Ace drew his shower curtains and stepped down on his mat, towel wrapped low around his waist. Just as he moved to tend to his scruff before the mirror, he tripped over something fluffy. Looking down, he saw Helios at his feet, ears flattened, eyes narrowed to slits. “How did you…?”



“I don’t … ” She trailed off, jerked back to something, hope maybe; the emotional whiplash is painful too. “Can you … ” she tried again, and lost it. Without the driving force of anger, she didn’t know how to respond to him.

Should she, could she kiss him? Ask for more? Walk away — no, that wasn’t an option.

Tense, alert to any motion of rejection, Summer lifted up on her toes, reaching to pull his head down to hers.



Helios licked his nose insolently, before bending to lick drops of water off Ace’s feet. He washed one spot assiduously, before hopping in the shower and looking up at the shower head. Then he looked at Ace, tail waving, and back at the shower head.

Ace’s gaze averted to the floor as she spoke, eyebrows quirking as she tried to ask something of him, before drifting off. Does he move away because he’s making her uncomfortable, or does she want him closer?

Nobody has before but Lily. Slowly, his grip loosened on her waist and he shifted his weight from side to side, contemplating whether he should take a single step back for her to collect herself.

But when her hand cupped the back of his neck, and guided his lips down to hers, a single corner of his lips began to quirk and he closed his eyes.

Hesitantly, she brushed her lips to his, wobbling against him. The heat of his bare skin felt searing against her chest. “You can have me,” she whispered. “If you want.”

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