tagErotic Couplings5 Tests Finale

5 Tests Finale

bySoftlyPressingOnward©

Hello again. So if you've been tracking this story, you may have noticed a slight delay in my release schedule. Though I tried my best, I couldn't quite get the story's finale quite the way I liked it until now. What you see before you is several days of work and hopefully it shows.

Instead of forcing you wait another few weeks for the full ending, I've decided to split it up into 2 halves. You have waited patiently and it is only fair that you get something for that patience. I will warn you in advance there isn't a lot of sex in this one. That will be in part 2, which is an epilogue but is still part of the main narrative. Enjoy the read and thank you for sticking with my tale.

-SoftlyPressingOnwards

*****

The night of February 13th was bitingly cold, but in Canada that isn't really anything out of the ordinary. It felt especially chilly because Kim wasn't walking with me, warming my arm through my coat with her body. I had made my way back to my sad, little apartment all by myself. I let the warmth generated by my space heater defrost my skin. The black coat drooped off me and onto the bed, as good a place as any to leave it in a permanent mess. Several months of neglect due to recurrent absence will do that to a nice apartment, let alone a shitty one.

"Well here we go" I said to no one. I lifted piles of clothes that were "clean" but left unfolded and scattered. Bits of paper and unsorted tools and trinkets were each sorted and put into their new homes upon their discovery. There would be no other way to do this but the hard way, though I had recognized that from the moment I made up my mind to put the sty in order and find a particular item.

Only a few days earlier Kim had let me know that it was time for the fifth and final test. She wanted to do it on Valentine's Day to which I had no objections. I had previously gleaned knowledge that this test was romantic in nature, so the timing seemed to fit and gave me a date to work towards. I had only recently realized just how seriously I felt about her, and the thought was taking up all my mental faculties. I had already done more for her than anybody I'd ever known and, at this point, wasn't sure if I could accept a failing grade on the last test. Without realizing it, I had gone from wanting Kim to needing her.

Since I was unable to explain that in so many words, I decided a gesture would be more appropriate to show her what she means to me. Flowers seemed pointless and cliché, not to mention not nearly as grandiose as I was hoping for. I could give her my recipe for banana bread, which she had tried to pry out of me in several poorly-conducted interrogations. That would be romantic, but that would take all the fun out of making it for her. Besides this needed to be better, something that would get the message across as plainly as my words never could.

Luckily I realized that there was something that represents my desire to give her everything I have. The only extra key to my apartment: full access to my depressingly small abode which literally housed everything I had. It would be perfect. I could pass my final test and then show her the key. "I'm a genius," I thought to myself when the idea popped into my head.

My plan had one flaw that dawned on me long after I thought of it. I had no idea where this second key was. "I'm a real fucking genius" I groaned, seeing the disarray before me.

So now my search became a full organization of my pitiful space on the impoverished Leden St, in the more colorful part of town. Books were moved, items were thrown into the trash to then be taken out due to fleeting sentimental value, and pockets were rummaged through repeatedly. I had so much fun that I considered burning my place down and moving my stuff onto the street. I certainly wouldn't miss the moldy walls, the upsetting smell, and the dust that seemed to escape any effort to remove it. I pushed forward, realizing a scorched-earth policy might ruin the sentiment behind my gift.

Finally, after what felt like several lifetimes of searching I found the damn thing in a cookie jar my mom gave me when I first moved in. That smiling porcelain bear bastard stared at me with dead eyes and a self-satisfied look that he had hid his contents so well. I fell backwards onto my now-clear bed and sighed due to relief and exhaustion. This was truly a labor of love, far more herculean than I had intended but I guess all the more romantic for it. Remembering who it was all for made the achy pains turn to flowing sand that sifted out of my body. I sunk into my bed as my mind flashed with images of Kim in one of her beautiful dresses. Baby blue cotton adorned with a white bow. I held the key in my hand and started to feel it weigh heavily in my palm with inadequacy.

This apartment was everything I had. Perhaps to an outsider they would watch me offer Kim access to all of my attention, effort and affection and scoff that I was now offering free reign over all of my stuff. One would insist I was getting cheated. But while on that bed, in that dimly lit hole-in-the wall, I was truly happy. I felt happiness with the same intensity that I imagined I only ever felt as a little kid, before I learned how hard life could be. The happiness that's felt before you're certain that you're on your own in a very isolating world.

Warmth and euphoria now accompanied me throughout my day-to-day life whenever I thought of just one person. This person was becoming my person with every challenge I overcame. So if all I could give her in return was a key to a dark room with a cookie jar, than that's what I would do.

Such thoughts filled my mind as I drifted out of consciousness into a recurring dream. A strong wind wisped Kim's hair behind her. Her eyes were fixated on me with a gaze that told me she wanted to be held. I reached out to her and grabbed her hand, asking if she was alright.

It was summer in the city and the rooftop we were standing on whistled loudly in our ears. Grass covered the top of this dramatically tall building, and by the green on Kim's feet, I got the impression she'd been standing there a while. The same dress as before began to slide off her body, though she made an effort to catch it before the wind carried it away. She placed it on a slightly darker patch of grass and said "this is far up as it goes, Nate. I hope that's okay."

"More than fine." I thought, but the words wouldn't come out.

She grabbed my hand and I knelt with her on top of the dress, much larger and softer than I'd imagined it would be. Kim's hands caressed my face and I felt chills. She lifted my shirt and rested her hand onto my heart.

She giggled, "Are you nervous? It's just me."

I kissed the top of her head.

"Down you go."

She pushed me back and my head landed onto soft fabric. She climbed on top of me.

"You'll be great, just let me do some of the work now."

Kim kissed my neck and bit my collar bone. She marked me intermittently all the way down my body, stopping at my lower abs to take a look into my eyes. Never breaking eye contact, my pants were removed and my crotch exposed.

"I'll play nice, just wanted to keep your attention, you have a lifetime to get bored of me now."

The tip was kissed tenderly but was parted with soon after. Her hair found its usual place on my thighs and rested there comfortably. I felt my balls teased and toyed with, each slight lick adding to the chills that had lingered.

"We're keeping these safe, right? I need them for later."

She licked her palm and rubbed against my penis head, keeping it lubricated while she watched my reaction. I was getting much warmer despite our altitude and could feel myself getting harder in her grip. The moment her mouth wrapped around me I knew that I couldn't last. Something was different here, a layer of importance was surrounding this that gave Kim a desire to explore me thoroughly.

Each inch of my cock was given special attention and I was being observed carefully for changes of expression. Tucking her hair behind her ear, she deep-throated me and remained there, squeezing me with her tongue. My toes curled and I felt dizzy.

"Make that noise again, please." A face painted with joy was patiently waiting at the tip of my dick. I nodded and waited for the next drop. Kim descended even faster this time as saliva coated the base. Not too many people would turn my world upside down to hear me squeak, but I guess Kim's always the exception.

Naturally, I couldn't help moaning. Her satisfaction reflected in her intensity. Kim's hands wrapped around the well-lubricated bottom half and massaged me in time with her licks around the tip.

"I want to wear white for you today, honey. You really earned it."

She sped up and sucked on the head loudly, her boobs pressing against me as her body lifted and relaxed. I watched myself give her what she wanted, and though I felt little more than a tingle, my heart swelled as I viewed the scene.

And then the rooftop was gone. I woke up sweaty, the space heater having done its work far too well. I shut it off as I watched the sun begin to rise, rays piercing my grimy window. I changed out of my clothes that were stained with various fluids and had a quick rinse to wake myself up. It was time to go home.

--

Kim was alone in her apartment that morning, kept company by a recently purchased book and barely audible music streaming from her laptop. The candles she had lit to spare herself a stressful electricity bill was giving the room a gloom that she was oblivious to. The sun was kept out by accident, as she had closed the room off with the intention of reuniting with its rays only after a full night's sleep.

She found herself engrossed in a novel that she started once falling asleep seemed more like a fantasy than a strict plan. She had spent the night reading about a couple who had found each other after searching for each other their entire lives, but were separated before they could let each other know how they felt. This could well describe many of the novels Kim read, but she had never consumed any of those other books with such intent.

If Kim was being honest with herself, she wasn't ready for her final tests and that was very unfamiliar to her. The weight of this realization plunged her into a novel that did nothing to alleviate the tension she felt. Yet she could not give up on this story, it had to be finished. So she pressed onwards.

The heroine, forever lost after a suicide following the couple's permanent separation, appears in the hero's dream in the book's closing chapter. In the dream, she begs him to forget about her but he insists that there is nothing worth living for in a world that doesn't have her in it. She's touched but gently reminds him that if their roles were switched, he'd be asking the same of her.

"Fuck." she whispered to herself, her voice hoarse despite hours of silence. The bottom of the penultimate page she just couldn't push past was now stained with teardrops.

The phone vibrated on the table, bringing her attention out of the tragedy.

Sorry for the wait, coming home, hope this doesn't wake you up, the bubble read, hovering below "Nate" and a candid picture of my unsuspecting face.

"I'm waiting for you."

The book was going to have to wait. Whether or not the hero would move on was important, but not as important as what had to be done. Rays pierced the window, returning life to the room.

---

I opened the door and my relief from the frost came packaged with a warm hug. Kim wrapped me in her body heat, and I nuzzled my reddened face into her locks. Dropping my bag to the ground, I embraced her and wondered how anything could feel so good. She let go slightly and, at the sight of my face, kissed me deeply. Our tongues wrapped around each other's and the difference in our body temperatures became even more apparent. We went on until she slowly broke our kiss and opened her eyes.

"I missed you."

I'd picked up on that. "No kidding, you look like you haven't slept at all."

I got an unimpressed look. "Thanks." She rested back onto me "I really didn't; I had to read a book."

"Oh...well did you finish? Did it have a happy ending?"

"No...I really don't know, babe. I hope it does but I'm worried that it's just wishful thinking that things work out just because you really want them to."

"That's true. Want to go to bed and we'll do the test a bit later?"

"No. Take off your coat please and follow me." The sudden seriousness of her tone gave the loss of her heating embrace a bit more punch. I paused.

When she left the living room I followed the simple instructions, deciding to hide my nerves. I was hoping that by the final test I'd understand what the hell was happening. Referring ominously to one of her fictional tragic romances was a first for her, and I was praying she was just sleepy. None of the other tests had stressed Kim out enough to lose sleep, though, and I really couldn't tell if I'd made a mistake.

Kim sat on the floor in front of her couch and patted the floor beside her. I sat.

"Test 5 is as follows, I'm going to talk and you're going to answer. Your answer is pass/fail so take your time answering, but please keep in mind there are no do-overs."

I took a deep breath and rode a slow exhale to a more attentive state of mind. Whatever this was it wasn't going to be a light conversation, clearly. She looked so full of intent, the bags under her eyes the only proof that she was filled with emotion by this task. I think about those worried eyes a lot.

Kim explained "So when I was a kid I believed that I would fall in love and that would be it. No need for repeats, no second chances. Whoever passed the tests would be the one I'd spend the rest of my life with. As you can imagine this has led to some built-up, serious expectations that require rigorous testing. I'm sorry I wasn't clear about that from the beginning, Nate. I just need you to know now that those tests hold an importance to me that goes beyond making sure you're not a bad decision. These tests decide if you're the person I've always wanted, someone who will be everything you've already proven that you are."

This was starting to feel like a pep talk, but I realized she wasn't complimenting me for the sake of it.

"For that reason, Test 5 requires two things, that you give the right answer to what I'm going to ask you, and that I love you enough to even ask."

I sat motionless, my heart skipping at the word love, as if my unprofessed emotion was reacting to her mere admission of her feelings.

Kim slouched a bit and yet never broke eye-contact with me. Her cheeks reddened.

"Without being too mushy about it, I want to admit that I love you so much that I'm certain you've ruined my ability to settle for any guy I've seen since I met you. Test 5 has pre-requisites so I don't get to let you take it if I don't feel that way. I didn't know it would mess with me so much when I decided that."

She was tearing.

"All the other tests are just to convince me that you're worth it but I didn't even need them, Nate. You're the first person I wanted to cheer for all along because I think a part of me needed you to succeed. This huge, overwhelming part of me wants to give you all of my time and energy and make it impossible for you to exist comfortably without me by your side. I want to occupy your mind as much as you've intrusively taken over mine. I just want to give you everything I have and keep you all for myself."

She was starting to cry.

"You're so special to me, Nate, and it's taking everything I have not to selfishly cling to this window between test four and five. I can't throw away a system I've worked so hard to perfect, but I get so anxious that I have to risk not having you."

Kim took a second to catch her breath and broke the eye contact, looking down to give herself something else to focus on.

Without thinking, I spoke. "I think you're sort of missing the point of the tests."

She sniffed and looked back up at me "wha?"

"I really want to pass, but more than that I want you to have the guy that makes you happy. To get there, that guy has to be willing to risk getting weeded out. If test 5 ensures I'm the right person, then there's no reason to be upset if I fail. I... I'm in love with you to the point that I can feel it well up inside me every time I see or think about how special I feel when I'm with you. But even so, I can recognize that you have to see this through, despite the risks to either of us. If I really want to be able to look into your eyes and truthfully tell you that I believe in you, than I have to be willing to put faith in these tests you created. The same applies to you."

Tears turned into laughter and she shook her head. She reached under the couch and pulled out a box.

"Okay well that's very logical, and you would have a point if you were the one being tested this time."

She opened the box and in it sat a gold ring with three hearts interlocking. Kim took a deep breath.

"Nate. My soul and everything I have is yours, if you want it. You've earned it fair and square and I give you permission to do whatever you want with me. I want to spend the rest of my life trying to match up to your selflessness and kindness, but I'll definitely need about a lifetime to get there. Will you teach me how to be a good partner and catch up to the standards you've set? Will you marry me?"

I sat there in stunned silence. When I realized what was happening I reached into my pocket and pulled out the key. Kim looked dumbfounded and I was sporting a stupid grin.

"Trade?"

Kim took the key and looked at it, examining its ridges and shape. I took the ring and did the same.

I closed my eyes and with deep breath tried to articulate my thoughts. "When I was at my lowest points, your generosity and motivation made me into a better guy. I have no idea how I would've gotten to this moment without you forging me into what I am. You already have the traits I used to pass your tests; that's why I bothered to pass them. You constantly remind me that you're worth the trouble."

I opened my eyes and fresh tears had entered Kim's eyes.

"But if we can help each other stay as the people we see each other as..." I said, sliding the ring onto my finger, "then I'll marry you tomorrow and we can get started on the rest of our lives."

She put the key up to my face and said "You're sure you can keep giving parts of yourself away to me?"

That got me laughing. I held her hand and said "well I'm thinking of moving so the key won't really be worth much, but I'm afraid that only leaves myself and some furniture I own."

Kim looked content and relaxed for the first time today. She kissed me gently and whispered "I will also take banana bread, yes?"

"Okay now that is greedy."

"Then I'll be selfless like you, fiancée, and let you make it for me whenever I ask."

We embraced and wrapped around each other, tension melting away into passion. Kim stripped down to her bra and pushed me down reminiscent to her dream-counterpart. This time, however, I could feel her distinct warmth and softness.

Kim made a shriek when I tickled her sides, and she grabbed my hands and pushed them above my head.

"I'm just going to keep giving it to you until we can start calling you the greedy one."

"You have a lifetime, but if you want to see how much you can get done in a day, I'm not arguing."

My pants were pulled down and shirt pulled off. The disheveled hair and sleepless eyes made Kim hungrier for me than I'd ever seen her. Despite that, there was playfulness to her exploration of my body that I realized was gleeful. Kim had wanted this to conclude as much as I did. This was the bond we'd earned, together.

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