Down by the River Ch. 05bysilver_firefly©
Life is a rather crazy ride -- full of ups and downs, of twists and turns. It should be anticipated that everything that comes with it also comes donning on life's crazy form. Take love for example: you reach the peak one time, and then slide down a trough at another.
But if there is one thing I learned about the role of a special someone in my life, it is that he is supposed to help me make that trough as shallow as it could be, and to help me get through it as soon as possible. After all, however the cycle of my love life turns out would affect his, too, so it is better if we work on it together.
In a very lucky stroke of fate, I found a special someone who is willing to do that for me. His presence in my life is something I will forever be grateful for. With him by my side, I know I have nothing to fear. As long as we nurture the trust and love we have on each other, nothing can go horribly wrong.
Perhaps, that is one of the perquisites of having fallen in love with my best friend: I can be who I am with him without fear that he would run away. All I have to do is always remember that.
Although life with my uncle was nowhere near close to life with my grandmother, I was happy to realize that I could live it without having to always fight off frequent bouts of homesickness. And why on earth would I suffer from homesickness, anyway? Lucas was there; he was everything I needed.
Yet, after my meeting with Marcus when Andrew was touring me around the town, I could not spend time with Lucas without feeling guilty. In a way, it was my fault. I suspected that I only had to tell Lucas that I saw Marcus and that he gave me a bracelet, and then, everything would be okay, but I could not just blurt that out when my feelings were in turmoil.
No, it was not the kind of turmoil that somebody who was in love with two different men would suffer from. I was aware that there was a difference between what I felt for Lucas and what I felt for Marcus: one was true love, the other was friendly affection. But I did not know how to explain that to Lucas if he ever asked.
'If he ever asked.' That was the key phrase in my worries. I did not think that he would ask, but I still wanted to reassure him that there was absolutely nothing he had to worry about concerning my feelings for Marcus.
Maybe it was not a big deal. Maybe Lucas would not worry about it. But I needed to make sure, and telling him about it would be the surest way of making him understand.
As the day of the ball drew closer, I realized that I was running out of time. I should either tell Lucas about it right away or deal with the consequences of him seeing Marcus at the party and finding out that I had seen my former lover in town about a week ago.
I was contemplating this while pacing back and forth inside my room one afternoon, when soft knocks sounded through the door. I opened it to the smiling face of Olive, one of the servants in the house.
"Master Lucas asked for you, Miss Selene," she said shyly, curtsying a little. "He is inside the library right now."
That was strange. I never received summons from Lucas before. Normally, he was very careful not to be seen alone with me, especially whenever Uncle Matthew or Aunt Susanna was not in the house. Today, both of them were not here, for they were supposed to have tea and then dinner with their friends downtown. Even Andrew was not home.
"Do you have any idea why he wants me?" I asked Olive as we descended the stairs together.
"Maybe because the mail arrived earlier," Olive answered tentatively, blushing when I smiled at her.
Upon hearing that, I thanked her and quickly walked to the library. I assumed that Lucas was in the writing desk section of it, and I was not wrong. He was sitting behind one of the desks, and he smiled at me when he saw me looking.
"Letter from Grandmother," he said, waving a sealed envelope at me.
"That fast?" I asked as I walked towards him.
"That fast," he answered, pulling me to his lap when I was at his arm's reach.
He began kissing my neck.
Since he only got that bold when he was sure that nobody could see us, I wound my arms around his neck and kissed him full on the mouth. The kiss quickly intensified as his tongue demanded entry into my mouth. When he heard me moan, however, Lucas broke the kiss, knowing that there would be no stopping both of us if he did not.
"How about reading the letter first?" he murmured, nibbling at my lower lip.
"That's a good idea," I said breathlessly, pressing a tender kiss on his mouth and then on his forehead before giving my attention to the envelope in my hand.
Grandmother's letter was not as long as the letter I sent her. She told me that everybody back home was all right, and that the roots for my special tea would arrive about a week after the letter, since they had to get some from the forest first and then dry them up.
"I'm glad that you are enjoying your stay with Matthew," I read the letter aloud for Lucas. "Give him my love, and to Susanna and her son also. Stay safe, and remember that I love you. Grandmother." I raised an eyebrow as I refolded it. "And she forgot to even mention you."
Lucas chuckled as he nuzzled at my neck. "Well, she also wrote me a letter."
"What does it say?" I asked, frowning when he took my letter from my hand and put it inside the drawer of the desk.
"It's a secret," he answered, still chuckling.
I pouted at that. "Why is the content of the letter she sent you a secret, when I even read to you the whole content of the letter she sent me?"
Sighing, Lucas prompted me to get off his lap and sit on the desk, facing him. When I was done obeying him, he grinned and held my hand.
"I will tell you the secret, but you need to tell me your secret first."
"What secret?" I asked. As far as I was concerned, there were only two things I was keeping secret from him, and those were the meeting with Marcus, and then the white-gold bracelet.
"Your secret," he said, still smiling.
"I don't understand," I said, swallowing.
"That's strange," he said, releasing my hands, leaning back on the chair, and raising an eyebrow at me. "I thought I was the person who should say that." Although he still smiled, his eyes were somewhat cautious as he added, "Andrew and I had a talk yesterday while we were out riding around the estate. He happened to tell me about your tour..."
I was alarmed. If Andrew told him about that tour, then, Andrew must surely have told him about Marcus and his father. My heart started thumping wildly inside my chest as I met Lucas' gaze.
"Let me explain," I told him softly, not knowing how to proceed afterwards.
He shrugged and smiled again. "That's exactly why you're sitting there facing me."
I did not know what to make of his manner of interrogation, but I thought I should be grateful for his calmness and his lack of coldness. "I -- " I had to clear my throat, for my heart seemed to be lodged up there. "I met Marcus and his father while looking through some gowns. Andrew introduced me to them, and then all four of us ate lunch together, and then, father and son helped Andrew tour me around."
Lucas nodded, narrowing his eyes. "And then...?"
"Marcus gave me a white-gold bracelet," I supplied, looking through my mind for some good explanations and failing to find any. I had to grip the edge of the desk in order to fight off the nervousness I was feeling. "I mean, he gave it to Andrew and asked Andrew to give it to me when we were already going home."
Again, he nodded. His eyes continued searching mine. "I see..."
Feeling ill at ease with the way he was handling this, I jumped off the desk and sat down on his lap again, placing his face between my palms and asking, "Are you mad at me?"
"For meeting with Marcus and his father accidentally and for accepting a gift you cannot refuse?" he asked, lifting an eyebrow. "Not exactly."
I bit my lower lip and nodded. "Are you mad at me for not telling you about it sooner?"
"Hmm." He looked thoughtful as he took hold of both my hands. "Mad is not the term I'd use. I'm merely curious as to why you needed some coaxing before you tell me about it."
I decided that spilling out the truth was still the best course of action. "I did not know how to start telling you, although I knew I had to. It's easy to tell you that I met Marcus and that he gave me a bracelet, but that meeting put my feelings in turmoil. I did not know if I could tell you about it without looking worried, and I did not want you to misunderstand my reaction."
"So you kept it?"
There was only slight accusation in his voice, yet it was enough to make me panic. I clung to him and buried my face on the crook of his neck. "I'm sorry. I didn't want you to ask questions about my feelings for Marcus. I didn't know how to answer that without causing doubts to enter your mind."
His voice softened when he spoke again. "I thought we were best friends."
There was something about the way he spoke it that tugged at my heart. I looked into his eyes and saw a kind of resigned sadness there.
"I'm sorry." It was all I could offer as I stroked his face, tears glistening in my eyes.
To my surprise, disbelief, and utter joy, Lucas held my hand and brought it to his lips. "I thought you knew me better than that. You know that I will try to understand you, Selene. If you say you love me, then you love me; if you say you only see Marcus as a friend, then you only see him as a friend."
"But you can be so damn stubborn!" I complained, my heart breaking yet rejoicing when he flashed a sad smile. "Last time you got mad at me, you left without forgiving me. You even told your family that you did not want to hear anything concerning me."
He smiled. "People grow up, sweetheart, and believe me, I did. Just like how you did."
With a groan, I once again buried my face on his neck. "I'm so sorry, Lucas..."
"Look at me, baby," he said with a sigh.
Even though I was hesitant about meeting his eyes again, I had to obey. Lucas pinched my chin, asking me to stop thinking of the worst.
"I'm not going to break up with you when I feel so damn comfortable having you sitting on my lap," he said, grinning. "I just need to hear it from you, Selene. I promise that I will believe your words completely. Where does Marcus figure in your life right now?"
Funnily enough, now that he had already reassured me, it became easier for me to talk about it.
"You know that I loved Marcus," I began. "I won't deny that." I paused to study his reactions. "I still do. I still love him as much as I have loved him back then. Because of this love, I will always treasure the moments I spent with him. Anybody who declares love for me must also declare love for the part of me that will never, ever let go of him."
"I understand that," Lucas said after a brief pause.
"I will always love Marcus," I said. "But that does not mean that I love him as much as I love you. Not even close. Ever since I realized how much I love you, Lucas, I realized where my love for him stands. I love him in a way I would love my dearest friend, but not in a way I love the one friend who has shared all my life with me. Not the way I love you.
"I will always readily trade a thousand Marcuses in my life for a single Lucas Sebastian Milner," I finished. "I will always readily leave a thousand of him to have you."
Lucas just stared at me for the longest moment, searching my eyes for something, before he broke into a very amused grin. "Hell, that was one long, dramatic speech..."
I could not stop myself from blushing and hitting his arm, for I could always recognize the signs of a Lucas intent on jesting. "Why are you -- "
"I love you, you madwoman," he murmured, kissing my forehead. "I believe you."
"Madwoman!" I gasped, glaring at him.
His grin was so sexy. "Mad woman, as in, angry woman -- not madwoman as in crazy female person."
I tried to keep on glaring at him, but he was already laughing, and I could not really find it in my heart to get mad at him. In a few minutes, the sound of my own laughter mingled with his.
"I'm sorry," I cooed to him when we both stopped laughing.
Lucas chuckled and held me close. "I know you are, but I'm not letting you off the hook that easily. You need to make up for what you did."
Finally catching up on his playfulness, I lifted an eyebrow. "And what was that I did?"
"Hurt my feelings," he said, putting a hand over his chest and winking at me.
"You don't look like somebody whose feelings got hurt," I muttered, tracing the shape of his lips with a finger.
"But you still have to work hard to earn my forgiveness," he said, before licking on my finger and putting it inside his mouth, only to suck on it.
My blood started to heat up due to that simple seductive gesture. I could feel my nipples growing hard, brushing against the fabric of the shift I wore under the gown.
"Right now?" I whispered breathlessly as he released my finger and started kissing my wrist.
"We're alone in the house," he said, pulling me closer.
I could already feel his cock springing to life. "We're not alone. The servants are still here."
"They don't go inside the library, especially when they know that I am here," Lucas told me.
Trying to hold on to my sanity even as his hands started caressing my breasts through the gown, I reminded him, "And they know that I'm with you."
That made him pause. Lucas knew what that meant. If rumours started that we spent a whole lot of time inside the library without anybody else with us, my reputation would be in ruins. That would not bode well with Uncle Matthew, especially since everyone knew that I was his one and only blood relative.
With a groan, Lucas raised his hands as if in surrender. He leaned his head back, letting it rest on the back of the chair.
"Damn all these rules," he grunted, closing his eyes.
"Which makes me wonder why you seem to be so insistent on following them," I said, standing up.
Lucas did not open his eyes. "I've got to be."
"You don't," I countered.
I watched as his face contorted with the pain of trying to control himself. His self-control has always fascinated me. After all, how could he rein in his desires every single time? There had only been a very few occasions when I saw Lucas lose control, and not even then was he losing control in the full sense of the word.
"What do you think about whenever you try to control yourself?" I asked.
"That first long sermon from Mary when they found us down by the river ages ago," he answered, still not opening his eyes. "God, that was an awfully long sermon."
"Getting in trouble at school because of Jim," he said. "My younger brother really knows how to piss off people."
"And you never think about me?"
He did not answer, but the way he pursed his lips and held his breath was enough of an answer for me. Of course, he did not, because if he did, he would snap out and lose the fight.
Knowing that this was the one chance I've got to finally cause him to lose control the way I wanted him to, I started untying the ribbons in my gown.
"That is so unfair," I said in a soft voice, proceeding to undo the buttons of my dress. "Sometimes, when I please you through my mouth, you tell me that I have a hell of a pair of luscious lips. You say it feels so good having it wrapped around your cock, while my tongue licks at it, too. I can't believe you actually try to forget that..."
I had never done it before, but I was thoroughly enjoying the sight of him frowning on that chair, eyes closed, trying to control the beast in him. For once, I really wanted to see that side of him. The growing bulge in his pants told me that I might succeed seducing that side out this time.
"More often, though, you want to be inside my sheath instead of my mouth," I continued, biting my lower lip in order to prevent myself from giggling as I watched him. "You say that you love the way you fit in me, that you love the way my walls wrap around your cock, especially when my muscles are clenching and unclenching around you during orgasm. And when you come, you want to come inside me, because you love hearing the groan that escapes my lips every time you do."
Lucas was groaning loudly, as if he were really in great pain, and my body responded to that lovely sound through producing more juices to flow out of my sex. My nipples were really erect and hard now, especially since I was already completely naked (although, of course, Lucas could not know that, since he was still not opening his eyes).
To somewhat alleviate the ache developing deep inside my private part, I began stroking my own breasts, pinching the nipples, as I continued. "Oh. And I remember, sweetheart. Once, you told me that you would like to watch your cock slipping in and out of me."
Finally, Lucas let out a growl of annoyance as he proudly displayed his erection. He opened his eyes and glared at me, saying, "You are not helping at -- "
I grinned at him, noticing the way his Adam's apple rose and fell as his eyes raked my body from head to toe and then back again. I completely stepped out of my gown and walked towards him slowly. I once again sat on his lap, using my hands to unbuckle his belt.
"What was that you're saying?" I whispered to him as I bent my head down and nibbled on his earlobe, while my hands were still busily doing their tasks.
"Nothing." He grabbed the back of my head and tilted it so that he could plant kisses on one side of my neck. "I said don't stop now."
It felt so satisfying to know that I won. That made me purr out of pleasure. Immediately, Lucas captured my lips in a feverish kiss as he helped me undress himself. It was very quickly that we shed off his clothes; so eager were both of us to continue what we have already started.
As Lucas squeezed my breasts, I rearranged my position on his lap so that I could straddle him while he sat on that chair. I grabbed his cock and stroked it a few times, before guiding its tip to the entrance of my hole. He was already fully erect by then. Slowly, I sat back down onto his lap, driving his shaft deeper into my sheath.
He groaned, pulling me closer as I started moving my hips against his. His mouth and tongue travelled across my neck, my shoulders, my breasts -- always hungry for more. As for me, I enjoyed bouncing up and down on him in a slow rhythm, enjoying the feel of him inside me, enjoying the thrill that ran up my spine and came out of my mouth as moans.
We shared another passionate kiss, after which we just stared into each other's eyes while I continued the slow movement up and down his cock. My hands rested on his shoulders, while his rested on my hips; neither of us broke eye contact even as our breathing became quicker and our bodies begged for a harder, rougher kind of sexual union.
I vowed as I stared into his eyes that I would not ask him aloud for more, even though I wanted to. I would continue this painfully slow lovemaking until his self-control snapped and he took me in the rough way that the beast in him wanted me.
To continue his torture, I reached for one of his hands and put his little finger into my mouth, still not looking away from his eyes. As I licked the tips of his fingers as seductively as I could without stopping my up and down movements, I noticed the way his already dark eyes darkened even more, showing an amount of lust that only increased as I continued to slowly move.
The way he spoke my name had a begging quality to it, and I knew that he was already at his limit. I flashed him a smile as I started stroking his chest lightly. Finally, with a hiss, Lucas grabbed the back of my neck and pulled me for a crushing kiss.
My heart thumped eagerly when Lucas lifted me from him and placed me on top of the desk. We were both panting in anticipation. I lifted my legs and Lucas put them over his shoulders as he bent down to taste my sex.