Mara stares at the closed door, trying to understand what just happened. She makes a face, disturbed, as her brain recognizes the taste in her mouth. Coppery, but oddly pleasant. Blood.
Her body flushes hot with embarrassment as her memory returns in disconnected flashes. She’d crawled onto Kylo’s lap, that’s the last distinct thing she remembers. Everything else is fuzzy, like her brain was completely disconnected from her actions. She’s never felt that way before, not even while drunk. It’s disorienting.
She crawls off the bed, trying to ignore the lingering evidence of her arousal. Her embarrassment only grows as she admits what would have happened, had Kylo not tossed her off of him. She shoves her feet into her shoes, leaving the room. The door clicks shut behind her before she realizes she doesn’t have a key.
Mara’s half expecting Kylo to be in the hallway, but he’s not. She wanders without a destination in mind, just wanting to clear her mind. What had happened to her? It was like all rational thought took a vacation. She’d practically been grinding on him… She groans and walks faster. Maybe she can leave her humiliation behind, if she just moves quickly enough.
The elevator takes too long for her liking, and she ends up using the stairs. Mara pounds down them, slamming her feet into the steps. When she reaches the bottom landing, the rain sounds loud outside. She doesn’t even hesitate. A few steps out the door, and the storm is absolutely drenching her.
She stops, standing there and bizarrely enjoying it. She hadn’t even realized how hot her skin is, she feels feverish. The cold raindrops are refreshing, and she turns her face up with a sigh.
“What are you doing?”
She freezes at Kylo’s voice before turning around to spot him, only a few steps away near the building. He’s absolutely soaked from the rain himself, his hair plastered down. The water runs in rivulets down his bare chest, and she notices he hadn’t even bothered to put shoes on. Had he been in that much of a rush to get away from her, that he’d ran outside half dressed?
“What are you doing?” Mara retorts.
“Nature’s version of a cold shower,” he replies sarcastically.
“Well, same,” she answers, rolling her eyes and turning away.
“It defeats the purpose if you’re out her with me, while I’m trying to avoid you,” Kylo points out.
“Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you had dibs on the parking lot,” Mara snaps.
Thunder claps overhead, and the rain gets heavier. Still, it reminds her of when she was a child. Her mother would let her dance in summer rain storms, only encouraging her as she twirled through puddles like a ballerina. She sighs, looking back at Kylo when he doesn’t answer her.
She struggles with reading his expression, with identifying the emotion he's holding back. He lifts a hand to shove his soaked hair back from his face, staring at her confrontationally.
“I’m sorry,” Mara admits. “I didn’t mean to do that.”
“I know. That’s why I walked out,” Kylo explains. “I wasn’t going to keep it together, not when you were so…” he trails off, looking away.
“So what? What was that?” she asks, drifting closer to him. She feels better now, strangely. Apparently standing in a storm in the middle of the night was just what she needed.
Kylo only shrugs, the motion causing water to drip from the tip of his nose. “You know what it was.”
Mara doesn’t bother to hold in her incredulous laughter. She laughs like he’s made the best joke she’s ever heard. “No, I don’t! That’s the entire problem, I don’t know anything, I don’t understand anything-”
“I told you what’s happening already, you just want to deny it,” Kylo cuts her off, irritated.
“What-That I’m what? Born to be a werewolf?” she argues, incredulous.
“The human side of you lost control,” Kylo explains. “I guess at least the wolf has decided how you feel about me…”
Mara scoffs, but can’t find motivation to continue the argument. As much as she hates to admit it… There was something else that had taken over. Something that didn’t care about anything but Kylo and that feeling he stirred in her. What was that? It seems distant to her now, and she still can’t identify the proper word for it.
Kylo crosses the last bit of space between them, and she spots the marks she’s left in his shoulder. A crescent of red imprints from her teeth, where she apparently broke the skin. She stares at it in disbelief.
“I’m sorry,” she repeats, giving him a horrified look. “I can’t believe I bit you that hard, I’m so sorry.”
Kylo laughs, surprising her. A small smile twists the corners of his lips. “It’ll be gone by morning. No worries.”
“Do you heal faster or something?” Mara asks skeptically, still frowning with guilt.
“Something like that, yeah,” he confirms.
“Of course you do…” she mutters. The rain is letting up a little, reduced now to a steady drizzle. The storm seems to be moving past them.
“I’m not handling this well, am I?” Mara asks suddenly, before laughing at herself. She probably doesn’t need to ask that. She's been stubborn and relatively useless, that much she's sure of. She's going to need to do better, and apparently that starts with believing Kylo's theory about her.
Kylo’s dark eyes survey hers, a humorous glint lighting them up. “No. You really aren’t,” he teases.
She sighs. Kylo shifts his attention over her shoulder, his eyes raking along the trees that surround the parking lot. “We should head in,” he suggests.
“I’m in a mood where if this asshole doesn’t back off, I’m going to murder him,” Kylo explains.
Mara’s eyebrows shoot up in confusion, and she turns around to search where he is looking. She doesn’t see anything. Just the foggy lights of the lot, and cars with misty windows. The woods are dark beyond. “Is someone out there?” she asks.
“Someone’s been out there, but he’s getting closer,” Kylo says tersely. “Maybe he wants his throat ripped out.”
Mara sighs with frustration, throwing her hands up in the air. “Could you please FUCK OFF!?” she shouts at the trees.
“Wow. Why didn’t I think of that?” Kylo drawls sarcastically.
Mara rolls her eyes again, turning to head back to the building. “Come on.” She snags Kylo’s arm, attempting to pull him back to the door. But he doesn’t move a muscle, staying put stubbornly. His narrowed eyes are locked onto the trees, tracing whatever threat he sees that she can’t make out.
“We aren’t leaving a breadcrumb trail of dead bodies, come on,” Mara insists.
Kylo gives a growl of frustration before yielding, letting her tug him towards the door. She feels guilty as they slink up the steps, for mucking the place up. Water is dribbling from her soaked strands and clothes, landing all over the carpeting.
She grabs the towel she used before as soon as they enter the room, attempting to dry off. Then she digs through her suitcase yet again, searching for something to change into. “Maybe next time we should get two rooms…” she thinks out loud.
“I’ll be fine, as long as you behave,” Kylo mutters defensively. But she notices he shuts himself into the bathroom when she turns away to peel her wet shirt overhead.
Mara wrings out her hair before giving up and laying down to sleep. She doesn’t even care that it’s still damp. She’s exhausted, and it’s already too late. As it is, they’re not going to get much sleep before morning comes. She falls asleep listening to the shower running through the bathroom door.
Hazy morning light brightens her eyelids, and Mara burrows her face deeper into the pillow. She feels warmth behind her and shifts backwards, her sleepy brain content to feel his solid chest against her back. Sleep fights to reclaim her, and she fidgets, subconsciously seeking to press herself to Kylo more firmly.
“If you keep wiggling your ass against me, I can’t be blamed for my actions,” Kylo complains, voice sleepy, from somewhere above her head.
Mara just murmurs a nonsense noise, fighting the pull of consciousness. She wants to sink back into sleep, but the blankets have shifted off her at some point in the early morning. The skin of her arms is chilled, and she tugs at the sheets to pull them up higher.
“Mm cold,” she whines.
Kylo wraps his arm around hers, and his skin feels nearly hot. She sighs happily, even as she starts to wake up more. The sun is getting brighter, the curtains at the window doing almost nothing to filter it. She feels Kylo nuzzling into her hair, his breath stirring it against her neck.
It sends shivers dancing along her body, and she makes a quiet noise of pleasure at the sensation. “Good morning,” Kylo greets softly.
His arm tightens, locking both of hers against her waist. She presses her hips back against him on impulse, a reaction to the feeling of his arm pinning hers. Kylo groans softly in response, rolling them a bit so he’s shifted partially on top of her. His weight presses her down to the mattress. Mara wakes up fully but doesn’t move, wanting to stay like this but knowing she shouldn’t get carried away. She doesn’t want a replay of the previous night…does she?
Kylo takes the opportunity, releasing her arms to pull her hair aside. He bends down, his lips finding the back of her neck, teeth grazing dangerously. Mara tenses, worry creeping into her mind for a moment. But he trails kisses, working his way to the sensitive spot near the crook of her neck. She relaxes, eyes fluttering back closed when his lips close on her skin to suck, releasing with a light nip.
Mara plants a hand on the mattress to turn herself, working her way more fully underneath him. His weight on top of her is turning her on, his teeth teasing at the same spot on her body where she’d bit him. She shouldn’t be doing this, she thinks. It is too risky. But it feels good, his mouth marking her neck up, his hips pressing his arousal against her.
Kylo covers her hand with his, pushing it down into the sheets as he props himself on top of her. She uses any bit of leverage she can find to press up against him, urging him on, only for his hips to crush hers back down. A soft sound slips through her lips, taken aback by how much she likes this simple pressure between them. He pulls his lips from her skin, his fingers interlacing with hers.
“Fuck,” Kylo rasps, burying his face against her neck once more, and breathing deeply. “I want you…”
His admission makes pleasure twist deep inside of her, and she has to bite her tongue. Any number of dangerous things could slip out if she were to speak right now. Things she couldn’t take back, that would push them both over the edge. She holds onto restraint, refraining from bucking her hips up into his.
Mara knows what she should say. That they should stop, that they should get out of this bed and get going. But she doesn’t, prolonging the heat of his body covering hers, his warm breath on her neck. She doesn’t want it to end.
Kylo seems to get it together before her, pulling himself up. “I'm already sick of cold showers,” he grumbles, rising from the bed.
She turns to see him, a soft smile breaking out on her face at his grumpy expression. His hair is wild, eyes puffy with tiredness. “I’m sorry…” she mumbles half-heartedly, tugging the sheet up to hide the lower half her face.
He narrows his eyes. “No, you’re not,” he says, stretching. “You tease.” His voice is humorous, despite his attempt to sound annoyed, and her smile grows.
Mara does her best to avoid staring at the crotch of his shorts, at the evidence of his arousal. She forces her eyes up to the ceiling, trying without a bit of success to get her mind out of the gutter. She apparently woke up with her mind in the gutter, and it was there to stay. Now she knows how Erica must feel. “Well the sooner we check out, the sooner we can get coffee,” she points out, trying hard to change the subject.
“Now you’re speaking my language,” Kylo agrees.
Later that Morning
They stop at a diner for breakfast, when it becomes clear that Kylo’s cranky mood is not going to improve without caffeine. Mara is quickly learning he isn’t much of a morning person, and unfortunately she’s not much better. She didn’t get enough sleep, and there is a background level of anxiety any time she thinks about what they are running from.
She works on eating as much of her waffle as she can, drowning it in syrup and butter. Kylo downs his third cup of coffee, his eyes finally seeming to brighten up. The diner isn’t very busy, probably because it’s a weekday and most people are at work. There’s some older couples scattered in the booths, and a mom with two kids.
Mara turns her attention to the television over the bar, watching some commercial for a medication transition into a morning news show. The anchors are dragging on about something, but the volume is on mute. Mara is too lazy to read the captioning, about to look away, when the image changes.
Her mouth falls open, still partially full of waffle, at the video being shown on the television. She shoves it back closed, only to clap a hand over her lips instead.
The video is of her city, showing the street downtown that the sheriff’s station is situated on. It shows a monstrous wolf, the very same wolf that had chased them as they fled the station, staggering down the road. Blood drips from its wounds, a crumpled police vehicle in back of it. The view shakes spastically when the wolf freezes, its eyes seeming to stare straight into the camera. The cell phone video then cuts off, as whoever had been filming must decide to run.
The news show replays it a second time, and Mara smacks out blindly for Kylo’s arm. “What?” he asks, confused. When he follows her gaze towards the television, he notices the video.
“Well, that’s not good,” he remarks, grabbing a piece of bacon off a plate.
Mara finally forces the food in her mouth down with a painful gulp, taking a sip of water when her eyes water. “Not good?” she repeats. “That’s a fucking disaster.”
Kylo shrugs. “They’ll find some way to Bigfoot it.”
“You know. They’ll get an expert to come in and say it’s fake,” he explains, unconcerned.
Mara stares at him a moment longer, unable to understand how he is so calm about everything, before glancing back at the television. Her eyes widen in horror at the sight of her own face.
“We need to go,” she whispers urgently. The captioning beneath her face is flashing too fast for her to read everything, but she gets the gist of it. She’s been reported missing.
“I’m not done eating,” he protests.
“Look at the television,” Mara hisses under her breath, eyes darting around the diner. Nobody seems to have noticed her presence, and the resemblance to her portrait now displayed on the screen. But she’s suddenly incredibly paranoid.
Kylo looks back up at the television, before the surprise registers on his face. “Fuck.”
He stands, fishing his wallet out of his jeans pocket to drop some bills onto the table. Mara joins him, and they make a hasty retreat from the diner. “I can clear this up, right? If I just go to the police-”
“I don’t think that’s a good option,” Kylo cuts her off. “The First Order’s probably listening to the scanners. How else would they have found you at the station yesterday?”
Mara climbs into the passenger side of the truck, silently contemplating that. “Great. So I’m just a missing person now.”
“Better to be a missing person, than let the Order find you,” Kylo says, backing the truck out of the spot. They pull out of the diner, leaving it behind to merge onto the freeway. Mara’s lost track of where they’re even headed at this point, but she knows they’ve crossed at least one state line.
“What is the Order, anyway? Are they just some supernatural hunting… club?” she asks lamely, unable to find a better word.
But Kylo shakes his head, reaching down to crank up the AC. The temperature is rising as the summer day pushes closer to afternoon, the inside of the cab warmer than they’d left it. “No. They’re like a cult, I guess,” he answers. “A magic cult.”
“A magic cult,” Mara repeats, tone deadpan.
Kylo makes a face. “I know, it sounds stupid. Their leader says he’s a 400 year old alien.”
“Of course he thinks he’s a 400 year old alien,” Mara retorts sarcastically. “And I’m sure some comet will be circling Earth to pick him and his followers up, any day now.”
Kylo’s hands have tightened on the steering wheel, and Mara notes the sudden tension with a confused frown. “You haven’t seen him…” he mutters.
“And you have?” she asks, surprised.
Mara bites at her lip, not wanting to say the wrong thing. Kylo’s easygoing mood has vanished, so clearly something about their current conversation has him on edge. But she can’t seem to stop herself before the curious question tumbles out between them.
“You weren’t in the magic cult, were you?”
Kylo’s eyes flash over to hers in a glare, his jaw setting. “No.”
She regrets asking immediately. “I’m sorry, I-”
“Just drop it for now,” Kylo snaps, before sighing. “Please,” he adds.
“Sure,” she agrees, turning to look out the window at the scenery flashing by. They sit in silence for a while, and eventually she sees the anger ease from Kylo’s posture. His shoulders relax the longer they drive, until he signals suddenly, pulling over into the exit lane.
“Um, where are we headed?” Mara asks, surveying the road they’ve pulled onto. All she sees are some food places and an outdoors store. Surely, he’s not hungry again already, right? The man ate a breakfast that came on three plates.
Kylo points at the outdoor supply store. “Might as well stock up.”
“On what? Kayaks?” Mara quips.
“Ammo,” he corrects.
She spins around in her seat, confirming that the stolen rifle is indeed shoved under the backseat. She had almost forgotten him stowing it there when they made their escape, the memory lost in the daze of her shock yesterday. It’s barely visible, and combined with the tinted windows wouldn’t be noticeable from outside the truck. Their bags block all but a bit of the stock from view.
“Are we going to need that?” Mara asks faintly.
“In case you haven’t noticed, it takes a lot to stop one of us. If we get a pack on our heels…yeah,” Kylo explains, pulling into a parking spot.
“I don’t know if bullets are even going to work, in that case. Maybe a tank would be a better option,” she remarks, attempting to lighten her own mood with humor. It fails.
Kylo just huffs. “Yeah, I’ll see if they have any of those in stock.” He swings open the door. “Stay here.”
“What, I’m not allowed to go in?”
“You’re forgetting the part where your face was plastered all over the news,” Kylo reminds her, hitting the lock button on the door before closing it. He gives her a shrug through the window, before taking off towards the doors.
Mara groans, leaning back in the seat and closing her eyes. “Can this situation get any more fucked…?” she wonders aloud.