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Walking Contradiction

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Deacon had been back at HQ for a week. His tourist web was running like a champ and new intel poured in everyday. His princess and her...pssh, not a knight, maybe a squire? His princess and her squire had crossed the whole Commonwealth, making little stops here and there, mostly helping out the Minutemen from what he was hearing. They seemed to have a particular hard-on for going against Gunners, too. He didn’t mind. Gave him one less thing to do himself.

One of the caravan guards in the web even passed along a detailed description of her first time firing Mac’s sniper rifle. Thing had completely knocked her on her ass and he’d chortled at that. So fucking cute. She’d be better off sticking to pistols.

No one had reported any hanky-panky between the two, not that he had asked...or cared, of course. From all reports, she treated him like the kid Deacon would always see him as. A little brother type. He didn’t care to examine why he was so relieved at that. Introspection rarely led to good things in his experience anyway.

Dez and Glory had both noticed his improved mood. Dez was immediately suspicious and asked entirely too many questions about his time away from HQ. Glory had looked him over with narrowed eyes, caught a glimpse of a hickey on him (he’d ‘accidentally’ left the top few buttons on his shirt undone) and smirked knowingly at him. He’d grinned at her, waggling his eyebrows and she’d actually laughed and asked him how many caps he’d had to pay to find a girl willing to put up with him for the night.

Good. Let her think he was just out with some whore. Made things easier for him anyway. Plus, he didn’t want her being extra snoopy when Nora finally showed up on their doorstep. He was going to have to tap dance like a bitch to keep shit from blowing up on that day already, he didn’t need her intuition all fired up, too.

He kept kicking around the idea of somehow personally telling Nora about the Railroad. He knew she’d picked up at least one holotape at this point, but she still hadn’t followed the trail. Why? Just too busy, maybe? Or did she not realize yet how useful they could be for her? She clearly needed a nudge, he just wasn’t sure what kind of nudge.

Deacon was scribbling little coded notes about her in his book when a figure slid into his peripheral.

“Hey, D. Bottle came in for you.” Drummer Boy set an old Cherry Nuka-Cola bottle in front of him and wandered off.

His hands twitched imperceptibly. He had a dozen ways messages came to him, but Nuka bottles were always top tier. Easiest, slickest code he’d come up with so far. No one paid any heed to a discarded bottle, after all.

Quantum meant new, basic info. Regular Nuka was high priority new info. Cherry, however, meant new game changing info. Only his top tourists knew the system. Like the one he’d had shadowing Mac. That was another little stroke of genius. He didn’t trust anyone to know just how interested in Nora he was, so he sicced them on the kid instead. Brilliant, if he did say so himself.

He set his notebook in the secret drawer within a drawer and locked it before uncorking the bottle. A scroll slid out onto his hand and he opened it.

Big K checkmate. Ft H.Tiny dancer and co still in play.

Fury rocked through him and he shot up. There was a bang behind him and he heard Glory yelling suddenly. He looked at her for a moment, confused before he realized the bang had been his chair falling backward and onto her foot.

Goddammit. He hated this HQ. Everybody was right on top of everybody else all the damn time.

“Son of a bitch! Deacon, what the hell!” She was hopping over to a desk, rubbing her foot and looking at him with murder in her eyes.

“Yeah, sorry...sorry, Glory. I gotta go.” He abruptly turned away from her and headed for the tunnel, the note still crushed in one fist and the bottle in the other. Glory continued to yell at him and Dez, looking concerned, moved to intercept but she seemed to catch on to what a terrible idea that was and backed off as he stormed past. Good.

He headed out the escape tunnel and slammed the door behind him, chucking the bottle as far as he could and feeling a small sliver of satisfaction when he heard it shatter.

‘Hunting’, she’d called it. How could he have been so fucking stupid? He’d thought she’d hired that brat to show her how to shoot, maybe learn a little Wasteland survival and when he’d gotten info about the kid doing just that, he’d only seen what he’d wanted.

It made perfect sense. Hire a merc to take down a merc. Sonofabitch. He’d assumed. What had the old man once said? Never assume, it just makes an ass out of ‘u’ and me. That was rule number two, right after tell the truth whenever possible. Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. He was screwing up again.

Deacon could have lost her. After all this work, after actually getting to...meet her, it all could have been lost. He stared at his shaking hands, the note still crushed in one and closed his eyes, willing the idea of her laying lifeless in a pool of her own blood away. He breathed deep and focused his mind. She was alive. She’d somehow taken down that bastard. Mac was still with her so she was reasonably safe.

He needed to move. She’d said she would head to Diamond City after her ‘hunting’, but he needed someone in Fort Hagen to investigate the scene. He popped his neck and opened his eyes, feeling slightly more settled and in control.

First, the message had to go. He flipped out his lighter and burned it right there in the tunnel, letting the ashes drop into the filth below. He’d have to at least put out the word that Kellogg had bit it, but he’d hold back who’d done it for now. That could be Nora’s golden ticket in with Dez.

He headed for the exit, already composing a message to his web in his head. Someone had to go check out Kellogg’s body for evidence. He needed to know exactly how and where he’d died and if there was any Institute intel that could be gleaned from his corpse, if Nora had left a corpse. Remembering the rage in her eyes, she may very well have blown him to Kingdom Come for all Deacon knew.

Plant the message in a drop, get to Diamond City and set up camp. He’d have to alternate between security and visitor for a bit, depending on how long it took her to get there. DC officers were dumb, but they weren’t blind. Eventually one of them would notice an addition to their roster.

“Hey, Deac! Wait!” He had a hand on the ladder when he heard Drummer Boy yelling. Shit.

He sighed and turned. Great. More news. “What’s up, pal?”

Drummer held out a bottle. Another cherry. “There was a second bottle. My bad, man.”

Deacon felt a little touch of panic skitter up his spine. Two cherries. That was never good. He gave him a careless kind of smile and accepted it. “No problem, bud. Thanks.”

He watched the other man while he walked back up the tunnel and didn’t drop the smile until he was out of sight. He stared down at the bottle. Something was telling him he really, really didn’t want to open this one, but he did anyway. That was his job, right?

The scroll slid out and he frowned. Same handwriting, same runner. What the hell? Why hadn’t he just added it to the first?

Floating fascists on the move. Incoming.

Deacon suddenly found himself sitting. His knees had given out. Brotherhood. On the Prydwen. Heading east. He shook his head at the note, trying to will the words to change. He’d been hearing rumors from agents in the Capital Wasteland that Maxson was mobilizing but he’d thought for sure he would go West. Rejoin the assholes in California who were so eager to jump on his dick.

If the Prydwen was here, he was here. Why? He rolled his eyes. There was only one reason why. Synths. The Institute and their tech. There was no way the Brotherhood would ever be okay with not being the technological masters of the universe, right? Right.

Shit. Shit fuck shit. Maxon’s merry band of holier-than-thou not-raiders had already made life impossible in the Capital Wasteland and now that asshole was here. He was going to fuck up everything they were trying to accomplish with his typical heavy-handed buffoonery.

A terrible, awful thought flitted through his head. Nora. What if those assholes got their hooks into her? They were organized, powerful...it would be easy to see how she’d be drawn to that, especially if she was still looking for help getting her kid back. Plus, they were soldiers. She’d been a soldier’s wife. It would probably feel familiar, almost comforting, to be in that kind of environment again, right?

Deacon stood and dusted the back of his jeans off, thinking. Okay, he still needed to head to DC, but he also needed to put the word out that everyone was to watch out for the Brotherhood. So...three messages? One, someone still had to check on Kellogg’s body. Two, everybody needed to go full Defcon-2 regarding the Brotherhood. Three, he needed his top infiltrators cosying up to them. Traders would probably be the way to go there. The Brotherhood was forever running out of shit. Their resource management skills had always been wanting.

Ugh, this also meant he was going to have to pilfer some new disguises. Brotherhood fatigues. Great. He hated those stupid jumpsuits.

He still headed straight for DC after making his drops. Deacon felt unsettled, mildly out of control, and seeing his princess alive and well in person would surely calm his nerves a bit, right? Right.

His first night in the city, he was just another well-dressed visitor to the Upper Stands. Fit right in with all the other fakers and the atmosphere in the Colonial Taphouse was far more quiet and lowkey than the Dugout. He wasn’t sure he could deal with Vadim’s booming voice right now.

Anyway, he still got the same rumors. The snobs here might think they were above all that, but man did they run their mouths.

Ann Codman, in particular, was a veritable fount of information. She was ranting up a storm at the next table over about some mess that had appeared for a few days down in the market. Claimed it had ruined her time there. Deacon hid his smirk behind his glass and nodded sympathetically. He was pretty sure she’d ruined everyone else’s time there, but okay.

“...and I told Abbot, it was completely unacceptable! All that filth just lying about! Honestly, what do we pay him for anyway?”

Mrs. Hawthorne, a sweetheart if there’d ever been one born, chuckled. “Now, now, Ann. Abbot’s practically an institution. Anyway, wasn’t he hired by that new girl to clear out Home Plate? I heard it’s previous tenant left it a complete wreck.”

Deacon’s ears perked up a bit. New girl? His new girl?

Ann sniffed, “That’s hardly my problem and I don’t appreciate it being made such. How on earth am I supposed to get all that greasy dirt out of my new dress, Eustance?”

His eyes rolled behind his glasses. Gee, I dunno, you harpy. Maybe try some soap. Fuck. He cleared his throat in a genteel kind of way, “Excuse me, ladies, but did you say something about a new girl in Diamond City?” He gave Mrs. Hawthorne a charming, cheeky kind of smile and she chuckled indulgently at him.

“Always the tomcat, aren’t you, George?”

Deacon grinned. She always recognized him in this disguise, but always only as George. Made things a lot easier. “Yes, ma’am.”

Even Codman’s usual sour face looked amused and she huffed, “Her name’s Nora. Some little vault dweller according to that rag Piper puts out. I doubt she’s your type. She was quite rude to me.” Internal Deacon was screaming with laughter and he hoped none of it showed on his face. Nora was definitely his type and he was dying to know what she’d said to Ann now.

Mrs. Hawthorne frowned a bit at her, “The way I heard it was you were rude to her first, dear.”

Oh ho ho. Caught. Ann’s ears went a bit red and she decided her drink was suddenly delicious. She pointedly ignored them both and Mrs. Hawthorne and Deacon shared a smile.

“She’s a pretty thing. Came by a while back and said hello. My boy talked to her, too. She’s a right charmer.” Her eyes were soft at the memory and Deacon felt oddly proud of Nora, that she had a good sense of who to befriend and who to piss off. “Avery might have given you some competition if he wasn’t already courting the Abernathy girl.”

Deacon didn’t like the idea of her tall, dark and handsome grandson sniffing around his princess, but he let it slide. Kid was over the moon for Lucy Abernathy anyway and she was just as nuts for him from what he’d heard. That particular union was just a matter of time.

“So, she’s available then?” He leaned in close, like they were real confidants.

She smiled at him like he was one of her own, “So far as I know, George. You’d better move quick though. A girl like that won’t stay on the market for long.”

Ann had finally recovered enough to rejoin the conversation, “If she even comes to market. She hasn’t been seen in ages.”

Mrs. Hawthorne waved it off. “She’ll be back. She’s friends with the Wright girls and Mister Valentine. Besides, who wouldn’t want to live here?”

Deacon’s eyes about rolled out of his head but he held up his glass anyway. “Who, indeed?”

 

 

 

Three weeks. He’d been camped in Diamond City for three fucking weeks before she finally showed up, kid still in tow...behind her dog. He snorted at that. Mac was staring at her with something akin to worship by this point and it would have pissed Deacon off in a huge way if she hadn’t seemed to be deliberately ignoring it. She looked tense. Kinda irritated. Not necessarily at the kid, but at something. Huh. He’d have thought she’d be elated still after knocking off Kellogg.

No one else would have noticed, of course. Outwardly, she was vivacious as ever. Charming to a fault, purring her way into lower prices all around the market (in a pretty pink skirt with a badass new jacket over it, no less) while the boy fell all over himself behind her to carry her purchases. Deacon watched from his post, security outfit rendering him all but invisible, and trying to not chuckle.

He wasn’t sure what she’d done to make Mac so besotted, but he was ninety-nine percent sure it hadn’t involved sexual favors. He was trailing after her like some love-struck fool but there was a strong unrequited vibe coming from him that had pre-Deacon grinning. He remembered that feeling. He’d followed her for ages before she finally noticed he was looking to be a whole lot more than just her friend.

Tough nuts for Mac, but Deacon was pretty sure Nora had already noticed and immediately decided to pay no heed. She’d called him ‘a boy’ that morning and it looked like he was going to remain a boy forever as far as she was concerned. Awesome.

They headed into Home Plate for a moment. He frowned at that until they came back out not fifteen minutes later, Mac’s arms empty. Hmm. Just dropping some things off. Good. He watched them head to Valentine’s and wished, for the billionth time, that he’d found some way to bug the detective’s office. They stayed there for quite some time, then Deacon saw all three of them walk out together. Interesting.

They parted ways at Takahashi’s and Valentine headed up the ramp to the gate, her dog going with him. Deacon followed him with his eyes for a moment. The web would need to watch him now, too. Nora said something to Mac that had him nodding eagerly and they trotted off towards the Dugout Inn together. Ah. Drinks. Mac drank like a fish these days. Almost made him sad to see all that potential wasted, but the kid was going through a lot lately. Anyway, drunk MacCready was a lot easier to slip around than sober.

Deacon let about five minutes go by and then trotted up to the gate himself. There was a drop not too far off and he needed to get eyes on Nick before he missed something big happening again.

By the time he got back into the city, it was almost dark. He casually walked around to Nora’s door and knocked quietly but there was no answer. She was probably still at the Dugout. Mac should be nice and properly sauced by now.

He slipped into the bar and slid along the perimeter. Nora and Mac were on a couch a little further back and Deacon easily found a prime spot to camp in for the time being. Yefim looked a little worried at one of DC’s finest being there, but he just nodded at him with an authoritative kind of calm and got a slight nod back. All good so far.

Mac was making an ass out of himself, as per usual. He was telling some tall tale, all big sweeping gestures and ridiculous faces, and Nora was watching him with that cynical kind of smirk she’d given Hancock, only maybe a little softer? Like she liked the kid in spite of himself. Heh. That sounded right.

She seemed a little more relaxed now. She’d taken her hair down from it’s bun and it still held a hint of a curl. Leaning back comfortably against the couch, ankles crossed, skirt just brushing the tops of primly closed knees, a practically untouched beer in her hands. Bored, almost. Her eyes kept scanning the room like she was waiting for someone and he smiled. Him. She was waiting for him. Hoping he’d somehow be here. It had worked. That one night and morning in Goodneighbor had her hooked.

Alright, maybe it had him hooked, too, but that’s how most hooks worked, right? Sure.

Mac was easily on his...jeez, tenth beer of the evening and it wasn’t even hardly night yet. Kid was going to burn his liver out before he was thirty if he kept this shit up.

Deacon strode over, completely committed to the role and moving silently until his shadow loomed over her. Nora blinked at his uniform for just a moment before her eyes widened. Perfect. She knew it was him and she was happy to see him.

He pitched his voice low and assertive. “Ma’am, I’m gonna need you to stand up.”

A tiny ghost of a smile crossed her face before she set her beer down and stood, looking to all the world like a confused, concerned citizen. “Is there something wrong, officer?”

“Just got a few questions. Need you to come with me,” his hand came down on her shoulder and he turned her around. Her hesitation and obvious distress was played to perfection.

Maybe even a little too perfect, since Mac decided to get involved.

“Hey, don’t you know who she is, bozo? Get your da-dang hands off her.” He had a hand on his pistol and was working on getting off of the ancient, sagging furniture.

Deacon scowled, not having to pretend to be annoyed one bit. “Simmer down, son. You don’t want to do something stupid here.”

Mac frowned hard at him, like he could still recognize him just a little and was trying to place his face. Shit. He turned away and focused on cuffing Nora, keeping up the act.

She seemed to sense Mac was close to ruining their fun. “Bobby, honey, it’s fine. I’m sure this is just some silly misunderstanding. Why don’t you get a room here tonight? Just tell Yefim to add it to my tab. I’ll see you in the… ow!” She’d been about to say ‘in the morning’ when Deacon pinched her arm hard. She glared at him over her shoulder for a second before picking up what he was putting down. “Ah...at lunch. I’ll see you here for lunch and then we can head on out, okay?”

Mac was still frowning, still had a hand on his pistol, but he didn’t seem to know how to overrule a command given by his boss. He nodded reluctantly, clearly unhappy. “Fine. Sure. But if you aren’t back by noon, I’m gonna go get Nick and then we’re gonna come get you. You got that, rent-a-cop? She’s got friends.”

Deacon almost snorted. Kid had no idea the kinds of friends she had, but he guessed it was kinda cute how protective he was over her. “Whatever, my shift will be over then anyway.” He jerked Nora’s arm and pushed her ahead of him as they made their way out the bar, her protesting her innocence and him occasionally growling at her to be quiet.

He frog-marched her all the way into the security office. A confused guard looked up at them for a moment and Deacon scowled at him like doing this job was such a pain in the ass.

“Mayor wants this one interrogated. Thinks she’s a synth-lover.” He sneered as he said it and the ignorant slob soaked it up.

The other guard glared at Nora and shook his head in disgust. “Room 2 is open.”

Deacon nodded and dragged her along, impressed at how she kept trying to dig in her heels and her indignant squawking about her rights as a taxpayer. He almost laughed at how well she could play this part and wondered if she’d ever been arrested before...or maybe she’d handled clients that had been? Either way, she was quite the thespian.

He threw open the door and shoved her inside hard enough that she almost fell. As he locked the door and lowered the blinds, she hopped up on the hard stainless steel table, legs swinging free and her head tilted a bit. Calm and cool as a cucumber.

Deacon leaned back against the door and just stared at her for a minute. She was more relaxed wearing a pair of handcuffs than anyone he’d ever seen. Just a trifle thinner than before, too, or maybe she’d traded some of her softness for muscle? He wasn’t sure if he liked that. That twerp had better make sure she ate while they were out and about.

She grinned at him, eyes sparkling. “I like you in uniform. You should wear one all the time.”

He returned the grin for just a second before resuming the game. “You won’t sweettalk your way out of this one, girlie. We’ve got you dead to rights.”

Her grin grew for a second before disappearing under an innocent pout. “But I haven’t done anything, officer! Really!”

Deacon jerked her off the table, turned her over and pushed her flat against it. “Shut up. We have multiple witnesses that say you’ve been seen associating with all manner of undesirables.” He patted her down and ran his hands up her legs and under her skirt, pinching her ass a little when she giggled.

Nora squirmed beautifully on the table, her sneakers unable to find traction on the slick floor, and he held her in place by her cuffs. She tried to blow the hair out of her face. “Define ‘undesirable’, officer.”

He snorted and was glad she couldn’t see his grin. Shit, this was too damn fun by half. He pushed her skirt up over her hips, exposing her pretty pink panties (matched her outfit, how fucking cute was that?) and smacked her ass.

She yelped and glared at him from over her shoulder. “Hey! That’s police brutality! And those are real Calais lace, you know! Just how many pairs of Lise Charmel panties do you think are still in existence, you troglodyte!”

He glared back, “Name calling now, are we? Not too smart, are you?”

Nora arched back a little and wiggled her ass at him. “Smarter than you.”

Deacon rolled his eyes. “Schoolyard taunts? Really?” He made quick work of pulling her panties off and stuffed him in his pocket.

“Hey! Those are mine! That’s theft, you jerk.” She sounded like she might actually be irritated at him.

“That’s evidence, little girl.” He squeezed and kneaded her ass and she huffed a little at him but quit arguing for the time being. God, he’d missed her ass. Missed all of her, sure, but fuck that ass. Huh...speaking of…no. No, dang it. He didn’t have any lube on him at all. Goddammit. Later then. “Maybe you need a little incentive to talk, hmm?” He just barely grazed his finger along her pussy and she shivered under him.

“What...what do you want me to talk about?” Nora was already a little breathless and he loved that. He loved how she seemed to enjoy this little game as much as he did.

He took his hand away and started undoing the straps to the stupid armor these idiot guards wore. Shit got in the way like crazy. She raised her head a little, clearly confused as to why he’d stopped before giggling a little and dropping it back down, occasionally wiggling just a little like she was totally not thrilled to be in this position.

“Well, for one, our sources tell us you took up with a particularly nasty character in Goodneighbor.”

Nora snorted in a dismissive sort of way. “You’re going to have to be a little more descriptive, officer. There’s a lot of nasty characters there.”

He finally got the damn thing unsnapped and tossed it aside before he went to work on his belt. Why’d he worn a belt in the first fucking place anyway? Shit. “This one’s been on our radar quite some time. Sunglasses, tall, handsome…”

She chortled, “Humble?”

He paused to slap her ass for that one and she just giggled harder and for a second he almost broke character and joined in.

“So you do know him?” His pants dropped and he knew she knew from the way she tensed up for just a second.

Nora shook her head, “Not at all. He’s very mysterious, officer.”

Deacon pushed two fingers into her and kicked her feet further part. “Keep ‘em spread, citizen. What else can you tell us about this guy?” God, she felt as amazing as he remembered. Fiery hot and soaking wet just for him. He withdrew his fingers and rubbed her clit.

“He...um...he’s very talented. Sexy. Fucks like a dream…”, she broke off with a moan and panted against the table for a moment. Deacon smirked at the way her hands flexed in their gloves like she was dying to touch him. “I think maybe he...he did something to me.”

His eyes narrowed at that and he removed his fingers to rub his cock against her. “So you’re the victim here is what you’re saying?”

She whimpered and kept trying to scoot back, despite his other hand still holding her down. Her head nodded and she had a perfect pout of the unjustly accused on her face. “Yes, exactly.”

He just barely pushed the head of his cock in just to torture her and moved his hands back to her ass. Thing was magnetic or some shit the way it kept calling his name. He could play with it all day. “So what’d he do to you then?”

Nora was working on hooking a foot around his calf to force him forward. It wasn’t going to happen, but Deacon appreciated the effort. “He’s made it impossible for me to want anyone else.”

His eyes flitted to her face. Not a lie. He felt his ego grow exponentially until it wouldn’t have fit in the building. “Got it that bad, huh?”

She laughed softly and he was surprised that at the self-deprecating edge of it. She really did have it bad and she didn’t want to. Pre-Deacon was throwing a goddamn ticker tape parade in his mind. He’d gotten all the way down to the center of her, somehow. “I can’t help it, officer. He’s all I think about. I look for him everywhere. I even...miss him.”

Shit. That rang true, too. Far too close to real feelings. The game was turning dangerous on him. Ladies and gentlemen, the talking portion of tonight’s show has ended. Deacon leaned up over her, hands on her shoulders gripping hard, and slammed into her pussy as deep as he could go.

Nora cried out at the sudden invasion and one of his hands wrapped around her face to cover her mouth.

His mouth was right by her ear now and he hissed in it, “Shhh. If they hear you, the game stops. Understand, princess?” He felt her nod a little but kept his hand over her mouth. He really, really needed her to not talk for the next few minutes. “Good. Now shut up and take it like the dirty girl you are.” She moaned against his hand and he felt her go limp under him. He ignored the bite of her cuffs and Pipboy in his stomach and started fucking her in earnest, wrapping his other arm around her and roughly groping her breast as he did.

She felt amazing under him, all that soft warmth on the icy cold table. He felt her nibbling at his hand and he slid two fingers deep into her mouth. Gave her something to do other than talking, anyway, and the way she was sucking them was forcibly reminding him of how good her mouth had felt sucking other things. Just made him fuck her even harder.

If he was going to be honest with himself, not that he ever really was, he didn’t even care if she came this time. In fact, part of him almost hoped she wouldn’t. It would just make her that much more hungry later tonight. He rested his forehead on her shoulder as he pounded into her, focusing on nothing but his own quickly approaching orgasm and was pleasantly surprised when she beat him there, gushing out around his cock and bucking under him. Damn. She must really have thought about this a lot while they were apart. He let it carry him over the edge, too, coming deep within her and grunting with the effort to keep silent while he did.

Where was the helpful hand to keep him quiet, hmm?

He slid his fingers back out of her mouth and she kissed his fingertips lightly as he did. Fuck. Too sweet. She was too sweet on him already. No one was supposed to catch feelings, dammit. Deacon braced his weight off her a little so she could regain her breath and his heartbeat would chill out. His cock was still in her but she was still pulsing around it, so that was okay, right? Sure.

He waited until he was sure he’d sound at least passably normal before he spoke, “You alright down there, beautiful?”

Nora’s eyes slid back open and she raised her head just enough to glance at him for a second. “Peachy keen, jelly bean. How are you?”

Deacon chuckled and finally backed up off her. “Pretty good, pretty good. Can’t complain.” He pulled up his pants, buckling them and watching her watch him...and maybe watching the come sliding down her thighs. It was pretty, the way it caught the light. Made her sparkle like the jewel she was.

She smiled at him, “Been a while.”

He smirked back, “Maybe for you.”

Nora huffed with laughter and rolled her eyes. “Oh, right. Your harem of girls. I almost forgot.” She pulled herself back up off the table and stood.

“Jealous, babycakes?”

She shrugged, “Depends.”

He blinked, “On what?”

“If I’m the queen of the harem or not.” He chuckled at her and watched her wiggle a bit, thighs rubbing together. “I’m all squishy... somebody made a mess.” She bounced a little and her skirt finally fell back down over her ass.

“Somebody will clean it up later.” Deacon started buckling the stupid armor back on. Really, it’s not like this shit would even slow a bullet. He had no idea why the hell they wore this crap.

Nora hopped back up on the table, watching him. “Somebody better.”

He grinned at her. Even cuffed, without panties and completely defenseless she was still sassy as hell. He loomed over her, loving that she didn’t so much as flinch. “That almost sounded like a threat, girlie. It’s a bad idea to threaten a Diamond City security officer.”

She chuckled, “Oh, no. I’m so scared!” Her eyelashes fluttered, “So are you taking these  cuffs off me or what?”

Deacon brushed the hair off her face and leaned down to kiss her, “Nah, I think I like you at my mercy like this.” His lips just barely brushed hers and she practically purred under him, melting into the kiss and sliding her tongue into his mouth. His hands anchored themselves in her hair and he stepped between her legs. He wanted to envelope her, keep her safe and sound and attached to him all the time...because she’d be a great agent, right? That’s all this was. The fact that pre-Deacon was already wanting to pick out china patterns that no longer existed wasn’t a big deal. Just a crush. They were always intense. He vaguely remembered his first still. His best friend. He’d been head over heels for her and look how that had turned out. No, this was…

There was a sudden click and he blinked and broke away from their kiss. Nora smirked at him like he was some green mark and brought her hands around, one side of the cuffs undone. Her hands flexed a bit in the gloves.

“God, that’s so much better. My pinkies were going numb.”

Deacon caught the glint of a bobby pin in her hand. How in the hell had she hidden that? “You cheater.”

She laughed, “I’m not a cheater. I’m an alleged criminal, remember? I’m supposed to be shady.” Not to be outdone, he took her bobby pin and undid the lock on the other cuff. She raised an eyebrow at him and looked mildly impressed. Her arms went around his neck and she smiled at him like they were far more than just two ships passing in the night. “Will you be home for dinner, honey bunny?”

Deacon smiled. A new game was already starting. Fantastic. “Yup. Right after my shift ends, sweetheart.”

Nora kissed his cheek, “I’ll be waiting.” She hopped off the table and let herself out of the interrogation room, blowing him a kiss as she left.

It occurred to him a split second later that she hadn’t even bothered to ask how he knew where she lived.