Another Changed Life Ch. 05byingarlm©
I'm sorry for the delay with this - life got in the way and I had trouble finishing it. This is the last chapter. Thanks to those who have commented or voted.
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"We need to talk."
Pretty much the last thing that anyone wants to hear from their lover. That's the way you start the breakup conversation, and the way I'd made a few women in the past aware they were getting far too clingy for my liking and they either needed to accept it was just sex or leave me alone. Her saying it to me caused a physical pain in my chest, so much so that I sagged down and flopped onto the sofa, terrified to look up at her.
I think it made things worse when she took my hand. It felt like she was getting ready to console me as this ended, and for me it had come out of the blue. I couldn't see what I had done, and how me not sleeping with her for a handful of nights could possibly be ending something that was so good and meant to be. She couldn't do this to me, I'd sworn never to let a woman hurt me and the first time I let one into my heart she was going to break it.
"Dan, look at me," she said softly.
I raised my eyes so slowly, not sure I wanted to see her if this was going to be the last time I did. She looked upset too, and it made me feel slightly better that she was finding this hard.
"Promise me you haven't been with some other woman these last few nights."
"No! I can't even look at another woman without comparing her to you, and no-one else measures up. I thought you believed me, I don't want anyone else, you're everything I need."
I saw a flicker of something in her eyes then, but I didn't know what. Right now I was just hoping that if I could convince her this might not be the end.
"I guess I don't think you were with anyone else, I just don't understand why you haven't been with me. It's not like you don't have an open invitation to be here, or do anything you want with me, but you're holding back. I want to know why you won't make love to me."
"It needs to be perfect Tess, I can't just do it."
I heard her sigh.
"Perfect for who? I know it will be perfect, but you seem to be scared. I want you so badly, and I know you want me. What are you afraid of?"
Her words were so soft, but she'd got me figured out and I was sure she wouldn't settle for anything other than the truth. On top of that, I loved her, she deserved the truth. Thinking about what Charlie and I had discussed in the park, I knew I should tell her my realisations. I took a deep breath and grasped her hand securely.
"I'm afraid that I haven't changed enough, and if I do the one thing I do know how to do it will prove I'm not good enough for you. I've had sex so many times, but I'm not sure I can make love. I've been trying to come up with a way for it to be just right, to make sure you know how much you mean to me and that I am not the same man who used to flirt with you, I'm one who is in love with you."
"Baby, I know you love me. Every little thing we do together, for me, is so much more special than any time I've done it before. Don't you feel that way?"
"Yes, I do. I just...I worry I'm going to mess it up somehow and you won't want to be with me. I need to prove to myself that I'm a better person than I was and I deserve you."
"Of course you do, and you are. Maybe not a better person, but a changed one. You've always been a good person."
"All the things you make me feel, while I love them and I love you, they scare me sometimes. I never thought I could feel this way and I'm terrified it will go wrong somehow, that I will ruin it."
She gathered me into her arms then to comfort me, and I had the same moment I'd just described, the wonder of something so simple making me feel so good, and the realisation that she was the only one who could make me feel this way. Perhaps I didn't deserve her just yet, but I was going to work as hard as I could to make sure that I did.
"Dan, I'm sure you're not going to ruin this. You show me all the time how much you care, with every little look or touch. Don't think you're not the only one who's scared though, I've never felt like this either. I got worried when you didn't come to me the last few nights, thinking maybe you'd decided you didn't want to be with me, even though I spoke to you and I believed what you said. It's just the idea of someone else being responsible for so much of your happiness. I thought I was an independent woman but I need you so much I guess I can't be."
I found my eyes were pricking with tears at all the emotions flying around, but her admission she was also scared and insecure about this helped me not shed any. Not that I would have minded crying in front of her, but I didn't need to when this whole conversation proved we were in the same place and it was a good one.
"In a strange way, I'm glad I scare you too," I giggled, trying to break the tension.
"So, now we've established we both want this, and we're both scared, are you going to relax?" she asked, clearly teasing me.
"Now I know you're not breaking up with me, I think there's a good chance of that. Can I sleep with you curled up in my arms now? I've missed it."
I saw the disappointment on her face, and I kind of knew where she was coming from, but I needed to do our date tomorrow before we had sex and I was sure after this conversation and our first date that was going to happen.
"Not tonight, okay. We will, very soon, but we've got a lot to do tomorrow and we'll need a good night's sleep first."
"What are we doing tomorrow?"
"It's a surprise. A good one, I promise. To make things perfect."
She smiled at me then and stood, leading me to her bedroom. There was no more need to explain, she knew what it meant and she was happy, and when I settled down with her body against mine, I was too.
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I woke to insistent bleeps from my phone, reminding me I had to get up. I didn't want to because I had a warm, naked and beautiful Tess curled up with me, but she heard it too and started to stir. Her chocolate eyes opened and looked at me slightly sleepily.
"So, do I get my surprise now?" she murmured, stroking her hand down my back.
"Soon. Lots of surprises, I hope, but we have to get up first."
She slid away from me and got out of bed then, letting me see her naked body as she headed to the bathroom. I wanted to join her, but after our talk last night I thought there was a chance I would get carried away, and even though we both now understood the situation and I had no need to wait, it would be so much better after our date.
I stretched out myself and waited for her to return, pulling her into my arms when she reappeared wrapped in a towel.
"I didn't get my morning kiss," I grumbled, only half joking.
"That's true. How about you go brush your teeth and have a shower, and I'll give you one when you get back."
I raised an eyebrow at her words and laughed, but let her go so I could get cleaned up. I wanted to look respectable today, but to be honest, I'd picked clothes I knew she liked. My jeans and jumper hugged my body to best effect and I knew she'd be looking. The jumper was really soft wool and she'd never failed to stroke it when I'd worn it before -- I was hoping it would have the same effect today, wanting her hands on me.
While I was in the shower and dressing she had got dressed too and gone to the kitchen to make tea and toast. I didn't want a heavy breakfast as we would probably be eating quite a bit today, if I had my way. I settled down across the table from her, nibbling on the food as I took in how pretty she was. She'd gone with jeans as well, with a little strappy top that displayed a beautiful amount of cleavage, and a warmer zip up top over it. Right now the zip was totally down and I could see almost directly down the smaller one, wondering if she knew what effect that sight had on me.
One look up at her face confirmed she did, and she was amused by it. I was tempted to make some comment, but decided on retaliation, picking up our plates and taking them over to the sink, knowing she would be admiring the way my jeans were tight across my buttocks. A glance back confirmed she was looking exactly where I expected, and I waited with an amused look on my face until her eyes travelled upwards.
"I dressed for you too," I told her.
"Thank you!" she replied, grinning at me before her eyes dropped down again.
I shook my hips to emphasise what she was looking at and heard her musical laughter behind me as I washed up.
Job complete, I turned to look at her properly, and realised I still hadn't had my kiss. I walked over and held out my hand for hers, pulling her gently to her feet when she took it, and as soon as she was upright, into my arms. This was where I would always have her it if was possible, especially since every single time she pressed her body right to mine and it fitted perfectly.
Her hands were pressed to my chest, not pushing me away, more as those she was trying to protect herself slightly from what I could do to her. I wanted my kiss, but there was too much of her skin exposed for me to go straight for her lips. I bent my head to the side, teasing my tongue across her shoulder and placing gentle kisses up her neck, delighting in the soft sigh she let out at my touches. I nibbled at her ear and that caused a shiver.
Her hands now were padding at my chest, kind of like a kitten does and it was so cute I couldn't wait any longer. I made sure to kiss every little bit of skin along her jaw on my way to suck her bottom lip between mine. Her tongue flicked out at that move, trying to make it's way into taste me too, and that was too much. My hand slid into her hair as I took possession of her mouth, teasing her lips as I tilted her head slightly back with my hand.
That she let me hold her this way and her reactions to my touches had me almost losing my senses. She drove me wild and I wondered how I could ever have doubted myself. I could easily make love to her, the things she made me feel I had never experienced before and every little touch was filled with love. Even kissing her like this was a world away from anything I had done before.
Reluctantly I let my lips leave hers, pulling back to see her dark eyes looking at me with love, her lips swollen with kisses. I groaned as I fought my desire to take her right there, or at the very least take a lot longer to pleasure her right now, but that would be torture for both of us and I really wanted the day I had taken so long to plan. At the end of the day, well I guessed I had already made that promise and I fully intended to keep it.
"We need to go baby, We've got lots to do today."
"You promise it will be fun?" she asked, her eyes sparkling.
"Aside from you having to spend it with me, it's going to be wonderful!" I teased.
"I can always go on my own and tell you about it later!"
"You aren't going to get rid of me that easily baby. I'm going to treat you to lots of things you'll love and then we're going to make love when we get home."
"Do we have to go?" she asked, not entirely joking.
I kissed her quickly to avoid temptation, but I was amused by her response.
"You'll enjoy today, all of it, and I've spent ages working out how to make this perfect for you. Please let me do this. I haven't taken you out once, despite all my good intentions."
She looked at me surprised, and I realised that was news to her as well.
"We haven't, have we? Not one date, despite all that we do together. I guess it's just been so much fun and felt so right I hadn't noticed, but you're right, we should."
"Don't worry about not realising, I only did when I talked to Charlie."
Her smile was teasing.
"So, how much of today is his idea?"
I blushed, which was not the best response as it just made her laugh.
"Not entirely, but I guess he did have some input. I didn't even know what you enjoyed doing, which made me feel worse about not treating you right. Plus he was instrumental in me getting the time off work, although we agreed not to discuss exactly what he had to do for Mark in return."
She laughed even harder then.
"I'm sure he didn't mind! I don't mind that you asked for help either baby, honestly. If it makes you feel better, Mark came to me when he was first trying to get Charlie to date him."
That was interesting news, and I was glad I wasn't the only one who hadn't had a clue. Mind you, it just reinforced the fact that living life the way I had before Tess, and Mark had before Charlie, didn't exactly prepare us for finding the one person we wanted to be with and knowing how to treat them right.
Smiling too now, relaxed in the knowledge that she wasn't upset with me and we were going to have the most amazing day, I took her hand and started to lead her out of the house, handing her a coat on the way.
The first stop was at my house and I left her in the car while I dashed inside to get the food and put it in the boot. That was only one of her surprises, and I hoped I had plenty of her favourites in there, all handmade. She certainly wouldn't be able to fault me for lack of effort, but judging by the way she looked at me, and how her hand stayed in mine for most of the journey, except when I had to change gear, she wasn't going to be disappointed.
I was surprised she didn't ask where we were going, but as I got to the main roads I had a feeling she knew anyway, or at least had a good idea, she was just letting me present it as a surprise. When we turned off the main roads and I followed the route to a parking spot the grin on her face started getting broader. I was going to have to remember to thank Charlie profusely.
"First stop, shopping," I said to her once I had parked.
To be honest, this was the bit I was dreading. A town centre full of different shops and giving her free rein to wander, I had visions of sitting outside changing rooms in shop after shop while she tried on a million things I was supposed to express some opinion on. For her, I would put up with it, at least just this once. She smiled at me, eyes sparkling.
"You don't look happy about it," she teased. "Let this be the first thing you learn about me today, I don't shop like a girl."
I didn't really know what that meant, but it didn't exactly reassure me. I'd been shopping with women before, and I'd always hated it, from my mum and sister to my first and only girlfriend before Tess. I could feel myself already becoming the fed up teenage boy being dragged around after them and left to carry the bags. My mood only deepened when she headed for a clothes shop almost straight away, but I tried to look happy and remind myself today was about her, not me.
I hovered as close to the door as I could without making it too obvious I didn't want to be in there, but I was enjoying watching her no matter where she was. She wandered between the racks, her hand trailing through some of the clothes, occasionally stopping to examine something in a little more detail, and after no more than five minutes she walked back to me smiling, taking my hand and leading me out of there.
"You can try things on if you want Tess, I don't really mind."
"I was just having a quick look for anything interesting. I don't really like clothes shopping, and if things don't grab my eye straight away I don't bother. There is one thing I want to try on though, in a shop down the road. That won't take long."
She probably couldn't see the look of disbelief on my face, but since she bypassed several more clothes places and the next one she took me in was a record shop I was starting to realise she was serious. When she headed for the rock and metal music I couldn't help but smile.
"Are you sure you're really a girl?" I asked her.
She laughed. "I did tell you. But you've seen every inch of me, do you have any reason to doubt it?"
I didn't, but I couldn't reply right then because the images that came to mind of her naked body were more than a little distracting, especially when she was staring right at me with those gorgeous dark eyes. The urge to kiss her was strong but I was brought out of the moment by someone asking to get past me, and when I looked back her gaze was less intense and I was far more aware we were not alone.
It turned out Charlie had been right about her love of books, and she led the way into most of them. I didn't mind this, she did just go straight for the things she found interesting and scout through them quickly, picking up anything she wanted and deciding there and then to buy it or not. Not like any woman I'd ever shopped with before and I found myself falling for her more and more each moment.
Her taste in books was just like mine too, and when we met up in the sci-fi section I bit my tongue as I saw what she had picked up. Her reaction was an amused 'snap', but I wanted to ask her if there was any reason to buy two when I wanted to move in with her. Although I often thought about being with her every night, somehow I'd not made that leap before, and now that I realised I almost started planning where all my things would fit in her house. I stayed quiet, thinking it was a little too soon for that, seeing as I still had to be certain I could make love with her.
When she finally did drag me back to look at clothes, I barely worried about it, sure she wouldn't take long. In fact it was a case of straight to the thing she wanted to try, a blue dress that I would admit to paying little attention to, and off to the changing rooms. I didn't even mind waiting for her to show me what it looked like, and I seemed more relaxed than the other two guys who were waiting. They looked just as fed up of shopping as I had expected to be by now.
I was struck dumb when she came back out, wearing the dress that I now couldn't take my eyes off. Blue satin draped beautifully over every one of her curves, falling almost to the floor. It was fitted very nicely at the top, emphasising the swell of her breasts although it didn't reveal much, and then flowed out over her hips and down.
I swallowed hard as she turned, the back view just as gorgeous, the dress leaving a lot of her back uncovered, and again tight over her lower back until it spread out. Perfect, and mine, that was all I could think. She turned back, eyes sparkling and clearly happy with my reaction.
"So, you like?" she asked.
"Uh huh," was my less than eloquent response. I was wondering if it would be possible to take her back into those changing rooms and do a lot more than look at her, but I doubted I'd get past the middle-aged woman on the door. Nor was I going to make our first time that cheap.
"I've been wondering whether I should get it, it's gorgeous, but I'm not going to have many places to wear it."
"I'll take you anywhere you want to go," I promised, still fighting my desire.
"It's also a lot of money, well, compared to what I normally spend. But, if it puts a look like that on your face, it's going to be worth it! I'll get changed back and see you in a moment."
I barely noticed what she said, although I did pay a lot of attention as she left. Wow. I wondered if I could talk her into wearing that for me later tonight, so I could stroke it and worship the skin it revealed before it slipped to the floor and I had her naked in my arms.
These weren't the best thoughts to be having right now, I realised as I got a funny look from one of the guys waiting with me. Actually, it looked a little like jealousy and that amused me. The fact that other people saw her beauty but she was mine made me feel really good, but also reminded me how much I had to make sure I deserved her.
While she paid, and I tried to distract myself from the thoughts I had been having which were definitely not suitable for a public place, or at least the reaction they caused wasn't, I wandered a little, very nearly in my distracted state walking right into the women's underwear section. That wasn't going to help me calm down, because anything that appealed I was going to imagine Tess wearing.