Juggling the large box in her arms, Dany tried to fish her keys out of her purse. She felt the box slip and quickly pinned it against the door before it could fall, dropping her keys instead. They clattered to the floor, shooting across the tiles and out of her line of sight.
She sighed. “Shit.” She was just about to put her box down to retrieve them when someone else beat her to it.
“I’ve got it.”
Peeking around her box, Dany saw only a head of black curls as the man crouched down to scoop her keys off the floor. When he stood, she found herself staring into a classically handsome face. His glasses did nothing to obscure his gray eyes, ringed by a fringe of long, black lashes; his lips were pink and full, more full than any man rightfully deserved. Or maybe his neatly trimmed beard just gave the illusion of plumpness.
She rested the box on her hip so she could take her keys from him. “Thanks,” she said.
“You just move in?” he asked conversationally, shoving his hands into his pants pockets.
She quirked an eyebrow at him. “What gave it away?”
Chuckling, he made a sheepish face. “Other than the box? You’re just the first person I’ve seen go in there since I moved in.” He gave a jerk of his chin toward the door over his shoulder. “I’m 14E.”
Dany smiled. “Hi, 14E.”
He grinned at her. No, his lips were just that naturally full. “Jon, actually.” Freeing a hand, he stuck it out to her. She stared at his hand, and he quickly retracted it. “Right. Sorry, why don’t I—?” When he gestured for the box, she handed it over to him.
“Thank you. I’m 14D, but I also answer to Dany.” Jon laughed again, and she turned back to her door, wiggling the key into the lock. “When did you move in?” she asked, glancing at him as she unlocked the door.
“Over a year ago.”
Surprised, she blinked. “Really? This apartment has sat empty for that long?”
He shrugged. “I thought it kinda weird, too. They do keep jacking up the rent in this area, though.”
Pushing her door open, Dany stuffed her keys back into her purse. “Well, lucky me, I guess.” Jon handed the box back to her with a smile.
“Lucky me,” he said. Before she had time to react to that, he stepped back. “It was nice meeting you, Dany. I’m sure we’ll see each other around.”
“Nice meeting you,” she said faintly. As he unlocked his door, he gave her one last parting smile then disappeared inside. Dany lingered a second longer until his door shut behind him. Shaking herself, she entered her own apartment and kicked the door shut behind her.
Setting her box down, she flipped on her living room light. Drogon, her black Burmese cat, trotted up to greet her, meowing as he threaded between her legs. She crouched down to pet him.
“Hi, baby,” she cooed, scratching his chin. He purred happily, and she smiled. “I think we’re going to like it here just fine.”
Jon lay in his bed, staring at the ceiling. Listening.
Every morning it was the same. Her alarm blared at 5:30 on the dot. By six, she was on her treadmill, pounding out a 45-minute run before work. Afterward, she took a 15-minute shower then blow-dried her hair for another ten minutes. By 7:45, she was out the door. He could hear all of it from his bedroom.
Right now, she was showering.
He closed his eyes, calling to mind her face. Heart-shaped and lovely. Her plump lips formed a natural pout, but when she smiled, her whole face lit up. In that way, she was like any other woman, but he’d never seen those color eyes before. Purple, like two amethyst gemstones. Her long hair was an unusual silver-gold, but he supposed anyone could get that from a bottle these days.
The hair dryer clicked on, making him grit his teeth. Under the covers, his hand curled into a fist, clenching and unclenching.
She was so damn loud. Even that fucking cat of hers. Every morning, the moment her alarm went off, the damn thing was howling, begging for food. He knew its feeding schedule at this point.
Eventually, with his even, practiced breaths, his fist relaxed. Throwing the covers back, Jon got out of bed. He had his own morning routine. Get up, piss. Pour himself a cup of coffee—black—then sit at the kitchen table and scroll through his Twitter feed, looking for news.
Missing persons, suspicious deaths, foul play. Every once in a while he came across a story that caught his attention, made his chest tighten with apprehension until he skimmed through it to the end and could relax. Then he would finish his coffee out on the cramped balcony of his apartment as he smoked, overlooking the street below. Watching all those people scurry off to their 9-to-5 jobs, like little worker ants.
Jon paused when he heard Dany shut her front door. He waited, counting the steps it took her to reach the elevator. It would take her a few minutes to get out of the building, onto the street, where he would watch her from the balcony as she took a left and trekked two blocks west before turning a corner and completely disappearing from sight.
He took another sip of his scalding coffee, about to lock the screen on his phone and grab his cigarettes, when a new tweet caught his eye. His pulse quickened, but only for a moment.
BREAKING: Body found in Flea Bottom canal identified as missing financier Tywin Lannister. Authorities say he was murdered; no current suspects.
Dany tapped her foot as she waited for the elevator. Impatient, she reached into her bag and pulled out her phone to check the time. 9:38 p.m.
The elevator dinged finally, and she lowered her hand, relieved. Before the door had even fully opened, she was trying to squeeze inside, only jerking back when she realized someone else was trying to get off.
“Whoa.” Jon laughed, and she moved aside to let him off. He shuffled around her, placing his hand on the door to stop it from closing.
“Thanks,” she said as she got on the elevator. She turned to face him but didn’t hit the button for the ground level yet.
He kept his hand on the door. “Getting settled in OK?”
Her smile was brief. “For the most part.”
“How do you like the building so far?”
Dany shrugged. “Been too busy to really enjoy it, I guess. Right now, it’s just somewhere to sleep at night.”
His eyes narrowed in thought. “Are you new to the area?”
“You could say that.”
He drummed his fingers on the elevator door, drawing her attention to his hand. It was tanned, his fingers nice and long. He kept his fingernails neat and trimmed, which was nice. Most men couldn’t be bothered with proper upkeep of their nails.
“Do you want to get a drink?” he asked suddenly. “I can show you around town, if you like.”
Jon smiled. “If you’re available, sure.”
She hesitated, then looked at her phone again. 9.41 p.m. “I can’t right now. Maybe another time?”
Disappointment flickered in his eyes, then it was gone. So fast, she was sure she’d imagined it. He was still smiling. “Sure. You know where to find me.”
Returning the smile, she pressed the button for the ground floor as he stepped back to let the elevator door close. “14E,” she confirmed, his face lingering in her mind long after the door had slid shut.
He was awakened by the sound of her cat meowing. Disoriented, he rolled over in his bed to check the time on his phone. 2:14 a.m. The meowing stopped almost immediately, then a moment later her shower turned on. He blinked his eyes open wider.
That was different.
He listened for a while. It was a long shower. No hair drying followed, however. Once it had been quiet for a while, Jon assumed she’d finally gone to bed.
He remembered her polite declining of his drink offer in the elevator, the way she’d checked the time. It was obvious she’d been in a hurry to get somewhere. A date, then. It was the only explanation he could think of for why she’d get home so late and be in need of a shower. Why she’d been carrying what looked like an overnight bag.
Agitated, Jon tossed and turned but could not fall back to sleep, wondering about the man she must have been with. How had she already met someone if she was so new to the city? After a couple hours, he gave up and decided to get out of bed. Might as well begin his morning now.
She’d only been his neighbor for three weeks, and already she was disrupting his life. This couldn’t go on; he couldn’t go on like this. It’d been the same with the others.
And he’d dealt with them easily enough.
Dany ran into him in the lobby this time, crouched down at his mailbox. His hair was pulled back in a bun, a canvas jacket pulled on over his hoodie. She leaned against the wall beside the bank of mailboxes.
“Mind checking my mail while you’re down there?” she asked, smiling when he looked up at her.
“If you don’t mind letting me have your key,” he replied easily, closing his mailbox before he stood up. She nodded thoughtfully.
“Right. Probably not smart.” Once he moved out of the way, she bent down to check her mailbox, right next to his. She quickly shuffled through the letters; all junk. Slamming and locking the mailbox, she stood and turned to Jon, who’d moved to stand by the trash bin. She trashed all of her junkmail and watched him expectantly, but he didn’t look at her as he discarded flyers and coupons.
“Are you free for that drink?” she asked. He glanced up at her sharply.
“You don’t think your boyfriend would mind?” he asked, guarded.
Confused, Dany laughed. “What?” Was he fishing? “I don’t have a boyfriend.”
He stared at her, his expression indecipherable. After a moment, he gave her a small, apologetic smile. “Sorry. I guess I just assumed. You’re pretty, and you’re new to town. Thought maybe you’d moved out here for a boyfriend or something.”
She shook her head. “Been a bit too busy for that. But I’ve got time for a drink.”
Jon slapped the mail against his palm. “Unfortunately, I don’t. I’m on my way to work.”
“This late?” It was after six. She was just getting home from work herself.
“I pick up hours at a storage warehouse for extra cash,” he explained with a shrug, tossing the rest of his mail in the trash.
“Oh.” She was surprised by how disappointed she felt. “Your schedule seems pretty packed, then.”
“When are you free next?” she asked. He looked faintly amused by that, and she almost changed her mind, sensing how desperate she must sound. But he answered before she could rescind her invitation.
“Thursday evening?” he suggested.
She pursed her lips, pretending to think it over. She did have plans to meet up with an old friend but not till later that night. “I think that works for me.”
“Meet at the Dragonpit at six?”
Dany smiled. “Make it six-thirty. I’ll have to come straight from work.”
Jon was already seated at a booth when Dany arrived, ten minutes late. He looked up from his phone when she sat down across from him. “Sorry, got off work later than I expected,” she explained, a bit breathless from her brisk walk. “And I realized I didn’t have your number to let you know I was running late.”
He put his phone away. “Is that your way of asking for my digits?”
Laughing, she unwound her scarf from around her neck. “We’ll see how drinks go first.”
He raised his eyebrows and smiled. “Well, I hope. Otherwise it’s going to make being neighbors pretty weird.”
Dany shrugged. “I’ve dealt with worse men than creepy neighbors.”
Jon made a face. “I’d hate to see that list.”
“I think you’d hate to be on it, too.” She saw he already had a beer and changed the subject. “So, what’s good here?”
“I’m a fan of their IPAs.” When she wrinkled her nose in distaste, he slid the menu to her and said, “All their beers are good, though. And they make cocktails.”
After perusing the selection, she asked for a blonde ale when a server came by to take her order. Once he left, she turned her attention to Jon. “You come here often?”
He cracked a smile. “If we weren’t already on a date, I’d say that was a pretty lame pickup line.”
“Who said it was a date?” she replied mildly.
“Ouch. You’re not making this easy for me, are you?” He was still smiling.
The server appeared with her beer, and she waited for him to walk away. “Well, you already know where I live, so I feel like I’m at a severe disadvantage here.”
“You always this wary of men?” he asked.
She sipped her beer. “Are you suggesting I shouldn’t be?”
“No, you’re right to be,” he agreed. She arched an eyebrow, and he smiled. “To answer your question—yes. This is my regular haunt, you could say. There are nicer places, though. If you’re ever interested in checking them out.”
“Maybe,” she said, glancing around the bar. “This city is definitely different than I remember.”
“So you’ve been here before,” he said, questioning. She looked back at him.
“Not for many years. I used to live here when I was a child.”
“Your family moved away?” he asked. Dany took another sip of her beer before answering.
“A long time ago.”
His eyes searched her face. “What brought you back?”
She licked her lips. “Unfinished business,” she said vaguely, then smiled and shrugged. “But mostly a job with decent benefits.”
“What do you do?”
“I work at a vet school.”
He looked intrigued. “Which one?”
She primly pressed her lips together. “That’s second date stuff.”
A slow smile spread across his face. “So you finally admit it’s a date.”
“I’m warming up to it. The beer is helping.”
He grinned and pretended to flag down the server. “Well, let’s get you another one.”
Dany laughed. “What do you do? When you’re not moonlighting in a warehouse, I mean?”
Jon swigged his drink, then said, “I’m a coder by day. I work remotely though, so the second job helps get me out of the apartment for a bit, at least.” He gave her an appreciative look. “As do pretty neighbors, apparently.”
She pondered that. “So, if your neighbors were ugly, you would avoid them?” she asked jokingly.
His mouth twitched as he fought a smile. “Oh, I don’t discriminate.”
The night air was cool on Jon’s face when they stepped outside. He shoved his hands into his pockets and turned to her as she wrapped her scarf around her neck. He mourned the loss of the pale, delicate flesh. The urge to reach across the table and touch it had been strong all night.
“Want me to walk you home?” he offered with a smile. “It’s not too far out of my way.”
She laughed. “Thanks, but I’ve got plans to meet up with a friend now, actually.” She looked up and down the street. “Which direction is Hot Pie’s, do you know?”
His face fell. “A friend?” he echoed, then forced a smile to deflect from the edge in his tone. Dany turned her face back to him, her eyebrow ticking slightly. She hadn’t missed the sharpness in his question. Still, she smiled.
“Yes,” was all she said, then she pulled her phone out of her purse. “I’ll look it up.”
Jon rolled his jaw and jerked his chin over her shoulder. “Just head up River Row and hang a right at Baelor. It’s next to Tobho Mott’s.”
Dany dropped her phone back into her purse. “Thank you. And thank you for showing me around.”
His smile was tight. “It was just one place, but I guess you can figure the rest out.”
“If not, I know where you live,” she said, then she leaned in to hug him, her arms going around his neck. Jon pulled his hands out of his coat pockets to return the embrace. She felt small in his arms, even through the layers of her coat and sweater. Small and soft and fragile. He closed his eyes and inhaled the faint scent of her shampoo: jasmine and orange blossoms.
When she pulled back, she looked up at him. Her smile was expectant. He thought she might have wanted him to kiss her, but he didn’t. In the silence that followed, she finally stepped away and bid him goodbye.
She walked away in the direction he’d pointed her, and after a moment, he followed, hanging back a few paces, pulling his coat collar up around his neck. People hurried past him, but he kept his eyes trained on her retreating form. He slammed shoulders with someone but kept walking, ignoring the guy as he yelled after him. He was ready to duck into a nearby store in case Dany was alerted by the commotion, but she didn’t turn around. At Baelor, she turned right, just as he’d told her, and jogged across the square. Jon stopped and waited on the corner.
As she stepped up onto the sidewalk outside Hot Pie’s, Dany waved. A tall, willowy woman peeled away from the side of the building and ran to her, grabbing her up in a hug. Other than their greeting squeals, Jon was too far away to hear their exchange. His body relaxed, and he blew out a ragged breath, scrubbing a hand over his mouth. Once they’d disappeared inside the restaurant, Jon turned around and began his trek back to the apartment building.
“It’s so good to see you again!” Missandei gushed once they had settled into their booth. “Did I already tell you how happy I am that you’re finally back?”
With a laugh, Dany reached across the table and clasped her friend’s hands in hers. “Yes, but I don’t mind hearing it again. I’m happy to be back, too. It’s been so long.”
“Way too long,” Missandei agreed. When a server appeared, they untangled their hands, and Missandei smiled at the redhead. “A vodka tonic, please.”
Dany shook her head when the woman looked to her next. “Just water for now, thanks.”
Missandei shot her an incredulous look. “We could’ve gone somewhere else if you didn’t want to drink.”
Dany laughed. “It’s fine. Maybe later. I already had a couple beers earlier.”
“Where at?” Missandei asked.
“Dragonpit? I met a guy there earlier,” Dany said, not meeting her friend’s eyes. She winced when Missandei gasped.
“A guy? Damn, you’re fast!” She laughed, and Dany rolled her eyes. “You’ve only been in town, what? A month? Then again, you’re probably the most gorgeous woman in King’s Landing, so why am I even surprised?”
Dany huffed. “Stop.” Then she smiled coyly. “He’s my neighbor, so I didn’t have to look far.”
Missandei’s reaction was comical, her eyes going wide. “Oh, honey, no. Your neighbor? What if he turns out to be a creep? You don’t shit where you eat!”
“He’s not a creep,” she insisted, not sure why she felt so defensive of him. She didn’t know him that well. Even so, she felt oddly drawn to him. “And I can handle myself. It was only drinks. He was just being nice, welcoming me to the building.” She waved it off. “Anyway, what about you? Are you seeing anyone?”
Her friend sighed wearily, dropping her chin in her hand. “Grey and I are back on, I guess. Maybe it will finally stick this time, who knows.”
Dany knew about her friend’s on-and-off-again boyfriend; they’d been dating since high school. She’d kept her updated on their tumultuous relationship through all the years Dany had been away, after her family had been run out of King’s Landing. They’d met in primary school and had quickly become fast friends. Although they’d only known each other for a couple years before Dany’s family had left town, they’d kept in touch. After the scandal, Missandei had been her only loyal friend. Dany knew all her deepest, darkest secrets, as Missandei knew hers.
Almost all of them.
“Well, I like Grey,” Dany said, smiling, and she meant it. She grabbed Missandei’s hand again. “I hope it works this time.”
Missandei blushed lightly. “Me too. I really do love him. He can be so stubborn and frustrating, but...he was there for me when it mattered, you know? During the worst of it…” She trailed off, and Dany squeezed her hand in reassurance. Grey’s steadfast dedication to his girlfriend was the reason Dany liked him as much as she did, especially after everything that had happened with Missandei’s mother.
Years ago, her mother had worked as a housekeeper for a wealthy businessman. He was callous and cruel and was used to getting what he wanted—and taking it even when he couldn’t. With a young daughter to support, her mother had been vulnerable in his employ, and defenseless to his advances. After years of his torment, she had eventually overdosed on prescription pills, when Missandei had been just a teenager.
Of course, the man had never been held accountable, never had to pay for his crimes. He was still a successful fixture of King’s Landing upper echelons.
It had been yet another tragedy that only helped cement their friendship. More than anyone else, Dany knew what it was like to lose a parent in such a way. She saw the haunted look in her friend’s eyes now as she thought about her mother. She wished she could tell Missandei she never had to worry again, but there were some hurts that could never be healed. Another thing Dany knew all too well.
The server interrupted their moment to drop off their vodka tonic and water, and both women thanked her. After taking a sip of her drink, Missandei forced a brighter smile. Her eyes glinted mischievously. “Anyway. Tell me more about this neighbor.”
Dany covered her face and laughed. “I think I’m going to need a drink after all.”
Jon was on his laptop, seated on the couch, when he heard the knock. He looked to the door suspiciously. It was after eleven. Who would be bothering him this late?
Cautiously, he set his laptop aside and got up, walking to the door as quietly as he could. He checked the peephole, surprised to see Dany in the hallway. Unlocking the door, he swung it open.
“Hey,” he said, confused. “How was drinks with your friend?”
She didn’t say anything, instead leaning across the threshold to kiss him. He was too shocked to pull away, and when she slipped her tongue into his mouth, he could taste the liquor she’d been drinking. Placing his hands on her hips, he pulled her close, just a couple steps into his apartment, to properly reciprocate the kiss. She moaned into his mouth, then leaned her weight into him, forcing him to shuffle backward into his apartment. When she broke away, she shut the door behind her.
“What are you doing?” he asked. Nervously, he glanced over his shoulder at his laptop, which he’d left opened on her Facebook profile. Dany didn’t seem to notice.
“You should have kissed me at the Dragonpit,” she said before her mouth was on his again. She shrugged out of her purse and coat, letting them drop to the floor. Jon pulled her close again so as not to break the kiss, stroking his tongue into her mouth. She went up on her tiptoes to wind her arms around his neck, her breasts flattened against his chest. He pushed her against the door and dragged his hands down her back to her ass, cupping her cheeks through the tight denim material of her black pants.
Her breath hitched, and she pushed her hips forward, rubbing against his erection through his sweatpants. She bit down on his bottom lip, hard, making him hiss. He pulled back to rub at his mouth, breathing heavily. She just stared at him, her eyes glassy, face flushed.
“You want me to fuck you?” he asked, his voice low.
She reached out, slipping a finger under the elastic waistband of his pants. “Yes.”
Without another word, he lifted her into his arms, her legs wrapping around his waist as he carried her into his bedroom. He lowered her onto his bed and leaned over her to unfasten her pants and tug them down her legs, stopping to remove her boots first. Dany writhed on the bed as she stripped out of her sweater and bra, Jon slipping her panties off her feet last.
“You now,” she demanded when he stopped to admire her. It was too dark to see much, with the blinds pulled shut, so he pulled his shirt over his head and quickly shucked off his sweats and boxer-briefs. Climbing onto the bed, he hovered over her, her amethyst eyes bright even in the darkness. “You’re drunk,” he said.
“A little,” she admitted, wrapping a warm hand around his hard cock. He sucked in a sharp breath. “I would have come to you, anyway.”
He lowered his mouth to hers, kissing her roughly, angrily. He didn’t know why he was so pissed. He’d been mad since the moment she’d walked away from him at the Dragonpit. Since the moment she moved in.
With a groan, she arched up into him, guiding his cock to her cunt. His tip slid between her pussy lips, but he pushed her hand away and replaced it with his own, dragging his fingers through her slit. She wasn’t nearly wet enough, so he began rubbing her clit, lifting the fleshy hood to touch it directly. She gasped, jerking against him.
Jon brought his mouth to her breasts and sucked a nipple into his mouth, feeling it stiffen into a peak against his tongue. Dany squirmed as he stroked her clitoris, gradually feeling the slickness of her cunt accumulate beneath his fingers. He could hear it now, too, the wet, slippery sounds. She grabbed his shoulders.
“I had too much to drink,” she whispered, her voice strained. “I don’t think I can come. Let’s just fuck.”
But he was determined now, sliding down her body to lay between her legs, pushing her knees up so she was spread before him. He could smell the musk of her sex, could see the clear gloss coating her pussy. He pressed his open mouth to her cunt; she moaned when he pushed his tongue inside her, the tang of her cum making his mouth water.
“Jon,” was all she said before lapsing into soft grunts and sighs as he ate her out, his fingers filling her cunt so he could lap at her clitoris. It took a while, his jaw growing sore as he steadily flicked his tongue over her clit. He didn’t stop until he felt her cunt tighten around his fingers in rippling spasms, her gasp the last sound she made before her body went rigid.
As she gradually relaxed, Dany sank into the bed. Jon riffled through his nightstand until he found a condom. Sitting back on his haunches, he rolled it down onto his cock, then got on his knees between her legs and pushed inside her. Her cunt gave easily, her muscles lax, her body pliable.
He fucked her like that, moving in between her thighs, his stomach rubbing against her soft belly, until his skin was covered in a dew of sweat. She dug her fingers into his sides until he felt the bite of her nails and flinched. Pulling out of her, Jon turned her onto her belly and slid into her from behind, his hand underneath her pelvis to angle her pussy just so as he sank his cock into her. He rutted against her, his face pressed between her shoulder blades, the position not allowing for deep thrusts. Soon she was pushing back into him, her moans muffled by the mattress. His orgasm hit him fast, catching him by surprise.
“Fuck,” he grunted and shoved as deep into her as he could, pinning her to the bed as he came. Dany struggled beneath him, and he bit down on her shoulder, his breaths hot and loud on her neck.
“Jon,” she gasped. “I can’t breathe.”
Above her, he tensed, then immediately rolled off her. “Sorry,” he muttered, gaze trained on the ceiling. She turned onto her side to face him and took a deep breath.
“It’s fine,” she mumbled. He half-expected her to get up and leave, but after a moment of silence, he glanced over at her. She’d fallen asleep.
As Dany turned away from the mailboxes, she nearly mowed down an elderly woman. “Oh! I’m sorry,” she said, stepping out of her way.
Startled, the elderly woman touched a hand to her chest. “Forgive me, dear. Didn’t mean to sneak up on you.” She gave Dany a critical onceover. “You’re new.”
“I guess you could say that.” The elderly woman stretched out her hand, and Dany shook it, the skin of her bony fingers dry and papery thin. “14D. Dany.”
“Olenna.” She smiled approvingly. “It’s always nice to get some young blood in this building. Most of the tenants veer toward my age, which is just a few years shy of the funeral home, I’m afraid.”
Dany laughed. “Truthfully, I consider myself a bit of an old soul.”
Olenna scoffed, patting the scarf tied around her white hair. “Spoken like a true fledgling. Believe me, being an actual old soul isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.”
Smiling, Dany started for the elevator. “I’ll take your word for it. It was nice to meet you, Olenna.”
“Likewise, Dany.” Suddenly, she turned pensive. “14D, did you say? Hopefully, you stick around longer than the previous tenants.”
Dany came to a stop and turned back to her. “What do you mean?”
Olenna shuffled up to her mailbox to open it. Luckily for her, she didn’t have to stoop down to do so. She clucked her tongue disapprovingly. “The most recent tenants of that apartment have all skipped town. Just up and left without a word to anyone. Abandoned their belongings and everything.”
Dany frowned. “Really? How long ago was this?”
Taking her mail out, Olenna narrowed her eyes in thought. “I think the last tenant disappeared just a couple months ago. And the man before him was a month or so before that.”
Dany felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. Only a couple months ago? But hadn’t Jon told her the apartment had sat empty for a year? Why would he lie about that?
“You said they just...skipped town? Left everything behind?” she asked, walking back toward Olenna.
“Oh, yes. The landlord’s been pretty furious, having to pay to remove all their things on top of losing out on rent, but the City Watch hasn’t been much help. They’ve got bigger problems. Statistics show that most missing persons cases are people who leave of their own free will.” Olenna moved closer to her, lowering her voice. “Honestly, I find it all very strange. If you ask me…” Dany held her breath as Olenna glanced around the empty lobby. “I think the apartment is cursed.”
“Cursed?” Dany repeated, dubious.
The elderly woman nodded sagely. “This building is very old. I’ve lived here for twenty years, and I know a few tenants who even passed away here. I wouldn’t be surprised if this place has a spirit or two hanging around. The past tenants probably got so spooked out by whatever’s in that apartment, they decided to get the hell out of dodge.” At the look on Dany’s face, Olenna squeezed her shoulder comfortingly. “But you look like a no-nonsense kind of girl who can take care of herself. I’m sure you’ll be fine.”
Dany only nodded, too puzzled to respond as Olenna shambled away, leaving her alone in the lobby.
At Jon’s greeting, Dany gave a start. She hadn’t been expecting him to be coming out of his apartment at the same time she was. Her hand hovered on her door knob, the key still in the lock.
“Hey,” she said. She hadn’t seen him since the morning she’d left him asleep in his bed.
He smiled at her as he locked his door behind him. “You heading out?” he asked conversationally then leaned against the door jamb, jingling his keys in his hand. This man had been inside her only a couple days ago, she thought with startling clarity. “Thought you might be interested in that second date—if you’ve got time.”
She had been about to leave, actually; instead, she unlocked her door again. “Actually, I’m just getting home,” she lied easily. “I’m pretty beat from work. Long shift. I was just going to crash on the couch for the rest of the night.”
Jon went still, his eyes sharp. “Oh? On a Sunday?” he asked casually.
“We all have to work one weekend a month,” she said, which was technically true. It just wasn’t her weekend yet.
He looked unconvinced, but after a moment, he smiled, anyway. “Okay. Raincheck, then?”
Dany forced a smile. “Yeah, sure. I’ll talk to you later.”
“Goodnight, Dany,” he said, his voice following her as she slipped into her apartment and shut the door behind her. She made sure to lock it, silently. Drogon seemed confused by her return, jumping up onto the table and giving a plaintive meow.
Ignoring him, Dany turned around and stood up on her tiptoes to peer through the peephole. Out in the hallway, Jon lingered, staring at her closed door, his expression unreadable. She held her breath as she watched him through the peephole, until eventually, he left.
She was avoiding him, Jon knew that much. He just didn’t know why.
She must have been freaked out by the sex. He was too rough or too weird, and she regretted it. But he couldn’t even ask her or apologize; whenever he would knock, she would pretend to not be home, even though he could hear that she was from inside his own apartment.
Her avoidance only made him more obsessed. He checked her Facebook regularly, though without a profile of his own, he could only see so much. Googling her name turned up some interesting information, however, namely an old obituary for her father from 2004.
Aerys Targaryen, 73, passed away on January 13, 2004, from apparent suicide. He was found in his cell on Dragonstone, where he was serving out his 30-month sentence for defrauding his own company and its customers of millions.
Targaryen, former chief executive of Dracarys Group, had been dogged by scandal and financial ruin in his last years. Following the revelation of his crimes, his own board voted to have him removed as CEO, then unanimously voted in Chairman Robert Baratheon to replace him.
Following his public removal from his own company, Targaryen was promptly arrested and charged by the City Watch with bank fraud, securities fraud, and tax evasion, to which he eventually pleaded guilty to avoid a longer prison sentence. He was thirteen months into his sentence when he was found by a prison guard, hanging in his cell.
Targaryen is predeceased by his wife, Rhaella; he is survived by his sons, Rhaegar Targaryen, Viserys Targaryen, and his daughter, Daenerys Targaryen.
The news story was one Jon had initially missed, having lived up north at the time and being only a child himself. Fascinated, Jon clicked through the other articles hyperlinked in the obituary, but Dany wasn’t mentioned anywhere else. After her father’s suicide, it seemed all his children had fallen into a life of obscurity and kept a low profile.
She’d told him she’d lived in King’s Landing as a child, but she’d been vague otherwise. Now he understood why.
He just really, really didn’t like being misled.
It took Dany a few days to run into Olenna again. She lingered in the lobby before and after work until she eventually tracked the old woman down. Pretending to check her mail, Dany feigned small talk with her before nonchalantly asking if she remembered the names of the past tenants. Olenna hemmed and hawed as she racked her brain, but she was only able to come up with some first names: Sam and Jason.
“Or maybe it was Janos. Forgive me, dear. My mind isn’t as sharp as it used to be,” she said with a shrug.
Dany smiled to hide her disappointment. “Do you know Jon Snow?” she asked, having found his last name on his mailbox.
“Who?” Olenna asked with a frown.
“The man who lives next to me. 14E.”
“Oh.” She thought it over. “I think I’ve met him, yes. He keeps to himself mostly. Very polite, very quiet. Truthfully, I don’t see him much. Very handsome though, isn’t he?”
That night, Dany poured herself a glass of wine and sat down with her laptop to do some reconnaissance. After a sip of wine, she typed into her browser: king’s landing missing person sam. The immediate hits were too numerous and varied, so Dany quickly refined her search to include the name of their apartment building, then clicked on the first result.
The City Watch is asking for the public’s assistance in locating a missing person. Samwell Tarly, 26, was last seen Aug. 2, 2019 leaving the Red Keep Apartments on Rosby Road, wearing khaki shorts, a black T-shirt and white sneakers. He is approximately 5’9 and 280 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the City Watch.
August 2 was a little more than three months ago.
Clicking back, Dany scrolled through a few more search results, but they offered no new information. The missing persons report was the last update.
She opened another browser window and next tried the name Jason. She clicked through a few of the top results, but none of them mentioned Red Keep Apartments or fit the time frame. Amending her search to “Janos” immediately turned up a hit, however, and she clicked on the top result.
The City Watch is seeking assistance in locating a missing person. Janos Slynt, 48, of 4232 Rosby Road, Apt. #14D, was last seen on March 25, 2019. He is approximately 5’8, 190 pounds and balding. He has blue eyes and was last known to have a white beard.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact the City Watch.
Those were the only relevant articles she could find, no follow-ups. As far as she could tell, neither man had been seen since.
Dany stared at her laptop screen, absently drinking her wine. People went missing in King’s Landing all the time, she knew. Sometimes, it was a chance at a new life, a chance to get away from a bad situation. But the city also had a more nefarious problem with corruption, drugs and human trafficking. Too often, people disappeared in drug deals gone awry or were squirreled away across the Narrow Sea, never to be seen again.
Sam Tarly and Janos Slynt could have fallen in with a bad crowd or simply wanted a fresh start somewhere no one knew them.
The City Watch, already overloaded and understaffed, likely wouldn’t have looked any deeper than the initial missing persons reports, filed by either the family or the landlord. They wouldn’t have scratched beneath the surface or noticed anything suspicious in the seemingly coincidental connection between the two men. Like the fact that both had lived in the same exact apartment building, in the same exact apartment, next door to the same exact man who’d been there longer than either of them—and had lied about their existence to the new tenant.
Jon listened to her shower next door, imagining her lathering into her hair the jasmine and orange blossoms shampoo he now knew she used.
His sleep the previous night had been restless. Her fucking cat had started to howl as soon as her morning alarm had gone off, and he’d given up the pretense of sleep and just lay in bed, staring at the ceiling as she went through her regimen.
Eventually, he got up to go about his own: pissing, pouring his coffee, sitting down at the kitchen table to begin his obsessive perusal of Twitter before work. Politics and asinine celebrity news filled his feed, tweets of breaking news and crime reports sprinkled in between. As he always did, Jon clicked on every murder or suspicious death news article he came across, skimming for identifying information before clicking back. King’s Landing was inundated with crime, so it often took a while.
He lingered on one particular article, first skimming it, then rereading it more carefully.
Authorities found the body of renowned real estate mogul Kraznys mo Nakloz early Thursday morning in a canal in Flea Bottom.
He was naked and bound by his hands and feet. No cause of death has been confirmed yet, pending an autopsy, but sources in the City Watch, speaking on anonymity, claim mo Nakloz’s throat had been cut. He had likely already been dead prior to being dumped in the canal.
The source said authorities have declared it a homicide. So far, no suspect has been named, nor a possible motive given. Nakloz is the third such homicide in recent months.
Jon read it a third time before he got up from his kitchen table and crossed to his desk. He quickly opened his laptop and opened a browser, doing a quick search for Flea Bottom canal. He clicked through a couple pages before he found the older news story he’d come across weeks ago:
Body found in Flea Bottom canal identified as missing financier Tywin Lannister.
He read through it again: naked, hands and feet bound. Throat cut open. Dumped in Flea Bottom canal.
Clicking back, he returned to the latest results and started reading through them.
The body recovered from a Flea Bottom canal last week was identified as DG board member Varys Rugen. He was found naked, his hands and feet bound and his throat slashed. Less than a month ago, Tywin Lannister, CFO of DG, was found in a similarly gruesome manner; however, authorities refused to confirm whether the two murders are connected.
Jon sat back in his chair and rubbed a hand over his beard, staring hard at his laptop screen. After a moment, he realized he was smiling.
When Dany returned from the bathroom, she found Missandei at their table, slumped down in her booth, her hand clasped over her mouth as she stared wide-eyed at her phone.
Alarmed, Dany hurried to sit down opposite her. “What’s the matter?” She waved the server away when the man suddenly appeared to ask if they wanted dessert. “Just the check,” she told him, distracted. After work, she’d met up with Missandei at Tobho Mott’s for dinner and drinks. They’d been having a lively, light-hearted conversation before Dany had gone to use the bathroom, and now Missandei looked like she’d seen a ghost.
Her friend shook her head slowly, lowering her hand. “Grey sent me this text with a link to an article…” Brow furrowed, Dany waited. When Missandei looked up, her brown eyes were swimming with tears. “He’s dead.”
She went very still. “Who is?”
“Him. The man who—who hurt my mother. Kraznys. He’s dead.”
Dany widened her eyes, bringing her own hand to her mouth before dropping it. “What? How? What happened?”
Shaking her head again, Missandei looked down at her phone. “He was killed. Found in a canal. I…” Seemingly overwhelmed, she covered her face again.
Without another thought, Dany got up and slid into the booth beside her friend, instantly wrapping her arms around her. She didn’t say anything more, just hugged her fiercely, her chin on her shoulder. Missandei was rigid and unmoving, but she leaned into the embrace, just slightly, her head against Dany’s. The hand clutching her phone rested in her lap, and Dany could see it lighting up with texts, all from Grey.
“I’m glad,” Missandei said after a moment. Her voice tremulous and quiet, like she was telling a secret, something she was afraid to admit out loud. “I’m glad he’s dead. I’m glad someone—” She broke off there, and Dany took a deep breath with her, squeezing her even tighter. With a shuddering breath, Missandei whispered, “I hope he died helpless and frightened and alone. I hope he knew exactly how he made my mother feel all those years.”
Dany nodded. “I’m sure he did.”
After that, they didn’t say anything for a while, clinging to each other for comfort.
Coming off the elevator, Dany came to a stop when she saw Jon at her door. He had his ear pressed against it, before he stepped back, staring at it like it would magically open for him.
Quickly making up her mind, Dany walked down the hallway toward him.
“Hi,” she said, startling him. He spun around to face her.
“Oh. Hey. Guess you weren’t home after all. I just knocked.” He smiled, cracking his knuckles. He was nervous.
She raised her eyebrows but didn’t comment on his strange behavior. “I was out with my friend. Did you want to come in?” she offered.
Blinking, he was slow to answer. “Yeah. Sure.”
Giving him a small smile, she walked past him. He moved aside so she could unlock her door then followed her inside when she waved him in. Drogon ran up to greet her as he always did, but he hesitated at the sight of Jon. His tail flickered, a sure sign of his agitation.
Dany crouched down and reached a hand out to him. “It’s OK,” she cooed, and after a moment he bounded up to her, rubbing his head against her knuckles. “Jon won’t hurt you. I promise.”
Behind her, Jon made a sound like a laugh, and she looked over her shoulder at him. He’d shut the front door. “Is this the monster I hear every morning through the walls?” he asked good-naturedly.
She cocked her head to the side. “Oh, can you?” She wrinkled her nose as she stood. At the movement, Drogon turned and jumped up on the dining table. “I guess he can get pretty loud when he’s hungry. This is Drogon. He’s shy around strangers, but once he warms up, he’s pretty affectionate.”
Jon smiled tightly, eyes on Drogon, who was perched on the edge of the table, watching him intently. “Well, maybe one day we can be friends.”
Dany tossed her purse down on the table beside her cat. “I don’t know. He has very discerning tastes.” When she turned to Jon, he was looking at her with slightly narrowed eyes. “Would you like a drink? I’ve got beer.”
His face relaxed into something more friendly. “Sure. Thanks.”
“Make yourself at home,” she said, gesturing to the couch as she headed for her bedroom. “I just need to use the bathroom first.”
When she returned a few minutes later, Jon was seated on the couch, his back to her. Drogon had moved from the table to the armchair, where he huddled on the arm, still watching Jon with his alert, yellow eyes.
“Still want that beer?” she asked, already in the kitchen.
“Yeah, if you don’t mind,” he called to her.
Grabbing a can from the fridge, Dany crossed to the living room and handed him the beer over the back of the couch. He craned his head around as he took it from her. “Thanks,” he said, cracking it open. She braced her arms against the back as she leaned beside him. He noticed her empty hands. “None for you?”
She shook her head. “I just got back from the bar. I think that’s enough booze for me if I want to keep a clear head.”
He raised his eyebrows. “A clear head for what?”
She smiled at him knowingly. “If a man shows up at your door this late at night, I imagine there’s only one thing on his mind.”
Jon stared at her. Behind his glasses, amusement danced in his eyes. Eventually, a ghost of a smile tugged at his lips, and he lifted his beer to his mouth. “I guess so.”
As he swigged his beer, she moved closer to him to whisper in his ear. “As for what I have in mind—” He choked slightly on the beer, the needle of the syringe piercing his skin catching him by surprise. Dany smiled at him, quickly pushing down on the plunger. “You don’t need to be awake at all.”
“What the fuck,” he croaked out, jerking away from her, but she’d already pulled the syringe back, standing up straight. Jon shot to his feet, the beer forgotten as the can slipped from his fingers to the floor, the brown liquid glugging out onto the carpet. He pivoted toward her, betrayal on his face as he touched his neck. “What the fuck did you just give me?”
“Etorphine,” she said simply. “We use it at work to sedate the horses. Don’t worry. It works fast.”
Already, he was swaying, eyelids drooping. She watched as he stumbled, leaning dangerously to one side. Jon whirled around toward the front door, but he careened forward and collapsed to his knees. Alarmed, Drogon hissed and lunged off the armchair, scurrying off to hide. With a groan, Jon tried to crawl on his hands and knees, but they immediately gave out under him, sending him face-first into the carpet.
She waited a moment before she approached him, kneeling down beside his lifeless body. Grabbing his chin, she turned his face toward her. His eyelids cracked open, the whites of his eyes just barely visible between his lashes.
She sighed, leaning close. “Oh, Jon.” His glasses were askew, and she gingerly slid them off, carefully folding them and putting them aside. Her fingers traced the outline of his full lips before she dropped his face back to the floor. Then she stood up straight, looming over him. “I’m afraid you fucked with the wrong neighbor.”
Slowly, Jon came to. His eyes felt heavy, and it was an effort to open them. Groggily, he blinked, unable to make sense of what he saw. It took him a moment to realize his glasses were missing. He blinked a few times until the blurry image finally took shape in his brain. The white popcorn ceiling of his apartment.
No. Not his apartment. Dany’s apartment.
He dropped his chin, wincing at the stiffness in his neck. He froze in alarm; other than his head, he couldn’t move at all. His arms and legs wouldn’t respond to the signals from his brain. He was paralyzed. He looked down, shocked to find himself naked.
Suddenly, he was more aware, more alert. He wasn’t paralyzed; he was bound to a chair, his ankles tied to the legs, arms wrenched behind the back of the chair and bound at the wrists. His fingers tingled, and he moved his hands slightly, feeling the rope dig into his skin as he did.
“I wouldn’t bother.” Dany appeared in his periphery, crouching down beside him. He looked to her, able to see her better up close. “The constrictor knot only tightens the more you pull on it.”
In defiance, he pulled at the knot again, mostly just to annoy her, but she seemed unbothered by his spite.
Shaking his head, he laughed quietly to himself. “It’s you.” His voice was hoarse and gritty. At her questioning look, he said, “Tywin. Varys. Kraznys. That was you.”
He could tell he’d caught her off guard. Vexed, she stood quickly. “How did you know?”
He nodded his head down the length of his body. “Your M.O. is a bit of a dead giveaway.”
She pursed her lips together, briefly. “I see you’ve done your homework as well. Is that why you want to kill me then? Because I killed those men?” She leaned forward, bracing her hands on her knees. “Because you should know that they deserved it.”
“Yeah? How so?” he asked, taunting.
Her expression was as hard as stone. “They’re evil, greedy men who steal and lie and cheat to get what they want. They take and take and take, until there’s nothing left but the empty husk of all the lives they ruin. And it’s nothing to them, all the people they hurt.”
He suddenly remembered something from what he’d read. “DG. Dracarys Group.”
Dany curled her lip in disgust. “After my father’s sentencing, they tried to rebrand themselves. Distance themselves from the scandal, as if they’d done nothing wrong. As if they weren’t the reason he was dead.”
“He killed himself,” Jon said contemptuously. She slapped him across the face, and he flinched as her ring caught on his lip.
“You don’t get it,” she sneered, leaning close again. “He killed himself because they’d as good as buried him already. He had nothing left after they forced him out of his own company, the one he’d built up from the ground himself. They’d set him up, made him the fall guy for their crimes. He went to prison, and his family was run out of town, shamed and disgraced for something we’d had no part in. Then he killed himself, and we were left with nothing. No mother, and now no father. We were left destitute and penniless.”
“And that’s the kind of man you want vengeance for?” Jon asked, scornful.
Dany smiled at that. “Oh, no, not for him.” Jon held still when she sat down in his lap suddenly, her legs straddling his. He inhaled deeply, the scent of jasmine and orange blossoms filling his nose. “He paid for his sins with his life. But the others hadn’t, not yet. And I couldn’t let that stand. They’re bad men, and they should pay for it, just like he did.”
She touched his bottom lip, and he winced, feeling the sting. On reflex, he darted his tongue out, tasting metal. When she pulled her finger away, he saw the smudge of red on the tip. She touched it to her tongue, sucking the drop of blood off.
Shaking his head in wonder, he huffed. “You’re fucking crazy.”
Dany feigned a pout. “Careful. You’ll hurt my feelings.”
He smirked at her. “Oh, I don’t mean to. I like crazy.”
Narrowing her eyes, she reached between their legs. Her hand lighted on his cock, fingers wrapping around his stiffening erection. At her touch, he sucked in a breath through his teeth, blood rushing to his cock.
“Apparently, you do,” she mused, tightening her grip. Curious, she tilted her head. “So why did you kill the men who used to live here?” she asked abruptly. “Sam Tarly? Janos Slynt?” At his look, she smiled. “Our downstairs neighbor Olenna is quite the gossip.”
Shoulders slumping, he sighed. “Old fucking bitch.”
“You can tell me,” she coaxed, giving him a stroke for good measure. “Did you kill them because they deserved it, too?”
He laughed, the sound low and gruff. “No. I just really fucking hate having neighbors.” Closing his eyes, he dropped his head back, trying to think beyond her hand on his dick. “Always so fucking loud. Sam wouldn’t leave me alone, always knocking on my door at all hours of the day, yelling stuff through the walls like we were best fucking friends. And Janos, fucking Janos. Every Wednesday night was poker night. He and his fucking buddies were up until two in the morning, drinking and smoking cigars. You know that smell carries through the vents? Fucking hell.” He took a deep breath and let it out on a laugh. “No, I killed them because I just wanted some goddamn peace and quiet.”
Her hand went still on his cock before she removed it, grabbing his face in both her hands to make him look at her. “Poor you,” she said softly, her tone mocking. “And then I had to move in and ruin it for you all over again.”
“I wouldn’t say that.” He crooked a condescending smile at her. “The sex was pretty good, at least.”
She slid her hand to the back of his head and yanked on a fistful of his hair, forcing his head back. He gritted his teeth but was surprised when she caught his bottom lip between hers and sucked, laving her tongue over the split in his skin. He grunted, feeling the force of the suction all the way down to his cock.
She released his lip, her own stained red with his blood. Her eyes glinted. “It was pretty good, wasn’t it?”
She kissed him then, her tongue deep in his mouth, but when he went to return it, she drew back, biting at his lips, his tongue. He tried to lean forward and capture her mouth, but the bindings prevented him. Frustrated, he growled, jerking at the restraints again. Dany pulled back, amused by his struggle.
“Would you like me to untie you?” she asked.
“It might help.”
She pretended to think it over. “I don’t know, Jon. What if you try to kill me?”
“You mean like you just tried to kill me?” he snapped. She smiled and brought her mouth to his ear.
“If I wanted to kill you, you’d be dead already,” she murmured. “This is more fun, isn’t it?”
Jon closed his eyes when she bit down on his earlobe. “I didn’t come here to kill you, Dany.”
“No?” She sat back, her arms draped around his shoulders. “You were conspicuously lacking in any weapons when I stripped you. Tell me. How did you do it? With Sam and Janos, I mean?”
He held her gaze. “Apply enough pressure to the carotid artery, and you can render anyone unconscious long enough to do whatever you need to.”
She raised her eyebrows, unimpressed. “Clever. If a bit boring.”
“I’m sorry it lacks the flourish of your technique,” he said dryly, and she smiled, the look in her eyes near maniacal.
“But you see,” she began, sliding off his lap to her knees before him. His breath caught. “With you tied up like this, I can do whatever I need to.” At that, she took his cock into her mouth.
“Fuck,” he hissed, dropping his head back as she sucked him down to the root. Wanting to watch her work, he lifted his head and pried his eyes open with some effort, groaning when she dragged her lips up to his tip to tongue the slit. Reflexively, he jerked against the chair, trying to lift his hips to follow her mouth, but she held his thighs down as she swallowed him once more, her throat constricting around his head. He felt the biting prick of her teeth on his shaft and winced, his cock throbbing in her mouth. “Fuck, Dany.”
She released him then, saliva stretching between her lips and his cock. Jon blew out an aggrieved breath, gritting his teeth when she dragged her nails down his thighs. Climbing to her feet, Dany pulled her shirt over her head. Watching her strip, his eyes tracked her movements hungrily as she bent over to shimmy out of her jeans. She reached behind her to unclasp her bra, her tits bouncing as she tossed it aside. She left her panties on when she straddled him again, simply pulling the crotch aside and lining his cock up with her cunt before sinking down onto him.
Even without the foreplay, she was wet and slippery, though she had to work him inside her with gentle, downward thrusts until she was seated fully. “God dammit,” he cursed faintly, her cunt flexing around his cock, nice and snug. She hummed in agreement, grabbing the back of the chair and planting her feet on the bottom rung to give herself leverage. Then she began to rock on top of him, undulating her hips in slow, measured thrusts.
Jon curled his hands into fists, straining against the rope at his wrists and ankles. His breathing grew more labored, and she leaned into kiss him, tongue grazing his. He grunted, lifting his hips to meet hers. The ruched, elastic edge of her panties chafed against his cock, growing damp with her juices. He thrust up into her, his muscled thighs slapping against the flesh of her ass.
With a moan, she began bouncing in his lap, her cunt tightening around his cock as she sank down on him, over and over. The wet sounds of their fucking echoed their ragged breaths, the cadence becoming faster as she rode him harder. Soon, she was crying out as he fucked up into her as much as he could, the chair creaking with the force of their thrusts.
“Fuck!” he shouted, his orgasm swift and paralyzing, cock pulsing as he emptied himself inside her. Dany sank down into his lap to grind against him, his cock buried deep within her cunt. Rubbing her clit hard against his pelvis, she came with a shuddering gasp. He felt the contractions of her cunt rippling around him and dropped his head back, his cock juddering with another spurt of cum.
She nuzzled his neck, licking the sweat from his jugular. His head still felt foggy from the sedative, now made heavier from his orgasm. When she brought his face to hers, he could barely hold it up.
“Untie me,” he rasped. Uselessly, he twisted his wrists in his bindings, the rope fibers cutting deep. “Let me touch you.”
Dany kissed him, a weirdly tender stroke of her tongue on his. Inside her, his cock was beginning to soften, their commingling cum seeping around him, and her cunt gripped him as if to hold him there.
Pulling back slightly, she smiled faintly at him. “Not yet.”
This time, when Jon came to, it was in a considerably more comfortable position. He was stretched out in Dany’s bed, and she was cuddled against his side, his nose buried in the tangle of her silver hair. Jasmine and orange blossoms, with a faint undercurrent of sweat and salt and the tang of sex that still lingered in the air.
It was morning now, the room glowing with the beginnings of sunrise as the light filtered through the curtains. Untangling her limbs from his, Jon rolled to the edge of the bed and sat up. He rubbed his wrists slightly, the skin still red and raw from rope burn. She’d cut him free, but only after tormenting him for a while longer in the chair, then they’d moved to her bed where they’d fucked again.
With a stretch, Jon stood up then took a moment to watch Dany as she slept, as naked as he was. The covers had been kicked off the bed at some point during their activities.
She was perfect, as pale as porcelain. And just as fragile-looking in her sleep. He felt his cock stir at the thought and turned away to leave the room and find his clothes. As soon as he opened the bedroom door, Drogon charged him, meowing angrily. He winced at the awful sound.
“Fuck off,” he whispered, walking past the chirpy little bastard. He found his clothes folded neatly in a pile on the couch, his glasses on top, and he quickly got dressed. He felt his pants pockets for his phone and wallet, and more importantly, his pack of cigarettes.
Heading for her balcony, he slipped outside. The sun was climbing farther into the sky. Below, people were already starting their day, scurrying through the streets. Jon sat down in a chair and pulled out a cigarette to light it. He didn’t have coffee, but this would do.
After a moment, the balcony door opened. He didn’t look away from the street until Dany sat down in his lap. She wore only a loose t-shirt, her legs bare underneath. She shivered in the cold, huddling close, and he wrapped an arm around her as she took the cigarette from him.
“These will kill you, you know,” she said, her voice husky with sleep. He looked up at her.
“Not if you do the honors first.”
With a smile, she took a drag of his cigarette and handed it back to him. Then she blew the smoke into his face and pressed her lips to his, before settling into his embrace, her back against his chest. He slipped his hand under her shirt to rest it on the bare, goose-pimpled skin of her hip. They were quiet as he smoked.
Finally, he said, “You were sloppy.” Sensing her confusion, he elaborated, “They shouldn’t be able to find the bodies when you’re done with them. If they have a body, there’s too much of a chance that they can trace it back to you.”
“I was sloppy?” she said, incredulous, sitting up. “I caught you in an obvious lie. If I was anyone else, I would have gone straight to the police.”
He smiled at her. “You caught me off guard. I wasn’t expecting you to look like you do.”
She rolled her eyes. “Men are always fooled by a pretty face.”
“It is our one weakness,” he agreed lightly, and she snorted. Again, they fell into a comfortable silence until he broke it. “Who’s next?”
Guarded, she looked at him askance. “What do you mean?”
Jon snubbed his cigarette out on the metal bar of the balcony railing. “You’re not done, are you?” Her silence was response enough. He spoke softly, “You could use my help. So, let me help you. Who’s next?”
After a moment, she answered.