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Kell’s free hand drifted up her bare arm to the nap of her neck. He tipped his head and rested his forehead against hers.

“You could just…” he whispered, “stay.”

“Or you could go,” she countered, “with me”

The words were a breath of fog against his lips, and Kell found himself leaning in to her warmth, her words.

“Lila,” he said, the name aching in his chest.

He wanted to kiss her.

But she kissed him first.

The last time – the only time – it had been nothing but a ghost of her lips against his, there and gone, a kiss stolen for luck.

This was different.

They crashed into each other as if propelled by gravity, and he didn’t know which of them was the object and which the earth, only that they were colliding. This kiss was Lila pressed into a single gesture. Her brazen pride and her stubborn resolve, her recklessness and her daring and her hunger for freedom. It was all those things, and it took Kell's breath away. Knocked the air from his lungs. Her mouth pressed hard against his, and her fingers wove through his hair as he sank down her spine, tangling in the intricate folds of her dress.

She forced him back against the railing, and he gasped, the shock of icy stone mixing with the heat of her body against him. He could feel her heart racing, feel the energy crackling through her, through him. They turned, caught up in another dance, and then he had her up against the frost-laced wall. Her breath hitched, and her nails dug into his skull. She sank her teeth into his bottom lip, drawing blood, and gave a wicked laugh, and still he kissed her. Not out of desperation or hope of for luck, but simply because he wanted to. Saints, he wanted to. He kissed her until the cold night fell away and his whole body sang with heat. He kissed her until the fire burned up the panic and the anger and the weight in his chest, until he could breathe again, and until they were both breathless.

And when they broke free, he could feel her smile on his lips.

“Going somewhere?” Kell whispered against her lips.

“Coming with me?” Lila whispered back.

Then she leaned forward, and they were kissing again, and her hands carefully slid under his jacket, her fingers a whisper that set his skin afire. Kell moaned into her kiss, and was rewarded as he felt Lila’s wicked smile against his lips.

Saints, he wanted her.

And, impossibly, she wanted him.

Kell slid his own hands lower, until is one swift motion, he scooped Lila up, and her legs twined around his waist, neither of them breaking the kiss as Kell stole back into the castle, slipping into hidden hallways as they slowly made their way to Kell’s rooms. By the time they got there, they were a gasping mess, having stopped more than once as Kell pressed Lila to the wall, pressing his lips to hers, nipping at her ear, her neck …

As Kell’s door shut behind them, Kell pressed Lila into the soft folds of his bed, kissing her deeply, slowly, as her hands wove themselves through his hair, tugging at the red locks.

Kell pulled back, grinning with unabashed pleasure at Lila’s flushed face beneath him, before leaning back down to press his lips to her jaw, his kisses continuing downward until they reached the base of her throat, where the neckline of her dress rested.

“Lila,” Kell murmured, his voice rough and full of lust as he voiced his unspoken question.

“Calla said you would know how to get the damned thing off,” Lila murmured back, and Kell laughed.

“Let me oblige you, then,” Kell replied, his hands reaching under Lila to undo the fasteners and buttons and clasps that Calla had done up only hours before. As he worked at the contraption, Lila’s own hands found the buttons on Kell’s shirt, deftly undoing them with all the practiced ease of a sailor.

She grinned wickedly as him as his shirt fell open, revealing his lean, muscled torso beneath. Then her hands began to trace lines on his chest, and Kell grit his teeth as he held back a groan, trying, and failing, to focus on the devilish contraption Calla had wrapped Lila up in. Lila’s fingers traced his scar, the twin to the one on Rhy’s chest, and Kell froze.

“Does it hurt?”

“No,” Kell ground out. Finally, the last of the clasps on Lila’s dress sprang free, and Kell was saved from any more talk of his scar, or of his brother, as he slipped the dress over Lila’s shoulders, leaning down to kiss them as he did so.

Lila shivered.

As Kell slipped Lila out of her dress, revelling in the sight of her, he let his fingers ghost across her skin, eliciting more shivers, and even the occasional whimper, from her, until at last the dress tumbled to the floor, leaving her –

“You wore pants under your dress?” Kell choked out, a laugh wracking his body as Lila glared up at him indignantly.

Lila growled and pulled his mouth back down against hers, kissing him fiercely, as though she could swallow his laughs. Finally, she pulled back.

“Would you like to show you how to get them off?” Lila growled, her hands snaking their way between their bodies until she reached the buttons on Kell’s own pants. Kell’s breath hitched, his mismatched eyes fixed on hers, as she slowly – Saints, she was going to take her time with this – undid his pants, her hands brushing against every sensitive bit of him as she did so. And then, at last, she slid his pants down, her hands brushing his backside…

Kell growled, and slid his own hands beneath them, deftly undoing the clasps of hers, lifting her up ever so slightly as he pulled them off her, removing the last barrier between them as his pressed her back down against the bed, their kisses faster, rougher, more intense now.

Kell’s hand found Lila’s breast, and she moaned as he toyed with it, his hands cold as he circled her peaked nipple. His mouth found her other breast, and Lila gasped as he sucked at it, her fingers digging into his scalp as she wrapped her legs around him.

“Kell,” Lila panted, pleading.

Kell grinned playfully at Lila as he moved his kisses lower still, evoking more moans from her as he kissed her abdomen, then her inner thighs. She was trembling beneath him, gasping for air as he planted kiss after kiss.

Lila cried out as Kell at last kissed between her legs, his tongue teasing that sensitive spot, sparking the flame already burning in her core to an inferno. Lila clung to his hair, to the sheets, as Kell teased her, and when his tongue pressed against her entrance – Lila cried out as her climax found her, tremors running through her body as Kell made his way back up to her mouth, his kisses peppering her tender body as she trembled beneath his hands.

“Lila,” Kell murmured into her neck. He knew she could feel him against her, hard and ready, but he didn’t want to force her any further until he knew for sure –

“Kell,” Lila rasped out, her breathing still ragged. Her hands, so deft, brushed up against him, and he knew it was no accident. Nothing Lila did was without purpose.

“Are you sure?”

Lila didn’t answer, merely ran her finger along the length of him, grinning roguishly as Kell jerked against her, his body crying out with wanting. She moved her hands again, and Kell moaned as her fingers worked against him, his hands intertwining with her hair as he moved to straddle her properly.

She guided him to her entrance, nothing but certainty on her face as she gazed up at him. As Kell pushed into her, slowly, he brought his mouth down on hers, kissing her deeply as he filled her, swallowing her moan.

They were two stars colliding, a cosmic dance, a story told across worlds, and Kell savored every second of it.

He moved against her carefully, revelling in the sheer pleasure he felt as he slid in and out of her. Kell peppered her with kisses, unable to keep from groaning as Lila’s hands explored his body, her nails digging into him as her own pleasure built, and her moans matched his.

Kell’s free hand teased Lila’s breast, pinching her nipple, while his mouth nipped at her ear and caressed her neck.

And finally, at long last, Lila shattered again, her cries pushing Kell’s over the edge as she writhed against him, her nails leaving long scratches on his back as they rode out their release, entangled in one another.

 

Afterwards, Kell lay with his head on Lila’s chest, their breathing still ragged, their bodies stained with sweat.

“Do you think they’ve noticed our absence at the party?” Lila murmured. Kell couldn’t help but shiver as she ran her fingers down his arm. The devil – she grinned at him, knowing exactly what her hands were doing to him.

“Rhy has most definitely noticed my absence,” Kell ground out, remembering, quite suddenly, the link between them. Saints above, he’d never hear the end of this.

Lila smirked.

She moved her hands, shifting so she could trail her nails up his thigh, dangerously close to his groin.

“In that case…”

She pushed Kell back down into the pillows and brought her mouth back to his, nipping at his lips as she pressed herself against him, knocking the air from his lungs for a second time that night.