Prince Charming? Ch. 07bybrightlyiburn©
Chapter Seven: Valentine's Day
Leda supposed that, in retrospect, it probably wasn't a good idea to give Tara and Mary control of the confetti. She laughed, shaking pieces of red and pink heart-shaped paper from her hair. Aidan had a ton in his hair, too. He looked slightly dismayed by the amount of confetti in his hair and on his clothes. Leda thought he looked cute like that, though. She reached up and brushed a stray lock of hair away from his face.
"This is so unruly," Aidan said, brushing his hair back.
"I like it," Leda told him. "You used to wear it slicked back all the time, but it looks so much better like this."
Aidan smiled. "In that case, I'll keep it this way."
That smile warmed her down to her toes. In the two and a half weeks they'd known each other, they'd gone from wary dislike to a warm friendship. Could it ever be more? Leda wondered, glancing at him. If he regains his memory, what then? They settled together on the floor of the crafts room, which had been cleared for the party. Each child clutched a little bag, which was full of the Valentine's cards they had made and given each other.
"Mary must be pretty popular," Aidan said, indicating the bulging bag the little girl held.
Leda grinned. "She's a doll, yes, but I think many of those are ones she made herself. If she can paint it or stick something to it with glue, she's happy."
There was candy in those bags, too, although not too much. The staff had put a little money together to get Martha a box of chocolates, but she ended up giving most of them away, unable to resist the puppy eyes turned her way. While the children made a mess of the crafts room, Leda left Aidan long enough to help the rest of the staff bring in trays of refreshment.
"Here," Leda said, settling a can of soda in Aidan's hands. "It's not Kool-Aid."
Aidan smiled up at her. When he looked at her like that, it made her heart thump wildly. He had such a sweet smile, completely at odds with his nature. Or at least, with his nature prior to his amnesia. Her cheeks burned beneath his gaze. Flicking her hair so that it fell forward over her face, Leda settled back on the floor next to Aidan. As much as she loved being with the children, tonight she couldn't wait to be alone with him.
It had taken some careful planning and collaboration with George, but Aidan had managed to arrange the perfect evening for Valentine's Day. He could not get her measurements, so he'd had to settle for a ready-to-wear dress. And yet she looks as though it was made just for her, he thought, gazing at her across the table. The short dress she wore, made of a floaty, near sheer crimson material, looked amazing on Leda. It contrasted perfectly with her pale skin, bringing out the roses in her cheeks and the touches of fire in her hair.
"Aidan," Leda hissed, her eyes wide. "This place is expensive!"
Aidan grinned, leaning across the table towards her, keeping his voice low to match hers. "You've been telling me since I came to live with you that I'm the son of a rich family."
"Yeah, but...I mean..." Leda stammered, her cheeks turning red. She started down at her lap, fiddling with her napkin. "There's no need to spend so much on me..."
"There's every need," Aidan insisted. "Now, either start telling me how wonderful I am and how great this all is, or be quiet."
Leda laughed. He loved the sound of her laugh; soft and silvery, like wind chimes, but not quite so high pitched. Aidan could tell that, despite her misgivings, she was enjoying this very much. I should tell her, he thought, feeling his joyful mood fade a bit. I really should tell her, before this goes too far. But he just couldn't stand the thought of seeing contempt in those lovely eyes of hers. Not now that he knew her so well.
Dinner with Leda was a treat. She'd never been taught how to use the proper silverware. Aidan watched her puzzle over the forks for a few minutes before showing her which to use. And finding something she liked on the menu proved interesting; for someone who worked as hard as Leda, fine dining was anything not shoved into a paper bag. Aidan had never been to this restaurant. He knew better than to go to one he usually frequented. So neither of them knew what to expect from their chosen meals.
"I never knew you could do so much to pasta," Leda commented, poking at her fettuccini with her fork. "What happened to grated cheese?"
Aidan chuckled. "Well, if the lady is displeased..."
"No," Leda said, shaking her head. She looked up at him and smiled. "Actually...I'm very pleased..."
"Good," Aidan said. "Now...shall we discuss dessert?"
Leda's eyes widened. "I couldn't!"
After a bit of gentle banter they agreed to take dessert home. Which lead into another discussion about what they should get. When at last they left the restaurant, Aidan was feeling inordinately pleased with himself. Leda sat close to him in the limo (a rented one, not a company one). The weight of her pressed against his shoulder was wonderful. If only we could do this all the time, he thought, resting his head against hers.
There were so many places he wanted to take her, but couldn't. Although his attitude certainly didn't show it, Aidan was not a completely uncivilized brute. He enjoyed the theater, most especially musicals, he'd been in just about every museum in the state and he liked to go dancing. It was unfortunately limiting, being unable to go to the places he usually frequented. Yet Aidan was afraid that telling her now would shatter the warmth between them.
Leda was in heaven. She twirled merrily, completely undaunted by the cold night air. This is the best night ever, she thought, spinning to face Aidan. It hadn't been anything hugely extravagant; dinner, the limo, and the dress, all of which she loved, but couldn't have put a scratch in the Kirkland fortune. We could have sat around in burlap sacks and ate frozen dinners, Leda thought, and it still would be the best night ever.
"Aren't you cold?" Aidan asked, sliding an arm loosely around her waist as he unlocked the door of the apartment building.
"Maybe a little," Leda replied, leaning against him. "Keep me warm."
Aidan glanced at her, fighting a smile. "You're tipsy."
"I'm happy," Leda corrected, grinning. She paused a minute, then nodded in agreement. "And tipsy."
Chuckling softly, Aidan tightened his hold on her. Leda had to admit, she felt a bit unsteady. Leaning on him, she wobbled her way up the stairs. Once they were back in her apartment she released him, just long enough to take off the strappy, heeled shoes she was wearing. When she turned to him again, Aidan caught hold of her shoulder, and gently pushed her towards the bedroom.
"Go on," he said, smiling. "I'll be there in a minute."
Humming faintly, feeling completely aglow, Leda wandered into the bedroom. She paused in the doorway, her eyes widening in surprise. Laid out on her bed were a dozen long-stemmed roses. Each bud was such a deep, rich crimson that it took her breath away. When did he... she thought, turning to glance back into the kitchen. Aidan stood behind her, holding the box with their dessert.
"Do you like them?" Aidan asked, his voice soft.
"Oh, Aidan," Leda sighed. "They're so beautiful..."
"A little cliché," Aidan said, grinning. "But I wanted to get them for you anyway."
Leda settled on the edge of the bed and scooped the roses into her arms. Usually the thought of getting flowers didn't impress her much, but these were from Aidan. I don't care if they are cliché, she thought, gently fingering the soft petals of one particularly lovely bud. They're wonderful. Leda glanced at Aidan, who had settled next to her. She took a moment to clear her night table and set the roses down gently on it. Then she threw her arms around him, almost carrying him to the floor with her momentum.
"Whoa!" Aidan laughed, closing his arms around her and dropping down onto the bed. "Easy there..."
Leda settled herself carefully, straddling his hips, and gazed down at him. When he reached up and settled his hand gently against her cheek, she leaned down to press her mouth to his. The way Aidan held her, one hand cradling the back of her neck and the other resting on her back, was heart-achingly tender. Leda shifted willingly as he rolled her onto his back, taking command of the kiss. Each dip of his tongue into her mouth sent shivers of delight down her spine and filled her with the undeniable certainty that she could not resist him...and didn't want to.
To her disappointment Aidan broke the kiss and let her go. He sat up, settling on the bed, and patted the spot next to him. Leda settled beside him, snuggling against him as he opened the box containing their chosen desert. It was a large slice of cake, layers of devil's food and mousse, with whipped icing, shavings of dark chocolate, and chocolate dipped strawberries on top. Leda snatched a strawberry first and bit into it, cooing as sweet juice filled her mouth.
"Don't do that," Aidan said quietly, turning his head to kiss her neck gently. "I'll never make it through dessert if you do that."
Leda shivered at the touch of his lips. "Maybe I don't want you to make it through dessert..."
She couldn't even believe she'd said it. Her cheeks blazing, Leda turned her attention back to the cake. Aidan nipped her neck gently, then did the same. It was fun, sharing dessert. When she licked traces of chocolate mousse from the fork, she could feel the sudden tension in him. It was decidedly fun, teasing him, and so Leda ended up in his lap for much of dessert.
Pressed against him, with the fingers of one hand buried in his hair, she lifted a strawberry to his mouth. He has such long eyelashes, Leda thought, watching them flutter shut as he bit into the fruit. She felt the brush of his lips against her fingers, then a faint touch of his tongue. Aidan's eyes flicked opened suddenly, and the intensity of that bright green gaze set her pulse to pounding.
He returned the favor, holding a piece of cake while she nibbled on it, giggling softly. Leda closed her eyes as she licked the chocolate from his fingers. Aidan ran the tip of his index finger along her lower lip, the faint pressure urging her to open her mouth. She heard his soft intake of breath as she closed her mouth around his finger. His hand cradled her chin, holding her as she suckled until the last traces of chocolate were gone.
"I guess I won't be making it through dessert," Aidan murmured, grabbing the box and setting it down on the floor.
Leda shifted in his lap, settling herself so that her thighs straddled his hips. Her fingers curled tightly around his shoulders as he kissed her. Aidan's hands crept up her sides, pulling the thin fabric of her dress slowly upwards. Although she didn't want him to stop kissing her, she broke apart willingly to let him pull the dress completely off. Beneath she wore red lace, panties and a strapless bra.
Aidan's eyebrows rose. "I know I didn't buy those..."
"I did," Leda said quietly, her cheeks flushed.
His mouth settled on hers once more. She squeaked softly against his lips as he lifted her suddenly from his lap and pinned her down on the bed. Aidan trailed kisses down her neck, over her collarbone, over the tops of her breasts. She felt the heat of his tongue through the edge of the lace. Leda moaned softly, arching her back to allow his hands to slide beneath and unhook her bra.
The lace slipped down. Aidan's mouth worked restlessly against her breasts, teasing with the tip of his tongue and small, gentle nips. She slid her hands down along his back, then beneath his shirt, tugging it free from the waistband of his pants. He sat up long enough to pull his shirt off and toss it away, then he was kissing her again; her mouth, her neck, her shoulders, her breasts...everywhere. Leda shivered as his mouth traveled down along her stomach.
"Beautiful Leda," Aidan murmured, as he hooked his fingers in the waistband of her panties.
Somehow she couldn't break her gaze from his as she lifted her hips, allowing him to pull her panties off. Aidan's hands settled on her thighs, gently urging them apart. Leda was trembling with anticipation, her breath caught in her throat as she waited for that first touch. When his fingers brushed soft, aroused flesh, she gasped softly. Each light, teasing brush of his fingertips made her squirm.
"Aidan..." Leda breathed, quivering as he teased her clit.
"Tell me what you want, sweet Leda," Alex murmured, his touch easing away from her body. "I want you hear you say it."
Leda's cheeks burned, but her body ached. She reached for his hand, drawing it up to her cheek. "I want you," she said softly, turning her head to kiss the palm of his hand. "Please..."
She watched him as he pulled off the rest of his clothes. Her heart was pounding so loudly she was sure he must be able to hear it. Frightened and eager all at once, she could do little more than tremble as he settled over her, his hands catching hers and pinning them on the pillow above her head. Leda threaded her fingers through his, staring up into those bright green eyes. Aidan's mouth covered hers, his tongue and teeth teasing her lips until the ached slightly.
She could feel him pressed against her thigh. Uncertainty bubbled up, but she never got the chance to panic. He was inside her so suddenly, with a white hot stab of pain that was agony and exquisite delight all at once. Leda closed her eyes and bit her lip as her body slowly adjusted to the invasion. Aidan held still inside her, an effort she could feel in the tension in his body.
"Are you all right, sweetheart?" Aidan asked, his lips brushing lightly against her ear. "I'm sorry..."
"I...I'm fine," Leda stammered.
How could she explain the wondrous feeling of being filled by him? As the pain eased, leaving only a bare ache, Leda opened her eyes and smiled up at him. The smile she got in return was the same one that always set her heart to hammering. She squeezed her fingers around his, hoping to reassure him. When Aidan withdrew from her, then carefully pushed back in, she knew he knew she was ready.
Each stroke was long, slowly, careful. It built a friction between them, one that soon had her wanting more. Leda lifted her hips, wanting to feel him deep inside her. She heard his soft groan as her body tightened around him. Aidan's mouth settled on hers, ravishing her lips with hungry kisses as he moved inside her. His hands slid from hers, freeing them, allowing her to put her arms around him.
Leda ran her hands over his back, feeling muscle flex beneath his skin as he thrust into her. The effort raised a thin sheen of sweat on his skin. There was something incredibly sexy about the strength of his body. She moved her hips against his, her movements not as fluid as his, and yet Aidan didn't seem to mind. In fact, when he moved his mouth from hers and pressed it against her ear, she felt his breath against her neck as he spoke.
"That's it, my Leda," Aidan murmured. He slid an arm around her thigh, pulling it up, nearly pulling her hips completely off the bed. Leda moaned, shuddering with each stroke, even more as his pace increased. She could not fight the sweet pleasure. She knew her cries as she came were loud, but she could not stop herself. Would not. She wanted to savor every moment of this.
Aidan's arms wrapped around her. Startled, Leda threw her arms around his neck as he sat up, pulling her with him. She settled in his lap, burying her face against his shoulder. Wonderful. Amazing. So many words she could think of, and yet none of them were accurate for describing this feeling of connection, physical and emotional. Aidan's mouth moved along her neck, his teeth nipping, waiting for her to be ready for more but insistent that there would indeed be more.
Braced by his hands, Leda lifted herself up, experimentally, curiously. As she slid back down on him, he groaned softly. The effort it took to lift herself up made sweat break out on her skin. And yet each hot stroke was well worth the effort. She wasn't certain what brought her more pleasure...his body inside hers or the soft noises he made against her skin.
Quite suddenly, it seemed, Aidan was no longer able to be patient. He rolled her onto the bed again, pinning her down as his moved inside her, each stroke fast and deep. Leda clung to him, crying out as she came once more. As she shuddered she felt him come inside her. Savoring the glow of heat and passion between them, she buried her fingers in his hair and held onto him tightly as she lay, catching her breath.
For long moments they lay tangled together, both of them panting. When at last Aidan rose, withdrawing from her carefully, Leda bit the inside of her lip to keep from wincing. The faint ache was nothing she couldn't handle, but she didn't want him to get the wrong idea. He brushed her hair back from her face and gently kissed her forehead, somehow able to sense exactly what she was feeling.
"You okay, sweetheart?" Aidan asked, gathering her into his arms.
"Mmm," Leda murmured sleepily, snuggling up against him. "Just tired..."
Aidan chuckled softly. "Then let's get you cleaned up and tucked into bed, hm?"
He picked her up and carried her into the bathroom. All throughout their brief shower Aidan held her tight, laying gentle kisses on her neck and shoulders. It would be the easiest thing in the world to fall for him right now, Leda thought, leaning against him as he helped her out of the shower. Except that I already am. As soon as they were back in bed she settled her head on his chest and closed her eyes, feeling more content than she had in years.
Aidan's fingers stroked idly through her damp hair. For a moment she thought there was something bothering him; she thought she felt tension in his body. But it was gone as soon as she felt it. Must have been imagining things, Leda thought, sighing softly. A smile curved the corners of her mouth as she drifted off to sleep.
Aidan had not slept one wink all night. Guilt ate him alive. Worse, Leda was sleeping so peacefully, snuggled up against his side. He watched the early morning light slide in through the cracks in the window-shade and streak gold across her skin. As she stirred, slowly waking, he slid his fingers through her hair. Aidan couldn't help smiling as her eyes flickered open.
"Morning, sleepyhead," he murmured.
"Mmm," Leda mumbled, pushing herself up enough to stretch from head to toe. "What time is it?"
"Time to get a move on, I suspect," Aidan answered, feeling sorrow begin to well up inside himself. "Leda, I need to tell you something..."
"Well, talk while you dress," Leda said, suddenly wide awake.
She was in a very good mood this morning, bouncing around her room and rooting out clothing. Aidan watched her as she ran a brush through her hair, working the tangles out and leaving it a long sheet of silken brown. Leda turned to him at last, frowning. She was pulling on socks, hopping on one foot and staring at him expectantly.
"Aren't you going to get dressed?" Leda asked.
Aidan sighed. "Leda...listen to me."
She stopped fidgeting once she got her socks on, but she was still anxious to get moving, he could tell. Aidan took a deep breath and plunged forward, forcing himself to keep his gaze level with hers. "I don't have amnesia, Leda," he told her, feeling his heart constrict as her brow wrinkled in confusion. "I...never did. It was a stupid, petty, childish thing to do..."
Her looked changed quickly, flitting through an array of emotions: the tail-end of confusion, the shock of understanding, and then anger. The fury blazing in her eyes made him feel about three inches tall. Aidan rose from the bed, hoping to get a hold of her before she tried to leave. He reached for her, but she slapped his hand away, hard enough to make his skin sting.