“Look at this godforsaken mess that you made me
You showed me colors you know I can't see with anyone else
Look at this idiotic fool that you made me
You taught me a secret language I can't speak with anyone else
And you know damn well
For you, I would ruin myself
A million little times”
Lucien gazed at his computer screen. After knowing that his research would come to fruition in three years, he had been throwing himself into work. Ever since the Queen had agreed to cooperate with him and get information together, Lucien had been working endlessly. Even though getting the Queen’s cooperation meant having access to a shortcut that many would absolutely kill to get their hands on, he had been hesitant about using the Queen’s genes. A part of him didn’t want her to become something of a lab rat in his research. He frowned slightly. Focus on work, he told himself sternly. Stop thinking about her. But it was useless. These past few weeks, she had been popping up unbidden in his thoughts. He would often wonder if she’s doing alright, whether she was safe or not. It was one of the reasons why Lucien hadn’t contacted her ever since they had gone hiking that day. That had been well over a month now. His fingers paused on his keyboard. He couldn’t shake off the feeling of déjà vu. Sighing, Lucien took off his glasses and pressed his fingertips to his eyelids.
A series of images appeared before his closed eyes. An elegant bar in a classy hotel suite. A small stage with a microphone. A text unanswered: *<Come to our team party in 3 days at the Petrichor. I want you to come, but I understand if you’re busy> A question asked: *“Who is most important to you and why?” A song shared between two lovers.
A groan broke the still, midnight air. These visions made no sense to Lucien. They weren’t concrete enough to be pieced together, but he guessed that it was from the other ‘him.’ That made absolutely no sense since they were in two completely different timelines. How could these memories appear in his head if the two timelines were independent of each other? Lucien shook his head and closed the graphs on his computer. He then opened the folder labeled “Memory.” It was still empty. Frowning, he typed a series of sequences and waited. An error message popped up and his head dropped into his hands with a sigh. He knew a lot of his questions would be answered if he could retrieve the lost Dream Test data. But for whatever reason, nothing he tried seemed to work.
Lucien gazed at the moonless night and his thoughts wandered back to that day she had purposefully lured him out to Ultima Bioresearch Center. He recalled the forlorn expression on her face as she stubbornly told him *she wanted to learn about the Queen’s existence, despite him telling her that the truth will bring nothing but destructive repercussions.
*“With truth always come pain and suffering. I will not run from it. Someone important to me told me this and that he would be with me along the way. I believe in him.”
His fist unknowingly curled into a tight fist. He still didn’t know why he had felt so angry hearing her speak about the important person in her life. Why should he care?
And then later, she had showed no regard for her own safety, but worried more about him being hurt.
*“My instincts led me here. Because someone once told me to trust my instincts when in danger.”
And then he remembered the way she had reached for him when he had slipped, causing both of them to tumble down the hill.
*“I couldn’t leave you injured alone.”
She’d rather both of them get hurt than Lucien getting hurt alone. Lucien’s lips curved up in a small smile, “Silly girl,” he mused aloud to the silent room, a hint of fondness creeping into his voice. He stared at his reflection off the dark computer screen, still displaying that error message. What’s gotten into him? It was like her innocent smile had taken root within his heart making him addicted and hopelessly so. The feelings stirred up the urge to protect her, to want to keep her safe.
He didn’t know if the word uttered was directed to the girl or to himself.
His phone lit up, catching his attention, and he gazed at the screen. Lucien smiled unconsciously; it was like his thoughts about her had physically manifested into this text message.
*<Haven’t we agreed to cooperate? We should at least exchange information on a regular basis>
He chuckled at her aggressiveness and was about to reply when suddenly a sharp pain pierced through his chest, leaving him gasping for breath. Setting the phone down, he managed to grab a recording pen from his drawer before doubling over in pain. Responding to her would have to wait.
The next morning, Lucien invited her to a bookstore near her home. She was right. They should exchange information on a regular basis. One month had been far too long and Lucien could hardly admit to himself that he did missed her.
He hesitated and added: *<It’s okay if you’re not. I’m going to spend the whole day there anyway. You can come look for me anytime you have time>
Glancing at the clock, Lucien sipped his coffee and flipped through the pages of the book he was holding. He had no doubt that she would come.
After an hour or so, he sensed her presence and lifted his head. And there she was, throwing the world into faint colors. There was a nervous look on her face, but that steadfast determination was always present. She looked tired, but Lucien had never felt such sudden happiness at the mere sight of her. Lucien watched her approach and saw the image of him and only him reflected in her beautiful eyes. That observation filled Lucien with some sort of pride and his heart swelled. He was the only one in her eyes. As she was for him.
He smiled at her as she pulled out a chair and sat down across from him. They made small talk before a waiter brought over the food he had ordered.
*“Have something to eat first,” Lucien invited, nodding at the waffle and ice cream.
Her face tightened, *“I’m not hungry.”
Still so stubborn. Lucien wanted to laugh. Instead, he started cutting the waffle for her. *“It’s okay to be angry at me, but don’t starve yourself,” he said, handing her the cutlery. Lucien could see the hesitation in her eyes as she gazed apprehensively at him. He chuckled. *“I won’t know how to share these interesting stories with you if you keep starving yourself. Before you came, I was reading a very interesting fairytale about a…” He intentionally trailed off.
That did it. Her eyes widened in interest. *“A what?” She asked curiously despite her reservations.
Lucien smiled again and pushed the plate closer to her as an answer. Resigned, she began eating quietly as he watched her. He enjoyed watching her, seeing her eat drew up inexplicable emotions within him. How domestic. He wanted to laugh at himself. Moments where he felt entirely content were rare and they only occurred in her presence. He was never one to enjoy such simple pleasures. Silly girl, what did you do to me?
She finished and looked up at him. He smiled approvingly and was about to say something when he felt that familiar sharp pain in his chest.
No! Not now! Of all the times, why does it have to be now?
His fists clenched as he tried hard to hide the pain that was threatening to bow him over.
Her eyebrows drew together anxiously. *“Are you okay?” He should’ve known that nothing would escape her gaze.
Struggling to keep the pain down and reassure her at the same time, Lucien sucked in a shuddering breath as he gave her some stupid excuse. She didn’t need to see this. And he didn’t want her to see him like this, didn’t want her to worry about him. Lucien was also afraid that if his EVOL were to go out of control, he could hurt her. He needed to leave before that could happen. *“I’m afraid I can’t accompany you today.” He stood up to leave when she grabbed his shoulder and pushed him back into his seat. His eyes narrowed as his body trembled. *“You want me to stay?”
*“I just want to take you to the hospital,” she bit her lip, worry evident in those eyes.
*“You’re putting yourself in danger for stopping me like this,” Lucien could barely hold himself up as he grit out those words. It was getting harder and harder to breathe by the second.
Silly girl, have you no sense for your own safety?
She stared defiantly at him, *“If the danger is from you, I think I can handle it.” She reached out to grab his arm. “Don’t underestimate me. I am Queen.” Determination blazed in her eyes. It was the first time Lucien had heard her state her title with such fierceness. “I’m not going to sit here and ignore what’s happening to my partner.” Lucien staggered to his feet as sweat poured down his back. She steadied him. *“Come back with me if you don’t want to go to the hospital. You need a safe place to rest. I’ve helped you twice, so can you at least trust me once?”
Lucien wanted to chuckle at her words. She always had her guard up around him, always appeared so reserved. It was her who didn’t trust him, yet she was blatantly asking that he trust her. Very well, he would place his trust in this silly girl. He nodded slowly as he carefully gathered the books.
*“Since I’ve promised to share with you some interesting stories... I can’t go back on my word,” he answered her questioning glance and handed her some of the books. “On the way back, you can see if any of these books interest you.” She appeared indifferent, but the turmoil in her eyes proved otherwise. Lucien frowned slightly but had no time to dwell on that matter as he lurched forward, the pain becoming more and more intense.
*She allowed him to lean on her shoulders as she dragged them to her apartment. The moment she opened her apartment door, Lucien stumbled over to the couch, loosening his tie. He tried to take in breaths as he shuddered, nearly bowed over with pain. Seeing how worried the girl looked, Lucien grabbed her wrist and tried to reassure her.
*“Are you sure you’re okay?” She asked, thick concern lacing her voice.
*“…I never thought…I’d become the one who always needs protection…when I’m with you,” Lucien gasped out, still holding tightly onto her wrist. And it was true. It was she who had saved him from getting stabbed by Hades. It was she who had tumbled down a hill together with him for fear of him getting hurt. And now, it was she who had brought him back to her apartment so that he could be in a safe place.
She bit her lip anxiously, not knowing what to do or say as her hands clenched nervously.
*When Lucien felt the pain subsiding, he reached out to pat her head. “I’m alright now,” he tried to console her. Silly girl, don’t worry so much about me.
She stood up shakily and exhaled. “Let me get you some water,” she murmured.
*“Thank you,” Lucien said softly when she came back. Her forehead was still creased with worry and Lucien felt a different pang in his chest. It seemed that he always managed to put her in some kind of pain. *“I’m alright now. But you still look quite nervous.” He sat up slowly.
*“Do you…need anything? I have some painkillers,” she offered, still watching him with concern. “Or…Let me take you inside to get some rest?” She added hesitantly.
Lucien stood up slowly and she grabbed him to lead him to her bedroom. He held on tight to her.
*“Rest here. I’ll be reading outside,” she said quietly and turned to leave, but Lucien didn’t let go of her.
Much too trusting.
The feelings of wanting to protect her overwhelmed him and he tugged her hand, pulling her onto the bed.
Shocked, she gaped up at him.
*“I’m really worried about how you react in the face of danger,” Lucien spoke up, his voice was low. “You shouldn’t let your guard down in front of a new partner you just met.”
So naïve. So innocent.
She struggled to free her hands, *“Let go of me,” she glared up at him.
Ignoring her futile attempts to escape, Lucien continued, *“What makes you so sure that you can handle it?”
The girl didn’t answer and glared angrily at him.
Sudden movement near the window caught Lucien’s eyes. A flock of paper origami butterflies hanging in strands above the bed fluttered in the wind, almost as if they were taking flight. Lucien loosened his hold on the girl underneath him, letting her go. He quickly moved away from her. There was the tiniest bit of shock that passed across his gaze before it was steeled away behind stormy eyes.
*“Sorry,” Lucien muttered, his voice was solemn and tinged with regret. He had almost lost control. How did that happen? *“What happened to me was completely unexpected,” he began hesitatingly. Trying to compose himself, he continued, *“I feel that I should formally apologize to you, in all aspects… And I’m also thankful for your trust and for you taking care of me.” She wasn’t looking at him. Lucien swallowed. *“Did I…scare you?”
*“Just a little,” she replied quietly, finally turning to meet his gaze. He couldn’t read her expression. It was closed off, but within her eyes, there were swirling emotions which looked like they might break through the surface if Lucien pushed her just a bit.
*“When did I scare you? Was it when I wasn’t feeling well…or just now when I…” he trailed off.
*“When you weren’t feeling well,” she cut in. Her gaze turned sharp, *“Before today, I thought you were at least capable of taking care of yourself.” Lucien could sense disappointment in her voice.
He smiled wryly, “I see that I have let you down.”
She eyed him cautiously, but her expression still contained traces of worry. *“So, you have no intention of telling me what happened to you exactly?”
*“As a matter of fact, I never intended to hide anything from you since the beginning,” Lucien answered honestly, *“Before I handed you the key to the Black Cabin, I tried to explore its secrets. As a result, there were some effects.” He saw her brows crease and spoke up hastily, *“But don’t worry, they are gradually fading away. Their frequency and duration are both decreasing. I’m sure I’ll be fine in a few days.”
There were still worry between her brows. Lucien had an urge to press it out, but he didn’t. “This one month you’ve disappeared for…” she began slowly.
What a strange girl. She knew he was dangerous and yet she was constantly worried about him.
*“I had other matters to attend to besides dealing with the side effects,” Lucien interjected smoothly. A breeze blew in, sending the paper butterflies flying again. Lucien moved off the bed and finally turned his attention to them. *“Did you fold them?” He asked quietly, fingers brushing across the delicate creatures. “So pretty,” the words slipped out of his mouth of their own accord.
And suddenly Lucien had a vision of paper cranes hanging in strings, just like these butterflies, against a window in which gray rain beat down upon.
“Why are you being gentle to me again?”
*“A very interesting question. But, before answering you, I also want to clear something up. Each time I push you away, why do you keep coming back to me?”
A singular paper crane came into mind, with a tearstain blot mottling its wings.
*“That’s my answer. But the process of achieving this takes time and patience.”
As fast as the vision had appeared, it was gone the moment Lucien tried to grasp onto it. His eyes widened imperceptibly. Where did that come from? The voices that had whispered the words…It was no doubt his voice and hers. But Lucien did not recall those words ever leaving his mouth. And yet, just like the dream he had, he felt an intimate familiarity. Is this…could this be the missing data from the Dream Test?
Not noticing his confusion, the girl stood up and closed the window. Silently, she began untangling the strings next to him.
*“Can you teach me how to fold them when you’re free?” The question slipped out of his mouth before he could even think about it.
*Her fingers froze. “No…” her voice was hushed, shaky with unshed tears. “I don’t think you’d be interested in such meaningless stuff right now.”
Did she used to fold these with the other ‘him’?
Lucien paused, “Right now?” He asked, smiling as he reached out to help her. *“If it’s something ‘he’ likes, I’ll probably be interested too.” Lucien’s voice hardened. There was emphasis on the “he.” It didn’t take a genius to figure out who he had meant.
This was entirely ridiculous. Why was he feeling this way? There was no need for him to feel like this. After all, this was him from another time, another dimension.
She looked at him in shock, speechless.
Lucien chose his next words carefully, *“You are the Queen, so maybe you can stand on a higher dimension and see the truth that I can’t,” he smiled wryly, “So I believe that you have your reasons for every word that you say and every choice that you make.” He finished untangling the butterflies for her, but a certain one caught his eye. “Something seems to be hidden in this origami butterfly?” His fingers caressed the extra thick butterfly. “But I suppose I’ll find out when the time is right,” he said resignedly.
Lucien pulled away and reached to button his shirt before her soft voice stopped him.
*“Do you…do you like paper cranes?” She asked, staring at the butterfly that contained her note.
Lucien froze. Did she know about his vision?
Before he could reply however, that same tearstained paper crane appeared in his mind’s eye. This time with some faint writing on its wings.
*“I wish Lucien and I forever…”
*”For every forever that you wished for, I’ll be there. I promise.”
*“Paper cranes?” Lucien heard himself asking. “Yes, they also have a beautiful design,” he answered distractedly.
“*Maybe we can start with them. I’ll teach you,” her eyes met his squarely for the first time. There was the usual pain in her eyes. The pain of being forgotten by everyone. By the ‘him’ from a different time. But this time, there was something else.
And it was beautiful.
For the first time, Lucien could see golden sunlight filtering lazily through the window. Vibrant and warm.
And somewhere, at the back of his mind, he wondered, was this how the other ‘him’ felt as well? Was he able to see these indescribable colors that lit up the world so brilliantly?
He also wondered if the other ‘him’ had let her go. The lone butterfly that had brought color into his world.
Lucien smiled when he processed her words. “Did I hear that right? So you will teach me how to fold origami?”
*“I’m sure you’ll master it soon. Maybe you can even teach me afterwards. After all, you look like a renaissance man,” she allowed herself to crack a tiny smile.
Lucien chuckled, *“Although I’m glad to have given you that impression, I probably don’t have as many areas of expertise as you think. If you’re interested, you have plenty of opportunities to slowly discover them,” he offered.
She hesitated, “As partners, maybe we can…”
*“Get to know each other more and build a stronger relationship?” Lucien finished for her. “Well, I’m glad to do so,” he smirked.
She eyed him, *“I find it hard to imagine that you’d want to learn origami seriously,” she admitted after a beat.
*“That’s why I said we should get to know each other better,” Lucien replied steadily, smiling. He finished buttoning his shirt when suddenly a thought ran across his mind.
How well did the other ‘him’ know her? Did she, perhaps…love ‘him’?
He paused, his fingers stopping on his tie and he frowned. He did not like the sharp stab of jealousy that ran through him. Love? Lucien wanted to scoff at himself. When did love exist for him? But he couldn’t deny that there was a certain yearning that pulled him to this strange girl. It wanted-he wanted to get to know her, wanted to know how she was able to spill her colors upon his monochrome world, wanted to know every little thing that made her, her. He wanted to experience the things she had done so with ‘him’.
“I have a proposition, if you don’t mind,” he was speaking before he knew it. She looked at him with clear questions written across her face. “Since you expect me to take care of myself, I would think the same expectation should apply to you. And lately, you haven’t looked well. I can only imagine that on top of dealing with everything that has happened so far, you haven’t had the time to take care of yourself. And I think that the events that has happened took quite a heavy toll on you, mentally and physically. After all, the responsibility of safeguarding precious memories is quite a task on its own. So I would like to offer a proposal, an addition to our cooperation.”
Lucien could hardly believe the words that were coming out of his mouth. They had been brought upon directly from the intense yearning.
She was watching him curiously and Lucien sighed internally. He had already started…
“Once we’ve gotten to know each other better, I’d like to offer the presence of my company to you,” Lucien continued. She tilted her head, a confused look in her eyes. He smiled at that and explained, “What I mean by that is because the ‘Lucien’ that you knew must have provided you with a lot of comfort and I’d like to do the same for you. He may have existed in a different time and dimension, but he is still me. I can’t promise that ‘he’ and I will be exactly the same, nor can I promise to do exactly what ‘he’ did. How far things go, how physical, how intimate, will be entirely up to you.”
Her eyes widened and there was a faint pink blushing her cheeks, “Wh-why?” She stammered and fidgeted nervously, eyes skipping away from his gaze.
“Since you are the Queen, you have certain powers. You’re able to access the Black Cabin, which allows you the ability to see across time and space. You have the power to see the different worlds that I can’t. Maybe by utilizing this power, you can bring some parts of the ‘Lucien’ that you know,” Lucien said thoughtfully, tapping his chin. “I’ve been having some strange dreams, as of late. Ones in which the contents are unfamiliar to me and I have no recollection of. However the characters in my dreams are very clearly ‘my’ memories. Tell me, how is it possible for me to have memories of events I don’t recall happening? These dreams and visions have occurred more frequently in your presence. I believe it to be a manifestation of your powers. As Queen, you have the power to connect timelines. So maybe, you have the power to bring ‘him’ back, the ‘Lucien’ from the time and space that you knew.” Lucien concluded.
She looked shocked with his revelations and he could see the glimmer of hope shine ever so brightly in her eyes. “What’s in it for you? What do you get out of this?” She asked hesitantly.
“Me?” Lucien’s smile widened, “Since my plan involve the Queen, I believe understanding all of the Queen’s powers and abilities is absolutely crucial. After all, I need to account for all possible outcomes. If I can witness this power, it will be very helpful indeed.” Seeing how she was still speechless, Lucien finished fastening his tie. “You’re welcome to give my proposal some thought,” he added gently. *“The story I promised you will have to wait until next time. After all, I’ve bothered you enough today.” *He headed for the door when suddenly he felt a tug at the hem of his shirt.
*“I don’t want my partner to fall for no reason,” her voice was soft, but there was a firm warning behind her words.
Lucien understood immediately. *“Okay,”
She nodded, but still not letting go of him. He tilted his head in question. “And about your proposal…” she began, cheeks coloring slightly.
“I told you that you are welcome to have some time to think-”
“I accept,” she cut him off, squaring her jaw and staring him in the eye.
Lucien stilled. “Alright,” he said after some time. *“From now on, I’ll start to think about ways to keep the promise between us. Fulfilling your wishes will always be my top priority.”
“There’s one more thing,” her grasp on his shirt tightened, “I’d like to put it into effect. Your proposal. Starting now.”
Lucien’s eyes widened with shock. There were rarely, if any, instances where he was rendered speechless. He searched her eyes to try to gauge her thoughts only to find a steadfast determination. And something else. Desperation, perhaps. His brow creased, “But my proposal only entails that once we’ve gotten to know each other better,” he said finally.
Her jaw clenched and the fire in her eyes seemed to blaze, “I think I’ve gotten a pretty good idea of what you’re like. And apparently you already seem to know every one of my thoughts. I’d consider that to be ‘we’ve gotten to know each other better,’” her voice was hard.
“Are you sure? Just to let you know, I’m not a gentle lover like your ‘Lucien,’” a wry smirk was playing about his lips.
“You weren’t-” she stopped herself and shook her head, “Gentleness is not what I need right now,” she said instead. Her face reddened at her words, but she didn’t loosen her grasp on his shirt.
“Oh?” Lucien was undoubtedly amused, “I’m not one to hold back though.”
“Good,” the word was a hiss out of her clenched teeth as she reached up to grab Lucien’s tie.
“Don’t hold back,” was all Lucien heard before she pulled.
The kiss was not gentle. Their lips crashed harshly, and their teeth knocked together as she pressed herself desperately to him. Her hands fisted his shirt and Lucien responded in kind, biting down on her lips. He drew blood and she moaned breathlessly into his mouth when the metallic taste spread around their battling tongues. She wrapped her arms around his neck, anchoring herself to him. Lucien’s hands settled on her waist to steady them. Her knees trembled against the onslaught of Lucien’s relentless tongue and Lucien picked her up effortlessly as he walked them over to her bed. She bounced slightly on the bed when he threw her down and turned to look up at him, breath catching in her throat. His eyes were dark and unfathomably cold, like twin pools of violet onyx that could swallow her if she weren’t careful. But she didn’t want to be careful. She wanted to fall, wanted to lose herself in those eyes that were so familiar yet unfamiliar at the same time. Reaching for him, her fingers impatiently fumbling at the tie he had fastened earlier, she slammed her lips against his once more.
And it was like a rubber band had snapped.
She tore at his shirt, not bothering with the buttons. Once his chest was bared to her, she broke away with a harsh gasp before raking her nails over his skin. He shuddered at her touch, breath coming out in a sharp hiss. He shed his shirt and his hand caressed the nape of her neck before tugging on her hair, exposing the smooth expanse of her neck.
“My turn,” Lucien murmured, his breath ghosting over her throat. His tongue washed over where he could feel her pulse beating erratically and he bit down. Smirking against her skin when he heard her whimper, he sucked hard on the bite. His fingers danced teasingly along the hem of her blouse before yanking it over her head. He ripped off her bra and skirt before she could even blink and began mapping out the contours of her body with his lips.
Blood pulsed through her ears, drowning out all other sounds. It felt like she was drowning. But she didn’t want a life preserver, no she didn’t need one.
Ever since she had come into this winter world, ever since discovering she had been forgotten by the world, she had felt so lost. Even after Shaw had warned her what was to come, she was still not prepared to lose the very things that had brought light into her world. She could handle Victor, could handle Kiro, and could even handle Gavin not knowing who she was. But when she had walked through the doors of the research institute to peer into the ever familiar eyes, only to be met with cool eyes that had gazed upon her with the expression of meeting a stranger, something within her had broken. He didn’t remember her. Lucien didn’t remember her.
And since then, every meeting they had together, she had tried to reclaim the broken pieces of her within him. She had held onto the hope that somewhere in this time and in this dimension, maybe, just maybe she could find whatever it was she was searching for.
Lucien, upon noticing that she looked distracted, took one of her nipples into his mouth, and bit down. She jerked in shock. “Lu-” she clapped her hands against her mouth before the name can slip out.
No. This was Ares, this was a Lucien who had never met her, never shared all those memories with her.
The man in question paused his ministrations. She watched as his eyes narrow into hungry slits, violet eyes nearly dark as the night. The expression on his face was cold and calculating.
“Hm,” there was a noise of discontent and she held her breath as he crept closer to her, lithe like a panther, and just as dangerous. She fell against her pillow as he caged her in, large hand encircling her wrists to pull her arms above her head. “I wonder,” he started conversationally, but there was an edge underlying his words, “If ‘he’ kissed you like this?” He didn’t give her time to answer, however, as he dove in and attacked her lips mercilessly. With his other hand, his fingers circled her breast, tugging, pinching. She moaned helplessly against his urgent mouth. “Tell me. Did ‘he’ touch you like this? Your ‘Lucien?’” He snarled the name. There was a sudden ripping sound before he plunged his long, tapered digits into her. She arched against him with a broken whimper. “My, my, you’re already so wet,” the man whispered silkily, as if making a mere observation, “And I’ve barely started.” There was a dark promise behind his words, and she squirmed at the thought. He smirked, letting go of her wrists while curling his fingers inside her.
Her mouth fell open with a gasp, “Oh!” His lips attached themselves to the hollow of her neck as his fingers continued to move inside her. There was a fire starting in her, blazing slow and hot deep in her belly, and it was spreading along her limbs. She clung to him, hanging on for dear life, her nails leaving red crescents in his back, when he hit that spot. “Please,” the word left her mouth in a cracked whimper.
The fire grew hot and intense and the noise in her ears crescendoed into a roar.
She was so close. Almost there. Yes. Yes. YE-
And suddenly, nothing.
All sensations stopped.
She opened her eyes to see him sitting back on his heels, serenely licking his slick fingers.
“You-” her voice was hoarse.
“Yes?” He raised a casual eyebrow as he popped his fingers into his mouth slowly.
“Wh-why did you stop?” She blushed, her voice had never sounded so needy.
Taking his fingers out with a light pop! sound, he smirked at her, “I’d like to take my time, you see,” he leaned down and whispered lowly. “It’s more fun that way,” there was that same cruel grin and he moved out of reach before she could pull him in. She scowled and heard him chuckle. The sheets rustled and there was the tell-tale clink of a belt being undone. She slowly sat up and raised her head to watch him free himself from the confines of his pants.
Her breath caught. His cock was standing proudly at attention, curving upwards towards his stomach. There was a shiny bead of white at the tip. Just how she remembered.
The minute he kicked away his pants, she leaned over and slotted her lips over his engorged, leaking tip.
“Ungh!” his hips jerked forward in surprise before he regained control of himself. She raised her eyes to look at him and when she did, she slowly took him in her mouth, little by little until he hit the back of her throat. He threw his head back with a low groan. She bobbed her head, hollowing her cheeks. Her hands came to stroke him where her mouth couldn’t reach. “Ah,” he croaked, his breathing was labored. Spurred on by this, she began to suck him with relish. She continued this for several minutes, gradually increasing her speed when he suddenly wrenched her away, pressing her down with his weight. “Enough,” he hissed as he bit down on her lip. She swallowed into their kiss, his eyes were nearly black. The look on his face was almost feral. “Shall I have a taste as well?”
Before she could respond, he had already slipped between her legs, looking up at her.
“Did ‘he’ taste you like this?” He whispered, puffs of hot air hitting her aching core. A wet tongue ran across her folds, hot and heavy. He watched with a satisfied smirk as she arched off the bed with a needy sigh, fingers digging into the sheets. Her thighs clamped around his head as he traced blazing patterns with his tongue. “So sweet,” he breathed, before delving his tongue inside her.
She could feel the familiar fire build up again, the pressure threatening to knock her over. She wanted to fall off the edge, wanted to see stars burst across her vision, wanted to lose herself.
Her pulsed quickened, her body tightened. So close. Just a little bit more…
And suddenly that wicked tongue was gone.
Her head fell back onto her pillow with a tortured groan, jaw slack. Her fingers fisted the sheets. There were actual tears of frustration in the corner of her eyes.
She heard that familiar, cruel chuckle before a long finger slid into her. She almost sighed with relief, but he didn’t move.
“Please,” she couldn’t recognize her voice, tinged with such desperation.
“Please, what?” His voice sent electrifying tingles throughout her entire body and she trembled. Squeezing her thighs together, she tried to get some form of relief. A large hand forced her legs apart before she could. “You need to be more clear with your requests,” he whispered, tongue swiping lazily across her inner thighs. “What do you want?”
“I…I want to come,” her voice was hoarse, close to tears. “Please. Let me come.”
“Hm,” there was a musing sigh, “I don’t know if I can allow that,” he moved his finger slowly out of her, chuckling when she tried to push her hips upward to meet him. “You see, this was supposed to be your punishment.”
Slack-jawed, she stared at him. This Lucien-no Ares-was indeed ruthless. “Wha-what?” She moaned breathlessly as his finger dipped inside her excruciatingly slow.
He kissed her wet folds gently and her head fell back again with a whimper. “You have invaded my dreams ever since we met,” he growled. “Not only that, but my thoughts as well. I always wondered, if a certain silly girl was staying out of trouble, if she was safe, if she was doing well,” as he spoke, he rocked his finger into her, stoking the flames within her once more.
She struggled to breathe. Between his words and his damn finger, she couldn’t even think straight.
“Don’t you think that requires some sort of punishment?” He asked and slipped another finger into her. “Making me worry about you, silly girl.” With those words, he curled his fingers and his tongue washed over her sensitive nub.
Her body was instantly ablaze.
He increased his speed as his tongue circled her nub, sending her head spinning. “Please,” she whimpered as she ground her hips against his face. “Please…”
“That does sound tempting,” his voice sent delicious vibrations throughout her, “Shall I let you come?”
She nodded vigorously, “Please,” she pleaded, feeling that ever familiar tightening sensation in her gut, like a tightly coiled spring, ready to snap any time.
“I think I prefer that you come when I’m inside of you,” he smirked and removed his finger. Her head thrashed about in pure frustration. “Patience,” he spoke softly as he came up, pinning her underneath him. “It’s more fun this way. You’ll see.”
She gasped when she could feel his cock pulsing against her entrance. “Please…”
His lips attached themselves to her neck. “What do you want, silly girl?”
“I want you!” She screeched, trying to grind her hips against him. “Take me! Please! Fuck me!”
“Did ‘he’ fuck you like this?” He growled against her ear before slamming into her without warning, finally pushing her off the precipice that he had been mercilessly teasing her on.
All of a sudden, she was flying, weightless. Mere atoms floating in the vast galaxy not tethered to anything. Sweet release filled every crevice, every inch of her. The waves of pleasure that crested and crashed upon her robbed her of any conscious thought except for Lucien, Lucien, Lucien.
She was whole again. Complete. No longer broken.
For a moment, she could believe that it was the Lucien who had woken her up on the lazy mornings in which by some stroke of rare luck, both of them were not busy. The Lucien who had smiled so tenderly at her before whispering a “Good morning, butterfly,” leaning in to kiss her and pressing her gently against the satin sheets. The Lucien who had mischievously grabbed her when she went to his office to drop off some lunch and then later, had bent her over his desk with a “Be a good girl and try not to make any noise,” ghosting over her ear. The Lucien who had slammed her into the wall with a dangerous “Tell me,” hissed angrily through clenched teeth when she was asked about the most important person in her life. The Lucien who had tortured her so ardently that very night as he grit out a “You don’t want to make me jealous again, kitten,” before thoroughly ravaging her. That the Lucien who had looked at her and held her like she was his entire world had come back. And for a singular moment, as she came back down to earth, she allowed herself to believe it.
“Lucien-” she cried out, reality merging with the man in her dreams.
He froze. That had been the first time since they met that she had uttered his name. He had been observing her, watching her unravel with pure pleasure, pupils blown out with bliss. Filled with great satisfaction, he had struggled hard to keep his hips still, a monumental task with him still buried deep within her. He knew she was still searching for pieces of the other ‘him’. And as she climaxed around him, her walls fluttering and clenching him (so much that it physically pained Lucien), he hoped that he was able to give her a little bit of comfort.
He hoped that she could find whatever it was she had lost. Or at the very least, he hoped that she could find a little bit of the person she missed so much within him.
There appeared to be another image of her superimposed onto the panting body in front of him. “Ares is not completely Lucien, nor is Lucien completely Ares,” her image seemed to be saying to him. “As long as you’re Lucien or the part that is ‘Lucien’ exists, I will love you. I love you, Lucien.”
A guttural groan escaped from him and the last remaining strands of his self-control, as well as his sanity, snapped. He grabbed her hips, fingers pressing down hard enough to leave bruises. His hips pulled back and slammed into her, making her shriek, her eyes rolling back from pleasure. “Say it again,” he growled, throwing her leg over his shoulder so he could go deeper. “Call my name. Tell me who is making you feel good like this. Say it. Say. My. Name.” Each word gritted out through tightly clenched teeth was accompanied by a savage snap of unforgiving hips.
“Good girl,” he panted as he reached between her legs to stroke her roughly in time with his thrusts. “Let me hear how good I make you feel.”
He was going to erase any other traces, any other thoughts of other men from her. Even if his rival was himself from another time. But at least, in this time and space, in this moment, she was his.
Her hands came to grip his shoulders, her grip vicelike as he drove without abandon into her. Coming from her mouth were breathless permutations of his name punctuated by the sweetest moans. She held on tight, nails leaving scarlet furrows in his back as his thrusts drove her closer and closer to the edge. She could feel it. Her impending destruction.
“Please, please, please,” she chanted as if offering a prayer to whatever deity that will bring about her absolute ruin. “Lucien, please.” Her leg slipped from his shoulder and she wrapped them around his waist, pushing him deeper within her.
“Come for me,” he snarled, hellbent on his mission to completely annihilate her. Obscene wet sounds of skin meeting skin filled the air.
Suddenly the coil in her stomach sprung free, fire and electricity mixing in a deadly cocktail across her skin. Every single synapse in her body was firing mini fireworks. She was blown apart into a thousand pieces, only to be put back together by the man furiously pounding into her.
Stars. She could see stars. Streaking white across her vision, blurring out everything.
There was a ragged groan and Lucien’s hands dug into her hips, spilling hot and heavy into her. He panted as he stilled. And then his eyes widened in shock.
For the world was painted in brilliant colors that he had never seen before. The gorgeous faint pink flushing her entire body. The gilded yellow of the afternoon light that spilled into the room. The soft blue of the clear sky. The verdant green of the tree standing guard just outside her window. It was like someone had put on a filter on the world, the saturation of hues he had never known about thrown into vibrant clarity. His breath caught in his throat; his eyes thoroughly dazzled. He gazed down at the utterly wrecked girl underneath him. She had made all this happen. Whatever divine power she possessed was able to bring light into his forsaken, dismal world. Or maybe it was just because it was her.
He was not going to let her go now. The only color in his world.
Trembling as her body started its descent, she opened her eyes to find everything hazy. There were tears on her cheeks. Whether it was from the mind blowing explosion or because she missed Lucien so much, she didn’t know.
But there was Lucien right in front of her, smiling down at her in that familiar, tender way. “Silly girl,” he mused fondly, thumbs brushing her wet cheeks. A hand landed on her head gently, patting her in a way that only Lucien could. “Don’t cry.”
“Lucien, don’t-don’t go!”
She heard a sigh of mild exasperation. “My little fool,” the familiar affectionate nickname pricked at her eyes and she closed them to hide the tears. “I won’t go anywhere. I’m always here.” Light kisses rained down on her eyelids, her cheeks like the delicate flutter of butterfly wings.
Something extracted itself gently from her body and she opened her eyes again to look into the familiar violet eyes. Only this time, there was no warm tenderness within them.
“Lu-Lucien?” she croaked.
“Sorry,” he murmured, a hint of regret in his voice when he noticed how she seized up after he had pulled away. He looked down at the mess of red and purple blotches blossoming across her skin. “Did I hurt you?”
She shook her head silently. “You said you weren’t gentle, and I believe I told you to not hold back,” she said finally, turning her head to look at him as he began to get dressed.
A small grin unfurled, “Indeed. Can I assume that we will be continuing our…’cooperation?’” He buttoned what he could of his ruined shirt and waited.
“Yes,” she said as calmly as she could, but her cheeks betrayed her, blushing bright. Maybe she shouldn’t have tore his shirt like that.
“Very well,” he seemed to be oblivious to her internal struggle, “I’ll look forward to our next cooperation. I do believe I have troubled you enough for today,” his gaze swept across her still naked body and he smirked. “After all, you must be tired.”
She coughed and quickly covered herself. Lucien chuckled as he threw on his black overcoat, pausing before the paper butterflies. A long finger touched one gently. “I hope you can teach me all the beautiful things,” he finally said quietly. “And all these beautiful memories that you shared with the other ‘me’…” there was a touch of sorrow in his voice. “I hope you are willing to share them with me as well.”
Her eyes widened. “You said you only cared about the Queen,” her voice trembled. “So, why…why would you be interested in past memories?”
“Yes, it’s true that I care about the Queen’s powers and potential,” Lucien nodded, finally turning to meet her eyes, “But currently, I’m far more intrigued by you.”
“Why?” He repeated thoughtfully, “I guess you can say… I once believed the world to be rather bleak, if you will. I thought the world only consisted of black and white, and that the other colors didn’t exist. Somehow, you were able to change my mind and showed me that the world contained far more colors than I previously have believed. I am very interested in how you were able to accomplish that.”
There was a sharp intake of breath as she stared at him. She remembered a certain story Lucien had told her in what seemed like ages ago. A story about an artist and a butterfly. It couldn’t possibly be coincidence. But did she dare to hope?
Lucien smiled wryly, “But like I previously mentioned, there will be plenty of opportunities for us to get to know each other, so there’s no rush for me to find out the reason. And if one day…you find that the burden of shouldering these memories alone becomes too much to bear…” his voice became impossibly soft. There was the slightest pause of hesitation. “I hope…that we can create new memories together. And I hope that these new memories will be beautiful ones as well. *Maybe…we can start over…as long as you’re willing to. A fresh start.”
She gazed at him. This man had destroyed her in more ways than she could count. But if she had a choice, she would let him do it again. The pain of being forgotten faded into the dark recesses of her mind. If she could still love Lucien after his betrayal, maybe she could also love this new Lucien in this time as well. She was willing to believe that their love could transcend time and space. That their love was bound by fate. She wanted to believe that she didn’t imagine the flash of panic in his eyes that day at the Ultima Bioresearch Center when she had blocked a shard for him. She wanted to believe that the warmth she had felt when they had gone hiking wasn’t meaningless. She wanted to believe that the little bit of hesitation she had seen just then revealed that Lucien, this Lucien, wanted to create new memories with her. The beautiful memories that they had shared…would be precious keepsakes of the past, and nothing more. She would hold these close to her heart, but maybe…it was time for new ones to come in. After all, the man had burrowed himself so far deep in her heart that there wasn’t room for anyone else. Deep inside, she knew that *as long as the person before her was still Lucien, she was destined to be attracted to him, destined to fall for him-no matter what timeline, no matter what world. As long as there was ‘Lucien.’
“I’d like that,” she finally murmured, her voice hoarse.
She watched as he smiled, and she could believe that the faint tenderness suffusing his violet pupils was there. She could believe that she didn’t imagine the bit of relief in his next words.
*“Okay. Next time, I’ll set aside a whole day to learn origami from you.”
"Tossing, turning, struggle through the night for someone new
And I could go on and on, on and on
Lanterns burning, flickered in the mind only you
But you were still gone, gone, gone
Been losing grip, on sinking ships
You showed up, just in time
This love is good
This love is bad
This love is a life back from the dead
This love left a permanent mark
This love is glowing in the dark
These hands had to let it go free
And this love came back to me"
Fanfic art drawn by: 1178ILoveYou!