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If hard pressed, Will would have to say that it begins with the conversation in his office. Well, no. That's not really accurate, but he doesn't care to dwell on the true source of it all, because it embarrasses him in a base human way that makes his skin itch. 

They'd been in his bed one morning, getting up to things that were not at all helpful in preparing to leave for work on time. Will had been both on top of and inside Lisbeth, getting spurred on by the cloying desperate sounds that she only seemed to make when she wanted to see just how far he could wind him up. And winding him up, she most definitely was. Her hands were roaming all over him, which was normal. It was fine. Will rather likes her hands on him, and by the looks of it she likes her hands on him too. 

But for several minutes she'd been grasping at the swell of his ass like she owned it, which again, was more than fine. 

But then, almost as if daring him to to intercept, one of her fingers crept closer, and closer inward, until it had finally just ghosted over his hole. 

Will had come immediately. 

They hadn't talked about it afterwards, and Will had been grateful to have the excuse that they really hadn’t had the time. But even if they'd both been free for the rest of the week he knew he would not have been able to, the embarrassment at losing control so fast over such a simple touch sitting so ugly in his stomach he almost couldn't bear it. 

Which is why, yes, he'll probably choose to believe for the rest of his life that it starts with the conversation in his office later that day. Lisbeth finds a way to sneak in while he is on his lunch hour, finding time away from whatever lucrative and potentially illegal venture Jack has her on now. She'd started these little visits with the excuse of wanting to bring him a case file in person, and Will isn't about to call her out on it. 

Will greets her with a warm smile, thanks her for the coffee she had brought, and then almost immediately feels the awkwardness creeping in again. Lisbeth, astute as ever, seems to sense it in him but says nothing of it, because astute doesn't always mean kind.

She allows him to circle uneasily around the subject before finally, he cracks.

"So, this morning..." he begins. Lisbeth gives him a look from where she's folded up in her seat, half of his sandwich in her lap. 

"I know my reaction might have been unexpected, and." And Jesus Christ, it's not as if he's a blushing virgin when it comes to this particular facet of sex, he's not sure why he's acting like one now. "And I’m sorry if it discomfited you. I don't want you to think that's something you have to, I dunno, do from now on or - "

"If I wasn't interested in touching you that way, then I wouldn't have done it in the first place," Lisbeth interrupts. 

Oh, well in that case. In all of his agonizing, he for some reason hadn't even considered that option. 

Lisbeth waits for him to say something, anything, instead of just blanching at her. Finally, she throws him a bone.

"Have you done something like that before?"

"Well yeah, but. Never with a woman." That at least he can get out without any sheepishness. It's not as if he's ashamed of the act itself in the first place.

"What about you?" he asks.

Lisbeth's smile is impish.

"Never with a man," she replies, equal parts smug and serene. 

Will can only nod at that. They've reached an impasse again, but this time the options laid before them only make something pleasant twinge in his gut. 

"So, in that case..." 

Timing is again working against them, as Jack texts him right then to politely demand that he stop hogging his star researcher. The fact that he just knows Lisbeth is with him is something he has to tuck away to inspect at a later time. Lisbeth leaves, but the meaningful look in her eyes when she says she'll see him later tells him that she won't let this conversation fall by the wayside again. 

Little does Will know.

A few days later Will's phone pings with a notification in his pocket while he's overlooking an autopsy, and it's not until later that he's able to open it. 

Just as he'd hoped, it's an email from a suspicious-looking address that he's learned to trust by now. But instead of Lisbeth's usual brief quip or greeting it's merely a sizable list of links, followed only by the message, Any preferences?

Will taps the first link, and chokes on his coffee when he sees what site it pulls up. 

He's alone in his office and yet he still glances around himself, the old habits of a former hormonal teenage boy dying hard. He scrolls for a bit through the selections she's made for them, an array of harnesses and lengths and colors flying before his eyes, and soon realizes that he might be out of his depth. He's never had to make this kind of search before, after all.

I think you might be more of an expert than me here, he finally responds. Just go ahead and pick what you're comfortable with, I trust you. 

He's about to send the email when he hesitates, staring hard into the middle distance as he considers. 

He opens the keyboard back up, adds on, I do like them on the bigger side, though.

***

Whatever choice Lisbeth had went with and all its attachments arrive at Will's house the next week. The packaging is more inconspicuous for the sheer fact that it isn’t, and Will can feel his stomach flipping as he goes to scoop it up when he lets the dogs out in the morning.

He's partway through prying it open when he decides that perhaps he shouldn't be the one to do so. After all, it'd been Lisbeth who made the selection, Lisbeth who'd graciously paid for it; it's only her right to be the first one to see the gift she chose for them both. 

Besides, he wants to see the look on her face when she does.

Will sees that he's made the right decision when she comes over for dinner that night. 

She must sense that his mind is occupied, and the reason why, but she of course makes no note of it. It's only when she's cleared her plate, Will too ramped to finish his, that he pulls the small box out and places it on the table before her. 

"I'd started to open it," he explains. "But then I thought you might want to instead..."

Lisbeth gifts him with one of her rare genuine smiles, and then digs into the box with the excitement of a child opening presents on Christmas morning. If that child was mostly mute and covered in piercings, anyway.

She sifts through the box's contents, eyes rapt. To Will's surprise she doesn't pull any of them out for further inspection, keeping them hidden from his sight as she deems them adequate. She then closes the flaps of the box back up, hands resting over them demurely. It's as if a switch has been flipped.

"How are you feeling?" Lisbeth asks him. Will knows she doesn't just mean in the general sense. 

"Good. Really good," he responds. And isn't that an understatement. The anticipation he feels is like a heady thing in the air, thickening it and making it hard for him to breathe. And she hasn't even put the damn thing on yet. 

"Good." She sounds so casual, as if she really did just ask after his day. It's doing Will's head in. "I think I'll see to the dogs tonight." Will is about to object, when she speaks over him. "You should go clean up."

She isn't talking about the dinner dishes. Will nods, because he doesn't think he can speak at this point. 

Lisbeth holds his gaze for a moment, and then raises her eyebrows. Well, go on then.

Will finishes off the last of his whiskey, the rich burn down his throat exactly what he needs to hearten him. Then he makes himself stand, makes himself walk at a regular, even pace out of the room. He can feel her eyes tracking his every move. Even when he's stepping alone into the shower her presence is there, and he wonders how he'll manage when he's face to face with the real thing again.

***

Will emerges from the bathroom fifteen minutes later, hair damp and curling at the nape of his neck and a towel at his waist. Lisbeth’s done her part, the kitchen spotless and the dogs nowhere in sight, most certainly shuffling about in one of the spare rooms upstairs. His small house seems almost cavernous without their furry presence filling it, just the two of them left to fill the empty space with their bodies alone. 

Lisbeth straightens from where'd she'd been fussing with something by the bed, and Will's mouth goes dry. She's already slipped out of most of her layers, clad only in her black panties and the one tank top of hers that's riddled with bleach stains and holes. 

But's that's not what stops Will like to a punch to the gut: it's the harness, already pulled on over her panties and adjusted to the span of her slim hips. It suits her a little too well, all criss crossing straps and an empty metallic circle on her front that will soon hold whatever toy she chose. Will can only stand dumbly for a moment, having to swallow a newfound lump in his throat several times. 

Lisbeth of course notices this, but says nothing. She merely smirks, and juts her chin in the direction of the bed. 

Straight to business, then. He should have know she’d give him no room for respite once she set her mind to this.

Will pads his way over, feeling rather like he's tethered to a string and she's methodically pulling him in with it. He means to get onto the bed, he does, but at some point the muscle memory gives way to something else and he goes to face her, instead. Lisbeth stares up at him, patient amusement crinkling the corners of her eyes. Will would't be able to stop himself from leaning in and kissing her any less than he'd be able to stop himself from breathing. 

He brings a hand up to cradle her face, exploring her mouth even deeper when she responds with vigor. It's rare that he initiates their kisses, but she always returns the touch like she wants to map out the entire inside of his mouth, like she want to feel everything he has to give her. Her hands go to the knot at his towel, forcing the damp fabric to part and fall in a heap at their feet. In response Will brings his free hand under her top, allowing the fabric to bunch up against it as he circles a calloused thumb around her pierced nipple. Lisbeth gasps, and parts from him long enough to peel the top away.

She resumes the kiss for only a few moments longer, but when she breaks away once more it's only to gently guide him onto the bed. Will goes willingly, crawling backwards until his head reaches the pillows. It starts to feel more real this way, seeing her stand before him as if she's appraising him. Anticipation races through his veins, makes his pulse being to jump and something warm curl in his belly. His cock is already more than a little hard where it lays against his hip.

Lisbeth surprises him, though, when instead of proceeding she crawls onto the bed over him, diving in for another kiss like she can't help herself. There's a certain hunger in the way she sucks his bottom lip into her mouth, breaks away to plant a series of nips along his jaw. She begins to grind against him in slow, aching circles, and Will has to grip her hips at the sudden sensation of it. Even through her panties and the butter soft leather of the harness he can feel the heat of her against his bare stomach. The way she huffs in pleasure when she gets just the right friction. It makes him pant into her mouth, makes him want bring a hand between her thighs and just feel her. 

It's like she can sense them both getting carried away because she pulls back, face flushed. 

"Are you ready, then?" she asks, softly. Will can't do anything but nod. 

Some of her bearings apparently collected, Lisbeth slinks down his body, leaning down to grab a bottle of lube from the floor beside the bed as she goes. He already has his own, but he finds it oddly sweet that she went and purchased a new one just for the special occasion. Will’s legs have already started to fall open, revealing in their eagerness, and she guides them even further apart with a hand on each knee. 

Her gaze on his exposed skin is curious, assessing, but Will doesn't feel an ounce of the apprehension that he'd thought he would. He allows her to look her fill, reminding himself that this is a first of sorts for her as well. She's still looking in mute wonder when she blindly pumps lube onto her fingers. He snakes a hand down to help her out, holding his balls out of the way as she circles the tense ring of muscle below it. She’s going far slower than what he needs, what he is used to, but it's almost as if she 's doing so more for her benefit than his. Simply reveling in the fact that she's found another way to spear into his body and invade him, like she has with so many other aspects of his life. 

But then finally, finally, her finger slips into the tight heat of him. 

Will lets out a soft breath, his eyes falling shut. It may have been a while but he knows this feeling, the first instinctive curl of wrong melting away into something full and warm and pleasant. He opens his eyes just in time to see Lisbeth throwing him a glance. She must be reassured by what she sees, because she continues. 

Her fingers may be long, but they're still slender, and she’s slipped a second one into him in no time. She alternates between slow thrusts and carful little circles, not looking to pleasure but rather just exploring. The touches are still enough to get him fully hard, and he curls a hand around himself to tease a thumb at the head. He's already begun leaking.

"I won't break, you know," he mumbles after a while of this.

Lisbeth looks up at him, appearing very much like someone who's just been interrupted in the middle of a life-or-death important task. She gives a good hard thrust into him, as if to shut him up. They both take note of the way his hips jolt anyway, and Lisbeth carries on with a snort. 

He takes this chance to prop himself up on his elbows, study her just as much as she's studied him. The only source of light is his bedside lamp, and it softens the harsh concentration on her features, forms an amber halo around her silhouette. He examines the line of her lithe body further down, sees that one of her legs has been curled beneath her while the other dangles halfway off the bed. The arch of her bare foot in midair is strangely vulnerable. Will finds it far more endearing than he should. 

Which is of course when Lisbeth simultaneously decides that he's earned three fingers, as well as her mouth sucking at the head of his cock.

Will flops back down to the mattress, a rough and articulate “guh!" escaping him. Up until now the sensations had all been gentle, warming him slowly from the inside out but at a pace he could handle. But all at once it turns to pure heat, his toes curling in the sheets as Lisbeth mouths messily up and down his shaft.

"Touch me," she demands, half into his skin, and Will doesn’t need to be told twice. He runs a hand through the shock of her dark hair, feeling the bobbing of her head rather than guiding it. He doesn't wish to dwell on it, but some deep animal part of himself feels a hot thrill at the way his hand spans the entirety of her dainty face. 

Her fingers have reached a more regular rhythm, thrusting steadily into him and showing no signs of stopping. She takes in the small sounds he makes, the tiny twitches of his hips, and works and seeks until she hits his prostate dead on. A low hum rumbles in Will's chest before he's even aware that it's begun. 

"Lisbeth," he grits out, because if he doesn't now she could very well go at him like this for the next hour. "I'm ready, I've been ready."

She's released his cock from her mouth, thankfully, but now that she's found that spot inside him she seems hellbent on toying with it. The tips of her fingers are curling over it on every pass, and it's driving him fucking crazy. 

"I'm not sure I have the hang of it yet," she demurs. She doesn't even sound that out of breath. 

"Lisbeth."

The look in her eyes is practically gleeful, but she listens and gingerly pulls her soaked fingers out of him. She begins to stand, but not before pressing a single dry kiss to his hipbone. The touch is equal parts comforting and electrifying. 

Will allow himself to breathe and recover as she gets up, taking stock of the light misting of sweat that already covers him and the way he can’t stop squirming. The sight of her is a distraction from his predicament, but only up until the moment she retrieves the toy from where it'd been hiding and expertly clicks it into the harness.

And, look. Will is a grown man, with a job and a mortgage and several helpless animals that literally depend on him to stay alive. But he takes in the sight of his diminutive sort-of-girlfriend standing before him with a large, bright pink phallus jutting from between her legs, and he can't help but giggle. And giggle some more.

Lisbeth arches a brow at his reaction, but the quivering of her clamped lips gives her away. She cocks her hips to the side, and the toy sways with the motion. 

"That one just spoke to you, then?" Will asks between his snickers.

Lisbeth doesn't dignify him with a response. Instead she knees her way onto the bed and poises herself half over him, prying his legs apart with far more confidence than she had the first time and oh, that shuts Will right up.

"Do you want it like this, or would you like to be on your front?" she asks. She pumps more lube into her her hand to coat the fake cock as she speaks, and fuck if that's not one of the hottest things Will's ever seen, the delicate fingers that were just inside him stroking wetness over the artificial girth. Never mind that it's the color of a flamingo. Will is entranced, what little humor that was left in him going right out the window.

"Just like this, please," he manages after the silence has dragged. And Lisbeth tilts her had at that, as if she'd been expecting a different answer. But she takes it in stride, crawling forward to make herself at home in the cradle of his hips. Will can’t help but scoot even closer at her touch, finding that he missed it despite only being without for a few minutes. 

He can feel the head of the toy snagging at his hole. Each time it slips away is like the most delicious letdown, just one more thing that racks up his excitement even more. This is all that's been consuming his mind for weeks, ever since that morning in this exact bed, and yet he finds himself in disbelief that they've made it here, they're actually going to do this. He feels damn near giddy with it.  

Lisbeth braces a hand on the mattress by his head, gripping the toy with an experienced hand. She circles the head around his entrance, teasing, and the knowledge that she knows exactly what she is doing now makes this all so much worse, as any pause or hesitation from her end will be entirely intentional from here on out. But then, without announcement or ceremony, Lisbeth slides into him in one smooth go.

"Oh," Will breathes once her pelvis has met his. He hasn't felt this full in so long. He didn't realize how much he's missed it.

"Oh," Lisbeth repeats back at him, not unkindly. She eases out just a bit only to slip back in, seemingly engrossed with the sight of his rim stretched tight around the pink silicone. She meets his gaze, and he has no doubt that the look of wonder in her eyes matches the one in his own. 

"Do you need..."  she begins to ask, but Will discourages her with a firm shake of his head. He probably could benefit from more time, and it’s not like the toy is by any means small, but he needs to feel more, now.

"No. Go nuts."

She'd been moving into him with exaggerated slowness up until this point, and she takes his word as permission to go faster. She plants both elbows on either side of his head for better leverage, enveloping him. It makes it easier for his hands to press encouragingly to her back, his legs to curl around her tiny waist. Every place where her skin touches his is like an abused nerve ending. 

He’s not quite as used to this feeling in particular, far more accustomed to warm alive flesh being inside him. But it’s a good kind of different, the silicone unyielding as it fills him perfectly every time. It’s better, because it’s her.

"Good?" she asks him once she's reached a rhythm. 

Will just has to laugh, the sound little more than a wheeze, because how is he supposed to answer that?

"What do you think?" he teases. She grins down at him, shaking her hair out of her face as she does so. She has dimples, and she is possibly the most beautiful thing Will has ever seen. 

"Yes?" she presses, and this time he knows she's just fishing, but he does not care one bit. She leans down to rest even more of her weight on him. Her thrusts slow somewhat this way, but it's better like this, deeper. He feels each rolling pound into him like a throbbing ache. He accepts the kiss that she grants him, though it soon turns into more of a sharing of breath than actual contact.

"Yes, god, Lisbeth. Fuck."

He's laughing again, and maybe she's laughing too, and maybe they're both a little delirious.

"More," he says roughly. 

She separates from him then, but it's only to raise herself to her knees. To take his hips in a crushing grip and begin to give it to him, hard. The groan that escapes Will has his voice slipping up an octave. 

He catches just the tail end of another sound over that of their slapping skin, and he realizes with a jolt that it’s her: little tiger kitten grunts that seem to slip from Lisbeth's mouth of their own accord. She’s become something else, some sort of otherworldly being. Her skin is gleaming with sweat, the small weights of her breasts jolting with the force of her thrusts. Her face is contorted into something ferocious and hungry. Will can't fathom that this is the same person who so gently lay him down and stretched him open, but she is.

It's almost as if she can read his mind, because in the next moment she’s brought a hand up to rest tellingly over his throat. Not enough pressure to cut anything off, not yet, but enough to make her wordless question clear. 

Will's eyes shoot to hers, and there is plain intent in them. They hadn't even come close to discussing anything like this, so caught up were they in the fact that they were going as far as they are now. Or at least Will was, anyway. And yet he can't find it in himself to be scandalized, instead marveling at the the curiosity that only grows the longer she keeps her damn hand there. 

They probably shouldn't be having this conversation when she's giving him the world on a platter, a part of him realizes. It might make him say something stupid.

"Fuck, okay, yeah,” he rushes out, and he should be embarrassed with how eager he sounds. 

Lisbeth doesn't waste a second. She presses more of her weight on his delicate throat, fingers slowly squeezing the sides of his neck. Will feels the difference immediately, his chest juddering with the fight for more air when he was already breathing so hard. His mouth opens and closes like a fish out of water, and he knows he must look like a complete idiot. But he doesn't feel like it with Lisbeth looking down at him like that, like he’s an intensely fascinating experiment that she is the sole proprietor of.

Just as it tips over the edge into too much, she eases her hold on his neck with a particularly brutal jab to his prostate. Will gasps like a dying man. He’s shaking, his vision is swimming slightly at the edges, but it doesn't matter, because he feels like he could take flight any fucking second. 

Alright, fuck. So this is what so many people have been losing themselves over. Will wants to scorn his past self just on the off chance he’s ever been judgmental about it.

Lisbeth is close to preening above him, pleased with his visible enjoyment. After giving him some time to breathe, she goes for it again, and it's different when she lets go this time. The waves of pleasure are sharper, stronger as they crash over him. If he wasn't heading steadfast towards the edge before, her ministrations are nudging him along with the power and subtlety of an incoming train. 

"Touch yourself,” she orders. 

Will has been passing his hand idly along cock this entire time, holding on for only scant seconds before letting go, the pleasure it brought it too much too soon. He knows for sure now if he obeys her, he will come. He rests a hand over himself now, but that's not enough for her.

"Touch yourself, for me, Will," she repeats, and there's pleading edge to her voice that he couldn't ignore if he tried.  

He gives in and strokes himself, and he is so hard, so hot in his hand. Lisbeth is plundering into him, speeding up, her hand on his throat tightening more than it has all the times before. Her eyes on him feel like they could set him on fire. 

"Fuck, fuck," he rasps silently, and she lets go of his throat the exact moment his orgasm crests. The release of endorphins bowl him over just that much more, blank out his mind and make him come in spurts that seem to go on forever. Lisbeth indulgently fucks him through it, though she has to be exhausted by now. 

He makes himself let go eventually, that delicious line of of pleasurepain intertwining within him until it becomes too much. He drops his arm over his face, eyes hidden in the crook of his elbow, heaving. He's dimly aware of Lisbeth pulling out of him with utmost care, standing on shaky legs to shimmy out of the harness. He doesn't even have to look at her to feel the smugness radiating off of her.

He's wet and tender between his legs. He's absolutely covered in his own filth. And, in a new and foreign development, his neck is already sore from the abuse it's taken. But he can't remember the last time he’s been this satisfied. It seeps through him like a fine wine, makes him feel almost drunk with it. 

It takes a moment for his heart to stop racing, but once it does he feels something familiar creeping under his skin. The want only increases when he lifts his arm to see Lisbeth fiddling with the stubborn toy, an unconscious furrow in her brow. A great and uncontrollable wave of affection swells in him, and suddenly he can't bear another second of not having his hands on her. 

When she feels his eyes on her and glances up to meet them, Will gestures her closer with a wave of his hand.

"Jesus, come here," he murmurs, voice rough from earlier. Lisbeth hesitates. It’s clear that she’d had a plan, and this development is decidedly not a part of it. But then just as quickly she shifts gears, and Will is forever thankful for what changed her mind.

She tosses the harness aside, toy still attached and all, and yanks her panties down and off with a speed that still somehow manages to be graceful. She makes her way onto the bed once more, but Will isn't the center of attention this time around. 

It's all too easy to grip her thighs and maneuver her into a position they both know well, her knees on either side of his head and her hot tender flesh directly above him. Will spares a thought to the fact that perhaps this isn't the best idea, what with his neck in the state it's in, but it and every other inkling flies from his head when he runs a thumb along her folds and finds that she's drenched. 

Just from taking him apart, from making him and only him feel good, and isn't that something. The thought has Will moaning when she settles more comfortably over him and he puts his mouth on her. 

He's lascivious with it, as if he's been starved of her. He laps at her for several endless minutes, making her shiver with it, before he makes his way to her swollen clit and sucks it into his mouth. She grunts deep in her chest, slapping the wall before her when he doesn't let up. Her hips judder and quake, even with the punishing hold he has on them, but she seems to keep it at least somewhat reigned in deference to his neck. Nowhere near the wild bucking he's accustomed to from her. 

Will lets himself be messy, her slick getting everywhere from his nose to his chin. He wants to let his gratitude show in his ministrations, wants to worship her just as well as she’s worshipped him. He's succeeding, if the telltale sounds of her unsteady breathing are any indication. 

Will can sense when she starts to get close, no doubt pent up after only him getting all the attention for so long. He reaffirms his actions with vigor, uncaring about the the loud suckling noises that ensue that would make anyone else self conscious. A hand snakes up to toy with her breast while the other digs its nails into the curve of her ass, just on this side of too harsh. But it's just enough for Lisbeth, and she gushes into his mouth with a high, reedy cry. 

If this were any other night, he’d work tirelessly to bring her off once more, twice more. But her can feel her thighs quivering around him, threatening to give out, and he's quickly becoming exhausted if he's honest with himself. So he lies still below her, laving his tongue along the tendon where her inner thigh meets her pelvis as he waits for her to come down. 

In stages, she eases off him, crawling backwards just enough to swing an unsteady leg back and flop gracelessly onto the bed beside him. She squirms for a moment, restless, before finally going still. She’s got her eyes closed, her arms stretched long above her head, and Will doesn’t even try to hide the fact that he's watching the great display. Though he's sure she's all too aware of that fact. 

She seems to be reading his mind again, because she gives a short, rueful hum and reaches over to ruffle a hand through his hair. She always seems to want to touch it, and it pleases him in more ways than he can name. 

They don't speak yet, but maybe they don't need to. Will eventually matches his breathing to hers, and he takes small comfort in watching their chests rise and fall at the same time. 

After a short while, Lisbeth gets up. It’s as if she’d never been interrupted in her quest to clean up after them, never mind the brief interlude that just happened to involve her sitting on his face. There’s a sort of business-like speed to her movements, marred of course by the fact that her smooth gait has been affected somewhat. Will watches her head towards his kitchen without bothering with clothes, shameless and un-self conscious in her nudity. 

He shifts deeper into bed with a sigh. It occurs to Will that maybe he should get up as well, rather than lounge around and wait for her to finish puttering about. But the languor weighing down his limbs has him far too comfortable, and she’d seemed so intent in following through on her plan. Perhaps it’s only him being wishful, though.

No sooner has the thought entered his mind that Lisbeth returns, bearing gifts. She takes a sip from the glass of water in her hand before passing it to him. While he's occupied with it she wordlessly begins to wipe him clean with the hot towel in her other hand, starting with gentle strokes over his mouth and chin that travel to where his seed has started to dry all along his front. She even dips the towel briefly between his legs, though her actions are shaded with a shyness that definitely hadn't been there before. 

Will allows this all to happen, propping himself up just enough to gulp the water but not doing much else. He watches her face, the way her features soften the more she touches him.

He’s long given up trying to grasp her in all her facets, the quiet Swede who seems to despise authority even though she consults for one of the largest ones in the country; who stands almost a full foot shorter than him but had no issue speaking to him like he was a fool upon one of their first meetings. He's struck again by her contradictions, comparing in his mind the woman she was then to who she is to him now. That swell of affection from earlier comes back, and Will has to bite his lip against the silent force of it.

He still doesn’t know much of her past, but he knows she doesn't need any of that from him. So he says nothing, only passing the empty glass back to her when she holds a hand out for it. 

Lisbeth goes to dispose of both the glass and the dirtied towel. The moonlight creeps through the cracks in the blinds and illuminates her pale skin as she walks, making her look like a specter haunting the halls of his house late at night. Will listens to the rapid thump thump thump of her footfalls as she pops upstairs to release the dogs, so they won't be cooped up all night. 

There's a slight commotion as they flood into the living room, some of them offering him a sniff or kiss in greeting before arranging themselves on their various beds. They’re followed by Lisbeth herself, the strangest reverse Pied Piper that Will has ever seen.

She lingers by the bed, seemingly unable to meet his eyes. As if she hasn't just spent the past hour breaking him to pieces and tenderly putting them all back together again. It makes him wonder just how many of his thoughts have been present on his face for her to see, if he’s scared her away with any of them.

Will wants her near but he doesn't want to overwhelm her, so he scoots a bit to one side of the bed, arms open if she wants to accept them, inviting expression on his face if she wants to see it. 

She stays for a bit more, before coming to some internal decision that he'll never be privy to. Lisbeth slips under the covers with him, allowing him to wrap an arm around her so she can rest her head on his chest. His skin has cooled in the spots where she cleaned it, and she seems to want to feel more of it, taking a moment to nuzzle further into him. Will lets her, only separating from her enough to stretch his free arm out to click off his bedside lamp.

They settle together in the darkness. Now that they're not distracted with each other the sounds of the night encroach upon them, the chirping of crickets, the whispering of the long grass swaying in the wind. If Will closes his eyes he can almost imagine that they're outside, laying on the ground with the stars above them. He pictures his house as how it appears when he's out late at night, his little boat that speaks only of light and safety in the darkness. He hasn't told her about his metaphor, and he doesn’t think he will, but somehow he doesn't think she'd scorn him for it.

"You okay?" he murmurs. His fingers idly twist through the strands of her hair. 

Lisbeth nods into his chest, a soft little "mhmm" following the movement. She's been withdrawn since they finished, not that she isn't always, but Will still believes her response. He's beginning to understand more and more of her, every day that he sees her, and he's finding that she says so much more with her actions and movements than she does with her words. Will can't wait for whatever else he'll discover about her.

"Thank you." 

The words are near whispered into her forehead, followed by the briefest touch of his lips that he just can't help. He means them more than he can say, though he can't even begin to list the things he's actually thanking her for. 

She knows, though, he's sure of it.

"You're welcome."