Author's Note: Thanks to the sweet people who have been leaving comments. I sincerely appreciate it.
Once the torch is lit, it casts long, bizarre shadows against the walls of the cavern. Elena watches them for a moment, growing increasingly anxious, and begins to step closer to Sully and Drake, who have the tattered map draped over the rotting coffin.
“Uh, guys…” she begins.
The men haven’t heard her, deep in conversation. Elena watches as the shadows grow large, sprout pointy, long ears, and rows and rows of teeth.
“Guys…we need to move…now!” Elena yells.
The men look up.
“Oh, crap,” Nate says.
He tosses the map to Sully, runs forward, and grabs Elena’s hand.
Here he was, thinking she would be a lightweight, and then Elena just about drinks him under the damn table. She’s giving him a close-mouthed, playful smile as she cradles the shot glass of tequila in her hand. She doesn’t protest when he licks her neck, pours the salt, and licks it off again while she giggles. He downs the shot and grimaces before eagerly going for the lime slice waiting in her hand.
It’s her turn. While she’s wincing after pouring the shot down her throat, he quickly places the lime between his lips. She kisses him, no hesitation.
What is it with her stealing my boxers? Nathan wonders.
They’re way too big for her, anyway. She takes them out of his drawer and has to fold them down three or four times around her waist. Not that he complains about that part, really, because he likes looking at her legs.
She’s wearing his boxers again this morning while she makes coffee.
“Mm…coffee,” he rumbles, his just-woke-up voice low, before giving her a swat on the rear.
“Morning,” she tells him. The boxers slip down a little more, and Nate decides he doesn’t really mind her thievery after all.
His ring—Drake’s ring—is gone. Sitting on the plane, Elena leaning against him, asleep, he is alone in his thoughts. His wedding ring feels natural on his hand, and he looks down at it. A large part of him wants to know how Sully found it, or if the reason he lost it in the first place was because Sully had taken for safekeeping, knowing he would need it back someday.
His neck feels strange, like a ghost lingers there. It’s lighter, though. Nate shifts ever so slightly, and Elena leans deeper into him. Traded for something better, indeed.
He kisses the way men are supposed to kiss. Elena’s kissed men before who were nothing but lips or too much saliva. Nate kisses just right, his upper lip brushing hers, before she opens her mouth, allowing him to playfully nip her, then smoothing it over with his tongue. He’ll kiss her jaw, then her neck, right below her ear and then again just above her collarbone, which drives her wild. He’ll yank her towards him roughly, one hand on her hip, the other hand in her hair. Sometimes he whispers dark, lustful, delicious things. She whispers them right back.