time together. Between berating himself for waiting a year to ask her to join him for a drink and congratulating himself on not irrevocably fucking it up, he spent his time researching more about her. 


He uncovered a modest website for her father’s police department in Sussex. When Kylo pulled up a picture of Captain Andor, he hadn’t been expecting the suave, dark skinned man he found. While the captain’s list of accomplishments were staggering, it was his physical features which struck a nerve with Kylo. The man reminded him too much of Dameron. 


Evil tendrils of doubt began to swirl within him, as he questions Rey’s actions. He had heard women were typically attracted to men who were similar to their fathers — something about how they made them feel protective and loved. 


After he saw Captain Andor, he recounted all his interactions with her going as far back as the holiday party. Kylo analyzed her responses in painful detail. Despite his initial fear, he honestly found it hard to believe Rey had acted anything but genuine with him. 


His confidence was restored, but he continued to pace.


By the time Monday rolled around, Kylo was so excited to see Rey, he arrived at work a full hour early. The strawberry blonde receptionist — Betty or Bernie or one of those names that started with a ‘B’ — greeted him with a chipper ‘hello’. 


“Good morning,” he responded.


For some reason, this startled her. She stared at him as if he had grown an extra appendage, before remembering herself and smiling. 


Kylo shook his head, unable to tolerate such nonsense and headed directly back to his office. His quota for pleasantries had been met. 


The office was exactly as he had left it. There wasn’t a single sheet of paper out of order, but if he stared long enough at the couch, he could make out the imprint of where Rey had sat next to him barely more than two nights ago. 


He shook his head, pushing the sentiment from his mind. If he was going to ask her to hang out — Was that what millennials called it or was there a new term? — he needed to get some work done. 


To anyone else, he was ahead of his responsibilities, but by his own strict standards, he was behind. Having wasted the weekend reading articles on how to approach women, how to tell if she really was into you, and what the best brand of condom was, he was woefully behind on his inbox and his stack of purchase orders to approve. 


Opening his laptop, Kylo began catching up. 


It wasn’t until nearly a full two hours later when his intercom buzzed he even remembered what day it was. He had been so engrossed in his tasks, he hadn’t noticed the other individuals coming in. Kylo jolted, wondering if he had missed Rey walking in. He wanted to know what she was wearing. He had fantasized about what she must look like at home in her casual clothes.  


The intercom buzzed again. “What Bazine?” he demanded, a bit sharper than he meant to. 


“Ms. Andor brought your coffee. Do you want to take it in your office or the board room?”


Rey.


Rey had brought him coffee?


“Yes,” in his haste to see her, he slammed the button his phone console down harshly, “send her in. I’ll take it in here.”


A moment later, the door swung open and there she was. She was wearing a satin blouse and another pencil skirt, which he was beginning to suspect was designed to torment him. The way it clung to the subtle flare of her hips and down her toned thighs made him unable to stand up, lest she know exactly how alluring the outfit was to him. 


“Happy Monday,” she greeted him, before making a face and laughing at herself. “That’s an oxymoron, isn’t it?”


“Usually,” he agreed, far more interested in the way her mouth moved instead of what came out of it. He gestured for her to shut the door. “Doesn’t seem so bad right now though.”


Rey closed the door as he had asked, then strolled over to the side of his desk. She handed over the large container of coffee she had brought. Kylo inhaled the rich aroma. The contents had a distinct scent — strong and bold. It smelled like heaven. He wondered how she had guessed his preference.


“Better?” She asked, remaining where she was. 


“Much.” Kylo took a sip of the beverage, savoring how the hot contents rolled down his throat, reminding him he hadn’t taken the time to get himself a caffeine fix before he arrived. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”


“Oh,” Rey’s face turned that delightful shade of red and he had to hold back his smile, pleased by her reaction. “I...uh...I wanted to say thanks for Friday night and apologize.”


The coffee, which had been warming him along with her presence, suddenly turned to acid in his stomach. 


“Apologize?”


“For getting drunk,” she explained, flustered and gesturing with her hands nervously. “And for making you take me home. I hate being an obligation.”


“Rey,” he stood up, forgetting his coffee on his desk and ignoring all protocol to capture one of her hands in his own, “I would never consider you an obligation. Besides, I was the one who suggested having a drink.” 


Her eyes were boring into his, those swirling pools of green and brown which he admired so much. “I had a nice time,” she said, softer, not looking away. 


“Me too.”


Kylo was acutely award he was still holding her hand. He felt a slight tremor shake through her and wondered if she had spent her weekend thinking of him the way he had spent it thinking of her. 


“Do you want to do it again?” he asked, quickly, before he lost his nerve.


“Yes.”


There wasn’t even a beat between his question and her answer. Kylo felt a thrill rush through him. A heady sensation, much like how the alcohol had affect him on Friday evening, making his mind fuzzy and his vision blur until all he could see was Rey.

 

She looked stunning. The top two buttons were undone on the blouse she wore and due to their height difference, it was all too tempting for him to lower his gaze to what lie beneath the off-white material. Her dark beige skirt cinched the shirt at her tiny waist and the nude pumps she wore accented her calves. He wondered if she was a runner. She had a beautiful body.

 

But then again, Rey always looked beautiful. She had caught his eye her first day at New Order Publications. His initial impulse had been to ask her out, but Ben was her superior — and Dameron had already stepped in — so he had opted instead to remain professional. He figured with time, his longing for her would go away. It hadn’t, but at least he had kept his promise to himself to remain professional.

 

It had worked, until he read Rey’s article on glazed fruit.

 

The poetic language was beyond sensual and suddenly all inhibitions he had vanished. He was compelled to see if she behaved anything like the way she wrote. Kylo had decided over the weekend to make it his mission to find out. If she agreed to meet with him again, he wasn’t going to hold back. He was tired of waiting.


“Maybe we could make it a regular Friday night thing?” Rey suggested, teasingly. Despite her laugh and how she had said it, he caught her eyes dropping to the floor and the darkening color on her cheeks. She wanted to do it again, but she was afraid. 


“My office after hours?” Kylo found himself offering. “I’ll bring the whiskey."


His logical side screamed at him. It would be far more prudent to pick one of the hundreds of bars in the area or invite her over to his apartment, but he wasn’t being logical. He was in too deep, already falling too hard for the pretty brunette in front of him.


“Yeah?” Rey asked, hesitantly, as if not really believing this was happening. 

 

Or perhaps she was still able to be logical, while he was too busy fantasizing about what he was going to do to her when he finally got her alone without the threat of anyone walking in on them.


“Absolutely, unless you’d rather not.”


“No!” she swiftly clarified, “no, I want to.”


His face relaxed into a grin. “Good. Me too.”


Rey beamed, her whole body lighting up with her broad smile. Kylo felt drawn to her glow. Like her namesake, she radiated an energy. There was an undeniable magnetism. It pulled him in, wrapped itself around him, and chased away all other worries and thoughts. 


He didn’t realize he had begun to lean down towards her until the intercom buzzed again, causing them both to jump. Rey stepped back instantly, as if she had been caught committing a crime and he lost his grip on her hand. 


Kylo cursed his assistant under his breath before pressing one angry finger down on the appropriate button. “What is it now?”


“The stakeholders are waiting for you in the board room, sir.”


Shit.


“I’ll be right there.”


He straightened up, adjusting his tie and buttoning up his jacket. 


“Duty calls?” Rey smiled, understandingly up at him. 


“Yes,” he muttered, making sure to hold back most of his annoyance so she wouldn’t think he was upset with her. “I’m sorry. I wish we could…talk some more.”

 

He really didn’t want to talk anymore. Talking was overrated.


“It’s fine,” she grinned. “It’s not like I won’t see you around. I’m just out there,” she cocked her thumb over her shoulder in the direction of her cube. 


“Thank you for the coffee.”


“Have a good meeting,” she told him, as she excused herself from his office.


“So Friday?”


“It’s a date.”

 

Rey turned away fast, Kylo almost missed it. Regardless. he didn’t miss the flush on her cheeks or the broad smile on her face.

 

Friday couldn’t come soon enough.



 

Rey marked the days until Friday the way she had marked the days until Christmas as a child. After gushing about her kinda-sorta date with Kylo to her roommates, she had spent the remainder of her weekend picking out the nicest and possibly most suggestive outfits she could wear the following week. 

 

Her wardrobe was practical and consisted of two extremes: business attire and lounge wear. She only owned one pair of jeans. Paige had lectured her on her lack of interest in dressing up during the weekend, chiding Rey for her unbalanced closet.

 

“What if we go out to the club Saturday night?” Paige had once asked. “What are you going to wear?”

 

“I’ll borrow something from you or Rose,” Rey had shrugged, not worried about it.

 

“Rose is five inches shorter than you.”

 

“You and I are the same height,” Rey had remarked with another shrug. Her indifference had caused Paige to groan and abandon the topic for the time being.

 

Of course, the topic was revisited with zest once Rey mentioned her night with Kylo.

 

“Oh!” Rose had squealed, “I’m going to look him up. I need a visual.”

 

Paige was the more practical one, always thinking like a big sister, even if Rey was only her roommate. “What will you wear if he takes you out?” She immediately asked, giving Rey a glare which said ‘I-told-you-so’ when she shrugged.

  

“Oh. My. God!” Rose shrieked from the couch, nearly dropping her laptop. She managed to catch the electronic contraption before it fell and spun it around to face her older sister and Rey. “Is this him?”

 

Rey stared at the screen and sure enough, Rose had found a collection of pictures taken of Force Publications’ set-up from the prior year’s BookCon event. As the Editor-in-chief, Kylo had been there and in true Kylo fashion, he had been dressed to impress in the most luxurious of tailored suits. He looked like a male model with his long dark hair and beauty marks.

 

Rey could only nod in reply to her roommate’s question. Rose squealed again, turning the laptop back around while she searching for additional images.

 

“We should go shopping,” Paige pointed out.

 

Regardless of her protests, the Tico sisters drug Rey out of their apartment and to a collection of high-end consignment shops. Trunk and Designer Revival both held items which Rey instantly grabbed for work. There was a stunning Saint Laurent blazer for a bargain, but before she could toss the jacket over her arm, Paige was hauling her over to the dress section.

  

Dresses weren’t exactly at the top of Rey’s list. She preferred her leggings and a t-shirt if she was going out. After long days in the office, she wanted to be comfortable. So when Paige started pulling hanger after hanger of dresses off the rack, Rey tried not to roll her eyes. Her roommate insisted on her trying them on, telling her she’d change her mind once she got them on.

  

She didn’t.

  

Until the last one.

  

It was a white Chanel cocktail dress which came to rest just above her knee and had sensible tank-top-like straps. Though the color was a bit of a risk — wearing white was like wearing a target on your back — she had to hand it to Paige. She did love the dress now that it was on.

 

Rey wound up buying it.

 

There was a chance Kylo wouldn’t ask her out and she’d never get a chance to wear it to a fancy restaurant or Broadway show, but she deserved at least one nice dress. When she got back to the apartment, she hung it up on the wall so she could see it when she laid in bed. It served as a reminder of the man she had bought it for — the man who had been on her mind since Friday night.

 

She spent the rest of the weekend devising a plan.


When Monday came around, Rey set her alarm for twenty minutes earlier than normal and took special care to do her hair and make-up. On her way into work, she stopped by the local coffeehouse near Force Publications, ordering a large dark roast black. Kylo didn’t seem the type to use cream or sugar. 


Rey had been practically floating as she meandered through the office until she got to where Kylo’s office was situated. 


Her good mood faltered when she was stopped by his assistant, Bazine Netal. Bazine was stick-thin with sharp features. She reminded Rey of a Disney villain with her insanely long nails and dark make-up. Like Kylo, she had a monochromatic wardrobe. Rey had never seen the woman in any color other than white or black — not even a hint of gray. But unlike Kylo, this woman showed no signs of being human. She was like a mannequin on display — pretty to look at, but emotionless and cold.


“Mr. Ren is not to be disturbed,” the woman informed Rey, not once glancing up from where she sat filing her nails into points. 


“I have his coffee order,” Rey replied, stunning herself by how easy the lie rolled off her tongue. 


Bazine did look at her then and at the coffee cup Rey was clutching. With a huff, the assistant scooted her chair back and rang the Editor-in-Chief.


If Rey had been floating before she saw him, she careened right off the edge the second she was alone with him. He was just as attentive and intense as when they had spoken on Friday. Her entire body buzzed with electricity — too much and not enough all at once — and when he took her hand in his she forgot how to breathe. 


She wasn’t sure how she had managed to last all week. Each time Kylo had walked by or stopped by her cubicle to ‘borrow a pen,’ she felt her breath catch and her body experienced that same electrical rush she had felt when she had kissed him in the doorway of her apartment. 


By Friday morning, Rey was so eager for the end of the week, not even Hux’s constant glares and backhanded comments could spoil her happy mood. 


“You’re going to be there tonight, right?”


“Rey.”


“Rey.”


“Earth to Ms. Andor!”


“Huh?” She spun around in her chair to find Poe regarding her suspiciously.


“What’s going on with you?”


“What do you mean?”


“You’ve been a space-case all week.”


Rey rolled her eyes and ignored him, going back to her latest task: upping their social media presence. “Have not,” she blurted out.


“Why’d you blow us all off last week?” Poe continued to press. 


“I told you, I stayed late to finish my article and then I went home.”


“The bar is on your way home. Why didn’t you stop in quick for a nightcap?”


She shrugged. “I was tired.”


“Bullshit! What are you hiding, Andor?”


“Dameron!”


Oh crap.


“Boss,” Poe pivoted around, putting on his usual charming grin. “Happy Friday.”


“It would be if you quit slacking and wasting other people’s time.”


“I was only taking a break to invite Rey out for a drink, but it seems she has a better offer.”


Rey tensed. She did have a better offer — not that she would ever tell Poe that, especially given her offer was from the man who was suddenly butting into their conversation. 


“I just need a break,” she tried to explain. “We go to Maz’s every Friday, Poe.”


“A break?” He cried, incredulously. He opened his mouth to shoot back a retort, then closed it. Something passed over his face and then he was grinning like a Cheshire Cat. “You have a boyfriend, don’t you?”


Had she been eating or drinking anything at the time of his query, Rey was positive she would have choked. As it was, her face went as red as the insignia on their office entrance. 


“I knew it,” Poe accused, pointing a finger at her. “So who are you boning?”


“That’s enough,” Kylo snarled, grabbing the back of Poe’s jacket and escorting him away. “If you want to harass other employees, do it on your own time. I don’t have the patience for a law suit right now.”


Rey sunk low in her seat, aware several of her colleagues were now staring at her, interested in what had happened between their Editor, the PR Director, and a lowly staff writer. 



 

Kylo was seething by the time he made it back to his office. Where did Dameron get off? He was becoming a problem and Kylo was itching to find a reason to get rid of him, but he knew the Board of Directors, namely his mother would never allow it. 


Agitated, he paced the length of his office back and forth several times. It took about fifteen passes, but after a bit, his blood pressure had returned to a normal level and he wasn’t about to be locked up for homicide. 


Only two more hours. 


Two more hours and everyone else — Dameron included — would be gone for the weekend and he’d have Rey all to himself. Again.

 

Normally two hours would fly by unnoticed while he poured over guest author submissions or approved content for their website. However, in his frenzy to clear his schedule for the entire weekend — because he was nothing if not a planner — Kylo had effectively completed his to-do list. He was left with no remaining tasks to occupy the stretch of time between the present and his ‘date’ with Rey.


Which left him to ponder over the meaning of her word choice. She had called it a date on Monday but since then they hadn’t had a chance to talk. 


Sure, he had made stupid excuses to stop by her desk. Had anyone in the office paid too close attention, his feelings would have been insanely transparent, but his employees were too fearful of him to question his motives. When he asked her for a pen to borrow, no one batted an eye. When he came to her with a question on their Twitter account, it appeared to be business as usual. No one cared. For once, his reputation worked in his favor. 


Of course, his reputation had its drawbacks too.

  

Kylo couldn’t ask her how her day was or if she preferred something other than whiskey to drink. As much as he wanted to, questions of that nature were sure to spark suspicion, even from the most scared employee. He didn’t want HR getting between him and Rey. 


Connix was meddlesome enough. If Kylo didn’t know any better, he’d guess she and Dameron were a thing. The blonde head of Human Resources was the only one Dameron spoke to more than Rey. She typically went out with them on Fridays after work — the Fridays which Rey had now devoted to him.


Unabashed pride surged through him at that. She had chosen him. When was the last time anyone had done that? 


Rey had accepted his invite and consciously accepted him as well. She had been at the publication long enough to experience his angry outbursts and his less than desirable personality, yet she had accompanied him to his office. She had shared her background with him — little pieces of herself which he hungrily ate up — and she was willing to do it again. 


More than willing. She had suggested it.


Unable to deny himself, he went to his window, extending his pointer finger and thumb between the blinds to peer out at her. She was hard at work, typing away without any indication of his stare. 


Today she had left her hair down. It fell in soft curls around her face, framing her freckled cheeks and tickling her neck. Instead of the typical blouse and skirts she had been wearing all week — to torment and tease him — she was wearing a navy dress with capped sleeves. The nude pumps made another appearance. 


She rose from her desk to fetch something from the printer and he decided he didn’t hate the heels. In fact, he wished he could watch her walk around in them all the time. The way the bottom of her skirt sashayed back and forth while she moved was hypnotic and he leaned into the window until he could feel the blinds against his forehead. 


He stayed like that, watching her for several minutes before checking his watch. It had to be five o’clock soon, right? 


1 hour and 45 minutes to go.


Kylo groaned. He was not a patient man. If the wait didn’t kill him, he was sure those heels would. 

 


 

Rey was shaking. It was ten minutes after the top of the hour and her entire body felt as if she was coming down from a major caffeine high. She glanced down at her hands, noticing how they shook as she attempted to organize her desk for the fourth or fifth time since her coworkers began packing up to head out for the weekend. 


Only a handful of people were left now and with each one departing, her anxiousness grew. Rey told herself she wasn’t doing anything wrong. She was only meeting a co-worker for a drink. It was a Friday night tradition. It was completely normal. 


Not when the co-worker is your superior and you want to climb him like a tree, a traitorous voice in her head supplied. 


“Ugh,” Rey groaned, dropping her head in shame. 


Suddenly the idea of buying a new outfit to wear for Kylo seemed ridiculous — almost as ridiculous as meeting him in his office for a drink. Wasn’t this the time of behavior her father had warned her about? Powerful men liked to influence young women and manipulate them for sex. 


Was that what Kylo was doing? 


Was that what she was doing? 


Rey realized she had been the one to suggest the drinking game, which led to them both becoming intoxicated. She had also been the one cheering him on to drink more. If anyone had been trying to seduce anyone, it had been her. 


Oh God, I can’t do this.


Rapidly, Rey rose from her desk and began packing up. If she left now, she could probably catch the bus to her neighborhood before Kylo even noticed she had gone. 


“Hey.”


Or not.


She pivoted around to find the object of her reflection standing behind her. 


“Hi.”


“I think everyone is gone,” he remarked. He offered her his arm, like the men did in the old black and white films her parents watched sometimes. Kylo was smiling at her, not the smug smile Hux gave her when she messed up or the cocky smirk Poe always wore. This was a genuine smile. “Shall we?”


Without a word, Ray placed her arm over top of his, blushing when his opposite hand came across his body to cover hers. She felt safe in his hold — safe and protected. There was no way to hide her own smile, as she grinned back at him. 


“I’ve been waiting all week for this,” he told her, as he led them back to his office.  He shut the door behind them, cutting off the outside world. It was just them now, just as it had been the week before. 


And just like that, all Rey’s apprehension disappeared. 

Chapter Text

 

This time they didn’t hover by his desk or sit in awkward silence. This time they both settled down in the same seats — their seats — from last week. 


Kylo had purchased a new bottle of Macallan just for the occasion. He planned ahead enough to go to the liquor store but hadn’t thought to ask Rey what her preference was. If she wanted something else, she had never said and her eyes lit up when he poured the amber liquid into the clean tumbler glasses. He took that as a good sign.


“How was your week?” She asked, waiting to taste the beverage until after they had clinked glasses.


“Typical. Hux complained about everything. Marketing still hasn’t found a stand-in for Pava and Dameron is at the top of my list for people to fire.”


Rey laughed — that glorious bell laugh — which had him wrapped around her little finger. “He does tend to stick his nose where it doesn’t belong,” she agreed, generously. 


“I was about to throw him out after that comment he made earlier,” Kylo grumbled, downing a large swing of his whiskey. 


“Hey,” Rey placed her hand on his thigh then, or more precisely over his hand (which was on his thigh). The proximity had him burning. “Poe’s just being Poe. He insinuated a lot of things. Don’t read into it.”


What if I want to read into it?


He didn’t want Dameron to know all the gritty details, but he was beginning to understand his yearning for Rey went beyond his physical attraction. He wanted her to be his and he wanted everyone to know who she belonged to. There would never be anyone else who sparked such a need in him or who invoked such a desirable response. 


It wasn’t just her body. Her clever wit and grin determination were also attractive. Kylo had rarely met anyone who would stand up to him and those who did had mostly done it out of necessity. None of them had ever done it and then turned around to bring him coffee. 


Then again, no one else was like Rey. 


She must have misinterpreted his silence, because the next thing out of her mouth was an apology. “I’m sorry he suggested that we were — are — were...,” she trailed off, gesturing with her hands. He noticed she did that when she was nervous. 


Kylo wanted desperately to kiss her right then, but he couldn’t deny his opportunity to tease her. “That we are what, Rey?”


If he had thought he had seen her red before, it was nothing compared to how flushed she got then.


“Rey?”


Her cheeks darkened and she fidgeted with the end of her dress, pointedly ignoring his question. Kylo wondered if he had pushed her too far and made her uncomfortable. He was about to apologize when she flung herself at him — or more accurately on him.


His brain short-circuited as her arms entwined around him, fingers lacing behind his neck and she drew herself up and over so she was leaning into him. And then her lips were crushing into his with so much force that had he been standing up he was sure he would have fallen over — if not from the fervor of her efforts then by the sheer jolt of shock which overtook him. 


When Kylo’s mind finally caught up to what was happening it was all he could do not to pull her the rest of the way over. A very tiny portion of his brain was intact enough to understand that if he had her in his lap there was going to be very little else he’d be able to focus on.


And he wanted the first time he was with Rey to be in a bed — preferably his, where he could ravish her for days. 


So instead of positioning her over his thighs, he cradled her head and returned her intense energy. Rey moaned against his lips, sucking in a breath and he took advantage of the opening to taste her mouth. She granted him access earnestly. 


God, she tasted like whiskey and peaches. It was the most delectable flavor. Kylo growled, needing more. 


Her hands shifted, gripped his shoulders as their mouths slotted against one another’s. He kept one hand on the back of her head, while his other roamed down her back, feather-light touches dancing across the fabric. 


“Kylo,” she pulled back to catch her breath. 


He pressed his forehead to hers. “Yes, sweetheart?” 


“What are we doing? I mean...what is this?”


He could tell the wheels in her head were turning, sense the unease in the way she shifted on the couch and how her eyes were both focused on him but not at the same time. 


“What do you want it to be, Rey?” Kylo asked, watching several emotions flicker across her face. He placed his hands on her waist, gently holding her, keeping her pressed to him and looked directly in her eyes. “Because I know what I want it to be.”


She leaned back, studying him for a moment. In turn, he studied her, noting her swollen lips, the way her hair was disheveled, and how her eyes were glossed over with arousal.


“You,” she whispered, so quietly he nearly missed it. “I only want you.”


“You have me.”

 

Those words seemed to be all the encouragement she needed. She relaxed into him, allowing her slender body to fall forward with gravity until they were kissing once more.


The feel of her in his arms, the burning of his desire, and the little sounds she made as she returned his kisses, sought to compromise his resolve. 


Against his better judgement, Kylo snaked his arms underneath her, hauling her up to reposition her. One of her legs fell on either side of his own, so she was straddling him on the couch. He was vaguely aware of how her dress was riding up and how their position may look to anyone who walked in. The editor and the staff writer — the cliche was not lost on him. 


There was a time when he and Hux had been on friendly — or at least less hostile — terms when Hux had suggested Kylo sleep with his assistant. Kylo hadn’t. When Hux has asked why not, he had shrugged and said he wasn’t going to endanger his career for something as pathetic as an office romance. 


Fate — it seemed — had a sense of irony. 


Had anyone asked him then and there if he would give up his status as editor for Rey, he wouldn’t have hesitated. Somehow in seven short days, she had woven a magic, rendering him incapable of operating without the prospect of spending time with her.


And now that he had a taste of her...well suffice to say one kiss would never be enough to sate him. He was a man parched and dying of thirst. He was touch starved and desperate to feel her smooth skin against his own. 


He needed her lips on his and he needed to hold her close without the barrier of clothing — skin on skin. 


As if she had been inside his head, her nimble fingers began loosening his tie. Rey didn’t break away from their kiss. Kylo started to shrug off his suit jacket, uncaring if it became wrinkled. He had others. 

 

Moving separate and together, they tested each other. It was a battle of wills, as well as sweet torture, while they both worked each other up while simultaneously working off the opposite’s clothes. 


Rey began unbuttoning his dress shirt, while Kylo started to tug her zipper down. His fingers slid under the fabric of her dress, spanning across the bare plane of her back. She rolled her hips at the sensation, canting against him.


“Fuck, Rey,” he hissed, pulling back and biting down on the inside of his cheek. She felt good — too good. They needed to slow down or he wasn’t going to make it back to his apartment. In fact, he wasn’t going to make it. Period.

 

“Can I take you home?” he asked. Rey stilled. His fear of making her uncomfortable came back full force. “I mean…if you want to, I’d like to take you home and…” he swallowed. Why was this so hard to ask? She was sitting on his lap, grinding on him. It was a clear sign she wanted him. So why couldn’t he finish his sentence.

 

“Kylo?”

 

“Yeah?”

 

“I thought about you all week,” she told him, kissing his chin. “General Hugs is my best friend.” No kiss. Just a pause. “And I would love to go back to your place.”

 

What was she talking about? General Hug was—

 

Oh. Oh!

 

Kylo couldn’t stop the stupid grin which spread across his face. “Let me zip you up and we’ll get out of here.”

 


 

Rey entered the elevator first. The doors closed with a ding and instantly Kylo was on her, his arms encircling her waist, his hands resting on the dip of her lower back. They backed into the far right corner, bags dropping to the floor forgotten.


“I should have suggested going to my place from the beginning,” he breathed against her neck. She wondered how long he had been interested in her. Was it as long as she had been interested in him?

 

His breath was hot against her flesh, like a brand. She found herself tilting her head back to give him better access. He took the invitation, hungrily kissing and nipping downwards. His fingers were digging into her hip bones. She was sure her skin would be as blue as her dress by this time tomorrow. 


She gasped when he licked the hollow of her collarbone. God, yes — this — this was what she had been yearning for all week. Why had she ever considered leaving? This was right. Kylo was right. 


“You and your little skirts,” he growled, as his hands slid south to her ass. “It’s my own brand of torture seeing you walk around all leggy and not being able to touch you.”


“You can touch me all you want now,” Rey replied, completely shocked by her own confidence. Where had that come from?


Kylo rolled his hips against her, his arousal pressing into her stomach. Oh there — that’s where. 


“H-how far is your place?” she asked, as she locked her hands behind his neck, massaging slow circles into the base of his shoulders.


“Mmm, not far,” he promised, nipping at her earlobe. 


“Good,” she panted, unsure how much longer she could last without him. 


He growled again, hands moving over her back, her hips, her rear and her thighs as he continued his assault with his mouth. Every touch burned through her, until she was certain her body was consumed in flames. Her legs began to feel weak and it was all she could do to cling to him.


The elevator chimed when they reached the ground floor. Kylo grudgingly removed his lips from her skin, stepping back and retrieving their bags. Rey swayed slightly at the loss of the intoxicating contact. He immediately steadied her, looping an arm around her waist.


“Okay?” he questioned, scanning her up and down, as if he was worried he had hurt her.


“Great,” she nodded, “let’s go.”


Her confirmation was the only signal he needed. He took her hand, leading her out of the building and onto the sidewalk. The sounds of New York permeated the air, but all Rey heard was her pulse hammering away. Had she been able to take in any other senses, she would have felt Kylo’s pounding away in time with hers. 


He navigated them up a few blocks to a luxury apartment building. Rey didn’t have time to take in the details, before Kylo was crowding her into another elevator — this one set to take them up to his home. 


Once again, they found themselves alone in the lift and once again neither wasted any time latching onto the other. Rey grabbed his face in both her hands, all nervousness long since past. Kylo let their bags fall, leaning down to meet her. 


Rey had never felt such intense passion before. She wasn’t sure if it was because she had fantasized about her editor for so long or if it was just because Kylo was a pro at snogging her senseless. Whatever the reason, she found she was done resisting him and the connection between them. 


The second the elevator delivered them to Kylo’s floor, he was sliding their bags over one shoulder before he scooped her up, bridal-style to carry her into his place.


“Kylo!”


“Mmmm, it’s easier this way,” he mumbled, as he attempted to both walk and kiss her. 


“It’s really not,” she laughed, gleefully. “Where are your keys?”


“Right breast pocket.”


Rey dug through his jacket until she found the keys. Somehow he managed to kneel down enough to allow her to unlock his door from her perch. Then he was once again strolling forward, carrying her with the upmost care. 


Rey was curious to see what his apartment looked like. Later. Now, all she was concerned with seeing was what was under her editor’s suit.


Kylo was obviously on the same page. He deposited their bags by the door, kicking it closed, and proceeded to carry her to his bedroom.


It came as little surprise to Rey his furniture was all dark wood, not completely black, but stained deep enough that it appeared so. Kylo didn’t bother to turn on any lights as he brought her inside, sitting down on the edge of the bed and repositioning Rey in his lap.


His hands were instantly on her dress, skimming over her in search of the zipper to free her from the confines of the fabric. Rey mirrored his movements, slipping his jacket off and unbuttoning his dress shirt.


“I’ve wanted this for so long,” he told her, kissing her shoulder blade, as he unzipped her. 


“Really?” Rey couldn’t believe he had even noticed her prior to last week. She was no one.


“I’ve had my eye on you since your first day,” he affirmed, slowly peeling the dress off her shoulders to pool at her waist. “You’re perfect,” he breathed, taking in her upper body, now only clad in her black lace bra. 


Kylo pinched one of the straps between his thumb and forefinger. “Did you wear this for me, kitten?”


Kitten? Rey blushed at the term, but she didn’t hate it. The heat in her core flared at his use of it, so seductive with the right amount of sweetness laced in. 


“Y-yes,” she stuttered, when his hand came over to cup her through the garment. 


“Just for me?”


“Yes,” she promised, her head falling back, as he kissed the top of her other breast, while his hand massaged the first. 


“Good,” he murmured against her flesh. 


Rey arched into his ministrations, lost in the bliss of Kylo’s touch. It felt positively sinful to have his hands on her — his lips on her — but she didn’t want him to ever stop. As he applied more pressure, she rolled her hips, grinding down on him. The hand which was still on her waist, keeping her steady, dug into her haunches. 


“Rey,” he growled.


“Hmmm?”


“We have all weekend,” he reminded her. “Don’t rush this. I want to enjoy you.”


She moaned at his meaning, unconsciously rocking into him again. Kylo stopped his attentions, both hands landing on her hips to halt her movements. He stared directly into her eyes. “Are you going to be good for me, kitten?”


“Yes, sir,” she replied. Kylo shuddered beneath her and his breath hitched. 


Oh, he likes that, does he? 


Well, two could play that game. If he wanted to call her ‘kitten’ he was going to get a name of his own.


“Sir,” Rey purred, bending forward to catch his earlobe in between her teeth, the way he had done to her in the elevator. 


Kylo’s hold tightened and this time it was he who bucked up into her. 


“Did you think about me sitting in your lap, sir?” Rey asked, wickedly before licking a stripe from his ear down to the pulse point on his neck. She planted a kiss there, before lightly sucking the skin into her mouth. 


“Fuck,” Kylo hissed, flipping them around so Rey was on her back with him kneeling between her legs. “You tease.”


Rey had no idea where her bedroom prowess had manifested from — too many late nights reading erotica probably — but she was pleased by the result. 


Kylo yanked off her dress, leaving her in her matching bra and panty set. He knelt there for a moment, drinking her in. His pupils were blown wide and his mouth was parted. When he didn’t move, Rey propped herself up on her elbows, quirking an eyebrow at him.


“You’re a bit overdressed for the occasion, Kylo. Why don’t you get comfortable and join me?”


Her invitation snapped him out of his trance. He shucked off his shoes and the rest of his suit until he was in nothing more than his boxers. They were also black. Big surprise. The color hardly mattered to Rey, who reached out to him with both arms. Kylo crawled over, keeping both his legs between hers and an arm on either side of her form. 


He ducked his head down, meeting her lips with his own. They had been apart for only a minute but Rey felt starved for him. Her tongue eagerly sought entry and he willingly supplied it. He caged her in, as he lowered himself on top of her, not placing his full weight on her, but enough for her to feel his hardness poking into her stomach. 


It spurred her on. Rey linked one arm around his broad shoulders, as she continued to kiss him. Her other hand snaked between them to cup him, massaging him through the silk fabric of his boxers. Kylo moaned into her mouth, pressing his hips down.


Then he was pulling away, as if he had been shocked. “We can stop, Rey,” he said suddenly. “If…if this is too much too fast, we can stop.”


She locked eyes with him, making sure he was watching her when she replied. “I don’t want to stop.”



 

Kylo had needed to hear her say those words. He had needed to know she craved him as much as he craved her, though he still felt like he was dying to be close to her — to have just a taste. 


This woman would destroy him. 


Without even knowing it, she held a power over him. If he was being honest with himself, she had ever since the moment she had walked into Force Publications. 


“Kylo?”


He glanced down, seeing her watching him expectantly. Rey looked absolutely delectable in her matching lingerie set, laid out on his bed under him. It was his most fantasized about dream come true. 


“Tell me what you want, kitten,” he instructed, sounding far more in control than he actually was. 


On the outside he could keep up his domineering facade, on the inside he was going crazy. All he wanted to do was strip those tiny pieces of lace off of her and dive in, devour her, wreck her and then do it all over again. They had all weekend. He intended to use every second of their uninterrupted time together.


“Touch me, please.”


God, she’d be the death of him. It would be slow and seductive like the sweetest poison, but she’d be the end of him. If they did this there was no going back. He’d forever be hers. He’d wear a mark on his soul and across his heart from Rey until the end of his days. 


“Since you asked so nicely,” Kylo grinned, ducking down to kiss her while one of his hands slide between her flat stomach and the waist band of her panties. 

 

Her skin was smooth the whole trek down. Then he felt the wetness of her slit. She was positively dripping. He groaned against her lips, teasing her entrance with a single finger. Rey let out a tiny whimper, her hips bucking from the feel of him. 


Kylo splayed his free hand across her stomach, aware his fingers spanned the width of her. She was so small in comparison to him. It only made him harder in his boxers. 


Rey resumed her ministrations through the silk fabric, while he worked her. He added his thumb, circling her clit as his finger continued to drag lazy lines up and down along her folds. 


“So sensitive,” he crooned, settling back on his heels. He pressed kisses down her chest and to her belly button, right above his hand.  “So wet for me, kitten.”


“Kylo, please,” she begged, back arching off the mattress, as she searched for friction. 


Instead of doing as she requested, he removed both hands from her. Rey cried out in protest, grabbing for his wrist to redirect him back to where she needed him. Kylo chuckled, batting her attempt away, so he could remove her panties. 


“You don’t need these,” he told her. “Or this,” he added, drawing her up into a sitting position so he could unclasp her bra. 


“Then you don’t need those, sir,” Rey inclined her head towards his groin.


“Touché, kitten,” he grinned wolfishly. 


Both bare, Kylo shifted back into position, focusing on his unobstructed view of her cunt. It was the perfect shade of pink, lightly swollen from his teasing and glistening with arousal. He wanted a taste.


He dove down, when Rey’s hands gripped his shoulders. “Kylo,” she panted, pressing against him, “please. I need you. Right now. Please.”


Her plea went straight to his cock, like a lightning strike. 


“Whatever you want, Rey,” he vowed, rising up. “I’ll give you whatever you want.”


“You,” she repeated her sentiment from earlier. “Just you.”


He moved to grab a condom from his bedside drawer, when she interrupted him once more. “I have...I-.”


“What?”


“An IUD,” she flushed. “And I’m clean I haven’t...it’s been a long time.”


Kylo blinked, uncertain he had heard her correctly. Was she suggesting he enter her bare? 


“We can use a condom if you want, but I thought if you were clean too, we could...” She trailed off, looking unsure. His silence was making her nervous. 


“I’m clean,” he asserted. 


“Ok,” Rey exhaled, her face relaxing. 


When he didn’t immediately move to enter her, she reached up to wrap her hand around his shaft, guiding it to her core. She parted her folds with his cockhead, teasing her opening as she drug his member up and down along her. 


Kylo bit back a curse. She was hot and soaking wet now — more than ready for him. He drove forward, causing her to drop her hand away. Rocking back, he lined himself up and then entered her completely in one single thrust. 


Rey shouted his name, her exclamation dissolving into moans and breathy sighs as he continuing to pound into her tight heat. She was clenched around him, her inner muscles clamped down like a vice. It was utterly magnificent.

 

 

Kylo increased his pace, knowing he wouldn’t last long. It had been a while since he had experienced pleasure and he had been fantasizing about Rey all week. Having her beneath him — wrapped around him — was undoing him. 


He fell forward, pinning each of her hands down above her head with his own. There was a possessiveness to his hold, a dominant act to keep her in his bed with him. His hips rammed forward, the sounds of their coupling becoming loud and lewd as they both lost the ability to speak intelligibly. He could feel his ball sack slapping against her, as he hammered away. 


The sensations were overwhelming. Kylo felt the familiar coil of release tightening in his abdomen. 


“Come with me, kitten,” he commanded Rey, freeing one of her hands so he could rub her clit. “Come on my cock.”


“Ahh! Kylo!” 


Rey seized around him, her orgasm setting him over the edge into his own. He canted his hips a few times, as he worked himself back down from the high of his release. Once it had past, he rolled to his side, slipping out of her with a groan. 


Next to him, Rey came to rest on her side facing him. She was struggling to keep her eyes open.


“Stay,” he invited her. “Please. Just stay here with me.”


She did. 


Kylo couldn’t remember a time when he had ever gone to sleep happier or more fulfilled. 

Chapter Text

 

Kylo woke the the smell of sunflowers and sugar. Blinking a few times to draw himself fully out of his sound slumber, his eyes homed in on the small curled up form of Rey.

 

Her head was tucked under his chin, resting in the crook of his neck. One arm was on his chest while the other was stuck beneath her, as she used him for a pillow. Her chestnut brown hair was splayed about, several errant strands obscuring her face from his view. 

 

Gently, he tucked them back, taking in the sight of her, so soft and peaceful in her sleep. Her breathing was deep and slow, her back rising and falling with each inhale and exhale, rhythmically. They had never dressed after their coupling and he was thankful he could gaze upon her smooth tanned skin unhindered. 

 

He smiled to himself, watching her and recalling what had happened between them. Kylo wanted it to happen again. He wanted to wake up like this each morning, staring down at the most beautiful woman he had ever met. 

 

Normally, Kylo struggled to sleep at night. His mind was difficult to turn off. With constant deadlines and the burden of handling financial decisions for the First Order, he felt responsible for everyone who worked for him. It was a heavy burden, but he had never resented it. The job gave him purpose. 

 

Last night for the first time in recent memory was the first real night of sleep he had experienced. He wasn’t sure how late it had been when they had fallen into bed, but he could tell from the sun peeking in under his curtains it was already well into the morning. 

 

He realized they had never had dinner. In his haste to get Rey to his apartment, he had neglected to stop for food. 

 

Carefully, Kylo slipped out from beneath her, shoving a pillow under her form so she could stay curled up in her position. Rey let out a little murmur of protest, her hand reaching for him. 

 

“Go back to sleep, kitten,” he told her, pressing a kiss to her forehead.

 

She hummed in her throat, in the way he considered a purr. Her breathing evening out shortly after, indicating she had fallen back asleep. 

 

Kylo paused, content to simply watch her sleeping in his bed. He picked his boxers up off the floor, stepping into them as he watched her. The possessive side of him was overjoyed to see her naked body tucked beneath his sheets in his king-sized bed. In this moment, she was completely his. And if he had his way, she’d remain his. 

 

If he wanted Rey, he needed to take care of her. So, despite his desire to remain in bed with her, he exited his bedroom, closing the door behind him.

 

He went to the kitchen, peering into the fridge to see what he had available. Eggs were a staple for him. The lean protein aided him in his early morning workouts and kept him satisfied while he worked long hours at the office. He retrieved a cartoon of them, along with goat cheese, chives, and some ham.

 

While he cooked, Kylo thought of what he could do to keep Rey with him for the weekend. He had made sure to do as much work ahead of time to prepare for the weekend in hopes he’d be able to spend time with her. Now that he had the opportunity, he intended to make the most of it. 

 

New York City had endless possibilities for outings, each more elaborate and exciting than the last. Knowing what he did about Rey’s humble background, he was inclined to take her to the most luxurious restaurants and best Broadway shows. He wanted to give her the world. 

 

While the omelette cooked, he started up his coffee machine. Kylo didn’t feel a need for caffeine. His overdue rest paired with the pleasure of having Rey all to himself had him energized in a way a cup of java couldn’t compete with. It was out of habit he started up the machine, enjoying the smell of the freshly ground beans as it ran. 

 

Just as he turned the omelettes, he caught movement out of the corner of his eyes. “Morning,” Rey greeted him with a yawn. 

 

Kylo felt his cock twitch in his boxers at the sight of her. She had pulled on his dress shirt from the night before. The top couple of buttons were open and she had the sleeves rolled up several times but to him she looked perfect. 

 

“Morning,” he responded, before plating their food. “I thought you might be hungry.”

 

“Starving,” she confirmed, going around the counter to one of the two stools he had. Rey climbed up into the tall chair, watching him as he finished up. “I didn’t know you could cook.”

 

“Part of being an adult,” he winked and relished in the blush which spread across her face. 

 

He passed a plate across to her and she took it with thanks. Kylo rounded the corner, taking the seat next to her, pleased when he saw Rey was digging into the meal hungrily. 

 

“I take it that it’s ok?”

 

“Ok?” she mumbled through her mouth full of food. Blushing again, she placed her hand to her mouth and swallowed. He handed her a napkin. She wiped at her lips before trying to respond again. “This is next best thing next to my father’s huevos rancheros.”

 

Kylo couldn’t suppress he stupid grin which over took his face. “I’ll take that as high praise.”

 

“You should,” she flashed him a sweet smile. 

 

She went back to eating, clearing her plate before Kylo had taken his second bite. He had to admit he was proud of the omelette, though he thought he could do better. As long as Rey was happy, he’d take it as a victory. 

 

“So,” he cleared his throat, slightly nervous, “what are your plans for the weekend?”

 

“Oh, I don’t know,” she shrugged, “I’ll probably just hang out with my roommates and catch up on some reading.” Pushing her plate back a couple inches, Rey turned to him. “What about you?”

 

“No plans,” he admitted. 

 

She smiled again, before sliding off the chair to take her plate to the sink. As if she had visited his apartment before, Rey opened up the cabinet under the sink, grabbing the dish soap. Before he realized what she was doing, she had the sink filled with warm soapy water. 

 

“Rey,” he reached over the counter to where she was starting to wash the dishes. “You don’t have to do that.”

 

“Why?” she questioned, genuinely confused. “You made breakfast and coffee. I can clean up.”

 

Kylo ate the rest of his breakfast in record time, joining her at the sink a moment later to help. 

 

They worked in perfect unison, her washing while he dried and put away each item. It was as if they lived together and nothing could make him happier. First he woke up to her in his arms and now they were sharing breakfast. In a little over a week, Rey had injected herself into his life. 

 

He found he preferred it this way.

 

As he put the last of the dishes away and Rey drained the sink, he caught her staring at the counter, as if unclear what to do now. 

 

He came up behind her, one hand circling her right wrist, while the other came to rest on her left hip bone. “I have an idea,” Kylo said against her temple. 

 

“Oh?” He could hear the intrigue in Rey’s voice and it gave him the confidence to ask her.

 

“Since you have no plans and I have no plans, why don’t we make plans together,” Kylo proposed.

 

Rey slipped out of his hold just enough to spin around and face him. “Mr. Ren, are you asking me on a date?” she asked, mirth swimming in her hazel eyes.

 

“That depends,” he returned, matching her amused expression. “Are you saying yes?”

 

“Yes,” she nodded, gazing up at him with a tinge of red on her cheeks.

 

After what they had done last night, it was endearing to see her acting so innocent. Kylo cupped her chin, leaning down to kiss her. “Then yes, Ms. Andor. I’m asking you out on a date.”

 

Rey threw her arms over his shoulders and around his neck, rising to her top toes to kiss him back. 

 

It was the best 'yes' of his life. 

 


 

 

There wasn’t a Saturday in Rey’s memory which had started out quite as blissful as this one. She had slept in, woken to breakfast made by her shirtless editor and now they were walking hand in hand through the city towards her apartment. 

 

Once she and agreed to Kylo’s idea, Rey had realized there was only one problem with spending the weekend together — well, one immediate problem, anyway. She didn’t have anything to wear. 

 

Rey initially planned on returning to her apartment to pack her overnight bag and then come back. Kylo insisted on going with her. She didn’t argue. She rather liked the idea of being with him unhindered by the bureaucracy of their office. Now it was just them, as they were, without any titles or pretense. 

 

As they strolled hand in hand from his affluent neighborhood to her more modest section of the city, Rey found herself sneaking glances up at him. She had been forced to wear the same dress she had yesterday, but Kylo donned a heather gray T-shirt and dark wash jeans. Even in its simplicity, the outfit had him earning stares from several people, as they made their way to Rey’s apartment. 

 

He looked good.

 

“What?” he requested, catching her stare.

 

“I’ve never seen you in anything besides a suit before,” she admitted.

 

“Kitten,” Kylo squeezed her hand, before drawing it up to his mouth. He kissed the inside of her wrist. “You’ve seen me in far less.”

 

Rey blushed to the roots of her hair. She was thankful they had reached her street. Her mind raced but she couldn’t come back with a witty retort for him.

 

Entering the security code, Rey buzzed them in, leading Kylo up the numerous flights of stairs to her apartment. It wasn’t until they were outside the door that she began to feel nervous. 

 

Her home wasn’t extravagant by any means. It was a far cry from the luxury she had found herself in last night and this morning. Rey bit the inside of her cheek, suddenly kicking herself for not having the forethought to have insisted she come home by herself to retrieve her clothes. 

 

“Rey.” Kylo placed his hand over hers, steadying her as she stood frozen just outside her apartment. 

 

“Why don’t you wait downstairs?” she suggested. “This will only take a minute.”

 

Kylo’s eyes widened somewhat at her hint, but before he could reply, the door swung open. 

 

“Rey!” The eldest Tico sister stood on the opposite side of the door, taking in the sight of her roommate and the giant of man behind her. “Rose! Hang up. She’s fine. She’s home.”

 

“Hang up?” Rey quirked her brow.

 

“Where is she?” Another voice called from deeper in the apartment. “Is she ok? Because if she is, I am going to wring her little n-.”

 

The youngest Tico appeared behind her sister, the threat dying on her tongue as she took in the sight of Kylo.

 

“Uh...never mind.”

 

Rey scrutinized both her roommates. “Who exactly did you call?”

 

“The police,” Paige informed her, “obviously. You weren’t answering your phone. We didn’t know what happened to you.”

 

“I apologize,” Kylo interjected before Rey could respond. “I am the one to blame for that. He offered his hand to Paige, “Kylo Ren, I work with Rey at the First Order.”

 

“Oh, we know,” Rose drawled wiggling her eyebrows.

 

Rey narrowed her own in response, glaring at each of her roommates in wordless warning. But it was too late. Her editor had already picked up on the meaning. 

 

“You told them about me?” Kylo asked, sounding quite pleased. He wrapped an arm around her waist, ducking his head down to her ear. “Good girl,” he whispered, low and sultry.

 

Had Rey not been standing in the doorway confronted by her roommates, she would have moaned. The man certainly knew how to tease her. She was going to get him back for that remark and for the one on the sidewalk. 

 

“I stayed at Kylo’s last night,” Rey explained to her friends, ignoring the subject of her tardiness, while he continued to hold onto her. 

 

Neither of them had taken the time to shower this morning and the faint smell of sex filled her nostrils. Burning need filled her, overtaking any annoyance she may have felt prior. The sooner she got her overnight bag and got back to his place, the better. 

 

“I’m sorry I forgot to text,” Rey continued, shouldering her way into the loft. “I had my cell set to ‘Do Not Disturb’ at work and forgot to change it back.” 

 

“That’s ok,” Rose replied, her eyes never leaving Kylo’s hulking form. “I can see you were obviously occupied elsewhere.”

 

Rey shook her head, embarrassed by the bluntness and scurried to her section of the room. Her twin bed was neatly made, but clothes were scattered haphazardly on top from where she had rushed to get dressed yesterday morning. She knelt by the bed, pulling out her overnighter then proceeded to grab jeans, a T-shirt and several other casual items. 

 

Rose moved to help her, while Paige ushered Kylo into the apartment. 

 

“So Kylo,” the older Tico sister began, “Rey tells us you’re the editor at First Order. You two must work for a liberal company if you’re allowed to date your employees.”

 

“Paige!” Rey barely avoided hitting her head on her bed frame as she straightened up to glare at her roommate. 

 

Kylo, on the other hand, appeared unaffected by the comment. “I invited Rey to spend the weekend with me while we figure out how to approach the subject given our working relationship,” he informed her protective friend. “I’d hate for her to come under fire when she has such promising talent.”

 

Rey was touched by how genuine his words were. While she had been worried about how it appeared for her to be drinking and conversing with him alone in his office, she hadn’t let it stop her from pursuing Kylo. He shot her a reassuring smile before continuing.

 

“Rey’s career is important to her and I won’t permit any relationship she chooses to have with me affect that.”

 

“Well if it’s her words against yours, I can’t imagine that will look too good,” Paige pointed out, crossing her arms in front of her chest. “After all, she’s here on a work visa and if she’s found in violation of her papers she could be sent back to England.” Kylo’s face tensed for a split second, barely enough of a change to notice, but Rey caught the concern. “But I’m sure you already knew that, right?” Paige insisted.

 

Kylo may have thought about it, if he knew, but Rey hadn’t considered it. 

 

Rose picked up on her worry, reaching over Rey to grab a pair of silver heels. “Here, you’ll need these,” she told Rey.

 

Rey furrowed her brow. She figured the majority of the time they were at Kylo’s apartment they would be in bed. At least that was where she planned on being. She didn’t need heels lounging.

 

“They’ll go with the Chanel,” Rose winked. Immediately, Rey’s eyes flew up to the closet door where her white dress was hanging.

 

Oh. Oh!

 

Was it too much to hope that Kylo would take her out for dinner? They hadn’t exactly spoken about what they were to one another, though she had a feeling such a discussion would be happening soon...very soon if Paige’s interrogation kept up much longer.

 

She needed to get him out of the apartment before the eldest Tico put her black belt to use. 

 

Rey finished packing, hurrying off to the bathroom to grab her items from the small tiled room. When she emerged, zipping up the overnight bag, three pairs of eyes were watching her closely.

 

“What?”

 

“Are you going to change?” Paige questioned, gesturing to the office outfit she still wore.

 

Rey swore and ducked back into the bathroom.

 


 


By the time they got back to Kylo’s apartment, all he wanted to do was peel off the jeans Rey had chosen to wear and rip her shirt off. Teasing her had backfired, leaving him increasingly hard inside his own pants. It was not ideal for walking several blocks. 

 

He was glad to see Rey had a good support structure in her roommates. While he was aware the oldest of the three women, Paige Tico, had been attempting to intimidate him, he was not one to back down from a challenge. If anything, her defensive nature spurred him on.

 

However, there was one point she had made he wasn’t prepared for: Rey’s working visa. He knew she had acquired it after her student visa completed because she had found permanent employment. That background had been included in her personnel file. What hadn’t been included was how her visa would be affected by any changes to her employment.

 

Kylo would need to conduct some research.

 

“Are you hungry?” he asked Rey, as he unlocked his apartment and guided her inside. “I can order us some take-out for lun-.”

 

His words were cut off when she surged up, grabbing his face and kissing him hungrily. 

 

So, no to lunch then...

 

Kylo let her drop her bag before scooping Rey up and carrying her into his bedroom, just as he had the night prior. He set her down on his bed — still unmade from this morning. When Kylo began to remove her shirt, Rey slapped his hand away. 

 

“Oh, no you don’t,” she stopped him. “I owe you for that stunt you pulled in front of my roommates.”

 

As he opened his mouth to question her, Rey leaned forward, yanking him down by his shirt. Caught off guard, Kylo fell onto the bed next to her. Rey pushed him onto his back, shifting over him until she straddled his hips.

 

“Rey,” he half groaned, half sighed her name. 

 

Ducking down to his ear, she cooed, “Yes, sir?”

 

He let out an unintelligible sound from the back of his throat, gripping her thighs. 

 

“I’d prefer both of us naked,” Kylo told her. His fingers dug into her, as she rolled her hips, pressing her center against the bulge in his pants.

 

Another groan.

 

“Would you, sir?” Rey purposely drew out the last word. She knew the impact it had on him and his member.

 

“Yes,” he growled, flipping them both, so Rey was on her back and he was looming over her. “Kitten.

 

Her eyes sparked with fire and he smirked. He wasn’t the only one who was affected by their word play. 

 

Together, they purged each other of their clothes, creating a pile of forgotten garments on the floor. 

 

Rey moved herself into Kylo’s lap, hands on his shoulders as she steadied herself. She positioned herself over his length, aided by his hand on her hipbone and the other grasping himself firmly. Slowly, she sunk down on him, already sufficiently slick from her prolonged need. 

 

As she took him in, Kylo hissed. His girl was hot, right and wet. It was a heavenly trifecta which aimed to undo him. Rey pressed her forehead to his, sliding forward so she could rest her arms on his shoulders. 

 

At first, she moved tentatively, finding a rhythm and her preferred angle. Kylo’s mind blanked, still overwhelmed by the sensation of her clenching around his cock. As she became more confident in her movements, Rey increased her pace, hips undulating ceaselessly. 

 

He could feel her taut ass each time she dropped down in her waves of riding him. The smooth skin skimmed over his thighs, before she arched upwards, hips bucking forward at the crest. 

 

His hands held onto her legs, as he stared up at her in awe. She had never looked more exquisite than she did now. Her mouth hung open as she huffed out each breath in time with her hip rolls. Her eyes were blazing with desire, flecks of gold glittering in her orbs. Her face was flushed from the exertion and her hair was falling down around them like a curtain. 

 

Kylo felt himself drawn to her, as if she could absorb him into herself. He brought his hands up between her arms, capturing her face so he could angle her for a kiss. 

 

The kiss seared through his lips. It went straight to his heart. His chest felt full to the point where he nearly broke away from Rey to check and make sure his chest cavity hadn’t been cracked open. Kylo had never felt such a powerful and deep sensation before. 

 

Rey let out a cry, as she hit a sweet spot within. Her wail was muffled by his mouth. He shifted his hand up to cradle her head, stroking her hair away from her face. Hesitantly, he pulled back. 

 

“I’ve got you,” he told her. “I’m not going to let you go.”

 

Kylo had no idea where the words came from. All he knew was he had an undeniable urge to say them. 

 

Rey’s eyes widened slightly and then she was riding him faster and harder than before, giving chase to the release they were both craving. Her pace didn’t allow for him to return to kissing her, so instead, he wrapped himself around her, trapping her against him as she rutted down on him.

 

All too soon, her cunt clamped down on him and she screamed his name as her orgasm rocketed through her. 

 

Kylo was quick to follow, unable to hold off on his own release when she was seizing around him so deliciously. He spread kisses along her shoulder, her collarbone and her neck, as he bucked up into her. 

 

After several minutes, enveloped in one another’s arms, Kylo helped Rey settle down into the mattress next to him. 

 

“I’m glad you decided to stay,” he told her, stroking a finger along her cheek.

 

“Me too,” she smiled up at him, through half-lidded eyes. “Me too.”

Chapter Text

 

 

Rey woke up pleasantly sore and aching between her legs. No amount of discomfort could wipe away the smile on her face as she gazed over at the man sleeping aside of her. 

 

Kylo Ren was a secret softie. Who would have thought under his earnest expressions and tightly set jaw there was a giant teddy bear waiting to spring out. 

 

She watched him, his massive form rising and falling with each breath he took. He was gorgeous — this mysterious man who had somehow managed to steal her heart. There was no use denying it. Rey was falling and she was falling hard. 

 

Her editor-in-chief was more than an attractive enigma. He was endearingly sweet, choosing to take care of her at every opportunity while at the same time being dominant enough to chase after what he wanted. If their most recent tryst was any indication, he was very good at being both dominant and dominated. 

 

Rey had never had a kink before. Up until last night any experience she had was vanilla at best, but hearing Kylo call her ‘kitten’ in his sultry voice did things to her. It probably had little to do with the term and everything to do with the fact it was Kylo who was calling her by the pet name. Whether it was because their entire relationship was forbidden or simply because she had been pining for him for so long, she didn’t know. What she did know was that she wanted to hear him call her ‘kitten’ again and again. 

 

They had fallen asleep and from the clock on Kylo’s bedside table, she noted it was now late afternoon. Her stomach grumbled, her breakfast nourishment long since gone. She didn’t want to eat without Kylo, so she opted to take a shower. 

 

Carefully, she slipped out of bed, not wanting to wake him. Rey knew he worked hard. He was typically in the office before her and most nights was there long after her. He needed all the sleep he could get. 

 

Bare as the day she was born, she padded across the room to the bathroom. The master bath was equally impressive with the rest of Kylo’s apartment. The white and black marble tiled floor was done in an almost hypnotic pattern, leading from the door to the wide-mouthed basin, the toilet and the shower. 

 

Rey nearly cried at the sight of the shower. It was like one she had seen in the movies. Wedged between a large porcelain tub and the sink, was a glass step-in shower. It was so beautiful with its titanium accents and minimalist design. And she was sure the water pressure was much better than what her apartment offered. 

 

She practically skipped inside, excitedly turning the water on. The first burst was shockingly cold, but it didn’t damper her joy at the feel of the fresh stream rolling over her head and down her body. The sensation was refreshing. If Rey was able to shower like this every morning she wouldn’t need her coffee so desperately. 

 

Consumed by her own giddiness, she failed to notice the figure moving towards her. It wasn’t until a pair of massive hands settled on her hips that Rey realized Kylo was awake.

 

“Found you,” he greeted her, leaning down to kiss her shoulder blade.

 

“Hi,” she breathed, feeling a surge of warmth come over her at his gentle nature. 

 

“I brought your bag in,” he informed her. “I thought you might need your things.”

 

“Thank you,” Rey leaned her head back away from the spray of water and reached up behind herself to pull him down for a kiss. 

 

“Mmm,” his hands on her hips tightened, before he guided her backwards closing the few scant inches between them so her rear was rubbing against him. “What do you want to do this afternoon?”

 

Besides you? she thought, wickedly. What she said out loud was, “We don’t have to do anything. I’m content to stay here with you.”

 

Kylo retrieved a bottle of his shampoo with one hand, keeping his other firmly on her hip bone. “We can do whatever you want, Rey,” he told her, “but tonight I’m taking you out. I want to see you in that dress.”

 

Oh, so he had seen it? 

 

Rey had thought she had been quick enough to hide it from him before she zipped it up in the garment bag. She blushed, worried by bringing it she had forced his invitation.

 

“Unless you don’t want to,” he amended, mistaking her reaction. 

 

He let her go to begin washing his hair. Rey ducked out of the shower only long enough to grab her own shampoo and body wash. 

 

“Dinner would be nice,” Rey admitted, as she lathered up her locks, “but we don’t have to go anywhere fancy. We could stay in.”

 

“Afraid to be seen with me, Andor?” Kylo queried. If she hadn’t caught the humor in his voice, she would have thought he was serious. 

 

“No, but we do need to talk about Monday,” she reminded him. 

 

Rey didn’t actually want to talk about what happened in less than forty-eight hours when they were forced to go back to the daily grind. Right now they existed in their own little bubble. Everything was perfect here — warm, safe, untouchable. The instant they returned to Force Publications, she feared it would all shatter. 

 

“Let’s save that discussion for tomorrow,” he suggested. “I’m not quite ready to deal with it.”

 

She tensed up. Had she read into this too much? Maybe Kylo only saw this as a weekend flirtation and he meant for things to go back to the way they were before, come Monday morning. 

 

“Rey.” His hands closed around her wrists, not trying to hurt her, merely trying to hold her. “Don’t misunderstand me. We are going to talk about it. I have some thoughts on how to broach the topic with Ms. Connix. But I’m a selfish man. I’d like more time with you...uninterrupted.”

 

She felt warm and not because of the now steamy shower. And if a tear or two slipped free of her eyes, he wouldn’t be able to tell because it blended in with the overhead spray. 

 

“Alright,” Rey managed to squeak out. 

 

“I’d like to take you out for dinner because I want to spoil you,” he continued, taking her body wash from her and beginning to caress her back with his soapy hands. “And maybe because I’d like the opportunity to peel you out of that dress at the end of the night...and enjoy you for dessert.”

 

If Rey’s body hadn’t already been tinted red from the scalding water, his words certainly would have done it to her. 

 


 

 

After they had gotten out of the shower and dressed, Kylo showed Rey the rest of his apartment. He had been too concerned with other objectives when they first arrived and when they had returned from her place, but now he wanted her to see it. If he was being honest with himself, he wanted her to like it. Maybe once they settled things with HR, she’d considered staying...permanently. 

 

Kylo already knew, of course, that he wanted her to live here. She had been in his home less than a day and already he couldn’t imagine not having her here. He liked the smell of her shampoo filling the air, the adorable way she padded around barefoot and how perfect she looked in his bed. 

 

They decided on salads for lunch, something light to hold them over until dinner. Kylo had made reservations for seven o’clock at Atomix. He had not mentioned the cost of the $175 tasting menu, only that the restaurant had been rated the top dining destination in Manhattan. 

 

While they sat together in his living room, both on the couch — Rey with her legs curled up under her and him with his long limbs stretched out — Kylo allowed himself to enjoy the domesticity of it all. Everything about being with Rey felt natural. It only solidified his resolve to ensure their work didn’t get in the way. 

 

He had been reading the employee handbook, as well as legal documentation surrounding their predicament. Kylo didn’t want to worry Rey with his research, but there weren’t many options. His ranking in the company’s leadership hierarchy was a problem for them. If he wanted to pursue a relationship with her, the process was to disclose it to HR and one or both of them would need to transfer to different divisions so there was no way he could impact her financially or otherwise. 

 

Kylo didn’t want to leave the First Order. It was his first opportunity at being an editor and he was good at it. On the other hand, asking Rey to leave, knowing how her visa may be affected by the change was equally unacceptable. 

 

He worried on his bottom lip, while Rey devoured her chopped salad, doused in extra dressing. While he had opted for a healthy kale, quinoa, and grilled chicken bowl, she had selected the BBQ Chicken Ranch salad loaded with tortilla strips, fried jalapeños, and cheese. There was a smudge of ancho-chili ranch on the corner of her mouth and he smirked. She was adorable.

 

Unaware of his internal struggle, Rey was enjoying her meal without a worry in the world. As it should be, Kylo thought. He had told her he’d take care of things and he meant it. She trusted him enough to let him into her life. He needed to make sure she hadn’t done so in vain. 

 

“Let’s watch a movie,” Rey suggested, as she ran her finger along the inside of her salad container, letting out a contented hum as she sucked her digit clean of the last of the dressing. 

 

Kylo felt his cock twitch beneath his sleep pants at the sound. He distracted himself by gathering up their takeout containers and taking them to the kitchen to dispose of. Meanwhile, Rey knelt down in front of his entertainment system, perusing his collection of DVDs. 

 

“Oh my God!” she cried, as he walked back into the living room. “You own Pretty in Pink ?”

 

“Yes,” he answered cautiously, unclear whether her reaction was due to this fact being a pleasant surprise or not.

 

“We’re watching this!” she decided, hands already flying around as she set-up the TV.

 

Kylo grinned, settling back down on the couch, casually throwing an arm over the back. He was delighted when Rey cuddled up against him, leaning her head into his shoulder. Before the opening credits had finished, he had his arm around her. 

 

He’d talk to his mother on Monday. There had to be some way to protect himself and Rey. 

 

He couldn’t lose her now. 

 


 

 

Rey didn’t realize she had fallen asleep during the movie, until, Kylo was kissing her cheek and calling to her. 

 

“Rey? Kitten, it’s time to wake up.”

 

Her eyes blinked several times as she focused on his face. She smiled up at him. “Hey,” her voice was heavy with sleep. 

 

“Hey,” he said back, before kissing her lips. “The car will be here to pick us up in a bit. I wasn’t sure how much time you needed to get ready.”

 

Rey blinked again. It was only then that she realized he was donning a fancy suit, nicer (if that was possible) than the ones he wore to the office. Suddenly, she was very glad she had brought her silver heels as Rose had suggested. She was going to need all the help she could get if she wanted to look half as pulled together as Kylo. What exactly was so special about this restaurant?

 

Rising to her feet, she made her way to his bedroom where her garment bag was hanging in the closet. Kylo left her alone while she dressed, which was probably for the best. Rey was one hundred percent certain they would never make it out of the apartment if he watched her undress. 

 

The dress wasn’t difficult to put on. What was difficult was doing her makeup. Rey typically only put on the bare minimum for work, but given Kylo’s appearance, she felt the need to add additional flare to her look. 

 

The problem was...she didn’t know how. 

 

So she did what any normal girl would do; she called her friend. Rose picked up on third ring. “Hello? Rey?”

 

“Hey, I need help!”

 

“Oh my God,” Rose immediately jumped to panic mode. “What happened? Did he do something? Should I come pick you up? Where are you?”

 

As if her friends overreaction wasn’t enough, another voice butted into the conversation — Rose’s boyfriend, Finn. “I’m calling the cops and we’ll be right over.”

 

“It’s not like that!” Rey insisted. “I love you both, but will you quit freaking out!” To calm her friends, she switched over to FaceTime, showing them the bathroom she and sequestered herself in. “I’m fine. See?”

 

“Holy shit!” Finn tore the phone away from Rose’s hand. “Where are you the Taj Mahal?”

 

There was a sound of a smack and then Rose reappeared on the screen. “This is his apartment?” She surmised.

 

“Yeah,” Rey smiled, “it’s pretty great here.”

 

“His bathroom is bigger than our entire place,” Rose commented, her eyes scouring the marble and titanium accents.  

 

“Focus,” Rey snapped her fingers. “I need help.”

 

“Right, right,” Rose shook her head, getting back to the reason for Rey’s call. “Where is he taking you?”

 

“Atomix?” Rey responded, phrasing it as more of a question than an answer because she was fairly sure she was mispronouncing the name of the restaurant. 

 

“Oh my God!” Rose screamed. Rey hastily began clicking the lower volume button on the side of her phone. 

 

“What?” Rey hissed, praying Kylo hadn’t heard her friend’s outburst. 

 

“Do you know how hard it is to get in there?” Rose gushed. “That is if you can even afford it, but of course your tall, dark drink of water can.”

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“Paige’s boss eats there sometimes,” Rose stated. “It’s almost $200 a person for dinner there and that’s not including wine, which you’re going to have to have, because duh,”

Rose rolled her eyes,”...it’s a date.”

 

“I don’t even know if Kylo drinks wine. We’ve only ever shared whiskey together,” Rey admitted.

 

“So get whiskey,” Rose suggested. “Now, for your look...” Rey held her phone away so Rose could see Rey’s reflection in the mirror. “Leave your hair down,” Rose instructed.

 

“That works,” Rey sighed with relief. If she had to do her hair too they would never be ready in time for the pickup Kylo had scheduled. 

 

“I think a red lip would be too much with the white and the silver. Do you have a dusty pink?” Rose asked.

 

“Dusty pink?” Rey quirked a brow.

 

“Ugh,” Rose groaned. “This going to take a while.” Aside of her, Finn groaned and made a comment about grabbing a beer. Rey groaned too. 

 

Why is it so hard to be a girl?

 


 

 

Kylo checked his watch for the fifth time since Rey had disappeared into his master suite. He had heard it took women a long time to get ready but that was the average woman. Rey was anything but average. 

 

He started pacing, folding his hands behind his back to keep from pulling at his suit and wrinkling it. 

 

When he heard the tell tale click of his bedroom door opening, he whipped around...and was met with an ethereal goddess. 

 

Rey was standing in the doorway, hands clasped in front of her, as she avoided his gaze. “Um...is this ok?” she asked. 

 

Kylo didn’t understand how she could ask such a question. She was a vision in white. The stark color brought out her tanned skin and smattering of freckles. Her hair fell in soft waves, resting lightly on her shoulders, gentle curves contrasting with the sharp lines of the dress’ cut. It made Rey look both fierce and flirty, strong, yet soft. 

 

“Rey...you look...” Gorgeous. Stunning. So beautiful. Like you were made for me. “…perfect.”

 

He watched as her face flushed full crimson, a blushing rose in his otherwise sterile apartment. If he had suspected he was falling for her before, it was confirmed now. 

 

Kylo crossed the room in three measured strides, coming to stop in front of her. “Thank you.”

 

Rey let out a nervous laugh, raising her eyes to meet his gaze. “For what?”

 

“For letting me spoil you,” Kylo breathed, bending only slightly, since she was wearing heels, to kiss the top of her head. 

 

He wanted to tell her right then and there how he felt. He wanted to ask her to move in with him — Work be damned. He wanted everyone to know she was his and he was ruined for anyone else but her. He wanted to tell her all of it, but their ride arrived then, the driver buzzing up to his apartment to alert them.  

 

Straightening up, he offered Rey his arm, just as he had done at the office. “Shall we?”

 


 

 

Rey had never seen a place as extravagant as Atomix, let alone been inside. It looked like something out of a movie or one of their articles from the magazine. The aesthetic was modern chic with a complement of primary colors and metallic accents. 

 

When Kylo led her in, holding the door open for her and ushering her forward with his hand on the small of her back, people turned to watch them walk in. At first, she and assumed they were looking at her editor. He was an intimidating man and he wore a suit well. Very well. It wasn’t until she felt him pull her close that she realized the other patrons were staring at her. 

 

She gulped anxiously, wondering if the entire restaurant could hear her. Kylo seemed to sense her unease, briefly running his lips along her temple before speaking to the hostess about their reservation. Rey barely listened to the exchange, too consumed by the grandeur of the restaurant and avoiding the stares.

 

The hostess escorted them to a small circular booth along the far wall, bathed in soft light. Rey was thankful their table was tucked away, pending them a bit of privacy. The booth allowed for her to sit next to Kylo, which appeared to make him happy. Once she settled in, he had his arm around her, resting it on the back of the booth.

 

“Good evening, Mr. Ren,” a server greeted them, before placing chilled water glasses down, one for each of them. “Mrs. Ren,” he smiled in Rey’s direction.

 

Rey felt her cheeks burn at the misunderstanding, but Kylo merely chuckled and deposited another chaste kiss to her temple. 

 

“Not yet,” he told the server. “Hopefully one day.”

 

Rey felt her heart skip a beat. Was he serious? A tiny part of her screamed it was too soon to even be considering such a thing, but the rest of her was cheering. Could it be possible Kylo was falling for her as quickly as she was falling for him?

 

“Of course,” the server nodded in understanding, completely oblivious to Rey’s conflicted thoughts. “My apologies, sir.” He handed over a pair of menus and took their drink orders.

 

Kylo ordered a round of McCallen for them. Once the server was gone, Kylo set his menu aside and shifted in his seat to face Rey. “I’m sorry if that was too forward,” he apologized. “I don’t want to scare you off.”

 

Rey smiled, trying not to grin like a fool at his sincerity. “You haven’t managed to scare me yet, Kylo.”

 

“Good,” he responded, his eyes never leaving her face, “because I’d like to keep doing this.”

 

“Trying to scare me off?” Rey teased.

 

He didn’t even blink, when he replied, “Taking you to dinner, waking up with you, making you breakfast, watching movies together...all of it. I want to do it again — every day — if you’ll let me.”

 

Rey grinned like a fool. There was no way to tamper the influx of joy she experienced at his words. “Really?”

 

“Really,” he confirmed, his hand curling around her jaw so he could kiss her properly this time. “I could never be satisfied with just dating you, Rey,” he told her, as he pulled back. “I want more than that.”

 

She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. It was crazy — what they were doing was absolute madness. They worked together, which in a normal person’s book was a recipe for disaster, but all Rey could envision in that moment was how happy she had been since last Friday night. 

 

True, she wasn’t meant to be drinking after hours with her boss’s boss. She should have never developed an interest in him before they had started speaking. And she definitely shouldn’t have followed him home and slept with him in his bed...but here they were. It wasn’t a one time thing, like she had feared. It was so much more than that. 

 

“I-I was afraid maybe you didn’t feel that way about me,” she confessed, hands twisting together in her lap. “Ever since last week, I’ve been thinking about you and then we kissed and I haven’t come down from my high since.”

 

Rey was terrified to see his reaction, but when she did, all she saw in those round deep pools of emotion was adoration. 

 

His hand was still on her jaw, gently holding her, as if he couldn’t bare not touching her. Kylo directed her towards him, leaning in to kiss her again. Just before his lips touched hers, he whispered, “Don’t be afraid. I feel it too.”

 

Thankfully, the waiter re-appeared then to deliver their whiskey and retrieve the menus. Rey was sure without his interruption, she would say something stupid in response to Kylo’s alluring words. 

 

Does this mean we are boyfriend and girlfriend? she wondered, too embarrassed to ask. Terms like boyfriend and girlfriend sounded so immature in relation to how she felt about her editor. But she couldn’t come up with a better way to phrase it. 

 

Oh, great Rey, she chided herself. You want to be a recognized writer and you can’t even label your own relationship. 

 

Pushing the negative thought from her mind, she turned her attention back to Kylo. “I know we aren’t talking about work until tomorrow,” she began, “but I was thinking about BookCon.”

 

He arched a single eyebrow at her. “What about BookCon?”

 

“You need an extra set of hands to help out, don’t you?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“I could do it,” Rey offered. “It’s over a long weekend, which means I won’t be able to see you, unless I work the booth with you.”

 

Kylo’s face broke into a wide grin, much like the one she wore only moments before. “I like the way you think, kitten.” He draped his arm around her shoulders, placing his opposite hand on her knee, which was bare because of how short her dress was. He gave her kneecap a slight squeeze, as he ducked down so his lips were against her ear. “And we could be fiscally responsible by sharing a hotel room.”

 

Rey’s blush returns full-force, though if she was being honest with herself that was ninety percent of the reason she suggested joining the team at the event. 

 

“We could,” she whispered back. “And it would help if we shared our meals together too,” she added, “you know, like breakfast and dinner?”

 

“And what do you propose for dessert?” His hand slowly slid up, thankfully hidden from view by the tablecloth. Kylo rested his wide palm along the inside of her thigh, close enough to tempt but not close enough to touch. 

 

Rey’s pulse was hammering away, as she fights to keep her face from betraying them to the other dining patrons. “I-I think I can help you there, sir.”

 

“I know you can help me, kitten,” he responded, low and hungrily. Playfully, he nipped at her earlobe and Rey knew she was gone. 

 

Whatever they were — boyfriend, girlfriend, lovers — they had danced around each other for too long. They were going to burn brilliant and white-hot now that they were together. Like a star shimmering in the evening sky, they were a glimmering hint of magic in an otherwise dark world. 

 

“Maybe coming out was a bad idea,” she giggled, her hand resting over his. 

 

“Mmmm,” he nuzzled against her neck, seeking more skin on skin contact. “You may be correct.”

 

It was then the server returned with two plates, dropping off hers first, and then proceeding to hand Kylo his. 

 

Rey experienced true hunger as a child. When her father took her in, she had been without food for three days. Even though vending machine snacks didn’t technically count as a meal, Cassian Andor had used every last pound in his pocket to buy her whatever she wanted. 

 

She believed Kylo would do the same, without her ever having to ask.

 

Their meal was a twelve course tasting menu, each plate more delectable than the last. About halfway through the meal, Rey lost count of which dish they were on because between the pleasant burn of the whiskey and the heat she felt from Kylo’s teasing touches on her bare leg or along her back she couldn’t focus. 

 

The hunger she experienced as a child was nothing in comparison to the insatiable need she had developed for this man. 

 

He was going to ruin her.

 


 

 

By the time he and Rey had completed their multi-course meal, Kylo was more than ready to pay and get her home. Their talk about BookCon has escalated from the comforting notion she wanted to be with him all weekend to a more carnal urge. Kylo’s sole focus as he handed over his black AMEX was to close out his bill and get Rey in bed. Immediately. 

 

Of course, his idea of bed and hers may have differed. 

 

As they climbed into an Uber, he caught her trying to hide a yawn. His kitten was tired. 

 

Kylo kept one arm around her shoulders and the other under her knees, effectively cradling her in his lap during the ride back to his apartment. Rey’s head rested against his chest, eyes fighting to stay open but by the time they were pulling up to the curb outside his building, it was clear she was too exhausted for any ‘dessert’.

 

Helping her out of the car, Kylo scooped her up, watching to make sure her silver heels didn’t fall off her feet as he did. Rey’s absence of protest for his action, confirmed she was already half asleep. Instead of insisting on walking, she turned her face into his chest, nuzzling against him like an actual cat.

 

Warmth flooded through Kylo from the tenderness of her contact. Though he had wanted to shower her with affection across the expanse of her smooth skin, Kylo was equally pleased to know Rey was comfortable with him. It confirmed she wanted this — a life with him. 

 

And if that wasn’t worth everything he had, he wasn’t sure what was. 

 

Once Kylo got her inside, he walked her back to the bedroom, carefully setting her down on the bed, with her legs dangling off the side so he could remove her heels. Rey made a small mirror of protest when he attempted to lift her up into a sitting position so he could remove her dress. 

 

“Kitten, you can’t sleep in Chanel,” he informed her, pressing a kiss to her forehead. 

 

Rey whined, eyes still closed, but like a pouty teenager, she relented. He stripped her down, leaving her in a pair of sensible white undergarments — which still had his cock stirring in excitement — and hung up her dress. 

 

After removing his own clothes until he was only in his boxers, Kylo joined Rey on the bed. He maneuvered them both under the covers, pleased when she curled into his body, choosing to remain joined to him, even in sleep. 

 

For the second time in as many days, Kylo Ren found himself slipping off into peaceful slumber. 

 


 

 

When Rey’s eyes fluttered open the next morning, she was met with a vision of two large chocolate brown orbs staring at her. 

 

“Morning,” Kylo’s voice rumbled, thick with sleep.

 

“Hi,” she half answered, half yawned. “How long have you been up?”

 

“Only a few minutes,” he grinned, his hand coming over to tuck her hair away from her face. 

 

“And you’ve just been watching me?” she smirked. 

 

“I like watching you,” he returned with an equally snark.

 

Rey hummed, not ready to move yet. She felt safe here. She felt wanted and loved. It was intoxicating the way such a peace wrapped around her, keeping her tucked away under an invisible blanket of security. 

 

She enjoyed living with the Tico sisters. In a way, they had become the sisters she and never had, but spending the last couple of days with Kylo felt like coming home. Rey had rarely felt so at ease with another person before.

 

Since she had moved to New York City, Rey had been searching for something — her purpose in the Big Apple. All of this — the late nights spent drinking together in her editors office, exploring one another and then being able to simply cuddle up and watch a movie — it felt as though she had found where she belonged. 

 

And that was with Kylo Ren. 


Chapter Text

 

Sunday had never felt as heavy as it did when Kylo woke up. Tomorrow it was back to work, back to early mornings and late nights, and back to sitting what would surely feel like an entire world away from Rey. 


He could hear her singing to herself in his shower while he made breakfast. Either she didn’t know he could hear her or she simply didn’t care. Either way, he was far too smitten to bother keeping the grin from his face. 


When he woke up, Kylo found her curled up on her side, facing him. His first impulse had been to gather her up in his arms and kiss her senseless but he didn’t wish to disturb her sleep. She looked angelic lying there aside of him, so effortlessly beautiful and pure.


He spent the morning strategizing how to ensure neither he nor Rey lost their jobs. If Kylo brought it up to the board privately, starting with his mother there was a chance he could circumvent the need to discuss with HR completely. He knew Leia was close with Connix. Maybe she could pull a few strings for him. He’d have to promise to make an appearance over the holidays for the rest of his natural born life, but it was a small price to pay to keep Rey close by. 


Kylo’s mind was on how best to approach the subject with his mother when Rey joined him in the kitchen. She leaned back on the counter, smiling up at him as he flipped a pancake. It landed in the pan with a light flop. 


“Morning,” Rey greeted him and he was pleased to note she had once again donned one of his shirts instead of her own clothes. 


“Morning,” he leaned down to kiss her. “How did you sleep?”


“Great. How about you?”


“Perfect,” he grinned. “Must have something to do with the company.”


“You might be right about that,” she smiled back, rising up on her tiptoes to kiss him back. 


They fell into companionable silence while he finished cooking. Rey set up the counter with a pair of plates and utensils, moving about the kitchen with unpracticed ease. Once again, Kylo imagined what it would be like to have her live with him permanently. 


He’d never get any work done, if she insisted on flouncing around his home dressed only in his shirt, which was more like a dress on her. He figured he’d be able to focus more at the office if he knew when he shut down for the evening he’d be coming home to her and her toned, tanned legs. Kylo could strike a balance. 


At least that’s what he told himself.


“So what do we do tomorrow?” Rey asked, as he placed a couple of pancakes on each of their plates before taking a seat next to her at the kitchen counter. 


“I’m going to speak privately with one of the board members,” Kylo explained. “If I promise I will have no affect on your career development path or your compensation, I don’t see cause for them to take action.”


Rey nodded, thoughtfully, as she chewed. 


“If I need to, I’ll address it with Connix also, but I’d prefer to avoid mentioning it to Hux until I have a clear direction,” Kylo cautioned her. “I don’t want him making things unnecessarily difficult for you.”


“Who?” she teased with a giggle. “General Hugs? He’s a peach.”


“Right,” Kylo scoffed, rolling his eyes. “And the staff thinks I’m an angel.”


“Close,” Rey’s eyes glittered with amusement. “Devil incarnate.”


“Right,” he smirked. “I always get those two mixed up.”


Rey laughed and continued eating. Kylo paused for a moment, simply watching her as she devoured her meal. She was so happy, like a carefree child on vacation. It served to remind him how long it had been since he had felt content in his life. 


Over the past several years, his career had been his only focus. Excelling in his role as editor was his primary objective. Kylo Ren required nothing else. Until Rey Andor had walked into Force Publications and turned his entire world upside down with her glazed fruit article. 


Suddenly his job felt more like a distraction than a motivator. 


He still loved being Editor. It was the position he had sought after throughout the rise of his career. In a world where control was fleeting, his job permitted him complete control over the First Order magazine. Eventually he wanted to progress into the COO position for the publishing house, but he was content to groom the magazine’s staff for another year or so before making the transition. 


Being promoted to COO would mean an increased workload and additional travel, including international trips, which translated to less time in his apartment and less time with Rey. Perhaps he could wait a few more years until she was able to move up too.


“You’re thinking awful hard over there,” Rey observed, interrupting his thoughts, as she removed his empty plate. “Anything I can do to help ease your mind?” 


There were a number of things Rey could do — all of which would ease his mind and his growing arousal. 


She seemed to pick up on the innuendo, setting aside the dirty dishes before coming to stand between his legs. Rey laced her fingers behind his neck, his seat on the stool making them nearly eye level. 


“It’s still the weekend,” she reminded him. “We’re off the clock, sir.”


“And what exactly do you suggest we do with our free time, Ms. Andor?” Kylo questioned, placing his hands on her waist. 


“I know how efficient you like to be,” she started, a mischievous glint to her gaze. “So I suggest you take me to bed and we can go from there.”


“You make a clear point,” he chuckled, leaning in to rest his forehead against hers. Staring into her hazel eyes, Kylo slipped his hands down her body to her upper thighs. “I’ll take your suggestion into consideration.”


Rey squealed when he hoisted her up. Her ankles locked together behind his back, as her hands clamped down on his shoulders to steady herself so she didn’t fall backwards. He held onto her, keeping her body pressed to his as he walked them to his room. 


She had her lips blazing a hot wet trail along his neck as he moved. Her attentions made it difficult to concentrate. Putting one foot in front of the other was a challenge when the petite woman writhing in his arms was grinding down on him and caressing his pale skin with her soft lips. 


Yes, a few more years at the First Order were worth it if it meant he could spend his Sundays being worshiped by Rey. 


Kylo dropped one knee onto his mattress, gently lowering Rey down in front of him. She clung to him, pulling him over top of her, as she laid back. He caged her in, one arm on either side of her, while he brought his legs up to kneel between her thighs. 


Rey’s hand slithered down from its hold on his shoulder blade down his torso to his abdomen before stopping at the waistband of his sleep pants. She slipped a single finger between the fabric and his flesh, running the digit back and forth across the seam. 


While the motion may have reminded him of a windshield wiper, the effect had his mind shifting into high gear. Leveling his weight onto his left forearm, Kylo cupped Rey’s breast through his dress shirt. 


Her head tilted back and a light moan escaped her lips. He managed to undo a few buttons, allowing him to slip his hand inside to freely touch her. Rey’s nipple pebbled as he took it between his thumb and forefinger. In response, her own hand dove into his pants, nimble fingers curling around his shaft. 


Kylo groaned, dropping his head to where her neck met her collarbone. 


She pulled away slightly, smiling coyly over at him. “Did my suggestion have merit, sir?”


Goddamn this insatiable woman and her ability to make the most innocent things sound seductive. 


Before he could answer her with a witty comeback, she twisted her wrist and began to pump his hard length. 


“Fuck, Rey,” Kylo hissed. 


He reared back on his heels, using both hands to rip the shirt off of her. Rey yelped as buttons went flying but he didn’t care. He had dozens of others in his closet. If his little kitten wanted to play dirty, he’d play dirty. 


“Come here,” he commanded her, crooking his finger at her. 


Rey repositioned herself so she was sitting in front of where he was kneeling on the bottom of the bed. 


“Turn around, kitten,” he directed her. Wordlessly, she complied. When her back was to him, Kylo stepped off of the bed and pulled down his sleep pants matching Rey’s state of undress. 


The mattress dipped under his weight as he climbed on behind her. Kylo placed one hand on her hip, steadying her, as he took himself in hand, guiding his cock to her entrance. 


Rey keened as he teased her wet folds with the tip. Dragging himself up and down, covering himself in her slick, was a special kind of torture. It had him painfully hard and aching to thrust forward, bottoming out in one swift motion. But he held off. She had tempted him and he was going to pay her back for her little game. 


He slotted himself between her, rocking slowly back and forth, not entering her as he went. As much as Kylo burned for her, the longer he prolonged it, the more intoxicated by Rey he felt. Every sensation became overwhelming heady. He could feel her need pulsing through her, toying with the last bits of her resolve. 


“Kylo, please,” she whined and his grip on her tightened, threatening to leave purplish-blue marks along her skin. 


“Not yet, kitten,” he told her, watching as her knuckles turned white with desperation as she clutched at his bed sheets. She tried to back up onto him, but he held her off. “Ah, ah, ah,” he chided her. “Play nice, kitten.”


Rey groaned in response, wiggling about trying in vain to gain friction to alleviate her desire. Kylo chuckled to himself. Seeing her undone, barely able to form a verbal response gave new meaning to the word control. The fact he had the woman of his dreams writhing around in his bed, crying out for him was all too much. Kylo almost thought he was dreaming, that he’d wake up on Monday and this would have all been a fantasy brought on by too much whiskey.


Yet it wasn’t. Rey had given him her trust, her body and (if he had his way) her heart. She was everything to him and he wanted to be everything to her — mind, body and soul.  


She rocked back once more, reminding him he had needs to take care of before he was able to broach that topic with her.

 

An evil part of him wanted to keep pushing her, if only to hear her beg so sweetly for him once more, but he knew he wouldn’t be able to last long if he didn’t take her now. He lined himself up, keeping Rey in place with both hands on her hips. Kylo could feel her breath catch in her throat as she waited for the inevitable impact of him searing himself fully inside her. 


One snap of his hips and he granted her wish. They cried out in unison, both overcome by the sense of relief from his thrust. Kylo leaned over her, one hand holding himself up on the mattress, while his other came around to Rey’s chin. He cupped her jaw, turning her to face him.


“Sir,” she breathed, eyes half-lidded.


“Kitten,” he whispered against her lips before claiming her mouth, as he rolled his hips. Rey moaned into his mouth, but Kylo kept himself wrapped around her, “This was what you wanted, wasn’t it, kitten?” he asked.


“Yes,” she nodded slightly, her movement restricted by his hold.


“Move with me, kitten,” he instructed her. pressing back on her throat.


Rey caught on, backing up onto him as she had tried previously to do. This time, Kylo didn’t stop her. They rocked in sync with one another, her rolling backwards onto him, as he jerked forward. Together they discovered new angles, causing Kylo to pick up the pace, as he chased after the new feeling. From where his hand was on Rey’s face and neck, he could feel each sharp inhale and each sigh of pleasure as they worked themselves to climax. It was deliciously sinful and it spurred him on further.


“Come here, baby,” Kylo dropped his arm to around her torso, pulling Rey to him so she was nearly sitting in his lap. As she sat on his thighs, he seated himself deeper inside her.


“Fuck!” It was Rey’s turn to curse.


Her hands flew behind her, catching her as she teetered backwards, her form colliding with his broad chest. Kylo chuckled, guiding her head to dip backwards so he could kiss her. Her eyes shut, as the sensations became too much for her to focus on anything other than him propelling up into her.


“Kylo, harder, please,” she begged, her voice ragged and needy.


With a feral growl, he lost himself to his instincts. Kylo directed Rey down onto her stomach. He took hold of her hips, bringing her up to her knees and dragging her to the edge of the bed.


Placing one hand on her upper back, he splayed his fingers across her freckled skin reaching up towards her neck. His other hand remained on her hip, steadying her, as he stood off the edge of the bed for a deeper angle. Rey remained with her cheek pressed to the mattress, fingers gripped the sheets tight as he drove into her, pounding into her relentlessly. She looked exquisite with her peachy ass raised up for him. All he could hear was her breathy cries, his pants, and the sound of his skin slapping hers as he entered her over and over again.


“Are you close, kitten,” he huffed, feeling his own orgasm building in his abdomen.

 

“Yes! God, yes!”


He snaked his hand down the divot of her spinal column, before slipping around front to tease her clit. Rey jerked beneath him. “Cum for me, kitten.”


Rey screamed his name, so violently loud he was sure he’d receive a complaint from his neighbors come tomorrow. Of course, the sound only managed to fill Kylo a wicked sense of pride. Knowing he had been the one to wreck his girl so beautifully, sated his animalistic lust and he came right behind her, echoing her cry with a great roar.


He collapsed next to Rey, instinctively wrapping his arms around her to cradle her against him, despite the fact they were both covered in sweat and panting.


“Was that ok?” Kylo asked, as he leaned over decorating her flushed skin with feather-light kisses.


“It was more than ok,” she breathed, a giddy smile on her face.


“Wanna do it again?” he chuckled.


“Hell yes!”


XXXXX


It was late afternoon by the time they wrangled themselves out of bed. Rey felt the pleasant ache in her body from their hours spent exploring one another and one another’s limits. She couldn’t wipe the smile from her face. She was sure if she was to look in a mirror right now she’d catch herself grinning like a complete fool. 


Please could I be selfish with your body ‘cause I don’t think I could share you with nobody…


The line from the Jaymes Young song played in her mind, as she watched Kylo towel dry his hair, standing in his bedroom dressed only in a clean set of sleep pants. He looked entirely too good. Kylo Ren always looked delectable, but now, in his apartment, away from the judging eyes of the world or the strict rules of their professional lives, he was truly beautiful — the most beautiful person she had ever laid eyes on. 


Rey watched him go through the motions of getting cleaned up from her silent spot in his bedroom doorway. She leaned against the frame, her bottom lip caught between her teeth as she took him in from the top of his damp locks all the way to his bare feet. His alabaster skin was dotted with dark moles, the same color as the deep pools of chocolate he called eyes. Before he shrugged his shirt on, she noticed a different kind of mark on his neck — a purplish blue blossom. She blushed realizing where it had come from.


I’m gonna brand you with my lips and all of the world will know that you’re mine now…


Regardless of the mark she had left, Kylo was striking. Even in his simple t-shirt and sleep pants, he held a regal air, one she was sure he didn’t even realize he possessed. He could easily pass for a male model, his features artistic and unique but also alluring. 


“What?” he asked, catching her unwavering gaze. 


“I just like looking at you,” she tossed his compliment from earlier back at him.


Kylo’s lips turned upward into a pleased grin. “If you keep it up, kitten, we are going to fall right back into bed.”


“I wouldn’t be opposed to that,” she quipped. 


“Rey,” his voice came out low, warning her. 


“I know, I know,” she held up her hands in mock surrender. “We need to talk about tomorrow.”


“Right,” Kylo replied, though his response came out more like a sigh. 


“If you insist,” she told him, turning around and walking away from his room towards the living room, but not before she added, “ Sir .” Rey held back a giggle, when she heard him growl in response. 


They settled down on his couch, Kylo keeping one arm draped around her, as she curled into his side.


She couldn’t believe they had only been together like this for about forty-eight hours. Rey felt as though she had been with him for a lifetime. She had never been one to believe in fate or soulmates or any of that predestined nonsense, but it was hard to deny there was some otherworldly connection she felt with Kylo, one which transcended all reason and logic. Rey had never felt as complete with another person as she did with him.


“So tomorrow?” she started.


“As much as I’d like to walk in and tell everyone you’re mine,” Kylo began, his arm tightening, “you realize it would look bad for both of us, right?”


“You mean you don’t want to tell everyone where you got this,” Rey teased, shifting to pull his T-shirt aside and revealing the bruise from her biting earlier. 


Kylo flushed and if that wasn’t the most endearing thing she had ever seen she wasn’t sure what was. 


“I...um...,” he trailed off and she suppressed a laugh. Her dominant man, so in control in the office and the bedroom but bashful the moment she teased him about a hickey. It was adorable. 


“Kylo,” she kissed his cheek, placing a hand on his thigh reassuringly, “it was a joke. No one will be able to see it under your shirt. It’s low enough your collar will cover it.”


“Right, right,” he said before clearing his throat. “So tomorrow...”


“Tomorrow,” Rey repeated, waiting for him to take the lead. 


“Act as if nothing has changed?”


“If that’s what you think is best, sir,” she winked at him.


Kylo groaned. “Woman, you are going to be the death of me.”


“Hmmm,” Rey nuzzled against his neck, right above where she had left her mark. “Yes, but what a way to go!”


“That’s it,” he snapped, hauling her off the couch and tossing her over his shoulder, as if she weighed nothing. 


This time it was Rey’s turn to blush. Her whole body felt as though it was ignited in flames as he carried her into his bedroom. She had never been so turned on before. Usually if a man acted this way, she called him a caveman, but there was something oddly satisfying about seeing Kylo take what he wanted, probably because what he wanted was her.


After years of dealing with the fallout from being left by her biological parents, Rey eagerly accepted his need for her. The way he looked at her and the way he treated her was as if she was the only person in the entire world that mattered. It made her feel cherished and loved. It was different than how her parents cared for her or even how her friends tended to her. No, the way Kylo acted around her was not at all like her family or friends. He treasured her.


Rey was prepared to do the same for him.


When Kylo threw her down onto the mattress, she nearly lost her nerve. The man was massive all over, but Rey had never once backed down from a challenge. She wasn’t about to start now. 


As he climbed over top of her, Rey locked her legs around his waist, pressing her heels into his lower back for leverage. Using their combined body weight, she flipped them, so she was on top. 


“Rey.”


“Lay back,” she commanded him, pressing one hand to his chest, as she shimmied back and down between his legs. 


She could see a prominent bulge outline, straining against his pants. Carefully, Rey peeled the garment down and flung it off of him. Kylo’s coke sprung up, already hard. 


Rey wrapped her fingers around his shaft, pumping him up and down a few times while her other hand cradled his ball sack, tenderly massaging the sensitive area. Kylo inhaled sharply, hissing through his teeth. 


“Just relax,” Rey told him, smiling over at him. 


Slowly, she leaned down, trailing the top of her tongue along the hypersensitive spot. Kylo bucked up, causing Rey to flatten her palms against his upper thighs to keep him still. 


Rolling her lips over her teeth, Rey took his head into her mouth. Kylo swore, his body jerking, but she held him firm. Steadily, she took him in, inch by inch. It was a challenge and she found she needed the assistance of her hand to take care of all of him, but Kylo didn’t seem to mind. 


He was letting out a flurry of curses, pants and babbling phrases she couldn’t decipher. Rey pulled off of him with a slick pop, pausing only for a second taking all of him she could in one swoop.


As she became more comfortable with his girth, Rey quickened her pace, her hand working the base of him in time with her mouth. Kylo’s rambled on, the words turning to inelegant noises as she devoured him.


At one point, she stopped to lick him from base to tip, sucking all the precome from him, which had gathered at the top. This break elicited a new stream of curses from her editor. 


Satisfied she was going to wreck him as completely as he had wrecked her earlier, Rey returned to her former cadence. With one hand on his cock instead of his thighs, it was harder to control his movements. As he neared his released, he thrust up into her mouth. 


It caught her off-guard, but Rey managed to secure him. Humming around him, she went back to work. He didn’t last long after that. 


“Rey, I’m gonna-.”


Releasing him, she grinned devilishly over his heaving chest at where he was watching her with blown pupils. 


“It’s fine. I’m going to go until you’re done,” she promised.


She was fairly sure she heard him utter, “Fuck” as she once again resumed. Bobbing her head up and down his length, Rey used her tongue to swirl around his head at the top of each bounce. 


Suddenly, Kylo tensed beneath her and then he was shaking, his hips undulating as he spilled down her throat. Rey drank him up until he was finished, licking him clean before she crawled up to lay aside of him.


“Was that ok?” she asked, taking in his breathless appearance.


“Ok?” His eyes opened and he grabbed her face between his hands, drawing her to him for a searing kiss. “You’re fucking perfect, so you know that? And mine,” he told her, his voice deepening. “You’re all mine.”


“Yours,” Rey nodded. 


Kylo kissed her forehead, then tucked her against him.


“Mine,” he whispered into her hair, his arm draped over her waist.


“Yours,” she repeated.


Her answer satisfied him just as much as her pleasuring had and he drifted off to sleep with Rey following close behind.

 

Chapter Text

 

Monday morning arrived the same way as Tax Day — with trepidation and annoyance at the obligation. Kylo’s alarm sounded for the first time in seventy-two hours, startling him from his idle slumber. 

 

Rey had insisted on being taken home last night, stating there was no way they’d make it into the office if they were together come morning. 

 

As true as her assumption was, it had still bothered Kylo more than he cared to admit. Driving her to her apartment was the first step in stepping out of their little bubble and he wanted to put it off as long as humanly possible. 

 

When he had returned home, his apartment felt desolate. There was no resounding laughter, no warm body under his sheets or melody trickling out from the shower. There was no Rey. It struck him in that moment just how deeply Rey had seated herself within his heart. She had been gone for less than an hour and already he ached to feel her light. 

 

The harsh reality of Monday morning was like salt in an open wound, as Kylo prepared himself to return to his office. It was sure to be equally cold and barren, until his girl arrived at her usual time. 

 

He trudged out to his kitchen to make a much needed cup of caffeine before he needed to shower. When he opened the cabinet to retrieve his favorite mug, Kylo froze. There, stuck to his mug, was a bright pink sticky note. Hastily, he grabbed the object, tearing it off without another thought, eyes hungrily skimming the bold words written in sharpie. 

 

Morning, sir! Miss you already. See you in a few hours. XoXo - Kitten

 

Kylo read the note once more then a third time, breathing steadier each time his eyes traced her words. 

 

It wasn’t a declaration of love, but it might as well have been because he was elated. Kylo didn’t know when she had managed to sneak into the kitchen and write the note, but he was grateful for the simple slip of paper. Rey had managed to leave a piece of herself amongst his things and it calmed him in a way only her presence could. 

 

As he showered, Kylo heard the words in his head, as if Rey had been there to speak them. His chest filled with warmth. Despite his anxiety about approaching his mother to discuss their relationship, he was convinced it was worth any retaliation Leia would submit him to. Rey was his endgame. 

 

Of course, even if his mother managed to help, he’d need to keep his hands off his beguiling staff writer. This presented a new problem, one which he had wrestled with prior, but not to this extent. When he had watched Rey before, he hadn’t confirmed her interest. Kylo’s fascination had always been one-sided. It helped keep him in check. However, now that he knew the feeling was mutual denying his desire for her was going to be damn near impossible. 

 

How could he focus on the year-end budget when he knew what sounds she made when he hit that spot deep within her? How could he manage a board meeting when he unlocked the wild side of his kitten? How could any noise ever drown out how delectable her purring for him was?

 

No, it was all irrelevant, because Kylo Ren was barreling head first into love. And even if Rey reciprocated, she was off-limits...at least while they were in the office. 

 

Somewhere in his bedroom, his second alarm chimed and he realize he was running late. 

 

He was completely fucked. 

 


 

 

Rey tapped her foot impatiently while she waited in line at the coffeehouse. Kylo had enjoyed the treat last week and she had decided to make it a habit. If she showed up early for work this morning, it had nothing to do with the fact she had spent a restless night in her own bed. Not at all. She was a functioning adult. She didn’t need a man to hold her through the night so she could sleep.

 

Nope, not her.

 

Ok, so maybe it had been nice to feel a warm body pressed against hers. And maybe it had been equally comforting to know someone was with her while she slept, someone who would still be there when she woke. But that was all. 

 

She wasn’t dependent on him.

 

Nope not one bit.

 

Sighing, Rey glanced down at her phone. She was still early, but it felt as though she had spent hours in this line awaiting her turn. How difficult was it to order a coffee? 

 

The blonde guy in front of her was fidgeting too. Obviously she wasn’t the only one waiting impatiently for her morning fix. Of course, her preferred morning fix was an extra large cup of tall, dark and steamy...not whatever this dude was about to order.

 

“Venti Caramel Macchiato with extra Caramel please,” he requested, when it was his turn. 

 

The barista, an intimidating looking woman with a fierce scowl, glared up at him as she held up the to-go cup. “Name?”

 

“Matt,” the blonde guy stared. Rey caught a brow of waver in his voice.

 

“Anything else, Matt,” the woman, whose name tag read Leslie, asked.

 

“A muffin.”

 

Rey swore she saw the irritated woman roll her eyes in response. “What kind of muffin?” 

 

“Um...” the man leaned down, peering in the baked goods case, scanning his options. 

 

“I haven’t got all day, Matt,” the dark-skinned woman growled.

 

“The blueberry ones are great,” Rey offered politely, trying to cut through the tension before the barista reached over the counter and smacked the clueless blonde. 

 

He turned at the sound of her voice and she found herself staring at his pale face, dotted with dark moles which didn’t match the brilliant hue of his hair. His eyes were behind a pair of large wire framed glasses and he definitely needed a new uniform. 

 

“Thanks,” Matt managed after a moment’s pause. Then to the barista he confirmed he’d take the blueberry muffin. 

 

Rey moved up to place her order, when he cut her off. “And I’ll um...I’ll pay for whatever she wants.”

 

“Oh, you don’t-,” Rey objected.

 

“No,” he shook his head, handing bills over to Leslie, “I’d like to.”

 

“Ok,” Rey smiled sheepishly before she asked for a large black coffee and one chai latte for herself.

 

“Thirsty?” Matt questioned, as they moved aside to wait for their drinks.

 

“One is for my boy- ...my boss,” Rey corrected herself. 

 

While Kylo and her had spoken and it was clear they were together, she wasn’t sure what to call him. If she started referring to him as anything she ran the risk of letting it slip in the office. He had suggested acting as business was usual while they were at Force Publications. 

 

Regardless of what they called one another in private, he was still her boss. 

 

“Oh, one of those hard ass types, huh?”

 

Well...Kylo does have a nice ass, Rey smiled to herself. No, bad! Bad brain! 

 

“He’s the Editor-in-chief,” she replied. “He kind of has to be.”

 

Matt nodded thoughtfully. 

 

“So what do you do, Matt?” she asked, gesturing to his unfortunate looking uniform. 

 

“I’m a radar technician over at Starkiller,” he grinned. 

 

“That sounds interesting,” Rey commented, kindly. She felt obligated to make small talk with him, since he had been nice enough to purchase her drinks for her.

 

“Yeah, it’s-,” he stopped talking, his eyes focused on the dark figure who had just entered the coffeehouse. “Is that Kylo Ren?”

 

Rey whipped around so quickly she nearly fell out of her heels. Sure enough, Kylo was waiting in line. When he noticed her, she gave him a small wave, biting her bottom lip to keep herself from smiling too broadly at him. Her body relaxed and for the first time since he had dropped her off last night, she felt as though she could breathe. 

 

“Re- Ms. Andor,” Kylo greeted her, as he came to stand on her other side. “Fancy seeing you here.”

 

“Good morning, sir,” she responded, keeping her eyes solely on him. “I was picking up your morning coffee.”

 

Kylo’s mouth twitched at her use of his pet name, before he cleared his throat and replied. “Thank you.”

 

“Mr. Ren,” Matt surged forward, extending his arm between them. Kylo glared at the offending limb, before meeting the other man’s gaze. “It’s an honor to meet you, sir, really.”

 

Confused, Kylo glanced over at Rey, who was stifling a laugh at the spectacle before her. She had been concerned Matt would try to hit on her but apparently she was second runner up to Kylo. Not that she disagreed with Matt’s interest.

 

“It’s nice to meet you...” 

 

“Matt,” the blonde radar technician introduced himself. “I have been following Force Publications and the First Order since you were named editor. Before that I subscribed to Supremacy.” Matt kept shaking Kylo’s hand and Rey feared she’d never get her boss back. 

 

Kylo appeared to share her sentiment, eyeing her from where he was locked in the firm handshake. 

 

“It’s always nice to meet one of Rey’s friends,” he grumbled, yanking his hand back. 

 

If Matt noticed the way Kyko kept sending her ‘help me’ glances, he didn’t mention it. 

 

“Oh, we aren’t friends,” Matt clarified. “I just bought her coffee. Well, you’re coffee, I guess,” the man continued. Did he ever breathe? 

 

Matt may have missed Kylo’s frustration at his interjection into their conversation, but Rey didn’t miss the way Kylo’s nostrils flared at Matt’s admission about him purchasing her coffee. Like her, Kylo immediately assumed it was because he wanted to try something with her.

 

“Rey is quite an accomplished writer at the First Order,” Kylo stated, placing his hand on her lower back, as he side-stepped away from Matt and positioned himself closer to her. Rey felt her cheeks heat up instantly. Even an innocent touch felt heated when it came from Kylo. 

 

This time, the signals were clear. Matt noticed the way Kylo was standing forward a bit, his tall form towering over Rey, even in her heels. While one hand was on her back, his other was clenched at his side. 

 

Matt took a step back. “I’ll have to read your articles,” he informed her, though his focus was on Kylo’s stance — the one which screamed ‘back off she’s mine’.

 

An awkward silence grew between the trio. Rey watched as the two men stared at one another, feeling Kylo’s hand slide around to her hip to pull her flush against him. 

 

Thankfully, the barista called Matt to pick up his order not long after. With a nod to them, he took his items and fled the coffeehouse. 

 

Once he was outside, Kylo’s hand dropped from her side and he turned to her. “Great minds think alike,” he smirked. 

 

For a second Rey thought he was referring to Matt talking her up, but then she realized Kylo had meant to bring her coffee this morning. 

 

“Mmmm, well I beat you here, early bird,” she pointed out. “Rough night?”

 

“The worst,” he nodded, leaning closer so no one could hear them. “My girlfriend made me take her home last night and I had to sleep alone.”

 

“Your girlfriend, huh?” Rey teased, though inside she was screaming in delight. He had called her his girlfriend. All the awkwardness of the Matt situation was quickly forgotten in lieu of being able to spend a few precious alone moments with Kylo before they had to face reality. 

 

His smile faltered at her quip.

 

“I mean,” Rey’s started as she snaked a hand up the front of his suit, “if you were my boyfriend and we were not on the clock yet and just picking up coffee there wouldn’t be anything wrong with kissing you, right?”

 

“Right,” Kylo nodded. She watched as he swallowed, delighted how easily she could flip the script on him. Her hand slid up to his neck and her fingers toyed with his hair. 

 

“Well then,” she purred, guiding his face down, “I think it’s time I give my boyfriend a proper good morning greeting.”

 

Rey let her lips cover his, pressing into him to show Kylo how much she had missed him last night. The caress of his lips against hers, as he met her need had her smiling against him. 

 

Reminding herself they were in public, Rey began to step back, but Kylo immediately grabbed her waist with both hands, keeping her in place. He skimmed his tongue over her entrance tentatively before she granted him access.

 

Rey forgot all about the bustling coffee shop and the fact she needed to report into work in under twenty minutes. She no longer cared she had spent the better part of the evening tossing and turning because of this man and her unhealthy level of attraction to him. Kylo made all those thoughts less important. The feel of him on her and against her was enough to cancel out everything else. 

 

Had either of them paid more attention, they would have seen a familiar redheaded figure staring at them before promptly turning on his heel to leave. 

 


 

 

Kylo strolled into Force Publications ready to face his mother and anyone else he would need to speak with. Seeing Rey before work had been a blessing. His earlier anxiety had dissipated, leaving behind only grim determination to secure stability for their future together. 

 

There was nothing as important to him as the need to ensure Rey remained where she was — happy and near. 

 

He bid the receptionist, Beebee a ‘good morning’, which she returned with only a tad bit of confusion, before he was gliding through the main room towards his office. 

 

Luckily, his secretary appeared to be absent from her desk, when Kylo arrived, granting him a reprieve from her normal morning attentions. Ms. Netal was many things, but wanted was not one of them...at least by him. Kylo had accepted the fact his heart was already bound to Rey, no matter how swiftly he had given it to her. 

 

He dropped off his work bag, before proceeding to check his emails. Once he confirmed there was nothing time sensitive waiting for his response, Kylo called his mother’s office, located five floors above him. 

 

“Leia Organa-Solo’s office,” a crisp voice answered on the opposite end. 

 

“Good morning, Misty,” Kylo greeted his mother’s assistant. “May I speak to Lei- my mother, please?”

 

“Right away, Mr. Ren.” 

 

There was a series of beeps before the call rang through to her desk. “I have to say, this is unexpected,” the regal tone of Leia Organa-Solo came through the receiver. “Should I be calling the family lawyer and preparing bail money?”

 

Kylo pressed his thumb and forefinger to his temples, massaging in wake of the headache his mother’s judgement caused. Taking a deep breath to force himself to remain calm, he answered, “No. I was calling to talk.”

 

“Talk?” his mother scoffed. “Since when do you want to talk? Unless you need something.”

 

He didn’t respond for a moment and he heard her grumble something under her breath which sounded an awful lot like, ‘takes after his father.’

 

“I met someone,” Kylo blurted out, partially because he wanted to switch the topic away from his absentee father but mostly because he was bursting at the seams to tell someone Rey was his. 

 

Silence.

 

The clock on his laptop ticked off a full minute before Kylo heard Leia inhale on the other side. “Who?”

 

“Her name is Rey. She’s a writer.”

 

More silence.

 

Then, “Rey Andor? The staff writer?”

 

“Yes,” Kylo confirmed, feeling his earlier anxiety churning in his gut. His mother wasn’t exactly a stickler with rules but HR violations were serious when running a company. It didn’t help that Rey was almost ten years his junior. The media could be vicious. 

 

“Ben-.”

 

His anger flared to life in record time, nostrils flaring as he snarled, “That is not my name.”

 

“Regardless of whether or not you’ve legally changed your name, I will address you as my son,” Leia stated firmly, “because I am your mother and it is my right.” 

 

As annoyed as he was with her, his mother was a formidable woman. Once she set her mind to something, there was no changing it...like another stubborn brunette he knew. 

 

“Now,” Leia continued, “since I assume this isn’t a social call, would you like to meet with me to discuss next steps.” 

 

Ah, there she was, the business woman who had taken New York by storm. There was a reason the papers had nicknamed her ‘The General’.

 

“Fine,” Kylo agreed. “Shall we meet at nine? I have a theory minute opening before the monthly budget review.”

 

“See you then,” his mother said.

 

Kylo moved to end the call, when she added, “Oh and Ben?”

 

“What?”

 

“No sex on company property, please?”

 

Before he could articulate a response, his mother hung up on him. 

 

For the second time that morning, Kylo Ren realized he was fucked.

 


 

 

Rey arrived at her desk with only five minutes to spare. Kylo had kept her thoroughly distracted at the coffee shop. The barista had shouted their order out to alert them and while the status of their coffees was important it had still taken a moment for Rey to touch back down to Earth. 

 

She had been riding the high of Kylo’s kiss and his choice to call her his girlfriend ever since. 

 

In fact, she was so swept up in her whirlwind romance with the editor-in-Chief that she failed to notice her manager lurking around her cube. The second she took her seat, he pounced. 

 

“Ms. Andor,” Hux drew our her name in a way that made Rey instantly nervous. 

 

“Good morning, Mr. Hux,” she greeted him in turn, plastering on her best attempt at a smile. 

 

“Did you have a nice weekend?”

 

Rey quirked an eyebrow. Something was up. Hux never participated in small talk with his employees, least of all her and he had never once asked her about her personal life. Rey dug her nails into her thigh, as she regarded him cautiously. 

 

“It was quiet. I stayed in,” she replied, not fully lying but not fully telling the truth either.

 

“By yourself?” he questioned, staring openly at her. “Or did you have company?”

 

Beneath her blouse, Rey felt her skin heat up. What was Hux getting at? He couldn’t possibly know what she had done? Could he? 

 

“I was with friends,” Rey responded, trying not to wince as her fingernails left half-moon imprints in the flesh of her upper thigh. “How about you? Did you have a nice weekend?”

 

Hux made a face, ignoring her question. “What friends? Your roommates?” he pressed.

 

Rey’s stomach gave an unpleasant flop. He knew. She wasn’t sure how. They had been so careful. Nevertheless, it was clear he was deliberately fishing for information, setting her up to let details slip. 

 

“I’m surprised you remember them,” she grinned. If he wanted to pry this secret from her, he’d have to do far worse. “Rose, Paige and I spent time together. There isn’t much free time during the week, I’m afraid. We are all busy. I’m sure you understand.”

 

He didn’t. It was clear the only friend Hux had was his right hand, but Rey wasn’t about to say that to him. 

 

Her manager narrowed his eyes. “How quaint,” he grumbled. 

 

“They are quite a pair,” Rey nodded.

 

“So no one else then? No boyfriend or-.”

 

“Whoa, whoa, Hux, back off!”

 

Rey had never been as glad to see Poe as she was in that moment. To his credit, Hux appeared absolutely enraged and horrified by the assumption the PR manager had made. 

 

“I wasn’t-,” he fumbled for a response. “That’s not what I was-.”

 

“Yeah, right, buddy,” Poe patted him on the back, all while maneuvering him away from Rey’s desk. “Sure. Don’t make me tell Connix about this. You know how this will look to an HR representative. It’s a lot of red tape.”

 

Hux’s face was the color of red tape by the time Poe finished. Muttering something rather unpleasant under his breath, Rey’s manager stormed off.

 

Poe chuckled, watching the other man leave, before he was grinning unabashedly at Rey. “Seemed like you needed a helping hand.”

 

“Thanks, Poe,” she smiled. “General Hugs is always too much but first thing in the morning is really pushing it. Even for him.”

 

“Yeah,” Poe agreed, glancing in the direction Hux had run off in. “He seems crankier than normal. What’s that about?”

 

“Not sure,” Rey shrugged, feigning innocence.

 

“Ah, well c’est la vie,” Poe sighed, no longer concerned about the redhead. “Wanna grab lunch later? I feel like I haven’t seen you in forever. Kaydel is coming and so is Beebee.”

 

“Sure. Noon?”

 

“I’ll swing by and pick you up,” Poe confirmed. 

 

“Great! See you then.”

 

Rey logged onto her terminal and set to work.

 

8 hours and counting...

 


 

 

Leia Organa-Solo’s office was what one would expect from a high ranking business executive or politician. It was designed for private conferences while still appearing homey and comfortable. 

 

A great mahogany desk sat in the middle, covered in papers, files and a littering of sticky notes serving as reminders of her tasks. Two full walls were glass, allowing sunlight to pour in and give her an obstructed view out into the busy city below. 

 

When Kylo entered, he found his mother already waiting with a pot of tea on the love seat in the front corner of the room. 

 

“Ben.”

 

“Leia.” He undid the buttons on his suit jacket, before taking a seat next to her. 

 

“I didn’t raise you to be so impolite,” she sniped with a huff. 

 

“Probably because you didn’t raise me,” he snarked back. 

 

Leia regarded him with equal parts frustration and resignation. Pouring him a cup of tea, she launched into their discussion, “So tell me about your predicament with Ms. Andor.”

 

“Rey,” Kylo immediately corrected. Leia’s eyebrows raised at his use of her first name so easily, but she nodded in acceptance and poured herself a cup. “And it’s not a predicament. I care about her.”

 

“You care about her,” Leia repeated, sounding unconvinced. 

 

“She’s an exceptional writer, very talented,” he explained, not sure why he felt the need to chase after his mother’s approval. She she had already proved it was unattainable for him. 

 

“So you’re attracted to her for her mind?” Leia asked, skeptically. 

 

“I’m attracted to her for a number of reasons. I’m not sure what that has to do with needing your help,” he huffed, not liking her tone. 

 

“Because I need to know how serious this is, Ben,” she replied in her normal diplomatic tone, as if she was handling a troublesome client instead of speaking to her only son. 

 

“I’m here,” he reminded her. “Isn’t that serious enough?”

 

Leia studied him as she drank her tea. As she searched his face for confirmation, he scanned hers. She had grown softer with age, her skin adorned with wrinkles and her hair graying around the edges. Her hair was still up in an elaborate bun, the way she had worn it when he was a child and she still sat up straighter than a board. Her posture had not softened, even if her features had. 

 

“I see,” she smiled. Dropping her eyes and taking another sip of tea.

 

“See what?”

 

“You love her.”

 

Kylo didn’t bother to correct his mother this time. She had only confirmed what he believed was happening all weekend. Part of him reeled back in fear, worried it was too soon to feel so strongly about Rey — his kitten — but a larger part of him rejoiced as if his mother’s assessment had unlocked the truth of his own heart. 

 

He loved her. He loved Rey.

 

“I do,” he replied.

 

Leia placed a hand over his and gave it a squeeze. Surprising both of them, he didn’t pull away. 

 

“Well,” his mother graced him with a genuine smile, “then first things first. Let’s talk about what needs to happen from here on out. I would like a grandchild before I die.”

 

“Mom,” Kylo groaned, dropping his face in his hands.

 

It wasn’t until they were nearly done discussing their go-forward plan that Kylo realized he had called her ‘mom’ instead of ‘Leia’.

Chapter Text

 

By five o’clock, Rey was ready for the day to be over. She had dodged her manager all day, avoiding him by sneaking off to the copier or pretending to need advice from one of the senior writers, Biggs, down the hall. At quitting time, she was relieved to have an excuse to walk out. 


Just as she finished gathering up her things, Rey felt a presence behind her. Before she even turned around she could tell who it was. 


“Ms. Andor,” Hux started, when they came face to face. 


“Yes?” she met his gaze, not flinching. 


“Done for the evening, I presume?”


“Yes,” Rey replied warily. “Was there something you required before I head out?”


“Not at all,” he smirked. “Off to visit your boyfriend then?”


She schooled her expression, careful to keep her body from betraying Kylo. “I keep my personal life out of the office,” Rey replied, coolly.


“No doubt,” Hux sneered. “Then you wouldn’t mind if I walked you out, would you?”


Rey did, in fact, mind, but without a valid excuse, she merely nodded. 


“Excellent,” her manager grinned triumphantly. 


She tried not to think about how evil his smile was, as if he was the cat who just got the cream. 


Dutifully, Rey followed him out of the main office pausing at the elevator bank. She gnawed on the inside of her cheek, anxiety buzzing through her entire body. Hux was poised to pounce the second they were alone in the confined space. She was sure of it. What Rey was less sure of was how she’d dodge him when she had nowhere to run. 


Her hand itched to reach into her bag for her phone. A quick text to Kylo and this would all be over. She was positive he’d put her manager in his rightful place, but she knew she couldn’t do that. Any interaction she had with Kylo within the walls of this establishment had to be on the up and up. She wouldn’t lose her head because her manager was needling her for information. 


Hux wasn’t the first man who had harassed her and he wouldn’t be the last. Rey had grown up around powerful men and one very powerful woman. 


For what Jyn Erso lacked in physical size, she made up for in boldness. Rey’s adoptive mother had gone rogue early in her life and she had chosen to defy all expectations of her. It had given he daughter a different perspective than her female peers, one which better prepared her for joining a predominantly male field. 


So no, Armitage Hux was not about to succeed in flustering her. Rey knew exactly how to eliminate the threat.


As the elevator doors shut on them with a cheery chime, her manager turned to her, eyes a blaze. “So you and Ren,” he started.


Rey didn’t respond, waiting for him to make a fatal mistake by showing his hand too soon. She would pinpoint the exact moment he had seen her with Kylo and find a way to explain the situation in a way Hux wouldn’t be able to leverage it against her.


“You two appear close,” Hux commented when she didn’t take his bait. 


“He is a strong writer with an impressive background in publishing,” Rey stated matter-of-factly. “His notes on my last article improved it immensely.”


Hux simmered, clearly not pleased with how she was able to deflect his pointed observation. But he wasn’t going to give up.


“Ren doesn’t typically speak to staff writers, let alone green ones such as yourself. What makes you so special, Andor?”


She shrugged, acting as though there was nothing remotely different about her working relationship with Kylo. “He offered advice and I took it. Simple as that.”


“Ms. Netal mentioned you brought him coffee last week. Was that a bribe?”


“It’s called a thank you, Mr. Hux,” Rey ground out, her tone lower than before. Though she wanted to snap at him, she kept her growing irritation in check. She couldn’t get emotional. He’d only feed off of it. 


“And your interaction this morning,” Hux practically purred. Rey’s heart fluttered. No. He couldn’t possibly have been there. “Am I to assume that was a thank you too?”


Keeping her face neutral, Rey didn’t shrink under his intimidating stare. “I’m certain I have no idea what you are referring to.”


“Really?” Hux asked skeptically, drawing closer to her. “You frequent the coffee house on 3rd, don’t you?”


“Sometimes,” Rey admitted, forcing her emotions to remain buried under her confident exterior. She channeled her father’s lessons in poker, never needing to bluff more so than in this moment. “It is conveniently located just down the block.”


“Indeed,” Hux sneered. “I stopped in myself only just this morning to pick up an Earl Grey and imagine my surprise when I spotted Ren with you.”


“Must have been someone else,” Rey replied, her voice level and calm. “I didn’t make it there this morning. I was running late, as you’ll note on my time card. I clocked in five minutes before my designated start time.”


She kept to the facts. There was no transaction with her name on it from the cafe, thanks to Matt the radar technician and she had been later than normal logging onto her terminal today. If she stuck to what could be proven, Rey was sure she’d be able to navigate past Hux’s accusations. The best lies, her father had taught her, were the ones based primarily on truth. 


“You have an answer for everything, it seems,” he muttered. 


“Is there a reason for this interrogation?” Rey questioned him, crossing her arms over her chest protectively, when he took another step towards her. He was mere inches from her now, entirely too close for comfort. 


“You do realize it’s against company policy to date a superior employee, don’t you, Ms. Andor?”


Rey opened her mouth to respond, when his hand slammed into the wall of the elevator right by her head. The violent act startled her, causing her to jump. Hux was cruel and demanding, but he had never been physical before. She needed to get out of this elevator before he went too far. 


But he didn’t move. He kept her trapped between the elevator wall and his body. 


“Don’t deny it, Andor,” he hissed. “I know what I saw. Give me one good reason not to take this matter to the board.”


As her mind raced with an acceptable answer, the elevator chimed, signaling they had reached the lobby. The doors slid up open. Rey waited for Hux to let her go. He didn’t. 


She tried to shove around him, when he slammed his other hand into the wall on her opposite side. “Answer me,” he ordered.


“I’m not giving you anything,” she spat.


“Hux? Ms. Andor?”


Rey’s body, which had gone taut with tension relaxed the second she heard his voice. From where she was caged in by Hux, she managed to make out his tall form, as he entered the elevator. 


“What the hell is going on?” he snarled, taking in Rey’s defensive posture and Hux’s hand placement. 


The redheaded manager immediately stepped back, his eyes never leaving Rey’s face. “Why don’t you tell me, Ren?” he quipped. 


“Excuse me?” Kylo growled. 


“Were you waiting for your girlfriend?” Hux pressed on, either unaware of the danger Kylo’s temper provided or uncaring of the fact.


“I was waiting for my car to be brought around,” Kylo replied smoothly. “Then I heard a slam and when I saw you harassing an employee; I took action.”


“Harassing,” Hux wheeled around on the Editor-in-Chief. “I suppose it must look like that but then I wonder what it looked like when your tongue was down her throat this morning.”


Rey’s face flushed, now that Hux wasn’t focused on her. To his credit, Kylo didn’t even flinch under the accusation. He quirked a brow, studying his manager before he spoke. 


“You are suspended until further notice.”


“What?” Hux roared. “You can’t suspend me.”


“Read your employee handbook, Hux,” Kylo directed him. “I’m sure you’ll find that I, in fact, can.”


“Under what premise?”


“The fact I found you cornering a female employee in the elevator,” Kylo raised his voice, his frustration clear. “Now get out of my sight, before I urge Ms. Andor to report you to the police.”


Hux seethed, his hands balled into fists and his face nearly as red as the hair atop his head. “You’re making a mistake, Ren,” Hux glowered. 


“Step away from her or I will call the police myself,” Kylo replied.


Rey watched as both men challenged one another in a wordless stare off. Kylo’s gaze was intense in a dangerous way she had never seen before. He was unrecognizable. Gone was the man she had spent her entire weekend with. He was replaced by a dark enforcer, primed to attack. 


She felt as though she should have been scared, at least a little, but Rey knew Kylo would never harm her. Hux on the other hand, he had proven to be erratic in his behavior. 


In comparison to Kylo, he stood shorter though no less determined. Like a rabid dog, his teeth were visible from the way his lips pulled back into a menacing snarl. There was a glint of something in his eyes, something devious which concerned her, but after another tense moment, he stepped out of the elevator. Brushing past the Editor-in-Chief, he stormed out of the lobby and exited the building. 


Kylo didn’t move until Hux was gone from view. The second the ginger-haired manager was gone, Kylo crowded her back into the elevator. Rey stumbled backwards, unprepared for him to join her. He pressed the button for their floor, taking them back up to Force Publications. 


They rode up in silence and it was within this same silence he guided her through the rows of cubicles back to his office. 


Once they were inside and he had shut the door, he was on her, hands roving over her light as the beat of a butterfly’s wings. How could a man so obviously dangerous touch her with such gentleness? 


“Are you alright?” Kylo sighed, as if he had been holding back the question. 


“I’m fine,” Rey assured him. “Hux was just sniffing around. He saw us at the cafe this morning.”


Kylo cursed, running a hand through his hair. “What did he say to you?” 


Rey relayed their conversation from the elevator up to the point where Kylo had interrupted Hux’s interrogation. 


“That bastard,” Kylo hissed, turning away from her to shove all his belongings from his desk. Pens, folders, awards, and other miscellaneous objects clattered to the floor. Gripping the edge of the desk with both hands, he leaned over it inhaling deeply through his nostrils. “You should report him. He can’t speak to you that way.”


Once again, Rey saw the red flags go up. She recognized the danger in the man before her but she wasn’t afraid. Kylo was a tornado of emotions yet she didn’t feel the impulse to run. She wanted to chase the storm and thunder with it. 


“Kylo,” Rey reached over, taking one of his hands in both of hers. “Let it go. You pushed him pretty far. What if he goes to Connix tomorrow?”


“I need to speak to my mother,” he surprised her by replying. 


“Your mother?” Rey questioned, unsure what Kylo’s parent would be able to do about the situation. 


He merely nodded in response, retrieving his cell and typing in a number. Rey stood aside of him, waiting for him to explain. She was close enough to hear when a voice on the other end picked up, but not what the voice said.


“Hello,” Kylo said, his tone serious as if he was completing a business transaction instead of a call home. “I apologize if I’m interrupting your dinner.”


There was a rushed reply and then he spoke again. 


“We have a situation. Hux thinks he saw something this morning and threatened Rey.”


So his mother knew who she was? 


There relationship had progressed rapidly over the course of the last few days. Rey found herself surprised but not displeased to know he had discussed her with his mother.


Rey wondered if she should have mentioned Kylo to her parents, not that she had had any time to Skype with her mother or father since leaving Kylo’s apartment. Plus, she was afraid her father would be tempted to make an impromptu visit to the Big Apple if he heard his only child was dating. Cassian Andor was the overprotective sort, as was his wife. 


Now that she thought of it, Rey wasn’t sure which parent would be worse — her father or her mother. They both had dominating personalities, which caused them to clash horrifically when they disagreed. However, when they were on the same page, there was nothing they couldn’t achieve. They were a force of nature. 


“Tonight?” Kylo asked, sounding slightly frazzled. She had never heard him worried before. Concerned, yes. Mad, absolutely. But there was a tremor in his voice now, one which made her rethink the severity of the situation with Hux. 


“Alright, alright,” Kylo told his mother. “We’ll be there.”


We?


He disconnected the call, turning to Rey with another sigh. “My mother has invited us over for dinner so we can discuss how to move forward given this development with Hux.”


Rey froze. She was meeting his mother? They had only just decided on being an item. She knew they were moving fast, far faster than a normal couple got together. Up until this point, Rey had been comfortable with their progress. Kylo was a gentleman and he was equal parts sweet and sexy, which made him impossible to deny. 


Regardless, involving family members was a big step and one which hinted at far more than a standard relationship’s level of commitment. After narrowing avoiding Hux’s hostile interrogation, Rey was exhausted. She didn’t feel up for a meeting with Kylo’s mother. 


“I don’t think-.”


“I’ll drive you back to your apartment, if you’d like to change,” he offered, cutting her off.


“Kylo,” Rey started again. “I’m tired and I don’t think I’d make a good first impression on your mother going to see her right now. Can’t it wait?”


“No,” he replied, looking truly upset. “I don’t want another incident like this one happening.” 


Despite his anxious state, Rey wasn’t satisfied with his answer. She had kept their secret. She hadn’t allowed Hux to derive any information from her. Rey could protect herself. And as chivalrous as Kylo was attempting to be, she wasn’t as green as Hux had insinuated. She could handle things. 


Kylo seemed to sense her disappointment in his insistence and moved to wrap his arms around her. “I won’t allow him or anyone else to ruin your career, Rey. I would never forgive myself if something like that happened.”


“But how could he do that?” She asked, peering up at her boyfriend. “We weren’t on company property and even if we were, he has no proof!”


“Here-say can sometimes be just as bad as real facts,” Kylo informed her. “But thankfully my mother will know what to do. She’s handled office scandals in the past and come out all the better for it. She’ll know what to do.” 


Rey bit her bottom lip, unsure. 


“Please,” Kylo pleaded. 


“Alright. Let’s go see your mother.”



 

 

The ride to her apartment was quiet. Unlike how effortless and open they had been around one another during the weekend, the weight of their situation sat heavy on both their shoulders, Rey’s especially. 

 

Doubt clouded her mind the longer they drove. Doubt over the speed in which she had fallen into a man she barely knew, doing about the fact said man was her boss and ultimately doubt in herself. 

 

True to his word, Kylo had taken her back to her apartment to get changed. Rey opted for comfort since crawling under her comforter and hiding until the storm blew over wasn’t an option. She donned black skinny jeans and a plain white tee along with a beat up pair of Converse. 

 

Kylo didn’t want to waste time returning to his place, so he changed into his workout gear in her bathroom, while she tried to catch up Rose and Paige as quickly and quietly as possible. 

 

When he had emerged clad in black track pants and an Adidas shirt, Rey was struck by how unfair it was that he was as gorgeous as he was. Even in athletic wear he looked like a movie star. It made her rethink her decision to change, losing a few inches now that she had discarded her heels. 

 

Before she could change her mind, Kylo was escorting her out the door and to the car. 


Now they were on their way across the city to where his mother lived. 


If Rey thought she was nervous, it was worse for Kylo. Despite his stubborn resolve to handle this matter tonight, his hands were gripping the steering wheel so tight his knuckles were white. His eyes were focused on the road but she could tell his mind was elsewhere. His lips were parted, as if at any moment he’d begin muttering to himself, but he remained silent. 


When they pulled up to Aldera Royal Place, she felt herself relax, if only for the fact he was no longer so tense next to her. That was, until she stepped out of the car.


Kylo’s apartment was posh but the complex before her was practically a palace. The tall cone shaped spires reflected the light of the city, glowing with the mirror images of the surrounding neighbors. It looked like something out of a science fiction film or an Escher print. 


Rey would have stood there all night staring at the geometric marvel, had Kylo not come up behind her, placing a hand on the small of her back to lead her inside. 


The lobby had a great pond in its center, larger than any pool Rey had seen before. She grinned when she leaned over to see several large and obviously well fed coy swimming about lazily. 


Her smile fell away when she saw the distressed expression on Kylo’s face.


“What is it?” she asked, lacing her fingers through his as they walked to the elevator which would take them up. 


Kylo sighed, his head dropping before he responded. “There’s something I need to tell you about my past.”


Rey blinked once, then twice. Of course he had things to tell her about his past. She had things to tell him too. They hadn’t known one another very long, at least not in the way they should for being as committed as they were. 


“Hey,” she smiled up at him reassuringly. “Whatever it is, it doesn’t change the man you are now. And I really like him.” She rose to her top toes, pulling down on his arm so he’d tilt down far enough to allow her to press a kiss to his cheek. 


He didn’t reply, appearing stunned for a moment. Then the elevator dinged and they were exiting to the sole door on the top floor. They stopped in front of the apartment and it took another moment before Kylo rapped his knuckles against the fine mahogany wood of the door.


“This isn’t how I wanted to tell you,” Kylo lamented, carding the fingers of his free hand through his locks. “I was trying to find the right time to bring it up, but I wasn’t sure how to. I didn’t want to disappoint you.”


Her gut clenched unpleasantly, at his tone. Something was not right about this. Rey quirked an eyebrow. “What do you mean?”


He sounded so defeated. She didn’t understand why until the door of the apartment opened to reveal Leia Organa-Solo.

 

“Ben?”

 

Ben?  

 

Rey glanced at the famous entrepreneur and board member of Force Publications before turning to Kylo. His face was resigned, but when he spoke next, he confirmed what Rey was piecing together. 

  

“Good evening, mother.”

Chapter Text

 

Kylo tried not to focus on Rey’s conflicted expression as he guided her into his mother’s apartment. While Leia seemed all too pleased to be meeting Rey officially as his girlfriend, despite the circumstances, he could feel the waves of distrust and confusion rolling off his kitten. 



He’d be lucky if she ever let him call her that again after all this. 



Telling her the truth of his past was something Kylo had always planned on doing, ever since the first night they shared with one another in his office. The second she had mentioned his first job, he knew he’d have to tell her eventually. 



Leia led them into the living room area, which as comforting and light as Kylo’s penthouse was dark. Where Kylo had black leather, charcoal gray rugs and dark wood, Leia preferred a soft white love seat, wooden floors and bamboo furniture. It suited her, just as Kylo’s furnishings suited him, but he couldn’t escape the glaring evidence of just how different they were. 



“So,” Leia began, as they took their seats opposite her on a twin loveseat, “tell me everything, every detail. Don’t leave anything out.”



Kylo intended on leading the conversation, but Rey began telling Leia about her arrival to the office and how her manager had been acting suspiciously interested in her weekend. Aside of her, he clenched his fists, enraged Hux would repeatedly corner Rey, sniffing around for answers. 



“I’m sorry, Rey,” his mother held up a hand, as she continued with her retelling. “I’m going to have to stop you.” Leia gave a pointed look at her son. “When I say everything, I mean everything.”



The meaning behind her command became clear. 



“No,” Kylo snapped. “You don’t need to know everything.” 



“I do, if I’m going to help,” Leia answered back, managing to keep her frustration from leaking into her voice the way his had. You’re lucky I happen to be both a board member and your mother.”



Kylo tried not to notice the way Rey shifted at the last word his mother spoke. They needed to have a conversation — in private — about his birth name, but now was not the time. First, he needed to level-set with Leia.



“I’m not sharing the intimate details of our relationship with my mother,” he insisted, practically growling at her. 



“Ben Solo, If you think I’m going to sit here and-.”



“That’s exactly what I think,” he snarled. “I came to you for help. You said you would. I didn’t think you were going to manipulate my situation, but I guess I should have known better. After all, you are always looking out for number one, right mom?”



Leia set him a cross glare, but didn’t respond.



He flinched out of shock, when he felt Rey’s hand slip into his. “Kylo.” That was all it took. One single word. Just his name from her lips and he stilled. She was looking at him the way she had before the elevator incident with Hux. There was pure adoration in her eyes and he hoped it was real. He hoped they could survive this — survive his choice to not share his history with her too soon.



“Alright,” he nodded, give her hand a squeeze. He turned back to his mother. “What exactly do you need to know?”



Leia observed the interaction with unmasked curiosity. After a moment, she cleared her throat. “I don’t need to know the details around your intimate moments,” she clarified, “but I do need to understand more about how you two came together and just exactly how deep you both are in this.”



“Deep,” Rey answered without hesitation, then as if only just remembering he was next to her, she turned to see his reaction. Kylo was beaming over at her. “Or at least I am,” Rey added, gnawing on her lower lip. 



“You’re not alone,” he answered, not looking away. He squeezed her hand. 



“Neither are you,” she responded, squeezing his hand back. 



“Perfect,” Leia replied. “Now that that’s settled, shall we order in? This might take a while.”




 

If someone had told Rey she’d be eating Thai with Leia Organa-Solo that evening, she would have laughed. Rey had looked up to the female entrepreneur ever since she had read an article about the woman purchasing his father’s company in the late seventies. Leia had been an inspiration to Rey as she studied at university and worked her way through article prompt after article prompt for the First Order. 



Now, she was sitting at the woman’s island in the kitchen, enjoying krathong tong and pad kra prao while having unlimited access to the woman’s brain. She could ask her anything she wanted — anything — but all Rey could think to ask was what had happened to Ben Solo?



It was obvious the second she had heard Leia call Kylo ‘Ben’ why he had chosen to bring them here. What wasn’t obvious was what had happened to Kylo to make him change his name and sever his familial ties. And why hadn’t he told her? Was he ashamed of her? Was he scared of her reaction? Rey wanted answers. 



“Have you ever tried lad na?” Leia asked Rey, opening another container which appeared to contain some sort of broth or soup. 



“No,” Rey shook her head, as she peered into the container. Leia merely smiled and began spooning the contents into a clean bowl for her. 



“It was always Ben’s favorite,” Leia informed her. “Comfort food,” she smiled.



“Thank you, Ms. Organa,” Rey said, as she took the bowl offered to her.



“Oh dear, please call me Leia,” she insisted kindly. “My mother was Ms. Organa.”



“A-Alright,” Rey nodded, though she was still star-struck from meeting her idol and reeling from the fact her boyfriend had hidden an entire life from her. 



Kylo had been hovering around her since they arrived, not initiating contact with her but clearly savoring it when she gave it to him. Rey could tell he was upset but she didn’t want to discuss his choice to hide this part of his life from her in front of his mother. It was a conversation for private. 



“How did you get started writing, Rey?”



Oh...right. 



Rey knew she should have expected this question to come up. Still, she was unprepared for the storm of emotions which came with it. Normally, she could push down her personal past and give the college admissions answer everyone wanted to hear. Whether it was due to finding out Kylo had a family who he had intentionally left or because she was hurt he’d kept the truth from her, she felt her old wounds reopening.



“Uh, well my biological parents abandoned me outside of Surry when I was about six,” she began, ignoring the way Kylo sucked in a breath or how Leia stilled. “And it took me years to stop wondering why or what happened to them. My dad is a cop, so investigating the details came sort of naturally to me. Then that turned into investigative journalism and then it developed into a love of writing in general. And here I am.”



No one moved for what felt like an entire minute. 



“Rey,” Kylo spoke first, placing an arm around her. It wasn’t until he touched her that she realized she was shaking slightly. “Baby, come here.” He wrapped her in his arms, keeping her tucked into his chest, while his hands worked up and down her back in slow, calming strokes.



He had never called her ‘baby’ before and she found she kind of liked it. The endearment sounded softer and more innocent than ‘kitten’, which had a permanent naughty connotation in her mind now. 



After a few moments, she pushed back on him, telling him she was ok and wiping at her eyes, which were a bit damp. 



Kylo kept an arm around Rey, as they resumed eating their dinner. She had never been so grateful to have him around.



“I think you could be an exceptional journalist, Rey,” Leia told her, not lingering on her emotional response the the former question. “Which gives me an idea.”



“Do tell,” Kylo implored her.



“An old friend of mine runs a small newspaper on the west coast. It’s not as big as the Times or the Wall Street Journal, but it is an award-winning publication with a knack for turning out reliable news. I think it could set you up for a proper career in the journalism world,” Leia concluded. 



Rey immediately felt the pain of her past vanish at Leia’s offer. It was as if the woman was handing her a pair of ruby slippers and sending her down the yellow brick road. 



The paper Leia mentioned was exactly the type of place Rey wanted to be. It was what she had always envisioned when she thought of pursuing writing as a career. No more fluff pieces or dumb columns, just real news for real people. 



Elated, she turned to Kylo and her smile fell from her face. He was glowering at his mother. 



“No,” he replied stiffly.



“Kylo,” Rey placed her hand on his thigh. 



“You don’t understand,” his voice came out softer when he spoke to her, but the underlying defiance was still there. “She means to separate us.”



Rey had heard Leia say the words ‘west coast’ but it hadn’t actually sunk in until Kylo pointed it out. Suddenly her perfect job didn’t seem so perfect.



“I’m not trying to separate you,” Leia argued, “but seeing as how you’ve left me with no other options, I have no other alternatives to offer you.”



“There has to be something else,” Kylo grumbled, dinner forgotten in the wake of Leia’s suggestion. 



“Of course,” Leia nodded resolutely. “You could step down as Editor or Rey could try to find a new job, but I can’t have you both working there if Hux’s allegations come to light. If he finds any proof that the two of you were involved it could ruin us.”

 

Rey watched as he cursed, running his hands through his hair frustratedly. His body was taut with agitation. He reminded her of a caged beast at the zoo, like one of the jaguars who paced constantly along the walls of its chamber. There was a wildness to his eyes, as he tried to think of a way out of their predicament.

 

Leia resumed eating, while Rey picked at her food, appetite gone in the wake of the offer.

 

If Hux had never seen them at the coffee shop, he wouldn’t have had any idea. They had been so careful and it wasn’t as though Kylo was granting her any favors. Rey still worked as hard as she had prior to spending time with her Editor.

 

Hux ruined everything. He had treated her unfairly since her first day at the First Order. Despite her constant drive and the timeliness of all her assignments, he and never been pleased with her work. He was probably loving the fact he was about to destroy her career and her love life in one swoop.

 

The man was despicable.

 

And to think just this morning Poe had thought her manager was trying to-

 

Rey leapt off her bar stool. “What if Hux wasn’t credible?”

 

Leia and Kylo both turned towards her.

 

“What do you mean?” Leia was the first to speak.

“Before the assault in the elevator, he cornered me at my desk and others saw it. My friend Poe was a witness,” she informed them. “He actually told Hux to leave me alone because he thought the way he was talking to me was inappropriate.”

 

Kylo looked like Christmas had just come early, but Leia didn’t seem quite convinced.

 

“What are you thinking, Rey?” Leia asked.

 

“If I go to Connix and complain about how Hux has treated me in the last leading up to the events of today, it would be grounds for dismissal, correct? You can’t have a hostile workplace.”

 

“Touché,” Leia grinned, then to Kylo she added, “I like her.”

 

“Me too,” he replied, still smiling at Rey. “Me too.”

 


 

After finishing their dinner and coming up with a new plan, Kylo and Rey got ready to leave. Despite Rey’s idea having merit, they still had to come up with a back up plan in case it didn’t work.

 

In the end, Rey had agreed to send her resume and some samples of her most recent work to Leia to make the introductions with Lando Calrissian, Kylo’s unofficial uncle. Once Leia had given Rey her personal email address, they bid her goodnight.

 

“I’ll see you in the morning,” his mother reminded him as he hugged her. “Rey,” she addressed his girlfriend. “Come by any time. It was a pleasure to finally meet you.”

 

“Thank you,” Rey smiled. “It was nice to meet you as well.”

 

Kylo led her back down to the car, carrying the leftovers Leia had insisted on sending home with him. Apparently she was still in mom-mode even if her son was full-grown and could order his own food.

 

The ride back to Rey’s apartment was a silent one. Despite the fact neither of them were speaking, Kylo could hear the wheels in Rey’s mind churning.

 

He knew the opportunity to work at The Calrissian Chronicle was a step in the right direction for her. It would give her a better opportunity for her writing to develop with topics she actually enjoyed researching. A year or so working for a paper like his Uncle Lando’s and Rey would easily be promoted. Kylo recognized her potential and knew what she was capable of. It wouldn't be unheard of for her to be made editor at some point.

 

If he was being honest, Kylo could admit the opportunity was perfect for her. His uncle was a great employer, offering the best benefit packages and competitive salaries. Plus, California offered much nicer weather than New York. It would certainly suit Rey’s personality.

 

But if Kylo was being selfish, he didn’t want her to take it. They were in the early stages of their relationship and he didn’t trust himself not to spend every last dollar he made on round trips back and forth between New York and LA in order to see her during the weekends. It was certain to put a dent in his bank account.

 

The money didn’t matter to him. As much as he liked his apartment, his sports car and his tailored wardrobe, none of those tangible items could compare to how fulfilled he felt when he was with Rey. He’d gladly part with it all to be with her, but California was not somewhere he’d be able to live.

 

Ever.

 

Plus, the one thing he did love about New York was his job. It was the first thing he had achieved for himself. Of course, no one but Rey would believe that, considering his mother purchased the entire magazine as part of the largest publication merger of the past decade.

 

Leia never respected Kylo’s choice to distance himself from the family’s legacy or their endless drama (his words, not hers). When he had joined the Supremacy, Anthony Snoke had owner and operated the publishing company. Kylo worked his way up through the ranks as a writer until Snoke put him in charge of the First Order.

 

It had been the proudest day of Kylo’s life, until at five o’clock on the dot, his mother strolled in and announced she was purchasing the company. The next day he ceased being an individual and was once again under the umbrella of Force Publications.

 

That day had started good too, only to end in disappointment, just like today. He sighed, as he pulled up to Rey’s apartment.

 

She didn’t move to exit the car. Her face was a mixture of emotions ranging from confused and hurt to contemplative and wistful. Kylo reached across the gear shift to take her hand in his.

 

“Rey.” She startled, snapping out of whatever reverie she had been in. “Rey,” he started again, brushing a lock of hair from her face. “About tonight...”

 

“Were you going to tell me?”

 

“Yes,” he answered honestly. “I wasn’t trying to hide it from you. Everything was so new and I didn’t know how to bring it up. I was afraid I’d scare you off.”

 

“But I told you about my parents and how I was adopted,” she insisted, shaking her head.

 

“You did,” he nodded, “but you weren’t completely honest either,” Kylo reminded her. “You never told me that you were abandoned.”

 

He watched her suck in a breath. Her face contorted in anguish.

 

“And I understand,” Kylo quickly added. “Some memories leave scars.”

 

Rey raised her eyes to his, bushed tears twinkling at the edges. “We’re a mess, aren’t we?” she asked with a small chuckle. “Drinking in the office, sleeping together before we had a real date...,” she shook her head trailing off. “Are we crazy?”

 

“Maybe a little,” Kylo chuckled in return. “But I think we are the right brand of crazy to balance each other out.”

 

“Is that even possible?” she laughed, wiping away her tears.

 

He shrugged. “Does it matter as long as we are happy?”

 

“No,” Rey leaned over, kissing him.

 

“Why don’t you pack your overnight bag?” he suggested . “I’ll wait here for you.”

 

Rey raised her eyebrows, as she sat back in her seat. “Is that a good idea with Hux and everything?”

 

“You said so yourself,” Kylo pointed out, “Hux already came after you in front of Dameron before the elevator incident. It shouldn’t be difficult to build a case against him and have him terminated.”

 

“Kylo...” Rey looked worried again.

 

“Get your bag, kitten,” he told her.

 

Even though there wasn’t a single ounce of dominance in his tone, Rey complied.

 

Chapter Text

 

Kylo woke before his alarm went off, glancing over his shoulder at his bedside clock, he noted he had five minutes before the blaring sound erupted from the device. He turned back to the woman in his arms, who was snoring softly aside of him.

 

He held back a chuckle taking in her serene face, all the muscles relaxed in true rest. In her camisole and sleep shorts, Rey was just covered enough for the outfit to count as pajamas but also enough to spark his arousal. Though, to be honest, there wasn’t much about Rey which didn’t spark his arousal.

 

She had been so confident last night, unwavering in her devotion to him. It hardly mattered to him whether they had been together a few days or a few weeks, Kylo had already decided Rey was it. And he was positive his mother noticed.

 

When Rey has spoken of her abandonment, it had touched something inside of him. While his parents hadn’t abandoned him on paper, their absence in his life left a similar scar upon him. Seeing Rey so vulnerable, hearing the deep pain in her voice, it had been more than he could bare. It was how he knew his connection to her went beyond their weekend together. What he felt for this woman was greater than a date and sharing a bed.

 

Kylo wouldn’t let Hux take Rey from him. He wouldn’t allow anyone to separate them, his mother included.

 

Like a cruel reminder today was only Tuesday, his alarm shrieked to life. Kylo hastily withdrew from Rey in an attempt to silence it before she woke, but as he settled back down, he was met with her hazel orbs staring at him.

 

“Morning,” she slurred sleepily.

 

“Morning kitten,” he pressed his forehead to hers, kissing the top of her nose. “How did you sleep?”

 

“Good. You?” Rey asked, snuggling up against his bare chest.

 

“Perfect,” Kylo whispered against the crown of her head. He wasn’t only commenting on his sleep.

 

His hand slipped around her waist to the dip of her back. He pulled her flush against him, pressing his stirring member to her.

 

“Kylo,” she half-laughed, half-moaned. “Work.”

 

“I’m sure your boss will forgive you if you are a few minutes late,” he nipped at her ear lobe.

 

“Kylo! This is why we can’t sleep together on week nights,” Rey tried to shove against his chest, but he wasn’t budging.

 

“You came over last night,” he reminded her. “What did you think was going to happen, kitten?”

 

Rey sighed and relented. Her hands snaked up his defined pecs and to his neck and hair. “You’re a terrible influence, you know?”

 

“I aim to please,” he smirked, before diving in to claim her lips.

 

Kylo rolled Rey onto her back, prying apart her legs with his knee so he could lie between them. “Best part of my day,” he teased.

 

“Shut up and kiss me,” Rey demanded, her hand fisting in his hair.

 

“Mmmm my kitten is bossy this morning,” Kylo chuckled, but he did as she asked.

 

Her hips canted against his when his lips met hers. He didn’t hesitate to deepen the kiss, his tongue seeking hers while he toyed with the waistband of her sleep shorts. Those needed to go, along with his boxers and her top.

 

“Sit up, kitten,” Kylo commanded, sitting back on his heels.

 

He helped Rey remove her camisole. Her perky tits sat before him, unobstructed and begging to be touched. Kylo leaned in, capturing a nipple before sucking more of her flesh into his mouth. Rey keened, her hands gripping his shoulders as her head fell back. Grabbing her waist, he held her up, repeating the same to her opposite breast.

 

“Ben,” she moaned and he froze, pulling away slightly.

 

Rey stilled, realizing what she said. “Kylo, I’m sorry. I-.”

 

Something in him growled possessively, delighted in how his birth name — a name he never appreciated — sounded coming from her lips. It sounded heavenly, like a blessing only meant for his ears. And it made him feel powerful in a way he wasn’t accustomed to. Something about the fact Rey knew his real name and chose to use it now had him grinning wickedly back at her.

 

“Say it again,” he commanded, tearing her shorts from her.

 

A hunger awoke in him, demanding and insatiable. He shucked off his own boxers. Taking himself in hand, he ran the other up Rey’s thigh towards her center.

 

“B-Ben?”

 

“Again, kitten,” he instructed.

 

Her eyes were on his hand, watching it’s slow rise up along the silken skin of her inner thigh until it made contact with her slick core. He gave her a warning tap.

 

“Kitten,” Kylo reminded her. “Say it.”

 

Rey’s eyes went hazy with lust. “Ben,” she purred.

 

“Good girl,” he praised, caressing her entrance.

 

Her chest was already rising and falling quicker and there was a flush spreading down from her face towards her neck and chest. Kylo smirked, satisfied by how he could produce such a reaction from his girl.

 

And she was his.

 

He’d make sure it stayed that way.

 

“Tell me what you want, Rey,” he promoted, teasing her entrance with enough pressure to build her up but not enough for her to find release.

 

“Y-you,” she breathed. “Please sir. Ben, please.”

 

Kylo thrust a finger inside, only stopping when his fist hit the apex of her thighs. Rey moaned, hands reaching for him. Kylo snatched her wrists in one massive hand, dropping his weight forward to hold them down against the mattress.

 

“No, kitten,” he told her. “This morning, I call the shots.”

 

Withdrawing his finger, he pushed back in, setting a slow pace. Rey whimpered, her back arching off the bed as she attempted to meet each thrust. Kylo picked up his knee, placing it down on her upper thigh to restrain her movements.

 

He pumped his hand, only adding a second finger once Rey stopped squirming quite so much. His thumb swept across her clit, causing her to rise off the mattress once more. She screamed his birth name that time and if he hadn’t been hard before, he’d have gotten fully hard from that sound alone.

 

“What do you need, kitten?”

 

“You,” she cried, eyes squeezed shut.

 

“Look at me, Rey,” he ordered. Her eyes snapped open, locking on him instantly. “What exactly do you need? Use your words, kitten.”

 

“Y-your...” She lost her words as he skimmed over her clit again.

 

“My what?”

 

Her eyes narrowed and he could have swore he heard her in his head screaming, You monster.

 

“Your cock, Ben,” Rey begged hurriedly. “I need it. Please.”

 

Kylo smiled smugly down at her. “That’s my good girl.”

 

Rey continued to glare up at him. Feisty little kitten, he thought while releasing her wrists long enough to line himself up with her slit. He slid home in one swift thrust.

 

She felt so perfect around him. Even after their weekend rendezvous, Rey was incredibly tight. Kylo could feel every inch of her as he pulled out and the delicious spongy place when he was fully seated back in.

 

Agonizingly slow, he worked himself in and out, one hand keeping Rey pinned down and one hand toying with her clit. He flicked and pinched her swollen flesh, his pace quick and borderline playful in contrast to the languid thrusts of his pelvis.

 

“Ben,” Rey’s body was shaking underneath him. He had teased his kitten long enough.

 

“Shhhh, baby,” he crooned. “I’m going to take care you. I’m going to take such good care of you, Rey.”

 

When she nodded, Rey looked up at him through half-lid eyes. She appeared nearly delirious from being kept at the edge of her orgasm and the vision of her red and moaning beneath him was one he’d keep in his mind forever.

 

He removed his hand from her hood, taking hold of her hip. Kylo lurched back before forcefully slamming forward. A resounding slap of skin on skin echoed through the bedroom. They both groaned and then Kylo lost himself to the immense pleasure.

 

Unconcerned with holding Rey back, he held onto her, keeping her in position as he adjusted his hips. The lewd sounds of their coupling filled the apartment. Their voices joined together like their bodies as they both grew louder and more brazen with each thrust.

 

“Fuck baby.”

 

“God, Ben, I’m going to come.”

 

“Come, kitten,” he grit out, rocking into her faster and faster. “Come on my cock. I want to feel you.”

 

His name ripped free of her throat losing all meaning except as a triumphant cry of Rey’s cresting. He followed behind, no less victorious or obscene. If his neighbors heard them, it would be no question as to what the tenant in the penthouse was up to this morning.

 

Kylo remained hovering over Rey, keeping her body caged under his own. As the after effects of his release shuddered through him, Rey hummed to herself, eyes closed. She looked thoroughly sated and content. It was how she was meant to be, how he always wanted to see her.

 

He had done that.

 

And he’d continue to do it for as long as she would have him.

 




Rey managed to get to her desk with sixty seconds to spare. If her face happened to still be flushed from the whirlwind morning she had at Kylo’s apartment, well no one at Force Publications was the wiser.

 

“Rey,” Kaydel appeared at her desk while she was logging in to her terminal.

 

“Good morning,” she greeted the manager of HR.

 

She suspected Kaydel was stopping by to confirm Rey’s story about Hux but a tiny part of her feared the blonde would know the truth about where Rey had been spending her nights.

 

“Would you mind coming with me to my office?” Kaydel asked. Rey gulped, her heartbeat quickening. “It’s nothing bad,” Kaydel assured her. “It should only take a few minutes.”

 

“Alright,” Rey nodded, rising from her desk.

 

She followed Kaydel towards the HR department, passing Poe’s division as she did. Just before she ducked inside the blonde’s office, Rey spotted Kylo strolling in. His steps faltered for a split second when he saw her — not noticeable to anyone but Rey — before he resumed his track toward his own office.

 

“Shut the door, if you don’t mind, Rey,” Kaydel suggested.

 

Rey did and proceeded to take a seat across from the HR manager.

 

“Rey,” she started. “I’m sure you know why you are here?”

 

The staff writer shook her head. She learned from her father it was best to let an interrogator  confirm all details before responding. Not that Kaydel was interrogating her, per se, but in the interest of keeping her relationship with Kylo safe, Rey wasn’t above using any and all tactics Cassian gave her.

 

“It was brought to my attention that your manager, Armitage Hux assaulted you in the elevator yesterday evening,” Kaydel continued in a formal, clipped voice. “Is this true?”

 

Rey swallowed, nodding timidly. It wasn’t a lie, but a sliver of her felt guilty for admitting to Kaydel what transpired. Hux crosses a line. There was no denying it, but hadn’t she done the same thing? She knowingly started a relationship with her editor, someone she wasn’t supposed to have any romantic feelings towards at all. What made her any different than Hux?

 

“Rey,” Kaydel let out a breath she must have been holding. In a breach of protocol, the blonde manager came around the desk to hug her friend. “Why didn’t you come to me? I knew Hux was unpleasant but I never thought he would go so far as to attack you.”

 

“It’s fine, Kay,” Rey responded, slowly hugging the other woman back. “Mr. Ren was there. He handled it. If he hadn’t...,” she trailed off.

 

What would have happened if Kylo hadn’t waited for her? Would Hux have tried to hit her? Would she have hit him back?

 

“I know,” Kaydel said, pulling back and returning to her seat. “He sent me an email straight away and called me this morning to follow up.”

 

When had he had time to phone Kaydel?

 

“We take assault very seriously,” the HR manager continued, her professional demeanor returning. “Mr. Hux has been suspended for the next two weeks without pay while we sort this whole thing out.

 

Rey nodded mutely.

 

“I want you to understand, Rey, that you did nothing wrong, but as you are both employees of Force Publications and this incident occurred on company property, we will need to conduct an investigation. We will be interviewing members of the staff to assess whether or not Mr. Hux will be permitted to continue his work here.”

 

“Will I be?” Rey questioned, fearing she’d be asked to leave for the trouble this caused the company.

 

“No, absolutely not,” Kaydel insisted. “You are the victim here, Rey. Your job is secure, though I will be calling you in as part of the investigative process. But believe me, when I say, you have nothing to worry about.”

 

“Thank you, Kaydel,” Rey tried to smile but it didn’t come.

 

“Just focus on your writing for now,” Kaydel told her.

 

“Ok.”

 

“See you for lunch?” Her friend asked, as Rey rose to leave.

 

“Sure,” Rey agreed, though she wasn’t really paying attention.

 

She walked back to her desk, her body on auto-pilot. While on the outside she appeared as her normal self, smiling when spoken to, getting through her edits and preliminary outlines quickly; on the inside her mind was a chaotic array of thoughts. A small part of her continued to feel guilt over Hux’s suspension and possible dismissal from the company. Another part of her was worried the investigation would unearth the truth about her relationship with the Editor in Chief.

 

There was a large part of her concerned about how Kylo would deal with Hux if the man was allowed to come back to work, knowing full well  he had very nearly punched the man. Physical assault would not be tolerated. Kaydel made that fact extremely clear. Rey didn’t want Kylo to lose his job over her, no matter how nobel his efforts were. While moving to California obviously had not been something he was prepared to do (and she couldn’t blame him because they had only begun to date), if he lost his position at Force Publications over her anyway, following Leia’s advice would be a moot point.

 

Rey considered calling Leia and accepting the offer at the Calrissian Chronical to be proactive. If she removed herself from the situation at Force Publications, the threat would be eliminated and she’d be free to date Kylo without any potential fallouts hanging over them. Of course, if she moved to California to work for the Chronical, they’d be in a long distance relationship. The chances of them staying together were slim. Very slim.

 

Dropping her head to the desk, she sighed. For a Tuesday morning, there was already far too much on her mind.

 

“Hey sunshine,” Poe greeted her, making his typical rounds. Rey wondered when he ever got any work down. PR manager or not, he was always chatting up someone.

 

“Hey, Poe,” she replied, lifting her face off her desk.

 

“I saw you go into Kay’s office,” he remarked. “Anything you want to talk about?”

 

“Not really,” Rey sighed.

 

Anything dealing with HR was highly confidential and even though she suspected Poe and Kaydel had a relationship which went beyond typical professional courtesy, she wasn’t about to divulge any details to him. He’d find out soon enough through the investigation.

 

“Well, you’re still coming to lunch with us, right?”

 

“Of course,” she made herself smile as she responded.

 

She didn’t want Poe pestering her with questions at lunch while in front of Kaydel. In fact, she didn't want Poe questioning her at all. Rey was already feeling guilty over Hux. She didn’t want to feel guilty over lying to her friends too.

 

“Great,” Poe flashed her his perfectly white teeth. “Kay and I’ll meet you at the elevators at noon.”

 

“Sounds good,” Rey gave him a little wave and watched as he walked off.

 

She waited for him to disappear around the corner before she dropped her head back down on her desk with a groan.

 

What was she going to do?

 


 

 

Kylo watched Rey from behind the blinds of his office. She was gathering up her things, probably to go out to lunch with her friends, as she normally did. He hadn’t spoken to her in a few hours and already his nerves were clawing at him to check in with her. When he arrived, Kylo saw Connix taking Rey into her office. He had very nearly burst in after the HR manager and his staff writer to ensure nothing was happening, but as it turned out, Connix was merely following up on his email and call from earlier.

 

The HR manager had sent him a follow up email documenting the conversation she had with Rey. It was all typical. There was no reason for Rey to be concerned about her job. The focus of the impending investigation was primarily on Hux. Yet, Kylo couldn’t quell his concern.

 

He sat down at his desk, going through the paperwork which littered the mahogany piece of furniture. After five minutes of struggling to get through the same sentence, he gave up.

 

Pressing the intercom button, he directed Bazine to call Rey into his office. Less than a minute later, a sharp knock came at his door.

 

“Come in,” he called through the wood.

 

“Sir,” Bazine swung the door open, stepping aside to allow Rey to pass by her. “Ms. Andor, as requested.”

 

“Thank you, Ms. Netal,” he nodded his head at her. “You are dismissed for lunch.”

 

“Thank you, sir,” Bazine left, closing the door behind her. Kylo stood.

 

“Sir,” Rey stood before him, one hand wrapped around her purse strap, which was situated over her shoulder.

 

“Am I interrupting, Ms. Andor?” Kylo questioned, listening for Bazine outside of his office. He wanted to make sure she was gone before he asked Rey how she was.

 

“I was about to take my lunch,” she answered, “but I can go later.”

 

“Dameron won’t miss you?” He queried, feeling petty for asking such a thing of her.

 

“Poe and I are just friends,” Rey insisted, her eyes hardening.

 

“I know,” Kylo responded quietly, coming around his desk to take her hands in his own. “I apologize. I’m a bit...on edge this morning.”

 

He opened his office door a crack to peer out into the office. Bazine was gone, as was most of the staff. Closing the door quietly behind him, he turned back to Rey. “I will excuse you, if you’d prefer to take lunch now.”

 

“And if I don’t?” Rey questioned, lifting her eyes to him.

 

Kylo realized he had been given an opportunity with a very limited window. Part of him recognized it was a bad idea. Another part of him told that part to fuck off.

 

“If you don’t,” he smirked, “then I’d like to try something.”

 

“Mmmmm, something?” Rey reached up and caught his tie between her thumb and pointer finger. She tugged it, lightly at first, before twisting it around her fist and yanking him down to her level “Something fun?”

 

“Abso-fucking-lutely,” Kylo grinned.

 

“I’m game.”

 

“Get behind the desk,” he commanded her.

 

Rey released her hold on his tie and followed his instructions without pause. He didn’t need to explain to her how dangerous this game was. Typically the staff only had a half-hour for lunch, which didn’t leave them with a lot of time for all the things he wanted to do to her. He’d have to be selective.

 

“Hands on the desk, kitten,” Kylo ordered, loosening his tie, as he stalked towards her.

 

Rey leaned forward, propping herself up on her palms and arching her back so her ass stuck up in the air enticingly. Kylo sucked in a breath at the sight of her in her sensible blouse and tightly fitted pencil skirt perched there waiting for him. Her heels gave her enough height to place her exactly where he needed her.

 

“This has to go, kitten,” he told her, stroking one broad hand down her backside.

 

“Yes, master,” she purred.

 

Kylo nearly came in his pants. Had she just called him master? Suddenly his entire body felt too hot, too constricted and he wanted nothing more than to scoop her up in his arms and carry her all the way back to his apartment so he could ravish her.

 

But they didn’t have time.

 

“Dirty girl,” he traced a finger down the zipper of her skirt.

 

Rey rolled her hips, keeping herself pressed against the desk as he had commanded while he undid her skirt. It fell to the floor, pooling around her pumps. Her lace-clad ass sat before him and Kylo couldn’t resist giving it a squeeze.

 

“You have to remain quiet, kitten,” he reminded her. “No one can know about this, understand?”

 

“Yes, master.”

 

He groaned, his hand slipping lower to feel her through her panties. She was wet. Kylo bit the inside of his cheek. Apparently the risk factor was as enticing to her as it was to him.

 

“Naughty, naughty girl,” he chided, running his finger back and forth over her slit through the fabric.

 


She moved back onto him, but didn’t make a sound. Kylo praised her, while hooking his thumbs in her lace garment. With a rapid yank, he rid her of the piece, leaving Rey bare from the waist down.

 

Kylo immediately went to work on his own clothes, unbuckling and dropping both his pants and boxers.

 

“Not a sound, Rey,” he repeated.

 

Wordlessly, she nodded.

 

One snap of his hips and he was buried to the hilt within her. Rey bit back a groan, her hands reaching for the front of the desk. She gripped onto the mahogany lip, knuckles white when Kylo pulled out only to thrust back in with the same rapid speed.

 

The pens and papers shook as he pounded into her, knowing full well he’d leave a line of brushing across her hips from where she was bent over his desk. If Rey was in pain, she was too delirious from the pleasure to care.

 

Still, Kylo worried about hurting her. Grabbing her hips, he spun her around, picking her up effortlessly and sitting her down on top of the desk facing him.

 

“Eyes on me, kitten,” Kylo demanded.

 

Rey arched, hands behind her on the desk to keep her hips forward and towards him. She kept her eyes locked on him, as he drove into her, his hands on her waist.

 

“You look so beautiful like this, Rey,” he told her. “So good for me, kitten.”

 

“Yes, master,” she breathed, her eyes fluttering as he hit her sweet spot with the new angle.

 

“Fuck, Rey,” he hissed.

 

Kylo lost himself in the lust filled frenzy they had created. This was what he had wanted since the very first moment he had seen Rey. To have her under him, on his desk, legs spread wide and inviting. He’d be lying if he would have said he hadn’t wanted it the first night they drank together or any time before that. Now he had her and it was even more satisfying than his fantasies.

 

The little hushed sounds she made. The way her skin darkened from the heat of their activity. The way her irises were blown wide from arousal. She looked perfect, like an erotic goddess made specifically for him.

 

“K-Kylo,” her voice broke and her eyes squeezed shut.

 

“Are you close, kitten?” he asked, forgiving her for not using his new name.

 

“Yes, yes, please,” she panted.

 

“My good girl,” Kylo praised, capturing her lips with his own. He dropped one hand to her clit, running frantic circles over her nub.

 

Rey jerked in his hold, hands flying up to grab his shoulders. She screamed into his mouth, their heated kiss swallowing her cries. Her body shook as her walls clamped down on him. He spilled into her, coating her with his spend, his own body shuddering in response to hers.

 

Kylo wrapped his arms around her, holding Rey flush against him as they both came down from the high. Their rapid heart beats thundered in his ears. He could feel Rey’s pulse through their proximity. Their hearts beat in time together, a percussion concerto he would never grown tired of.

 

He planted a chaste kiss on her forehead. “Thank you, baby.”

 

“Thank you?” she laughed, smiling up at him, face still covered in her blush.

 

Even after all they had done, she still always looked so innocent afterwards. He loved that about her.

 

“I was worried about you all morning,” Kylo explained. “I’m glad you’re alright.”

 

“Mmmm,” she pulled herself up, kissing his lips. “More than alright.”

 

“Good,” he grinned down at her.

 

They began to get dressed, Kylo watching Rey as he tucked himself in. He loved how she moved, so graceful yet sure of herself. Her confidence was alluring.

 

Just then, he saw movement through a crack in his blinds.

 


  

“Bazine is back,” Kylo noted, pressing a kiss to the back of Rey’s neck as he helped her adjust her clothing.

 

Rey’s hands shook with nervous anticipation as she smoothed her pencil skirt down and finished buttons her blouse.

 

Thinking quick, she grabbed a notepad from her purse, which had overturn in their haste to be together. Pulling out a pen, she took a seat across from Kylo and began scribbling away just as a knock sounded on the door.

 

“Come in,” Kylo called, while sitting down.

 

Reminding herself he had asked to read her article before submission, Rey tried to calm her nerves. She could explain why she was still here. Kylo was coaching her, offering her advice while her manager was suspended.

 

Bazine opened the door and remained standing in the entry.

 

“Would you like me to order in lunch for you, sir?” she asked in her normal sharp tone. Her eyes roamed over Rey, but she made no such offer to the staff writer.

 

“Yes, Ms. Netal.”

 

“I will get you the usual then,” she replied. “Anything else?”

 

“Could you also order something for Ms. Andor?” Kylo asked. Rey stiffened and one look at him had her heart racing and her temperature spiking.

 

“As you wish, Mr. Ren,” Bazine responded. She walked out to her desk before returning with a menu, which she all but threw into Rey’s lap. “Please make a selection, Ms. Andor.”

 

Rey gave her an order and Kylo dismissed his assistant.

 

“She doesn’t like me,” Rey commented.

 

“Irrelevant,” Kylo smirked. “I like you.”

 

“So...,” Rey glanced down at her gibberish on the notepad. “Shall we discuss my next piece?”

 

“If that’s what you want to talk about over lunch,” Kylo said.

 

“I think that’s the only appropriate choice,” she replied, keeping her voice low.

 

“Very well, then Ms. Andor,” he grinned and she was grateful she had fallen into the seat across from him because she was sure her knees were about to give out from either nerves or her post-coital bliss.

 

“Your last piece set a new record for the culinary column. Would you be willing to continue working in that area?” He asked, a mischievous glint in his eyes. “Since you are so passionate about it?”

 

“Of course.”

 

“Excellent,” Kylo slid a piece of paper across his desk towards her. “Here is your next assignment.”

 

Rey read the subject of her piece: “How to Properly Stuff a Cake with Buttercream.”

 

The sexual innuendo was not lost on her. Was he serious? If Kylo’s growing smirk was any indication, he was. Her face reddened and he winked at her.

 

This man would be the death of her.


 

Art by @SpiegatrixLestrange

Chapter Text

 

“I don’t know why you don’t just move in with him,” Rose told Rey a week later while she packed her overnight bag for the third time in as many days.

 

“Rose!” Rey’s cheeks were scarlet as she threw a pillow at her roommate.

 

“Or you could get married,” Paige commented from her spot on the couch. Even from across the apartment, Rey could see the smirk on her friend’s lips.

 


“Reminder, we’ve been dating for a couple of weeks,” Rey pointed out. “You don’t marry someone you just started dating.”

 

“You don’t spend every waking minute with them either,” Rose retorted.

 

“Or offer to work your weekend so you can make use of the company paid for hotel room,” Paige added.

 

Rey groaned. It was true. There hadn’t been a single night she hadn’t been at Kylo’s apartment since last Monday. While the investigation at work went on, they remained professional, only speaking to one another if the occasion called for it. After Bazine nearly caught them, Rey had put the brakes on any contact in the office. They had been lucky so far, but Rey didn’t want to tempt fate. They could only be so lucky for so long.

 

The interviews and meetings with HR were not as painful as Rey anticipated. Kaydel has been nothing if not supportive of Rey throughout the process, always having bottles of water set out and giving everyone breaks in between the various levels of the investigation into Hux.

 

Poe had been particularly vocal. Apparently he was vehemently against a man laying his hands on a woman. When he heard how Hux cornered Rey, he marched straight into Kylo’s office and demanded the redhead be fired for assault. That night, back at Kylo’s apartment, the Editor in Chief admitted to liking Poe, but only in that minute.

 

It seemed, however, the longer the interviews went on, the more Poe and Kylo spoke. Poe had even gone to lunch with Kylo a few times, leaving Rey and Kaydel to have their lunch hour to themselves. As odd as it was to see Kylo behaving around the PR manager, Rey was glad. Her boyfriend seemed happier to have a friend, though she would never say it out loud. She was certain Kylo wouldn’t appreciate her opinion on this subject.

 

Friday was the kickoff to BookCon. With Jessika Pava still out on maternity, Poe mentioned the team was down one member. Rey volunteered before she could realize what a terrible idea it was. When Poe mentioned the company over time and daily stipends for food, she had immediately jumped at the opportunity. The fact she and her boyfriend would both be given a hotel room, courtesy of the company, was just a bonus.

 

Of course, as enticing as the offer was, it was also dangerous. Over the last week and a half, Rey managed to keep herself away from Kylo until after hours. She went home each night, packed her bag and took the subway to Kylo’s place. He had arranged for one of the doormen to meet her at the back entrance at eight each evening. Shielding her from the camera, the doorman would let her inside and take her up the utility elevator to avoid detection.

 

They were done taking chances.

 

By the time Rey got to Kylo’s door, he’d be waiting with a glass of whiskey in hand and dinner out on the kitchen counter. They rarely ate while the food was hot, typically rushing off to the bedroom the moment Kylo shut the door behind her.

 

Eventually they came back out to eat, taking their seats on the couch and watching an episode or two of ‘Nailed It’ on Netflix. They discussed their days, Kylo remarking on who had been the least efficient person he interacted with and Rey updating him on the progress of the investigation. When they returned to the bedroom afterwards, it was to sleep.

 

As with their first weekend together, there was a domesticity to their routine, which was probably why her roommates kept insisting her and Kylo were on the track towards a ring.

 

“How are you two going to keep it in your pants this weekend?” Rose questioned.

 

Rey shrugged. Along with Kylo and Poe, Snap Wexley, who wrote for the men’s health section would be attending. Rey had only interacted with Snap a couple times before, but he seemed like an easy-going guy.

 

Despite that fact, she knew she’d have to be careful around both him and Poe. Her friend was on high alert since the Hux incident and was hovering more than usual. If he were to suspect anything going on between her and Kylo, it would be the end of their careers.

 

Biting her bottom lip between her teeth, Rey contemplated backing out. It was Tuesday night. Surely Poe had enough time to find someone else to cover before Friday, right?

 

She already knew the answer to that.

 

Her nerves weren’t all due to the fact she’d be spending the entire week working alongside her amazingly handsome, totally off limits boyfriend. She was also waiting for hear back from Mr. Calrissian.

 

Though the interviews were ending this week, Rey felt scrutinized. Every interaction she had ever had with her manager was being picked apart, as well as any other inappropriate incidents which had occurred during his tenure. It also didn’t help that every time she glanced at Kylo’s office, his assistant was glaring daggers at her.

 

Despite Kylo’s reassurances that Bazine knew nothing, Rey had been wary of the woman since their impromptu lunch. She maintained her distance, not wishing to further the woman’s ire. It was one of the reasons Rey had sought Leia out.

 

The more pressure she suffered in the office — both from the HR interrogation and Bazine — the more Rey believed there was no future for her at Skywalker Publications. At least not if she wanted a life with Kylo. Her earlier courage to take Hux on diminished with each interview she participated in.

 

If Hux returned to work, he’d constantly hover over her, watching her for the slightest admission she was with Kylo. If he didn’t return to work...well she had her own suspicions about Bazine’s sudden interest in her. No, if Rey wanted to be with Kylo Ren, she needed to make a change. As terrifying as the prospect of leaving New York was, it scared Rey more to think of losing him.

 

Long distance wasn’t a death sentence for a relationship, it would just serve as a challenge for them. And perhaps after a year or two she could transfer to a different publication in New York, one with no affiliation to Skywalker Publications.

 

It wasn’t ideal, but it was her only option.

 

Her phone rang, startling her from her thoughts.

 

“Hey,” her boyfriend’s voice came from the other end. “I can’t decide what to get for tonight. Are you feeling more like Indian or Italian?”

 

Rey instantly broke into a smile. He was always so thoughtful, her man. Rose sent her a knowing look, playfully smacking Rey with the same pillow Rey had launched at her earlier.

 

“Why don’t we order from that sushi place you love on Third and Linney,” she suggested.

 

“Perfect,” Kylo replied. “See you soon, kitten.”

 

Love you.

 

Rey’s breath caught in her throat. Where had that come from?

 

“Rey? Everything ok?”

 


“Yeah,” she caught herself quickly. “Yeah, See you in a bit.”

 

She hung up, tossing her phone down on her bedspread and staring down at it as if it had personally offended her.

 

“Hey, hey,” Rose placed a hand on Rey’s arm. “What’s wrong?” Paige leapt off the sofa, coming around to where they stood.

 

“Rey?” the eldest Tico called to her.

 

“I love him. Kylo,” she told them, barley believing how it was possible to love someone so completely and so effortlessly in such a short span of time. “You’re right. I’m in love with him.”

 

Neither girl laughed, as Rey expected. They didn’t mutter, ‘I-told-you-so’s’ and they didn’t mock her. Instead, her roommates wrapped her up in a group hug and merely chorused.

 

“We know.”




Kylo paced his apartment, running his hand through his hair repeatedly as he went back and forth. The sushi was already set out, in the off-chance Rey wanted to eat first. He had the next episode of ‘Nailed It’ queued up on be TV and made sure to have the maid wash the sheets this morning. Everything was perfect. Everything but him.

 

He was a mess.

 

In the afternoon, Kylo had gone to see his mother. The look of surprise which crossed Leia Organa’s face when he asked for his grandmother’s ring was one he’d remember forever.

 

The same ring now sat in the pocket of his sleep pants. It might have well been made of hot coal because it was burning through the fabric, aching to be placed on Rey’s finger. Of course, she couldn’t actually wear it until after they figured out how to continue their relationship.

 

Leia had cautioned them to wait until after the Hux fiasco blew over to make any moves, but Kylo was nothing if not impatient. He knew what he wanted and he wanted Rey. Timing be damned.

 

Over the last week and a half, he had struggled. Every minute Kylo was confined to his office was one less minute with her. He didn’t care they had only been together officially for a few weeks. This was it. There wasn’t anyone else like Rey, not that it even mattered. He didn’t want anyone else. He was in love with this woman.

 

And tonight he was going to make that clear to her in the best way possible.

 

The clock on his oven blinked forward, displaying 8:00 on the dash. Any minute now, he mused. He continued to pace, unable to keep still when the rest of his life hinges on the outcome of the next few moments.

 

It felt like forever before he heard her normal light knock on his front door. Kylo practically ran to answer, pausing just before he did so he didn’t alert her to something being off about their evening.

 

“Hey,” Rey greeted him, when he swung the door open. Her cheeks flushed as her eyes scanned up his chest to his face.

 

“Hi,” he returned, before taking a step back to allow her entry.

 

She strolled past him, letting out a pleased sound at the sight of dinner. “Looks great!”

 

So dinner first tonight. That’s fine. That’s good, he told himself, fighting to remain calm. If they ate first, he could make love to her afterwards and propose. That was romantic right? Or should he propose before and then have her strip down to nothing but the ring on her finger?

 

Decisions, decisions...

 

Rey was already moving the food to the living room so they could watch TV, when Kylo moved to join her. “So what do you think?” she asked, pointing with her chopsticks to the screen. “Total mess or complete disaster?”

 

“Probably both,” he chuckled.

 

She started the episode and Kylo relaxed slightly, glad they were in familiar territory. Dinner and catching up on their favorite show was normal. It was how they spent the majority of their evenings and if Rey’s contented smile was any indication, she had no clue he was about to ask her the most important question of her — their — lives.

 

As she laughed at something someone on the screen said, Rey expertly plucked up a piece of her spicy tuna roll. Kylo grinned. He had been the one to teach her how to eat sushi correctly, telling her how to properly select food instead of just woofing it down.

 

He never judged her for her upbringing. Rey had admitted to being self-conscious of her eating habits, but with two working parents living on a moderate budget, most of their meals had been quick. Her parents had focused on conversation instead of manners, enjoying the scarce minutes they could be together and sit down as a unit. It was a sharp contrast to his own upbringing.

 

If they had children, Kylo wanted to raise them with manners, but he was growing less concerned with appearances and more concerned with making sure those hypothetical kids were loved. Of course, any child of Rey’s would be loved.

 

Kylo imagined how she’d glow, emanating a warmth unmatched by anything else. Rey was always gorgeous and he knew as an expecting mother she’d be even more beautiful. The idea of coming home to her with a swollen belly made him forget all about his dinner. He would kneel before her, worship her and her round stomach, whispering promises to their unborn baby. Maybe he’d turn his home office into a nursery or-

 

 

“Aren’t you hungry?” Rey asked, interrupting his thoughts.

 

“Yeah, yeah,” his response was rushed. Rey quirked a brow at him, but didn’t press. She resumed eating her roll, taking small bites of her seaweed salad in between.

 

His focus was entirely on her, which was how he missed the fact that he hadn’t selected a piece of his eel roll, but the entire dollop of wasabi.

 

 

As Kylo chewed, the sinus-searing pain of swallowing too much wasabi hit him. It was only then he realized his error. Suddenly his throat burned and, as if anticipating the torment to come, his stomach flipped.

 


He jumped to his feet, darting to the kitchen to grab a glass of milk. Gulping down the thick liquid, he felt he effects instantly on his tongue. He reached back into the fridge for a refill.

 

“Kylo?” Turning around he found Rey with concern written all over her face. “Are you alright?”

 

 


“Fine,” he managed to get out before coughing.

 

Her face told him she didn’t believe his response. “Do you want me to turn the show off?”

 

“No,” Kylo shook his head. “Unless you aren’t enjoying it.”

 

“I am,” Rey replied, “but you haven’t watched a single moment.”

 

 

“Yes, I have,” he lied.

 

“Oh really?” Rey challenged, crossing her arms over her chest as she cocked her hip out. “So who is Anne and what’s she attempting to make?”

 

Shit.

 

“Um...she’s a school teacher and she’s working on one of those Harry Potter Sorting cakes?”

 

What the fuck? Where the hell did that come from? He groaned internally knowing he couldn’t have been more wrong if he tried.

 

Rey was staring at him, waiting for an explanation.

 

“Wasabi,” he rasped, before taking a long swing of milk.

 

Her face broke into a huge grin. Then she began cackling, her hands falling away as her body convulsed with her deep laughter. “The Great Kylo Ren, Editor in Chief and all around feared leader of the First Order fell victim to some spicy food!”

 

“Hey,” he growled playfully. Rey continued to giggle, eyes squeezed shut. “That’s it,” Kylo announces, setting his glass down to scoop her up.

 

He tossed Rey over his shoulder, carrying her off to the bedroom. She pretended to struggle, but he knew if she sincerely wanted down, she would have been able to free herself.

 

“Stay,” he commanded as he dropped her unceremoniously on the mattress. 

 

 

Rey smirked up at him, propping herself up on her elbows. Kylo shut the bedroom door, unwilling to turn the TV off but also not wishing to hear the noises of the show, as it continued to play.

 

“You’ve been naughty, kitten.”

 

“I’m a good girl, sir,” she insisted with a coy smile on her lips.

 

“Mmm, we’ll see.”

 

Kylo pulled her blouse up and over her head, before unzipping her skirt. He stripped her down hastily, removing everything until she was bare before him, lying invitingly upon the bed. He made quick work of his own attire after that. 

 

 

Crawling across the comforter, he hovered over her, caging Rey’s body between his muscular arms. Unable to wait any longer, Kylo moved to capture her lips in a heated kiss.

 

He could still feel the tingle of the wasabi from earlier. The burn wasn’t as intense but it was noticeable.

 

“Is this your idea of spicing things up?” Rey murmured between kisses.

 

“Naughty girl,” he growled, grabbing a handful of her hair and yanking slightly.

 

Rey purred as his lips descended upon the pulse point on her neck. He nibbled and sucked along the expanse of bare skin, slowly making his way down towards her breasts.

 

She snaked her arms around him, clutching him to her so their bodies were mashed together. His hardness pressed into her belly, as his lips worked around her nipple. Rey’s breathy moans filled his ears and he delighted in the sharp intake of breath she was forced to take when he took her bud into his mouth. 

 


“Ben,” she moaned.

 

His cock twitched at the sound. He loved hearing her say his true name. As forbidden as their relationship, the secret name fell from her lips like a glorious prayer, both heavenly and damning. Because there would be no one but Rey for him. No one would ever fulfill him the way his girl did.

 

“Are you ready for me kitten?” Kylo asked, after releasing her nipple with a slick pop.

 

“Yes,” she drawled, eyes unfocused due to her heightened desire.

 

“Good girl.”

 

Kylo skimmed his hand down her flat stomach to position himself at her core, finding his girl wet. He made an appreciative sound, dragging his head along the folds of her entrance, covering himself sufficiently. Rey squirmed beneath him, eager for more. He chuckled, watching her so out of control and needy for him.

 

He snapped his hips, sheathing himself fully. They both groaned. She always felt so good around him, like she was made to take him. They fit together physically and emotionally. A perfect match.

 

Glancing down, he saw her staring up at him, eyes filled with so much desire and need, adoration and compassion and something else, something just breaking through to the surface.

 

I love you, he wanted to say, but he held back. Telling Rey he loved her the first time needed to be special. Kylo wouldn’t give her any reason to doubt the sincerity of his words. He’d tell her later, before he proposed.

 

Kylo didn’t rush, keeping his pace languid and smooth. He rocked into her, their eyes locked and breathing heavy. This time they didn’t speak. He didn’t demand anything of her. All he wanted was her love. All he wanted was Rey.

 

His hips rolled against hers and when he hit that sacred spot within her, she shuddered in his grasp. Kylo ducked his head, whispering of his devotion, telling her how perfect she was and promising to take care of her always. He never said the four letter word on his tongue, but he expressed the depth of his feelings for her.

 

In turn, Rey clung to him, her legs locking around his to keep their bodies pinned together. She moaned and whimpered in his ear, her heartbeat racing beneath her ribcage. Her fingernails raked across his back, spurring him to pick up the pace.

 

He canted his hips, thrusting into her quicker and deeper. Rey keened, her hold tightening each time he pushed into her. Kylo increased his pace, until they were both crying out and he spilled into her. Rey’s release pulsed around his length, the aftershocks of their love making in sync.

 

Kylo pulled out of her, rolling to his side and dragging her over with him. Rey wordlessly surrendered, nestling into his chest, her head tucked under his chin. They laid together silently in their embrace, the only sounds the soft dialogue of the TV still playing out in the living room.

 

Until a new noise burst their post-coital bubble.

 

Rey’s cell rang obnoxiously loud. Kylo grumbled under his breath, not prepared to move or allow her to move either. He was content to stay in bed, wrapped around her, his nostrils filled with her scent. Each day he had to be without her was torture but this — having her here in his arms now — this more than made up for that.

 

In his haste to undress he forgot about the ring in his pocket. He needed to get cleaned up and retrieve it. Perhaps tomorrow night would be better.

 

Her phone continued to ring and she wriggled free of his grasp. “Rey,” he attempted to growl but I came out as more of a whine.

 

“I’m expecting a call,” she replied, quickly redressing.

 

Kylo sat up, perplexed as to who would call her so late in the evening.

 

Rey answered, slipping out of the bedroom. Kylo threw back the sheets, tugging on his boxers before following her.




Mr. Calrissian had perfect timing. Not that Rey wanted to leave Kylo or his warm bed, but at least the call hadn’t interrupted them mid-act. She snuck into the kitchen, leaning over the counter to keep her conversation down.

 

“Good evening, Rey Andor,” she announced, as she connected the call.

 

“Rey! Lando,” a caramel smooth voice introduced himself over the line. “Lando Calrissian. I hope it’s not too late for you. I know the time difference can be a challenge.”

 

“No, not at all. This is fine,” she confirmed.

 

“Great. So Leia tells me you’re looking for a career change,” he continued.

 

Rey bit the inside of her mouth. A career change was what it was on the surface but a life change was what it really was. If she went through with this, she’d be taking a huge risk. Coming to the States alone had always been her biggest adventure, but that was all about to change. All because of love.

 

“Yes, that’s right,” she replied confidently.

 

Kylo was worth it. Taking this leap of faith was worth it, if she could actually be with him. Their relationship would no longer be a secret. She wouldn’t have to pretend she wasn’t interested in  dating because everyone would know she had a boyfriend and it wouldn’t matter what positions they held in the writing word because they wouldn’t be at the same company.

 

This was it. This was her chance to prove to Kylo how deeply she cared for him. She was choosing them. Above all else, Rey was choosing him.

 

“I have an opening for an opinion writer to cover our lifestyle section,” Lando informed her. “I think it would be an excellent fit for you. It’s an entire section of our paper, so you’d be starting at a Senior level and overseeing three other writers who work that section. Our compensation plan is quite competitive for the market, even by California standards.”

 

“That sounds amazing,” Rey replied, feeling a happy flutter in her chest.

 

“If you’re interested, I can have our HR department send over the job description and our compensation package. If it looks good to you, I’d like to set up some interviews. Would you be alright with a Skype setup? I don’t have the bandwidth to travel out to the East Coast this week.”

 

“A Skype interview would be fine,” Rey told him.

 

“Wonderful,” Mr. Calrissian responded. “Think of it as a formality. From your samples and Leia’s recommendation, I’m prepared to make you an offer now, but I think it’s best if I give you time to come to the decision on your own, once you’ve had time to review the documents.”

 

“Thank you,” Rey said. “I appreciate that.”

 

“It was nice speaking with you, Rey. I hope to speak with you soon.”

 

“I’ll be in touch, Mr. Calrissian,” she promised. “Thank you for taking the time to speak with me.”

 

“The pleasure was all mine. Have a good evening, Rey.”

 

“Goodnight.” Rey ended the call, taking a moment to process what just transpired.

 

As she turned to go back to the bedroom, she jumped. Kylo was standing behind her, leaning against the kitchen counter, arms crossed over his chest. His eyes were narrowed and his anger was radiating off him.

 

“You’re speaking to Lando Calrissian?” 

 


“Kylo-.”

 

“Are you moving to California?” he cut her off.

 

“Nothing has been decided yet. I-.”

 

“When were you going to tell me, Rey?”  he interrupted again, disappointment poisoning his voice.

 

“Kylo, please, just listen. I’ve been in all these interviews about Hux and even if he doesn’t come back-.”

 

“He won’t be back,” Kylo hissed. “I will make sure of it. There is nothing keeping us from being together.”

 

“Just HR,” Rey snapped, irritated he wouldn’t allow her to explain herself.

 

“Connix doesn’t suspect a thing and neither does Dameron. He’s too busy playing the golden knight card.”

 

“Your assistant knows something is up,” Rey insisted. “She’s been watching me constantly.”

 

“Don’t worry about Bazine,” he waved her off.

 

“Kylo,” Rey took a step towards him, reaching to pull his arms down. “I didn’t say anything because there was nothing to say. Mr. Calrissian is sending over some paperwork for me to review and I’m going to interview but they haven’t made me an offer yet and-.”

 

“They will,” he jerked away from her touch, walking to the edge of the kitchen counter. He placed both his palms on the cool granite, leaning forward as he stared at her. “You know they will.”

 

Rey sighed defeatedly. “It was the only way.”

 

“The only way?” he scoffed. “Moving nearly three thousand miles away was the only way?”

 

“Will you give me a chance to explain?” she begged, her body shaking the more he raised his voice.

 

“What is there to explain? You’re leaving!” he shouted.

 

“Kylo,” Rey attempted to hold back tears. Why didn’t he understand? Couldn’t be see what she was sacrificing? Didn’t he know she cared enough to risk her status and her career on this move? On him? “Ben, please.”

 

“Don’t,” he spat, his eyes dark and full of fury. “Don’t call me that.”

 

Rey jolted, eyes widening and she stumbled backwards. The force of his words hit her as if he had physically struck her.

 

Immediately Kylo came around the counter, moving towards her, the anger gone. “Rey, I’m sorry. I didn’t-.”

 

“I think it’s best if I go home,” she told him, feeling all her old walls falling into place. She knew she was shutting down — shutting him out — but she was helpless to stop it. Self-preservation always won out in the end.

 

“I need some time,” Rey said, retrieving her overnight bag. “I have a big decision ahead of me.”

 

“Rey-.”

 

“Goodnight...Kylo.”

 

She walked out of the apartment before he could say anything else. She couldn’t bare to hear him try to justify his actions.

 

If she cried the entire subway ride back to her place, well at least her reaction was justified.

Chapter Text

 

Kylo sat at his desk, knee bobbing up and down as he impatiently awaited Rey’s arrival in the office. He’d stopped by their coffeeshop this morning, grabbing her favorite before he came in. The peace offering was only a small token of his apology. 


After she’d left, Kylo recognized how his fury had affected her. No matter how in sync they were, they had come together rapidly, like a chemical reaction and with one catalyst that had fizzled out just as fast. 


He spent the remainder of the evening throwing lamps, chairs and anything else he could pick up around his apartment until the super called up to demand he stop. The racket was keeping his lower level neighbors awake. 


Turning to his phone, he’d tried to call Rey. Regardless of the late hour, Kylo thought she’d be up. There was no answer. He sent her texts, which she never responded to and finally sometime between 3am and 6am, he’d fallen asleep, clutching his phone. 


The first thing he’d done when he woke up to his alarm was check his screen. It was void of any notifications. 


That’s when he knew he’d really fucked up. 


He’d showered and dressed hastily, then made his way to the coffeeshop, contemplating buying up every muffin, scone and croissant available as atonement for his rash outburst. 


It wasn’t until he arrived at the counter his common sense kicked in and he realized any over the top gestures in the office would surely trigger some kind of follow-up from HR. So he’d settled for coffee. 


Now, sitting alone in his office with Rey’s cup placed in front of him, he felt the offering wasn’t enough. 


How was a single cup of coffee supposed to convey his solemn apology for yelling at her? She’d shared her past with him, her fear of being rejected and abandoned and what had he done during their first disagreement? He’d screamed at her...like a monster. 


Kylo was a monster. 


As his staff trickled in, he opted to take his mind off the clock. He pulled up a few job posting sites, searching for available positions in New York City. Maybe if he found Rey a better offer, she’d tell Lando no and forget about the interview. Leia could surely make introductions for her somewhere closer, couldn’t she? 


His fingers raced across the keys. Kylo checked The Times, The New Yorker, even The Wall Street Journal, but none of them were looking for permanent staff writers. The only available positions were for co-ops and temporary positions with a lifespan of three to six months with no benefits and no support for Rey’s working visa. 


He cursed, slamming a fist down on the countertop. 


Opening another set of browser windows he scanned the magazines, even the blogs running out of New York. The results were the same. None were offering anything close to what Rey was making or the security of support for her working papers. There was nothing.


It’s the only way, he heard her words from the evening prior echo in his head. 


Kylo swore again. No wonder she wasn’t returning his calls. Rey knew there weren’t any available positions in the city. She’d already checked because she was committed to him — to their relationship. She trusted if that if she moved on from the First Order they could be together and he’d....


...thrown that trust right back in her face.


Dammit, he had to talk to her. Glancing up from his screen, Kylo checked her cube. It was empty. His gaze flickered to the clock. She was late. He felt uneasy. Rey was never late. 


Ignoring protocol, he snatched up his phone and dialed Connix’s extension. 


“Good morning, this is Kaydel. How may I-.”


“Connix, where is Ms. Andor?”


There was a brief pause on the line. “Mr. Ren?”


“Ms. Andor is not at her desk. Did she call off?”


The manager of HR cleared her throat before she replied. “Yes, sir. She called earlier this morning to ask if she could use a couple of her personal days.”


Of course she had...


“Did she happen to mention why?”


“Mr. Ren,” Connix sighed. She sounded like his mother before she reprimanded him. “I am sure I don’t need to remind you that by sharing such details about Ms. Andor’s paid time off it would be a violation of her employee rights. All you need to be aware of is Ms. Andor requested time off per our company policy and is authorized to take her leave as needed.”


Kylo gripped his phone so tight he was sure he’d crack the plastic receiver. “Fine,” he grunted out. “Please inform me if there are any changes in her schedule as she was expected to work BookCon this weekend.”


“Ms. Andor will be there on Friday morning to assist you and Mr. Dameron,” Connix confirmed. 


“Thank you,” Kylo replied. 


“Have a nice day, Mr. Ren.”


He hung up without wishing the same to her. Who did she think she was keeping Rey from him? The meddling blonde and her stupid PR nightmare of a boyfriend were no help. He knew they knew why Rey hadn’t come in. They knew and he didn’t. 


Flipping his cellphone over, he checked his notifications once more. Blank. 


“Fuck!” He slid his arms across the top of his desk knocking over everything but his laptop. 


The sudden crash brought Bazine running into the office. 


“You knock!” he hollered, eyes narrowed down to slits as he glowered at her.


“Sir,” her wide eyes surveyed the damage. “Do you need assistance?”


“Get out!” he snarled. 


“Sir, if I may-.”


“Out!” he bellowed. 


Bazine jumped and fled from the office, slamming the door behind her. Kylo knew the entire office was staring at him through his blinds, but he didn’t care. They didn’t matter. None of it mattered. 


Just her.



 

 

Rey sat in bed, her computer in her lap as she paged through listing after listing searching for other places to apply. Lando was scheduled to call shortly and it was beginning to look as though his offer would be the only option she had. 


It was suffocating. She felt trapped by the reality of her situation, but she hadn’t given up. Her parents had taught her to never give up, no matter how hopeless a situation appeared on the surface. 


Cassian and Jyn hadn't had a standard courtship. Her mother was sent to Yavin Young Offenders Club when she was sixteen. Officers had picked her up living on the streets, stealing food to survive after she’d been abandoned by a terrorist cell. With no parents to claim her, her guardian Orson Krennic had sent her away. Jyn had been assigned to Yavin building number four where her group leader, Cassian J. Andor was stationed.


Her father was working at the juvenile camp to fulfill his requirements to join the force as a police officer. Neither he nor Jyn anticipated falling in love, especially given the circumstances, but love didn’t require reason. Cassian had requested a transfer when he realized what was happening. 


However, when Jyn was released at eighteen, he was there waiting for her and they had been together ever since. It was unconventional and controversial but Rey had never seen another couple as deeply devoted to one another as her parents. They were soul mates and that was what she wanted for herself. 


As angry as Rey was with Kylo — Ben — she refused to let a single disagreement change her feelings for him. Besides, just because her parents were soulmates, didn’t mean they didn’t argue. Rey almost laughed as she remembered the time Cassian pleaded with Jyn not to go into Rey’s primary school. She’d gotten in trouble for fighting when another kid called her a worthless orphan and Jyn had been livid. Despite her father asking Jyn not to go, her mother had gone anyway and caused quite a commotion. The two had fought about it the moment Cassian got home, once they thought Rey had gone to sleep.


“So it’s ok for them to bully her, Cas?”


“No, that’s not what I said.”


“So then what are you saying?”


“I’m telling you not to get involved, Jyn,” her father had snapped. “You’re only going to make things worse for her by fighting her battles.”


“I’m protecting our only child!” her mother had hissed.


The house had gone eerily still and for a moment Rey had been worried her new parents would send her away. Then she heard her mother crying, babbling about how Rey was the most important thing in her life and how its wasn’t fair for her to go through as much as she had. Cassian had comforted Jyn and the two came upstairs to bed. The next morning, Cassian went into work late so he could make Rey’s favorite: torrijas. She never worried about being sent away again.


Until last night.


The way Ben looked at her last night haunted her. It was all she could see as she took the subway home. When she arrived back at the apartment, Rose and Paige took one look at her and let her silently crawl into her bed. Later, as she laid alone, a few more tears leaked out onto one of her pillows. She’d curled up in the fetal position, hugging another pillow to her chest until exhaustion forced her into sleep.


After a restless evening spent tossing and turning in bed without much hope for any actual sleep, Rey wasn’t ready to face Ben. When her alarm woke her, Rey decided she wasn’t going into the office. Her latest assignment was already completed and awaiting edits and she knew she’d only spend her day staring at a certain office door. That wouldn’t be effective or helpful, so instead she focused all her energy on trying to find a job closer to him. 


While she searched, Rey realized how her call from Lando must have looked to Ben. It was true, she hadn’t told him about reaching out or how she’d begun searching for a new job after their first weekend together. Rey hadn’t wanted to scare him. She was worried he’d be scared off, but now she realized by hiding her efforts she’d scared him in a different way. Their fight was as much her fault as it was his.


Rose and Paige took off a couple hours earlier for their jobs, leaving Rey alone in the apartment. She’d applied to a few places in Washington, one in Philadelphia, and another position in Chicago, but they might as well be across the country considering the commute between each city and New York. Sighing, she slid her laptop onto her comforter, laying back to stare up at the ceiling.


How long Rey stared at the off-white paint, she couldn’t know. It wasn’t until her phone’s Skype app chimed, indicating an incoming call from Mr. Calrissian that she moved.


“Good morning, Rey Andor.”


“Ms. Andor,” Lando Calrissian greeted her. He was seated in a conference room with a few other people she recognized from his company’s website. “Is now still a good time?”


“Perfect,” she replied, plastering on a charming smile.


On the inside, Rey felt anything but perfect.



 

 

It took him the better part of the day to clean up his office. Normally Kylo would yell at the interns to clean up the space but he’d already heard enough out of Connix for one day. He wasn’t in the mood to be reprimanded for his aggressive temper. The debris had been all over the floor — remnants of plastic, glass and wood splayed out along the carpet. Like a bomb had gone off, the mess was centered around him, rippling out from the focal point.


No one in the office had so much as emailed him since his outburst. Bazine had excused herself to the ladies’ for a good twenty minutes, giving him a wide berth. He’d barely noticed. His mind was reeling, tormented by his short-sightedness and consumed by so many conflicting emotions he felt as if he was being torn apart.


Part of him wanted to march out of the office, hail a cab and go directly to Rey’s apartment. He knew she’d be at home. What he didn’t know was if she’d let him in or not. There was a possibility  she wouldn’t even answer the door, so he remained in the office. Rey had never been scared of him before, but he was sure if she saw him now she would be.


He’d not checked his emails in over an hour and the idea of stepping out to take his afternoon finance meeting was more taxing than normal. As he dropped another large shard of glass in his waste bin, Kylo was aware of his eyes falling on his phone. The screen remained dark.


No new calls. No text messages.


His traitorous mind screamed at him to pick the device up and call again. Even if all he heard was her British lit on the other end as her voice mail picked up, at least he’d have the chance to hear her voice. 


It wasn’t the same, but it was something. Kylo was vaguely aware of how pathetic he’d become. They hadn’t been apart even twenty-four hours yet and already he was losing his mind. What happened to the Editor-in-Chief who intimated all his staff with a single look? Where had that man gone? 


Kylo paused in his cleaning efforts, running a hand through his hair. He had a feeling Rey wouldn’t be in tomorrow either. Connix hadn’t shared the details of her time off, but Kylo knew it in his gut. She was avoiding him. 


The next time he’d see her, Rey would be working the booth alongside Dameron and Wexley. He wouldn’t have a chance to speak with her all weekend. Unless...


Scrambling across the room, he snatched up his phone dialing the first of two calls he needed to make. 


“Districkt New York Hotel,” a cheery voice answered.


“Hello, this is Kylo Ren of Force Publications.”


“Good afternoon, Mr. Ren. My name is Robyn, how may I be of service?”


“I need to make an adjustment to a block of rooms my firm booked for this weekend.”


“Certainly, Sir,” the woman replied, typing away. He noticed she had the voice of a radio personality, quite unique and pleasant. 


Kylo instructed her to make changes to two of the rooms in the block. Robyn confirmed all the alterations and he thanked her. 


One down, one to go. 


Unlike a simple room change, his next task wouldn’t be an easy one. 


Wishing he had kept more whiskey in his office, Kylo swallowed his pride and made the call. 



 

 

Rey stared at herself in the bathroom mirror. Her hands were still shaking, her mind unable to contain her excitement. The jittery feeling hadn’t dissipated over the last ten minutes, even after she’d splashed her face with cold water. 


It’s really happening...


“Hey roomie, you here?” Rose called out, as she entered the apartment. 


“In here,” Rey called out, her fingers wrapped around the white porcelain frame of the sink. 


“How was your-.” Rose paused in the doorway. “Rey?”


“I got the job,” she beamed at her best friend. “At the Calrissian Chronicle. Lando offered it to me personally right after the interview.”


“Lando?” Rose questioned.


“Calrissian. Lando Calrissian,” Rey clarified. “He owns the paper.”


“Holy shit, Rey!” 


“I know!” Rey’s face was beginning to hurt from her wide grin. 


“We have to go out and celebrate,” Rose decoded. “As soon as Paige gets home, we’ll go. Do you mind if I call Finn?” 


Rey shook her head.


“I can’t believe it!” Rose went on, leaving the small bathroom with Rey trailing behind. “You just scored your dream job and you’re going to be living in the most beautiful state with the movie stars and the paparazzi. They have the best parties there. God, I’m so jealous!” 


As her roommate went on and on about how great LA was, the reality of the situation struck Rey. She crashed down from her high, dropping into her bed. 


The job was her dream. It was a serious writing position where she could stretch her wings and develop more of a reporter skill set. Her salary would basically double and even with the higher cost of living in California, it would afford her the opportunity to fly her parents over for a visit, something Rey had wanted to do for a couple years now. 


However, her dream was also a nightmare. It meant leaving her support structure — all her friends, her trusted colleagues and Ben. Rey admitted he’d be the hardest one to be without. Living alone would be an adjustment but living 2,800 miles away from the man she loved would be torture. 


Lando has given her until Monday to think over his offer, which was generous, though Rey didn’t believe the time would help. She had an impossible decision ahead of her. 


Rey barely heard Rose’s ecstatic cries as she caught up her boyfriend on the phone. The staff writer sat on her bed making a mental pro/con list. It wasn’t until Paige hugged her she even realized her second roommate arrived home. 


“This is amazing, Rey!” 


“Yeah,” she nodded, “amazing.”


“What’s wrong?” Paige asked, sitting down next to her. “Are you and Kylo still fighting?”


We’d have to be talking to be fighting...


“I haven’t told him yet,” Rey admitted.


Paige nudged her. “Why don’t you call him up and invite him to join us? The more the merrier.”


Rey picked up her phone, pulling up his number, but as her thumb hovered over the call button she hesitated. 


Don’t call me that.


She turned off her phone instead. Paige shot her a look, but Rey brushed it off. “You know what? It’s been a while since we all hung out, just us friends. Let’s go.”


“Are you sure?” Paige pressed.


“Yeah,” Rey insisted. 


The girls got changed, chatting about their days while waiting for Finn to show up. By the time they were walking out the door, Rey was feeling slightly better. 


She’d take tomorrow off to organize her thoughts so when Rey saw Kylo on Friday she could explain her reasoning to him. It would give him time to calm down. Once she spoke to him, he’d understand. 


Right?

Chapter Text

 

Rey arrived at the convention center at eight o’clock sharp, after dropping off her overnight bag at the hotel. She flashed her ID to the security personnel who directed her through the side entrance, reserved for vendors. Slipping through the crowds, she found her way to the Force Publications table.


Poe and Snap were already there setting up the area with banners, promotional hand out materials and most importantly framed copies of articles and designs they had won awards for.


“Morning,” Rey greeted them, coming around the side of the booth to help Snap unroll the last of the banners.


“Hey, Sunshine,” Poe grinned.


“Hey, Rey,” Snap smiled. “How are you feeling? Kaydel mentioned you took a couple days.”


“I’m fine, thanks,” she brushed it off, not wanting to discuss the last forty-eight hours with either of them.


In truth, Rey wasn’t interested in speaking to anyone else about her decision until she’d talked to Kylo. She had her letter of resignation typed up and ready to send to Kaydel, but she couldn’t bare to send it before she saw him. She needed to tell him. He deserved to know.


“Our fearless leader is late,” Poe remarked, smoothing the table linen down. “Again.”


Again?


“What’s that supposed to mean?” Rey questioned, her curiosity getting the best of her.


“He was late to work yesterday morning too,” Poe paused to roll his eyes. “I thought for sure Bazine would take him to HR over the tantrum he threw on Wednesday. He destroyed his office.”


Rey bit down on the inside of her cheek until she tasted blood. She turned away, afraid if either man saw her face they’d be able to read her worried expression.


“I heard it all the way down by Bebee’s desk,” Snap agreed with Poe. “I was on my way in with coffee when I heard the commotion.”


Glancing over her shoulder at them, she cleared her throat. “Wh-what happened?” Rey asked, fighting to keep her voice even.


“No one knows,” Poe shook his head. “He seemed like his usual self in the morning but then he just snapped.”


“Does he even have a life outside of the office?” Snap made a face.


“No,” scoffed Poe. “You’ve seen him. He’s always there. Probably hasn’t gotten laid since college.”


“Poor bastard,” Snap muttered, then as an afterthought, he added, “Maybe that would help.”


“No one wants him,” Poe rolled his eyes.


“Point taken,” Snap agreed.


Rey remained silent throughout their exchange, seething inside. How dare they act as if they knew Ben? If he had an outburst there was a good reason for it. She knew how hard he worked and how dedicated he was to the paper. He wouldn’t destroy property merely for the sake of doing so. He wasn’t the monster everyone made him out to be.


“Maybe we should buy him a companion for this year’s holiday party,” Snap suggested.


“He wouldn’t know what to do with her,” Poe chuckled.


Something inside of her snapped. She stomped over until she was standing in front of them, her back to the aisle. “Knock it off,” she hissed. “Both of you. You don’t know what happened. You’re just speculating and your assumptions could ruin someone’s life.”


Poe and Snap stared at her, mouths parted and eyes wide.


“Just because Kylo is a private person doesn’t give you the right to judge him. He’s a damn good editor and he’s made this company successful. I, for one, am grateful to work there. You should be too.”


“Rey-,” Poe started.


“No,” she cut him off abruptly. “No, Poe, I don’t want to hear anymore excuses. If you’re going to stand here and bad-mouth him, then maybe you should leave.”


“But Rey-,” Poe tried again.


“I know you two don’t exactly get along but I’m sick of everyone saying stuff about Kylo behind his back. Leave him alone, alright? He’s a good person.”


“Rey.”


She froze. The voice behind her was absolutely not Poe’s voice. Slowly, she pivoted around...


...and met the deep caramel eyes of her boss and lover.


“Mr. Ren.”


“Ms. Andor.”


Rey felt her cheeks turn three shades darker under his gaze. She didn’t know what to say to him. Despite her protective stance, Rey felt as though she’d been caught doing something wrong.


“Let’s take a walk, Ms. Andor,” Ben gestured for her to join him out in the aisle. “Dameron, Wexley, when we get back I expect this booth to be ready for clients.


“Yes, sir,” both men chorused back.


Ben nodded and started walking. Rey trailed behind. He didn’t speak at first, simply strolled past other publishing houses, blogs, magazines and papers. The longer he remained silent and didn’t look at her, the more the unease in her stomach grew. She contemplated coming clean to him about where she had been and her choice to move to California, but something in his manner made her wait.


“Thank you,” he finally broke the silence, as they rounded the corner to a different section.


“Excuse me?”


“For what you said back there,” he clarified. “It’s been a long time since anyone has taken my side.”


Rey felt her chest ache at the vulnerability in his tone. It was barely noticeable and maybe he didn’t mean for her to hear it, but she did. “You’re welcome.”


“How are you? Were you...sick?”


“No,” she admitted, “but I did need some time away from...”


“Me?” he supplied.


“Everything,” Rey sighed. “Everything happened so fast and I never took the time to step back and take a good hard look at us, at what we were doing.”


“Now you have?”


“Now I have,” she confirmed.


“And?” Ben prompted.


“And I miss you.”


He stopped walking, angling his frame towards her. For a moment he studied her, then swallowed thickly. “You do?”


“Kylo, of course I-.”


“Ben,” he interrupted, suddenly grabbing her hands. “I...I want you to call me Ben.” Rey glanced down at where they were joined, then back up at his face. “I like when you call me Ben.”


She felt her heart swell and her eyes burn. “Ben.”


He squeezed her hands. “I’m glad you’re here,” he told her. “There’s something I need to talk to you about.”


“There’s something I need to talk to you about too,” she replied. Peering around, Rey reluctantly pulled away from him. “But we shouldn’t talk about it here.”


“Tonight?” he offered. “After we wrap up?”


“Sure.”


Kylo — Ben — smiled at her. “Tonight then. We could discuss over dinner and maybe an episode of Nailed It?”


“It’s a date,” Rey told him, echoing her words from a couple weeks prior.


Ben grinned broadly and they returned to their booth, silent but hopeful.



 

 

Kylo gritted his teeth and clenched his hands for what felt like the hundredth time in a single day. Each time Dameron would nudge Rey or put an arm around her, offer to help her or so much as smile at her, Kylo felt a fury take over him.


The first time it happened was after they got back to the booth. Wexley and Dameron made it presentable but Kylo felt a few alterations were necessary to make it standout from their competitors. While he went over the changes with Wexley, Dameron slung his arm over Rey’s narrow shoulders and took her aside.


He nearly toppled the table over in rage. Rey was his . Dameron was not to touch her. His hands were gripping onto the plastic foldable table so tight, Wexley made a comment. Kylo didn’t hear him.


Then Rey flashed him a smile over her shoulder and his anger lessened. She continued to make eye contact with him throughout the day, sometimes shooting him a brief look or an eye roll before she covered up the expression with a professionally neutral face.


They spoke without words, neither able to get through the excruciating long day without the tiny interactions, shadows of a conversation. Kylo returned her looks with those of his own, though his were usually more annoyed. One time his expression forced a laugh out of her, which she hurriedly covered up by coughing.


Of course it was Dameron who went running off to grab a bottle of water for her. The man was quite irritating.


This time was no exception. Rey was speaking with an ad agency who wanted to get their name out in the First Order. The gentleman knew her from her work. When the conversation took a turn from the professional to the personal, Dameron intervened.


Kylo wanted to punch both men for being too close to his girl — his kitten — but Rey merely shot him an

aggravated look and rolled her eyes, clearly unimpressed. It wasn’t enough to keep him from thinking how easy it would be to break Dameron’s fingers one by one but it kept him from acting on the idea.


As five o’clock neared, Kylo tapped his fingers against the table top, eager to finish up and move on to his evening plans. The convention had closed its doors fifteen minutes prior, preparing to shut down on time and Kylo couldn’t be happier.


He was itching to go upstairs to confirm their accommodations were correct. Yesterday, he’d called Robyn once more to go over his precise instructions, wanting to ensure no detail was missed. Although he didn’t doubt her abilities, Kylo was nervous about speaking with Rey. He needed everything to be perfect so he could tell her what he had done.


Soon the conference officials began coming around, ordering vendors to clean up their areas, escorting patrons out and preparing to close down the hall.


Wexley and Dameron hastily shoved all the Force Publication supplies away into bins under their table while Rey scanned through the list of visitors they recorded on the team’s iPad. The data they received over the next several days would confirm if this convention met their ROI standards for trade shows and events, thus determining whether or not they’d attend again next year.


Kylo watched their investments closely. This event, as well as the others they participated in throughout the year, were each measured to ensure they were valuable to the company. If an event didn’t meet the metrics to be considered successful, it was dropped from their rotation.


While print publications were believed to be dying, Force Publications made sure to increase their readership by including online subscription services and an archived catalogue of past issues for all their magazines and papers. The website had been a considerable investment, but it maintained their place as a prominent New York City business. Kylo was proud of his ability to enhance the publication while the mode of communication continued to change with technological advancements.


Rey’s list was probably the single most important takeaway from the event. He intended to speak with her about it, but not tonight. Tonight, they had more important topics to discuss, namely their future.


He knew she’d initially be upset, probably even angry with him, but Kylo stood by his decision. He only hoped once she calmed down, she would too.


After Dameron, Wexley and Rey were all done, Dameron turned to him. “So what’s the plan for dinner, boss?”


“You received a per diem, I believe, Dameron,” Kylo replied.


“When Leia used to run the magazine-,” Dameron began, before he was cut off.


“Leia Organa isn’t here. I am,” Kylo reminded his PR manager.


“I only meant that Leia-.”


“I’m not Leia Organa,” Kylo grumbled agitatedly.


Dameron made a face. “No kidding.”


“Poe,” Rey glared at the other man.


“Come on, Rey,” the PR manager turned to her. “We’ve worked hard all day. We deserve to cut loose a bit.”


“And you can,” Kylo stated. “On your own time.”


“You aren’t going to treat?” Wexley questioned, backing Dameron up.


“I have a personal matter to attend to,” he responded in a tone which left no room for further questions.


“Fine,” Dameron muttered. He turned away from Kylo, facing Rey. “Shall we, sunshine?” He offered her his arm. “There’s a good Thai place around the corner. You, me and Snap can come up with a game plan for tomorrow?”


Rey shot Kylo a brief hesitant look before she feigned a yawn. “Can I take a rain check?”


“What?” Dameron cried. “Not you too! Why does no one want to have any fun tonight?”


“It’s not that I don’t want to have fun,” Rey argued. “I’m just tired, Poe, and I don’t want to get sick again.”


Right, because that was the story she was sticking to in front of everyone else...


“Alright, alright, sunshine,” Dameron slipped an arm around her shoulders, giving her a side hug. Kylo resisted the urge to rip said arm out from it’s socket. “But I better see you all smiles bright and early tomorrow.”


“Sure thing,” she flashed the PR manager her signature smile.


“Get some rest, Rey,” Wexley nodded to her.


“Thank you, Snap,” Rey gave him a little wave. “Sir,” she met Kylo’s eyes. “I’ll see you all tomorrow. Same time, same place.”


“Goodnight, Ms. Andor.” Well played, Rey. “See you tomorrow.” See you soon.



 

 

Rey rode the elevator up to the twentieth floor of the Distrikt Hotel. When she checked in, the concierge, a pretty woman with auburn locks named Robyn, informed her that her room needed work and for her inconvenience, she’d been upgraded to the top floor.


The change mattered little to Rey. She was convinced after their rendezvous this morning, she’d be spending the majority of her stay in Ben’s room. As long as he had a king sized bed, Rey would be content to lounge with him there all weekend.


Above her the elevator chimed, indicating she’d reached her destination. Rey checked her keycard and strolled down the corridor to room number 2011. She swiped the laminated card over the door handle and it unlocked with a click.


When she stepped inside, Rey gasped. The room was far more impressive than she’d anticipated and it had a king. Ben was going to be spending all his time here because there was no way she was leaving this impressive suite for a regular hotel room. In awe, she adventured around, discovering a massive whirlpool tub in the bathroom and a perfect view of the city’s skyline.


“Beautiful,” she whispered, as she gazed out onto the city.


“You are,” a voice from behind startled her.


“Ben!” Rey whipped around to find him standing by the entrance. “How did you get in here?”


“This is my room,” he smirked as he crossed the room to meet her.


“But Robyn said-.”


“I know,” Ben chuckled. “I paid extra for that.”


“Ben,” Rey groaned, turning back to the view. “Someone is going to find out about this. When HR sees your expense report and-.”


“They won’t see anything,” he told her, lacing his arms around her. “I made a substantial tip to the hotel to ensure this gets billed as two rooms separately. No one besides us and Robyn will know the difference, kitten.”


She knew she should pull away to face him, but it was comforting to feel him behind her. His broad chest was warm and served as a reminder of how powerful he was. Ben was a strong man both professionally and physically. His dominant nature appealed to her in the most primal sense, making her weak in the knees and unable to resist the urge to let him swallow her up in his embrace.


Humming, Rey leaned back against him, letting his hands slip down to her hips. “We still need to talk,” Rey reminded him.


“I know,” Ben replied. He kissed the top of her head, before moving down lower to trail a line of hot wet kisses down her neck to her shoulder.


“Ben,” she drawled. “That’s not talking.”


“You talk. I’ll listen,” he suggested.


Rey sighed. As wonderful as it felt to be back in his arms, to feel his soft lips against her skin once more, there were serious things they needed to discuss.


“I interviewed with the Chronical,” she started, as he pulled her shirt down to reveal more of her bare skin.


“I know,” his breath was hot against her flesh.


“It went well,” Rey added, as he knelt behind her, lifting her up so he could kiss a line down her spine.


“I know that too.”


She considered asking him how, but the answer which made the most sense was Leia. Ben’s mother had been the one to introduce Mr. Calrissian to Rey. It made sense he’d share with his friend how the interview went and of course Leia would share those details with her son. Rey should have suspected it.


“Are you disappointed?” Ben questioned, as he unzipped her skirt.


“N-no,” she breathed, feeling the material drop to the floor around her heels. “I wanted to talk to you about it.”


“So talk, kitten ,” Ben commanded, hands kneading her pert ass through her stockings.


“Ben,” Rey groaned. Why did he have to be so good?


“You wanted to talk, Rey,” he taunted. “Talk.”


He continued his massage, pausing every few strokes to plant a kiss on her bare bottom. “They made me an offer,” she managed to get out.


And?


“And I plan on accepting it. I already have my resignation letter prepared to send to Kaydel,” Rey continued, rushing her sentence out before a moan escaped her.


“But?” Ben kissed the dip of her back where her spine met her hips.


“But I wanted to talk to you first, because you are the whole reason for me accepting this job.”


“No,” Ben stopped touching her.


“No?” Rey asked, confused and needy. One she felt him on her, she craved more.


“No, kitten,” he corrected. “You are accepting this job because it’s what you’ve always wanted and it’s what you deserve.”


“Ben,” Rey turned around, unable to resist anymore. She needed to see his face. She needed to know what he was thinking. “I lo-.”


“I made a deal with Lando,” he cut her off before she could finish.


“You what?” Her eyes widened. That was not what she’d expected.


“When my grandparents died, they left me a substantial inheritance. I’ve never had a reason to touch it…until now. I used it to become a silent partner for the Chronical. I made a deal with Lando to help him expand into the East Coast market,” Ben announced nonchalantly.


“Why?”


“So you wouldn’t have to move or give up your dream,” he answered, as if it was obvious.


“Ben, that was...” Rey couldn’t get the rest of her words out. No one had ever put her first the way Ben had. She hadn’t even told him yet and he’d already sacrificed so much without any hesitation. “You spent your inheritance on me?”


“Of course, Rey. I love you.”


Everything she’d been trying to tell him, all her fears about speaking to him about her decision to leave, left her. So did the air in her lungs. Rey felt lightheaded. She swayed on shaky legs, unable to believe what she’d heard.


“Rey?” Ben suddenly stood up, a concerned expression of his face. “Baby, say something.”


“Y-you love me?”


“Rey,” he hugged her close, kissing her forehead. “I’m pretty sure I’ve been in love with you since we played that game in my office. “


She blushed, leaning back as she asked, “Two Truths and a Lie?”


“That’s the one,” he grinned down at her. “You had me right then and there.”


“Ben.”


“I know you think we moved fast and I know you were planning on going out to California, but I couldn’t lose you and I’m not completely selfish. I did think about your friends. If you stay in New York, you won’t have to live alone without your family here. You can stay where you are or...” he paused for a moment, running a hand through his hair. “Or, if you’re ready, you could move in with me.”


“Ben.”


Rey couldn’t believe him. They had been together for such a short amount of time and while part of her reeled at his confession, worried they would burn out just as quickly as they came to life, another part of her cheered. This man — her man — loved her. He loved her enough to cast aside a rational plan in favor of securing her a place in the city they both loved.


“I- I can’t believe you did this,” her voice cracked as she clung to him.


“I’d do anything for you, Rey,” he vowed, the words a whispered promise against the crown of her head. “You are everything to me.”


“I love you so much,” she cried, as she gripped onto his shirt. “I-I’m sorry I didn’t tell you until now. I should have told you the other night before we fought. I wanted to tell you. I wanted-.”


“I wanted to tell you then too,” he chuckled, keeping her close.


“So what happens now?” She asked, tilting her head up to look at him.


“Now? Now, I take you to bed, kitten,” he crooned.



 

 

Kylo was bleary eyed but content after the long day. Rey was curled up against him, her breathing languid and deep. Smiling down at her, he pressed a chaste kiss to her cheek, before rolling over to check the time. It was after ten. Too late for dinner and too early to go back to sleep. He placed an order with room service and went back to staring down at the woman he loved.


Rey accepted his grand gesture, which was more than he could have hoped for. They still needed to work out the logistics and she hadn’t given him a straight answer about moving in, but all of that could be discussed after this weekend. The important thing was Rey was staying in New York.


“Hey,” she turned to gaze at him over her shoulder. “How long was I asleep?”


“Just a few minutes, kitten,” he leaned down to press a kiss against her bare skin. “I ordered us some food.”


She hummed happily. “You know me so well.”


“You’re worth knowing,” Kylo said before he captured her lips with his own.


A knock sounded at the door.


“Well that was fast,” he grinned at her. Kylo smacked her ass before rising to answer the door, just as another knock sounded through the suite. Rey shot him a look from where she lay barely covered under the sheets. For a moment he hesitated, considering telling room service to take a hike, when her stomach growled.


Rey’s cheeks flushed instantly, her gaze dropping in embarrassment.


Kylo smiled, going to retrieve their dishes. They had all night and if Rey needed to sleep tomorrow instead of working the booth....well, she had mentioned she was coming back to work from sick leave.


In hindsight, he should have checked the peephole, before flinging the door open, especially considering he was only in his boxers. On the other side of the threshold stood a familiar face, one Kylo hadn’t anticipated seeing this weekend.


“Good evening, Ren.”


Staring at Hux, Kylo clenched his jaw, too angry for words. How had he found them?


The two men stared at each other in silent contest for a moment until Rey’s voice filled the suite. “Do you need help? I’m starving.”


Before Kylo could stop her, she appeared next to him ready to carry their food inside, draped only in a sheet.


“Ms. Andor.”


Kylo stepped in front of her, one arm tucking her behind him to shield her from Hux’s view. He heard her mutter a curse. Her hands pressed onto his bare back, as she hid.


“You two aren’t nearly as careful as you assume to be,” Hux sneered up at Kylo.


“What are you doing here?” Kylo snarled.


“Saving my career,” Hux replied. “And destroying yours.”


Kylo’s eyes widened but before he could ask, Hux motioned to his front suit pocket where his phone was sitting, camera lens pointed at their door.


“I have all I need,” Hux gloated. “Have a good evening.” He made to leave.


“Stop,” Kylo ordered.


“You aren’t my superior anymore, Ren,” Hux reminded him. “Or at least you won’t be when HR sees this. Your career and Ms. Andor’s will be ruined.”


“Rey didn’t do anything,” Kylo insisted. “I abused my power and she-.”


“Save it,” Hux interrupted.


“What do you want Hux?” Kylo demanded.


“To see you burn.” With that, he walked away, leaving both Kylo and Rey reeling.

Chapter Text

 

“I need to call Mr. Calrissian,” Rey told Ben.



“We aren’t calling Lando,” he shook his head. “Let me think this through.”



They sat together on the edge of the bed, too upset to eat their food which had arrived five minutes after Hux’s disastrous visit. Rey donned her pajamas and Ben put on a shirt but remained in his boxers.  



“What about your mother?” Rey suggested. “She helped us before.” 



“No,” he shook his head again. “I can’t discuss this with her.”



“How did he even know where to find us?” she asked.



“I don’t know,” Ben sighed frustratedly. “I made the changes myself, paid off the staff and kept the details between only myself and Robyn.”



“I don’t think she’d tell anyone,” Rey said. “What would she have to gain?”



“I agree,” Kylo replied. “She seemed happy for me, for us, when I explained the situation.”



Rey smiled at him, despite their predicament. It was sweet how innocent he could be when he was nervous. She replayed everything Ben told her about his steps to get them this room.



“Ben, when did you change the reservations?”



“Wednesday, why?”



“While you were at work?”



“Yes,” he confirmed. 



She bit her lip. There was another possibility, one Kylo promised wouldn’t be a problem. If she was right though, the answer to the why could also be the answer to their question of what now?



“Bazine,” Rey spoke, piecing together the timeline in her head. 



“What about her?”



“She knew and she alerted Hux,” Rey revealed. “Did you call on your office phone?”



“No,” Ben’s face flushed. 



“What?” Rey questioned, catching his expression. 



“It was unplugged and on the floor,” he admitted. 



Rey raised an eyebrow. “When I found out you weren’t coming in, I was angry,” he supplied. “I brought you coffee to apologize for Tuesday night.”



“Thank you,” Rey placed her hand on his thigh, smiling over at him. 



“So it couldn’t have been Bazine,” he told her. 



“That’s not the only way she could have heard your conversation,” Rey corrected him. “Have you ever forwarded your cell to her?”



“Yeah.”



“That’s how,” she confirmed. Rey explained how some forwarding software worked and how it could be turned on or manipulated if the user knew some basic coding. 



“But why would she tell Hux?”



Rey didn’t know the answer to his question. Bazine had been suspicious of them since their dalliance in Ben’s office last week. Her concern didn’t connect her to Hux’s visit unless...



“They’re working together,” Rey gasped.



“But why?” 



“With you gone, Hux has the longest tenure. He would be the prime candidate for editor and Bazine would...” she trailed off, unsure what Ben’s secretary would get out of the exchange. 



They sat silently, both lost in their thoughts. Rey’s hand remained on his thigh and Ben brought his down to hold her hand in his. For a moment, all she could hear was their breathing in the quiet room. Then Ben jumped up, releasing her hand as he did. 



“They’re together!”



“Wait, What?”



“Of course,” Ben mused out loud. “It all makes sense now.” He explained how Hux had tried to set him up with Bazine a year ago and how annoyed the redhead had been when Ben refused to show interest in her. Rey made a face, not liking the idea of Bazine anywhere near her boyfriend. 



“You already had me,” he reassured her, leaning down to kiss her. 



“Smooth,” Rey teased. “Now finish explaining.”



“Before all that Bazine put in for a raise. I denied it. She does the bare minimum. She’s effective but it’s all about her.” Rey snorted. She could have told Ben that. “Her attitude got worse. I didn’t think much of it. She’s never been kind, but she started acting out more, so I told Hux to mentor her. That’s how the two of them must have connected.”



“Two disgruntled employees coming together to dethrone their editor,” Rey mused. “It sounds like an article to me.”



Ben stared back at her with a smirk. 



“Well Ms. Andor, I believe you have the subject of your next piece. Best get to work on it. The article won’t write itself.”



“Yes, sir.”




 

 

Kylo watched as Rey typed away, her fingers furiously beating against the keys of his laptop as the story poured out of her. Once they’d pieced together what had happened, it had been all too easy to confirm facts with Mitaka, his Director of IT. 



The bumbling man may have struggled to speak with people but he was assured of technology. He was able to trace the communications from Bazine to Hux, including how she transferred the information she lifted from Kylo’s personal phone. 



Fact-checking her own story — their own lives — felt bizarre, but Kylo didn’t know of any other way to clear their names. He wouldn’t allow Hux to ruin Rey’s chance to pursue her dream. 



There was a good chance, Connix would ask Kylo to step down from his position as Editor-in-chief, but at least he could do it with a clean conscious. Rey would go on to work with his uncle and Hux wouldn’t be succeeded him. It wasn’t a total victory, but Kylo considered it a win. 



“What will you do?” Rey asked, as she continued working. 



“If they fire me?”



She let out a little snort. “They won’t fire you. They’ll let you go with some kind of severance package and act like you’ve found a better opportunity. They’ll do it nicely, because your mother is on the Board.”



“True,” he agreed, “but everyone will still know. They are all smart enough to read between the lines.”



Rey sat up, peering at him over the lip of the laptop. “Kylo Ren, did you just compliment your staff?” 



“Don’t get cocky, Andor,” he replied sternly, though his eyes were filled with mirth. “You still need to close the deal with this article.”



She flashed him a cheeky grin. “Then it’s a good thing that this is my best work yet, huh?” 



“Very good,” he smirked back at her. 



Kylo checked the time, noting they’d need to report downstairs in a few hours to prepare for the second day of the convention. “You do need sleep though, kitten. Are you almost done?”



“Just finishing my closing paragraph,” she responded, her focus on the screen once more. 



He striped down, crawling beneath the sheets. The couple of hours altered more than his plan for their future, but he was content with the knowledge Rey would be with him. As long as he had her, the outcome of their decision to submit the article would be a good one. 



Against his better judgement, Kylo shot off an email to his mother and Lando about what he and Rey uncovered. He didn’t ask for their assistance, confident it was unnecessary. He phrased the email as an FYI and then closed out of the application.



Rey shut down his laptop before joining him in bed. She cuddled up against him, shifting a couple of times in silence until she picked her head up to look at him. 



“What?” he asked, a smile teasing the edges of his mouth.



“Round two?”



“You’ll be the death of me, kitten,” he chuckled lowly. 



“You love it.”



“You’re so right,” he crooned, before kissing her. Rey giggled against his lips and pulled herself closer. Kylo hummed, rocking his pelvis against her. She made a contented sound, urging him to do it again. 



Sleep was overrated anyway. 



Snaking a hand around to her front, Kylo slid down her taut stomach. He found her slick and ready for him. 



“Good girl, kitten,” he praised, kissing her neck. 



Rey rolled back into him, rubbing against his erection. Kylo teased her folds, circling her clit with his wide thumb simultaneously. She hummed in pleasure, sounding as though she was purring. It was one of his favorite sounds, right up there with the way she screamed his name and how soft her voice got when she told him she loved him. 



Kylo presses down on her nub while sinking one finger into her heat. Rey arched back, “More.”



“Greedy little kitten,” he chuckled, but he couldn’t deny how hard her request made him. 



He dipped another finger past her soaked entrance, pumping his digits in and out of her, while his other arm looped around her front to hold her in place. His long fingers wrapped gently around her neck. Kylo ran his teeth over her pulse point, nipping teasingly where he knew she was sensitive. 



Kylo had to resist the urge to bite her neck. A primal part of him wanted to mark her flesh, leave a dark bruise as a warning to everyone that Rey was taken. If she wore his mark maybe Dameron would stop his annoying advances. The slim bit of rational thought left in him kept him from following through on the idea. 



Soon enough Dameron would know. Kylo could wait. Seeing the look of disbelief on his PR manager’s face once they went public with their relationship would be the best reward. 



Well second best next to knowing he had Rey. 



She attempted to grind down on his hand, desperately seeking more friction as he brought her close to her climax. 



“You asked for this, kitten,” he reminded her. “Let me please you.”



“Fuck, Ben,” Rey whined. “You do please me, but I need more. I need you.”



He growled, unable to control his own desire upon hearing her beg so sweetly for him. 



“Lift your leg, kitten,” he instructed. 



Carefully Kylo helped her raise her left leg while they both remained laying on their sides. The angle was different than any other position they’d tried before, but when he thrust into her tightness, Kylo knew it was worth it. 



He found the squishy soft spot inside her immediately. Rey keened, the sound coaxing him to continue. Kylo set a rapid pace, thrusting into her with abandon. Rey reached back to grab onto him, arching herself so she could capture his mouth as he worked into her heat. 



He had never felt so utterly connected to Rey before. In that moment he felt her beyond their physical coupling. It was as if they were one being. The sensation washed over him, consuming all thoughts and reactions. For a second it was like time stood still. 



Kylo was aware of several things all at once. He could feel Rey’s pulse hammering away. He could smell the floral scent of her shampoo. He could hear her breathy moans escaping their open mouthed kiss and he could taste the lingering essence of her toothpaste. It was all perfect. She was perfect. 



“I love you,” he whispered unbidden.



“Love you,” she echoed back to him.



Time returned to its normal pace, while Kylo increased the speed of his thrusts. The arm wrapped around Rey slid down to flatten his palm along her stomach. He could feel himself inside her. The realization sent him spiraling towards the edge. 



Sliding his hand down further, Kylo drew circles around her clit, drawing her climax from her. She joined him in his descent. Her body shuddered, internal muscles clamping down on him. Kylo grunted, jerking against her as she milked him of his release. 



For a few minutes, they remained on their sides, locked together as they regained their breath. When Kylo pulled out, Rey groaned from the loss of him. He quickly went to the bathroom to get a washcloth and helped her get cleaned up. 



“Now, kitten,” he kissed the top of her forehead. “It’s time for bed.”



Rey yawned and nodded in agreement. She was asleep in his arms moments later. 



“I love you, Rey,” he kissed her goodnight and drifted off alongside her. 




 

 

Rey perched on the edge of the loveseat, retreading her resignation letter and the corresponding attachment she’d written a few hours prior. One final check after Ben edited both left her with one a simple task: clicking the ‘Send’ button. 



Earlier she’d received an email from Mr. Calrissian confirming her offer letter was based on her merit as an individual contributor and not as the girlfriend of Kylo Ren. His message had been a bit on the nose, but Rey found the confirmation helped her feel slightly more at ease. 



While Ben showered, she double checked the content in the body of her email. One final deep breath and Rey pressed down on the track pad. 



Sent



The one word confirmation blinked across the top of the screen and she released the breath.



“Is it done?” Ben asked. Rey jumped in her seat, not having heard him exit the bathroom. “Jumpy,” he chuckled, kissing the top of her head as he came around the love seat to sit next to her. 



“I just sent it,” Rey confirmed. 



“Now all we do is wait,” he replied. 



“And get through the rest of this weekend,” Rey added, skipping her fingers through his. “Do we tell Poe and Snap?”



Ben glanced down at their interlocked digits before raising his eyes to her face. “As much as I would like to say yes, Connix needs to give us instructions on how to handle this. It’s an HR matter and if we want her on our side it would be better if we didn’t flaunt our relationship in front of the other employees.”



Rey laughed. “We wouldn’t flaunt it. We are still professionals.” He shot her a look and she remembered how he’d taken her against his desk. “We behave as professionals in front of other people,” she adjusted. 



“It’s alright, Ms. Andor,” he smirked, rising from the couch. “I know you can’t help yourself.”



She watched the way beads of water slipped from his broad shoulders down the bare expanse of his back and to the lip of the towel he had tied around his hips. Her tongue traced over her lower lip unbidden. 



“Cat got your tongue, kitten?” he teased noticing her reaction. 



Rey flushed slightly, turning away to power down his laptop. “Are you done with the shower?”



“Yes,” Ben smirked. 



She got up and made her way towards the bathroom, only to have him grab her hand and yank her backwards. Rey let out a yelp of surprise before she collided with his damp chest. 



“Ben!”



“I said I was done with the shower,” he grinned wickedly. “I didn’t say I was done with you.”



“We don’t have time,” Rey argued half heartedly. 



“Mmmm, kitten, did you forget?” She quirked an eyebrow. “As of right now, I’m still the boss,” he winked. 




 

 

The remainder of the conference was more frustrating than the first day. Despite how Rey took the news of his grand romantic gesture, Kylo still couldn’t stop his jealousy. Both Dameron and Wexley we’re constantly checking in on his girlfriend, asking if she got enough sleep, offering to get her a fresh bottle of water and even suggesting to him that he let her go back up to her room at lunch to grab a nap. 



He was inclined to permit the last one but Rey shook her head, the expression in her eyes reminding him that they needed to keep up appearances until Monday when Connix was sure to call them into her office to discuss Rey’s email. 



They managed to generate several strong leads and secure a new contract with a less expensive printer who was just getting their start in the New York market. Kylo was quite pleased with the change. It would save the company thousands of dollars each month for the copies they still sent to print. 



Of course, it didn’t please him as much as the end of the conference on Sunday afternoon. 



The precious few hours he had with Rey each night in the hotel suite were what made the conference manageable. Each time Dameron interjected, Kylo remembered how her lips parted as he thrust into her. When his HR manager got too close to Rey, he thought about how it felt to have Rey under him, naked and moaning wantonly.



Rey rode the subway back to her apartment and Kylo returned to his in order to keep up appearances. They had already discussed her coming to stay the night while in private. It was only for a couple hours and then she’d be in his arms again. 



The time went by quickly, Kylo focusing on tidying up his place while he waited for her to arrive. 



It could well be their last night as Force Publication employees, so Rey suggested they cook together while reminiscing about their favorite moments spent in the office. 



“Drinking with you,” Kylo offered with a smirk as he helped her pull out the necessary pots and pans to make dinner. 



Rey was going to show him how to make her father’s famous Mexican quinoa dish. 



“That doesn’t count,” she laughed, hip checking him. 



“Why not?”



She pretended to sigh exasperatedly. “I meant memories from before, like when you edited your first piece as the official editor of First Order or when we won that award last year.”



Kylo chuckled as she began dicing up tomatoes, onions and peppers. 



He thought back on his tenure at the magazine. What Rey mentioned were both good options but he couldn’t remember taking any actual joy from either milestone. It was just another check on his checklist, another goal reached in his pursuit of making the publication profitable and self-sustaining. 



Leia has always managed to keep her endeavors successful. It had been imperative for him to do the same, not out of any blind allegiance to his mother but to prove to her he was well-equipped to handle a venture as large as the First Order. When he got down to it, though, he understood he hadn’t received any joy from his accomplishments. 



It was only ever the next step, one more task on an endless list he’d created in his mind as he searched for validation. 



The realization hit him hard. 



Rey picked up on the change immediately, wrapping one tiny hand around his wrist. “Ben?”



“I don’t have any,” he admitted. 



“Of course you do,” she grinned up at him. “You love your job.”



Did he? He wasn’t sure anymore. 



Being successful didn’t equate to loving his job. For years he’d worked long hours, spent countless holidays strategizing his next move and for what? So he could do the same the following year? And the year after that? 



“I...I don’t think I do,” he sighed. 



Rey released him, wiping both her hands on a dish towel before she reached for him. “Hey, hey,” she called to him soothing as she cupped his face in both hands. “You’re an amazing editor. You have such a great eye and your business acumen is unparalleled.”



“But it doesn’t make me happy,” Kylo divulged. 



Rey’s eye widened. “Ben-.”



“You make me happy, Rey,” he continued. “You’re the first thing in my life that had felt right in years. I don’t think I would have noticed the difference if it hadn’t been for you.”



She offered him a shy smile before lifting up to her tiptoes to kiss him gently. “You make me happy too.”



Kylo circled his arms around her, hugging her to his chest. “Whatever happens tomorrow, I want you to know I wouldn’t change it. Not a single minute,” he vowed.



“Me either,” Rey replied.



Like a sign from the universe, both their phones pinged. Kylo let Rey reach for hers, knowing in his gut the likelihood of the messages being unrelated were low. 



“It’s from Kaydel,” Rey confirmed his suspicions. “She wants to meet with us first thing tomorrow.”



“Time to face the music,” he muttered.



“We’ll do it together,” Rey reassured him, slipping her hand in his. 



“Together,” he echoed back. 




 

 

Walking into the office on Monday morning was the most nerve wracking experience of Rey’s life. Knowing it was only a matter of time until the entire place knew about their relationship, she and Ben arrived together. 



At the front desk, Beebee began to wish Rey good morning until she saw who was trailing behind her. The greeting died in the woman’s throat as she wordlessly watched the two pass by, their fingers interlaced. 



The reaction was similar when they strolled through the main room towards Kaydel’s office. People from all different departments stopped what they were doing to openly stare at them. 



They were only a couple yards away from HR, when Poe stepped in front of them. 



“Um, Rey,” he glanced nervously between her and their scowling editor. “What’s going on?”



“I can’t really talk right now, Poe,” she replied professionally. “I’m late for a meeting.”



“Yeah, but-.”



“She said not now, Dameron,” Ben snapped. 



Poe’s eyes widened with realization. His mouth parted with a silent, Oh



Swallowing the nervous bubble of laughter which threatened to come out, Rey ducked into Kaydel’s office, yanking Ben in behind her. 



Rey sat opposite of her blonde friend, schooling her expression as their HR manager took in the scene before her. A staff writer and the Editor-in-Chief being together was about as cliche as it could get and yet, Kaydel didn’t seem all that surprised. 



“You know, when Leia mentioned you two were getting into this thing, I thought it was a joke,” she started off. 



Ben stared at her, then turned to Rey who was just as shocked by the revelation as he was. 



“It wasn’t until I started to notice how much calmer you were,” she said to Ben, “and how often you were smiling,” she directed to Rey, “that I realized it was more than an office fling. Needless to say, it went against all my instincts, not to mention company policy, to allow you both to continue with this,” she gestured at where they were still holding hands. 



“Relationship,” Ben spoke up.



Kaydel’s eyebrows rose slightly, but she recovered swiftly, taking charge of the discussion once more. “Relationship,” she nodded. “As happy as I am for the both of you on a personal level, I hope you both understand I can’t permit either of you to work here. It’s been made quite clear by Mr. Hux that this began weeks before Rey submitted her resignation, which puts you both in violation of our employee handbook.”



“We understand,” Ben replied, as Rey gave his hand a squeeze. 



“I knew what we were risking when we started,” Rey added. “But Kay, it’s not what people think. I love him.”



Kaydel was not surprised this time, or if she was, she hid it better. She sighed, pulling out two packets, handing one to each of them. 



“These are the documents I am required to give you, which outline where you’ve violated your employee agreements, which translates to no...,” she paused, pinching the bridge of her nose. “No severance.” 



Ben and Rey both nodded. As difficult as it was to hear out loud, Rey knew it was bound to happen. They had spoken about it over the course of the last couple of days and they were prepared. 



“I’m sorry,” Kaydel added. 



“Don’t be, Conn-,” Ben cleared his throat. “Kaydel. It’s time for me to make a career change.” He gazed over at Rey, grinning at her when she smiled. “One that will give me more time to focus on the important things.”



Their HR manager raised her brow again, but her face softened into a genuine smile. “Off the record,” she prefaced her next words carefully. “I’m really happy for both of you. I wish you all the best and if I can ever offer any help, be it an employer reference or something else, all you have to do is call.” 



She reached into her top desk drawer, grabbing a business card and hastily jotting down her personal cell on the underside. “Here,” she handed it to Ben. “Rey already has my number.”



“Thank you,” he pocketed the card.



“Thanks, Kay,” Rey said to her friend. 



“Do either of you have any questions?” the blonde questioned, turning back into the professional manager she was. 



“Our stuff?” Ben inquires.



“You can pack it up and leave. Once you are done, I’ll collect your laptops, your employee badges, and any keys or other employee equipment you have,” she informed them.



“Then that’s that?” Rey asked.



“That’s that,” Kaydel confirmed.



“One more question,” Ben leaned forward, eyes narrowing. “What about Hux and Bazine?”

Chapter Text

 

Monday morning found Rey waking up next to her love, who had captured her in a bear hug while he slept. She laughed against his broad chest, finding him already up and watching her.

 

“Why didn’t you wake me?”

 

“I thought you could use the extra five minutes,” he responded, leaning down to plant a kiss on the end of her nose.

 

“I think you just like having me here.”

 

“Guilty,” he agreed.

 

“Do you think you can let me go long enough for me to grab a shower?” she asked. “It’s an important day, you know.”

 

Today was the first day of their new life together. They’d spent the weekend moving all of Rey’s stuff from her apartment with the Tico sisters to his penthouse suite. Finn had shown up to help, as had Poe and Kaydel.

 

To ease the transition, Ben had taken them all out to dinner afterwards, even going as far as to thank Poe for helping. It was the calmest Rey had ever seen him around their former PR manager. Of course, it didn’t stop him from putting his hands on her every chance he got, regardless of the fact Poe and Kaydel acknowledged they were in an HR-sanctioned relationship.

 

The month prior had been an adjustment for both Rey and Ben. Without jobs, they were left to their own devices during the day. For the first week, that meant not leaving Ben’s bedroom. Then one day Lando called. First, he insisted Rey call him by his first name, as she was the reason they were expanding. He enlisted Ben and Rey to help with preparations for the new East Coast office.

 

It was during one of those days, while they ran around New York City meeting with contractors and organizing the extensive office supply shopping list, Lando proposed an idea to Ben.

 

“Written anything lately, kid?” he asked over the lunch.

 

Lando had flown in to finish some final details for the office and offered to take them out.

 

“Been editing the last seven or so years,” Ben informed him. “Why?”

 

“The fallout from your exit from Force Publications is quite a story, you know,” the older man smirked, before glancing over at Rey and giving her a mischievous wink.

 

“If you have something to say, Calrissian,” Ben grumbled, “Just say it.”

 

“The office on Greenwich Street is larger than our California space and there’s a reason for that,” Lando admitted.

 

“Which is?” Ben asked, considerably more irritable the longer his quasi-uncle kept them in the dark.

 

“Before your offer I was considering expanding, not in terms of location, but in terms of industry,” Lando shared.

 

Rey mulled over his words as she chewed on her chicken Caesar wrap. Lando had made quite a name for himself with the Chronical but he’d originally gotten his start in a different type of publication.”

 

“Books,” she grinned, intrigued by the idea. “You want to open a publishing house for books!”

 

Lando flashed her a charming smile before turning to her boyfriend. “So Ben, tell me. Have you ever considered writing a novel?”

 

And that’s where it started. In the past two weeks, Ben had spent a good portion of their free time outlining and mapping out chapter titles while Rey cooked up more of her father’s best recipes.

 

She loved watching him work. Unlike how he’d operated at the First Order, now he was passionate, engaged and constantly seeking her opinion. Nothing made her feel better than seeing him so happy.

 

Except for maybe seeing him inside her.

 

Their time in bed may have been limited as they rushed to get the new office opened and expand the business both geographically and beyond the newspaper, but what time they did find together was put to good use.

 

Today was the culmination of all their hard work over the past month. Today they opened Rogue One, Inc.

 

The name of the publishing house had actually been her parents’ idea. Apparently word of her and Kylo’s walk out from Force Publications has earned Internet fame. Someone — Leia — had leaked a video of them being escorted by security off the premises the day they’d been let go. Not long after it was all over the news that they’d been fired for their forbidden love.

 

As if they were the modern version of Shakespeare star-crossed lovers, people became vocal about their dismissal. Strangers from all over began taking to social media to yell about how unfair it was to punish a young couple in love. The video went viral, expanding the network in support beyond their own nations. It was a phenomenon unlike anything Rey had ever seen. But it gave Ben more material for his book.

 

They were classified as ‘going rogue’ from their harsh corporate atmosphere and ‘rebelling against the emotionless mandates’ of New York business. So her parents’ came up with the phrase, Rogue One.

 

And it stuck.

 

Lando, of course, capitalized on the whirlwind storm of free publicity making sure every time Rey and Ben were mentioned it was connected to the launch of the new company, named for their famed love affair.

 

Donations began pouring in to help them get their office up and running, while eager applicants began applying for all available positions. They even had volunteers showing up to help the contractors work. Eventually Ben and Rey shot their own video, with the help of Mitaka, to respond to the wave of support they had received.

 

That one went viral instantly, only increasing the love and support of their ‘fans’ as they neared the day of Rogue One’s grand opening.

 

Rey managed to pry herself out of Ben’s arms, heading to the bathroom to shower. Lando had prepped them last night on how to handle the media, because they were expecting a huge turn out. Rey was excited because her parents were included in that. They were flying in for the ribbon cutting and staying the entire week.

 

It had been too long since she’d seen her parents and Rey was practically bouncing up and down as she got dressed, ready for them to see the life she’d made. Her dream was beautiful, but reality was even better because it included Ben.

 


 

 

Kylo stared at himself in the foggy bathroom mirror. Today was the day. Not only were they opening Rogue One but today was the day he asked Rey to be his wife. She was already his partner, his equal in all things, but now...now it would be official.

 

Just then his phone chimed on the marble counter.

 

With a tap, he grimaced noticing the message was from Dameron. Ever since he’d bought the man dinner, he assumed Kylo and he were friends. Nothing could be further from the truth, but for Rey’s sake, he tolerated the man’s annoying antics.

 

Good luck today, boss man ;)

 

Kylo held back an eye roll. Could he be more juvenile?

 

Poe knew, as did the rest of Rey’s friends and family, which was why he’d paid to fly her folks in. She thought they were arriving this morning, but in fact they had come in a day early and were staying with his mother. Leia was all too eager to offer up her guest quarters, and it gave Kylo a chance to formally ask Cassian and Jyn for their blessing.

 

Meeting Rey’s father, while Rose and Paige managed to keep his girlfriend occupied, had been the single-most intimidating moment of Kylo’s life. He hadn’t earned himself any brownie points by making Rey Internet famous for violating company policy which put her work visa in jeopardy. Thankfully, Cassian overlooked that when he recognized how happy his only child was.

 

Jyn and Cassian gave their blessing on the condition that Rey and Kylo came to visit for at least two weeks each year. “I can’t afford to leave the precinct too often,” Cassian admitted and Kylo acknowledged what a sacrifice it was for them to travel in such late notice. He promised they would visit for two weeks, if not more, so Cassian and Jyn would see their daughter more regularly.

 

When he shook Rey’s father’s hand, Kylo knew it was a promise he’d keep no matter what.

 

As he reminisced, he finished buttoning up his dress shirt, fixing a blood red tie on as the final accent. It was his own subtle way of sticking it to the First Order and Hux.

 

The man had suffered a fate much worse than a simple firing. When the video of Kylo and Rey had been leaked, it was shortly followed by another video. This one starred Hux and his unfortunate temper in the elevator with Rey. His violent outbursts blackballed him from any potential offers from future employers. No one wanted to hire the most hated man in New York City.

 

The last Kylo had heard, Hux was editing instructions manuals for an IKEA competitor. The thought of his ginger-haired nemesis stuck in a tedious, dead-end job brought a smile to his face.

 

Bazine hadn’t faired much better. She’d backed on Hux becoming the new editor and had burned bridges with nearly everyone in the First Order. When it became apparent Hux wouldn’t be her new boss, she cried wolf, saying Hux blackmailed her like he planned on doing to Kylo and Rey.

 

It might have worked, if Mitaka hadn’t stumbled across footage of her hacking Kylo’s phone. Once those clips were released Bazine was out. Like Hux, no one wanted her on their payroll.

 

A light knock at the bathroom door, reminded him of the time. “Ben, are you ready to go?”

 

“Be right out,” he called through the door to Rey. Checking his pocket one last time, Kylo smirked at his reflection. “Show time.”

 


 

Greenwich Street was blocked off for an entire city block for the grand opening. News choppers and floods of press and fans alike swarmed the front steps of the building. Flashes of light kept going off, making it hard for Rey to focus on any one face in the crowd.

 

As she desperately searched through the fray for her parents, Rey felt Ben wrap an arm around her.

 

“Did you ever think this was how we’d end up?” he asked, his voice low so only she could hear him.

 

“No,” she smiled shyly up at him. “Did you?”

 

“No,” he chuckled. “I didn’t even think I could convince you to have another drink with me.”

 

She laughed, tilting her head back so he could kiss her. There was a loud cry from the crowd as people began chanting ‘Reylo’ over and over again. The masses turned into a hyper frenzy.

 

Rey blushed all the way to the roots of her hair. Since they had gone viral, people had taken to mashing their names together to create what Rose informed her was called a ‘ship name’ for their relationship. Rey still didn’t get it, but it was nice to feel their support, even if the term still sounded weird.

 

Lando appeared next to them, ready to make his opening speech and cut the ribbon.

 

Rey and Ben turned their attention to their boss, listening as he thanked everyone for coming out and talking a bit about their mission statement. At the end he produced a  pair of giant scissors — One gold and one silver. He handed them off, one to Rey and one to Ben to cut the thick red ribbon stretched over the front doors.

 

“Together?” Ben asked her.

 

“Together,” she echoed back.

 


 

Rogue One was beautiful. As the newest publication house in the city, they were starting out with an open design plan and the best in technology. Despite having two separate core functions, the employees were encouraged to sit where they wanted and interact with everyone else, regardless of department to increase cross-functional efficiencies.

 

Along the back wall were a row of offices and soundproof meeting rooms for conference calls and client appointments. Kylo retreated into his office as soon as the festivities began to die down.

 

The room was smaller than his space at Force Publications, but unlike his former office this one was filled with personal knick knacks. There were several photos of him and Rey together, along with the desk calendar she’d bought him last week and a small air plant, because she thought he needed more color in his life.

 

Rey had gone off with her parents, excited to show them the office she’d had a hand in creating. He was proud of her. She’d taken to the business aspects of Rogue One just as brilliantly as she wrote. She was an exceptional woman... one whom he hoped to call his very, very soon.

 

Unable to stop himself, Kylo pulled the ring box from his pocket, admiring the antique band inside.

 

The ring was actually a set of two, which sat within one another. The smaller one would be given to Rey on their wedding day so for now he was focused on giving her the thicker band adorned with diamonds clustered around the center gem, a sapphire.

 

Once upon a time it had been his grandmother’s and now he planned on passing the piece of his heritage onto Rey, making her a part of his family forever.

 

As if sensing his intentions, there was a light tapping at his door before his girlfriend walked in. Quickly, he snapped the ring box shut and dropped it back into his pocket.

 

“Busy?”

 

“I am the boss,” he reminded her.

 

As part of their arrangement, Lando made Kylo his partner and gave him a seat on the board, which was more a cover for him to have his own office right next to Rey’s, but no one questioned it.

 

“This reminds me of old times,” Rey gestured to the dark wood accents of his office, crossing the room to where he sat.

 

“Is that so, Ms. Andor?” he asked, spinning his chair around to meet her.

 

“It is, sir,” she purred, as she reached down to take hold of his tie. Rey stepped closer until she was standing between his legs, leaning over so her lips hovered over his. “Is there anything I can do for you, Mr. Ren?”

 

“As a matter of fact,” he locked eyes with her, “there is.”

 

Kylo retrieved the ring box, opening it between them. Rey released his tie, straightening up and taking a step backwards. Her eyes widened upon seeing what he held out to her.

 

Shifting out of his seat, he knelt down before her. Rey gasped, one hand reaching behind her to steady herself against his desk while the other covered her mouth.

 

“Rey Andor,” he started. “When you came into my life, I knew you were special. There was something about you that drew me to you and despite all the reasons why it shouldn’t have worked out between us, it did so now I know. The reason you were so special, the reason I was instantly yours was because my soul found its match with you. All this time I was waiting for you. Please say you’ll join me in this and all things...as my wife.”

 

“Ben,” Rey’s voice cracked as tears streamed down her cheeks. “Yes, of course, I’ll marry you!”

 

She dropped to her knees next to him, ignoring the fact she was dressed in her best pencil skirt and white blouse. Kylo gave her a chaste kiss before slipping the band onto her left ring finger.

 

“This is the best day of my life. I love you more than anything else in this world. I think we should invite Hux to the wedding.”

 

Rey laughed, wiping her face clean of her tears. “You joke but we really should send him a fruit basket or something. Without him reporting us, none of this would have ever happened.”

 

“Now that’s a lie,” Kylo scoffed. “I wasn’t going to let you go so easily, kitten.”

 

Rey hugged him, sighing happily as she sagged against his chest. He ran his fingers through her soft chestnut waves, gently combing through the tendrils.

 

“Mmm, Ben?”

 

“Yes, baby?”

 

She leaned back on her heels. “We haven’t broken the new office in yet.”

 

And she calls me insatiable!

 

“Is the door locked?” he asked, already loosening his tie.

 

Rey nodded.

 

“Well then, get in position, kitten,” he instructed.

 

She stood up, unzipping her skirt until it fell to the floor. Bending over his desk, Rey shot him a wicked grin over her shoulder.

 

“Ready when you are, sir.”

 

PLEASE DON'T REPOST!!! AND FOR THOSE INTERESTED, HERE'S REY'S RING: