Mystic Messenger Fanfiction | Vanderwood+Seven – Wrecked Ass | Commission

Vanderwood stalked from room to room, holding his gun forward and scanning every nook and cranny before he moved on to the next. Some of the rooms, he could hear the music more loudly than others. Still, it would be a mistake not to check every room until he found the right one. The music could just as easily have been a diversion, and Vanderwood didn’t want to get caught in a trap because he was playing hot and cold with some CD player.

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***I’ve been involved in a number of things lately, and this is one of them! I was commissioned this idea by @chaoticstarblossoms on tumblr, my official FFC artist and best friend. This is what we ended up with – to post for Vanderweek on tumblr. Regular posting will resume next week, I’m thinking. ~Let’s Connect! FFC***

Vanderwood could hear it. That accursed song. Seven had become obsessed with it lately. More like, ever since Vanderwood had complained about it on a mission, Seven would play the song whenever the elder agent came over to check on the redhead’s work. It was nearly constantly on repeat while Vanderwood would clean – the environment far too dirty for any sensible person to be able to work in, let alone himself with his OCD.

He called out into the bunker as soon as he entered. “Turn that shit off before I tase you!” That was how it always started, and for a while it would be off – until Vanderwood would start cleaning and get too in-the-zone to step away. Seven knew Vanderwood had to accomplish each task before he could pause. That asshole. This time, though, the music didn’t turn off.

The agent stepped into the living room of the bunker – eyebrow twitching at the mess everywhere. Where was the music even coming from? It was fainter than normal. Something was off. Vanderwood undid the clasp on his taser-holster, pulling it back for easy access as he pulled out his gun from its hiding spot. There was something very off about this.

It didn’t feel like there was danger afoot – more like the redhead was up to his tricks again. If there was a trick, Vanderwood didn’t want to be involved. He had to find Seven before shit could go down. Every room would have to be scanned, and he started with the computer room and bedroom – eyebrow twitching at the mess but thankfully able to ignore it now that he was slipping into work mode.

Vanderwood stalked from room to room, holding his gun forward and scanning every nook and cranny before he moved on to the next. Some of the rooms, he could hear the music more loudly than others. Still, it would be a mistake not to check every room until he found the right one. The music could just as easily have been a diversion, and Vanderwood didn’t want to get caught in a trap because he was playing hot and cold with some CD player.

He opened another door, checking around and nearly muttering, ‘Clear,’ to himself before he saw it. A pair of glowing orange eyes lit up. Bloody fucking Hell. What in the God-damn universe was that? Seven had a number of ridiculous things in his bunker, but the things that Vanderwood hated the most were the kid’s gadgets. He built all sorts of robots and creatures, and each seemed more dangerous than the last.

A, “Woof!” reverberated through the room – the apparently robot-dog stepping forward into the dim lighting coming from the opened door. Its mouth opened again – an orange glow appearing slowly. Fear clutched Vanderwood, an emotion which was very rare for him. Typically, he would have rushes of adrenaline but never outright fear. However, there was a bloody fire-breathing robot-dog in the bloody bunker!

Vanderwood popped off a shot or two, slamming the door closed as the beast staggered back. He held the door in place, chestnut-brown eyes widening as the door seemed to grow hot – giving off enough heat for him to worry that his long hair was going to light aflame. It didn’t, but he felt his anger rising even more. Was the little asshole trying to kill him?

With renewed energy, Vanderwood was back to his scanning. Every room from then on was clear – the sound getting louder and louder as he approached the final room in the house. It was the garage. Vanderwood hadn’t thought that the kid would put his, ‘baby cars,’ at risk enough to plot some trick in there, but maybe he was underestimating the redhead’s trickery. Either way – when all of this was over, Vanderwood was going to whoop the redhead’s ass. Or tase him. One or the other. Bloody Hell, why not both?

Slowly, with all the care in the world, Vanderwood opened the door into the garage. He was blasted with the song on an even higher volume that made his already damaged ears ring. The agent kept his gun up, scanning the surroundings. Where the fuck were the cars? That was when he caught it, movement from the corner of his eyes. Vanderwood had previously cleared that space, but he hadn’t looked at the ceiling.

There was now a large wrecking ball coming down from above, falling in a bee-line towards him as Vanderwood jumped back, pressing himself against the wall. Thankfully, the wrecking ball stopped just a foot from him. Seven had apparently planned for that, and he’d also planned for the outfit that he was wearing as he sat atop the bloody wrecking ball, seemingly lip-synching to the music.

Vanderwood couldn’t even make his brain function to put his gun back in its place. He watched, completely dumbfounded, as Seven swung back and forth on the item in what was very clearly a nude bodysuit. Thank fuck that the kid wasn’t actually naked. Though even the idea of it was enough to make Vanderwood shiver.

In the span of a minute – Vanderwood had gone from violently angry to scared for his life, confused as all Hell, and now back to violently angry all over again. “Zero Seven! Get the fuck off that bloody thing!” How had the kid even gotten that into the house? Where were the cars? They certainly weren’t here. Those were some premium luxury cars, too. The agent took comfort in the fact that Seven at least loved those precious commodities enough not to have destroyed them for this stupid trick.

Seven was laughing so hard now that he could barely even hear Vanderwood launching into a yelled lecture. That look on his partner’s face had been worth all of the hard work he’d done to get his baby cars moved to a secure location and then building his wrecking ball from scratch while hanging from the ceiling. Truly, this was his greatest accomplishment yet. There wasn’t even a way for Vanderwood to make him stop, because it was swinging back and forth like the very dangerous one-ton pendulum that it was.

Or so he’d thought. Seven had been so busy with setting up the specifics of how to build it and making sure that he wouldn’t actually hit Vanderwood when the ball fell, that he hadn’t accounted for how short of a time it would take gravity to slow the object in question. Already, its swing was shorter – getting shorter by the second. That detail wasn’t missed by the elder agent.

A dark smirk curved on Vanderwood’s lips as he realized what was happening. Seven had stopped laughing now to throw puns at him, and Vanderwood kept the redhead busy by continually responding – pretending that he still wanted the kid to get off the thing by himself. All the while, he was moving slightly closer as the swing lessened – so that Seven wouldn’t notice just how small the swing had gotten. When it was nearly to the middle of the room, he saw the realization cross the redhead’s face.

He hadn’t planned for this! Seven only realized what was happening when he questioned why he was getting a look at Vanderwood’s face so often now. The redhead sat petrified, trying to come up with the escape plan that he’d neglected to create beforehand. Curse his uncontrollable excitement! Probably the worst part of it was that the older agent wasn’t even doing anything. Seven looked up at the male, clutching the rope on his wrecking ball for dear life.

Vanderwood loved the way that Seven’s eyes were widening, preparing for his impending doom and punishment. He just stood there, letting the guy stew in it. Seven made a nervous chuckle after they’d been motionless for a minute or two, trying to get off of the wrecking ball. “I should get going to work, huh?”

The older agent just pressed his hand to Seven’s back, keeping him in place atop the item. “You want to get to work now? You look busy to me.” The music was making his ears ring more the longer it played so loudly, but he didn’t care right now. Seven deserved some torture after what he’d done. He watched as the redhead shifted uncomfortably on the large sphere, clearly not a good position to be in for long periods of time. “Uh…Yeah…I’d like to get to work!”

This device of his was so uncomfortable that Seven was sure it would wreck his ass if he didn’t get off of it soon. Maybe if he kept pretending like nothing had happened, Vanderwood would be nice and let him off the hook? Unlikely, but he had to give it a try. “I’ll just get right on it!” Again, he tried to move and was stopped. “You’re already on it.” His eyes flicked to the wrecking ball and back to Seven’s face. “You certainly came in like the wrecking ball you are, today.”

Vanderwood shifted, getting some earplugs out from an inner pocket of his jacket and in a deliberately slow motion, inserting them into his own ears. He was probably speaking much louder now thanks to them, but he’d been practically shouting over the music already. “We’ve got plenty of time before the deadline, so why don’t you enjoy your music a little bit longer?”

He could still faintly hear the song past the earplugs, and it was playing in his head, too. At least the painful ringing was gone. That, and there was another reward out of this. Seven would never again play that song – certainly not on repeat. The boy had a sore ass for a week. Vanderwood hadn’t even needed to whoop it to make that happen.

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Mystic Messenger Fanfiction | SaeyoungxOC Maddie – Part of Your World | Adjusting | Commission

It took her a moment to return the action, unsure of herself, since she didn’t have any experience in things like this. It felt so good.

-By reading my work containing NSFW scenes, you acknowledge that you are of legal age to view explicit content and absolve FanfictionConnection and its admins of any legal ramifications.

***I was commissioned by @lephrasia on tumblr for this fanfiction. OC Maddie has quite a few aspects of her personality to be explored, and this chapter we delve into what it’s like to adjust to a whole new world and also to touch. ~Let’s Connect! FFC***

Chapter DirectoryOther Works

There were a lot of things she needed. When you already had all of your paperwork, you didn’t think about just how much of it there was. Now that she needed basically her whole identity written over again, it became clear just how much paperwork it takes to make one person them in the eyes of the law. Watching Saeyoung work was impressive. His fingers seemed to move so quickly, even if he occasionally stopped to rub at his arm. That must have been where he was shot. The game had said he might never hack again, but he seemed to be doing okay, other than being in pain every once in a while.

With a heavy sigh, Saeyoung leaned back in his chair, looking over at her. Why was she so pretty? He’d really fallen in love with a beautiful woman. Her eyes were what he loved most, the brown so enticing that it was almost like he could fall into them. That was a totally different dimension that he’d love to be in. Now they made eye contact, which he held for just a moment before he realized what he was doing. Blush filled his face, nearly turning it as red as his hair, but it seemed like she was blushing, too.

In the time that they’d been together, they hadn’t spent much time together other than just being in the same room. That wasn’t nearly as much quality time as he wanted. It felt like he’d known her for years, and she knew so much about him, but there was still this gap. They had come from totally different worlds. Saeyoung chewed at the inside of his cheek. If he wanted things to move along, maybe he had to make that happen. He reached out his hand to her, putting on a goofy smile. “Won’t you come and sit with me, Madeleine?”

Maddie tensed. It had been difficult enough with him looking into her eyes like that earlier, but now he wanted her to come…sit in his lap? She wasn’t used to this type of contact, not by a long-shot. Positive touch…that was such a foreign concept to her, almost as foreign as the language of his country. Except, by now, she knew more about Korean than she did about positive touch. Saeyoung waved his hand up and down exaggeratively in the air, waiting for her to take it. Hesitantly, she reached out, grasping his hand.

Saeyoung pulled on her hand, bringing her falling into his lap. Maddie gave out a little sound of surprise, grabbing onto him around his neck out of self-preservation and not wanting to fall on the floor, but quickly letting her hands drop away with a massive blush on her face. She almost wanted to hit him for scaring her, but her heart was racing so quickly that she didn’t know how to bear it. Could this really be normal? It felt good, even with her heart trying to run away from her. He was warm, and he smelled so good. His smile seemed to falter, and inwardly, she panicked. Had she done something wrong? Was she not being…touched the right way?

She seemed to be so uncomfortable. Saeyoung chewed at the inside of his cheek again, reaching up to lightly cup her cheek only for her to pull her face away from him. Was she really angry at him for taking her away from her world? That had to be it, right? Maybe he was just making assumptions. He didn’t deserve her, right? The game had just been set up to force her to like him…Saeyoung had to bite the inside of his cheek particularly hard to banish that thought. As much as he wasn’t good at truly expressing his feelings, maybe what they needed was to talk it out.

“What’s wrong? Did I do something to hurt you?” At least those were good questions, but Maddie just shook her head. Maddie wasn’t sure how to find the right words. Communicating was a struggle for her, partly because of her autism. Sometimes emotions could be so frustrating. “What’s going on, Madeleine? Are you uncomfortable?” She was struggling to find a way to tell him what she was feeling, getting more and more frustrated with herself. It wasn’t so easy as simply talking. What if she said something wrong? Then there was the added layer of just not…understanding how she was feeling.

Maddie felt like scratching at herself, but she was in Saeyoung’s lap, and obviously didn’t have the opportunity to do so, not without him knowing. That was another thing, ever since coming to this world, she hadn’t had any of her medications. It was probably important, but she couldn’t seem to bring that up either. With frustration mounting higher, words spilled out of her in a rushed and harsh tone. “I can’t…I don’t understand what it’s like to be loved.” It felt like she was starting to hyperventilate, like tears were boiling up, and her frustration was making her angry to the point that she felt like she needed to lash out.

Clearly, she wasn’t all that good at sharing her feelings either. It made Saeyoung’s heart clench to see her so upset like this. At least when the words finally came, it was obvious that it wasn’t him she was upset with. Had someone hurt her in her past? That made his heart clench all the more. “It’s okay, Madeleine…I didn’t either, not until I met you.” Very hesitantly, he reached for her cheek again, going much slower. This time she let him touch her, although she still looked a little on the frightened and frustrated side. “I promise I won’t hurt you. All I want is to show you how much you mean to me. If it’s hard to talk, just take your time. I can be patient.”

He could feel her slowly relaxing in his lap, her head tilting to lean more into his hand. What he was saying and the way his thumb was now gently stroking her cheek, it felt so nice. Her heart felt as though it was melting. Was this really what it felt like to be in love? She’d plenty of times been ecstatic when he’d said sweet things to her in the game, but that was a game. This was real, and it seemed to melt her heart even more. Maybe…just maybe…Maddie swallowed softly to gather her confidence. “Do you think…you could kiss me?”

Saeyoung’s face was turning bright red again. He hadn’t expected such a bold request, not when she had been so afraid for him to even touch her, but if she wanted him to kiss her, he was all the more eager. She was really here, and it wasn’t just a generic MC body without eyes. He’d be kissing her warm flesh-and-blood self. It would be a lie if he said he wasn’t feeling almost electric with excitement, but he tried to keep that back as much as possible so that he could give her a beautiful first kiss like she had never known.

Gently, slowly, Saeyoung shifted in his seat, putting his hands on her back to keep her in place as he bent his head to hers. She was quite a bit shorter than him, but it felt like she was just the perfect size, and as their lips met, it might as well have been the best dream he’d ever had. Well, he really hoped it wasn’t a dream.

Maddie felt her heart stopping and then restarting in odd bursts as he pressed his lips to hers. It took her a moment to return the action, unsure of herself, since she didn’t have any experience in things like this. It felt so good. His lips were warm; he was warm. She ended up wrapping her arms around his neck, leaning into him more to deepen the kiss. Saeyoung’s arms tightened around her, and it wasn’t long before she parted her lips, feeling like the kiss was going to steal her breath away.

Saeyoung broke the kiss, both of their faces completely red as they looked at each other. “Madeleine…I-” He didn’t get to finish the sentence as she kissed him again, pulling him tighter into her arms. She was kissing him even deeper now, and on some level, Saeyoung thought he was about to get the soul sucked out of him, but hey, if it was Maddie doing it, then that wasn’t so bad. He returned the kiss tenfold, nipping at her lower lip and getting her to open up for his tongue to explore in her mouth. At first her tongue was tentative, but then she was as dominating as he was, fighting for control between them as their tongues danced together.

Amazing, she was amazing, but he was getting all sorts of messed up. This wasn’t like being with her false and digitized form, she was very much warm and breathing, not some animatronics or pixels. His pants felt like they were getting tight, but he had to respect her. “Madeleine, I think we should stop before I get too excited.” She had been getting excited herself. It was hard to understand it, but she didn’t want to stop. Something in her just didn’t want that.

“Please, Saeyoung…I think…I want you to keep going. Keep going.” Her tone went from pleading to almost demanding, and Saeyoung gave her a long look before he moved, getting up from the chair and carrying her with him. If this was potentially going to lead any further, it would happen on a bed. He laid her down on the bed, and then their mouths were once more on each other, kissing and teasing with tongues and teeth. Maddie didn’t know what possessed her to do it, but she pushed at his hoodie, getting it part of the way off before he pulled away and removed it for her, dropping it to the bed before he was pushing his hands up her shirt.

For Maddie, it was like her body was on fire, and she was helpless to stop the need that was flooding her. Saeyoung had a massive blush on his face, and his normally bright yellow eyes seemed to be glowing with a desire that seemed almost dangerous. It was a little frightening, but it was also exciting, thrilling. She felt ready for this as he moved to pull off her top, pulling his own shirt off next. For a man who mostly played around with computers all day, he really was built, slim but muscular.

Saeyoung felt like he was moving way too fast, but he was hungry for her, hungry to have her in the reality of his universe. He pressed hot kisses down her neck, biting her and leaving dark marks. Maddie tensed up beneath him, burying her hands in his mess of red hair. It hurt, but it also felt so good that she didn’t want to stop him. His pants felt so tight, and Saeyoung didn’t know he could even be this turned on.

He nuzzled under her chin, giving a nip to her ear before he mumbled into it, his voice husky with the desire he was feeling for her. “Do you want this? Do you want me?” What would he do if she said no? But as he pulled away, she was nodding vigorously, seemingly unable to speak in the intensity of the moment.

That voice was so sexy that it had completely shut down her brain for a solid second, but Maddie did want this. She wanted this so strongly that it almost seemed unreal, but as she and Saeyoung made eye contact again, his eyes shining so brightly, she knew it was real. Once more, their eye contact was broken, but only so that he could continue to kiss down her body, finding the lining of her leggings and pulling them off her legs slowly as he placed a hickey on the soft flesh of her stomach. Maddie was going to be covered in his existence, those hickeys the evidence of his presence with her.

The little sounds she made were enough to drive him wild, and it was almost impossible to control himself. Saeyoung struggled somewhat with her bra, but he didn’t need to worry about it, because now Maddie was taking it off herself, tossing it to the side. His hands went to her breasts, cupping them and feeling just how incredibly soft and pleasant they were to hold in reality. Maddie moaned as he rolled his thumbs over her nipples before he started to leave even more dark marks, now on each of her breasts.

It was unlike anything she had ever experienced before, fire and electricity seeming to crackle in her bloodstream as pleasure was the only thing on her mind. When he finally pulled off her panties, Maddie lifted her hips. Was she being lewd? Did it matter? She was a virgin, but it felt like she knew exactly what she wanted, and it was him, even if she couldn’t figure out how to tell him. Saeyoung seemed to know, though, or maybe he just needed her just as desperately. His own pants and underwear came off, and he fumbled to find a condom in his dresser, blindly as he’d just placed his glasses on top of it.

Maddie took the time he was getting the condom on to really take him in. Even if he was goofy, a little odd looking even, he was an incredibly attractive man, and she was so…lucky…to be in this world with him. Could she say she loved him? Maybe she could. Her thoughts were broken as he moved over her, gently nuzzling her nose as he pressed against her heat, making her moan once more. That husky voice was there again, and it was almost more than she could stand. “I love you, Madeleine…”

He would be lying if he said he weren’t a little on the nervous side, but as she relaxed for him, her hips grinding up towards him in her need, Saeyoung didn’t want to think about the nerves. Saeyoung took his time, not knowing if she was a virgin or not, but as soon as he heard her whimper softly, it became obvious that she was. His voice was soft as he spoke to her, mumbling in her ear. “It’s okay. It’ll feel good soon.” She felt so good wrapped around him like she was, and it took some biting of his cheek to let her adjust before he just couldn’t wait anymore.

Saeyoung took just a moment to pick up a pace, somewhat unsure of himself with her, since he’d never exactly done this either. He knew a lot about sex thanks to his own ‘research’ on the matter, but he didn’t know it could be quite this good. Maddie was moaning beneath him, whimpers and sounds as he let out sounds of his own. Almost like it was instinct, he held the side of her face, forcing her to arch her head back as he made more heavy and dark marks along her neck and shoulders.

The pleasure building between them was on a level of intensity Maddie had never known. It felt like he was filling her up as he moved within her, and every bite he placed on her just made her cry out, pulling at his hair. He was building the pleasure in her almost like pushing her toward the edge of what felt like a cliff. His voice was heaven in her ear, moaning against the side of her face. She loved hearing him, hearing the way his breath hitched and was lost on and off as he moaned her name.

It felt like she was right at the edge now, and every move he made only pushed her closer and closer. It seemed like Saeyoung was close now, too, low groans escaping as he gripped her hip. Her orgasm hit her like a wave, washing over her and making her pull at his hair as he placed another mark before the heat that had built up in his own system broke. He thrust forward a few more times, his breath harsh and ragged in her ear before moaning her name long and low.

Catching her breath was nearly impossible for Maddie, and then Saeyoung moved onto his side, going to toss the condom somewhere. She pulled the blanket up over herself, somewhat self-conscious after what was definitely the most human contact she’d ever had. Somehow, it felt cold without him, and when he laid back down by her, he pulled her into his arms with a big toothy grin. His eyes were still shining, and his voice was so soft and warm.

Saeyoung was blushing like a maniac again, looking as handsome without his glasses as he did with them and hugging her tightly. “How’s that for positive touch?” Maddie slapped his chest with a frown, making him yelp lightly in surprise, but she quickly developed a smile on her face and so did he. “Smart ass.” She mumbled the phrase before she let him pull her against his chest, running his fingers through her hair. So, this was love, then? It was still so new to her, still made her nervous, but she was adjusting.

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Mystic Messenger Fanfiction | VanderwoodxOC Cerise – Tagged | Reparations

Vanderwood felt his breathing still. She was fine. Cerise was just fine without him. Maybe it was better if he waited for her shift to be over, gave her phone back, said his piece, and walked away. Just tell her it wasn’t her fault – then, let her live her happy life. It was too late for him, but it wasn’t for her.

***From angst to resolution…if things can be resolved. I have a certain love for the calm after the storm. With technical difficulties now taken care of, all of my accounts are up to date with current chapters and posting should be much easier! Woo! ~Let’s Connect! FFC***

*Remember, this is a sequel to Vanderwood Backstory, and Cerise has a bio. You can support my writing on patreon and get access to my VIP Discord Server or other goodies like early chapter releases and hidden scenes.  Tagged Chapter Directory*

As his feet hit the ground, the thought struck him that she probably didn’t want to be found – not by him anyway. Pure panic flowed in his veins. Breathe. Idiot. Breathe. Vanderwood was forcing himself to move – a gloved hand closing around the ring in his pocket. She was leaving him. Did he even deserve to find her? He wanted to make sure he found her – to make sure she was safe, to tell her it wasn’t her fault. Maybe, just maybe, he could convince her to come back home with him. Or maybe it was better this way. He shook his head. No, he was going to find her and set things right. Vanderwood knew he was being selfish, but he couldn’t live without her anymore – not anything that could be called living.

***

Cerise had no idea where she was even going to go. First, she’d headed to the park – sitting on the swing and leaning her head against the chain as the seat swung gently back and forth. There wasn’t any real way she could describe how she was feeling. Hurt was only a small piece of the very messy puzzle – both the physical and the emotional pain. Cerise knew that he hadn’t meant to hurt her wrists like he had, but the fact of the matter remained that it had still happened. It shouldn’t have happened.

This man used to kill people for a living. She’d seen him so easily break someone’s wrist on a whim. Couldn’t things have gone so much worse? He had been right that night on the stairs all those months ago. What was she compared to someone who wanted something from her? He had demonstrated twice now that she was powerless. Cerise shook her head and sighed – warm puffs of breath visible in the cool air. It was going to be dark sooner or later, and that meant it would get colder. She stood up and began walking towards the shopping district.

Cerise didn’t exactly wear the most functional of winter clothes, and in her haste, she hadn’t grabbed an actual jacket to boot. Still, at least her arms were covered with the light jacket she had already been wearing. Even that wasn’t going to do much good for her if it got colder. Luckily for her, she had stashed a pair of gloves into the pockets of that particular jacket. At least some luck was on her side.

She walked and walked, admiring all the colorful lights and decorations of the various shops. Everything was so festive and warm. People were so cheerful and welcoming if she decided to walk in and take a look around. It almost made her forget about her own troubles. In another stroke of luck, she had actually had her wallet on her from when she had to pay the delivery boy the rest of the money for the cake. She found a squishy little keychain of a new character that was so ridiculous that it was kind of endearing. Pastelle the Prissy Poo – it was so silly that she managed to giggle upon seeing the softly colored, glittery, anthropomorphic cartoon character of the poo emoji.

As she walked around, she kept one hand in her pocket squishing on her new treasure – finding it somewhat relaxing. Cerise stopped walking as she came across a heavily decorated cafe. There were lights in the window, a toy train, a Christmas tree, and tinsel – the whole nine yards. It looked like something straight out of a dream, and she couldn’t help but find herself inside at a table looking at the menu.

The inside was decorated similarly – the atmosphere warm and inviting. Christmas music played in the background, and there was even a simulated fireplace with stockings hung over it. It put a smile on her face. As crappy as she felt, this was the type of thing that could still make her smile. In no time, one of the wait staff was at her table to take her order. Cerise looked her over; the woman was dressed in the cutest Christmas themed uniform, and not to mention, she was super nice. “What’ll it be, sugarplum~?”

Cerise realized that she was staring at the woman and laughed awkwardly. “I’ll take a gingerbread hot cocoa and a slice of your special Christmas cheesecake.” What she needed right now was something sweet she could enjoy – to help take her mind off things. Before she knew it, her order was in front of her – delivered with a smile by the sugarplum waitress. The taste of the hot cocoa was like heaven, and it definitely warmed her to her core. It almost helped numb the emotional turmoil. Cerise shook her head again, trying to chase the thoughts away – push them into the back of her mind. That wasn’t important right now. What was important was this adorable cheesecake in front of her that had gumdrops, little candy holly, other various candies, and sprinkles on it. Man, it tasted like heaven.

She almost didn’t notice the sudden rush around her. It looked like the sugarplum waitress and an older man were practically running around trying to keep up. The place was packed now. Cerise really felt bad for them; they were such nice people. A thought crossed her mind. She wasn’t really doing anything – didn’t have anywhere to go…maybe she could help?

Cerise got up and made her way to the older man who was frantically trying to decorate an order of some sort. “Excuse me? Hi…I was wondering if you needed some help?” The man looked up in surprise. There was a strange air about him but not in a bad way. It was more whimsical than anything. “Oh! Don’t worry, you don’t have to pay me or anything…I just noticed you guys were busy, and I don’t have anything to do. I’d really like to help you!” She bowed, trying to show some respect. Sometimes she forgot the cultural nuances when she was in Korea – bowing wasn’t something they really did in Paris, but it felt appropriate now.

The man looked her over, seemingly deliberating. “What a nice young lady~ Who am I to deny such a heartfelt request?” He smiled at her – his eyes twinkling under the lights above him despite the rush he was in. “I don’t have any extra uniforms on hand right now, but there’s an apron behind the counter. If you could take orders, you can leave the rest to me.”

Honestly, Cerise had never worked a day in her life. She didn’t know how to take orders, but she was going to do the best she could for these people who seemed so warm and joyful even under stressful circumstances. She found the apron in question and put it on – taking a pad of paper and a pen that was in close proximity. Cerise found out from Ms. Sugarplum which tables she hadn’t gotten to yet and decided to start there. She was a quick learner; she would get this. It was a welcome distraction from the train-wreck that was her life. As hours passed, she found herself actually having fun and laughing along with the owner and his daughter as well as the other customers – who obviously appreciated her efforts a Hell of a lot more than other people had that day.

***

He’d made it to the shopping district, chestnut-brown eyes scanning the area for any sign of his Cerise. Vanderwood had realized that he couldn’t call her fiancée right now – a sting going through his heart. Every worst-case scenario that existed was flitting through his mind. Panic wasn’t just a feeling; it was a living breathing entity that swallowed him whole, and he’d found himself running throughout the streets of Korea – full out running, bumping into a few people and then doing something he’d sure as Hell never done.

“Have you seen her?” He looked like a madman pushing his phone at strangers. “She’s really short, super short, absolutely beautiful. Please tell me you’ve seen her!” Every person he tried was more intent on running away from him than helping him. A 6ft tall, dangerous-looking maniac. A young man was taking off from him again when Vanderwood plopped himself onto a bench, putting his head in his hands and sobbing.

His heart was being wrenched from his chest – his very soul being torn in two, and then he dropped his hands – looking ahead through the blur of his tears…There she was. She looked happy – smiling and talking to customers. Why was she in an apron? Seemed like she’d managed to get a job in a matter of hours. Vanderwood felt his breathing still. She was fine. Cerise was just fine without him. Maybe it was better if he waited for her shift to be over, gave her phone back, said his piece, and walked away. Just tell her it wasn’t her fault – then, let her live her happy life. It was too late for him, but it wasn’t for her.

Cerise could be happy without him. At least she wasn’t choosing drugs like his mother – just a better life without him in it. He was crying again. It was really surreal. People always seemed to think that men didn’t cry – that crying was a feminine phenomenon, yet he was one of the most masculine guys on the planet. He snorted at himself – ever the cynical asshole. Always a cynical asshole. Vanderwood looked up to see her again – the smile on her face, and it was like a shard of glass had lodged itself in his chest. He couldn’t sit and wait here; he couldn’t. It hurt too much. People be damned. World be damned. God or whatever was out there be damned.

Vanderwood’s breath left his body in a rush, and then he was up and running again – into a café covered in Christmas decorations. Uncaring of the people around, he grabbed Cerise up into his arms and held her tightly as he buried his face in her hair. Was that the smartest choice when she was probably terrified of him now – wanted nothing to do with him? No, but he was too busy sobbing into her hair. There was a constant stream of, “I’m sorry,” leaving his lips between the sharp intakes of breath his sobs were causing.

She had barely noticed Vanderwood rush in due to talking to one of the few customers left in the café before she’d been swept up in his arms. It took a moment for her brain to process what was going on. Vanderwood was here in the café. How had he even found her? Right…former secret agent. Her body tensed up automatically, and her wrist suddenly felt like it was on fire – a not-so-gentle reminder of what had happened earlier.

Cerise wasn’t sure how she was supposed to react. She wanted to cry; she wanted to be angry – to lash out at him, but that wouldn’t make her any better than he had been. It was impossible to find the words to say as he sobbed into her hair – apologizing to her over and over. How was she supposed to react? Her chest felt tight, her heart hurt deeply, but she just didn’t know what to do…What was happening right now? Was this even real…?

Her eyes followed him as he collapsed to his knees in front of her. By now people were staring. She was probably causing trouble for the owner. Cerise flashed the man an apologetic look – earning an understanding nod. All she wanted was to cry, to tell him that it was okay – to forgive him. That was what her heart was telling her. The words were in her mind. Even so, Cerise knew that he had a problem – knew that it ran deeper than she had imagined. Things could have gone much, much worse for her, and she wouldn’t have been able to stop it. She considered herself an understanding person, but there was only so much she could take – only so much she could have tried to break a barrier that he didn’t want to be broken.

Cerise’s voice was a soft murmur. “Let’s…go over here.” With little effort, she was able to urge him into a nearby booth where she sat opposite of him. Ms. Sugarplum quickly brought over some coffee and put a cup in front of each of them, leaving with a concerned smile. All Cerise could do was stare at the broken man in front of her as she absentmindedly rubbed at her wrists. He had moved along with her with seemingly no struggle at all, even. Seeing him weak and dejected just seemed so wrong. She could at least hear him out.

Vanderwood knew he looked like an idiot, and he was just causing problems for her again, too. He wasn’t one to act out like this – certainly not for an audience, but too late now. What was most important was that he told her what had happened, that he explained to her the truth about why his birthday and Christmas were so painful for him, and why it wasn’t her fault. Vanderwood sat hunched over in the booth – barely able to meet her eyes as he tore his gaze away from the table.

“When I turned six years old, my mother said she was coming for Christmas. I sat in front of the tree with Caleb for four hours before Caleb fell asleep in my lap and dad went to bed. I woke up the next morning, and she still wasn’t there. Turns out she got so high that she forgot or just couldn’t make it. Either way, she chose drugs over me on Christmas.” He had to pause, taking a breath – feeling winded and his throat raw from the crying.

It was all bubbling out now – too fast to even notice the way she was rubbing at her wrist. “On my seventh birthday, I waited all day for my dad to remember. I thought he was kidding around, had some surprise for me…but nothing happened. Mom was supposed to come again, and I waited…I guess she forgot, too, because when the doorbell rang, it was dad’s friends. I put Caleb to bed, and when I came back downstairs…” His voice broke, and he had to shove the rest of the words out like he was pulling a tooth without medication. “My birthday present was finding out what your dad shooting up heroine looks like.”

Cerise was silent still as she listened to him – nursing on her cup of coffee. It was a lot to take in; there were a lot of walls coming down. It wasn’t the ideal situation or place, but he was finally telling her why he had been so grumpy, so distant – colder than the air outside. Hearing everything just made her hurt more, although almost in another direction. He had been dealt such a bad hand – both him and his brother. It was really no wonder to her that he could be so cold and rough on the outside.

Vanderwood hung his head in shame again as the memory of the way she’d looked at him from beneath him after his snap came back – far more painful than even the childhood ones. “I was trying to shut those memories out – completely shutting myself down…when I…when I treated you like…” He simply couldn’t say it; he just couldn’t. Bloody Hell, what a fucking prissy ass wimp he was. “I told you to get away from me, because I didn’t want to hurt you any further or go down that slippery slope of sex. You are so much more than that to me. You’re the only truly beautiful thing I’ve had in my life for almost a decade. You didn’t do anything wrong. In fact, you were doing everything right. Granted, I don’t like being woken up, you almost lit the house on fire, and there were sparkles bloody everywhere, but you cared so much more than any other human being ever has – even my parents. You are quite literally the best thing that ever happened to me…I just couldn’t handle it.”

So many words, so much to say, Vanderwood just kept going, because if he stopped, it wasn’t going to come again. He would just be walling up all over again, and nothing would be different. She needed to know everything – whether she was going or staying. Cerise needed to know. “I’m so much better since I met you, but I’m still a broken man, and I…forgot that I needed to watch myself. I forgot that I’m an addict. I’ve been doing so well that I’ve been laboring under the delusion that love is a miracle cure, but it isn’t…It’s the support that I need to reach being healthy, but as magical as it feels – it isn’t the cure. I was stupid. I didn’t pay attention, and I should have told you everything from the beginning. This…it’s all my fault…and I can’t ask you to forgive me, because I wouldn’t deserve it. I just wanted to be happy, and I didn’t want to ruin all the hard work you went through to make this day something other than the pain it’s always been…so I didn’t tell you…and I didn’t tell you when it was getting to be too much…and I’m sorry, Cerise. I’m so sorry.”

Cerise couldn’t quite come up with her own response yet – still trying to sus everything out for herself. It comforted her to know that he hadn’t been telling her to leave because he had actually wanted her to, but because he recognized what was going on with himself and didn’t want to put her through anything worse. He hadn’t trusted himself; he was trying to protect her. She had also been living under the delusion that love was the cure for everything – that that alone could fix everything just like in the movies. Life didn’t work that way. Life was a big, fat, bully full of harsh realities.

She was young and didn’t have a lot of life experience. For all intents and purposes, she shouldn’t get involved with him again. They should just go their own separate ways. Cerise was way too young and inexperienced to be what he needed her to be for him. Maybe he was too broken to be fixed. It was delusional of her to think she could turn around so many years of pain that ran much deeper than she had known.

Vanderwood couldn’t stand the silence – waiting for her to tell him what she wanted to do, that she couldn’t forgive him, just anything. He felt like a failure – like far more than a failure. It was getting to the point where the talking was just as painful as the silence. Reaching into his pocket, he removed her phone and lightly pushed it towards her on the table. “You’ll…need this…if you go…” The ring came out next, but he left that in the palm of his gloved hand – the rose gold standing out against the harsh black leather. “You…probably don’t want this…That’s why you left it, right?”

Moment of truth, a doomed half-life without her or picking up the pieces. His eyes slowly met hers again – chestnut-brown to honey-gold as he closed his fingers around the ring. “Just tell me, and I’m gone. I won’t so much as breathe your name.” Although, because of how completely insane he was, he would probably follow her to the ends of the Earth – watching like some fucked up version of a guardian angel. If he had the energy, he would have snorted at himself. Bloody cynical asshole.

Her eyes locked with his – those chestnut-brown eyes that she loved so much. The look in his them was pained but full of so many other emotions. She couldn’t pick them all out. He did care, and he was sincere. She could see it. Tears began to well up in her eyes again. Too bad she loved him way too much to let him go – to let him continue to suffer alone. There was no way she could bear being apart from him. They needed each other – as broken as he was and as inexperienced and young as she was. She could have handled this so much better, like the adult she was supposed to be. They both could have handled this situation better, but that was part of life, too.

“Marion…” She hadn’t meant for his name to escape her lips, but it had, and now the tears were spilling over and running down her face as she began to sob. Cerise found herself moving out of her side of the booth and all but throwing herself into his arms – sobbing into his chest. She needed him; she would always need him. Obviously, neither of them was perfect, and they still had a lot to learn about each other and themselves. For better or for worse – that’s what she was promising him when she had agreed to marry him. There were things she could have probably said = like apologizing for going too overboard and for running off instead of trying to calm down and understand. Sometimes she felt like she was still a kid. There was no doubt in her mind that she still had some growing up to do. All that she could get out was that she wanted him to stay – just like she had after that first kiss. “Stay…please stay.”

He tensed as her tears began – his entire being in pain to the point that even breathing was a struggle. Vanderwood was fully expecting her to turn him away. That was what he deserved and what was best for her. His heart tore at the sound of her sobbing. Vanderwood held her tightly to him as she cried. She was asking him to stay…She wanted him to stay. He buried his face in her hair; it was all he could do to keep from starting to cry again himself. Damn, it was a good thing she hadn’t cut it weeks before. Cynical asshole. He held her tighter.

Even with what he’d done, she wanted him to stay. Then, he would stay, but he would be damned if he didn’t do a better job. “Let’s do Christmas…the lights, the decorations, the tree…everything. I want to do everything with you.” Words were just coming again, but at least this time it was a positive thing. “New memories…with the woman who loves me like no one else…If that’s what you want, too.” She was trying to calm herself down when he pulled back and cupped her face in his hand. He wanted to celebrate Christmas with her – the right way. Cerise had stopped full on sobbing, but she couldn’t help the tears that were still coming down as he brushed them away with his thumb.

“I love you…I want this happy life with you. I promise this time…this time, I’ll tell you what’s going on in my head.” Should he kiss her? He sure as Hell wanted to, and he didn’t care whether people were watching. Fuck, he hadn’t scanned the room even this entire time, but he was too busy staring into her eyes to be bothered. What a useless agent he would be right now. Good thing he wasn’t one anymore – thanks to her. Better to wait…hear her answer first before he did anything.

All she had wanted was to understand him, to get him to talk to her and let her in. He had told her once that he would try, but it had still been hard for him. Now he was promising her. “Yes…I’d really like that.” Cerise managed a small smile. She would do her best to try and not overwhelm him – maybe ask him how he felt before she went all out; she could at least do that for him. “I love you too, ma moitié…” Cerise had long ago forgotten all about the people in the room with them. It didn’t matter. She’d make it up to the nice man and his daughter somehow, but for right now, she was just a little lost in his eyes. He very much so looked like he wanted to kiss her – which was fine by her, because that’s what she wanted, too. Cerise closed the gap between them and pressed her lips against his.

Just like when they’d first started their relationship, she was the one to remove the space between them. Vanderwood held her to him as he kissed her back – nothing rough, but the kind of kiss that made it seem like the world had stopped spinning. Why did it feel like she was putting his heart and soul back together? That’s exactly what she was doing. When the kiss ended, he pressed another to her forehead as she nuzzled into him. “Ma moitié…”

Now he finally scanned the room, and there were quite a few onlookers – each averting their gaze when his swept over them. Was he really that frightening after sobbing like a child in the middle of the place? Apparently, yeah. He shifted to open his hand – looking at the ring that had left a small indent in the leather of his gloves and showing it to her. “I’m going to keep this…for now…and I’ll propose to you again…um if you’d like that.” That was a cheesy thing to do, but it seemed fitting. Maybe this time he’d remember the right words in French. There was another part of him that wanted to whisk her away and say, ‘Marry me right now.’ But that must just have been from the rush of relief he was feeling.

She hadn’t cared to look around herself but turned to eye her ring as it sparkled in the light. He wanted to propose to her again; he was such a cheese-master, but she couldn’t complain. Nodding, she gave a brief, “Mhm,” as confirmation. Vanderwood felt like he could finally breathe again. The world seemed more peaceful to him now – quiet. Every time he told her what was on his mind, it seemed like he was lighter – like living was easier, even if it hurt like Hell coming out. So…maybe he was on the right track.

He wasn’t about to drop his guard like he had earlier. “Do you…want to come home now?” Could he trust himself in a bedroom with her…Yeah, but he wasn’t going to do anything other than holding her – for tonight at least. Best to be on the safe side. Cerise let out a tired sigh of relief – feeling like all of the stress had washed off her rather suddenly. “Yeah. Please, let’s do that.” She was exhausted – both physically and mentally.

Cerise pulled on Marion’s hand as they were walking out, going to the old man and his daughter to thank them and apologize for the chaos she might have caused. Vanderwood made his own apologies to the owner and waitress. He was awkward and stiff about it, but it was the right thing to do – even if interpersonal stuff wasn’t his forté. They assured that it was no problem and had even asked if they could call her if they ever needed the help. She was more than happy to give them her number. The old man sent them off with to-go boxes of something he had insisted on making for them. It looked to be a pasta of sorts from the glimpse she got before he closed the box. That was good, because she was starving, and she was sure that Marion had to be, too. He was probably way too tired himself to cook.

Vanderwood tucked the to-go boxes under one arm – wondering where he’d even put Cerise’s dinner plate down from earlier before he went out the window. It was going to be freezing in the house. He wrapped his other arm around Cerise as they walked – in part because he needed the contact, but also to keep her warm. She never seemed to dress for the weather. It was surprising to see she had her gloves with her, but that had probably been sheer luck – knowing her.

Looking up at the stars, he snorted softly. “You know…where I lived in Britain, the ground would be covered in slush right now, but in all the time I’ve been in Korea, I’ve maybe seen it snow once. I kind of miss that.” Once the floodgates were opened, apparently sharing got easier. “That sounds pretty…it didn’t really snow in Paris. If it did, it never stuck.” There was a small smile on her face as he shared just a small piece of his life with her…something normal and small, but just as important to her. Vanderwood looked down at her with a small smile in return.

He gave her shoulder a light squeeze before he let go as they reached her house, pausing before opening the door. There were thoughts burning on the tip of his tongue, and it was best to share them. “Thank you…for everything you did today. I’m sorry it became…the mess it became…” She’d done so much work, and he’d wanted to appreciate it all earlier but couldn’t, because he was so busy trying to keep his feelings under wraps. Cerise shook her head in response. “I should have checked with you to see how much you could handle…You did warn me before that you wouldn’t be in a good mood on your birthday. I should have been more sensitive.” She looked to the ground, kicking her feet a little. “There are things we both could have done differently, you know?”

That was something he wasn’t going to argue. Still, he was impressed by her. He’d always known she was strong – always known she was maturing. Cerise had proved not only her strength to him today but her ability to grow, too. Even if he thought he didn’t deserve that she was doing so much for him. “You’re amazing; you know that?” She looked up, flashing him a little smile. “Yeah…amazingly cold.” Cerise tried joking, poking at him a little. “Let’s get inside where it’s warmer?”

***

They’d chowed down on the food the café owner had made them, Cerise feeling slightly guilty as she saw Vanderwood putting away food that he’d made earlier. It was just like him to make food for the both of them even if they were fighting. As she looked in the bathroom mirror, she could see that her eyes were still a little red from crying. They would look perfectly bright and cute in the morning.

She threw on her pajamas – quickly brushing her teeth so she could get to bed faster. It wasn’t normal for her to forego her nightly routine, but she was just so exhausted. The bed looked so inviting. Sooner or later, he’d wander in and join her, so she decided to get on her phone to wait. The angle that she tried to hold it at was a little uncomfortable. It hadn’t really bothered her before, but that’s when she noticed that her wrists had bruised darkly from when he had grabbed her earlier.

It was all an accident. He hadn’t meant to hurt her. Sure, she knew her wrists hurt a bit, but she didn’t think they’d gotten bruised. She rubbed at the left one – which was the worst of the two and sighed. If he saw this…she really didn’t want to make things worse than they had been. Cerise plugged her phone in and decided to lay on her stomach with her arms under the pillow. She didn’t think she could hide it from him for forever, but at least he wouldn’t have to deal with it that night. “Marion? Are you coming to bed?”

He’d finished up the dishes rather quickly – standing outside by the door to the bedroom as he took a moment to be by himself. Was he absolutely certain he wasn’t going to behave like he had earlier today? Vanderwood heard her call for him, replying immediately. “Yeah, just a second.” He felt fine…other than being exhausted, so yeah, he was fine. Vanderwood opened the door and laid his jacket on top of the dresser for now before grabbing his pajama pants from off the floor. He’d thrown them on the floor and not in the hamper – a testament to how freaked he’d been. The way she was positioned wasn’t lost on him – making him tilt his head at her. That was…a new one?

After ducking into the bathroom, he went through his usual routine in the exact same way he did every day. The repetition was comforting for his OCD – giving him some semblance of control after a day with virtually everything going wrong. Now that he was more right in the head, everything ended up neatly placed in the hamper like it was supposed to. He crawled into bed and reached for her to pull her against his chest like usual, but it seemed like she was a little reluctant to get out of her current position. Had he scared her that badly that she didn’t want to sleep against his chest? It would make sense.

Vanderwood bit at his tongue for a moment as he relinquished his hold on her waist, moving to lay on his own side and staring at the ceiling before he remembered that he was supposed to say what was on his mind. “Are you afraid of me now?” She mumbled softly that she wasn’t, but he couldn’t blame her if she was. Vanderwood had told her before that not watching his strength was a dangerous game, and he doubted he’d been watching it when he’d pinned her. Wait…his breath stilled, he rolled once more onto his side, and chestnut-brown eyes met honey-gold – pleading for an answer. “Did I hurt you?” The way she was laying her hands under the pillow in front of her – it was like she was hiding something. Guilt was already washing through him again – already knowing the answer. “Please…Cerise…show me…”

Cerise was kicking herself that she had tried to pull away from him. The man was too perceptive, and she should have been more careful to act normal if she was actually going to hide this from him. As he caught her eyes, asking if he had hurt her, it made her chest twist up into a knot. She had hoped that he wouldn’t notice for at least that night; she should have just acted normally. It wasn’t like she could just tell him ‘no’. Not when he looked like this. Cerise felt like he probably already knew the answer to his own question anyways. Slowly, she turned over onto her side – averting her eyes as she held her hands out to him.

A sharp intake of breath was the only sound as he took her hands in his – his eyes taking in the dark bruising. Her left wrist was much worse, but that observation didn’t make him feel any better. “Cerise…” He lightly ran his thumbs over the bruises before he bent his head to brush his lips over them. In his head, he was wondering what he could do to make it better – at least to make them not hurt so much. Vanderwood knew her pain tolerance, but he also knew her medication intolerance. Surely a numbing cream would go over fine. She couldn’t get high from that.

He let go of her hands to dig for his kit under her bed – finding what he needed quickly. “This won’t hurt…and it won’t get you worked up either. It’ll just numb any pain.” Cerise nodded, trusting he knew what he was talking about. Even if it could affect her, she’d be asleep soon anyway. She still couldn’t bring herself to look his way – not because she was scared of him or anything, but she didn’t want to see his reactions to this. Cerise couldn’t bring herself to look at the hurt in his eyes. This was something she knew he was going to beat himself up over.

At the moment, he wasn’t touching on how guilty he was feeling – more worried about making sure he could help her feel better. Almost as soon as he had the cream on his fingers and was lightly brushing it over her bruising, though, there was a lump in his throat as his voice cracked. “I really hurt you…” Bloody Hell, he felt like shit. He’d bruised the love of his life. Fantastic. That was just…never again. He’d sworn never again with that first kiss, but this was a whole different ballpark. This…never again. Vanderwood would rather shoot himself in the foot.

“It’s…it looks a lot worse than it feels, really.” She felt like his birthday was memorable in all the wrong ways. They both definitely had a lot of things they needed to work on when it came to themselves and each other. Cerise knew that from now on, he would probably be extra careful when it came to his recovery. For her side, she would know that when he said he needed to be alone – it wasn’t because he didn’t want her around. This sort of thing would never happen again, and she knew it; she trusted him.

She still wasn’t looking at him. Cerise had said she wasn’t scared of him, but the way she was avoiding his gaze made him doubt that. “This won’t happen again.” His voice was a little harsh as he said it, and that just made him worry more. Vanderwood bit his tongue before he decided he had to know – slipping his fingers under her chin to tip it. “Please, Cerise…look at me and tell me you’re not afraid of me. I want to be sure.” Relationships were far more complicated than his life before.

Cerise let her eyes fall on his face at his urging – looking into his worried eyes. “I’m not afraid of you, Marion…” The cream he had put on her wrists did help the pain, but it wasn’t very prominent in the first place. It only hurt if she tried to squeeze it or she was holding her hands in an awkward way. Cerise tried to give him a reassuring smile, but it probably came out all tired looking. She certainly felt tired, and her feet were killing her. All that running around and waitressing really took it out of her – not to mention the emotional parts of it all. “Tomorrow’s a new day.” Cerise cuddled back into the bed and towards him, so he could easily hold her if he wanted to. “So, let’s get some rest, ya know?”

His eyes had searched hers, and she was telling the truth. “Okay…yeah.” Once again, he pulled her hands to his lips – brushing feather light kisses over her wrists, so soft he wasn’t even sure if she could feel it. “A new day with new memories – just for you and me.” A little cheesiness to fall asleep with. Vanderwood pulled her close against his chest – taking the offered invitation and placing her where she belonged. “I love you, shortcake.” He nuzzled into her hair, his voice coming up much smaller than usual – like it had a few times already that day. “Thank you…for not leaving me.” He had some bloody major abandonment issues, but he’d be lying if he said he was surprised. Cerise barely heard him, lightly nodding before she completely conked out – dead to the world.

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Mystic Messenger Fanfiction | SevenxMC Good Ending Continued | Curiosity Killed the Kitten

“What? Did you like it, Kitten? Are you curious how it will feel?” It was my curiosity that had led me to opening his box in the closet in the first place, and now I surely felt that curiosity was killing the cat. “Yes…Please show me.”

***I’ve been getting kind of backlogged with a lot of things lately, but hopefully I’ll be getting back on track here soon. This chapter is another pretty smutty chapter, but I feel like it’s a necessary one for at least the way that I personally view Saeyoung’s curiosity about new experiences in the bedroom. I hope you all enjoy it. ~Let’s Connect! FFC***

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“What do you mean you were, ‘just curious?’ This seems like a lot more than just curious.” The box I had found in our closet was surprising to say the least. Not that I was upset about it. My eyes ran over the various toys and tools that I knew weren’t for any sort of simple play. They were very obviously for something much more explicit. I couldn’t quite decide whether I was more shocked or excited. There was certainly something in me that was curious as for what purpose he’d gotten each of the items – some side of me that wanted to see exactly what he had planned.

Saeyoung rubbed his neck, clearly chewing on the inside of his cheek as he came up with an answer before he finally opened his mouth. His tone was slow and careful – apparently nervous that I would be displeased with him. “I saw some things online…just searching…and I thought maybe I wanted to check out how these things worked…and maybe they would be a little fun to try…” My husband’s face was turning redder by the second, and I had a feeling he was more into this than he was letting on. Saeyoung tended to have a fear of being rejected now that he was with me – something that hurt to see.

It was lucky that Saeran had taken our daughters to the park today, because it seemed our Spring Cleaning day was going to become something else entirely. My voice came out a lot clearer than I thought it would. “Then let’s try it.” I must have fallen out of the bold tree and hit a few large branches on the way down. He made a sharp inhale, his eyes widening at me – nearly the size of the frames of his glasses. Okay, not really, but that was how it seemed. “What did you say?” The way his voice had become so quiet and the soft cough before he spoke just cemented my stance. He was invested, and I could feel whispers of excitement running through me. “I said, then let’s try it.”

It would be a lie if I said I wasn’t nervous. The box in my hands contained among other things a blindfold, ropes, and a number of little electronic devices which I was quite sure were vibrators or the like. Carefully, I placed the box down on the side-table by the bed, pushing various items off of it. Saeyoung had gotten better about cleaning up after himself, but things were always an organized mess at best. That was hardly what I needed to be thinking about right now – looking at him through the corner of my eyes as my heart rate picked up both from nerves and excitement. It was quite the thrill as I pulled off my clothes, seeing him still completely stunned before he almost appeared to wake up as I moved to lie down on the bed.

He’d gotten a hold of himself quicker than I’d expected, going to the box and looking oddly like a ferret – excitedly rifling through things before his hands came up with the rope. His eyes shifted nervously between the item and myself – blush building in my face as I examined it as well. He seemed to have made his choice as he leaned down to cup my face, glowing yellow eyes filled with concern as they locked with mine. “You have to tell me if you don’t like it, if you want me to stop. Okay, MC?” It was really dawning on me that this wasn’t going to be something so simple as a mere tiny test.

There was a familiar glint in his eyes, and I knew only far too well that it was his sadistic side glimmering in that gaze. That didn’t mean he wanted to truly hurt me. He only wanted to do as much as I would allow. “Of course, safe word…is…glasses.” I just picked the first item I saw, making him grin as he took his glasses off and set them to the side. “Glasses it is.”

Saeyoung took great care as he tied my hands above my head. He’d probably decided to start small, because I knew there was a great deal more of the fabric rope available than just what he was using. I closed my eyes – my heart pounding in my ears as I wet my lips with my. This was going to be a whole new world of experiences; that much was already clear. His hand ghosting over my abdomen and up between my breasts made my eyes fly open, a gasp escaping me. “Does Kitten want me to pick the toy?” He was still nervous, but slipping more into ease with my reactions. All he got out of me was a nod.

I couldn’t see what he was choosing as he had his hands in the box – building further suspense as his face grew completely red before he took it out. What I had thought was just another vibrator was clearly, now that I could see it by itself, a chrome butt plug. He turned it over, that little bit of bashfulness that he surprisingly had slipping out again. “How’s this, Kitten?” Never had I thought of participating in that kind of activity, but that excitement was there – especially the way his eyes were gleaming.

A soft murmur in assent was the only thing I could muster, and he nodded in return – grabbing something else, which I assumed was lube, getting the item ready. He moved to sit on the bed – leaning forward to kiss my forehead for a moment. “Here we go.” His voice had that rich little purr to it, and I could see there was already a bulge formed in his pants just from the idea of what was about to happen. Saeyoung placed the item at my rear entrance – one hand carefully applying pressure to a cheek as the other slowly pressed the item in.

I gave a soft cry as the relatively small item seemed to fill me. There wasn’t usually pressure there, and though it took a moment to adjust – I didn’t dislike it. Something about that pressure felt surprisingly good, an ache starting up in me as I realized that that’s all it was going to do – just apply pressure. “How’s that?” The purr was still there, but I could tell he was checking on me. More nods, twice as vigorous as before, were his answer. There was a bright smirk on his face before he reached for something else – grabbing something that looked rather like an egg but was attached by a string to some form of remote. That had to be a vibrator.

“Ready for this?” He had completely found his zone now. Saeyoung always tended to get like this when I was showing him that I was excited – so it was no surprise to find him wanting more and more of my reactions. Yet again, nods were his answer – a soft chuckle escaping my husband as my inability to speak amused him. It wasn’t exactly my fault that the look in his eye and the nerves of this new experience were completely constricting my vocal chords. The sound of the little vibrator turning on was the only thing in the room other than my rapid heart rate.

He was slow, torturously slow, as he lowered the item to my skin – pulling it down from just below my navel towards where I really wanted it. Just as he was getting close to my heat, he pulled his hand away – a whimper his only answer before he chuckled at me again. “What? Did you like it, Kitten? Are you curious how it will feel?” It was my curiosity that had led me to opening his box in the closet in the first place, and now I surely felt that curiosity was killing the cat. “Yes…Please show me.”

All I got in response at first was a soft hum as I raised my hips in silent pleading. “Not yet.” His reply made me feel desperate and whimper again, but then his mouth was on my breast, sucking hard at the swell of it – leaving a dark and heavy mark to accompany the many others already on my body. Saeyoung placed some more nips and bites before he got to my nipple – making me tug against the bindings on my wrists before I pulled my arms down around his head – gripping into his hair as well as I could. With a soft pop, he pulled away – vibrant yellow eyes glinting at me with a dangerous glow. “Put those arms up, or I’ll have to tie them to the bedpost.”

Shivers ran down my spine, though they were surprisingly warm. Maybe that was just the heat and need burning through me, but I followed his directive – earning a little nuzzle. “That’s a good Kitten.” Before I had any chance to respond, the vibrator that I had nearly forgotten about was pressed against my heat. Saeyoung had managed to get it perfectly against my sensitive bud. It was like nothing I had ever experienced – nearly impossible to describe the way that the little device made my body feel so oddly alive with energy and yet completely unable to do anything but writhe.

The device almost seemed to get stronger, and since Saeyoung had the remote, it probably had done so. I couldn’t think straight anymore – not with the new sensation boggling my mind and the pressure from the plug combined. More than once, I tried to close my legs around the device as heat started to build high – moans my only form of communication before Saeyoung would pull the device away. He wasn’t letting me finish. Before long I was nearly screaming for release – although the only thing I could say was his name.

I tried to press my legs closed only to have him pushing one down onto the bed in an effort to keep me in place. “Don’t you want to finish, Kitten? Be good.” Doing as I was told ended up being the best choice as my climax finally crashed through me. It was like it was tearing into me – the pleasure inescapable as my body trembled from it.

Soft whimpers left me at odd intervals as Saeyoung pulled the vibrator away one last time. “Okay, Kitten. Let me take care of this now, too.” I could barely open my eyes to see that he meant the plug, but gave only a brisk nod before he was pulling it gently away as well – making me tense up all over again and pull against the binds on my wrists. I wanted out of them, too but didn’t have to ask before he’d untied them – his mouth finding mine.

His kiss was so hard and hungry – tongue roughly taking over my mouth while I didn’t have the energy to fight back against it with my own. As Saeyoung broke the kiss, I could see just how eager for his own pleasure he was through my half-lidded eyes, but there was concern again. “Think you can take more?” What…did he mean by more? I didn’t need to ask as he bit the inside of his cheek before responding to my unspoken question. “I’d like to try your butt for myself.”

Oh. My sex-addled brain caught up to it slowly, but the only thing running through me was a bit of a thrill. If just the plug had felt like delightful pressure, then surely my husband getting what he needed of his own pleasure would be equally exciting. As I tried to respond verbally, I found my voice croaking, but I didn’t care. “I trust you.” I reached for his face, gently cupping his cheeks and stroking my thumbs along before he took one of my hands in his and turned his head to press a kiss to my palm along with a little bite.

The air around us was charged with excitement all over again. This time around, I wasn’t nearly as nervous. “Do you…want to try getting on your hands and knees?” The position wasn’t new – though it would have a different result. Saeyoung wasn’t a strictly missionary kind of man, and more than once we’d ended up in what was termed doggy style or a variation of it. Without a second thought, though slow from my trembling, I took the position suggested. His hands shaped and rubbed along my bottom nearly as soon as I had. A smack followed – reverberating along with my cry throughout our bedroom. It really was good that no one else was home.

A few soft kisses were pressed to my back before I turned my head to see him getting more lube from the bottle – for himself this time and not a toy. That sent another thrill through me that I hadn’t been expecting, and as he placed himself against my rear entrance, I bucked my hips back slightly in encouragement. This time he didn’t need to ask if I was ready. Although I was certainly worn, excitement had built up all over again.

He wasn’t rough, taking his time as he pressed inside – a hand roughly gripping at my hip as the other guided his thick arousal. Saeyoung’s low groan was surely the sexiest thing I’d ever heard, and I couldn’t help but let out a soft little moan of my own as he stopped. “Good, Kitten?” I pressed myself further back against him, getting another groan out of him and a soft smack to my bottom that had me whimpering as I replied. “Yes…please keep going.”

The pressure this time was even more intense – my body clamping around him far more tightly than normal. Saeyoung seemed to know this as well, because as he started to move, I could hear him mumble, “So tight,” as a praise more than once. He was slower than usual starting out – our groans and moans echoed back to us by the steel walls of our home. As the pace picked up, it got harder and harder to hold myself up – even more difficult once one of his hands slipped around my waist and down to tease at my bundle of nerves.

Our little exploration wasn’t finished in a matter of mere moments – rather a lengthy and long discovery of what felt best for each of us. When the climax eventually hit, we were each gripping onto whatever we could to stay upright. It wracked my body so hard that I thought I’d never be able to see anything but stars behind my eyelids again, and Saeyoung had placed a definite bruise on my hip in his own moment of bliss.

Collapsing on the bed together in a heap was a given, and Saeyoung looking over me to make sure I was okay as usual – running his hands along my back to rub out any sore spots. “You liked that, huh, Kitten?” The grin on his face was way too large for someone who had been as nervous starting out on this as I had been. I ended up rolling my eyes before I shifted to nuzzle into him – feeling a lethargy laying like a blanket over me. “Yes. But so did you.”

We both ended up lazily drifting off, only waking up to his phone going off and Saeran griping about the front door password having changed. The girls had obviously had a good time at their uncle’s – mostly napping but we’d been napping, too. Saeran easily caught onto this as he led the girls inside in their double stroller. “Did you do any cleaning at all? Why was I watching them if you weren’t going to actually take care of anything? Tch.” It was better for all of us that he didn’t know.

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Mystic Messenger Fanfiction | Commission | SaeyoungxOC Maddie – Part of Your World | Welcome

Where was she? Was it just a dream? It had to be.

***I was commissioned by @Lephrasia on tumblr for a fanfic to cover her life if OC Maddie were sucked into the world of MM and her love-story with Saeyoung. She wanted to highlight all of the aspects of her character in the fanfiction – so it spans a total of five chapters to make that happen. I hope you enjoy this! ~Let’s Connect! FFC***

Other Works

Maddie opened her eyes to the Mystic Messenger tone notifying her that she’d gotten a new message, except when she opened it, it was an update. That was good, though. She needed more hourglasses, and the updates were usually pretty generous about giving them. With a sigh, she waited somewhat impatiently for the update to download, pushing her hair back. As of yet, she hadn’t bothered to get dressed or brush her hair, so her normally messy hair looked just a little bit messier. It seemed like the download had finally come through. She pressed the MM icon only to squeeze her eyes shut at the sudden burst of light.

That wasn’t normal. Slowly she opened her eyes only to close them just as quickly. What in the Hell? Once more she opened her eyes. Maddie was standing in the middle of a street, her phone clutched tightly in her hands. This wasn’t a street she was familiar with, and panic started to grip her as she looked around in confusion. Where was she? Was it just a dream? It had to be. Frustrated, confused, afraid, every emotion she could think of swirled around as she somehow forced herself to walk. Her feet almost felt leaden as she moved down the street, trying but failing to read the street signs. They weren’t in Swedish, maybe some sort of Asian language, though.

Despite her general distrust of strangers and issues communicating with people, she approached a young man, hoping maybe he could give her some help. He looked friendly enough, leaning against the wall with shock black hair and in a plaid jacket. As she tried to talk to him, her voice wavering somewhat, he looked up, vibrant green eyes greeting her. Why…He looked just like the stranger from the game that Unknown would send you a picture of. In shock, she took a couple of steps back. What was this? Was she in a dream or some alternate dimension? What was happening?

Frightened, she checked her phone. Maybe she could dial for emergency services and find her way home? Her mind was racing, but it only raced all the more as her screen was frozen on a ‘Good Ending’ screen. What? What? What?! This didn’t make sense. Her fear was starting to become anger, but there was no way to let it out. The stranger had disappeared, and she was on the street completely alone. Nothing made sense. It didn’t make sense, and she needed to do something, but what could she do? Her scars started to itch, but just as she was turning around, she bumped into someone, strong arms grabbing her shoulders.

***

Saeyoung didn’t get it. He’d specifically tried to code it so that the game would bring her falling right into his lap, but she was nowhere to be found. That’s when he’d decided to recheck the code, the x coordinates just slightly off. Crap. Thank goodness his baby cars were not only sleek and shiny but also fast. It took a little driving after he’d gotten to the place to see her. She was stumbling around a little, a young man running away from her. He had to remind himself to actually park the car first before going to her. There was no doubt she’d be confused…and what language was it she spoke again? Well, she played, so she’d at least understand English.

This was a little nerve-wracking. Saeyoung could almost see his hands visibly shaking. Nervous. He was so nervous. She was the girl he’d chosen to bring here, the one he’d fallen in love with through a screen, and here she was. With a shaky breath and a small chuckle at his own ridiculous behavior, Saeyoung hopped out of his car, going to her and grabbing her as he spoke to her. “I finally found you!”

Maddie stumbled slightly. Her initial reaction was to pull back and strike at the man, knock him to the ground and hurt him for grabbing her, but then she actually took in his appearance and the expression on his face. “Sae…young…” What…kind of witchcraft was this? It was him. His bright red hair, the silly glasses, those sweet yellow eyes…Saeyoung was standing right in front of her, holding her. Maddie could feel the warmth of his hands on her shoulders. It was too much to take in.

“Sorry, you must be a little scared, huh?” With a shy laugh, he gently pulled her towards a bright red vehicle parked not far from them on the side of the street. Maddie almost pulled away, but this was the first person to actually speak to her in this unfamiliar place, and by now she knew it had to be a dream. She could trust an MM character in a dream, couldn’t she? With hesitant steps, still feeling like she was shaking, Maddie followed after him into the vehicle. Saeyoung made a grand gesture, bowing to her as he held the door open to his car, despite the fact that she could have just jumped in, since the top was down. “Your chariot awaits!”

Okay, so he’d taken a page out of Zen’s book for that one, but Saeyoung felt positively giddy. He really had found her. She looked so cute, such a short little thing, and her hair was an interesting color, a mix of blonde and brunette with a green tinge. He liked it. Even more so he liked her wide hips and thighs. Saeyoung felt his face heating up bright red.

That wasn’t what he should be thinking about when he’d just met her, but of course in his world of events, thanks to the game, they’d already consummated their relationship. This was after the Secret Ending, after all…but that had been the game character. For her, in this reality, they hadn’t had any sort of relationship. This was going to get confusing for her, and she already seemed to be very shaky. Maybe the pranks he’d set up at the bunker would have to wait for another day.

Saeyoung hopped into his car, not bothering with the door for himself, and off they went. It was a quiet drive, and he could see Maddie shifting in her seat, rubbing uncomfortably at herself under the sleeves of her pajama top. With a soft sound, Saeyoung cleared his throat before biting at the inside of his cheek. He hadn’t actually known what he was going to say. All those romance books he’d read hadn’t told him how to take care of a girl he actually liked.

The silence was so awkward and uncomfortable. Maddie thought she was going to die of a heart attack when he drove into his garage. At least knowing that it was just a dream had set her anger somewhat at ease, but she was still so nervous. The car quieted as Saeyoung parked and removed his key, turning to her like he was going to say something. She just averted her eyes, staring at her hands in her lap and rubbing at her legs.

Finally, it was time to tell her. It took him a couple times opening and closing his mouth before Saeyoung heard the words actually come out. “This is going to sound crazy, but that game you were playing was really connected to our world, and…I’ve been trying to find my soulmate with it by connecting to the other dimensions. I spend a lot of time with stars and galaxies, so I figured out how to connect our worlds.”

With a soft gulp, he swallowed at least some of his fear. Would she be angry at him for bringing her here? She’d be away from everyone she’d ever known now. Maybe he should have thought about that beforehand. With a sigh he let out the rest. “Welcome to the universe I’m in. I love you, Madeleine.”

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Mystic Messenger Fanfiction | ArixSaeyoung, ArixSaeran – Batter Battles | Commission

Suddenly, the kitchen was filled with commotion as the sticky concoction got tossed back and forth.

***I was commissioned again by @kittysymphony on tumblr! This is a continuation of the last one I did for her – Twice as Worn – a poly relationship which is not sandwich. It’s two separate relationships which only inter-lap because they are dating the same girl, OC Ari. I do not write sandwich or twincest. This time she asked me for some adorable fluff birthday fun, and this was the result ~Let’s Connect! FFC***

***Other Works***

Saeyoung squinted at the recipe book. Not that he needed to – he had his glasses on, but he didn’t really understand what the difference between ‘tsp’ and ‘tbs’ was. He wasn’t a terrible cook; he just…never cooked. Baking was something he did even more rarely.

A soft, “Tch,” got his attention as Saeran rolled his mint-colored eyes. “Well, if you’re so much better, then you give it a try. My sweet, sweet brother baking. It warms my heart!” Saeyoung put his clenched hands up by his face under his chin, his expression much like that of an excitable cat-character in an anime. Saeran had an obvious blush on his face, even though his expression was one of anger. “Stop acting like an idiot. I can make a much better cake than you.”

The younger twin reached out for the mixing bowl, but Saeyoung grabbed for the shiny silver object and pulled it away – holding it up above his own head like it was some sort of magic goblet. “Ah, ah, ah. You make your own batter. It’s a challenge now.” Saeran had to press a hand to his temple, trying not to explode with how ridiculous his brother was being.

“Would you stop that? You’re getting batter all over the floor!” There was already batter everywhere. Saeyoung wasn’t exactly handy with a mixer. “This is a big deal. Ari gave us a good birthday, and now we need to give her one, too.” It always felt like his brother never took anything seriously, and it was a great source of frustration for Saeran – especially when it came to something so important for their shared girlfriend.

There had been a bright gleam of mischief in Saeyoung’s eyes, but the redheaded twin was now losing that gleam as he slowly placed the bowl back on the counter. The action made a soft smooshing sound as the bowl squished down some of its lost batter. “I know.” His voice had turned serious. Saeran had to pause, completely taken aback by the shift in mood as his brother went on. “She takes really good care of us, really good care of you.”

Saeyoung had a lot of walls, they both did, and Saeran couldn’t help but find it unsettling every time those walls started to come down. He looked away, his pale bangs falling to cover his eyes as he tried to think of what he was supposed to say to that. His brother was opening up to him, and he was at a complete loss. Just a second ago, he’d been angry, but now he was getting frustrated for a different reason.

Ever since they’d made up, it was hard for them both to know how to be of any comfort to each other. Saeyoung had always been the one to take care of him, too – not the other way around. “Just stop being an idiot and get back to work on her cake.” The sentence had barely just been mumbled out, but Saeran already felt like it wasn’t any real form of encouragement.

Saeran turned his head to peek from under his bangs with mint-colored eyes, but apparently, he’d said the right thing. Saeyoung fished his wooden spoon from the mixing bowl, flicking it up into the air and causing more batter to splatter onto the kitchen floor. “Of course! The cake!” The pale-haired twin felt like he was starting to get irritated again. How could Saeyoung always get over everything so quickly?

A clean mixing bowl was shoved at him, and Saeran’s eyes widened in confusion and mixed annoyance. “What the-” As he looked up at Saeyoung, he realized that his brother wasn’t over it. He’d just decided to barrel ahead full speed despite his insecurities. Saeran would never admit how amazing he thought that was – he couldn’t do that kind of thing himself.

“You should make your own batter! Then we can see who makes the best cake.” Saeyoung had a broad smile on his face – even though, inside he didn’t feel nearly as confident. Saeran probably was the better baker. As they each started on their cake, the soft, “Tch,” his brother made felt like a bucket of cold water had been dumped on Saeyoung’s head.

He just wanted to give Ari the best birthday, but he wasn’t any good at this kind of stuff. Still, he couldn’t let himself stay down and out about it, because that would force Saeran to have to take care of him. His brother had been through too much for Saeran to be worrying about him. No, he should only be able to see the happy side, so that he wouldn’t have to struggle or be sad.

The next thing he knew, Saeran’s hand had closed over his own as he went to grab the sugar. “Saeran? What-?” Saeran just took the little container from him before handing Saeyoung another. “You were about to pour in salt. Tch…” The redhead looked down at his batter dejectedly. “Oh…Maybe I should just let you do it, huh?~” His voice was cheery despite the fact that he was feeling like a failure. Maybe there was something else he could do for Ari’s big day, but he wasn’t doing a good job now.

Saeran eyed his brother before he placed the salt back down on the counter -somehow finding an area without batter. “We should make her one big cake instead of two.” That felt so unnatural to him, working together with his brother, but Saeyoung was just going to keep moping otherwise. Saeran couldn’t help but think maybe it would be a nice experience, too – though he’d never admit it. The redheaded twin’s vibrant yellow eyes widened, a little sparkle appearing in them as his grin became genuine. “Working together with my bro? Sounds like a blast.”

***

Ari sighed heavily, placing her purse down next to the bunker door and flicking her dark hair behind her shoulder. Saeyoung had led her on a wild goose chase after some weird part around town. In the end, she’d had the thought to contact Vanderwood, and the agent just happened to have the part on-hand. Though, it was only through her stubborn attitude that she’d managed to get the brunet to hand it over.

A smile played across her face. Wouldn’t Saeyoung be proud she’d gotten back so soon with the item he’d requested? Her blue eyes were sparkling at the thought of the appreciative kiss he would give her, the way Saeran would scoff before she would go to give the smaller twin a kiss as well. Then she’d see him blush so sweetly as he tried to hide behind his bangs. Ari loved her life with the boys, but just as she was about to call out to them, she heard their raised voices in the kitchen.

That was the one part that was sometimes stressful about dating them both. Then again, even if she weren’t dating them both, they would argue. Ari shook her head, walking towards the kitchen to find out what the argument was about this time. Saeran was complaining as she approached. “Be more careful; you got some on me, Saeyoung!” Deep blue eyes widened as she took in the scene of the messy kitchen – Saeyoung intentionally flicking a wooden spoon full of some goopy material at his brother and earning an angry glob back. Except that, Saeyoung had ducked.

She didn’t have time to react, still in a shocked silence as she was trying to figure out what was happening. It was like the world was in slow motion for Saeyoung as he saw the look of shock on Saeran’s face. His brother had gone completely quiet, frozen. “Saeran? What is it?” Saeyoung followed Saeran’s gaze, further questions freezing in his throat as he saw just what it was. There was their girlfriend – using a single finger to slowly and carefully shove away the batter that had gotten on her eye and then flicking it off her finger to the ground.

“Oh God, Ari! I’m so sorry!” He was about to rush to her side when she shook out her head and started to laugh. It was comical. The looks on their faces were equal parts adorable and ridiculous. Ari just couldn’t help the giggles that escaped. “What are you doing?” Saeyoung immediately replied to her question, “Nothing,” while Saeran looked away – holding a hand over his face as he blushed. How were they supposed to explain they were trying to make her a cake for tomorrow’s festivities?

Ari only laughed louder now, approaching them and wrapping her arms around Saeran to give him a quick hug. He stiffened nervously before relaxing into her warmth. She leaned over to place a kiss to Saeyoung’s stunned and sweets-covered cheek. “Whatever you’re doing…I want in.” That was when she made her move, scooping up some of the goop and pressing it into Saeyoung’s neck before running away.

Suddenly, the kitchen was filled with commotion as the sticky concoction got tossed back and forth. Saeyoung was doing the best – on the offensive as he tossed glob after glob. Saeran appeared to be trying to avoid it for the most part – though every time he got the opportunity, he would attempt to get Saeyoung in the back of the head. Ari kept up with dodging the sugary mess, trying to get in a hit whenever she could on either of them. They were all starting to get exhausted, and the room was filled with laughter by the time Air felt her foot slipping out from under her as her shoe met with a particularly large glob.

A combined, “Watch out!” was the only thing she heard before she landed on a surprisingly soft surface – which turned out to be Saeyoung’s back. The redhead had dived for her, sliding across the slippery floor to land under her upper body as Saeran had grabbed her hand – keeping her from falling any further backwards to potentially harm her head. The white-haired twin was panting hard, terror in his eyes. Ari gave him a smile, moving her other hand to stroke the back of his lightly before she gave it a little tug. “Join us on the floor, Saeran.” Her voice was soft, though Saeyoung ended up teasing. “Yes, brother dear. The weather is delightful down here.”

Ari didn’t bother to suppress her giggle as Saeran gave a soft, “Tch,” per the usual. The smaller twin laid his own head in her lap as she moved to lay her head more on Saeyoung’s back, running her fingers through Saeran’s hair where there were little specks of batter. Batter…she now properly realized what it was. “Were you trying to make a cake?”

When neither of them responded, she just closed her eyes and smiled up at the ceiling. That was why Saeyoung had sent her out for that part, then. It had to be meant for her birthday. “Thank you…I really liked my cake. It was fun.” Saeyoung shifted a little underneath her head reaching for her other hand. The position was a little awkward, but she didn’t mind. “It probably tasted awful, anyway.” His little joke made Saeran stiffen up. “Speak for your part of it. I can probably still bake some of mine.”

Ari felt like her heart was swelling as the two started to bicker again. They’d gone through quite a bit of trouble to try to make her birthday special, then. That mattered a lot more than whether there was actually cake to eat or not.

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Mystic Messenger Fanfiction | SevenxMC Good Ending Continued | First Christmas

Even a little drunk, I could tell just how much this moment meant to him, reaching for his hand to tangle my fingers with his. “First is right…We’re going to have so many Christmas nights together, and tomorrow we get to have Christmas Day, too.” Saeyoung gave me a bright smile as he nuzzled my nose again.

***Still going through some technical difficulties, but I think I should be able to get everything figured out with getting things cross-posted again and all in order. Have some feel-goods this week. ~Let’s Connect! FFC***

***You can support my writing on patreon and get access to my VIP Discord Server or other goodies like early chapter releases and hidden scenes. Chapter DirectoryOther Fanfictions***

10-110-210-310-410-5

The children were already a-bed – resting quietly as the house was once more quiet. Our Christmas had been spent with the RFA family, Vanderwood, and some friend of Saeyoung’s named Tom. I remember inviting him to the RFA party, although this was the first time I had the pleasure of meeting him – due to our missing it. Saeran was sleeping in the guest room, but other than that, I was quite certain that it was just Saeyoung and I awake now.

He had been in such good spirits – throwing gifts around, unveiling his brand new robo-dog, sans the fire spitting. It was now a glorified diaper bag with all the amenities. All you had to do was reach into its mouth to get what you needed. Vanderwood, for whatever reason, nearly panicked upon seeing the dog – which just made Saeyoung laugh.

There was a soft humming coming from our bedroom, which was now where I headed before suddenly someone appeared in front of me. I clamped my hands over my mouth to keep from screaming before I realized who it was. “Tom?! What are you still doing here?” He had this unsettling smile on his face that never changed. “I was looking for my neighborhood friend, but after I gave him a gift from my home planet courtesy of my uncle, he didn’t give me very good directions to get out of here.” Tom made about as much sense as he ever did, but I just gave him a big smile. “That’s alright, just go down the hallway and to the left. There’s a huge set of red doors. Those are the exit.”

Without another word, Tom just seemed to disappear. I wasn’t about to question it. Really, I was probably drunk on eggnog. My surprises for the night were not over, though. Once I opened the door to our bedroom, Saeyoung whipped around, his Santa hat wiggling back and forth as my eyes went right to the Rudolph sock on his privates. “Merry Christmas?” I don’t think he had quite been done, as I could see there was a fluffy skirt on the bed with a fluffy bra to match. The reveal didn’t quite go the way he had planned.

“Uh…” At first, my brain was taking a little time to catch up, already feeling foggy from being tired after our party, then Tom, and now…well, this. The laughter started to bubble up as I stumbled over to him, giving him a hug and a bit of a sloppy kiss before flopping onto the bed – looking up at him. “Merry Christmas.” He had a definite blush on his face, but also a huge grin. “Are you going to guide my way tonight?”

My husband hadn’t been drinking, but he was clearly loopy in his own way, probably from all of the fun we’d been having all night. “You know it.” Saeyoung gave me a wink before plopping into the bed next to me, curling up and pulling me close. He nuzzled my nose, and by now, we were both just giggling messes. I shifted to give him a slow kiss, but when he pulled away he pressed a kiss to my forehead – seeming to have gotten a little somber again. “This was the first real Christmas I’ve ever had.”

Even a little drunk, I could tell just how much this moment meant to him, reaching for his hand to tangle my fingers with his. “First is right…We’re going to have so many Christmas nights together, and tomorrow we get to have Christmas Day, too.” Saeyoung gave me a bright smile as he nuzzled my nose again. “I’m just happy to have the family I’ve always wanted…to be able to give our girls what I couldn’t have when I was young.”

I gave a soft hum – curling up with him and placing my head against his shoulder as my eyes were starting to get harder to keep open. “I know…we don’t have to start over anymore.” What I had said didn’t actually make sense to me, and I was sure his response was just something I dreamed. “Yeah…no more resets.”

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Mystic Messenger Fanfiction | VanderwoodxOC Cerise – Tagged | Happiest Birthday

“Happy birthday to me…I’m older…yay…” Okay, so maybe there was a little bit of happiness there. His fiancée’ had given him far more of a birthday greeting than he could ever remember having received before, and he was actually enjoying life lately.

Cerise could hear the dripping sarcasm in his voice after he had glanced at the clock. “Yes, yay! The most yay, because I’m sure glad you were born.”

***Things have been so soft and quiet – Vanderwood struggling with his recovery but feeling like he’s got it under control. The lack of communication over this issue is about to bite both him and Cerise in the ass in this angst-fest chapter. I hope you don’t cry too hard. ~Let’s Connect! FFC***

*Remember, this is a sequel to Vanderwood Backstory, and Cerise has a bio. You can support my writing on patreon and get access to my VIP Discord Server or other goodies like early chapter releases and hidden scenes.  Tagged Chapter Directory*

Vanderwood hadn’t been looking forward to his birthday. When he’d first told Cerise about it, she’d obviously been far more into it than he was. So, okay, maybe he was a little excited – just because he’d get to spend it with her, but when they went to bed that night he’d had a sneaking suspicion she had more plans than he wasn’t ready for. This time of year wasn’t a good time for him at all. If he could sleep the next week away, that would be heaven. That probably wasn’t going to happen, but hopefully Cerise would make it a little easier, or at least dull the pain of Christmas somewhat.

Cerise had been counting down the days. She absolutely loved holidays, and you better believe she considered her fiancé’s birthday a holiday. So far, she had put up a few decorations that Marion really hadn’t reacted to, but she didn’t want to overdo it that year with it being the first time they would spend his birthday together.

The night before, Cerise had set her alarm to vibrate once it hit 11:58 pm – hiding a confetti cannon under her side of the bed for when it hit midnight, AKA his birthday. She was actually really surprised he hadn’t noticed that she had gotten it. Then again, she made sure to be super sneaky about it. Marion would see that she totally did not forget his special day. Cerise had also set for a cake to be delivered later that day – since she couldn’t really go out and get it, seeing as he would know what she was up to. Thank goodness for internet shopping.

When Cerise finally woke up, it was actually a few minutes before her alarm would go off. Perfect! Now she didn’t have to risk the vibration waking him up prematurely. Honey-colored eyes glanced towards his face. Good, he was still asleep. If she moved too much, she would most likely wake him. She had to time this perfectly. When the clock hit 11:58, it was the moment of truth. As softly as she could, she removed the oversized confetti cannon from under the bed. 11:59 now. “Hey, Mariooo~ooon~” Her voice was a sing-song whisper as she was poking at his face. Marion grumbled, something along the lines of, “What is it, mon amour?” That was awake enough for her.

Now it was 12:00am, officially December 23rd – officially his birthday. Cerise took that chance to unceremoniously pounce on him, pulling the string trigger to her cannon – which launched small paper bits and glitter everywhere. “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!” She squealed – looking really excited and proud of herself. On top of everything, her phone began to play some strange reggae version of the birthday song. All Cerise knew was that it was in English, and it sounded catchy. Truly a celebration song.

Oh, bloody fucking Hell! There was a rather loud popping sound, his fiancée pouncing on him, and it took him about ten seconds of gripping her to him protectively on instinct before he realized what the Hell was going on. It was lucky he had realized it was her pouncing on him and not an attacker, because he could have killed her. His eyes searched the room and saw the now empty canon – its contents everywhere. There was confetti and glitter, otherwise known as Satan’s bloody tears, everywhere.

“Cerise..” His eyebrow started up, dancing along to the birthday song as he let go of her slowly – his voice tight with anger. “Do not jump on me when I’m half asleep. I could have hurt you.” Was he being a little harsh when she was just trying to be nice to him? Yeah…probably, but he was a former secret agent and could have accidentally harmed her for much less. He was being grumpy, but she wasn’t having it. “But you didn’t.” Yeah okay, so pouncing on a former secret again, probably not the best idea in retrospect. Still, birthday.

Bloody Hell. What time was it? His eyes found the digital clock, and that just made him all the more irritated. Great. No sleep for him. “Happy birthday to me…I’m older…yay…” Okay, so maybe there was a little bit of happiness there. His fiancée’ had given him far more of a birthday greeting than he could ever remember having received before, and he was actually enjoying life lately.

Cerise could hear the dripping sarcasm in his voice after he had glanced at the clock. “Yes, yay! The most yay, because I’m sure glad you were born.” Why did she have to be so cute? She was glad he was born? Vanderwood snorted softly, but that little moment was short-lived. Though his eyebrow only slowed a little – his body relaxing only minutely, his voice at least sounded even. “Thank you, shortcake…Please go back to sleep.”

He needed to clean up; he needed to clean up. Not because it was compulsory and otherwise there would be glitter in places no one needed glitter. She just giggled and nuzzled him. “You sleep, too. We can clean up later~ Besides, haven’t you always dreamed about laying in a bed of sparkles?” Cerise loved glitter. She loved anything shiny and cute, really. There was confetti and glitter all over her – even embedded in her hair. Flecks of glitter could be seen on her skin and clothes. Marion fared no better. They both looked like a magical rainbow fairy had puked its glorious sparkles all over them. “A little glitter never hurt anyone, Marion.” Cerise shook her hair a little, sending more glitter flying about.

She wanted him to sleep in this? No fucking way. If he found even a single spot of glitter near his nether regions, he was going to put his fist through something. He wasn’t about to let this mess sit until morning – no matter how excited or adorable she was. “I would rather sleep on a bed of nails. I can’t sleep now that I’m up anyway. You know that.” He did his best to disentangle himself from her, nearly an attempt to run away as she was shaking out her hair.

When he pushed his bangs back as he was sitting on the edge of the bed, glitter fell into the lap of his pajama pants. His eyebrow was trying to escape his forehead now – practically flying away. “I need a shower, and then I’m cleaning.” So, great, he was 29. That was older than he’d thought he would make it to. It was certainly older than he’d wanted to make it to, but it also meant Christmas – which meant memories, which meant pain. All of that just made the glitter and confetti that was covering him more irritating.

Was he even breathing anymore? His chest felt tight. He headed off towards the bathroom as Cerise huffed – rolling back onto her side of the bed. “Don’t be such a grumpy face, Marion.” The glance he got of himself in the mirror made his eyebrow twitch even more. There was a part of his hair that was practically pink thanks to all those damn sparkles. This was it. He was going to die today. Just spontaneously combust.

She watched him as he escaped to the bathroom. Maybe after a shower, he would get tired again. Well…at least he’d remember this birthday, right? Sure, he looked a little irritated, but it was probably just because she woke him up so early. Once he was out of sight, Cerise began to smack random places on their bad, watching as the glitter flew up and fell back down. There was so much, and she couldn’t help but giggle.

He couldn’t be angry with her when she’d put in this much effort. All she wanted to do was make sure he didn’t have another painful birthday alone. At least they had the entire rest of the day. Marion would probably tire himself out sooner or later if the shower didn’t relax him. Letting out a yawn, Cerise curled up in the middle of the bed and fell back asleep – cuddling on the pillow that she had given him earlier in the month. Hopefully, he liked what she had in store for the rest of the day.

***

The shower had only helped in relaxing him so much. At least his hair wasn’t pink anymore, but his pajama pants…Yeah, it would take way too many washes to get the sparkles out of that, so at this point he was pretty Hell-bent on throwing those away. Vanderwood dried off and peeked out into the room. Good – she was asleep. He padded out and grabbed a different pair, getting those on quick and quiet before he realized. Not good – she was asleep. How was he going to clean this up with her asleep? He couldn’t use the vacuum.

Vanderwood wanted to smack his head into the wall a few times, but instead he got the broom and dust pan – getting everything that he could. Fun fact, he was going to need a new broom and dust pan. He snorted before looking at the bed. So many sparkles. Now he just felt sick and exhausted on a different level. Vanderwood bit his tongue as he watched Cerise sleep. All the pillows were covered in sparkles, too. He knew for a fact without the sound of her breathing to comfort him it was going to take him a lot longer to sleep, but without her scent on a pillow, yeah. There would be no sleep until he passed out from exhaustion.

He sighed and left the room, stretching out on the couch and staring up at the ceiling. Vanderwood reached for his phone on the coffee table – habit making him think it was the nightstand. Actually. It was probably better he didn’t have it on him, not today. Not that he thought he was going to call anyone. The thought made him want to hurl…cheat on Cerise? No way…but it was such an old habit at this point, especially during this season, that it was just better this way. He couldn’t remember falling asleep – just the constant rolling over and changing positions.

***

Cerise woke up on her own much later. Marion hadn’t woken her up? She looked around to see that he wasn’t in bed with her and frowned. Where was he? And Jesus, was she cold. Cerise threw her feet over the bed, grabbed some cute clothes, and padded into the bathroom. He was probably off doing something in the house. Right now what she needed was a warm shower to chase the chill away. As she got ready to hop in, she noticed glitter falling everywhere. Oh, right. The confetti cannon. The memory of earlier that morning made her laugh. Obviously, she’d have to make sure to wash her hair extra well that morning…which would take forever.

She was all clean and glitter free within an hour and a half. Her eyes scanned the area as she stepped into the living room, and she still didn’t see her fiancé. “Where did you go?” It wasn’t until she got closer to the couch that she saw him sleeping there. Honestly, it made her a little sad. Why hadn’t he slept in the bed with her? And holy crap…was she actually awake before him? Cerise made her way over to him, kneeling beside the couch. Marion was such a beautiful man, especially when he slept. Usually, she was asleep before him, and he was awake before her. She didn’t get much time to ever admire his sleeping form. “Hey, Marion.” Her voice was a soft whisper as she nuzzled him. “Wake up, birthday boy~”

He startled awake at the nuzzle, but at least it wasn’t like this morning. Bloody Hell, he was tired. So, he had slept and not just rolled over all night. That was good, although he couldn’t be sure how much sleep he’d ended up getting. “Hey, Cerise…I’m awake.” Her hair was wet. That meant she’d had a shower – which meant he could clean the bedroom. Vanderwood pushed himself up on the couch, and with as tired as he was – it seemed to take effort. That’s when he just felt…old.

How had he even made it past 25? He had been sure he would die at 25, or right around there. But no, when he’d turned 25 he’d just spent virtually an entire month seeing Crystal every day instead of being dead. Might as well have been being dead. Vanderwood sighed and looked at his fiancée. At least she was having fun with today – even if it meant cleaning up after her. She was the one beautiful thing in his life, and he really was grateful that she cared, deep down.

It was just that it was difficult. He wanted to have a good day; he really did…so he sure as Hell wasn’t about to ruin whatever she had planned and dump his feelings on her. That would probably just make her cry anyway. He reached for his phone out of habit again, but it wasn’t there, of course. “What time is it?” His stomach felt like it was crumbling in on itself, because he was so damn hungry.

“It’s eleven thirty. You really slept in today~” He deserved to sleep in every now and again, and what more perfect day to do so than his birthday? Cerise gave him a look when she audibly heard his stomach growl. “Hungry?” She stood up with a smile on her face. “It’s your birthday, so I can make us something! I’ll be back in a jiffy!” Before he had a chance to protest, she was gone. Cerise knew that she didn’t stand a snowball’s chance in Hell actually cooking, so she had preemptively bought an assortment of pre-cut fruits. Instant oatmeal was pretty easy, too. All she had to do was add hot water.

Okay…so she was cooking. Vanderwood looked out into the kitchen after her, and from what he was seeing, she wasn’t trying to make anything overly ambitious. Maybe he could relax a little. If only he could. He grumbled and pushed out of the couch, going into the bedroom. After quickly taking care of that glitter problem that was the bed, he returned to the couch – feeling at least a little better with the sheets and pillows in the wash. He would still need to vacuum, but with as hungry as he was – eating came first.

She grinned widely as things came together perfectly. Cerise arranged the fruit on a plate around the bowl of instant oatmeal – which she added cinnamon to, like any sane person would do. Now, for the finishing touch. She took out a pack of sparklers and put the ends of them into the oatmeal bowl. That should be exciting and memorable, right? The package had said not to light them indoors, but Cerise took that as more of a suggestion than anything as she took a match and lit the sparklers up before making her way with the food to where her husband-to-be was. “Surprise!” Who didn’t like fireworks?

He was rubbing his face when she came back into the room, and he pulled his hands away. “Cerise!” His eyebrow was twitching again, and he grabbed the sparklers. Cerise frowned as he blew out the sparklers so fast without admiring them.  “Are you trying to light the house on fire again?” He did have a point. It could have sparked a fire if she wasn’t careful, but luckily, she was – or so she thought.

Now that the danger was gone, chestnut-brown eyes fell on what she’d brought him. Just as Cerise was about to open her mouth to argue, he cut her off. “Oh…shortcake…that’s just great…” Had his heart melted in a second? “Thank you…” There was still a lot of irritation, but she was really trying. His praise caused a blush to build on Cerise’s face. “You’re welcome! I’m not a good cook by any means and couldn’t do anything amazing, but…I hope you enjoy it all the same!”

As he started on the food, Cerise ran back to the kitchen to grab something for herself, too – returning to sit down next to him on the couch. She munched on her portion happily, starting a ‘birthday playlist’ that she had made. It was the perfect mix of songs that would hopefully last all day! Most of them were very festive, so it was nice to eat breakfast with such a cheery atmosphere. “Hope you’re enjoying your day so far~” The day hadn’t really even begun; she was just too excited.

“Um…as much as I can, so far.” Maybe that had been meant to be a rhetorical comment. Vanderwood wasn’t sure. It was like his tension and exhaustion were making him even more awkward than usual. He ate in silence, the music far livelier than he was. It was nice though, having someone who cared again. With Caleb they’d just sat in the living room and watched TV. They never tried to do birthdays or Christmas. Caleb had grown up without it anyway, and Vanderwood…the memory of sitting there waiting for his mother to come home, then the tree, his father and his friends.

His face became a dark mask as he grabbed the dirty dishes that Cerise seemed done with and heading out of the room. “I’ll just wash up, then I’ll vacuum.” He was being so curt. It wasn’t fair to her; it really wasn’t. Vanderwood grabbed a hair tie and put his hair up – running his fingers over his serial number per the usual before he turned the sink faucet on.

Cerise stayed silent as she watched him. He had warned her that he might not be in the best of moods – which he certainly wasn’t`, but that only meant that she needed to try harder, right? She was going to make this memorable and fun for him no matter what. It looked like it was going to be a little harder than she’d even thought. As he worked on washing their dishes, Cerise quickly darted back to her room and pulled out a massive amount of decorations from under the bed. She’d have to be quick to decorate while he vacuumed if she wanted to surprise him.

After grabbing all the stuff and stashing it in the guest bedroom, she waited until he began making his way to the room to vacuum. Perfect. With an overabundance of energy, she put the mess of decorations up: streamers, balloons, colorful tableware. Now all that was left was the cake. Cerise checked her phone. It was set to be delivered any time now. She went to peek out the window, and sure enough – there it was. As quietly as she could, she opened the door and brought it in – thanking the delivery driver. The sound of the vacuum would probably drown out anything she had been doing, thankfully.

She set the cake down on the table and opened the box. It was a relatively small cake, because she knew that he wasn’t a fan of sugary things – especially in large quantities. Cerise had given the baker specific instructions to make the cake as healthy as she could without sacrificing the festivity of it all, and she had to say…it looked pretty darn good. All she had left was the presents she had gotten for him – deciding to buy him things he could use instead of something that would just sit out forever and a day.

Mostly, she’d bought him clothes she thought he would like, coordinating the outfits carefully. It was hard to find his size, but she had somehow managed – while avoiding anything that he might think was too restricting. After everything was set up and the apartment looked all sorts of bright and colorful, she snapped a picture with her phone before sitting down on the couch to wait for him to emerge from his vacuuming. Boy would he be surprised! And there wasn’t even fire or glitter involved!

***

The vacuum hurt his ears. He should have had his ears looked at a long time ago, but going to a doctor wasn’t something he was particularly interested in. Vanderwood finished up and looked around the room. He wasn’t sure how he’d managed it, but it was clean. No glitter. Praise whatever God fucking existed. Vanderwood would have crawled around with strips of tape if he had to, but that had thankfully been unnecessary. He turned off the vacuum and went to put it away, getting a good full view of vibrancy as he stepped out of the bedroom.

“What the fuck…when? Oh.” Vanderwood stared at the colorful mess. This was too much for him right then, but that wasn’t just something he could say out loud. So, what should he say? At least nothing was going to light on fire, and there wasn’t any glitter, but he was still going to have to be the one to clean up, wasn’t he? He preemptively put a hand to his eyebrow. It was too vibrant and lively for his taste, but…Cerise had clearly tried so hard. It wasn’t like he could just be a douche over it. “This is…Wow, Cerise.” Okay, that wasn’t too horrible, because it really was wow.

He approached her on the couch and caught sight of the cake, glancing over that to see gifts. She’d really gone all out. Vanderwood felt a little choke in his throat. No one ever gave a shit like this. Least of all his parents. Yeah, that was making him both happy and making his chest sting with pain – his muscles tensing up. You weren’t supposed to finally find someone who cared at 29…or apparently just he was.

She had been excited as he first got a glimpse, but now she was scrunching her nose at his…praise? Marion had seemed to be getting choked up for just a second, but now things seemed just as quickly to be getting bad again. Cerise looked concerned. This was somehow having the opposite effect on him, and she wasn’t sure why. Was she not doing enough? Did she need to try harder? She bit her lip. Think, think…Cerise still had a little trouble reading him completely when he was like this.

Maybe talking about Christmas festivities would cheer him up? Their first Christmas together…all snuggled up together on Christmas eve, drinking warm drinks. That sounded like a dream to her. “Hey Marion…erm…” Cerise put a smile on her face. She needed to stay positive for him, show him a smile. “Cheer up!” As she patted him enthusiastically, she widened her smile. “Christmas is just around the corner, you know? It can only get better from here. Ooh! ” She started to bounce around on her feet all excitedly, taking his hand into hers. “I can totally get out the Christmas decorations tonight aaaaand…tomorrow we can put up the tree together! I have all sorts of cute ornaments just waiting to be used~”

Cerise realized she was babbling and laughed nervously before she looked up to him, and…he didn’t look too enthused. In fact, he wasn’t reacting at all? “Hey…” There was a hint of concern in her voice. Was he closing himself off? That’s probably something he normally did around his birthday, or so she thought. She could only imagine how lonely he had been. “Marion…I’m here now, you know? You’re not alone anymore…You don’t have to shut down,” Cerise gave him a small smile and patted his arm again, trying to comfort him. “Talk to me…how can I make this better?”

Vanderwood loved her – he really did, but she was digging him into a pit of pain. It wasn’t her fault. She didn’t know any better. In fact, she was just trying to help. He didn’t feel angry; he didn’t feel sad, but that was only because he was shutting himself off from the thoughts that swirled around in his head. It was all too much. Vanderwood already felt like he was so tense – as though someone were trying to break a pencil with their bare hands. He realized she was saying his name, patting his arm, but nothing she was saying was reaching his ears.

All he could hear was the sound of his heart going way too fast. The next thing he knew, she was under him – pinned down onto the couch with her hands above her head. Vanderwood blinked, taking it in before he let go, the rush of guilt like a dam breaking for the second time in his life. He hadn’t realized how close he was to breaking, how much he needed his body to relax, how much he wanted… “Get away from me.” His voice was brusque and dark, and he looked towards the ground as he scrambled away from her to the other side of the couch. He hadn’t meant for it to sound so terrible, but he couldn’t make the words come to say anything better. Vanderwood couldn’t be around her right now. He’d pinned his fiancée to the bloody couch. His fists balled up, and he wanted to put them through something – clenching them so tightly that he was shaking.

It had all happened so fast. Marion had grabbed her wrists hard, causing her to yelp out in pain before he’d pushed her down beneath him. He was off of her again, but her eyes were still wide with fear as tears began to pool in the corners. Cerise was scared – terrified, and the person she loved the most was the cause of it. He was supposed to be getting better; she was helping him get better, so why was this happening? Why now? Had she not tried hard enough?

She began to rub her wrists. They hurt so bad. The cheery music playing in the background was a stark contrast to the current situation. There was an explanation…there had to be an explanation. She hadn’t gotten the chance to say anything, ask him why before he was telling her to get away. The tears finally spilled over, rolling over her cheeks silently as she quickly ran to her room, slamming the door behind her. When she was in the safety of her room, she let herself cry into the first pillow she could grab. She had only wanted him to feel better, share his feelings with her. Cerise wanted to make happy memories with the man she loved to the moon and back. This wasn’t supposed to happen.

How much time had passed? An hour? Two? She didn’t know; she’d been too lost in thought. Eventually, she had come to the harsh conclusion that nothing she could do was going to heal him completely. She was nothing but a temporary reprieve from the downward spiral that was his life. Cerise loved him – loved him so much it hurt, but she couldn’t help him. He’d come so far, but there was only so much she could do for him. Just loving him couldn’t make him better, and she wasn’t about to sleep with him just to make him feel better. That would only contribute to the problem.

Cerise wasn’t going to be that person for him. He didn’t need her; he just needed his fix. That’s how it would always be. Nothing she did, no matter how much effort she put in, no matter how much she cared – it wasn’t going to fix him. She was nothing more than a silly little girl who cared too much for her own good. Cerise eyed her ring, the ‘proof’ that they were promising their lives to each other. The promise of a better, brighter future. Psh, yeah right. Someone was going to come along. They were going to be able to make him happy – do what needed to be done so he could heal. It just wasn’t going to be her.

She slid the ring off her finger and left it on the bed, heading towards the window. Cerise didn’t even bother to grab her phone; she honestly just didn’t care. All she knew was that she needed to get away. She’d snuck out more times than she could count. This would be easy. He wanted her to go away? Fine. She would. Vanderwood wouldn’t have to worry about her ever again.

If Vanderwood wanted to be alone and miserable so badly, she wasn’t about to stop him or get dragged down into it. She was going to live her life – whether he was a part of it or not. As soon as she was able, she would find the next flight back to France. Right now, she needed to breathe and get out – away from it all. Away from him. Cerise carefully slid the window open and slipped out into the cool winter air.

***

How long had he been sitting there since the door slammed? He was breathing too hard, a ragged sound. What had he done? Vanderwood bit his tongue and tasted blood, but at least now he could release his hands. His mind flitted to the image of her beneath him – the fear, the pain, the tears. He’d done that.

Vanderwood felt crushed. His heart felt like it had crumbled. Cerise. What he needed was to calm down. He needed to relax, and then he could…would…What? How could he even make up for what he’d just done? He’d have to tell her everything. Why? Bloody Hell – he’d thought he had been doing so well. Now he’d just snapped. He hadn’t been paying attention – hadn’t been watching his behavior. Well, apparently, he wasn’t as well as he’d thought he was.

The sun was low in the sky by the time he got up off the couch, moving slowly, feeling like the lowest scum of the Earth. Really, that was all he’d ever been anyway, right? Vanderwood internally slapped himself. If he was going to get better, he was going to have to stop thinking like that. Right now, he needed to make sure he and Cerise got dinner – then make sure she was alright, and…hopefully, explain…If she would want to hear it.

He’d managed to tune out the music until now but turned it off as soon as he realized it was still going. The silence was more deafening than the sound had been. The only thing he could think while he was cooking was that she was probably scared of him now. It was either that, or she just wanted nothing to do with him. He kept trying to shove those thoughts away, but he could only do so much.

Once he’d made dinner, he went to her door, knocking softly. No answer. “Cerise…you need to eat.” Not a sound. Now anxiety swept up on him, and he opened her door slowly – a cold breeze chilling him to the bone. An open window. There was an open window and no Cerise. “Mon amour…?” Why was he even asking for her like she was there? She clearly wasn’t. Chestnut-brown eyes searched the room to find her phone and then her ring. The choked sound that escaped him was hardly human, and then he was scrambling, throwing on some clothes, his gloves, and grabbing his jacket – shoving her ring and phone into the pockets.

It was getting so dark. Any shops would be closing soon in anticipation of the day tomorrow. If he was going to find her, he needed to move quickly. Vanderwood decided to go out the window. Where would she have gone? He bit his tongue – feeling the sting from the barely healed bite earlier. Vanderwood decided to head towards the shop area. She loved people, and if she wanted to hide and get away from him – he had a feeling that she’d seek out some place warm and inviting. That was just who she was.

 

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Mystic Messenger Fanfiction | SevenxMC Good Ending Continued | Christian Consummation

His arms were warm around me before he started to move, pulling his hands away to move my hair to one side. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

***I was partially on the struggle-bus of recovering from being sick as well as planning my daughter’s 2nd birthday last week – so apologies for the lack of update. This week’s chapter is a smutty smut. Hopefully that makes up for it!

I would like to make a note that there will be direct quotes from the Bible in this chapter during the smut. This is not to make jest or poke fun at religion in any manner. I am personally religious. More than anything this chapter is a celebration of marriage and how much it means to Saeyoung both emotionally and spiritually. Just wanted to clarify that before anyone got offended and to allow anyone whom that might bother to skip over this chapter. With that said – ~Let’s Connect! FFC***

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Our wedding had seemed like an impossible dream. As Saeyoung drove along the winding roads up to the hotel we would be staying in, though, it just kept sinking in all the more that I had married the love of my life. Our little girls were safe in the rather reluctant arms of Uncle Mary Vanderwood, and we had the weekend to ourselves. They were only a few months old now, but Saeyoung hadn’t wanted to wait much longer to make me his wife, and I didn’t exactly want to wait either. The space-station wedding he had wanted had been rather impossible, but we were able to say our Catholic vows in a conservatory with the stars projected above us. If there was anything more perfect than that, I didn’t know of it.

Saeyoung slowed the car as we approached the large building just outside of the next town over – close enough that we could head home if there was an emergency with the girls. He was always planning like that – anxious over our daughters and their welfare. If there was a better father, I didn’t know who that could be. Saeyoung doted on our girls, playing with them near constantly and almost disappointed when they were asleep, because he couldn’t babble at them anymore. At first, he had struggled with not playing too rough with them, squishing their faces and making them cranky, but he had quickly learned that they certainly weren’t pets you could mess around and play with in that manner.

His voice distracted me, a large grin on his face as he held out his hand to me. “C’mon, Mrs. Choi. We have a hotel room to get to.” There was a little glint in his eyes, and I was almost certain he had planned something. Not that I would be able to put my finger on it until he sprung whatever trap he had. Maybe he would surprise me and it wouldn’t be a trap at all.

He led me up to the room, his finger stroking nearly anxiously over my knuckles as he unlocked the door before he let me step in first, my breath leaving me in a gasp. The hotel room wasn’t that spectacular, but the view from the large windows on one side leading out to a balcony was exquisite. There was even a little bed out on the balcony where one could rest and watch the stars. I immediately made a bee-line for it, stepping out onto the balcony and grabbing the rail – looking up at the clear night sky and then out at the view of nature underneath of it. “This is beautiful, Saeyoung.” My voice was soft with awe, and his arms wrapped around me from behind as he rested his chin on my forehead. “Of course…I had to be blessed by the cosmos with me wife.”

I leaned more into him as he moved to press a kiss to the top of my head. His arms were warm around me before he started to move, pulling his hands away to move my hair to one side. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” My breath hitched as his fingers lightly traced along the chain of the necklace he had given me, delivered by Yoosung just before I joined Saeyoung at the altar. His gentle touch moved downwards until he found the little cross between my breasts, playing lightly with it before he let his fingertips brush over the swell of my breasts.

“Saeyoung…” I recognized the words, bible verses from Genesis about the sanctity of marriage. The priest we had hired for our wedding had insisted on giving us a biblical lesson on marriage before performing the ceremony, insisting we be celibate until our wedding night if he was going to marry us. We had ended up sticking to that, although mostly because we were exhausted with the children up at odd hours – always hungry. Saeyoung placed his hand on my chin, turning my head to press a gentle kiss to my lips before he pulled away, removing his glasses and setting them aside. His glasses were quickly followed by his jacket and various other items.

My eyes searched the area. We were alone on the balcony – the only one on this side of the building as far as I could see, but did he really want to do this here? There may have been a bed, but still. He seemed to read my mind, giving me a devilish smirk. “No worries, MC. We’re all alone, and what better place to consummate our marriage than under the stars.” I wasn’t sure if he was joking or not, and he might have been half joking – now inching towards the doorway into the bedroom before I shook my head. This was certainly one way to regain the nerves we’d once had over love-making, but I undid my zipper – watching as he froze and turned his body back more to me as my dress fell.

All I had left were my bra and panties, cold air brushing against my skin. Still, I wasn’t cold. Certainly not when my husband removed the rest of his own clothes, standing before me in just his boxers, which unsurprisingly had a tuxedo design on them. Even in a moment like this, he could manage to make me giggle – a small blush appearing on his own face as he bit at the inside of his cheek. We were quite the odd pair, but he sat on the bed, holding out his hand to me.

I moved forward, gladly taking the hand offered before he pulled me close rather quickly. His hand gave my rump a delightfully surprising little smack as he kissed my chest. “My good and perfect wife.” His voice had a hushed little purr, somewhere between reverent and husky as his fingers found the band of my panties, pulling them down. I helped him by stepping out of the garment, getting my bra off just a moment later. Once again, I felt the cold air. I wasn’t the only one as his own underwear came off, swiftly followed by his mouth finding one of my breasts.

Nips turned into bites, marking the tender flesh as a hand groped at the other breast so as not to leave it neglected. Heat blossomed through my body, my fingers tangling in his for once brushed-back locks as his tongue and teeth teased at first one nipple before switching to the other. His hands were rough, almost as though he wanted to completely possess me – as though he had missed my body with an intense hunger. Maybe he had. I had certainly missed his.

Before long, his attention was torturous. Saeyoung knew exactly what he was doing as he rolled a nipple between his thumb and forefinger, making me cry out and tug him closer by his hair. The heat was becoming unbearable, driving me wild as he continued with his rough teasing. “Saeyoung, please…I need you.” My leg brushed against his hardness as my knees nearly buckled with the way he dragged his teeth along my nipple.

Finally, he pulled back, but he didn’t give me at all the answer I was looking for. “Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not, love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.” My catholic-graduate husband was clearly intent on his biblical teasing as he pressed a hand between my legs, providing very little friction as just one finger stroked along to tease and make me whimper. I moved a hand to grip his shoulder hard. “I am not patient…and if you don’t give me something soon, I will be thinking evil.”

A soft chuckle greeted me in response, and I was almost about to beg him again, but he had relented. He pulled me down onto the bed and then crawled over me to lean his forehead against my own. It seemed like the heat burning between us was finally going to be assuaged. Unfortunately for me, he wasn’t completely done yet. “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” This wasn’t stated as a joke, wasn’t him playing around. My husband really was a religious man, and the way he breathed out the words was evidence of how much it really meant to him that I was now his wife.

This had caused a long pause, and now I shifted my hips in irritation and need. “Saeyou-” Before I could finish the complaint, he had caught my lips with his – a hand gripping my thigh and pushing it up as he thrust to enter me. Our moans were caught in each other’s mouths as we kissed. I hooked my knee around his torso, allowing him to let go of my thigh in favor of touching me. His hand found the side of my neck – thumb pressing against my jaw to keep me in place as his other hand tangled roughly in my hair. He started pulling at it, making me cry out as he moved back to look at me.

Saeyoung’s hip motions were only getting rougher and quicker against my own. Our gasps and pants, moans and soft cries – everything went up towards the sky. I didn’t exactly have much chance to look at it. Any time I was able to open my eyes, I was captivated by the yellow glow of my husband’s – the way he was looking at me equal parts loving and possessing as he purred my new name at me more than once. “Mrs. MC Choi.” He had built me up too long, teased me too long after a long wait since we had last made love, and now the pleasure was so strong that it felt as though it would break me.

It crashed over me hard, but my husband wasn’t far behind. His hand tightened both in my hair and against my neck as his movements slowed with a groan of pleasure. Euphoria washed over and through me, snuggling my head back into the pillows as I cupped Saeyoung’s face between my hands – giving it a little squish as he had learned to stop doing with our daughters. “I love you.” Saeyoung’s near ever-present smile brightened his face as he turned it to bite at the fleshy part of my palm before responding. “I love you, too. Til death do us part, and for as long as the cosmos exist.” There was no helping the goofy smile on my face in response to his and the warmth overflowing in my heart.

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Mystic Messenger Fanfiction | VanderwoodxOC Cerise – Tagged | Cut It Out

She came across her best friend’s new haircut. Originally, Anette’s hair was rather long…not longer than her own, but pretty long still. Now it was so much shorter than it had originally been, and it looked so amazing on her…Cerise ran a hand through her own hair now.

***Last week I got super duper sick and completely lost my voice, so I just didn’t have the energy to get a Tagged chapter up. I’m healthy, now, though! ~Let’s Connect! FFC***

*Remember, this is a sequel to Vanderwood Backstory, and Cerise has a bio. You can support my writing on patreon and get access to my VIP Discord Server or other goodies like early chapter releases and hidden scenes.  Tagged Chapter Directory*

The week flew by much quicker than he would have liked, and now he was spending time at Seven’s again. There was really no reason for him to be with the kid anymore, as he no longer had to monitor his work to keep the both of them from being killed, and he felt a little underfoot as Seven…Saeyoung…was helping his twin brother recover. Maybe it was about time he moved out again? Especially since he and Cerise were getting married. It wasn’t just because he couldn’t bear to be apart from her because he worried she was going to get herself into some sort of trouble. Okay, so maybe it was that a little bit.

Vanderwood snorted at himself and opened his phone as he was lying on the bed, sending her a quick selfie, feeling a little like an idiot doing it still, but knowing that she liked it. He also just loved to get hers back. Now he was scrolling through Fakebook. Wait…who was posting on her wall besides Cerise? Vanderwood groaned as he read the status. `We should get together and do this again sometime.` It was that one annoying rich boy with the stupid hair again.

His eyebrow twitched, and then he opened the video. Dancing…Cerise was an amazing dancer, but his eyebrow apparently was, too. This kid, whoever he was, was way too physically close to his Cerise. It seemed like the video was a few years old, but Vanderwood didn’t like it. He posted in the comments, that little jealous monster in his chest. `Should make a video of us together instead.`

He almost wrote that he was far more attractive, which was true. Vanderwood didn’t have idiot hair, and he didn’t look like a teenager, but that was a little too douchey to point out in public. No matter how true it was. He grunted and sent Cerise another text. `I’ll be over for breakfast tomorrow. Who’s Fortun?` Vanderwood didn’t want it to seem like he was judging her, but at this point he genuinely needed to know. She hadn’t dated anyone other than that one when she was in grade school, so whoever this idiot was, he hadn’t heard much about him.

***

With Marion out of the house, Cerise had decided to run around town by herself the past week. Not that he didn’t let her go out without him when he was there, but he was such a worry-wort. Cerise heard her phone ping and checked it to see that he had sent her a selfie. Each time he did it, it made her extremely giddy, because she knew that he didn’t particularly like taking them…or having his picture taken at all, really. Yet, he still did it, because he knew it made her happy. It was a good thing she took a pre-emptive selfie before she left the house that she hadn’t posted yet.

She sent that selfie back along with a ton of heart emojis. Normally, she wouldn’t try to lie to him or hide the fact that she had gone out, but she wanted to get him something as a surprise and she couldn’t do that if he was looming over her. Probably, if she would have sent a selfie of her out and about, she had no doubt he would worry over it, find out where she was, and be there in an instant. It wasn’t like she was going to be shanked or kidnapped on the street or anything. Cerise shook her head. He was a little ridiculous sometimes, but she still loved him.

Her phone was going off again, but she was used to receiving multiple notifications at once. It was a good thing she had a different ringtone for her texts. She had just entered a store when her phone went off again. “…Fortun?” Why was he asking about Fortun? How did he even know Fortun? He had probably seen him commenting on something. Cerise stopped to send back a quick text, making sure to stand out of the way as she did so. God, she hated when people stopped in the middle of somewhere to text. `1 of my best friends from home. Can’t w8 2 c u~ ( ˘ ³˘)♥ ` With that sent, she began wandering around the store in search of the perfect something.

***

His phone pinged. One of her best friends? The dancing eyebrow returned. One of her best friends was a flirty male? Okay, so he was probably being ridiculous, but he’d come to accept that he was possessive at this point. `Me either. I’ll miss you until then.` Eventually, this Fortun guy would just have to figure out that Cerise was beyond taken. Vanderwood got back on Fakebook only to more irritation. Cerise must be busy if she hadn’t seen any of this yet. Fortun had typed back `You haven’t danced with your fiancée yet? Funny. I’ve danced with her a lot.` There were more videos linked now as well.

`I was too busy dating her and getting engaged. Sorry.` What was it this guy wanted other than to be annoying? Vanderwood bit his tongue and just continued scrolling only to a few minutes later see another thing from Fortun on his fiancées wall – an outfit of sorts. He had to admit it would look great on her, but he didn’t like Fortun asking her address to send it to her. Cerise wasn’t responding to any of it right now, which made him wonder what she was up to.

Maybe he was just paranoid, but he got the feeling that she wasn’t in the house. Granted, it wasn’t like she wasn’t allowed to be out of the house, but he was anxious wondering what she was doing. `Your friend seems particularly friendly today. What are you up to shortcake?` That wasn’t too horribly anxious or overbearing…nor too descriptive on how much he wanted to smack her little friend upside the head. She had to be home and probably just busy with something, based on the cute selfie she’d sent him back. Vanderwood grumbled at himself. He was just being all around irritable.

***

It wasn’t long before she found something that just spoke to her. Cerise carried the item around until she came across a kiosk in the store. It was some kind of quick photo developer. She read the instructions to find out that it operated via Bluetooth once a fee was paid. Her eyes lit up. That would be perfect. She began to look through her gallery to decide what she wanted when her phone pinged again.

Cerise read the message and laughed a little. `Yeah, he’s pretty nice. 🙂 I’m just looking thru sum pix~` Okay, not a complete lie. She sent the text and then settled on developing the very first selfie they had taken together. It would look really good in a frame, she decided. After getting it developed – which was amazingly easy! – she picked out a nice frame and went to check out. Cerise was out the door and to her home again with no incident. Putting the stuff aside to mess with later, she took her boots off and plopped on her couch, scrolling through her notifications.

Oh, so that was why he’d asked about Fortun. Her friends back home must have missed her. She looked through the exchange between the two and grinned, not really realizing that her friend was being overly flirty. All her mind was focused on was, omigod, does Marion wanna dance with me? Cerise squealed and began to message him immediately. `Let’s dance 2gether sometime!! <3` She didn’t know the extent of what he knew, but something she had fantasized about was a nice slow dance between her and the person she loved. Now she was feeling absolutely giddy; she couldn’t help but to kick her legs in the air in excitement. Cerise didn’t even look at her other notifications; she had a picture to put in a frame!

***

Pictures? He could imagine she had a lot to get through with as many as she took in one day. Vanderwood smiled and sent something back. `Guess I’ll do the same, since I miss you so much.` Cheesy, nice, but he wasn’t wrong. It was pleasant for him to look through the pictures they had together, not that they had so many, but each one carried a memory. The only problem was always when he got to her shower selfie and the wink.

Their latest picture together didn’t bring up the cleanest memories either. Vanderwood could see the marks he’d left on her and subsequently the one she’d made on him. His fingers brushed lightly over the spot, but by now it had faded away. He’d need a new…his phone pinged with a text. As he went to open it, he was blushing like an idiot, somewhat happy to have been interrupted, since his mind had been about to wander. Now he read her text and realized she must have finally seen her notifications, or at least the dancing.

Shit…he’d gotten jealous and offered to dance with her. That was not the best of his ideas. The only dancing he’d ever done was a forced middle school shuffle. Vanderwood had used to go to the school dances just because it was better than being at home, and he’d stand in the corner. Sometimes girls or teachers had still insisted he dance. Incidentally, this was also how he ended up with his first kiss at 16 and promptly denying the girl. Yeah…dancing…good times. Still. It had been his idea, and now she was probably beyond excited. `Whenever you want mon amour. You will have to teach me.` What had he signed up for?

Maybe now she was replying to her other notifications, so Vanderwood decided to go back to scrolling, but he didn’t see anything. Bloody Hell, she must have been really excited. He came across a photo from another one of her friends that he’d added simply because of Fakebook friend suggestions. Adding her friends had been a mistake, because that meant a bunch of people he had no idea how close they were to her were on his ‘wall’, but this one must be a little closer, because she seemed to be having a fight with Fortun in the comments now. Good. He deserved a fight.

The woman had posted a before and after picture of her haircut. It looked stupid, too, asymmetrical, completely annoying. Her status that accompanied it said, `Single feels good! Got a haircut #goodbyedeadweight` Vanderwood was glad Cerise wasn’t cutting her hair, because he loved that beautiful long hair. Even if it took forever to keep up with, she looked amazing with it, and running his fingers through it was always a highlight of his day…if he wasn’t digging his fingers into it for other reasons.

***

Cerise finished putting the picture in the frame and placed a cute bow on it for a finishing touch. A little girly, but she had no doubt that he would like it. She had also picked up his very own pillow. Of course, she was the one who adored pillows, but she had figured that if he had to be surrounded by them all the time, he might as well have one that he could call his own. It was a large leopard printed one; if he would choose for that pattern to be in his jacket, then he must like it. What’s more was that it was incredibly soft, and she was almost jealous that he was going to be the one to get to cuddle with it. He was lucky she loved him so much.

She was so into her project that she hadn’t noticed her phone until she took her spot on the couch again. The noise she made upon reading his text was almost inhuman. She was going to get to teach him! Cerise could only imagine it and how romantic and completely adorable it would be. He’d taught her how to shoot a gun; she could teach him how to dance with her. It was the perfect exchange in her mind. They could both lend each other a little something that they were good at.` the student bcomes the teacher~ u better b rdy ;)` Maybe she would put together a routine just for him. Would he even like that?

Once Cerise was able to finally calm down a little, she went back to her notifications. Fortun had posted an outfit and wanted to send it to her? Now that she thought about it…she hadn’t given her friends her new address. She ended up privately messaging him, giving him her address, asking him to share it with her other friends as well. Fortun didn’t message back right away, so she decided to look at her friend’s accounts to see what they were up to.

It wasn’t long before Cerise found out that Anette had dumped Fortun again. That wasn’t really a big deal to her; they would always end up back together anyways. They always were a rather odd couple, but they did suit each other, in her opinion. Then she came across her best friend’s new haircut. Originally, Anette’s hair was rather long…not longer than her own, but pretty long still. Now it was so much shorter than it had originally been, and it looked so amazing on her. Not really paying attention to the fighting going on in the comments, she dropped her own. `omg!!! that looks soooo good on u! #killingit`

Cerise ran a hand through her own hair now. She hadn’t really cut it besides shaping her fringe or trims since she was little, so…maybe it was time to take the plunge and chop it off? The only reason she’d even grown out her hair was because of her uncle Emil, but change was good, and short was in. Sounded like a good idea to her. She went through her instafram and searched for short hairstyles. “Pixie cut, huh?” That sounded cute, looked cute…she could totally pull it off. Plus, it was shorter than her friend’s hair was.

She didn’t know how many pictures she hearted before it began to become late. “Oh…crap.” Cerise needed to get in the shower and get to bed if she was going to get up early enough to surprise her fiancé. After getting that shower, doing her nightly skin care routine, and getting ready for bed, she sent Marion a few good night texts and a selfie or two before she was asleep. She might have decided to cuddle up to the pillow she’d bought him. So soft…

***

Surprisingly, Cerise woke up before her alarm went off. She grabbed for her phone and checked the time. Okay, so it was only about thirty minutes before it was going to go off anyways; she would live. Besides, she was way too excited to go back to sleep. Marion would be coming back to her today.

Cerise hopped out of bed and ran to the bathroom to go through her morning routine of moisturizers, exfoliation, brushing her teeth. She didn’t bother to style her hair, because she was just going to cut it all off anyways. After setting the gifts she was going to give him out on the coffee table in the living room and neatly arranging them, she went off searching for a pair of household scissors. Any scissors would work, right? All of them cut, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

She connected her phone to some bluetooth speakers she had and turned on some music as she watched a few video tutorials. It didn’t look too hard; she would totally be able to pull it off. There was really no reason to get dressed yet, since she didn’t want hair all over her clean clothes, so she just stayed in her pajamas. Giggling as she put down the phone, she picked up the scissors. Marion was going to be so surprised; she couldn’t wait to see the look on his face. “Here goes nothing~”

***

He woke up way too early. Vanderwood grumbled, not able to fall back asleep, of course. It would have been much easier if he was with Cerise. After getting up for his morning run, he decided to waste some more time on social media. It looked like Cerise had been ‘hearting’ a lot of short haircuts since last night. That was weird. Her text last night had been the last thing he’d read before falling off into a fitful sleep, and he didn’t see a reason to respond since he would see her soon, but damn it made him blush like an idiot.

Vanderwood sighed and checked the time again. Still early, but…he missed her. She would probably still be sleeping when he got there, but that was fine. He could just let himself in, and then her food would be ready when she did wake up. Cerise wouldn’t mind him showing up out of the blue since she was expecting him later in the day, anyway, right?

***

As Vanderwood got to the apartment, he could hear loud music from outside of the door, meaning she had to be up and either dancing or doing chores. He knocked and rang the doorbell but got no response. After trying the door, he found…it was unlocked. That better have been intentional. He walked in, calling out her name to again no response. There were some things on the table, a leopard print pillow and a framed picture…their picture with a bow on it. Cerise had apparently been up to more than she’d let on the day before, but he could hardly be mad. Although, he was pretty interested to know why the door was unlocked and the music so loud she wouldn’t hear an intruder.

Where on Earth was she? The music was starting to give him a headache, too. It was far too loud for his damaged ears. Vanderwood checked every room before finally pushing at the bathroom door and there she was with scissors to her hair. He reached out to grab her wrist, stopping whatever it was she was up to. “What on Earth are you doing?” His voice was loud, trying to speak over the music. Was she really trying to cut her hair with house scissors? Why was she doing that in the first place?

Cerise squeaked when he grabbed her, causing her to drop the scissors. She hadn’t heard him come in. How did he even get in? He probably had a key…or picked the lock…either of those made sense for him. “I erm…decided to cut my hair? To surprise you?” Cerise laughed nervously, talking a little louder than normal so he could hear her over her music. “I looked up tutorials, so it’s going to turn out so cute!” She looked up to him a little sheepishly, “Surprise?” Now Cerise grabbed her phone to turn off her music with her other hand, so she could talk to him a little better. “How’d you get in, anyways? Do you have a key?”

Oh, thank fuck, the music was off, but now his eyebrow was twitching. “I don’t have a key.” So that settled that. “You didn’t lock your door. Anyone could have walked in here.” Just the thought of it was enough to make him want to move in right this second, but that wasn’t reasonable. Her response was a simple, “Oops.” Well, at least nobody did. But if someone really truly wanted to get in, wouldn’t they find a way? Cerise was pretty sure she’d locked the door the night Drawl got in. The thought made her shudder, and she pushed the memory to the back of her mind

He hadn’t even touched on the hair thing yet. It was one big ball of irritating in the morning. Vanderwood loved her hair, absolutely loved it. All the pictures she had liked. Is that what it was about? “You look cute with your hair the way it is, Cerise. I love it long.” He reached out to run his hand through her hair, deciding to bite his tongue on the door subject for now, at least until he was sure she wouldn’t take scissors to her hair the second he turned his back. “If you really want to get it cut short, I’ll pay for a professional. You definitely can’t use these.” He bent over to pick up the house scissors and place them on the sink. Granted, he would cut her hair himself but hers needed to be perfect unlike when he’d used to cut Seven’s and was just trying to make it even.

Marion’s words made her blush, a blush which only got brighter when he’d run his hand through her hair. She had to admit, the feeling of his hand in her hair was soothing and made her heart flutter. Could she really experience that with such short hair? Moreover, he said he loved it long. “Okay…I won’t cut it. Since you love it so much~” His opinion was worth so much more than those of strangers on the Internet. If he liked her hair the way it was, she liked it, too. Besides, there was so much more you could do with hair as long as hers was, even though it was a pain to take care of. “You’re just gonna have to help me more often when I wash it.” She smiled at him brightly, her sing-song tone making her words lilt.

There was a little shock of victory at her deciding not to cut it. What else would he pull in bed? Okay, not a thought to be having. With as many pictures as she’d liked of short hair, maybe he should have expected this? Was this what it was going to be for the rest of his life? A life of ‘Oh, Bloody Hell, Cerise, don’t do that?’ To whatever trend she was liking at the time? He looked at her for a moment. Yes, it was…but it was worth it.

He only now realized he hadn’t responded to her suggestion of helping her wash it, blush evident in his cheeks. “Yes, right…gladly…breakfast time?” Bloody fucking Hell, he needed breakfast after a morning already so busy. “I’ll make whatever you want this morning…since you got me those gifts.” In the ruckus, he’d almost forgotten about the gifts she’d set out for him. His face was starting to turn a darker red. “Um…thank you…for those, by the way. I saw them already.”

Right, the presents. There had been so much chaos that she’d forgotten, too. “You’re welcome…I erm…I hope you like them.” She really hadn’t meant for him to see them just yet, but oh well. Time to think about food. “Whatever I want?” Her tone lilted even more, and then she had to think for a moment. What sounded good to her? “How about yo— PANCAKES. I WANT PANCAKES.” Oh, dear God, that was a good save. What even?? She began to fidget with her hair, hiding her face behind it. Oh, right. She couldn’t save face if she had short hair. It was great that he’d stopped her before she could make such a bad decision.

What had she been trying to say? Vanderwood was trying to piece it together but decided to just leave it be, not wanting to tire himself out more. “Pancakes it is, then.” Bloody Hell, he loved this excitable woman. It took him a moment to realize she was hiding her face from him with her hair, and a massive blush becoming noticeable on her face as she made a move to kiss his hand. That was when it dawned on him that she’d almost said, ‘You,’ and he almost died choking on air.

Cerise nearly dropped his hand but placed the kiss on his palm quickly first. She was internally screaming. That choking noise meant he had realized…oh God. Cerise couldn’t just say those things, not to him. He was a recovering sex addict, and stuff like that didn’t help in his recovery at all when he was frustrated. Stupid filter not working. Stupid her and her hormones. Vanderwood swallowed hard. Alright, they needed to get out of that bathroom and get him cooking before his imagination went nuts with all the ways she could have him for breakfast. Okay, no. Stop.

He held the door to the bathroom open and indicated for her to leave first, heading off to the kitchen after she was out and starting on the pancakes. Cerise was out of that bathroom so fast and decided to busy herself on her computer until food would be ready, leaving him to cook in peace. That at least made it easier. He made a good amount, probably more than they were going to eat, but warmed up pancakes weren’t so bad and meant she would have something proper to eat if he had to leave her place again. Vanderwood’s mind was thankfully well occupied with this task and didn’t wander.

As soon as he was finished, he set the plates on the table, grabbing some maple syrup and fruits after that to place there, too. “Breakfast time.” Damn, sometimes he was a real housewife type…but breakfast looked great, so whatever. She jumped away from her computer, heading to him when he’d called out and checking the table. Whoa did it look good. Something was missing though…Cerise padded over to the fridge and took out a can of whipped cream before sitting down in her seat. “This looks so yummy!” She praised him before she turned the can upside down and proceeded to put what seemed like nearly half of it onto the top of her pancakes before drizzling it with maple syrup. “Perfect~” Cerise admired his (and her?) handiwork before happily digging in.

He had wondered what he’d missed when she went to the fridge, and he tried not to cringe. That was about as unhealthy as it could get. In fact, it was a miracle he’d even bothered to bring out the maple syrup, preferring the healthier choice of fruits for what was not the healthiest of breakfasts. Ever since he’d been with Cerise, his meals weren’t quite as carefully managed and planned out, but he didn’t mind. He just worked out a little harder, and oh holy shit, how long had she been putting whipped cream on those pancakes?

It was like a mountain of fluff. That was even further from healthy. How was she even as thin as she was? Vanderwood just kind of nodded at the praise she’d given before deciding to address the mountain of cream. “You…want some pancakes with that?” Okay, maybe a little bit of an asshole comment, but at least he hadn’t meant it as an insult. Vanderwood sighed and dug into his own, the strawberries a good addition for a pop of flavor.

Cerise just kind of stared at him for a moment in mid-chew before swallowing it and narrowing her eyes. “…want some smily-o’s for that attitude?” She retorted, before shoving more of the overly sweet breakfast in her mouth. Vanderwood had accepted her response as fair, although it did make him snort and nearly choke on a strawberry.

Luckily for Cerise, she had an amazing metabolism…and maybe not so luckily, because that was probably contributing to her lack of boobs, too. Maaaaybe she could…implants! Of course. Cerise dropped everything she was doing and began searching on her phone. It couldn’t be that expensive, right? Why hadn’t she thought of this sooner? She was a goddamn genius.

Almost as soon as he’d gone back to eating, Cerise was on her phone again. What was more important than breakfast? Vanderwood peeked over to see what she was up to, naturally curious when it came to her. What. the. fuck. Was his fiancée looking at implants and false-breasted ladies? Bloody Hell. What the fuck was his life? “Cerise…what are you doing?”

It didn’t seem right to just mention that he’d seen it, and it would be nice to have his suspicions confirmed before his eyebrow started with morning exercises again. How many times did he have to tell her that he preferred her just the way she was? Besides, implants were just…Vanderwood actually shuddered a little. They were awful, in his opinion, just awful. More than once he’d had sex with a woman who had them, and every time, he couldn’t bear to touch them – the separation between the true breast tissue and the plastic was too obvious for him or his OCD to handle.

Without looking up, Cerise simply replied with, “Research. ” It didn’t take long for her to find an ‘enter your email for more info’ box, giving her email happily. Finally! A beautifully busty bosom would be hers! Honestly, she should have thought of this sooner. Wouldn’t she be so much cuter is she had curves in all the right places? Well…namely, her chest. She was okay with her bottom and wasn’t as lacking in that department. Once she requested more info, she put her phone down and continued eating again. Man, this stuff was good, and she finished it relatively quickly.

Great. Vanderwood wanted to slap his hand to his face. She wasn’t being forthcoming. He watched as she put her phone away, waiting as she was finishing her pancakes. “What kind of research?” This was not shaping up to be the greatest morning of his life. If he had to, he would just have to hack her phone to check. He was nowhere near as fast as Seven, but he did know how. “I’d like to know. Maybe I could help?” By convincing you not to get implants. The inner thought thankfully stayed inner.

God, he hated those things, they were just so…lifelessly plastic. Their appearance as well as the way they felt, just no. Not on his Cerise. She was absolutely beyond perfect physically, no modification needed. Alright, so again maybe not a good thought to have, but, yeah. “If it’s anything important…I feel like I should know, as your fiancé.” The fiancé card, not a bad one to pull. Bloody Hell, just let her tell him already, so he could deal with the problem. His eyebrow was having a grand old time.

“It’s a surprise for my fiancé. You’ll find out soon enough~” He was going to absolutely love the new look! One time she had imageshopped a picture of herself to have a large chest, and she had to admit, it was pretty great. She looked at him, and the giant grin she’d had on her face turned to an expression of confusion. “Something wrong…?” Cerise had by now noticed that when he was getting irritated, his eyebrow would twitch. So, Marion was obviously irritated about something. Maybe not knowing what the surprise was…was getting to him?

If…she could give him a little hint, would he feel better? He was a former secret agent, so he would be happy with small clues, right? “Okay, okay. I’ll give you a hint, because you’re so cute. So, calm that eyebrow!” Cerise scooted closer to him with her chair, the grin now back on her face as he covered his eyebrow. “Okay, so you know how a desert is barren and flat and generally unpleasant? But on a mountain, it’s so huge and beautiful, and life flourishes? People go sight-seeing in the mountains…take vacations there. Well…I wanna be a mountain, you know? Nobody wants to take a hike through the desert, Marion.”

His eyebrow only moved harder under his hand when she’d started talking. He almost felt like he was talking to Seven, and he did not need that this morning, or ever. Would it be too obvious if he claimed he knew now? She seemed so damn happy that he almost felt bad with the fact he had to tell her that her idea was idiotic, but that’s what it was. How did she make big decisions like that on a whim anyway? Cerise was a product of her generation, obviously.

“I don’t want mountains, Cerise. Let alone a man-made one. I would far rather walk through the desert.” Now he was the one scooting closer, and it was a bad idea, but he had to illustrate his point. Vanderwood pulled her into his lap and hugged her tightly, letting her body be flush against his as he turned his head to murmur in her ear. “Mountains would only keep us apart…” She remained quiet, tensing slightly as she was completely and utterly trying not to die. She hadn’t expected him to figure out so fast or react like this – pulling her into his lap…he didn’t even seem to be done. How would she survive?

It was ridiculous to Vanderwood how hard it was to resist nibbling on her ear, but he bit down on his tongue hard before letting her go to pull back and catch her eyes. “You’re perfect the way you are.” His hands found her face. So, he was pretending he was the world’s greatest detective, but anything to make sure she didn’t try to do something stupid…for the second time today. “That sensitivity of yours…a lot of that would go away because of surgery, and I would miss it. Not to mention how much the cold feel of mountains is just…”

Maybe it was better he didn’t tell her how much he hated that feeling, because he’d have to admit how much he’d touched a pair of fake breasts. She didn’t like to hear about that shit, and he couldn’t blame her. He wouldn’t like to talk about it either. Vanderwood mentally slapped himself to keep talking instead of looking dumb. “I love your desert. I love you, and I want this body, not anyone else’s.” His hands lightly squeezed her sides before, yes, he needed her out of his lap now. He carefully shuffled her back to her own chair. Bloody Hell, his face was redder than his forgotten strawberries.

Cerise Couldn’t even make a response. The way he’d pulled her into his lap, murmured in her ear, squeezed her sides, the little twitch of something appearing in his pants…Pancakes. She needed more pancakes. Good thing he’d made so many, because she was about to eat the shit out of them. “I…yes. Breakfast…pancakes, need more…yeah.” Crap. Why couldn’t she just be a normal human being? Cerise piled more pancakes onto her plate and sat down, foregoing the whipped cream because, Jesus, she needed to stay occupied for the moment.

Vanderwood felt like he was dying as much as she was. It was time to get back to the food. He noticed that she didn’t put more whipped cream on. They were both dying. It had been a bold move on his part, one that left him blushing like an idiot where for others it would not, but hopefully she got the gist now and wasn’t going to go onwards with…mountains. His eyebrow twitched just a little as he ate in silence. What a morning…was it going to be calm for the rest of the day, then? Probably not. His eyebrow was fine now, but, right, she’d be teaching him to dance. That would probably be awkward and irritating, too. Yeah…his life with her was special.

Every so often, Cerise would glance at him, noticing that his eyebrow was still twitching just a little. Okay, so…he definitely didn’t like the idea of her getting implants. He’d made that perfectly clear. Her heart fluttered a little at the thought of him liking her just the way she was, even if she didn’t have a sizable chest or amazing curves. She really did feel lucky.

Cerise finished the rest of her pancakes and noticed that he had finished, too before she dared to actually speak up again, happy to actually find her voice coming through and not some weird strangled gurgling or something. “Marion…were you serious about what you said? You know…dancing with me? I erm…don’t expect you to be able to do what I can or anything, but…” Why was she being all flustered? Where was all that God-given confidence? “…I thought maybe we could try…something really easy? Like…slow dancing–just one song!” Cerise was back to hiding her face in her hair, bringing her hand up to fidget with the fringe.

He had pretty much zoned-out after finishing his food, her voice bringing him out of his little self-induced trance. Vanderwood had watched her as she was fumbling around with her words. She was…surprisingly flustered, and then when she mentioned the dancing, he understood why. It was obviously a very big deal to her, not something he should have offhandedly commented, and that was why his discomfort about it didn’t matter. He couldn’t back out now and hurt her. “Yeah…yeah, that’s fine…just uh…I’ve only ever done the middle school shuffle. If you even know what that is…”

Did the middle school shuffle exist in either Korea or France? Hell if he knew, but dancing a slow song with the love of his life, maybe he could get into that idea. “One song is fine…” Vanderwood felt the cheesy comment coming on, but he was powerless to stop it, “or a hundred, I don’t care. I just want to dance with you.” Well. He’d cursed himself to a lifetime of dancing. At least Cerise would be happy. Knowing that he would be dancing with her…maybe he would end up enjoying it, too.

“Middle school what…?” She tilted her head and looked at him in confusion. Was that a dance move British people were taught? He didn’t sound so confident, whatever it was. Her face lit back up though at his subsequent offer. Of course, she knew that he was just being cheesy, but she was happy that he would at least dance with her for one song. Really, she had never slow danced before, but…she knew the theory behind it.

Fortun had once invited her to slow dance with him, which she promptly rejected. To her, that was something that someone should only seriously do with the person they were dating…or in her case, getting married to. Maybe it was a little silly of her, but there was a difference between being close to someone when you danced and being close to someone. Cerise had had crushes before that she would imagine it with, but she – of course – had never asked. So, he would again be her first, and she would be his, too – for once. That seemed perfect to her.

He realized that he’d been right that the term didn’t translate for her. “Middle school shuffle. Here…I’ll show you.” Vanderwood stood and reached for her hand to help her up. If he wanted her to wrap her arms around his neck, he’d have to bend over, but instead he just put her hands on his shoulders and placed his hands on her hips. It felt ridiculous. Her fingertips were just over his shoulders and there wasn’t a lot of space between the table and the couch. “Just kinda…um….” Vanderwood took a small step to the side and pushed on her hip to get her to do the same before repeating it, shuffling back and forth. “It’s lame…and you’d get in trouble if you got any closer than this.” There was practically space enough for another person between them.

His fiancée’s noses had scrunched up, signaling she really wasn’t a fan and it wasn’t long before he was explaining himself. “I went to a few dances in middle school and high school just to get out of the house. Though I mostly watched from the sidelines, the teachers would force me to dance with the girls sitting without anyone.” Vanderwood realized he was still holding her hips, having shuffled a little closer to her naturally, because he didn’t like space between them. Now he let go, his face bright red as he rubbed the back of his head awkwardly. “So…that’s my dancing experience…teach me to dance?”

Cerise made a little frown at the story, shrugging it off a moment later as he asked her to teach him again. The dance itself wasn’t so bad. It was actually kind of cute and simple. Her disappointment was mostly with the teachers he’d talked about and the idea of being forced to stay apart. It wasn’t that big of a deal with her that he’d danced with others before her after all, really. At least she got the honors of being the one he wanted to dance with, and that made her feel all warm and fuzzy. “Dancing is dancing, mon amour. There’s no right or wrong way.” Cerise thought she could actually use that ‘shuffle’ to her advantage. Marion didn’t look all that confident. “If you say so.”

She grinned and led him to the other side of the living room where there was more space. It was early still, for her anyway, but she was just so excited that she couldn’t help it. This was happening now. Cerise moved things around for some more space, Marion watching her seemingly as though he was at a complete loss as she found a rather soft Playlist on a music app – louder stuff always bothered his ears. “We’re gonna start with that shuffle thing and advance from there~” At least with that, it would help him become more comfortable, and she figured it would help him pick up a rhythm faster. “I’ll lead for now.” She beamed up at him before all but yanking him to her, opting for more closeness than he had shown her. No doubt he was nervous, but even that was somehow fun for her.

Vanderwood’s face turned about as red as it could get as she pulled him close. He hadn’t been expecting it at all, but followed along, thankful for his reflexes – otherwise there would have been no way she could have done it with his low center of gravity. Then again, it was Cerise. She seemed to figure out how to do everything he thought was impossible. At first, he just felt so…weird. it was nice being close but, he had no idea what he was doing. Even following her, all he could think was, What do I do next?

Cerise could clearly tell how tense he was. She needed to figure out what could help him to relax. This was the part he knew, but he was still so incredibly stiff and rigid. It was like when she’d tried to play with her plastic fashion dolls when she was a kid. That only made her giggle, though. Whether he was getting the hang of things or not, she just enjoyed that she got to be close to him. “Don’t focus on how you’re going to move your body. Listen to the music and let it help.”

Her comment and giggle relaxed him some, but it was going to take a bit.  Once she felt he was slightly more comfortable with things, despite how rigid he was, she moved on to something that resembled dancing a little more. Baby steps. Cerise showed him where to position his hands before she tried to lead them again. He was so incredibly out of his element, and she couldn’t help but laugh more.

The more Cerise got him to do, the more Vanderwood felt himself relax, starting to enjoy himself – well, enjoy the moment of being close to her. These little moments…they were things he’d thought he could never have, and now he had them. Cerise had the sneaking suspicion that Marion was enjoying himself a little more now; he was certainly a lot less stiff. Over a little time, she felt herself leading him a little less and relinquishing it on him without him realizing.

At some point, Vanderwood just got completely lost in her eyes – those beautiful honey-gold eyes. It was almost like being in a trance. He bent his head to give her a kiss, slow and sweet like the music. Cerise had been thinking he was actually doing rather well for being so out of his element, and then before she knew it he was kissing her. How could a kiss feel like music? She didn’t know, but he had managed it. It was amazing. Her heart felt as though it was swelling, her body warm as time didn’t seem to exist.

The music stopped or switched, Vanderwood wasn’t sure, but he broke the kiss – the trance breaking along with it. “Sorry…I uh…zoned out…a little bit.” How long had they even been dancing? Vanderwood felt sure he’d at least managed a good bit without being too utterly ridiculous. He hadn’t stepped on her, so that was a win – even if he did zone out at the end. Cerise just stared up at him a little speechless.

It took her a minute to catch up with the fact that he had spoken. Words were a thing, and she should use them. Sound it out, girl. “It’s…that’s okay. You did so well.” She had gotten to dance with her fiancé, and she was so overjoyed – and a little emotional. Cerise moved closer to embrace him as little tears welled in her eyes, happy that the moments they had were theirs and theirs alone to share. “Thank you, Marion.” Even if the rest of the day was normal and boring, that’d be okay with her. They’d had enough excitement that morning, and it wasn’t even noon yet.

His arms wrapped around her tightly on impulse, her praise making his face turn completely red. Vanderwood loved these little moments, probably a lot more than he should. Just another good memory to accompany all the bad. “You’re welcome shortcake…let’s maybe do this again sometime?” He wasn’t about to admit that he’d loved it. In a way, he already had, and he would be lying if he didn’t concede that he would be making a status later about dancing with his fiancée – hoping Fortun would see it and seethe. Was he a bit of an asshole? Yes, he was, but Fortun was the one trying to encroach on his relationship.

If he ever met Fortun in person, Vanderwood had a feeling that asshole side of him wouldn’t be so much a side as a wall. Vanderwood pressed a kiss to the top of Cerise’s head before he let go. “I should put away the pancake stuff.” She just grabbed right onto him again, not ready for the moment to end. He really wasn’t either. As irritating as the morning had been, it had ended up turning out for the better…best. It always seemed to be that way with Cerise. That was just part of why she was so worth it all. Even though sometimes he wished she would just cut it out with some of her antics. Maybe that was a bad choice of words, because he sure was happy she hadn’t cut off her hair.

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