tagRomanceBetter Than Chocolate

Better Than Chocolate

bypomegranate_princess©

It was that dreary, terrible time of year again. She squeezed her eyes shut, trying to block out the image of a tall, handsome man holding the bouquet of flowers at the end of her register . It was February 14th, and he was not a surprising sight. He was exactly like the dozens before him, and the dozens that would come after, that would rush through Shannon's express line in a frantic and steady stream until 4 o'clock. Then she could make a merciful escape from the constant barrage and go home. And spend the night alone. Maybe she'd have a couple amusing but unsatisfying AIM conversations, but that would be about it. Another Saturday night would come and go. Another year without anything but some stale candy hearts.

She willed Mr. Macho Flower Man away, but by then she knew that such wishes never came true. The customers were relentless. She hadn't had a moment's peace since 11 o'clock.

She kept her eyes fastened attentively on the man, but her thoughts wandered as they usually did. Hi, how are you, did you find everything alright?- she barely heard her own words as they issued mechanically from her mouth. All she could think of were boys, girls, flowers, couples, romantic dinners, chocolate...and love. She scoffed at the mere thought. Her all-consuming and bitter jealousy was putting her in a very sour mood indeed.

Valentine's Day, hah, she thought. Whose bright idea was that? She fumed, but despite herself, she handled the man's dozen long-stem red roses with care.

"This is the worst holiday ever," she muttered, reaching for a bag. Every year it came like some sort of giant mocking nightmare, and every year it left her aching with loneliness and the unshakeable knowledge that no one would ever care for her, no one would ever want to be her Valentine.

Wearily, she cashed out the boy, silently cursing him for being. One register over, she could hear two girls excitedly babbling about the night to come. Where they were going and Ohmigod! What should they wear? She resisted the urge to hurl a can of pineapples right at their gorgeous, undeniably desirable selves. A barely audible sigh escaped her lips as she instead put the can in a bag, picturing the scene that would inevitably unfold. The girl, blood streaming from a severe head wound, wouldn't notice anything but her smudged mascara.

She brushed a dark strand of hair out of her eyes, enjoying an unprecedented lull in the tidal wave of customers, all eager to get those final ingredients for their candlelit dinners. She glanced down to peel a sticker off her scanner, seeing that it was for- the cruel irony- passionfruit- when she heard a low, soft, familiar voice. Her head snapped up and when she saw who it was, she melted.

"Andy!" she exclaimed, feeling her heart speed up and beat frantically against her ribcage.

He stood before her, brown hair boyishly mussed, green eyes gazing into hers with an intensity that clutched at her soul. She ran her gaze, as inconspicuously as she could, down the length of his long, lean body, feeling a familiar spasm deep inside. He was so tall, so unconsciously sexy- it was all she could do, any time they were together, to keep her shaking hands to herself. God, she wanted him like he would never know. His faint masculine scent reached her and she imagined she could feel his warmth, even across the feet that separated them.

A faint flush crept into her cheeks and she felt slightly weak in the knees. She was having some serious physical reactions. He had visited her at work before, she had thought nothing of it. Plus, she had seen him mere hours ago at school. Sure, she liked him a ton, but she could usually still function when he was around. It could have been the element of surprise, it could have been her wistful, longing mindset. It could have been some long-incubating jungle disease finally seizing her body, but something told her this was not the case. Her heart went out to him so far and so completely that she lost all hope of ever bringing it back in one piece. And even as she realized this, she wondered if she'd ever want it back.

"What are you doing here?" she asked with a shaky grin, hoping that the slight catch in her voice had gone unnoticed.

He looked down at her from his substantial height and he cocked his head to one side, thinking. "I..." Here he paused, his accustomed shyness seeming to get the best of him.

Seeing his hesitance, she quickly jumped in, and they joked lightly about several of the days humorous moments. She rolled her eyes as he commented on the busyness of the store. "Yeah, I'm having a real good time," she chuckled ruefully. She pantomimed putting a gun to her head and pulling the trigger. "I can't wait to get out of here." He laughed, and a short silence fell.

"Yeah...when you get out..." He thought again. "...Did you want to come over tonight?"

This was, unexpected, to say the least. Had she heard correctly? His intent, subtly eager expression told her that she had. For a long moment she examined his face with searching eyes. Something inside her clicked, and a thought hit her like a ton of...pomegranates. He was in love with her. It was as simple as that.

She felt like the world's biggest moron for not managing to see it before this moment. She knew, deep down, and had for some time now, that her feelings for him went beyond a crush or a halting high school relationship. She loved him with a passion that was beyond physical attraction, that was beyond fleeting friendly connection. But living in the somber shadow of pessimism, it had been so easy to imagine that he didn't share her feelings. Everything was startling clear now. How had she not seen it before? She was struck speechless.

But he was waiting for an answer to a more immediate question. "Really?" she managed to squeak out. "Wait, really?"

"Yes," he said patiently, smiling at her habitual disbelief. "How about at like 6:30?"

Now she was the one stuttering, as she breathed a hasty yes and felt the blush in her cheeks rise still higher. He smiled again, shyly this time, and glanced to see another customer entering her line.

"Ok, so, I should go," he said, and Shannon nodded dumbly. "But I'll see you soon." She watched him go, until the disgruntled cough of an aging Italian man brought her back.

"I want-a this bread a-sliced, " he grumbled in barely recognizable English. She sighed again, but this time without the utter desolation. This time all she could think of was him, and tonight, and what it all meant.

Four o'clock finally rolled around, after what seemed an eternity. The flowers and chocolates had stopped being such downers, and instead seemed to mirror her mood. Was she in love? She didn't know. She'd like to explore the possibility further.

She raced home as fast as was humanly possible and got out of her dirty, stained work clothes. She stepped into the shower and let the warm water course over her body, thinking about Andy. Her body tingled as her thoughts became less and less innocent, and she nearly felt ashamed of herself. No one had ever made her feel like he did, so aware, so...incredibly aroused. She ran her hands down her breasts, the peach-scented soap sliding deliciously across the sensitive skin. She nearly moaned aloud. She pictured Andy's hands there instead and his mouth, caressing her until she begged for mercy... She had to stop herself before she went too far, remembering that she had a date to keep and that...well, that her expectations shouldn't be that high. But it was too late, she was on fire. Oh well, she thought ruefully, stepping into her jeans and spritzing on a light perfume. He probably just wanted to talk about some new conquest, or that math project that was due next Tuesday. And she'd be the dutiful and tireless friend, as ever.

Upon pulling into the driveway, Shannon noticed the complete lack of cars. Hmmm. Her mind began to travel down darker paths again, and she felt a fresh stab of desire. A warm dampness between her legs told her just how focused she could be on math while she was here. She gritted her teeth as her rough jeans rubbed through the flimsy material of her panties. God, she wanted him. What was wrong with her?

Andy met her at the door, and she stepped into the quiet gloom of his house. Despite herself, she felt a little disappointed. He held no flowers, he murmured no declaration of love. What had she expected? Still...he was certainly not the most demonstrative of men. Maybe, just maybe...

"Parents not here?" she queried, kicking off her shoes and shrugging off the heavy jacket she had worn against the bitter cold.

They were not. They were out of town. It was just the two of them- the two of them and the looming passion that both could clearly feel. Shannon stepped out of the doorway, brushing her arm accidentally against the bare skin of his. It felt like an electrical shock, and waves of excitement coursed through her body. Did he know how much she wanted him? Did she have any idea how wild he drove her with just a word, with a casual caress, with his hand stroking her hair? She looked up at him, her eyes luminous in the near-dark of the room. It was all she could do to not reach up, to stroke his face and pull his lips down to meet hers... With a visible effort she broke the tension and stepped away.

"So what's up?" she asked, struggling to keep the trembling out of her voice. She attempted a light tone. "Math again? Girl trouble? How can I be of assistance?"

"No, it's nothing like that," he said, his husky, quiet voice sending chills down her spine. "I just thought you might like to come over to "celebrate" Valentine's Day. I know how much you love this holiday." He was teasing her, and he led her into the living room.

She laughed sarcastically and followed him down the stairs. The room was dark except for the dim orange of a tablelamp. They sat down on the couch- sat close- and exchanged easy, familiar conversation. But after a mere minute of paying attention, she caught herself watching the features of his face in the warm glow, and found that his actual words were escaping her. She felt the incredible urge to kiss him, but at the same time could not bring herself to. She couldn't know if he felt the same way.

It was easy to control herself at first, but gradually Shannon became more and more aware of his leg against hers, of his nearness and sheer maleness. The heat from his body was driving her insane with need. Before she could stop herself she had reached up and begun to gently stroke his hair, his neck, and his back, shuddering with pleasure at the feel of his skin beneath her fingertips. In a flash he had put an arm around her waist and pulled her close to him, pulling her against his chest. Their eyes met, faces inches apart, and then Shannon closed the gap, pressing her lips softly against his. They parted at her soft touch and his hands went to her hair, caressing the soft thickness as she moaned softly.

Their mouths locked, tongues gently exploring, bodies grinding slowly against each other. She felt him slide a tentative hand to her breast, and arched against it with a sigh of pleasure. She longed to feel his hand on her bare skin, and pulled away to undo the buttons of her shirt. The thin fabric fell away, exposing full, rounded breasts, barely restrained by a lacy black bra. She shrugged off the blouse and helped him with the clasp, hearing his breath quicken. The garment fell away, and Shannon's hand traced the fragrant warmth of her shoulder before straying up her naked side to cup one of the heavy shapes. Shannon gasped as his fingers brushed against the nipple and she felt it harden at his feather-light touch. Aching with need, she pulled his head down to her chest and directed him to this sensitive spot. His hot mouth engulfed her and he sucked tenderly. She tilted her head back and allowed her hands to travel through his hair as the fiery sensations coursed through her body.

She sat up and wordlessly helped him pull of his shirt, running her fingertips lightly over the surface of his chest, wanting to touch all of him at once. She stood up and stepped out of her jeans, and undid his, dragging them down off his hips. He helped her pull off his boxers, and his hardening shaft came into view. Her breath caught in her throat and she felt a throb deep down inside her. They stood, naked bodies pressed together, kissing, caressing, tasting every inch of each other. His mouth found her neck and her knees buckled. His arms gently supported her as he kissed her with hot, open-mouthed kisses. She sagged against him and felt her arousal intensify

"No, stop," she breathed, pushing him away. She wanted to pleasure him like she'd been planning for weeks. She traced a trail of damp kisses down his chest and to the dark curls. Here she stopped, and, getting to her knees, reached out a tentative hand, dying to feel his firm softness. He grasped her wrist, guiding her to his straining member. She took it firmly, stroking its length slowly from base to tip. It hardened still further under her touch, and, emboldened, she applied more pressure as she slid up and down the shaft.

Then she took him in her mouth, and licked the head with generous strokes of her tongue, keeping one hand moving on the shaft. She felt him react and knew she was doing something right. Slowly she took more and more in, sucking almost greedily as she slid up and down the hard length. His hips bucked slightly, and she felt him take her head in his hands and begin to thrust in and out of her mouth, slowly at first. She moaned with pleasure at this, and the vibrations on his sensitive organ drove him to even greater heights. She sensed he was going to come, and pushed him carefully away.

"No," she explained softly, standing up to whisper in his ear. "I want you inside of me. Now." She put a playful hand around his neck and pulled him down to the floor to where she lay. She was slick and ready, every nerve begged for release. He positioned himself to enter but seemed to hesitate a moment, afraid he would hurt her.

"Please, Andy, I need you. Please," she moaned writhing as she felt the tip of his member touch her moist opening. He pushed inside of her with a shudder. She was tight, a virgin, and the gripping sensation on his shaft nearly made him come right then. She moaned, and he worried that she was in pain. But she was thrashing in ecstasy, feeling the wonderful pressures that he created deep inside her. She thrust her hips, trying to take in still more of him, and he matched her movements with his own. They found a rhythm; slow at first and then increasing in speed and force until Shannon's breath came in short, moaning pants. Andy knew that she was coming, and this pushed him over the edge. He came with her, his own hot liquid spurting deep inside her. She cried out in helpless pleasure as she shuddered into another orgasm. Their bodies came together over and over again, their mingled sweat glistening in the faint lamp glow.

As the last waves of pleasure coursed through their bodies, Andy gave several more strokes before collapsing gently on top of Shannon, still inside her. She put her arms around him and kissed him softly on the mouth. They rolled to their sides, Andy finally disengaging his spent member, and lay in each other's arms, letting their breathing return to normal.

"Oh, Andy," Shannon breathed. "That was wonderful." He responded by pulling her closer to him, his strong arms cradling her and his warm breath gently playing upon her cheek.

"I love you."

Shannon looked deep into his impossibly green eyes and saw that he meant it with every fiber of his being. She hugged him tightly to her, not wanting to let this moment pass, not wanting to ever lose him. Together they lay in silence for a little while, feeling safe and secure in each others arms.

The night was young...and they were very much in love. The wind blew and the snow fell outside, but the two were oblivious to all but the rise and fall of their slow breaths. Shannon felt such love for this man in her arms that she thought her heart would overflow. "I love you, Andy," she murmured, and she never meant something so much in her whole life. She smiled slightly, thinking of the many hours left in the night. Suddenly she felt him stir, and he lifted her easily off the ground.

"This time...we go to my bed," he said mischievously. She was all too happy to acquiesce.

The door closed softly on the beginning of their life together. This, Shannon thought, eyes closing in rapture, was better than roses, or flowers, or even diamonds. This was the best Valentine's gift anyone could ever hope for. Hers had been the gift of true love.

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