Author: Enchantress101
see part 1 for warnings, disclaimer

Shades of Obsession + Chapter 14
When Sisters Come To Visit

It was about two months before we heard another peep out of Rankin, and in that time, Zechs and I quietly worked on our relationship. Not very many people knew about it--Quatre did, of course, because he'd walked in on us those two times (but thankfully after that, he'd learned how to knock). He was very supportive of us, and he always grinned like a fool when he saw us together. He was happy for me, and I was really thankful for that.

Then there was Trowa, who either kinda figured it out along the way or heard of it from his boyfriend. At first he wasn't sure what to make of the situation. Mostly he was concerned about Zechs' ability to do his job, but other than that, he didn't seem to mind. But of course, since he likes to think that he's my big brother or something, he pulled Zechs to the side early on and had a little `heart to heart,' and since then, everything was fine.

I assume that Wufei had some kind of idea about what was going on between the two of us before we actually got around to telling him in words, because technically he was the one who got us together, but he hasn't said a word to us about anything at all. Whenever he and Heero were around, Zechs and I were careful to control ourselves. I don't think Heero suspected a thing.

But it was soooo hard to keep our hands off of each other. We would `accidentally' brush hands, I would place a hand on his arm, we would sit close to each other on the couch, and on movie nights we'd grown accustomed to snuggling up together ever since that horror flick. It was nice, really nice.

Besides those things, the touching and all, our relationship hadn't gotten that far. We'd found a favorite place to make out--on the couch in the living room, and while Q and Tro were out at work, he and I would have a grand time there. Things never went too far, though--we'd gotten close to doing the deed a couple of times, but either he'd pull back, or I would, or we both would and it would end right there.

So now we were on our favorite couch, with me practically draped across his lap, sucking face like there was no tomorrow. And then the phone rang. I growled and grabbed the phone, dropping my body across Zech's lap. "Yeah, who is it?"

"Duo, it's me, Quatre."

Insert a really big sigh here. "What did I tell you about bad timing?" I asked, giving Zechs a look.

I could almost hear him blush. ". . . oh, sorry. But look, this is important. Heero is headed your way."

"Ooooookay . . . and?"

"He knows!"

I sat up very quickly. "He what?!"

"Duo . . ." Zechs mumbled.

I ignored him. This was just too important. "How the hell did he find out?"

"I--Wufei and I were in the break room talking, um . . . about you and Zechs . . ."

"Duo . . ." Zechs went again.

"Later," I said to him. "And he over heard you?!"

"Well, yes. I'm sorry, we tried to catch him before he got into his car but--"


"What?" I demanded, turning to him.

He pointed down, where the heel of my hand was digging into his . . . ahem, package. I pulled my hand back like it was on fire and began patting at his crotch, saying, "Damn, I'm sorry Zechs! Is it okay? Please tell me its okay!"

He swatted my hand away and got up. "I . . . need to take a walk."

"Duo? Hello? Anyone there? Oh no, Trowa, I think he's gone . . ."

"No!" I exclaimed into the phone. "I'm here, I'm here. So Heero got into his car. And he's coming here?"

"Presumably," Quatre said.

"When did he leave?"

"About five minutes ago. Wufei went after him in our car, so he should be there soon."

Heero had left five minutes ago. It would take any normal person a good half hour to get to the mansion from there, a little more or less depending on traffic. But this wasn't a normal person I was dealing with here--this was Heero Yuy5 . . . which meant that I had five more minutes at the most.

"Duo? What are you going to do?"

"I dunno, I dunno. Look, I'll talk to you later. Bye."

I got up and found Zechs standing in the kitchen with a donut in his hand. "We have to hide you."

He stopped mid-bite and said, "What?"

I grabbed his shoulders and pushed him into the foyer, looking around frantically. "You have to hide! Heero found out about us and he's on his way over here right now! Where can I hide you? How about the closet?"

He chuckled and took a big bite out of his snack. "I haven't been back in the closet in years."

"Yeah, well maybe its time to take a little visit." I began shoving him further back into the house.

He refused to budge. "Duo. I am not afraid of Heero Yuy. You know that I can hold my own against him."

True, true. "Well, fine. Whatever. But let me answer the door, because I'm afraid that if he sees your face, he will swing first and ask questions later and--"

The doorbell rang. It was Heero.

I forced Zechs into the living room and went to the door. "H-hey Heero," I said, opening the door cautiously.

He stepped in, hands balled up at his fist and eyes narrowed. "Duo. What is this I'm hearing about you and Merquise being in a relationship? Is it true?"

Man, no beating around the bush, huh? "Er . . . yes?"

He shifted as if he wasn't sure what to do with himself. "Why didn't you tell me?"

I gestured nervously to his hands. "Because of that! I knew that you'd be pissed off, and I was afraid that you'd hit Zechs in the face, and well, that would just be a crime against humanity to deprive society of such a handsome thing, and I thought that you were done committing those now that the war is over and--"

"Don't be stupid. I'm not going to hit him."

Huh. Didn't look that way to me. "How was I supposed to know? You sure wanted to even before he and I had anything together."

Heero's face scrunched up. "That is true. But I have been talking to Wufei about this bodyguard situation and I have worked through those feelings and put them aside because I realize that it is the best thing to keep you safe."

Well, that sounded rehearsed. But then again, this was Heero we were talking about. "But you know . . . um, since Zechs and I are together now," I said slowly, "he will be doing a lot more than being my bodyguard."

"I know. You will be kissing."

I blinked rapidly. He'd said this very simply, and I couldn't help but wonder what `kissing' was to him. Was it just like a peck on the lips, or an all out tongue assault like Zechs and I preferred. I didn't know, because Wufei and Heero weren't very public about their relationship. And I really didn't want to know. Ew.

"Yes, kissing . . . but, ah, probably more than that in the future."

Heero didn't like this. He pressed his lips together tightly. "More? You mean sex?"

Oh god I hoped so. "Well . . . yeah . . ."

"Has he--have you . . . what--"

I sighed. "Oh, come on Heero! Don't be a prude. You know what I'm talking about because I caught you and Wufei going at it, remember?"


"I know the three of you--Trowa, Wufei and you--I know you guys like to think that I'm your little brother and that you have to watch over me all the time," I told him as softly and gently as I could. "But I'm going to grow up some time, and I'm going to get into a serious relationship, which will probably involve doing it. You're just going to have to get used to the idea."

Heero took this in and then nodded his head once. "I understand. I will not hit Merquise, but I would like to talk to him."

"He's already heard the big bro spiel from Trowa," I said for Zech's sake.

"You mean even he knows about this? Everyone but me?" He looked annoyed.

"Well yes everyone knew but you." I couldn't tell him how Wufei knew. That would only cause trouble between the two. "I begged Wufei not to tell you. Don't be angry with him."

"I am more upset that you felt that you could not tell me about this."

"I know, I know, I'm sorry. We didn't tell anyone, they all found out by accident, and I guess you're no different. Don't feel bad, okay?"

He grumbled something inaudible. "You still should have told to me."

"So that you could rip off his balls and shove them down his throat?" I asked with a grin. "I don't think so. I'd like those to stay exactly where they are, thank you very much."

"I want to talk to him. Where is he?"

I sighed in defeat. Here we go. "In the living room." I led him in where Zechs was sitting confidently on the couch. Heero forced me into a far corner of the room while they conversed quietly amongst themselves. I made faces at them the entire time they talked, until Heero gave me a nasty face of his own.

Finally, after what seemed like forever, Heero got up and prepared himself to leave. "Remember what I said, Merquise. I'll be watching you. If you hurt him in any way . . ." He thought about what to say next, and then smirked. "I'll rip off your balls and shove them down your throat."

"Heero!" I cried.

"You said it, not me."

Suddenly the front door burst open and Wufei came rushing in, breathing deeply with his cell phone up to his ear. He looked around, saw that no one was decapitated, gutted or even bleeding, and said, "Oh. So I can cancel that 911 call then?"


Now all of the guys were filled in on my relationship with Zechs. Quatre seemed to think that this was cause for celebration, and invited Wufei and Heero over for a night of take out and a movie. It kind of annoyed me because I wasn't sure if Zechs and I would be able to do our usual cuddle up thing in peace, but I would just have to go with the flow and see what happened.

Once we were all gathered at the mansion, the first order of business was to determine what we were going to order. Chinese won over Italian, and in a half an hour we were lugging big brown paper bags and giant bottles of soda up to Quatre's room. We all settled down, Q and Tro on the bed as usual, Zechs and I on the floor in front of the television, and Fei and Heero were on the love seat. The movie started (another horror one, just so that I could have an excuse to get close to Zechs), and the only sounds were the TV and the sound of people eating.

I sat wide eyed as a ghost floated on screen behind the main character. Zechs scooted closer and, much to my surprise, pulled me up against him. I heard choking noises coming from either Wufei or Heero, but I couldn't tell which. They started whispering, and I was about to turn around to tell them to shut up when I heard something ring.

"What's that?" I asked.

"What's what?" Quatre sat up on the bed.

I heard the ringing again. "That. What is it?"

Trowa laughed. "What did I say about scary movies? Sounds like the phone in your room."

I jumped to my feet. What if it was Rankin? I ran out of the room and across the hall and into my room, where I practically leapt into the air to catch the phone. "Hello?!"

Zechs sat down and put the earphones onto his head. The others filed into the room curiously.


I was right. It was him. "Hello R-David. How are you today?" I forced some happiness into my voice.

"My day would be better if you were here."

Gag. "I know, but it's been months and you haven't told me where I can meet you." I saw Zech's appreciative nod out of the corner of my eye. "So, ah, have you picked a time and a place yet?"

"I have."

"Okay . . . where and when? I'll be there."

" . . . I can't tell you now. I don't . . . trust this phone line."

Oh. Hell. I took a deep breath and tried to remain calm. "It's fine. You can tell me."

"No. That blond man could be listening in on a wire tap and I don't want to take any chances. I will get in contact with you in another way. I just wanted to hear your voice."

"How . . . sweet. Will you contact me soon? I'd like to meet with you."

I heard him take a deep, raspy breath. Yuck.

"Soon. Soon. Goodbye." The line went dead.

"Damn it!" Zechs exclaimed furiously, his eyes flashing as he almost ripped the head set off and tossed it across the room. "He knows about the tap!"

I sighed warily. "Yeah. He's not that stupid, I guess."

That call pretty much killed the mood, but after filling Alex in on what had happened, we all went back to watch the movie anyway. I didn't even try to focus on it--I just rested my head against Zech's chest and listened to his heart beat. And all was good until the intercom began to chime. Quatre got up and went over to it.

"Hello? Who's this?"

We were all on alert, thinking that it was Rankin, but then an all too familiar and all too annoying voice said, "Hello Quatre! Will you please let me in?"

Inside of my head, I spouted out a butt load of bad words and began banging my head against the floor.

Relena was here.

Heero swore loudly in Japanese, and I looked over my shoulder to see him jump to his feet and look around like a deer caught in some headlights. I had a similar feeling because I really didn't want to get into it with her.

"Heero? Is that you?" she continued. "Can I come in?"

Quatre gave Heero a sympathetic look. "Ah, sure."

Quatre opened the gates for her and all six of us when down to greet her. I glanced up at Zech's face o see how he felt about the whole thing, about his sister showing up here, but as I should have suspected, it was totally void of any emotion. I would have to talk to him later that night when we could be in private.

The front door opened and in swept Ms. Pinkie herself with four bodyguards. She gave Quatre a warm smile and a handshake before launching herself at her brother. I just stood back and watched, feeling very much out of place as I worried what her presence meant for my relationship with Zechs.

"Mi-Zechs! Its been so long," she said into his shoulder.

Zechs patted her back. "Only a few months, Relena."

She stepped back and straightened her pink suit and fixed the strand of pearls around her neck. "A few months too long, dear brother." She turned to Heero next and gave him a shy smile. "Hello, Heero. How have you been?"

Heero said stiffly, "I am fine, Relena."

"Oh, that's good." She blushed and looked up at him through lowered eyelids. "I, um, I'd like to talk to you about those very . . . nice gifts some time, okay?"

Quatre and I snickered uncontrollably, Wufei looked confused and a little upset, and Zechs asked, "You've been sending gifts to my sister?"

Heero shook his head almost frantically. "I have no idea what you're talking about Relena."

I coughed and said through a bunch of giggles, "I'm sure it is all just a misunderstanding, Heero."

Relena said a brief and neutral hello to Wufei and Trowa, and then when it was my time, she took a deep breath. "And I see that you're still here, despite all of your . . . problems."

Okay. I was gonna ignore the fact that she was implying that I had other problems besides the stalker business because of the simple fact that I was hoping that her brother would, one day in the future, screw my brains out. "Yep. It'll take more than a raving lunatic to get to Duo Maxwell, that's for sure."

"Ah, Relena," Quatre said in his polite, business like fashion. "As nice as it is to have you here, can I ask why . . ."

"Oh! I'm terribly sorry! I wanted to surprise my brother with a visit, but my plane was supposed to arrive here much earlier," she said. "To my understanding, there were some weather problems or something, so we were delayed. I just got into the city and I just wanted to see him so much . . ."

Yeah, and I wanted to hurl so much, but you didn't see me doing it. A warning call would've been really nice.

"I hope you don't mind," Relena continued. "It's late, and I was hoping that I might be able to stay here tonight?"

I wanted to scream. I really did. But Quatre, being so polite and hospitable, just had to say, "Of course you can stay the night. Let me take you to a room upstairs."

Wufei and Heero (the smart and lucky bastards) took this as a signal and made their excuses. In ten seconds they were out of the door, in their car and on their way to freedom. Take me with you . . . take me with you!

The bodyguards brought in about ten bags full of stuff (for one night?) and as we all went up the stairs, Relena asked, "Can I stay with my brother tonight? Is that fine?"

Ohhh buddy. She would not be happy to hear about the fact that--

"Relena, I sleep in Duo's room."

Zechs was a brave man. Really. Such a brave man.

Relena stopped in the middle of the hallway, and consequentially, so did the rest of us. She slowly turned to look at him. "Excuse me? I don't believe I heard that correctly."

"I sleep in Duo's room. It is safer that way, in case the stalker tries anything, I would be there to stop him."

Relena took a deep breath and fluttered her eyelashes in disbelief. "Oh. Well . . . oh. I see." Uh, no, she didn't, that was obvious. "Well. Well. I, oh, well. I see. Well--"

"Isn't the one next to Duo's free?" Trowa suggested. "How about that?"

Relena nodded. "Yes, that would be nice. Thank you."

I opted to stay in the doorway as everyone else flooded into the room, ensuring that everything was up to the princess' standards. I scoffed as the bodyguards began to put away her things because one, she had two good arms and two good legs and could very well do it herself, and two, if she was only going to be here the one night, then she didn't need to unpack in the first place--the later part made me very nervous.

What was she really doing here? And how convenient was it that she appears in the area just when Rankin gets his hands on a rental car? But she said that she hadn't gotten in until just now, so . . . Unless she sent someone ahead to make the transaction? That was entirely too possible. And now she was here in the house, which gave her the perfect chance to hold a pillow over my face and--

"If you would excuse us," Relena pulled Zechs over to the side. "I would like to speak to my brother alone."

Zechs cleared his throat. "I cannot leave Duo alone, Relena, so he'll have to stay."

"I'll just . . . go into the bathroom." Quatre and Trowa followed me, and the three of us sat there with the fan on, looking, in my opinion, really stupid. After about five minutes, I was getting curious and my butt was getting cold from sitting on the toilet seat. I scooted over to the door and put my ear near the crack. Hey! Can you blame me? More than likely, I was gonna be the topic of the situation, so I might as well know what was being said about me.

"DUO!" Quatre hissed.

"What? I want to know if she's poisoning him against me or something," I said defensively.

Quatre sighed . . . and then joined me by the door.

" . . . come back . . . when . . . over?" This was Relena.

"I . . . know. I . . . like . . . here."

"What about . . . Don't . . . still . . . love--"

LOVE? STILL LOVE WHO?! I pressed my ear even closer, and my wide eyes met Quatre's own shocked ones. I guess our startled expressions interested Trowa, because he dropped to the floor and put his ear near the crack too.

" . . . told you . . . after seeing . . . with him."

" . . . wasn't like that!" Relena exclaimed loudly.

"Maybe so . . . still would've . . . over anyway. I will not . . . back with . . ."

"Mi-Zechs . . ."

" . . . will always . . . special to me . . . but . . ."

" . . . still loves . . . you."

Oh, hell, I couldn't listen to this anymore. I pushed away from the door and slumped against the sink counter. What did this mean? Zechs had been involved with someone before he left Relena's services? And this person still loved him? Did Zechs . . . did Zechs return those feelings?

Quatre put a supportive hand on my back. "Duo, we didn't hear everything, so don't jump to conclusions. Besides, it sounds like Zechs is through with that other person, so I don't think you have anything to worry about."

That was a little comforting to hear, but I still wasn't too sure.

I guess that's what I get for eavesdropping, huh?


Relena was finally tucked in for the night, Tro and Q had gone back to their room and Zechs was sitting on the cot, and I was on the end of it, watching him brush his hair.

The door was locked? Check. Okay.

I leaned in and gently kissed his mouth, taking the brush out of his hand and tossing it onto the floor. He sighed against my lips and fiddled with my braid before pulling away. "We can't," he whispered. "My sister is next door."

"Sorry, sorry. I just . . ." I ran my hands through his hair and smiled. "With Heero here and then your sister coming . . . I'm just accustomed to touching you more, kissing you more. You know."

"I do know."

"I, ah, look, I'll be on my best behavior now that Relena's here," I said. "I promise. I know that this must be very uncomfortable for you, so I won't make it any worse."

"Thank you. I know that she can be difficult at times."


"And . . . I think it would be best if I slept on the cot tonight."

I frowned--he hadn't slept there since the night of that horror movie. I liked having him in my bed, close to me, protecting me. But despite all that, I had promised to be on my best behavior, so I took a really, really, really deep breath and said, "Okay. If you think so."

My disappointment must've been written all over my face because he leaned in and placed a sweet kiss on my lips.

"I'll make it up to you later," he said huskily, the sparkles in his eyes telling me that he meant every word of it.

"You'd better, buster." I climbed up into my bed and turned out the light. "Goodnight, Zechs."

"Goodnight Duo."


The next morning, it was just me, Zechs and Relena sitting at the kitchen table having breakfast. Trying to pretend that it was just like all of the other mornings even though Relena was here, I piled three donuts, a bunch of grapes and an orange slice onto my plate and filled up a glass of milk. "What would you like, Zechs?"

"Are there any more of those sprinkled donuts?" he asked from behind the morning paper.

I looked at my plate--there was the last one. I sighed dramatically and rolled my eyes, handing it to him. "The things I do . . ."

Relena looked quite appalled at the breakfast we were having. She stood in the middle of the kitchen wearing a bright pink bathrobe over light pink pajamas and her hair was pulled on top of her head with, you guessed it, a pink scrunchie thing that girls wear. There was even pink stuff on her face, underneath her eyes and on the bridge of her nose. I wanted to inform her that other colors existed in the universe, but I had promised to be on my best behavior.

"Is that what you all are eating for breakfast?" She scrunched up her nose.

"Yep," I said, sitting down next to Zechs and taking the section of the paper that had the comics. "Help yourself."

"But . . ." She looked around helplessly. "Doesn't Quatre have a chef?"

"Ah, no. He's a private guy, doesn't want a lot of people all up in his business," I explained.

"But I don't cook," she said blankly.

Hahaha. Then she was going to starve. "Join the club, cuz neither do I."

She took one of the donuts and forced herself to eat it. "Oh god, I don't want to see my hips after this," I heard her whisper.

Zechs raised an eyebrow at her. "There is fruit in the refrigerator."

But of course she knew that, because she'd seen me take some out of there just moments earlier. I snickered and buried my face in the funnies section. "You don't have to make excuses if you want to eat a donut."

Her face turned red and she tossed the rest of the treat into the trash can. "What do you know?" Then she dug around for the fruit and sat down on Zech's other side with a bowl full of it. "I asked you, Zechs, whether you were eating properly, and it doesn't look as if you are. What do you usually eat?"

"Take out," he said honestly.

"Take out? Well, that is most certainly not healthy!" she said as she gave her brother a disapproving look. "I will speak to Quatre about getting a chef. If he is screened properly, then I'm sure that there will be no problems. Now, for dinner, I insist that something is cooked here in this house."

My mouth fell open. "And . . . ah, just who will be doing the cooking?"

She smiled sweetly at me. "You are, of course!"

"Me?!" I blinked rapidly. "Why me?"

"Because Quatre and Mr. Barton are working all day, my dear brother is also working, I am a guest, so it is not my place to cook, and you are not doing anything from what I can tell. Therefore the logical conclusion is that you should have to do it."

What the . . . why did she think that she could come into this house and tell me what to do? Underneath the table, Zechs squeezed my leg gently, which was good because I probably would've gone off on her if he hadn't. Since I very well couldn't say what I wanted to say to her, I instead let out a sigh and muttered, "Fine. Okay, I'll cook. But don't say I didn't warn you."

Relena clasped her hands together and smiled. "Great! I'm sure that everything will be fine!"


Later that night, Relena, Quatre, Trowa and Zechs all sat around the kitchen table as I brought out a pan full of spaghetti sauce that I'd made earlier that day. They all had noodles on their plates--that had been simple enough to cook, and now it was time for me to dish out the sauce.

Now, don't get this whole thing wrong, okay? Messing up on purpose woulda been way too easy, but I made a good faith effort to make this stuff, honestly! The recipe that I'd printed from the internet had looked easy enough, but as I looked down at it, it became quite clear that something had gone wrong.

I grinned and went over to Relena first. I took the ladle, scooped up some of the gunk and slapped it down on her plate like those cafeteria women always did on television and internally cackled wickedly as her face screwed up in horror for a slight second before she remembered her manners.

I went around and gave everyone their helping, and then put some onto my plate.

Quatre poked at one of the meatballs with his fork, looking as if he half expected for it to jump back at him. "Um, is the sauce supposed to be this greenish-orangey color?"

How the hell was I supposed to know? I turned to Relena and said, "Why doesn't the guest of honor try it first?"

Relena cautiously took a spoon and sipped at some of the sauce . . . and then she got this totally constipated look--it took all of the willpower in my body not to laugh. "Oh!" She coughed and downed her entire glass of water. "Oh! Well, this is, ah, a very interesting take on spaghetti sauce, Duo. Yes, very . . . interesting."

Trowa ate a spoonful and shuddered. "You mean an utterly disgusting take on spaghetti sauce."

Zechs snickered and patted his sister on the back as she continued to cough and shudder.

Since we'd just about reached a consensus that the stuff was just un-eatable, we all pushed aside our plates and just stared at each other.

"Oh, now what will we eat?" Relena cried. "It's getting late, how will we--"

Trowa leaned back in his chair and smirked. "Don't worry. The second I heard that Duo was cooking I ordered for some real Italian."


Relena had been pleasantly surprised at the quality of the take out and ate a heck of a lot of it, while muttering under her breath about having to work out immediately after words the entire time. She'd even asked what the name of the place was and then had ordered one of her people to find out if there was one near the palace.

I was growing a little weary when nightfall came and she still hadn't packed her bags. About then I realized for sure that she had no plans to go anywhere anytime soon. Before Relena had a chance to go upstairs for the night, I pulled Quatre aside and said, "Does she have to stay next to me and Zechs? He won't let me touch him with his sister next door."

Quatre frowned. "Well . . . I guess I can do something--"

"Good! Move her--now!"

So Quatre used the fact that this other bedroom way down the hall had a special jet tub and pink striped wallpaper to entice her to move into it, and now Zechs and I were a full three bedrooms away from her.

This seemed to be more acceptable to Zechs, because as soon as I closed my bedroom door, he swept me off of my feet and over to the bed. It bounced horribly and smacked the wall a couple of times as we fell onto it, which made me really thankful that Relena was not next door anymore.

"Whoa there, Daddy! What's gotten into you?"

He began kissing at my neck. "Haven't you heard? Tomatoes are aphrodisiacs." My shirt was gone before I knew it.

I giggled. "They are so not!" I considered that for a second, because now he was really going at it. "Um, or are they? Were you being serious?"

"Shut. Up."

Well okay.

We worked hastily on his shirt and flung it into the air, where it caught itself on the ceiling light. Our lips met fiercely and my bare chest arched up to meet his. The passion flowed freely between our bodies. I felt as if I would never get enough of his kiss or his touch--

"Goodnight WHOOPS!" Quatre came into the room, caught sight of us on the bed and back out faster than I could blink. Then he knocked softly and said, "I'm sorry. Can I come in?"

Zechs was chuckling into my shoulder, but I didn't think it was very funny. Here I was, a young and virile handsome man in a relationship with this great guy who had a body to die for and we hadn't done anything below the waist. Yes, I was getting a little frustrated. Sexually, if you don't know what I mean.

I slid from underneath him and went to the door. "Yes, Quatre, what do you want?"

He gave me a worried look. "Hang on, I'll be right back."

I kicked at the wall and waited for him to return, which turned out to be a whole ten minutes later. Then he rushed into the room with a bag in his arms and pulled me into the bathroom and turned on the fan.

"I thought that you'd learned how to knock!" I exclaimed.

"Sorry, but I figured that since Relena was here, you two wouldn't be getting up to anything." Q dumped the contents of the bag on the counter and I just about died.

"Are you crazy?! What do you think you're doing--"

Quatre gave me a very serious look. "The two of you looked as if you were about to get hot and heavy, so I thought I'd give you some of these." He gestured to the three boxes of pre-lubricated condoms.

"For your information, I don't really think we'll be using those with his sister under the roof," I grunted.

"Well, she won't be here forever . . . hopefully," he added as if it were an after thought. "And you two are going to do it eventually, so you should be prepared."

"Well . . ." I scooped them up and dumped them into a drawer. "Thanks I guess."

"No problem."

"You and Trowa use them?" I asked curiously. "I mean, do you really need to? Because--"

"Oh, actually I bought these not too long after Zechs arrived. For you." Quatre grinned. "Once I saw the way that he stared at your ass and the way you drooled over him . . . well. I thought that it would be best to be safe than sorry.

"Although . . ." The grin on his face slowly vanished. "I really think that you and Zechs should slow down. I'm a little concerned that you guys may be rushing it a bit. It's only been . . . what? Two months?"

"We haven't even talked about sex," I replied honestly.

"Maybe you should. It would be nice to know where he stands on the issue."

"You're right, as usual. Thanks again."

"Don't mention it. Just think about what I said." Quatre left with a wave to Zechs.

The man was lounging on the bed, looking very sexy with his shirt off and pants loosened. "What did he want?"

I made sure that the door was actually locked this time and crawled onto the bed, dropping myself across Zech's body. "He wanted to give me some condoms," I said bluntly, figuring that now was as good a time as any to bring up the topic.

"Condoms?" He placed a hand on my chin and tilted my face up so that I was staring in his eyes, which were filled with seriousness. "Do you think that we'll need those anytime soon?" He said this very slowly and cautiously.

I figured that this was his way of basically asking me whether or not I wanted to have sex him. "Well . . ." I smiled at him and ticked his face with the end of my braid. "I hope so."

He released a big breath, and I wasn't sure if that was a good thing.

"What? What does that mean?" I demanded quickly. "I'm ready if you are. I mean, I'd like to be with you that way--"

"Duo. Hush." The stroked the top of my head gently. "Are you sure?"


We kissed, and for a moment there I thought that we were gonna do it right then, but eventually he pulled away and dropped down onto the cot. I whimpered like a puppy. He just laughed.

"Later, when I have a chance to make it just right."

To be quite honest, it didn't really matter to me whether or not it was perfect or just right . . . just as long as it was with him.


Unfortunately, he and I didn't really have a chance to get busy for an entire month, because his sister (the free loader) was still living in the mansion!

Ahhhhh!!! The horror and injustice of it all!

One night had somehow turned into thirty something of them, and I was really fed up with having her around for the simple fact that Zechs and I were no longer free to make out all over the house. Actually, we barely made out at all!

Quatre refused to kick her out because it wouldn't be polite, she didn't understand (or pretended not to understand) my not-so-subtle hints about getting out and finding a place of her own to live. The woman just did not care. And just about every day, she and Zechs had a "private discussion" no doubt about either me or him returning to her services and to his former (FORMER!!) lover. I was as nice as I could be, but there was only so much that I could take.

So one cloudy Friday evening, Zechs, his sister and I sat quietly in the living room. They were watching television on the couch. As for me . . . I was curled up in an arm chair alone, pretending to surf the net on my laptop while actually shooting daggers at the back of the princess's blond head. My eyes were on the way to being permanently squinty-like when a soft chime alerted me to the fact that I had a new e-mail.

I logged into my account--it was from Quatre. Good, now I could send one back ranting about how much I--

Hello, what was this?

Grace Park
Big Oak
0909 8:30P

Uh, yeah. That didn't sound like Quatre.

"Zechs," I said urgently. "September 9th at 8:30 p.m."

He looked over his shoulder at me. "What?"

"It's Rankin. He wants me to meet him--"

Zechs was out of his seat and at my side before I could finish the sentence. "Grace Park? Where is that?"

"Downtown. Really big, really nice, with a really big oak tree smack dab in the middle of it," I said. "That's in . . . what? Less than a week?"

Zechs' eyes narrowed dangerously. "Don't worry--we'll be ready."

[interlude] [chap. 15] [back to Singles a - k]