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There’s a Prentiss tradition of petty revenge that Emily excels at, however, her mother is nauseatingly practised and with more time to have perfected it. It’s a back-forth back-forth of one pissing off the other, the other doing something small and irritating—like Elizabeth redecorating Emily’s room in lace and pink when Emily was sixteen and Emily driving her first car into a lake in retaliation—, rinse, repeat forever until one of them is six-feet under.

Emily suspects that this particular piece of petty retribution is entirely because Emily had the gall to die for seven months, and Elizabeth is getting her back by trying to spend time together. And, because Emily is secretly painfully soft under all her attempts at emotionally castrating herself, she’s playing along.

Because she’s not completely pliant, she’s playing along and forcing Reid to as well.

“I’m not entirely sure why you want me to come,” he’s calling through her bedroom door. She can hear him pacing up and down her hall, the click-squeak of brand new dress shoes sounding on every precise rotation at either end. She rolls her eyes at his practised neuroses, continuing trying to find a pair of underwear that don’t leave a noticeable line on the slim-fitting silk of the dress she’d picked in a rush two days before when her mom had called and asked if she’d forgotten.

Of course I haven’t forgotten, Mom, Emily had responded instantly.

And what haven’t you forgotten, Emily?

Elizabeth was frighteningly good at getting into her brain. “Because if you don’t come, old men are going to hit on me all night” Emily calls back through the door, foregoing underwear after a short battle of ‘is it appropriate to free-ball-it at a masked ball my mother invited me to’ vs. ‘do I want to waltz with string up my ass all night.’ “Now, shut up and drink the alcohol I bought for you.”

Reid’s footsteps return before she’s even had time to baby powder under her slip, realizing midway that she has no idea where her shoes are and that the ball is supposed to be a black and white function and her dress is midnight blue. “Hmm,” she says, pausing with powder misting the carpet under her bare feet, and then, “fuck it,” and going on with getting ready.

“Why is there simply an absurd number of forty-ounce bottles of malt liquor in your alcohol cupboard?” his muffled voice calls through. She’s holding her dress up to the light and wondering if she can pretend she thought it was black and get away with that. There’s a clinking on the other side.

Yanking open the door, he blinks at her. She pauses. “Nice,” she says appreciatively—she gave him a key to let himself into the house so this is the first time she’s seen his outfit and it is fine—and grabs one of the two forty-ounce bottles he’s holding. “And because you’re going to want to be drunk for this, trust me. Did you bring a mask?”

But his IQ has slashed because she’s now cracking her bottle open and swigging it down—liquid ‘dealing with mother’ courage she decides to call it—and he’s noticed that she’s in nothing but a slip and a smile.

“Uh,” he says, his eyes on her pastie’d tits before snapping up to her eyes as he realizes she’s noticed he’s looking. “Is that, uh…”

She raises an eyebrow. “It goes under the dress, Dr. Brains. Mask?”

“Uh,” he says again. He readjusts a silvery-white tie that’s a little too skinny to be fashionable and really detracts from how lovely and tailored his suit is, clinging in all the nicest places. “Mask?”

Ah. Maybe she’d forgotten to tell him that bit. Luckily, she’d bought a spare, purely because she was a little nervous about what kind of mask Spencer Reid would wear to a masquerade ball. There’s ‘upsetting mother’ and then there’s ‘my dance partner is wearing a mask styled on the mating ritual of the baobab tree’.

She fetches the mask, leaving her drink in its place on her dresser, and slips back out to the hall where he’s still standing shell-shocked. It’s cute of him, really, because it’s not like he hasn’t seen her in less. Despite how long they’ve been on-off on-again-but-with-boundaries, he still seems transfixed by her.

There’s a blush working up her chest and throat that’s embarrassing and only serves to fluster him further as she, for some bizarre reason, foregoes handing him the mask like a normal person would. Maybe it’s how pretty he’s looking with his hair all brushed and curled at the ends and his suit making his shoulders look so broad, or maybe it’s the new cologne he’s wearing. On tiptoes, her bare feet digging into the carpet and her chest brushing his, she leans up close and inhales slightly as she perches the half-mask onto his nose.

“Pretty,” she murmurs.

Under the mask, his mouth turns up into a smile. The mask is gentle, curled at the corners with a fine silver filigree on the edges and fanning out into what almost look like sharply pointed ears around the sides of his head. Fox, the price tag had said, and she traces her fingers along it gently, thumb brushing his cheek. He’d look cute with a fluffy red tail, she supposes.

“You’ve already started drinking,” Reid says, tilting his head like the fox whose mask he’s stolen and leaning closer to sniff at her breath. She tips forward a little, closes her eyes, thinks of kissing him. “Was your intention to bring me here and seduce me, Emily Prentiss?”

There’s a warm hand smoothing down the belly of her slip, curling around her back, and she should probably cut this off now because they’re already late and she hasn’t done her hair.

“Abso-fucking-lutely,” she responds, kicking her head into gear and stepping back. “But that’s a reward for surviving the night.”

He’s affixing the mask more firmly to his head, hazel eyes watching her from within the mottled black. “Operant conditioning, huh,” he replies. “B. F. Skinner wouldn’t look anywhere near as lovely in a dress.”

He’s a revolting flirt. She’ll never admit how much she likes that.

As a reward for good behaviour and for drinking all his dinner, she lets him sit on the bed and monologue to her about owls as she finishes getting dressed. There’s a storm brewing outside her window and she’s sure this is probably about as good as the night is gonna get.

 


 

This might have backfired. Elizabeth Prentiss takes one long, slow look at Reid and says, “I’m glad you’re finally putting yourself out there, Emily.”

And then she walks away.

They’re shuffling in an awkward half-dance around a ballroom floor filled with people in every variation of masquerade mask she knows and then some. Reid can’t really dance, or rather, he doesn’t believe in himself enough to try, so he’s resisting every attempt she makes to coax him further against her.

“Mom thinks we’re dating now,” Emily says, tilting her head back to try and gauge his reaction from the mouth and eyes that are visible behind his mask. His head twitches back, mouth curling up in a smile as the move brings the feathers affixed to her own heart-shaped mask to tickle against his chin. “Oops.”

“Well,” Reid says after a moment. He steps on her toes with one foot and winces back, bumping another man behind them. “We have had sex over thir—”

The speed in which her hand snaps over his mouth startles him and her both, knocking his mask askew: “No statistical analysis of our sex-life,” she reminds him. He pouts.

“How about orgasms achieved within a—” He stops and chuckles at the sight of her face, accidentally backing into a couple. “Fu—bother. I’m really not good at this Emily, can we stop? Did you know your mask is based on the heart shape of the European barn owl? It’s very lovely. The feathers particularly are… pleasing.”

The rapid change of subject is enough to leave her head reeling. Or maybe that’s the fourth flute of bubbly tipping precariously in her hand, ignoring absolutely the rule against alcohol on the ballroom floor. She can see her mom casting her disapproving glances from across the room.

It’s possibly also responsible for his rapid run-on mouth.

“That mask over there depicts the titular antagonist of the short Poe story, The Masque of the Red Death,” he’s rambling, pink-spots on his cheek under the mask. She follows as he leads her from the floor, succeeding in distracting her enough with his rattling on that she doesn’t complain that their awkward dance is over. That, and the fact that they’re moving towards the buffet table, laden with the kinds of foods she hated as a child and is ambivalent about now. Behind the table, the wall is a mirror. She watches as they walk towards themselves, as Reid slips his arm around her waist. It’s a bizarre, intoxicating sight. The tall man in his dark suit and his sharply angled face hidden behind the fox’s pointed muzzle; his beautiful companion in the midnight blue dress that clings and shapes her body, her face hidden behind the white face of the owl. White and tan feathers offset her dark hair.

She thinks, in that second, that his companion is beautiful, because she can pretend the companion is a stranger. Someone other than her. An elegant man with a beautiful partner.

Then the fox-masked man looks to his partner, cocks his head, and says, “The buffet table originates from the brännvinsbord table from the middle of 16th century. Alcoholic beverages, rather much like schnapps.”

She readjusts their angle towards the alcohol, reminded who they are once more.

“How do you even know that?” she asks him wryly.

He blinks. “I have no idea.”

Figures.

 


 

They on the barest side of fucked up when Reid slinks up behind her, wraps a clammy hand around her wrist, and does nothing but breathe. She’s talking to an associate of her mother’s, half pleased with how together she’s managing to sound on her fifth, seventh, something, maybe, flute of champagne. Reid’s grip tightens very slightly. She looks at him.

Under the mask, his face is pale.

“Excuse me,” she says politely, and guides him to the vaulted sides of the room, leaning against the gilded wall and letting him bow down to speak to her over the sound of the music. His breath is wine-sharp and too quick for the quiet of the moment. “Are you okay?”

“I’m just…” It’s rare that they’re in public together, at least outside of work, but when they are he’s always reserved. Tonight, probably because she’s got him smashed, he leans his face against hers, the feathers twisting up against his mask. “Crowded. My head is a bit…”

There’s an abandoned tray of champagne on a table nearby, the bottle unguarded next to it. How crass. Her mother would wrinkle her nose at such blatant unprofessionalism. Emily is chuffed by it. She sips from his arms, hearing him make a soft noise of complaint, and nabs the bottle before returning. “Come on,” she says. Reid is great at work, never slipping for a moment, but she doubts he ever spends his down-time fraternizing with DC’s most stuck-up. Obediently, he follows.

Away from the ball they sneak, out through the doors and through another set until there are enough walls between them and the orchestra that the sound is muted and distant. The chatter of voices and laughter fade. Reid is peering around at the art on the walls, his breathing evening out and face relaxing. The bottle is already open, so she drinks straight from it with a wink and then passes it to him. He obediently drinks—she can’t see enough of his face in the dim hall to tell how he’s feeling about it.

“What are we doing?” he asks, lowering the bottle. She’s disappointed. To drink from it, he has to tip back and bare that long throat, and her mind is turning away from dancing and finger-foods with overwrought names.

“Being childish,” she retorts. And, aha, here it is! “In here.”

She leads him into a library. She knew there’d be one here. Every fancy house she’s ever been in has a library. This one isn’t disappointing. It’s remarkably small, with plush armchairs and a rug that’s thick but horribly clashing. Her heels sink into it and she stumbles into the coffee table, bashing her knee with a yelp that she barely stifles.

Like a true gentleman, Reid doesn’t even notice. He’s wandered off to read the spines of the leather-bound clichés lining one wall. Instead of following, she moves to the bookshelf by the window and peers at the books there. Children’s picture books. With a soft laugh, she finds one of her favourites and turns through the well-loved pages.

“Not quite what I was expecting,” she murmurs. Reid hums a reply but anything further he says is drowned out by the storm suddenly kicking in and sending a rattling hail of rain the batter against the windows.

Crack goes a sudden shock of thunder and the lights flicker. She startles

Suddenly, there’s a clingy fox cuddling up behind her, his breath hot on the back of her bare neck. “Think the power will go out?” he asks, his hands on her hips and pressing close. She turns to face him, slipping easily around in his loose grip.

The fox’s face is slipping sideways, his eyes wonky in the holes he’s peering at her through. “Your face is falling off,” she teases, tapping the fox’s nose. “Besides, we can both see in the dark.”

He’s laughing as she pulls her mask up and lets it rest on her hair. He’s still laughing as she does the same to his.

He stops laughing as she tips forward onto her toes and slips her hands into his lapels, bringing their mouths together. Ohh his laughter breathes into her mouth as he tenses for a heartbeat and then gives into her persistent coaxing. His lips are warm against hers, his hands smoothing up and down the soft slide of the silk dress wrapped around her hips, tracing the outline of her pelvic bone through the material. Their masks bump together, scratching gently.

“What are we doing now?” he breathes into her, his tongue tapping against her lip. She lets him in and doesn’t answer, tasting the wine and their shared drunkenness. And suddenly his hands aren’t on her hips anymore but cupping her breast, fingers tracing her. Circling her. She relaxes into that teasing touch, wishing her dress wasn’t quite so tight so she could curl a leg around him, wishes that the bookshelf wasn’t digging into her shoulder-blade quite as much as what it is.

She solves one of those problems, hiking her dress up with a sultry wiggle that he wrinkles his nose at, a smile hidden on his pinkening lips. One of his hands smooths over her leg, up her thigh, playing around where the material is bunched. She takes the opportunity while he’s distracted to slide his suit jacket back, undo his carefully crooked tie, and unbutton just enough that she can lean and nip at his throat, at his collarbone, biting down and sucking hard to mark him prettily just like he likes it. She’s rewarded—operant conditioning, she thinks smugly—by a gasp and his body bucking forward nicely into hers, his hand sliding up and under her dress to rest his warm fingers on the fold between her leg and body.

“We should go home,” he says huskily. His mask has fallen down, hooked oddly around his neck. She nips at his elastic, wrinkling her nose at the bitter taste. “I want to take you home.”

“Oh yeah?” It’s a tease, a promise. “And do what?”

Whatever she’d expected in response to that question, it wasn’t his fingers sliding into her with barely a ‘how do you do’. “Spence!” she barks, grabbing his wrist and only serving to pull him further into her. “God, fuck.”

“I really want to take you home,” he growls into her ear. “Out of this gorgeous dress…”

“Slut,” she replies, and that’s when the thunder booms once more—crack—and the lights go out. They freeze. She releases his suit jacket, he releases her everything, and they both look out the window at the sleeting rain that are the only points of light. There’s a haunted silence between them and she smooths her dress back down to hide what they’d been doing and steps towards him and wraps her arms around his firm waist. “Still scared of the dark?” she asks curiously.

“Not as much anymore,” he admits. “After everything we’ve seen, it seems… counter-intuitive. The worst things we’ve seen have happened in broad daylight. I think it’s my turn to surprise you.”

“Am I surprising?” It’s a raw question. She’s surprised to realize that she never much hopes that his answer is yes.

“Always.” He takes her hand.

Her turn to follow him.

He lurches into an awkwardly drunken run when they come out into the hall, startling a passer-by, and she’s laughing before they even reach the front door and burst out, vividly alive, past the valet and out into the rain.

As it turns out, he’s not shy about dancing with her. He’s just shy about dancing in front of others. Alone, in the rain, their clothes plastered to their bodies, he’s not shy at all. She kisses him as the sky lights up and doesn’t even worry about the storm.

She thinks that he might be just a little bit magic.

 


 

She’s ridiculously giddy as they slip through rain-swept bushes and out through a side gate. The metal is ice-cold under her clumsy hands and her heels are useless in the turf and the muddy side-access road they find themselves on.

“Where are we going?” she laughs. He pauses with the wrought-iron gate swing swing swinging in his hand as he leans and sways with it, his cheeks flushed pretty with wine and delight. Delight is a good look on him. She wants to kiss him until that light reaches every shadowed part of him, to feel him coming alive under and inside her. She bets he’d be glorious. Instead, she takes two steps back and almost tips onto her ass, finally conceding the battle and holding her arm out to him for support. He lurches into her, a sudden wet, hot line of him tracing up the side of her with his arm snaking around and their soaked clothes slapping grossly together. Above their heads, the storm grumbles warningly.

He braces her as she wrestles her heels off, and then kisses her when she straightens. She loses time against his mouth, with mud oozing between her bare feet and the hem of her dress held tight in her free hand. She can’t do anything but let him do what he wishes to her, licking against her mouth until she lets him in and then groaning raggedly as she kisses back just as fiercely. His hands are hot on her sides, her ribs, her arms. Gentle fingers cup her breast through the wet silk of the dress and she shifts and feels her nipples rub, painfully oversensitive, against the inner lining. She’s aroused. She’s drunk. She wants him.

“Taxi,” he manages. “We call a taxi from nearby. Anywhere nearby.” She nods against him, his lips still hot on hers and his eyes shut. A raindrop slips from his crazy hair to glide down and catch on one closed eyelid. In the darkened alley, he’s almost as impossible to discern as he was when he wore a mask. She wonders where the masks are. Decides she doesn’t care. Just presses close and lets him lead the way from the access road, mud-splattered and soaking wet. The street they come out on is silent and unlit except for a rain-washed streetlamp halfway up the block illuminating yellow lines of darkened asphalt.

The sky booms again. Reid barks a laugh that’s a little shocked, tipping his head back to stare at that sky with his suit jacket draped on one arm and his shirt buttoned all crooked. Boom goes the sky once more, and Emily joins in his laughter and grabs him by his stupid, skinny tie. She has to let go of the hem of her dress to do so but he’s quick and catches it before it hits the wet cement, stooping slightly to do so and in perfect range to be dragged back up against her mouth. Thump goes his back on the wall of the store they’re in front of. He sags a little, catching her as she folds drunkenly into him and their teeth click painfully together, but then he groans and wraps the suit-jacketed arm around her, dragging her tight to his body as he slips his tongue into her mouth. It only takes a moment for her to switch to his throat, dropping her shoes and hearing them splash on a puddle they bounce into.

“Call a taxi,” she licks into the goose-pimped skin of his neck, hooked two fingers into his belt loop and pulling his hips tight against hers. He’s hard and she mercilessly grinds against that heavy promise.

“But you’re—”

“Call them.” The storm agrees and boom the rain falls again. He fumbles the phone from his pocket, his breathing hoarse against her mouth, and she licks from his shoulder to his earlobe and sucks it into her mouth as he uses his other ear to press the cell to it. The call he makes is stuttering and sharp and she makes sure to bite down and suck before he’s finished, just to hear him groan and cut off a fuuuu that would leave the person on the other end almost certain what was going on on this one. His hips bump up against her—once, twice—and she rolls her own back against him, feeling something rumble through the chest outlined in the soggy material against her.

“Done,” he manages, reaching for her, but she’s dropped to her knees in the limited shelter of the wall they’re against as the crashing rain around them builds to a white-out of mist. She’s freezing and he’s shivering and blue-lipped. From down here, she can’t hear the noises he makes as she presses her hot mouth to that hard bump inside his tented pants and uses her fingers digging into his ass to drag him forward against her. If he’s shocked by the publicness of the act or appalled by her forwardness, she hears neither and the only feedback she has is his hand suddenly carding through the dripping hanks of her hair and pulling gently, close to the roots. It’s an insistent, hungry pressure and she responds with a moan and a puff of hot air against his crotch, her own body flushing warm and wet in response.

She considers sucking him off right here, hidden by the rain and protected from shame by the wine making her feel dizzy and tight and like she desperately needs to be fucked, now. Muscles tightening in anticipation, she squeezes her legs and feels her cunt throb hungrily in response, hips shifting. She considers it. Manages to undo his belt. Fumbles his fly down. He must be gone, because he lets her.

One glance up, risking the rain ricocheting off the wall landing in her eyes, and he’s a wavering shape slumped back with his head tipped back and his hand braced against the wall. It’s a heartbeat of time to tug his pants back just enough so that the V outlines his cock, and she almost purrs with satisfaction at the plaid-patterned boxer-briefs that greet her with a thick shape neatly outlined and a nicely spreading patch of wet cotton. His trousers had kept most of the rain out but he’s still leaking, still damp, and she’s so pleased that she can’t help but nuzzle forward and lick a line up that firm shape. He’s going to be pretty tonight, she can tell, and she throbs again and feels every muscle pull back and inwards as her body warms with anticipation of him inside her. In her hair, his hand flexes, surprising her—she’d forgotten it was there—before twitching as though he’s wrestling twin desires of being polite or pulling her closer. Obligingly, she tugs his pants back a little more and outlines his cock with her mouth, breathing heavy and hot against it.

Two fingers suddenly brush her cheek; he’s looking down at her with his eyes wide and adoring. The same look he’d given her earlier but with no mask to obscure the little details, like the curl of hair hanging between his eyes and wet at the end, or the way his eyes crease at the corner when he smiles. She smiles back and turns her head, not breaking eye-contact as she ruthlessly sucks those two fingers into her mouth and sets up a steady pressure on them, her tongue holding them in place. Sliding along them slowly, she leaves him under no illusions as to what she’s simulating right now, and is rewarded by his mouth popping open into a shocked O illuminated by a flicker of white-lightning and a hungry twitch against the shoulder leaning into his crotch.

Yellow lights turn onto the road and she bolts upright, almost toppling back as her bare and frozen feet protest the sudden weight. Hands catch her, lift her, and almost as smoothly release and use her as a shield as they quickly slide his zip up to obscure what they’d been doing.

A glance down provides the assurance that her dress is already fucked; there’s enough dirt and water streaked across the front that it’s impossible to tell she was just on her knees.

“Woah,” Reid breathes, a little stunned and very unsteady as the taxi pulls up to them.

“I’m not done,” she promises, and shoves him in.

She’s not even close to done.

In the taxi, they’re quiet and steaming slightly as the hot air blasting from the vents tries unsuccessfully to dry their clothes and instead just turns the air uncomfortably moist. It’s like sitting in a jungle and Emily shifts closer to Reid using the guise of being uncomfortable in the sticky-damp silk of her dress. At least she might be dry by the time they get home. Him, in his nice suit and button-down and trousers, is going to be soaked until the end of time. But, in the humid air, his hair is frizzing up and curling around adorably. She snuggles close and presses her nose to the shampoo-and-rain scented skin behind his ear, nuzzling against a stray curl. Under her nose, a pulse whispers. Across his lap, he’s folded his suit jacket, hands crossed neatly atop with his fingers tapping out a pattern on one button. The taxi-driver is blasting nu-metal and singing along without an eye for them. Reid is watching her out the corner of his eye.

Despite the fact he’s watching her, he still jumps when she slides her hand under his suit jacket and runs her thumb down the bump bump bump of his zipper. Bump bump bump back up again, and he turns his head and claims her mouth. They kiss, and it’s forever until they break apart. And then again; her eyes shut this time. Breathing in unison with him, back forth back forth, and she only realizes when he sighs a little into her greedy mouth that her hand is tracing out the pattern of her quickening heartbeats on the stiffening shape under her palm. She keeps going. Back and around and back and around and feels his hips move slightly against her as he turns his torso and brings his hand to cup her face. The music barks out loudly and rattles the speakers with a thumping bass that sets her blood thumping with it. She turns, and deepens the kiss. Nips his lip once and then again, feeling him move with her, move against her, feeling his zip catch only slightly as she undoes it.

He squeaks. Eyes dart to the taxi-driver, his head turning to stare, so she bites down gently on his earlobe and purses her lips around it. Sees his eyes flutter, almost close, feels him swelling up into her palm.

“Keep your eyes on the driver,” she whispers, and curls her fingers over the cotton-clad shape of his cock in his pants. “Don’t look at me,” she adds, and strokes once, slowly. Minutely. His breath slows and turns uneven. “Don’t look…” Stroke again and this time a little quicker, and a hand snaps up to grip her crossed over thigh. He squeezes in unison with her stroking hand and she feels that pressure travel up her own leg in a hot rush of want to pool between her hips. “Is he looking?”

A soft shake of Reid’s head is her answer, and she can see him watching her in the rear-view mirror as she adjusts her posture. Stroke stroke again and his hips roll up against her. She feels a flush of wet on the cotton as he throbs once with desire, warm and a little sticky when her fingers trace the damp patch and the way it clings so neatly to the hard head and slit under the material. He’s biting his lip now. It’s white under his nipping teeth and his fingers are leaving crescent-shaped indents in her thigh. They turn a corner and she sways with the turn into him, putting pressure on his cock, increasing her grip, and then slackening as the turn ends.

He swears under his breath. Licks his lip with a quick flash of pink tongue. She shakes her head slowly, transfixed by the way the light of the dash now catches his lip, probably a lot drunker than he is even as they slide slowly towards sober. Under her palm, she feels him twitch and thicken, and she almost doesn’t mean to murmur, “God, you’ll feel so good inside me,” but he sure as fuck hears her.

Pinch go his nails in her thigh and his eyes turn comically wide. There’s another pulse of wet under the finger she has pressed to the slit of his cock, now slick enough that she’s aroused just thinking it. She’s not sure he’s breathing anymore, has to nudge his shoulder to double-check.

“Is that what you want tonight?” he responds huskily under the cover of the music. Emily is glad for the glass between them and the driver. “Me to…” He pauses.

She begins to slide her hand, up down up down up down, pressing down a little more, a little rhythm. If the driver glances at them, he’ll know what she’s doing. She has to be quick about this, about sliding two fingers into the opening in the front of his boxer-briefs and running them along the velvety-warm skin underneath as he coughs and his chest shakes against her shoulder, stunned. Up she goes until she finds that slick desire she was fantasizing about tasting only seconds ago, stroking her fingers through it and bringing it down along his shaft as though she’s preparing him using nothing but his own pre-come.

“Me to fuck you,” he chokes, eyes shut now. She slides her hand out of his pants, slowly, and pauses to wait for his eyes to snap open and look to her before faking a cough and bringing them to her mouth, tasting them. “Fuck, Emily, I need you, now, fuck.” He’s bowing forward as he breathes this, kissing her, his hands roughly turning her to him as he forgets himself and kisses along her mouth, down her jaw, around her throat, and then he bites down. Bites down and sucks and she gasps as the unrelenting pressure, the nip of his teeth, his hand curled around her tit, the knowledge that he’s probably fantasising madly about throwing her down on this nauseatingly stained seat and fucking her Titanic style with the driver humming in the front seat.

But the taxi is pulling up outside the battered apartment building that Reid calls home and they break apart guiltily, flushed and giggling like schoolchildren. She pays because Reid’s funds are tighter than he’ll admit and he complains the adequate amount before she jabs him in the bad knee and he slides out of the vehicle and into the rain.

Back into the rain they go for a heartbeat, slipping and grabbing at each other. She manages to almost fall through the front door. The elevator in his building is always broken so they leave a wet line of footprints up the stairs, Reid pausing on the way to readjust the ‘danger, wet floor’ sign into a more openly visible angle.

They’re on his floor and her heart is hammering. Dress slapping around her legs and he’s shivering with the cold and the thrill of the moment, his face pink and white and struggling to work his door keys from his pocket. He drops the keys and she darts around him and picks them up, hurrying him along by opening the fucking door for him, but that’s a mistake. As soon as her back is to him, he crowds up behind her with the hard pressure of his cock digging into her ass and one hand on her hip, the other sliding around to nestle between the curve of her legs. Forgetting that they’re in the hallway, forgetting herself completely, she obeys his unspoken request and ruts against the hand pressing into her dress, almost melting back into him as he rubs the silk between her legs. If it was wet before, it’s wetter now, and he can feel how ready she is by how easily his fingers glide despite the dress between them. And there’s a mouth working at the back of her neck, nose nuzzling wet strands of hair tumbling from their pins out of the way, tongue lapping over the bumps of her spine, and she’s forgotten how keys work.

“Maybe the alcohol was a mistake,” she teases, “it seems to turn you on.”

“You turn me on,” he rumbles, and that’s when the door finally opens under her hands and they tumble inside in a tangle of silk and suit and limbs. She’s laughing at him a little, but stops.

His living room is a mess of blankets.

“Did… did you sleep on the floor last night?” she asks, examining what is clearly a cosy little nest he’s made down there in front of a portable heater.

“No,” he says from behind her, slipping past and toeing his sloshy shoes off into a wet pile near the door. She stops hers atop unceremoniously. “I, ah. Figured we’d make it back here tonight… knew that it would be raining… knew we’d be wanting somewhere to…” fingers trail up her hip, the skin under her wet dress something both buzzing and numb and warm all at once: “… warm up.”

“Who taught you to flirt?” she asks, and his smarmy expression vanishes and is replaced with a look that’s wonderfully Spencer.

“You,” he retorts, pushing her gently towards the pile. “Strip. I’ll go get some towels.”

“Hot shower would be faster,” she replies, but he’s already gone. Deciding to play along for once, she obeys.

 


 

He’s working the towel over her legs in slow, easy strokes. She’s melted under him, tumbled in the blankets in a jumble of loose limbs barely defrosting from the freezing rain outside, distantly aware that she’s exposed completely to him. Even as she thinks this, she feels him lean forward, layering a line of kisses down her spine—one for each bump—slow and luxurious until he reaches her ass and bites down gently. He’s naked too, a towel around his own shoulders, and she loves the warm touch of his bare skin on hers.

“Should put a towel down,” she mumbles into the blanket under her, feeling something warm and wet pool down her leg. She’s stupidly turned on. “Hair is wet. Other things are wet. Don’t want to make a mess.” She’s slurring a little, with exhaustion and wine, but everything sharpens suddenly as he hums a noncommittal answer and lays the towel down so his hands are free to ease her legs flat and spread a little, opening her to him. And there’s silence for a moment, broken only by the hum of the heater and the rush of blood in her ears. He’s studying her. She can picture the expression on his face; rapt and a little bit overwhelmed, that ridiculously pretty mouth partially open. She wiggles uncomfortably and almost turns to look at him, but a hand settling on the small of her naked back pushes her down.

“Beautiful,” he says, and crouches between her legs with the towel in his hands again. He begins to work it over her ass, gently, around her legs in warm, firm swipes. “You’re beautiful, Emily, completely.”

“Perve,” she warns him, letting her eyes shutter shut for a heartbeat. He’s switched to her other leg. “You missed a spot.”

“Hm,” he replies. Traces a finger behind her knee. “Not here.”

“No.” Her heart is hammering. She lets her legs fall apart a little more. “Not there.”

That finger curls around her right thigh, tracing up to the bottom of her ass. “Not here either…”

“No,” she replies in a breathy voice that almost hurts to voice, her body all tangled up and unsure of what way she’s going. “Spence…”

And there it goes, curling right down the greediest part of her with a slick sound as he traces his finger deep into the mess he’s made of her. “Ah,” he murmurs, leaning forward until his cock is rubbing wet lines against her leg and his breath is hot on her spine. “I’ve found it.” And he slides his finger along, along, along her, until he can slide in right up to the knuckle, adding another, crooking them both. “Mm. You were right. I’ve made a mess of you, haven’t I?”

“Yes,” is her muted reply, shoulders shaking with the effort not to fuck his fingers with the need she feels right now. Her spine is curved, almost rising up on her knees and presenting herself to him like a fucking cat, so desperate for any stimulation that her hips are swaying down onto his motionless fingers. “Please.”

He kisses her back. Her spine again. Removes his fingers, whispers, “Of course. I promised I would,” and then, as though he can hear how achingly empty she is right now in the whimper that squeezes out through her gritted teeth, pulls her up with both hands on her hips until he can push his cock inside her with agonisingly gorgeous care. He’s thick and hard and she feels raw, open, treasured. Reid doesn’t fuck like other men Emily’s been with. Even when they were new to each other, he was like this. Fingers gentle on her body, tracing every line of her, treasuring everything she makes him feel. He talks, too. Whispers to himself. Sometimes, math, sometimes, poetry, sometimes recitations of books she distantly remembers from college. It’s overwhelming to realize that he does this to hold himself together, because he’s too bound up in the feeling of her arching under him. But tonight, he’s whispering Emily Emily Emily Emily and something about masks.

“I didn’t like your mask,” she admits suddenly. He strokes twice, deep and hard and slow, and she’s splitting apart but in the very best way. He’s building and breaking her all at once. She wants more and less and everything. “I didn’t like not being able to, ah, see you…”

He pauses and she swears, the opposite of what she’d wanted. With a slick feeling that pulls her down and focuses all her attention in the hot throb of feeling between her legs, he tugs away, slipping out, and readjusts. Lays her down and lets her roll onto her back. Reclining in the plush blankets, she reaches for him, finds him, brings him down onto her. Intensely warm and with his body enveloping her, she helps guide him back inside her and they begin to move as one.

When he speeds up, she’s ready for him to. Wrapping her legs up and around him and pulling him as deep as he can go, she counts the amount of times his hips hammer home and cries out with each one. Skin slaps together, they kiss. The heater is humming. She can still taste wine. He’s throbbing up inside her, his head bowed forward, his eyes shut, a muscle in his neck pulled together as he breathes hoarsely and focuses, finally, inward.

She presses a hand against his chest, drags him closer with her legs and her other hand, and stays silent as he thrusts three times and then comes with a moan that sets every nerve she possesses on fire.

She stays silent because he’s overwhelmed sometimes, too tangled up in his wonderful brain, but in her head, she’s repeating, you’re gorgeous over and over and over again on repeat.

 


 

She’s always stunning to him, but in his dream, she’s glorious. She has him pinned down, his hands tied to the bed and his ankles bound similarly, and he’s helpless to do anything but study how exquisite the sum of the whole of Emily Prentiss is as she fucks him into oblivion. He knows he’s dreaming. He knows because he’s dreamed of this before, her hands on him, her mouth, and he always wakes up hard with his hand already stroking his cock before he’s consciously aware of doing it.

He’s wanted her for longer than he’s comfortable with; remembering with vivid clarity the kick-jolt of primordial possessiveness he’d felt for a heartbeat the first time he’d shaken her hand. He’d never had a co-worker he’d immediately wanted to bed, not ever, and it makes him feel small and wrong to think that maybe the attraction is purely physical.

But he knows it’s not like that at all. Not anymore.

“I think I could fall in love with you,” he tells her and in his dreams, his hands are unbound now and he can reach down to cup her jaw, his cock throbbing inside her. “If you give me the chance.”

Reid.”

He wakes with a gasp and a groan, the world cruel and sharp and his head pounding along with an uncomfortable twist of his wine-soaked stomach. And Emily is…

“Oh,” he moans, and bucks into that hot, gorgeous mouth, his back barking with pain at having slept on the floor. He’s fucked, he’s utterly fucked, he’s remembering her in that midnight dress last night, remembering how it clung to her curves and the way she’d looked at him and her body against him… “Em, going to…”

She pops off and up, grinning at him wickedly. “Thought so, you little shit,” she sasses him, sliding up his aching body until she’s straddling his hips. “Unless you were dreaming about physics and that was just a science boner. Now, can we get on with it?”

He nods, still half-asleep and hungover and confused as she sinks down onto him. His hands come up of their own accord, holding her hips and helping her settle into a rhythm that he matches with his own bucking hips. It’s almost embarrassing that he only lasts two minutes before coming in an unsatisfyingly sudden rush, but in his defence, he’s been dreaming of this for his last REM cycle—

“Don’t worry,” she says, slipping from him with an uncomfortably moist sound and replacing her cock with his fingers to finish her off, her own helping him coordinate his unwieldy limbs, “we can go again later. Better. After breakfast. God, fuck, Spence…

He’s not sure how he got so lucky, but he’s glad it happened.

“I could fall in love with you,” he says again, stupidly, as it’s her turn to come around his sticky fingers.

She just smiles, and nods, and whispers, “Please do.”