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you are a dream among the sharks

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It’s 11:43 when Lilah calls, and Wesley finds himself grateful for the distraction. He’s been fruitlessly scouring his grimoires for anything that might help with his latest case, for so many hours that he’s starting to think in Old Saxon.

“Are you busy tonight?”

“No,” he says, shutting the grimoire with some relief.

“You should come over. Bring a swimsuit.”

And, that abruptly, she rings off and Wesley is left frowning at the mobile phone in his hand. Still, no matter what outlandish idea she’s got into her head, it’s guaranteed to beat another hour flipping past love potions, wart cures, and charms to ward off crop failure. He leaves his books out on the table and grabs his swim trunks—and, after a moment’s hesitation, his leather jacket, gloves, and helmet. After today’s tedium, he deserves to take the motorbike.

Twenty minutes later, he roars up to her building, feeling much improved by the purring of the engine between his legs and the rush of the darkened city whipping past. It hasn’t given him any inkling of what Lilah has planned for them, but as she buzzes him into the foyer, he hopes for hot tubbing; the summer night is at last growing cool.

Lilah comes to the door wrapped in a short terrycloth robe, her hair damp and loosely braided. It’s such a departure from the usual script that he stops in the middle of pulling off his gloves and stands dumbly in the doorway, taking in the uncharacteristic vulnerability of her bare face and feet.

She stops, too, and it takes him a moment to register the way her eyes are flicking over him, focusing on his gloved hands, the helmet tucked under his arm, his shoulders, his face, and back to his hands. With a regretful little shake of her head, she reaches out and grabs his wrist, still encased in the glove, and pulls him into her flat. Wesley can feel the heat of her touch through the fine, supple leather, and oh.

“It kills me to say this when you show up so nicely wrapped,” she purrs, kicking the door shut, “but go get changed. Plan A will be worth it.” She takes his helmet and gives him a little shove toward her bedroom.

He goes, because she’s running the show tonight, but pauses on the stairs to antagonize her, on principle. “It had better be. I was in the middle of some very important research,” he says, injecting as much annoyance into his voice as he can manage.

Lilah just snorts. “Sure, so important that you dropped it immediately to come over here.” She turns away with a roll of her eyes, and Wesley bites back a smile.

Sound carries through the open doorways and soaring ceilings of Lilah’s industrial loft, and he can hear her movements as he shucks off his jacket and peels out of his jeans. When he goes back downstairs in just his trunks, she drapes a fluffy white towel over his shoulders and steps in close, smiling up at him. “Good,” she murmurs, stretching up to press a kiss to his lips.

Wesley pulls back and raises an eyebrow at her. “If I’m about to discover this building has a hot tub and you’ve been holding out on me all summer, I’ll be very cross.”

Lilah laughs and steps away, retrieving a second towel from an end table. “And if that’s true?” she asks. “Whatcha gonna do about it?” She steps out into the hallway, smirking.

Wesley follows. “Well,” he muses, drawing out the word while she locks the door. "I suppose that depends on what you have planned."

"You'll see." She leads him into the elevator and hits the top button, then lets him crowd her against the wall for some heavy petting. It's a short ride, though, and before they get into it properly, the doors are sliding open and she's pushing him through them backwards, her hand flat against his chest.

It's not a hot tub. Or, rather, it's not just a hot tub—a small, square jacuzzi is tucked into the far corner, but much of the open rooftop is given over to a large, rectangular pool, ringed by chaise longues and small tables speared by closed umbrellas. A shoulder-height wrought iron fence makes a token gesture toward safety, and a small shed conceals, Wesley assumes, machinery and maintenance equipment. The entire area is darkened, streetlamps below casting orange shadows, but Lilah flicks a switch on the outside of the shed and lights come on under the water, bathing the scene in a refracted blue glow.

Wesley takes a deep breath, inhaling a dry night breeze and the slight burn of chlorine. “What are we doing here, Lilah?”

“I have a lot of energy to burn tonight,” she drawls, dipping a toe into the water. “And I thought you might enjoy a show."

"A show?" he repeats, following her to a table at the shallow end. She sets her towel down and so does he. "What kind of show?"

She favors him with a deeply self-satisfied smirk. "The kind where I'm very good at something and it turns you on."

Lilah unties the sash of her robe and opens it to reveal a navy racing suit, high-necked and snug over her curves. It's a far cry from the skimpy white bikini he's seen her wear to the beach, but she looks sleek and powerful, and Wesley finds he can't tear his eyes away. She pulls several items out of the robe's capacious pocket before draping it over the back of a chair, and presses one of them into his hands.

It's a pair of goggles. "For your contacts," she says, when he looks at her with what must be a confused expression. She stretches a silicone swim cap over her hair, then snaps her own goggles on, the sockets resting on her forehead, businesslike. Wesley watches her descend the steps into waist-deep water, the submerged lights playing in ripples over the contours of her body. She turns to look at him over her shoulder, her face limned from beneath. "Well? Are you coming in, or what?"

Reverie broken by her prompting, he scrambles to join her. The water, he finds, is a pleasant contrast to the cool air, retaining some of the day's heat. Lilah waits for him to draw near, a little ungainly as he adjusts to the drag, and pulls the goggles from his hand. She steps into his space, letting their bodies press together at chest and hip, and secures them around his head, carefully settling the sockets while his hands gentle down her sides.

"Is that okay?" she asks, and he nods mutely, staring down at her through slightly water-flecked lenses. She pulls down her goggles, an iridescent coating obscuring her clear grey eyes, then leans up for a brief, searing kiss. Her hands rest lightly on his chest but her tongue is hot and slick, and Wesley is still catching his breath from the intensity when she smirks wickedly and flings herself away, soaking him with a mighty splash and then flashing toward the deep end.

"Damn it, Lilah," he grumbles with a shiver. He pauses to admire the smooth, confident way her streamlined body pushes through the water: the regular, metered splashing, the grace of her limbs, the power of her strokes, the speed and efficiency of her flip turn. After a minute, it becomes clear she wasn’t joking about excess energy and has no intention of stopping any time soon, so Wesley pushes off to swim a few lengths himself, but her gambit is working and he can’t even feel badly about it. She’s not wrong about him. She’s very good at this, and he appreciates it very much.


Lilah’s morning swims are grueling, all about speed and distance, laps carefully counted and timed like she's still on her college swim team, but tonight she only needs to take the edge off her restlessness. She sets herself a slower pace and focuses on form, the stability of her core, the flexibility of her hips and spine, the extension of her arms and angle of her hands. It’s good practice, of course, but she’s also showing off for Wesley, controlling her movements to appeal to his sense of aesthetics.

Then, even he fades away, subsumed by the rhythm of her legs, arms, and lungs. The agitation that plagued her after Linwood's needling today settles into a motoric flutter kick and a welcome burn in her shoulders and chest as she pushes against the water's resistance. Her spinning thoughts resolve into the crystalline simplicity of movement and breath.

After what feels like several hundred meters—she hasn't counted—there’s a warmth and ease in Lilah’s muscles that means she can stop, if she’s ready. The extra turbulence of Wesley swimming alongside her settled some time ago, and when she flips the sockets of her goggles up to look across the pool, he’s sitting on the steps into the shallow end, his own goggles discarded on the brick, watching her. She breaststrokes toward him and he walks out to meet her. At about chest-deep, he reaches out, and she grabs his hand and lets him reel her in.

“Feeling better?” he asks, the barest hint of a smile playing at the corners of his eyes.

She grins at him, all incisors and heaving breath, and twines her arms about his shoulders, pulling herself high enough to close her teeth lightly around the point of his chin. The water carries the rest of her forward to follow the movement, pressing them together from shoulder to knee.

"I certainly am," she says, "and it seems like you are, too." Lilah tangles her legs with Wesley's and her words belie the almost-accidental brush of her thigh against his tented trunks. Wesley growls and jerks his head back, away from her mouth, but his hands slide from her waist to her ass, pulling her into firm contact with his erection. Lilah wriggles agreeably. "I figured you'd enjoy the show, but I didn't guess how much," she says, and licks a stripe up the side of his neck, the taste of chlorine and the scrape of stubble on her tongue.

Wesley's hips buck against her. "You minx," he mutters. He squeezes roughly, one cheek in each hand, and Lilah yelps before biting his earlobe in retaliation. Wesley groans, and moves to cup the backs of her thighs, urging her to wrap her legs around him. Lilah goes willingly, crossing her ankles and gripping with her knees. She pushes herself high enough to kiss him properly, using his hair to tug his mouth into the right alignment under hers and humming with satisfaction. This plan of hers is going—hah—swimmingly.

Wesley is moving, stumbling slightly, but she's doesn't care where he's taking them, too busy dragging the nails of her free hand lightly across his chest and around his nipple. He moans into the kiss and then she can feel the edge of the pool at her back, a lip of brick pressing into the nape of her neck and smooth concrete below the water line.

Now that she's supported between the wall and his body, Wesley can use his hands, and he wastes no time. They slide ticklishly up her sides, then close firmly around her rib cage so he can use both thumbs to swipe over her breasts, her nipples pebbling under his touch even through the tightly-stretched fabric of her swimsuit. He teases her like this until she breaks their kiss, yanking his head back by his hair. "Fuck, Wes," she swears, flexing her legs to grind their hips together.

Wesley chuckles, his voice rough. "Here, let me—" he says, pressing her harder against the wall and tugging at the shoulder straps of her suit. Working together, they manage to pull them down far enough for her to extricate her arms and shove the suit down to free her breasts. Immediately, his hands are on them again, cupping and kneading, and when he hitches her higher so he can use his mouth, she keens.

It's the abrasion of his scruff over her skin, and the hot, slick sweep of his tongue that follows, and the sharp pinch of his fingers on her flesh, and all at once the ache between her legs is too much and not enough and she needs more. She tugs at his hair again while pushing her hand under the waistband of his swim trunks, gripping and pressing with more urgency than finesse. He makes a choked-off noise like he's been punched, and bucks under her, and the motion knocks her head sharply into the lip of brick around the edge, right at the base of her skull. She hisses.

"Shit, Lilah, I—" he gasps, and she shakes her head, growling, to cut him off.

"It doesn't matter," she says, "just, fuck, come on already." She gives his cock, hot and eager in her hand, a stroke and a squeeze, and finally Wesley gets with the program. He shoves his trunks down, giving her more room to maneuver, and rubs at her—over her swimsuit again, fucking tease—the pressure maddening. She can feel from the slip of his fingers over the fabric that she's wet enough to have soaked through, and she needs him to stop wasting time. Impatient, she releases her grip on his hair and brushes his fingers away, pulling the crotch of her suit to one side and guiding the head of his cock to rub against her cunt. Wesley groans, his hips stuttering forwards, and he slides past her entrance before she re-positions him with a frustrated sound, and then finally, finally, he's pushing into her, slow and sweet.

Lilah savors the stretch and fullness of her cunt with a long, wordless moan that has Wesley kissing her to taste it directly from her lips. She rocks her hips slightly, testing the angle and pulling him just that much deeper, and it's his turn to moan, his hands tightening on her while she licks the sound out of his mouth. His first thrust sends molten heat rolling along her nerves, but it also knocks her against the bricks again and sloshes bitter pool water into both of their mouths, and Lilah splutters and laughs while Wesley swears.

After some adjusting, one of his hands is gripping the brick just behind her head, keeping her from dashing her skull against the edge, and it might just be the sweetest thing he’s ever done for her. She laughs breathlessly at the thought, leaning her head back against his knuckles and rolling her hips to reward him. His other hand supports her back as he mouths at her breasts and throat, and she clings to his shoulders and the edge of the pool, trying for more leverage to meet his thrusts. The water makes her hands scrabble and slide, but it also sensitizes her nipples to the scrape of his teeth and stubble and the soothing laps of his tongue, and the lips of her cunt to the drag of his shaft as he pumps in and out of her. Neither of them can spare a hand for her clit, but the elastic hem of the leg hole is pressing and rubbing where she pushed it aside, and it’s doing the trick, because her thighs are starting to shake where they’re locked around his waist, and all she can hear is splashing and her own voice moaning nonsense and profanity into the night, and her entire body is brimming with heat and tension, about to snap

She comes with a wordless cry, arching and writhing and lost to sensation, and that must do it for Wesley, as well. Distantly, she hears him grit out, “Fuck—Lilah—” and then he shoves into her hard one last time and bites down on the side of her neck. The pain throws her into an aftershock that makes her vision go white and her ears ring.

When she comes back down, her arms are draped weakly around Wesley’s shoulders and her toes are still tingling. He has his face ducked into her neck and is kissing the indentations of his teeth in her skin apologetically.

“Hey,” she says softly, and he responds with an inquiring hum, trailing kisses up her jaw. She turns her head to meet his lips and they make out lazily until the chill of the water and the night air seep back into Lilah’s skin. “Hey,” she repeats, pushing lightly against his chest.

He pulls away, slipping from her at last, and the swirl of water that rushes to fill the space between them makes them both shiver. “Not that that wasn’t an excellent time,” he says drily, hitching the waistband of his swim trunks back up over his soft cock, “but I hope your next plan involves warming up.”

She accepts his help to pull the clinging, wet straps of her own suit back onto her shoulders. “Well, we do need to wash off all this chlorine,” she says. “Luckily, I have a pretty big shower.”