Seven jolted awake. The sheets beside him were chilly but rumpled. There was the smell of something savory hanging in the air. He let his gaze touch on the few personal items scattered around the room, lingering on her coat draped over a nearby chair.
Still, his heart continued to hammer in his chest. Relentless; jarring in the way it seemed to be trying to remind him this was reality. Seven took one deep breath to steady himself, released it shakily. Then cursed under his breath when he was unable to shove aside the twisted imaginings from the depths of his mind. It was not the first time he’d had such a dream and likely would not be the last, either.
Particles of dust wove through the morning sun as he threw back the coverlet. Seven put on his glasses to check the time. It was 07:42. Despite being fully alert, it was apparent he hadn’t even begun to catch up on sleep with the events from the day before weighing heavily on him. Worst still was Olivia.
He had put her in grave danger. Again. Then instead of making sure she was processing everything healthily, spent the previous night completely ignoring her so he could hack into the agency. Of course, Seven was aware Olivia understood he was merely doing everything possible to get Saeran back. She was selfless and supportive; her own brand of quiet, and she had willingly made space for his pain alongside hers on her journey to become whole again.
She was an unexpected gift, and he had not even begun to come close to telling her how much she mattered to him.
It was cold in the room, so Seven slipped on some socks, then pulled on his jeans and a black, long-sleeved shirt. In the main room, he glanced around. The cabin consisted of two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a large open room that served as a den, dining area, and kitchen. There was no heat, nor electricity, but a small generator powered the stove, a small refrigerator, and precisely two outlets while the stone fireplace provided heat and light. Every surface was covered with dust except where one of them had recently disturbed it. In several spots, the wood floor had rotted through, and nature was trying to reclaim it.
There was no sign of Olivia, nor V. No one knew about the safe house. Not even Vanderwood. But the uneasy feeling Seven had woke up with only increased. He had wanted to leave V behind at Mint Eye to get what he deserved, but Olivia had insisted they take him along. Had it been anyone else, Seven would not have listened, but she had shown him over and over again that she only had his best interests at heart. Seven trusted her — explicitly; she was his voice of reason and his calm center he could return to when overwhelmed by it all. Still, he worried about what lies V may be trying to feed her.
Windows faced three different directions in this room, and from where Seven stood, he caught sight of them out the west one over the kitchen sink. They sat side by side on an uprooted tree in a thicket of ferns just shy of the woods. He watched as a sudden wind whipped her chestnut hair into V’s face. Seeing them laugh together as she gathered it in her hands over her opposite shoulder twisted at something inside him.
Seven reconnected their lines to the network, then called her. Olivia seemed startled, but answered almost immediately and calmly said, “Seven, you’re awake.”
“Hey, princess. Why are you outside?”
Olivia tilted her head back and looked at the sky. “It’s a nice morning, and there wasn’t much else to do.”
“I’m sorry,” he told her for probably the thousandth time since he’d met her. “I had to jam our signals because I noticed something suspicious last night… We can access the messenger when we’re on the move again and read the logs at least.”
“No, it’s not that—“
“You’re not depressed, are you? I know this isn’t the best place, it doesn’t suit someone bright like you, but aren’t you glad that there’s someplace we can return to?”
She stood to take a few steps away from V. “Of course, I’m happy; you’re here with me.”
“And you’re here with me.” Seven felt that looseness return to his mind and body. That he can do anything, have anything. It was his choice. His life was his to take hold of and prove to himself that he was more than just a shadow.
“You know,” he added, “staring at your back feels kind of different. I never thought I’d be so excited to look at someone’s back.”
Olivia turned and grinned. For what seemed like an eternity, Seven felt paralyzed.
“You shouldn't make such a pretty smile so far away from me. Hang up now and come to me. I want to hear your voice directly.”
The line went dead immediately, and Seven sat down at the table to cut communication back off and check the agency chatter as she exchanged a few more words with V. Finally, the door opened, and Olivia stood before him. The flax colored, oversized sweater hung off of one shoulder, and there was color high on her cheeks from the cold.
Seven closed the laptop and pushed it forward. “Did V say anything weird to you?”
“Not as weird as some of the stuff you’ve said to me,” she replied, leaning against the counter and folding her arms over her chest.
“How dare you,” he said, trying, in vain, to keep the smile from his face. “I’m offended.”
“You look really offended.”
“I am,” Seven said, shifting in the chair to face her. Then he propped his head up with one elbow and traced his bottom lip with his middle finger. “Leaving me all alone in bed to start your day with V.”
“He even complimented my cooking, scandalous isn’t it?”
His heart began to pound in some strange mix of arousal and amusement and jealousy. Olivia was clearly doing this on purpose, and oddly enough, he liked it. Shaking his head, Seven canted his legs wider and dragged a hand up his thigh before letting it rest there. Without a doubt, Olivia knew what he wanted her to do, but instead of complying, she merely smiled at him lazily.
“Are you going to keep messing with me? You should stop and come here, because if you don’t, I’m gonna have to go get you, and if that happens, I’m going to mess with you as long as I want. You know I can get kind of sadistic when I tease people.”
“Oh my!” Olivia said, covering her mouth. “I don’t know what you mean, but I feel kind of embarrassed.”
He chuckled. “God. You can’t pretend to not know! You’re so fucking cute. Come here, kitty,” Seven instructed, patting his thigh. “While I’m still feeling generous.”
She settled onto his lap, twining her arms around his neck. “Ah, Saeyoung. You’re always generous,” Olivia said, and then seconds later, she started gently running her nails down the back of his neck. It warmed him through recalling what else those hands could do.
“Do you want to test that theory?”
“I’d love to.” A small frown appeared on her brow. “As long as you think we have the time.”
Seven made a faint sound of acknowledgment, breathing carefully. His hands slid up the curve of her waist as he considered. She was always so eager to play along. To please him. Truthfully though, that was not his current motivation. Half-formed images of things he’d never done before, that he might never do should things go wrong sent his composure withering away. Leaving him feeling selfish and greedy, grasping at Olivia just so he could be reassured.
“We do. I did some calculations, and if we take the seaside road, we’ll be able to head them off easily,” Seven said then exhaled. “I’m sorry I’ve been ignoring you again. I just… this turned into such a disaster I needed to get the upper hand before I could calm down enough to set it aside.”
“Don’t apologize. I understand,” she said. “Just tell me what you need.”
Instead of answering, he rose, lifting her as if she weighed nothing. She could feel his strength in the way his shoulders shifted and there was something possessive about the grip of his hands that sent her pulse racing. In the bedroom, Seven closed the door and set her down by the king sized, four-poster bed. The mattress was high enough off the ground that he could cage her in against it. His cock was hot and heavy even through the layers of clothing between them.
“I need you,” he told her, reaching up to brush his thumbs along her cheekbones. “I need to leave evidence on you that I exist. I need to tie you down and brand myself upon your heart, so you will remember me forever. Will you let me?”
“I want you to,” she said.
Seven cautiously lowered his head then, allowing his lips to hover over hers for a few moments before she nodded to drive the words home and he finally, finally closed the distance between them. He kissed her deeply but kept it almost painfully tame as if simply savoring the taste and feel of her mouth. Seemingly at odds at what he had just requested of her.
It left Olivia unsure of what to expect, but she wanted to find out.
She tentatively pawed at his front, bringing both hands up to smooth down his chest. His heartbeat was racing out of control just as much as hers. He seemed to get her meaning as he met her hands at his sternum before grabbing the hem of his shirt and breaking away to pull it over his head. Olivia did the same. The sweater had barely left her fingertips when Seven dug his fingers into her hair and slanted his mouth over hers like he had been starved.
Before she could process what was happening, Seven was depositing her onto the bed. “Lay down on your back,” he said, a little breathless. “Hands above your head.”
She complied without hesitation, loosely holding onto the bedpost to keep her hands from trembling. Seven took one step away from the bed and began to unbuckle his belt.
“You’re so good to me,” he said, gazing down at her tenderly. Olivia felt no traces of self-consciousness. With him, she was incredibly safe and free of expectations. It was as if he were the first person who ever just saw her, and was content with who she was.
Seven stepped close again, gently dragging his fingertips along the inside of her wrist. “I want you to tell me if it’s too tight or pinches uncomfortably,” he said, then began to wrap the supple leather around her wrists in some sort of well-known pattern. A pause as he finished, then he stroked the side of her face and said, “How does it feel?”
Olivia felt like she was barely breathing as she looked up at him. His chest was impossibly smooth. Desire swelling as she reflexively tested the restraint. Briefly, his sharp eyes trained on the movement, before fixating back on hers.
“It feels fine,” she said.
Seven then slid a hand underneath her to unhook her strapless bra. Dropping it carelessly aside, his eyes traveled up her form before removing her shoes and the remainder of her clothes. One by one each piece hit the floor and Seven’s gaze turned darker.
“You are beautiful like this. So ready and wanting,” Seven said, and then there was a warm, steady touch smoothing over her shoulders. It was light at first — cursory, exploratory — but after it was abundantly clear that Olivia was at ease, the contact became firmer and more insistent.
He would focus on one breast seemingly intent on discovering precisely how she best liked to be touched. Then rolling a nipple between his thumb and forefinger, pinching on occasion to gauge her reactions. After a minute or two, he would move away to explore a new area. Once touching each rib in a slow ascension. Another tracing her navel before returning to the opposite breast.
Olivia closed her eyes, enjoying his hands on her for a long time, and when it came time for him to touch her where she wanted him most, it was not a surprise. Pleased, she sighed as he wrapped a hand around her thigh to encourage her to spread for him.
He kissed her on the soft curve of her belly, trailing lower to pause just at her navel where she actually saw him smile before nipping at the edge of it. With one finger, Seven slowly parted her folds before going to work on her clit. She made a low noise and tried to turn her face into her arm.
“No,” Seven said, low and fervent. “I want to see you. Be a good girl for me.”
Olivia nodded, choosing to listen and just feel whatever he had planned for her. The friction against her clit was stoking a fire that was quickly escalating into an inferno. He was testing her, studying her, and now, at this moment, when Seven slid a finger inside her, she didn’t give one damn what her face might have looked like.
Reflexively, Olivia felt herself clench around his finger, whimpering as he began to pump in and out. She gasped his name, head falling back with a moan when he slid his fingers from her to assault her clit anew.
Just as she was about to fall apart, Seven removed his hands from her. Then his mouth was on hers, and there was nothing but the sound of her soft protests and the taste of his gentle shushing, sweet and hot and perfect on her lips.
Eventually, she came back from the edge and the split-second he decided she was calm enough, Seven closed his mouth around one of her nipples. He laved and sucked and bit, moving from one to the other, and each sensation felt like it was going straight to her clit. She was quickly winding back up when he, yet again, pulled off her completely.
This time, Seven stepped away from the bed to shed the rest of his clothing, and Olivia welcomed the sight of all of him. He was broad-shouldered tapering down to a slim waist; muscular arms and defined abs. There were scars here and there and her breath caught in her throat once again at the sight of them. Recalling all the times he said he could protect her physically, but not emotionally. Still, he was so beautiful it was nearly unfair.
Olivia watched Seven with a quiet, almost fearful anticipation as he knelt onto the bed, pulling her legs open wider to settle more comfortably between them. He hooked her legs over his shoulders and pressed his hands flat against her ribs. He blew lightly across her wet, needy sex, and she whined.
“Saeyoung, please,” she said, pulling at the restraints in her frustration.
His eyes when he looked up at her were nearly black, then without averting his gaze, he bit lightly at the bared skin before slicking his tongue along her aching slit. Olivia was already on edge; she’d been ratcheted up too high for what felt like forever, so she nearly shattered at that first drag. But then, sharp needling lines of fire dragged down her sides as Seven had dug his nails in and scratched her.
Her pulse raced, and she was slightly alarmed by the fact that she could feel her wild heartbeat pounding through her entire body. Seven shifted, dragging a finger against her folds before sliding it back into her. Her breathing was ragged and fractured, drowning out the pleased sounds he made while circling her clit with the very tip of his tongue. She moaned as that overwhelming pressure began to coil deep and low in her abdomen.
But then Seven affixed his mouth onto her hip and bit.
Olivia cried out from the pain, but she couldn’t deny that the contrasting sensations were almost euphoric.
She felt the word more than she heard it and she nodded. Twice more he bit her, once on the side of her breast and again at the juncture between neck and shoulder. His cock brushed against her and Olivia was overcome by an insatiable need for him.
“Please,” she said, voice cracking.
“I got you, princess,” he breathed, lining himself up with her entrance. Then with one powerful thrust, he sheathed his cock entirely inside of her. Giving her only a few seconds to adjust, he pulled back out slowly to repeat the process.
She came on the third thrust. She wanted to tell Seven to stop, to beg for more, to curse and praise him, but it felt as if a fist had closed around her throat. Olivia could barely pull in enough air keep herself present and in the moment.
His lips latched onto an achingly sensitive spot below her ear. Some part of her was aware he marked her again, but she couldn’t focus on anything except the maddeningly slow and controlled way he continued to fuck her.
The way he said her name so specifically snapped her out of her haze. She couldn’t help but pay attention.
“Look into my eyes and tell me…” Seven paused, panting. “Tell me that you love me.”
“I love you, Saeyoung,” she said, twisting in the restraints again. Olivia wanted to give him so much pleasure. To make him come. Unable to do much, she wrapped her legs around his hips and dug her heels into his ass as the threat of another orgasm swelled.
His right hand reached between her legs, and he pinched her clit painfully. Apparently, pain was just a step away from bliss, and she was unable to control the powerful wave that crashed into her. Distantly, she was aware of his mouth on her again. Then Olivia whimpered at the sudden emptiness, her small whine gaining pitch into a drawn-out cry as his fingers circled her swollen, throbbing bud.
When Olivia managed to blink her eyes open, Seven was hunched over her. His breath was heavy on her cheek, slowing as he reclaimed some sense of control enough to lazily kiss and lick at her mouth. She felt weak, shaky, but in a good way, and Seven wiped the ribbons of his spend off her stomach with her panties before undoing the restraint.
Sitting beside her, Seven rubbed circles into her arms.
After a few minutes of silence, Olivia asked, “Seven, are you okay?”
"Would you be alright with never calling me that again?”
"Of course," she said, touching his cheek so he would look at her. "Saeyoung, talk to me."
Frowning, his fingers traced the darkest of the four lines that spanned her left flank. The one that looked like it might stick around for a while.
“Yeah,” he said quietly. “I'm fine. I just needed... that. I had this dream about you last night, and I... I’ve lost Saeran twice now, and I do not think I can handle that loss again, especially if it comes to you.” He looked down at her then tense with unease.
“I’m not going anywhere,” she told him. “You're my one and only.”
“Oh, Olivia. I love you. I will love you forever.”
It seemed natural then, for them both to lean together at the same time, for their lips to meet. Then Saeyoung laid down, and Olivia curled into him. They lay there for a while, quietly savoring the remnants of their intimacy and the warmth of one another. It would end soon, Olivia knew. There was still so much to do and very little time to achieve it all in.
The future may be uncertain, yet it was wide open and full of possibilities.