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“It's not like, a date kind of thing, is it?” Casey asks, her mouth detaching from his neck.

 

Derek’s panting in her ear, his hands warming up the skin of her back underneath her shirt. “Of course not,” he says, returning to her chest, tongue darting out to lick up her exposed collarbone. “Thought you might wanna go since Jenna’s throwing it”

 

“Mmmm,” she hums appreciatively, growing breathless, as his hips jerk up, causing her fingers to tighten their hold into his hair when she feels his hard on pressing between her legs. “She does throw great parties. Remember that Easter in college?”

 

“How could I forget,” he says, grabbing her ass while she rolls her hips, rubbing herself on him. “All those sexy bunnies walking around.”

 

She grinds down on him hard, making him groan, his head falling against the back of the couch. “What is it this time? Sexy puppies?”

 

He chuckles, grabbing the back of her head to pull her face down to his and trapping her into a kiss. “Sexy leather,” he says, whispering hotly against her lips.

 

Leather,” she repeats, like testing the word on her tongue. She plays with the lapels of his jacket while she considers this, and he goes back to sucking on the sensitive skin of her neck. “And you want me to go with you?”

 

“We don’t have to go together,” he says, kissing up her jaw. “I just thought you’d be interested.”

 

“And what makes you think that?” She holds back a smile and bites her lip as he sucks on a sensitive spot just right.

 

Derek practically growls, making her shiver. “Just some inkling that you might be into it.”

 

“I’ll think about it.”

 

“Cool.”

Chapter Text

It started in college. Casey had inserted herself into Derek’s social life, for reasons that she would totally deny if she was confronted with them. It wasn’t codependency, or anything as sentimental as he made her feel like home. It just so happened that he needed her in his life. Who else was going to make sure that he went to class, did his homework on time, or got enough sleep at night? (she wasn’t stalking him either, she’d only put that sleep tracking app on his phone in concern for his health - all that partying all night just couldn’t be healthy.)

 

For some reason, he didn’t complain. Well, he complained in the beginning, but eventually stopped once he realized that she wasn’t going to leave him alone. He gave in, allowed her to draw up the study charts, let her map out their weekly schedule for maximum productivity, and actually followed them. She never questioned it, because she knew Derek well enough to know that bringing attention to his progress was a surefire way to have him shake himself off and return to his old (bad, disgusting) habits.

 

Except, they had a kind of unspoken agreement that she would give him some slack from time to time, some week-ends when they didn’t have homework or during scheduled breaks. She assumed that it was in sort of retaliation that he dragged her to his parties instead of dodging her like she’d thought he would.

 

There was beer, loud obnoxious music, and he rolled his eyes and dragged her to the dance floor (just to embarrass her with his crazy moves, she told herself).

Chapter Text

Derek woke up with a hangover from hell. He remembered bits and pieces from last night, but when he opened his eyes and found himself lying next to his step-sister, he had no idea how that had happened. Not that he was complaining, there was a gorgeous girl in his bed, what kind of idiot would he be to complain? There was a step in front of sister for a reason!

 

A quick look around the room confirmed that their clothes had been discarded hurriedly. Next to him, Casey’s appearance was rumpled, her hair and make up a mess. He had a pretty good idea of what transpired last night, but it was a real shame he couldn’t remember it.

 

It was when he lifted his arm to rub his face that he got his first clue. Something caught around his wrist in a clinking of metal, making him frown. He peeked under the covers to find his arm was attached to hers with a pair of handcuffs. Well, he certainly didn’t remember that!

 

“What the…” Derek mumbled, looking cluelessly at the metal cuffs, staring like it would make them disappear. Then Casey stirred.

 

Her eyes flickered open, and she smiled at him sleepily. That lasted about ten seconds before she realized where she was, and with whom, and jumped up from the bed with a yelp, in a hurry to escape. She didn’t get very far, stopped with her body halfway off the bed by their binds and being brought back down with equal force as she had pulled away. She looked at him in horror.

 

“De-rek!” she complained, like it was his fault.

 

The shrill sound of her voice echoed in his brain, bringing attention back to his pounding headache. “Not so loud, will you Space Case?” Derek groaned.

 

She was silent, watching him with her eyes so wide they seemed like they were about to fall out of their sockets, until she took in their state of undress. “Oh my god…” Scurrying up the bed frantically, she covered her naked body with the sheet, settling as far away from him as possible while their arms hung uselessly between them. “W-what happened?”

 

“I’m not quite sure,” Derek started condescendingly, “but I get the feeling that whatever happened, involved as little clothing as possible.”

 

“Oh god,” Casey whined, looking straight ahead like she had just experienced the most traumatic event of her life. Which was a bit insulting, if Derek was being honest. That wasn’t exactly his favourite reaction to a girl realizing she had slept with him.

 

“I mean, it probably wasn’t that bad,” he defended automatically, forcing a charming smile on his face to cover up the bitterness of his tone. “You should consider yourself lucky.”

 

“Lucky?” Casey repeated incredulously. “We are handcuffed together, naked, and we don’t remember anything! How is that lucky?!”

 

“Well, at least you’re naked and handcuffed to me,” Derek winked.

 

Then she froze, heat rising to her cheeks and tainting them that adorable shade of pink he liked so much. Her eyes drifted down his face, down his chest as her face got unreasonably redder. And then - “We…” she whispered, low as if the words spoken out loud could hurt her. “We didn’t… did we?”

 

And fuck, the way her voice cracked almost broke him. Sighing, he looked away, eyes scouring the room once again and taking in the ripped pieces of clothing, where they’d had to get the garments off their linked arms somehow. “I don’t know, Case,” Derek said gently, deciding to spare her feelings.

 

In his periphery, he saw her nodding her head, and even though he wasn’t looking at her, he could feel how horrified she was. The longer they stayed quiet, the more he regretted waking up at all, and he resented his drunk brain for indulging at the absolute worst moment. If they were ever to do this, he’d kind of expected to remember in the morning. And how much he wished he could get that look off her face.

 

“Hey,” Derek uttered softly, tugging on the chain that linked them together, feeling his heart trying to make its way up his throat. “It’s not so bad, is it?”

 

Casey looked down at their linked arms, allowing him to pull her hand towards him without resistance.

Chapter Text

February 14th

5:32 PM

 

“De-rek!”

 

Derek rolled his eyes, sinking deeper into his chair as he waited for the hurricane, a.k.a Casey, to make her way to the living room.

 

The first thing he noticed was how red her face was when she stepped in the doorway.

 

“What did I do this time?” Derek asked, sighing for good measure.

 

“You know what you did!”

 

“Um, I really don’t.”

 

“Where did you put my bathing products?”

 

“I didn’t touch your shit.”

 

“Very mature, Derek. You know I have a date at seven and you just want to ruin it!”

 

“I did not touch your girly, flowery ‘bathing products’,” he put up finger quotes to illustrate his opinion on the subject. “Didn’t you shower this morning anyway? I remember you hogging the washroom for an hour because of your date tonight.”

 

“I-“ Casey hesitated, blushing. “I have touch ups to do!”

 

“Too late to fix your face, sorry.”

 

“Ugh!”

 


 

6:07pm

 

When she came back, she was wrapped in a towel, her long legs exposed, and water still dripping from her hair.

 

Except, It wasn’t a towel, it was his jersey.

 

“Did you hide all the towels so I’d be late for my date?” Casey stated in a surprisingly calm voice. The set of her jaw betrayed her anger, though.

 

“What are you talking about?” Derek drawled, leaning back with his hands cradling his head.

 

“I am soaking wet, Derek!”

 

Derek laughed. “That, you are.”

 

“Tell me where the towels are!” Casey yelled, ignoring his innuendo.

 

“I’d really like to help you, I do, but I didn’t do anything.”

 

“You are the worst!”

 


 

6:34pm

 

“De-rek!”

 

“Seriously, Case, you need to pay attention to where you leave your stuff.”

 

“I can’t believe you would do this.”

 

“You’ll have to be more specific.”

 

“You set my alarm clock back by one hour!”

 


 

6:35pm

7:35pm

 

Derek checked the time on his phone. “Huh,” he uttered lazily. “Wasn’t your date at 7? It’s not like you to be so late.”

 

“I will KILL YOU!”

 

“Woah woah woah, Casey, calm down.”

 

“Don’t tell me to calm down!”

 

“Look, I just wanted to create a sense of urgency. You know you work better under pressure!”

 

“No you didn’t! I know why you did all of this.”

 

“Really. Enlighten me.”

 

“Because you don’t have a date, so you have to ruin mine.”

 

“See, that’s where you’re wrong. I do have a date.”

 

“Really.”

 

“See for yourself, I set up the table and everything.”

 

She looked at him suspiciously, but turned to walk into the kitchen.

 

“Wow…” Casey breathed. “You pulled this off for some girl? You?

 

“Ha. Ha.”

 

“I mean, if you’re expecting someone, I’d have thought that you’d want me out of here sooner.”

 

“You underestimate how much I like messing with you.”

 

“Well, I’ll get out of your hair.”

 

Blocking her path. “You also underestimate my motives. See, I knew this girl didn’t have a date for Valentine’s day. So I thought I’d save her the embarrassment.”

 

“Okay…”

 

“Great! So we can start eating, since she just showed up.” Pushing her towards the table.

 

“De-rek!”

 

“Ca-sey!”

 

“I have a date!”

 

“No you don’t.”

 

“I do!”

 

“What’s his name?”

 

“It’s- um…”

 

“Not that guy again. Thought you broke up with Um in high school.”

 

She sits, subdued.

 

“How’d you know I didn’t have a date?”

 

“Because you went out of your way to convince me that you did.”

 

“You didn’t have to do this… even if it’s really nice.”

 

“Yeah, it’s take out.”

 

She smiles. “It’s still my favourite.”

 

“I know.” He smiles back.

Chapter Text

“So, you’ll be there for Friday night dinner, right?”

 

Casey sighed and repeated for what she thought was the thirtieth time “yes, I’ll be there at Friday night’s dinner,” then she frowned. “Why is it so important all of a sudden? I thought you were bored with the whole thing?” she asked, suspiciously.

 

“Well, since you asked, I have an announcement to make,” Derek answered, in that self-satisfied tone of his. As if anything and everything he said or did was pure gold.

 

Casey rolled her eyes. “Really,” she said flatly.

 

Derek hesitated at the other end of the line. “I guess I can tell you… but you have to act totally surprised when I announce it to the fam.”

 

“Sure, whatever.”

 

“I’m getting married.”

 

What? “What?” she asked, almost chuckling because… he didn’t just say that.

 

“You heard me,” he said, not giving her the benefit of the doubt.

 

“You’re getting married?” Casey repeated dumbly. It sounded like some type of fake news on Facebook that nobody would believe.

 

“Mhmm,” Derek hummed, non-committal. 

 

“To whom, Roxy?”

 

“Heck no,” Derek sputtered. Like what she said was the most crazy thing that had been said in this conversation. “Sally.”

 

Oh, Casey thought. That was…

 

“You and Sally are back together?”

 

“How about I save all the exposition for dinner. Friday night,” he sounded impatient.

 

“O...kay? -”

 

“Great, see ya then.”

 


 

So Derek made his big announcement, and the family was ecstatic. Apparently, everyone else but Casey knew that he’d reconnected with Sally, and the engagement was just the next logical step.

 

Casey had no idea how to make sense out of any of this. She did have to admit that out of all of Derek’s girlfriends, Sally had been the closest thing to being the one. But how were they getting married already? They got back together after twelve years apart, surely they weren’t the same people anymore. There had to be some sort of getting to know period. And when did Derek get over his whole fear of commitment? Had he just been stashing it aside until Sally came back this whole time?

 

She didn’t want to be jealous. She really didn’t. She didn’t mean to. But she couldn’t keep her heart from sinking at the thought. Because she thought that, one day, she would be the one to get him. After all this walking around, after college, it had felt like it was just a question of time, that they’d both grow up and wise up and meet back up and realize that it was meant to be. Meanwhile, Derek was living just that, just… not with her.

 

Yet, she couldn’t hate Sally for it. Casey knew that Sally had loved Derek. And Casey loved Sally. If anything, Sally was a better fit for Derek, Casey rationalized. She could tame his wild side, whereas Casey was more… fuelling it. It was like Sally was the water and Casey, the gasoline. Where Sally was bringing out Derek’s caring side, Casey got the more devious one, the one that pranked and teased mercilessly.

 

Casey didn’t want to be bitter about it. She’d thought once that she could bring out that side of him, but it had only been temporary. Just a short, meaningless fling, Casey thought, eyes stinging. As it turned out, she had been the only one pining.

 

So while everyone was squealing and congratulating Derek, Casey’s smile was stuck in place, her cheeks hurting, as she held back her true feelings from showing on her face.

Chapter Text

She didn’t miss him.

 

He moved out because she confessed her feelings and like Derek would, he cowered away.

 

It didn’t hurt.

 

Because his scent didn’t linger in the apartment, she didn’t catch herself staring at that stain on the couch that reminded her of their spaghetti fight that one time, when they’d ended up tangled up on the couch, out of breath, laughing.

 

And she didn’t like to remember how he’d taken up to making her dinner because she worked late at the library and he got off first. It’s not like it meant something. Considering she wasn’t there to cook, he had to feed himself, and probably decided to stick her with the leftovers because he didn’t want to hear her complain or something.

 

She wasn’t sad, because she didn’t cry over Derek.

 

Once, he’d come home from a date and found her crying on the couch. He’d slowly put his things down on the ground and walked past her without a word. Ten minutes later, a bowl of soup appeared in front of her, followed by a tall child flopping next to her on the couch.

 

She sniffed into a tissue and pulled her blanket tighter around herself.

 

“Eat it, I know you like it boiling hot,” he said, looking blindly at the tv.

 

She gathered the bowl and hugged it to her chest, taking a tentative sip. It warmed up her insides nicely.

 

“I don’t care what it is, because no matter what it is, it’s not worth crying over.”

 

“How can you know that?”

 

“Because, Case, you’ll pull yourself up like you always do. And then you’ll crush whoever did this to you.”

 

“And if it’s you?”

 

“You already got me where you want me, what more can you do?”

 

He’d said, and left. She never told him what she was upset about in the end.

 

It’s not like she wanted him to know. It’s not like she liked confiding in him, like he ever had some kind of good insight or ever found the right words, not to comfort her, but to push her forward, unsticking her from the hole she’d dug herself in.

 

She didn’t miss the way his hand at the small of her back was enough to appease and reassure her when she didn’t know how to move forward.

Chapter Text

It was the most romantic thing she could think of. 

 

Two superheroes, linked by fate, meeting on a rooftop after defeating the latest threat to their town. As she landed on light feet, her heart skipped a beat. She bit her bottom lip as she observed her partner landing a few feet away from her, grinning from ear to ear in her direction.

 

The sun was setting behind him, the remnants of light catching in his locks of hair and making his large green eyes sparkle. She couldn’t have been more content than in this moment.

 

Ever since they’d started fighting crime together, she’s felt a deep connection to him, like a tug on her heart beckoning her closer. And he was the most open person she’d ever met. Although they didn’t know each other’s identities, she felt like she knew him better than she’d ever known anyone else. He was honest, sensitive, caring. Basically the perfect gentleman. 

 

As modest as he was, being a hero suited him. She realized this the first time he got surrounded by grateful citizens, thanking and praising him for his courage, and he’d brushed the back of his neck and smiled bashfully at them.

 

His smile reflected this as he approached her on the rooftop. He was panting softly, radiating glee at their new victory.

 

"Another win for Ladybug and Cat Noir!" he exclaimed.

 

"That’s how I like it," she quipped and grinned back, his mirth contagious.

 

"Though I have to say, my Lady, that without you this cat is but helpless," he said smoothly, his head cocking to the side as he stopped, toe to toe, in front of her. His eyes bored into hers with intensity.

 

She knew him. She knew that she knew him. Sometimes when their heads were bent together and lips inches apart, she thought she could almost whisper his name. But it didn’t stick. 

 

Ladybug had to take a deep breath to ground herself. She had a tendency to lose track of all thought when he looked at her like that. "Good thing you’ll always have me then," she breathed, her hand completely betraying her as it made its way to his collar, tugging lightly on the little bell at his throat. 

 

Flirting was just a default setting at this point. There was nothing to do about it.

 

"Well, I-" he started, before being interrupted by the beeping of his Miraculous. He sighed. "Gotta go."

 

So soon, she thought, but nodded, letting go of his bell and stepping back.

 

This was the most excruciating moment, having to let go. She watched him leap away from the ledge, using his baton to project himself towards the next roof. As quickly as he’d arrived, he was gone.

 

She longed for the day she was brave enough to reveal her feelings. Something told her he felt the same. But she couldn’t imagine starting anything serious while their identities were still a secret, and that was rule number one of their partnership. Secrecy. Knowing each other’s identity would put both of them at risk.

 

It made her angry and resentful of the enemy. But part of it made it more… thrilling. The close to impossible situation was exciting, intoxicating. Every day she felt closer to him and wanted him more, yet she knew she could never have him. At least, that wasn’t possible as long as Hawkmoth was still a threat.

 

Her romance novels had nothing on this.

Chapter Text

Casey walks through the door, right past a confused Derek, mumbling.

 

“What was that, you weirdo?” Derek closes the door and turns with his hands on his hips, watching Casey making herself comfortable in his bed.

 

Casey burrows deeper into the warm blankets, inhaling the nice smell of freshly washed sheets (she does his laundry) and Derek’s body odour. “How do you look like that,” she grumbles, her eyes shut tight. “We studied all night. I’m a mess and you still look like...” her arm flaps lazily around, “that.”

 

Derek sighs and accepts his fate. He walks to the bed, pushes a whining Casey farther so he can climb in. “If you’re trying to say I look good, you should already know: I always look good.”

 

“Shaddupderrek,” Casey’s sleepy command comes out muffled into the pillow. “Jus’holdme, ‘kay?”

 

Derek chuckles, scoots closer to wrap his arm around her and pulls her into his chest. Casey sighs contentedly. “I’m only doing this because I’m too tired to fight with you.”

 

“Mmhmm.”

 

She’s fast asleep within seconds, her even breathing the only sound in the room. Derek rolls his eyes before tucking his face into her neck, ready to sleep the day away.

Chapter Text

“So, Edwin, the first thing you need to know about kissing girls is they like hygiene. By showing off your toothbrush, you’re reminding them of good hygiene, and bringing attention to the fact that your mouth is clean and minty, which makes them think about kissing. Then, next thing you know, they’re kissing you. Because you don’t have bad breath.”

 

Edwin: “Uh, yeah, Derek. Just cuz that weird shit worked on Casey doesn’t mean it’s gonna work with like... a normal girl?”

 

Derek: “Good point.”

 

Edwin: “Has it? Worked with another girl before?”

 

Derek: “Well... I never had to work this hard for a girl to kiss me before.”

 


 

Incident #1

 

Casey stopped short in the middle of their argument, flustered, breathless. “And why are you walking around everywhere with your toothbrush?!” Her voice was high pitched, her face was red. She was about to hit him at any moment.

 

Derek shrugged. “What’s it to you?”

 

“It’s very distracting!” She stared at the thing like it offended her. That thing had been in his mouth. That stupid, stupid mouth of his.

 

“And anyway- mmpf!” Derek was temporarily frozen when Casey decided to randomly attack him with her lips. It took him a moment to remember that this was the goal, asshole! and shake himself out of his surprise to kiss her back.

 

Casey was so easy to figure out.

 


 

Incident #2

 

It was the damn toothbrush, she knew it. And he knew that she knew what he was up to. That- that... sneaky bastard.

 

“What’s wrong, Case?” Derek interrupted her angry spiralling thoughts. He crossed his arms over his chest, making Casey look up. Oh, he had that smirk on. The stupid, stupid smirk she hated so much. “Something bothering you?”

 

Her eyes were now focused on his lips. Sweet, soft lips- well, she imagined they were soft. A-actually, she didn’t imagine anything at all! This was just a fluke! She just liked good hygiene! She was not, in any way, turned on by the thought of Derek’s clean, minty mouth on hers.

 

“Ca-ase?” Derek sing-songed teasingly, snapping her attention back to his eyes again. “It’s not polite to stare.”

 

Oh, that sexy little weasel. He was doing all of this on purpose. She even saw him spread out his bath products earlier, right in her line of vision, like a harlot!

 

This meant war...

 

“No, I-I,” Casey stuttered, before a genius idea came to her mind. She smiled evilly. “I was just thinking about going for a swim.”

 

Walking over to her own suitcase, she took out the new itsy bitsy bikini she brought to the lodge, holding it up high for inspection.

 

It took merely seconds until she heard Derek’s disgruntled grunt and fast footsteps escaping the cabin.

 

She changed anyway, eager to get a sun tan. She knew just the right spot to pick for maximum effect.

 


 

Incident #3

 

Casey opened his glove compartment and found his infinite stash of breath mints. She looked at him curiously, he shrugged. 

 

“Always gotta be ready, Case."

Chapter Text

Born2read:

Derek does the dishes.

Casey watches from the breakfast bar, drooling.

Derek doing laundry, and separating the clothes the same way she does. She walks by and has to go take a cold shower.

 

RollyPratt:

Derek, a plate in one hand, the sponge in the other: “Yeah, you like that? You like me washing those dirty dirty plates, Case?” He rubs the sponge in languid circles around the plate. “It won’t be dirty when I’m done with it. It’ll be soooo clean, baby.”

Casey, rubbing her thighs together, about to fall off the stool: “do that again,” she whispers breathlessly.

 

Born2read:

Casey, watching Derek as he runs the vacuum over the carpet in precise lines. "Faster," she breathes.

Chapter Text

“Just because you’re handsome doesn’t give you the right to be so damn annoying, Derek!” Casey yells.

 

Derek smirks. “You think I’m handsome?”

 

“Of course I do, what am I, blind?” Casey gasps, clasping a hand over her mouth.

 

Revelling in her embarrassment, Derek says, “That makes me feel a lot better about jacking off after seeing you walking out of the shower.” 

 

Wait. What?! He covers his mouth with both hands, mirroring Casey’s look of pure terror.

 

“I will leave now to avoid further embarrassment,” she says before hightailing it out of the room.

 

“Totally second that,” Derek says, “I’m actually a coward.”

Chapter Text

“I’m the step-sister you’ve always wanted”.

 

“Really? Cause you look more like the ugly step-sister from Snow White”

 

“That’s Cinderella, you freak. Now could you turn down the music?”

 

Of course she knows it’s Cinderella. Whatever, that’s not the point. The point is: Erika was living a perfectly good life with her dad, Edwin and Marti, until Casey moved in and took up all that space in her house and started complaining about every single thing she does and that just won’t do. She won’t make any concession. Not when this was all sprung out on her without any warning. We don’t talk about that time she agreed to the wedding for her dad.  He got married to Nora, big deal. It’s not like her step-mom isn’t nice. Because she is. Nice. Very nice. A pukey kind of nice, but nice. Unlike her daughter, who is actually Erika’s problem. Not that she would ever compare herself to Cinderella (because ew, and also if there is one princess in this room, it’s definitely Casey) but the last thing she needs is two step-sisters invading her house, making up rules and turning her life into a living hell.

 

She feels kind of satisfied that Casey and her sister are crammed into Edwin’s old room together. They need to understand that there is no place for them here. It’s her house. And she can do anything she wants. She can turn her music on loud enough to get on her nerves. She can walk into the bathroom and do her business and if Casey just stands there then who’s the freak, right?

 

It’s Casey. Casey is the freak.  She’s studying in the hallway when she walks up to her. Who studies before school has even started?

 

“Let me guess. You are a total keener,” she can’t help smiling. Casey is the weirdest girl she has ever known.

 

Casey sighs. “If you mean I take learning seriously, then yeah.” She looks so annoyed with her already and it pleases her.

 

“Oh good, then you won’t mind making two copies of everything you do!” She grins, she can totally use this for her benefit.

 

But of course Casey refuses. It seems kind of selfish to her, but… okay she knew she’d say no. Casey McDonald is totally predictable, but it just makes it easier to mess with her. And that’s really the only upside to all of this.

 

Casey also avoids her. She already left for school when Erika gets in the kitchen for breakfast, which is very fine by her. Like she wants to be seen going to school with her on their first day. That would totally ruin her rep. So that’s a good start to her day. Edwin hands her her favorite brand of cereal on cue, and Nora, like the nice step-mom that she is, offers eggs that she just cooked. Well who is she to refuse food?

 

“Hell yeah”, she says as she grabs the pan and quickly swallows a mouthful of eggs.

 


 

“Erika is considered cool? By who?” she asks her new locker mate Emily, who is helping her gather the books she dropped to the ground. That’s really just what Casey needs, Erika being the bane of her existence at home and at school.

 

“Uh, everybody. Although I really have no idea what people see in her”, Emily replies, “she’s like, a total slut”.

 

Casey looks over her shoulder to watch Erika walk by, with her fake messy hair and perfect make up and leather jacket, smiling and nodding at people while pointedly not acknowledging her and Emily.

 

“She’s my next door neighbour,” the brunette continues on, “we used to be friends but she stopped talking to me when boys started noticing her. They noticed her chest, sure.”

 

“Figures she’d ignore me,” Casey mumbles more to herself, not really listening to what Emily is saying.

 

“Don’t take it personally, she’s a bitch to every girl in school. She hasn’t said a word to me in three years.”

 

“No, I am your neighbour too. Erika is my step-sister.”

 

“You’re Erika’s new step-sister? You are so lucky!”

 

“Lucky? You haven’t actually been singing her praise in the last five minutes we’ve been talking,” Casey raises an eyebrow, confused.

 

“Well her best friend Sam spends like all his time there, and he is a total hottie.”

 

“Sam? Haven’t met him,” she shuts the door to her locker on her fingers and gasps in pain. This day is starting out just perfectly.

 

At least her meeting with the school guidance counselor goes well. She was reticent to go, but Paul is really helping her put things into perspective. “Maybe you need to take control of the space situation in some small way,” he'd suggested.  Small like her and lizzie’s room? Small isn’t her style at all. But he really is onto something. It’s obvious that George’s kids, and one of them in particular, don’t want her and Lizzie there and they will do anything to confine them to as little space as possible. Well, she can stand up for herself and take what is rightfully hers. She has made enough sacrifices already, she deserves a room for herself.

 

“What I want is your room.”

 

She has to admit, it’s kind of satisfying to see that smug smile off her face. Even if it’s only for a second before it comes back and it’s just as annoying as it was before. Because Erika’s just so confident that she will get what she wants, like the total brat that she is. And the worst part is that George lets her get away with it and Casey’s left with one “we’ll think about it.” Again. So Erika does get what she wants. Again. And it’s just so frustrating!

 


 

“Hey, Ed,” she says.

 

He stops in his tracks and winces. He thought he could get across the hall without her noticing him. What does she want to make him do again?

 

“Yes, Erika?” he answers carefully.

 

“I’ve got a message for the princess. Go read it to her?” she says, holding out a folded sheet of paper towards him, a stern look on her face. “I’ll give you five bucks.”

 

Well that’s new. She doesn’t offer money. She usually just demands things and he’s too scared of her to refuse. He relaxes a little but stays on his guard.

 

“You’re paying me to do something for you?” he asks, slowly taking the paper from her hands.

 

“Yeah, we’re a team now. You do something for me, I do something for you,” her face softens a little but she crosses her arms. “You going?”

 

“Yes, Erika!” he smiles and walks excitedly to Casey’s room. They’re a team? That’s awesome. It’s like he’s been upgraded and she finally notices that his work is worth something. He won’t let her down.

 

Casey invites him in after he’s knocked (there’s one thing living with an older sister has made clear: never enter a girl’s room without permission) and he clears his throat before opening the paper and reading.

 

“To whom it may concern, and that is you, princess.” He pauses long enough for Casey to roll her eyes, as per the instructions on the paper. “Take notice that Erika’s room is currently occupied and it would be a terrible mistake on your part to try and take it from her.”

 

“Is she threatening me?”

 

“I don’t see any mention of a threat in this note,” looks cluelessly at the paper trying to find the word threat. Nope, no threat.

 

Casey rolls her eyes again and gets up before brushing past him to get out of her room.

 


 

Erika’s eavesdropping at her door when she opens it to go and confront her and that’s really just the last straw.

 

“Eavesdropping? Forcing your little brother to threaten me? What is wrong with you?” she yells.

 

“I’m paying him, I will let you know.”

 

Casey scoffs. Like that makes it any better. “You know, we could settle this like mature people if you weren’t so set on keeping everything for yourself.”

 

“Says the girl who wants to take my room,” Erika says, unimpressed.

 

“You must really be worried I’m going to get what I want,” she tries with little force behind it. What is it with this girl that makes her lose her edge? Casey’s confident; she’s always been able to get what she wanted. It’s just unfair that she has to work so hard for it when Erika doesn’t even have to try.

 

“Please, I’ve got home house advantage. And in my house, I always get what I want.” She says it with a dark glint to her eye that makes Casey shiver slightly. She’d take a step back if it didn’t mean showing weakness and she can’t afford that right now.

 

“You are so conceited!”

 

Erika shrugs and turns around, saying over her shoulder, “Tell me something I don’t know.”

 


 

Casey’s not avoiding her today. Not physically anyway, since she’s in the kitchen with everyone else, but she won’t look at her. And that’s perfectly fine because she has her own business to get to.  There’s a figurine of Yoda somewhere at the bottom of that box of cereal and she must get it. Unless Edwin got to it first. She will have to investigate.

 

George and Nora enter the kitchen with an announcement. Casey can’t have Erika’s room. No surprise there but the disappointment on Casey’s face is still worth her time. They offer her the basement and really, she’d feel bad for her if it wasn’t just hilarious to watch her expression turn to disgust. She laughs and is about to make some snide comment when George shuts her down. She sighs but stays silent. Fine, she can sit that one out.

 

“Casey, give it a chance, George tells me he’s quite the renovator,” Nora pleads.

 

Erika and Edwin snort.

 

“Yeah, he built a whole house once!” Edwin says.

 

“You mean that dollhouse he built me when I was ten?” Erika laughs.

 

“What was wrong with that house?” George cuts in. “You loved it, you played with it for years.”

 

“Oh yeah, totally did.” She still has that house. Well Marti does, hidden somewhere in her closet and falling apart. It’s not falling apart because of time, it was that way when she got it. What George doesn’t know is Erika and Edwin used it to hide the loose change they swiped from his desk.

 

“Erika played with dolls?” Casey asks sarcastically. “And I thought you’d been an evil mastermind since diapers.”

 

“Oh, I did plan world domination with my dolls.”

 

“She did,” Edwin confirms with a nod.

 

“Anyway,” Nora cut in, “why don’t you wait and see what we do?”

 

“What can I say… okay.”

 

She looks up, surprised. Casey conceded. Without a fight. She definitely wasn’t expecting that. She obviously doesn’t want the room in the basement. Why would she accept just because her mom asked? That’s just weak. Well now she doesn’t have to worry she’ll want to take her room anyway, so basically it’s another win for her.

 

When she gets to the kitchen in the evening, Casey’s sitting at the island, doing something boring, like homework, probably. Except it’s not homework at all. She’s putting together a plan of her room and it actually looks… kinda cool. She’s planning to get a pool table. And a sound system. Why didn’t she think of that? The basement is huge, she could totally turn it into her own tiny apartment. A frikkin’ mini-fridge! So now, not only does Casey want the basement, but she’ll be getting the coolest room in the house? No way!

 


 

She is gloating in bed, because her plan to make Erika think she actually wanted the basement totally worked, when she hears the girl in question get out of her room. She follows her discreetly down the stairs as she heads downstairs to check out Casey’s room. Yeah, her plan was genius. She gets behind her.

 

“What are you doing?” she asks in a hushed tone so she won’t wake up anyone. It is the middle of the night after all. And the fact that she stayed up well beyond her bedtime just to catch Erika in the act doesn’t say anything about her.

 

Erika jumps and covers her mouth with her hand to stifle her gasp. She turns around. “I’m… sleepwalking. Are you crazy? I almost died.”

 

Casey rolls her eyes. “You’ll get over it. You weren’t going to check out the basement, by any chance?”

 

“Who cares about the basement?” Erika replies, eying her up and down with a raised eyebrow.

 

She shifts a little, suddenly aware of how ridiculous she looks in her bright pink pyjamas, when Erika’s rocking a bed head in her band t-shirt and short shorts. She stands her ground. “Um, perhaps you.”

 

“Perhaps not.”

 

“Good, because that basement is going to be mine.”

 

Erika narrows her eyes and she swears in the dim light her gaze is even darker… and threatening. “Don’t you know you’re not supposed to annoy a sleepwalker?” she says before bumping into her and heading up the stairs.

 

She huffs to cover up the smirk growing on her face. Oh, she can play this girl like a puppet.

 


 

Casey’s room, actually does look cool. For a basement. Okay, so it’s really not that great, but if Casey wants it, she must be hiding something from her and she won’t wait to find out what it is.

 

“You know, Casey,” she says, sugarcoating the whole thing, just for effect, “I was thinking I’d make you a favor and take the basement, since you don’t want it. And you could have my room instead.”

 

Casey smiles sweetly. She frowns. Now that’s not the reaction she expected. Again.

 

“Okay. Then I’ll take your room.”

 

“Just like that? Without a fight?”

 

“Well it’s just so nice of you to offer,” Casey smirks.

 

She narrows her eyes. She’s been played. There shouldn’t be a girl, or anyone for that matter, able to get the upper hand over her. She realizes that she underestimated Casey even though she’s always known not to underestimate the enemy. 

Chapter Text

“So. Casey. Are you going to introduce us?”

 

“No, Sam. You can’t date my new sister,” Erika whines.

 

“She’s your sister now? I thought you said… Accident by marriage?” Sam stops in front of the boys’ locker room and turns to her, frowning.

 

“You still can’t date her,” she states as she leans her back against the wall beside the girls’ locker room door.

 

“Okay, I don’t want to sound like I’m fighting you on this, because I never said anything about wanting to date her. But still. Why not?”

 

“Because!” She almost yells, arms flying in the air, making her bag fall from her shoulder. She catches it with the crook of her elbow.

 

Sam lifts an eyebrow, unconvinced. Her shoulders slump. It should be obvious!

 

“It’s… icky,” she shudders at the thought of her best friend dating… Casey. Even he has better taste than that (and she’s always doubted his judgment when it comes to girls.)

 

Sam shrugs. “I don’t think she’s icky.”

 

Erika groans and turns away from Sam, pushes the door to the empty locker room and leaves her best friend behind. She stomps to the bench and throws her bag on it. It’s really not that complicated to understand! Casey may not technically be her sister but, at least in their parents’ twisted minds, she counts as family. So really, it’s almost on the same level as Sam dating Marti. Or Edwin. It’s just wrong.

 

She can hear the guys laughing and joking around from the other room when Sam opens the door, and she turns her head towards the noise, as though she could see through the two layers of thick brick wall. The voices die down almost instantly as the door shuts behind him.

 

Sometimes she catches herself wondering what it would be like to share that room, the excitement, the afterglow of a winning game, with her teammates. She thinks it must be such a high. 

 

She knows about locker room talk. The way she sees it, it’s where the guys bond. It’s the only place where the whole team is together without a coach to boss them around or an audience to impress. It’s just them. 

 

And then there’s her.

 

She sighs and sits down, straddling the bench, to start taking her things out of her bag. She doesn’t really mind having her own locker room. She’s been doing this for two years now. She’s gotten used to it. And she never really gave it that much thought as something worth thinking about. But this year is different. This year, she is Captain. 

 

She takes her jersey out of her bag and holds it up, smiling at the embroidered “C” on the left shoulder. She’s proud of it. She’s earned it. She works hard to hide it, but she’s also worked hard to get the position. This has been her goal when joining the team. Actually, ever since she held a hockey stick for the first time, she’s known that she would do whatever it takes to be the best, even if it means practicing twice as hard and twice as long as the other guys. Only Sam knows that she often ends up completely exhausted and bruised after practice (another perk of having her own locker room – it gives her the opportunity to hide her bruises before and after getting on the ice. And nobody will ever know.)

 

But today… she almost wants to show off her bruises. Show the team how hard she’s been working so there will be no doubt that she deserves the title of Captain.

 

Of course, none of the guys would second-guess the coach’s decision and most of them like her. They all know how well she plays. She’s kind of a legend. The girl on the team.

 

The only girl on the team.

 

So let’s just say that coming out of the girls’ locker room to meet her team for practice makes her feel like she’s screaming “I’m a girl!” and emphasizes that she isn’t exactly one of them.

 

No matter how much she wants to be.

 

She shakes her head and chuckles lightly to herself. What’s with the depressing thoughts? She puts her jersey down and starts taking off her shoes. She sounds like a drama queen, even to herself. Soon she’s going to want a heart to heart with the team and talk about her ffff-… Ha! Yeah, right. She doesn’t have those.

 

And she doesn’t have anything to prove to anyone.

Chapter Text

They were here because Vicki’s friend knew the band, and she said they were good - also apparently the lead singer was attractive. Casey was interested because of the former, Vicki the latter.

 

That was okay, somehow their opposite personalities actually made them good roommates. Casey brought order and Vicki brought the fun. Not that Casey didn’t know how to have fun, because she totally did!

 

She just didn’t have much time for it. It was hard after long horrendous days at the firm to find any energy for anything. She usually ran herself a hot bubble bath, lit up with candles, and spent an hour or two with a book before bed. Those were good nights for Casey. She liked her routine.

 

Some Fridays she got to her apartment without her keys and found herself locked out. The first time, she had panicked, ended up waiting with Vicki at the bar on the corner of the street for the locksmith to come take a look at their door. That happened a couple of times until Casey realized that it was all a scheme to get her out of the apartment. She had complained at length, but eventually admitted that it was nice to have a girls night out, so she started agreeing more often - she got to keep her keys this time.

 

So they got drunk on daiquiris and danced with strangers who paid for their drinks - Vicki and her friend. Casey stayed at their table, shifting awkwardly in her stool while sipping slowly on her glass of red wine. It was nice, but she couldn’t wait for the band. Vicki had made her listen to their demo album, and she’d loved it. Apparently they were a group of college dropouts trying to make it in the music industry. It seemed like an irresponsible thing to do, as far as Casey was concerned, but it was such a rock’n’roll concept that she couldn’t help but be fascinated by it.

 

Everyone she knew said she was uptight, and that she would never bend the rules in a million years (she completely disagreed, she might bend the rules in a hundred). She did struggle with most people’s concept of fun, like getting drunk and acting irresponsible were supposed to be cool and she just wasn’t getting it.

 

When the dance music stopped and the lights lit up on the stage, she looked up. That was when she saw him, stepping up to the mic with his guitar, a smug grin in place as the crowd of the bar clapped and shouted for his attention.

 

“Are you guys clapping for me or is there an open bar I’m not aware of?” He asked as the rest of the band set up around the stage. The crowd laughed. Someone grabbed his attention from the left side of the stage and handed him a beer. He chugged it theatrically, and heaved a deep breath when he was done. “Now we’re talking.”

 

As the band started playing, the singer placed his hand over his eyes to cover them from the spotlight as he looked over the crowd. “This one’s for…” he scanned the room, and his eyes stopped on her. “You, there,” he said with a charming smile, showing off perfect teeth, “brown hair, blue eyes. This song is called ‘Girl of my dreams’.”

 

She rolled her eyes at the guy’s obvious display of showmanship, but her face was also burning up, and as she watched him start strumming his guitar, and he sang the first lines of the song, she couldn’t look away.

 

His hair was a careful mess falling over his forehead, his light stubble shadowed his jaw, and his jeans were torn up. He was radiating with energy, grabbing everyone’s attention around the room. He was amazing to look at, enticing - wild.

 

He caught her gaze a few times. Every time, he looked down at his guitar with practiced shyness, and he played it up so well that she thought she could almost see a blush on his cheeks. He was unbelievable. No wonder all the girls at the front were fawning like he was some hot heartthrob.

 

When their set was over, the band gathered around the bar for drinks, and Casey’s feet led her straight to them before she even realized what she was doing. She was able to squeeze her way next to him, and he turned towards her the second he felt her approach. “Blue eyes,” he greeted her with a smile.

 

“My name’s Casey,” she said a little haughtily, she still had standards. “You guys were great.”

 

“Why, thank you, Casey,” his smile turned smug, “let me buy you a drink?”

 

“Shouldn’t I offer you a drink?”

 

He leaned closer like he was telling her a secret, “Now that wouldn’t be gentlemanly of me to let you do that.”

 

“Okay then,” she said with a coy smile as she took the stool next to him. “Won’t you at least tell me your name?”

 

“I’ll tell you anything you want to know,” he signaled the bartender, “I’m Derek.”

 

“Hi, Derek,” she said, holding out her hand. He looked at it skeptically, but slowly shook it as he maintained eye contact. His hand was strong and warm in hers.

 

“I don’t think I’ve seen you around before,” he said after releasing her hand, taking a swig of his beer before he continued. “I would have remembered.”

 

She hoped the burning in her cheeks wasn’t too obvious. In the tame light, it probably wasn’t. “That’s some great lines you got,” she teased, hiding her shy smile into her newly received drink.

 

He chuckled, “Will you believe I even write them myself?”

 

She couldn’t help but snort, rolling her eyes. “I believe it, but you don’t strike me as the corny kinda guy.”

 

“Eh,” he hesitated bashfully, “I go with what works.” His gaze lowered down, looking her over and taking in her outfit. Thank god she wasn’t wearing her pantsuit. “You don’t strike me as a groupie kinda girl.”

 

“I am no groupie,” she scoffed, “just thought I would give you a chance to follow through.”

 

“You got me,” his voice lowered to a seductive rumble, “I’m definitely a follow through kinda guy.”

 

“Thought so.”

 

He observed her silently as he downed his drink, and she watched him watch her from the corner of her eye, unsubtle on purpose. He had such an attitude.

 

She didn’t know exactly what attracted her to him. He was nowhere near her usual type, never the kind of guy she would approach normally or ever settle with. But there was something about him - something that made her break character, approach him in a bar and flirt shamelessly. She never flirted, at least not until the second or third date. Even then.

 

“So you think you got me all sized up, don’t you?” Derek questioned, obviously challenging her assessment of him.

 

“I think so, yes,” she answered, leaning her elbow over the bar and resting her head in her hand pseudo-casually. She gave him a slow once over like he’d just given her, coming back up to find a lazy smirk on his face. So he wasn’t easily intimidated. That was a change, most guys seemed intimidated by her, didn’t like how assertive she could be. Derek, on the other hand, seemed curious. “You think you are the center of the universe, probably act all sure of yourself to cover for some deep insecurities and…” she lingered on the state of his clothing, “probably got mommy issues.”

 

An eyebrow quirked up, he leaned forward, crossing his arms over the hard surface of the bar. Their elbows touched. “Are you a shrink or something?”

 

Ha. She was spot on, then.

 

“Mm-mm,” she denied, shaking her head. “Guess again.”

 

That piqued his interest - so he liked being challenged too. He squinted at her, a little more intensely than necessary, he’d probably had a fair amount of drinks. “Some kind of counselor?” He guessed again.

 

“Nope.”

 

“Gimme a hint.”

 

“No hint.”

 

“A cop?”

 

“Do I look like a cop to you?”

 

“I’m honestly not sure what I’m looking at.”

 

“Flattering,” she uttered sarcastically.

 

He laughed good-naturedly, the stretch of his smile causing cute dimples on his cheeks, “I meant I have no clue who you are, what you do, or even what you’re doing with a guy like me.”

 

“A guy like you, huh? Trying to act bashful?”

 

“Not at all,” he said seriously, “you’re completely right about me, I’m deeply damaged goods. You… you seem together. I bet you do something respectable for a living.”

 

“I’m a lawyer.”

 

He snorted disbelievingly, “Ha. Then I reiterate. What the hell is a girl like you doing in a place like this?”

 

“Maybe I have a wild side.”

 

“Yeah? How wild?”

 

“You’ll have to find that out for yourself.”

 

He snickered, clearly entertained and leaned even closer, “I can think of a few ways to get it out of you, except none of them are gentlemanly at all.”

 

“Like what?” She asked breathily.

 

He bit his bottom lip, “I’m more of a show, don’t tell kinda guy.”

 

“Are you trying to pick me up?”

 

“Uh, yeah,” he said, as if he was saying obviously, he raised his eyebrows questioningly, “is that a problem?”

 

She made a show of considering it, when really her mind was all made up already. She just liked the way he was watching her with bated breath. “No,” she finally decided, shrugging like she was doing this all the time, “it isn’t.”

 

A satisfied smile grew on his face, but she didn’t get to find out what he was going to say next, because someone fell into her clumsily, making her spill her drink on her blouse.

 

“Ca-sey!” Vicki whined, wrapping her arms around Casey’s neck, “where have you been?”

 

“Right here, Vick,” Casey answered tightly, eyes darting between Derek, looking like he was trying really hard not to laugh, and her cousin who had probably ruined her chance of getting laid by a sexy singer slash guitar player tonight. No biggie. “Are… you okay?”

 

“Yuuuuup,” Vicki slurred, popping her ‘p’ annoyingly into her ear. Casey was going to have to walk Vicki home tonight, she just knew it. She couldn’t just leave her behind in her condition, after all. “I think I’m,” Vicki hiccuped, “ready to go home now.”

 

“Yeah, we’ll go,” Casey sighed, nodding with resignation. She looked back at Derek apologetically. “Sorry. She’s my cousin. I gotta walk her home.”

 

Vicki seemed to notice Derek next to them for the first time. “Holy mother - Case!” she exclaimed, “did I interru-rupt something?”

 

“Um,” Casey hesitated, not sure if she should say yes and make Vicki feel bad, or say no and make it sound like she was brushing Derek off.

 

“Nah,” Derek cut in nonchalantly, “nothing we can’t finish up later, anyway.”

 

Looking at him somewhat gratefully, because he saved her from hurting her cousin’s feelings and managed to reassure her that he was willing to pick up where they left off.

 

“I have a car,” Derek offered, “I can drive you guys home.”

 

“I don’t think so,” Casey scoffed, “you can’t drive in your condition. You probably had the equivalent of a small lake in alcohol just in the last five minutes.”

 

He rolled his eyes but didn’t drop his smile, fishing his keys out of his pockets. “Fine,” he said, throwing the keys at her, “you can drive.”

 

“You want me to drive your car?” She asked, astonished. She was basically a complete stranger, and he was going to let her drive his car?

 

“Well,” he said languidly, “as long as you can get me home after dropping off your cousin, I don’t see a problem.”

 

Oh. So he was serious about picking her up. He wanted to take her home. She felt a real thrill run down her spine. A one night stand with a perfect stranger would definitely fall on the wild side for her, but she felt compelled to go with it. She wasn’t bland and boring. She could live dangerously!

 

Looking at the keys caught between her hands, she licked her lips. She had to do this. “Okay, then,” she said confidently, all nerves and false bravado, “let’s go.”

 

The second she set her eyes on his car, old and falling apart, she was perplexed. He noticed, and said, “I’m a struggling musician, what did you expect?”

 

They dropped Vicki at their apartment, Derek even helping Casey take her up in her room. The drive to his place was electrifying. She felt his gaze on her the whole time as he gave her directions, though she was unsure if he was just checking her out or trying to figure her out.

 

His apartment had a similar vibe to his car, without the falling apart (barely). It was kind of rundown, messy, and… did she say messy? The first she saw of his dirty dishes in the kitchen, she wanted to wash them just on principle. At least there wasn’t any smell, mold or leftover food lying around. She almost tripped over a pile of dirty clothes on the floor.

 

Oh god, she was being seduced by a slacker.

 

He laughed when he noticed her reaction. “Welcome to my humble home.”

 

“This place is a mess,” she said, unable to keep the judgment out of her voice.

 

“Yeah,” he chuckled, “is that… going to be a problem?”

 

“No,” she answered quickly. He was still hot. He was probably going to rock her world. Also, she was a bit overdue - she couldn’t even remember the last time she had sex. “No, we’re good.”

 

“You sure?” He asked, suddenly closer and getting in front of her as she leaned against the doorway to his bedroom, looking around. The beer on his breath drifted to her nose, along with a strong cologne smell mixed with sweat. It was a surprisingly pleasant mix, and she didn’t mind getting more of it.

 

She looked down at his mouth, full and inviting, and from which came out such pretty sounds, yet such hair-pulling arrogance. She felt as much an urge to kiss him as to hit him, but the first one seemed more fun.

 

“I am,” Casey said quietly, nodding while her eyes stayed glued to his lips as he got closer.

 

Cradling her face with his hands, he lowered his until she felt the warmth of his breath on her skin. He stopped just short of her mouth. “Just so we’re on the same page…” he murmured, “what do you think this is?”

 

Her nervous heart faltered. “I-I don’t know,” she answered honestly. From the reason she’d been compelled to meet him, to flirting with him, to following him home, she had no clue. “Is there something I should expect? O-or shouldn’t?”

 

His eyes searched hers, they were such a deep dark brown that stole all the light around it for itself and sparkled with life and mischievous temper. “It will be whatever you want it to be.”

 

That was when she knew. He was going to be trouble.

 

Yet she still jumped into it, head first.

 

“Right now,” she challenged breathily, “I just want your mouth on me. Can you do that?”

 

If she wasn’t imagining it, she saw delight cross his face just before he answered her request and kissed her (finally!). She melted right away, sighing against his soft lips pressing on hers deliciously. Catching her waist so her knees didn’t buckle, he pulled her up to him, holding her firmly against his chest.

 

It was a toe curling kiss, the kind that left her breathless and made her forget her own name. It was clear that he knew what he was doing, with the way his tongue explored her mouth expertly, and his warm hands trailed down her body.

 

Grabbing the back of her thighs, he lifted her up, pushed her back into the bedroom door until he was pressed up against her so tightly she could feel every form and shape of his body, and one in particular which was poking right into her most sensitive parts. He was so hot , and he was into her, which really just turned her on even more.

 

Guys like him were never into her. They stayed away from her, like they could smell her “crazed, high maintenance personality” - as Vicki called it. Maybe she was a bit high maintenance. But she liked to think that it meant she knew what she wanted. She was goal oriented, if nothing else.

 

She didn’t know she wanted this, though.

 

The frantic, sloppy kissing, like she was his oxygen and he couldn’t get enough of her. The harsh press of his fingertips into her skin, the deliberate and persistent movements of his hips against hers, seeking out to obliterate any kind of empty space between them. He wasn’t quite rough, but just assertive enough to entice her into letting him take the lead so he could guide her to new secret places.

 

Casey was never not in control, everything had to be planned and thought out. This time, she gave it all up, stopped all logical thought and surrendered to the multitude of new sensations wreaked on her body. Derek kissed her like a man starved, lowered his mouth to her neck, sinking his teeth into the column of her throat, making her gasp and clamp her legs around him. He devoured her, as if his need for her was vital and she was the most irresistible meal.

 

She was being undone, layer by layer, like the buttons of her blouse, one by one, as he kissed and sucked on her newly exposed skin, the tops of her breasts, until he couldn’t reach any lower without kneeling down. She planted her feet solidly to the ground, shivering against the tickling of his fingertips down her sides as he lowered himself, on his knees, in front of her. His eyes were dark, filled with desire as they glided over her, his greedy hands resting against her thighs slid up her skirt, bunching it up to her waist as they went, until they reached the hem of her panties, pulling them down slowly, reverently. He dropped a gentle kiss on the inside of her thigh.

 

Her legs were shaking with how much she wanted him; she wanted him to touch her, and kiss her - where she was wet, and take her. That urgent need burned under her skin, like she was about to combust.

 

“Touch me,” Casey pleaded quietly, quivering when he did just that, pushing his face between her legs and pressing his lips against her center. He let his tongue slide longingly over her, little jolts of electricity following along while he circled her clit, making her whimper in pleasure.

 

Seemingly pleased by her reaction to him, Derek growled into her core as he pressed harder, deeper. He used the sound like a weapon against her, rendering her useless. Her knees buckled, and he caught her backside to hold her up against his face, her own fingers grasping desperately for his hair.

 

She could hear the squelching noises caused by the combination of him lapping at her messily and how wet she was against his mouth. It was indecent. It was so fucking hot.

 

As she threatened to fall, her hands left his head to flail around for something to hold on to, finding the doorknob. He quickly picked up her leg and draped it over his shoulder to stabilize her. God, how was he so good with his mouth? He licked over and suckled at all those perfect sensitive spots with just the right amount of pressure, and it was maddening. She heard her own breath hitching and her own cries growing louder as he brought her closer to ecstasy.

 

Seeking more, she rolled her hips in rhythm with each lap of his tongue, until that bubbling ball at the pit of her stomach exploded. “F-fuck!” Casey moaned wantonly, her free hand slapping over her mouth to mutter her screaming. It was embarrassing how loud she would get sometimes. But she didn’t get to care much in the moment, because Derek didn’t let up, he kept going at her clit and sparking that fire in her loins until she was trembling and spent. “Oh my g…”

 

He pulled away with a satisfied grin, licking her juices off his lips. She watched as his tongue darted at the corner of his mouth through heavy lids, entranced by his sweet, mischievous features. Letting go of her leg, he pushed himself up languidly and wrapped a strong arm around her waist, the tips of his fingers digging under the hem of the skirt at her hip. His other hand coming up to cup her cheek, letting his thumb brush over her bottom lip, as she held onto his shoulders, her knees still weak from that delicious orgasm he gave her.

 

“Where you been hiding, huh?” Derek asked softly, his breath ghosting over her cheek. The absolute wonder she saw in his eyes mystified her. No one had ever looked at her like that. But it was alluring, pulling her right back in and urging her to grab his head and kiss him again. She tasted herself on his lips, a slightly bitter taste that mixed perfectly with the remnants of beer on his breath and the taste of him. “C’mere.”

 

Turning, he walked her to the bed, his mouth never leaving hers. As she fell on the mattress, he latched on her neck once again, while pulling her blouse down her arms and off of her. 

 

“I don’t usually do this,” Casey uttered breathlessly in his ear. She didn’t know why she felt the urge to say it, but there it was.

 

Derek chuckled at her admission as he got rid of her skirt, then braced himself on top of her, one hand on each side of her head. “Tell me,” he goaded playfully, “what’s different this time?”

 

“I-“ she hesitated, still in the dark as to where the temptation came from. Why tonight? Why this time? Why him? Because it was on account of him, she couldn’t deny it, his magnetism, the raw energy he emanated. “I saw you.”

 

His smile softened, and he nodded in agreement, leaning down to brush his lips over hers lightly. “That you did.”

 

What was it about Derek that made him so addicting, that made her want his kisses to last forever?

 

Her palms pushed under his shirt to roam over the expanse of his back, feeling the muscles there moving under her touch as he let his own hands roam over her. He still had his shirt and his pants on, while all she had left was her bra, and she felt that the situation was truly unfair. His skin was so warm under her palms, she wondered what it would feel like pressed against her. 

 

Eagerly, she tugged on the hem of his shirt and he let her pull it over his head, revealing the small tattoo on the underside of his arm. Then she brought him back down on top of her, pressed her chest up against his to relish his warmth.

 

“What about you?” Casey asked, unsure exactly what she was referring to, but still wanting to hear his voice.

 

“Oh, I saw you,” Derek rasped, the intensity of his tone leaving her breathless as he continued between kisses down her chest. “And I wanted you the second I set my eyes on you.”

Chapter Text

Mouth latching onto her neck, tongue hot against her skin, he pushed her on her back to crawl on top of her, pressing his weight down on her body. His erection squeezed between her thighs, and rubbed against her thin panties, allowing her to feel everything sharply. She moaned softly at the contact, all of her body parts becoming increasingly sensitive, especially between her legs.

 

His answering groan rumbled low down his throat, and he pressed harder, wrapping his hands under her thighs to pull her legs around his waist, as he sucked tantalizingly on her neck. There wasn’t a part of her body he didn’t cover with his, sharing his warmth seeping through his scorching skin.

 

She held firmly onto his shoulders, as she arched her back, pressing their chests together tightly. She wanted more, even as his hands roamed over every inch of her skin, as his mouth travelled up her throat, pressing hot kisses against her jaw, until he reached her mouth. More, when his lips were back on hers, kissing her heatedly, allowing his tongue to tangle with hers.

 

This was exactly what she’d been anticipating since she woke up, getting lost in his kiss, in his arms, feeling his need for her grow as quickly as her own need for him. She was all wrapped around him like a snake, squeezing tighter the more he moved, and she was moving with him, matching his breathing, every push of his hips, she rolled against him.

 

The pressure between her legs was unbearable, his hard cock pressing urgently against her soaking underwear. She was so turned on right now, she was growing needy, her pussy eager for attention. She was quickly forgetting where she was.

 

“Casey,” Derek breathed reverently, when their mouths detached for a brief moment. She gasped for air, forcing her eyes open to look at him, found him looking at her with a hungry gaze she could only guess was reflected in hers. She wanted him so much, wanted to feel him everywhere on her, inside her, right now.

 

Grabbing his face, she brought him down to smash their lips back together, kissing him earnestly, greedily, rolling her hips against his just so, and let her head fall back with a moan when the tip of his cock pressed deliciously against her clit. She did it again, grinding against him for more friction. Derek held himself up above her, meeting every roll of her hips, matching her rhythm, with a look of complete admiration on his face. She couldn’t take it anymore.

 

Pushing a hand between them, she reached for the hem of his boxers, inserting two fingers under the elastic so she could push them down. Unexpectedly, Derek stopped her with a hand around her wrist. He sighed, letting his forehead rest against hers.

 

“Case,” Derek panted, “I don’t have…”

 

“It’s fine,” Casey urged.

 

“No,” he shook his head, like she didn’t understand what he’d meant. “I don’t have condoms.”

 

“I know,” she said, once more reaching for his underwear.

 

“No, Casey, wait,” he said, taking hold of her hand again, pushing it down against the mattress. His lips brushed hers gently. “Let’s try it this way.”

 

He released her wrist slowly, and brought his hand to her stomach, caressing softly. She watched his hand heading down and slip under her panties, holding her breath. His fingers drifted down and pressed against her clit, and she grasped, eyes falling shut at the sudden jolt of electricity that followed his touch. She pushed against his hand as he kept going down, teasing all her tender spots.

 

“Do you like this?” Derek asked, his breath was warm against her cheek.

 

Casey swallowed hard, a whine escaping her lips when he brought his fingers back to her swollen clit, rubbing lazy circles around it. She nodded keenly, unable to find her voice.

 

Chuckling softly, he kissed her cheek, increasing the pressure of his fingers. He built her up steadily; Every time she tried to get more, he would stop, until she relaxed, then he would resume his torturously slow pace, bringing a new level of sensitivity with every stroke. It wasn’t surprising to find out that he liked tormenting her like this as much as he did with everything else.

 

“De-rek,” she huffed dejectedly, eager for more friction.

 

“What is it, Princess?”

 

She could feel his eyes on her, observing her face and probably keeping stock of all the embarrassing sounds she made.

 

“I want… more.”

 

“Well,” he started slowly, his voice a sweet whisper into her ear, “maybe I could be persuaded to give you what you want. If you ask nicely, hm?”

 

Oh, hell. He was going to make her beg.

 

“Derek…” she sighed, prying her eyes open. He was smiling smugly down at her, the jerk.

 

“Derek what?”

 

“Stop being a jerk.”

 

“Wow,” he paused, stopping his hand as well. “Here I thought I was doing something nice for you.”

 

Whining at the loss of his hand on her, she pouted. “Don’t stop.”

 

“You are such a spoiled princess,” he stated, shifting to sit back on his heels. She was about to protest when he grabbed her hips and she drew a sharp breath in surprise as he pulled her further down the bed towards him and caught onto the back of her thighs to push her legs back towards her chest. Then his mouth was on her and any further complaint completely dissolved.

 

Casey was a puddle within seconds, writhing against his face as he lavished his tongue on her pussy, licking and suckling generously until she moaned without restraint. God, it felt so good.

 

She really, really liked oral, and didn’t it just figure that Derek would be good at this. He had her quivering and squealing under him, panting desperately to catch her breath, and she just couldn’t care.

 

Every sharp stroke of his tongue sparked a new wave of toe curling pleasure into her stomach, coursing through her body, until she was glowing, vibrating.

 

“Nnnnggg-“ she cried incoherently as she was getting closer and closer to the edge, grasping thoughtlessly at his hair. “G-aaaaaaah, god.

 

He was relentless, intent on making her lose her mind, and flicked his flattened tongue over her clit ferociously, until that intense, burning need in her belly expanded, and exploded.

 

“De- aaahhhh,” she sobbed as she came, finally let go, with his name a whisper on her trembling lips. “Derek.”

 

When her cries became sharp pants and turned into quiet breaths, he released her legs, letting them fall limp beside him and kissed his way leisurely up her torso. He reached her collarbone and licked up the side of her neck, stopping to press a lingering kiss against her jaw.

 

“You’re welcome,” he said, the smug smile obvious in his tone.

 

A weak De-rek! was all she could muster in retaliation.

Chapter Text

Face hidden in the crook of her neck, short of breath. The sweet smell of her hair, soft brown locks tangled between his fingers. Beads of sweat trickled down his back.

 

The warmth of her embrace, still sheathed into her heat. She kept him tucked snuggly between her shuddering thighs, chest pressed against his, arms wrapped around his ribcage, holding him close and holding him together. His heart was beating a racket in his chest.

 

The feeling of utter completeness, all encompassing, overwhelming, after losing himself into her. He wasn’t anything but so fucking grateful, for the warmth, the kindness, the line traced by fingertips down his spine. Feeling so together, yet vulnerable, the frailty of his walls exposed and willing for her to exploit.

 

It swelled at the corners of his eyes, salt and water, leaked down his cheeks, dripped and seeped into her skin.

 

She held him tighter, but said nothing. A quiet sniffle. The shape of a smile against the side of his face.

 

I love you, her silence whispered.