[personal profile] valentine_veela
Title: Blood Debt
Author: [profile] solas_divided
Pairing: Cormac/Hermione
Rating: NC-17
Summary: She owed him. He wanted blood.
Prompt #: 116
Warning(s): highlight to read * Language, SWS, Drama, Angst, Veela *
Beta: [profile] angel_mischa
Disclaimer: This piece of art or fiction is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros. Inc. No money is being made, no copyright or trademark infringement, or offence is intended. All characters depicted in sexual situations are above the age of consent.

“I can’t do this…” she whispered, breathless and weak from his proximity, from his hot breath on her face, her lips, fanning her cheeks and ruffling the golden-brown curls at her temples.

He only pressed closer, pinning her to the coarse, brick wall, making the alley between Flourish and Blotts and Magical Menagerie. Just a handful of steps away, witches and wizards walked briskly past the opening, ignorant of the goings-on just a stone’s throw away in the dark fissure.

“You owe me, Granger,” he growled. His lips curled into a cold smirk. “Or is it Weasley now?” He pressed harder into her, gouging his long, Quidditch-roughened fingers into her waist. She couldn’t move, not even if she had wanted to. He had her completely cornered. “Tell me, do you compare us when he fucks you?”

“That was a long time ago!” she protested, squeezing her eyes closed, hoping to stifle the shiver of her body at his words.

“Really? Your body doesn’t seem to think so.” She didn’t have to see the amusement on his face to hear it in his voice. “Your body seems to have remembered my touch as if it were only yesterday I had it pinned just like this inside the Quidditch broom closet while you moaned and screamed my name.”

“Don’t do this…” she pleaded, turning her face away when he scraped a kiss far too close to her wanting lips.

He didn’t falter in his design, but moved his mouth down her jaw line, lingering briefly to nip and lick the curve before descending towards her throat.

“Don’t do what, Hermione? Make you remember? Touch you? Kiss you? Or collect the debt you owe me?”

It was only the first three that scared her. The last one was impossible.

“I’m married!” She ground her teeth together, fighting the sensations threatening to take her under. “I love my husband!”

He snorted. “I love my thermal socks on cold, winter nights too, but I wouldn’t marry them.”

She somehow found the strength to shove him back a step and glower into his beautiful, perfectly crafted features. “You have no right to judge my marriage!”

“On the contrary, my love, I have every right.” He traced the side of her cold face with his long finger. “I did something for you that you promised to repay. Now I am here to collect.”

His finger dropped past her jaw line, down the column of her throat and traced the faint, white scar mirroring her pale skin just between her neck and shoulder. “Surely I don’t have to remind you of what will happen if you do not comply with the Blood Debt you owe me.”

“You bastard!” she hissed, slapping his hand away. “You wouldn’t dare!”

His handsome face curved into a cold, malicious leer. His brown eyes danced with the sick pleasure he was receiving from her discomfort.

“You would be surprised at how far I am willing to go to get what I want,” he replied, dropping his head until their faces nearly touched. “Even if it means ruining the picture-perfect image you have of your life and making you see just how much you need me.”

“I’ll kill you!”

He shrugged, taking a step back. “Perhaps, but I will die happily knowing he doesn’t own you anymore.”

Shaking for reasons other than the frigid, night air, she turned towards the alleyway opening, fully prepared to storm through it and never look back again, when he stopped her with just one word.


Hermione skidded to a halt and spun around to face him. Her temper crackled and hissed just below the surface of her murderous features.

He smirked, having gained her full attention. “Prove me wrong,” he taunted, earning the curl of her lips in a sneer. “I dare you.”

“I don’t have to prove anything to you! I don’t owe you anything!”

All humor vanished from his face, and he stalked towards her in slow, predatory strides. The very air around him seemed to shimmer with a dark hue that reminded her of the sky just before a chaotic storm.

“Everything you have… Everything!” he snarled, coming to a stop inches from her, so close that his nose bumped hers. “Is because of me, and I can take them all away just as quickly.”

Hermione shivered from the threat. “You know what I am capable of, you know what I can do, but I don’t think you understand the lengths that I will go to to make sure I get what I want.”

He gripped her chin tightly, painfully, forcing her to stare into his smoldering, brown eyes with no chance for escape. “You can’t run from this, and you will never get away from me. I will get what you owe me, even if I have to take away everything you have.”


Five Years Earlier…

He was so cocky. His swagger, his smirk, the way he could melt an entire roomful of girls with just a look… He was worse than Draco Malfoy, strutting around the school as if he owned it. A large part of her was positive the Sorting Hat had made a grave mistake placing him in Gryffindor. He was far too Slytherin for his own good.

Maybe two egotistical prats couldn’t co-exist in the same House and Slytherin already had their fatheaded Prince.

But did that make Cormac McLaggen the Prince of Gryffindor?

Hermione snorted to herself. Of course not. He was, and always would be, a self-absorbed, spoiled Pureblood.

Maybe it was the whole blood thing. Maybe theirs had something like too much testosterone or something that made them behave like overgrown peacocks on a power trip.

It did make sense.

“Drop dead gorgeous, isn’t he?” Ginny Weasley sighed, blue eyes staring dreamily down the table at the man Hermione absolutely abhorred.

“I wish he would drop dead,” Hermione muttered. “I’m not so sure about the whole gorgeous bit, though.”

“Oh stop!” Ginny chided, breaking her drooling session long enough to give the other girl a glower. “He’s absolutely perfect! And he’s trying out for Keeper today!”

“Uh-huh,” Hermione mumbled, rolling her eyes. “And I think you’re absolutely bonkers. What could you possibly see in him? Yes, he’s…” She shrugged, staring down at her plate. “He’s good-looking, if you like the whole… cocky, chauvinistic… dark, dangerous… thing, and he’s Pureblood, if that even really matters. But I mean, beauty really is only skin deep, and I’m positive he’s got no good inner qualities at all. Ginny, are you listening to me?”

The redhead jolted, blinking rapidly. “What? What did you say? Cormac was smiling.”

“Oh for Pete’s sakes! You’re being ridiculous!”

“Quick, say something funny! He’s looking over here!”

Hermione started. “What?”

Ginny burst out laughing hysterically, puzzling her even further until she glanced down the table and found herself trapped in a pair of rich, dark eyes.

It was mortifying how quickly that single glance liquefied everything inside her. Her very nerve endings crackled as if on fire. Something warm and formidable swept through her, making her painfully aware of how tight her nipples had suddenly become and how wet and sticky she’d gotten between her legs.

She unconsciously shifted, rubbing her pinching clit against the wooden bench beneath her in hopes of stifling some of the ache there.

As if she’d somehow made a direct come-on to him, the object of her antipathy smirked.
It was such a disgusting smirk, so knowing and… dirty. She hated that it made her breathless and slightly dizzy. She hated that he seemed to know it too. But worse, she loathed the feeling of faintness that washed over her when he slicked his pink tongue over his lips in the slowest, most sensual motion and her pussy clenched.

Even across the distance, she could see his eyes darken like the deepest pits of hell when she expelled a shaky gasp and her body trembled. A ripple of fear, uncertainty and something… something that scared her too much to put a name to hissed down her spine in prickles of heat.

Run! Run! the sensible voice in her head screamed.

She had to look away. She couldn’t stand the fall anymore. She needed to get away… to run. She couldn’t let him find a way inside her.

“Where are you going?” Ginny asked when Hermione shot to her feet.

“I… I... I don’t know!” she panted, already running.

Her cowardice took her down one corridor and up another, running until her leg muscles became jelly and she couldn’t take another step without passing out from lack of oxygen and exhaustion.

Only then did she stop, slumping against a cold wall and sliding to the ground. Sweat poured down her face, burning her eyes and dampening the cotton material of her button-up dress shirt.

What was happening to her? When did she become like the other brainless girls in the school, fawning and chasing after boys? Sure, she really hadn’t chased him, but how could she live with herself knowing that she’d succumbed – even briefly – to his seductive aura?

“You can’t run forever.” The warning seemed to come out of nowhere.

It drifted and rippled through the hall in silky waves, startling Hermione and pushing her to her shaky feet. The breathing she’d managed to get semi-under control became ragged once more.

She could feel every inhalation and exhalation scrape her lungs like sandpaper as she darted frantic glances up and down the seemingly deserted hallway. Her skin prickled with goose bumps, and she could feel her heart thunder erratically against her chest like a jackhammer.

“Show yourself!” she ground out, sounding much steadier than she could possibly ever be.
She hadn’t even realized she’d unearthed her wand from her robes until she stood gripping it fiercely and staring down the corridor.

“Which part would you like to see first?” a smooth, satiny voice purred into her ear.
The unexpected ruffle of hot air against her sensitive skin, the brush of a hard chest against her back… it melted and froze her all at once. She swallowed hard, shivering at the heat swelling off him as he burned the skin at her back through her thin shirt.

“I’m a Prefect!” she warned with more bravado than she could recall having mustered. “If you don’t make yourself known this minute I will give you detention.”
The husky voice chuckled provocatively, making her nearly come on the spot. “I would love detention as long as we can play dirty professor and naughty student.”
That was the last straw. She whipped around with the speed of lightening and stuffed her wand tip under a firm, square chin.

Eyes of deep, dark chocolate bore down into hers. A haughty, arrogant smirk curled his lips.

“Hello, kitten.”

“I am not… Why are you following me?”

His pale brow arched. “Am I, or are you following me?”

She laughed, hating that it sounded weak. “Of course I’m not following you!”

“Aren’t you?”

The way he said it, even Hermione wasn’t sure.

His leer darkened. “Tell me something,” he said, reaching up and nudging aside her wand from his windpipe. “When you were running, was it away from me or to me?”

It was away! She was positive of that, wasn’t she?

“I wasn’t running!” she replied sharply instead.

“No?” he placed his hands on her shoulders, nearly making her knees collapse under her when raw fire seethed down her body from his touch. But she somehow managed to stay upright when he turned her to face the door she hadn’t noticed until that moment. “You ran straight for the Quidditch change rooms.”

Swallowing hard, she pulled herself away from him, away from his scalding caress, his mind-boggling heat and spun around to face him. “That doesn’t mean anything!”

“Sure it does,” he answered almost hypnotically. “I’m trying out for Gryffindor Keeper today.”

She didn’t know that, did she? Of course not! She would never have come down there if she’d known. She was almost certain of that.

“I-I… I came to wish Ron luck! It’s his first practice as well!”

All humor seemed to vanish from his face. It was as if someone had slapped it straight off him. Now, he just looked… murderous.


Hermione nodded. “That’s right. He’s trying out for Keeper as well!”

She was so happy she’d been paying attention when Ron and Harry were discussing that. Otherwise she’d be so stuck right now.

“You’re going to watch Weasley play?” he almost hissed, dark eyes sparking with a molten fire.

Delighted by his reaction, Hermione crossed her arms and smirked at him arrogantly. “Of course, and he’s going to be fabulous, you know.”

His rugged jaw muscles twitched and danced as he continued to observe her with a look of someone fighting himself to keep from strangling the first person in his path. His breathing rushed out in sharp, ragged pants as his knuckles blazed white against his fisted hands.

“We’ll see who you think is fabulous once I’m finished with him, kitten,” he growled, spinning on his heels and marching through the change room doors and out of sight.

Only when he was gone did Hermione expel the ball of air she’d trapped in her lungs. She closed her eyes and leaned back against the wall while pressing a trembling hand against her racing heart.

This was not what she’d planned. Ron was under enough pressure without having to deal with this. He was not going to be pleased with her for goading Cormac, and already she was regretting that decision. There was no way in hell Ron was going to win against the blond-haired, brown-eyed God of muscles and brute strength. Cormac was going to wipe the Quidditch grounds with Ron.

Exhaling, she closed her eyes and rested her head back against the stone wall. She listened to the silence as it echoed around her and wondered how the hell he kept muddling her brain so easily. She knew she couldn’t stand him, and yet, when he was near her, she all but fell apart. She could almost feel herself burning with life, a fire that singed her skin and sent blisters of emotion coursing through her. He must have used some sort of spell on her, a love potion perhaps, something that kept her on a constant state of arousal with just a simple glance from him. But shouldn’t a potion have worn off by this time? It wouldn’t last an entire year.

Maybe it was voodoo or some ancient form of… something. She didn’t know. But she wished he would stop. This whole thing was giving her an emotional burn and she couldn’t afford to lose her mind over this.

No, she would simply forget him, forget this whole thing and go on as normal until… until he lost interest and found someone else to bother.

That sounded like a good plan. That was what she was going to do!


Tryouts for the next Gryffindor Keeper proved to be more trying than anything else. Thus far, they’d had six different competitors and not a single one of them had done a good enough job of keeping the Quaffle from going in.

Ron, despite the pressure, seemed to be over the moon, thanks to the Felix Felicis Harry had dropped into Ron’s pumpkin juice that morning. Hermione, of course, was appalled by the deed, but it might actually help Ron win over Cormac, which was something she desperately wanted.
Cormac went first. Even on a broom, he was cocky and annoyingly self-assured. He flew a few loop-the-loops and took his place flawlessly in front of the hoops.

From her place in the stands, Hermione fought not to react when he threw a smug glance in her direction and smirked. He even had the nerve to give her a wink and blow her a kiss before positioning himself for attack.

He was good. She hated to admit it, but not a single Quaffle got by him, and the haughty man didn’t even break a sweat. He barely even put any effort into it. Had she not heard Professor Slughorn tell them the Luck Potion Harry had won – even though he cheated – was the only one he possessed, she would have accused Cormac of stealing a batch for himself. There was no way anyone was that good!

Oh no… this would mean he would want her to admit that she was wrong… and she was never wrong… No, she couldn’t let that happen! She wasn’t wrong! Ron was a good Quidditch player…
He was… sort of… She wasn’t wrong!

It took a minute, but she managed to stifle the building panic inside her before gathering her nerves and doing something Hermione Granger, Prefect, smartest witch of her age, would never do.

Confundo,” she mumbled under her breath, wincing when a Quaffle was hurled for the hoops and Cormac missed.

The cheering crowd gasped, falling silent at the unexpected turn of events.

Her earlier paranoia was quickly replaced by a surge of unbelievable guilt. Was it right of her, fair of her to do something so… Slytherin? Oh, if only Malfoy could see her now, he’d probably give her an honorary t-shirt for her cowardice.

Her panic and remorse only grew when she glanced up and caught Cormac watching her. His dark eyes hooded and filled – much to her horror – with awareness.

He knew!

No, no, he couldn’t! How could he?

Suddenly, he smirked. It was so cold, vicious, threatening… so unlike any leer he’d given her before, Hermione gulped, trembling with fear and something else, something that churned and boiled in the pit of her stomach, making her painfully aware of how wet she’d unanticipatedly gotten.

“Ron’s next.”

Hermione jumped, having forgotten completely that Luna sat beside her, giant, roaring, lion head perched over her golden tresses.

“Ye-yes, yes, he is…” she stuttered, sucking in several large gulps of air to soothe the burning and thundering inside her.

“Cormac likes you.”

That didn’t help the calm she was trying to reinstate.


Luna pointed to where Cormac was stalking across the pitch, broomstick slung carelessly over his shoulder, strides determined and… sexy… no! His walk was not sexy! Nothing about him was sexy! He was just… he wasn’t sexy!

Shaking her head, Hermione looked away. “What are you talking about? Of course he doesn’t like me. Why would he?”

Luna shrugged. “He watches you all the time.”

Convincing herself the sparkly feeling inside her was due solely to annoyance, Hermione snorted, crossing her arms. “That only proves he’s a stalker.”

“You like him too.”

So much for friendship and loyalty!

“I do not like him!” she stated firmly. “I would never!”

“Okay,” the petite blonde replied, her musical voice disbelieving.

“I don’t!” Hermione snapped, outraged by her friend’s doubt.


Hermione ignored her, turning back to the game just as Ron took his place by the hoops.

No one was surprised when he made the team. There was never any doubt that Harry would pick him, even if he hadn’t made the most saves. This fact irked her. It wasn’t so much the favoritism, but the fact that Cormac had been ten times better than Ron and deserved to be on the team much more.

Hermione stiffened. Did she really just think that?


The Gryffindor House was in a state of pandemonium. It was the biggest celebration since… well, she couldn’t think since when. But everyone was ecstatic that Ron had made the team. She couldn’t understand why. Couldn’t they see that he’d been mediocre compared to some of the other competitors? He had only made the team because Harry was captain. It was an unfair, rotten reason to celebrate!

“I know what you did, kitten.”

Every nerve ending crackled to life. The little hairs along the back of her neck stood on end and goose bumps littered her body, making her nipples stiffen and her crotch pulse to life in the most painful way, and all he had done was murmur in her ear.

Yes, it had been husky, deep, dark and vibrating with masculine power, but it certainly was no reason for her entire body to respond as if he’d touched her in her most intimate places.

“You’re such a naughty little girl,” he said with equally spine-tingling effect.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she forced out, refusing to turn, even when his hard, warm chest pressed into her back and his lips ghosted the curve of her jaw.

“Did you think that I would not recognize your powers, Hermione?” The whisper of her name from his lips nearly sent her to her knees. She swayed dangerously and was caught by his arm wrapping like a band of steel around her middle. “But now that you have lost me the position, what do you suppose your punishment should be?”

“Please…” Had that weak, breathless whimper really come from her?

His arm tightened around her, holding her trapped against his hard length as he scorched the side of her face with his hot breath when he replied. “Please what, kitten?”

That was such a good question. She had no idea. There was so much chaos inside her head, she could barely think of anything else. She just knew she couldn’t stand anymore.

“Think about it, and when you finally realize it’s me you want, come find me.” He released her and was gone before she could regain her focus.

She fell gracelessly into a nearby chair and dropped her flushed face into her cupped hand. Her head swam with the after-effect of his closeness.

What was he doing to her? But better question: why? Why was he doing this? What did he want? Why her? That’s what she didn’t understand. Why her when there were so many other girls in the school just dying for his attention? She’d always heard the phrase—wanting what you can’t have—but this was ridiculous! She wasn’t an object that could be bought or traded! And she wasn’t going to fall for his arrogant, over-confident, handsome, sexy… She mentally kicked herself.
Stupid, one-tracked brain.

She really needed a boyfriend. None of this would be happening if she was already taken. He would leave her alone, wouldn’t he?

Of course he would! But who wanted to be with someone as plain and mousy as her? Her gaze wondered the packed room and stopped on Ron.

There had always been a certain amount of chemistry between them. Sure, he wasn’t very bright, and he had atrocious eating habits and was a bit of a coward and whined a lot, but they’d been friends for ages despite all that. Maybe she could bring herself to be more with him.

It was a thought, not a very pleasant thought, but compared to the alternative… She would rather not have Cormac devastate her emotionally or otherwise. She had no worries about falling in love with Ron. Her heart was safe in a relationship with him. She didn’t trust herself in the hands of Cormac McLaggen.


Five Years Later…

Five years… Had it really been five years since she’d seen him? Five years since that night?
Hermione shivered at the memory.

Well, she wasn’t going to just give in, not to him… not again. She was older, stronger and in control.

“You look like someone just killed Crookshanks,” Ron teased the minute Hermione slipped into their two-bedroom apartment.

Her husband of four years sat at his desk in the spare bedroom they’d transfigured into an office. His white, button-up dress shirt was rolled up at the sleeves, and the collar was open three buttons to expose the pale stretch of flesh underneath. His russet-colored hair was tussled and fell in long strands over his blue eyes. Across the desk in front of him, papers littered every square inch, the wet ink on them glistening under the dimming candlelight.

He looked so handsome, she thought, wistful.

She knew she should consider herself lucky for finding a man that – not only loved her with everything in him – but was successful, tolerant, smart and incredible in bed. But she didn’t. How could she when she knew none of it was real, he wasn’t real. Their lives, their apartment, their love, none of it would have ever happened if she hadn’t done what she did. If she hadn’t wanted the perfect man, the perfect husband, mate, lover, someone who shared her passions, her thirst for knowledge… A sad fact, considering no one would ever accuse Ron of being clever or witty. In fact, it had been a complete shocker when he’d been appointed head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports after only a year of working there. But only Hermione knew why. Only she knew the reason behind his abrupt change in character.

She had sold her soul to the devil to have Ron this way. Now, the devil was back and demanding restitution. Her dreams were quickly becoming a nightmare, and she had no idea what to do.

“’Mione?” Ron climbed to his feet and went to her.

His arms went around her, drawing her into the secure length of his chest. Hermione closed her eyes and forced herself to feel the strength and comfort he should provide but didn’t. She refused to let that bother her. This was what she wanted! This was the only reality she was willing to keep.

“I love you,” she whispered, squeezing her eyes closed and ignoring the mocking little voice in the back of her head.

“I know you do,” he murmured, stroking her hair.

She pulled her head back and peered up into his face. “You love me, don’t you?”

He smiled at her reassuringly. “I married you, didn’t I?”

Yes, he had. But should it bother her that he never actually ever told her he loved her back? He was supposed to love her back! That was part of the deal!

Of course he loved her! Why wouldn’t he? They were best friends, lovers, husband and wife! Love was a given!

Comforted – only slightly – by her own rationalization, Hermione drew away from his secure embrace and took a step back with a smile.

“How about lasagna for supper?”

He grinned that lopsided grin she loved so much. “Sounds good. I just have a little more to do here...”

She waved aside his silent offer. “I can handle things in the kitchen. Just go ahead and finish up what you were doing.”

“Are you sure?”

Hermione nodded, already heading for the door. “Of course! I’ll call you when it’s ready.”

In the matchbox-sized kitchen, she began the preparations for supper, setting everything methodically on the counter, all the while not noticing a single thing she was doing. Her mind kept wondering to him, to the one man she’d fought and failed so many times in the past to forget. How could he suddenly show up and steal everything she’d worked so hard to keep?

“Be sure of what you wish for, kitten. Are you willing to pay my price in the end?”

She’d been so sure she could. Now, she just wasn’t so sure.


Five Years Earlier…

This was all Ron’s fault. If he hadn’t been sucking Lavender’s face the same night Hermione had gone to see him to confess her feelings, she wouldn’t have had to go to him. But if there was anyone Ron hated more than Malfoy, it was Cormac, and right now, she was willing to bite down her own pride to make Ron suffer.

He stood by the lake, blond curls ruffling in the breeze, brown eyes hooded. He stood leaning against a tree, hands tucked away in his pockets and posture relaxed. There was nothing to say he recognized her approach, but she knew he knew. It was that tiny tilt in his lips that gave him away, even when his gaze remained firmly fixed on the horizon, watching as the sun sunk behind the rippling waves.

“Come to confess your love for me, kitten?” he asked, never glancing around to where she stood, just over his shoulder.

It took all her resolve not to stomp away and forget the entire matter. But this was something she needed to do.

“I came to ask if you wanted to join me at Professor Slughorn’s Christmas party,” she said quickly, part of her wishing she could take it back, while the other prayed he wouldn’t refuse her.

He turned slowly, pushing away from the tree and stalking towards her. His penetrating gaze never wavered from hers, not even when he stopped only a foot from her and stared heatedly down at her.

It felt like an eternity before he gave her any response.


Hermione actually blinked in surprise. She’d half expected his refusal, but she hadn’t at the same time. But what baffled her most was the feeling of hurt that swirled up inside her. That feeling was quickly squished by her wall of shields slamming into place to protect her.

“Fine,” she replied with as little emotion as she could muster. “Sorry I bothered you.”

Without waiting for an answer from him, she snapped on her heels and marched back towards the castle.

She couldn’t have taken more than a handful of steps when she was grabbed from behind and yanked back into the cage of his warm, solid arms.

His face nuzzled into the curve of her neck, sending shivers along her spine when his hot breath tickled her flesh and his lips grazed the sensitive spot just beneath her earlobe.

“You could never bother me, kitten,” he murmured into her ear, making her hate herself when her lashes fell closed under the ministration. “But why would I help you make another man jealous when I want you for myself? He doesn’t deserve your efforts, or your affections. He’s not the one for you.”

“Then who is?” she whispered, breathless from the tiny kisses he was sprinkling up the curve of her jaw.

He placed his lips against her ear, waited a heartbeat and whispered, “Me.”

“You’re lying.”

“I have never lied to you and I never will,” he said, scrapping his teeth over her earlobe. “I know you feel it. I know that you know that we were made for each other, and I know you want me just as much.”

She shook her head, her body betraying her unwilling brain by melting into his safe and secure arms. “No…”

His arms tightened around her, giving her no room to run, even if she had wanted to. “Then why do you watch me when you think I’m not looking? I know you do. I can feel you, just like when you walk into a room or when you get hot for me. I always know!”


“You’re my mate, my other half,” he answered without hesitation or doubt. “And he will never love you the way I do.”

He gave her no chance to protest or even register what he was telling her when his mouth closed over hers in a deep, passionate kiss that sent her head reeling and her stomach flopping in the most delicious way.

“You’re mine,” he whispered against her lips before dipping his head once more.


Five Years Later…

“We have group night tomorrow,” Ron said over supper that evening while he methodically cut his lasagna into little, chewable squares. “And there is an Award Ceremony on Friday. I hope you haven’t forgotten.”

Never lifting her gaze from her plate, Hermione laughed a little, the sound coming out sardonic and bitter. “We have group night every Wednesday and I know about the function, Ron. It’s being held in my honor for my Veela repopulation elixir.”

He nodded, chewing, swallowing before responding. “Of course, I didn’t doubt it. I just wanted to make sure you haven’t forgotten.”

Hermione said nothing. She continued to poke at her untouched plate for several more minutes before giving up all thoughts of eating and reaching for her wine glass instead.

“Not hungry?” her husband asked, following her movement for his own goblet.

She shook her head, fiddling with the stem of her glass, but not taking a sip. “I ran into someone today while I was in Diagon Alley,” she said, staring down into her drink.

“Oh? Who?”

She faltered for much longer than was necessary for a person who wasn’t supposed to mean anything.


“Cormac,” she whispered, voice hitching a little at the mention of his name.

“Cormac?” Ron repeated, oblivious to his wife’s chaotic emotions. “Cormac who?”

“Honestly, Ron!” she snapped, infuriated by him, by herself, by Cormac.

Suddenly wishing she hadn’t said anything, Hermione shot to her feet and piled her napkin and silverware onto her plate and stalked with it into the kitchen. She dumped the lot into the sink and stood over them with her head down and her muscles stiff.

“I’m sorry, Mi-mi—” He either ignored or didn’t notice her wince at his pet name for her when he came up behind her and touched her shoulder. “—but I don’t understand why you’re so upset.”

“I’m not,” she lied, keeping her gaze fixed on her ruined supper. “I’m just tired. I think I’m going to turn in early.”

He kissed the back of her head. “Okay.”

She hated that he never pushed. That he never seemed to care if she wasn’t her usual self. It never felt like he could be bothered.

“I’m going to step out for a little while and have a few rounds with Harry,” he said, moving out of the kitchen to grab his coat. “You’ll probably be sleeping when I return, so I’ll see you in the morning.”

Hermione didn’t respond. She didn’t glance up, not even when the front door opened and closed, and silence fell over the apartment.

This wasn’t what she wished for. This wasn’t what she wanted. He was supposed to be her dream husband. He was supposed to be everything she’d ever wanted. Instead… she’d never been so miserable or alone.

Maybe she should cancel group night. She wasn’t feeling very… groupy right now. It wasn’t like anyone else would mind. She had a feeling the rest of the circle was just as anxious and eager to escape the hour-long gathering, which consisted mostly of gossip and useless chattering.

Whose idea had it been to form such an idiotic group anyway? she wondered, returning to the dining room to clear the table.

She was almost certain it had been Ginny’s idea, or Lavender’s. Those two were the only ones who seemed to actually enjoy Wednesdays.

“A nice time to sit with old friends and keep in touch,” Ginny had once said.

But what if you didn’t want to sit with old friends? Hermione always wondered. What if she wanted no friends at all? What if what she wanted was gone from her forever?

Maybe she’d been too hasty. Who knows? A large part of her to that day refused to believe Cormac would do something like that. He had genuinely seemed to love her. But was it normal to hurt the people you were supposed to love?

Some people said yes. You always hurt the ones you love. But she wasn’t so sure. What he’d done…

She turned away from the filling sink and ran a hand over her face.

It had been unforgivable.

She finished the dishes, cleared the kitchen counters and ran a quick sweep over the kitchen floor before heading into the bathroom for a long shower. The steaming jet did nothing to erase thoughts of him from her mind, but it was enough to cool the flush he’d left behind on her body.

In her bedroom, she drew on a knee-length nightgown and slipped beneath the covers. Sleeping alone had become more frequent of late, but it bothered her most that she didn’t care at all. Curling up on her side of the bed, sheets drawn straight up over her head, was the only way she could will herself to sleep lately.

When had things changed? she wondered, staring at the black void pressing in all around her. When had her marriage lost the warmth and love she’d always wanted? Had it ever been there or had it all been in her head? She didn’t know anymore. The only thing she was certain of was vast emptiness inside her that refused to be filled no matter how hard she tried to love Ron.

But lately, the void seemed to be growing, expanding until sometimes she felt herself almost teetering just on the edge. Some days, she actually wished she’d just tumble over already. Other days, she ran from it, only to find it chasing after her. Both days were exhausting, but she didn’t know how much longer she could resist giving in.


“Ron! Hermione! Over here!” Lavender Brown waved her arm over the sea of people crammed inside the bar.

Hermione followed Ron’s lead deeper into the tiny place until they reached the table at the very back, and the familiar faces waiting for them.

Harry, Luna, Ginny, Neville, Seamus, Dean, Colin, Cho and Hannah all glanced up when they approached. Their smiles were friendly and welcoming, nothing at all like the dark, predatory glint radiating from the face of the remaining figure circling the round table.

“What are you doing here?” Hermione demanded, hands frozen on the zipper of her jacket.

Cormac leaned forward, resting his elbows on the table when answering. “I was invited.”

Next to him, Lavender giggled and looped her arms through his, drawing herself snug against his side. “I ran into him this morning and asked him to join us!”

Something tightened in her chest, something sharp and painful, something she’d only ever felt once before and never wished to feel again.

“I see,” she whispered, forcing herself not to show any further reaction to his presence.

“Cormac!” Ron reached across the table and clasped hands with the God-like blond. “Hermione was telling me she ran into you yesterday in Diagon Alley, but for the life of me, I couldn’t remember who the hell you were!”

Heavily lidded, brown eyes turned to pin Hermione’s. “Is that so?”

She averted her face, busying herself with removing her jacket and slinging it over the back of her chair. She could feel his gaze roaming over her knitted, purple sweater and tight, blue jeans. Her entire body seemed to tingle under his careful observation. But she ignored it, ignored him, and lowered herself into the chair.

Ron took the spot next to her and waved the waiter over for their drink order.

“So, what do you guys do at one of these meetings?” Cormac asked, dropping back in his seat and crossing his arms.

“We talk,” Ginny told him, blue eyes moving over his torso in a way that had Hermione wanting to spear the other girl’s eyes out with a fork. “But what have you been up to? I haven’t seen you since Hogwarts.”

Cormac smirked coldly. “I’ve been keeping busy, but I wouldn’t want to bore you. What have you been up to, Hermione?”

Taken off guard, Hermione stiffened under his trenchant glower. “I…”

“I don’t know how much you’ve heard, but Hermione and I got married,” Ron answered, dropping a heavy arm around her shoulders and dragging her nearly clean out of her seat. “She was practically begging me,” he laughed, as did several others.

Hermione didn’t and neither did Cormac, she noticed.

“Ron, stop it,” she hissed, struggling out from under his arm.

“She’s shy,” Ron said, waving for the waiter again. “What is with this place and service?”

“I heard something along those lines,” Cormac said slowly. “Forgive me for not being able to attend the wedding. I was feeling a little sick that day.”

Ron waved away his statement, more interested in the waitress making her way toward them than the implication in Cormac’s tone.

“Vodka and keep it coming,” he told the petite blonde. “Hell, bring me a full bottle.”

Hermione frowned at her husband, baffled by his request. “You don’t drink Vodka,” she told him, almost certain of this fact. “Especially not an entire bottle of it.”

“I know,” he answered, looking puzzled himself. “But I just have a thirst for it tonight.”

“Anything else?” the bored waitress asked, taping her pen against her notepad.

“No, that will be all,” Ron said dismissively.

“No, that’s not all,” Cormac jumped in before the woman could make her get away. “Hermione hasn’t ordered yet.”

Ron winced, turning to his wife. “Sorry, love, I nearly forgot. What would you like?”

Glaring ice daggers at him, she said to the waitress. “Just a soda for me.”

Muttering something, the waitress ran away before anything else could be asked of her.

The table had fallen deathly quiet as the couple continued to stare at each other. Hermione broke the connection first, looking away as heat crawled into her face from both embarrassment and anger.

“So, Harry was just telling us how you’re getting honored for your breakthrough research on Veela reproduction, Hermione,” Neville quickly interjected, breaking the tension.

Hermione nodded, pushing away all thoughts of Ron while answering. “Yes, at the Award Ceremony on Friday.”

“Research on Veelas, eh?” Cormac interjected, watching her with a level stare. “How did you get fascinated by those filthy creatures?”

Hermione tried not to let her anger take over. She tried to keep her voice calm and neutral, but all she could think about was giving him one, sharp kick under the table.

“She won’t say,” Lavender said for her. “It’s all very hush-hush.”
Cormac’s brow arched. “Is that so? Interesting.”

“Well, it’s not!” Hermione barked out. “I happen to think all creatures deserve to be treated with some equality and respect.”

“Even monsters?”

Hermione winced, recalling herself saying those exact words to him years ago.

“Not all of them are monsters,” she said. “Just the unfaithful ones.”

If he reacted at all, he didn’t show it. “And how do you distinguish between the two?”

Hermione’s eyes narrowed into thin slits and she leaned in a little when answering. “I have an example to go by!”

“Or you think you have to go by,” he counterattacked smoothly. “What if you’re wrong?”

She ignored the spike in her chest. “I’m not!”

“Let’s say you are and you just ruined five whole years of a person’s life because of your stubborn refusal to listen to reason? What then?”

Her hands shook on the tabletop, and she quickly stuffed them under the table. “I think they had plenty of time to get over it after five years,” she answered tightly.

“Well, just because you’re a cold-hearted bitch who can turn her emotions on and off without a thought doesn’t mean everyone else is the same.”

Hermione gasped, so did several others, but they were forgotten. The entire table faded from sight as she stared at the man glowering back at her. Her temper and hurt clashed like thunderclouds inside her.

“If I’m a cold-hearted bitch, it’s because you made me this way!”

No one stopped her when she pushed away from the table and stalked through the throng of people towards the bathroom.

At the door marked Women’s, her arm was grabbed, and she was forcibly dragged inside where the door was slammed, locked and warded closed behind her.

“Let go of me!” she snarled, glaring up into Cormac’s furious expression.

“No!” he returned with equal venom.

“Maybe you haven’t noticed, but this is the women’s washroom!”

He smirked cuttingly. “I don’t recall you minding so much when I fucked you up against one of the stalls back in Hogwarts.”

Ignoring the heat crawling up her body at the vulgar word and vivid memory, Hermione replied,

“That was a long time ago!”

“You don’t love him.” His abrupt change of topic startled her. “He doesn’t love you.”

She struggled against his hold, staggering slightly when he suddenly let go. “You don’t know that!”

“You know I do.”

She did, but she refused to let him know that. “Why can’t you just leave me alone?”

“Because you know I can’t!” he snarled, grabbing her arms and shaking her. “Don’t you think I haven’t tried? Do you think I like being in love with a person who would so carelessly wish to love another? You have no idea how much I…” He suddenly shoved her away. “Forget it. Go back to your worthless husband and your worthless life. Your time is almost up anyway, so enjoy it!”

With that, the door was thrown open without anyone touching it, and he stormed out.

He was gone when she returned to the table.


Five Years Earlier…

“You look beautiful,” he murmured into her ear, holding her close as they swayed to the soft Christmas melody streaming through the air.

Hermione shivered under the warm caress of his breath against the bare skin of her shoulders.

“Thank you.”

He nuzzled her jaw line. “Asking you to Slughorn’s party was the best decision I ever made.”

Despite the warmth coiling inside her, Hermione chuckled. “I thought I asked you.”

“You did.” He drew back an inch to peer down into her face. “But you were doing it for the wrong reasons.”

Her brow arched. “And you did it for the right reason?”

He nodded, drawing her deeper into his arms. “I did it to keep you all to myself.”

She was laughing when he brushed a soft kiss to her mouth.

They’d been doing that a lot lately, kissing, holding hands, holding each other, touching. It was as if they couldn’t stop. Every time they were in the same space, gravity seemed to draw them together like a pair of magnets. The four weeks they’d spent completely absorbed in each other was quickly becoming Hermione’s favorite past time, maybe even more than reading and books.

With him, everything just felt right. Had anyone told her before their first kiss that she would actually fall in love with Cormac McLaggen, she probably would have laughed. But there she was, in his arms, looking into his eyes and feeling her whole world come together in the most natural way.

“What are you thinking about?” he asked, smoothing back a coil of hair off her cheek.

She felt the caress straight down to her tingling toes. Her lashes fell closed and she leaned into it slightly.

“I want to do it tonight,” she whispered, surprising even herself.

She hadn’t even realized she’d been thinking that until it poured from her lips. But she didn’t regret the decision.

The fingers gliding over the flushed slope of her cheek didn’t cease. His expression remained the same. It was only the darkening in his eyes that said anything about the hunger inside him.

“Are you sure? You know what will happen if you do this.”

She nodded, knowing exactly what would happen. They’d spent a great deal of time discussing the possibility of them taking things a step further. Their timid kisses and modest touches had grown quite heated in the past few weeks, and it was quickly becoming impossible to stop.

“I want you,” she whispered, dropping her gaze bashfully to the top two buttons on his dress shirt. “I want to do this.”

His hold on her tightened, nearly crushing her into his chest. “You know I would do anything for you?” She nodded, her love and trust glowing in her eyes. “You have to trust me and know that I will stop the second you want me to.”

She giggled a little, her nervousness showing in the sound. “I know, Cormac! We’ve talked about this a million times. I trust you!”

He nodded slightly, looking as nervous as she felt.

She knew this wouldn’t be his first time, but it was hers and he’d already expressed his fears about hurting her. He was one of the large reasons they hadn’t already done the deed.

“I just want to make sure this is what you want, kitten,” he always said when she teased him about it.

But she’d made up her mind. She wanted their first time to be on Christmas Eve.

He silently stole her away from the party, no one noticing when they disappeared through one of the doors lining the hallway and closed it behind them.

“This isn’t where I planned…”

“I like it!” she quickly intervened when he eyed the small, dusty room cluttered with broken pieces of furniture and cauldrons with disgust.

“Baby, this is a storage room! Are you sure—?”

She turned to him and pressed her fingers to his lips. “I like it!” She smiled a little. “Besides, we have magic!”

Facing the room, she magically cleaned the cobwebs, dust and grime. She then transfigured a bed from an old, broken desk and placed it in the center of the room.


“Clever witch,” he murmured, kissing the nap of her neck.

She shivered at the contact and leaned back into his sturdy heat.

He continued to scatter kisses along the curve of her neck, the slope of her shoulders, while his hands lazily made a path up and down her arms. He remained concealed behind her, pressing his hard chest into her back.

“Kitten?” he murmured in a tone she’d never heard before. It was hesitance laced with fear. She didn’t like it, especially coming from him.

“Is something wrong?” she asked, turning to face him.

He drew away and moved a short distance, keeping his back turned on her while he raked a hand through his hair.

“I need to tell you something before we do this…”

Gut turning nervously, Hermione moved up behind him and lightly touched his back between his shoulder blades. “If you don’t want to… I’m okay with that.”

He spun around, grabbing her by the shoulders and gently shaking her. “I want to! I want you so much! That’s not the reason… There’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you for a few days now, but it’s something I haven’t told anyone, and most people wouldn’t understand…”

She took his face lightly between her palms and forced him to look down into her eyes. She gave him a reassuring smile before brushing a feather-light kiss against his lips.

“You can tell me anything!”

He nodded, gathering her into his arms. “I know. I’m just… Maybe you should sit down.”

She laughed when he nudged her down on the corner of the bed and knelt down by her feet. “You don’t really have an evil twin do you?”

He chuckled a little, the sound forced and high-pitched. “Kind of.”

Having not expected that, Hermione started, staring down at him with wide eyes. “You have a twin?”

“Well, no, not really… but… I have this… thing inside me and… it’s not something I can get a cure for or make it go away… I kind of have to live with it…”

Dizzy with all his cryptic words, Hermione shook her head. “You’re making no sense!”

“I know!” he growled, voice vibrating with self-annoyance. “I’m doing this all wrong!”

“Just tell me!” she said, reaching out and stroking his hair. “I don’t care what it is, it will never change the way I feel about you.”

He clasped her hand and brought her palm to rest against the side of his face. “I’m a full-blood Veela. My parents, my grandparents, their grandparents, they’ve all been Veelas.”
Hermione didn’t move for a moment. She stared down at him while the words slowly sunk in. Then, she smacked his shoulder.

“Don’t do that! I thought it was something serious!”

He blinked, startled by attack. “It is serious! Do you have any idea how dangerous it is sleeping with a Veela? If I mark you… you’ll have no choice but to be stuck with me for the rest of your life!”

She frowned a little, hurt, and dropped her gaze to her hands. “And I guess you wouldn’t want that…”

Her chin was caught by him and lifted until she had no choice but to peer up into his eyes. “There is nothing in the world that would make me happier than being with you for the rest of our lives, Hermione. But I don’t want to take that choice away from you.”

“But what if I want that too?”

He kissed her… hard, stealing the air from her lungs and all sense from her thoughts. It was unlike any kiss they’d ever shared before, intense, hot and dominating. It was as if he was trying to devour her and make her a permanent part of his being.

She didn’t stop him, not even when he pushed her onto her back and climbed on top of her, his lips never releasing hers.


“Tell me about Veelas,” she said an hour later as they lay naked and sweaty under the silk sheets.

The air shimmered with their afterglow. Their bodies lay entwined, sated with the bliss of their first moment of passion, their breathing just returning to normal.

“There isn’t much to tell,” he said, brushing her temple with his lips. “We can seduce just about anyone, but can only fall in love with our mates. We are protective, dominating, controlling and short-tempered. We can be charming and deceiving if need be. We’re strong, both physically and magically. We love our mate unconditionally and without hesitance. They are the only reason for our existence. Without their love in return, we’ll die. We basically live just for the purpose of falling in love. Once we mark them as ours, the connection is intensified. We can feel everything they feel. We can sense when another male is touching our mate or when our mate is in trouble. It’s like being one person in two bodies.”

Hermione smiled a little. “Sounds terribly romantic.”

His long fingers swept back coils of hair off her cheek, tickling the sensitive flesh with his fingertips and making her shiver. “It can be, if you find your mate.”

“Are you worried you won’t?”

He shook his head. “I already have.”

Fluttery warmth flooded through her. She flushed under his intense survey.

“What if you’re wrong?”

Again, he shook his head, his gaze never wavering from hers. “Do you feel that little tug right here,” he slipped a hand under the sheets to circle her navel with his finger. Hermione nodded, slightly breathless by the caress. “I have the same sensation whenever you’re around me. But more than that I can feel you in here.”

He placed her hand over his pattering heart. “I know you’re the one, and you’ll know it too when I mark you.”

“Why didn’t you?”

His fingers grazed the curve of her neck. “Because the first time is painful enough for you without me hurting you more. There is always next time.”

Her head swam giddily at his response, making her voice extra soft when she replied, “Does this mean you love me?”

He didn’t falter, didn’t even bat an eyelash. “With all my heart.”


Five Years later…

They didn’t talk about it, not because Hermione didn’t want to, but because Ron spent most of the following week going out with Harry and the boys and not coming home until the wee hours of the early morning only to shower, dress and head into work.

The one-eighty in their relationship completely threw her. She had no idea why he was behaving this way. It was as if he had woken up one morning and decided to drive her insane with this strange, new person he’d become. He no longer talked to her or asked how her day was. He left his dirty clothes all over the floor, his dishes in the sink and never did his work anymore. His office was one giant mess, as if someone had thrown a Niffler inside and let it tear the place apart in search of gold. This person, whoever it was, was not the man she married. He wasn’t the man she wished for! She didn’t know who this was, but she wanted… She didn’t know what she wanted. It scared her, though, that she didn’t want Ron at all.

Lately, she’d been thinking a lot more about Cormac and what they’d once shared. She’d been having dreams of their time together in the past, despite her resistance. She hated that she missed him, not that he deserved it after what he’d done.

Moment of weakness hazed by her building fortitude, Hermione fixed her concentration on the perfectly made-up witch in the mirror.

Her gown of dark burgundy clung to her shapely figure, showcasing the ivory stretch of skin glowing around the low-cut collar and through the modest slit running to her thigh on the left side. Her arms were bare from where the thin straps looped over her shoulders. She’d swept her hair back from her face and sleeked it into a chic twist, leaving her neck exposed. She adorned herself with no other jewelry save for the single bracelet clasped around her wrist and the chandelier earrings dusting her jaw line. Her brown eyes, darkened and made to stand out against her pale complexion, sparkled with approval over the lush, red curve of her lips.

Yes. She was definitely going to make a splash at the Award Ceremony.

Inhaling deeply, she moved away from the vanity, grabbed her small clutch purse and Apparated to the Ministry.

The show was going on full swing when she arrived. Witches and wizards from all over filed in, dressed to the nines in their stunning outfits.

Hermione slunk up behind the line and made her way forward, half hoping Ron was already inside waiting for her. He had promised he would be, but then again, he’d said a great many things these past few days, and she was beginning to doubt he meant anything he said anymore.

“Hermione!” Ginny, Neville and Luna waved her over when she stepped inside the brightly lit chamber.

The entire foyer for the Ministry had been transfigured to represent a lavishly designed ballroom with glowing chandeliers and flickering candles. Images of historic witches and wizards were painted across the ceiling, and the floors were glossy marble with beautiful Roman designs. The entire place glistened like some fairytale come true. Hermione could barely contain her excitement as she descended the wide staircase towards her friends.

“Where’s Ron?” she asked, unable to take her eyes off the display around her.

“He hasn’t arrived yet,” Ginny said, patting her arm. “But don’t worry, he’ll be here soon!”

Hermione nodded, startled that she really didn’t care one way or another if he arrived or not.

“Where are Harry and the others?”

“Getting drinks,” Neville answered, craning his neck to see if he could spot them coming.

“Who are you looking for?” Luna asked, misty blue eyes watching her.

Flushing, Hermione ceased her unconscious searching and smiled. “No one. Why?”

The tiny blonde shrugged, her voice breathy and mystical when she responded. “You seemed to be a little anxious.”

“I guess I’m a little nervous about the award,” she admitted, grinning broadly.

“You shouldn’t be,” Neville replied firmly. “You earned it!”

Feeling herself getting teary-eyed, Hermione embraced him tightly, stepping back a second later to smile into his round face. “Thank you, Neville.”

Blushing from the attention, Neville cleared his throat, muttering something under his breath and looking away.

“Oh, here comes Lavender with Cormac,” Luna sighed, smiling dreamily.

Hermione didn’t need her to point it out. She’d felt his presence the minute they’d stepped foot into the Ministry. Every bone in her body was aware of him. Every hair on her body stood on end as if she’d touched something charged with static. The pit of her stomach brewed to life, churning and sizzling in a way it hadn’t in years. Her heart palpitated at an alarming rate, making her almost dizzy with each beat. By the time the two approached the group, Hermione could scarcely breathe properly.

“Hey, everyone!” Lavender greeted with her toothy smile.

Next to her, clad in dashing black robes, Cormac inclined his head. “Good evening, ladies. You all look… breathtaking.” His gaze fell on Hermione with his last word.

She swallowed hard, trembling uncontrollably. “Thank you.”

His eyes bore into hers with a heated passion she’d nearly forgotten about. They burned straight into her very soul, it seemed. She could have almost sworn he touched something inside her and set her entire insides on fire.

“Stop,” she breathed pathetically, knowing whatever he was doing was deliberate to make her succumb to him.

“Why don’t we get drinks,” he said abruptly, taking her elbow and leading her away, ignoring Neville when he said Harry had already gone to do that.

He didn’t take her anywhere near the refreshments table. Instead, she found herself pressed against a wall in a dark alcove with him molded into her front as if he belonged there. His lips found hers in a scorching kiss so hot she orgasmed on the spot, crying out and nearly crumpling to the ground with the sheer force.

But he didn’t stop there. He pushed her harder with every coax of his tongue delving into her willing mouth, driving her recklessly into a place only he had ever taken her.

She, in return, clasped him greedily. Fisting her hands in his silky tresses and fusing her body into his. It hardly surprised her that they still fit together like two pieces of a puzzle. But God how she’d missed this… him….

Suddenly, he stopped, tearing away from a kiss with a fierce growl that nearly knocked her knees out from under her. His eyes bored down into her flushed and needy face with a scowl dark enough to be considered dangerous. His bared teeth flashed against his darkened ravenous expression. His hot, ragged breath burned the skin around her face with each harsh exhalation.

“What are you doing, Hermione?” he sneered.

She shook her head in confusion, her words raspy when she replied, “You kissed me!”

“That’s not what I meant!” he growled, his hands clenching her shoulders painfully. “Why did you let me?”

Again, she shook her head, this time with desperation. “I don’t know…”

As if someone had slammed a door closed, his face went blank of all emotions. His brown eyes drilled into hers mercilessly as he pushed away and put a wide gap between them.

“Your friends are waiting for you,” he said, baffling her further.

“But… I don’t understand…” she stammered, wishing her heart would cease thundering for five seconds so she could hear herself think.

“No,” he mused, tucking his hands into his robes. “I don’t suppose you would. But I’m not going to explain it to you either.” He moved as if ready to leave her, but he paused briefly to say,

“Happy Anniversary, kitten.” Then, he was gone.

Hermione remained concealed for several more minutes, allowing her body to cool down and her thoughts to reprocess. She applied a fresh coat of lipstick and straightened out her clothes and hair before rejoining her friends.

“Where did you go?” Harry asked, drawing her into a short embrace before stepping back and peering into her face. “The Minister was just here looking for you!”

Hermione cursed softly under her breath. “I better go find him.” She glanced around at all the faces surrounding them and frowned. “Where’s Ron?”

Harry shrugged. “I haven’t seen him since Group Night.”

Seeking out the Minister forgotten, Hermione turned to him fully. “What do you mean? He’s been with you every night this week!”

Harry shook his head. “No, I’ve been working every night this week. Trust me, that’s not something I’d forget.”

Hermione glanced up, her heart in her throat, her blood running through her veins like ice water, and caught the pair of brown ones watching her from across the room.

She didn’t stop to think or consider. She pushed her way through the crowd of people and stopped once she was mere inches from him.

“You’re doing this!” she accused, spearing a finger into his chest.

Cormac didn’t even bat an eyelash. He stared down at her with the same disinterested look as before.

“Dare I ask what you are referring to?”

“Don’t play dumb with me!” she hissed, voice upping an octave. “I know you’re somehow changing things! You’re doing this to make me miserable!”

His long fingers grabbed her wrist when she speared him a second time, and she found herself being dragged away from the crowd now watching them and out onto the veranda.

The cool, night air calmed some of her raging panic and burning fury. She even resisted the temptation to hex him when he released her.

“It’s been five years, Hermione,” he said slowly, turning to face her. “I warned you what would happen.”

“You warned me what would happen? You didn’t warn me of anything!”

His brow arched. “Didn’t I? That night – the night you took away five years of our lives – I told you exactly what would happen. I told you the wishes only lasted five years, then everything would go back to the way it was originally meant to! But you said you didn’t care! That it was what you wanted.”

She remembered that, but…

“But… Ron and I are married! Things are different!” she protested.

He shrugged, tucking his hands into his pockets. “Maybe you should tell him that.”

Hermione turned when he nodded towards the ballroom entrance and the new arrivals. What she saw there chilled her to the bone. Everything inside her seemed to pulse hot and cold with fury and shock.

Ron – horribly disheveled and drunk – staggered down the stairway with a vivacious blonde barely holding him up. His flaming, red hair stuck out in all directions around a face smeared with pink lipstick. His dress shirt was wrinkled and buttoned up wrong, as if he’d been in a hurry when he’d done them up. The fly on his pants was undone and gaping, and he was still carting a half-full bottle of vodka that sloshed and spilled with every drunken step he took.

The blonde at his side – slightly more put together than him – wore a clingy, white gown that practically exposed her extensive chest. Her long, toned legs flashed with every step she took next to Ron’s side from between the wide, horrifyingly open slits running up both her round hips.

She giggled and clasped Ron when he staggered dangerously. He thanked her by pulling her into his chest and thrusting his tongue into her mouth and his hand down the front of her already revealing dress.

“Oh my god!” Hermione gasped, clamping her hands over her mouth in horror and disgust the same way most of the observers around the ballroom were doing.

“Interesting that you picked him over me,” Cormac said from behind her. “I can see what a charmer he is.”

Hermione shook her head, wide, tear-filled eyes never leaving her husband. “That’s not Ron!
That’s not the man I married! I don’t know who that is!”

“That’s him, Hermione,” he said calmly. “The man you married doesn’t exist. He was who you wanted him to be and nothing else.”

“He loved me!”

“He didn’t.”

She spun around to face the dark figure behind her. “I wished for him to love me!”

Cormac shrugged. “Nothing in the world can make two people fall in love, not even wishing it.”

“You’re lying!” she hissed, tears falling freely down her face. “You…”

“Why would I?”

“Because it would give you a reason to make me suffer!”

He stepped forward, looming over her like a vengeful angel. “I could have made you suffer in all sorts of manners these past few years. I could have made you wish for death ten times over if that were the case.” He gripped her chin tightly, forcing her to stare into his eyes. “Oh, I’ve thought of it. The pleasure of watching you feel half the amount of pain I’ve had to endure… There were nights I would dream of the day when I would get my hands on you and the things I would do to you and the things I would make you do until you begged me to end your agony, but now that I have you…” He released her and stepped back. “Watching you as the life you picked over me falls apart is much more satisfying.”

Despite the tremor that skated down her spine, Hermione stiffened her shoulders and marched straight up to him, determined not to let him win.

“You cheated on me with that Ravenclaw girl!”

His face blazed with a fury that could shame the fires of hell. It crackled and hissed behind his narrowed eyes and glinted against the exposed flash of his teeth.

“All these years of researching the mating habits of Veelas and you have learned nothing!” he snarled ferociously. “Veelas can’t cheat on their mates!” he roared, making her jump. “Had you let me explain, had you listened for a second, you would have known that. But you were so eager to believe the worst of me that you threw yourself at the first asshole that glanced your way. We could have been happy. I would have made you happy. I would have given you anything you ever wanted. We could have had a life together, a family. I gave you my fucking heart!” He stormed away from her, visibly shaking with the fury he was barely suppressing.

He stopped at the stone railings and planted his fists. He hunched over and stared over the side of them for what felt like hours as she stood in stunned silence and watched him.

Minutes ticked by before he pushed away, raked both hands through his hair and turned to her again, seemingly calmer.

“Do you have any idea what I went through every day you were gone from me? Do you have any idea of the excruciating agony I felt every time you let him touch you, kiss you? The only reason
I’m still here is because of that fucking wish! I couldn’t even kill myself if I wanted to because my mate was still alive and until that wish ended, I would have to wait and suffer. I couldn’t do anything to make it stop because as far as my Veela genes were concerned, you were under a spell, thus your infidelity was not your fault. But there were nights I wished for death, wished for the day it would end. You think you’re suffering now? You don’t even know the meaning of the word!”

Her heart broke for the truth burning behind his eyes and the hurt in his voice. She couldn’t even think beyond the remorse lodged tight in her chest. But she hadn’t known. The night she’d caught him – or thought she’d caught him – it had all seemed so real.


Five Years Earlier…

Hermione prided herself on always being patient and calm. She liked to think she was strong enough to take four hours out of each night to wonder the dark corridors in search of rule-breakers, even if she’d much rather be one of those randy teenagers, pressed against the alcove by Cormac, instead of the one stopping them. He’d shown her on several occasions just how… exhilarating the thought of getting caught could be. The man was insatiable! She couldn’t even begin to count the number of times he’d cornered her in a day, not that she was complaining. Being with him… It was magic, the purest, brightest sort of magic that made angels sing and all that.

It was with that thought in mind that she practically skipped her way through her chores of flushing out late night wonderers. There was only an hour left, and then she’d return to the Gryffindor common room and Cormac’s waiting arms.

She thought of her friends and their reaction every time the two of them were together and grinned. Ginny thought it was grand, Harry and Ron were disgusted and positive she’d lost her mind. But she didn’t care. Nothing mattered when she was lost in Cormac’s impenetrable embrace.

Maybe they could sneak away and find a dark corner…

The naughty thought made her giggle out loud to herself. He was certainly turning her into a wanton, that was for sure.

She was so absorbed in all the little things they’d do when she got back to him that she nearly missed the long, pale object lying on the floor at her feet. It was solely due to the glow of her wand glistening off the golden tip that it caught her attention.

Curious, she bent down and plucked up the beautiful feather and studied it closely.

It was a Veela feather. She’d seen them before, so there was no doubt about it. The smooth, soft sides. The gold tip. That’s exactly what it was. But what was it doing there, in the middle of a deserted corridor? Was there another Veela in the school? Cormac had once told her that Veelas didn’t divulge their true heritage to anyone except their mates. So if there was another Veela roaming the hallways, no one would know. But one thing was for certain, they were shedding.

Something all Veelas did during the spring season, like snakes losing their skin.

She tried to recall what she’d read about that particular method of Veelaology. She remembered something about how Veelas only turned into the large, bird-like creatures of lore when their mates were in danger or when they were in the process of shedding. She’d actually witnessed this first hand from Cormac a few weeks previous when they’d been laying in front of the fireplace in the common room long after everyone else had gone to bed and he’d removed his top to show her.

His once smooth, chiseled chest was covered in feathers, as were his arms, chest and shoulders. But they weren’t ugly chicken feathers. These feathers were beautiful, pure white with gleaming gold caps. They had felt so soft when she’d touched them. A few had fallen lose, and he’d gathered them up and tucked them into his pocket.

“What are you doing?” she laughed, watching him conceal the discarded feathers.

“It’s dangerous for us to leave our feathers lying around,” he explained. “It’s hard to explain, but it’s just better this way.”

She hadn’t asked any more, not that he’d allowed her to when he pulled her to him and kissed her.

But why had this person left their feather behind?

Maybe they hadn’t realized they’d shed it. Well, she’d keep it and ask Cormac what to do with it. If it somehow harmed them if the feather fell into the wrong hands, she would have to make sure it was disposed of properly.

Pleased with her notion, she started to turn away when a soft rustling sound echoed from behind the closed door in front of her. The sound was quickly followed by the scream of metal against stone, as if someone was moving a chair or table across the room.

Hermione sighed, a grin twitching around her lips. She wondered if she should give them a few minutes to finish before barging in, but decided against it. Who knew when they’d started or when they’d be finished? She knew Cormac could last anywhere from an hour to ten minutes depending on where they where and how much time they had. And she wasn’t relishing the thought of standing around waiting when she could be heading back to the common room to get her own action. Besides, she had a job to do, whether she was understanding of their situation or not. They’d just have to find a better hiding place.

Twisting the grin on her face into a disapproving scowl, she threw open the door and marched inside. “Okay, you two, break it up…”

“Hermione!” Cormac shoved away the tiny girl clinging to him and hurried towards Hermione. “I can explain!”

The shock wore off with the sound of his voice, and pure betrayal and hurt slammed into her.

She stumbled back a full, shaky step, shaking her head. “What…? How…?”

“It’s not what it looks like!” he protested hurriedly. “I would never do this to you! You know that!”

She didn’t feel like she knew anything. Everything was a giant, numb blur. She knew what she’d seen, her Cormac wrapped in another girl’s arms. She just couldn’t seem to process anything beyond that.

“Not what it looks like?” she said in a low whisper before her voice rose to an almost hysterical scream. “Not what it looks like, Cormac? What the fuck is it supposed to look like? What the hell are you doing in here with her?”

“I can explain!” he repeated, putting his hands up. “She tackled me! I swear. I was waiting for you and she just came out of nowhere.”

Hermione scoffed bitterly. “You expect me to believe that?”


“She’s barely eighty pounds soaking wet, Cormac!”

“Hermione, you know what I’m saying is true! You’re just upset right now and you’re not thinking straight. But I would never cheat on you, I swear this on my life!”

She shook her head, taking a step back when he took one towards her. “I don’t believe you! I saw you… with her! You were kissing her!”

“No!” he urged firmly. “No, I wasn’t! I promise you I wasn’t!”

The Ravenclaw girl took that moment to shift, as if getting ready to run out the door, but Hermione wasn’t done with her and turned the full force of her fury on her ashen face.

“Where do you think you’re going?” she snarled through her flashing teeth.


“Three hundred points from Ravenclaw and detention for the rest of the year with Flitch!” The girl whimpered and was ignored. “Oh, and if I so much as catch a glimpse of you again, I’ll skin you alive!”

Bursting into tears, the girl tore out of the room and out of sight.

With her gone, Hermione returned her fury on Cormac. “I wish I was with Ron! He would never do something like this to me!”

Cormac seemed to cave onto himself a little. His face twisted into a grimace of pain, and his arms clutched his middle as he hunched over.

“Hermione, what…?” He fell to his knees, still clutching his middle. “What… what have you done?”

“I won’t fall for it!” she snapped. “I won’t stop being mad simply because you’re pretending to be sick!”

His breathing was coming out in sharp pants.

“Are you listening to me?”

Slowly, his head came up and his watery eyes fell on the feather in her hand. “What’s that?”

Baffled, she followed his gaze and frowned. “I found it… outside.”

His eyes squeezed closed tight, and his head fell forward as if in prayer. “What have you done?”

“What have I done? Don’t you turn this around on me!”

He chuckled sharply, struggling to his feet. “Well, kitten, I hope you’re happy. You’re about to get your bloody wish!” he sneered.

Hermione frowned. “What wish?”

His smirk was cold, cruel even and filled with bitter hatred. “The one you just made! The one that bound you to Weasley for the next five years!”

“What are you talking about?” she shouted.

He stormed forward and snatched the feather from her grasp and waved it in her face. “Do you know why Veelas never leave their feathers behind, Hermione?” He didn’t wait for her to respond but plunged on. “They have the power to grant the possessor one wish that will last for five, full years before the spell wears off and everything returns to what it had originally meant to be. Call it the Cinderella syndrome. As soon as the anniversary of this day comes in five years, the spell will break and your coach and coachmen will return to mice and a pumpkin, For example: if you had wished for money or a house or for your parents to get back together, in five years, you will owe Gringotts every single Knut you spent. Your house will get repossessed and your parents will go back to hating each other. It’s not forever, but it’s long enough, and you’re only allowed one wish for every five years, and your wish was to be with Weasley!”

Scared and confused, Hermione shook her head, stumbling back a step. “I didn’t… How…?”

“You should be delighted,” he hissed, turning away from her and marching deeper into the dark classroom. “You finally got the one thing you’ve always wanted. That useless git!”

“The only thing I ever wanted was you, and look where that got me! Maybe I would be better off with Ron!” she screamed at him, temper clashing head-to-head with her other churning emotions.

He whipped around, his fury flaring around him in hot waves. His brown eyes seemed to glow in the still darkness.

He suddenly lunged at her, grabbing her around the waist and tearing her into his arms where he ignored her struggling and held her fast.

“Let me go!” she shouted, beating against his chest.

“No!” he hissed into her ear, fisting one hand into her hair. “You’re not leaving my life without a blood debt.” He jerked her head to the side, exposing her neck. “I will grant you your wish because I have no choice in the matter, but in five years I will come collecting! And you had better be ready to pay!”

There was no time to react. He came at her so quickly that she barely had the chance to scream when his canines sunk into the flesh between her neck and shoulder, filling her with a searing pain so great, she didn’t even fight when the darkness claimed her.


Five Years Later…

Hermione stared at the man in front of her, her heart drumming in her chest. She hated that she could remember that night with such clarity. It felt almost like a nightmare she couldn’t escape from.

Her fingers touched the crescent moon etched into her skin, recalling the feeling of disorientation when she’d awakened the next morning on the sofa in the common room, her neck throbbing.
She had been furious once memory caught up with her foggy brain. How dare he mark her! How dare he kiss another girl and then mark her! Who did he think he was, making up that bullshit wish story and then branding her as if she would ever consider taking him back now?

But that’s when everything had begun to change. Ron started paying much more attention to her. He started charming her, showing her this side of him that she’d never seen before, a side she’d always wanted to see in him. Cormac’s betrayal was still hot and fresh in her mind, but she had refused to dwell on it until now.

“You had no right to bite me!” she snapped, unaware how much that act alone bothered her. “You didn’t even warn me, and then you ignored me for the rest of the year as if…”

“As if you no longer belonged to me?” he concluded.

“You… I saw you with another girl!” The anger seemed to rush right out of her. Her shoulders hunched and her head dropped forward. “At least I thought I saw you with another girl.”

“You should have believed me when I tried to explain.”

She nodded slowly. “I know. Wait, where are you going?”

He paused mid-way to the door and glanced back over his shoulder. “My job here is done. I just came to watch your fantasy fall apart. Have a nice life.”

Hermione gasped, stunned by his coldness. “You can’t just… you can’t just leave!”

He smirked. “Can’t I?”

And he was gone. Just like that… he walked right out of her life.

Hermione didn’t move a muscle. She didn’t even breathe. She just stood there watching the empty spot he’d occupied only moments ago with a feeling of absolute dread, loneliness and pain. The sensation twisted around her heart like barbed wires, tearing into her ruthlessly.
He was right. This was all her fault. If she had just listened… none of this would have happened. She would have been with the man she loved, who had once loved her. Instead, she was alone.
Voices from inside caught her attention, and she glanced up in time to watch Harry and Neville wrestle the bottle away from Ron and drag the redhead out of the ballroom kicking and screaming. The blonde slinked off after them.

The five years she’d spent with Ron would never hold a candle to the single year she had spent with Cormac. Cormac was her mate, her other half. How could she do this to them?

“’Mione?” Ginny poked her head out of the terrace doorway. “Are you okay?”

She began to nod, determined not to show how miserable she was, but the dam broke, and she was sobbing into her friends arms.

“I let him go, Ginny! Why would I wish something so stupid?”

Ginny shushed her gently, stroking her hair. “Ron’s a dumbass! You can’t blame yourself for that! I’m sorry he ruined your night.”

She’d forgotten all about the Award Ceremonies. She’d forgotten about Ron. Now, neither mattered.

“I have to find him,” she said, pulling out of her friend’s loving arms. “I have to make this better.”

“Harry and Neville took him home. He’s probably unconscious, but you could talk to him in the morning, if you wanted.”

Hermione didn’t try to explain. She knew Ginny would never understand, even if she broke Cormac’s trust and told the younger witch about him being a Veela, which she would never do.

“Did you see where Cormac went?”

Ginny nodded. “He went out front… Hermione, where are you going?”

But Hermione was already running through the ballroom, ignoring the whispers and pointed looks as she dashed up the stairs and through the doors.

The night chilled her already trembling and cold body, but she ignored it as she scanned the darkened streets for some sign of him.

Not a shadow moved. The whole world seemed to be absolutely still, as if holding its breath.

Maybe it was as nervous as she was. She liked to think so, but it didn’t help her find Cormac.

“Cormac!” she called, listening to her own voice echo back sounding as lonely as she felt. “I’m sorry! Please, come back!” Then, in a much softer, defeated voice, she whispered, “I love you!”

The wind whispered back, hissing in her ear almost mockingly. But still no sign of him.

He was truly gone, and she would never see him again.

Tears willed up behind her eyes and spilt down her face. She sunk down on the front steps of the Ministry and wept into her hands.

“Excuse me, lady?”

Startled, Hermione’s head came up fast, her wet eyes wide with surprise.

A little boy, no older than nine, peered back at her from behind bright, green eyes. He tilted his head to the side, sending a patch of dirty blond hair over his brow.

“I was told to give you this,” he said, pulling his arm out from behind him and showing her a smooth, white feather with a gold tip. Alongside it was a note.

“Who gave you this?” she breathed, her hands trembling as she accepted.

“The guy with the blond hair,” he replied, jerking his head to the left as if pointing.

Breathing rapid, Hermione leapt to her feet, her eyes scanning the direction he indicated, but
seeing nothing.

“He told me to tell you: Make it count.

A waterfall of tears poured down her face, unstoppable and heavy. She stared at the feather, stroking her fingers along the silky sides to the tip. After a moment, her gaze landed on the note and she peeled it open, not noticing the boy as he scurried away.

“Never say I didn’t love you enough to let you go, even if I have to do it again. This time, make it forever.”

She was going to.



Ten Years Later…

Cormac watched from a distance as Hermione ambled up the sidewalk. She looked peaceful and content as she ran her daily errands, her body soft and round with the child growing inside her.

At her side, a small girl of five bounced along, and even from a distance he could hear her happy chatter streaming a mile a minute. She had her mother’s curly, golden-brown hair and brown eyes, and although everyone said she looked like her father, he liked to think it was her mother she took after, especially when she shot out more questions than answers.

Something sharp spiked inside him at the sight of them. They were both so beautiful.

It had been ten years since that night at the Ministry. Ten years since she made her second wish and chose him.

Well, actually, she chose to take back her first wish and talk to him instead, but he liked to think she chose them over the life she had with Weasley, even though that was a life she would never remember, as it had never happened. But he remembered, and he thanked God every day for giving him this second chance.

“Daddy!” Katie bolted away from her mother’s side and tore across the pavement in his direction, her halo of curls bouncing around her tiny, glowing face.

Cormac felt his heart fill to bursting point as he bent down and scooped his daughter up into his arms and crushed her close. “Hello, sweetheart,” he breathed into her bubblegum scented tresses. “I missed you.”

Katie giggled, tickled by the whiskers darkening his jaw. “You’re prickly, Daddy!”

“Sorry, love,” he said, drawing back to peer into her perfect, little face. “How’s your day with Mommy?”

She shrugged. “Okay. We’re getting ice cream. Are you coming?”

He touched her hair, her face, never really believing that he’d finally gotten so lucky. “I wouldn’t miss it for anything.”

“Hello, love,” Hermione reached them and leant up to press a kiss to his lips. “How was your day?”

He looked into the faces of the two girls that meant the world to him and smiled. “It just got better.”

His wife returned his smile, slipped her arm through his, and together they strolled towards the ice cream parlor.


Later that night, after Katie had been put to bed, Cormac watched as his wife puttered around the kitchen, tidying up the supper dishes. It didn’t seem to matter how many years passed or what changed, watching her move – even while doing the most mundane of chores – never failed to make him hard. She was still as beautiful as she had been back at Hogwarts, maybe even more now that she was round with his child and glowing with that special motherly hue. It never failed to amaze him how graceful she was, moving like liquid with her cheeks flushed with happiness and her eyes twinkling.

“Supper was delicious,” he said, pushing back his chair and turning to fully face her. “Thank you.”

Setting the dishes into the sink, she smiled, wiping her small hands on a dishrag and turning to him. “You’re welcome. I’m glad you liked it.”

He waved her forward, patting his lap with one hand and motioning her with the other.

She didn’t hesitate, dropping the rag down on the counter and making her way to him. Even with the life inside her, she barely weighed anything when her round backside nestled perfectly on his leg.

He circled her middle the best he could, keeping her steady while he used his free hand to smooth back a patch of hair off her cheek. “Do you ever regret not ending up with Weasley?”

Hermione chuckled, shaking her head. “No. You were always the one I wanted.”

“But if you could go back and change things, would you?”

Her smile dimmed a little, and her face drew into one of confusion. “Of course not. Why would you ask? Is something wrong?”

It was his turn to shake his head. “No, no, I just… I want to make sure you’re happy.”

“I’m very happy,” she replied, reaching up and touching the strands curled against the collar of his t-shirt. “You, Katie, the baby, you mean so much to me. I wouldn’t give that up for anything.”

He leaned up a little and captured her lips. The spark was instant. He forced his tongue into her mouth in an age-old rite. She responded eagerly, threading her fingers through his hair and wiggling her bottom against the growing bulge nestled there. Her moan tickled his lips. Her ragged breathing pulsed in his ear. Her scent, the texture of her skin, all burned around him, caging him like silk ribbons until he was completely surrounded by her.

“We haven’t been naughty in the kitchen in quite some time, husband,” she breathed, pulling back just enough to rest her forehead against his while she maneuvered around on his lap until she was straddling him, her dress hiked up around her waist, her belly prodding into his. “Have you forgotten how?”

He loved this. He loved her when she was like this, when she was untamed, wild and wanton.

When she let her reservations go and claimed him in the same manner he’d claimed her more than once over the years. The heat from her tight, wet pussy burned through the material of his pants. He knew without touching her that she was ready for him. The lust was hard to ignore when it burned so bright and vivid in her eyes.

“Don’t tempt me, mate,” he growled, his breathing as hoarse as hers. “I’ve only been gentle for the baby’s sake!”

She giggled. The sound was filled with mocking challenge while she gyrated her hips lavishly against his.

“I think you’ve gotten old and can’t keep up with me any longer,” she replied, grabbing the front of his t-shirt and tearing it open in a single motion.

The hiss of fabric ripping filled the room, and he nearly smirked. There goes another shirt, he thought with amusement.

“Don’t count on that, witch.” He rose to his feet, keeping a firm grip around her and setting her down on the table ledge.

The saucy minx grinned up at him, parting her pliable thighs and hiking up the hem of her skirt to reveal the smooth, freshly shaven cunt underneath.

He growled deep in his throat, his pants suddenly unbearably tight. “God you’re beautiful.”

She smiled a little wider, reaching up and hooking her hand around the back of his neck. “No sweet talking, Mister. Your daughter likes to come down for water periodically. So, let’s save that for when we get into our bed. Right now, I just want you to fuck me.”

He had no qualms about that as he unhooked his pants and thrust them to his ankles. Her hiss of delight as she took in his hard, rugged shaft, her bottom lip tucked between her teeth, nearly sent him over the edge. But he restrained the urge and instead aligned himself with her waiting center, looked up into her hot, greedy eyes and sunk home.

“Cormac!” she gasped, head falling back, eyes squeezing closed as he stretched her open.

The taut clasp of her walls rippling and dancing the deeper he pushed in had his teeth gritting tightly together. By the time he was fully sheathed inside her, he was breathing hard and sweating up a storm.

“You’re so tight,” he rasped, pressing his eyes closed and counting backwards from a hundred. “Just being in you makes me want to come.”

“Don’t stop, baby,” she whimpered, wiggling her hips desperately, as if he wasn’t in enough torment. “Please…”

It was a blessing and a curse, his inability to deny her anything. So, he gripped her plump hips and shifted, pulling out almost all the way before thrusting in completely. He repeated this several times, just watching the flicker of ecstasy dancing across her face as she drew closer to that place he loved to take her.

“Harder…” she panted, her sharp little nails tearing into the flesh of his upper arm. “Harder!” she cried louder. “Fuck me!”

Not disappointing her, he quickened his pace, slamming into her with enough force to rock the table, sending the salt and pepper shakers rolling and cluttering to the ground, followed by the stray utensils, cups and dishes.

But neither gave that any thought as their groans and shouts amplified and broke with their joined climax. The rush of his seeds deep into her body had her channel quivering, milking his squirting erection until they were both left dazed and sated.

“Still think I’m too old, kitten?” he teased into her temple.

He could feel her grinning into the taut flesh of his neck. “I might need a repeat performance later.”

He gave his flaccid cock a sharp thrust into her cavity, earning a cry from her, before withdrawing and smirking into her flushed face. “Anytime, anywhere, baby!”

“Good, because I want to be on top next time.”

He didn’t argue. Why would he? Instead, he helped her off the table, pushed her dress back into place to conceal her before redressing himself.

“In that case, let me help you clean up.”

Pulling off his ruined t-shirt, he tossed it into the bottom shelf next to the stove to join all the other bits of fabric once belonging to perfectly good clothes before their insatiable hunger gotten a hold of them.

Topless, he joined his wife at the sink and began to wash while she dried.

The End

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