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Bedfellows, Strange or Otherwise

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Evie catches herself hijacking more cargo wagons, raiding more boats, even robbing a train. She's not sure why until she goes to tell Ned of her latest exploits and sees his eyes light up with delight. And when he hands over the kukri she knows she's not ready to handle yet, their fingertips touch.

There's no good reason to put herself in danger for these base criminal acts; she and Jacob (but mostly Evie) have invested wisely in such things as pub football leagues, and she has only to visit the train and look in the safe to see tens of thousands of pounds, more than she's ever seen in her life, more than she could ever spend even if she had a hundred new pockets sewn into her clothes. But every crooked smile from Ned makes it worthwhile.

One night, Evie catches herself thinking of him as she makes ready for bed in her compartment. Wondering about him. Thinking about his curved lips, about his wiry arms, about whether she would feel his glasses pressed against her face if she kissed him.... She flushes, puts it from her mind, and goes to bed.

The next time she sees Ned, she's stuttering and bashful, and can't meet his eyes. She's not sure if he notices, until he takes her hand in his. "Hey. Look at me, Evie. What's the problem?" And she doesn't mean to, but she starts telling him all about how perfectly proportioned his lips are, and only stops when he presses those lovely lips to hers.

They kiss for some minutes there, and then Evie licks her lips and jerks her head towards the train, which has just pulled into the station. "We could continue this in my compartment?" Ned nods, and they sit on her bed, kissing. And then Ned's peeling her Assassin robes off her, pulling down her trousers, and she can't help but shiver with excitement. She's not sure what to expect--not the terrain of Ned's body, that's not a surprise to her, but what he plans to do with her.

Evie's heard the rumors that Ned's a womanizer, but wouldn't believe them save for the skill in his hands and lips as he does what he says every man should do for his woman anyway. She wants to return the favor, but her hands are clumsy and shaky until he guides them in the specific way he wants. And when he's joined her in being thoroughly sated, they lie together, legs interwoven on the narrow bed, until Jacob barges his way in.

"Oi, Evie, did you know--" He stops, rubs his eyes as if he can't quite believe what he's seeing, then outright stares. Ned pulls up the blanket with a scowl, but Evie just laughs. And laughs, and laughs, because she can't believe how well this has gone, how wonderful a day she's having, how marvelous Ned is.