Kismet or Happenstance? Ch. 10

byAugust_Bouvier©

"Oh, I can guarantee you we'll get on each other's nerves at least a few times, sweetheart."

Sean was certain he'd just run across a field of landmines with that admission. Yet he wasn't going to bullshit her and make her feel better with empty promises. But instead of freaking out for a minute, his little worrier looked relieved to hear that piece of truth. Pleased even. And this was the same woman who'd gotten upset because they'd unloaded an unreliable plumber from the payroll? He reached for her other chilled hand and pulled her close. It would take a lifetime to unravel this woman.

"But," he paused, "being with you—us being together is bigger than all that. We'll get through it and faster than you think. You'll see. Look how much we've gotten done already."

Ana released a heavy breath and lifted her head from the crook of his neck. "I don't think we're going make the Christmas deadline though," she said, a thin veil of disappointment over her words as she hugged his waist. He rubbed her back in a slow cadence.

"We'll do our best and if it doesn't happen, we'll deal with it. There'll be other Christmases."

She offered him the first real smile he'd seen in days. Everything felt back on track again. "When did you get to be so patient?"

"Must be the love of a good woman and some of her good ways rubbing off on me."

Ana pressed closer and dropped a quick kiss below his cheek. "Damn, you're smooth. I knew there had to be a reason why I'm willing to give up closet space for you."

"Just remember that when I mess up that whole color wheel thing you've got going on." Leave it to Ana to take organizing her clothes by color to the ultimate level. He laughed when she gave him a playful scowl.

Sean rested his forehead against hers and took a moment to enjoy being with her like this. Between juggling their jobs, the house, and turning hobbies into careers, these quiet moments had become precious. "After we're done here, how 'bout we head home and take a long shower and not think about packing or anything construction related until tomorrow?"

Ana turned in his arms. "That sounds perfect."

They walked back to the twelve foot glass and steel framed doors that spanned the length of the porch. She pointed to the fiery russets, pinks and golds behind the mountains.

"Look. Imagine how great it'll be when we sit out here for dinner."

He stood behind her with his arms folded below her neck and saw her words paint an outdoor living room that overlooked the yard of flowers and green grass. He saw a good life here, a place they could share with friends and family.

"What?"

"I'm not that grumpy in the morning." "You've got to be kidding."

Ana punched him in the arm then took off.

"You're going pay for that!"

Ana woke up to the distant sound of a guitar and a chorus of soft, intermittent snores from the other end of the couch. The last thing she remembered was plopping down on the couch to channel surf while Sean took calls from his sister and someone from the band. Ana felt better, lighter. Their talk reminded her that their plans didn't float in dewy eyed excitement. They were rooted in something strong, something real. Dodger lifted his beige head as she slid out from under the blanket Sean must have draped over her.

She leaned on the doorframe, captivated by his intensity. Despite the work he'd done on Letters from the Road, there were songs that would never be written for or sung by anyone else but him. She knew in time Sean would fulfill that dream too.

His fingers found various chord constellations hidden within the strings. Some were slow and pensive; others fell in a sweet cascade of sound. He tested the notes he had scribbled in song, then he'd grab the notepad from off the bench and write at a manic pace. The process repeated several times.

Sean took a swig of beer and closed his eyes. The notes floated in perfect arrangement behind his eyelids. He set the bottle on the side table and tested the image on his guitar. Threads of awareness spread down his back in a webbed dance while the pen scrolled across the page. Ana was near.

She stood in the doorway, wearing one of his white dress shirts, arms crossed and the top of one foot hooked behind the ankle of the other. Soft. Beautiful. Inviting. That's what Ana was with those disheveled waves framing her pretty face. It's what he loved about the mornings when he woke up and found her curled next to him with her bare skin all warm and soft from sleep. He felt a smile working its way to his mouth. Soon all his mornings would begin that way instead of a few days here and there.

"That's good," she said as she padded barefoot across the wooden deck. "Don't stop." Her sleepy rasp drifted over him and awoke a need that had been neglected for too many days. She folded her legs under her on the bench and looked so adorable with those pink crease marks on her cheek.

"Do you know yet when the video's going to debut?"

Sean shook his head and continued to play.

"I can't wait to see it, it's going to be a hit."

He took another sip of beer. Ana's determination and utter lack of subtlety made him smile. Her belief in him did amazing things for his ego. "You wouldn't just be a wee bit biased, now would you?" he teased while his thumb and index met.

Ana crinkled her nose and took the guitar from his lap. "Not one bit." She dipped her head while her graceful fingers plucked the strings in the way he'd taught her.

"That's pretty good."

A streak of muted light fell over her hair and face as she raised her head. "Now who's biased," she quipped with unwarranted humility.

"I recognize talent when I see it."

But it wasn't her talent he was staring at and she knew it. Her brown eyes sparkled with a mix of sexual awareness and mischief as she strummed the guitar. She stopped playing and set the guitar on the table next to her. "Brennan, are you buttering me up?"

"Only if it's working."

Ana closed the gaping panels that lured him with small peeks of golden skin and cleavage. She rubbed her arms as she said, "You're gonna have to do better than that."

"Cold?" Sean saw his chance to get her inside and in his warm bed where he could reacquaint himself with those lush curves he pretended not to notice during their chaste shower.

She scooted over into his waiting arms and nestled her head in the crook of his shoulder. Her eyes skipped over the string-light lanterns swaying above them. "It's hard to believe this is one our last weekends out here."

The wistful note in her words caught his attention. Was there more than nervousness about the future that fueled her outburst this afternoon? Her sad smile didn't help either.

"Lots of good memories here... I miss it already."

The unwelcome questions that had snuck up on him vanished. He saw Ana at the dining table, her hair up, wearing a black dress. She'd been all cute and embarrassed after the Rioja she'd been drinking sprayed out her mouth. He must have said something funny that July night—though he couldn't remember what it was. Pages of memories flew by in quick animation. This was where it all began for them.

He rested his jaw on her head and inhaled Ana's bare skin. Clean. Delicate. Feminine. "We'll make new ones."

"Yeah...and at least we can still visit." Her cool fingers slid under his t-shirt to trace spirals over his stomach. "You know it's kind of a full circle thing that Duncan gets to enjoy all the work Grace put into garden. I hope he's happy here, he deserves it." Her compassion blanketed him in warmth. He held her close, stroking her legs and back. Life was perfect.

"Let's head inside, you're getting cold."

Ana snuggled closer. Feeling her pressed against him like this was having an effect. "I'm fine. Besides, I've got my Irish love to keep me warm," she supplied with a cheesy, dimpled grin.

Sean playfully rolled his eyes and shook his head in mock annoyance. "Oh, God!" Ana's kooky habit of replying with lyrics was one of those things that made him laugh when it didn't drive him nuts. He gave her pout a quick kiss. "Be right back."

He returned with her flip-flops in his hand and a blanket draped over his shoulder. His thoughtfulness touched her as though he'd brought her daisies and chocolate. These were the little things that whispered I love you, I'll look after you . He eased her legs over his lap and arranged the blanket over their limbs before folding his arms around her.

"Better?" His voice was as gentle and protective as the gesture.

"Mm-hmm." The soft cotton of his shirt brushed her cheek as she nodded her answer. She burrowed against his chest, seeking more of his solid warmth. She kissed the side of his neck.

"What's that for?"

"You always take such good care of me."

Sean wasted no time listing his good deeds. He almost had her believing he was a veritable saint by the time she rewarded each one with a line of kisses along his jaw. He chuckled when she told him so. "I wouldn't go that far." His hand traveled up her thigh to illustrate his point. The way his eyes raked over her made her ache for things no saint could deliver. "You hit me hard this afternoon and never said sorry."

"I'm so sorry, sweetheart," she cooed as her fingers skated over his mint green shirt from collar to cuff. "I would kiss it all better, but you're overdressed."

His hand stopped shy of where she needed to be touched. "You're a smart girl. Improvise."

Ana nipped his ear then licked the tip of the lobe...the way that drove him wild. "Like this?"

He made a low sound. "You can do better."

She cupped his jaw and drew his head down to hers. "How about this?" she said against his mouth then slanted her lips over his, teasing him with the promise of her kiss.

Sean's fist closed over her hair. He pulled her head back, forcing her eyes to his. "You like playing with fire, Belle?"

His rough demand made her swallow with the hot anticipation of kissing him, tasting him. The slight clench in her throat worked its way down, unfurling liquid desire within her core.

"Two can play this game." His lips skimmed the wild pulse below her jaw. She spread her legs with shameless abandon when he pushed his hand between her thighs. His smile was devilish and proud when he cupped her. "See what happens when you play with fire?" His fingers flexed over her panties, making her arch under his big, warm hand. "I bet you're hot inside." For every word he rasped at her neck, he stroked her. Languid touches that made her want more than his fingers caressing her through thin cotton, more than his breath on her skin. Ana wanted more.

"Do you want me to touch you there?"

"Yes."

She moaned as she angled her head to his and sought his mouth. His lips opened over hers the instant they connected. She gasped when his thumb slid under the edge of her panties. His tongue flicked away the sound and his taste unfolded with every velvet sweep inside her mouth. Fruit. Malt. Warm. Smooth. Ana closed her eyes and twined her fingers around the damp strands at his nape, pulling him closer, wanting more of his mouth. Their tongues bandied back and forth, teasing, licking...savoring. His fingers mimicked that slow, erotic pace as they traced the seam of her sex and delved deeper. He made a low sound of masculine pleasure as he tested her arousal. Even now he still reacted with surprise at how quickly she responded to his touch.

The blanket flew behind her. Sean scooped her onto his lap, his voice all whiskey and smoke when he whispered against her lips, "Let's go inside."

"Don't want to wait." She breathed out then breathed in the faint scent of soap, water and Sean. His arms tensed under her knees. A question and answer passed in one look.

Everything stopped...then exploded in a flurry of frantic movement.

Sean's shirt landed on the blanket. A short conspiratorial laugh filled the air as they worked to drag off Ana's panties. He fisted the side panel, ready to tear them off her.

"Wait."

She lifted her hips and shimmied so he could tug the scrap of cotton down her legs. Damn. The way her ass brushed over his fly made his cock pulse with every pass. Pulse. Pulse. Pulse...

And then she straddled him.

Sean stifled a groan as her delicious weight settled over him. Just one piece of clothing separated him from the softness he'd had under his hand. So close, he and his shorts barely contained his lust. She went after the waistband of his shorts as he attacked the buttons on her shirt. The zipper sighed and her eyes widened.

"You're going commando?" Her voice held threads of disbelief even as his shaft sprang up to demand her attention. Ana couldn't look away. His cock was flushed an angry reddish pink and taut; the broad head glistened. She had to touch it, feel its weight and smoothness in her hand.

His knuckles smoothed across her clavicle then lower. "You're not the only practical one around here." Amazing that she still blushed even after all this time. The look of delight and wonder on her face was an aphrodisiac in and of itself. But then he never tired of watching Ana watch him. Her gaze traveled from base to tip and back felt like a caress, making the sweet ache build even before her right palm closed over his length.

She caught him staring at her. "What?"

"You're...beautiful." He half expected a sassy comeback, maybe more of her sweet shyness.

Her left hand cradled the side of his face. "You make me feel that way." And she made his masculine pride soar knowing he pleasured her in such a deep way. "You're beautiful too," she added with that adorable, impish dimple.

Beautiful had been an understatement.

Out here under a canopy of bougainvillea and soft lights, with his shirt hanging open, Ana was...exquisite, breathtaking...perfect. Her hand drifted down his neck, past his collarbone. "In so many ways," she whispered before she kissed him. His stomach contracted as her forefinger circled his navel again and again in tandem with the hand tormenting the tip of his cock. "Inside and out." Her breathy voice evoked sex. Primal. Raw.

Inside and out.

Those three words echoed inside his ears. They carried to all his senses until he had to get inside Ana, to feel her, hear her and see her while he moved...inside and out.

Ana suckled his lower lip, sending hot currents straight to his erection. He jerked in her hand. Her tongue did a wicked dance around that sensitive spot below his Adam's apple. "You feel...so...hot."

He watched in fascination as her fingers dipped between her legs. Her index and formed a ring around the middle of his shaft, spreading her moisture over him, driving him crazy with every twist, every squeeze. Hold on. Don't lose control.

"So hot...you feel so good."

Sean cupped her sex, rubbing his palm over her damp kinky curls. "So do you, sweetheart." Her hands flew to his shoulders and she arched into his hand. "You like that, don't you?" Her damp folds got wetter as if her body had tuned into the same frequency making his whole body tight with arousal. "Say it."

"I-I like...it." She gasped as his touch grew more intimate then cried out when his finger entered her—barely. "More...want more." The cool night air danced over her nipples, making them pucker. She cupped one breast and pressed her forearm against the other, trying to dull the heaviness, the need to be touched. "Fuck—Sean!" Ana pleaded while another finger pressed at her entrance.

"Soon, baby," he husked at her ear. "Let's see how ready you are." Each hypnotic word preceded a slow, slick push inside her. Ana shook her head, trying to clear the haze of lust and pleasure as his fingers filled her inch by inch.

"'M ready. Ah," she mumbled as he thrust in, then fanned out those long fingers.

"Ride my fingers, Belle...show me how you'll ride me."

Sean urged her on with a string of sexy words while the hand on her hip guided her over him. He could have said anything just then, especially when he took her cue and nuzzled his head against the hand palming her breast. His hot, moist mouth closed over her nipple and pulled the tight peak inside. She buried her head in his neck, her nails digging into his biceps while he laved her with lurid swirls of tongue and wicked scrapes of teeth. Pleasure coiled beyond his lunging fingers.

Her voice sounded distant to her own ears as she spoke. "Sean, please..." Her slick walls clasped his fingers, trying to draw them deeper to that place inside her that would send her over the edge. Why wasn't he driving deeper? Yes! Right there.

"You need to come, don't you?"

She spat out a "yes" before he finished; partly to answer him, partly because she was climbing, getting close.

Sean gritted his teeth as the soft, wet flesh around his fingers fluttered. Ana needed a little more time before his cock replaced them. He continued stroking her until her choppy moans turned into one blissful note. "Come on me," he grated before he withdrew his soaked fingers. A few rough shoves left his shorts shackled around his ankles. He steadied her as she trapped his cock between her damp sex lips and began rubbing over him, spreading her moisture and warmth from tip to base then back. His eyes snapped shut and his head rolled back like a puppet cut from its strings. "Jesus."

"You like that—say it."

Sean nipped her ear. "Tease."

Electricity spiraled through his veins as Ana swayed over him again. "You love it." Damn, she loved pushing him to the edge.

"Yes." He grunted when Ana's silken heat touched the tip of his dick. "Fuck—yes"

"Soon."

Their hissed-in breath buzzed in the air the instant his crown slipped inside her. Sean groaned as she slid down his length, opening around him. Her fingers snared his wrists, squeezing them while soft yielded slowly to hard.

"Don't. Stop."

He couldn't remain still; he needed more. His hips rose up, filling her in one smooth stroke. The fit, the feel of skin on skin was...perfect.

Ana rocked her hips.

He couldn't take his eyes away as she writhed over him with graceful arcs and sharp rolls. Her hand rose to her nape then slid across the jutting line of her clavicle. Every undulating move was pure burlesque sensuality.

"Yes," he chanted as she quickened her tempo. He cupped her backside, bouncing her on his surging cock as she writhed on its length. The urge to come grew with every pass of creamy friction. In. Out. Up. Down. He knew he couldn't hold back much longer the instant Ana pierced him with her intense dark gaze. An invisible weight lodged in his chest then radiated out in splinters. Goosebumps covered his skin. Eyes closed, he gritted his teeth as her hips bumped his. Even now he felt her watching him, feeding him with the unbridled lust and joy he'd read in her eyes seconds before. She pulled back, dragging his length along slick flesh. So hot, snug. The next thought tumbled out in a broken sigh as Ana ground down on him. "Nothing better."

She withdrew halfway then thrust down again. Faster. Harder. His control was spinning away. He reached between them intent on having her lead him over the edge.

"Mmm—right there," she said in a tiny whimper. "Yes! So good...so good."

Ana twisted and jerked. More friction. More pleasure. Sensation shimmered, building in one tight mass. He dropped delicate kisses along her jaw, down her neck then dipped his head to her breast. His tongue flicked her nipple, titillating her with each velvet pass. The pressure built within her as she sank onto his hot rigid column and clenched around him. Ana kept filling her body with his while Sean kept filling her mind with the whispers of love and beauty he branded on her skin. He answered her wild movements. She answered his tender words. Give and take, again and again in an intimate soul dance.

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