Cassian couldn't stop staring at the breathtaking woman beside him, her face on his chest as she slept peacefully. Deeply. Dare he say, completely wiped out from what they'd done into the early hours of the morning. A soft upward tick at the corners of her lips told him she was happy, hopefully completely sated.
He knew he was.
With each breath her chest brushed against his side, warm air tickling across his torso. She'd been dreaming when he woke up. Or, at least, that's what he assumed when he was brought to consciousness by her voice. It hadn't taken him long to realize that the gentle words - coherent on their own but complete madness when strung together - were Nesta sleep talking, and he knew he wouldn't be getting back to sleep any time soon. No, he stayed still and listened, as if the incomprehensible sentences would tell him something about her.
A few minutes later and the words stopped, and then her eyes stilled beneath her lids as she slid into a dreamless phase of sleep.
Her left arm was draped over him, fingers slightly taut against his skin, holding him close to her even in sleep. Her left leg remained tangled with his, and Cassian was grateful Nesta didn't move much in her sleep. A jerk upward with her knee would have been quite painful for him.
Instead, he just felt the warmth of her body seep into him, his skin tingling at every point of contact.
She still had her tattoo bandaged. Or, re-bandaged.
After Mor barged in, and their shared kisses led to a need Cassian had never felt before, he asked if she'd like to go somewhere more private. Nesta had agreed quickly, with the condition they go to her place, as clearly he has a rather full apartment. He'd accepted with the dopiest smile on his face, and the two dressed and left quickly.
Despite the small size of the studio apartment, they didn't manage to make it to the bed for round two. After that they showered, Cassian helping Nesta with the washing of her tattoo, and then they left it to breathe while they ordered take out and ate dinner.
The food had been basic, yet the conversation completely entrancing. Nesta was sharp, funny, and incredibly fiery. She'd clearly been nervous during the tattoo appointment, but Cassian had known when he first saw her that there was a cold, powerful fire within her. He'd almost fallen to his knees when she snapped at him for calling her 'sweetheart', when, for a moment, he saw the warrior queen flash to the surface.
Cassian couldn't help but spend their dinner attempting to rile her up again. It only got worse when he learned about that sharp tongue of hers, and then he started to just get stupid with the things he said and did.
It didn't seem to deter Nesta, though.
He'd managed to grab some more tape and bandages on their way out of the tattoo parlor, so after letting it breathe for a bit, he wrapped it up again so that Nesta would be able to sleep on it without it getting stuck to the sheets.
At least, that's what he told her, what he told himself. Luckily for him, Nesta didn't listen, instead pushing him on to the bed before removing his pants and bringing her mouth to his cock. He could barely breathe while she worked, and he'd been sure to return the favor immediately.
After hours tangled together, the two eventually fell asleep, Nesta curled into him. He knew he must've had the most ridiculous smile on his face as he drifted off.
And there she still was, so beautiful, so perfect. Her golden-brown hair wild and free, spread out across him and behind her. Once the bandage was on Cassian wasted no time in pulling her hair out of its bun. The loose waves bounced and flowed with her movements in a way that made him pause to admire her on multiple occasions.
Now his fingers idly brushed through her ends as he watched her sleep, feeling the tug of his lips as he studied her face, neck, and shoulders.
He hadn't noticed how many freckles she has. He'd seen a few, of course. The larger ones sporadically decorating her arms were easily noticeable, but he wouldn't have described her as 'having freckles'. There were a few noticeable ones on her face, and looking closer, she had the tiniest, most delicate freckles all across her nose. Adorable, especially when she scrunched her face in her sleep.
That's not what held his attention though.
No, Cassian's eyes were glued to her left shoulder and blade, and he couldn't stop searching for and counting the freckles he found. There were ones like what she had on her arm - dark and big enough to spot quickly. There were lighter ones of the same size, darker ones with smaller radiuses, and then little, light freckles that were easy to miss at first and second glance.
So he started counting. There weren't a ton of freckles, admittedly, but he could see enough of Nesta's right shoulder blade to know that this side had at least two times as many freckles. Well spread out, and trailing up her collar and toward her neck.
He continued his count, bringing in freckles that dotted the front of her shoulder, and that small path leading to her neck. He found a particularly tiny one that was surprisingly dark, and a second near-identical one two inches below it, both in the area where her shoulder and chest meet. He loved them instantaneously. There was a lighter yet larger one that lay directly atop her clavicle, right where the bone is. Then another diagonally above that, where her neck meets her collar, as if marking the spot he now knew made her writhe.
His own little beacon to Nesta's pleasure.
A soft sigh sounded next to him as her body shifted slightly. He felt her head tilt upwards as a louder sound came through her yawn.
"Good morning," he whispered, a smile plastered across his face.
"'Mornin'," she mumbled, barely understandable in her groggy state. Cassian's grin only grew at that, at the sleepy Nesta beside him. It made his heart practically leap out of his chest. "Wa-tim?" she added through another yawn, her eyes not even open.
She acted as if it were the most natural thing in the world, for her to wake up in his arms. As if this wasn't the very first time it was ever happening. As if the two hadn't met fourteen hours before. He could have melted into the bed at seeing it.
"It's almost six," he answered, assuming her question had, in fact, been asking about the time.
"Too early," she groaned slowly, tightening her arm around his chest and snuggling her head in deeper.
Cassian chuckled. "Go back to sleep," he encouraged, his hand now brushing up and down her back as he placed a kiss to the top of her head. She reciprocated, offering a quick peck to where she lay on his chest.
"When do you need to leave?" she asked, her voice still quiet and husky from sleep.
"My first appointment is at nine-thirty."
"And you need to go home first?"
"I have a change of clothes at the parlor," he explained. "So, no. Plus, my bike is still there."
"Oh, yeah," Nesta laughed, her eyes finally fluttering open and looking up at him. "That gives us about three hours."
He beamed down at her, at the message that came through her words. Her desire to spend as much time as she could with him this morning. A feeling he could truly understand.
"I'm sure we could find something to do in that time," he teased, bringing his other hand to her face and gently cupping her check.
"I'm sure we could," she agreed, a light dancing in those stormy blue-grey eyes. Her eyes glanced to his neck and a wide smile spread across her face, brightening the entire room. "Did you know you have a freckle?" She started moving, pulling herself up a bit. "Right…" she kissed the left side of his neck, halfway between his jaw and shoulder, "here."
He didn't have the words to respond as he watched her intently. As she giggled and started to kiss her way up his neck, down his jaw line, until her lips were meeting his in a soft caress.
At the touch, all other thoughts vanished from his head as he pulled her onto him and deepened the kiss.
He could continue his count later.