He was on the brink of collapsing from mental exhaustion. His mind was completely empty. His hand dangled off the couch as he stared up at the blank ceiling of Lucy's apartment. The boring old book that she had given him was suddenly thrown across the room.
"Oi! Lucy," Sting called out, "How long do I have to sit here?"
She was so absorbed into writing her novel that she didn't even acknowledge his presence. Her pencil danced around as she furiously scribbled down words into her notebook. He decided that he liked the way she looked when she was writing her story. It was nice. Her face was nice.
He was fascinated by the focused look she made when she dove into her novel and the way she slumped in despair when she suffered writer's block. These were just two of the numerous things he noticed about her when she was doing the thing she loved the most. She hardly noticed him staring while she was writing, and when she did, her face would turn a bright shade of red and she'd stutter for him to stop, eventually shooing him away—which made it even more fun.
He admired that about her. The last time someone tried to read her work in progress, Natsu ended up getting stuck head-first inside a wall. The only thing that bothered him was why she hid the fact that she was writing a novel. There's no reason for her being so secretive… Is she hiding something? Sting's curiosity suddenly peaked. What on Earthland does she write about?
He got up from the couch. The aspiring, young author still hadn't noticed him yet. If he was gonna get caught, he would accept the consequences. It's now or never, He decided. He casually strolled over to her desk and gripped onto the rail of her chair. She dreamily propped her face up with her hand as she wrote of her heart's content. He proceeded to read the top of the paper, unnoticed.
The beginning had a few warnings, like some violence, a few bad words, and something called a 'lemon'. His brow arched at this. What's so bad about a story with a lemon, he wondered. The celestial lollipop that Plue had given him was lemon-flavored. He didn't get it, but he continued on with the story.
It was a romance story, Sting later realized. A sort of story where two individuals—male and female—fall in love. He wasn't really into these types of stories, but he continued on anyways.
Sting then got really confused. The next few paragraphs had a bunch of words that he didn't understand. He read around them, trying to figure them out by using context clues, but nothing came to mind. Just before he was about to give up, his eyes skimmed down to something interesting.
Sting didn't know what was going on, but Lucy's story involved two people—one boy and one girl—lying down together. He read on, and the boy crawled on top of the girl and started sucking on her neck. He quirked a brow at this. He wondered if the boy was secretly a vampire. He continued reading, and the boy had given the girl something called a 'hickey' on her neck.
"A hick-key…" He unconsciously sounded the word out.
Sting looked to see Lucy trembling in her chair with a maddening red, blushing face.
Sting sat on the couch watching Lucy pace around in front of him with a bored expression. As usual, she was chatting way too fast, giving him the usual lecture when he gets caught watching her write. But this time, he greatly overdid it. "So…" She eyed him suspiciously, "Did you… happen to read anything weird?"
She twirled her hair around nervously.
"Define weird." He replied.
"I—I see, ahem," Lucy cleared her throat. She looked somewhat relieved, "You better not do that ever again, you hear? I'm not very confident in my writing ability yet, so I don't like it when other people read my work. Someday, when I become a little better, maybe I'll allow you to take just a small peek, but—"
"What's a hickey?" Sting asked innocently, which made Lucy almost fall over. Her face immediately turned a bright scarlet and she completely turned around, ignoring his gaze.
"What does it mean?" He asked again, this time a little annoyed.
"…It means a lot of things." She remarked, composing herself, "Things that you shouldn't know about until you're older."
Sting began feeling really irritated. "Just how much older?" Sting pouted. He crossed his arms, greatly frustrated by the fact that he wasn't allowed to know. It was just a story, all make-believe, so Sting didn't really see the problem with just knowing.
"Until you're a hundred years old~" Lucy smiled teasingly.
Sting fumed. He knew she was toying with him, but arguing with her would only make him feel even more frustrated. "Fine." He sighed in defeat.
Lucy stretched and yawned, "Good. All of these surprises wear me out too fast… I'm going to sleep." Sting watched as she gently laid down in bed, "Turn off the lights when you're done."
Sting let out a frustrated sigh. He reclined on the couch, thinking about the story. His hand absent-mindedly cupped his own neck. Did that stuff really happen? What the hell did it all mean? If he bothered Lucy about it, he'd just get the same response as before, which was even more vexing. He was usually stubborn, but when he got curious about something, he was persistent.
He then thought of a scheme. And it was probably the only way to get Lucy to tell him what the word meant, so he followed his gut. When he was sure she dozed off, he slipped off the couch and turned off the lights. The moonlight shone from the window, illuminating her body. He liked the way she slept. When her mouth wasn't moving, she somewhat looked peaceful.
After taking a deep breath, Sting carefully crawled onto the bed, carefully positioning himself on top of her. Although she was lightly asleep, her face remained completely relaxed. His knees were a little shaky at first, but he listened to his instincts. Taking in another deep breath, Sting slowly moved in forward, pressing his mouth onto her neck.
Something kicked in and he suddenly felt an irresistible urge to devour her whole being. He began to feel Lucy stir beneath him, but he let out a low growl. He didn't care. He locked his lips in place, sucking at the soft skin on her neck. Lucy let out a moan, but she didn't say anything. Sting felt her smooth hands on his waist, slowly trail up to his shoulders.
"S—Sting!" She stammered, clutching him by his shoulders. Sting didn't budge an inch. He proceeded to sink his teeth into her neck. Lucy flinched, but didn't let go. She forcefully shoved him away, looking at him in shock. A small, red bruise appeared on the place Sting latched his mouth on. Sting stared at it with wide eyes, "Wow. Does it hurt?"
"Wha—Wha—Wha—Wha—Wa—Wa—" She sputtered in pure shock, "Where did you… Why did you… What?" Lucy grasped at her neck. He studied her expression; she looked pretty exasperated and her face was turning bright pink. His eyes made contact with hers and it looked like she was about to cry; a mixture between hurt and anger. Sting was greatly confused by her emotion.
"…Did I do something wrong?" He frowned. Sting sat up right, looking down at the blanket to avoid her gaze. The last thing he wanted to do was make her upset. Lucy stared at the sincere, apologetic expression of his. "I read your story even when you didn't want me to. And… That was in it, and I knew you wouldn't tell me what it was, so I thought…"
Without realizing it, Lucy brought her hand gently upon his cheek. The contact caused Sting to look at her face, and she had hints of a smile forming from the corners of her mouth.
"You were just curious. You didn't do anything bad." She said quietly.
"…I'm sorry, Lucy."
Her eyes widened. It was the first time she had heard him actually call her by her real name, instead of Blondie. It was also the first time he apologized for something. She broke into a smile, "It's okay, Sting. Just, be happy." Lucy wrapped her arms around him, pulling him close into hug. Sting did the same, embracing her, embarrassed.
"So…" Sting pulled away and gestured towards the mark he made on her neck, "What does this mean?"
"What does… oh, that." Lucy seemed to have forgotten in a brief moment—or at least tried to forget. She paused for a long time, "Um… I-it's called…" What was the best way to explain something like this to him? Wait, why should she even be telling him this in the first place? The idea of soiling his innocence made her frown.
"It's called a hickey." She explained. "People who love each other give this mark…"
Love… Sting knew little about love. He knew he loved his dragon. And he knew his dragon used to love him. He knew that he loved Celestial Spirits and he loved showing off his strength. He loved Natsu and he also loved Happy.
He loved Lucy.
"But," Sting emphasized his question, "What does it mean? Why do people do it?"
"I guess it's a symbolic way for people to say, 'You are mine', or 'You belong to me'." Lucy pondered for a bit, "Well, that's the best way I can explain it for you. I don't know too much about it myself," She laughed nervously.
Sting sat motionlessly on the bed. His spiky, blonde hair hang over his face as he remained deep in thought. The moonlight, shining through the window, suddenly made their figures glow even brighter within the darkness. Sting remained silent for a while before shoving Lucy back down onto the bed. He whispered in a serious tone, "Lucy…"
"S—Sting?" Her eyes widened as he suddenly raised his body over hers, pressing his hands down on the mattress for support.
His ocean-blue eyes made contact with her warm-brown orbs, "You are mine." He then grasped her hand and guided it onto his own neck, "So then… Can I be yours?"
Lucy sat up straight in her bed, panting heavily. Her eyes flustered around the room in a panic, but she realized she was in her own apartment. She looked out the window and noted it was still night time. There was just one thing she had to clarify. She hopped off her bed and made way towards the bathroom. She turned on the light and looked at her reflection in the mirror.
Her hand was still cupped around her neck, where the small red mark was made. She removed her hand, only to reveal flawless-looking skin. The mark that the arrogant little brat had made wasn't there!
"Thank God, it was only just a dream!" Lucy laughed to herself in relief. She then stopped laughing mid-way and began to feel very sad, "Yeah. It was only just a dream…"
She still remembered the day when Sting decided to run away. On the morning which she woke up and found Sting to have disappeared, she, Natsu and Happy searched all over the town for him, only to find nothing. When she managed to join her dream guild, she was happy, but she also felt a little empty on the inside. Whenever she returned home from her missions and adventures with Natsu and the gang, she was always half-expecting him to suddenly appear.
She missed Sting.
The only thing left to do was go back to bed; but, her bed sometimes felt too big for her. It was spacious and felt a little lonely. Sleeping without him was lonely. She missed the feeling of another person's warmth. "…I just can't get used to sleeping alone." She said out loud to herself as she exited her bathroom.
"Then allow me to join you!"
Her face was deadpan as one of her celestial spirits, Loke the Lion, sprawled across her bed, shirtless. His eyes sparkled radiantly like stars and he stretched his hand out towards her, waiting expectantly for her to grab it. Her eye then twitched.
"Forced Gate Closure."
"Uwah! Lucy, noooooooooooo~"
The sex beast was pulled back into the Spirit World. Lucy heaved a heavy sigh. With the mood of going back to sleep killed, she decided writing another letter to her mom would be the best way to help settle her mind. She sat at her desk and picked up a pen.
I'm doing okay as always.
Our guild is having an S-Class Advancement Exam and everyone's pretty excited. Of course, there's no way I'd qualify for the test, but tomorrow I'm going to be helping my friend, Cana. A lot of things have come up recently, you see…
Cana decided that if she doesn't pass this exam, she won't be worthy enough to meet a certain someone. She even threatened that she would quit the guild for good this time… I can't let her do that! She is a part of the family. There's no way she can just leave!
I became her partner.
She's depending on me.
I'm going to use all my power to help her pass.
Tomorrow at Tenroujima, no matter what happens, I'll help her become an S-Class wizard!
You don't have to worry about me, though.
By the way, I had another dream about Sting tonight.
When he comes back, I'll fill him on everything he's missed so far: How I met Gray, Erza, and Wendy… How we managed to stop Lullaby, the Tower of Heaven, and the Oración Seis … Our impossible adventure in Edolas... A lot has happened in the span of just 6 months!
He'll definitely come back again, I'm sure of it. Once he does, I'll show him to everyone at the guild! I'll show him to Mira, Master Makarov, Levy, and to Cana—after we come back together from passing the S-Class exam, that is. Wish us luck, Mom!
Love you! –Lucy H.