Ioan Gruffudd Ch. 02bymadam_noe©
The cab ride home was dreamy and I settled into my waiting bed with a smile. I slept until noon when Danny woke me up with his latest heartbreak. He forgot all about it in the wake of realizing I had gotten laid and we celebrated with mimosas and a BBC 5 marathon.
He left to have tea with his grand dame of a mother and I settled into writing. I forgot to eat again and when the buzzer came I was once more surprised. I pressed the intercom and told Helen to come up. Without waiting for an answer I buzzed her in and left the door open, to return to my laptop.
I popped some M&M's in my mouth, hard to find in Merry Old England, and typed out a scene where my heroine was dismembering a body. The door swung open.
"Hey Helen, you're early. You can tell I'm not ready to go, give me five minutes all right? I'm in the middle of this kick ass scene you'll love."
A throat cleared and sounded awfully masculine for Helen. I turned and my jaw dropped. There he stood, Ioan Gruffudd. His hair was free and curly, his face stubbly. He wore jeans and a grey fisherman's sweater. Jesus, no one had a right to look so good. Handsome wasn't right, but devastating fit perfectly.
I was painfully aware of my ponytail, makeup free face, red t-shirt and blue jeans. "Um, hi."
"Hello," he drawled.
"What are you doing here?"
"You left so quickly, didn't even bother to say goodbye."
Yeah, cowardly of me, hunh? "Sorry, I guess I thought that was standard operating procedure."
He stepped in and kicked the door closed behind him with his foot. Ioan looked mad, somewhere short of a killing mad, but you'd never notice the difference unless you'd truly feared death and looked it in the eye.
"Standard operating procedure? Jesus woman, what do you think of me?"
He advanced and I stood, backing away towards the beaded curtain separating the cozy living room from the running board kitchen.
"I don't know what I think."
He smoothed his curls back though it was a wasted effort; they had a mind of their own. "I'll tell you what you think of me. You think I'm a cheap lay."
Oh God, did he think that? "I think nothing of the kind!"
"How do I know any different? I wake up this morning to find you've slunk out on me like a common thief."
Common, common, this was going well. I wanted him to leave so I could breathe. As long as he was in the room my chest was tight, and I think my gallbladder was going to burst.
"Th-thief?" Oh, God, I was sputtering. Did I mention he looked good? Strange fetishist that I was, I'd always been a sucker for fisherman's sweaters. And his shoulders looked so damn broad in them that my knees nearly buckled at the observation. Good thing I was against the door jamb, but he just kept coming. And coming. Coming towards me.
"Yes, a thief. I don't take these things lightly and I didn't think you did either, but I guess I was wrong. Or maybe I just wasn't worth it."
"Oh, Ioan, No, don't do that."
"What? Do what?" His voice was husky as he neared. He was only an inch taller than I but he had shoes and I was barefoot and I felt all of an inch tall. He towered over me.
"Don't make me out to be a monster. A coward yes, a weasel maybe, but not a monster."
"Oh? Prove it." His eyebrow arched in challenge at me.
"Prove it how?" I pushed away from him and marched into the center of the room behind the couch, before the desk. No corners there. "I'm sorry, okay? Look, we were strangers, we pretty much still are. I met you, we talked, we had sex, we talked some more, and I chickened out."
"Why would you?"
"I didn't want to face this," I made an accompanying hand gesture of a loose open faced palm flapping between our directions. "I didn't want an uncomfortable conversation, okay?"
He stared back, warily. I was scaring him! Good, right? Um, not so sure.
"What did you want then?"
God, he still thought I'd been out for a cheap lay. "Look, I know you think I used you. But you approached me, okay? So maybe I used you, but you used me too."
He shook his head. "I didn't use you."
"Then what? You thought I'd wake up, we'd be all hunky dorey, what?"
"Americanism!" I practically shouted. "It means fine, good, well, in accordance, harmonious."
"Well I hoped for something. I know we jumped right into things but why can't we deal with this like adults, Nicky?"
"Because," I held my hand up when he would have come closer. "Because I'm not looking for anything. Look, I came to London to escape things back home. My life isn't easy or uncomplicated right now, and I don't need to add anything more to the mix."
I took a deep breath and smoothed my own hair back from my face. "I came here to be alone and write, do nothing but write. I can't be with anyone right now, it's too much."
"I'm not asking you to move in and take a bloody weekend with me."
"Well good. I can't even date right now. I'm very busy and sooner or later everybody tells me I'm ignoring them for my damn books." My gallbladder hurt, either that or the butterflies in my stomach were carnivorous.
He stepped closer to me. I backed up. He took another step, so did I. "I'm a busy man too. I start filming here soon and I can't be free every bloody night." I went around the couch and as he spoke he chased me right back to the jamb I was at before at a maddeningly slow pace.
"Good for you." Oompf, my back hit the wall and he came closer.
"What I want is to just try, just try to be normal. One bloody day at a time, Nicky."
Bam! There went my gallbladder. "Ioan," I tried my best schoolmarm tone, "that's not possible."
He reached me and the tips of my breasts met his hard chest. His finger came up to blaze a hot trail over my cheek and down. "Anything's possible."
I squirmed and his other hand clamped down on my hip, keeping me in place. His fingers burned through my clothes straight to my flesh. "No, it's not. I don't know how you tracked me down, but you shouldn't have."
"Why not?" He nipped at my lips and sweet mother of God I was melting. Can a human live without a gallbladder? I hoped so.
"Because then last night could have just remained a forbidden fantasy turned memory," I sighed.
He stilled. "Oh, I see."
And he pulled away. I felt bereft and abandoned. How had I hurt him? "What? What do you see?"
"I suppose you're one of those crazy women of the forum then. Will you be posting messages to all your friends then? Have I been suckered so easily?"
He sounded so wounded, so I didn't roll my eyes. "That's not what I meant, all right?"
He swiped his hair once more, a reflexive gesture. "Then what did you mean?"
I sighed and averted my eyes. "Look, I've always been the good girl. I don't sleep with a guy until I've known him for eight months and we get our damn blood tests together. I always do things the logical way, the right way.
"Last night I was lonely and depressed and this good looking guy offers me cake. I realized who you were and it didn't matter, okay? I just wanted you for you and last night I wanted to be wild, to be free. I wanted to be bad and I was. We were. But I need that memory. I don't want to date you and in three months have a big row in a restaurant when you demand to know why I never call you or come around. Thanks, but I don't want those memories."
"So you're just going to hide like a bloody coward, not living your life and damning me before anything happens?"
I looked back at him and jerked a nod. He threw his head back and laughed.
"God, we're both fools. Both of us fools. So how about we compromise?"
Hunh?" How would we do that?"
"How long are you here for?"
"Until I finish this novel, another three, maybe four months." Then I'd be back in the states negotiating my film and he'd be there soon as well.
"I'm filming a BBC movie for another three months. Become my lover for that time."
Was he nuts? My mouth hung open. "What?"
"Nothing serious. Just one day at a time. I need a date, you need one, we call each other. We get lonely, we call each other. Nothing serious, no demands, and in three months we part ways amicably."
Wow, what we had last night for three whole months? Dear God. I was puzzled. "Can we do that?"
He laughed again and came closer, now that I was shocked and pliable. "Why not? If that was your fantasy it was an excellent starting point, you must have more."
I was blushing like an idiot. "I need time to think about this."
"No excuses to chicken out, Nicky."
When I looked into his eyes, they had turned black with desire. I shivered under his watchful gaze.
"I can feel it, you want me," he whispered.
With his huge erection pressing against my aching body I didn't need to say those words back to him.
I was always the kind of person who made her mind up quickly and didn't second guess herself. When I decided, I went for the gusto.
I ran my hands up his arms and into his hair, pulling his mouth down to mine. The kiss was mine, and he sensed that I needed it. That's the most seductive thing that a man could do, when he knew how to read a woman enough to know what she wanted, when to master and when to be conquered. He let me plunder.
I peeled his sweater off and jerked free of my shirt and bra. We made it to the couch and I ordered his pants off while I stepped free of mine. I wore no panties beneath and he approved. His erection bobbed happily as he slid his pants down to his ankles. I climbed on and swiped our lips together, me straddling his legs, his erection hot and heavy in my hand. His penis was wonderful to touch.
He leaned his head back, his hands happily on my breasts as I slid him inside me. I sank down until I was full and both of us let out a whoosh of breath. Oh yeah, this was so much better than eight months of boring dates. Sooo much better.
I ground against him and he moaned. I slid up and down and I moaned. I swiveled my hips in a figure eight and his fingers left bruise marks on my thighs. I combined it all and we became animals. Licking, kissing, biting and making animal noises.
I came hard and he let me. I kept moving and when he was close I stopped and squeezed my inside muscles. He gritted his teeth.
I leaned back to whisper, "Not yet," and he groaned.
When I felt Ioan was sufficiently calm I returned to riding him. We cycled through twice more until I came with him. Grinding and thrusting we were hot and sweaty and clawing at each other. In the midst of our orgasms I heard the buzzer but thought, fuck it.
We spiraled down as I collapsed against his chest.
I was panting and he was breathing heavily. I wanted to keep my eyes closed and not think. We'd done it again; had I just taken a man to be my lover and nothing more? I'd never had that opportunity.
"Who was that at the buzzer?"
"My friend Helen. She'll bugger off of her own accord," I reassured him. Finally I raised my head and faced him. "I have to ask you one thing."
"Anything," he promised with a satisfied smile that made me shiver anew.
"I don't demand monogamy but I do offer it. Despite this most recent evidence to the contrary, I'm not promiscuous. But if you do have sex with other people I think I should know about it so we can take the proper precautions."
He nodded. "I can promise that. You probably won't believe me but I don't usually jump in headfirst either. I'm always a more cautious man."
And then he kissed me, a kiss not devoid of passion but cooler and deeper. A toe-tingling kiss.
"Oh my god! Nicky!"
Our heads jerked up and I saw Helen and her assistant Misty in the doorway. We hadn't locked the door. I flushed scarlet as the women gaped.
Helen chuckled. "Wonderful darling, we'll leave you be now. Call me with all the details later. Nice to meet you, young man." She smiled wickedly and closed the door.
I scrambled off and landed hard on the floor, and more than my pride hurt. I groaned and cradled my head while Ioan chuckled.