Eleanor gave Justin a key to her place, and if he hasn't got an appointment, he's always in her kitchen, dinner waiting for her when she gets home.

He's going to work himself in a few hours, and Eleanor is meeting Xtina at the new rave club, so they sit & watch TV together until they have to leave. Eleanor is not big on TV, generally speaking: her intellectual, snobby parents always limited her exposure to it, and she never developed a taste for it once she had her own place. Except for the animal channel....She's fascinated by shows about wild predators, big cats especially, often finding herself aroused by watching them hunt.

The lioness takes down her prey, Eleanor's palms grow wet, her heart races & her lips moisten. Justin leans his face close to hers, his breath on her neck sending tingles over her skin. His lips are so close to her ear that his soft whisper fills her head, "Eleanor, I feel like my life was like that, like these cats...Everything was just so much hunting & sleeping, every day the same. I wasn't..what you'd call happy. But now there's you, Princess. Just knowing you exist has given me a reason to get up in the morning, being with you has changed me, deep inside, and I don't think I could go back to being who I was before. I still don't want anyone else touching me, Eleanor, but I need it now, I need to be touched," his words come slowly, and Eleanor memorizes them as they come, to write down later in her journal. He says things to her that rock her very soul, and she doesn't want to ever forget. He lifts his head & takes her face in his hands, "I need you to tell me what I have to do to keep you Eleanor, because I can't lose you," he says, looking her in the eyes. "You're not losing me, Justin," she says quickly: this thing with her parents has really gotten to him, and they aren't even here yet.

He kisses her, and she feels his tension. "Please understand, Justin," she sighs, resting her head against his neck, "I'm just hiding you from my parents because they're too blinded by their prejudices about class & education to see you for what you really are. But I like you the way are, Justin, I wouldn't want you to change." His chest rises as he lets out a sigh, and he takes her hand & holds it against his heart, and they sit together quietly, not paying attention the TV anymore, a slight tension rising between them. She knows what he wants, but she's not ready to make a confession of love, not sure yet, what love is, and if she's in it. "I don't think I'd want to sleep alone again, Justin," she says finally, a small confession, but more than she'd thought she'd ever admit, "I don't think I'd sleep well at all if I wasn't in your arms."

With an odd bark of a laugh, he stands & lifts her off the couch, and tells her he loves her. "I wish I could do as much for you as you do for me," she sighs. "Princess, just let me be the one who gets it if you ever decide to let it out, that's all I'll ever need," he says, puzzling her considerably.