***Part Seven***
Word Count: 4,242

Peter was gone. The only person still here that she knew was Angela, who was no doubt talking to Nathan about how the night went. So, there was nothing preventing Claire from going around to the other side of the house once Adam left. She was pretty sure Nathan was in for the rest of the night, which meant Taylor was, too.

She still had his key, but it was upstairs. And she wasn't sure he'd really intended for her to use it. It was something he'd done after they'd just had sex and while not experienced, Claire knew that guys tended to say and do stupid things after sex.

She had no idea how guys thought. Had just assumed that he didn't want more from her than sex. Of course, Adam could be dead wrong, but he'd been around for a while so she tended to believe he knew what he was talking about.

Either that or he was setting her up to look like an idiot, hoping it would push her to him sooner rather than later. She didn't think so, because she'd be mad if he did that and he wouldn’t want her mad. Not now anyway because she could disappear, ask Nathan or her dad to send her somewhere Adam could never find her.

(Not that he'd stop looking.)

He opened the door, if he was surprised to see her she couldn't tell. He'd changed out of the suit he'd had on earlier. She'd yet to see him wear a suit that didn't look very good on him and she wondered if they were his, if he'd had them before taking this job. He'd worked as a bouncer so she didn't suppose that called for many suits.

"You're healing," she said, taking an inventory of his face for the first time in about a week. Oh she had in the kitchen, but with Iona there she couldn't look as closely as she'd have liked.

"Yeah, coming along," he said.

"Good." Only then did she notice he was on his phone. At least he had it cradled in between his ear and shoulder so she presumed he was.

"You want you should come in?"

"You're not busy?"

He chuckled, opening the door wider and stepping aside. "Nah," he said, taking hold of the phone.

"I'll talk to you more later."

"Nah, just got company, let me know if it works out you can get here. We'll work around my schedule," he said as Claire came in, closing the door behind her. He eyed her curiously, taking in the fact she hadn't changed clothes more than likely. She wasn't even really sure why she was here. She had to admit, Adam had a point. What were the odds of her running into Taylor twice? It wasn't very likely.

"Yeah, tell her I say hello," he said, disconnecting the call then. He closed the phone, running the edge of it along his lip as he took her in. He was very thorough about it, too, taking his sweet time about checking her out.

"Nice dress," he said finally.


"Turn around," he said softly.


"Just do it," he said not so softly this time.

Confused, she did as he asked, jumping a little when she felt him right behind her once she had. He touched her then. Starting with each of her hands, he worked his way up each arm, over her shoulders, and to her back.

His mouth found the back of her neck and she shivered as he kissed her there. His hands slid down along the length of her spine, cupping her ass and then palming her hips. He pressed his body fully against hers then. His breath was warm against her neck as he brought her firmly against him. He kissed her ear then, licking the earlobe, causing her to groan.

"Is this some sort of game to you?"

"What?" she asked as his hands pulled her skirt up. Inch by inch he drew it up over her knees, along her thighs, and to the point it covered nothing below her waist.

"You leaving him, coming to me as if I don't know you were with him."

"I didn't."

"You did," he said. He slid a hand over her abdomen, lower to her panties, sliding inside of them before finding her clit.

"I'd invited him weeks ago."

"Invited him includes letting him have his hands all over you all night long?"

"It wasn't like that. He holds my hand, it's what he does."

He slid his finger lower, entering her with the tip and she gasped, letting her head fall back a little. He was mad, scaring her a little but holy cow was her body totally betraying her just then. She knew at first she wasn't ready for him, but the way he was touching her fixed that.

"What he does?" He nipped at her neck then, sucking to the point she knew if she was a normal girl she'd have a hickey. Yet another thing she'd have to explain to him when he looked and saw nothing there.

"Yeah," she said, not finding it in her to stop him from trying to leave one. The sensation was oddly arousing as was the fact he wanted to mark her.

She heard the sound of a belt and then a zipper, knew what he was going to do. Ready for it mentally was a little different than physically, though. She was wet but not as much as she could have been and he thrust into her without holding back. They both cried out at feeling the different perspectives of her body tearing to allow him entry.

"I think I get the better end of the deal."


"He gets to hold your hand, I get to fuck you."

"He doesn't. It's not like that," she murmured. "It helps settle curiosities about who I am to Nathan."

"Reporters and other politicians or contributors aren't around every time he touches you," he said, one hand going to her neck. He touched her there, not hard or violent but she was very aware of how strong he was and what he could probably do to her with his bare hands.

"He's just a toucher, Taylor. I swear."

"You don't stop him, though," he said, pulling out and thrusting into her again.

"Oh God." She was supposed to hold a coherent conversation like this? "No, I'm just used to it."

"I had to stand there all fucking night long, looking at you. Knowing I'd been with you, inside of you, and he's fawning all over you as if he has the right."

She closed her eyes. That described Adam very accurately. He thought he was entitled, had thought that from the moment she first met him. They'd come a long way from that day.

"I give you a key and I don't hear from you for a damned week. And then when I finally do, he's here and one of your father's staff is hovering around. What am I supposed to think about that?"

"I don't know," she said, not knowing the answer at all.

"And then you show up here. He kissed you good night, too, I bet."

She whimpered softly.

"Am I a last resort? He won't fuck you so you come to me?"


"Then what?"

"I told you, I'd invited him weeks ago and it wasn't as if you could sit next to me. You were working. Nathan's wife isn't around, rumors get started and spread like wildfires. Adam helps stop people from thinking I'm Nathan's mistress or something."

"Why not just tell them the truth?"

"He's afraid of the fallout, that it'll make him look bad."

His hand drifted away from her neck, lower to her breasts, cupping each one in turn. Lower still, over her stomach, between her legs to her clit. He stroked her there as his thrusts inside of her grew faster, deeper, and less controlled.

He pulled out suddenly, real suddenly. She gave a loud groan in protest until she figured out why. Figured it out by feeling the lower portion of her back suddenly get damp. He stood behind her like that, his cock resting against her. He took hold of one of her hands, lacing his fingers through it. He kissed her shoulder as he brought their joined hands down to her waist.

He went back to her neck with his mouth as he touched her. Her hand in his, under his, he used her own fingers to touch and stroke her body. She couldn't help but like it, though she supposed she maybe shouldn't. He slid a finger inside of her, taking one of hers along with, just as she came.

"Are you okay?" he whispered against her ear.

"Uh huh," she said in response.

"I didn't hurt you?"

"Seems we went through this before last time."

"You were in more control last time and I was not in such good control this time."

"I'll be fine."

"You sure?"

"Yes, Taylor. I won't break, believe me."

"All right," he said, placing her hand at the hem of her dress, which was currently midway up her back.


"Hold it like this," he said. "I'll get a cloth so you don't ruin your dress."

"You know," she added.

"What?" he asked already a few steps away from her.

"I could just take it off."


She turned to face him then. "I said I could just take it off."

"You want to?"

"Why not?"

"I was just not so nice with you, getting naked with me may not be foremost in your mind."

"Well, unzip it," she said. "And find out."

He did, helping her out of the dress. He stepped back as she turned to face him.

He was staring. Totally and completely staring and she didn't know what to do or say. She'd never been in this position before. Was she supposed to let him look? Try to cover up?

"What?" she asked.

"Is he gay?"

"I'm sorry? Is who what?"

"That Monroe guy."

"Uh no. I mean, I don't know that for a fact, but I'm pretty sure he's not. Why?"

"Can't imagine why anyone would be so close to you and not want to do more than hold your hand."

"I don't want to do anything more than let him hold my hand."

"Why not?"

"Do we really have to have this conversation while I'm standing here practically naked?"

He tossed her dress over a nearby chair and then reached down to slide his shirt up and off, handing it to her.


"I didn't think guys were so much on the talking," she said, drawing the shirt over her head. As she imagined before putting it on, she could swim in it.

"Yeah, normally I probably wouldn't be, but we live under the same roof, and I'd like not to be fired from this job for something stupid. Like pissing off an important friend of your father's by doing his girlfriend."

"I'm not his girlfriend. And I'm not doing anybody else."

"Do they know that?"

"Yes! In fact, if you must know, he's the one who encouraged me to come to you."

"How's that?"

"He said for exactly those reasons you just said, living under the same roof, working for Nathan, you were probably waiting for me to come to you again."


"Was he right?"

"About what?"

"Is that why you didn't talk to me or anything?"

"What am I supposed to do? I'm in the house, I'm there for Nathan, not much chance to make small talk with you."

"So, he was right?"

"I figured you were interested, yeah, you'd come find me. I really wasn't sure if I was just a distraction, revenge sex, or what?"

"Revenge sex? Do people really do that?"

He chuckled then. "Uh, yeah, if you're on the receiving end it can be pretty intensely good."

"And if you're the one it's being done because of?"

He shrugged. "Wouldn't know, never had it happen to me."


"No, no steady sweetheart since high school, remember?"

"Huh, but you've participated in it?"


"And you don't care that the girl probably hates herself in the morning? That she did something the guy may never forgive her for?"

"Not my concern, no. Not that I see them the next morning or ever again."


"Not those types of chicks, no. Like you, they never come back to where they found me."

"Oh," she said. "I'm sorry."

He shrugged. "I'm used to it."

He stepped toward her then, taking her into his arms. She gave a little screech at first until she realized he wanted to carry her.

"What are you doing?"

"Making up for being too rough on you."

"I told you…"

"I know what you said, doesn't mean I don't feel bad."

He set her on his bed and left for a minute, coming back with a cloth as he'd mentioned doing earlier. She'd expected it to be cold or cool, but it wasn't at all. The water he'd soaked it with was hot. Not scalding, but warm enough.

"I don't usually pull out like that, but I didn't have a rubber, you know?"

"Thank you," she whispered, turning onto her back when he'd finished.

He smirked. "I think it's me who should be thanking you, but you're welcome."

"So, that was because of the hand holding?"

"I guess I have more of my father in me than I like to admit."

"I don't get the impression you like that idea."

He shrugged, sitting on the bed by her legs. "It is what it is. You don't grow up like I did, seeing and doing the things I did and not have some of it rub off on you."

"I'm sorry."

He settled one of his hands on her thigh, pushing the T-shirt up. "Don't worry about it. I just don't want you to think I'd ever actually hurt you."

"Yet both times you've asked me if you did."

He moved then, turning onto his stomach and positioning himself between her legs.

"That was sex and you've caught me at a disadvantage both times. Last week I wasn't expecting you to be a virgin again and this week. I don't like the idea of being played in some sort of game you might have with Monroe. But I meant like hit you hurt you. And I'm going to make it up to you."

"Make what up to me?"

"Being too rough," he said.

"But you don't have," she said, stopping when she felt his tongue slide between her labia.

He chuckled a little, but didn't stop and she was certainly not of the mind to complain. She gripped the bedding with one hand, arching into him. She could totally get used to this if sex he thought was too rough for her resulted in this. She was pretty certain she had a couple of out of body experiences before he was done.

He worked his way up her body slowly, kissing her everywhere as he went. She cried out, grabbing onto his forearms when he took a nipple into his mouth.

"Hurt?" he asked, drawing away. He'd bitten her, but not that hard.

"No, just sensitive. It's okay."


"Yeah," she murmured as he went back to what he'd been doing.

And then he was on top of her completely, body pressed firmly over hers, and obviously very pleased to be there. He drew away for a minute, getting a condom she realized when she saw his hands tearing the packet open.

He didn't ask her to help with it like he did the other time. He probably didn't take as long as she would have still not knowing what exactly she was doing she'd be too careful. His mouth closed over hers as he slid inside of her.

He was slow and gentle and totally holding back. She liked it. No, loved it. Not to say the other way was bad, but this… as he moved his hips, pushing in and out of her in a manner that suggested he thought they might have all night.

Yeah, she could understand how people could say stupid things after this kind of sex, because she felt loved, protected, cherished, and wanted. Everything. He touched her everywhere with his hands, his mouth never strayed far from hers though. And she totally understood what Adam meant by his being willing to protect her because treating her so tenderly just now told her he'd never let someone hurt her on his watch.

"Why is it gone," he asked, a fingertip grazing the area on her neck he'd marked earlier.

"I heal," she whispered against his ear. "Remember?"


"Yeah," she said as he thrust a little harder into her, causing her to nip at his shoulder. "You on the other hand," she said, setting about doing the same to him.

He was evidently in no hurry to finish this time because they stayed like that for close to an hour, him inside of her, moving enough she knew he was there, experimenting with the fact that he couldn't reciprocate the damned fine hickey she'd given him.

She slid her legs around his calves when he pulled out and started to get up.

"You didn't finish."

"Wasn't about that."

"I don't mind."

"Yeah, I get that," he said, running a fingertip around one of her nipples. And then the other. "Just wanted to be in you."

"So, you can really just stop?"

"When I'm not having people leave me hard as a rock you mean?"

She blushed then and he gave a low chuckle.

"Yeah," he shrugged. "Why not? It's not like I didn't already come before. And, speaking of, I'm safe."

"Huh?" she asked.

"Earlier," he said, gesturing to the other room. "I didn't have a condom on me. I shouldn't have done that, but I'm safe."

"You are, huh? And I'm supposed to take your word for it?"

"Yeah, I always wear one."

"Except when you're jealous?"

"I guess so."

She ran a fingertip along his jaw, letting it fall to his neck and the mark there. She liked it. Never having reason to give one before tonight she wasn't sure how she'd feel about them, but she liked knowing he'd wake up tomorrow and see a reminder of being with her.

"He's like me."

"I'm sorry?"

"Adam. He's pushy because he's like me, heals. There's more to it then just that, but he's not my boyfriend. I'm not having sex with him. He kisses me goodnight, yes, but they're just kisses. He holds my hand because in addition to easing Nathan's mind about his reputation possibly getting ruined. Well, Adam's lived a long time never knowing there was someone else like him. He just likes touching me, to know I'm actually real."

"Can't be that long. He's not that old."

"That night at the club?"

"Yeah, I remember it quite vividly. Always have, even if I didn't recognize you at first."

"He'd just gotten done telling me about myself. Well, not that night but I had a wild couple of weeks there." She leaned up then, dislodging him from on top of her. She rested a hand against his chest now that he was lying on the bed. "I can't die. Or age. It goes with the healing thing. Someone drives a knife through my heart, as soon as the knife is pulled out of me I'll come back. Thirty years from now I'm going to look the same as I do right now."


"That means exactly what I'm saying it means, Taylor. Adam's much older than he looks, than he seems. He fought in the Civil War. The War of Independence. There are probably other wars and causes I just don't know about them."

"Get out of here."

"That's why I had sex with you that night. I was in the process of experimenting. Drugs, alcohol, and finally sex. I didn't want to believe him, that I'd live forever. That nothing can hurt me. I can't get sick, can't get diseases, so you're pretty safe with me."

He draped an arm over his face and she thought maybe she'd lost him. She'd said too much, but she didn't want him getting jealous of Adam every time they were around one another.

"So, why aren't you with him then? You're like him. He can't die, you can't die. I'd think you'd want that."

"Maybe one day, but he's had hundreds of years to live a life. He's been married, has had kids, and has lived lifetimes. I'm asking for at least one."

"So a guy marries you, knowing you're going to outlive him, and knowing who you're going to end up with eventually."

"I guess so," she said softly. "I said maybe, not definitely. I may not, you know? He claims my husband's going to die cursing my name because I'll look the same as I do now and he'll be old or dying of some terrible disease."

"And you're all right with that?"

"I have to be. I want to experience it. I want a life. I want to be Claire Bennet for a while, see who I am, find out what that means. I'm too young to settle into eternity."

"He going to stick around?"

"How do you mean?"

"You and me," he said. "Not saying we're going to get married, never really thought about doing that, but this isn't just sex to me. Figured that out when I wanted to beat the crap out of him for touching you tonight. So, is he always going to be around, flaunting that he has the rest of forever with you?"

"No, I don't think so. I doubt he'll go away forever, but he's not insensitive. And he wouldn't want me mad at him either, that wouldn't do him any good."

"And the kissing?"

"I think I can hold off kissing him anymore. Under one condition."

"What's that?"

"Well, I need to get them from somewhere."

He slid an arm around her waist, dragging her to him. He kissed her then, long and hard, lips parting, tongues meeting almost violently.

"I think I can handle that."

"You're not going to freak out. And you realize you can't go telling anyone about what I've told you."

"No really? Like anyone would believe me."

"Why do you believe me so easily?"


"Yes, please."

"My friend Matty. His wife is different, too."

"Different? As in how?"

"I, uh, well, see now it's me thinking you're not going to buy my story."

"Try me."

"She's a vampire slayer. You lived in California, right?"

"My parents do, yeah."

"Remember that town disappeared from the map a few years back. Sunnydale."

"Yeah, vaguely," she said. They weren't living in California when that happened, but she remembered hearing about it. It wasn't every day towns just disappeared.

"Yeah, she had something to do with that. Not sure what, I don't know the whole story, but she's like super strong and stuff. Works as a bodyguard. I gave her shit about that when I first met her because she's so little."


"You'll meet her probably here in a few days."

"I will?"

"That is if you want to. They're flying into town. Matty has something to talk to me about, wanted me to fly out there but I told him it wasn't feasible for me to do it this early in the job. That's why we were on the phone before."

"They're going to stay here?"

"Nah, with his pop I imagine, but they'll come here. He said something about Yankees tickets or something, figured I'd see if you wanted to go along."

"Like as in your date?"

"Yeah, like as in that."

"Hmm, I'm not sure."

"Why not?" he asked, sounding as if he was taking her seriously.

"I'm just teasing, sure I'd go. You going to tell him about me?"

"Not unless it comes up, which I can't imagine it would. Why?"

"You told me his wife's secret."

"Only to show you why I believed you. It's not like I run around telling everyone and Matty has no reason to know your secret unless someone tries to hurt you."

"Let's hope that doesn't happen."

"Exactly." He stood then, went into the bathroom, opening the door after a minute. "So, was thinking."


"You going to stay here tonight?"

"I hadn't thought about it, it's not like I have a long way to get back to my place in the morning. Why?"

"Want to get wet with me?"

"I thought I've already done that."

He shook his head with a laugh. "I meant in here. A shower. I'll wash your back."

"You already did that."

"I was thinking I'd have to again for the same reason as before."

"Oh," she said, standing from the bed and walking to him. "So, once isn't enough?"

"It would seem not."

"Hmm, liar."

"Not about the important stuff. And this isn't a bad thing to be caught in a lie about."

"Ah, yes, something about proving your virility or something."

"Yeah, that," he said, drawing his shirt off of her and tossing it to the floor. He was naked at the moment, which was just fine with her.

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