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Zugzwang

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I’m three drinks deep at my best friend’s bachelorette party, and all I can do is wail in the bathroom. Sob. Shriek like a banshee. Scare the shit out of the other women coming in to piss and shit. It’s a classic assortment from my college days long gone.

One girl waits too long and I pound on the door to her stall. Her glittery pink heels jerk back.

 “Take a shit, you coward!” I slur. “Take a shit!”

 “Get the fuck out of here before I pepper spray you! Crusty bitch!”

I’m thirty and not crusty. What does that fucking mean, crusty? Do they think you get leprosy when you hit the big three-oh and start shedding skin like a fucking snake? Christ. I’m not old.

But I leave the bathroom anyway, stumbling back to the bar to find a guy who won’t make me into a lampshade. Or a girl. I’m feeling old and crusty so either one will work, but the odds of finding a hot girl in a bar at three AM who isn’t crawling with gonorrhea are slim to nil.

Rose is with her new friend from work, Bazine, who has manicured nails and blonde hair in a ponytail. I glower from afar and plop in a torn seat at the bar. Bazine is married and has a house where Rose and Finn are looking, and they both drive Volkswagens. Good for them. Must be nice being so put-together.

I rub my temples, tormented by the strobe lights. “Frank, gimme another whiskey sour.”

The bartender, an old friend who helped raise Rose and Finn and me, turns and rolls his eyes. He’s short and bald, your typical Brooklyn middle-aged white guy, and he’s also sick of me getting wasted in his bar and puking outside. I am too, and yet.

 “Rey,” he says, “go upstairs and go to bed. Fern can set up the roll-out for ya.”

 “More alcohol, Frank.

That makes him scowl and turn away from me. I stick out my tongue and scan the bar for anyone worth taking home, but there’s nothing good. Hasn’t stopped men from trying to pick up my crusty ass in a black dress, because I keep in shape, and men still want to fuck thirty year old women.

The bathroom girl emerges and I point and shout that she took a shit. Her friends gather and shuffle her off and Rose finally does the rounds to see if I’m less miserable than I was an hour ago.

She sits next to me, all bedazzled in purple and cheap dollar store dick jewelry. That’s the only thing I got her because I’m poor and work as an auto mechanic. That’s just because I’m stupid.

 “Come sit with us,” Rose says. She smiles in the way she does. “Bazine knows a really good Thai place out in Seattle. All the rain is bringing you down.”

 “I like the rain,” I mutter.

It’s the Olympic Peninsula—I better like rain.

Rose sighs. She knows I’m upset because I’m thirty, two years older than her, and not married. Having a family is important to me but it’s not happening, and things like this remind me that it’s not.

But it’s selfish to be such a slob at her party. She’s marrying Finn in two weeks and she’ll move to the suburbs to have the cutest babies ever with him. I’ll stay behind in my forest cabin, driving to work in my project Porsche, working my hands raw at Firestone Complete Autocare. I work for the man. In college I swore I’d never work for the man.

But Rose settles in and takes out her phone. “You need to find a date for the wedding. How about Poe?”

 “Poe Dameron? My ex who lives in Phoenix?”

 “He’ll come here!”

I huff. Poe is nice enough but he’s shallow and more worried about flying than anything else. I dumped him when a stewardess called asking where his next flight would terminate so she could find a hotel.

Rose groans, letting her head fall back. “Rey, what do you want me to do?! I can’t buy you a boyfriend! If I could, I’d use all my savings!”

 “It’s so sweet,” I manage, genuinely close to tears, “that you would buy me a gigolo.”

We laugh. Rose brings me back to the group of women and I have some wine and laugh with them, too. I need to get a grip. My best friend being happy and finally getting what she deserves in life isn’t a reason to get shitface drunk and cry.

So I enjoy the rest of the party and kiss Rose a little too long on the lips when Finn comes to get us.

He leans on his Jetta and whistles. He’s still in his suit with an umbrella for the rain, because Finn is always prepared where Rose… isn’t.

 “Girls Gone Wild!” he hoots. Then he tugs Rose away. “Okay, seriously, don’t make out with my wife.”

I hug them both like when we were kids growing up on the same dirty street together. Finn helps us into the car and worries about dropping me off home alone, and Rose and I make fun of him like when we were kids. He’s always worried. Always thinks something will go awry.

We bumble down my driveway to my small house. Finn helps me up the porch until Rose flies out of the car screaming about freedom. She vanishes into the dark rainforest and Finn books after her, leaving me to struggle with my keys.

I get a bad idea.

 “Can buy wives,” I mumble. The key crunches. “Can buy… husbands?”

Hmm. Is it illegal? Probably. Human trafficking, I think, but I’m too drunk to care. I can have a husband delivered to me, no need for awkward dates or learning he’s really close with his mom.

I stumble into my dark house, already typing away on my phone. My cat, Regis, comes to me meowing for dinner that he had before I left. Greedy man.

Finn is a lawyer and makes lots of money—Finn knows if it’s illegal. But I peer out my door and find him making out with Rose against the side of his car, and decide I better not interrupt. I shut my door and wander down the hall to my bedroom, scrolling through weird Craigslist ads.

Most of the rest is lost to the liquor. I collapse on my bed and laugh hysterically as I agree to a contract, then I throw up in my new fiddle leaf fig and pass out. It’s a typical night for Rey Niima.

I think.

Chapter Text

Fourteen hours of sleep really helps me out.

I sit bolt upright in bed, hair a tangled mop around my face, and hiss at the lamplight outside my window. Rose has called a dozen times. Finn tried, too.

The sleep is refreshing enough that I tap out a quick response. I hop out of bed and shuffle down the hall to my bathroom, nudging Regis out of my way. I shower without vomiting, brush my teeth to clean away the vomit from last night, and wander to the kitchen to see if breakfast for dinner will make me vomit. My stomach is a real conundrum.

Yawning, I scratch my damp hair and open the fridge. It’s organized. Neat. Looks like someone came and did it for me… or maybe I did last night when I was drunk.

I frown and turn. The dishwasher is running too, almost done with the rinse cycle, and there’s fresh flowers in the vase on my kitchen table. I keep frowning, squinting intensely at the flowers, when my front door opens without a knock.

A big man lumbers inside. He’s carrying dead rabbits on a ring in one hand and a rifle over his opposite shoulder. He’s not wearing much to protect him from the elements, just rain slicker, boots, and slacks. No shirt underneath. Not a shred of fabric.

I stare at him pleasantly, too terrified to do much else, and he beams back at me. Oh. Good. He’s going to mix me in to a nice rabbit stew.

 “Kylo,” he offers in a deep, rumbling voice. Russian? German? He slaps the bloody rabbits down on my table and gestures. “For you.”

My smile widens as my legs begin to tremble. There’s animal blood on the table, rabbits are my favorite animal, and a strange European man has invaded my home. Smiling is the best response.

Kylo frowns. He shrugs out of the slicker and takes off his boots, rolling them to the door, then reaches past me to push the fridge door shut. He’s a foot away, looming over me like a fucking sequoia, dark eyes riveted on mine as if he’s concerned. He smells like one of those hippie mountain dudes but he’s the real deal and I can tell by his gigantic muscles.

He purses his lips. “Hungry?”

I glance at his bicep next to my head. His rifle leans against the wall near the pantry.

 “Oh, no; I’m doing… I’m doing just fine,” I manage, still smiling. “I’m not hungry. I’m just… fabulous.”

Kylo frowns again like this upsets him. He makes a deliberate and, even by my standards, vulgar reach for his crotch, shifting closer. My eyes widen and I press myself back against the refrigerator. Holy shit, he’s going to fuck me before he eats me.

 “You want this?” he asks in a low tone.

 “I… I just woke up… I’m not ready for these questions.”

He smiles. “Yes, sleepy wife. I bring you back to our bed and fuck you, hm?”

I shake my head as fast as I can.

Kylo heaves a sigh and turns away, throwing his hands dramatically in the air. I inch toward my phone.

 “Wife does not want food or fuck!” he laments to no one except Regis. “Cannot read your mind. Tell me what you want, woman, and—”

The butt of the rifle slams down on my phone, smashing it to pieces. I lose my cool immediately and scream and scream and scramble for the front door. No one will know I’m in the stew—Rose is gonna eat me during her wedding brunch.

Kylo seizes me around the waist. He’s as strong as he looks and easily carries me into my bedroom like a ragdoll, where I can’t help but assume he’ll kill me.

 “I have nothing to live for!” I blubber. “I mean, I have Rose, but I’m such a sorry piece of shit—but please don’t kill me! I don’t want to be eaten!”

He drops me on my bed. I almost bounce off but he gets my wrists in his hands and stands between my knees. Black hair blots out my overhead light.

 “You call for me,” Kylo snaps. “You answer advertisement—five hundred dollars a month. You learn arithmetic in America, yes?”

Yes—yes, I learned arithmetic. I nod eagerly, still clueless to what he’s talking about. I’m not his wife. Why would I call for some guy who I can barely communicate with, and why would I pay him to kill my forest friends? Even at my most idiotic lows, I would never, ever…

Oh wait—yup. Yup, I did.

I laugh. “You were serious about that?”

My laughing just annoys Kylo even more. He grunts and lets go, muttering something in German or Russian or another language I don’t know. It’s good to know that he doesn’t want to kill me. So far. Maybe he will later after the alcohol is out of my meat.

He paces the room with his hands on his hips like he isn’t shirtless and doesn’t look like I ripped him off a romance novel. I’m afraid to move so I lie there half falling off my bed, waiting for his next outburst. He’s awful crabby for a guy that just murdered rabbits.

His big hand motions to me. “Do you want me to fuck you or no?”

I blink. “I would prefer that you didn’t. Please.” There are more important things right now than whether or not he’s getting his dick wet. “I would like… to call the police. This is home invasion.”

Kylo walks back to the kitchen without saying anything. Pots and pans rattle around for a bit before I have the courage to get up and go look. He’s going to kill me for sure. I’ll have my own episode on a late-night crime show. A movie, maybe.

Things are eerily domestic. He sets the rabbits on the counter and sets to butchering them, which I can only stand to watch for three seconds before I’m close to puking. I turn away for the living room with a hand over my mouth. Kylo waves his knife at me.

 “Weak belly,” he chastises. “Too much American fried fast food.” He hacks off the rabbit’s head. “I will feed you better.”

 “There’s a grocery store half an hour away. Please stop killing the woodland creatures.”

 “Bah. They put poison in that shit.”

 “…Also, this is a National Park, so it’s illegal to hunt here.”

Kylo resumes hacking up the rabbit, whistling and ignoring me. His broad back is covered in black tattoos with symbols and letters I don’t recognize, and they fan across his enormous shoulders. I stare because I don’t know what else to do. I should run for my car while he’s making dinner.

Mechanical, I shuffle to the foyer and pick up my keys to the old Porsche. Kylo glances up. His raised eyebrows demand an answer in a much more terrifying way than his deep voice ever could.

I touch the door handle. “I’m… going for a drive?”

 “No.” He opens the fridge and takes out my new bag of carrots. “Sit.”

Tempting as it is to watch how he’s going to butcher me, I decide not to take the offer. I slowly open the door, staring him dead in the eyes, and don’t look away until I’ve sidled out onto the porch.

Then I run.

The ground is muddy and wet like always but I don’t give a shit about that. I run for my Porsche around the back of the house, fumbling with my keys, and shriek when Kylo grabs me by the back of my shirt.

He’s laughing, holding me like a wet puppy being scolded. I struggle, hissing and clawing at him.

 “Porsche?” he scoffs. “Piece of shit car.”

My hackles raise. I narrow my eyes.

 “It’s an original frame!” I snap. “I’ve done all the restoration myself—”

 “Piece of shit car.”

What the f—? Who calls a classic Porsche a piece of shit? Breaking into my house and smearing it with rabbit blood is one thing, but insulting my beautiful silver Porsche is quite another.

 “What the fuck do you drive?!” I demand.

 “Volkswagen. Dependable car that does not explode.”

 “My car is in no danger of exploding. Sorry I don’t want to drive a soccer mom car!”

Kylo throws me over his shoulder, clearly done with the conversation. I reach desperately for the edges of my house to pull myself away from him but he doesn’t notice or doesn’t care. My palms run across knotted scars along his back as he carries me inside.

He drops me in a kitchen chair. I watch, wide-eyed, as he returns to butchering the rabbit.

 “You are in good shape,” Kylo says. “American—thought you would be…” He pauses before motioning a wide circle around his middle with the knife. “Big woman. I like big women. Tighter pussy.”

 “That’s so wildly offensive that I’m having a hard time believing you said it at all, but… you need to get out of my house, Kylo. Like, right now.”

Silence.

I’m overwhelmed by his presence and still reeling from the alcohol, so I don’t press him any further. I sit at my table, caked in mud and rabbit blood, and wait for him to finish adding all the meat to his stew.

My phone is fucked so I can’t call for help. Rose will come by in the morning to check on me but it might be too late by then. This is what I get for answering a Craigslist ad. Finn always says it’s a dangerous place and I always blow him off, and now I’m dead.

Oh well. Maybe it will be quick.

Kylo washes his hands and places a lid on the stew. He locks the front door, then turns and advances toward me. I shrink back.

 “It’s unsanitary to cook without a shirt on, you fuck,” I snap.

 “Retired men do not wear shirts, little bunny. Now come. You are very dirty.”

His big hands reach for me and I swat them away. Kylo scowls and tries for a button on my pajama top, but he’s only rewarded with a bite. I growl, curling into my chair like the cornered animal I am.

He puts a hand on the table and the other on the back of the chair, leaning over me. I bare my teeth.

 “Put away your fangs,” Kylo says gently. “Little bunnies do not have fangs. They have fluffy tails and long tasty legs.” His dark eyes flicker down to my lap and I figure he’ll have a drumstick first when he kills me. “They also get bitchy when they want to fuck.”

 “Get out of my house.”

He leans closer. I can smell the pine needles and cigarettes on him, maybe a hint of booze, and I see blue in his irises. Kylo smiles, searching my eyes.

 “No,” he says simply.

Then he draws back. My heart plummets to my gut as he pops a new frame off the wall and it clatters to the table in front of me. He’s hanging artwork now? Jesus Christ, he should just get his own HGTV show.

But it isn’t artwork: it’s a contract, stamped, with two signatures on it, one of which is mine. My pulse quickens as it dawns on me that I’m looking at a marriage certificate binding me, Rey Niima, to Kylo Ren, the stranger standing two feet away.

I slowly look up. His arms are folded and he’s smiling in a smug, obnoxious way.

 “Our house,” Kylo says. He raises his eyebrows. “And your husband would like a wash and a fuck before supper, Rey.”

Chapter Text

 “This is impossible. This is literally impossible.”

All I remember is pressing a few buttons for my ‘husband’ who I figured wasn’t real. I didn’t sign any legally binding paperwork, and weddings require witnesses and a twenty-four hour waiting period, right? There’s no way I’m married.

Kylo swipes the framed certificate before I can hurl it into the wall. He eyes me and cradles it to his chest like it’s a baby I’m about to shake.

 “Is possible. You answer ad, I come from Berlin.” He shrugs, hanging up the certificate carefully.

 “Berlin Germany? How did you fly from Germany to Washington so fast?”

 “Does not matter. I wait long time for woman to answer my advertisement. Always ready.” Kylo gazes at the frame for a minute and nudges the end with his thumb to straighten it out. “I do not like your country, but is good place to retire.”

I cross my arms. “Well that contract isn’t legally binding, y’know. I was drunk when I agreed to it.”

 “Mm. Vomit all over your home when I came, but I cleaned it up. You’re welcome.”

Okay, so I’m not really married, he’s just delusional. That’s good. My typical fare in men.

Kylo follows me to the living room a couple steps away, where Regis is having a bath under the bay window. I sit on the couch and he sits right next to me without hesitation.

Annoyed, I stomp to the recliner in the opposite corner and plop down on that instead. Kylo frowns and hefts himself off the couch to follow me there, too. I glower as he approaches.

 “Don’t you have a shirt?!” I snap.

 “You are being a little bitchy. Perhaps good food and nap will help.”

My hackles raise. Why didn’t I get a rifle for self defense? It’s not that hard to shoot, right? Take out a kneecap, I’m home free and the cops get him. He’s being a real sexist prick with the ‘woman’ and ‘bitchy’ talk. Where’s my wrench when I need it?

Kylo doesn’t pick up on my thinly-veiled rage. He tries picking me up again and gets my foot lodged against his diamond-hard stomach. I falter a little. It’s pretty hard. Swim team captain hard.

He yanks me to the edge of the chair by my ankle, dragging me onto my back with my other leg kicking wildly. That one is grasped in his other bear paw, leaving me in a compromising and slightly enticing position underneath him.

His eyebrows raise. “Time to wash.”

Peeling off my clothes at the behest of my home invader is just the cherry on top for him.

 “No,” I snip.

 “Fine. I take you outside and hose you down.”

Hm. That seems worse. There’s at least tonight until Rose comes over to make sure I’m still breathing, so I have to stay alive somehow. I’m still eighty percent sure he’s going to mount my head over the fireplace.

And, silver lining: he’s a lot better than Poe, and he did a fabulous job cleaning my house. There’s a pretty bouquet on the table, too. That’s going to look very nice under my head mounted over the fireplace. Sets the ambiance for the crime scene.

I pucker my lips, thinking, which I normally don’t do much of. Kylo watches me like he can see the rusty cogs groaning as they turn in my head.

 “You can’t see me naked yet,” I say for the first and last time. “Big tradition.”

Kylo frowns, resting my feet on his chest. Good. I’m hoping he’s into traditions and shit. Family stuff.

 “We are married,” he says. He cocks his head. “I have not heard of this American tradition. American women are loose like your Porsche transmission.”

 “It’s religious. You have to wait until you get a blessing from… uh…” Someone who doesn’t exist. “My mom. And my best friend. And my ex boyfriend.” Some of those people exist, but might as well throw in a couple to distract him more.

Kylo continues to look perplexed. He sits on the carpet with his legs crossed and scratches his head.

 “A lot of work for pussy,” he mutters.

I nod along. “Yeah, way too much effort when there’s a college town just a cab ride away. Buy one of those sorority girls a margarita and you’re golden.”

 “I do not like young women. They irritate me.” Kylo scowls and mimics a squawking person with his hand. “They talk too much about nothing on their bird website and book of faces. Want shiny objects and soft objects—like a raven, but less useful.”

Hm. He’s not wrong, but I can’t deny that I enjoy my bird website and book of faces. I met a few nice girls in college after I graduated but nothing really panned out. No one wants to be locked down in college.

But the lie works. Kylo sits there and frowns at the recliner, giving me the opportunity to actually go take a shower. I lock the door behind me and cackle as I step under the spray and scrub away the filth. That wasn’t very hard. I’ll have him out of here in no time.

The door handle jiggles. I pause, heart beating up in my throat—then the door bursts open with a bang.

I scream, which seems like a reasonable reaction, but Kylo huffs like he’s annoyed. He yanks back the curtain with his hand over his eyes and I cram myself into the back corner of the shower. Oh god. It’s happening. Psycho style.

 “I will do this,” he says firmly. “I will get blessing of the mother, friend, and ex-lover.” He leans into the shower, ignoring the water raining down on his black hair. “Where do I go to do this?”

 “Get out of my fucking shower!” I spit. “And fix the fucking door!”

 “Doors are all hollow and flimsy like your Porsche. I will replace them.” Kylo tilts his head back, tasting water on his tongue. “The fluorine in your water may be making you bitchy, wife.”

 “GET OUT!”

This time he does, vanishing from whence he came. It takes me a good ten minutes to pull myself together before I leave the bathroom, stepping over the tatters of the door along the way. This is fine.

Kylo is in the kitchen ladling the stew into two bowls from my china cabinet. He has one of those obnoxious Hawaiian vacation white dad shirts on, blue and printed with yellow flowers. When he turns to smile at me I see it’s open in the front. Great.

 “Bought this in airport,” he offers. “I put shirt on for you.”

I slump into a chair. “Gee, thanks.”

His smile widens. My sarcasm isn’t going through.

Admittedly, the stew smells pretty good. I’ve never eaten rabbit before because I’m not a monster, but my hangover belly is eager for something substantial. Back in the day I’d load up on Taco Bell or go for an In ‘N Out run, but my stomach disagrees with fast food now. I go home and binge eat Nutella instead.

Kylo sets a bowl in front of me and leans over to kiss the top of my head. I growl as he lumbers to the other side of the table and sits with his.

It looks as good as it smells: the deep reddish color of minestrone but the smell of a stronger soup, bobbing with carrots and meat and celery. I squint. It’s probably not poisoned. He could’ve killed me by now.

I take a small sip of broth and yes, it’s delicious, but I’m not going to give him the satisfaction of knowing that. So I eat it as slow as I can and try not to let my facial expression change, even though the rabbit is so tender it’s like butter. Forgive me for eating your rabbits, National Park.

Kylo eats two bowls then waits politely for me to finish. Polite, but creepy. He stares at me and smiles.

I chew slower and roll my eyes. What’s his problem, anyway? There’s something going on here—no man has abs and the ability to cook, unless he’s way out of my league. And I don’t appreciate him breaking into my house and refusing to leave. I don’t have to be nice to the home intruder.

 “Have you ever killed anybody?” I ask, raising my eyebrows.

His smile fades. The gnarly tattoos make me think he has, but the ink work is too straight and defined to be from prison. Maybe he’s in the KGB. Scary.

 “…No,” he replies, avoiding my eyes.

 “No? Hack any elections?”

 “You think Russians kill people and hack American politics?” Kylo scowls and leans back with his arms crossed. “Very American things for you to say. No one cares so much for your country except you.”

 “Does my accent sound American to you?”

 “You were born in America.”

Be that as it may, I still kept a British accent. I roll my eyes again and go back to my soup.

 “Are you Russian?” I press.

Kylo shrugs. “No.”

 “…Okay, German?”

 “Perhaps.”

Neither of those are very helpful. He says he came from Berlin so I assume he’s German. That raises a question better not asked.

 “Are you a Nazi?”

Kylo turns visibly red with anger. He slams his fist down on the table and holds up a hand to count out what he’s about to list. I sip my soup.

 “Germans do many other things!” he snaps. “We find Neptune, we find Uranus, make great contributions to chemistry and physics. Make first automobile! Birth control, so you do not have more arrogant American babies.” He crosses his arms, scowling. “We come up with idea for kindergarten—make blue jeans. You ask about Nazis. Bah!”

Okay. Oops. That was a pretty rude question. I try to change course and keep him calm.

 “I didn’t know birth control came from Germany,” I say—because I didn’t. “Mercedes-Benz is German too, right?”

 “Yes, and Maybach. We do not make piece of shit American cars.” Kylo scratches his jaw and a small smile appears again. “Except Porsche. Bentley is piece of shit, too, but is British piece of shit.”

Can’t fault him there. A Bentley past thirty thousand miles is practically geriatric, but no one who cares about money buys a Bentley. He can’t know too much about cars though—he did call my Porsche a piece of shit, and it’s half restored.

I get up to take our dishes to the sink before he puts them in the dishwasher and destroys them. Kylo stands up so fast he knocks his chair over and scares the hell out of me. I shriek and throw my bowl and he catches it like he knew exactly where it would go. Physics. German specialty.

 “I clean,” he says simply.

 “That’s okay, you don’t have to do the dishes before you stab me in the throat.”

Kylo cocks his head, apparently his favorite thing to do, and hovers at my side while I wash.

 “What?” he asks.

I shrug. “This is too outlandish to be anything but a murder. The soup was good, though. Please don’t kill my cat and make him into soup.”

 “Cat does not taste so good. I will not kill you—what is this purpose of this?”

 “I’m not a serial killer so I don’t really know. It’s been a good three decades but I guess you’re my…” I glance at him, pausing. “Uh… European of Death. It feels like an allegory, doesn’t it? Like someone marginally talented made it all up and you represent my loathing of men, and the rabbit represents—”

The doorbell rings. A second passes before all hell breaks loose.

Kylo grabs me just as I start screaming, wrestling my back to his chest with a hand over my mouth. He sinks to the floor and wraps his legs around mine to keep them from flailing, so I keep screaming and licking his palm. Son of a bitch he’s fast!

He wraps his other arm around my middle. Pleasant soupy breath tickles my ear.

 “Ah ah,” he murmurs, “be a quiet little bunny.”

That just makes me more pissed off. I punch his thighs as hard as I can, listening to Rose laughing on the porch. Maybe my doors are a little cheap.

They’ll think I’m just sleeping it off like I always do and leave. I’ll be stuck with this lunatic for the entire night, and I can’t hide behind a locked door or drive away. What if he makes more food? What if he finds more pretty flowers for my table? God, what a fucking nightmare.

The laughter moves away. Tires crunch down my driveway and I struggle harder, digging my nails into his inner thigh and pushing out with my thighs.

Kylo hugs me tighter. “Do you want to fuck now?”

I shake my head fast and he sighs and lets go.

Scrambling, I rush to the front door. There’s no one outside, just rain and dark. Son of a bitch.

I slam the door. “That was my best friend you fucking goon!”

Kylo hurries to his feet as well, because men always hurry when they might see a naked woman. He stalks to the door and looks outside like I might’ve somehow missed something.

He huffs. “You did not say. Could be intruder.”

 “You… you covered my fucking mouth!”

 “You were screaming!”

I throw my hands up and plant them back on my face. “You broke into my fucking house!

 “Did not break in!” Kylo opens the door and points to my deadbolt, affronted. “Lock is very easy to pick!”

Oh god. Oh my god.

Defeated, I slump to the floor and lie on my face, because crawling to the bed is too much effort. I’m only alone like that for a couple seconds before Kylo is prodding me to make sure I’m still breathing. He’d be bored to death without something to torment.

Then I laugh. 

 “You said Uranus.”

Chapter Text

There’s no escape from Kylo in my small house, between the locked doors he can break open and the sheer lack of space. I’m so exhausted from avoiding him that I crash on the couch around midnight and pray for the sweet release of death.

Regis flicks his tail and watches the home invader pick me up bridal style. Knew I should’ve gotten a dog.

 “Why do you scurry about little bunny?” Kylo asks as he carries me into my bedroom. “I will not harm you. I am kind man who does not harm women.”

 “That’s what Ted Bundy would always say.” I let my head loll back and my arm swing by my side.

 “Men who harm women are weak. I see, I break their arms, perhaps crush skull. Show me this Ted Bundy and I will crush his skull.”

I’m too tired to explain that Ted is long dead, but the breaking arms and crushing skulls of violent men is appealing. Kylo even has the big arms and broad chest to back up his threat to fucking kill you.

Kylo places me in my spot on the bed, then goes to shut the window. He draws my curtains, too, but peers outside before doing so.

I roll over to fish through my nightstand for a Tylenol PM so I’ll be knocked for at least eight hours. My fingers sort through different condoms, most expired by now, some lube, my vibrator, candy… I’m a horny slob. I pause when I find my handcuffs.

Kylo can probably tear them off. If he can kick in my door and hunt rabbits in the dark, I feel like he can break free of novelty handcuffs.

 “Do you have nightlight?”

I glance up and find him peering into the drawer curiously. How does he move so quietly when he’s tall enough to press his palms to the ceiling?

 “Uh… no,” I say.

 “Ah. Will leave on bathroom light.” He shuffles to the door and checks the kitchen windows. “I have slight fear of sleeping in the dark, and may perhaps sleep walk, but is not a problem.”

…Okay. Good. He crushes skulls and also sleepwalks, so I’ll know why he kills me in the middle of the night.

Kylo returns, shrugging out of his shirt, and his hands move to his belt. I can see a line of hair at his belly button that I’m curious about but I also don’t want to give him any ideas. I roll on my stomach and shove my face into the pillow instead.

The bed shifts from his weight. Warm skin touches mine as he wraps his arms around my waist and drags me against his chest, squeezing hard. I wheeze and kick my feet and realize in two seconds that he doesn’t have underwear on because I can feel his dick pushing against my ass.

 “Are you naked?!” I hiss.

Kylo smells my hair, humming. “Yes. Proper way to sleep.” The bed creaks as he leans closer, adjusting his hips in a suggestive way. “And easy way to fuck if my little bunny changes her mind.”

 “Why would I ever change my mind?”

He clicks his tongue and rolls more weight over my back as he reaches for the nightstand. I’m nearly pinned when he opens it and rummages until he produces the garish pink vibrator I bought six years ago or something.

I don’t speak, glaring at it. Kylo flicks it on and nuzzles my neck, shifting his hips again just a bit. He broke into my house. He broke into my house. Maybe if I chant it enough times the temptation will go away.

 “I can be very persuasive,” he murmurs in my ear. He gently brushes under my belly button with the tip of the vibrator. Warmth blooms there and trickles down because I’m weak like my bathroom door.

 “You suck at it so far,” I retort, beautifully.

Kylo nudges up the hem of my shirt with the vibrator and makes lazy movements with it. He’s warm and heavy and my eyes start feeling heavy, too.

 “You ate supper,” he says. The tip dips into my belly button. “My little bunny obeys orders sooner or later, but she is a very stubborn woman. I help guide her in the right direction as a husband should.”

 “We’re… we’re not married.”

He slips lower, slowly worming the vibrator under the hem of my sweatpants. It’s the only sound save for his quiet breathing and my heart hammering in my ears.

 “Then I need no one’s blessing to fuck you.” Kylo kisses my jaw, lingering as the vibrator moves further down. The way his voice rumbles through my back and he’s pressing his weight on me is a strange and arousing combination. I’m trapped.

 “You need mine,” I manage. I squirm, excited and nervous and on the cusp of being overwhelmed.

He tugs my earlobe in his teeth, stroking the vibrator down my slit and back up again, and I shiver. The hair stands up on the back of my neck.

 “You are already snared, little bunny,” he whispers. “Open up your legs for me.”

Excitement suddenly turns in sheer terror. I’m trapped.

Panicked, I struggle like hell and snap at Kylo to get off me. He does so faster than I can blink and shuts off the vibrator, chucking it across the room like it’s a murder weapon. He sits up with his hands in the air and dark eyes wide and innocent.

I grab at my chest. I’m dizzy, breathless; my heart races a mile a minute as I take desperate breaths. Son of a bitch. I haven’t had an anxiety attack in ages. He’s going to be so pissed—Poe was always pissed.

Kylo goes to the kitchen and brings me a glass of water. I’m too busy keeping my eyes closed to see him naked until he’s standing next to the bed with the cup. I open my eyes and see his dick half-hard and have to hold back a scream. Horse dick. Horse dick. He’ll split me in half—he’ll fuck me to death—

He crouches to my eye level and I’m freed from staring at his monstrous dick. I have to blink a couple times before I see his worried dark eyes.

 “Hospital?” he asks.

 “No, I’m okay. Thanks.”

Kylo nods and grabs his briefs from the rocking chair. I keep staring in terror at his penis until it’s out of sight.

 “Will sleep on couch,” he says. “Make sure cat is not lonely.” He gives me another look with his eyebrows raised, concerned. “You will be okay?”

 “Uh… yeah. Thanks.” I play with the hem of my sheets, worrying them down. “You’re not mad?”

He frowns. “Why would I be?”

 “…Well things got interrupted.”

Kylo shrugs and opens the nightstand drawer. He picks out the lube and gives it a small toss, smiling.

 “In Ukraine we say do not cry over spoiled fuck or spilled milk. There is always fresh milk and—” He wriggles his fingers on his free hand. “Woman is better but you need rest. Call if you need me. But not in next fifteen minutes.”

 “But you said you were German like… three hours ago.”

 “Hm… I do not think so. Belarus, maybe.”

I groan as he leaves my room. “Please don’t get cum on my couch!”

 “No guarantee, I have long trajectory.”

Jesus Christ. Kylo shuts the door and I’m finally left some peace and quiet, enough to sink down in my bed. I stare at the ceiling and think about what he said. Maybe Poe is a bigger dick than I thought, like the size of Kylo’s dick.

I raise my eyebrows. “Nothing’s bigger than that.”

But I’m only allowed a couple minutes before Kylo comes back with Regis. He drops him on the other side of the bed and leans over to kiss my head.

 “He is watching me,” Kylo mutters. “Very unsettling. Makes erection difficult.”

 “Thanks for sharing. Have fun out there and don’t forget to stretch.”

He waves on his way out. I roll my eyes and laugh as I turn over to force Regis to love me.

It’s near morning when I get up for more water. I open my bedroom door and almost trip over Kylo sleeping on the floor right in front of it. He’s curled up in a very large ball of man and hugging the wedding certificate, probably to protect it from me.

It’s ridiculous. I still go out to the closet and drape a knit blanket over him before I go back to bed.

Chapter Text

 “The Rey I know won’t be up for a couple more hours. Did she have more to drink last night or is she still reeling from Friday?”

That’s… Rose talking. I frown as I wake up in a tangle of blankets, wondering who she’s talking to and why she’s in my house. She only stays over once in a blue moon now that she’s engaged—usually to make sure I don’t aspirate and die on my bathroom floor.

The bed creaks as I paw along the nightstand for my phone, and for a heart-stopping second I realize it isn’t there. The rest slips into place.

 “Shit,” I mutter. I roll on my back, clawing the sheets off me, because Rose is talking to Kylo, who broke into my house, who might kill both of us. “Rose—ROSE!”

Chairs scrape. It smells like pancakes and coffee and that’s just not fucking right because I have a Keurig and hate cooking. I roll around in a humiliating hysterical mess, straight off the bed, and crawl as fast as I can to my bedroom door. I’m still yelling her name when two unfamiliar black boots block my exit.

Kylo smiles, crouching in front of me. His hair is up in the most ridiculous ponytail I’ve ever seen. I glare at him but as always, he doesn’t give a shit. At least he’s wearing a shirt—a polo a size too small with the collar popped, like he used a Ralph Lauren magazine from a decade ago as a reference.

I scowl harder, hoping he’ll combust. “You look fucking ridiculous.”

 “Rose said it is ‘interesting’,” he rebuffs. He glances down at his shirt and frowns. “Why so grumpy? I did not harm your friend. She enjoyed discussion of blessing as well. She does not mind if I—”

 “I’ll harm you if you harm her.”

Kylo looks affronted. He sniffs with all the indignant rage he can muster in his weird shirt and stands up.

 “You are very bitchy at all times,” he says. He taps his fingers on his biceps and sniffs again, shrugging. “Your book face says you enjoy pancake, I make pancake—”

 “You were on my Facebook?! It’s private! Sort of!”

 “Password not so hard to guess. You like cat and alcohol, and piece of shit Porsche.”

I claw out of my sheets and get to my feet, coming up somewhere around his chest, which is bigger than mine. I stab him between the pecs with my middle finger—repeatedly, while berating him.

 “Don’t. Use. Your. Russian. Hacking. On. My. Phone.”

 “Bah! Hacking!” Kylo waves me off, annoyed enough that his eyes aren’t glued to my very sheer nightgown. “Very rude! I make breakfast and still you are very rude!”

Rose peers around the corner, god bless her, but she doesn’t look very panicked. She sips a cup of coffee and watches us arguing, eyes flickering between my poking finger and Kylo’s enormous chest.

She clears her throat. “Oh, Rey—he asked if it’s okay for him to see you naked, and I just… sort of agreed to that? I mean, since it doesn’t make sense.”

I must flood bright angry red because she raises her eyebrows and disappears from where she came.

Kylo beams. “Best friend, hm? She says is okay.”

I shove him aside and storm out to my dining room slash kitchen.

Rose is sitting there with her mug and a half-eaten pancake, right in front of a huge pile of bacon. My shoulders heave from my furious breathing as Kylo sidles past me to the stove, where he has a bowl of pancake mix at the ready.

Regis meows. I glance down and see him eating crumbled up bacon on top of his kibble.

 “The big ones are better,” Rose offers, breaking the weird silence. She snorts into her coffee. “Sorry—the big pancakes are better.” She casts Kylo a reproachful look over her shoulder and he goes to work, pouring batter on the pan. “You need looser pants, dude. It chokes out your swimmers, and I can almost see your entire dick.”

He sighs, nodding. I slowly sink into a chair and stare straight ahead. I’m high. I’m really high.

 “Difficult,” Kylo says. He casually grabs his crotch and I jump and shield my face, but Rose raises her eyebrows and peers over. “American pants too small in the crotch, too big in the ass.”

 “Try Levi’s—my fiancé has the same problem and they helped a lot.”

I peer through my fingers. Kylo is thoughtfully holding his package, nodding to Rose’s suggestion. I slowly let my fingers close again.

He gives me a pancake that I ignore, but Rose is alive eating hers and I’m hungry, so I don’t ignore it for long. Kylo chews and smiles at me when I take a suspicious bite, eyes narrowed. It tastes goddamn delicious. Goddammit.

Rose nudges the plate of bacon toward me. “So Kylo tells me he came here from Europe. Yesterday.” She raises her eyebrows, nibbling a piece of bacon, smirking furtively. “You’re married?”

 “Illegally!” I snap.

 “Mix up,” Kylo hurries to interject. “It will be fixed.”

She widens her eyes and picks out another piece of bacon, unhurried. She needs to be about sixty times more stressed than she is about me accidentally getting married.

 “Poe’s in town.” Rose keeps smiling at me and I stiffen. “Since Kylo needs permission from him, too—and your mother somehow, Rey? How’s he supposed to go about doing that one?”

I grab her arm and drag her straight out of the chair down the hall to my bathroom. The door is still broken, so I reroute through the back door to my porch where the Porsche hangs under the tarp. Thankfully Kylo doesn’t follow us.

I cross my arms, gaze flicking to the door. “Rose, he’s fucking crazy. I have to get the cops out here.”

She glances at her watch and shrugs, and I kind of realize that she’s getting sick of my shenanigans. She’s not taking me seriously at all.

 “He made breakfast and fed the cat. What’s the big deal?”

 “He broke into my house!”

Rose taps out a message on her watch. Rain drizzles lightly from the eaves and a thick fog rolls in through the trees. It’s chilly out here.

 “You shouldn’t be calling the cops on some nice guy who bothers to hang around,” she says.

 “Rose. Be serious.”

 “What? Me be serious? You’re the one still acting like a college kid at thirty. It’s kind of exhausting having to baby you like this all the time, and I kind of wish you’d get your shit together and grow up.”

I blink. “Excuse me?”

Rose avoids my eyes and shrugs again. We lapse into silence, just the sound of the dripping rain echoing through the trees. Why’s she being so mean? What stick is up her ass?

She walks down the steps. “Finn said the marriage is void anyway, so do your magic and kick the guy out.”

 “He won’t leave. He broke in.” I hurry down the steps and follow her around the side of the house, miffed. “Do you think I’m lying?!”

 “I never said that.”

 “Well you must be thinking it!”

Rose turns sharply on me and I think for a second that she might throw a punch. But she gives me a disappointed look and that hurts way more. I clench my jaw, frustrated. What’s her problem?

She chews her lower lip like she’s holding something back, then says it anyway.

 “You’re thirty and do oil changes at a Firestone, Rey. You live out here alone with your cat and sleep with random creepy dudes at Frank’s bar. Is that really where you wanted to be?”

I’m too stunned to say anything. Rose mumbles for me to call her if I need her and shuffles off to her Volkswagen without another word.

I watch her car head down the driveway, still unmoving until I hear the screen door open. It makes my blood boil, fists clenching, and I slowly turn to see Kylo standing there in my apron without a shirt on.

He frowns, setting his hands on his hips. “Gone so soon? I did not make cinnamon buns.”

My eyelid twitches. I’m going to kill him.

Kylo cocks his head as I stomp up the stairs, smiling until I grab the front of the apron. He blinks like it’s shocking that I want to deck him and narrowly catches my fist before I do. We stagger back toward the door until his back bangs against the screen.

 “You!” I hiss. “Look what you did!”

 “I—I did not upset her! We had very nice conversation about jeans!” He grabs my other hand when I try slapping him, eyes wide, an infuriating innocent expression on his long face. “Please do not do that.”

Furious, I yank hard and he switches his grip to my wrists instead, holding me firm so I can’t pound my fists against his chest. He looks a little panicked but gets much more panicked when I start screaming. It echoes through the redwoods, lost in the fog and rain with no one around to hear it.

 “Where are my keys?!” I demand. “I’m going into town and bringing the fucking police here.”

Kylo lets my hands go and watches me pace back and forth, flexing my fists. His Adam’s Apple bobs and he shrugs and I know he’s full of shit. If he’s not killing me or anything, why doesn’t he want me going anywhere? What’s his fucking problem?

 “Roads slippery,” he blurts, “very unsafe to drive angry. Especially in Porsche.”

 “I don’t—I can drive fine! Give me my fucking keys right now!”

 “I cannot do that. I can make cinnamon buns.” He puts his hands up defensively when I stop and turn on him again. “Better to lay low for now.”

 “Lay low? What do you mean lay low? I have a job, asshole! I have friends and a job and someone’s going to notice I’m missing!” Don’t cry. Don’t cry. Stay angry. “What do you want?!”

For a minute he doesn’t reply, and it stretches into a long silent five minutes. His eyes are still wide, hands up like I’m about to shoot him in the face.

My lower lip trembles. Fine. I’ll go angry cry in my room and I definitely won’t eat any more bacon.

Kylo moves quickly to let me storm in the house. Being full of shit, I make a quick stop in the kitchen and grab the plate of bacon and a beer from the fridge. He watches through the screen and Regis watches from the table where he’s chewing on my half eaten pancake. He meows.

 “Fuck you,” I snap, then I slam my bedroom door shut.

Chapter Text

We don’t speak to each other for the rest of the day, which is good, because I want to kill Kylo. He walks around outside my bedroom and I hear the vacuum and the dishwasher, but I pout in bed instead, sipping the bottle of rosé stashed under my bed.

Night falls. He opens my door a crack and I stiffen, glaring from under my covers, but it’s only to slide a plate inside. It drags against the door because he’s trying so hard not to open it further than he needs to.

I glare at the plate for a long time before I get up and eat. It’s chicken with lemon and garlic, rosemary potatoes, and green beans. It’s delicious. I angrily stab each bite before I eat it and wash it all down with my rosé. My only other bottle is tequila, and when I open it and take a sip, I realize how pathetic it is to be hiding Jose Cuervo under my bed.

Eventually I fall asleep.

It’s still dark when I wake up and my head is spinning. I stumble out of my room to the bathroom to take a shower and notice Kylo fixed the door like he said he would. I shove it open and wander in, wobbling. I’m maybe a little drunk but I have to get up in a couple hours and go to work, so I pretend I’m not.

I make it into my shower without smashing my head open, and I even clean myself without smashing my head open. It’s quite a feat with the whole room spinning like a fucking funhouse.

Soon I’m brushing my teeth, and I decide it’s a good time to put my uniform on. I rinse my mouth out and go back to the bedroom to find it, grabbing the wall along the way to keep from falling. It’s five in the morning and I need to be there for seven.

My keys aren’t near the door. Son of a bitch.

I turn and see Kylo watching me from the living room. He blinks and withdraws when I stomp over to him.

 “Keys!” I snap. “I have to work!”

 “Uh—is not such a good idea.” He smiles a little, and grabs Regis like he’s a shield. “You are very drunk. I will call, tell them you are sick.”

 “I’m fine!”

On cue, the room starts spinning. I mumble that I’m fine again, and my ears start ringing, and I eat shit.

—————

My head hurts like it always does when I wake up from drinking. I’m hungover. Bad.

Regis is curled up on my stomach. We’re in the living room on the couch and alone, with no sign of Kylo anywhere. I groan and pull the blanket over my eyes. He’s here somewhere. Somehow he hides his big ass linebacker body in my tiny house.

I find water and an Aleve on the coffee table. Regis hops down as I drag myself upright to take the pill and guzzle the water, and he sashays down the hall toward my bedroom. He’s got a real attitude nowadays. No more bacon breakfasts for him.

 “Good morning, little bunny.”

Kylo appears out of fucking nowhere, right on cue. I scream in shock even though I should expect it and he jumps back like he’s shocked that I’m shocked. He’s wearing a sleeveless white shirt and basketball shorts, now going for a real white trash look instead of confused Eastern European.

I put a hand over my chest. “Jesus! Thanks!”

 “Sorry. Sorry.” He motions toward the hall. “Told the car repair shop you are ill and… spent time cleaning bedroom. Dismal. Dirty.”

 “You cleaned my room?”

Kylo frowns, eyeing me like I’m an idiot. “…Dismal. Dirty.”

God. Fine. I lie back down and pull the covers over my head, too tired to be mad about him cleaning my house. It needs it. I should be thanking him, and yet: he broke into my house and won’t go away.

He goes back to work and leaves me alone. My phone is back, sitting on the coffee table, but I don’t have anyone to text. I scroll through Facebook, dejected from my fight with Rose. She’s right. I really need to grow up, but she didn’t need to be such a bitch about it, either.

Furniture moves around in the bedroom. I ignore it as best I can, eyes closed, trying to convince myself he’s not destroying everything. He fixed my door, right?

But I have to investigate.

I slowly get to my feet and pad down the hall to my room. I’m still in my goofy ass uniform, which I can’t wait to take off, but I’m not doing that until I have a locking bedroom door.

Kylo is pushing my bed back to the middle wall, all in one piece. The floor is vacuumed and he opened the window, free and clear of bugs, and all my clothes are hung up in the closet or I suspect folded in the dresser. Everything is neat. It’s eerie.

He picks up my empty liquor bottles by the necks, eyebrows raised. “These do not belong in bedroom.”

I nod as he walks past to throw them out, and wander in further, mystified by the cleanliness. The bed is made—it’s never made—and he organized my nightstand full of crap. The vibrator is on top and I awkwardly grab it and throw it in the closet. I don’t know what to do with it. Shit.

Kylo comes back and sets his hands on his hips, surveying his work. He’s super proud of it.

 “Thanks,” I say, because I should. “It looks really good.”

 “Yes. Not so dismal.” He taps my nose and I scowl. “Now we must go to town. You need groceries. Food that does not come in can or box.”

 “The best food comes in a can or box. Haven’t you ever had Spaghettios? Pizza rolls? Oops All Berries? Red Lobster butter biscuits, which can now be made from the comfort of one’s own home?”

He waves me off. “All shit. American junk.”

 “Excuse me? Are you insulting Red Lobster butter biscuits right in my own home?” I fold my arms, raising my eyebrows. “What’s next? Do you think Olive Garden’s breadsticks taste like shit?”

 “Yes.”

 “They’re never-ending. Never-ending. You can eat as many as you want.”

 “Taste like shit. Like brick.”

Okay. Okay. He wants to fucking fight.

I heave a long sigh, shaking my head. “I don’t want to fight you, but if you keep insulting never-ending breadsticks…”

Kylo shrugs. He’s oblivious.

“Taste like shit.”

I’m not sure what I’m trying to do, but I leap on his back and wrap my arms around his neck—not to hurt him, but just defend the pure hedonism of never-ending breadsticks. It’s as American as apple pie.

He grunts in surprise and reaches back for my legs, but I wrap them around his hips and hold on for dear life. Kylo stumbles forward and turns in a wide circle. Regis hops on the bed and settles in to watch.

 “Take it back!” I pause. “And say my Porsche makes the nicest cars you’ve ever seen!”

I’m not too much of a match for him. He rips my arms away and I squeal as he drags me around in front of him, staggering forward again and dropping me on the bed. Regis hisses and leaps off to watch from the closet, tail flicking.

Kylo pins my hands, effortlessly. He laughs a little and shakes his head, pushing back and straightening up. I sit up on the edge of the bed and run a quick hand through my hair. He’s strong as hell. The more I look at him the less ugly he becomes and the more I want him to throw me around like a ragdoll and fuck me.

 “Get changed,” he calls from the door. “Then we go to grocery store.”

It’s conflicting. I’m sticking with my usual song and dance: pushing him away as far as I can to test his limits before I give him an inch. It doesn’t work, but it keeps men from taking advantage of me.

I change into jeans and a pink blouse I forgot about. Kylo is dressed in a normal pair of jeans but didn’t quite make it with the shirt. It’s a blue and yellow Hawaiian shirt with a horrendous pattern. He looks like an eighty year old Wall Street retiree.

He opens the door, offering me the keys. I hesitate before taking them from his palm. This is my chance to escape if I really want to. I can go straight to the cops.

But I take them and lock the front door instead, and don’t run for my car. Kylo follows with his hands in his pockets.

We slip into the Porsche. I rev the engine when it starts, making Kylo roll his eyes and shake his head. It can haul ass when I get it in gear. It has a cold air intake and everything to cool the engine so I can peel down the winding highways.

 “I’ll have to attack you again if you insult my car,” I say, shifting into low gear to pull out to my driveway.

Kylo snorts. “Attack? Very poor attack.” He looks pensive and nods, scratching his jaw. “I teach you how to fight. You did not last thirty seconds.”

 “Oh my god, I wasn’t going to throttle you, dude. I can really kick your ass if you want me to.”

 “…Because American food tastes like shit?”

Alright. I give up.

It’s a short ride to the nearest town, one that’s still within the boundaries of the park and isn’t flooded with tourists. I pull up to the small grocery store and follow Kylo out. He attracts curious looks. He’s gigantic—they probably think he’s a Sasquatch.

Being a small grocery store in a National Park, there’s not a huge produce selection. I examine my nails while Kylo picks through the limited heads of romaine and floppy kale, until he growls with disgust and turns back to me. I keep looking at my nails.

 “Disappointed?” I ask.

 “Is rotten! Inedible!”

 “It’s not rotten or inedible. You’re in a park, not downtown Los Angeles.”

Kylo clenches his jaw and glares at the kale like it insulted his mother. He huffs like a bear.

 “Take us elsewhere,” he snaps. It’s the first time I’ve seen him pissed about anything. “Atrocious food! No wonder Americans eat cans of salt!”

 “I totally get your anti-American thing, but you might want to keep it to yourself in public. Like everyone here is probably packing bear spray or a concealed carry, and they hate foreigners.”

He huffs again and grabs my hand to drag me out of the grocery store. I let him.

We get back in the Porsche and I escort him all the way to a town outside the park, which is another half hour drive. Kylo stews silently in the passenger seat with his arms crossed over his chest, apparently a really big diva about the quality of produce.

This time we go to a Whole Foods and Chef Ramsey is happy as a clam. I’m bored again, chewing my nails now instead of just looking at them, and I nod like I’m paying attention when Kylo excitedly shows me overpriced kale. It’s the same as the kale at Parker’s Grocery. It’s the same thing.

He picks all kinds of things I never eat. There’s a big pink thing called a dragon fruit that he says makes good smoothies (no thanks), arugula (what’s arugula?) and a thing that looks like a dried up piece of shit.

 “Ginger root.” Kylo looks concerned as he adds it to the cart. “You… have never seen ginger root?”

 “No. I know it’s in ginger ale.”

He kind of raises his eyebrows in a way that says yikes. Whatever. At least I’m not wearing a Hawaiian shirt.

The line isn’t very long. Our cashier is nice like they always are in Whole Foods and Kylo is nice back. I’m less friendly because I know it’s going to cost a shit ton of money.

But he reaches in his back pocket and takes out a wadded up roll of hundreds and casually hands the cashier three. She blinks and I blink as he wraps the money in a fucking rubber band and sticks it back in his pocket.

No one speaks.

He raises a finger. “Ah. My mistake.”

We watch him take out a penny and hand it to her. She turns to run a marker on the bills and he smiles down at my dumbfounded expression.

 “Even change,” he offers, as if I’ve never taken algebra.

I laugh, nervous, maybe terrified. “Where’d you get all that money? Are you going to sell me?”

Kylo laughs too and I keep laughing. Ha. Ha ha. My suspicion is back that I’m being lured into sexual slavery. Who else carries a couple grand in a rubber band in their back pocket?

We return to the car and he whistles while he puts the groceries in the trunk up front. I lean on the car and frantically Google ‘am I being sold into sexual slavery’ when I hear someone call my name.

It’s Poe Dameron. He’s in shorts and a T-shirt. He never wore those. Holy shit.

He has a tall blonde woman with him and she has a big rock on her finger that practically blinds me. She’s wearing a maxi dress and looks stunning in it. Holy shit.

Kylo peers over as he shuts the trunk. “Who is this small man?”

 “It’s—it’s my ex.” I grab his shirt and yank him close, eyeing Poe and his new fiancée. “Kiss me. Kiss me, please. Please kiss me.”

I’m not going to look like I haven’t moved on. Kylo doesn’t need the encouragement and he kisses me hard on the mouth, pinning me to the door of my car, hands on my hips to keep me there. I kiss him back because it isn’t wholly unpleasant, but also because Poe is ten feet away.

Kylo wanders away from my mouth down my neck. It’s a little much for public but I don’t complain. His lips are soft but he bites a little, and I can dig my nails into the muscles in his back without worrying I’ll hurt him. He groans and pushes me up the side of the car like he’s going to fuck me right there.

 “…Uh, Rey?”

I gasp and pretend to be surprised. Kylo doesn’t want to let go at first but relents when I squirm. He touches the hem of my shirt and slips his hand around my waist. Again, not wholly unpleasant.

 “Poe, wow!” I gasp again. “So good to see you!” I glance at the fiancée. “And who’s this?”

 “Maya.” She smiles, tilting her head. “Charmed.”

Poe motions to me. “Maya, this is Rey—and I’m not sure who this is with her, but maybe someone she picked up last night.” He gives me a smug, snide kind of smile that I want to wipe off his face.

Kylo is busy kissing my neck again. Two fingers have found their way under the hem of my jeans, stroking near my hip, and I laugh and elbow him in the ribs.

 “This is my… husband!” That’s good. Then I beat Poe to the altar. “Kylo. He’s great. He’s from… Ukraine.”

He lifts his mouth from where it’s suctioned to my neck. I’m sure he’s suddenly realizing that per my fake beliefs, he has to ask Poe for permission to see me naked. I can hear the cogs turning.  

Kylo offers his free hand. “Poe.” He jerks Poe forward when he takes the handshake, frowning, brow drawn. “You had sex with my wife. Do not worry. I am not angry—but I must ask: may I see her naked?”

If crickets were around, they’d be chirping an awkward opera.

Maya blinks, I blink, and Poe looks a little terrified. He nods fast and Kylo beams and lets him go.

He smiles at me. “I like this Poe. I may still have to kill him—but I like him.”

 “He’s kidding!” I blurt. “He’s… he takes medical marijuana.”

 “I do not kid. I will snap this man’s neck.” Kylo narrows his eyes and nods. “I am angry. I snap his neck now.”

Poe takes a hard step back and laughs. “Okay, well. Congrats on the wedding and we’ll see you for Rose and Finn’s, right?” He looks Kylo over and makes a motion for a call near his ear. “Blink twice if you need me to call the cops.”

They walk across the parking lot to a brand new red Porsche. I glare at it. He doesn’t even like Porsche.

Kylo waves when they drive off. He keeps his arm around me.

 “Nice man,” he says. He shrugs and kisses the side of my head before moving away. “Unfortunate I must kill him for fucking my wife.”

 “Cool your fucking jets, Rambo!” I snap. I rip open the driver’s door, furious. “We dated a while ago. I’ve had sex with a lot of people and you can’t kill all of them. I’ve had sex with women, too.”

He slowly shuts his door, eyes wide. I nod and start the engine. Jesus he’s weird.

Kylo taps his fingertips together. He pauses like he’s trying to find the words, then he’s gross anyway.

 “…Do you perhaps have… recordings of this?”

I’m too mad to be sarcastic. I give him a repulsed look that seems to send the message and he mutters an apology, then lapses into shamed silence. Men are so gross and predictable. So predictable.  

Chapter Text

While we’re out I decide I should stop at Macy’s and dress my fake husband like a normal American. He needs something for the wedding instead of rolling in with no shirt on or worse—a Hawaiian shirt on.

Kylo needs reassuring that the groceries won’t go bad in the trunk. They might. I parked in the shade but I make no promises.

He turns in big circles when we walk in the mall and attracts every pair of eyes within a hundred foot radius. It’s pointless to hide him. He’s gigantic and goofy as fuck and wearing a Hawaiian shirt. I stare back at people staring at us until they look away.

Kylo huffs. “Moving stairs? Can you not use stairs in this country?”

 “It’s a fucking escalator you goon. I’m sure you have them wherever the fuck you’re from.”

No answer. That’s what I thought.

There’s not many people milling around Macy’s. Kylo follows me to the men’s section, frowning at all the clothes we pass, and his frown deepens when we come upon the suits. I’m not bringing him to Versace or anything. Unless he’s footing the bill.

I gesture. “Pick one that’s black. For the wedding.”

 “Our wedding?” he asks with a hopeful tone that I don’t really want to crush.

 “I don’t know. Whatever. Just pick something that’s not hideous.”

He rolls his eyes at the selection and rubs his thumb across a jacket. It’s black. Who cares?

 “This is not black tie.” Kylo looks around, lips puckered. “We go elsewhere. Tuxedo.”

 “Alright, as long as you’re paying.”

Still, I can find some other casual clothes to make him blend in a little better. The tux can wait until later and I already have my bridesmaid dress put away and sealed up. Rose made sure of it, as if I’m a slob or something.

Maybe she doesn’t want me to come. I chew my lower lip, watching Kylo examining clothes like he’s shopping around for a diamond. I hope not. I should call her and apologize—but she was pretty fucking rude, too. Maybe Finn will intervene and be the adult.

Kylo picks a yellow polo and I quickly strike it down before anyone sees him holding it. He huffs and crosses his arms.

 “People don’t wear bright yellow. Especially men.” I pick through and find a much less offensive blue T-shirt, which I hold up to his enormous chest. “Well… this might fit. Does anything fit you?”

 “Very little. Arms are thick, so I am more comfortable with no shirt.”

 “Ah. Got it—to go with the big dick you casually brag about?” I wander to another rack, slowly piling clothes in his arms. “Your life must be so hard.”

He smiles smugly. I shake my head and laugh and carry on the Herculean task of finding shirts that fit my new Eastern European home invader.

The lack of bright colors disappoints him so I add a pink shirt to even out all the muted gray and blue. He beams.

We move on to the jeans and Kylo once again studies them until I’m about to lose my fucking mind. I grab a pair of Levi’s and shove them in his arms, then realize they’re obviously way too small. Son of a bitch.

 “You’re literally worse than Rose.” I heft the shirts in my arms and sit on the display table, heaving a sigh. “Do you need special underwear for your big dick? Is there a section for that?”

 “No—have boxer briefs already. Holds my cock in place.” Kylo glances at me and smiles, cheeky. “Would you like to see, little bunny?”

My cheeks burn. I roll my eyes as I look away, pretending it doesn’t phase me. He’s awful sassy today. Must be the overpriced groceries.

We find a fitting room and he herds me in like I knew he would. I drop the pile of shirts on the chair and turn to leave, but he’s standing right in the goddamn way, leaning against the closed door and smiling again. I raise my eyebrows.

 “Whatcha doing?” I ask.

I try not to react as he looms over me, dark eyes on mine, and his belt makes the hot clinking noise that comes right before sex. Kylo casually pulls off his ridiculous shirt and drops it to the floor, then just as casually pushes his pants down off his hips.

Okay. It’s a little harder to keep a straight face, but I keep my eyes on his and resist the urge to confirm that his dick is as big as I remember. His eyes are up top, Rey. Don’t ogle at his enormous penis.

Kylo leans down to kiss my neck, arms encircling my waist and dragging my body flush against his. He’s warm and smells nice and most importantly, he’s hard. It’s been a long time since I had public sex and fitting rooms are a real challenge: thin walls, people coming in and out. Kinky sex Olympics, gold medal.

His lips wander to mine and I throw my arms around his neck. Fuck it. I guess he can sell me into sex slavery—at least I’ll have fitting room sex to remember forever.

Kylo cups my face in his bear paws, kissing me and moving forward, pushing me toward the wall. My back bumps into it and he pushes me up so my legs wrap around his hips. His hands slide down to hold my thighs; I dig my heels into the small of his back, flushing when I feel his dick pressing hard and hot between my legs. Need to get my pants off. Somehow.

He kisses a trail from my mouth back to my neck. “You are very loud.”

 “I’m just… breathing.” I swallow, listening for sounds of someone else coming in. “You don’t have a condom in that atrocious shirt, do you?”

Usually I’m carrying one of every flavor but it hasn’t crossed my mind. Kylo shakes his head, pushing a big hand up the front of my shirt. He’s a man, so he cups my breast like he’s never felt one before before tugging my bra over and out of the way.

His palms are warm; kind of rough. He rolls his hips, grinding his hard on gently between my legs while he brushes his thumb around and across my nipple. I’m already well past the need for foreplay and more than ready for him to bend me over and fuck me against the mirror, condom or not.

Kylo groans into my collarbone and I wonder if he’s going to just go full teenage boy and hump me until he comes. My fingers slide down to feel the muscles shifting in his back, then down further to feel them flexing in his hips as he rhythmically rubs his cock against my very rough jeans. His muscles have muscles. How’s he so goddamn big?

I press my hands to his broad chest and give a light push. He huffs and keeps kissing my neck but backs off when I push harder. His eyes are lidded and dark, lips swollen red, and he looks irritated. Same.

 “Let me just—get my pants off,” I whisper. I squirm, urging him to put me down. “This isn’t you like trying out the product, right?”

Kylo grunts, ignoring the jab. He lets me down from the wall and impatiently cups his junk while I hurry to peel my jeans off my body. I can leave the shirt. Maybe I’ll put my hands on the mirror so I can watch him fucking me. I don’t want my bare ass sliding on the wall, that’s for damn sure.

He licks his lips. “No condom?” Kylo eyes my purse, distractedly squeezing his package. It’s distracting. I almost fall over. “None?”

 “No, and it’s the one fucking time I don’t have one.”

He groans and paws through my purse anyway, a man possessed by his dick. I’m about ready to let him raw me in this fitting room, condom or not. He can impregnate me with his enormous babies of questionable European descent.

When he comes up empty-handed, Kylo rubs his face with one hand and makes a more pained groan. He glances at me fully ready to risk pregnancy and AIDS and gonorrhea and has the sense not to whip it out and fuck me.

But he gets down on his knees instead. I take a sharp breath, stepping back once in front of the mirror, and Kylo grabs my hips. He yanks my panties down and I bite my lower lip hard, fingers in his hair. His lips are wet and ridiculously soft and he’s not at all hesitant. No wasting time kissing my thighs and mumbling shit I don’t care about.

He licks a slow stripe up my slit and grabs my ass to push me against his mouth. I forget I’m in public for a second, breaths quickening, and he pinches my upper thigh to remind me. I’m blinking really fast, still in shock that he’s eating me out in a fitting room, and even more shocked that he doesn’t suck at it.

Someone laughs. “We’ll find something that fits. Come over here, honey.”

Kylo bears down even more, hands holding my hips as he concentrates on rhythmically sucking and licking my clit. I pull his hair, knees shaking—he’s doing it fucking deliberately, the son of a bitch.

A door opens and closes not too far away. I swallow hard and squeeze my eyes shut, then can’t resist glancing at our reflections in the mirror. It’s pretty hot. I’m half bent over him, arching on my tiptoes, and he’s really into what he’s doing. His eyes roam to the mirror too and back up to mine.

 “You know I hate those shirts, Denise,” snaps a man. “I’m not putting that shit on.”

 “Just try it! What are you, twelve?”

It’s probably demented to get off listening to some middle aged couple arguing, but I’ve masturbated to worse. Kylo slows and the tip of his nose brushes along my slit up to my clit, then I sort of push his mouth down, and he sucks gently.

I have to put a hand on the wall and can’t stop a sharp breath. He rubs his thumbs into my hip bones and doesn’t resist me rolling against his mouth, not at all being a pain in the ass trying to pin me down like most men do. Women don’t. They get it.

Kylo’s hooded dark eyes wander up to mine again as I thread my fingers in his thick black hair. It’s a little too intimate for my liking, so I press my forehead to my arm instead, breath hitching, tumbling over the edge.

A door slams. “I’ll just find my own shit!”

The guy storms off and I can’t help but laugh a little while I come. Kylo smiles and closes his eyes, letting me push him closer and get off on his ridiculously soft lips. My eyes roll back. I bite my arm to keep from moaning and shit, tugging his long hair and shuddering. It tingles straight down to my toes. Good orgasm—really good orgasm.

It passes and leaves me trembling, weak in the knees. Kylo mercifully moves his mouth away to kiss my inner thighs instead. Sometimes they hover. It’s like poking my clit with a hot iron.

I swallow and stumble back. He licks his lips wide like a sated lion and stands, still watching me. I’m hoping he isn’t expecting me to return the favor and suck his dick. He probably is.

 “Uh…” I pull up my panties and swipe my jeans off the floor. “…Thanks?”

 “Ah—little bunny is less bitchy already.” Kylo beams, voice cracking from misuse, and he clears his throat. “You are still very loud.”

 “Why? Because I had to breathe?”

He shrugs. It’s hard to ignore his obvious erection and I’m not entirely against helping him out. Blow jobs are usually the last thing I get to, after sex is routine. I’m not a huge fan of getting on my knees and letting a man fuck my mouth.

I sigh, pretending he’s a huge inconvenience, and nudge him against the wall. When I try slipping my hand in his underwear, Kylo turns three shades whiter than snow and grabs my wrist.

He hesitates. I blink.

 “Ah…” He blinks faster than me like he’s rebooting. “Sorry.”

 “Wh—I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to surprise you. Sorry.”

Jesus, what the hell is wrong with me? Kylo smiles weakly, kisses my hand, and sidles past me to the pile of clothes. I stand there and feel like an asshole. We all have our limits.