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The only reason Clarke submits a job application to Dropship Publishers is because her meagre savings were quickly running dry and she was desperate. She’s not even sure she might get it; Bellamy might take one look at her name and bin her application immediately which, well, it’s probably what she’d deserve for crawling back to her ex boyfriend for a job.

Still, a small part of Clarke holds out hope. Her resume is fairly modest but she does have some experience in the PA business. She has a college degree to her name, in art, however she did a couple courses in communication studies online. Plus Bellamy knows just how organised she is. He always used to make fun of her spreadsheets. If it was anyone else she’d assume that she had this shit booked.

But it’s not anyone else.

It’s Bellamy .

The guy she dated four years and fucked over because she was going through some shit .

The same guy who went on to found his own publishing company that’s doing pretty damn well in the realm of diverse YA while Clarke is a few months away from being homeless if she doesn’t get a job soon.

Honestly, it could go either way. 

 


 

The thing is, she knows Bellamy is an asshole, but he’s not a dick .

He might hate her but she’s qualified for the job. Over qualified really.

But one week turns into two and she still hasn’t heard back from his office as yet, and yeah, she could cover this month’s rent but next month might be hard and the one after that? Forget about it. Even if she replaced all her meals with ramen she’d struggle to cover it.

God she’s so screwed.

She’d probably have better chances getting a job as a barista at the Starbucks down the street in order to make ends meet. At least the person in charge there isn’t an ex of hers who probably shared her application with his friends to get a good laugh.

 


 

Three weeks later Clarke caves and grabs an application from the coffeeshop while she gets her daily flat white. She takes it back home and leaves it on the table, working up the courage to fill it out, and doesn’t start until midday. She’s halfway through filling it out when her phone goes off, caller ID flashing with an unknown number.

She’s vaguely skeptical when she answers, but as soon as the lady on the other end introduces herself, it all vanishes and she holds her breath, waiting.

She doesn’t quite fist pump when she gets the good news, but she comes close to it.

The joy is able to mask the overwhelming awkwardness of being her ex boyfriend’s personal assistant for at least a little while.

 


 

On her first day at his company, Clarke is met by a cheery woman named Harper who works in HR and gives her a quick rundown as she leads her up to Bellamy’s office. It’s all standard stuff and while she hates to admit it, she sort of tunes out the other woman when she starts talking about scheduling and supply runs.

It’s just that she’s done it before, all of it, and she’s more focused on seeing Bellamy after so long than she was in proper email etiquette or whatever it was Harper is going on about now.

“Mr. Blake is in a meeting right now, but you’re more than welcome to get set up here in the meantime,” says Harper, as she leads her down the corridor to her new desk. It’s just outside Bellamy’s office, panes of frosted glass to her back and a solid oak door just to the left of her.

The building was an old industrial type, filled with lots of exposed brick and dark wood. It’s all very hipster-y and she giggles as she tries to picture Bellamy’s expression when he realized that he unintentionally went with that kind of aesthetic.

Harper left her with a few files as well as instructions on how to set up her new work email, and Clarke does just that before thumbing through the documents to get a feel of what’s going on at the moment. She also snoops through his calendar and reassures herself that it’s not really snooping since she’s his PA and basically has to do that anyway.

His current meeting is scheduled to end at eleven and sure enough when it’s ten past, she hears heavy footfalls that could only belong to a man making its way up the corridor to his office. Clarke sits up straight in her chair, a mask of polite indifference already plastered on her face as she waits for him to round the corner.

Bellamy Blake hasn’t changed much since college.

He’s still all tanned skin and dark hair and too many freckles to count, but now his hair is a bit longer, not quite as messy, looking as though he finally knows what a comb is, and he’s sprouted an unfortunate beard. He’s still tall and muscular though, perhaps more so now, with nice broad shoulders and bulging biceps all wrapped up in a well fitting suit.

Clarke’s glad she mentally prepared herself for this because the sight of him after all these years still manages to make her heart beat faster and leave her mouth annoyingly dry.

He’s just another man, she reminds herself. Just a guy. 5’ 10”, double majored in english and communication in college, went on to make something of himself while Clarke went on one self-destructive spiral after another. It’s been six years and that’s how much she managed to whittle their relationship down to.

She doesn’t let herself think about the other descriptors she could have attached to him. Bellamy, the guy who used to make her laugh until her sides hurt. Bellamy, who made her chocolate chip cookies at 2 am in a shitty communal kitchen. Bellamy, the one who snores so loud that the first night she thought she wouldn’t get any sleep at all but it ended up being the most restful she’s felt in years .

Bellamy, the guy who she used to love.

She buried all of that long ago, moved on from their relationship and she’s certain that he did as well.

Bellamy also prepared himself for the sight of her because even after he notices her sitting at her desk, back ramrod straight, his steps don’t even falter. He keeps his face annoyingly blank as he draws closer until he’s standing right at the front of her.

For a second they regard each other, brown eyes gazing into blue. It’s not long but Clarke still feels like she was being held under water.

“Ms Griffin,” he says, his voice still that delicious rumble that she remembers, “Welcome to Dropship Publishers . It’s nice to have you on board.”

He offers her a hand to shake and Clarke regards him suspiciously, eyes narrowing just a hair. 

He’s being disarmingly polite and it throws her. Clarke was ready for open hostility at the very worst or thinly veiled antagonism at best. The very blasé introduction and genial attitude isn’t something that she gave much thought.

She stands up and takes his hand, giving it a firm pump up and down before letting it drop. She does her best to ignore the warmth of it, the way her hand was completely dwarfed by his. “Mr Blake, thank you so much. It’s wonderful to finally meet you,” she says in a saccharine sweet voice.

He coughs to hide his scoff but she still picks up on it, and Clarke feels a trickle of irritation. 

“Same to you, Ms Griffin,” he says smoothly, shoving his hands in his pants pockets, the only visible sign of his awkwardness in relation to the entire situation at hand. “I trust that Harper gave you the welcoming tour?”

She nods.

“Good. Then I’ll leave you to get settled in,” he says, jerking his head towards his office, “I have some work to finish.”

He takes two steps towards his door, hand already outstretched to grasp the doorknob, when Clarke asks, “Is that it?”

Bellamy freezes for a second and then looks back at her, a furrow forming between his brows. “Is that what?”

She curses herself for being so stupid , for craving some sort of recognition that she’s still under his skin as much as he is. Clarke needs to remind herself that right now Bellamy isn’t just her ex, he’s her boss too. She should quit while she’s ahead.

But, Clarke’s never really had any sense of self preservation so she just digs in her heels and hitches an eyebrow at him. “Is that all you’re going to say to me?” she asks flatly.

“I didn’t realise you needed anything more,” he says, face pinched.

The air between them is thick with tension, the ball clearly in her court now even though Bellamy’s yet to give her a straightforward answer. She has one of two options, either she drops it, ducks her head and quietly goes back to work, or she presses on until she finds the breaking point.

She goes with the latter.

“Why did you hire me?”

“What?”

“Why me? Why did you decide to give me this job?” she asks, crossing her arms. “I mean surely there were other applicants who you didn’t ah-- have a history with.”

“There were,” he says easily, “Loads more that I could have picked instead.”

“So why did you choose me?” she presses further, knowing that she’s toeing the line of professionalism but fuck it, it’s Bellamy . Clarke doesn’t claim to have any rational thought when he’s involved. “My name was on the form. You must have known that I was--”

“The girl I dated in college who broke my heart?” he finishes off wryly.

Ironically, it’s the cavalier tone of voice he takes that makes her wince.

She licks her lips. “Yeah,” she says, low, “That.”

He runs a hand through his hair, sighing, and a lock of it falls over his forehead. It really is much too long, she thinks. Clarke misses the older version of Bellamy, the one who had curls and no signs of a struggle beard. This one is too different, a stranger. 

Although, she supposes after six years that’s what they are now. Just a pair of strangers.

“Despite our… personal issues,” he starts off delicately, ignoring her mumbled ‘that’s one way of putting it,’ “You were qualified. And I guess, with our pasts, I knew that you could handle the job. You were always good at compartmentalizing. Ignoring your true feelings. Figured it would make things easier for you.”

She ignores the subtle insult behind his words. 

“Well, thank you,” she says, floundering a little. “For the opportunity to work here.”

He gives her a curt nod. “Of course,” he tells her before he clears his throat, slipping back into his mask of professionalism. “Have a good first day, Ms Griffin.”

Bellamy easily slips into his office and she waits until she can hear the faint sounds of him moving about-- the roll of his chair against the hardwood, the clack of the keyboard, the muted sound of some podcast, the words unintelligible through the glass wall separating them-- before she drops her head onto the desk in front of her and groans.

Have a good first day her ass .

 


 

Things get easier with time.

After that first day Bellamy doesn’t broach the topic of their past with her and Clarke is more than fine with it. He doesn’t make her hiring into a big deal. In fact, he went out of his way to make it as little a deal as possible. It was kind of insulting the way he barely paid her any attention at the office. He treated her… well, he treated her as though she was just another employee.

Which is fine . Clarke doesn’t want any special treatment just because they were a thing six years ago.

She has been working at Dropship Publishers for a few months now and things were going well. She doesn’t want to jeopardize her job just because she feels like Bellamy is being standoffish. He’s her ex . Of course he’s going to be standoffish.

She’s fine with taking his calls and scheduling his meetings, liaising with staff and emailing reports to him. And yet Bellamy manages to remain remarkably distant even though she spends almost all eight hours of the work day with him.

It’s fine .

“Griffin, did you set up that meeting with Arkadia for next week?” he asks as he stalks out of his office. He’s in a suit, as usual, navy this time and just as well fitting as the rest.

Clarke finds herself following the sharp lines of his shoulders, the bulge of his biceps. It takes her a second to realise he asked her a question and she has to shake herself out of it, cheeks ablaze.

She’s here to do her job, not lust after him in a suit.

“Uh, yeah,” she says, scrambling to pull up the detailed spreadsheet she compiled for him. “I put them in at the 10 a.m. slot next Tuesday.” She hitches a brow and looks over at him. “You know, you have access to this too, right? You could just type Arkadia into the spreadsheet and it’ll pop up.”

Bellamy is squinting down at his phone and takes a second to tap out a text before he responds to her. “You kids and your newfangled technology. You want a computer to take your job, Griffin?”

She barely manages to restrain herself from rolling her eyes, ever the picture of professionalism.

“First of all, you’re only a few years older than me and secondly, you still need someone to field all your calls and enter the data into it, you assho-- ah, sir. Bellamy. Mr Blake.” She fumbles, her face turning red and splotchy in her embarrassment.

Bellamy cocks an eyebrow, a half smirk tugging at the corners of his lips but, mercifully, he stays quiet and lets her almost transgression slide. Clarke on the other hand is rivalling the colour of a tomato.

“I guess you do make a point,” he relents, sighing. He slips his phone back into his pocket and then there’s a microsecond of hesitation before he claps her on the shoulder. “Thanks, Griffin.”

He strides off down the corridor, leaving her both steeping in humiliation as well as glowing with praise.

 


 

The thing is, Bellamy is attractive.

Clarke’s always known that Bellamy is attractive. For fuck’s sake, she dated him. She wouldn’t have done that if the sight of him shirtless didn’t make her mouth water.

(And yeah, okay, maybe his looks were only about ten percent as to why she went out with him. Maybe she liked him because he was the same kind of prickly asshole as her, the guy who made her laugh and feel better when nothing else in the world could. That was in the past , long gone, long buried.)

Of course, being in an office setting where he’s determined to be as professional with her as possible, it means that she hasn’t really seen him shirtless. She hasn’t really seen him in anything outside of his suits but she’s not really complaining.

Bellamy wearing suits is her new kink. Who knew?

There’s just something about it, about him . The way he shows up at the office all put together each morning. Everyday he wears one of his well tailored suits, hair neatly combed back, shirts crisp and smooth. He wears contacts nowadays instead of the chunky glasses he used to have when they were together. Even the beard, as much as she hates it, complements the vibe he has going on, the whole in control, alpha male CEO type that, by all accounts should be cringey, but Clarke just finds it really fucking hot.

It’s hot because the more put together he looks, the more she wants to see him fall apart.

She wants to run her fingers through his hair and muss it all up. She wants to see him shrug off those suit jackets and use his collection of ties for more interesting activities. She wants to feel the rasp of his beard biting against her skin as he parts her thighs.

He calls her Griffin around the office, easy, impersonal, but she wants to have him groaning out her name, gasping on it, the syllables of Clarke becoming a mangled mess in his mouth.

She wants to make him unravel before her.

As far as ideas go, wanting to fuck your ex boyfriend was a bad one.

Wanting to fuck your ex boyfriend who just so happened to be your boss was just flat out terrible .

And yet here she is, daydreaming about it, letting it enter into her subconscious.

Clarke is so fucked .

 


 

Bellamy drums his fingers against the steering wheel, flicking his blinker on so he could manoeuvre into the next lane. He glances over at Clarke who is firmly staring out the window.

It’s been just over six months of working together, working for him. He’s still painfully attractive, but Clarke is managing. She’s able to get by without making a proper fool of herself. Still, sometimes she gets herself into situations where it really tests her limits, like this one.

“Thanks for coming along,” he says, the first words he’s spoken to her since they both got in the car just over an hour ago for their roadtrip.

She gives a half shrug. “It’s my job.”

“Yeah but,” he struggles to find the right words for a minute, “I don’t want to make you uncomfortable. You know, just the two of us, crossing state lines together. Might get awkward.”

He doesn’t flat out say it, but, barring her first day on the job, it’s the first time either of them have acknowledged their situation at hand, and when she peeks at him, she can see the red that crawled up his neck, evidence of his embarrassment.

She mulls it over for a second.

“The only awkward thing here is driving without listening to any music,” she says, trying to lighten the mood. “Come on, Bellamy, only serial killers do that.”

“My bad,” he says dryly, and she knows that he’d roll his eyes if he didn’t consider it dangerous to do at the moment.

She reaches over the console and flicks on the radio. It comes alive with a burst of static and then there’s the soft crooning of some old eighties song. She groans.

He smothers a laugh at her.

Still, she doesn’t complain about it, bites her tongue instead of offering to hook her phone up to the bluetooth and play some music from this century.

“Sorry for, uh, wanting to drive the whole way there,” he says about half an hour later when they pull into a gas station. “I know flying would have been better.”

“It’s fine.”

She gets out to stretch her legs while he refills the tank and ends up wandering through the aisles of the quickshop. She ends up buying them some snacks despite it being a short trip and she tosses it at his lap when she climbs back into the car.

“Got you something,” she says, decidedly not looking at him. If she focused, she could probably make out his expression in the reflection of the glass, but Clarke suddenly comes down with an overwhelming shyness.

It’s one thing to buy your boss snacks on a mini road trip. It’s quite another to buy him a snack that used to be his favourite when you all were dating.

She hears the huff of his disbelieving laugh. “Puffcorn?” he says delightedly, and it’s followed by the crinkle of cellophane as he tugs the bag open. “God I haven’t had these in years .”

“There’s nothing quite like the neon orange cheese dust staining your fingers,” she snorts as she slides the buckle of her seatbelt into place with a soft ‘click’.

Bellamy nods. “It’s a spiritual experience ,” he says dramatically before popping a handful of the puffs into his mouth before he pulls out of the station. It crunches obnoxiously as he chews.

They’re driving from Boston to Maine to meet a client about a new book series, one that Bellamy’s been calling ‘the next Percy Jackson’. It’s probably going to take them just over four hours to get there by car, something that would have been an hour at most by plane.

Clarke doesn’t mind driving, especially when she’s not doing the actual driving. And besides, she knows how much Bellamy needs to be in control of everything all the time. It’s a weird personal quirk of his where he prefers driving, even if the journey is going to take all day.

The meeting with his prospective client is carded for tomorrow at noon at their agent’s office downtown, which leaves them plenty of time to get there. Normally Clarke doesn’t go on these sort of work trips, and neither does Bellamy. He’s the CEO of the publishing company, she’s his assistant. There are people who work for him whose job it is to do these sorts of things. However, since this was such a big deal, Bellamy elected himself to go sort it out and at the last moment he brought Clarke on board because, as he said, she’s organised and has a good eye for detail.

They get to the hotel around midafternoon and Bellamy grabs both of their bags, brushing off her protests.

He’s only being polite, she tells herself, but she still allows herself to watch the flex of his muscles under the thin material of the Henley he wore, reminiscing about how they felt under her touch.

It’s the most dressed down she’s ever seen him since their paths reconverged. She pretends that it’s not doing anything for her.

Bellamy checks in while she excuses herself to use the ladies room, having to elbow past a fair of guests to get there. Apparently there’s a wedding of some sort going on, judging from the overflowing carpark to the line for the bathroom packed with women in fancy dresses.

When she manages to make it back to the lobby, she finds Bellamy frowning, looking down at his phone.

“Did you only book one room?” he asks when she gets closer and then it’s her turn to frown.

“What?”

“When you booked this place last month, did you only get one room?” He runs a hand through his neatly combed hair, messing it up. It dislodges some of his curls and they fall in his face, reminding her of college era Bellamy. “I tried to get another but they’re booked full for some event.”

“I didn’t book the hotel, remember?” She wipes her palms on her jeans, pretending that her heart didn’t kick into high gear at his words. She really does sound way more calm than she actually is. “I was sick that week. You told Murphy to handle it.”

He groans, rubbing his temple. “Fucking Murphy.”

“Fucking Murphy,” she nods. 

Murphy is essentially their office gremlin. Clarke has no idea why Bellamy hired the guy, or what his job was in the first place, but he was there when she got hired and had been there presumably from the start. She thinks he’s an accountant, at least, that’s what it said when she googled him, but John Murphy is a common name so honestly, who knows. He just exists to create chaos and provide an extensive array of one liners as though he is the comic relief in an office sitcom.

Clarke has only fantasized about murdering him once .

Although, after booking one room for them to share, she might have to bump that up to twice .

She clears her throat, not quite looking at Bellamy, instead focusing on a spot over his shoulder. “Well, I think we can handle sharing a room. We’re adults.”

He squints at her. “If you’re sure…” He sounds as though he doesn’t quite believe her.

Honestly Clarke doesn’t quite believe herself, but she still tilts her chin up and looks him in the eye. “I am.”

There’s a muscle jumping in his jaw but he nods. “Okay.”

They have to wait a while for the elevator because of how busy the place is, and when an empty one finally arrives, Bellamy lets her in first, following closely behind her. They’re silent the whole ride up and she makes it a point not to look at him.

It’s just like a dorm room back in college, she tells herself. Just the world’s most unpleasant slumber party. Besides. It’s only for the weekend. By Monday she’ll be back home in her own bedroom, alone, and all this would be forgotten in the past.

They’re on the sixth floor, room 38 at the end of the hall. He scans the keycard against the lock and waits for the light to flash green before pulling the door open for her.

It’s a pretty standard hotel room, a bathroom and closet as soon as you enter, a desk on one side with the TV above it, a standard issue armchair on the other, a bed smack dab in the centre.

A bed. The bed. The one bed.

Behind her Bellamy swears something filthy but she barely pays it any heed, too busy staring at the innocuous queen sized mattress with her mouth partially open.

This just went from awkward slumber party to being a supremely uncomfortable reminder of her ex.

“I’m going to kill him,” he promises. “This time I’m going to actually fire him and strangle him to death before throwing his body in the harbour.”

“You shouldn’t be telling me about your plans, I can be charged with accessory to murder,” is what she finds herself saying when her voice returns.

“Are you okay with this?” he asks, incredulously. It’s the first time since she started working for Bellamy that she’s seen his carefully crafted mask of composure crack, his eyes wild and frenzied, hair a mess from all the times he’s run his hands through it. There’s a tic in his jaw and she has a sudden urge to lean up and bite it.

Clarke blinks, her skin flushing at the sudden thought.

Bellamy’s looking at her with wild, intense eyes, emotion clear on his face. The thought from before persists, developing into something else entirely.

“Of course I’m not okay with this,” she says, her voice coming out a bit shrill, everything becoming too much for her.

She grabs her purse and the extra keycard from his hand before turning on her heel.

“Where are you going ?”

“I need a drink.” She yanks her pony holder out of her hair, wincing when it takes a few strands with it. “ You are going to sort this out. This is your problem.”

“Dammit, princess,” he growls, the old college nickname slipping out and making them both freeze.

Clarke recovers first. “I’m headed to the bar, you’re going to call the front desk and do something. Get a room, get a cot, fuck I don’t care if they just give you extra blankets and tell you to make a nest. Fix it, Blake.”

She slams the door on her way out, ignoring the way her heart’s pounding in her chest right now, the sudden flash of delight when the old pet name left his lips.

The bar is crowded but she manages to snag a seat and orders a glass of house wine, hoping it will help her get her thoughts in order.

Specifically her less than appropriate thoughts about her boss .

It’s not like-- Clake knows that she’s been fighting a losing battle for a while now when it came to Bellamy. He’s hot and she knows it. She also knows that she shouldn’t be thinking of him that way and in fact, she’s made a conscious effort to stop it. But there’s just something about seeing him like she did just now, the way that careful self control slipped and revealed something else underneath.

Clarke’s used to perfectly poised button up Bellamy at the office. He’s charming, and proper, and nice when he’s working. His hair is always neat, shirts always crisp and wrinkle free, suit jacket perfectly tailored to fit him.

Now she sees that mean edge that rests underneath, a slight spark of the king of chaos that he was when they dated, the Bellamy that always has the starring role in her fantasies.

It makes her legs clench together.

She orders another glass of wine despite the fact that it’s not helping her get her feelings straight. Quite the opposite really.

She thinks about the way his hand clenched in frustration when he realised their circumstance. It made his veins and tendons stand out, the flex of his bicep enticing. She wants to feel that on her body, a mean grip on her hip, hands rough on her breasts, fingers curling around her throat.

There’s a warm glow building in her belly.

She takes another healthy gulp of it, her finger trailing around the rim of the glass as she lets her mind wander. About an hour passes before she pays her tab and gathers her things to head back to the room.

Their room.

There’s already a bit of slick gathering in her underwear and that thought just hastens the process.

Fuck, maybe the wine was a bad idea after all.

She clicks open the door and then just stands in the doorway, watching him, because goddamn .

Bellamy is pacing the room back and forth like a caged tiger, growling at someone on the phone. She thinks it’s probably Murphy judging from the way he’s cursing them out. The sleeves of his Henley are rolled up to his elbows, exposing the tanned muscle forearms that has Clarke salivating. His hair, if possible, is more of a mess than before.

He barely glances at her when she walks in, putting her bag down on the edge of the desk and daintily slipping off her shoes before perching quietly on the bed.

The single bed might pose a bigger problem than before she realises. He’s going to be lying down next to her.

Clarke bites her lip as she watches him, eyes slowly trailing down his body, admiring it.

Bellamy hangs up a couple minutes later after a hearty ‘fuck you’ to whoever was on the other end of the line. He’s out of breath a bit, panting, and she remembers what it’s like to feel that on her skin, to hear it as he fucks her into the tiny dorm room mattress.

God, she’s so fucking wet. It’s a little pathetic.

He locks eyes with her and it’s as though the whole room has gotten electrified.

His gaze is hot, heavy, and it lingers on her, slowly drinking in her form. Clarke wonders what he sees. His ex girlfriend sitting with her legs crossed tight, a pink flush on her face and pupils blown wide. She tries to keep her expression as neutral as possible but she wonders if Bellamy can see the lust on her face.

“They don’t have any cots available,” he says, voice gruff.

“That’s okay.”

He lifts a brow. “That’s okay?”

“We’ve shared beds before, Bellamy,” she says, delicate, picking at her cuticles.

He looks away from her, jaw working. “Yeah but that was when we were, um,--”

“Together?”

He grimaces, the word triggering him, reminding him of what once was, what once could be. “Yeah.”

She tosses her hair over her shoulder and fixes him with a challenging look. “So? Who cares.”

“I care, Clarke.” He rolls his eyes but it doesn’t stop him from slumping next to her on the bed. She can feel the warmth coming off of him in waves. “You’re my assistant. Making you sleep in the same bed as me is like, textbook harassment.”

She gives a throaty chuckle. “Bold of you to assume that you can make me do anything. Besides, I said I was fine with it.”

There’s a hefty pause as he surveys her, cataloguing the expression on her face. She tries to look as bored as possible.

“You are, aren’t you,” he says, sounding as though he finally starts to believe her. “This isn’t uncomfortable for you at all?”

“Well it’s not ideal ,” she snorts and it gets a stifled laugh out of him. “But it could be worse. At least I’ve shared a bed with you before. I already know that you snore.”

“And you hog all the blankets,” he shoots back at her and she grins.

“See? We understand each other.”

The small smile on his face falters and he looks away from her, his jaw clenching. Bellamy leans back a bit on the bed, bracing himself on his forearms.

“You went for a drink,” he says plainly, changing the topic.

“Yeah. I told you I was going to the bar.”

“Didn’t expect you to follow through. Seemed a bit dramatic.”

“This was a rather dramatic situation.”

He gently knocks his shoulder into hers. “What’d you have?”

“Wine.”

His eyes meet hers for one heated second and there’s no doubt in her mind that he’s thinking about the same things as she is, reminiscing about all those times before when she’d get wine drunk and beg him to fuck her. Clarke would tease him on the way back home from restaurants, run her hands down the inseam of his slacks while he drove. She’d pout and look at him with what Bellamy used to call her ‘fuck me’ eyes and he’d ignore her until she was in his lap, writhing and begging to be fucked.

He loved to make her beg.

Bellamy clears his throat but there’s little to be done for the dark look in his eyes, the poorly hidden hunger lurking underneath.

“I’m going to go get us something to eat for dinner,” he says, unfurling himself from his seat on the bed. He fiddles with his cuffs for want of something to do instead of looking at her. “Any preferences?”

“Something greasy.”

He ducks his head, hiding a half smile. “I’ll see what I can do.”

Bellamy grabs his wallet and leaves, and suddenly Clarke is alone and still very much turned on.

She decides to take a shower even though it’s barely five in the evening. For a moment she debates using this time to get off, to try and get that need out of her system before Bellamy comes back, but there’s something about thinking about her ex boyfriend in the shower of some nondescript hotel room that makes her feel skeevy. Sure, she feels guilty when she thinks about it at home but this is next level.

So she just strips, ignoring her overheated skin and tight nipples, the slick that’s pooled in her underwear, and hops into the shower, cranking it on cold and hoping for the best.

She takes advantage of the good water pressure and spends too long in the shower, washing her hair and scrubbing her face and then scrubbing her entire body with a washcloth until she gets rid of the lingering traces of need.

By the time she gets out she feels pretty okay about the situation at hand, even if the one bed back in the main area of the room seems daunting.

Bellamy gets back while she’s blow drying her hair, bringing with him the unmistakable scent of french fries and she actually laughs.

“Did you buy McDonald’s?” she asks, poking her head out of the bathroom to get a good look at him.

“You wanted greasy, right? This is as greasy as it comes,” he says as he diligently empties the contents of the bag on the small desk. He bought two Big Macs and a ten piece McNugget box to split.

Those were her favourites back in college and Clarke bites her lip. She used to sneak the nuggets into the library along with a--

“Got you a mocha frap,” he says, sliding the drink tray out from behind the bag.

She smiles at him. “You remembered,” she says, and if she squints, she can just make out the colour creeping up the sides of his neck.

“Hard to forget,” he says dryly, “It’s gross.”

“It’s a delicious combination. Umami or whatever.”

“That’s not what umami is, Clarke.”

“Shut up and give me my frappe,” she demands, making grabby hands. His shoulders shake with unseen laughter but he does what she asks anyway. Clarke hums happily as she slurps it.

“You’re ridiculous,” he says, smiling at her.

It’s the most carefree they’ve been since their paths converged again and for a moment, Clarke could pretend that they were back in college. Maybe they were taking a road trip, running away to LA and becoming a pair of Z-list actors together like he used to joke. Or maybe they were going to one of her mom’s stupid events and of course they’d book a hotel instead of staying at her family home, why on earth would she want to spend more time than necessary with her mother when she could be with Bellamy, cuddling up together and ordering room service.

It’s nice to pretend.

As quick as it appeared-- that easy, carefree smile-- is vanished, eyes shuttering and face going blank once more as he reverts back to modern day Bellamy, Mr Blake, the CEO of Dropship Publishers and, more importantly, her boss.

“I’m probably going to head down to get some work done before tomorrow after we eat,” he says, not looking at her as he rips open a ketchup packet. He squirts it in a neat little blob on the edge of his wrapper to dip his fries in, unlike her, who squeezed it all over them in the carton.

The reasoning behind his decision is rather obvious and yet she still finds herself asking, “Why don’t you just do it in here?” like an idiot .

Bellamy bites into his burger and takes his time chewing, swallowing, leaving her waiting for an answer for as long as possible. “I might have to print some extra things,” is what he comes up with. They both know that Clarke took care of that already, going as far as making duplicates of everything before they even left the office.

It’s a flimsy excuse, but she guesses that it’s better than flat out saying he can’t stand to be in the same room as her right now.

Doesn’t mean it hurts any less.

She lets the lie pass without comment and then it’s just them, sitting in the small hotel room and eating in painful silence.

Bellamy doesn’t say anything when they’re done, just rinses his hands and grabs his laptop before striding out the door, leaving her alone once more. Clarke takes the time to curl up in the armchair and catch up with her emails, of which there aren’t many. She doesn’t dare look at the bed though.

She doesn’t want to think about that until the last possible minute.

When she’s done with her emails she switches over to aimlessly scrolling through social media and then, when she thinks Facebook is going to make her pop a fucking blood vessel, she decides to say fuck it and pull up Netflix instead. She was watching She-Ra at home and sees no reason why she shouldn’t continue it here. At least it’ll help get her mind off things, off Bellamy .

She actually loses track of time a little bit, as one generally does when binging a show. Time seems to move faster, especially when the episodes are like twenty minutes a piece. She doesn’t realise how late it had gotten until she hears the click of the lock on the room door which is immediately followed by the drag of the edge of the door on the carpet as Bellamy walks back in. When she squints at the alarm clock on the bed table she’s surprised to see that it’s already 9 p.m. She’s been sitting here for a few hours now. No wonder her right leg has fallen asleep.

She gives Bellamy a tight smile. “Everything good? Get a lot of work done?” she asks, because, historically, Clarke’s a dick who can’t leave well enough alone.

At least he has the grace to look a little embarrassed by running out on her. “Yes,” he says after clearing his throat. “It was very… productive.”

“Good to hear.”

They stare at each other for a moment, an awkward impasse, until Bellamy looks away. He ruffles his hair. “I’m going to take a shower,” he says before grabbing his duffle and retreating into the bathroom. The walls are thin enough that she can hear him shuffling around for a couple minutes before he turns the shower on.

A thought comes into her head, unbidden, that Bellamy is just a few feet away from her, completely naked, for the first time in over six years. Clarke tries not to think about it.

Her eyes land on the bed once more, open and inviting with fluffy pillows and a white duvet.

Shit, she can’t think about that either.

She ends up on her phone, desperate for something to distract her from the upcoming awkwardness.

After what feels like too long and not nearly long enough, she hears the shower turn off and at this point Clarke is ready to crawl out from her skin. It’s just a bed, just one night with Bellamy. She’s done it before.

The door to the bathroom creaks open and he steps out, wearing a pair of flannel pyjama bottoms and one of those thin, white undershirts that boys like. He swapped his contacts for glasses, these chunky, dark frames that are reminiscent of the ones he used to wear in college. They’re different though. These aren’t held together by crazy glue and scotch tape. These are new, probably something expensive and designer.

She realises that she’s been staring when he lifts an eyebrow. Clarke looks away, blushing.

“I know it’s early, but I’m pretty tired,” he says, scratching the back of his neck.

“You were driving all day, it’s understandable.” She gnaws on her bottom lip. “Do you-- do you want to go to sleep?”

He definitely looks embarrassed now, staring at the ugly lamp in the corner so he doesn’t have to look at her or the bed. “It’s fine if you’re not tired right now, I could, um, watch TV or something.”

She shakes her head. “No, no. You drove us here and you’ve got a big day tomorrow. The least I can do is let you get some sleep.” She taps around her phone for a moment longer, switching it to do not disturb mode before hooking it up to charge. She stands up, stretching a little, arching her back like a cat. “Just let me go brush my teeth?”

He nods and she slips into the bathroom where she’s greeted by a reflection of herself in the mirror. Her cheeks are flushed, and her hair is wild, frizzy, looking as though she stuck her finger into an electrical socket. 

Clarke brushes her teeth and washes her face, wishing that she brought with her all of her elaborate skincare products that she always buys but hardly ever uses. At least that would have bought her some more time, applying all of those essences and oils and serums. As it is, she’s only walked with some moisturizer and her pitiful makeup pouch.

Normally she’d change too, but Clarke usually sleeps in shorts and a tank top, neither of which she wants to wear around Bellamy right now. She doesn’t want him to think that she’s seducing him or anything. She’s lucky that she packed a pair of leggings to wear during her down time on the trip. They’re not the most ideal thing to sleep in, but when the choice is between that and her jeans, it’s the most logical.

She draws the line at sleeping in a bra though, so she unhooks the back and pulls it off, crossing her arms over her nipples that become hard due to the sudden exposure to cold.

Bellamy is sitting on the edge of the bed when she returns, the TV on and playing an episode of Family Feud . He doesn’t seem to be paying attention to it, body rigid and tense as he pretends to watch.

She pads further into the room and he gives her a quick head to toe glance before looking back at the screen.

“I, uh, didn’t know if you had any side preference,” he says, a bit sheepish.

Again, it’s another outright lie and they both know it.

Bellamy always sleeps on the left side with one pillow only or else he complains about a crick in his neck. She’s always favoured the right side, using his extra pillow to cuddle with, although she almost always forgoes it for his body in the middle of the night. 

There will be none of that tonight.

“The right side is fine,” she tells him, giving him a polite smile and he nods, knees creaking as he stands up.

They climb silently into the bed, Bellamy carefully setting his extra pillow between them to act as some sort of weak barrier. She tugs the blankets up over her chest and tries to angle her body away from his, lying as close to the edge as possible without making herself feel uncomfortable.

Neither of them speak. It would have been an outright suffocating silence had the TV not been on. Clarke has never felt this grateful to Steve Harvey in her life.

“Well, goodnight,” he says when it starts to get uncomfortable.

“Goodnight,” says Clarke, and then he switches off the lights.

It’s a bit easier to breathe in the dark. Yes, she’s still acutely aware of every single movement he makes, feeling the bed shift and shake with it, but darkness always helps remove the shroud of discomfort from around them, even if it is interrupted by the glow of the television.

She knows the exact moment when Bellamy drifts off to sleep.

They’ve been lying in silence for about twenty minutes now, his breaths careful and controlled. When he slips into slumber they deepen, sounding more relaxed, at ease. It isn’t long until he starts to snore. For some reason the sound is comforting, and it makes her smile, soft and a little melancholic.

She always used to tease him about it back in the day. Complain that because of his snores she couldn’t get enough rest, even though they both knew it was a damn lie. She didn’t realise how much she would miss it.

Bellamy set the timer on the TV to turn off at half ten, and when it does that-- the sudden click leaving the room in complete darkness, complete silence except for his snores-- Clarke finally decides to stop twitching and get some sleep.

She’s not quite as tired as Bellamy, a healthy amount of caffeine in her system as well as the general combination of nerves, but she does eventually find sleep, eyes fluttering shut as she lets herself be serenaded by his deafening snores.

When Clarke wakes up the next morning she finds herself in an entirely different sleeping situation than when she actually did go to sleep.

For one, the pillow he placed between them to help keep their distance, has been pushed down to the foot of the bed. Clarke supposes that that was her doing, trying to manoeuvre it between her knees in sleep and then eventually letting her subconscious kick it away entirely.

The next thing she realises is that, at some point in the night, the two of them drifted towards each other. Her back is to his chest and she can feel the vibrations of his snores as he breathes deeply. One of his legs is slotted between hers and Bellamy is holding her to him, an arm slung over her hip while the other rests right under the curve of her breasts, just barely grazing it.

And the last thing she notices is that he’s hard, his erection pressing against her ass.

If this was before , Clarke would roll her hips against him, grind down on that leg that’s between hers. She’d wake him up like that, gentle teasing, and then roll them over so that he was on his back while she slowly fucked the sleep out of him. They’ve done it hundreds of times, the whole slow, early morning sex thing. It’s one of her favourite things to do.

However, this is not before, and Clarke and Bellamy are not together.

He’s her ex boyfriend and current boss and the situation at hand is mortifying .

It’s also turning her on a little bit, though, if she’s being honest, Clarke’s been in a perpetual state of being turned on since she got to this fucking hotel with him. This is just another drop in the bucket.

Bellamy shifts in his sleep and his cock drags deliciously against her. It takes every ounce of willpower in her body to not react to that.

Forget drop. This was someone turning the pipe of lust on full blast and Clarke’s certain that her bucket is about to overflow.

Half of his face is buried in her hair and he makes a happy, contented sound as he nestles closer to her, his searing warmth at her back as he holds her.

This is it, she thinks, this is her own personal form of hell. She’s going to die from sexual frustration.

There’s the sudden blare of his alarm and Clarke is ready to thank the gods .

Bellamy grumbles incoherently, and she feels his frown against the back of his neck for a second before he realises where he is and what’s happening. There’s a muffled swear when he realises that he’s holding her, and he rolls away immediately. She can feel his eyes on her and Clarke pretends to still be asleep, trying to keep her breathing even while she frowns at the sound of the alarm.

The noise stops and she feels the mattress dip a little as he throws his legs over the side, sitting up. She doesn’t open her eyes until she hears the soft click of the bathroom door.

Clarke sits up, blankets pooling around her waist, and takes a shaky breath.

Other than a stiff exchange of ‘good morning’s, neither of them really speak to each other when Bellamy comes out of the bathroom about twenty minutes later, hair tamed and already dressed. His glasses are still on though, and she swallows thickly. She slips past him as he pulls a tie of the hanger, maroon with a silky sheen, and locks herself in the bathroom.

The meeting isn’t until noon so Clarke takes her time, showering and getting ready, making sure her makeup is impeccable. She even goes as far as properly styling her hair, using the flatiron she brought along to help tame the frizz.

Bellamy’s the one who’s going to be doing all of the talking, but she still wants to look her best. It’s a big day for him-- for the company-- and if looking like an American doll might help, then she’s all for it.

There’s a soft rap at the door while she’s applying her mascara. “I’m thinking about heading down to get some breakfast. Do you want me to wait for you?” he asks.

She deliberates for a moment, weighing the pros and cons of getting breakfast together, and then she sighs and pulls open the door.

“I’m ready, but thank you for asking,” she says and he nods curtly in response.

They take the elevator down and Clarke uses the opportunity to surreptitiously watch him out of the corner of her eye. He looks good as always, no surprise there, buttoned up work Bellamy a striking opposite to soft, sleepy Bellamy.

They’re also matching, she realises, the dark red of his tie almost the same shade of her blouse. They look like a paired set in the warped reflection of the elevator doors, good together, like equals standing side by side. The thought makes her blush.

Thankfully breakfast isn’t as bad as dinner was. Bellamy switches into CEO mode and they keep all talk limited to the meeting later in the day. Clarke can deal with this. The past six months have made her a pro at work related small talk with Bellamy. They even have a brief video conference with some of the other heads back at the office, with him doing the talking while she takes minute notes. She even offers some insight on the deal later today and he actually heeds her advice. She had forgotten just how much of a good team they made.

Still, as much as they tried to not acknowledge the elephant in the room, she couldn’t help but notice the little things. He still knew how she liked her coffee-- two sugars, one cream-- bringing back the packets to the table for her because she forgot. He hid a smile while she picked the green peppers out of her omelette and she remembered how she used to slide them over onto his plate while they were dating. He brought some pastries over to the table, one cherry and one apple, even though he hates cherry flavoured anything. She loves it though, and he pretends not to see when she swipes it to go with the last bit of her coffee.

The melancholy of it all settles on her chest, heavy and painful. She misses him sometimes.

It’s almost a boon when he finally stands up, bouncing on the balls of his feet. “We should get going,” he says, gruff, “We don’t want to be late for our meeting with Gaia.” She’s grateful for the distraction.

 


 

It turns out that such a weighted meeting like this is a perfect distraction. They’re both anxious, but hide it well. Bellamy’s only tell is the way he fidgets with the pen in his hands.

When Gaia finally enters the room though, he already has his mask on implace, cool and charming as he shakes her hand and takes the lead almost immediately.

Clarke is glad that she’s only there to take notes and hand him the appropriate documents, because this is the first time she’s seeing Bellamy like this-- so in charge and in command-- and frankly, well, it’s hot .

Her legs are crossed tightly underneath the table for the entirety of the session and she has to stop herself from biting her lip.

The meeting is long, but they leave with a deal knocked out and Gaia’s signature printed on to several sheets of paper.

They manage to wait until they’re outside the office before celebrating, Bellamy whooping loudly and Clarke throwing her arms around his shoulders. He wraps his own around her waist, practically lifting her off the ground with the force of the hug, and for that one moment she’s completely blindsided by Bellamy . His scent, his touch, his warmth. She wishes that they could stay like this, happy.

He sets her back down on the ground and then, without meaning to, he presses his forehead against hers. He’s so close that she can feel his breath ghosting across her face, close enough that if she wanted to, she could count the freckles that dot his skin.

For one thrilling second she thinks that he’s going to kiss her.

It honestly wouldn’t take much to close the gap between them. She almost wants to close it herself.

And then all too soon, Bellamy pulls away from her, no hands on her waist or head pressed to hers anymore and it leaves her feeling strangely cold.

“Fuck,” he breathes, wrenching his eyes shut. “ Fuck .”

“Bellamy--”

“I’m sorry, Clarke. That was out of line. I’m sorry,” he says, scrubbing a hand down his face. He’s not looking at her. In fact, he’s making a conscious effort to look at anything but her, eyes trained hard on the pavement as the colour rushes up to his cheeks.

She hesitates for a second before resting her hand on his shoulder, ignoring the pang of hurt that flows through her when he flinches away from her touch. “It’s fine,” she tells him, trying to catch his eye but he’s steadfastly ignoring her.

He shrugs off her hand. “It’s really not.”

Bellamy .”

Clarke .” She lifts an eyebrow, staring him down until he cracks. “I’m your boss and that was incredibly inappropriate. I shouldn’t have touched you.”

She manages to resist rolling her eyes. “You done with the little pity party?” she asks, ignoring the floundering expression on his face. She jabs him in the chest, hard. “You’re my friend , Bellamy Blake. You’re allowed to hug me .”

He blinks. “Friends?”

Now it’s her turn to blush, but she doesn’t look away. “Yes. After everything that’s happened yes, I consider you to be my friend.” She swallows and then, confidence faltering for a second, “Do you-- I mean, of course it’s up to you but do you want to be my friend?”

The question hangs in the air between them and Bellamy is quiet. Friend is such an odd term for what they have, where they’re at, the crossroads of what once was, what currently is and what could have been.

Eventually he nods. “I’d like that,” he says, sounding almost shy about it.

“Good.” The mood is still far too heavy so Clarke knocks her shoulder into his. “Come on then, as your friend it’s my job to tell you that we have to celebrate.”

He laughs, and she can’t help but stare at him. Bellamy always looks younger when he laughs. More handsome than usual. “Celebrate huh? What do you have in mind?”

“Oh you know, I have a couple ideas…”

Those ideas turned out to be getting a veritable feast of Chinese food and needling Bellamy to ask room service for a bottle of champagne. He grumbles a bit-- good naturedly of course-- about the price of it, but Clarke shushes him by shoving an eggroll in his mouth.

“Come on,” she says, peeling the foil wrapper off the top of the bottle, “I think this is definitely a champagne moment.”

“You think everything should be a champagne moment,” he says wryly but he pulls the cork off with a pop and fills both of their glasses to the brim.

“Life would be so much better if we treated it as such,” she tells him, grabbing her glass. She lifts it towards him. “To the new book deal.”

He clinks his glass with hers. “To the new book deal.”

Bellamy watches her as he sips his champagne, his gaze dark and heavy and full of promises. The desire she’s managed to keep a hold of over the past twenty four hours surges again, and this time Clarke isn’t sure she wants to hold it back anymore.

She chases a stray droplet of champagne with her tongue and he follows the movement with his eyes.

The want inside her just burns brighter but Clarke manages to find it in herself to say, “We should probably eat.” It comes out completely coherent too. She’s proud of herself.

It doesn’t last long because then Bellamy leans forward, his fingertips grazing her thigh for a millisecond as he reaches for the bag of takeout. “We should definitely eat,” he says in that rough voice of his, a hint of a dark smirk toying at the edges of his mouth. “I’m starved.”

Clarke doesn’t think he’s talking about eating food .

It’s hard to focus on their meal, even harder to keep up casual conversation. Bellamy seems to be handling it fine though. In fact, he’s a lot chattier tonight, more than he’s been for the rest of the weekend. The only evidence that he’s just as flustered as her is the slight flush hidden under his tanned skin, the heavy, dark look in his eye whenever he glances her way.

They finish eating and Bellamy helps her clean up before excusing himself to the bathroom and Clarke decides then and there that she’s going to do something about all of this before she combusts.

When he comes back, he finds her sitting on the bed, having already topped off their glasses of champagne.

“I texted the office,” he tells her as he joins her on the edge of the bed. “Told them the good news.”

“Yeah?” She cocks her head to the side, twirling a lock of her hair around her fingers as she appraises him. “They happy?”

He smirks and then takes another sip from his glass. “Ecstatic.”

Emboldened by their win today and the alcohol in her system, Clarke finds herself leaning closer, fingers playing with the ends of his tie. “We made a good team today,” she murmurs, wrapping the skinny end around her finger, pulling slightly.

His hand is on the bed next to her hip, curled into a fist, and she can feel the warmth radiating off of it. She wants him to touch her.

“We always make a good team,” he rumbles out, eyes dark as he skims over the planes of her face. It lands on her mouth, lingering there for a moment longer than the rest, and she feels her breath catch. He’s intimately aware of that mouth.

“You ever miss it?” she asks, swaying closer to him. Her hands are still by his neck, one resting lightly on his collarbone. Just like before, his nose brushes against hers, lips just a few inches apart. She waits for him to pull back, call this a bad idea.

He doesn’t.

Instead he gently rests a hand on her hip, lets it skirt up her entire body until he’s cupping her jaw. It leaves a trail of fire in its midst and Clarke wonders if he can feel her trembling. “All the time,” he says, rough, and it’s all she needs 

For all the want and teasing before, the kiss is hesitant, a question that neither of them want to be the first to answer.

Then Clarke shifts it, nibbling on his bottom lip and that’s all the encouragement that he needs, hand moving into her hair. His fingers catch on some knots, tugging it, and she whimpers. He licks the seam of her mouth and she moans for real this time, opening for him. His tongue is determined. He tastes like the champagne they were sharing, a bit bitter, a bit sweet, effervescent.

Bellamy pulls her closer to him, their knees knocking together on the edge of the bed. She wants to climb in his lap, feel his cock press against her through all the layers of fabric, giving her some of that delicious friction to grind down on. 

Clarke pulls away, gasping, but Bellamy just continues to kiss her, across her jaw, down her neck. His teeth scratch against that sensitive spot behind her ear, and she shivers with it.

“Fuck, Bellamy,” she groans. He hums against her skin, nipping that spot lightly before pulling back.

If her panties weren’t soaked already then the sight of him like this would be enough to do her in.

He’s breathing heavily, hair a mess and eyes dark, ready to devour her. His lips are plump and kiss bitten, her doing, and she finds herself reaching out to trace the contours of his face, trailing her fingers down the edge of his cheek, following the curve of his mouth. Her eyes flick down for a second, noting the bulge in his pants.

“Clarke.”

She meets his gaze, expecting to find the same regret he wore earlier when they almost kissed outside the office. 

It’s not there.

Instead he’s looking at her like he did before . Hungry. Predatory. His eyes are steady as he watches her, making sure that she’s okay with this. His hand is heavy on her hip and when she sinks her teeth into her bottom lip, she feels it spasm against her.

She goes to kiss him again, but this time he stops her. His hand is still in her hair and she sucks in a harsh breath when he tightens his hold on it. The sound doesn’t go unnoticed by Bellamy, who flashes her a wicked smile before he noses the column of her neck, breathing in her scent.

“You want this, princess?” he murmurs, his stubble scratching against her skin. “You want me?”

She tilts her head back, getting lost in the feeling, but then Bellamy nips at her, the sudden sting of pain jolting her out of her reverie with a squeak.

“Fuck, of course I want it,” she tells him, grabbing onto his hair.

She can feel that stupid self-satisfied smirk of his against her skin, just for a moment, because then he’s kissing her once more, this time with purpose.

It’s a deep, heady kiss, the kind that makes her head spin. Bellamy takes charge of things, leading the kiss as he works on divesting her of her blouse. His large hands fumble with small buttons on it, having trouble grasping at them. She giggles, and he sucks on her bottom lip meanly in retaliation.

She’s not giggling anymore when he finally gets it undone, pulling it free of her pencil skirt and leaving her in just a thin bralette. He gets his hands on her, squeezing her breasts together and letting his thumb flick over a peaked nipple. Her entire body feels like jelly, weak and consumed by him.

He gets the zipper on the back of her skirt undone and pulls it off in one fluid motion before he pushes her onto the bed, kissing her jaw, her neck while she gasps for breath.

He’s always been good at that, leaving her dizzy and wanting and begging for more.

Bellamy’s body slots against hers, the position still startlingly familiar after all these years. Hips pressed into hips, chests against chests. His hands brush against her collarbone as he goes for the strap of her bra, but she stops him with a hand to the chest. “Wait,” she says, still breathing heavily. “Wait, I wanna--”

He rolls off her, eyes silently searching her face to see if he crossed some sort of line. She shakes her head, trying to reassure him.

“I wanna do something first,” she tells him, grabbing his hand and pulling him up into a sitting position. She reaches out to touch his shoulder, trail her hand across the firmness of his bicep, down the length of his arm. “You seem stressed today.”

“It was a stressful day.”

“Hmm.” She hums as she continues to trail a line down his body. His hand is resting on his thigh and she hesitates for a brief second before putting hers on top of it. She feels the way it flexes.

He hitches a brow. “Is this something friends do?” he asks, a little snarky, and she pinches him.

“It can be.” 

“Really.”

Her fingertips find the seam on the inside of his thigh and she traces it. “I know what you like.”

“Yeah? And what’s that, princess?” he asks, a little cocky as he slouches, shifting his legs a little bit for her.

She slips off the bed, into the angle of his legs. He leans back a bit to accommodate her body, and she runs both her hands across his thighs, giving his growing cock a squeeze hello.

Clarke looks up at him, a deceptively innocent look on her face even as she undoes his belt. “Me. On my knees, in front of you.” She undoes the snap, pulling the zipper down with a schtick . “You used to say it was a pretty picture.”

She’s still painfully turned on right now, both from his teasing and the events of the last twenty four hours, but his laugh more than makes up for it. A hand comes up to brush the hair from her face, the slightest caress of her cheek. “And look at that,” he says, gathering her hair away from her face in a loose fist, “It still is.”

Clarke’s aware that she’s playing with borrowed time right now. Bellamy has always liked to be in control. Even the times when it felt like she was the one calling the shots-- when she was riding him, giving him a handjob while he was driving, suck his dick like she was preparing to do now-- she knows that it was only because he let her.

“Bet I could make it prettier,” she tells him before wrapping her lips around the head of his cock.

It’s not hard to remember what he likes and dislikes. Not hard because he was the last guy she actually did this with. After they broke up she only dated girls and on the off chance she hooked up with a guy, she never really did this .

But Bellamy is easy. He likes blowjobs that are sloppy and wet, likes when her tongue laves against the underside of the shaft, and swirls around the head. It makes him tug on her hair and she moans around him.

“So hot,” he murmurs, watching as she takes him deeper into her mouth. “So hot, princess, look at you.”

It makes her glow and she takes him even deeper, feeling the tip hit the back of her throat. She stifles a gag.

He lets her have at it for a couple more minutes, licking and sucking, even moaning when he uses his grip on her hair to guide her head up and down. Bellamy keeps up a constant stream of filthy praise, telling her how pretty she is, how gorgeous she looks with his cock in her mouth, how no one else manages to make him feel as good as she does.

Bellamy pulls her up before he can come and she whines, missing the feel of him hot and heavy on her tongue.

“Greedy girl,” he chuckles, standing too so that the top of her head brushes his chin. “C’mere. Lemme give you something sweet.”

“I was having something sweet before you stopped me,” she grouses and immediately she knows it’s the wrong thing to say.

His eyes flash. “You complaining, princess?” he asks, taking a step closer to her. She steps back and feels the edge of the desk dig into her spine.

She’s playing with fire, but Clarke’s always liked to live life on the dangerous side. She lifts her chin. “I was having fun.”

“Oh, you were having fun, were you?” he says, grabbing her bicep and turning her around so that her back is to his chest, and she gasps at the suddenness of it all. He kisses the curve of her cheekbone and her hands spasm. “You wanted me to come in that pretty mouth of yours?”

His hands are on her hips and he pulls her flush against him, letting her feel him hard on her back. There’s a mirror in front of them, just above the desk, and she catches sight of their reflections. Bellamy, broad and intimidating, his body crowding hers as desire practically oozes from every pore. And then there’s Clarke, already looking wrecked in just her underthings even though he’s barely touched her, cheeks stained pretty pink and mouth parted slightly as she breathes.

“Yes,” she exhales. Every nerve ending in her body is on fire right now, every single one of them tuned in to him.

A hand skims across to her front, pressing lightly on her belly, warm and calloused. It drifts down, lingering just above where she needs him most. “Even though I stopped you? You still wanted to do that?”

God, his voice . It’s dark and heady and she hadn’t realised how much she missed it, missed him.

“Yes.”

“And what about what I wanted to do, huh princess? You think about that?” he asks, grinding teasingly against her, letting her feel him through the thin cotton of her panties. It makes her gasp.

She didn’t think about him in that way, not really, too concerned with trying to make him feel good, make him come.

“No,” she admits, hanging her head as she feels the flush work over her.

He cups her chin with his other hand and turns her head towards him, as much as he could. It’s an awkward angle, but he still manages to kiss the corner of her mouth, soft and chaste, a contrast to how she was really feeling right now.

That’s all she gets though, a kiss lasting half a second at most. She whines, wanting more.

He chuckles. “I know, baby,” he says soothingly, petting down her sides. “But if you want more, you’re going to have to behave. Can you do that?” he asks, and she can feel the vibration of his chest against her back. She tries to hide a shiver in vain. “Can you listen to me?”

“Yes,” she whimpers, thighs trying to clench together when his hand brushes against her again, but it’s stopped by the leg he slotted between them.

His lips brush the outer shell of her ear. “Good,” he murmurs, trailing a finger down the column of her neck, feeling her pulse which was going a mile a minute. His hands land heavy on her ass, not quite slapping it but serving as more of a reminder than anything else. “I won’t be disobeyed.”

He pushes her panties to the side and slips in one, then two fingers when he realises that she was more than wet enough to take him.

“You've been thinking about this all day, haven’t you sweetheart?” he says, kissing her temple again.

It’s almost annoying just how well he knows her. “Are you saying you weren’t?” she asks, trying to defend herself, but it’s weak, her voice already shaking from the orgasm that’s building in her belly. It should be illegal how well he knows her body.

“Of course I was. How couldn’t I when you’re out here looking like this, sleeping in the same bed as me. Don’t think I didn’t realise that you were already awake when the alarm went off.” She didn’t think it was possible but at that reminder her flush deepens even further, and she whimpers. He sets an unforgiving pace, apparently having no interest in teasing her or drawing it out this time. “Bet you thought about fucking me again this morning, for old time’s sake.”

“Who says I ever stopped?” she says, gasping when his thumb rubs her clit. She’s so fucking close already, so wet that she can feel it sticking to her thighs. It’s embarrassing.

“You thought about this for six years, princess?” he asks, crooking his fingers so they rub up against her and Clarke keens loudly.

She has to take two large breaths before she is able to find her voice again. “Sometimes.”

He bites her shoulder with blunt teeth and she cries out. “Liar,” he says, sounding amused. “You missed this, didn’t you? No one else can fuck you like I do, can they?”

He rubs meanly on her clit again and her hands curl into fists as she bites down on her lip. She’s so close.

“No,” she gasps, hoping that the truth would spur him on into bringing her over the edge. “No one can.”

Instead it does the opposite.

Bellamy removes his fingers and she whines, tossing her head back against his shoulder. He laughs again.

“Poor baby,” he teases her, dropping a kiss to the crown of her head. “Were you going to come?”

“Don’t be an ass,” she grumbles, her cunt feeling hopelessly empty at the loss of him.

“I’m not,” he says, lifting his hand. They brush against her lips, smearing them with the taste of her as he offers them to her. Clarke takes them in her mouth, sucking on them like she did with his cock a few moments ago. It gets a quiet ‘fuck’ out of him.

Bellamy stares and she hitches a challenging brow at him, flicking her tongue at the tip.

“Fuck,” he says again, half laughing. “Look at you, distracting me again with that pretty mouth of yours. Come on, Clarke, don’t you want to be fucked?”

He laughs again when she nods enthusiastically, his fingers slipping from her mouth.

She goes easily when he tugs her towards him, fingers making quick work of her bra. Soon he has her down to just her underwear, and Bellamy trails a hand down the side of her neck, across her chest, cupping her tits in his hands. He tweaks a nipple even as he smacks a kiss to her forehead.

“On the bed, princess,” he tells her, “It’s my turn now. I’ve been craving something sweet for so long.”

His words alone are enough to send a new surge of wetness through her and she does what he says, easily scooting back until she feels the pillows behind her.

Bellamy has pulled up his pants, but his belt remains undone. His shirt is still buttoned, and he’s still wearing a tie, but now it’s all wrinkled, sleeves cuffed and top button undone with the tie loosened. He slinks up the bed, pinning her body in place.

“Always so quick to listen to me,” he says gently, cupping her jaw and giving her a kiss.

They make out like that for a while, both of them pressed to each other in the bed. It helps to cool the need inside her, just a little, and Clarke doesn’t find herself quite as desperate for him anymore.

She still wants it though. There’s still that lingering frustration from not getting to come earlier, and she knows Bellamy feels it too, the way his dick is still hard in his pants. She can feel it on her thigh as he kisses her, but he makes no move to take care of either of them.

There’s only so much making out can do though, and after some time, she starts to feel it again, that warmth in the pit of her stomach. She hooks a leg around his hip and rocks up into him, relishing in the soft moan it gets from him.

Bellamy pulls back and watches as her eyelids flutter shut when he grinds into her.

“Oh, you’re just begging for it, aren’t you babe,” he croons as he does it again. Her back arches and her hands find themselves gripping his shoulders.

“You’re such a fucking tease, you know that,” she pants, lifting her hips to meet his and he laughs.

“I’m just having some fun. You should try it sometime.”

“I can have fun,” she mumbles, distracted by the way the light catches on the fabric of his tie.

It’s ridiculous, that he’s still mostly dressed while she’s practically naked under him. Her fingers find his tie again, rubbing the silky material between her index and thumb. She doesn’t realise that she was staring, distracted, until he tilts her chin up, kissing her, while he unbuttons his shirt.

Back in college, he had a cheap metal bed frame at his old apartment, the kind that was popular in the nineties, with wrought iron decorations curved in the shape of an S at the headboard. Clarke was always a sloppy drunk, a tease, and Bellamy would let her do whatever she wanted in public so long as he got to do whatever he wanted to her in private. 

It changed every time; sometimes he would be rough with her, roll her on to her front and take her from behind, slapping her ass and making her cry out with it, or sometimes he’d tie her to the headboard and have his way with her.

Bellamy chuckles, trailing his knuckles lightly against her cheek. “Princess.”

She tugs on his tie, bringing him closer to her. “Bellamy.”

He works at his tie, easily batting her hands away as he undoes it. He leaves it loose around his neck.

“You’ve got that look on your face,” he says, smug as he traces the heavy curve of her breast.

“I don’t have a look .”

He laughs again. “Yes you do, sweetheart,” he rumbles, catching hold of her hands and gently lifting them above her head. He just holds her down like that, hands crossed at the wrist over her head, held tight in one of his own. It’s enough to make her breath stutter.

Bellamy leans down to kiss her again, short and sweet, and the end of his tie drags against her skin, making her shiver. He leans back, still holding her wrists together, and uses his free hand to pull his tie off, draping it across her hands, not tying it as yet.

“When was the last time you did this, princess?” he asks, straddling her hips, shirt open and exposing his chest.

Clarke bites her lip.

“The gala,” she says, and watches as his eyes get impossibly dark, hunger overtaking his whole face.

The gala was back in her junior year of college, one of her mother’s many charity events she loved to host. Clarke was being a brat, teasing him under the dinner table for the better part of the evening. Unlike her, Bellamy has always had a good poker face. Hell, she wouldn’t have been able to tell he was bothered if it wasn’t for the tic in his jaw. But it wasn’t until they got back to his place that he let her have it, tying her to the headboard and going down on her for hours, not letting her come until he said she could, when her limbs were jello and he finally fucked into her.

It’s a rather fond memory. One that she likes to revisit when she’s alone and wanting.

He licks his lips, looking at her. “You really wanna do this?”

She should say no. There’s a mess of things between them that they need to untangle-- their breakup, their current status, the fact that he’s her employer . It’s one thing to fuck him, but it’s quite another to let him do this, a certain vulnerability associated with being tied up and at his mercy.

And yet, in this moment she’s not thinking about any of those things, not their pasts or the repercussions this might bring about or anything .

She trusts Bellamy.

Even now, years later, after everything went wrong between them and she left him hurting, she still trusts him.

So she nods, straining against his hold on her wrists to lean up and kiss him, a bit wet and sloppy, but it gets her point across.

There isn’t a proper headboard in the hotel for him to tie her to, so he just loops the tie around her wrists, wriggling his fingers underneath to make sure that there’s enough give.

“Don’t move,” he commands her, and it sends a shiver down her spine.

A part of her wants to be a brat, wants to pull her hands down and see what he’ll do to her in return, but the other part of her-- the part that’s been aching to come since they got to this stupid hotel-- is more than ready to be a good girl.

Bellamy takes his time kissing down her body. He nips at her collarbone, swirls his tongue around her nipple and draws out a moan from her, bites the softness of her belly with blunt teeth, moving down until his hands are grasping her hips, face level with her pussy.

He smacks a kiss to the inside of her thigh and she jerks with it.

“Look at you,” he murmurs, trailing a finger up over her slit, “Always so pretty for me, huh babe.”

She tries to buck against him but his grip on her hips are mean. “Bellamy come on,” she whines, trying to shimmy in his hold.

He chuckles, and she feels the gust of air against her oversensitive skin.

“Always so impatient,” he hums, spreading her wide with his fingers, but then he finally-- finally -- licks into her, a broad swipe of his tongue that has her keening.

He groans at the taste, a low, obscene sound in the back of his throat that makes her want to buck against his face, but his hands hold her in place. He licks and sucks and gets his fingers back in on the action, the same two that he used to tease her before. They pump in and out of her, each move slow and deliberate, carefully calculated to drive her mad.

They can both hear how wet she is as he fucks her with his fingers, and she only gets wetter when Bellamy teases her clit with his tongue.

“You always make the best sounds,” he says, glancing up at her as he continues to work her down below. Clarke’s been reduced to incoherent babble, just a cacophony of moans and gasps, his name interspaced between. “God, look at you. Wish you could see yourself right now, princess. Fuckin’ gorgeous.”

She just groans, shoulders aching as she keeps her arms up above her head for him.

She’s not going to last long; how can she, when she’s been keyed up since yesterday, when he’s been teasing her all evening, driving her to the edge but not quite giving her the push she needs to go over. Clarke feels like an elastic band pulled taut, and it’s only a matter of time before she snaps.

He grinds his thumb against her clit and her entire body flinches with it. She can feel his grin against her leg.

“Bellamy, please ,” she whines, feeling as though she might actually lose her fucking mind if she doesn’t get to come soon. 

“I know, Clarke, I know,” he says, still grinning, and she tries once more to buck against his face. It’s a futile attempt.

He must finally take pity on her though, fingers moving with renewed vigor as he laps at her. Bellamy crooks his fingers up inside of her, searching for that spot, the one that makes her entire body turn to jelly and ceases all rational thought in her mind. His tongue is relentless on her clit, alternating between licking circles around it and flicking at it with the tip. The combination of it all leaves her a sweaty, shaky, aching mess.

Clarke doesn’t know what she’s saying anymore, just begging him for release, and then in one swift move, his lips wrap around her clit and he sucks, hard , right as his fingers press up against that spot one last time.

Her back bows off the bed and the force of her orgasm rips a loud moan from her throat. Bellamy pulls back as she comes, mouth and chin glistening with her, but she barely even realises, wave after wave of pleasure cresting through her body.

When she finally floats back down to earth, she’s alone in bed and he’s halfway across the room, his back turned towards her. She sits up, eyes still a little bleary, watching him as he roots through his bag for a condom, taking in the way his clothes are all rumpled and hair’s a mess.

It sends a strange sense of pride coursing through her. I did that to Bellamy , she thinks, her need for him already starting to grow again.

When he turns back around he catches her, and he lets himself be brazen with the way he traces the lines of her body with his eyes. They finally land on her hands, hands that are currently positioned in front her chest now as she props herself up on her elbows. His smirk is downright dirty .

“Did I tell you that you could move?” he asks, voice dark as he reaches for her hand, rubbing the delicate bone of her wrist.

A shiver runs down her spine. “No.”

Carefully, slowly, he lifts her hands back up into position, eyes trailing over her chest, noting how this position makes it stick out, accentuating her breasts. 

“And what did I tell you before Clarke?” he asks, still not touching her body anywhere other than at her wrists.

“That you won’t be disobeyed.”

“Exactly.” He lets go of her and gives her a quick scan of the length of her body. “Roll over for me,” he says, gruff, and she does what he asks and rolls onto her stomach.

Bellamy positions her to his liking: balanced on her forearms and knees, ass up while one of his hands tangle in her hair. Her arms, still bound at the wrist, are stretched out in front of her and it takes the use of her core muscles to maintain the precarious position he’s placed her in. One wrong move and she’ll end up face planting into the pillows.

It sends a bolt of excitement through her; there’s something about this position, the way it leaves her open for him, making it easier to hit that spot deep inside her that makes her see stars. She’s never told him, but Clarke suspects that Bellamy knows that doing it this way drives her mad.

She doesn’t see the hand that comes down on her ass, but she feels it, the stinging slap making her squeal even as her cunt gives a feeble flutter around nothing. 

“That’s for not listening to me,” he says, kneading her flesh there until the sting of it disappeared. “But I’m sure you’ve learnt your lesson, right princess?”

She nods. “Yes.”

“Good girl,” he says as he runs his cock up and down her slit. The head bumps into her clit and she moans with it. “You remember what good girls get, don’t you babe?”

She nods again, biting her lip. The hand that’s not in her hair pets down her spine, soothing her, and it comes to rest on her hip. She likes the way he holds her, hard enough to leave bruises.

“Good girls get fucked.”

He slides in with one quick thrust and they both groan.

Fuck, she hasn’t been this full in a long time.

He pulls out, torturously slow, and she muffles a curse against the muscle of her arm.

“God, you look so good like this,” he says, the hand at her hip skimming up her body to grope her tits. “This as good as you remember?”

When she doesn’t reply, he grabs onto her hair, pulling on it so she gasps and lifts her head up. “I asked you a question, Clarke,” he pants harshly right next to her ear.

“Fuck,” she groans, feeling the way her cunt flutters around him. She’s not going to last long, not when he’s doing the absolute most to drive her out of her mind. “Fuck, it’s even better .”

That’s what he wants to hear. His responding grin is mean and he smacks a sloppy kiss to her cheekbone before pulling back.

Bellamy sets a brutal pace, his hips slamming into hers and her abs burn with the effort of keeping her balanced.

It’s messy, lacking their usual finesse, an animalistic haze settling between the two of them. She finds herself pushing back against him, arching her back and taking him deeper, meeting him thrust for thrust. The hand in her hair pulls it tight, sending frissons of pleasure-pain down her spine and it causes her cunt to clench down on him.

Everywhere he touches burns; her ass, her tits, her neck. There was always fire between them, fire in the way they loved and then hated and it’s here now, threatening to burn them alive. Clarke would let him burn her. She’d let him do whatever he wants so long as he doesn’t fucking stop .

He fucks her hard and fast, and she knows she’s going to be left with marks for the next few days to come. Her entire body will be sore but deliciously so. Just thinking about that gets her nearer to that peak.

“That’s it, princess,” he mutters, focused on snapping his hips rhythmically into his. “God, you’re so tight. Bet you’re close, yeah?”

She just nods her head, gnawing her bottom lip raw, so far gone that she can’t even speak.

His fingers find her clit and they rub sloppy circles into it, and her entire body spasms.

“Fuck,” she gasps, throwing her head back, eyes closed, “Fuck, Bellamy .”

“I know,” he says, jaw clenched. “I know. Fuck, I love your cunt. I can feel how sweet you’re getting for me, gorgeous.”

Her entire body felt like it was too much. Every touch goes directly to her clit, her cunt, and Clarke’s almost wordless with pleasure.

He drops his head between her shoulder blades, right at the top of her spine and she can feel his shuddering breaths as his hips continue to work. “Come for me,” he half orders, half pleads, a little desperate, “I want to feel you come on my cock, princess.”

It’s as though her body was waiting for him to say that because as soon as the words leave his lips, as soon as he rubs that next circle into her clit, thrusts inside her deep one more time, she fractures apart, feeling like a starburst.

Distantly she hears Bellamy finding his own release, feeling the shudder of his cock as he comes, hearing his groans, but she’s so blissed out, heart pounding so loud in her ears that she can’t find it in herself to even care .

He sags against her, trying to hold up the weight of him on one hand, the one he was just using to work her clit. It’s sticky as it trails down her leg to brace against the mattress. They’re both gasping for air.

“Fuck,” she giggles when she can finally speak again. “Fuck, that was even better than I remember.”

He slips out of her and helps her straighten up, dropping a kiss to the top of her head. “Yeah?”

She hums an affirmative. “We should have been doing that all along.”

His responding grin is wolfish even as his hands deftly undo the knot holding her wrists together. “You’re the one who wanted to stop.”

“I was going through a quarter life crisis,” she huffs, turning over so she can face him again.

His hair is an absolute mess, but his face is clear and worry free for the first time in ages. She can’t help it, she locks her arms around his neck and pulls him down, kissing him again.

The kiss is a bit uncomfortable, she’s too far down and her teeth end up knocking against his chin, but then Bellamy cups her jaw, sets them to rights and this is what she wanted all along. Slow, deep kisses as they work the residual arousal out of their systems, making out just for making out’s sake. She can’t remember the last time she did this, spent some time just kissing someone.

They kiss until their heartbeats slow back down, until they’re no longer gasping to catch their breaths. They kiss until it’s not more than a lazy slide of mouths against one another and Bellamy is the first one to pull back, to lie down against the pillows with a sigh.

His skin is damp with sweat and hers is too. Maybe later she might be able to persuade him to join her for a shower, go round two, but now--

Now they’re in uncertain territory.

She gnaws at her lip as she watches him, not wanting to be the first one to break the silence that settles between them in the aftermath.

“I missed you,” he says, low, arm thrown over his head so that his bicep obscured the view of his eyes.

Clarke props her head up on a hand and looks at him-- the steady rise and fall of his chest, the hard planes of muscle, the scar above his lip. She lets her hand fall on his arm, the one he has thrown over his face, and trails across it until she gets to his own hand. It never fails to amaze her the difference in size between them. The way her hand is almost lost in his own.

She links their fingers together.

“I missed you too,” she murmurs, leaning down to kiss him one more time. She doesn’t think that she’d ever get tired of that, his mouth pressed against hers, tender and sweet. “We should talk about this.”

“Later,” he says, tucking a piece of hair behind her ear. His face is impossibly soft and open right now and she can’t help herself, she drops a kiss to the tip of his nose. He scrunches it up. “Right now I just want to… be here with you, you know?”

She gets it. She doesn’t want to delve into the heaviness of their pasts, not right now when she’s happy and relaxed, and Bellamy is too. “I know.”

“But we will. Eventually. I promise.”

Later, they’d have time to talk about it-- to talk about everything -- but as of right now, Clarke is more than content to lay there, limbs intertwined with his, feeling his breath stir the loose strands of hair on her head while his heart beats beneath her closed fist.

Their hands are still linked and she gives him a gentle squeeze as she settles into his side, her mouth grazing the junction between his shoulder and his neck as she sighs.

“Whenever you’re ready.”