Mia laughed at the erratic noises coming from Wyatt’s bedroom. It never ceased to amuse her, Wyatt getting hastily dressed to make it to the hub in the morning.

She was already showered, dressed, made up, and on her second coffee. Any other day she’d have been at the lab by now, but there was something irresistible about this version of Wyatt that compelled her to stay.

“Damn it, damn it, damn it.” Wyatt was running around the living room, stuffing his laptop into his satchel, then doing a three-sixty to scan for anything he may have forgotten.

“You are aware you’ll still be plenty early to work, right?” Mia asked with an amused smile from her perch on the breakfast bar.

Wyatt spun to her with a scowl, his messy hair even rowdier than usual and one tail of his dress shirt untucked. He looked almost boyish, all disheveled and erratic.

“Early in layman terms, late in Mia terms,” he answered with a raised eyebrow, properly tucking his shirt into his slacks.

Mia laughed and hopped off her chair, going to pour coffee into Wyatt’s to-go mug. No matter how hard he tried, mornings always got the better of Wyatt. It was the one aspect of his life he seemed unable to curate into the perfectly polished display he so zealously guarded, a tiny part of Wyatt that was all-too human and for her eyes only.

Mia felt Wyatt’s heat at her back, his arm circling her waist and his warm breath at her ear. “Am I having you for dinner tonight?”

“Maybe dessert,” Mia answered, angling her head to give Wyatt room to nuzzle her neck. “I need to go buy a dress for the banquet next week.”

“Sounds fun.” Mia snorted. “No really, I like shopping.”

“Of course, you do.” Mia turned to face Wyatt, arms circling his neck. “There are better lies to tell to get on my good side.’

“I don’t lie.”

“Everybody lies,” Mia said, feeling inexplicably annoyed at Wyatt’s ridiculous assertion. “You’ve never faked your parent’s signature for school? Taken a sick day even when you weren’t sick?”

Wyatt’s lips pursed tight, then he rolled his eyes with a sigh. “Okay, fine, I’ve told whitelies. Never faked my parent’s signature,” he hurried to clarify. “But I get your point. I am telling the truth about liking to shop, though. I used to go with my twin, Kylie, all the time.”

“Still…” Mia shrugged, not sure what about the idea of her and Wyatt strolling together down High Street unsettled her so much.

“Plus, we’re going to the banquet together, I need to approve your dress.” Mia pushed a laughing Wyatt away with a scandalized gasp and a slap to his chest.

“Enfoiré!” Mia tried to wriggle out of Wyatt’s hold, but he easily held her in place. “Who said we’re going together, anyways?” She stuck her chin out, giving up the futile struggle. “You don’t have a claim on me just because I let you fuck me.”

Something flashed through Wyatt’s eyes, but he gained control of the emotion too quickly for Mia to decipher the meaning of it.

“No, but since neither of us is romantically involved, it’s expected that we represent the hub as a unified front.”

Politics. Mia both hated it and was surprisingly relieved at the handy excuse.

“Fine, we’ll go ball gown shopping after work,” she said with a huff, making a big show of resigning to the logical justification. “Can we leave the house now?”

Wyatt’s grin stretched ear to ear and with a small swat to her bottom, he grabbed his coffee and turned towards the door.

“You’re intolerable,” Mia called after him, quickly rinsing her mug and following Wyatt.

She barely caught up before finding herself in a hard press between Wyatt’s body and the front door, his breath hot against her lips as he spoke.

“Thank goodness for my intolerability,” he said in a low voice before nipping at her lower lip. “It’s why we end up spending every weeknight in my bed and every weekend in yours.”

“We only spend weeknights in your bed because your flat is closer to uni.” Wyatt hummed something of an affirmation before claiming her mouth, deep and hot. “You’re going to make me late.”

“I’m going to make you come,” Wyatt rumbled against her skin, already undoing her trousers.

Mia considered arguing even though she knew she’d cave to Wyatt’s seduction, but realized it would cost them valuable time and the risk of being seen leaving his apartment together early in the morning.

She pushed down her trousers and underwear while Wyatt dropped his own and rolled on a condom, ducking between her legs and lifting her up against the door with her trousers around her ankles and her knees spread wide. His fingers teased her from behind, readying her.

Mia gasped when Wyatt entered her with a slow stretch, rocking his hips to the sound of their shortening breaths.

“Deeper,” she said in a quiet moan, and Wyatt swallowed the shuddery breath leaving her lips as he acquiesced. “Harder.” They were groaning and gasping, the door rattling at Mia’s back with every pound. “Faster,” she begged, a high-pitched pant, clutching onto Wyatt’s shoulders as her climax rolled over her, followed by Wyatt.

“Worth being late for,” Wyatt declared with a half-grin, gently untangling their bodies.

Mia huffed and shook her head, pulling herself back together and shooting Wyatt a raised eyebrow challenge when she turned to leave the house, leaving him there to clean up.

“I’ll see you at work, Doctor Jenkins.”

Wyatt’s laughter followed her out, and Mia couldn’t help but smile.



“I’m telling you, the golden dress was stunning on you,” Wyatt said with conviction, pulling Mia after him into another store. “The color brings out the purple in your eyes.”

“That cut was unseemly,” Mia answered with a revolted expression.

“Unseemly?” Wyatt laughed, holding the door open for Mia to enter. “Are you going to tell me how I vexyou next?”

“Well, you do.”

“And I quite enjoy it.” Wyatt winked before turning to the dresses on display. “Alright, let’s find you a seemly dress, Doctor Bissonnette.”

“Same as last time?” Mia asked, rolling her shoulders and neck.

“Five minutes, three dresses each,” Wyatt affirmed. “Starting… now!”

They sprinted in different directions, each trying to locate the perfect dress for Mia. It was a silly competition he often played with Kylie back home, but it was an entirely different matter to engage in such a game with Mia.

It was a game based on honesty, on having full trust that the person in front of you will give their candid opinion even under the threat of losing. So, when Mia didn’t hesitate to play, he had a small but significant affirmation that she trusted him as well.

An excited “Ha!” from an obscure part of the store snapped him out of his over-romanticized thoughts. Mia had found a dress she deemed perfect. She was in it for the win, not for the show of confidence, a cruel reminder to Wyatt that she still viewed their relationship as a fleeting pastime and he was bound to get his heart broken. Still, that didn’t mean he’d let Mia best him.

With a few choice superlatives, Wyatt hurried to look through the available garments, when a soft reflection of the lights shone at the corner of his eye. He rushed to the source of it, grinning when he saw the beckoning gown.

Taking two additional random dresses, Wyatt returned to the start point where Mia was waiting with a grin of her own.

“Ready?” she asked.

“Let’s do this.”

Wyatt followed Mia as far as he could before she disappeared into the fitting rooms with her six dresses. One after the other she promenaded the various choices. The first four were clearly the least successful of the pile, which meant Mia was underwhelming him to enhance the effect of her dress of choice.

Smart. Not that it came as a surprise, but it was a pleasant reminder of one of Mia’s most appealing traits. It also meant she had known which dress was his preferred, a sure sign she was noticing things about him, bothering to learn him and his character.

“Ready?” Mia’s voice once again cut his wishful thinking short.

“Just get out here, no need to over dramatize the whole thing.” Wyatt was smiling, trying to convey an air of banter, but his sensibility was at war with his heart, and the former was building tension in his chest that was splintering the enjoyment of the moment.

“You’re no fun,” Mia said with a huff, swaying out through the velvet curtains in a burgundy red dress with shimmering strands running through it that hugged all her slender curves.

“Oh, wow.” She was breathtaking, heartachingly beautiful.

“The winner?” Mia asked with a triumphant grin.

“You still have one more to try on,” Wyatt answered with a wave of his hand in the general direction of the dressing room.

Mia shrugged with a twinkle of victory still in her eyes, but Wyatt knew he still had a chance, and when Mia exited with the golden silk gown caressing her body with every step and a stunned expression, Wyatt knew he had won.

He stood from the cushioned stool and walked behind Mia, his fingers trailing down her arms as their eyes met through the mirror.

“You don’t require elaborate or shiny, ma Figue de Barberie,” he whispered in her ear, inhaling her scent. “You need a dress that allows your beauty to shine uninterrupted.” Mia’s breath left her body with a shuddery exhale, her eyes fluttering shut as Wyatt’s fingers feathered up to her neck and down her exposed back, tracing the lattice of fabric adorning her shoulder blades. “You’re so beautiful, Mia.”

“Are you trying to convince me that your dress is the chosen one?” Mia asked with a quirk of her lips.

“You were convinced before you came out here,” Wyatt answered with a smirk. “But I do adore how you never make it easy for me to compliment you.”

“One mustn’t take flattery at face value until one is sure such flattery is made with the purest of intentions.”

Wyatt laughed. “You need to stop reading so much Julia Quinn.”

“Never.” Mia gasped, spinning to glare at Wyatt in horror with her hand on her chest. “For you to even suggest such a scandalous thing…”

“You’re ridiculous,” Wyatt shook his head with a chuckle before bending down to softly kiss Mia. “Go change, I’m hungry.”

“Fine.” Mia sighed. “In the meantime, think about your prize.”

“I’m not sure you’re up for the prize I have in mind.” Wyatt’s words were spoken with sexual innuendo, but his thoughts were anywhere but on sex. Mia wiggled her eyebrows as she backed up into the dressing rooms. She wouldn’t have been so amused or accommodating had she known that the only prize Wyatt was vying for was her heart.